Brain Programming: Science of Real Self-Mind Control
So you’re interested in creating a brand new you? or perhaps be knowledgeable on what you’re truly capable of? But you don’t want to resort to mere superstitious or possibly fallacious methods promoted by self proclaimed experts on matters of changing yourself, attitudes, and way of learning, you want to wake the inner you as much as possible, that revolution of the mind you’ve been waiting for. I’m no expert, I merely read a little too much about the brain’s capabilities in my free time, maybe for my own good maybe not. I state with the information I have compiled that you can still be the great mathematician you wanted to be, or that astrophysicist studying for NASA, or perhaps the musician making the newest great beats. You may already be doubting this post based on these claims, but that alone shows how little you know.. about how much the brain can change and thus learn. Which is a doubt that is essentially a blockade on the brain’s ability to learn new things.
I’m talking about neuroplasticity. Before we get to the really good stuff, we need to know what these awesome customizable computers we call brains are able to do. But for the purpose of not making this post a bit too excessive or lengthy we’ll keep focus on neuroplasticity, mainly because most of what we’ll get into deals with this specific brain function that the majority of us have.
Neural pertaining to the nerves and/or brain and plastic being moldable or changeable in structure. This function refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes. [**]
We’ll also need to have a good understanding of what the neocortex is and what it does. Aside from being a trait in mammals (which was what Carl Sagan was referring to when he stated No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain), It is the outer layer of the cerebral hemispheres, and made up of six layers, labelled I to VI (with VI being the innermost and I being the outermost). The neocortex is part of the cerebral cortex (along with the archicortex and paleocortex, which are cortical parts of the limbic system). In humans, it is involved in higher functions such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought and language. [**]
Famous futurist Ray Kurzweil said “We have plasticity but our neocortex has a limited capacity, it’s made up of pattern recognisers - I estimate about 300 million of them. People say we only use 10 percent of our brains, actually we use all of it. It’s just not organised that well. The reason that people, as they get older, have more difficulty learning things compared to a child, is that a child has all this virgin neocortex, all these pattern recognisers that can be filled up with information.”
“So you’re telling me the older I am the likelier I am to have junk in my brain?” Kind of. It’s why kids learn so fast and can be comparable to little scientists. Because their neocortex and thus neuroplasticity is at peak efficiency. Like a brand new computer. But as the years go by it gets clogged up from usage and downloads and program installs and just all this useless cache we’ve picked up through held experiences, emotions, acquired memory and most importantly.. habits.
We pick up loads of bad habits as we develop into adulthood that become detrimental to our brains either through the quality of the content in these habits or our lack of moderation in terms of what’s useful, and what’s useless to our brains. It’s no lie when people say your brain is a muscle and it needs exercises and these exercises vary depending on what parts of your brain you wish to start the pumping. However, these exercises are not like those in the gymnasiums, these are exercises of the mind, and our will to change our habits that would eventually train specified areas of the brain.
Understanding the mind’s weakness is understanding the key to your strengths. Bad habits produce bad brains. Television and investing in TV shows and the likes is just as bad as sticking a knife through your brain slowly.
Cracked’s: 6 Shocking Ways TV Rewires Your Brain
The average American watches more than four hours of television per day (five times the amount dedicated to socialization!). It makes sense that it would change us, the same as doing anything for four hours a day changes you. Yet, it’s surprisingly hard to get people to accept this.
But the science is pretty much overwhelming. Enough television rewires your brain in a bunch of unexpected ways. For instance …
#6. It Changes You, Even if You’re Too Young to Know What You’re Watching
#5. Yes, TV Lowers Your Attention Span
#4. It Alters Your Dreams
#3. It ‘Deceptively’ Cures Loneliness
#2. More likely to become obese
#1. It Makes You Violent
Click here for full explanation of each
So we know TV and the likes are poison to our beautiful brains. Do we care enough about our minds to save it from the junk the media, culture, hollywood, tv, and irrational traditions force down our throats & put into our unsuspecting brain? If so. Here’s how we change our bad habits to battle idiocy and make creators, inventors, engineers, artists and more out of own selves.
How to Re-program Your Memory to Become More Self-Reliant
Modern conveniences like smartphones and the internet provide us with access to more information than we could ever hope to remember. The problem is, we often fail to differentiate between the important information we ought to keep in our memory and the less-important data that’s better stored elsewhere. As a result we become too dependent on our devices and other modern conveniences. Here’s how to break the cycle and develop a healthy amount of self-reliance.
We think in all sorts of problematic ways. Even though we often enjoy tackling challenges and the feeling of accomplishment they provide, when presented with the option to not do the work we tend to take it. When we can have the fruits of our labor without the actual labor, we’re basically presented with an offer we can’t refuse. The problem lies in our overuse of what social psychologist Daniel Wegner calls transactive memory, or a memory that’s essentially a reference to information in your phone, on the internet, in another person, or practically anywhere that isn’t in your own head. When you need a phone number that’s stored as a transactive memory, your memory isn’t the actual number but rather something along the lines of “iPhone Contacts app.” You may not remember the information itself, but you’ll know exactly where to find it.
