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Living in the Moment and Our Duty to Serve Creation

Living in the Moment and Our Duty to Serve Creation

 

Related Topics:

Muslims in Florida Open Free Health Clinic for the Poor and Uninsured*

Homeless Eat Free at Muslim-Owned Restaurant In Washington, D.C.

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

Jews give Muslims Key to their Synagogue after Town’s Mosque Burns Down*

A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

Why Food is Actually INFORMATION*

On the Rights of Nature*

Muslim Postmaster Saves Elderly Customer after Foiling MoneyGram Scam*

“Deadly Facts”: How So-Called “Objectivity” Created a Culture of Conformity*

Plant Neurobiology Shows How Trees are Just Like Humans*

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

The Journey Beyond Yourself: On Welcoming Who You Truly Are*

I’tekaf – The Gem of Worship that you May not Know About*

The Connected Universe*

Why is the Holiest Shrine in Christianity Guarded by Two Muslim Families?*

Prophet Muhammed (SAW) on Ramadhan

Turning the Tide — Our Time is Now*

The aql is not Reason – it’s Consciousness*

In the Beginning was/is Consciousness*

The Centre of Consciousness is One’s Heart*

Consciousness the Last Stand*

Humanity at the Crossroads: The Crisis in Spiritual Consciousness

“I came so close to taking my own life again, that I knew it was time to change things”

Our Conception of God isn’t Big Enough*

Deep Thinking

The Link between Patience, Willpower and Imagination*

The Link between Patience, Willpower and Imagination*

By April McCarthy

How often do you act impulsively without considering the consequences? What if you could learn how to be more patient?
By using functional MRI (fMRI) to look inside the brain, neuroscientists Adrianna Jenkins, a UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher, and Ming Hsu, an associate professor of marketing and neuroscience at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, found that imagination is a pathway toward patience. Imagining an outcome before acting upon an impulse may help increase patience without relying on increased willpower.

Scientists call this technique, “framing effects,” or making small changes to how options are presented or framed. And the method may increase a person’s ability to exercise patience.

The findings can be found in Jenkins and Hsu’s study, “Dissociable contributions of imagination and willpower to the malleability of human patience,” forthcoming in Psychological Science.

The authors’ approach stands in contrast to previous research, which has mostly focused on the exertion of willpower to positively affect a person’s patience.

“Whereas willpower might enable people to override impulses, imagining the consequences of their choices might change the impulses,” Jenkins says.

“People tend to pay attention to what is in their immediate vicinity, but there are benefits to imagining the possible consequences of their choices.”

Hsu and Jenkins conducted two experiments to explore the role of imagination and willpower on patience. In the studies, participants made choices about when to receive different amounts of money depending on how the offer is framed. The actual reward outcomes were identical, but the way they were framed differed.

For example, under an “independent” frame, a participant could receive $100 tomorrow or $120 in 30 days. Under a “sequence” frame, a participant had to decide whether to receive $100 tomorrow and no money in 30 days or no money tomorrow and $120 in 30 days.

The first experiment replicated past research, which found that framing outcomes as sequences promotes patience. 122 participants saw both independent and sequence framed options and expressed stronger preferences for the larger, delayed reward when choices were framed as sequences.

The second experiment involved 203 participants who had to make a choice based on one frame: 104 people had to choose under an independent frame; the other 99 had to choose under a sequence frame.

The result: participants in the sequence frame reported imagining the consequences of their choices more than those in the independent frame. One participant wrote,

“It would be nice to have the $100 now, but $20 more at the end of the month is probably worth it because this is like one week’s gas money.”

In contrast, participants exposed to the independent frame demonstrated less imagination. One participant commented,

“I’d rather have the money tomorrow even if it’s a lesser amount. I can get the things I need instead of waiting. Why wait a month for just $20 more?”

By framing the options in the second experiment, the researchers found that the participants escalated their use of imagination. The more participants imagined the consequences of their choices, the more they were able to be patient in order to receive the greater reward.

