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Metaphysics & Psychology

Ad nauseam: Anti Consumerism A Secret Weapon

Ad nauseam: Anti Consumerism A Secret Weapon 88
The more we hate it, the more it agrees with us. How advertising turned anti-consumerism into a secret weapon

In 1796, the English physician Edward Jenner injected an eight-year-old boy in Gloucestershire with cowpox. Reasoning that absorbing a small amount of the virus would protect the child from a full-strength attack of smallpox in the future, Jenner’s bold experiment founded the practice of vaccination. Two hundred years later, the marketing industry has cottoned on to Jenner’s insight: a little bit of a disease can be a very useful thing.

If you’re one of the more than 7 million people who have watched the global fast-food chain Chipotle’s latest advertisement, you’ll have experienced this sleight of hand for yourself. The animated short film — accompanied by a smartphone game — depicts a haunting parody of corporate agribusiness: cartoon chickens inflated by robotic antibiotic arms, scarecrow workers displaced by ruthless automata. Chipotle’s logo appears only at the very end of the three-minute trailer; it is otherwise branding-free. The motivation for this big-budget exposé? ‘We’re trying to educate people about where their food comes from,’ Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, told USA Today, but ‘millennials are sceptical of brands that perpetuate themselves’.

Never mind that Chipotle itself — with more than 1,500 outlets across the US, and an annual turnover of $278 million — is hardly treading lightly on the world’s agricultural system. The real story is that the company is using a dose of anti-Big Food sentiment to inoculate the viewer against not buying any more of its burritos. Chipotle are very happy to sell the idea that they’re on our side if it helps to keep the millennials happy. If it’s advertising we don’t like, then it’s advertising we won’t get.

In the UK, the telecommunications giant Orange creates cinema ads which are spoof scenes from well-known feature films, doctoring the scripts to include gratuitous references to cell phones. One popular instalment features the actor Jack Black recreating a scene from Gulliver’s Travels (2010), in which Gulliver is captured by the tiny Lilliputians and lashed to the ground with ropes. As the product placements for Orange become increasingly blatant, Black realises he has been tricked into acting in a cellphone ad, breaks character and begins a speech about how he won’t be duped by Orange. ‘Don’t let a mobile phone ruin your film’ runs the slogan. It’s annoying, but they know this. And they know that you know that they know. And … well you get the gist.

These ads want to be our friends — to empathise with us against the tyranny of the corporate world they inhabit. Just when we thought we’d cottoned on to subliminal advertising, personalised sidebars on web pages, advertorials and infomercials, products started echoing our contempt for them. ‘Shut up!’ we shout at the TV, and the TV gets behind the sofa and shouts along with us.

It seems almost quaint, now that popular culture is riddled with knowing, self-referential nods to itself, but the aim of advertising used to be straightforward: to associate a product in a literal and direct way with positive images of a desirable, aspirational life. How we chortle at those rosy-cheeked families that dominated commercials in the post-war era. Nowadays, we adopt the slogans and imagery as ironic home decor — wartime advertisements for coffee adorn our kitchen walls; retro Brylcreem posters are pinned above the bathroom door. But our reappropriation of artefacts from a previous era of consumerism sends a powerful message: we wouldn’t be swayed by such naked pitches today.

Ad nauseam: Anti Consumerism A Secret Weapon 89

Genre-subverting ads started to emerge as early as 1959, when the Volkswagen Beetle’s US ‘Think Small’ campaign began poking fun at the German car’s size and idiosyncratic design. In stark contrast to traditional US car adverts, whose brightly coloured depictions of gargantuan front ends left the viewer in no doubt that bigger was better, the Beetle posters left most of the page blank, a tiny image of the car itself tucked away in a corner. These designs spoke to a generation that was becoming aware of how the media and advertising industries worked. The American journalist Vance Packard had blown the whistle on the tricks of the advertising trade in The Hidden Persuaders (1957), and younger consumers increasingly saw themselves as savvy. Selling to this demographic required not overeager direct pitches, but insouciant ‘cool’, laced with irony.

