Work-Arounds to macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) PDF Rendering Problems (Skim)

Cognitive Productivity reader, Richard Holmes, notified me that macOS 10.13 (“High Sierra”) worsens the PDF rendering problems Apple introduced in macOS 10.12, Sierra, that I blogged about earlier. The problems are in Apple’s PDFKit used by third party developers. Apple seems to be using a private API to work around these problems in its Preview app and Safari. (In beta’s of macOS 10.13, however, Preview and Safari had PDF rendering issues.) Fortunately, Richard has discovered some work-arounds, which I describe below. That’s important, because, this issue aside, Skim is the most cognitively potent PDF reader for macOS.

Continue reading Work-Arounds to macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) PDF Rendering Problems (Skim)

Do You Know Your Own Moods? Pointers to a Progressive Research Program on Core Affect

Quick: What mood are you in right now? This (loaded) question is interesting because it can help us deeply understand ourselves. It’s not that one’s current mood is highly informative, but that in order to understand oneself it helps to have a helpful mental model of moods. This is something I struggled with until I read Robert Thayer’s Calm Energy, and later, James Russell’s theory of “core affect”.

James Russell and Sylwia Hyniewska at ISRE-2017

Continue reading Do You Know Your Own Moods? Pointers to a Progressive Research Program on Core Affect

Fifty Years after Herbert Simon’s Landmark Contribution to Emotion Research: “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition” (1967)

It is Labour Day week-end! This is a time to celebrate great knowledge work. It is also a time to ask “Have we been using the best conceptual tools?” And “how can we build better knowledge?” Let’s keep these questions in the back of our minds as we consider the following

Fifty years ago this year, Herbert A. Simon published “Motivational and emotional controls of cognition”. There, he expressed one of the most important insights about emotion and motivation (and hence perhaps of psychology) of the last century. Continue reading Fifty Years after Herbert Simon’s Landmark Contribution to Emotion Research: “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition” (1967)

Spinning a Swirly Solution to Skim’s Slow PDF Content Rendering Issue

Skim.app My Cognitive Productivity toolkit makes heavy use of Skim, the ironically named PDF delving app for macOS. Unfortunately, however, in its release of macOS Sierra, Apple introduced major problems for third-party PDF rendering apps like Skim, problems that Apple itself somehow worked around in its Preview app (suggesting that Preview uses some non-public APIs, tsk! tsk!).

The problem causes PDF to be rendered extremely slowly, sometimes taking over a minute!, and inconsistently. I logged a bug on Skim’s Sourceforge project in December 2016.

Continue reading Spinning a Swirly Solution to Skim’s Slow PDF Content Rendering Issue

Timing2 App for macOS Is Available—I Highly Recommend It!

Text Last summer I published the mySelfQuantifier spreadsheet-based time-tracking system. It involves inputting events from many sources. As such, it requires desktop time-tracking software that provides a timeline of your activities. For the latter, I previously relied on the old “Track Time” app (which was abandoned long ago by its developer), because there was no other choice. However, Daniel Alm has now released Timing2 with a beautiful and highly functional timeline. Continue reading Timing2 App for macOS Is Available—I Highly Recommend It!

Announcing CogZest’s Advisory Board

CogZest’s mission is to extend and use broad cognitive science to help knowledge workers thrive in the sea of knowledge. More precisely, we aim to help people become more effective at using knowledge and technology to solve problems, develop products (including new knowledge) and to develop themselves. We lead by example, practicing what we preach.

Our mission, however, is too grand to be accomplished alone. Indeed, we have benefited from deeply insightful help over the years.

Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of the CogZest Advisory Board. Continue reading Announcing CogZest’s Advisory Board

Media Responses to the Cognitive Shuffle: Much Ado about a Research Programme

My R&D on sleep onset and insomnia (including the cognitive shuffle / serial diverse imagining) has received several waves of media attention.  The last one started c. 10 days ago with the May edition of O Magazine (the print edition of Oprah), and then went crazy from there. Last week, I accepted over 20 interview invitations from TV stations, radio stations, web sites, and a magazine who were curious about this topic. Continue reading Media Responses to the Cognitive Shuffle: Much Ado about a Research Programme

On Using Fiction and Non-Fiction When Feeling Guilty

At the Vancouver Arts Club on Friday, I attended the emotion-inducing play, Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches. (Its wikipedia page. One of the characters, Louis Ironson, is a Jewish homosexual consumed by anxiety and guilt. Today, I used this character to reflect upon imperfection, the emotions of guilt, and self-directed learning. I wondered in particular how one can use feelings of guilt and fiction/non-fiction to become more effective. This blog post touches briefly on this problem. Continue reading On Using Fiction and Non-Fiction When Feeling Guilty

The Late 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: Comments on the Mac and My Research to Purchase It

Because so many people have complained that the late 2016 MacBook Pro does not support legacy interfaces (except for the 3.5 mm microphone jack), I thought I should write a blog post to give you my impression of this new notebook, which is on the whole quite positive.

Continue reading The Late 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: Comments on the Mac and My Research to Purchase It