Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘professional articles’ Category

How a “Transparent accounting” for tax purposes? Away from biased Elite Class “Net profit” laws?

Transparent accounting: Based on revenue,

This is one of my Daydream ideas.

Revenue is the one item in the balance sheet that no corporation is about to cheat on, Not even gang and drug criminal organizations cheat on it. Why?

You cannot have a balance sheet or working statement or any other accounting gimmick without accurate revenue…

Board of director members take their cuts directly from the total revenue.

They know how much the company is generating in gross profit, excluding side revenues and under the table bonuses and favors…

For example, they that the percentage on the revenue cut must correspond to 50% of the gross profit, and they get first cut, ahead of time, and all other items can be changed to correspond to the expected net profit.

Even without the huge amount of data, financial and economical data, companies in particular line of business have an appreciation of the gross profit before the legal year starts, based on the previous revenue and accurate forecasting…

Every item in the balance sheet is known as a percentage of the revenue.

You change a percentage and you know what the managers should be doing as consequences: Fire employees and how many, reduce facility costs, save on energy, training, quality of spare parts, inspection, quality control,…

Actually, all the accounting standards and accounting schools and degrees are Not meant to fine-tune the accounting records of anything. Mostly, these degrees are to know and apply the laws that benefit the Elite Classes in a society.

The government and the corporations have no need for all the accurate numbers and inspection of records and papers: They know the revenue and the proper percentage on the revenue that each item is measured accordingly.

Government can as easily and more accurately get the taxes on revenue, instead of waiting for the gross profit computation, and saving the citizens the exacerbation of enacting loopholes as large as the State of Montana.

If the financial and business communities consider the tax rate on revenue high or exaggerated, they can lobby to simply reduce the rate of the percentage on the revenue…What’s the big deal?

Is transparency anathema to governing?

Should government persist on creating more mysterious laws than the citizens are ready to swallow?

Is governing meant to constantly resume the financial emulation of cult organizations with code-names, secrecy, childish gimmick…?

Why the top 1% of corporations have to skim 20% of total revenue, then rearrange all the items in the balance sheet, so that the workers and employees sweat out negotiating on a better minimum wage?

Who is taking advantages of the small prints as footnotes in the balance sheet and other accounting gimmicks?

Why should the nation needs expert on how to comprehend the meaning of the footnotes, if transparency is the goal in transactions?

Occupy Wall Street protests should demand that accounting ratios should be transparent on a special accounting sheet:  Citizens must know how much the top 1% are actually paid, how much the middle management is paid, and how much the rank-and-file of workers are paid as a proportion of the total revenue…

Actually, who is generating the profit if Not the workers and employees, and who is making the economy grow, and who is defending the interests of the top 1%?

Occupy Wall Street protests task is to demand transparency in all financial undertaking, starting with a transparent accounting.

Daydream project? Restructuring medical profession and health care providers

Daydream project: Restructuring medical  profession and health care providers systems

My daydreaming started by recollecting that nurses are the ones who took care of me, smiled to me, and had compassion to my predicament after each surgery: Surgeons spent less than a minute after their job was done, if they ever found it necessary or had time to visit their patients.

The entire health care system is fundamentally run by nurses, carried on the shoulders of nurses…

For example, Philippinas  (from the Philippine) in the US constitute the vast majority of nurses (at least a decade ago).

Eduardo Galeano wrote this story:

“It is 1984, in the prison of Lurigancho at Lima (Chili).  Luis Nino is inspecting the prison for the count of a human rights organization.  Luis is crossing sick prisoners, vomiting blood, agonizing, open wounds, with fever…

Luis meets the chief medical staff and ask why the physicians are not making any routine health rounds…The physician replies: “We, physicians, intervene at the calls of nurses…”

And where are the nurses? The chief retorts: “The budget for the prison didn’t allocate funds for nurses…”

I got into thinking:

“If I ever come into big money, or get in a position of power, I will take care of the nurses, improve their standard of living,  extend material values and dignity to their hard work, get engaged with Occupy Health Care protests

I will rent buildings close to hospitals and rent affordable rooms to nurses, and let the nurses run the building…

And install a modern facility in the building for continuing education and provide vans and affordable transport system for the nurses who can barely make ends meet…”

My daydreaming ideas went wild and I got into thinking:

“The entire medical system and health care providers need restructuring in order for nurses to receive their fair share in the gratitude of patients and return on the huge profit and…”

I saved the post as a draft, with the intention to publish it as my daydreaming project is complete, and then I said: “This project is hardly ever going to be complete. Publish whatever you have and let readers be inspired and finish it for you…”

The project is not meant to abolish current health institutions, medical schools and health services, but to establish an alternative system, funded by States until the new alternative institutions start generating followers and fund-raisers and…

The idea is that students in all medical fields (nurse, dietetics, massage provider, biologist, veterinarian, dentist, Red Cross volunteer, hospital administration, hospital manager, pharmacist, psychologist, psychiatrist, medical students, Ergonomics designers, medical equipment designers and operators…) share nursing practices in the first couple of years, get paid from year one, and are of practical service to the communities, particularly in rural areas, poorer districts, and in time of catastrophic events.

The University program and curriculum are reviewed so that practical initiations with patients and health institutions are offered in tandem with theoretical and general knowledge are focused on.

All students enrolled in one of the medical fields mentioned above have to learn and work as nurses for the first two years, and earn their living.

Year One:

Medical students, in all fields mentioned above, work in hospital and learn to deliver first aides services (like Red Cross volunteer courses), how to communicate with patients, get initiated with hospital administration and procedures…

Practical initiation: trauma cases, drug cases, vaccination procedures, types of contagious diseases, curable diseases

Formal courses: Physiology, musculoskeletal disorders, introduction to Human Factors issues, health and safety in hospital and workplaces, experimental design, statistical analysis…

Year Two:

Medical students learn to be exposed to surgery room practices and procedures, anesthesiology room, pharmacy section, and hospital administration…

Practical initiation: blood testing procedures, urine testing procedures, tropical diseases diagnostics, injection, administering medication,

Formal courses in Anatomy, designing surveys and collecting data, analysing and interpreting peer-reviewed scientific research and sorting out valid experiments, introduction to pharmacology,…

Year Three:

Students targeting fields in (medical equipment design and operation, hospital management and administration, dietetics, massage provider, biologist, and psychology) part from the other students into specialized universities and sections.

The remaining students get skills in small skin surgery, dialysis procedures, intensive care units, hard to cure diseases…

Formal course in neurology, in-depth reading of peer-review scientific research articles, designing and performing controlled experiments,…

Year Four:

The students in the medical fields part ways.

Except for the general physician practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, psychoanalysts, the other students should be ready to graduate in their preferred subject of interest.

At worse, a couple of courses might be needed to achieve their requirements.

