Mind your language (part 3)

Part 3, wider observations

Children learn to understand speech and engage in speech themselves very easily (in most instances) simply through mere exposure. However, visual word recognition is something that begins with the child being explicitly taught the symbols (e.g., letters…and eventually words) that will later be recognized. Given that these statements are true, what implications might this have for children with vastly different parental, educational, and social backgrounds?

UoN MSc Psychology forum discussion November 2021

This weeks’ cognitive psychology forum discussion (above) is concluded. My own responses, blogged earlier this week, were perhaps too broadly philosophical, but others in the group found much more directly relevant references to share. I summarise the most pertinent below, to which I claim no credit, other than to have been an appreciative recipient.


Early exposures make a big difference. A number of sources were cited in the discussion, including the following.

the frequency of reading to children at a young age has a direct causal effect on their schooling outcomes regardless of their family background and home environment.

G. Kalband and J.C. van Ours 2012 (reporting to Department for Early Childhood Education in Victoria, Australia)

Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued

Clark and Rumbold, 2006

Dr. Parry discusses how abuse repeatedly activates our stress response neural system, which has vast knock-on effects within early years brain development including associated speech and language delays. So, even when a child is normally exposed to language at home, trauma or abuse appears to entirely disrupt the required cognitive tools on a neurobiological level


“mere exposure” only gets you so far and then it’s down to the individual child and how motivated they are.

By the time children enter the school system, there are already a considerable amount of individual differences in knowledge, motivation, and in having the tools to advance at the same rate as other children.

It is the children with an environment that is interactive, varied and stimulating, and responsive to their needs who do better academically, emotionally, financially, in their relationships, and in long-term health prospects.

One student contributed some recent specific and alarming findings of Professor Keith Topping, who led the 2017 What Kids Are Reading Report. This found that primary age children are more likely than secondary age children to push themselves to read challenging texts and that reading age is reported to fall against the “reading age” to several years below this metric and by the end of secondary school, reading age was typically at least three years below chronological age.

The class is also fortunate to have a number of mature students who are themselves teaching staff, and therefore able to offer personal observations. One such teacher outlined the realities of challenge where infant school children converse in English as an additional language. Accordingly, this often requires foundational expressive, pragmatic, and receptive language skills, but meaning any wider learning challenges that may exist are difficult to separately identify as early as would otherwise be hoped.

Another teacher further highlighting the reality of challenge in working within a system that perhaps assumes a greater access to technology than communities that are social-economic challenged can hope to reflect. During the difficulties through Covid-19, this was reflected in the demands of government that all lessons be recorded – to allow student flexibility and access to learning – but giving no account for whole classes representative of students without access to a home computer.

Social background

As one student puts it, to bring about a positive outcome we must first attend to the factors contributing to that outcome. Another cites the DfE published 2012 research into the importance of reading for pleasure, noting its references to OECD (2002) findings that reading enjoyment is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status. As Dr. van Heuven notes about visual word recognition; it is affected by word frequency, age of acquisition and word length. All of these factors are affected by the environment of upbringing

Social Psychology is offered by another. Deci and Ryan (1985) suggests that our environment can impact our intrinsic motivation for a subject by granting autonomy and competency and therefore supporting Cognitive Evaluation Theory becoming weighted towards early privilege. Another highlights that this is a form of cultural capital – more readily available to children from higher class backgrounds.

Early Endowment Foundation

EEF and Public Health England: Early Language Development: Needs, provision, and intervention for preschool children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds

This report, for the Education Endowment Foundation October 2017, was also highlighted.  The report makes three key recommendations:

  1. Providing evidence-based training and interventions that promote language-boosting environments in early years settings and between child and carer.
  2. Effective monitoring of children’s progress, in order to identify those falling behind.
  3. Maintaining a close link with the theoretical framework underpinning current research, to ensure that interventions are relevant.


Anecdotal evidence was offered to suggest girls being more receptive to reading as youngsters than boys. Another therein offering research pointing to the dangers of gender generalisations that psychology has been historically tended toward as such binaries and the problematic impact which overall has caused more particular harm than it has offered helpful generalisation.


