Internet, the American way

I wonder how many of us realize the USA-American nature of Internet. To begin with, it was started by the US Military (!!). Military interest (control, spying, making registers) are still an important part of it.

Let´s also remind ourselves that USA ´s “religion” is Commercialism. Salesmanship, shopkeeper mentality, the attitude that buying and selling are of paramount importance in life.

The commercial nature of Internet is seen by the everywhere present advertising. On almost every page something is being advertised to be sold. More than that, in a sense everybody who is present on the Net with a personal page, blog or something else is selling… himself.

“You are your brand” is a terrible, but commercially correct, statement.

Advertising has been raised to an art in America. What is advertising about? Getting attention, among other things. Attention is also the new currency that has invaded our lives with the Internet. Forget Euro, Pounds, Yen and Dollars. In our attention-economy the important currency is attention.

This brings some really tragic consequences with it.
Instead of trying to be a decent, intelligent, honest, good, wise person we more and more try to be noticed persons. If we are not noticed on the Net, we have failed somehow.

“Don´t forget to bookmark, like and subscribe.”

The new hunt is for followers.

This means that our self-worth is no longer in our hands, our control. It is in the hands of a mixed company, many of them strangers whose opinion we have no reason to respect. Or disrespect — but the main point is that they are strangers whom we for one or other reason added to Facebook.

The consequence of this is of utmost importance.
Self-worth now comes in large part from without, not from within, not from our own private doings. This results in a superficiality that is scary; we are standing there, looking in the mirror, the mirror of attention, and wondering if we are beautiful enough.

Contrast this with former times when the mirror was our introspection and conscience.

I am pretty sure (though I cannot prove it) that things would have been different if we Europeans (the French!), or Asians, or Africans had designed the Net. As it is, Americans did it. As Frankie almost sang “they did it their way”.

The American way.

Flattr this!

Bought thoughts (köpta tankar)

Our language and thinking constantly gain (and lose) words and concepts. Sometimes this changes our world-view, sometimes it only adds an insignificant detail.

“App”, “podcast” or “infotainment” does not mean a new paradigm, however “environment friendly” means a general change in awareness.

I have coined a couple words myself for phenomena that existed but didn´t have a name. Like “ononist”, a person who want´s to be online constantly (never offline). This used to be a small group, nowadays a majority of Western Internet users are ononists.

But today I want to draw attention to something else, namely bought thoughts. This is not an elegant term in English (better in Swedish) but awareness about this phenomenon is sorely needed in today´s world.

So what is a bought thought? It is a sentence or formulation that nobody has spontaneously thought, and nobody really believes in. However, somebody (probably an advertising man) has been PAID to come up with it (!). Then humanity at large are supposed to swallow it, think it, believe it, share the meme.

It is totally artificial, yet through commercial interests it tries to become real, a “truth” in the minds of consumers.

Since commercial interests are so strong in the world, often contradicting sanity and honesty, it would be good if we became aware of bought thoughts, stopped swallow and believe in them.

Slogans like “Nokia- connecting people” (not unrelated to the phenomenon of ononism) is one example of a bought thought. If we are environmentally aware also in the mental sphere, we can see that these slogans and thoughts are like litter or garbage.

They can be contrasted with proverbs that have nothing to sell but encapsulate some truth, not seldom bitter, an observation about life. Let us be aware of the gulf between a proverb like “Everybody likes the smell of his own fart” and a slogan like “Improving agriculture, improving life” (Monsanto of GMO fame).

You see, proverbs and intelligent maxims and aphorisms don’t flatter us (or themselves). Slogans always do.

Let me end with just one example of a bought thought (you can find hundreds if you sharpen your listening and sensitivity). Heidi Cranberry is quite good chocolate. But listen to what some ad-man came up with.
“… stopping and starting fresh”. You mean, first I finish one bite, then take the next one…?

Hopefully I have inspired you to be more slogan-aware, to notice the flattering tone in so many thoughts flying around in our mental atmosphere.

I call it mental smog.

Flattr this!


How can you naturally increase oxytocin levels?

(From Quora. Answered by Steve LeBlanc. Please note my underlinings.)

Answered Dec 8, 2012

What you might not know is that most hormones work as antagonists to other hormones. In other words, they can balance each other out. When one is released, it tempers or suppresses the over-production of the other. But if you keep over producing one, it can begin to snuff out the other all together.

Now let’s look at some examples. We’ll start with my favorite, oxytocin, and its antagonist testosterone. You might think that the antagonist to testosterone would be estrogen, the feminine hormone, balancing the masculine. And to some degree you’d be right. But testosterone is more powerfully antagonistic to oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, the one that makes you go, “Oooo” when we see something cute. Oxytocin is released during the experience or even the witnessing of loving kindness and affectionate touch, even when you see it on TV. It’s also called the love hormone, the bonding hormone, as well as acting as a stimulant to contractions during pregnancy/birthing. When oxytocin is released, we feel softer, more nurturing, more cuddly, more loving. It changes our visual and mental perceptions allowing us to see the oneness of all things, the interconnectedness of all of us. For a brief moment, it turns us into right-brained systems thinkers, rather than analytical critics. And if you release enough of it, it allows us to see God. Studies have shown that those with high average levels of oxytocin are more likely to believe in God. So can’t we just give people oxytocin directly? Sure, but the half life is only about 3 minutes, meaning the effects fade very quickly.

