A brief critique of science

Science is a very useful tool that has lead us to some wonderful discoveries. Here’s how it can lead us astray:

Just because the data collected in the experiment is as predicted, doesn’t make the theory in question right. The scientific theory is simple and powerful, and it’s been used correctly for thousands of years to help us discover some amazing things. But consider for a moment that the hypothesis is wrong, and the experiment verifies it. Other scientists check the logic by repeating the experiment, and if it checks out, it must be correct. Then the next guy comes along and expands on that theory with a new idea, and a new experiment to verify it. 

Before long, there’s so much information that could be a left turn from the truth. The craziest part of all of it, no one will ever believe me. Science is written as truth, [and in most fields it is] so anyone that questions it must be wrong.

The idea that all the science leading up to this point is right, makes it where we can’t really have any more big discoveries. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Science fills in gaps with theories, without saying they’re theories. “I don’t know” are the most powerful three words for new developments. Speculation masked as fact just muddies the waters for new research.

Science is not clear on what is still a mystery. The unknowns in medicine would terrify you, so we pretend like the aren’t unknowns.

So how did I come up with my theories? I looked at only data. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I didn’t have any major background that made my theories fit with ten other ones. I was only looking for the truth. Not something that sounded good when your doctor said it.

How can I question science?

I have a background in hard science, so I know how it works. The science of vision is not hard science. Psychiatry is not hard science. Genetics is not hard science. That lead me to one more question: why? The answer to that is that we don’t understand how the human brain works.

Really smart people can conduct really interesting studies and completely miss the point if they have the wrong assumptions, and it happens more often than you would think.

So why do I think I’m right? Because all I did was use the data already gathered in other studies, I just made the right assumptions, and things started to fall into place.

I don’t ignore case studies that don’t fit the model. I try to explain them. My theories are not bigger than the truth. I made a model to fit the facts, instead of cherry picking facts to fit a theory.

Entropy and the Brain

So here’s an article about the entropy in the brain and how it increases with age. This fits my model of aging, “brainbeats”, and personal time perception. There are mixed studies on whether more or less entropy in the brain is better. But we already know the answer to that.

  • Less entropy the better.
  • Caffeine creates brain entropy. And so do a bunch of other things
  • Stress is entropy.
  • Entropy alters personal relativity. May want to check out this article on that. 

Entropy always increases in a closed system, but we are not closed systems. It’s the second law of thermodynamics.

So, let’s assume the brain is a cylinder filled with gas. It should adhere to the following equation: PV=nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, and T is temperature. n and R are constants the won’t apply since this calculation is more a correlation. We haven’t figured out those constants for the brain yet. 

As the temperature rises, the entropy rises. And either pressure or volume rises. So, in the closed system of your body, entropy always increases. But, if we allow your brain to expand, we can decrease the pressure and temperature.

So our brains shrink over time. And if they shrink, the pressure of our ideal gas, and temperature will rise accordingly. Entropy rises. But we know that all of this is just further from our ground state, where we sleep, recover, and learn best. Our perceptions of time will shorten, and hasten our aging process.

What is associated with elevated brain pressure?

One of the most damaging aspects of brain trauma and other conditions, directly correlated with poor outcome, is an elevated intracranial pressure. ICP is very likely to cause severe harm if it rises too high. Very high intracranial pressures are usually fatal if prolonged, but children can tolerate higher pressures for longer periods. An increase in pressure, most commonly due to head injury leading to intracranial hematoma or cerebral edema, can crush brain tissue, shift brain structures, contribute to hydrocephalus, cause brain herniation, and restrict blood supply to the brain. It is a cause of reflex bradycardia. [Source]

Can our brains grow? Yes. That should not surprise you. As the volume increases, brain pressure in the model would go down. But later in life, they start shrinking, and so do we. They grow until you start trying to lose weight. They go until you start aging. They grow until you throw in the towel. Here’s a chart of brain weight over time. See for yourself. The decrease in brain weight corresponds with aging.

