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Disrupting your brain

From Brain Based Biz: When you try an activity that's totally new to you, you are building new neuron pathways in your brain.  Why is this good? If you simply do the same things day to day, you create ruts and routines.  I wanted to learn to play a video game like my grandsons and a physical activity, too. Today, Minecraft is one of the most challenging and problem solving games available and I decided to learn to learn do this as opposed to word games I am used to playing.  Why? Disruptive activity is good for your brain. What is disruption, anyway? · Go to Disrupting your brain →

Jean-Paul Mari: The chilling aftershock of a brush with death

From TED: On a reporting trip, journalist Jean-Paul Mari had a face-to-face encounter with a senseless, random death, beginning his acquaintance with a phantom that has haunted us since ancient times: post-traumatic stress. "What is this thing that can kill you without leaving any visible scars?" Mari asks. In this probing talk, he searches for answers in the aftermath of horror and trauma — and comes to a very human conclusion: we must talk. · Go to Jean-Paul Mari: The chilling aftershock of a brush with death →

Do you have a “jazz” mindset or a “classical” mindset?

From 99u: There’s a reason jazz wasn’t taught at the New England Conservatory before Gunther Schuller arrived in the 1960s. Artists are protective of their work, and classical musicians are no exception; many faculty members at the renowned Boston institution didn’t want the whims of jazz improvisers to “sully” their canon. The traditionalists there believed in an unambiguous divide between the realms of classical and jazz—both for themselves, and for posterity. But Gunther Schuller, who passed away on June 21 of this year, wasn’t having it. · Go to Do you have a “jazz” mindset or a “classical” mindset? →

The messy minds of creative people

From Scientific American: The creative process — from the first drop of paint on the canvas to the art exhibition — involves a mix of emotions, drives, skills, and behaviors. It'd be miraculous if these emotions, traits and behaviors didn't often conflict with each other during the creative process, creating inner and outer tension. Indeed, creative people are often seen as weird, odd, and eccentric. · Go to The messy minds of creative people →

Can we end the meditation madness?

From Adam Grant in NY Times: Meditation isn’t snake oil. For some people, meditation might be the most efficient way to reduce stress and cultivate mindfulness. But it isn’t a panacea. If you don’t meditate, there’s no need to stress out about it. In fact, in some situations, meditation may be harmful: Willoughby Britton, a Brown University Medical School professor, has discovered numerous cases of traumatic meditation experiences that intensify anxiety, reduce focus and drive, and leave people feeling incapacitated.

Evangelists, it’s time to stop judging. The next time you meet people who choose not to meditate, take a deep breath and let us relax in peace. · Go to Can we end the meditation madness? →

Your brain performs better when it slows down, with Steven Kotler

From Big Think: Best-selling author Steven Kotler recently visited Big Think to discuss the optimization of consciousness through flow states, a key topic in his recently published book, The Rise of Superman. The best way to describe a flow state is to use the example of practically every action movie released since The Matrix. Experiencing flow is similar to being in "bullet time." Like Keanu Reeves' Neo (though certainly not on his level), a person in flow obtains the ability to keenly hone their focus on the task at hand so that everything else disappears. · Go to Your brain performs better when it slows down, with Steven Kotler →