RSS

Earth Hour 2015

earth_hour2015

Saturday 28th March, 8:30pm

Aside from last year, I think I forgot or something, for the past few years I have participated in Earth Hour. It’s just a simple task of switching all electrical equipment off for an hour and then being mindful for that hour about how we treat our planet.

I say simple, but when you live in a shared household the process of switching everything off will likely mean getting other people involved. This is great if they’re up for it and have a similar mindset, but not so great if they can’t miss ‘that’ TV show for one week. (With catch up TV available online this should be less of an issue now).

This year I’m now living on my own so all I need to do is go round and shut down my computers (yes I have a few) and then flick the switch on the main circuit breaker.

Reading or drawing by candle light seems like a nice quiet way to pass the hour. When I last took part, in 2013, I actually made a whole day of it because I felt for just one hour it wasn’t enough of a ‘thing’ for me. You can read what fun I had then at the link below.

earth_day

The issue with only spending one hour with the power off is that you can get away with doing what you need to do with power before and after the hour, so technically there is no energy saving. When it comes to spending a whole day without power (as I’m sure those that have ever had a power cut that has lasted for that length of time will appreciate) is that you quickly realise how much we take on-tap power for granted: switching lights on without thinking as we enter a room, having a fridge to keep our food cool (and the light that comes on when we open the door), heating and running hot water, plus hot drinks and the ability to cook food. Not to mention the non-essentials, like TV, radio, and internet for entertainment. I no longer have a television but I am addicted to the internet, so going a day without is somewhat tough-going for me, but it’s quite refreshing to just switch off and do other things.

Perhaps I’ll spend another whole day participating in the event but realistically I need to cook one meal for myself at least. I think it’s important to spend the time considering how every day can be different, instead of just making ourselves go without power for one occasion and then go back to our usual way of life thereafter.

Watch the official 2015 video here: https://youtu.be/-eZkHSJs–A

https://bmhonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/earth-hour-review

http://earthhour.wwf.org.uk

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 23 March, 2015 in Computers, Science, Technology

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Post to your Blog… in Classic Mode – the last Hurrah!

new_post_0315

Back in January last year (2014) I wrote about how WordPress had introduced the blue/’tablet-friendly’ page (as above) for creating a New Post (compared to the traditional ‘Classic’ mode.) Then seven months after that (in August 2014) I provided more instructions in my blog about how to keep using the Classic mode because finding one’s way there had become more tricky.

Now seven months on again (there seems to be some pattern in this) WordPress have made it even more difficult to keep using the Classic mode – clicking on ‘New Post’ icon in the black/grey bar at the top now lands you on the blue ‘tablet-friendly’ New Post page, and now the link to click on to ‘switch to classic mode’ is no longer there.

Here is how it looked before with the classic mode option highlighted:

post_to_blog_new

The lack of consistency regarding sticking with the traditional ‘classic’ menu and system and finding one’s self in the newer blue, blocky, system (that seems to be aimed more towards tablet users) has been a bug-bear of mine all along – the new system looked and felt basic, over-simplified and childish with my usual options hidden away, and I can see why they have made it increasingly difficult to get to the Classic mode – they clearly want us all to switch to the new system and have just been trying to lure us there, step-by-frustrating-step all along (because people don’t generally like change).

As a last hurrah (because I’m sure they’ll close this entry off at some point too… perhaps in October, seven months away) there is one last (?) way to get to the Classic New Post page. For this you have to go to your traditional admin page/Dashboard (https://%5Byour blog].wordpress.com/wp-admin), put your mouse over Posts on the menu on the left, and click Add New.

I can’t dismiss the ‘new’ page entirely, they have made changes since I last looked at it. Here is what I notice since August:

- the option to switch to Classic Mode is gone (as mentioned above)

- it seems they have been working hard to make the page responsive to different window/screen sized so tablet users find it easier to use. I noticed an issue when I restored my web browser down from Maximised to a window – a blank area appeared above the title box (see below).

new_post_0315b

- the menu has been moved over to the left for those viewing on a large screen (it shifts over to the right when you reduce the page size, and further movements occure when reducing the page down to tablet/mobile screen dimensions).