Brain_weight_age (1)

What, if anything are the takeaways here? The brain follows the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy causes aging. I’m adding this to my brain model. What’s next? Apply this model to the Bends and altitude sickness. 

Sources

  1. https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/dev.html
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21008-6
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02853
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128311-800-a-brief-history-of-the-brain/amp/
  5. http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/03/study-4-factors-that-may-shrink-your-brain/

Explaining Superhuman Strength

We’ve all heard the story of the pregnant woman lifting a car off someone. There are so many examples. Maybe you’ve even experienced one of these events. Here’s how it happens.

We’ve already proven over and over again how we control our own aging and our own perception of time. Stress makes our brain work harder, and makes us age faster. But when you break it down to individual moments, it get’s really interesting. The fight or flight instinct, when many people say that “time stands still.” It’s because it basically does. Their brains are so active, that time slows almost to a stop. They are the furthest things from relaxed.

Bear with me. 

  • Force=mass x acceleration
  • Acceleration= change in velocity/ change in time

Everything is the same as it would be in the gym, but because of the change in brain activity, the change in time shortens. So if you let the change in time approach zero, you can see that there is basically infinite potential for force. So this calculation makes it possible for you to do superhuman things when you’re under large amounts of stress.

Sources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/extreme-fear/201011/yes-you-really-can-lift-car-trapped-child
  2. https://abcnews.go.com/US/superhero-woman-lifts-car-off-dad/story?id=16907591

 

 

 

Menopause, periods, and what they tell us about aging

So apparently there’s a time in most women’s lives when their bodies stop working the same. We call it menopause. The average age of onset is around 49 to 52 years of age, according to Wikipedia. Some countries have average ages around 44 [like India]. It’s not completely uncommon to have someone hit menopause at 40. Here’s a little chart of the onset age:

menopause-age-distribution-chart

So what in the world does this tell us about aging? Here’s my take: menopause is a definitive milestone in aging, and should be a key factor in determining life expectancy and overall health.

Menopause, I think we can agree, is a negative thing. It happens as you age and is associated with depression, mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. It’s a negative indicator, but still an indicator. It tells you how you’re doing. It tells you how your body perceives time.

Why do people in India go through menopause so early? At least in part due to their caffeine consumption. Check out these articles. They drink more caffeine younger than most countries. Girls are hitting their periods as early as eight. Not to mention, that early menopause is on the rise in India as well. It is not a coincidence that all of these happen in the same country.

Menstruation periods are also another interesting set of time data. There’s a fairly wide array of different times of menstruation. Periods can vary from 21 to 35 days, and as always, we just chalk it up to ‘every person is a little different.’

main-qimg-4ca092bcc0654bab252410ddf7d4e61e

So take a look at this chart. Obviously, there is a pretty wide spread of possible outcomes here. But what does it mean, if anything?

You have a couple interesting measurements here, that are personalized for your body. They are not meaningless.

Periods are just part of life for most women. They are told that the timing varies from person to person and from cycle to cycle. But just think about it for a second. If your body is doing the same thing this month in 21 days, and did it last month in 35 days, what did you do differently? Which is better?

The latter. Ever heard of exercised-associated Amenorrhea? It’s when lean female athletes miss periods. If you’ve read any of my other posts, I think the athlete is the ideal human. So when you’re cycle is longer or you miss your cycle, your lifestyle has basically been better than the month before. Whatever you’ve done, you’ve done it right. You’ve reduced mental strain in your life and begun to slow the aging process.

As you can imagine, studies have shown that average length of menstrual cycle correlates to the onset age of menopause. Here’s an excerpt from this study:

The age at which the final natural menstrual period occurs may be a marker for hormonal status or changes earlier in life.91 In the landmark Treloar longitudinal study of largely white, well-educated women, those whose median menstrual cycle length between the ages of 20 and 35 years was fewer than 26 days underwent natural menopause 1.4 years earlier than women with cycle lengths between 26 and 32 days, whereas a later natural menopause (mean = 0.8 year later) was observed in women with cycle lengths of 33 days or longer.92 In addition, 9 or more days of variability in cycle length has been associated with a later age at natural menopause in this and other studies,52,59 although 1 study reported an earlier natural menopause in women with irregular menses.53

Does caffeine effect your cycle? Yes. Ladies who consume more than 300 mg of caffeine a day were twice as likely to have a cycle under 25 days. These same women were much less likely to have periods long periods. [Source]

Wow. That’s a lot of info. What does it mean? It means you should think critically about the length of your periods, because they are a very valuable tool of how fast you’re aging.  How can I possibly know that? Because I understand how it effects the human perception of time.

