A deepity (a term coined by the daughter of my late friend, computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum) is a proposition that seems both important and true – and profound – but that achieves this effect by being ambiguous. On one reading, it is manifestly false, but it would be earth-shaking if it were true; on the other reading, it is true but trivial. The unwary listener picks up the glimmer of truth from the second reading, and the devastating importance from the first reading, and thinks, Wow! That’s a deepity.
The ultimate irony is that my new novel (West of Babylon) is only available in electronic form. I didn’t merely get hoisted by my own petard—my petard fell on me and shattered my skull. There will be zero chance I’ll ever see anybody reading my book. Zero. It will never, ever happen. I will never be able to sign anyone’s copy. (There won’t be a copy!) I’ll never experience the sheer delight (it has almost reduced me to tears) of walking into a bookstore and seeing a novel I wrote prominently displayed on a table in the front (or rotting away in the H section on a shelf next to Ernest Hemingway and Herman Hesse). There will be friends of mine who, because they’ll never buy an e-reader, will never read the book at all.
But what’s crucial, what gives me some infinitesimal measure of hope, is that this book I wrote and slaved over every day and obsessed over for years will still be out there. Wafting in the either, zipping across USB cables, flickering on screens, bubbling up to the surface of the world. The book will be somewhere.
Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal, which measures about nine meters end to end from the esophagus to the anus. The second…
Previous studies have reported changes to the brain while people practise these activities, but a new study shows for the first time that gene activity changes too. This could explain the reported beneficial effects of meditation, yoga and prayer.
Mother’s Day in the USA has brought to the surface loads of stuff about yoga and motherhood. I was struck by two great videos, both from yoga practising mums (or moms). Cutebombing aside they’re a reminder to all of us (and myself in particular) to give…
Ok, so it doesn’t say anything about the duration or frequency of practice to back up some of those stats (35% increased flexibility isn’t going to come from one 1hr class per week, although it might from two or three) but, y’know, basically: yes.
Here we equate the performance impairment caused by fatigue with that due to alcohol intoxication, and show that moderate levels of fatigue produce higher levels of impairment than the proscribed level of alcohol intoxication.