Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back in the land of the living...

Sorry for the hiatus in posts but a combination of work and health (or rather - lack off health) have conspired to keep me quiet. After a little encouragement from Cass I will endeavour to get back on the horse.

One of the problems with being busy at work is that you have very little time to do extra-curricular activities. Aside from a fantastic ride with Cass and Cara and a great weekend with Fin and Vanessa things have been focused on work and recovery. My usual spring of cultural stimuli has begun to dry up and I am only now in the process of drilling a well to find a more sustainable source. The purchase of a new iMac has spurred me on to search high and low for interesting catalysts for my musings and I have recently stumbled upon Podcasts. Now, I know that I am late to the game but it has definitely opened up a new front in the battle for stimuli. I will post later on the iMac and how it is changing life in the Giles household, but in the meantime I have some podcasts to catch.

The current crop of podcasts that I have dowloaded (and listen to whilst on the commute to Brussels include: In our time (explorations of a diverse set of topics from The Diet of Worms - which has nothing to do with worms but was an eclesiastical seminar of sorts with Martin Luther, to the mathematics of Poincaré); From our Correspondant (mini-documentary pieces from foreign correspondants); Start the Week - a discussion of books, exhibitions and TV/film with Andrew Marr; Mark Kermode's Radio 5 film review; and, Front Row (a weekly review of books, films, TV and exhibitions).

I am hoping that this will provide a little diversity to my mix of stimuli and trigger some interesting ramblings. On the basis of the Poincaré programme this should be the case. Aside from all the discussions on multi-dimensional topology (most of which washe dover me like a silent creeping mist) there was an interesting insight into his problem solving approach. His view centred around the need to shift the mode of problem solving from the conscious to the sub-conscious. His approach was to exhaust the supply of available inputs and then, when stumped, abandon the problem and move on. He felt that by doing so he could engage his sub-conscious on the problem and solve it by waiting for an unconnected issue to come along that although, on the face of it may not be connected, actually turns out to be the catalyst or key to the issue.

With Poincaré's posthumus advice...I will abandon my thoughts on the issue and listen to the next's to a renaissance of the random ride...

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