This is extremely useful when you want to recall data that isn’t particularly important in your day-to-day life and isn’t a skill you need to practice. I’m by no means arguing that transactive memory is intrinsically bad—it’s the perfect route to accessing plenty of information. Because transactive memory is such an attractive option, however, we often use it to store data that is very important—even when that information really belongs in our heads rather than our phones.
This leaves us checking our phones, phoning a friend, or searching the internet for an answer we should be able to recall in a matter of seconds. Basically, too much convenience can make me, you, or anyone else a lazy idiot. Reprogramming your brain to pass up the easy way in favor of the hard—and even enjoy it—however, is actually very easy. All you have to do is be aware of what’s important, store that information in your own head, and you’ll be well on your way to self-reliance. Here’s what you need to do to make that happen.
Actively Learn from Your Friends
When you ask friends for help, ask them to teach you instead of doing the work for you. Perhaps you’re like me and you’re terrible at assembling furniture. Naturally you’d call a friend to help you out. What you’re really doing in this scenario is getting them to do the hard work for you that you don’t do as well. They take control of the situation and you assist where you can. As a result, all the skills they possess that you don’t—and should—remain a part of them and not a part of you. You may have some nicely assembled furniture, but next time you need help and they’re not available you won’t be able to get the job done as well.
If you wanted to learn guitar and a friend knew how, you wouldn’t ask them to come over and handle the frets while you strum. The same goes for practical skills like furniture assembly. Pay attention to when you ask people for help, and ask them how they’re doing something when they’re doing it well. Regardless of whether your friends are generally dumb or extremely brilliant, they all have useful skills you can pick up. Doing the work together is a lot more fun, but learning from them allows you to handle situations better when their help is not an option.
Memorize Your Speed Dial
Why? Because, presumably, you call them frequently. Your smartphone may be attached to you like a fancy, multi-touch tumor, but in reality you’re not going to have it with you all of the time. You may need to make a call when your phone is dead, forgotten in the car, or out for repairs. If those numbers are so important, you should take the time to remember them so you don’t have to always rely on technology.
No GPS Dependency
When you get driving/walking/public transit directions on the computer or your smartphone, memorize them and only refer to them when necessary. If you have a GPS device, turn it off. If you’re paying attention to the GPS rather than paying attention to what each direction actually looks like, you’re not going to learn where you’re going. It takes very little time to read through a set of directions, memorize each turn, and then recall them as needed. This process uses the information—in this case, driving directions—in repetitive but slightly varied ways. This kind of repetition can help you create a “muscle” memory very quickly.
Next time you have to take the same route—such as on your return trip—you probably won’t have to consult your directions because you took a few minutes to learn where you were going. This not only makes for safer driving, but teaches you to be self-reliant when you need to figure out how to get somewhere. Additionally, memorizing directions doesn’t only result in the knowledge of one route, but—with persistence—amounts to the ability to figure how to get to places you haven’t been before. Sure, you can always rely on Google Maps or MapQuest to figure out how to reach your destination, but life is easier when that’s an option and not a necessity.
Write to Remember
When you come across useful information, write it down on paper. Why? The physical act of writing can actually improve your ability to learn, but doing so is also a means of acknowledging that what you’re writing is something important. Instead of creating a transactive memory, you’re creating a real memory that you can access and rely on when needed. The goal is to identify information that’s worth keeping and taking the necessary action to make it readily available in your brain. If it’s not that important a transactive memory is adequate, but when you come across information that really matters to you it’s worth the effort to make room for it in your permanent memory.
Ultimately it all comes down to paying attention and acknowledging the little—yet important—things that occur outside of your head. It’s very easy to ignore what happens around you and simply defer to your transactive memory as a matter of convenience, but hopefully these few methods will help you avoid that problem. While you can’t permanently keep all the information you want in your brain, you can learn to tell the difference and act accordingly. When you’re particularly good at that, you can consider yourself truly self-reliant.
So the brain wasn’t what you thought it was. It’s no rock imprisoned to one shape. It can change, you can change. You really are responsible with most of what gets put in there and how you get to use that. As in the case of the great Albert Einstein — “Einstein programmed his own brain,” when the field of physics was ripe for new insights, “he had the right brain in the right place at the right time.” Will you leave yours as is with these insightful facts in mind or be the next person to program their brain, dump the junk and make it stronger, better, faster.
Woah, woah, woah Ken wait just a second. Won’t I need some sort of system to know what data is good and what is bad? Yes! and there actually is such a system. Like an antivirus for your mind to help you get a better judgement on what should be in your brain. “What would that be?” Scientific Literacy [read as a continuity to this post]