robertogreco + mind   130

OCCULTURE: 67. Carl Abrahamsson & Mitch Horowitz in “Occulture (Meta)” // Anton LaVey, Real Magic & the Nature of the Mind
"Look, I’m not gonna lie to you - we have a pretty badass show this time around. Carl Abrahamsson and Mitch Horowitz are in the house.

Carl Abrahamsson is a Swedish freelance writer, lecturer, filmmaker and photographer specializing in material about the arts & entertainment, esoteric history and occulture. Carl is the author of several books, including a forthcoming title from Inner Traditions called Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward.

Mitch Horowitz is the author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; Occult America, which received the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence; and Mind As Builder: The Positive-Mind Metaphysics of Edgar Cayce. Mitch has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Salon, Time.com, and Politico. Mitch is currently in the midst of publishing a series of articles on Medium called "Real Magic".

And it is that series paired with Carl’s book that lays the foundation for our conversation here."
carlabrahamsson  mitchhorowitz  occult  culture  occulture  magic  belief  mind  ouijaboard  astrology  mindfulness  buddhism  religion  academia  antonlavey  materialism  mainstream  intellectualism  elitism  mindbodyspirit  2018  esotericism  authority  norms  nuance  change  enlightenment  popculture  science  humanities  socialsciences  medicine  conservatism  churches  newage  cosmology  migration  california  hippies  meaning  psychology  siliconvalley  ingenuity  human  humans  humannature  spirituality  openmindedness  nature  urbanization  urban  nyc  us  society  santería  vodou  voodoo  voudoun  climate  light  davidlynch  innovation  population  environment  meaningmaking  mikenesmith  californianideology  thought  thinking  philosophy  hoodoo  blackmetal  norway  beauty  survival  wholeperson  churchofsatan  satanism  agency  ambition  mysticism  self  stories  storytelling  mythology  humanism  beinghuman  surrealism  cv  repetition  radicalism  myths  history  renaissance  fiction  fantasy  reenchantment  counterculture  consciousness  highered  highereducation  cynicism  inquiry  realitytele 
february 2018 by robertogreco
In Praise of Walks and Wilderness | Alpine Modern Editorial
"More full of wonder than your deepest dreams, indeed. I kept looking over to my friend, continually proclaiming: “I can’t believe how happy I am here.” I understood Abbey’s fierce ecological devotion to the place. Preservation begins with appreciation; it begins with experiential love. “Earn your turns,” a friend always calls out, strapping his skins to his skis and hoisting his body up the incline. Another pal takes off to the mountains when big life decisions loom in front of him: “It’s the only place quiet and still enough to think.” One hikes fourteeners to prove to himself that his body is capable of more than he believes and that what others say about him is not the whole story. One of my best friends may have hated the peak I dragged her up during our climb, but afterward she turned to me and sighed, “I’ve never felt more alive or more in love with my body.” Once, on a backpacking trip with high school senior girls, one turned excitedly to me and said, “I haven’t thought badly about my body this whole trip!” I think of my skis hanging over the ledge of Blue Sky Basin, my toes hurting like hell, my legs are tingling and frozen, and my flight-or-fight mode tells me that the drop in isn’t worth the potential outcome of pain. But when I look up at the snow-crested ridges against the deepest blue backdrop I’ve ever seen, I push on and fire up my legs, reminding myself that this view is worth the discomfort it takes to reach it."



"Ecologists speak now of a need for “deep ecology,” not just an understanding of ecological issues and piecemeal scientific responses, but an overhaul of our philosophical understanding of nature. Instead of viewing mankind as the overlord of nature, it’s about revisiting the idea that a give-and-take relationship exists between the human and the nonhuman, a relationship that thrives on mutual respect and appreciation. To develop this sort of appreciation for nature and the nonhuman, it matters that we actually experience it. For many ecological thinkers, walking among mountains can be the first step in healing a false split between body and mind. The grief at the destruction of a beautiful building, the ecstatic joy of a sunrise in the mountains—these moments stem from this unification of the two.

Fragile moments of being that exist in nature

It’s a question of place versus nonplace. In The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities, Richard Sennett points to the peculiarity of the American sense of place: “that you are nowhere when you are alone with yourself.” Sennett speaks of cities as nonplaces, in which the person among the crowd slips into oblivion, only existing inside him- or herself. Other nonplaces look like the drudgery of terminals or waiting lines or places where all eyes are glued to phones. The buildings are uniform, and the faces blur together to create a boring conglomerate of civilization. If to be alone in a city is to be nowhere, the antithesis must be that to be alone in nature is to be everywhere. Nature is a place characterized by its “thisness,” as Gerard Manley Hopkins describes it—a place to enter into that is palpable with its own essence and feeling.

But as we lose our connection to place, as virtual reality turns here into nowhere, we lose our ability to narrate our experiences of nature. Recently, nature writer Robert Macfarlane pointed out that in the Oxford Junior Dictionary, the virtual and indoor are replacing the outdoor and natural, making them blasé. When we lose the language to describe our connection to landscape and place, we lose the actual connection to these things and the value decreases, separating us from the natural. According to Macfarlane, we have always been “name-callers, christeners,” always seeking language that registers the dramas of landscape, and the environmental movement must begin with a reawakening of natural wonder–inspired language.

Perhaps the point of all of this is to work to develop more refined attention, an ability to seek out and perceive fragile moments of being that exist in nature. We must pay attention to our breath and our bodies. Wendell Berry, a prophet of the natural, writes that to pay attention is to “stretch toward” a subject in aspiration, to come into its presence. To pay attention to mountains, we must come beneath them and reach out toward them.

To walk is to perceive

How do we begin? By wandering within the wilderness. Rebecca Solnit’s book on walking comes to mind: “Walking is one way of maintaining a bulwark against this erosion of the mind, the body, the landscape, and the city, and every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable.” While people today live in disconnected interiors, on foot in wilderness the whole world is connected to the individual. This form of investing in a place gives back; memories become seeded into places, giving them meaning and associations both in the body and the mind. Walking may take much longer, but this slowing down opens one up to new details, new possibilities.

Brian Teare is one of my favorite modern poets because his poetry is centered upon Charles Olson’s projective verse and on walking. All his works contain physical coordinates, anchoring each work of art to the place that inspired it. The land becomes the location, subject, and meaning to the thoughts and feelings that Teare wants to convey. As we enter into a field or crest the ridge of a mountain, we perceive the sight of the landscape and experience our bodies within it. We feel the wind and touch the dirt; we see the edges and diversity of the landscape. Perhaps we have hiked a far distance to reach this place and feel the journey within the body. Teare says in one of my favorite poems, “Atlas Peak”:

we have to hold it instead

in our heads & hands

which would seem impossible

except for how we remember

the trail in our feet, calves,

& thighs, our lungs’ thrust

upward; our eyes, which scan

trailside bracken for flowers;

& our minds, which recall

their names as best they can

Sitting on the side of Mount Massive, on the verge of tears, I felt utterly defeated. Our group took the shorter route, which had resulted in thousands of feet of incline in just a few miles, and my lungs, riddled with occasional asthma, were rejecting the task before them. It felt as if all the rocks in the boulder field had been placed upon my chest. My mind went to the thought of wilderness: Was it freedom or a curse? What would happen to me if something went wrong up here? Risk and freedom hold hands with each other in the mountains. After a long break, a few puffs of albuterol, water, and grit, I pulled myself up the final ascent and false summits along the ridge. I have been most thankful for my body when I have realized how beautifully fragile and simultaneously capable it is. On the summit, as we watched thin wispy waves of clouds weave into each other and rise around us, the mountain gently reminded me that I am not in control. I am not all-powerful, and nature’s lesson to me that morning was to respect its wildness.

