If you’ve been blaming reckless men for the collapse of America’s leading investment houses and the plunging markets, you may be on to something. High levels of testosterone are correlated with riskier financial behavior, new research suggests.
Overconfidence has long been noted by historians and political scientists as a major cause of war. However, the origins of such overconfidence, and sources of variation, remain poorly understood. Mounting empirical studies now show that mentally healthy people tend to exhibit psychological biases that encourage optimism, collectively known as ‘positive illusions’. Positive illusions are thought to have been adaptive in our evolutionary past because they served to cope with adversity, harden resolve, or bluff opponents. Today, however, positive illusions may contribute to costly conflicts and wars. Testosterone has been proposed as a proximate mediator of positive illusions, given its role in promoting dominance and challenge behaviour, particularly in men. To date, no studies have attempted to link overconfidence, decisions about war, gender, and testosterone. Here we report that, in experimental wargames: (i) people are overconfident about their expectations of success; (ii) those who are more overconfident are more likely to attack; (iii) overconfidence and attacks are more pronounced among males than females; and (iv) testosterone is related to expectations of success, but not within gender, so its influence on overconfidence cannot be distinguished from any other gender specific factor. Overall, these results constitute the first empirical support of recent theoretical work linking overconfidence and war.
Narcissists work on a big scale and are drawn to risky decisions. They go for large spending and investment, and love a merger or acquisition. The financial results under their leadership, the study found, are more extreme.
The only think we can do is not to use it. Interesting enough, the players are again the same. Donald Rumsfeld has been the CEO of the company G.D. Searle (see bellow) and he lobbied for FDA approval. G.D. Searle has been acquired by Monsanto, well known about its genetically modified food. Is this the way how to decrease the world population? Scarry!
In 1977, Donald Rumsfeld (a former member of the U.S. Congress and the Chief of Staff in the Gerald Ford Administration) was hired as President and CEO of G.D. Searle. Attorney James Turner, Esq. has alleged that G.D. Searle hired Rumsfeld to facilitate the aspartame approval difficulties that they were experiencing.
Rumsfeld’s first action was to hire John Robson as Executive Vice President. Robson was a former lawyer with Sidley and Austin (Searle’sLaw Firm) and had also served as chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board (then connected with the Department of Transportation). Rumsfeld also brought on Robert Shapiro as General Counsel. Shapiro had been Robson’s Special Assistant at the Department of Transportation. Rumsfeld’s next task was to hire William Greener, Jr., as Chief Spokesman. Greener was a former spokesman in the Gerald Ford White House.
At the time that Rumsfeld became President and CEO he was on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Tribune. Shortly after Rumsfeld became CEO of Searle he wrote an effusively positive article about the NutraSweet Company.
On January 10, 1977, it was recommended to the U.S. Attorney that a grand jury be set up to investigate G.D. Searle for violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, U.S.C. 331(e), and the False Reports to the Government Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001. G.D. Searle and Company and three of its responsible officers were investigated for willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration and for hiding pertinent facts and making false statements in reports of the animal studies that were conducted to establish the safety of the drug Aldactone and the food additive Aspartame.
There were two studies where the violations committed by G.D. Searle appeared to be especially grievous. The two studies investigated were the previously mentioned 52-week toxicity study on infant monkeys performed by Dr. Waisman (G.D. Searle withheld important information from the FDA) and a 46-week toxicity study of hamsters (G.D. Searle had taken blood from healthy animals at the 26th week and claimed that the tests had actually been performed at the 38th week). Apparently many of the animals from this study were dead by the 38th week.
On January 26, 1977, G.D. Searle’s law firm, Sidley & Austin, requested a meeting with the U.S. Attorney prior to a grand jury convening. A representative of Sidley & Austin who was present at that meeting was Newton Minow (also on the Board of Directors at the Chicago Tribune at that time).
On April 13, 1977, a memo from the U.S. Justice Department urged U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner to proceed quickly with the grand jury investigations of G.D. Searle. The memo clearly shows that the Statute of limitations on prosecution was going to expire soon (October 10, 1977 for the Waisman study and December 8, 1977 for the other study).
On July 1, 1977, U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner left his U.S. Attorney position to work for the G.D. Searle law firm of Sidley & Austin. Thomas Sullivan became Samuel Skinner’s successor. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Conlon convened a grand jury, but he allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out on the aspartame study charges.
Just over a year later, Conlon also accepted a job with G.D. Searle’s law firm, Sidley & Austin.
Robert McConnell was the Director of G.D. Searle’s Department of Pathology and Toxicology, the department that oversaw most of the aspartame research. Mr. McConnell was specifically named in the initial recommendation for investigation. According to McConnell’s attorney, his client was given a $15,000 bonus and it was requested he take a 3-year sabbatical (he received $60,000 for each year). He was deemed a “political liability.”
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the United States, G.D. Searle reapplied for the approval of aspartame. G.D. Searlesubmitted new studies along with their application. Reagan was expected to replace Jere Goyan, the FDA Commissioner. G.D. Searle President & CEO, Donald Rumsfeld’s connections to the Republican Party were also thought to be connected to Searle’s decision to reapply for aspartame’s approval at that time.
According to a former G.D. Searle salesperson, Donald Rumsfeld told his sales force that, if necessary, “he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year.”
Meanwhile, there were FDA scientists who were very concerned about specific problems linking aspartame with brain tumors, brain lesions, and general brain chemistry. Another concerned neuroscientist, Dr. John Olney studied aspartame extensively and he expressed his concern about the serious negative health effects aspartame consumption had on the human body.
The concerns of these top scientists were of no consequence to Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld made the decision to solve this problem politically – not scientifically.
On October 15, 1982, G.D. Searle petitioned the FDA for approval of aspartame use in soft drinks and children’s vitamins.
On October 1, 1982 an amendment was attached to the Orphan Drug Act. This act encourages the development of drugs for rare diseases. The amendment extended the patent on one product — aspartame — by 5 years, 10 months and 17 days. The amendment did not mention aspartame or G.D. Searle specifically and there was no debate or discussion on this amendment.
This amendment was proposed by Senator Howell Heflin, brought up for vote by Senator Robert Byrd, and pushed through by Representatives Henry Waxman and Orrin Hatch. G.D. Searle requested Senator Heflin sponsor the amendment. Heflin reportedly received $9,000 in campaign donations from G.D. Searle company executives shortly after this amendment was approved. Senator Byrd received a $1,000 campaign contribution from the CEO of G.D. Searle (Rumsfeld) before the amendment was proposed. Representative Waxman received a $1,500 campaign contribution from the soft drink political action committee. Senator Hatch also received $2,500 from the soft drink political action committee prior to his re-election and $1,000 each from Daniel Searle, Wesley Dixon (Daniel Searle’s brother-in-law), and William Searle. Senator Hatch has blocked hearings looking into the safety of aspartame many times.
In 1985, G.D. Searle was sold to the chemical company, Monsanto. Monsanto then created the NutraSweet Company as a separate subsidiary from G.D. Searle.
In 1992, NutraSweet signed agreements with the Coca-Cola and PepsiCo stipulating that The NutraSweet Company was their preferred supplier of aspartame. The patent for aspartame expired on December 14, 1992. This opened up the market to other companies.
In light of all of this information, it is not at all surprising that most health-conscious people now believe avoiding NutraSweet is a prudent practice. At some future point, if a scientific consensus finally concludes that aspartame puts most consumers at risk, it will be much too late. The best thing is to eat safely now.
Because aspartame metabolizes into a poison and other dangerous chemicals (despite the claims of the manufacturer to the contrary), it is believed that it can trigger or worsen the following conditions:
Watched very good documentary THUNDERBOLTS OF THE GODS by David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill: Electric Universe. It challenges many of today’s theories of cosmology. The nature of sun, galaxies, comets, the whole universe we thought of it today within well adopted concepts as big bang, gravity, fusion, …is shown in new light. Universe as electric universe.
I like the concept of electric universe due to two reasons: firstly – it doubts about current concepts and it might contribute to shift of old paradigms which to some extent limit our further thoughts of nature of our world; and secondly – to me as great admirer of Nikola Tesla, the concept is very similar to what Nikola Tesla already proposed more than 100 years ago: Electromagnetic energy fills all space; gravity is not the most important force in universe; time is just mere man-made reference (Motion through space produces the “illusion of time”; aether (plasma) which feels the whole universe (ultimate medium – without it there wouldn’t be any electromagnetic force), … On the other hand the whole concept of aether which is necessary for EM force is in Eastern philosophy named Akasha, 5th physical element which can not be percived, essence of all things, the source that everything exists. So maybe the shift in paradigm could bring closer science and old philosophical knowledge, and narrow the gap between dualistic and holistic thinking.
I am always amazed how genius Tesla was. How different world would be today if they were listened him more. And his interest in vedic phylosophy is deeply visible in his brilliant work. As early as 1891 Tesla described the universe as a kinetic system filled with energy which could be harnessed at any location. His concepts during the following years were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
Tesla said he had fully developed his Dynamic Theory of Gravity and “worked it out in all the details“. This aether-based theory, which initially was developed between 1893-94, explained gravity and directly linked it to electromagnetic phenomena, explaining also that the sun and all stars emit “primary solar rays” which in turn produce secondary radiations. Tesla’s theory states that the phenomena produced by electromagnetic forces is the most important phenomenon in the universe. According to portions from his theory, mechanical motions are universally a result of electromagnetic force acting upon and through media. Unfortunately, no mathematical details of the theory have officially surfaced.
Tesla demonstrated that all bodies have electrical content and as such, are all moving charges as our earth hurls through space at incredible speed (hence ‘dynamic’). He demonstrated, through the use of his particular evacuated tubes and high voltage coils powered by specifically designed high frequency alternators, how earth emanates “microwaves” and how it behaves as a charged sphere. Based on these discoveries and their confirmation at Colorado Springs, he developed and tested his first electromagnetic machine that could fly “devoid of sustaining wings, propellers or gas bags“.
In the Responses to Questions (http://www.pbs.org/tesla/dis/responses.html) on December 20, 2000 of various authors and researchers concerning Dr. Tesla, it is reported that Tesla’s concept of “electromagnetic momentum” appears to have been gleamed from Maxwell’s original work (ed. the equation usually referred to as the Maxwell’s equation in use today were written by Oliver Heaviside and could rightly then be called the “Maxwell-Heaviside equations”). Tesla was familiar with the quaternion notation in Maxwell’s work and often referred to Maxwell’s books. Tesla also conveyed the notion of J. Zenneck’s longitudal ground wave as the non-Hertzian wave he was talking about. These are now known today in microwave field theory as “surface waves”. Tesla calls attention to a “field of force” being indispensable for explaining the movements of astronomical objects (a concept that fields model the phenomenon more precisely). Heaviside himself offered “a gravitational and electromagnetic analogy (http://www.as.wvu.edu/coll03/phys/www/Heavisid.htm)” (The Electrician, 1893). Others have continued this line of work. Oleg D. Jefimenko wrote the book “Causality, electromagnetic induction, and gravitation : a different approach to the theory of electromagnetic and gravitational fields” (Star City [West Virginia] : Electret Scientific Co., c1992. ISBN 0917406095 ).
Tesla published a prepared statement on his 81st birthday (July 10, 1937) critiquing Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The following is a portion of that statement:
“… Supposing that the bodies act upon the surrounding space causing curving of the same, it appears to my simple mind that the curved spaces must react on the bodies, and producing the opposite effects, straightening out the curves. Since action and reaction are coexistent, it follows that the supposed curvature of space is entirely impossible – But even if it existed it would not explain the motions of the bodies as observed. Only the existence of a field of force can account for the motions of the bodies as observed, and its assumption dispenses with space curvature. All literature on this subject is futile and destined to oblivion. So are all attempts to explain the workings of the universe without recognizing the existence of the ether and the indispensable function it plays in the phenomena.”
“My second discovery was of a physical truth of the greatest importance. As I have searched the entire scientific records in more than a half dozen languages for a long time without finding the least anticipation, I consider myself the original discoverer of this truth, which can be expressed by the statement: There is no energy in matter other than that received from the environment.” — Nikola Tesla
While this statement asserted that Tesla had “worked out a dynamic theory of gravity” that he soon hoped to give to the world, he reportedly died before he publicized the details. There is still a halo of mystery around his death – even the exact date is not certain. It is speculated that his death may have been caused by too much “pressure” by agents in order to extract and obtain the secret documents regarding this theory.
Unfortunately few details were publicly revealed by Tesla about his theory. Available details argument against space being curved by gravitational effects, which leads some to believe Tesla failed to understand Einstein’s theory is not about curved space at all, but curved space-time. However, there is disagreement about Tesla’s exact understanding of Einstein’s theories; Tesla was actively conducting tangible experiments during the time of Einstein’s theoretical research. He underlined that time was a mere man-made reference used for convenience and as such the idea of a “curved space-time” was delusional, hence there was no basis for the Relativistic “space-time” binomium concept.
