Encoded Quotes

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Within each of us is a light, awake, encoded in the fibers of our existence. Divine ecstasy is the totality of this marvelous creation experienced in the hearts of humanity
Tony Samara
The greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It's not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It's encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.
Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Ajq'ij of the Eagle Clan
I'm eighteen. I'm genetically encoded to fight with my parents.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
We all want to be stars. The idea of being revered and envied must be encoded somewhere deep in our DNA. So must the desire to revere and envy others we imagine to be better, more accepted, and more popular than we are. The only problem is that the most necessary qualities required to be a celebrity -- self-absorption, egomania, shamelessness -- are the least attractive in a friend.
Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl (Ghostgirl, #1))
We have a closed circle of consistency here: the laws of physics produce complex systems, and these complex systems lead to consciousness, which then produces mathematics, which can then encode in a succinct and inspiring way the very underlying laws of physics that gave rise to it.
Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe)
The power of nature exists in its silence. Human words cannot encode the meaning because human language has access only to the shadow of meaning.
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Compass))
That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle--behold, the Running Man. Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everyhing else we ove--everything we sentimentally call our 'passions' and 'desires' it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
Mostly something called Sanctuary Moon.” He shook his head, dismissing it. “It’s probably using it to encode data for the company. It can’t be watching it, not in that volume; we’d notice.” I snorted. He underestimated me. Ratthi said, “The one where the colony’s solicitor killed the terraforming supervisor who was the secondary donor for her implanted baby?” Again, I couldn’t help it. I said, “She didn’t kill him, that’s a fucking lie.” Ratthi turned to Mensah. “It’s watching it.
Martha Wells (All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1))
There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmon knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.
Gerald D. Waxman (Astronomical Tidbits: A Layperson's Guide to Astronomy)
The greatest love letters are always encoded for the one and not the many.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
The traumatic moment becomes encoded in an abnormal form of memory, which breaks spontaneously into consciouness, both as flashbacks during waking states and as traumatic nightmares during sleep. Small, seemingly insignificant reminders can also evoke these memories, which often return with all the vividness and emotional force of the original event. Thus, even normally safe environments may come to feel dangerous, for the survivor can never be assured that she will not encounter some reminder of the trauma.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
He fell in love with Manhattan's skyline, like a first-time brothel guest falling for a seasoned professional. He mused over her reflections in the black East River at dusk, dawn, or darkest night, and each haloed light-in a tower or strung along the jeweled and sprawling spider legs of the Brooklyn Bridge's spans-hinted at some meaning, which could be understood only when made audible by music and encoded in lyrics.
Arthur Phillips (The Song Is You)
Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everything else we love-everything we sentimentally call our 'passions' and 'desires'-it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
I will say it one last time: Demonation! The feeling of it! There are no words -how can there be?- to describe what it feels like to become words, to feel your life encoded, and laid out in black ink on white paper. All my love and hatred, melted into words. It was like the End of the World.
Clive Barker (Mister B. Gone)
Now I existed solely thanks to the quantum paradox, my brain a collection of qubits in quantum superposition, encoding truths and memories, imagination and irrationality in opposing, contradictory states that existed and didn't exist, all at the same time.
Robin Wasserman (Crashed (Cold Awakening, #2))
This is why, in a nutshell, advice is overrated. I can tell you something, and it’s got a limited chance of making its way into your brain’s hippocampus, the region that encodes memory. If I can ask you a question and you generate the answer yourself, the odds increase substantially.
Michael Bungay Stanier (The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever)
All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA, and creation is the essence of entrepreneurship.
Reid Hoffman (The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career)
For men, the softer emotions are always intertwined with power and pride. That was why Karna waited for me to plead with him though he could have stopped my suffering with a single world. That was why he turned on me when I refused to ask for his pity. That was why he incited Dussasan to an action that was against the code of honor by which he lived his life. He knew he would regret it—in his fierce smile there had already been a glint of pain. But was a woman's heart any purer, in the end? That was the final truth I learned. All this time I'd thought myself better than my father, better than all those men who inflicted harm on a thousand innocents in order to punish the one man who had wronged them. I'd thought myself above the cravings that drove him. But I, too, was tainted with them, vengeance encoded into my blood. When the moment came I couldn't resist it, no more than a dog can resist chewing a bone that, splintering, makes his mouth bleed. Already I was storing these lessons inside me. I would use them over the long years of exile to gain what I wanted, no matter what its price. But Krishna, the slippery one, the one who had offered me a different solace, Krishna with his disappointed eyes—what was the lesson he'd tried to teach?
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Palace of Illusions)
Encoded into our language is the understanding that disasters tend to expose that which was previously hidden. As the planetary crisis unfolds as a series of emergencies, our decisions will reveal who we are.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
Take a good long look at The Lord’s Prayer. It’s all ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’. There is no ‘me’, ‘I’ or ‘mine’ anywhere.
Anne Hamilton (God's Poetry: The Identity and Destiny Encoded In Your Name)
Time is an encoded pattern of fabric woven with information & energy.
Vishwanath S J
Every decoding is another encoding.
David Lodge
The evolution of animal behavior does constitute a learning process, but it is learning by the species, not by the individual, and the fruits of this learning process are encoded in DNA.
Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed)
History repeats itself, in part because the genome repeats itself. And the genome repeats itself, in part because history does. The impulses, ambitions, fantasies, and desires that drive human history are, at least in part, encoded in the human genome. And human history has, in turn, selected genomes that carry these impulses, ambitions, fantasies, and desires. This self-fulfilling circle of logic is responsible for some of the most magnificent and evocative qualities in our species, but also some of the most reprehensible. It is far too much to ask ourselves to escape the orbit of this logic, but recognizing its inherent circularity, and being skeptical of its overreach, might protect the week from the will of the strong, and the 'mutant' from being annihilated by the 'normal'.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
while probabilities encode our beliefs about a static world, causality tells us whether and how probabilities change when the world changes, be it by intervention or by act of imagination.
Judea Pearl (The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect)
Perhaps the body has its own memory system, like the invisible meridian lines those Chinese acupuncturists always talk about. Perhaps the body is unforgiving, perhaps every cell, every muscle and fragment of bone remembers each and every assault and attack. Maybe the pain of memory is encoded into our bone marrow and each remembered grievance swims in our bloodstream like a hard, black pebble. After all, the body, like God, moves in mysterious ways. From the time she was in her teens, Sera has been fascinated by this paradox - how a body that we occupy, that we have worn like a coat from the moment of our birth - from before birth, even - is still a stranger to us. After all, almost everything we do in our lives is for the well-being of the body: we bathe daily, polish our teeth, groom our hair and fingernails; we work miserable jobs in order to feed and clothe it; we go to great lengths to protect it from pain and violence and harm. And yet the body remains a mystery, a book that we have never read. Sera plays with this irony, toys with it as if it were a puzzle: How, despite our lifelong preoccupation with our bodies, we have never met face-to-face with our kidneys, how we wouldn't recognize our own liver in a row of livers, how we have never seen our own heart or brain. We know more about the depths of the ocean, are more acquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones. So perhaps there are no phantom pains after all; perhaps all pain is real; perhaps each long ago blow lives on into eternity in some different permutation and shape; perhaps the body is this hypersensitive, revengeful entity, a ledger book, a warehouse of remembered slights and cruelties. But if this is true, surely the body also remembers each kindness, each kiss, each act of compassion? Surely this is our salvation, our only hope - that joy and love are also woven into the fabric of the body, into each sinewy muscle, into the core of each pulsating cell?
Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us)
In the molten fire where he lay he could watch the slow machinations of eternity, the cosmic miracle of each second being born, eggshaped, silverplated, phallic, time thrusting itself gleaming through the worn and worthless husk of the microsecond previous, halting, beginning to show the slow and infinitesimal accreations of decay in the clocking away of life in a mechanism encoded at the moment of conception, withering, shunted aside by time's next orgasmic thrust, and all to the beating of some galactic heart, to voices, a madman's mutterings from a snare in the web of the world.
William Gay (The Long Home)
Despite all of our pretenses and fantasies, we always have been and will remain a biological species tied to this particular biological world. Millions of years of evolution are indelibly encoded in our genes. History without the wildlands is no history at all.
Edward O. Wilson (Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life)
With the industrial proliferation of visual and audiovisual prostheses and unrestrained use of instantaneous-transmission equipment from earliest childhood onwards, we now routinely see the encoding of increasingly elaborate mental images together with a steady decline in retention rates and recall. In other words we are looking at the rapid collapse of mnemonic consolidation. This collapse seems only natural, if one remembers a contrario that seeing, and its spatio-temporal organization, precede gesture and speech and their coordination in knowing, recognizing, making known (as images of our thoughts), our thoughts themselves and cognitive functions, which are never ever passive.
Paul Virilio (The Vision Machine (Perspectives))
Turning the pages of this encoded codex, I realize that the books I love most are like open cities, with all sorts of ways to wander in. This thing is a fortress with no front gate. You're meant to scale the walls, stone by stone.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
Look at any randomly selected piece of your world. Encoded deep in the biology of every cell in every blade of grass, in every insect’s wing, in every bacterium cell, is the history of the third planet from the Sun in a Solar System making its way lethargically around a galaxy called the Milky Way. Its shape, form, function, colour, smell, taste, molecular structure, arrangement of atoms, sequence of bases, and possibilities for the future are all absolutely unique. There is nowhere else in the observable Universe where you will see precisely that little clump of emergent, living complexity. It is wonderful.
Brian Cox (Wonders of Life: Exploring the Most Extraordinary Phenomenon in the Universe)
Sound is the most absorbent medium of all, soaking up histories and philosophical systems and physical surroundings and encoding them in something so slight as a single vocal quaver or icy harpsichord interjection.
Geoffrey O'Brien (Sonata for Jukebox: An Autobiography of My Ears)
So how bad is the world? How bad. The world's truth constitutes a /vision so terrifying as to beggar the prophecies of the bleakest seer who ever walked it. Once you accept that then the idea that all of this will one day be ground to powder and blown into the void becomes not a prophecy but a promise. So allow me in turn to ask you this question: When we and all our works are gone together with every memory of them and every machine in which such memory could be encoded and stored and the Earth is not even a cinder, for whom then will this be a tragedy? Where would such a being be found? And by whom? p.377
Cormac McCarthy (The Passenger (The Passenger, #1))
Emotions are signs of our commitment to others; emotions are encoded into our bodies and brains; emotions are our moral gut, the source of our most important moral intuitions.
Dacher Keltner (Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life)
The city is not merely a repository of pleasures. It is the stage on which we fight our battles, where we act out the drama of our own lives. It can enhance or corrode our ability to cope with everyday challenges. It can steal our autonomy or give us the freedom to thrive. It can offer a navigable environment, or it can create a series of impossible gauntlets that wear us down daily. The messages encoded in architecture and systems can foster a sense of mastery or helplessness.
Charles Montgomery (Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design)
I don't know if she was born this goddamn fearless, if it's encoded in her DNA, gifted to her by her flawed bloodline, or if it's something life taught her, something molded into her all those years she was unknowingly on the run. I wonder if she got that from her father, or if it was me who caused her bravery.
J.M. Darhower (Torture to Her Soul (Monster in His Eyes, #2))
:Paintings are easy to see," he said after a moment. "Open, presented flat to the eye. Words are not easy. Words have to be discovered, deep in their pages, deciphered, translated, read. Words are symbols to be encoded, their letters trees in a forest, enmeshed, their tangled meanings never finally picked apart.
Catherine Fisher (Darkhenge)
It was the history of the family, written by Melquíades, down to the most trivial details, one hundred years ahead of time. He had written it in Sanskrit, which was his mother tongue, and he had encoded the even lines in the private cipher of the Emperor Augustus and the odd ones in a La cedemonian military code.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
The cosmos seems oblivious to time. It only matters to us. Consciousness is time-constituting. We build time up out of instantaneous impressions that flow in through our sensory organs at each moment. Then they recede into the past. What is this thing we call the past? It is a system of records encoded in our nerve tissue—records that tell a consistent story.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
Both the giving and receiving of love is encoded within our deepest physiology and is all-important. This must not be taken for granted. Its expressions in our life – or lack and denial thereof – contribute substantially to our ultimate personal success, satisfaction, and quality of life.
Connie Kerbs (Paths of Fear: An Anthology of Overcoming Through Courage, Inspiration, and the Miracle of Love (Pebbled Lane Books Book 1))
We no longer live addicted to speech; having lost our senses, now we are going to lose language, too. We will be addicted to data, naturally. Not data that comes from the world, or from language, but encoded data. To know is to inform oneself. Information is becoming our primary and universal addiction.
Michel Serres (The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies)
The very conventions of poetry were devised to encode experience, to make it less obvious and thereby more true. To make a metaphor, after all, is to describe something in terms of what it is not, the better to apprehend what it is.
J.D. McClatchy (Love Speaks Its Name: Gay and Lesbian Love Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series))
A glance can both submit and subvert; it can be sharp or shy, scornful or adoring; it can be a near cousin to scrutiny – but it almost always assumes a degree of mutually encoded knowledge. A spark is struck and apprehended; the head turns on it's spinal axis; the shoulders freeze; the eyes are the only busy part of the body, simultaneously receiving and sending out information, so that a glance becomes more than a glance. It is a weapon, a command, or a sigh of acquiescence.
Carol Shields (Jane Austen: A Life)
Dissociative identity disorder is conceptualized as a childhood onset, posttraumatic developmental disorder in which the child is unable to consolidate a unified sense of self. Detachment from emotional and physical pain during trauma can result in alterations in memory encoding and storage. In turn, this leads to fragmentation and compartmentalization of memory and impairments in retrieving memory.2,4,19 Exposure to early, usually repeated trauma results in the creation of discrete behavioral states that can persist and, over later development, become elaborated, ultimately developing into the alternate identities of dissociative identity disorder.
Bethany L. Brand
It’s thought that this heightened sensitivity to similarities and differences during interleaved practice leads to the encoding of more complex and nuanced representations of the study material—a better understanding of how specimens or types of problems are distinctive and why they call for a different interpretation or solution.
Peter C. Brown (Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning)
Yes, it is out of control. It is a loud and livid objection to the kinds of control that have long been in place in a nation built by white men who, when they angrily broke free of imperialist control themselves, promptly encoded protections of liberty and independence only for themselves, building their new nation on slavery and the oppression of women, on the legal and civic subjugation of that nation’s majority.
Rebecca Traister (Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger)
All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA. —Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
feelings are “true” if the judgments they encode are accurate
Robert Wright (Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment)
By a time capsule, I mean any fixed pattern that creates or encodes the appearance of motion, change or history.
Julian Barbour (The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics)
TP53 seems to encode the greater good, like a suicide pill in the mouth of a soldier that dissolves only when it detects evidence that he is about to mutiny.
Matt Ridley (Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters)
The whole fabric of honey bee society depends on communication—on an innate ability to send and receive messages, to encode and decode information. —The Honey Bee
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
The lessons of relationship that our primordial ancestors learned are deeply encoded in the genetics of our neurobiological circuits of love. They are present from the moment we are born and activated at puberty by the cocktail of neurochemicals. It’s an elegant synchronized system. At first our brain weighs a potential partner, and if the person fits our ancestral wish list, we get a spike in the release of sex chemicals that makes us dizzy with a rush of unavoidable infatuation. It’s the first step down the primeval path of pair-bonding.
