Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘engineering/research/experiments’ Category

10 – Eye Exercises – Increase The Power of Your Optic Muscles

From allaboutcf.  July 29, 2020

The eyes contain lots of small muscles, and there is no doubt that eye workouts can do little damage to your eyes, but can they really be of benefit?

Dr William Bates, developed a series of eye exercises at the beginning of the century to enhance vision without turning to lenses or surgery.

Dr Bates felt that many eye problems had their origin in stress, stress and laziness of the eye and he thought that because of these causes, the eyes could be treated without correction such as lenses, eyeglasses or perhaps surgical treatment.

Dr Bates’ theory focused on the concept that the muscles of the eye became fixed on a scene triggering stress to the eyes. Dr Bates felt that the eyes could be re-trained to relax and improve the link between the optic nerves and the brain.

Many people around the globe have claimed enhancements simply put sight, long sight, astigmatism, squints and lazy eyes utilizing these techniques.

Even children are able to practice the workouts and individuals with normal vision might improve concentration, reading abilities and co-ordination by following the regimens suggested by Dr Bates.

In essence, you can expect to perform some basic exercises for about half an hour a day

These can include a few of the following:-.

‘Palming.’.
To rest and relax your eyes, sit easily in front of a table, resting your elbows on a stack of cushions high enough to bring your palms quickly to your eyes without stooping forward or looking up. Close your eyes and cover them with your cupped palms to omit light, avoiding pressure on the sockets.

– ‘Swinging.’.
Unwind and keep the eyes mobile. Blinking cleans and lubricates the eyes, which is especially important if you invest a lot of time in front of a computer.

Select a colour and look out for it throughout the day. When you see it, be conscious of the colour rather than the kind.

See Plainly Approach.
==================.

The See Plainly Method is another popular series of exercises and training to help with vision correction. To the Bates’ technique, you are required to do 30 minutes of eye works out a day to enhance and boost the flexibility of the eye’s muscles.

This would usually involve making the eye change it’s focus from near to far. One easy method of doing this would be to hold a little item in your hand and slowly move it away from your face, making sure that your eye follows the things and maintains focus upon it.

One exercise which is referred to as “tromboning” has you hold a small object again, starting at arm’s length. Then you need to breath in and move the object slowly more detailed to your face, until it touches your nose. You are then required to breath out, taking a look at the item as you again move it away from your face.

Hence the idea of “Tromboning”.

The See Clearly Method also utilizes a variety of methods which are targeted at speeding up progress or enhancement.

There is a technique referred to as the “blur reading” technique, which asks you to turn a magazine upside-down at a range where the words are not distinct. Then, you are expected to choose one word and focus your attention around it, to see if you can determine any of the letters.

How fresh are these blogs and websites with the onset of the pandemics?

Professional Fresh blogs and websites posted in 2015

You’ve clearly enjoyed our popular 70 of the best blogs for creative inspiration.

Is it time to offer you some further essential reading with the 100 fresh blogs for creative professionals to follow in 2015?

That’s whether you’re looking for insights and inspiration in the world of graphic design, illustration, photography, art, user experience design, web design, interior design or architecture –

we’ve painstakingly crawled the web to dig out the latest must-read blogs.

100 fresh blogs and websites for creative professionals to follow in 2015

Rather than wasting time trying to find recommended online resources, simply bookmark this page and share with your friends and associates.

We’ve even included some recommended sites for learning, plus there’s a top 10 list of fun, time-wasting websites that you can browse when you’re not feeling particularly productive.

If we’ve missed anything, feel free to tweet us and make your own suggestions via @Creative_Boom and we’ll consider adding them to the list. Enjoy!

Graphic Design

1. Good Design Makes Me Happy: Good Design Makes Me Happy started in 2009 as an inspiration journal for graphic designer Hannah Dollery. The blog now has a growing readership and has become a daily read for many people. Make sure you add to your daily reading list.

2. Identity Designed: Curated by designer and author David Airey, Identity Designed is a brilliant showcase of all things related to brand identity and has a definite slant towards contemporary, cutting edge design.

3. The Fox is Black: The personal yet wonderful blog of American designer Bobby Solomon, featuring art, design, brand identity… even music, food, culture, illustration and photography.

4. ManyStuff: Paris-based Charlotte Cheetham is the person behind Manystuff. It’s a random feed of beautiful, cutting-edge design inspiration and a must for any designer looking to break boundaries and challenge the conventional norm.

5. Brand New: Brand New is a division of UnderConsideration. Its sole purpose is to chronicle and provide opinions on corporate and brand identity work. We cover redesigns and new designs of well-known products, companies, and organizations. Brand New is edited and 99% written by Armin Vit.

6. LogoEd: Logoed offers logo inspiration for graphic designers. It’s a place where you’ll discover great logo designs, which will hopefully inspire you to create even better designs.

7. We and The Colour: A blog about creative inspiration in art, graphic design, illustration, photography, architecture, fashion, product, interior, video and motion design. But designers will love this as it’s mainly aimed at them.

8. Design Clever: A collaboration started by Jonathan Ring and Bethany Baker, two aspiring graphic designers with a passion for everything design related.

9. Design Everywhere: Design Everywhere is an online design blog that showcases carefully selected graphic design works and beyond around the world. As the name suggest, we featured works beyond still stationery shots. Daily dose of visual inspirations collected by Preston Tham.

10. The Inspiration Grid: Inspiration Grid is a daily-updated blog celebrating creative talent from around the world. Your daily fix of design, illustration and typography.

Illustration

1. Illustrators Lounge: A simple little blog that shares inspirational work by illustrators across the globe.
2. No Barcode: No Barcode is a blog about vintage modern design & illustration plus other design related things curated by Javier García — a graphic designer & illustrator working in the San Francisco Bay area.
3. Inspiration Hut: Another great online magazine that shares inspirational work from all creative fields, including a great illustration section.
4. Directory of Illustration: Directory of Illustration is a great resource for finding the work of highly regarded illustrators. It’s also an amazing community of illustrators sharing their work to offer inspiration to others.
5. I Love Illustration: Starting out as a fashion illustration blog, this site has since grown to cover all areas of the creative discipline. Carefully curated and containing some of the best and brightest illustrators out there.
6. Illustration Served: A curated Bechance site, Illustration Served is a solid place to discover the latest work from illustrations all over the world.
7. From Up North: From up North is a design blog focusing on promoting and inspiring creatives all over the world. Delivering inspiration within graphic design, advertising, photography and – you guessed it – illustration. Founded by Daniel Nelson in September 2009.
8. Signature: Known as the world’s finest illustration and art place, Signature offers some seriously good illustration inspiration. And there’s a nice growing community on Facebook too.
9. Scamp: Known as the Irish Illustration Blog, this is a site that not only brings together Ireland’s illustrator community but also offers some decent inspiration for those looking to seek ideas from others.
10. Tiny Showcase: Developed in 2004, this site is devoted to putting small illustrators in the spotlight.

Photography, Film & Animation

1. Daily Overview: Love aerial photography? You’ll love this wonderful blog, sharing regular shots from above. As Plato said: “Man must rise above the Earth – to the top of the atmosphere and beyond – for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”
2. 70 Degrees West: Love nature and travel photography? Follow this gorgeous blog for daily inspiration.
3. Conscientious Photo Magazine: Conscientious Photography Magazine is a website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography. It offers profiles of photographers, in-depth interviews, photo book reviews, and general articles about photography and related issues.
4. Vimeo Staff Picks: The cool gang at Vimeo share their favourite uploaded films, music videos and animations via this ever popular channel.
5. Trend Land: This online magazine, which is beautifully designed by the way, shares inspiration art, design and visual communication. Its photography section is especially wonderful.
6. The Inspiration Room: The Inspiration Room™ is a creative archive and community site first established in 2006. It’s a collaborative effort, providing you with the latest and classic creative inspirations from television, print, ambient and interactive advertising, music videos, photography and design.
7. On Animation: Inspiring animators everywhere, this lovely blog is aimed at those who are seeking inspiration for their own animation projects.
8. Indie Wire: The leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, Indiewire originally launched on July 15, 1996 and today, it’s still going strong.
9. Still Searching: Smart, intelligent blog that aims to be a continually developing, growing and decidedly interactive Internet discourse on the medium of photography that features a multitude of participants; it is conceived as an online debate on forms of photographic production, techniques, applications, distribution strategies, contexts, theoretical foundations, ontology and perspectives on the medium. It explores photography’s role as a seminal visual medium of our time—as art, as a communication and information tool in the context of social media or photojournalism, and as a form of scientific or legal evidence.
10. Wandering Bears: Wandering Bears is a community of emerging creatives. A centre for new work, ideas and collaborative projects – its main focus is on photography. Check it out!

