Mittwoch, 30. Mai 2018

Pseudo-Effektives Arbeiten:

Pseudo-effektives Arbeiten ereignet sich insbesondere dann, wenn im erschöpften oder unkonzentrierten Zustand weitergearbeitet wird. Seine kognitiven Höchstleistungen bringt der Mensch generell im vollkonzentrierten Zustand. Wird eine längere Arbeitsdauer nicht wieder und wieder mittels Pausen aufgelockert, gelangt der Arbeitende hierdurch in eine graduell zunehmende Erschöpfung, bis in keinster Weise mehr von vollkonzentriertem Arbeiten gesprochen werden kann. Das Arbeiten wird ineffektiv und artet in Pseudo-Arbeit aus. Im unkonzentrierten oder erschöpften Zustand können durchaus noch Routine-Tätigkeiten oder wenig anspruchsvolle Tätigkeiten ausgeführt werden, doch können anspruchsvollere Aufgaben nicht mehr in der für die individuelle Top-Performance charakteristischen Qualität bearbeitet werden.

Hierzu Cal Newport: Pseudo Work.

Dienstag, 29. Mai 2018

The criterion of learning:

Arthur Jensen, Genetics and Education:

"The criterion of learning in the eyes of many teachers, and the types of pupil performance on which reinforcement from the teacher and contingent,  often emphasize the signs of Level II performance - evidence of broad transfer, of broad conceptual generalization of specific learning, of the ability to perform verbal transformations and elaborations on what has been learned, such as being able to 'tell it back in your own words' and the ability to say something formally different but conceptually similar. Teachers look for these signs of Level II performance in their pupils. Teachers encourage it, and reward it."
"Unless it is brought back to contact with cosmic reality (as by physicists, biologists, and astronomers), culture tends to drift into a narcissistic preoccupation with interactions within the human species - into purely verbal and legal skills."

Raymond B. Cattell

Fluid intelligence:

"Fluid intelligence is a basic capacity for learning and problem solving, a general 'brightness' that is manifested in new learning, novel problem solving, and general intellectual adaptability. It is independent of education and experience but is invested in the particular opportunities for learning afforded by the circumstances of the individual's life."
Arthur Jensen, Genetics and Education:

"Rimland believes that persons whose main strength is Level I, or fidelity-reproductive processes, have a focus of attention that is largely extracerebral, that is, focused on real-world events taking place in the here and now of the person's environment. Such persons learn mainly by looking and doing. Unless they are also high in in Level II, they are at a disadvantage in the traditional academic realm, which depends heavily upon learning from symbolic or abstract representations in the form of lectures and books."

Montag, 28. Mai 2018

Die eigene Welt:

Letztlich verhält es sich so: Der Mensch lebt in seiner eigenen Welt. Doch manchmal gelingt es ihm, für Momente oder Zeitspannen, aus seiner eigenen Welt hinauszutreten, und eine andere Welt, oder gegebenenfalls "die Welt", wahrzunehmen, oder mindestens zu erahnen.


D.h. generell, auch wenn wir es nicht so erleben, leben wir in einer stark subjektiv eingefärbten Welt. Zuweilen erhaschen wir einen Blick darauf, wie sich die Welt im Bewusstsein des Mitmenschen malt. Wir abstrahieren von unserer eigenen Welt und erahnen eine andere Welt. Manchmal gelingt es uns auch, vorübergehend von der eigenen Einfärbung abzusehen, um hierdurch einen Einblick zu erhalten, wie die Welt jenseits des eigenen Blickwinkels, und jenseits anderer bekannter Blickwinkel, ausschauen könnte.


Wir entscheiden tagtäglich darüber, wie wir unser Bewusstsein investieren: Welche Wahrnehmungen, Handlungen, Gedanken, Sympathien und Antipathien wir ausleben.


Wir hätten uns selbst in andere Wahrnehmungen, Handlungen, Gedanken, Antipathien und Sympathien investieren können.


Letztlich kann man sich abends Zeit nehmen, das "Eigeninvestment" des vergangenen Tages auf Sinnhaftigkeit hin zu prüfen.

Dauerhafter Erwerb:

Wie erwirbt man sich ein dauerhaftes Wissen? Möglicherweise ähnlich wie man Beziehungen zu Mitmenschen knüpft. Durch Zeit und Aufmerksamkeit. Und wiederholte Begegnung.
Das gedankenlose Durchhasten von Wissensstoff, so unterhaltsam es sein kann, bringt kaum echten Wissensgewinn mit sich.
"so treiben Tausende einen Verkehr mit der Musik,
und haben doch ihre Offenbarung nicht."

Ludwig v. Beethoven

[Könnte es sich mit der Wissenschaft ähnlich verhalten? Nur wenige scheinen mit und aus echtem Interesse zu studieren.]

Sonntag, 27. Mai 2018

Gifted Children

Ellen Winner, The role of talent in the visual arts:

"The compulsion to draw found in precocious drawers has its parallels in many other domains. That is, any time a child is precocious in a particular activity, that child is also highly interested in and drawn to work at that activity. One can find children who spend hours every day finding and solving math problems; not surprisingly, these children also are precocious at math, and able to think about mathematical concepts far beyond the reach of their peers. The same kinds of children have been noted in music, chess, and reading."


"even the very first productions of precocious children are advanced."


"One cannot even cajole or force a normal child to draw or play music or chess all day, and the children I am talking about insisted on spending their time in this way. Indeed, they often had to be dragged away from their preferred activities in order to eat, sleep, go to school, and be sociable. The interest, drive, and desire to work on something must be part and parcel of the talent."


"Of course, as I have already indicated, and as Chamess et al. and Ericsson have argued, the daily hours spent working on something lead to improvement that would not occur without the daily work. However, the desire to work so hard at something comes from within, not without, and occurs almost always when there is an ability to achieve at high levels with relative ease."


"Occasionally one finds examples of hard work without what I would call innate talent. I refer to these children as drudges, in contrast to those I would call gifted. In the domain of drawing there exists a published record of drawings produced by a child who was obsessed with drawing, who drew constantly, but who never made much progress. This child, Charles, described by Hildreth (1941), provides us with a vivid example of hard work, perhaps one might say deliberate practice, without much innate ability."

"Another kind of example of the effects of hard work without talent can be found in any urban preschool and elementary school in contemporary China. Chinese children are given explicit instructions in drawing from the age of 3, when they enter kindergarten; and from the age of 6 they have daily practice in copying calligraphy (Gardner, 1989; Winner, 1989). These children are taught in a meticulous, step-by-step manner how to produce a wide variety of graphic schemas found in traditional Chinese painting: bamboo, goldfish, shrimp, chickens, roosters, and so on. They are taught precisely which lines to make, and the direction and order in which to make them. They learn by copying, but eventually they are able to go beyond copying and draw from life. Whereas ordinary Western children are given virtually no instruction in drawing, and are simply given materials with which to explore and experiment, ordinary Chinese children are given very detailed instruction in drawing as a skill. Thus, the drawings of ordinary Chinese children appear controlled, neat, skilled, and adultlike, whereas those of ordinary Western children appear free, messy, unskilled, and childlike. It is undoubtedly the instructional regimen imposed on the Chinese child that accounts for the difference.
One can see the same phenomenon in the domain of music. Ordinary Japanese children trained in the Suzuki method of violin begin to play the violin at a very young age and practice every day. These children play in a disciplined, controlled, musical manner at a very young age, and appear on the surface as if they are all musical prodigies.
Although Chinese drawers and Suzuki violinists perform at a level that makes them look highly skilled, they are really very different from the kinds of children I described earlier-those who not only choose to draw, play music, or solve math problems, but who insist on doing so, and all the time."

