for July, 2017

Goin’ Gangam & Plague

Friday, July 28th, 2017

How memes take over the world: Study finds viral content spreads ‘just like bubonic plague’

  • Researchers studied the spread of Psy’s globally popular ‘Gangnam Style’ video
  • They found it the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages
  • This ‘wavelike’ pattern vanished in the 20th century buthas returned with memes

Viral content such as memes, songs, tweets, and videos really are the modern day plague.

A team of researchers who set out to learn how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages.

The team from Eotvos University in Budapest discovered that, like the the plague, memes begin at a specific place and time, and because they transfer person-to-person, follow a ‘wavelike spreading pattern.’

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Geo-locations of Twitter messages containing ‘Gangnam Style' showed how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages

Geo-locations of Twitter messages containing ‘Gangnam Style’ showed how social internet phenomenons spread like wildfire discovered the dispersion mimics the infectious diseases of the middle ages

This wavelike form of spreading seemingly vanished in the 20th century when air travel suddenly allowed diseases to jump continents – but the researchers say internet content is the modern day example of epidemics like the Black Death, which traveled across Europe at about two kilometers a day killing between 35 and 200 million.

‘Our assumption is that only those online viral phenomena can show similarities to global pandemics that were originally constrained to a well localized, limited region and then, after an outbreak period reached a worldwide level of penetration, the researchers wrote in their paper, titled ‘Video Pandemics: Worldwide Viral Spreading of Psy’s Gangnam Style Video.’

HOW PSY WENT VIRAL

Psy released the video in South Korea on July 15, 2012.

Prior, he was relatively unknown outside of the country.

‘Gangnam Style’ was the first video in internet history to reach 1 million views.

It was also the first to reach 2 million views and, at one point, was the most liked video on YouTube.

It was the first k-pop song to top the UK charts.

It now ranks second in YouTube views after Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See you Again.’

 The example lead researcher Zsofia Kallus and his colleagues looked to was Psy’s famed ‘Gangam Style,’ the 2012 k-pop video that organically spread across the globe and eventually became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. (Today it has nearly three million).
This wavelike form of spreading seemingly vanished in the 20th century  - but the researchers say internet content is the modern day example of epidemics like the Black Death, which traveled across Europe at about two kilometers a day killing between 35 and 200 million

The spread of information is distorted by social media networks, which raises the question of whether it is really wavelike or fundamentally different – so to solve the mystery, they tracked the spread of the video by searching the historical Twitter stream for geolocated tweets that mention ‘Gangnam Style.’

‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads.

‘In the real space this process looks indeed random, but the ‘local to global’ transition is also apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory.’

The data shows that after immediately becoming popular in Psy’s home country of South Korea, the video spread nearby to the Philippines.

The spread thereafter looks random, but that’s because ‘effectiveness distance’ – or the strength of links from one area to another – is they key factor rather than ‘geographic distance’.

'Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,' the paper reads, saying the seemingly random 'local to global' transition becomes apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory

‘Location information allows us to record the approximate arrival time of a certain news to a specific geo-political region,’ the paper reads, saying the seemingly random ‘local to global’ transition becomes apparent as the messages cover a progressively larger territory

When 'Gangnam Style' hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links

When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links

When ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Phillippnes, for example, it was able to begin spreading more quickly because it has stronger links to the rest of the world and deeper English language links.

When the team crosschecked their results by searching Google Trends to see when people first searched for the term ‘Gangnam Style’  in different parts of the world., the results matched the Twitter finds exactly.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4740482/Memes-spreading-just-like-bubonic-plague.html#ixzz4o9gDJwTD
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Consciousness in the Universe

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

The Universe May Be Conscious, Prominent Scientists State

Article Image
Net of Being. Alex Grey.

What consciousness is and where it emanates from has stymied great minds in societies across the globe since the dawn of speculation. In today’s world, it’s a realm tackled more and more by physicists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists. There are a few prevailing theories. The first is materialism. This is the notion that consciousness emanates from matter, in our case, by the firing of neurons inside the brain.

Take the brain out of the equation and consciousness doesn’t exist at all. Traditionally, scientists have been stalwart materialists. But doing so has caused them to slam up against the limitations of materialism. Consider the chasm between relativity and quantum mechanics, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and you quickly start to recognize these incongruities.

The second theory is mind-body dualism. This is perhaps more often recognized in religion or spirituality. Here, consciousness is separate from matter. It is a part of another aspect of the individual, which in religious terms we might call the soul. Then there’s a third option which is gaining ground in some scientific circles, panpsychism. In this view, the entire universe is inhabited by consciousness.

A handful of scientists are starting to warm to this theory, but it’s still a matter of great debate. Truth be told, panpsychism sounds very much like what the Hindus and Buddhists call the Brahman, the tremendous universal Godhead of which we are all a part. In Buddhism for instance, consciousness is the only thing that exists.

Such is the focus of the famous Zen koan, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” One must come to the realization that everything we experience is filtered through and interpreted by our mind. Without it, the universe doesn’t exist at all or at least, not without some sort of consciousness observing it. In some physics circles, the prevailing theory is some kind of proto-consciousness field.

Is consciousness derived from an invisible field that inhabits our universe? Getty Images.

In quantum mechanics, particles don’t have a definite shape or specific location, until they are observed or measured. Is this a form of proto-consciousness at play? According to the late scientist and philosopher, John Archibald Wheeler, it might. He’s famous for coining the term, “black hole.” In his view, every piece of matter contains a bit of consciousness, which it absorbs from this proto-consciousness field.

He called his theory the “participatory anthropic principle,” which posits that a human observer is key to the process. Of this Wheeler said, “We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago.” In his view, much like the Buddhist one, nothing exists unless there is a consciousness to apprehend it.

Neuroscientist Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, is another supporter of panpsychism. Koch says that the only theory we have to date about consciousness is, it’s a level of awareness about one’s self and the world. Biological organisms are conscious because when they approach a new situation, they can change their behavior in order to navigate it, in this view. Dr. Koch is attempting to see if he can measure the level of consciousness an organism contains.

He’ll be running some animal experiments. In one, he plans to wire the brains of two mice together. Will information eventually flow between the two? Will their consciousness at some point become one fused, integrated system? If these experiments are successful, he may wire up the brains of two humans.

