Tag Archives: creativity

bipedal sentient Petri

bipedal sentient Petri

Long-time readers of BoyDownTheLane know that I am deeply interested in the capacities and capabilities of the human mind.

This is reflected in my e-book “Summon The Magic” and the fact that I retain and continue to delve into many of the ideas and texts it describes.  Certainly meditation is on the list.

 

Musical backdrop?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zh0-T0efTY&list=RD7zh0-T0efTY#t=1 

 

I have had some experience with binaural-beats-guided audiated meditation, HoloSync to be more specific.  I have had some experience, indirectly and directly, with the ways in which the human mind can be used by its owner for healing purposes. When I was hospitalized, I had a personal experience with the power of will in that I literally willed a temporarily-frozen left lower extremity to lift itself off the hospital bed mattress. (It should be noted that that evolution took a concerted and repeated effort over the course of two and a half days.) The technique was suggested to me by my son, who had read and explored a bit of my e-book, and who had talked to a PGA pro who had had a similar medical incident. It’s funny how things come back around.  One of the doctors who cared for me observed that I had taught my son who in turn taught me. But I remember the excitement with which I demonstrated my “athletic feat” to doctors, nurses and therapists.

Readers know, too, that I like to share the meat and potatoes of my personal learning curves with the knowledge that somewhere out there is someone who will benefit. I try extra hard not to present myself as the expert, merely the bipedal sentient Petri dish into which learning and experience is inserted.  I learn something along the way, to be sure, but it takes a while for me to delve deeply into the book, video, topic, technique etc. and, like anyone else, sometimes I get distracted, demotivated, or something else becomes more of a priority. If I live to be 150, I might be able to finish the material I have assembled. And there are days in which some of the material is simply too dense to be consumed meaningfully.  Tomorrow, however….

And long-term readers know that I have danced with a long-term cardiac condition.  So when the brain meets up with the heart….

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a fellow who is a very unique being. He is a holistic psychiatrist. He researches, writes about, explores and makes movies about the capacity of the human brain to affect the body and the world it finds itself in. The movie I speak of is “The Joy of Sox: Weird Science and the Power of Intention”, a DVD copy of which he gifted me. Mr. and Mrs. Blogger are avid (in her case, diehard) Red Sox fans and baseball nuts. See http://www.thejoyofsoxmovie.com for more information.

The very unique being I speak of is a “board certified psychiatrist with the Pain Management Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Dr. Leskowitz has an appointment with the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School, directs the hospital’s Integrative Medicine Task Force, and has several conferences on the topic of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Rehabilitation. He edited a recent text of the same name (Churchill Livingstone, 2003), and has written and lectured widely on the field of energy medicine. His September 2005 Op-Ed in the Boston Globe, “Can Weird Science Save the Sox?” started the process that culminated in The Joy of Sox. Read more about Rick and his work in alternative medicine at his website www.EnergyMedicine101.com.”

Here is his article on The Role of Mindfullness, Meditation and Prayer after Brain Injury .

He is a member of The Sports Energy Group.

Here is an interview he did on the use of energy psychology and the alleviation of pain.

For $75, you can get a copy of the 200+ page book he edited in 2009 entitled “Transpersonal Hypnosis: Gateway to Body, Mind and Spirit”. Go here to bookdepository.com.  The book presents “a multidimensional, energy-based view of human awareness that integrates disparate biological, psychological, and spiritual therapeutic techniques. Each of the chapters – all from world-renowned contributors – includes both a historical overview and the theory behind the development of each technique. The authors emphasize experimental studies that examine the validity of using hypnotically accessed transpersonal states of consciousness to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Several clinical vignettes highlight the types of medical and psychological symptoms responsive to these approaches. The emerging field of spiritually-influenced treatments is transforming the practice of medicine.”

This link ( http://www.healingisfreedom.com/science/autoimmune-depression-10-science-based-strategies-feel-better-fast/ ), useful in many ways, has a section in which Dr. Leskowitz explains and introduces “tapping”, a technique employed by athletes and others. There’s a demo video at the link.

Here are two more links on tapping:

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/blog/lissa-rankin-must-watch/ 

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/ 

Here are two books recommended for reading for students who take a course on health psychology taught at Brandeis:

Richard O. Straub (2014) Health Psychology: A Biopsychosocial Approach, 4th edition. New York: Worth Publishers ISBN: 978-1-4641-0937-9

Robert M. Sapolsky (2004) Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, 3rd edition, Holt Paperbacks, New York; ISBN-13: 978-0805073690

The Harvard Medical School newsletter “Healthbeat” has an issue devoted to  anxiety and physical illness.

The world-famous Lown Institute ( http://lowninstitute.org ) is just down the street from where my old office was when I used to coordinate satellite TV-based continuing medical education in the fields of pediatrics and orthopedics. (The start-up venture went bust, but the boy born upstairs at the old Lying-In Institute at Brigham and Women’s just got named the Northeast Sales Manager for a new West Coast golf apparel chain.)  I urge you to read about the founder, Bernard Lown, the depth and breadth of the institute he founded, and more.  There is expertise there in health care, especially in cardiovascular medicine, that can’t be bested. There are publications, tools, news and more for you.

Dr. Lown maintains his own blog: https://bernardlown.wordpress.com.

To learn more about the intersection of behavior and cardiovascular health, go here: https://www.questia.com/library/3640527/handbook-of-psychology-and-health-cardiovascular.

Lown himself as an e-book on biological and psychological factors in disease. Further searching will allow you to find material on the topic of neuropsychiatric factors in cardiovascular disease, as well as info on Dr. Dean Ornish ( http://deanornish.com ).

 

Biological and Psychological Factors in Cardiovascular Disease – Google Books cardiovascular and psychiatric FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14 cardiovascular and psychiatric FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14  

 

FAQ_Ornish_Program_8.19.14 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN

Here’s the Brutally Honest Truth About the Creative Process

https://www.wired.com/2016/12/sunday-sketching-christoph-niemann-tells-brutal-truth-creative-process/ 

 

http://images.crateandbarrel.com/is/image/Crate/VivMartinis8SHF15/$web_product_hero$&/150817160027/viv-martini-glasses-set-of-eight.jpg

“What is an “eight-martini” result? 

“Well, this is an intelligence community in-house term for remote viewing data so good that it cracks everyone’s realities. So they have to go out and drink eight martinis to recover”.

– Ingo Swann

Eight martinis is a magazine dedicated to the pursuit and the application of the Art of Remote Viewing. Each Issue we present Remote Viewing sessions & examples, projects, news and theories from some of the leading Remote Viewing practitioners and thinkers.

The magazine currently comes in two formats; a FREE download as an Adobe pdf file and as a Full color printed and delivered to your door – magazine.

Eight martinis recently applied for and recieved an ISSN. (International Standard Serial Number). The ISSN is the standardized international code which allows the identification of any serial publication, including electronic serials, independently of its country of publication, of its language or alphabet, of its frequency, or medium.

eight martinis ISSN numbers are:

Eight martinis (Print) ISSN 2045-2462

Eight martinis (Online) ISSN 2045-2470

 

Issues, posts and more at the link:

http://www.eightmartinis.com 

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8gCJRbg3Sw8/UPyZrrmUhoI/AAAAAAAAC4M/5iyZWe3zhZs/s400/%25E2%2580%259CThe%2Btwo%2Bmost%2Bimportant%2Bdays%2Bin%2Byour%2Blife%2Bare%2Bthe%2Bday%2Byou%2Bare%2Bborn%2Band%2Bthe%2Bday%2Byou%2Bfind%2Bout%2Bwhy.%25E2%2580%259D%2B-Mark%2BTwain2.jpg

THE AWAKENING – Quantum Mechanics of the Human Brain & Consciousness

[50 minutes]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2baCg8SHGM 

expect a quiz tomorrow

 

 

 

Source of featured entry masthead image: 

http://www.corespirit.com/scientists-discover-off-switch-human-consciousness-deep-within-brain/ 

Extra image from the same article:

http://www.corespirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/claustrum.jpg 

AI for bipeds

AI for bipeds

Google has released a handful of AI experiments that tap into advances in machine learning in creative ways.

They include Quick, Draw!, a game in which an algorithm tries to guess what you’re sketching, A.I. Duet, which lets you compose pieces of music with a creative computer, and ways to visualize how neural networks represent information and see the world.

The projects show off some new AI features Google has built into an overhauled cloud computing platform. But they also help make AI less mysterious, and hint at ways in which the technology may become more accessible to all of us.

Take Quick, Draw!, for example. You have 20 seconds to draw six simple objects, and a computer tries to guess what you’re working on in the allotted time. Under the hood, the game runs a learning system that Google uses for character recognition. The system analyzes not only the shape, but also the strokes you used to draw it. It’s a neat way to understand a machine-learning approach that’s used by millions on their smartphones. It’s also quite addictive, even if it always seems to mistake my ducks for potatoes.

In in A.I. Duets, you get to make music with an algorithm. Through an effort called Project Magenta, Google researchers are exploring ways of using neural networks to mimic human creativity. The results are fascinating, especially because how musical creativity works remains rather mysterious. Part of the motivation for Google’s project, indeed, is exploring human intelligence by copying its musicality.

Among the projects aimed at elucidating the inner workings of neural networks is one called Visualizing High Dimensional Space. Created by several experts in data visualization, this effort shows how a large neural network stores and draws connections between different pieces of data.

The results are often beautiful, but they also highlight one way that we might be able to understand powerful machine-learning systems that would normally be inscrutable.

This could be pretty important for everyone. Imagine, for example, an algorithm that just flagged an apparently healthy patient as likely to develop a particular disease. The ability to inspect a network’s inner connections could make that decision less difficult to understand, and make treatment easier to justify.

So if you want to understand the revolution in machine intelligence that’s upending just about every industry, Google’s online AI laboratory is well worth a visit.

(Read more: A.I. Experiments, Silicon Angle, “OK, Computer, Write Me A Song,” “The Hit Charade,” “AI’s Language Problem”)

by Will Knight November 18, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602941/want-to-understand-ai-try-sketching-a-duck-for-a-neural-network/MIT 

Learn more about artificial intelligence at EmTech Digital 2017.

