"Emergence" is Like Art and Science Having Sex

"#Emergence" by Max Cooper is like #Art and #Science Having Sex

e·mer·gence
/əˈmərjəns/
noun

1. the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed.
2. the process of coming into being, or of becoming important or prominent.


Emergence is a sublime collection of music and visual art pieces exploring the emanant nature of reality. The series was principally produced by Max Cooper, a PhD. in Computational Biology turned electronic music producer.

In this collaboration, Max did not leave his scientific background behind. In fact, Emergence is an attempt by Max to link his deep interest in science with art. The results are a nearly-psychedelic exploration of the same questions motivating researchers in their quest for a deeper understanding of the universe.

emergence-planets-art
Emergence is the story of natural laws and processes, their inherent beauty, and their action to yield the universe, us and the world we live in...The story is told using a universe timeline, from pre-big bang to future, with each chapter a collaboration with a different visual artist, including some collaborations with mathematicians or scientists for those chapters using real data visualisation. As such, there is a huge range in visual styles, and for each different idea and piece of music I had in mind, it was a matter of finding the right visual artist and approach to try and tell that part of the story. My aim with this approach was to have plenty of variation to make what is an often abstract narrative, interesting, and also a hope that the over-arching story links the different visual styles together.
— Max Cooper

a few favorite pieces:

Symmetry

Symmetry is one of the most fundamental principles of nature, and also forms the basis of music...which starts with visualisations of the basic building blocks of nature, setting the stage for the physical universe to come into being, and later planets, life, civilisation, and technology.

Symmetry is the idea that one aspect of a system can change while another remains constant. The idea of natural laws themselves, rely on the forms of symmetry that mean the same forces will apply to you as they do to me, independently of our position in space or time. And scientists searches for natures symmetries lie at the heart of much of our best models of reality (see Noether’s Theorem or more recent uses of symmetries in things like the ‘amplituhedron’!).
The principle is also responsible for music, in that our enjoyment of tonality, melody, harmony and rhythm comes from our subconscious appreciation of different types of patterns (i.e. symmetries) in sound waves.

Biochemistry

This video sequence by Nick Cobby shows cell-organelle-like structures developing, and lock-and-key-like interactions for the glitch sections. So I thought it would be a nice abstract way of presenting intracellular form and dynamics; the factory operating inside every living cell, reliant on a vast shipping network, countless tiny molecular machines and complex molecules bouncing in a hot soup and fitting together in precise forms to direct metabolism and cell behavior. It’s a miracle it works at all, but nature is great at robustness after billions of years of failed attempts.

Self-Awareness

I thought I should give special attention in the story to the emergence of self-awareness, given it’s importance in the human condition. I decided to do this with a slowly materialising eye, where the audience is forced to look back at something which reveals to be themselves, as an analogy for the emergent process.

The Digital Self

Nick Cobby had put a great video together for this one, mapping people’s faces with a Kinect, and syncing them to the vocal snippets of the audio track. I use this as an analogy for the information age, where the human form becomes digital.

Altruism

The video brief was to focus on the emergence of altruism, and Cenk came up with the interesting idea of transposing this from a pre-human evolutionary process, to a future emergence of altruism in robots. This opened the door for some additional scorched world and warring political system narratives, which fit in well with the generally darker themes in the other videos upon the arrival of complex human society. I’m not a pessimist though, things do eventually get better in the overall Emergence story, it just happens when humans and society as we know it have transitioned to a new state.

You can find more info and all of the rest of the work here


Rewire Your Brain to Make Ingenious Connections


The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.

How to Decide When You Should Talk Fast or Slow

How to Decide When You Should Talk Fast or Slow #Communication

Speaking Fast vs. Slow

Some people are naturally fast talkers and some people are slow talkers.
Most of us have the ability to influence the speed of our speech one way or the other. 

Have you ever wondered if fast talking is "better" than slow talking or vice versa? 
The answer to that question is contextual. So what talking speed is best in what circumstances?


1. When You Want to Look Smart


WINNER:
Fast Talking (at least, if you're in the US)

Quickness of speech has nothing to do with your intelligence. Einstein was not a fast talker. Yet fast speakers are often viewed as intelligent

In fact, actors in the US get instructed to speak faster when they play intelligent characters. Think Aaron Sorkin. Scriptwriters believe that the faster a character speaks, the more clever and competent they come off.

This idea is backed up by research that Norman Miller and his colleagues conducted in 1976. Their data suggested that people who spoke faster seemed more credible to listeners. Fast speech signaled confidence, intelligence, objectivity, and knowledge. After all, it takes a certain amount of mental firepower to quickly construct and present thoughts.

That said, cultural factors may be at play.
Norman Miller's study was conducted only in the United States.

