August 11th, 2008

breaking bad

A fascinating insight from a Neuroscientist

I went to the Bridge therapy centre over the weekend to talk to Russell. I am now going to be a trainer at the centre, and my first teaching will be next Saturday. My first day is a one-to-one intensive session with a bloke who wants to catch up with some classes that he has missed.

Russell was very enthusiastic (he's an enthusiastic person) about TED - an interesting site with 18 minute talks by a wide range of interesting speakers offered as streaming video.

In particular I have been watching this talk by neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor on her experience of a stroke, which knocked out the left hemisphere of her brain. She's an excellent lively presenter, who seems happy talking about the same experiences from both an objective and a subjective/spiritual perspective. It's well worth listening to:

'I felt at one with all the energy that was, and it was beautiful there, and then my left hemisphere comes back online and it's like - Hey we have a problem here, you'd better get some help.'

Her perspective is definitely that the division between left and right brain thinking is not a metaphor, not a generalisation, but a tight and accurate picture of neural organisation. I was surprised at the confidence with which she states this as a professional opinion, and it may be that like the theory of continental drift this idea has moved into the mainstream.

It also strikes me how many intelligent people are wedded to the belief that only the left brain (if that is what it actually is) is real, meaningful and sound as a basis for thought.
breaking bad

Ladies who don't lunch any more

BBC report: skipping lunch now the norm.

Only one in six workers takes a regular lunch break, says new research. And breaks are set to get even shorter as job insecurity increases... "Employees are struggling to keep on top of to-do lists and think the answer is to work harder, eating a sandwich at their desk as opposed to taking a full lunch break, and also not having sufficient breaks during the rest of the day. But these breaks are essential for staff to perform at their best and cope with the daily pressures of work. Managers should be encouraging staff to take lunch breaks - their performance, and ultimately the business, may suffer otherwise."

I think this finding is connected to the number of people I see burning out at work, and the emphasis on quantity of hours worked and keys clicked, at the expense of smart and streamlined working.
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