Rationales for this alternative system:

1. The “psychological” divide between physicians and nurses is “physically and mentally” reduced

2. Physicians will be readier to empathize with patients

3. Physicians will be initiated with the “physical understanding” of the job of nurses, and will feel readier to support nurses demands and syndicates for continuing education and resume the study to becoming full-fledged physicians…

4. Communities will enjoy a much larger pool of health providers in the events of catastrophes, war, economic downturn…

5. Earning a living from year one and feeling confident as a valued citizen

6. Efficient interactions and interrelations among health institutions

7. Nurses playing vaster roles as communicators and transmitters links among patients and specialized physicians, particularly for remote patients, neglected patients in residences, uncovered patients with any health insurance…

8.  How about you forward me with all your rationales, suggestions, and developed comments?

Note: It is becoming evident that modern schooling system is principally a big detention center for the youth in order to keep them “away from the streets”.

Kids do Not need 13 years of formal schooling before going to universities or learning practical skills and talents to earn a living by the age of 15. It is not knowledge that they are learning, but regurgitation of consensus information.

Reflective learning and self-learning are not appreciated on the ground that kids are not “ready to discuss, ponder and ask the right questions…”

Kids have to earn a living from skilled maintenance professions before considering higher education in fields of their interests…

In general, in almost every society, you have about 15% of the population deemed unnecessary for producing and contributing to the development of the” system”: They are confined in ghetto quarters to fend for their survival and are basically the ones incarcerated in order to show “statistically” that the police force is doing its job…

Plain talk in Real Estates business?

Note: Re-edit of “Plain Talk. Written in 1999 and posted on July 24, 2009″

1.   You are fired.  Brokers don’t like your poem

About Realtors whom you don’t like much.

Your poem is totally negative:  Not a player.

You need to cooperate to stay in the game.

 

2.   You are fired.  You were never a problem.

Hard working, mindlessly hard working.

You need to work smart:  Don’t work.

You are just too much headaches for us all.

 

3.   You are fired.  I like you.  You might succeed.

You are short, short sighted, not elegant, the wrong image for success.

You are yet stubborn:  I want your own good.

Too independent even for a Realtor.

 

4.   You are fired.  Your freedom of speech is dangerous.

You are confirming peoples’ perception about us.

Fat commissions to sustain expensive images.

Luxury cars, on lease.  Too busy, appointment next week.

 

5.   You are fired.  You should not host open houses 5 days a week.

Open houses don’t sell homes.

Ads and accessible information don’t either.

Listen to me:  Plant the sign.

What sell are price and time.

Price, low prices, time, long time.

Note: I tried for 5 years this real estates business, out of stubborn determination and did well for a while after 2 years of Not listing or selling a single property.

Doing the job right, even in Real Estates business

have I been doing what Realtors don’t do?

I dabbed for 5 years in the real estates business from 1995-2000). Although I had a PhD in Industrial/Ergonomics in engineering, I was Not able to find a job in any university or company due to my lack of resident status.

I had posted about 6 poems/songs related to Realtors and clients in my category “Poems Mine“.

While gathering the letters that I had sent to my parents I discovered a double pages on how I do business in that field. The letter is Not dated or sent to anyone specifically. I decided to post it anyway because the way I functioned  in this job meant a lot to me.

“I am doing what Realtors don’t do.

Once I get a Listing, which means a seller of his property asks me to market it in order to find a buyer for his property, I try to host open houses as frequently as I can.

An open house means that anyone passing by can enters and check the property. Everyone is welcomed to see the property during a specified span of time, on weekdays or weekends.

Realtors in general refrain from scheduling open houses because they consider this task a total waste of their time,  unless asked by the owner.

Realtors give all kinds of excuses and reasons why it is Not worth holding open houses.

I think Realtors are short-sighted on that account because they refuse to consider the many advantages to having an open house.

Here are a few advantages and benefits from frequent open houses:

  1. Sellers see that are doing your due diligence. If the house does Not sell within a specific period, they drop the price without me asking them. Usually, the sellers reduce the price below what I would have suggested. The lower the price, the quicker a property is sold. Frequent turnover is what generate profit.
  2. The quicker you sell, the more listing you obtain from a neighboring owner. Sellers hire Realtors who “perform”
  3. When I open houses, I canvass the neighborhood: I invite the neighbors to come and evaluate and compare what is being sold with their own properties.
  4. Eventually, a few owners had in mind to sell their properties and they call on me for an interview because they got to see and know me.
  5. During open houses, I use the property as my temporary office: I do my calls, mail letters to expired properties and answer my voice mails (That was before iPhone and sophisticated internet facilities). It is a very productive time from the crowded office.
  6. I do real estates in its most basic and essential forms: prospecting for listings and meeting buyers face to face.
  7. During open houses, many buyers who don’t like the property, I manage to to show them other choices on the market. I can show them any house listed for sale.
  8. Bottom line, open houses are my best tool to personally meet sellers and buyers

Once I have a listing, I make sure that all owners, within half a mile radius, know that I am a dedicated Realtors, who work hard and Not just Plant the Sign “For sale”

It is really Not a hard work because I do what I like to do: walk the streets, mail personalized letters, and meet people.

Many times, when I do not feel like walking, I can always read a book, write letters and poems during my open houses. I am the boss in a beautiful house.

It took me many years to rediscover the wheel of every techniques, but that is the only way to find the system that works best for me, and a system that I love applying consistently and without useless stress.

Realtors drop from the business in drove because it takes time, money and patience to make it in a competitive sphere where relatives and acquaintances play a good part in suggesting a Realtor.

I didn’t have any relative, family or support system to back me up during the harshest and hardest of years, but I knew this is a good business to become your own boss with steady income once you break in.

My clients are from everywhere, every race and every language. Being able to converse and write in 3 languages is a big advantage. Lebanese were Not my best clients for references and I soon desisted asking for their business.

Note 1: With the advent of internet technology, a sellers who is willing to show his property personally, does Not require a third party intermediary. All he does is to pst his property with all the details, pictures and videos of his property and wait to respond to calls.

Note 2: May read one of those songs https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2020/05/31/i-made-dreams-real-for-others-mine-has-to-wait/

 

Shifting from Steady Growth to Economy of Sobriety?

Note: re-edit of “Economy of Sobriety (August 1, 2009)”

There is a growing political economics trend for substituting the traditional steady growth and productivity policies into an economy of sobriety.

The Slow Food and Slow Cities movements, along with many European communities exercising self autonomy in the economic policies of their districts, are practicing on a smaller scale the concept of “living better for less”.

The latest economic downturn (2008 crisis financial and current Covid-19 pandemics) is re-confirming that the previous policies are hindrance to global resolutions for global problems.

The middle class has increased 3 folds within less than two decades.

China and India have added over 300 millions to the 200 millions in the USA, Europe and Japan.

This quickly increasing middle class is demanding equal standards of living as in the USA ,simply because they can afford to purchase the same consumer goods for their comfort and are doing it.

World resources in minerals, rare minerals, oil, and wood .. are depleting and no longer accessible to sustain the current rate of consumption. 

Regular people are not interested in the concept of “faster is better” or “more performing is better”:

1. they would rather fly safely at more affordable fees;

2. they would rather that customs and airport regulations quicken the pace and alleviate faster the hassle.

