Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Non-Snake Oil Way to Regrow Hair?

Larry of the Three StoogesThis article will be the odd man out. It may be unusual for me to talk about a physical self-improvement matter since I spend so much time focusing on cognition and emotions, but this is a self-improvement blog, so all things relevant are on the table.

Anyhow, for a few years now I've been dismayed at how much I've thinned on the top. Even though I never have hair cutters take any off the peak, it usually never grows longer, except for my bangs hanging across my face. When my hair is patted down it shows the scalp's skin to an embarrassing degree, and since my sides grow so thick I end up looking like Larry Fine (from the Three Stooges, image above) at my thickest.

But ah! Man with Male Pattern Baldness are doomed to have it by genetic default, aren't they? Well, perhaps not.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Conduct a Memory Dig to Unearth Knowledge

Photo by Leo HarderRecently I read this very interesting article on memory that intrigued me with its assertion that memory improves by attempting to memorize *harder* things, that which is hard to come to mind. I'm surprised I didn't think about that myself.

As previously mentioned, I'm very fond of the Tell Me Everything You Know technique, which is essentially a mnemonic technique wherein you recall the learnings of the day. The thing the articles points out that I missed is that by writing in the items that easily leap to mind means that I'm not really making *additional* progress in learning. That is, I'm not challenging my memory sufficiently to actually get better; sticking to recalling easy things means you've already mastered them.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Are You Goku or Vegeta?

Found on Wikipedia, created by Bird Studio/Shueisha and Toei Animation.Strange what cross-identifications the mind can make when contemplating something during a particular mood.

While irritated with something, I got to thinking about a show I really enjoyed called *Dragon Ball Z*. Concisely, it's about people using martial arts to save the world, with unique metaphysics involving flying, shooting disembodied (or pure) energy, and so on. My irritation at the time happen to be about my abilities and my visibility to others, and suddenly it struck me that two characters have differing mentalities related to this issue.

Two important characters in the show are Goku and Vegeta, the former the main character. Throughout the series they're primarily rivals to each other, the leftover survivors of an alien race who compete -- in a way -- to see who can come out on top. Goku, from the start, always stays on top, and perhaps its this pair's particular approach to self-improvement -- their particular mindset -- that determines definitely whether or not they actually succeed.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Practical Autodidactism is Inherently "Messy"

By Josembea (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia CommonsHopefully you haven't forgotten our little mission in autodidactism! . . . you did, didn't you! Oh . . . well, I'll remind you.

My greatest educational curiosity right now how great men like Clarence Birdseye and Leonardo Da Vinci taught themselves. That is, they were primarily autodidacts that depended on their own self-teaching to expand their knowledge. This is of great intrigue because these men not only made a mark in history, but also have managed to be productive and well-off too, such as Clarence Birdseye, who became a millionaire from his inventions. (Or think of Thomas Edison.)

This flies in the face of the usual picture of learning, inoculated from school, where a person recluses himself in a library and studies books day in and day out. The traditional schooling method of learning primarily in a classroom-like fashion may be fine for bringing up children, but the fact that people like Birdseye are able to become so intelligent, competent, productive, AND rich says that an entirely different method of learning is practical. After all, for such men as him to become so wealthy means he has no time to camp out in libraries. The autodidactism of great men is a totally unacknowledged subject in today's culture.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Angry Resting Face: Fixable?

Recently I had a considerable revelation about my "Angry Resting Face" which changes my whole way of looking at it, and offering hope of fixing it. (Factor X explained here.) One day I was randomly, for whatever reason, reminiscing about my last three years in Michigan, and some interesting events caught my sight.

Somewhere down the line in revisiting those memories I realized that a couple people in my family responded to me in uniquely different ways over time, which may offer up a huge clue as to the true nature of Angry Resting Face. Perhaps it isn't a genetic default after all. Perhaps it's actually an unintentional perceptual tell of one's discontentment.

I don't want to be super-specific, but when I lived in Michigan, right after I dropped out of college, I lived with a person with whom I was on good terms an the time. I was very focused on fixing myself and creating a better self, and with great, sustained effort I managed to transform significantly, totally changing my thinking habits and giving myself an unusual appetite for life, a happiness I had never been able to experience before.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shall I Change the Title?

I know that I'm a bad blogger at present, writing so infrequently, but I could use some input: Would it be worthwhile to change the title of this blog to something like *What a Giant Does* or *What Giants Do*?

Embarrassingly, it took me some months, but recently I noticed that my current title of *A Giant Doing* could be interpreted as an arrogant supposition of myself somehow being a "giant", and what "I" "do." I don't claim to be a giant, but I can see how the title might accidentally insinuate myself.

This blog is geared towards self-improvement, especially mental and cognitive self-improvement, and I wanted to use Rod Serling's quote "A giant is as a giant does." to emphasize that the focus here is that in order to become great in life, you have to have great habits, and the lives of people like Leonardo Da Vinci (a tremendous polymath) are worth examining for methods to adopt. (It is also a rebellion against those obsessed with appearance. I remember too much in my youth how often people got away with being consider good or decent because they could smile and look nice, the involved parties ignoring their horrible behavior.)

A change wouldn't be too much, but first some input would be nice. What do you think?