In the fMRI portion of the experiments, Jenkins and Hsu measured participants’ brain activation while the participants made a series of choices in both frames. They found the areas of the brain that process imagination became more active when participants were more patient during sequence framing. In contrast, in the independent framing, the researchers found patience more strongly linked to brain regions associated with willpower.

“There is a long tendency of behavioral interventions, ranging from promoting healthy eating to reducing drug dependence, to appeal to willpower. For example, ‘commit to be fit’ or ‘don’t do drugs’,” Hsu says. “Our findings highlight the potential benefits of interventions that change the nature of the impulses themselves by encouraging people to imagine the consequences of their choices.”

The researchers acknowledge that using brain scans to study human cognition has its limitations because it relies on certain assumptions about the links between brain regions and their functions. This is why the experiments combined several methods, which all converge on a similar conclusion.

“We know people often have difficulty being patient,” Jenkins says.

“Our findings suggest that imagination is a possible route for attaining patience that may be more sustainable and practical than exerting willpower.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Five Signs When a Man is Connected to his Heart*

Four Things You Need To Hear When You’re Emotionally Exhausted*

Modern Parenting is Preventing Brain Development*

Working and Staying Sane in Ramadhan*

Love in a Time of Lack*

Alchemy of the Heart

No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning*

No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning*

By Gary ‘Z’ McGee

“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” ~Antisthenes

Raised, as most of us are, within nation states, it is extremely difficult to think outside the statist box. It’s tantamount to cognitive dissonance; Might as well ask a fish to breathe outside water, it’s so counterintuitive. But, and here’s the rub, we are not fish, and if we want to continue to be a progressively evolving species on this planet, we are going to have to think outside the box.

The thing is, it’s perfectly okay if “the box” is healthy, sustainable, and moral. But when it’s unhealthy, unsustainable, and immoral, like the statist box is, then it becomes imperative that we think outside of it. If we cannot do this, then we cowardly give in to indifference and ignorance, and we will be ruled by those who know how to gain power over indifference and ignorance. As Plato pointed out,

 “The price of apathy toward public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

In order to recondition our statist conditioning, we’re going to have to imagine a world without masters and rulers. No mastery except for self-mastery; no rulers except for self-rule. This seems counterintuitive to our statist conditioning, but it’s not. We simply need to be a little more imaginative about the ways in which we approach the ideas of leadership and rules. Leadership does not imply the need for masters, and rules do not imply the need for a ruler. We simply need a fresh perspective, preferably one that can see past statist driven propaganda. As Plotinus said,

 “We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing… a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.”

No Masters Does NOT Mean No Leaders

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

A good leader does not seek mastery over others but mastery over the self. It is through self-mastery that a leader leads by example. No masters means no seeking mastery over others (tyranny), and no bequeathing mastery over oneself to others (slavery). It does not mean no leadership. Rather, no masters implies leadership through self-mastery, without the master-slave dynamic muddying up the waters of liberty.

The problem with growing up thinking inside the statist box is that we are brain washed into thinking that the mastery of the state, with its hierarchical power constructs and vertical oligarchy, is leadership. We are conditioned to think that our obedience to the system (house slavery) is the price we pay to not be kicked out of the nation (house).

No masters means freedom. Not the pseudo-freedom espoused by the state, but real freedom. It means no slavery, whether soft or hard. It means the individual is free to discover his/her own self-mastery through the leadership of others and not through obsequious to others or the system. As Epictetus said,

“No man is free, who is not master of himself.”

A good leader knows when to follow (obey) as well as when not to follow (disobey). A true leader will not blindly kowtow to the state, but wisely question it, knowing that the state is mostly made up of individuals who tend to seek mastery over others rather than self-mastery. It’s because of this tendency that most states dissolve into authoritarian regimes that rule by force (fear and violence) rather than leadership (honour and prestige). Lest we give into the inherent insanity of the state, we must remain self-empowered individuals seeking self-mastery through sound leadership rather than self-inured individuals blindly following the mastery of the system that keeps the state entrenched.