- I still don’t like the menu. The headings are too faint for my liking, what may be considered less distracting when typing, but I’m not so sure about the compromise).

new_post_tags- adding tags and categories is improved – it was very cumbersome in the last iteration (previously the whole menu got longer and longer as you added more and more tags).

- I need to familiarise myself with the use of a “Featured Image” because while I have been aware of it for a long time since Classic Mode it didn’t seem important – WordPress seemed to just use the first image in my post as the main image and I was happy with that. I did try to set a different featured image but wasn’t sure what the end result was going to be, so I avoided it.

- the use of Excerpts. WordPress (now) gives you the option to include an “optional hand-crafted summary of your content”, but it doesn’t state what use/benefit this is and where and to whom in which situations this will be displayed.

- under Advanced Settings there is a “Slug” option – I have no clue what this is.

- the menus don’t automatically collapse when you drop another one down, so you end up with a very long menu if you’ve been clicking through them without closing them again.

- thankfully the Publish button (and the box for writing in) remain fixed in place while you scroll up and down the menu so there is no more having to scroll all the way back to the top of the menu once you’re finished, just to click Publish.

For the purposes of this post I have used the new New Post page and I feel happier to use it (providing all goes well when I click Publish!)

Edit: Once Published, we’re still not landing on the page with the list of “what other’s have been blogging about with similar tags” on the left – I really like that facility because it puts me in contact with other bloggers who share similar interests/concerns.

I noticed an issue in the Add Media window (which may well be present in Classic mode also). If you search for and add an image that is already in your media library, and then return to add an image that you want to upload, once it’s uploaded you land back in the library section and with the previous search term still in the search box, rather than being presented with the image you just uploaded. (I end up uploading the same image twice or more until it twigs what is going on).

Previous posts:

The August 2014 post: https://bmhonline.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/post-to-your-blog-in-classic-mode

The January 2014 post: https://bmhonline.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/wordpress-continuity-and-categories

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 21 March, 2015 in Blogging

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A Lack of Faith

“When the earliest Christian missionaries arrived, proudly bringing their own folk tales and associated myths, they were surprised to find that the story of Noah was already present.”

This I read in Lomas and Knight’s book Uriel’s Machine (which I’m reading again after more than ten year) on page 120. The authors went on to quote Reverend Myron Eells, who in 1878 reported on the widespread nature of Flood stories:

“Those Indians had their traditions of a flood, and that one man and his wife were saved on a raft…”

Why were such missionaries so surprised? If they genuinely believed what they read in the Bible as being the word of God and that God, an almighty being, had created the flood in order to punish people, why would those missionaries, and men of faith, be so surprised that, having travelled to a far off land, such as the Americas, that the ancestors of the people there would not also have also witnessed the hand of God all the same?

Now consider meeting intelligent beings from another planet, should we expect those people to have similar flood stories? Would the hand of God reach that far?

The hand of God or not, I would say yes, such beings would have their own flood stories.

1) Global catastrophes happen (floods, extinction level events, commentary impacts have left their marks and tales and we have seen this happen to Jupiter, and perhaps something significant happened to Mars too).

2) Such catastrophes likely played a part in our own evolution.

  • Would we be here (all the same) if the dinosaur’s hadn’t been wiped out?
  • Would we have evolved the way we did without such hardships taking place during the existence of our species?

Sadly for religion, science and rational thought can provide answers to these questions. My rational thinking can also accept that beings on other planets, along with having flood stories to tell, may also have religions and beliefs in Gods too, because in our case, what has happen in the world around us as we developed lead us to believe in such things.

