24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Strategic Allocation of Attention

Instead, Mischel discovered something interesting when he studied the tiny percentage of kids who could successfully wait for the second treat. Without exception, these “high delayers” all relied on the same mental strategy: They found a way to keep themselves from thinking about the treat, directing their gaze away from the yummy marshmallow. Some covered their eyes or played hide-and-seek underneath the desks. Others sang songs from Sesame Street, or repeatedly tied their shoelaces, or ...
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Jonah Lehrer describes a characteristic of children who are later successful in life. They have much better self-control early in life, and they accomplish this by strategically allocating their attention elsewhere to avoid breaking the rules.

08 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Deep Cost of Science

"Oh... there aren't many people who know how to do true science - understanding something for the very first time, even if it confuses the hell out of you. Help would be helpful." Draco stared at Harry with his mouth open. "But make no mistake, Draco, true science really isn't like magic, you can't just do it and walk away unchanged like learning how to say the words of a new spell. The power comes with a cost, a cost so high that most people refuse to pay it." Draco nodded at this as tho...
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Is learning to admit your wrong, and everytime you change your mind you change yourself.

05 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Negative Capability

I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, upon various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason - Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caugh...
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According to wikipedia: "...the capacity of human beings to transcend and revise their contexts." Here is the first use of the term by John Keats, where it sounds more like the ability to remain calm and rational in the face of uncertainty and not jump to conclusions without evidence.

16 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 The Mental Benefits of Studying Mathematics

These Disciplines [mathematics] serve to inure and corroborate the Mind to a constant Diligence in Study; to undergo the Trouble of an attentive Meditation, and cheerfully contend with such Difficulties as lie in the Way. They wholly deliver us from a credulous Simplicity, most strongly fortify us against the Vanity of Scepticism, effectually restrain from a rash Presumption, most easily incline us to a due Assent, perfectly subject us to the Government of right Reason, and inspire us with Re...
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Understanding, meditation, abstraction, harmony, peace of mind... the list goes on and on.

14 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Avicenna Describes His Learning

At night I would return home, set out a lamp before me, and devote myself to reading and writing. Whenever sleep overcame me or I became conscious of weakening, I would turn aside to drink a cup of wine, so that my strength would return to me. Then I would return to reading. And whenever sleep seized me I would see those very problems in my dream; and many questions became clear to me in my sleep. I continued in this until all of the sciences were deeply rooted within me and I understood them...
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Disciplined, exhaustive, and systematic.