No Rulers Does NOT Mean No Rules

“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ~Plato

As it stands, we are a nation within which the majority of us do not engage in politics. Is it any wonder we are governed by orange-faced bigots and dumb and dumber bipartisanship? Ad hominem aside, the powers that be only have power when we the people agree that they have power.

The problem is that the majority of the people are not proactively engaged in politics and tend to be ignorant to the ways in which power works. This bodes well for those in power, for the entrenched masters and rulers, but not so well for those seeking self-mastery, self-rule, and freedom and justice for all. As Lord Byron once said,

“Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”

Lest we allow ourselves to become bigots, fools, and slaves, we must be proactively engaged with our own freedom and aware of how the powers that be are working to keep us that way. “No masters, no rulers” is an extremely poignant phrase that keeps us circumspect and vigilant regarding our own freedom and liberty.

But even this phrase rarely gets through to the masses, because the masses are thinking and reasoning within a preconditioned statist box. So the typical statist’s knee jerk reaction to “no rulers” is…”But, but, we need the rulers.” Well, of course we need rules, but who says we need rulers? And the statist says “But, who will enforce rules?” Easy! We will. We the people, we the free, we the self-governed, we the self-empowered. We who choose to self-rule and who seek self-mastery without a tyrannical state blocking our freedom using outdated, fallible, man-made laws that don’t agree with cosmic law, common sense, logic and reasoning, and the non-aggression principal.

There will always be rules. Our basic survival depends upon following certain cosmic rules. The problem is most rules delivered by the state usually violate cosmic law. And so the typical naïve statist, unaware of how cosmic laws work, unaware of how power works, blindly follow the rules of the state without realizing that they are violating laws way more important than petty state laws. This is because of fear-conditioning. Statists are conditioned through fear to follow state driven laws, and this fear acts like eye-guards to laws that really matter. But the fear is very real. The question is, what are we going to do about it? As Derrick Jensen said,

“Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.”

At the end of the day, we all have a statist box that we must begin thinking outside of if we wish to progressively evolve as a species. “No masters, no rulers” is a useful phrase that we can use as a tool to leverage imagination and think outside the statist box. Statist conditioning be damned! Statist propaganda be damned! Statist brainwashing be damned! The way forward is to become individuals who are responsible with their own power; self-rule, self-mastery, self-empowerment, self-governance. Let the Goliath state rant and rave all it wants with its petty laws and outdated reasoning. We are David!

We alone are responsible for our own actions, because we are free, and we realize that anyone who says otherwise is a conditioned statist who isn’t ready to be free. They do not see the corruption and tyranny closing in upon them. They do not see the so-called masters and rulers threatening our self-mastery and self-rule with violence and fear. They do not see how their conditioning has crippled them into robots and pawns going through the motions of a diabolical soft slavery. They don’t even know that they don’t know. Meanwhile, the statist box they so desperately need to think outside of, lies hidden in the shadows of propaganda just waiting for them to gain the courage it takes to see past the smoke and mirrors. Like Brandon Stanton said,

“The way to learn courage is to be afraid of something, and then do it anyway.”

The scary part is, they don’t even know to be afraid.

Source*

Related Topics:

How Not to Master a Skill!

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

Panic Grips Self-Inflicted U.S. NSA Shuts-down as Russia as all Clinton Phone-calls*

This is How Many Leaders today will be Remembered

How to Hold Space for Yourself*

The Intelligence of Self Observation and Self-Awareness*

When You Stop Wishing Yourself Away…

Self Esteem

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Self-Awareness: Between Me, Myself and Others

 

Now Discovered the Lungs Make Blood*

Now Discovered the Lungs Make Blood*

Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don’t just facilitate respiration – they also play a key role in blood production.

In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals’ circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue – cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow.

“This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs – that they’re not just for respiration, but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood,” says one of the researchers, Mark R. Looney.

