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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

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Biggerplate.com is a repository of mind map program files (that is, the setups that actually produce the mind maps). The downloads are free and can be helpful for learning mind mapping.

I make a selected (and expanding) set of my mind map files available on Biggerplate. Click the image to go to the Biggerplate site and a list of my available maps.

Note. You must have the iMindMap program to use these files.

Biggerplate

I might be wrong, but I would bet that at least 90% of all people who use mind maps have never read a book about the topic written by Tony Buzan or another expert on the technique.

So, if you are one of the 90% you probably think mind mapping is a pretty way of formatting your (outlined) ideas or a great way of making your teacher think you know what is happening or a nice graphic to use in a PowerPoint presentation. You probably have little conception of the thinking that must go on when planning and drawing-writing a mind map. Or ever considered that mind maps incorporating continued thinking are most often developed by successive approximation. Or that established theories and findings and data should play a big part in the development of the map.

If you learned mind mapping by learning to run a mind mapping program then the odds are extremely high that you do not really use that program for mind mapping. Read a book by Buzan or study my mind map below or ideally do both.

Click map to expand.

important things about mind mapping

Can someone with brain disease and dementia do the active thinking of true mind mapping? He just did.

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Want to learn more about my experiences with cognitive impairment and dementia and attempts to fight back using visual thinking methods and mind mapping to understand and communicate the problems and solutions?

<<<<<=== Over there on the left. Click on one of the book icons to obtain my new book Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. Versions are available for Apple devices on the iBooks store and all other common devices on the Amazon Kindle store. There are 100s of essays like that in this blog post. And because I know the information is unique and valuable, I am charging about the same as others who write books on dementia or mind mapping. If you cannot afford to purchase the book, contact me and we will figure out a way to get the information to you some alternate ways.

Yeah, I know, shameless self promotion. How else do you expect me to get the message out about the “real issues” in dementia care and some very low cost methods of assistance that may help some (or many) and potentially increase the period of independence and get away from stacking people up in hospital beds where their lives become very limited. As someone who lives with the problems I describe, I only have a limited period of time left for my brain to function well enough to get the message out, and I am going to use it as effectively as possible to make my messages stick in the minds of people with dementia, caregivers, family, healthcare providers, decision makers, those aging, those with other types of cognitive impairment, and other interested parties. Expect more shameless self promotion. Doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I am kind of proud of the fact that I want to shake up and expand your conception of what the problems are and what are some possible solutions most have never even considered.

Let’s do this together.

So you’re in your fifties. One day the doctor diagnoses the cause of your crummy mood, personality changes, increasing social isolation, difficulty making decisions, memory loss, anger, or increasing financial instability as frontotemporal dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration), Lewy Body dementia, early Alzheimer’s disease, multiple system atrophy, ALS, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, or some combination of the preceding.

Heck you have barely even heard of most of these. Pretty much you can say that in any of these conditions various parts of your brain are failing leading to the condition that more fear far more than any other medical condition, the Big D, for DEMENTIA.

You get some commonsense (and old wives’ tale) advice from friends, neighbors, newspaper columnists, the MD and PhD who work for Oprah, Oprah, a bunch of web sites, and probably at least some of your doctors — start doing crossword puzzles and practice arithmetic.

OK. Darn, I have always hated crossword puzzles as a waste of good time better used watching ESPN. I prefer matrix algebra and calculus to arithmetic problems, although I do like to watch how the cooks measure foodstuffs on Chopped using such honored traditional techniques such as “pinches,” “handfuls,” “looks like a pound,” “feels like a quart,” and other examples of the special mathematics of the kitchen including the definitive one of ratios so you can scale your cupcake recipe from one to 37 which are most often correctly applied on baking shows.

So you have what my own senior neurological consultant referred to as a “terrible, terrible disease” of the brain. Do you pull out your iPad and scramble to complete innumerable arithmetic games and crossword puzzles?