Tesla’s aether concept
It is important to correctly comprehend Tesla’s unique aether concept. The theory refers to an aether, but Tesla’s aether is not analogous to classical aether theories. John J. O’Neill stated,
“Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or luminiferous ether, acted upon by the life giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles all things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.” (Grotz, 1997)
Tesla’s aether is in fact a medium, “a perfect fluid” that wets everything in which are immersed “independent carriers“. It behaves as a solid to light (high frequency) and is transparent to matter, while it’s effects can be felt through inertia. Tesla demonstrated how this aether could be “polarized” and made “rigid” through a particular high frequency alternator and single terminal coil (ex. 1892 lecture in London) and 2 metal plates which he “suspended” in the air making the space between them rigid “privately” on one another (ed. the tesla effect). In 1894, Tesla invented a special bulb (which was the ultimate result of his research in vacuum tubes; the unipolar “targetless” bulb) which augmented this technology to create “tubes of force” which could be used for motive power (what Tesla later cited as “veritable ropes of air“).
This theory is a logical extension of the rotating magnetic field model. According to the Swami Vivekananda,
“the Vedantic Prana and Akasha and the Kalpas, which according to [Tesla was] the only theories modern science can entertain [… he] thinks he can demonstrate that mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy” (Grotz, 1997)
Tesla electromagnetics are composed of potentials and their corresponding motion. This potential’s motion causes in the surrounding medium an equivalent and opposite effect (determining the positive and negative character of the medium). Some elements of the theory may include:
All ponderable bodies are constantly in motion in through space.
Absence of a medium would result in no electromagnetic forces (the space-vacuum fabric is a medium, the aether (the ultimate medium))
Ponderable bodies and other media filling space all possess a dielectric level.
Motion through space produces the “illusion of time”.
Mechanical effects are produced by electromagnetic forces acting through media (i.e., momentum and inertia is electromagnetic in nature; Energy is force over time)
A media exposed to resonant vibrations of electromagnetic force interact.
Electromagnetic energy fills all space (referred to as radiant energy).
Electromagnetic force is a phenomenon produced through the medium in space (eg., the result of the medium acting upon ponderable matter).
Modulating Wideband frequencies of electromagnetic phenomenon permeate through all media (akin to spread spectrums).
Self-regenerative hetrodyning electromagnetic fields condense through the medium in space.
Electromagnetic potentials arrange themselves in groups according to the medium’s polarization and the medium’s dielectric resistance.
Electromagnetic fields interact and produce rotating fields.
Electromagnetic entropy returns energy to potentials.
Electromagnetic potentials of high frequency produce: [a] lower environmental interaction, [b] uniform movement without rotation through space-time, and [c] electromagnetic saturation [i.e., plasmas]
Stationary low frequency electromagnetics behave as waves.
Medium’s electromagnetic fields creates attractive forces from negative polarity [or what is commonly referred to as “gravity“].
Tesla never referred to “space-time” directly, referring instead to the concept of the “primary substance”. He also never used this relativistic “twin” term. He considered time as a mere man-made “measure” of the rate at which events occur such as a distance travelled (in miles or kms) in a certain period of time, for a frame of reference. He considered the “curving” of space to be absurd (putting it in gentle terms) saying that if a moving body curved space the “equal and opposite” reaction of space on the body would “straighten space back out“.
Contrasts and knowledge
Tesla’s theory put him in direct contrast with the re-emerging Relativity theory, which is that energy does not directly originate from matter or vice versa, but that matter behaves as a medium for forces to act upon or to act through, and that without matter there is no Energy (nor Force) and vice versa (he said a body without force is like a body without a mind).
All this energy (sometimes viewed as “Zero Point Energy“) comes from the environment (through aether or the “medium”) and reverts back to the environment giving life to matter, forming a “closed circuit” through one way or the other (being “accessed” more efficiently or less based on the methodology). It is omnipresent, day or night, and is “re-emitted” by every star in our universe naturally including our sun. Tesla knew every “ponderable body” had an electrical content, and as such, proportionally interacted with the surrounding aether. The earth is like a charged sphere hurling through space (thus a current, hence magnetic field), around the sun powered by it’s primary rays (and giant electric currents along “frozen magnetic lines of force”, according to the works of Hannes Alfven (http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/people/alfven.html)mentioned in Lehrner’s “The Big Bang Never Happened” ISBN 067974049X ).
The observed effects of solar flares through earth’s magnetic field, and auroras at the poles, also manifest themselves through high voltage distribution overloads in certain areas due to these high energy/radiation “bursts”. As the Earth rotates and revolves around the sun at great speed, a portion of the aether is polarized (is “rigidified” by “rapidly varying electrostatic forces” emitted by the Earth) and carried along by the electric field of the Earthwhich decreases with the inverse square of the distance from the Earth. Tesla measured these electrostatic emissions with a particular partially evacuated tube which he could orient as desired and watch the wave patterns change shape.
Here come into play the “tubes of force” (Faraday, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, J.J. Thomson) that – due to independent charge ratio depending on density and electrical content – are absorbed by bodies and impart a downward momentum (thus “gravity” is a downward push, not a pull) creating the sensation of a “gravity field“. It is the interaction between the electrical content of every “dynamic” body with aether carriers (comprising tubes of force) that results in momentum being imparted to a body (an electromagnetic to mechanical interconversion). It is an endless “circuit loop” that continuously keeps everything in motion in our universe (Tesla’s “Wheelwork of Nature”) which if understood can give the ability to achieve “any desired result“.
This “carrier exchange” is constant, but can be artificially manipulated using high voltage direct current brush and appropriate high voltage high frequency alternating current potentials in order to block or reduce it. Every moving body in our universe transverses this omni-directional radiation and interacts with the aether since all media have electrical content. The important fact is that the aether can convert the weaker, mechanical force, to the much stronger electromagnetic one. This holds the key to increasing “work” over a period of time. This exchange is constantly occurring in our universe and is it’s unlimited “prime mover“.
Have just read the article “Why the brain follows the rules? (see it bellow) and what really intrigued me was not exactly the question why the brain follows the rules but why there are some differences among people…or say it differently….Why some brains don’t follow the rules?
It’s brought me back to the question of psychology of power as influence of personal/genetic traits and the influence of enviroment(omnipresent corporate culture which declare itself as a person but without human traits) which shapes people’s mind through language/values and perception.
And here Niccolò Machiavelli comes on stage. To helps us figure out either opportunistic and selfish behaviour is indeed result of someones brain (dis)function or it could be simply acquired during socialization. The field is well studied but with no final answer. So i gonna speculate as well. Cos i did extensive study for myself to catch just the tail of the problem. The whole body of the problem is yet to be researched.
Take a minute to find your score on Machiavelli personality test . It’s fun and while doing it you can get pretty clear idea what it’s all about (and what i am talking in the rest of the post). To be socially successful in this world, you would mark the answers which are not really close to your true nature but you would definitely pass better at work or on social situation (not friends) if you behave lake that. Thinking about that is already opportunistic. And here is evident the whole problem. It is kind of adaption mechanism or survival strategy. But still…to which extent? We all do it. But than, why some of them can easily take the last exit of human morality and try to dominate other people. We all don’t do it. That’s clear. Some of us have different goals than money and dominance. Beauty of every moment, for example.
And going further, for example, I can’t simply believe that all people from “elite” families are genetically so the same that they follow the same Machiavelli’s rules. They’ve been taught, i guess. But the range of people who came to the position of manipulating and are not part of taught elite, could be so diverse. From psychopath traits to the ones who simply found out by chance how to come to the position of dominance and manipulation. Although they were just good, nice , ordinary people before. Did they hide those traits or did the system change them? As one research showed the level of serotonin rises as person comes to the higher position. The Standford experiment is great example for that. But unfortunately, the end result is the same as it would be inherited case. Brain is very plastic, seems so. And it changes a lot during the life.
As some researches show, machiavellism and primary psychopathic traits are highly correlated, but the question remains: Was it there before or was it learned…Some researches show that correlation doesn’t exist. That Machiavellians are just well adopted people with high survival instincts. Is it possible that their social status and wealth diminishes the treat of punishment and that’s why their brain shows all signs of disinhibition which is characteristic for psychopaths?
See bellow the traits of psychopaths, machievillists, correlations and what scans of the brain say about. One is sure. Orbitofrontal cortex is playing a great role. Was it that kind at their birth or was it changed during the life time as adaption strategy, is the real question to be answered.
PRIMARY PSYCHOPATHS do not respond to punishment, apprehension, stress, or disapproval. They seem to be able to inhibit their antisocial impulses most of the time, not because of conscience, but because it suits their purpose at the time. Words do not seem to have the same meaning for them as they do for us. In fact, it’s unclear if they even grasp the meaning of their own words, a condition that Cleckley called “semantic aphasia.” They don’t follow any life plan, and it seems as if they are incapable of experiencing any genuine emotion.
SECONDARY PSYCHOPATHS are risk-takers, but are also more likely to be stress-reactive, worriers, and guilt-prone. They expose themselves to more stress than the average person, but they are as vulnerable to stress as the average person. (This suggests that they are not “fully psychopathic.” This may be due to distinctive genetic variations.)
They are daring, adventurous, unconventional people who began playing by their own rules early in life. They are strongly driven by a desire to escape or avoid pain, but are unable to resist temptation. As their anxiety increases toward some forbidden object, so does their attraction to it. They live their lives by the lure of temptation. Both primary and secondary psychopaths can be subdivided into:
DISTEMPERED PSYCHOPATHS are the kind that seem to fly into a rage or frenzy more easily and more often than other subtypes. Their frenzy will resemble an epileptic fit. They are also usually men with incredibly strong sex drives, capable of astonishing feats of sexual energy, and seemingly obsessed by sexual urges during a large part of their waking lives. Powerful cravings also seem to characterize them, as in drug addiction, kleptomania, pedophilia, any illicit or illegal indulgence. They like the endorphin “high” or “rush” off of excitement and risk-taking. The serial-rapist-murderer known as the Boston Strangler was such a psychopath.
CHARISMATIC PSYCHOPATHS are charming, attractive liars. They are usually gifted at some talent or another, and they use it to their advantage in manipulating others. They are usually fast-talkers, and possess an almost demonic ability to persuade others out of everything they own, even their lives. Leaders of religious sects or cults, for example, might be psychopaths if they lead their followers to their deaths. This subtype often comes to believe in their own fictions. They are irresistible.
Sociopaths have always existed in varying form and to various degrees. They have been known by various titles. They have been studied using various techniques, and through the years their ailment has been blamed on various causes. But one thing never varies: all sociopaths share three common characteristics. They are all very egocentric individuals with no empathy for others, and they are incapable of feeling remorse or guilt.[The Sociopath Rebecca Horton (April 1999)]
Bellow are some explanations what mechiavellisem means psychologicaly and MRI (brain scans) how it can be explained neurologically:
The term refers to Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince (1513) and to the hypothesis that the techniques which lead to certain kinds of political success within large social groups are also applicable within smaller groups, including the family-unit. The term “everyday politics” was later introduced in reference to these various methods. These arguments are based on research by primatologists such as Nicholas Humphrey (1975).
Machiavelli’s teachings continue to influence all levels of Western society. Take for example a situation presented by Michael Walzer: An elementary school needs a new roof. Simple as it may seem, much of Machiavelli’s theories will be put to use. Money from a budget must be allocated by officials, each of them lobbying for what they think is most important. Even then, if money is allocated towards a new roof, a construction contractor must be hired. One must consistently consider, What is behind this lower estimate for the construction work? Why does this company want this small contract? Many questions must be asked in order to identify deception. In the end, all anyone can ever do is “strive to make an informed decision based on the best evidence, and then act accordingly, even though the best evidence will never guarantee certainty.”
Machiavellian intelligence may be demonstrated by behaviors including:
Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. The concept is named after Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe(The Prince). In the 1960s Richard Christie and Florence L. Geis developed a test for measuring a person’s level of Machiavellianism. This eventually became the MACH-IV test, a twenty-statement personality survey that is now the standard self-assessment tool of Machiavellianism. People scoring above 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered high Machs; that is, they endorsed statements such as, “Never tell anyone the real reason you did something unless it is useful to do so,” (No. 1) but not ones like, “Most people are basically good and kind” (No. 4). People scoring below 60 out of 100 on the MACH-IV are considered low Machs; they tend to believe, “There is no excuse for lying to someone else,” (No. 7) and, “Most people who get ahead in the world lead clean, moral lives” (No. 11). In a series of studies undertaken by Christie and Geis and Geis’s graduate assistant David Berger, the notion of machiavellianism was experimentally verified.
High Machs tend to take a more detached, calculating approach in their interaction with other people. In terms of Big Five personality traits, Machiavellians tend to be low on agreeableness and high in conscientiousness.
Scholars and researchers have attempted to find a correlation between Machiavellianismand narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy. It could be understood that psychopaths and sociopathshave a similar disposition that could be identified with Machiavellianism, for sociopaths are known for manipulation and cunning. Psychopaths, however, generally have difficulty realizing or understanding the concepts of right and wrong, and tend not to have much regard for consequences. On the other hand, High Machs perhaps more or less view as Machiavelli did, and simply believe that while right and wrong have reality (at least to most people), that it is impractical to be ethical all the time, and that perhaps there is a difference between outright deception or exploitation, and subtle spins on the truth for the sake of what is seen (subjectively) as a more important cause that is not recognized by both parties. However, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two, because both types exhibit similar tendencies, often while considering it important to mask or misrepresent their motives. Furthermore, true High Machs (as opposed to sociopaths) tend to take consequences very seriously, and when dedicated to a course of action which may backfire, it is usually because the potential consequences have been weighed quite carefully and the High Mach is prepared to be responsible if blame cannot be deflected sufficiently.
