Read this: “Can you read this sentence?

Now read this: Ecnetnes siht daer uoy nac?

That second sentence doesn’t make any sense, does it?
It because you suddenly lost your ability to read? Or is it your inability to see a pattern?
You see reading is a “talent”. It’s not an inborn talent. It’s an acquired talent. And so when you see words in a certain sequence and shapes, you’re able to read the sentence; memorise it; even pass it on without any loss of information. And yet the second sentence seemed to fox you.

How about if I told you the second sentence contained exactly the same number of words?
In fact it’s the same sentence written backwards.
Can you read this sentence?
Ecnetnes siht daer uoy nac?

To read the sentence you had to chunk
Over time you’ve learned to chunk a bunch of things, and that’s what “talented” people do. They’re not necessarily smarter than you or me. They’re just chunking bigger sections and hence appear to be faster and smarter. So if you cook Indian food for instance, there are about five spices that go into anything. They are: turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Anyone who’s cooked Indian food for even short bursts knows these five spices as one unit. They don’t have to think about the spices individually. So that frees up their brain to add on other chunks.

What you see as talent, is just constant chunking.
This is why you can read a sentence like “Can you read this sentence?” in a second.
It’s because of an acquired talent.

That’s why you’re so quick.
And non-English speakers are so slow.

Now you know :)


Are we born with inborn talent?
Sure we are.

All these girls were born with this skill. (Yeah right).

Note: Um, it’s amateur video. So while you’re amazed at the acquired ability your natural sense of balance may be disrupted by the shaky video.


Can Dolphins Learn Photoshop?

July 13, 2010

We all believe that most of us have in-born talents, right? So imagine you’re a dolphin and you learn to do what no dolphin has ever been seen doing before. No, not learn Photoshop—but do something just as cool: blow perfect circles of bubbles underwater. So what makes this cool? This blowing of bubbles isn’t […]

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Why You Lose Focus—And How “Brain Maps” Play Their Role

May 24, 2010

I remember sitting in a queue at JFK airport in New York waiting to take off. As I sat in the plane, I could see our plane stuck behind about six or eight other planes. They were all waiting to take off. And as we waited the weather conditions changed, causing the planes to keep […]

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Why Concepts Fail (When They Should Be Working)

February 8, 2010

About six months ago, I downloaded an app that enabled me to relax. In a busy day, it puts you in a mild hypnotic state, and lets you rest for a while. Then twenty minutes later it gently wakes you up and you feel super refreshed. I tried this app and hey it worked when […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Time To Choose The Winner

November 21, 2009

There will be only one winner, of course… And here’s where you can vote. http://surveys.polldaddy.com/s/F6BC11A5941952C8/ On www.brainaudit.com, you’ll find loads of people who’ve submitted their photos. If you like any of the photos, please put in that person’s name in the survey below. Don’t worry about getting the name exactly right. We’ll be checking it, […]

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The Brain Audit 3.2 Book Photo Competiton

November 19, 2009

More photos of The Brain Audit 3.2. The Brain Audit Book and Super Cuatro are spotted in action. The adventures of Super Cuatro, The Brain Audit Super Hero. Click to view larger images and view the entire portfolio. On his way to the White House Flying to the White House At the White House with […]

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The Brain Audit 3.2 Book Photo Competiton Continues

November 18, 2009

The Brain Audit Book Photo Competition Continues…. Here are a few photos for USA and Canada. I’ve attached a few photos. I’m not sure which best shows what I’m trying to illustrate. Can you see the writing on the envelop that was used to send the book to me? I wanted to ask the “real” […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 10

October 23, 2009

Here are a few more entries for The Brain Audit Book from around the world Much luck (to you and Sean… and me!) Alex Kuzelicki, Australia ———- If you haven’t made the Butter Chicken the recipe is on Page 113. And Yes! Sean can cook too!! Yummy stuff. This is the butter chicken on its […]

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The Brain Audit Photo Contest: Part 9

October 17, 2009

And the photos keep coming in for The Brain Audit competition. Today’s photos are from New Zealand  and all the way from the Arctic Circle. It’s child’s play.. Martin Thompson, Auckland, New Zealand —————— I am sending the photo of The Brain Audit book, which travelled with me and a couple of friends 150 km […]

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The Brain Audit Photo Contest: Part 8

October 16, 2009

Here are a few more photos “Giants in their field” Peggy Gower, Near Chicago, Il, USA ——————– Here is Cuatro studying the Brain Audit at MIT…I actually took this picture at night. J ——————– And a few more from Milan These photos of The Brain Audit were taken in Milan’s orthopedic joint replacement surgeon in […]

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The Brain Audit Book Contest: Part 7

October 13, 2009

Here are a few photos from New Zealand And another one from Cornelia And the last one… PS. I had a lot of fun cutting, gluing etc. Cornelia Luethi,  Auckland, New Zealand ———————- Thought I had better not disclose where you go for coffee or you will both be inundated with fans J Steve Munford, […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 6

October 12, 2009

The Brain Audit Book makes its way to the UK, India, USA and The Netherlands. The Brain Audit Photo above is  called, “Can’t See The Forest For The Trees!” And this one is called, “Air’s Thin Up Here.” Dwight Schwersensky, California, USA —————————— “If I had to keep just one book out of my entire […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 5

