topic: attention

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 […]

Ming vases…

Wen Zhengming painting

Even in childhood I was baffled as to why oil paintings sold in auction houses for countless millions, while equally exquisite works of art from other cultures seemed lucky if they fetched thousands. One exception is the ubiquitous ‘Ming vase’… examples of which appear in everything from Tin Tin to baroque palaces across Europe. Another are ancient artefacts, though these again seem to be valued less for their aesthetic qualities than for how close they […]

perfume of rotting mouse

Every year we have had mice coming into out house presumably to find a place to hibernate. We would be perfectly happy to let them do so if they didn’t insist on scurrying around in the walls and invading our kitchen. Then there is the danger that they will chew through electrical cables and start a fire. They already gnawed through a water pipe and caused a flood. So, eventually, we put down poison. Now, […]

our perception of time

I have just come back from walking my dog to hear someone talking on the radio about a theory he has of the perception of time that sounds essentially the same as one that I have held for a long time. So I thought I may as well put down my thoughts for the record. Some years back I came back from shopping and realized that I had been there and back and could barely […]

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 […]