3. The regular people would rather have moderately performing equipment that last longer and that are more robust under less than standard conditions in the developed nations.

4. Regular people cannot afford to re-invest for products considered obsolete within a couple of years.

5. Regular people would rather not to have to repaint or maintain their plumbing and electrical lines frequently.

6. Regular people would rather have potable water running on schedule;

7. Power utilities providing electricity less irregularly rather than the  increased rate for the luxury families of high consumption.

8. Regular people want public transportation arriving on schedule, accessible, and available in cities and in rural areas.

9. Regular people are not that interested in caviar and luxury items; they need flour, rice, sugar, and seasonal vegetables and fruits marketed locally and not exported overseas.

10. Regular people need a wider network of public libraries and public schools.

11. Regular people want the teachers to be paid right in order to be retained and compete with private expensive private schools.

12. Regular people need preventive health institutions.

The industrial nations have got to support sustainable economies in Africa, Latin America, and in the Middle East and desist from mass exploitation of natural resources and human miseries.

Kuwait, Qatar, and Libya (before the colonial powers decided to break it up) are already investing billions in agricultural businesses in Africa; they are renting lands for 99 years and hiring thousands of Africans in jobs they are proficient in and within their own States.

There is definitely an anthropological crisis: the traditional growth policies are uneconomical, anti-social, and anti-ecological.

Decentralized economies serving restricted regions are more sustainable and are solicited by citizens.

Institutions have to be revamped in that direction and up-down laws are no longer cherished.

In fact, less restrictive local laws are the best recourse to taming the monster of global totalitarianism in the making.

Catastrophic crisis are not teaching anything in behavioral change: they simply increase the level of fear, anxiety, and apathy.

Continuing in the same trend is tantamount of letting this monster of totalitarianism starting sniffing around for another round of human calamities (already all States are abusing of “emergency laws” during this pandemics).

Most probably, totalitarian regimes, established in order to control outbursts and uneasiness, will mushroom in industrialized States because

1) they can afford these kinds of institutions,

2) they have already the sophisticated and all encompassing control institutions, and

3) they have practiced it several times in many nations within the last decades.

Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union experienced it efficiently.  France applied it to spread its public secular system of education in order to unify its nation. The USA applied it during the two Administrations of George W. Bush.

Currently, China is the most effective totalitarian regime. 

Millions of workers are transferred and displaced by a simple order of the politburo; millions succumb to eugenic practices on simple obscure laws; millions die in mining accidents and famine; gigantic dams are disturbing millions of people without recourse or participation by the citizens.

The third world states will always enshrine dictators, state political parties, and oligarchies but they will never afford totalitarian regimes for lack of sustainable institutions.

The best you might expect of third world states is organized chaos and periodic clamping down on dissidents.  There will be time when the “industrialized citizens” will opt to immigrate to Third World States and live in sobriety just to recapture the taste of freedom and liberty.

Note: Remember this article was posted more than a decade ago. And nothing changed drastically enough to hope for a more sustainable world in economics and finance.

Even before Covid-19, 80 years ago, : It was a good time to die

Note: Re-edit of “A good time to die (October 16, 2008)”

We know by now that decisions for resuming experiments on atomic explosions, in open air or underground, are bad news.

We know that decisions to leave man out of the loop of programmed launching of guided ballistic missiles are wrong decisions.

We are learning that the ozone layer is good and protects the living organisms from lethal doses of ultraviolet radiations; that the depletion of ozone over the Antarctic is very bad news.

We recognize that the increased concentration of CO2 may be causing the “Greenhouse Effect”, melting the North Pole and increasing the Oceans water level.

We have this gut feeling that the deforestation of the virgin forests in the Equator is degrading the quality of air and increasing the numbers of tsunamis or cyclones or tidal waves or hurricanes.

We blame those who still insist on residing around the targeted sea shores (increase water level) as if these cataclysms would disappear any time soon.

We are less sure how the high electrical tension pylons amidst towns alter the health of children, but active citizens must have learned the lesson to No longer wait for the results of research and experiments when health and safety are of concern.

We know that our intelligence is intrinsically malignant but the most malignant are those vicious, lengthy and recurring cycles of the decision processes to settle on remedial plans of actions.

We frequently don’t know the mechanisms to resolve what we initiated and much less these processes that takes decades to recognize the problems and reach agreements to act and persevere in our programs.

Earth has mechanisms to stabilize harms done to it, but it requires man to leave it alone for hundreds and thousands of years.

Every time man creates a problem to earth’s quality and stability we have to wait for a valiant scientist to sound the alarm.

Then we have to wait for this scientist to affiliate with a recognized international figure to give credit and weight for his discovery.

Then we have to wait for the convinced scientists (paradigm shift) and professionals to sign up a manifest and present it to the UN so that the UN might receives a wake up call to take on its responsibilities to preserving human rights for clean air, clean potable water, clean environment and human rights for health and safety and security. 

Then we have to wait for one superpower to admit that what is happening is bad, that the level of tolerance, invariably set by unprofessional specialists in the field, is no longer acceptable.

Then we have to wait for one superpower to unilaterally agree to distance itself from the pack of wolves and actively remediate.

Then we have to hear the complaints of economic infeasibility of regulations to remedial actions and then we have to set a period that lengthens to decades in order to start an effective program that agrees to everyone concerned.

Albert Schweitzer in his book of selected 3 calls to action “Peace or atomic war” describes the fundamental process that was initiated to put a halt on atomic explosion live experimentations.

You discover that physicists and not medical specialists volunteer to set levels of tolerances to radioactive emissions.

You hear Edward Teller, the “eminent” physicist and “father” of the hydrogen bomb say “We have got for our national security to keep testing for a harmless hydrogen bomb”; as if States at war intend not to inflict harms!

The UN had to wait for 9235 scientists and headed by Linus Pauling to sign a manifest in January 1958 explaining the lethal harm to the next generations of radioactive emissions.

Then the US Administration gradually stopped financing apologetics in Newspapers that the experiments constitute No tangible harms.

After the US, Britain and the Soviet Union were forced to agree on a moratorium to open air explosions they resumed their nuclear explosions in “controlled, secure, and safe” underground testing fields.

I never stumbled on a manuscript describing the consequences for underground nuclear testing.

Usually the consequences are of long term nature and time-line researches are too expensive to follow up.

My gut feeling is that these underground testing are directly linked to the current drastic increase in large scale seism, volcano eruptions and tidal wave catastrophes.  

Earth may sustain one major destructive factor, but it requires more than one main factor to destabilize earth and its environment.

Note: If “La joie de vivre” est liée a un sentiment d’avoir réussi. Si on pouvait abaisser la barre de ce qu’on considère “Avoir Réussi”. I think Covid-19 gave humanity a chance to lower the level of “hussel and bussel” of what they consider “Having been successful” in order to discover happiness in life.

Cognitive mechanisms? How my brain works

Note: Re-edit of “How my brain works: Cognitive mechanisms; (Jan. 9, 2010)”

Before venturing into this uncharted territory, let me state that there is a “real universe”, which each person perceives differently: If this real world didn’t exist, there would be nothing to perceive.