"Precocious drawers seem to be able to do things with lines on paper that are simply never mastered by ordinary children who work hard at drawing. Here are a few ways in which they differ. First, as already mentioned, they are self-taught. For example, they invent techniques such as perspective and foreshortening on their own, whereas ordinary children require instruction to arrive at these achievements. Second, they show a confidence in their line, and an ability to draw a complex contour with one fluid line. Ordinary children never arrive at this. ... Third, they can begin a drawing from any part of the object drawn, and draw objects from noncanonical orientations. This ability suggests a strong visual imagery ability (see the following for evidence of this ). Strong visual imagery is also suggested by the way in which these children often draw something vividly that they have seen months, even years ago (Seife, 1995; Winner, 1996). Fourth, these children are highly inventive, and endlessly vary their compositions, forms, and sometimes colors. ... This ability to invent and discover the domain independent of instruction has its parallel in all other domains in which one finds precocious children."

"In short, precocious children are not mere drudges. They are not ordinary children who know how to work hard. Not only can one not make ordinary children spend hours a day at drawing or chess or math, but even if one could, as in China or Japan, these children do not achieve with instruction what precocious children achieve on their own."

Biological Acceleration:

"Psychologists would never assert that retardation is due to too little training or not enough drill. No one disputes the biological basis of retardation (with the exception of that due to extremely impoverished environments); and yet some do assert that high ability, the flip side of retardation, is entirely due to hard work. But if biological retardation exists, why not biological acceleration?"

Ellen Winner

Gestaltung des Bewusstseins:

Wir erwerben uns unser Bewusstsein recht eigentlich erst, indem wir es investieren.

Samstag, 26. Mai 2018

Self regulation as a two-level system:

Russell A. Barkley, Executive Functions

>SR (or EF here) has been usefully viewed by many different theorists as a two-level system (Carver & Scheier, 2011; Eisenberg et al., 2011; Hofmann et al., 2011; Koole, van Dillen, & Sheppes, 2011; McRae, Ochsner, & Gross, 2011). The first level attends to “the now” and is automatic, pre-executive, unconscious, stimulus-driven, and largely reactive (Kahneman, 2011). It was discussed in the previous chapter. It is often focused on primitive features of the environment, both internal and external, and it is evident in other mammals. It involves a host of psychological abilities or evolved mental modules for situation detection, attentional control, event appraisal, and response generation. It serves to achieve immediate or near-term goals, and it largely focuses on the flow of events in “the now.”

The second level is the executive, effortful, conscious one that attends to the future. It is the EF level that intervenes in and otherwise strives to regulate the automatic level in the service of longer-term goals across larger spans of time. It is focused on the flow of potential events lying ahead in the future, and it relies on mental representations (internal actions) to guide and adjust the motor system so as to alter the likelihood of potential future events. It seeks to wrest control of the “now” automatic system in the service of mental representations of longer-term goals and related information. ... It is within this second level that the EF components discussed earlier exist. They generate and sustain the mental representations that will cause the “top-down” regulation of the automatic level of human action (Badre, 2008; Banich, 2009; Botvinich, 2008; Hofmann et al., 2011).<


>As others have noted (Fishbach & Converse, 2011; Mischel & Ayduk, 2011), SR (and so EF) is most often initiated whenever immediate desires conflict with more important longer-term goals. Resolving the conflict in favor of the longer-term goal demands SR (and so EF). Successful SR involves (1) identifying that a conflict between “the now” and “the future” actually exists and (2) asymmetric shifting of motivational strengths to favor the longer-term goal (and so diminish the natural tendency to discount the delayed outcome). Identifying that a conflict exists also involves (1) identifying and calculating the costs of each alternative for both the short term and long term; and (2) placing the immediate temptation in the perspective of a larger time frame (called width). Viewed in isolation, immediate desire poses no conflict. But it does when viewed as one event within a wider perspective on time, relative to other desires and over repeated instances. The wider the reference frame, the greater the likelihood of detecting such conflicts and so of initiating SR to combat them successfully.<

Sense of the Future

Russell A. Barkley, Executive Functions:

"Self-awareness is a means for monitoring and evaluating what is initially automatic behavior at the Pre-Executive level. Once such automatic behavior is detected as being inconsistent with attaining a longer-term goal, self-awareness leads the individual to evaluate the situation that has transpired for clues. This is hindsight. The individual is looking back, re-sensing and even reverbalizing past events and his or her responses to them in order to guide readjustments to behavior in the next encounter. A new hypothetical plan is constructed and stored for enactment when the event is next detected. Hindsight thereby leads to foresight; such foresight is the individual’s best guess of what to expect on the next encounter, even when to expect it, and then how to respond. Repeated experiences with the situation can lead to fine tuning of the response. It may thus appear to others as if the person acts with clairvoyance when it is really with the hard-won knowledge from hindsight. On encountering a novel situation the individual has no idea what the future may hold. Yet he or she can activate hindsight of previous similar experiences for ideas on how best to act in this situation. The individual then uses the outcome of that encounter to readjust his or her subsequent behavior. The self-directed actions occurring at this level are thus teleological; they are purposefully implemented as means aimed at conjectured future goals."

Self-Control, Five Key Things:

Russell Barkley, The Mind's Playground

We now believe there are five key things that have to develop normally in order for a person to be able to control their own behaviour: Inhibition, Visualization, the Mind’s Voice, the Mind’s Heart, and the Mind’s Playground. And they develop in this order:

1. Inhibition 

The first to develop is inhibition---the ability to pause your behaviour, and during that pause, you're going to do four other things...

2. Visualization 

Next to develop is your mind’s eye---your visual imagery. After you pause, you’re going to use your mind's eye, to think about what you're doing; to look back, look ahead, and consider your relevant past experience, before you act in the moment.

3. The Mind’s Voice

The mind’s voice is the third thing that develops. You’re going to talk to yourself in your head, to reason with yourself, and question yourself, as someone else might do. This allows you to recall more information from your past experiences to guide you through your current situation.

4. The Mind’s Heart 

The fourth thing that develops is the mind's heart. This is the ability to use the first three things (pausing, imagining, and talking to yourself), to manage your emotions. This allows you to moderate your emotions, so they're more socially acceptable, and support your long-term goals, not just the immediate ones.

5. The Mind’s Playground 

Finally, there's the mind's playground, which is the ability to take all this information, these images and words, and play with them, work through them, and re-combine them in new ways, to make plans and solve problems. This ability to play with information, and to re-consider it in various combinations, is almost like having a mental simulator, where we can try out the different possibilities, before we select the one that seems most appropriate to what we're trying to accomplish.

To sum up, executive functioning involves pausing, imagining, talking to yourself, playing with your emotions to make them more acceptable in supporting your long-term goals, and then, finally, planning and problem-solving.


"To help us with differential diagnosis, to help us tell ADHD form an anxiety disorder and from autism and all the other psychiatric disorders, which all interfere with attention at some point in life, ADHD is not the only attention deficit, we need to be more precise. If someone comes to us and says: 'My child or I am inattentive.' That is useless diagnostically. What I need to know is the nature of the inattentiveness. And we have now known for a decade that the inattentiveness that we see in ADHD is distinct from that produced by all other disorders. Because it is most, I think, accurately described as a failure of persistence. The first attention problem is persistence toward a goal. ... ADHD is not a problem of perception, of filtering, of processing, of how the posterior part of our brain functions. "

Freitag, 25. Mai 2018


Durch Selbstkontrolle können wir auf eine gegebenen Situation anders als mit unserer Defaultantwort reagieren.

Wir können Handlungen ausführen, obwohl wir im Moment der Ausführung keine Lust verspüren, sie auszuführen.

Wir können Handlungen unterlassen, obwohl wir ein hohes Maß an Motivation verspüren, sie auszuführen.

Selbstkontrollierte Menschen kennzeichnen sich durch die Befähigung, in einer gegebenen Situation anstelle von Defaulthandlungen Alternativhandlungen umsetzen zu können.


Russell Barkley, Executive Functions:

"Inhibition ... is essential to stop processes occurring at the automatic, Pre-Executive level of behavior (situation–attention–appraisal–response). Self-directed actions cannot occur as long as actions are being automatically and continuously directed at moment-to-moment events in the external world. Inhibition decouples the event from the response to it, buying the time needed for executive self-directed actions. There seems little need to interrupt the automatic sequence if some alternative course of action is not going to be contemplated via ideational representations."