“What we’ve observed here in mice strongly suggests the lung may play a key role in blood formation in humans as well.”

While the lungs have been known to produce a limited amount of platelets – platelet-forming cells called megakaryocytes have been identified in the lungs before – scientists have long assumed that most of the cells responsible for blood production are kept inside the bone marrow.

Here, a process called haematopoiesis was thought to churn out oxygen-laden red blood cells, infection-fighting  white blood cells, and platelets – blood components required for the clotting that halts bleeding.

But scientists have now watched megakaryocytes functioning from within the lung tissue to produce not a few, but most of the body’s platelets.

So how did we miss such a crucial biological process this whole time?

The discovery was made possible by a new type of technology based on two-photon intravital imaging – a similar technique to one used by a separate team this week to discover a previously unidentified function of the brain’s cerebellum.

The process involves inserting a substance called green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the mouse genome –  a protein that’s naturally produced by bioluminescent animals such as jellyfish, and is harmless to living cells.

The mouse platelets started to emit bright green fluorescence as they circulated around the body in real time, allowing the team to trace their paths like never before.

They noticed a surprisingly large population of platelet-producing megakaryocytes inside the lung tissue, which initially didn’t make much sense, seeing as they’re usually associated with bone marrow.

“When we discovered this massive population of megakaryocytes that appeared to be living in the lung, we realised we had to follow this up,” says one of the team, Emma Lefrançais.

They found that this huge supply of megakaryocytes is actually producing more than 10 million platelets per hour in the lungs of mice, which means at least half of the body’s total platelet production is occurring in the lungs.

Here’s what it looks like:

Further experiments also revealed vast amounts of previously hidden blood stem cells and megakaryocyte progenitor cells (cells that give rise to megakaryocyte and red blood cells) sitting just outside the lung tissue – about 1 million per mouse lung.

When the researchers traced the entire ‘life cycle’ of the megakaryocytes, they found that they likely originate in the bone marrow, then make their way to the lungs, where they start platelet production.

“It’s fascinating that megakaryocytes travel all the way from the bone marrow to the lungs to produce platelets,” says one of the team, Guadalupe Ortiz-Muñoz.

“It’s possible that the lung is an ideal bioreactor for platelet production because of the mechanical force of the blood, or perhaps because of some molecular signalling we don’t yet know about.”

The researchers wanted to investigate if their discovery could have an effect on how we treat disorders such as lung inflammation, bleeding, and transplantation in the future, by transplanting lungs with fluorescent megakaryocyte progenitor cells into mice with low platelet counts.

The transplants produced a massive burst of platelets that quickly restored the depleted platelet counts to normal levels, and the effect lasted for several months.

Another experiment tested what would happen if the bone marrow wasn’t playing a role in blood production.

The team implanted lungs with fluorescent megakaryocyte progenitor cells into mice that had been engineered to have no blood stem cells in their bone marrow.

As Michael Irving reports for New Atlas, they watched as the fluorescent cells from the transplanted lungs made their way to the bone marrow, where they not only helped to produce platelets, but also other key blood components, such as neutrophils, B cells and T cells.

The findings will need to be replicated in humans before we can know for sure that the same process is occurring within our own bodies, but the study makes a strong case for this hidden function in what could be one of our most underrated organs.

It will likely also prompt scientists to investigate further how the bone marrow and lungs work together to produce our blood supply.

“It has been known for decades that the lung can be a site of platelet production, but this study amplifies this idea by demonstrating that the [mouse] lung is a major participant in the process,” Traci Mondoro from the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who was not involved in the study, said in a press statement.

“Looney and his team have disrupted some traditional ideas about the pulmonary role in platelet-related hematopoiesis, paving the way for further scientific exploration of this integrated biology.”

The research has been published in Nature.

Source*

Related Topics:

Tuberculosis: An old Disease on the Rise Again!

Proper Movements in Muslim Prayer can Reduce Lower Back Pain*

Your Appendix may be more Important than you Think!

