Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Cultural Epigenetic Messages

Fig. 1 (Josh Edelson Photo)

I. Wireless Thinking

When we think of wireless, we may not think of the speed of light.

A wireless signal travels at the speed of light, free from the limitations of signals in a physical wire (Epigenetic Messages). 

So, whether the image at Fig. 1 is coming from your computer's screen, your cell phone's screen, or a photograph, it is moving literally at maximum speed into your eyes, then much more slowly into your internal processing system.

Not only that, since "a picture is worth a thousand words" the picture activates your brain's cognitive system and you "get the picture" get a picture.

But, will you get all of the message in the picture as your amygdala processes it?

"By that I mean the amygdala, which is the part of our brain that receives all the sensory input.

That is, all the sensory input from our ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and skin, before any other part of our brain receives the data, which it then processes with the additional help of our cultural amygdala."

(On The Memorial Daze - 4). You will only "get the picture" if your currently accessible knowledge contains the relevant information on fresh water reservoirs impacted by drought in California (the picture is of a drought-impacted fresh water reservoir).

In fact, what we "make of it" depends on our current brain's sub-conscious cognition (Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala - 5).

II. Schoolin'

The cost of education is way, way up there these days, and on a lot of subjects the knowledge transferred from professors and textbooks is transitory.

For example, check out the costs of transitory education at Stanford (Student Budget).

Nevertheless, today you can attend a class at Stanford concerning the cutting edge of epigenetics at no cost by watching the video at the bottom of today's post.

It allows you to participate free of tuition as a student in a lecture in the classroom of Professor Robert Sapolsky

The lecture features some of the more recent advances in epigenetics.

If you like what you see, more is available for reading at no cost (Robert Sapolsky Rocks).

III. Wireless Messages Change Genes

The history of molecular biology as it relates to genealogy is all too often a story of genieology IMO (On The Origin of Genieology).

Advance yourself, move away from that.

Dr. Sapolsky pulls away the covers to reveal that the 'environment' or environments we inhabit contain messaging systems that can deliver messages which alter our genetic makeup in various degrees.
IV. Dredd Blog Is Wid It
Regular Dredd Blog readers know we have been into this for quite a while.
Here is one of the many ways it is done:

"A group of US marketing researchers claim that brand owners can make their customers believe they had a better experience of a product or service than they really did by bombarding them with positive messages after the event. Advocates of the technique, known as "memory morphing", claim it can be used to improve customers' perceptions of products and encourage them to repeat their purchases and recommend brands to friends.

"When asked, many consumers insist that they rely primarily on their own first-hand experience with products – not advertising – in making purchasing decisions. Yet, clearly, advertising can strongly alter what consumers remember about their past, and thus influence their behaviours," he writes in his book, How Customers Think. He says that memories are malleable, changing every time they come to mind, and that brands can use this to their advantage. "What consumers recall about prior product or shopping experiences will differ from their actual experiences if marketers refer to those past experiences in positive ways," he continues."

(A Structure RE: Corruption of Memes - 3). The "used car salesman" psychology of this was discovered in a different way before the molecular biologists got there:

"Thought is physical. Learning requires a physical brain change: Receptors for neurotransmitters change at the synapses, which changes neural circuitry. Since thinking is the activation of such circuitry, somewhat different thinking re­quires a somewhat different brain. Brains change as you use them-even unconsciously. It's as if your car changed as you drove it, say from a stick shift gradually to an automatic." 
(The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere, quoting Dr. Lakoff)).  These techniques are used by more than marketers of products: 

"Beyond such internal mechanisms of variation, environment-driven plasticity lends yet another layer of complexity to the brain. The brain is capable of remarkable remodeling in response to experience. Signals originating from the environment can cause both widespread and localized adaptations. At the level of individual cells, structure and function are continually changing with the environment in a dance of lifelong brain plasticity, and some experiences, such as stress or physical exercise, affect the growth, survival, and fate of newborn neurons in neurogenic regions of the brain.
Traditionally, cells are defined by the tissue to which they belong as well as their particular functional role or morphology. This classification represents a developmental trajectory that begins early in embryogenesis and is hardwired into each cell. But other differences among cells are more subtle. Multi-dimensional analyses of gene expression and other metrics have revealed remarkable heterogeneity among cells of the same traditional “type.” Cells exist in different degrees of maturation, activation,plasticity, and morphology. Once we begin to consider all of the subtle cell-to-cell variations, it becomes clear that the number of cell types is much greater than ever imagined. In fact, it may be more appropriate to place some cells along a continuum rather than into categories at all.
Brain cells in particular may be as unique as the people to which they belong. This genetic, molecular, and morphological diversity of the brain leads to functional variation that is likely necessary for the higher-order cognitive processes that are unique to humans. Such mosaicism may have a dark side, however. Although neuronal diversification is normal, it is possible that there is an optimal extent of diversity for brain function and that anything outside those bounds—too low or too high—may be pathological. For example, if neurons fail to function optimally in their particular role or environment, deficits could arise. Similarly, if neurons diversify and become too specialized to a given role, they may lose the plasticity required to change and function normally within a larger circuit. As researchers continue to probe the enormous complexity of the brain at the single-cell level, they will likely begin to uncover the answers to these questions—as well as those we haven’t even thought to ask yet."
(Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala - 5). It will be worth your time to listen to the recent historical changes Professor Sapolsky reveals.

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