Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama has won the elections. There are lessons in this for personal change and development

Barack Obama was not new to U.S. politics. He has been on the seen for a very long time. There are lessons in his success as a presidential candidate. I don't talk about how he succeeded. I want to talk about people who thought that he is not going to win the presidential election. Those naive, too optimist people who try to make themselves look tough and pessimist.

Last week, I had a phone conversation with a friend about how hard or how almost impossible it is to become a famous, successful blogger. I had this discussions often in my office during my coaching sessions. People love to argue about how impossible a certain achievement is. Their argument is destined to fail. Because for every position, job, statue they argue about, there is somebody or masses of people that have achieved it.

Evaluate those arguments: "It is so difficult to get elected for presidency. So difficult that it is impossible". This is plain wrong. Obama is the 44th president of U.S. which means there have been people elected 44 times for presidency. How come that this is impossible?

"It is so hard to get an acceptance from Harvard University. So hard that it is impossible." If it is impossible, how come that there are still people, students, graduates in Harvard?

It's painful to see some people who don't see themselves worthy enough of achieving something particular. More painful to see that they think the same for everybody they keep in touch. Friends, family, colleagues. Anybody who say hello to them become an ordinary people, immediately. This is really very interesting. This is a self-worth issue that often extends to everybody those people know in person. Because they see themselves less worthy than any other people on earth and then they see people they know as their extensions so much that it is impossible for them to be worthy.

I'll try to discuss this issue this week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Symptoms of inner peace

UPDATE! Well, this is from the net. http://symptomsofinnerpeace.com/ looks like a forgotten, left into the cyberspace web site consisting of one page. The content is below.

Saskia Davis, the author of this text contacted me along with a complete text with her copyright information. This is a very nice piece of text to share:

THE SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE (TM)
© 1984 Saskia Davis
Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great
many have already been exposed; and it is possible that people, everywhere,
could come down with it in epidemic proportions.
This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly
stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based
on past experiences.

* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

* A loss of interest in judging other people.

* A loss of interest in judging self.

* A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

* A loss of interest in conflict.

* A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

* Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

* Frequent attacks of smiling.

* An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them
happen.

* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well
as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

WARNING: If you have some or all of the above symptoms, please be
advised that your condition of inner peace may be too far advanced to
be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of
these symptoms, remain exposed only at your own risk.

Saskia Davis
(for permission to reprint, write: to Saskia Davis <symptomsofinnerpeace@gmail.com> or 10640 Exeter Ave. N.E. Seattle, Wa. 98125>)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do you really need to lose weight before achieving your goals or are you just procrastinating?

Many people put barriers in their own way by not prioritizing their goals. Do you really need to lose weight, quit caffeine, quit smoking, or any other thing before achieving your goals or are you just procrastinating in a different, hidden or creative fashion?

Suppose that your goal is to double your income in a given time. What you have to do is to work on ways how to just do that and then decide on certain actions and then simply act. I know it is not as simple as that but the mechanism is that simple. However, when it comes to action, sometimes people just start thinking about keeping their home clean, quitting caffeine, losing weight, and a series of things that are not directly relevant to their goal at all.

This is just another type of procrastination. It comes so real that you cannot separate quitting smoking or starting jogging from doubling your income in three months. In fact, it is irrelevant. This is just something your defense mechanisms come up with. The aim is to prevent you from going on with your prior goals. This is self-sabotage. When you think that you have to lose weight before doubling your income, you make it harder to achieve your goal in your conscious and unconscious thoughts. Unfortunately, you end up doing neither of them.

What is the solution? The solution is to decide on what you want to achieve first, and then to concentrate on only that. You have to get clear about the tools and actions required for you to accomplish your goal. You can make a list about those tools and actions and then you can carefully go over this list to see if there are anything irrelevant.

It would be very helpful to write clear statements so that you can see on paper whether what you think is really logical and relevant or not. For instance:

I want to double my income in three months. Therefore, I have to lose weight.

I want to start exercising for a healthy body. Therefore, I have to keep my room clean.

Can you see? There are a lot of things that you want to do and achieve but you may have irrelevant things in your mind preventing you from acting or just making your goal seem more difficult than it is, in your mind.

Moreover, if you want to double your income and you start from quitting caffeine, this can just result in a decline in your attention to things and this would even harden your action towards your particular goal.

Procrastination is not laziness. It is rather an intelligent and tricky way of resistance to the good and self sabotage. What about your particular irrelevant roadblocks? Would you like to inspect and share them?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How to overcome learned helplessness

The most efficient solution for learned helplessness is to open your eyes and free your mind. Many of us think of learned helplessness as an inability. We tend to imagine this situation as not being able to do something. We also tend to believe that it involves fear.

Those are not close to the truth of learned helplessness. Let's review and remind the concept and then go on with the solution.

Learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to act or behave helpless in a particular situation, even when it has the power to change its unpleasant or even harmful circumstance (wikipedia).

This is a case of strong learning. Usually, the inability does not come out of fear or strong emotions but it comes out of the new reality tunnel and established beliefs of the subject.

When a person is suffering from learned helplessness, he or she is not even aware of his or her state. When confronted with a situation which requires an act on the part of an individual, and this individual does not act accordingly, this is not because of a feeling of helplessness. It is because he even cannot think that he should act or he does not know that he can act.

