Why you should try micro mastery

DE539B4B-DD46-4012-A8D8-D02AB9DDAC4D

The wellness case for learning new skills

In the summer of 2016 I was very unhappy. I was coming up on my year anniversary of living in London, where we had moved from Brooklyn for my husband’s job, but I still felt pitifully lonely and poorly adjusted to the culture. I reentered therapy, tried to socialize often, started volunteering, and focused on doing things for pleasure rather than out of obligation.

But there was one thing that alleviated my sadness more than others: I learned to drive a stick shift.

In Europe, automatics were more expensive to rent, so it was in my best interest to try to overcome any manual driving anxiety head-on. My husband and I decided to spend two weeks in France, and I spent much of that vacation stalling out on country roads, navigating dreaded traffic circles, and ultimately speeding down the highways. When I returned to London I told people about the beaches and baguettes in France, but I mostly wanted to talk about how I could now officially drive stick.

I had discovered the beauty of “micromastery”: working to develop competence in a single, concrete skill. The term was coined by the writers Tahir Shah and Robert Twigger; Twigger later published his 2017 book, Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Unlock Your Potential to Achieve Anything, which contains instructions for laying a brick wall, making sushi, and brewing beer. In the introduction, Twigger writes that he was stymied by the idea that he had to work for years to acquire any truly valuable skill, but that he still wanted to learn and create, so he decided to focus on making the perfect omelet: his first micromastery.

Continue reading… “Why you should try micro mastery”

0

Why the 8-hour workday doesn’t work

 

AB9BC4F2-30E1-439E-9316-63F00AF09B20

The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work 200 years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Continue reading… “Why the 8-hour workday doesn’t work”

0

Striking study reveals how dietary fats enter the brain and cause depression

C8255C4D-9933-4FFA-9289-E347A69C51E2

A new study demonstrates how fatty acids can enter the brain and disrupt signaling pathways that lead to depression

An intriguing new study, led by scientists from the University of Glasgow, suggests there is a direct causative link between eating a high-fat diet and the development of depression. The new research demonstrates how certain dietary fats can enter the brain, disrupt specific signaling pathways in the hypothalamus, and subsequently induce signs of depression.

Scientists have long observed a strong correlation between obesity and depression and, while it may seem like the two are simply interlinked through obvious psychological associations, some studies are starting to suggest the connection may actually be underpinned by biological mechanisms.

Continue reading… “Striking study reveals how dietary fats enter the brain and cause depression”

0

The importance of foresight : Why intuition and imagination will be critical in the future of work

F0E2196A-5C27-4F06-8915-FE285A6B4C78

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman refers to the parts of our brain, where he suggests there are two competing intelligence at play.

He specifies one area affiliated to “system 1” which is known to be an area relying on speed in decision making and on emotion in information perceiving. System 1 is based largely on our instinct and intuition unconsciously stored by past experiences that are often rapidly available to memory. The second area is affiliated to “system 2” which is known to be an area for slow and deliberate decision making and more rational in information perceiving. This area takes in information based on our conscious appraisal of current events, and our stored episodic long-term memories, which are slowly available to memory. Why do we care?

Continue reading… “The importance of foresight : Why intuition and imagination will be critical in the future of work”

0

Can we stop AI outsmarting humanity?

039F76D3-378D-4A8C-A352-D6DA3A1C37BD

The spectre of superintelligent machines doing us harm is not just science fiction, technologists say – so how can we ensure AI remains ‘friendly’ to its makers?

It began three and a half billion years ago in a pool of muck, when a molecule made a copy of itself and so became the ultimate ancestor of all earthly life. It began four million years ago, when brain volumes began climbing rapidly in the hominid line.

Fifty thousand years ago with the rise of Homo sapiens sapiens.

Ten thousand years ago with the invention of civilization.

Five hundred years ago with the invention of the printing press.

Fifty years ago with the invention of the computer.

In less than thirty years, it will end.

Continue reading… “Can we stop AI outsmarting humanity?”

0

Study finds listening to music has negative impact on creativity

99303B22-12FD-4FFB-AFCC-F6713D2BC8C8

A new study has found that listening to music may have a negative impact on creativity. This is contrary to the popular idea that music and creativity often go hand in hand. According to the researchers, the negative impact was found even in cases where the music had a positive impact on mood and was liked by the person listening to it. However, background noise didn’t have the same effect.

Music is often used for background noise while studying and as a way to help increase someone’s creativity while working on a project. The psychologists behind a new study have found this routine may have the opposite effect, actively impairing — rather than boosting — the individual’s creativity. The findings were based on three experiments.

Continue reading… “Study finds listening to music has negative impact on creativity”

0

Building a better brain-in-a-dish, faster and cheaper

IMG_9224

UC San Diego researchers develop new protocol for creating human cortical organoids, mini-brains derived directly from primary cells that can be used to better explore and understand the real thing.

Writing in the current online issue of the journal Stem Cells and Development , researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine describe development of a rapid, cost-effective method to create human cortical organoids directly from primary cells.

Continue reading… “Building a better brain-in-a-dish, faster and cheaper”

0

New era in virtual reality therapy for common phobias

 IMG_9008

This image provided by Oxford VR in July 2018 shows a virtual reality viewpoint from a simulation designed to help people with a fear of heights. Virtual reality therapy can help patients by exposing them gradually to their greatest terrors. The technology is just now reaching the mainstream after 20 years of research. (Oxford VR via AP) (Associated Press)

Dick Tracey didn’t have to visit a tall building to get over his fear of heights. He put on a virtual reality headset.

Through VR, he rode an elevator to a high-rise atrium that looked so real he fell to his knees.

Continue reading… “New era in virtual reality therapy for common phobias”

0

We compared the average IQ scores in all 50 states, and the results are eye-opening

 

IMG_7426

Yes, the IQ test is controversial, but it’s one of the few consistent metrics we have. Here’s how the states compare.

People are getting dumber, according to science.

There are a lot of theories why IQ tests are falling. Some say it’s bad food, poor schools, or obscene amounts of screen time. Others suggest it’s a matter of people with lower IQs having more kids, who inherit their lower numbers.

Continue reading… “We compared the average IQ scores in all 50 states, and the results are eye-opening”

0

IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds

The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores

“It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people,” researcher says

(CNN) — IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame, a new study says.

The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores, according to the study, published Monday.

Continue reading… “IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds”

0

No more secrets! New mind-reading machine can translate your thoughts and display them as text INSTANTLY

IMG_6229

Researchers say they have developed a machine that can translate our thoughts

The astonishing machine will analyse what you are thinking and display it as text

Scientists hope that the machine can be used by people who are unable to speak

Continue reading… “No more secrets! New mind-reading machine can translate your thoughts and display them as text INSTANTLY”

0