The real world cares less about the notions of time and space.

No matter how we understand the real world, our system of comprehension is strictly linked to our brain/senses systems of perceptions.

The way animals perceive the universe is different from our perception.

All we can offer are bundles of hypotheses that can never be demonstrated or confirmed, even empirically, except in few cases in the processes.

The best we can do is to extend the hypothesis that our perceived universe correlates (qualitative coherent resemblance) with a de-facto real universe of the moment.

The notions of time, space, and causality are within our perceived universe.

Each individual has his own “coherent universe” that is as valid as any other perception.

What rational logic and empirical experiments have discovered in “laws of nature” apply only to our perceived universe. Mainly, to what is conveniently labeled the category of grown up “normal people” who do not suffer major brain disturbances or defects.

How newborn and toddlers perceive the universe is very challenging, and could be the dawn of a breakthrough cognitive scientific era.

Man uses symbols such as language, alphabets, mathematical forms, and musical symbols to record their cognitive performances.

Brain uses “binary code” of impressions and intervals of non impressions to register a codified impression.  Most probably, the brain creates all kinds of cells and chemicals to categorize, store, classify, and retrieve various impressions.

The rationale is that, since no matter how fast an impression is, it stands to reason that the trillions and trillions of impressions would saturate the intervals between sensations in no time.

We are born with 25% of the total number of synapses that grown up will form.

Neurons have mechanisms of transferring from one section of the brain to other parts when frequent focused cognitive processes are needed.

A child can perceive one event following another one but he has no further meaning, but simple observations.  A child is Not surprised with magic outcomes; what is out of the normal for a grown up is as valid a phenomenon as another to the child (elephant can fly).

We know that vision and auditory sensations pass through several filters (processed data) before being perceived by the brain.

The senses of smell and taste circumvent filters and are sensed by the limbic (primeval brain) before passing this data to cognition.

The brain attached markers or attributes to impressions that it receives.

A marker represents a special network form of synapses.

Four markers that I call exogenous markers attach to impressions as they are “registered” or perceived in the brain coming from the outside world through our senses.

At least four other markers, I label “endogenous markers” are attached to internal cognitive processing and are linked to information during the  re-structuring or re-configuring of events are performed during the dream periods: massive computations are needed to stored data before they are transformed to ready useful data before endogenous markers are attributed to them for registering in other memory banks.

There are markers that I call “reverse-exogenous” and are attached to information meant to be exported from the brain to the outside world. They are mainly of 2 kinds: body language information (such as head, hand, shoulder, or eye movements) and the recorded types on external means, such as writing, painting, sculpting, singing, playing instruments, or performing art work.

The first exogenous marker directs impressions from the senses in their order of successions.

The child recognizes that this event followed the other one within a short period of occurrence. His brain can “implicitly” store the two events as following in succession in a qualitative order (for example the duration of the succession is shorter or longer than the other succession). I label this marker as “Time recognizer” in the qualitative meaning of sensations.

The second marker registers and then stores an impression as a spatial configuration. At this stage, the child is able to recognize the concept of space but in a qualitative order. For example, this object is closer or further from the other object. I call this marker “space recognizer”.

The third marker is the ability to delimit a space when focusing on a collection of objects. Without this ability to first limit the range of observation (or sensing in general) it would be hard to register parts and bits of impressions within a first cut of a “coherent universe”. I label this marker “spatial delimiter

The fourth marker links “strength” or “weight” of occurrence as the impression is recognized in the database.  The child cannot count but the brain is already using this marker for incoming information. In a sense, the brain is assembling events and objects in special “frequency of occurrence” database during dream periods and the information are retrieved in qualitative order of strength of sensations in frequency.  I call this attribute “count marker”.

The fifth marker is an endogenous attributes: this marker is attached within the internal export/import of information in the brain. This attribute is a kind of “correlation” quantity that indicates same/different trends of behavior of events or objects.  In a sense, this marker will internally sort out data as “analogous” or contrary collections along a time scale.

People have tendency to associate correlation with cause and effect relation but it is Not. A correlation quantity can be positive (two variables have the same behavioral trend in a system) or negative quantity (diverging trends). With the emergence of the 5th marker the brain has grown a quantitative threshold in synapses and neurons to start massive computations on impressions stored in the large original database or what is called “long-term memory”.

The sixth marker is kind of  gross “probability quantity” that permits the brain to order objects according to “plausible” invariant properties in space (for example objects or figures are similar according to a particular property, including symmetrical transformations). I label this the “invariant marker” and it re-structures collections of objects and shapes in structures such as hereditary, hierarchical, network, or circular.

The seventh marker I call the “association attribute”. Methods of deduction, inductions, and other logical manipulations are within these kinds of data types.  They are mostly generated from rhetorical associations such as analogies, metaphors, antonyms, and other categories of associations.

No intuition or creative ideas are outside the boundary of prior recognition of the brain.

Constant focus and work on a concept generate complex processing during the dream stage. The conscious mind recaptures sequences from the dream state ,and most of the time unconsciously.

What knowledge does is decoding in formal systems the basic processes of the brain and then re-ordering what seems as chaotic firing in brain cells.  Symbols were created to facilitate rules writing for precise rationalization.

The eighth marker I call the “design marker”.

It recognizes interactions among variables and interacts with reverse exogenous markers since a flow with outside perceptions is required for comprehension.

Simple perceived relationships between two events or variables are usually trivial and mostly wrong. For example, thunder follows lightning and thus, wrongly interpreted as lightning generates thunder.  Simple interactions are of the existential kind as in the Pavlov reactions where existential rewards, such as food, are involved in order to generate the desired reactions. The Pavlov reaction laws apply to man too.

Interactions among more than two variables are complex for interpretations in the mind and require plenty of training and exercises.

Designing experiments is a very complex cognitive task and not amenable to intuition: it requires learning and training to appreciating the various cause and effects among the variables.

The first kinds of “reverse exogenous” markers can be readily witnessed in animals such as in body language of head, hand, shoulder, or eye movements. Otherwise, Pavlov experiments could not be conducted if animals didn’t react with any external signs.

In general, rational thinking retrieves data from specialized databases “cognitive working memory” of already processed data and saved for pragmatic utility.

Working memories are developed once data find outlets to the external world for recording; thus, pure thinking without attempting to record ideas degrades the cognitive processes with sterile internal transfer without new empirical information to compute in.

An important reverse-exogenous marker is sitting still, concentrating, emptying our mind of external sensations, and relaxing the mind of conscious efforts of perceiving the knowledge “matter” in order to experience the “cosmic universe”.

I presume that a few particular markers of the same kind can handle the flow of impressions, but the brain tends to construct many duplicates of redundant markers for emergency occurrences and for the regeneration processes.

The most used markers such as “count” are distributed in many strategic nodes and chemicals are attached to incoming impressions so that any “count” node may recognize the alterations.

Talented individuals have more specialized markers for the skills they acquired and thus, the denser and more varied are the synapses networks that correspond to the more intelligence kinds we developed.