Therefore, the key solution to learned helplessness is not courage but awareness. This is not a road in which the subject will be empowered. This should be a way of "dis-learning" or forgetting and learning again in a new fashion, what is being learned beforehand.

Learned helplessness is not an emotion, it is a belief.

Then how can one overcome learned helplessness? How is it possible for an individual who is not really aware or just barely aware of his situation?

So, learned helplessnes itself not an emotion but it can produce negative emotions usually so much that the individual knows deep inside about his helplessness. However the big obstacle is the resistance towards such a negative emotion and willing to work on it. It takes time.

When it comes to social interaction, learned helplessness has to be evaluated with feelings of guilt too. One feels helpless however she thinks she is the only reason for this feeling. In fact, since this is something learned, one should be sure of the fact that outside effects made her learn this helplessness.

So, the biggest help is insight about the helplessness and trying to decondition (can be also identified as reconditioning but deconditioning is a better definition) and unlearn it.

Starting with small steps may help. Let's suppose that your learned helplessness is about communicating with the opposite sex. In that case, the helplessness can be formulated this way: You are not able to affect any conversation with the opposite sex. This is the belief learned that causes helplessness. It comes as if he or she will not hear you. So most probably, you have been ignored in the past and learned that whatever you will do, the situation won't change.

To overcome such a learned helplessness, you have to try and expose yourself to the same situation again.

Awareness

Your emotions tell you that there is something wrong. Maybe you think that you have to be more assertive to make yourself heard. Maybe you think that you are not from this world, you are rather an alien. Anyway, all of those thinking is very normal at this time.

Try to understand that what you think you are not able to do puts you in a special situation. Try to understand that you cannot be that special, it is simply impossible.

Act

Your act should be based on your awareness. Since helplessness is something you have learned, at the unlearning phase, you may have to lose yourself a little bit. Try to forget who you are so that you are less bound with your conditioning. Meditate on the idea that you are somebody who is born just a couple of minutes before and everything you will do is up to you and not up to something you may have learned earlier because there is no past.

Really meditate on it. The problem with that meditation might be that you may be not aware of what you are not aware of.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to take help from a friend or a professional who will enhance your vision.

If you can achieve the meditation part successfully than you can start living a different life, day by day. You are going to become another you, who has unlearned the helplessness or has not learned it at all.

Learned helplessness is a kind of brainwashing and you can brainwash yourself for unlearning it.

There is going to be lots of trail and error and that's okay. Love yourself for your failures and convince yourself that your failures are just steps that will bring you to success with your unlearning process.

(to be continued)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Omnos' Mandalas

Omnos has nice drawings and great mandalas acquired from those drawings on Flickr. Here are my selections among them:

 

 

 

 


Here is his mandalas set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/omnos/sets/1078523/.

Swimming Cure for ADHD

Lawrence Diller from Psychology Today evaluates Michael Phelps' success on olympics from a clinical pscyhologist's perspective. Phelps was suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in his childhood and that may have helped him develop his success in being a professional swimmer. Below are two notable paragraphs from that article:

Michael’s success cannot be fully explained by his athletic prowess alone. His drive must also be incredible and those qualities of personality – persistence and intensity – can be highly problematic in the childhood years when a child’s interests and strengths are not academic. Things change dramatically once a child finds his/her niche which often doesn’t occur until late high school or beyond.


The Phelps' ADHD story is otherwise important for two reasons. First it calls into question whether we should really be labeling a child with Michael with a mental disorder. One could hardly call him impaired at this time of his life. Yet academics regularly pronounce that ADHD is a life-long disorder. Indeed, perhaps the outcome for the well screened highly impaired university selected children with ADHD is more guarded. But for the garden variety, front-line Tom Sawyers, Pippi Longstockings and now Michael Phelps that make up my and most doctors’ practices, the future is much brighter (once they find their niche).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shroud of Turin is subject to reexamination

Los Angeles Times has a story titled Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy.

shroud of turin
The photo you see on the left is a heavily post-processed version (credits: omnos)of a documentary photo of what some have claimed to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.

The Shroud of Turin (or Turin Shroud) is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It is believed by many to be the cloth placed on Jesus of Nazareth at the time of his burial (Wikipedia, The Shroud of Turin).


Two Masonic historians, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, have written a controversial book called The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud, and the Great Secret of Freemasonry, which claims that the Turin Shroud is actually an image of Jacques de Molay, not of Jesus Christ as is common belief. They claim that when King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V seized and dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar, that one of the French king's inquisitors, Guillame de Nogaret, tortured and crucified de Molay in a parody of the crucifixion of Jesus. He then put a cloth on de Molay's head, and de Molay's face was imprinted on the cloth. The authors claim that one of the reasons the Knights Templar were suppressed was because they knew a secret true history of Jesus which had been distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. According to Knight and Lomas, Jesus considered himself not God, but a Jewish revolutionary working to establish God's kingdom on Earth, and that the Templars' initiation ceremony involved a denial of Jesus as God.

