Phil Scadden

Senior Scientist at GNS Science (New Zealand equivalent of USGS more or less). Programmer, modeller, dabbling in physics, geology, geophysics. Back-roomer and like it that way.


Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


I cant see that working for a whole lot of subjects. At its' heart is idea of degree as accreditation of competence. However, "competence" extends far beyond passing an examination for a lot of subjects. eg most science subjects that I can think of. Actual work is likely involve field and/or lab work and when I hire, I am looking for grads that I have confidence in those competencies. I don't see how you acquire that from exams-only approach.

I would also say from my own experience that lectures were really only a big thing at first year (NZ uni) or in maths, and that I learned a hell of lot from interactions with my fellow students as we battled with material especially in the senior years (where we had a common room together). I did notice the arts students lived much more insular lives (my own children in arts did remarkably little interaction with classmates which surprised me).

The real nub, since you are looking at degree as a certification, is that faced with candidates from exam only uni, versus a traditional uni with compulsory lab and field work, which would I employ? I'd take the traditional. Could be different for humanities. 

Mask-wearing falls foul of political values which are a major obstacle to rational thought. If just wearing a mask was ironclad protection, then there wouldn't be an issue. Those that wanted protection would wear them and those that preferred unmask could take the risk. The moment that there was a suggestion that an  unknowingly infectious person could reduce the risk of infecting others if they masked then a can of worms opened up. The implication is that everyone's safety is improved if everyone wears mask. Whoops! that would be collective action versus personal responsibility. Any suggestion of collective action sounds too much like communism for some. And for others, well if collective action is necessary for safety (eg like road rules), then obviously the state should enforce it. Battle lines are drawn and rational thought flies off. Not to mention it being quite difficult to exactly quantify the effectiveness of masks (especially on an infectious person) given variations in type and use practice (ie are they worn in way that is effective - not to mention things like mask fitting and facial hair).

Given the no. of upscores on this, then maybe I should expand. Firstly, if don't suffer from insomnia then chances are that you get into bed, close your eyes and go to sleep. You are not counting sheep or some more sophisticated exercise in an effort to get to sleep. If you do suffer from insomnia, then this is this the destination you are aiming for. The sleep hygiene stuff is important because you want to train your brain that this place, this time is for sleep. But shutting off bad brain behavior is more complicated. Understanding the feedback loops is key to breaking them which is why I highly recommend the short course. But other key things for me were:
1/ the golden rule: Never toss and turn. Get out of bed and read for 15-20 minutes instead. This is surprisingly hard to adhere to but seriously, do it.
2/ mindfulness has thing of focusing on something (eg breathing) and when mind wonders off, then bringing it gently back. Your mind wanders off when going to sleep and if it wanders into a worry area, then it will stop you getting to sleep. Learning the trick of gently refocusing really helps that. It never worked for me to try mindfulness exercises in bed (other people have different experiences), but learning the trick by practice at other times helps. 
3/ Body scan is an exercise you find in CBT-I and some mindfulness/meditation disciplines. This seemed totally counter-intuitive to me. Eg when I was struggling with sleep, I noticed body discomfort and if you start worrying about how your arms are arranged, then you are lost. However, what it actually teaches you (eventually), is how to ignore those body signals. Again, never worked for me to actually do this in bed. 

Not instant fixes, but things that eventually work with practice and repetition.

Excellent! Not feeling tired makes it a lot easier to enjoy life.

Some self-administered CBT. The VA CBT-I app helped, as did understanding the issue via the free course at Complimentary was doing some mindfulness stuff. There was key things that worked together and never looked back since. 

One of those behaviour spirals. Noticing that if brought back to alert before fully asleep (eg by hynpojerk or disturbance) then hard to get to sleep. Then starting to panic if it happens, then worrying about the insomnia etc etc, down you go.

A number of smart watches detect snoring, sleep apnea/oxygen level type issues. Sleep lab sounds expensive. Good luck with regular hours. My first job had 5:30am starts which quickly ended my wild night-owl antics of varsity. Have had regular sleep hours ever since (and became a morning-person to my surprise).  Insomnia issue in later life had another cause.

Hmm, having spent last year helping out with 3 people receiving cancer treatment and becoming badly immune-compromised by that, I have some sympathy. It is a nightmare for these people and their carers. Not just covid but flu as well. During first lockdown here in NZ, it was a lot easier. People masked, distanced and isolated. But post-vaccination, everyone just wants to get on with lives and everyday tasks become risky for the immune-compromised and close contacts. I say good for your wookie for asking for distancing. It is hard to do when not the norm. And good for you for giving that person space without a fuss. You dont know what their story may be.

Couldnt agree more. I have no patience for audio and video. Too slow. Might watch instructional on video if I cant find decent manual. Not much into conferences either - just let me see the papers.

Well I battled with insomnia and the first bit of dealing with that is good sleep hygiene. Not exactly secret, but this would be rules like:
1/ regular bedtime.
2/ Use bed only for sleep and sex
3/ Relax before bed
4/ Room dark, quiet and comfortable temperature.

What are you issues with sleep quality exactly? Wakeful spells? getting to sleep?

Load More