4 Kasım 2008 Salı


“Mistakes are beautiful.” Because they introduce a touch of reality to the perfect beauty. They make flawlessness breathe. I have written this article originally for my Turkish fellow citizens. I learned this adage from a conversation at BBC Prime. I believe mistakes are beautiful everywhere on the earth. But please excuse my verbosity for my heartfelt urge to speak out for the benefit of my country’s sensuous people. My word stands primarily for them.

“A player has to pass through some furniture on the stage and run to the front… Unfortunately, an other player hits a chair and the first player’s running way is closed. What would a master player do in this situation? What would you yourself do in this situation?

“According to the character of the play, a master player chooses to: 1- ‘Oh, God would this happen to me also?’, if the play is a serious one such as a tragedy. 2– ‘Haha, only this was missing on my way!’, if the play is a comedy. In the mean time, somebody would rempve the chair from his way.

An experienced performer or artist makes the best out of the unexpected and sometime unwelcome ingredients he meets during his creative process.

A master performance artist, a violonist, shows his skill when he makes a glitch. He uses this slip as a touch of naturalness or may be as a little spicing and converts it to a natural element of her performance.

Isn’t it the same in our daily lives? The more we accept as natural, the mishaps or mistakes we encounter and manage them to our purpose, don’t we get the less hurt and be successful?

Mistakes are beautiful. Because they introduce a touch of reality to the perfect beauty. They make flawlessness breathe.

If mistakes are beautiful, then are errors also beautiful?

Hmm, I am not sure. Because as a result of an error somebody gets hurt, or irrecoverable loses may occur sometimes. But this does not mean that, we should live without making any errors. Is it possible not to make any mistakes? If you have done a mistake you pay or make up for its consequences and you continue. Even if you are punished heavily, sometimes some errors may end up with good or beautiful consequences.

Adam and Eve’s story from the Hollybooks tell this gracefully. After Adam and Eve eat the apple, they
Pay the cost of this error by being thrown out of the paradise. Just think, when viewed from the point of its consequences, aren’t the Holly Books giving the message, that not only the mistakes but even the errors may end up happily at the end of the day?

One should not forget discrepancies. If somebody’s discrepancy or misjudgings have caused the failure of a task, this is the deficiency of that person. One other meaning of deficiency is: a part or element of a finished work which does not comply with generally accepted rules or is not percieved good according to the established appreciation habits.

The role of mistakes and discrepancies in creativity can hardly be ignored. Mozart and many other genius artists’ works are full of ‘discrepancies’ or mistakes that do not abide by the rules that are thought at schools. If a creator does not make mistakes, and apply only the rules written in the theory books, then he can not create original works. It is not the fact that you have made a mistake, but
the way you correct it. How you make that mistake meaningful in such a way that it does not hurt your personality… It is being able. Being able to make a mistake...

Forget about the fear of making a mistake or doing something that will not abide by the principles of your way of doing things. Instead welcome every error and mistake with joy. Wonder what is the thing that has caused you or opponent do this mistake. What can you do with this information? How can you update your point of view and how can you say and do more effective things? Wonder how can you make up for this error and more important make it meaningful?

I wonder, how can a mistake be made more beautiful?

Note: A company, any institution or society has to define what is discrepancy, what is mistake or error
without any hesitation in order to be successful.

19 Ağustos 2008 Salı



Thinking stability is a phenomenon that can be observed in brain’s cognitive processes. Stability is an issue in not only cognitive but also emotional processes. It is also possible to witness the word stability in relation with mental stability. On the other hand, stability is a recent issue in neural network models, which are supposedly the basis of brain’s working. Philosophically, Sartre has pondered about a ‘psychic balance’ which has homeostatic limits.

Imagine a friend who has just returned from a long distance vacation and joined your company of three at a caffee… She not only tells everthing she has seen but also changes the subject frequently and tells many unrelated things about her voyage. This is a socially common situation. If a firm context has not been established, the content of the talk can not have stability around a single subject.

You can observe the use of fluently changing subjects by some teachers. The teacher changes the subject so that, his pupil get the opportunity to look at the original subject matter from very different possibly almost unrelated viewpoints… At the end, the teacher succeeds not to tell the fact but make his students understand the truth themselves.

Teaching is a strongly destabilizing process. Learning process requires instability by definition. We should open ourselves to new ideas and accept to discuss the strength of our old ideas. This causes instability both cognitively and possibly emotionally in the case of young people.

Whether done for voluntary or involuntary reasons, changing of subject with a not well formed context, or continuous changing of content are strong signs of the loss of thinking stability.

Thinking depth is the depth in terms of abstraction levels from the subject matter. For example, if you talk about a specific person and then make comments on the nature of women on general and continue on to the character of the human-beings, you have increased the thinking depth three levels of abstraction. Increasing the thinking depth unnecessarily or doing so in every little subject you talk about indicates there is instability in your thinking.

An other case is, the speaker does not increase the depth but gives many examples and continues to give details making the listeners bored. Thinking more than necessary details continuously etc. indicates that there is a problem in your stopping process of your thinking. Thinking stability requires enough details and economic use of mental energy so that there is space for continued mental activity.

Thinking happens in a social environment. If the speed of your information flow to the listeners is much higher than they can understand, this indicates an instability in your communication ability or the structure of your thinking. The functionality of the elements of your thinking and its general structure establish its stability.
The quality of thinking is also important. If you are speaking about a subject but can not reach a conclusion this may also indicate an instability in your thinking. A stable thinking should run into its end. In some cases, such as scetching in art or in brain-storming instability is required by definition.

A special case of thinking instability is remembering things from the past too many. A healthy, stable way of thinking does not get obsessed with the past, of course unless you are a historian writing a history book. Thinking stability requires a healthy balance in the sense of time; past, now and future.

Thinking stability requires a balanced approach to the importance of things in life, family, profession, nation, beliefs, ideas, feelings, everything. Getting obsessed with one of these for long durations hurts the thinking stability of that person. On the other hand, obsession is a precious mental tool that helps us to overcome difficulties. Some professions such as engineering, art etc. requires frequent use of obsessions. It is no wonder, a rate of thinking instability of varying degrees from utilization to mental instability is not uncommon in these professions.

Other than cognition, many examples for perceptional, emotional and motor stability, can be given. For example, sometimes you may need to move and do something continuously or you may answer and react to people extremely quickly and later on find you have said something wrong etc. These examples may be stretched from temporary behavioral abnomolies to mental stability problems in terms of health seriousness.

Loss of thinking stability as a continuous situation may be an indication of various mental problems. On the other hand, a constant strong stability in thinking may also be indicative of other mental problems. A healthy level of dinamism may be necessary to cope with the difficulties of life. The relentless change in our lives requires a certain level of elasticity in our thinking.

Unfortunately, the loss of thinking stability is a daily situation for many professionals from various professions, such as large systems operators, pilots, engineers, artists, musicians, etc. Thinking instability may be caused by creativity, continuous learning, long duration high concentration, decision making under stress working environments. The thinking instability caused by today’s professions is also amplified by the obligation to learn and use 2-3 foreign languages at the same time, which is extremely destabilizing. Correct use of motivation, social environment, family may play the role of stabilizers on a daily basis for these professionals.

