02 October 20 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from September.

As we enter a change of season, it’s a good opportunity to take stock, pause, and reflect. In a world filled with endless notifications and addictive distractions, it’s not easy to take back the sovereignty of our minds. But the truth is, when we find the time to plug back into the essence of who we are, the rewards undoubtedly follow. The result? We reclaim our creative energy. 

This month our Super8 is designed to do just that. To use the technology that you are currently sitting in front of to refocus on “nutritious information”. The kind that will feed your mind and broaden your outlook. We hope you enjoy the space.

1. A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?

The day has come that every writer fears. Today, AI is becoming more competitive in the marketplace of original writing. The Guardian asked GPT-3, OpenAI’s powerful new language generator, to write an essay from scratch. To convince us that robots come in peace. The results are definitely convincing. And while our ability to stay sharp and demonstrate thought leadership will ensure we still have a career tomorrow, this article demonstrates that the world of AI is biting at our heels. 

2. How to feel your best & make the most out of working from home.

During this global pandemic, many of us struggle to work from home. We are challenged to stay productive and create value under difficult circumstances. With this in mind, Renee Fleck suggests ways we can create a more inspiring home working environment, to promote more healthy habits for the body and mind. From enhancing your desk space to creating rituals to encourage self-care throughout the day, this article is designed to improve your current situation – and your mental health.

3. The Perfect Conditions for a Great Idea.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Laura Vanderkam.
  • Contributed by: Tim Copland

“Think back to when your most brilliant insight struck you — chances are you weren’t focused on anything.” Ideas need space to come to us. The key is to achieve a state of alert idleness, not sleepy boredom. As this article explains, certain activities occupy us in the right way, removing distractions while leaving our minds free to wander and generate valuable insights. 

4. 12 on-point illustrations that accurately depict WFH life.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Renee Fleck
  • Contributed by: Bridget Noonan

These beautiful illustrations shine a light on different facets of the working-from-home experience, in expressions that reveal the distinct character of each artist and hopefully, help us feel a little less alone.

 5. A 3-Minute Hack for Focus You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Tim Denning.
  • Contributed by: Claire Grainger

This article proposes a simple hack for maintaining focus: Binaural beats…preferably continuous, over the course of the day… and in noise-cancelling headphones!

The reason? It creates a sort of “sound bubble” to improve focus, using frequencies that have been shown to positively affect cognitive function – just make sure you choose the right frequency!

 6. The Mechanics and Psychology Behind the Social Dilemma.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Jeff Seibert
  • Contributed by: Stefano Perfili. 

You might have seen the must-watch documentary “The Social Dilemma” released on Netflix recently. It features several concerned experts sounding the alarm on the dangerous human impact of social networking, many of whom actually helped design these platforms. In this article, one expert explains how their AI algorithm constantly adjusts to optimise growth, engagement, and profit – and how this is harming humanity by promoting polarising content, misinformation, division, and ultimately violence. 

7. The Attention Diet.

Distractions are everywhere. Predatory apps vie for our attention, destroying our focus and costing us productivity. Continuing on from the theme of our previous article, in an age of endless notifications and addictive distractions, this article by life-advice writer Mark Manson proposes some strategies to refocus on “nutritious information and relationships”, unlearn the addictive behaviours those platforms have encouraged, and take back what they have sought to monopolise – our time and attention.

8. Why our screens leave us hungry for more nutritious forms of social interaction.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Professor m.c. schraefel.
  • Contributed by: Elliott Grigg.

This article, published by academic journalism network The Conversation, explores how our virtual ways of connecting fail to meet our physiological social needs. It mentions an interesting element of elite athletic performance known as “quiet eye”, the brief moment of pause before a tennis player serves or a footballer takes a penalty to focus on the goal. Good communicators, too, seem to take this pause, whether it’s in a presentation or a conversation – a moment lost in social media’s rush for an immediate anonymous response.