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Wed, 12 May 2021
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Michel Foucault, most-cited academic ever and father of woke ideology, outed as pedophile


Comment: If you've ever wondered why the fruits of post-modernism/neo-Marxism/leftist ideology are so deviant and devoid of true humanity, that's because the movement (really, a pseudo-religious cult) is and always has been completely rotten, from the top down...


Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault: all his high-falutin' ideas were just a mask for his deviancy - his fundamentally inhuman 'true self'.
The philosopher Michel Foucault, a beacon of today's "woke" ideology, has become the latest prominent French figure to face a retrospective reckoning for sexually abusing children.

A fellow intellectual, Guy Sorman, has unleashed a storm among Parisian "intellos" with his claim that Foucault, who died in 1984 aged 57, was a paedophile rapist who had sex with Arab children while living in Tunisia in the late 1960s.

Sorman, 77, said he had visited Foucault with a group of friends on an Easter holiday trip to the village of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis, where the philosopher was living in 1969. "Young children were running after Foucault saying 'what about me? take me, take me'," he recalled last week in an interview with The Sunday Times.

"They were eight, nine, ten years old, he was throwing money at them and would say 'let's meet at 10pm at the usual place'." This, it turned out, was the local cemetery: "He would make love there on the gravestones with young boys. The question of consent wasn't even raised."

Comment: Just one of them in a position of influence does tremendous damage (and not just to young boys in Tunisia; think how many tens of millions of Western 'intellectual' minds Foucault's influence warped). By the time you have large clusters of them dominating media, academia, government and science, they can literally destroy civilization.


Info

New study says hypnosis changes the way our brain processes information

Spiral Stairwell
© University of Turku
In a new study, researchers from the University of Turku showcased that the way our brain processes information is fundamentally altered during hypnosis. The research helps to understand how hypnosis produces changes in a hypnotised person's behaviour and subjective experiences.

During a normal waking state, information is processed and shared by various parts within our brain to enable flexible responses to external stimuli. Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, found that during hypnosis the brain shifted to a state where individual brain regions acted more independently of each other.

- In a normal waking state, different brain regions share information with each other, but during hypnosis this process is kind of fractured and the various brain regions are no longer similarly synchronized, describes researcher Henry Railo from the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Turku.

The finding shows that the brain may function quite differently during hypnosis when compared to a normal waking state. This is interesting because the extent to which hypnosis modifies neural processing has been hotly debated in the field. The new findings also help to better understand which types of changes and mechanisms may explain the experiential and behavioural alterations attributed to hypnosis, such as liability to suggestions.

The study focused on a single person who has been extensively studied earlier and been shown to react strongly to hypnotic suggestions. During hypnosis, this person can experience phenomena that are not typically possible in a normal waking state, such as vivid and controlled hallucinations.

Even though these findings cannot be generalised before a replication has been conducted on a larger sample of participants, we have demonstrated what kind of changes happen in the neural activity of a person who reacts to hypnosis particularly strongly, clarifies Jarno Tuominen, Senior Researcher at the Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Vader

The Emerging Totalitarian Dystopia: Interview With Professor Mattias Desmet

Few phenomena have had a profound impact on a global level as quickly as the current corona outbreak. In no time, human life has been completely reorganised. I asked Mattias Desmet, Psychotherapist and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Ghent University, how this is possible, what the consequences are, and what we can expect in the future.
covid police lockdown

"A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power."― Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle
Almost a year after the start of the corona crisis, how is the mental health of the population?

MD: For the time being, there are few figures that show the evolution of possible indicators such as the intake of antidepressants and anxiolytics or the number of suicides. But it is especially important to place mental well-being in the corona crisis in its historical continuity. Mental health had been declining for decades. There has long been a steady increase in the number of depression and anxiety problems and the number of suicides. And in recent years there has been an enormous growth in absenteeism due to psychological suffering and burnouts. The year before the corona outbreak, you could feel this malaise growing exponentially. This gave the impression that society was heading for a tipping point where a psychological 'reorganization' of the social system was imperative. This is happening with corona. Initially, we noticed people with little knowledge of the virus conjure up terrible fears, and a real social panic reaction became manifested. This happens especially if there is already a strong latent fear in a person or population.