Thinking stability may be caused by increase in the thinking speed. SwitchCapacitor filters in electronics loss their stability when the sampling frequency or speed increases relative to the frequency they are desingned for. Similarly, our brain tends to function differently when it works faster. Changing subjects, thinking deeper are known phenomenons.

This is not enough to claim that every thinking instability is caused by some increase in the thinking speed. Neither can I claim that thinking speed increase is caused by the thinking instability… But it is common that problems in thinking stability are generally accompanied by thinking speed problems.
Thinking speed problems can also be related with the SPeaking speed. Similar to thinking stability, speaking speech problems can not be directly attributed to thinking speed problems. But in many cases, they look correlated. Moreover people speaking fast and thinking fast tend to change the subject too much or get too deep, namely they think instablely.
Thinking instability can most easily be detected from the thinking speed and actually the speaking speed. If your colleague is talking too fast continuously, regardless of the situation that may not be a good sign, although it looks like he is getting more clever or more effectively professional.

Trying to speak or think slowly to slow down your thinking may not help either. Thinking speed is adjusted automatically by your brain (probably subconscious), it is impossible to control it directly. There are some indirect methods to control it if things have not got out of control totally. In that worst case, keeping the thinking speed low may become more important than anything else.

I believe, the highness of thinking speed may not pose an issue as much as having all the tools and processes that enable it. These tools and processes remedy high thinking speed’s bad effects automatically, afterwards with adequate relaxation. If you lose these skills because of excessive high concentration, it may become inevitable to gain somewhat time by any possible means to recover them again. Preserving thinking stability is a precious mental asset.

As a last note, I would like to define thinking stability in terms of thinking speed. I believe thinking stability is the ability to automatically adjust the thinking speed. Thinking stability is maintaining a healthy thinking speed which may change according to temporal situations that returns back to pivotal normal level afterwards keeping an affordably low average value overall.

25 Temmuz 2008 Cuma


University entrance exams in Turkey or TOEFLE, GRE exams measure mathematics, social, science, Foreign language knowledge and specific skills. It is not enough to know by itself, the person who answers more and correct win, so the person who thinks fast wins.

Every person has moments, hours, days even months that he or she thinks faster than normal. In the months of spring and autumn, specially in September and October, as if God motivates us for the approaching difficulties of the winter, drives us to think faster on the average.

The fast thinking person evaluates events deeper with his/her increased brain energy, real or not, true or false he relates things more and remembers more things ‘related’ to the subject.

If the thinking speed continues to get even faster, digressions to subjects more distantly related to the topic may increase. If the effects of thinking speed increase remains as much as excessive sensitivity, loss of concentration while driving, its affects remain limited by effecting the content of thinking process and the personal success.

Pronin and Wagner wrote about their experiments that showed thinking speed effects mood in their article “Manic Thinking – Independent Effects of Thought Speed and Thought Content on Mood” of 2006. High thinking speed creates and elevated feeling, happiness etc., and in some cases a subjective selfconfidence and grandeur.

Similarly, Winkielman et all. states that high fluency in information processing, for ex. listening to a fluent and easily understandable message, causes the message to be percieved more positive than it really is. ‘Generally speaking, high fluency indicates things are positive, and low fluency negative.’ This ability, given by the creator to us, is named as ‘marking the data hedonically’ or ‘hedonic marking’.

Perceptional fluency, as in the fluency of advertisements, triggers the feeling of positive appraisal. Fluency signal is formed at the very beginning of the input signal. Fluency signal constitutes the best reference when there is little information that can be drawn from the input signal. People sometimes prefer the new, complex and surprising arousal signals to simple and known signals because of this. Thinking speed is an important element in the management of peoples preferences.

Intentionally or not, each person utilizes his/her thinking speed for own purposes by his/her own. Being able to do extraordinary things in emergency situations can be attributed to the skills God has given as much as the individual abilities he/she possess. Human mind and body works with a higher speed in emergency situations.

Even in normal situations, we increase our thinking speed to overcome the difficulties we are faced.
Concentration is to handle everything ve percieve and think from a certain reference point. Focusing is to limit our whole thinking capacity to a singel subject and cognitively process things only within that region. In each of these cases, we leave some part of our brain’s neural network out of functioning and pump blood to only regions that are related.

Another way that we regulate our thinking speed is ‘to feel an emotion.’ Emotions affect the signal propagation and its conditions in the brain via the hormones that trigger them and the hormones the emotions, themselves trigger in response. This situation affects and changes the threshholds that determine the decisions. For example, a driver under the effect of the early days of spring, takes more risk than he does under normal conditions, or political activists participate in higher risk actions. Just imagine that all the threshholds of a society changes approximately at the same time of the year. This also functions as a unique window of opportunity for change and novelties in the human society which is inherently conservative and conformist.

I believe, thinking speed should be proportionate with the thinking energy. In his “Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions”, Sarte says, ‘if one can not handle a situation with his cognitive abilities he then transforms his “psychic energy”, he becomes afraid.’ The increase of thinking speed, should be one of the ways to decrease the psychic energy, I believe… The increase of thinking speed, causes the appearence of our abilities such as imagination, planning, obsession, that help us to manage the difficulties that we are faced with.

Our ability to be successfull is not solely determined by our cogitive abilities. An affective maturity which nourishes, manages and sustains its cognitive abilities is also required. This is necessary for the success of a team as well as a single person, from the point of Crew Resource Management.

In an airplane accident at USA, the dispatcher send the airplane into a region with bad weather forecast, to land in a certain opportunity window. The plane hits the ground. The investigation shows that the copilot effects the pilot decision positively in every and each decision he has made, like ‘No problem we will make it or it’s OK we will land!’ In fact, the pilot and the copilot should have acted as parts of an unity. While the captain was open to the effects of the surroundings and the aircraft, the copilot should be adjusting his affective situation and regulate his decision threshholds. The problem in this situation was the copilot did the adjustment not so well.

In our country too and unfortunately there have been quiet a few accidents in which pilots became martyrs landing in bad visual conditions etc… To reduce these cases, maybe, we should look at Barbara E. HOLDER’s Phd Thesis once more:

“A dominance interaction occurs when one pilot does everything—processes instrument representations, speaks, acts, decides, without assistance or concurrence from his partner. The other pilot tends to remain a passive partner even if he was not passive before. This pattern is often characterized by a unidirectional flow of representations centering on one pilot. Pilots construct an understanding of the situation independent of
each other and the understanding of the dominant pilot may sway the understanding of the other pilot. Communication between pilots tends to be one-sided flowing from the dominating pilot to the other pilot with little or no opportunity for negotiation and discussion.“

I am afraid, our people’s dominant character which has made our country run from victory to victory
is being evaluated as a single ‘pilot’s mistake’ in the current airplane accidents or at least is being pronounciated as such...

Holder has prepared her thesis by attending sea helicopter trainings and has recorded the trainings of other people in helicopter simulators. She has interesting comments on the effect of pilot copilot rank relations…. After everything is explained about the Isparta accident and when precautions are being discussed this rank issue could be pondered upon. It is possible to find Holder’s thesis on the internet.