Low Machs tend to take a more personal, empathic approach in their interaction with other people. They tend to be more trusting of others and more honest. They believe humans are essentially good natured. At the extreme, low Machs tend to be passive, submissive, highly agreeable, dependent and socially inept; in contrast with those who are more Machiavellian, they also tend to believe that everyone has a good and bad side.
Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between Machiavellianism and a preference for business occupations. The present study tested the hypothesis that this Machiavellian-business connection is mediated by other personality characteristics. Support was obtained for predictions that, compared to Non-Business High Machs, Business High Machs would (i) differ little on Neuroticism (low) or Pchoticism (high), but (ii) score significantly higher on Extraversion, as measured by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. The links between sociability (Extraversion), toughmindedness (Psychoticism) and skills in interpersonal manipulation (Machiavellianism) are discussed in terms of their complementary implications for effective business behaviour.
Machiavelli’s (1513/1902) work The Prince provided the basis of the Machiavellian personality type coined by Christie and Geis (1970). The traditional Machiavellian perspective advocates that the leader’s main goal is to be in power at all costs, whereby the end justifies the means as long as power is retained.
The Machiavellian personality type has been researched extensively. Initial research found individuals who were strong in the Machiavellian disposition to be controlling, manipulative, and ruthless (Christie & Geis, 1970). However, recent research has shown that individuals higher in the Machiavellian disposition are more flexible in their choices of influence tactics than individuals lower in the Machiavellian disposition (Grams & Rogers, 1989), and are more likely to exhibit self-monitoring behaviors (Snyder, 1974). The Machiavellian personality has been positively correlated with certain types of planning for communication in interpersonal situations, indicating that high Machiavellians give thought to how to influence others (Allen, 1990).
Those who score high on a Machiavellian assessment instrument would be more flexible in choosing influence tactics most likely to lead to follower compliance (Carpenter, 1990). Those scoring low on a Machiavellian assessment would be less likely to strategically alter their behavior. Another factor contributing to the high Machiavellian’s flexibility of behavior might be the ability to use self-monitoring to read and use environmental cues to determine behavior. Research has shown a strong relationship between Machiavellianism and self-monitoring (Leone, 1994; Snyder, 1974).
Under the situational model, a high Machiavellian disposition would affect the relationship between an individual’s motivation source and influence tactic choice, because he or she would be able to alter behavior according to the situation. By contrast, the dispositional model indicates that the low Machiavellian is less likely to alter behavior. Therefore, the situation does not become a factor in that individual’s influence behavior, demonstrating again that the individual’s motivation source has a direct relationship with his or her influence tactic choice.
Machiavellianism in Initial and Repeated Influence Attempts
Machiavellians display superb negotiation skills, and their ability to influence is impressive (Christie & Geis, 1970). Kets de Vries and Miller (1985) related narcissism to the Machiavellian personality when they described the self-deceptive variety of narcissism. Narcissistic individuals were said to display a lack of empathy and fear of failure and were considered “ideal-hungry,” preoccupied with their own needs, and strongly desirous of being loved, as well as having a transactional/instrumental orientation.
Grams and Rogers (1989) examined influence tactics and personality characteristics and found that the choice of influence tactic differs dramatically according to whether a person is high or low in the Machiavellian disposition. Individuals with a high Machiavellian disposition are more motivated to succeed, more assertive, and less manipulative. Additionally, resistance from the target changes the leader’s influence strategy. Those high in the Machiavellian disposition prefer to use indirect (emotion) and non-rational (reward) persuasion techniques. High Machiavellians display positive emotional techniques (flattery, friendliness) that aid in their influence attempts. Individuals high in Machiavellianism want to succeed by using the least obtrusive means possible but are willing to resort to stronger or harder tactics if necessary.
The dark triad of traits are the self-obsession of narcissism, the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. “We have some evidence these traits may represent a successful evolutionary strategy,” Dr Jonason told New Scientist magazine.
People are incredibly social beings, and we rely heavily on our interactions with others to thrive, and even survive, in the world. To avoid chaos in these interactions, humans create social norms. These rules and regulations establish appropriate and acceptable ways for us to act and respond to each other. For instance, when waiting in line, we expect people also to wait their turn. As a result, we get upset when someone decides to cut in line: they violated a social norm.
But how are social norms maintained? And what makes us comply with social norms? Primarily, the answer is that, if we don’t follow the rules, we might get in trouble. Numerous studies demonstrate that, when the threat of punishment is removed, people tend to disregard social norms. The neat and orderly line disintegrates.
It remains unclear, however, how the brain processes the threat of punishment when deciding whether or not to comply with a social norm. A recent study conducted by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer and his colleagues at the University of Ulm in Germany and the University of Zurich in Switzerland tried to shed light on this mystery. The researchers put 24 healthy male students in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner to see what parts of the brain were activated during a two-person social exchange with real monetary stakes.
In this game, a research participant (“Person A”) was given money, and had to decide how much he wanted to give to another person (“Person B”) and how much he wanted to keep. In one variation of the game—the “punishment threat condition”—Person B could punish Person A if he or she believed that Person A had divided the money unfairly, or violated the “fairness social norm.” In another situation, there was no punishment threat and Person A could act freely without worrying about the consequences. The researchers sought to find out how much more money Person A would give to Person B under the threat of punishment, and what brain circuits are associated with this change in behavior.
Not surprisingly, the threat of punishment made people act more fairly. In the “punishment threat condition” people split the money close to equally. However, when Person B had no recourse, the people given the money acted very differently and gave away, on average, less than 10 percent of the money.
One of the interesting things about social norm compliance, however, is that there is tremendous individual variation. Some people would never cut in line or act unfairly, whereas others don’t think twice about it. Using a questionnaire, the researchers measured each participant’s “Machiavellism,” a combination of selfishness and opportunism, which is often used to describe someone’s tendency to manipulate other people for personal gain. Sure enough, the people with high Machiavellism scores gave less money away when there was no punishment threat and were best at avoiding punishment when the threat of punishment was present. Therefore, these individuals earned the most money overall.
When the researchers looked at the brain activity of people playing this simple game, they found a consistent pattern. One region in the frontal lobes, the orbitofrontal cortex, seemed to be responsible for evaluating the potential for punishment. In other words, it figured out whether or not violating the social norm would get us in trouble. A second brain region, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, was responsible for inhibiting the natural tendency to keep most of the money (this would be the greedy thing to do) if this action might lead to future punishment. Interestingly, these brain areas only were activated when the threat of punishment came from a real person, and not a computer that was programmed to act like a real person.
Furthermore, just as Machiavellism personality traits influenced how people behave, these traits also relate to what is happening in the brain. The orbitofrontal cortex was most activated in the more self-interested, opportunistic people. This finding makes sense because, if the orbitofrontal cortex is helping people detect and evaluate threats, then it should be most active in people who are worried about getting punished. This study can also help us understand what might be happening in the brains of people who struggle to follow social norms, which is what happens in mental illnesses such as psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder.
Of course, many different variables not studied in this experiment can also affect social norm compliance. Even a norm as seemingly straightforward as “fairness” can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. The social norm of fairness, after all, does not always mean an equal distribution of goods. Someone may deserve more based on effort, talent or simply the feeling of entitlement that comes from social status. For instance, one could argue that in the non-punishment situation, Person A was put in a position of power, because he or she was given complete control of the money. On the other hand, when Person B is given the right to punish Person A, Person B is now put in a superior position of power. And accordingly, the social norm for Person A changes: it is no longer acceptable for him to keep all the money for himself. This adjustment suggests that the brain activity evident in the Spitzer study could, in part, be related to changes in power and status between the punishment and non-punishment condition. In fact, in a recent study, we found that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was more activated when interacting with a person who is in superior social position.
Damage to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in humans has been associated with disinhibited or socially inappropriate behaviour and emotional changes. Some of the changes may be related to difficulty in responding correctly to rewards and punishers, in that these patients have difficulty in learning to correct their choice of a visual stimulus when it is no longer associated with reward. We extend this fundamental approach by investigating the relationship between frontal dysfunction and impulsive behaviour, the behavioural, emotional and personality changes seen in patients with prefrontal cortex damage, and thus in addition illuminate the cognitive and biological processes that are impaired in impulsive people. OFC patients (n = 23) performed more impulsively on both self-report and cognitive/behavioural tests of impulsivity, reported more inappropriate ‘frontal’ behaviours, and performed worse on a stimulus-reinforcement association reversal task, than non-OFC prefrontal cortex lesion control (n = 20) and normal control (n = 39) participants. Further, OFC patients experienced more subjective anger than non-OFC and normal participants, and less subjective happiness than normals; and had a faster subjective sense of time (overestimated and underproduced time intervals) than normal controls, while non-OFC patients did not differ from normals. Finally, both OFC and non-OFC patients were less open to experience than normal participants. There were no differences between OFC patients, non-OFC lesion patients and normal controls on all other personality traits, most notably extraversion. In a spatial working memory task, the non-OFC group, most of whom had dorsolateral prefrontal cortex lesions, were impaired in that they repeatedly returned to previously chosen empty locations (‘within errors’), whereas OFC patients were not impaired on this measure. Thus there is a dissociation between the effects of OFC damage which does not affect this measure of spatial working memory but does affect impulsive and inappropriate behaviour, reversal, personality, time perception and emotion; and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex damage which does affect this measure of spatial working memory, but not impulsive and inappropriate behaviour, reversal, personality, time perception and emotion. The effects of OFC damage on impulsive and related behaviours described here have implications for understanding impulsive behaviour.
By Jennifer S. Beer, Oliver P. John, Donatella Scabini and Robert T. Knight
The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in social behavior remains a puzzle. Various theories of the social functions of the orbitofrontalcortex focus on the role of this area in either emotional processing or its involvement in onlinemonitoring of behavior (i.e., self-monitoring). The present research attempts to integrate these two theories by examining whether improving the self-monitoring of patients with orbitofrontaldamage is associated with the generation of emotions needed to guide interpersonal behavior. Patients with orbitofrontal damage, patients with lateral prefrontal damage, and healthy controls took part in an interpersonal task. After completing the task, participants’ self-monitoring was increased by showing them a videotape of their task performance. In comparison to healthy controls and patients with lateral prefrontal damage, orbitofrontaldamage was associated with objectively inappropriate social behavior. Although patients with orbitofrontaldamage were aware of social norms of intimacy, they were unaware that their task performance violated these norms. The embarrassment typically associated with inappropriate social behavior was elicited in these patients only after their self-monitoring increased from viewing their videotaped performance. These findings suggest that damage to the orbitofrontalcortex impairs self-insight that may preclude the generation of helpful emotional information. The results highlight the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the interplay of self-monitoring and emotional processing and suggest avenues for neurorehabilitation of patients with social deficits subsequent to orbitofrontal damage.
“…only a juristic figment of the imagination, lacking both a body to be kicked and a soul to be damned.” (Walton J.)
“There are psychopathic personalities in the highest echelons of government, and even within religious hierarchies in America. You can t just assume that a person with the title judge or hospital orderly got there honestly and won t manipulate the hell out of you.”
–Personal communication from Psychologist Schreibman to H. Cleckley, 2/10/86
Documentary The Corporation (2003) by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott is must see movie about origns of Corporation as Legal entity, its development till today and its influence on our life. The interesting question behind is: what is the connection between structure which corporation has set up and current social structure? Does corporation which has every legal right as human being, but lack of soul and emotions, produces pathological employees or at least pathological top managers which represent it? The most evident trait of psychopaths is lack of empathy and emotions (what surly corporation as legal but not alive personality misses). In corporate culture the one with lack of emotions survives the best. I know this well from my more than 10 years work in corporation.
There are several theories about Psychopathologyfrom mental disorder to just adoption strategy. With social structure as we have is it than psychopath’s adoption strategy the most efficient one? Is this the way how evolution allow survivorto the most adopted organisms? Are the people with empathy and social consciousness extinction species?
“Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics withits insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal “person” to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics- including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.”
Noam Chomsky has criticized the legal decisions that led to the creation of the modern corporation:
“This fine book was virtually begging to be written. With lucidity and verve, expert knowledge and incisive analysis, Joel Bakanunveils the history and the character of a devilish instrument that has been created and is nurtured by powerful modern states. They have endowed their creature with the rights of persons — and by now, rights far exceeding persons of flesh and blood — but a person that is pathological by nature and by law, and systematically crushes democracy, freedom, rights, and the natural human instincts on which a decent life and even human survival depends: the modern corporation. This incisive study should be read carefully, and pondered. And it should be a stimulus to constructive action — not at all beyond our means, as the author outlines.”
