biocentrism: how life and consciousness are the keys to understanding the true nature of the universe, by robert lanza, md, with bob berman. benbella books, 2009
“if the big bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, it would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and life to develop. if the strong nuclear force were decreased 2 percent, atomic nuclei wouldn’t hold together, and plain-vanilla hydrogen would be the only kind of atom in the universe. if the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the sun) would not ignite. these are just three of just more than two hundred physical parameters within the solar system and universe so exact that it strains credulity to propose that they are random – even if that is exactly what standard contemporary physics baldly suggests. these fundamental constants of the universe – constants that are not predicted by any theory – all seem to be carefully chosen, often with great precision, to allow for the existence of life and consciousness (yes, consciousness raises its annoying paradoxical head yet a third time). the old model has absolutely o reasonable explanation for this. but biocentrism supplies answers, as we shall see. there’s more. brilliant equations that accurately explain the vagaries of motion contradict observations about how things behave on the small scale. (or, to affix the correct labels on it, einstein’s relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics.)” p7
“the pulses of air by themselves do not constitute any sort of sound, which is obvious because 15-pulse air puffs remain silent no matter how many ears are present. only when a specific range of pulses are present is the ear’s neural architecture designed to let human consciousness conjure the noise experience. in short, an observer, an ear, and a brain are every bit as necessary for the experience of sound as are the air pulses. the external world and consciousness are correlative. and a tree that falls in an empty forest creates only silent air pulses – tiny puffs of wind. when someone dismissively answers ‘of course a tree makes a sound if no one’s nearby,’ they are merely demonstrating their inability to ponder an event nobody attended. they’re finding it too difficult to take themselves out of the equation. they somehow continue to imagine themselves present when they are absent.” P20-1
“charges of the same type repel each other, so the bark’s electrons repel yours, and you feel this electrical repulsive force stopping your fingers from penetrating any further. nothing solid ever meets any other solids when you push on a tree. the atoms in your fingers are each as empty as a vacant football stadium in which a single fly sits on teh fifty-yard line. if we needed solids to stop us (rather than energy fields), our fingers could easily penetrate the tree as if we were swiping at fog.” p22
“Three components are necessary for a rainbow. there must be sun, there must be raindrops, and there must be a conscious eye (or its surrogate, film) at the correct geometric location. if your eyes look directly opposite the sun (that is, at the antisolar point, which is always marked by the shadow of your head), the sunlit water droplets will produce a rainbow that surrounds that precise spot at a distance of forty-two degrees. but your eyes must be located at that spot where the refracted light from the sunlit droplets converges to complete the required geometry. a person next to you will complete his or her own geometry, and will be at the apex of a cone for an entirely different set of droplets, and will therefore see a separate rainbow. their rainbow is very likely to look like yours, but it needn’t be so. the droplets their eyes intercept may be of a different size, and larger droplets make for a more vivid rainbow while at the same time robbing it of blue. then, too, if the sunlit droplets are very nearby, as from a lawn sprinkler, the person nearby may not see a rainbow at all. your rainbow is yours alone. but now we get to our point: what if no one’s there? answer: no rainbow.” p22-3
“in the absence of anyone or any animal, it is easy to see that no rainbow is present. or, if you prefer, there are countless trillions of potential bows, each one blurrily offset from the next by the minutest margin.” p23
“The visual image of that butter, that is, the butter itself, actually exists only inside your brain. that is its location. it is the only place visual images are perceived and cognized. some may imagine that there are two worlds, one ‘out there’ and a separate one being cognized inside the skull. but the ‘two worlds’ model is a myth. nothing is perceived except the perceptions themselves, and nothing exists outside of consciousness. only one visual reality is extant, and there it is. right there. the ‘outside world’ is, therefore, located within the brain or mind. of course, this is so astounding for many people, even if it is obvious to those who study the brain, that it becomes possible to over-think the issue and come up with attempted refutations. ‘yeah, but what about someone born blind?’ ‘and what about touch; if things aren’t out there, how can we feel them?’ none of that changes the reality: touch, too, occurs only within consciousness or the mind.” p36
“”more recent experiments by libet, announced in 2008, analyzing separate, higher-order brain functions, have allowed his research team to predict up to ten seconds in advance which hand a subject is about to decide to raise. ten seconds is nearly an eternity when it comes to cognitive decisions, and yet a person’s eventual decision could be seen on brain scans that long before the subject was even remotely aware of having made any decision. this and other experiments prove that the brain makes its own decisions on a subconscious level, and people only later feel that ‘they’ have performed a conscious decision. it means that we go through life thinking that, unlike the blessedly autonomous operations of the heart and kidneys, a lever-pulling ‘me’ is in charge of hte brain’s workings. libet concluded that the sense of personal free will arises solely from a habitual retrospective perspective of the ongoing flow of brain events. what, then, do we make of all this? first, that we are truly free to enjoy the unfolding of life, including our own lives, unencumbered by the acquired, often guilt-ridden sense of control, and the obsessive need to avoid messing up. we can relax, because we’ll automatically perform anyway.” p39
“as more sophisticated experiments were devised, it became obvious that mere knowledge in the experimenter’s mind is sufficient to cause the wave-function to collapse.” p51
“before bell, it was still considered possible (though increasingly iffy) that local realism – an objective independent universe – could be the truth. before bell, many still clung to the millennia-old assumption that physical states exist before they are measured.” p53
constants: atomic mass unit, avogadro’s number, bohr magneton, bohr radius, boltzmann’s constant, compton wavelength, deuteron mass, electric constant, electron mass, electron-volt, elementary charge, faraday constant, fine structure constant, hartree energy, hydrogen ground state, josephson constant, magnetic constant, molar gas constant, natural unit of action, newtonian constant of gravitation, neutron mass, nuclear magneton, planck constant, planck length, planck mass, planck time, proton mass, rydberg constant, stefan boltzmann constant, speed of light in vacuum, thompson cross section, wien displacement law constant. p85-6
“you either have an astonishingly improbably coincidence revolving around the indisputable fact that the cosmos could have any properties but happens to have exactly the right ones for life or else you have exactly what must be seen if indeed the cosmos is biocentric. either way, the notion of a random billiard-ball cosmos that could have had any forces that boast any range of values, but instead has the weirdly specific ones needed for life, looks impossible enough to seem downright silly.” p91
“at first it was assumed that such uncertainty in quantum theory practice was due to some technological insufficiency on the part of the experimenter or his instruments, some lack of sophistication in the methodology. but it soon became apparent that the unertainty is actually built into the fabric of reality. we see only that for which we are looking. of course, all of this makes perfect sense from a biocentric perspective: time is the inner form of animal sense that animates events – the still frames – of the spatial world. the mind animates the world like the motor and gears of a projector. each weaves a series of still pictures – a series of spatial states – into an order, into the ‘current’ of life. motion is created in our minds by running ‘film cells’ together. remember that everything you perceive – even this page – is actively, repeatedly, being reconstructed inside your head. it’s happening to you right now. your eyes cannot see through the wall of the cranium; all experience including visual experience is an organized whirl of information in your brain. if your mind could stop its ‘motor’ for a moment, you’d get a freeze frame, just as the movie projector isolated the arrow in one position with no momentum. in fact, time can be defined as the inner summation of spatial states; the same t hing measured with our scientific instruments is called momentum. space can be defined as position, as locked in a single frame. thus, movement through space is an oxymoron. heisenberg’s uncertainty principle has its root here: position (location in space) belongs to the outer world and momentum (which involves the temporal component that adds together still ‘film cells’) belongs to the inner world. by penetrating to the bottom of matter, scientists have reduced the universe to its most basic logic, and time is simply not a feature of the external spatial world.” p100
“werner heisenberg when he said, “a path comes into existence only when you observe it.’ there is neither time nor motion without life. reality is not ‘there’ with definite properties waiting to be discovered but actually comes into being depending upon the actions of the observer.” p101
“the demotion of time from an actual reality to a mere subjective experience, a fiction or even social convention, is central to biocentrism. its ultimate unreality, except as an aid and mutually agreed-upon convenience in everyday life, is yet one more piece of evidence that calls into serious doubt the ‘external universe’ mindset.” p104
“that time is a fixed arrow is a human construction. that we live no the edge of all time is a fantasy. that there is an irreversible, on-flowing continuum of events linked to galaxies and suns and the earth is an even greater fantasy. space and time are forms of animal understanding – period. we carry t hem around with us like turtles with shells. so there simply is no absolute self-existing matrix out there in which physical events occur independent of life.” p106
“the persistent human perception of time almost certainly stems from the chronic act of thinking, the one-word-at-a-time thought process by which ideas and events are visualized and anticipated. in rare moments of clarity and mental emptiness, or when danger or novel experience forces a one-pointed focus upon one’s consciousness, time vanishes, replaced by an ineffably enjoyable feeling of freedom, or the singular focus of escaping immediate peril. time is never cognized normally in such thought-less experiences: ‘i saw the whole accident unfolding in slow motion,’ in sum, from a biocentric point of view, time does not exist in the universe independent of life that notices it, and really doesn’t truly exist within the context of life either.” p109
“life has seemingly taught that time and space are external – and perhaps eternal – realities. they appear to encompass and bind all experiences, and are fundamental rather than secondary to life. they seem to lie above and beyond human experience, the gridwork within which all adventures unfold. as animals, we are organized and wired to use places and time to specify our experiences to ourselves and to others. history defines the past by placing people and events in time and space.” p112
“space, which is solely the conceptual mind’s way of clearing its throat, of pausing between identified symbols. at any rate, this subjective truth of this is now supported by actual experiments (as we saw in teh quantum theory chapters) that strongly suggest distance (space) has no reality whatsoever for entangled particles, no matter how great their apparent separation” p 114-5
“the generation to which einstein belonged had been taught that there existed an objective physical world that unfolded itself according to laws independent of life. ‘the belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject, einstein later wrote, ‘is the basis of all natural science.’ the universe was viewed as a great machine set in motion at the beginning of time, with wheels and cogs that turned according to immutable laws independent of us.” p116
“biocentrism, of course, shows that space is a projection from inside our minds, where experience begins. it is a tool of life, the form of outer sense that allows an organism to coordinate sensory information, and to make judgments regarding the quality and intensity of what is being perceived. space is not a physical phenomenon per se – and should not be studied in the same way as chemicals and moving particles. we animal organisms use this form of perception to organize our sensations into outer experience. in biological terms, the interpretation of sensory input in the brain depends on the neural pathway it takes from the body.” p117
“so we have multiple illusions and processes that routinely impart a false view of space. shall we count the ways? (1) empty space is not empty. (2) distances between objects can and do mutate depending on a multitude of conditions, so that no bedrock distance exists anywhere, between anything and anything else. (3) quantum theory casts serious doubt about whether even distant individual items are truly separated at all. (4) we ‘see’ separations between objects only because we have been conditioned and trained, through language and convention, to draw boundaries.” p118
“what, then, is the true nature of this space? empty? seething with energy and therefore matter-equivalent? real? unreal? a uniquely active field? a field of mind? moreover, if one accepts that the external world occurs only in mind, in consciousness, and that it’s the interior of one’s brain that’s cognized ‘out there’ at this moment, then of course everything is connected with everything else.” p125-6
“the fact that space can both seem to change its appearance through aberration, and actually shrink drastically at high speed, so that the entire universe is only a few steps from end to end, illustrates that it has no inherent, let alone external, structure. it is, rather, an experiential commodity that goes with the flow and mutates under varying circumstances.” p126
“first principle of biocentrism: what we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. an ‘external’ reality, if it existed, would – by definition – have to exist in space. but this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.
second principle of biocentrism: our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. they are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.
third principle of biocentrism: the behavior of subatomic particles – indeed all particles and objects – is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.
fourth principle of biocentrism: without consciousness, ‘matter’ dwells in an undetermined state of probability. any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.
fifth principle of biocentrism: the structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. the universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. the ‘universe’ is simply the complete spatiotemporal logic of the self.
sixth principle of biocentrism: time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. it is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.
seventh principle of biocentrism: space, like time, is not an object or a t hing. space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. we carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life.” p127
“what weinberg and others who have pondered the issue complain about is that, given all the chemistry and physics we know, given the brain’s neurological structure and complex architecture, and its constant trickle-current, it is nothing short of astonishing that the result is – this! the world in all its manifold sights and smells and emotions. a subjective feeling of being, of aliveness, that we all carry so unrelentingly that few give it a moment’s thought. there is no principle of science – in any discipline – that hints or explains how on earth we get this from that.” p174
“it is not solely atoms and proteins that hold the answer to the problem of consciousness. when we consider the nerve impulses entering the brain, we realize that they are not woven together automatically, any more than the information is inside a computer. our thoughts and perceptions have an order, not of themselves, but because the mind generates the spatio-temporal relationships involved in every experience. even taking cognition to the next step by fabricating a sense of meaning to things necessitates the creation of spatio-temporal relationships, the inner and outer forms of our sensuous intuition.” p175
fyi, i’m just working all this stuff out, while i’m writing, based on some thoughts i had earlier while trying to sleep.
learning how to fly is going to be hard to write. at first it’s very hard to do. you have to run and then jump, and it’s hard to get up the speed. it helps if you run downhill, or cast yourself off of something that’s not too high, just in case. at first it’s all arms and legs, swimming thru the air, constantly fighting to overcome gravity and weight. as you get the hang of it, the process changes, takes less effort. it gets to where you can give a little half skip and you’re off, climbing into the air with your arms and legs. and then, when you get good at it, you just think of where you want to go, desire it, will it, and then go there. just leap up into the sky and go whizzing off as fast as you like. the power comes from your chest, your solar plexus, your gut. you don’t have to use your arms and legs any more, you can feel the physical will of your desire to fly.
they get this on their own, the boy and girl, in the vision that the first chapter tells about. the angel sprinkles them with fairy dust and sends them off, and they figure out how to fly. and it’s a real learning curve. but by the time they get to the cloud where they meet up with the angel, they’re good beginning fliers. yay.
the angel shows them, gives them, awakens them to other powers. he shows them how to create things. how to do magic. i’m having to repeat myself a lot because i’m finding that the words i’m trying to use to describe these various things (flying, the locus of willpower, being god) don’t nearly encompass what i’m trying to describe. each one of the words i pick only shows part of the meaning of what i’m trying to describe, and only from a limited point of view. so i have to use several attempts to make myself clear to myself. there are no words. i’m going to have so much trouble with this.
so the angel teaches them their powers. it starts by focusing on an invisible ball of energy between your hands. there’s that pull in your stomach. there’s a thrumming. there’s heat coming out of your feet and that weird sensation at the top of your head, and tension in the back of your neck and shoulders. and a loosening in your gut. then a sort of internal click, conscious but completely inaudible.
the angel ‘tunes’ the land below – it has already gone from being a distant star to being a planet, then a moon, then an ocean, then a continent, then a lake, then an island, then a pond, then a plate, then a bubble, then an atom. they were standing around on a cloud above the continent, but the angel tunes it so they’re floating above a valley, and drops the boy and girl off there, telling them to go do things with their powers.
when the angel returns, who knows from where, it’s instantly apparent that everything’s wrong. all the animals of the valley are cowering in a corner and being threatened by dinosaurs with ugly teeth. the other end of the valley is blackened and smoldering. the angel finds the boy and girl in a clearing they’d materialized, sitting on a couch they’d conjured, focused on a plasma tv they created, and playing videogames they dreamed up using their godlike powers.
the angel throws a fit. look what you’ve, i turn my back for, i can’t believe you’d. do you know what you’ve done? do you realize what you’re doing? do you know why i brought you here? do you know what all this is for? the two of them just look at the angel. dude, you brought us here, the boy says. we’re kind of waiting for you to tell us, the girl explains.
the angel throws them out, uses the fiery sword to throw up a wall and a gate, and escorts them out of it. then the angel stows the sword and collapses on the couch, head in hand. the boy and girl return for the sword and a feather that dropped from the angel’s wings, then turn and hike off into the distance.
here it’s still hazy, and goes very fast. i’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it’s what i’m working on at the moment. if i concentrate on it during my next meditation, it will expand in detail. i’m learning that this is how it works. whatever you concentrate on expands.
they wander thruout the land, creating things, purring things into order. wherever the girl sweeps the feather, people spring up, families and tribes and civilizations spreading out. wherever the boy touches his sword, castles spring up, fortresses, walled cities, and vast armies spreading out. all this takes a very long time, and is very tiring. the boy and girl lie down to rest.
while they are resting, their bodies spread out, the edges become less defined. they feel themselves becoming the land underneath them, feel themselves growing immense, endless, their bodies stretching to the horizon and beyond. the people, the civilizations are part of them, as if they are bits of fingers and arms, hairs, muscles. the whole world becomes an expression of the boy and girl, waving, wandering, breathing; carrying out even their unspoken dreams.
and then what? there’s a final bit here right before they come back to consciousness, and i forget what it is. some final takeaway lesson. and do i need to have the angel come back and make them answer the questions – what’s it all for? but their quest was all about answering the questions. otherwise, what’s the point of hte wandering and the becoming the world?
and how is this like a fairy tale? i wonder, is there a formula for fairy tales? why of course there is.
here are some of the problems i can identify right now:
Structure: How will the story begin? What will be the problem? How is theproblem going to be resolved?Theme: What is the theme / message the writer is attempting to communicate?Step1: THE MORAL LESSONDecide what lesson your fairytale is going to teach before you write it. At their core fairy tales are morality tales from the horror of stepmothers to not talking to strangers. They are generally teaching something and yours should do the same.
The typical hero/heroine is young; in the beginning often poor, all alone, unhappy, humble, simple, naïve, untainted (can recognize wonder signs), believes in the miraculous & reveres nature. (S)he wants to keep the process of natural change flowing & reach happiness. At the end: respected, powerful, has found happinessStep3: THE BADDIESDevise one or more enemies: evil characters, like witches or dragons. A fairytale must have an evil character that works as an antagonist to the good character. The evil characters usually have special powers of some sort and they must use those powers in a way to cause the good character pain.Step5: THE MAGICDesign a magical character or object to write into the fairy tale. The magical character can be theevil character but many fairy tales have both good and evil magical characters that work to off-set the other’s influence.
The true essence of a fairy tale comes in the pixie dust and magic wands. Clever songs about magical words are optional, but some sort of magic should be present. The magic can be good or bad, or maybe even both. The main character can have magical abilities or perhaps be the victim of some sort of bad spell. It’s up to you.Don’t forget your numbers: Use the special numbers Three or Seven : Like magic, fairy tales wouldn’t be the same without special numbers. There were seven dwarves, three fairy godmothers, seven mermaid sisters and three little pigs. Three wishes or tests are very common, too. Find a way to work in three or seven of something and you’ll be set.
Step6: THE OBSTACLES OR TASKS
Identify what obstacles your good character is going to have to face. Whatever the obstacle it should seem insurmountable and genuinely require a bit of creativity by your good character and a little magical assistance.The basic structure of a fairy tale:A hero or heroine performs one or more tasks and is rewarded as a result.
Which tasks? adventures, the overcoming of dangers, “impossible” tasks, battle against the baddy/against powerful creatures; rescue, release of a spellbound charactermeans to overcome obstacles: own qualities: courage, cunning, goodness timely intervention of an accomplice with magical powers, a magic object which helps.Step9: IMPORTANT ELEMENTS- clear contrast between good and evil
- often good and bad behaviour immediately after each other
- often repitition: twice wrongly, once differently dealt with
- so often groups of two or three: good and evil sisters – first, second, third son
- also set phrases / sayings are often repeated
The more recognizable and vivid the situations you describe, the more vague te feelings you suggest, the more he will then complete the vague images that you are offering with content that is meaningful to him and which he will agree with. This will deepen the rapport and make him more receptive to what you are saying.How to be vague?Adapt your use of language:1.Pronouns it, he, … instead of concrete noun2.Nominalizations Independent verbs (“the going”)3.Metaphors (“the black gold” instead of “petrol”)4.Paradoxes (“the sound of silence”)5.Alliteration (successive words starting with same sound)6.Ellipses (leave out unnecessary words)7.Repetitions (With me, …)8.Personifications (“the rain is telling us …”)9.Stories, Fairy Tales and MythsUsing gathered information for “mind reading” or making correct assumptions is very useful to build a sensation of rapport and will make the reader more receptive to your propositions.Right now you may ask yourselfYou probably feel somethingBy now you will see, understand, agree …I see that you start to understand, …I am so glad that you feel the same way …You will soon start feeling, you will see, you will enjoy,We will first … and then you will know, see, feel, …Once you have fully understood this, you will be able to …Be careful to use vague or ambiguous phrases :By this time, you might start to become aware of this special sensationThat (what ??) can feel so good, can’t it?A good and safe way is to tell things by implication :I wonder if youalready realize that themain advantage …I don’t know if youalready noticed that …By now, you may feel how the desire keeps growingAnd then this sensation of … will increase more and moreYou cankeep feelingmore …You will feelcompletely satisfiedAgain, we …Once you have fully understood this, you will be able to …Everybody knows , We all feel that …You will feelso secure,so relaxed,so happy …Telling the reader what he knows, feels and thinks, is not enough however: you shouldlink it to what he must do, think or feel next :straight links and, also, but, …Implicit links while, during, after, before … you feel, are, will see…Links which reveal necessity since you have experienced for yourself … you know A causes B; this requires, Because X …follows Y Since we agreed that A = B, therefore …Avoid giving direct orders : use superpositions insteadNOT: “imagine”, or “try to imagine” – BUT: “While you imagine this, you will realize that …”NOT: “look at this”- BUT: “we can see that …”… Or build silent acceptation (which will make it more difficult for the other to disagree later)Yes?Right?You see?Got it?It’s important therefore to mention the desired result or feeling over and over again.Use chains of always stronger, connected feelings: A leads to B, B to C …Link descriptions of actions and situations to feelings: Description of action or situation + and this made him feel like … / gives you the feeling of …Insert embedded commands:By inserting embedded commands, you may talk about anything but simultaneously you will be programming the reader,A handy way to make your reader think about or imagine something, is to tell them* not to think about it
* that there’s no such thing as …
* It is impossible to imagine …you can “anchor” strong emotions, that is: mark them and in this way link them to a touch, to a specific motion, to a painting, to the starlit sky … in fact, to anything at all. The stronger the emotion felt when the anchor is set, the stronger the response will be when the anchor is “fired” later. The more special and specific the anchor, the longer it will retain its function.
1. Protagonist confronted with interdiction/prohibition she violates
2. departure or banishment
3. protagonist takes or is given task related to interdiction/prohibition
4. TASK is a sign mark or stereotype of character (names are rare, insig)5. Characters function according to social class/profession & transform selves or cross boundaries
6. Significant or signifying encounter
7. Protagonist will meet enemies or friends
8. Antagonist is often a witch, ogre, monster, or evil fairy9. “Friend” is usually a mysterious creature or character who gives the protagonist gifts (often x 3; often magical agents)
10. Miraculous or marvelous change / transformation
11. Protagonist is endowed with gifts
12. Protagonist is tested & overcomes inimical forces
13. Usually peripeteia (sudden fall) in fortunes = temporary set back
14. Miraculous / marvelous intervention needed to reverse wheel of fortune
15. Often protagonist here uses endowed gifts (including magical agens & cunning)
16. Success usually = marriage, acquisition of money, survival, wisdom or combination of first 317. As a whole these functions form TRANSFORMATION (overall focus of the tale)
notes from: the dalai lama at mit, edited by anne harrington and arthur zajonc, harvard university press, 2006
[noisy baby threatens hiding villagers w/discovery] “we have found that the subjects who respond emotionally to this moral challenge – those who say they could not risk the baby’s life – show activity in areas of the brain that are associated with emotion. in contrast, the subjects who decide that risking the baby’s life, however horrible, is acceptable because it will likely save more lives show greater activity in the prefrontal cortex. we believe that this brain activity is related to the effort of overcoming emotion. in other words, the same region of the brain that is active in focusing attention is also active in overriding and controlling the emotional response that might otherwise lead to a different kind of behavior.
[sharing only pittance w/partner] “when we have done brain scans of people who are presented with this situation and reject the offer, we find that the areas of their brain related to emotion are activated. other subjects, however, decide that a penny is better than nothing and accept the offer; these people show greater activity in their prefrontal cortex.
“these observations suggest that control and attention are very closely related. control leads to the focusing of attention on sensory events or actions that lead, in turn, to a particular behavior. at the same time, other observations suggest that the two phenomena are different: that, specifically, internal control reflects one source of attention – a voluntary sort – but that other sorts of attention work differently. for example, a sudden stimulus can capture attention without any voluntary desire to attend to that stimulus. this suggests that attention might be considered more generally, then, to be the selective effect of whatever is currently guiding thought. in some instances, that might be a goal or intention that comes from internal control; in others it might be a stimulus, a memory, or a particularly powerful emotion that might not be under internal control. thus there may indeed be a difference between attention in general and internal control.” p32-3
“what are the timing characteristics of human attention? measured in the laboratory and using normal subjects, it is commonly found that a percept needs 50 to 100 milliseconds of stability to command attention. yet discussions with our buddhist colleagues suggest that a highly trained mind may be able to attend to one event per millisecond, which represents a much more compressed time scale.” p33-4
“it seems that the two traditions – western cognitive neuroscience and buddhism – think of the relationship between attention and effort differently. we scientists tend to think of attention as effortful and to believe that it is difficult to maintain a selective or enduring focus of attention over a long period of time. in buddhist practice it appears that, at least after initial training, focusing attention is an effortless and almost relaxing process.” p34
“the foundation of buddhist practice is ethics, without which there can be no viable spiritual practice at all. according to buddhism, this is a universal truth. it is not confined to buddhism. it is not a sectarian issue. it is just the way things are. but it is not simply a dogmatic assertion. an ethical way of life – a way of life that is oriented toward not injuring others and to being of service where one can – is a life based on empathy, compassion, and altruism, and pragmatically, such a life turns out to be a foundation for achieving mental health and balance. achieving such balance requires the cultivation of attentional and emotional balance as well as cognitive balance. cognitive balance consists of clearly seeing what is presented to our senses, without superimposing things that are not there.” p39
“indian contemplatives even before the time of the buddha were concerned with the nature and potential of attention, and one of their first discoveries was that normal, untrained attention is impaired.” p40
“attention training is a crucial element in the buddhist meditative cultivation of the mind. such attention training has specific goals, of which the first is relaxation. one proceeds in this practice with a sense of ease; it must not be intensely, ambitiously bound up with hopes and desires. one can certainly exert too much effort. on the basis of relaxation. one cultivates stability, involving coherence and continuity of attention to one’s chosen object. but it is not enough for attention to be merely stable. it must also be imbued with a sense of clarity, vividness, and high resolution.” p41
“in the development of attention skills, the employment of mindfulness is not enough. if you are attending to something mindfully, how do you know whether your mind has unconsciously ‘exploded’ out into sensory distractions or wandering thoughts, or ‘imploded’ into laxity, dullness, or sleepiness? to recognize such attentional imbalances as soon as they arise, you must develop and apply a kind of meta-attention (samprajanya), which has the function of monitoring the quality of attention. so mindfulness and meta-attention are the two faculties to be developed int he cultivation of attentional stability and vividness.
“in the buddhist understanding, attention in a single moment is said to be highly selective. whether it is voluntary or involuntary, a single moment of attention is focused on only one of the five physical fields of sensory perception or on the field of mental phenomena, which is considered the sixth domain of immediate experience.” p41-2
“five mental factors of ascertainment, which include aspiration, confidence or trust, mindfulness, single-pointedness, and intelligence…if there were little or no single-pointed stability in our normal cognitive experience, t hen we would never be able to apply intelligence. one of the five omnipresent mental factors is known as sempa, which could be translated as ‘will.’ this is different from aspiration in our system. we are talking here about two different classes of mental factors: five omnipresent factors and five factors of ascertainment. aspiration is an omnipresent factor; will (sempa) is the other type. but how do you define will, or sempa, as opposed to attention? ” p49-50
“at the lowest level we have the sensor characteristics of the stimulus. then, as you move up thru different levels, you eventually reach the meaning. but there is some suggestion that, in fact, conscious experience goes directly to the meaning – that we access the highest, conscious level faster than the low levels, and it takes more effort to perceive the sensory properties unchanged by all the interpretations that we spontaneously make.” p50
“in patients with brain damage who are no longer able to attend to something or to interpret it, we can show that the information has nevertheless gotten into their head somewhere.” p50
“the mapping of the perceptual process is understood in terms of the eye and light coming together. the two form in what buddhist psychology is called eye consciousness. those three together (eye, light, and eye consciousness) then condition feeling thru an initial percept of attractive, unattractive, or neutral feeling. then the sanna, or designation, occurs. prior to naming, the brain says, ‘oh, this is a color, and it’s of this particular intensity.” the naming or thought comes in subsequent to that. given refined training, the attention can be sustained at that contact level.” p51
“the buddhist position is that a single millisecond of cognition almost invariably does not ascertain anything by itself. it is too brief. but in a sequence of these pulses of cognition, if they are focusing on the same object with a high degree of homogeneity, a temporal binding process takes place and there is a cumulative effect. and after a multitude of these milliseconds, whether ten or forty or a hundred, then you ascertain the object you are attending to.
“i would offer a hypotheses, that for this type of attentional training, as you enhance the clarity of attention, which i understand to mean increasing the density of these ascertaining clusters of consciousness, you would be able to pick up things of shorter duration and also pick up more detail in a single moment. in other words, vividness corresponds in part to the degree of temporal resolution, the ability to ascertain very brief stimuli ” p57
“attention skills might be developed thru repetitious activity and fine-tuning of focus in a task such as playing video games, which may be why they increase skills in certain academic areas. but the element of habituation has another side. the way films are made, the average clip is very, very brief. just a few seconds long. what that means is one gets bored more easily. if you need a high level of rapidly changing stimuli to keep your attention, then as soon as things drop below that level, you are bored. you want to do something new, something different. so there are two contrasting elements involved in that habituation. teenagers, or even adults, might be harmed by repetitious, high-intensity activity if it leads to a need for so much stimulus coming in just to avoid feeling depressed or restless.
“one purpose of learning to develop attention with uninteresting objects like the breath is to establish that quality of attention and ease with the present moment with an absolute minimum of stimuli, so that you can feel at home in yourself with very little going on. teenagers need to be playing a video game and listening to the stereo and checking their e-mail simultaneously, and then they feel good! that takes a lot of hardware to feel at home in life.” p60
“in buddhist philosophy, one is not considered sane until one is fully enlightened.” p63
“we might think this floor is beautiful because we perceive it as such. but very quickly we tend to believe that it is intrinsically beautiful, or ugly. we believe that sounds are intrinsically pleasant or unpleasant, and so, similarly, in the cases of taste, touch, and all our sensory experiences. in fact, there is a deeply interdependent process between outer phenomena and our mind. we perceive things and assign values to them; we try to possess things or discard them based on those judgments; and we start to believe that the characteristics we impute to objects actually belong to the objects. in this way, we experience a much stronger compulsion to attract or repulse them.
“the problem is that our experiences of craving or repulsion are at odds with reality. things are not intrinsically beautiful or pleasant. a rose might be beautiful to our eyes, but its ‘beauty’ does not mean much to a whale or a bat. because our perception is at odds with reality, we end up with a sense of frustration, torment, inner conflict, and suffering. likewise for the perceiver’s experience of him-or herself. we know that our body changes from that of a baby to that of an adult to that of an elderly person. we know, too, that in our experience every moment brings something new. yet we can’t help but think that in this stream of constant transformation there is a core, the i, which defines us, which is really us, and which continues in a unitary way thruout this process. this is our instinctive belief. once we have this core identification with an i, obviously we want to protect it and please it. feelings of fear, rejection, or attraction are connected with the strong sense of self-importance that comes from believing in this i. the same sense of self-importance also provides a target to suffering. thru identification with the core i, we become very vulnerable to all kinds of emotional afflictions: intense craving, hatred, pride, contempt, and jealousy. jealousy, for instance, could not exist without a sense of self-importance as its cause.
“in buddhist thinking, such experiences are considered deluded perceptions, because in such perceptions we are solidifying both the inner reality of the stream of consciousness (which is constantly changing) and the flow of ever-changing phenomena outside. imputing or superimposing our judgments, likes, and dislikes onto phenomena to an excessive extent causes us to place tremendous importance on the self and in this way actually makes us function in a way that causes torment and suffering. the whole idea of the buddhist path is to acknowledge and recognize that suffering and its causes for what they are. this is the answer to the question of what’s wrong with our way of perceiving the phenomenal world: it’s just wrong in the sense that it ends up in suffering and torment. that torment in turn prevents us from being open to others and expressing altruism.” p70-71
“in a way, doing this kind of task may seem somewhat artificial and to be taking us even further away from reality. but in fact we are trying to transform our perception of the world from a delusional perception in to one that constantly reminds us of the basic quality of pure awareness when it is free from obscuring emotions.” p73
“they’re not trying to visualize something solid, because in fact that’s what they want to avoid. so they try instead to see the image more as if it were made of light, as if it were a very, very clear rainbow. it is not made of flesh and blood or wood or stone. it is also, however, not inert as a rainbow is. and it has the qualities of wisdom and compassion, so it acts to remind and inspire contemplatives to let those inner qualities flourish within their mind.” p76
“freedom from torments means inner peace, which is quite different form the effort to find happiness in external phenomena and the fleeting pleasures and sensations they produce. that sense of inner peace, in turn, naturally brings much more openness to the world and other sentient beings. lack of fear, lack of self-importance or self-identity naturally flourish, along with greater altruism, compassion, and loving kindness, because the barriers between self and other have been removed.” p77-8
“there is an understanding in the contemplative tradition that the mental imagery that everybody experiences during thought (the technical term is ‘to generate an image’) is meaning-based imagery. it may not necessarily be an image in the sense of a picture but rather some form of concept or construct. one can develop one’s capacity to maintain that image and refine it. this is done thru meditative practice. thru constant training and familiarity with the image that you conceptualize, you can reach a very high level of clarity, such that the content of that thought is referred to as a form, almost like a visible form. unlike ordinary material objects that are characterized by shape and color and so on, the content of that thought is not a material object, but it is nevertheless referred to as a mental object that has a form. it is considered a constructed form. there are parallels recognized between this experience of very vivid, clear imagery and the dream state. there is also an understanding that one can further develop one’s meditative capacity to a very high level, where that form will take on a qualitatively different nature. for example, if the object of the meditation is a fire, the generated form can burn and one can use it like a real fire.
“alan wallace: this refers to the use of kasinas in the pali tradition. by taking the conceptual quintessence of an element such as fire – it could be another element as well – and generating it meditatively, you can actually project it into the sensory world.
“dalai lama: there is a complex understanding of the various levels to which imagery can be trained. the types of practices that matthieu described are part of a vajrayana practice referred to as ‘generation stage.’” p95
“there are a wide variety of techniques for stabilizing and refining the attention. some entail a mental image, but another example is focusing on the breath. ” p100
“a way to use mental imagery to enhance one’s positive emotions is with the meditation we call ‘the exchange of happiness and suffering.’ you use your breathing , which is the most natural function we have. when you breathe in, you imagine that you are gathering all the suffering and pain of all sentient beings like a dark cloud. you visualize that you are drawing it in like a cloud of smoke and absorbing it into your heart, which you visualize as a bright mass of white light. as the black cloud completely dissolves into that light, you visualize that all the sufferings of sentient beings are being dissolved. then, as you breathe out, you breathe all your loving kindness, compassion, and whatever happiness you might have to all sentient beings. it’s not like you cut a piece of cake and distribute it; rather, every sentient being gets it whole. you do this again and again, riding on the breath, doing it just as naturally as you breathe in and out. it’ is a visualization that completely transforms your mind in terms of the concepts of happiness, suffering, and generating compassion. because it’s linked with the breath, it really helps transform your mind toward compassion.” p108-9
“the reality simulation principle, which is based on the idea that so much neural real estate is shared by imagery and perception. it says that most effects that can occur by interacting with an object in the world can be mimicked by interacting with objects and mental images. ” p109
“the training of attention is not done in total isolation, as if it were some utterly independent function of the mind. the training of attention takes place along with, and is deeply enmeshed with, training in developing greater emotional balance: less anger; less emotional oscillation between craving and hostility, excessive hope and fear, elation and depression. in this overall balancing of the mind there is attentional balance, emotional balance, and also cognitive balance. the training in what i call cognitive balance – honing mindfulness and clarity of attention so that you are seeing accurately what is there – is really a prerequisite for the more advanced training in visualization in the generation stage of vajrayana practice.” p112
“i would be interested to see if there is any difference that one can detect between higher cognitive states of afflictions. for example, from the buddhist point of view an extreme grasping at self-centeredness or reification of self is thought to be a highly cognitive affliction. it is not an impulsive or reactive emotion like anger or hostility, but grasping too much at the existence of self as core is seen as a cognitive affliction. i wonder whether one could detect any changes in brain activity between that and the directly opposite state of mind, which is believing in the absence of such an intrinsically real self.” p113
“the sense of control that this cognitive core of the person contains is largely mistaken. there is really nobody in charge of the physical or mental processes, which arise according to their own causes and conditions, not following our whims. the mind is ruled not by a central unit but by competing factors whose strength varies according to circumstances.
“thus, asacga posits as many as eight types of consciousness.” p127
“the dalai lama has this to say: ‘the systematic training of the mind, the cultivation of happiness, the genuine inner transformation by deliberately selecting and focusing on positive mental states and challenging negative mental states, is possible because of the very structure and function of the brain. but the wiring in our brains is not static, not irrevocably fixed. our brains are also adaptable.’ ” p150
“if you look more precisely and carefully at the way emotion arises, all emotions, whether positive or afflictive, arise first from basic awareness, which is like a mirror that is not intrinsically tainted with negativity or obscuration. in addition, any emotion is like a musical note; it has several harmonics. before it becomes afflictive, anger, for instance, has a quality of ‘clarity’ or ‘brilliance.’ when we get angry, our senses are mobilized and our mind becomes sharp.
“if we were able to simply recognize that clarity at the very moment it arose but not let it evolve in the chain reaction of multiplying thoughts that give rise to hostility, and especially to the strong distinction between self and others that creates the wish to harm, destroy, or reject, then it would not necessarily have a destructive aspect. of course we are talking of very fine moments, and being able to remain in the luminous aspect of anger, without letting it evolve into an afflictive state of mind, requires great skill. yet it is possible. likewise with attachment, there is a moment before the blissful quality of desire turns to craving. this is very subtle, but the point is, from a buddhist perspective that the fundamental nature of mind is not intrinsically negative. mental afflictions and toxins are not part of the basic, luminous aspect of mind. they are a deviation that arises hen thoughts ‘chain’ one after the other and become delusion.” p153
“if one had leisure to inspect the fifty-one mental factors with care, one wold note something conspicuous for its absence. fear is not among the six primary or the twenty secondary mental afflictions. fear is not a mental affliction. fear may be virtuous, ethically neutral, or nonvirtuous. in fact, there are certain meditative practices in which you cultivate a sense of fear that is based on reality in order to overcome that fear by taking the necessary steps to address it.” p158
“in the modern world we often think that the best freedom would be to do exactly what comes to one’s mind. but in that case, we would simply be the slave of every single thought that arises in our mind. we would be just like grass on a mountain top that sways whichever way the wind blows. it would be like a sailor saying that freedom means letting his boat drift wherever the currents take her. we think of self-control as something that limits freedom, but in fact it’s just the opposite.” p159
“we are no longer free the instant that fear gives birth to a second and third thought of fear – when we are completely paralyzed by mental constructs of fear. at this point, fear becomes such a disturbing mental factor that we completely lose our inner peace. the anxiety born from this is not necessary at all and not useful; we have become the slave of the all-pervading fear that is imposing on our freedom.
“the whole point of the training is to try to act on the moment when that chain reaction begins. there are many ways to do so. you can use antidotes. when the thought of anger arises, at that same moment you try to introduce a thought of patience, or compassion, or loving-kindness, because you can’t have both the wish to harm and the wish to love at the same moment, toward the same object.” p159
“another method is to attack the chaining itself. when a thought arises, instead of powerlessly letting it multiply, just look at it and ask what is happening. why should it multiply like that? in what way is it imposing to me? is it like a weapon in someone’s hand? is it like a stone, or a fire in my chest? look at it and experience the truth in front of you. when you look at it instead of letting it multiply, it just vanishes of its own accord, like the morning frost under the rising sun. the problem is simply that we are not mindful; we are not vigilant in the moment that a thought arises. we are not even aware of it. of course it starts to multiply, and then it’s too late.” 160
“it’s very clear to psychologists that pleasures are transitory. what is interesting is that ordinary people have so little insight into the sources of their own well-being and happiness. both traditions agree on that. there isn’t a lot of mystery about why westerners believe that transitory pleasures should last. we live in a consumer society. it’s meant to maximize our consumption, not our happiness. we want to maximize our happiness and the society wants to maximize our consumption, and so we are taught that our consumption will bring us happiness. it turns out to be a lie, but we die soon enough and then a whole new generation gets to believe it.” p164
“the western tradition has also apparently developed technologies recently for training the mind in new, powerful ways. i refer specifically to teh discussions of video games, which seem to have effects on attention. at the same time, video games seem to give us only part of what we would ideally want from a mind-training technology. the video-game training seems to fail to develop relaxation, meta-awareness, mindfulness, and the ability to multitask calmly.” p184-5
“there is another very bold claim made in buddhism: that the pursuit of knowledge, if it is to go very, very far, is inextricably related to the pursuit of virtue, ad the pursuit of virtue is inextricably related to the pursuit of happiness. when you come to know reality as it is, this experiential insight yields a state of profound and enduring well-being. when you come to know reality as it is, this also spontaneously yields virtues. this is all entangled together. living a virtuous life will make you more prone to knowing reality as it is, and it will also give rise to greater happiness. each of these feeds into the others. the pursuit of virtue, including compassion, the pursuit of knowing reality as it is, and the pursuit of genuine happiness are completely integrated.” p206
“if we grasp as something as being permanent tho it is not – it is transitory, changing every moment – when we lost it, we are going to suffer. we innately equate things that we believe are permanent with reality. in teh same way, we believe that things have intrinsic properties. we believe that something is 100 percent beautiful in itself and therefore we need to get it; we strive for it. we have an improper perception of the reality of interdependent phenomena, which are mainly relations between the subject and the object. all phenomena are just a stream of constant transformation. if we don’t see it like that, then we are at odds with reality. an improper perception of this nature of the phenomenal world will lead to a wrong perception of the phenomenal world in terms of desire and rejection, adn will end up in a sense of frustration and suffering.” p207
“the way we perceive the world has a connection with the way we behave, the way we experience happiness and suffering, and the way we bring it to others.” p207
“When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘I create crisis,’” Fithian told me. “Because crisis is the leading edge where change is possible.”
Andrew Breitbart ran nine stories on his website painting her as an anarchist bent on “the total annihilation of the American political and economic system.”
As Occupy marches on, perhaps its greatest internal tension is between the reformers—pragmatists with concrete goals—and the revolutionaries, idealists who feel that asking anything of a corrupt system only marginalizes the movement. “This isn’t a protest movement, because protest movements are to address issues that the power structure could conceivably be willing to give up,” a black-clad occupier named Max Bean told Fithian over lunch in early December. “We are asking to dissolve the power structure. And you can’t ask for that. You can’t protest for it. All you can do is grow until we are so big that we are everything.”
Fithian weighed her response carefully. “Movements build because people have some sense of hope and victory and accomplishment,” she replied, setting aside her plate of steamed kale. “We might win on the millionaires’ tax in the next six months. That’s gonna be fucking huge.” She smiled as Max gave her “twinkle fingers,” the Occupy hand signal for approval. “So it’s the balance between reforming and revolutionary things. And that’s why this movement is so beautiful, because it holds both.”
In the case of Trayvon Martin, here is how it unfolded:
The shooting occurred on February 26. The Orlando Sentinel had a brief report on February 29. The first major Florida newspaper that started reporting more key details was The Miami Heraldon March 8, which noted, “After getting few answers from police, Martin’s grieving family has hired an attorney and is publicizing his death on CNN, Good Morning America and other national media outlets.” The Orlando Sentinel and the Herald followed with more reports over the next few days.
The Christian Science Monitor began picking it up on March 16. The New York Times‘ first story appeared on March 17, which is also the same day columnist Charles Blow’s column on Martin garnered attention. The Washington Post reported on the Justice Department’s planned investigation on March 20. The Los Angeles Times picked up an Orlando Sentinelreport on the case on March 20 as well.
CBS’ This Morning had a report on the story on March 8, ABC’s Good Morning America on March 10, and CNN on March 12, according to a Nexis search.
That’s a textbook case of how a local story goes national, so let’s dispense with the “black victim of racism” angle and ask better questions.
Timoney now a top advisor to Bahrain authorities on security stated that “I, along with other Florida chiefs of police, said so in a letter to the Legislature in 2005 when we opposed the passage of a law that not only enshrined the doctrine of ‘your home is your castle’ but took this doctrine into the public square and added a new concept called “stand your ground.” Timoney points out that trained police officers and untrained civilians deal with potential shooting situations very differently.
Now, I believe, it’s out of control. The US is already in a truly major depression and on the edge of financial chaos and a currency meltdown. The sociopaths in government will react by redoubling the pace toward a police state domestically and starting a major war abroad. To me, this is completely predictable. It’s what sociopaths do.
New media is revolutionizing the stories our nation tells itself about sex. The biggest difference since the Internet’s information explosion is we can see that there’s not just one way to love, desire or bond. Alas, it’s not just white men who can fuck for fun as in the Victorian era when horny women were diagnosed as hysterical and men brought home syphilis to their wives during prostitution’s heyday.
This is just a drip of change’s color into nostalgia’s black-and-white bucket of yearning for the way we never were, starring the fifties’ Father Knows Best and Sandra Dee’s virginity. No matter that beneath Dee’s “good girl” gloss was an incest survivor, divorced at 22, and a lonely life of anorexia, alcoholism and depression. Times were simpler back in the good ol’ days of sexual purity when guys were predators, girls were gatekeepers, and anyone in between stayed in the closet.
