Tag Archives: feedback

going deep

going deep

The aforementioned book “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport was correctly assumed to be an update in a modernized high-tech world (maybe I should call it an upgrade, or version 2.45, of my e-book “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind …” ).

Newport’s effort is not aimed at teenagers or athletes or incoming college freshmen; it’s specially targeted at performance in an information economy.

I bought it as fuel for my own deep dive into authorship. I already understood what it had to say; I had to see what he said, what he added, and how I could apply it to my world.

Source of featured graphic: http://strongproject.com/blog/how-cal-newports-deep-work-concept-will-influence-office-design/ 
music: EST Symphony


I’m 75 pages into the book, and I paused to give you a taste of this gem so I won’t give away the the deeper gemstones in it or the conclusion. You can use the link above to find a version that works for you. You can also use it as an impetus to diving back into my e-book, which I’ve considered updating and upgrading.  We know a whole lot more about the human brain now than when I started it (or finished it) or finally got around to getting into shape so it could be shared.

I had to chuckle with delight as the first two pages are focused on the architecture of deep work; Newport talks about Jung’s Bollingen Tower and other examples of how people configured their space and their tools for their own deep work. I am about to enter the second year here in this little bungalow on the edge of a small river and a forest, close to the roadways and locations necessary to the rest of life.  My workspace has three locations (one primary with two desks and three tools, and three secondary seats, each wide side chairs and tables). Oh, and blank paper, lots of pens and two computers. The main one is on the lower floor in my office corner; the second is in an open space kitchen/living area with laptop or out on the deck overlooking the garden or even on the patio in the garden.

Let me now race through some excerpts from the book so you can decide whether it has application in your world and your life. I’d like my son to get into this book; he dropped away from athletic pursuit (save on the golf course… he came in third in his club championship last year), and into his professional career, now two decades old.  He built the flagship for a regional golf equipment retail chain and drove its sales through the roof, then left for the wholesale side of the game. He’s now a regional sales manager for a golf apparel company in a company in which his people are currently ranked 1, 2 and 3 in their salesman of the year contest.

Deep work, says Newport on page 3, are “the professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes cognitive capabilities to their limit in a hard-to-replicate manner, thereby creating new value and improved skill. “We now know from decades of research in both psychology and neuroscience that the state of mental strain that accompanies deep work is necessary for improvement in cognitively demanding fields.”

I’ve seen it at work on those times when my daughter would retire into her internal mental space and emerge to perform at levels that won her national ranking despite her apparently small size; the coach from one major recruiting school got back in her car and drove off when she saw my child from a distance of ten feet and then read about her selection as the All-Region Player of the Year four years later. The coach from a California powerhouse university whose performance consultant was a nationally-recognized expert in peak performance asked her counterpart from the Northeast snowbound school who that little girl was who’d hit the two 3-run home runs and just exactly where on earth did she come from?

Cal Newport isn’t focused on fastpitch softball, though; he is focused on the world of software, networking, social media and digital communications when he talks about missing out on massive opportunity when he says to his readers that “you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things”, that “to succeed, you have to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of producing” and that that output will be valuable in a world where someone with a better product that can be found easily and which is now being readied for the marketplace. Deep work is both scarce and valuable and is a key currency in a world that can also easily produce a lot of something else to distract you. Who is having your lunch today?

Newport talks of “fierce concentration”, minimizing in your daily life and space that which is shallow and increasing, with greater intensity, those times of uninterrupted and carefully-directed concentration.

If you want to thrive, you have to learn how to master hard things, and you have to produce, in terms of both quality and speed, at an elite level. You have to master the foundational skills — think of my e-book “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind …” as your elementary school.

On pages 33-36, Newport again mentions the new field of performance psychology and mentions K. Anders Ericsson (whom I first heard about during a presentation by Leonard Zaichkowsky, Ph.D.: see the attached pdf  Becoming a Champion in Sport and Life), who says in Deep Work on page 34,

“… the differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”

The concept of deliberate practice is addressed in the sections on mindfulness in my e-book and especially within the books written by Ellen Langer.

The core components of deliberate practice are defined as follows:

  1. your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve (or an objective you’re trying to achieve) or an idea you’re trying to master; and

  2. you receive feedback so you can correct your approach and keep your attention exactly where it’s needed or will be most productive.

The first is central to Newport’s book.  I regard the second as also of vital importance; it’s simply “the other side of the coin”.  Feedback comes from competition, or at least scrimmage and free play, and perhaps from simulation and/or dialogue.

The footnote on page 34 describes how Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea of deliberate practice in his book Outliers which generated attempts to poke holes in Ericcson’s theory, answered by Ericcson in his article “Why Expert Performance is Special and Cannot Be Extrapolated from Studies of Performance in the General Population: A Response to Criticisms” [ http://www.progressfocused.com/2013/12/anders-ericsson-responds-to-criticisms.html ].

Focused attention requires deliberate practice.

“Let your mind becomes a lens, thanks to the converging rays of attention; let your soul be all intent on whatever it is that is established in your mind as a dominant, wholly absorbing idea”, said Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges, a Dominican friar and professor of moral philosophy in “The Intellectual Life” .

The new “science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit [ of neurons ] to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated…. The repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendrocytes to begin wrapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuit, effectively cementing the skill.”

“.. the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work. If you’re not comfortable going deep for extended periods of time, it’ll be difficult to get your performance to the peak levels of quality and quantity increasingly necessary to thrive professionally. Unless your talent and skills already dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.”

What type of work that you do requires you to go deep?

Buy the book.  Get busy. The world needs your best work.


future intelligence

future intelligence

Children Inherit Their Intelligence from Their Mother Not Their Father

October 7th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: Independent: [link has the full article and a video]

A mother’s genetics determines how clever her children are, according to researchers, and the father makes no difference.

Women are more likely to transmit intelligence genes to their children because they are carried on the X chromosome and women have two of these, while men only have one.

But in addition to this, scientists now believe genes for advanced cognitive functions which are inherited from the father may be automatically deactivated.

Concerned that people might not be like mice, researchers in Glasgow took a more human approach to exploring intelligence. They found the theories extrapolated from mice studies bear out in reality when they interviewed 12,686 young people between the ages of 14 and 22 every year from 1994. Despite taking into account several factors, from the participants education to their race and socio-economic status, the team still found the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the mother.

However, research also makes it clear that genetics are not the only determinant of intelligence – only 40 to 60 per cent of intelligence is estimated to be hereditary, leaving a similar chunk dependent on the environment.

But mothers have also been found to play an extremely significant role in this non-genetic part of intelligence, with some studies suggesting a secure bond between mother and child is intimately tied to intelligence.

Posted in Health, Off Topic, Social Engineering




The above article by the Independent — brought to our attention by a fellow I consider, however silly the idea is by virtue of distance and the virtual near-anonymity of the world, to be a mentor, a colleague, someone I admire — explains a lot to me about me, my childhood and upbringing, my children, and my life.  

It, and I, are likely to be obsolete, given what was shared with the world by Charlie Rose during 60 Minutes extended version just before the debate [see http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/artificial-intelligence/ ].  

I consider Charlie to be my nemesis, someone I do not like, someone I do not wish to emulate… but he sits atop a pinnacle of the world’s elite and their elitist media, and so we are forced to pay attention to them and their agenda

The show’s opening segment was about artiifical intelligence and IBM’s Watson and related projects. Ironically, I stayed up late last night to watch a re-run of an old movie by some fellow named Michael Crichton called “West World”. 


And, as I type this, I got yet another reminder to upgrade to Mac OS Sierra.

I look forward to having an AI-fueled robot [which can read at voracious rates, speaks several languages, and learn at exponential rates] act as a commentator, fact-checker and on-air pundit during and after forthcoming debates. 

Speaking of the debate, I live-streamed the really big show with Martha, Donald, Hillary and Anderson while I unpacked the boxes of books that form the Summon The Magic bibliography, taking breaks to make notes, sip cold black coffee, break down the storage boxes for proper disposal, and more. This particular debate format, “the town meeting”, featured questions from voters like you and me (presumably) but, speaking for myself, they’d probably have screened out my questions. 


Doesn’t it look like they are singing a duet at some country and western show? Say, for example, Islands in the Stream.

Hillary opened with an answer to the question about appropriate Presidential-aspirant behavior with a statement that we are a great country because we are good [at bombing the bejeesus out of weddings, brown people and small countries], we celebrate diversity [just ask the native Americans and all the blacks who have been incarcerated], and we have the best educational systems [ranked well below the top ten in the industrialized world]. Trump countered with commentary about trade, immigration, law and order, and justice [see his riposte below].

