Rethinking the 100-meter dash

What’s the smallest unit of time that you can perceive. How much does it change throughout the day? At what points does time fly? 

I’ve noticed is that as I relax my mind and see better, my “now” becomes longer. I think it’s why if you focus on a single point when you’re running or working out, you perform better. Because the more “nows” between me and my destination, the worse I’m going to run. Counter-intuitively, the choppier the curves of now, the smoother the time feels. So the fewer points that time stops, the faster time flies. 

Is there any math behind this theory? Yes. Simple calculus. Integre_area37115

Calculus is the math behind finding the exact area of the curve. Take a look at this curve. For a moment, I want you to imagine the curve as time it takes you to run 10 meters. The chops of the curve are your instantaneous now. As you stress your mind and body, these shorten. And you run slower, and you use more energy. The key to your fastest race is the thickest bars under the graph [after you get going]. 

Think about the 100-meter dash. Let’s assume that everyone has perfect running form, and a perfect start. Usain Bolt takes 41 strides, Justin Gatlin takes 42.5, Johan Blake takes 46. Why does that matter? The person that wins the 100-meter dash is the person that slows down the least. Everyone slows down. And if everyone has the same top speed, and gets to that speed in the same amount of time, the only difference between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin is that Gatlin slows down a little more over the course of the race. His relative “now” is slightly shorter than Bolts, meaning that he’ll need more strides to complete the race. And more energy. And more time. 

There’s one more important thing to discuss about the 100-meter dash. The acceleration phase. The portion of the race where the runner accelerates to top speed. This portion rewards those that compress time the most. The harder you push, the shorter the amount of time between strides, the faster you accelerate. 

So before you write off the 100-meter dash as a simple display of athleticism, remember the delicate balance of rest and relaxation. The race pits runners against each other, and against themselves. Push too hard, and you’ll come up short. Don’t push hard enough, and you lose. Transitioning two opposing mindsets is key as the runners changing their perception of time throughout the race. 

Sources:

  1. https://news.ncsu.edu/2011/06/wms-dogs/
  2. https://animalogic.ca/wild/7-near-psychic-animals-that-might-just-be-able-to-predict-disasters-before-they-happen

Design Your Own Placebo

That pill that does nothing…does something. It’s clearly proof of mind over matter. The million dollar question is why. 

We know that the mind controls the body. So if the introduction of this pill into your system solves your problem, what does that say about the nature of your problem?

I’d say that it was that these problems were our own doing from the start. There was some logical loop frying our system that changed the output of our brain. By putting this pill into the system, and convincing us that it’s going to help us, our brains sidestep the loop due to no help of the pill. We just needed a reason to doubt the logic in the first place.

Placebos seem to be most effective on pain, nausea, chronic fatigue, and depression. What does that say about the nature of those diseases? We need a pill to tell us that these diseases are all in our heads. 

Sham surgeries are also apparently a thing. Doctors will cut you open, do nothing, and stitch you back up. The craziest part of all, they seem to work as well as traditional procedures in some areas. You read that right. Even fake surgeries seem to work. How can that possibly be?

Something to try at home: If the placebo effect is all in your mind anyways, can you convince yourself that you just took a pill to help your ailment? It sounds ridiculous, but if the nature of the problem is all in your mind, design your own Trojan Horse to retake your throne. 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sham_surgery
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34572482
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/the-power-of-the-placebo-effect
  5. http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2016/just-sugar-pill-placebo-effect-real/
  6. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/7/15792188/placebo-effect-explained
  7. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/placebo-effect-depression-treatment

Entropy and the Brain

So here’s an article about the entropy in the brain and how it increases with age. This fits my model of aging, “brainbeats”, and personal time perception. There are mixed studies on whether more or less entropy in the brain is better. But we already know the answer to that.

  • Less entropy the better.
  • Caffeine creates brain entropy. And so do a bunch of other things
  • Stress is entropy.
  • Entropy alters personal relativity. May want to check out this article on that. 

Entropy always increases in a closed system, but we are not closed systems. It’s the second law of thermodynamics.

So, let’s assume the brain is a cylinder filled with gas. It should adhere to the following equation: PV=nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, and T is temperature. n and R are constants the won’t apply since this calculation is more a correlation. We haven’t figured out those constants for the brain yet. 

As the temperature rises, the entropy rises. And either pressure or volume rises. So, in the closed system of your body, entropy always increases. But, if we allow your brain to expand, we can decrease the pressure and temperature.

So our brains shrink over time. And if they shrink, the pressure of our ideal gas, and temperature will rise accordingly. Entropy rises. But we know that all of this is just further from our ground state, where we sleep, recover, and learn best. Our perceptions of time will shorten, and hasten our aging process.

What is associated with elevated brain pressure?