As in all things, essentialism should be avoided. We live in a world that tends toward black-and-white perspectives, and when one praises the wilderness, those remarks can devolve into Luddite sentiments that are antipeople, antitechnological, and antihistorical. This solves nothing. Advancements in civilization are welcome and beautiful; technology has connected us in unprecedented ways. But as with anything, balance is key. We need the possibility of escape from civilization, even if we never indulge it. We need it to exist as an antithesis to the stresses of modern society. We need wilderness to serve as a place to realize that we exist in a tenuous balance with the world around us. All the political and societal struggles matter little if we have no environment to live in. In a world of utilitarian decision-making, a walk in the woods may be considered frivolous and useless, but it is necessary. The choice to preserve or to dominate is ours. But before deciding, perhaps one should first wander among the mountains."
nature  walking  wilderness  body  fragility  power  control  memory  luddism  decisionmaking  risk  freedom  technology  attention  brianteare  thinking  2016  hiking  robertmacfarlane  essence  feeling  feelings  vulnerability  gerardmanleyhopkins  nonplaces  urban  urbanism  escape  richardsennett  mind  spirit  life  living  mindbodyspirit  haleylittleton  andygoldsworthy  place  rebeccasolnit  wendellberry  walterbenjamin  outdoors  edwardabbey  ecology  environment  bodies 
june 2016 by robertogreco
the blind man's stick - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement, by Lambros Malafouris, is a maddening but also fascinating book that is seriously helping me to think through some of the issues that concern me. Malafouris wants to argue that the human mind is “embodied, extended, enacted, and distributed” — extensive rather than intensive in its fundamental character.

He starts his exploration wonderfully: by considering a thought-experiment that Maurice Merleau-Ponty first posited in his Phenomenology of Perception. Merleau-Ponty asks us to imagine a blind man navigating a city street with a cane. What is the relationship between that cane and the man’s perceptual apparatus? Or, as Gregory Bateson put it in Steps to an Ecology of Mind,
Consider a blind man with a stick. Where does the blind man's self begin? At the tip of the stick? At the handle of the stick? Or at some point halfway up the stick? These questions are nonsense, because the stick is a pathway along which differences are transmitted under transformation, so that to draw a delimiting line across this pathway is to cut off a part of the systemic circuit which determines the blind man's locomotion.

(Bateson does not mention and probably was not aware of Merleau-Ponty.) For Malafouris the example of the blind man’s cane suggests that “what is outside the head may not necessarily be outside the mind.... I see no compelling reason why the study of the mind should stop at the skin or at the skull. It would, I suggest, be more productive to explore the hypothesis that human intelligence ‘spreads out’ beyond the skin into culture and the material world.” Moreover, things in the material world embody intentions and purposes — Malafouris thinks they actually have intentions and purposes, a view I think is misleading and sloppy — and these come to be part of the mind: they don't just influence it, they help constitute it.
I believe this example provides one of the best diachronic exemplars of what I call the gray zone of material engagement, i.e., the zone in which brains, bodies, and things conflate, mutually catalyzing and constituting one another. Mind, as the anthropologist Gregory Bateson pointed out, “is not limited by the skin,” and that is why Bateson was able to recognize the stick as a “pathway” instead of a boundary. Differentiating between “inside” and “outside” makes no real sense for the blind man. As Bateson notes, “the mental characteristics of the system are immanent, not in some part, but in the system as a whole.”

If we were to take this model seriously, then we would need to narrate the rise of modernity differently than we’ve been narrating it — proceeding in a wholly different manner than the three major stories I mentioned in my previous post. Among other things, we’d need to be ready to see the Oppenheimer Principle as having a far stronger motive role in history than is typical.

When I talk this way, some people tell me that they think I'm falling into technological determinism. Not so. Rather, it's a matter of taking with proper seriousness the power that some technologies have to shape culture. And that's not because they think or want, nor because we are their slaves. Rather, people make them for certain purposes, and either those makers themselves have socio-political power or the technologies fall into the hands of people who have socio-political power, so that the technologies are put to work in society. We then have the option to accept the defaults or undertake the difficult challenge of hacking the inherited tools — bending them in a direction unanticipated and unwanted by those who deployed them.

To write the technological history of modernity is to investigate how our predecessors have received the technologies handed to them, or used upon them, by the powerful; and also, perhaps, to investigate how countercultural tech has risen up from below to break up the one-way flow of power. These are things worth knowing for anyone who is uncomfortable with the dominant paradigm we live under now."
alanjacobs  2015  technology  modernity  blind  blindness  lambrosmalafouris  mauricemerleau-ponty  gregorybateson  oppenheimerprinciple  culture  assistivetechnology  disability  mind  materiality  bodies  body  disabilities 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Murmur – Sorting out Dyslexia | Ars Electronica Blog
"Aakash Odedra: Murmuration literally means when a flock of birds come together. They create a swarm. And the swarm changes the shape and size. What we have found in our research is, when you look at an object optically it’s transferred in your brain and the idea of the image starts to change. So this changing of reality, this capacity to be able to change objects, is what we want to also explore as well. Murmur basically is this idea of this flock, but the flow becomes very singular and then it divides again. How is it possible that one starling which is very intelligent as an individual then flies into a mass and then the dynamic of this one bird changes the mass? Basically it is this experience of dyslexia…

Lewis Major: Dyslexia was a starting point but this is from the very beginning what we’ve wanna make this about. In essence it’s the experience with dyslexia. The piece become the story of the individual finding its way through the world and learning to deal as with the way they see the world.

Aakash Odedra: Also, the common notion of dyslexia is even subconsciously challenged. Through research we found out that the speed of thinking of the brain of dyslectics becomes multiplied to 400 to 2.000 times. And then it becomes difficult to keep up. There is a pathway the individual has to find. And this piece is really about finding a pathway. Generally, in life everybody has to find a pathway to whatever the success may be. But this piece starts with the idea of dyslexia but then you find pathway to create a world or an universe which becomes relatable to everyone.

Lewis Major: Dance and technology, it’s not a completely new thing but I think the way we have come to work with Ars Electronica is perhaps a different way with approaching technology through a live performance. Because it has been such a collaborative exploration of dyslexia, the main theme of the piece. It’s not just about putting some pretty images on a dance piece. The dance is trying to say something and challenge peoples with ideas and concepts. Conceptions about dyslexia and I guess in a way in some sense dance. We are trying to use the technology to make what we say louder and make it bigger. Aakash is the only dancer and it’s a big space to fill in a lot of ways and a big bunch of ideas we are trying to explore using technology to accentuate those ideas and to extrapolate the concepts. This is the reason why we want to work with Ars Electronica Futurelab.

Aakash Odedra: If you look at technology and the computers we have, there is a system. In dance we also have a system as well. What often happens when we are using technology and dance that these systems seem to be separated. So there is technology and there is dance. But what’s important in this piece is that we want to integrate the two systems. The system of human thinking and dance, and the physicality of the body, and mechanics and the technology we have. And also to bring objects in space virtually. We live in world fully of technology and we use it all the time. Sometimes it’s also a virtual world we create which becomes sometimes one dimensional. But just to be able to enter into this world, to bring these two elements together, and to create this three dimensional universe that can be relatable to people. That is something we are trying to achieve with this project.

Lewis Major: The idea of the reality that we live in and also the idea of this surreal universe we live inside our head, this I think is a very good point: Technology can add this surreal element.

Aakash Odedra: Technology can give you an insight into the mind, not what’s happening in the mind exactly but it just allows you to create a window of imagination. Which is what we are trying to do with this piece: To allow a person also enter the world of imagination through technology."
2014  dyslexia  dance  aakashodedra  lewismajor  technology  mind  brain  via:jenlowe 
april 2014 by robertogreco
To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees | Grand Strategy: The View from Oregon
"“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” This is a quote frequently attributed to Paul Valéry, and the line has a quality that is at once both searching and poetic, making the attribution reasonable. I don’t know if Valéry actually said it (I can’t find the source of the quote), but I think of this line every once in a while: my mind returns to it as to an object of fascination. A good aphorism is perennially pregnant with meaning, and always repays further meditation.

If seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, and mutatis mutandis for the aesthetic experiences that follow from the other senses — e.g., to taste is to forget the name of thing one tastes, and so forth — we may take the idea further and insist that it is the forgetting of not only the name but of all the linguistic (i.e., formal) accretions, all categorizations, and all predications, that enables us to experience the thing in itself (to employ a Kantian locution). What we are describing is the pursuit of prepredicative experience after the fact (to employ a Husserlian locution).

This is nothing other than the familiar theme of seeking a pure aesthetic experience unmediated by the intellect, undistracted by conceptualization, unmarred by thought — seeing without thinking the seen. In view of this, can we take the further step, beyond the generalization of naming, extending the conceit to all linguistic formalizations, so that we arrive at a pure aesthesis of thought? Can we say that to think is to forget the name of the thing one thinks?

The pure aesthesis of thought, to feel a thought as one feels an experience of the senses, would be thought unmediated by the conventions of naming, categories, predication, and all the familiar machinery of the intellect, i.e., thought unmediated by the accretions of consciousness. It would be thought without all that we usually think of as being thought. Is such thought even possible? Is this, perhaps, unconscious thought? Is Freud the proper model for a pure aesthesis of thought? Possible or not, conscious or not, Freudian or not, the pursuit of such thought would constitute an effort of thought that must enlarge our intellectual imagination, and the enlargement of our imagination is ultimately the enlargement of our world.

Wittgenstein famously wrote that the limits of my language are the limits of my world (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.6 — this is another wonderful aphorism that always repays further meditation). But the limits of language can be extended; we can systematically seek to transcend the limits of our language and thus the limits of our world, or we can augment our language and thus augment our world. Russell, Wittgenstein’s mentor and one-time collaborator, rather than focusing on limits of the self, developed an ethic of impersonal self-enlargement, i.e., the transgression of limits. In the last chapter of his The Problems of Philosophy Russell wrote:
All acquisition of knowledge is an enlargement of the Self, but this enlargement is best attained when it is not directly sought. It is obtained when the desire for knowledge is alone operative, by a study which does not wish in advance that its objects should have this or that character, but adapts the Self to the characters which it finds in its objects. This enlargement of Self is not obtained when, taking the Self as it is, we try to show that the world is so similar to this Self that knowledge of it is possible without any admission of what seems alien. The desire to prove this is a form of self-assertion and, like all self-assertion, it is an obstacle to the growth of Self which it desires, and of which the Self knows that it is capable. Self-assertion, in philosophic speculation as elsewhere, views the world as a means to its own ends; thus it makes the world of less account than Self, and the Self sets bounds to the greatness of its goods. In contemplation, on the contrary, we start from the not-Self, and through its greatness the boundaries of Self are enlarged; through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some share in infinity.

The obvious extension of this conception of impersonal self-enlargement to an ethics of thought enjoins the self-enlargement of the intellect, the transgression of the limits of the intellect. It is the exercise of imagination that enlarges the intellect, and a great many human failures that we put to failures of understanding and cognition are in fact failures of imagination.

The moral obligation of self-enlargement is a duty of intellectual self-transgression. As Nietzsche put it: “A very popular error: having the courage of one’s convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one’s convictions!”"

[Came here today because https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403632186944790528 + https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403632476154626048 + https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403636512656334848
thus the tagging with Robert Irwin, Lawrence Weschler, and Clarice Lispector]
paulvaléry  wittgenstein  thought  language  aphorism  mind  memory  senses  familiarization  robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  naming  categorization  predication  freud  bertrandrussell  self  philosophy  claricelispector  knowledge  knowledgeacquisition  self-enlargement  nietzsche  brasil  brazil  literature 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Letters of Note: Live as well as you dare
"Foston, Feb. 16th, 1820

Dear Lady Georgiana,

Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done—so I feel for you.

1st. Live as well as you dare.
2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°.
3rd. Amusing books.
4th. Short views of human life—not further than dinner or tea.
5th. Be as busy as you can.
6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.
7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.
8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely—they are always worse for dignified concealment.
9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.
10th. Compare your lot with that of other people.
11th. Don't expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.
12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and every thing likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.
13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.
14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.
15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant.
16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness.
17th. Don't be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.
18th. Keep good blazing fires.
19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.
20th. Believe me, dear Georgiana, your devoted servant, Sydney Smith"
mind  psychology  advice  living  life  1820  well-being 
july 2013 by robertogreco
On Being an Octopus | Boston Review
"If octopuses did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. I don’t know if we could manage this, so it’s as well that we don’t have to. As we explore the relations between mind, body, evolution, and experience, nothing stretches our thinking the way an octopus does.

In a famous 1974 paper, the philosopher Thomas Nagel asked: What is it like to be a bat? He asked this in part to challenge materialism, the view that everything that goes on in our universe comprises physical processes and nothing more. A materialist view of the mind, Nagel said, cannot even begin to give an explanation of the subjective side of our mental lives, an account of what it feels like to have thoughts and experiences. Nagel chose bats as his example because they are not so simple that we doubt they have experiences at all, but they are, he said, “a fundamentally alien form of life.”

Bats certainly live lives different from our own, but evolutionarily speaking they are our close cousins, fellow mammals with nervous systems built on a similar plan. If we want to think about something more truly alien, the octopus is ideal. Octopuses are distant from us in evolutionary terms, have a nervous system of very different design, and bodies with no bones and little fixed shape at all. What is it like to be an octopus? The question is intrinsically interesting and, beyond that, provides a good way to chip away at the problem Nagel raised for a materialist understanding of the mind."



"Getting a sense of what it feels like to be another animal must involve the use of memory and imagination."
animals  octopus  imagination  memory  perspective  thinking  2013  petergodfrey-smith  materialism  nature  mollusks  cephalapods  bats  thomasnagel  richarddawkins  psychology  bennyhochner  tamargutnick  takaakikaneko  masakitomonaga  chimps  chimpanzees  science  technology  philosophy  mind 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Miksang - Wikipedia
"Miksang is a Tibetan word meaning "good eye" and represents a form of contemplative photography based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, in which the eye is in synchronisation with the contemplative mind. The result of this particular perception of the world, combined with photography, produces a peculiar and open way of seeing the world. Miksang pictures tend to[who?] bring the observer back into the original contemplation state of the author of the picture. The pictures can bring one back to a purer perception of reality that is often neglected. Miksang involves nothing fancy, no special setup; only a visual capture, in the proper state of mind, of everyday's reality."

[Via: https://twitter.com/vruba/status/300452191817326593 ]
artist  mind  noticing  photography  color  everyday  everdaylife  miksang  tubet  tibetan  seeing 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Snake in the Garden - NYTimes.com
"it’s uncanny how often we let ourselves out of the Garden by worrying about something that, if it did happen, would quicken us into a response much more practical than worry. All the real challenges of my, or any, life…[examples]…came out of the blue; they’re just what I had never thought to worry about…And every time some kind of calamity has come into my life, I and everyone around me have responded with activity, unexpected strength, even an all but unnatural calm.

It’s only when we’re living in the future, the realm of “what if,” that we brilliantly incapacitate ourselves. And it’s mostly when someone abruptly cries, “Watch out!” that we lose control of the car we’re driving. Yet all the Stoic arguments are hard to absorb in that part of ourselves that matters…

We worry only about exactly those things we can never do anything about. And then that very fact becomes something else we worry about."
writing  mind  precarity  uncertainty  statusanxiety  cv  worry  anxiety  stoicism  stoics  2012  picoiyer  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Spinoza, Plums, and Why We Draw - NYTimes.com
“Although we do not remember that we existed before the body, we sense nevertheless that our mind in so far as it involves the essence of the body under a species of eternity is eternal and its existence cannot be defined by time or explained by duration.”
time  mind  body  drawing  tejucole  2011  johnberger  bodies  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Millsin' About
"Using the Internet a great deal gives me, over time, the sense that I am rarely or never focusing my eyes in the real world: I am either looking at a screen, or my eyes are just a bit defocused, inattentive. I do not notice textures, colors, details in my environment; I take things in categorically, rather than as they are: jacket (not the details of the jacket); table (not what’s on it).

