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Archive for March, 2010

Sharpening Observation

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In the October 2009 issue of Smithsonian Magazine, there’s an article on Amy Herman, an art historian and lawyer, who uses fine art to teach the fine art of observation:

A Caravaggio appeared on the screen. In it, five men in 17th-century dress are seated around a table. Two others stand nearby, and one of them, barely discernible in shadow, points a finger — accusingly? — at a young man at the table with some coins.

Among the officers a discussion arose about who robbed whom, but they soon learned there could be no verdict. No one was being accused or arrested, Herman said. The painting was The Calling of St. Matthew, and the man in the shadow was Jesus Christ. The cops fell silent.

Later, Deputy Inspector Donna Allen said, “I can see where this would be useful in sizing up the big picture.”

Some of the comments on the Web version of the article are interesting, too. One of them mentions the Sherlock Holmes stories. Another mentions a program called Visual Thinking Strategies, something I hadn’t heard of before.

If I ever have the opportunity to take Ms. Herman’s training, I think I’ll do it. What about you?

Go read Teaching Cops to See, from Smithsonian Magazine

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 27th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Calibration,Thinking

Thinking Critically

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There’s a great little blog called “It Made My Day.” Whenever something really cool happens to you, you can go there and post about it… and, even better, you can read those of others. Reading it makes my day.

Today, some guy called Richie posted one that got me to thinking. Which, naturally, made my day. He said,

In my Geography 101 class, my professor said: If I didn’t understand the concept of wind, I would think the trees were dancing!

That’s some serious philosophy there. It takes the whole problem of superstition, Magical Thinking, and so on and condenses it to bite size. I absolutely love it.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 20th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Thinking

You can’t do what?

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I love this guy.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 16th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Left Field

How we distort time

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As a follow-up to my last post, Threats and the Perception of Time, here’s a recent article from Psychology Today:

…fear does not actually speed up our rate of perception or mental processing. Instead, it allows us to remember what we do experience in greater detail. Since our perception of time is based on the number of things we remember, fearful experiences thus seem to unfold more slowly.

Read the rest at How the Brain Stops Time at Psychology Today. Interesting stuff.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 16th, 2010 at 1:56 am

Posted in Learning,Neuro,Time