For some, when what they see around them contradicts their faith, their attitude becomes less than positive. From believing those that haven’t seen the world through their own eyes are are work of the devil, to claiming they will

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 18 March, 2015 in Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Minimalism and Twitter

I love being de-cluttered and that goes for my digital world too. I like to keep my Facebook and Twitter feeds down to a minimum and one rule I employ here (which can be used in the real world too) is the the One Year Rule – delete any post that is over a year old.

This process well cause some online tools to fail though – such things that show you how your life has changed over the entire existence of your Facebook/Twitter account for example. But I have found no use in such things, but it’s something to bear in mind if you strip out all the old content.

The reason I’m making this post now is that on Twitter they have made it more of a chore to delete old posts.

Some months back the delete icon was removed and in place were the notorious three dots [ … ] that you have to click on to then reveal the delete option, rather than there being a delete/trash can icon, meaning deleting a tweet is a two-click affair, at least.

twitter_three_dots

These three dots are becoming widely used throughout the web to hide extra/less common options, but I find they annoyingly hide the tools I use – like the option to Print in Outlook.com, and the “Directions by Bike” button on Google Maps (which I mentioned on this post). The idea is to de-clutter the menus, but in the case of Google Maps the single button replaces two, and it’s not like there isn’t room for two icons.

cycling_google_maps

These menus could be intelligent and learn which tools you use and place those on the menu, and hide what you never use. How many people use ‘Sweep’, compared to ‘Print’? I wonder.

outlook_three_dots

The three dots aren’t always easy to see either, in the case of Twitter and Google Maps they’re very pale, and coupled with them being a relatively new thing, not everyone will have become aware of them.

There is a further issue with deleting old Twitter posts and that is when I scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list (which if you’ve been on Twitter a long time and/or tweeted a lot and never deleted any of the old tweets, will take a while for you to be presented with the bottom of the list), when I then delete a tweet (which as mentioned takes a further two clicks instead of one), the page often (but not always) plonks me back at the top of the page, and I have to scroll back down.

Also (yes there’s a further snag!) if you click the three dots on the very last tweet at the bottom of the page, the drop-down menu is off the bottom of the window and the Delete option is hidden (but thankfully just about still clickable).

Oh, another Also… when you click Delete, you’re presented with a box asking if you’re sure… okay, that can be handy if you’ve managed to find the delete option hidden under the three dots and off the bottom of your screen and accidentally clicked Delete when you didn’t mean to… but it’s another chore-fuelling mouse move.

Perhaps the Twitter people are hampering our efforts to delete old tweets on purpose – they probably like you to hoard all of your old mutterings – data is money after all – or perhaps, as it sometimes feels with services such as these, they don’t want to assist people in their efforts to be minimalistic.

I have submitted this issue to Twitter within the constraints of their 500 word limit as follows:

The process of deleting old tweets has become more troublesome. 1st scrolling down to the bottom of the Feed, then one has to click the three dots to reveal the Delete option (instead of a delete/trash can icon like before). If I do this on the very bottom tweet the drop-down menu is off the bottom of the page and almost hides the Delete option. When I then finally click delete I’m asked if I’m sure. Then it puts me back at the top of the page and I have to scroll back down to continue.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 12 March, 2015 in Computers, Internet, Psychology, Technology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Old Web

Yesterday I was having a little chat with my mum, you know, one of those random conversations that leads from one random topic to another. Anyway, we were talking about Top Gear, the motoring show, and then about the “hover van” episode which she liked too, and then she asked, “Do you remember the holiday where there were hover crafts racing, and we stayed in a caravan?” I did. I don’t know how old I was back then but I’m sure not older than ten. I knew where she meant but the name of the place wouldn’t come – it was one of those ‘tip of the tongue’ things, and she couldn’t remember either. “It’ll come to me” I said, and we moved on to other topics.

Then the next day, some eighteen hours later, much has happened since, I have even forgotten having the conversation (that happened pretty soon after). I wake up… I get out of bed… I get to the bottom of my stairs…

“The Cotswolds.”

