Archive for mars, 2011

Et j’enchaîne…

Meditation changes brain structure in 8 weeks.

Perso je trouve ça fascinant et inspirant.

Ce sont mes notes prisent en direct live, dont excusez toutes les fautes de frappes etc…

Virtually any sort of talent or skill can be created through training.

Rationality and emotional resilience works the same way. Whatever you are doing anytime you are physically modifying your brain to become better at it.

Since this is such a foundational mechanism of the brain, being self-aware can greatly enrich our life experience.

PART 1: social neuroscience
Some neurons and neurotransmitters trigger a defensive state when we feel our thoughts must be protected from the influence of others.

If we are then confronted in difference in opinions, the chemicals released are the same as those that ensure our survival in dangerous situations.

The more primitive part of the brain interferes with rational system = narrowmindnesses….
No matter how valuable an idea is the brain has trouble processing it in such a state. On a neural level we react as being threatened.

But when we express ourselves and our views are appreciated, these defense chemicals decrease and dopaine activate award neurons and increasing our self esteem. Our beliefs have a profound impact on body chemistry (see placebo effectivness).

Self esteem is linked to the neuro transmiter serotonin. When the lack of it takes on severe proportions it often leads to depresssion, self destruction behaviour or suicide. Social validation increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and allows us to let go of emotional fixations nad become self aware more easily.

PART 2: mirror neurons and conscionsness
The normative social influence: the need to fit in. Our compass is forged by validation of society / by society’s norm.

When we experience an emotion or perform an action, specific neurons fire. But when we observe someone else performing this action or when we imagine it, many of the same neurons will fire again, as if we were performing the action ourselves.

These empathy neurons connect us to other people… This system allows us to self reflect.

But self observing profondly changes the way our brain works and gives us an incredible amount of control over our feeling. Everytime we do this our rationality and emotional resilience are strenghtened.

When we are not self aware, most of our thoughts and action are impulsives and the idea we are randomly reacting and not making conscious choices is instinctively frustrating.

The brain resolves this by creating explanations for our behaviour and physically rewriting it into our memories through memory reconsolidation making us believe that we were in control of our actions.
This is also called backward rationalization and it leave most of our negative emotions unresolved and ready to be triggered at any time.
They become a constant fuel to our confusion as our brain will keep trying to justify why we behaved irrationaly.

Part 3: god is in the neurons
Cognitive dissonance: the frustration of holding two conflicting ideas.
Will is merely the drive to reduce dissonance in each of our active neural circuits.

The psycholgical:
– we are different persons every single seconds
– we are equally the result of cerebral hemispheres interacting as we are the senses connecting the neurons to other neurons in our environment
– nothing is external,

The brain’s neural activity reasonates most coherently when there is no dissonance between these advanced new cerebral regions and the older more primitive ones.

What we traditionnaly call « selfish tendencies » is only a narrow interpretation of what self serving behavior entails. Wherein humain characteristics are perceived through the flawed paradigm of identity… instead of through a scientific view of what we are: a momentary expression of an ever changing unity with no center.

The psychological consequences of this as an objectif belief system that allows self awareness without attachment to the imagined self, causing dramatic increases of mental clarity, social conscience, self regulation and whats often described as « being in the moment ».

Our traditional tendency is to define ourselves as imaginary individualistic constants which neurally wires and designs the brain towards dysfunctional cognitive processes, such as compulsive labeling and the psychological need to impose expectations.

By psychologically labeling the self as internal and the environnment as external; we constrain our own neurochemical processes and experience a deluded desconnection.

We may have many different views and disagree with one another in practical terms, but interactions that nevertheless accept us for who we are, without judgment, are neuro psychological catalyst that wire the human brain to acknowledge others and accept rationally verified belief systems without dissonance.

Stimulating this type of neural activity and interaction alleviates the need for distraction or entretainment and creates cycles of contructive behaviour in our environment.

Je prendrai éventuellement des notes sur la deuxième partie de la vidéo, mais elle m’a l’air beaucoup plus « pure » scientifiquement, et moins appliqué. Bref, je le posterai si j’y vois un intérêt.