It is especially notable in its effect on memory: my memories seem more schematic than ever, more like summaries than records of perception. This seems like the habituated result of lots of textual Internet living. I note what happens, but as a tag or a description, not as actual sensory data. I mean: I’m not seeing, not looking. My eyes aren’t targeting anything; my life is in my mind, and it’s blurry and unmemorable."
attention  color  texture  brain  mind  sensorydeprivation  sensory  text  mechanization  internet  online  senses  2012  millsbaker  memory 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The power to be who we want to be
"The actor & impresario Joseph Gordon-Levitt is really frighteningly omni-talented &, on top of everything else, rather wise:

"On some level, we as human beings can be who we want to be. Our identity & our nature can be in our control. I don’t just mean the presentation of our identity. Look at Gary Oldman—look at his characters in ‘True Romance’ or the Harry Potter films or in the Batman movies—you can’t be as good as he is by doing it just on the surface. We have the power to be who we want to be, whoever that is."

That’s from an interview w/ Geoff Boucher. It’s true, & it’s scary that it’s true, because it means if we aren’t who we want to be, we have no one to blame… but ourselves.

It reminds me of something I heard a long time ago. I’m paraphrasing from musty memory here… it went something like this:

"I have good news & bad news. Bad news first: if you’re not happy right now, at this moment in your life, you will never be happy. Now, the good news: you can be happy right now."
geoffboucher  being  psychology  mind  garyoldman  acting  josephgordon-levitt  positivepsychology  willpower  power  human  identity  happiness  2012  robinsloan  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Koan : The Stone Mind
"Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves.

While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: "There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?"

One of the monks replied: "From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind."

"Your head must feel very heavy," observed Hogen, "if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind.""

[via: http://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/214627221795647489 following http://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/214625432467812352 quoted here below]

"Tired: virtual vs. real / Wired: informational vs. physical"

"'because that stuff in our minds? that's *virtual*… and just as "real" as anything. http://deoxy.org/koan/76 "
informational  physical  borisanthony  mind  perception  objectivity  subjectivity  zen  wisdom  buddhism  koans  koan  reality  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
The Aporeticus - by Mills Baker · I have often thought that the nature of science...
"I have often thought that the nature of science would be better understood if we called theories “misconceptions” from the outset, instead of only after we have discovered their successors. Thus we could say that Einstein’s Misconception of Gravity was an improvement on Newton’s Misconception, which was an improvement on Kepler’s. The neo-Darwinian Misconception of Evolution is an improvement on Darwin’s Misconception, and his on Lamarck’s… Science claims neither infallibility nor finality."

David Deutsch…in The Beginning of Infinity…demonstrates that although we will, barring extinction, continue to refine & improve our knowledge infinitely, we will also never stop being able to improve it. Thus we will always live w/ fallible scientific understanding (& fallible moral theories, fallible aesthetic ideas, fallible philosophical notions, etc.); it is the nature of the relationship between knowledge, mind, & universe.

But it remains odd to say: everything I know is a misconception."
sensemaking  understanding  scientificunderstanding  fallibility  universe  mind  2012  millsbaker  philosophy  karlpopper  darwin  chalresdarwin  alberteinstein  theories  knowledge  whatweknow  misconception  science  daviddeutsch  philosopy  charlesdarwin 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Persistence Of Memory | Wired Science | Wired.com
"The great mystery of memory is how it endures. The typical neural protein only lasts for a few weeks, the cortex in a constant state of reincarnation. How, then, do our memories persist? It’s as if our remembered past can outlast the brain itself.

But wait: the mystery gets even more mysterious. A neuronal memory cannot simply be strong: it must also be specific. While each neuron has only a single nucleus, it has a teeming mass of dendritic branches. These twigs wander off in every direction, connecting to other neurons at dendritic synapses (imagine two trees whose branches touch in a dense forest). It is at these tiny crossings that our memories are made: not in the trunk of the neuronal tree, but in its sprawling canopy.

This means that every memory – represented as an altered connection between cells – cannot simply endure. It must endure in an incredibly precise way, so that the wiring diagram remains intact even as the mind gets remade, those proteins continually recycled."
brainscience  biology  science  kausiksi  2012  jonahlehrer  neuroscience  brain  mind  memory  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond - NYTimes.com
"To isolate the specific impact of schooling on mental skills, Dr. Lachman & her colleagues tried to control for other likely reasons one person might outshine another—differences in income, parental achievement, gender, physical activity & age. After all, we know that the children of affluent, educated parents have a raft of advantages that could account for greater mental heft down the road. College graduates are able to compound their advantages because they can pour more resources into their minds & bodies.

Still, when Lachman & Dr. Tun reviewed results, they were surprised to discover that into middle age and beyond, people could make up for educational disadvantages encountered earlier in life."

[This doesn't make much sense to me. Is this really the cause & effect? "[A] college degree appears to slow the brain’s aging process." Or are people inclined to go to college wired this way, or the jobs that they're likely to have after college allowing them to keep their minds sharp?]
dementia  margielachman  knowledge  genecohen  brain  intelligence  howardgardner  psychology  patriciacohen  williamosler  neuroscience  mind  minds  aging  education  age  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
A History Of Violence Edge Master Class 2011 | Conversation | Edge
"There are studies showing that violence is more common when people are confined to one pecking order, and all of their social worth depends on where they are in that hierarchy, whereas if they belong to multiple overlapping groups, they can always seek affirmations of worth elsewhere. For example, if I do something stupid when I’m driving, and someone gives me the finger and calls me an asshole, it’s not the end of the world: I think to myself, I’m a tenured professor at Harvard. On the other hand, if status among men in the street was my only source of worth in life, I might have road rage and pull out a gun. Modernity comprises a lot of things, and it’s hard to tease them apart. But I suspect that when you’re not confined to a village or a clan, and you can seek your fortunes in a wide world, that is a pacifying force for exactly that reason."
history  violence  psychology  stevenpinker  hierarchy  humanities  philosophy  society  brain  mind  murder  crime  war  genocide  democracy  hatecrimes  race  class  time  scheduling  mentors  mentoring  doing  teamwork  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
steelweaver - Reality as failed state - tl;dr version (I like doing this)
"I believe part of the meta-problem is this: people no longer inhabit a single reality.

Collectively, there is no longer a single cultural arena of dialogue…

The point, for the climate denier, is not that the truth should be sought with open-minded sincerity – it is that he has declared the independence of his corner of reality from control by the overarching, techno-scientific consensus reality. He has withdrawn from the reality forced upon him & has retreated to a more comfortable, human-sized bubble.

…denier’s retreat from consensus reality approximates role of the cellular insurgents in Afghanistan vis-a-vis the American occupying force: this overarching behemoth I rebel against may well represent something larger, more free, more wealthy, more democratic, or more in touch with objective reality, but it has been imposed upon me…so I am going to withdraw from it into illogic, emotion & superstition & from there I am going to declare war upon it."
reality  climatechange  climatechangedeniers  alternatereality  philosophy  mind  conspiracy  afghanistan  dialogue  environment  environmentalism  2011  awareness  conviviality  sharedhumanpresence  change  division  staugustine  truth  politics  policy  voting  politicalprocess  conflict  control  freedom  agency  technocrats  science  scientists  consensus  intuition  intuitivethinking  thinking  myths  narrative  meaning  meaningmaking  understanding  psychology  birthers  teaparty  realityinsurgents  dialog  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Sarah Vowell | Books | Interview | The A.V. Club [via: http://snarkmarket.com/2011/6762]
"And when I first saw one of those [banyan] trees, I thought, “That is how I think.” Little thoughts just sprout off and drip down and take root, and then they end up supporting more and more tendrils of thought, until it all coheres into one thing, but it’s still rickety-looking and spooky. I like to think that my tangents have a point. I do love a tangent. I think part of it is inherent within the discipline of non-fiction.