"The ability to engage in executive inhibition or conscious self-restraint has arisen so as to decouple events from potential responses, interrupt the automatic flow of stimulus–response behaving, and provide for an opportunity to choose potential courses of action.

As a consequence of the former capacities, the value assigned to a delayed consequence has been increased (its reward value is not as steeply discounted as before). This leads to a motivational shift in the individual’s preference of delayed rewards over immediate ones (from a higher to a lower time preference in economic terms). The individual is now increasing the subjective use-value of a delayed goal and is therefore more motivated by the prospect (mental contemplation) of such a goal.

The capacity to self-direct speech and language provides the individual a means of using symbolic representations as a form of rule-governed behavior opening them up to all of the advantages that self-speech provides as noted above. Though such rules are necessarily simple, specific, and concrete in early development, with maturation there arises a capacity to guide behavior by longer, more complex, and more abstract rules. ...

The level of behavioral complexity needed here has increased by the added stage of the self-direction of actions. Behavior is no longer simple, automatic, and short-lived; it is now delayed, more complex, and deliberate. Alternative courses of action are being contemplated and are considered over a longer duration, giving rise to a need for a greater complexity of behavior so as to serve as the means to the goal and to bridge the delay in time to get it. ..."

Response Inhibition

Russell Barkley:

"Response inhibition is defined as the capacity to delay prepotent responses, to interrupt ongoing responses given feedback about performance, and to inhibit responding to sources of interference when engaged in tasks requiring self-regulation and goal-directed action."

"The construct of behavioral or response inhibition comprises three interrelated processes: 1. Inhibiting the initial prepotent response to an event. 2. Stopping an ongoing response or response pattern, thereby permitting a delay in the decision to respond or continue responding. 3. Protecting this period of delay and the self-directed responses that occur within it from disruption by competing events and responses (interference control)."

"Inhibition creates the delay in responding, protects the self-directed (often covert) actions to the self that are initiated within that delay, and protects the eventual execution of the goal-directed responses generated from those self-directed actions from disruption by extraneous sources of interference."

"Response inhibition is critical not just to delaying the prepotent response to an event but also to the conversion of public into private (covert) forms of self-directed behavior that are occurring within that delay (the executive functions). This is done so that the individual can engage in response simulations, testing out response options before one is selected for performance. Such self-directed actions may be ‘‘privatized’’ by humans so that others cannot easily discern their occurrence or content."

Covert Responses:

"Responses can make many forms. In addition to immediate overt responses, there are covert responses and those that do not become overt until much later. Covert responses consist of changes in the state of the receiver, which potentially alter its responses in the future. If these changes are impossible for us to perceive without special tools or vantages, they are covert."


"covert behavior may occur 'when individuals attempt to solve a difficult problem', as when they might try to privately solve the problem 'in their heads.' "

"Skinner (1969) relies on introspection for attributing behavioral features to the inner events: 'Some of the objects of introspection are private (covert) responses'. "


"Covert behavior is that class of on-going human reactions which occur exclusively 'within the skin.' "


"Palmer states that as the strength of a response decreases, it will become less likely that the response will be detected, at some point dropping below the threshold of observability and becoming a covert response."


"Imagined speech (silent speech or covert speech) is thinking in the form of sound – 'hearing' one’s own voice silently to oneself, without the intentional movement of any extremities such as the lips, tongue, or hands."


"Inner speech—also known as covert speech or verbal thinking[.]"


"Some covert behaviors are only detectable by the person who is performing them, in which case they are truly private, whereas others may be detected by special means."


Was sind die Vorteile, die damit verknüpft sind, das wir leise bzw. still sprechen können, und das wir somit nicht stets gezwungen sind, unsere verbalen Gedankengänge laut auszusprechen?

Weiters: Was sind die Vorteile, die damit vernüpft sind, dass beim Menschen Sex generell im Verborgenen stattfindet?

In diesem Zusammenhang sind möglicherweise auch Richard D. Alexanders Überlegungeen, die "Sphere of secrecy" betreffend, von Interesse.

Wahrnehmen und Erinnern:

"Vielfach wird etwas nur darum nicht behalten, weil es schlecht oder ganz ungenügend wahrgenommen wurde. Man sagt oft, man habe etwas 'vergessen', wo man es überhaupt nicht beachtet hat."

Richard Müller-Freienfels

[See also: Remembering Names]

The Reader:

"Who is this elusive creature, the reader? The reader is someone with an attention span of about 30 seconds—a person assailed by many forces competing for attention. At one time those forces were relatively few: newspapers, magazines, radio, spouse, children, pets. Today they also include a "home entertainment center" (television, VCR, tapes, CDs), e-mail, the Internet, the cellular phone, the fax machine, a fitness program, a pool, a lawn, and that most potent of competitors, sleep."

William Zinsser

Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2018

"I often find myself reading with interest about a topic I never thought would interest me - some scientific quest, perhaps. What holds me is the enthusiasm of the writer for his field."

William Zinsser


Eine eigenwillige Wahl der Lektüre treffen wir schließlich, wenn wir uns dasjenige zur Lektüre wählen, was uns tatsächlich anspricht.

Bei manchen Büchern ist man sehr dankbar, dass sie geschrieben worden sind.

On Writing:

"[N]obody will write well unless he gets into his ear and into his metabolism a sense of how the language works and what it can be made to do."

William Zinsser

Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2018

Der Genius:

An sich ist der Gedanke ja nett, dass sich im Menschen ein Genius findet, der ihm des öfteren zuraunt, dass diese oder jene Information besonders interessant, diese oder jene Musik besonders schön, dieses oder jenes Objekt besonders beachtenswert, diese oder jene Handlung besonders sinnvoll, dieser oder jener Mensch besonders liebenswert, diese oder jene Handlung besonders abscheulich sei.

Werterkenntnis bzw. eine Bewusstheit persönlicher Werte erlangen wir, wenn wir in uns hineinlauschen, um herauszufinden, was wir als besonders gut, schön, interessant oder liebenswert empfinden.


>Far more than a "just say no" skill, self-control also gives us the gift of "what-if," an inner life that offers us the chance to mentally test out the future without suffering "real world consequences for one's mistakes," notes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) researcher Russell Barkley. In other words, self-control is the essence of looking-literally and cognitively-before you leap.<

Distracted, Maggie Jackson


>The renowned ADHD researcher Russell Barkley argues that the capacity for executive function and self-control may have evolved in humans from two crucial social needs-exchanging goods and services with those outside the family group and learning through imitation. Such achievements essentially involve forms of waiting and remembering, in other words, the "mental spreadsheet" skills governed by the executive attention network and lacking to varying degrees in people with attention deficit disorders. In periods of alternating plenty and famine, it would behoove lucky hunters or farmers to share extra supplies in exchange for later shares in another's bounty. Similarly, our ability to sustain the memory of a skill, such as toolmaking, over time and distance and then replicate the behavior for one's own purposes, is a crucial and uniquely human capacity. Those with ADHD, however, suffer from forgetfulness and impulsivity, traits that impair their ability to shape the course of their lives. "The child with ADHD will be more under the control of external events than of mental representations about time and the future, under the influence of others rather than acting to control the self, pursuing immediate gratification over deferred gratification and under the influence of the temporal now more than of the probable social futures that lie ahead," asserts Barkley, concluding that ADHD is a disorder of "attention to the future and what one needs to do to prepare for its arrival." It is, he says, a "disorder of time."<

Langsames Lesen:

Langsames Lesen schafft Gelegenheit, Inhalte zu durchdenken und vielfältig mit Langzeitgedächtnisinhalten zu assoziieren. Dieses Vorgehen trägt dazu bei, dass der neu erworbene Inhalt in Situationen, in denen er sich als nützlich und brauchbar erweisen könnte, auch abrufbar ist und in weiteren Denkoperationen Verwertung finden kann.


