April 19, 2006
To Be Continued, NOVA-Style
A bunch of brain-related stuff to chew on this morning:
First, the 3 Quarks Daily digest of Jeff Hawkins’ book On Intelligence. Now, Matt linked to this in his Five Words links (new feature!) on Monday but it’s worth another shout-out, and not just because it’s such good info. The piece also takes the unexpected form of a non-narrative cliffhanger!
There isn’t any story, really; it’s just abstract explanation. But at the end, author Abbas Raza sets up a four-point bullet list, starts cranking through them… and then doesn’t finish the last one. He’s just suddenly all like “Oops, out of time, see you in three weeks.” What??!
This is Dan Brown-caliber suspense. For nerds.
Second, the blog Creating Passionate Users (they can’t all be named Snarkmarket) has a long post about brain stuff, including two items of particular interest:
- Mirror neurons. CPU explains: “It’s what these neurons do that’s amazing—they activate in the same way when you’re watching someone else do something as they do when you’re doing it yourself! This mirroring process/capability is thought to be behind our ability to empathize, but you can imagine the role these neurons have played in keeping us alive as a species. We learn from watching others.” The crazy thing, though, is that we do it unconsciously. That means you mirror whether you like it or not.
- Emotional contagion. Turns out we really are deeply affected by the moods and attitudes — not just the words and actions — of the people we’re around. Choose carefully!
All right. I am going to go watch Battlestar Galactica DVDs until the next part of that 3 Quarks Daily piece gets posted.