UK physicist Sir Roger Penrose is yet another supporter of panpsychism. Penrose in the 80’s proposed that consciousness is present at the quantum level and resides in the synapses of the brain. He is famous for linking consciousness with some of the goings on in quantum mechanics.

Dr. Penrose doesn’t go so far as to call himself a panpsychist. In his view, “The laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it.”

In Buddhism consciousness emanates from the brain. Neuroscientists agree. Getty Images.

Veteran physicist Gregory Matloff of the New York City College of Technology, says he has some preliminary evidence showing that, at the very least, panpsychism isn’t impossible. Hey, it’s a start. Dr. Matloff told NBC News, “It’s all very speculative, but it’s something we can check and either validate or falsify.”

Theoretical physicist Bernard Haisch, in 2006, suggested that consciousness is produced and transmitted through the quantum vacuum, or empty space. Any system that has sufficient complexity and creates a certain level of energy, could generate or broadcast consciousness. Dr. Matloff got in touch with the unorthodox, German physicist and proposed an observational study, to test it.

What they examined was Parenago’s Discontinuity. This is the observation that cooler stars, like our own sun, revolve around the center of the Milky Way faster than hotter ones. Some scientists attribute this to interactions with gas clouds. Matloff took a different view. He elaborated in a recently published piece, in the Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research.

Unlike their hotter sisters, cooler stars may move faster due to “the emission of a uni-directional jet.” Such stars emit a jet early on in their creation. Matloff suggests that this could be an instance of the star consciously manipulating itself, in order to gain speed.

Observational data shows a reliable pattern anywhere Parenago’s Discontinuity is witnessed. If it were a matter of interacting with gas clouds, as is the current theory, each cloud should have a different chemical makeup, and so cause the star to operate differently. So why do all of them act in exactly the same way?

Jets out of cooler stars may be a conscious act. Wikipedia Commons.

Though it isn’t much to go on, the unveiling of the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope, whose mission it is to map stars, may provide more data to further support or weaken this view. On another front, Dr. Matloff posits that the presence of a proto-consciousness field could serve as a replacement for dark matter.

Dark matter supposedly makes up around 95% of the universe, although, scientists can’t seem to find any. So, for the sake of argument, if consciousness is a property that arises on the subatomic level with a confluence of particles, how do these tiny little bits of consciousness coalesce?

Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Giulio Tononi, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, proposes a slightly different take on panpsychism, called integrated information theory. Here, consciousness is a manifestation with a real, physical location, somewhere in the universe. We just haven’t found it yet. Perhaps this heavenly body radiates out consciousness as our sun radiates light and heat.

Dr. Tononi has actually puts forth a metric for measuring how much consciousness a thing has. The unit is called phi. This translates into how much control a being can enact over itself or objects around it. The theory separates intelligence from consciousness, which some people assume are one in the same.

Take AI for example. It can already beat humans in all kinds of tasks. But it has no will of its own. A supercomputer which can enact change in the world outside of a programmer’s commands, would therefore be conscious. Many futurists from Ray Kurzweil to Elon Musk believe that day is coming, perhaps in the next decade or so, and that we should prepare.

from:    http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/the-universe-may-be-conscious-prominent-scientists-state

Come Together! Bigger Fish!

Friday, July 14th, 2017

5 ISSUES TO UNIFY US IN THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER ERA OF TRUMP

June 23, 2017

Phillip SchneiderStaff Writer
Waking Times

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in awareness like never seen before. Worldviews have shifted dramatically and key issues have come into the spotlight which would have never met such a great audience just a decade ago, such as sustainable agriculture, contaminants in vaccines and in the water supply, and mass surveillance. Many people have abandoned the idea of partisan politics and the media which supports it. Thanks to the internet a people’s media emerged and started to clear the air of the lies and deceptions that the old media had been plagued with.

However, as this last election came to a close, the perspective shifted and took us a few paces backwards in many respects. Incidentally, the focus was placed on Trump rather than the issues which were being fought so hard throughout the Obama and Bush administrations. Once again, the debate has become about the integrity of those in power instead of actual real world issues that affect everyone.

Whatever you believe Trump’s motives are, it’s important that we don’t get so caught up in arguing over something we have no control over that progress made on real issues is lost. What the country needs right now is a massive healing, and I think the best way of doing that is to learn how to set minor differences aside and work together to solve our problems, instead of looking to government to solve them for us.

Whether you’re left, right, something in between or nothing at all, you can always become more informed and act to make a difference in the world we live in. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 problems which desperately need fixing and can be solved without government if enough people work together to achieve a solution.

1. Peak Oil Threatens Energy Security and Self Sufficiency

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the world’s supply of liquid oils such as petroleum can only meet our needs until around the year 2040. If this is to be believed, it should be concerning to anyone who plans on living for more than 20 years or so into the future. In addition to the fuel we need to power our cars, everything from credit cards, house paints, cameras, and more are created using petroleum.

However, this could all be a blessing in disguise if it urges us to move toward alternative forms of energy such as solar, hydro, or even more exotic technologies which are still in their infancy. If people worked together to bring these renewable energy sources into their communities, not only would we increase our independence from big oil, but individuals would be much more self-sufficient and prosperous.

“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”  – Nikola Tesla

2. Big Agriculture Seeks To Undermine Our Health And Food Sovereignty

It’s no secret that corporations like Monsanto are poisoning our bodies, but the switch to mass-produced, agrochemical dependent agriculture and genetically modified foods has been a slow disaster for the environment and our health, it also threatens our food sovereignty.

Many people are unaware that Monsanto, the company which produces several chemical pesticides and herbicides, such as Round-Up, and engineers most corn and soy produced in the U.S., also has an extensive century-long history of corruption. From mass-producing the worlds first toxic chemical sweetener known as saccharin, to hiding the evidence of PCB toxicity, there legacy is disturbing.

Unfortunately, instead of being held accountable, they’ve been granted the power to genetically engineer crops and place patents on the transformed genomes, effectively restricting anyone from growing genetically modified crops themselves without first obtaining a license.

Consequently, through a combination of cross-pollination, crops which don’t produce seeds, pollinators dying off and more, Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations are creating a monopoly over food production making it increasingly tough to grow even a simple garden without obtaining a license first, all the while forcing us to eat food which has been heavily doused with toxic chemicals.

