- Instead of learning proofreading and grammar, Eagle Eyes learn the "brain off" and "hot zone" techniques, which attack root causes of errors.
- Training includes "muscle memory" exercises in which trainees learn to enter the right mindset on demand.
I call this special brand of magic the "brain off" and "hot zone" techniques. I'll describe one now and save the other for a later post.
"Turn my brain off? Where's the switch?"
Notice that you can understand what's below even though it's rife with errors.
To keeep up wth th wolrd and the ecnomy, innoavtion ins't enoguh; creatviity is aslo rquired, he says. "Innovtaion is suvrival in the prceivd wrold--maikng somtheing new in the exstng sistym. To be creativ is to thnik abuot a neew systim," said Luc de Brabandere, athuor of "The Forgtten Half of Chnage: Acheeving Graeter Craetviity Thourgh Cheanges in Percption" (Dearborn Trade Pubilshnig, May 2005). Anti-lock breaks stem from inovation. The comptr muose and Stabruck's and Coka-Cola's use of ther bradns to get into muzik sales come from creativity.
My point: Our brain is designed to keep us from seeing things as they really are. It "fixes" what's wrong so that we can smoothly absorb the gist without getting hung up on glitches.
It's not your fault; DNA conspires against you
This means we are born to be really bad proofreaders. It's genetic. We can't help it. All of us are bad.
To counter this, we need to find our brain's "off" switch and commandeer it.
In the first couple weeks of Eagle Eye classes (twice a week, an hour each time), I give trainees exercises that teach them to "turn their brain off" so that they can see things as they really are. Visual artists do this all the time. Proofreaders must do it, too, but most people don't know that.
Sit-ups, push-ups for "brain off" decathletes
The exercises include reading things backward and circling subsets of letters in paragraphs of gibberish. Immediately on the first day, trainees feel the sensation. It's a lot like driving on autopilot -- you know, where you zone out and don't remember the last couple of miles. Through practice, trainees learn to commandeer the on/off switch and keep it off even though it keeps trying to pop back on again.
There's more, but we'll save it for another post.
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The next training session begins July 22. Check out our Facebook fan page to find out what some of the veterans are telling the new recruits.