One of the most damaging aspects of brain trauma and other conditions, directly correlated with poor outcome, is an elevated intracranial pressure. ICP is very likely to cause severe harm if it rises too high. Very high intracranial pressures are usually fatal if prolonged, but children can tolerate higher pressures for longer periods. An increase in pressure, most commonly due to head injury leading to intracranial hematoma or cerebral edema, can crush brain tissue, shift brain structures, contribute to hydrocephalus, cause brain herniation, and restrict blood supply to the brain. It is a cause of reflex bradycardia. [Source]

Can our brains grow? Yes. That should not surprise you. As the volume increases, brain pressure in the model would go down. But later in life, they start shrinking, and so do we. They grow until you start trying to lose weight. They go until you start aging. They grow until you throw in the towel. Here’s a chart of brain weight over time. See for yourself. The decrease in brain weight corresponds with aging.

Brain_weight_age (1)

What, if anything are the takeaways here? The brain follows the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy causes aging. I’m adding this to my brain model. What’s next? Apply this model to the Bends and altitude sickness. 

Sources

  1. https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/dev.html
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21008-6
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02853
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128311-800-a-brief-history-of-the-brain/amp/
  5. http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/03/study-4-factors-that-may-shrink-your-brain/

Tourette’s is reversible

We’ll get there in a second. But first, is Tourette’s genetic? The majority of cases are inherited. Kinda. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:

A person with Tourette’s has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children, but Tourette’s is a condition of variable expression and incomplete penetrance. Thus, not everyone who inherits the genetic vulnerability will show symptoms; even close family members may show different severities of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. The gene(s) may express as Tourette’s, as a milder tic disorder (provisional or chronic tics), or as obsessive–compulsive symptoms without tics. Only a minority of the children who inherit the gene(s) have symptoms severe enough to require medical attention. Gender appears to have a role in the expression of the genetic vulnerability: males are more likely than females to express tics.

I have a science background, and looking at this type of explanation makes me cringe. Read it for yourself, but it seems like we’re trying to make a genetic model fit when it’s really something we just can’t explain. 

It’s associated with OCD, ADD, ADHD, and sleep disorders. This shouldn’t surprise you at this point. We’ve discussed the nature of these diseases and how they are more related than anyone knows. In my opinion, the brain is binary. It’s either working properly or it’s not. And if it’s not, there’s a host of different functions that will be impaired. [see There is only one brain disease]

It’s 3-4 times more likely in guys than girls. It’s the same reason that men are more likely to get skin cancer and on average live about six years less. Why? Because of their brain activity. They are further from their ground state, so time feels slower. Recovery takes longer.

White kids are twice as likely as black and Hispanic kids to get Tourette’s.  Why is that? Resting brain activity. It’s the same reason that black kids are more likely to play in the NFL. The closer their brains are to the delta state the faster they recover and better they operate.

Tics may remit with age. This is from Wikipedia. But it’s huge. Why? Because using my model of the human brain, this means that Tourette’s is a reversible condition. How do we reverse it? Same way we reverse other brain dysfunctions:

  1. Identify the loop. This is the repeated behavior. It should be pretty obvious.
  2. Identify the fears causing the loop. What are they afraid of? What makes them act like this?
  3. Identify the logic causing the fears. Why are they scared of this?
  4. Doubt the logic. Question their reasoning. If you can change their mind, you can change their brain.

 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/data.html

Is Running the Key to Aging?

As always, let’s start somewhere completely unrelated: adolescence. 

Think about this for a moment: if our brains control our bodies, do we control our own adolescence? We always talk about puberty like it’s some event that “happens when it happens.” Consider for a moment that we play at least some role in our own development. I think it’s more than that, but I want you to keep reading.

We do not know why some people go through puberty before others. We just don’t. There’s a nice age range and we know that girls typically go before guys, but that’s about it.

So let’s make our typical assumptions. If time does not exist, what is the difference between our subject when she’s 10 and when she’s 15? Her mind. So if her mind is the only thing to change, and we know that age of puberty onset is not genetic, how do we control when we hit puberty?

There are disparities in puberty onset of different races. Take a look at this. There’s a significant average onset age difference between different races and cultures. Surely you know by now that I don’t buy into the fact that genetics controls everything we don’t understand. There are other factors at play here, and we should look at them with an open mind.

Puberty begins earlier in African American girls. We’ve looked into black culture a good bit over the past month. You know what else we know about black girls, generally speaking? They don’t workout

Think about this for a moment: Female track athletes almost always look like they’re fifteen, or younger. You pick your definition of the development of women, and you will not find it in these girls.

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See what I mean?

Running is known to help longevity.  This article goes a lot further than that. It’s basically saying that running is the fountain of youth. So I’ve already written about how aging starts in the brain, so if that is true, what does running do to the brain? I found an article about that too, but then I got to thinking: if we don’t know how the brain works, how can we say what running does that will benefit it? Here’s what you should take away from this: aging is not what you want to do. People get ugly and less productive, and less functional as they age. Cancer and most all diseases develop later in life, as we age. So if running is what we say keeps you from aging, you should run. Or pick your cardio of choice.

So if we know that you today is the same as you tomorrow, and is the same as you in five years, what does running to do slow down the aging process? We know now that aging starts in the brain. As the brain ages, the body ages.