Corporations, which previously had been considered artificial entities with no rights, were accorded all the rights of persons, and far more, since they are “immortal persons”, and “persons” of extraordinary wealth and power. Furthermore, they were no longer bound to the specific purposes designated by State charter, but could act as they choose, with few constraints.
We think evolution designed a subgroup of humans to use aggression and deception to get resources from others. In theory, such people ought to have: skill at deception, lack of concern for the suffering of others, willingness to use violence, ease and flexibility in the exploitation of others, lack of concern for the opinion of others, and extreme reluctance to be responsible for others (including, for males, their own offspring).
Males of this subgroup would also engage in lots of uncommitted sex. These are all psychopathic traits. The point is that psychopathy is not a disorder because psychopaths (and their psychological characteristics) are doing exactly as they were designed by natural selection. According to this view, psychopathy is an adaptation.
The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is a diagnostic tool used to rate a person’s psychopathic or antisocial tendencies. People who are psychopathic prey ruthlessly on others using charm, deceit, violence or other methods that allow them to get with they want. The symptoms of psychopathy include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others.
Perhaps more unsettling is the wealthof evidence that having power makes people more likely to act like sociopaths. High-power individuals are more likely to interrupt others, to speak out of turn, and to fail to look at others who are speaking. They are also more likely to tease friends and colleagues in hostile, humiliating fashion. Surveys of organizations find that most rude behaviors—shouting, profanities, bald critiques—emanate from the offices and cubicles of individuals in positions of power. My own research has found that people with power tend to behave like patients who have damaged their brain’s orbitofrontal lobes (the region of the frontal lobes right behind the eye sockets), a condition that seems to cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior. Thus the experience of power might be thought of as having someone open up your skull and take out that part of your brain so critical to empathy and socially-appropriate behavior.
Power may induce more harmful forms of aggression as well. In the famed Stanford Prison Experiment, psychologist Philip Zimbardo randomly assigned Stanford undergraduates to act as prison guards or prisoners—an extreme kind of power relation. The prison guards quickly descended into the purest forms of power abuse, psychologically torturing their peers, the prisoners. Similarly, anthropologists have found that cultures where rape is prevalent and accepted tend to be cultures with deeply entrenched beliefs in the supremacy of men over women.
This leaves us with a power paradox. Power is given to those individuals, groups, or nations who advance the interests of the greater good in socially-intelligent fashion. Yet unfortunately, having power renders many individuals as impulsive and poorly attuned to others as your garden variety frontal lobe patient, making them prone to act abusively and lose the esteem of their peers. What people want from leaders—social intelligence—is what is damaged by the experience of power
Psychopathyis a psychological construct that describes chronic immoral and antisocial behavior.The term is often used interchangeably with sociopathy. Psychopathy has been the most studied of any personality disorder. Today the term can legitimately be used in two ways. One is in the legal sense, “psychopathic personality disorder” under the Mental Health Act 1983 of the UK. The other use is as a severe form of the antisocial or dissocial personality disorder as exclusively defined by the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R).The term “psychopathy” is often confused with psychotic disorders. It is estimated that approximately one percent of the general population are psychopaths. They are overrepresented in prison systems, politics, law enforcement agencies, law firms, and in the media.
The psychopath is definedby a continual seeking of psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. It is frequently co-morbid with other psychological disorders (particularly narcissistic personality disorder). The psychopath differs slightly from the sociopath, and even more so from an individual with antisocial personality disorder. Nevertheless, the three are frequently used interchangeably. While nearly all psychopaths have antisocial personality disorder, only some individuals with antisocial personality disorder are psychopaths. Many psychologists believe that psychopathy falls on a spectrum of disorders ranging from narcissistic personality disorder on the low end, malignant narcissismin the middle, and psychopathy on the high end. An almost all-pervasive misconception is that psychopaths are doomed to a life of violence and crime. It is possible for psychopaths to become successful in many lines of work, while many also become lazy underachievers. Psychopathy is frequently mistaken with other similar personality disorders, such as dissocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder (as well as others).
Movie deals with tricking nature of two basic corner stones of our mind: memory and imagination. Invented past as anchor for future. But lately research shows that the same brain structures are responsible for memories and imagination. And that believing can be seeing – Context Dictates What We Believe We See. Pretty visionary movie though.
“You might look at it as mental time travel–the ability to take thoughts about ourselves and project them either into the past or into the future,” says Kathleen McDermott, Ph.D. and Washington University psychology professor. The team used “functional magnetic resonance imaging” — or fMRI — to “see” brain activity. They asked college students to recall past events and then envision themselves experiencing such an event in their future. The results? Similar areas of the brain “lit up” in both scenarios.
Researchers say besides furthering their understanding of the brain — the findings may help research into amnesia, a curious psychiatric phenomenon. In addition to not being able to remember the past, most people who suffer from amnesia cannot envision or visualize what they’ll be doing in the future — even the next day.”
Another good article, posted in Scientific American Mind, uses Memento to explain the nature of memory.
The Matrix in Your Head
The discovery of place-tracking neurons called grid cells, our experts say, “changes everything”
By James J. Knierim
In the 2001 suspense thriller Memento, the lead character, Lenny, suffers a brain injury that makes him unable to remember events for longer than a minute or so. This type of amnesia, known as anterograde amnesia, is well known to neurologists and neuropsychologists. Like Lenny, sufferers remember events from their life histories that occurred before their injuries, but they cannot form lasting memories of anything that occurs afterward. As far as they recall, their personal histories ended shortly before the onset of their disorders.
The cause of Lenny’s problem was probably damage to his hippocampus, a pair of small, deep-brain structures crucial to memory—and also important to some of today’s most exciting and consequential neuroscience research. Decades of research have made clear that the hippocampus and surrounding cortex do more than just place our life events in time. The hippocampus, along with a newly discovered set of cells known as grid cells in the nearby cortex, traces our movement through space as well. And by doing so, it supplies a rich array of information that provides a context in which to place our life’s events. The picture that is emerging is of historic importance and more than a little beauty.
Exactly how does the brain create and store autobiographical memories? Although that question has fascinated scientists, philosophers and writers for centuries, it was only 50 years ago that scientists identified a brain area clearly necessary for this task—the hippocampus. The structure’s role was made clear in 1953, when William Scoville, a Hartford, Conn., surgeon seeking to relieve the epileptic seizures that were threatening to kill a patient known as H.M., removed most of H.M.’s hippocampus and discovered he had rendered him unable to form new, conscious memories. Since then, the case of H.M., along with extensive animal research, has firmly established that the hippocampus acts as a kind of encoding mechanism for memory, recording the timeline of our lives.
In the 1970s another discovery inspired the theory that the hippocampus also encodes our movement through space. In 1971 John O’Keefe and Jonathan Dostrovsky, both then at University College London, found that neurons in the hippocampus displayed place-specific firing. That is, given “place cells,” as O’Keefe dubbed these hippocampal neurons, would briskly fire action potentials (the electrical impulses neurons use to communicate) whenever a rat occupied a specific location but would remain silent when the rat was elsewhere. Thus, each place cell fired for only one location, much as would a burglar alarm tied to a tile in a hallway. Similar findings have been reported subsequently in other species, including humans.
These remarkable findings led O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel, now at the University of Arizona, to propose that the hippocampus was the neural locus of a “cognitive map” of the environment. They argued that hippocampal place cells organize the various aspects of experience within the framework of the locations and contexts in which events occur and that this contextual framework encodes relations among an event’s different aspects in a way that allows later retrieval from memory. Yet a consensus is emerging that the hippocampus does somehow provide a spatial context that is vital to episodic memory. When you remember a past event, you remember not only the people, objects and other discrete components of the event but also the spatiotemporal context in which the event occurred, allowing you to distinguish this event from similar episodes with similar components. But How?
Despite intensive study, however, the precise mechanisms by which the hippocampus creates this contextual representation of memory have eluded scientists. A primary impediment was that we knew little about the brain areas that feed the hippocampus its information. Early work suggested that the entorhinal cortex, an area of cortex next to and just in front of the hippocampus, might encode spatial information in a manner similar to that of the hippocampus, though with less precision.
This view has now been turned upside down with the amazing discovery of a system of grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex, described in a series of recent papers by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser and their colleagues. Unlike a place cell, which typically fires when a rat occupies a single, particular location, each grid cell will fire when the rat is in any one of many locations that are arranged in a stunningly uniform hexagonal grid—as if the cell were linked to a number of alarm tiles spaced at specific, regular distances. The locations that activate a given grid cell are arranged in a precise, repeating grid pattern composed of equilateral triangles that tessellate the floor of the environment.
Imagine arranging dozens of round dinner plates to cover a floor in their optimal packing density, such that every plate is surrounded by other, equidistant plates; this arrangement mimics the triggering pattern tied to any given grid cell. As the rat moves around the floor, a grid cell in its brain fires each time the rat steps near the center of a plate. Other grid cells, meanwhile, are associated with their own hexagonal gridworks, which overlap each other. Grids of neighboring cells are of similar dimensions but are slightlyoffset from one another.
These grid cells, conclude the Mosers and their co-workers, are likely to be key components of a brain mechanism that constantly updates the rat’s sense of its location, even in the absence of external sensory input. And they almost certainly constitute the basic spatial input that the hippocampus uses to create the highly specific, context-dependent spatial fi ring of its place cells.
This discovery is one of the most remarkable findings in the history of single-unit recordings of brain activity.
JAMES J. KNIERIM is associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he studies the role of the hippocampus and related brain structures in spatial learning
The movie, The Experiment (Experiment, Das, 2001), shocked me a lot when i firstly saw it. I’ve heard as psychology student before about Stanford Prison Experiment, where Philip Zimbardo randomly assigned Stanford undergraduates to act as prison guards or prisoners—an extreme kind of power relation. The prison guards quickly descended into the purest forms of power abuse, psychologically torturing their peers, the prisoners. Movie is well done story about this experiment.
Social system determines our behaviour in a big way. Every position in social system has internally defined code of behaviour toward others and toward self as well. Was writing lately how our brain is great organ but so vulnerable and it generalise and simplifies so fast. Before we even know we are caught (see post: Brain makes decision before we even know it). We behave as we think that is required to behave on that position/role. Code of behaviour specifically role requires could be obtained from parents, peers, media.
Why most of the people tend to submise in front of person on position of power? Is it conditional response? Why there is so many stupid bosses who manage smart employees? What kind of aura does bring position? Subordinate or boss has clear meaning of category and responses to it in our mind. We’ve been learned about this from early childhood on. You have to respect the president, you have to respect boss. Why? Is he/she worth of respect? Of following? No, he/she symply deserve respect because is a president, boss, …Pure tautology. Political language is full of tautologies as well.
What is their drive? How they’ve come there? What is their psychological structure? How would they behave if they would be put back, quite low on social system hierarchy?
Does position corrupt or corrupted people seek for position? Is it possible that lack of empathy and ego-centrism, lack of mature consciousness, enviousness, competitiveness and grandiosness of this people show that our civilization is ruled by nuts with substantial Narcissistic personality’s disorder? They are builders of social system and its rules and roles. Is that why the whole civilisation shift itself into narcissism? (see narcisstic personality disorder traits). The last video, guy hit by car, left on the street, is typical example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQjdaEUcTAE
Video about Bush Family Fortune or “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”(Lord Acton)
Why is it said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? What is it about the psychology of power that leads people to behave differently — and too often, badly?
Those are some of the questions intriguing a group of social scientists, many of them at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. In the past few years, their research has zeroed in on what an intoxicating elixir power can be.
And one thing has become clear: The phrase “drunk with power” is often a dead-on description. These new studies show that power acts to lower inhibitions, much the same as alcohol does.
“It explains why powerful people act with great daring and sometimes behave rather like gorillas,” said psychologist Cameron Anderson, assistant professor at UC Berkeley who has studied power dynamics.
Some evidence also suggests a physiological component: that powerful people experience an adrenaline rush, not unlike that of someone in an emergency who is suddenly able to lift an automobile. Research on monkeys indicates that their levels of serotonin change when they move into the dominant alpha position.
“Disinhibition is the very root of power,” said Stanford Professor Deborah Gruenfeld, a social psychologist who focuses on the study of power. “For most people, what we think of as ‘power plays’ aren’t calculated and Machiavellian — they happen at the subconscious level. Many of those internal regulators that hold most of us back from bold or bad behavior diminish or disappear. When people feel powerful, they stop trying to ‘control themselves.’ “
So when movie star Mel Gibson told the police officer who pulled him over that he “owned” Malibu and that Jews were the source of all the wars in the history of the world, it’s hard to know whether to attribute his irrational hubris to the effects of power or drunkenness, or both.
Research documents the following characteristics of people with power: They tend to be more oblivious to what others think, more likely to pursue the satisfaction of their own appetites, poorer judges of other people’s reactions, more likely to hold stereotypes, overly optimistic and more likely to take risks.
LBJ biographer Robert Caro observed that power doesn’t corrupt; it reveals. Research by UC Berkeley psychology Professor Serena Chen suggests that people who are naturally selfish grow even more selfish if they attain power, while people who are naturally selfless and giving become more so with power.
