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How to Hack your brain

cc024DO YOU EVER want to change the way you see the world? Wouldn't it be fun to hallucinate on your lunch break? Although we typically associate such phenomena with powerful drugs like LSD or mescaline, it's easy to fling open the doors of perception without them: All it takes is a basic understanding of how the mind works.

 

The first thing to know is that the mind isn't a mirror, or even a passive observer of reality. Much of what we think of as being out there actually comes from in here, and is a byproduct of how the brain processes sensation. In recent years scientists have come up with a number of simple tricks that expose the artifice of our senses, so that we end up perceiving what we know isn't real - tweaking the cortex to produce something uncannily like hallucinations. Perhaps we hear the voice of someone who is no longer alive, or feel as if our nose is suddenly 3 feet long.

How to hallucinate with ping-pong balls and a radio

Hallucinate Like You Just Took LSD, Legally ..... Yes, that's right kids! Tell your dealer goodbye and worry no more about winding up naked on the roof of an office building after a bad trip. Now you can be stoned out of your mind by building a homemade deprivation chamber out of some regular, completely harmless household objects.
You are going to need three things: a ping-pong ball, a radio with headphones and a red light.

  • Step 1: Turn the radio to a station with just white noise (static), and put on your headphones.
  • Step 2: Cut the ping-pong ball in half and tape each half over your eyes.
  • Step 3: Turn the red light so it's facing your eyes.
  • Step 4: Sit there for at least a half an hour.
  • Step 5: Follow Ben Franklin and your new friend, Harold the unicorn, into the gumdrop forest, and live happily ever after.


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How Does It Work?

It's called the Ganzfeld effect, and it works by blocking out most of the signals that go to your brain. It's the same kind of effect you get when looking into a soft light for a while and lose vision, except at a larger scale.

The sound of the white noise and the light from the outside of the ping pong ball are eventually ignored by your brain. With all those signals out of the picture, your brain has to create its own, and this is where the hallucinations come in. We can't guarantee they won't involve, say, the ghost of Lizzie Borden trying to hack off your scrotum with an ax, but that's the risk you take, dammit.

 

Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm

SuperMemo is based on the insight that there is an ideal moment to practice what you've learned. Practice too soon and you waste your time. Practice too late and you've forgotten the material and have to relearn it. The right time to practice is just at the moment you're about to forget. Unfortunately, this moment is different for every person and each bit of information. Imagine a pile of thousands of flash cards. Somewhere in this pile are the ones you should be practicing right now. Which are they?

Fortunately, human forgetting follows a pattern. We forget exponentially. A graph of our likelihood of getting the correct answer on a quiz sweeps quickly downward over time and then levels off. This pattern has long been known to cognitive psychology, but it has been difficult to put to practical use. It's too complex for us to employ with our naked brains.



Twenty years ago, Wozniak realized that computers could easily calculate the moment of forgetting if he could discover the right algorithm. SuperMemo is the result of his research. It predicts the future state of a person's memory and schedules information reviews at the optimal time. The effect is striking. Users can seal huge quantities of vocabulary into their brains. But for Wozniak, 46, helping people learn a foreign language fast is just the tiniest part of his goal. As we plan the days, weeks, even years of our lives, he would have us rely not merely on our traditional sources of self-knowledge — introspection, intuition, and conscious thought — but also on something new: predictions about ourselves encoded in machines.

Given the chance to observe our behaviors, computers can run simulations, modeling different versions of our path through the world. By tuning these models for top performance, computers will give us rules to live by. They will be able to tell us when to wake, sleep, learn, and exercise; they will cue us to remember what we've read, help us track whom we've met, and remind us of our goals. Computers, in Wozniak's scheme, will increase our intellectual capacity and enhance our rational self-control.



The reason the inventor of SuperMemo pursues extreme anonymity, asking me to conceal his exact location and shunning even casual recognition by users of his software, is not because he's paranoid or a misanthrope but because he wants to avoid random interruptions to a long-running experiment he's conducting on himself. Wozniak is a kind of algorithmic man. He's exploring what it's like to live in strict obedience to reason. On first encounter, he appears to be one of the happiest people I've ever met............ read all about supermemo here

 

Dream Whatever You Want to Dream

What if we told you there was a way to make all your fantasies come true? You could have that sports car you've always wanted and the daily threesome with Sarah Palin and Cannonball Run-era Burt Reynolds. Hell, we'll even throw in a few superpowers for your enjoyment. Welcome to the wonderful world of lucid dreaming.


Lucid dreaming means dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. The term was coined by Frederik van Eeden  who used the word "lucid" in the sense of mental clarity. Lucidity usually begins in the midst of a dream when the dreamer realizes that the experience is not occurring in physical reality, but is a dream. Often this realization is triggered by the dreamer noticing some impossible or unlikely occurrence in the dream, such as flying or meeting the deceased. Sometimes people become lucid without noticing any particular clue in the dream; they just suddenly realize they are in a dream. A minority of lucid dreams (according to the research of LaBerge and colleagues, about 10 percent) are the result of returning to REM (dreaming) sleep directly from an awakening with unbroken reflective consciousness.

The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.

To learn all about Lucid dreams GO HERE

 

 

Hack Your Brain with an iPod

Yeah, that’s right. Hack your brain. And it doesn’t *have* to be an iPod… any music player with headphones will do. The ipod is just the coolest. :-)

How do you do this? It’s called entrainment. It sounds like mumbo jumbo, and the web page makes it look like mumbo jumbo, but there are some real scientific principles behind it, (here’s their theory page) inasmuch as you can generate definite physiological effects using it that cannot be explained with a placebo effect. What is it? Well, basically, the idea is that you can modify the electrical activity in your brain (the stuff that’s picked up by EEG readings) by hearing sounds that mimic those waves. But since the human hearing range doesn’t extend to that level, instead, you listen to two similar but different sounds, one in each ear, and the resonance between them delivers the effect of the frequency. (I think it works in a manner similar to overtone, the musical technique that occurs when an instrument or voice reaches a special degree of resonance and generates another sound, an octave above the original, and possibly even a third an octave above the second. Each individual among the gyuto monks can sing an entire chord on his own, using overtone)

The upshot of it is, you pump the sound into your brain via your ipod, and you sleep deeply or just relax, feel like you’ve had too much coffee, generate lost time, or even like you’re getting a tooth drilled. And yes, there’s also sexual stimulation, sexual simulation, and LSD simulation

If I had to suggest trying just one for a test, try Too Much Coffee. That was the first one I noticed a definite effect on — within less than a minute, my heart was beating much more rapidly. I use in-canal earphones that block out all the external sounds but make it very easy to hear your heartbeat, so it was pretty obvious. :-)

You can get the generator here and download lots of presets for it, including the ones I linked above, here. You might want something that can do a “download all links on page” like Download Accellerator so you can just grab each category in its entirety. The source files are very small. You can use the software to make wav files out of them, which you can then convert into mp3 or aac for use in your ipod or other audio device of choice, or burn to a CD. Enjoy!

 

 

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