Abhijit Naskar (What is Mind?)
The theory of phlogiston was an inversion of the true nature of combustion. Removing phlogiston was in reality adding oxygen, while adding phlogiston was actually removing oxygen. The theory was a total misrepresentation of reality. Phlogiston did not even exist, and yet its existence was firmly believed and the theory adhered to rigidly for nearly one hundred years throughout the eighteenth century. ... As experimentation continued the properties of phlogiston became more bizarre and contradictory. But instead of questioning the existence of this mysterious substance it was made to serve more comprehensive purposes. ... For the skeptic or indeed to anyone prepared to step out of the circle of Darwinian belief, it is not hard to find inversions of common sense in modern evolutionary thought which are strikingly reminiscent of the mental gymnastics of the phlogiston chemists or the medieval astronomers. To the skeptic, the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms, consisting of something close to a thousand million bits of information, equivalent to the sequence of letters in a small library of one thousand volumes, containing in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism, were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason. But to the Darwinist the idea is accepted without a ripple of doubt - the paradigm takes precedence!
Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
Nothing is more human than to resist loss, which is why cynical politicians can get pretty far by offering up the fantasy that a loss can be reversed rather than overcome the hard way. This is the deepest lie of our recent national politics, the core falsehood encoded in "Make America Great Again." Beneath the impossible promises -- that coal alone will fuel our future, that a big wall can be built around our status quo, that climate change isn't even real -- is the deeper fantasy that time itself can be reversed, all losses restored, and thus no new ways of life required.
Pete Buttigieg (Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future)
For women, the boundaries of acceptability are strict, and they are many. We must be seductive but pure, quiet but not aloof, fragile but industrious, and always, always small. We must not be too successful, too ambitious, too independent, too self-centered—and when we can’t manage all the contradictory restrictions, we are turned into grotesques. Women have been monsters, and monsters have been women, in centuries’ worth of stories, because stories are a way to encode these expectations and pass them on.
Jess Zimmerman (Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology)
Ohh,' said the girl with a sad tilt of her head. It was a response Sejal would hear a lot in the following weeks and which she would eventully come to understand meant, 'Ohh, India, that must be so hard for you, and I know because I read this book over the summer called The Fig Tree (which is actually set in Pakistan but I don't realize there's a difference) about a girl whose parents sell her to a sandal maker because everyone's poor and they don't care about girls there, and I bet that's why you're in our country even, and now everyone's probably being mean to you just because of 9/11, but not me although I'll still be watching you a little too closely on the bus later because what if you're just here to kill Americans?' There was a lot of information encoded in that one vowel sound, so Sejal missed most of it at first.
Adam Rex (Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story)
People can learn to control and change their behavior, but only if they feel safe enough to experiment with new solutions. The body keeps the score: If trauma is encoded in heartbreaking and gut-wrenching sensations, then our first priority is to help people move out of fight-or-flight states, reorganize their perception of danger, and manage relationships. Where traumatized children are concerned, the last things we should be cutting from school schedules are the activities that can do precisely that: chorus, physical education, recess, and anything else that involves movement, play, and other forms of joyful engagement.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The cold rationalism simply covers for raw, wounded emotion. The more driven people are by the mind, the more they feel and further encode their feelings. The thickness of the tarpaulin cover is as the size of the emotion.
Dalit Orbach (בדידותו של קורא המחשבות)
If you want to make yourself more sensitive to the small details in your work, cultivate a habit of imagining, as specifically as possible, what you expect to see and do when you get to your desk. Then you’ll be prone to notice the tiny ways in which real life deviates from the narrative inside your head. If you want to become better at listening to your children, tell yourself stories about what they said to you at dinnertime last night. Narrate your life, as you are living it, and you’ll encode those experiences deeper in your brain. If you need to improve your focus and learn to avoid distractions, take a moment to visualize, with as much detail as possible, what you are about to do. It is easier to know what’s ahead when there’s a well-rounded script inside your head.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
The books taught me that when we live through traumatic experiences, our brains take in the things around us that are causing the greatest threat, and they encode these things deep into our subconscious as sources of danger.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
In twenty-first-century Britain, we've linked singing with talent, and we've got that fundamentally wrong. The right to sing is an absolute, regardless of how it sounds to the outside world. We sing because we must. We sing because it fills our lungs with nourishing air, and lets our hearts soar with the notes we let out. We sing because it allows us to speak of love and loss, delight and desire, all encoded in lyrics that let us pretend that those feelings are not quite ours. In song, we have permission to rehearse all our heartbreaks, all our lusts. In song, we can console our children while they are still too young our rusty voices, and we can find shortcuts to ecstasy while performing the mundane duty of a daily shower or scrubbing down the kitchen after yet another meal.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Prior to then it was believed that black holes were just cosmic cookie monsters, swallowing everything that came within their gravitational clutches.
John D. Barrow (The Constants of Nature: The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe)
I don't know what I would do without you. I don't know what I will do without you. I learned about the future tense, how anxiety is encoded into our sentences, our conditionals, our thoughts, how worry is encoded into language itself, into grammar.
Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
Conscious access to memory is a unique trait of living things, but memory itself is not. It's encoded in the minute vibrations between elementary particles. Our entire universe is built of information given shape. Part of that is its history. Its memory.
M.R. Graham (The Medium (Liminality #1))
We are born with a seed of selfhood that contains the spiritual DNA of our uniqueness-an encoded birthright knowledge of who we are, why we are here, and how we are related to others. We may abandon that knowledge as the years go by, but it never abandons us.
Parker J. Palmer
Traumatic memories have a number of unusual qualities. They are not encoded like the ordinary memories of adults in a verbal, linear narrative that is assimilated into an ongoing life story….[R]ather, they are encoded in the form of vivid sensations and images. It
Jon Krakauer (Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town)
put another way, electrons and all other particles are no more substantive or permanent than the form a geyser of water takes as it gushes out of a fountain. They are sustained by a constant influx from the implicate order, and when a particle appears to be destroyed, it is not lost. It has merely enfolded back into the deeper order from which it sprang. A piece of holographic film and the image it generates are also an example of an implicate and explicate order. The film is an implicate order because the image encoded in its interference patterns is a hidden totality enfolded throughout the whole. The hologram projected from the film is an explicate order because it represents the unfolded and perceptible version of the image.
Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe)
Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain, and that’s a huge advantage for us, because it would be awful if we had to relearn how to drive after every vacation. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it’s always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards. This explains why it’s so hard to create exercise habits, for instance, or change what we eat. Once we develop a routine of sitting on the couch, rather than running, or snacking whenever we pass a doughnut box, those patterns always remain inside our heads. By the same rule, though, if we learn to create new neurological routines that overpower those behaviors—if we take control of the habit loop—we can force those bad tendencies into the background, just as Lisa Allen did after her Cairo trip. And once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a jog or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
Even if we have a reliable criterion for detecting design, and even if that criterion tells us that biological systems are designed, it seems that determining a biological system to be designed is akin to shrugging our shoulders and saying God did it. The fear is that admitting design as an explanation will stifle scientific inquiry, that scientists will stop investigating difficult problems because they have a sufficient explanation already. But design is not a science stopper. Indeed, design can foster inquiry where traditional evolutionary approaches obstruct it. Consider the term "junk DNA." Implicit in this term is the view that because the genome of an organism has been cobbled together through a long, undirected evolutionary process, the genome is a patchwork of which only limited portions are essential to the organism. Thus on an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function. And indeed, the most recent findings suggest that designating DNA as "junk" merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. For instance, in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, John Bodnar describes how "non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes encodes a language which programs organismal growth and development." Design encourages scientists to look for function where evolution discourages it. Or consider vestigial organs that later are found to have a function after all. Evolutionary biology texts often cite the human coccyx as a "vestigial structure" that hearkens back to vertebrate ancestors with tails. Yet if one looks at a recent edition of Gray’s Anatomy, one finds that the coccyx is a crucial point of contact with muscles that attach to the pelvic floor. The phrase "vestigial structure" often merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. The human appendix, formerly thought to be vestigial, is now known to be a functioning component of the immune system.