Note: This article was not meant to analyze emotions or value moral systems.  It is very probable that the previously described markers are valid for the moral value systems with less computation applied to the data transferred to the “moral working memory”.

I believe that more other sophisticated computations are performed than done to emotional data since a system is constructed for frequent “refreshing” with age and experiences.

I conjecture that emotions are generated from the vast original database; and the endogenous correlation marker is the main computation method: the reason is that emotions are related to complex and almost infinite interactions with people and community.

Thus, the brain prefers not to consume time and resources on complex computations that involve many thousands of variables interacting simultaneously.

An emotional reaction in the waking period is not necessarily “rational” but of the quick and dirty resolutions kinds.

In the dream sessions, emotionally loaded impressions are barely processed because they are hidden deep in the vast original database structure and are not refreshed frequently to be exposed to the waking conscious cognitive processes; thus, they flare up within the emotional reaction packages.

Note 2: The brain is a flexible organic matter that can be trained and developed by frequent “refreshing” of interactions with the outside world of sensations. Maybe animals lack the reverse exogenous markers to record their cognitive capabilities.

More likely, it is because their cognitive working memory is shriveled that animals didn’t grow the appropriate limbs for recording sensations:  Evolution (or lack of it) didn’t endow them with external performing limbs for writing, sculpting, painting, or doing music.

The fact that chimps were trained to externalize cognitive capabilities that are as valid as a 5 years old mankind child, suggest that attaching artificial limbs to chimps, cats, or dogs that are compatible with human tools will demonstrate that chimps can give far better cognitive performance than expected.

This is a first draft to get the project going. I appreciate developed comments and references.

Banks swindling depositors through forced contracts: Depositors have no recourse to edit the contracts?

People have been indoctrinated that “Banks are safe haven to deposit your money. When you need your money back, you can get it without any hassle.”

You methodically sign one sheet of paper contract after another, ream of them. It never occured to you to say: “Hola, these are plenty of paper to read. I am a slow reader. I’ll get back to you next week for pertinent questions

Occasionally, you feel sorry for the long time the clerc on her computer is trying to figure out how to input the many dozens of information you provided, and to check if you are an “appropriate” customer to get rid of you money into others’ people coffers.

You feel kind of ashamed how you are going to blurt it out: “I just have a couple of $ hundred. Is that sum cover the minimum required to open an account?”

Sure, you have been told that the bank invest your money in other “businesses”.

You assumed that investments do not involve shady companies, like professional snipers, weapon merchants, mafia activities, selling human organs, selling girls for prostitution bordellos…

Sure, this bank has the same moral standard that you have, and investment are re-routed to companies enjoying “Moral Entity” of government laws and judicial systems…

And then, you discovered that you have been “Haircut” and whatever money you still have in your account has been reduced drastically, while food prices have skyrocketed.

The job of Central Bank chief is to put your worries to rest: the financial situation is under total control.

The assumption that the Silent Majority has been following the process of the coming calamity and reflecting on the condition is highly doubtful. This Majority wholeheartedly trust the government, the politicians and the public institutions.

By the time this Majority shake off its apathy, mentally and physically, it is already too late. The guillotine has fallen, and they have to lick their bruised ego and world view.

What are the laws that can protect the depositors from their hard earned money?

جريمة احتيال

كثر البحث في الأونة الأخيرة عن وصف جرمي للافعال التي قامت بها المصارف اتجاه المودعين و قد قرات عدة مقالات جدية و متخصصة عن الموضوع تصف هذه الافعال ضمن جريمة اساءة الامانة بانية هذه النظرية على التصرفات الاخيرة التي قامت به المصارف.

في الواقع لا تسمح العقود القائمة بين المصرف و المودع بهذا الوصف، فهي من نوع عقود الاذعان ،

أي أن العميل يوافق على شروط موضوعة مسبقا اهمها ان المصرف يحق له التصرف بالاموال المودعة و توظيفها مع احتفاظ العميل بحق قبضها عند طلبها ، ما عدا الحالات التي تكون فيها الاموال مجمدة لأجل محدد.

من ناحية أخرى لا يسمح قانون النقد و التسليف باسقاط الوصف الجرمي لناحية توظيف الاموال او تحويلها الى الخارج .

بعيدا عن نظرية اساءة الامانة ، نجد ان هنالك تصرفات قام بها مصرف لبنان ، و مجالس ادارات المصارف ، ينطبق عليها وصف الخطأ القانوني الذي يستوجب التعويض ،

اهمها الامتناع عن تسديد الحسابات او تحويلها ، و اجبار الناس على سحب اموالها بالليرة اللبنانية على سعر صرف ادنى من سعر الصرف الحقيقي ،

و لكن ، هل هذا هو الوصف الحقيقي ، او هل هذا فعلا اقصى ما يمكن تحميله من مسؤولية قانونية للمصارف و لحاكم مصرف لبنان ، بحيث لا يمكن الا مداعاتهم بالتعويض بما يملكون او بعبارة ادق بما يمكن اثبات أنهم يملكون ؟

أم أنه هنالك نصوص قانونية تنطبق عليها الحالة الآنية و تؤمن حقوق المودعين بشكل أفضل ؟

إن اثبات الاحتيال يتيح حبس المحتال ، كما يتيح وضع اليد على كل املاكه ، و استعادة الاموال التي هرّبت الى الخارج او تم شراء عقارات بها ،

و الاحتيال جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون كجنحة و لكن اذا ما تم اضافة عامل التشديد كونها في حالتنا هذه تمس عامة الشعب و تهدد امن الوطن ، فإن عقوباتها سوف ترتفع الى مستوى عقوبة الجنايات.

لا داعي لاثبات الموضوع ، فهو يتعلق باموال منقولة أي انه صالح للنظر فيه كموضوع جريمة احتيال ،

فهل أن الفعل المادي متوفر ؟ و هل النية الجرمية حاضرة ؟ و ماذا عن الرابطة السبية ؟
هذا ما سنراه من خلال هذه المقالة القصيرة

شروط الاحتيال :

في بحث موجز و سريع جدا وجدت أن الشروط المطلوبة لتطبيق وصف الاحتيال قد تكون لها حظوظ اكبر ، و على هذا الصعيد فإن المادة 655 من قانون العقوبات التي عدلت سنة 1993 تنص على التالي :

كل من حمل الغير بالمناورات الاحتيالية على تسليمه مالا منقولا او غير منقول او اسنادا تتضمن تعهدا او ابراء او منفعة واستولى عليها يعاقب بالحبس من ستة اشهر الى ثلاث سنوات وبالغرامة من مئة الف الى مليون ليرة.

