We start off with an email from Peoplenomics subscriber Greg:
Hey George, what the heck is this about? Website was only registered a couple of days ago in Panama. Now instead of November the 13th, they’re going to divulge something on the sixth of October?
Hmmm… don’t quite know what to make of it.
It does have an element of count down to it.
Which reminds me, I forgot to put up the last video in the “How to Pronounce” series that was going on YouTube and apparently culminated in this one. Which got somewhere north of 800,000 views on YouTube.
And, near as I can figure, it points to watching the video over here….It’s pretty amusing and a fine time sink…
But as to that revelation coming on the 6th….hmmm….Can I answer in Monday’s column?
Super-Brain Interfaces Come into View
With our discussion of digital assistants in existing hardware as a starting point, along comes an email from reader Randy who reminds us that although it’s a 2011 video, grab 9-minutes of think-time and go watch the YouTube video over here titled “Superhuman intelligence through magnetic stimulation…”
Using trans cranial magnetic stimulation to stimulate certain areas of the brain and suppress others, temporarily turns one into a ‘savant’.
Test subjects score “three” times better on math and problem solving tests.
They also have greater artistic ability.
This ‘effect’ lasts for about one hour, before it is forgotten (and/or, hidden again)
Some more ‘take-aways’ from the video:
1. He (Sydney University professor, Allan Snyder), takes normal people and runs them through a series of tests.
The best one is where a screen filled with random dots appears for a few seconds and you (volunteer) have to calculate how many dots there are, 60, 126, 208…
2. The first time through is a total fail.
3. Then magnetic stimulation is applied to the brain for 15 minutes and he’s run through the same tests.
The results are pretty remarkable – for only a 7 minute video clip.
In 15 minutes, this normal guy… suddenly possessed this increase in creativity, observation and mathematical ability.
How can he become practically a ‘new’ person in 15 minutes, if he did not already possess those qualities?
We assume whatever we are born with, we can only change, so much. Geniuses are geniuses. We can study, work hard, but that’s about it.
In a very real way, this challenges that.
If a machine can alter his brain in a few minutes, to some savant-like level, why isn’t there a way to do it yourself?
An interesting question, and another question is, how and to what degree?
And/or, do we really (even) want to?
Already, the US Patent Office has cranked out a number of patents related to this technology and to my way of thinking, it’s only a matter of time until an old saying from childhood becomes an electronic reality.
“Let’s put on our thinking caps…” is in the pipeline and about to come down the road. And if transcranial magnetics can stimulate various processes, it should be only a short hop from there to putting on headgear that allows tight mind-machine coupling.
The larger problem? If it becomes too tight, what do the machines need the humans for? It’s a fine garage science project if you’re a government scientist who’s been furloughed…
Rambles from Ray
Reader Ray sends in excellent comments, which we really enjoy reading and his comments today are (rearranged a bit for convenience) very much on point with Washington gone nuts:
A friend E-Mailed me this snippet yesterday:
“Fiscal Cliff” put in a much better perspective.
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
Got it? Okay now…
By age 35, we’ve all heard “The House has the power of the purse” or words to that effect. The way the government is supposed to work is: The House proposes, defines, and creates a budget, for the government, for each following fiscal year. They then send this budget to the Senate, where it is voted upon. If the budget passes the Senate, it is forwarded to the Executive, for the President to sign. If the Senate fails to pass the budget, it returns to the House. If the House and Senate cannot agree on a budget, they form a conference committee betwixt them, whose members hash out the sticky parts of the budget. Once the details are ironed out, this committee budget goes back through the voting process. Should da Prez veto a budget, the process reverts to step-1. The same parliamentary procedure applies to any spending bill, including the current Continuing Resolution. The House has done it’s part. The Senate has refused to bring the CR to a vote, and somehow, this is the fault of the Republicans in the House?
I’m thoroughly dumbfounded that, despite the government “shutdown,” the world has not yet ended.
Ray, my friend, what most people don’t realize is that if you look at ‘Merica as a meta data problem, what emerges is that we really have two kinds of people in the country:
One is the Chowders while the other is the Dunders. Thus, the daily news is a conglomeration interactions between the Chowderheads and the Dunderheads.
It really is as simple as this.
Of course, having arrived at this key meta data grouping, I haven’t found anything at all useful to do with the information yet, but our research continues.
Jim Replies to Critic
To catch you up: We had Reader Jim covered with the odd gas main shut off earlier this week.
