We Do Not Look Up Any More

“Long before we had movies, TV or electronic devices of any kind, our imagination stayed trapped in our heads, and our mind was the only stage where stories came to life.

Thousands of years ago we would look up at the stars, from all over the planet, and piece together what life was about by connecting the dots.

Humans used to have a more personal relationship with the stars. We used them for things like navigation and for telling amazing and wonderful stories to try to explain how things came to be. But hidden underneath those tales was a manual for survival.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, COSMOS

I can’t be certain about the rest of the world but I think a lot of young North American’s have lost connection with that ancient manual.

Electronic devices can control your behaviour.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Put down the phone, parents, it could be affecting your kids.
Tech addiction.
Mobile addiction rising.
Smart phone addicts should attempt to focus on the real world.

And something called, Nomophabia  – “You are anxious whenever your phone is not in your possession. You constantly check your phone for texts and feel compelled to respond immediately. You are halfway to the store, realize you forgot your phone and turn around to go get it.” I have done this.

Electronic devices are incredibly useful, if used properly and in moderation. Take a look around at other people next time you’re out and about. See this epidemic rising. Also remember to always be mindful of your own behaviour. -dcl


Umwelt: Welcome To Your Perceptual Experience

Young North American men should be encouraged to live a life of constant self-improvement.  That can mean challenging their preconceived notions of how they, and other people, are actually experiencing reality.  How a young man conducts himself around other people says a lot about that man’s character.

Young men must break out of their comfort zone in order to start becoming the man they really want to be.  In order to break out of your personal bubble, and start the journey through self-development, you must first understand what is going on around you and inside of you.

What Is Our Conscious Experience Really Like?

A good place to start, also a helpful and simple demonstration where humans are in relation to their universe, take Martin Rees’s “Ouroboros And The Scale Of The Universe”. (http://www.macroeducation.org/martin-rees-vancouver-ouroboros-size-scale-good-sci-fi/)

Our perceptual environment, or Umwelt as biologist Jakob von Uexküll and semiotician and linguist Thomas A. Sebeokis call it, is the reality in which we are engulfed.

It feels like we are in cased inside our skull behind the eyes looking out at the theater of life.  However it is becoming increasingly obvious to the majority of scientists, in all fields, that there is in fact no ghost in the machine.

Or as neuroscientist Sam Harris puts it,

“Subjectively speaking, there is only consciousness and its contents; there is no inner self who is conscious. The feeling of being the experiencer of your experience, rather than identical to the totality of experience, is an illusion.”

Who’s In Control

Unconscious processes control our behaviour.  Those unconscious processes are made up of subsystems of neural circuitry.  The neural circuitry conjures up the best possible decision to be made. Memories from personal history and genetic predisposition to certain traits play a significant role in the decision making process.

When a decision is made, it is then shot up to our conscious awareness and told what is to be done out in the real world.  Our entire way of thinking is dependent on our surroundings and the inner workings of our bodies.  Another way of putting it:

                “In what relates living systems cognition is consequently an embodied, embedded and always situated experience.  This means it involves a cognitive entity endowed with a particular physical architecture interacting with the specific world it is immersed in, producing a dynamics that defines events taking place in particular contexts anchored in space/time.” – The Concept of Umwelt Overlap: An Application to Artificial Cognition by Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira                     (http://www.academia.edu/2489908/The_Concept_of_Umwelt_Overlap_An_application_to_Artificial_Cognition)

Or another example:

“…the storm of nerve and muscle activity is registered by the brain, but what is served up to your awareness is something quite different.” – David Eagleman, excerpt from Incognito (http://www.amazon.com/Incognito-The-Secret-Lives-       Brain/dp/0307389928)

To see outside our Umwelt men use powerful microscopes and telescopes here on earth, and on satellites and rovers throughout our solar system.

Those tools for pushing human boundaries could not have been possible if the inventors had shut themselves out from ambition and decided things were okay the way they were.

Peripheral Devices In Nature

Different types of animals pick up on different things:

Many types of bats see with their ears using echolocation.
The Platypus has sensory cells in its duck-like bill that detects weak electrical signals made by other animals when in the water.
Several types of snakes have pits on their head that help them see heat at certain wavelengths, the ability to sense infrared thermal radiation.
Also there is research suggesting Pigeons and Cows have the amazing ability to detect Earth’s magnetic field.

These are just a few examples of some animals and their abilities to interact, survive and function in their environment using natures’ creative peripheral devices.

These days the devices we all need to interact, survive and function with can fit in our hand, or lap.

For example the invention of Cloud Storage Services has made it even easier to collect, save and share any type of content, useful or not.  The smart phone and other such devices are essentially an extension of our brain, albeit a bit more interactive.

A young man developing the skills to cope with his world must also understand the power of such devices.

It used to be (not too long ago) when people were out and about on the street, walking to and from wherever, they were not nearly as glued to their phones or shut out from the world by headphones or ear-buds.  It used to be much easier to elicit a smile from a passer-by just by making and holding eye contact and smiling back.

Everywhere you look someone is immersed in their smart-phone.  Young men must adjust for this technology-based change in behaviour and conduct themselves accordingly.

Information overload can become hazardous to your well being if not handled appropriately and in moderation. It can get in the way of progress and you can become preoccupied or too busy with projects or even people that are of no value to you in the short or long term.

Thumotic has a great article on how to deal with information overload. (http://www.thumotic.com/feed-your-brain/)

Some Tips On Conduct That Affect Your Character

Put your phone away when talking to someone.

Keep it on silent or vibrate, everywhere, other than perhaps when in private, like your house.

When taking a call, unless your in a busy public place, leave the room.  Nobody wants to here the conversation.

Do not pull your phone out when you or someone else enters an elevator.  For example: you walk into an elevator, see a women, she pulls out her phone (I have noticed sometimes people pull out their phone for no apparent reason other than to look like they are doing something, perhaps an evolution of nervous habits) and instead of you doing the same or saying nothing, try to gauge her body language and open her with something like, “Five bucks says your not texting anyone right now (playfully smile).” And then proceed to tell her how you also pull your phone out for no reason some times, and then go from there.

So young men everywhere, remember,  step back from the phone and The Cloud and return to the life of meat and bones.

Understanding how the brain works combined with using technology in moderation, by conducting yourself with good character around others, are great skills to have as a young man driven by positive self-development.

Breaking Out

I have been taking self-improvement very seriously these last eight months. Even with ups and downs I have noticed an overall positive difference in my health, people skills and well-being.  I can attribute much of this success with taking the time to learn, research and observe red pill concepts and how my cognition actually works.

Being able to understand how cognition and perception works goes hand in hand when digesting the red pill and busting out of your shell.  You can see through the matrix and then begin to start recognizing how human beings actually work.

You will observe that you can control your behaviour in ways you could not before.  You can manipulate your thoughts, feelings and actions to the point where any type of negative behaviour can be erased with ease.

Lastly, when one recognizes the brain is first and foremost a biological-brain and human cognition is a result of physical processes within the brain, you start to notice the same behaviour patterns in other people.  This is the best part of realizing you can break out of your Umwelt.  You start to  interact with people on a whole new level.  It can drastically change your outlook on life, for the better.

To have the conscious awareness/mind/I/ego/self peel back the hidden layer of the unconscious mind and meddle with the cognitive processes, would only hurt your decision making and your brain’s natural modus operandi.

Embrace that fact that you cannot control everything. It can be relieving. It can take some pressure off of you.  You can then use that extra energy to pursue self-improvement.

Your personal history and genes will dictate what your unconscious has to work with.  If you are a good person, have had a relatively normal life (the good and bad), continually learn things and are not a psychopath then you should turn out alright.

Human beings are notoriously bad observers of their experience.

So I challenge you to look at your surroundings with a different perspective, respond appropriately to the effects technology has on our behaviour and break out of your comfort zone, break out of your Umwelt. -dcl