A weird episode in Internet “marketing” this week. A real company, HUVr Tech, seeking funding sought buzz. First, they faked up a Promo video for Hoverboards, complete with the famous and Back to the Future references. Note the 0 noise and that the video is named “belief” (on their web site). They apparently used the Back to the Future wire harness.
Fake promotions and fake apologies? Lame. Pranks are funny only if you include the punchline. Has their home page been updated to reflect this? Nope. This is what they think of their possible customers?
I recently commented on Nassim Haramein’s take on Dark Matter. Here is more detail, from a recent comment.
In modern physics, field equations within the “standard model” predict that there is a certain amount of stuff (matter) out there in the universe. However, when looking for the predicted mass with telescopes and other advanced technology, it was realized that most of the mass that was predicted to be there was actually “missing”, not just a little bit of it… 96% of the matter was missing(!)
At this point you might expect a reexamining and consequential adjustment in the predictive model, instead, a new type of matter was invented “out of thin air” in hopes it could make all the equations work out. They needed to come up with a highly technical term for this new type of invented matter and since they couldn’t seem to find it anywhere they decided to call it…. “dark matter” and “dark energy”.
Perhaps the mass is “missing” because of another fundamental error in the standard model, one that that got rid of a rather incredibly large (approaching infinite) number that represents how dense empty space actually is. Most physics students are not even aware of this mathematical trick called “renormalization” where the density of space was effectively ignored despite the scientifically verified through experiment (the Casmir effect) density of space-time itself in peer reviewed and published laboratory experiments.
Perhaps we are getting closer to the point where the standard model realizes there is no such thing as “dark matter” and that the missing mass is in fact the energy within the structure of the space-time manifold itself, something that Nassim Haramein has predicted in his unified field theory model for many years.
A short film about “trophic cascade“- the cascading consequences of changes in individual species populations – especially of top-of-the-pyramid predators.
After 70 years absence, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the United States. They restored balance to grazing populations. This created a cascading effect that allowed the natural restoration of plant life, improvements in bear and rodent populations, and better river flows. Wolves changed the geography.
Although Food and Science are technically more applicable to a science blog, due to the psychological nature of our food relationships, I’ve tended to discuss the subject more over on my other blog. But in this case, I wanted to share it on both.
Firstly, in North America, research lead to an anti-fat movement in the 1960′s. We shifted to margarine and low-fat foods. Unfortunately, low fat meant low taste, so food producers replaced fat with sugar and salt and foods became increasingly processed. (we won’t go into artificial sweeteners)
After millions spent on research, they discovered the “bliss point” – the optimum level of sugar that triggered peoples pleasure centre. Sugar became the #2 ingredient in many foods.
Unfortunately, the high sugar content had several consequences. For one, people became habituated to it and expected it, even in baby food. For another, the body stores excess sugar as fat. High sugar levels lead to a much larger weight problem than the original fat content did. Further, the liver got overloaded and plugged up, leading to a lot of middle fat and a number of heath consequences.
As it turns out, the early research was faulty. Only certain types of fat are an issue. Healthy fats in a natural form are part of a balanced diet. But independent sugar research was not healthy for a food scientists career so there was a major lack of research for some years. The government food guides remain much the same.
A further issue that is less discussed is that sugar is addictive. Once we become habituated, the body craves it and our natural signals for “enough” or for specific nutrients are suppressed. Craving overwrites healthy eating habits. This becomes very clear if you’ve ever gone on a low carb diet or a fast. The first 3-4 days are often accompanied by craving and withdrawal symptoms. And once off a diet, most people easily re-engage their old habits again and step back into their addictions.
Don’t believe foods can be addictive? Scientists now have a scale called the “Yale Food Addiction Scale” from the Yale Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity.
Further complicating the issue is that some people use sugar and carbs as “comfort” foods to soothe stress. Rather than finding healthy release such as in meditation or exercise, we reach for the candy drawer or ice cream.
For many, changing such behaviour becomes a contest of will which increases stress and drives up the craving. Personal failure doesn’t help. Or you play denial mind games with yourself much like an alcoholic.
(and yes, I did a juice fast last month and supported some others in a forum having struggles)
Here’s a Harvard Medical School article “Why stress causes people to overeat“
I also noticed mention in the tech rags that Microsoft is experimenting with a bra to monitor stress levels so you can be notified when you may eat badly. But isn’t that like a new Pavlov’s signal? Get ready to eat!
The most immediate thing you can do is find a new outlet for stress. Maybe having a tennis ball in the drawer you can squeeze when a craving hits? Or a bit of fresh air? Change of scene? Just watch the feelings. They’re your flags for triggers.
The idea here is not to get into a fight with it or yourself but to deflect it. This is all about energy. Getting into resistance or a will battle will make it stronger and can add layers to the issue for you.
Also, this is not a long term solution – the motivators are still present. This is to get you started. And make healthy choices here – you don’t want to replace one bad behaviour with another. Shopping can also be addictive, for example.