The more things change, the more the fearful need to make things stay the same, to harness humanity’s most unpredictable, transformative force, sex—seemingly the only reachable target on modernity’s super highway. Just as corporations market sexual fear and insecurity to sell products, religious and political alliances package moral panics to fundraise and secure alliances, and traditional media plays off of both for ratings. Smut and Sanctimony pushes out all other sexual stories in the land of unfettered capitalism, Citizen United, tabloid media and celebrity fetish.
Pop culture competes by pumping out ever more shocking sleaze to even younger demos until you’re looking at toy stripper poles and pimp squad tees for the toddler set. The reactionary right points to commodified sexual sludge that oozes from their sacred free market and wails how liberals, feminists and homosexuals are the source of our toxic culture. And our infotainment media, driven by the fortune formula of conflict-generating cable news and character-assassinating talk radio, ramps up the binary between Republican righteousness and Democratic deviance.
It perfected a smut and sanctimony narrative as the soul of a team-building, policy-changing culture war. No news network played more slo-mo shots of Janet Jackson’s nipple shield ripped bare at the 2004 Super Bowl to expose how scary the liberal threat to real America, though an appeals court overturned the FCC indecency fine in Fall 2011. Or looped more outraged close-ups of Madonna kissing Britney Spears at MTV’s 2003 Video Music Awards to decry Hollywood’s assault on American values.
pitting traditionalists against secular progressives out to destroy America by squashing Judeo-Christian values. Amplifying the terroristic climate of “pro-life” radicals stalking abortion providers, a rabid O’Reilly repeatedly called Dr. George Tiller a baby killer until the beloved grandfather—whose credo was “trust women”—was gunned down when serving as an usher in his church.
Over 10 years of covering America’s sexual schizophrenia, I’ve noted how purity pundits, preachers and politicos sell a retro feel-good salve of simplicity for society’s complex modern ills. Like tax cuts for the economy and bombing for security, abstinence-only-unless-married is the conservative movement’s magic potion for social stability, the silver bullet to slay the sexual dragon we call freedom. We’re all casualties in a culture war that reduces our basest, most transcendent drive to extremes. Youth, women, queers, the poor, and ethnic minorities are left to flounder under the intensified hypocrisy and mixed messages of a nation that can’t move beyond sexuality’s marital ideal or commodified reality.
boldly stands against sexual freedom and the “dangers of contraception in this country.” Campaigning last fall, he made clear that contraception is “not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be…. And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure.” He explained that his anti-sex for pleasure stance translates into important public policy issues with a “profound impact on the health of our society.”
Yes, in a Republican America, sex is supposed to be only one way and that’s procreative. As the rest of the developed world—which by all societal indicators enjoys far greater sexual health—embraces sexual pleasure as a human right, as does the United Nations and World Health Organization, the United States legislates against it.
the best contraception is an aspirin between your knees, and how costly is that? Goes to show the retro right’s fixation on the womb isn’t about the fetus, but about making sure sluts are punished for enjoying sex. Making sure there’s no such thing as consequence-free sex is what unites theocons against both gay and reproductive rights, even masturbation, which the anti-choice American Life League calls the “gateway drug.” Must oppose any public health, education and rights policy that strengthens healthy sexuality for all in our free society—just too many other people having sex for fun.
How can you have freedom without sexual freedom? Our national stability and family honor doesn’t rest on hypocritical sexual traditions like enforcing a genital view of female virtue, or whose peg goes in which hole. And increasingly the civilized world is recognizing the right to pleasure for youth, elderly, the disabled, and transgendered. To reach humanity’s highest ideals, permission trumps repression.
Sex for pleasure breeds honesty, respect, and responsibility. Otherwise the ultimate fallout is simply not pleasurable. Culture warriors don’t stop sex, though they can make pleasure less attainable. America’s war on sex is really a war on conversation.
Waking up to a new breed of pleasure revolutionaries sick of gagging on the foie gras of smut and sanctimony being packaged and preached as the one and only true sex. Social media has opened the first ever intersection of sexuality scientists, educators, therapists, entrepreneurs; cross generational feminists, sex and gender queers, communities of color, sex workers, kinksters, faith leaders; youth, aging, disability, masculinity, reproductive health and human rights advocates to fight culture warriors against sexual pleasure for all.
Time to tell our own stories. We will not be silenced.
“We celebrate income disparity and we applaud the growing margins between the bottom 20% of American society and the upper 20% for it is evidence of what has made America a great country. It is the chance to have a huge income… to make something of one’s self; to begin a business and become a millionaire legally and on one’s own that separates the US from most other nations of the world. Do we feel bad for the growing gap between the rich and the poor in the US? Of course not; we celebrate it, for we were poor once and we are reasonably wealthy now. We did it on our own, by the sheet dint of will, tenacity, street smarts and the like. That is why immigrants come to the US: to join the disparate income earners at the upper levels of society and to leave poverty behind. Income inequality? Give us a break? God bless income disparity and those who have succeeded, and shame upon the OWS crowd who take us to task for our success and wallow in their own failure. Income disparity? Feh! What we despise is government that imposes rules that prohibit or make it difficult to make even more money; to employ even more people; to give even more sums to the charities of our choice. That is what we despise.”
According to most OWS protesters, this is precisely the problem: the American system is no longer free or fair (bankers win). The rules of the game no longer apply equally to all (lobbyists hired by the most powerful write the laws). The government’s umpire role is non-existent (Washington is staffed with former Goldman Sachs CEOs who bail out banks instead of helping “regular people”).
In other words, people grow happy as they grow richer. But things turn ugly when the rug is pulled out from under them, and the gap between expectations and reality widens. According to the theory, this phenomenon occurs whether you’re a peasant in China or a banker in Paris.
Here’s the rub: The world economy has just gone through its longest expansion since the end of World War II, driven in large part by China, India, Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies where masses of humanity have been transformed from poor, rural peasants to consumers.
Now the sudden economic downturn has hit rising expectations around the world and we are on the wrong side of the Davies J-curve.
On the dark side of pessimism, China could implode. Russia could devolve into an even more authoritarian place. India could witness the rise of a right-wing Hindu nationalist party, stressing the country’s 154 million Muslims and further complicating tense relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan. Widespread labor unrest could sweep through Europe, the Americas, Asia and elsewhere.
But whatever ill comes of this global downturn, it’s a safe bet that those countries with the strongest and most flexible political and economic institutions will be best prepared to weather the inevitable storm.
Can a country cope with rising poverty? Can it feed its masses? Can it provide adequate health care and housing? Does it have political systems that will allow for (relatively) peaceful protest and political change? Does it have a banking system that can be healed? Does it have regulatory agencies and judicial bodies to create and enforce fair rules?
What’s around the corner may be a curiosity to you or me, but it may mean the difference between life or death to soldiers.
Before, the only way to find out is to peek your head and see (unless you’re a physicist – those people are magicians). Until now:
What sounds like science fiction will become reality in the next year when Marines in Afghanistan test throwable robots in real-life combat situations. Small enough to fit in a backpack or a cargo pocket and durable enough to be thrown anywhere, these wheeled robots might come in handy for Marines caught in tight combat situations.
Weighing a little more than a pound, the Scout XT robot by Minneapolis-based ReconRobotics Inc. looks like a handle wedged between two wheels.
The tiny robot comes equipped with a camera that can relay live video back to a small screen that can be held by a Marine who might want to check out what’s behind a wall or around the corner. Darkness is no obstacle for the camera that also has infrared technology.
It’s time to put aside the traditional concepts of relationship and seriously consider the notion of a cosmic, spiritual partnership that will transcend those of the past. Not only is this new concept beginning to take hold and flourish, in the end it is going to prevail. And it’s going to prevail because ego will have no place in such a union. Spiritual partnership is based upon equality, balance between the male and female energies, the freedom and the strength to be one’s self while taking responsibility for one’s actions, sacred sexuality, open and truthful communication without fear of ridicule, honoring and respecting the other’s strengths and weaknesses, and the genuine recognition that your partner is truly your most intimate and all-embracing friend.
So then, the question is, why do people deny this? And why, might I add, do Republicans in particular deny this so strongly?
And if your answer to that question is, “oh, because they’re stupid” — well, you’re wrong. That’s what liberals want to think, but it doesn’t seem be correct. In fact, it seems to be precisely the opposite — smarter (or more educated) Republicans turn out to be worse science deniers on this topic.
That if you’re a Republican, then the higher your level of education, the less likely you are to accept scientific reality — which is, that global warming is human caused.
Conservatism is a Defensive Ideology, and Appeals to People Who Want Certainty and Resist Change.
Conservative “Morality” Impels Climate Denial — and in particular, conservative Individualism.
Fox News is the Key “Feedback Mechanism” — whereby people already inclined to believe false things get all the license and affirmation they need.
At the extreme of these traits, you see a group called authoritarians – those who are characterized by cognitive rigidity, seeing things in black and white ways — “in group/out group,” my way or the highway.
So in this case, if someone high on such traits latches on to a particular belief — in this case, “global warming is a hoax” — then more knowledge about it is not necessarily going to open their minds. More knowledge is just going to be used to argue what they already think.
And we see this in the Tea Party, where we have both the highest levels of global warming denial, but also this incredibly strong confidence that they know all they need to know about the issue, and they don’t want any more information, thank you very much.
So, conservatives tend to be “individualists”– meaning, essentially, that they prize a system in which government leaves you alone — and “hierarchs,” meaning, they are supportive of various types of inequality.
The individualist is threatened by global warming, deeply threatened, because it means that markets have failed and governments — including global governments — have to step in to fix the problem. And some individualists are so threatened by this reality that they even spin out conspiracy theories, arguing that all the world’s scientists are in a cabal with, like, the UN, to make up phony science so they can crash economies.
So if you’ve got Fox News, you’ve got a place to go to reaffirm your beliefs. And that serves this psychological need for certainty and security. So conservatives opt in, they get the misinformation, their beliefs are reaffirmed, and they’re set to argue, argue, argue about why they’re right and all the scientists of the world are wrong.
So in sum, we need a nature-nurture, or a combined psychological and environmental account of the conservative denial of global warming. And only then do we see why they are so doggedly espousing a set of beliefs that are so wildly dangerous to the planet.
Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking -
Aspects of creative thinking that are not usually taught:
1. You are creative. The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist.
2. Creative thinking is work. You must have passion and the determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas.
3. You must go through the motions of being creative.
4. Your brain is not a computer. Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer.
5. There is no one right answer. Reality is ambiguous.
6. Never stop with your first good idea. Always strive to find a better one and continue until you have one that is still better.
7. Expect the experts to be negative.
8. Trust your instincts. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged.
9. There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail.
10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are.
11. Always approach a problem on its own terms. .
12. Learn to think unconventionally. Creative geniuses do not think analytically and logically.
13. Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.
Even though divorce and teen pregnancy rates are lower in more secular parts of the country, Bible believers see both as problems caused primarily by America’s loss of faith. To hear them tell it, from the time of America’s founding until the 1970s (when gays, atheists and bra-less women began tearing down the social order) this country prospered because we attended church and lived as God commanded, and our courts protected the righteous institution of biblical marriage.
But many who call themselves Bible believers are simply, congenitally conservative – meaning change-resistant. It is not the Bible they worship so much as the status quo, which they justify by invoking ancient texts. Gay marriage will come, as will reproductive rights, and these Bible believers will adapt to the change as they have others: reluctantly, slowly and with angry protests, but in the end accepting it, and perhaps even insisting that it was God’s will all along.
The aversion extended even to the brand that I had accidentally created: No Logo. From studying brands like Nike and Starbucks, I was well acquainted with the basic tenet of brand management: find your message, trademark and protect it, and repeat yourself ad nauseam through as many synergized platforms as possible. I set out to break these rules whenever the opportunity arose. The offers for No Logo spin-off projects (feature film, TV series, clothing line …) were rejected. So were the ones from the megabrands and cutting–edge advertising agencies that wanted to give me seminars on why they were so hated. (There was a career to be made, I was learning, in being a kind of anti-corporate dominatrix, making overpaid executives feel good by telling them what bad, bad brands they were.) And against all sensible advice, I stuck by the decision not to trademark the title (that means no royalties from a line of Italian No Logo Food Products, thought they did send me some lovely olive oil). Most important to my marketing detox program, I changed the subject. Less than a year after No Logo came out, I put a personal ban on all talk of corporate branding. In interviews and public appearances, I would steer discussion away from the latest innovation in viral marketing and Prada’s new superstore and toward the growing resistance movement against corporate rule, the one that had captured world attention with the militant protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle. “But aren’t you your own brand?” clever interviewers would ask me endlessly. “Probably,” I responded. “But I try to be a really crap one.”
This was the era when corporate epiphanies were striking CEOs like lightning bolts from the heavens: Nike isn’t a running shoe company, it is about the idea of transcendence through sports; Starbucks isn’t a coffee shop chain, it’s about the idea of community. Down on earth, these epiphanies meant that many companies that had manufactured their products in their own factories, and had maintained large, stable workforces, embraced the now ubiquitous Nike model: close your factories, produce your products through an intricate web of contractors and subcontractors, and pour your resources into the design and marketing required to fully project your big idea. Or they went for the Microsoft model: maintain a tight control center of shareholder-employees who perform the company’s “core competency,” and outsource everything else to temps, from running the mailroom to writing code. Some called these restructured companies “hollow corporations” because their goal seemed to transcend the corporeal world of things so they could be an utterly unencumbered brand. As corporate guru Tom Peters put it: “You are a damn fool if you own it!”
The frantic corporate quest to get out of the product business and into the ideas business explained several trends at once. Companies were constantly on the lookout for new meaningful ideas, as well as pristine spaces on which to project them, because creating meaning was their new act of production. And of course jobs were getting crummier: these companies no longer saw producing things as their “core” business.
There are many acts of destruction for which the Bush years are rightly reviled—the illegal invasions, the defiant defenses of torture, the tanking of the global economy. But the administration’s most lasting legacy may well be the way it systematically did to the U.S. government what branding-mad CEOs did to their companies a decade earlier: it hollowed it out, handing over to the private sector many of the most essential functions of government, from protecting borders to responding to disasters to collecting intelligence. This hollowing-out was not a side project of the Bush years; it was a central mission, reaching into every field of governance. And through the Bush clan was often ridiculed for its incompetence, the process of auctioning off the state, leaving behind only a shell—or a brand—was approached with tremendous focus and precision. They were good at this. Explaining his administration’s mission, budget director Mitch Daniels said, “The general idea that the business of government is not to provide services, but to make sure that they are provided seems self-evident to me.” He entered the Defense Department not with the posture of a public servant but, rather, as a change agent channeling a celebrity CEO—the guy with the guts to downsize and offshore and, most of all, to rebrand. For Rumsfeld, his department’s brand identity was clear: global dominance. The core competency was combat. For everything else, he said, sounding very much like Bill Gates, “we should seek suppliers who can provide these non-core activities efficiently and effectively.” From the start, Rumsfeld planned the troop deployment like a Wal-Mart vice president looking to shave a few more hours from the payroll. The generals wanted 500,000 troops; he would give them 200,000, with contractors and reservists filling the gaps as needed—a-just-in-time invasion. In practice, this strategy meant that as Iraq spiraled out of control, an ever-more elaborate privatized war industry took shape to prop up the bare-bones army. Blackwater, whose original contract was to provide bodyguards for U.S. envoy Paul Bremer, soon took on other functions, including engaging in combat with the Mahdi Army in 2004. And as the war moved into the jails, with tens and thousands of Iraqis rounded up by U.S. soldiers, private contractors even performed prisoner interrogations, with some later facing accusations of torture.
The sprawling Green Zone, meanwhile, was run as a corporate city-state, with everything from food to entertainment to pest control handled by Halliburton. Just as companies like Nike and Microsoft had pioneered the hallow corporation, this was, in many ways, a hollow war. And when one of the contractors screwed up—Blackwater operatives opening fire in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, for instance, killing 17 people, or Halliburton allegedly supplying contaminated water to soldiers—the Bush administration, like so many hollow brands before, was free to deny responsibility: These were independent contractors, they could argue, and there was nothing the government could do but review the contract. Blackwater, which had prided itself on being the Disney of mercenary companies, complete with a line of branded clothing and Blackwater teddy bears, responded to the scandals by—what else?—rebranding. Its new name is Xe. The dream of a hollow state was realized in its purest form at the Department of Homeland Security, a branch of government that, because it was brand new, could be built as an empty shell from the outset. A powerful imperialist country is not like a hamburger or a running shoe. You can’t get the whole world to change its opinion of it just by getting “out there [to] tell our story,” as Charlotte Beers put it. America didn’t have a branding problem; surely it had a product problem.
I used to think that, but I have since reconsidered. When Barack Obama was sworn in as president, the American brand could scarcely have been more battered—Bush was to his country what New Coke was to Coca-Cola, what cyanide in the bottles had been to Tylenol. Yet Obama, in what was perhaps the most successful rebranding campaign of all time, managed to turn things around. “The election and nomination process is the brand relaunch of the year,” Fifteen years ago, Nike appropriated the imagery of civil rights movement and the icons of Sixties counterculture to inspire cult-like devotion to running shoes. Obama has used our faded memories of those same movements to revive interest in actual politics; Though it’s too soon to issue a verdict on the Obama presidency, we do know this: he favors the grand symbolic gesture over deep structural change every time. So he will make a dramatic announcement about closing the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison—while going ahead with an expansion of the lower-profile but frighteningly lawless Bagram prison in Afghanistan, and opposing efforts to hold Bush officials who authorized torture accountable. He will boldly nominate the first Latina to the Supreme Court, while intensifying Bush-era enforcement measures in a new immigration crackdown. He will make investments in green energy while championing the fantasy of “clean coal” and refusing to tax emissions, the only sure way to substantially reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Similarly, he will slam the unacceptable greed of banking executives, even as he hands the reigns of economy to consummate Wall Street insiders Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, who have predictably rewarded the speculators and failed to break up the banks. And most importantly, he will claim to be ending the war in Iraq, and will retire the oafish “War on Terror” phrase—even as the conflicts guided by that fatal logic escalate in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In his preference for symbols over substance and his unwillingness to stick to a morally clear if unpopular course, Obama decisively parts ways with the transformative political movements from which he has borrowed so much (his Pop Art posters from Che, his cadence from King, his Yes We Can! slogan from the migrant farmworkers’ Si, Se Puede!). These movements made unequivocal demands of existing power structures: for land distribution, higher wages, ambitious social programs. Because of those high-cost demands, these movements had not only committed followers but also serious enemies. Obama, in sharp contrast not just to social movements but to transformative presidents like FDR, follows the logic of marketing: Create an appealing canvas on which all are invited to project their deepest desires, but stay vague enough not to lose anyone but the committed wingnuts (who, granted, constitute a not-inconsequential demographic in the U.S.) Another way of putting it is that Obama played the anti-war, anti-Wall Street party crasher to his grassroots base, which imagined itself leading an insurgency against the two-party monopoly through dogged organization and donations gathered from lemonade stands and loose change found in the crevices of the couch. Meanwhile, he took more money from Wall Street than any other presidential candidate, swallowed the Democratic Party establishment in one gulp after defeating Hillary Clinton, then pursued “bipartisanship” with crazed Republicans once in the white house. Yet rereading No Logo after 10 years provides many reminders that success in branding can be fleeting, and that nothing is more fleeting than the quality of being cool. Many of the superbrands and branded celebrities that looked untouchable not so long ago have either faded or are in deep crisis today. Some overstretched. For others, their actual products began to feel rather disappointing next to the thrill of their marketing. (A black woman breastfeeding a white child to sell … Benetton sweater sets? Really?) And sometimes it was precisely their claims of political enlightenment that led activists to contrast their marketing image with their labor practices, with disastrous results for the brands.
The Obama brand could very well suffer a similar fate. Of course, many people supported Obama for straightforward strategic reasons: they rightly wanted the Republicans out, and he was the best candidate. But what will happen when the throngs of Obama faithful realize they gave their hearts not to a movement that shared their deepest values but to a devoutly corporatist political party, one that puts the profits of drug companies before the need for affordable health care, and Wall Street’s addiction to financial bubbles before the needs of millions of people whose homes and jobs could have been saved with a better bailout?
it mattered little which political party happened to be in power in our respective countries. We were focused squarely on the rules of the game, and how they had been distorted to serve the narrow interests of corporations at every level of governance—from international free trade agreements to local water privatization deals.
Looking back on this period, what I liked most was the unapologetic wonkery of it all. In the two years after No Logo came out, I went to dozens of teach-ins and conferences, some of them attended by thousands of people (tens of thousands in the case of the World Social Forum), which were exclusively devoted to popular education about the inner workings of global finance and trade. No topic was too arcane: the science of genetically modified foods, trade-related intellectual property rights, the fine print of bilateral trade deals, the patenting of seeds, the truth about carbon sinks. I sensed in these rooms a hunger for knowledge that I had never witnessed in any university class. It was as if people understood, all at once, that gathering this knowledge was crucial to the survival not just of democracy but of the planet. Yes, this was complicated, but we embraced that complexity because we were looking at systems, not just symbols.
In some parts of the world, particularly Latin America, that wave of resistance only spread and strengthened. In some countries, social movements grew strong enough to join with political parties, winning national elections and beginning to forge a new regional fair trade regime. But elsewhere, September 11 pretty much blasted the movement out of existence. In the United States, progressive politics rallied around a single cause: “taking back” the White House (as if “we” ever had it in the first place), while outside America, the coalitions that had been focused on a global economic model now trained their attention on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on a resurgent “U.S. empire,” and on resisting increasingly aggressive attacks on immigrants. What we knew about the sophistication of global corporatism—that all the world’s injustice could not be blamed on one right-wing political party, or on one nation, no matter how powerful—seemed to disappear.
One benefit of the international failure to regulate the financial sector even after its catastrophic collapse is that the economic model that dominates around the world has revealed itself not as “free market,” but as crony capitalist—politicians handing over public wealth to private players in exchange for political support. What used to be politely hidden is all out in the open now. Correspondingly, public rage at corporate greed is at its highest point in decades. Many of the points that supposedly marginal activists were making in the streets 10 years ago are now accepted wisdom of cable news talk shows and mainstream op-ed pages.
And yet missing from this populist moment is what was beginning to emerge a decade ago: a movement that did not just respond to individual outrages but had a set of concrete demands for a more just and sustainable economic model. Thus in the United States and many parts of Europe, far-right parties are now giving the loudest voice to anti-corporatist rage.
What the election and the global embrace of Obama’s brand proved decisively is that there is a tremendous appetite for progressive change—that many, many people do not want markets opened at gunpoint, are repelled by torture, believe passionately in civil liberties, want corporations out of politics, see global warming as the fight of our time, and very much want to be part of a political project larger than themselves.
Before she became one of the most visible opponents of Mississippi’s Personhood ballot initiative, putting her name on the lawsuit to take it off the ballot and starring in commercials urging residents to vote no, Cristen Hemmins hadn’t been involved much in politics. But since it was defeated in last November’s election, she and her fellow newly minted activists are keeping close watch on the statehouse and keeping close touch on Facebook. “Ninety-five percent of us never really paid attention to the [state] house and Senate before this,” she said. “It’s definitely activated part of the population.” On their own initiative, they’ve been rallying in the capital and badgering their representatives to back down.
Hemmins has been surprised how few people it takes to get legislators’ attention, and recalled a conversation with her own representative about a proposed abortion ban that had no exception for rape or incest. “He thought that there was an exception but then he called me the next day and told me that he reversed his vote,” she said. “He even admitted that he hadn’t read the entire thing.”
how to work in profit and capitalism? Republicans also want to push their religious beliefs into public school, a sector that they don’t pay any taxes towards. Republicans have tried relentlessly to cut education funding for public schools with the hopes that the United States can move towards a majority in the private school sector where they can manipulate the curriculum to fit their ideology. The Republican party has also waged a war on science, in particular dealing with evolution and global warming. While 97% of all scientists accept evolution as the factual origin of life, Republicans want to side with the 3% minority that supports creationism and have it taught in public schools. Creationism is the Christian belief that the earth was created by God a few thousand years ago, and that woman was created by a man’s rib. Scientists reject this theory and have enormous evidence to prove it false. The war on science doesn’t stop with evolution, as the radicals have also attacked global warming. Following their love of de-regulation and less government in the private sector, conservatives have pushed back all evidence for global warming and environmental restrictions because it makes things harder for businesses to make a profit when they are dealing with safety standards. By coming out with false information to fight back against scientists, Republicans do what they can to keep regulations to a minimum, putting the environment at risk for the sake of making a bigger profit.
The amygdaloid complex is located in the medial temporal lobe just in front of the hippocampal region. Studies in recent decades show that the amygdala has a network of connections, both inward and outward, with many parts of the brain, beyond its traditionally recognised connections with the hypothalamus and the brain stem. Its nuclei can influence diverse regions including the spinal cord, frontal, cingulate, temporal and occipital cortices. Projections to the amygdala from the frontal lobes come mainly from the orbitofrontal and parts of the media prefrontal. These areas are related to social activity. The amygdala has substantial connections with the temporal lobe, and reciprocal connections with a variety of subcortical regions. The lateral nucleus of the amygdala, occupies a larger proportion of the total amygdala in primates including human than in other mammals. This is related to this nucleus receiving many inputs from the neocortex. The upper parts of the lateral nucleus receive inputs from the sensory cortex. The primate amygdala is involved with all types of sensory information, but is most heavily influenced by the visual. The largest proportion of visual input comes from the ventral ‘What?’ pathway indicating that the amygdala is to a good extent a danger detector that can orchestrate a whole body response. Damage to the amygdala produces changes in fear reactivity, feeding and sexual behaviour. The amygdala is also implicated in reward learning, motivation and drug addiction. It has been implicated in aggressive, maternal, sexual and eating/drinking behaviour. It is also involved in the modulation of various cognitive functions such as attention, perception and memory.
The amygdala has extensive connectivity with areas of the brain involved in cognitive functions. Once the amygdala has detected an emotional stimulus, it can also influence the processing of that stimulus. The amygdala also projects to association areas in the temporal lobe. Cognitive functions are able to influence the amygdala, and prefrontal executive areas have some influence. Cognitive activity such as reappraisal can alter activity in the amygdala. The amygdala can also influence cortical functions indirectly. When the amygdala detects something emotionally significant, it directs the release of neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin that influence cognitive processing in cortical areas. Amygdala activity also releases hormones into the bloodstream that later feed back from the body to the brain. Activity in the basal amygdala influences hippocampal processing of memory.
Many nuclei with distinct chemical signatures in the thalamus, midbrain and pons must function for a subject to be in a sufficient state of brain arousal to experience anything at all. These nuclei therefore belong to the enabling factors for consciousness. Conversely it is likely that the specific content of any particular conscious sensation is mediated by particular neurons in cortex and their associated satellite structures, including the amygdala, thalamus, claustrum and the basal ganglia. Conversely, conscious perception is believed to require more sustained, reverberatory neural activity, most likely via global feedback from frontal regions of neocortex back to sensory cortical areas that builds up over time until it exceeds a critical threshold. At this point, the sustained neural activity rapidly propagates to parietal, prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortical regions, thalamus, claustrum and related structures that support short-term memory, multi-modality integration, planning, speech, and other processes intimately related to consciousness. Competition prevents more than one or a very small number of percepts to be simultaneously and actively represented. This is the core hypothesis of the global workspace theory of consciousness.
Penrose/Hameroff Orchestrated Object Reduction (Orch OR) theory of quantum consciousness. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that inside each nerve cell, spindle-like microtubules (very tiny ropes of protein) exhibit quantum mechanical properties – dual wave/particle characteristics – holding two positions or configurations at the same time. These microtubules are able to dance in unison with thousands of others in a coherent network. Finally, the hybrid states collapse from their uncertainty of quantum entanglement into a singular, “classical” position, in the process forming conscious thought. Some thinkers, including the Boston-based professor of philosophy at Tufts University, Daniel Dennett, have argued that the brain processes inputs like a Darwinian computer, by selectively sorting perceived information, and that a separate consciousness outside the matrix of events and sensations of life is an idle construct. “Subtract them, and nothing is left beyond a weird conviction [in some people] that there is some ineffable residue of ‘qualitative content’ bereft of all powers to move us, delight us, annoy us, remind us of anything,” Dennett says. Is a person’s experience of life more than the sum total of sensory perceptions?
Greenfield, a neuro-pharmacologist, has moved from labelling brain regions and prefers to describe the walnut-shaped brain, with its cauliflower-appendage of cerebellum, as operating more like New York City. The brain’s 100 billion neurons could be divided into boroughs, districts and blocks. A room in a building on a block is like a neuron, which communicates with other rooms in the city via messengers – transmitters that are received by receptor chemicals – and inside each room are desk-bound synapses and ion channel cupboards, with pumps for movement of electrical impulses which deliver the required end responses.
The brain’s ability to self-repair – for example, after a mild stroke – indicates it has plasticity way beyond the earlier categorisations. Far from being on the genetic determinist side of the nature/nurture debate, Greenfield considers the mind as “the seething morass of cell circuitry that has been configured by personal experiences and is constantly being updated as we live out each moment”. Emotions, Greenfield argues, are the building blocks of consciousness, which emerges as a series of waves of neuron networks that rise and fall according to the degree of awareness or stimulation.
“One thing is clear: the brain doesn’t work like a digital computer. It is swirling patterns of electrical activity. It has to do with patterns and complexity,” says Paul Davies.
Certainly there is a huge global effort to find the bit where it happens, the NCC – the neural correlate of consciousness. Davies says mapping ways in which neural processes correlate to conscious outcomes is a reasonable approach. “But you are still stuck with the problem of what is it about a particular complex electrical pattern that has thoughts or sensation attached to it, let alone specific ones like love or a sense of greenness. What distinguishes those from the swirling electrical patterns in the Victorian electricity grid, which presumably doesn’t have thoughts and sensations attached to it? That is what a physicist would like to know. So it still seems to me, as a physicist, deeply mysterious, the problem of consciousness.”
“Time is on our side. The classical approaches are going nowhere, they are flailing in terms of explaining consciousness,” he says. “It is all more of the same hand waving, emergence arguments, more ultra-reductionism – this part of the brain is important, that part is not – with no attempt to deal with the enigmatic issues. Nobody has a clue about the hard problem except to say that it emerges like a rabbit out of a hat … we have testable predictions and the classical people don’t.”
Davies concludes that if Penrose and Hameroff are right, and there are microtubules in the brain that allow quantum coherence to be maintained through many cycles of information processing in a hot environment (the brain), “then that is exactly what the quantum computing people would need to make a functioning quantum computer, and that would be a revolution as great as the invention of the computer in the first place.
When we allow debt to be the sole driving force of our economy, we create a situation where one person may toil only so that he can support his lender. And, when a person’s payment for debts reaches a point that is more than their income can handle, they become slaves to that debt. In other words, even though they may work really hard, they will have nothing for it. And, they may find themselves in a position, where they cannot advance any further in life, because they no longer have the resources to make the improvements that are necessary; they would not have the money for education, transportation, and they may collapse under this weight and become disheveled like many of us have. Eventually, they may come to see that their lives will never improve, and that their labor is not being rewarded, but has become a form of servitude with severe consequences should they cease to contribute. And, if they are given away to the pools of the unemployed, they may never be given the opportunity to redeem themselves or to recover. When it is pure capitalism, all wealth is drawn up to a privileged few and the majority will become increasingly impoverished until they have been devastated, and without a revolt, the masses will begin to die off and a once mighty civilization will begin to shrink. The labor force, who would once have held up the wealthy, and who are the pillars of society, will begin to crack, fail, or leave under pressure and a need for survival. And, as the rug is pulled out from them, the wealthy will tumble. By Timothy Woodward II
A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change;
The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges;
Short-term commitment and realistic expectations;
Low-risks, with a possibly a high reward; and
The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public-private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents.
The Walk Raleigh project represents part of a new paradigm in cities today, in that individuals are often demanding much more from the places wherein they live. The generation of today no longer sees cities simply shells that house our needs, but as living organisms alive in and of themselves – intended to inspire us and to fuel our creativity.
Arising out of funding challenges brought on by the recession, frustrations with the drawn-out approvals process, the organizational opportunities provided by the internet and social media, emerging technologies, and courageous designers, tactical urbanist projects are often defined by their low-cost temporary nature and require little or no approvals or environmental studies (or go without them anyway).
rather than being asked to contribute to incrementalchange at the neighbohood or block level, residents areasked to react to proposals that are often conceived forinterests disconnected from their own, and at a scalefor which they have little control. In the pursuit of resil-ient neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitican regions,surmounting the challenges inherent to this “public”process continues to prove difcult. Fortunately, alter-native tactics are available and ready for deployment.
if the public is able to physicallyparticipate in the improvement of the city, no matterhow small the effort, there is an increased likelihoodof gaining public support for larger scale change later. Additionally, involving the public in the physical testingof ideas can yield unique insights into the expectationsof future users and the types of design features forwhich they yearn; truly participatory planning must gobeyond drawing on ip charts and maps
Local artists, musicians and potential businessowners joined together to temporarily program vacantstorefronts and reclaim public space. Food vendors andsidewalk cafe tables were added and became places tocongregate. “New York style” cycle tracks were paintedalong the curb, pushing cars outward to reduce thenumber of travel lanes. Finally, native landscaping andstreet furniture helped improve the block’s sense ofplace. A key element of the Build a Better Block projectwas engaging existing vacant retail space. Workingwith property owners, temporary “pop-up” shopsdemonstrated the presence of an unmet retail marketdemand in the neighborhood
Chair placement begins by retrieving discarded materi-als, such as shipping pallets from dumpsters, construc-tion sites, or other locations where solid waste is found.DoTank: Brooklyn, an interdisciplinary collective com-prised of neighborhood activists turn pallets into Ad-irondack chairs, which are then placed in public spac-es. In the past year the group has placed chairs in sixlocations throughout northern Brooklyn.The entire process of building and placing the chairsrequires attention to the design and construction, butalso a thoughtful approach as to where they are neededmost, and where they would be able to support exist-ing social activity, or serve as a catalyst for communitygathering.Whether to rest, socialize, or to simply watch the worldgo by, increasing the supply of seating almost alwaysmakes a street, and by extension, a neighborhood,more livable.
guerrilla gardening is the act of gardeningon public or private land without permission. Typically,the sites chosen are vacant or underutilized propertiesin urban areas. The direct re-purposing of the land isoften intended to raise awareness for a myriad of socialand environmental lissues, including sustainable foodsystems, improving neighborhood aesthetics, and thepower of short-term, collaborative local action.When applied to contested land, guerilla gardeners of-ten take action under the cover of night, where veg-etables may be sowed, or ower gardens planted andcared for without running the risk of being caught.Guerilla gardening is an exellent tactic for instantly im-prove an urban neighborhood. Often times, gardens arecared for years after they are rst created, illegally.
The news that Romney has met with Gingrich is puzzling, though it makes a weird sort of sense if you take into account the Massachusetts governor’s complete lack of interpersonal skills. He may simply not realize that Newt hates him. And Newt’s vindictiveness could make the meeting appealing in terms of grist for coldblooded derision – I’m thinking maybe even to Romney’s face.
“What do you think about the trees around here, Mitt?” he would deadpan. “I’m thinking they’re on the short side, but you’re the expert.”
Santorum is less calculatingly cruel. He attacks with a butcher knife, not a stiletto. He has a history of vainglorious tetchiness; in the Senate, he was known as “Senator Slash” – based on his cutting attitude toward colleagues, not budgets. This surly narcissism has, under the hot lights of national scrutiny, blossomed into a lopsided feud.
Emotional appeals and their attendant buzz are the life-support of the Santorum campaign, and their success at keeping Santorum’s head above polling water may explain why he and his supporters believe in the long-shot strategy of convincing unattached delegates to swing their way at the Republican convention. And, more to the point, what does he have to lose? Says the Republican consultant:
“You talk to people who worked for him in the Senate, and he never got this kind of attention. He is thriving on it.”
He may lose, and it may be a loss all the more devastating because of the emotional investment. But, “as humiliating as the process is, there is no downside.”
Not if your goal isn’t winning, but simply revenge.
The first thing I thought was the shackles have been broken,” Carlos says, casting his mind back to how he felt in that moment. “And they won’t ever be able to put shackles on John Carlos again. Because what had been done couldn’t be taken back. Materially, some of us in the incarceration system are still literally in shackles. The greatest problem is we are afraid to offend our oppressors.
“I had a moral obligation to step up. Morality was a far greater force than the rules and regulations they had. God told the angels that day, ‘Take a step back – I’m gonna have to do this myself.’”
the human sense of emotional turmoil and individual resolve that made it possible, or the collective, global gasp in response to its audacity. In his book, The John Carlos Story, in the seconds between mounting the podium and the anthem playing, Carlos writes that his mind raced from the personal to the political and back again. Among other things, he reflected on his father’s pained explanation for why he couldn’t become an Olympic swimmer, the segregation and consequent impoverishment of Harlem, the exhortations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to “be true to yourself even when it hurts”, and his family. The final thought before the band started playing was, “Damn, when this thing is done, it can’t be taken back.
“I know that sounds like a lot of thoughts for just a few moments standing on a podium,” he writes. “But honestly this was all zigzagging through my brain like lightning bolts.”
“The fire was all around me,” Carlos recalls. The IOC president ordered Smith and Carlos to be suspended from the US team and the Olympic village. Time magazine showed the Olympic logo with the words Angrier, Nastier, Uglier, instead of Faster, Higher, Stronger. The LA Times accused them of engaging in a “Nazi-like salute”.
Beyond the establishment, the resonance of the image could not be overstated. It was 1968; the black power movement had provided a post-civil rights rallying cry and the anti-Vietnam protests were gaining pace. That year, students throughout Europe, east and west, had been in revolt against war, tyranny and capitalism.
Martin Luther King had been assassinated and the US had been plunged into yet another year of race riots in its urban centres. Just a few months earlier, the Democratic party convention had been disrupted by a huge police riot against Vietnam protesters. A few weeks before the Games, scores of students and activists had been gunned down by authorities in Mexico City itself.
The sight of two black athletes in open rebellion on the international stage sent a message to both America and the world. At home, this brazen disdain for the tropes of American patriotism – flag and anthem – shifted dissidence from the periphery of American life to primetime television in a single gesture,
Globally, it was understood as an act of solidarity with all those fighting for greater equality, justice and human rights.
As Carlos explains in his book, their gesture was supposed, among other things, to say: “Hey, world, the United States is not like you might think it is for blacks and other people of colour. Just because we have USA on our chest does not mean everything is peachy keen and we are living large.”
Carlos understood, before he raised his fist that day, that once done, his act could not be taken back. What he could not have anticipated, at the age of 23, was what it would mean for his future. “I had no idea the moment on the medal stand would be frozen for all time. I had no idea what we’d face. I didn’t know or appreciate, at that precise moment, that the entire trajectory of our young lives had just irrevocably changed.”
At one point he had to chop up his furniture so he could heat his house. The pressure started to bear down on his family. “When there’s a lack of money, it brings contempt into the family,” he says. Moreover, his wife was facing constant harassment from the press and his children were being told at school that their father was a traitor. The marriage collapsed.
Did he worry, as the picture for which he was famous started to adorn T-shirts and posters, that his readmission into the Olympic world meant his radicalism was being co-opted and sanitised?
It’s not the responsibility of the oppressor to educate us. We have to educate ourselves and our own. That’s the difference between Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan. Muhammad Ali will never die. He used his skill to say something about the social ills of society. Of course, he was an excellent boxer, but he got up and spoke on the issues. And because he spoke on the issues, he will never die. There will be someone else at some time who can do what Jordan could do. And then his name will just be pushed down in the mud. But they’ll still be talking about Ali.”
Eight years earlier, during a different phase of anti-racist activism in the US, a 17-year-old student, Franklin McCain, had gained his place in the history books when he sat at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, with three friends and refused to move until they were served. Many years later, McCain was philosophical about how that experience had affected him. “On the day that I sat at that counter, I had the most tremendous feeling of elation and celebration,” he told me. “Nothing has ever come close. Not the birth of my first son, nor my marriage. And it was a cruel hoax, because people go through their whole lives and they don’t get that to happen to them. And here it was being visited upon me as a 17-year-old. It was wonderful, and it was sad also, because I know that I will never have that again. I’m just sorry it was when I was 17.”
Carlos has no such regrets. He’s just glad he could be where he was to do what he felt he had to do. “I don’t have any misgivings about it being frozen in time. It’s a beacon for a lot of people around the world. So many people find inspiration in that portrait. That’s what I was born for.”
As I wrote in the first article of this series, our Earth was originally intended to be a creative place where souls incarnate in physical forms and create in terms of forms. It’s supposed to be a fun creative place! There has been so much negative influences, however.
A possible DSM-like list of criteria for narcissistic organizations or groups:
An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning at the group’s early history and present in various contexts. Persecution and abuse are often the causes – or at least the antecedents – of the pathology. The group feel grandiose and self-important (e.g., they exaggerate the group’s achievements and talents to the point of lying, demand to be recognized as superior – simply for belonging to the group and without commensurate achievement).
The group are obsessed with group fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance, bodily beauty or performance, or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering ideals or political theories. The group are firmly convinced that the group is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status groups (or institutions). The group require excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wish to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).
The group feel entitled. They expect unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. They demand automatic and full compliance with expectations. They rarely accept responsibility for their actions (“alloplastic defences”).
The group are “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., use others to achieve their own ends. The group are devoid of empathy. They are unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of other groups.
The group are constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about them. The group are arrogant and sport haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, punished, limited, or confronted.
They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times and are often hypocrites.
authoritarian followers. They are socially rigid, highly conventional and strongly intolerant personalities, who, absent any self-directed goals, seek achievement and satisfaction by losing themselves in a movement greater than themselves. One finds them overrepresented in reactionary political movements, fundamentalist sects and leader cults like scientology. They are the people who responded on cue when Bush’s press secretary said after the 9/11 attacks that people had better “watch what they say;” or who approved of illegal surveillance because “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear;” or who, after months of news stories saying that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, nevertheless believed the weapons were found.
(reich) Fascist mentality is the mentality of the subjugated “little man” who craves authority and rebels against it at the same time. It is not by accident that all fascist dictators stem from the milieu of the little reactionary man. The captains of industry and the feudal militarist make use of this social fact for their own purposes. A mechanistic authoritarian civilization only reaps, in the form of fascism, from the little, suppressed man what for hundreds of years it has sown in the masses of little, suppressed individuals in the form of mysticism, top-sergeant mentality and automatism.
Here again we see the paradoxical nature of the authoritarian personality: rebelling against authority while hungering for it – exactly as the contemporary right wing fancies it is rebelling against big government while calling for intrusive social legislation and militarism. In the midst of dire economic circumstances, why do they expend inordinate energy brooding over contraception, abortion, abstinence education, gay marriage and so forth and attempt to transform their obsessions into law? Reich said:
The formation of the authoritarian structure takes place through the anchoring of sexual inhibition and sexual anxiety…. The result of this process is fear of freedom and a conservative, reactionary mentality. Sexual repression aids political reaction not only through this process which makes the mass individual passive and unpolitical but also by creating in his structure an interest in actively supporting the authoritarian order. The suppression of natural sexual gratification leads to various kinds of substitute gratifications. Natural aggression, for example, becomes brutal sadism which then is an essential mass-psychological factor in imperialistic wars.
Authoritarians, by definition, demand unquestioning obedience, and so any resistance to their diagnosis and treatment created enormous anxiety for authoritarian mental health professionals; and professionals, feeling out of control, labeled them “noncompliant with treatment,” increased the severity of their diagnosis, and jacked up their medications. This was enraging for these anti-authoritarians, sometimes so much so that they reacted in ways that made them appear even more frightening to their families.
Americans have been increasingly socialized to equate inattention, anger, anxiety, and immobilizing despair with a medical condition, and to seek medical treatment rather than political remedies. What better way to maintain the status quo than to view inattention, anger, anxiety, and depression as biochemical problems of those who are mentally ill rather than normal reactions to an increasingly authoritarian society?
n an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions. When the world exited from this dark age and entered the Enlightenment, there was a burst of energy. Much of this revitalization had to do with risking skepticism about authoritarian and corrupt institutions and regaining confidence in one’s own mind. We are now in another dark age, only the institutions have changed. Americans desperately need anti-authoritarians to question, challenge, and resist new illegitimate authorities and regain confidence in their own common sense.
In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”
The Forbidden Healing protocol follows an electrochemical path, but there are many variations on the theme now being used successfully by innovative healers around the world. Breathing, acupuncture, electrical, magnetic, bio-frequency, aroma, sound, bio-photon and other energetic therapies cross-over into the realm of physics and enter healing through different doors. In the end, they all provide more electrons, stronger body charge, increased oxygen penetration and mitochondrial output, expressive DNA function and enzyme production, higher vibratory frequencies and normalized biochemistry. “Electrons is electrons,” energy gathered… energy generated….any which way you can.
The condition of their body and their life’s eventual destinations are purely the result of their own states of consciousness. Chance enters the equation only rarely. Personal responsibility implies freedom from all the externally inflicted rules and irrationalities of our enculturation… permitting the free expression of the spirit, the will. Higher states of mind empower electrochemical “placebo” healing within and impact surrounding matter via the universal energy matrix. We have labeled hundreds of symptoms as individual diseases, yet basically all boil down to oxidative stress.
A limit-testing child takes a measure of pleasure in watching an adult’s frustration unfold as a result of their thinly veiled justifications of defiant behavior. Even with a productive discussion of alternate realities, children often cling to their original perceptions and justifications of behavior out of habit, fear of punishment, or the need to be right. The goal of a Reality Rub is not to make a child admit his version of reality was wrong, but rather to help him acknowledge that:
1. Alternate realities exist
2. Their manipulation of reality contributed to a problem situation
When a parent can keep the child focused on the self-destructive pattern of manipulating reality to suit personal desires, rather than getting distracted by the infuriating behavior and persistent rationalizations, both parent and child benefit.
