Monday, June 29, 2009

Get the best out of your sleep

It seems that all you really need to survive and feel rested is the REM phase, which is only a tiny portion of your actual sleep phases at night. You only spend 1-2 hours in REM sleep during any given night, and the rest is wasted on the other seemingly useless phases.

The way to hack yourself into entering REM sleep without being exhausted is to trick your body into thinking you’re going to get a tiny amount of sleep. You can train it to enter REM for short periods of time throughout the day in 20-minute naps rather than in one lump at night.

Remarkably, adding just one nap during the day shaves an hour and forty minutes off your total sleep requirement.

Scientific experiments and anecdotal evidence suggest that an average power-nap duration of around 1 - 2 hours is most effective.Mitsuo Hayashi, Ph.D. and Tadao Hori, Ph.D.have demonstrated that a nap improves mental performance even after a full night sleep.

REM sleep, this particular sleep state is highly conducive to fluid reasoning and flexible thought.

REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep, about 90-120 minutes of a night's sleep. During a normal night of sleep, humans usually experience about 4 or 5 periods of REM sleep; they are quite short at the beginning of the night and longer toward the end. Many animals and some people tend to wake, or experience a period of very light sleep, for a short time immediately after a bout of REM.

During REM, the activity of the brain's neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours. Vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during REM sleep.

....the link between creativity, dreams, and sleep behaviors, researchers discovered that participants who were classified as "fast sleepers" (those who fell asleep quickly) were more likely to score highly on a creativity test, participants who scored highly on a creativity test were more likely to solve their problems through dreams and to fall asleep quickly, and adults in creative occupations have significantly more dream distortion, visual mentation, and regressive dream content

........after sleep there is an increased insight, that is, a sudden gain of explicit knowledge. Thus during sleep the representation of new memories are restructured.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cultural Calvinist & Art Books must embrace 21st Century Technologies

Art Books must embrace 21st Century Technologies

Q. What happened to post modernism?

A. It became Culture Calvinist.

Q. What has General Motors and Art got in common?
A. They both require ongoing government support, they make things people do not want and they peaked in the 20th Century.

Jamie Campin’s Weekend Australian’s Review article “Keep writhing about art – Art books must survive in this age of visual noise” is a casing point of meaningless relevance and dislocated authority. His points are;
• Society requires the authority of taste-makers.
• Unless the image makes the grade it is just noise.
Image noise brought to you by; twitpic, flickr, photobucket, picasa and tinypic can be overwhelming in quantity and qualities. The technologies are new and are used by many. Perhaps there is something in the sayings ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. Dell recently announced that it surpassed $3 million in sales via links from one of its Twitter accounts.
Getty Images, the world’s largest distributor of still imagery, has teamed up with Flickr to sell pictures from Flickr via gettyimages. The site is titled Photography with a fresh perspective.

Technologogy & the future of the Book

It seems that the Culture Calvinist taste-makers are still locked in the 20th Century paradigm – that being their glory period when money was to be made via proprietary owned technologies and pushed out by a network of ‘trusted’ bookshops. Today it is freely accessed technology accessed via any internet connection.
Taste-makers need to become innovative if they are to survive the 21st Century. There is no use quoting Oscar Wide ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life’ or Picasso ‘Art is a lie that makes us realise truth’.
The 21st century requires its own contextualised statements not of the ‘Western European Genius’ from past millennia. Our starting point for this millennium is a connected global society. What are our statements – could it be something like ‘Art being AnyTechnology, AnyWhere, AnyTime and AnyPlace’?

Telephone - will never catch on

• Jamie blames Amazon for ‘devaluing books in the minds of consumers’.
• Jamie blames technology; ‘anyone can publish a book via inexpensive technology’. I presume this could be the internet.
• Jamie also states that this technology ‘makes most products more uniform’ where as ‘printing technology can show an art’s strength’.

The internet technology is non-linear, multi-sensory and interactive. This technology would benefit the performing arts, installation and 3D art as well as conceptual art. Jamie is ignorant of 21st Century possibilities and conveys the innovative insights of a document locked in a filing cabinet. Get out of the Black Box! The internet technologies are better suited to the arts than a book. A book’s heriatge is of locked-up and frustrated monasteries. The barbarians have truly taken over. The Churches feared the printing press and the Cultural Calvinists fear the internet. The taste-makers need to embrace the new technologies or become a museum feature just as the Australian newspaper slips from a daily to a weekly to a monthly. Become more innovative like Dell and Getty Images companies. In other words get off the couch, stop whinging and do something new. Stop being a Cultural Calvinist become a Cultural Innovator.

IBM innovation - just do it

Sunday, June 21, 2009

EggHead Costello

I could have been PM.
I wanted to be PM.
Unfulfilled ambition some say.
End of a dream some say.
Some say a lot about could have beens. What if I had of challenged Howard? What if I Howard had of stepped down? What if I had of snatch leadership. What if I was the victor? What if I was the PM of Australia. I lead Australia through crisis and through crisis. I lead Australia out of debt. That is no debt. That is leadership. You can insult me, but you will never understand my paradox. I am the good son. I have ethics. I have morals. I am proud. I have not exploited my position of power. I have not enriched or misused my entitlement of power. I have no scandles attached to my name. There is no dirt to my name. Forget honest John I am Peter the rock. The curse all Peter's must endure. It is a death foretold.

I left because the decision was mine and I made it. You can decide if it is your loss. You can decide whether it is your gain.

I have been described as the poor man's Keating. What I have to say is Brrrrrrrrr.

I have the best smirk. I have the smirk of all time. I smirk because I know. You may see butterflies but I see elephants.

I have tolerated being called a dope. I have been called a moron and I have been called a whimp. In my twilight days I sat on the back bench smarmy and smirking and unctuous and smug. I sat there from the moment Howard kicked sand in my face. But I turned the other cheek. Despite my outer persona of seeming arrogance, I am a sensitive and self-questioning man. So to all those great aussie knockers who called me a pissweak, smartarse wanker get of your behinds and do something worthwhile. Do something that benefits Australia.

Keating may have called me a shiver looking for a spine but I was generally trying to do the best that I could. Sometimes I made a decision that in the hindsight was bad but I made the decision because it had to be done. I was needed because we need someone who can make order our society. It maybe a bad job, but someone's got to do it. And I won't spend the rest of my life justifying a limited reign

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Schools and Creativity: Sir Ken Robinson


Why is creativity taken out of productivity? Why is innovation taken out of teaching? Why are schools not helping students to make meaning of their skills? If public education is to provide only the 3 Rs - to enable a functioning society - is education providing a hand-break on society?

'Education systems too narrow': Sir Ken Robinson:
ABC 7:30 report video interview

Dot Points
Sir Ken Robinson:

* a number of famous people whose traditional education failed to help them identify their real talents before they went on to brilliant careers.

* our education systems at the moment are still very focused on a certain type of ability, and the result is very many brilliant people are marginalised by the whole process

*a talented and a passion - well that's to say you never work again. And it is true, I think, that our current education systems are simply not designed to help people do that. In fact an awful lot of people go through education and never discover anything they're good at at all.

* some people get through the whole of their education and don't discover themselves at all

* most education systems have this hierarchy - you know, maths and science at the top and languages. And they're very important. And then, the humanities and the arts somewhere near the bottom.

* some of our greatest scientists have been inspired by the arts and some of our best artists work on deeply scientific principles.

* We need to get back to what it is that drives people to learn and achieve in the first place, and that's what we've lost.

* I think the problem often is that politicians think it's like bailing out the auto industry. It's like refining a manufacturing process. And it's not; it's about cultivating individual passions and talents.

* You can't achieve educational improvement for everybody with a standard template.

* in other words, computers effectively will start to think for themselves at some point.

* I always think this: are kids who start school this year in Australia in primary school will be retiring round about 2070. You know, nobody has a clue what the world will look like this time next year, let alone 2070.

* I'm concerned that they get an education which is tailored to these circumstances rather than the ones that obtained 150 years ago.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Digital Living, ABC Local Radio

Every Thursday morning Anne Delaney on ABC Riverina talks gadgets with her regular panel: Charles Sturt University academics Peter Adams, Phil Roy and Dr Barney Dalgarno

Sunday, June 7, 2009

EggHead Black has a character - workplace psychopath

Back doesn't change workplaces that often.

His power is in his immediate workplace experience. When required Back gets into another workplace via association. Someone in power always owes Back. Back has a network of power friends. When in a tight situation Back can rely on 'the friends'. Back has more enemies than friends, however the enemies are disorganized as a network of power, they change positions and they know that they cannot contest Back without bullet proof evidence. Back knows who has networked power and who doesn't.

Back enjoys the permanence of middle management within the public service. Back has no interest in holding an executive management position. These positions require more effort to maintain tenure and are open to attack by similar radicals. As a young leader Back attempted to hold an executive position but could not manage support. There was too much work involved in the tendering of support. Within middle management Back has fewer to content with and can fire shots into the executive knowing this would assist his standing. Back loves the power of dis-creditation. Back is excited when he can engineer a fight (without direct involvement). Back gains satisfaction when a leader is dismantled.
Back is full aware that most are not happy with their jobs and their state of being. Back exploits this vulnerability with ease. Black engineers conflict, isolationism and victimization. As a leader in middle management Black offloads responsibility to executive management.

Back is a social extrovert but only within workplace gatherings. Back will dominate the lunch room by instigating racial, sexual and pro-conservative inflammatory statements. Back will enable the like-minded to speak white ant executive decisions via whisper leaking . Back will not attend any work related social gatherings that are off the workplace. Back knows where power resides and where power and prestige is held - that is on the work-floor.

Back is aggressive. Back will openly criticize 'the identified' weak and soft. Back has no empathy for his victims. Satisfaction can be gained by enabling someone to fall from status. Tough words and tough language is Back's mantra.
Back has no visionary goals. Back can only refer to the past. Back is a danger for organizations that are struggling. Organizations that need innovative action for their survival can be dismantled by Back. Once Black is identified Black is then moved onto another organization that has problems. Back builds power by enacting the disgruntled, static and burned out worker. Back is a leader of zombies who have no other passion for life but destruction of any leader who may challenge their role in the organization.