February 26, 2006
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
I read this book earlier this year and here are some quotations from the book that impressed me:
"When we are left alone with no demands on attention, the basic disorder of the mind reveals itself...it begins to follow random patterns usually stopping to consider something painful or disturbing. Unless a person knows how to give order to heis or her thoughts, attention will be attracted to whatever is mosr problematic at the moment...Entropy is the normal state of consciousness - a condition that is neither useful nor enjoyable. ..This explains why such a huge proportion of time is invested in watching television despite the fact that it is very rarely enjoyed."
"It is a mistake to assume that creativity and rote learning are incompatible. Some of the most original scientists ... have been known to have memorized music, poetry, or historical information extensively...Educational reformers at the start of the twentieth century claimed that 'rote learning' was not an efficient way to store and acquire information. As a result...rote learning was phased out of the schools...If you decide what you would like to have in memory...the whole process of learning by heart will become a pleasant task."