Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘engineering/research/experiments’ Category

How can a layperson differentiate between Alzheimer and other more confusing loss of memories?

Maybe it is Not Alzheimer, but the memory confusion maybe worse to everyone concerned

Are you afraid of having Alzheimer’s?

Or Someone close to be afflicted with Alzheimer?

Those who really suffer from a memory disease, like in Alzheimer, they do Not realize what is happening or that they forgot to do something or forgot a name…

Probably your perception of memory loss is Not due to Alzheimer’s?

If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s.

It often happens in people aged 60 and over that they complain that their memory is lacking: Like the information is still in the brain, but it is the ” Processor ” that is missing., or failing to function properly.. It is labeled “temporary oblivion“.

My memory difficulties with names of persons and objects and fruits and vegetables… is worrying me.

The instances that I am excited and talkative, I feel that I can be a stand up comic and all words are fluent and coming quickly.

My mother condition is much worse: She cannot form an entire sentence and she get terribly frustrated and start to cry.

Yes, mother is aware of the deteriorating condition of her memory.

Lately, the TV has become a live and living scenes: People on TV are actually talking to her, and any procession on TV is converging to her house. And she get busy arranging coffee cups… waiting for the arrival of the visitors.

Mother confuses names: her own daughter receives the name of her late oldest sister. Many times she calls me Georges, the name of my late father.

 Elie Bashour posted this following article on July 27, 2018 and I am re-editing it.

”There are times when I speak, I can stop and don’t know what I was talking about…
I was afraid it was a start of Alzheimer’s… but today, reading this article, I’m reassured.”

In the following analysis, French Professor Bruno Dubois Director of the institute of memory and Alzheimer’s disease (Imma) at mercy-Salpêtrière – Paris Hospitals / addresses the subject in a rather reassuring way:

”If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. ” “

1. I forget family names…
2. I don’t remember where I tidied up some things…

Half of the people aged 60 and over present some symptoms that are rather due to age than to disease.

The most common cases are:
– Oblivion of a person’s name,
– the fact that we went to a room in the house and never remember why we were going…
– a white memory for a movie title or an actor, an actress,
– a waste of time looking where we left his glasses or keys…

After 60 years most people have such difficulty.

This indicates that this is not a disease but rather a characteristic due to the passage of the years…

Many people are concerned about these omissions and the importance of the following statement:

” those who are aware of these omissions have no serious problem of memory.

Professor Bruno Dubois, director of Imma, reassures the majority of people concerned by their omissions:

” the more you complain about memory loss, the less likely it is you suffer from a memory disease. ” ”

– Now a little neurological test.
Only use your eyes!

1-find the c in the table below!


2-if you already found the c, then find the 6 in the table below.


3-now find the n in the table below. Careful, it’s a little harder!


If you pass these three tests without problems:

– you can cancel your annual visit to the neurologist.
– your brain is in perfect shape!
– you’re far from having any relationship with Alzheimer’s.

So, circulate. Be reassure…

And why am I not reassured?

The consequences are as bad. Better Not know what’s going around me.

Are we seeing Reality as is? The trouble with false assumption

What survival evolution has to do with Reality?

Brains and neurons have no causal powers, such as causes and effects.

Note: Re-edit of “Are we able to see Reality as is?  July 8, 2015

I love a great mystery, and I’m fascinated by the greatest unsolved mystery in science, perhaps because it’s personal.

It’s about who we are, and I can’t help but be curious.

The mystery is this:

What is the relationship between your brain and your conscious experiences, such as your experience of the taste of chocolate or the feeling of velvet?

This mystery is not new.

In 1868, Thomas Huxley wrote,

“How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as the result of irritating nervous tissue is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the genie when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.”

Huxley knew that brain activity and conscious experiences are correlated, but he didn’t know why.

To the science of his day, it was a mystery. In the years since Huxley, science has learned a lot about brain activity, but the relationship between brain activity and conscious experiences is still a mystery. Why?

Why have we made so little progress?

Some experts think that we can’t solve this problem because we lack the necessary concepts and intelligence.

We don’t expect monkeys to solve problems in quantum mechanics, and as it happens, we can’t expect our species to solve this problem either.

Well, I disagree. I’m more optimistic. I think we’ve simply made a false assumption.

Once we overcome this false assumption, we just might solve this problem. Today, I’d like to tell you what that assumption is, why it’s false, and how to fix it.

Let’s begin with a question: Do we see reality as it is?

I open my eyes and I have an experience that I describe as a red tomato a meter away. As a result, I come to believe that in reality, there’s a red tomato a meter away.

I then close my eyes, and my experience changes to a gray field, but is it still the case that in reality, there’s a red tomato a meter away? I think so, but could I be wrong? Could I be misinterpreting the nature of my perceptions?

We have misinterpreted our perceptions before.

We used to think the Earth is flat, because it looks that way. Pythagoras discovered that we were wrong.

Then we thought that the Earth is the unmoving center of the Universe, again because it looks that way. Copernicus and Galileo discovered, again, that we were wrong.

Galileo then wondered if we might be misinterpreting our experiences in other ways. He wrote: “I think that tastes, odors, colors, and so on reside in consciousness. Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be annihilated.”

That’s a stunning claim. Could Galileo be right? Could we really be misinterpreting our experiences that badly? What does modern science have to say about this?

Neuroscientists tell us that about a third of the brain’s cortex is engaged in vision. When you simply open your eyes and look about this room, billions of neurons and trillions of synapses are engaged.

This is a bit surprising, because to the extent that we think about vision at all, we think of it as like a camera.

It just takes a picture of objective reality as it is. There is a part of vision that’s like a camera: the eye has a lens that focuses an image on the back of the eye where there are 130 million photoreceptors, so the eye is like a 130-megapixel camera.

But that doesn’t explain the billions of neurons and trillions of synapses that are engaged in vision. What are these neurons up to?

Neuroscientists tell us that they are creating, in real time, all the shapes, objects, colors, and motions that we see.

It feels like we’re just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is, but in fact, we’re constructing everything that we see. We don’t construct the whole world at once. We construct what we need in the moment.

There are many demonstrations that are quite compelling that we construct what we see. I’ll just show you two.

In this example, you see some red discs with bits cut out of them, but if I just rotate the disks a little bit, suddenly, you see a 3D cube pop out of the screen. Now, the screen of course is flat, so the three-dimensional cube that you’re experiencing must be your construction.

In this next example, you see glowing blue bars with pretty sharp edges moving across a field of dots. In fact, no dots move. All I’m doing from frame to frame is changing the colors of dots from blue to black or black to blue. But when I do this quickly, your visual system creates the glowing blue bars with the sharp edges and the motion. There are many more examples, but these are just two that you construct what you see.

 But neuroscientists go further.

They say that we reconstruct reality. So, when I have an experience that I describe as a red tomato, that experience is actually an accurate reconstruction of the properties of a real red tomato that would exist even if I weren’t looking.

Why would neuroscientists say that we don’t just construct, we reconstruct?

The standard argument given is usually an evolutionary one.

Those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage compared to those who saw less accurately, and therefore they were more likely to pass on their genes.

We are the offspring of those who saw more accurately, and so we can be confident that, in the normal case, our perceptions are accurate.

You see this in the standard textbooks. One textbook says, for example, “Evolutionarily speaking, vision is useful precisely because it is so accurate.” So the idea is that accurate perceptions are fitter perceptions. They give you a survival advantage.

Is this correct? Is this the right interpretation of evolutionary theory? Well, let’s first look at a couple of examples in nature.

The Australian jewel beetle is dimpled, glossy and brown. The female is flightless. The male flies, looking for a hot female. When he finds one, he alights and mates.

There’s another species in the outback, Homo sapiens. The male of this species has a massive brain that he uses to hunt for cold beer. And when he finds one, he drains it, and sometimes throws the bottle into the outback.

Now, as it happens, these bottles are dimpled, glossy, and just the right shade of brown to tickle the fancy of these beetles. The males swarm all over the bottles trying to mate. They lose all interest in the real females.

Classic case of the male leaving the female for the bottle. (Laughter)  The species almost went extinct.

Australia had to change its bottles to save its beetles. (Laughter)

Now, the males had successfully found females for thousands, perhaps millions of years. It looked like they saw reality as it is, but apparently not. Evolution had given them a hack.