Ein paar Erzählungen gefunden zu haben, von denen ein echter Zauber ausgeht, ist wohl wesentlich wertvoller, als hunderte Romane durchhastet zu haben.
"Sadly, a mere change of vocabulary doesn't make problems go away."

Jeffrey Gray

Memory consolidation

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows:

"What determines what we remember and what we forget? The key to memory consolidation is attentiveness. Storing explicit memories and, equally important, forming connections between them requires strong mental concentration, amplified by repetition or by intense intellectual or emotional engagement. The sharper the attention, the sharper the memory. "For memory to persist," writes Kandel, "the incoming information must be thoroughly and deeply processed. This is accomplished by attending to the information and associating it meaningfully and systematically with knowledge already well established in memory.

Montag, 21. Mai 2018

Personal relationships with beautiful things:

"The connection we make to beauty - music, art, literature, whatever we find beautiful - becomes as powerful in our lives as we let it. For some people this connection carries no power at all, because they do not allow it to develop. For others it means everything. We may sit in a museum in front of a painting for an hour carrying on a kind of conversation with that painting and develop a special relationship with it as we look at it. It is said that Henry Clay Frick, the famous industrialist who put together one of the greatest private collections of art ever assembled, used to get up in the middle of the night and go down and sit alone in one of the large rooms where his old masters hung. He would look at these works and listen to the paintings as they spoke to him silently. One of the paintings was a Rembrandt self-portrait, full of sadness and pain. The image of Henry Clay Frick, a ruler of the world in his day, sitting alone before Rembrandt at midnight speaks to me of how art and beauty can connect with the human spirit as nothing else can. I imagine Rembrandt told Frick things no one else would, and evoked in him feelings nothing else did."

Edward Halowell, Connect

[See also: Personal relationships with ideas, Building Slowness]

Personal relationships with ideas:

"We all think, so we connect with information and ideas somewhat, but we probably know a few people who have really delved deeply into the pleasures of thought."

Edward Hallowell, Connect


"we all connect to information and ideas. For some people it is the central connection in their lives."


"If you nurture your connection to the world of ideas and information, that world will nurture you as you grow older. It will give you pleasure year after year as you look forward to reading a certain journal, or can't wait for the publication of the next book by a certain author, or eagerly await the results of the next experiment in a certain field."


Will man tatsächlich eine "dauerhafte Beziehung" zu den Inhalten eines Buchs oder eines Artikels aufbauen, kommt es wohl zum einen darauf an, den Lesestoff nicht zu durchhasten, zum anderen darauf, bei Gelegenheit den Lesestoff oder die interessanten Stellen des Lesestoffs erneut zu besuchen.

[See also: Personal relationships with beautiful things, Building Slowness]

Sonntag, 20. Mai 2018

James on Attention:

"Geniuses are commonly believed to excel other men in their power of sustained attention. In most of them, it is to be feared, the so-called 'power' is of the passive sort. Their ideas coruscate, every subject branches infinitely before their fertile mind, and so for hours they may be rapt. But it is their genius making them attentive, not their attention making geniuses of them. And, when we come down to the root of the matter, we see that they differ from ordinary men less in the character of their attention than in the nature of the objects upon which it is successively bestowed."

James on Attention:

"The only general pedagogic maxim bearing on attention is that the more interest the child has in advance in the subject, the better he will attend. Induct him therefore in such a way as to knit each new thing on to some acquisition already there; and if possible awaken curiosity, so that the new thing shall seem to come as an answer, or part of an answer, to a question preexisting in his mind."

Learning – theory and practice

Learning – theory and practice, Emil Kirkegaard


Hallowell, Delivered From Distraction:

"In other ways having ADD is like being supercharged all the time. I tell kids it’s like having a race-car brain. Your brain goes faster than the average brain. Your trouble is putting on the brakes. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you’ve got another idea before you’ve finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea intercepts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and disobedient and defiant and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely. Because you’re trying so hard to get it right. It’s just that you have all these invisible vectors pulling you this way and that, which makes it really hard to stay on task."

"I can pay a lot better attention to something when I’m taking a walk or listening to music or even when I’m in a crowded, noisy room than when I’m sitting still and surrounded by silence. God save me from the reading rooms in libraries. These are peaceful havens for most people, but for me they are torture chambers."

"The way I go through a museum is the way some people go through a bargain basement. Some of this, some of that, oh, this one looks nice, but what about that rack over there? I love art, but my way of loving it can make someone think I’m an ignorant Philistine."

"If there is a separate disorder called Can’t Wait in Lines Disorder, I’ve got it."

"Like so many people with ADD, I lack tact. Tact is entirely dependent on the ability to consider your words before uttering them. We ADD types become like the Jim Carrey character in Liar Liar when he can’t lie. I remember in the fifth grade I noticed my math teacher’s hair in a new style and blurted out, 'Mr. Cook, is that a toupee you’re wearing?' I got kicked out of class."

"I’ve since learned how to stifle most of these gaffes, but I can still get into trouble for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time."

"As you might imagine, intimacy can be a problem if you’ve got to be constantly changing the subject, pacing, scratching, and blurting out tactless remarks. My wife has learned not to take my tuning out personally, and she does say that when I’m there, I’m really there. When we first met, she thought I was some kind of a nut, as I would bolt out of restaurants at the end of meals or disappear to another planet during a conversation. She has since grown accustomed to my sudden comings and goings. I am lucky I married her."

"Many of us with ADD crave high-stimulus situations. In my case, I love casinos and horse races. I deal with this passion by not going often, and when I do go, I bring a modest sum that I can afford to lose. And lose I usually do! Obviously, a craving for high stimulation can get a person into trouble, which is why ADD is prevalent among criminals and self-destructive risk-takers. ADD is also often found among so-called type A personalities, as well as among manic-depressives, sociopaths, violent people, drug abusers, and alcoholics."

"But it is also common among creative and intuitive people in all fields, and among highly energetic, interesting, productive people. You can find high stimulation in being a surgeon, for example, or a trial attorney, or an actor, or a pilot, or a trader on the commodities exchange, or working in a newsroom, or in sales, or in being a race-car driver!"

"Usually the positive side of ADD doesn’t get mentioned when people speak about it."

"Suddenly, the radio station is tuned in, the windshield is clear, the windstorm has died down and you can start to build that house of cards. You can start to use all the great plans and ideas you’ve been storing up for years. Now the adult or the child who had been such a problem, such a nudge, such a general pain in the neck to himself and everybody else, starts doing things he’d never been able to do before. He surprises everyone around him. He also surprises himself. I use the male pronoun, but it could just as easily be she."

"People with ADD often have a special 'feel' for life, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters, while others have to reason their way along methodically. This is the person who can’t tell you how he thought of the solution, or where the idea for the invention came from, or why suddenly he produced such a painting never having painted before, or how he knew the shortcut to the answer for the geometry problem. All she can say is she just saw it, she could feel it."

"If the environment insists on rational, linear thinking and “good” behavior all the time, then these people may never develop their intuitive style to the point where they can use it profitably."

"What is the treatment all about? Anything that reduces the static and strengthens the true signal. Just making the diagnosis helps muffle the static of guilt and self-recrimination. Building certain kinds of structure into one’s life—like lists, timetables, and healthy habits of sleep, diet, and exercise—can sharpen mental focus. Working in small spurts rather than long hauls helps. Breaking down tasks into smaller tasks helps."

"Marrying the right person and finding the right job are probably the two most important 'treatments' for adults. And for kids it is most important to get rid of ridicule and fear from home and school and promote big dreams."

"We who have ADD need help and understanding from others. But, then, who doesn’t? We probably need more than the average person, as we can be especially exasperating and difficult. We may make messes wherever we go, but with the right help, those messes can be turned into realms of reason and art."

"So, if you know someone like me—of any age—who’s acting up and daydreaming and forgetting this or that and just not getting with the program, consider ADD before he starts believing all the bad things people are saying about him and it becomes too late."