Apart from Knight and Lomas' suggested scenario, there is a connection in the provenance of the Shroud of Turin and the Templars. Geoffroi de Charny's widow Jeanne de Vergy is the first reliably recorded owner of the Turin shroud; his uncle, Geoffrey de Charney, was Preceptor of Normandy for the Knights Templar. This uncle is the same Geoffrey de Charney who was initially sentenced to lifetime imprisonment with de Molay, and was burned with de Molay in 1314 after both proclaimed their innocence, recanting torture-induced confessions. (Wikipedia, Jacques de Molay)


shroud of turin

Doc Kazi (the above photo is from his Flickr images) on Flickr says:
The most controversial cloth in human history is the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is presently kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Some believe it is the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth when he was placed in his tomb and that his image was recorded on its fibers at or near the time of his proclaimed resurrection. Skeptics contend the shroud is a medieval hoax or forgery — or even a devotional work of artistic verisimilitude. It is nevetheless the subject of intense debate among some scientists, believers, historians and writers, regarding where, when and how the shroud and its images were created.


Los Angeles Times story tells:

It brought Rebecca, an Orthodox Jew, to the Catholic Church; it led John to suspend himself from an 8-foot-tall cross to study how blood might have stained the cloth. Together, the two have committed to memory every crease, scorch mark and unexplained stain in their years-long pursuit of the mystery.

But John Jackson, one of the shroud's most prominent researchers, was among those who insisted that the results made no sense. Too much else about the shroud, they said, including characteristics of the cloth and details in the image, suggested that it was much older.

Twenty years later, Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud.

If the challenge is successful, Jackson hopes to be allowed to reexamine the shroud, which is owned by the Vatican and stored in a protective chamber in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.


Here is the photo of the shroud:

shroud of turin

Friday, August 15, 2008

Slow Motion Lightning

If you thought lightning couldn't be any more awesome, you thought wrong. The power of slow motion let's you see every last spark as it dances across the sky.




Source: Today's BIG Thing

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Psychotherapy is seemingly a luxury for the majority

Anyone seeking a talk therapy nowadays may come across a harsh opposition. The U.K. government is trying to put a ban on psychoanalysis. This is maybe the most scary example of under what kind of a threat talk therapy recently is.

Psychotherapy can be very abstract at times. It can be so abstract that most people feel difficulty to understand what it is all about. Since it deals with defense mechanisms and resistance of the mind, it is really very easy and quick to show resistance towards such an abstract approach.

Of course it is far from being an abstract thing for people who have a good and strong psychotherapy experience.

There are several arguments on why psychotherapy is not as popular as it was in the past. One of those arguments is about the developing medical industry working on brain chemistry. I am really against this because on most types of depression and anxiety, playing with the brain chemistry is only a rehabilitation and not a treatment.

They say that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. This chemical is serotonin and the primary role of contemporary antidepressants is to increase the traffic of serotonin in the brain. I think the opposite about serotonin. I think the decrease of serotonin traffic in the brain is the result of depression, not the other way around.

Therefore, if you really want to cure depression, medical industry is not the answer. Human mind and emotions have a different language than the biochemical language. It is very possible that symptoms of depression are biological. However, symptoms are symptoms, they are not depression itself. Depression treatment has to be applied differently. I can accept antidepressions as a mean of rehabilitation, since rehabilitation is also an important factor in treatment, however it cannot cure your depression.

Psychotherapy can cure your depression and anxiety. Moreover, it is you, who is going to cure and rescue your mind and soul from depression. Psychotherapy - especially psychoanalysis - deals with your subconscious and your subconscious is nowhere to be found in your brain. It is not something physical. It is not something you can touch and try to repair through medicines.

What is getting ill and being healed is the mind and mind is not the brain. People have to be more open to the seemingly mysterious and abstract framework of human mind. Of course, what psychotherapy is able to cure and what not is another debate but I am sure that it is the right treatment for many mental illnesses.

Magic mushrooms, spiritual awareness and Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins seeks volunteers to take magic mushrooms. This is from their website:

Seeking Volunteers with a Cancer Diagnosis
to participate in a scientific study of self-exploration
and personal meaning

In recent years, scientists at some U.S. universities have been conducting studies using entheogens, resuming research in pharmacology, psychology, creativity, and spirituality that was suspended following the drug excesses of the 1960s.

Entheogens include the peyote cactus used by the Native American Church, the psilocybin-containing mushrooms used as sacraments in Mesoamerica, and certain other plants and chemicals. Such substances have been used for thousands of years in cultures from the Amazon to ancient Greece as a means of inducing non-ordinary states of consciousness for psychological self-exploration and spiritual or religious purposes.

These states of consciousness are most widely known in connection with practices such as meditation and prolonged fasting. Context seems to play a major role in shaping entheogen experiences and their consequences. Despite the well-known problems that can arise in unstructured settings, the risks of entheogens in research and ritual contexts have proven to be very small.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University are seeking volunteers with a current or past diagnosis of cancer who have some anxiety or are feeling down about their cancer to participate in a scientific study of self-exploration and personal meaning brought about by the entheogen psilocybin, a psychoactive substance found in mushrooms used as a sacrament in some cultures, given in a comfortable, supportive setting. Questionnaires and interviews will be used to assess the effects of the substance on consciousness, mood, and behavior.

Volunteers enrolled in the study will receive careful preparation and 2 sessions in which they will receive psilocybin. Structured guidance will be provided during the session and afterwards to facilitate integration of the experiences. The study complies with FDA regulations.

Volunteer must be between the ages of 21 and 70, have no personal history of severe psychiatric illness, or recent history of alcoholism or drug abuse, have someone willing to pick them up and drive them home at the end of the two psilocybin sessions (around 5:00 PM).

