Tag Archives: P300 Waves

The Beneficial Effects of Achieving Mind Reopenability

Volume 3, Issue 42

Gaining the yogic power to control what are now self-propelled functions within your being is an end in itself. The point of this little story is not aimed at reopening your mind for the purpose of flooding it with my ideas. When you gain mastery over any previously involuntary aspect of yourself, your ability to stay in Flow state increases.

Here on Earth at this time there is a pandemic cognitive bias toward closure in the face of the very number of things our minds have to deal with every day, 99% of them distractive.

Acceleritis is my neologism to denote the condition of being cognitively and emotionally overwhelmed by the accelerating information stimuli our brains contend with every moment of every day. My theory is that written language 6000 years ago was the trigger, leading to tools, weapons, and media — the three historic shocks that created the modern trance characterized by Acceleritis. The metric by which this can now be tracked going forward would be the number of P300 waves detected in the average human brain per day, which I hypothesize is continuing to increase. These waves occur when experience deviates from expectations, causing surprise and attention. I dub the stimuli causing P300 waves as “question-producing” stimuli relative to that individual at that time.

Because of Acceleritis we yearn for closure. We can easily become irritated or even angry when we are feeling mentally overloaded and someone asks us a question or begins to speak about something in a way we sense will require us to give attention to something else on top of what we are already dealing with. All the little details between us and our priorities madden us and so closure becomes a subconscious goal energized by more and more invested neuronal motivation weight.

This makes reopening our mind on any subject something that we generally refuse to do in earnest. If someone asks us to reopen our minds we might pretend to do so, humoring the person as politely as possible.

You can test this for yourself within your own mind and emotional body. Pick a subject you feel strongly about, perhaps some religious or political issue that means a lot to you and into which your idealism has been channeled. Or perhaps pick your visceral distaste for some political figure, or a strong negative feeling you have about some person you know. By act of will, just to prove to yourself that you can do it, reopen your mind to the possibility that you are wrong about that subject. Actually feel the internal resistance morph into willingness to reconsider.

Evidence that you have achieved this would include hearing yourself think of a few persuasive arguments as to the view opposing the one you have held. The proof that you have actually reopened your mind is a feeling, however. It is a feeling of lightness, calm, freedom, being more present than usual, an ability to let your mind go anywhere, objectivity, clarity, a sense of being superior to your normal self. You may be more conscious of your breath, and of having choices, creativity and control over your future. You yourself are now in perspective as being far more important than the relative trivia to which you have been bound. You will know it when you feel it. You will know that your mind is really reopened, at least on that issue. This is a useful exercise. It can be used often, particularly when you are out of sorts about something. At those times, locate the source of the irritation and see whether a belief you have is making you vulnerable to something you could be invulnerable to, by reopening your mind about that belief. 

To demonstrate, let’s try it on me. One of my strongest intuitions/hypotheses is that One Consciousness is all that exists and, by biocomputer partitioning, that One Self is able to live through all things in the universe that it created out of Itself.

This picture of the universe supports my intuition that each individual deserves respect, that there ought to be equality of opportunity. The cosmology of One Self, even considered open-mindedly as a real possibility, pragmatically encourages the individual to be alert to possible beneficial yet subtle messages in surrounding occurrences, and to be alert to one’s own subtle guidance system of hunches. This model balances Individualism and Collectivism in making logical that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, and at the same time making logical that in the long run certain individuals could do more good for the many. This map of reality tends to open the heart to other people, and leads to optimism.

Despite my ardor for this theory, however, I can reopen my mind to the possibility that Accidental Materialism is true, that consciousness is an emergent self-referential characteristic dependent upon the number of neuronal connections a brain can make, and that everything came about by random collisions of subatomic particles.

As unlikely as I feel the latter to be, I can open my mind to the fact that it is absolutely possible. As a scientist I can defer final closure on the subject until there is adequate evidence to lock in one view. Yet even then I can leave open the chance that better science in the future could change that too. Despite being as flooded as everyone else with too many things to think about, I can attest that relaxing the need for closure entirely is a useful state 

Interestingly, however, from a Game Theory point of view, I still feel it is more practical to act as if my model of the universe is true, and thus Accidental Materialism is false. Whether the One Self view is true or not, living in that viewpoint has already made me a happier person enjoying life more, and apparently tapping into more subtle clues, as evidenced by the number of ideas I’ve had that turned out to be successful in the media business.