But none of this has to be. If people come together to reject GMO’s while defending local and organic agriculture, we can retain food sovereignty, strengthen relationships through community gardening, and eliminate many toxins which are causing so much death and disease.

“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” – Henry Kissinger

3. The Federal Reserve Has Unlimited and Unchecked Power to Print Money

Something most people don’t want to think about is the fact that the Federal Reserve bank of the United States, a private bank which came into being through a collaboration of powerful business interests, including the Rockefeller and Morgan empires, has unlimited power to print money, unaudited.

Using this power, in conjunction with the ability to lower or raise interest rates at will, the bankers at the Federal Reserve are in a powerful position over the government of the United States. By using a system of debt-based currency, the central bankers are able to create an economy which ultimately directs real wealth back to them while leaving the people with less than a fraction of what they’ve earned.

This system of fiat currency inevitably ends in a collapse of the money supply because of a need for ever-increasing levels of the currency to pay off the debt attached to each dollar printed. Our founding fathers understood this, but in 1913, the same year the Federal Reserve was created, the constitution was amended to allow for the printing of debt-based fiat currency.

Learning about this issue and spreading awareness can help oust the bankers by garnering support for movements against the central banks like the Audit The Fed bill introduced several times by Senator Rand Paul and former Congressman Ron Paul. The following films offer a more in depth look at this issue: The Collapse Of The American Dream (an animation on the creation of the federal reserve) and The Biggest Scam In The History Of Mankind.

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

4. Corrupt Politicians Are Making It Illegal To Feel The Homeless – Demanding Dependency on Government And Outlawing Compassion

If you haven’t heard about this yet then you may or may not be surprised at the lack of compassion that plagues the government. In many major cities around the country it has become a crime to feed the homeless. As reported by EconomicCollapseBlog.com, cities such as Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York have all outlawed basic human decency

Not only that, but at the time these laws were passed the amount of Americans on food stamps was at an all-time high. It seems the government would rather demand dependence, having you turn to them for food instead of taking it from well-meaning people in your community. Michael Snyder lays it out when he says, “Do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow-man?”

“When elites see a homeless person in the gutter, they assume he’s saving a parking place.” – P. J. O’Rourke

5. Just 6 Companies Control 90% of What We See and Hear in the Media

By now most are aware that almost all major media outlets are owned by a handful of corporate conglomerates. The current number is 6, but several of these parent companies have been attempting to merge which could reduce the number to three or four in time. Currently Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp along with the Wall Street Journal; MSNBC is owned by Comcast along with NBC and so on. Outlets like PBS and NPR are funded partially by the government itself and partially by people like Bill Gates.

This is why you will never see an unbiased view on issues like taxation or vaccines from places like these. Just spend five minutes watching the commercials on mainstream news shows and you’re bound to see ads for pharmaceutical/vaccine companies, GMO food brands, weapons manufacturers, and more.

At some point you have to come to terms with the fact that the majority of what you see and hear ultimately comes from just a few sources – maybe even one. Now, no reasonable person would think that they have anything resembling an impartial view by only listening to one or two sources of information and perspective all the time. That only leaves you with what one group wants you to know. The only way to reasonably understand something is to seek out information that you don’t already agree with and be open-minded about it. You won’t agree with everything you hear, but at least you’ll be listening to as many sides of the story as possible before making up your mind.

The best way to combat this issue is to support the independent media. The most likely place that you’re going to find truthful information on a consistent basis is not from big name news companies like Fox News or the New York Times, but from smaller media outlets with a strong code of ethics which are willing to diverge from the status quo.

Conclusion

Clearly being engulfed in partisan politics is not getting us anywhere. We’re going to have to start listening to each other again and break the political molds in order the start caring about real issues again.

“While we continue to argue over smoke and mirrors, reality works its magic.” – Unknown

About the author

Phillip Schneider is a student and a staff writer for Waking Times.

This article (5 Issues to Unify Us in the Divide and Conquer Era of Trump) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

from:    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/23/5-issues-unify-us-divide-conquer-era-trump/

Take A Creative Break from Boring Busy

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Being Busy Is Killing Our Ability to Think Creatively

Article Image

The other day a friend mentioned that he’s looking forward to autonomous cars, as it will help lower the accident and fatality rates caused by distracted driving. True, was my initial reply, with a caveat: what we gain on the roads we lose in general attention. Having yet another place to be distracted does not add to our mental and social health.

Little good comes from being distracted yet we seem incapable of focusing our attention. Among many qualities that suffer, recent research shows creativity takes a hit when you’re constantly busy. Being able to switch between focus and daydreaming is an important skill that’s reduced by insufferable business.  As Stanford’s Emma Seppälä writes: 

The idea is to balance linear thinking—which requires intense focus—with creative thinking, which is borne out of idleness. Switching between the two modes seems to be the optimal way to do good, inventive work.

She is not the first to point this out. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin made a similar plea in his 2014 book, The Organized Mind. Information overload keeps us mired in noise. In 2011, he writes, Americans consumed five times as much information as 25 years prior; outside of work we process roughly 100,000 words every day. 

This saps us of not only willpower (of which we have a limited store) but creativity as well. He uses slightly different language than Seppälä—linear thinking is part of the central executive network, our brain’s ability to focus, while creative thinking is part of our brain’s default mode network. Levitin, himself a former music professional who engineered records by the Grateful Dead and Santana, writes: 

Artists recontextualize reality and offer visions that were previously invisible. Creativity engages the brain’s daydreaming mode directly and stimulates the free flow and association of ideas, forging links between concepts and neural modes that might not otherwise be made.

Engaging creatively requires hitting the reset button, which means carving space in your day for lying around, meditating, or staring off into nothing.  This is impossible when every free moment—at work, in line, at a red light—you’re reaching for your phone. Your brain’s attentional system becomes accustomed to constant stimulation; you grow antsy and irritable when you don’t have that input. You’re addicted to busyness.

And that’s dangerous for quality of life. As Seppälä points out many of the world’s greatest minds made important discoveries while not doing much at all. Nikola Tesla had an insight about rotating magnetic fields on a leisurely walk in Budapest; Albert Einstein liked to chill out and listen to Mozart on breaks from intense thinking sessions. 

Paying homage to boredom—a valuable tool in the age of overload—journalist Michael Harris writes in The End of Absence that we start to value unimportant and fleeting sensations instead of what matters most. He prescribes less in the course of a normal day.

Perhaps we now need to engineer scarcity in our communications, in our interactions, and in the things we consume. Otherwise our lives become like a Morse code transmission that’s lacking breaks—a swarm of noise blanketing the valuable data beneath. 

How to disconnect in a time when connection is demanded by bosses, peers, and friends? Seppälä makes four suggestions:

1. Make a long walk—without your phone—a part of your daily routine
2. Get out of your comfort zone
3. Make more time for fun and games
4. Alternate between doing focused work and activities that are less intellectually demanding

That last one is also recommended by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work. Newport is not on any social media and only checks email once a day, perhaps, and even that time is strictly regimented. What seems to be lost in being “connected” is really irreplaceable time gained to focus on projects. Without that time, he says, you’re in danger of rewiring your neural patterns for distraction.

Spend enough time in a state of frenetic shallowness and you permanently reduce your capacity to perform deep work. 

That’s not a good sign for those who wish to perform creatively, which in reality is all of us. Research shows that the fear of missing out (FOMO) increases anxiety and takes a toll on your health in the long run. Of all the things to suffer, creative thinking is one of our greatest losses. Regardless of your vocation a flexible mindset open to new ideas and approaches is invaluable. Losing it just to check on the latest tweet or post an irrelevant selfie is an avoidable but sadly sanctioned tragedy.

Derek’s next book, Whole Motion: Training Your Brain and Body For Optimal Health, will be published on 7/17 by Carrel/Skyhorse Publishing.

from:    http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/creativity-and-distraction

On Retrocausality

Friday, July 14th, 2017
Article Image
credit: Pixabay

Quantum physics has spawned its share of strange ideas and hard-to-grasp concepts – from Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” to the adventures of Shroedinger’s cat. Now a new study lends support to another mind-bender – the idea of retrocausality, which basically proposes that the future can influence the past and the effect, in essence, happens before the cause.

At this point, retrocausality does not mean that you get to send signals from the future to the past – rather that an experimenter’s measurement of a particle can influence2 the properties of that particle in the past, even before making their choice.

The new paper argues that retrocausality could be a part of quantum theory. The scientists expound on the more traditionally accepted concept of time symmetry and show that if that is true, then so should be retrocausality. Time symmetry says that physical processes can run forward and backwards in time while being subject to the same physical laws.

The scientists describe an experiment where time symmetry would require processes to have the same probabilities, whether they go backwards or forward in time. But that would cause a contradiction if there was no retrocausality, as it requires these processes to have different probabilities. What the paper shows is that you can’t have both concepts be true at the same time.

Eliminating time symmetry would also get rid of some other sticky problems of quantum physics, like Einstein’s discomfort with entanglement which he described as “spooky action at a distance.” He saw challenges to quantum theory in the idea that entangled or connected particles could instantly affect each other even at large distances. In fact, accepting retrocausality could allow for a reinterpretation of Bell tests that were used to show evidence of “spooky action”. Instead, the tests could be supporting retrocausailty.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, was authored by Matthew S. Leifer at Chapman University in California and Matthew F. Pusey at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. The scientists hope their work can lead towards a fuller understanding of quantum theory.

“The reason I think that retrocausality is worth investigating is that we now have a slew of no-go results about realist interpretations of quantum theory, including Bell’s theorem, Kochen-Specker, and recent proofs of the reality of the quantum state,” said Leifer to Phys.org. “These say that any interpretation that fits into the standard framework for realist interpretations must have features that I would regard as undesirable. Therefore, the only options seem to be to abandon realism or to break out of the standard realist framework.”

Are we going to have time travel as a result of this? In one idea proposed by Richard Feynman, existence of retrocausality could mean that positrons, antimatter counterparts of electrons, would move backwards in time so that they could have a positive charge. If this was proven to be true, time travel could involve simply changing the direction of moving particles in the single dimension of time.

Leifer doesn’t go as far as time travel in his explanation, but speculates that if retrocausality does exist in the universe, then there could be evidence of it in the cosmological data, saying that “there are certain eras, perhaps near the big bang, in which there is not a definite arrow of causality.”

Is this idea ready for the big time? It is supported by Huw Price, a philosophy professor at the University of Cambridge who focuses on the physics of time and is a leading advocate of retrocausality. Leifer and Pusey are taking things in stride, however, realizing that much more work needs to be done.

“There is not, to my knowledge, a generally agreed upon interpretation of quantum theory that recovers the whole theory and exploits this idea. It is more of an idea for an interpretation at the moment, so I think that other physicists are rightly skeptical, and the onus is on us to flesh out the idea,” said Leifer.

There are no experiments underway by the physicists to test their theory, but they hope this work will question the assumptions of quantum mechanics and lead to new discoveries down the line.

You can read the study here.

from:    http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/a-new-quantum-theory-predicts-that-the-future-could-be-influencing-the-past

Accessing Patient Data

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Google could soon get access to hundreds of thousands of patients’ genetic data: An expert explains why we should be concerned

  • Google’s DeepMind has already worked with the NHS in monitoring technology
  • A new study suggests Google could soon work with Genomic England
  • This would give the firm access to hundreds of thousands of patient data
  • In an article for The Conversation, a researcher explains the risks of letting a private company gain access to genetic data

Artificial intelligence is already being put to use in the NHS, with Google’s AI firm DeepMind providing technology to help monitor patients. 

And a new study suggests that Google could soon be meeting with Genomic England – a company set up by the Department of Health to sequence 100,000 genomes  – to discuss whether DeepMind could get involved.

In an article for The Conversation, Edward Hockings a researcher at the University of the West of Scotland, explains the risks of letting a private company gain access to sensitive genetic data.

In Google‘s case, he says, it could allow them to target users with personalised advertising based on their preferences and health risks. 

It could also create profiles of people based on their DNA data, which may provide details such as their risk of becoming a criminal.

He says genomic data is ‘the oil of the digital era’ and there is nothing stopping it from be captured, bought and sold in the future. 

Genomic sequencing has huge potential – it could hold the key to improving our understanding of a range of diseases, including cancer, and eventually help find treatments for them (stock image)

Genomic sequencing has huge potential – it could hold the key to improving our understanding of a range of diseases, including cancer, and eventually help find treatments for them (stock image)

HOW COULD GENOMIC DATA BE USED?