A female is anything dimpled, glossy and brown, the bigger the better. (Laughter) Even when crawling all over the bottle, the male couldn’t discover his mistake.

Now, you might say, beetles, sure, they’re very simple creatures, but surely not mammals. Mammals don’t rely on tricks. Well, I won’t dwell on this, but you get the idea. (Laughter)

So this raises an important technical question: Does natural selection really favor seeing reality as it is?

Fortunately, we don’t have to wave our hands and guess; evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive, which sensory systems are more fit.

A key notion in those equations is fitness.

Consider this steak: What does this steak do for the fitness of an animal? Well, for a hungry lion looking to eat, it enhances fitness. For a well-fed lion looking to mate, it doesn’t enhance fitness.

And for a rabbit in any state, it doesn’t enhance fitness, so fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes, but also on the organism, its state and its action.

Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is. And it’s fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution.

10:20 So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds.

Some of the organisms see all of the reality, others see just part of the reality, and some see none of the reality, only fitness. Who wins?

I hate to break it to you, but perception of reality goes extinct.

In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality but are just tuned to fitness drive to extinction all the organisms that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor vertical, or accurate perceptions. Those perceptions of reality go extinct.

This is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?

That is a bit counterintuitive. But remember the jewel beetle. The jewel beetle survived for thousands, perhaps millions of years, using simple tricks and hacks.

What the equations of evolution are telling us is that all organisms, including us, are in the same boat as the jewel beetle. We do not see reality as it is. We’re shaped with tricks and hacks that keep us alive.

Still, we need some help with our intuitions.

How can not perceiving reality as it is be useful? Well, fortunately, we have a very helpful metaphor: the desktop interface on your computer.

Consider that blue icon for a TED Talk that you’re writing. Now, the icon is blue and rectangular and in the lower right corner of the desktop. Does that mean that the text file itself in the computer is blue, rectangular, and in the lower right-hand corner of the computer? Of course not.

Anyone who thought that misinterprets the purpose of the interface. It’s not there to show you the reality of the computer. In fact, it’s there to hide that reality.

You don’t want to know about the diodes and resistors and all the megabytes of software. If you had to deal with that, you could never write your text file or edit your photo.

So the idea is that evolution has given us an interface that hides reality and guides adaptive behavior. Space and time, as you perceive them right now, are your desktop. Physical objects are simply icons in that desktop.

There’s an obvious objection.

Hoffman, if you think that train coming down the track at 200 MPH is just an icon of your desktop, why don’t you step in front of it?

And after you’re gone, and your theory with you, we’ll know that there’s more to that train than just an icon.

Well, I wouldn’t step in front of that train for the same reason that I wouldn’t carelessly drag that icon to the trash can: not because I take the icon literally — the file is not literally blue or rectangular — but I do take it seriously.

I could lose weeks of work. Similarly, evolution has shaped us with perceptual symbols that are designed to keep us alive. We’d better take them seriously.

If you see a snake, don’t pick it up. If you see a cliff, don’t jump off. They’re designed to keep us safe, and we should take them seriously. That does not mean that we should take them literally. That’s a logical error.

Another objection: There’s nothing really new here. Physicists have told us for a long time that the metal of that train looks solid but really it’s mostly empty space with microscopic particles zipping around.

There’s nothing new here. Well, not exactly. It’s like saying, I know that that blue icon on the desktop is not the reality of the computer, but if I pull out my trusty magnifying glass and look really closely, I see little pixels, and that’s the reality of the computer. Well, not really — you’re still on the desktop, and that’s the point.

Those microscopic particles are still in space and time: they’re still in the user interface. So I’m saying something far more radical than those physicists.

Finally, you might object, look, we all see the train, therefore none of us constructs the train.

But remember this example. In this example, we all see a cube, but the screen is flat, so the cube that you see is the cube that you construct. We all see a cube because we all, each one of us, constructs the cube that we see.

The same is true of the train. We all see a train because we each see the train that we construct, and the same is true of all physical objects.

We’re inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions.

Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that’s designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.

We used to think that the Earth is flat because it looks that way. Then we thought that the Earth is the unmoving center of reality because it looks that way. We were wrong. We had misinterpreted our perceptions.

Now we believe that spacetime and objects are the nature of reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that once again, we’re wrong.

We’re misinterpreting the content of our perceptual experiences. There’s something that exists when you don’t look, but it’s not spacetime and physical objects.

(Is that true to senses that don’t need to go through the filter of the brain processors, like smell and touch?)

It’s as hard for us to let go of spacetime and objects as it is for the jewel beetle to let go of its bottle. Why?

Because we’re blind to our own blindnesses.

But we have an advantage over the jewel beetle: our science and technology.

By peering through the lens of a telescope we discovered that the Earth is not the unmoving center of reality, and by peering through the lens of the theory of evolution we discovered that spacetime and objects are not the nature of reality.

When I have a perceptual experience that I describe as a red tomato, I am interacting with reality, but that reality is not a red tomato and is nothing like a red tomato.

Similarly, when I have an experience that I describe as a lion or a steak, I’m interacting with reality, but that reality is not a lion or a steak.

And here’s the kicker: When I have a perceptual experience that I describe as a brain, or neurons, I am interacting with reality, but that reality is not a brain or neurons and is nothing like a brain or neurons.

And that reality, whatever it is, is the real source of cause and effect in the worldnot brains, not neurons.

Brains and neurons have no causal powers. They cause none of our perceptual experiences, and none of our behavior.

Brains and neurons are a species-specific set of symbols, a hack.

What does this mean for the mystery of consciousness? Well, it opens up new possibilities.

For instance, perhaps reality is some vast machine that causes our conscious experiences. I doubt this, but it’s worth exploring.

Perhaps reality is some vast, interacting network of conscious agents, simple and complex, that cause each other’s conscious experiences. Actually, this isn’t as crazy an idea as it seems, and I’m currently exploring it.

But here’s the point: Once we let go of our massively intuitive but massively false assumption about the nature of reality, it opens up new ways to think about life’s greatest mystery.

I bet that reality will end up turning out to be more fascinating and unexpected than we’ve ever imagined.

The theory of evolution presents us with the ultimate dare: Dare to recognize that perception is not about seeing truth, it’s about having kids. And by the way, even this TED is just in your head.

Chris Anderson: First of all, some people may just be profoundly depressed at the thought that, if evolution does not favor reality, doesn’t that to some extent undermine all our endeavors here, all our ability to think that we can think the truth, possibly even including your own theory, if you go there?

Donald Hoffman: Well, this does not stop us from a successful science. What we have is one theory that turned out to be false, that perception is like reality and reality is like our perceptions. That theory turns out to be false.

Okay, throw that theory away. That doesn’t stop us from now postulating all sorts of other theories about the nature of reality, so it’s actually progress to recognize that one of our theories was false. So science continues as normal. There’s no problem here.

CA: This is cool, but what you’re saying I think is it’s possible that evolution can still get you to reason.

DH: Yes. Now that’s a very, very good point. The evolutionary game simulations that I showed were specifically about perception, and they do show that our perceptions have been shaped not to show us reality as it is, but that does not mean the same thing about our logic or mathematics.

We haven’t done these simulations, but my bet is that we’ll find that there are some selection pressures for our logic and our mathematics to be at least in the direction of truth. I mean, if you’re like me, math and logic is not easy.

We don’t get it all right, but at least the selection pressures are not uniformly away from true math and logic. So I think that we’ll find that we have to look at each cognitive faculty one at a time and see what evolution does to it.

What’s true about perception may not be true about math and logic. (Fact is, human use vision (perception) 80% of all our senses.)

CA: I mean, really what you’re proposing is a kind of modern-day Bishop Berkeley interpretation of the world: consciousness causes matter, not the other way around.

DH: Well, it’s slightly different than Berkeley. Berkeley thought that, he was a deist, and he thought that the ultimate nature of reality is God and so forth, and I don’t need to go where Berkeley’s going, so it’s quite a bit different from Berkeley. I call this conscious realism. It’s actually a very different approach.

Donald Hoffman on March 2015

Note 1: The way I comprehended this awesome speech is:

1. There are only 2 realities:  The survival process of the species and Death

2. If mankind tampers with the survival process we are doomed (as we already decimated countless other species)

3. We don’t love Death. We don’t love making babies: we just deal with this survival reality as best we can.

4. Love is not within the realm of making babies: we just fall in love.

5. Keep mathematics and logic out of the survival process and do not allow them to give us new ideas on that topic

Note 2: Human species survived for millions of years without knowing that earth is Not round or that it was turning around the sun. Now, our species want to colonize Mars. What for? If all these expenditure on discovering the galaxies and building nuclear missiles… were applied to preserving the climate change for our survival for a couple centuries more.

