This old letter (Diary of a Reformed Elitist) came up recently in my fb feed. On first read I think, wow, they are wondering why we are poor, and I wonder how they got rich. On further thinking, it reflects generally the world we are in.
Haves (those who are rich or have some innate abilities) do get offered a lot more exposure and opportunities. Conditioned by such an environment, it is natural for Haves to think that anyone can just reach out to grab the chance. Have Nots (everyone else) generally are given less exposure and opportunities. So the Haves won’t understand why the Have Nots don’t help themselves and the Have Nots don’t understand how they got so rich.
Actually, this letter reminds me of reading an article on overcoming bias that people who have innate abilities will say stuff like ‘do what you love’ because for them the cost of switching is low. In this instance, the cost of switching to this view is very low and it allows the holder of this view to signal compassion – a virtue. A person who is less well to do and requires a lot of cooperation from others to ensure that their livelihood is not threatened will not hold views that without empathy or compassion even if given continual evidence to show that there are opportunities to be taken. The cost of switching to a less compassionate view will take away the cooperation that is required to defend his livelihood. So when you see particularly compassionate people on discussion forums and newsgroups getting angry about the lack of empathy and compassion in the community is really just another signal to create a ‘us vs them’ culture.
There is a book I have been meaning to read in preparation for labour Hyponobirthing : The Breakthrough Approach to Safer, Easier, Comfortable Birthing by Marie Mongan. I never come around to it because it sounds rather boring. Instead I go to the forums to find out the basic techniques.
The idea is quite simple and it is a little like how I deal with leg cramps. I always get leg cramps in my sleep when it is slightly cooler. In the past I would wake in a panic and try to massage it away. The key I discover, is to completely relax. The quicker it is I relax, the quicker the cramps go away. In hypnobirthing techniques you condition yourself to relax. I am not so sure that it results in a pain free labour but I think the sense of calm and control helps to not to increase the experience of pain rather than actually raising pain threshold.
Another thing I learn from the forum is affirmations for birth. It is repeat to yourself what you want to come true.
My baby and my body know what to do.
I am calm and joyful about my birthing experience.
I am relaxed, happy and at ease at the birthing of my baby.
My baby works with my body for a smooth easy birth.
I am confident and secure to handle whatever comes up.
I breath correctly to eliminate tension.
My baby is healthy and fully developed at birth.
I do feel less apprehension about the labour experience after writing these down. The situationist talks about values affirmation which made me think that the reason why affirmations work is because the focus on belief takes away stress and reinforces willpower.
I suppose this is why religion works: the belief and focus on values helps to manage a stressful life. Interesting.
…Hakim also goes on to show that economic factors are the primary reason most women enter the sex trade. Over several pages she details just how much more women are able to make working in the sex industry than in other low-paid jobs available to them (it’s a lot!).
…If there’s one positive message to take from this book, it’s that we ought to stop moralising and belittling those who choose to pursue work in the sex industry. After all, in Hakim’s words, ‘The meritocratic capitalist values of the Western world invite us to admire people who exploit their human capital for personal gain. I can see no reason at all why people who exploit their erotic capital for its full value should not be equally admired.’
My objection about work in the sex industry is that the productive life of a sex worker is too short. The high earnings, which is suppose to compensate for the short life span and the health risk, doesn’t quite compensate enough. Courtesans of old know this and incorporate other skills (entertainment, hosting, management) to ensure that longer term income remains available to them.
This means you need to think about what you are trying to remember means, both in relationship to other material you are trying to learn, and to yourself. Other research in memory has shown the importance of schema – memory patterns and structures – for recall. As teachers, we try and organise our course material for the convenience of students, to best help them understand it.
Make study more effective, the easy way « Mind Hacks.
This year I signed up for a memorising course and a mind mapping course. Both methods teach deep learning and is great for students. The memorising course starts of with a set of 10 peg items. To memorise you create memory associations between the pegs and the list. Mind mapping actually teaches the method of re-organising and reclassifying chunks of information.
This reminds me of the anecdote from Tiger Mom, the book. What is the motivation for disciplined practice and intense concentration?
“Participation in Western classical music requires memorization of details of model compositions through disciplined practice and intense concentration,” he notes. “This offers opportunities not only to master technique, but also to become imbued with the spirit of the music.
The Direct Line From Confucius to Lang Lang – Miller-McCune.