Titre d’un article du aujourd’hui: Violences à l’école : « Le manque de formation des enseignants est criant ».

Je propose: boxe anglaise, muay thai et ju-jitsu brésilien.
Votez pour moi.

Ah ouais, le titre c’est du lourd on est bien d’accord. Mais là je trip parce que je pense vraiment avoir eu un impact important sur un gars. J’vous explique…

Je surfais sur des forums et je suis tombé sur un long post d’un mec qui expliquait qu’il était à fond dans les arts martiaux, mais que malgré le fait qu’il travaillait dur et qu’il se considérait comme techniquement bon, il avait une grande peur des blessures, ce qui le démotivait énormément. Il n’allait donc pas régulièrement à la salle, et ces périodes d’inactivité l’entraînaient dans une spirale de dépression (ouais, en effet c’est du lourd :)).

En matant son profil, je vois un jeune (j’ai du mal à évaluer son âge à ce moment là) en tenue et pose boxeur. Direct je me dis, ouhlala il est à fond lui.

Donc je prépare une super longue réponse, que j’essaye de poster mais la page crash (heureusement je l’avais sauvegardée comme je fais toujours quand je m’investis dans un post). La raison pour laquelle la page a crashé était simple: le mec avait effacé son post d’origine entre le moment où il l’avait posté et le moment où j’ai répondu :p

Donc je le contact sur le système de chat du site, et il me demande de lui envoyer la réponse par e-mail. La voici ci-dessous. Je vous cacherai pas que j’ai hesité à la poster ici, vu que y’a quelques petites choses de persos et qu’on reste un blog à fréquentation internationale et massive :p, mais bon…

Yo Adam,

I was kind of in the same boat as you a few years back, as I had never ever done any competitive sports other than Martial Arts (karate as a kid, kickboxing/savate as a teen and adult).

To be honest, reading your post was kind of overwhelming, as I’ve gone through a pretty similar process and rough times when I stopped MAs altogether. I stopped for several reasons, one of them was simply time and worklife issues, another was that after moving I did not find a club that fit my standards etc… And finally at 28 I started to think about my long term physical integrity and started seriously focusing on potential injury and damage to the body (a bad fight I had that left my two legs in accute pain for 2 weeks was my final wake up call).

So anyway my brutal quitting of MAs and sports in general was seriously hardcore, for what I believe were the following reasons:

– speaking from a purely physical/chemical standpoint, my body spent probably 8 years training at least 3 times a week, up to 6 when preparing for fights… Imagine the physical shock it experienced when I stopped straight up. I’m not psychologist or neuroscientist or whatever, but two experts have told me that the chemistry change that this would produce in my brain would basically be hardcore and could lead to depression or associated crap.

Solution? Keep up a physical activity, even light. Have a physical activity that is NOT competitive. If you go run on your own, don’t compete with yourself and try to beat your own records. Just run for the fun of feeling great during and after. No stress, just fun.

– Martial arts / boxing was a huge part of my self, of me, of who I was. I defined myself through this, I was a boxer, and I was proud. But come to think of it, and after having taken a few years off, I realise this was kind of fucked up. It defined me so much that when I quit, it lowered my self esteem, and I had to fill the void (which I filled with another self destructive activity, but that’s a whole other story).

I was far from a professional, it wasn’t my livelyhood, and the importance combat sports took in my perception of myself was just totally disconnected with reality. Furthermore it was narrowing my horizons. There is other stuff in life than MAs.

Anyway, solutions not to fall in this trap? Don’t really know… Maybe realize that you are not your hobbies, your sports… That it’s nice to be an individual with multiple facets?

– and finally another point I want to make, even if it’s kind of off topic, and that will go against everything we hear in the MA community. I realised after many years that MAs were NOT a good influence on me, even though I was lucky enough to train with a great community of good guys and girls. But at the end of the day, I was obsessed with physical violence, and would always be asking me stupid questions like « could I take this guy in a fight? », « what would I do if this violent situation arose? » etc etc… Seriously, F that. Really. Fuck it. We live in a super docile and civilized world, why focus so much on physical violence? There’s a 0.01% chance you’ll get into a life and death fight situation.