99.9999999% of Your Body is Empty Space*

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The Human Body Emits, Communicates with, and is Made from Light*

Plant Neurobiology Shows How Trees are Just Like Humans*

Neuroscientists Discover New ‘mini-neural computer’ in the Brain*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Similarities between the Brain and the Universe*

Public Buses in Aleppo take to the Streets after 5 Years of U.S.’s ISIS war on Syria*

Public Buses in Aleppo take to the Streets after 5 Years of U.S.’s ISIS war on Syria*

By Alex Christoforou

The western mainstream media will never show you this video…it would destroy the narrative they tried so hard to peddle about “moderate rebels” and Assad barrel bombs.

Thank you Ruptly TV for this rare look at a city, and its people, returning to a sense of normality after being held hostage by US, Saudi, and Turkey supported Al Qaeda and ISIS jihadists, for over 5 years of terror.

This is what freedom and liberation looks like. The smiles on the faces on passengers. People walking in the streets, going about their normal lives.

Aleppo’s public transport system is slowly returning to normal. Buses cleaned and sent out into service, after five years of inactivity.

We could not even begin to imagine the terror that would have been in Aleppo had the Obama Administration had its way, and raised up a black ISIS flag over the city.

Look no further than Libya to see what was avoided in Aleppo…and finally, F*** YOU mainstream media for reporting fake news that would have destroyed the future of these people rising the bus.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Deploying Thousands More Ground Troops to Kuwait to Fight in Iraq and Syria*

Minimal Aid from the U.N. for Aleppo Civilians*

Aleppo Citizens Celebrate Liberation of City*

Canadian Activist Exposes Western Media Lies on the Genocide in Aleppo*

U.S and its Partners in Crime Suffer ‘Meltdown of Sanity’ over Syria’s Aleppo Victory*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

With Fighting Over, Aleppo Residents Speak of Terrorists’ Barbarism*

In Aleppo 4 Al-Qaeda Chiefs arrested; 1,000 Terrorists Surrender, and 50,000 Civilians Freed*

Syrian Soldier Breaks Down In Tears Upon Reunification With His Family in Aleppo*

The Astonishing Vision and Focus of Namibia’s Nomads*

The Astonishing Vision and Focus of Namibia’s Nomads*

The Himba people of Namibia can see fine details and ignore distraction much better than most other human beings – a finding that may reflect the many ways that modern life is changing our minds and abilities.

By David Robson

Nestled in a grassy valley of north-eastern Namibia, Opuwo may seem like a crumbling relic of colonial history. With a population of just 12,000, the town is so small that it would take less than a minute to drive from the road sign on one side of town to the shanty villages on other. Along the way, you would see a hotchpotch collection of administrative offices, a couple of schools, a hospital and a handful of supermarkets and petrol stations.

For many of the people living in the surrounding valley, however, this small town is also the first taste of modern life. The capital of the Kunene region, Opuwo lies in the heartland of the Himba people, a semi-nomadic people who spend their days herding cattle. Long after many of the world’s other indigenous populations had begun to migrate to cities, the Himba had mostly avoided contact with modern culture, quietly continuing their traditional life. But that is slowly changing, with younger generations feeling the draw of Opuwo, where they will encounter cars, brick buildings, and writing for the first time.

How does the human mind cope with all those novelties and new sensations? By studying people like the Himba, at the start of their journey into modernity, scientists are now hoping to understand the ways that modern life may have altered all of our minds. The results so far are fascinating, documenting a striking change in our visual focus and attention. The Himba people, it seems, don’t see the world like the rest of us.

