How to eliminate distractions and live a more focused life.

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We live in a digital age of distraction. A digital age full of distractions.

These distractions come in various shapes and sizes — emails, phone calls, text messages, medium notifications — all competing for our time, trying to harvest our attention.

This can be a real problem, though, especially when you’re trying to get things done. So, what’s the solution?

Well, the computer scientist Cal Newport makes two good suggestions: digital minimalism and ‘deep work’.

Let’s take a look at these.

First Though, Why Do We Get Bored?

Before getting into digital minimalism, we need to look at boredom.

There are two questions we need to ask…


Online games offer a fun way for older adults to reconnect with loved ones

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According to recent figures, around 50% of people over the age of 60 will face social isolation and around 33% will experience some level of loneliness during the remaining period of their lives¹.

These figures point to a growing public health issue affecting older members of the population — one that is likely to continue within aging societies across the globe.

Before going any further, let’s take a look at loneliness and isolation.

What is loneliness?

According to one definition, loneliness is a social and emotional phenomenon. Here, social…


We don’t find our passions, we make them.

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“Just find your passion”.

That’s what people say. If you search hard enough, you’ll find it. It’s out there. Somewhere. And once you find it, everything else will just fall into place.

We’ve all heard this before.

But passions aren’t something that we find, they’re something that we create. We don’t just stumble upon them, we author them. And it’s only then that we can in any sense claim to have ‘found’ them.

Let’s look at why this is the case.

1. It All Begins With Choice

When I was seven I decided to join the local football club. I wasn’t particularly good, but I chose…


Perfectionism isn’t as bad as everyone says. Here’s why.

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Why does everyone poo-poo perfectionism?

A quick look online reveals countless articles claiming that perfectionism is bad. That it holds people back, driving them towards impossible standards. But I disagree.

As far I’m concerned, being a perfectionist is good in many ways, not least of all because it helps you reach levels you never thought were possible. For me, “Perfectionism is stagnation” is a stagnant idea which ought to be challenged.

There are three reasons I think this to be the case.

Let’s dive in.

So, What Do We Mean By Perfectionism?

What exactly is perfectionism?

Well, as I see it, perfectionism is about striving for perfection…


And help protect endangered species

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There are little over 500 Amur tigers currently living in eastern Russia.

Despite big efforts to protect this species, they remain on the brink of extinction.

But all is not lost. 2000 miles away in Shanghai, a team of computer scientists has applied deep learning techniques to reimagine the conservation effort for this endangered species.

But how can deep learning possibly help one of nature’s finest creations?

In exciting new research, these scientists have applied deep neural networks to the re-identification (re-ID) of Amur tigers to help this at-risk animal.

How exactly are they doing this? …


Why past scientific theories teach us that maybe it doesn’t

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Have you ever considered that our current best scientific theories might not be true? That these theories in a certain way don’t correspond to the truth.

To bring this into view, consider the progress of science up to the present day.

Think about how previously successful scientific theories which were once thought to be true have, over time, been replaced by better theories that claim to explain things in a more accurate, truthful way.

Does it not follow, then, that our current best scientific theories will, over time, be replaced…


What I wish I’d known before taking the plunge

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Over the last decade, computer science has undergone a serious facelift. No longer a geek’s mainstay, it’s different now—crisp, cool, and clear-cut. Arguably one of the most popular degrees to have under your belt.

For me, though, the reason for doing a computer science conversion was more practical. I wanted to devote a year to get good at a new skill which I thought would land me a stable job.

The new, sleek appearance of the discipline may have played into my decision, but it wasn’t an obvious motivation at the…


The Story of Ignaz Semmelweis

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Between 1846 and 1849, a young doctor by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis was working in the obstetrics clinic at Vienna’s maternity hospital. While working in the clinic, he was confronted with a serious problem: higher mortality rates from childbed fever in one of two maternity divisions.

In the first division, the average mortality from childbed fever was 9.92%, with peaks reaching as high as 30%. In the second division, by contrast, childbed fever was less severe with an average mortality of 3.38%.

What was causing this?

Semmelweis’s Insight

Semmelweis could see the difference in mortality rates…


Thomas Kuhn’s Great Insight

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In his speculations on scientific development in the original (1962) version of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (SSR), Thomas Kuhn seems to reject the idea of scientific progress entirely, claiming that scientific theories form part of fixed, independent ‘paradigms’ which lack a common basis of comparison.

What exactly are these paradigms, and how do they relate to scientific revolutions?

Scientific Revolutions

First, let’s talk about the different phases of scientific development as outlined by Kuhn.

One of the central features of Kuhn’s model of scientific development is his notion of alternating phases of ‘normal science’ and revolutionary change. According to Kuhn, ‘normal…


No, it’s not. But it’s not entirely out of the woods

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Human traits and behaviours are complex. As such, it’s not easy to understand why we do what we do, and what underpins it all.

Evolutionary psychologists attempt to explain these traits and behaviours by using evolutionary theory. They claim that human psychology and behaviour are products of natural selection and our understanding of psychology can be informed by both this insight and further insights from evolutionary theory.

Let’s look at this in a bit more depth.

Background

According to evolutionary psychology, many psychological traits are ‘adaptations’. That is, they occur…

Writer | Runner | Programmer • MSc in Computer Science

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