William A. Dembski
If…an infant, especially one born with a genetically-encoded altered neurophysiologic reactivity, does not have adequate experiences of being part of an open dynamic system with an emotionally responsive adult human, its corticolimbic organization will be poorly capable of coping with the stressful chaotic dynamics that are inherent in all human relationships. Such a system tends to become static and closed, and invested in defensive structures to guard against anticipated interactive assaults that potentially trigger disorganizing and emotionally painful psychobiological states. Due to its avoidance of novel situations and diminished capacity to cope with challenging situations, it does not expose itself to new socioemotional learning experiences that are required for the continuing experience-dependent growth of the right brain. This structural limitation, in turn, negatively impacts the future trajectory of self-organization.
Allan N. Schore
As a medium, the internet is defined by a built-in performance incentive. In real life, you can walk around living life and be visible to other people. But you can’t just walk around and be visible on the internet—for anyone to see you, you have to act. You have to communicate in order to maintain an internet presence. And, because the internet’s central platforms are built around personal profiles, it can seem—first at a mechanical level, and later on as an encoded instinct—like the main purpose of this communication is to make yourself look good. Online reward mechanisms beg to substitute for offline ones, and then overtake them.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
The math-powered applications powering the data economy were based on choices made by fallible human beings. Some of these choices were no doubt made with the best intentions. Nevertheless, many of these models encoded human prejudice, misunderstanding, and bias into the software systems that increasingly managed our lives. Like gods, these mathematical models were opaque, their workings invisible to all but the highest priests in their domain: mathematicians and computer scientists. Their verdicts, even when wrong or harmful, were beyond dispute or appeal. And they tended to punish the poor and the oppressed in our society, while making the rich richer.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
all humans have an innate capacity to heal from traumatic experiences. We as a species are genetically encoded with the capacity to heal ourselves. If we did not possess this ability, our species would have become extinct shortly after we were born. Not only can we heal from traumatic experiences, but trauma itself has been part of the natural evolutionary process of our species, and all traumatized individuals have access to this natural healing method that is genetically encoded within them.
David Berceli (Trauma Releasing Exercises)
There is data [on race and intelligence]. My claim is that it doesn't mean what we think it means. There isn't enough work; there aren't enough people who have done the work – and the definition...I mean, trust me: "heritable" is a serious problem. Because...for example, let's say that there was a belief that people who had a brow ridge, or something, were stupid. And that belief was widespread. And that brow ridge was genetically encoded, and it resulted in people going into the world and facing discrimination in school, let's say, because the brow ridge connoted to the teachers that they were not likely to be intelligent, and therefore they were given simpler lessons; they got dumbtracked or something like that. That would show up as a genetically heritable difference in intelligence between brow-ridged people and non-brow-ridged people. That does not mean that it was encoded in the genome and that it was the brain that was blueprinted...what it means is that some feature that was encoded in the genome caused the environment to interact with the individual in a way that then produced a difference in intellect. [...] It is so early in the study of this stuff, we really don't know. And the taboo nature of those questions is causing a vacuum that is being filled with an artificially pure (and probably not correct) perspective.
Bret Weinstein
Thinking about the word “coffee” makes you think about the color black and also about breakfast and the taste of bitterness, that’s a function of a cascade of electrical impulses rocketing around a real physical pathway inside your brain, which links a set of neurons that encode the concept of coffee with others containing the concepts of blackness, breakfast, and bitterness. That much scientists know. But how exactly a collection of cells could “contain” a memory remains among the deepest conundrums of neuroscience.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Where, then, is any particular gene—say, the gene for long legs in humans? This is a little like asking where is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in E minor. Is it in the original handwritten score? The printed sheet music? Any one performance—or perhaps the sum of all performances, historical and potential, real and imagined? The quavers and crotchets inked on paper are not the music. Music is not a series of pressure waves sounding through the air; nor grooves etched in vinyl or pits burned in CDs; nor even the neuronal symphonies stirred up in the brain of the listener. The music is the information. Likewise, the base pairs of DNA are not genes. They encode genes. Genes themselves are made of bits.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
The more personal an example, the more richly it becomes encoded and the more readily it is remembered.
John Medina (Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Book & DVD))
The music is the information. Likewise, the base pairs of DNA are not genes. They encode genes. Genes themselves are made of bits.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
The mind is an illusion, a hologram generated by the body. What you’ve encoded is memory, and personhood is not just memories. Personhood is embodied.
Tade Thompson (The Rosewater Insurrection (The Wormwood Trilogy #2))
software can end up turning the most intimate and personal of human activities into mindless “rituals” whose steps are “encoded in the logic of web pages.”33
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
Writing is a highly encoded form of communication that takes place from one mind to another.
David Amerland
What is the difference between a person and a book? We can know the truth of neither. Both are encoded things seeking to make themselves clear.
Nick Harkaway (Gnomon)
Narrate your life, as you are living it, and you’ll encode those experiences deeper in your brain.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
Most obvious is that DNA may be only one of many ways that biological information is encoded, and it is hard to see how the aliens would know in advance what terrestrial life uses.
Paul C.W. Davies (The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence)
The whole fabric of honey bee society depends on communication — on an innate ability to send and receive messages, to encode and decode information
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Humans are special animals when it comes to information, because unlike other species, we have developed an enormous ability to encode large volumes of information outside our bodies.
César A. Hidalgo (Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies)
consciousness (hypoarousal). When individuals are extremely hypoaroused they may not encode much of what is happening, may feel the event is not real, and may experience emotional and bodily anesthesia. To the extent that individuals nonetheless recall the events, all of these experiences make it more difficult for them to eventually fully integrate the experience.
Onno van der Hart (The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
Beauty magnetizes curiosity and wonder, beckoning us to discover—in the literal sense, to uncover and unconceal—what lies beneath the surface of the human label. What we recognize as beauty may be a language for encoding truth, a memetic mechanism for transmitting it, as native to the universe as mathematics—the one perceived by the optical eye, the other by the mind's eye.
Maria Popova (Figuring)
Jesus, that master of the universe never goes away, does he?’ ‘What the hell do you expect?’ he said, his voice no longer mellow or casual or weary in his mildly contemptuous way, but suddenly razor-sharp. ‘You think I’m going to change ? You think that hot sex with you is going to alter my life? Burn away thirty-two fucking years of encoded distrust and the poisonous shadow…
C.C. Gibbs (All He Needs (All or Nothing, #2))
Think back to when you were a student. Someone likely told you to get a good night’s sleep and to eat a healthy breakfast before a test or final exam. The theory is, you need to be fresh to perform well. However, while getting sound sleep the night before a test is a good idea, it is too late to help you on the test. The real benefit comes from getting good sleep as you learn throughout the year, so the information can be encoded in your memory each night. If you file everything away properly as you go along, this knowledge will be there for you when you need it most.
Tom Rath (Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes)
if I must encode either the interface or the implementation, I choose the implementation. Calling it ShapeFactoryImp, or even the hideous CShapeFactory, is preferable to encoding the interface.
