background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Preference falsification: King Arthur edition. Mark Twain was an awfully sharp fellow.

Preference falsification: King Arthur edition

Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture. Sarah Perry is a resident blogger visiting us from her home turf at The View from Hell.

Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture

A selective sweep occurs when a new, beneficial gene mutation appears and quickly sweeps across a population, erasing the genetic diversity that existed prior to the sweep. Similarly, languages have “swept” across continents as the cultures they belonged to gained unbeatable advantages (often agricultural or military), resulting in losses of language diversity from earliest human history to the present day. Today, half the population of the world speaks one of only thirteen languages.

These are not controversial claims. More controversial is the idea that human prehistory (and even history) hosted a wide variety of human consciousness, not just language, and that these disparate kinds of subjective consciousness were destroyed upon contact with new forms of consciousness. How to Fall Off the Wagon. Self-help ideas generally belong to one of three schools of thought, whether the originators realize it or not: values-first, goals-first or process-first.

How to Fall Off the Wagon

Norman Vincent Peale (Power of Positive Thinking, 1952), Wayne W. Dyer (Erroneous Zones, 1976) and David Allen (GTD, 2002) are the authors of the pioneering mainstream classics of each sub-genre. Those dates are significant: the schools evolved and matured in that order, each building on the last to some extent. In the process of exploring the question, “what’s the best way to fall off the wagon in each school?”

I accidentally created a visualization that turned out to capture a grand-unified-theory of self-improvement. Note that self-help types have a tendency to use people and values interchangeably. Circle Thrice: Mind War: Part One. Viruses have, by definition, an element of harm.

Circle Thrice: Mind War: Part One

Unlike bacteria, which can be helpful or harmful, viruses are by nature harmful because they destroy the cells that they use to replicate. While there are examples of viruses attacking bacteria or other viruses in nature, any benefit is usually a side effect that doesn't necessarily override the harm. Computer viruses are also . Computer viruses are typically created to do harmful things (like collect your personal information and send it someplace else). Who was that masked man? Memetic inoculation – how to develop immunity to memetic hacking (and avoid the Zombie apocalypse) A while back I wrote about memes and how they can ‘hack’ past our consciousness (here).

Memetic inoculation – how to develop immunity to memetic hacking (and avoid the Zombie apocalypse)

I suggested that some concepts, like religion, are particularly effective at getting past our conscious defences because, as ‘sticky’ memes, they are able to trigger a wide range of fundamental human needs, making them seem and feel ‘right’. Once ‘infected’ we try and spread the meme to others, meaning that memes can be thought of both as hacks and viruses (although, in effect, viruses are a form of self-propagating hack). Weaponized Sacredness. Sarah Perry is a contributing editor of Ribbonfarm.

Weaponized Sacredness

Author’s note: The thinking that gave rise to this essay was committed in collaboration with St. Rev. Errors, suspicious implications, and dubious conclusions are my own. On March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, just north of Los Angeles, California, failed catastrophically and sent a wave of water through the valley that caused the gruesome deaths of hundreds of people. Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone's eyes for 10 minutes. Giovanni Caputo recruited 20 young adults (15 women) to form pairs.

Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone's eyes for 10 minutes

Each pair sat in chairs opposite each other, one metre apart, in a large, dimly lit room. Specifically, the lighting level was 0.8 lx, which Caputo says "allowed detailed perception of the fine face traits but attenuated colour perception. " The participants' task was simply to stare into each other's eyes for 10 minutes, all the while maintaining a neutral facial expression. A control group of a further 20 participants also sat in a dimly lit room in pairs, but their chairs faced the wall and they stared at the wall. Beforehand both groups were told that the study was going to involve a "meditative experience with eyes open.

" Why the World's Remaining Hunter-Gatherer Societies Are Some of the Biggest Pot Smokers. Photo Credit: RomboStudio /

Why the World's Remaining Hunter-Gatherer Societies Are Some of the Biggest Pot Smokers

There Is Now a Brain Implant that Can Control Emotions Wirelessly. Current methods for improving your mood are wildly inefficient.

There Is Now a Brain Implant that Can Control Emotions Wirelessly

Recreational drugs can make you crazy, pharmaceuticals can erase your personality and damage your organs. Sugar and alcohol make you fat and depressed. Caffeine stresses you out, and cigarettes fill your lungs with death. America's only metric road. Story by Moni Basu, CNNVideo by Nick Scott, CNN Only three nations do not use the metric system today: Myanmar, Liberia and the United States.

America's only metric road

But calling America a nonmetric nation is somewhat of a misnomer. The United States has given more than an inch even though it might not have gone the whole nine yards. A Different Perspective. New Study Offers Support for 'Telephone Telepathy' Alien Life May Be Out There—But All Life Is Incredibly Rare. A rocket powered by kerosene and liquid oxygen and carrying a scientific observatory blasted off into space at 10:49 p.m., March 6, 2009 (by local calendars and clocks). The launch came from the third planet out from a G-type star, 25,000 light-years from the center of a galaxy called the Milky Way, itself located on the outskirts of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. On the night of the launch, the sky was clear, with no precipitation or wind, and the temperature was 292 degrees by the absolute temperature scale.

Local intelligent life forms cheered the launch.