"So let me describe ADD from my point of view. First of all, I resent the term. Maybe it’s just because I have ADD myself, but it seems to me that if anyone has a disorder, it is the people who plod along paying close attention to every little speck and crumb, every little detail and rule, every minor policy and procedure in every minuscule manual. I think these are the people who have a disorder. I call it Attention Surplus Disorder. They did exactly what they were told as children, told on others who did not, and now make a living doing what they’re told, telling others what to do, and telling on those who don’t."

"As far as I can see, many people who don’t have ADD are charter members of the Society of the Congenitally Boring. And who do you suppose advanced civilization? Who do you suppose comes up with the new ideas today? People with ADD, of course."

"Many metaphors come to mind to describe it. Having ADD is like driving in the rain with bad windshield wipers. The windshield gets smudged and blurred as you’re speeding along, but you don’t slow down. You keep driving, trying your best to see. Why don’t you slow down or, better yet, pull over? That is not the way with ADD. You keep going. Faster is better. It is in your blood (and in your brain)."

ADD and Criminality:

"I dare say that in any prison in this country you would find that 75 or 80 percent of the guys in jail had ADD as a kid. I would just bet it."

Winifred Gallagher

Samstag, 19. Mai 2018


>when spouses list the past week's events: trips to blockbuster, help the kids with the homework, make the meatloaf, sex, whatever ..., the percentage of a pair's agreement is at the level of mere chance. ... Here are people: they eat together, they sleep together, they are joined at the hip, you would think these people are on the same planet. Sooner or later in your life somebody will say to you: "What do you live in a different world?" And the answer is: "Yes." Here she does and you do. You are focusing on a different reality. And the only way you can bridge that gap is communication. Those little words on the end of the day: "How was your day ...?"<


Für wie viele Personen in unserem Leben empfinden wir tatsächlich tiefes Interesse? Sind es mit Dunbar 5 bzw. 15?


Tiefe wechselseitige Aufmerksamkeit als Grundlage menschlicher Schlüssel-Beziehungen.

Erinnerung an Gespräche:

Es ist freilich schwer, sich an ein Gespräch zu erinnern, wenn man während des Gesprächs mit den Gedanken überall, doch nicht beim Gespräch war.

Freitag, 18. Mai 2018

The domestic-bliss strategy

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:

"The simplest version of die domestic-bliss strategy is this. The female looks the males over, and tries to spot signs of fidelity and domesticity in advance. There is bound to be variation in the population of males in their predisposition to be faithful husbands. If females could recognize such qualities in advance, they could benefit themselves by choosing males possessing them. One way for a female to do this is to play hard to get for a long time, to be coy. Any male who is not patient enough to wait until the female eventually consents to copulate is not likely to be a good bet as a faithful husband. By insisting on a long engagement period, a female weeds out casual suitors, and only finally copulates with a male who has proved his qualities of fidelity and perseverance in advance. Feminine coyness is in fact very common among animals, and so are prolonged courtship or engagement periods. As we have already seen, a long engagement can also benefit a male where there is a danger of his being duped into caring for another male's child. 
Courtship rituals often include considerable pre-copulation investment by the male. The female may refuse to copulate until the male has built her a nest. Or the male may have to feed her quite substantial amounts of food. This, of course, is very good from the female's point of view, but it also suggests another possible version of the domestic-bliss strategy. Could females force males to invest so heavily in their offspring before they allow copulation that it would no longer pay the males to desert after copulation? The idea is appealing. A male who waits for a coy female eventually to copulate with him is paying a cost: he is forgoing the chance to copulate with other females, and he is spending a lot of time and energy in courting her. By the time he is finally allowed to copulate with a particular female, he will inevitably be heavily 'committed' to her. There will be little temptation for him to desert her, if he knows that any future female he approaches will also procrastinate in the same manner before she will get down to business."


William Kerrigan, A Theory of Female Coyness:

"Men in classic Hollywood cinema, which I date from the beginning to 1950, must often choose between two women, one of whom is cultured, well-bred, innocent, while the other is maybe a half-breed, maybe from the wrong side of the tracks, works in a dance hall or a chorus line, maybe smokes and drinks, and has perhaps known other men sexually."

"Marriage is a test, a measure of heterosexual maturity."

"In love poetry the word "coy" refers specifically to the behavior of a woman being courted, whether the end of the courtship be marriage or sexual consummation. It sometimes means "disdainful," implying a haughty and deliberately wounding rejection of the male's suit. But "coy" often appears in the more neutral sense of "delaying" or "refusing to accept or reject." This appears to be the sense implied in Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress." After a long history devoted to the adoration of her beauties, "the last age should show your heart": a coy mistress prolongs the courtship by keeping her feelings undivulged; French coi means "silent" or "reserved". ... Both Randolph and Marvell, then, term "coy" the behavior of a courted woman who will accept the suit but delays this revelation until the courtship has met certain standards, become itself a completed act rather than a wasted time to be gotten through as quickly as possible. It seems to me that such behavior would have to involve the sending of contrary signals: I accept your suit, I do not yet accept your suit; I am sexually interested, I am above sexual interest. ... The woman in Michael Drayton's "To His Coy Love" torments him with "half kisses". "

"By entering into flirtatious games, women are symbolically prolonging and savoring a function the female often performs in the animal kingdom - the role of chooser."

"the gradual overcoming of resistance, the long drawn out victory of "yes," is a strategy for fanning the flames."

"The victory over resistance makes sexuality, for the male, into a conquest, but a conquest that ensures the value of the woman: "Easie riches is notreasure." We must take care, given our sensitivity to words like "conquered," not to suppose that the woman in this game is utterly passive. Being coy is center-stage behavior, a way of continually exhibiting one's libidinal temperature as well as one's moral fiber. Being conquered in this sexual setting is, for the coy woman, a ritual victory."

"For some of our ancestors, at least, female coyness was a therapeutic adaptation to the potential fragility of male love."


The Evolution of Female Coyness, Trading Time for Information - Wachtmeister and Enquist:

"That a female, when courted by a male, is unwilling or unable to start reproduction immediately is referred to as female coyness."

"A classical explanation for coy behaviour is the need for the male and the female to synchronize their reproductive physiology. ... Nevertheless it may be advantageous for females to wait activating the reproductive physiology until meeting a male since it might be costly to always be physiologically prepared for reproduction."

"the longer the female stays coy, the more certain she may become of the male's intentions."


The optimal coyness game, McNamara et al.:

"In many animal species, females will benefit if they can secure their mate’s help in raising their young. It has been suggested that they can achieve this by being coy (i.e. reluctant to mate) when courted, because this gives them time to assess a prospective mate’s helpfulness and hence allows them to reject non-helpful males.

The curse of knowledge:

"The better you know something, the more difficult it becomes to teach it. So says physicist and educator Eric Mazur of Harvard. Why? As you get more expert in complex areas, your models in those areas grow more complex, and the component steps that compose them fade into the background of memory (the curse of knowledge)."

Make It Stick - Brown, Roediger, McDaniel


"What psychologists call the curse of knowledge is our tendency to underestimate how long it will take another person to learn something new or perform a task that we have already mastered. Teachers often suffer this illusion - the calculus instructor who finds calculus so easy that she can no longer place herself in the shoes of the student who is just starting out and struggling with the subject."


Michael Davis:

"Imagine giving a speech you’ve practiced for weeks. You’ve never been more enthusiastic about a presentation. As the speech progresses, you sense a lack of connection with the audience. You conclude and walk off the stage to polite, but muted, applause. To make matter worse, the follow-up surveys are filled with comment like 'I was confused about the main point,' 'the speaker wan’t clear,' and 'I don’t understand the purpose of this speech.'

What happened? How could the audience not get it? You’re an expert in your field, you researched your talk, and these are the responses you get?

What you may be experiencing is, the Curse of Knowledge. This term, originally credited to economist Robin Hogarth, refers to the frustration felt by people who are well-informed about a subject when they interact with people who are less-informed about that subject. If is difficult for the well-informed person to understand why others don’t understand the subject as well."


