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  1. Last 7 days
  2. Jan 2021
    1. Crux -

      1. Calm plants the seeds of crazy. And also crazy plants the seeds of calm. Basically when times are good, we indulge in it, become complacent about our achievements, become skeptic of the warnings ahead. So, when something bad hits, it's a shock. Similarly crazy plants the seeds of calm, when we are going through a societal shock, we come up with revolutionary solutions, that can help to bring calm for the years to come.
      2. Progress requires optimism and pessimism. Shoot for the stars aim for the moon. Be prepared for the worst, give your best.
      3. People believe what they want to believe, see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear. Either the model of how I think is wrong, or the other person is wrong. And it is often the latter that people go with, since it is the path of least resistance, both to make changes yourself, and as well as your image.
      4. Important things rarely have one cause
      5. Risk is what you don't see
    1. Elon Musk declared that we are marching towards a near future without language, in which we’ll be able to communicate directly mind-to-mind through neural links. ‘Our brain spends a lot of effort compressing a complex concept into words,’ he said in a recent interview, ‘and there’s a lot of loss of information that occurs when compressing a complex concept into words.’

      Elon Musk on the future of talking

    2. Mute inner speech can appear as an inner dialogue as well, but its truncated form encourages us to create a ‘secret’ abbreviated language and deploy mental shortcuts. By forcing us to articulate ourselves more fully, self-talk summons up the image of an imagined listener or interrogator more vividly. In this way, it allows us to question ourselves more critically by adopting an external perspective on our ideas, and so to consider shortcomings in our arguments – all while using our own speech.

      The essential difference between mute speach and self-talk

    3. Contemporary theories in cognition and the science of learning reaffirm Kleist’s speculations, and show how self-talk contributes not only to motivation and emotional regulation, but also to some higher cognitive functions such as developing metacognition and reasoning.

      Self-talk brings lots of benefits

    4. It’s no coincidence that we walk when we need to think: evidence shows that movement enhances thinking and learning, and both are activated in the same centre of motor control in the brain. In the influential subfield of cognitive science concerned with ‘embodied’ cognition, one prominent claim is that actions themselves are constitutive of cognitive processes. That is, activities such as playing a musical instrument, writing, speaking or dancing don’t start in the brain and then emanate out to the body as actions; rather, they entail the mind and body working in concert as a creative, integrated whole, unfolding and influencing each other in turn. It’s therefore a significant problem that many of us are trapped in work and study environments that don’t allow us to activate these intuitive cognitive muscles, and indeed often even encourage us to avoid them.

      Symbiosis of movement and thinking

    1. People think that fighters fight best when they are angry, that singers, actors and musicians perform best when they are high on emotions. This cannot be further from the truth. Studies show that in high-stress situations, we perform when we separate ourselves from our emotions. Like how a cup is only useful when it’s empty, it is only when we empty ourselves that we can become a conduit for our art, transcend our mortal shell, and perform at the highest levels.

      Studies show that in high-stress situations people perform better when there is a separation of self and emotions.

      We might think that boxers perform better when they're angry but that might not be the case.

    2. “affect labelling,” the act of putting feelings into words, actually help decrease brain activity in the amygdala and therefore reduce stress

      Affect Labelling - Put thoughts into words. Decreases amygdala activity which decreases stress.

      Other studies have shown this has resulted in:

      • Healthier eating choices
      • Healthier sexual appetites

      Great practices are:

      • Reframing your language. Practise saying phrases like “I am feeling angry”, instead of “I am angry.”
      • Meditate often
      • Induce flow states through work you enjoy, or exercise
      • Psychedelic experiences
      • Being in nature (e.g long hikes)
      • Vipassana retreats
      • Long stretches of undisturbed time spent with yourself
    3. “Cognitive Reframing” is a technique used in therapy where patients are taught to look at things from another perspective. This technique helps patients look at the same event with different points of view, and has been proven to help improve their self-talk and behaviour. We are, after all, made up of the stories we tell ourselves.

      Cognitive Reframing - Technique to let patients look at situations from different perspectives.

      • Helps with self talk and behavior
      • Helps with narratives about ourselves
    1. the commonplace book has been particularly beloved by poets, whose business is the revelation of wholeness through the fragmentary

      Gestalt: the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. See also, emergence in chaos theory and complexity.

  3. Dec 2020
    1. In both cases – speech and writing – the materiality of language undergoes a transformation (to audible sounds or written signs) which in turn produces a mental shift.

      There's surely a link between this and the idea of thought spaces in the blogosphere or the idea of a commonplace book/digital garden/wiki.

    2. The idea that speaking out loud and thinking are closely related isn’t new. It emerged in Ancient Greece and Rome, in the work of such great orators as Marcus Tullius Cicero. But perhaps the most intriguing modern development of the idea appeared in the essay ‘On the Gradual Formation of Thoughts During Speech’ (1805) by the German writer Heinrich von Kleist.