The first hints that modernisation could change our vision came from the Victorian anthropologist WHR Rivers, who explored the islands of the Torres Strait, between Australia and Papua New Guinea at the turn of the 20th Century. As he met the locals, he offered them various sensory tests, including the following phenomenon, known as the Muller-Lyer illusion. Take a look at the two lines below left, and try it for yourself:

Which arrow appears to be longer – top of bottom? Your answer may depend on the ‘carpentered’ corners in your house (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

In reality, the lines are exactly the same, but if you ask people to estimate their size, most Westerners claim that the second line (with the ‘feathers’ pointing outwards) is around 20% longer than the top line. During his expedition to the Torres Strait, however, Rivers found that the locals were far more accurate – they just didn’t seem to be as susceptible to the illusion. The anthropologist later repeated the experiment on the Toda people of southern India, finding exactly the same effect, and the same result has since been found in many other pre-modern societies, including the San people of the Kalahari Desert.

It’s a profound finding, showing that even the most basic aspects of our perception – which you may assume to be hardwired in the brain – are shaped by our culture and surroundings. One theory is that the illusion results from the fact that modern humans spend more time indoors, with lots of “carpentered corners”. If the angles along the edge of an object are out, an object is usually further away from us, like the distant wall of a room, whereas if the angles point inwards, it is usually closer to us, like the near side of a table (see above). The brain has learnt to process this perspective rapidly, helping us to estimate size at distance, but in the case of the illusion, that brain processing backfires. Like an irregular lens, our modern, urban brains distort the images hitting our retina, magnifying some parts of the scene and shrinking others.

When Jules Davidoff visited a Himba ‘kraal’, he found no traces of western influence in their way of life (Credit: Alamy)

 

Such studies, comparing different cultures, had been few and far between, however. As I have previously explored in another article for BBC Future’s The Human Planet series, most psychological studies have tended to use Weird (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic) participants, using experiments on American undergraduate students to represent the whole of humanity. But Jules Davidoff at Goldsmith’s University in London, U.K., has bucked this trend, and his studies of the Himba offer some striking evidence that many more factors, beyond our “carpentered corners”, may be influencing our perception.

In many ways, the Himba are the absolute counterpoint to our modern, urban lifestyles. The herders live in small groups of wooden huts surrounding a sacred fire – thought to be the spiritual link to their ancestors – and a day’s work revolves around the rearing of cattle, sheep and goats, which they keep in an enclosure known as the “kraal”. The villages are semi-nomadic, and will move with the seasons to find new pastures for the livestock. To many Westerners, the Himba are most famous for their striking appearance, thanks to the rich red ochre that they spread over their skin and hair.

Davidoff’s team were scrupulously sensitive to the Himba’s way of life. They had to gain the permission of the village chief for each experiment, and typically performed the experiments outside the kraal; he says he was only once invited inside.

“The hut was really like this Stone Age thing – it was truly remarkable,” he says.

“There were no Western artefacts in their society,” he says.

Despite these basic circumstances, they are general healthy and well-fed.

“They really don’t seem to want for very much – it’s a nice life in many ways.”

Initially, Davidoff had been concerned about the ways these people would react to the laptops and electronic equipment that were crucial to some parts of his research; one colleague told him that the Himba would even be unfamiliar with pen or paper, let alone a computer. But he needn’t have worried; they seemed to adapt to the technology with no qualms at all. And so, with the chief’s permission and with the help of a translator, he has gently probed the ways they see the world.

Many of his first experiments centred on the Ebbinghaus Illusion:

Which circle appears bigger? Again, your reaction to this optical illusion will depend on your cultural background (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Westerners tend to see the central circle in the first picture as being smaller than the central circle in the second – when they are actually the same size. And just as Rivers had seen with the Muller Lyer illusion, Davidoff’s team found that the traditional Himba were far less susceptible than those of us living in modern societies.

The phenomenon seemed to reflect a basic bias towards “local processing” – they were more focused on the smaller details (the central circles) while ignoring the context (the surrounding ring) that warps your perception. To test this phenomenon further, he asked them to compare abstract figures made up of smaller figures – such as a square made of crosses, or a cross made of squares. (You can see examples here.) When judging the similarity of these pictures, the Himba were more likely to base their judgements on the smaller elements, rather than the overall shape – again suggesting a ‘local’ bias on fine details.