So use your cycle as a tool to avoid menopause and aging as long as possible. Reduce your caffeine intake, and help prolong these unwanted parts of late life.

Why don’t you wear glasses in your dreams?

Here’s a fun question to ask yourself. What is the nature of dreams? Why do we dream?

You’re obviously not wearing glasses in your dreams. Duh. So what does that tell us. Here’s what I think it means: your dreams are a simulation of the ideal you. A world where you’re not worrying about expectations or filters or fears or anxiety or any of the other things that plague you day to day. It’s an ideal you.

You don’t wear glasses in your dreams, because you don’t need them. The ideal you is at your ground state, and your dreams are a simulation of the ideal you. If you read my first post about sleep, or know anything about it, the REM cycle brain activity looks a lot like your brain when awake. The non-REM portion of the night helps us to recover with the slowest brain activity of our days. Why is the brain so active for half the night?

Do animals dream? Yes. Less some reptiles and insects. What does that say about their souls?

The people from Atlantis didn’t dream. Do what? That’s what this article says. What does that mean? They were a civilization way ahead of their time. What does their ability to dream say about their nature?

There was a show that aired a while back on NBC called Awake. It got cancelled after a season or two, but my wife and I liked it. Essentially a cop was losing his mind and losing touch with the difference between dreams and reality. The show swapped back and forth between two different realities, and they effected each other, without ever really knowing which was a dream and which was reality.

What types of disorders come from not dreaming? It’s hard to tell is someone is not dreaming or not able to recall their dreams, but we’re pretty sure that it’s not necessary for physical or mental health.

What is happening in lucid dreaming? It’s an awareness while you’re dreaming. It’s apparently a acquirable skill with some benefits. Jack Nicholas tweaked his golf game while asleep. The periodic table of elements was designed in a dream. They literally have tricks for lucid dreamers to figure out if they’re awake. Does lucid dreaming undermine the success of those people from Atlantis?

In summary, dreams are an important and widely unsolved riddle of humanity. I think the fact that most people with glasses see clearly in their dreams, tells us a lot about the nature of dreams as well as the nature of reality. To fully understand the mind, we need to fully understand dreams, and it’s a puzzle where we have only begun to skim the surface.

 

Rethinking Sleep

Disclaimer: this gets complicated. Sit down and put your thinking cap on. 

We all sleep. Well all of us except that one guy from Vietnam. But we really don’t know a whole lot about it. There’s actually a bunch of data out there, but we can’t tie it all together. Here it goes.

Animals in the wild live longer, and sleep less. Well they definitely sleep less. The numbers aren’t super clear on the longevity. And rightfully so. There are predators in the wild. Draw your own conclusions. Here are mine: the captivity produces the same strain that harms and ages humans. The same strain that were trying to avoid to think our best, see our best, and be our best.

Black people don’t sleep as much. So in this article, and actually going back to slavery, we basically just assume that this is a bad thing. “Generally, people are thought to spend 20 percent of their night in slow-wave sleep, and the study’s white participants hit this mark. Black participants, however, spent only about 15 percent of the night in slow-wave sleep.” Just assume that it’s as bad thing, when we don’t even know what sleep is. Turns out, it’s not. In a previous post, I talk about black people seeing better and not drinking coffee, and how that could give them a leg up in athletic events. What I’m saying here though, is that less sleep is not necessarily a bad thing. Quantity doesn’t matter here, it’s quality.

We do know this: Other things that effect sleep: blood sugar, anxiety, depression, stress. Does that list look familiar?