Register now 

[&&]{**}[##]

source of featured image

http://www.pcmag.com/news/347944/salesforce-brings-artificial-intelligence-to-crm-with-einste 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XADcSAyjFOo

On September 20, 2016, Accenture Strategy presented Symphonologie: The Music of Business debuted at the Louvre Museum in Paris. This unique sensory experience featured a full orchestra performing a 3-movement symphony inspired by the top stories of business and technology and interpreted though artificial intelligence. Symphonologie was brought to life by a team of strategists, creative technologists and musicians, and designed to reveal how strategy and technology together can unlock a new way to view the world. Learn more at http://www.symphonologie.com/

See also http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orchestra-music-symphonologie-by-artificial-intelligence-human-composers/

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.learnartificialneuralnetworks.com/ai.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

You can have a conversation with an AI bot here: http://alice.pandorabots.com 

 

 

http://www.chatterbotcollection.com/images/FakeCaptainKirk.jpg

Here was my conversation with Captain Kirk:

 

Lieutenant: I am a bosun’s mate in training 

James T. Kirk: I know you are. 

Lieutenant: how long will my training take> 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: It is difficult to learn this material about AI. 

James T. Kirk: I don’t see the difficulty. 

Lieutenant: That’s because you have graduated and you are the Captain. 

James T. Kirk: Explain.. Lieutenant, our heading takes us near the Ceti Alpha star system.. Not necessarily, Lieutenant. I’ve heard of the theoretical possibility of life based on silicon. A silicon-based life would be of an entirely different order. It’s possible that our phasers might not affect it. 

Lieutenant: How long will that journey take? 

James T. Kirk: Hopefully not too much longer. 

Lieutenant: You ave a sly sense of humor. 

James T. Kirk: I can’t quite place him, but. What about Miss Hedford? 

Lieutenant: I should have typed “You have a sly sense of humor.” 

James T. Kirk: Perhaps you were. Both Nancy and Crater went out of their way to mention one item they needed. 

Lieutenant: Who are Nancy and Crater? 

James T. Kirk: Too much recursion in AIML.

Perhaps some form of mediation can be helpful in your difficulties. The Federation Bureau of Industrialisation may be of aid to you.

 

For more of this kind of thing, go here:

http://www.a-i.com 

 

[&&]{**}[##]

Very highly recommended, especially for the graphics, and purchasable in pdf format

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html 

http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html 

 

[&&]{**}[##]

The modern definition of artificial intelligence (or AI) is “the study and design of intelligent agents” where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximizes its chances of success.[1] John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956,[2] defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”[3] Other names for the field have been proposed, such as computational intelligence,[4] synthetic intelligence[4][5] or computational rationality.[6] The term artificial intelligence is also used to describe a property of machines or programs: the intelligence that the system demonstrates.

AI research uses tools and insights from many fields, including computer science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, operations research, economics, control theory, probability, optimization and logic.[7] AI research also overlaps with tasks such as robotics, control systems, scheduling, data mining, logistics, speech recognition, facial recognition and many others.[8]

Much much more here: 

http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Artificial_intelligence 

[&&]{**}[##]

“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

[##]

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg/220px-Superintelligence-Paths_Dangers_Strategies.jpg 

A philosopher worries about computers’ ever accelerating abilities to outpace human skills

By Christof Koch on September 1, 2015
“We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers perform tasks that, until recently, could be done only by people…. For the record, most experts believe that strong machine intelligence will arrive before the century is over, assuming current trends continue.

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies deals with the aftermath of that event. The book’s author, Nick Bostrom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, has a background in theoretical physics and neuroscience. His scholarly work is focused on understanding and mitigating emerging risks that threaten the very survival of the human species: full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nanotechnology or runaway machine intelligence.

Superintelligence deals with the last. I warmly recommend the opening and the closing chapters for their enticing arguments, soaring metaphors and insightful fables. You will come away unsettled, if not downright frightened…..

To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?

How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI’s action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?

In a field largely defined by science-fiction novels and movies acting as laboratories for exploring the possible, Bostrom’s Superintelligence is a philosopher’s Cassandra call to action (adorned with more than 40 pages of endnotes). Woe to us if we don’t eventually tackle the questions that the book throws out. Doing so effectively will be possible only once we have a principled, scientific account of the internal constraints and the architecture of biological intelligence. Only then will we be in a better position to put effective control structures in place to maximize the vast benefits that may come about if we develop smart companions to help solve the myriad problems humankind faces.”

 

Christof Koch is president and chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. He serves on Scientific American Mind’s board of advisers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-artificial-intelligence-surpass-our-own/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superintelligence:_Paths,_Dangers,_Strategies 

[##]

“… This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.”

amazon.com

http://www.kurzweilai.net/superintelligence-paths-dangers-strategies 

[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Nf3TcMiHo 

 [Nick Bostrom’s TED Talk on “a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and cloning long before they became mainstream concerns. Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, bioethics and probability.” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOhb7wkyMVo [107] [Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence]

[&&]{**}[##]

How artificial intelligence is changing economic theory

July 17, 2015 by Leah Burrows

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-artificial-intelligence-economic-theory.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

The Three Breakthroughs that Have Unleased AI

https://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science and a set of computational technologies that are inspired by—but typically operate quite differently from—the ways people use their nervous systems and bodies to sense, learn, reason, and take action. While the rate of progress in AI has been patchy and unpredictable, there have been significant advances since the field’s inception sixty years ago. Once a mostly academic area of study, twenty-first century AI enables a constellation of mainstream technologies that are having a substantial impact on everyday lives…..”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND LIFE IN 2030

ONE HUNDRED YEAR STUDY ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE |

REPORT OF THE 2015 STUDY PANEL | SEPTEMBER 2016

The Stanford 100 Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)

https://ai100.stanford.edu/2016-report 

https://ai100.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ai100report10032016fnl_singles.pdf 

[&&]{**}[##]

“The human brain has many interesting properties. Raj Reddy speculated that there are about one hundred billion neural cells in the human brain and the brain might be performing 200 trillion operations per second if not faster than that [12]. In problem domains such as vision, speech and motor processes, “it is more powerful than 1,000 supercomputers; however, for simple tasks such as multiplication, it is less powerful than a four bit microprocessor” [12]. These processing events taking place in the brain require little conscious effort and awareness on the part of humans and they are extremely difficult for machines to emulate. Conversely, machines can excel in some processes that are difficult if not impossible to a human being. Reddy went on to argue that silicon-based intelligence, if it’s ever achieved, might just have different attributes after all.”

[12]. Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. Reddy, R. Winter, 1988, AI Magazine, p. 9.  

The History of Artificial Intelligence, p. 15

full pdf here:

 http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/csep590/06au/projects/history-ai.pdf

 

[&&]{**}[##]

Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Executive Office of the President

National Science and Technology Council

Committee on Technology

October 2016

58-page pdf: preparing_for_the_future_of_ai 

[&&]{**}[##]

A tutorial on AI and video games

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/video-games-and-artificial-intelligence/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.mbchapel.org/site/images/video_library.jpg 

President Barack Obama on How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Jobs | WIRED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgL32wtgeXQ

[10 minutes]

See also 

The White House today release a report on the future of artificial intelligence. The document covered a number of concerns. Perhaps the shortest major section was “AI, Automation, and the Economy.”

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/ 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/whitehouse_files/microsites/ostp/NSTC/preparing_for_the_future_of_ai.pdf 

 

[##]

Other Videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TRv0cXUVQw

An 8-minute video primer on AI

[##]

Artificial Intelligence and the Future

Deep Mind’s Demis Hassabis at the Royal Society of the Arts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEL4iR-d4L8

[48 minutes]

[##]

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wxwSdQpjHk 

[50 minutes]

[##]

Blurring the Lines Between Humans and Machines

Speakers

Pascale Fung, Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics; Chief Scientist, Aidyia Ltd.

Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Corp.; Chairman, Asia-Pacific R&D Group, Microsoft

Filmed Sept 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko5rvfiK5vM

[60 minutes]

[##]

OpenAI – Deep Learning for Computer Vision

Andrej Karpathy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_njYDK9Frpg 

[85 minutes]

[&&]{**}[##]

THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

http://www.aaai.org/home.html 

A major source for symposia, conferences and a magazine

[&&]{**}[##]

Journals and Books

[&&]{**}[##]

See the bibliography here

http://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/computers-and-electrical-engineering/computers-and-computing/artificial 

{**}

Artificial Intelligence, which commenced publication in 1970, is now the generally accepted premier international forum for the publication of results of current research in this field.

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/artificial-intelligence/

{**}

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

(Third edition) by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig

The leading textbook in Artificial Intelligence.

Used in over 1300 universities in over 110 countries.

The 22nd most cited computer science publication on Citeseer (and 4th most cited publication of this century).

http://aima.cs.berkeley.edu 

{**}

Ai4u: Mind-1.1 Programmer s Manual (Paperback)

Arthur T Murray

Published by iUniverse, United States (2002)

ISBN 10: 0595259227 ISBN 13: 9780595259229

New Paperback

Item Description: iUniverse, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 215 x 172 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. AI4U: Mind-1.1 Programer s Manual has the following positive and negative points. + It describes the rapidly evolving AI Minds on the Web. – It quickly becomes obsolete as the AI hyper-evolves. + On-demand publishing (ODP) makes for quick updates. – The Mentifex project is considered oddball on the Net. + You ve got the first book about the first real AI Mind. – There are other, better, more authoritative AI textbooks. + AI4U makes a good supplement for actually coding AI. – Artificial intelligence is too hard to understand. + AI4U describes the AI while it is still easy to learn. – I would rather build robots than study AI programming. + If you want to build a smart robot, then AI4U is for you. – I m only a high school student/teacher; what s the use? + This book will challenge even the most gifted student. – I am not a programmer and so I can t code AI. + AI4U teaches you how to operate an AI, not just code it. – I just want to do Web design, not artificial intelligence. + AI4U provides an AI that you may install on your website. – I am more interested in neuroscience and/or psychology. + AI4U teaches a theory of how the brain works psychologically. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780595259229

http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/arthur-t-murray/ 

See also:

https://bytes.com/topic/c/answers/62154-c-ai-blog 

http://www.nothingisreal.com/mentifex_faq.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-artificial-intelligence–cs271 

[four-month self-paced nanodegree]

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BI-AA979_AI_G_20150506144558.jpg 

source of image:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/12/03/artificial-intelligence-ethics-a-new-focus-at-cambridge-university/ 

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/artificial-intelligence-rankings  

MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

https://www.csail.mit.edu 

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-034-artificial-intelligence-fall-2010/lecture-videos/ [open courseware at MIT]

https://www.edx.org/course/artificial-intelligence-uc-berkeleyx-cs188-1x [free course at Berkeley]

https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-825-techniques-in-artificial-intelligence-sma-5504-fall-2002/lecture-notes/Lecture1Final.pdf 

[&&]{**}[##]

click on large image

http://www.legaltechnology.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Artificial-Intelligence-AI-larger-graphic.png 

Artificial Intelligence in Law – The State of Play in 2015?