The lesson from history is that tyrannical and dehumanizing institutions are often more fragile than they appear. We never really know until it happens whether or not we are living in that time when historical variables are creating opportunities for seemingly impossible change. Maybe in our lifetime, or our kids’ lifetime, or their kids’ lifetime, the current corporatocracy will fall. It may fall because of the efforts of democratic movements or because of its own stupidity or some combination. But when it does fall, the likelihood that it will be replaced by an enduring democratic society rests on whether there are enough of us with practice in democracy, enough of us who took seriously the psychological and cultural building blocks of self-respect, collective self-confidence, courage, determination, anti-authoritarianism, and solidarity. And democratic movements are the best place to practice creating those psychological and cultural building blocks required for an enduring democracy.
Since the Net’s inception, engineers, academics, user groups and others have convened in bottom-up nongovernmental organizations to keep it operating and thriving through what is known as a “multi-stakeholder” governance model. This consensus-driven private-sector approach has been the key to the Net’s phenomenal success. A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time. Productivity, rising living standards and the spread of freedom everywhere, but especially in the developing world, would grind to a halt as engineering and business decisions become politically paralyzed within a global regulatory body. Any attempts to expand intergovernmental powers over the Internet—no matter how incremental or seemingly innocuous—should be turned back. Modernization and reform can be constructive, but not if the end result is a new global bureaucracy that departs from the multi-stakeholder model.
infiltration is the norm in political movements in the United States. Occupy has many opponents likely to infiltrate to divide and destroy it beyond the usual law enforcement apparatus. Other detractors include the corporations whose rule Occupy seeks to end; conservative right wing groups allied with corporate interests; and members of the power structure including nonprofit organizations linked with corporate-funded political parties, especially the Democratic Party, which would like Occupy to be its tea party rather than an independent movement critical of both parties.
We heard stories in Arizona of someone with website administrative privileges deleting the live stream archive that included video that was to be used in defense of some who were arrested.
1. Disruptions of the General Assemblies and attempts to divide the group. Individuals would interrupt General Assemblies with emergency items or sidetrack the agenda with their personal needs or issues. When proposals were presented to the General Assembly on principles for the occupation or plans to prevent division, individuals would question the authority of the writers of the proposal, launch personal attacks or question their abilities. There were frequent attacks on people who did the most work and were perceived as leaders. The anti-leadership views of many Occupiers were used to essentially attack the most effective people
She describes the use of Twitter, Listservs and blogs to “defame and harass anyone giving their efforts to help Occupy L.A.” This has included attacks on “social media workers, the website team, the lawyers (including me), the medics, the live streamers, the writers and on and on.” She also writes that “there is the very strong belief that some among them are FBI or DHS [Department of Homeland Security] agents placed there to start the group, egg it on, control it.”
2. Individuals who took over the website and/or social media and then removed them or hacked them and took control. As noted above, these networks have been used in personal attacks, as well as to send inaccurate messages to the media and other Occupiers. One mistake made is to allow a large number of people to have administrative privileges on the website.
When it comes to the issue of violence versus property damage, it is particularly hard to tell whether the differences are political or instigated by infiltrators. The euphemism for this is “diversity of tactics.” In fact, there is great diversity within nonviolent tactics. This is really a debate between those who favor strategic nonviolence and those who favor property destruction and police conflict.
Eight of the 15 occupations (41 percent of respondents) reported Democratic groups attempted to co-opt them, using the demonstrations to push or prevent a legislative agenda or using their social media to change the times of protests or meetings. Far fewer reported suspicion or evidence of right wing infiltration (12 percent of respondents in four occupations), most stating that the corporate media provided poor or misleading coverage. The most common form of infiltration was by law enforcement agencies (49 percent of respondents, 11 of 15 occupations).
antiauthoritarian society. The Igbo tribe, which settled in the Awka and Orlu areas of West/ Central Africa in what is now Nigeria arranged “‘village’ political units without kings or chiefs ruling over them or administering their affairs.” (Sam Mbah and I.E. Igariwey, African Anarchism: The History of a Movement See Sharp Press Az. 1997 P.35) The fact that Igboland was a large scale society (at one point over 4 million organized into 2000 separate villages) demonstrates the capacity of whole societies to organize themselves along autonomous and communal principals successfully. (John Gunther, Inside Africa Harper and Brothers NY. 1953 P. 760.) “Igbo enwegh eze” “we have no kings” is a central creed of the Igbo. Other African tribes with anti-authoritarian traditions include the Shona of modern day Zimbabwe, the Mano of modern day Ivory Coast and the Kusaasi of Ghana. These tribes and clans along with numerous indigenous tribes in the Americas including the Hopi, Adena, and the Zuni, constitute real examples of stateless social formations
1. Manipulative Mary: These individuals are experts at manipulation tactics. Is a matter of fact, you may not even realize you have been manipulated until it is too late. These individuals figure out what your ‘buttons’ are, and push them to get what they want.
- Subtle jabs and put downs – you often don’t realize you’ve been put down until you start feeling bad
- Gossiping and snide remarks about you and other people in your circle
- Why they are toxic: These people have a way of eating away at your belief system and self-esteem. They find ways to make you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do and before you know it, you lose your sense of identity, your personal priorities and your ability to see the reality of the situation. The world all of a sudden becomes centered around their needs and their priorities.
2. Narcissistic Nancy: These people have an extreme sense of self-importance and believe that the world revolves around them. They are often not as sly as the Manipulative Marys of the world, but instead, tend to be a bit overt about getting their needs met. You often want to say to them “It isn’t always about you.”
- Neediness – it’s all about them – they don’t take any time to talk about you
- Why they are toxic: They are solely focused on their needs, leaving your needs in the dust. You are left disappointed and unfulfilled. Further, they zap your energy by getting you to focus so much on them, that you have nothing left for yourself.
3. Debbie Downers: These people can’t appreciate the positive in life. If you tell them that it is a beautiful day, they will tell you about the impending dreary forecast. If you tell them you aced a mid-term, they’ll tell you about how difficult the final is going to be.
- Complains about their life and dumping their frustrations on you
- Why they are toxic: They take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself.
4. Judgmental Jims:When you see things as cute and quirky, they see things as strange and unattractive. If you find people’s unique perspectives refreshing, they find them ‘wrong’. If you like someone’s eclectic taste, they find it ‘disturbing’ or ‘bad’.
- Fault finding and criticism is the name of the game – everything from the way you clean your office, to your dental hygiene, to your size, your friends, how much time you spend on things
- Why they are toxic: Judgmental people are much like Debbie Downers. In a world where freedom rings, judgment is sooo over. If the world was a homogeneous place, life would be pretty boring. Spending a lot of time with these types can inadvertently convert you into a judgmental person as well.
5. Dream Killing Keiths: Every time you have an idea, these people tell you why you can’t do it. As you achieve, they try to pull you down. As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.
- Your thoughts and opinions are discounted
- Why they are toxic: These people are stuck in what is instead of what could be. Further, these individuals eat away at your self-esteem and your belief in yourself. Progress and change can only occur from doing new things and innovating, dreaming the impossible and reaching for the stars.
6. Insincere Illissas: You never quite feel that these people are being sincere. You tell a funny story, they give you a polite laugh. You feel depressed and sad and they give you a ‘there, there’ type response. You tell them you are excited about something and you get a very ho-hum response.
- Why they are toxic: People who aren’t sincere or genuine build relationships on superficial criteria. This breeds shallow, meaningless relationships. When you are really in need of a friend, they won’t be there. When you really need constructive criticism, they would rather tell you that you are great the way you are. When you need support, they would rather see you fail or make a fool of yourself.
7. Disrespectful Dannys: These people will say or do things at the most inappropriate times and in the most inappropriate ways. In essence, they are more subtle, grown up bullies. Maybe this person is a friend who you confided in and uses your secret against you. Maybe it is a family member who puts their busy-body nose into your affairs when it is none of their business. Or maybe, it is a colleague who says demeaning things to you.
- They make fun of your ideas, especially in front of others
- Why they are toxic: These people have no sense of boundaries and don’t respect your feelings or, for that matter, your privacy. These people will cause you to feel frustrated and disrespected.
8. Never Enough Nellies: You can never give enough to these people to make them happy. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you. They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.
- Over-demanding – nothing you do is good enough
- Blames you for all their problems, rather than taking responsibility for their own choices
- Why they are toxic: You will spend so much time trying to please them, that you will end up losing yourself in the process. They will require all of your time and energy, leaving you worn out and your own needs sacrificed.
All of these personalities have several things in common. 1) the more these people get away with their behavior, the more they will continue. 2) Unfortunately, most of these people don’t see that what they do is wrong and as a result, talking to them about it will fall on deaf ears, leaving you wondering if you are the crazy one. 3) Most of these people get worse with age, making their impact on you stronger with time.
they can be manipulative, abusive and aggressive. The hold that they have over you feels lethal. You are unable to feel “safe” in their company. You feel as if your survival – whether physical or psychological – is being threatened. At first, we are drawn to their stories and feel bad for them. And then, we began to feel physically, mentally and emotionally ill ourselves from hearing the same thing over and over again.
Toxic people have a poor outlook on life. prophets of doom
Toxic people refuse to take personal responsibility.
Toxic people feel as if everyone owes them a living.
Toxic people have catastrophic stories. constant drama.
Toxic people thrive on repeating stories, whether their own or gossips about others.
toxic people take away your individual right to choice. your happiness dictated by their irrational fears.
21. Send the other person showers of love, compassion and healing, when you meditate. The other person is merely projecting his inner reality through his toxic behavior. In reality, he or she is really “suffering”. It is likely that he or she is feeling insecure and fears losing psychological control.
22. Avoid feeding the situation with more energy. Stop going around telling others that you have suffered under the wrath of this person. You are merely feeding an already toxic relationship with more negative energy.
Attention and validation. You can always get good feelings from other people as they are concerned about you and try to help you out. On the other hand, it may not last for that long as people get tired of it.
- You don’t have to take risks. When you feel like a victim you tend to not take action and then you don’t have to risk for example rejection or failure.
- Don’t have to take the sometimes heavy responsibility. Taking responsibility for you own life can be hard work, you have to make difficult decisions and it is just heavy sometimes. In the short term it can feel like the easier choice to not take personal responsibility.
- It makes you feel right. When you feel like the victim and like everyone else – or just someone else – is wrong and you are right then that can lead to pleasurable feelings.
Gratitude is totally lacking in the victim mentality mindset. Such people are so focused on what they don’t have and what others owe them that they fail to recognize anything positive or good in their lives.
Because they are blameless and bad things keep happening to them, victims live in a bubble of negative feelings; self-pity, helplessness, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, anger and fear color their world. It’s difficult, if not impossible to help someone with a victim mentality because lacking an internal locus of control, they look to an external source to rescue them and give them what they feel they are owed.
Victims of abuse and manipulation often get trapped into a self-image of victimisation. The psychological profile of victimisation includes a pervasive sense of helplessness, passivity, loss of control, pessimism, negative thinking, strong feelings of guilt, shame, self-blame and depression. This way of thinking can lead to hopelessness and despair.
take a victim stance in life. Treatment for them has become a lifestyle, and they get to stay in the problem, rather than move into the solution. If I get to be the victim, the overindulged one, the entitled one, the misunderstood one, the abused one and the wronged one, I don’t have to be responsible for myself. It is just that simple.
Persons who feel victimized are often people who have become negative and developed a strong sense of entitlement. Victims tend to be boring people, and they will usually take great pains to share their troubles and negativity with you. They will rarely if ever ask you anything about yourself. You can sit with these people for a couple of hours talking, and it will never occur to them to ask you anything about your life. It quite simply does not occur to them because their world view does not extend to include your thoughts or feelings. Victims, who are self centered by nature, self consumed and usually narcissistic, have a world view which is extremely constricted, and their only reference point in life is themselves.
Victims are interested in you if you have something they want, such as sex, money, drugs or to be their audience. They also can easily fall into compulsive behaviors such as gambling, always trying to satisfy themselves via the five senses. The lasting affect that these individuals leave with you is toxic. This self centeredness, victim mentality typically drives all addictions. One would need relief from oneself somehow, some way, hence addiction ensues.
fuller. The funky, free and informal usefulness of a shared, non-hierarchical, decentralized, self-monitoring culture, ephemeralization shows we can accomplish more and more functionality with less and less energy, material and time investment . Late night religious broadcasting of the hopeless poverty in our world, ever in need of our guilt-derived dollars. bewildered and superstitious bureaucrats still go through the motions, reciting their mindless mantras passed on as wisdom. But LAWCAP’s big picture accounts, steeped in Dark Ages obfuscation and contrived to sound paternal and profound, are becoming less and less a source of comfort. limited liability, legally irresponsible, soulless creatures . reflexes are all out of synch with what world game positions. no grasp of grand strategy maps minus their political overlays, no sense of what it means to surf freely through the Net. you-or-me never-enough-for-both . The “Design Science Revolution” references Fuller’s program of applying the principles of science to solving the problems of humanity in an aggressive, anticipatory and comprehensive manner. The principle of, “we are now able to do so much with so little that we can provide for the basic needs of 100% of humanity without disadvantaging anyone.” In contradistinction his “archenemy,” Obnoxico Inc., which trys to make money out of thin air (or rocks) with little or no appreciable benefit to humankind. Fuller suggests that by taking the design principles of Universe (as described in Synergetics and elsewhere) and our consciously developed values, we can emerge from the present-day “dark ages” and prosper like never before in history. The Internet is abuzz with rumors of huge conglomerates positioning for an all-out invasion. The funky, free and informal usefulness of a shared, non-hierarchical, decentralized, self-monitoring culture will be conquered by a culture of greed and aggressiveness. In Bucky’s tale, the now omnipresent computer is on the side of Good. The global financial number cruncher keeps crunching away and crunching away and always comes up with the same surprising answer: we humans now, today, have the requisite physical and metaphysical assets in inventory to stage a great world play about the coming of age of our species., might be supplanted by a new kind of program about actually ending death by starvation — forever. Props in our new world dramas: domes hanging from helicopters; graphical dymaxion map displays; computer monitors aglow with designs for livingry, ready for distribution on a massive scale, instead of killingry, (already massively distributed). What Bucky hoped is that our youthful, globally networked generation, so full of promise, would stand up to the onrushing Goliath. He encouraged us to look at lawyer-capitalism’s (LAWCAP’s) shareholder enterprises as ghost ships on automatic pilot, the great pirates who once steered them having long ago passed from the scene. Crews of in these uncharted waters. The crew members are beginning to awaken to the reality of their situation. They cling to our nets for survival. Bucky knew the limited liability, legally irresponsible, soulless creatures of LAWCAP’s accounting hadn’t the humanity nor intelligence to navigate successfully in cyberspace. LAWCAP reflexes are all out of synch with what world game positions now need filling. The you-or-me never-enough-for-both great global tragedy is swiftly losing market share. Hollywood-style media extravaganzas, now in storyboard phase, need a new kind of star. Newscasters and media pundits with no knowledge of designer dwellings built for multimedia, no grasp of grand strategy maps minus their political overlays, no sense of what it means to surf freely through the Net, have a lot of homework ahead of them. Our time is now. We, the global networkers, the world game players of today, have inherited the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. A giant BuckyBall stands at the center of Disney’s EPCOT, Grunch’s central shrine. The logo-language of corporate heraldry is destined to transform in the context of this world around web, a hypertext tapestry into which all of our metaphysical assets will be interwoven. Employing the know-how wealth amassed for us by our brilliant and courageous forbearers, we will make of this earth what the great pirates of old never dared wish for, except maybe in their most private prayers: a world in which our highest human values are consistent with the roles we are destined to play — a great tragedy no longer. Let the show begin!
I saw that nature has various categories of unique gestation lags betweenconception of something and its birth. In humans, conception to birth isnine months. In electronics, it is two years between inventiveconception and industrialized production. In aeronautics, it is fiveyears between invention and operating use. In automobiles, it is tenyears between conception and mass-production. In railroading, thegestation is fifteen years. In big-city skyscraper construction, thegestational lag is twenty-five years. For instance, it was twenty-fiveyears between the accidental falling of a steel bar into fresh cementand the practical use of steel-reinforced concrete in major buildings. Dependent on the size and situation, the period of gestation in the single-family residences varies between fifty and seventy-five years.Because of these lags, the earlier I could introduce the conceptionmodel, the earlier its birth could take place. I assumed that the birthinto everyday life of the livingry artifacts whose working conceptual prototypes I was producing would be governed by those respective-category gestation lags. I assumed my livingry inventions’ progressiveadoptions by society would occur only in emergencies. I called this”emergence through emergency.” For all of humanity to begin to break away from its conditioned reflexes regarding living facilities (homecustoms and styles), allowing them to be advantaged by my livingryartifacts, would take at minimum a half century to get underway. Sincethis was clearly a half-to-three-quartersof-a-century undertaking, I sawat the outset that I best not attempt it if I was not content to goalong with nature’s laws. Thefearful sovereign nation politicos will find that trying to arrestnetworking is like trying to arrest the waves of the ocean
As time advances, new technologies are developed; these technologies are the primary way in which the game changes and grows. At the start, players choose from advances such as pottery, the wheel, and the alphabet to, near the end of the game, nuclear fission and spaceflight. Players can gain a large advantage if their civilization is the first to learn a particular technology (the secrets of flight, for example) and put it to use in a military or other context. Most advances give access to new units, city improvements or derivative technologies: for example, the chariot unit becomes available after the wheel is developed, and the granary building becomes available to build after pottery is developed. The whole system of advancements from beginning to end is called the technology tree, or simply the Tech tree; this concept has been adopted in many other strategy games. Since only one tech may be “researched” at any given time, the order in which technologies are chosen makes a considerable difference in the outcome of the game and generally reflects the player’s preferred style of gameplay. civilization video game.
Another parallel is that the two waves have started with revolutions to topple existing systems. While the Seventh wave began with the American and French revolutions, whose anti-monarchic nature gradually has spread throughout the world, the revolutions of the Ninth wave have not only rejected monarchic rule, but the phenomenon of dominance and rule over others as such. Thus the Oneness field of consciousness (see below) carried by the Ninth wave will not allow for systems where people give their power away to someone they have elected every four years or so. A deeper freedom based on the sovereignty of all souls is now being called for. The world revolution carried by the Ninth wave potentially develops a much deeper freedom and oneness than either the monarchy of the sixth wave or the democratic institutions of the seventh wave. The driving force behind the world revolution of the ninth wave is the divine guidance that the unity consciousness allows. What is happening in the world today could thus be described equally well in religious/spiritual terms or economic/political. This oneness revolution is now spreading notably to a few European nations such as Portugal, Greece and Spain. At first sight this may not seem to be part of the oneness revolution as the demands raised by people are mostly economical and directed against austerity plans determined by the EU and/or IMF/World Bank etc. Yet, the economic system of the world is far from based on oneness and separates people in haves and have-nots and many are now finding this unacceptable. These European nations are also, like Arab North Africa, located around the planetary midline and so they are participating in the process at a relatively early point of the Ninth wave. As the Ninth wave continues more and more aspects of our world that are inconsistent with oneness will be highlighted and events, sometimes forced upon us by catastrophes like the one in Japan, will trigger calls for radical change. Technologies, which are not based on unity with the Earth will increasingly come to be rejected. The first is that all people go on and continue to do what they already have been doing and ignore the fact that there is no exchange of money between them. The farmers continue to produce food, the truck drivers continue to deliver it to the cities, people stay in their homes without paying rents or mortgages, etc without any exchange of money taking place between them. This is probably the best response to a monetary collapse, but it would hardly be consistent with existing laws and contracts based on lower levels of consciousness. It would naturally also create problems for many people who have primarily been working with handling money if this is no longer used and it is naïve to believe that such a shift could happen without much conflict.
The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos, ever susceptible to being wiped from existence at any moment. This also suggested that the majority of undiscerning humanity are creatures with the same significance as insects in a much greater struggle between greater forces which, due to humanity’s small, visionless and unimportant nature, it does not recognize.
A “carrier frequency” is the emotion that carries this information. The low frequency waves are based on fear and the high frequency carrier waves are based on love. Fear is a low frequency because it resonates to restriction, limitation, separation, power over others, or others’ power over us. On the other hand, love is a high frequency because it resonates to flowing, allowing, accepting, unity, hope and inner power. The faster brainwaves of Beta are more likely to resonate to the lower frequency carrier waves because the focus is external and often overwhelming. Therefore, it is easier to become off-center. In the lower brainwaves, we have more of an inner focus and we can better balance our many “selves”. It is only when we are centered and calm in our thoughts and emotions that we can raise the vibratory rate of our consciousness and therefore our perceptions. Each chakra transmits information about different dimensions and different areas of our life. Each chakra also has a “love carrier frequency” and a “fear carrier frequency”. The love carrier frequency gives information about creation and directs us to maintain our reality. On the other hand, the fear carrier frequency gives information about destruction and directs us to protect ourselves or release our reality. We can use our emotions to focus on the area of our body that rules each chakra and calibrate our consciousness to that information. First we scan a chakra to see if we primarily feel fear or love. In this manner we can determine if that chakra is balanced or “dis-eased”. Our bodies, in tandem with our emotions, will give us this information. The fear carrier frequency will tell us if there is something wrong and if there is possible danger. The love carrier frequency will tell us how to best use the resources of this chakra to create the reality that we desire. If we are to correctly interpret our charka’s message, we must feel calm and balanced. Also, we must be aware of our dark side, the constant reservoir of fear and negativity that links us to the lower Astral plane. If we are to be able to attune to the love carrier frequency, we must be willing to feel our fear and LOVE it free.
Weak theology emphasizes the responsibility of humans to act in this world here and now. Because God is thought of as weak and as a call, weak theology places an emphasis on the “weak” human virtues of forgiveness, hospitality, openness, and receptivity. In each of these virtues, a metaphoric “power of powerlessness” is at work.
The God issue: Science won’t loosen religion’s grip
19 March 2012 by Robert N. McCauley
Those who would dance on religion’s grave are underestimating its staying power
Read more: “The God issue: New science of religion”
THE human mind has no specific department for religion. Instead, religions appear to be a by-product of various cognitive systems that evolved for unrelated reasons. Research on the cognitive foundations of religious thought has spawned insights about religion itself, as well as providing a fresh perspective on the long-standing project of comparing religion and science.
From an early age humans confront numerous fundamental problems that must be solved in order for them to function in the world. These include distinguishing between inanimate objects and “agents” that can act on their surroundings, recognising faces, avoiding contaminants, parsing speech and reading other people’s intentions. By the time children are 6 or 7 years old, their cognitive systems for solving these problems are mostly up and running (see “The God issue: We are all born believers”).
Such cognitive systems are “maturationally natural”; they emerge without effort and virtually define normal cognitive development. Although culture infiltrates them – for example, determining the language a child learns – acquiring them does not depend upon instruction or education.
Maturationally natural systems are also what Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls “fast” – they operate automatically and effortlessly. Because of this, they are highly susceptible to false positives. For example, our hair-trigger system for detecting human forms leads us to see faces in the clouds, and our “agency detection device” leads us to talk to our computers and cars.
These rapid and automatic systems also make people receptive to religions. Humans are ready to leap at, swallow and digest religious stories like a hungry frog will leap at, swallow and (attempt to) digest a ball bearing that flies within reach.
Successful religions are adept at engaging these dispositions. Supernatural beings trigger our natural beliefs about agents, and our theory of mind. Sacred spaces and objects cue our involuntary precautions against contaminants; it is no coincidence that so many religious rituals involve cleansing and purification.
Similar elements have recurred in religious systems throughout human history all over the world. New religions pop up all the time but the ones that last mostly stir in the same old ingredients. These recurrent themes – myth, ritual, sacred spaces, belief in supernatural agents and so on – are the elements of what I call popular religion.
None of this, however, bars the application of Kahneman’s “slow” forms of thought to religion. Deliberate, conscious reflection about the meaning and truth of religious claims is called theology. Theologians try to make intellectual sense of the enigmatic claims of popular religion. They reflect, debate and sometimes generate abstract formulations that religious and political authorities decide to label as doctrines. Not all religions have theology but many do, especially the proselytising Abrahamic ones.
Unlike popular religion, theology routinely makes abstract and radically counter-intuitive statements that are conceptually complex and difficult to understand: God is three persons in one, for example, or a disembodied person who is present everywhere at once. In addition, theological proposals are not at all memorable compared with, say, a story about Jesus’s virgin birth. This is why religious people must often make an effort to memorise them and why religious leaders adopt a variety of measures to indoctrinate and police “theological correctness”. These include everything from religious education and catechisms to inquisitions.
Maintaining theological correctness is difficult, however, as the mental systems that underpin popular religion consistently intrude. The consequence is that theological incorrectness is inevitable: the religions that the vast majority of people actually practise are not the same as the doctrines they learn and recite.
Theological incorrectness is seen across cultures and religious systems. When asked in experiments to talk or think about gods’ thoughts and actions in stories, religious people immediately and completely abandon theologically correct doctrines in favour of popular religion – even if they have just affirmed and recited those doctrines. The way they think and talk reveals that they see God as more like Superman than the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent ruler of the universe in whom they say they believe.
This view of popular religion offers a new perspective on the project of comparing religion and science. It suggests that science poses no threat whatsoever to the persistence of religion. The fears and trepidation of so many believers – and the jubilant anticipation of so many critics of religion – that science will eventually displace religion are wrong-headed on many counts.
First, they underestimate the power and pervasiveness of maturationally natural cognition. Not everyone is religious, but religious ideas and actions spontaneously and inevitably arise in human populations.
Second, they underestimate the creativity and imaginativeness of theology, and so its ability to accommodate any change in our understanding of the universe that science produces. Theologians eventually accommodated our displacement from the centre of things by Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin. It took some time because of the size of the challenge, but it happened.
The third point is that believers and critics alike underestimate how hard it is to do science. Science is far more complicated than theology. Its esoteric interests, radically counter-intuitive claims and sophisticated forms of inference are difficult to invent, learn and communicate. Science depends on extensive and elaborate social arrangements which are complex and expensive. Its continued existence, at least in the long run, is therefore fragile, certainly in comparison to the continued existence of religion.
Finally, the difference between popular religion and theology suggests that standard comparisons of religion and science are often ill-conceived. Cognitively, science has more in common with theology than it does with religion; both rely on slow, deliberate, reflective thought. Popular religion, on the other hand, is more like a common-sense explanation of the natural world. Those who would criticise either religion or science need to be sure what it is they are attacking.
The dominant thinking on the left, I suppose, is some variety of a ‘false consciousness’ argument, that the elite have pulled the wool over the eyes of the vast majority of the population, and once the latter realizes that they’ve been had, they’ll rebel, they’ll move the country in a populist or democratic socialist direction. The problem I have with this is the evident fact that most Americans want the American Dream, not a different way of life—a Mercedes-Benz, as Janis Joplin once put it. Endless material wealth based on individual striving is the American ideal, and the desire to change that paradigm is practically nonexistent. Even the poor buy into this, which is why John Steinbeck once remarked that they regard themselves as ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaires.’ ” Inequality won’t be lessened because the wealthiest individuals decide to spontaneously share. It is up to individuals to pay more attention to their collective, rather than personal surroundings, despite all media messages to the contrary. Indeed, we need to spend more time examining what’s going on, and not zoning out on some sound bite about a Kardashian. We need to band together, as in the Occupy movements, or even in local communities, to demand an alternative system and become a more unified society. Unfortunately, so much of our current framework is stacked against this, starting with the sheer cost of living which demands so much of our energy. It all comes down to embracing the human drive to connect, rather than merely survive.”
Robotic drone swarms acting as shields allow the human to be automatically protected without being defensive or antagonistic to those seeking to do harm. Perhaps a design such as beautiful feathered ornithopters is appropriate thereby not only being active/passive in protecting the potential victim but also offering the unique visuals that will enthrall and even possibly deter any attacks due to their unique and surprising nature and elegance. What is a brutal thug to do when confronted with a swarm of beautiful hummingbirds surrounding and protecting an innocent human being? Leave marbles one easily roll-able surfaces when they attack you; spray them with paint; smoke grenades to help cover our recovery; basic magic tricks and comedia del arte theatrics. Basically we all become clowninjas.
Gas them or everyone with laughing gas or some other narcotic?
FOREX is the exchange of currencies. Usually currencies are bought in large quantities (e.g., 10000 euro). Knowing this, FOREX institutions don’t pay much attention to small transactions, like the purchase of 0.3 Euro. This is where we see our exploit come into play. Let’s say, for example that we want to buy 0.105. Most banks will just simply round up and give us 0.11 Euro. This is, on their part, a fatal mistake. If we were to, say, buy 0.105 Euro 10000 times, we would get that extra 0.005 Euro every time. That’s a net total of 50 Euro.
you shouldn’t try to persuade your ideological opponents by citing threatening facts. Rather, if your goal is an honest give-and-take, you should demonstrate the existence of common ground and shared values before broaching anything controversial, and you should interact calmly and interpersonally. To throw emotion into the mix is to stoke automatic, moralistic, indignant responses. Such are some scientific tips about trying to communicate and persuade–but liberals should not get overoptimistic about the idea of convincing conservatives to change their beliefs, much less their moral responses. There are far too many factors arrayed against this possibility at present—not just the deeply rooted and instinctive nature of moral intuitions, but our current political polarization, by parties and also by information channels. You can’t have a calm, unemotional conversation when everything is framed as a battle, as it currently is. Our warfare over reality, and for control of the country, is just too intense. And in a “wartime” situation, conservative have their in-group preferences to naturally fall back on.
The politics of outrage respond to a particular slight, offense or injury, often to a fait accompli. Occupy moves beyond outrage to a politics of solidarity and creativity. The movement has generally responded to a totality of offenses and injuries not by begging for change from the 1% but by taking the initiative with systemic creativity, demanding nothing except the new world we are working to create.” Defeating outrage is as simple as ignoring it. Instead, perhaps we could say that the Iranian people are our brothers and sisters, that we detest every instance of violence and repression done to them by any regime, theirs or ours. We could point out that the struggles that flared up in 2009 under the banner of the ‘green revolution’, and then again during Arab Spring, mirror and inspire our own, and state that we stand in solidarity with all who battle against tyranny and oppression. We could recognize that the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street also opens on Arlington, VA and the war industry. The reason that the Occupy movement is as threatening as it is to the powers that be is that it implicitly offers this structural critique.
n return for his expert labour, Mavridis received a number of Local Alternative Units (known as tems in Greek) in his online network account. In return for the eggs, olive oil, tax advice and the rest, he transferred tems into other people’s accounts. “It’s an easier, more direct way of exchanging goods and services,” said Bernhardt Koppold, a German-born homeopathist and acupuncturist in Volos who is an active member of the network. “It’s also a way of showing practical solidarity – of building relationships.” He had just treated Maria McCarthy, an English teacher who has lived and worked in the town for 20 years. The consultation was her first tem transaction, and she used one of the vouchers available for people who haven’t yet, or can’t, set up an online account. “I already exchange directly with a couple of families, mainly English teaching for babysitting, and this is a great way to extend that,” said McCarthy. “This is still young, but it’s growing very quickly. Plainly, the more you use it the more useful to you it gets.” Tems has been up and running for barely 18 months, said Maria Choupis, one of its founder members. Prompted by ever more swingeing salary cuts and tax increases, she reckons there are now around 15 such networks active around Greece, and more planned. “They are as much social structures as economic ones,” she said. “They foster intimacy and mutual support.” The network is currently busy transforming a disused building owned by Volos university into a permanent exchange and barter space. It will host a daily market from next month at which members can meet and exchange without using cash. Several highly successful open-air markets were held throughout last summer, Choupis said, until the weather got too cold. No one may hold more than 1,200 tems in the account “so people don’t start hoarding; once you reach the top limit you have to start using them.” And no one may owe more than 300, so people “can’t get into debt, and have to start offering something”.
When the family rejects his leadership and his attempts at authoritarian contol, he sinks into a punitive, bullying rage, lashing out at the rest of us for what he’s come to believe is irredeemable broken faith because we won’t let him be the boss. By his behavior, he is telling us in no uncertain terms that he wants a scorched-earth divorce — the kind that leaves the rest of us broke, ruined, miserable, and utterly at his mercy. He has gone so far as to hire batteries of lawyers and lobbyists to accomplish this, and is taking a bully’s evident glee in his success. it’s increasingly evident that the future they have in mind very explicitly does not include the Bill of Rights, a people’s Congress, the ability to petition our government, or the right to appeal to the courts for redress. They also don’t trust diversity in any form. They’re actively hostile to the idea of E pluribus unum — out of the many, one. Anybody who’s not white, straight, Christian, conservative, and male is inherently not-American. And the only acceptable function of government is to keep those Others — both here, and abroad — firmly in their place. Conservative lawyers and courts are actively carving out a First Amendment right to bully racial and religious minorities, immigrants, gays, and women who won’t stay in their place. Almost every family (including mine, unfortunately) and every workplace has a FOX-trained bully who makes it almost impossible to have simply collegial conversations. Democracy is literally not possible where such bullies exist, because the give-and-take and nuanced discussions that lead to good decision-making simply can’t happen. Instead, all the power goes to the person who’s willing and able to throw the biggest tantrum. They are attempting to privatize Social Security, prisons, the military, and our infrastructure — all to prove their argument that we are no longer competent to do anything for ourselves through our government. Like an abusive spouse, they want us to feel too demoralized about ourselves to do anything effective to improve our lives, let alone find the courage and resolve to free ourselves from the abuse. They are defunding government (“democracy”) at all levels because they don’t believe that We, the People, can spend the money right. (Again: this is the logic of an abusively controlling spouse.) America’s conservatives ultimately do not trust other Americans to run their own lives as individuals — let alone govern ourselves as a group. And I’d argue that this mistrust runs so deep that no healing is possible for them. They have reached the point where they very clearly no longer want to be in this family together with us. We may have to do what families have always done with members who have lost their way, but cannot be abandoned. We need to close ranks around them, building alliances and strategies that will enable us to protect ourselves and each other from their depredations. We cannot change them, but it helps to realize that the faithful and decent members of this family still vastly outnumber those who wish us harm. If we work together closely, we can leverage our numbers and our sanity to arrange things in ways that will minimize the damage our rageaholic members can do. The most important and critical thing we need to do is to restore trust; trust in each other, and in the idea of ourselves as a good and worthy family. We can refuse to buy into divide-and-conquer strategies, realizing that in this situation, the only distinction that matters at all is the one between those who are rooting for this country to succeed, and those who are out to destroy it. We can resolve to trust and respect each others’ perceptions and interpretations of events, even when they don’t entirely agree with our own. We can work to create a consensus vision of the next America we want to become, and form trusting relationships with others to make that happen. We can refuse to reward bullying behavior with success. We can stand up before each other and the world and say: “Those people do not speak for us, and their squalid, angry vision is not our vision. We are a better nation than that.” And we can, simply, continue to come together and govern. Because the specter of citizens civilly and peacefully exercising power is, above everything else, the one thing they fear the most, the biggest threat to the radical anti-democracy agenda.
ongoing financial disaster, failure of anyone in authority to deal with it. it’s under these conditions that direct action by those affected is called for. unlike zucotti park, which was entirely symbolic and didn’t actually shut down wall street, occupy our homes is a new paradigm where it’s a symbol but it also makes a very small but tangible difference in a few peoples’ lives. like the lunch counter protests and all that thru history, the movement has started with people ocoupying a place they are told they have no right to be in, and simply stating we will not be moved.
One of the most effective tactics on the part of the anti-#OccupyWallStreet and #wearethe99% movements is attempting to shame participants into silence. Got laid off? Your own fault, and go take a shower, you filthy hippie. And get a haircut and a job, while you’re at it. Lost your home? Pay your bills, dirtbag, and don’t buy more house than you can afford. Pushing the “personal responsibility” button on the Have-Nots’ feel-bad issues to discourage them into giving up and wallowing has worked well for the Haves in the past. So why isn’t it working now?
As group size increases, both forms of altruism break down. With ever-greater chances of encountering strangers, opportunities for cooperation among kin decline. Reciprocal altruism – without extra safeguards such as institutions for punishing freeloaders – also rapidly stops paying off. A growing view is that religious beliefs and rituals arose as an evolutionary by-product of ordinary cognitive functions (see “The God issue: We are all born believers”). Once that happened, the stage was set for rapid cultural evolution that eventually led to large societies with “Big Gods”. Some early cultural variants of religion presumably promoted prosocial behaviours such as cooperation, trust and self-sacrifice while encouraging displays of religious devotion, such as fasts, food taboos, extravagant rituals and other “hard-to-fake” behaviours which reliably transmitted believers’ sincere faith (Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 30, p 244), and signalled their intention to cooperate (Evolutionary Anthropology, vol 12, p 264). Religion thus forged anonymous strangers into moral communities tied together with sacred bonds under a common supernatural jurisdiction. However, as groups expand in size, anonymity invades relationships and cooperation breaks down. Studies show that feelings of anonymity – even illusory, such as wearing dark glasses – are the friends of selfishness and cheating (Psychological Science, vol 21, p 311). Social surveillance, such as being in front of a camera or an audience, has the opposite effect. Even subtle exposure to drawings resembling eyes encourages good behaviour towards strangers (Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 26, p 245). As the saying goes, “watched people are nice people”. It follows, then, that people play nice when they think a god is watching them, and those around them (see “In atheists we distrust”). The anthropological record supports this idea. In moving from the smallest scale human societies to the largest and most complex, Big Gods – powerful, omniscient, interventionist watchers – become increasingly common, and morality and religion become increasingly intertwined. notions of supernatural punishment, karma, damnation and salvation, and heaven and hell are common in modern religions, but relatively infrequent in hunter-gatherer cultures. Religion, with its belief in watchful gods and extravagant rituals and practices, has been a social glue for most of human history. But recently some societies have succeeded in sustaining cooperation with secular institutions such as courts, police and mechanisms for enforcing contracts. In some parts of the world, especially Scandinavia, these institutions have precipitated religion’s decline by usurping its community-building functions. These societies with atheist majorities – some of the most cooperative, peaceful and prosperous in the world – have climbed religion’s ladder and then kicked it away. Outward displays of belief in a watchful God are viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness. Intolerance of atheists is driven by the intuition that people behave better if they feel that a God is watching them. While atheists think of their disbelief as a private matter of conscience, believers treat their absence of belief in supernatural surveillance as a threat to cooperation and honesty.
The vast majority of humans are “born believers”, naturally inclined to find religious claims and explanations attractive and easily acquired, and to attain fluency in using them. This attraction to religion is an evolutionary by-product of our ordinary cognitive equipment, and while it tells us nothing about the truth or otherwise of religious claims it does help us see religion in an interesting new light. One of the most important of these is to recognise the difference between ordinary physical objects and “agents” – things that can act upon their surroundings. Babies know that balls and books must be contacted in order to move, but agents such as people and animals can move by themselves. Because of our highly social nature we pay special attention to agents. We are strongly attracted to explanations of events in terms of agent action – particularly events that are not readily explained in terms of ordinary causation. Babies also seem sensitive to two other important features of agents that allow them to understand the world but also make them receptive to gods. First, agents act to attain goals. And second, they need not be visible. This hair-trigger agent reasoning and a natural propensity to look for agents in the world around us are part of the building blocks for belief in gods. Once coupled with some other cognitive tendencies, such as the search for purpose, they make children highly receptive to religion. when it comes to speculation about the origins of natural things, children are very receptive to explanations that invoke design or purpose. It seems more sensible to them that animals and plants were brought about for a reason than they arose for no reason. Margaret Evans of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has found that children under 10 tend to embrace creationist explanations of living things over evolutionary ones. children appear to presume that all agents have superknowledge, superperception and immortality until they learn otherwise. children find it easier to assume that others know, sense and remember everything than to figure out precisely who knows, senses and remembers what. Their default position is to assume superpowers until teaching or experience tells them otherwise. This assumption is related to the development of a faculty called “theory of mind”, which concerns our understanding of others’ thoughts, perception, wants and feelings. Theory of mind is important to social functioning but it takes time to develop. Some 3-year-olds and many 4-year-olds simply assume that others have complete, accurate knowledge of the world.
It’s ironic that a man so filled with a cynical hatred of what is best about America would label others as broadcasting “hate.”
Unfortunately, it is a message the right has sent over and over — and not just to women. Five years ago, Limbaugh assaulted then-12-year-old Graeme Frost, whose crime was delivering a Democratic radio address laying out the case that the Children’s Health Insurance Program saved his life. The right savaged his family members, digging through their personal finances and publicly humiliating them for the crime of speaking out. Our democracy is dependent on a vigorous public square where left and right openly debate the issues of the day. For 20 years, Limbaugh’s program has not added to this debate. By attacking public figures in the most hateful terms and working to silence brave citizens who speak up, he has, instead, diminished it.
My bigger worry is that Obama, other Democrats, and the broad progressive movement will just miss the moment we are in: middle-class voters have a deep understanding that something is profoundly wrong with the direction our economy has been heading for the last 30 years. They understand, far better than most elites, the underlying trends that are grinding middle-class families into the dirt, and are making it harder and harder for poor people and young people to climb the ladder into the middle class. They are cynical about politicians bragging about job growth because they know that most new jobs don’t pay what the ones that were lost used to, or are temp jobs that will be gone all too fast. They know that wage growth is flat, housing prices are down, and the costs of necessities — gas, groceries, health care — keep going up. They worry about being able to retire with enough money to live on, about taking care of their elderly parents and grandparents, and about sending their kids to college with tuition rates skyrocketing. This kind of frame of mind for voters makes things challenging for an incumbent President trying to win re-election, but it also presents an opportunity. The Osawatomie, Kansas speech, where Obama cast himself as the fighter for the middle class in tough times, is a part of the answer, and I am glad he has taken on that mantle. But I think he needs to be more explicit and more expansive in creating the narrative, telling the story, of how we got here. The 30-year frame is helpful in part because that is clearly where voters are — that our problems started quite a while back and we have been in decline too long — and in part because it doesn’t make it seem like Obama is just trying to blame Bush, which feels too partisan and blame-gamy. (I also like the fact that it is true. It was Reagan’s policies 30 years ago which decimated our manufacturing base, started us on our current path of massive trade deficits year after year, began the massive deregulation of the financial sector, and embraced supply side economics that first led to massive tax cuts for the wealthy, big budget deficits, and a concentration of both income at the top and industry concentration in one sector of the economy after another.)
The brain goes through two main steps when it’s focused on a task. It’s thought that selective focus is controlled by the top-down attention system. This system is under your control and asks a simple question, “What do you want to focus on?” When you decide to focus on something, the brain goes through two steps to sort and understand the information. Visually, you take in all information in a scene and start processing the information to find what you need to pay attention to. Picture the process like a blurry photo that slowly starts to come into focus. The second part involves focusing on one single aspect. As that same photo comes into focus, the attention starts to zoom in on the one aspect you want to pay attention to. This is the same essential process for voluntary and involuntary focus. When you’re focused your perception of the world around you changes and you have a heightened ability to ignore things around you. This is being in “the zone,” or “the flow.” It’s when you’re focused and don’t notice events around you unless something initiates your bottom-up attention system (which we’ll get to in the next section). The root of breaking focus is an evolutionary system meant to keep us safe. Where selective focusing is reliant on top-down attention, breaking focus comes from the involuntary bottom-up attention. You cannot control this because bottom-up attention is hard-wired into your brain as a passive process. Bottom-up attention asks, “What is happening that needs your attention?” Two outside events cause us to break focus: bright colors or lights, and loud noises. Your focus is drawn to things that might be dangerous or rewarding, like the growl of an animal or the sound and lights of a police siren. Once the top-down focus is broken it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to a project. Each time it’s broken, you restart the process and use up your brain’s resources. Essentially you’re slowly growing exhausted by distractions. To inhibit distractions, you need to be aware of your internal mental process and catch the wrong impulses before they take hold. It turns out that, like the old saying goes, timing is everything. Once you take an action, an energetic loop commences that makes it harder to stop that action. Many activities have built-in rewards, in the form of increased arousal that holds your attention. Once you open your email program and see the messages from people you know, it’s so much harder to stop yourself from reading them. Most motor or mental acts also generate their own momentum. Decide to get out of your chair and the relevant brain regions, as well as dozens of muscles, are all activated. Blood starts pumping and energy moves around. To stop getting out of your chair once you start will take more focus and effort than to decide not to get up when you first have the urge. To avoid distractions it’s helpful to get into the habit of stopping the wrong behaviors early, quickly, and often, well before they take over.
meditation can build brain tissue around areas of the brain associated with attention. Although the study looked at long term effects, the most interesting part is that the brain is malleable and trainable. In this case, meditation is used to train your brain to focus better. putting the brakes on wandering thoughts is one of the key ways to keep yourself focused. The very first step of meditation teaches you how to do this. It’s a trick that applies at nearly any moment and is worth training yourself to do, even if you don’t follow through with the entire meditation ideal. You can use any type of entertainment you like, but the key point Dr. Perry points out is that it’s challenging and you’re doing it actively. Television doesn’t work so well because ads break focus, but books, movies, and games are all ways to utilize your escapism as a means to calibrate your brain to focusing. The key is that you actively pay attention and absorb what you’re consuming.
This week’s video is from Michael Moyer’s post on brain-machine interfaces. This kind of technology can be used for just about anything – gaming, cursor control, brain training and brain-to-brain communication, to name a few. Right now, a few devices are already on the market. This video features the Necomimi, a Japanese device that uses brain waves to control a pair of fuzzy animal ears that you wear. Yes, her brain is actually controlling the movement of the ears – you can visualize her emotions while she eats a donut or passes by a handsome man. It will be extremely interesting to see what devices come next!
blah.Dot Universe, on the other hand, plays on Swedish psychologist Gunnar Johansson’s seminal research on the perception of biological motion in the 1970s. Johansson demonstrated that an array of just thirteen dots, positioned at the body’s cardinal points, is sufficient to create the illusion of a moving human figure. Cleary and Connolly re-created that effect but then jumbled up the results to create what resembles a dynamic, shape-changing constellation that moves with a pleasing, loose-limbed elasticity. A version of this work, Joining the Dots,
has already been installed in Tralee, County Kerry. As Connolly notes, it demonstrates “the refusal of the mind to accept abstraction”. Even when an image appears to be formless or random, we’re constantly looking for patterns or shapes that we can interpret and render into meaning.
