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  • Michael Krakovskiy 4:04 am on September 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Comic strip, , , , Imagination, , Mental processes, , , Slow Wave Production Cartoonist, Sublime   

    The Night of Your Life: A Slow Wave Production 

    Cartoonist Jesse Reklaw turns the dreams of strangers into the most insightful, humorous, and clever four-panel comic strips you have ever read in The Night of Your Life. This hardcover volume captures the sublime pleasure of tumbling through the freewheeling narrative of our sleeping lives. Each strip is an adaptation of the many dreams submitted to Reklaw from all over the world, every one a unique and compelling journey into a landscape to which we all travel. The Night of Your Life is a testament to the ability of comics to illuminate the corridors of the imagination with wit, sincerity, and joy.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:35 pm on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Mental processes, , Paul Tholey, , , , Stephen LaBerge,   

    Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming 

    “[A] solid how-to book…For amateur dream researchers, this is a must.”
    This book goes far beyond the confines of pop dream psychology, establishing a scientifically researched framework for using lucid dreaming–that is, consciously influencing the outcome of your dreams. Based on Dr. Stephen LaBerge’s extensive laboratory work at Stanford University mapping mind/body relationships during the dream state, as well as the teachings of Tibetan dream yogis and the work of other scientists, including German psycholgist Paul Tholey, this practical workbook will show you how to use your dreams to: Solve problems; Gain greater confidence; improve creativity, and more.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:57 am on May 27, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anti-drug site, Apu, Bob Cringely, Clam, food career, George Miller, , Long-term memory, Memory, Mental processes, , Neuropsychological assessment, , , , serious online memory tests, Short-term memory   

    The Glory of Short-Term Memory 

    I am reading Bob Cringely’s monumental rant, “Accidental Empires“. One thing that he mentions in the very beginning makes a lot of sense to me.

    Cringely talks about the importance of short-term memory to programmers. He briefly mentions George Miller’s research and goes on to quote the Hungarian:

    “I have to really concentrate, and I might even get a headache just trying to imagine something clearly and distinctly with twenty or thirty components,” Simonyi said. “When I was young, I could easily imagine a castle with twenty rooms with each room having ten different objects in it. I can’t do that anymore.”

    Basically, Cringely says that while normal people have a short term memory of Miller’s magic 7 items, really great programmers have short term memory measured in the hundreds.

    I always knew that my painfully average short term memory is a horrible handicap. For instance, my inability to hold a large number of items in memory was a big drawback in my fast food career. I did great as working in the Nathan’s Famous clam bar where there were only a few types of items that I had to sell (namely half-dozens of clams, clam chowder and drinks). But when I had to work the seafood counter where orders included frog legs, clam strips, shrimps, fish fillets, crab patties, hot dog nuggets, onion rings, french (freedom) fries, clam chowder , drinks and a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember anymore combined in all kinds of combos and specials — well, that was hard.

    When I worked as a doorman, keeping track of hundreds of guests, contractors and delivery people entering and building was also pretty tough for me. This kind of made me realize that I would not be able to become an efficient physician because a) I would not be able to keep track of all of my patients and b) although I could pull a 48 hour shift, I was barely fit to operate the mop after 24 hours. I felt kind of like Apu during his 96 hour shift.

    Woods: Hey, you’re Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, aren’t you? I mean, you’re
    the — you’re like _the_ guy, you’re a legend around here. Can I
    ask you, is it true you once worked 96 hours straight?
    Apu: Oh yes, it was horrible I tell you. By the end I thought I was a
    hummingbird of some kind.
    Woods: Oh yeah, you know, I studied your old security tapes.
    [On tape, Apu imitates a hummingbird, flying back and forth
    across the screen and emitting a high-pitched humming noise]
    Apu: In a few minutes, I tried to drink nectar out of Sanjay’s head.

    In any case, my fabulous associative long term memory, you know, the thing that enables me to spout Simpsons references and remember little details from books that I read serves me very well. But I feel that the lack of short term memory is what stands between me and the greatness and glory of being a great hacker. That and some other organizational and focusing issues.

    I really wonder if great hackers invariably possess abnormal short term memory. You know, I have no doubt that the greatest hackers of all time, Von Neumann and Tesla had tremendous short term memory which was different from that exhibited by circus performers. Not only could they remember thousands of objects, but they could also make machines or programs out of them, run them and debug them, all in memory.

    But what about a programmer of lj user=jwz’s, avva’s or brad’s caliber? I bet an above average hacker must have above average short-term memory.

    Anyway, it’s getting rather late and I can’t find any serious online memory tests. Maybe I’ll put one together myself later. Here are two simple ones:
    Picture Test
    Verbal test from some anti-drug site
    [Added this note in the morning] Try not to use any special means of remembering – for instance grouping of objects in any way, making up a story with the items or words, etc. We are looking for an effortless and natural above average short term memory.

    If you find a good memory test, let me know.

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