In subsequent decades, self-aware adverts became the norm, and advertising began to satirise the very concept of itself. In 1996, Sprite launched a successful campaign with the slogan ‘Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst’. In 2010, Kotex sent up the bizarre conventions of 1980s tampon adverts (happy, dancing women, jars of blue liquid being spilt) by flashing up the question ‘Why are Tampon adverts so ridiculous?’ before displaying its latest range of sanitary products.

‘Companies try to convince you that they are part of your family,’ says Tim Kasser, professor of psychology and an expert on consumer culture at Knox College in Illinois. ‘They want to create a sense of connection or even intimacy between the viewer and the advertiser. An ad that says: “Yes, I know you know that I’m an ad, and I know that you know that I’m annoying you” is a statement of empathy, and thus a statement of connection. And as any salesperson will tell you, connection is key to the sales.’

This technique of cultivating empathy through shared cynicism has taken off over the past decade. Today, ads for sports drinks bemoan the abundance of minutely differentiated sports drinks on the market, and beers yearn for the day when a beer was just a beer. The Swedish brewery Kopparberg has done more than any other company to promote the idea that cider can come in many delicious fruity flavours, so if anyone is to blame for the difficulty in buying plain old apple cider, it is Kopparberg. Yet their most recent invention is ‘Naked’ apple cider. As the company’s UK managing director Davin Nugent told The Morning Advertiser:
Innovation through fruit is not enough. The bigger picture is apple cider and we’re opening the back gate into the category. The apple taste in cider has been lost and become bland… we’re on to something exciting.

Corporate advertising is the ultimate shape-shifter; the perpetual tease. No sooner had the virulently anti-capitalist ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement begun than the American rapper Jay Z’s clothing label created and marketed an ‘Occupy All Streets’ spin-off T-shirt. But as citizen cynicism has advanced, the space in which advertising can operate without tripping on its own rhetoric has become ever more restricted, and ever more bizarre.

[…]

Read the full article at: aeonmagazine.com

Metaphysics & Psychology

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Japan is experiencing an unprecedented spike in suicides

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Japan is experiencing an unprecedented spike in suicides 94

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists warned that economic constraints could have serious mental health consequences.

“The secondary effects of social distancing can increase the risk of suicide,” the researchers note in an April 10 article by the American Medical Association. “It is important to consider changes in various economic, psychosocial and health-related risk factors.”

In fact, the researchers warned, forced isolation could be the “perfect storm” for suicide.

Seven months later, new evidence emerges that these researchers were right.

“Many more Japanese die from suicide, which is likely to be exacerbated by the economic and social impact of the pandemic, than from the COVID-19 disease itself,” CBS News reported. “While Japan has dealt with its coronavirus epidemic much better than many other countries, keeping the death rate below 2,000 nationwide, preliminary statistics from the National Police Directorate show that in October alone, the number of suicides rose to 2,153, which means a rise in the fourth month. contract”.

For years, the number of suicides in Japan has been declining. But the advent of COVID-19 and strict regulations to curb transmission of the virus have reversed that trend.

There were 2,153 suicides reported last month, up about 600 from the previous year, with the largest increase in women, with an 80 percent increase in suicide rates, according to CBS.

“We need to take a serious look at reality,” said Katsunobu Kato, a top Japanese government official, adding that new efforts are underway to advise potential victims.

Unlike Japan, the United States has yet to release national suicide data. But anecdotal evidence suggests the United States may be fighting its own suicide epidemic.

Before the advent of the coronavirus, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in America, claiming 42,000 to 49,000 lives annually in recent years. While we don’t yet know what the casualties will be in 2020, polls show that more than half of Americans say they are mentally harmed during the pandemic, which has prompted widespread quarantine and social isolation to fight the virus.

Meanwhile, some localities report a sharp increase in the number of suicides. These include Dane County, Wisconsin, the second-largest county in the state, with youth suicide rates nearly doubling in 2020. The John Muir Medical Center, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, has similarly reported an “unprecedented” spike in suicides in May.

“We have never seen such numbers in such a short period of time,” Dr. Michael de Boisblanc told ABC affiliate. “I mean, we’ve seen more suicide attempts in the last four weeks than in a year.”

