Posts Tagged ‘ADD’

Months ago, a friend’s daughter mentioned that she had stopped taking Adderal, a drug that was prescribed years earlier for Attention Deficit (ADD). She was proud of weaning herself off this stimulant and started looking at the world, and her career differently. I was happy for her, since as y’all know I am NOT a pill person – well except for vitamins – and I recommended she read this book, “Thinking Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman who won the Nobel Prize in 2002 for Economics, even though he is a psychologist.

A therapist friend recommended this book to me, and Bob just finished reading it on our Kindle App, so now it’s my turn. It’s easy enough to say that men are from Mars, but this non-fiction book doesn’t try to explain male vs female minds. In fact, gender has nothing to with it. Instead we find out that our instinctual, fast assessment of any situation is the hero of our cognitive world, and the slower, analytical mind is rather lazy!

System 2, in Kahneman’s scheme, is our slow, deliberate, analytical and consciously effortful mode of reasoning about the world. System 1, by contrast, is our fast, automatic, intuitive and largely unconscious mode. It is System 1 that detects hostility in a voice and effortlessly completes the phrase “bread and. . . . ” It is System 2 that swings into action when we have to fill out a tax form or park a car in a narrow space. (As Kahneman and others have found, there is an easy way to tell how engaged a person’s System 2 is during a task: just look into his or her eyes and note how dilated the pupils are.)  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/books/review/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman-book-review.html

When we speak about the “tone” of a conversation, as we have been doing about Mr T’s recent attempts at a Press Conference, we are engaging System 1. It is the nuanced way we communicate with others, the reason we may meet someone and feel an immediate kinship. I was actually thinking that System 1 may be a higher evolutionary adaptation to an increasingly complex and interconnected technological world. Making a diagnosis of ADD more of a plus, than a minus.

Now Bob’s opinion of an ADD diagnosis is that your environment isn’t sufficiently stimulating. As the student who sat in front of him in French class in the 60s, I know this to be true – his legs were always moving behind my desk, so much so that I felt as if I was on a Disney ride. I am positive he would have been medicated as a child. And our son had a similar level of energy in high school, similar to a race horse in the gate, one very hard to contain in a “normal” classroom. I can already see this fast level of relating to the world in the Love Bug. I can almost see her mind racing to keep up with us; at the age of two she was asking us to teach her how to read!

So the inner-linguist-in-me was delighted to read this morning that in fact, our thoughts may have been shaped by the kind of crops our ancestors grew! http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways


Growing rice requires far greater cooperation: it is labour-intensive and requires complex irrigation systems spanning many different farms. Wheat farming, by contrast, takes about half the amount of work and depends on rainfall rather than irrigation, meaning that farmers don’t need to collaborate with their neighbours and can focus on tending their own crops.

This BBC article explains how so many social science experiments are biased toward the Western world, more specifically American graduate students who participate in these studies. The idea of Western thought being more frontier in nature, valuing the individual, John Wayne, self-directed approach, as differentiated from Eastern thought which values the whole, group achievement, socialist model over the individual is a narrative based in reality, and not alternative facts.  “…our social environment moulds our minds. From the broad differences between East and West, to subtle variation between US states, it is becoming increasingly clear that history, geography and culture can change how we all think in subtle and surprising ways – right down to our visual perception.”

And I would add Red and Blue states to this mix. I once asked a group of women knitting together in a room if in fact every US citizen didn’t deserve to have health care. This was early on, when President Obama was being blocked by every single Republican legislator from passing health insurance reform. And the one Republican knitter in the room said very defiantly “Absolutely not!” She was thinking like a pioneer, and not like someone on the Titanic.

The Flapper loved everything Eastern, including Buddhism, and believed in mindfulness before it was ever trending. Since I received the results of my Ancestry DNA, I realize that my cells are all Irish, with unfortunately no Asian influence. But ever since I was a girl, wearing my Catholic school uniform, my environment taught me to share and think collectively…and maybe now we need to think faster than ever. We need to be the first Jedi.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”



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Good Morning Everyone! Who knew that “Red Flag” warnings meant absolutely glorious weather. Not a cloud in sight! I didn’t even know what it meant; blue skies, 70’s, a good breeze and no rain? Seems perfect to me, but the weather folk want us to watch out for fires. So instead of red, let’s call this a Fuchsia Flag day! Miss Bean spotted 4 deer grazing down the hill and started her day with a romp and a good barking session. Her work is done.

And speaking of work, are you a procrastinator? I’ve noticed lately that due to my never-ending need to stay on trend, or with-it, I get to my actual writing later and later. First it was the Bride talking me into joining Facebook, and I must admit I was more up-to-date on the Egyptian revolution via Facebook than any other news outlet. Then, the Rocker told me that Facebook is over and Instagram is next. So snap, he took our picture with my iPhone and now I’m thinking visually all the time. Guess Facebook got that message cause they bought it for a Billion yesterday! http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57411451-93/instagram-how-to-go-from-zero-to-$1b-in-under-two-years/?tag=fd2010TopHeadlines.0
And you know about the tornado and Pinterest.

The promise was that I would check all these things in the same way I check my emails in the morning. Coffee, 20 emails, coffee, cousin gathering Easter eggs, coffee, cool pic of niece’s baby in pink forest, coffee, who just pinned my Celtic Barbie? Great! Only if you tend to be just a tiny bit ADD, one thing leads to another and you’re starting to write around lunchtime. Well hold on to your hats, cause I’m streamlining my tech-life, yesterday I took a bite out of the forbidden Apple! Goodbye ancient, ten year old desktop Dell PC, hello Mac Pro. You look marh-ve-lous!! No more rebooting every time I upload pictures from my camera… or every other day for no reason. Now wish me luck in learning how to speak this wonderful new language and can anyone explain the whole “in the cloud” thing to me? “There’s no need to dock or sync to your computer. With iCloud, it just works.” Exactly!

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