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May 2008

Chanting prepares the brain to learn

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 31, 2008  ·  Reflections

A few weeks ago I presented to an evening session at Curtin Business School in Perth.  As a part of that I referenced the object/context differences that have been observed between Chinese and American students.  Like others I think this difference can be attributed to the different evolutionary pressures of pictorial languages over the more logical sequences of languages like English along with deeper cultural differences.  After than one of the attendees Ling Heang sent me an interesting email about understanding, accepting and...

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Okum, malarky and balderdash

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 31, 2008  ·  Polemic

A refreshing demolition of stupidity by Neuroanthropology.  He is dealing with a report that Chris Parry, the new chief executive of the Independent Schools Council told the Times Educational Supplement: "It's a very short route from wireless technology to actually getting the electrical connections in your brain to absorb that knowledge."   This makes one of the two classic mistakes of psychology in the last centrury namely the information processing model of the human brain.  As Neuroanthrpology says, repeat after me the brain is...

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Managers as carpenters?

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 31, 2008  ·  Musings

P1010013.JPGSteve Freeman pointed me to this blog on the difference between a fifty year old carpenter and a novice.  Its a very good example of a safe-fail approach.  As an enthusiastic amateur carpenter with a good track record I found it accurate.  While constructing a fairly elaborate bookshelf (pictured) I was working from a rough sketch agreed with spouse and with the challenge of an arch.  For those who understand this sort of thing you will know that arches are constructed by taking multiple thin slices from a piece of timber,...

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New thought piece

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 30, 2008  ·  Reflections

I just put together a short thought piece on leadership for Catalyst, the magazine for Public Service Management in Wales.  It will be published shortly in welsh as well as english and is linked to a session on narrative and leadership that I will be running for the Welsh Assembly next month up in Bangor.  They are happy for me to share it here, so enjoy or not as the case may be

Leadership as coherence

I’ve met some really great leaders over the years and had the great good luck to work for a few.  I’ve also seen...

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Blogging on the couch

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 30, 2008  ·  Surreal

A tweet from John Tropea altered me to this article in Scientific American on the therapeutic value of blogging.  I'm not sure about some of the quotes however.  Take this one: As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied.  It gets worse:  people with mania often talk too much no to mention People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly.  Now this is going too far.  Why is it that psychologists always...

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Chronology