About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

PhD and me

Beginnings of a parallel project

PhD and me. I’m adding this category to my blog series. Not that I feel any expertise to yet share. But that’s the point, perhaps. This is a journey from novice beginnings…

What is the reality of preparing for a PhD? What does naïve look like in a middle-aged man? I’ll be researching what it takes, what breaks, what career sacrifice one must make. What upside this offers and opportunity it creates.

I have two years to go with my current part-time MSc. It is time I intend to spend making my self-defined research interests valid for more robust academic enquiry. This daily blog is essentially part of that entire process. I now have access to all university facilities again, to help steer my way.

So watch this space. I will be covering this as a journey. From preparation learnings, steps, set-backs, and places and people that can help. This is no small task, but perhaps others out there may see this as a journey option of their own. I will be 50+ by the time I can start a PhD.

I had early help this week. One-2-one help on what is required, plus an excellent university sponsored two hour seminar on alternative funding avenues. All of these tips and tricks are intended to help make this journey possible to more. Maybe that is you (or your kin), too.

I already have much I want to share, but I am awaiting appropriate approvals and permissions before I do. I have been looking into this for 18 months, but let’s call this step one.

To be continued…

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

Comms check

How are you being?

A quick anecdotal connection from my first discussion of the day. Why it is so important to take time to revisit, to reconnect, and be clear on how and why.

Are you doing the right things to become a serendipitist? i.e., “one who finds valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” I think this is connected to being present, but also a fluidity in perspective. Having the presence of mind to enable flow, but having the mental dexterity to operate and perceive at multiple levels of interest beyond that one flow task. To do that, you first need to check you are connecting and communicating with openness of mind and agenda. You also need to be aware of to whom you are communicating, how, and why.

That starts with yourself. This morning’s meditation was my prajna day. I alternate my daily practice between looking inwards (meditation or vipassana) and looking outward (contemplation or metta). Prajna is to do both – in parallel if you are really expert – but for the relative novice this is attempted with inbreath to outbreath. Looking inward, and then immediately outward. Vipassana and metta each advance towards the furthest limits – one infinitely inward and the other infinitely outer. Prajna then challenging the means to move with increasing ease across the entire spectrum of all that is between. This is intended to seek new insight, by being open to the perspectival change. This is of immediate benefit to bring yourself back to the present. It is surprising to realise just how quickly the brain is taken in by distraction. How hard it is to keep remembering this is a practice not a meandering daydream. To stay present. That goes for all three practices. Prajna is as much an exercise in mental agility as it is a peace of mind. Indeed the mindfulness revolution is heavily criticised for suggesting any such practice is about finding an escape towards a calm. It is not an escape of any kind. It is finding a better way to be, and a better directed attention towards what to become.

My serendipitous moment came as I concluded my prajna. I was working to a timeline. My first call at 0830. So after my work upon myself, I was quickly contemplating my work with a new client. A process of discovery of a different kind about to unfold anew. However, this discovery is not mine. I may facilitate or guide some of that process. But the process itself is one that only the patient can do. Starting with the manner of looking within. The vipassana. How well is the communication and inner transparency working? How honest is the relationship with the self? Is there awareness of the inner tensions, the conflicting motivations, the over bearing demands or the parts allowed to do their own thing away from conscious view. How are the inner layers responding, cooperating, collaborating, and containing the processes each and all are intended to do? But then to the metta. How well is this engagement with the outer world. How connected are the receptors of information – the eyes and ears, touch, smell and taste – the perceptions towards these masses of data being retrieved from the outside world, how is all this being managed and processed and made available to decision-making need? How are such decisions being handed back towards these moving parts? How adaptive and effective are these processes as a fit to these interfaces, but also the furthest reaches of this outside world? And therein to the prajna. How connected and effective is the communication at all of these levels of perspective. Therein, how dynamic and able is this one entity of many internal parts able to adapt to the chaotic wider world, and find means to belong, to survive, and enable both to thrive?

This is the projects | within projects idea. That the psychology of self-understanding and self-management relates to more than just self. That social psychology links to sociology and to anthropology. But that all of this, when drawn back to basic principles, is what any organisation of any system is required to do. As a nation, as a people, or as a network or a firm. That any project is just a function of intended change. This perspectival agility then sits at micro and macro scale, a spatial and temporal part of many parts.

Whilst none of the above language is likely to be the taxonomy I use – at its core this is what I do. With this first preparation, this first enquiry, towards a discussion with a C-Suite board of a major organisation of many parts, this is precisely the basis of enquiry that is about to unfold.