Privacy campaigners are concerned that governments and private organisations have too much access to our personal details.

This could help them carry out mass surveillance.

When it comes to genetics, the implications are particularly frightening, says Edward Hockings.

For example, there is evidence of a link between genes and criminality.

Scientists say 40 per cent of sexual offending risk is down to genetic factors.

A ‘single national knowledge base’ as the one the UK government is aiming to create might therefore be used for broad genetic profiling.

Genomic sequencing has huge potential – it could hold the key to improving our understanding of a range of diseases, including cancer, and eventually help find treatments for them.

The 100,000 Genomes Project was set up by the government to sequence genomes of 100,000 people.

And it won’t stop there.

A new report from the UK’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, is calling for an expansion of the project.

However, a statement by the Department of Health in response to a freedom of information (FoI) request I made in February reveals this decision has already been made.

The department said in this response that the project will be integrated into a single national genomic database.

The purpose of this will be to support ‘care and research, and the acceleration of industrial usage’.

Though it will ‘inevitably exceed the original 100,000 genomes, we do not anticipate that there will be a set target for how many genomes it should contain,’ the statement reads.

The costs of sequencing the genome on a national scale are prohibitive. The first human genome was sequenced at a cost of £2.3 billion ($3 billion).

However, almost two decades later, Illumina, who is responsible for the sequencing side of the 100,000 Genomes Project, produced the first ‘$1,000 (£770) genome’ – a staggering reduction in cost.

Applying machine learning to genomics – that is, general artificial intelligence – has the potential to significantly reduce the costs further.

By building a neural network, Google's algorithms can interpret huge amounts of genetic, health, and environmental data to predict a persons health status, such as their level of risk of heart attack (stock image)

By building a neural network, Google’s algorithms can interpret huge amounts of genetic, health, and environmental data to predict a persons health status, such as their level of risk of heart attack (stock image)

WHAT IS GOOGLE DEEPMIND?

Google DeepMind is an artificial intelligence lab within Google,

It was created after Google bought University College London spinout, DeepMind, for £400 million in 2014.

Its goal is to solve general intelligence and make machines capable of learning for themselves.

It wants to do this by creating a set of powerful general-purpose learning algorithms that can be combined to make an AI system.

Google wants its DeepMind algorithms to make many of its products and services smarter and more responsive.

By building a neural network, these algorithms can interpret huge amounts of genetic, health, and environmental data to predict a persons health status, such as their level of risk of heart attack.

DeepMind is already working with the NHS.

As part of a partnership with several NHS trusts, the company has built various platforms, an app and a machine learning system to monitor patients in various ways, alerting clinical teams when they are at risk.

But it’s been controversial.

The company announced the first of these collaborations in February 2016, saying it was building an app to help hospital staff monitor patients with kidney disease.

However, it later emerged that the agreement went far beyond this, giving DeepMind Health access to vast amounts of patient data – including, in one instance, 1.6m patient records.

The Information Commissioner’s Office ruled recently that the way patient data was shared by the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust violated UK privacy law.

The company asserts that patient data ‘will never be linked to Google products or services or commercialised’.

Google’s ambitions to digitise healthcare continue.

I received a response to an FoI request in May which reveals that Google and Genomics England have met to discuss ‘using Google’s DeepMind among other subjects’ to analyse genomic data.

Davies insists that data could be anonymised.

The Royal Free NHS Trust did not comply with the Data Protection Act when it passed on personal information of around 1.6 million patients to Google's DeepMind. Pictured is the Royal Free Hospital in London, one of several hospitals the Royal Free Trust is responsible for

The Royal Free NHS Trust did not comply with the Data Protection Act when it passed on personal information of around 1.6 million patients to Google’s DeepMind. Pictured is the Royal Free Hospital in London, one of several hospitals the Royal Free Trust is responsible for

The Department of Health always promise that medical data used in such initiatives will be anonymised, yet one of the reasons that Care.data (an initiative to store all patient data on a single database) was abandoned is that this was shown to be untrue.

I have also shown that the department has misinformed the public about the level of access granted to commercial actors in the 100,000 Genome Project.

In particular it said the data would be ‘pseudonymised’ rather than anonymised, meaning there would still be information available such as age or geographical location.

The danger of personalisation

What could genomic information add to Google’s already far-reaching database of individual information?

NHS KIDNEY APP

Google announced the first of its NHS collaborations in February 2016, saying it was building an app to help hospital staff monitor patients with kidney disease.

The data was provided in a medical trial that began in 2015.

The trial integrated information from existing systems used by the Royal Free.

The systems used technology to track patients’ symptoms and alerted clinicians when signs of deterioration in a patient with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) were found.

AKI affects up to 18 per cent of those admitted to hospital.

The investigation found that many patients did not know their data was being used as part of a test.

As part of the deal between the Trust and Google, DeepMind gained access to sensitive patient information such as HIV status, mental health history and abortions.

A hint lies in its self-confessed aspiration to organise our lives for us.

The algorithms ‘will get better, and we will get better at personalisation’, according to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

This will ‘enable Google users to ask the question, ‘what shall I do tomorrow?’, or ‘what job shall I take?’.

With personalisation as their ultimate ‘goal’, Google intend to use the machine learning algorithms which track our digital footprint and target users with personalised advertising based on their preferences.

They also want to analyse health and genomic data to make predictions such as when a person might develop bipolar disorder or tell us what we should do with our lives.

Let us not forget that data, genomic or otherwise, is the oil of the digital era.

What is stopping genomic information from being captured, bought and sold?

We cannot assume that people will make life choices based upon their ‘genetic profile’ without undue pressure – commercial or governmental.

When it comes to genetics, the implications are particularly frightening. For example, there is evidence of a link between genes and criminality (stock image)

When it comes to genetics, the implications are particularly frightening. For example, there is evidence of a link between genes and criminality (stock image)

As for how genomic data might be used and what decisions will be taken about us, the mass surveillance by government agencies of their own citizens is a chilling reminder of the way information technology can be used.

There is something unpalatable about everything being connected and everything being known.

When it comes to genetics, the implications are particularly frightening. For example, there is evidence of a link between genes and criminality.

We know that 40 per cent of sexual offending risk is down to genetic factors.

