Why Daydreaming Is a Virtue
The human mind wanders nearly half the time it is awake but that doesn't make us lazy or unproductive. Unleashing the power of the subconscious is a good way to solve problems.
What's the Latest Development?
Having created a mobile app to conduct an experiment, scientists recently found that our minds wander about 47% of the time (the notable exception being love-making, when our ability to concentrate is very strong). While that may make us sound lazy and unproductive, neurologists say that daydreaming actually increases our ability to solve problems by thinking more creatively. In a laboratory experiment, people who were given a boring task (so as to induce daydreaming) proved better at thinking of creative uses for everyday objects--even better than subjects who had concentrated hard on that objective.
What's the Big Idea?
Understanding more about how the mind works will change what we mean by getting work done. Rather than concentrating intensely on a single problem until a sufficient solution is found, taking pauses--whether than means a game of ping-pong or a Hawaiian vacation--will give the subconscious an opportunity to unravel the web of whatever problem you are trying to solve. 'The good news is that there’s no reason to feel guilty when taking a break or not checking your e-mail, because it turns out that even when you’re on vacation, the unconscious is probably still working on the problem.'
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In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
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- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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