Hell no. You congratulate yourself that you have learned those useful and continuing visual thinking skills and tools and used them for the past 40 years to enhance your life and career and education and now you open up the desk drawer where you store your mind maps, concept maps, sketchnotes, photographs, and charts.

Get with the program. Perfect this skill.

perfect this skill

1433035316_full.png

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Want to learn more about my experiences with cognitive impairment and dementia and attempts to fight back using visual thinking methods and mind mapping to understand and communicate the problems and solutions?

<<<<<=== Over there on the left. Click on one of the book icons to obtain my new book Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. Versions are available for Apple devices on the iBooks store and all other common devices on the Amazon Kindle store. There are 100s of essays like that in this blog post. And because I know the information is unique and valuable, I am charging about the same as others who write books on dementia or mind mapping. If you cannot afford to purchase the book, contact me and we will figure out a way to get the information to you some alternate ways.

Yeah, I know, shameless self promotion. How else do you expect me to get the message out about the “real issues” in dementia care and some very low cost methods of assistance that may help some (or many) and potentially increase the period of productivity and self sufficiency.

Geek Boy - Two Thumbs Up

You are going to see this text at the bottom of a lot of my blog posts. It does not embarrass me at all.

Like anyone else with dementia, I do not have a long period of time to try to make my theories, findings, and suggestions available to others. The clock is ticking on me. But I am going to beat it to the finish line with a little luck and a little help and leave behind some information others may be able to use as a springboard to help some others (or themselves). That, and support from my family, friends, and highly motivated colleagues and strangers is what is getting me to the finish line.

Text below may be repeated at the bottom of multiple blog posts.

=====

Want to learn more about my experiences with cognitive impairment and dementia and attempts to fight back using visual thinking methods and mind mapping to understand and communicate the problems and solutions?

<<<<<=== Over there on the left. Click on one of the book icons to obtain my new book Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. Versions are available for Apple devices on the iBooks store and all other common devices on the Amazon Kindle store. There are 100s of essays like that in this blog post. And because I know the information is unique and valuable, I am charging about the same as others who write books on dementia or mind mapping. If you cannot afford to purchase the book, contact me and we will figure out a way to get the information to you some alternate ways.

Yeah, I know, shameless self promotion. How else do you expect me to get the message out about the “real issues” in dementia care and some very low cost methods of assistance that may help some (or many) and potentially increase the period of independence and get away from stacking people up in hospital beds where their lives become very limited. As someone who lives with the problems I describe, I only have a limited period of time left for my brain to function well enough to get the message out, and I am going to use it as effectively as possible to make my messages stick in the minds of people with dementia, caregivers, family, healthcare providers, decision makers, those aging, those with other types of cognitive impairment, and other interested parties. Expect more shameless self promotion. Doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I am kind of proud of the fact that I want to shake up and expand your conception of what the problems are and what are some possible solutions most have never even considered.

Let’s do this together.

Geek Boy - Holding A Globe

Of course people with dementia feel stress, maybe especially because they have dementia and how it limits the way they can deal with the others and others will try to deal with them.

In my case, I have recently started to have problems understanding what people are saying to me. Spoken words are easily lost in echoes, the background noise of social situations, different styles of speaking such as diminishing volume when people are saying something private, hypersensitivity to perceived anger in areas of behavior about which I am self conscious (don’t tell me I missed an area shaving after I put the shaver down because of the environment), and don’t assume because I do not immediately respond to a question that I cannot hear you or do not understand you. I may not multitask as well as I did before. Sometimes I just have to respond to the most important things first and shaving is not the most important.

People around those with dementia may quite often misinterpret the behavior or words of the person with dementia. For many with dementia, facial expressions and other nonverbal behaviors do not match those of the majority of the population and while someone might look angry with you because their facial expression seems quite “unusual” they might actually be laughing heartily at a joke you just made. Lack of smiling does not necessarily mean lack of interest or lack of happiness. In fact, it is even quite likely that the person is most happy at those times they have a rather blank looking face because they are thinking so much about something good and enjoyable that the energy is not going into moving facial muscles.

