Re-Enter Billy Elliot Stage Left, Exit Britain Stage Right

Meta-effectiveness, or developing oneself with practical and factual knowledge resources, is challenging enough. (Witness Cognitive Productivity.) But (how) can we, and should we develop ourselves with the art of others? Continue reading Re-Enter Billy Elliot Stage Left, Exit Britain Stage Right

Mata Hari’s Emotions

According to Michel Aubé, if motivation involves managing resources, then emotion, a subset of motivation, involves managing commitments (human resources). Combine this idea with the fact that emotional episodes involve perturbance, where a cluster of affectively charged mental content, or motivators, tend to disrupt and maintain attention. Continue reading Mata Hari’s Emotions

Report on Book Report on Kurt Palka (The Piano Maker, et al.): What if a Great Novel is Worth Re-reading?

I’ve been responding deeply enough to art since I launched CogZest to own up to the fact “it” has become a project of mine, beyond the one I committed to from the outset of CogZest, i.e., The Zest of Brel. My long term plan includes editing, publishing and contributing to a book provisionally called Cognitive Responses to Art. However, I’ve also made “it” a major focus of Discontinuities.
Continue reading Report on Book Report on Kurt Palka (The Piano Maker, et al.): What if a Great Novel is Worth Re-reading?

Why Is A Christmas Story — The Musical — So Hilarious? Inside Jokes, The Mating Mind and Mental Spaces We’d Rather Not Explore

“You don’t mean to say that this charming, clever young lady has been so foolish as to accept you?”
Lord Caversham to Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde’s, An Ideal Husband

“Evolution is an examination with two papers. To succeed demands a pass in both.”
Steve Jones, Darwin’s Ghost (p. 76)

The Arts Club of Vancouver’s performance of A Christmas Story—The Musical had me in stiches. But why?

A Christmas Story—The Musical
Continue reading Why Is A Christmas Story — The Musical — So Hilarious? Inside Jokes, The Mating Mind and Mental Spaces We’d Rather Not Explore

Lovers, Intellectual Loneliness, and an Enigma

CogZest is for and about beautiful, passionate minds. So, it’s natural for me to respond to The Imitation Game.

The film received mixed reviews. Many of those knowledgeable about Turing and the Enigma project were disappointed by the film’s lack of fidelity, particularly given how fascinating these subjects are in reality. I did not expect to see a documentary, nor something outside Hollywood’s style, so I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve used the divertissement’s themes as a cognitive springboard rather than a trampoline to which I frequently return for inspiration, let alone factual information.

It being Valentine’s day (and given that I am nursing an R&D project dealing with romantic love), it seems appropriate to launch into the theme of intellectual loneliness, companionship and romantic love, to which The Imitation Game alluded.

Continue reading Lovers, Intellectual Loneliness, and an Enigma

Meta-painting & Science of the Human Mind: An Epistolary Response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements

Preface

A version of this essay will appear in the second edition of Lam Wong’s 21 Elements book. The book is based on his September 2014 exhibition, about which I have recently blogged. For reasons that will become obvious, I’ve written this document as a letter to a fictional friend.

Continue reading Meta-painting & Science of the Human Mind: An Epistolary Response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements

University Teaching Requires Lovingly Opposing the Student: Claude Lamontagne’s Rationalist Reflexions

I have uploaded a timeless address given by Claude Lamontagne,  Professor of Psychology, on the occasion of him receiving the 2001 University of Ottawa Teaching Award.

I’ve uploaded this address this evening in order to share the gem, and so that I can link to it in an essay I am writing on Lam Wong’s recent 21 Elements exhibition of paintings on “Relation, Perception and Meaning”. (The essay will be in the next edition of Wong’s book, 21 Elements.) It is fitting that Lamontagne’s paper should itself be so beautifully artistic!   Professor of Psychology, on the occasion of him receiving the 2001 University of Ottawa Teaching Award.

Lamontagne’s address is “University Teaching: A critical Rationalist’s Reflexions”.

Continue reading University Teaching Requires Lovingly Opposing the Student: Claude Lamontagne’s Rationalist Reflexions

Exhibition of Lam Wong’s Paintings on Relation, Perception and Meaning (Sept. 2- 27, 2014, New Westminster)

If you love visual art and are around Metro-Vancouver this month, then consider attending the exhibition of Lam Wong’s paintings on “Relation, perception and meaning”. It runs from Sept 2 to Sept 27 at the Arts Council Gallery of New Westminster in Queen’s Park (closed Mondays).

You can tell from the title of this exhibition that Lam Wong’s interests overlap with those of cognitive scientists.

Continue reading Exhibition of Lam Wong’s Paintings on Relation, Perception and Meaning (Sept. 2- 27, 2014, New Westminster)