Art

1. Art Log: Literally keep on top of everything that’s happening in the art world, thanks to this regularly updated blog.
2. Frieze Blog: Still a major player in the art world, Frieze brings you quirky updates within your favourite creative field.
3. The Fine Art Nude: It does exactly what it says on the tin – fine art focusing on nudity.
4. Aesthetica: A leading international art and culture magazine founded in 2002 and explores the best in contemporary art, design, photography, film, music and performance.
5. Creative Roots: Representing nations through art and design, Creative Roots is an ever growing art and design blog based on countries of the world, with each post being influenced by its countries, culture and history. With 160,000 page views each month, CR is inspiring readers from all around the world.
6. Voicer: Voicer is an online magazine covering the aesthetics of everyday Life. Founded in 2007 and curated by its team in Shanghai, China.
7. criticismism: is a journal of art and ideas inspired by work in Brighton, UK, and beyond. It is by Mark Sheerin, a regular contributor to Culture24, Hyperallergic, and Bad at Sports.
8. ARTnews: ARTnews is the oldest and most widely-circulated art magazine in the world. It is read by collectors, dealers, historians, artists, museum directors and curators everywhere.
9. Art Review: ArtReview is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines. Founded in 1949, it is dedicated to expanding contemporary art’s audience and reach.
10. Digital Arts Online: Inspiration for digital creatives, Digital Arts offers comprehensive coverage of the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design.

UX Design

1. A List Apart: Insightful articles exploring web design, development, most cutting-edge techniques, and technologies with a special emphasis on web standards and best practices.
2. Smashing Magazine: Check out the much-loved and respected Smashing Magazine for its UX Design section, featuring articles on usability, information architecture, interaction design and other user experience related topics.
3. UXmatters: Founded by Pabini Gabriel-Petit in 2005, UXmatters provides insights and inspiration to both professionals working in all aspects of user experience (UX)—at every stage in their career—and students who are just beginning their journey in user experience.
4. UXPin: From the people who bring you some seriously nice prototyping software, UXPin also has a decent blog, featuring articles related to documentation, UX, product management and design. They even produce and publish their own free e-books.
5. UX Booth: The UX Booth is a publication by and for the user experience community. Its readership consists mostly of beginning-to-intermediate user experience and interaction designers, but anyone interested in making the web a better place to be is welcome.
6. UX Myths: UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true. And you don’t have to take their word for it, they’ll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.
7. Boxes and Arrows: Boxes and Arrows is devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design; including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture and the design of business. Since 2001, it’s been a peer-written journal promoting contributors who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.
8. UX Magazine: UX Magazine is a free community resource exploring all facets of experience design.
9. Information Architects: Follow this international agency’s ‘know-how’ blog to get intelligent insights, advice and tips from the world of information architecture.
10. eCommerce UX Design: Get useful pointers on eCommerce user experience, tablet interfaces, mobile UX, responsive design, holiday banners, email design and more.

Web Design

1. Designmodo: Designmodo is a great resource of informative material for designers and web developers. There are several categories you can browse through, depending on your interests like Web Design and Web Development, Tips and Tutorials, WordPress, Inspiration and much more.
2. Web Design Ledger: The Web Design Ledger is a publication written by web designers for web designers. The primary purpose of this site is to act as a platform for sharing web design related knowledge and resources. Topics range from design inspiration to tips and tutorials and everything in-between.
3. Designerfix: Designerfix is a blog dedicated to graphic and web design. With primary topics including inspiration, tutorials, freebies, and resources. Nice.
4. Creative Overflow: As old as Creative Boom, Creative Overflow has been going since 2009. Sharing their design experience through delivering professionally written articles, tutorials, resources.
5. Patrick McNeil: Patrick is a UX designer, professor and creator of Design Meltdown, plus the author of six web design books. Definitely one to follow to keep your finger on the web design pulse.
6. The Next Web Design/Dev Channel: The Next Web is a huge blog that covers an immense amount of topics, and it even has its own Design & Dev Channel – dedicated to sharing everything from the world of web design. It’s definitely one to follow.
7. Site Inspire: siteInspire is a showcase of the finest web and interactive design. It’s somewhere you can submit your own web designs for consideration. Great for inspiration and when you’ve hit a brick wall.
8. Web Design Depot: Web Designer Depot was founded in 2010 by Canadian-based web designer Walter Apai. Since then, the blog has gained a large and loyal audience and it now covers a wide range of topics surrounding web design, including inspiration, CSS, HTML5, jQuery, Web Dev, Design Tutorials, news, and so much more.
9. Web Design Tuts+: If you need to brush up on your web design skills, then Web Design Tuts+ is the online resource for you. Covering HTML and CSS, Photoshop, Workflow and site elements. A superb resource.
10. Jason Santa Maria: Jason is a graphic designer from Brooklyn. Design director at Vox Media, author of On Web Typography, co-founder of A Book Apart and founder of Typedia – his blog should absolutely be on your reading list.

Architecture & Interior Design

1. Dezeen: Started in 2006 by the former founding editor of icon magazine, Marcus Fairs, Dezeen is one of the most popular and influential architecture and interior design blogs on the internet, with over two million visits a month.
2. Yatzer: Yatzer is your global online destination for fine and applied arts. An explosion of exclusive and unique contemporary resources for those searching for inspiration. Its Interiors and Architecture sections are particularly wonderful.
3. Confessions of a Design Geek: Confessions of a Design Geek is an award-winning blog established in 2010 by Katie Treggiden to support new designers. It has been named as a top design blog by Dwell US, Elle Decor Italia and The Sunday Times. Katie also writes for Dezeen, Design Milk, Telegraph and Ideal Home.
4. Design Milk: An online magazine dedicated to modern design, Design Milk offers what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology. Always fresh + never sour, Design Milk fills your thirsty cup to the brim with design finds from around the world. Drink up!
5. Freshmen: Micle Mihai-Cristian only founded Freshome in 2007 but now has over 5 million pages viewed every month – it’s pretty much the best source for home design and interiors out there.
6. MoCo Loco: Canadian blog MoCo Loco is another great design blog with a focus on residential design, product design and architecture.
7. Pop-Up City: A blog that explores the latest designs, trends and ideas that shape the city of the future. They strongly focus on new concepts, strategies and methods for a dynamic and flexible interpretation of contemporary urban life. The Pop-Up City was founded by Amsterdam-based space marketing agency Golfstromen in April, 2008.
8. Wallpaper: The magazine that showcases the ‘stuff that refines you’. It’s a well respected and established publication with a deliciously designed website and lots of beautiful inspiring content.
9. A Daily Dose of Architecture: Well, it’s almost a daily architectural dose of musings and imagery from New York City.
10. I Like Architecture: I Like Architecture is the architecture blog that showcases unique contemporary designs, projects and concepts to those searching for architecture and design inspiration.

Learn something new

1. Creative Live: Log on to this online beauty to take part in live creative classes from the world’s top experts. Learn and be inspired without leaving your desk. Highly recommended.
2. DIY: Learn anything and be anyone. DIY is the best place to level up your skills, meet friends, find an audience, and just be awesome.
3. Curious: It’s all about lifelong learning at Curious. Sign up to take advantage of all kinds of online tutorials and creative lessons. Topics range from crafts and DIY to tech and business.
4. Instructables: A wonderful online resource that shares loads of tips and tricks to help you make all kinds of quirky homemade things. Plus it has its own creative community.
5. Know More: Know More (a Wonkblog joint) is a site for people who like learning stuff. Not sitting-in-front-of-a-textbook-for-hours learning, but getting-sucked-into-a-Wikipedia-hole-for-hours learning. The kind where you just can’t stop tunneling deeper and deeper until you know the name of every Brigadier General in the Union army and what campaigns they participated in, or can list every item in Grace Jones’s discography, or exactly who was going to get what job in the cabinet of a hypothetical Reagan-Ford co-presidency.
6. Tuts+: Learn creative skills and shape your future. That’s the message from the people behind Tuts+, which has over five million users and shares lessons about code, illustration, photography, web design, and more.
7. Skillfeed: With over 67,000 video tutorials and more than 8,000 hours of learning, Skillfeed is fast becoming one of the world’s largest online learning websites. They even offer a free trial.
8. udemy: A place to learn real world skills online. Courses include everything from yoga and guitar to web development and design.
9. Treehouse: One for the aspiring web designers and developers, Treehouse allows you to learn HTML, CSS, iPhone app development and much more.
10. Lynda.com: One of the best known online tutorial websites, but still one of the best – Lynda.com has recently enjoyed a refresh and covers a huge range of topics, including web, design, development, animation, video, audio, photography, business and even education.