It comes to me, right there, just like that, out of the blue. I laugh. I turn round and go back up stairs to my computer and e-mail my mum, and I comment to her about how I love how my subconscious mind works!

kayakAs I’m e-mailing her I realise I may have always remembered that holiday as being at “The Cotswolds” but it may not have been – I was young – it was a long time ago. I decide to do a quick bit of googling to see if the place shows up from the search terms “cotswolds caravan hover craft”. It doesn’t. I scroll through some Google images and there is nothing of relevance. I see a picture of a kayak that looks like it’s in the sea, and the brief description reads like some guy had found this kayak out at sea, submerged, like a ship wreck, but with no damage.

This image distracts me and I click onto the page. It’s some guy’s blog [link]. I find the picture and learn how I had seen it and the description Google had ascribed to it were out of context – it was just a photo of the guy’s kayak, but taken on a wet morning I suppose. The blog posts are dated to 2008 and are about the guy’s efforts to kayak across seas, like to the Isle of White. I click to the home page of his blog to see his latest news, but the most recent post is still 2008 and writing about how he was waiting to make another attempt to cross a channel in his kayak and how he just needed a gap in the weather. But this was 2008. I pondered, “What happened to the guy? Why did he stop blogging? Perhaps he just lost interest when too few people liked/followed/commented on his blog? It happens. Maybe he attempted the crossing and met with his demise?” I doubted that last point since there was no post to say he was about to leave. I have to assume he is alive and well, but then again maybe not – people do die.

internet_cafeAs I scrolled down that first blog page a little my eye caught a picture of an internet cafe. I knew that place!I read the write-up and it was indeed the Internet Cafe in Holyhead. What a coincidence. I had been past there a few times as I live on Anglesey – I don’t think the internet cafe is still open now though.

This little link to my own location coupled with this guy’s out-dated blog made me recall that I wanted to write about the out-dated web and how there are websites, blogs and content that was uploaded years ago and is now out of date or no longer receives new content. I had wanted to write something of the sort for a while and I was spurred into doing so last month when I read a fellow blogger’s topic asking “Does Second Life History Matter?” [link] I had begun to write then but I didn’t finish the piece – the file just sat on my desktop (as does a lot of other stuff). Stumbling upon the kayaking blog at random has spurred me on! So here goes.

Having accessed the internet since before the masses turned up, I remember when every website felt fresh and new (although if you saw that same website now as it did then it would look crappy and old) – every service available online was something that hadn’t been there before – if you created a website or page of your own (for there were no ‘blogs’) then you were pretty cool (at least I thought myself to be as such in my 20s and having my own website). I have fond memories of this time, and my website still exists, although its form, content and location have all changed over time.

Now (I think, sadly) pretty much everyone is here. It has all been done, or is all being done, and ironically I find the minority of people who have still never dipped their toes in the internet to now be the cool ones. Anything new just seems like a re-hash, or is rarely as useful as it is claimed – it just looks “smart” and the masses confuse this with the term “useful” (like an iPad!)

I am of a generation that both remember life without the internet, and now see it largely with (and finding it hard to imagine it without). Now there are youngsters who are born with and grow up around tech, from their mother’s smart phones and tablets, to chatting with their school friends outside of school only in a virtual sense through the likes of Facebook, or texting (if kids still do that?!) When I was at school, if I wanted to hang out with someone after school then I had to go round to their house and call for them, or ask mum if I could make a quick phone call to my mate if he lived too far away to pop round, to arrange a time and parent’s taxi services. Life was quite different back then. Now it seems kids hang out with each other very little in a physical sense by comparison and just ‘make-do’ with chatting online. I think this is a great shame, and is perhaps harmful to their long-term well-being. Or perhaps it’s just another way of living and not actually harmful (I only have online friends after all).