If you would like to discuss the possibility of volunteering, please call 410–550–5990 or email cancer@bpru.org and ask for Mary, the study’s research coordinator. Confidentiality will be maintained for all applicants and participants.


Principal Investigator: Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., Protocol: NA_00001390


Link: http://www.bpru.org/cancer/insight/

(via boing boing)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Muslim comics is on the way



Time.com says that Islamic Superheroes Going Global:

The 99, a comic-book series based on characters that each personify one of the 99 qualities that the Koran attributes to God, met early resistance in places like Saudi Arabia. Local authorities worried that the series might mock Islam. But after Mutawa guaranteed that he would remain respectful of religion and won backing from a major Islamic bank, the series took off around the Gulf. Initially given away for free with Arabic versions of Marvel comics (the license for which Mutawa owns in the region), The 99 is now a stand-alone success, with some 500,000 copies given away and sold across the region in the past two years.


Given the catastrophic crisis about Mohammad cartoons, this seems to be a little milder than that. In fact, 99 names are really of great importance in Islam as well as Sufism (Islamic mysticism and occult). 99 Names are used in Islamic magick too (Islamic havass) for both good and evil purposes.

Let's go back to the world of comics. This is a business by Naif Al-Mutawa. Here is additional info about him from Time.com:

Mutawa, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a master's in business administration from Columbia University, spent 10 years as a psychologist working with the victims of war before founding Teshkeel Media Group in 2004. His patients included men who were part of the Iraqi army that invaded Kuwait. "When you hear these stories of Saddam Hussein, who was cast as a hero and then ended up torturing his own people, you ask yourself what kind of message we are sending our kids about what a hero does," says Mutawa. "With The 99, I wanted to make a difference and give Muslim kids positive role models."


What is going to happen and whether any further objection would arise, only time will tell.

Brain maps, brain atlas



BrainMaps.org is an interactive multiresolution next-generation brain atlas that is based on over 20 million megapixels of sub-micron resolution, annotated, scanned images of serial sections of both primate and non-primate brains and that is integrated with a high-speed database for querying and retrieving data about brain structure and function over the internet. Currently featured are complete brain atlas datasets for various species, including Macaca mulatta, Chlorocebus aethiops, Felis catus, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, and Tyto alba.


This is impressive. Unfortunately, the website is not very usable. The navigation is weak. However they made a really good job at providing this. It is hard to find the actual link that leads to the ajax application in your browser, so here is one of the links: http://brain-maps.org/ajax-viewer.php?datid=42&sname=387 Using this very much resembles to Google maps, which is something good. I am sure if I were a medical doctor I'll be much better at using it but I am sure that I am more excited than a medical doctor. Here is another screenshot:



Now that we can travel through our brain, maybe we can start searching for the mind and soul, individually. Yes I am joking. Anyway. Brain maps does not only provide a map of the human brain but it also makes it possible to travel among other primate and non-primate brains.

Back in 1999 when there was only a poor dial-up connection in Turkey and no real internet service providers, we were talking about a future where doctors could operate surgeries through the internet. This application reminded me our conversation then. I think brain surgery or any other surgical treatment is not yet available online.

Brainmaps also offers several software. I tried StackVis among them and it worked well in spite of the fact I executed it under linux through wine. Other brain software available at Brainmaps are Nodes 3D, Brain Analysis and Isosurf Volume. I haven't tried them but they look interesting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why Some Can't See Psychic Phenomena

Imagine you're watching a basketball game. Your favorite team is wearing white and the other team is in black. In the midst of the action, someone in a dark gorilla suit calmly walks to the center of the court, waves to the crowd, then walks off the court. Do you think you would notice this peculiar event? Most people might say yes. Most people would be wrong.


This is the first paragraph of Dean Radin's latest post about how ignorant scientific research can be, in Reality Sandwich titled What Gorilla?: Why Some Can't See Psychic Phenomena.

In my first post on this blog, I wrote about something called a reality tunnel. This is a term coined by Timothy Leary and often used by Robert Anton Wilson in his excellent book The Quantum Psychology.

Dean's long post about how corrupt human perception can be is an excellent example for reality tunnels:

Our perceptual system unconsciously filters out the vast majority of information available to us. Because of this filtering process, we actually experience only a tiny trickle of information, by some estimates a trillionth of what is actually out there. And yet from that trickle our minds construct what we expect to see.


The post is little longer than an ordinary blog post but anyway, it is worth reading. Here is the link: What Gorilla?: Why Some Can't See Psychic Phenomena.

Leon F. Seltzer's articles would make a good psychology school

Since the die-hard fundamentalist scientist Satoshi Kanazawa's rantings about men and women on Psychology Today, I continue to follow blogs over there. Fortunately, not all Psychology Today's bloggers are as biased as him.

I would like you to meet with the articles of Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. He is blogging about self-development. His blog's name is Evolution of the self.



Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D., who holds doctorates in both English and Psychology, has been in private practice since 1986 and is the author of numerous publications--including the guide book, Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy.


His latest article series is titled From Parent-Pleasing to People-Pleasing: The Journey Away from Self and the Way Back. This link goes to the third and the last in the series.

Another notable article from him is The Line of Least Resistance--Is It Really the Line of Most Resistance?

