Liked a tweet (Twitter)

This is incredibly true. One needs to throw caution to the wind and focus on making as many mistakes as possible.


Read Talking out loud to yourself is a technology for thinking by Nana Ariel (Psyche)
Talking out loud to oneself is a technology for thinking that allows us to clarify and sharpen our approach to a problem

I ran across this article this evening and some of the ideas resonate strongly with me. The article mentions some areas of psychology research and a few papers I hadn’t seen before.

I’m also particularly interested in the idea of embodied cognition within cognitive psychology. Has anyone delved into these areas in their research or memory-related work? @LynneKelly’s research and written texts encourage singing, dancing and performing (I don’t recall specifically speaking or walking in her contexts, but I’m sure they’re all closely related), but has anyone else experimented with these additional modalities in their practice?

Most of the Western-based mnemotechniques I’m aware of are focused almost solely on internalized speech/thought. Can anyone think of any which aren’t?

I’ve seen several works in which Nassim Nicholas Taleb propounds the benefits of the flaneur lifestyle for improving thought, though his mentions are purely anecdotal as I recall. I’d appreciate any additional references to research in these areas if others are aware.

Like many of us, I talk to myself out loud, though I’m a little unusual in that I often do it in public spaces. Whenever I want to figure out an issue, develop an idea or memorise a text, I turn to this odd work routine. While it’s definitely earned me a reputation in my neighbourhood, it’s also improved my thinking and speaking skills immensely. Speaking out loud is not only a medium of communication, but a technology of thinking: it encourages the formation and processing of thoughts.

I’ve noticed speaking out loud also seems to help me in practicing and acquiring a new language.
Annotated on December 28, 2020 at 09:52PM

The idea that speaking out loud and thinking are closely related isn’t new. It emerged in Ancient Greece and Rome, in the work of such great orators as Marcus Tullius Cicero. But perhaps the most intriguing modern development of the idea appeared in the essay ‘On the Gradual Formation of Thoughts During Speech’ (1805) by the German writer Heinrich von Kleist. 

Some of this is at play with the idea of “[rubber ducking](” as a means of debugging programs
Annotated on December 28, 2020 at 09:55PM

In both cases – speech and writing – the materiality of language undergoes a transformation (to audible sounds or written signs) which in turn produces a mental shift. 

There’s surely a link between this and the idea of thought spaces in the blogosphere or the idea of a commonplace book/digital garden/wiki.
Annotated on December 28, 2020 at 10:06PM

Mute inner speech can appear as an inner dialogue as well, but its truncated form encourages us to create a ‘secret’ abbreviated language and deploy mental shortcuts. By forcing us to articulate ourselves more fully, self-talk summons up the image of an imagined listener or interrogator more vividly. In this way, it allows us to question ourselves more critically by adopting an external perspective on our ideas, and so to consider shortcomings in our arguments – all while using our own speech. 

I’m also reading this and wondering about memory techniques and methods and how these may interact beneficially.
Annotated on December 28, 2020 at 10:07PM

It’s no coincidence that we walk when we need to think: evidence shows that movement enhances thinking and learning, and both are activated in the same centre of motor control in the brain. In the influential subfield of cognitive science concerned with ‘embodied’ cognition, one prominent claim is that actions themselves are constitutive of cognitive processes. That is, activities such as playing a musical instrument, writing, speaking or dancing don’t start in the brain and then emanate out to the body as actions; rather, they entail the mind and body working in concert as a creative, integrated whole, unfolding and influencing each other in turn. It’s therefore a significant problem that many of us are trapped in work and study environments that don’t allow us to activate these intuitive cognitive muscles, and indeed often even encourage us to avoid them. 

I’m curious if Lynne Kelly or others have looked into these areas of research with their Memory work? She’s definitely posited that singing and dancing as well as creating art helps indigenous cultures in their memory work.
Annotated on December 28, 2020 at 10:10PM

Read Behaghel's laws (Wikipedia)

Behaghel’s Laws describe the basic principles of the position of words and phrases in a sentence. They were formulated by the linguist Otto Behaghel in the last volume of his four volume work Deutsche Syntax: Eine geschichtliche Darstellung (published 1923-1932).

They include the following cross-language principles:

  1. Elements that belong close together intellectually will also be placed close together (Behaghel’s First Law)
  2. That which is less important (or already known to the listener) is placed before that which is important. (Behaghel’s Second Law)
  3. The distinguishing phrase precedes that which is distinguished.
  4. Given two phrases, when possible, the shorter precedes the longer. (Law of Increasing Terms (or Constituents))
Read How non-English speakers are taught this crazy English grammar rule you know but have never heard of (Quartz)
"If you mess with that order in the slightest you'll sound like a maniac."
I had actually heard this before and had retweeted the tweet that was quoted several years back.

Tantek in IndieWeb Chat ()

Bookmarked Linguistic Profiling by John BaughJohn Baugh (Black Linguistics: Language Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas (Routledge))
The concept of "linguistic profiling" is introduced here as the auditory equivalent of visual “racial profiling.” We ultimately argue that linguistic profiling is more finely tuned to diversity among Americans than are dissatisfactory racial classifications that have been used in the courts and for controversial...
Thinking a bit this morning about the cognitive biases involved in dialect differences and how they impact racist ideas and help effect racist policies. John Baugh’s work on linguistic profiling seems like a good place to start. 
Read Place names describe Scandinavia in the Iron and Viking Ages (HeritageDaily - Archaeology News)
Every now and then, researchers are lucky enough to experience a Eureka moment — when a series of facts suddenly crystallize into a an entirely new pattern.
Place names can be quite important if we still remember what any of them still mean. I was looking at some place names in Welsh recently which are more descriptive if you know the Welsh.
I’ve randomly noticed an odd dip in the use of patriarchy, patriarchal, and feminism as words in Google’s nGram Viewer starting around a peak in 1999-2000 and continuing until 2008-2009. I’m curious what may have caused this? One could also add the word “gender” which shows a similar dip, but it tends to drown out the signal of the other three, so I’ve removed it here.

nGram Viewer of three words with very similar usage graphs

Read A(n) historical take on the evolving use of a/an (The Christian Science Monitor)
English speakers disagree – sometimes vehemently – about how to use “historic” and “historical” with the indefinite articles a/an.
Went down the rabbit hole a bit on this topic this afternoon. Also spent several minutes reading the couple of pages that Fowler’s has on the topic. 
Mostly looking at the idea of whether it should be a Hispanic or an Hispanic.