I always found that when I was a college student and researching my papers always the night before—and this was before the Internet—I’d be in the library and I’d find one thing, and see something else and want to follow that, which now is how the Internet has taught us to think, to click on link after link after link. But there is something inherent in research that fosters that way of thinking, and then there’s this other interesting thing, and that builds and builds…"
classideas  tangents  libraries  howwework  howwelearn  distraction  cv  christianity  colonialism  hawaii  indigenousrights  missionaries  sarahvowell  nonfiction  fiction  writing  mind  internet  web  exploration  meandering  thinking  connections  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
What are the Habits of Mind? | Institute For Habits of Mind
"Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skillfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent, successful people when they are confronted with problems, the solution to which are not immediately apparent.

The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are:

Persisting
Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
Managing Impulsivity
Gathering Data Through all Senses
Listening with Understanding and Empathy
Creating, imagining and Innovation
Thinking Flexibly
Responding with Wonderment and Awe
Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
Taking Responsible Risks
Striving for Accuracy
Finding Humor
Questioning and Posing Problems
Thinking Interdependently
Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
Remaining Open to Continuous Learning"
thinking  habits  habitsofmind  mind  teaching  tcsnmy  learning  education  lcproject  flexibility  risktaking  humor  creativity  imagination  impulsivity  impulse-control  persistence  clarity  passion  communication  empathy  datamining  wonderment  wonder  wonderdeficit  accuracy  questioning  problemsolving  independence  lifelonglearning  history  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Half the Time Everyone's Thinking About Something Else | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. Miller-McCune.
"New research finds our minds wander much more frequently than we realize, and our inability to stay focused in the present leads to unhappiness."
happiness  attention  psychology  mind  productivity  work  brain  add  wanderingmind  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
TPM: The Philosophers’ Magazine | Hacker’s challenge ["Peter Hacker tells James Garvey that neuroscientists are talking nonsense"]
“Philosophy does not contribute to our knowledge of the world we live in after the manner of any of the natural sciences. You can ask any scientist to show you the achievements of science over the past millennium, and they have much to show: libraries full of well-established facts and well-confirmed theories. If you ask a philosopher to produce a handbook of well-established and unchallengeable philosophical truths, there’s nothing to show. I think that is because philosophy is not a quest for knowledge about the world, but rather a quest for understanding the conceptual scheme in terms of which we conceive of the knowledge we achieve about the world. One of the rewards of doing philosophy is a clearer understanding of the way we think about ourselves and about the world we live in, not fresh facts about reality." [via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1456008129/philosophy-does-not-contribute-to-our-knowledge-of]
psychology  philosophy  consciousness  cognition  brain  neuroscience  mind  nature  peterhacker  wittgenstein  science  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
You Are What You Touch: How Tool Use Changes the Brain's Representations of the Body: Scientific American
"A common illustration of just how flexible the sense of our body is comes from changes in the brain’s representation of the body due to tool use. Humans, and some other animals, are able to use tools as additions to the body. When we use a long pole to retrieve an object we couldn’t otherwise reach, the pole becomes, in some sense, an extension of our body. Is this merely a poetic way of speaking, or does the brain actually incorporate the tool into its representation of the body? Studies of monkeys learning to use a rake to obtain distant objects show that this may be more than a mere metaphor. Multisensory brain cells respond both to touch on the hand or visual objects appearing near the hand. When the monkeys used the rake, these cells began to respond to objects appearing anywhere along the length of the tool, suggesting the brain represented the rake as actually being part of the hand."
neuroscience  perception  evolution  psychology  mind  brain  body  senses  technology  tools  humans  bodyrepresentation  bodies  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
MAGIC MOLLY - Laura
"…Possibly a case might be made out that children are not human either: but I should not accept it. Agreed that their minds are not just more ignorant and stupider than ours, but differ in kind of thinking (are mad, in fact): but one can, by an effort of will and imagination, think like a child, at least in a partial degree—and even if one’s success is infinitesimal it invalidates the case: while one can no more think like a baby, in the smallest respect, than one can think like a bee…"
ricardhughes  laura  babies  mind  children  thinking  perspective  imagination  empathy  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Proprioception - Wikipedia [via: http://twitter.com/bopuc/status/20373983137]
"Proprioception (pronounced /ˌproʊpri.ɵˈsɛpʃən/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shən), from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own" and perception, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike the exteroceptive senses by which we perceive the outside world, and interoceptive senses, by which we perceive the pain and movement of internal organs, proprioception is a third distinct sensory modality that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other."
awareness  biology  body  brain  cartography  consciousness  neuroscience  mind  learning  ideas  human  health  perception  physiology  proprioception  psychology  senses  science  self  bodies  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Everything is fizzling and bobbling about « Snarkmarket
"Thatcher’s study sug­gests a coun­ter­in­tu­itive notion: the more dis­or­ga­nized your brain is, the smarter you are...It’s coun­ter­in­tu­itive in part because we tend to attribute grow­ing intel­li­gence of tech­nol­ogy world w/ increas­ingly pre­cise electro­mechan­i­cal chore­og­ra­phy...

Instead of thoughts of con­crete things patiently fol­low­ing one another, we have the most abrupt cross-cuts and tran­si­tions from one idea to another, the most rarei­fied abstrac­tions and dis­crim­i­na­tions, the most unheard-of com­bi­na­tions of ele­ments… a seething caul­dron of ideas, where every­thing is fiz­zling and bob­bling about in a state of bewil­der­ing activ­ity, where part­ner­ships can be joined or loos­ened in an instant, tread­mill rou­tine is unknown, and the unex­pected seems the only law.

He’s describ­ing “the high­est order of minds”—but he could just as eas­ily be describ­ing a startup, or a city. Which is exactly, I think, the point."
cognition  ideas  robinsloan  mind  brain  stevenjohnson  books  cities  startups  cv  howwethink  disorder  noise  disorganization  messiness  intelligence  crosspollination 
july 2010 by robertogreco
How facts backfire - The Boston Globe
"In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?

Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."
truth  facts  psychology  politics  democracy  culture  philosophy  politicalscience  neuroscience  biology  brain  cognition  bias  belief  behavior  faith  information  media  mind  science  research 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Top Idea in Your Mind
"I realized recently that what one thinks about in the shower in the morning is more important than I'd thought. I knew it was a good time to have ideas. Now I'd go further: now I'd say it's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower.

Everyone who's worked on difficult problems is probably familiar with the phenomenon of working hard to figure something out, failing, and then suddenly seeing the answer a bit later while doing something else. There's a kind of thinking you do without trying to. I'm increasingly convinced this type of thinking is not merely helpful in solving hard problems, but necessary. The tricky part is, you can only control it indirectly..."
business  creativity  distraction  mind  lifehacks  productivity  psychology  thinking  startups  paulgraham  entrepreneurship  motivation  innovation  philosophy  politics  ideas  cv  attention  focus  tcsnmy  showers 
july 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » TEDGlobal: Steve Johnson – Chance favors the connected mind
"Johnson has been thinking about coffeehouses because he’s interested in question, Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (more or less...his new book.) He tells us that we have shortcomings in our language in discussing ideas. Our language – flash of insight, stroke of genius, epiphany – focus on ideas as atomic & disconnected. But an idea is a network – it’s a new configuation w/in your brain. How do you get your brain into new places where ideas can form?...

Great ideas aren’t flashes of insights – they’re the cobbling together of diverse ideas into a new configuation. So we need to let go of the image of Netwon, the apple & discovery of gravity. It’s rarely about individual contemplation – it’s more about the sort of chaotic, free-flowing ideas that happen in the coffeehouse or around dinner table. We need to build spaces like this, including in their offices...