In the talk below, they recommend introducing meditation. This introduces several benefits. For one, it is a great way to release stress. Secondly, it makes us more settled and peaceful. And thirdly, it makes us more conscious and self-aware. Another term for this is mindful. Then we can make better choices.
I talk here about types of meditation.
As you become a little more conscious, you become more aware of the process that’s taking place within you and you begin to catch your triggers. When the urge comes up, see if you’re settled enough to allow the feeling to arise and feel what it’s coming from.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna talks of the impulse to act. When we’re trying to change behaviour, at first we realize after the fact that we’ve done it again. We have a Doh! moment. When we’re less caught, we begin to recognize what we’re doing during the act. We begin to be a bit more conscious about it, maybe enough to make a new choice or to stop. But often then we get into internal battles over it. Finally, we can notice the impulse to act, the feeling, as it is arising. Then we have real choice – do we act or not? Do we let it go or fight?
That is also the point where we can find out what this driver is that’s arising. Instead of getting into a battle over choice, we can investigate the urge itself. What is the feeling or energy behind this urge? Big stuff like food can have layers. Early associations of food with mother, reinforced by sweets as rewards, adapted as a stress coping tool, and so forth. So similarly, we may have to resolve each layer to end it, most recent backwards.
If you can see your own dynamic, you can recognize it no longer serves and let it go. But that takes a little skill and practice. It’s usually easier to start on simpler things than chronic lifetime drivers. Food associations can be the deepest as they’re often programmed in early childhood.
But this is much more effective than deflecting (distracting ourselves) I mentioned above. We want to resolve the energy behind it to heal.
Finally, this 2 part talk by Dr. Pam Peeke: Hacked by a Cupcake. She talks about current science on the subject and solutions.
It’s not just food addiction – it’s toxic lifestyle.
She talks about reward, food as a “science fair project”, and a lot of current research. The dopamine reward cycle and why it’s addictive. It’s not the consumption – it’s the cues. Decreased impulse control. Why the will doesn’t work.
“Stress is the Achilles heel of addiction”.
Every choice changes gene expression which changes your destiny. We pass those epigenetic markers on to our children. By our lifestyle, we gift or condemn them.
Mind, Mouth & Muscle:
- eat whole foods
- move your body. Walking dampens the obesity gene.
- meditation, with initial research results.
Start with the mind, otherwise you fall off.
The importance of sleep. Coffee.
Occasionally, I write on the subject of Dark Matter. To me, when the formulae don’t describe astronomical behaviour completely, it means something is missing from the formula. Or perhaps even the fundamental understanding behind it.
Physics however has decided that the formulae are right but something is missing from the array of known particles. That there must be unseen dark matter to explain the movements of the stars. In fact, 80% of the mass of the universe is this unseen, unknown stuff. That’s a pretty big discrepancy. Now, they spend millions to prove the idea rather than fix holes in the model. This seems a folly to me.
One physicist with a better idea is Nassim Haramein. He’s figured out how to put the spin back in Einstein’s field equations and come up with a model of the universe and an alternative Unified Field Theory. One that does away with the need for a lot of “extras” like dark matter.
As an independent (and somewhat eccentric) physicist, he’s struggled to get recognition in the physics community. But in the last few years he’s been able to publish several papers explaining the basis of his model.
In this article by Stephen Bard on the Large Underground Xenon Detector (LUX), he notes that they have yet to detect any dark matter. This suggests dark matter may not be what they imagined it to be.
The article goes on to explore the scaling law Nassim discovered with the inclusion of spin. This does not need dark matter to explain but rather is “magnetohydrodynamics driven by the structure of spacetime itself“.
“the inclusion of torque and Coriolis in Einstein’s field equations is sufficient to explain the motion of large cosmological scale structures such as galaxies and galactic clusters, showing that it is unnecessary to resort to some new theoretical particle” such as dark matter.
He goes on to observe that Nassim has demonstrated that the strong force is gravity itself at that scale, with the correct results. He explains gravity. And the formulae work at both the atomic and cosmological levels due to the scaling law mentioned above. Quantum mechanics that works at galactic levels = Unified Field Theory.
The article includes links to the published papers and science articles on the LUX. The site has a number of interesting articles talking about current science.
I’d love to link to some models and video of it in action but didn’t find anything straightforward. But it is nested in a number of presentations he’s given on Youtube and such.
A refreshing take even a layman can get a sense of.
As you may know, our ears loose their sensitivity to the outer ends of the audible spectrum with age. This can be exacerbated by noise extremes and loud music, such as I enjoyed in my youth playing drums in an acid rock band. As the principle goes, if your ears are ringing afterwards, you’ve done some damage. The longer the ringing, the more hearing you’ve blown off.
Here’s a little test for your ears, best done with headphones. Although they didn’t help in my case.
