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Archive for March, 2008

What you are versus what you say you are

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If people aren’t taking you seriously, maybe it’s because of the way you’re communicating with them. Liz Strauss over at Successful Blog writes about the disconnect between a recent client’s goals and some of their marketing materials:

What do you do when you have big goals and you realize that your customer base sees you as a small-time operation? It’s time to realign your value proposition and how you offer your services to them.

Go read Does Your Value Proposition Say that You’re Small Time?

(I love the way she creates headlines. )

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 14th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

More on brain training: memorizing numbers

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On the Lifehacker blog recently is an article on how to encode numbers into words so you can remember them more easily. (Read the comments, though, as most of the good information is in those.)

The jist of it is that each digit is given one or more consonant sounds, and vowels are free. So 491,744,962 ends up being “rabid carrier pigeon”, for example.

If you’re looking for a challenge, here’s pi to one million decimal places and phi to 20,000 places.

Read more at Lifehacker: Memorize Long Numbers Using the “Red Table”

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 8th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Better Focus and Concentration

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By way of Lifehacker I found a really cool article on how to exercise your mind:

You can find strong powers of concentration in yourself. When you are decisive and sincerely want to excel in your studies, pass an important exam, or playing one of your favorite games; the power of concentration becomes available to you. This kind of concentration is raised because of some need, or desire. Increasing it in a systematic way, brings it under your control, and grants you the ability to use it easily, with no exertion whenever you need it. Real and good concentration is developed slowly, through daily work, and with special exercises. It has to be approached in a reasonable and practical way.

Read more at the EgoDevelopment blog, and see also my recent reference to a great DVD on the subject.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 7th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Down is up after all

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Andy Smith’s Practical EQ blog points to an interesting article in The Guardian:

Focusing on depression in a purely clinical way is preventing us understanding our susceptibility to it and ignores the good it can bring, argues psychiatrist Paul Keedwell

This goes pretty well with one of my own beliefs about pain.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 6th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Metaprograms, Marketing, and Persuasion

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Marketing master Seth Godin seems to be thinking about Metaprograms lately.

In an article on marketing in a recession, he writes about how metaprograms change with the context and how to respond to them:

Starbucks was the indulgence of a confident person happy to blow $4 on a cup of coffee. Starbucks can become the small indulgence for the person who just traded down to a small rented apartment.

And in a more recent one about persuasion in general, he clearly outlines the importance of them:

Here’s the thing: unlike every other species, human beings make decisions differently from one another. And the thing that persuades you is unlikely to be the thing that persuades the next guy. Our personal outlook is a lousy indicator of what works for anyone else.

I love reading Seth’s work. He’s amazing.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 5th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

The Brain Fitness Program DVD

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I happened to catch the last half of this broadcast last night, and it was excellent:

The Brain Fitness Program is based on the brains ability to change and adapt, even rewire itself. In the past two years, a team of scientists has developed computer-based stimulus sets that drive beneficial chemical, physical and functional changes in the brain. Dr. Michael Merzenich of the University of California and his colleagues share their scientifically based set of brain exercises in this life-altering program. Peter Coyote narrates.

Buy The Brain Fitness Program DVD, learn how to keep your brain young and strong, and support public television to boot!

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 5th, 2008 at 12:56 am

Posted in DVDs,Learning,Neuro

Anticipation… An-ti-ci-pay-ay-tion

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Recent neurological research reveals some fascinating things about how our brains react to anticipated rewards. It seems that a message that focuses on rewards can trigger the same brain activity that results from actually enjoying the reward itself.

Read Why Brains Crave Beneficial Copy at the mighty Copyblogger blog.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 4th, 2008 at 2:05 am

Posted in Neuro,Persuasion

It’s not failure…

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…it’s feedback. We know.

From The history of WD-40:

It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40—which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try—is still in use today.

I just thought it was interesting.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 4th, 2008 at 2:00 am

Posted in Presuppositions

The difficulty with self-reporting

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The Freakonomics Blog pointed me today to an article in the BPS Research Digest about how psychologists study what we know about ourselves. It points out the problems with self-reporting:

Nevertheless, self-reports have their flaws. One problem is that self-reports are subject to social desirability concerns, making them vulnerable to misreporting. When people know that someone else is going to hear their response to a question, they may change their answer, even unknowingly. Another issue concerning self-reports is whether people are consciously aware of their self-perception and whether they are able to report it accurately.

Worth reading.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 1st, 2008 at 12:55 am

Posted in Modeling,Psych