An Urban Detour in architecture?

Note: Re-edit of “An Urban Detour” by Rania Sassine (Book Review). March 28, 2009

Rania Sassine is a young Lebanese architect. The tiny book “Viree Citadines” is her first and written in French.

Rania is attempting to describe 24 imagined villages that might add variety to the landscape.

The fictional villages are divided into two categories:

The village-objects that resemble objects such as necklace, cone, spinning top, turning wheel, hoop, drawer, geological fault and

The village-adjectives such as magnetic, cloud, artist, show-biz, retirees, fairy tales, remembrance or souvenir,  and on.

I can imagine that the publisher is a close relative of Rania and encouraged her to give him the nod. We thus have got shapes, forms, and unlimited imaginations to dream of new dwelling quarters and communities.

What I will describe are my imagined villages on the main themes because it is a God sent opportunity to refresh my youthful dreams.

If you like to discover Rania’s imagined villages then you read her manuscript.

Imagine a Real Estates developer who acquired a hill.

At the top of the hill he builds a humongous tree-like edifice and from this tree flows a necklace of residences.

There are unlimited variations on the forms, pearls, color, and arrangement of the pearls or stones.

You could have a series of spherical houses or pine-like cones or other gems’ forms and shapes.

Imagine that the developer adds two mounds within the necklace, adjacent and in the shape of apples or pears for public gathering and a commercial center.  The houses could be detachable so that every spring a new look for the necklace is exhibited.

Imagine a flat terrain covered with glass-like materials for tanning and ice skating and the residences are underground.

When it rains or when it thunders or when the sun is blazing then you open a trap and descend a staircase to your house or to the common gathering theater or commercial center. A labyrinth of underground pathways should take you home.

Imagine that the houses in the town are bubbles that are transparent, colorful, and can be navigated to certain altitude.

The well to do can afford large bubbles with complex navigation consoles but the movement of these bubbles is restricted to an area and an altitude.

It would be advisable that clusters of bubbles be attached to one another through flexible tube-like bridges that never tangle up so that people can visit neighbors up in the air.

The elderly are reserved a ring-like bubble houses close to a cushioned ground.  The whole exercise is to never land, which required complex administrative and maintenance jobs.

Imagine a town in the shape of spinning top; it intersects with the ground in a single point and rotate around a seesaw axe.  Would you like this town to spin? Who might reside in it?

Imagine a town built in permanent clouds; an atmosphere of fiber between gas and liquid.

When you enter you have the sensation that thousands hands are touching you and palming you, where you cannot see anything but can hear sounds and music constantly.   Who might reside there and what could be its function and purpose?

Imagine a town reserved for characters in fairy tales, or simply tales, decked in the corresponding characters.  What could be its shape and what could it produce to stay financially stable?

Imagine a town where it rains constantly 24 hours and every day.  The clouds are made to converge to this town and deliver their bounty.  The town is built to store rain water and distribute it equitably to the rest of the world.  Who would like to work there and how workers could survive?

Imagine a town built as drawers with translational motions. What could be its purpose and who might reside there?

Imagine a town in the shape of hoops.  It gravitates around an antenna of photons linking earth to moon.  It can move upwards fast and follow the rotation of the sun 24 hours or decide not to see the sun for 24 hours. What could be its purpose and how could it generate profit?

Imagine a town in a hole, drilled for miles underground in the South Pole.  How could you design it and what could be its purpose?

Imagine a town in the form of a wheel, with a few concentric circles and the possibility to rotate at different angles. What could be its purpose and who would reside there?

This is starting to be a fun exercise.

Could you imagine other kinds of specialized towns in shape and purposes?

An alternative Diagnostic technique?

Daydream project

An alternative diagnostic technique? (November 12, 2008)

I was taking a short nap to relax my legs and lower back and then, I remembered my suggestion to be aware of the automatic reflexes in my body that relaxes the erratic nerve impulses.

I had my eyes closed and was covering my face with both hands and realized regularity in my eyelids impulses.  I counted twice the beats of my eyelids for one minute, each time, and the rate was 38 beats per minutes.

I shifted my hands to my lower abdomen and the rate was 34 beats per minutes.

An idea hit me; instead of just counting the heart rate on the wrist, why not count the rates at several parts in the body?

If it takes one minute to count the heart rate and it should take no more than a couple of minutes to count the various rates with enormous advantages.

The different “beat rates” could be measured with simple detecting beat instruments linked to a simple computer or portable and the various combinations matched with normal statuses.

If the measurement of heart rates is a good preliminary diagnostic then, measuring the rates at specific parts in the body would provide a wider range of diagnostics and localized dysfunctional symptoms (i.e., not within the normal range for normal people) for heart, vein, artery, nerve or psycho-somatic ailments.

An in-depth diagnostic would then be enviable.

Most probably, a physiologist might have attempted this line of inquiry and had given up early on or no one followed up on the idea to establish it firmly as a more viable, scientific, and cheap diagnostic technique.

Most probably, Chinese medicine has mapped and pinpointed all the crucial locations for diagnosis.

It is an idea that is feasible and has promises just as counting heart rate at the wrist was judged to be promising!

Note: Later in the evening I counted 60 beats on my right wrist and 48 beats on my neck.  Try counting your beats.

When was that you Day Dreamed a Utopian Project?

Note: Re-edit of “Did you Day Dream a Utopian Project?.  May 20, 2009

Did you Daydream a Utopian Project? (May 19, 2009)

Have you day dreamt of a utopian project?  I have so many times day dreamt of projects that were to be ideal in profitability, organization, equitability, fairness,…

Projects that encourages and promotes individual creativities, and leaving plenty of free time for individual accomplishment and continuing education.

There are moments in any one of these projects where the more utopian you strive for the more variables you have to contend with.

Every detail generates its own set of variability, and quickly the interactions are too many for the mind to coordinate and analyze.

Suddenly, you end it as abruptly as in happy movies.

Yes, it is complicated but everybody should be living happily ever after.

Then you are carried by curiosity: you want to take the dreamt up project further to its ultimate glory.

The more you resolve complicated interactions among people, the more your solutions revert to totalitarian solutions and the more your answers smack of a one party regime reactions to diversities.

Then I realize that, fundamentally, I am No better than any dictator who managed to amass enough power to exercise coercions at will.

Utopias are dangerous exercises of the mind and they sting potently the trust in our potentials to fairness and equitability.  

The only utility to dreaming up utopia is to vent up the bottled up anger of helplessness to act and change.

Utopias are far more dangerous when a restricted and select caste of elites assemble to apply and enforce their sick view of an ideal society.

Utopias are not the solution and never will improve human conditions.

Read any samples of Utopias from Plato, to Thomas Moore, and to the Zionist ideology and you will realize that the end product is a subdivision of society by caste systems where people rule and the lower strata produce and serve. The end product is a huge set of rules and regulations that can put to shame the gigantic daily constraints of the Jewish Pharisee sect.

Study the Utopias of those who managed to horde power from Napoleon, to Bismarck, to Hitler, to Mussolini, to Lenin, to Stalin, to Mao Tse Tong, and finally to Bush Jr./Cheney and the end product was destruction, utter humiliation of the people, hate crimes, and genocides.

There are other kinds of utopias.

You have those forecasting the future, fifty years from now, in all sorts of topics such as political systems, emergence of new superpowers, technological breakthrough, social conditions, trends of how fast people will die of famine, and the increase in social divides among the wealthy and the dregs.

Sure, those forecasters inevitably claim that they are analyzing current trends if all conditions remain controlled, though they have no idea what are those conditions and how they are controlled. 

Forecasting the future is another way of thinking aloud individual utopia because no one is forecasting without strong biases as to his present mind set.

It is important to have a strategy in any planning for the long duration: It is the means to elaborate short-term projects that should converge to the grand idea for a fairer and equitable society at all levels of human rights and economic sustenance.

If the “tactical” short-term projects of less than a year to execute, evaluate and get acceptance by the community are Not carried out seriously, then the strategy will end up in catastrophic consequences to the society. Many of these strategies cornered communities into state of famine, violence and indignities…

Particularly, when the people in power and institutions are immuable figures that never relinquish their positions and are unable to change their biased mind set.

