Monday, October 31, 2016

One more monkey to kill

You know how sometimes people say things like “you got to watch what you eat or you'll get sick” or the subtler ones that if you read right adds up to things like “slow down you bum.. do you want to become an alcoholic?” or “Sure.. waste your whole day playing DOTA and see how many jobs you can land in a country like this” and you do the math your self, it all adds up so you politely show your agreement at that moment but secretly think it doesn't apply to you somehow(by the very virtue of being who you are) but later to be proven wrong, at which point you scratch your head thinking how in the world you believed you were the exception(Some might even argue that life is but a series of these embarrassing reveals of our in-competencies and the only thing we can hope to learn is how to handle these reveals with grace). I've had a quite a few of these in my 3 decades and this post is about another one I'm just starting to discover.

The last couple of months I've been waking up pretty late everyday. Why? because on most nights I finish watching my TV shows and what not around midnight and once I drag my energy drenched body on to bed it takes me a good part of what seems like another hour to relax and fall asleep then this hard earned sleep is interrupted a couple of times when my kid wakes up crying at ungodly hours of the night. Waking up late by its self is not a bad thing but when you start feeling drained during the day and you cant help but walk and talk like a zombie no matter how many good cups of coffee you have you know you got a monkey on your back that needs killing.

Sleep deprivation is not something that is new to me, I've been binge watching TV shows and reading on the net to the late hours of the night more than a decade, pulled all nighters studying and doing assignments for my bachelors, etc. None of that slowed down my day significantly and so probably added to my belief that I was some how impervious to it. Well it turns out i'm not so looks like I'd have to do something about this.

House M.D, you will be watched over a period of weeks or months but not days.. sniff sniff

It’s been about 2 months now and I’d like to believe I’ve got back on track. I’ve been hitting the bed early keeping a hard deadline of 11PM and getting to work a good 2 hours or so earlier. I feel great during the day. Things are looking up. I wonder how well I would do at 6 months! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Psychology, a science with growing pains

Psychology is a science that can help us understand the drivers of human behavior(one more tool to help you examine a life, if you agree with Plato) but like any other science it should be taken with a grain of salt, after all didn't the greatest scientific minds at one time think the Newtonian physics were absolute and concise?

Psychology is a young multi faceted science with many inconsistencies and gray areas waiting to be colored in. A science with multiple varied answers to the same questions. Like the way a wise tech enthusiast waits for the hiccups of a new consumer technology to be worked on, before he/she goes out and splurge a pile of cash, it is this writers opinion that its best to wait for psychology to mature as a science, for its varied facets to blend into one clear surface before accepting all of it as truth.

nature vs nurture; a debate in psychology between biological psychologists and behavioral psychologists is a good example of how different schools of psychology are now converging to form a complete picture.

In the past, biological psychologists who believe behavior is attributed to underlying biological processes and factors, would explain the case of the fairer sex being comparatively more empathetic to biological processes/phenomena such as structural differences between the male and female brain, genetic characteristics passed on from prehistoric times, hormonal differences between the sexes, so on and so forth. Where as a behavioral psychologist would attribute the same to factors such as social learning; where a women learned to be more empathetic by observing how other women behave in their childhood and operant conditioning; where empathetic behavior in women were reinforced and disdain behavior punished, habituating a more empathetic world view. Of recent times psychologists have come to understand that rather than nature vs nurture it is nature and nurture where biological and behavioral factors work hand in hand to explain the full picture. In this case social learning and operant conditioning working to establish empathetic behavior heightened by predispositions(found to be a more attractive behavior from an evolutionary point of view and so passed on genetically).

Aside its inconsistencies, psychology is a powerful science with implications to all aspects of our life and so it is something we should all know a little more of.