Coping: New Learning from Meta-Studies?

I mentioned Leo (Tolstoy) the other day when we were talking about markets and that’s gotten me onto thinking about how information delivery is changing because the world has become a woefully attention-deficit place.

By some studies, the average length of a novel is presently running 64,000 words, but that’s just on average.

Still, considering the length of War and Peace (528,287 in the New American Library translation), we can generalize that “Knowledge is becoming more compact.”

And that means something terribly important for writers:  More time editing and less time to be spent tossing in colorful asides and in-depth scene-setting.  Everything is moving in extremely tight, well-produced bits, and everything else (to use the old Hollywood term) lands on the cutting room floor. 

If you’re under 50, that’d be the recycle bin (Win) or trash (Mac).

This week I’ve started a very interesting project doing two meta-studies.  A meta-study is a “study of studies” in and attempt to distill new insights from existing material.

The first meta-study involves anti-gravity.

The method is simple:  Get merely set up a OneNote folder, then go through all the books on anti-gravity we have around here and see if there’s anything in the way of a “rule” or soli description.  Once we get done “distilling” then it’s a matter of getting back to he sources cites to see if additional details may be gleaned.

It’s almost like building a scatter chart.  You toss on the data points up and then look for clusters.  And then you mentally work on the concepts within a cluster, trying to find replicable experiments.

One early set of experiments here, for example, involved high-powered magnets spun up in a lathe to several thousand RPM.  No, the lathe didn’t seem to change weight, nor did the crude (but sensitive) instrumentation that I cobbled up to move around the fields involved looking for something other than the expected induction of electricity into wire.

Honestly, that was disappointing because Joseph Farrell;’s book The SS Brotherhood of the Bell: The Nazis’ Incredible Secret Technology is a wonderful story.  I’ve always pictured the story as being a latter-day Indiana Jones book where the hero would be a cross between Bill Nye and the fedora-wearing whip-cracker.  Same cast of Nazis, though, since there is plenty of evidence that they really were chasing all the data outliers looking for breakthroughs in their desperation to win WW II.

Of course, whether some of the top the Nazis “got away with it” remains debated because of this quote in Wikipedia:

In 2009, DNA tests were performed on a skull Soviet officials had long believed to be Hitler’s. According to the American researchers, the tests revealed that the skull was actually that of a woman less than 40 years old. The jaw fragments which had been recovered were not tested by the American researchers.

All of which leaves the sincere researcher looking for serious work on the past and finding it in places like The Truth About History: How New Evidence is Transforming the Story of the Past but it will be year, if not decades before forensic history makes its way into the classroom.

Until then, stories like National Treasure and other historically-based semi-fiction remain intriguing.

All of which only gets us back to the point that meta studies (studies of studies), also known as meta-analysis offers some good insights:

Conceptually, a meta-analysis uses a statistical approach to combine the results from multiple studies. Its advantages can therefore be interpreted as follows:

  • Results can be generalized to a larger population,
  • The precision and accuracy of estimates can be improved as more data is used. This, in turn, may increase the statistical power to detect an effect.
  • Inconsistency of results across studies can be quantified and analyzed. For instance, does inconsistency arise from sampling error, or are study results (partially) influenced by between-study heterogeneity.
  • Hypothesis testing can be applied on summary estimates,
  • Moderators can be included to explain variation between studies,
  • The presence of publication bias can be investigated

The second area of meta-study is this whole matter of being able to “open third eye” and see into the future a bit.  There’s a ton of evidence (including personal experience) that argues the process is real.  The difficulty is in the control of how the process works.

I can describe “how to get there” pretty well, but getting there and not doing so with focused attention that “runs off the good stuff” is entirely a different matter.

The process seems to work best if you are well-rested, have a bit of food, and don’t have anything pressing on your schedule, since relaxation seems to be key.

The way to get to “that place” begins with laying down (for me, on my back) and then closing my eyes in a darkened room. 

Usually when you go to sleep the process is pretty simple:  You shut down your vision (staring at the dark at the back of the eyes) and then – as sleep/dream state comes along – you move – usually quite smoothly – into the land of imagination.

What I discovered is that in the hallway, if you will, between the “staring at back of eyes” and the “active imagination, there is a doorway or state that you can catch and that’s where the magic lives.

It is distinctly different from active imagining and, if forced, it is incredibly fleeting.  Sometimes the information that pops in comes across almost teletype fashion – word scrolling.  Other times, like the “Serious, Personal, Woww” report on an experience back in March, this “other optical sensing place” will be like an open window, with light, and through it you can get a sense of the future.

Don’t be disappointed if the technique doesn’t work for you the first time.  And no, it’s not astral projection – that’s something else.  This is just a kind of “alley” that you go by (visually) on the way from seeing the back of eyelids to seeing in the active imagination.  Is if the ‘seeing through third eye?”  Perhaps.