I have studied the God given ability of thinking speed and its application from the individual, social,
economical and aviation applications in this article. I have pointed at the relation between thinking speed, psychic energy and emotions. I would like to ponder on the transformation of psychich energy
to thinking speed as in imagination, planning and affections in my next articles. The conversion of imagination to dreams, day dreams and sleep etc… The role of the sense of time in this etc…

15 Temmuz 2008 Salı


What does it mean ‘to feel right’ or ‘to feel the right emotion’? Can we have an objective judgment on this? What good will it do after all? Will it help us to increase the quality of our lives? Will it help special people as air traffic controllers, nuclear plant or transportation systems operators, large systems engineers in coping with the difficulties of their jobs?

If most of the people watching a movie feel the emotion of sorrow, and you also feel sorrow, that means you feel the right emotion or at least the socially acceptable emotion. This is a great simplification, though. If you are a foreigner, you may not understand the jokes in a movie and you may not laugh when others do… An other example, from the point of precision or repeatability could be; You should feel approximately the same emotions everytime you watch your favorite movie… This is also a great simplification because it does not take into account the time and the accumulation of experience and knowledge(and sometimes boredom).

To feel the right feeling depends not only on the precision but also on the accuracy. What you feel should be ‘appropriate’ to your personality and to the situation that you are in. I may be getting dangerously subjective, I know. What is appropriate may change according to time, society, individual, family, culture, education etc… But still, there is a limit to appropriateness…
The sense of self sets a rough border to what is appropriate and what is not.

‘Is this me who feels this?’ is the golden question to ask. But even then, self is not a constant, undeveloping, non-spontaneous entity. So, I admit, my starting question does not have an objective answer, I deeply doubt it has any either.

Please, let me change my question then… Why can’t we decide we feel right or wrong? Unfortunately for me, the answer of this question has been given well ahead.

Sartre has stated that ‘emotional conciousness is non-reflective at first’. He says ‘The emotional consciousness is primarily the consciousness of the world’. So, when you feel afraid of something you get under its magic effect which causes you to concentrate on it more and more rather than percieving your own self and situation. In his ‘Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions’ (Translated by Philip Mairet – Routledge Classics) Sartre states in fact ‘ The self does not appear at all in ‘ this type of automatic process.

The reason we do not feel whether our feeling is right or wrong is, feeling is not a reflective process. Sartre chooses not to call it an automatic process. He says ‘unreflective conduct is not unconscious conduct’. The unreflective character of feeling can be observed in the situation where you become aware of your feelings. For example, when you become aware that you are very angry, your feeling disappears.

If it is impossible to decide whether our feeling is right or appropriate how come so many people happen to feel the same and mostly the ‘right’ feeling? It may be related to the way we learn our feelings first of all. The first feeling we learn is ‘trust’. We human beings develop the feeling of trust by getting ‘feeded’ regularly by our mamas in the beginning of our lives. It’s no surprise getting regular good food is critically important at large systems, ATC centers etc., where everthing is designed on a single human feeling, namely ‘trust’.

Secondly, our emotions are continuously conditioned by life, by the society we live in or the team we work in etc... The culture that we live in sets the noetic thresholds for our emotions. My Singaporean fiancee once had mentioned ‘Everything in Turkey is hyper! Even the cows in the picture on the milk bottles look hyper!’... The character of a people is set by its culture. Music, in all cultures, teaches and conditions people to what should be expected within a given mood.

Sartre states “In a word, to experience any object as horrible, is to see it against the background of a world which reveals itself as already horrible.” Sartre does not mention mood in his book but I believe what he calls at the very end of his sketch as ‘background of a world’ can also be related to ‘mood’.

If we are conditioned to feel certain emotions under certain conditions or moods, the new question should be “Would it be possible to bring ourselves up to become a better self or a better ourselves?”. And “Would it be possible to better train so that large systems engineers, ATCOs, pilots and other large systems operators feel better while they are doing their jobs, react to emergencies much better and faster so that they be more successful in their professions?” I believe, Sartre’s ‘Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions’ is a precious legacy which must be studied by the aviation community, specially the trainers and teachers and their training institutes.

Sartre’s work helps us to understand ourselves better, consequently, to know.


5 Temmuz 2008 Cumartesi

The Importance of Sartre's 'Sketch for a Theory of Emotions' for Aviation

Sartre's 'Sketch for a Theory of Emotions' could prove to be a tangible asset for air traffic controller and pilot training. It could be a solid reference for the teachers who have to teach the role of emotions in decision making.

Large Systems engineers would definitely benefit from it forcontrolling themselves when working under heavy load or usinghigh concentration for long durations.

Philip Mairet's translation from Routledge Classics says"A conciousness becoming emotional is rather like a consciousness dropping asleep" p. 51.

In fact Sartre refers to emotions as a special type of consciousness as in an "unreflective conduct" which is not unconscious as in the act of writing.

He explains the origin of emotions as a " lesser existence or a lesser presence(or a greater existence, etc.). In a word, during emotion, it is the body which, directed by the consciousness,changes its relationship with the world so that the worldshould change its qualities. If emotion is playacting, the play is one that we believe in p. 41.

As Sartre suggests, we degrade ourselves into a lower, fictionalworld when we are faced with facts that we cannot manage to overcomewith our ususal abilities. At this point, our consciousness "gets caught in its own snare." It has created a fictional world to escape into and now it believes what it has created, as in dreams p.52.

Sartre's explanation on p. 52 of Rouledge's edition may explain vertigo situations and false sense of safety caused by'over confidence' and similar feelings in aviation.

Sartre's 'Sketch for a Theory of Emotions' is a difficult to absorb but a precious treasury that can be used to understand Crew Resource Management and other situations in aviations. It has to be studied by teachers and the results have to betaught to pilots, ATCO's and engineers. The aviation world could be a better place if only this were done.

Kış Eğitim Merkezi Komutanlığı
Bursa, Uludağ Orduevi

25 Haziran 2008 Çarşamba


Homeostasis (from Greek: ὅμος, homos, "equal"; and ιστημι, histemi, "to stand" lit. "to stand equally"; coined by Walter Bradford Cannon) is the property of either an open system or a closed system, especially a living organism, that regulates its internal environment so as to maintain a stable, constant condition. Multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments and regulation mechanisms make homeostasis possible. The concept was created by Claude Bernard, often considered as the father of physiology, and published in 1865. (WIKIPEDIA)

Air Traffic Control systems are discreet event dynamic large systems. They are composed of three sub systems the visualization of the traffic data – radar data processing, the planning and partitioning of the operational load – flight data processing, and all the related communications – ATN . There is also the substructure which provides the necessary services for these three subsystems – SYSTEMS. ATC system are also a combination of human and machine elements. There are many operators of different types.

I would like to point out at the homeostasis in the air traffic control systems between the technical and operational groups. The operational group comprises air traffic controllers and the various people in their management hierarchy. Most of these people come from an air traffic controller back ground.
The technical group is composed of a mix of engineers and air traffic controllers… Some of the engineers come from a technical background while some of them come from math and science university education and engineering faculties. Air traffic controllers in the technical group function as interface to the operational group. They work in requirements specification, quality control, configuration management and testing.