Running can change your brain.  This is a great post that explores the mental benefits from running at several different angles. I think it’s simple: running is a stress reliever and the right amount of cardio helps alter our perception of time.

Think about the sports where the athletes look the best. In my opinion, basketball, soccer, and tennis. Three of the most run-intense sports. I prefer to look at the professional athletes, because you’ll get a larger percentage of days and time on court. The NBA players are in a league of their own.

Some of them appear completely hairless. I’m sure they’d shave if they weren’t hairless already. What stage of puberty is ‘getting hairy’? What if that’s just the stage where we throw in the towel on cardio?

So find your venue of choice, and go running. It’s the only thing you can do to slow down the aging process. And the only other healthy way to change your brain. [vision would be the first]

Why don’t you wear glasses in your dreams?

Here’s a fun question to ask yourself. What is the nature of dreams? Why do we dream?

You’re obviously not wearing glasses in your dreams. Duh. So what does that tell us. Here’s what I think it means: your dreams are a simulation of the ideal you. A world where you’re not worrying about expectations or filters or fears or anxiety or any of the other things that plague you day to day. It’s an ideal you.

You don’t wear glasses in your dreams, because you don’t need them. The ideal you is at your ground state, and your dreams are a simulation of the ideal you. If you read my first post about sleep, or know anything about it, the REM cycle brain activity looks a lot like your brain when awake. The non-REM portion of the night helps us to recover with the slowest brain activity of our days. Why is the brain so active for half the night?

Do animals dream? Yes. Less some reptiles and insects. What does that say about their souls?

The people from Atlantis didn’t dream. Do what? That’s what this article says. What does that mean? They were a civilization way ahead of their time. What does their ability to dream say about their nature?

There was a show that aired a while back on NBC called Awake. It got cancelled after a season or two, but my wife and I liked it. Essentially a cop was losing his mind and losing touch with the difference between dreams and reality. The show swapped back and forth between two different realities, and they effected each other, without ever really knowing which was a dream and which was reality.

What types of disorders come from not dreaming? It’s hard to tell is someone is not dreaming or not able to recall their dreams, but we’re pretty sure that it’s not necessary for physical or mental health.

What is happening in lucid dreaming? It’s an awareness while you’re dreaming. It’s apparently a acquirable skill with some benefits. Jack Nicholas tweaked his golf game while asleep. The periodic table of elements was designed in a dream. They literally have tricks for lucid dreamers to figure out if they’re awake. Does lucid dreaming undermine the success of those people from Atlantis?

In summary, dreams are an important and widely unsolved riddle of humanity. I think the fact that most people with glasses see clearly in their dreams, tells us a lot about the nature of dreams as well as the nature of reality. To fully understand the mind, we need to fully understand dreams, and it’s a puzzle where we have only begun to skim the surface.

 

How’s your memory?

What do we know about memory? We have practically unlimited memory, but seem to have trouble accessing it. If we use the same brain model, we have to assume that the brain is doing nothing wrong. Our recall or imprint ability may be hindered by some outside forces at play.

There’s a correlation between vision and cognitive function in the elderly. Here’s a study that compares vision to cognitive function in the elderly. Think about how this applies to Alzheimer’s. Refractive errors cloud memories.

If we improve eyesight, does memory improve as well? My memory is getting better with my vision. I can tell you that. Although I have know way of quantifying it at this point. So just count me in for another theory. Think about it though: if the brain is really just a perfect computer, and eyesight is a symptom of mental strain, would it be so unreasonable to suggested that it effected our memory recall as well?

Emotional intensity can help prioritize memories. Think about that bad break up or the funeral of a loved one. Think about where you were during the 911 attacks. Some events can be “buried” in your memory just the same.

Clarity of memories does not depend on the time since the event was experienced. Think about your clearest memories. It’s not just yesterday. There’s also that time when you were twenty-one, and your birthday…way back when.

What is the nature of memory? If there is no such thing as time, how does memory work? We can recall large amounts of information from all over our lives with relative ease. What’s the difference between long-term and short-term memory? Can you have one and not the other?

Short term memory is really just recall after 15-30 seconds. Long term memory is really what we call memory. Here’s another big simplification: there’s no short term memory. If we’re ignoring time [and I am] then they are the same anyways. 

False confessions have figured into 24% of the 289 cases overturned by DNA evidence. We know that memory is infamously unreliable in court cases. Witnesses just don’t always seem to get it right. False confessions may have other variables at play, but memory plays a role. If you clearly remember not committing a crime, why would you ever confess to doing it? This article says that people who are mentally ill are more susceptible to these false confessions.

Not all memory fades with age. This article basically says that there are different types of memory, and older people still have access to some of them. For instance, they can remember a name and a not a face or vice versa. I’d like to challenge this approach with the theory that memory is absolute. Recalling all you know about a given event or person would be your baseline. Anything less than that would be distortion.

So what are my takeaways here? Your memory can be improved, just like your eyesight. We know now why the elderly have problems seeing, and it effects their memory as well. So take back your sight, and take back your mind, and take back your memory.