Just for a laugh

1. The Oatmeal: The Oatmeal’s real name is Matthew and he lives in Seattle, Washington. He subsists on a steady diet of crickets and whiskey. He enjoys long walks on the beach, gravity, and breathing heavily through his mouth. His dislikes include scurvy, typhoons, and tapeworm medication. Probably one of the best and most loved comical blogs on the web.
2. Clients from Hell: Oh, we’ve all had them. Those crazy clients who come out with the weirdest things. This blog will satisfy a need to feel as though you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with your own strange customers.
3. Geek & Poke: Web designers and developers will ‘get’ this fun blog. Sharing lots of simple yet elegantly funny cartoons that only those who work in this field will truly understand.
4. Sanger: Put simply, it’s a pug licking your computer screen. That’s it. Happy days.
5. Attack of the Cute: On compiling this particular list and to choose the very best, all we had to do was test them out on our Assistant Editor Laura Collinson. Her reaction to this ‘cute’ blog of very cute animals was enough to add it!
6. Honest Slogans: What people really think of brands with refreshed and ‘honest’ slogans. Beautifully comical.
7. Savage Chickens: Love cartoons? Love chickens? Love sticky notes? These are cartoons of chickens on sticky notes. ‘Nuff said.
8. Not Always Right: We’ve all heard the popular phrase, “The customer is always right,” but is it true? Can the customer always be right? Not Always Right is a website that tells the other side of the story by collecting memorable and often hilarious tales from employees that prove, “The customer is not always right.”
9. Indexed: Very simple yet funny graphs of complete and utter random nonsense. Amusing and will definitely put a smile on your face.
10. Passive Aggressive Notes: Focusing on the crazy little notes people leave each other, Passive Aggressive Notes includes gems from work and home alike. Worth a chuckle.

Some cool lifestyle sites

1. The Burning House: If your home was on fire, what items would you rescue? A wonderful little blog sharing what others would save if they faced the ultimate dilemma.
2. Coffitivity: Recreate some lovely ambient sounds of a coffee shop to boost your creativity and help you work better. Choose from a morning murmur to get your day started, or opt for a Parisian, energising buzz. Definitely weird, but you’ll be hooked.
3. Kinfolk: With jaw-dropping and mouth watering photography, Kinfolk is a popular choice for many creatives worldwide. Its website features content that’s available to everyone (new web stories, City Guides, Galleries and films) but they also offer access to content from their back-issue archive to full subscribers. Join the cool club to get everything Kinfolk has to offer.
4. Poppy Loves: A fresh and very appealing London lifestyle blog that covers the city’s events, cafes, restaurants, fashion, music, art and design. With lush photography to boot.
5. Zergnet: A constantly updated collection of viral content from all over the web. See what’s trending at any given time.
6. Everyday Carry: Peek inside the pockets and lives of interesting creative people. Very simple idea but so fascinating.
7. The Selby: Take a peek at interesting creative people in their own studios, homes or workplaces. With funky little interviews and great photography, this is a must-read for creatives everywhere.
8. Adventure Journal: An online magazine for adventure loves and outdoor types. Which pretty much sums up most creative people I know.
9. The Daily What: Another ‘trending’ website where you can easily discover popular content from around the world. Expect things like ’10 Dogs That Think They Can Speak English’ and you’ll happily waste many hours browsing through the site.
10. The Big Roundtable: The Big Roundtable is a home, both online and offline, for writers with true stories they need to tell and readers looking for compelling tales. Submit your own story and get involved.

Fleeting Expertise? Surface, skin-deep know-it all in an Era of Abundant Information?

Note: I posted a few articles on this Singularity Hub mania and Peter H. Diamandis, trying to figure out how to live to be one thousand year-old.

And how could we deeply learn anything of value?

How to learning is changing, and changing fast?

In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships.

The model shifted, and we are learning by going to school., children and youth incarcerated for 13 years

Now, it’s going back to the apprenticeship again, but this time, you are both the apprentice and the master.

This post is about how to learn during exponential times, when information is abundant and expertise is fleeting.

Passion, Utility, Research and Focus

First, choosing what you want to learn and becoming great at it is tough.

As I wrote in my last post, doing anything hard and doing it well takes grit. (It takes about 10,000 hours of doing to become talented in anything you like)

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help choose what you want to learn:

  1. Start with your passions: Focus on something you love, or learn a new skill in service of your passion. If you want to learn how to code because it will land you a high-paying job, you’re not going to have the drive to spend countless, frustrating hours debugging your code. If you want to become a doctor because your parents want you to, you’re not going to make it through med school. Focus on the things YOU love and do it because it’s YOUR choice. (Money is second in rank. The first is the passion that no money can buy. Adonis49 quote)
  2. Make it useful: Time is the scarcest resource. While you can spend the time learning for the sake of learning, I think learning should be a means to an end. Without a target, you’ll miss every time. Figure out what you want to do, and then identify the skills you need to acquire in order to accomplish that goal. (And the end of learning is? When you give up on all passions)
  3. Read, watch, observe and analyze: Read everything. Read all the time . (The writing of just the experts in the field?) Start with the experts. Read the material they write or blog. Watch their videos, their interviews. Do you agree with them? Why? Can you sort out true experiments from fake intelligence?
  4. Talk to people:  Reading, should be associated with talking to real human beings that are doing what you want to do. Do whatever you can to reach them. Ask for their advice. You’ll be shocked by what you can learn this way. (Connectivity part of the learning process?)
  5. Focus on your strengths on improving them: Again, time is precious. You can’t be a doctor, lawyer, coder, writer, rocket scientist, and rock star all at the same time… at least not right now. Focus on what you are good at and enjoy the focus. And try to build on top of those skills. Many people, especially competitive people, tend to feel like they need to focus on improving the things they are worst at doing. This is a waste of time. Instead, focus on improving the things you are best at doing — you’ll find this to be a much more rewarding and lucrative path. (And when it becomes an automatic reaction, there is no need to focus much?)

Learn by Doing

There is no better way to learn than by doing. (After you learned the basics?)

I’m a fan of the “apprentice” model. Study the people who have done it well and then go work for them.

If they can’t (or won’t) pay you, work for free until you are good enough that they’ll need to hire you. (For how long? Slaves get paid somehow)

Join a startup doing what you love — it’s much cheaper than paying an expensive tuition, and a hell of a lot more useful.

I don’t think school (or grad school) is necessarily the right answer anymore.

Here’s one reason why:

This week I visited the Hyperloop Technologies headquarters in Los Angeles (full disclosure: I am on the board of the company).

The interim CEO and CTO Brogan Bambrogan showed me around the office, and we stopped at one particularly impressive-looking, massive machine (details confidential).

As it turns out, the team of Hyperloop engineers who had designed, manufactured, tested, redesigned, remanufactured, and operated this piece of equipment did so in 11 weeks, for pennies on the dollar.

At MIT, Stanford or CalTech, building this machine would have been someone’s PhD thesis…

Except that the PhD candidate would have spent three years doing the same amount of work, and written a paper about it, rather than help to redesign the future of transportation.

Meanwhile, the Hyperloop engineers created this tech (and probably a half-dozen other devices) in a fraction of the time while creating value for a company that will one day be worth billions.

Full Immersion and First Principles

You have to be fully immersed if you want to really learn.

Connect the topic with everything you care about — teach your friends about it, only read things that are related to the topic, surround yourself with it.

Make learning the most important thing you can possibly do and connect to it in a visceral fashion.

As part of your full immersion, dive into the very basic underlying principles governing the skill you want to acquire.

This is an idea Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla, SpaceX) constantly refers to:

The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it’s like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there.”

You can’t skip the fundamentals — invest the time to learn the basics before you get to the advanced stuff.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Experiment, fail, experiment, fail, and experiment. (The problem is that few disciplines teach you Experimental Designing, forming an experimental Mind and their fundamentals)

One of Google’s innovation principles and mantras is: “Never fail to fail.”

Don’t be afraid if you are really bad at the beginning: you learn most from your mistakes.

When Elon hires people, he asks them to describe a time they struggled with a hard problem.

