Posted May 1, 2013 by Dr. Henri Montandon in abnormal psych

What I did on my summer vacation: mind hacks

When faced with a huge task, a truly humungous task which stretches out over the horizon and with no sensible timely end – bailing out the ever-expanding oceans with a tea spoon is a commonly thought of example – it’s comforting to have friends to help in the task be it ever so futile. Case in point, the infocean – an ugly term for an uglier reality – we have, every single one of us, already succumbed, already drowned in the information tsunami.


  “MIND HACKS” is high ground in the digital tsunami.




What distinguishes the infocean from the watery sort is that when tea spooning away in the infocean not every full tea spoon contains the same stuff. For this reason, we want our brother and sister bailers to be both diligent and discerning. I have mentioned in earlier blogs that we want to select information which is relevant. But our selection criteria could be any quality in which we happen to be interested. They might as well be interesting, funny, quirky, surprising, unnerving. Any infobot, avatar, widget or app which could select based on one of these qualities would simultaneously solve “the hard problem”.

The reasons given above are why I tend to celebrate – in my tediously academic way – upon finding any teaspoon wielding cybernaughts who bail out of the infocean anything with some of the qualities I mentioned, or their ilk.Tom Stafford and Mike Webb are a couple of diligent and discerning teaspoon wielding types who entertained us with their book BRAIN HACKS a few years ago. Starting in 2004 and continuing every month up to the present (diligent) Dr. Stafford, Mike Webb and Vaughan Bell have chosen articles from the neuroscience flotsam and jetsam which are interesting (discerning). They seem to love to play outside the sandbox, and I will say I have learned from them more stuff that I had never even heard of than from almost anyone else. A few examples: Matter magazine has an amazing article about the world of underground surgery for healthy people who feel that their limb is not part of their body and needs to be removed. (April 2013) Your future self already exists in the cloud. (February 2013) …an incredibly useful brain anatomy atlas that when you point at any part of an MRI scan it tells you which part of the brain you’re looking at in all three planes. It seems to be part of a very useful website called HeadNeckBrainSpine… (February 2013).

I love what these folks find interesting.  Their website might even replace coffee.

NB Defenestrated Caption: Just so you won’t be totally confused. The picture at the beginning of this piece illustrates Members of the Society for Mind Brain Sciences celebrating with their traditional Old Flag Parade. The occasion marks the discovery of another website with quality. For reasons known only to itself, the software would not let me put a caption on this picture. Evidence of Machine Consciousness?





Dr. Henri Montandon