Added on the 3rd Nov 2015 at 12:17 pm

by Michael Mills, the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic Inc., developers of a no-code software platform with which non-programmers can build expert systems to automate advice, documents, and processes.

http://www.legaltechnology.com/latest-news/artificial-intelligence-in-law-the-state-of-play-in-2015/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

On the validity of the Turing Test

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/ai/turing.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms are at the heart of an emerging digital world.

That was one of the chiefs components of Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research opening remarks at today’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo show in Orlando.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the center,” Sondergaard said told a crowd of more than 8,000 CIOs and IT leaders. “The new competitive differentiator is understanding the customer’s intent through advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence. Creating new experiences that solve problems customers didn’t realize they had.”

Gartner says “advanced machine learning algorithms are composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing), used in unsupervised and supervised learning, that operate guided by lessons from existing information.”

Advanced machine learning not only enables a smart machine to understand concepts in the environment, but enables it to learn. Through machine learning, a smart machine can change its future behavior. For example, by analyzing vast databases of medical case histories, “learning” machines can reveal previously unknown insights in treatment effectiveness. This area is evolving quickly, and organizations must assess how they can apply these technologies to gain competitive advantage, Gartner said last Fall in presenting trends for 2016.

Gartner says artificial intelligence “is technology that appears to emulate human performance typically by learning, coming to its own conclusions, appearing to understand complex content, engaging in natural dialogs with people, enhancing human cognitive performance (also known as cognitive computing) or replacing people on execution of nonroutine tasks. Applications include autonomous vehicles, automatic speech recognition and generation and detecting novel concepts and abstractions (useful for detecting potential new risks and aiding humans quickly understand very large bodies of ever changing information).”

“We are building machines that learn from experience and produce outcomes their designers did not explicitly envision. Systems that can experience and adapt to the world via the data they collect,” Sondergaard said. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence move at the speed of data, not at the speed of code releases. Information is the new code base.”

http://www.networkworld.com/article/3132006/data-center/gartner-artificial-intelligence-algorithms-and-smart-software-at-the-heart-of-big-network-changes.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

How smart is today’s artificial intelligence?

multi-media (video, audio and text) from PBS

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/smart-todays-artificial-intelligence/ 

[with 54 comments]

[&&]{**}[##]

“… In response to AIs rapid developments, more than 8,000 leading researchers and scientists — including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking — have signed an open letter alluding to AI’s potential pitfalls and possible detriment to humanity. Their main concern is that an existential risk faces humanity: an AI in control of autonomous weapons.

The letter goes on to state that autonomous weapons are quickly becoming the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms, and that AI researchers must focus their research on what is beneficial for humanity, and not just what is profitable. However, much of what is researched with AI may not be public knowledge, and is likely internal research that’s closely held by just a few very wealthy corporations. How can the public make informed decisions about something that is kept secret?….”

https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/23/advancements-in-artificial-intelligence-should-be-kept-in-the-public-eye/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

Artificial intelligence researchers have developed software that is capable of making complex decisions to accurately predict the outcome of human rights trials.

The AI “judge” was developed by computer scientists at University College London (UCL), the University of Sheffield and the University of Pennsylvania using an algorithm that analyzed the text of cases at the European Court of Human Rights.

Judicial decisions from the court were predicted with 79 percent accuracy by the machine learning algorithm.

“Previous studies have predicted outcomes based on the nature of the crime, or the policy position of each judge, so this is the first time judgments have been predicted using analysis of text prepared by the court,” said Vasileios Lampos, co-author of the research.

More: http://www.newsweek.com/ethical-artificial-intelligence-judge-predicts-human-rights-trials-513012 

[&&]{**}[##]

Artificial intelligence-powered malware is coming, and it’s going to be terrifying

http://www.businessinsider.com/darktrace-dave-palmer-artificial-intelligence-powered-malware-hacks-interview-2016-10 

The future is on its way, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

[&&]{**}[##]

How to Hold Algorithms Accountable

“… algorithms fed by big data can also amplify structural discrimination, produce errors that deny services to individuals, or even seduce an electorate into a false sense of security. Indeed, there is growing awareness that the public should be wary of the societal risks posed by over-reliance on these systems and work to hold themaccountable…..”

Algorithmic systems have a way of making mistakes or leading to undesired consequences. Here are five principles to help technologists deal with that.

November 17, 2016

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602933/how-to-hold-algorithms-accountable/MIT 

[&&]{**}[##]

The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think 

Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great.

 http://freakonomics.com/podcast/future-probably-isnt-scary-think/

jazz brain

jazz brain

Your Brain on Improvisation  (a 20-min. TED talk by a physician/surgeon and muscian)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4k5JFmahVY  

 

Click on this link for large image:

http://66.media.tumblr.com/52bd5cc9da4c13c70503c13d840dc7da/tumblr_ml5b4ohAgz1rd1n1oo1_r1_1280.png 

 

http://science-junkie.tumblr.com/post/47797444631/why-your-brain-loves-that-new-song-when-jazz 

 

Giant Steps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxTdBg1MoQQ

 

 

Bobby Watson – Being a Student and Being a Teacher

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZcWLa5_NNU

IRockJazz caught Bobby Watson on his recent visit to Chicago, and he discussed how he came to be a Jazz musician, how he picked the alto sax, and his view of Jazz education now. Don’t miss the quote Bobby recalls from Art Blakey when he visited University of Miami as a guest lecturer and addressed the students “You come here to get your diploma, you come with me to get your education”

Interested seeing more great interviews? Visit www.irockjazz.com

http://api.hub.jhu.edu/factory/sites/default/files/styles/hub_thumbnail/public/music_mind.jpg?itok=CcSrgjAr

Ever hear of “trading fours?”

It’s that back-and-forth trade jazz musicians do when they’re engaged in a musical “conversation.” One musician will play four bars of music, and the other will respond with four bars of her own. This improvised call and response is one of the things that makes jazz music so … jazzy. (Here’s an example of trading. Notice how the bass and piano cut out at regular intervals.)

Scientists at Johns Hopkins wondered whether studying the brains of musicians actively engaged in trading fours might shed light on the relationship between music and language. Under the direction of Charles Limb, an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the School of Medicine, researchers placed musicians inside an MRI machine, gave them a special (see: non-magnetic) keyboard, and told them to have at it.

Here’s what researchers discovered: The brains of jazz musicians engrossed in spontaneous, improvisational musical conversation showed activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, areas that are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But the musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics—those that process the meaning of spoken language.….”

More:

http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/02/19/your-brain-on-jazz/ 

 

 

Creative Brains: Music Art and Emotion

University of California Television (UCTV)  [71 minutes]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6txK8LXg1o

 

http://img.medscapestatic.com/pi/features/slideshow-slide/brain-disorders-art/fig1.jpg?resize=645:439

 

Secrets of the Creative Brain 

The Aspen Institute (58 minutes)

Nancy Andreasen is a leading neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of Iowa whose fascinating research into the creative mind has been informed in part by the stream of remarkable writers who gather there. She is now conducting a study that uses neuroimaging to visualize the creative brain in action, examining both artists and scientists. Her work also examines the roles of nature v. nurture and the relationship between creativity and mental illness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unAbERa0otY 

 

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/photos/2010/brainmusic800x480.jpg

Creativity, Genius and the Brain

Dana Foundation (93 minutes)

Presenters:

Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine

John Kounios, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Drexel University

Roberta B. Ness, M.D., M.P.H.

Rockwell Professor of Public Health, Vice President for Innovation

The University of Texas School of Public Health

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFPBxjp1iM0 

 

https://neuroaestheticsnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/oup-cover.jpg?w=711&h=1025

The Neuroscience of Creativity, Flow, and Openness to Experience – Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.

BTC Institute  (64 minutes)

BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute

Part of the 12th Annual International Bioethics Forum, “Further Studies in Human Consciousness: Creative Insight”, held by the BTC Institute in Madison, WI on May 25-26, 2013.

For detailed information about the forum and more videos, please visit http://www.btci.org/bioethics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un_LroX0DAA 

http://cdn.creativityatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/whole-brain-intelligence600px.jpg

Creative Brains (Scott Kaufman)(20 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpWLZntADdI 

 

http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-there-is-no-one-part-of-the-brain-which-recognizes-or-responds-emotionally-to-music-oliver-sacks-128-31-09.jpg

David Lynch: Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain (two hours)

David Lynch, the critically-acclaimed director behind such films as Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, spoke at the University of Oregon on Tuesday, November 8th, 2005. The Lecture is entitled “Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain.” Lynch was accompanied by Drs. John Hagelin, Ph.D., and Fred Travis, Ph.D.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtgtkuKs8HQ 

 

http://izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-in-jazz-you-listen-to-what-the-bass-player-is-doing-and-what-the-drummer-is-doing-what-the-david-amram-4537.jpg

 

The Primacy of Consciousness – Peter Russell – Full Version (70 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4ugppcRUE 

presence

presence

the 2-hour movie “Sirius”: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C_-HLD21hA 

I commend it to you. 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.siriusdisclosure.com 

[&&]{**}[##]

Hubble Reveals Observable Universe Contains 10 Times More Galaxies Than Previously Thought

October 13th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: NASA:

The universe suddenly looks a lot more crowded, thanks to a deep-sky census assembled from surveys taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.