I am still reading him, not yet finished with all of his posts. I think to myself that this guy would make an excellent teacher for a psychology school. Psychotherapy is so abstract. It is very real in both academic and the everyday sense of the word however it is not really easy to grasp.

I don't believe that all psychology doctorate degree programs make it possible to get the hang of human experience and essence.

I don't necessarily mean the treatment of depression and anxiety or just being able to diagnose it. Depression and anxiety symptoms are everywhere to learn. You can learn them anywhere. Anybody can learn them really quickly.

On the other hand, dealing with human psyche requires a different level of depth in mind. I believe Mr. Seltzer has seized that depth and he can understand the mind and the prisons it prepares for itself carefully over time.

Max Planck said:

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

There are no bad girls, there are no good girls


When it comes to relationships, there are a few basic things that you should know and be sure about them. Like with any and every topic concerning emotions, there are a great amount of conspiracy running about relationships, especially the behavior of women in relationships.

Yesterday, I have read the fud (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about relationship issues that Mr. Kazanawa (see his picture above) has to spread. In his blog on Psychology Today's website, he is posting seemingly scientific hard facts about men and women and how they tend to behave in a relationship.

I have commented on his post too, however I tend to attempt ad hominem and blame him in person because of the feelings his writing provides. However, I believe that here I can explain some of the phenomena and why we have to think more analytically than science do.

Here is the link to Satoshi Kanazawa's post: Men do everything they do in order to get laid III

Here is my comment on that post:

This is scientific minimalism...
Submitted by Osman S Borutecene on August 1, 2008 - 11:23pm.

...and that is why your blog is titled as "The Scientific Fundamentalist". It is true, Mr Kanazawa, you are a fundamentalist and most probably you are a naive realist too. This is the hard truth.

Having statistical data in hand is not sufficient for your conclusions.


Before going on, I suggest you to read his post but there is this one paragraph from the post that can summarize a lot of his thinking:

In reality, however, women do often say no to men. (In my experience, they always do.) This is why men throughout history have had to conquer foreign lands, win battles and wars, compose symphonies, author books, write sonnets, paint portraits and cathedral ceilings, make scientific discoveries, play in rock bands, and write new computer software, in order to impress women so that they will agree to have sex with them. There would be no civilization, no art, no literature, no music, no Beatles, no Microsoft, if sex and mating were a male choice. Men have built (and destroyed) civilizations in order to impress women so that they might say yes. Women are the reason men do everything.


And here is another excerpt from another post of him about "why handsome men make bad husbands" that also helps summarizing his scientific belief:

All men may want to pursue the cad strategy; however, their choice of the mating strategy is constrained by female choice. Men do not get to decide with whom to have sex; women do. And women disproportionately seek out handsome men for their short-term mates for their good genes. Even women who are already married benefit from short-term mating with handsome men if they could successfully fool their husbands into investing in the resulting offspring. The women then get the best of both worlds: Their children carry the high-quality genes of their handsome lover and receive the parental investment of their unknowingly cuckolded but resourceful husband. (In order to help the women accomplish this, evolution has designed women to be more likely to have sex with their lovers when they are ovulating and therefore fertile, and have sex with their husbands when they are not.)


This is a belief system. There is a high proportion of fear, uncertainty and doubt about women in this belief system. This view is so wide that many men's magazines build their readership on that. There is a vast majority of literature and other industry that promotes the evil women. Maybe one famous piece of this is the famous Opera "La donna รจ mobile" by Guiseppe Verdi which translates as "woman is fickle".

Although there are many examples, both personal and scientific about how woman fickle, what most men understand from that is just how dangerous being in a relationship with any woman can be.

As I said, this creates a belief system where no one can have trust in women. This is non-sense. Statistics are plain lies on that issue and people have a corrupt perspective on that matter.

However, the literature of "affairs never have a happy ending" is more famous than the literature of "they lived happily ever after" just because emotional pain leads to more hyperactivity to write about it.

In fact, women are not evil. I don't believe that there are any difference in evilness among women and men. This is just a problem of humanity and it is not different among men and women neither in quality nor in quantity.

Research on dating, relationships, mating could be able to show reference and evidence on how women behave unfaithfully because there are a lot of bias, prejudice and hindsight behind them. Moreover, even if they are true for the space and time they occur, reaching a generalization from them is ignorance.

I have a lot to say about this, but in the meantime, I really wonder what you think. I am going to post on that issue again this week. For a clue and as today's early conclusion, let me say just this: There are no bad girls, there are no good girls. There are only our own reality tunnel and moods that makes us think so at one time and think different at another time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pros and cons of online counseling and psychotherapy

Online counseling or online psychotherapy services certainly can help your personal development and provide mental health treatment for your psychological problems.

Since an online counselor or psychotherapist cannot really see you in person, this can prevent their ability to evaluate your difficulties in life. Psychotherapists make use of your body language very often. This is a very valuable data for them.

On the other hand, since our thinking is mainly (in fact completely) based on language, online counseling and psychotherapy has not much lacking in terms of healing your thinking or any possible psychological disorder.

The treatment that online therapy offers can be evaluated mainly as cognitive behavior therapy. A psychoanalytical or a dynamic approach could not be available through online services because they require the presence of the therapst and the client at the same room.

So, you can make a choice, you can differentiate online therapy and therapy in a room in terms of the psychological disorder or uneasiness that you want to work on.