The safety created by an air traffic control center is the result of a combination of the work of the operational and technical work done. When the technical side fails, the operational measures are used. For example, seperation is increased. Also, when the technical facilities get old and are out of date, operator load increases. For ex. if the radar views are not good, operators have to cope with this difficulty somehow.

The homeostasis between the technical and operational side works in ATC so that when the technical side goes down the role of the operational side increases or vie versa. When everything is perfact operational side relaxes a little bit.

Why am I writing this note? It is not a big deal up to this point. The interesting phenomenon begins when we observe: If one of the two elements that comprise the homeostasis dominates the relation,
what happens then? For ex. operational side effects the technical decisions for various reasons…
These decisions may vary from setting unrealistic deadlines to deciding which technical systems to buy…

The dynamic nature of the homeostatic balance may determine the sudden or unjustified changes in the balance. In fact the flexibility of the system is designed so that even if the radar views are lost air traffic control can continue with the strips. The risk of losing touch with the technical reality is more on the long run. I believe, it is very difficult to maintain and develop a technically upto date system while carrying on the day to day ATC duties.

There is a tangible risk in ATC which may arise from the tendency of one of the technical and operational groups to dominate the other.

Ali R+

Note: I woke up to the importance of this issue because of the contrast I noticed btw Turkey and Karlsruhe in regards to this matter. Thanks again to Herr Ehrenberger (ECO).

7 Haziran 2008 Cumartesi


To Mr. Cevdet ACAR

This is the first of a series of my articles on the nature of human concentration. Actually, concntration is not an exclusive attribute of the human-being.

Concentration is an attribute of matter. Concentration is described as ‘the situation of coming together at one point.’ Concentric means ‘having a common centre.’

The meaning changes a bit when it comes to the concentration ability of the human mind. Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘direction of attention to a single object’. It is misinterpreted as focusing in the daily usage.

An easy way to understand, demonstrate and control the abilities of the human mind is to think visually. In terms of looking with our eyes, concentrating means to look at something and see other things only in relation to this reference point. To focus means to look at something and not see other things at all.

To focus means to limit your attention to a specific object(for ex. inclusion of something into attention). To concentrate means to change the character of your attention so that included thing appears in your focus on the basis of some sort of exclusion of others, so to speak.

It is possible to lose concentration but keep focus, when looking. You can relax your attention, but change the size of the area that you look at, for ex.a whole person or a face. This is important for implementing relaxed attention.

You may also increase your concentration but lose focus, if you like, a little bit more complex though. You may look at nothing specific, but enjoy fully the wide wiew on the coast of Istanbul Bosphorus.

Concentration and focusing abilities are not totally visual. These can be observed in all forms of perception, cognition, motor faculties. The embodiment of self, the sense of being is closely related with the sense of time. We feel our being, our existence at the moment we are in, namely ‘the specious present’, or now.

The length of specious present changes, according to the situation we are in. Also, the frequency of the renewal of our sense of now or feeling one’s self or being changes. When we are doing something we do not feel our being directly all the time. In fact concentrating on the thing we do reduces the frequency of our feeling of self. This also reduces the sense of time. This frequency also corresponds to the perception frequency. When the perception frequency increases sensitivity increases.

The specious present concept is somewhat belaguered at this point. The specious present is a duration of perception, of which total duration is effected-determined by concentration.

Attention is an abstraction of focus. Attention determines the limits of things we deal with at one moment. If we deal with more than one thing the length of the moment expands, so the specious present increases.

This explains why with high concentration sometimes, we do not feel the time that passes and sometimes we do feel it longer than it really is. If we do a single simple thing with high concentration, specious present is short, so we do not feel the time, or feel it as if shorter. On the contrary, if we do a complex thing with high concentration we feel as if the time passed is much longer than it really is.

The specious present are the moments that we feel our being, self.The specious present are the times that the brain’s cognition works consciously. Healthy functioning of human mind depends on the average balance between the conscious and subconscious activities. For example, to understand a foreign language with facility, you should not concentrate too much but you should relax a little bit, so that the things you hear at the specious durations get processed between them by your subconscious.

Working on complex tasks with high concentration for long durations, causes us to develop skills that enable us keep our specious present as long as possible, with the highest frequency. If one is not well equipped and trained to handle these skills, long duration high concentration complex jobs may suppress and hurt the human subconscious or increase the perception to the point of seeing-hearing halucinations. The suppression of subconscious may inevitably hurt the whole psychology and cause the human mind to react in a series of psychosis.

In order to avoid all this mess, you should simply apply the 20 20 20 rule while working. “Every 20 minutes, pause whatever you’re doing and stare at something 20 feet away about 10-15 paces away) for 20 seconds.”

The bottom line is, this type of jobs are one of many choices, you may choose to climb a high mountain or serve at an air traffic control center as an engineer or air traffic controller, or choose to serve as a surgeon. It is up to you.

7 Mayıs 2008 Çarşamba


The street janitors of Koşuyolu are special. This attribute arises because of the structure of the vicinity which is mostly houses with small gardens and relatively large deserted streets. In fact, the janitors of all the vicinities in Istanbul are special.

I have always been amazed by the magic of the janitors since I was a small child. The first individuals that I had a chance to meet out of my family were the street janitor, the postman, the ‘simit’ seller and after that the ice cream seller… In distance the grocery shp owner, the butcher and others…

It was very difficult for me to depart from my mother for a whole day when I began to the primary School with out going to kindergarten first… It has been carefully noted in our family jargon that I had cried “I won’t ever go to school, I will become a janitor!” in response to my father’s military offcer smile mixed with a ‘shining golden tooth’ in it, which generally indicated an intrigue. As far as I could see At that moment, being a janitor was the closest job that I could perform closest to my father.

Being a janitor has its magic like any other job. A service job… Our vicinity’s janitors have always been people who clean up around silently, avoiding personal contact and they use to disappear in an unknown time as they appear… Carefully, they give succinct but not predominant answers when conversed…. What matters in their relation with the inhabitants of the street is the service.

I love to watch how the janitors perform their jobs since my chidhood… These ‘guys’ are masters of the ‘let it go’ philosophy. As you know, our people in Turkey are not brought up with personal discipline of cleanness yet, unfortunately. So, the janitors have a lot to do every day… I can observe that the janitors in Istanbul have
it ‘ab die Nase – up tp their noses…’ The thing that most excites me is to watch how these heavily loaded janitors manage to confront this difficulty.

Working discipline, to protect their own health and patience, to preserve his energy for his family and the people themselves they serve… Choices between all these are reduced practically to choosing the various types of rubbish that lie on the side way or the street and sweep them into his handheld bucket with his room. Janitors are masters of ‘let it go’ or ‘may it stay’.

Sweetly… The janitor stands on the street with an inner peace, grace and confidence that mar s, if he leaves something on the street, he will find it somewhere close the next day.