      Some of this is at play with the idea of "rubber ducking" as a means of debugging programs

    1. Teen dislike of physical appearance strong predictor of depression in early adulthood

      Summary of the article:

      • Teens unhappy about their looks are up to 285% more likely to develop depression later in life.
      • This finding comes from a long-term study of ~4000 children born in 1991/2.
      • At age 14, both boys and girls were mildly satisfied with their bodies, but girls were more dissatisfied.
      • Body dissatisfaction at 14 predicted depressive episodes at 18, with the boys at much greater risk of severe depressive episodes.
      • Study authors conclude that body dissatisfaction should be seen as a public health issue, and reducing it could lead to better mental health outcomes for young adults.
    1. Stuaert Rtchie [@StuartJRitchie] (2020) This encapsulates the problem nicely. Sure, there’s a paper. But actually read it & what do you find? p-values mostly juuuust under .05 (a red flag) and a sample size that’s FAR less than “25m”. If you think this is in any way compelling evidence, you’ve totally been sold a pup. Twitter. Retrieved from:https://twitter.com/StuartJRitchie/status/1305963050302877697

    1. Instead of waiting for a magic fairy to appear and eliminate your problem so that you can enjoy life again, you might want to start adding those little positive events back onto your agenda despite the problem still being present

      This solution based therapy focuses on trying to get people active and engaged with life even when depressed.

      It is important to help patients experience those little positive events. These events can help people get back on track.

    2. If you need to imagine in concrete detail how you would notice that a problem disappeared, you are challenged to leave vague descriptions like “I’ll be happy”, “I’ll be less annoyed” behind.Vagueness in the end is a cognitive avoidance mechanism. It is easy to ruminate on general emotions and thoughts but very hard to imagine concrete outcomes and changes. We would rather not face precise thoughts, emotions or memories because they can be painful. Better to stay at a safe but vague distance.

      This is all about solution based therapy. We need concrete ways of fixing our problems.

      Vagueness is a cognitive avoidance strategy. It is a way to avoid digging deep.

      It is safer for our feelings to stay vague, but that is not where we need to improve.

    3. Rather than defining the problem — which is hard — you are invited to define the change you would like to experience. It is a bit like reverse engineering.

      This is a very interesting way to approach psychotherapy:

      Let the patient define and explore the change they want to experience.

  4. Nov 2020
    1. The Thirteen Sources of Well-Being:More positive emotionsFewer negative emotionsLife satisfactionVitalityEnvironmental masteryPositive relationshipsSelf-acceptanceMasteryAutonomyPersonal growthEngagement in lifePurpose and meaning in lifeTranscendent experiences

      The Thirteen Sources of Well-Being

      1. More positive emotions
      2. Fewer negative emotions
      3. Life satisfaction
      4. Vitality
      5. Environmental mastery
      6. Positive relationships
      7. Self-acceptance
      8. Mastery
      9. Autonomy
      10. Personal growth
      11. Engagement in life
      12. Purpose and meaning in life
      13. Transcendent experiences
    2. “Within the humanistic psychology framework, the healthy personality is considered one that constantly moves toward freedom, responsibility, self-awareness, meaning, commitment, personal growth, maturity, integration, and change, rather than one that predominantly strives for status, achievement, or even happiness."

      The humanistic psychology framework focuses on larger scale values than on individual achievement

    1. Once the person opens up about what they’re feeling, resist the temptation to find a solution. Instead, validate. McGrath suggests telling them their emotions makes sense, reiterating how hard their experience sounds, then asking what they need.If you’re burning to share how you see things, ask permission before dishing out advice. Sometimes, well-intentioned attempts to fix the problem send a message that you’re uncomfortable with the other person’s emotions, which does anything but forge trust and connection.

      Something I need to practice more.

      When someone opens up, do not be so quick to fix. Understand the issue, what is causing them pain, why it is causing them pain, and validate that concern by reiterating the experience to them.

      This way you allow them to not feel like they are wrong for feeling that way.

    2. simple as tacking on an “I could be wrong, but” at the beginning, or an “Am I off base?” at the end. “This way, you provide an out so the other person can deny they feel that way,” she says, and give them a chance to correct the record by sharing what’s actually going on, if they choose.

      You don't have to be right about your observation, you just have to try. This shows that you are trying, that you are willing to empathize.

      So it is important to make your observation but also give space for them to talk about their feelings. How can you do that? Well you can say: "Am I off base?", "Correct me if I'm wrong"

    3. Observations, on the other hand, cultivate connection by showing you’re paying attention, Braman explained in her post; that’s why she encourages parents to lead with statements like “You seem frustrated,” or “You’re full of smiles.”

      Asking a kid "how was your day" can cause them anxiety because they still don't have the language to describe their feelings. This question usually don't lead to any good.