“When you struggle with a problem, that’s when you understand it. Anyone who’s struggled hard with a problem never forgets it.”

(You mostly struggle with a problem because you fail to listen to the new perspectives of other people in tackling the problem)

Digital Tools

We used to have to go to school to read textbooks and gain access to expert teachers and professors.

Nowadays, literally all of these resources are available online for free.

There are hundreds of free education sites like Khan Academy, Udemy, or Udacity.

There are thousands of MOOCs (massive online open courses) from the brightest experts from top universities on almost every topic imaginable.

Want to learn a language? Download an app like Duolingo (or even better, pack up your things and move to that country).

Want to learn how to code? Sign up for a course on CodeAcademy or MIT Open Courseware.

The resources are there and available — you just have to have the focus and drive to find them and use them.

Finally…The Next Big Shift in Learning

In the future, the next big shift in learning will happen as we adopt virtual worlds and augmented reality.

It will be the next best thing to “doing” — we’ll be able to simulate reality and experiment (perhaps beyond what we can experiment with now) in virtual and augmented environments.

Add that to the fact that we’ll have an artificial intelligence tutor by our side, showing us the ropes and automatically customizing our learning experience.

Patsy Z shared this link via Singularity Hub
As usual, the best advice on “Learning” from the man himself Peter H. Diamandis. singularityhub.com
Note 1: Have you been in the process of refurbishing/remodeling your home/property? Did you find any “skilled” expert/worker to do the job personally? You end up contracting out a company/semi professional entity to come over. The boss trails a bunch of expert workers and leave. You barely see the boss until pay time. And you end up with a job that need frequent repairs and unnecessary maintenance
Note 2: I read an article that there has been Not a single furniture professional in the US in the last 4 decades. Everything is contracted out and imported for a stupid furniture. Kind of the only expertise the US is creating and improving on the military/weapon systems to play cop around the world.

Efficiency of the human cognitive power or mind

Written in March 6, 2006

Cognitively, human is excellent in simple detection tasks or null indicator such as whether a sensation exist or not;.

The mind is fairly good in differentiating the direction of strength of a sensation such as bigger or smaller than a standard, but he is bad in evaluating whether a sensation is twice or three times stronger, and he is worst as a meter for exact measurements.

Human is more accurate in feeling than when relying on his mind. That is why a subject is forced to make a choice between two stimuli rather than responding that the sensation between a standard and a variable stimulus is equally strong.

Man is Not a good observer of complex events;.

Even when viewers are forewarned that they are to see a movie about a crime and that they are to answer questions about details later on, the accuracy of the observers are very low.

The mind is unable to be an objective recorder of the events that transpire because he gets involved in the scene actions.

The mind has a very narrow range of attention and barely can satisfactorily attend to a couple of stimuli.

This observation deficiency is compounded by our sensory differences and illusions. For example, one in sixteen subjects is color blind, many suffer from tone deafness, taste blindness and so on.

The mind does Not think of himself objectively but rather has convictions, feelings, and explanations based on very restricted experiences, hearsays, memories and he tends to generalize and develop a set of beliefs concerning the operation of the mind.

The human usually expects to see and then see what he wants to see and hardly deviates from his beliefs, and sometimes, even when faced with facts.

Many scientists have overlooked obvious data because they clanged to their hypotheses and theories.

Human has to generate an abundance of reliable information and assimilate them before he could eliminate a few systematic biases that he acquired from previous generations and his personal experiences.

This lack of objectivity in human is referred to by the term “common sense”.

The fact is common sense ideas change and are undergoing continual revision, mainly because of the results of research and controlled experimentations and paradigm shifts. away from traditional knowledge

For example, common sense says heavy objects cannot fly until airplanes are common realities.

Common sense says that human cannot see in the dark until infrared goggles have been tested.

Common sense says that it is laughable to use earplugs in order to hear people talking in very noisy backgrounds, until it is experimented and proven to be correct.

The fact that your father or forerunners have always done something in a particular way does not prove that this is the best way of doing it.

The fact that famous people purchase a product from the best known firm does not permit the manufacturer to state that there cannot be very much wrong with the product since the famous people have bought it.

Process of system/mission analyses? What are the phases?

Written in April 14, 2006

Systems, missions, and products that involve human operators to run, maintain, and keep up-to-date, as societies evolve and change, need to be analyzed at intervals for its consistency with the latest technology advances, people’s expectations, government regulations, and international standards.

To that end, the latest development in the body of knowledge of human physical and cognitive capabilities, along with the latest advancement in the methods applied for analyzing and designing systems have to be revisited, tested, and evaluated for better predictive aptitude of specific human-machine performance criteria.

This article is a refresher tutorial of the necessary sequence of human factors methods offered to analyze each stages in system development.

In general, the basic milestones in system development begin with the exploration concept, demonstration of the concept, validation, full-scale engineering development, testing and debugging for errors and malfunctions, production, and finally operations and support systems for marketing.

Each one of these stages requires the contribution of human factors professionals and experts from the extensive array of methods they dispose of and are trained for, to their vast store of data on human capabilities and limitations, and to their statistical and experimental formation.

Human factors professionals can also contribute to the baseline documentation, instructions, training programs, and operations manuals.

There is a mission for each stage of development concerning the end product of the stage to the next and the sequence follows 7 steps.

The first step is constituted of four analyses requirements; mainly, operational or the projected operations that will confront operators and maintainers, then comparing similar systems in operations and functions, measuring and quantifying the activities involved in the operations, and then identifying the sources of difficulties or critical incidents that may have to be overcome among the interactions of operators and machines.

The second phase is to figure out the flow of functions and the kinds of action/decision or binary choices at each junction of two successive functions. There are no equipments in mind at this phase of analyses.

The third phase is concerned with the types of information necessary to undertake each action identified in the second phase.

The fourth phase is the study of allocating operators to sets of functions and activities and how many operators and skill levels might be needed to fulfill the mission.

The fifth phase is to construct detailed analyses of the required tasks for each activity/function and basically trying to integrate among people, software, and hardware for smooth operations.

The sixth phase might call for an assortment of methods in order to collect detailed data for the network of tasks such as faulty events, mode of failures, the effects or seriousness of the failures, timeline from beginning to ending a task/activity, how the tasks are linked and how often two tasks come to be interacted, simulation techniques whether a computer simulation of virtual real world or prototyping, and eventually conducting controlled experimentations when the previous traditional methods cannot answer specific problems of cause and effects among the variables.

The seventh and final phase in the analysis of a stage of development is to study the sequence of operations and the physical and mental workload of each operator and to finalize the number and capabilities of the crew operating as a team.

The last five phases are time consuming and it is imperative that the first two phases be well planned, analyzed and firm decisions made for the remaining phases in funding, duration of study, and level of details.

In all these phases human factors are well trained to undertake the analyses because they have the knowledge and methods to extract the capabilities and limitations of human operators interacting with the software and hardware so that the design, trade-off studies, and prediction of human performance match the requirements for achieving a mission.

The ultimate output/product of the sequence of analyses becomes inputs to specifications, reviews, and for design guidelines.

 

Your sense of smell controls what you spend and who you love

Does this means when you lose this sense of smell your spending and falling in love habits are thrown into chaos?

By Georgia Frances King 

Smell is the ugly stepchild of the sense family.

Sight gives us sunsets and Georgia O’Keefe.

Sound gives us Brahms and Aretha Franklin.

Touch gives us silk and hugs.

Taste gives us butter and ripe tomatoes.

But what about smell?

It doesn’t exist only to make us gag over subway scents or tempt us into a warm-breaded stupor.

Flowers emit it to make them more attractive to pollinators. Rotting food might reek of it so we don’t eat it.

And although scientists haven’t yet pinned down a human sex pheromone, many studies suggest smell influences who we want to climb in bed with. (Not a brainer. what of foul breath, sweat, soiled clothes, unclean hair…)

Olivia Jezler studies the science and psychology that underpins our olfactory system.

For the past decade, she has worked with master perfumers, developed fragrances for luxury brands, researched olfactory experience at the SCHI lab at University of Sussex, and now is the CEO of Future of Smell, which works with brands and new technologies to design smellable concepts that bridge science and art.

In this interview, Jezler reveals the secret life of smell. Some topics covered include:

  • how marketers use our noses to sell to us
  • why “new car smell” is so pervasive
  • how indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air
  • the reason why luxury perfume is so expensive
  • why babies smell so damn good
  • how Plato and Aristotle poo-pooed our sense of smell

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Quartz: On a scientific level, why is smell such an evocative sense?