A new experiment reported in Science involves far simpler conditions and materials than any previous attempts. Researchers Fedor Gömöry et al. constructed a cylinder of nested magnetic and high-temperature superconducting materials that precisely manipulates an external uniform magnetic field until it is the same on both sides of the object. From a magnetic point of view, the cylinder is cloaked. The technique is far from being able to mask a large object at room temperature: the cloak uses a magnetic field that doesn’t vary in space or time, and the superconductor requires that the entire system be cooled to 77 degrees above absolute zero. Nevertheless, the entire setup is a significant advance and requires much simpler conditions than prior cloaking experiments.
The essence of the cloak lies in the different ways magnetic and superconducting materials respond to magnetic fields. A simple hollow ferromagnetic cylinder attracts an external magnetic field, distorting the field lines as shown in the diagram above. (Ferromagnetic is the technical term for what is colloquially known as “permanent magnetism”.) A superconducting cylinder, on the other hand, expels magnetic fields, creating a space free of magnetism inside.
Gömöry et al. built a cylinder using a high-temperature superconducting tape on the inside, surrounded by an iron-nickel-chromium (FeNiCr) sheet (which is ferromagnetic). When placed in a uniform external magnetic field, the FeNiCr layer attracts the field but the superconducting inner layer repels it. The combination of the two effects produces a magnetic field that is the same on both sides of the cylinder. The cylinder is then cloaked, as well as anything inside it.
The cylinder itself is 12 millimeters long, with an inner diameter of 12.5 millimeters. It is placed between two wire coils producing a static uniform magnetic field. The entire system is then cooled to 77 Kelvins, and the magnetic field is measured at various points around the cylinder using a sensitive device known as a Hall effect probe. While the magnetic field strength isn’t huge by modern laboratory standards (about 0.04 Teslas), it’s strong enough that any distortions would be detectable. To check this, Gömöry et al. separately tested control cylinders made only of ferromagnetic materials and only of superconducting materials. While the controls exhibited strong distortions of the external magnetic field, the combined ferromagnet-superconductor yielded only a tiny amount of disturbance.
Both the FeNiCr alloy and the high-temperature superconducting tape are commercially available; the magnetic field strengths are easily achievable by small labs, and cooling to 77 Kelvins requires only liquid nitrogen. This is the real achievement of the experiment: producing magnetic masking with relatively inexpensive components, as opposed to previous cloaks that require exotic materials and often much colder temperatures. While static uniform magnetic fields still constitute a special set-up (as compared to real-world scenarios, where fields vary in space and time), one can imagine laboratory conditions where masking small objects from magnetic fields would be highly desirable. Romulan spacecraft may still be the stuff of science fiction, but reliable magnetic cloaks may now be within reach.
But most of the BCI nowadays use the change in brain signal during motor imagery (like imagining moving your hand, instead of actually moving it. Not visual imagination, but imagining subjectively moving your hand. Yes, that a bit hard to explain…) for control. During motor imagery, there is a decrease in energy of the brain signal in certain frequency band, so the computer can analyze this signal feature and classify your intention. And different motor imagery (like moving hand, moving legs etc.) will have different spatial distribution over your head and so can be used to differentiate against different kinds of intention. Usually it is the motor imagery that is important. Saying “right” out loud in the heart can’t create a clear signal for the device to work on, simply because verbal intention won’t produce noticeable change in brain signal. Of course, over time the brain will adapt and you can stop imagining the hand movement and think directly at the intended action. But it is always better to start with motor intention first. BCI is really as much about the subject as the device. That said, I am still doubtful whether such a small device can do the job well. In research we usually use brain signal amplifier that costs more than $10,000.
It’s not too bad toshow what the tech can do – the background colour links to your excitement level, sound gets louder, softer, faster and slower with your mood, and there are a few cool mind training activities.
Neurons emit weak radio signals across the ELF/SLF/ULF frequency bands which are detectable remotely. There have been reports that brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) utilising these bands may be achievable, as radio energy in these frequency ranges can be absorbed by neurons.
Chris Hedges: “Totalitarian systems always begin by rewriting the law. They make legal what was once illegal. Crimes become patriotic acts. The defense of freedom and truth becomes a crime. Foreign and domestic subjugation merges into the same brutal mechanism. Citizens are colonized. And it is always done in the name of national security. We obey the new laws as we obeyed the old laws, as if there was no difference. And we spend our energy and our lives appealing to a dead system.” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_polite_conference_rooms_where_liberties_are_saved_and_lost_20120326/
It may seem the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, but controlling your computer with your eyes is a practical reality in 2012. One system, Tobii’s “Gaze Interaction,” lets users navigate, scroll, zoom and select using just their eyes.
Tobi’s OEM components could see laptops, peripherals and game consoles with built-in eye tracking technology as part of the user interface. You could gaze directly at an icon to open an app, browse files with your eyes, and stare at an item to zoom in on it.
This tech also has the potential to make interfaces more adaptive. By just looking at a widget or icon, the item could become responsive and change or update the information displayed.
2. Gesture Control
Game consoles have educated consumers to the entertainment potential that gesture control offers, but such tech is also heading to your traditional PC.
While Microsoft has launched Kinect for Windows and other computer manufacturers are experimenting with gesture recognition, startup XTR3D now offers an exciting cross-platform gesture control system.
What’s particularly interesting about XTR3D’s solution is that it can work with any ordinary 2D camera (such as a webcam or forwarding-facing camera), so it could easily be deployed on existing laptops and tablets.
The solution can read hand gestures up to 17 feet away, so you could open a file on your laptop by unclenching your fist, or swipe through your music library with a flick of your wrist from across the room.
3. Advanced Touchscreen Control
While touch is undoubtedly an intuitive input method, touchscreens currently don’t offer the same kind of easily accessed advanced controls and menu options that more traditional computers do.
As mainstream computing moves over to touch, one device that could help the transition with the multiple inputs that we’re used to (such as the right mouse button or shortcut keys) is the “Ringbow.”
This finger-worn tool adds extra layers of functionality to touchscreen computing. It can be used to wirelessly click or right-click, open non-visible elements, such as menus, or be programmed to replicate the actions of any traditional input keys.
4. Wearable Input Device
A wearable mouse has long been the dream for anyone looking to really immerse themselves in the computing experience. A successful Kickstarter project, the Keyglove, could see that becoming a reality in 2012.
The Keyglove is a wearable, wireless, open source input device that boasts unprecedented flexibility and convenience for all kinds of computer applications.
With exciting potential for gaming, design, art, music, device control and even data entry, the glove-based system’s multi-sensor combinations mean it could be programmed to offer one-handed operation of many systems and software.
In addition to the benefits a wearable mouse could offer a traditional computer user, the Keyglove could also be of interest to users of small screens, RSI sufferers or those with physical impairment.
5. Speech Control
Finally, we’re taking a look at the most natural way that humans interface — with our voices.
Speech recognition is rapidly becoming mainstream. The iPhone’s “Siri” assistant, Microsoft’s Kinect, Google Search and even Windows 8 will all help to make talking to your computer or gadget as commonplace as clicking a mouse.
As voice recognition, artificial intelligence, semantics and natural language technologies continue to improve, we’re interested to see how speech will be incorporated into interfaces.
We predict that the press-a-button-and-speak method will become outdated as smart virtual assistants — which offer an AI-powered, conversational style solution — emerge.
The point is, there are usually people involved in a fabrication, because few people are going to believe a fantastic story that nobody else was around to witness. People lend credibility to a tale, and fabulists know all too well that most people on the peripheries of their fable won’t go out of their way to shoot them down. Appropriating people, and maybe even quoting them, is a strong bonding agent to hold a tale together.
But all you have to do to melt it is to pick up the phone, or just write an email, to someone who was involved in the story. If they back up what the person said, then no harm done—you were just wondering and wanted to hear it for yourself. If they can’t quite remember, or see things differently, that’s a big warning sign. And if the person telling the tale claims that it’s hard or impossible to get in touch with those people, or tries to explain upfront why they’re going to disagree, well, that’s a warning sign, road flares, and an air raid siren.
The idea of the misdirection is to create doubt in the person asking the question. The idea is to get the asker to assume they were silly for asking in the first place, because obviously it was a poor assumption to make. First, if you want to detect a liar you should ask them a yes or no question. Second, if the person answering the question doesn’t respond with a yes or no answer and instead tries to misdirect, remind them of what you asked. Whether they choose to lie or not, you’ll probably know either way.
Mom asked her daughter a simple Yes or No question. Her daughter chose not to respond with a simple “Yes” or “No” answer but, instead, took her mother to the Land of Is by using Misdirection. The daughter changed the focus of the question from her cheating on exams to the amount of time she studies each day. The daughter ended her response with an accusation, which put Mom on the defensive. The topic was no longer about cheating but about Mom making unwarranted accusations. If the daughter cheated on her exams, she would rather talk about her mother making unwarranted accusations than the topic of her cheating on exams. Failure to answer Yes or No questions with “Yes” or “No” answers is a strong indicator of deception.
Truthful people are not afraid to talk about the topic in question; whereas, liars usually want to distance themselves from topics that pose a threat.
Liars, when faced with two choices, tend to pick one of the choices presented rather than seeking a third alternative. This tendency is due to cognitive overload. Truthful people do not experience cognitive overload; they simply convey facts. Liars, on the other hand, are operating at near-full or full cognitive capacity depending on the complexity of the lies. Liars have to remember what they said and did not say. They also have to monitor and control their verbal responses and nonverbal behaviors. Additionally, liars have to monitor their target’s verbal responses and nonverbal behaviors to ensure that the target believes the lie. The mind of a liar is fully occupied, especially if detection has dire consequences.
When liars are presented with thought provoking questions, they tend to hesitate before they answer to give themselves time to formulate an appropriate answer. At the point of hesitation, a follow-on statement such as, “I didn’t think you were telling me the whole truth;” “I knew you were stretching the truth a bit;” or “I knew there was more to the story” should be presented. A mild accusatory statement or skepticism should evoke a response from both truthful people as well as liars. The person’s response to a mild accusation or slight skepticism is often more revealing than the initial answer to the Forced Response question.
Truthful people typically provide some pushback because they have been wrongly accused of lying. Truthful people often accompany their protests with emphatic gestures such as hitting the table with their hand or fist, finger pointing, or leaning forward. People tend to lean toward people and things they perceive as nonthreatening. Leaning forward signals honesty because the person answering the question does not see the person asking the question as a threat. Liars tend to accept being called liars with little, if any, protest. If liars do protest, they have a difficult time displaying emphatic gestures because they know they are lying. Liars also have a tendency to lean backwards to distance themselves from their accuser.
Mild pushback is an indication of honesty. Too much pushback or too little or no pushback is an indicator of deception.
When someone provides you with an answer to a question, simply ask them “Why should I believe you?” Honest people typically answer “Because I am telling the truth” or some derivation thereof. Truthful people simply convey information. They focus on accurately presenting facts. Conversely, liars try to convince people that what is being said is true. Their focus is not on accurately presenting facts, but rather, convincing listeners that the facts presented represent the truth.
The same question put to liars introduces a degree of doubt. When liars perceive their stories are not fully believed, they attempt to supply additional reasons why their story should be believed instead of letting the facts speak for themselves.
When people answer other than “Because I’m telling the truth” or some derivation thereof, tell them that their response did not answer the question and repeat the question, “Why should I believe you?”. If they again do not respond with “Because I’m telling the truth or some derivation thereof,” the probability of deception increases.
Liars have to remember what they said and did not say. They also have to monitor and control their verbal responses and nonverbal behaviors. Additionally, liars have to monitor their target’s verbal responses and nonverbal behaviors to ensure that the target believes the lie. The mind of a liar is fully occupied. When people lie, especially in high stakes lies, they use all or most of their cognitive capacity to maintain the lie.
The Parallel Lie causes a person to think because rarely are people asked about the veracity of their response to a question. Truthful people have little difficulty processing new information because they have excess cognitive processing capacity. Conversely, liars use all or most of their cognitive processing capacity to maintain their deception and have little excess capacity to process new information. Since liars are operating at or near full cognitive capacity, they have trouble processing these types of questions and will often hesitate for a moment before answering.
When the suspected liar hesitates, a presumptive should be introduced. Presumptives challenge veracity. Persumptives such as “I knew you were lying” or “Don’t lie to me directly challenge veracity. Persumptives can also be more benign. For example, “I didn’t think you were being truthful.” or “I thought there was more to the story.” Indirectly, suspected liars are put on notice that their stories are not wholly believed. Honest people tend to protest to some degree after being called liars and in many cases display emphatic gestures. Dishonest people tend not to protest after being called liars or become defensive.
I asked the witness a direct Yes or No question to which he knew I expected a “Yes” answer. Since he began his response with the word “Well,” I knew he was about to give me an answer other than yes.
At the instant we register a threat, a host of coping responses commence. Cortisol and adrenalin are secreted. Breathing and heart rate quicken, sending oxygen and sugar to our limbs to ready us for fight or flight. Neural activity increases in the brain’s limbic section, generating threat-countering emotions and additional interpretations of danger. These processes work together and impact one another.
Liars have difficulty providing direct answers to direct questions. Liars will use a variety of techniques to avoid answering direct questions. If you suspect deception, ask the person a direct “yes” or “no” question. If the person does not provide you with a direct answer, then the probability of deception increases. If the person pauses before answering the question, probability of deception significantly increases. If the person answers the question with the word “well,” deception is very likely. These responses form a cluster of cues that indicate a high probability of deception.
from rules for radicals: a practical primer for realistic radicals, by saul d alinsky, vintage books 1989 (copyright 1971)
“it is the universal tale of revolution and reaction. it is the constant struggle between the positive and its converse negative, which includes the reversal of roles so that the positive of today is the negative of tomorrow and vice versa.
“this view of nature recognizes that reality is dual. the principles of quantum mechanics in physics apply even more dramatically to the mechanics of mass movements. this is true not only in ‘complementarity’ but in the repudiation of the hitherto universal concept of causality, whereby matter and physics were understood in terms of cause and effect, where for every effect there had to be a cause and one always produced the other. in quantum mechanics, causality was largely replaced by probability.” p17
“this grasp of the duality of all phenomena is vital in our understanding of politics. it frees one from the myth that one approach is positive and another negative. there is no such thing in life. one man’s positive is another man’s negative. the description of any procedure as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ is the mark of a political illiterate.
“once the nature of revolution is understood from the dualistic outlook we lose our mono-view of a revolution and see it coupled with its inevitable counterrevolution. once we accept and learn to anticipate the inevitable counterrevolution, we may then alter the historical pattern of revolution and counterrevolution from the traditional slow advance of two steps forward and one step backward to minimizing the latter. each element with its positive and converse sides is fused to other related elements in an endless series of everything, so that the converse of revolution on one side is counterrevolution and on the other side, reformation, and so on in an endless chain of connected converses.” p17-8
“i present here a series of rules pertaining to the ethics of means and ends: first, that one’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one’s personal interest in the issue. when we are not directly concerned our morality overflows…
“the second rule…is that the judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment. if you actively opposed the nazi occupation and joined the underground resistance, then you adopted the means of assassination, terror, property destruction, the bombing of tunnels and trains, kidnapping, and the willingness to sacrifice innocent hostages to the end of defeating the nazis. those who opposed the nazi conquerors regarded the resistance as a secret army of selfless, patriotic idealists, courageous beyond expectation and willing to sacrifice their lives to their moral convictions. to the occupation authorities, however, these people were lawless terrorists, murderers, saboteurs, assassins, who believed that the end justified the means, and were utterly unethical according to the mystical rules of war.” p27
“the eighth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that the morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory. the same means employed with victory seemingly assured may be defined as immoral, whereas if it has been used in desperate circumstances to avert defeat, the question of morality would never arise. in short, ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning.” p34
“gandhi’s opposition not only made the effective use of passive resistance possible but practically invited it. his enemy was a british administration characterized by an old, aristocratic, liberal tradition, one which granted a good deal of freedom to its colonials and which always had operated on a pattern of using, absorbing, seducing, or destroying, thru flattery or corruption, the revolutionary leaders who arose from the colonial ranks. this was the kind of opposition that would have tolerated and ultimately capitulated before the tactic of passive resistance.
“gandhi’s passive resistance would haver have had a chance against a totalitarian state such as that of the nazis.” p41
“[orwell] ‘he believed in ‘arousing the world,’ which is only possible if the world gets a chance to hear what you are doing. it is difficult to see how gandhi’s methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. without a free press and the right of assembly it is impossible, not merely to appeal to outside opinions, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary.” p41-2
“in essence, mankind divides itself into three groups; the have-nots, the have-a-little, want-mores, and the haves. the purpose of the haves is to keep what they have. therefore, the haves want to maintain the status quo and the have-nots to change it. the haves develop their own morality to justify their means of repression and all other means employed to maintain the status quo. the haves usually establish laws and judges devoted to maintaining the status quo; since any effective means of changing the status quo are usually illegal and/or unethical in the eyes of the establishment, have-nots, from the beginning of time, have been compelled to appeal to ‘a law higher than man-made law.’ then when the have-nots achieve success and become the haves, they are in the position of trying to keep what they have and their morality shifts with their change of location in the power pattern.
“eight months after securing independence, the indian national congress outlawed passive resistance and made it a crime.” p43
“all great leaders, including churchill, gandhi, lincoln, and jefferson, always invoked ‘moral principles’ to cover naked self-interest in teh clothing of ‘freedom’ ‘equality of mankind,’ ‘a law higher than man-made law,’ and so on. this even held under circumstances of national crises when it was universally assumed that the end justified any means. all effective actions require the passport of morality.” p43-4
“[rousseau] ‘law is a very good thing for men with property and a very bad thing for men without property.’” p44
“conflict is another bad word in the general opinion. this is a consequence of two influences in our society: one influence is organized religion, which has espoused a rhetoric of ‘turning the other cheek’ and has quoted the scriptures as the devil never would have dared because of their major previous function of supporting the establishment. the second influence is probably the most subversive and insidious one, and it has permeated the american scene in the last generation: that is madison avenue public relations, middle-class moral hygiene, which has made of conflict or controversy something negative and undesirable. this has all been part of an advertising culture that emphasizes getting along with people and avoiding friction.” p61-2
“conflict is the essential core of a free and open society. if one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” p62
“the education of an organizer requires frequent long conferences on organizational problems, analysis of power patterns, communication, conflict tactics, the education and development of community leaders, and the methods of introduction of new issues.” p64
“frequently personal domestic hangups were part of the conferences. an organizer’s working schedule is so continuous that time is meaningless; meetings and caucuses drag endlessly into the early morning hours; any schedule is marked by constant unexpected unscheduled meetings; work pursues an organizer into his or hr home, so that either he is on the phone or there are people dropping in. the marriage record of organizers is with rare exception disastrous. further, the tensions, the hours, the home situation, and the opportunities, do not argue for fidelity. also, with rare exception, i have not known really competent organizers who were concerned about celibacy.” p64-5
“the organizer becomes a carrier of the contagion of curiosity, for a people asking ‘why’ are beginning to rebel. the questioning of the hitherto accepted ways and values is the reformation stage that precedes and is so essential to the revolution.: p72
“curiosity asks, ‘is this true?’ ‘just because this has always been the way, is this the best or right way of life, the best or right religion, political or economic value, morality?’ to the questioner nothing is sacred. he detests dogma, defies any finite definition of morality, rebels against any repression of a free, open search for ideas no matter where they may lead. he is challenging, insulting, agitating, discrediting. he stirs unrest. as with all life, this is a paradox, for his irreverence is rooted in a deep reverence for the enigma of life, and an incessant search for its meaning.” p73
“the organizer knows that the real action is in the reaction of the opposition.” p74
“a sense of humor is incompatible with the complete acceptance of any dogma, any religious, political, or economic prescription for salvation. it synthesizes with curiosity, irreverence, and imagination. the organizer has a personal identity of his own that cannot be lost by absorption or acceptance of any kind of group discipline or organization.” p75
“with very rare exceptions, the right things are done for the wrong reasons. it is futile to demand that men do the right thing for the right reason – this is a fight with a windmill. the organizer should know and accept that the right reason is only introduced as a moral rationalization after the right end has been achieved, altho it may have been achieved for the wrong reason – therefore he should search for and use the wrong reasons to achieve the right goals. he should be able, with skill and calculation, to use irrationality in his attempts to progress toward a rational world.
“for a variety of reasons the organizer must develop multiple issues. first, a wide-based membership can only be built on many issues.” p76
“the organizer in his way of life, with his curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, distrust of dogma, his self-organization, his understanding of the irrationality of much of human behavior, becomes a flexible personality, not a rigid structure that breaks when something unexpected happens. having his own identity, he has no need for the security of an ideology or a panacea. he knows that life is a quest for uncertainty; that the only certain fact of life is uncertainty; and he can live with hit. he knows that all values are relative, in a world of political relativity. because of these qualities he is unlikely to disintegrate into cynicism and disillusionment, for he does not depend on illusion.
“finally, the organizer is constantly creating the new out of the old. he knows that all new ideas arise from conflict; that every time man has had a new idea it has been a challenge to the sacred ideas of teh past and the present and inevitably a conflict has raged. curiosity, irreverence, imagination, sense of humor, a free and open mind, an acceptance of the relativity of values and of the uncertainty of life, all inevitably fuse into the kind of person whose greatest joy is creation. he conceives of creation as the very essence of the meaning of life. in his constant striving for the new, he finds that he cannot endure what is repetitive and unchanging. for him hell would be doing the same thing over and over again.” p79-80
“the leader goes on to build power to fulfill his desires, to hold and wield the power for purposes both social and personal. he wants power himself. the organizer finds his goal in creation of power for others to use.” p80
“another maxim in effective communication is th at people have to make their own decisions. it isn’t just that moses couldn’t tell god what god should do; no organizer can tell a community, either, what to do. much of the time, tho, the organizer will have a pretty good idea of what the community should be doing, and he will want to suggest, maneuver, and persuade the community toward that action. he will not ever seem to tell the community what to do; instead, he will use loaded questions.” p91
“while the organizer proceeds on teh basis of questions, the community leaders always regard his judgment above their own. they believe that he knows his job, he knows the right tactics, that’s why he is their organizer. the organizer knows that even if they feel that way consciously, if he starts issuing orders and ‘explaining,’ it would begin to build up a subconscious resentment, a feeling that the organizer is putting them down, is not respecting their dignity as individuals. the organizer knows that it is a human characteristic that someone who asks for help and gets it reacts not only with gratitude but with a subconscious hostility toward the one who helped him. if is a sort of psychic ‘original sin’ because he feels that the one who helped him is always aware that if it hadn’t been for his help, he would still be a defeated nothing. all this involves a skillful and sensitive role-playing on the part of the organizer. in the beginning the organizer is the general, he knows where, what and how, but he never wears his four stars, never is addressed as nor acts as a general – he is an organizer.” p93
“love and faith are not common companions. more commonly power and fear consort with faith. the have-nots have a limited faith in the worth of their own judgments. they still look to the judgments of the haves. they respect the strength of the upper class and they believe that the haves are more intelligent, more competent, and endowed with ‘something special.’ distance has a way of enhancing power, so that respect becomes tinged with reverence. the haves are the authorities and thus the beneficiaries of the various myths and legends that always develop around power. the have-nots will believe them where they would be hesitant and uncertain about their own judgments. power is not to be crossed; one must respect and obey. power means strength, whereas love is a human frailty the people mistrust. it is a sad fact of life that power and fear are the fountainheads of faith.
“the job of teh organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’ the world ‘enemy’ is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people, to identify him with the have-0nots, but it is not enough to endow him with the special qualities that induce fear and thus give him the means to establish his own power against teh establishment. here again we find that it is power and fear that are essential to the development of faith. this need is met by the establishment’s use of the brand ‘dangerous,’ for in that one word the establishment reveals its fear of the organizer, its fear that he represents a threat to its omnipotence. now the organizer has his ‘birth certificate’ and can begin.” p99-100
“in the early days the organizer moves out in front in any situation of risk where the power of the establishment can get someone’s job, call in an overdue payment, or any other form of retaliation, partly because these dangers would cause many local people to back off from conflict. here the organizer serves a a protective shield: if anything goes wrong it is all his fault, he has the responsibility. if they are successful all credit goes to the local people.” p107
“it is primarily a subconscious feeling that the organizer is looking down on them, wondering why they did not have the intelligence, so to speak, and the insights, to realize that through organization and the securing of power they could have resolved many of the problems they’ve lived with for these many years – why did they have to wait for him? with this going on in their minds they throw up a whole series of arguments against various organizational procedures, but they are not real arguments, simply attempts to justify the fact that they have not moved or organized in the past.” p109
“rationalizations must be recognized as such so that the organizer does not get trapped in communication problems or in treating them as the real situations.” p109
“from the moment the organizer enters a community he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls teh army. until he has developed that mass power base, he confronts no major issues. he has nothing with which to confront anything. until he has those means and power instruments, his ‘tactics’ are very different form power tactics. therefore, every move revolves around one central point: how many recruits will this bring into the organization, whether by means of local organizations, churches, service groups, labor unions, corner gangs, or as individuals. the only issue is, how will this increase the strength of the organization. if by losing in a certain action he can get more members that by winning, then victory lies in losing and he will lose.
“change comes from power, and power comes from organization. it order to act, people must get together.” p113
“if your function is to attack apathy and get people to participate it is necessary to attack the prevailing patters of organized living in the community. the first step in community organization is community disorganization. the disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns that provide the opportunities and means for citizen participation. all change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.” p116
“and so the labor organizer simultaneously breeds conflict and builds a power structure. the war between the trade union and management is resolved either thru a strike or a negotiation. either method involves the use of power; the economic power of the strike or the threat of it, which results in successful negotiations. no one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation.” p118-9
“in the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems….he simple fact is that in any community, regardless of how poor, people may have serious problems – but they do not have issues, they have a bad scene. an issue is something you can do something about, but as long as you feel powerless and unable to do anything about it, all you have is a bad scene.” p119
“thru action, persuasion, and communication the organizer makes it clear that organization will give them the power, the ability, the strength, the force to be able to do something about these particular problems. it is then that a bad scene begins to break up into specific issues, because now the people can do something about it. what the organizer does is convert the plight into a problem.” p120
“always remember the first rule of power tactics: power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.* [*power has always derived from two main sources, money and people. lacking money, the have-nots must build power from their own flesh and blood. a mass movement expresses itself with mass tactics. against the finesse and sophistication of the status quo, the have-nots have always had to club their way.]
“the second rule is: never go outside the experience of your people…the result is confusion, fear, and retreat. it also means a collapse of communication…
“the third rule is: wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
“the fourth rule is: make the enemy live up to their own book of rules…
” the fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. it is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
“the sixth rule is: a good tactic is one that your people enjoy…
“the seventh rule: a tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag…
“the eighth rule: keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”the ninth rule: the threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
“the tenth rule: the major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. it is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign. it should be remembered not only that the action is in the reaction but that action is itself the consequence of reaction and of reaction to the reaction, ad infinitum. the pressure produces the reaction, and constant pressure sustains action.
“the eleventh rule is: if you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break thru into its counterside; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative. we have already seen the conversion of the negative in to the positive, in mahatma gandhi’s development of the tactic of passive resistance…
“the twelpth rule: the price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. you cannot reisk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreeent with your demand and daying ‘you’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue. now you tell us.;
“the thirteenth rule: pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
“in conflict tactics there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities. one is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’ by this i mean that in a complex, interrelated, urban society, it becomes increasingly difficult to single out who is to blame for any particular evil. there is a constant, and somewhat legitimate, passing of the buck. in these times of urbanization, complex metropolitan governments, the complexities of major interlocked corporations, and the interlocking of political life between cities and counties and metropolitan authorities, the problem that threatens to loom more and more is that of identifying the enemy. obviously there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.” p127-30
“it should be borne in mind that the target is always trying to shift responsibility to get out of being the target….the forces for change must keep t his in mind and pin that target down securely. if an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible.” p132
“one of the criteria in picking your target is the target’s vulnerability – where do you have the power to start? furthermore, any target can always say, ‘why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ when you ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these arguments and, for the moment, all the others to blame.
“then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all of the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. they become visible by their support of the target.
“the other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract such as a community’s segregated practices or a major corporation or city hall. it is not possible to develop the necessary hostility against, say, city hall, which after all is a concrete, physical, inanimate structure, or against a corporation, which has no soul or identity, or a public school administration, which again is an inanimate system.” p133
“with this focus comes a polarization. as we have indicated before, all issues must be polarized if action is to follow. the classic statement on polarization comes from christ: ‘he that is not with me is against me’ (luke 11.23). he allowed no middle ground to the money-changers in the temple. one acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” p134-5
“the real action is in the enemy’s reaction. the enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength. tactics, like organization, like life, require that you move with the action.” p136
“with the universal principle that the right things are always done for the wrong reasons and the tactical rule that negatives become positives, we can understand the following examples.” p144
“you can’t do much bluffing in this game; if you’re ever caught bluffing, forget about ever using threats in the future.” p146
“the threat was delivered to the authorities thru a legitimate and ‘trustworthy’ channel. every organization must have two or three stool pigeons who are trusted by the establishment. these stool pigeons are invaluable as ‘trustworthy’ lines of communication to the establishment. with all plans ready to go, we began formation of a series of committees: a transportation committee to get the buses, a mobilization committee to work with the ministers to get their people to their buses, and other committees with other specific functions. two of the key committees deliberately included one of these stoolies each, so that there would be one to back up the other. we knew the plan would be quickly reported back.” p147-8
“organized shopping, wholesale buying plus charging and returning everything on delivery, would add accounting costs to their attack on the retailer with the ominous threat of continued repetition. this is far more effective than canceling a charge account.” p148
“i have n occasion remarked that i feel confident that i could persuade a millionaire on a friday to subsidize a revolution for saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on sunday even tho he was certain to be executed on monday.” p150
“the reaction of the status quo in jailing revolutionary leaders is in itself a tremendous contribution to the development of teh have-not movement as well as to the personal development of the revolutionary leaders. this point should be carefully remembered as another example of how mass jujitsu tactics can be used to so maneuver the status quo that it turns its power against itself.
“jailing the revolutionary leaders and their followers performs three vital functions for the cause of the have-nots: (1) it is an act on the part of the status quo that in itself points up the conflict between the haves and the have-nots; (2) it strengthens immeasurably the position of the revolutionary leaders with their people by surrounding the jailed leadership with an aura of martyrdom; (3) it deepens the identification of the leadership with their people since the prevalent reaction among the have-nots is that their leadership cares so much for them, and is so sincerely committed to the issue, that it is willing to suffer imprisonment for teh cause. repeatedly in situations where the relationship between the have-nots and their leaders has become strained the remedy has been the jailing of the leaders by the establishment. immediately the ranks close and the leaders regain their mass support.” p155-6
“the trouble with a long jail sentence is that (a) a revolutionary is removed from action for such an extended period of time that he loses touch, and (b) if you are gone long enough everybody forgets about you. life goes on, new issues arise, and new leaders appear; however, a periodic removal from circulation by being jailed is an essential element in the development of the revolutionary. the one problem that the revolutionary cannot cope with by himself is that he must now and then have an opportunity to reflect and synthesize his thoughts. to gain that privacy in which he can try to make sense out of what he is doing, why he is doing it, where he is going, what has been wrong with what he has done, what he should have done and above all to see the relationships of all the episodes and acts as they tie in to a general pattern, the most convenient and accessible solution is jail. it is here that he begins to develop a philosophy. it is here that he begins to shape long-term goals, intermediate goals, and a self-analysis of tactics as tied to his own personality. it is here that he is emancipated from the slavery of action wherein he was compelled to think from act to act. now he can look at the totality of his actions and the reactions of the enemy from a fairly detached position.
“every revolutionary leader of consequence has had to undergo these withdrawals from the arena of action without such opportunities, he goes from one tactic and one action to another, but most of them are almost terminal tactics in themselves; he never has a chance to think thru an overall synthesis, and he burns himself out. he becomes, in fact, nothing more than a temporary irritant. the prophets of the old testament and the new found their opportunity for synthesis by voluntarily removing themselves to the wilderness. it was after they emerged that they began propagandizing their philosophies.” p156-7
“jail provides just the opposite circumstances. you have no phones and, except for an hour or so a day, no visitors. your jailers are rough, unsociable, and generally so dull that you wouldn’t want to talk to them anyway. you find yourself in a physical drabness and confinement, which you desperately try to escape. since there is no physical escape you are driven to erase your surroundings imaginatively: you escape into thinking and writing.” p158
“human beings can sustain an interest in a particular subject only over a limited period of time. the concentration, the emotional fervor, even the physical energy, a particular experience that is exciting, challenging, and inviting, can last just so long – this is true of the gamut of human behavior, from sex to conflict. after a period of time it becomes monotonous, repetitive, an emotional treadmill, and worse than anything else a bore. from the moment the tactician engages in conflict, his enemy is time.” p159
“speaking of issues, let’s look at the issue of pollution. here again, we can use the haves against the haves to get what we want. when utilities or heavy industries talk about the ‘people,’ they mean the banks and other power sectors of their own world. if their banks, say, start pressing them, then they listen and hurt. the target, therefore, should be the banks that serve the steel, auto, and other industries, and the goal, significant lessening of pollution…
“if a thousand or more people all moved in, each with $5 or $10 to open up a savings account, the banks’s floor functions would be paralyzed. again, as in the case of the shop-in, the police would be immobilized. there is no illegal occupation. the banks is in a difficult position. it knows what is happening, but still it does not want to antagonize would-be depositors. the bank’s pubic image would be destroyed if some thousand would-be depositors were arrested or forcibly ejected from the premises.
“the element of ridicule is here again. a continuous chain of action and reaction is formed. following this, the people can return in a few days and close their accounts, and then return again later to open new accounts. this is what i would call a middle-class guerrilla attack. it could well cause an irrational reaction on the part of the banks which could then be directed against their large customers, for example the polluting utilities or whatever were the obvious, stated targets of the middle-class organizations. the target of a secondary attack such as this is always outraged; the bank, thus, is likely to react more emotionally since it as a body feels that it is innocent, being punished for another’s sins.
“at the same time, this kind of action can also be combined with social refreshments and gathering together with friends downtown, as well as with the general enjoyment of seeing the discomfiture and confusion on the part of the establishment. the middle-class guerrillas would enjoy themselves as they increased the pressure on their enemies.
“once a specific tactic is used, it ceases to be outside the experience of the enemy. before long he devises countermeasures that void the previous effective tactic.” p162-3
“it was then that the chief of all c.i.o. organizers, lewis, gave them their rationale. he thundered, ‘the right to a man’s job transcends the right of private property! the c.i.o. stands squarely behind these sit-downs!’
“the sit-down strikers at g.m. cheered. now they knew why they had done what they did, and why they would stay to the end. the lesson here is that a major job of the organizer is to instantly develop the rationale for actions which have taken place by accident or impulsive anger. lacking the rationale, the action becomes inexplicable to its participants and rapidly disintegrates into defeat. possessing a rationale gives action a meaning and purpose.” p164
“”tactics are not the product of careful cold reason, that they do not follow a table of organization or plan of attack. accident, unpredictable reactions to your own actions, necessity, and improvisation dictate the direction and nature of tactics. then, analytical logic is required to appraise where you are, what you can do next, the risks and hopes that you can look forward to. it is this analysis that protects you from being a blind prisoner of the tactic and the accidents that accompany it. but i cannot overemphasize that the tactic itself comes out of the free flow of action and reaction, and requires on the part of the organizer an easy acceptance of apparent disorganization.” p165
“the mythology of ‘history’ is usually so pleasant for the ego of the subject that he accepts it in a ‘modest’ silence, an affirmation of the validity of the mythology. after a while he begins to believe it.
“the further danger of mythology is that it carries the picture of ‘genius at work’ with the false implication of purposeful logic and planned actions. this makes it more difficult to free oneself from the structured approach. for this if no other reason mythology should be understood for what it is.” p168
“other ideas began to occur. this was a whole new ball game for me and my curiosity sent me scurrying and sniffing at the many opportunities in this great wall street wonderland. i didn’t know where i was going, but that was part of the fascination. i wasn’t the least worried. i knew that accident or necessity or both would tell us, ‘hey, we go this way.’ since i didn’t seem disturbed or confused everyone believed i had a secret and totally organized machiavellian campaign. no one suspected the truth. ” p175
“remember that even if you cannot win over the lower middle-class, at least parts of them must be persuaded to where there is at least communication, then to as series of partial agreements and a willingness to abstain from hard opposition as changes take place. they have their role to lay in the essential prelude of reformation, in their acceptance that the ways of the past with its promises for the future no longer work and we must move ahead – where we move to may not be definite or certain, but move we must.
“people must be ‘reformed’ – so they cannot be deformed into dependency and driven thru desperation to dictatorship and the death of freedom. the ‘silent majority,’ now, are hurt, bitter, suspicious, feeling rejected and at bay. this sick condition in may ways is as explosive as the current race crisis. their fears and frustrations at their helplessness are mounting to a point of a political paranoia which can demonize people to turn to the law of survival in the narrowest sense. these emotions can go either to the far right of totalitarianism or forward to act ll of the american revolution.” p189-90
a really good book on how to develop the wisdom of ages without the usual rigamarole. notes quoted from do you quantumthink(r)?: new thinking that will rock your world, by dianne collins, 2011 selectbooks, inc, ny
“a system is like a vortex. once you’re in, it takes you with it. if you try to drive outside the road system, you’ll only get so far until you are forced back inside the system.
“this is why when you try to change something, the change often doesn’t work or doesn’t last. even a novel idea or the most brilliant plan is likely to get swept into the powerful force of the existing system. when you quantumthink you do not attempt to change the current system; you think in a new system.
“quantumthink deals with the system of all systems for human beings – consciousness itself. the operating system in your computer is what allows for all the other applications to work. the ‘operating system’ for human beings is our own mind.”p9
“however real the world of ‘solid’ objects and ‘fixed’ circumstances may seem to our ordinary five senses, the fact is we are living in a multidimensional universe that has been spoken about for thousands of years in the perennial wisdom of our spiritual traditions, and is now being verified by modern science. ours is a universe comprised not of solid physical objects, but of energy continuously in flux, vibrating frequencies, always moving and changing. we live in a world comprised not of dead or inert matter, but of intelligent living systems, whole systems – a world not restricted by old concepts of time and space, but a world at its source beyond space-time.” p11
“yes, of course, we could alter reality with out thinking, that is, if we were in command of our thinking.
“as much as you and i love to fancy ourselves independent thinkers, consider that your thinking is not random. like everything in this vast universe, our thinking takes place in a system, as a system, based in the reality current we are travelling in known as our ‘world view.’ a world view is simply that: the way we view the world – our ideas, notions, and beliefs of what we hold to be true about the nature of reality, including what’s possible and what’s not, including what we are capable of or not.” p14
“we imagine we think ‘freely,’ unaware that our thinking is shaped, guided, conditioned, directed, programmed by this background version of reality that we collectively organize ourselves around, invisibly and silently serving as the context of our lives.” p14
“we imagine we think freely, but we don’t. we live in the illusion that we are consciously choosing our thoughts, that we have mastery over our inds and actions. we have the possibility of choosing, we have dominion, we have sovereignty, yes, we’re in charge. but to the extent that we are conditioned by a limited world view and don’t realize it, to the extent that we are automatic and are unaware of it, we are not actually at choice..
“mechanical ‘thinking’ shows up subtly everywhere. many opinions are this way, as are many of our beliefs, interpretations, aversions, and attractions. think about a machine. once it is set up it just runs on its own.” p15
“reality is context-dependent. context is a space, a frame, a perspective, a lens. the overarching perspective is our world view – the ideas, beliefs, and notions we live by, often without even realizing it. a world view is a powerful context shaping everything we think, everything we don, everything we create.” p17
“consider that whatever reality current (world view) we are traveling in, we are going to be subject to the ‘laws’ of that system. until you can tap into the distinctions of our emerging new world view, you have little access to the benefits of a quantum reality.
“even tho the principles are operating, they’re not operating for you.” p17
“theirs was a science based upon absolutes, certainty, and prediction: a linear, logical, rational world of solid objects reducible to their constituent parts, fixed objects that moved only when an outside force was exerted on them. there was always a ’cause and effect’ behind every action – the world as a perfect clockwork machine. if we could analyze the parts and figure out how they worked together, we could predict and control everything.
“also during the 17th century the french philosopher, rene descartes, best known for his famous conclusion, ‘i think, therefore i am’ strengthened the idea of separation and parts by declaring mind and body as separate, that each of us are isolated egos inside our bodies.
“why should we care? because a world of fixed and solid objects renders us powerless victims in the face of fixed circumstances. in that view we are destined to be the effects of whatever unchangeable forces happen to come our way. (translation = your wife, your boss, your partner, are not going to change and there is nothing you can do about it._ we should care because an either/or world of predictable outcomes drastically limits the possibilities. (translation = infinite possibility has been downsized.) we should care because a one-dimensional view of reality has no soul.” p18-9
“if the classical world view saw the universe as a giant machine, the quantum world view sees it as a giant mind.
“in the quantum view, there is no static or absolute reality. (translation = we are no longer stuck with the way things ‘are’,) everything exists as infinite possibility (with certain probabilities). exactly which possibility manifests is dependent on the observer. (translation = dependent on you.)
“objects are not solid as we perceive them to be with our ordinary five senses, but mostly empty space; fluttering with fluctuations of energy. (translation = reality is malleable.)
“matter can exist as a wave or a particle. (translation = ‘opposites’ are both true, and at the same time.) particles are not particles, but are more like tiny vibrating strings. (translation = your ‘vibe’ reverberates out to the world whether you realize it or not.) chaos is self-organizing. (translation = you don’t have to work so hard to get things ‘right,’) energy moves backward and forward through time. (tip: throw out your old concepts of time.) energy does not flow smoothly in a straight line path, but ‘leaps’ in bursts from orbit to orbit with no pathway in between.” p19
“if you are living from the context of the old world view, and you are unable to make that distinction in your awareness, you are going to be shaped by the ‘laws’ of that system, by default – just because it’s already ‘there.’” p20
“in a world of solid objects we attempt to manage our results by force – pushing or pulling on circumstances (people, emotions, things) to get something to happen. there is nothing i can do about ‘fixes’ circumstances except try to change them, or at best, adapt myself around them, a victim of circumstances.” p20
“when you understand that our institutions are born from the outdated idea that matter is fundamental, you begin to understand why western medicine, as brilliant and groundbreaking as it is, has primarily focused on the physical body, rather than on our multi-dimensions, including energy, subtle energy, spiritual, an d mind influences on health. you can see why medicine was led to focus on isolated parts or singular chemicals of the body rather than on integrated whole systems.” p20
“when you distinguish the characteristics of the old world reductionist view that ‘the whole is equal to the sum of its parts,’ you get insight into how holding things as separate and disconnected might enable the ambiguity of killing people who have committed crimes while fighting vehemently for the rights of unborn fetuses or cells in a petri dish.
“you glean that a reality system based in the physical dimension would condition us to make judgments about and even reject others just because they look or think or act differently than we do.
“when you see that we’ve been embedded in a world view of parts and separateness, you sense that the erroneous notion of being separate could lead to equating differences with antagonisms and result in the unabashed lunacy to think hat just because you believe something that it is ‘absolute truth.’ you see how this fiction about the nature of reality – that we are separate from one another – could be the source of a horrific movement to kill off people of all religions or cultures other than your own, whether killing them off physically or spiritually.” p22
“when you realize that so much of life has become mechanical and that mechanical means unconscious in the sense of being unaware and automatic, you can understand how we have merely endured these glaring, blaring inconsistencies, feeling hopeless to do anything about them, though we’re tired to the bone and weary to the brain of our same old problems. we speak here not of your private set of ideas and beliefs; we are talking about a backdrop of our world stage that has been centuries in the making..
“when ou understand that we have attempted to improve things using the push-pull force characteristic of old world view thinking, you can see why worthy solutions have eluded us.” p25
“quantum physics indicates that there is no ‘way that it is’ out there – that our ‘knowing’ affects our reality, that our intent affects our reality, that the observer shapes the reality. we live no longer in a limited world of fixed either/or options. we have entered the world of both/and, the world of infinite possibility. we’ve moved from a world of fixed, determined certainty to a world of uncertain, probable possibilities where we, as the human observers, are shaping what we see in our ‘observer-created reality.’
“in the quantum age, we are no longer victims of unchangeable, fixed circumstances. we are reality generators in a quantum field if infinite possibility.” p26
“the quest for truth and beauty that scientific discovery and artistic creation make visible in the outer world so our rational minds can grasp the sanctity of our collective genius. the wisdom so simple – compassion, kindness, love, service, appreciation, gratitude – that we take it for granted. the special brand of wisdom that comes uniquely through you, entreating you to give it away to others.” p27
“where does wisdom come from? is it stored somewhere in your body or in your brain? cutting edge scientists say no. the brain is a connector, a receiver, a transmitter. consider that your entire physical body is a sensing organism that enables you to experience the messages, the meanings, the wisdom. no one has ever found wisdom inside your body or your brain. then where does the wisdom come from? consider that it is less a ‘place’ and more a ‘connecting to’ or a ‘tuning in’ to the field of all possibilities we call infinite intelligence.” p29
“the quantumthink system of thinking is not something you merely read or is it more information to add to your already full storehouse. it is not a new ‘truth’ for you to believe. it is a direct personal experience of an expanded reality and natural laws at the edge of our knowledge that awakens wisdom within you. you don’t just learn these laws, you imbibe them; you integrate them as a way of life. you connect. you cannot do this conceptually. you cannot do this through your rational understanding. you cannot do this by believing it. it only happens in your own experience.” p30
“the mind is not to be confused with the brain. as we go along and you begin to distinguish what it means to live fully dimensionally, you’ll see that the brain and the mind belong to different ‘orders’ of reality. when you realize this and can make these distinctions, so many things become clearer. reality is multidimensional. the brain belongs to the physical, and the mind belongs to the virtual. consider the brain as a conduit of consciousness, a transmitter-receiver.