This brings us back to it’s antagonist, testosterone, the masculine and _aggressiveness_ hormone. It’s released when a breach of trust occurs, making you even more _distrusting_. And as it rises, it suppresses oxytocin. That’s what makes it a chemical antagonist. And just like the antagonist in a good novel, you need a chemical antagonist to keep things in balance in the body. Testosterone makes you more _ogical, linear, rational, and more goal oriented. In societies, it’s testosterone that _keeps an eye out for threats, dangers_ and free loaders, those who would take up resources while returning nothing to the community.

So oxytocin and testosterone. They are both required in a healthy person and a healthy society or culture. The reason we need the protectiveness of testosterone is that not everyone has a healthy regulation of oxytocin. Both biological diversity and abuse results in some people who have little to no oxytocin (or poor regulation). This misregulation of oxytocin has been linked to conditions as diverse as autism and sociopathy. Needless to say, if your oxytocin never gets released it becomes harder to see the point of being loving. There may be rational reason to get along, but there is no compelling biology that would require it of those with poor oxytocin regulation. And without the biological imperative of oxytocin to be loving, we are decidedly self-centered, short sighted and egotistical. Without oxytocin, our testosterone would cause us to be more fear-based in our decisions, or at best, coldly analytical.

The testosterone that gets released when we argue makes us less trusting, more closed minded. The oxytocin that gets released when we reach out to lovingly understand and forgive makes us more trusting and allows us to see world views we didn’t know existed.

So to create more oxytocin naturally, try any or all of the following:

_Stop arguing_. Find ways and opportunities to say, “I was wrong.” Pretty soon, you will learn the value of such admissions and it will actually get to be fun.
_If you must argue, do so from an inquiry point of view_. Ask lots of questions, some of which will begin with, “Are you saying …” and “Do I understand you correctly that …” The more you learn about the other side of the issue, the less positional you will be. You might even use Socratic questions to lead the person into your proposed solution. But that takes some real skill.
_Search out every opportunity to say, “Oooo, isn’t that cute_ (or sweet, or dear, or loving).” Music, poetry, babies, animals, pictures, movies, whatever gets you going. _Allow yourself to be touched deeply_ and savor that connection.
Get touchy. Pet a puppy or a cat, regularly. Get or give a massage. Snuggle. Kiss.
Get hugs every day. Some suggest you need as many as 12 hugs a day to build your immune system, but it also helps your oxytocin. For the more ambitious, learn the difference between giving and getting a hug.
Let the tears flow, when ever you get the chance. Don’t hold them back. Guarding against such strong emotion will only build your testosterone, thus reducing your oxytocin. Get therapy if needed.
Give gifts, particularly to those you are upset with or judging. The body figures if you are giving this person a gift, it must be safe, and it releases oxytocin. Seek out opportunities to give people what they really want or need, even when it’s not something big.
Give to charity. People who give more to charity are statistically more likely to increase their income over the next year, compared to those who don’t. Giving makes you feel like part of the solution, part of something larger than yourself.
Participate in something great, like building the Linux kernel, or ending hunger. Being a part of something larger than yourself builds your ability to see the world as a system, not just a challenge. When you see yourself as part of something great, you get a release of oxytocin.
Have loving sex. It may be the most direct route to boosting oxytocin, which is why you feel so close to one another afterwords. Not so much for casual hookups.
Give thanks. Develop your appreciation with a gratitude journal. Studies show that those who do are happier, in part from having higher oxytocin levels.
Pray and give thanks. Knowing that you are loved and safe has a direct impact on your oxytocin release.
Meditate. Studies show those who do are more clear headed, less stressed and more able to be fully present with those around them. Reduced stress lowers cortisol and testosterone.
Have a baby that you breast feed. The classic way to really boost it.
Be trustworthy and get people to trust you. When people trust you, there is a spike in your oxytocin, making you more likely to trust them.
Choose to trust people, even when it’s hard. This creates changes in others that make them trust you and feel closer to you, thus making your feel closer to them. But be reasonable about it.
Be useful. Volunteer or work in a field where your special skills are made good use of. See the results of the people you help and ask them for feedback. (Watch Secret Millionaire tv show)
_Build empathy_. Feel for others. Don’t just say their plight has nothing to do with you.
Get a coach. Or read books on Happiness research and Life Coaching, as a rich life often increases oxytocin. Like The Moral Molecule

Flattr this!


What do you need to build a house? Material, tools, builders, a blueprint…

Building peace is not easier. Here we need SKILLS as well.

I more and more believe that peace is not well understood, even misunderstood. We need to revise our old models. Also, we need to build a micro-model of it before we can talk of world peace. That way we will understand it on a regional, even private level before moving towards national and global.

I understand that this can sound as a game. And why not? With all our war-games, let us play a peace game for a change! (Mankind has learned to love war and conflict too much.)

The outlines of this “training game” that build new peaceful skills, that can make us “peace walkers”, are shown in the following text. Please contact me for further developments.

Ladislaus Horatius

DOCUMENT: Upgrade to global intelligence (Ladislaus Horatius)

PS: Please note that this form of the document was an entry for the Global Challenges Foundation. Due to health I cannot rewrite it currently, but it contains the gist of the matter.

Flattr this!