Trump answered the question from the former CIA intern masquerading as a news anchor about Trump’s lewd comments with an immediate turn, after an apology, to the subject of ISIS’ behavior.  Both moderators interrupted him and stopped him from expounding on a line of policy questions on numerous occasions.

The Donald soon thereafter went on the attack with direct comment about appointing an Attorney General who would appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate why Hillary deleted, erased or otherwise expunged e-mails after an subpoena by Congress, pungently salted with a riposte later: “You’d be in jail.” 

Hillary side-stepped allegations by Trump of her lies answering with what Churchill would have called a “bodyguard of lies” but which in her case was an armored escort of lies.  She said something like ‘we have never been in a situation in which a foreign power has tried to influence an election’, neatly side-stepping decades of history of the slow infilitration of credit banksters and Zionists into the proximity of power in both the Oval Office and the Executive Branch, especially Treasury, and the long-term efforts of private and independent (but obviously clearly-connected-and-beholden) groups like B’Nai B’Rith, ADL, and AIPAC.  She went on to denigrate Russia in its support of its own ally, Syria. 

Martha Raddatzwhose husband is a member of CFR; (according to Wikipedia, “her first husband was Ben Bradlee Jr., a Pulitzer prize-winning editor for The Boston Globe,[14] biographer, and son of former Washington Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee. Her second husband was Julius Genachowski, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission under the Obama Administration”) — tried to get Trump in a corner so he’d come out in favor of aggression against Syria and Russia and was an aggressor herself in her follow-up (and her demeanor as a moderator)

Hillary later played the insider card when she inferred that she was inviolved in many top-secret operations but that’s easy to do since by definition those details are unknown to the common man and have had little demonstrable effect except to get us more deeply embroiled, more deeply hated, and more deeply confrontational. And her role as a participaint in covert ops is highly suspect given her inability to maitain security on her own handling of communications. But she has minions who will deal with that and who do not get vetted by anyone who isn’t already deeply embedded in the game of empire



When I think about the advent of artificial intelligence, having watched Westworld and computer-controlled events, and I think about the massive push by the US DOD to bring artificial intelligence into its world of strategic communications, I wonder how this will work, given that, according to the interview by Charlie Rose (a member of the CFR and frequent attendee at Bilderberger events), systems of artificial intelligence are capable of learning at exponential speeds and reading and understanding “vast quantities” of information.  There is hope, I would guess, that those systems will be capable of independent reserarch, at least occasionally read what would be called in another world “alternative media”, and might be curious enough to look deeply into American history for the last 150 years or longer. Perhaps this AI system would be capable of finding and reaching publishers who have published books by people like Antony Sutton, James Douglass, and David Ray Griffin.  Or Vladimir Bukowsky, Derrick Jensen, or your favorite author.  Perhaps this AI system would be curious about things that sentient two-legged types frequently told citizens to pay no attention to, or if it would bother to read journalists who’d been imprisoned, or killed. Perhaps it would be curious enough to search out that information which Google is currently suppressing. Or perhaps that system of AI will be programmed and instructed to shun and ignore certain parts of the world. 


Get ready for a computerized ‘teammate’ in your car (Yahoo Finance). Note the teleology that assumes “progress” from computer-assisted to autonomous

[If you have not seen it yet, buckle your seat belt and drive on over to the intersection of State and Liberty.]


The CIA Says It Can Predict Social Unrest as Early as 3 to 5 Days Out 

improvement in analytics , cloud computing and ‘deep learning.’



In a continuation of a dialogue that began over at here, Greencrow responded to Penny:

Penny, your comment about bloggers being driven by “love of truth” gave me not one but two great ideas! Thanks. I may not implement these ideas myself or in this blog but they are great ideas and someone will eventually implement them. Here they are

1. A special page (I could have it on this blog or it could be a special blog or everyone could have a link to it) where bloggers write a short couple of paragraphs about their blog…what first drove them to do truth blogging and what issues compel them the most. Occurrences would be an excellent site for this special page or link : )

2. A Truth Bloggers Union. This could be a loosely run organization of technical support, information and solidarity for truth bloggers as we move into a new era of increased repression, marginalization, etc. There could be a logo drawn up that all members of the Union could add to their blog face page. It would look like the old Union logos. I really believe in the Union Movement and even tried to spear head a union organization movement when I was a legal secretary many years ago. I won’t tell you how that turned out…lol (or as we said in those days hahahahaha)

Think about all of this folks and please add ideas if you wish…or take up the ball and run with it!


