Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Making things better

Sum up your opinion or impression of me in one sound effect, leave it as a comment in this posting, and then post something completely original in your own journal. Onomatopoeia is completely acceptable, but .mp3s, .wavs or .oggs with the sound effects in earn bonus cool points for effort.

Opinions sought on the film Spirited Away, please. Despite the fact that the 11-screen UGC Cinema in Didsbury is showing it, the 14-screen UGC Cinema here in Middlesbrough is not. Grr. A little research reveals that the nearest cinema to here showing it is in Newcastle, 30+ miles North of here, which is not a trivial journey. (Hush, ye commuters and Americans.) I am looking at other options, but is it worth effort and expense to see?

One extra-curricular course I took at school was in Accelerated Learning Techniques, which covered Mind Mapping. I'm broadly prepared to believe that Mind Mapping can work for some people with good training, but I never got much out of it. In 2001, I asked Tony Buzan, creator of the technique, how often he actually created a mind map in practice, and he estimated "about one per day". This sounds about right; the technique isn't the universally applicable cureall that some, even some lovely people, might suggest. I'm afraid I am always rather cynical about these things to the point of closed-mindedness.

However, one of the other topics we touched upon at the time was self-esteem. I can remember that an exercise we were given was to silently repeat to ourselves, something like 400 times each day, the affirmation I approve of myself. Did it work? Erm, don't know, guv. My closed-mindedness probably meant I was skeptical about the possibility of it working which didn't help it to work, or that I had a nagging doubt that any results could only be due to a self-inflicted placebo effect. Nevertheless, looking back on that time in my life, I think there could well have been (and, by extention, there could still be) something to it. Certainly I was, and remain, extremely skeptical about some of the more "out-there" visualisation techniques. Self-hypnosis? Er, no. (And yet I feel - fear? - this may be my loss.)

Anyway, last night, I was thinking about the concept of a combined mobile phone, mp3 player, video player, personal organiser and so forth; this would be a gadget that you would wear all day that delivered media to your eyes and ears. It would have a little heads-up display with the details of each track as it started, it would automatically pause your mp3 when a mobile phone call came in, it would be completely voice-operated and so forth. People have been kicking around the idea for years. A quick search reveals that the 1999 state of the art cost four figures US and the 2003 state of the art, Eyetop, costs US$450. The verdict on it is better but not yet good. I would've thought that advances in technology and decreasing prices would have put this within about 4 years of the affordable mainstream, but then again people have been saying "better but not yet good" for voice-recognition for years and it still hasn't taken off.

Any2way, last night, I was also kicking around the concepts of combining this technology with subliminal messages and affirmations. Do you think that a little gizmo which beamed you translucent subliminal affirmations 400 times per day, only just opaquely enough to trigger your subconscious without being a distractor, would have any merit whatsoever? Very hard to organise a suitable controlled trial for something like this, but even a ghost of improvement in 20% of people and it's a huge hit as techniques go.

Intermediate, immediate step: how about a LiveJournal custom S2 style which was replete with subtle affirmation? We all likely spend a fair chunk of time looking at LJ pages, so we might as well be doing something for our self-esteem at the same time. I'd have thought that there would be a one-way trip to the Happy Hunting Grounds of lj_nifty, at the very least, for anyone who could come up with such a public style which caught on...

Finally, faintly late from my perspective, birthdaymania rolls on - today, particularly spectacularly so. Many happy returns of the day to the inhabitants of september15 - particularly to mhw and to xnera, both of whom I really enjoy reading, both of whom make so much effort to make people's lives happier, both of whom work hard struggling against the odds in their own way. It's a strange sort of compliment to pay, but the two of you are a credit to your particular day of the year!
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