Ever heard of Elon Musk? TED branded him a serial entrepreneur, but that’s an understatement. He is a practical visionary:
1 – the co-founder of Paypal
2 – the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors. Their new all-electric model S has just been named by Consumer Reports as the highest rated car ever! It’s still a luxury car but it’s phase 2. Phase 3 is a mass production model. And the company has posted it’s first profit. That will keep it going.
3 – he’s involved with solar power company SolarCity
4 – and he’s the chief designer at SpaceX, a reusable rocket company. They’re already doing work for NASA and the space shuttle.
His TED talk from February this year:
Recently, I was sent links to a couple of short on-line general science and religion knowledge quizzes by Pew Research. What is particularly interesting is the detailed stats from the original study showing how well people did on specific questions, overall and so forth. You’ll see that with your results.
The Science Quiz (13 questions)
The World’s Religions Quiz (15 questions)
This article at Slate talks about it. For example, that 42% don’t know the most basic fact about global warming….
An interesting debate has arisen around the way TED determines what talks they consider acceptable. While they will happily host a talk on life purpose or on a writer’s muse, they have characterized some neuroscience research as “a bunch of goofballs.” Given that this was in response to pulling 2 talks, it suggests their attitude about same. Also on their no-no list, the medicinal value of food.
Notably, Rupert Sheldrake’s pulled talk was on the Delusions of Science. As one contributor (3rd letter below) observed, “The materialist worldview is a belief system based on ten core beliefs. Many people call this worldview science. The method of science and the worldview of materialism are actually two different things.” This is where it becomes troublesome – when a scientist fails to differentiate between their beliefs and science, they introduce non-objective bias.
It was also noted by several that paradigm-busting is how science progresses. New research must meet with skepticism and be tested but some have made skepticism a trademark, another fundamentalism. Richard Dawkins has famously called himself a “militant atheist”.
The sequence to date:
After a few complaints, Sheldrake and Hancock’s TEDx talks are pulled from the main channel. Vocal objections caused them to repost the clips on the TED blog as a discussion point. However, the talks were misrepresented and TED was obliged to retract some statements.
They then pulled the TEDx branding from a West Hollywood event, who decided to go ahead anyway.
I’m also aware of another event in IA that similarly lost it’s TEDx designation for being subtitled “Consciousness and Transformation.” They also went ahead. Some of the talks sounded excellent and only one mentioned consciousness, by a Kilby award-winning physicist.
1 – On April 18, Deepak Chopra and 5 other scientists responded in an open letter. Not real well written but it made some valid points.
2 – The next day, TED responded. They fairly indicate they have to draw a line somewhere. And it’s not always clear. But their attitude and name-calling is not serving anyone.
3 – Later that day a letter from Chopra and some 15 other scientists, each contributing a segment. Some of these comments are excellent. “Censorship almost always arises from some political agenda.” “A robust science of consciousness threatens no one but dogmatists.” And so forth.
Personally, I don’t have a high regard for using drugs to induce altered states of reality. This may bring brief but typically distorted expanded perception. But it doesn’t help real development and won’t give reliable insight. And it can cause serious after-effects. From people I’ve talked to that have done it, it pollutes the finer nervous system. As such I’m not a fan of Hancock. But does the talk deserve “semi-censorship?” Debate certainly.
On the other hand, I’ve read some of Sheldrake’s work and heard a talk he gave on how laws of nature evolve. As the contributors comment, some of his work is excellent research. Some of his books are used as university textbooks. But his talk did directly but gently confront science vs worldview.
Another question I’ve not noticed raised. TED suggested they can’t vet all the videos from TEDx events but I have to wonder how they determine what they do post. Their YouTube channel currently has 1,375 videos. Given there has been thousands of TEDx events, that is but a fraction. Chopra notes that Dawkins talk is posted but his rebuttal is not.
When I was getting my grad degree, we spent a little time exploring the difference between science, pseudo-science, and proto-science. The last uses the scientific method to explore new paradigms but is not yet established as a science. Pseudo, on the other hand, talks science but does not use proper methodology. Thus calling another scientists work pseudo-science is high insult. I would suggest proto-science is where Sheldrake and other contributors are working, especially around subjects like consciousness. Some people seem to be forgetting that.
Awhile back, I wrote about a TED talk that framed “Earth” as a dark ages term. That we lived on an ocean planet and there’s far more life in the water than on land. How land is a 2D flatland while the ocean is 3D.
It was a cool talk. Similar references have more actively suggested a name change for the planet. From space, we are indeed a blue planet. However, we’re still talking surface appearances. Under all that water is more earth. And there remains more earth than water. But that’s just the crust, like the skin of an apple. Even deeper is the mantle made of viscous rock. The earth’s crust is just the solidified surface of that. The mantle makes up 84% of the earth’s volume. Would it be a better representation?
And then there’s Lovelock’s Gaia theory that shows that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Our oxygen-rich atmosphere is one example. The name Gaia is Greek, from the goddess or personification of the earth as the mother of all.
Perhaps that’s the best idea of all. Gaia recognizes the earth as a whole interdependent system that supports life. A useful reminder for all of us.