Back to the ‘issue’ of old stuff online and sometimes old content can still be useful – an old webpage might look very dated (or “naff”) but the content can still be relevant. I know of websites where the original curator has passed away, and while the websites are kept live, there is no one to put the work in to bring the website up-to-date (in a visual sense at least). I’m thinking of Sheldon Brown’s cycling website and a particular website that is old but still useful to me – if I need to know how to carry out some maintenance on my bike I search google but always include “sheldon brown” in the search terms. [link]

sheldon_brown

Sometimes old content online is simply that. Sure, someone might have started a blog back in the 2000s, but that content might have only been relevant at the moment in time, just to chart some progress on a particular project or have a rant about how they were feeling. Now it just sits there and serves little purpose (I think – unless you believe that every human thought posted online is important just for the sake of it), but it’s not going anywhere because the service that provides it is free and is still widely used. Even my own blog and website can fall into this category I think – I sometimes scroll down to the oldest pages and clear out some stuff, but this takes time. I do something similar with content on Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. This stems to a anti-hoarding technique about ditching anything that you haven’t used for a year, and the approach feels useful and refreshing to me in both the physical and digital worlds.

There is something that irritates/bugs me about my own old digital content just sitting there, on my computer or online for the world to see. In the material world I have strived to be minimalistic but then I sit at my computer and “come online” (that term is so out-dated since we’re generally online already!) and there are hoards of old stuff. Indeed, Second Life is a case in point – in the virtual world you have virtual inventory and a popular topic that comes up is how many items we have each accumulated 10K, 30K, 50K? And the programmers of the SL viewer software don’t seem to be too helpful in this regard, since you can’t organise your inventory in order of date like you might on with files on your computer, although in writing this I have just discovered that you can enable a search filter to show older items.

sl_inventory_search_by_date

Some people in Second Life try and keep their digital hoarding under control, but again, it takes time. In the end, once your hoard gets beyond a certain limit, I think you have to ignore what’s there and just rely on the search box to find stuff, rather than try and keep everything neatly categorised.

When it comes to the topic of old sims and regions in Second Life, here again questions can be asked: “Does this sim, that has been here for x-number of years, warrant still being here?”, “Is ‘nostalgia’ a good enough reason if few people still visit that location?” Largely I think yes. This is because it means that anyone that is new to that place can see it a-fresh for the first time – it’s only depressing (for me at least) when I turn up to a sim years later and it’s still the same, and more so when the same people are there standing around in the same places. Some times when I’m exploring I find houses that still the same, and someone is still obviously paying rent to keep it there, the same, but in some cases I look in their profile and discover they don’t seem to be (regular) visitors to Second Life any more. This is what is a shame.

I think, in any world, the internet, Second Life, the physical world, we are quick to hoard/accumulate stuff, but slower to maintain (I know my mum hoards stuff quicker than she can clear stuff out). We knock down old houses or scrap old vehicles when they become a money pit, and throw money at something new instead. Personally I don’t like this approach, but sometimes it’s the only practical solution. In a virtual environment the cost of keeping something minor [a]live is perhaps negligible – a basic website sitting on a server somewhere might only take up a couple of 10s of megabytes, and if the visitor traffic is minuscule then why worry, it’s not like that server is only being kept switched on for that single website? However, I think the mental cost is the issue.

Perhaps it is only how myself and a few others perceive it to be, but I find ‘hoarding’ and the accumulation of stuff, or coming across a mass of old stuff that you have to sift through to find what you were looking for/or something useful if you weren’t looking for anything specific in the first place, to be stressful. There is something mentally taxing about it. I guess not everyone is the same – some seem to just ignore that mass of stuff and focus on what’s important to them. Maybe I just imagine something stressful when it’s not, in itself, stressful, or perhaps people who aren’t stressed out by a hoard of out-dated stuff just don’t realise how blissful the would would be without all this old stuff knocking about – ahh the philosophy of hoarding.

Sometimes I think people have to delete or discard things, leave a site/blog/virtual world completely if their stuff/presence is no longer maintained, and move on.

P.S. I was right – mum e-mailed me back to say it was the Cotswolds, well done me!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cyclists Wiggle

wiggling_cyclist

As a cyclist I wiggle.