More strikingly still, later experiments showed this enhanced focus also seemed to be reflected in their ability to hold their attention and ignore distraction: when they were asked to quickly search for shapes in a grid, for instance, they were less easily distracted by the movements of other objects on the screen. In fact, they appeared to be the most focused of any groups previously studied.

Davidoff emphasises that the traditional Himba are flexible: they can easily see the “big picture” when encouraged to do so. Even so, their strong preference for focusing on the local details is puzzling.

One explanation for their astonishing focus may come from the cattle rearing itself. Identifying each cow’s markings was apparently essential for their daily life – and this practice may perhaps train the eye with a focus and attention that was lacking in all modern societies.

“I think that does come from their traditional lives – the powers to concentrate,” says Davidoff.

Himba people living their traditional life appear to have remarkable visual concentration, an ability to stay focused on the smallest details (Credit: Alamy)

 

But it could also be that modern life itself makes us more easily distracted by our surroundings. And it is for this reason that Opuwo is so interesting, as younger generations slowly migrate to the shanty villages on the edge of the small town. As the anthropologist David P Crandall put it in his book The Place of Stunted Ironwood Trees: “The fascination and attraction of city lights, even the dimmed and often fractured ones of Opuwo, proffer an allure and mystique, a cosmopolitan novelty to be found nowhere else in their world.” It is, he says, “the vanguard of change for the entire region… a crossroads of several worlds.”

To discover how this move might influence the Himba’s psychology, Davidoff’s team compared Himba migrants to the small town, with those still living the traditional lifestyle. As they had expected, the Himba who had spent years living on Opuwo were less focused on the local details (making them more susceptible to the Ebbinghaus illusion, for instance) than those living in the countryside. But you didn’t need to have spent your whole life in the town for it to have an effect; the team found that even very short day trips to Opuwo seemed to have had a lasting impact their perception, making them less focused on differences in the local details (and more conscious of the overall shape) when comparing two abstract figures, for instance. Needless to say, the influence was much greater for those who lived in the town – but it was still present even for the Himba who had only visited a couple of times. “There does seem to be a ‘dose effect’ – the more of it you have, the greater the effect becomes,” says Davidoff.

As Davidoff points out, urban environments are naturally more cluttered than the Kunene valley, with more objects vying for our attention. Just think about crossing the road, as your eyes dart from the traffic lights to the oncoming cars and the fellow pedestrians making their way towards you. Our attention needs to be more diffuse.

Then there’s the stress of urban life, compared to the relative tranquillity of life in the kraal. As Crandall described in The Place of Stunted Ironwood Trees:

“Though a stranger might at first hear only silence, the beat of a distant drum, the bicker of chatting voices, the grinding stones, the bleating and lowing of livestock, the rushing of wind, the chirping of birds, the clicking of insects, the stamping of feet, and the clapping of hands form a constant and familiar stream of sounds.”

The hustle and bustle of a town, in contrast, may put you on high-alert, and this stress primes your visual system to cast its net wider, as it is on the lookout for threat.

A Himba woman goes grocery shopping in Opuwo. Exposure to this busy visual environment may permanently change her perception (Credit: Alamy)

 

These are just hypotheses, however – and it is interesting to put it in the context of other research exploring non-Western cultures. The psychologist Richard Nisbett at the University of Michigan, for instance, has strong evidence that our vision can be influenced by our social lives: people who live in more interdependent, collectivist societies like Japan and China tend to focus more on the context of a social situation – and they also tend to pay more attention to the backgrounds of pictures; they are more ‘holistic’ and less ‘analytical’.

“If you are paying attention to the social world, you incidentally pay attention to the physical world too, so you end up noticing things that wouldn’t be noticed by someone with an analytical mindset,” says Nisbett.

(For more information, see our in-depth article: How East and West think in profoundly different ways.)