So far, the only valid forecasting time line is of six months; it is adopted by the analysts of market and fashion trends of the adapters in the age category of 20 to 30 years.

Actually, people do Not remember much of their desires and wants once a certain period has elapsed. People need to be frequently reminded of their intentions during previous evaluations and referendums.

The Nordic States in Europe have confidence in the educated opinions of their people and don’t mind to arrange for frequent referendum on any subject matter that divide the communities and to act upon. And this is “democracy” at work.

There is no doubt in my mind that promotional tactics biase people in believing that they are setting the trend by surfing the internet and disseminating their interests; but that’s how democracy should be at work.

Democratic systems should expose programs and disseminate them and then evaluate what people selected after a period of six months of diffusion among the active population.

Can you remember engaging in a great Conversation? It was about what?

Note 1: Re-edit “How a great conversation is like a game of catch? August 16, 2016″

Note 2: An acquaintance of mine during university years considered me inconsequential and Not that serious in relationships. And she was correct at the time. At the end of a semester for graduation we met at a coffee shop around campus. I asked about her thesis and I listened intently without interruption. With my newly trained experimental mind I asked pertinent questions and she replied clearly and confidently. It was kind of an exercise for presenting her work to the jury.

At the end of the long “conversation” she said: “Man, if we had this conversation long time ago I would have been your best friend”.

Any person who work on a subject matter that interest him and do his due diligence in research will answer your questions confidently, clearly and with excitement.

Sort that she appreciate your attempt at sharing with her toil and achievement.

As a radio host, Celeste Headlee has engaged in her fair share of discussions, and she’s thought a lot about how to bring out the best in a conversational counterpart.

ideas.ted. TED. Jul 19, 2016

A good conversation is like a game of catch.

When you play catch, you have to do an equal number of catches and throws, right?

It’s not possible to play catch with somebody and throw more than you catch, for the most part.

Because then you’d just be throwing baseballs at them, which is not nice. This is the exact same ratio as a healthy conversation — you’re going to catch as much as you throw.

you’re going to talk 50% and listen 50% of the time — and we don’t generally have that balance in our conversations. (Supposedly we were actually listening?)

Here’s the best way to start a conversation that you’re worried might end in an argument:

There’s a great study out of Harvard in which researchers discovered that talking about yourself actually activates the same pleasure centers in your brain as sex and cocaine.

That means it’s very pleasurable to us to talk about ourselves and what we like. You could walk away from a conversation like that and feel fantastic about it.

But remember — talking about yourself makes you feel fantastic. So you may have just walked away from a conversation in which you talked about yourself — that was awesome! — and the other person is walking away going, “Good god, that person would not stop talking about themselves.”

It’s a totally different perception, so you’ve got to remember you’re playing catch — find the balance.

How do you go beyond small talk to have a meaningful conversation with somebody?

Not every single conversation that you have is going to be in-depth and serious. And that’s okay! You should relax. Eventually, while you’re sitting there talking small talk, something’s going to pique your interest, or something’s going to catch their interest, or they’re going to say, “Wait, what did you just say?” Or, “Why is it that way?”

And someone’s going to ask a question, and it’s going to lead you further into deeper subject matter. So it will happen, if there’s something there to talk about. Otherwise, be on your way — let it go.

What about that awkward silence when you don’t know what to say next?

By the time that you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So by the time you’ve reached an awkward silence, something’s already gone wrong. But it’s not too late!

Very often, an awkward silence comes because either you weren’t listening or they weren’t listening, and therefore, you guys have kind of meandered off-topic to where you’re at the opposite ends of a football field.

The way to fix that is to say, “You know what, I’m sorry, I got totally distracted. Where did we start? Can you help me out here? I was just following a train of thought about Cheetos, and I got totally lost.”

What should you do when it is very clear from body language that the other person is not listening?

End it. Again with the game of catch.

That’s the equivalent of me taking a ball and throwing it over my shoulder instead of to you. Why would you want to keep playing? You have to have an equal partner in a conversation. Otherwise, walk away.

You make the case that all experiences are not equal. Are you saying that empathy is not useful in a conversation? What should people do instead?

People always push back on this topic. Now, I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but I believe that most of us are motivated by empathy. You’re with your friend, and you want to say, “Oh, I do understand you, because I’ve been through something similar.”

But the truth is, you haven’t — you haven’t been through something the same.

You maybe have gone through something kind of similar, but the fact of the matter is that you’re a different person from your friend — so even if it was the exact same experience, even if you both almost went down on the Titanic, the way you experienced that is completely different. And these situations are most likely totally different.

So although it feels to you like you’re reaching out and giving empathy, what’s happening is that you’re talking about yourself again.

So you shouldn’t say, “I know how you feel”?

That’s the worst. You don’t know how they feel. They’re confiding in you, and all they want you to do is listen to them and say, “Wow, that sounds awful. There’s no way for me to understand what you’re going through, but you tell me what you need.”

What do you think is stopping people from having better, more meaningful conversations?

The elephant in the room is obviously polarization, and this is true not just in the United States, but I think Brexit and the migrant crisis in Europe tell us that it’s happening all over the world.

Oftentimes we’ll enter into a conversation, and somebody will say, “I’m voting for Trump in the fall.” Conversation over.

You immediately say, “Nothing this person says is something I want to listen to, they have nothing to teach me,” and you end the conversation. And if the conversation does continue, you’re not actually listening to them.

That’s what is often ending conversations now.

We have stopped talking to people that we disagree with.

We basically want to be able to curate and edit our conversations the same way that we curate and edit our social media. If we’re talking to somebody that we don’t want to hear from, we want to unfollow them like we do on Twitter.

The problem with that is that everybody knows something that you don’t.

And so if you are stopping all of those conversations and only speaking with people who have similar experiences and opinions, you’re not going to grow, ever, and you won’t change your mind or your opinion.

They used to tell us, don’t talk about religion and politics. The problem today is that everything is religion and politics. (If you are disconnected from politics, others will decide for you, and you cannot blame but yourself)

So what’s the best approach to start a conversation that you know might end up in an argument?

First of all, a lot of conversations end in arguments these days. But when I’m sitting down with somebody, especially somebody with whom I absolutely don’t agree, I sit down and I think through, “Okay, what if they’re right?”

Let’s think about what would change, and how my mind would change, if they are right and I am wrong.

And as they start to tell me things, as long as they’re not completely made-up facts, I ask myself what it would mean if they’re right. And then I ask them too. I say, “Okay, let’s say you’re right. What does that mean?” And try to get inside what they’re thinking.

For instance, a lot of people ask me how to talk to Donald Trump supporters. It is a great question.

But here’s the thing: there’s an anger there among people — not just people who support Trump, but people who support Bernie Sanders, or the people who voted for Britain to leave the EU.

There is an anger there, and it could be fascinating and engaging and compelling to figure out where that is coming from. That’s not always going to be the case, and there are going to be conversations you have to walk away from.

But if you’re going to have an argument with someone, the best way to do it is with an open mind, assuming that that person can teach you something, and that you’re not there to teach them.

What should you say if you unintentionally offend someone during a conversation?

You say, “I’m really sorry, I did not in any way, shape, or form intend to offend you. I may be inarticulate, but let me try to explain what I thought I was saying, and then you tell me what you think I’m saying, and maybe we can understand one another.” That’s it, that’s all that you say. Be honest.

Is there a quick way to help a friend to stop obsessing about a negative topic?

It’s difficult to address specific situations, since context is so important. In broad strokes, though, people often repeat themselves when they feel as though they haven’t been heard. For example, when we tell our kids something important and they don’t acknowledge that they’ve heard, we’ll keep repeating it until they say, “Okay! I got it, Mom!”

The same things happen often in the workplace.

So, try telling your friend that you think you understand what he or she is saying: “Let me tell you what I’m hearing and you tell me if I’m getting it wrong.”

Then you can offer to brainstorm to find solutions. If he or she’s not open to that, then be honest. Say, “You’re telling me the same things over and over. I can tell you’re very upset, but we can also move forward from here.”

How can you turn a one-way conversation into a dialogue?

You can’t, really. There’s a couple of reasons for a one-way conversation. Sometimes it’s that the person is shy, and in that case, that’s totally fixable, you can draw somebody out, usually by finding out what they like, or self-deprecation is good.