The key thing is that it happens in a place where you are not “awake” as in being able to see through the eyes, nor are you asleep where imagination slides into dreams.  Instead, you plug into this alternate video source and gently watch what comes along.  You’ll find that intent and ego, and words like “I want to” or “Now show me…” will flip it off and you’ll have to reconnect with it another time.  Delicate stuff.

But that gets me back to reading and redistilling everything I have about 4th dimensional thinking.  That’s because there are certain descriptions in, for example P.D. Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum (the Third Principle), which will now make sense.

As part of that process (meta-study #2) I’ve ordered everything I can find from Mei Ling and Jessica Madigan.  I haven’t had time to work with it, but their Journey into the Fourth Dimension seems to be a collection of altered states reports from many sources, and may (in and of itself) be an early meta-study without calling it such.

Oh, sure, maybe it’s an odd thing to pursue, but I keep a pen and paper near my bed on the odd chance that a stock tip or lottery numbers will show up.  In the meantime, though, the process of plugging in to the alternate video source on the way from awaken to dream states may yield some interesting insights into how Mei Ling/Jessica Madigan got the whole Joe Brandt’s Dream thing.  Even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetimes, or ever, there’s still an amazing “play” of the archetypes of the reader found only in other great storytellers like Berlitz and Charles Fort of Fortean Times fame.

Don’t ask me where I’m going to get the time to read his The Complete Books of Charles Fort: The Book of the Damned / Lo! / Wild Talents / New Lands but anomalous phenomena is as much fun to pursue as anything else.  Especially when it occasionally yields tangible results and it is another one of those “assets you can take with you.”

Arrival of the WoWW

Naturally, when I’m not off chasing down crackpot economic theories, or doing any of the million and one other tasks in my life, I don’t think at all about the World of Woo-Woo (WoWW).  Not everyone is going to experience it, but once you do, is rocks your world, opens your head, and causes you to look at the whole world in a very different way.

Reader Mark, an upscale professional reader of ours in San Francisco, had been highly skeptical of our focus on the WoWW and with good reason.  Until you encounter WoWW directly, there’s a perfectly natural tendency to blow it off as just so much horse poop.

And then it happens:


I take your WOW section as pure entertainment. ..kind of like the human interest stories at the end of a newscast. After the gritty news and analysis….WOW is the emotional break.  While they are interesting,  I feel there has to be a rationale explanation…until today.

What happened to me was minor…but nonetheless a jolt to my senses.  

As I do every morning…I have a routine that includes in this order…taking my vitamins,  brushing my teeth, shaving and taking a shower…One right after the other. I am meticulous, so all the aforementioned “bathroom tools” are always in the same place to speed up the monotony of these daily tasks. My motions are almost robotic. All 6 vitamins are in the same place and taken in order…after that, I reach for the shaving cream…except this morning no shaving cream. I turn my head as if to reboot and lo and behold the shaving cream is there…where it always is. Freaked me out.

Later that evening I know and remember leaving my phone charger next to my keys on the kitchen counter when I got home today. I straightened a few things in my dining room and decided to charge my phone. I want into the kitchen to retrieve the charger and both the keys and charger are not there.

Went back into the dining room to see if I had set them down…nothing…went back into the kitchen a few seconds later and the keys and charger were right where I remember leaving them.

By the way my laptop is also having issues today…but only at home…worked fine at the office. Weird day.

The best advice I can give anyone encountering the WoWW for the first time is simple: Acknowledge it, look around for alternative/rational answers to the phenomena, but if none are found simply acknowledge the presence of the “not so normal” and realize that we live in a whole freaking world of “not normal” so anything to minor as things disappearing and reappearing shouldn’t be the least bit surprising.

My demon-expunging, exorcism practitioner spiritual advisor, would want to me to add in a “ask Yahweh to bless it and let it go” right after the “acknowledgment” step.  As your core beliefs lead, on this one.

Do feel free to share your adventures when the WoWW comes along.  The more data points, the merrier!

Where Did England Go?

Many-a-time I will refer in my various rants to England.  But I may have to change my evil (literary) ways.  A note from Dr. Jimmy quite properly calls me out:

Hi George,

Didn’t you get the word? England does not exist any longer. Just Google “London, England” and see what comes up: Hint –  “London UK”.  I just returned from a business trip there. I joked with some friends that now they speak “UKan” and we North Americans speak real English.

Not for long, Dr. Jimmy!  Near as I can tell, the political correctness police will soon be having us press 2 for Spanish, 3 for Arabic, 4 for Chinese, and soon we’ll need a phone book just to find a suitable language.

As soon as it happens (we’re well on our way now) we will have managed to take a perfectly good melting pot and reconstruct the North American version of the Tower of Babel.

Ain’t progress a bitch?

Write when you break even…