Coming Soon…

I just wanted to announce I will begin posting my entire novel chapter by chapter to my blog very soon free of charge. Now is not a time to charge for art or to sit on it. I wanted to do a line and proof edit and had a big launch day planned, but none of that seems important right now. Here is my novel’s epilogue. Although it won’t spoil the ending, I figured the ending was more important than the beginning right now. Anyway, back to work. Look out for chapter 1 very soon.

L’Epilogue est Sans Issue

Novelty is a weakened form of fear and that’s why so many of us inadvertently slip into the safety of habit. But when habit guides your life, your brain lacks significant mile markers to lynchpin your memory to and years blur into oblivion. Nevertheless, in the face of fear—even a mild form like novelty, your memory is jolted into logging every moment meticulously for self-preservation. It’s why time seems to slow during a bungee jump, a car accident, or even in a moment of awe, but in fact life is not slowing down, your brain is just making more note of it. So this was how we “hacked time”; we microdosed on fear in order to keep our brains engaged in being alive and to keep the years from slipping down the shoots of habit.

But in the process, we also discovered novelty does much more. It also helps build an immunity to unjustified fear, the fear that plays our own primitive instincts against us under the banner of self-preservation, the one that tells us to choose familiarity in education, politics, employment, social circles, beliefs, and morals, all while looting life and truth right out from beneath us. To me, it’s life’s greatest irony. Although we’ve been wired with fear for survival, unfettered, it’s also our greatest threat. But perhaps novelty is humanity’s vaccine for not letting its insanity cannibalize itself. From the looks of things lately, it sure looks like we need a vaccine. However, looks can be deceiving without scale, and the scale of history gives me hope.

Many people don’t realize how far we’ve come since the time we were animals, but our reptilian brains still manage to lead us astray colossally at times. But like the drunkards around me, humanity has always taken a Hegelianistic approach to progress, teetering from thesis to antithesis to eventually synthesis once the better parts of our brain beat back those reptilian ones—let’s just hope they don’t decide on the nuclear option first.

Speaking of that, the newscasts have been apocalyptic lately. It’s been raining in Southern California for three days now and every television screen at the bar is filled with images of the deluge now that the sports games are over. Floods, mudslides, power outages, idiots in cars being swept away at water crossings; I pretend to watch, but my mind is elsewhere.

I’ve got a new music project, Magpie Pi!

Hey! I’ve got a new solo project/album out today! Magpie Pi- Love Songs in A Minor Crash. I know a lot of you are aware of my upcoming novel, however I’ve also been secretly writing a mock opera/concept album loosely based on it, but with some significant differences. I’m hoping to put together a band later this year and record this album properly, but for now here’s the garage band version I recorded over the last five days in my bedroom.

3 Unusual but Scientific Ways to Find Your Inner Entrepreneur


By Bradley Stockwell

There’s a sea of small business tips at your disposal and while many have merit, behind almost every successful business you’ll find a few key things that go against the grain. Finding these hidden gems to success is not easy and takes a lot on your part. The purpose of this article is not to tell you what these gems are (because that is truly unique to you), but to shed light on some scientific shortcuts to possibly finding them.

1. Solve Creative Problems When You Are Tired

As backwards as this sounds, it makes sense when you look at it scientifically. The brain on average is made up of 86 billon neurons, but relies heavily on neural pathways to make connections to ideas and concepts. Think of the brain as a network of roads and while there are many possible routes to a destination, often our brain will use the routes it’s most familiar with. This may be the reason behind the often cited and untrue statistic that we only use 10 percent of our brains.

Creative problem solving requires outside the box thinking, or in other words using new neural pathways. The reason why this is difficult is you are literally breaking the pathways in which your brain is used to relying on. However if you’re tired, the brain has difficulty staying on these pathways and often gives into distractions. While a tired brain is not ideal for working efficiently, it is ideal for exploring and finding these new pathways. This is why great ideas sometimes come in the middle of the night, or just upon waking.

This excerpt from an article in Scientific American explains why distractions can actually be beneficial for creative thinking:

Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight.

2. Don’t Multitask

Multitasking is inefficient because it is impossible. What we call multitasking is actually called context-switching, meaning our attention is just quickly switching back and forth between tasks rather than doing them simultaneously. Research from the book Brain Rules has shown error rates go up 50% and it actually takes you twice as long to finish tasks.

Why you ask? Because you’re splitting your brain’s power and giving less attention to each task. Also the switching itself uses vital brain power making it more susceptible to mistakes, mistakes you’ll later have to correct.

The same concept for paying off credit card debt can apply to accomplishing tasks. Think of tasks as debt, mistakes as interest and brain power as money. The fastest way to pay off debt (complete tasks) without wasting your money (brain power) on interest (mistakes) is prioritizing the debt (the tasks) and tackling each one individually. You’ll pay off debt quicker (finish tasks quicker) and save money (brain power) on interest (mistakes).

3. Make Mistakes

Mistakes are your best ally in the pursuit of success. This is because your brain stores information more accurately when it’s related to a mistake. This can be traced to your brain’s most basic survival instinct. High-stress situations, such as being humiliated for giving a wrong answer, releases adrenaline that makes your brain take point by remembering every detail to protect itself from happening again.

Mistakes can also make you more appealing to others due to a social psychological term called the Pratfall Effect, which basically means those who never commit mistakes are less likable than those who commit the occasional blunder. Mistakes give you humility while perceived perfection creates distance.

If you’re afraid of making mistakes or taking risks, you’re limiting your full potential. A 2004 University of Michigan study published in the journal Organizational Science showed employees who received incentives for attempting something new, regardless of success, actually produced more successful ideas than those who were only offered incentives for successful ideas. Once the fear of making a mistake is taken away, it no longer has the power of holding you back.