Re: Mozart Effect (WAS RE: Quiet workplace)

Subject: Re: Mozart Effect (WAS RE: Quiet workplace)
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: Chuck Martin <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2004 14:03:16 -0500

Chuck Martin wrote:

"Wade Courtney" <courtney -at- hsq -dot- com> wrote in message news:230744 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
Personally, I prefer film scores. Lord of the Rings is nice :).

I've seen all 3 so many times I don't need the CDs for that: the themes for
the different people run through my head with no effort at all--and
sometimes without warning.

But for now, my Pet Shop Boys collection on my Nitrus is pushing me through
some work.

Here's what I find fascinating about this thread.

A couple of weeks ago, we more or less arrived at a consensus about some broad Meyers-Briggs categories where tech writers tend to bunch up.

And periodically we have threads where the left-brainers and the right-brainers and the top-dead-center-brainers sort themselves out into camps on various issues.

And a few days ago we got into the reading with the eyes vs. reading with the ears dichotomy.

This thread began with the variation in individuals' ability to focus their attention to the point that external stimuli are blocked (great snippet on Fresh Air the other day about that, by the way*). And now it has morphed into the question about whether musical interest/talent/taste has any correlation with any of the above characteristics or makes any difference at all in the way each of us approaches our work.

I have no idea what this has to do with technical communication. It probably does have something to do with it; I just can't figure out what it is. But all these questions have their basis in neurology, and at least some of us apparently find this a seductive topic to come back to time and again.

Just an idle musing. Nothing happening here. Move along, folks.


* The Fresh Air interview was with the author of a new book titled _Mind Wide Open_ (or something close to that). The author is a newspaper science writer who subjected himself to a bunch of high-tech diagnostic techniques. In the interview he recounted his experience in a Functional MRI. At one point the investigator instructed him to think a creative thought. He drew a blank and his internal conversation was, "Think of something. Think of something. Come on, dammit, think of something." Then there was a brief break during which he collected himself and decided to compose a few sentences about the experience he was having. Then the machine was turned on again and he concentrated on writing those sentences (which survive intact in the book).

A few weeks later he had the opportunity to view the scans. During the first, disorganized session, his brain was all lit up. During the second, effective, session, only a few small areas were active.

What he concluded from this was that the old chestnut about our using only 10% of our brains and how great it would be if we could use our whole brains has it backwards. The secret is quieting down the parts of the brain you don't want to be using right now.

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