misc research ++good
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.