I usually tell a joke or a story about something I’ve done that was really stupid — and I have a wealth of those examples. But if somebody isn’t in the mood to talk, you can’t fix that.

And here’s the thing that people are always surprised that I say: it is totally okay to Not have a conversation.

Having a real conversation takes energy, and it takes focus, and sometimes you just don’t have that kind of energy to give. That’s totally fine — don’t have the conversation, enjoy the silence.

So if you’re feeling like you really want to have a conversation and the other person isn’t matching that energy, you just need to let them have their time, and find somebody else who is ready.

What about when people really don’t seem to want to listen, but just want to talk about themselves and their experiences?

I’ve found that it’s good to very kindly address this head-on. Say, “It’s so great to hear all that. Can I tell you a little about what I’ve been doing?” Or any version of that.

Don’t assume that person is just trying to dominate the conversation. Give them the benefit of the doubt, because we all talk about ourselves too much.

If you try to improve the conversation and they are resistant, then just accept that your conversations with that person will be brief and unsatisfying. Just like a game of catch, you need two participants who are willing to take turns.

How do you get others to open up as much as you are opening up?

You can’t, really. For instance, when you’re opening up, is it mostly because you’re telling them about your experiences? Are you talking a lot about yourself, and not giving them an opening to talk about themselves?

Are you in any way, shape or form shutting down the conversation? In other words, does that person say, “Oh, you know, I had something similar happen to me the other day, it was really, really interesting,” and you say, “Oh, no, no, no, it wasn’t like that,” and then you go back to what it was you were talking about.

There are a million reasons why the person that you’re talking to may not be opening up. But often, it’s because you’ve shut the door in one way or another. The fact of the matter is it’s probably not them, it’s probably you.

So what if a conversation has run its course? How do you gracefully exit a conversation?

You gracefully exit by saying, “I need to go; it’s been so great to talk to you, and I’ll see you in a couple days.” Or you say, “You know what? I have too much on my mind, I’m really sorry, it’s been great to talk to you, and I’ll see you again in a couple weeks, but I’m going to head back.”

Or — what happens to me, because I have adult ADD all the time — “I can’t keep my mind on this conversation, I am so sorry, it has nothing to do with you, but I’m going to go sit in my office and try to gather my thoughts.” Don’t lie. No white lies! Just be honest, and gracious and nice, not condescending, and just end the conversation.

This is an edited version of a conversation took place at TEDSummit 2017 (see below). Moderated by TED’s Janet Lee, it includes questions from Facebook and from commenters on Celeste’s TED Talk, 10 ways to have a better conversation.

Imposture? Among us long before the emergence of Covid-19

This virus of Covid-19 is Not new, and it mutates fast into many variations, so that a vaccine can only be targeting only one form of it, like the vaccine for the winter flu.

Un professeur italien dévoile l’imposture liée au Covid-19

Par Kamel M. – Le grand professeur italien Stefano Montanari a jeté un pavé dans la mare, en dénonçant un certain nombre de contre-vérités sur le Covid-19.

Ce médecin, fort de ses quarante années d’expérience, a révélé que toutes les mesures barrières sont aussi inefficaces qu’un «grillage en bois contre les moustiques».

«Non seulement les masques, les gants et le confinement ne servent à rien contre l’épidémie, mais il n’y aura jamais de vaccin», a confié le professeur qui explique l’hécatombe qui a endeuillé son pays par l’état de délabrement général du système de santé en Italie.

«A quoi bon porter des gants qui sont un véritable foyer de virus, alors que notre peau est intelligente ?
Quant au masque, si celui qui le porte est contaminé, il devra le changer toutes les deux ou trois minutes, sinon cela ne servirait à rien», a-t-il fait savoir, en ajoutant que «quand une personne asymptomatique est informée qu’elle est atteinte du Covid-19, elle sera terrorisée et se confinera en se privant de vitamine D et verra son état psychologique se dégrader en raison de l’absence de perspectives et des craintes pour son avenir».

«Durant les dix dernières années, la médecine italienne a été détruite, des services voire des hôpitaux entiers ont été fermés», a affirmé le professeur Stefano Montanari, en soulignant que de nombreux licenciements ont été opérés dans le secteur de la santé et que le budget qui lui est alloué est allé en décroissant ces dix dernières années, sans parler de la corruption qui gangrène l’État, «si bien que ce qui revient à 10 euros ailleurs coûte le double en Italie», a-t-il dénoncé.

«Le peu d’argent qui a été consacré au secteur a été mal utilisé. Vingt-sept millions de doses de vaccin contre la grippe porcine ont fini à la poubelle alors qu’il n’y a pas de moyens pour acquérir des respirateurs», fulmine le professeur, en indiquant que «les hôpitaux italiens n’étaient pas préparés pour accueillir les malades souffrant des complications du Covid-19».

Selon lui, «c’est cette incapacité qui a rendu ce virus aussi fulgurant».

«Le problème, ce n’est pas ce virus qui existait déjà. Je ne peux pas attester qu’il a été produit en laboratoire ou est causé par les chauves-souris, mais je peux confirmer que ce virus mute si rapidement que le germe pathogène s’est propagé en Italie n’est pas le même qu’en Chine ou en Allemagne», a-t-il affirmé.

Le professeur Stefano Montanari est, par ailleurs, catégorique :

«Le nombre de morts par le coronavirus est bas et tous les autres décès sont dus à d’autres pathologies.»

«Si nous devions tester toute la population en Italie, nous constaterions que la moitié a réagi positivement au virus car ce dernier a développé un anticorps naturel et tout ce qui se dit sur le vaccin, dans ces conditions, est une imposture mondiale vu que le virus mute de façon tellement rapide qu’on ne pourra pas suivre cette mutation et mettre au point le vaccin nécessaire à chaque fois»,

Il fait remarquer, en se disant convaincu que la vaccination contre les virus à couronne «est un gros mensonge des grands groupes pharmaceutiques. Je suis certain qu’ils finiront par imposer ce nouveau vaccin à l’ensemble de la population, ce qui leur permettra d’engranger des milliards de dollars».

«Le confinement tuera plus de gens que le virus lui-même et c’est peut-être cela le but de ceux qui ont propagé la terreur sur le Covid-19», constate ce professeur italien de renom.

«Toutes les entreprises économiques sont fermées hormis les Bourses. Aussi, ces entreprises peuvent être rachetées à des prix dérisoires. Leurs heureux acquéreurs deviendront encore plus riches une fois le confinement levé», a-t-il dit.

Et de conclure :

«Je crois que tout ceci a été manigancé à des fins lucratives, car les laboratoires vont nous sortir un vaccin qu’ils présenteront comme la panacée et qui leur permettra de gagner des milliards, alors qu’il ne sera efficace que contre une seule forme de ce virus qui mute de manière furtive.»

K. M.

This “Abduction field” that steals your “Free-Will behavior”?

Note: Re-edit of “Deterministic/free-will behavior: What is priming the “Thief Program”? October 31, 2011

Do you know that a few universities have opened courses in “experimental philosophy“?

This new field of study combine neurosciences research with theoretical philosophical concepts such as finding out whether people believe that their behaviors and actions are determined (or perceived as predetermined) or if the “free-will factor” is a working concept…

This field of study wants to associate reflective and elaborate concepts with experimental studies.

Last September, the John Templeton Foundation contributed $4.4 million to a 4-year program in interdisciplinary research projects among natural scientists, philosophers, and theologians…

Apparently, Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols are working on 3 domains:

One, using neurosciences tools to study cerebral activities of subjects confronted with philosophical problems;

Two, adopting questionnaires to clarify intuitions and modalities of everyday reasoning, and

Three, conducting field experiences for observing the manners individuals behave in particular circumstances and situations.

US philosopher Daniel Dennett who published “Theory of the evolution of liberty, (2004)” claims that we have tendency to dissociate the “I” from “my brain”.  For example, is there a specific zone in the brain exclusively reserved for the “I” or the “Cartesian theater of operations“?

The neuropsychology Benjamin Libet demonstrated that we become conscious of a decision half a second after our body gets prepared to react to a decision.

For example, the disparate “I” in our constitution and brain parts contribute to the decision.  It is sort every single muscle has an “I”, our genetic constitution has an “I”, every section and network of neurons has an “I”.

All our “I” have to reach a working consensus before the body react and a decision can be carried out.