      On the other hand, make observations! Say something like "you seem frustrated" or "You seem pretty happy today". This helps them develop a language to describe how they are feeling.

      As I was writing this I thought about how important books are. They can describe the emotional language of someone and help the reader empathize with it and also adopt ways to express themselves.

    4. Observations “send the message that you notice changes in a person and are interested in knowing more about their experience, says New York-based psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, “all the while rejecting the superficial ‘how are you’ exchange and replacing it with genuine connection.”

      Another important point is that observations show interest in the subject matter while simply asking for a broad summary of a day does not.

    5. A direct, “you seem” statement might work with your own kid, but for an adult, it might feel like labeling, which can trigger defensiveness or an emotional shutdown. The goal is to encourage the other person to open up about how they’re doing by showing you care, so frame your observation in a way that won’t make them feel judged or misinterpreted.Instead, couch your observation with softer, curiosity-driven language. Mia Rosenberg, a therapist and the owner of Upsider Therapy, recommends the “I’ve noticed that” and “I’m wondering” formula. For example, you could say, “I’ve noticed that you’re quieter lately; I’m wondering if you’re stressed?”

      "You seem" might work on a child but can be seen as labeling when used on an adult.

      Instead use "I've noticed that" and "I'm wondering". Also observe body language.

      Do not say "You look tired" because that can seem mean to someone struggling. Instead use emotion focused words such as burned out or frustrated.

  5. Oct 2020
    1. Her dark coat fell open, and her white throat—all her soft young body in the blue dress—was like a flower that is just emerging from its dark bud.

      The ambiguity of Mansfield's stories, and there sudden endings, place the tensions and moral implications, on our laps. What are the relationships between motherly neglect, wealth, and the sexuality of a young girl? Is the young girls bratiness a reasonable reaction to her circumstances (assuming the mother, really is a neglectful mother). Is she spoiled? or is the young girl simply lashing out. Do we develop our identities, or does circumstance?

    1. Playing video games as a child can improve working memory years later
      • Studies have shown that playing video games can lead to brain structure changes, but new study shows changes can happen even years after people stop playing.
      • The study lasted a month, and involved 27 people between 18 and 40 years old, with and without experience in gaming.
      • Those who played a lot before becoming adults performed better with working memory tasks, which require you to mentally hold and manipulate information.
      • They also did better at processing 3D objects, but after a period of video game training, non-gamers were able to catch up in this area.
      • Video games are great to strengthen mental skills, however these improvements have limited effect on activities not linked to gaming
    1. It was later determined that humans impose meaning even on nonsense syllables to make them more meaningful. The nonsense syllable PED (which is the first three letters of the word "pedal") turns out to be less nonsensical than a syllable such as KOJ; the syllables are said to differ in association value.[5] It appears that Ebbinghaus recognized this, and only referred to the strings of syllables as "nonsense" in that the syllables might be less likely to have a specific meaning and he should make no attempt to make associations with them for easier retrieval.

      This seems roughly similar to Major Beniowski's phrenotypic associative memory. Some of these nonesense syllables could more easily be associated than others. Perhaps going through them one could do phrenotypic distances?

      Would Ebbinghaus have known of Beniowski's work? Evidence?

    1. Most previous explanations had focussed on explaining how someone’s beliefs might be altered in the moment.

      Knowing a little of what is coming in advance here, I can't help but thinking: How can this riot theory potentially be used to influence politics and/or political campaigns? It could be particularly effective to get people "riled up" just before a particular election to create a political riot of sorts and thereby influence the outcome.

      Facebook has done several social experiments with elections in showing that their friends and family voted and thereby affecting other potential voters. When done in a way that targets people of particular political beliefs to increase turn out, one is given a means of drastically influencing elections. In some sense, this is an example of this "Riot Theory".

    1. The linear life is dead. Americans have been told for decades that our lives will follow predictable, linear paths interrupted by periodic “crises” on birthdays that end in zero. The backbone of this paradigm was a series of carefully calibrated progressions—from dating to marriage to children to empty nest; from low-level job to mid-level job to senior-level job to retirement. Today that idea is preposterously behind the times. We no longer expect to have just one job, one relationship, one spirituality, one sexuality, one source of happiness from adolescence to assisted living.

      Instead it is non-linear life right now, where it is all intertwined into a complex swirl of setbacks, celebrations, triumphs and rebirths.