If I’m stood out of my saddle and ascending a hill, I will wiggle. My bike will wiggle. If I have a pannier or two (or four) strapped to my bike, they will wiggle too. This isn’t akin to swerving, there is no obstacle for me to swerve round, I am not drunk, it’s a wiggle.

As one pedal goes down, the bike will lean hither, and when the other pedal goes down and the first one comes up, the bike will lean thither. This is a wiggle.

After observing the cyclist for a few pedal strokes you will observe the frequency of these regular wiggles, for they are regular, therefore they are a wiggle, and not a random swerve.

So why would a motorist beep his horn at me for wiggling?!

I am a cyclist. I am ascending a hill. I am stood out of my saddle. Therefore I will wiggle.

I cycle thousands of miles a year, in hilly Wales, so I wiggle a lot. I can’t surely be the first cyclist to be observed doing this. Watch the Tour de France – they wiggle too. But I’m not trying to be them, I’m not trying to show off, it’s not done for show, it’s purposeful, it aids my ascent. I’m up out of the saddle because believe it of not, cycling is not just about leg work. I’m not trying to take up more than my fair share of the road – the wiggle probably only takes me through an arc of some 5 or 10 degrees either way at most. You are mistaken if you think my wiggle prevented you from overtaking me as you ascended the hill behind me in your car, unable to see if there was any oncoming traffic over the brow of the hill (assuming you were always going to allow me enough space as you passed). So why beep your horn to air your frustration (for it was a horn of such and not a simple friendly toot) and then take both of your hands off the steering wheel and imitate my wiggle – it does not assist you in descending the hill Mr Motorist, it just makes you look like an ignorant fool.

Ride a bike up a hill and you will likely wiggle too.

Maybe he just liked my butt.

 

The picture is a montage of a couple of images I found freely available online.

My previous post about cycling: Cycle Lanes

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 3 March, 2015 in Cycling

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Energy, Enthusiasm and Willpower

energy_enthusiasmwillpower

“Energy is a power which meets with an instant recognition by the mind. What the mind of the average healthy person cannot endure for long in monotony, or, worse still, absolute stagnation. The mind lives by action.” – p.1613, Volume III, Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia

Yesterday I endured a day of nothingness. And I wasn’t alone in this. I spent much of the day in Second Life and whist I was there I chatted to some friends. It seemed they were either experiencing the same, or had done so the previous day. Sometimes it seems as if the whole planet is experiencing the same stupor.

Some of us repeatedly went afk for more coffee, I myself did this too, but I realised it wasn’t caffeine that was required but simple willpower. For me, one cup of coffee is enough for the day – I’m pretty sensitive to the stuff – so if one cup doesn’t perk me up then no amount of cups will help.

By the afternoon I still hadn’t got started on anything and I said to a couple of friends: “I’ve had my porridge, lunch, a cup of coffee, and two cups of tea and some biscuits… I think I’m about ready to start now being productive today!…” but it wasn’t to be. In fact I think the stimulant that is caffeine is probably counter-productive when we are lacking the willpower already – when telling myself “I’ll get a cup of coffee and then I’ll get started” vs. “I’ll do this task and then treat myself to a cup of coffee”, the latter is probably more beneficial – it not only omits the procrastination technique, but I think the caffeine assists in unsettling the mind: it will be more easily distracted if it is already behaving as such.

The weird thing was, that while I had been simply sat all day yesterday, pretty much doing nothing, my stomach still managed to growl at me at the usual time as if I had used up all the energy from the previous meal. A sure impossibility. The evidence again here, wasn’t a lack of fuel, but a lack of willpower.

Energy … is not enough. It must be directed to a purpose … What is needed, if energy is to achieve anything, is direction.

We cannot make energy. All we can do is to find it, release it, and direct it.

The athlete is what he is by the use of his energy.

