Wouldn’t it be amazing if our bodies prepared us for future events that could be very important to us, even if there’s no clue about what those events will be?
Presentiment without any external clues may, in fact, exist, according to new Northwestern University research that analyzes the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010.
Researchers already know that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us.
“What hasn’t been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen,” said Julia Mossbridge, lead author of the study and research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern.
A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can’t hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner.
“But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game,” Mossbridge said. “You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room.”
This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
“I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
Alot of people have anticipatory feelings about what might happen. Just on the basis of feelings alone – excluding physiological and subconscious neural feedback, this article might have some conformation bias validated. It is important to note that the body may be picking up on certain cues before the conscious mind fully assimilates them. Like the example of the boss approaching. That may also coincide with some conversation in other cubicles suddenly becoming a little more hushed or stopping altogether. Or you might feel the vibrations of footsteps and not realize it. This is not unlike the scientific confirmation of humans having some kind of intuition. In that case our minds are picking up small bits of information, like out the side of our eye, but instead it is information trickling in from the peripheral part of our consciousnesses. Suddenly we realize all along that a friend or spouse was having an affair or that it was going to be unseasonably cold that weekend – I knew, I just knew this was going to happen. So there is nothing spooky going on, but rather some insights into how our bodies and brains may be sorting out our environment and information even while our conscious attention is focused on some task.
Conservatives hate Europe – except for their very expensive imported German cars. It became a common campaign meme to accuse political opponents of wanting to make the USA like Europe . Western Europe would be the place where they all have some kind of public health care plan – ironically much like our very successful Medicare. Western Europe would be the place where conservatives buy their cars, their wine, have their shoes made, invest their money and even have Swiss bank accounts. It many ways it is a western Europe shaped by the American Marshall Plan with some custom details varying from country to country. Nevertheless, for America to copy anything European was to sink into an abyss of evil. Now, very predictably if you keep up with the conservative tendency to ram gear boxes to suddenly reverse course, the USA should do what Europe is doing. Not the good stuff like looking out for the elderly and disabled, or creating work programs, or working with unions. It all about the imitating European austerity. So that is two or three things conservatives like about Europe. I can understand the love of the cars – the engineering in a Mercedes or BMW is first rate ( though I think Republicans buy them mostly for their value as status symbols), if only European austerity was as good as their cars, Romney’s Economic Model
But Obama’s best response could be this: If you want to see how Romney’s economic policies would work out, take a look at Europe. And weep.
In the last few years, Germany and Britain, in particular, have implemented precisely the policies that Romney favors, and they have been richly praised by Republicans here as a result. Yet these days those economies seem, to use a German technical term, kaput.
Is Europe a fair comparison? Well, Republicans seem to think so, because they came up with it. In the last few years, they’ve repeatedly cited Republican-style austerity in places like Germany and Britain as a model for America.
Let’s dial back the time machine and listen up:
“Europe is already setting an example for the U.S.,” Representative Kenny Marchant, a Texas Republican, said in 2010. (You know things are bad when a Texas Republican is calling for Americans to study at the feet of those socialist Europeans.)
The same year, Karl Rove praised European austerity as a model for America and approvingly quoted the leader of the European Central Bank as saying: “The idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect.”
Representative Steve King of Iowa, another Republican, praised Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for preaching austerity and said: “It ought to hit home to our president of the United States. It ought to hit all of us here in this country.”
“The president should learn a lesson from the ‘German Miracle,’ ” Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, a Republican, urged on the House floor in July 2011.
Also in 2011, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, denounced Obama’s economic management and said: “We need a budget with a bold vision — like those unveiled in Britain and New Jersey.”
O.K. Let’s see how that’s working out.
New Jersey isn’t overseas, but since Sessions and many other Republicans have hailed it as a shining model of austerity, let’s start there. New Jersey ranked 47th in economic growth last year. When Gov. Chris Christie took office in 2010 and began to impose austerity measures, New Jersey ranked 35th in its unemployment rate; now it ranks 48th.
Senator Sessions, do we really aspire for the same in America as a whole?
Something similar has happened internationally. The International Monetary Fund this month downgraded its estimates for global economic growth, with only one major bright spot in the West. That would be the United States, expected to grow a bit more than 2 percent this year and next.
In contrast, Europe’s economy is expected to shrink this year and have negligible growth next year. The I.M.F. projects that Germany will grow less than 1 percent this year and next, while Britain’s economy is contracting this year.
Karl Rove, that sounds a lot like stagnation to me.
All this is exactly what economic textbooks predicted. Since Keynes, it’s been understood that, in a downturn, governments should go into deficit to stimulate demand; that’s how we got out of the Great Depression. And recent European data and I.M.F. analyses underscore that austerity in the middle of a downturn not only doesn’t help but leads to even higher ratios of debt to economic output.
So, yes, Republicans have a legitimate point about the long-term need to curb deficits and entitlement growth. But, no, it isn’t reasonable for Republicans to advocate austerity in the middle of a downturn. On that, they’re empirically wrong.
If there were still doubt about this, we’ve had a lovely natural experiment in the last few years, as the Republicans in previous years were happy to point out. All industrialized countries experienced similar slowdowns, and the United States under Obama chose a massive stimulus while Germany and Britain chose Republican-endorsed austerity.
Neither approach worked brilliantly. Obama’s initial economic stimulus created at least 1.4 million jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But that wasn’t enough, and it was partly negated by austerity in state and local governments.
Still, America’s economy is now the fastest growing among major countries in the West, and Britain’s is shrinking. Which would you prefer?
I pretty much post stuff like in the same way a cultural anthropologists studies cults. I’m not going to change any minds, but it is interesting to watch people whack a rock with a stick hoping that someday that rock will bleed real blood.
The oldest playable recording of an American voice will make its second public debut today (Oct. 26), when a newly digitized version is played at a theater in Schenectady, N.Y. The first playback took place immediately after the recording was scratched onto a sheet of tinfoil, at a demonstration of Thomas Edison’s freshly invented phonograph on June 22, 1878, in St. Louis.
But despite the fact that Edison was the first person to play an audio recording, he was not the first person to record audio. And depending on the chosen definition of “performance,” the 1878 phonograph recording, which features a cornet solo and a recitation of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” is not the first-ever recording of a musical performance, as is being reported.
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a Parisian who made his living as a bookseller, is the first person who captured sound, and he’s also the first person who recorded a musical recital, most likely his own.
In 1857, Scott patented the phonautograph, a device that, like the phonograph, funneled sound waves through a horn with a stylus on the end, translating them into traced lines on a turning cylinder.