Ali R+
April the 23rd 2008(Turkish Children’s Day), Koşuyolu

16 Şubat 2008 Cumartesi


What is the reason that makes a decision correct? It is first of all the availability of correct and sufficient information. “You should not have an opinion before you have sufficient information!” said Uğur MUMCU, a renown newspaper researcher-writer and assassin of fundemantalist activists. On the other hand, the governors of countries which have the largest information sources and means can and do make mistakes. There must be some other reasons…
What is the role of time in the correctness of the decision? Is being at the “Right time right place” enough? “Thinking in the speed of light” or “To understand papa before hearing the pa”, (“Leb demeden leblebiyi anlamak”, a Turkish addage) etc… Does thinking fast provide correctness to the decision or even contribute to it?

Is it good to make all decisions quickly? Is this approach that speed is more important than anything else as in the cowboy duels valid in all other cultures? Should it be valid? Does speed in the decision making process guarantee correctness?

There is also the case, in the Turkish culture where a village child, under the pressure of life, can not answer the question of a TV reporter because he is afraid of saying anything wrong… Maybe that is the reason our educators emphasize ‘make a decision as quick as possible and say something rather than remain silent’….

In fact, we can look from a view point so that these two vastly seperate examples can appear to be not so far. This point of view is not the speed of the decision making process but the time, the duration dedicated to making a decision.

The thing that determines the correctness of a decision is the timeframe dedicated to its formation and the chosen moment for its declaration. One should decide first when the decision should be taken in order to make the right decision. Then decide how long it should take, the timeframe necessary to make this decision. Determining the timeframe correctly and applying it give the result of a correct decision.

The processing of information in our brains does not happen in a moment… It takes time. Just try it when you can not remember something. Try to recall a few things related to the thing that you can not remember. The second or third degree things related to these… Leave some space in between and hesitate. You will remember the missing thing innately in a while…

The phenomena related to the decision while making it are processed in our mind or in the common wisdom similarly to the above. Phenomena trigger other phenomena that are semantically related to them. The depths reached by chain triggering or cascade connections increase according to the seriousness of the situation. Things that have to be accounted for must be kept in the working memory where they can easily be noticed. The solution of the problem may require obsession and concentration even focusing to the matter. While some of these effect the efficiency of processing, all of these happen and are controlled according to the sense of time provided by the timeframe.

The timeframe, namely the duration and the deadline to make a decision is a unique subsistance for making the right decision. If you do not put in enough time you may miss all the phenomenons related to the subject. You may miss the chains of phenomena related to each other, the cause and result relations… You may make decision quickly and easily because your working memory is not overloaded. This gives you the possibility to handle more difficult decisions to come.

If you dedicate more than necessary time to decision making, you may get lost in apparently related but not vital details and get drowned in depths. Your working memory gets overloaded, you may lose the freshness necessary to make healthy decisions. Obsession, concentration and focusing becomes an open-end purpose in themselves when they are not directed to a substantial aim and may damage your personal health permanently.

Determining the right moment and the timeframe to make a decision provides correctness. This is difficult to apply in actual life ofcourse… For ex. in the emergency intervention of some cases, is the timeframe shorter than duration necessary for choosing the right option.

The doctor that intervenes to an emergency situation is forced to choose at least ONE of the available options rather than the best one of the available ones. It is not more important to find the best choice than applying at least one choice as quick as possible to give the patient a chance to live… The timeframe alone determines the correctness of the decision in emergency conditions.

The statesmen are sometimes in a similar situation when the necessary timeframe is much longer than available time to make a decision… They can not wait and see the preliminary results of their decisions and apply recursion to correct them, which may take quiet sometime in social matters.
It is not a surprise good politicians have fortitude and clairvoyance.

If carefully studied, one can observe that Einstein’s proof of Newton’s mechanical movement law is wrong in speeds close to the light’s, is based on looking at the phenomenon from a different point of observation, namely the timeframe that movements take place.

Timeframe determines correctness of the decision.




Abstract: CHRISTOPHER D. WICKENS has written an article titled ‘Multiple resources and performance prediction’ at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Institute of Aviation Willard Airport, Aviation Human Factors Division, Aviation Research Laboratory. This article proposes a model to predict human performance under conditions that require multiple mental resources. I will make use of the information provided in Wickens’s article to point at the importance of trigging in human cognition.

To my fellow Turkish aviator Mr. Servet BAŞOL,

A trigger is a simple, high “affordance”, easy to use mechanism. You should not think elaborate things to make it work. Its implementation should be independent from the logic of the system it starts. Starting the system must be totally insulated from the decision making. It should work as simple as a Texas cowboy firing his gun.

Our brain does multiprocessing, multitasking and distributed processing. We can talk and walk at the same time. We can talk to two different persons on different subjects in the same time interval. MRI pictures show that different parts of our brains get activated for different types of tasks. We perform these tasks using various resources of our minds.

“The multiple resource model proposes that there are four important categorical and dichotomous dimensions that account for variance in time-sharing performance. That is, each dimension has two discrete 'levels'. All other things being equal (i.e. equal resource demand or single task difficulty), two tasks that both demand one level of a given dimension (e.g. two tasks demanding visual perception) will interfere with each other more than two tasks that demand separate levels on the dimension (e.g. one visual, one auditory task). The four dimensions, shown schematically in figure 1, and described in greater detail in the following pages, are processing stages, perceptual modalities, visual channels, and processing codes. Consistent with the theoretical context of multiple resources, all of these dichotomies can be associated with distinct physiological mechanisms.”

Wickens’s model has been supported by many MRI works that study the brain locations activated by specific tasks. Unfortunately many mental tasks are complex. For ex. speech activates many parts of the brain at the same time. This makes it extremely difficult to drive some generalizations in regards to the character of these activated brain locations. Simply it is difficult to claim that there are simple, straight forward, seperate, ‘processors’ or even ‘centers’. Wickens’s aproach and ‘resources’ model serves its purpose without making unproved generalisations.

But, Wickens also states: “In employing multiple resource theory to guide such dichotomous categorical design decisions, it is of course important to bear in mind the other consequences of switching from one resource category to another, such as, for example, the fact that a visual-spatial map may be a more compatible means of delivering geographical information than via words.” Wickens’s statement points at the overload that arises because of changing the modality during task performance, namely driving a car and navigating at the same time. Wickens clearly assumes the existence of some sort of a trigging mechanism, which triggers an other modality with some mental performance cost.

Today, we certainly know that there are many neural networks in our brains. There are also connections between dedicated neural networks. My point is: Wickens’s ‘resources’ are triggable with some sort of trigging mechanisms, possibly hard and/or soft. Moreover believes this humble dreamer, mental triggers are ubiquitous. We can observe them beginning from low level physiological structures going up to skills, hobbies, professions, habits.

Trigging mechanisms can be built in many different ways. Seeing objects, images trigger our brain’s visual resources, hearing sounds triggers hearing resources… Visual and acoustic signals are recieved by different organs and this provides a hardware connection and filtering mechanism.

But it is not that simple. The sound and visual signals also have different data characteristics. The frequency bands for sound and image are different. It is not only the organs and physical connections that triggers our brain’s visual and acoustic centers but also the character, the format of the sound and the image signals.

It is amazing, how brain transforms and processes signals of different modalities such as sound and image. The signals loss their perception formats when they are taken into the working memory as semantic chunks… How does the central processor decide which processor to trig for which signal then?