If you are in depression and your depression is related to cognitive distortions then online therapy may be very helpful on that. However, if your depression is rooted in past events, I would doubt that you can work on that online.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And now George Orwell has a blog too


‘When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page’, wrote George Orwell, in his 1939 essay on Charles Dickens.

From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell’s face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.


This is from Orwell's blog. The Orwell prize is publishing George Orwell's diaries on Wordpress.com beginning on 9th August 2008.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

W. Trailer

W. is Oliver Stone's latest movie. It is about George W. Bush, the present president of the U.S. I am really eager to see the movie. I hope to write more about Oliver Stone later on. Here is the trailer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Body art



This is one of the 16 photos on linkinn, The Amazing Body Art. I am not really sure if those photos are photoshopped but they look nice. Unfortunately there is no link or no credits to the original source. I hate this, I am sensitive towards intellectual property but anyway, this is the web de-facto. I wish to see more people paying attention to giving proper credits and citations.

Religious intolerance in Canada

This is something happening in Toronto, Canada in the year 2008. Not a hundred years or a thousand years ago. To see religious intolerance in this age is interesting. This also means that humanity does not show progress in civilization just because time is passing.

Organizers of the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant for 2008 invited Stephanie Conover, 23, (Miss Canada Plus 2007) to be one of their judges. In an unusual show of religious bigotry, they later decided that she was unfit to serve as a judge because of her hobbies. Director of the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant notes that hers is a private organization, receives no government funds and thus can discriminate on any grounds that they wish. Public reaction to their decision was intensely negative.

Ms Conover is the first known beauty queen who is openly Neopagan.


Read more here: Religious intolerance in Canada

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Koko the gorilla



I have heard of Koko a couple of years ago. Koko is a female gorilla born on July 4, 1971, in San Francisco, California. She has a website.

Koko uses sign language and understands spoken English. According to information on her website, she participated The Gorilla Language Project and became very successful:

During the course of the study, Koko has advanced further with language than any other non-human. Koko has a working vocabulary of over 1000 signs. Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. Koko initiates the majority of conversations with her human companions and typically constructs statements averaging three to six words. Koko has a tested IQ of between 70 and 95 on a human scale, where 100 is considered "normal." Michael, the male silverback gorilla who grew up with Koko, had a working vocabulary of over 600 signs.


I feel the urge to remind you that any average American person today uses just about 250 to 500 words to communicate in everyday language.

Koko has a photo blog where you can see many images of her.

Koko is working with Dr. Penny Patterson:


Her teacher, Dr. Penny Patterson, began working with Koko as a Ph.D. project at Stanford, thinking it would only be a 4-year study.

Thirty-some years later, Penny and Koko continue to work together at the Gorilla Foundation in one of the longest interspecies communication studies ever conducted, the only one with gorillas. Koko now has a vocabulary of over 1000 signs, and understands even more spoken English.


When I had a look at Koko over Wikipedia, I came across with funny news:

Koko has been involved in several sexual harassment lawsuits. At least three female former employees have claimed that they were pressured into showing their breasts to Koko. They alleged that Patterson encouraged the behavior, often interpreted Koko's signs as requests for nipple display, and let them know that their job would be in danger if they "did not indulge Koko's nipple fetish." Koko has been known to playfully grab both male and female nipples without warning or provocation. Patterson claims that Koko uses the word "nipple" to refer to humans.

All claims of harassment have been permanently dropped as of November 21, 2005 after the foundation and the parties involved reached a settlement.

Jody Weiner, Koko's lawyer, writes about Koko and sexual harassment in the book Kinship With Animals.


Nevertheless, it is interesting to see an intelligent gorilla. Koko, without doubt, is more intelligent than many people in this world.

The art of Carly Monardo



This is Carly Monardo. She is doing illustrations, portraits and character drawings. She is also blogging.

Here is two selections from her work. You can see the rest of her work on her website.



Forensic Psychology Dictionary

Here is a short, hands-on, online dictionary for the psychology enthusiast:

The Online Forensic Psychology Dictionary

Gene Partner

I have recently came across Gene Partner, a website with the tag line "Love is no coincidence". To me, it looks like a scene from a science-fiction movie but it is there and is real. I haven't tested it though.

Here is how they define themselves:

GenePartner is a formula to match men and women by analyzing specific genes in their DNA.

At GenePartner we are dedicated to help you find your ideal life partner. Our formula is based on research on hundreds of couples and analyzes the pattern of genetic combinations found in successful relationships. Using this formula we will determine the probability for a satisfying and long-lasting romantic relationship between two people.

This probability is highest when two people are genetically compatible.

Social violence harms people deeper than physical violence



I recently read a post from Rebellious Arab Girl about traditions and close mindedness.

Her post reminded me of the deep difficulty that stems from social violence. Social violence is not recognized as much as physical violence. There is even no article about it on Wikipedia.

When you are confronted with physical violence, it is very obvious that the other party is misbehaving. You have physical evidence for that. In social violence however, you have no physical evidence of the harm you get.

For instance, Stockholm Syndrome, in my opinion, is mostly caused by social violence. This is a phenomena of the human mind.

I wrote several times that I see no difference between the physical and the metaphysical. Here, I would like to remind you the same non-sense distinction that we make between when someone is yelling you and someone is hitting you. When someone beats you, we find this more serious in comparison to shouting, yelling (that is social violence, in the sense of opposite of the physical), etc.