Then a skeptic figured it was maybe Jim’s wife at work… And now this morning he have Jim saying “Hold up there skeptic/bubba…”
To Don in Dallas,
Amusing anecdotes indeed but may I remind you that I was looking over the repair man’s shoulder while he was testing out the dryer components and we both saw the burner coming on – not possible without a gas feed. The gas was on and sometime within the course of about an hour or so the gas got turned off. I suppose the wife and repair guy could have come up with some diabolical plan to get me thinking I’m losing it and I suppose you could even argue that I AM losing it but this whole thing still remains an unexplainable mystery to me.
Which gets me to…
Friday at the WuJo: Apports
Speaking of the strange (who, us?) got this interesting and related bit about things coming and going when they shouldn’t from our reader “the undereducated hillbilly…” who seems anything but…
i told Dr. Steve along while ago about finding little objects here and there… like a toy monkey that i found in a Safeway parking lot, it was wet, i looked around, nobody in the parking lot but me, so i took it home and left it on the window sill… it sat there alone until one day it just spouted out, “Africa!” i stopped in my tracks, i was home alone… so i went into the bathroom and looked around, then the little toy monkey said, “Ahhhhh checkmate”. a few days later, i found other things, one was a tiny little toy mouse in a bank parking lot.. and over the months, prior to me ever going on glp.. i found i myrade of toy’s and other objects, and they all came to fruition i threw them out as they manifested… little trinkets.. strange how they all came through….. the last two! Yes two again, was a little silver tea pot and a strange looking key… that I found next to a garbage bin behind a 7/11 while I was taking a pea.. i don’t even remember where i got that tea pot from.. i think it was a toy some kid in a thrift store gave me… and smiled.. little silver metal tea pot. last night when the little woman and i had a cup of that “special tea” you know the kind, (not drugs) but those ones with the elder berry’s (no offence or pun… oh.. tea bagging elder berry’s. bwhahahahahahahahaha!) ANYWAY! and Echinacea and sage and all those herbs i know absolutely nothing about.. but the woman does, the little tab on one string said,
“your choices will change the world.” the other said, “the KEY to abundance is gratitude”
the tab on one that said, ‘your choices will change the world’ wasn’t supposed to have any quotes.. strange.. Mrs 0, went and looked at all the tea bags in the boxes, and my tea bag was the only one that had any quote.. infact she had been drinking that type of tea for some 15 years and said, she never ever saw anything on the tab for that tea, besides the type of tea it was and what was in it…
OK, a little stream-of-consciousness there in writing style for us left-brain dom types, but the whole art of things showing up is really a lot more common than most people realize.
So common, in fact, that there is a word for them: apports. Wikipedia ‘splains:
According to parapsychologists and spiritualists, an apport is the paranormal transference of an article from one place to another, or an appearance of an article from an unknown source that is often associated with poltergeist activity or spiritualistic séances. The Skeptic’s Dictionary states that apports reported during seances are likely the result of magic tricks. A famous apport fraud is attributed to Charles Bailey (1870-1947). During a séance, Bailey produced two live birds out of thin air but was undone when the dealer who sold him the birds appeared in the crowd. Common objects that are produced are stones, flowers, perfumes, and animals. These objects are said to be “gifts” from the spirit(s).
In March 1902 in Berlin, police officers interrupted a séance of the apport medium Frau Anna Rothe. Her hands were grabbed and she was wrestled to the ground. A female police assistant physically examined Rothe and discovered 157 flowers as well as oranges and lemons hidden in her petticoat. She was arrested and charged with fraud. After a trial lasting six days she was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.
In 1926 the Heinrich Melzer was exposed as a fraud as he was caught in the séance room with small stones attached to the back of his ears by flesh coloured tape.
So, what the under-Ed Hillbilly was likely running into was nothing more than apports showing up in a statistical grouping, perhaps enthralled by his unconventional mindset.
I’d go on with how spirits/watchers/angelic-and-otherwise are apparently attracted to odd behaviors, thoughts, and actions (which is why people on grand quests seem to hold an almost magical power (they actually do have ‘help’ in a spiritual sense), but that would launch us off into a whole other discussion about how all that stuff works and it’s a book-level topic with no time for writing just yet.
Around the Ranch
Busy weekend ahead: Time to fly the old plane around a bit to keep it working (and to keep current in the logbook, three landings every 90 days to stay sharp and legal) and then sweep out the hangar.
On the telly I figure to watch the documentary Afterlife on Netflix and also Hank: Five years after the Brink to see how that plays against the headlines. Furniture project in the shop. Got to work on the hydroponics, too, since the tomatoes are ready to go in the greenhouse…
Charts only for Peoplenomics tomorrow, since this week’s report is out this morning. And more here with the free side of things Monday…
Write when you break even…