There must be some encoding algoritm, maybe only the amount of data or the SPEED. The way the data is provided and processed could trigger the related processor. A neural network could simply work as an RC filter circuit besides its logical function and filter acoustic or visual signals as high or low pass filters, maybe.
Within a certain modality, content adrressing triggers related items at different semantic levels. For ex., when you see me, it triggers your previous impressions about me.

Trigging does not function linearly either. Same events do not trigger same reactions in our brain under all conditions. Anticipation, priming, mood, motivation, context and memory usage affects trigging mechanisms of our brain.

My second point is: Trigging is a vital element of our mental life both socially and individually… Sadly trigging can be used by people with bad intentions such as the assassination in the beginning of the first WW. On the other hand it is a rich human resource that can not be overused. Emergency psychology, decision making under stress, large systems, aviation, air traffic control have many applications for it. Slow progressing processes such as education, politics etc. also…

A trigger mechanism reduces flexibility but increases automacity when designed correctly. It brings a level of abstraction. There are different types of mental triggers: For remembering things, you could say ‘I will remember this tonight’, or ‘I will wake up 6 O’Clock in the morning’, ‘I will stop thinking about my job when I come to the stairs of my house, till I begin to drink my coffee after my dinner, I may remember it if necessary’…
It looks like the religious commitments that one makes before fasting etc…

Reaction triggers could be ‘I will push the brake to the bottom when it is inevitable’, but this should rather be a warmth in your right leg muscle rather than words… Sports is all about doing the right triggering.

Finally, cognition, a healthy mental life requires the development and maintenance of personal triggering mechanisms. Emergency processing, analysis, smalltalk, imagination, design, planning, mindfullness, high concentration, high concentration long duration working, recovering emotions after heavy cognitive work… Staying healthy as a successful professional requires maintenance and enhancement of your mental triggering processes so that you sustain your well-being.


Nobody needs to think what to do with a hammer. Hammer’s form indicates its function. This is called affordance. Trigger is the same as hammer in this sense. A person who sees a gun understands immediately that he has to pull the trigger to fire. Trigger’s affordance is also high similar to hammer.

Imagine all the weapons or devices that begin to work by a single signal. A shotgun, a pistol, a hair dryer, an automobile, a computer and any device that has an open button… All of these have a button, switch etc. a mechanism that makes a device work, namely a trigger. Even a baby recognizes that she has to push a button to make something work. They usually make a game out of it though…

Trigger is very simple and compact. Its purpose is without any hesitation crystal clear. Its physical appearence, colour and purpose are easily percievable. If the mechanism that the trigger trigs is related to human life, these attributes are even more clear.

From the point of design should the trig mechanism not bear any cognitive function. The action of pulling the trigger should not involve any thinking. The safety mechanism of a gun requires the user to evaluate the situation. After the safety mechanism is released, pulling the trigger and trigging the gun to fire should be extremely easily.

A good trigger should enable its user to react immediately and as required. The Trigger should not have any evaluation, judging or logical ability. Trigger should immediately do what it is required to .

If abstracted, may these attributes of trig be applied to other mechanisms that start systems. For ex., the decision making techniques that we use under emergency conditions, which are very simple and results oriented.
When reacting to a person dying in an emergency room, it is not more important to decide which one is the most appropriate among the 2-3 available options than to apply one of them as quick as possible to give the patient at least some chance of survival… It is a ‘trigger’ that controls the behaviour of the doctor at that moment, a ‘trigger’ formed previously by his education and experience. It is vital to pull the trigger at that moment more than anything else, just like a Texas cowboy…

If we generalize a little bit, trigging is done after an algorithm, a logic, a decision making process. A good trig should be independent from this mechanism. You must first decide to shoot and after that pull the trig and shoot. The total duration to do this is yor response time infront of the threat directed to you. An other article of mine on how you can minimize this duration and the mental substructure of trigers will be available at
http://largesystems-atc.blogspot.com in a short while….

It is possible to observe the existance of trigging mechanisms in every decision making process. To make a decision requires the evaluation of the available data and reaching a resolution at the end of this process. Reaching a resolution is the result of a TRIGGER mechanism. Large systems, pilots, air traffic controllers, firefighters, soldiers, doctors and other emergency personnel have to make decisions under stress. It is vital to have developed and prepared the correct TRIGGER mechanisms in these situations… The responsibility of the training and support for the mental health of these professions is yet to be resumed completely even by the European authorities.

Trigging mechanisms are subsistent for our minds in the daily life… The trig should be attached to a condition. Such as ‘I will wake up at 6 O’Clock in the morning’ or, ‘I will forget everything related to the job at the entrance stairs of my Home, till I drink my coffee after the dinner and relax when it may come back if necessary…’ As it is called ‘Niyet ettim …yapmağa’ (‘I commit myself to do…’) in religious commitments.

Even though trig may be considered trivial at the first glance, it is something used unconsciously in the human nature, a vital instrument in our interaction with the subconscious and our automatic processes… Wrong triggings may include suicides, deadly crimes and may cause unreversable loses and damage even in the social relations as seen in the assassination event at the beginning of the first World War.

Triggers are subsistent and indispensable. Trigger mechanisms are part of our natural beings as well as nature’s. Human mind and brain and also social and economical events, overall the nature of matter sustains trigger’s abundance. As the son of a commando training officer who trained many ‘trig like’ (interalia) brave soldiers and, in the warm memories of what he chose to teach us; my wish from you and advise is; the person who has read this short article till its end can do much more than a simple trigger can and, I believe, you should.

Kind regards.


24 Ocak 2008 Perşembe


Peisaj [5]

I was three or four years old. My ‘baba’ (papa) was a military chief at Mardin Nusaybin (Syria border, southeast Turkey). Our Home was the only one built with cement in Nusaybin. It was located outside the village at the top of a small hill. Nusaybin did not have electricity at that time. My mother was a little bit nervous because of my father’s duties. My ‘baba’ had to go out to catch smugglers at nights. A deep darkness would sink over our Home those times… Sometimes would burials take place in the cemetery at distance right in front of our Home… Night burials, according to the local customs. I used to watch them secretly my hair rising… The groups walking in the darkness, candle lights, the dead being carried lying over ladders… Not really understanding what was going on…

Six months later my mother’s efforts succeeded. My father gave up his carrier. He applied for his well deserved retirement. We bought a new house at one of the then suburps of Istanbul. Our new Home had a large garden. We used to have nice evenings at the front-garden in hot summer nights. I remember, every now and then, my father used to send me to the back-garden to fetch some stuff during these night leisures. I was ‘damn’ afraid of going to the back-garden in darkness. Everybody would burst out into laughter and make fun of the situation rather than me and we would have a sweet time in the family about a small secret that belonged to us all.

Although the fear of darkness in my childhood decreased gradually, it followed me for many years. It transformed into a sensitivity and sense of prudence through time. I wonder, if I had not lived the experiences in Nusaybin at the ages of three to four, would I have a fear of darkness? I do not think so. I would not… Nevertheless, many people get nervous about darkness or fear from it. For many justifiable reasons.