The Himba appear to live in a tight-knit community, rich in traditions that bind the whole group – so they would seem to be an exception to this rule. But Nisbett has also shown that people’s professions make a difference, even within the same culture: shepherds in Turkey tended to be less holistic than farmers or fishermen, for instance, perhaps because it brings a greater focus on the individual and less cooperation between group members. A closer examination of the Himba’s working and social lives, compared to other indigenous peoples, will help pick apart the various factors that shape their view of the world.

Davidoff also points out that we should beware reports exaggerating the perceptual differences in indigenous populations. He has seen some articles arguing that pre-modern people are puzzled by photographs, for instance – failing to comprehend the flat, 2D images of the world around them. In fact, the Himba were quite the opposite: they would often ask him to bring back photos on their return trips.

“They recognised other people in the group very quickly,” he says.

“I’m certain there was no concern about photographic reality.”

The love of a good selfie, it seems, can cross all cultural boundaries.

Source*

Related Topics:

Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures Do not have Back Pain*

And their eyes glazed over -Technology and Attention Deficit*

Earth Magneticism and the Human Body

Linguistic Colours of Life*

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

By Lance Schuttler

It was reported by Redhawk at Standing Rock in North Dakota that two police officers have turned in their badges in support of the water protectors.

“There have been at least 2 reports of police officers turning in their badges acknowledging that this battle is not what they signed up for. You can see it in some of them, that they do not support the police actions. We must keep reminding them they are welcome to put down their weapons and badge and take a stand against this pipeline as well. Some are waking up.”- Redhawk

Hearts are opening...

Hearts are opening…

Hearts are opening

With actions from militarized police continuing to be seen as extremely violent and dangerous, this news is a big win for the water protectors and for humanity as a whole. While the actions of some police officers are not appropriate, we all must continue to visualize and intend/pray that the hearts of all involved in this situation continue to open. Police must be held accountable for their actions, though we must continue to welcome them over to the side of the water protectors.

Having the police lay down their weapons and join the people is the goal. It is also a win-win solution, which is the best case scenario. So what is it that opened the hearts of these two officers?

At the time of this writing, the answer is not known but we can speculate on a few different items.

  • Word is spreading quickly that there are 17 multi-national banks funding this pipeline and that the propaganda being spread about this deal “creating American jobs” or “helping America’s economy” is being seen as just that, propaganda. The American people, as well as people of the world, know that the big banks and U.S. Government does not care for the people, but only themselves. These banks and the government showed their hand in 2008 when they were bailed out after the stock market crash, leaving the public to bear the economic and social burdens. Even the police are becoming aware of this fact that the government and banks do not care for them and see the police only as pawns in a bigger game the government wishes to control.
  • Water is life is not just a meaningless slogan in many people’s minds. It is becoming understood by more and more that water IS indeed life. If water becomes toxic, all life that depends on that water becomes toxic…including the families of these same police officers who are currently protecting the construction sites. They too would be affected by toxic water.
  • It is innately traumatizing for humans to hurt other humans. While we have been seeing this for some time now with this situation, police officers are realizing the harm they do when they assault an unarmed, peaceful water protector. In essence, peace is wanting and needing to be established.

Take a look at what happened in Frankfurt, Germany in May of 2012. The police removed their helmets and began marching with the people who were protesting the big banks, while also safely escorting them down the streets.

Let us all use this latest news as a big step forward towards peace and resolution of this pipeline issue. The pipeline construction needs to and must stop. With the announcement from Barack Obama yesterday that the White House is considering “re-routing” the pipeline, we must continue to demand that it’s construction cease entirely. We can also view that statement as a buckling of the Establishment. Continue on, water protectors. Truth and love is spreading.

Source*

Related Topics:

Standing Rock Protestors Use Mirrors to Inspire Humility among Police Officers*

Mirrors Brought to Protests to Force Police to Look at What They’ve Become*

German Police Officers Take Off Helmets & Marched With German Citizens Against Rothschild European Central Bank!

Wisconsin Police Join the Mass Protest

Islamophobes Found Themselves Surrounded in a Sea of Diversity*