Peter Hofstätter:

"Die deutsche Übersetzung des Terminus ['Redundanz'] bereitet Schwierigkeiten, weil die 'Überflüssigkeit' von Information zu negativ akzentuiert ist. Wer an mehreren Beispielen oder in unterschiedlichen Formulierungen ('mit anderen Worten ...') denselben Sachverhalt schildert, bietet zwar überflüssige Information an, aber er erleichtert und sichert dabei auch das Verständnis, wie wir das ja z.B. auch bei Geldüberweisungen tun, wenn wir den Betrag sowohl in Zahlen als auch in Worten ausschreiben. Bekanntlich sind von Manuskripten abgelesene Vorträge eben deshalb so ermüdend, weil der schriftliche Text meistens zu wenig an 'überflüssiger' Information (Redundanz) enthält. Der Leser kann in ihm nach Bedarf die Redundanz durch mehrmaliges Lesen vergrößern. Dem Hörer aber mag es so wie Freud ergehen, der wiederholt moniert haben soll, 'dass jemand, der eine Arbeit Wort für Wort vorliest, dem Gastgeber gleiche, der einen Freund zu einer Autofahrt einlädt, dann in den Wagen steigt und den Freund hinter her laufen lässt'."

IQ and Learning Ability:

Bias in Mental Testing, Arthur Jensen:

1. Learning is more highly correlated with IQ when it is intentional and the task calls forth conscious mental effort and is paced in such a way as to permit the subject to "think".

2. Learning is more highly correlated with IQ when the material to be learned is hierarchical, in the sense that the learning of later elements depends on mastery of earlier elements. 

3. Learning is more highly correlated with IQ when the material to be learned is meaningful, in the sense that it is in some way related to other knowledge or experience already possessed by the learner. 

4. Learning is more highly correlated with IQ when the nature of the learning task permits transfer from somewhat different but related past learning. ... Making more and better use of elements of past learning in learning something "new" - in short, the transfer of learning - is positively correlated with IQ.

5. Learning is more highly correlated with IQ when it is insightful, that is, when the learning task involves "catching on" or "getting the idea".

"persons seem to retain only those words which fill some conceptual 'slot' or need in their own mental structures. A new word encountered for the first time which fills such a conceptual 'slot' is picked up and retained without conscious effort, and it will 'pop' into the mind again when the conceptual need for it arises, even though in the meantime the word may not have been encountered for many months or even years. If there was no conceptual slot that needed to be filled, that is to say, no meaning for which the individual has a use and which the word serves to symbolize, it is exceedingly difficult to make the definition of the word stick in the individual's memory. Even after repeated drill, it will quickly fade beyond retrieval."

Arthur Jensen, Intelligence and educability
"Material that is learned by rote association and repetition may appear as gains on an achievement test, but it does not necessarily become consolidated or integrated into the usable, transferable knowledge that we associate with intelligence. Unless it is constantly rehearsed, such knowledge acquired by rote quickly fades and is unretrievable. Anyone who has tried to improve his vocabulary by memorizing definitions of esoteric words appreciates this fact. Thus, no one has yet discovered any way of teaching intelligence to those who are not born with it. To teach intelligence might mean to point out more or less all the conceivable connections, generalizations, and possible transfer of every item of acquired information, and to elicit and reinforce the appropriate responses to these situations. This could involve teaching more than anyone could ever learn. Probably no one would live long enough ever to acquire even a mental age of six."

Arthur Jensen, Intelligence and educability


"Intelligence thus can be thought of psychologically as that aspect of mental ability which consolidates learning and experience in an integrated, organized way, relating it to past learning and encoding it in ways that permit its retrieval in relevant new situations. The products of learning become an aspect of intelligence (or are correlates of intelligence) only when they are organized and retrievable, generalizable and transferable to new problem situations."

Arthur Jensen, Intelligence and educability
"The consolidation factor, C, is a variable which is more or less intrinsic to the individual; ... Stated in simplest terms, C is the process of understanding what one has learned. It is 'getting the idea', 'catching on', having the 'Aha!' experience that may accompany or follow experiencing or learning something, and the relating of new learning to past learning and vice versa. When learning takes place without C acting upon it, it is less retrievable and much less transferable for use in solving problems that are more or less remote from the original learning situation. C is what is generally meant by the term intelligence, but it can be measured only through its interaction with experience or learning. There can be learning without experience (i.e., without C) but intelligence cannot be manifested without learning."

Arthur Jensen, Intelligence and educability

Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018

"Fuller is a consummate professional of the stage, having refined techniques for learning roles over many years ...

'Half of knowing your part is not just what to say, but knowing when to say it. I don't have an exceptional brain for memorizing, but one of the keys I've found is, I need to try my best to say the line without looking at it. I need to have that struggle in order to make myself remember it.' "

Make It Stick - Brown, Roediger, McDaniel
The Slow Professor, 2016:


"The major obstacle to creative and original thinking, Mainemelis found, is the stress of having too much to do:

'Extreme workload pressures in particular, in the form of extreme time pressures and unrealistic expectations for productivity make it virtually impossible for individuals to become engrossed in the task at hand and to experience timelessness.' "


"The main problem with multitasking is summed up memorably by Michael Merzenich in an interview: “We are ‘training our brains to pay attention to the crap.’ "


"Rettig’s wonderful book The Seven Secrets of the Prolific says:

'Time management is not about jamming as much as possible into your schedule, but eliminating as much as possible from your schedule so that you have time to get the important stuff done to a high degree of quality and with as little stress as possible.' "


"Chatfield observes that 'The kind of thoughts that can emerge in ‘empty’ time in our lives ... are impossible to reproduce either through dedicated digital planning or carefully arranged offline sessions. They are moments that steal up on us, most often, when life is not segmented down to the minute.' "


"We need time to do nothing, or what Posen calls 'timeouts.' "

Montag, 14. Mai 2018

Serotonin and Impulsivity:

"Serotonin acts very widely in the brain as a neuromodulator, with regulatory or inhibiting effects on mood, behavior, and cognition (Spoont, 1992). Serotonin not only potentiates the function of effortful control processes that allow the top-down restraint of impulses (Carver et al., 2009), but it also serves to suppress the bottom-up hypothalamic and brainstem systems (including the dopaminergic system) that generate impulses in the first place (Chambers et al., 2003; Gray & McNaughton, 2000). Serotonin acts to limit negative affect and aggression, while maintaining behavioral and motivational stability, and it has been directly linked to Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and low Neuroticism, the traits constituting Stability (e.g., Jang et al., 2001; Manuck et al., 1998). Increasing serotonergic function thus appears to modulate both elements of impulsive action—the impulses and the lack of restraint—so as to reduce impulsivity. Individual differences in serotonergic function are therefore likely to be a key substrate of all impulsivity-­related traits, perhaps most strongly related to the dimension labeled Urgency because this dimension explicitly describes strong impulses as well as weak restraint of those impulses."

Personality and Self-Regulation, Colin DeYoung


"Dickman (1990) proposed the existence of both “functional” and “dysfunctional” forms of impulsivity, suggesting that impulsivity may be beneficial in some circumstances. The scale he devised to measure functional impulsivity assesses comfort with acting, talking, and making decisions quickly, with little or no deliberation, when the situation calls for it, such as in fast-paced conversation or sport, or in the presence of fleeting opportunity. Block (2002) has similarly argued that some degree of “undercontrol” is not detrimental because it allows spontaneous exploration and utilization of unforeseen opportunities. Although impulsivity has typically been considered only as a dysfunctional tendency, the possibility of an adaptive form or level of impulsivity is worth keeping in mind when examining the association of impulsivity with other personality traits."