Astronomers came to the surprising conclusion that there are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought.

In analyzing the data, a team led by Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham, U.K., found that 10 times as many galaxies were packed into a given volume of space in the early universe than found today. Most of these galaxies were relatively small and faint, with masses similar to those of the satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way. As they merged to form larger galaxies the population density of galaxies in space dwindled. This means that galaxies are not evenly distributed throughout the universe’s history, the research team reports in a paper to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

[&&]{**}[##]

October 14-16, 2016 — Assange doesn’t need Russia for hacking, he’s part of a global hacker network 

(in: WMR GENERAL ARCHIVES October 2016) 

Oct 14, 2016

Clapper, Brennan, and NSA chief Mike Rogers are blaming Russia for the computer hacking when they know it’s being carried out by independent hackers looking for ET material.

[requires inexpensive subscription]

[&&]{**}[##]

“Scientists Plan to Create ‘Asgardia’ Nation State in Space”

October 13th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: BBC:

A group of scientists is launching what they say will be a new pacifist nation-state in space.

Asgardia “will become a place in orbit which is truly ‘no man’s land’,” its website says.

The new “nation” aims to launch its first satellite late next year and hopes to one day be recognised by the UN.

But some experts have cast doubt on the viability of the plan, given international law prohibits national sovereignty claims in outer space.

“Citizens” of Asgardia, who will be scrutinised before admission, will eventually obtain passports, says Lena de Winne, a senior member of the project team who worked for the European Space Agency for 15 years.

“Clearly it’s difficult to wrap your head around the concept [of] how can you be a citizen of something you cannot put your foot on,” she told the BBC.

“But I’m a citizen of the Netherlands and I’m now in Paris… There is nothing unusual about it if you are a citizen of a land where you don’t live and where you don’t go.”

The project is being directed by the Vienna-based Aerospace International Research Center, a private company founded by Russian scientist and businessman Dr Igor Ashurbeiyli.

He joked to reporters in Paris at an event announcing the project that he would not be surprised if the media labelled him a “crazy Russian rocket scientist” talking “utter nonsense”.

Its website says the new nation, the name of which derives from a city in the sky in Norse mythology, “will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country’s laws”.

The group says it will open up new opportunities in space for commerce, science and “peoples of all countries on earth”.

[Ed.: Dr Ashurbeiyli says he wants to create a “new judicial reality in space”.]

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.siriusdisclosure.com/evidence/ce-5-photos-and-videos/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE – DOCUMENTS

http://www.siriusdisclosure.com/evidence/bae-documents/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

Daniel Liszt welcomes back Geoengineering Author Elana Freeland to preview her new research set for release in 2017 on the massive Multi Level Surveillance Project called ‘The Space Fence.’ 

Early Development of SDI Technology

The Space Fence was originally the brainchild of the Reagan era during the craze to build the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) a space based weapons defense program ostensibly designed to protect the US from incoming Russian nuclear missiles. It has been established that this early version of the Space Fence may have actually been created to keep an eye on unusual UFO developments in space.

HAARP Ionization of the Atmosphere & Nano Particles

After abandoning SDI on paper, covert forces inside the National Security State continued to develop various uses for the space deployed technology. Realizing their new efforts of achieving a global domination through space surveillance on Earth could not be totally successful, they undertook to expand the ionization of the atmosphere which gives them the ability to implant tiny nano particles into the human body. These nano sensors can penetrate the blood brain barrier to activate wireless signals that can be remotely monitored and controlled. Human beings in effect would become walking cell towers that microwave signals could be beamed at and penetrated to automatically send back revealing data.

Planetary Lockdown

The ultimate purpose behind this decades long project can not be fully known, but according to Elana’s research we can deduce that its main goal is a Full Planetary Lockdown intended to centralize and control the full spectrum of activity on planet Earth, including human behavior, geopolitical events, weather conditions, earthquake activity and the creation of a manipulated reality within a gigantic artificial intelligence grid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wPQ5VH_to&feature=youtu.be 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54909824e4b096dd524666e5/t/56b0ef744c2f853cbf6c2d5a/1454436216700/ 

“Puppetry has everything. It combines sculpture and sewing and painting and performance and music and symbolism.”

The link is from a Boston Globe article but I actually became aware of Boston’s Free Puppet Library through a recent edition of WCVB-TV’s show Chronicle.

This small place with huge creativity is  a wonderful place for those who feel the need to try on being someone else for a while. [I’ve been carrying this quote  around since I was in the ninth grade.]

[&&]{**}[##]

I am currently re-reading The Body Silent. I stumbled across the book at a used book sale at a library I used to frequent before and after my hemiplegic motor stroke.  I got up out of the rehab bed and the wheelchair and, at one point, returned to a healthy q.o.d. one-hour intense circuit of treadmill, bike and Keiser machine, but atrial fibrillation reared its ugly head again, necessitating more intense medical treatment, enforced bed rest, and post-operative deconditioning, putting me right back into a state of near-immobility from which I have recovered yet again. My situation was not closely analgous with that of the author, a Columbia professor of anthropoology who wrote a stunning book at the 360 degrees of implications of what it means to be disabled in this world.  It was an eye-opener when I first read it, and it’s still informing me. It goes onto the shelf along with all those other books devoted to the unity of body, mind and spirit.

[&&]{**}[##]

Long-term readers probably know how I am about aikido… that I can no longer get myself onto the mat, but that I appreciate the discipline now even more as a metaphor for how one conducts oneself in life, in relationships, and in society.

YouTube put this in my path as a sugggestion for me, and I am going to put it in your path as a suggestion for you and everyone else.

Aikido in Three Easy Lessons (11 mins.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxyMZtA452k#t=119.26072819 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpPSBzGEklE

creativity and transformation

creativity and transformation

I stumbled across a number of pretty darn good TED talks the other day. 

I am naturally interesting in learning, performance and creativity, and several of the topics seemed to be in alignment with my previous reading about sports and performance psychology.  A couple of them are simply startling barn-burners. 

Here’s a mix of short TED talks, a blurb on creativity, and a couple of long videos on how to be a really good photographer. 

Have fun. 

[&&]{**}[##]

Chris Lonsdale is Managing Director of Chris Lonsdale & Associates, a company established to catalyse breakthrough performance for individuals and senior teams. In addition, he has also developed a unique and integrated approach to learning that gives people the means to acquire language or complex technical knowledge in short periods of time.

how to learn any language in six months

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0 

This has more relevance than to learning language.

Five Principles

Attention, Meaning, Relevance and Memory

Use The Tools Immediately

Comprehensible Input is Key

Physiological Training

Psycho-physiologic State

Seven Actions

Soak Your Brain

Get Meaning/Body Language

Get Creative/Mix It Up

Focus on the Core (80/20 rule)

Get a Mentor

Mirror/Mimic Feedback

Connect Learning to Your Mental Images

[&&]{**}[##]

Fundamentals of Physiological Psychology

http://www.slideshare.net/KrycesTorcato/fundamentals-of-physiological-psychology-by-author-carlson-neil-r 

[&&]{**}[##]

The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | TEDxRyersonU

As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HYZv6HzAs 

[This is outstanding!]  [13 minutes!]

[&&]{**}[##]

How to believe in yourself: Jim Cathcart at TEDxDelrayBeach (8.5 minutes)

(How to transform the world)(nurture your nature)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ki9-oaPwHs 

http://cathcart.com/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

The psychology of self-motivation | Scott Geller | TEDxVirginiaTech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sxpKhIbr0E 

Scott Geller is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality. He has written numerous articles and books, including When No One’s Watching: Living and Leading Self-motivation.

Can you do it?  Self efficacy

Will it work? Response efficacy

Is it worth it? 

Competence, Consequences, Choices, Community

[&&]{**}[##]

Why people believe they can’t draw – and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TEDxHull

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TXEZ4tP06c 

streetphotonow

[&&]{**}[##]

Written by Helen Williams, Community Love Director at Holstee

I was recently given the opportunity to see author Elizabeth Gilbert give a talk in the city of Denver. It was an unseasonably warm evening in early May and the front of the Paramount Theater was pacing and alive with anticipation. Many of us had read Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert’s 2007 bestseller-turned-movie. It was a novel that sold ten million copies and sparked a million responses, good and bad. But what gathered us together that particular evening was Gilbert’s newest output, Big Magic, a reflection on her personal experience with creativity.

I can’t summarize the book for you in a way that will do it true justice, but my one sentence rave review is this: it resparked me. I’ve always been a person who made space for creative endeavors. I dive into books for inspiration for my own writing. I listen to music that moves me enough to drive me toward the piano keys. I soak in colors and shapes to bring myself back to my original love of drawing. All these things and more made me certain, yes, I am a creative person because I participate in these things. I make stuff. I tune in.

“This is what we all must learn to do, for this is how maps get charted—by taking wrong turns that lead to surprising passageways that open into spectacularly unexpected new worlds.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Tweet

But of course when it comes to the pace of life, there isn’t always ample time for the things that make you feel most like yourself. At least that is what I told myself when gaps of time would pass and I hadn’t picked up a pen or a paint brush and a thick layer of dust coated the chipping ivory keys. Other obligations would demand my attention and I would relent, letting those other parts of myself stay paused in midair until I had time to snatch them up again. During these times I would feel hollow, less engaged and sometimes even panicked at the time that would pass without my making space for feeling creatively inspired. These phases of life were dull, unmemorable. In this way, I treated my need for creativity as its own distinct feature of my existence, something entirely separate and extra from the rest of my more normal, responsible, adult life.

What I learned from turning the pages of Big Magic, however, was that I was looking at it all wrong. Creativity wasn’t meant to be a single strain among others. Creativity wasn’t supposed to be a hobby that would often conflict with “more important stuff” or be overtaken when duty called. It was meant to be the lens through which I viewed all parts of my life. Choosing creativity was what transformed an everyday experience into an adventure. Creativity could have a hand in all of it, if I allowed it to be so.