Psychology in management; projects in mind. The effectiveness of communication, is what connects it all.

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

The press don’t press

Anyone remember that Covid-19 thing?

I’ve just spent an evening with Dr. John Campbell. This is a brief blog to offer a few headlines worth checking out from sources you trust.

Visibility | b | t

Given the lack of press attention it would be easy to think all was now fine. Well, with minimum enquiry the data is still easily found. Here are some headline graphics (links to the data source embedded if other info is desired)

Which appears to be a glimmer of hope and perhaps not headline news. BUT:

  • whose reporting the worrying case load raise in a few pockets of Europe? And why no questions asking what that means for travel?
Specific spiking European countries
  • what happened about the Wolverhampton 43,000 cases of mishandled testing? BBC BMJ 15th Oct
  • why has the Pfizer whistle-blower story not made headline news? BMJ 2nd Nov

Thankfully, the data is still readily available to review, even if the media have decided to move on.

v | behaviour | t

Social interventions. My psychology readings are indicating that the motivations of people are best orientated around self-determination. Persuasions best aimed at doing the right thing with internal will, not enforced via external carrot and stick demand. So what to make of the Austrian situation this week? Fines of EUR1,500 if the unvaccinated in the population are found to have broken lockdown. BBC. Here is the data showing their worsening situation (interactive link attached below).

Austria fear their hospital system is about to be overwhelmed

Testing questions. I am still struggling to understand the lack of publicity of the Pfizer revelations in the whistle-blower story in the BMJ. Much as I blogged about the Wolverhampton story a month ago this looks to be a classic case of inadequate control systems going unnoticed and largely ignored as governance, intervention, or news. This is not to say vaccines are being questioned. Not at all. The UK case demonstrates a levelled off position and nothing I have read suggests anything but support toward greater vaccination effort everywhere. cf. Dr John Campbell. But that is not to excuse specific breaches of protocols, as being reported with professional candour by the BMJ.

No herd immunity? However, there is more story unfolding now too. It seems herd immunity is not expected anytime soon. This YouTube link explains this better than I could hope to do. Dr John Campbell is a go-to source of sensible analysis. I also loved this response to FaceBook fact-check…and the insights into vitamin D.

v | b | trust

Having spent an evening updating my understanding of existing and new C-19 issues – matters that impact my family – I am reminded of the premise of trust. And how trust is hard won, and easily lost. Plenty to ponder on in considering why some of these high quality medically backed stories sit so low in the interest of the news.

We live in a society of distrust and high blame. Best to remember what motivates those advising and informing. And make your own enquiry from there.

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

Mind your language (part 2)

Here’s my cognitive science forum discussion piece this week, round two.

A great response offered had me thinking anew. Is the written word our primary concern? The discussion forum in my MSc has me wondering if this is still so.


You have my mind racing here. I have not thought quite in these terms before, but I am now – in my minds-eye or inner narrative – I am now seeing interfaces with technology as moments of great transformation in society. Having our children readied for the next becomes integral from the last. Writing was the Axial Ages catalyst of change. But, perhaps we have had others since. I think this becomes a question of time and space.

Observe these moments of change:

– pre-history is characterised by the initial cave people discovering voice to exchange information beyond signalling. This is the symbolism and abstract start of information exchange that needed the symbolism that Noam Chomski references. It may also give us links to Jungian collective subconscious. See also Vervaeke et al talking about The Meaning Crisis and the early role of Shaman to expand ideas.

– language became the means to pass more than just organisational ideas through time. One generation now able to retain the word of the last generation. Past learning becoming planned to be available to the yet born. What Hindu traditions show us, and Australian aboriginal and Polynesian tribal traditions, is that verbal history can transcend time. However, what it also does is bind people spatially together. It keeps them near. It is through repetition and shared ownership that such history retains its awareness from past generation to current. Language becomes a vessel for history and therefore a reason to think forward too. It also perhaps rewarded those best able to remember and replay events with insights when times were hardest, and give resolve in moments tribal groups were most likely to fail. The necessary communal bond meaning shared solution and safety in those numbers. I have Harari’s “Sapiens” or Jared Diamonds “Guns, Germs, and Steel” in mind and the idea of food banks where one Woolly Mammoth becomes a shared feed, and a metaphorical shared pantry with bigger communities sharing in good fortune and good technique in the hunt. Bound by language and history, benefiting from the communal group.

