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Metaphysics & Psychology

Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities beyond Normal Limits

There seems to be a simple way to instantly increase a person’s level of general knowledge. Psychologists Ulrich Weger and Stephen Loughnan recently asked two groups of people to answer questions. People in one group were told that before each question, the answer would be briefly flashed on their screens — too quickly to consciously perceive, but slow enough for their unconscious to take it in. The other group was told that the flashes simply signaled the next question. In fact, for both groups, a random string of letters, not the answers, was flashed. But, remarkably, the people who thought the answers were flashed did better on the test. Expecting to know the answers made people more likely to get the answers right.

Our cognitive and physical abilities are in general limited, but our conceptions of the nature and extent of those limits may need revising. In many cases, thinking that we are limited is itself a limiting factor. There is accumulating evidence that suggests that our thoughts are often capable of extending our cognitive and physical limits.

Can our thoughts improve our vision? We tend to believe that an essentially mechanical process determines how well we see. Recent research by Ellen Langer and colleagues suggests otherwise. It is a common belief that fighter pilots have very good vision. The researchers put people in the mindset of an Air Force pilot by bringing them into a flight simulator. The simulator consisted of an actual cockpit including flight instruments. The cockpit was mounted on hydraulic lifts that mimic aircraft movement and performance. People were given green army fatigues; they sat in the pilot’s seat, and performed simple flight maneuvers. They took a vision test while “flying” the simulator. A control group took the same vision test in the cockpit while the simulator was inactive. People’s vision improved only if they were in the working simulator.

To rule out the possible effect of motivation, the researchers brought another group of people into the cockpit and asked them to read a brief essay on motivation. After people finished reading, they were strongly urged to be as motivated as possible and try hard to perform well in the vision test. The test was conducted while the simulator was inactive. They did not show a significant improvement.

In an eye exam, we are used to start experiencing problems at the bottom third of the eye chart, where letters start to get small. In another experiment, Ellen Langer and colleagues showed people a shifted chart. At the top, it included letters equivalent to the medium-size letters on the normal eye chart and the chart progressed to letters of very small size at the bottom. Because people were expecting to read the top two thirds of the shifted chart as well, they were able to read much smaller letters.

We also tend to think that our bodies respond to physical exercise in a mechanical way. We count our calorie intake, the calories we lose on a treadmill, etc. However, merely changing our thoughts about our physical activity seems capable of changing our bodies. Hotel room attendants clean on average 15 rooms per day, each room taking between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. (The physical activity involved meets the Surgeon General’s recommendation of at least 30 minutes of physical exercise per day for a healthy lifestyle.) However, most hotel room attendants believe that they do not get regular exercise; and a lot of them believe that they do not get any exercise at all. Alia Crum and Ellen Langer told hotel room attendants that their work provided the recommended exercise for a healthy lifestyle. This treatment group was monitored for 4 weeks. A control group of hotel room attendants, who were not told that their work provided the recommended exercise, was similarly monitored. People in the treatment group lost weight; their body fat percentages, waist-to-hip ratios, and systolic blood pressures dropped. People in the control group showed no such improvement. These changes occurred despite the fact that the hotel room attendants’ amount of work, amount of exercise outside of work, and diets stayed the same.


Metaphysics & Psychology

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

What happens if you fall into a black hole?

Surely you believe that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you. But in reality, physicists believe, your fate will be much stranger. This could happen to anyone in the future. Maybe you are trying to find a new habitable planet for the human race, or you just fell asleep on the long journey. What happens if you fall into a black hole? You would expect to be crushed or torn apart. But it’s not that simple.

The moment you enter the black hole, reality will be split in two. In one you will be immediately destroyed, and in the other you will plunge into a black hole completely unharmed.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

A black hole is a place where the laws of physics we know don’t work. Einstein taught us that gravity bends space itself, deforms it. Therefore, if you take a sufficiently dense object, space-time can become so crooked that it wraps itself in itself, making a hole in the very fabric of reality.

A massive star that has run out of fuel could provide the extreme density needed to create this warped patch of space. Bending under its own weight and collapsing, the massive object pulls space-time along with it. The gravitational field becomes so powerful that even light cannot leave it, which dooms the region in which this star is located to a dark fate: a black hole.

The outer edge of a black hole is its event horizon, the point at which the force of gravity opposes the attempts of light to leave it. Get too close and there will be no return.

The event horizon burns with energy. Quantum effects at this boundary create streams of hot particles flowing back into the universe. This is the so-called Hawking radiation, named after the physicist Stephen Hawking, who predicted its existence. After enough time, the black hole will evaporate its mass completely and disappear.