وتعتبر من المناورات الاحتيالية:
1- الاعمال التي من شأنها ايهام المجني عليه بوجود مشروع وهمي او التي تخلق في ذهنه املا بربح او تخوفا من ضرر.
2- تلفيق اكذوبة يصدقها المجني عليه نتيجة تأييد شخص ثالث ولو عن حسن نية او نتيجة ظرف مهد له المجرم او ظرف استفاد منه.
3- التصرف بأموال منقولة او غير منقولة ممن ليس له حق او صفة للتصرف بها او ممن له حق او صفة للتصرف فأساء استعمال حقه توسلا لابتزاز المال.
4- استعمال اسم مستعار او صفة كاذبة للمخادعة والتأثير. ويطبق العقاب نفسه في محاولة ارتكاب هذا الجرم.

انطباق شروط الفعل المادي على تصرفات المصارف :

لا بد من الاشارة اولا ان تلك الشروط هي وصف لحالات منفردة بحيث يكفي انطباق الفعل على اي من تلك الحالات ,مع وجود نية جرمية ، حتى يعتبر القاضي أن الفعل هو مناورة احتيالية .

١-بالعودة الى البند الاول من نص المادة ٦٥٥ ، نجد ان خلق الامل بربح ، يتلاءم وصفه مع ما قامت به المصارف من زيادات كبيرة على نسبة الفوائد المعروضة بحيث تحولت من فوائد مقبولة نسبيا و متعارف عليها الى فوائد عالية خارجة عن وصف ثمار الاموال لتكسب صفة الربح الحقيقي التجاري

٢- يعتبر البند الثاني الادسم ، اذ يشدد من ناحية على ان الكذب المباشر من الطرف المطلوب تجريمه لا يكفي لاعتباره احتيال ، بل يجب أن يأتي على صورة مناورة كاملة بحيث يقوم شخص ثالث حائز على ثقة المتضرر بالكذب ، و يقوم الطرف الثاني بمناورة اعتمادا على كذب الطرف الثالث ليوقع بالطرف الاول المجني عليه .

حسنا ، الا يعتبر حاكم مصرف لبنان طرفا ثالثا يمثل المصرف المركزي ، أي الدولة اللبنانية ، شخصا ثالثا يستحق الثقة ؟

و ألم يقم بالكذب على اللبنانيين مرارا و تكرارا بأن وضع الليرة بخير ؟ و ألم تقم المصارف باغراء المودعين بناء على جو الثقة الذي اوحى به حاكم المصرف ؟

من جهة ثانية الم تكن تعلم المصارف بحالة موجوداتها و بحالة موجودات المصرف المركزي ؟

٣-بالنسبة للبند الثالث ، فهو يفصل بين حالتين ،

الحالة الاولى هي قيام شخص بأعمال و تصرفات لا يحق له القيام بها و هذه الحالة خي ما يحاجج به اصحاب نظرية اساءة الامانة مع أنني اجد أن المصارف يحق لها التصرف.

اما الحالة الثانية ، و التي اعتبرها اقرب الى ما قامت به المصارف ، فهي قيام شخص يحق له التصرف ، بالاساءة في حق التصرف من اجل ابتزاز المال .

إن المصارف و عبر حسابات اصحابها او الشركاء بمجالس ادارتها ، قامت بتحويل اموالهم و اموال خاصاتهم الى الخارج ،

و ذلك يعتبر من التصرفات التي يحق لها القيام بها ، و لكن الفرق ، كل الفرق أنها قامت بمنع المودعين الباقين من عامة الشعب ، من ان يقوموا بسحب أو بتحويل اموالهم متذرعة ان ليس لديها دولارات ،

و قامت من بعدها بابتزازهم عبر تكبيدهم خسارات من جراء سحب الاموال بالليرة اللبنانية او بشيكات بنكية ، تخسم بنسبة عالية ، بدأت ب ١٠% و وصلت الآن الى ٥٠% .

اذا لم يكن هذا ابتزازا ، فماذا يكون ، و ما هو تعريف الابتزاز ساعة اذن ؟

في توفر النية الجرمية :

طبعا يعود للقاضي التثبت من وجود النية الجرمية ، و لكن النية الجرمية الضرورية لوصف الفعل بالجرمي على صعيد الاحتيال ، هي قيام المحتال باحدى الافعال المحددة في المادة ٦٥٥ مع توجه ارادته للاستيلاء على الاموال .

هنا يتبادر الى الذهن الاسئلة التالية :
الم تقم المصارف بما قامت به من اجل الاستيلاء على الاموال ؟ ام أن هنالك سوقا نقديا متراجعا فرض عليها اعطاء فوائد مرتفعة ؟

في الواقع هنالك حالات كثيرة ، حيث قامت مصارف مختلفة و في بلدان مختلفة ، باغراء الزبائن بفوائد عالية من اجل ترتيب جردة حسابات آحر السنة ،

او من اجل تمويل مشاريع او توظيفات خاصة ،

و لكن لا توجد اي حالة في تلك البلدان ، حيث قام اصحاب تلك المصارف بسحب اموالهم و تحويلها الى الخارج ، او بشراء عقارات لاخفائها و التأمين عليها من الخسارة.

الواضح انهم كانوا يملكون كل المعلومات اللازمة ليخافوا من الوضع المالي ،

و الواضح ايضا انهم لجؤوا الى إغراء المودعين من اجل تمويل عملية انسحابهم من السوق ، و بذلك تكون النية الجرمية متوفرة.
اخيرا ينبغي البحث في توفر الرابطة السببية

الرابطة السببية :
و اختصارا ، و لتوفر الرابطة السببية ينبغي اثبات أنه لولا المناورة الاحتيالية لما تم الاستيلاء على المال

في الواقع ، تضع اكثرية الناس قسم معتبر من اموالها في المصارف بطبيعة الحال ، و من دون الحاجة الى عمليات اقناع او مناورات احتيالية او خطط معقدة .

اعتادت الناس على وضع اموال في حسابات جارية كما اعتادت على توظيفها او ادخارها في المصارف وفقا للعادات المتعارف عليها .
أن الغير عادي في الموضوع أن الاغراءات التي مورست على المودعين ، كانت كبيرة و متواصلة بحيث انهم وجدوا مصلحة لهم في التوقف عن اي عمل يقومون به ، و وضع اموالهم في المصارف.

فالعادة جرت ان يضع الشخص ٢٠% كحد وسطي من امواله في حسابات جارية او مجمدة ، بحسب طبيعة عمله ، و ان يستثمر امواله او يستخدمها في اعماله ،

لكن الفوائد التي وصلت الى ١٥ % ، بالاضافة الى جو الثقة الذي اشاعه حاكم مصرف لبنان ، اقنعا معظم اللبنانيين بوقف او تجميد او تصغير حجم الاعمال ، و الاستعاضة بدل ذلك بادخار الاموال في حسابات مصرفية تعطي ارباحا عالية و مضمونة و بالركون الى هذه الحيثيات لا يعود من الصعب اثبات

الرابطة السببية بين المناورة الاحتيالية و خسارة الاموال

●الخاتمة : نحن نقف الآن امام منعطف تاريخي ، لبنان كله امام منعطف تاريخي ، لقد قامت المصارف *(أعني من أمّن لها الغطاء و لا يزال ، المستفيد الأول و الأخير منها، فالمصرف هو آداة ليس إلا!)* بتدمير الاقتصاد اللبناني ،

لم يعد هنالك حركة اقتصادية ، لا منتج و لا مستهلك و لا تاجر و لا مؤدي خدمات ،

شهرين و نكون امام مجاعة حقيقية ، الامل الوحيد الباقي هو في نجاح حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب في مساعيها ، و لا يمكن أن تنجح هذه المساعي الا من خلال استعادة الاموال ،

و أن تجريم المصارف بالاحتيال هو اقل ما يمكن عمله على هذا الصعيد ، لم يقوموا بالاستيلاء على جزء من مال ، لم يقوموا بالاستيلاء على اموال ،
لقد سرقوا وطنا بكامله ، لقد سرقوا العمر و الحلم و الأمن .

