Archive for July, 2008

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Oddities Comments Off

I watched a series recently on BBC Prime (yes, we have that in South Africa) that went by the name of Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind.

Derren Brown, is a mentalist. He uses the power of suggestion and various observations to predict thoughts and human behaviour. From the simple trick of guessing how many fingers are behind your back to the absurd feats of guessing what a man in a grocery store will buy and predicting his walking pattern.

Derren Brown has even beaten nine master’s of chess simultaneously. His perception skills are amazing and the series even more. It beckoned me to read more on the subject matter and Derren Brown.
A technique that is said to be used by mentalists is NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). I stumbled upon the NLP wiki page and found the theories very interesting. The basic principles of NLP intrigued me immensely:

  • Behind every behavior there is a positive intention.
  • A person is not his or her behaviour.
  • There is no failure, only feedback.
  • The meaning of the communication is the response it produces, not the intended communication.
  • One cannot not communicate.
  • Choice is better than no choice.
  • People already have all the internal resources they need to succeed.
  • Multiple descriptions are better than one.
  • Meet people in their own unique map of the world.

This seemed like great outlook on life: life is a positive building experience. I from now on adopt those principles into my own life, even though it’s theory, I will accept it as real.
Another strange thing about neuro-linguistic programming is how much the sub-conscious works in our thinking process.
If you sail through this and don’t worry about going overboard on the details and I ask you to see an image in your mind; what is the most likely thing you’ll see? You’ve got an ocean of possibilities.

Do you see it?
What did you draw in your mind?

This might not work, but just a thought. Re-read my instruction:
If you sail through this and don’t worry about going overboard on the details and I ask you to see an image in your mind; what is the most likely thing you’ll see? You’ve got an ocean of possibilities.

The chances of you drawing a boat or something water-related is much higher. You understand? If this worked. Leave me a comment!
Here are some interesting Derren Brown videos:
Derren Brown Youtube

Watch these ones especially:
He puts a gamer into his own game
Gets someone drunk without drinking
Picks up chicks


A note on Death Note

Oddities 1 Comment »

Death Note: what an amazing series.

It faced me so much questions about morality and justice that I had to rethink my position on this. A kid by the name of Yagami Light is given a notebook by a shinigami (Death God) and in this notebook when a name is written in it, that person will die (if the writer knows the face as of the victim as well). However, there are many more complex rules surrounding the Death Note, the fact remains: you can kill without being directly involved. Yagami Light then decides he will use this Death Note to reap justice on society and become the God of a New World with peace that reigns throughout. He watches the news and picks of the criminals.

A genius unknown detective is then sent in to find Kira (the name given to unknown justice reaper). A cat and mouse game ensues. Now the first question that was brought to my attention is, what is true justice? Can one man go about killing criminals? Can he be the almighty judgement passer? Is this justice?

It was such a morally grey area that I soaked in this wonderful dilemma with each episode. Just like the series Dexter, where a serial killer kills other serial killers. However, what made Death Note different is that it was on much more global scale. This created a fear among people that if they did a crime, they might be killed by Kira. It became a cult so to speak. Now that’s where I start to have an objection. When people start being controlled by fear, that’s where things start going awry. Just like Christianity were everyone is passed on by divine judgement. Heaven or Hell? I’ll take a room with a view please!

In a way to expect a person to pass judgement on other with his subjective morality is actually absurd, yet in Death Note I did not find it that strange. Criminals are bad! They deserve judgement and if that stops more crimes, why not? You see my mind goes into a paradox when thinking about this. Killing for justice! There’s the paradox right there. It’s like that idiotic rhetorical question, “Can everyone hear me?” and yet people answer “No!”.

Do you kill those who kill for justice?

In an ideal world, “No!”, but humans being morally ambiguous, subjective and unstable, “Yes!”.

Kill me.

Doomsday… Again!

Oddities 1 Comment »

Yes, for centuries, doomsday evangelists has walked the Earth: from the Y2k bug, to the babbling of priests fearing the Anti-Christ and don’t forget that – hopefully – future fallacy; 2012. Being as open minded as possible I often fall prey to doomsday conspiracies. Maybe, because I feel I need a deadline to work to my utmost. Seeing as we don’t know if life is a punishment or gift, we might as well do the best with it that we can.

So, being the theoretical psychics buff, I found a great a interest in the recent project being built in Switzerland: The Large Hadron Collider. Again, doomsday dudes crept out of the cracks and announced the end of the world in August 2008. A recent article at CNN debunks the fears mostly, but there is a minute chance something catastrophic might happen: from roque particles, to mini blackholes and magnetised monopoles.

The strange thing was that I did not care if the world ended in August. I might not experience Blip Festival or the sweet divinity of fornication, but I could not have cared less. “Why is this?”, I tried to ask myself. Is it that the date is so close, that immediately my sub-conscious debunks this myth as false. My survival instincts can not comprehend this.

Alas, I’m not afraid of death either. The workings of the sub-conscious boggles me. However, another intriguing anomaly might arise from the using of the LHC: small wormholes.
In effect, the LHC will become a time machine that creates Year Zero. The first time frame for time travellers to travel back to. You have to ask yourself, if you believe in the single timeline theory, that why are there no people visiting us from the future? (I assume now that time travelling is possible and the future generations found a way to do it and did not die before creating such a machine).
Maybe, just maybe, the LHC could create a minute wormhole for time travellers to use. Imagine when those two atoms hit, travelling at 99% the speed of light, instantly brings new people into this world from the future. Now wouldn’t that be funky!?

The true use of the this particle collider is to find out more about lost particles, such as the Higgs Boson, or just plainly researching atoms and quarks at a quantum level, but my imagination wishes for other interesting events. Now we sit back and wait!

One Post Wonder

Oddities 2 Comments »

Natty recently posted a blog about his friend who runs a blog about One Post Wonders. Just like the music world’s One Hit Wonders, so the Internet has a cyber friend – albeit a little more personal.

I found the blog very hilarious as one can see where these posts come from. Just like Natty said they are “generally written in some state of unease, ranging from boredom to anger to semi-deranged non-sequitur.”
This made me shout in a chorus (yes, I imagine myself having an acapella group shadowing my everyday musings), “I love the Internet” with a slight minor harmony.
You see the Internet not only creates this wonderful opportunity to see into the mind of the average earthling, but also the opportunity to see the weaknesses among the cracks. I’m by no means implying that some people are elitist and superior, but I guess with the advent of the Internet a major part of civilization has been, almost instantly revealed to unsuspecting passers-by. This makes me shudder at the thought of the future, but alas no more musings about shit.

Here are my favourites on the blog:
>> Wow, how many times have we wished to express our wishes so boldly. Amazing!
>> Gossip girl? A fine example of verbal diarrhea.
>> I hope that was not intentional!
>> That’s what she said.

A Penny for my Thoughts!

Blogging, Internet 1 Comment »

I slowly drop a penny into the blog vending machine. I hear it clink and clank down the tubes of the Internet. I press Accept and out comes my life.

“Enjoy it,” it said.

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