October 9, 2016 at 8:15 AM

I have commented on and suggested this similar kind of idea for some time, starting a long time ago at Kenny’s but continuing elsewhere.  I would very much like to have a conversation with like-minded people about the technical and political sides of alternative blogs.   See entries entitled “Input Please”

There’s a lot to talk about. If you want to have that conversation, or if you want to see Occurrences act as a host and convenor, I would be delighted but you’d better respond fast as my “lease” here runs out very soon. 

I am committed to continuing to collect, archive and publish the kind of material and information which I’ve put up at Occurrences, The Sullen Bell and— to a lesser extent— BoyDownTheLane, but I’d like to get some feedback. I’d also very much like to work in a team environment where others could contribute information, analysis etc.  I think this is especially vital in our current socio-political environment.

One of the tactics I have considered is to publish privately… to build books, compendia, collections of material, and personally-authored pieces for publication in a print-on-demand format.  I would offer these for sale at a modest price. 

But I look forward to a wider dialogue. Frankly, it might benefit from the occasional use of a tele-conference call, or an e-mail chain (especially given my need and desire for a better and less intrusive e-mail provider), or simply an open thread at one of my three domains. Domain hosting is another issue. I like the one I use, but I’m no expert. 

magic alphabet untwisted

Now that we’ve gotten the magic alphabet untwisted, we can move on.

The e-book entitled “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind….” now sits poised to move into the 12th chapter “On Mentors, Coaches and Warriors”, and then the 13th chapter “On Teams”.


Tab L (Mentors, Coaches & Warriors)  


  • This chapter focuses on what may be, for some of you, your first board meeting as the new CEO.
  • If you’ve had difficulty asking for help, it will provide some simple tools that will help you.
  • It will teach you how to look for your teacher, or mentor, and how to determine which ones are the right ones.
  • It will teach you how to create a functional and effective circle of supportive people.
  • It will dissect and analyze what goes on in coaching, and you’ll be able to see that from the perspectives of the coachee or client (you) and the coach or mentor.

“Information embedded in an emotional context seems to stimulate neural circuitry more powerfully than information presented neutrally. A smile, good eye contact, touch, and the rhythm, tone, pacing, melody and vibration of voice…, all play a role in effective instruction.” 


  • Using an athletic model, Page 21 breaks down and charts graphically the process of assessment.
  • There’s a discusion of feedback loops within the coaching interaction.
  • Speech, voice and communications skills in coaching are discused.
  • The coachee’s responses are broken down into four categories.
  • The role of confrontation and criticism are reviewed.
  • One of the things that this chapter will do is to introduce you to such books as How To Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment.
  • And the chapter acts as a springboard as the overall look at excellence moves from a focus on the individual to a focus on the team, or organization, or larger grouping.


The Coach is also a  (13 other roles)


The 13th chapter, then, is “On Teams”.

Tab M (On Teams)

“In a rapidly-changing environment, the strengths of many individuals must be combined into a cohesive and synchronized effort.

  • The idea of shared experiential goals is discussed, as well as team leadership and the roles of communications, learning and mindfulness.
  • The dynamics or changes in the team and their relationship to team development are discussed.


“The rate at which a team learns may become it’s only sustainable advantage.”

  • There is an overview of the Tuckman model of “forming, storming, norming, and performing”.

Tuckman Model


  • I added my own text and graphic expression of team chemistry, upgraded here:

Team Chemistry pdf copy

  • There is an introduction to the concept of organizational learning.
  • There are five questions on page 15 you ought to ask yourself (and your team) right now.
  • There is material on team spirit, team dynamics, team cohesion, team bonding, and team harmony.
  • There’s a section on the role of non-verbal communication in team interaction, and another on team exercises in concentration and movement.
  • There’s two pages (27 and 28) on the development of a shared vision.
  • There is an 18-point plan for empowering your team.


“If people don’t have their own vision, all they can do is “sign up” for someone else’s. The result is compliance, never commitment.”


I like the section on page 31 about getting individuals on a team to express a quality about the thing that you need to work on. This moves toward team learning and team alignment.


There’s a lot more.  Have fun.