Olivia Jezler: Our sense of smell is rooted in the most primal part of our brain for survival. It’s not linked through the thalamus, which is where all other sensory information is integrated: It’s directly and immediately relayed to another area, the amygdala.

None of our other senses have this direct and intimate connection to the areas of the brain that process emotion, associative learning, and memory. (That’s why we don’t dream “smell”)

Why? Because the structure of this part of the brain—the limbic system—grew out of tissue that was first dedicated to processing the sense of smell.

Our chemical senses were the first that emerged when we were single-cell organisms, because they would help us understand our surroundings, find food, and reproduce.

Still today, emotionally driven responses through our senses of taste and smell make an organism react appropriately to its environment, maximizing its chances for basic survival and reproduction.

Beauty products like lotions and perfumes obviously have their own smells. But what businesses use scent in their branding?

It’s common for airlines to have scents developed for them. Air travel is interesting because, as it’s high stress, you want to make people feel connected to your brand in a positive way.

For example, British Airways has diffusers in the bathrooms and a smell for their towels. That way you walk in and you can smell the “British Airways smell.”

It’s also very common in food.

You can design food so that the smell evaporates in different ways. Nespresso capsules, for instance, are designed to create a lot of odor when you’re using one, so that you feel like you’re in a coffee shop.

I’m sure a lot of those make-at-home frozen pizza brands are designed to let out certain smells while they’re in the oven to feel more authentic, too.

That’s an example of the “enhancement of authenticity.” Another example might be when fake leather is made to smell like real leather instead of plastic.

So we got used to the smell of natural things, but then as production became industrialized, we now have to fabricate the illusion of naturalness back into the chemical and unnatural things?

Yes, that’s it. People will feel more comfortable and they’ll pay more for products that smell the way we imagine them to smell.

For example: “new car smell.” When Rolls Royce became more technologically advanced, they started using plastic instead of wood for some parts of the car—and for some reason, sales started going down. They asked people what was wrong, and they said it was because the car didn’t smell the same. It repelled people from the brand. So then they had to design that smell back into the car.

New car smell is therefore a thing, but not in the way we think. It is a mix of smells that emanate from the plastics and interiors of a car.

The cheaper the car, the stronger and more artificial it smells. German automakers have entire olfactory teams that sniff every single component that goes into the interior of the car with their nose and with machines.

The problem then is if one of these suppliers changes any element of their product composition without telling the automaker, it throws off the entire indoor odor of the car, which was carefully designed for safety, quality, and branding—just another added complexity to the myriad of challenges facing automotive supply chains!

Are these artificial smells bad for us?

Designed smells are not when they fulfill all regulatory requirements. This question touches on a key concern of mine: indoor air. Everybody talks about pollution.

Like in San Francisco, a company called Aclima works with Google to map pollution levels block by block at different times of the day—but what about our workplaces? Our homes? People are much less aware of this.

We are all buying inexpensive furniture and carpets and things that are filled with chemicals, and we’re putting them in a closed environment with often no air filtration.

Then there are the old paints and varnishes that cover all the surfaces! Combine that with filters in old buildings that are rarely or never changed, and it gets awful.

When people use cleaning products in their home, it’s also putting a lot more chemicals into the house than before. (You should open your windows after you clean.)

We’re therefore inhaling all these fumes in our closed spaces. In cities like New York, we spend 90% of our time indoors and the air is three times worse than outdoors.

The World Health Organization says it’s one of the world’s greatest environmental health risks.

There are a few start-ups working on consumer home appliances that help you monitor your indoor air, but I am still waiting to see the one that can integrate air monitoring with filtering and scenting.

Manufacturing smell seems to fall into two camps. The first is fabricating a smell when you’ve taken the authenticity out of the product and other brands simply enhance an existing smell. That’s not fake, but it still doesn’t seem honest.

To me they seem like the same thing: Because they are both designed to enhance authenticity.

There’s an interesting Starbucks case related to smell experiences and profits.

In 2008 they introduced their breakfast menu, which included sandwiches that needed to be reheated. The smell of the sandwiches interfered with the coffee aroma so much that it completely altered the customer experience in store: It smelled of food rather than of coffee.

During that time, repeat customer visits declined as core coffee customers went elsewhere, and therefore sales at their stores also declined, and this impacted their stock. The sandwiches have since been redesigned to smell less when being reheated.

This is starting to feel a bit like propaganda or false advertising. Are there laws around this?

No, there aren’t laws for enhancing authenticity through smell. Maybe once people become more aware of these things, there will be. I think it’s hard at this point to quantify what is considered false advertising.

There aren’t even laws for copyrighting perfumes!

This is a reason why everything on the market usually kind of smells the same: Basically you can just take a perfume that’s on the market and analyze it in a machine that can tell you its composition. It’s easily recreated, and there’s no law to protect the original creation. Music has copyright laws, fragrance does not.

That’s crazy. That’s intellectual property.

It is. As soon as there’s a blockbuster, every brand just goes, “We want one like that!” Let’s make a fragrance that smells exactly like that, then lets put it in the shampoo. Put it in the deodorant. Put it in this. Put it in that.

If the perfume smells the same and is made with the same ingredients, why do we pay so much more for designer perfumes?

High fashion isn’t going to make [luxury brands] money—it’s the perfumes and accessories.

What differs is the full complexity of the fragrance and how long it lasts.

As for pricing, It’s very much the brand. Perfume is sold at premium for what it is—but what isn’t?

Your Starbucks coffee, Nike shoes, designer handbags… There can be a difference in the quality of the ingredients, yeah, but if it’s owned by a luxury brand and you’re paying $350, then you’re paying for the brand.

The margins are also really high: That’s why all fashion brands have a perfume as a way of making money. High fashion isn’t going to make them money—it’s the perfumes and accessories. They play a huge, huge role in the bottom line.

How do smell associations differ from culture to culture?

Because of what was culturally available—local ingredients, trade routes et cetera—countries had access to very specific ingredients that they then decided to use for specific purposes.

Because life was lived very locally, these smells and their associations remained generation after generation.

Now if we wanted to change them, it would not happen overnight; people are not being inundated with different smell associations the way they are with fashion and music.

Once a scent is developed for a product in a certain market, the cultural associations of the scent of “beauty,” “well-being,” or “clean” stick around. The fact that smells can’t yet transmit through the internet means that scent associations also keep pretty local.

For example, multinational companies want to develop specific fragrances and storylines for the Brazilian market. Brazilian people shower 3.5 times a day. If somebody showers that much, then scent becomes really important. When they get out of the shower, especially in the northeast of Brazil, they splash on a scented water—it’s often lavender water, which is also part of a holy ritual to clean a famous church, so it has positive cultural connotations.

Companies want to understand what role each ingredient already plays in that person’s life so that they can use it with a “caring” or “refreshing” claim, like the lavender water.

Lavender is an interesting one. In the US, lavender is more of a floral composition versus true lavender. People like the “relaxing lavender” claim, but Americans don’t actually like the smell of real lavender.

On the other hand, in Europe and Brazil, when it says “lavender” on the packaging, it will smell like the true lavender from the fields; in Brazil, lavender isn’t relaxing—it’s invigorating!

In the UK, florals are mostly used in perfumes, especially rose, which is tied to tradition.

Yet in the US, a rose perfume is considered quite old-fashioned—you rarely smell it on the subway, whereas the London Tube smells like a rose garden.

In Brazil, however, florals are used for floor and toilet cleaners; the smell of white flowers like jasmine, gardenia, and tuberose are considered extremely old-fashioned and unrelatable. However, in Europe and North America, these very expensive ingredients are a sign of femininity and luxury.

Traditional Chinese medicine influences the market in China: Their smells are a bit more herbal or medicinal because those ingredients are associated with health and well-being. You see that in India with Ayurvedic medicine as well. By comparison, in the US, the smell of health and cleanliness is the smell of Tide detergent.

Are there smells we can all agree on biologically, no matter where we’re from, that smell either good or bad?

Yes: Body fluids, disease, and rotten foods are biological no-nos.

Natural gas, which you can smell in your kitchen if you leave the gas on by mistake, is in reality odorless: A harmless chemical is added to give gas a distinctive malodor that is often described as rotten eggs—and therefore act as a warning!

The smell of babies, on the other hand? Everybody loves the smell of babies: It’s the next generation.

Do you wear perfume yourself?