If Accidental Materialism is true, then when I die, I will never know I was wrong. If the One Self view is true, then when I die, I will know I was right. In the absence of certainty, Game Theory suggests the One Self model is more pragmatic, and leads to more pleasure when one is cognizant of it. If there is no penalty at the end or along the way, why not live in paradise, even if it could ultimately be a “fool’s paradise”?

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Humanism and the Conscious Universe: Impacts on Decision Making

Volume 3, Issue 15

In our last post we began to clarify the main themes of this blog and their inter-relationships. Ultimately our purpose is to help you make better decisions and to spend more time in the more effective states of consciousness where better decision making happens automatically. How does our Theory of the Conscious Universe help you achieve that?

Motivations are the drivers of all decisions. You don’t know what decision to make until you have a goal, objective, desired end state, or whatever name you wish to put on it. Your view of reality itself is what shapes your motivations. Therein lays the primal linkage between a worldview and decision making.

On the surface, the motivations are similar between two individuals, one of whom is a dedicated Humanist, and one of whom lives and experiences the Conscious Universe. Both have the highest ethical standards as regards human beings. Both are capable of holding the nose of their ethics and pulling the trigger on a Hitler or Bin Laden. So why not leave Humanists as they are, and leave out the idea of a Conscious Universe? Would that not be a more Occam’s Razor elegant solution to improving decision making?

After all, this Conscious Universe stuff is sure to turn some people off, seeming to be religion. Religious people who feel brand exclusivity for their beliefs are most certainly going to be wary of our theory. So why create barriers to the acceptance of the Human Effectiveness Institute toolware (improving decision making, optimizing consciousness, and enabling Observer state and the Zone or Flow state) that can be of great benefit to everyone (regardless of their religious beliefs)?

Our theory of the Conscious Universe is not religion, by the way, as it does not extol faith but is instead predictive and testable, i.e. a scientific theory that we are all one software-driven entity. Our recommendation is to believe nothing but to keep one’s mind open to everything not ruled out by science.

Let’s face it: it’s already pretty bold, without sufficient academic credentials (mere degree in philosophy, lifetime of applied social science i.e. media research), to put forth a theory that explains the ego as a sub-sentience that takes over the self, and to offer toolware that enables the real self to take back over, creating a state of Holosentience where the whole self is working together in the higher states of consciousness, Observer state and ultimately Flow state. This is the basis for our nonprofit work in improving decision making. Interestingly, the toolware appears to work, according to letters from more than 2000 Mind Magic readers.

It is even more daring to claim that a condition of Acceleritis has existed since cave paintings and written language caused a shift 6000 years ago into Piaget’s Formal Operational level for the human race. Inventiveness has run wild, causing information overload defined as the number of question-producing sensory impressions (proposed metric: P300 waves received by the average human per day.

Why then not leave it at that rather than go further and expound a theory of reality? Do we know no bounds?

There are two reasons why it’s worth opening Pandora’s Box. One is that in the hunt for truth, one cannot be shy. If a person stumbles upon something that seems worth saying, it should be said, and not held back out of timidity. It’s better to be shown that one is wrong than to choke back one’s deepest intuitions.

The other reason is purely practical.  We are attempting to improve decision making in a world that is racing through a thicket of complexity. The fact is, the Humanist and one who is consciously living in the Conscious Universe do not act identically in all circumstances. There is for one thing a huge gap in the way they respectively make use of their intuition or hunches — both being the same thing. More on this in our next post.

Best to all,

Bill

 

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at  Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

Do Something Different this Advertising Week

Volume 2, Issue 25

Can You Make a Quantum Leap in Your Own Creativity?

If you’re in Manhattan the first week of October, it’s likely you will be attending some of the great events that will be happening as part of Advertising Week. The one event that is totally different from all the others will be the first-ever ARF Creativity Playshop led by myself and Richard Zackon, the formidable facilitator of the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). From 8AM to noon on Wednesday, October 3, come join us to stimulate your mind in some new directions conducive to breakthrough thinking. This will be an intensive immersion with groundbreaking participatory experiments that have the power to change your ways of engaging challenges and opportunities at work and everywhere.

Before the event, participants will receive the Human Effectiveness Institute 60 Day Course consisting of a book, a DVD, and a guide; a Playbook designed by Richard Zackon and myself to capture realizations stimulated by the pre-event-through-post-event process; a questionnaire to set your own goals and to later measure the extent to which they were reached; and the Xyte self-profiling instrument, which is a sensitive new litmus paper test to discern your strengths in mental/emotive processing.

