Tara Parker-Pope reports that as many as 25% of adults have at least one nightmare a month. And, she says, most people don’t realize that having chronic nightmares is a medical problem that can be treated with “‘imagery rehearsal therapy,’ a pioneering technique developed by Dr. Barry Krakow at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.” This approach “looks for ways to rewrite a nightmare’s script” by allowing the dreamer “to rewrite the nightmare during the day” using basic imagery techniques. The dreamer creates a better version of the dream, then practices that version by imagining it several times throughout the day.
Here’s the heartening story of Gloria VanDemmeltraadt, who has found the calling of her later years in serving as a volunteer life story writer for people in hospice:
When a person is admitted to a hospice program, they are able to choose whether they would like a story done. Gloria receives the assignment and then spends several hours interviewing the patient, asking questions about their lives. She said the saddest thing she often hears is “I wish I had asked my mom that” and similar regrets about understanding the lives of our older relatives. Putting families in touch with older generations is part of her mission as a volunteer.
In her interviews she directs patients to focus on the better parts of their lives, especially childhood memories and family stories that are meaningful to them. Her aim is to produce a life story of 15 to 20 pages as a legacy for the patient’s family.
I hadn’t heard anything about this phenomenon when I came across this article:
Across the nation, and even across seas, people have been calling police to report being menaced by people in clown costumes. An expert in the field of group psychology at Washington State University says there are several factors that could play into the motives of the “deviant” jesters.
According to one psychologist cited, such behavior can occur during times of tension, conflict, and anxiety. Read how these incidents may have developed through the principle of deindividuation and been spread through social contagion.
This is an interesting article from Fortune about how advances in technology affect our lives. From speech recognition to image recognition, from home computers and smartphones to X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, these developments come into play in many areas of out lives.
[These developments have] all been made possible by a family of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques popularly known as deep learning, though most scientists still prefer to call them by their original academic designation: deep neural networks.
But here’s the most interesting aspect of deep learning:
The most remarkable thing about neural nets is that no human being has programmed a computer to perform any of the stunts described above. In fact, no human could. Programmers have, rather, fed the computer a learning algorithm, exposed it to terabytes of data—hundreds of thousands of images or years’ worth of speech samples—to train it, and have then allowed the computer to figure out for itself how to recognize the desired objects, words, or sentences.
“In short, such computers can now teach themselves.” This article, which includes a glossary of artificial-intelligence terms, covers the history of technology development and looks at projects now underway at companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Intel.
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown