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REM sleep can therefore be considered as a state characterized by strong activation in visual, motor, emotional and autobiographical memory regions of the brain, yet a relative deactivation in regions that control rational thought. [Why We Sleep (2018), Matthew Walker]


“But really, though, what are you good at?” “Nothing special. I have things I like to do.” “For instance?” “Hiking. Swimming. Reading.” “You like to do things alone, then?” [Norwegian Wood (1987), Haruki Murakami]

Sleep Cycles

The 2 processes that affect our sleep: the Process-C, the circadian biological clock, and Process-S, the sleep pressure produced by the build up of adenosine. The less gap between Process-S and Process-C, the more awake we are, and the more gap between the Process-S and the Process-C, the more need to sleep we feel. [Why We Sleep (2017), Matthew Walker]

The Evolution of Cooperation

The Tragedy of the Commons occurs when a group’s individual incentives lead them to take actions which, in aggregate, lead to negative consequences for all group members. It is a multi-player version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the version of the game from which it got its name, the players are two prisoners, held in separate cells. Each has to choose between “cooperating” with the other (keeping quiet) or “defecting” (giving evidence against the other). Each makes the choice without knowing what the other will do. If both prisoners keep quiet, they are each sentenced to one year in prison. If one rats on the other, he or she goes free and the other gets 10 years. If they both rat on each other, they each get 5 years. The problem arises because whatever your opponent does, defecting gives you a higher payoff than cooperating.  In 1984 Robert Axelrod published a book called The Evolution of Cooperation, which contained a surprising reflection: if you play a Prisoner’s Dilemma game, n


In Denmark the remains of Early Neolithic settlements on the banks of the lake have been preserved. The bog has good preservation conditions for animal bones and plant remains. The pollen from the bog strata shows how the vegetation changed after the arrival of the farmers, c. 4000 BC. Tree pollen was superseded by grain pollen and herb pollen when primeval forest was transformed into arable land. 


We are changing all the time. Moving between different aspects of self. We may have one aspect that wants to be more bold or subversive, which wrestles with our more agreeable, conflict-avoidant self. There is a constant negotiation occurring between these various aspects. And each time we tune in to a particular one, different choices result, changing the outcome of our work. [Rick Rubin (2023), The Creative Act: A Way of Being]

Food Deserts

Food deserts are residential areas with poor access to affordable, healthy food. Most families understand the importance of eating nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods like chips and fast food. When you live in a food desert, however, this can be hard to do.