As you plunge into the black hole, you will find that space becomes more and more curved until at the very center it becomes infinitely curved. This is a singularity. Space and time no longer have any meaning, and the laws of physics we know that need space and time no longer work.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

What’s going on at the singularity? No one knows. Another universe? Oblivion? Is Matthew McConaughey floating on the other side of the bookshelves? Riddle.

What happens if you accidentally fall into one of these cosmic aberrations? First, ask your space partner – let’s call her Anna – who watches in horror as you float towards the black hole while it remains at a safe distance. She observes strange things.

If you accelerate towards the event horizon, Anna sees you stretch and distort, as if she is looking at you through a giant magnifying glass. Also, the closer you get to the horizon, the more your movements slow down.

You cannot shout because there is no air in space, but you can try to signal Anna a Morse message with the light of your iPhone (there is even an application for this). However, your words will reach it more and more slowly, as the light waves are stretched to lower and redder frequencies: “Okay, good, good, good …”.

When you reach the horizon, Anna will see that you are frozen, as if someone had pressed the pause button. You will be imprinted there, immobilized and elongated across the entire horizon, as the rising heat begins to absorb you.

According to Anna, you are slowly being erased by the stretching of space, the stopping of time and the warmth of Hawking’s radiation. Before plunging into the darkness of a black hole, you will turn to ash.

But before we start planning the funeral, let’s forget about Anna and see this eerie scene from your point of view. And do you know what’s going on here? Nothing.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

You float straight into nature’s most sinister manifestation and you don’t get a bump or bruise – and you certainly don’t stretch, slow down, or fry with radiation. Because you are in free fall and do not experience gravity: Einstein called this “the happiest thought.”

After all, the event horizon is not a brick wall floating in space. It is an artifact of perspective. An observer who remains outside the black hole cannot see through it, but that is not your problem. There is no horizon for you.

If the black hole were smaller, you would have problems. The force of gravity would be much stronger at your feet than at your head, and would stretch you like spaghetti. Luckily for you, it’s a big black hole, millions of times more massive than the Sun, so the forces that could spaghettize you are weak enough to be ignored.

Moreover, in a sufficiently large black hole, you could live the rest of your life, and then die in a singularity.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

How normal this life will be is a big question, given that you have been sucked against your will into a gap in the space-time continuum and there is no turning back.

But if you think about it, we are all familiar with this feeling, from the experience of communicating not with space, but with time. Time only moves forward, never backward, and sucks us in against our will, leaving no chance of retreat.

This is not just an analogy. Black holes distort space and time to such an extreme state that within the event horizon of a black hole, space and time actually change roles. In fact, it is time that sucks you into the singularity. You cannot turn around and walk out of a black hole in the same way that you cannot turn around and go back into the past.

At this point, you ask yourself: what is wrong with Anna? If you are chilling inside a black hole surrounded by empty space, why does your partner see you burn up in radiation on the event horizon? Hallucinations?

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

In fact, Anna is in perfect health. From her point of view, you really burned out on the horizon. This is not an illusion. She could even collect your ashes and send them home.

In fact, the laws of nature require you to stay outside the black hole, as seen from Anna’s point of view. This is because quantum physics requires that information not be lost, not lost. Every bit of information that speaks of your existence must remain outside the horizon so that Anna’s laws of physics are not violated.

On the other hand, the laws of physics also require you to float across the horizon without colliding with hot particles or anything out of the ordinary. Otherwise, you will violate Einstein’s “happiest thought” and his theory of general relativity.

So, the laws of physics require that you simultaneously be outside a black hole in the form of a handful of ash and inside a black hole, alive and well. And there is also a third law of physics which says that information cannot be cloned. You must be in two places, but there can only be one copy of you.

One way or another, the laws of physics lead us to a conclusion that seems rather meaningless. Physicists call this puzzle the black hole information paradox. Fortunately, in the 1990s, they found a way to solve it.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

Leonard Susskind came to the conclusion that there is no paradox, since no one sees your copy. Anna sees only one copy of you. You only see one copy of yourself. You and Anna will never be able to compare them (and your observations, too). And there is no third observer who can simultaneously observe a black hole from the inside and outside. So no laws of physics are violated.

But you probably would like to know whose story is true. Are you dead or alive? In fact, there is no truth here. The one who looks at the world from the first person is alive. You, who remained on the horizon of the black hole and turned to ash, are dead. There is a splitting of reality, where in one you are no longer there.

There are phenomena where there is no truth; everyone perceives it differently.