A ‘single national knowledge base’ as the one the UK government is aiming to create might therefore be used for broad genetic profiling.

Although early intervention programmes that buy into genetically deterministic notions of ‘crime genes’ are reductive, serious debate about policies involving genetic information will no doubt happen soon.

We can already see the beginnings of this in the United States.

The bill Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act – which has received strong backing from Republicans and business groups – would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing.

The results would be seen by employers, and should employees refuse to participate they would face significantly higher insurance costs.

Too much personalisation is likely to be intrusive. The challenge, then, will be to harness the potential of genomics while introducing measures to keep government and big business in check.

The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry on genomics and genome editing was cut short (due to the recent snap general election).

Its recommendations for further lines of enquiry include creating a quasi-independent body, which could be more attuned to broader, social and ethical concerns.

This might introduce more balance at a pivotal time for the future of human genetic technologies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4665214/Google-soon-access-genetic-patient-data.html#ixzz4mjOneOXa
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More Activity at Yellowstone

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Is it about to blow? Yellowstone supervolcano is hit by 878 earthquakes in just over TWO WEEKS – the most active it has been for five years

  • Strongest earthquake of 4.4 magnitude hit on Thursday 15 June 
  • This could be a warning sign of an impending eruption of the supervolcano
  • If it did erupt, it would be one thousand times as powerful as Mount St Helens

A swarm of nearly 900 earthquakes have hit Yellowstone National Park since 12 June, according to experts.

The park sits on one of the world’s most dangerous supervolcanoes and recent activity has raised fears the supervolcano is about to blow.

If it were to erupt, the Yellowstone volcano would be one thousand times as powerful as the 1980 Mount St Helens eruption, experts claim – although they say the risk is ‘low’.

A swarm of hundreds of earthquakes have hit Yellowstone National Park with up to 4.4 magnitude. The Grand Prismatic hot spring (pictured) is among the park's many hydrothermal features created by the supervolcano (stock image)

A swarm of hundreds of earthquakes have hit Yellowstone National Park with up to 4.4 magnitude. The Grand Prismatic hot spring (pictured) is among the park’s many hydrothermal features created by the supervolcano (stock image)

EARTHQUAKE SWARM

Researchers from the University of Utah’s Seismograph Stations (UUSS) have been monitoring the activity since it began last Monday, June 12.

A total of 878 quakes have been recorded over the past fortnight at Yellowstone.

Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise about 50 per cent of the total activity in the Yellowstone region.

Although the latest swarm is the largest since 2012, it is fewer than weekly counts during similar events in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010.

The tremors were recorded at depths from ground level to nine miles (14.5 km) below sea level.

Seismic activity could be a sign of an impending eruption of the supervolcano, although this is currently impossible to predict exactly.

A total of 878 quakes have been recorded over the past fortnight at Yellowstone.

When the earthquakes started on 12 June, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said it was the highest number of earthquakes at the park within a single week in the past five years.

Researchers from the University of Utah’s Seismograph Stations (UUSS) have been monitoring the activity since it began on Monday, June 12.

The strongest quake of 4.4 magnitude hit on Thursday, June 15.

‘The swarm consists of one earthquake in the magnitude 4 range, 5 earthquakes in the magnitude 3 range, 68 earthquakes in the magnitude 2 range, 277 earthquakes in the magnitude 1 range, 508 earthquakes in the magnitude 0 range, and 19 earthquakes with magnitudes of less than zero’, the report said.

‘Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise about 50 per cent of the total seismicity in the Yellowstone region’.

‘UUSS will continue to monitor this swarm and will provide updates as necessary.’

UUSS said the quake was part of ‘an energetic sequence’ of earthquakes magnitude two and larger in the area.

A spokesman said: ‘The epicentre of the shock was located in Yellowstone National Park, eight miles north-northeast of the town of West Yellowstone.

‘The earthquake was felt in the towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana, in Yellowstone National Park, and elsewhere in the surrounding region.’

Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise about 50 per cent of the total activity in the Yellowstone region.

Researchers from the University of Utah's Seismograph Stations (UUSS) have been monitoring the activity since it began last Monday, June 12. Pictured  is the he location of the earthquakes that are part of the swarm as  (red symbols)

Researchers from the University of Utah’s Seismograph Stations (UUSS) have been monitoring the activity since it began last Monday, June 12. Pictured  is the he location of the earthquakes that are part of the swarm as (red symbols)

Although the latest swarm is the largest since 2012, it is fewer than weekly counts during similar events in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010.

The tremors were recorded at depths from ground level to nine miles (14.5 km) below sea level.

Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise around 50 per cent of the total seismic activity in the Yellowstone region. Pictured - seismic data for the magnitude 4.4 quake which took place on Thursday, June 15

Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise around 50 per cent of the total seismic activity in the Yellowstone region. Pictured – seismic data for the magnitude 4.4 quake which took place on Thursday, June 15

The University of Utah is part of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), which provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the region.

YVO is one of the five United States Geological Survey volcano observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

In a written statement, a spokesman for the team said: ‘Yellowstone hasn’t erupted for 70,000 years, so it’s going to take some impressive earthquakes and ground uplift to get things started.’

‘Besides intense earthquake swarms, we expect rapid and notable uplift around the caldera.

‘Finally, rising magma will cause explosions from the boiling-temperature geothermal reservoirs.

‘Even with explosions, earthquakes and notable ground uplift, the most likely volcanic eruptions would be the type that would have minimal effect outside the park itself.’

Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world.

SCIENTISTS FIND A MASSIVE MAGMA CHAMBER UNDER YELLOWSTONE PARK

Previous research found a relatively small magma chamber, known as the upper-crustal magma reservoir, beneath the surface

Previous research found a relatively small magma chamber, known as the upper-crustal magma reservoir, beneath the surface

In the heart of Yellowstone National Park, a supervolcano releases around 45,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each day.

But the magma chamber lying directly beneath its surface is not considered large enough to produce such levels, so researchers have been searching for an alternative source for years.

In April 2015, by tracking seismic waves, geophysicists discovered a huge secondary chamber deeper underground that’s so large its partly-molten rock could fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over.

Previous research found a relatively small magma chamber, known as the upper-crustal magma reservoir, directly beneath the surface in 2013 that measures 2,500 cubic miles (10,420 cubic km).

To discover the latest chamber, Hsin-Hua Huang from the University of Utah and his colleagues tracked seismic waves from almost 5,000 earthquakes.

This USGS graphic shows how a 'super eruption' of the molten lava under Yellowstone National Park would spread ash across the United States

This USGS graphic shows how a ‘super eruption’ of the molten lava under Yellowstone National Park would spread ash across the United States

These readings combined data from the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, which collected shallow readings from nearby quakes in Utah, Idaho, the Teton Range and Yellowstone, and from the Earthscope array, which revealed deeper readings from temblors from more further afield.

Each of these quakes created waves that echoed around the supervolcano.

The movement and structure of these waves could then be used to map the earth beneath.

The researchers said in their paper: ‘The Yellowstone magmatic system from the mantle plume to the upper crust’, published in the journal Science, that the reservoir contains around 98 per cent hot rock.

The remaining 2 per cent is molten rock and is too deep to directly cause an eruption, they added

Seismic activity could be a sign of an impending eruption of the supervolcano, although this is currently impossible to predict exactly.

While it has lain dormant for more than 70,000 years, scientists say that we can’t rule out the possibility eruption may some day take place, although they say the chances are extremely slim.

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake, which hit the park in 2014, was the most powerful to strike the area in nearly 30 years.

In 2013, a study into the super volcano found the underground magma chamber to be 2.5 times larger than previously thought, with the cavern spanning a 56 mile (90km) by 19 miles (30km) area and capable of holding tons of molten rock.

Experts say there is a one in 700,000 annual chance of a volcanic eruption at the site. Pictured is an artist's impression

Experts say there is a one in 700,000 annual chance of a volcanic eruption at the site. Pictured is an artist’s impression

Yellowstone National Park spans the midwestern US states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana (pictured)

Yellowstone National Park spans the midwestern US states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana (pictured)

The volcano a sits atop a huge reserve of molten rock that last erupted 640,000 years ago.

It is one of the largest active continental silicic volcanic fields in the world. Silicic is used to describe magma or igneous rock rich in silica.

The Grand Prismatic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park is among the park’s many hydrothermal features created by the Yellowstone supervolcano.

Experts say there is a one in 700,000 annual chance of a volcanic eruption at the site.

If the volcano were ever to erupt, observers say the outflow of lava, ash and smoke would likely devastate the United States and affect the entire world.

THE MASSIVE LAKE OF MOLTEN CARBON THE SIZE OF MEXICO FOUND UNDER YELLOWSTONE

 A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released was found under the Yellowstone in February.

Scientists using the world’s largest array of seismic sensors have mapped a deep-Earth area, covering 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km).

This is around the size of Mexico, and researchers say it has the potential to cause untold environmental damage.

The discovery could change our understanding of how much carbon the Earth contains, suggesting it is much more than we previously believed.

A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released has been found under the US (stock image) 

A huge well of molten carbon that would spell disaster for the planet if released has been found under the US (stock image)

It would be impossible to drill far enough down to physically ‘see’ the Earth’s mantle, so a team of researchers used a massive group of sensors to paint a picture of it, using mathematical equations to interpret their results.

The study, conducted by geologists at Royal Holloway University in London, used a huge network of 583 seismic sensors that measure the Earth’s vibrations, to create a picture of the area’s deep sub surface.

Known as the upper mantle, this section of the Earth’s interior is known for by its high temperatures where solid carbonates melt, creating distinctive seismic patterns.

Scientists uncovered a huge reservoir of molten carbon situated under the Western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth's surface

Scientists uncovered a huge reservoir of molten carbon situated under the Western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth’s surface

What they found was a vast buried deposit of molten carbon, which produces carbon dioxide and other gases, situated under the Western US, 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth’s surface.

If just a fraction of the carbon found by the Royal Holloway team were released into the atmosphere, it could have grave implications for the planet.

Just one per cent of the CO2 stored would be equivalent to burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil.

If a substantial amount was released all at once, it could bring about an environmental disaster on the scale of nuclear warfare.

(Check out link for video at bottom.)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4646214/Yellowstone-supervolcano-hit-swarm-878-earthquakes.html#ixzz4mjDgTVHz

On Longevity

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

No detectable limit to how long people can live

New study finds no evidence that maximum lifespan has stopped increasing

Date:
June 28, 2017
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
By analyzing the lifespan of the longest-living individuals from the USA, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968, investigators found no evidence for such a limit, and if such a maximum exists, it has yet to be reached or identified

New research suggests there is no detectable limit to how long people can live.
Credit: © pathdoc / Fotolia

Emma Morano passed away last April. At 117 years old, the Italian woman was the oldest known living human being.

Super- centenarians, such as Morano and Jeanne Calment of France, who famously lived to be 122 years old, continue to fascinate scientists and have led them to wonder just how long humans can live. A study published in Nature last October concluded that the upper limit of human age is peaking at around 115 years.

Now, however, a new study in Nature by McGill University biologists Bryan G. Hughes and Siegfried Hekimi comes to a starkly different conclusion. By analyzing the lifespan of the longest-living individuals from the USA, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968, Hekimi and Hughes found no evidence for such a limit, and if such a maximum exists, it has yet to be reached or identified, Hekimi says.

Far into the foreseeable future

“We just don’t know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans, could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future,” Hekimi says. Many people are aware of what has happened with average lifespans. In 1920, for example, the average newborn Canadian could expect to live 60 years; a Canadian born in 1980 could expect 76 years, and today, life expectancy has jumped to 82 years. Maximum lifespan seems to follow the same trend.

It’s impossible to predict what future lifespans in humans might look like, Hekimi says. Some scientists argue that technology, medical interventions, and improvements in living conditions could all push back the upper limit.

“It’s hard to guess,” Hekimi adds. “Three hundred years ago, many people lived only short lives. If we would have told them that one day most humans might live up to 100, they would have said we were crazy.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by McGill UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bryan G. Hughes, Siegfried Hekimi. Many possible maximum lifespan trajectoriesNature, 2017; 546 (7660): E8 DOI: 10.1038/nature22786

from:    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628131500.htm

Is This Happening?

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Congress has submitted a law making it illegal to hold cash, Bitcoins, or other assets outside of the bank without informing them with writing.

By now, it seems to be common knowledge that the government tries very hard to monitor and regulate every single transaction individuals choose to conduct.

