Tag Archives | Psychology

EmDrive Back in the News

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Paul Gilster via Centauri Dreams:

Martin Tajmar (Dresden University of Technology) offers a paper entitled “Direct Thrust Measurements of an EmDrive and Evaluation of Possible Side-Effects” in his presentation on apparent thrust produced by the test device. As he told WIRED (which announced that The ‘impossible’ EmDrive could reach Pluto in 18 months), the current work will not close the story. From the paper itself:

The nature of the thrusts observed is still unclear… Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EmDrive but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far. Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena. Next steps include better magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EmDrive models with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal operation.

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All Roads Lead to Zen…

pots

At end of shift yesterday, while I was cashing-out my day over at the bullet-proof glass at Citizen’s Cab, a night driver named Harry – relaxing in a musty old car seat up on the rustic porch/driver’s lounge, was waiting for his cab to come in. From the porch, Harry all unsolicited bellows over to me,

“Hay! Sack! Ya kno wha tha secrit ta makin’ monee is now?”

I bite, “No, Harry. What’s the secret?”

“Ya gotta tink pos-Y-tive!”

Ah, a bit of old school San Francisco…

Well, I have been practicing watching my breath of late, on account of Maya – my upaguru Zen meditation teacher ride from recent blog fame. But instead of really meditating as I lie there in bed, watching my breath winds up super relaxing me and I just end up falling asleep real fast. But, that’s ok. Consequently, I’ve come to stop abusing night-time cough syrup to get down at night, again.… Read the rest

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Memory Loss Man: “We’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Before”

jodene e (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

jodene e (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

You wake up and go to a dentist appointment for a routine root canal. The treatment includes some local anesthesia. Everything goes fine. Except after the procedure, you can only remember the last 90 minutes of your life. This is exactly what happened to WO.

It appears that the dental procedure is not the cause of the memory loss and WO has no structural abnormalities in his brain. Scientists are understandably baffled.

So what happened?

via PsyBlog:

However, there’s no evidence that the dental procedure caused the condition.

This is what has puzzled the scientists.

Normally, such serious memory problems are accompanied by brain damage, typically in a structure called the hippocampus.

But, in WO’s brain there are no structural abnormalities.

Apart from the memory problems, WO seems the same as before, physically and psychologically.

He is capable of learning (although he forgets everyting within a day), his personality is the same and his intellect is intact.

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The Reason We Fear Success

jonah

Of the strangest and hardest to swallow truths of life springs from the ironic fear of our own success. This is what Abraham Maslow referred to as the Jonah complex. Simply put, it’s the fear of our own success or realization of our full potential.[1] According to the Jonah complex and various interpretations of it, the fear of success stems from the sense of overwhelming responsibility that might come with success, of living an extraordinary life that lacks personal familiarity, self-esteem issues preventing someone from viewing themselves as an important figure, etc. [2] To be successful, therefore, requires a sense of disillusionment with society and people which permits the inflation of the ego, whereas accepting an ordinary life actually requires a great deal of humility.

“Don’t be so humble – you are not that great,” ― Golda Meir

“The person who says to himself, ‘Yes, I will be a great philosopher and I will rewrite Plato and do it better,’ must sooner or later be struck dumb by his grandiosity, his arrogance.

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Experiences of Depression: A Study in Phenomenology

Ross (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

Ross (CC by-nc-nd 2.0)

Reviewed by Katherine Withy, via Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:

This volume collects Matthew Ratcliffe’s work from the last five years on depression and existential feeling, offering a rich and compelling phenomenological interpretation of the variety and unity of experiences of depression. Ratcliffe’s interpretation is informed by and in dialogue with not only historical and contemporary phenomenology, but also philosophy of mind and philosophy of emotion, as well as psychiatry and psychology. The book is an important contribution to phenomenology in general and to the phenomenology of mood disorder in particular, and it provides those who suffer from depression — as well as those who care for them — a powerful new way to understand and express their experiences.

The primary challenge facing a phenomenology of depression is that depressive experiences are hard to describe adequately — and any description that a sufferer does produce seems to lend itself to being misunderstood.

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Virtual Reality is the Future of Religion

Dali_Crucifixion_hypercubeRev. Dr. Christopher Benek via H+mag:

25 years ago most people didn’t imagine that the Internet would reshape the way that they existed on a day-to-day basis. 25 years from now people will think about Virtual Reality the same way we think about the Internet today – we won’t even be able to imagine our global existence without it.

One of the largest beneficiaries of this technological development could be the global church because VR is going to change the way that Christians participate in worship.

The main impact that VR is going to have on the global church is that it is going to, one-day, enable Christians to easily gather from a variety of places without being in the same physical location.   This will enable persons who are homebound, sick, caregivers, without transportation, on vacation, or severely disabled to participate in worship with the larger community of faith without needing to leave the place where they are physically residing.

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Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

KamiSilenceAction (CC BY-NC 2.0)

KamiSilenceAction (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Anti-authoritarian or mentally ill? Psychologist Bruce Levin explores how it’s not uncommon for doctors and psychologists to diagnose anti-authoritarian types with mental illness.

via Mad in America:

Why Mental Health Professionals Diagnose Anti-Authoritarians with Mental Illness

Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.

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The Stanford Prison Experiment: Dr. Philip Zimbardo Looks Back On The Controversial Psychological Study

If you haven’t heard of Phil Zambardo and the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, you soon will. Science World Report gets us started:

In 1971, 24 college students from Stanford University willingly participated in one of the most revealing yet controversial psychological experiment of all time – The Stanford Prison Experiment. The experiment demonstrated how the behavior of decent ordinary people could be altered – how a “perfect storm” of certain factors can serve to manifest humanity’s darker impulses.

Today, 44 years since the experiment first took place, a new movie on the study is hitting the big screen beginning July, 17. The drama stars Billy Crudup of “Almost Famous,” as the lead investigator, Philip Zimbardo. (A German movie was also made about the study in 2001, and a 2010 take starred Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody.)

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Philip Zimbardo. Photo by Luke poa (CC)

 

Zimbardo noted how the idea for the experiment had initially come from earlier research done by his high-school classmate, Stanley Milgram.

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The Art of Breaking Chains and Taking Names

Brian Smithson (CC BY 2.0)

Brian Smithson (CC BY 2.0)

Gary Z McGee via Waking Times:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”H.L. Mencken

Here’s the thing: you are a force to be reckoned with. The question is, what kind of force are you? Are you a weak force or a strong force? Are you indifferent or cool with being different? Are you ordinary or extraordinary? Are you healthy or unhealthy? Are you a victim or a warrior? Are you codependent or independent? Are you a pawn or have you learned how to turn the tables on power? Are you a lamb afraid of wolves or are you a lion keeping wolves in check?

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Unlimited Vacation Time Policy Results In Less Time Off

Alright employed disinfonauts, if your company institutes a policy of unlimited vacation time, would you take more or less vacation than you do now? Think twice, because at a British company that actually tried it, employees felt too guilty about taking time off and ended up taking less vacation than they did before, according to Slate:
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Sir Richard Branson may be the most high-profile advocate of unlimited vacation days, but he’s far from the only entrepreneur entranced by the idea. His announcement last fall of the new policy for some employees at Virgin set off a flurry of press coverage of other firms that were succeeding with similar policies (as well as a few pieces offering skeptical pushback).

But just because unlimited vacation time sounds amazing for employees doesn’t mean implementing the idea is without its pitfalls. Even with a committed team and a culture of responsibility you can run into trouble.

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