Viewpoint: Could one man have shortened the Vietnam War?

Malcolm Gladwell digs up a Vietnam War story to highlight the importance of listening in removing detrimental bias:

Listening is hard because the more you listen, the more unsettling the world becomes. It’s a lot easier just to place your hands over your ears and not listen at all.

Listen up. Face the music. Ignore bias for reality. Go with your gut and speak up when others are myopic.

The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle

Music has the ability to aid focus and improve attitude.

You may get mixed reviews in the office though.  On the one hand, if you wear headphones it appears that you’re shunning the world and may be disinterested in your work.  On the other hand, it could actually help you drown out the office noise and get stuff done with excitement, i.e. “melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine” which may encourage you to finish “tasks more quickly.”

It’s best to use music only when you really need it.  Chances are you’ll hear important information from colleagues just by keeping your ears open and your earbuds to the side.

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.