حسن سلمان

 

Your second brain: Take care of the good bacteria in the Intestine

Note: Re-edit of “The Intestine: Your second brain.  Care for the good bacteria. May 2016”. 

With this Covid-19 pademics, people are using all kinds of antiseptics on hands, in the mouth… The good bacteria are being killed with whatever viruses are existing on the skin.

Everything that we eat comes from living organisms.

And every living species (including plants) in nature is constituted of sugar molecules, amino acids (called proteins) and lipids (fats).

Are you suffering lactose intolerance, quick cycles of losing and gaining weight , lesions on your thighs, face and other parts of your body that don’t heal, bad breath, gastroenteritis and a whole bunch of health problem?

You are Not taking good care of the good bacteria in your intestine and mouth.
Beware of antibiotics that kill the good and bad germs equally well.

I recommend to read “Le charme discret de l’intestin” by Giulia Enders.
Mind you that the intestine is the second brain.

You care for the good bacteria in your intestine, and they take care of the bad bacteria and germs. For your comfort and health.

Sugar is the only substance that can be transformed into fat without much effort by our small intestine.

If currently 80% of food include sugar, no wonder why people in the West and the well-to-do tend to be chubby.

The same is true to care for the inside of your mouth: First defenses against bad bacteria

To reduce the # of bad bacteria in fruits, vegetable, and in the kitchen:

1. Dilute the fruits and vegetable
2. Let all Dry up (food, kitchen utensils, cleaning sponges…)
3. Regulate temperature to cold level (Below 5 degree) occasionally in the house during the year
4. Clean the surfaces from fatty films with just water
5. Let a few iodine crystal evaporate in kitchen and rooms
6. Rub your body with odorless bacteria

On average, we defecate about 250 gm (per day?).
3/4 of the weight is water.
1/3 of the compact matter is of bacteria
1/3 of fiber that couldn’t be digested. If you consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable, the weight might rise to 500 mg
1/3 is constituted of cholesterol, medicine, and artificially colored products…

The consistency of the faecal product has been given a scale of 7. The scale was developed by Ken Heaton and called the Bristol Scale:

Level 1 looks like separate hard nutty lumps

Level 7 is just liquid

Levels 3 and 4 are the norms

Level 3 is like a sausage with cracks on the surface. If the product sinks then it means that it does not contain gases. It is better that it float before flushed down.

Level 4 is the perfect product. It looks as a snaked sausage, smooth and soft.

Anti-biotic (kills the good and bad bacteria) are produced by intensive growth of particular bacteria in huge water containers: it is bacteria that generate antibiotics

Pre-biotic (Before life bacteria) are good bacteria found in fibre-rich fresh food such as artichaut, asperges, andive, green banana, topinambour, ail, onion, poireau, panais, salsifis, seigle, avoine…

The good bacteria highly prefer the fiber ingredients for their growth, which allow them to confront the bad bacteria very efficiently.

Prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides are generated by our body.

You need to add a small amount in powder form for the babies in order to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.

Ailing liver needs prebiotic

Probiotic (For life) are good bacteria like bifido and lactobacillus that resist the digestive process such as the lactobacillus -rhamnosus, lactobacillus -acidophilus, lactobacillus – casei shirota, lactobacillus bulgaricus.

Since antiquity, every tribe learned how to cook and preserve the good bacteria.

For example, marinated cucumber, bread with levure, Swiss cheese types, crème fraiche,

German choucroute, ayran, yogurt, soja sauce, miso soup, kimchi, fermented sushi, lassi (India), foufou (Africa).

Probiotic bacteria have many benefits:

1. They prevent diarrhea that empty the intestine of all bacteria, especially the good ones. It is lethal for babies and older people because it takes much longer to stabilize the system.

2. Good for the immune system

3. Good to prevent many kinds of allergies

4. Good to reduce gases emitted by bacteria, and smell of the fart is Not as noxious as the gases produced by the bad bacteria

What are the functions of good bacteria?

1. Many probiotic bacteria produce small fatty acids, as butyric acid, to lubricate the intestinal villosities

2. They take refuge in locations preferred by the bad pathogen agents and drive them away. They produce small doses of antibiotics to incite the bad ones to vacate the premises. They also produce certain acids to enhance the displacement of the bad ones. The good ones eat the fibre rich in nutrients and force the bad ones to starve.

3. The good bacteria cooperate with the immune system by delivering precious pieces of intelligence on the characteristics of the bad ones so that the system can contain them and attack them efficiently.

If you are a vegetarian and lacks all the varieties of proteins, the plants that contains the 20 amino acids are: soja, quinoa, amarante, spiruline, chia grains, and sarrasin.

Are you allergic to fat and protein-rich food such as egg, milk, peanuts…

Allergic to gluten, lactose and fructose?

You may have a genetic deficiency in particular secretion of enzymes, like the lactase that make babies scream of pain when sucking their mother’s milk

Otherwise, most probably, your intestine (the small 7 meter long intestine) is being fragile from over antibiotic medication or lacking the necessary adaptability in old age.

Occasionally, the small intestine is unable to break down particles of food, and the lymphatic conduit (immune system) absorb these particles and dump them straight to the heart (bypassing the liver as the blood conduits do).

The immune system target these particles as enemies.

Even tasting some of these food alert the immune system to confront and attack what we are eating.

Beware of consuming too much fructose (supposedly the sugar in fruits)
Are you eating 8 bananas or 6 apples a day? That is more than 50 g (high number)
The western nations and the well to do consume about 80 g of fructose, added in ketchup, salad sauces, fruity yogurt…

Fructose overdose generate many ailments in the stomach, terrible gases, allergies, and depressive mood due to blocking the serotonin

To get rid of body odors, rub the body with a lotion of odorless bacteria that repel stinky bacteria

No need to use soap when taking showers: Plain water is totally enough to reduce substantially the number of bad bacteria and keep a thin film of fat on the skin to trap the offensive bacteria
Usage of soap worsen the defenses of the skin.

Do you want to avoid hemorrhoids and diverticula?
Adopt the stooping position as in the Muslims’ WC

If you insist on using the western throne position for defecating, raise your legs by posing your feet on a stool and bend you back forward so that the intestine is in direct straight position for quick and totally satisfying experience.

The cover in Western installation should be designed to include two side feet-shaped support that rise by the simple weight of the legs.