Isn’t that how a skill is described?

Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard wrote: “When we talk of free-will, we mean the richness of the act, of our capacity of acting intelligently, of not reacting in the same manner to the same stimuli…”

Scientists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, philosophers, theologians, and the legal profession have to agree on baseline consensus principles before any reasonable set of experiments can be carried out for the purpose of resolving this critical question.

Firstoperational definitions of “what is free-will decision” and “what is understood by deterministic behavior” we are measuring?

For example, how can these concepts be measured and quantified in any experiment?

So far, neuroscientists consider an excitation of neurons in the brain as indication of a decision to act.  Their preferred measuring sticks are time of onset of the excitation and its duration…

Second, what kinds of excitations and their intensity level can be indicators of a particular decision? Sort of we need to agree on a taxonomy of decisions (weak decision, temporary one, routine decision, sub-decision...)

For example, pushing a button, decisions for submitting to a test, an exam…considering an opportunity, running for election, committing a crime…

Third, the legal institutions must be involved in the definition and operational decisions. For example, will the court accept the definition and findings of the neuroscientists as valid in court under the principle of “individual responsibility”? Otherwise, how pragmatic any results can contribute to better mankind existence?

Four, how to separate community moral and ethical standards (idiosyncrasies) from how the real world functions and how people actually have tendency to behave?

For example, experiments demonstrated that group of subjects who were induced to believe in a deterministic world tended to cheat significantly (statistically) more often than the compared groups… Does cheating an indicator of community culture or an individual moral value…?

In Jan. 23, 2010, I published an article titled “Abduction field” or a priori “stealing” program” behavior.

I coined the term “abduction field” to describe and explain how people manage to function in their daily routine. People move and act as if executing an “a priory program” a “primed program“:  They seem to mentally “pick up” objects and event as they go about. People seem to know in advance what they want to do.

Hazards can be categorized as just obstacles that the “abduction field” in the brain failed to adjust to, in a timely manner, to redesign the plan.

It might be a good idea to explain what abductive reasoning means before I venture into this topic, and I urge you to read note#1, before you resume reading.

People use the abduction reasoning technique as routine behavior to decide, move, or act. People have implicitly a priori (idea, plan, concept, hypothesis, path, or line of actions) before they get moving.

People move as if they already know what will happen next; they adjust their plan as frequently as obstacles occur. Thus, abductive reasoning is the rule instead of the exception in most commonly used strategies:  We either start our “conscious day” with a priming thief program or we opt for the default “Habit thief program” to carry on our daily decisions and activities.

The abduction field explains the contradictory feeling we have that our actions are frequently determined or occasionally following a free-will course of action.

For example, if we consciously start with a thief program that is pre-programmed to suit what we want today, we tend to steal objects, events, opportunities on our way.  Otherwise, the default value is the “habit thief program”, and we feel that the day is pretty much determined.

The individual “I” is spread all over our organism, physical, genetics, and mental (brain). Decisions are delayed until all the different varieties of “I” reach a working consensus, or a particular “I” or a set of “I” override the other I, depending on which thief program we launched at the start of the day, rejump it (re-edit it) during the day according to our circadian cycles.

For a set of “I” to be able to override the many other “I” it requires a conscious effort of training and awareness for a long time. That is why, we have the feeling that our behavior is pretty much determined because we allow the “conventional wisdom”, habit of convenience, comfort, and “common sense” attitude to take over our decision processes.

A good way to explaining the abduction field theory is by observing someone who is familiar with a particular supermarket.  The customer moves around and pick up items in a determined manner.

A few times, the customer stops and study particular varieties of the “same” items for prices, weight and chemical contents.  The supermarket guide the customer to pose and attend to special new items displayed on shelves. The customer might look as if he just woke up or is disoriented, but his action is kind of planned: he behaves pretty “sober” in his decisions.

People move and act within abduction fields of reasoning, otherwise, how can we imagine extending a step forward without advanced planning?

The initial schemas of abduction fields are Not that well oiled, and many errors and pitfalls occur during the abduction plans.  By the by, the human brain gets adjusted and trained to secure better fit in forecasting next steps and moves.

Highly intelligent people differ from normal intelligence in that, more frequently than not, they consciously apply deductive and inductive reasoning on their initiated abduction fields.  The implicit purpose is to optimize the “abductive field” performance by supporting it with better formal or coded laws among the working laws.

With conscious training and application of the other two reasoning methods, the individual acquire higher intelligence reasoning choices or diversified perspectives to view and resolve a problem.

Brainwashing is an application phenomenon of abduction field distortion.

Brainwashing is Not so much a process of feeding misinformation or disinformation as in ideologically and dogmatic State-controlled government.

Brainwashing is the process of altering the abduction field so that an individual lacks the objective flexibility to pick up the appropriate objects, tools, or events to place on his “abduction path”.

For example,  the individual is picking what is available on his path, including ready-made terminology and definitions, and not what his brain was more likely to select in normal conditions.  The more institutions restrict the freedom of choices, the more the citizen is expected to select what is available to him.

The citizen starts emulating the “ideology” or the opinions of what have been displayed to him (The Silent Majority).  Most State institutions control people in restricting the availability of choices and opportunities, regardless what names are given to them (communist, socialist, democratic, capitalist, theocratic…)

When we say “this guy is a one track-mind or one-dimensional mind”, we basically means that his abduction field has been restricted by habit: His brain ended up lacking the potential flexibility and versatility to train and develop his abduction field reasoning.

Note 1: It might be a good idea to explain what abduction reasoning means before I venture into this topic.  Human mind uses many reasoning methods such as deduction, induction, and abduction.

Deductive reasoning is a process that starts from a set of basic propositions (proved or considered the kind of non provable truths) and then prove the next propositions based on the previous set.  In general, a law, natural or social, or a theorem in mathematics guides the demonstration.  Practically, it is like using a function to find the appropriate pieces of data or information that are available on a well drawn path or trend.

Inductive reasoning is a process of selecting samples from a phenomenon or a basket of items and then studying the samples.  If the items are the “same” in each sample then the individual is prone to recognize that a law is guiding that phenomenon. The sample taker is ready to form a law, though he knows that logically, if in the future one sample is wrong, then the law is logically invalid. In the mean time, the sample taker can resume his life as if the law is valid, as long as it is working (more frequently than not).

We call a “paradigm shift” the period when accumulated samples or observations are showing to be “false” and that the law has to be dropped for a better performing law.  The process needs time before the scientific community reaches a consensus for a change in venue, simply because it was comfortable using well-known mental structures.  The paradigm shift period is shortened if a valid alternative is demonstrated to work far better, not just slightly better, than the previous theory.

Abduction reasoning is an “intuitive” process such as having a few facts or data and we manage to find a connection among these facts.  In a way, we got an idea that the facts follow a definite trend.

For example, the astronomer and mathematician Kepler started with the notion that planets move in circles around the sun; his observations of Mars detected two positions that didn’t coincide with any circle. Kepler selected another trajectory among those mathematically described in geometry that might be appropriate.  The elliptical shape accounted for the two observed positions of Mars.

Kepler got convinced that planet trajectories are elliptical, but he needed to convince the “scientific community”. Thus, Kepler worked for many years waiting for Mars to cross different positions that he knew would inevitably be on the ellipse anyway.

Note 2: I am under the impression that Spinoza had the same philosophical theory when he wrote: “The movements of our investigative spirit obey real laws”.  If we think well, we are bound to think according to rules that link things one to another.  Kant adopted this reasoning and offered the “a priori” dispositions of the mind.

Note 3: You may access

Note 4: I stumbled on this topic reading a piece in the French weekly “The International Courrier” #1095.

Brainwashing or Behavior Priming? Any difference in consequences?

Note: Re-edit of “Any differences between behavior priming and brainwashing? June 28, 2012)

Have you submitted to a scrambled-sentence test? For example, rectify these sentences:

1. him was worried she always

2. from are Florida orange temperature

3. shoes give replace old the…

How quickly do you think you can work out each scrambled sentence?

Suppose among the ten scrambled sentences there are words such as worried, Florida, old, lonely, gray, bingo, wrinkle, forgetful…scattered throughout the sentences…Is there anything common among these words?