All of this “disconnect” behavior can lead to stress for the person with dementia or cognitive impairment, the person dealing with other issues (everybody has issues), and the pair trying to have an enjoyable and productive time together.

How to cope? I have a few ideas that often work for me. Will they work for you? I DO NOT CLAIM TO KNOW NOR AM I CITING ANYONE WHO HAS ESTABLISHED EMPIRICALLY THE VALIDITY OF WHAT IS SAID BELOW. THE INFORMATION IN THE MIND MAP IS BASED ON OBSERVATIONS I HAVE MADE OF MYSELF.

THE INFORMATION BELOW IS NOT PSYCHOLOGICAL OR MEDICAL ADVICE. SEE AN APPROPRIATE MEDICAL SPECIALIST OR LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER IF YOU HAVE THESE ISSUES. I HAVE NEVER HAD A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE WITH PATIENTS, I AM NOT A PHYSICIAN, AND I DO NOT CLAIM ANY EXPERIENCE IN PROVIDING PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES OF A CLINICAL NATURE.

So here is a perspective based on me and containing actions I take. I make NO claim that these fit you or that any of the reactions I have are the same as yours. TALK TO A DOCTOR OR OTHER LICENSED PROFESSIONAL. Think of the following as set of hypotheses only one person (me) believes and I am not claiming that I believe that these ideas fit you.

Having said that, here are issues I think about for me.

Click the image to expand it.

stress and dementia

Want to learn more about my experiences with cognitive impairment and dementia and attempts to fight back using visual thinking methods and mind mapping to understand and communicate the problems and solutions?

<<<<<=== Over there on the left. Click on one of the book icons to obtain my new book Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. Versions are available for Apple devices on the iBooks store and all other common devices on the Amazon Kindle store. There are 100s of essays like that in this blog post. And because I know the information is unique and valuable, I am charging about the same as others who write books on dementia or mind mapping. If you cannot afford to purchase the book, contact me and we will figure out a way to get it to you.

Yeah, I know, shameless self promotion. How else do you expect me to get the message out about the “real issues” in dementia care and some very low cost methods of assistance that may help some (or many) and potentially increase the period of independence and get away from stacking people up in hospital beds where their lives become very limited. As someone who lives with the problems I describe, I only have a limited period of time left for my brain to function well enough to get the message out, and I am going to use it as effectively as possible to make my messages stick in the minds of people with dementia, caregivers, family, healthcare providers, decision makers, those aging, those with other types of cognitive impairment, and other interested parties. Expect more shameless self promotion. Doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I am kind of proud of the fact that I want to shake up and expand your conception of what the problems are and what are some possible solutions most have never even considered.

Let’s do this together.

12 Must Have  iDevice Apps  for Work and  Communication

I think that Ben Franklin would have been delighted by this list. He would have loved modern visual thinking and writing environments. The device would have been powered by a lightning bolt hitting a kite. He could save all of his thousands of creative ideas in a way that he could easily find them again. And, he could get the weather forecast for Paris and the travel times on various kinds of wind-powered boats. Not that his French was bad, but an auto-translation method for Italian, Hungarian, and German might have been invaluable. And he would have reveled in the selection of books available for every topic and perhaps contributed an almanac or 50 himself.

And someone who helped found and govern the most religiously tolerant city of his time probably would have thought Twitter was pretty cool too.

In 2009, I was searching for diagramming (that is, visual thinking) software to model information as I had been (by hand or using drafting templates) in scientific journals since the mid 1970s (using what were called path diagrams, flow charts, block diagrams and later rediscovered and called concept maps). I thought that this would be a natural application for my newly acquired iPhone (and iPad).