People tend to compress their stories of discovery into a Eureka moment. In truth, most great ideas a “slow hunches”."
stevenjohnson  ted  chance  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  connections  innovation  mind  hunches  coffeehouses  ideas  conversation  design  ethanzuckerman  brain  discovery  howwework  workplace  tcsnmy  lcproject  schooldesign  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
WNYC - Radiolab: Sleep (May 25, 2007)
"Every creature does it, from whales to flies, yet science still can't answer the basic question: Why do we sleep? What is it for? We'll eavesdrop on the uneasy dreams of rats in search of answers."
sleep  dreams  mind  radiolab  animals  education  internet  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Alcoholism : The Frontal Cortex
"Now here's some blatant speculation. I think one reason AA is successful, at least for many of those who commit to the program, is that it's designed to force people to confront their prediction errors. Just look at the twelve steps, many of which are all about the admission of mistakes, from step number 1 ("We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable") to step number 8 ("Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all") to step number 10 ("Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it"). I'd suggest that the presence of these steps helps people break through the neuromodulatory problem of addiction, as the prefrontal cortex is forced to grapple with its massive failings and flaws. Because unless we accept our mistakes we will keep on making them."
2010  addiction  alcoholism  brain  neuroscience  psychology  jonahlehrer  prediction  decisions  mind  research 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Memory is Fiction : The Frontal Cortex
"Although our memories always feel true, they’re extremely vulnerable to errant suggestions, clever manipulations and the old fashioned needs of storytelling. (The mind, it turns out, cares more about crafting a good narrative than staying close to the truth.)
brain  neuroscience  jonahlehrer  storytelling  psychology  remembering  fiction  memory  mind  science 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is (Part 1) - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
"Dunning & Kruger argued...“When people are incompetent in strategies they adopt to achieve success & satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions & make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of ability to realize it. Instead...they are left w/ erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”
decisionmaking  culture  education  intelligence  incompetence  ignorance  psychology  errolmorris  epistemology  neuroscience  behavior  brain  confidence  mind  competency  tcsnmy  awareness  self-awareness  dunning-krugereffect  possibility 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Pleasures of Imagination - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"So while reality has its special allure, the imaginative techniques of books, plays, movies, and television have their own power. The good thing is that we do not have to choose. We can get the best of both worlds by taking an event that people know is real and using the techniques of the imagination to transform it into an experience that is more interesting and powerful than the normal perception of reality could ever be. The best example of this is an art form that has been invented in my lifetime, one that is addictively powerful, as shown by the success of shows such as The Real World, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Fear Factor. What could be better than reality television?"
psychology  culture  imagination  creativity  games  fun  fiction  fantasy  consciousness  brain  art  entertainment  emotion  play  empathy  escape  videogames  narrative  via:lukeneff  film  tv  television  reality  realitytv  storytelling  leisure  english  mind  writing  pleasure  behavior  science  paulbloom  humans 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Sabbatical | design mind
"A generative sabbatical — that year off work to travel, explore, draw, write a book, or otherwise indulge in creative pursuits — is perhaps the most idealized...A recuperative sabbatical is the most needed & the most practical. It is often unplanned and occurs only after the “sabbatee” reaches a breaking point — brought on by a chaotic workplace atmosphere of on-demand innovation, parallel work streams‚ and always-on digital lifestyles...I refer to this kind of recuperative time off as the “go away and try to remember whether you still like yourself” escape. It would be nice if we didn’t need this type of sabbatical, if our society and corporate culture were different, and we managed our time and relationships better. In reality, we not only need but also deserve them."
design  life  time  work  sabbaticals  yearoff  rest  creativity  cv  recuperation  burnout  stress  well-being  mind 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Amazonian tribe that can only count up to five | Science | The Guardian
"Does a group of indigenous South Americans hold the key to our relationship with maths? Here, an extract from an enlightening new book explains why it just might"
amazon  mathematics  psychology  intelligence  language  math  teaching  science  anthropology  brain  cognition  counting  culture  education  ethnography  numbers  neuroscience  mind 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Depression’s Upside - NYTimes.com
"doesn’t matter if we’re working on mathematical equation or through broken heart: anatomy of focus is inseparable from anatomy of melancholy...suggests depressive disorder is extreme form of ordinary thought process, part of dismal machinery that draws us toward our problems, like magnet to metal. is that closeness effective? Does despondency help us solve anything?...significant correlation btwn depressed affect & individual performance on intelligence test...once subjects were distracted from pain: lower moods were associated w/ higher scores. “results were clear. Depressed affect made people think better.” challenge is persuading people to accept misery, embrace tonic of despair. To say that depression has purpose or sadness makes us smarter says nothing about its awfulness. A fever, after all, might have benefits, but we still take pills to make it go away. This is paradox of evolution: even if our pain is useful, urge to escape from pain remains most powerful instinct"
jonahlehrer  psychology  creativity  writing  health  brain  depression  evolution  mind  thinking  thought  happiness  mood  darwin  relationships  evolutionarypsychology  neuroscience  culture  hope  charlesdarwin 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Moravec's paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"We should expect the difficulty of reverse engineering any human skill to be roughly proportional to amount of time that skill has been evolving in animals. The oldest human skills are largely unconscious and so appear to us to be effortless. Therefore, we should expect skills that appear effortless to be difficult to reverse engineer, but skills that require effort may not necessarily be difficult to engineer at all.
science  media  perception  transhumanism  computers  human  intelligence  futurism  robotics  cognitive  mind  cognition  philosophy  difficulty  moravecsparadox 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Great Geek Manual » Geek Quote of the Day
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
learning  quotes  merlyn  merlin  via:preoccupations  mindset  age  mind  tcsnmy  lcproject  lifelonglearning 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The broken escalator phenomenon. Aftereffect of wa... [Exp Brain Res. 2003] - PubMed result
"We investigated the physiological basis of the 'broken escalator phenomenon', namely the sensation that when walking onto an escalator which is stationary one experiences an odd sensation of imbalance, despite full awareness that the escalator is not going to move...The findings represent a motor aftereffect of walking onto a moving platform that occurs despite full knowledge of the changing context. As such, it demonstrates dissociation between the declarative and procedural systems in the CNS. Since gait velocity was raised before foot-sled contact, the findings are at least partly explained by open-loop, predictive behaviour. A cautious strategy of limb stiffness was not responsible for the aftereffect, as revealed by no increase in muscle cocontraction." [via: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2010/01/the-broken-escalator-phenomenon.html]
psychology  research  brain  mind  embodiment  heidegger  stairs  escalators  physiology 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Huginn and Muninn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In Norse mythology, Huginn (Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind"[3]) are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring the god Odin information. Huginn and Muninn are attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the Third Grammatical Treatise, compiled in the 13th century by Óláfr Þórðarson; and in the poetry of skalds. The names of the ravens are sometimes modernly anglicized as Hugin and Munin (with a single n each)."
hugnn  hugin  muninn  munin  ravens  crows  corvids  norse  norsemythology  mythology  odin  memory  information  thought  mind  annabelscheme  poeticedda 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Brave New World Revisited (1958) by Aldous Huxley
"It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison, and yet not free -- to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national State, or of some private interest within the nation, want him to think, feel and act. ... The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The vic­tim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people. His servitude is strictly objective. "
aldoushuxley  politics  world  culture  books  freedom  mind-manipulation  institutions  tcsnmy  lcproject  liberty  mind  tyranny  psychology 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Linguistic relativity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The linguistic relativity principle (also known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) is the idea that the varying cultural concepts and categories inherent in different languages affect the cognitive classification of the experienced world in such a way that speakers of different languages think and behave differently because of it.
sapir-whorf  culture  science  psychology  language  information  behavior  anthropology  linguistics  relativity  mind  cognition  cognitive  languages  bias  sapir-whorfhypothesis  whorfianism 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: An Operating System for the Mind [Stephen Downes on the Core Knowledge "Challenge to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills"]
Two quotes (not the whole story): "When you teach children facts as facts, & do it through a process of study & drill, it doesn't occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, appropriate, moral, egal, or anything else. Rote learning is a short circuit into the brain. It's direct programming. People who study & learn, that 2+2=4, know that 2+2=4, not because they understand the theory of mathematics, not because they have read Hilbert & understand formalism, or can refute Brouwer & reject intuitionism, but because they know (full stop) 2+2=4." ... "We are in a period of transition. We still to a great degree treat facts as things & of education as the acquisition of those things. But more and more, as our work, homes and lives become increasingly complex, we see this understanding becoming not only increasingly obsolete, but increasingly an impediment...if you simply follow the rules, do what you're told, do your job & stay out of trouble, you will be led to ruin."