OK then, what is the thing that makes darkness such a source of fear? Why is darkness fearsome? Is darkness the fearsome thing itself or is it something in ourselves that makes us afraid?
Is this secret thing located there in the darkness or is it somewhere else? Really, why do we think that something we can not see is located in the darkness, rather than somewhere else for example under the street lamp?

The reason that makes us nervous about darkness is it is not something we could hold in our hands, it is not an absolute object. Just like time… Difficult to understand… Specially difficult for people younger than age 16, who has not developed a concept about abstraction, yet. Darkness is not an object like a door, a table or a wall. Maybe it is rather something like tiredness or sadness…
Its opposite enlightenedness (aydınlık, tr) is rather like happiness, joy… In short is darkness a situation and a mood rather than an object.

Darkness is both a phsical situation and our perception of it. If sunlight falls on the furniture in our house our Home is ‘enlightened(aydınlık, tr)’. The sun light beams that are reflected from the furniture reach our eyes with enough intensity. But in the evening, the intensity of the sun light decreases. First, some colors begin to lose their liveliness and begin to appear as a shade of grey. Then, they become grey in semi-darkness and disappear in the darkness.

Our interaction with darkness in our modern lives is not the same as in the nature. We move from darkness to light and vice versa suddenly during our daily lives for many times. For example, when the child wishes ‘good night’ and goes to her room she has to go into darkness first and then open the light suddenly and then close it again… Or, when you are driving at night, the cars approaching from the other side of the road dazzle your eyes frequently.

Car, airplane or any vehicle drivers abide the night vision priciples. Airplane pilots’ night flying techniques include a different vision technique. “In daylight you have to look directly at the target object. At night, you have to look at slightly one side of the target object. Scanning the target by moving your eye permits “off-center” viewing. You should not look directly at the target object at night unless there is a special reason.”

“The explanation for this lies in the DUAL STRUCTURE OF OUR EYE’[4]. The cones work in day light and the rods at night. The rods are located on the periphary of a circle around the cones.

The cones need a greater intensity of light to function, and stop working in semidarkness.
The rods can function in 1 / 5000 th of light intensity. The cones are 100000 times sensitive in dark as they are in light. So, they work at night.”

The problem is; what do the rods do in the day light? The rods provide a grey scale view, while cones provide coloured… Rods lose their sensitivity after short exposure to light. This means less sensitivity is used only for percieving objects in the peripheral view…

In short, seeing is not as simple as we naturally presume. Our ability to see changes at different levels of light intensity… We can not see with the same quality in all conditions. Our ability to see in darkness is much less than in sun light. If explored, we can easily find that our seeing ability is not limited by only the availability of the sunlight. We have other limits also… The views of fast moving seperate things appear to us as if belonging to a single thing moving continuously, for example.

Seeing is not limited with the functions of the eye of course… Our brain first percieves then understands the things that our eyes see. We also have some limits in our brain’s visual perception naturally… We can not percieve the second event if two events happen too quick sequentially… They call this perceptional blink sometimes…

Our seeing abilities, given by the Creator, require a period of adaptation when the conditions of the environment change, the environment that we are temporarily in. When we move into darkness
suddenly, the rod cells in our eyes need some time to get activated. At these instances, give yourself sometime for your brain to get healthy-correct information from your eyes.

During the flow of times, we all experience sudden changes of things we are used to. The problem is not only the change in the conditions that we are accustomed to but also the fact that we, ouselves change. Whether we notice it or not, the way our body and mind work, changes according to the conditions that we are in. A small kid gets red spots on his skin suddenly, a software engineer approaches the end of his project, a pilot lands with his co-pilot in bad climate conditions, or an air traffic controller whose job is to keep airplanes apart from each other loses his radar system which enables him to see the skies…

When you fall into sudden darkness, I believe, there may be a few tricks that you may learn and borrow from an air traffic controller who has lost the view of airplanes on his radar. He at least has strips of papers in his hand that shows the locations and directions of his resumed airplanes... If the lights go off when you are on the stairway, you should have kept certain reference points in your mind beforehand, such as the location of the handrail, your relative position in the current floor stairs…

Darkness is not an object to be afraid of, it is a sitaution, a mental mood. To cope with darkness, you should have reference points that You have created before. We can not control everything in our lives but ‘knowing ourselves’ could make us stronger against the difficulties, at least.

Ali Riza SARAL

Note: The inspirational bases of this article lie in:


2. Chip HEATH and Dan HEATH, MADE TO STICK – “the curse of knowledge”

3. HOW TO BE A DAMN SEXY MAN– “let the kids turn the page”

Helicopter Flight, http://meanwhile.com/?domain=helicfi.com

5. Bogdan GAVRUS, Peisaj, http://gavrusphoto.blogspot.com/

7 Ocak 2008 Pazartesi


Vizual [0]

‘Autokinesis’ is a special visual hazard of night flying. When you look constantly at a small point in a dark night, you feel as if the light is moving, after a while. Otherwise, you may feel as if yourself is moving.

‘Autokinesis’ is only one of the discrepancies that we carry everyday without ever being aware of. Our discrepancies may appear not only at the edges of our abilities, such as night vision, but also in our routine daily activities. The sooner we get aware of them, the better the quality and fulfillment of our lives.

Unfortunately, we are created not to improve our abilities but primarily, to survive with them.
In any form of life comes improvement after survival. Our bodies, namely the embodiment of ourselves [1] is designed so that even if we loss some part of us we should survive.

Even if we lose an arm, after feeling the immediate shock, we should be able to continue our lives, together with a prosthetic device, and even feel as if we still have the lost arm in our minds as in some cases[2]…

I believe, a mental, behavioural discrepancy can and may become a part of ourselves, and our mental embodiment similar to a prosthestic device… A discrepancy may become part of our ‘subjective’ mental body till something happens and brings our attention to it, thus this discrepancy becomes our ‘objective’ mental body.

The problem is that, the transition from the subjective mental body to the objective one may cause pain and also damage the complex relations of choices a person has made to build his/her personality.

cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphor refers to the understanding of one idea, or conceptual domain in terms of another, for example, understanding quantity in terms of directionality (e.g. "prices are rising"). “ [4] Using metaphors in psychological training of air traffic controllers, engineers and other aviation personnel, could be an effective pedagogical approach. Rather than doing not much while waiting for who is going to fall down…

If we return back to the night vision; ‘night flying requires a different visual technique than day flying’ [5]. In daylight you have to look directly at the target object. At night, you have to look at slightly one side of the target object. Scanning the target by moving your eye permits “off-center” viewing. You should not look directly at the target object at night unless there is a special reason.

‘The explanation for this lies in the DUAL STRUCTURE OF OUR EYE’[5]. The cones work in day light and the rods at night. The rods are located on the periphary of a circle around the cones.

The cones need a greater intensity of light to function, and stop working in semidarkness.
The rods can function in 1 / 5000 th of light intensity. The rods are 100000 times sensitive in dark as they are in light. So, they work at night.

The problem is; what do the rods do in the day light? The rods provide a grey scale view, while cones provide coloured… Rods lose their sensitivity after short exposure to light. This means less sensitivity is used only for percieving objects in the peripheral view…

My point is, the night vision metaphor may be used for teaching Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) awareness for aviators. OCD is a common problem among people working with risk.
It may be just a behavioural nuisance that can not be noticed or an increasing mental risk towards more serious situations. You have to be aware of what the people around you are doing, in order to warn them and not get affected by them.

