Spider rewires the brain

Spider Brain by anbileru adaleru

I’m thinking about spider webs and writing. Let’s engage in this playful thought experiment, shall we?

Do a quick search and peruse articles on the Internet about the cognitive benefits of writing and journaling. What you’ll see is a lot of evidence that reflective writing can rewire your brain, along with a host of other therapeutic perks. Cool, no?

The point, when you feel that itching sense to spend some time thinking about stuff, don’t waste it, write it.  Say no to aimless thinking. Write to rewire your brain.

Consider how sensibly a spider weaves a web. Putting your fingers to the keyboard and/or pencil to paper can get you in tune with your ‘mind spider’. So when you feel the itch in your mind, it’s probably the spider in your head trying to re-web thoughts in your head. Allow the spider to extend your senses and ensnare insights that fly by.

Allow the spider to extend your linguistic senses by ensnaring the scrumptious ideas that fly by. Now I’ll drag-and-drop a couple of quotes into this post, in a very ant-like manner. It was Francis Bacon who said  the following:

“The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance.”

I’m telling myself to mull on this: Be less ant-like, more spider-like.

Of course, Bacon went on to say that bees are the best, but that’s a thought for another time. But let me just say, being bee-like takes a team.

Now, before I go, consider the description of fiction as offered by Virginia Woolf:

“a spider’s web, so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

With both reason and imagination, let the ‘mind spider’ stretch your mind. Most of what we believe about ourselves is a mesh of fact and fiction, so it’s reasonable to recognize the difference.

In any case, it’s a cute metaphor, don’t you think?

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Spider rewires the brain

Inter-individual relationships

A search on the term led me to a paper stemming from the Neuro- and Bioinformatics field (gradschool.uni-luebeck.de ).  The work of Thomas Martinetz and team utilized “mental models” of how our brains accurately predict changes in context of how we relate our intentions, emotions, and goals to others.  I don’t see “empathy” mentioned, but it’s my thinking that empathy is the dynamic the researchers are noticing when the subject’s brain regions reveal a “high similarity in emotional experience” and a “similarity in activation patterns”.  The researchers observed this using a MRI technique called ‘pseudo hyperscanning’ on their subjects.  The first subject was being video recorded while scanned and questioned and then later the second subject watched the video while under the impression it was live.

It appears that Hebb’s rule of “Neurons that fire together wire together” could also apply to asynchronous exchanges.  This has me questioning if a network of individuals could use consumer brain–computer interfaces both as a controller and monitor to gauge their collective ‘creative coherence’.  We might also investigate if brain waves in any way correlate with the Earth’s magnetic field. The notion hasn’t been fully explored, but Dr. Buryl Payne appears to have scratched the surface.

Inter-individual relationships

The new breed – Timothy Leary on cybernetics and a new global culture

According to Timothy Leary, “there’s a universe inside your brain”. In his book “Chaos & Cyber Culture” he explores a “postpolitical information society” where “electrified thoughts invite fast feedback”.

This “cybernetic society” is led by the “front-line creativity” based on “individual thinking” and “scientific know-how”.

From different countries, “new breeds” use cybertechnology and “feedback networks” to gain “more managerial and direct creative access to their brain.”

This breed emerges as an “open-minded caste” that is “simply much smarter” than the “old guard” of “closed-minded white, male politicians” who once made decisions about their lives.

In this “info-world” Leary sees a cybernetic society, or rather “a large pool” of individuals who communicate “at light speed” across boundaries.

This new breed is capable of “jumping the gene pools” to form “postindustrial, global meme-pools.” He calls them “informates” whose “defining memes” flash “at light speed across borders in digital-electronic form”.

Timothy Leary, American psychologist and writer (1920-1996),

The new breed – Timothy Leary on cybernetics and a new global culture

Google Is Like a ‘Mental Prosthetic’

Research suggests we’re less likely to memorize much from the “influx of information,” simply because it’s so readily available online.

“Thinking with computers is a natural extension of that. In the same way you depend on a friend, now you depend on Google,” Daniel Wegner at Harvard, told TechNewsWorld.

Instead, the brain will more often remember where the information can be retrieved, rather than what the information actually is.

“We’re a lot smarter now, and that’s why we use it. We’ve become somewhat addicted because it really extends mental capacities. It’s kind of like a mental prosthetic device that’s better than what you’ve had before,” Wegner said.

According to Paul Reber, professor and director of brain, behavior and cognition at Northwestern University, our brain is wisely strategizing.

“There’s no evidence we are forgetting things more rapidly now than before the Internet. It seems likely that with a much larger amount of information generally around, we are probably trying to remember more. In addition to studying what we forget, it would be important to look at how much we remember,” Reber said.

 

Google Is Like a ‘Mental Prosthetic’

How do we Thrive in the Age of Hyperconnectivity?

Wildcat2030 suggests that information overload is destabilizing our minds allowing for the emergence of the hyperconnected mind.  He speaks of our increase in fluid intelligence: “the ability to find meaning in confusion … solve new problems … draw inferences and understand the relationships of various concepts, independent of acquired knowledge” ( wikipedia). More importantly, we can “find meaning in confusion”.

A “hyperconnected narrative” is needed, Wildcat2030 adds, “to re-appraise the context of our worldviews”.  Our states of minds shaped by narratives which contain “stories within stories”.  Through these stories our minds intertwine into “larger framework of co-adaptive consensual adhocracies”.   We experience freedom when enmeshed in the coherent and integrated flow space  of hyperconnectivity.  Our hyper-intelligence helps us think more critically, denying the “rigidity of the Neolitihic mind system”, yet with empathy.

via spacecollective

How do we Thrive in the Age of Hyperconnectivity?

Collaborate with Zombies (Future140 Part 4)

I was looking for another guest for Future140 and I got a hold of somone on Twitter who was attempting something rather inspiring. This person’s name is Ryan Leach and he knows a thing or two about zombies, but what attracted me to him was his effort to channel the power of the collective. His project depends on one thing in order to succeed, collaboration. It is called “Lost Zombies” and it combines zombie roleplaying with social networking and croudsourcing media in order to produce a film like none other that I’d ever seen. I was intrigued.

He left me a short message about his project. I uploaded it on Future140 as a micro-podcast (in 140 seconds or less (listen here!) ). He really inspired me.

Continue reading “Collaborate with Zombies (Future140 Part 4)”

Collaborate with Zombies (Future140 Part 4)

Dead on the Web (Future140 Part 2)

Are you ready to die? What about all of those pieces of you left behind on the Internet? Are they a fair representation of who you really are?

Think about it.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on a project I started called Future140. It demands well thought out answers in 140 seconds or less. For my second micro-interview on Future140 I decided to challenge my dad, who happens to be a professor and the most accessible intellectual I know. He’s always taken a liking to the subject of death. He recently has been dabbling in social media and I thought he might have some insight into a question that had been plaguing me.

click to listen –>
“We all die. But now our Internet activity, comments, photos, etc. live on. Do our digital lives matter?”

Continue reading “Dead on the Web (Future140 Part 2)”

Dead on the Web (Future140 Part 2)