Monthly Archives: January 2013

Brain wiring, genetics+nurture and fault

It is nature or nurture? Surely, it’s somewhere in between. Sometimes more nature, sometimes more nurture. But through neuroscience and psychology, we’re getting to a point where brain wiring’s (and therefore actions) are seen to be a direct consequence of either nature or nurture.

And it’s to a point that some are beginning to argue that it’s hard to know how much blame can be put on a perpetrator. Does the fact that a murderer’s genetic disposition coupled with an incredibly traumatic upbringing devoid of the loving relationships that have been shown to result in healthy brain wiring make him not “at fault”? Because of the clarity we are gaining on early childhood brain development and genetics, the argument is becoming easier to make.

We will always need societal incentives to curb people from infringing on other rights. But the¬†argument of who is truly to blame is gettin’ real damn interestin’ ūüôā

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Attachment and peace

Attachment. A very human quality. You find something you like, you enjoy it, you get attached, you want more of it, you experience negative feelings when you can no longer have it for whatever reason. One can immediately imagine its evolutionary reasons for being.
But detachment brings peace.
Just enjoy. Be not attached. Let things come and let them go.

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The linchpin of success is moment by moment resolve

Knowledge seems to be so readily available in this day and age. It’s certainly not the ingredient that’s lacking with respect to change or happiness. <— That + This —> My mom once told me in High School that when I look around the classroom, the best way to figure out who will be a success at the 10 year reunion is just to look at who works hardest.

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The¬†linchpin¬†in accomplishing anything is the day to day resolve to do so. It is the little decisions on a moment by moment basis to forge ahead in the direction of your goals. This is what matters most in success.¬†Trying to meditate? Be a better person? Get healthy? Get somewhere with your startup idea? It’s the¬†daily¬†resolve to keep going that counts so much more than anything else.

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Taoist regression to the mean

So I assume most readers know the mathematical concept of the “regression to the mean”. If you don’t, read this, then come back here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_meanThis concept was conceived of during the 19th century. Cool? Cool. But Taoists are cooler. They initialized this idea ~2000 years before, albeit in a softer form. They spoke of an oscillation always between bad and good, high and low, rich and poor. That extremely positive times would always sway back to the regular and that extremely negative time would also always do the same.
Western science is getting closer and closer to describing what eastern mysticism has softly known for eons. Badass.

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How and why to force new thoughts

Have you heard the stat that 74% of the thoughts you have in a given day are the same as the day before? Have you heard of the stat that says 40% of all stats are made up? Tee hee.
In any case, I do think there’s some knowledge to be had here. So in light of the fact that neurons that fire together, wire together, I have begun to, 3 times daily, think of some wild creation that is possibly productive in some way. No matter how impossible.
Today is consisted of tables, that on their sides, could connect and double as non-permanent cages at an office for bad employees. Hahaha.

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Tricking your brain into happiness using quantum physics and eastern philosophies

Much of what I’m reading right now has to do with the melding of eastern philosophies and quantum physics/field theory. One of the main ideas is that the way we experience space and time is incredibly mono compared to what truly occurs. Another is that our brains create this idea that our body contains something that is separate from the rest of the world. The fact is (physics and the eastern mystics tell us) that we are just as separate from the rest of the world as (imagine a rock that is half¬†buried¬†in the ground) that rock over there sticking out from the ground is from its other half that is in the ground.
So that’s nice. But most of us don’t have time to become sages and meditate for 10 hours daily to accept this. We are still human. We have feelings and chemicals running through our bodies that make the body and brain feel happy and sad and that categorizes things. What interests me is how we can use this knowledge (that we are one with the rest of the universe and blah blah blah.. hippies) to manipulate these chemicals running through our bodies to make us feel, for more and more of the time, happy. How can we use our knowledge that nothing material really matters to trick our brains and bodies into seeing all worldly things from a perspective of positivity? That’s what interests me.
Because after all, if our categorizing brain is categorizing things that are all relative, than can’t every¬†occurrence¬†be compared to a much worse version of itself, and therefor be seen as a ‘good’ thing to our brains? Booya quantum physics. Booya.

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The observer changes everything in physics

One of the more interesting and fundamental concepts to grasp in physics is that of the observer and his or her effects on an environment.

The way we view the world on a moment by moment basis makes it seem like we can sit behind a plexiglass shield and watch things happen. But in quantum physics, this is not the case. And it’s not because we lack the technology to observe without interacting, it’s a principle that is inherent within the system itself.

Another¬†corollary is that of the measurement of momentum (mass x velocity) and measurement of position. The more precise you get on one (momentum or position), the less precise you can be about the other. Again, this is not due to lack of technology. It’s inherent in the principles of the system.

These are  pieces of the puzzle I find mind boggling and if you do too, I encourage you to read up and try to mess with your view of reality :p

Good sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics)
The Tao of Physics (an awesome overview of quantum physics and its relations to eastern ways of thought)

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