I wear tons of perfume. However, if I’m working in a fragrance house or a place where I smell fragrances all the time, I don’t wear perfume, because it then becomes difficult to smell what is being created around me. There is also a necessity for “clean skin” to test fragrances on—one without any scented lotions or fragrances.

Why does perfume smell different on different people? Is it because it reacts differently with our skin, or is it because of the lotions and fabric softeners or whatever other smells we douse ourselves in?

Cancers and diabetes can be identified through body odor.

Generally, it’s our DNA. But there are different layers to how we smell. Of course, the first layer is based on the smells we put on: soaps and deodorants and whatever we use. Then there’s our diet, hydration level, and general health.

An exciting development in the medical world is in diagnostics: Depending upon if we’re sick or not, we smell different.

Cancers and diabetes can be identified through body odor, for instance. Then on the most basic level, our body odor is linked to the “major histocompatibility complex” (MHC), which is a part of the genome linked to our immune system. It is extremely unique and a better identifier than a retinal scan because it is virtually impossible to replicate.

Why don’t we care more about smell?

The position that our sense of smell holds is rooted in the foundation of Western thought, which stems from the ancient Greeks. Plato assigned the sense of sight as the foundation for philosophy, and Aristotle provided a clear hierarchy where he considered sight and hearing nobler in comparison to touch, taste, and smell.

Both philosophers placed the sense of smell at the bottom of their hierarchy; logic and reason could be seen and heard, but not smelt.

The Enlightenment philosophers and the Industrial Revolution did not help, either, as the stenches that emerged at that time due to terrible living conditions without sewage systems reminded us of where we came from, not where we were headed.

Smell was not considered something of beauty nor a discipline worth studying.

It’s also a bit too real and too closely tied to our evolutionary past. We are disconnected from this part of ourselves, so of course we don’t feel like it is something worth talking about.

As society becomes more emotionally aware, I do think smell will gain a new role in our daily lives.

This article is part of Quartz Ideas, our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

Restructuring engineering curriculums to respond to end users demands, safety and health

In 1987, Alphonse Chapanis, a renowned Human Factors professional, urged that published Human Factors research papers target the practical design need of the various engineering disciplines so that the research data be readily used by engineers.

Dr. Chapanis was trying to send a clear message that Human Factors main discipline was to design interfaces between systems and end users and thus, research papers have to include sections directing the engineers as to the applicability of the results of the paper to design purposes.

In return, it is appropriate to send the message that all engineering disciplines should include sections in their research papers orienting the engineering practitioners to the applicability of the results of the papers to the end users and how Human Factors professionals can judiciously use the data in their interface designs.

As it was difficult for the Human Factors professional to send the right message to the engineering practitioners, and still has enormous difficulty disseminating the proper purpose and goals, it would be a steep road for the engineers to send the right message that what they design is actually targeting the needs and new trends of the end users.

As long as the engineering curriculums fail to include the Human Factors field as an integral part in their structures it would not be realistic to contemplate any shift in their designs toward the end users.

Systems would become even more complex and testing and evaluation more expensive in order to make end users accept any system and patronize it.

So why not design anything right from the first time by being initiated and exposed to human capabilities and limitations, their safety and health?

Instead of recognizing from the early phases in the design process that reducing human errors and risks to the safety and health of end users are the best marketing criteria for encouraging end users to adopt and apply a system, we see systems are still being designed by different engineers who cannot relate to the end users because their training is not explicitly directed toward them.

What is so incongruous with the engineering curriculums to include courses that target end users?

Why would not these curriculums include courses in occupational safety and health, consumer product liability, engineers as expert witnesses, the capabilities and limitations of human, marketing, psychophysics and experimental design?

Are the needs and desires of end users beneath the objectives of designing systems?

If that was true, why systems are constantly being redesigned, evaluated and tested in order to match the market demands?

Why do companies have to incur heavy expenses in order to rediscover the wheel that the basis of any successful design ultimately relies on the usefulness, acceptability and agreement with the end users desires and dreams?

Why not start from the foundation that any engineering design is meant for human and that designed objects or systems are meant to fit the human behavior and not vice versa?

What seem to be the main problems for implementing changes in the philosophy of engineering curriculums?

Is it the lack to find enough Human Factors, ergonomics and industrial psychologist professionals to teach these courses?

Is it the need to allow the thousands of psychologists, marketing and business graduates to find outlet “debouches” in the marketplace for estimating users’ needs, desires, demands and retesting and re-evaluating systems after the damages were done?

May be because the Human factors professionals failed so far to make any significant impact to pressure government to be part and parcel of the engineering practices?

Note: I am Not sure if this discipline Human Factors/Ergonomics is still a separate field in Engineering or has been integrated in all engineering disciplines.

From my experience in teaching a few courses at universities, I propose that courses in Experimental Design be an integral course in all engineering disciplines: students graduate without having a serious idea how to run “sophisticated” experiments or know how to discriminate among the independent variables, the dependent variables, the control variable…and how to interpret complex graphs.

How can a layperson differentiate between Alzheimer and other more confusing loss of memories?

Maybe it is Not Alzheimer, but the memory confusion maybe worse to everyone concerned

Are you afraid of having Alzheimer’s?

Or Someone close to be afflicted with Alzheimer?

Those who really suffer from a memory disease, like in Alzheimer, they do Not realize what is happening or that they forgot to do something or forgot a name…

Probably your perception of memory loss is Not due to Alzheimer’s?

If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s.

It often happens in people aged 60 and over that they complain that their memory is lacking: Like the information is still in the brain, but it is the ” Processor ” that is missing., or failing to function properly.. It is labeled “temporary oblivion“.

My memory difficulties with names of persons and objects and fruits and vegetables… is worrying me.

The instances that I am excited and talkative, I feel that I can be a stand up comic and all words are fluent and coming quickly.

My mother condition is much worse: She cannot form an entire sentence and she get terribly frustrated and start to cry.

Yes, mother is aware of the deteriorating condition of her memory.

Lately, the TV has become a live and living scenes: People on TV are actually talking to her, and any procession on TV is converging to her house. And she get busy arranging coffee cups… waiting for the arrival of the visitors.

Mother confuses names: her own daughter receives the name of her late oldest sister. Many times she calls me Georges, the name of my late father.

 Elie Bashour posted this following article on July 27, 2018 and I am re-editing it.

”There are times when I speak, I can stop and don’t know what I was talking about…
I was afraid it was a start of Alzheimer’s… but today, reading this article, I’m reassured.”

In the following analysis, French Professor Bruno Dubois Director of the institute of memory and Alzheimer’s disease (Imma) at mercy-Salpêtrière – Paris Hospitals / addresses the subject in a rather reassuring way:

”If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. ” “

1. I forget family names…
2. I don’t remember where I tidied up some things…

Half of the people aged 60 and over present some symptoms that are rather due to age than to disease.

The most common cases are:
– Oblivion of a person’s name,
– the fact that we went to a room in the house and never remember why we were going…
– a white memory for a movie title or an actor, an actress,
– a waste of time looking where we left his glasses or keys…

After 60 years most people have such difficulty.

This indicates that this is not a disease but rather a characteristic due to the passage of the years…

Many people are concerned about these omissions and the importance of the following statement:

” those who are aware of these omissions have no serious problem of memory.

Professor Bruno Dubois, director of Imma, reassures the majority of people concerned by their omissions:

” the more you complain about memory loss, the less likely it is you suffer from a memory disease. ” ”

– Now a little neurological test.
Only use your eyes!

1-find the c in the table below!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Oco
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

2-if you already found the c, then find the 6 in the table below.

99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
69999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

3-now find the n in the table below. Careful, it’s a little harder!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmnmm
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

If you pass these three tests without problems:

– you can cancel your annual visit to the neurologist.
– your brain is in perfect shape!
– you’re far from having any relationship with Alzheimer’s.

So, circulate. Be reassure…

And why am I not reassured?

The consequences are as bad. Better Not know what’s going around me.

Are we seeing Reality as is? The trouble with false assumption

What survival evolution has to do with Reality?

Brains and neurons have no causal powers, such as causes and effects.

Note: Re-edit of “Are we able to see Reality as is?  July 8, 2015

I love a great mystery, and I’m fascinated by the greatest unsolved mystery in science, perhaps because it’s personal.

It’s about who we are, and I can’t help but be curious.

The mystery is this:

What is the relationship between your brain and your conscious experiences, such as your experience of the taste of chocolate or the feeling of velvet?

This mystery is not new.

In 1868, Thomas Huxley wrote,

“How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as the result of irritating nervous tissue is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the genie when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.”