In fact, both are types of violence and both are equally serious in results. Social violence maybe more harmful because it is simply not visible.

photo credits: voltio

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keith Barry on TED

I've heard about Keith Barry a couple of times but I really haven't paid attention to what he does. Here in this video, he is doing some magic and really surprises the audience.

From TED's website:

About this talk

First, Keith Barry shows us how our brains can fool our bodies -- in a trick that works via podcast too. Then he involves the audience in some jaw-dropping (and even a bit dangerous) feats of brain magic.

About Keith Barry

Think of Keith Barry as a hacker of the human brain -- writing routines that exploit its bugs and loopholes, and offering a revealing look at the software between our ears.


Camille Allen's babies



Camille Allen is making babies out of professional sculpture's clay. Here she tells how she does that (read more on her website).

I use various kinds of professional doll sculptors' clay to make the babies. The babies have soft English mohair to imitate fine baby hair and are blushed with paints for realism to enhance their tiny wrinkles and creases.

Starting from detailed photographs and a lump of clay, sculpting a lifesize or miniature baby begins. It takes many, many hours of patient concentration to form a realistic baby and finish with fine details - including wrinkles and fingernails.


She also makes babies in natural, life size. They are also for sale. You can see more of her work on her online gallery.

Illustrations of Matthew Woodson



Here is a piece of Matthew Woodson's Illustrations. You can see more of them at his gallery.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Magritte's Clairvoyance and positive thinking



I have always loved Magritte and his work. I find his work provocative. Here is one of his paintings named Clairvoyance.

I wonder how many people would imagine this when they look to an egg. I don't mean the creativity here, I mean the psychological aspect of it. Suppose that everybody is as creative as Magritte to see an outcome of an egg but what would they think of when they see it?

What do you expect from an egg, if you try free association?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The work of Beth Cavener Stichter



Beth Cavener Stichter makes very interesting sculptures. See the gallery.

This man is working on eggs



See more for yourself.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nathan Sawaya's lego art



I was interested in lego when I was a child. It was a big turn on when the construction kits of lego were being introduced in 80's. Then I lost my interest in them. Today, people do many things with lego. It is no more limited with being a toy for children. Above is a picture of one of Nathan Sawaya's works with lego.

You can see more photos at haha.nu

Daniel Rozin's interactive mirrors



Daniel Rozin is an interactive artist, dealing mostly with interactive, creative mirrors. I think he has a great imagination. Here is some information on him and on his mirrors that I have taken from his website.

Mechanical Mirrors:
The mechanical mirrors are made of various materials but share the same behavior and interaction; any person standing in front of one of these pieces is instantly reflected on its surface. The mechanical mirrors all have video cameras, motors and computers on board and produce a soothing sound as the viewer interacts with them.


From his bio:

Daniel Rozin is an artist, educator and developer, working in the area of interactive digital art. As an interactive artist Rozin creates installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and point of view of the viewer. In many cases the viewer becomes the contents of the piece and in others the viewer is invited to take an active role in the creation of the piece. Even though computers are often used in Rozin's work, they are seldom visible.

Choose anger over anxiety

Fear, anxiety and anger are relatives. In my mind, they look like brothers. I don't know which one is the older brother and which one is the younger but I am sure they are related and so is psychology.

When you get anxious (it is not fear but something similar to fear, information for those of you aliens out there who haven't had an experience of anxiety), there are sure reasons. Those reasons are most probably the ones that would make you angry. Somehow, anger gets opressed and turns into fear or anxiety.

Anxiety can be so strong - like it is in panic attacks - that you cannot keep your mind together at the moment and can't think logically. If you could, I am sure you would find out that you are angry towards something or somebody.

Anger is better than anxiety because anger serves a purpose, it is functional. If not excessive, it will lead you to proper behavior and make you out of the situation that gives you anger. However, anxiety's only function may be considered as a warning to you. Other functions of anxiety is making you sick all over.

We live in a society somehow. We are not alone. We have roommates, neighbors, colleagues etc. that we have to get along with. Now, in this community type of life, conflicts emerge. At this time, you have to be assertive to explain your arguments. A certain amount of anger will help you to be assertive enough. Anxiety will do the opposite. Moreover, anxiety will lead you to depression if it becomes persistent.

So, work on yourself, study yourself and find your fears and aggressions. Then control them. This may be a long process. If it takes to long to no availability, consider consulting talk therapy. It would help you understand yourself faster.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Atheism and the paranormal

I would like to talk about how atheism is not related with not-believing in paranormal things. According to Wikipedia:

Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods, or the rejection of theism. It is also defined more broadly as synonymous with any form of nontheism, including the simple absence of belief in deities.


Now, once I was brainstorming with myself about dark magic and whether dark magic's existence should be an indicator that god exists. I thought so because dark magic in many major religions is performed through entities that are defined and described in holy books, for instance jinn (genie) in Koran. That was back in a time where I was unaware of the quantum phenomena and my religious culture was not as rich as it is now.

Recently, I don't think that the existence of dark magic entails the existance of god (or any other unique, lonely creator whatsoever). Here, I am not putting any argument towards the existence of god. Neither pro nor contra. This is not the question I am trying to answer at that moment in this post.