“your nonlocal minds do not exist in the physical dimension; therefore, the mind is not restricted by ordinary space or time.” p43
“the world exists on the screen of your own consciousness. what ewe focus on expands. we add mass to that which we hold in our awareness. consciousness is a live dynamic of being, a creative life force, the clay of reality that we get to sculpt. lacking awareness of this fact and with little mastery with our mind, we will tend to keep in place the very things we don’t want.” p44
“like radio, tv, and the internet, we are always broadcasting our thoughts and therefore, our state into the world. collectively, we simulcast reality.” p46
“without speaking a word, their very presence or essence enables you to experience focus, clarity and well being. they emanate a transcendent awareness that pierces thru superficialities. they transmit inner peace and a profound heart connection that enables you to fee it, too. they exude a purity of being. they can shake us up by providing the contrast that reveals the dissonance in our own being. this is considered grace, to show us where we need to grow. they maintain a state of equanimity, unwavering even amidst harsh circumstances.” p48
“to be masterful, to be at real choice, one cannot fall victim to one’s own reactions, uncontrolled behaviors and automatic tendencies. the paradox of mastery is that it is a practice. it takes a willingness to notice how you are actually being rather than living in a bubble of illusion. the moment to practice is any moment. when you learn the laws of mind which are the basic laws of creation itself, and apply them in the moment, you experience certainty in an uncertain world. when you master your mind, you master your life. mastery of the mind is not mind control or behavioral conditioning born of a cause and effect world. we are speaking of mastery that gives you freedom and a sense of your own power. in that state of equanimity, you are centered, you have clarity, you are effective. whatever happens, you are fine.” p50
“consider that the question, what is the field? may be the wrong question. it limits us to old world view thinking of a fixed ‘way that it is.’ if reality is multi-dimensional, then the field itself manifests all of these aspects, and probably some we haven’t discovered yet.
“we can learn a lot from the internet. it is nonlinear. it is infinite. it is non-locatable. it’s a both/and world – the nonpareil of individuality and interconnected unity at the same time. it equalized people and companies in spirit, large and small. it is a 24/7 operation functioning in real time and it’s timeless. it out-pictures humanity and reflects us back to ourselves: from the vile to the sublime, from mediocrity to ingenuity,from the inane to the brilliant. the internet isn’t a ‘thing,’ it’s a field.” p68
“when we are living fully dimensionally we truly can give up the exorbitant waste of time and energy spent in these either/or debates, battling to decide which of the limited viewpoints is going to ‘win’ out, an instead start providing a more expansive way of thinking for ourselves.” p70
“if life is fundamentally uncertain and we can live comfortably with the uncertainty instead of trying to lock everything down into place, t hen life becomes an amazing adventure. the certainty comes from knowing the principles and universal laws that are operating within you. the certainty comes from mastering what it is to be uniquely you. the certainty comes from an inner knowing; faith in the sanctity and majesty of the miracle of life. the certainty comes from knowing that you are ere to enjoy the wonder and the light of your own awareness.” p100
“from the tiny quantum particle to the larger macro world of objects and us, the ‘quantum hologram’ refers to the discovery that the event history of all matter is continuously emitted. in quantum holography, each body emits and absorbs the complete information about that body on a continual basis.” p108
“since everything exists as energy fluctuating in varying frequencies, consider that your intent sets up a resonant field. intent sets up probability waves in the field of infinite possibility. this means that your intent sets up a probability for any number of beneficial outcomes to attract your way – whatever resonates with the energy frequency of your intent. you cannot use intent in a way that is manipulative, in the sense of forcing or push-pull. intent establishes the nature of relationship between you and the other person, a relational field, like a field of attraction that activates all the probabilities consistent with your intent.” p125
“the very nature of our universe is infinite possibility. the quantum view tells us that every moment contains an infinite number of possible outcomes, one of which manifests according to the intent of the observer. to the finite aspect of our minds, to envision something infinite is unimaginable. yet, quantumthink demands of us that we imagine the unimaginable.” p129
“to our ordinary minds something either exists or it doesn’t, because from the classical world view existence refers to what is physical. we don’t think of the world of possibility as existing. we hold what isn’t there as nothing, as having no existence. there is either something or nothing. this is thinking shaped by a classical world view – the world of an either/or reality of one dimension, the dimension of physical matter, that which we can glean with our ordinary senses. in a classical either/or world, something either exists or it doesn’t, because ‘existence’ in that world view means the physical material world.
“yet, one of the most eye-opening insights we’ve learned from physicists of the new science is that the total universe consists of both the actual physical world whose existence is obvious to us, and it also consists of the possible world whose existence is unseen. the possible world has existence.
“in the new world view we move beyond the limits of an either/or reality to the world of both/and. both the possible and the actual worlds exist, and they exist at the same time.” p132
“in a quantum world view our perspective is entirely different. if everything always exists, then generosity exists for everyone, including you. it exists in the possible world. now the question is – does your generosity exist in the other aspect of the world, the actual world said another way, is your generosity manifesting?
“from a new world view we don’t end up classifying people as one way or another; as honest or dishonest, selfish or giving, stingy or generous. we can see everyone as the possibility of any human quality or attribute. which specific trait or quality actualizes what becomes manifest, is contingent upon the intent of the observer. this is really, really important; you can literally bring someone else’s generosity into actuality by virtue of your intent to see them that way. intent is the dynamic of creation, the activation of the life force. intent activates possibility that originates in this quantum vacuum, the realm of infinite possibility. there is so absolute truth about the way a person is. there is only what you the observer actualize by virtue of your intent. what you bring is what you get.” p133
“in contrast to infinite possibility as the limitless source of all creation, a least-action pathway is the route of the mechanical, the automatic, the non-thinking. you could think of our habits arising as a result of our least-action pathways. no new action has to be taken. the energy, thought or action will automatically go in the direction established by the past.
“how does a least=action pathway show up in your life? in your automatic habits. what we mean by a habit is one that is automatic, mechanical, without thinking, one over which we have no mastery because we lack awareness of it; it’s a reaction to circumstances.” p133-4
“our least-action pathways do not allow for any new possibilities. a least-action pathway does not even have any conscious awareness to it; it just happens automatically, unconsciously.
“this automatic functioning is actually one of the most marvelous functions of the classical world. the electro-chemical processes of our body work this way. when we perform certain repetitive functions, this automatic functioning is operating; when we are driving a car, or when we learn a language or when we learn to type or play an instrument. we don’t have to have our attention on which letter on the keyboard to press, because of this mechanical functioning that doesn’t require our full conscious awareness.” p134
“this requires catching ourselves in the automatic habit of looking for ‘what’s wrong’ and why this can’t work. with conscious awareness and conscious intent, we can shift the focus to what’s possible and how can we have this work. this is the discipline of mastery. it takes having vigilance over your own automatic ways of thinking and being, over your automatic habits.” p137
“a least-action pathway is one lacking in spirit or life force or conscious awareness. notice if you find yourself in a ‘habit’ of reacting resulting in one of these states: agitation, complaining, worrying, criticizing, irritation, pressured, stressed, angry. if you find it difficult to admit these to yourself, it is probably because you have ascribed some undesirable meaning to it. (probably a result of another least-action pathway) when you realize these mechanistic ways of being are simply an outcome of a stage of evolution we can now transcend, you note them and move on with ease.
“two – just once today, when you catch yourself in a least-action pathway, shift it by thinking from infinite possibility and generating a new intent.” p138
“in an observer-created reality we are generating the new world in the sense of bringing it forth, and at the same time we are generating our relationship with the new world that is emerging around us. in a holistic world where we are not separate from the world, the dynamic of creating is a co-participatory dance. to be effective in this is to develop a new kind of knowing, a knowing that we can call mastery. mastery is knowing what to do in the moment and doing it without having to think about it. mastery is timeless and formless. mastery has to do with effectiveness in the moment called ‘now.’ now transcends our linear concept of time. ‘now’ is like an electron; we only know it by what it leaves behind. ‘now’ is like that. as soon as you try to capture now, it is already gone.” p141
“if all you have is one viewpoint, if you only have linear logic, a material world, and a fixed concept of chronological time as your background reference for what is real or valid, you are going to be constrained by the limits of that system.
“linear time is specific; it’s precisely measured. it moves in one direction, in a straight line, in increments. if all you have is linear time as your reference, when you want to produce a result and it doesn’t fit into the time frame that seems logical to you, what happens? either you would have to give up on the possibility of producing that result or you would attempt to manipulate around the circumstances to try to get it to happen. how will you accomplish a project due in one week that you logically think will take one month to complete? you would have to force the issue in some way. you would have to work harder to try to get it done. this is how the old world view has trained us – to work from existing circumstances and from ordinary logic that is so limiting that we are forced to give up or stress-out trying.” p149
“we can consciously generate these synchronicities and serendipity in our lives. we can create this kind of magic on a regular basis from the power of our intent – if we allow for them to happen. when you know yourself as a multidimensional being you can intentionally access both the material and non-material aspects of reality. you can interact consciously with the forces that extend beyond sensory data and outside of linear time. is this there is what we call an allowing.
“in essence what we are focusing on is the matter of what creates our reality from the human realm of what it is to create. you are already aware that the central dynamic of creating results, what we could call the active principle, is your intent. it is your consciously created intent, created deliberately and with the awareness you are doing so. there is another aspect to the creation dynamic that we are calling the passive dynamic, and that aspect is the principle of allowing.
“we are all familiar with the world ‘allowing’ however in this distinction we’re using it in a particular way. as a definition allowing means ‘to permit to occur.’ allowing as a distinction does not mean to ‘let things be as they are’ or ‘let the chips fall as they may.’ as a distinction, allowing is a dynamic, powerful faculty of the mind; an essential factor in creating from intent. allowing is not merely waiting for something to show up. allowing is a passive yet conscious act of calling something forth from the quantum field, even tho we can’t see or know at the outset exactly what is going to show up. the faculty of allowing is an undetermined unfolding from the quantum field of probability, set up by a conscious intent.” p150
“in a holistic view of the world both what we see and what we don’t see, the visible aspects of the world and the invisible aspects, are both always in play.
“even if we cannot see how things work, we can know that they work. even tho in many ways we are like einstein’s man with the closed watch, still we can participate and enjoy and benefit from the unseen and sometimes unexplainable dynamics. when you can tap into nonlocality and synchronicity and allow then to operate in your life, it is so liberating! in our information society where communications are instantaneous and things are moving at light speed, we don’t have the time nor do we have the capability to maintain control and produce results by having all factors in our immediate view. you can begin to see that confusion and paradox are good traveling companions on the quantumthink journey.
“what we are really doing here together is heightening our awareness. the purpose of th is kind of awareness training is not for you to change everything you are doing. it is so you have choice. as we become aware of the automatic ways we react to situations, when we catch ourselves in a least-action pathway, it is in those moments we have real choice.” p151
“for one entire day, become aware of all the nonlinear results or ‘quantum occurrences’ that show up thruout your day. nonlinear means connections that are made that don’t appear to be related in the ordinary logic of cause and effect or physical linkage. we call them quantum occurrences, amazing things that happen in your day; activities, resources, people and situations that come your way.” p154
“engaging in quantumthink is not just some intellectual exercise or a sophisticated fancy of dilettantes. we are here to wake ourselves up to the fact of a vast ever-changing reality that we only have one tiny window on at any given moment in time. we’re examining how the world view we live in shapes our thinking and therefore conditions what we consider to be possible in our lives.” p156
“like everything in this universe quantumthink is multidimensional. it is occurring on many different levels at the same time – energetically, mentally, and spiritually. by now you have probably begun to know its multidimensionality in your own experience.
“what do we know about our current world reality? we know that from a new world view the fundamental aspect of reality is non-material. in contrast, the fundamental aspect of reality from a classical view is its materiality, i.e., only ‘matter’ is real. listening from a material view of the world is generally associated with ‘hearing.’ in the material world of the ordinary five senses listening is equated with perceiving the data, hearing the words that are spoken. in modern culture there is an expression ‘active listening.’ what does it mean? that you are being consciously attentive to the words being spoken. that is not what we are speaking about here.
“like the new world view itself listening is multidimensional. from a new world view listening becomes much more; it includes the invisible, the intangible, and the unspoken. what we don’t hear and see are present and are as valid and significant as their physical counterpart in the sensory domain. it is listening not just with the ears, which give you the sounds of the words, and not just with the understanding, the interpretation or meanings you give to the words. it is listening with your whole being.” p157
“if we listen from context we might more appropriately look from the whole of what would work best for all people and all parties concerned.
“to listen from context is to consider the intent in the conversation: what is my intent? what is his/her intent? what is out intent in this conversation? when volumes get louder and tensions rise as the conversation spirals downward into an abyss leading nowhere, you can pause. as soon as you ask yourself what your intent is in the conversation you instantly experience a qualitative shift leaping yourselves out of the prove-it-to-me or i said/you said either/or endless loops.” p159
“you are in your own conversation. you are listening to your own inner dialogue. you are not really listening with the other speaker at all. you may have physically heard the worlds; you can even repeat them back. parroting or mirroring back words is a mechanical action and we can do that easily. consider that for communication to be present, there can be only one conversation. examine th is in your own experience. as soon as you go into any kind of judgment, whether silent or spoken, the chasm of separation happens and communication comes to a halt – even tho you may still be talking!” p160
“there are no techniques for mastery. it doesn’t fit into a formula. it is not a function of a static body of knowledge. mastery is a function of active awareness, conscious awareness in the moment. this state of being ready for masterful action, of having the confidence and conviction of knowing the appropriate thing to do in the moment it needs to be done, and doing it spontaneously without hesitation requires the state of being present. we could also call th is ‘presence,’ presence of mind, presence of being.
“we are attracted to people with a strong presence. we even remark that he or she has a ‘presence’ about them. presence is powerful, it is charismatic, it is magnetic. it is commanding. when powerful leadership is being expressed we sense this magnetic presence.” p165
“leadership expressed with such presence contains a quality of attraction. it draws to itself resources, favorable circumstances, and peoples’ alignment and commitment. what we are speaking about here is not just a trait of someone’s personality, we are speaking about a person’s state, a way of being, a state that can be generated.
“how does one generate such presence? what distinguishes presence? we suggest it is simply the ability to be in a state of present-moment awareness with whatever is occurring, with whatever is showing itself – ideas, people and their attitudes, changing circumstances and unexpected situations, and to be able to be with any of it while maintaining a state of equanimity. to maintain a state of equanimity means to be in a state of steady calmness; the state of being unperturbed. in this state of equanimity we are not pulled into the circumstances tho we are aware of them. we maintain our clarity. we maintain a freedom to respond appropriately without getting swept up into the drama of the situation. we could call this quality being able to maintain the perspective of all perspectives.” p166
“unless we are looking from the whole, seeing life from the largest perspective that we are calling the perspective of all perspectives, we can very possibly miss something that may be related to a result we are after but don’t immediately see the relationship of. this is why we suggest that to achieve a state of mastery requires developing the perspective of all perspectives. this is the ability to be open to the idea that anything that shows up is valuable even when we disagree with it, because it’s likely to be a contributing factor in the result we want to produce, particularly when the result we are after is unprecedented.” 167
“from the old world view of separation we tend to see an unexpected event as an interruption or an obstacle along our path. from a new world view of wholeness we look deeper to see the wisdom in this seeming obstacle showing up, knowing it is part of the whole picture and realizing there is value to be gleaned from it. when you live in the perspective of all perspectives you see how the seeming obstacle might give you important missing information, more time to think, or a novel approach and actually leads to something even better that wouldn’t have presented itself were it not for the ‘interruption.’ p168
“we can grasp this as a conceptual knowing. however, to embody this, to know this as your way of being, is quite different than knowing this as information. until we become masterful self-realized beings it is highly unlikely that we are all going to go about everyday in this ideal peaceful state of equanimity where we have perfect discernment, discrimination, and know exactly what to do.” p168
“here’s how you can tell you are attached: you feel anger or frustration; you make others wrong; you argue for your position; you have little or no control over your reaction; you cannot find your equanimity center.” p169
“‘transformation’ means to go beyond the current form. you aren’t changing the current form. you are transcending the current form. transformation brings about a new state of existence of something. there is a special quality to transformation and that is: when a transformation takes place it has the power to transform the “past, the present, and the future in that instant.” p171
“the ironic twist in trying to change something is that the very thing you are trying to change must be present in order to change it. you can’t change an angry person unless ‘angry person’ is there to change. and then you have to work on it. you would have to work hard on it usually and it might take a lot of time. we are using the example of an angry person but this mechanism can be seen in any area of life where you are attempting to change something that you are sure ‘this is the way it is.’ think of all the times you try to change something about the other people in your life. what about when you get frustrated because there is a situation at work that you want to change and no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, it still seems to persist. if a desired result continues to elude you and ‘change’ isn’t really working, then what else is possible?
“we can effect a transformation. we have spoken about the new world view that reality is context-dependent. in the reality we just described we’re operating from the context that being angry is a fixed attribute of a person. you could say that being able to effect a transformation is the ability to generate a new context. creating a new context alters th e reality of it..” 172
“from our old world view conditioning we attempt to change what already exists. thinking form a new world view you realize that what you focus on expands. thus, rather than focusing upon what we don’t want, instead we create what we do want. what you hold in consciousness is what you make real.
“every time you bring yourself to the state where you become aware of yourself as the observer in an observer-created reality, you have distinguished yourself from any fixed set of attributes or circumstances that you have been identifying with. in the moment you just notice your anger, you have transformed it. you have not changed your anger. this is what we mean by transformation as distinct from change. without changing anything, simply by being able to generate new contexts, you literally transform your world. you cause a major shift in your actions and your outcomes which follow from your action.s one tiny step of awareness is enough.” p173-4
“let’s say you feel yourself irritated or agitated or maybe even depressed. you know the one thing in life, perhaps the only thing you have total charge of and are in total command of is your own mind, your own state. yet, like hugging your mother and telling her you love her )or whatever it is someone ever wants of you) you are just holding back. you just won’t do it. do you want to be so rigid with yourself? are you so convinced that whatever thought you are having that is giving you your current state is so much ‘the truth’ that you cannot shift it?” p178
“so this is what you mean by a quantum leap in consciousness? it’s going on all the time, so i might as well consciously choose it? exactly. just become aware of your state. the next time you find yourself agitated or anxious or angry, just notice: what is your state: in noticing, it will shift. it doesn’t matter why. and it doesn’t matter how.” p178
“resonance. we attract and manifest what we resonate. a great master said: you can only manifest what you are conscious of being. in an observer-created reality, the observer and that which is observed are one. as daunting as it seems to grasp this, each of us holds the world of our reality within our own being.
“one could say in life we are either creating or reacting. we are either in a consciously self-aware act of creating or we are at some level in a less aware state of being in reaction to circumstances that arise. both of these actions, creating and reacting, will manifest results, material and spiritual. it is apparent however that mastery can only be attained thru the practice of conscious creating.
“when you create consciously you are one with divine intelligence. there is no separation. you know this experientially with profound certitude. when you are simply in reaction to life it is as if you have a momentary lapse of memory. you forget who you are. you forget you are not separate from infinite creative intelligence. your ‘knowing’ is temporarily on the blink. therefore, consider the closer you get to ‘knowing’ your creation as an aspect of your own being, the higher your degree of mastery in manifesting results.” p179
“the 1st aspect of knowing is unawareness. this is the state in which we say we have no idea. in popular parlance, you are ‘clueless’ and you are clueless that you are clueless. you have a total lack of distinction abut something. you don’t see it. you don’t ‘know’ it. something exists, and idea exists but it does not exist for you. it is outside the domain of your awareness. in the state of unawareness you are likely to be at the effect of your circumstances. you get pushed and pulled by whatever current you find yourself in. you could say in a state of unawareness you are your circumstances. you are the flotsam and jetsam on the sea of life.
“this is the domain of stimulus response, an automatic, mechanical reaction to life.” p181
“another instance of unawareness is when you are so involved in trying to avoid something that you become the very thing you want to avoid. remember, we manifest what we are conscious of being. hence the adage, ‘what you resist persists. by putting so much attention and energy on a trait that you absolutely under no circumstances want to be identified with, you hold it in your being without realizing it. for example, you judge someone else for being uncompassionate and in doing so, the lack of compassion resides in you. this is the state of unawareness.
“the 1st aspect of knowing is the state from which sages and saints have admonished us to awaken. it surely is like a walking sleep. in unawareness there is no agency in it. you are just an effect. in unawareness there is no distinguishing going on so you cannot divorce your small self from your higher self which is awareness itself. it may seem like you are choosing, it might even feel as if you are choosing but without awareness there is only reaction. the good news is that as soon as you become aware that you have been in unawareness, you instantly spring into one of the other states.” p181-2
“the 2nd aspect of knowing is conceptual. this is where we have something as a ‘good idea.’ we may even be committed to this idea. but it only exists as a concept, a mental construct. in the 2nd aspect of knowing we say, ‘oh, yes, i understand that.’ this is where we see something as information. it is data. we know something, some thing. therefore, this thing we know as information is separate from us. conceptual knowing is characteristic of the classical world view, the domain of knowing in an either/or world.
“what we know in the domain of concept is evidence-based, believe it or not, true or false. it is based on circumstances that seem to be out of your control, external to you. you may still relate to yourself as a victim of circumstances only now you can be intellectually skillful in explaining why you are justified in being a victim of outside forces. still, you try to control the circumstances thru exerting force. in the 2nd aspect of knowing you attempt to manage the facts. you want all the information in front of you. you feel you have to know it all. this is the domain of analysis, breaking down the whole into constituent parts. you move the parts around. it’s a make-it-fit world.” p182
“you have no intimate connection to what you know this way; it is outside of you and separate. you are alienated from it. it is not a part of who you are. the conceptual aspect of knowing lacks heart and circumvents soul. it is the domain of ‘should,’ ‘ought to,’ and ‘must.’” p182
“the 3rd aspect of knowing is intuitive….you are aware that there are principles operating outside of your immediate view. you have stopped trying to figure things out. you are allowing what occurs to present itself to you. you are ‘tuned in.’ synchronicity and serendipity are present. you have given up trying to control every move. you have begun to glimpse the idea of your own being as a source of results even when you don’t see obvious connections. you’re consciously tapping into what that might mean. life is much easier and more enjoyable. you are noticing the ‘magic’ and you are open to it coming your way.” p183
“the 4th aspect of knowing is participatory…you are participating in the creation of reality. in participatory knowing what you know is part of you; it is you. you know it as your own being. there is no separation. it is your participation that actually creates the experience you have of your reality. you are the seed, the blossom, and the fruit of your results. this is the aspect of the observer-created reality. you are the observer and you are also that which you are observing. both are aspects of the same whole even tho there are distinctions just like the threads in a cloth. you can distinguish the threads; nonetheless the threads are the cloth.” 183
“participatory knowing is the domain of distinguishing. in the moment you are present to a new distinction it enters your awareness at the 4th aspect of knowing. when an idea as concept metamorphoses into a distinction, it is in your participatory awareness and therefore, becomes part of you.’ p184
“what we are focusing on here is not so much the scientific principles themselves; what we are examining is how the discoveries of science shape the way we think. consider that we human beings are made up of the same stuff of reality as the stars and of everything else in the universe. we participate in the quantum relationship of nonlocality. we can and do influence things and events at a distance from us. our intent, our emotional states, or feeling states affect reality. in quantumthink we call these ‘quantum occurrences’ – events and results in our everyday human affairs that happen nonlinearly outside the realm of ordinary logic and rational understanding.
“it is said that the universe is comprised of energy fluctuations informed by intelligence. consider that there is only one unifying ‘substance’ that underlies all of reality and existence and that this unified field is a field of intelligence. you could call this the one universal mind as a useful way to think about it. we experience the nonlocal field effect whenever we exercise intent and allow for the connections to be made.
“the corollary or counterpart to being able to influence things nonlocally at a distance from us by way of our intent is the fact that we can also tune in to things and events and knowledge that are at a distance from us using our intuition. just as the faculty of intent is inherent in all human beings so is the faculty of intuition. the use of our intuition is our own access to nonlocal mind, the universal field of intelligence.” p196-7
“if you are living from a new world view – an interconnected, holistic & holographic universe of multidimensions, parallel universes, and nonlocal mind able to see and have access into the past, present and future – you would see every event, every accomplishment, everything that occurs within a particular framework, not as a linear and isolated event, but as an integral element contributing to the whole of what is unfolding.” P205
“”when you view life from the whole you realize events are not isolated; they are related. everything that happens belongs to the original intent. perhaps ‘x’ didn’t happen in the timeframe you envisioned; however, if you hold whatever did happen as related to your end result, you don’t just give up. you use the opportunity of whatever happens to guide you to perhaps an even greater result when you are not locked into illusory time constraints.
“when you think beyond time you realize that everything that is going to unfold is already there. everything already exists in the possible world. you have access into the past, present, and future at any time. we know, at least we can conceive of this intellectually, that the past, present and future are all ‘there’, all at once because linear time as we use it is an invented distinction that we lay over our world. ‘past’ and ‘future’ are modern contrivances we use for convenience. brain researchers have found that the same areas of the brain are activated whether you have thoughts of your personal past or thoughts about your future.” p205
“the dilemma is that when you get yourself into the stressful state you take away your presence. anything that usurps your present state of awareness takes away a degree of mastery. ” p206
“there is even greater reason to live both within time and beyond time and that is – so we feel comfortably at home in our fast-paced world.” p206
“if your mind is your frame of reference then you are limited by whatever fills your mind in any given moment. if your consciousness is your frame of reference – the free and unbounded awareness with which you see your mind with all of its talents and workings – if you know that your mind is a tool inside of the frame of reference of consciousness, then you have a lot of power with your mind. we have been in the practice of using our mind and consciousness in this way in every quantumthink distinction and recreation. yet, until you make this distinction, for most people the content filling your mind is your frame of reference, the background context from which you live.
“when you can see your mind as a faculty in the context called ‘consciousness’, the ‘no-thing’ from which anything can come into existence, then the gift of the mind can be used as a tool inside of infinite intelligence, infinite potential, infinite possibility.
“consciousness is first and from consciousness comes the mind. the mind is a faculty we have available to us. your consciousness is the awareness of what is going on in your mind. this consciousness or awareness is what enables us to distinguish the thoughts we have, and in distinguishing them, we have freedom to create outside of the thoughts that are already there. if all we had is mind, with no watcher of mind, no awareness or consciousness of mind then we would be limited by whatever the mind is doing at any particular moment, or limited by what the mind does as repetitive patterns of thought.” p207
“if you could have as your frame of reference ‘outside of time’ and then see that time is to outside of time (there is no word for it) as mind is to consciousness, then time becomes a powerful tool. it becomes a faculty. it becomes something we can use rather than something we are entrapped by.” p208
“one of the most useful assets of mastering our mind is the ability to just ‘drop it’ and move on. move on to the next now. drop the unpleasant thought, emotion, meaning, or experience and create the next moment as new, happy, and free. when you experience awareness beyond time then you have the capability to make that choice.” p208
“we mostly operate in the world of the senses, of sensory data, what we can see and feel and hear, what we can smell and taste. being conditioned to a one-dimensional view of reality has kept us superficial in the true sense of the word – on the surface, attending to what is ‘apparent rather than substantial.’ this has been a factor in prejudices created from seeing differences and separation, most notably in the color of skin, religious belief systems, and social status. operating from perception alone can be quite unreliable hence the expression ‘optical illusion.’ the senses are easily fooled.
“contemplate this for only a moment and you realize it doesn’t even make sense to hold that the physical is the only reality. everything that has ever been created by humankind began in the unseen, imperceptible dimension of thought. the very life force itself that sustains all living creatures cannot be seen or measured (thus far) in physical terms. the essentials of life are outside the physical dimension of ordinary sense perception.” p213
“‘energetic or electromagnetic interactions play an important role in the brain and nervous system’s ability to communicate information.’ they have shown that ‘electromagnetic fields generated by the heart extend a number of feet outside the body, can be measured, and contain information modulated by one’s emotional state;’ that ‘a person’s heart field can be detected by other people in proximity,’ and that ‘the interactions between people have been shown to produce physiological effects.’ they further hold that the spiritual body provides missing information – that ‘the individual spirit has a very real, dynamic and evolving structure, a kind of ‘holographic blueprint’ that maintains and evolves the pattern of physical structures.’” p215
“one of the things you could see about this [either /or] view is that it doesn’t really allow for or acknowledge infinite possibility. you would generally come up with one of the obvious options that fit into the pull or sway of that system.
“if you are looking from a new world view you are looking from a reality of ‘no absolutes.’ ten to try to impose an absolute where it isn’t appropriate you are going to end up with some degree of vulnerability or lack of cohesiveness in that system.” p222
“looking from a holistic reality where everything and everyone is interrelated and interconnected, where there are distinctions yet no actual divisions – consider that moving from a world of either/or to a world of both/and could be moving from a context of right/wrong or good/bad to a context of what works, or efficacy. ‘efficacious’ means ‘that produces the desired effect.’ what if you could simply look from a context of efficacy – from a context of what will produce the desired result.
“either/or thinking relates to events and occurrences as isolated incidents rather than viewing them in light of a whole process that’s continually unfolding. when you look fro m the whole process rather than from your mind fixating on one issue or one event or one interaction between people, you can see how any one event fits into the overall scheme and evolution of the process. you look from and for ‘what will produce the desired effect,’ what will work for everyone, knowing that this is possible in the face of a broad range of varying views and even apparent opposition.” 223
“the principle of duality is evidenced throughout nature: hot and cold, dark and light; young and old, day and night. from an old world view we might see these complementary opposites as separate. from a new world view we realize they are one and the same in different states, opposite ends of the same spectrum. to know one is to know the other, its complement.” p224
“what does it mean to quantum leap to a world shaped by both/and given that complementary forces are a fundamental essence of life? how do we reconcile the forces of either/or in the larger, more encompassing perspective of a world of both/and? “P225
“either/or thinking makes its appearance regularly in the personal decisions we make, in business directions we take, i collective views we mistake for ‘absolute truths.’ the automatic tendency toward either/or often leads to contradictions that defy common sense.” p226
“according to taoist philosophy, the tao can neither be described in words nor conceived in thought. one has to do nothing strained, artificial, or unnatural. through spontaneous compliance with the impulses of one’s own essential nature, one achieves unity with the tao and derives from it a mystical power. “226
“when you distinguish, you literally bring something into existence from the nonlocal field – from the possible world into the actual world. you choose a possibility. if you continue to hold that possibility you make it more established and thus you make it more real. it shapes your experience. if others join you in holding that same reality, it becomes even more entrenched and so begins to shape other peoples’ experience as well. this happens not mysteriously at all; it happens all the time in simple ordinary ways.” p230
“as soon as you distinguish automatic conditioned patterns and habits of thinking, you go beyond them. the moment you distinguish that the classical ‘old’ world view is based on assumptions that have been proven to be mostly mistaken, you open yourself to discovering the more accurate and up-to-date principles. thus, distinguishing awakens us to living in an expanded reality in synch with the world as it is today., attuned to what leading edge thinkers refer to as the new world view. until you make these vital distinctions you have no way of accessing the full magnitude of what each thinking system makes possible in your life.” p230-1
“every day you wake up in one mood or another. when you distinguish that any unappealing thought you have passing thru is just a least-action pathway, a vestige of old mechanical habits – in that moment you are free to choose. you realize that a thought is connect to the entire experience for that day. do you want to energize and thus sustain the reality of being in the doldrums, or will you ‘shape shift’ and create a context of happiness for today? unless you can distinguish what’s present, how can you create anything new? this is the extraordinary gift of the art of distinguishing; you have immediate access to generating realities. distinguishing constitutes a method of self-awakening. you bring yourself ‘present’ because you can only distinguish when you are consciously aware in the moment. this gives you creative command over your experience, your choices, your life and your world.” p231
“imagine you are watching the news on tv or on the internet. you can’t help but notice that the emphasis or ‘spin’ of most news stories is negative in tone. you step back from your own experience in the moment of watching and become aware of the ‘gloom and doom’ effect on the state of your mind and heart. lacking access to the art of distinguishing you can easily fall victim to the reportage. you might react (in the 1st aspect of knowing – unawareness) by criticizing the news media or journalists. perhaps you resolve indignantly never to watch the news again. what experience are you generating for yourself? resistance, frustration, disappointment. again, that is the automatic, reactive mode. what else is possible? you can practice the art of distinguishing and give yourself a totally different experience from the same set of circumstances, watching the news.
“there are plenty of possibilities. you could distinguish the pattern of negative slant news reporting as a cultural least-action pathway, an automatic and mechanical habit that news executives, producers, and reporters as well as viewers around the world have become accustomed to, fixed on the idea that on tv ‘grim spin’ generates financial win. you could distinguish this media habit as a product of old world view conditioning of focusing on ‘what’s wrong.’ you could distinguish the least-action pathway belief that in storytelling conflict is essential for making a story sassy. whatever possible reality you choose, the point is with awakened awareness you can distinguish the very same circumstances in a way that transforms your experience of a common everyday occurrence. you take yourself form a reactive state of irritation and frustration to a state of equanimity, clarity, and compassion. you don’t have to get caught up in the circumstance. you generate a different kind of reality, a more desirable experience for yourself and others.” p232
“many people argue for their limitation using brain science: but my brain is wired that way; it’s ancestral, it’s given by our genes, our brains are set up that way. we’re wired for war. the paradox is that despite the most embedded ‘conclusive’ evidence about ‘the way things are’ the plasticity of the brain is a fact. we have the ability to interrupt neural patterns and create new connections. we can and do alter the neural circuits when we consciously distinguish something novel. we have th capacity and the awareness to create entirely different realities. isn’t that what visionaries and pioneers, entrepreneurs and inventors have done thruout history?” p233
“traditional education has been focused on the acquisition of knowledge. we would gather information, organize it into text books, and teach students to memorize it so they could later apply whatever they could recall. yet in our information age where data is infinitely increasing you can see the unworkability of even conceiving to learn by memorization. the most one could hope for is to specialize, to take one small area of this gargantuan, growing knowledge bank, assimilate it and attempt to keep up with it. this type of learning is obviously necessary. however, in our day-to-day lives, in our ordinary activities, to live in a world where the very essence of life is in continuous flux and change, isn’t in incumbent upon us to expand our way of learning?
“with the advent of computers and the internet we no longer need to ‘memorize’ information the way we once did. you and i are living in a universe of networks, a reality of never-ending webs and connections from the electrical circuits of our brains to the light circuits of our telecommunications. the entire collective ind of humanity is instantly accessible and amazingly so with a click. what kind of learning is appropriate in our new world? in this networked quantum age the ability to connect to information is as paramount as the ability to collect information.” p234
“socrates taught by asking the students questions and having them inquire until they arrived at the answers for themselves. the underlying assumption here again is that all knowledge is available to all of us; all we need do is connect to it. since we are all a part of the infinite intelligence of the universe, if you are willing to expand your understanding of what this means, you could say that real learning is simply a matter of becoming consciously aware of an aspect of your own being.
“we can consider generating the 5th aspect of knowing. we create distinctions all the time but until you ‘distinguish’ that this is what you are doing the power of distinguishing as a creative force can elude you. when you know yourself as a generator of distinctions and therefore of realities, you are in the 5th aspect of knowing, generating. you are the one generating, discerning what something can be, and what makes it possible.” p234
“consciousness takes on the attributes of whatever you are aware of. the mind takes on whatever you fill it with; hence, as you think, so you become. to know the mind it behooves us to notice what habitually fills our mind. what there is to master is the activity of our very own mind. a powerful aspect of our mind is our emotional response to life.” p242
“[dr. shealy] ‘we are a walking crystal. a crystal is piezoelectric material. this means it converts physical pressure into electricity. you can feel the vibration of people speaking. every bone in your body is vibrating. every tendon is piezoelectric. our body is a walking crystal. we store electro-magnetic energy. we can receive, we can transmit, and we can store electro-magnetic energy.’
“from a perspective of a new world view, that everything in the universe and we are energy in flux, an aspect of mastery is to learn to work with our own energy. because energy is convertible, we can also transform energy. since the emotions are powerful energy, we can learn to work with this energy.
“we can say that emotion is electrically charged energy. we even use the expression, ‘an emotionally charged’ experience. the nature of energy is that it is in flux. emotional energy trapped in the body is known as stress or tension. to remain in a healthy state, energy needs to flow. since emotion is energy, it is important for our well being to keep our emotions moving and conscious. neuroscientist candace pert, renowned for discovering the opiate receptor, the bonding site for endorphins in the brain, and for demonstrating that the mind is in every part of the body, states: ‘i believe that emotion is not fully expressed until it reaches consciousness.’” p244-5
“from a perspective of an old world view, the classical-mechanical world view where we see things and each other as separate – we could say that emotions experienced as automatic reactions to circumstances are in a lower evolved, mechanical-like state. this means you have a stimulus-response type of reaction to an external circumstance. you are not willfully generating this type of emotional response. it is happening as a result of past conditioning or association with the stimulus.” p245
“jealousy, for example, can only exists if there is another to be jealous of. the sages say, where there is ‘another,’ there is fear. otherwise fear cannot arise. so the sense of separation is the cause of the arising of many negative states associated with emotions.” p245
“emotions are responses to the meaning we give our thoughts. you can generate a new meaning for the very same thought and give yourself a new emotional experience. you have a jittery feeling about an upcoming event, you call it ‘anxiety.’ you become aware of this and you make up a new meaning and you refer to the jitters as ‘excitement.’ you’ve transformed the energy of your emotions from a negative state to a positive state. it is known in brain science that when you do this you change the neural connections in your brain and the chemicals in your body follow suit.” p246
“tensions kept in their lower state become static on the radio of our being. we affect others with our energy. we radiate according to what we have our attention on. one of the most powerful energies we emit and transmit to others is our emotional energy, including our tension, without realizing the extent to which we affect the people around us.” p248
“on a personal level, we would see each other as separate, our determinations as black or white, our options as limited to what we ourselves had jurisdiction over and could control. so this idea that our results and what we think we are capable of is shaped and limited by our world view is not a dry theory; you can see this present and alive all around you.” p254
“our technology and our artifacts and inventions, our extensions of ourselves, the offspring of our current culture and state of evolution, are thrown out into the world so we can see who we have become.
“we invented the internet. it is an extension of our nonlocal consciousness. now the internet reflects back to us, and we learn that the nature of reality is spaceless and timeless, chaotic and self-organizing webs and networks, continuously in flux, and requires the use of all the dimensions of our being, including our intuition and logic combined, to effectively deal with it. the internet shows us that we live in a universe of infinite possibility, continuously expanding. it teaches us that the accumulation of information in our ‘local’ mind is no longer feasible nor is it necessary.” p254
“as you think, so you become. as you evolve your own mind and awareness you unfold a sublime destiny of what you can become. the irony of an evolution of consciousness is that it must be consciously chosen.” p255
“why do we bring up this distinction between cosmic, universal, worldly and individual evolution? there is an essential factor in the process of awakening awareness towards self-mastery, especially with regard to your worldly and individual evolution. that factor is the factor of your own choice. the irony of conscious evolution is that it must be chosen, consciously.
:you have the opportunity here and now, regardless of when and where you are reading these worlds. you and i have the choice to evolve our own selves, by creating that intent, by continuously welcoming the surprises of our own unfolding, and by noticing and enjoying the lessons we are here to learn. in choosing conscious evolution your life lessons become easier because you are looking for them so you can work with them. you know there is synchronicity and intent at play and that the circumstances coming your way are for that reason – so you can have your lessons and evolve. like moving around the gameboard of life, as you learn, you advance.” p256
“living your purpose is expressing what is uniquely you. this is what is needed and wanted on the planet right now in order for us to make this quantum leap into the next octave of awareness for the whole humanity, if, as einstein indicated, we are to go to a level of thinking appropriate for dealing with the world of today.” p257
“the great shift is not only a matter of going to your next level of awareness; it is a profound knowing that you are living in a time that renders you an essential factor in this monumental leap for humanity. it is to know yourself as an integral aspect of the living cosmos. it is to transcend limited beliefs and conditioning that would have you imagine yourself as anything less.” p258
“what about our observer-created reality? does purpose exist independent of our ascribing the meaning of it? if there are no absolute realities, then how can we have a decisive purpose? are we the ones making up meaning and purpose or is there something inherent in life, in each of us, to be gleaned and distinguished? ” p261
“from a classical world view which analyzes things into parts, we don’t experience the people and things in our lives – not even ourselves really, as ‘wholes.’ we see parts, pieces, a fragmented reality. we’ve been conditioned to focus on incremental incidents, on content, the ‘stuff,’ rather than on context, the bigger picture. we relate to what is in our immediate view.” p262-3
“looking from the whole of your life, looking from your purpose, you can see everything that occurs as clues to the mystery adventure called your life. even the minute seemingly petty details, looking from the whole of your life, have value and appear to have a larger purpose. you know, the word ‘quantum’ refers to an amount. and quantum science deals with the very small. yet, you can see in quantum technology this science of the small is extraordinarily powerful. so these very small things, these minute occurrences become powerful forces in your life.” p268
“everything – people, places, and things – have their own energy signature, a distinctive energy we sense beyond the purely physical. we are always in an energy exchange with other people and with our environments. ” p274
“in an observer-created reality we’re likely to find what we are looking for. be it a scientist, debunker wannabe, or any one of us, consider that we can and do tilt the outcome of any ‘study’ depending upon the conclusion we’re out to ‘prove.’ reality is context-dependent. the power of intent is formidable.” p276
“one important way you can balance your energy is simply by not dissipating it. we can squander energy just as we can squander money or sex (both of them are energy as well). unnecessary arguments, worries, doubts, and fears can squander your energy. you can also dissipate energy thru pushing and forcing, third chakra style. are you going too far with a desire for power, or can you jump to a more refined state and appreciate your power from a place of equanimity, sixth chakra wisdom-style?” p281
“we can have dense thought energy – a ‘belief’ you are stuck with, a least-action pathway emotional pattern you allow to run its loop rather than interrupting it, or a thought you are attached to. when a person is ‘down’ we say there is a dark cloud hanging over them. like a thick fog, doubt and fear energy prevent the light of intelligence from reaching you. negative or guilty or judgmental thoughts can muck up your energy field. ideas that fixate as dogma obscure the light of awareness. being ‘incomplete’ does, too. these are dense energies. once you become aware of these inefficiencies, you can clear them.” p281
“ancient vedic wisdom teaches that as you refine your consciousness and purify your energy state you naturally acquire siddhis – various ‘powers’ of higher states of mind like clairvoyance. spiritual seekers are always cautioned not to get hung u pin the ‘powers’, to always stay focused on the goal – awakening – self-realization for the benefit of all.” p283
“one – check your energy atmosphere three times today. is it dense or clear? notice where your energy is focused. are you in your ‘force’ mode? sensuality mode? heart mode? you don’t have to ‘do ‘ anything with it; just become aware of it. two – relate to everything in your personal surroundings today as energy in flux. your computer, your food, the trees, the sun, your furniture, your rooms. treat every entity as infused with life force. notice any changes in their energy field when you infuse them with your attention, light, and love. three – determine where you need and/or want to purify your energy in flux. look at the physical, from your own body to the environments you inhabit, your home, your office and work space, your car, the places you frequent, etc. look at your thoughts, your emotions, your spirit, your soul, your connection to divine source. you can now intervene and generate your intent to purify your energy fields and lighten up.” p285
“to transform the resonant field we introduce something novel, a newly stated intent. at the same time we are also introducing something new from an all-encompassing view, a new system of thinking. we are ‘challenging the system’ of mind both fro the whole of it as well as from a specific intent. thus, in quantum manner the whole way we relate to life reorganizes itself, not as cause and effect, but as a resonant field effect.” p295
“heartmath(r) notes there is ‘compelling evidence’ that both the heart and the brain receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens.: p295
“conscious fields are powerful, that is, fields where the people who comprise them are consciously aware of the field as a field. most of the fields we pass thru, in s hopping malls, grocery stores, office buildings are not particularly conscious fields and are therefore experienced as a bit chaotic or as having a kind of coherence. however, you and i can generate conscious fields with the awareness that we are doing so. when you come together with others to generate a conscious field, the field is focused and guided by a deliberate, created intent.” p297-8
“in the distinction transformation as distinct from change we realized it is easier and more effective to generate a new pattern rather than attempt to change the old one because in order to change something you have to keep it around. trying to change something keeps in place the very thing you don’t want. people say they want to ‘think outside the box.’ this typically means they want to think more creatively, have ideas outside what’s ordinary and common, in order to accomplish something different, new, exciting, innovative. it might be more accurate and expedient to generate a new ‘box,’ not a box to be entrapped by, but a fresh and fertile geometric resonance.
