The Complexity Is What Makes It Work

The brain works. NY, just works. Both systems appear chaotic but their complex inter-dependence is what makes them work.

The complex things are the most simple. That’s why they need no further explanation.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science

A telltale sign of being very sleep-deprived, he said, is dreaming during a short nap. “Definitely in a 20-minute nap you should not be dreaming,” he said.

I love naps on the weekends. I try to keep them to max 15-30 minutes. I always feel groggy afterwards but definitely more alert and energized.

Cats make a good point.

Quick Study: Neuroscience: Crosswords don’t make you clever

It is good for improving your crossword skills but does it lead on to other kinds of advanced cognitive function? No. There is no translation of the crossword skills to other skill categories. That shouldn’t discourage anyone, they are a lot of fun, but a vigorous hike will do more for your cognitive function.

Brain training: Hiking > Crossword Puzzles

Brain Porn

The brain is elastic. It acts as a fortified dome yet gets easily duped into submission. It can be excited, bored, and fearful all at the same time. The brain can also toggle between nostalgia and dreams.

Like a social network, the brain uses its synapses to connect the likeliest and unlikeliest of friends. Neurons bloom. The opportunity to meet or follow new people lights up the brain masking the task at hand.

The Internet makes it easy to avoid here and now, to live vicariously through data rather than through touch. People interconnect but hide behind a screen of invincibility. Everyone hyperbolizes their true physical self.

The ability to self-promote and receive “likes” through fabricated stories glues every one of us to each other, making it impossible to let go. Reality is less addicting than it’s ever been.

(added to The Future of Social Media series on Medium)

Purpose: In short, we want to entertain. We are aiming to create well designed, easy-to-approach, and stimulating games. Our core metric is how a player feels about our games. We won’t take advantage of our players, and we believe that decisions made for short term gains become long term blemishes.  Sleek design.  Great logo.  One for your mind. 
Purpose: In short, we want to entertain. We are aiming to create well designed, easy-to-approach, and stimulating games. Our core metric is how a player feels about our games. We won’t take advantage of our players, and we believe that decisions made for short term gains become long term blemishes.  Sleek design.  Great logo.  One for your mind. 

Brain-Training Games Don’t Actually Make You Smarter

The conclusion: the games may yield improvements in the narrow task being trained, but this does not transfer to broader skills like the ability to read or do arithmetic, or to other measures of intelligence. Playing the games makes you better at the games, in other words, but not at anything anyone might care about in real life.

Life skills originate from education and dealing with all types of people.  Video games are virtual experiences; the skills apply only on screen.  

Get out and do something real.   

How social media improved writing

Simon Kuper of the Financial Times examines the impact of social media on writing:  

“The relatively unfiltered and spontaneous production of one person’s mind is just the sort of thing that is readily stored in another’s mind.” That’s probably why Twitter, Facebook and reality TV are successful.

More people are writing because of the rapid communication of social media, and they’re doing it in an organic, conversational prose which is how we’re instructed to write in the first place.  

We may waste time on social media but at least our brains are forced to think through participation.  This is much better than passively watching TV and letting the neurons go to sleep.  

The history of Braille

via giphy

There’s only one language for the blind. It’s called Braille.

Before today, I knew nothing about the history of Braille:

Braille has its roots in the French army. In the early eighteenth century, a soldier named Charles Barbier de la Serre invented a code for military messages that could be read in the trenches at night without light; it used patterns of twelve raised dots to represent phonemes. The system was too complicated for the beleaguered soldiers to master, but when Barbier met Louis Braille, who had been blind since boyhood, the latter simplified the system into the six-dot version used ever since. Braille is not a language per se but rather a code by which other languages, from English to Japanese to Arabic…

Blind readers and writers can also see.  They activate the unused visual cortex and see their way through touch and sound.  They can even use their tongue to sense images.

Technology makes our brains even more plastic, rewiring them until the day we die.