Well, that was news to me! I was so ingrained that creativity was a specific dedication to artistic endeavors that I couldn’t even picture it having a hand in my daily decisions, in the way I approach problems or interact with other people. I had reduced creativity to a rare moment that would come barreling towards me from a great distance and leave as soon as it came. Which, to be fair, was all it was capable of when I forced it into such a limited framework.

And while creativity can certainly make itself known to us in sudden, dramatic instances like these, it can also be more subtle, interwoven throughout the rest of us, the barely detectable hum beneath our every move. Suddenly, nothing was all that commonplace to me anymore. Everything had potential to be more than it was. And while some would view this revelation as daunting (“You mean I have to be creative every second, all the time, with everything?”), I choose to see it as a relief and an opportunity. Small seconds can balloon up and fill us with inspiration we would have otherwise overlooked. It’s looking one inch to the left instead of straight ahead. Mundane moments can present solutions we couldn’t allow ourselves to see. It’s asking internal questions instead of quitting. Conversations, interactions, passing people can all become more if we turn toward them, if we allow ourselves to pause long enough to find the connection. It’s saying, “Tell me more,” instead of simply nodding along.

It isn’t about always making or seeing something with an immediate and obvious purpose. It’s about engagement, simple awareness and appreciation of the here and now. So see what’s here. Soak it all in. It might not be anything except what it is. Let that be enough.

Suddenly, everything holds a new potential to me now, thriving, reaching, awake with possibility. To me, that’s something to look forward to. That’s the discovery of what happens next.

To get your own copy of Big Magic, go here.

___________________________________

Helen Williams is a Colorado transplant who is passionate about cooking, writing and combining the two on her vegetarian and vegan food blog, green girl eats. She strives, every day, to be less sorry. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading, loving the community at Holstee or trying to pet your dog.

https://www.holstee.com/blogs/mindful-matter/117673349-creativity-as-a-daily-practice 

[&&]{**}[##]

The 9 Types of Intelligence Which Make Us All Human

http://www.zengardner.com/nine-types-of-intelligence-make-us-human/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

matt-stuart--london-street-photography-moorgate-underground-big-hand-pointing-nose

The place where I have decided to take my creative yearning is back to the field of photography.  As noted previously, I owned a Minolta SLR and bought a 28-volume Time/Life series on photography and a bunch of other books, got a subscription to several well-known photo mags, and even enrolled in a correspondence course with some very good school in the Big Apple.  The course was pricey, and working in slides and stills can get pretty expensive too, but the course taught me some basics in how to see light, and more. I was a pretty decent amateur but one day some thief broke into my house and made off with the complete camera bag, a memorable event because the fellow left a prize of a pile of feces on the living room floor before he left. Aren’t people wonderful? Well, my step-mother knew I had a thing for photography and so insisted on going by the local mall to acquire for me a basic Nikon SLR.  Oh, Nikon, everyone sighs, but frankly I didn’t like it, couldn’t get the physiology of learning to work and thus the psycho-physical state of flow rarely showed up. One day I inadvertently left the rear window open with the gear on the floor of the back seat and a thunderstorm came by and lingered just above the window. Bye bye Nikon.  By that time, I had already scoped out the possibility of turning pro.  I’d checked out two major photographic schools, one in Boston and the other out in Franklin Country where I’d spent some time.  The one in Franklin County gave tuition-paying people a brand new medium-format rig worth $1,400 but I didn’t bite.  I’d shadowed some people selling their wares at art shows and investigated the economics of selling 4×6’s and more at tourist shops, but the conclusion I came to was that I couldn’t afford to make the investment. One such potential competitor was displaying the most elegant and pristine very large prints shot with the best film printed on the best paper at pretty reasonable prices and, over the course of five hours in a good crowd, didn’t sell a single one. And just at that time digital photography was on the horizon; suddenly people could put their new device on automatic, skip going to school and reading books, and turn out the same kind of thing at radically-reduced expense.  How could I sell them a masterpiece (assuming I had what it took to make one) when they could shoot one themselves?  I gave up the pursuit and turned to different things. Today, everyone has an iPhone.

Then three years ago my daughter gave me a $65 Kodak 14-mp point-and-shoot digital camera. A little playing around, and I was hooked again, and so I began slowly to learn something about digital photography.  Recently I took the next step up and bought a Canon EOS Rebel Vi with the kit lens and a zoom lens. Just today I bought an extra battery and a lens shade for the zoom. I’ve printed a page full of shooting sites and ideas, bookmarked a few events calendars, and started to avail myself of the incredible value of series of educational YouTubes put up by camera vendors on which pros share their tips and techniques. 

Here are three of my favorites:

Photography: Talking to People (Adam Marelli)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJHfT7lYqCo (1:48:10)

The Art of Travel Photography (Lorne Resnick)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0DIfiu6TA (47:21)

Steve Simon’s 10 Steps To Becoming a Great Photographer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JjwNiInIOk (58:30)

You’ll enjoy them if you are a photographer, painter, videographer or street performer.

I’ll be taking five to six weeks off to pack and unpack. I’m moving. I’ll be taking my camera, my writing books and tools, and mooving out closer to farm country.

Currently on my desktop:

 “God Laughs and Plays” by David James Duncan, The Triad Institute

and 

“The Big Picture: On The Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself”, by Sean Carroll (Dutton/Penguin House 2016)

Blessings…

music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2rGbFhZrpk

 

shokunin

shokunin

The term Shokunin Kishitsu came to my attention

courtesy of the people at Holstee.com who,

in an approach that resonates with

my examination of excellence, magic, leadership and performance,

are all about mindfulness through art, words and action.  

 

As an amateur photographer and apprentice magician, I had to learn more about this phrase, and this blog entry is a record of that short inquiry. 

 

[&&]{**}[##]

May 09, 2015

Shokunin Kishitsu & The five elements of true mastery

Last November I dined in Tokyo with a friend who was here in Japan on business from California. My friend is the CEO of a multi-billion dollar tech company with offices worldwide, including in Japan. He’s someone I greatly admire and look up to for advice, wisdom, and inspiration. He’s a powerful leader, a successful business person, and a nice guy to boot. So when he said that he was absolutely shocked that I had not seen the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I felt ashamed of my failing and placed an order for the DVD immediately on Amazon. “I can’t believe you have not seen this movie!” he said. “I must have seen it 5-6 times by now and there’s always something to learn.” Here it is a few months later and in that time I too have seen the movie 5-6 times. My friend was right, there are many valuable lessons in this documentary. I recommend the movie to anyone who is interested in a beautiful visual narrative that is a mix of innovation insights and inspiration.

Shokunin Kishitsu

Shokunin kishitsu (職人気質) translates roughly as the “craftsman spirit.” The movie, in spite of its title, is not about sushi, it’s really about how to be a master shokunin, how to become truly great as a master craftsman. Yes, if you like sushi—and beautiful cinematography of sushi—then you’ll not be disappointed. But even if you have zero interest in sushi, you will be motivated and inspired by this film. The film is not perfect, of course. For example, the narrative could use more objectivity and a more critical eye. There are surely more downsides to Jiro’s approach (not to mention the issue of over fishing which is touched only very superficially). Yet, on the whole, it’s a wonderful documentary. No matter your job or your dreams, there may be a valuable lesson or two in this gem of a film that will help you in your pursuit of mastery. Checkout the trailer below for the feel of the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q78xvcnmIMw

Five elements of Mastery

There are many lessons from the film, but I will focus here on five main points that the film makes early on. Food critic Masuhiro Yamamoto speaks of what makes Jiro a true master at his art. “He sets the standard for self-discipline,” Yamamoto says. “He is always looking ahead. He’s never satisfied with his work. He’s always trying to find ways to make the sushi better, or to improve his skills. Even now, that’s what he thinks about all day, every day.”

What does any of these points below have to do with presentation? Well, public speaking, including presentation given with the aid of multimedia, is an art. It may be a big aspect of your life and career, or it may play a very minor role. But the art of presentation, and the art of communication in general, is something worthy of an obsessive pursuit of excellence. No matter how good you are today, you can get better.

Below are the five attributes, according to Yamamoto, that are found in any great chef. Think about how you—or your team—can apply these to your own work (art).

1. Majime (真面目). A true master is serious about the art. He or she strives for the highest level possible always. The commitment to hard work is strong. The level of dedication is constant. As Jiro’s older son says in the film, “We’re not trying to be exclusive or elite. The techniques we use are no big secret. It’s just about making an effort and repeating the same thing every day.” Their approach may be simple but their dedication and execution is what sets them apart.

2. Kojoshin (向上心). Always aspire to improve oneself and one’s work. There is an old Zen adage that says once you think you have arrived, you have already begun your descent. One must never think they “have arrived.” One of the shokunin at the fish market touches on this theme in the film while searching for the perfect fish. “…Just when you think you know it all, you realize that you’re just fooling yourself,” he says. One must always try to improve. “I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit, says Jiro. “There is always a yearning to achieve more.”

3. Seiketsukan (清潔感). Cleanliness, freshness. “If the restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good,” Yamamoto says. One can not prepare and perform well if the environment is cluttered, messy, or dirty. Some people say that a disorganized work space is liberating. I am not in that camp. For me at least, a dirty, cluttered office decreases my creativity and increases my anxiety. I am not a neat freak by any means, but when my office is cluttered, my mind is cluttered too (and often vice versa). This article touches on this issue outside the kitchen (A Tidy Office Space is the Key to Creative Thinking.) [Ed.: This is related to mise-en-place.]

4. Ganko (頑固). Stubbornness, obstinacy. The fourth attribute is…Impatience, Yamamoto says. “They are better leaders than collaborators. They’re stubborn and insist on having it their way.” Jiro is an individualist in pursuit of excellence rather than a team player in search of consensus. This does not mean he does not rely on his team or listen to them, but his team is hand picked and trained by him. In the end it is his vision and his responsibility.