For example, you can fly to a parallel world, where you live for only a couple of days, and then return back to Earth. When you return, you will find that all your relatives and friends have long passed away, and the world you are used to has changed to one degree or another. You went to a parallel universe when the year was 2024 on Earth, and you returned in 2088, although it seemed only a few days had passed.

Yes, it really took only a couple of days for you, but on Earth this very period of time proceeded differently, with you it proceeded much more slowly, but this does not change the essence: the time is the same for everyone, but it flows differently everywhere. In your universe, this time was perceived as many years, and in a parallel universe you perceived this time as some three or four days, and unlike your friends of that time, your body has aged for these same three or four days, but not more … Returning back, you can consider that you are in the future, and in part this is true. You will return young and healthy, and these 64 years on Earth were for you several days in a parallel world.

In the summer of 2012, physicists Ahmed Almeiri, Donald Marolph, Joe Polchinski, and James Sully, collectively known as AMPS, conceived a thought experiment that threatened to turn everything we had gathered about black holes. They suggested that Susskind’s decision was based on the fact that any discrepancy between you and Anna is mediated by the event horizon. It doesn’t matter if Anna saw an unfortunate version of you torn apart by Hawking radiation, since the horizon prevents her from seeing another version of you floating in a black hole.

But what if she had a way to find out what was on the other side of the horizon without crossing it?

Ordinary relativity will say no, no, but quantum mechanics blur the rules a little. Anna could look beyond the horizon using a little trick that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”This happens when two sets of particles, separated in space, are mysteriously “entangled”. They are part of a single invisible whole, so the information that describes them is mysteriously linked between them.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

The idea behind AMPS is based on this phenomenon. Let’s say Anna scoops up some information from the horizon – let’s call her A.

If her story is correct, and you’ve already entered a better world, then A scooped up in Hawking radiation outside the black hole should be entangled with another piece of information B, which is also part of the hot cloud of radiation. On the other hand, if your story is correct and you are alive and well on the other side of the event horizon, then A must be entangled with another piece of information C, which is somewhere inside the black hole. But here’s the point: every bit of information can only be confused once. This implies that A can be entangled with either B or C, but not simultaneously with both.

So Anna takes her particle A and puts it in a manual entanglement decoding machine, which gives her the answer: B or C.

If the answer is C, your story wins, but the laws of quantum mechanics are broken. If A is entangled with C, which is deep inside a black hole, then that piece of information is lost to Anna forever. This violates the quantum law of the impossibility of losing information.

B remains. If Anna’s decoding engine finds that A is entangled with B, Anna wins, and general relativity loses. If A is entangled with B, Anna’s story will be the only true story, which means that you actually burned to the ground. Instead of sailing straight across the horizon, as relativity suggests, you’ll be faced with a blazing wall of fire. So we’re back to where we started: what happens when you fall into a black hole? Do you slip through it and live a normal life, thanks to a reality that is strangely dependent on the observer? Or do you approach the horizon of a black hole only to collide with a deadly wall of fire?

Nobody knows the answer, and therefore this question has become one of the most controversial in the field of fundamental physics.

For more than a century, physicists have been trying to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics, believing that one of them will eventually have to yield. Solving the paradox of the aforementioned wall of fire should point to a winner and also lead us to an even deeper theory of the universe.

One of the clues may lie in Anna’s decoding machine. Figuring out which of the other bits of information is confused with A is extremely difficult. So physicists Daniel Harlow of Princeton University in New Jersey and Patrick Hayden of Stanford University in California decided to figure out how long it would take to decode. In 2013, they calculated that even with the fastest computer that can exist, it would take Anna an incredible amount of time to decipher the entanglement. By the time she finds the answer, the black hole has long since evaporated, disappeared from the Universe and takes with it the riddle of the deadly wall of fire.

If so, then the sheer complexity of the problem could prevent Anna from figuring out whose story is true. Both stories will remain equally true, the laws of physics will remain intact, reality will depend on the observer, and no one will be in danger of being consumed by a wall of fire. It also gives physicists new food for thought: the filthy connections between complex calculations (the kind that Anna can’t do) and space-time. Perhaps there is more lurking here somewhere.

These are black holes. They are not only annoying obstacles for space travelers. They are also theoretical laboratories that bring the laws of physics to white heat, and the subtle nuances of our Universe are brought to such a level that they can no longer be ignored.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Some scientists believe that death does not exist. But why?

Each of us will sooner or later face death. But what happens at the moment of dying and after it? Throughout its history, humanity has been looking for answers to these questions. 

