Rewiring the Brain

There is an absolutely awesome bit of Neal Stephenson’s book Reamde, that goes like this: The brain “was sort of like the electrical system of Mogadishu. A whole lot was going on in Mogadishu that required copper wire for conveyance of power and information, but there was only so much copper to go around, and so what wasn’t being actively used tended to get pulled down by militias and taken crosstown to beef up some power-hungry warlord’s private, improvised power network. As with copper in Mogadishu, so with neurons in the brain. The brains of people who did unbelievably boring shit for a living showed dark patches in the zones responsible for job-related processes, since all those almost-never-exercised neurons got pulled down and trucked somewhere else and used to beef up the circuits used to keep track of NCAA tournament brackets and celebrity makeovers.”

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Micro-boxing for productivity

Time-boxing is an idea that I heard about a number of years ago. It’s only been fairly recently that I have tried to incorporate it as a regular part of my daily workflow. The general idea behind time-boxing is that you concentrate on working for a set periods of time through-out the day. I adjust the period of time to how motivated I feel. When I feel really motivated I work in blocks of 25 minutes. When I am just getting started on the day I work in blocks of 10-15 minutes.

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Where to Live

I live in London, on Oxford Street. You can’t really live in a more urban environment than that. Last weekend Helen and I got out of London to the North Downs to go hiking. For me, this is the ideal lifestyle; live in the city in an exciting, stimulating environment. When you feel like “getting back to nature” – pick the environment you want, and go there for the weekend. The countryside is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there!