Sunday, October 30, 2005

Law of Attraction and Other Books on the Subject

Law of Attraction by Michael Losier - 2003, ISBN 0973224002, 108 p. It Works by R. H. Jarrett - DeVorss & Company, 1976, ISBN 0875163238 Ask and It Is Given by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks, Wayne W. Dyer - Hay House, 2004, ISBN 1401904599, 314 p. Of course, the basic premise of these books is somewhat stretched. As they say in Ask and It Is Given: "We are called Abraham, and we are speaking to you from the Non-Physical dimension..." Still, what these books are teaching has a real good chance to work. Here is why ... Here is the basic methodic pitched in these books: Step 1: Clearly express your desires on paper. Step 2: Involve emotions ("vibrations") or simply read it three times a day. Step 3: "Allow it.” Make yourself believe that it is going to happen. Do you see what does this accomplishes? In Step 1, you create memes you want. In Step 2, you implant these memes deep into your mind. In Step 3, you clear yourself of counter-memes that may block the execution. With emotions, you plant them deep into your lower minds. With repetition, you reinforce them and make them stronger. Once you've done that, it becomes established in your extended neural network, which is larger than your cerebral cortex, where your consciousness resides. Then the supercomputer in your whole body - including spine, heart, guts (not to mention the lower brain) - gets busy crunching numbers and figuring out the strategy to achieve your desires. Also, don't forget that most of our desires are not to achieve something in the physical world. That's what science and engineering are for. Most of our desires are about getting ahead of other people ... Other people who use their supercomputers to eat, drink, sleep, and have sex. Other people who compete with you, using only their cerebral cortex. You see? It's like the latest Pentium going against a pocket calculator. You simply have more memory, more processing power, and you are just plain faster. So, I don't know about the "Non-Physical Dimension" (see the chapter in my book about using the Capital Letters...), but you may very well try that.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Other 90%

The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life by Robert K. Cooper – Three Rivers Place, NY, 2001, ISBN 0-609-80880-X, 316 p. A very nice book by a Dr. Cooper. He is not just a management consultant, he is also a doctor, at least he was one. Here are some interesting facts about the biochemical computers running our bodies and lives that we call brains:

  • There are 100 millions neurons in guts – more than in spinal column
  • There are 40,000 neurons in heart
  • Thinking is the last thing what our brain does before acting, and sometimes thinking is bypassed altogether
In Dr.Cooper’s view, most of us are trained from the childhood to use just our human brain in the head – cerebral cortex, which is roughly about 10% of all neural tissue in our bodies. These numbers are important to understand why we need mind viruses – or at least, memes with strong anchors – for ourselves. That’s how we engage our lower brains. Other 90% of our brains.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Retainer Viruses (based on the example of the latest Kiyosaki's book)

Before Your Quite Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building A Multimillion-Dollar Business By Robert T. Kiyosaki, Sharon L. Lechter – Warner Business Books, 2005, 259 p., ISBN 0-446069637-4 People have different, often opposite views on Robert Kiyosaki’s books, the author of popular “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series. This particular book is interesting because it talks about excuses that people use to decide not to go into a business on their own. Among those are “I don’t have money”, “I don’t have contacts”, “I’m not smart enough”, “Business is risky”, “I have to support family”. When you look at them from the memetics point of view, you will recognize our old acquaintances – mind viruses. It’s interesting that the author divides all people into two categories, employees and entrepreneurs. The excuses he lists are typical for employees. He also points out that school is what usually conditions people to become employees, not entrepreneurs. After reading my book, you all know what the school does culturally, right? Yes, it plants a lot of mind viruses in the young minds to cultivate them into a predominantly expected kind of a person. Let’s consider it in details. First, all these excuses have very strong anchors. “I have to support my family” goes straight to the procreation anchor. In fact, this anchor is so strong that for most people their memetic mind simply can’t notice any flaws in this argument. It’s only the cognitive mind that is able to leave no stone on stone in this virus, because (a) most employees don’t earn enough to support their families as they think they should, and (b) a lot of entrepreneurs are supporting their families just fine. For other excuses it’s a little harder to find their anchors. Say, “I don’t have money” or “I don’t have contacts”. Where is an anchor here? In fact, there is none. These are not complete viruses, but rather payload parts of special antiviral viruses that are supposed to prevent penetration of the subjects by matching entrepreneur culture viruses. The whole viruses are “success stories” like “this guy had a lot of money, and he makes even more out of them”, or “this guy has a lot of connections, and he makes a load of money out of them.” The main anchors of success stories are both curiosity and self-justification. The self-justification one works like that: “This guy has a lot of money, that’s why he makes even more money, and I don’t have money, so it’s not me, it’s actually the absence of money that prevents me from financial success.” You see? Here we’ve got the payload that later surfaces as an excuse. And it also make the carrier, because by passing a “success story” along, you justify yourself in front of another person for not having the same success. And we are all really hooked on justifying ourselves in front of other people. It seems to be in our genetic make up. Now, why would such a virus be successful? They are clearly not very successful in entrepreneur subculture. What makes these viruses to proliferate so widely in an employee subculture? An employee subculture itself. If you consider an employee and an entrepreneur, they have to live in different styles, or, at least, they had to in the XX century. Employee was naturally risk avert, seeking security and stability, oriented for the control of resources, not results. An entrepreneur cannot avoid risk, he has to live with it and enjoy it. He does not have security beyond the one provided by his own capabilities. And if he does not set his mind on the results, he soon may find himself among employees. Naturally, such two different environments resulted in two different subcultures with their own system of supporting memes and mind viruses. Each subculture to be stable have to keep several kinds of mind viruses. Some of them are useful symbiotic mind viruses that help their hosts to adapt to the environment. Risk aversion in a XXth century corporation was a symbiotic mind virus because it helped people to keep their jobs. But subculture also have to carry mind viruses that prevent their subjects from escaping – retainer viruses. Most of the excuses listed above are exactly these kinds of mind viruses. Compare it to two extreme environments where these kinds of mind viruses are evident. A religious cult is normally built around a mind virus “leave us and you’ll go to hell.” That’s a typical retainer virus. In a concentration camp during World War II the guards on watch-towers and barbed wire was not exactly communicating a mind virus, but rather a simple meme that escaping is not an option. Although in the second case the meme was mostly correct, the purpose of guards and wire was rather communicating the meme than actually physically killing escaping prisoners. In fact, in the cases of mass escape, guards and wire was normally unable to function with 100% efficiency. Making them evident to the prisoners and implanting appropriate meme into their minds was from all point of view much more efficient measure against escaping than their direct purpose. In fact, killing those who try to escape was rather used to enforce the meme in the minds of remaining prisoners. That’s why guards, towers and wire was not hidden but rather demonstratively exposed, that’s why bodies of those who failed to escape could have been left in a common view. As it often does, perception was more important than reality. Well, I beg your pardon for making such grim comparisons to the employee subculture, I just wanted to make clear the concept of a retainer virus. By the way, arguments of Kiyosaki is based on the XXth century employment. Today, most of us even in the employment have to carry some elements of entrepreneur subculture, recognize the risks, and rely on peer relations. Except some obscure corners like some government agencies, employment does not provide anymore stability or security. Read Peter Drucker and Tom Peters on that (see below for some links). [1] The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management by Peter F. Drucker - Collins, 2003, 368 p., ISBN 006093574X [2] Management Challenges for the 21st Century by Peter F. Drucker - Collins; 1st edition, 2001, 224 p., ISBN 0887309992 [3] Re-imagine! by Tom Peters - DK Publishing, 2003, 352 p., ISBN 078949647X [4] The Brand You 50: Or Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! by Tom Peters - Knopf, 1999, 224 p., ISBN 0375407723

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Human Self-destruct Sequence in Research & Medicine

The Dangers of Chronic Distress: Are you worried, irritable and socially inhibited? A simple test may help predict the health effect by Michael C. Miller, M.D. – Newsweek, Oct 3, 2005, p.58-59. Miller is editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

“And among people who already have heart conditions, those with the highest scores – the so-called Type D personalities – are less responsive to treatment and have poorer quality of life. They are also more likely to die prematurely.”
Not a big surprise, of course, but a very good illustration to the thesis of a self-destruct programming in humans and how to avoid it. Personality types are all about predominant memes ruling the choices and views of a person. It seems that some memes are capable of bringing our body machinery to premature break ups, whether by design or by mere mismanagement of the body resources. Of course, when I refer to other authors, they usually talk about much deeper, often cellular-level self-destruct programming. But this example, which comes as no surprise to most people in the XXI century, illustrates it with evidence: a person’s choice of memes to carry is a choice of how good and how long life he or she is going to live.