I am talking about something else, I am emphasizing a distinction, an analytic approach. There may be demons, fairies, genie regardless of the existence of an organized religion and any god that can be associated to it.

I am telling all these because of the fact that many people tend to hold many irrelevant bits and pieces of occult information together.

I see somebody talking about the law of attraction and then move to some other paranormal topic like UFOs, life after death, telepathy or telekinesis etc. just after two paragraphs. This sounds non-sense. People approach to those topics like as if they are being sold together in a market. You have to buy all of them, you can't just be interested in life after death, you also have to be interested in UFOs.

So, this is a huge non-sense. And when an atheist does reject some paranormal phenomena just because he rejects the existence of god, then this is a logical fallacy. This is not a pack of thought that you have to choose. We don't have to choose what we will believe in among packages of predetermined, prepared thought.

Thus, you can be an atheist and a mystic person at the same time. This is crystal clear to me, two irrelevant notions are really irrelevant.

Just to provide an analytic approach to how we think.

Sally Collison, a yachting photographer



Have a look at the nice work of Sally Collison.

Art out of trash



This is an interesting exhibition. Maybe I should say a new technique in sculpture. Or pop art. Or anyway. Here it is. This sculptures can be seen only when their shades are reflected on a wall.

See more

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ben Franklin effect

Now that's interesting. Although I like to approach such ideas with suspicion, I still would like to share:

When we do a person a favor, we tend to like them more as a result. This is because we justify our actions to ourselves that we did them a favor because we liked them.

Benjamin Franklin himself said, "He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged."

The reverse effect is also true, and we come to hate our victims, which helps to explain wartime atrocities. We de-humanize the enemy, which decrease the dissonance of killing and other things in which we would never normally indulge.


source: http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/ben_franklin_effect.htm

Wikipedia also has this effect covered.

Peter Callesen's beautiful paperwork



Above is one of them. It is easy to say that he is very skilled on manipulating paper. What you see above is ordinary A4 paper. He has also work done on water, snow and ice as well as drawings.

Here is his website where you can see his selected work: http://www.petercallesen.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Amit Goswami talks about Quantum Physics and Consciousness

Here is an interview with Amit Goswami, in three parts from Youtube.





stickynoteblog

stickynoteblog is a new video blog on youtube. Go see it. This is Elle from Canada, she is 19 and she is really creative. Here is her latest video in which she announces her twitter account:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Debugging the perception about mysticism

Well, there are many things in my mind that I would like to share here. Before that, I feel the need to debug your perspective.

When somebody talks about anything mystic, there is this naive realism which takes people away from freeing their mind and understand what is told.

Of course there are many nonsense piece of articles that deals with really stupid stuff. This is one reason why this corrupt perspective emerges.

One argument is that some people are interested in mystic, occult knowledge because they are not happy in life. For some people, this may be true but not for everybody.

Another argument is that what is told is not compatible with science. This argument is so poor. People that do not follow contemporary science, usually evaluate mystical thinking according to past scientific knowledge. This past scientific knowledge is mainly based on Newtonian thinking.

People need to be aware of contemporary science. Modern physicists like Fred Alan Wolf, Amit Goswami and many other scientists claim that traditional science is not able to research and understand many of its recent findings.

Contemporary science clearly tells us that we need a new way of thinking, new perspectives.

So, be warned :) What I tell here time to time may disturb your reality but there is a high probability that what I tell you is the newest truth that we have :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

moodr: what's in a name?

Well, I named this blog moodr for several reasons. One basic reason is, when I bought the domain name moodr, this r like in flickr, zoomr, etc. was very popular in the sense of web 2.0 but that was just the explanation for the r part.

Let's come to the mood of moodr.

I observed myself and other people for years. I have seen that we all act in certain moods and this mood is changeable all the time. I have never been a deterministic person. I never had this deterministic perspective. So I don't mean that we don't act according to will. I mean that we are mostly unaware of what we want, what we feel, how we behave according those wants and our will. We just act in a certain way and this certain way "constantly differs". Every mood has its own memory and personality (characteristics). This is why you behave different when you are spending time with your parents and when you are spending time with your friends. Moods are different.

Moods also change by time. By those changes in mood, I am not talking about multiple personality disorder or I am not talking about mood disorder. Those changes are experienced by everybody and every time.

So, moreover, our moods determine our reality. They determine the reality we perceive. Monday syndrome is something you experience according to your mood. Its not because it is Monday. Its because of your mood. The effect of weather on your feeling changes according to your mood. You don't always feel miserable under a stormy night and you don't always feel happy under a sunny, shiny day.

Therefore, moodr. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yet another reality tunnel

Last year, I was searching articles on quantum physics. I found a book called Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson. In a part of that book, he was talking about something he called "reality tunnels". He says that everybody abstracts a different reality. He pointed to the fact that when a person comes into a room, she abstracts the reality she is prepared to abstract.

He doesn't mean that we are just dreaming. He just means that there are maybe thousands pieces of things in a room and everybody sees and perceives different tens of things in a room.

Having said that, let's come to my reality tunnel. This is a blog I have created to express my reality tunnel. I can say that I've got plenty of blogging experience. Recently, I came across some technical problems with my self-hosted wordpress blogs and I saw that as a clear sign telling me to start something new. This starting something new was in my mind for a long time. Maybe this is the time to start.