Robert C. Martin (Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship)
Hitler/Himler research into genetics and mutigenerational families led them to believe that they could control the future by controlling society. Operating on the philosophy that secret knowledge equals power, they would keep pertinent facts from the people and alter their natural evolutionary process. They knew that traumas like incest and torture left people highly suggestible and easily led. After three generations of incest, abuse, and ignorance it becomes genetically encoded and people are born more compliant. It was believed that this could be a formula for mass mind control.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
When we use a measuring tape, we are using a system of numbers that is human invented. What are the birds using? And further, how are they storing it in memory? To be stored in memory the measurements have to be encoded in some form and that form has to have an internal consistency to it. In other words it has to possess the same kind of structural integrity as our system of mathematical measurement.
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
So how bad is the world? How bad. The world's truth constitutes a vision so terrifying as to beggar the prophecies of the bleakest seer who ever walked it. Once you accept that then the idea that all of this will one day be ground to powder and blown into the void becomes not a prophecy but a promise. So allow me in turn to ask you this question: When we and all our works are gone together with every memory of them and every machine in which such memory could be encoded and stored and the Earth is not even a cinder, for whom then will this be a tragedy? Where would such a being be found? And by whom? p.377
Cormac McCarthy (The Passenger (The Passenger, #1))
For much of history since its beginning in ancient Egypt, the essence of cryptography—which takes its name from the Greek words for “hidden” and “writing”—lay in encoding language to keep a message secret.
Paul Vigna (The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order)
A memory begins as an experience that we encode into our brain through our senses. That memory is then stored until we engage in some act of recall or recollection and then it comes back into our conscious awareness.
Britt Andreatta (Wired to Grow: Harness the Power of Brain Science to Learn and Master Any Skill)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Have you heard the story of the widow’s mite?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘For years, as a schoolboy, I turned it over and over in my head. The poor widow’s small gift was more precious than the rich man’s large one. Okay. Fine. I understood the message. I could see the dignity it gave to every act of charity. But I could see a whole lot more encoded in that parable, and those other things wouldn’t go away. ‘I could see a religion which cared more about feeling good than doing good. A religion which valued the pleasure of giving – or the pain – more than any tangible effect. A religion which put … saving your own soul through good works far above their worldly consequences.
Greg Egan (Distress)
Some ideas are not really new but keep having to be affirmed from the ground up, over and over. One of these is the apparently simple idea that women are as intrinsically human as men, that neither women nor men are merely the enlargement of a contact sheet of genetic encoding, biological givens. Experience shapes us, randomness shapes us, the stars and weather, our own accommodations and rebellions, above all, the social order around us.
Adrienne Rich (Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution)
But it does have the merit of asking whether there is knowledge encoded in Tupaia’s chart that might be difficult for us to see because it is based on unfamiliar assumptions about how information is most usefully organized.
Christina Thompson (Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia)
In investigating the lumpings that have shaped societies past and present, we should, I believe, be charitable toward those who merely inherited the classifications that were dominant in their own times. But we should be less patient with those, like Calhoun and Sanger, who pressed to enforce their preferred categories, to encode them in law and make them permanent. Such people are immensely dangerous, and for the health of our public world we need to become alert to the compelling power of lumping: having seen the ways lumping helps us manage information overload and create group solidarity, we should become aware of the temptations it poses to us—to all of us.
Alan Jacobs (How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds)
The right to sing is an absolute, regardless of how it sounds to the outside world. We sing because we must. We sing because it fills our lungs with nourishing air, and lets our hearts soar with the notes we let out. We sing because it allows us to speak of love and loss, delight and desire, all encoded in lyrics that let us pretend that those feelings are not quite ours. In song, we have permission to rehearse all our heartbreaks, all our lusts. In song, we can console our children while they are still too young to judge our rusty voices, and we can find shortcuts to ecstasy while performing the mundane duty of a daily shower or scrubbing down the kitchen after yet another meal.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
I designed Ender's Game to be as clear and accessible as any story of mine could possibly be. My goal was that the reader wouldn't have to be trained in literature or even in science fiction to receive the tale in its simplest, purest form. If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability.
Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
The second half of the twentieth century was an information-technology era, based on the idea that all information could be encoded by binary digits—known as bits—and all logical processes could be performed by circuits with on-off switches.
Walter Isaacson (The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race)
Images are mediations between the world and human beings. Human beings 'ex-ist', i.e. the world is not immediately accessible to them and therefore images are needed to make it comprehensible. However, as soon as this happens, images come between the world and human beings. They are supposed to be maps but they turn into screens: Instead of representing the world, they obscure it until human beings' lives finally become a function of the images they create. Human beings cease to decode the images and instead project them, still encoded, into the world 'out there', which meanwhile itself becomes like an image - a context of scenes, of states of things. This reversal of the function of the image can be called 'idolatry'; we can observe the process at work in the present day: The technical images currently all around us are in the process of magically restructuring our 'reality' and turning it into a 'global image scenario'. Essentially this is a question of 'amnesia'. Human beings forget they created the images in order to orientate themselves in the world. Since they are no longer able to decode them, their lives become a function of their own images: Imagination has turned into hallucination.
Vilém Flusser (Towards a Philosophy of Photography)
... [O]ne of the most influential approaches to thinking about memory in recent years, known as connectionism, has abandoned the idea that a memory is an activated picture of a past event. Connectionist or neural network models are based on the principle that the brain stores engrams by increasing the strength of connections between different neurons that participate in encoding an experience. When we encode an experience, connections between active neurons become stronger, and this specific pattern of brain activity constitutes the engram. Later, as we try to remember the experience, a retrieval cue will induce another pattern of activity in the brain. If this pattern is similar enough to a previously encoded pattern, remembering will occur. The "memory" in a neural network model is not simply an activated engram, however. It is a unique pattern that emerges from the pooled contributions of the cue and the engram. A neural network combines information in the present environment with patterns that have been stored in the past, and the resulting mixture of the two is what the network remembers... When we remember, we complete a pattern with the best match available in memory; we do not shine a spotlight on a stored picture.
Daniel L. Schacter (Searching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind, and the Past)
Caste is a disease, and none of us is immune. It is as if alcoholism is encoded into the country’s DNA, and can never be declared fully cured. It is like a cancer that goes into remission only to return when the immune system of the body politic is weakened
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Lena Ella Haloway Tiddle." I pronounce her full name, very slowly, partly because I need to reassure myself of her existence—Lena, my friend, the worried one, the one who always pleaded for safety first, who now makes secret appointments to meet with boys. "You have some explaining to do." "Hana, you remember Alex," Lena says weakly, as though that—the fact of my remembering him—explains anything. "Oh, I remember Alex," I say. "What I don't remember is why Alex is here. " Lena makes a few unconvincing noises of excuse. Her eyes fly to his. A message passes between them. I can feel it, encoded and indecipherable, like a zip of electricity, as though I've just passed too close to one of the border fences. My stomach turns. Lena and I used to be able to speak like that.
Lauren Oliver (Hana (Delirium, #1.5))
When an action, positive or negative, is repeated for three generations it becomes genetically encoded. It becomes an inborn autogenic response. If a monkey collects ants on a honey-coated stick, for example, and other monkeys see he is eating more than they, they copy him. By the time the hundredth monkey begins collecting ants on a honey-coated stick, the added energy creates an ideological breakthrough that affects the whole society. When the whole society of monkeys does this for three generations, it becomes their culture. According to Ken Keyes Hundredth Monkey studies, when that hundredth monkey’s added energy creates the ideological breakthrough, evolution occurs. Even monkeys on other continents start collecting ants on honey-coated sticks without copying. They are born knowing.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
The eighteenth-century origins of the “right to bear arms” explicitly excluded Black people.19 South Carolina encoded into law that the enslaved could not “carry or make use of fire-arms or any offensive weapons whatsoever” unless “in the presence of some white person.