Info

Reading minds with Ultrasound

What is happening in your brain as you are scrolling through this page? In other words, which areas of your brain are active, which neurons are talking to which others, and what signals are they sending to your muscles?
Ultrasound Mind Reading
© S. Norman
A diagram illustrating how a new type of ultrasound is used to image a motor-planning region of the brain in non-human primates. The neural activity shown in those brain images was then decoded to correspond with movements. This process was shown to accurately predict movements even before they happened.
Mapping neural activity to corresponding behaviors is a major goal for neuroscientists developing brain-machine interfaces (BMIs): devices that read and interpret brain activity and transmit instructions to a computer or machine. Though this may seem like science fiction, existing BMIs can, for example, connect a paralyzed person with a robotic arm; the device interprets the person's neural activity and intentions and moves the robotic arm correspondingly.

A major limitation for the development of BMIs is that the devices require invasive brain surgery to read out neural activity. But now, a collaboration at Caltech has developed a new type of minimally invasive BMI to read out brain activity corresponding to the planning of movement. Using functional ultrasound (fUS) technology, it can accurately map brain activity from precise regions deep within the brain at a resolution of 100 micrometers (the size of a single neuron is approximately 10 micrometers).

The new fUS technology is a major step in creating less invasive, yet still highly capable, BMIs.

"Invasive forms of brain-machine interfaces can already give movement back to those who have lost it due to neurological injury or disease," says Sumner Norman, postdoctoral fellow in the Andersen lab and co-first author on the new study. "Unfortunately, only a select few with the most severe paralysis are eligible and willing to have electrodes implanted into their brain. Functional ultrasound is an incredibly exciting new method to record detailed brain activity without damaging brain tissue. We pushed the limits of ultrasound neuroimaging and were thrilled that it could predict movement. What's most exciting is that fUS is a young technique with huge potential — this is just our first step in bringing high performance, less invasive BMI to more people."

The new study is a collaboration between the laboratories of Richard Andersen, James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience and Leadership Chair and director of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center in the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech; and of Mikhail Shapiro, professor of chemical engineering and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator. Shapiro is an affiliated faculty member with the Chen Institute.

Info

Some genes come to life in the brain after death says new research

Zombie Cells
© Dr. Jeffrey Loeb/UIC
‘Zombie’ cells come to life after death of the human brain.
In the hours after we die, certain cells in the human brain are still active. Some cells even increase their activity and grow to gargantuan proportions, according to new research from the University of Illinois Chicago.

In a newly published study in the journal Scientific Reports, the UIC researchers analyzed gene expression in fresh brain tissue — which was collected during routine brain surgery — at multiple times after removal to simulate the post-mortem interval and death. They found that gene expression in some cells actually increased after death.

These 'zombie genes' — those that increased expression after the post-mortem interval — were specific to one type of cell: inflammatory cells called glial cells. The researchers observed that glial cells grow and sprout long arm-like appendages for many hours after death.

"That glial cells enlarge after death isn't too surprising given that they are inflammatory and their job is to clean things up after brain injuries like oxygen deprivation or stroke," said Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, the John S. Garvin Professor and head of neurology and rehabilitation at the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author on the paper.

What's significant, Loeb said, is the implications of this discovery — most research studies that use postmortem human brain tissues to find treatments and potential cures for disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, do not account for the post-mortem gene expression or cell activity.

"Most studies assume that everything in the brain stops when the heart stops beating, but this is not so," Loeb said. "Our findings will be needed to interpret research on human brain tissues. We just haven't quantified these changes until now."

Brain

A mind made out of silk?

graphic spider web books cognition
© Sin Eater/Quanta Magazine
The Thoughts of a Spiderweb
Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn't fully confined within the head.

Millions of years ago, a few spiders abandoned the kind of round webs that the word "spiderweb" calls to mind and started to focus on a new strategy. Before, they would wait for prey to become ensnared in their webs and then walk out to retrieve it. Then they began building horizontal nets to use as a fishing platform. Now their modern descendants, the cobweb spiders, dangle sticky threads below, wait until insects walk by and get snagged, and reel their unlucky victims in.

In 2008, the researcher Hilton Japyassú prompted 12 species of orb spiders collected from all over Brazil to go through this transition again. He waited until the spiders wove an ordinary web. Then he snipped its threads so that the silk drooped to where crickets wandered below. When a cricket got hooked, not all the orb spiders could fully pull it up, as a cobweb spider does. But some could, and all at least began to reel it in with their two front legs.

