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Tribute to Jose Delgado, Legendary and Slightly Scary Pioneer of Mind Control

“The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips,” published in Scientific American in October 2005, has provoked as much interest as anything I’ve ever written. It focuses on Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado, a pioneer in brain-stimulation research. I keep hearing from journalists and others wanting more information on Delgado, whom I interviewed in 2005 and who died in 2011. Delgado fascinates conspiracy theorists, too. An article on Infowars.com describes him as a “madman” who believed that “no human being has an inherent right to his own personality.” Given widespread interest in and misinformation about Delgado, whose work prefigures current research on brain implants (see “Further Reading”), I’m posting an edited version of my 2005 article. –John Horgan

Once among the world’s most acclaimed scientists, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado has become an urban legend, whose career is shrouded in misinformation. Delgado pioneered that most unnerving of technologies, the brain chip, which manipulates the mind by electrically stimulating neural tissue with implanted electrodes. Long a McGuffin of science fictions, from The Terminal Man to The Matrix, brain chips are now being tested as treatments for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis, depression, and other disorders.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/tribute-to-jose-delgado-legendary-and-slightly-scary-pioneer-of-mind-control/

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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Sucker, the Sucker!

In 1815, 15 years before he made his most famous print, The Great Wave, Hokusai published three volumes of erotic art. In one of them there is a woodcut print known in English as ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’ and in Japanese as ‘Tako to ama’, ‘Octopus and Shell Diver’. It depicts a naked woman lying on her back, legs spread and eyes closed, while a huge red octopus performs cunnilingus on her. The octopus’s slit eyes bulge between the woman’s legs and its suckered limbs wrap around her writhing body. A second, smaller octopus inserts its beak into the woman’s mouth while curling the thin tip of an arm around her left nipple. In Europe, the print was interpreted as a scene of rape, but the critics didn’t read Japanese. In the text arranged in the space around the three entwined bodies, the shell diver exclaims: ‘You hateful octopus! Your sucking at the mouth of my womb makes me gasp for breath! Ah! Yes … it’s … there! With the sucker, the sucker! … There, there! … Until now it was I that men called an octopus! An octopus! … How are you able? … Oh! Boundaries and borders gone! I’ve vanished!’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n17/amia-srinivasan/the-sucker-the-sucker

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in Reportages

 

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The unexpected benefits of getting lost in translation

About 20 per cent of the United States population (60 million out of 300 million people) are non-native speakers of English. Speaking multiple languages has advantages – for example, you get to talk to people from different cultures. But being a non-native or second-language (L2) speaker also has its challenges. In addition to often feeling self-conscious about their accents, L2 speakers can be viewed by native speakers as less intelligent, and less trustworthy.Thus it might come as a surprise that, in 1980, Henry Kissinger (the former US secretary of state and a non-native English speaker, originally from Germany) told Arianna Huffington (the Greek immigrant and entrepreneur/writer who would eventually start The Huffington Post) not to worry about [her] accent, ‘because you can never, in American public life, underestimate the advantages of complete and total incomprehensibility’.

Source: The unexpected benefits of getting lost in translation | Aeon Ideas

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Addiction

Patrick Perotti scoffed when his mother told him about a doctor who uses electromagnetic waves to treat drug addiction. “I thought he was a swindler,” Perotti says.Perotti, who is 38 and lives in Genoa, Italy, began snorting cocaine at 17, a rich kid who loved to party. His indulgence gradually turned into a daily habit and then an all-consuming compulsion. He fell in love, had a son, and opened a restaurant. Under the weight of his addiction, his family and business eventually collapsed.He did a three-month stint in rehab and relapsed 36 hours after he left. He spent eight months in another program, but the day he returned home, he saw his dealer and got high. “I began to use cocaine with rage,” he says. “I became paranoid, obsessed, crazy. I could not see any way to stop.”When his mother pressed him to call the doctor, Perotti gave in. He learned he would just have to sit in a chair like a dentist’s and let the doctor, Luigi Gallimberti, hold a device near the left side of his head, on the theory it would suppress his hunger for cocaine. “It was either the cliff or Dr. Gallimberti,” he recalls.

Source: How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Addiction

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Reportages

 

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Babies Can Learn the Value of Persistence by Watching Grownups Stick With a Challenge

You’re at home trying to make fresh tomato sauce, but can’t seem to get the tomatoes out of their plastic container from the grocery store. The bottom latch is not opening, so you pull harder. Although you’ve never seen this type of tomato container before, you have opened many similar ones in the past. After a minute of trying, you stop to consider the situation – should you keep pushing and pulling? Should you ask a friend for help? Should you give up on fresh tomatoes and just open a can?

We make decisions like this all the time. How much effort should we expend on something? We have only so much time and energy in the day. Five minutes fumbling with the container is five minutes taken away from reading a book, talking to your family or sleeping. In any given situation, you must decide how hard to try.

Developmental cognitive scientists like me are interested in how we make decisions about effort. In particular, how do young children, who are constantly encountering new situations, decide how hard to try?

http://www.wltx.com/news/nation-now/babies-can-learn-the-value-of-persistence-by-watching-grownups-stick-with-a-challenge/478235088

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Magic of Animal Menopause

THOUGH SHE WAS 41, nearing the end of a typical lifespan for a lowland gorilla, Alpha still had a lot of youthful exuberance — especially around a silverback named Ramar. In the early 2000s at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, Alpha would often strut and purse her lips, gaze at Ramar for long periods of time, toss hay into his face, and try to sit in his lap. Alpha’s caretakers considered giving her contraceptives. At her age, a pregnancy might have endangered both mother and baby. But was Alpha even capable of becoming pregnant? Gorillas in captivity tended to live longer than those in the wild, but they rarely reproduced after their late 30s. Did gorillas, like humans, go through menopause?

Source: The Magic of Animal Menopause – Topic

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2017 in Reportages

 

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Where global warming gets real: inside Nasa’s mission to the north pole

From the window of a Nasa aircraft flying over the Arctic, looking down on the ice sheet that covers most of Greenland, it’s easy to see why it is so hard to describe climate change. The scale of polar ice, so dramatic and so clear from a plane flying at 450 metres (1,500ft) – high enough to appreciate the scope of the ice and low enough to sense its mass – is nearly impossible to fathom when you aren’t sitting at that particular vantage point.But it’s different when you are there, cruising over the ice for hours, with Nasa’s monitors all over the cabin streaming data output, documenting in real time – dramatising, in a sense – the depth of the ice beneath. You get it, because you can see it all there in front of you, in three dimensions.

Source: Where global warming gets real: inside Nasa’s mission to the north pole | Environment | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness

Materialism holds the high ground these days in debates over that most ultimate of scientific questions: the nature of consciousness. When tackling the problem of mind and brain, many prominent researchers advocate for a universe fully reducible to matter. ‘Of course you are nothing but the activity of your neurons,’ they proclaim. That position seems reasonable and sober in light of neuroscience’s advances, with brilliant images of brains lighting up like Christmas trees while test subjects eat apples, watch movies or dream. And aren’t all the underlying physical laws already known?From this seemly hard-nosed vantage, the problem of consciousness seems to be just one of wiring, as the American physicist Michio Kaku argued in The Future of the Mind (2014). In the very public version of the debate over consciousness, those who advocate that understanding the mind might require something other than a ‘nothing but matter’ position are often painted as victims of wishful thinking, imprecise reasoning or, worst of all, an adherence to a mystical ‘woo’.

Source: Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness | Aeon Essays

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Village Atheists, Village Idiots

Something has gone badly wrong with our atheists. All these self-styled intellectual titans, scientists, and philosophers have fallen horribly ill. Evolutionist faith-flayer Richard Dawkins is a wheeling lunatic, dizzy in his private world of old-fashioned whimsy and bitter neofascism. Superstar astrophysicist and pop-science impresario Neil deGrasse Tyson is catatonic, mumbling in a packed cinema that the lasers wouldn’t make any sound in space, that a spider that big would collapse under its own weight, that everything you see is just images on a screen and none of it is real. Islam-baiting philosopher Sam Harris is paranoid, his flailing hands gesticulating murderously at the spectral Saracen hordes. Free-thinking biologist PZ Myers is psychotic, screeching death from a gently listing hot air balloon. And the late Christopher Hitchens, blinded by his fug of rhetoric, fell headlong into the Euphrates.Critics have pointed out this clutch of appalling polemic and intellectual failings on a case-by-case basis, as if they all sprang from a randomized array of personal idiosyncrasies. But while one eccentric atheist might be explicable, for all of the world’s self-appointed smartest people to be so utterly deranged suggests some kind of pattern. We need, urgently, a complete theory of what it is about atheism that drives its most prominent high priests mad.

Source: Village Atheists, Village Idiots | Sam Kriss

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Faultlines, black holes and glaciers: mapping uncharted territories 

On a quiet summer evening, the Aurora, a 60ft cutter-rigged sloop, approaches the craggy shore of eastern Greenland, along what is known as the Forbidden Coast. Its captain, Sigurdur Jonsson, a sturdy man in his 50s, stands carefully watching his charts. The waters he is entering have been described in navigation books as among “the most difficult in Greenland; the mountains rise almost vertically from the sea to form a narrow bulwark, with rifts through which active glaciers discharge quantities of ice, while numerous off-lying islets and rocks make navigation hazardous”. The sloop is single-masted, painted a cheery, cherry red. Icebergs float in ominous silence.

Where Jonsson, who goes by Captain Siggi, sails, he is one of few to have ever gone. Because the splintered fjords create thousands of miles of uninhabited coastline, there has been little effort to map this region. “It’s practically uncharted,” he says. “You are almost in the same position as you were 1,000 years ago.”

A naval architect turned explorer, Siggi navigates by scanning aerial photos and uploading them into a plotter, the ship’s electronic navigation system. Sometimes he uses satellite images, sometimes shots taken by Danish geologists from an open-cockpit plane in the 1930s, on one of the only comprehensive surveys of the coast. Siggi sails by comparing what he sees on the shore to these rough outlines. “Of course, then you don’t have any soundings,” he says, referring to charts of ocean depths that sailors normally rely on to navigate and avoid running aground. “I’ve had some close calls.” Over the years, he has got better at reading the landscape to look for clues. He looks for river mouths, for example, where silt deposits might create shallow places to anchor, so that icebergs will go to ground before they crush the boat. In the age of GPS and Google Maps, it’s rare to meet someone who still entrusts his life to such analogue navigation.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/07/faultlines-black-holes-glaciers-mapping-uncharted-territories

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Reportages

 

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