“I enjoy teaching classes that get students to think more positively about power,” said Roderick Kramer, professor of organizational behavior at Stanford who has studied the biographies of hundreds of powerful people. He notes the flip side of power — that the lowering of inhibitions frees the powerful to shake up organizations, fearlessly challenge the status quo, do the right thing regardless of unpopularity, and follow a more daring vision. Could preacher Martin Luther King Jr. have so profoundly inspired the civil rights movement, could New Jersey homemaker Martha Stewart have become a marketing maven, could a former Austrian bodybuilder have become the governor of California without coasting on the inhibition-lowering fumes of power along the way?
This orientation is exponentially enhanced by the fact that others react differently, more deferentially, to powerful people. Henry Kissinger discerned that power is “the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
The result, as Kramer notes, is that powerful people are likely to find that every mirror held up to them says, in effect, you are the fairest of them all.
Journalist Bob Woodward tells an instructive story about President Bush in his new book “State of Denial.” Gen. Jay Garner, the outgoing chief of post-war planning in Iraq, had determined that the United States was making three big, tragic mistakes, including disbanding the Iraqi army. He met with Bush intending to lay it on the line, and instead ended up telling the intellectually incurious president that he is positively beloved in Iraq, while Bush jokes about how perhaps his next assignment will be the invasion of Iran. Garner says he would prefer Cuba — better rum and cigars, prettier women.
“Of course with all the stories, jocularity, buddy-buddy talk, bluster and confidence in the Oval Office, Garner had left out the headline,” Woodward writes. “He had not mentioned the problems he saw, or even hinted at them. He did not tell Bush about the three tragic mistakes. Once again, the aura of the presidency had shut out the most important news — the bad news. It was only one example of a visitor to the Oval Office not telling the president the whole story or the truth … The whole atmosphere too often resembled a royal court … exaggerated good news, and a good time had by all.”
The point, Kramer would argue, is not just that power reveals but also that it changes people. Such transformation explains why so many powerful people, imbued with talent, luck and leadership skills, tumble in flames like Icarus. The only way to truly harness power is first to understand what it does to you — in other words, the consequences of lowered inhibitions.
One of the simplest and yet most fascinating experiments to test the thesis is the “cookie crumbles” experiment. Researchers placed college students in groups of three and gave them an artificial assignment — collaboration on a short policy paper about a social issue. They then randomly assigned one of the students to evaluate the other two for points that would affect their ability to win a cash bonus. Having set up this artificial power hierarchy, researchers then casually brought to working trios plates containing five cookies.
They found that not only did the disinhibited “powerful” students eat more than their share of the cookies, they were more likely to chew with their mouths open and to scatter crumbs over the table.
Gruenfeld offers a similar example from her career in journalism when she occasionally met with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner. She recalls that he routinely would swig vodka from a bottle and eat raw onions — without ever offering to share — “and it never even occurred to the rest of us, because it was understood that he had the power and we did not.”
Studies show that while people with less status tend to stand or sit more primly in social and professional situations, powerful people actually stretch out and take up more physical space.
And they take liberties in other ways as well, indulging their childish impulses. Some exercise sexual prerogatives over those less powerful, with the involvement of former Rep. Mark Foley with congressional pages being but the latest example. Some rack up a preposterous number of possessions: Among the bribes former San Diego Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham took was a yacht he christened the Duke-stir, while former Tyco Chief Executive Officer Dennis Kozlowski charged home furnishings to his company, including a $2,000 trash can and a $15,000 umbrella stand.
Other power seekers relish the psychological satisfaction suggested by novelist Amy Tan’s definition of power: “holding someone else’s fear in your hand and showing it to them.” The abuses at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and other atrocities demonstrate a power effect documented three decades ago in Stanford psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo’s simulated jail scenario: Students placed in authority grew increasingly repressive and abusive over their “subjects.”
One study of the kings of England reported that those rulers with the greatest power were far more likely to commit crimes — from theft to murder — than ordinary citizens. A similar impulse may have propelled decisionmakers at Hewlett-Packard to try to plug information leaks by spying on board members and on journalists covering the company.
Another symptom of power is reduced awareness of the way you are perceived by others. Again, research shows that powerful people are less able to accurately read the verbal and facial cues of those around them, and thus more likely to misjudge how they are coming off. Instead of focusing outward, they tend to see others as merely orbiting around them.
One illustrative experiment asked subjects to draw a capital E on their foreheads with a washable marker. The hypothesis was that powerful people, because they care less about how they are perceived, would be less likely to write the E as if someone else would be reading it — and sure enough, the powerful tended to draw E’s in a way that was proper from their perspective but backward to onlookers.
This symptom of power can be ominous: As leaders grow more oblivious to the perceptions of others, they can become dangerously isolated and start to see people merely as means to their own ends. The parables of such isolation abound in history: Movie audiences can watch the downfalls of two very different examples in the French queen Marie Antoinette and Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
Another axiom of the powerful is that they take risks more than others. Such risk-taking is often richly rewarded, but at some point overconfidence can be disastrous.
When Anderson at UC and co-author Adam Galinsky at Northwestern University undertook a series of studies about the powerful, they discovered that not only were people in power more optimistic about their odds of success, but they underestimated the dangers even in areas over which they had no power whatsoever. In experiments, people made to feel powerful were more likely to minimize their chances of being affected by an accident, more likely to gamble on a lower blackjack hand, more likely to reveal vulnerable information in a job interview, even more likely to engage in sex without a condom, than were people with less power.
“The bottom line is that people in power act in more cavalier ways,” Anderson said. “They really do believe that they’re not going to get caught, and they start to see themselves as above the law. And we know how that turns out …”
So what is required to remain uncorrupted — to handle power with grace?
The experts say that to remain grounded, it takes a deliberate effort, a sense of humor about yourself and a willingness to become more, not less, reflective. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama says he gains more insights into the needs of constituents by flying in coach. High-flying investor Warren Buffet still lives in Omaha in a house that cost $31,000, and continues to play bridge with his same cadre of friends. Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were masters at a self-deprecating wit that served them well.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity,” said Abraham Lincoln, “but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Psychologists have found that thought patterns used to recall the past and imagine the future are strikingly similar.
“Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain at work, they have observed the same regions activated in a similar pattern whenever a person remembers an event from the past or imagines himself in a future situation. This challenges long-standing beliefs that thoughts about the future develop exclusively in the frontal lobe.”
Watched before both his other movies Basquiat (Jean-Michel Basquiat is “discovered” by Andy Warhol’s art world and becomes a star) and Before Night Falls (life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), but for me The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is definitely his best. Makes you think after the movie and some scenes come as flash back after you. From the beginning the movie pulls you into main actor’s head and it doesn’t let you go till the end. Schnabel as neo-expressionist” artist/painter brings into his movie excellent visual aesthetic dimension which is missed in many modern movies. Poetical and inspirational. Sensitive photography of deep inner space. Art in motion pictures. Art of flow of words. Must see art.
The story of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: “Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he’d only visited in his mind.”
From www.Salon.com: “The quietly stunning film of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s phenomenal memoir, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” was nominated for four Oscars this year. They include directing by Julian Schnabel— an honor he won for the film at the Cannes Film Festival and Golden Globes — and best adapted screenplay by Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar in 2002 for his adaptation “The Pianist.” “
There is every reason for the film’s success. It recounts the remarkable life of Bauby, the debonair editor of French Elle magazine who in 1995 suffered a massive stroke. He slipped into a coma that lasted 20 days and awoke to find himself paralyzed from head to toe. He was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called locked-in syndrome.
A prisoner inside his useless body, Bauby, 43, could think and reason, smell and hear (though not well). With the only part of his body that he could move — his left eye — he could see and later learn to express himself. His speech therapist and later his friends would read him an alphabet, and Bauby would blink at the letter he wanted. He formed words, phrases and sentences, and ultimately, over the course of two months, working with ghostwriter Claude Mendibil, who took down word for word what he said, he completed his memoir.
The evocative title comes from Bauby’s notion that while his body was submerged and weighted down — impossible to move — his imagination and memory were still free and as light as a butterfly’s wings: “My cocoon becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court.”A few days after the book was published to rave reviews in March 1997, Bauby died of an infection.
Released last spring, the film is a visual knockout. Schnabel draws on Bauby’s fantasies to blast moviegoers with a kaleidoscope of dreamy images — some subtle, some banging loud — and an array of captivating music and sounds. The wonderful script takes the point of view of Bauby himself. The fourth wall between the audience and film has fallen away and the audience experiences the world through his eyes.”
It’s not realy so innocent what going on with our …human mind… how much politics or this neocons games effect our brains….memories, hormons, endorphines…will post next how real and imagined is close and what we see is what we get …
This suggests that really bad experiences may have lasting effects on the brain, even in healthy people,” said Barbara Ganzel, the study’s lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow at Cornell’s College of Human Ecology.
ScienceDaily -Jun. 4, 2008 — Healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study.
The study — one of the first to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy adults — is published in the April issue of Neurolmage. It follows a Cornell study by the same authors that found people living near the World Trade Center on 9/11 have brains that are more reactive to such emotional stimuli as photographs of fearful faces. Combined, the two studies provide an emerging picture of what happens in the brains of healthy people who experience a traumatic event.
The smaller volume of gray matter — composed largely of cells and capillary blood vessels — that Ganzel found were in areas that process emotion and may be, Ganzel suggests, the brain’s normal response to trauma. The subjects in the study did not suffer from any mental or physical health disorders. Gray matter, a major component of the nervous system, is composed of the neuron cell bodies that process information in the brain.
About half of Americans experience a trauma in their lifetime, and scientists know a lot about the effects of trauma on the brains of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but not about people without clinical disorders. And most people, Ganzel said, who experience a trauma don’t get PTSD.
Key brain areas that are smaller are also more responsive to threat, said Ganzel, suggesting that these changes may be a helpful response to living in an uncertain environment.
“We have known for a long time that trauma exposure can lead to subsequent vulnerability to mental health disorders years after the trauma,” Ganzel added. “This research gives us clues about the biology underlying that vulnerability.”
The researchers used two types of magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of 18 people who were within 1.5 miles of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and compared them to scans of 18 people who lived at least 200 miles away at the time. One type showed the gray matter volume, and the other showed the brain’s response to emotional stimuli (pictures of fearful and calm faces). Those who were close to the disaster on Sept. 11 showed more emotional reactivity in the amygdala, a brain area that detects the presence of threatening information.
Combining the brain data revealed that those who were near the World Trade Center had smaller, more reactive amygdalas, and this, in turn, was related to how anxious they were years later. Several other brain regions associated with emotion processing were also smaller in those who were close to the disaster.
The researchers also found that study subjects who had experienced other types of trauma (violent crimes, sudden death of a loved one) showed a similar reduction in gray matter and similar response to emotional faces and anxiety.
“This suggests that the differences we see in the brain and behavior of people who were near the Sept. 11 disaster are not specific to that one event,” Ganzel said. “And it turns out there is a very similar pattern of gray matter volume loss with normal aging, which raises the question of what role trauma plays in the aging brain.”
Co-authors include Elise Temple of Dartmouth College, Cornell graduate student Pilyoung Kim, and Gary Glover of Stanford University.
Adapted from materials provided by Cornell University. Original article written by Sheri Hall.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of healthy adults more than three years after Sept. 11, 2001, shows areas that have less gray matter volume in those who were near ground zero on 9/11, compared with those who were much farther away. This is three views of the brain areas that have lower gray matter volume in the 9/11-exposed group. Notably, all of these areas (which show up brighter in this image) are associated with the processing of emotion. (Credit: Image courtesy of Cornell University)
ScienceDaily (May 8, 2007) — According to a new brain study, even people who seemed resilient but were close to the World Trade Center when the twin towers toppled on Sept. 11, 2001, have brains that are more reactive to emotional stimuli than those who were more than 200 miles away
That is the finding of a new Cornell study that excluded people who did not have such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression. One of the first studies to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy people, it is published in the May issue of the journal Emotion.
“These people appear to be doing okay, but they may, indeed, be having more sensitive responses to upsetting stimuli,” said Elise Temple, a co-author and assistant professor of human development at Cornell.
More than half the population experiences trauma, which makes people more likely to develop PTSD, depression, anxiety and physical illness later in life, according to other studies. Also, trauma has been found to make the brain’s emotional processing centers — particularly the amygdalae, the parts of the brain that judge emotional intensity and make emotional memories — more sensitive in cases of PTSD.
The findings suggest that events that trigger shock, fear and horror that are within a normal range — may cause similar changes in the brain that traumas do. Victims may experience lingering symptoms (bad dreams, jumpiness, thinking about the incident and avoiding the site of the trauma), but they are not severe. However, the kinds of changes that these traumas cause in the brain, the researchers suspect, create vulnerability to developing future mental disorders.
Specifically, the Cornell researchers found that three years after Sept. 11, 2001, the amygdalae were most sensitive in those who were close to the World Trade Center. These individuals tended to still experience lingering symptoms that were not severe enough to be diagnosed as a mental disorder. Those with lingering symptoms showed significantly more sensitive emotional reactions in the brain when stimulated by photographs of fearful faces.