– the written word is the Axial Revolution point I reference here. This affords more freedom from these close communities. Communities becoming more transient and individual freedoms able to spread both word and trade to connect wider community. This also coincides with agricultural development. It enabled these communities to be bigger. To reach further in trading and sharing ideas, to begin collectively owning these beliefs. Hammurabi’s Code of Law etc. It also enables shared friendships to build and foes to be opposed. Alphabet the one example of phonetic effectiveness. The legend of the Tower of Babel perhaps a reflection of this written word becoming transient but the spoken word becoming nuanced and idea isolations being united again – written word also soon connects number and ideas and advancements begin to build in complexity and permanently transforming beyond civilisation wide threats (cf 1177 BCE)

– This has taken several millennia to unfold. It is the speed of language, in the form of written word and number, that has enabled the spatial distances to be expanded in proliferations from both war and trade. But also the spatial density. The few scribes and those they represent having much power. And such power is held most tightly bound to law and ideology. It is no coincidence that church and power are historic kin. It is the Spanish defenders of Catholic faith that attempt to proliferate much of European population with the power of the written word. In this blog about the Gunpowder Plot I wrote of this proliferation, although not having in mind its impact as outlined here. Both in terms of the Society of Jesus in the Catholic Church – but this is just a relevant in Protestant equivalent a new impact by language is about to unfold.

– This is all around 1520. In terms of the written word one more crucial ingredient connects the written word to the power of information. This is the time of the printing press. In this moment it is more than just those with one Church obedience who can read. It is what motivated the Spanish Catholics to push education into wider Europe but the power of reading was on the rise. This is how the spatial density becomes backfilled at speed. This is no longer just a Sunday service and the teachings from one mouth. This is now a freedom to read, to converse, to influence the mass of population beyond the mass of congregation. It is also the moment Latin begins to lose its dominance as the language of diplomacy, and of thought.

– Language is now more closely tied to written word. Education is tied to written word too. That and mathematics. Greek and Roman languages are still both defaults to know. Euclid’s teachings were known to all who declared themselves educated. But translations and reworked literature is soon to become commonplace. The written word, and number literacy bringing new perspectives to more.

But is this it? Is this how language is to be held in highest influence – as the written word? I think for the longest time of modern era this is true. Modern in philosophical terms, meaning from Descartes (1596 – 1650) onwards. Written word becomes ever more powerful both in the spatial distance that an idea can travel. And the speed with which it can move. The proliferation of ideas expanding as it goes. Whole populations or classes of people now advancing in dialogue. Ideas becoming connected in new ways. But also the proliferation of the story. The metaphor. The abstract connections anew. But this is where I depart from the primacy of the written words. I think there are two moments that demonstrate the power of the word has been usurped.

– Audio language. Once the radio was invented the manner of communication could change again. However, it needed to become ubiquitous to be effective. The radio may have been 1895 in invention but it was the 1920s onwards that enabled it to be available to every European ear. This became a means to close the spatial and temporal space of ideas even further. Almost immediate. The power of the masses may have been quick across Europe in the revolutionary spring of 1848, but the ability to maintain communication over the airwaves is what proliferated information so quickly from Munich and elsewhere from the embers of WW1. This was the start of the age of propaganda. That needed the speed of language in verbal phrasing not just the written word.

– Then we have the power of audio-visual. Look no further than the Kennedy vs Nixon debates to show the power of the combined mediums of language and showmanship

Is the written word therefore important? Yes, it is vital. But is it first among the forms of language we need to understand? I would say absolutely not. And in the near future I question whether it will have primacy at all.
Think on these realities of early 21st Century life:
– most learning is now accompanied by YouTube
– most communication is done by social media. And social media is becoming less interested in the written word.
– most mis-information is proliferated from a few sources and much of it is quickly becoming automated beyond human control.

My view is therefore that if we are focused upon the written word, we are too late in what we hope to teach. It is important. But let us not forget what it is not. It is not language. It is a symbolic convenience that has served us well. It has connected the whole planet. And connects us still. But we are folly to think it is a pinnacle of communication. It is already being usurped.