Huxley knew that brain activity and conscious experiences are correlated, but he didn’t know why.

To the science of his day, it was a mystery. In the years since Huxley, science has learned a lot about brain activity, but the relationship between brain activity and conscious experiences is still a mystery. Why?

Why have we made so little progress?

Some experts think that we can’t solve this problem because we lack the necessary concepts and intelligence.

We don’t expect monkeys to solve problems in quantum mechanics, and as it happens, we can’t expect our species to solve this problem either.

Well, I disagree. I’m more optimistic. I think we’ve simply made a false assumption.

Once we overcome this false assumption, we just might solve this problem. Today, I’d like to tell you what that assumption is, why it’s false, and how to fix it.

Let’s begin with a question: Do we see reality as it is?

I open my eyes and I have an experience that I describe as a red tomato a meter away. As a result, I come to believe that in reality, there’s a red tomato a meter away.

I then close my eyes, and my experience changes to a gray field, but is it still the case that in reality, there’s a red tomato a meter away? I think so, but could I be wrong? Could I be misinterpreting the nature of my perceptions?

We have misinterpreted our perceptions before.

We used to think the Earth is flat, because it looks that way. Pythagoras discovered that we were wrong.

Then we thought that the Earth is the unmoving center of the Universe, again because it looks that way. Copernicus and Galileo discovered, again, that we were wrong.

Galileo then wondered if we might be misinterpreting our experiences in other ways. He wrote: “I think that tastes, odors, colors, and so on reside in consciousness. Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be annihilated.”

That’s a stunning claim. Could Galileo be right? Could we really be misinterpreting our experiences that badly? What does modern science have to say about this?

Neuroscientists tell us that about a third of the brain’s cortex is engaged in vision. When you simply open your eyes and look about this room, billions of neurons and trillions of synapses are engaged.

This is a bit surprising, because to the extent that we think about vision at all, we think of it as like a camera.

It just takes a picture of objective reality as it is. There is a part of vision that’s like a camera: the eye has a lens that focuses an image on the back of the eye where there are 130 million photoreceptors, so the eye is like a 130-megapixel camera.

But that doesn’t explain the billions of neurons and trillions of synapses that are engaged in vision. What are these neurons up to?

Neuroscientists tell us that they are creating, in real time, all the shapes, objects, colors, and motions that we see.

It feels like we’re just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is, but in fact, we’re constructing everything that we see. We don’t construct the whole world at once. We construct what we need in the moment.

There are many demonstrations that are quite compelling that we construct what we see. I’ll just show you two.

In this example, you see some red discs with bits cut out of them, but if I just rotate the disks a little bit, suddenly, you see a 3D cube pop out of the screen. Now, the screen of course is flat, so the three-dimensional cube that you’re experiencing must be your construction.

In this next example, you see glowing blue bars with pretty sharp edges moving across a field of dots. In fact, no dots move. All I’m doing from frame to frame is changing the colors of dots from blue to black or black to blue. But when I do this quickly, your visual system creates the glowing blue bars with the sharp edges and the motion. There are many more examples, but these are just two that you construct what you see.

 But neuroscientists go further.

They say that we reconstruct reality. So, when I have an experience that I describe as a red tomato, that experience is actually an accurate reconstruction of the properties of a real red tomato that would exist even if I weren’t looking.

Why would neuroscientists say that we don’t just construct, we reconstruct?

The standard argument given is usually an evolutionary one.

Those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage compared to those who saw less accurately, and therefore they were more likely to pass on their genes.

We are the offspring of those who saw more accurately, and so we can be confident that, in the normal case, our perceptions are accurate.

You see this in the standard textbooks. One textbook says, for example, “Evolutionarily speaking, vision is useful precisely because it is so accurate.” So the idea is that accurate perceptions are fitter perceptions. They give you a survival advantage.

Is this correct? Is this the right interpretation of evolutionary theory? Well, let’s first look at a couple of examples in nature.

The Australian jewel beetle is dimpled, glossy and brown. The female is flightless. The male flies, looking for a hot female. When he finds one, he alights and mates.

There’s another species in the outback, Homo sapiens. The male of this species has a massive brain that he uses to hunt for cold beer. And when he finds one, he drains it, and sometimes throws the bottle into the outback.

Now, as it happens, these bottles are dimpled, glossy, and just the right shade of brown to tickle the fancy of these beetles. The males swarm all over the bottles trying to mate. They lose all interest in the real females.

Classic case of the male leaving the female for the bottle. (Laughter)  The species almost went extinct.

Australia had to change its bottles to save its beetles. (Laughter)

Now, the males had successfully found females for thousands, perhaps millions of years. It looked like they saw reality as it is, but apparently not. Evolution had given them a hack.

A female is anything dimpled, glossy and brown, the bigger the better. (Laughter) Even when crawling all over the bottle, the male couldn’t discover his mistake.

Now, you might say, beetles, sure, they’re very simple creatures, but surely not mammals. Mammals don’t rely on tricks. Well, I won’t dwell on this, but you get the idea. (Laughter)

So this raises an important technical question: Does natural selection really favor seeing reality as it is?

Fortunately, we don’t have to wave our hands and guess; evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive, which sensory systems are more fit.

A key notion in those equations is fitness.

Consider this steak: What does this steak do for the fitness of an animal? Well, for a hungry lion looking to eat, it enhances fitness. For a well-fed lion looking to mate, it doesn’t enhance fitness.

And for a rabbit in any state, it doesn’t enhance fitness, so fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes, but also on the organism, its state and its action.

Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is. And it’s fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution.

10:20 So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds.

Some of the organisms see all of the reality, others see just part of the reality, and some see none of the reality, only fitness. Who wins?

I hate to break it to you, but perception of reality goes extinct.

In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality but are just tuned to fitness drive to extinction all the organisms that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor vertical, or accurate perceptions. Those perceptions of reality go extinct.

This is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?

That is a bit counterintuitive. But remember the jewel beetle. The jewel beetle survived for thousands, perhaps millions of years, using simple tricks and hacks.

What the equations of evolution are telling us is that all organisms, including us, are in the same boat as the jewel beetle. We do not see reality as it is. We’re shaped with tricks and hacks that keep us alive.

Still, we need some help with our intuitions.

How can not perceiving reality as it is be useful? Well, fortunately, we have a very helpful metaphor: the desktop interface on your computer.

Consider that blue icon for a TED Talk that you’re writing. Now, the icon is blue and rectangular and in the lower right corner of the desktop. Does that mean that the text file itself in the computer is blue, rectangular, and in the lower right-hand corner of the computer? Of course not.

Anyone who thought that misinterprets the purpose of the interface. It’s not there to show you the reality of the computer. In fact, it’s there to hide that reality.

You don’t want to know about the diodes and resistors and all the megabytes of software. If you had to deal with that, you could never write your text file or edit your photo.

So the idea is that evolution has given us an interface that hides reality and guides adaptive behavior. Space and time, as you perceive them right now, are your desktop. Physical objects are simply icons in that desktop.

There’s an obvious objection.

Hoffman, if you think that train coming down the track at 200 MPH is just an icon of your desktop, why don’t you step in front of it?

And after you’re gone, and your theory with you, we’ll know that there’s more to that train than just an icon.

Well, I wouldn’t step in front of that train for the same reason that I wouldn’t carelessly drag that icon to the trash can: not because I take the icon literally — the file is not literally blue or rectangular — but I do take it seriously.

I could lose weeks of work. Similarly, evolution has shaped us with perceptual symbols that are designed to keep us alive. We’d better take them seriously.

If you see a snake, don’t pick it up. If you see a cliff, don’t jump off. They’re designed to keep us safe, and we should take them seriously. That does not mean that we should take them literally. That’s a logical error.

Another objection: There’s nothing really new here. Physicists have told us for a long time that the metal of that train looks solid but really it’s mostly empty space with microscopic particles zipping around.

There’s nothing new here. Well, not exactly. It’s like saying, I know that that blue icon on the desktop is not the reality of the computer, but if I pull out my trusty magnifying glass and look really closely, I see little pixels, and that’s the reality of the computer. Well, not really — you’re still on the desktop, and that’s the point.

Those microscopic particles are still in space and time: they’re still in the user interface. So I’m saying something far more radical than those physicists.

Finally, you might object, look, we all see the train, therefore none of us constructs the train.

But remember this example. In this example, we all see a cube, but the screen is flat, so the cube that you see is the cube that you construct. We all see a cube because we all, each one of us, constructs the cube that we see.

The same is true of the train. We all see a train because we each see the train that we construct, and the same is true of all physical objects.

We’re inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions.

Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that’s designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.

We used to think that the Earth is flat because it looks that way. Then we thought that the Earth is the unmoving center of reality because it looks that way. We were wrong. We had misinterpreted our perceptions.

Now we believe that spacetime and objects are the nature of reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that once again, we’re wrong.

We’re misinterpreting the content of our perceptual experiences. There’s something that exists when you don’t look, but it’s not spacetime and physical objects.

(Is that true to senses that don’t need to go through the filter of the brain processors, like smell and touch?)

It’s as hard for us to let go of spacetime and objects as it is for the jewel beetle to let go of its bottle. Why?

Because we’re blind to our own blindnesses.

But we have an advantage over the jewel beetle: our science and technology.

By peering through the lens of a telescope we discovered that the Earth is not the unmoving center of reality, and by peering through the lens of the theory of evolution we discovered that spacetime and objects are not the nature of reality.

When I have a perceptual experience that I describe as a red tomato, I am interacting with reality, but that reality is not a red tomato and is nothing like a red tomato.

Similarly, when I have an experience that I describe as a lion or a steak, I’m interacting with reality, but that reality is not a lion or a steak.

And here’s the kicker: When I have a perceptual experience that I describe as a brain, or neurons, I am interacting with reality, but that reality is not a brain or neurons and is nothing like a brain or neurons.

And that reality, whatever it is, is the real source of cause and effect in the worldnot brains, not neurons.

Brains and neurons have no causal powers. They cause none of our perceptual experiences, and none of our behavior.

Brains and neurons are a species-specific set of symbols, a hack.

What does this mean for the mystery of consciousness? Well, it opens up new possibilities.

For instance, perhaps reality is some vast machine that causes our conscious experiences. I doubt this, but it’s worth exploring.

Perhaps reality is some vast, interacting network of conscious agents, simple and complex, that cause each other’s conscious experiences. Actually, this isn’t as crazy an idea as it seems, and I’m currently exploring it.

But here’s the point: Once we let go of our massively intuitive but massively false assumption about the nature of reality, it opens up new ways to think about life’s greatest mystery.

I bet that reality will end up turning out to be more fascinating and unexpected than we’ve ever imagined.

The theory of evolution presents us with the ultimate dare: Dare to recognize that perception is not about seeing truth, it’s about having kids. And by the way, even this TED is just in your head.

Chris Anderson: First of all, some people may just be profoundly depressed at the thought that, if evolution does not favor reality, doesn’t that to some extent undermine all our endeavors here, all our ability to think that we can think the truth, possibly even including your own theory, if you go there?

Donald Hoffman: Well, this does not stop us from a successful science. What we have is one theory that turned out to be false, that perception is like reality and reality is like our perceptions. That theory turns out to be false.

Okay, throw that theory away. That doesn’t stop us from now postulating all sorts of other theories about the nature of reality, so it’s actually progress to recognize that one of our theories was false. So science continues as normal. There’s no problem here.

CA: This is cool, but what you’re saying I think is it’s possible that evolution can still get you to reason.

DH: Yes. Now that’s a very, very good point. The evolutionary game simulations that I showed were specifically about perception, and they do show that our perceptions have been shaped not to show us reality as it is, but that does not mean the same thing about our logic or mathematics.

We haven’t done these simulations, but my bet is that we’ll find that there are some selection pressures for our logic and our mathematics to be at least in the direction of truth. I mean, if you’re like me, math and logic is not easy.

We don’t get it all right, but at least the selection pressures are not uniformly away from true math and logic. So I think that we’ll find that we have to look at each cognitive faculty one at a time and see what evolution does to it.

What’s true about perception may not be true about math and logic. (Fact is, human use vision (perception) 80% of all our senses.)

CA: I mean, really what you’re proposing is a kind of modern-day Bishop Berkeley interpretation of the world: consciousness causes matter, not the other way around.

DH: Well, it’s slightly different than Berkeley. Berkeley thought that, he was a deist, and he thought that the ultimate nature of reality is God and so forth, and I don’t need to go where Berkeley’s going, so it’s quite a bit different from Berkeley. I call this conscious realism. It’s actually a very different approach.

Donald Hoffman on March 2015

Note 1: The way I comprehended this awesome speech is:

1. There are only 2 realities:  The survival process of the species and Death

2. If mankind tampers with the survival process we are doomed (as we already decimated countless other species)

3. We don’t love Death. We don’t love making babies: we just deal with this survival reality as best we can.

4. Love is not within the realm of making babies: we just fall in love.

5. Keep mathematics and logic out of the survival process and do not allow them to give us new ideas on that topic

Note 2: Human species survived for millions of years without knowing that earth is Not round or that it was turning around the sun. Now, our species want to colonize Mars. What for? If all these expenditure on discovering the galaxies and building nuclear missiles… were applied to preserving the climate change for our survival for a couple centuries more.

An Urban Detour in architecture?

Note: Re-edit of “An Urban Detour” by Rania Sassine (Book Review). March 28, 2009

Rania Sassine is a young Lebanese architect. The tiny book “Viree Citadines” is her first and written in French.

Rania is attempting to describe 24 imagined villages that might add variety to the landscape.

The fictional villages are divided into two categories:

The village-objects that resemble objects such as necklace, cone, spinning top, turning wheel, hoop, drawer, geological fault and

The village-adjectives such as magnetic, cloud, artist, show-biz, retirees, fairy tales, remembrance or souvenir,  and on.

I can imagine that the publisher is a close relative of Rania and encouraged her to give him the nod. We thus have got shapes, forms, and unlimited imaginations to dream of new dwelling quarters and communities.

What I will describe are my imagined villages on the main themes because it is a God sent opportunity to refresh my youthful dreams.

If you like to discover Rania’s imagined villages then you read her manuscript.

Imagine a Real Estates developer who acquired a hill.

At the top of the hill he builds a humongous tree-like edifice and from this tree flows a necklace of residences.

There are unlimited variations on the forms, pearls, color, and arrangement of the pearls or stones.

You could have a series of spherical houses or pine-like cones or other gems’ forms and shapes.

Imagine that the developer adds two mounds within the necklace, adjacent and in the shape of apples or pears for public gathering and a commercial center.  The houses could be detachable so that every spring a new look for the necklace is exhibited.

Imagine a flat terrain covered with glass-like materials for tanning and ice skating and the residences are underground.

When it rains or when it thunders or when the sun is blazing then you open a trap and descend a staircase to your house or to the common gathering theater or commercial center. A labyrinth of underground pathways should take you home.

Imagine that the houses in the town are bubbles that are transparent, colorful, and can be navigated to certain altitude.

The well to do can afford large bubbles with complex navigation consoles but the movement of these bubbles is restricted to an area and an altitude.

It would be advisable that clusters of bubbles be attached to one another through flexible tube-like bridges that never tangle up so that people can visit neighbors up in the air.

The elderly are reserved a ring-like bubble houses close to a cushioned ground.  The whole exercise is to never land, which required complex administrative and maintenance jobs.

Imagine a town in the shape of spinning top; it intersects with the ground in a single point and rotate around a seesaw axe.  Would you like this town to spin? Who might reside in it?

Imagine a town built in permanent clouds; an atmosphere of fiber between gas and liquid.

When you enter you have the sensation that thousands hands are touching you and palming you, where you cannot see anything but can hear sounds and music constantly.   Who might reside there and what could be its function and purpose?

Imagine a town reserved for characters in fairy tales, or simply tales, decked in the corresponding characters.  What could be its shape and what could it produce to stay financially stable?

Imagine a town where it rains constantly 24 hours and every day.  The clouds are made to converge to this town and deliver their bounty.  The town is built to store rain water and distribute it equitably to the rest of the world.  Who would like to work there and how workers could survive?

Imagine a town built as drawers with translational motions. What could be its purpose and who might reside there?

Imagine a town in the shape of hoops.  It gravitates around an antenna of photons linking earth to moon.  It can move upwards fast and follow the rotation of the sun 24 hours or decide not to see the sun for 24 hours. What could be its purpose and how could it generate profit?

Imagine a town in a hole, drilled for miles underground in the South Pole.  How could you design it and what could be its purpose?

Imagine a town in the form of a wheel, with a few concentric circles and the possibility to rotate at different angles. What could be its purpose and who would reside there?

This is starting to be a fun exercise.

Could you imagine other kinds of specialized towns in shape and purposes?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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