Wednesday, December 11, 2013
An online daily putting "Hooray!" in your day
Shout-Outs are published tomorrow! So get your "good wishes, congratulations and happy birthdays" to us, so that we can share the love with your friends and family!
Science Wednesday: Mind Wandering
The father of daydreams, Jerome Singer, is a professor emeritus at Yale in their psychology department. He has published numerous journal articles on "mind-wandering". In his 89th year (in 2013) he published an article entitled "Ode to Positive Constructive Daydreaming" in the journal, Frontiers in Psychology. He and his colleagues and co-researchers, Rebecca L. McMillan and Scott Barry Kaufman, wrote this paper as a survey of sorts to discuss Singer's contributions to this substrata of psychology, the study of mind-wandering.
You may think that you know what daydreaming is or have your judgments about the subject: everything from the school girl with dreamy reflections of her bigger-than-life Love to the man who lapses in memory at the grocery store for the items he was ordered to purchase, but came home instead with the next brilliant solution to a work problem. We think of individuals who stare out the window or a ne'er-do-well unable to concentrate on the task at hand.
But as research suggests, almost 50% of our waking time is spent in a state of a "private, internal stream of consciousness." These can be thought intrusions, task irrelevant thoughts, spontaneous cognition, stimulus independent and respondent thought, fantasy, task unrelated thought/images, internally generated thoughts, absentmindedness, unconscious thought, un-directed thought and mind wandering (and other kinds of thought that I'm sure that I missed in this list!)
While there is a wealth of information on the intersection of education and mental health challenges and daydreaming, there has been less research on the adaptive and beneficial qualities of mind wandering. Singer has been leading the work in positive constructive daydreaming ("playful, wishful imagery and 'planful', creative thought"), as opposed to guilty dysphoric daydreaming (which is "characterized by obsessive, anguished fantasies") and poor attention control (which is "characterized by the inability to concentrate on either the ongoing thought or the external task.") Click here to continue reading today's blog or click the tab above, THD Blog.
There are certain half-dreaming moods of mind in which we naturally steal away from noise and glare, and seek some quiet haunt where we may indulge our reveries and build our air castles undisturbed.
-- Washington Irving
The multiplication of technologies
in the name of efficiency
is actually eradicating free time
by making it possible to maximize the time
and place for production and minimize
the unstructured travel time in between…
Too, the rhetoric of efficiency around
these technologies suggests that
what cannot be quantified
cannot be valued-that that vast array
of pleasures which fall into the category
of doing nothing in particular,
of woolgathering, cloud-gazing, wandering,
window-shopping, are nothing but voids
to be filled by something more definite,
more production, or faster-paced…
I like walking because it is slow,
and I suspect that the mind,
like the feet, works at about three miles an hour.
If this is so, then modern life
is moving faster than the speed
of thought or thoughtfulness.
--Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Did you know?
From Thailand, a glorious 3 minutes, reminding all of us about the power of small acts of kindness...
Here Are the Books On Our Bedside Table
What are you reading? Check out these wonderful titles. (By the way, some of these "on our bedside table" are actually on our Kindles and Nooks, and other reading devices! What a world we live in, huh? Simply amazing!)
A daydreamer is a writer just waiting for pen and paper.
-- Richelle Goodrich
is a meal at which images are eaten.
Some of us are gourmets,
and a good many
take their images precooked
out of a can
and swallow them down whole,
and with little relish.
-- W. H. Auden