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The Men Who Stare in Peace: An Interview with Dr. David Leffler

In the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats, military interest in psychic research is portrayed as an utter failure. The movie is not meant to be science journalism but pure entertainment. However, buried beneath the satirical and banal surface of this movie lie many interesting scientific theories. A proposed theory of a collective consciousness is one of them.

The origins of our understanding of collective consciousness can be traced to the Vedic texts of ancient India. This multidimensional science of the mind had its revival with such luminaries as Gustav Fechner, William James, Emile Durkheim, and C.G. Jung. Recent advances in quantum physics, especially Unified Field Theory, are now providing some fascinating parallels with these schools of thought.

UPDATE: Apparently, at least one military of an unknown Latin-American country is deploying Invincible Defense Technology. I’ve received photos from an anonymous source of their allegedly nearly fully-operational “Military Prevention Wing.” See photos 1 and 2.

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James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change

James Lovelock

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added.

“Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Lovelock, 90, believes the world’s best hope is to invest in adaptation measures, such as building sea defences around the cities that are most vulnerable to sea-level rises. He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica, such as the Pine Island glacier, which would immediately push up sea level.

Source: The Guardian. This is one of my main arguments for pursuing artificial intelligence. The planet is such a complex system that human intelligence (even in collaboration) is insufficient to solve global problems.

UPDATE: Raymond B. Cattell’s “A New Morality from Science: Beyondism” (1972).

Invincible Defense Technology

A leading scientific journal in Pakistan, The Journal of Management & Social Science,* recently published a paper titled “A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising-Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace,” indicating that the military application of the Transcendental Meditation technique has merit. The paper discusses how militaries worldwide could use the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® program, founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as a non-religious and scientifically verified way to prevent war and terrorism. When used in a military context, these meditation practices are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT).

IDT’s causal mechanism is not completely understood. An explanation of the causality of IDT in biological terms was proposed in a study in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (Walton et al 2005, 17: 339-373). Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter, has been shown to produce feelings of happiness, contentment, and even euphoria. Research indicates that low levels of serotonin correlate with aggression, poor emotional moods and violence. The study indicated that when the size of a group of IDT experts changed, serotonin production of people in the nearby community changed correspondingly. Since results were statistically significant, this study offers a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism that may explain reduced aggression and hostility in a whole society.

Source: NewsWise. For background information see The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. Also read “The Men Who Stare at Landmines” in Asia Sentinel and my review of “Psychedelic Horizons“.

UPDATE: Read the article “Utilizing Powerful Peace-Creating Technologies to Combat Cyber Warfare” and the report “Tech 2035: Future Technology, Future Power in Asia, and Future Intelligence Challenges” (PDF).

Also check out David Leffler’s website and John Hagelin‘s video-introduction to unified field theory and consciousness.

Jeremy Rifkin: The third industrial revolution

We need to implement reglobalization from the bottom-up in order to achieve a more sustainable global economy. Geopolitics is an extension of the Enlightenment view of human nature, the idea that we pursue our utilitarian pleasures and individual self-interests. In geopolitics, the nation-state becomes a macro view of that. Nations deal with nations by being rational, detached and calculating, pursuing self-interests, excercising power and acquiring more capital and wealth. That’s why Copenhagen failed. The world leaders weren’t thinking biosphere, they were thinking geopolitics. Everyone was looking out for their nation’s self-interest.

What we need to do is attempt biosphere politics. Governing units are going to change–I think there’s going to be a shift toward continentalization. The EU is a first attempt at organizing a new frame of reference across continents, but it’s a transitional governing form. The Asian Union, African Union and South American Union are in their early stages.

Source: New Scientist.

Future Shock (1972)

Documentary based on the book with the same name by Alvin Toffler, narrated by Orson Welles.

Broad Use of Brain Boosters?

Adderall

Off-label use of stimulants, such as Ritalin, is on the rise among college students. Studies show that 5 percent to 15 percent of students use prescription drugs as study aids, and surveys suggest the practice may be common among academics as well. The trend has sparked debates over how and when these cognitive enhancers should be used. Military personnel routinely use stimulants while on active duty, but should that practice also be permitted among surgeons working long shifts? What about scientists working late nights in the lab? Or students taking exams?

Source: Technology Review. See also “Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy” in Nature.

New edition of Journal of Evolution and Technology

Transhumanism (or Human Plus, H+) is a social and philosophical movement that explores the uses of technology for the positive transformation of human capacities, and the social, political and ethical implications that such a transformation would carry. Its ideological uniqueness lies in an almost existentialist interpretation of science: while acknowledging the value of the scientific method – based on the principles of precision, objectivity and falsifiability – it foregrounds its relevance for social justice, self-determination and personal fulfilment, in other words, for improving the human condition. In transhumanism, therefore, science is “owned” differently than in humanism, where it was a symbol of human intellect, ingenuity and a key to the “truth.” The transhumanist perspective, generally, begins with the question of human experience and then takes an activist approach, looking to science to find how it can alleviate suffering and thereby improve this experience.

Read the latest edition here. Also check out the World Transhumanist Association and “Biotech Enhancement and Natural Law” in The New Atlantis.

Want to Enhance Your Brain Power?

A little brain boost is something we could all use now and then. A new option may be on the horizon. Researchers at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in Bethesda, MD, are studying how applying gentle electrical current to the scalp can improve learning.

Source: Technology Review.

(c) Copyright Plausible Futures Newsletter 2013