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](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging)” 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

Annotated The ergodicity problem in economics by Ole Peters (Nature Physics volume 15, pages1216–1221(2019))
Ergodic theory is a forbiddingly technical branch of mathematics. 
It’s supremely sad that a paper in Nature should “math shame” ergodic theory this way. What the hell is going on?
Replied to Notes on IndieWebCamp East Online 2020, day 1 by Jeremy Felt (jeremyfelt.com)
Start a class by outlining the syllabus or the chapters of the textbook. Professors who decide to write their text books as they go with the students. Publish the result as OER. It’d be fun to see some examples of that. 
Robin DeRosa did something like this that serves as a good example:
https://robinderosa.net/uncategorized/my-open-textbook-pedagogy-and-practice/
Replied to How to keep track of books you'd like to borrow from your local library by Matt Maldre (Matt Maldre)
Is there any service that does this sort of alert when my library gets a book I want? 
Not quite the functionality you’re looking for, but in the same sort of vein as WorldCat:
Library Extension is a browser extension that works on Amazon, Goodreads (and possibly other book sites) that allows you to register your favorite local libraries, and when you look up books on those services, it automatically searches and shows you which are available at your local library. One click and you can usually download or reserve a copy quickly for pick up.
Replied to Automatically sending Webmentions from a static website by James Mead (jamesmead.org)
I'd also like to find a way to say thank you to Aaron Parecki who built webmention.io and Ryan Barrett, Kyle Mahan, et al who built brid.gy. However, I can't see a way to do either and, indeed, the latter explicitly say "We don't need donations, promise." 
In the past, I’ve heard many of them say to make a donation or support the IndieWeb Open Collective instead.
Read New Clues to Chemical Origins of Metabolism at Dawn of Life by John RennieJohn Rennie (Quanta Magazine)
The ingredients for reactions ancestral to metabolism could have formed very easily in the primordial soup, new work suggests.

they found that the glyoxylate and pyruvate reacted to make a range of compounds that included chemical analogues to all the intermediary products in the TCA cycle except for citric acid. Moreover, these products all formed in water within a single reaction vessel, at temperatures and pH conditions mild enough to be compatible with conditions on Earth. 

Annotated on October 13, 2020 at 10:20PM

Annotated Appointment and confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States (Wikipedia)
The modern practice of the committee questioning nominees on their judicial views began with the nomination of John Marshall Harlan II in 1955; the nomination came shortly after the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and several southern senators attempted to block Harlan's confirmation, hence the decision to testify.[1][8] 
Interesting that this practice stems from the imposition of what looks like racist policies.

I wonder if it could really be used in reverse to help break down racist policies on the next nomination?

Annotated Peter Thiel Met With The Racist Fringe As He Went All In On Trump (BuzzFeed News)
A longtime libertarian who dabbled in eccentric ideas like seasteading — artificial island communities in international waters far from governmental jurisdiction — and life extension, Thiel had made occasional forays into mainstream politics. 
First time I’ve seen seasteading as a word in context.
Read Most Spoken Languages (most-spoken-languages.sanstream.nl | SanStream Studio)
When we are young we first learn the language from the people around us. This helps us to communicate, share ideas and learn from them. Most of the time just this is just one, but it can be more than one. The last decades the network of people that human being know (due to globalisation) has shifted from knowing just the people in your local area to people all across the world. In order to effectively communicate with other people from across the world it is useful to speak a shared language.

Finding data 

You’re right about data here. I follow some research out of the MIT Media lab by Cesar Hidalgo who may have some interesting data resources if you poke around.

Some additional starting points:

Read Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work by Spencer Soper (Bloomberg)
Someone seems to have rigged Amazon system to get orders first
Operation reflects ferocious rivalry for gigs in a bad economy

They believe an unidentified person or entity is acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers and charging drivers to secure more routes, which is against Amazon’s policies. 

Surely this would be the case as someone would potentially need to watch the phones in the tree to ensure they aren’t stolen. That may represent a larger cost in potential loss that the potential gain.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:39AM

A Flex driver who has been monitoring the activity said the company needs to take steps to make sure all drivers are treated fairly.“Amazon knows about it,” the driver said, “but does nothing.” 

Orders don’t necessarily need to be proximity based at the level of 20 feet, so Amazon should be able to make the changes at the level of several miles to prevent against something like this.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:42AM

Annotated Bobcat Fire Update (City of Arcadia)
***Update as of 9/9/2020 @ 4:51 PM***Voluntary evacuations lifted for residents north of Foothill Blvd. and east of Santa Anita Ave. The Bobcat Fire has generally progressed away from the City of Arcadia.  The current weather forecast suggests that Santa Ana winds will dissipate this evening and the Red Flag Warning will be removed after 8:00 p.m.Based on these factors, the City of Arcadia is removing the recommendation for residents to evacuate.  However, residents are advised to remain on alert for any changes to weather conditions that may affect the fire.  Evacuations may be necessary for your safety if conditions change. 
This is a particularly good sign!