We don’t yet know what the final U.S. suicide rate will be, but the sad truth is that the U.S. may well see growth similar to Japan’s.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

The woman who died of cancer and came back from another dimension

The woman who died of cancer and came back from another dimension 95

Anita Moorjani, experienced something that most of us will never experience. She was diagnosed with cancer, lived with it, died of it, then came back to life and returned home healthy.

Moorjani had been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for four years when she woke up one morning and couldn’t move at all. Her husband rushed her to the hospital and was diagnosed with grade 4B lymphoma. Her organs were shutting down, and doctors believed she had only 36 hours to live. She eventually passed out.

However, she was still aware of what was happening around her. She could hear her husband in the lobby and observe his conversations with the doctors. She could see her brother desperately board a plane in India so that he could come and see her one last time at a Hong Kong hospital. Besides, she realized something completely different.

“… I actually ‘passed’ into another dimension. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of complete love. I also felt extraordinary clarity about why I have cancer, why I came into this life at all, what role all members of my family played in my life in the general scheme of things and how life in general works. “

“The clarity and understanding I received in this state is almost indescribable. Words cannot describe the experience. I was in a place where I realized how much more there is that we can imagine in our three-dimensional world. “

“I realized what the gift of life was, and that I was surrounded by loving spiritual beings who were always around me, even when I didn’t know it.”

She died, then came back to life. And there were even more surprises. The cancer left her body and she left the hospital healthy. The doctors did not believe it.

“The doctors were very confused, but told me it must have been a quick reaction to chemotherapy. Since they themselves could not understand what was happening, they made me pass test after test, and I passed all this with honor.

Passing each test gave me even more options! I had a full body scan and since they couldn’t believe they hadn’t found anything, they made the radiologist do it again! “

Many people who have experienced near-death experiences describe something similar to what Murjani tells, but it seems that she traveled somewhere that many of us will never get until we change ourselves.

When you learn to love and appreciate yourself, you can experience a piece of heaven! In this video, Anita Moorjani talks about her experience of near death with lymphoma and how it helped her understand what our diseases can teach us and what really matters most in our lives.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Human biocomputer. Is it true that thought is material?

Human biocomputer. Is it true that thought is material? 96

Recently there have been reports that American researchers have been able to calculate the weight of human thought. It ranges in their opinion, from 10 to 30 grams. 

What is Consciousness?

Consciousness is our ability to think, reason, determine our attitude to reality. It reminds our muscles how to ride a bike or drive a car, tells us that we have a business meeting next Monday, and participates in many decisions. Consciousness can be imagined as a large organizer right in our head, in which we keep all the information we need.

But does consciousness belong to us? Scientist say that the brain is a kind of “being in being”. It seems to live and act within us, but according to its own laws, unknown to us. There are thousands of documented cases from medical practice, when people live and retain their mental abilities with complete or partial absence of a brain or with complete cerebral hydrocephalus.

Such facts and evidence make scientists recognize the fact that consciousness exists independently of the brain. So, John Eccles, the largest neurophysiologist and Nobel Prize winner in medicine, believed that the psyche is not a function of the brain. Together with his colleague, neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, who has performed more than 10,000 brain surgeries, Eccles wrote the book ‘The Mystery of Man‘. In it, the authors explicitly state that they have no doubt that a person is controlled by something outside his body.

Two more Nobel Prize winners, neurophysiologists David Hubel and Thorsten Wiesel, have repeatedly said in their speeches and scientific works: in order to assert the connection between the brain and consciousness, you need to understand what exactly reads and decodes the information that comes from the senses. However, as they emphasize, this is not yet possible.

A research team led by Dr. Sam Parnia conducted an experiment for 4.5 years with 2060 patients in 15 hospitals. Scientists have collected evidence that the human consciousness is still working, even if the rest of the body (including the brain) can already be considered dead. 

“The brain, like any other organ of the human body, consists of cells and cannot think. However, it can work as a device that detects thoughts – like a television receiver, which first receives waves, and then converts them into sound and image “, – this was the conclusion of Sam Parnia.