It is for this reason I am surprised we are being taught theories of written word. We seem to me at the cusp of information exchange in many other forms.


I am not sure I represent the generations to come. Perhaps the technology they will communicate via is close by but yet to arrive. By example, how many people can I expect to have read all the way to this final remark…? But by what other means can something be so quickly skimmed, surmised, and dismissed, yet still have been considered end to end?

…to be continued.

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

Mind your language

Here’s my cognitive science forum discussion piece this week

Children learn to understand speech and engage in speech themselves very easily (in most instances) simply through mere exposure.  However, visual word recognition is something that begins with the child being explicitly taught the symbols (e.g., letters…and eventually words) that will later be recognized.  Given that these statements are true, what implications might this have for children with vastly different parental, educational, and social backgrounds?

UoN MSc Psychology forum discussion November 2021

I have spent the evening with our lectures for this week on language. Principally, focused on the theories of how we bring the written word into our mind. Before answering the above, I was minded to revisit a few old sources again. I was in an audio visual frame of mind so reminded myself of the content of a classic piece by Steven Pinker. My opening discussion has therefore cited this at length. I conclude my initial observations with a detailed summary of his Big Think piece, but I recommend watching the whole thing.


Children from the axial revolution

Forgive the word play on a T-Rex song but it serves a point of sorts.  It is the first of three shameless retrievals of information from other sources.  This first recalled from song.

My second is from the written word.  In the excellent book “The Great Transformation: The World in the Time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah” by Karen Armstrong 2006, the connectivity of the world is reflected upon around 500 BCE.  Her underlying point being that many of the world’s belief systems became more interchangeable at this time.  The reasons include transit freedoms as new metals were forged and animals tamed.  But also the transitory nature of information.  The mobility of the word and the interactions of ideas.  Language had stored story long before written down. Indeed the 10,000 year history of Hindu teachings attest to the longevity of word across time.  It is however time consuming to remember verbatim from one generation to the next.  Less accurate?  Perhaps not if tradition and word are both retaining context of both.

My third source is audio visual.  I quote at length Steven Pinker in what follows.  Please note the key point of the form of information exchange here. He did not use written language to convey this complexed message – only as a presentation aid.  Instead, he used a video camera and a production team, via YouTube. Much as children do not learn language from a book, nor do we as adults have to read to learn.  But good luck getting acquainted with technology without the written word.  My point (well that of Pinker et al) is, written language is a construct and a subset of a wider phenomenon.  We are less without it.  But it is language, not writing, that sets us apart as a species. Our society needs us to read and write.  At least until something better comes along.

My final point is this – all the rest is Steven Pinker – you may choose to watch the 50 mins of footage here or read the five minutes of written summary below. Such is the efficiency of written language – enabling you to pick and choose in temporal freedoms beyond the spoken word. We have choice. Much more in 2021 when it comes to choosing the format of information download. With choice comes compromise. Longevity, accessibility, interest, and influence, are all tied up within. Need and options are evolving through technological means, and these are 21st Century challenges that are already beginning to change us all.

Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain | Big Think 6th October 2012

Pinker tells us that language is distinctive, essential, mysterious, practical, and central to human life.  It is also the means by which we exert a power to exchange knowledge and intentions that no other species on earth has ever achieved.  And not by any one off fluke of one culture.  Every culture has been shown to have developed a language, and today 6,000 languages are still spoken on Earth.  He quotes Charles Darwin “man has an instinctive tendency to speak as we see in the babble of our young children while no child has an instinctive tendency to … write”

The complexity of grammar, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics are collectively the science of language.  The processes, acquisition, and computation all forming subsets therein.  Pinker’s key point in the context of our forum discussion is his distinction between language and a number of items which he argues are not language study per se – including written language.  He advises that writing has only been invented a small number of times (from around 5,000 years ago).  Crucially, he argues that an alphabetic language has only been invented once in the history of language – by the Canaanites – about 3,700 years ago.  He further argues that proper grammar (i.e., prescriptive) is also not language – distinctive grammar is a study of language – prescriptive grammar is a study of rules (and rules we generally make-up and break at will).  Further arguing that dialects can provide explanations beyond the standard form e.g., “he be working” denotes employment not just graft.  Pinker also argues that our thoughts are not in themselves language –  because there is plenty of cognitive ability in visual imagery that never approaches language – and that memory is more gist than detailed sentence structure.  Our meaning is derived from more abstract ability to interpret and contextualise intent of the transmitter.  Language effects thoughts, but is not itself thought (cf. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis). Words, rules (syntax, morphology, phonology) and interfaces; these are the three elements of language, according to Steven Pinker.