Today has been a different ballgame. I’ve done some work, I’ve planed and hung a pair of closest doors (which I had never done before and first involved watching a couple of professionals show me how on Youtube), I’ve given myself a language lesson (again thanks to Youtube… or rather, danke), I’ve done some reading, and I’ve played piano.

Because I’m self employed and I don’t have a set schedule each day (clients phone me up and book me for times that suit them for example) I can go for a few days without any immediate work to be done – it takes some focus to prevent work from disrupting my whole day when I do have a lot scheduled, just as it is important to not let my non-work stuff get in the way of stuff that earns me a living.

Before I started working for myself over ten years ago I had some time out of work, and I remember fondly of how I kept myself busy and active – I drew up daily schedules and made sure I didn’t spend all of my time in front of the TV. I think I had the added advantage of not having internet access at home – I’m trying my best not to let that be an excuse these days (but it is tough). Now I work but I have no set schedule I can stick to, so it has at times felt like a juggle.

However, just recently I have created for myself a new technique, one that can work around any timetable:

I have some slips of paper and on each I write a task I want/need to spend time on, such as reading, writing, language learning, piano playing, DIY, non-paid work work, chores, etc. I have them in a pile on my desk and I work through each in turn, currently aiming to focus on that one task for an hour. Switching my mind off from other stuff (especially what’s going on online) is very important.

If I have a lot of work one day then I might only manage two or three tasks, but on a day with no work to interrupt me I could potentially get through the whole pile. Once the pile is complete I start again from the beginning.

When we fail to focus our attention on one specific task then a number of issues arise, not to mention things like making mistakes, but in particular with learning or improving a skill, when our attention is distracted or our mind flits from one thing to another, the cognitive processes don’t occur so deeply, kind of like slapping on a thin coat of paint I guess. Also, in the process of ‘multi-tasking’ (which some people like to think they are good at) this flitting between tasks also takes time, perhaps this seems to be only slight, but it adds up. For example, if you spend three hours a day talking to a friend online whilst reading a book and watching TV, honestly, how much of the book and TV programs do you think you’ll remember, and how much will your friend appreciate you for only giving them 1/3rd of your attention?! Or if the TV is not entertaining enough to warrant your full attention for an hour, why not cut it out all together? The concept of one half of your brain being aimed at one task while the other relaxes is a fallacy – to really participate in a task the whole brain needs to be available. Sure, one half of the brain may have regions best suited to creativity and the other to more rational stuff, but where true brain efficiency kicks in is with the neural pathways and links between the two halves, and all regions.

The only thing now is for me to incorporate some acceptable flexibility into my technique of maximising my tiem because some tasks are better suited to certain times, and some, like creative tasks can’t always be called upon at will (looking ahead to the next task can help in this regard, but not so much that it distracts the current task). For example, a task that involves mental learning, I believe, is best done before going to bed so that the mind can continue on that subject, but always studying the same thing before bed means other subjects don’t get the same beneficial access to the subconscious. Also, two such lessons should not be done in close succession – perhaps an hour of learning followed by some exercise is a good rule – that way your mind can mull over the lesson while the body is tended to. In thinking about this method of scheduling it makes me think back to my high school timetable and which lessons followed which, like French after Maths – perhaps not a good idea? And then straight home to do homework, before playing out, and then going to bed?

Why do I bother to try and focus my attention at all? Well, I do all this because I impress myself with how much I can get done when I put my mind to it, when I focus my attention on key things. It is amuses me somewhat that every day can’t be so productive and something within, something that controls my will, seems to dictate if I am to have a lazy day instead of a productive one. It is amusing but at the same time I do tend to beat myself up about this laziness and why it goes from one extreme to another. Or perhaps it is my willpower that waxes and wanes.

Further reading:

http://imagesinbloom.com/2015/02/09/were-you-born-that-way

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/18/modern-world-bad-for-brain-daniel-j-levitin-organized-mind-information-overload

https://thevoyagerjourney.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/does-your-mind-control-you

https://dismantlingthemachine.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/28

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 25 February, 2015 in Psychology

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers