Book of Knowledge

August 18, 2014 at 10:58 am (Rant, Teaching, Thinking) (, , , , , )

I am starting a new notebook. While reviewing some information from one of the online courses I’m taking right now, I realized that I am back in an old habit of assuming I’m smarter than I am. This usually means that I read stuff and learn about stuff and assume I’ll just remember it, or assume that I understand it completely. This notebook is meant to write down summarized information on whatever I am learning at the time. It will also include mnemonic tips and other stuff.

This will allow me to quickly review whatever is in the book and solidify it in my mind. I want to keep it concise enough so I can glance through it, but have enough details so that I don’t lose context or have no clue what things are.

Work in progress.

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Why isn’t there a new build of Zombie Mansion!?!

August 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm (Programming, Rant, Thinking) (, , , , )

This is the question that all of the voices in my head have been asking me. The general answer is this: I’ve been busy. I do have a new build that should have fixed all of the issues from the first demo build, but I keep getting distracted from verifying that it’s all ready and packaged.

What’s been keeping me so busy though? Well, a number of things. I started taking several courses on Coursera recently; this is one of the things. I’m taking courses on game theory and cognitive psychology and a couple others. So that’s taken some of my attention.

I’ve been spending some time filling in gaps of my knowledge as well. I bought a book that has a lot of general knowledge topics, so it’s led to some additional reading. For example, I’ve always had an interest in psychology, but I haven’t formally studied it; it’s usually been about reading periodicals and research papers, etc. So I read through a general overview and history of it to cover up the gaps. The theories and relationships of Freud and Jung are interesting to me as well. I’ve always been a little iffy on Jung’s research, but it’s sparked a bit of additional effort to learn more about how his distilled theories originated.

Also, I’ve been looking to help a friend out with some web programming stuff. It’s similar to what I do at work right now, but I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time getting up to speed. Unfortunately, I’ve been somewhat stretched by additional responsibilities at work and home, so I’ve been lagging behind a bit.

Man I do a lot of stuff, and this isn’t even the complete list…

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Diffusing Diffuse Thinking

August 5, 2014 at 9:22 am (Rant, Teaching, Thinking) (, , , , , , , )

On the weekend I was following along on an online course I signed up for at Coursera (free online courses, you have no reason not to go there). The subject was focus vs diffuse thinking. Essentially they discussed the difference between when you focus your concentration on something and what your brain looks like during that as opposed to day dreaming and sleep thinking. I’ve known about the differences between thinking while awake and while asleep, but it’s been a self-taught concept. I used to put a lot of effort into dreaming and lucid dreaming several years ago. I used the creativity for designing out game concepts and new ideas about things.

One of the techniques I eventually picked up however, was this idea of tricking your mind into solving problems for you. I used this for my thesis whenever I was stuck or didn’t know where to go with my idea. The trick is essentially to guide your sleep. I would set an alarm for a precise time; I had worked out approximately how long I typically needed (it was around 10-15 minutes), and I would “gently” think about my problem enough to guide my dreams, but not prevent sleep. When I would wake up, it would feel like someone smarter than me worked out the problem or that I’ve been thinking about it for days.

This is one of the concepts they covered in the course. They mentioned some famous names that used to do exactly this thing: Salvadore Dali and Thomas Edison. They would each hold a heavy object and fall asleep. When they’d nod off, they’d drop the object and it would wake them up. Edison apparently had even done sleep research in addition to this to try and figure out just how much sleep the human brain needed.

Anyway, it’s interesting how these sorts of ideas pass through history at different times. It’s sort of like the idea of Calculus: two different people discovering and refining the same idea at the same time. I figured if it’s important enough for those two guys to do, it’s important enough to share to others. Hopefully this helps someone out.

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