Flow and productivity

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionising the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

Group flow

I am a huge fan of Steve Kotler. His book “The rise of superman” is a must read for anyone interested in flow, productivity, performance and human resource management. It is the first time I heard about the pursuit of companies to achieve group flow.

Boosting

Conscious processing can only handle about 12033 bits of information at once. This isn’t much. Listening to another person speak can take almost 60 bits. However, unconscious processing (= flow) can handle billions of bits at once. The result is 200 percent boost in creativity, a 490 percent boost in learning, a 500 percent boost in productivity.

Making money

Consciousness goes straight to the bottom line. As a result, 44 percent of all U.S. companies are offering mindfulness training to employees. Saving $2,000 per employee in health-care costs, and gaining $3,000 per employee in productivity. Yoga is now more popular than football. There is an exponential growth in the neurotech industry.

Hacking consciousness

Yep, looking to create group genius or a hive mind. Where groups of people synchronise their heart rates and brain waves and drive them into group flow. Merging selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and richness.  Looking for the elusive “hive-switch”.

Transient hypofrontality

The deep now (without time in the picture, we have all the time in the world), where our inner voice is quiet and where our amygdala shuts down (no fight or flight). Processing rich, deep data. An integrated, whole-system experience. The body, the gut, the senses, the immune system, the lymphatic system and the brain in complete sync.

Flow dojos

It is amazing what Navy SEALS, Google, Red Bull are doing. Setting up flow-dojos. Applying techniques from psychology, neurobiology, pharmacology and technology. Combining IOT, AI, VR, sports technology and LSD.

The usual:

  • You are what you think
  • Your body and mind are one
  • How we move our body affect our brain and mind

The interesting:

  • Transformational leaders not only regulated their own nervous systems better than most; they also regulated other people’s.
  • The stomach and intestines complete this network, containing more than 500 million nerve cells, 100 million neutrons, 30 different neurotransmitters, and 90 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin.
  • The neurobiology of emotion shows that our nonverbal cues—our tics, twitches, and tone—reveal much more about our inner experience than words typically do. Our biometrics gives us more accurate insight than our own self-reporting.

The scary:

  • Remember the movie “The Mansourian Candidate”? It has been done with an audience by researchers using bio- feedback.
  • A collection of the world’s biggest brands—Apple, Coca-Cola, American Express, Nike, Samsung, Sony, and Ford put up $7 million to fund a study into the neuroscience of buying behaviour.
  • Soon VR systems are going to track everything from eye gaze to vocal tone to neurochemistry, hormones, brainwaves, and cardiac coherence. If a smartphone is a surveillance device we voluntarily carry in our pocket, then VR will be a total surveillance state we voluntarily enter.

Mental arms race

As I said in my review of “The science of selling”, I am expecting and predicting an arms race between mindfulness and manipulation.

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