Significant Finding — The Interbrain

The Science section of today’s edition of The Telegraph features a story about how a form of  ‘wi-fi’ connects human brains.  This phenomenon is known as The Interbrain, and is based on the research of Professor Digby Tantum, a clinical professor of psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield.

Reading this article helped fill in some blanks on my own theory of culture, and how it manifests within people.  I would like to develop a paper, after putting finishing touches on a different (current) thesis, that comes at this very same idea from a different angle.  I already believe that we are wired together, and I have a lot to say on this subject.  This only confirms some of my suspicions.

If you have not read today’s article from The Telegraph, do so.  It helps to explain aspects of our social nature.  Here is a passage I found particularly pertinent.

Prof Tantum believes that the communication between brains may happen as an ‘inadvertent leak’ and it may be linked to smell. Areas of the brain which have the most activity of neurons are located in the prefrontal cortex, and are linked with smelling. They also are situated where they follow the gaze.

Our social nature may be linked to smell?  I am willing to go out on a limb with a detail of my own theory.  I think the word ‘may’ is not necessary.  But in order to explain this, I will have to first explain how similar we are to social insects.  In my younger days, before i lost my strength, I was a beekeeper (among other things).  I had the chance to study bees, and later ants, up close and personal.  Those experiences have remained with me.  I look at human behavior through a lens formed during those years.


I have not abandoned my NaNoWriMo project.  I have only set it aside for the time being.    When i finish the project i started 36 years ago — only days from doing so — I will have more time for that, and this blog, and maybe talking about some things that Professor Digby Tantum is introducing to the world.  His ideas allow me to begin discussing my own.  Many of which bleed over into spirituality and its various forms of religious manifestations throughout history.

Have a wonderful day.



NaNoWriMo Update #6


I was upset when I tried to update my word count shortly after midnight, today. shut that feature down.  Had I been allowed, I would entered 11,968.

This morning, NaNoWriMo sent me a consolation letter informing me that I did not win.  (?!!)  They define ‘winning’ as writing 50K words.  So, I guess they have a point.  I certainly did not win.  But, at the same time, I didn’t lose.

Nobody said I was done, either.  I will tell the world when this story is finished.  I will define whether I win or lose.

NaNoWriMo Update #5

Good afternoon everyone.  I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a good day of Giving Thanks.  Thanks to the NaNoWriMo community doing this every year.

Confession:  I did not write yesterday for my book.  Only for my journal.  So, I didn’t update my word count yesterday, marking the only day I have missed since beginning this project on November 6th.

Confession number two:  Until I update my word count later tonight, I only have 9033 words.

Confession number three:  I am undaunted.  At current rates, this should only take four more months to complete!

NaNoWriMo Update #4

Everyone can laugh at me.  There are people with 20k words, 30k words, or even 40k words by now.  And then there is me.  I passed the 8K mark today!  While the pace has been slow, some amazing things have happened.  My muse is working overtime for me.  As I have worked up this story, several times a good night’s sleep results in waking with a completely re-arranged and deepened understanding.  Several days this past week were spent describing the story in broad strokes, or doing character sketches.  (Character sketches do not show up in my word count.)  I had my main character doing all of these amazing things.  And then I would sleep on it.  The next morning, these amazing things were in the hands of other characters.  Stories are developing within the story.

All week long I found myself pushing late in the evening to make a difference that day’s word count.  Two nights ago I asked myself why I was doing this so late in the day.  After all, every day I begin writing early.  But writing in my journal, and writing this story, are two different forms of doing.  Writing in my journal is second nature to me.  I look forward to it each day.  I haven’t missed a day of journaling in about four years.  Writing creatively is a different matter.  There is a voice for this book.  Some days, writing with that voice is next to impossible.  On those days, it is just so easy to waste time in my journal, fooling myself into believing that journaling is good enough.

Two nights ago I made a renewed commitment to write early.  My new motto is: Create Early, Create Often.  I don’t write fast.  But I am making progress.  No more broad strokes, though.  The focus now is on creative writing.  (Until the next day that the wheels of my mind inevitably gum up on me.)  I begin each day with a few paragraphs in my journal.  Just enough to verify that I am capable of documenting my thoughts.  And then I begin by reading my opening.  Reacting to my own writing.  Fixing what I don’t like.  Changing wording.  Providing more context.  Then I get to the end of what I think of as ‘the book.’  Everything after that is just broad brush strokes.   And then I work on the next paragraph of the story.  Tomorrow I will edit today.

NaNoWriMo meets Shut Up & Write!

On Monday evenings I like to go to Durham for Shut Up & Write!  I began going around February or March of this year.  It’s a way to get together and hang out with other writers for the purpose of writing.  We meet at 6 pm.  There is usually fifteen minutes for people to socialize.  Then there are quick group-wide introductions where we share our names and what we are working on.  A timer is set for one hour.  And then we work.

After the first hour, there is a break.  And then we do a second hour. During the sessions, no one talks.  Everyone writes.  There is something about sitting down with other writers and committing to an hour of work, together.  Maybe peer pressure plays a part.  But I find that during those two hours each week I can often get a surprising amount accomplished.

Last week I began narrating the NaNoWriMo novel in a certain voice.  I was able to maintain that voice for several days.  But by late last week I had to switch out of that voice, and start describing the book to myself.  I am not a pure pants-ter.  As ideas for structure come to me, I build that structure out.  I write with Scrivener, so building structure into the story is easy.  For me, this is necessary.  I can’t just write, page after page, from beginning to end.  I have to sketch out key scenes that define the story first.

Last night, I spent two solid hours sketching the full story.  Trying to identify all of the characters I will need to get to the end of the book.   Then I began trying to imagine their little world.  Their concerns.  Their issues.  Their hangups.  It was a very productive session.  But there is so much more still to do.

NaNoWriMo puts a focus on word counts.  But when describing a story to myself, I try to only make brief statements identifying the core developments of the story within that scene.  I try not to be wordy when describing the book to myself.  I don’t want to inflate my sense of accomplishment.

That said, last night I set a goal of reaching 5K total words.  I couldn’t make that happen during the Shut Up & Write session.  I got close.  I left for home needing 255 more words.  Once home again, I was able finally able to slip back into voice and begin write.  I called it a day when I got to 5010 words.

NaNoWriMo Update #2

Last night the word count reached 3196.  I wrote another scene.  Then I began sketching scenes and characters.  Today’s work will be similar.  The hero of my story is a guy in his late twenties.  He needs a love interest and an ally.  So I am putting a lot of thought into her, and the dynamics of their relationship.

This week, starting today, I need to step things up.  Yesterday I proudly declared myself a tortoise pen.  This coming week i have a relatively open calendar.  But a week from today my brother and his family are coming to North Carolina for Thanksgiving.  I have to get ahead of the curve this week.  During Thanksgiving week, daily high-volume-output will not be sustainable.


NaNoWriMo Update #1

Between yesterday and today my total word count is up to 2370.  I spent a lot of time tilling the same ground, not contributing much to my overall word total, but improving the story told.  Better to feel good about 2370 words and a quality opening, than 5000 words that will need to be cut by half.  I don’t see any way around this.  I am a plodder.  Call me tortoise pen.  I am proud.