How to Decide When You Should Talk Fast or Slow #Communication

2. When You Want to Get People Excited


WINNER:
Fast Talking

Research by Stephen Smith and David Shaffer in 1995 suggested that fast talking is associated with anger, excitement and fear. If you're trying to elicit any of these emotions at any point in a conversation or presentation, speeding up your speech can help. 

People naturally talk faster when they get excited. So when you signal your excitement with fast speech, the listener's experience will mirror that emotion. 

3. When You Want to Communicate Effectively


WINNER:
Slow Talking

Many of us believe that we need to say a lot of words to communicate the essence of our thoughts. But we often overlook the fact that the human brain can only recall 4-7 chunks of information at a time.

If you speak 300 words, and the listener can only hold 10 of them, what are the other 290 words good for? Probably not much. Even worse is that the listener may internalize only the least important seven words to your message.

Fast speech rates lower a person's ability to comprehend and understand what the other person is saying and why they are saying it.

The more you slow down your speech, the more the listener's comprehension will increase.

When you speak many words at high speed, you are "setting the table" for miscommunication. So when you have something important to say, slow down, be brief, and convey the essence of your message in 10 words or less. This will make sure your message lands. Besides, research shows that fast speech correlates with lower information content. So you probably didn't need all those quickly spoken words anyway. 

When you communicate slowly and mindfully, you'll be surprised by how few words you need.

Check out this related post: "Chunking": The Real Secret to Effective Communication

4. When You Want a Soul-to-soul Connection


Winner:
Slow Talking

Ever notice that whenever there is a big, romantic moment between people in a movie the tempo of speech between characters slows?

When we are highly focused or deeply connected to another person, our speech rate naturally slows down and we speak less.

You can easily train your voice to convey more trust to others by slowing down your speech rate and dropping your pitch. This was tested at the University of Houston. When doctors spoke slower, the listeners perceived them as "more caring and sympathetic."

By slowing your speech you can dramatically increase intimacy and empathy through your conversations. And, as noted above, you will be communicating more effectively. Effective communication opens doors to deeper relationships more intimate connections with others.


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5. When You Want to be Persuasive


WINNER: 
It depends...

According to Miller's research, when people spoke at 195 words per a minute (a speedy conversational pace) they were more persuasive than at 100 words per minute (a slower conversational pace). This result led researchers to the conclusion that fast talking was predictably better for persuasion.

In this study, Miller and fellow researchers tried to convince participants that caffeine was bad for them. Presenters that spoke faster were more convincing than others.

This study is seems humorous to witness. Imagine a person speaking at a hyper-caffeinated pace explaining the dangers of coffee. Nevertheless, the findings seemed to support the notion that if you spoke faster, you were more persuasive.

Later, researchers began to wonder if this was really true.

Further research showed that:

  • Fast talking is more persuasive when the audience is inclined to disagree with the speaker. 
  • Slow talking is more persuasive when the audience is open-minded.

Here's why:

It boils down to the fact that fast-talkers are less comprehensible. When a fast-talker delivers a message to a disagreeable crowd, there isn't much time for the audience to come up with counter-arguments. And when they fail to come up with counter-arguments, they are more persuaded. 

It works the other way around when the audience is more open and likes the speaker's message. When a message is delivered slowly, there is plenty of time for the listeners to resonate with speaker and agree more deeply.

How to Decide When You Should Talk Fast or Slow #Communication

Staying Mindful in Our Communication


Although there are some contexts where fast talking can be useful, the research shows that slow talking is way better for communicating and connecting with others.

Before entering a discussion, consider asking yourself what your intention is. This will help you enter a mindful state as you proceed. Most likely, you want to feel a connection and communicate clearly with whomever you are talking to. And if that's true, you should slow your speech rate.

If you train with the exercise below, you will change your brain in ways that can dramatically improve your communication skills and social intelligence.


Neuro-Exercise: The 10-10 Communication Game

Try this brain-training game with a partner. 
The object of the game is to have a conversation where each person takes turns speaking only 10 words or less.

Each person holds their fists in front of them. For each word spoken the speaker raises one finger. When the speaker has raised all 10 fingers, the speaker's turn is over. Then, the other person has to respond in 10 words or less.

Do this while deeply listening and paying close attention to facial expressions.

At first you’ll feel a little weird, but the finger counting slows down your mind, and then it actually becomes easier for your brain to select essential words that convey more precisely what you mean. The slower speaking also improves improving neural comprehension in the listener’s brain, and it becomes more difficult to feel anxiety or irritability, two emotional qualities that derail the communication process.

Of course, this is just a training exercise, but when it comes to effective speaking and problem solving, we recommend that you try your best to adhere to the 20-Second "Rule," speaking for no longer than 20 seconds – and much less when you want to convey a key point or concept. Twenty seconds is about how long it takes to speak 3 sentences, but you’ll still have to count out your words on your fingers until you build the intuitive skill of speaking briefly. Without your fingers, you'll probably say too much and muddle the effectiveness of your conversation. With them, you can solve problems in a quarter of the time it normally takes.