Comment: Or perhaps cognition, at whatever scale, extends into a larger pool of information that is tapped at the level of need?


Arrow Up

Study shows stronger brain activity after writing on paper than on tablet or smartphone

Analog vs Digital
© Created using Canva.com, CC0
A study of Japanese university students and recent graduates has revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory.

"Actually, paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall," said Professor Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo and corresponding author of the research recently published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The research was completed with collaborators from the NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting.

Contrary to the popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, volunteers who used paper completed the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smartphones.

Although volunteers wrote by hand both with pen and paper or stylus and digital tablet, researchers say paper notebooks contain more complex spatial information than digital paper. Physical paper allows for tangible permanence, irregular strokes, and uneven shape, like folded corners. In contrast, digital paper is uniform, has no fixed position when scrolling, and disappears when you close the app.

"Our take-home message is to use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize," said Sakai.

SOTT Logo Radio

MindMatters: Stalking the Night Stalker: Richard Ramirez, Intraspecies Predator

richard ramirez
In 1985, greater Los Angeles and San Francisco were struck with an ever-growing list of brutal murders, rapes and robberies of dozens of individuals, including children. The crimes shocked and terrified not only the families of the victims and the communities where the crimes took place - but also captured national attention - as the viciousness and malevolence involved in these acts were made public. The range of victims, and multiple MOs, stumped investigators and suggested that the serial killer involved was capable of almost anything.

This week on MindMatters we discuss the chilling story of Richard Ramirez AKA 'The Night Stalker,' as told in a new documentary on Netflix titled Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer. Was Ramirez 'born' or 'made' into the the monster he became, what influenced him psychologically, and what about his very biology may have helped shape him into the serial killer he became? We also look at the effects Ramirez's acts had on the families of the victims, the investigators involved in tracking him down, and the 'larger than life' strangeness that permeates the entire story. Though stories like the Ramirez's are rare, this tale is an awful reminder that individuals like him do exist, and we'd do well to remember that many of them, unlike Ramirez, appear to be quite normal on the surface. (Also discussed: What The Night Stalker Documentary Leaves Out About Richard Ramirez)


Running Time: 01:22:58

Download: MP3 — 76 MB


Eye 1

On the psychology of the conspiracy denier

conspiracy nut
Why is it that otherwise perfectly intelligent, thoughtful and rationally minded people baulk at the suggestion that sociopaths are conspiring to manipulate and deceive them? And why will they defend this ill-founded position with such vehemence?

History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound.

We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us.

We know that revolving doors between the corporate and political spheres, the lobbying system, corrupt regulators, the media and judiciary mean that wrongdoing is practically never brought to any semblance of genuine justice.

We know that the press makes noise about these matters occasionally but never pursues them with true vigour.

Info

Better way to measure consciousness found by researchers

Consciousness
© The Conversation
Millions of people are administered general anesthesia each year in the United States alone, but it's not always easy to tell whether they are actually unconscious.

A small proportion of those patients regain some awareness during medical procedures, but a new study of the brain activity that represents consciousness could prevent that potential trauma. It may also help both people in comas and scientists struggling to define which parts of the brain can claim to be key to the conscious mind.

"What has been shown for 100 years in an unconscious state like sleep are these slow waves of electrical activity in the brain," says Yuri Saalmann, a University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology and neuroscience professor. "But those may not be the right signals to tap into. Under a number of conditions — with different anesthetic drugs, in people that are suffering from a coma or with brain damage or other clinical situations — there can be high-frequency activity as well."

UW-Madison researchers recorded electrical activity in about 1,000 neurons surrounding each of 100 sites throughout the brains of a pair of monkeys at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center during several states of consciousness: under drug-induced anesthesia, light sleep, resting wakefulness, and roused from anesthesia into a waking state through electrical stimulation of a spot deep in the brain (a procedure the researchers described in 2020).

"With data across multiple brain regions and different states of consciousness, we could put together all these signs traditionally associated with consciousness — including how fast or slow the rhythms of the brain are in different brain areas — with more computational metrics that describe how complex the signals are and how the signals in different areas interact," says Michelle Redinbaugh, a graduate student in Saalman's lab and co-lead author of the study, published today in the journal Cell Systems.