Christianity and other Abrahamic religions offer eternal life in heaven or hell, but Buddhism looks at the process of life and death somewhat differently, offering reincarnation. 

The gods of ancient Egypt, Scandinavian folklore, the myths of Ancient Greece – all these stories are somehow connected with death and attempts to cope with loss. But what if you look at death differently? What if death is not really the end, and your consciousness just loads and appears in another space-time?

Groundhog Day

Remember the 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow and 1993 Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? These movies are similar, as the protagonists get stuck in a time loop and live the same day over and over and over and over again. 

The heroes of Murray and Cruz die many times, but they wake up again in the same place and at the same time. In fact, the time loop hypothesis is extremely popular among science fiction writers and screenwriters all over the world, so you can easily remember a dozen more similar films and stories.

But if you approach the story about Groundhog Day from a slightly different angle, then the question of whether it may turn out that death does not actually exist does not sound so stupid. Moreover, more and more questions arise – what if we just start life anew every time in a different space-time or return to that moment in time where death was avoided?

Bill Murray and the Groundhog are flying to meet the next day (still from the movie Groundhog Day)

Robert Lanza is the head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, an institute for regenerative medicine that develops stem cell therapies with a focus on diseases that cause blindness. Let us remind you that stem cells are the precursors of all cells and tissues of the human body. These cells are able to maintain their numbers through division and have the ability to “transform” into different types of cells. With age, the number of stem cells in the human body decreases.

According to the British, according to Dr. Lanz, death is not the end, but simply a quantum reboot that moves consciousness to another place in an alternative space-time. The scientist believes that our consciousness simply creates what we perceive as the Universe, and without an individual, nothing exists at all.

The new theory also suggests that time and space cannot be measured, but are simply concepts created by our minds to help us store information. Moreover, Lanza is convinced that consciousness exists thanks to the energy that is contained in our bodies and is released as soon as physical bodies stop the process, which he calls “biocentrism.” It is noteworthy that Lanza put forward this theory back in 2012. My colleague Ramis Ganiev wrote a fascinating article on this topic, I recommend reading it.

Biocentrism is an irregular ideology or scientific approach to environmental protection. The main thing in biocentrism is the interests of living nature in the form in which they appear to man.

Long Live Quantum Physics Albert Einstein

It is important to understand that when we talk about the theory of biocentrism, we are at the same time talking about Albert Einstein. It was he who first suggested what Lanz later voiced: when our physical bodies die, the energy of consciousness is conserved and can continue to exist at the quantum level. Remember the famous words of Albert Einstein:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transform from one form to another.

Reflecting on Einstein’s words, Lanza suggested that reincarnation is real because consciousness is contained in the universe itself. 

In his blog for the Huffington Post, Dr. Lanza writes:

“It was actually Einstein’s theory of relativity that showed that space and time are indeed relative to the observer.” He adds: “If the world is created by an observer, we should not be surprised that it collapses along with the death of each of us. Space and time disappear, and with them all Newtonian concepts of order and prediction disappear.” 

The scientist points to Einstein’s belief that space and time are interrelated concepts and one cannot exist without the other.

Pictured is Dr. Robert Lanza. He believes that time is an exclusively human construction.

Consciousness and time

Let’s say Lanza is right and the time for a deceased person is really rebooted and consciousness appears at another point in space-time. However, there is something, without which neither one nor the other can exist – this is the observer. This means that consciousness simply reappears at another point in space-time after death.

“We think the past is the past and the future is the future. But as Einstein realized, it just isn’t true. Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in fact, you can accept any time – past or future – as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to new opportunities. “

Robert Lanza, Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine

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Metaphysics & Psychology

‘The Matrix’ turned out to be a metaphor for transgender people and gender identity

Director Lilly Wachowski has confirmed fan theory that the Matrix trilogy is about transgender people and gender identity. Interviews with the filmmaker, in which she reveals the meaning and metaphors of films, published on YouTube -channel, the Netflix Film Club.

“I’m glad people talk about The Matrix films through a transgender lens. I like that these movies turned out to be close to trans people who come up to me and talk about how these films saved their lives,” she admitted.

Wachowski emphasized that she is happy that the original idea of ​​the film has surfaced in fan theories:

“It was our original concept, but the world – I mean the film company – was not yet ready for this.”

The Matrix is ​​a trilogy of sci-fi films from 1999 to 2003. It tells about the struggle of surviving people with intelligent machines after the death of human civilization. 

The trilogy has grossed $ 1.6 billion worldwide. The directors were brothers Lawrence and Andrew Wachowski, who then changed sex and became Lana and Lilly Wachowski.

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