That really is not the whole story though. There are brain waves during sleep, and there are different brain waves through each cycle of sleep. The slowest brain wave cycle is delta waves. It’s the recovery wave, and the wave of dreamless, meditative sleep. Some people [like Zen masters] have learned how to consciously get to this state. For the sake of this article, there are delta waves and non-delta waves, or meditative and non-meditative.

If you’re curious, here’s why this simplification is possible. Some people say there are four types of brain waves, some people have three, etc. What distinguishes one from the other is the frequency, or basically the speed of the wave. If you looked at your brain like a heart, you’d just see “brain beats.” We don’t call slow and fast heart beats anything different. I don’t know how this became the standard unit in brain measurement. It cycles through these waves at different amplitudes. So if we assume all the amplitudes are the same, all we care about is frequency. When we look at frequency, the delta wave is the absolute zero, or as close as we can get while we’re alive. 

Moving on.

Delta waves are all that really matter. When your brain is beating it’s slowest. Here’s the deal though, when you’re awake, you don’t actually get to the supposed delta state, but just like your heart rate [generally speaking] slower is better.

Lack of REM sleep can alleviate clinical depression. So wait, REM sleep is good for us, but a lack of it helps people with depression? Coming back to this question. The meditative sleep is the most important. REM sleep, I’m sure has it’s own purpose, but delta waves what we’re looking for.

The amount of time you spend in each stage also depends on your age. Wait, we know that our mind strain increases as we age. I think we’re finally getting somewhere. Elderly adults typically have relatively short periods of slow-wave sleep and fewer of them. In other words, sleep is lighter and more fragmented with brief arousals or longer awakenings throughout the night [article]. Given what we know, late childhood may well be the “golden age” of sleep during a lifetime. Beyond the age of 11 or 12, sleep disturbances begin to creep in. In fact, nearly 7 out of every 10 adults experience problems that affect sleep quality. [source] You know what else we say depends on age? Vision.

from Wikipedia:

Women have been shown to have more delta wave activity, and this is true across most mammal species. This discrepancy does not become apparent until early adulthood (in the 30’s or 40’s, in humans), with men showing greater age-related reductions in delta wave activity than women.

We have more delta wave activity as newborns than any other time in our lives.

Alcoholism has been shown to produce sleep with less slow wave sleep and less delta power, while increasing stage 1 and REM incidence in both men and women. In long-term alcohol abuse, the influences of alcohol on sleep architecture and reductions in delta activity have been shown to persist even after long periods of abstinence.

Other disorders frequently associated with disrupted delta-wave activity include: Narcolepsy, depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, and juvenile chronic arthritis. 

Delta waves are key to fully understanding the brain. Unless you decide to take the non-traditional approach: the eyes.

Good sleep is a symptom. Not of a disease or anything negative. Good sleep is an indicator that you’re doing something right. There’s an extensive list of reasons you may be sleeping poorly. I think there is only one. But let’s be clear and not put a number of recommended hours for sleep. If you wake up and you feel rested, you did it right.

You can’t control your sleep. Well, at least not directly. Control what you can. But make the right assumptions: you still have the ability to sleep just like you did when you were fifteen.

Here’s what’s important: you were designed to sleep perfectly. Just like you were designed to see perfectly. The further you are from your ground state, the more restorative sleep you’ll need every night to recover. If you can fix your vision and your mind, you will fix your sleep, and probably slow down the aging process.

 

Aging starts in the brain

I’m not a neurologist. I’m not even a doctor.

So how did I draw this conclusion? Really a bunch of pseudo-science that you won’t believe anyways. Just bare with me. Your eyes are perfect, and thus your brain is perfect. You are separate from your mind. The functionality of your brain does not change. It remains the same fully capable, complex computer. You do. You’re ability to control your mind may slip, but it is still just fine.

So what is aging? It really doesn’t exist. Because time doesn’t exist. You today is the same as you yesterday, and is the same you in two weeks, and two years, and so on. So when did you get old? When you changed your mind. When you began to stop being you and fight the forces keeping you sane. This resistance and stress caused refractive error that changed the whole nature of your being [more here].