During the event, the many sides of creativity will be explored in a participatory manner. Creativity is a complex cluster of dimensions, like intelligence. We know now that intelligence is not a single variable but dozens of interacting skillsets — some cognitive, some emotional, some perceptual, and many intuitive. Creativity is a special case of intelligence involving thinking the unthinkable, transcending one’s own ingrained ideas and style. In order to effect real and positive change, we won’t just talk about these subjects, we will use exercises by which each participant can find their inner truths regarding these subjects, thus creating the environment in which you will be able to discover for yourself how you tick and the levers you can pull to improve upon your strengths and transmute “weaknesses” into strengths.

Not all of the conversation will be about creativity since underpinning creativity are deep layers of mental behavior that themselves constrain or potentiate creativity at the conscious level. So there will be bold theoretic investigations into P300 waves, Observer state, Flow state (the Zone) and other subjects you’ve seen dissected here before, presented in a more comprehensive and systematic manner than blogposts allow.

We will look at obstacles, obstructions to and distractions from creativity, and how to get around them.

The Playshop will be at ARF HQ on Park Avenue and will be part of the Masters Classes offered by ARF University. It’s not called a workshop because the whole point will be that Flow state does not happen if you are focused fearfully on some outcome, the Zone happens when you are enjoying what you are doing for its own sake. We will be there to have fun together, it will be a “play date” and we will all have permission to let it all hang out. Hope I can persuade many of you, my special friends, to be there and to add your own life’s unique realizations, insights and perspectives to the party.

Best to all,

Bill

The Acceleritis™ Theory

My studies have led to this theory I’d like to share with you. Like all theories it sprang into being to answer some question. In this case the question was, “How is it that the human race has managed to bungle things to quite this degree?”

In short, my theory is that it’s Acceleritis™ — a pandemic shock reaction to information overload.

For years we media researchers have been estimating how many ads a person sees in a given day. Ed Papazian did it and so did I. Not hard, given that monitoring and rating services provide benchmarks for making macro estimates.

I added the notion of estimating the other events impinging on consciousness in everyman’s and everywoman’s typical day. There I used a reducing rule (for ads too), that to qualify as experiential, the event would have to be consciously noticed by consciousness. This can be measured by EEG P300 waves — the brain signature for noticing that some sensory information differs from expectation. The challenging ethnographic research is yet to be done (and can never measure the past), but some preliminary estimates have been made.

Imagine being a shepherd a mere 400 years ago. The P300 waves you would normally get in a day would be centered around human interactions, and even those would tend to be predictable, and so you could go through quite a few human interactions with familiar people without any P300 waves. Sometimes animal life, the weather, plant life, the stars and moon would do unpredictable things, though less often than people are unpredictable. Rarely, there would be something truly extraordinary like a plague or an invasion that would give you a huge spike in P300 waves.

Making assumptions such as these we began to cautiously construct the graph below. The numbers are undoubtedly wrong but are probably directionally right.

With the vertical scale having to deal in large numbers because of the recent past, the small numbers of daily P300s is so low that it’s hard to see a line until after the printing press. As the population makes a startling shift to big cities in the first half of the 20th Century, and as cinema, radio, newspapers, magazines, and outdoor signs proliferate, the rate goes up to est. 3000 noticed events per day by 1950. Something like 500 of these being ads. Another 1500 or so being evoked by media program/editorial portions — mostly radio and print at that time.

From 1950-1990 TV, with its dominance of nonworking awake time, brings the pressure up to est. 15,000. From 1990-2010 the ubiquitous Internet and Mobile, plus the cultural shift to multitasking, raises it to an est. 40,000.

This is 1000X higher than when we started "texting" only 6000 years ago. Prior to text (written language) our oral-only language was a powerful communication tool, allowing us to cooperate in the hunt to become initially successful as a warrior race (at war initially with predators), and to cooperate in tool development. Written language then moved language into the visual sense, which happens to be the dominant sense of all primates including the apes and us. This effectively kicked off Acceleritis.

In the last 6000 years — a mere 300 generations — we have been inventing things at an accelerated rate, and these things now change society more than once a year — sometimes it feels like once a day, and it seems to be headed there.

This is why I consider psychotechnology, which prepares people with techniques to stay focused through complexity, to be so important.

All the best, Bill

Estimates of Noticed Events