Cole Potrocky
Apr 29, 2016 · 1 min read

I think there needs to be a differentiation between conscious and unconscious thinking here.

Conscious thinking is defined by the use of conscious features: the analog I, the internal mind space, and the inner voice that we all know of. It’s a very good tool for framing a complex problem.

Conscious thinking is a poor tool for coming up with creative or satisfying solutions. Many people (including myself) think up our greatest ideas when we’re not thinking about a problem at all. Albert Einstein was curious as to why this was: “Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?”

Julian Jaynes lays down the argument that consciousness is much less useful than we think it is: “Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of.”

Learning and problem solving do not require consciousness. We can directly observe this by looking at other intelligent animals that do not have consciousness: many of them are still able to solve complex problems aptly.

So what does this all mean? It means that unorganized, floaty, in the clouds time is incredibly important to be a creative, thoughtful individual. On the other hand: conscious thinking time is important in small doses for framing tough problems that can then be passed on to the rest of the brain to start working on.

Cole Potrocky

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CTO & Cofounder at Vault