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.

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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

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.
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Try as You Might: Does Checking Email Less Frequently Reduce Stress?

Review of “Checking email less frequently reduces stress” (Kushlev & Dunn, 2015)

 
Knowledge workers are now having to deal with unprecedented levels of information, on a number of different platforms and devices. We are constantly bombarded, and one of the most inescapable arenas of assault is our email inbox. Many people have difficulty managing their inboxes, organizing work and home emails, dealing with the daily influx, and adhering to the expectation that they respond to emails quickly. Managing your inbox requires that you attend to it, which means frequently switching between email and other tasks. Attention is a limited resource, and other research has shown that people whose cognitive resources are in excessive demand experience compromised well-being in other areas of their lives, like feelings of social connectedness and general life satisfaction.

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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.

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A Cognitive Scientist’s Response to the Dalai Lama’s Criticism of Western Psychology

I’d like to deal with the current Dalai Lama’s critical remarks against Western psychology in detail, but I only have time at the moment to make a few brief remarks.

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Review of Keith Stanovich (2009): What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought

This is the first in a series of blog posts of mine on Keith Stanovich’s work on rationality and thinking dispositions. I will focus mainly on his 2009 book. What intelligence tests miss: The psychology of rational thought.. While this book was published several years ago, its ideas are still valid, pertinent and worthy of discussion. The following is adapted from Cognitive Productivity, a book which discusses and builds upon Stanovich’s work.

As I have said, ingratitude does not surprise me. What does startle me, in retrospect, is my lack of curiosity.
Hermann Hesse’s Emil Sinclair character

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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.

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Response to “Technology’s Productivity Paradox”, Itself a Review of Forrester®’s A Crisis of Attention: Technology, Productivity, and Flow

This is a response to a Globe & Mail article by Harvey Schachter, “Technology’s productivity paradox”, last updated Monday, Sep. 08 2014, 2:23 PM EDT. That article is itself a response to a recent Forrester® report:

A Crisis Of Attention: Technology, Productivity, And Flow
Using The Science Of Knowledge Work To Restore Flow To The Workplace
(July 14, 2014, by David K. Johnson with Josh Bernoff, Christopher Voce, Elizabeth Ryckewaert, Heather Belanger, Thayer Frechette)

To address the problems that are alluded to in the G&M article and Forrester® abstract, one needs to adequately specify the requirements of cognitive productivity. This is where most solutions fail.

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Two Sides of the Same Coin: Pessoa’s Cognitive-Emotional Brain

Luiz Pessoa Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland has recently published The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration a book that lends neuroscientific support to one of the major tenets of CogZest and Cognitive Productivity. I haven’t read the book yet; but I’ve heard Pessoa interviewed by Ginger Campbell on one of my favourite podcasts, the Brain Science Podcast. In this compelling episode, which I highly recommend, they focus mainly on the amygdala and a region of the thalamus, debunking several myths while conveying very deep ideas about the brain, not the least of which is the importance of embracing complexity.
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