“Our study suggests that there may be long-term neural correlates of trauma exposure, even in people who have looked resilient,” said lead author Barbara Ganzel, Cornell M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’02, a postdoctoral researcher in human development at Cornell. “Up until now, there has been very little evidence of that.”
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to see how people’s brains responded to photographs of fearful versus calm faces, the scans of 11 people who were within 1.5 miles of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, were compared with those who were living more than 200 miles away at the time; none of the subjects had psychiatric disorders.
“We know that looking at fearful faces in normal adults tends to activate the amygdalae relative to looking at neutral faces,” said Ganzel. “So we were looking to see if people who have had a very bad experience would have more response to this relatively mild everyday stimulus.”
Indeed, the amygdalae of those who were close to the twin towers were significantly more activated than that of others, even when other factors were controlled for in the analysis.
“People who had experienced traumas that left them with more lingering symptoms were the ones who had higher activity in their fear centers,” said Temple. “We think that the World Trade Center experience was traumatic enough that it left them with hyperactive amygdalae.”
Other co-authors include B.J. Casey, director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at the Weill Cornell Medical College; Henning Voss, a physicist at the CitiGroup Biomedical Imaging Center in New York City, where the fMRI scanning took place; and Gary Glover of Stanford University, who developed the fMRI techniques used.
Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire
Documentary Our Daily Bread , directed by Austrian Nikolaus Geyrhalter is must see wordless and musicless movie about mass production of food in 21st century. Real reality TV. In most basic sense. Pictures speak for themselves. No additional info, no moral judgments. It’s just the record of time we are living in. Very slow but makes big impact. Technology in order to increase productivity and profit. Like having a night mere and asking yourself when wake up what caused them. Animals as a thing, workers as a thing. Endless assembly line. Animals’ Auswitz. BORN TO DIE.
According to research animals have feelings, empathy, dreams… What kind of dreams have those animals? Do they dream of thousand and thousands of diets sugesstions how to loose weight?
Next video “The Word according to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see” is another must see French movie, first aired 11th of March 2008 on ARTE, how Monsanto (GENETICALLY MODIFIED food producer) and its close connection with government controls our food, destroying biodiversity and causes all spectrum of weird illnesses.
“The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.
Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market.
Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence. “
I can describe the movie the same as Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) starts the movie, explaining what dreams are:” Hi, and welcome back to another episode of “Télévision Educative”. Tonight, I’ll show you how dreams are prepared. People think it’s a very simple and easy process but it’s a bit more complicated than that. As you can see, a very delicate combination of complex ingredients is the key. First, we put in some random thoughts. And then, we add a little bit of reminiscences of the day… mixed with some memories from the past….” [adds two bunchs of pasta]. If i would have a gift to make a movies, i would do the same.
Movie is done as a dreams really are… in true Freudian sense. Bit of science, explained on a funny way, romance, blurred border between reality and imagination, dominance of inner world over external one, chaos theory, Parallel Synchronized Randomness, lots of creativity, emotions, real world versus artificial one… and mixed together into very very tasteful dish… Very surrealistic, like modern and funnier version of Bonuel’s An Andalusian Dog.
In spite of varying interpretations, Buñuel made clear throughout his writings that, between Dalí and himself, the only rule for the writing of the script was that “no idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.” Moreover, he stated that, “Nothing, in the film, symbolizes anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis. Like Gondry says…MICHEL: No, I don’t believe in symbols. I have nothing to do with a book. You can define every image and symbol but it doesn’t mean it’s a symbol that’s universal. Like if you dream about a tree, it represents a penis? That’s bullshit. [Laughs]
Its great idea to use Stephane TV show as a position of an observer of his own events and emotions…just like in dreams where we remember our dreams as observers but we know that we were the main actor as well. … In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observing will make on the phenomenon being observed. For example, for us to “see” an electron, a photon must first interact with it, and this interaction will change the path of that electron. It is also theoretically possible for other, less direct means of measurement to affect the electron; even if the electron is simply put into a position where observing it is possible, without actual observation taking place, it will still (theoretically) alter its position.
Always amazed me that position: be actor and observer at the same time. But it is not only in dreams…we live the whole life as that…we think and act and feel, we observe our actions, thoughts and feelings, than correct them if they don’t fit into frame…as in Goundry’s Human nature, mouses are Pavlov’s conditioned to eat salad with knifes and forks at the table in order to civilised them. So principles are the same, just with different “rational” involvement.
Watched on Friday on Discovery Science documentary with the same title: The science of sleep. It dealt not what dreams are but with the basics: Why do we dream at all? Why do we need dreams? Dreams occur in REM phase, very funny presented in Goundry’s movie “My eyes walk in dreams”.REM sleep occurs in all mammals and birds. As it not known that animal have language structure (and all symbols categories due that); so dreams have to be very physiological need. Lots of theories have been done, but there is still no one way answer. Amazing…Phoenix has just sent pictures from Mars’s, but our brain is still so locked in mysteries.
Are dreams connected to short -term memories, categorizing emotions into symbols of language structure? Is dreaming like being schizophrenic, deprived from majority of external stimuli and building internal world with daily emotions and stored memories. What is the principle of reality cos everything is real for us while we are dreaming. What is the triger which switch at the end of dreams and tells us that was not real but dreams.
Are dreams and reality same continuum, not two different realities. Like earth’s night and day cycle, once more and once less directly exposed to sun of consciousness” And what is consciousness all about, cos in REM phase we feel, hear, talk, think,…same as in awake state. Are dreams our own reality built from personally acquired symbols cos anyone can understood only its own dreams. We are producer of dreams and their observer. As in movie, sometimes only director understand the symbols and meaning of them.
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleepis normal stage of sleep characterized by rapid movements of the eyes. Criteria for REM sleep include not only rapid eye movements, but also low muscle tone and a rapid, low voltage EEG. REM sleep in adult humans typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep, lasting about 90-120 minutes. A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM. During REM, the summed activity of the brain’s neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours; for this reason, the phenomenon is often called paradoxical sleep. This means that there are no dominating brain waves during REM sleep. Most of our vividly recalled dreams occur during REM sleep.
REM and Near death experience & Out of body experience
“These findings suggest that REM state intrusion contributes to near death experiences,” said neurologist and study author Kevin R. Nelson, MD, FAAN, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “People who have near death experiences may have an arousal system that predisposes them to REM intrusion.”
Nelson said several other factors support this hypothesis. Several features of near death experiences are also associated with the REM state. For example, the feeling of being outside of one’s body has been associated with the REM state and the conditions of sleep paralysis, narcolepsy and seizures. The feeling of being surrounded by light could be based on the visual activity that occurs during the REM state, Nelson said. During the REM state, the muscles can lose their tone, or tension.”
ScienceDaily, Feb. 6, 2008— Four days’ exposure to a REM sleep deprivation procedure reduces cell proliferation in the part of the forebrain that contributes to long-term memory of rats, according to a new study.
The study, authored by Dennis McGinty, PhD, of the V.A. Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, focused on male Sprague-Dawley rats. REM sleep deprivation was achieved by a brief treadmill movement initiated by automatic online detection of REM sleep. A yoked-control (YC) rat was placed in the same treadmill and experienced the identical movement regardless of the stage of the sleep-wake cycle.
According to the results, REM sleep was reduced by 85 percent in REM sleep deprived rats and by 43 percent in YC rats. Cell proliferation was reduced by 63 percent in REM sleep deprived rats compared with YC rats. Across all animals, cell proliferation exhibited a positive correlation with the percentage of REM sleep.
“Several studies have shown that sleep contributes to brain plasticity in general, and to adult neurogenesis, in particular,” said Dr. McGinty. “Neurogenesis is a concrete example of brain plasticity, suppression of adult neurogenesis is thought to be important in pathologies such as depression. One current question has to do with the relative contribution of the two sleep states, non-REM and REM, which have very different, even opposite, physiological properties. This study showed that REM sleep has a critical role in facilitating brain plasticity. The study does not exclude an equally important role for non-REM sleep. In other recent work, we have shown that sleep fragmentation can also suppress adult neurogenesis. How sleep affects the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis remains to be explored.”
The article “Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation contributes to reduction of neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of the adult rat” was published in the February 1 issue of the journal Sleep.
“But, when we looked in the sleep deprived subjects, instead, what we found is a hyperactive brain response,” he says.
And what’s more, in the sleep-deprived subjects, Walker discovered a disconnect between that over-reacting amygdala (a region of the brain) and the brain’s frontal lobe, the region that controls rational thought and decision-making, meaning that the subjects’ emotional responses were not being kept in check by the more logical seat of reasoning. It’s a problem also found in people with psychiatric disorders.
“So you’re saying that you take someone with a severe mental disorder and a person without that disorder, but deprive them of sleep, and the brain scan will look similar?” Stahl asks.
“Their pattern of brain activity was not dissimilar. So I think what it forces us to do really now is to appreciate more significantly the role that sleep may be playing in mental health and in psychiatric diseases. And I think that could be one of the futures of the field of sleep research,” Walker replies.
Walker says most of us need seven and a half to eight hours of sleep every night.”
FREUD RETURNS? LIKE A BAD DREAM
By J. Allan Hobson
Sigmund Freud’s views on the meaning of dreams formed the core of his theory of mental functioning. MarkSolms and others assert that brain imaging and lesion studies are now validating Freud’s conception of the mind. But similar scientific investigations show that major aspects of Freud’s thinking are probably
erroneous. For Freud, the bizarre nature of dreams resulted from an elaborate effortof the mind to conceal, by symbolic disguise and censorship, the unacceptable instinctual wishes welling up from the unconscious when the ego relaxes its prohibition of the id in sleep. But most neurobiological evidence supports thealternative view that dream bizarreness stems from normal changes in brain state. Chemical mechanisms in the brain stem, which shift the activation of various regions of the cortex, generate these changes. Many studies have indicated that the chemical changes determine the quality and quantity of dream visions, emotions and thoughts. Freud’s disguiseand-censorship notion must be discarded;no one believes that the ego-id struggle, ifit exists, controls brain chemistry. Mostpsychoanalysts no longer hold that the disguise-censorship theory is valid.
Without disguise and censorship, what is left of Freud’s dream theory? Not much—only that instinctual drives could impel dream formation. Evidence does indicate that activating the parts of thelimbic system that produce anxiety, anger and elation shapes dreams. But these nfluences are not “wishes.” Dream
analyses show that the emotions in dreams are as often negative as they arepositive, which would mean that half our “wishes” for ourselves are negative. And as all dreamers know, the emotions in dreams are hardly disguised. They enter into dream plots clearly, frequently bringing unpleasant effects such as nightmares.
Freud was never able to account for why so many dream emotions are negative.
Another pillar of Freud’s model is that because the true meaning of dreams is hidden, the emotions they reflect can be revealed only through his wild-goosechase method of free association, in which the subject relates anything and everything that comes to mind in hopes of stumbling across a crucial connection.
But this effort is unnecessary, because no such concealment occurs. In dreams, what you see is what you get. Dream content is emotionally salient on its face, and the close attention of dreamers and their therapists is all that is needed to see the feelings they represent.
Solms and other Freudians intimate that ascribing dreams to brain chemistry is the same as saying that dreams have no emotional messages. But the statements are not equivalent. The chemical activation-synthesis theory of dreaming, put forth by Robert W. McCarley of Harvard Medical School and me in 1977, maintained only that the psychoanalytic explanation of dream bizarreness as concealed meaning was wrong. We have always argued that dreams are emotionally salient and meaningful. And what about REM sleep?
New studies reveal that dreams can occur during non-REM sleep, but nothing in the chemical activation model precludes this case; the frequency of dreams is simply exponentially higher during REM sleep.
Psychoanalysis is in big trouble, and no amount of neurobiological tinkering can fix it. So radical an overhaul is
necessary that many neuroscientists would prefer to start over and create a neurocognitive model of the mind.
Psychoanalytic theory is indeed comprehensive, but if it is terribly in error,then its comprehensiveness is hardly a virtue. The scientists who share this view stump for more biologically based models of dreams, of mental illness, and of normal conscious experience than those offered by psychoanalysis.
J. Allan Hobson, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has written extensively on the brain basis of the mind and its implications for psychiatry. For more, see Hobson’s book Dreaming: An Introduction to the Science of Sleep (Oxford University Press, 2003).
The dream reactivates that which escapes forgetting and at the same time brings a work to bear on its elements, a secondary elaboration. As an effect of this secondary elaboration, “the dreams have already been interpreted once before being submitted to our waking interpretation”.8 A text results from this, that of the dream, which is, therefore, in itself an interpretation. Moreover, the dreamer adopts a position in relation to his dream: he exercises an interpretation of the interpretation. When Freud says that the dream is ‘the fulfillment of a wish’,9 he is also making an interpretation of the interpretation which is the dream itself.