“thought may not be energy yet it activates it. thought may not be matter yet it shapes it. thought may not ‘be’ resonance yet it generates it. thought may not be energy or matter but simply a connection, a direction, a force of its own unique brand. perhaps thought simply tunes us in to one set of coordinates or another. what we are doing here is expanding our thinking another octave to see thought and intent as generating patterns that are not linear; rather the patterns are geometric. our most focused intents take form.” p300
“”we could ask why should methods for awakening consciousness be kept a ‘mystery?’ one reasonable explanation put forth is that a person needed to have reached a certain level of responsible maturity and spiritual advancement to learn about such things because when the higher states are reached, (as we have pointed out,) it is said one acquires the use of certain ‘powers’ of creation and the holders of the knowledge wanted to make sure people used the knowledge wisely. now we can consider that we’re in an era when such ideas can be discarded simply as old ways of thinking. if we continue to lock in place the idea that enlightened minds or awakened thinking is only for a special few ‘spiritual elite’ how can we ever expect to live the wisdom?” p301
“the five-fold action of consciousness, represented by the ancient icon we have discussed, the dancing shiva nataraj. this ecstatic dance symbolizes the five-fold nature of consciousness and of creation itself. we bring something into existence by naming it. we sustain it by holding it in our consciousness. we ‘destroy’ it or it goes out of existence when we take our focus off of it. these are three of the actions. the fourth action is that this process has become hidden, concealed thru ‘forgetfulness.’ we forget that we have access to the awareness that enables us to choose new thoughts. then thru the fifth action called ‘grace’ we remember it again. i other words if we forget the source of creation in our own awareness, we tend to get lost in the changing creations themselves. however, due to grace we remember that we can connect with source and create something new, something more empowering. perhaps this is what is meant when reality is spoken of as an ‘illusion in the literature of consciousness. our thought creations are real, however they have a transitory and ever-changing nature, coming into and going out of existence, just as energy particles leap in and out of existence int he world of scientists.” p319
“one of the most significant things going on in our new era, in this new time of evolution for humanity, is the re-converging of science and spirituality. it’s happening as scientists begin to realize that pure consciousness could very well be the source of all material reality. many scientists today are studying the vedic literature of india, considered the most ancient teachings on the science of consciousness. others are studying kabala, sufism, and the christian mystics; the traditional cultures of the aborigines, druids, ancient mayans, incas, hopi, and others known to have direct personal knowledge of consciousness.” p324
“mastery is not remembering; it is remembrance of your invincible connection to all-knowing source. masterful action is not remembering from the past nor is it anticipating from the future. in the clarity, in the stillness, in the silence, you connect with the aspect of intelligence perfect for that situation in that precise moment. this is spontaneous wisdom in action. this is living wisdom. remembrance is your rendezvous with the great self.” p327
“the distinguishing of mechanical, unaware habits as least-action pathways is invaluable assistance for candid self-inquiry. you notice the habit, knowing you can interrupt it when you see it, and you create a new intent. the zero-point state makes self-inquiry possible. in the zero-point state you are present to yourself.” p327
“physicist peter russell wraps it up elegantly: ‘physical light has no mass, and is not part of the material world; the same is true of consciousness. light seems in some way fundamental to the universe, its values are absolute, universal constants. the light of consciousness is likewise fundamental; without it there would be no experience.’” p330
“physicist-inventor, mark comings suggests that our core assumptions have to be questioned, especially the one that says we live in a universe of scarce energy resources, that energy scarcity is a misconception and that ‘we are one with the quantum plenum.’” p330
“every aspect of life participates in each of these seven dimensions, each one distinguished by their characteristic form of intelligence and all of which are unified, integrated and interconnected: the physical dimension of ordinary matter and the physical body; the energetic dimension of the subtle fields that comprise and emanate from all form; the virtual dimension of mind and all extensions of mind and awareness; the spiritual dimension of heart where we experience the interconnectedness of all; the cosmic dimension of natural law, operating principles functioning thruout the universe and within you and me; the esoteric dimension of soul, stories of evolution and prophecy; the divine dimension that encompasses and is responsible for all of creation, the dimension that transcends dimensionality, forever the ultimate mystery.” p335
“in the physical dimension money as currency is representational, that is, it represents the value of goods and services. tho money has a physical presence in the form of what we call currency, paper bills and coins, and that which backs it up, (in previous eras the gold standard), in modern society we relate to it mostly in the virtual dimension. electronic transfers, atm, debit and credit cards, computer transactions networked beyond time and space are the way of our world. in the virtual dimension money is an idea. in the energetic dimension money is a flow of energy thruout the system of exchange. in the energetic dimension money is a flow of energy throut the system of exchange. money as energy follows universal laws. ” p340
“to live without reverence for the fact of creation itself could be the ultimate asleep state. we have a word in human culture: hypocrisy. it means ‘the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that one does not possess; falseness’ and carries a great weight of judgment behind it. hypocrisy means you imagine yourself to be one way (kind, compassionate, gentle, merciful), and then you act out something inconsistent with it. you judge negatively, blame people, snap anger at people, attack people, kill mercilessly and justify the atrocities by calling them ‘casualties of war.’ then we call ourselves ‘god-fearing people,’ the highest statement of reverence for the might of god.
“quantumthink is about living the wisdom not merely knowing it. consider there is no way we can live the highest virtues, there is no way we are living the wisdom, as long as war continues on this planet. it is not a question of pie in the sky, unrealistic optimism in a ‘dangerous world’ where countries and people have to defend themselves against the enemy. it is a question of intent. to accomplish the elimination of war, poverty, crime or any other unnecessary injustice we start as we do with any creation; it begins with the intent for it to happen.” p346
“from a quantumthink perspective we have seen that what binds us most are the beliefs and conclusions we have made about life. an aspect of mastery is discerning between your preferences and y our conclusions lived as ‘absolutes’ that bind you and limit you. you could establish a tremendous freedom for yourself in distinguishing that.” p347
“knowing the wisdom is of little or no practical value. the history of humankind proves that over and over again. knowing the wisdom may be titillating to your intellect or your ego, knowing the wisdom may inspire you and give you ‘hope’; nonetheless, only living the wisdom matters. what does it mean to live the wisdom? it means you are the walking-talking embodiment of the great virtues. you emanate it. you exude happiness, compassion, kindness, love.” p348
“these ides which turned out to be fact challenged the ‘authority of the day’ however the vatican did not officially take copernicus’ book of the ‘banned’ book list until 1835 and did not officially recognize the validity of galileo’s work until 1993. this is not at all intended to criticize the vatican but rather to point to the necessity of awakening ourselves beyond old ‘knowledge’ to be open to an entirely new way of thinking about the nature of reality, how it works, and our pivotal role in it at this critical juncture for life on earth. courage is a virtue. today we are living in the midst of a wide range of human beliefs which are as outdated and factually incorrect as these notorious historical examples. to go forward now and finally take the literal quantum leap in consciousness that has us authentically living the wisdom; this is our most sacred privilege.” p349
“people speak of a critical mass necessary for the leap. who will be the catalyst for such a leap? will it be you? will you be a light that ignites others? for a photon, a particle of light, there is no time and there is no space either. consider that we are seeds of light. and as light seeds we can go anywhere in the universe with out intent. this is what all the great teachings of old have taught. and this is what our science is proving today. consciousness as light becomes matter. intent alone traverses the world instantly.” p349
“we are creating tie world anew. how are we going to achieve it? in this age of transformation it is going to take each and every one of us. the institutions aren’t going to do it. don’t rely on the government, the stock market, the corporation, and of the ‘theys’ or the ‘thems’ to do it for you. institutions are comprised of us. there is no ‘it’ out there. every awakened mind is needed and wanted.” p350
“this is the time we’re in. this is the era your soul chose to participate in (if you believe such things.) the time that will enable us to create a new reality, not by one thought at a time but by a whole system jump.
“the late, great quantum physicist, david bohm, said, ‘in some sense, we have to have enough faith in our world view to work from it, but not that much faith that we think it’s the final answer.” and this is a good thing to keep in mind, that no single world view is going to be the final answer or the absolute truth, because the nature of reality is infinite, expanding and evolving. we are going to continually discover new operating principles. but as bohm says, we can have enough faith in our world view to work from it, to see what it makes possible for us.
“think about it. you can live according to the push and pull of the circumstances or you can live according to your consciously generated intent. this is the gift of awakened awareness. you can choose. you can condition the fields that you travel in with your own intent. you can include others and generate something magnificent for all.” p350
“there are the old stories of the end times, dark and gloomy and dreary – ad there are the new stories of ‘the great shift,’ a transformation in consciousness that takes us to an elevated and noble state. now dear friend, it is an observer-created reality. you are the observer with the choice of how you view things. you are the one with the emanating resonance based on which reality current you choose to hold in your awareness. would you rather hold a doomsday scenario or would you rather hold an exalted one? it truly does come down to you and me and what we choose. we have been graced with the divinely given ability to shift and change and shape and transform our world free of old habits, free of automatic conditioning, free of what no longer worlds, and even free of the contingency based on standard scientific method. now we can go deeper to discover what each of us is here to contribute, what we are here to evolve to, to free ourselves and to finally know ourselves as true love.
“can we ever put an end to war, crime, bigotry, poverty? of course we can. doomsday prophecies and predictions notwithstanding by now you realize in a quantum world nothing is fixed. everything is in continual flux. everything is malleable. our meanings and prophesies can change. we can change the future. we can even change history. and we do.” p352
Then there are a smaller number of operators, divas, drama queens, vampires, bitter underminers and soulless careerists.
You will learn to recognize the vampires. They’re easy to disregard. They corner you, physically or digitally. They are coworkers who text you on weekends. They touch you in the office, in an attempt to suck energy through your skin. They stand in doorways, preventing people from passing. They tell you long, agitated and boring stories about people you don’t know. (So do the drama queens.) They post on your Facebook page. They are unable to read normal friendship signals and pursue interactions that you have not instigated. You must not encourage these people; they’ll follow you around for years, even when you no longer work together. You must 100% not engage, and let them have no traction. Eventually they will wander off.
sThe drama queens are a little more dangerous, because sooner or later you’ll “betray” them and become a character in the stories that they bore someone else with. When they finally snap, go cold. Don’t apologize, engage or grovel. If there’s one thing I wish I’d learned at 18, it’s that it’s okay if a crazy person hates you. Everyone else will understand in time. Meanwhile, let them expend that energy. Go work on your novel or whatever.
And the bitter underminers, well, they’re too obvious to even worry about. OMG they’re going to make fun of you on their Tumblr!? That’s okay. They are just frustrated. Be nice to them, they can get better with time, because eventually most of them realize that composing nasty emails about people they don’t really know to their friends all day has been a waste of their energies. Some of these people turn out great actually!
Because vampires and divas and underminers are so loud and distracting, they take up all the emotional energy that we should actually be devoting to the real enemy. This is why we never destroy the soulless careerists. This is, I think, the number one mistake that we make in the world of work.
soulless careerists These are the boys who suck up to the boss’s boss. They’re backslappers. These are the girls who beg you to come out for drinks so they can talk about the tortures of their latest job offers. (In the world of writers, these are often people who are always telling you about what story they’re pitching to whom.) They’re often imperious (but not always; sometimes they disguise their narcissism as insecurity, to be manipulative). Really, they lack fear. They are likely sociopaths. They are identifiable because, if you stop and look, you’ll realize it is unfathomable to you that this person who actually does nothing but complain in the office, and who goes out to lunch every day for hours, should be getting these opportunities. Oh, should I or shouldn’t I take one of these exciting new jobs that I just can’t choose between! they’ll ask you.
And because you’re a good person, you’ll squish down your resentment and annoyance, because you think those feelings make you a bad person. In normal circumstances, you’d be right to do so. (And you should!) But not with these little monsters.
Because if you think you feel weird now, just wait until you read about their $500,000 book deal. Or their appointment as the editor in chief of whatever. (Again, not that you should be jealous or petty about the good or hard-working or hilarious or wacky people who get these things. Try to be excited or at least amused about that! It’s actually easy to love it when your pals become successful.)
The soulless careerists, though: they get where they are because social training doesn’t allow us to stop them. They depend upon our unwillingness to say “bad things” about people. But if you don’t, who will?
It is incumbent upon you to put a fucking boot in the face of the soulless careerist.
When people ask you about them, tell the truth. Practice saying “They’re useless and horrible.” Practice saying “They’re soulless careerists who don’t care about anything or believe in anything and they’re just using us all to get ahead at any cost.” Practice telling the truth. They can’t stand the exposure in the light of day. They can’t keep stepping on people if their previous steppings-on are known.
Perhaps the most intriguing part is that the sounds activate the otherwise dormant visual cortices of congenitally blind people. According to people who are much smarter than I am, our visual cortex organizes data into two parallel pathways – the ventral occipito-temporal pathway (which deals with form, identity, and color) and the dorsal occipito-parietal pathway (which focuses on object location and coordinates visual data with motor function).
MRI scans showed that blind people using the sensory device saw these previously dormat pathways acting as they would if they had had normal vision. For the blind population of the world, this next generation technology could soon see massive benefits.
The irreducible carrier of quantum information is the qubit, named in analogy to the classical bit. But whereas the bit is a simple on-off signal, a qubit is in essence a unit vector whose direction is described by a pair of angles, θ and Φ. These angles describe the superposition of pure quantum states which makes up the quantum information in the qubit. While a bit defines a single binary parameter (+ 1), a qubit defines a continuous complex variable.
When a quantum operation is carried out on a qubit, these angles change, thereby changing the quantum information in that qubit. All quantum computation in the end reduces to combined rotations of quantum states.
Superconducting structures which can store a qubit of information are easily constructed using standard microfabrication techniques. Additionally, such structures couple easily to MHz and GHz radio waves, which provides effective control of the computer operations using well understood electronics.
A larger physical dimension, however, implies there are likely to be more ways in which superconducting qubits can lose coherence through unintentional environmental interactions. This does lead to shorter coherence times than are achieved in other physical implementations of qubits, about 4 microseconds for the UCSB circuitry.
The low-level organization of the UCSB quantum computer is called Resonator/zero-Qubit architecture (RezQu). This consists of a set of superconducting qubits (in the current example, two qubits). Each of the superconducting qubits is capacitatively coupled to a dedicated memory resonator, as well as to a common resonant quantum information bus. The bus is used to couple qubits during computational operations, while the memory resonators are used for storing the current state of the qubits. When a qubit is passed into its memory resonator, the qubit is placed in the ground state.
Using their new architecture, the UCSB group was able to implement the three-qubit Toffoli OR phase gate with 98% fidelity. Universal quantum computation can be carried out using combinations of this Toffoli gate and simple qubit rotations. However, it does not currently appear that 98% fidelity represents a sufficiently small error to permit conventional error-correcting codes to function properly. Thus, the UCSB Von Neumann quantum computer is potentially capable of universal computation, limited only by memory resources and quantum coherence time, but requires increased fidelity to fulfill this potential.
This was “the first reappearance in the Church, since its full hierarchical establishment, of the democratic element—the Christian people, as distinguished from the simple sheep to be fed, and souls to be ruled.” his followers were not to think first of their own salvation. This principle is stressed again and again among the Sufis, who consider regard for personal salvation to be an expression of vanity.
The origins of men’s ownership and control of women are universally thought to derive from men’s superior strength. Biologists also believe that mechanisms in the body and brain predispose men to certain behaviour; for example, diminished impulse control, which has its origins in (among other things) the serotonin housekeeping in the brain; and testosterone, which makes all animals more reactive; for example, the primitive brain structures in men are less well-connected to the rational frontal brain lobes than in women. There are also differences in when male and female bodies make oxytocin (a trust, empathy, and social bonding hormone) and other substances and hormones. These biological differences mean men will, biologically, have more trouble controlling urges that arise in the hypothalamus and the amygdala (where among other basal emotions the aggressive impulse originates), and more trouble running those urges past the (pre)frontal cortex (where proportionate and socially appropriate behavioral responses are constructed). Men will feel these urges in different situations than women will. When we add to that a body mass/strength that gives this creature the real-world ability to force or harm the smaller creature, we have the beginnings of male-female history and sociology.
Eight photon entanglement is in a way incremental progress; previous experiments have measured six photon entanglement, and this particular setup is sufficiently more complex to beg the question of scalability. However, the system is also powerful enough that it is a step forward in terms of optical quantum computation. The authors suggest that their setup may enable quantum simulations to tackle more complicated problems in condensed matter physics than have been possible so far. By exploiting other aspects of the photons’ states besides polarization, additional aspects of entanglement may be explored and used for future quantum computing applications.
All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.”
And it’s true that the King has made a truce with the Duke of Burgundy lasting fifteen days, by which he [Burgundy] must turn over the city of Paris peaceably at the end of fifteen days. However, do not be surprised if I don’t enter it [Paris] so quickly. I am not at all content with truces made like this, and I don’t know if I will uphold them; but if I do uphold them it will only be in order to protect the honor of the King; also, they [the Burgundians] will not cheat the Royal family, for I will maintain and keep together the King’s army so as to be ready at the end of these fifteen days if they don’t make peace. For this reason, my very dear and perfect friends, I pray that you do not worry yourselves so long as I live, but I ask that you keep good watch and defend the King’s city; and let me know if there are any traitors who wish to do you harm, and as soon as I can I will remove them; and let me know your news.
Joan of Arc explaining her generosity to the poor and indigent.
“I have been sent for the consolation of the needy.”
Far from being a purpose-driven life, the existence of many true believers is a crisis-driven life that seeks release, as Blumenthal asserts, in an “escape from freedom.” In the right-wing id, freedom is the emotional release that a hostile and psychologically repressed person feels when he is finally able to lash out at the objects of his resentment. Freedom is his prerogative to rid himself of people who are different, or who unsettle him. Freedom is merging into a like-minded herd. Right-wing alchemy transforms freedom into authoritarianism. They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times and are often hypocrites. authoritarian followers. They are socially rigid, highly conventional and strongly intolerant personalities, who, absent any self-directed goals, seek achievement and satisfaction by losing themselves in a movement greater than themselves. One finds them overrepresented in reactionary political movements, fundamentalist sects and leader cults like scientology. the paradoxical nature of the authoritarian personality: rebelling against authority while hungering for it — exactly as the contemporary right wing fancies it is rebelling against big government while calling for intrusive social legislation and militarism. a patriarchal, sexually repressive family life, reinforced by strict and punitive religious dogma, is the “factory” of a reactionary political order. Hence, the right wing’s ongoing attempts to erase the separation of church and state, its crusade against Planned Parenthood, its strange obsession with gays.
This thoroughly contemporary movement organises itself through websites, such as Facebook and Live Journal, and video footage of each event with commentaries are posted within the day on the opposition website Grani.ru – GraniTV –and on YouTube. The new generations of Russian protesters exist in a kaleidoscope of action groups and more formal organisations. The Russian authorities, who learned their repressive methodology in the cold war, find these viral movements baffling and very hard to deal with.
denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win
ridicule, opposition, acceptance as self-evident
back-and-forth looping movement of a particle being disturbed by a wave. Emotional intensity moves up and down and up again, while knowledge moves backward, forward, back, and then forward again, until the individual is happy with the way they have integrated the new information with the old.
The slaveholders used tactics that were intended to (1) decrease the slaves’ confidence in their abilities to act freely, (2) deny the skills of a painful literacy, (3) rob the slaves of a liberating silence, (4) increase slave sense of “gratitude,” and (5) dismantle any relationships of family and community. slaves resisted on both a philosophical level (for example, by refusing to accept slaveholder ideology) and a practical level (say, by resisting their sale).2 In the end, this resistance often counterbalanced the weight of oppressive education.
Increase suggestibility and “soften up” the individual through specific hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as:Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills, Excessive exact repetition of routine activities, Sleep restriction and/or Nutritional restriction.
Establish control over the person’s social environment, time and sources of social support by a system of often-excessive rewards and punishments. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered.
Prohibit disconfirming information and non supporting opinions in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An “in-group” language is usually constructed.
Make the person re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject’s basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and defense mechanisms. The subject is guided to reinterpret his or her life’s history and adopt a new version of causality.
Create a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the person to intense and frequent actions and situations which undermine the person’s confidence in himself and his judgment.
Create strong aversive emotional arousals in the subject by use of nonphysical punishments such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques.
Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular psychological threats. For example, it may be suggested or implied that failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequences such as physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.
Spiritual practices, and especially primary religious practices, carry risks. Therefore, when an individual chooses to practice with the assistance of a guide, both take on special responsibilities. The Council on Spiritual Practices proposes the following Code of Ethics for those who serve as spiritual guides.
- [Intention] Spiritual guides are to practice and serve in ways that cultivate awareness, empathy, and wisdom.
- [Serving Society] Spiritual practices are to be designed and conducted in ways that respect the common good, with due regard for public safety, health, and order. Because the increased awareness gained from spiritual practices can catalyze desire for personal and social change, guides shall use special care to help direct the energies of those they serve, as well as their own, in responsible ways that reflect a loving regard for all life.
- [Serving Individuals] Spiritual guides shall respect and seek to preserve the autonomy and dignity of each person. Participation in any primary religious practice must be voluntary and based on prior disclosure and consent given individually by each participant while in an ordinary state of consciousness. Disclosure shall include, at a minimum, discussion of any elements of the practice that could reasonably be seen as presenting physical or psychological risks. In particular, participants must be warned that primary religious experience can be difficult and dramatically transformative.
Guides shall make reasonable preparations to protect each participant’s health and safety during spiritual practices and in the periods of vulnerability that may follow. Limits on the behaviors of participants and facilitators are to be made clear and agreed upon in advance of any session. Appropriate customs of confidentiality are to be established and honored.
- [Competence] Spiritual guides shall assist with only those practices for which they are qualified by personal experience and by training or education.
- [Integrity] Spiritual guides shall strive to be aware of how their own belief systems, values, needs, and limitations affect their work. During primary religious practices, participants may be especially open to suggestion, manipulation, and exploitation; therefore, guides pledge to protect participants and not to allow anyone to use that vulnerability in ways that harm participants or others.
- [Quiet Presence] To help safeguard against the harmful consequences of personal and organizational ambition, spiritual communities are usually better allowed to grow through attraction rather than active promotion.
- [Not for Profit] Spiritual practices are to be conducted in the spirit of service. Spiritual guides shall strive to accommodate participants without regard to their ability to pay or make donations.
- [Tolerance] Spiritual guides shall practice openness and respect towards people whose beliefs are in apparent contradiction to their own.
- [Peer Review] Each guide shall seek the counsel of other guides to help ensure the wholesomeness of his or her practices and shall offer counsel when there is need.
master suppression techniques
Understand that when the those seeking resolution of such crimes proceed in attempting to uncover truth, they try their best to present factual information constructed as an argument for a particular chain of evidence towards a particular solution to the crime. This can be a largely experimental process via trial and error, with a theory developed over time to perfection or defeated by the process. This is their most vulnerable time, the time when a good disinfo artist can do the greatest harm to the process.
A rational person participating as one interested in the truth will evaluate that chain of evidence and conclude either that the links are solid and conclusive, that one or more links are weak and need further development before conclusion can be arrived at, or that one or more links can be broken, usually invalidating (but not necessarily so, if parallel links already exist or can be found, or if a particular link was merely supportive, but not in itself key) the argument. The game is played by raising issues which either strengthen or weaken (preferably to the point of breaking) these links. It is the job of a disinfo artist to at least make people think the links are weak or broken when, in truth, they are not.
It would seem true in almost every instance, that if one cannot break the chain of evidence, revelation of truth has won out. If the chain is broken either a new link must be forged, or a whole new chain developed, or the basis is lost, but truth still wins out. There is no shame in being the creator or supporter of a failed chain if done with honesty in search of the truth. This is the rational approach. While it is understandable that a person can become emotionally involved with a particular side of a given issue, it is really unimportant who wins, as long as truth wins. But the disinfo artist will seek to emotionalise and chastise any failure (real or false claims thereof), and will seek to prevent new links from being forged by a kind of intimidation.
Moreover, particularly with respects to public forums such as newspaper letters to the editor, and Internet chat and news groups, the disinfo type has a very important role. In these forums, the principle topics of discussion are generally attempts by individuals to cause other persons to become interested in their own particular problem, position, or idea — usually ideas, postulations, or theories which are in development at the time. People often use such mediums as a sounding board and in hopes of pollination to better form their ideas. Where such ideas are critical of government or powerful, vested groups (especially if their criminality is the topic), the disinfo artist has yet another role — the role of nipping it in the bud. They also seek to stage the concept, the presenter, and any supporters as less than credible should any possible future confrontation in more public forums result due to successes in seeking a final truth. You can often spot the disinfo types at work here by the unique application of “higher standards” of discussion than necessarily warranted. They will demand that those presenting arguments or concepts back everything up with the same level of expertise as a professor, researcher, or investigative writer. Anything less renders any discussion meaningless and unworthy in their opinion, and anyone who disagrees is obviously stupid.
So, as you read here in the NGs the various discussions on various matters, decide for yourself when a rational argument is being applied and when disinformation, psyops (psychological warfare operations) or trickery is the tool. Accuse those guilty of the later freely. They (both those deliberately seeking to lead you astray, and those who are simply foolish or misguided thinkers) generally run for cover when thus illuminated, or — put in other terms, they put up or shut up (a perfectly acceptable outcome either way, since truth is the goal).
25 rules of disinformation
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumour mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumours and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method which works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumours”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumour” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Side-track opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint. Example: “This stuff is garbage. Where do you conspiracy lunatics come up with this crap? I hope you all get run over by black helicopters.” Notice it even has a farewell sound to it, so it won’t seem curious if the author is never heard from again.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutia” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man — usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candour that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarise the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalise, Antagonise, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralise sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralise all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed and unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favourable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favourably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
Scantly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as “bump and run” reporting.
Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the “facts” furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.
Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges “expose” scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.
Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, “What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?” Don’t the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.
1a) Insist on Your Boundaries – Resist Abuse
Refuse to accept abusive behavior. Demand reasonably predictable and rational actions and reactions. Insist on respect for your boundaries, predilections, preferences, and priorities.
Demand a just and proportional treatment. Reject or ignore unjust and capricious behavior.
If you are up to the inevitable confrontation, react in kind. Let him taste some of his own medicine.
Never show your abuser that you are afraid of him. Do not negotiate with bullies. They are insatiable. Do not succumb to blackmail.
If things get rough- disengage, involve law enforcement officers, friends and colleagues, or threaten him (legally).
Do not keep your abuse a secret. Secrecy is the abuser’s weapon.
Never give him a second chance. React with your full arsenal to the first transgression.
Be guarded. Don’t be too forthcoming in a first or casual meeting. Gather intelligence.
Be yourself. Don’t misrepresent your wishes, boundaries, preferences, priorities, and red lines.
Do not behave inconsistently. Do not go back on your word. Be firm and resolute.
Stay away from such quagmires. Scrutinize every offer and suggestion, no matter how innocuous.
Prepare backup plans. Keep others informed of your whereabouts and appraised of your situation.
Be vigilant and doubting. Do not be gullible and suggestible. Better safe than sorry.
Often the abuser’s proxies are unaware of their role. Expose him. Inform them. Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used by the abuser.
Trap your abuser. Treat him as he treats you. Involve others. Bring it into the open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfect abuse.
(1b) Mirror His Behavior
Mirror the narcissist�s actions and repeat his words.
If, for instance, he is having a rage attack � rage back. If he threatens � threaten back and credibly try to use the same language and content. If he leaves the house � leave it as well, disappear on him. If he is suspicious � act suspicious. Be critical, denigrating, humiliating, go down to his level.
(1c) Frighten Him
Identify the vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the narcissist and strike repeated, escalating blows at them.
If a narcissist has a secret or something he wishes to conceal � use your knowledge of it to threaten him. Drop cryptic hints that there are mysterious witnesses to the events and recently revealed evidence. Do it cleverly, noncommittally, gradually, in an escalating manner.
Let his imagination do the rest. You don’t have to do much except utter a vague reference, make an ominous allusion, delineate a possible turn of events.
Needless to add that all these activities have to be pursued legally, preferably through the good services of law offices and in broad daylight. If done in the wrong way � they might constitute extortion or blackmail, harassment and a host of other criminal offences.
(1d) Lure Him
Offer him continued Narcissistic Supply. You can make a narcissist do anything by offering, withholding, or threatening to withhold Narcissistic Supply (adulation, admiration, attention, sex, awe, subservience, etc.).
(1e) Play on his Fear of Abandonment
If nothing else works, explicitly threaten to abandon him.
You can condition the threat (“If you don’t do something or if you do it � I will desert you”).
The narcissists perceives the following as threats of abandonment, even if they are not meant as such:
Confrontation, fundamental disagreement, and protracted criticism When completely ignored When you insist on respect for your boundaries, needs, emotions, choices, preferences When you retaliate (for instance, shout back at him).
(IIa) Fight Him in Court
Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating, especially in a court of law, for instance during a deposition:
Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self. Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of “talents and skills” which the narcissist fantasizes that he possesses, any hint that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party. Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others. Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim.
The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.
The narcissist reacts with narcissistic rage, hatred, aggression, or violence to an infringement of what he perceives to be his entitlement. Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest will inflame the narcissist.
Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his needs are not everyone’s priority, that he is boring, that his needs can be catered to by an average practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. – and the narcissist will lose control.
Contradict, expose, humiliate, and berate the narcissist (“You are not as intelligent as you think you are”, “Who is really behind all this? It takes sophistication which you don’t seem to have”, “So, you have no formal education”, “you are (mistake his age, make him much older) … sorry, you are … old”, “What did you do in your life? Did you study? Do you have a degree? Did you ever establish or run a business? Would you define yourself as a success?”, “Would your children share your view that you are a good father?”, “You were last seen with a Ms. … who is (suppressed grin) a cleaning lady (in demeaning disbelief)”.
There is no real difference between:
a) You as victim, spouse as abuser. b) You as Judge, spouse as penitent.
They are just psychological and emotional mirror images.
It’s just as unhealthy and dysfunctional for you to manipulate and control him as it is for him to manipulate and control you.
If you do that you flip the cycle of abuse over…but you don’t come close to stopping it.
Abuse is about CONTROL…controllers (this is going to be hard to believe, but it’s true) relate almost as easily to BEING controlled as they do to controlling…the only way to break that up is to get them AWAY from control and into healthier situations…same goes for the victim…
Healthy people in healthy relationships do not maneuver each other, they rather accept and try to understand each other and grow as much honesty and intimacy between them as they possibly can.
1. Jealousy & Possessiveness – Becomes jealous over your family, friends, co-workers. Tries to isolate you. Views his woman and children as his property instead of as unique individuals. Accuses you of cheating or flirting with other men without cause. Always asks where you’ve been and with whom in an accusatory manner.
2. Control – He is overly demanding of your time and must be the center of your attention. He controls finances, the car, and the activities you partake in. Becomes angry if woman begins showing signs of independence or strength.
3. Superiority – He is always right, has to win or be in charge. He always justifies his actions so he can be “right” by blaming you or others. A verbally abusive man will talk down to you or call you names in order to make himself feel better. The goal of an abusive man is to make you feel weak so they can feel powerful. Abusers are frequently insecure and this power makes them feel better about themselves.
4. Manipulates – Tells you you’re crazy or stupid so the blame is turned on you. Tries to make you think that it’s your fault he is abusive. Says he can’t help being abusive so you feel sorry for him and you keep trying to “help” him. Tells others you are unstable.
5. Mood Swings – His mood switches from aggressive and abusive to apologetic and loving after the abuse has occurred.
6. Actions don’t match words – He breaks promises, says he loves you and then abuses you.
7. Punishes you – An emotionally abusive man may withhold sex, emotional intimacy, or plays the “silent game” as punishment when he doesn’t get his way. He verbally abuses you by frequently criticizing you.
8. Unwilling to seek help – An abusive man doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him so why should he seek help? Does not acknowledge his faults or blames it on his childhood or outside circumstances.
9. Disrespects women – Shows no respect towards his mother, sisters, or any women in his life. Thinks women are stupid and worthless.
10. Has a history of abusing women and/or animals or was abused himself – Batterers repeat their patterns and seek out women who are submissive and can be controlled. Abusive behavior can be a generational dysfunction and abused men have a great chance of becoming abusers. Men who abuse animals are much more likely to abuse women also.
• Making your partner afraid by using looks, actions, gestures.
• Smashing or destroying things.
• Destroying or confiscating your partner’s property.
• Abusing pets as a display of power and control.
• Silent or overt raging.
• Displaying weapons or threatening their use.
• Making physical threats.
Using Emotional Abuse
• Putting your partner down.
• Making your partner feel bad about himself or herself.
• Calling your partner names.
• Playing mind games.
• Interrogating your partner.
• Harassing or intimidating your partner.
• “Checking up on” your partner’s activities or whereabouts.
• Humiliating your partner, weather through direct attacks or “jokes”.
• Making your partner feel guilty.
• Shaming your partner.
• Controlling what your partner does, who he or she sees and talks to, what he or she reads, where he or she goes.
• Limiting your partner’s outside involvement.
• Demanding your partner remain home when you are not with them.
• Cutting your partner off from prior friends, activities, and social interaction.
• Using jealousy to justify your actions.
(Jealousy is the primary symptom of abusive relationships; it is also a core component of Love Addiction.)
Minimizing, Denying and Blame Shifting
• Making light of the abuse and not taking your partner’s concerns about it seriously.
• Saying the abuse did not happen, or wasn’t that bad.
• Shifting responsibility for your abusive behavior to your partner. (i.e: I did it because you ______.)
• Saying your partner caused it.
• Making your partner feel guilty about the children.
• Using the children to relay messages.
• Using visitation to harass your partner.
• Threatening to take the children away.
Using Male Privilege
• Treating your partner like a servant.
• Making all the big decisions.
• Acting like the “master of the castle.”
• Being the one to define men’s and women’s or the relationship’s roles.
Using Economic Abuse
• Preventing your partner from getting or keeping a job.
• Making your partner ask for money.
• Giving your partner an allowance.
• Taking your partner’s money.
• Not letting your partner know about or have access to family income.
1. Pointing out potential problems
This manipulation often utilizes statistics or failure stories they heard somewhere. It sounds realistic, practical – and uninspiring. A variation of this approach is to point out the negative side effects. They may admit that the change you are trying to implement is positive, but also point out the potential negative effects. Some even imply you might lose your relationship. . .And they often add this line,“I just don’t want you to get into trouble.”
2. Direct put-down disguised as a joke
It’s supposed to be unsociable not to understand jokes, and they utilize this social conditioning. They say something really un-nice, and when your feeling is hurt, they treat you as naïve. Here is my acid test for jokes: Does it make you feel light and warm or does it leave you a nasty taste in the mouth? This test works for all kinds of jokes, whether it is aimed at yourself or others. Watch out for fake jokes.
3. “Count the blessings” you already have
“We are happy as we are. We should be. Look at what you’ve earned – and there are lots of less fortunate people out there, you know. . .” This is a twisted logic. Of course, we, each one of us, are blessed as we are. But it doesn’t mean we should stagnate where we are. Don’t feel guilty for seeking more.
4. “What is the point?” apathy
From their perspective, the glass is always half empty, no matter what you do. They don’t even point out potential problems. They don’t pretend to be content. They are, in effect, half dead and want you to be the same.
5. Acting out
You talk with your family about your decision to go back to school. Everyone seems happy. So you start the application process. Suddenly, out of the blue, there is a surprise in the family – some kind of crisis – like your spouse’s car breaks down and you need a chunk of money to buy a new car. Then you find out your brother is checked in for rehab and he and his family really need some moral support. And . . . I don’t mean they cause the crisis on purpose. It just happens – one after the other – until you are completely distracted from your aspiration, or you figure out “It’s just not the right time.”
How to cope with manipulation You don’t. Coping only encourages more manipulation. Dodge them, and just do what you have to do. Just do it.
I took the extreme route and moved myself across the Pacific Ocean. This was not just to dodge manipulation from my family but was in line with my dream to complete college education and build a new life. Nevertheless, it ended most of the subtle and not-so-subtle manipulations. Prior to my migration, they tried to change my mind by counting the blessings of the comfortable life in my home country. They even tried to bribe me. . . “Do you want a new dress? We can dine out at nice restaurants if you stay around. Are you aware you will be financially stressed if you go to America?” They also threatened me that I’d be robbed and murdered in America – very realistic-sounding potential, but somehow I have happily survived for 13 years – and counting. Oh, and they tried to dampen my dream. “Why do you need to complete your education in the US? What would you get for the time and money you invest?. . .”
action – the action toward your aspiration — is the antidote to manipulation. I don’t think talking back or reasoning things out work really. Nor reactions to manipulation.
“The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. ” Albert Einstein
Then you will know that they do not truly have any power over you. Their power is an illusion that you can free yourself from. When a manipulator’s subtext makes you feel bad, remember that on some level you just chose to feel bad. You can just as well choose not to let them impress you. You do have this choice. Guilt is frequently used by manipulators to blackmail people. “If you don’t do xyz, I will be sad.” Well, too bad for them if they choose to feel sad! That’s their problem, not yours. Same with actions: you are NOT responsible for other people’s actions. “If you don’t do xyz, I will drink myself into a coma.” Oh yeah? What they do with their life is their decision and none of your business. In case you think that is heartless, I disagree. This is the most loving attitude I can think of. You don’t do anybody a favor by taking the responsibility for their life away from them. Actually, it is highly disrespectful. If you are scared of something, it’s very easy for someone else to gain power over you. They just need to trigger your fear. They just need to suggest very subtly that what you fear could come true if you don’t do what they want – and you do it. The lower your self-esteem, the easier you become a prey for manipulators. The more you have problems with yourself, the more you’re vulnerable. If you think bad things about yourself, it’s easy for others to push those buttons. Only what you resonate with on some level can hurt you or have any power over you. If you have no problem with the way you are at this time, nobody can use any of your self-perceived weaknesses to make you do what they want. When your attitude is “Yes! That’s how I am. So what?!”, manipulators have a hard time with you. So, accept yourself fully, as you are. I know this can be difficult, but if you succeed at it, you’re invulnerable! A lot of fear and guilt stems from our identification with things that do not truly belong to us. If you strongly identify with your job or marriage, then you’ll be very afraid of losing them. If you strongly identify as your mother’s son or as a helpful friend, you’ll feel guilty when you don’t behave accordingly. But if you recognize that you are not all that, it will be easier for you to let go of the fear or guilt. You can never truly lose anything. We are all connected at all times. When things or people fade out of our life, you are still connected to them. And ten new things or people will show up in your reality instead. The Universe is infinitely abundant. All those things change nothing about who you are at your core anyway. You are at all time wonderful and whole. Whatever is, is, and is perfect. What has power over you is your belief that your feelings are caused by the situation you are in instead of by yourself. What also has power over you are your own fears, guilt, self-hate or attachment to roles and things outside of you.
According to the Washington Post, Internet users are increasingly seeing the error message “According to computer crime regulations, access to this Web site is denied.” The Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, Thomas Erdbrink, says that software Iranians use to bypass Iran’s firewall recently stopped working. “Many fear that the disabling of the software used to bypass the state-run firewall heralds the coming of what authorities have labeled the National Internet,” Erdbrink wrote.
It’s not clear how widespread the blockages are. Reports from some Twitter users earlier this week indicate that all non-Iranian websites had been censored. However, checking out the “Blocked In Iran” tool today shows no blockages of Google sites. Assuming the reports are true, it wouldn’t be the first time websites have been blocked in Iran—Ars itself was blocked in October 2010 following coverage of the Stuxnet malware that targeted Iran.
An essential part of science involves finding correlations between two sets of measurements and seeking explanations for those correlations. However, relationships can be suggested by data even when they don’t actually exist, and correlations may occur due to random fluctuations rather than a deep underlying principle (as the infamous “correlation does not equal causation” cliché suggests). These errors are easy to make, and the scientific literature is full of them.
discovery of a “universal” law within the data may be an artifact of imagination, so it’s good to add a healthy dose of skepticism before such claims are presented to the public as revelations.
The history between the Iceni and the Romans is a violent one. In A.D. 43, when the Romans, under Emperor Claudius, invaded Britain, they encountered fierce resistance from them. After a failed revolt in A.D. 47 they became a client kingdom of the empire, with Prasutagus as their leader. When he died, around A.D. 60, the Romans tried to finish the subjugation, in brutal fashion.
“First, his [Prasutagus'] wife Boudicea was scourged, and his daughters outraged. All the chief men of the Iceni, as if Rome had received the whole country as a gift, were stripped of their ancestral possessions, and the king’s relatives were made slaves,” wrote Tacitus, a Roman writer in The Annals. (From the book, “Complete Works of Tacitus,” 1942, edited for the Perseus Digital Library.)
This led Boudicea (more commonly spelled Boudicca) to form an army and lead a revolt against the Romans. At first she was successful, defeating Roman military units and even sacking Londinium. In the end the Romans rallied and defeated her at the Battle of Watling Street. With the Roman victory the rebellion came to an end, and a town named Venta Icenorum was eventually set up on their land. [Top 12 Warrior Moms in History]
“The Iceni vanish from history effectively after the Boudicca revolt in [A.D.] 60-61,” said Bowden.
Insistence on strict rules and punishments
Anti-hedonistic outlook (pleasure, particularly sexual, is bad)
Religion dogmatic fundamental
Strict regulation of individual behavior
Superstitious and fatalistic
Definite, persistent, tenacious,
Tough, masculine, firm,
Reliable, trustworthy, faithful, loyal,
Careful, practical, methodical,
Parsimonious, thrifty, stingy,
Concerned with rules, norms,
tolerance for inequality,
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity,
Need for cognitive closure,
resistance to change
Aggressive, angry, vengeful,
Stern, cold, mechanical,
Anxious, suspicious, obsessive,
Fear and aggression,
shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of cherished world views. Preference for people of one’s own kind. Ethnocentrism and intolerance of minority groups , Preference for conventional art, clothing, and institutions Concerns with fear and threat linked to an endorsement of inequality, Commitment to political organizations which favor maintenance of the status quo (even by force) Resistance to change , refusal to accept new ideas
Slovenly, ambiguous, indifferent,
Eccentric, sensitive, individualistic,
Open, tolerant, flexible,
Life-loving, free, unpredictable,
Creative, imaginative, curious,
Desire for novelty, diversity,
Open to experience,
Nor does it mean the sudden disappearance of conflict — or, eerily, its pseudo-disappearance, its burial under New Age platitudes: Can’t we all just get along? On the contrary, conflict is welcomed.
A core premise of the growing movement known as restorative, or transformative, justice is that conflict is opportunity. This is where we have our greatest chance to grow: at the friction points, as our emotions are heating up. We just have to face the situation with openness, calm and courage. Once again, this is no easy task. But the more we work at this, the more we realize the value of doing so, and the less inclined we become simply to swat our difficulties, and the people we blame them on, out of the way.
I’m convinced that uncoupling our inclination to dominate others to get our way and embracing “power with” them as our prime approach to life is the fundamental emotional shift necessary for the creation of lasting peace.
This horrifying incident is just another symptom of a city, a nation and a world at perpetual war with itself. It’s merely one in a series of tragedies that we are numb to or never hear about or, because it happens overseas and at our hands (and we call it war), we wholeheartedly support. Even worse, it’s part of pop culture. Violence is our national distraction; we consume it as entertainment, whether in the movies or in the news.
And when it gets out of hand, we try to counter it with more of the same. We call it revenge, we call it punishment or we just call it victory. We support it with trillions of dollars annually, in our military, small-arms, prison and entertainment budgets. We are ever so careful not to see the larger context in which acts of terrorism or school shootings (290 in Chicago last year, 34 of them fatal) or any other act of violence occurs; we think we can distinguish between good violence and bad; and we condemn only the violence that isn’t institutionally sanctioned.
let us sit with the distinction between “power with” and “power over” and quietly imagine what life would be like if the latter were not our default setting. Let us imagine valuing empathy over victory and teaching our children the skills of complex connecting. Let us imagine the coming of the light.
Performance degradation (weakening the performance of one’s enemy)
Performance enhancement (enhancing the effectiveness of one’s own forces)
“The application of neuroscience research in the development of enhancement and degradation technologies for military and law enforcement use raises significant ethical considerations. According to Brain Waves Module 3: Neuroscience, conflict and security, which was written by a team of experts in psychology, neuroscience, ethics and international security, findings from the study could be utilized in order to enhance the stages that individuals in the military usually go through: recruitment, training, operational performance, and rehabilitation after injury. Furthermore, the researchers analyzed applications of neuroscience that may bring about potential weapons that could be of interest in a law enforcement or military context – especially progression in drug delivery and neuropharmacology leading to the possible development of incapacitating chemical agents.
The researchers highlight that even though comprehensive legal framework constrain the development of these agents, perceived doubt within the treaty prohibiting chemical weapons (CWC) may under certain interpretations, give freedom for their development.
According to current scientific evidence, it is not possible in the foreseeable future to develop a safe incapacitating chemical agent, the researchers highlight. “We know that neuroscience research has the potential to deliver great social benefit, researchers come closer every day to finding effective treatments for diseases and disorders such as Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and addiction, However, understanding of the brain and human behavior couple with developments in drug delivery also highlight ways of degrading human performance that could possibly be used in new weapons, especially incapacitating chemical agents.
A growing body of research suggests that passing weak electrical signals through the skull, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), can improve people’s performance in some tasks.
The report’s authors also anticipate new designer drugs that boost performance, make captives more talkative and make enemy troops fall asleep.
One of the report’s most striking scenarios involves the use of devices called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to connect people’s brains directly to military technology, including drones and other weapons systems.
The work builds on research that has enabled people to control cursors and artificial limbs through BMIs that read their brain signals.
“Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons system could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy,” the report states.
“If you are controlling a drone and you shoot the wrong target or bomb a wedding party, who is responsible for that action? Is it you or the BMI?
“There’s a blurring of the line between individual responsibility and the functioning of the machine. Where do you stop and the machine begin?”
blahDrugs that reduce anxiety, tiredness and memory loss – all associated with the treatment of dementia – could be used “off-label” as cognitive enhancers by military personnel, according to a Royal Society report.
The military in several countries have tested modafinil, a drug licensed to treat sleepiness in narcoleptics, and found it effective at maintaining performance in the sleep-deprived. Other drugs might help personnel learn faster by improving their attention and working memory, the report states.
More controversial are those drugs that could be used against opponents. The report highlights a natural compound called oxytocin that is released during childbirth, lactation and orgasm, and is involved in trust and bonding. Drugs based on oxytocin might potentially make adversaries more trusting and willing to give up information,
The report goes on to raise the prospect of drugs that could knock adversaries out. In 2002, Russian special forces used an anaesthetic, thought to be fentanyl, to subdue tens of attackers who held more than 800 people hostage in a Moscow theatre. The drug killed more than 100 in the building, highlighting the dangers of the approach.
The difficulty in making an effective knock-out drug will be hard to overcome, the report states, becauseany drug that reliably incapacitates is likely to kill in higher concentrations.
The report calls on the UK government to clarify its interpretation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans chemical weapons, including drugs that cause temporary incapacitation, but has an exemption that allows the use of toxic chemicals for domestic law enforcement.
