Society

Letter to the Experts

– Science will save your Life, but it may forget about your Soul –

Dear Experts,

Congratulations, you have scared the world senseless. Has it been worth it, turning the whole globe over its head and back, and then shaking it around a bit more? And if it has, who do you think it’s been worth it for the most? The lone, isolated and “plugged-away” individual perhaps? Or the businessman that is making that individual’s life convenient, entertained and distracted?

You have convinced us that we are born to be sickly for as long as we breathe, and that you also happen to have the perfect cure. You have convinced us that we, yet again, seem to take a liking to the idea of living in a world of segregation and that we can use our own democracy to vote it in. And while people distract themselves in arguing, our governments, politicians and everyone else supporting this world-wide movement are just like any true war profiteer, cashing in – cashing in so they can build us an even better future. So the claim goes. Of course, we used to have wars in trenches with fingers pulling triggers, now they are in people’s bedrooms, with fingers trolling social threads. All the while, the world is being promoted to be in some form of perpetual state of emergency.

A letter to all people, about a friend, and a heroine.

Hello friends and beyond,
 
The article that I linked below caught me by more than just surprise. It ended up becoming too big and too personal for me not to feel compelled to share it with my community, and also for once on these social platforms, to say a few words and get personal and political. Who knows, perhaps some of you will find value in this.
 
I have had the chance to personally meet Anar though my work community a few years ago, a happy young woman that came from an educated family and was successfully searching her happiness and success in Canada, and I had only known her story as such. She was simply, happily amongst us. Then she completely randomly disappeared for two years. And today, with the reading of this article, she became one of my heroines for having the courage to come out publicly with what happened to her.

Effects of SARS-CoV-2 on Human Populations

(Last updated: Apr 24th 2021)

A scenario describing the effects to a human district of 10,000 non-vaccinated inhabitants if a sars-cov-2 virus variant entered the community. Research papers used are predominantly from countries in the U.S. and Europe and many involve randomized population samples and official world-wide data.  Note that these are approximations, every city will have variant results depending on the population’s age distribution, health and many other factors. These projections are expected to further narrow down and become more precise with future research. The most difficult part to estimate seems to be the percentage of population that would fend off the virus through their innate and previously built adaptive immunity, and test negative.

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Can the Moon ever appear as a frownie in the night sky?

Frownie MoonThe Moon scenes in the picture are from two popular Hollywood movies. The lower one is from the movie “Joe Versus the Volcano” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and the second one is from the classic “Lawrence of Arabia”.

My OCD with geometry and astronomy made me unable to ignore the fact that the Moon was “frowning” in both scenes. When shooting movies, it is usually easier to add a Moon into a starry night scene rather than to wait for it to come out and align itself perfectly for the screenshot. It made me think about how careful the CGI team were (or not) with their implementation of the positioning of the Moon when the producers asked them to provide them with a night scene and the crescent Moon in it. Is it possible the CGI team would have just placed the Moon in the shot without thinking about which way it would be facing? I think they very likely they did.

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Exploring the complexities of Human bonding

This article examines our understanding of how humans bond emotionally, romantically and sexually. Most of the data in this article are estimates and guesses. I leave the actual data gathering part to the experts, and the development of the overall conversation to all of us.

Humans seem to be wired to (autonomously and simultaneously) bond with each other in three different ways: purely sexually, romantically and by forming long term emotional partnerships. For more information on these brain circuits, check out Helen Fisher’s TED talk:

With that in mind, let us look at the way humans are attracted to each other, and in what numbers. Continue reading

Can we perfectly understand our imperfect senses?

Spectrum1 SoundHave you ever met someone who has a perfect pitch? It is pretty cool. I once asked a friend who had perfect pitch if he could tell me what note a street building ventilation system was producing. He listened for a minute and said: “Just below Bb.” I loaded my tuner app to check and sure enough he was spot on.

In reality, most people can’t do this. Instead, they have relative pitch, which means that when they hear a certain note they can then determine other notes relative to that one. One can develop this relative pitch more through practice and listening, yet even then, if you play someone a note and ask what note it is, they will still at most make a rough guess whether it is in the bass, mid or treble range.

Throughout the years I myself have learned to hear how certain note intervals, chords and chord progressions sound and how notes relate to each other, but if you played me a note I still wouldn’t know what note it actually is. In fact, I perceive music more visually than through hearing which makes it even harder for me to “hear it”. I visualize scales and calculate and count relationships between notes.

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Walk this way, Work this way!

Treadmill Standing Work StationI first heard about the work-desk treadmill back in 2008 from John Medina’s “Brain Rules” book. In a nutshell, moving and exercise improves the way our brain works and we get better work done if we are physically moving while we are working. It has been six months since I’ve actually made this idea a reality. A good friend had emailed me at the beginning of the year saying that he was planning on putting this together himself.

I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to wait another five years knowing about this amazing vision and not implement it. So I organized myself, planned it and built it. Since then, I have been walking at least five miles a day while working alone. In the past, I would have gone for exercise between work, now I sit to rest in between doing work! This has been hands down, one of the best investments I have ever made. And it doesn’t have to be a large investment at all if you are a bit resourceful. Believe it or not, this set-up cost me less than $150 in total!

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A belief is all you have, so how do you get it as close to reality?

Beliefs and SleepA friend sent me a link about a research where people camped in nature for a week and discovered that their sleep patterns synched with the rising and setting of the Sun. Having accepted myself as a natural night owl, I promptly dismissed this research in my mind and didn’t finish reading the article.  I’d read research in the past about chronotypes and other articles, talks and books (Medina – Brain Rules) that explained that small percentage of people are natural night owls and I had accepted this belief.

Regardless of whether this new article would in reality conflict with my previous beliefs, I was so glad have caught myself dismissing this new info purely because it didn’t “resonate with me”. This happens all the time to all of us. And most of the time we are not even aware of it and we end up going along with some belief that is not only incorrect, but can sometimes even be harmful to us. Yet we take ourselves seriously about what we know. Here’s the thing: all humans have are beliefs. It’s just a matter of how close our beliefs and understandings come to what is really going on out there. Surrounded by an ocean of online information and “popularity contests” through social networks, we are bombarded with information. Most people  barely have time in their busy lives to finish reading a blog like this, let alone put the time into the subject matter and check out in detail any reference links. Even if they did, would they know how to tell apart a trusting source from an untrusting one or to discern well framed reasonings from ones that are flooded with hard to spot logical fallacies?

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