When the cover is up, the two feet will retract back to take the shape of the ceramic seat.
The elevation should consider the lightest of legs.

Note 1: The French say “Turkish WC”, the Turks as Greek WC, the Greek as Bulgarian WC, the Japanese as Chinese WC…
The Islamic natural WC, hard for the elder people, is available in the 5 continents and in every mosque and Islamic world and regions where the West could not spread their kinds of WC

Note 2: I have this hypothesis:
If you wear eye glasses designed to keep the eyes humid, you’ll save many hours of fatigue and exhaustion during your working day

Note 3: In one hour, our organs consume 100 Watts bulb
We salivate about one litter a day. Saliva contains many useful ingredients (see follow up article on the mouth)

Note 4: We have two sphincters: one external and one internal.The internal is ready to let go anytime, The nerves of the external is linked to our brain that gives order for the go ahead

This Hedonic happy cell?

Note: Re-edit of “This Happy Cell, and What a Happy Cell Looks Like, 2015”

And I thought that memory is confined in brain cells and nerves only?

“What is the truest form of human happiness?”  Steven Cole asks.

It’s a question he’s been considering for most of his career—but Cole is an immunologist, (very timely for this Covid-19 pandemics?) not a philosopher.

This question isn’t rhetoric or a thought experiment. It’s science—measurable and finite.

A growing field of research is examining how life satisfaction may affect cellular functioning and DNA.

Cole, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, has spent several decades investigating the connection between our emotional and biological selves.

“The old thinking was that our bodies were stable biological entities, fundamentally separate from the external world, But the new thinking is that there is much more permeability and fluidity.”

Betty Nudler/Flickr

His latest project is the examination of happiness in biological terms.

“There’s an intrinsic connection between our direct experience of happiness and the perception of that experience in our bodies, as represented by changes in our biologic mechanisms. We’ve found that happiness can remodel our cellular composition,” he explains.

Specifically, Cole and his team of researchers at UCLA have found that happiness seems to alter the function of immune cells.

“It’s no question that the mind and immune system are intrinsically linked. Our body is a literal product of our environment.”

As Cole explains, the immune system has two primary functions: to fight infection and to cause inflammation.

The first function, known as the antiviral response, is generally considered positive because it helps ward off external threats, like viruses, that might otherwise harm the body.

The second function, known as the inflammatory response, is less positive because its efforts is to keep healthy immune cells circulating in the body can also cause tissue damage.

Cole has found that the balance of these two functions of the immune system may change based on life experiences.

His work has shown that negative experiences like a new cancer diagnosis, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and low socioeconomic status may cause changes to someone’s immunologic profile.

Over the past 15 years, our work has shown us that diverse social and psychological experiences that cause a sense of threat or uncertainty can evoke a similar response in our immune cells,” he says.

Listening to him explain his work is part philosophy lesson, part cellular-biology lesson, a scientific discourse on la dolce vita.

“We’re beginning to understand that life experiences like chronic stress, loneliness, and social isolation negatively affect our immunologic profile. This gives us a sense of how Not to live—but more importantly, it also tells us something about how to live, because there are concrete things we can do to actively promote a positive change in our immunology,” he says. “The biology of happiness is in our hands.”

But how exactly do our immune cells register this abstract concept of happiness? The answer depends on how “happiness” is defined.

“There are two distinct forms of happiness, hedonic happiness and eudaimonic happiness, and our bodies respond differently to each type,” Cole explains.

“Hedonic happiness is the elevated mood we experience after an external life event, like buying a new home,” while eudaimonic happiness “is our sense of purpose and direction in life, our involvement in something bigger than ourselves.”

Of the two, eudaimonic happiness in particular is associated with a better-functioning immune system, according to Cole.

To determine this effect, Cole and a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, asked 80 healthy adults to fill out questionnaires about their well-being.

The researchers then analyzed the volunteers’ answers to assess their levels of eudaimonic and hedonic happiness, and took blood samples to study the functioning of their immune cells. (I don’t give much credit to research based on questionnaires)

They found that a high score of eudaimonic happiness, more than a high score of hedonic happiness, was correlated with a better genetic expression profilemeaning the immune cells showed high rates of the antiviral response and low rates of the inflammatory response.

The researchers posited that though both types of happiness may look similar on the outside, the corresponding genetic expression profiles are quite different.

“When we asked people how happy they felt, both [the high eudaimonic and high hedonic] groups seemed about the same,”Cole says.

But when we looked at the cellular and molecular level, it looks like people with high levels of eudaimonic happiness are better off, immunologically speaking.”

“We already know ways to achieve hedonic happiness, but how can we live our lives to evoke a eudaimonic experience in our immune system?” he continues.

One way is through mind-body practices, like meditation, which “have been shown to cultivate positive and happy immune cells,” he says.

But perhaps the most striking theory posed of meditation is that it could alter genetic material.

In recent years, a new field of study, known as mind-body genomics, has emerged.

Among the most well-known researchers in this area are Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, a biochemist at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleague, psychiatrist Elissa Epel.

Through a series of studies, the two found that meditation could affect the ends of DNA known as the telomeres, which act as protective caps for genes. The longer the telomere, the greater the protection conferred for the DNA strand, and the longer that cell can survive.

And telomeres, like immune cells, seem to respond to emotional cues.

Negative external conditions like chronic stress that reduce eudaimonic happiness may shorten telomere length, while stress-reducing activities like meditation may help to maintain it.

“Telomeres are affected by many things, but they are directly affected by stress. So we can see how improvements in our mental health, through the practice of meditation, might be linked to improvements in our telomeres,” Epel explains. “They offer us a window and some insight into how we are living, and help us appreciate how what we do today can affect our health tomorrow.”

As the field of mind-body genomics matures, the focus is moving towards gaining a better understanding of not only how DNA could be structurally changed by meditation, but also whether meditation can alter DNA functionally, through changes in how genes are expressed.

In one recent study, for example, meditation was linked to enhanced expression of genes associated with insulin secretion, telomere structure, and cellular energy and function, and decreased expression of genes linked to inflammation and stress.

What’s more, blood samples collected during the study found that experienced meditators showed changes in their genetic activity after just one meditation session.

With 21,000 genes in the human genome, Cole, Epel, and other researchers have just scratched the surface of the connection between our emotional and biological selves.

“We are an ever-changing conglomeration of cells very much influenced by our experience of the world around us,” Cole says. “At the rate we’re going, we have more data than we can make sense of. It’s this process that helps us get closer to understanding the black box.

Who knows? Maybe in the future we may be able to sequence our own genes.” Epel agrees: “We don’t yet have the technology to monitor our telomeres, but it’s coming.”

In the meantime, though, the lessons of mind-body genomics still apply.

“The experience you have today will influence your body composition for the next 80 days, because that’s how long most cellular processes hang around,” Cole says. “So plan your day accordingly.”

Note: Research has linked meditation to reduced negative inflammatory activityincreased positive antiviral responseimproved function of specific strains of immune cells, and higher antibody production.

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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