Carol Anderson (The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America)
Strange, how the body knows instinctually to protect itself. Eyes blinking before the blast of sand. Arm rising before the blow. The will to survive is not a conscious choice, but encoded in every cell. The body acts to defend and protect itself even against one's own mind.
An Na (The Place Between Breaths)
Sex, one of the most complex of human traits, is unlikely to be encoded by multiple genes. Rather, a single gene, buried rather precariously in the Y chromosome, must be the master regulator of maleness.I Male readers of that last paragraph should take notice: we barely made it.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
[O]ur percept is an elaborate computer model in the brain, constructed on the basis of information coming from [the environment], but transformed in the head into a form in which that information can be used. Wavelength differences in the light out there become coded as 'colour' differences in the computer model in the head. Shape and other attributes are encoded in the same kind of way, encoded into a form that is convenient to handle. The sensation of seeing is, for us, very different from the sensation of hearing, but this cannot be directly due to the physical differences between light and sound. Both light and sound are, after all, translated by the respective sense organs into the same kind of nerve impulses. It is impossible to tell, from the physical attributes of a nerve impulse, whether it is conveying information about light, about sound or about smell. The reason the sensation of seeing is so different from the sensation of hearing and the sensation of smelling is that the brain finds it convenient to use different kinds of internal model of the visual world, the world of sound and the world of smell. It is because we internally use our visual information and our sound information in different ways and for different purposes that the sensations of seeing and hearing are so different. It is not directly because of the physical differences between light and sound.
Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design)
...'Pro-life' encodes too much propaganda for me: that a fertilized egg is a life in the same sense that a woman is, that it has a right to life as she does, that outlawing abortion saves lives, that abortion is the chief threat to 'life' today, and that the movement to ban abortion is motivated solely by these concerns and not also by the wish to restrict sexual freedom, enforce sectarian religious views on a pluralistic society, and return women t traditional roles. It also suggests that those who support legal abortion are pro-death, which is absurd.
Katha Pollitt (Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights)
Case in point: Warnings on cigarette packages can increase a smoker’s urge to light up. A 2009 study found that death warnings trigger stress and fear in smokers—exactly what public health officials hope for. Unfortunately, this anxiety then triggers smokers’ default stress-relief strategy: smoking. Oops. It isn’t logical, but it makes sense based on what we know about how stress influences the brain. Stress triggers cravings and makes dopamine neurons even more excited by any temptation in sight. It doesn’t help that the smoker is—of course—staring at a pack of cigarettes as he reads the warning. So even as a smoker’s brain encodes the words “WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer” and grapples with awareness of his own mortality, another part of his brain starts screaming, “Don’t worry, smoking a cigarette will make you feel better!
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
The Concept of a “Panalogy” Douglas Lenat 1998: “If you pluck an isolated sentence from a book, it will likely lose some or all of its meaning—i.e., if you show it out of context to someone else, they will likely miss some or all of its intended significance. Thus, much of the meaning of a represented piece of information derives from the context in which the information is encoded and decoded. This can be a tremendous advantage. To the extent that the two thinking beings are sharing a common rich context, they may utilize terse signals to communicate complex thoughts.
Marvin Minsky (The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind)
Did you know that the fundamental building blocks of life are not cells, are not DNA are not even carbon but language yeah 'cause DNA is just a four-character language and binary code is a two-character language and what these languages are saying is the very act of revealing, so you reach an X-point when language attains a level of complexity where it begins to fold in upon itself trying to understand itself and this is sentience. Did you know that the entire Library of Congress can be encoded in our DNA because all you have to do is translate a binary system into a four-character system to where you can decode the genes like you're searching a microfiche and if you were to genetically engineer the corpus of human knowledge into our DNA then we'd be able to genetically pass the entire library along from generation to generation like frickin' disease, man.
Ryan Boudinot (The Littlest Hitler)
This pointing-hand gesture—with its index finger and thumb extended upward—is a well-known symbol of the Ancient Mysteries, and it appears all over the world in ancient art. This same gesture appears in three of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous encoded masterpieces—The Last Supper, Adoration of the Magi, and Saint John the Baptist. It’s a symbol of man’s mystical connection to God.” As above, so below. The madman’s bizarre choice of words was starting to feel more relevant now. “I’ve never seen it before,” Sato said. Then watch ESPN, Langdon thought, always amused to see professional athletes point skyward in gratitude to God after a touchdown or home run. He wondered how many knew they were continuing a pre-Christian mystical tradition of acknowledging the mystical power above, which, for one brief moment, had transformed them into a god capable of miraculous feats.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
It is hardly unusual for a young man to be drawn to a pursuit considered reckless by his elders; engaging in risky behavior is a rite of passage in our culture no less than in most others. Danger has always held a certain allure. That, in large part, is why so many teenagers drive too fast and drink too much and take too many drugs, why it has always been so easy for nations to recruit young men to go to war. It can be argued that youthful derring-do is in fact evolutionarily adaptive, a behavior encoded in our genes. McCandless, in his fashion, merely took risk-taking to its logical extreme.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
The machines were reliable and safe, he repeated to others as questions mounted. “They’re not connected on the internet and they tabulate the votes by taking a thumb drive, encoded to a specific machine in a specific precinct, and taking that to a central location to transfer the votes and count them.
Bob Woodward (Peril)
The general idea with most memory techniques is to change whatever boring thing is being inputted into your memory into something that is so colorful, so exciting, and so different from anything you’ve seen before that you can’t possibly forget it,” Ed explained to me between breaths into his clenched fists. “That’s what elaborative encoding is.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Over long distances, it is expensive to transport structures, and inexpensive to transmit sequences. Turing machines, which by definition are structures that can be encoded as sequences, are already propagating themselves, locally, at the speed of light. The notion that one particular computer resides in one particular location at one time is obsolete.
George Dyson (Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe)
Any mode of thought that lays out complete and final answers to great existential questions is liable to dogmatism. A great attraction of care ethics, I think, is its refusal to encode or construct a catalog of principles and rules. One who cares must meet the cared-for just as he or she is, as a whole human being with individual needs and interests. [...] At most, it directs us to attend, to listen, and to respond as positively as possible. [...] it recognizes that virtually all human beings desire not to be hurt, and this gives us something close to an absolute: We should not inflict deliberate hurt or pain. Even when we must fight to save our children, we must not inflict unnecessary or deliberate pain.
Nel Noddings (Peace Education: How We Come to Love and Hate War)
universal laws prescribe how things will behave not, like human laws, how they ought to behave.
John D. Barrow (The Constants of Nature: The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe)
If you read about quantum machine-learning applications that solve some conventional machine-learning problem with a fantastic speedup, always be sure to check whether they return a quantum output. Quantum outputs, such as amplitude-encoded vectors, limit the usage of applications, and require additional specification of how to extract practical, useful results.
Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia (Programming Quantum Computers: Essential Algorithms and Code Samples)
Lexium (TM): Trouble with limited vocabulary? These slow-release capsules are imbued with the latest in infra-cerebral nanobots that will gradually encode your brain with hundreds of thousands of new words while reinforcing the neural pathways to facilitate retention and recall. Now available in French. Kane Faucher, Metapharm, Journal of Experimental Fiction #39
Kane X. Faucher
[The] excited, angry, upset, or calm choreography of fingers fluttering is simultaneously medicalized and moralized: re-encoded as '[an] odd or repetitive way of moving fingers.' The quiet play of a lone child in a busy playground is now seen as a pathological sign pointing not to personal choice or preference or even to social exclusion but to (medical/moral) deviance.