5. Jyonetsu (情熱). Passion, enthusiasm. From the very first moments of the film: “Once you decide on your occupation…you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success…and is the key to being regarded honorably.” No passion, no art.

Your work, your art

The spirit of the shokunin is the pursuit of perfection. The pursuit is hard and the journey long, never ending in fact. But you love what you do in spite of the hardships. The work is not at all about the money. “Shokunin try to get the highest quality fish and apply their technique to it,” Jiro’s oldest son says. “We don’t care about money. All I want to do is make better sushi.”

http://www.presentationzen.com/.a/6a00d83451b64669e201b8d110fffc970c-150wi

Remember that the shokunin lessons here are not only for chefs or artists such as painters, musicians, dancers, etc. In the book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? famed business guru Seth Godin makes the case that many dedicated professionals are doing art: “Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.” An artist, says Godin, “is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.” You must throw yourself into it, suggest, Godin, “Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”

“I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top…but no one knows where the top is.” — Jiro Ono

The final few lines from the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi sum up the lessons from the master shokunin.

Always…

look ahead and above yourself.

Always try…

to improve on yourself.

Always strive to elevate your craft.

That’s what he taught me.

http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2015/05/the-five-secrets-to-mastery.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

 The core thematic statement in the introduction to “Summon The Magic”, from Chuang-Tzu, by way of Dorothea Dooling:

Once there was a master craftsman who made such beautiful things out of wood that the King demanded to know the secret of his art.

“Your Highness”, said the carpenter, “There is no secret.

But there is something. This is how I begin:

When I am about to make a table, I first collect my energies and bring my mind to absolute quietness. I become oblivious of any reward to be gained or any fame to be acquired. When I am free from the influences of all such outer considerations, I can listen to the inner voice which tells me clearly what I have to do.

When my skill is thus concentrated, I take up my ax; I make sure that it is perfectly sharp, that it fits my hand and swings with my arm. Then I enter the forest.

I look for the right tree, the tree that is waiting to become my table. And when I find it, I ask “What have I for you, and what have you for me?’ Then I cut down the tree and set to work. I remember how my masters taught me to bring my skill and my thought into relation with the natural qualities of the wood.”

The King said, “When the table is finished, it has a magical effect upon me; I cannot treat it as I would any other table. What is the nature of this magic?

“Your Majesty”, said the carpenter, “what you call magic comes only from what I have already told you.”

In A Way of Working, ed. E.D. Dooling. Anchor Books, 1979, from the original by Chuang-Tzu.

[&&]{**}[##]

American Shokunin (7:22)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfdGGTb5_Ts 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… creativity comes down to showing up every day and practicing your craft. Creating a space for the magic to happen where discipline, skill and passion all come together in a single moment.…”

[&&]

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” 

Ernest Hemingway

http://fundydesigner.com/tip-%E2%80%A2-photography-lessons-from-a-master-sushi-chef/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

Source of featured image at the top:

http://www.ettinger.co.uk/about-us/heritage/craftsmanship 

Scrolling through a search of Google Images using the search word “craftmanship” makes it seem as though the concept, the word, is about products, tools, fine-finger dexterity and the like.  

Many fine things, works of arts, and much much more come from applied craftsmanship. 

But what about craftsmanship of the mind, the heart, the spirit?

There’s a quote you can find in which a photographer talks about seeing things others don’t see.

What about craftsmanship within the fields of cultural, social, political and spiritual leadership?

realization

realization

I recently bought a brand-spanking-new digital SLR, an EOS Rebel T5i with both the EF-S 18-55mm and the EF 75-300 mm lenses, from one of those big houses in NYC.  I got a steal of a deal, along with a standard beginner’s filter pack, and the usual. Canon was bringing out a new product and there was some shelf-clearing going on. 

So that’s not my image of the footsteps in the sand dune…

While I was waiting for my new Canon to arrive, I found my way to YouTube and built a file of dozens of hours of YouTube instructional videos from multiple sources plus the portals to over ten YouTube channels on tips and techniques for basic, travel, pro and business-oriented material. 

It’s tucked away in a file I call the Canon canon.

I’ve unboxed the camera, registered it, insured it, charged the battery, and started to learn all its bells and whistles as well as view some of those videos as a good refresher. 

I have a lot of learning to do.

photography

[&&]{**}[##]

The Art of Travel Photography (Lorne Resnick)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0DIfiu6TA

[An outstanding 47-minute video lecture on the art of emotion in photography, sales, and more by a nationally-recognized pro in the field]

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lomography/the-lomography-daguerreotype-achromat-29-64-art-lens 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://mediapsychology101.com/2016/04/09/what-is-a-picture-really-worth-logos-in-advertising/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJPgshLhQBw 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUL6MBVKVLILongsjo1Two

[&&]{**}[##]

“… complete awareness of the body and mind in relation to the goal is known as zanshin.

Zanshin is a word used commonly throughout Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness. Literally translated, zanshin means “the mind with no remainder.” In other words, the mind completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Zanshin is being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.

In practice, though, zanshin has an even deeper meaning.

Zanshin is choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than mindlessly falling victim to whatever comes your way…..”

http://www.lifehack.org/383170/zanshin-learning-the-art-attention-and-focus-from-legendary-samurai-archer 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpbGNCmMrEs 

[&&]{**}[##]

The Network Effect, Jobs and Entrepreneurial Vitality

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Charles Hugh Smith

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/04/network-effect-jobs-entrepreneurial-vitality.html#more-55118 

“… All the incubator projects around the world are attempting to kickstart an entrepreneurial Network Effect…..”

[&&]{**}[##]

A link that showed up in my blog comments:

https://projectbreakthrough.com/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… The dangers that society will face in the years ahead are regrettable, but there’s no point in allowing anxiety, frustration, or apathy to overcome you. 

Face the future with courage, curiosity, and optimism rather than fear. You can be a winner, and if you plan carefully, you will be. 

The great period of change will give you a chance to regain control of your destiny. And that in itself is the single most important thing in life…..”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-08/greater-depression-has-started-comparing-1930s-to-today 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Look around you. But don’t force your definition on what’s there.

Don’t anticipate what you will find.

It will find you….”

 

Richard Rappaport, in “Carnegie Tech, Robert Lepper and the Oakland Project”, 1989, about a 2-year course, “Individual and Social Analysis”, focusing on community and personal memory as factors in artistic expression

A Great Teacher

I’ve been a fan of Wynton Marsalis’ work for some time. We know him as a trumpet player; I routinely find him with his Lincoln Center Orchestra; his session with Eric Clapton is as good as it gets, and the tribute to Dave Brubeck, a personal musical talisman in my life, is wonderful.

But it was as a teacher that I first discovered him; several of his quotes from an old PBS show on Juilliard made it into my “Summon The Magic” e-book. I also discovered Eric Booth, also a teacher at Juilliard.

I could learn something from world-class experts brought in to teach someone trying to be their best at their chosen field of expression. Wynton is one of those; he loves what he does, and he loves his art form.

Here is an appearance, an hour on tape, he made at an event in Louisville.

Internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, Wynton Marsalis talks about music, his mentors and the irreplaceable role of art and creativity in American culture. Part question and answer, part meditation on life, it was part of the IdeaFestival® 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUaLc1zabVo

 

http://www.ideafestival.com/

 

http://www.readingeagle.com/storyimage/RE/20150411/LIFE/304119911/EP/1/9/EP-304119911.jpg&exactH=300&Q=80&exactFit=crop&RCRadius=10

 

Listen closely from 11:50 on, as Wynton talks about the exponential power of coming together, in which one’s own potential grows when paired with someone else’s knowledge and abilities. He goes on to explain how this works in a jazz group and in real life.

And listen to the question and answer on technology at about the 47-minute market, about how we can carry our complete CD collection in our pocket. We all have something to learn from this great human being. (And maybe someone can send this link to our political leadership.)

And if you’ve been one who has enjoyed to some depth the e-book I’ve put up on how to use your mind to become a better whatever-it-is-that-you-are-striving-for, then you’ll resonate with me on the last comment by the host.

 

http://www.biography.com/people/wynton-marsalis-9399922#synopsis 

 

Marsalis’ ranking as #39 on Fortune’s list of 50 Greatest Leaders is based on his leadership in thought, composition, snd education. 

 

 

When did we begin to lose faith in our ability to effect change?

We always hear about the rights of democracy, but the major responsibility of it is participation.

There are forces all around you who wish to exploit division, rob you of your freedom, and tell you what to think. But young folks can rekindle the weary spirit of a slumbering nation.

You need a team. You need people to push you. You need opponents.

The best way to be, is to do.

There really have only ever been a few people in each generation who step out, are willing to put themselves on the line, and risk everything for their beliefs.

The young very seldom lead anything in our country today. It’s been quite some time since a younger generation pushed an older one to a higher standard.

http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/author/Wynton_Marsalis/

 

 

And, finally, here’s 47 minutes of Marsalis on trumpet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6R5j3EgES0 

The Spirit of the Game

photography courtesy of http://reagentx.net/new/tag/astrophotography/

The tenth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… is actually one of my two most favorite chapters.  (Those two speak to me, and they ended up being assigned the letter E and the letter J.  Funny thing how those things work out, huh?)

It’s entitled The Spirit of the Game and, while it is laden with concepts of spirituality, it doesn’t attempt to proselytize. Parker Palmer (Footnote 111 on page 55) gives as good a defintion of spiritual as I could find.

There are references from within religion’s expressions, but spirit includes them all, allows you to parse and understand them if you desire to do so, and ultimately it transcends them.

The Spirit of the Game ranges across the topics of prayer, intention, attention, life alignment, love, mastery, presence, soul, music, movement, ex-stase, awe, connectedness, the sweet spot in time, gnosis, peak experience, yoga, samadhi, behavior, discipline, intent, will, performance, creativity, energy and grace.

It will bring you to James Neill’s http://www.wilderdom.com.

It will bring you to the web site of a dojo called www.bodymindandmodem.com.

There’s a quote in there from the fellow whose insights were the key that unlocked the door to the creation of this e-book.

It was in the middle of the explosion of the decades of research into the brain through the use of functional MRI studies and Roland Perlmutter, M.D. (neuroradiologist, Duke University Medical Center) is the individual quoted from within the book On The Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present.