Annotated Welsh in Three Months by Phylip Brake and Mair ap Myrddin (DK Publishing)

However, if Welsh does not yet possess a spoken standard, it does possess a literary standard which can be traced back to the translation of the Bible by Bishop WIlliam Morgan in 1588, which in turn is based on the language of the medieval court poets who were the heirs of the Cynfeirdd, the earl poets Aneirin and Taliesin. These lived in the sixth century AD and described battles which took place in today's Scotland and Northern England [...]

Annotated The Mabinogion (Oxford University Press)
Sioned Davies is Chair of Welsh at Cardiff University. Her special interest is the interplay between orality and literacy, together with the performance aspects of medieval Welsh narrative. 
Oh! This is fascinating. Perhaps some interesting tidbits for my growing theory about the borders of orality and literacy could be hiding in some of her research?
Annotated Top 10 goddesses in fiction by E Foley and B Coates (Hypothes.is)
Circe by Madeline Miller
This magnificent story of the famous witch goddess from Homer’s Odyssey was shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s prize for fiction. It is both hugely enjoyable, showing the very male classical epic from a female point of view, and profoundly affecting in its depictions of the trials of immortality. This book is the closest you can get to experiencing what it might really be like to be a goddess, with all its benefits and sacrifices. 
This book keeps popping up with positive reviews of an intriguing sort. I’ll add it to my list of books to read.
Read A New Theory of Western Civilization (The Atlantic)
Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?
This is the second article on this book that I’ve seen in the last week or so. Perhaps I should add it to my list?

Henrich, who directs Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, is a cultural evolutionary theorist, which means that he gives cultural inheritance the same weight that traditional biologists give to genetic inheritance. Parents bequeath their DNA to their offspring, but they—along with other influential role models—also transmit skills, knowledge, values, tools, habits. Our genius as a species is that we learn and accumulate culture over time. Genes alone don’t determine whether a group survives or disappears. So do practices and beliefs. Human beings are not “the genetically evolved hardware of a computational machine,” he writes. They are conduits of the spirit, habits, and psychological patterns of their civilization, “the ghosts of past institutions.” 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:03AM

WEIRD people have a bad habit of universalizing from their own particularities. They think everyone thinks the way they do, and some of them (not all, of course) reinforce that assumption by studying themselves. In the run-up to writing the book, Henrich and two colleagues did a literature review of experimental psychology and found that 96 percent of subjects enlisted in the research came from northern Europe, North America, or Australia. About 70 percent of those were American undergraduates. Blinded by this kind of myopia, many Westerners assume that what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for everyone else. 

This is a painful reality. It’s also even more specific to the current Republican party. Do as we say, not as we do.

This is the sort of example that David Dylan Thomas will appreciate.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:09AM

By the time Protestantism came along, people had already internalized an individualist worldview. Henrich calls Protestantism “the WEIRDest religion,” and says it gave a “booster shot” to the process set in motion by the Catholic Church. Integral to the Reformation was the idea that faith entailed personal struggle rather than adherence to dogma. Vernacular translations of the Bible allowed people to interpret scripture more idiosyncratically. The mandate to read the Bible democratized literacy and education. After that came the inquiry into God-given natural (individual) rights and constitutional democracies. The effort to uncover the laws of political organization spurred interest in the laws of nature—in other words, science. The scientific method codified epistemic norms that broke the world down into categories and valorized abstract principles. All of these psychosocial changes fueled unprecedented innovation, the Industrial Revolution, and economic growth. 

Reading this makes me think about the political break in the United States along political and religious boundaries. Some of Trumps’ core base practices a more personal religion and are generally in areas that don’t display the level of individualism, but focus more on larger paternalistic families. This could be an interesting space for further exploration as it seems to be moving the “progress”(?) described by WEIRD countries backward.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:19AM

If Henrich’s history of Christianity and the West feels rushed and at times derivative—he acknowledges his debt to Max Weber—that’s because he’s in a hurry to explain Western psychology. 

This adds more to my prior comment with the addition to Max Weber here. Cross reference some of my reading this past week on his influence on the prosperity gospel.
Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:21AM

Henrich defends this sweeping thesis with several studies, including a test known as the Triad Task. Subjects are shown three images—say, a rabbit, a carrot, and a cat. The goal is to match a “target object”—the rabbit—with a second object. A person who matches the rabbit with the cat classifies: The rabbit and the cat are animals. A person who matches the rabbit with the carrot looks for relationships between the objects: The rabbit eats the carrot. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:25AM

Toppling the accomplishments of Western civilization off their great-man platforms, he erases their claim to be monuments to rationality: Everything we think of as a cause of culture is really an effect of culture, including us. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:27AM

He refutes genetic theories of European superiority and makes a good case against economic determinism. His quarry are the “enlightened” Westerners—would-be democratizers, globalizers, well-intended purveyors of humanitarian aid—who impose impersonal institutions and abstract political principles on societies rooted in familial networks, and don’t seem to notice the trouble that follows. 

Annotated on September 06, 2020 at 11:29AM