• “WE GENERALLY MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS BASED ON INTUITION, not by subjecting every single option to extensive scrutiny, nor by making snap judgments… Intuition can be seen as a series of unconscious processes that take place in our brain, which operates like a supercomputer – picking up many more verbal and non-verbal signals than our conscious minds do and processing them rapidly.” Research supports the premise that by letting information just ‘sink in’ (while sleeping on it or by switching gears to focus on something completely different), “instinctive feelings tend to produce much better results.  [INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST – Jan/Feb 14] 

    This includes ‘gut reactions’ of prospective brides & grooms which appear to be reliable indicators of the relationship’s success or failure. A two-university study of 135 couples who reported their “marital satisfaction” semi-annually over a four-year period, found that “automatic attitudes, not their conscious ones, predicted changes.” The test, which flashed pictures of their mate followed by terms requiring quick positive or negative response, were predictive – versus earlier verbalized feelings which turned out not so close. Conclusion was that motivation to see the relationship in a positive light may distort conscious reality and more attention should be paid to gut feelings.  [SCIENCE MAGAZINE – Nov 13]

  • TIPS FOR WORKING SMARTER, NOT HARDER:  (1) Force a workstop every couple hours at max. “On average, brains are only able to remain focused for 90 minutes before needing at least 15 minutes rest… to preserve and enhance perspective and avoid burnout”; (2) Even better is periodic ‘napping’ to improve “cognitive function, creative thinking and memory performance… Napping seems to solidify memories in the brain’s more permanent storage spot (neocortex), preventing them from being overwritten”; (3) Make time for fresh air and nature to “help reset your attention and relax your mind… by avoiding urban environments filled with stimulation that captures attention dramatically, requires directed attention, and doesn’t let the brain relax enough to reset focus levels.” [INC.com – Mar 5, 14]
  •  “20 YEARS INTO THE ‘DIGITAL REVOLUTION,’ our lives now revolve comfortably around instant communication, with fingertip access to information, shopping, and management of personal affairs.” But the Internet’s impacts have been dramatically different in most cases then envisioned.  Examples: (1) The ‘garage to global’ potential for any entrepreneur resulted in “more fortunes lost than made, with the vast online marketplace now controlled by just a handful of large monopoly mega-firms”; (2) The anticipated ‘world community’ not only failed to materialize, but the Internet has “allowed walls to be built around smaller niche micro-communities of us-versus-them… displaying factional antagonism and more tribal behavior”;  (3) The Digital Age which was supposed to make everyone smarter has basically worked in reverse, with “processes reducing the cognitive demands placed on workers, while automation is systematically dumbing down as many jobs and media products as possible”; (4) Instead of a generation of tech-savvy kids, the system has produced ‘button-savvy’ kids – very few of whom “know or care what’s going on inside their smartphones, laptops, video games or tablets… but spend billions of hours playing massive online games… while the culture has been usurped by Media – a nonstop, 24/7, saturated entertainment environment … as public schools continue their dogged pursuit of mediocrity, leaving most kids to find an education in their own way.”      [THE FUTURIST – Mar/Apr 14]
  • THE SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS MRSA STAPH VIRUS infects a high percentage of hospital patients, mostly transferred by touch. Research at University of Geneva hospitals now identifies fingertips as most contaminated and responsible, but also found that stethoscopes carry more than double the MRSA bacteria of dirty hands.  [LBN eLERT – Feb 28, 14]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  It costs around $60,000/yr for each of 80,000 prisoners held in solitary confinement in America, many of whom descend into severe mental illness and/or suicidal despair before being released back into society. “Participating in a gun buy-back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.”  

   “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” – Elie  Wiesel.