I understand the challenge part and proving something to yourself as a kid, a teen and a young adult. However I truly believe it brings negative « vibes » after a while and messes you up… There are far more positive ways to challenge yourself. In my case it’s now trekking and overall health and fitness…

Anyway, please forget my rambling but your post got me fired up 😀

And lastly, about the fear of physical harm… If you’re still really into fighting, if you still really want to continue a bit with combat sports… man the only thing I can tell you is train hard, as hard as you can (you need a good coach to push you though, ‘coz I believe that preparing for a fight alone is suboptimal), and get into the ring.

It sounds like at this point you are basically scared… which I’d say is totally natural. It’s fear… pure and simple. Acknowledge it. Acknowledge that because you are scared (of injury and/or other things), you are not fighting at your best. That’s a reality and there’s nothing you can do about it. But lets stay rational: on a short term basis, martial arts have a very LOW risk of serious injury (lower than soccer and football btw). So if it’s an experience you want to live, overcome your fear by gaining experience. Experience, experience, experience. And by the way, if you never fought outside of hard sparring, keep in mind you will LOOSE your first fights. Keep this in mind. The point at this stage is not winning, the point is getting familiarised with the ring, the adrenaline rushes, the stress, the pressure etc… Once you are familiriazed with this environment, only then will you be able to use your technical ability and start getting into the real technical/strategic aspect of ring fighting.

K enough rambling, peace out, hope this helped one way or another.

Son retour par chat ne se fait pas attendre: il me dit que c’est incroyable à quel point j’ai complètement compris ce qu’il vivait, surtout la partie sur l’image du boxeur qui domine sa personalité et qui il est. Il me dit texto « what I’ve learnt off you tonight, is probably going to change a hell of a lot of things in life ».

Il me dit qu’il a 18 ans et qu’il s’apprête pour la première fois à quitter son foyer pour partir à la FAC. Je lui dit, ben écoute mec t’as 18 ans et tu veux boxer, vas-y blam sans hésiter. Mais compartementalise. Soit un boxeur à la salle, soit un étudiant sur le campus qui bosse dur (ouais bon là c’est ultra paternaliste :)), qui fait la grosse teuf et qui rencontre la blind de monde d’horizons différents.

Puis il continue à m’encenser.

Je trip là. J’ai vraiment l’impression d’avoir aidé quelqu’un, et que ces idées simples (qui sont nées de quelques années d’expériences) pourront avoir un impact positif sur lui.


Athene’s Theory of Everything

Ok so after a 3 months hiatus, I fired up SC2 again. And got owned. Owned by plats. Didn’t have the macro anymore, didn’t have the builds, didn’t know the current metagame. Owned by golds. Didn’t have the macro, didn’t have the builds, didnt know how to scout, forgot that fast expanding is suicide vs one basing players. Owned by silvers. Had the macro. Didnt know how to scout, didnt know how to counter cheese.
So after one week, I went from a top 10 plat player to a top 5 gold player. Ouch.

As I was sick of loosing, I decided to focus on basics once again and build my game back up from scrath. Here’s the steps I’m focusing on. I’m not focusing on the next step until I have completly mastered the current one.

This guide is terran based. Easily adaptable to Protoss. Zerg dynamics are different though.

Always be building SCVs.
Never be supply blocked.
Spend your money.
Eye mouvement: from top right (food/money) to lower left (minimap).
This and expanding whenever you can will get you to top platinum.


Food for thoughts: if you are getting supply blocked, keep in mind the following rule of thumb (to be adapted ofc according to the build): on 1 base, always be building 1 supply depot, one after the other; on 2 bases, always be producing 2 supply depots at a time.

2/ BUILDS – master 1 per race matchup.
Pretty simple. Stick with only one build per race. Practice it until you have it down perfectly (in build order tester, vs the AI, vs friends and in ladder if you feel up to it).
Sources: Teamliquid’s wiki. I do however have an issue with these buidls as some feel outdated. Good basis though I guess.