Anne McGuire (War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence (Corporealities: Discourses Of Disability))
The quavers and crotchets inked on paper are not the music. Music is not a series of pressure waves sounding through the air; nor grooves etched in vinyl or pits burned in CDs; nor even the neuronal symphonies stirred up in the brain of the listener. The music is the information. Likewise, the base pairs of DNA are not genes. They encode genes. Genes themselves are made of bits.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Nevertheless, many of these models encoded human prejudice, misunderstanding, and bias into the software systems that increasingly managed our lives. Like gods, these mathematical models were opaque, their workings invisible to all but the highest priests in their domain: mathematicians and computer scientists. Their verdicts, even when wrong or harmful, were beyond dispute or appeal. And
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
When we conceive an enterprise and commit to it in the face of our fears, something wonderful happens. A crack appears in the membrane. Like the first craze when a chick pecks at the inside of its shell. Angel midwives congregate around us; they assist as we give birth to ourselves, to that person we were born to be, to the one whose destiny was encoded in our soul, our daimon, our genius.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
The best way to express inheritance is to say that information about earlier generations is passed along to the next – the information needed to build a new organism in the likeness of the old. This information is encoded in the organism’s genes, which are replicated as part of the reproductive process. The essence of biological reproduction, then, is the replication of heritable information.
Paul C.W. Davies (The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Solving the Mystery of Life)
Displaced workers, along with others who fear for their livelihood, are fertile ground in which to sow anti-immigrant sentiment, since angry and frustrated people often seek some target on which to blame their problems. The right wing has organized and manipulated such anger and resentment, turned it away from corporations, and directed it against the government, decrying high taxes and the inability of the state to solve problems such as social deterioration, homelessness, crime, and violence. In addition to the target of “failed liberal policies,” immigrants make a convenient and tangible target for people’s anger. Racial prejudice is often an encoded part of the message…Right-wing populist themes are particularly effective at attracting working people disenchanted with the system.
Robert Wald Sussman (The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea)
John-Dylan Haynes22 and his colleagues expanded Libet’s experiments in 2008 to show that the outcomes of an inclination can be encoded in brain activity up to ten seconds before it enters awareness! The brain has acted before its person is conscious of it. Not only that, from looking at the scan, they can make a prediction about what the person is going to do. The implications of this are rather staggering.
Michael S. Gazzaniga (Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain)
The self is not an immutable entity that lurks behind the windows of the eyes, looking out into the world and controlling the body as a pilot controls a plane. The experience of being me, or of being you, is a perception itself – or better, a collection of perceptions – a tightly woven bundle of neurally encoded predictions geared towards keeping your body alive. And this, I believe, is all we need to be, to be who we are.
Anil Seth (Being You: A New Science of Consciousness)
Before you immerse yourself into 3-D living, you have the ability to preview the parameters of earthly life, to oversee the aspects of your own plan, purpose, and intent within a specific climate of consciousness. You choose the moment and the time of your birth, as well as your genealogical bloodline, which is rich with an ancestral encoding of perceptions based on many lessons in living. In the here and now, you forget your plans in order to play your version of the game of life more effectively. You immerse yourself in your identity and become fully engaged in the process of exploring and experiencing the path you have chosen. The course of your life is a significant and purposeful journey that continuously confronts and stimulates you to develop your abilities. You actually learn about the nature of existence as you learn how to operate your biological form. You
Barbara Marciniak (Path of Empowerment: Pleiadian Wisdom for a World in Chaos)
over 80 percent of noncoding DNA is involved with regulating the production and assembly of gene-encoded proteins. A major discovery also found that “dark” DNA contains mechanisms by which environmental information can be used to modify the readout of protein-encoding genes. It turns out that dark DNA uses epigenetic mechanisms that enable a human cell with 19,000 gene blueprints to code for over a hundred thousand different protein molecules!
Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles)
These initially adaptive responses to immediate danger turn into inflexible and pervasive procedural tendencies when trauma is unresolved. Once these actions have been procedurally encoded, individuals are left with regulatory deficits and “suffer both from generalized hyperarousal [and hypoarousal] and from physiological emergency reactions to specific reminders” (van der Kolk, 1994, p. 254). Traumatized clients often experience rapid, dramatic, exhausting, and confusing shifts of intense emotional states, from dysregulated fear, anger, or even elation, to despair, helplessness, shame, or flat affect. They may continue to feel frozen, numb, tense, or constantly ready to fight or flee. They may be hyperalert, overly sensitive to sounds or movements and easily startled by unfamiliar stimuli. Or they may underreact to stimuli, feel distant from their experience and their bodies, or even feel dead inside.
Pat Ogden (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
According to neuroscientists, when we stir up a long-term memory, it floats in our consciousness, unstable, for a window of approximately three hours. During this time, the memory is malleable. The present infiltrates the past. We add details to fill in the gaps. Then the brain re-encodes the memory as if it were new, writing over the old one. As it sinks back down into the depths of our minds, we are not even aware of what we have gained or lost, or why.
Nadja Spiegelman (I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir)
To leave behind what is considered normal amidst social convention and to create a new mind requires being an individual—for any species. Being uncompromising to one’s vision of a new and improved self and abandoning one’s prior ways of being may also be encoded in living tissue for new generations; history remembers individuals for such elegance. True evolution, then, is using the genetic wisdom of past experiences as raw materials for new challenges. What
Joe Dispenza (Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind)
It was her grandfather who'd told her the tale of this particular violin, over and over, as if the telling could stave off loss, as if the weight and scope of human history were not found in books or in those mythic universities in Rome and Naples that no one in their village had ever seen but, rather, were encoded in objects like this one, a violin touched by hundreds of hands, loved, used, stroked, pressed, made to outlive its owners, storing their secrets and lies
Carolina De Robertis (The Gods of Tango)
Race does the heavy lifting for a caste system that demands a means of human division. If we have been trained to see humans in the language of race, then caste is the underlying grammar that we encode as children, as when learning our mother tongue. Caste, like grammar, becomes an invisible guide not only to how we speak, but to how we process information, the autonomic calculations that figure into a sentence without our having to think about it. Many of us have never taken a class in grammar, yet we know in our bones that a transitive verb takes an object, that a subject needs a predicate; we know without thinking the difference between third person singular and third person plural. We may mention “race,” referring to people as black or white or Latino or Asian or indigenous, when what lies beneath each label is centuries of history and assigning of assumptions and values to physical features in a structure of human hierarchy.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
There is a progression from pictographic, writing the picture; to ideographic, writing the idea; and then logographic, writing the word. Chinese script began this transition between 4,500 and 8,000 years ago: signs that began as pictures came to represent meaningful units of sound. Because the basic unit was the word, thousands of distinct symbols were required. This is efficient in one way, inefficient in another. Chinese unifies an array of distinct spoken languages: people who cannot speak to one another can write to one another. It employs at least fifty thousand symbols, about six thousand commonly used and known to most literate Chinese. In swift diagrammatic strokes they encode multidimensional semantic relationships. One device is simple repetition: tree + tree + tree = forest; more abstractly, sun + moon = brightness and east + east = everywhere. The process of compounding creates surprises: grain + knife = profit; hand + eye = look.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Live your life in real time -- live and suffer directly on-screen. Think in real time -- your thought is immediately encoded by the computer. Make your revolution in real time -- not in the street, but in the recording studio. Live out your amorous passions in real time -- the whole thing on video from start to finish. Penetrate your body in real time -- endovideoscopy: your own bloodstream, your own viscera as if you were inside them. Nothing escapes this. There is always a hidden camera somewhere. You can be filmed without knowing it. You can be called to act it all out again for any of the TV channels. You think you exist in the original-language version, without realizing that this is now merely a special case of dubbing, an exceptional version for the `happy few'. Any of your acts can be instantly broadcast on any station. There was a time when we would have considered this a form of police surveillance. Today, we regard it as advertising.