It’s not that quote (footnote #24) that quickened me.

The one that made we sit upright, that confirmed my interest, my work, the value of these concepts beyond sports, and the value of sharing this material shows up near the end of my e-book.

But here’s a better expression of all of that from an old blog of mine (circa August 21st, 2013).  I’d been reading a Sports Illustrated in a medical waiting room and encountered a letter to the editor that was “surely of interest to the father of a professional fast-pitch softball player whose hand was broken by [Jennie] Finch when she stepped on it during a pick-off attempt at first. Was Finch mad at her because she not only did not strike out but managed to draw couple of walks against her and made one of them stand up for a win? The bone was broken above the knuckles, making it impossible to hold or swing a bat, but a visualization process I designed on the basis of my readings [actually, it was an audio tape from Lydia Ievleva; see this] and which she implemented which came to fruition in front of the orthopod ten days later and got her a clearance to return when the doctor said said “I’ve never seen a bone heal so quickly”. The bone and the body that it belonged to went on to earn a Second Team All-American slot in the ASA Majors division.”

Back then in 2013, I referenced the book On The Sweet Spot and my own e-book Summon The Magic and the applicability of what I have come to understand about the human mind/body/spirit as an antidote to the oppressive wars, narcissistic psychopathology of leadership, and the failure of the average human being — especially the dormant American ones — to wake up and effect some change.

From the description found at the Amazon link (but the emphases are mine):

“… as Richard Keefe, the director of the sport psychology program at Duke University, looked deeper into the nature of his experience, he found profound links to the spirit, the brain, perhaps even the soul.

Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.

All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states)…..”

That’s what summoning the magic is all about.

If a mind can heal its own fractured hand, why can’t many minds heal a fractured world?”

 

And, oh look, that calligraphic expression I mentioned back in healing a sick world shows up on page 75.

(So that’s where I put it..!)

 

Even Caitlyn Jenner makes an appearance in a potent retrospective.

 

But speaking of sports (and there are plenty of sporting references in The Spirit of the Game), last Monday’s news had an example (and there are plenty of them every day) of attempts to “psych out” an opponent — to take them off their game. My exact reference is to the US/Australia women’s 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match in soccer and the re-surrection or re-mindfulness of the US keeper’s legal difficulties. I take no position on the keeper or her history. In fact, I raise the point because, in all my research and other encounters, I have never met a performance psychologist who embraced or helped someone else “hone” the art of dissing.

You see a lot of it in pro sports. Larry Bird and some others have shown that, if you’re going to get into “trash talk”, you’d better be able to back it up.

The entire discipline of sports/performance psychology would suggest that you expend your energy focusing on your own game, that your attention to your opponent’s game in an attempt to create an advantage more often backfires than not. There’s a book listed in my bibliography that comes so dangerously close to taking the wrong approach that I won’t even identify it for you.

Refefence has already been made to bringing the best you can bring to the exchange as an ideal way to respect both the game and one’s opponent. Pre-game, in-game and post-game “trash talk” is trash and doesn’t fall within The Spirit of the Game.

Julia Cameron would understand. On Monday, her book “The Well of Creativity” got packaged with two of her earliest books, The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, and shipped off to a friend.  I had thought “The Well of Creativity” was the one actually I received today (more dementia, or lack of focus) but the recipient is a close friend so it’ll all come out in the wash.

Arriving today was Supplies, which Cameron describes as good, plain water for those thirsty aspiring or working people who are busy making things — “books, musicals, movies, plays. board games, computer programs, sculptures, watercolors, greeting cards, effective aprons, better lives”.

The second page reminds us all of an “extremely effective technique” a lot of us have forgotten, or dismissed, or turned our noses up at beause it seemes so juvenile.

Several more pages in, and I had to put the book down; I was hooked. It’s serious shee-it. (I’ll report back on it in good time, but it’s a workbook and I’ve got to do the work.)

So, here you have it:

Tab J (The Spirit of the Game)

I hope that it will make your performance and creativity soar.

Grow Young … Soon

graphic posted April 25 2013 19:55.26 by Giorgos Lazaridis @ http://www.pcbheaven.com/opendir/index.php?show=440ah2187wt442ef569 

Grow Young… Soon: They’re Coming To Get You

A book fell out of my bookshelf from where I had wedged it — like a squirrel hides a nut for the future — and this piece fell out of the folder where I’d placed it waiting for the right moment to make its re-appearance.

I had set it aside because of its obvious resonance with the overall theme of a personal focus — finding and creating excellence, or summoning it- it follows naturally upon the recent series “Je Ne Sais Quoi”.  And because I’m a grandparent of three, all of whom exhibit many of the characteristics described in that book.

[Here is some accompanying music; 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p5QqKANMWo 

read the text under the YouTube link and act as you deem appropriate.

Or try this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ea2eDyM3RE ]

The book — published in 1998 — is by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. (see more here http://institute4learning.com/ ) and it is entitled “Awakening Genius in the Classroom”.  It could ride along with other books on multiple intelligences, genius, intelligence, neuroscience, and along such authors as Gelb, Booth, Levine, Langer, and others, though it is by no means as heavy a hitter as those. [See also http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-Your-Childs-Natural-Genius/dp/0874776082 .]

The theme of the book, as expressed in the  preface, is “the sheer joy of what it means to learn something new”. Armstrong cites Whitehead’s  “rhythm of education” model http://www.amazon.com/dp/0029351804 and its 3 stages: in reverse order, a period of generalization or application of learning; a period of precision in which substantial energy is committed towards acquiring specific skills on the way to mastery; and Armstrong’s focal period of romance, “in which one celebrates the vitality and passion that accompany learning”, which he feels is neglected by educators. So the book is about how to help youngsters fall in love with, and stay in love with, learning. [Maybe it works for oldsters too….]

In the first chapter, Armstrong explains what he means by the word “genius”  by going back to the origins of the  word itself, as derived from Greek and Latin words meaning “to beget,” “to be born,” or “to come into being” (it being closely related to the word genesis).

“It is also linked to the word genial, which means, among other things, “festive,” “conducive to growth,” “enlivening,” and “jovial.” He zeroes in on  his synthesis at the bottom of page one when he speaks of “giving birth to one’s joy”.

He goes on to speak about the 12 qualities of genius but not before he notes the ancient Roman references to “A guardian spirit that protected all individuals throughout their lives”, and the relationship of the word to the Middle Eastern term jinni, the magical power that lies dormant, as chronicled in the Arabian nights, that is coaxed out of its vessel.

The 12 basic qualities of genius are: curiosity, playfulness, imagination, creativity, wonder, wisdom, inventiveness, vitality, sensitivity, flexibility, humor, and joy.

The child’s full-scale exploration of his world through his senses “branches out into hobbies, pastimes, collections, and interests that may change weekly” and which is later “replaced by a more subterranean curiosity in adolescence through questions that emerge out of “they’re often insatiable need to find out everything they can about their world”.

“… The formal rules and competitiveness  of structured games often force playfulness into hiding….”  Playfulness, described by Friedrich Froebel — the inventor of kindergarten —  as “the highest level of child development… The germinal leaves of all later life”,  shows up as the wise guy in the 11th grade or the fourth-grader who dances his way into the classroom.

Imagination (“stories in their heads”), sagas, odysseys and romances, have “come to be associated with something negative–daydreaming–rather than being viewed as a potential source of cognitive power” that can generate plays, works of art, or “deep dialogues about significant life issues”.

Creativity, too often limited  to gifted students or isolated by educators from the mainstream of American education “where to do the most good”,  is “the ability to make novel connections”, “the knack for seeing things that might be missed”, is  “a part of every students birthright” if “they haven’t been brainwashed… By the conventional attitudes of society”.

“The experience of wonder [as] an encounter with the mysteries of life” “doesn’t show up as a “skill” on any competency checklist; it is “the natural astonishment”, and “emotional experience”  that “underlies something particularly profound about the learning process that receives virtually no attention in education”. Robert Coles’ four books on children [see below] form the background for Armstrong’s statement: “The student who is able to experience the wonder of the world directly, without the blinders of preconceptions and clichés, has access to a certain precocious wisdom different from that of elders….”.

Inventiveness “should be seen as a part of the core curriculum” but “students generally have little time to exercise their “inventive” muscles because educators may fear such amusing side trips of the mind take valuable time….” away from the modern demands of education.

Vitality (aliveness, spontaneity, or vibrancy) “is really the essential spark of genius; the direct energy of the life force surging up into the world….”  “Sometimes teachers worry about containing this vitality in the classroom, believing that the asked classroom is a subdued classroom.”

Sensitivity is about the way that each individual “responds to each stimulus in a fresh and unique way”, allowing them “to be more deeply affected by great works of art, music, dance, and literature, and to be moved by the events of history and the discoveries of science and math.”

Flexibility is about the plasticity of the learner’s mind, its ability “to make fluid associations, the move from fantasy to reality, from metaphor to fact, from the inner world to the outer and back again”. It is about the ability to go on “fantastic voyages”.

Humor lifts us out of the dreadful seriousness of non-genius life, breaks the tension that drudgery all too often fixes upon us, and gives us something new: a funny angle, a new perspective, a broader view of life.”

Joy, the experience of joy, is a core component. “The neurochemistry of the joy of learning is still unclear [but] its importance cannot be underestimated.”

Armstrong goes on to describe for perspectives or theoretical foundations for genius: neurological, evolutionary, biographical, and phenomenological.

By phenomenological, he means the experiential, the “crystallizing experiences” http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED254544 , ”the “ecstatic learning experiences” described in Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, in “Higher Creativity” http://www.amazon.com/Higher-Creativity-Liberating-Unconscious-Breakthrough/dp/0874773350, and, undoubtedly, here: http://www.creativeeducationfoundation.org/.

Under the biographical heading, echoing Booth’s book “The Everyday Work of Art”, Armstrong speaks of the examination of the lives of adults who were officially acknowledged to be geniuses in every sense of the word: such people as Einstein, Sir Alexander Fleming, Picasso, Matisse, Miro or Chagall, and others.