Early, mid and late game.
Example vs zerg: early hellion harass into blue flame drop into banshees into battle cruisers.
Example vs Protoss: 1 rax maurauder fast expand into full MMM transitioning to MMM/vikings in late game.

4/ FORGET BUILDS, develop associative response thinking.
Associative Response Thinking (ART) is way more flexibile than build based thinking. When you are executing a build to the letter, this means you are following instructions. Any harassement or any unforseen event will throw you off your build and your game.
Therefore think in terms of ART. When you do something, by association you already know the next step.

– on two bases I want 4rax/3tech labs/1reac, 1 fact, 1 starport. When the medivacs pop out it’s time to…
– on three base when I have siege and 2 engineer bays, its time to…
So the ART process is: 1or2 rax expand, once I have medivacs take 3rd, once I have upgrades and siege, take 4th…

This considerably reduces the « information overload » feel I sometimes have playing this game.

4/ MACRO: tapping.
Tapping is key for good macro. In the middle of a micro management battle (say banshee harass), I can build SCVs, marines and marauders, siege tanks and banshees without going back to my base. How? Easy:
What does this mean? It means I have my command centre linked to 3, my Raxs to 4, my factory to 5 and my starport to 6. So my fingers just tap each of these numbers and launch production from anywhere on the battlefield.
Pros also use this to follow the advancement of their unit productions.

5/ MICRO: it’s not if you win a fight, it’s by how much.
Never ever ever suicide a unit. Ever. Ever. EVAH. There’s nothing wrong with retreating.

6/ MECHANICS: understand the basics
Watch this: Put in practice. Step 7 and 8 flow from this.

7/ MICRO: practice clicking precision
Don’t box when possible, click on the units you want to move. This is a state of mind that will greatly improve your micro. Learn to slice.

8/ MICRO: control groups and slicing
Using control groups is key to being a top end player.
I try to use 1 and 2 in my case. I’ll add a 3rd one day if it feels right.
Also, learn to slice.

9/ STRATEGY: combining pushes and harassement.
Pushes coordinated with drops. Deadly.

10/ STRATEGY: scouting, knowing how to identify builds
Scout buildings and study timings (number of workers, number on gas, timing of buildings…). Adapt.

11/ knowing villain’s build timings and timing push windows.
Comes with experience, watching replays of good players and research.

Your own replays are very useful when you want to get from plat to diamond. Before then, your time is better spent playing more games, and occasionaly watching pro replays.

Stay zen, stay cool. Being emotional means spending too much energy and most of the time loosing.

Good ressources:
Day[9] daily.
Liquid forums.

Before Diamond, don’t spend your time « theorycrafting », don’t spend too much times on forums, on debating, on thinking, on trying out fancy builds. No. Just play.

Mario the movie, trailer

More Mario Videos

« Le capitalisme a tué la vie sur Mars » – Hugo Chavez


On va peut-être perdre Kadhafi mais heureusement Chavez est toujours là pour assurer le spectacle. Sans oublier bien sûr Robert Mugabe ainsi que Kim Jong-Il, également adeptes du Surréalisme d’État.


Korean PvZ (team NEX) on modified Lost Temple.

Très jolie game. De vrais pros, qui n’abandonnent jamais.

Sucker Punch

« If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. »

Gallimard fête un siècle d’existence

On a fortement tendance à blâmer la France et ses citoyens pour un peu tout et n’importe quoi, à se dire que la France, l’Europe n’ont pas d’avenir et ne proposent finalement rien de bien excitant pour l’avenir. Je noircis un peu le tableau, mais finalement pas tant que ça.

Histoire de mettre en exergue ce que l’hexagone a de bon à proposer, je vous propose de lire ce court article paru sur le blog La Républiques des Livres, à propos du siècle d’existence de la maison d’édition Gallimard. Comme le mentionne l’écrivain Milan Kundera (je paraphrase l’article en question), « cette aventure éditoriale qu’elle est unique non seulement en Europe mais au monde ».