[summary here: http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/2818 ]
knowledge  literacy  criticalthinking  skills  connectivism  education  stephendownes  programming  brainwashing  cognition  automatons  directinstruction  cv  tcsnmy  history  future  agency  activism  learning2.0  change  gamechanging  information  learning  truth  relevance  infooverload  filtering  unschooling  deschooling  psychology  brain  attention  mind  diversity  ict  pedagogy  e-learning  theory  elearning  21stcenturyskills  21stcenturylearning 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Benefits of Vacation - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
"When we escape from the place we spend most of our time, the mind is suddenly made aware of all those errant ideas we’d previously suppressed. Furthermore, this more relaxed sort of cognition comes with practical advantages, especially when we’re trying to solve difficult problems."
science  psychology  mind  travel  imagination  vacation  benefits  bias  cognition  creativity  problemsolving 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Brain: Stop Paying Attention: Zoning Out Is a Crucial Mental State | Memory, Emotions, & Decisions | DISCOVER Magazine
"The fact that both of these important brain networks become active together suggests that mind wandering is not useless mental static. Instead, Schooler proposes, mind wandering allows us to work through some important thinking. Our brains process information to reach goals, but some of those goals are immediate while others are distant. Somehow we have evolved a way to switch between handling the here and now and contemplating long-term objectives. It may be no coincidence that most of the thoughts that people have during mind wandering have to do with the future."
psychology  via:kottke  learning  science  brain  attention  neuroscience  thinking  memory  creativity  concentration  boredom  flow  daydreaming  cognition  mind 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The Expert Mind: Scientific American
"A 1999 study of professional soccer players from several countries showed that they were much more likely than the general population to have been born at a time of year that would have dictated their enrollment in youth soccer leagues at ages older than the average. In their early years, these children would have enjoyed a substantial advantage in size and strength when playing soccer with their teammates. Because the larger, more agile children would get more opportunities to handle the ball, they would score more often, and their success at the game would motivate them to become even better."
education  learning  science  psychology  research  work  creativity  mind  knowledge  life  brain  expert  expertise  training  chess  athletics  sports  age 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Serious Need for Play: Scientific American
"children’s free-play time dropped by a quarter between 1981 and 1997. Concerned about getting their kids into the right colleges, parents are sacrificing playtime for more structured activities. ... a play-deprived childhood disrupts normal social, emotional and cognitive development in humans and animals. ... play also promotes the continued mental and physical well-being of adults. ... Pellegrini explains, “games have a priori rules—set up in advance and followed. Play, on the other hand, does not have a priori rules, so it affords more creative responses.” ... This creative aspect is key because it challenges the developing brain more than following predetermined rules does. In free play, kids use their imagination and try out new activities and roles"
tcsnmy  children  parenting  play  unstructuredtime  games  psychology  health  imagination  creativity  sociality  nature  research  gaming  science  cognition  unschooling  homeschool  structure  via:preoccupations  anxiety  fear  rules  society  helicopterparents  freeplay  development  relationships  education  learning  culture  mind  earlychildhood  evolution  helicopterparenting 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Quote of the day: Timothy Ferris
""What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness? No. Just as love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so are happiness and sadness. Crying out of happiness is a perfect illustration of this. The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is - here's the clincher - boredom... The question you should be asking isn't 'What do I want?' or 'What are my goals?' but 'What would excite me?' Remember - boredom is the enemy, not some abstract 'failure.'" I recently realized that for me, the opposite of being depressed isn't being happy, but rather being active. So perhaps happiness and boredom are opposites."
boredom  happiness  sadness  depression  mind  psychology  love  hate 
january 2009 by robertogreco
How the city hurts your brain - Boston.com
"Recent research by scientists at the Santa Fe Institute used a set of complex mathematical algorithms to demonstrate that the very same urban features that trigger lapses in attention and memory -- the crowded streets, the crushing density of people -- also correlate with measures of innovation, as strangers interact with one another in unpredictable ways. It is the "concentration of social interactions" that is largely responsible for urban creativity, according to the scientists. The density of 18th-century London may have triggered outbreaks of disease, but it also led to intellectual breakthroughs, just as the density of Cambridge -- one of the densest cities in America -- contributes to its success as a creative center. One corollary of this research is that less dense urban areas, like Phoenix, may, over time, generate less innovation."
landscape  fredericklawolmstead  cities  urban  urbanism  brain  via:adamgreenfield  psychology  urbanplanning  design  architecture  culture  environment  housing  health  nature  cognition  attention  intelligence  neuroscience  mind  boston  biodiversity  behavior 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Malcolm Gladwell on meaningful work and curiosity - (37signals)
"Gladwell: Meaningful work is one of the most important things we can impart to children. Meaningful work is work that is autonomous. Work that is complex, that occupies your mind. And work where there is a relationship between effort and reward — for everything you put in, you get something out…
malcolmgladwell  charlierose  37signals  collaboration  leadership  management  administration  mission  meaning  life  work  cv  teaching  parenting  autonomy  mind  effort  reward  curiosity 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Science of Memory: An Infinite Loop in the Brain - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
"Wouldn't it be great to be able to remember everything? To see all our most important moments, all the priceless encounters, adventures and triumphs? What if memory never faded, but instead could be retrieved at any time, as reliably as films in a video store?" ... "She's constantly bombarded with fragments of memories, exposed to an automatic and uncontrollable process that behaves like an infinite loop in a computer. Sometimes there are external triggers, like a certain smell, song or word. But often her memories return by themselves. Beautiful, horrific, important or banal scenes rush across her wildly chaotic "internal monitor," sometimes displacing the present. "All of this is incredibly exhausting," says Price."
memory  neuroscience  mind  cognition  borges  intelligence  information  research  psychology  brain  philosophy  science  episodicmemory 
december 2008 by robertogreco
What Makes the Human Mind?  (November-December 2008)
"Hauser summarizes the distinguishing characteristics of human thought under four broad capacities. These include: the ability to combine and recombine different types of knowledge and information in order to gain new understanding; the ability to apply the solution for one problem to a new and different situation; the ability to create and easily understand symbolic representation of computation and sensory input; and the ability to detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual input.
science  evolution  human  nature  animals  neuroscience  mind  anthropology  thought  creativity  language  knowledge 
november 2008 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Health | Internet use 'good for the brain'
"For middle aged and older people at least, using the internet helps boost brain power, research suggests. A University of California Los Angeles team found searching the web stimulates centres in the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning. The researchers say this might even help to counter-act the age-related physiological changes that cause the brain to slow down."
via:hrheingold  internet  attention  mind  aging  health  online  brain  brainresearch 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Important work can be done while daydreaming - The Boston Globe
"Although there are many anecdotal stories of breakthroughs resulting from daydreams...Children in school are encouraged to stop daydreaming and "focus," and wandering minds are often cited as a leading cause of traffic accidents...In recent years, however, scientists have begun to see the act of daydreaming very differently. They've demonstrated that daydreaming is a fundamental feature of the human mind - so fundamental, in fact, that it's often referred to as our "default" mode of thought. Many scientists argue that daydreaming is a crucial tool for creativity, a thought process that allows the brain to make new associations and connections. Instead of focusing on our immediate surroundings - such as the message of a church sermon - the daydreaming mind is free to engage in abstract thought and imaginative ramblings. As a result, we're able to imagine things that don't actually exist, like sticky yellow bookmarks."