Still quoting Pinker, 60,000 words is the average individuals vocabulary.  If this were learnt as meaning of word by word, that would require a new word learnt every two hours from the age of one.  Each word phrase is somewhat arbitrary, and per Noam Chomsky is almost unique in its combination of gramma rules – which gives insight into psychology.  Sentences are placed in hierarchical structure, and not associated word by word, but anticipated against these rules.  Rules will be different from one language to the next. This presents the open-ended creativity of language; it enables expressions of unfamiliar meanings and new combinations of the nuanced; thereby creating an infinite possible structure of sentence form.

As to learning, Pinker brings this argument to us as follows.  Children are showing this in experimentation of learning as soon as two words are able to be combined – from around 18 months old.  They are demonstrating combinatory experimentation as soon as they begin speaking.  Evidenced by the experimenting and making error in expanding irregular verbs using regular verb past tense rules.  This is all audio-verbal but can also be symbolic in other ways.  Chomsky argues this point via his “poverty of input” argument, which states a non-linear restructuring occurs even before any such rule dependency can be learnt.  Chomsky argues we are pre-programmed to structure language universally. Not that his argument is without critics – particularly the lack of evidence or nuanced demonstration that only language has this pre-built disposition – other critical perspective emerging from modern neural network concepts where language could be part of this same complex learning.

Phonology.  Formation rules offer indications that a language allows a word or not.  These can also be represented in the nuances of a language (e.g., the sounds of “ed” in walked, jogged, or patted) as is sometimes betrayed by accent or as taken by an author’s advantage in comedic word play.

Language interfaces as the process of hearing and replying.  Production from the vocal tract, via the larynx across two cartilage flaps in the voice box. These produce a vibration with harmonics.  From here it passes through the chambers of the throat, above the tongue, the cavity formed via the lips, or by blocking off the airflow and into the cavity through the nasal passage.  Each cavity shaped to enable amplification or suppression of particular harmonics. All vowels are produced with the back and forth or up and down motions of the tongue.  The temporary stopping or restricting the air flow is more typically that of a consonant.   Our brain is perceiving a qualitative difference in each of these sounds.  In receiving these sounds it is then our brain that artificially punctuates the words to break them up into understandable forms – best heard when listening to foreign language where no such breaks will be heard.

Pragmatics is the context adding.  The cooperative principle is what is used to reference the assumed two-way working relationship being attempted by both parties to a dialogue.  It requires innate understanding beyond the information being presented.

Written language does however offer more than this.  Computers are programmed.  When learning the nuances of language the written form gives clarity.  It enables understanding and record of law, politics, or literary precision.  My counter-question to frame the forum discussion, “is written word essential to learning at all?”  I would say not.  However, a second question emerges therein. In modern society, is written word essential to advancing? Unless or until we find more advanced forms of record and retrieval of information, I would say so. Any denial of this learning is therefore a denial of some basic gifts of truth.

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:

Perspective is everything

Less is more, more or less

I am in mid-flow with some college work but a break is as good as a rest, so a few quick factoids prompted by my doodling yesterday.

Original WordArt
(i.e., icons via Microsoft Word)

100 billion stars in the Milky Way – one of 100 billion galaxies

1.4 billion insects for every person on Earth – population 7.8 billion

Bacteria species c. million – not the trillions once thought – yet we still know just 50,000 specie

86 billion neurones in a human brain – 7,000 connections per neurone

Source links included

We consider our projects to be complex, and the data processing demands ever increasing. However, complexities have travelled far before we even offer a thought to what connected us to anything we intend to change.

Perspective is everything…

About Me

In psychology we are required to look beneath the mask. This blog series is attempting to unmask some hidden parts of projects to engender a more collaborative way.

Find my professional mask here:


In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow…

Royal British Legion – Remembrance in their words

The poem that inspired the wearing of the poppy

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

In Flanders’ Fields by John McCrae, 1915