Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This Can Only Be Jungian

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance. The phenomenon of synchronicity was first described by Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s. (Wikipedia)

Ever felt that something like a reading material is actually beyond your control and under the guidance of an unseen hand?  Or maybe it's just twitter ...

I was going through my usual daily dose of inspiration when I chanced upon a post in The Atlantic, about Abraham Lincoln and his battle with depression.  There were plenty of  things that immediately suggested to me that it was worth a read - that I knew little about the great man with the huge seated statue and that despite the early stories I've read back then about how cheerful he was with children and regular folks, he clearly was battling depression.  Read on and have a better understanding of just how great he is.

Again, moving on I saw a reference to this new site created by a young Russian geek called, I write like .  What it does is analyze your writing style and compare it with a list of authors in its database and figure a match for you.  Deciding to try, I copy and pasted a few paragraphs taken from my blog posts and voila. 

[Gulp]. It says I write like William Gibson.  (Vague idea of him except for Necromancer which I haven't really read at all.)

Unsatisfied, I am now more interested in challenging the algorithm and off I went to copy-paste a new set of writings.  Result? It now says I write like Cory Doctorow!  FIne. So like most sites that supposedly claim insight, this might just be your usual hocus pocus .  Deciding to give it a go one more time with a new set of paragraphs, the result came back the same. Doctorow.  Hmmm.  

Whatever that meant. 

Seeding the mind.

I work the early hours starting at 4 am and this schedule allows me to still perform school bus driver duties for Zaki past lunchtime.  Usually, I have a two-hour interval between bringing her to school and picking her up.  Yesterday, I got a break since wifey volunteered to do the pick-up.

This means I have time to watch Inception which proved quite difficult to follow.  It didn't help that I was quite sleepy, too which made it more 'dream-like' for me.  

Here it comes.

Quited dazed coming out of the theater, I noticed that it was raining hard outside so I really can't walk back home yet.  Honestly, I felt lucky with the situation as I get to visit Booksale by myself without pestering kid.  This thrift bookshop selling second-hand books is bit like paradise for someone like me who has but few pesos to spare.  Only challenge is that the titles depend more on chance, than anything else.  By chance means spending hours rummaging through shelves and even, on the floor.

And what did I find.  Little Brother - Cory Doctorow and Abraham Lincoln: An illustrated History.


Coming home, told wifey I saw Inception and told her the movie made minced meat of my brain so either I need to watch it again or read a bit more about it.  Ask Wikipedia, perhaps.  Scrolling down, I came upon this:

"Empire magazine rated it five stars in the August 2010 issue and wrote, "it feels like Stanley Kubrick adapting the work of the great sci-fi author William Gibson"

Like a dream, it means nothing, really.  

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Findings - Discovering the Virtues of a Wandering Mind

In the past, daydreaming was often considered a failure of mental discipline, or worse. Freud labeled it infantile and neurotic. Psychology textbooks warned it could lead to psychosis. Neuroscientists complained that the rogue bursts of activity on brain scans kept interfering with their studies of more important mental functions.

But now that researchers have been analyzing those stray thoughts, they’ve found daydreaming to be remarkably common — and often quite useful. A wandering mind can protect you from immediate perils and keep you on course toward long-term goals. Sometimes daydreaming is counterproductive, but sometimes it fosters creativity and helps you solve problems.

Consider, for instance, these three words: eye, gown, basket. Can you think of another word that relates to all three? If not, don’t worry for now. By the time we get back to discussing the scientific significance of this puzzle, the answer might occur to you through the “incubation effect” as your mind wanders from the text of this article — and, yes, your mind is probably going to wander, no matter how brilliant the rest of this column is.

Mind wandering, as psychologists define it, is a subcategory of daydreaming, which is the broad term for all stray thoughts and fantasies, including those moments you deliberately set aside to imagine yourself winning the lottery or accepting the Nobel. But when you’re trying to accomplish one thing and lapse into “task-unrelated thoughts,” that’s mind wandering.

And I thought it was just really difficult for people to focus ....

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