Is it reversible? Yes. I mean, I’m not promising that 70-year old could compete in the Olympics, but we can retake our minds at any point. I think of it like a computer virus. We get trapped in these infinite loops, cycles of misery, but there are ways out. The eyes were my way out. I truly think of the Matrix every time I go down this string of thoughts. Hey, other people with credentials think the same thingsmatrix_header

So how do you debug your mind? First, you have to identify your loop, the mindless cycle that is killing you. The list of possibilities here would take an entire article in itself. But there is something that you probably do every day that hinders your ability to control your mind. Don’t be a creature of habit, unless that’s what you want to be. You set the rules here, not your body. Not your programming. You decide which thoughts to act on, and which ones to let pass. You filter out what’s completely insane from what’s socially acceptable before you say or do anything.

Then you exit the loop. I say that like it’s simple. It’s not. But your habits are breakable. Your mind can be reset. This is your world. You make the rules. [For help exiting the loop, read this.]

Don’t let this world rule you. Take your mind back. Reboot.

 

My doctor looks old

Here’s something to consider: if doctors have mastered their form and know everything there is to know about the human body, why do they look like crap? Respectfully, I’d rather Lebron James tell me not to eat meat than a 5’7″ overweight white guy who looks 20 years older than he is. How many years did you go to school to learn about how the human body works? Did you learn a lot? If so, why are you aging so quickly?

Just because your mom or your doctor think that’s what you need to do, doesn’t mean that’s what you have to do. Think critically and listen to your body. You only get one go at this, and medicine is completely reactive. We truly have no idea what’s going on.

 

How to age like white people

If you don’t like sarcasm, go read anything else I’ve written.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We’re really on to something. For those on the outside looking in, here’s what you need to do to catch up.

Starve Yourself. Just eat less. Or don’t eat at all. Who care’s if you were born to be 250 pounds? Humans have survived worse. Just as long as you can stand on the scale and feel good about yourself.

Drink Coffee. This is super helpful when you’re trying to starve yourself. It really kills the appetite and gives you that burst of energy that you used to have all the time when you were whole.

Get glasses. In the stress of starving yourself, you’re going to start to feel different. Your vision may start to blur. Glasses can help alleviate this annoyance and get you back to what’s important: getting as thin as humanly possible.

Workout when you don’t feel like it. Earn your gold stars. Outwork your friends. That’s what it’s all about. Looking good naked. Win the race to the grave.

Ignore your body. Don’t worry about how sore you are, or how much your stomach is growling after that big salad you just ate. Just keep plugging away. Maybe your headache will go away. You can always just go get coffee in a couple hours.

Get depressed. As you starve yourself with the aid of glasses and exercise, this should be easy. Just go with it. You’ll hate every minute of every day.

Take Meds. Since you can’t figure out what went wrong, and you can’t go five minutes without flipping someone off, go talk to someone. Get them to give you pills. That’s what you need: one more variable to sort out.

That should be enough to get you started. If you don’t start seeing results in 30 days, you’re doing something wrong.

 

Genetics doesn’t explain everything

Nature vs. Nurture. The age old debate. In the past couple centuries,  geneticists came around and proved that our DNA has a lot to do with how we end up. Here’s my theory, we need to take it back a little bit. We control a lot more about our lives than you ever thought possible.

If we control our brains, and our brains control our vision, and our body, and how fast we age. Then we we play a huge role in our own development. I think it goes much deeper than that too. Think about all the mental disorders that aren’t genetic. They don’t just fall out of the sky. We need to stop forcing the genetic model on diseases when it doesn’t fit. “Potentially recessive genetic predisposition” or “partial genetic component” should cue you in. Perhaps if they aren’t pre-programmed into your being, then they are learned. Just because we don’t know how they are learned, doesn’t mean that they aren’t.

Nurture.

I’m not saying that if you top out at 150 pounds you could be an NFL running back, but I’m not ruling it out. Don’t let science get in the way of what you want to do. We have no clue how the brain works, so don’t base your life around it.