October 11, 2009

Today we have the Brain Audit Book photos from the US and Germany And another one And the last one… Perry Droast: Hanford, CA, USA ——————————————– Never trust a black cat on a Friday… Heidi Dreher, Kolbingen in the South of Germany ——————————————– >>Click to see the other Brain Audit Book Photos

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 4

October 10, 2009

The Brain Audit does make people outrageously happy ! Proof !  Noel (‘look what I have here’…Hee, hee, hee) trying to make me jealous with his copy of the Brain Audit during a Skype call. P.S. Postal strike in my region ! No kidding. Things should be back to normal on Thursday. Fingers crossed… I […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 3

October 9, 2009

Here are a few more Brain Audit Book photos from around the world… My current job contains a lot of travel so I seem to spend 1/2 my life in airports… and every time I collect my bags I smile to myself. So, this seemed only appropriate for my entry 😉 I couldn’t actually find […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 2

October 8, 2009

And here are some more entries… Andy D’Silva at the airport with his red bag and The Brain Audit. I know this should be the first photo The last red bag has been taken off the conveyor belt but I think Andy has disappeared. Andy D’Silva: Toronto, Canada ——————————————– I was lucky enough to be […]

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The Brain Audit Contest: Part 1

October 6, 2009

The entries for The Brain Audit Competition are pouring in. Over the next few days I will keep adding the photos. The Brain Audit: Sydney Australia Lance Scoular: The Savvy Navigator, Sydney, Australia ——————————————– Bob Janes: Brittany, NW France The Brain Audit at the end of the world (this area is Penn-ar-Bed in Breton, Finistere […]

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The Talent Code: Is there a code you can learn?

October 2, 2009

What’s talent got to do with insulation? (Photo Courtesy: Businessweek.com) So are we born with talent? Or is there a code? Of course there’s a code. And that code is embedded not in what you learn, but how that learning is insulated? Huh? Think of it as a pipe filled with water. Which one will […]

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How to Stop Self-Editing Articles

September 27, 2009

Write. Edit. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Write. Does this crazy self-editing sound familiar? If it doesn’t then you’re probably from Mars, because most of us without exception go through a self-edit phase when writing. And it’s not only when writing that we self-edit We self-edit when we’re walking. When you walk on gravel you walk […]

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Is Tiger Woods Naturally Talented?

September 20, 2009

You would think so, right? So let’s make Tiger Woods, Exhibit A. Let’s sit down with a coffee and 20 minutes and listen to Geoff Colvin talk about why Tiger is not a natural talent (as you thought after all). And that in fact, talent is just a “reduction of mistakes”. It’s on this blog. […]

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Rising above I.Q.

September 13, 2009

I could drone on about I.Q. Or you could do a bit of your own weekend reading on I.Q. (Note: Your parents, friends, teachers, colleagues won’t agree with you about this topic you’re about to read). http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07kristof.html?_r=1 And the book he references http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/books/review/Holt-t.html?pagewanted=all

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The Definition of Talent (According To Sean D’Souza)

September 7, 2009

You can be anything you want. There’s no such thing as talent. Talent is merely this: Elimination of mistakes. The fewer mistakes you make in anything, the more talented you are. So as individuals, we need to focus on making mistakes. And that’s the curse of our lives. Our schools are designed to prevent us […]

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So can you see if you’re blind?

August 26, 2009

How amazing is your brain? What if someone took away your eyes? Could you possibly see with your brain? Ha, ha, ha…judge for yourself. This video below is not a trick. He’s actually seeing with his brain—the eyes you and I have are just tools. It’s the brain that does all the grunt work. On […]

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Why Kids “Can’t Draw”

May 13, 2009

Ok, so I’ve ranted about this, but I think Mo Willems has a fantastic angle. Here’s a brief take on Mo’s angle: Willems is obsessed with why adults don’t draw — and he wants to do something about it. “One of the interesting things about cartooning and doodling and drawing,” Willems tells Michele Norris, “is […]

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Why ‘Non-Audio’ Learners Lose Out

March 12, 2009

You’ll often find people who say they don’t learn well via audio. That they need to read a transcript instead to understand something better. That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. And there are three reasons why. 1) The way in which we process audio separate from reading. 2) The way in which we ‘sit […]

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Application vs. Learning Mode

March 9, 2009

Did you know that your brain operates in two different modes when it’s going through a learning experience? A brain in learning mode is completely different from a brain in application mode. So how is it different? In the learning phase, the brain is able to take in a complete overview without needing to know […]

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What makes a person a super-genius?

March 6, 2009

Ok, so it’s a big question. Because there are loads of elements that make a person a super-genius. But there’s one thing that is guaranteed to stop you from becoming brilliant. That one thing is the inability to take feedback. Feedback as in brutal feedback Feedback as in things you don’t want to hear. Feedback […]

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The Brain That Changes Itself

March 4, 2009

Ok, I’m back after my extended ‘vacation’. And here’s a biggie: I’m amazed at this book. And if you’ve ever wondered about the factor of getting old (and stupid), or wondered how we learn (and unlearn stuff), then you need to read this book. I intend to take snippets of the information and put my […]

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Understanding the Rosetta Stone (And How It Affects How You Learn)

February 9, 2009

Do you know the story of the Rosetta Stone? You do, don’t you? You  know how archaeologists couldn’t make head or tail of hieroglyphics. And it’s not like they didn’t try. They just weren’t able to figure out what those nice little pictures on the Egyptian monuments really stood for. And then of course, in […]

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