In The Direction of the Treatment, Lacan emphasises that Freud is proposing ‘the dream as a metaphor of desire’.10 Something has passed into meaning [sens] in the dream, and, from this passage, results what Freud has called desire. But, as Lacan takes it up again: it is about a ‘desire to have an unsatisfied desire’.11 It is a Wunsch, a wish, about which Lacan says that there are wishes ‘[…] pious, nostalgic, contradictory, farcical’.12 The desire that Freud isolates in the dream reveals the dimension of lack: of the subject’s want-to-be [manque-à-être] which presents itself as a want-to-enjoy [manque-à-jouir].13 Lacan takes up the well-known dream of the ‘beautiful butcher’s wife’ in order to show how a desire refers to another desire, how the dream carries desire to a geometrically progressive power.14 In this reference of one desire to another, Lacan distinguishes — in The Direction of the Treatment and in Radiophonie — two dimensions to this desire of desire which is ordered according to the laws which link the signifying chain: metonymic combination producing displacement and metaphoric substitution with its effect of condensation.15
The films compare the rise of the American Neo-Conservative movement and the radical Islamistmovement, making comparisons on their origins and noting strong similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is in fact a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies.
Precaution as a new name of the game…act upon what might happen (what is already told due political and media agenda) and not upon what is real ….
The common denominator: fear.. either of terrorism or global warming…just to keep people in constant fear of inevitable… politicians have to invent a problem to cure it and to defend people from it…if people are constantly occupied with fear of endless treat they sure can not think critical of something else. Even thought that there are no reasonable facts behind. They invent them, they promote them and they become a universal truth. How sadly.
No clear connection between Al Qaeda and 9/11 or to Iraq; no clear connection between CO2 and global warming or sea rise and global warming…but yet…it’s universal truth; its a big hype…kids are more afraid according to research of global worming than terrorism…but where are real facts behind?
if you doubt about terrorism or global warming, you are heretic or as they say ..it’s same as you deny holocaust …
I don’t know how much its true or not on both topics, cos i don’t know for sure who finances one or other media but if doubting is almost a sin, we are back in dark middle age and inquisition… the reasonable doubt is a base of any further human development…
Scientific models or some partial information, promoted as a truth, and nothing but the truth makes me pretty nervous and sceptic.
And just today emerged: Army Radio had quoted a top official in Jerusalem claiming that a senior member in the entourage of President Bush, who visited Israel last week, had said in a closed meeting here that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action against Iran was called for.
Ideologist behind Neoconservatives: Leo Strauss – unique America, who is destined to fight the devil in the world, the only good force in the world. Strauss thought that myths are necessary to give people meaning and purpose of life and throught this keep stable society.
PULP (The Fear)
When Franklin D. Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, he meant it in a philosophical sense. But physicians know that the fight-or-flight response that protects the body from harm can sometimes backfire. “If you are terrorised by a God-awful stress, it can take you out,” says Richard Verrier of Deaconess Hospital in Boston. “I don’t think you would find a cardiologist who thinks it’s impossible to die of fright.”
Watched excellent BBC documentary The Trap:What happened to our dream of freedom of Adam Curtis (author of Happiness machines i was writing about last time). There are three parts and in first part he questions what is freedom all about, what is normality and how mathematical models modeled people and society. Is it true that we are selfish, isolated and suspicious human creatures, constantly monitor and strategies each other, to maximize our own benefit? Measurable predictable androids? For every measurement we need to set a reference. Who is the one who set the reference upon which people should be measured? Is it orchestrated from behind or maybe history by accident takes its mysterious way. Or maybe is mix of both. Did nature equip us with beautiful mirror neurons to understand others in order make the best strategy for maximizing our own result and not for empathy as a base for real humanity !?
Curtis starts with Game theory of John Nash (Beautiful Mind) and how his theory was implemented as a tool in predicting Soviet reaction during the cold war (Nash’s paranoia resonated just well with paranoia of Cold War). And as every idea it found mysterious ways of implementation, far beyond cold war tool. Even faking results to prove its correctness in various situations by those who used it to justify either believes or actions (psychiatry, Vietnam’s war,…)
He continues with psychiatry which defines normality from Freud on. Dark age of psychiatry, colored by electroshocks, followed by anti psychiatric movement (Laing),use of game theory in family dynamics (love is just a strategy to maximize own benefit or dominance over partner). Shame of psychiatric diagnoses due to Rosenhan_experiment ( 8 healthy people were set to mental hospitals. During psychiatric assessment they claimed to be hearing voices that were often unclear, but noticeably said the words “empty,” “hollow” and “thud.” No other psychiatric symptoms were claimed, and apart from giving false names and employment details, further biographical details were truthfully reported. If admitted, the pseudo-patients were asked to “act normally,” report that they felt fine and no longer heard behaved completely normally. 7 of them were diagnosed with schizophrenia, 1 with bipolar disorder. They were all given powerful drugs. They haven’t been allowed to leave the hospital. This was disaster for psychiatric society what lead to rational and quantified questioners to avoid subjective judgment. They set up a list of measurable characteristic (symptoms) on which people answered yes or no, either they have those characteristic or not. Questionnaires have been distributed to ordinary people. Evaluating the results they found that 50% of people have some types of mental disorders. Normal sadness for example became depression.
Psychiatrist started with screening process due to latent mental illness. They’ve spread a check list among people, so people used new definitions of disorders to compare their behaviour with “normal behaviour”. No elite needed to monitor people anymore, people started to monitor themselves by list of “normality”. And if not “normal”, pharmaceutical companies were more than willing to offer them magical Prozac. To be “normal” and constantly happy. And easier manageable.
Its amazing what kind of results some big ideas of liberalization produced (Sartre, Fanon– liberalisation of itself through violence; Che Guara, Arafat…, suport of dictators to liberalize communistic countries, trainings of contra-revolutionaries, fake evidences, …)
So who we are behind what they told us scientists, politicians, religions, behind all this overwhelming social construction?…How is to feel normally behind “normally as they told and suggested us … Is freedom to heavy burden for current level of human existence or is freedom just part of broader cycle and context and not the universal state itself?
“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” (N. Tesla)
Current world’s crises is mostly spinning around following issues: high oil prices, food shortage, environmental issues, earthquakes on financial markets, huge difference between developed and underdeveloped countries…They are very much connected but where are the roots? Would it be possible to have different world as we have it now?
It’s hypothetical, but less greed at the beginning of 20th century would tremendously change the part of our civilisation. All needed tools were there but in the name of personal power and prestige they were cut for world citizens. The sins and the sinners, how ironically, are the same as 100 years ago.
It was Nikola Tesla, who invented alternating curent electric power and electrified the world. But he invented so much more. He was one of greatest scientist of our millennium. My father gave me his biography at my early age. It was him why i studied electronics in high school. Briliance of his mind, ideas beyond our time, mysticism, x-rays, photographing thoughts, resonanting planeth Earth, vedic philosophy, friendship with Mark Twain…
He was from ex-Yugoslavia, where i lived so I knew him as national hero, but he was much less known worldwide. I’ve read about him a lot, watched movies, but every time he inspires me the same and i am amazed with his vision and work. I recommend every one to dive into his tremendous work and ideas. For me he is The most enigmatic and the most brilliant mind of past century.
I’ve read lately another book of him; Tesla: Man out of time by Margareth Cheney. Very good portrait of Tesla as scientist and person but more than that. It’s overview of industrial revolution, centres of power and newborn elite. Its a pity to read how such a great mind depended so much of funds of J.P. Morgan and elite which still rule the world. And how the same elite blocked inventions which would dramatically change the world and eliminate factors which dictate current world’s crises.
– With free wireless electricity(employing Eart’s own resonance) divide between developed and underdeveloped countries would be much smaller; but which banker would invest money to give electricity to people for free – Morgan withdrew his investment
When the great truth accidentally revealed and experimentally confirmed is fully recognized, that this planet, with all its appalling immensity, is to electric currents virtually no more than a small metal ball and that by this fact many possibilities, each baffling imagination and of incalculable consequence, are rendered absolutely sure of accomplishment; when the first plant is inaugurated and it is shown that a telegraphic message, almost as secret and non-interferable as a thought, can be transmitted to any terrestrial distance, the sound of the human voice, with all its intonations and inflections, faithfully and instantly reproduced at any other point of the globe, the energy of a waterfall made available for supplying light, heat or motive power, anywhere — on sea, or land, or high in the air — humanity will be like an ant heap stirred up with a stick: See the excitement coming!
“The Transmission of Electric Energy Without Wires” in Electrical World and Engineer (5 March 1904)
With the discovery of electricity, everybody expected that all cars would be electric and run on rechargeable batteries. Tesla had gone one better and actually produced a working automobile that ran on electricity taken from the surrounding ether like an antenna picks up radio waves. This would revolutionize travel just like his AC induction motor had revolutionized the industrial world.
Morgan, Rockefeller and Ford had to sabotage his idea at all costs….No air polluting gasoline engine meant no oil monopoly for Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Co. No oil monopoly meant no excuse for Rockefeller to own the U.S. government, and no excuse to be involved in foreign countries . . .
Bulbous nosed baboon J.P. Morgan (1837-1913), was the chief enemy of Tesla’s AC system; his wireless transmission system and his electric car.
J. D. Rockefeller (1838-1937) was the founder of the Standard Oil Co. His killing of the electric car allowed Standard Oil to amass a vast fortune which is still pouring into Rockefeller controlled companies to this very day.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) is credited with mass producing the noisy air polluting gasoline engine. By 1932, Ford controlled over 1/3 of gasoline engine production worldwide. He was very familiar with electricity because he worked for George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison. Hitler admired Ford so much that he kept Ford’s picture in his office. Many of the trucks used by the Nazis during WWII were built by the Ford German and French subsidiaries.
That’s verified in the Congressional Record for 1917, which reported that “…the J.P. Morgan [banking] interests…. and their subsidiary organizations got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the US…. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. …an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information….”
Woodrow Wilson was elected President in 1913, beating incumbent William Howard Taft, who had vowed to veto legislation establishing a central bank. To divide the Republican vote and elect the relatively unknown Wilson, J.P. Morgan and Co. poured money into the candidacy of Teddy Roosevelt and his Progressive Party.
The Council on Foreign Relations was incorporated as the American branch in New York on July 29, 1921. Founding members included Colonel House, and “…such potentates of international banking as J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Paul Warburg, Otto Kahn, and Jacob Schiff…the same clique which had engineered the establishment of the Federal Reserve System,” according to Gary Allen in the October 1972 issue of “AMERICAN OPINION.”
The founding president of the CFR was John W. Davis, J.P. Morgan’s personal attorney, while the vice-president was Paul Cravath, also representing the Morgan interests. Professor Carroll Quigley characterized the CFRas “…a front group for J.P. Morgan and Company in association with the very small American Round Table Group.” Over time Morgan influence was lost to the Rockefellers, who found that one world government fit their philosophy of business well. As John D. Rockefeller, Sr. had said: “Competition is a sin,” and global monopoly fit their needs as they grew internationally.
Was another one…great sailing weekend. 10 instead of 25 knots as last time…but still great experience…(less adrenalin,…gonna talk about it next time). So effortless pleasure. We won a medal…but really not important…Its not a medal you get, its a team spirit you had, have, will have… Kind of joint effort and joint pleasure…hard to explain… IT IS A FEELING U CAN NOT GAIN ALONE. Although i like solitude, i like team work equally…it gives me pleasure…different one..but important one.
Caught an article today from New Scientist about Mirror Neurons (and i was talking about last time, just came back from sailing… Maybe there is some synchronicity but i don’t know…”who knows”…, my favorite friend’s saying). Just another prove how mirror neurons play important role in our life. I am waiting further proves cos i am believer that they are one of basic ingredients of our socialising and interdependence among all human beings. Even if you see other people’ straggle only on TV…it moves something within you…
People who are good at interpreting facial expressions have “mirror neuron” systems that are more active, say researchers. The finding adds weight to the idea that these cells are crucial to helping us figure out how others are feeling.
Mirror neurons are brain cells that fire both when you do something and when you watch someone else do the same thing.
Because they allow us to mimic what others are doing, it is thought that these neurons may be responsible for why we can feel empathy, or understand others’ intentions and states of mind. People with autism, for instance, show reduced mirror neuron activity during social cognition tasks.
Now Peter Enticott at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and his colleagues have found evidence supporting this theory. They asked 20 healthy adults to look at pairs of images. In one task, they had to decide if paired images of faces were the same person. In another, they had to decide if both faces were showing the same emotion.
In a separate task, volunteers watched video clips of thumb movement, a hand grasping a pen and a hand while writing, while the activity in the primary motor cortex of the brain, which contains mirror neurons, was recorded.
Now the team had a measure of the “motor potential” in the thumb muscles – for example, how much the thumb was primed to move just by watching another thumb moving. This measure is a proxy for mirror neuron activity, say the researchers.
Enticott’s team found that the volunteers who were better at judging people’s emotions had higher mirror neuron activity in the thumb task. There was no correlation, however, between the ability to recognise faces and mirror neuron activity. This suggests that mirror neurons are involved in understanding emotions as well as in the mimicry of actions.
“[The study] connects the two different functions – the motor aspect with the emotional processing aspect,” says Lindsay Oberman, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, US. “They show that mirror neurons for motor activity are related to mirror neurons for emotions,” she adds.