The authors say the coalition has recently shifted its interpretation of the convention, suggesting that incapacitating chemicals are permitted for law enforcement.
IT SOMETIMES feels as though some months go by faster than others, but November 2009 really did. Events in the Southern Ocean conspired to make the Earth spin ever-so-slightly faster, shortening half of the days in the month by 0.1 milliseconds each.
Different factors affect how fast the Earth spins. For instance, if the winds that whip around the planet slow down, the Earth spins faster to conserve angular momentum.
There was a more down-to-earth cause in November 2009, however. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is a powerful ocean current that rings the continent. Stephen Marcus and his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California and at the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris in France noticed that it slowed abruptly on 8 November 2009, only to speed up two weeks later.
Precise day-length data revealed that the changes immediately caused the Earth to spin faster, shortening each day by 0.1 milliseconds. Like the currents, day length returned to normal on 20 November (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2011gl050671).
This isn’t the only way that climate change may affect Earth’s spin. Models suggest that rising sea levels will shift water towards the poles, drawing mass in closer to the Earth’s axis and making it spin faster.
The feelings you associate with being angry, for example, arise from the stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, that your brain releases on registering indignation. These hormones release stored energy and increase the amount of blood flowing to your muscles, which in turn elevates your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing while shutting down key metabolic processes, such as digestion and growth.
after highly conditioned male athletes completed two hours of endurance running, they exhibited elevated levels of endorphins in their brain and that an increase in these hormones was associated with the runners’ intense feelings of euphoria.
In short, making an effort to think positively, even if doing so feels like a strain, is vital to keeping your body healthy.
an intensely optimistic outlook can help alter physical health.
It’s that the Republicans have staked out a position that requires that they lie, 24/7, 365. Not shade the facts their way. Not put their own spin on the situation. Lie. Big, sloppy, and constantly. The blatant lies extend through every aspect of the Republican platform, such as it is. The simple reason is that the Republicans have no ideas left, at least no ideas that have not been tested and proven to be failures again, and again, and again.
The economy didn’t just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.
They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their “creativity.” They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.
They can’t say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn’t. They can’t say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn’t. They can’t blame it on “union thugs” or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can’t blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice.
For the same reason that they have to maintain that global warming is the creation of a conspiracy of scientists, and that evolution is a conspiracy of other scientists, and that gay marriage is a threat to “traditional” marriage. They have to lie about the threat of illegal immigrants. Lie about the state of the national debt. Lie about the effects of the President’s health care plan. They have to lie, because lies are all they have left.
They certainly can’t admit the truth about the economy. They can’t admit that they did it. Own it. That their policies directly caused the worst economic failure in American history. Strike that. Make it “the greatest failure in American history since the last time that these same policies were tried.” But then, they’ve been lying about that bit of history for years.
The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost. That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious. They try to paper over that gap by dismissing little things like science, reason, history. Real science fails to support their contentions, so they have to write it off. Reason doesn’t work for them, so any question must be met with red-faced indignity — every question a gotcha question. Real history is full of warts, quirks, and unfortunate truths that don’t fit their ritualized beliefs. So they have to try to rewrite history, giving us rewrite Reagan who never raised a tax or increased a debt, rewrite FDR who created the issues he actually solved, rewrite Lincoln who championed the Confederate cause, rewrite founding fathers who never owned slaves, never supported government regulation of the economy, never wavered in their ardent love for a form of religiosity that didn’t yet exist. Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil.
Unchecked extroversion — a personality trait Cain ties to ebullience, excitability, dominance, risk-taking, thick skin, boldness and a tendency toward quick thinking and thoughtless action — has actually, she argues, come to pose a real menace of late. The outsize reward-seeking tendencies of the hopelessly outer-directed helped bring us the bank meltdown of 2008 as well as disasters like Enron, she claims.
Introverts — who, according to Cain, can count among their many virtues the fact that “they’re relatively immune to the lures of wealth and fame” — must learn to “embrace the power of quiet.” And extroverts should learn to sit down and shut up.
Introverts may be an odd audience for a book about power and leadership — concepts that necessarily involve the tiring and unappealing prospect of having power over, and leadership of, other people.
introversion in children (often incorrectly viewed as shyness) is in some ways threatening to the adults around them. Indeed, in an age when kids are increasingly herded into classroom “pods” for group work, Cain’s insights into the stresses of nonstop socializing for some children are welcome
“reflective, cerebral, bookish, unassuming, sensitive, thoughtful, serious, contemplative, subtle, introspective, inner-directed, gentle, calm, modest, solitude-seeking, shy, risk-averse, thin-skinned.”
In this book above the reality is that this scenario has already happened – before the industrial revolution there were 10,000s of small businesses up and down the UK spinning wool to make yarn. As factories took over, most of those small businesses went out of business. Was there a political outcry? Yes, of course, but the money was with the factories so the luddites were hanged or deported to Australia.
In this case, it would be a battle royal and the winner would be the ones who threw the most money and could capture the most politicians – this is the same all over the world with very many issues. The issue of middle men, or ownership of resources once they have changed hands is extant: As some of the other contributors point out you could apply this to food, minerals, art, movies, music, anything.
The problem with all of these is the way that society is run, not the ownership of the distribution process.
Wealth buys power – the bankers have bought themselves £250 Billion from the UK government to prop them up whilst the majority pay for it – and the winners in this case would be those with wealth.
Apple executives have also belittled the idea that they have any community responsibility, with an executive saying: “We [Apple] don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” The reality, of course, is that the reason Apple doesn’t care about American workers and exploits Chinese workers is profit, of which the company has excelled at making in recent years. Profits on the backs of exploited Chinese workers and disappearing American jobs
The emotion of anger, explains Rich Pfeiffer, president of the National Anger Management Association, “activates the ‘primitive’ human brain — sometimes called the limbic system — which is automatic and impulsive, and if you are functioning out of the primitive part of your brain, you tend to want to punish, hurt, get back at, teach a lesson, or do something destructive to the person triggering your anger.”
Ushering the country through angry, divisive periods has traditionally required a couple of things — a sort of two-step recovery program. The first step is some crisis or occurrence “that took the collective attention away from the source of anger.” The second step is “a great deal of forgetting, which is not to say forgiving depended, in part, on the telling of new stories about the recent past.” The creation of a new historical memory, one that was at odds with the historical record, “generally came at a great cost.”
She uses the Civil War and Reconstruction to illustrate. The crises that distracted the angry nation in the wake of the war, were a financial panic and wars against Native Americans in the West. The forgetting was the explanation by certain historians of the war’s aftermath “as one of reunion between the North and South achieved by rewriting the history of the Civil War,” Mitchell explains. “It was no longer a war to end slavery but rather a war over ‘states’ rights,’ indeed, a war between brothers; and it was time, many argued in the 1890s and later, for the brothers to bury the hatchet.”
The Confederacy took on a romantic glow — with the myth of the “Lost Cause” — and the South was portrayed in movies such as Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind “as a ‘lost civilization’ where all slaves were happy and all hell broke loose with emancipation.”
Frederick Douglass foresaw the revisionism coming and the worsening plight of African-Americans as the nation set about getting past its anger.
“Douglass, of course, was angry having fought so hard for African-American freedom and citizenship,. the leaders of the civil rights movement carried forward Douglass’ anger and frustration, and were able to restore the rights that Reconstruction’s aftermath had eliminated.”
One might describe flow as the opposite of Amygdala hijack. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as “energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” This can only occur when the Amygdala is completely influenced by the neocortex.
In quantum field theory, fields undergo quantum fluctuations. A reasonably clear distinction can be made between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations of a quantum field (at least for a free field; for interacting fields, renormalization substantially complicates matters). For the quantized Klein–Gordon field in the vacuum state, we can calculate the probability density that we would observe a configuration
at a time t in terms of its Fourier transform to be
Sprint – Increases move speed for (3 + (.15 * enemy level)) seconds. Activated when they are first hit. To counter this ability, place units set to “Most HP” at the entry points so that the enemy sprints right away and not near the end of your defenses. Also selecting subclasses with slow effects and setting their target priority to “Fastest” helps stop sprinters in their tracks!
Stealth – Permanently invisible and undetectable by normal units. There are two ways to counter stealthers. First, make sure you’ve selected the talent that grants the Perception ability to your champion, and make sure you have enough energy to Teleport your champion around the map to pop the stealthers out. Your second option is to use your AoE ability (Hotkey 2) to pop enemies out of stealth. Once a stealth unit has been hit once, they are no longer undetectable.
Resolute – Immune to all damage for (1 + (.15 * enemy level)) seconds. Activated when they are first hit. To counter this ability, place units set to “Most HP” at the entry points so that the enemy sprints right away and not near the end of your defenses. Also, be careful not to place all of your units in one area when facing these enemies so that they aren’t immune as they pass through the main body of your defenses.
Resilient – Permanently takes (15 + (1.5 * enemy level))% less damage. The best way to counter this ability is to slow these enemies down.
Stoneform – Permanently immune to all puncture (arrows continue through) and sunder (removes armor) effects. The best thing to do against these enemies is to select subclasses that don’t grant sunder or puncture effects.
Sure Foot – Permanently immune to all slowing effects. To counter these enemies, you may need to teleport your champion to them or select subclasses that grant effects other than slowing.
Acrobat – All attacks have a (25 + enemy level)% chance to miss. These enemies can be a pain, especially if you get an unlucky string of numbers. To counter these guys, be ready to use your AoE ability (Hotkey 2) or teleport your champion to them.
Regrowth – Regains (5 + (2 * enemy level))% of their max health every second. To counter these enemies, you’ll need to deal a lot of damage at one time. Build your units in a centralized area and avoid spreading them out to give time for these enemies to regain their health.
SPACEBAR – Start Wave
1 – Use Champion Ability 1
2 – Use Champion Ability 2
3 – Use Champion Ability 3
4 – Use Champion Ability 4
Q – Build Guard Tower
W – Build Ranger
E – Build Warrior
R – Build WIzard
A – Build Ward Spire
S – Build Scouting Post
D – Build Battle Standard
F – Build Power Totem
X – Build Trading Outpost
C – Build Barracks
ESC – Cancel current action (build, teleport, AoE spell, etc.)
zero point energy is absorption – Some photons from this laser got a shift in energy when they hit the vibrating bar. Ordinary thermal vibrations can either boost or reduce photon energy, but the zero-point quantum vibration is different. Because it is the lowest energy state possible, it can only absorb energy. Painter’s group detected this bias towards lower-energy scattered light, a clear signature of a quantum twang
Some observations of how hydrogen gas in space absorbs light at ultraviolet wavelengths have hinted that the fine structure constant, responsible for the strength of electromagnetism, is not the same throughout the universe. That would point to exotic new physics, including the existence of extra dimensions and universes other than our own.
There are some hard truths that we must swallow in order to be free of some of the shared illusions that have infiltrated our subconscious and unconscious minds. In this short essay, I’ll be expressing some of these truths. Once Occupy has fully swallowed these hard truths, they can be spread out to more and more people, and the energy released from the process of dispelling these illusions will be the fuel of rapid change. Each of these illusions are detrimental to the process of Occupy moving forward. None of these illusions will be dispelled by the major media, as these illusions benefit the corporate owners of our media.
as the government is working to redefine “terrorists” as anyone who is against the system continuing as it is currently. This redefinition is aimed at getting us so scared of our neighbors that we’ll allow the imprisonment of those whose only crime is standing against a system based on inequality, resource depletion, and elite control.
The reason the Plutocracy is threatened is simple. They are having their corruption exposed on all levels. Through internet technology, social media, and heightened forms of lateral communication, the tools for the liberation of the people are in our grasp. The collective community empowerment of the public, armed with knowledge of the Plutocracy and no longer willing to sit back and take the abuse of the Plutocracy are rising up all around the world. This rising up is an amazing opportunity of the people to create a new ground level system that is not dependent on the Plutocracy in order to thrive.
To take this step collectively will basically put the Plutocracy out of power. The responsibility of Occupy and other social movements is to begin to build the structures that will hold us up as a community when the system begins failing. If we can take care of our own needs locally, and collectively take responsibility for each other, the people win. In order to avoid this eventuality, the Plutocracy will do everything within their power to suppress and repress this drive for freedom and community interdependence. That’s why it’s very likely that the repression will turn more and more overt in the coming years.
When you live in an Empire, ruled by a scared Plutocracy that is willing to kill its own citizens to maintain their power, it is important that it is understood. Once the illusions are removed, and the mourning is done, the work must begin. I’ll be honest, I don’t think fighting the Plutocracy directly is going to help. I think that through our community centered actions in our own communities, we can make those power-hungry bastards irrelevant. Our biggest weakness as a people is our food supply. I urge everyone to plant a few seeds that will bear fruits and vegetables this planting season. Building a city-wide garden is the most revolutionary act in which we can be involved.
SheldrakeHe was profoundly influenced by a book called Matter and Memory by the philosopher Henri Bergson. “When I discovered Bergson’s idea that memory is not stored in the brain but that it is a relation in time, not in space, I realised that there might potentially be a memory principle in nature that would solve the problem I was wrestling with.” His hope is that there will be a “coming out” moment in science. “It’s like gays in the 1950s,” he suggests. “I think if people in the realm of science and medicine came out and talked about the limitations of purely mechanistic and reductive approaches it would be much more fun…”scientists are prone to “the recurrent fantasy of omniscience”. The science delusion, in these terms, consists in the faith that we already understand the nature of reality, in principle, and that all that is left to do is to fill in the details.
testosterone alters synapse functio Although not the primary function of most hormones, neural activity can be modulated as a result of their presence. For example, it has been shown that some hormones can modify cell permeability and therefore have a crucial impact on ion concentration, membrane potential, synaptic transmission and thus neural communication and behavioral outcomes (2). More specifically, when a hormone such as testosterone acts on a target neuron, the amount of neurotransmitter that is release is significantly affected. For example, it has been suggested (i.e., with experimental data) that testosterone acts on serotonergic synapses and lowers the amount of 5-HT available for synaptic transmission. This is important when coupled with the fairly well accepted idea that the presence of 5-HT serves to inhibit aggression, as shown convincingly in studies done on male rhesus monkeys: Serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Fluoxentine and several other antidepressants lead to a significant decrease in aggression in both monkeys and humans (2).
The movement of objects is ultimately governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, which predict some intriguing phenomena: An object could simultaneously be in two places at the same time, and it should always be moving a little, even at a temperature of absolute zero – the oscillator is then said to be in its quantum ‘ground state’. Until recently, these strange predictions of quantum mechanics have only been observed in the motion of tiny objects such as individual atoms. For large objects, the unavoidable coupling of the object to the surrounding environment quickly washes out the quantum properties, in a process known as decoherence. But researchers in EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements have now shown that it is possible to use light to control the vibrational motion of a large object, consisting of a hundred trillion atoms, at the quantum level.
Cooling is crucial to reaching the regime of quantum mechanical motion, as this is normally overshadowed by random thermal fluctuations. For this reason, the structure is placed in a cryostat that brings it to a temperature of less than one degree above absolute zero (−273.15°C). The light launched into the donut slows down the motion one hundred times, thus cooling it even more, very close to the quantum ‘ground state’. And more importantly, the interaction between light and the movement of the oscillator can be made so strong that the two form an intimate connection: A small excitation in the form of a light pulse was fully transformed into a small vibration and back again. For the first time, this transformation between light and motion was made to occur within a time that is short enough so that the quantum properties of the original light pulse are not lost in the process through decoherence. By outpacing decoherence, these results demonstrate the possibility of controlling the quantum properties of an object’s motion. It also provides a way to see the peculiar predictions of quantum mechanics at play in man-made objects.
Low temperatures may be maintained within a cryostat by using various refrigeration methods, most commonly using cryogenic fluid bath such as liquid helium. Hence it is usually assembled into a vessel, similar in construction to a vacuum flask or Dewar. Cryostats have numerous applications within science, engineering, and medicine
room temperature quantum effects. The quantum Hall effect was previously believed to only be observable at temperatures close to absolute zero (equal to minus 459 degrees). But when scientists at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in the U.S. and at the High Field Magnet Laboratory in the Netherlands put a recently developed new form of carbon called graphene in very high magnetic fields, scientists were surprised by what they saw.
“At room temperature, these electron waves are usually destroyed by the jiggling atoms and the quantum effects are destroyed,” said Nobel Prize winner Horst Stormer, physics professor at Columbia University and one of the paper’s authors. “Only on rare occasions does this shimmering quantum world survive to the temperature scale of us humans.”
That opinion began to change, however, with the ability to create very high magnetic fields and with the discovery of graphene, a single atomic sheet of atoms about as strong as diamond. Together, these two things have allowed scientists to push this fragile quantum effect all the way to room temperature. Now there is a way to see curious and often surprising quantum effects, such as frictionless current flow and resistances as accurate as a few parts per billion, even at room temperature.
[The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine (“renderer”) for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection (and collision response), sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, and a scene graph. scene graph has nodes for entities/objects including layers, child nodes branch off from each node, leaf nodes are rendered (visible)]
The “this is not a game” (TINAG) aesthetic. ARGs themselves do not acknowledge that they are games. They do not have an acknowledged ruleset for players; as in real-life, they determine the “rules” either through trial and error or by setting their own boundaries. Narratives present a fully realized world: any phone number or email address mentioned works, and any website acknowledged exists. Games take place in real-time and are not replayable. Characters function like real people, not game pieces, respond authentically, and are controlled by real people, not by computer AI. Some events involve meetings or live phone calls between players and actors.
A large and extremely active fan community called the Cloudmakers formed to analyze and participate in solving the game, and the combined intellect, tenacity and engagement of the group soon forced the puppetmasters to create new subplots, devise new puzzles, and alter elements of the design to keep ahead of the player base
As players of the Beast, members of the Lockjaw development team were extremely aware of the community playing the game and took steps to encourage the tight bonding of the player base through highly collaborative puzzles, weekly Euchre games, and the inclusion of player personas in the game. While the numbers never rivaled those of The Beast, the game proved both that it was possible for developers to create these games without corporate funding or promotion, and that there was interest in the ARG form beyond a one-time audience for a production on the Beast’s scale. Lockjaw marked the start of the ARG as a genre of gaming, rather than simply a one-time occurrence.
In the wake of these successful, low-budget independent ARGs, an active “grassroots” development community began to evolve within the genre. While the quality of the grassroots games varies wildly, amateur storytellers, web designers, and puzzle creators continue to provide independently developed ARGs for the active player community
Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or shape an alternative life or future. The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play. Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service’s Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.
Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future, purportedly as it was happening. By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG
a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.
our abstract existential system has no tolerance for the gory details of death; in fact, abstract thoughts of death generate an aversion to bodily fluids, including blood. Indeed, previous experiments have supported this idea: after being reminded of their mortality, people are more squeamish about physical trauma. In the current study this aversion to blood was not strong enough to trump the cultural expectation that we should help those in need—but it carefully meted out generosity to those truly in the most need.
People who have come close to perishing, on the other hand, see things differently. For them, blood is not something aversive at all—it is the stuff of life.
there is a vigorous debate within physics over this very issue. Lots of researchers do think that human free will has something to do with the deep laws of nature. Within quantum mechanics, there are three basic arguments for such a connection:
1. Quantum mechanics is indeterministic, in that the outcomes of measurements are chosen at random from the slate of possibilities. So, if quantum effects help to shape our conscious choices, they sever the connection between us and the initial conditions of the universe.
2. When we conduct experiments on quantum particles, we exercise our free will—for example, we make choices about what precisely to ask of the particles. Or at least we think we exercise our free will. How those particles respond can depend on whether we really do.
3. Quantum physics is time-symmetric, so we are as justified in saying that our choices set the cosmic initial conditions as the other way round.
Like much else in quantum physics, the connection to free will hinges on the phenomenon of entanglement. Does the coordinated behavior of quantum particles reflect a nonlocal connection between them or some built-in cheat sheet that allows them to arrange their answers in advance?
If we lack free will, the coordinated outcomes can be explained without any nonlocal connection. The reason is that the setup of the experiment assumes the outcomes are independent of the measurement settings. If the two are somehow synchronized, that might produce the illusion of nonlocality.
Superdeterminism is extremely troubling, because if true it would pull the rug out from under empirical science. If measurement outcomes depended on our experimental choices, we could never conduct a controlled experiment. All the laws of physics would be illusions.
Although quantum effects may be harder to see in the macroworld, the reason has nothing to do with size per se but with the way that quantum systems interact with one another. Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do. These effects are more pervasive than anyone ever suspected. They may operate in the cells of our body.
Haptics are gaining widespread acceptance as a key part of virtual reality systems, adding the sense of touch to previously visual-only solutions. Most of these solutions use stylus-based haptic rendering, where the user interfaces to the virtual world via a tool or stylus, giving a form of interaction that is computationally realistic on today’s hardware. Systems are being developed to use haptic interfaces for 3D modeling and design that are intended to give artists a virtual experience of real interactive modeling. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed 3D holograms that can be “touched” through haptic feedback using “acoustic radiation” to create a pressure sensation on a user’s hands (see future section). The researchers, led by Hiroyuki Shinoda, had the technology on display at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans.
The Shadow Hand has haptic sensors embedded in every joint and finger pad, which relay information to a central computer for processing and analysis. Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and Bielefeld University in Germany found The Shadow Hand to be an invaluable tool in advancing the understanding of haptic awareness, and in 2006 they were involved in related research. The first PHANTOM, which allows one to interact with objects in virtual reality through touch, was developed by Thomas Massie while a student of Ken Salisbury at MIT.
Touching is not limited to feeling, but allows interactivity in real-time with virtual objects. Thus, haptics are used in virtual arts, such as sound synthesis or graphic design and animation. The haptic device allows the artist to have direct contact with a virtual instrument that produces real-time sound or images. For instance, the simulation of a violin string produces real-time vibrations of this string under the pressure and expressiveness of the bow (haptic device) held by the artist. This can be done with physical modelling synthesis.
Designers and modellers may use high-degree-of-freedom input devices that give touch feedback relating to the “surface” they are sculpting or creating, allowing faster and more natural workflow than traditional methods.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo are working on adding haptic feedback to holographic projections. [timeframe?] The feedback allows the user to interact with a hologram and receive tactile responses as if the holographic object were real. The research uses ultrasound waves to create acoustic radiation pressure, which provides tactile feedback as users interact with the holographic object. The haptic technology does not affect the hologram, or the interaction with it, only the tactile response that the user perceives. The researchers posted a video displaying what they call the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display. As of 2008The technology was not ready for mass production or mainstream application in industry, but was quickly progressing, and industrial companies showed a positive response to the technology. This example of possible future application is the first in which the user does not have to be outfitted with a special glove or use a special control—they can “just walk up and use [it]“.
The necessary bounds for true photorealism are set by the physical limits of the human eye, Sweeney explained, which can only process the equivalent of a 30 megapixel image at about 70 frames per second. Given current trends, monitor display technology should be able to handle that level of detail for a small area in just a few more generations. Projecting that level of detail across a larger, 90 degree field of vision would take an 8000 x 6000 pixel display, which is still quite far off but “within sight,” Sweeney said.
But simply pushing polygons isn’t enough to get true realism. The ability to trace the subtle interplay of light on various surfaces is also key to creating a realistic scene. Yet the vast majority of current-generation games use a “two-bounce” light processing algorithm of the type used in games going back to 1999′s Unreal. We’re just now seeing much more convincing “three bounce” light processing in demos like Samaritan, which Epic showed off at last year’s GDC.
And while Samaritan’s 2.5 teraflops (that’s trillions of floating-point operations per second, laymen) is a far cry from the 10 megaflops that were needed to power the original Doom, we’re still a good deal short of the 5,000 teraflops Sweeney calculates we’d need to process a fully realistic 3D scene in real time.
upcoming Sony sunglasses with transparent lenses that allow for hands-free image projection in a way that hasn’t seemed cool since the ’80s. He also predicted that increasing scarcity in real goods may drive up the value of increasingly realistic virtual goods, to the point where the market rivals the $25 trillion worldwide trade in real estate.
Whatever form the interface takes, though, the change caused by truly realistic real-time modeling is going to be truly revolutionary, Sweeney said. “When a whole generation of kids is raised with those devices pervasively around them, it’s going to change the world,” he said. “I see a bright future for computing and its implications on games. I see the ability as developers to exploit another 1,000-fold increase in power on platforms… I think our industry’s brightest days are yet to come.”
But Jaffe did argue vociferously against “games that have been intentionally made from the ground up with the intent and purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy or giving a designer’s narrative.” Because no matter how hard we want to fight it, Jaffe said, games just aren’t meant for this kind of storytelling.
Jaffe thinks the industry obsession with telling grander stories started in the early ’90s, when CD-ROM and consumer-level 3D technology allowed for cinematic camera angles and voice acting. At that point game makers started to get “seduced by the power and language of film” he argued, thinking that “because they started to look like movies… they should feel like movies.”
The game industry should respect the success we’ve had in entertaining the world, he argued, and stop trying to force more from what has historically been the worst medium for expressing complex narrative ideas.
In other words, if you think you have something significant to say about philosophy or human nature, stick with the media that have proven they’re suited to imparting that message effectively.
this is mostly about videogames, and is a small sample of the research i am doing for this novel. lots and lots of research.
There is some debate about how much work a gamemaster should put into an important NPC’s statistics; some players prefer to have every NPC completely defined with stats, skills, and gear, while others define only what is immediately necessary and fill in the rest as the game proceeds. There is also some discussion as to just how important fully fleshed-out NPCs are in any given RPG, but it is general consensus that the more “real” the NPCs feel, the more fun players will have interacting with them in character.
In some games and in some circumstances, a player who is without a player character of their own can temporarily take control of an NPC. Reasons for this vary, but often arise from the player not maintaining a PC within the group and playing the NPC for a session or from the player’s PC being unable to act for some time (for example, because they are injured or in another location). Although these characters are still designed and normally controlled by the gamemaster, when players are given the opportunity to temporarily control these non-player characters it gives them another perspective on the plot of the game. Some systems, such as Nobilis, encourage this in their rules.
In less traditional RPGs, narrative control is less strictly separated between gamemaster and players. In this case, the line between PC and NPC can be vague.
In some online games, such as MMORPGs, NPCs may be entirely unscripted, and are essentially regular character avatars controlled by employees of the game company. These “non-players” are often distinguished from player characters by avatar appearance or other visual designation, and often serve as in-game support for new players. In other cases, these “live” NPCs are virtual actors, playing regular characters which drive a continuing storyline (as in Myst Online: Uru Live).
More advanced RPGs feature interactive dialogue, or branching dialogue (dialogue trees). A good example are the games produced by Black Isle Studios and White Wolf, Inc.; every one of their games is multiple-choice roleplaying. When talking to an NPC, the player is presented with a list of dialogue options, and may choose between them. Each choice may result in a different response from the NPC. These choices may affect the course of the game, as well as the conversation. At the least, they provide a reference point to the player of his or her relationship with the game world. True dialogues with NPCs are usually very complex, however after you talk with an NPC and turn right back around to talk with them again, no matter how many times you do this, usually they will give you the same exact conversation.
Ultima is an example of a game series that has advanced from non-branching (Ultima III and earlier) to branching dialogue (from Ultima IV and on). Other role-playing games with branching dialogues include Cosmic Soldier, Megami Tensei, Fire Emblem, Metal Max, Langrisser, SaGa, Ogre Battle, Chrono, Star Ocean, Sakura Wars, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Radiant Historia, and several Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games.
Certain video game genres revolve almost entirely around interactions with non-player characters, including visual novels such as Ace Attorney and dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial, usually featuring complex branching dialogues and often presenting the player’s possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them. Games revolving around relationship-building, including visual novels, dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing games such as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated “mood points” which influence a player character’s relationship and future conversations with a non-player character. These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations. Other examples of such games include Portopia Serial Murder Case, Sound Novels, J.B. Harold Murder Club, Snatcher, Policenauts, Tokimeki Memorial, To Heart, Kanon, Shenmue, Shadow of Memories, Ace Attorney, Fate/stay night, Clannad, Fahrenheit, and Heavy Rain.
Create a Flowchart for the entire game - Your game is going to be very complex and there will be many decisions that the player will have to make and each decision opens up a whole new path for the player to take. Creating a flowchart is the best way to keep track of all the possible paths through the game.
Create sub-quests and write a prose overview of each quest Sub quests can be simple or complex but each one is a story in itself and you must tell these stories.
Your game will probably involve interaction with non-player characters (NPC’s). You should write out the dialogue and flowchart the choices the game player can make. These interactions are often critical to the story and they can take the player on very different paths toward the conclusion of the game.
Write Cut scenes - Cut Scenes are short animations or movies that come before or after major plot points in your story. A cut scene should always be written to enhance or describe the story. A cut scene is also a reward given to the player for achieving a major milestone in game play.
Location : A dark cathedral with stained glass windows. An NPC is kneeling before a stone casket in the center of the main room
Music : background music of an organ playing introduces the scene but subsides
Characters : Main player, NPC named Thomas
Player Goal: Discover the location of the underground lair
Action: Player must initiate discussion with Thomas, upon first contact we activate cut scene (1) where Thomas morphs into a were-creature and summons his were-minions. Main character must battle the were-minions then re-initiate discussion with Thomas.
Flowchart: No decisions made at this point: If battle is completed Thomas reveals the entrance to the underground lair and player advances to that level. If player is defeated in battle revert to death cut scene (11) and move to try again screen.
Notes: Player is locked in the cathedral and there is no exit. The only viable way out is to initiate contact with Thomas. Random were-creatures can be activated if player explores cathedral before talking with NPC.
In addition to the economics of objects, you have to consider the economics of living in the world. In the physical world, mere existence of a person has a cost; in the virtual world, existence is cheap. Since a player may not be “logged on” all the time, it’s hard to come up with fair rules for the cost of existence without penalizing either players who play a lot (your core audience) or players who can’t log on much (who are likely to leave if penalized for not being there all the time). If you require someone to work for a living, the casual players may not be able to compete, and may leave.
Tuning generally comes down to whatever “feels right”. Isolate the most important number first – say, player jump height and move speed – then count on that as a pivot while tuning other values.
Values that “feel right” are often found by halving and doubling/splitting – programmers will recognize this idea as “binary search”, but the gist of it is that throughout the code, you’ll find many numbers for speeds, sizes, etc.
If something seems too fast, cut its speed in half. If something seemed too small, double its size. If one of those values was too far in the opposite direction, split down the middle on the next iteration, and so on, until it no longer seems to warrant finer changes.
By making dramatic changes in values, this also helps quickly ascertain whether the number in question is the right one to be futzing with.
Just like there are visual themes, the gameplay should also be broken into differentiated phases, when possible. Perhaps this part focuses on jump platforming, perhaps that part focuses on lock/key or torch/switch puzzles, perhaps this other area is pure combat. It’s entirely unnecessary (and often unwise) to cram every type of gameplay imaginable into every game, but what range is possible and worthwhile within the engine created should be explored in focused turns, rather than spread evenly into a murky gray from start to finish.
All that hard work gets burnt on trying to force what’s ultimately as artificial as a cartoon to look as photorealistic as live film. Would photorealism improve The Simpsons, South Park, or Futurama?
Simple isn’t worse. Complex isn’t better. Simple is substantially faster to make more levels, characters, animations, and special effects for. Complex requires a large team with a great deal of very specific and specialized talent coordinating efforts. Simple is conceptual. Complex is literal.
Frequently, someone comes into videogame development with an idea of a story they would like to tell. Is the particular story not, perhaps, better suited as a cartoon, as a short film, as a play, or even simply written in well-edited prose? Certainly, the audience coming into the story could be forced to unjam a virtual door with bobby pin before getting to the next scene, or required to fend off hordes of zombies (again), although videogame qualities are often adopted at the expense to the story concept as a prominent source of frustration or distraction, rather than as meaningful rhetorical elements.
illusion of simultaneity – Everything happens one thing at a time. The code in every function goes from top to bottom, one instruction at a time. Even though it looks like dozens or hundreds of things are happening and moving at once, they’re each getting a turn. They appear to be moving at the same time since the updates are happening very quickly. The game moves and draws all objects by calling a main or draw function 20-60 times per second, top to bottom, instruction by instruction.
Often, the last step in a given lap through the game’s movement, input, sound, and other code is to update the screen (technically also happening pixels at a time as the memory buffer gets copied to screen buffer). In some environments like Processing or ActionScript this step is handled automatically; in C++ or most other environments it must be done explicitly, but it’s the reason why things seem to all be drawn and moved at the same time – the effects of their having all been drawn and moved one at a time aren’t displayed until all increments for this past fraction of a second have been accounted for.
With rare exceptions, we don’t program the images or audio. We use programming to display images at certain coordinates, and to play sounds at certain times, but the images and sounds are usually created in outside programs. Images are often made in Photoshop / Gimp, and audio is often created or edited in Sound Forge / Audacity. The assets (images, audio, 3D models, etc.) are just plain image and audio files, in whichever formats your programming library and asset tools both support.
Level design should be done by dragging and dropping, filling, by lasso selecting, copy pasting, saving/loading, etc. Not by programming. Time that the programmer spends implementing level layouts is time that the programmer can’t spend fixing bugs and adding features – plus it’s time that the designer has to wait between iterating on ideas. Even if you’re the both the programmer and the designer (as is inevitably the case for a solo project, and common for a small project where it’s mostly art/audio coming from others), it still massively accelerates production effort, ensures systematic consistency, etc.
The easiest way to make a level building “tool” is to hijack the game’s existing code, burying the tool functionality within it. Upon pressing F1 or some other out of the way key, toggle to a mouse-control, toss a panel of buttons/objects on the screen, and switch keyboard to controlling some handy key shortcuts. This can be stripped from the finished game, hidden in the finished game as an unlockable reward, or simply released with a tiny bit of “the level editor is rough… good luck!” documentation/help
Get a single enemy working before expanding it into an array of them and/or supporting multiple enemy types. Build a very plain sort of particle effect first – white spinning squares that burst out might be a fine starting place. Then adjust or add functionality as needed to support different needs of particles (fading for smoke, glowing for flame, directionality for thrust…). Get 1 power-up working first, perhaps the simple 1-up, then introduce others as a variation on that.
This is sort of akin to the D&D concept of a mage’s life: low level mages can be killed by having someone sneeze on them, and they can cast one pathetically weak spell before they go back to cowering behind the fighters. The tradeoff in D&D is that your mage may eventually become a god on earth if he lives long enough. This is not a consideration in an MMORPG, since (a) you can’t really die anyway, and (b) eventually everyone will get to high level. Therefore, the MMORPG version of this is to make the mage weaker at every stage. This leads to players dropping their subscriptions, and more importantly, nobody being a mage. MMORPG, everyone wants to be a mage, and there’s no way under the current models to say they can’t be. Asheron’s Call made a go of it with their research system and spell economy, but ignored the axiom that all people suck, and so before beta was out formulae were everywhere, nobody cared about the economy anymore, and they were back in the same boat.
In the MMORPG, it’s hard to justify a rarity of mages to your players. They all pay the same subscription fee, don’t they? Say that magic is only available to a tiny number of people who “have the gift,” determined randomly. Now the guy with the account that doesn’t include someone “with the gift” is hosed. Either that or he just keeps rerolling and killing off characters until he winds up with a mage, and then you have the same situation as before, except now people are yelling at you on forums about your “stupid time-wasting system.”
All characters start out roughly the same, with no magic. No magic is ever available to them with the possible exception of minor shamanistic magic (healing, far sight, maybe watering the plants). In order to become a “mage,” a character has to undertake a very dngerous quest which he is expected to die on. If he manages to make it through the quest, he winds up at the place where you become a mage (secret mage academy, alternate dimension full of alien mages, underground genetics lab, radioactive meteorite, whatever). Assuming the character still wants to become a mage, he can… he loses a bunch of his other stats and such, maybe the ability to use certain kinds of gear, etc. etc., in effect trading in his moderately high-level character for a weak low-level mage.
Hand waving, gestures, rituals, etc. these are just delivery mechanic. Just as a warrior swings his sword, a mage has to wave his hands. The end result is a 1d8+1 for a warrior with the sword and 1d8+1 for a mage throwing magic missile. It makes the game richer to have a decent back story around how the mage’s magic missile comes about, but the ability to throw magic missiles is itself not magical if hundreds of other fellows can do the same thing.
The “solution above” is a quest that changes frequently to keep ahead of the wikis so that you have to discover it and complete it with little or no help from anyone else, and every character that becomes a mage is above as awe-inspiring as the dude who got the stupid Super Sword.
Only instead of raw power, it’s diverse abilities none of the hundreds of other sword-fighters in this low-magic setting can use. When you cast that Water-Walking spell now, people are actually wide eyed and going “Wow! He can walk on water!” Instead of it just being anothe buff they could’ve easily gotten if they practiced Alchemy or “rolled up a mage” at the start in that OTHER MMO.
The literary mage, unfortunately, is not a very good model for any but the most hard-core roleplayer to choose as an avatar. People have ever-shortening attention spans, and are not entranced by the idea of subscribing to a game so that their wizard can spend all his time in the library. Given the fact that most so-called computer RPG’s are almost entirely about killing things, they want to be out there killing things. They also don’t want to hang around with a party of fighters who do all the killing, providing motherly ethical advice all the time and firing off one spell every week. In order to cater to this class of mage player, computer RPG developers (and pen and paper RPG writers) have turned the mage from a bizarre mystical figure full of arcane wisdom to a lightning-lobbing siege engine.
It is always more rewarding to kill other players than to kill whatever the game sets up as a target.
A given player of level x can slay multiple creatures of level y. Therefore, killing a player of level x yields ny reward in purely in-game reward terms. Players will therefore always be more rewarding in game terms than monsters of comparable difficulty. However, there’s also the fact that players will be more challenging and exciting to fight than monsters no matter what you do.
A roleplay-mandated world is essentially going to have to be a fascist state. Whether or not this accords with your goals in making such a world is a decision you yourself will have to make.
The expectations are higher than of similar actions in the real world. For example: players will expect all labor to result in profit; they will expect life to be fair; they will expect to be protected from aggression before the fact, and not just to seek redress after the fact; they will expect problems to be resolved quickly; they will expect that their integrity will be assumed to be beyond reproach; in other words, they will expect too much, and you will not be able to supply it all. The trick is to manage the expectations.
A faucet->drain economy is one where you spawn new stuff, let it pool in the “sink” that is the game, and then have a concomitant drain. Players will hate having this drain, but if you do not enforce ongoing expenditures, you will have Monty Haul syndrome, infinite accumulation of wealth, overall rise in the “standard of living” and capabilities of the average player, and thus unbalance in the game design and poor game longevity.
You have to give players a sense of ownership in the game. This is what will make them stay–it is a “barrier to departure.” Social bonds are not enough, because good social bonds extend outside the game. Instead, it is context. If they can build their own buildings, build a character, own possessions, hold down a job, feel a sense of responsibility to something that cannot be removed from the game–then you have ownership.
- As a virtual world’s “realism” increases, the pool of possible character actions increase.
- The opportunities for exploitation and subversion are directly proportional to the pool size of possible character actions.
- A bored player is a potential and willing subversive.
- Players will eventually find the shortest path to the cheese.
Mike Sellers’ Hypothesis
“The more persistence a game tries to have; the longer it is set up to last; the greater number (and broader variety) of people it tries to attract; and in general the more immersive a game/world it set out to be–then the more breadth and depth of human experience it needs to support to be successful for more than say, 12-24 months. If you try to create a deeply immersive, broadly appealing, long-lasting world that does not adequately provide for human tendencies such as violence, acquisition, justice, family, community, exploration, etc (and I would contend we are nowhere close to doing this), you will see two results: first, individuals in the population will begin to display a wide range of fairly predictable socially pathological behaviors (including general malaise, complaining, excessive bullying and/or PKing, harassment, territoriality, inappropriate aggression, and open rebellion against those who run the game); and second, people will eventually vote with their feet–but only after having passionately cast ‘a pox on both your houses.’ In essence, if you set people up for an experience they deeply crave (and mostly cannot find in real life) and then don’t deliver, they will become like spurned lovers–somebecome sullen and aggressive or neurotic, and eventually almost all leave.”
You’re going to have violence done to people no matter what the facilities for it in the game are. It may be combat system, stealing, blocking entrances, trapping monsters,stealing kills to get experience, pestering, harassment, verbal violence, or just rudeness.
Trade skills and crafting (the subset of trade skills that directly involve creating goods from other components) are activities that do not involve combat directly and which are used to create items for or provide services to other players. Common examples include:
- tinkerer (device and tool making)
Other Trade Skills
Trade skills are often injected into an economy as substitutes for or adjuncts to NPC provided goods and services. Depending on the implementation, trade skills can function as item faucet; item sink; item converter; alternate career path; social glue; or some combination of the preceding.
The adventuring portion of a level treadmill consists of characters gearing up and heading out to a dungeon or some other monster heavy location. Upon arrival they set up camp and begin killing bad guys indiscriminately. As they kill stuff, they gain experience (used to advance skills and gain skill points) and money (through loot and coins dropped by the now dead monsters). At the end of a good day’s slaughter, they should be richer and more powerful. In the case of failure (dying) punishments range from negligible to moderate (loss of experience and/or items; inconvenience) to severe (permanent death).
Advancement Mechanics. Advancement is achieved by spending time in combat, gaining experience (for skills) and loot.
Cost for Attempts. Typically there is no “entry fee” to go adventuring — you simply head to a destination and start beating upon the local monster population to your heart’s content. Occasionally you run into a situation where you have to pay to reach your destination, but this is not the norm.
Unit of Cost per Attempt. Adventuring consumes time but only in rare cases does it present other active costs.
Unit of Reward per Attempt. Adventuring rewards are experience and loot.
Wealth Gain over Time. Adventuring normally yields a reasonably predictable amount of wealth over a given period of time, depending on the party’s level and type of monster being bashed.
Punishment for Failure. The punishment for failure (dying) with adventuring varies significantly in degree depending on the game. At one extreme death is permanent. At another extreme death has almost no repercussions — you simply wake up at a safe location, all gear and experience intact. Most games choose a middle ground, where the character suffers some kind of temporary statistical and experience penalties, and possibly must suffer a convenience penalty as well (recovering your corpse, etc.).
Real Risk. The real risk in adventuring is generally quite small. Ignoring external factors (other players), most adventurers almost never put themselves at risk — they attack monsters just powerful enough to give experience and loot, but not so powerful as to prove potentially fatal. Death only comes about through freak circumstances or the actions (direct or indirect) of other players (e.g “train to zone”).
Grouping Requirements. In most online games, adventuring with others is much safer (and more fun) than adventuring alone, although this depends largely on the individual player and the intent of the designers. On average, the adventuring path encourages grouping for safety and efficiency.
StarPeace worlds can be very large in MMPOG standards, covering thousands of square kilometers (note that a single World of Warcraft instance is about 500 square kilometers). A single world may have dozens of cities, each one hosting a few million virtual citizens. The image below shows a screen capture of a young city. The area covered by this image is 1/1000 of the world and it contains a few hundred facilities. Approximately two million virtual citizens live in this city.
Each virtual citizen is accounted for in the simulation. They need a place to live, the may work somewhere or have their own business, they consume goods that they pay for with the money they earn. While doing so, they alter their environment, they produce pollution, crime, or just wear down existing utilities. They require services like hospitals, police and education. They have a will of their own, usually moving from one place to another looking for better jobs, better commerce, or avoiding adverse conditions like pollution, crime, or even people from a different social class.
A voxel (volumetricpixel or Volumetric Picture Element) is a volume element, representing a value on a regular grid in three dimensional space. This is analogous to a pixel, which represents 2D image data in a bitmap (which is sometimes referred to as a pixmap). As with pixels in a bitmap, voxels themselves do not typically have their position (their coordinates) explicitly encoded along with their values. Instead, the position of a voxel is inferred based upon its position relative to other voxels (i.e., its position in the data structure that makes up a single volumetric image). In contrast to pixels and voxels, points and polygons are often explicitly represented by the coordinates of their vertices. A direct consequence of this difference is that polygons are able to efficiently represent simple 3D structures with lots of empty or homogeneously filled space, while voxels are good at representing regularly sampled spaces that are non-homogeneously filled.
A generalization of a voxel is the doxel, or dynamic voxel. This is used in the case of a 4D dataset, for example, an image sequence that represents 3D space together with another dimension such as time. In this way, an image could contain 100×100×100×100 doxels, which could be seen as a series of 100 frames of a 100×100×100 volume image (the equivalent for a 3D image would be showing a 2D cross section of the image in each frame). Although storage and manipulation of such data requires large amounts of memory, it allows the representation and analysis of spacetime systems.
To perform our calculation, we are borrowing concepts from the Boids algorithm and from Social Network Analysis. This technique makes possible new types of conflict, such as a Public Relations battle, and can make concrete the ‘battle for hearts and minds.’
People’s opinions are influenced by events, but also by what they perceive to be the opinions of the people around them — people tend to believe what the people around them believe. The central analogy of this paper is that just as birds, fish, and other animals move their bodies in groups, humans move their opinions in groups2. Animals flock with their bodies. People flock in their opinions.
This technique can be applied to large populations or small populations. A large population example could be an entire population of a country and their support of a particular armed militia group. (If the player can reduce public support for the militia, its resources will decrease.) A small population example could be the actors around a key decision maker. (If the player can locate and change the opinions of the people around the decision maker, it will be possible to influence the decision maker.)
Our forces will provide a propensity for the opinion of an individual to move in a particular direction. If there are people close to me that hold a particular opinion, then I will be likely to hold that same opinion. If I hold a different opinion, I will have to mentally justify it to myself in some way (such as thinking I have information that they don’t have.) The brain is a muscle, and mental justifications don’t come free. So the easy thing, and the typical thing, is to just give in and accept the ‘conventional wisdom’ and to fly with the rest of the flock.
