Emma and the Beast

Last night it was -6 Celsius where I live with a wind chill factor making it feel -14. The various weather systems converging have given the opportunity for some individual growth for my son here in West Wales.

One of the Dragon camp criteria is for Scouts to camp out with members of another troop. Therefore my son the Explorer Scout and 2 friends from a local Scout group camped out in our back garden last night.

As I was leaving for work this morning I went to the tent to check on the boys who were still in the tent at 6am.

I think they all deserve a medal - I am not sure I could have done it knowing a nice warm house was only 2 gardens away……..

Well done boys.

Morning 1st March 2018

Given that a lot of these decisions have prejudice and preconceptions attached, how can we trust ourselves. Given thorough analysis we tend to analyse decisions to death - sometimes backing up our original gut feeling and sometimes talking ourselves out of the decision.

Boxing day 2016, I woke up and realised how heavy life was. In terms of life I really mean my weight. I was not the heaviest I had ever been but at my age in life the weight was causing me some issues in terms of simple things such as mobility. This is partly to do with me being super critical of my abilities - I was still active and teaching the physical things that I always had - just not as involved I expected of myself to be. I do not just want to teach but also to train at that level.

Over the last few years I have been aware of how my weight fluctuates and what I need to do to maintain and to loose weight. Believe me the third option of gaining weight is just frankly not a concern for me, it naturally happens with zero effort.

So why if I had been aware for around 4 years about how to loose weight had I not done so? Well I had done so - however the days off diet, even a single day, made it really difficult to get back onto diet. The reciprocal was similar but by no means the same.

When on diet it was easy to stay on diet and if I maintained it for a few days in a row the weight just fell off, however it was also very easy to come off diet. If I came off diet the weight increased in one day more than several days on diet.

As part of becoming a behaviour analyst we are taught to take data on everything - so I took the opportunity to take data on myself. I weighed on the same set of scales on the same surface first thing in the morning for a year. Now those of you who are astute will realise that the data is not every day - this is purely due to travelling for work on certain weeks. So for the most part there are a reasonable amount of data points.

You should be able to notice which days I had off. I actually noted in the data collection when I had an evening off or a day off as it was worth it to see the effects over the longer term.

And so fluctuates my weight - I wanted to get to 108kg by the end of 2017 however I passed that early in the year and reset the goal to be 104kg by the end of the year. This was actually achieved in the middle of the year and I have fluctuated since then. And so I have become a master at seeing the changes in my weight on a day to day basis and knowing exactly what I can do to change it. Yes this is in kilograms.

So data collection is a wonderful motivator, I get to see changes day to day and bar things like xmas I rarely take more than one day off at a time as I can see the alteration a day off diet can make.

The response effort was an issue so I have an icon on home screen of my phone that leads directly to a google form to put the data into an google sheet which generates the graph live. Making sure this was simple to do led me to be meticulous in recording every day that I could. Lowering the response effort is what has made the most difference in this project as this was the big difference from the previous few years.

Getting the Boys back together :-)

4th December 2017
We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.–Dr. Seuss

Miles & Linda 16th Aug 2017

with their publication of the middle third of the Graveyard

Narberth Museum welcomes judges 8 May 2013

Miles was the youngest volunteer and as such was interviewed by the TV and the judges

You can see Miles’s TV appearance here

I apologise if you feel I tangent too much. I was very much put off ABA in general for many years - I think I should mention that up front. This is as a result of exposure through my work and through some of my own research.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”
Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.
“TO SUCCEED…” To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent persons, and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is, to have succeeded.
Anger is a form of energy. It cannot be destroyed, merely converted. In the case of humans anger transfers from one person to another. - Miles Cooke

“Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.”~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

Your intuition or gut feeling is the source of an awful lot of decisions that we humans make on a day to day basis. But how sound is this system in terms of making good decisions?

This book looks at how we have a tendency to make judgements in the blink of an eye and what we need in place to be able to trust these judgements.

Given that a lot of these decisions have prejudice and preconceptions attached, how can we trust ourselves. Given thorough analysis we tend to analyse decisions to death - sometimes backing up our original gut feeling and sometimes talking ourselves out of the decision.

When to trust your intuition and when not to.

  • One decision making strategy is slow and methodical.
  • Another is a snap decision process that happens in the blink of an eye.

How can we know if the snap process is trustworthy?

  • your unconscious can rule out irrelevant information instantly
  • analysing all the little pieces of info hide the really relevant info
  • the snap judgement brain processes are great at filtering out the irrelevant stuff

A rationally compiled list of the characteristics we would want from a partner is irrelevant as you make a snap judgement when you meet someone, and that judgement dictates if you are attracted or not - you usually do not go through the list of characteristics like an interview!

We can all read emotional expressions however when stress is in play your ability to read faces and emotional responses decreases to the point of what could be similar to the autistic need for concrete information.

Reduce the stress to reduce the effect of the reduction in your ability to read faces.

We all have racial prejudice and the best way to do something about it - get out more.

To avoid bad snap judgements - ignore all irrelevant information.

When you have a great amount of experience (circa 10,000 hours) with the subject matter - trust your instinct. If you are not an expert with by experience with the subject matter then slow your intuition down and use the slower rational part of your mind.

Blink - by Malcolm Gladwell
“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”― Konstantin Jireček

“Attitude is like a wrist watch– every watch may show different time than others but everyone thinks that their watch is showing the right time” - anonymous