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Links 1 through 10 of 682 Hilary Perkins's Bookmarks

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"Many philosophical and contemplative traditions teach that "living in the moment" increases happiness. However, the default mode of humans appears to be that of mind-wandering, which correlates with unhappiness, and with activation in a network of brain areas associated with self-referential processing. We investigated brain activity in experienced meditators and matched meditation-naive controls as they performed several different meditations. [...] We found that the main nodes of the default-mode network (medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices) were relatively deactivated in experienced meditators across all meditation types. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis revealed stronger coupling in experienced meditators between the posterior cingulate, dorsal anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (regions previously implicated in self-monitoring and cognitive control), both at baseline and during meditation."

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Nielsen said that dramas drew 41% of the viewers in prime time and generated 35% of the television advertising dollars. Reality shows, once red-hot, have cooled slightly. In 2011, they attracted 15.5% of the prime-time audience, down from 17.4% in 2009. Meanwhile, sit-coms have become more popular.

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"The issue here isn’t that we need a pure space from which to critique capitalism—for you as reader and I as writer are always already compromised. It is that we need some occasions for reflection that aren’t simply subsumed under the sign of participation."

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Today's list is Italo Calvino's categories of books in a bookshop in If On a Winter's Night a Traveller. These two haunt me in most bookshops;

- Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
- Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First

But it misses the crucial one;

- Books That Accumulate The Need To Read More Books Resulting In A Non-Specific Sense Of Overwhelmedness And A Need To Leave The Shop.

It's a killer.

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As referenced by Jane McGonigal at SXSW2012. She answered these regrets with how games could support them.

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"Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!" via @louby; Henry Miller's 11 commandments to himself reminds me of The Treehouse by Naomi Wolf. Both are prescriptions for writing masquerading as to-do lists or resolutions, and which apply equally well to any kind of work or task which has a creative or productive end.

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"But happiness is reported on an index running from 1 to 3 or 1 to 10 and can never get above the top of that scale. GDP can increase without limit. There will never be a statistical correlation between the two over time just because of the way the statistics are constructed. The absence of correlation between the two time series therefore has no economic meaning. Look instead at GDP growth (not its level), and this *is* correlated with happiness." A neat little myth-buster from Diane Coyle on the happiness quotient/economics bandwagon.

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"Like information in a book, unfolding events are stored in human memory in successive chapters or episodes. One consequence is that information in the current episode is easier to recall than information in a previous episode. An obvious question then is how the mind divides experience up into these discrete episodes? A new study led by Gabriel Radvansky shows that the simple act of walking through a doorway creates a new memory episode, thereby making it more difficult to recall information pertaining to an experience in the room that's just been left behind." Thereby solving the age-old "what did I come in here for?" question. Also enjoying the concept of memory chapters.

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"Children will turn anything into a toy, any toy into a game and any game into a story. Adults do just the same thing, they just don’t do the noises. At least not when anyone’s looking."

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