Yet, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, and the new fears coming out that decentralized virtual money could actually start or magnify a financial crisis, on May 25th, Congress submitted a bill making it illegal, and placing individuals subject to asset confiscation and imprisonment, for anyone to have a medium size amount of cash, Bitcoin, etc. outside of a bank without telling the government how much they have, where they have it, and why they have it through filling out new Federal forms.

The new bill is entitled, “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.”

Within the bill they even include prepaid phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Also within the bill is the government’s aim to greatly extend its authority to seize assets through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”.

Civil Asset Forfeiture rules allow the government to take whatever they want from you, without a trial or any due process.

The bill has also vastly expanded on the definition of ‘financial crimes’, which now includes the failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more then $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.

According to the bill, if you do not tell the government about the cash you have, they are authorized to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but also all your assets and bank accounts. They even name “safety deposit boxes” among the various assets that they can seize if you don’t fill out the form.

On top of civil penalties, there are even criminal penalties. Right now, according to current law, they can imprison you for up to five years for not filling out the forms.

This bill aims to double the criminal penalty to ten years in prison. The bill also gives the government authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping if they have even a hint of suspicion that you may be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’.

Normally wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc.

Banks in the U.S. are already required by law to fill out suspicious activity reports on their customers. Then Congress added stock brokers, casinos, currency exchanges, precious metal dealers, pawnbrokers, and even the Post Office to the list.

Under the new bill, the government also wants to forcibly recruit even more unpaid spies, including any business which issues or redeems anything that is prepaid. So, Amazon would be required to file reports to the government about prepaid gift cards

The bill also wants to pull any business which “issues” cryptocurrency under the anti-money laundering regulatory umbrella.

Yet, no one “issues” Bitcoin. There is no Bitcoin central bank. There is no Chairman of Bitcoin who decides on a whim to increase the supply.

Bitcoin is created amounts that are pre-determined by its code. It’s software.

So the Senate is essentially trying to force the Bitcoin core software to comply with money laundering regulations.

The bill also attempts to include Bitcoin in the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when entering or leaving the U.S.

this means if you leave the U.S. with more than $10,000 in Bitcoin or Ether, you will have to confess it to authorities or face the aforementioned penalties, i.e. prison time, civil asset forfeiture, etc.

It seems that the bill criminalizes or delegitimizes the most mundane and harmless financial activities, all under the guise of keeping us safe.

from:    http://realfarmacy.com/illegal-money/

Acupressure & Zu San Li Point

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Massage This Point On Your Body And Experience The Miracle!

 | June 30, 2017

Massage This Point On Your Body And Experience The Miracle!

There’s a Japanese legend that says that once upon a time there was a man who inherited a very valuable knowledge from his father – about Zu San Li, “the point of longevity” or “the point of a hundred diseases”.

Following his father’s advice, this man massaged this point everyday and lived to see the births and deaths of several emperors. Massaging this point is one of the oldest methods of treatments in the East, which has been practiced for several thousand years. The human body has 365 points and 12 major meridians, which is reminiscent of the amount of days and months in a year.

The technique for this massage (acupressure, finger pressure on specific points) is based on the teachings of the meridians and channels that are associated with certain organs. In Chinese medicine, the body is seen as an energy system, and a massage can affect the energy flow and the functional activity of the organs.

Activating the point Zu San Li will give you a rejuvenating and healing effect and will prevent aging. In China, this point is known as – “a point of longevity”, and in Japan – “a point of hundred diseases”. On our bodies, Zu San Li is located right beneath the kneecap.

To find it, cover the knee with the palm of the same hand. The point is located between the nails of the little and ring finger, in a form of a small dent between the bones. If you can’t find it this way, try sitting on the floor with your feet firmly pressed to the floor. Pull them toward you, without raising your feet off of the floor. You will notice a higher area below the knee – put your finger on it and take a starting position. The point you pressed with your finger is Zu San Li.

What is this point connected to and why do the Japanese call it “the point of a hundred diseases”?

Zu San Li controls the work of the organs that are located in the lower half of the body. It controls the functions of the spinal cord in the parts that are responsible for proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, digestive tract, sexual organs, kidneys, adrenal glands. By massaging Zu San Li, you will increase the activity of the adrenal glands, which are the most powerful glands that act as the main protectors of human health.

They excrete adrenaline, hydrocortisone and other important hormones into the blood. If you massage the “point of longevity” on a daily basis, you could normalize the functions of the adrenal glands in the body, which are:

  • normalization of blood pressure;
  • normalization of glucose, insulin levels;
  • suppression of inflammatorily processes in the body;
  • regulation of the immune system.

Other benefits from massaging Zu San Li are:

  • improved digestion;
  • treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • treating the consequences of a stroke;
  • gaining confidence;
  • overcoming stress and tension; and
  • inner stability.

It is considered that by massaging this point, a person can cure impotence, hiccups, constipation, gastritis, and urinary incontinence. It is also believed that this massage will improve the immune system, and that the person will become fit and healthy for life.

This massage is best when done in the morning, before lunch. Massage each leg nine times in a circular motion in a clockwise direction, for about 10 minutes. Before you start, make yourself comfortable and relaxed. Calm your breathing and concentrate on your feelings. Do the massage in a seated position.

Immerse yourself in a state of harmony and let your healing process begin. This massage has a stimulating effect. You can massage yourself with your fingers or with any type of grain cereals (buckwheat, oats, rice, etc.)

They say that if a person performs the massage in the evening, they will lose 400 – 500 grams per week.

Be careful not to perform the massage right before going to bed because it may cause insomnia.

You can massage the Zu San Li point every day, but it is especially beneficial if you massage it during the New Moon.

– Be sure to massage this point in the morning, eight days after the start of the New Moon, as described above. It will strengthen your immunity, improve the work of the organs and slow down the aging process.

– Massaging the point before lunch will improve your memory, the work of your cardiovascular and digestive system.

– You can massage both legs simultaneously after lunch to relieve stress, nervousness, irritability, headaches and sleep disorders.

– In the evening, massage your legs separately in a counterclockwise direction. This will improve your metabolism and help you with weight loss.

Source: HealthyLifeTricks

from:    http://www.bodymindsoulspirit.com/massage-this-point-on-your-body-and-experience-the-miracle/