Hexes: It may be important for some GMs using this article to know how much land is in a hexagonal area! To determine the area of a hex, multiply its width by 0.9306049, and square the result. Thus, if your game-map has hexes 30 miles across, each hex represents about 780 square miles (and it’s a convenient size for travel-times, since 30 miles is a good rule of thumb for a day’s road travel on foot or horseback).
Villages range from 20 to 1,000 people, with typical villages ranging from 50-300. Most kingdoms will have thousands of them. Villages are agrarian communities within the safe folds of civilization. They provide the basic source of food and land-stability in a feudal system. Usually, a village that supports orchards (instead of grainfields) is called a “hamlet.” Occasionally, game writers use the term to apply to a very small village, regardless of what food it produces.
- Towns range in population from 1,000-8,000 people, with typical values somewhere around 2,500. Culturally, these are the equivalent to the smaller American cities that line the interstates. Cities and towns tend to have walls only if they are frequently threatened.
- Cities tend to be from 8,000-12,000 people, with an average in the middle of that range. A typical large kingdom will have only a few cities in this population range. Centers of scholarly pursuits (the Universities) tend to be in cities of this size, with only the rare exception thriving in a Big City.
- Big Cities range from 12,000-100,000 people, with some exceptional cities exceeding this scale. Some historical examples include London (25,000-40,000), Paris (50,000-80,000), Genoa (75,000-100,000), and Venice (100,000+). Moscow in the 15th century had a population in excess of 200,000!
Large population centers of any scale are the result of traffic. Coastlines, navigable rivers and overland trade-routes form a criss-crossing pattern of trade-arteries, and the towns and cities grow along those lines. The larger the artery, the larger the town. And where several large arteries converge, you have a city. Villages are scattered densely through the country between the larger settlements.
First, determine the population of the largest city in the kingdom. This is equal to (P times M), where P is equal to the square root of the country’s population, and M is equal to a random roll of 2d4+10 (the average roll is 15).
- The second-ranking city will be from 20-80% the size of the largest city. To randomly determine this, roll 2d4 times 10% (the average result is 50%)
- Each remaining city will be from 10% to 40% smaller than the previous one (2d4 times 5% – the average result is 25%); continue listing cities for as long as the results maintain a city-scaled population (8,000 or more).
- To determine the number of towns, start with the number of cities, and multiply it by a roll of 2d8 (the average result is 9).
The remaining population live in villages, hamlets and smaller settlements; a small number will live in isolated dwellings or be itinerent workers and wanderers.
Adjusting the Number of Towns: The ratio of towns to cities given above presumes the existence of a notable and thriving mercantile community. Adjust the upward by 50% or more for a fantasy world on the verge of Renaissance, but adjust it sharply downward for a pre-Crusades type world
A square mile of settled land (including requisite roads, villages and towns, as well as crops and pastureland) will support 180 people. This takes into account normal blights, rats, drought, and theft, all of which are common in most worlds.
Once you’ve decided the ability of the land to support people, you can determine the amount of wilderness/unfarmable country in the kingdom by working backwards.
While the average distance between population centers can be derived from the total land area, the average walking distance from one village to the next is more realistically determined by considering only the settled land. Villages and towns tend to cluster tightly along the arteries of travel defined by the lines between the cities — leaving gaps of wilderness in the middle.
Livestock: The livestock population, on the whole, will equal 2.2 times the human population, but 68% percent of this will be fowl (chickens, geese and ducks). The rest will be dairy cows and “meat animals:” Pigs are superior as food animals, since they eat less individually, and are not picky eaters. Sheep will be extremely common if the region has a wool market (like medieval England, which was built on wool). Cattle for labor and milk will be found occasionally, but cattle raised specifically for meat are only found in very prosperous areas.
An attack works like this in D&D (and DDO):
You roll to see if you hit the enemy. This is done via a d20 (20-sided die), to which you add all your modifiers (strength/dex bonus, base attack bonus etc). This end result is compared with your enemy’s armor class. If your result is greater or equal to your opponent’s armor class you hit him. If not, you miss.
If you managed to hit your opponent, you get to roll for damage. The damage consists of your weapon’s base damage (e.g. 1d6 for rapiers, 1d8 for longswords) to which your modifiers are added (such as strength etc).
So AC negates damage by negating hits. If you don’t get hit, you don’t get damaged.
here is various research compiled in my notes. this is what a novel is made of.
“oob – We can feel ourself becoming huge as a sensation and everything we are perceiving becomes so huge in magnification as we float with the sensational feeling. let go of the fears so that we can be comfortable with the OOB sensations as it starts to lift us upward away from our heavy condensed physical body, We will find our self traveling in a floating sensation through our house, out the door, outside and encircling the outside perimeters.
Another experience we all have just as we are falling off to sleep and then you feel that floating and or the JOLT, like a big SNAPPING movement that jolts you back into awareness or wakes you just as you start to doze off.
Astral projection is a paranormal interpretation of an out-of-body experience achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming or deep meditation. assumes the existence of another body, separate from the physical body and capable of traveling to non-physical planes of existence. Commonly such planes are called astral, etheric or spritual. Astral projection is often experienced as the spirit or astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the spirit world or astral plane.”
fall asleep without losing wakefulness
Deep trance and visualisation
Magnetic stimulation of the brain
Electrical stimulation of the brain
Sensory deprivation or sensory overload
Extreme physical effort
Near Death Experience
body of light – aspect of consciousness which was to grow into realization of godhood, descended from primal unity. When consciousness experiences increasing levels of density as matter is created, duality forms and continues to the material world. This first descent from unity to duality is the so-called “Fall” and to prevent a premature return to Unity, that is before all of creation could be encountered, a barrier was placed called in qabalistic literature, the Abyss. This is the “First Day of Creation” or appearance of time/space.
After the level of Divine Harmony in creation, or Tiphareth, the center of humanities sense of self, an additional barrier was created, the Veil, or Paroketh. This is the appearance of individuality free of the Divine spark.
Finally, a third barrier of Veil is encountered, and that is what separates material creation from the psychic and spiritual worlds. Here, humanity has no memory of its Divine origin, and has complete free will to seek what it desires.
The small ‘child of light’ must be matured, fed, educated, and grown to proper strength so that is can be a help to the magician and not a hindrance, or even potential danger.
When we attempt esoteric exercises and a return to Primal Unity, we must pierce the first Viel, or that of the Gate of Life and Death. So called, because few people pierce it except during near-death-experiences (NDE’s), Out-of-Body experiences (OOBE’s), or physical death itself. The astral body has access to three levels of consciousness, and then must be shed, or encounter the ‘Second Death” in order to penetrate the Veil, or Paroketh, to the next three levels. However, precautions must be undertaken to avoid the destruction of the astral body if the Second Death is to be avoided. If this is not done, then it must be reconstructed with a new birth. Above the Solar World, the Resurrection Body is established, and it is the ‘body’ or expression of consciousness used for Reintergration to Unity.
While the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh was hotly contested during its developmental stages, with the ‘flesh lovers as they were called, winning out over those believing in a purely spiritual resurrection. the belief in physical resurrection was not universally accepted by the Jews of Jesus’ day, yet, there was a strong Biblical and midrashic tradition of increasing in grades of purity of the individual allowing for ascension and resurrection to take place.
“With the constant implanting of consciousness, even the tiny amount used here, the cowan [Body of Light] will eventually gain a half conscious mind of its own. You will in fact have partially ensouled it. At this point, it will almost certainly make a bid for freedom. Something you cannot allow for it has no protection against the darker forces who will take it over and use it against you and even against those with whom you are involved. They will think it is you and trust the appearance. Therefor the moment it feels as if the cowan is getting above itself, give it a good psychic shake, and in no uncertain terms remind it who is boss.” She then suggests withdrawing all contact with the cowan for a lunar month, and to feel no sympathy for this self-created and projected aspect of ourselves. To do otherwise, she warns, is to court disaster. This would in fact, be tantamount to “the Fall” in our own personal microcosm. These four directives: going slow, performing in a sacred space or enclosure, preventing it from wondering, and reminding the BOL who is boss, are common to Eastern and Western methods of creating the BOL. What is missing in the modern accounts, but clearly stated in the Oriental ones, is that the BOL is a superior being to physical world, and can be directed to have effects on the physical body, if they are desired. It is these effects which allow for the etherialization of the physical body, increased health, longevity, and possibly even a kind of ‘psychic mutation’ that allows for increased psychic activity along family lines.
the first year of activity be spent learning Elemental and Pentagram work. The second year doing planetary work; with the third year being spent integrating the two. The fourth year often focuses on zodiacal magic and the completion of any Pathworking. Pathworking can be started anywhere from the first year on and requires about 1 1/2 years to fully do all of the 32 Paths of the Tree of Life. Since each Path is often done more than once, it is best to allow two to three years for this additional aspect of magical training. Pathworking, particularly Paths 32 through 24 are critical for psychological health and should be done two or three times before doing the second set of Paths, or 23 through 19. Of course, the speed at which one works is not important. It is better to go slowly and diligently and make real progress, than to rush through and simply do the work haphazardly.
star wars “Dark side feeds off anger, jealousy, fear, and hate. telekinesis, telepathy, levitation, deep hypnosis, enhanced empathy, reflexes, precognition, and enhanced speed, strength and accuracy. mind trick. Sith Force Lightning in combat or as an instrument of excruciating torture. enhanced skills in lightsaber combat. the ability to heal or drain the life-force of others, increased resistance to attack, ability to warp space and to dissipate energy attacks.
“Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother
Other Memory: the combined ego and memories of all her female ancestors, distinct identity within the Reverend Mother’s mind, minutiae of observation hyperawareness. Slight differences in air currents or the design of a room detect hidden portals and spyholes; minute variations in a person’s vocal inflection and body language understand a person’s emotional state, and manipulate it. Truthsayers are able to determine whether someone is lying by analyzing their speech, body language, and physical signs like pulse and heart rate. simulflow, literally the simultaneous flow of several threads of consciousness at any given time; mental multitasking. full control over each muscle in her body through training known as prana-bindu. This allows her to bend the last joint in her little toe while remaining otherwise motionless, bend and contort her body in ways that most would consider impossible, or put a remarkable amount of force behind a physical blow. The mental part of prana-bindu, or prana-nervature (prana stands for breath, bindu stands for musculature) is the precise control of the totality of nerves in the human body.
martial art called the weirding way, which incorporates the prana-bindu methods of optimized muscle control, which enable one to deliver powerful blows and to move with extreme precision and speed. The basic principle behind the weirding way is that, “My mind affects my reality.” A user of the weirding way has to know that the action he or she “wants” to perform has already been performed.
Just as the prana-bindu allows the Bene Gesserit to precisely control each muscle and nerve, they also have complete conscious control over the functions of their internal organs and body chemistry.
immune to poisons, change the chemical makeup of any harmful substance in their body and render it harmless. slow her aging process dramatically, controlling every aspect of her metabolism. “
star wars “Tests such as the ancient Trial of Skill saw students forced to maintain inner peace while enduring stressful challenges, such as balancing upside-down on a post in the midst of a storm. Combat tests with Force-imbued swords and archaic versions of the lightsaber were extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous. The Trials of Courage and of the Flesh, two of the canonized Trials of Knighthood, was once considered complete if a Padawan or apprentice struck down a Sith Lord during periods of war with these dark-siders. War-time promotions were very common during times of war, but were eventually done away with as the Council felt that killing a Sith did not always correlate to being a good Knight. The Pius Dea Era of the Galactic Republic saw a surge in rather cruel tests to become a Knight. Known as the Burning, this version of the Trial of the Flesh involved torturous applications of shock weapons, low-powered blaster fire, or cuts from a blade. Eventually trials like this were banned by the High Council newly implemented age restriction: all Initiates in the Order were restricted to infants and very young children. In order to help, the Galactic Republic passed a law requiring all member worlds to check for Force-sensitivity upon delivering each child. The Council also took the time to codify a formal battery of five tests of Knighthood, in addition to restricting apprenticeship to one Master and one apprentice.
As the academy flourished, so did the Order. Initiates were placed in clans and learned together for over a decade along a strict, structured regimen of academics. Taught political strategy, galactic law, the sciences, and language, students were also taught the ways of the Force and its three applications: Control, Sense, and Alter. As each student passed through the academy the classes became more difficult. Taught Forms I through Form VI of lightsaber combat by highly qualified instructors, Initiates practiced with training lightsabers until they crafted their own in the caves of Ilum. Following passage of the graduation tests, Initiates were eligible to be selected by A Master or Knight for one-on-one training. Padawans continued to train in the ways of the Jedi with their masters on long journey-missions or on brief assignments from one of the Councils. Some pairs traveled with the Service Corps on specialized missions related to diplomacy or exploration. Praxeum ships were used as academies away from the confines of the Temple for extended study and research. As a Padawan, students set their own schedule to work around assignments and missions. Master-Padawan teams lasted for years, typically over a decade but had no set time period. When the student had learned all they could from their master, they were recommended to the High Council for the Trials of Knighthood. The Trials took place over a period of time and if they were completed successfully the Padawan was knighted.
Again, once a Knight training did not stop. Knights were given the option of further study as either a Guardian, Consular, or Sentinel. This study led to the specialization in fields such as the Watchmen or Seers. As this study continued, a Knight could take on a Padawan of their own and pass down their wisdom, learning from their students as much as their Padawan learned from them.
The system of Jedi training was looser in the post–Galactic Empireera in that Jedi students often did not begin training until much older than the younger age required in the Galactic Republic. They usually traveled to a Jedi academy to learn combat and Force techniques. Due to the destruction of much of the knowledge and the purge of many masters, lightsaber combat became simplified and many Force techniques were lost. ASP-19s were used for training. Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, the system of training Jedi became more regimented and organized, more closely resembling the setup of training in the Old Republic era. Students were divided into groups based on age, each group having a predetermined set of techniques to be learned, like Force Jump, Telekinesis, Force Persuasion, and centering exercises. Age groups included Woodoos, Rontos, and Banthas. As a student progressed into a new group, the level of training became more complex, calling for greater reliance on the Force. After the students built their own lightsaber, they were simply known as apprentices. One such program was a game called Skorch, where two teams of older apprentices used acrobatics and Force powers to send balls through the air, though it is the referee of the game who was being trained, his or her job being to discover the secret goals of each team, which was shown through the patterns of their movements.
newage spirituality – Through many channels (including Spirituality; karma, destiny & free will; psychic development; guides & angels; coincidence & synchronicity; dreams; meditation and the afterlife to name but a few) new age spirituality explores the idea that this life, this world, are not the totality of existence, but just one tiny step along an infinite journey
psylocibin – “Those who didn’t have a full mystical experience showed no personality change, however. The researchers defined full mystical experiences as those that engendered the sense that “all is one” and that everything is connected, an experience of having transcended time and space, a sense of sacredness and peace and an inability to describe accurately the experience in words.”
zynga – “four points of criticism – the concept of enframing (“In social games, friends aren’t really friends; they are mere resources”), compulsion (“brain hacks that exploit human psychology in order to make money”), Optionalism (“the gameplay in social games is almost entirely optional. The play acts (…) can be skipped [by] spending cash money (…). Social games are games you don’t have to play.”) and Destroyed Time (“social games (…) also destroy the time we spend away from them. (…Through 2009 Zynga made money from lead generation advertising schemes, whereby game participants would earn game points by signing up for featured credit cards or video-rental services. These were criticized as being less cost-effective than simply buying game points, and in some cases, being outright scams that would download unwanted software or unwittingly sign up for a recurring subscription. The company uses an adversarial employee management model, where departments are battled against other departments and employee against employee. In October 2011, employees complained to management about long hours and stressful deadlines. ”Beginning in 2009, Zynga reduced equity packages for a limited number of employees by offering them the choice of accepting a smaller equity package or being fired. In November 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that Zynga had demanded that some employees give back their unvested shares or face termination. The company had been criticized in the past for keeping up to 50% of the donations it collected.
Best-Selling VIDEO GAME Super Genres by Units Sold, 2009
Sport Games 19.6%
Family Entertainment 15.3%
Other Games/Compilations 2%
Children’s Entertainment 0.9%
Don’t forget that you might be the person with the unconscious behavior and are blaming everybody else for your problems. You may have similar unconscious issues with a person who is doing something to you, (see Transference And Counter-Transference ). If you are very much in touch with your behavior, you might be able to discover your unconscious issues. This is very hard to do. People who have good self-analytic skills can do this. Consult with friends or therapists, mentors, anybody you can trust can help give you feedback. Just tell them the story about your manager or peer. If they throw something back in your face that you do that stuff too, you may be guilty or even the initiator. (You may unconsciously choose to ignore sage advice which may be a problem with you – see The Personality Disorder & The Neurotic ). Unfortunately, people understand so little about unconscious behavior many don’t even know it when it’s right under their nose.
Most salespeople who are good at their job already have some sensitivity to their unconscious. Unknowingly, they are using their unconscious that has the ability to instantly read people. They are able to ‘read’ its subtle messaging and see through to someone else’s unconscious. This is a very powerful tool to help you understand and read people. If you can refine it, your ability to read people and understand their motivations will be greatly enhanced. I guess the next question is how do you do this? Well, it has to do with how well you are connected to your unconscious. For starters, if you understand how to read your feelings and can guess the root of why you have those feelings, you are doing pretty well. For those who can’t yet articulate why you have certain feelings, or maybe can’t recognize you are having feelings, need to get in touch more with your unconscious. To do this, you need to first be able to know when you are having subtle feelings communicated to you. This takes some real perceptive reasoning. You need to know that one thing may mean another. Also note these feelings can be at a very low level. You need to train yourself to recognize they’re there then try to figure out what they mean.
Challenging a belief structure is like shaking the foundation of how we interpret reality. As a salesperson you may inadvertently discover a flaw in someone else’s belief structure. Be careful as to how you move forward. Presenting them with the ‘truth’ may cause them a lot of anxiety. If they can handle it, you may choose to expose them to the truth. If you think they may not handle it well, you might back off. If you really care about the person, then you should help them understand it. You should be with them through the ordeal of relearning all they thought was the way of the world.
Some people exploit destroying people’s belief structures. These people are insecure and are smart enough to have sophisticated perceptions about other people and sense when they are vulnerable. More than likely, these people have a personality disorder because they are insecure and it makes them feel superior to hurt people. People that do this are cruel and have no idea what they do to others. If the opportunity presents itself, you may want to intervene if someone is trying to destroy someone’s belief structure. It all depends on the situation.
there are two types of people, the personality disorder and the neurotic. The neurotic says “it’s my fault.” The personality disorder says “it’s your fault.” One takes responsibility for their behavior and the other doesn’t. The neurotic will take responsibility for a problem and can try to fix it. The personality disorder will unconsciously or consciously blame others for their predicaments and wish the world would stop screwing them. In business, the neurotic will work with you, admit mistakes and may try to fix problems. The personality disorder will blame others in their organization for their misfortunes and can hold grudges.
dualism and materialism (or physicalism). While there are many versions of each, the former generally holds that the conscious mind or a conscious mental state is non-physical in some sense, whereas the latter holds that, to put it crudely, the mind is the brain, or is caused by neural activity.
Some philosophersattempt to explain consciousness directly in neurophysiological or physical terms, while others offer cognitive theories of consciousness whereby conscious mental states are reduced to some kind of representational relation between mental states and the world.
According to this story in The Telegraph, the scientists call it the “male warrior instinct” and claim men are programmed to be aggressive toward outsiders. It apparently used to be a handy instinct, back when you had to kill other suitors in order to gain more access to mates, but nowadays, this only works in some countries and a few US cities. For the rest of us, this unreformed sex drive only means ever-increasing defense budgets.
Arjuna told Krishna, “Take us out between the armies.”
Krishna positioned the chariot halfway between the armies, and stopped. It was quieter there; both armies were distant; Arjuna looked out.
“I see my brothers there, my cousins, my uncles, the beloved sons of my beloved friends.”
He swung around.
“And there also, there are my cousins, my uncles, the beloved sons of my beloved friends. They are all my brothers, Krishna. It cannot be lawful to kill them. I cannot kill them. I will have no part of this action.”
Krishna answered. “There can be no blame for law-minded action, if you act with the proper dispassionate attitude. You must do the right thing, and be heedless of consequence.”
Arjuna said, “Krishna, all those people are going to die. I will not be responsible for their deaths.”
“Quite right,” said Krishna.
“What do you mean?”
Krishna explained. “We act as instruments of dharma. Everybody on this field today is working out karmic dramas that extend back through lifetimes upon lifetimes. You and I, my best true friend, have been preparing for this battle for hundreds of lifetimes. I remember every one of them. You don’t.”
Arjuna studied his friend.
“Krishna, who are you?”
And there was a flash of light, bright as a thousand suns, and Arjuna saw Krishna’s cosmic form as Narayana, one of the great gods. There, all at once, were all of the planets and all of the stars and all of the gods and all of the demons and spirits, gandarvhas and apsaras, all of the sages and saints, all of the priests and warriors, all that is and all that ever was and all that will be. Arjuna saw, and felt, endless perfect love swelling to fill the everything that Krishna had become. And he saw all the gory deeds that were ever done and the carnage that must come with time; he saw Krishna tall as mountains, black as night, his eyes blazing as he waded through rivers of blood, the mangled corpses of Duryodhana and his brothers dangling from his bloody jaws.
“Krishna, stop!” Arjuna fell to the chariot floor, his head in his hands. “Be just my friend again.”
“But you see how it is, Arjuna,” said Krishna, as he helped his friend up. “You cannot kill them, because they are dead already; their own actions have doomed them. You cannot be responsible for their deaths, because each one is responsible for his own death. In each lifetime, each one does what he has to do, and if he does it selflessly, in love of me, without regard for gain or loss, he may come finally to rest in my perfection and be free of the cycles of action and death.
“You are a warrior. You must fight. And you will bear the pain of action because you will be steadfast in your love of me.”
the political mind: why you can’t understand 21st-century politics with an 18th-century brain, by george lakoff, viking, 2008
“american values are fundamentally progressive, centered on equality, human rights, social responsibility, and the inclusion of all. yet progressives have, without knowing why, given conservatives an enormous advantage in the culture war. the radical conservatives seek and have already begun to introduce: an authoritarian hierarchy based on vast concentrations and control of wealth; order based on fear, intimidation, and obedience; a broken government; no balance of power; priorities shifted from the public sector to t he corporate and military sectors; responsibility shifted from society to the individual; control of elections through control of who votes and how the votes are counted; control of ideas through the media; and patriarchal family values projected upon religion, politics, and the market.” p1
“we will need to embrace a deep rationality that can take account of, and advantage of, a mind that is largely unconscious, embodied, emotional, empathetic, metaphorical, and only partly universal. a new enlightenment would not abandon reason, but rather understand that we are using real reason – embodied reason, reason shaped by our bodies and brains and interactions in the real world, reason incorporating emotion, structured by frames and metaphors and images and symbols, with conscious thought shaped by the vast and invisible realm of neural circuitry not accessible to consciousness. and as a guide to our own minds, especially in politics, we will need some help from the cognitive sciences – from neuroscience, neural computation, cognitive linguistics, cognitive and developmental psychology, and so on.
“we will further need a new philosophy – a new understanding of what it means to be a human being; of what morality is and where it comes from; of economics, religion, politics, and nature itself; and even of what science, philosophy, and mathematics really are. we will have to expand our understanding of the great ideas: freedom equality, fairness, progress, even happiness.
“and subtlest of all, we in the reality-based community will have to come to a new understanding of how we understand reality. there is a reality, and we are part of it, and the way we understand reality is itself real.” P13-4
“language gets its power because it is defined relative to frames, prototypes, metaphors, narratives, images, and emotions. part of its power comes from its unconscious aspects: we are not consciously aware of all that it evokes in us, but it is there, hidden, always at work. if we hear the same language over and over, we will think more and more in terms of the frames and metaphors activated by that language. and it doesn’t matter if you are negating words or questioning them, the same frames and metaphors will be activated and hence strengthened.” p15
“the neural circuitry needed to create frame structures is relatively simple, and so frames tend to structure a huge amount of our thought. each frame has roles (like a cast of characters), relations between the roles, and scenarios carried out by those playing the roles. the sociologist erving goffman discovered that all institutions are structured by frames. a hospital, for example, has roles like doctors, nurses, patients, visitors, operating rooms, x-ray machines, and so on, with scenarios like checking in, being examined, having an operation, being visited, and so on. the frame structure would be violated, or ‘broken,’ if, say, the visitors were performing operations on the doctors at the check-in desk.” p22
“when you see a blue square, it appears as a single object. yet the color and shape are registered in different parts of the brain. neural binding allows us to bring together neural activation in different parts of the brain to form single integrated wholes.” p25
“the main thing to remember about neural binding is that it is not accomplished by magic.; it has to be carried out by neural circuitry that links ‘binding sites’ in different parts of the brain. each neuron has between 1,000 and 10,000 incoming connections from other neurons, and another 1,000 to 10,000 outgoing connections. there are between 10 and 100 billion neurons in the brain, which means that the number of connections is in the trillions, as s the number of circuits. a great many of them are binding circuits.” p25-6
“in addition, neural binding can create emotional experiences. in the area of the limbic system, the oldest part of the brain in terms of evolution, there are two emotional pathways with different neurotransmitters: one for positive emotions (happiness, satisfaction) – the dopamine circuit – and one for negative emotions (fear, anxiety, and anger) – the norepinephrine circuit. there are pathways in the brain linking these emotional pathways to the forebrain, where dramatic structure circuitry seems most likely to be located.
“activations of such convergent pathways are called ‘somatic markers.’ it is they that neurally bind the emotions (downstream, near the brain stem) to event sequences in a narrative (upstream, apparently in the prefrontal cortex, at the front and top of the brain). the somatic markers allow the right emotions to go where they should in a story. they are the binding circuits responsible for the emotional content of everyday experiences. just as color and shape can be neurally bound, yielding an integrated experience of a red rose, so emotional content can be bound to a narrative, yielding a melodrama – a narrative with heightened emotional content.” p27-8
“let’s start with the tags-to-riches, or pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, narrative. the hero/heroins starts out poor and unknown (the precondition). he or she undergoes a series of hardships: the odds are against him/her (the buildup). through an exercise of will and discipline, he/she does something extraordinary (the main even) and so achieves success (the purpose) and recognition (the result), and gains respect, fame, and/or wealth for the achievement (the consequence)…
“by contrast, there is no honored narrative for the reality of americans who work hard and can’t climb the ladder of success because there are no rungs on it. there is no classic american narrative for the cheap labor trap, in which companies drive down the cost of labor by outsourcing and other means, thus trapping tens of millions of workers in low-wage jobs from which they cannot escape.” p29
“in a new enlightenment, cultural narratives will not be gone, replaced by cold, hard reason. cultural narratives are part of the permanent furniture of our brains. but in the new enlightenment we will at least be self-aware. we will recognize that we are all living out narratives. it will be normal to discuss what they might be, to raise the question of what influence they have, and whether we can or should put them aside.
“there is also a dark side of narrative. the people in our national security apparatus – the military, the cia, and private contractors – know that personal identity is largely defined by the narratives we live out. methods of torture have been devised to break down the ‘subject’ being interrogated by destroying the narratives that define him so that he no longer has his old identity. they then use techniques such as sensory deprivation, isolation, fear, and physical shock to forge a new identity for him in which he is dependent on his torturers and is willing to help.” p36
“the deep narratives are fixed in the brain; the synapses of the neural circuits characterizing them have been so strengthened that the highly general, deep narratives are permanently parts of our brains. neural binding allows these permanent general narrative structures to be applied to ever new special cases. that’s why the same narrative structures keep recurring, from war to war, from celebrity to celebrity, from one political figure to another.” p38
“the same part of the brain we use in seeing is also used in imagining that we are seeing, in remembering seeing, in dreaming that we are seeing, and in understanding language about seeing. the same is true of moving. the same parts of the brain used in really moving are used in imagining that we are moving, remembering moving, dreaming about moving, and in understanding language about moving. mental ‘simulation’ is the technical term for using brain areas for moving or perceiving, imagining, remembering, dreaming, or understanding language. it is mental stimulation that links imaginative stories to lived narratives.
“but what links your lived narratives to those of someone else?
“our most plausible hypothesis at present is ‘mirror neuron circuitry, which integrates action and perception.’ we apparently have ‘mirror neuron circuits’ in the premotor cortex that fire when we either perform a given action or see someone else perform the same action.
“this is not magic. mirror neuron circuits are connected via two-way pathways to other brain areas:
“1. to the primary motor cortex, which connects to motor neurons in the muscles of the body and directly controls muscle movement;
2. to the parietal cortex, wh ich integrates sensory information arising in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory regions;
3. via the insula to the positive and negative emotional pathways;
4. to the posteromedial cortex, which must be active in the experience of empathy, say, in compassion and admiration; and
5. to the so-called super-mirror neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which modulate the activation of the mirror neurons, apparently to either enhance or limit their capacity for empathy.
“mirror neuron circuits are apparently used in so-called mind reading, when we guess from seeing part of a familiar action what the rest of the action will be.” p39
“naomi klein has documented the rise of ‘disaster capitalism’ under the bush administration, where private contractors get huge no-bid contracts to do jobs in disasters (such as 9/11, katrina, iraq) that government used to do, while government agencies are made nonfunctional through budget cuts. this is essentially a major transfer of wealth from taxpayers to private corporations, an overwhelming weakening of government, and a capacity-shifting from government to corporations that profit mightily from disasters at great cost to the general public. such relatively invisible ‘reality creation’ is below the public radar screen. why is this possible?
“the brain supplies the reasons. first, stressed like fear (of terrorist attacks), worry (say, about finances, health care, and so on), and overwork tend to activate the norepinephrine system, the system of negative emotions. the result is a reduced capacity to notice. second, the right conceptual framework must be in place in order to recognize apparently different events as the same kind of event.
“for example, as i write this, there are three front-page news stories that seem to be about different things: blackwater mercenaries killing civilians in iraq, the president’s veto of the continuation of schip (a government-run children’s health care program that has been working), and the fda no longer having the resources to monitor food and drug safety trials. but they are about the same issue: the radical conservative political and economic agenda is putting public resources and government functions into private hands, while eliminating the capacity of government to protect and empower the public. the public has no conceptual framework to see all these as the same and to comprehend what this means, and with the stress of fear and worry and to create the substantial neural structres needed to comprehend what is happening in hundreds of areas of life.
“the democratic leaders are not, as they say, connecting these dots. on the contrary, their appeal to supposed enlightenment reason – conscious, logical, unemotional, disembodied, based on perceived self-interest, and open to rational discussion as classically conceived – plays into radical conservative hands.” p41-2
“though the old enlightenment mischaracterized the human mind, enlightenment values nevertheless wrought the foundations of american democracy. a new enlightenment should likewise articulate america’s original values, both conscious and unconscious, and extend them further in the same direction. america was founded and developed as a progressive country, and it is crucial that its values be reclaimed and extended to fit the needs of our century.” p44
“at the same time, conservative modes of thought and language have come to dominate political discourse in the media. we can see this in the everyday use of conservative language and the ideas that go with it: illegal immigrants, not illegal employers or illegal consumers; war in iraq, not occupation of iraq, surge, not escalation; supporting the troops, not squandering tax money, and so on. though the progressive mode of thought expressed the ideals of american democracy as seen in our founding documents, it has become less and less dominant in public discourse. the denial of habeas corpus, unrestricted tapping of citizens’ phones, and routine torture have brought forth little discussion of the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” p46
“behind every progressive policy lies a single moral value: empathy, together with the responsibility and strength to act on that empathy.” p47
“empathy leads to recognizing that unfair and discriminatory treatment is a form of harm requiring government protection. this correlates with the idea that we are all equal, and that the denial of equality counts as harm. this is the moral basis of civil rights laws – voting rights laws, antidiscrimination laws, and so one. it is also the moral basis of labor law. the right to unionize, for example, recognized the unfair advantage that employers have over employees in negotiating the conditions of their employment.” p49
“neoliberals sometimes mistake real reason for relativism, because real reason recognizes that there are multiple ways in which the brain sees reality. i have previously criticized neoliberals for assuming that just citing facts and figures will carry the day politically, when what is needed is an honest, morally based framing of the facts and figures, showing their moral significance, and conveyed with the appropriate emotions and with words, images, and symbols that really communicate. when conservatives answer liberals’ facts and figures with no facts or figures, but with their own morals-based frames presented with emotion and symbolism, their framing will win.” p52-3
“neoliberal thinking in terms of facts and figures on the one hand and serving the interests of demographic groups on the other also leads to ‘issue silos,’ the isolation of one issue from another – food and drug safety; children’s health care; controlling military contractors – as if there were no general moral principle and political issue governing all of these. but there is: privateering (see chapter 7). privateering is the destruction of the capacity of government to carry out its moral missions, together with the privatization of government functions with no public accountability and the enrichment of corporations at the public’s expense.” p54
“neoliberal policy think tanks therefore tend to be silos – cranking out issue-by-issue policies, while not addressing the deeper threats to our democracy, such as the threat of privateering. their thought also leads to policy as technocratic solutions and ‘rational systems’ to be instituted through legislation and implemented in government. the assumption is that the rational system of law, the enforcement of law, government regulation, and the courts will win the day. meanwhile, conservatives have figured out ways to undermine all such strategies, by defunding or reassigning regulators, hiring lobbyists in government positions, letting corporate lobbyists write laws, refusing to enforce laws, and getting their judges into the courts. let us call this ‘administrative undermining.’ because old enlightenment reason creates issue silos, the general case of administrative undermining has not even been named, much less called a general threat to democracy and made an issue of. old enlightenment reason is not even up to the job of making the moral case that such general conservative policies as privateering and administrative undermining are threatening democracy.” p55
“the political effect is that neoliberals tend to surrender in advance to conservatives, simply by accepting their frames.
“neoliberal reason, besides starting with self-interest, also depends on the idea of optimization: let’s get all we can get, even if it’s not all that much. this is incrementalist thinking: better to get a little something now than nothing at all, even if it means accepting conservative framing. what’s wrong with that? in some cases, everything. the question is whether the incrementalist solution will be a long-lasting one. take health care. insurance companies get their money by denying care, by saying no to as many people in need as they can get away with, while maximizing the premiums they get from healthy people. health insurance will always work this way. it is not the same as care; ‘coverage,’ when you read the fine print, may not even include care.” p56
“neoliberal thought arises from the old enlightenment view of the mind. it is anything but a trivial matter, since it has important political consequences. one of the things cognitive science teaches us is that when people define their very identity by a worldview, or a narrative, or a mode of thought, they are unlikely to change – for the simple reason that it is physically part of their brain, and so many other aspects of their brain structure would also have to change; that change is highly unlikely.” p59
“conservative thought has a very different moral basis than progressive thought. it begins with the notion that morality is obedience to an authority – assumed to be a legitimate authority who is inherently good, knows right from wrong, functions to protect us from evil in the world, and has both the right and duty to use force to command obedience and fight evil. he is ‘the decider.’ obedience to legitimate authority requires both personal responsibility and discipline, which are prime conservative virtues. obedience is enforced through punishment. in large institutions, there will be a hierarchy of authority, used, among other things, to maintain order. loyalty is required to maintain the hierarchy. freedom is seen as functioning within such an order.” p60
“prosperity is seen as a mark of discipline, which is turn seen as moral, since discipline is required to obey moral laws and whatever is required by those in authority. by the logic of this system of thought, if you are not prosperous, you are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve your poverty. it follows that if people are given things they have not earned, they become dependent and lose their discipline and with it their capacity to obey moral laws and legitimate authority.
“we can now see where neoliberals and conservatives converge. in conservative thought, people are born bad – greedy and unscrupulous. to maximize their self-interest, they need to learn discipline, to follow the rules and obey the laws, and to seek wealth rationally. the market imposes discipline. it works rationally by rules and laws, and requires disciplined rational thinking. it rewards those who acquire such discipline and punishes those who do not. the market, from this perspective, is fair and moral.
“neoliberal thought applies enlightenment rationality to the market. markets are ideally constructed to be fair and moral, though they may need government regulation to guarantee it. rational choice in a well-regulated market will lead to an optimal, natural distribution of wealth. well-regulated markets, from the neoliberal perpective, are fair and moral.” p61-2
“the myth is that the deregulation or privatization of a moral mission of government eliminates government. but it doesn’t. large corporations also govern our lives – often making life-and-death decisions that affect us. government isn’t eliminated. it is just shifted from the public sector, where there is an ethic of protection and public accountability, to the private sector, where there is an ethic of profit and no public accountability. the principle here is the ‘conservation of government,.’ deregulation and privatization do not eliminate government; they only make it unaccountable and take away its moral mission.” p63
“what’s wrong with medicare for all? if we take the profit and ‘administration’ out of health care and stop treating it as a commodity, enough money could be saved to cover everybody. but from a conservative perspective, it would be immoral: no one should have their health care paid for by anyone else, lest they become dependent, lose their dicscipline, and be unable to function morally.
“but from a progressive point of view, there is a moral bottom line here: health is fundamentally life-affirming; denial of care when health and life are at stake is fundamentally life-denying.” p67
“in its moral basis and its content, conservatism is centered on the politics of authority, obedience, and discipline. this content is profoundly antidemocratic, whereas our country was founded on opposition to authoritarianism. yet conservatism also lays exclusive claim to patriotism. there is a contradiction here. how do conservatives get around it?
“the answer can be found in the word ‘conservatism’ itself. those who call themselves by that label typically say there are in favor of conserving the best of the past traditions. yet contemporary ‘conservatives’ are often quite radical, wanting to impose near-radical values where they had not been before, such as eliminating habeas corpus and other safeguards of liberty, eliminating checks and balances and supporting the powers of the ‘unitary executive,’ abolishing public education, and so on. fiscal conservatism used to be seen as holding back on government spending, but today it means accumulating an astronomical deficit as a way to justify cutting social progrmas and government protections, while supporting militarism.” p68
“biconceptualism is made possible by the brain. first, there is mutual inhibition, which permits conflicting modes of thought, but only one at a time. second, there is the difference between general modes of thought versus the special cases. neural binding is the mechanism for applying a general mode of thought to a special case, say, applying general conservatism to health care, or applying general progressivism to global warming.” p72
“the strict father is the moral leader of the family, and is to be obeyed. the family needs a strict father because there is evil in the world from which he has to protect them – and mommy can’t do it. the family needs a strict father because there is competition in the world, and he has to win those competitions to support the family – and mommy can’t do it. you need a strict father because kids are born bad, in the sense that they just do what they want to do, and don’t know right from wrong. they need to be punished strictly and painfully when they do wrong, so they will have an incentive to do right in order to avoid punishment. that is how they build internal discipline, which is needed to do right and not wrong. with that discipline, they can enter the market and become self-reliant and prosperous. as mature, self-disciplined self-reliant adults, they can go off on their own, start their own families, and become strict fathers in their own households, with out any meddling by their own fathers or anyone else.
“mapped onto politics, the strict father model explains why conservatism is concerned with authority, with obedience, with discipline, and with punishment it makes sense in a patriarchal family where male strength dominates unquestionably. authority, obedience, discipline, and punishment are all there in the family, organized in a package.
“why would someone in the midwest genuinely feel threatened if gays in san francisco are allowed to marry? the explanation is simple: there can be no gays in a strict father family; the gender difference and the role of masculinity are crucial. suppose that kind of family – its values and its politics – defines who you are in everyday life. suppose those values define your personality, not only how you function in your family but with your friends, in your business, in your church. suppose that strict father marriage, with its version of masculinity, is a major narrative you live by. then a threat to its legitimacy is a threat to your very being. marriage isn’t the real issue; the real issue is identity.
“why is it that conservatives, not progressives, tend to be against abortion? think of some of the people who need an abortion: a woman who sees a conflict between motherhood and a career, or a teenager who has had sex outside marriage. in both cases, a decision by the woman on her own is an affront to the strict father. he is to determine whether his wife gives birth – and conservatives in many states have supported husband notification laws. the pregnant teenager has disobeyed her father and should be punished – and many states have parental notification laws.
“there is a second reason as well. for the father to know right from wrong, there must be an absolute right and wrong, and that means that categories must be absolute. if category lines are fuzzy, it could be hard to tell if a rule or a law was broken. absolute categorization requires essences, properties that define absolute categories. though it took aristotle to spell out how the theory of essences worked, he was simply noticing the everyday version in the cognitive unconscious. there is an unconscious but pervasive folk theory of essences, in which essences define strict categories. essences in this folk theory are inherent, don’t change over time, and are the causal sources of natural behavior.
“the logic of essences is all over conservative thought. take the concept of character. why do conservatives dote on it? if you can train people to have the right (read ‘conservative’) moral character, they will do the right things even when not told. as for babies, if they have the essence of a human being at birth, and if that essence cannot change, then they had the essence of a human being before birth…all the way back to conception. t the folk theory of essence is not conscious. it just defines intuitive ‘common sense.’
“in a strict father family, it is assumed that the father merits his authority, and indeed, throughout conservatism, hierarchies of power and wealth are justified on ‘merit.’ why should ceos make so much more money than other employees? they deserve it.
“competition is crucial. it builds discipline. without competition, without the desire to win, no one would have the incentive to be disciplined, and morality would suffer, as well as prosperity. not everyone can win in a competition, only the most disciplined people, who are also the most morally worthy. winning is thus a sign of being deserving, of being a good person. it is important to be number one! strict father families often promote competitive sports and take them very seriously….
“why are fundamentalist christians conservative? because they view god as a strict father: obey my commandments and you go to heaven; if not, you go to hell. well, i’ll give you a second chance. you can be ‘born again.’ now obey my commands (as interpreted by your minister) and you go to heaven; otherwise you go to hell: authority, obedience, discipline, punishment. note that ‘individual responsibility’ is a hallmark of this view of religion – it is up to you and you alone as to whether you get into heaven…
“if your very identity is defined with respect to a strict father family, where male-over-female authority rules, then the legitimacy of gay marriage can threaten your identity so can anything that violates the strict father family, such as extramarital sex.
“on the other hand, war and torture at a national level are carrying out the protective function of the strict father. why torture? if your enemies are evil, you can – and may have to – use the devil’s own means against them.” p78-80
“progressives, correspondingly, have a nurturant parent model: two parents, with equal responsibilities, and no gender constraints – or one parent of either gender. their job is to nurture their children and raise them to be nurturers of others. nurturance is empathy, responsibility for oneself and others, and the strength to carry out those responsibilities. this is opposite of indulgence: children are raised to care about others, to take care of themselves and others, and to lead a fulfilling life. discipline is positive; it comes out of the child’s developing sense of care and responsibility. nurturance requires setting limits, and explaining them. it requires mutual respect – a parent’s respect for children, and respect for parents by children must be earned by how the parents behave. restitution is preferred over punishment – if you do something wrong, do something right to make up for it. the job of parents is protection an empowerment of their children, and a dedication to community life, where people care about and take care of each other.
“here we see the politics of empathy emerging in the family. when mapped onto the nation, the result is the progressive politics of protection, empowerment, and community.
“there is a reason why this model is gender neutral. fathers can, and do, form deep positive attachments with their kids. they, as well as mothers, can do all the things required by the nurturance model. conservatives, however, often parody this model by describing it a a mommy or nanny model, calling the democrats the ‘mommy party’ and speaking of the ‘nanny state.’ the same is often true of those who grew up with strict fathers and nurturant mothers. but it is a mistake. nurturance is not gendered and requires strength.” p81-2
|A layer of Antarctic Bottom Water colder than 0ºC (colors, with darkest blue areas having the thickest layer, and white none) covers the ocean floor around Antarctica (center, shaded grey). Rates at which this layer is thinning during the study period (red numbers in meters per decade) are shown for for each deep basin (outlined by thin grey lines). These rates are estimated using data from repeated oceanographic expeditions (ship tracks shown by thick black lines). Note that seawater at the ocean surface stays liquid even at temperatures approaching -2ºC because of its high salt content.
The coldest deep ocean water that flows around Antarctica in the Southern Ocean has been mysteriously disappearing at a high rate over the last few decades, scientists have found.
This mass of water is called Antarctic Bottom Water, which is formed in a few distinct locations around Antarctica, where seawater is cooled by the overlying air and made saltier by ice formation (which leaves the salt behind in the unfrozen water). The cold, salty water is denser than the water around it, causing it to sink to the sea floor where it spreads northward, filling most of the deep ocean around the world as it slowly mixes with warmer waters above it.
The world’s deep ocean currents play a critical role in transporting heat and carbon around the planet, which helps regulate the Earth’s climate.
Oceanographers examined temperature data collected from 1980 to 2011 at about 10-year intervals by an international program of repeated ship-based oceanographic surveys in the Southern Ocean.
They found that Antarctic Bottom Water has been disappearing at an average rate of about 8 million metric tons per second over the past few decades, equivalent to about 50 times the average flow of the Mississippi River, according to statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which helped fund the data collection.
“In every oceanographic survey repeated around the Southern Ocean since about the 1980s, Antarctic Bottom Water has been shrinking at a similar mean rate, giving us confidence that this surprisingly large contraction is robust,” said lead author of the study Sarah Purkey, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle.
What’s causing the reduction and what it means are things the researchers must still investigate.
“We are not sure if the rate of bottom-water reduction we have found is part of a long-term trend or a cycle,” said co-author Gregory C. Johnson, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.
Changes in the temperature, salt content, dissolved oxygen and dissolved carbon dioxide of this prominent water mass have important ramifications for Earth’s climate, including contributions to sea level rise and the rate of Earth’s heat uptake.
“We need to continue to measure the full depth of the oceans, including these deep ocean waters, to assess the role and significance that these reported changes and others like them play in the Earth’s climate,” Johnson said.
this is teh first of many studies for the graphic novel part of my story. jim yarbrough is the artist, and the illustrations will be up to him, with me acting as art director.
here jim is exploring the characters of the boy and snake. the boy is fond of all things military, and ends up in somewhat the role of tsar nicholas. the two people to his right are unknowns at this point; jim often does this. the monk is rasputin, whose illustrious career jim is exploring to enlighten snake’s character. the three women to his left are hangers-on, part of snake’s charm i guess. the building in the background is inspired by the works of piranesi. even the backgrounds will have character arcs in this story.