topic: psychology

false dawns

To anyone worried about climate change the announcement by Lockheed Martin that it is developing a fusion reactor that will be ready for market within ten years could be seen as a cause for hope. Though I’ve yearned for this development for years, now I’m not so sure. Our technologies are causing ecological degradation and climate change. But what is technology except an amplifier of the effects that our minds have on the world? It […]

consuming individuality

It occurs to me that, rather than individualism leading to consumer culture, it is the other way round. Perhaps this is obvious, but it is only recently that I have become aware how – with each choice I make; for the clothing I wear, the furniture I have in my home, the kind of soap I use, the kind of food I choose to eat – I distance myself from my fellow man. I see […]

clenching…

elastic band hand

Something that I have observed in my body is how I react to stress by ‘clenching’ – not just in the obvious places such as the stomach – but in different parts of my body according to what it is that is getting to me. This can be a very subtle ‘tightening’ and can occur when I hear something about myself I don’t like, or about someone or something else. Or someone singing whose voice […]

the invisible gorilla

I have just read an article about a famous experiment (that you can try for yourself here…) in which a large number of people focusing on counting ball passes on a video are completely unaware of someone in a gorilla suit walking on screen, beating its chest to camera, then walking off. This counter-intuitive result is used to show how blind we can be to what we’re not paying attention to. This issue of attention […]

knight’s move…

It occurs to me that the moves in chess have interesting parallels to human thought and even to our lives… A rook represents an orthogonal approach – powerful and direct – but inflexible. A bishop has – literally – an oblique approach, with an ability to slice forensically past seemingly solid opposition. A pawn’s slow, forward plodding – with its frail hope of, in the end, overcoming almost insurmountable odds and reaching that butterfly like […]

the curse of mirrors and photographs

Mirrors and photographs of a person can be a curse. Why? Well, it seems to me that it is not natural for a person to see themselves from the ‘outside’. We see ourselves better and more ‘truly’ either from the ‘inside’ – or reflected in the faces and reactions of others to us. Other people, our friends and family, are the best mirrors. To see yourself in a mirror is to see yourself as an […]