“…  it appears that many (if not most) extraordinary individuals possess attitudes of mind that are very similar to those of children and adolescents, and that when added to their formal training, years of effort, and unique capacity for synthesis, lead to transformative works.”

The biographical basis is an extension of the evolutionary basis as well as the neurological basis.  “… The absence of role models in the child’s environment that displays characteristics of some or all of the 12 qualities of genius may starve dendrites in those portions of the brain that support these behaviors….  An environment that fails to recognize the importance of the 12 qualities of genius may starve those traits out of existence, while surroundings that are “genius friendly” may well create neurological connections [hardy dendrites] that facilitate their growth.”

Armstrong cites Ashley Montague’s key evolutionary concept of neoteny  when he says “one reason that we have managed to survive and thrive as a species is because our brain is capable of adapting to a wide range of environments–in fact, our brain has the ability to wait until it directly experiences a specific environment and then programs itself to function within just that setting (assuming the environment isn’t too hostile).”

Montague writes:

From their “mature adult” heights, adults only to frequently look down patronizingly upon the “childless” qualities of the child, without any understanding of their real meaning. Such adults fail to understand that those “childish” qualities constitute the most valuable possessions of our species, to be cherished, nurtured, and cultivated.

Says Armstrong: “If our civilization is to keep from blowing itself off the map, we need to cultivate in our educational system people with the curiosity, sensitivity, and imagination, among other qualities, to come up with new ways of preventing wars, disease, and overpopulation. Montagu’s perspective suggests that the qualities of genius, far from being “warm fuzzy” concepts, are the basic building blocks of humanity’s hope for survival.”

Part 2 of Armstrong’s book focuses on how genius gets shut down through factors present in the home and in the popular media. There are 4 factors that are especially significant as negative home influences: emotional dysfunction, poverty, a fast-paced lifestyle, and rigid ideologies.

Parents (and other members of the household) who are crippled by emotional problems including alcoholism, drug dependence, food disorders, chronic rage, anxiety, and depression are identified as generating patterns that reverberate throughout the family system. Dysfunctional families follow “certain basic rules that govern their attitude toward learning and growing; these include the need to be in control at all times; the need to be perfect; the need to blame others when things don’t work out; and the denial of the ability to freely think, feel, perceive, choose, and imagined as one desires.” [One can’t help but think about the extension of these dysfunctional traits into the culture and the political setting.] “In families with emotional dysfunction, a child’s vitality is all too often crushed under a barrage of put downs and insults, curiosities punished or ignored, enjoy is squashed under the heavy blanket of depression. Living in such conditions, children don’t have the chance to explore, make mistakes, discover new ideas, and do the many other things that go along with being a genius. In families in which anxiety hovers over the home like a dark cloud, children lose their playfulness.” Drug addiction is noted by Armstrong as creating special problems that cripple the natural genius in children. This is especially troubling when one comes to awareness about the role of our government, its intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the banking and economic system in the importation and distribution of addictive narcotics. Poverty, the stepsister of those national policies-in-action, also plays a major role in depressing the joy and vitality of children as well as in generating poor prenatal care, poor healthcare, malnutrition, and “other factors commonly associated [which] can damage the child’s brain.…”. But even in well-to-do suburbs, there is destruction of genius.

“Many parents who have adequate financial resources and a solid educational background don’t appear to have much time to spend with their kids because of their own hectic lives. Often very successful in their professions, these parents spend so much time trying to get added in their careers that they don’t have any time left for their kids. When they do up and up focusing on their children’s learning life, they often think about how they get their children on the fast track to success. Hence, families with a fast-paced lifestyle often pressure kids to learn things before they’re ready for them.….Because these kids are given time to naturally expressed their genius qualities in their own way, they begin to retreat behind a façade of cynicism, apathy or aggression.”

“Some families raise their children in an atmosphere of fear and hate toward those who do not share their own rigid belief systems. These belief systems may be on the right or the left politically; they may be related to any of the worlds religions or be atheistic or philosophical in nature. What is at issue here is not the specific content of the belief systems but the way children are taught to fear any other way of thinking and to hate those who stand outside of their own way of thinking.” [Again, one can’t help but think about the socio-cultural milieu,  “the war of the civilizations”, continued and extensive racism, the use of fear as a political psychological weapon, and the ways in which we are divided against ourselves so as to increase the political power of the few.]

Our popular media are noted and discussed [in disgust] for the ways in which they are destructive to the qualities of genius among our children and our adults. “Beyond the violent content of television and video games–which is received the greatest attention and has a huge research-based demonstrating its harmful effects…, At least 3 other more subtle but nevertheless devastating threats to the genius [ of our culture]  seemed to emanate from the vast majority of TV, video, and Internet fair that [we]  are exposed to.” these threats include stereotypical images, insipid language, and mediocre content. The threats emanate from production centers “where the idea of nurturing a child’s or adolescent inner genius has no meaning”. “There is little left to the imagination of the child or adolescent to do in the face of [its] ready-made Logos, characters, plots, situations, and scenarios. As a result, kids simply sit back and passively drink in these images, which then proceed to seep into the subconscious only to emerge in school as stereotypical drawings, stories filled with clichés, and artificial and unreal conceptions of how the world works. Kids’ inner imagination, one of those qualities of genius described above, eventually begins to atrophy through lack of use and eventually disappears entirely….The modern-day image of the child at play is a great single child watching the television set while playing with a battery-operated action toy. With so little for the child actually do in this brave new world of automated playthings and preprogrammed entertainment, the genius of kids has fewer and fewer rich structures within which to develop into maturity.

What Daniel Boorstin once described as “hot and cold running images” include what Jeffrey O’Brien, executive director of the Library of America, called it “a language flattened and reduced to a shifting but never large repertoire of catch phrases and slogans….A dialect of dead ends and  perpetual arbitrary switch overs, intended always to sell but more fundamentally to fill time.” Says Armstrong: “the end result of this homogenization of language is heard in students whose speech patterns are replete with phrases like “yeah, right…” And “you know, then he went, like, you know…” And the ubiquitous, all-purpose response to societies complexities: “whatever.” Absent from these linguistic black holes is any attempted at playfulness, flexibility, imagery, humor, or other qualities that are the hallmark of real genius.

Lastly, Armstrong notes the mediocre content that is present in our explosion of new media, reminding us that Newton Minow, FCC Chairman 50 years ago, Carter rise television programming as a giant “wasteland.” Says Armstrong: “the cumulative force of such mediocrity has created a commonly shared culture based on the trivial and the base.….What do we value in our society? What do we pay most attention to? Clearly, the popular media every made the decision…” Our media fed popular culture extols “those who are often the sleaziest, the rottenness, and the most devious among us.” These are a far cry from the “tried-and-true ruling blocks of genius: contact with inspiring people and exposure to compelling situations, stimulating materials, and challenging problem-solving opportunities that arise out of daily life”.

We have an opportunity in our homes and in our schools and in our society to effect some change and re-direction, though we must probably work with haste and assuredness and probably in the face of entrenched powerful forces whose long-term plan has been the very destruction of our society.  I reference Melanson’s book “Perfectibilists”, Common Core, Agenda 21, the US Department of Education, and other such insidious and occult or covert plans.

Armstrong notes a colleague’s remark at a conference:

“Schools, prisons, and mental hospitals are the only institutions in society where — if you don’t go, they come to get you.”

They’re coming soon.

 

******

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ande8818/architecture/creativity.gif

source: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ande8818/architecture/2008/03/ 

******

Additional resources:

The Aims of Education* by Alfred North Whitehead

* Presidential address to the Mathematical Association of England, 1916.

http://www.faculty.english.vt.edu/Collier/sciwrite/pdfs/whitehead_1916.pdf 

“The students are alive, and the purpose of education is to stimulate and guide their self-development. It follows as a corollary from this premiss, that the teachers also should be alive with living thoughts. The whole book is a protest against dead knowledge, that is to say, against inert ideas.”[20]

Here are some of A.N. Whitehead more famous quotes on the topic of education:

  • “There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations.”[22]
  • “The pupil’s mind is a growing organism…it is not a box to be ruthlessly packed with alien ideas.”[23]
  • “Knowledge does not keep any better than fish.”[24]
  • “Celibacy does not suit a university. It must mate itself with action.”[25]
  • “The justification for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge and the zest of life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning… A university which fails in this respect has no reason for existence.”[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_North_Whitehead 

****

http://www.innovationmanagement.se/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/imagination-the-number-one-tool-for-innovation-and-creativity.jpeg

Growing Young [Hardcover]

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Young-Ashley-Montagu/dp/0897891678 

[At $117, I’m gonna have to grow richer….]

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/ashley_montagu.html 

****

Dr. Armstrong on tape

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48vaD9CF1CE (3:39)

Dr. Thomas Armstrong on Progressive Education

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClUywtTsTjA (2:06)

Books by Thomas Armstrong

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Armstrong/e/B000APY2HC

****

Books by Robert Cole:

The Moral Life of Children by Robert Coles (Feb 4, 2000)

The Political Life of Children by Robert Coles (Mar 9, 2000)

The Spiritual Life of Children by Robert Coles (Oct 10, 1991)

Children of Crisis by Robert Coles (Aug 2003)

The Whole List: http://www.amazon.com/Robert-Coles/e/B000APM210 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Coles 

****

http://spimg.com/images/creativity.gif

The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog [Paperback]

http://www.amazon.com/The-Millennium-Whole-Earth-Catalog/dp/0062510592

****

Independent Scholar’s Handbook: How to Turn Your Interest in Any Subject into Expertise [Paperback]

http://www.amazon.com/Independent-Scholars-Handbook-Interest-Expertise/dp/0898155215 

[described by Armstrong as “the best book on adult self-motivated learning” he’s ever seen.]

****

The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classical Guide to World Literature, Revised and Expanded [Paperback]

Clifton Fadiman (Author), John S. Major (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0062720732

****

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/

Guide to Writers Conferences & Writing Workshops

http://writing.shawguides.com/

audio books available at a number of outlets

 

What-You-Did-As-a-Childeditededited