    2. There’s no such thing as a midlife crisis. The idea of the “midlife crisis” was first articulated by a psychoanalyst named Elliott Jaques in 1957. He claimed that people in their mid-30s go through a depressive period brought on by first contemplating their mortality. Jaques didn’t do any research; he just read a bunch of biographies of famous men. He didn’t include women, he said, because menopause “obscured” their midlife transitions. When Gail Sheehy popularized the idea in the 70s, based primarily on some very iffy research by Dan Levinson at Yale (he interviewed only 40 people, and again only men), she said the midlife crisis must start in the 40th year and will end at 45 ½. This is all bunk. My research shows that we suffer a series of three to five lifequakes, as I call them, all across our lives. These could be medical issues, career shifts, change in sexual practices, as well as divorce, social movements like #MeToo or #BlackLiveMatter, or external events like a tornado, a financial crisis, a downsizing, or a pandemic. Some of these are voluntary, others are involuntary.

      Also, the latest research points at these lifequakes lasting on an average for about five years.

    1. Your errors are sometimes easier to be found by others.

      Since they don't have the same bias as you do. Meaning, they will take a more keen look at it, and hence increase the chance of finding something off. Often times when you are debugging, you do need the help of another coder, to try to explain the code to, to get a chance to catch the errors.

  6. Sep 2020
    1. I will accept your ladyship’s dismissal, but not your ladyship’s money

      Detectives are masters of psychology. By not accepting Mrs. Verinder's money, Sergeant Cuff tries to make Mrs. Verinder feels that she owes him a favor, and therefore decreases the possibility that he will get fired.

    1. Henrich defends this sweeping thesis with several studies, including a test known as the Triad Task. Subjects are shown three images—say, a rabbit, a carrot, and a cat. The goal is to match a “target object”—the rabbit—with a second object. A person who matches the rabbit with the cat classifies: The rabbit and the cat are animals. A person who matches the rabbit with the carrot looks for relationships between the objects: The rabbit eats the carrot.
    2. WEIRD people have a bad habit of universalizing from their own particularities. They think everyone thinks the way they do, and some of them (not all, of course) reinforce that assumption by studying themselves. In the run-up to writing the book, Henrich and two colleagues did a literature review of experimental psychology and found that 96 percent of subjects enlisted in the research came from northern Europe, North America, or Australia. About 70 percent of those were American undergraduates. Blinded by this kind of myopia, many Westerners assume that what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for everyone else.

      This is a painful reality. It's also even more specific to the current Republican party. Do as we say, not as we do.

      This is the sort of example that David Dylan Thomas will appreciate.

    1. Franceschini, C., Musetti, A., Zenesini, C., Palagini, L., Pelosi, A., Quattropani, M. C., Lenzo, V., Freda, M. F., Lemmo, D., Vegni, E., Borghi, L., Saita, E., Cattivelli, R., De Gennaro, L., Plazzi, G., Riemann, D., & Castelnuovo, G. (2020). Poor quality of sleep and its consequences on mental health during COVID-19 lockdown in Italy [Preprint]. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/ah6j3

    1. O’Connor, D. B., Aggleton, J. P., Chakrabarti, B., Cooper, C. L., Creswell, C., Dunsmuir, S., Fiske, S. T., Gathercole, S., Gough, B., Ireland, J. L., Jones, M. V., Jowett, A., Kagan, C., Karanika‐Murray, M., Kaye, L. K., Kumari, V., Lewandowsky, S., Lightman, S., Malpass, D., … Armitage, C. J. (2020). Research priorities for the COVID‐19 pandemic and beyond: A call to action for psychological science. British Journal of Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12468

    1. Thus, New Thought thinker Ralph Waldo Trine (not to be confused with Ralph Waldo Emerson) could exhort his readers to “See yourself in a prosperous condition. Affirm that you will before long be in a prosperous condition.”

      This also sounds a bit like the general philosophy behind Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.

  7. Aug 2020
    1. However, there is one important point: with the visualisation the feeling must be there too. When someone is seeing him/herself in for example delivering a speech for the first time on stage, they really must let the feeling build up in their hearts, minds and body too. Then the vibrations will do their "magic

      Comment in the article suggested that you should focus on visualizing the action AND emotion

    2. “In 2004, Cleveland Clinic physiologist Guang Yue wanted to know if merely thinking about lifting weights was enough to increase strength. Study subjects were divided into four groups. One group tried to strengthen their finger muscles with physical exercise; one tried to strengthen their finger muscles by only visualizing the exercise; another tried to increase arm strength through visualization; while the last group did nothing at all. The trial lasted twelve weeks.When it was over, those who did nothing saw no gains. The group that relied on physical training saw the greatest increase in strength-at 53 percent. But it’s the mental groups where things got curious. Folks who did no physical training but merely imagined their fingers going through precise exercise motions saw a 35 percent increase in strength, while the ones who visualized arm exercises saw a 13.5 percent increase in strength.”Let’s review — these participants did NOTHING BUT VISUALIZING and saw an increase of up to 35% in strength!But things are all the more convincing when you consider that a few years before Yue’s studies, neuroscientists found no difference between performing an action and merely imagining oneself performing that action-the same neuronal circuits fire in either case.

      Experiments have shown that simply visualizing an can have great impacts.