Undergraduate students participating in these tests, behaved for a short time as old people do after the test: They invariably walked slowly, back bent…

The unconscious Big Brain was picking up on these common denominator words, behind its locked door…

The unconscious mind got the clues and was telling the body of the test-taker: “We are in an environment that is concerned about old age. We better behave accordingly…”

The unconscious mind is acting as a mental valet, taking care of minor details to act accordingly, so that we can be freed to focus on the main problem at hand…

John Bargh experimented with two groups of undergraduate students.

Group One worked scrambled sentences sprinkled with words such as aggressively, bold, rude, bother, disturb, intrude, infringe…

Group Two worked with words like respect, consideration, appreciate, patiently, yield, polite and courteous…

After the test, each student had to walk the corridor to an office to meet with the principal researcher.

A confederate researcher was to block the entrance of the door and converse with the main researcher, a long and pretty boring conversation…

Group One subjects ended the conversation and barged into the office within 5 minutes. Group Two subject waited for the conversation to end before getting in.

Group Two students could have waited for much longer if the protocol was not set for only 10 minutes of conversation…

There are these mental clinical cases called ventromedial prefrontal cortex,  a part of the brain situated behind the nose.

When this part is damaged, the individual is unable of judgment and making decision.

The patient is functional, intelligent and highly rational but lacks judgment. For example, if the patient is asked to choose between two appointment dates, he will analyse and offer all kinds of pros and cons for 30 minutes and still be unable to decide on any date…

The mental valet is not working in this case to guide and orient the patient toward more important tasks at hand…

When mentioning a brainwashed mind, you visualize someone robbing a bank or doing violent acts without his full will, or being induced to describe details of his childhood against his will…

Maybe there is a subtle factor or a catalyst that shifts behavioral priming into the qualitative condition of brainwashing

I posit that brainwashing is very much like priming a brain, but done on successive and frequent occasions, verging on a continuous situation where the mental valet is working full-time and barely able to liberate the mind to focus on more important tasks to reflect on…

Think of totalitarian regimes of communism or the Catholic Church dominion in Europe for 9 centuries of the dark Middle Age period.

People had to navigate an environment of restrictions and limitation in ideas, opinions, objects, products, hair style, fashion…

The neuropsychology Benjamin Libet demonstrated that we become conscious of a decision half a second after our body gets prepared to react to a decision.

For example, the disparate “I” in our constitution and brain parts contribute to the decision.  It is sort every single muscle has an “I”, our genetic constitution has an “I”, every section and network of neurons has an “I”.

All our “I” have to reach a working consensus before the body react and a decision can be carried out. Isn’t that how a skill is described?

Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard wrote: “When we talk of free-will, we mean the richness of the act, of our capacity of acting intelligently, of not reacting in the same manner to the same stimuli…”

You may read about the priming of the thief-program in the link of note 2.

Note 1: Article inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell

Note 2

Decades of importing non-standard, tampered with oil and gasoline to Lebanon? How this process endured?

For 30 years, Lebanon has wasted $30 bn on the public electricity and still we have no electricity. Badly tempered with imported gasoline and fuel damaged the turbines and engines in the electrical plants, and the authority new about this calamity.

We are still mostly dependent on private providers with generators and high expenses every decent Lebanese is shelling every month for this basic facility.

Apparently, the political militia/mafia leaders are trying to cover up and appointing politically motivated judges and releasing the second level responsible detainees.

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الفيول المغشوش.. بين تصفية الحسابات والسيطرة على المنشآت

غسان بيضون(*)

ربما يكون قد بدا طبيعياً للمتابعين إقفال النيابة العامة المالية ملف الفيول المغشوش بعد انتهاء التحقيق،

باعتبار أن الشحنة قد أعيدت إلى مصدرها دون أن يخرج مال من الخزينة وبالتالي، لم تتسبب المخالفة بـ”هدر المال العام”.

غير أن المستغرب والملفت للانتباه هو هذا المشهد المسرحي الذي أطل فيه وزير الطاقة، المتمسك للتو بسرية العقد، ليعلن عن طلب إحالة الملف مجدداً للنيابة العامة الاستئنافية في جبل لبنان التي أحالت المستجوبين إلى قاضي التحقيق الأول،

فيما جميع الأطراف المعنية بدورة تطبيق عقد شراء الفيول مع سوناتراك الجزائرية وبالمسؤولية عن أي خلل أو خطأ أو مخالفة أو غش قد يقع خلالها،

يقعون جميعهم ضمن صلاحية ومسؤولية “وزير الطاقة” ويحظون برعايته وحمايته، ومنهم مدير عام عام مؤسسة كهرباء لبنان، والمدير العام للنفط ورئيس لجنة إدارة منشآت النفط التي عينها وزير الطاقة الأسبق جبران باسيل.

ربما يجد البعض أن السر يكمن في اختيار “القاضي” الذي لجأ إليه وزير الطاقة الحالي وطلب تدخله،

ومن بعده قاضي التحقيق، بحيث يؤشر ذلك إلى نوايا مسبقة تضمن السيطرة على مآل الأمور، بحيث لا تخرج النتائج عن سيطرة الفريق السياسي الذي اختار وزير الطاقة الحالي وقدمه على غيره من المستشارين،

فأصبح برتبة وزير، على غرار سلفيه، فتكون مهمته النيل من المستهدفين وحماية آخرين.

أما وقد تبين أن شركتين محددتين فقط تتوليان تنفيذ طلبيات الفيول لصالح كهرباء لبنان، في إطار علاقة لهما بسوناتراك الجزائرية ما زالت غامضة كل فصولها حتى يومنا هذا، وأن عمليات غش في النوعية قد تكرر حصولها خلال السنوات الماضية، فإن البحث في المسؤولية عن هذا الغش والشركاء فيها، يستوجب العودة إلى البداية وتلمس الحقيقة بين طيات مسار تنفيذ هذا العقد، منذ توقيعه وحتى اليوم،

توصلاً إلى ضبط الوقائع التي يمكن أن تكون ساهمت في تعديله أو في الانحراف في تطبيقه، وأدت إلى انكشاف وهم “العقد بين دولتين”: لبنان ممثلاً بوزير الطاقة، ودولة الجزائر ممثلة بشركة سوناتراك الوطنية، وكان ذلك خلال العام 2005، خلال تولي الوزير محمد فنيش وزارة الطاقة.

ما الذي تغير ليقع ما حصل من غش في التنفيذ استدعى هذا الكباش في السياسة، لا سيما وأن وزير الطاقة الأسبق سيزار أبي خليل حاول رد التهمة عن فريقه السياسي ورميه على آخرين بدءاً من نشوء العقد!

بدايةً، لا بد من التمييز في الأهمية بين أن يكون العقد موقعاً مع شركة سوناتراك BVI (المسجلة في جزر العذراء البريطانية) او سوناتراك الأم وتضمينه بنداً غريباً يتعلق بالسرية، وبين تنفيذ هذا العقد فعلياً.

لا بد من الإشارة أولاً إلى أنه عند توقيع العقد خلال العام 2005 لم تكن هناك بواخر ولا معامل جديدة تستخدم نفس المحركات العكسية التي تحملها البواخر، والتي تعطلت بسبب نوعية الفيول، وأن الفيول السيء “المغشوش” كان يؤمن تشغيل المعامل القديمة، باعتبار أن الزيوت المحروقة والمعادن الأخرى التي يحتوي عليها تعطي مردوداً حرارياً أعلى عند احتراقها،

فيما يقول آخرون أنه كان يلحق بالمعامل القديمة أضراراً “صامتة” من نوع آخر يؤدي إلى “اهترائها” وزيادة في أعباء صيانتها وقطع الغيار التي تستوجبها، والتي كانت بحد ذاتها تتسبب بهدر أموال طائلة، بتغطية من أصحاب نظرية المردود الحراري.

أما البحث في مسؤولية الوزراء المتعاقبين، فيستوجب أولاً التساؤل عن مواقف هؤلاء من أخبار الفساد التي راجت بعد سنوات من توقيع العقد الأساسي حول فساد في سوناتراك نفسها، وهل أخذوا بعين الاعتبار هذا التطور بالجدية اللازمة وبروح المسؤولية، حيث كان يمكن عدم تجديد العقد أو على الأقل إجراء مراجعة شاملة ودقيقة حوله كل ثلاث سنوات، من أجل تحصين موقع الدولة اللبنانية فيه، وضمان تحقيق المنفعة المتوخاة من إجرائه من دولة إلى دولة في الأساس.