Personality and Self-Regulation, Colin DeYoung


"Wenn man nur ihre Käfige nahe zusammenstellte, erlosch das Balzverhalten des jeweils schwächeren Vogels. Daß dieses „Nicht-Aufrecht-Erhalten-Können“ des männlichen Gehabens einem stärkeren Artgenossen gegenüber auf einer Art von Einschüchterung beruht, steht über allem Zweifel. Auch im Freileben weicht bei solchen Vögeln, wie man oft genug beobachten kann, ein schwächeres ♂ dem stärkeren und zieht die Flucht einem tatsächlichen Zusammenstoß vor. ... HEINROTH hat solche Instinkthandlungen, die die Funktionen der Drohung gegen andere ♂ ♂ und der Werbung gegenüber dem ♀ in sich vereinigen, sehr treffend als Imponiergehaben bezeichnet. Ein schwächeres ♂ reagiert auf das Imponiergehaben des stärkeren mit Flucht, ohne daß es vorher zum Kampfe kommen muß."


"Die Abhängigkeit von der Stimmung, die Hingebung des Tänzers an das, was sein Tanz ausdrücken soll, das Aufgehen im Emotionalen, das bis zu tranceähnlichen Zuständen führen kann, ist sicherlich das eigentliche Tertium comparationis, das den unvoreingenommenen Beschauer am Imponier-, Droh- und Balzverhalten der Tiere auffällt und an den menschlichen Tanz erinnert. Man denke etwa an das bekannte Beispiel des Auerhahns, der während bestimmter Phasen seines Balz-„Tanzes” buchstäblich blind und taub für äußere Reize ist."



"Bei den Instinktbewegungen des Imponierens, Drohens und Balzens spielen fast immer morphologische Struktur- und Farbmerkmale eine Rolle, durch die eine optische Wirkung der Bewegungsweise verstärkt wird. Meist sind diese körperlichen Differenzierungen so angeordnet, daß sie bei den gewöhnlichen Stellungen des Tieres ziemlich verborgen bleiben, bei der betreffenden Ausdrucksbewegung aber stark in Erscheinung treten und das Aussehen des Tieres oft bis zur Unkenntlichkeit verändern. Man kann dann gut verstehen, daß das Tier in diesem Zustande bei jedem Artgenossen eine völlig andere Reaktionsweise auszulösen vermag als gewöhnlich."


"Erinnern die eben beschriebenen, von morphologischen Merkmalen unterstützten Ausdrucksbewegungen an die Maskentänze gewisser Völker, so besitzt das entsprechende Verhalten solcher Tiere, die eines derartigen „Schmucks” ermangeln, eine anders geartete Analogie zu menschlichen Tänzen. Diese Tiere müssen bei jeder Form der Selbstdarstellung etwas „aus sich zu machen wissen”, ohne daß ihnen besondere Organe zu diesem Behufe zur Verfügung stehen. In derselben Lage befindet sich der Mensch für gewöhnlich ja ebenfalls, und aus dieser Tatsache ergeben sich Parallelen in der speziellen Form des Imponiergehabens, die unter Umständen auf uns komisch wirken, so sehr erinnern die Mittel, mit denen ein junger Graugansert, ein Dohlenmännchen oder ein Hengst zu imponieren sucht, an gewisse allzu menschliche Verhaltensweisen. Man würde es kaum für möglich halten, wieviel ein solches Tier, obwohl allen Schmuckes bar, aus sich zu machen vermag, nur indem es alle gewöhnlichen Bewegungen mit besonderem Kraftaufwand ausführt und ihnen durch kaum angedeutete „tänzerische” Durchformung einen besonderen Schwung verleiht." 
"Wir erleben in allen Zivilisationen einen Prozeß der »Vermausgrauung« des Mannes."

Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt

["Seine Kleidung wird schlicht, der Männerschmuck wird reduziert, und die Waffen werden ganz abgelegt. Auch ein prahlerisches Gehaben fällt der gesellschaftlichen Ächtung anheim. Je unauffälliger einer auftritt, desto besser. Auf diese Weise werden die Reibungsflächen tunlichst geglättet. Nur ranghohe Personen, mit denen sich die Gruppe identifiziert, dürfen ein Gepränge zeigen, aber selbst das wird zunehmend abgebaut."]

Sonntag, 13. Mai 2018

Ein gutes Bild:

Ein gutes Bild ist ein Bild, das uns dazu einlädt, es wieder und wieder zu betrachten. Echte Kunst erschöpft sich kaum.


In welchem Ausmaß lässt sich Nervosität schließlich als Tatbereitschaft verstehen?

Samstag, 12. Mai 2018


>Perseverance reflects the “ability to remain focused on a task that may be boring or difficult” (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001, p. 685). A major factor in the ability to work at a task that is not immediately rewarding is the ability to avoid succumbing to the temptation to do something more immediately rewarding instead. Unlike Premeditation, Perseverance is quite central to Conscientiousness.<

Personality and Self-Regulation, Colin DeYoung

Premeditation & Impulsivity:

>Premeditation reflects “the tendency to think and reflect on the consequences of an act before engaging in that act,” and lack of Premeditation appears to be the most common conceptualization of impulsivity in personality psychology (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001, p. 685). The working definition of impulsivity, presented earlier, described two modes of failure to restrain impulses: (1) failure to consider possible negative consequences before acting and (2) succumbing to temptation despite considering negative consequences. Lack of Premeditation clearly indicates the former.<

Personality and Self-Regulation, Colin DeYoung


Eine Form des Pseudo-Lernens besteht darin, dass Stoffen so oberflächliche Aufmerksamkeit gewidmet wird, dass Inhalte gar nicht ins Langzeitgedächtnis gelangen.
"You usually have to slow down to spot, understand and manage the details."

"In every walk of life, more and more of us are starting to accept that when tackling hard problems faster is not always better, that the best solutions take flight when we invest enough time, effort and resources. When we slow down, in other words."

"How many figures have ever won power by declaring 'It will take me a long time to work out how to solve our problems?' Slowing down to reflect, analyze or consult can seem indulgent or weak, especially in moments of crisis."

" 'Although moderate levels of time pressure don’t harm creativity, extreme time pressure can stifle creativity because people can’t deeply engage with the problem,' says Amabile. 'Creativity usually requires an incubation period; people need time to soak in a problem and let the ideas bubble up.' "

"When we are calm, unhurried and free from stress and distractions, the brain slips into a richer, more nuanced mode of thought. Some call this Slow Thinking, and the best minds have always understood its power."

" 'When you’re tackling any kind of problem in life, you have to know when to be fast and when to be slow,' says Sam Micklus. 'It’s like the marathon and the sprint, and the best problem-solvers can do both.' "

Carl Honore, The Slow Fix

Practical Wisdom and Excellence in Deliberation

Nicomachean Ethics:

"There is a difference between investigating and deliberating: to deliberate is to investigate a particular kind of object. We must also try to grasp what excellence in deliberation is: whether it is some sort of scientific knowledge, opinion, shrewd guessing, or something generically different from any of these. 
Now, scientific knowledge it is certainly not: people do not investigate matters they already know. But good deliberation is a kind of deliberation, and when a person deliberates he is engaged in investigating and calculating [things not yet decided]. Nor yet is it shrewd guessing. For shrewd guessing involves no reasoning and proceeds quickly, whereas deliberation takes a long time. As the saying goes, the action which follows deliberation should be quick, but deliberation itself should be slow. Furthermore, quickness of mind is not the same as excellence in deliberation: quickness of mind is a kind of shrewd guessing. Nor again is excellence in deliberation any form of opinion at all. But since a person who deliberates badly makes mistakes, while he who deliberates well deliberates correctly, it clearly follows that excellence in deliberation is some kind of correctness. But it is correctness neither of scientific knowledge nor of opinion. There cannot be correctness of scientific knowledge any more than there can be error of scientific knowledge; and correctness of opinion is truth. Moreover, anything that is an object of opinion is already fixed and determined, while deliberation deals with objects which remain to be determined. Still, excellence in deliberation does involve reasoning, and we are, consequently, left with the alternative that it is correctness of a process of thought; for thinking is not yet an affirmation. For while opinion is no longer a process of investigation but has reached the point of affirmation, a person who deliberates, whether he does so well or badly, is still engaged in investigating and calculating something [not yet determined].
Good deliberation is a kind of correctness of deliberation. We must, therefore, first investigate what deliberation is and with what objects it is concerned. Since the term “correctness” is used in several different senses, it is clear that not every kind of correctness in deliberation [is excellence in deliberation]. For (1) a morally weak or a bad man will, as a result of calculation, attain the goal which he has proposed to himself as the right goal to attain. He will, therefore, have deliberated correctly, but what he will get out of it will be a very bad thing. But the result of good deliberation is generally regarded as a good thing. It is this kind of correctness of deliberation which is good deliberation, a correctness that attains what is good. 
But (2) it is also possible to attain something good by a false syllogism, i.e., to arrive at the right action, but to arrive at it by the wrong means when the middle term is false. Accordingly, this process, which makes us attain the right goal but not by the right means, is still not good deliberation. 
Moreover, (3) it is possible that one man attains his goal by deliberating for a long time, while another does so quickly. Now, long deliberation, too, is not as such good deliberation: excellence in deliberation is correctness in assessing what is beneficial, i.e., correctness in assessing the goal, the manner, and the time. 
Again, (4) it is possible for a person to have deliberated well either in general, in an unqualified sense, or in relation to some particular end. Good deliberation in the unqualified sense of course brings success in relation to what is, in an unqualified sense, the end, [i.e., in relation to the good life]. Excellence in deliberation as directed toward some particular end, however, brings success in the attainment of some particular end. 
Thus we may conclude that, since it is a mark of men of practical wisdom to have deliberated well, excellence in deliberation will be correctness in assessing what is conducive to the end, concerning which practical wisdom gives a true conviction."
"Our conscious awareness is 'grabbed' by whatever is most unexpected at any moment[.]"

Jeffrey Gray

Effortful Recall (II):

"Effortful recall of learning, as happens in spaced practice, requires that you "reload" or reconstruct the components of the skill or material anew from long-term memory rather than mindlessly repeating them from short-term memory."


"Massed practice gives us the warm sensation of mastery because we're looping information through short-term memory without having to reconstruct the learning from long-term memory. But just as with rereading as a study strategy, the fluency gained through massed practice is transitory, and our sense of mastery illusory. It's the effortful process of reconstructing the knowledge that triggers reconsolidation and deeper learning."

make it stick - Brown, Roediger, McDaniel
"Because every person was free to chart his own course of reading, to define his own syllabus, individual memory became less of a socially determined construct and more the foundation of a distinctive perspective and personality."

Nicholas Carr

Freitag, 11. Mai 2018

Outbreeding: not what you may think

Evo and Proud - Peter Frost

[See also: Patrick Bateson on "Optimal Outbreeding", Richard D. Alexander, Norbert Bischof]
Thinking, fast and slow:

"Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed. Memory function is an attribute of System 1. However, everyone has the option of slowing down to conduct an active search of memory for all possibly relevant facts—just as they could slow down to check the intuitive answer in the bat-and-ball problem. The extent of deliberate checking and search is a characteristic of System 2, which varies among individuals."


Das Problem beim Unterstreichen bzw. beim allzu exzessiven Unterstreichen ist ja, dass man dadurch auch schon glaubt, sich eine Aussage/eine Stelle/einen Sachverhalt eingeprägt zu haben. Das gelingt jedoch nur, wenn man über die Stelle nicht hinwegeilt, bei ihr verweilt, und ihr tatsächlich Aufmerksamkeit widmet. Tendenziell sollte man beim Erarbeiten von Texten bloß sparsam unterstreichen. Für die aufmerksame Wahrnehmung wichtiger Aussagen sollte man sich sogleich Zeit nehmen. Und nicht glauben, dass, da man wichtige Aussagen unterstrichen habe, sich diese auch ohne aufmerksame Beachtung im eigenen Kopf finden.

The familial origins of European individualism

The familial origins of European individualism, Kevin MacDonald:

"Whereas Hartman and others emphasize late marriage as the key feature of Western families, perhaps because of a heightened concern for feminist issues, an evolutionary analysis emphasizes the cutting off from the wider kinship group. This implies greater individualism as individuals are to a much greater extent enmeshed with non-relatives and forced to make their own plans for the future. For example, in contemplating marriage, couples had to have an expectation of economic viability and the ability to set up their own households and plan for their own retirement."

"Hartman emphasizes that the nuclear family resulted in people having to plan their own lives. Women, for example, would avoid pregnancy before marriage by not having sex. (Despite late marriage, illegitimacy was “extremely low.” This implied a long period of voluntary sexual restraint prior to marriage—likely resulting in selection against those, especially women, who had sex outside marriage, although courts stood ready to force marriages for women with a child born out of wedlock in order to avoid having to support them. The low level of illegitimacy in a situation where people had significant freedom to plan their own lives implies a strong role for ... the personality trait of effortful control of impulses (conscientiousness). ... Thus nuclear families meant a greater reliance on individual planning and effort. Whereas social roles, marriage partner (often first cousins) and age of women’s marriage are largely pre-determined in collectivist cultures, in the individualist areas of Europe, individuals were free to choose a marriage partner, and they had to decide when to get married, the latter decision normatively made only after securing a viable economic niche. By the fourteenth century in England, most people worked for wages paid by non-relatives, and in general children were “expected to leave home, accumulate their own wealth, choose their own marriage partners and locate and occupy their own economic niche.” There was widespread ownership of land."

"In Salem there was “an intense focus on planning for the future,” and inheriting land became less and less important as the capitalist economy took off and men pursued identities in the professions and in business within a contractual social order."

"In Salem, women became “deputy husbands,” often doing “men’s work” and taking a partnership role in family decisions and economic undertakings (e.g., managing family businesses). Men relied more on their wives than on their male kin, and in general sex differences were relatively blurred compared to Montaillou. Marriage was more egalitarian in Salem, with more of a “shared division of power between husbands and wives.”"

"Whereas in Montaillou the only women who were preyed on did not have a clan to protect them, in Salem women had some legal protection even from husbands, and they could run away and seek a divorce. Women assumed substantial responsibility for their own chastity—necessary because women interacted with more non-relatives than in Montaillou."

"Because of weaker family ties, there are higher levels of homelessness in northern Europe (because people tend to be left to fend for themselves), as well as higher levels of loneliness and suicide. On the other hand, individual initiative and dynamism are much more characteristic of northwestern European societies, traits that are “so important for democracy and civil society in the West.”

"As noted, the moderate individualist societies of northwest Europe were conducive to women acting independently and having a more equal relationship with their husbands. Even in the nineteenth century, a time when many historians have said women had lower status and withdrew from work, women were partners and “were required to keep households afloat”. “One irony is that long-range planning, risk-taking, personal responsibility, and independence have yet to be recognized as mass behaviors generated by the demands of life in distinctive sorts of households—in other words, as normative conduct required of everyone in late-marriage, weak-family settings.

The Uptalk Epidemic

The Uptalk Epidemic

Donnerstag, 10. Mai 2018

Das Verweilen beim Lernen:

Beim Lernen von Lernstoffen, macht es des öfteren Sinn, bei einzelnen Sachverhalten länger zu verweilen, und diesen eingehend Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen. Lernen lernen bedeutet schließlich auch verweilen lernen.

Im Sinne Nietzsche's:

>Sehen lernen - dem Auge die Ruhe, die Geduld, das An-sich-herankommen-lassen angewöhnen; das Urteil hinausschieben, den Einzelfall von allen Seiten umgehen und umfassen lernen. Das ist die erste Vorschulung der Geistigkeit: auf einen Reiz nicht sofort reagieren, sondern die hemmenden, die abschließenden Instinkte in die Hand bekommen. Sehen lernen, so wie ich es verstehe, ist beinahe Das, was die unphilosophische Sprechweise den starken Willen nennt: das Wesentliche daran ist gerade nicht "wollen", die Entscheidung aussetzen können. Alle Ungeistigkeit, alle Gemeinheit beruht auf dem Unvermögen, einem Reiz Widerstand zu leisten - man muss reagieren, man folgt jedem Impulse.<