Henry Szechtman and Erik Woody ‘s article “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a Disturbance of Security Motivation” describes OCD as:
“We hypothesize that the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), despite their apparent non-rationality, have what might be termed an “epistemic” origin – that is, they stem from an inability to generate the normal “feeling of knowing” that would otherwise signal task completion and terminate the expression of a security motivational system.[7]”

Similar to the Night Vision mechanism of the eye, Security Motivation System is ‘hardwired’. It is highly tuned to certain kinds of input like the cones and rods working on different light intensities.
Probably much more complex than eye’s night vision mechanism, is the Security Motivation System also “automatic and autonomous, and “encapsulated,” or relatively isolated from information developed by other systems.”

The Night Vision metaphor provides a good example for teaching:
1. There are seperate resources in our mind and brain for different tasks.
2. There has to be an activation and stopping mechanism (homeostatic) for any resource.
3. There may be a switching mechanism which manages the processes related to different and competing tasks.

Moods, emotions, thinking speed in different situations may effect the switching mechanism and activation – deactivation mechanism of our minds and brains[8]. Selecting the right mood and time frame helps the team make the right decisions with the right mental resources.

Ali Riza SARAL

[1] “Phenomenological theorists distinguish between the subjective body(as lived and experienced) and the objective body (as observed and scientifically investigated). My lived body is an EMBODIED CONSCIOUSNESS which fluidly and pre-reflectively engages the world. As we engage in our daily activities, we tend not to be conscious of our bodies and we take them granted – body that is passed-by-in-silence (Jean-Paul SARTRE, 1943, Being and Nothingness)”.

[2] “Prothestic devices stretch the boundaries of the body. They create a continuity beyond the limits of the skin”(Carolien HERMANS, 2002, Embodiment: the flesh and bones of my body). “A body schema works on a subconscious level. It registers shape and posture of the body(without coming to awareness). It makes a record of the momentary relative disposition of one’s own body parts”. “Prothestic devices can be absorbed in the body schema. Just as a hammer in the carpenter’s hand is incorporated into his body schema, any virtual body part or interface(keyboard, mouse, joystick) can become part of the schema in a temporary or longlasting way…”

[3] For further reading: Embodiment and Man-Machine Interaction

[4] Wikipedia,
[5] “Night flying requires a different visual technique than day flying. You can see an object best during daylight by looking directly at it. At night, however, a scanning procedure is more effective - to permit "off center" viewing of the target. In other the words, you will find after some practice that you can see things more clearly and definitely at night by looking slightly to one side of them, rather than straight at them.
The explanation for this lies in the dual structure of your eye. There are two kinds of light-sensitive nerve endings at the back of your eye: (1) the cones, which distinguish colour and require considerable light to function, and (2) the rods, which detect objects only in shades of grey but can operate in very dim light.
The cones, because they need greater intensity of light to function, are used in day vision. In fact, the cones stop working altogether in semi darkness. Millions of these tiny structures are clustered at the back of the eyeball, directly behind the pupil. Not only do they distinguish colours, they pick up distant objects.
The rods are concentrated in a ring around the cones. Being colour-blind, they see only in greys and are used in peripheral vision during the day - that is, to perceive objects in motion out of the corner of the eye. Because the rods can still function in light of 1/5,000 the intensity at which the cones cease to function, they are used for night vision. These structures are 100,000 times as sensitive in the dark as they are in sunlight. However, they do need more time to adjust to darkness than the cones do to bright light. Your eyes become adapted to sunlight in 10 seconds, whereas they need 30 minutes to fully adjust to a dark night.
The fact that the rods are distributed in a band around the cones, and, therefore, do not lie directly behind the pupils, makes "off centre" viewing important to the pilot during night flight. If, in your attempts to practice the scanning procedures mentioned previously, you find that your eyes have a tendency to swing directly toward the target, force them to swing just past it so that the rods on the opposite side of the eyeball pick up the object.
Rods lose their sensitivity after short exposure to a light source, but regain it quickly after a moment of "rest." Consequently, a prolonged blink may be enough to renew the effectiveness of your vision if you are simply using the "off centre" technique, without scanning. Remember, too, that rods do not perceive objects while your eyes are in motion, only during the pauses.”
Helicopter Flight, http://meanwhile.com/?domain=helicfi.com

[6] Ali Riza SARAL,
Kapanışlar, http://largesystems-atc.blogspot.com/2006/11/kapanilar.html

[7] “The psychological experience of compulsion is not well defined (Reed, 1985, p. 119), but nevertheless one can conceive of two broad mechanisms that would produce the intrusiveness and urgency characteristic of OCD symptoms. One is a pathological intensity of excitation of the particular thoughts, ideas or actions. The other is a relative failure of the systems that normally terminate such thoughts, ideas or actions.”

“Security Motivation System - … Such modular systems are innately specified and hardwired, highly tuned to certain kinds of input, comparatively automatic and autonomous, and “encapsulated,” or relatively isolated from information developed by other systems.“

“2. The system is readily activated, responding to even a slight chance of danger, and once activated, it has a long half-life, being slow to deactivate despite changes in the environment that feed into the appraisal process (Curio, 1993; Marks & Nesse, 1994; Masterson & Crawford, 1982). This easy-to-turn-on, hard-to-turn-off quality makes sense evolutionarily, because repeated false alarms are much less costly than even a single failure to prepare for upcoming danger.”

“Similarly, we hypothesize that an internally generated feeling of knowing provides not only a
phenomenological sign of goal-attainment but is also the physiological mechanism that actually
shuts-down security motivation.”

“An internally generated “feeling of knowing” (termed “yedasentience”) provides a phenomenological sign of goal-attainment and has as its consequence the termination of thoughts, ideas or actions motivated by concerns of harm to self or others. Failure to generate or experience this feeling produces symptoms characteristic of OCD.”

“Instead, according to the present model, the underlying problem is lack of closure -- the inability to turn off security motivation, which drives security-related thoughts, through the normal route of performing specific security-related behaviors.”

Henry Szechtman, McMaster University, Erik Woody, University of Waterloo, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as a Disturbance of Security Motivation,

[8] “The mechanics of the thinking process is affected by our emotions. Switching from one context to another, the rate of changing subjects, the amount of concentration, the depth of thinking through different abstraction levels, getting obsessed to solve the problem, thinking speed are dramatically affected by the affective situation we are in while thinking… “The various glands of the endocrine system release hormones into the bloodstream that have effects on specific sites in the brain, including those involved in emotion” says Cornelius [5] . A careful observer can notice that there are different working speeds of thinking in our brains. Our brains work in a slow mode when we are doing something related with safety or security(but not related to emergency) where as our ideas fly when we are doing something sentimental or dreaming… Thinking speed helps us to switch from one processor to another in our multiprocessor brain. Feelings and selecting the right mood help us to choose the right processor (or combination of processors) to do the ‘thinking’.”

Ali Riza SARAL, “Do Computers Feel?”,

[9] Gavrus BOGDAN, Vizual, http://gavrusphoto.blogspot.com