dreams  daydreaming  serendipity  imagination  messiness  creativity  brain  neuroscience  dreaming  intelligence  psychology  research  innovation  education  learning  children  behavior  mind  science 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Mind - Boredom May Let the Brain Recast the World in Productive, Creative Ways - NYTimes.com
"Yet boredom is more than a mere flagging of interest or a precursor to mischief. Some experts say that people tune things out for good reasons, and that over time boredom becomes a tool for sorting information — an increasingly sensitive spam filter. In various fields including neuroscience and education, research suggests that falling into a numbed trance allows the brain to recast the outside world in ways that can be productive and creative at least as often as they are disruptive."
boredom  creativity  psychology  mind  brain  cognitive 
august 2008 by robertogreco
In search of a beautiful mind - The Boston Globe
"He was long a jewel of the MIT faculty. Now, after a devastating brain injury, mathematician Seymour Papert is struggling bravely to learn again how to think like, speak like, be like the man of genius he was."
genius  learning  neuroscience  mit  seymourpapert  biography  brain  health  science  autodidacts  autodidactism  lego  olpc  education  children  mind  mindstorms  constructivism  unschooling  deschooling  recovery  rehabilitation  autodidacticism 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Eidetic memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Eidetic memory, photographic memory, or total recall is the ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with extreme accuracy and in abundant volume. The word eidetic (pronounced /aɪˈdɛtɨk/) means related to extraordinarily detailed and vi
words  memory  psychology  mind  definitions  eidetic 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Neurophilosophy : The left brain/ right brain myth
"So the notion that someone is "left-brained" or "right-brained" is absolute nonsense. All complex behaviours and cognitive functions require the integrated actions of multiple brain regions in both hemispheres of the brain."
psychology  illusion  neuroscience  mind  learning  thinking  brain  myths 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Infoporn: Tap Into the 12-Million-Teraflop Handheld Megacomputer
"next stage in technological evolution is...the One Machine...hardware is assembled from our myriad devices, its software is written by our collective online behavior...the Machine also includes us. After all, our brains are programming & underpinning it"
computing  wired  cloud  kevinkelly  cloudcomputing  evolution  singularity  science  innovation  infodesign  collectiveintelligence  intelligence  computers  human  networks  mobile  mind  visualization  internet  future  brain  crowdsourcing  ai  data  it  learning2.0  trends  storage 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Neurophilosophy : 6 iconoclastic discoveries about the brain
"Below are 6 long-held dogmas about the brain. Each one is followed by a brief description of research which shows that it is either untrue, or is an oversimplification."
via:preoccupations  biology  brain  neuroscience  science  psychology  mind  cognition  research 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered | LiveScience
"one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates signal into visual perception of the world..our visual system has evolved to compensate for neural delays, generating images of what will occur one-tenth of a second into future."
science  brain  psychology  perception  neuroscience  illusions  cognition  mind  cognitive  biology  senses  sight  visualization 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School [blog: http://brainrules.blogspot.com/]
"How do we learn? What exactly do sleep & stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking myth? Why is it so easy to forget—& so important to repeat new knowledge? Is it true that men & women have different brains?" + http://www.brainrules.net/the-rules
learning  brain  research  education  lifehacks  neuroscience  johnmedina  books  psychology  science  sleep  stress  teaching  brainresearch  information  efficiency  health  exercise  curiosity  memory  mind 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Annals of Innovation: In the Air: Who says big ideas are rare? - The New Yorker
"Merton’s observation about scientific geniuses is clearly not true of artistic geniuses, however. You can’t pool the talents of a dozen Salieris and get Mozart’s Requiem. You can’t put together a committee of really talented art students and get
malcolmgladwell  ideas  innovation  creativity  technology  entrepreneurship  economics  discovery  culture  intelligence  genius  adaptive  thinking  science  invention  mind  brainstorming  history  art  patents  ip  paleontology  dinosaurs  design  process 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Get Smarter: 12 Hacks That Will Amp Up Your Brainpower
"1. Distract Yourself 2. Caffeinate With Care 3. Choose Impressive Information 4. Think Positive 5. Do the Right Drugs 6. Juice Your IQ Score 7. Know Your Brain 8. Don't Panic 9. Embrace Chaos 10. Get Visual 11. Exercise Wisely 12. Slow Down"
brain  productivity  memory  neuroscience  comprehension  memorization  education  efficiency  learning  lifehacks  knowledge  mind  tips  gtd  science  psychology  sleep  drugs  health  medicine  howto 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Clive Thompson on Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind
"We think of our brains as the ultimate private sanctuary...but...boundaries are gradually eroding...host of emerging technologies aimed at tapping into our heads...raise a fascinating, & queasy, new ethical question: Do we have a right to "mental privacy
brain  ethics  neuroscience  surveillance  advertising  privacy  science  society  personalinformatics  technology  mind  intelligence  research  rights  future  psychology  politics  philosophy  clivethompson 
april 2008 by robertogreco
'Mind Gaming' Could Enter Market This Year
"In adapted version of Harry Potter video game, players lift boulders & throw lightning bolts using only their minds. Just as physical movement changed interface of gaming with Wii, the power of the mind may be the next big thing in video games."
biofeedback  interface  games  gaming  future  virtualreality  videogames  interaction  input  technology  brain  control  mind  vr 
march 2008 by robertogreco
PsyBlog: 7 Sins of Memory: Complete Guide
"# How quickly do we forget? # When and how are memories warped? # What biases act on our memory? # Why is it sometimes impossible to forget?"
memory  mind  neuroscience  psychology  science  brain 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Technology Review: Blogs: Ed Boyden's blog: How to Think: Managing brain resources in an age of complexity.
"Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Learn how to learn (rapidly). Work backward from goal. Always have long-term plan. Make contingency maps. Collaborate. Make mistakes quickly. Document everything obsessively. Keep it simple"
thinking  habits  gtd  life  lifehacks  learning  knowledge  mind  metacognition  productivity  creativity  brain  tips  howto  strategy  simplicity  via:kottke  projectmanagement  teaching  ideageneration  ideas  collaboration  complexity 
march 2008 by robertogreco
How we judge the thoughts of others : Nature News
"Brain division could help explain stereotyping, religious conflict and racism."
brain  science  psychology  mind  philosophy  neuroscience  relationships  society  racism 
march 2008 by robertogreco
TED | Talks | Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight (video)
"Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding --
brain  science  ted  psychology  Philosophy  stroke  physiology  presentations  consciousness  buddhism  neuroscience  nirvana  lectures  mind  meaning  religion  life  biology 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Emory Magazine: Winter 2008: Why is This Man Smiling?
"The study of happiness—and its causes—has Buddhists and scientists talking"
happiness  religion  mind  body  depression  busshism  research  health  via:behemoney  bodies 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Collective intelligence spontaneously arises among ARG players -- paper from I Love Bees creator - Boing Boing
"Jane McGonigal, who helped develop the groundbreaking Alternate Reality Game "I Love Bees," has written a fascinating paper on the way that "collective intelligence" spontaneously arises among collaborative players of games like I Love Bees"
ai  bees  behavior  janemcgonigal  crowdsourcing  crowds  intelligence  information  systems  collective  research  socialmedia  mind  masses  play 
february 2008 by robertogreco
The Autumn of the Multitaskers
"Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity"
multitasking  continuouspartialattention  attention  psychology  neuroscience  behavior  brain  cognition  cognitive  concentration  memory  connectivity  culture  society  stress  productivity  education  learning  lifehacks  slow  mind  organization  theatlantic  technology  recession  trends  bubbles  mobile  phones  distraction  etiquette  economics  freedom  simplicity  digitalnatives 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike - New York Times
“Look for people with renaissance-thinker tendencies, who’ve done work in a related area but not in your specific field,” [Rabe] says. “Make it possible for someone who doesn’t report directly to that area to come in and say the emperor has no c
innovation  knowledge  mind  psychology 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep
"In what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness."
sleep  drugs  health  future  performance  productivity  psychology  medicine  military  neuroscience  transhumanism  cognition  cognitive  brain  science  mind 
december 2007 by robertogreco
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