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The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.


SOURCES:

Speed of speech and persuasion. Miller, Norman; Maruyama, Geoffrey; Beaber, Rex J.; Valone, Keith

Celerity and Cajolery: Rapid Speech May Promote or Inhibit Persuasion through its Impact on Message Elaboration Stephen M. SmithDavid R. Shaffer

Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Bateson M, Nettle D, Roberts G. Biol Lett. 2006 Sep 22;2(3):412-4.

Effects of anonymity on antisocial behavior committed by individuals. Nogami T, Takai J. Psychol Rep. 2008 Feb;102(1):119-30.

Eyes are on us, but nobody cares: are eye cues relevant for strong reciprocity? Fehr E, Schneider F. Proc Biol Sci. 2010 May 7;277(1686):1315-23.

Evaluating faces on trustworthiness: an extension of systems for recognition of emotions signaling approach/avoidance behaviors. Todorov A. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Mar;1124:208-24.

Common neural mechanisms for the evaluation of facial trustworthiness and emotional expressions as revealed by behavioral adaptation. Engell AD, Todorov A, Haxby JV. Perception. 2010;39(7):931-41.

Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

"Worth a thousand words": absolute and relative decoding of nonlinguistic affect vocalizations. Hawk ST, van Kleef GA, Fischer AH, van der Schalk J. Emotion. 2009 Jun;9(3):293-305.

Leadership = Communication? The Relations of Leaders' Communication Styles with Leadership Styles,  Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes. de Vries RE, Bakker-Pieper A, Oostenveld W. J Bus Psychol. 2010 Sep;25(3):367-380.

Voice analysis during bad news discussion in oncology: reduced pitch, decreased speaking rate, and nonverbal communication of empathy. McHenry M, Parker PA, Baile WF, Lenzi R. Support Care Cancer. 2011 May 15.

Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Kaptchuk TJ, Kelley JM, Conboy LA, Davis RB, Kerr CE, Jacobson EE, Kirsch I, Schyner RN, Nam BH, Nguyen LT, Park M, Rivers AL, McManus C, Kokkotou E, Drossman DA, Goldman P, Lembo AJ. BMJ. 2008 May 3;336(7651):999-1003.

Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

Gestures orchestrate brain networks for language understanding. Skipper JI, Goldin-Meadow S, Nusbaum HC, Small SL. Curr Biol. 2009 Apr 28;19(8):661-7.

When language meets action: the neural integration of gesture and speech. Willems RM, Ozyürek A, Hagoort P. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Oct;17(10):2322-33.

When the hands speak. Gentilucci M, Dalla Volta R, Gianelli C. J Physiol Paris. 2008 Jan-May;102(1-3):21-30. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

How symbolic gestures and words interact with each other. Barbieri F, Buonocore A,Volta RD, Gentilucci M. Brain Lang. 2009 Jul;110(1):1-11.

Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Tang YY, Ma Y, Wang J, Fan Y, Feng S, Lu Q, Yu Q, Sui D, Rothbart MK, Fan M, Posner MI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 23;104(43):17152-6.

Comprehension of speeded discourse by younger and older listeners. Gordon MS, Daneman M, Schneider BA. Exp Aging Res. 2009 Jul-Sep;35(3):277-96.

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

A negative mentality is profoundly harmful to the the circuitry of the brain. Fortunately, the problem is addressable. Anyone who struggles with negativity can take measures that are proven by science to help regulate negativity and become more positive. Unfortunately, most people who are chronically negative don't even know that they are. Without this self-awareness, it is impossible to do anything to address the core problem.

A person who is chronically negative, by definition, is one that is habitually negative. When someone forms a habit, it moves from the part of their brain that is self-aware (the frontal lobes) to deeper parts of their brain that are unconscious and automatic. The more anyone does anything, the less aware they are of it. Thus, negative people are usually not aware of how negative they are.

We have to be very deliberate to become aware of our own negativity. The good news is that as we become aware of it, our brains become less negative.

You May Be More Negative Than You Think

Neuro-exercise:

Can you can go an hour without a negative thought or feeling? Give it a shot. This includes worries, doubts, fears, disappointments. When you have a negative thought, write it down. It will help you become more aware. Don't be surprised if you have as many as 25 negative thoughts or feelings an hour. The more you do this exercise, the more you'll see your negativity drop. For even faster progress, enlist your brain's reward circuitry by promising yourself an indulgence if your negativity substantially drops. This exercise will significantly improve your brain's performance and enrich your experience of life.



The above post was lovingly crafted by Josiah Hultgren. Josiah Hultgren is Founder/CEO of MindFullyAlive, a Senior Lecturer at California Lutheran University, a NeuroCoach, and a practical neuroscience expert. He produces and curates mindfulness content designed to improve structure and functioning of the brain. His mission is to help create a more vibrant world and apply neuroscience in ways that help people reach their highest potential.