I found one app that could magically turn a tiny iPhone 3S screen into the biggest and best visual thinking/modeling tool in the world.

Instaviz — watch the YouTube video from 2010 and I won’t have to explain too much in words …

because you will understand why this is such an important app.

Then the developer did something really weird. They made their last update to the app in 2010 and never again updated the app beyond version 1.9 which simply added support for larger iPhone screens: no bug fixes (not that I had ever found a bug); no issuing of new versions as iOS evolved (not that it ever seemed that the program really needed such improvements). Over five years, I strongly recommended the app but as time went on and I thought that the app had been orphaned by the developer, I recommended it less strongly and looked for evolving apps that might be better. I never found one that would better support visual thinking on a tiny iPhone screen or that used the advantages of computer-assisted diagramming better on the touchscreen of the iPad (and iPhone).

I was shocked a week ago when a NEW version (2.0) magically appeared on my iPhone and iPad after FIVE YEARS. I was even more shocked that in an age of adding way too many bells and whistles they did not screw anything up with the update — just some better use of the evolving operating system and screen technology of the iDevices.

For active thinking and model building there is nothing better. Yes, a “bigger brother app” like my favorite for mind mapping (iMindMap) can do much more and with far greater artistic and design tools than Instaviz. You take notes on Instaviz on your iPhone and draw a rough out diagram while sitting in a coffee shop or transportation or a doctor’s office or during a commercial break. Then you take it to iMindMap or a similar program and embellish, expand, and refine it with the additional tools of extremely advanced visual thinking.

This is the best simple visual thinking or simple diagramming or “Back of the Napkin thinking” app available for the iPhone and iPad. And, unlike the napkin you draw on at lunch, diagrams from the program can look good enough to use in books and professional journals without further enhancements. And unlike the napkins I have been known to scan and post occasionally in this blog, the diagrams from Instaviz come without ink smears, coffee cup rings, and grease stains from errant French fries, freedom fries, chips, British fish and chips, sweet potato fries, tempura, or pizza.

Version 2 adds a bunch of slightly nicer graphic touches which take advantages in Apple’s operating system over five years. Looks a little nicer, works a little faster, exports to a few more apps. Still does things the correct way.

Virtually every diagram I ever published in over 250 articles and books between 1972 and 2010 (with the exception of those I produce in iMindMap) could have been developed with Instaviz on an iPhone 3S. Think about that. And, they would have looked better than those drawn by professional artists for $100s (or $1000s if you added UCLA overhead) a diagram in mid-1970s dollars! Think about that.

Instaviz. Stop whining about paying $7.99 to purchase the app or face extinction like the other dinosaurs. Your choice.

By the way, Instaviz was developed from the well known open source software Graphviz that originated from Bell Labs a half century ago.

Attachment-1

And here is a “real” application that was easy to generate in about 15 minutes while I learned some updated syntax and little tricks.

The path through the diagram is a map of where I have lived during the first 64 years of my life. It starts with 1951 in the Bronx and progresses through my Dad’s on-the-job training with nuclear reactors in Tennessee, back to the Bronx for a few years of living across the street from the Bronx zoo on Bronx Park South boulevard. From my 5th floor bedroom window you could see into the lion pit; from the 6th floor roof you could see much of the outside animal enclosures. On to Western Massachusetts for school from grade 1 to 11, Lafayette College in Easton for my senior year of high school (first year of college), and back to the Bronx for college at Fordham. Off to New Haven for grad school, and on to the University of Minnesota and a year later UCLA. After decades in the western portion of Los Angeles County, I moved to the small university town charm of Chapel Hill.

Attachment-1

This app is always on my iPhone and iPad and gets used several times a day when I want to draft a simple diagram. And now that is being supported again as the iDevice platform becomes more sophisticated, I can go back to recommending this as one of the dozen or so iPhone apps everyone must own.

More simple diagrams, less confusion. Buy Instaviz. FIVE STARS.