خلال العام 2013، وبعد 47 يوماً من بدء تشغيل البواخر، تبين أن نوعية الفيول أويل الثقيل والمحدد في ملحق العقد مع سوناتراك لم يعد ممكناً تبريرها، إذ توقفت محركات الإنتاج العكسية التي تحملها البواخر بسبب نوعية الفيول المستخدم وإحتوائه على زيوت تؤدي إلى ضرر يصيب بخاخات المحركات.

وقتذاك، ادعى متعهد البواخر أن مكونات المحروقات المعروض استخدامها في دفتر الشروط لم تشمل الزيوت المحروقة والمعادن، التي تبين لاحقاً وجودها وهي غير ملائمة للمحركات وأدت إلى تعطيلها.

ومن أجل إعادة تشغيلها بأمان، أضيفت إلى البواخر أجهزة تنقية للفيول المستخدم. وقد أجرى التفتيش المركزي تحقيقاً حول الموضوع في حينه.

وبنتيجة التحقيق تبين أن نسبة الحديد والالمنيوم والسيليكون الموجودة في الفيول المستخدم من شأنها أن تؤدي إلى أضرار في بخاخات المحركات، وكذلك في أجهزة التنقية والتصفية الممكن استخدامها لمعالجة هذه النوعية الرديئة من الفيول.

بالنتيجة، وبتاريخ 9 تموز/يوليو 2013، أصدرت هيئة التفتيش المركزي القرار رقم 87/2013، وضمنته توصيات لجنة التحقيق، ومنها تعديل مواصفات الفيول أويل المستخدم،

والتنبيه إلى مخاطر نوعية الفيول المستخدم على المعامل الجديدة التي كانت ما تزال قيد التنفيذ في حينه، بحيث كان يستوجب ذلك من وزير الطاقة العمل على اتخاذ الإجراءات الوقائية الآيلة إلى تأمين سلامة تركيب وتجهيز وتشغيل المحركات العكسية في معملي الذوق والجية، الجاري تنفيذهما تلافياً لأية معوقات أو أضرار محتملة.

وفي إطار البحث عن المسؤولية عن فضيحة الفيول المغشوش، من المفيد الإشارة إلى ما ورد في تقرير التفتيش المركزي، حول قيام متعهد البواخر بإبلاغ مؤسسة كهرباء لبنان عن احتواء الفيول المستلم لتشغيل البواخر على زيوت مستعملة ما يرفع نسبة الكالسيوم ويؤدي إلى أضرار في المحركات وأن المشكلة هي في نوعية المحروقات.

وكذلك لا بد من التساؤل حول أسباب الإبقاء على نفس نوعية الفيول بالرغم من إبداء سوناتراك موافقتها على توريد الفيول بمواصفات 8217 ISO وبسعر الفيول أويل الثقيل نفسه بمواصفات لبنانية محددة في ملحق العقد .

إن ما يستوجب تحميل وزراء الطاقة المتعاقبين، المسؤولية عن فضيحة الفيول المغشوش هو أن نتائج التحقيق وتوصيات التفتيش المركزي قد أبلغت، خلال العام 2013، إلى كل من وزير الطاقة في حينه ومؤسسة كهرباء لبنان معاً، فضلاً عن أن جميع الوزراء المتعاقبين منذ ذلك التاريخ، من دون استثناء، هم شركاء في المسؤولية، لا سيما وأنهم يستأثرون بالسلطة ويصرون على اعتبار أن الوزير وحده دون سواه، هو المعني بممارسة الوصاية والرقابة على مؤسسة كهرباء لبنان، التي تعمل في الواقع تحت إشراف وزير الطاقة المباشر أو عبر مستشاريه، ويتدخل في شؤونها الذاتية على جميع المستويات. هذا

ولا يجب أن نغفل ثبوت علم وزيرة الطاقة ندى بستاني بالمخالفات الحاصلة، أقله خلال العام 2019، وفقاً لشهادة مدير العمليات المسؤول عن تشغيل وصيانة معملي الذوق والجية الجديدين.

وعلى سيرة مسؤولية وزراء الطاقة المتعاقبين، لا بد من مقاربة تصريح وزير الطاقة الأسبق سيزار ابي خليل، الذي تصدى محاولاً تبرئة نفسه ورفاقه، من خلال الحديث عن محاولات فريقه السياسي المزعومة المتكررة للتحول عن العقد عن طريق إجراء مناقصة عمومية، دون أن يتطرق إلى موقفه شخصياً بعد ملاحظته ان عنوان سوناتراك المتعاقد عليها يقع خارج الجزائر، ولا إلى قناعته بالبند المتعلق بسرية العقد،

وما إذا كان وجد فيه ما يبرر تكتمهم عليه وصمتهم حيال شوائب تطبيقه، وما إذا كان أبلغ مجلس الوزراء بهذا الالتباس والغرابة، إضافة إلى ارتفاع السعر الذي أشار إليه، وما إذا أثار عند التفاوض على التمديد، هذه الملاحظات وحاول تحسين الشروط على هذا الأساس.

وقد كان لافتاً للإنتباه تطرق وزير الطاقة الأسبق إلى موقف إدارة المناقصات، فقد اختصر أبي خليل الموضوع واستخف بعدم ورود الصفقة ضمن البرنامج السنوي المنصوص عليه في القانون، وعن التوازن المالي بدا جاهلاً بمعناه المرتبط بعدم توازن الموجبات المالية المتبادلة التي تترتب على الفريقين المتعاقدين.

أما الأفدح، فهو إصراره، على التمسك بنوعية الفيول باعتباره المناسب وفقاً لطلب المتعهد الذي نفذ إنشاء المعامل، وأغفل الإشارة إلى صدور الرأي عن خبير من الاتحاد الأوروبي استندت إليه إدارة المناقصات.

وخلال تحليله أرقام حصة عجز الكهرباء من الدين العام، اعترف أبي خليل بـ 16 مليار دولار تعود فقط للعشر سنوات الأخيرة، متجاهلاً السنوات السابقة وتكلفة بناء المعامل الجديدة في أواخر تسعينيات القرن الماضي وبعد 2011،

وتأهيل شبكات النقل المتكررة ومبالغ الاستملاكات لشبكات النقل والمعامل بعشرات ومئات ملايين الدولارات، وتكلفة المستشارين والاستشاريين لوضع دفاتر الشروط والخطط وتطويرها وتقويمها والإشراف على تنفيذها وعن المبالغ المسددة عن عقد البواخر والدفعة المسبقة الموازية لقيمة توحي بـ”العمولة”،

والفوائد المتراكمة على كل هذه المبالغ المسجلة على حساب الخزينة العامة والممولة من قروض قديمة وجديدة ما زال تسديدها قائماً حتى اليوم،

وتكلفة المصالحات مع المتعهدين ودعاوى التحكيم وأكلاف محاكمها ومكاتب المحامين بعد نقل الملفات إلى رئاسة مجلس الوزراء.
وطالما أنه تطرق إلى شبح مافيا المحروقات والمازوت والمولدات و”عرقلتها” التي عطلت تنفيذ “خططهم” وحالت دون إجراء مناقصة للفيول،

فماذا عن مافيا البواخر والمكافآت التي سهل فريقه الحصول عليها لقاء بدعة “وفر الفيول”؟

وماذا عن خطأ الوزيرة بستاني في مبلغ الـ 200 مليون دولار التي طلبتها لاستملاكات معمل سلعاتا وعند كشفها زعمت بوجود خطأ طباعي، وخفضت المبلغ إلى 30 مليون دولار، والفرق فقط “شحطة قلم”!

وفي إطار البحث عن أبعاد وخلفيات أخرى لإحالة ملف الفيول المغشوش مجدداً إلى القضاء، يجب ألا نغفل الرغبة بإقصاء رئيس المنشآت المحسوب على تيار المردة، انتقاماً منه وتسهيل للاستيلاء على المنشآت، وفتح صفحة جديدة في إطار إعادة هيكلة حصتهم من مرافق الطاقة والمشتقات النفطية والتوسع إلى ما بعد البنزين بعد نجاح الوزيرة بستاني في اختراق السوق ووضع يدها على حصة منه،

وربما على حصة من الرسوم غير المتوجبة التي يستوفونها وتبقى في جيوبهم.

(*) مدير عام الإستثمار السابق في وزارة الطاقة والمياه




August 2020

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