And fresh from great sailing weekend, i just can not avoid nice comparison of sailing and yoga (i’ve been practicing it for some while). In both you need a time to realise that you gain the most when you align with the breath, the wind, flow of life…big effort, but suddenly you realise that you gain the most effortless.
And what can i say more than: Push the limits (Enigma)
Basic instincts, social life
Paradoxes side by side
Don’t submit to stupid rules
Be yourself and not a fool
Don’t accept average habits
Open your heart and push the limits
Open your heart
And push the limits
Reading Clive Hamilton’s book “Growth Fetish”. The thesis of the book is that the policies of unfettered capitalism pursued by the west for the last 50 years has largely failed, since the underlying purpose of the creation of wealth is happiness, and Hamilton contends that people in general are no happier now than 50 years ago, despite the huge increase in personal wealth. In fact, he suggests that the reverse is true. He states that the pursuit of growth has become a fetish, in that it is seen as a universal magic cure for all of society’s ills. His view on consumerism can be sumed up into:
“People buy things they don’t want, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like”
So what is this magical word or state of mind called Happines? What Freud said about and what is his contribution to establish “Happiness machines” (see excelent BBC video below: The Century of Self: Happiness machines)
“Where wisdom (to phronein) is, there happiness (eudaimonías) will crown.” (Antigona).
“For Lacan, Aristotelian “happiness” and the modern “bourgeois dream” share a common failing. Both deny the tragic dimension of existence—and the tragic heroism required to live boldly and authentically or, like Antigone, with “splendor.” In Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Lacan connects “happiness” as such with the hap encounter that is tuché: “Certainly Freud leaves no doubt, any more than Aristotle, that what man is seeking, his goal, is happiness. It’s odd that in almost all languages happiness offers itself in terms of a meeting–tuché. Except in English and even there it’s very close. . . . ‘Happiness’ is after all ‘happen’; it is an encounter. . . . “
So lets see how well was used Freud idea (by his nephew Edward Louis Bernays) to put people in extatic state of constant pursuit of happiness.
Opening paragraph of the American Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Our level of happiness throughout life is strongly influenced by the genes with which we were born, say experts. An Edinburgh University study of identical and non-identical twins suggests genes may control half the personality traits keeping us happy.
Food crises, Financial crises, global warming, falling $, high oil prices – what is the lowest common denominator?
“Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire Couldn’t conquer the blue sky “
Nice sentence from “Always take the weather with you” of Crowded house. But is it conquered now? Watching CNN last night i just couldn’t avoid food crisis news; haven’t been able to avoid them while buying newspapers (Newsweek , 2008, the yaar of global food crises , Global food crisis looms as climate change and fuel shortages bite , …. ) I can’t avoid global warming news, although some scientist say that the Global Cooling comes back in a big way. Can’t avoid news about financial crises, high oil prices, falling $, coming recession,… than in commercial breaks: buy now, be greener, cars with lower CO2, secure your investments, eat healthy food,… Like one and the same continuing program without noticing that there are commercials.. Is it there causal relationship? Is it bad policy as they say? Or is it everything so very well engineered?
When media over expose some news i become sceptical. Very very sceptical and doubtful. Working in media i know pretty well how media ownership is spread and from where the money comes from. And for a big news spreading around you need very good bandmaster. And a lot of money.
We all know that we live in media constructed reality. So what is the reality behind media construction? Is the Bilderberg group and bank elite answer to that? If we going back to past recessions and believe that past recessions were very well engineered (as it well presented in Zeitgeist movie or End Game- Blueprint for global enslavement) why should be different now. Its about making crises, solved them then and gain control over poor hungry and penniless people. I hardly believe that everything has come together so quickly and coincidentally. We know how big power FED has. And WTO, and IMF and UN. All the same policy.
Maybe many of this could be speculation, but knowing that media aren’t teling us the truth, we have to be skeptical and try to find the truth behind. To understand the cause not just the results. Just too many coincidences that someone would not recognize clear and horror pattern of lowest common denominator – power-play and control.
The story of chemtrails or Goodbye blue sky
Some says that chemtrails could be solution to global warming. Most of them deny program for using them for cooling the earth (but patent has been approved, see bellow). Must see movie Aerosol Crimes for everyone who is interested on this topic. Some other think that they are another weapon to control the weather in order to control nations (isolated drought in North Korea and isolated cloudy weather over Belgrade during air strike). According to some, long-term drought is the result of spraying chemtrails . Temperature drops for 7C and humidity for 30%. In addition to that health problems are reported.
Food shortage is the most evident result of drought, isn’t it. And hungry and penniless people are to weak to fight for their rights and think no further than to their stomach. Kissinger said that there are two tools to control people or whole nations: weapon and food. Genetically modified is another scary story (see video bellow).
The Welsbach Patent
United States Patent
Chang , et al.
March 26, 1991
Stratospheric Welsbach seeding for reduction of global warming AbstractA method is described for reducing atmospheric or global warming resulting from the presence of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, i.e., from the greenhouse effect. Such gases are relatively transparent to sunshine, but absorb strongly the long-wavelength infrared radiation released by the earth. The method incudes the step of seeding the layer of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere with particles of materials characterized by wavelength-dependent emissivity. Such materials include Welsbach materials and the oxides of metals which have high emissivity (and thus low reflectivities) in the visible and 8-12 micron infrared wavelength regions.
Chang; David B.(Tustin, CA), Shih; I-Fu(Los Alamitos, CA)
“I learned about U.S. Patent #: 5,003,186, titled `Stratospheric Welsbach Seeding for Reduction of Global Warming,” better known by chemtrail researchers as “The Welsbach Patent.”
The patent describes putting metallic particles like aluminum and barium into jet fuel. Then, exhaust from the jet engine seeds the stratosphere. In turn, those small metallic particles serve a dual purpose by: 1) reflecting incoming light back into space and 2.) helping convert the warmth below into infra-red waves, allowing them to escape from the earth’s atmosphere.
“It turned out that it seemed to work and so that’s why we had applied for a patent,” said patent co-inventor David Chang. Chang confirmed that the U.S. military did fund that research while he worked at Hughes Aircraft, an aerospace giant at the time. It would later downsize considerably and evolve into Direct-TV, which required some of the very same kinds of research and development.
In fact, Chang described several other military-funded projects where jet engine exhaust dispersed metallic particles into the atmosphere. “For instance, we were using it to develop targets for laser range finders,” continued Chang.
I then learned about that U.S. Air Force document titled, “Owning the Weather in 2025.” it details weather modification for war-fighting and describes putting carbon dust into jetfuel for dispersal as the quote, ‘most convenient, safe and cost effective method,” just as the Welsbach Patent explained. That method is described on page 15 of the Air Force report, originally written in 1996 as a study paper.
In September of 2002, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell even told a United Nations World Summit in South Africa quote, “we are committed to a billion-dollar program to develop and deploy advanced technologies to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions.” Powell never fully elaborated.
And few may remember that the U.S. military used covert weather modification in the past. During the Vietnam War a top secret mission called ?Operation Popeye,? seeded clouds over the Ho Chi Minh Trail to create floods and wash out the enemy’s supply routes. Reporter Jack Anderson is credited with breaking that story back in 1971.
Unbelievable journey…into depth
How rich is the landscape once entering there
how many beautiful colors…fells like being blind before
so little is needed to be you…
but it’s so hard to get there and grab it
when wave length finds another and starts to resonate
true life symphony begins… so intensive, so almighty
that the body is not enough…the powerful force wants
to extend trough the universe…too feel its origin
new souls hold each other tightly in fear of divide
is there any beauty more powerful
than when two souls start a dance,
so harmoniously that earth stops for a while,
stars froze for a moment
and life takes a deep breath to celebrate the union
new world has been just created…
spinning like a magic ball within known one
so vulnerable, so cuty awkward
and yet powerful as big bang
many things to be re-learned,
new touches felt, new smells scented,
new vision seen, new voices heard
everything seems like a fist time…
a unique new world, never existed before
but it will be for always written into the record of this universe
cos it records everything…
every single move, every single feeling, every single touch…
So celebrate, two souls united into one symphony,
“don’t let me go, whispers one another
let me feel you stronger than myself…
hold me so strong that i will crash into your arms
and recreate into you again”
yes, you can hear those whispers
and fear of falling on every corner you turn
you can feel their shaking and heartbeats’ echoes
than resonance breaks and symphony becomes silence
deep silence, omnipotent wall between two worlds…
divided souls are never the same again
big emptiness posses their rooms
and screams as million crying babies
then one day …new beam, from outer space
enters the empty room and tenderly starts to vibrate
…new dance, new creation, new symphony
new mighty force wants to extend across the universe
In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the system’s resonance frequencies (or resonant frequencies). At these frequencies, even small periodic driving forces can produce large amplitude vibrations, because the system stores vibrational energy. Resonant systems can be used to generate vibrations of a specific frequency, or pick out specific frequencies from a complex vibration containing many frequencies.
The lowest common denominator of the weekend: wind. Had 5h delay from roundtrip Frankfurt – London” due to strong wind on Friday. Terrible turbulence on air. But than…a lot of time to think and to shop on crowded airport. Bought Gribbin’s book: In search of Schrodinger’s cat and Vonnegut’s A man without country. So Heathrow has positive sides too.
Saturday’s strong wind made the first this year’s regatta almost scary. Up to 30 knots. But this makes sailing so exciting. To challenge yourself and your fear. Sunday resulted in muscle pain, so perfect excuse to read and watch movies all day long.
Researchers at UCLA found that cells in the human anterior cingulate, which normally fire when you poke the patient with a needle (”pain neurons”), will also fire when the patient watches another patient being poked. The mirror neurons, it would seem, dissolve the barrier between self and others.  I call them “empathy neurons” or “Dalai Llama neurons”. (I wonder how the mirror neurons of a masochist or sadist would respond to another person being poked.) Dissolving the “self vs. other” barrier is the basis of many ethical systems, especially eastern philosophical and mystical traditions. This research implies that mirror neurons can be used to provide rational rather than religious grounds for ethics (although we must be careful not to commit the is/oughtfallacy)(http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramachandran06/ramachandran06_index.html)
Read really interesting article in Nature: “Brain makes decisions before you even know it.” The never ending questioning about free will. When we are talking we don’t think usually about next sentence. Words come smoothly as they follow certain pattern without big effort. Like something within us is putting words on our tongue and we reproduce them as air which going thorough flute and makes nice sound… So are we talking or we are talked? This brings into light importance of inner silence and clearness of mind.
“Brain activity predicts decisions before they are consciously made.”
Think it over: your brain might pre-empt your conscious when deciding what to do. Punchstock Your brain makes up its mind up to ten seconds before you realize it, according to researchers. By looking at brain activity while making a decision, the researchers could predict what choice people would make before they themselves were even aware of having made a decision.The work calls into question the ‘consciousness’ of our decisions and may even challenge ideas about how ‘free’ we are to make a choice at a particular point in time.
“We think our decisions are conscious, but these data show that consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg,” says John-Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study.“The results are quite dramatic,” says Frank Tong, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Ten seconds is “a lifetime” in terms of brain activity, he adds.
On the button
Haynes and his colleagues imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task. The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to. Each button was operated by a different hand. At the same time, a stream of letters were presented on a screen at half-second intervals, and the volunteers had to remember which letter was showing when they decided to press their button.
When the researchers analysed the data, the earliest signal the team could pick up started seven seconds before the volunteers reported having made their decision. Because of there is a delay of a few seconds in the imaging, this means that the brain activity could have begun as much as ten seconds before the conscious decision. The signal came from a region called the frontopolar cortex, at the front of the brain, immediately behind the forehead. This area may well be the brain region where decisions are initiated, says Haynes, who reports the results online in Nature Neuroscience. The next step is to speed up the data analysis to allow the team to predict people’s choices as their brains are making them.
Mind over matter
The results build on some well-known work on free will done in the 1980s by the late neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet, then at the University of California, San Francisco. Libet used a similar experimental set-up to Haynes, but with just one button and measuring electrical activity in his subjects’ brains. He found that the regions responsible for movement reacted a few hundred milliseconds before a conscious decision was made. But Libet’s study has been criticized in the intervening decades for its method of measuring time, and because the brain response might merely have been a general preparation for movement, rather than activity relating to a specific decision.
Haynes and his team improved the method by asking people to choose between two alternatives — left and right. Because moving the left and right hands generates distinct brain signals, the researchers could show that activity genuinely reflected one of the two decisions. But the experiment could limit how ‘free’ people’s choices really are, says Chris Frith, who studies consciousness and higher brain function at University College London. Although subjects are free to choose when and which button to press, the experimental set-up restricts them to only these actions and nothing more, he says. “The subjects hand over their freedom to the experimenter when they agree to enter the scanner,” he says.
What might this mean, then, for the nebulous concept of free will? If choices really are being made several seconds ahead of awareness, “there’s not much space for free will to operate”, Haynes says. But results aren’t enough to convince Frith that free will is an illusion. “We already know our decisions can be unconsciously primed,” he says. The brain activity could be part of this priming, as opposed to the decision process, he adds.
Part of the problem is defining what we mean by ‘free will’. But results such as these might help us settle on a definition. It is likely that “neuroscience will alter what we mean by free will”, says Tong.