A person can be compared to a biocomputer participating in the exchange of information on the “Internet” of the noosphere. The fact that our brain is a transceiver of electromagnetic signals is a reliable fact, but modern methods of registering them are not yet sensitive enough. And our consciousness is just an instrument that is given to us for the perception of this world. And his activity has a creative power. 

Scientists from the Canadian Queens University conducted an experiment in which volunteers were seated in the center of a room and another person’s gaze was periodically directed to the back of their heads. Approximately 95% of the subjects noted that they clearly felt the effect of the gaze on themselves as “passing pressure on the back of the head.” 

Human biocomputer. Is it true that thought is material? 97

Can thought change reality? 

Modern science has evidence that thought is material. With our thoughts, we create our own personal reality, which is formed on the basis of our beliefs and beliefs. And this reality can be changed. How? With the help of all the same thoughts! 

American researcher in the field of neurophysiology and neuropsychology Joe Dispenza was one of the first to study the influence of consciousness on reality from a scientific point of view. It happened after the tragedy. Dispenza was hit by a car, doctors suggested that he fasten the damaged vertebrae with an implant, which could subsequently lead to lifelong pain. But only in this way, according to doctors, he could walk again. However, Dispenza decided to challenge traditional medicine and restore his health with the power of thought. Just 9 months later, he went again. 

The key discovery made by this scientist is that the brain does not distinguish between real and imagined experiences. For example, Dispenza conducted such an experiment. Its members were divided into two groups. People from the first group pressed the spring mechanism with the same finger every day for an hour. People from the second only had to imagine that they were clicking. As a result, the fingers of the subjects from the first group strengthened by 30%, and from the second – by 22%. So, Joe Dispenza proved that for the brain and neurons there is not much difference between real and mental experience. This means that if we pay attention to negative thoughts, our brain perceives them as reality and causes corresponding changes in the body. For example, illness, fear, depression, outburst of aggression, etc.

Human biocomputer. Is it true that thought is material? 98

How to rejuvenate with your imagination? 

The idea that thoughts and emotions generated at the same time by several people can affect reality has been expressed for a long time. But this idea belonged more to the sphere of esotericism than science. In the 1990s, scientists at Princeton University decided to test it with an experiment. 

They worked with a random number generator. It usually outputs roughly equal numbers of zeros and ones. During the experiments, the operators had to “inspire” the machine to produce more zeros or, conversely, ones. To do this, they intensely thought about the desired. And the results that the generator showed exceeded the probabilities. The experimenters also noticed that when two people participated in the experiment, their “influence” on the generator increased. However, the result looked more impressive if there was a strong emotional connection between the participants.

Imagination is one of the most dynamic human capabilities. In the UK, scientists have proven that the power of thought can even rejuvenate. In a study of volunteer participants, older men who had crossed the 70s, they were asked to change their way of thinking. They were asked to think and act as if each of them suddenly “dropped” 20 years.

The subjects followed the recommendations by changing their way of thinking, daily routine, and their usual activities. Less than a week later, the authors of the experiment noted the first changes, and they were physiological, and therefore easily amenable to elementary checks. In tests and analyzes, it was found that all participants who began to think and act like younger men had improved vision and hearing. Their joints became more flexible and coordination of movements improved. And these changes were by no means short-term: they were “entrenched” in those who, even after the end of the study, continued to think and act like a young man. 

In conclusion, we will mention one more experiment, or rather, an interesting experience. A Chinese physicist, head of the department of Tsinghua University, Bohai Dui, once asked the students to whom he was lecturing to mentally wish him ill. This happened in a lecture. 300 people got down to business at once. Someone imagined terrible situations with the professor, someone inwardly swore at him. And what? The next day he was unable to go to work! The results of the blood test, which he donated for verification, were close to critical. 

The professor was treated on the principle of “like like”. This time, 300 students mentally wished him well. The scientist regained strength, the analyzes returned to normal. By the way, Bohai Dui later wrote a book on this topic. In it, he popularly explained that man is not the king of nature at all, but only an electromagnetic system.

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