Jean Baudrillard (The Perfect Crime)
In Bletchley, in Britain, in 1943, in total secrecy, a brilliant mathematician, Alan Turing, is seeing his most incisive insight turned into physical reality. Turing has argued that numbers can compute numbers. To crack the Lorentz encoding machines of the German forces, a computer called Colossus has been built based on Turing’s principles: it is a universal machine with a modifiable stored program. Nobody realises it at the time, least of all Turing, but he is probably closer to the mystery of life than anybody else. Heredity is a modifiable stored program; metabolism is a universal machine. The recipe that links them is a code, an abstract message that can be embodied in a chemical, physical or even immaterial form. Its secret is that it can cause itself to be replicated. Anything that can use the resources of the world to get copies of itself made is alive; the most likely form for such a thing to take is a digital message—a number, a script or a word.
Matt Ridley (Genome: the Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters)
Yet another strategy for encoding in Renaissance works involved environmental “special effects.” Messages were ingeniously inserted so that they could be viewed only when one was in situ, in the very spot where the artist intended for the viewer to receive his true intent. Often this would be determined by how light coming from an actual window at the site would stream into the painting, thus literally and figuratively illuminating the piece. Leonardo did this with the light in his Last Supper fresco,
Benjamin Blech (The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican)
or is that too straightforward a statement, have I been insuffi­ciently artful in encoding my sentiments...in camouflaging them for esthetic effect. well, too fucking bad...my life has convinced me of few things, but the absoluteness of the negative is one of them... light bends, it diffracts, it scatters, but darkness fucking endures... it is what remains when the strayed-in rays and scintillas have long disappeared... it is the fundament, the ground... and I am one who can tell you this: behold my black body..
Evan Dara (The Lost Scrapbook)
Once a habit has been encoded, the urge to act follows whenever the environmental cues reappear. This is one reason behavior change techniques can backfire. Shaming obese people with weight-loss presentations can make them feel stressed, and as a result many people return to their favorite coping strategy: overeating. Showing pictures of blackened lungs to smokers leads to higher levels of anxiety, which drives many people to reach for a cigarette. If you’re not careful about cues, you can cause the very behavior you want to stop.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
The wave quality of light is the same as that of the electron. The wave determines the probable location of the photon of light when it is detected. The wave character of light is not vibrating stuff like a wave of water but rather a wavelike function encoding information about where you'll find the photon of light once it is detected. Until it reaches the detector plate, like the electron, it is seemingly passing through both slits simultaneously, making its mind up about its location only once it is observed [...]. It's this act of observation that is such a strange feature of quantum physics. Until I ask the detector to pick up where the electron is, the particle should be thought of as probabilistically distributed over space, with a probability described by a mathematical function that has wavelike characteristics. The effect of the two slits on this mathematical wave function alters it in such a way that the electron is forbidden from being located at some points on the detector plate. But when the particle is observed, the die is cast, probabilities disappear, and the particle must decide on a location.
Marcus du Sautoy (The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science)
In his seminal book Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the linear model is wrong (or, at best, misleading) in everything from cybernetics, to derivatives, to medicine, to the jet engine. In each case history reveals that these innovations emerged as a consequence of a similar process utilized by the biologists at Unilever, and became encoded in heuristics (rules of thumb) and practical know-how. The problems were often too complex to solve theoretically, or via a blueprint, or in the seminar room. They were solved by failing, learning, and failing again.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do)
Let’s say that you have committed to running every day for two weeks, and at the end of those two weeks, you “reward” yourself with a massage. I would say, “Good for you!” because we all could benefit from more massages. But I would also say that your massage wasn’t a reward. It was an incentive. The definition of a reward in behavior science is an experience directly tied to a behavior that makes that behavior more likely to happen again. The timing of the reward matters. Scientists learned decades ago that rewards need to happen either during the behavior or milli-seconds afterward. Dopamine is released and processed by the brain very quickly. That means you’ve got to cue up those good feelings fast to form a habit. Incentives like a sales bonus or a monthly massage can motivate you, but they don’t rewire your brain. Incentives are way too far in the future to give you that all-important shot of dopamine that encodes the new habit. Doing three squats in the morning and rewarding yourself with a movie that evening won’t work. The squats and the good feelings you get from the movie are too far apart for dopamine to build a bridge between the two. The neurochemical reaction that you are trying to hack is not only time dependent, it’s also highly individualized. What causes one person to feel good may not work for everyone. Your boss may love the smell of coffee. When she enters a coffee shop and inhales, she feels good. And her immediate feeling builds her habit of visiting the coffee shop. But your coworker might not like the way coffee smells. His brain won’t react in the same way. A real reward — something that will actually create a habit — is a much narrower target to hit than most people think. I
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
Einstein argued that the laws of Nature should appear to be the same for all observers in the Universe, no matter where they were or how they were moving. If they were not then there would exist privileged observers for whom the laws of Nature looked simpler than they did for other observers.
John D. Barrow (The Constants of Nature: The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe)
Sherri Solvig had had cancer, lymphatic cancer, but due to valiant efforts by her doctors she had gone into remission. However, encoded in the memory-tapes of her brain was the datum that patients with lymphoma who go into remission usually eventually lose their remission. They aren’t cured; the ailment has somehow mysteriously passed from a palpable state into a sort of metaphysical state, a limbo. It is there but it is not there. So despite her current good health, Sherri (her mind told her) contained a ticking clock, and when the clock chimed she would die. Nothing could be done about it, except the frantic promotion of a second remission. But even if a second remission were obtained, that remission, too, by the same logic, the same inexorable process, would end. Time had Sherri in its absolute power. Time contained one outcome for her: terminal cancer. This is how her mind had factored the situation out; it had come to this conclusion, and no matter how good she felt or what she had going for her in her life, this fact remained a constant. A cancer patient in remission, then, represents a stepped-up case of the status of all humans; eventually you are going to die.
Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
Two revolutions coincided in the 1950s. Mathematicians, including Claude Shannon and Alan Turing, showed that all information could be encoded by binary digits, known as bits. This led to a digital revolution powered by circuits with on-off switches that processed information. Simultaneously, Watson and Crick discovered how instructions for building every cell in every form of life were encoded by the four-letter sequences of DNA. Thus was born an information age based on digital coding (0100110111001…) and genetic coding (ACTGGTAGATTACA…). The flow of history is accelerated when two rivers converge.
Walter Isaacson (The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race)
I presume that feeling ostracized and alienated from them, even within my own home growing up, encoded within me a deep sense of alienation. That’s why in any group dynamic my identity will always be defined as an outsider rather than from within. This is also the reason why stand-up comedy is the perfect career for me. Not just because I’m constantly scribbling notes inside my own mind to deal with the embarrassment I perpetually feel, but also because I’m always observing, always outside. It’s a perfectly natural dynamic for me to stand alone in front of thousands of people and tell ‘em how I feel.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
From the moment Adam named his wife ‘Eve’ her defining moment was eminently predictable. Almost inevitably, it was going to revolve around an incident with a serpent. Her name Hebrew name Hawwah may mean life or living or mother of all living but it is particularly close to the Aramaic word, ‘hiwya’, serpent.
Anne Hamilton (God's Poetry: The Identity and Destiny Encoded In Your Name)
A bell tinkles when I open the door and I’m hit by the smell – a powdery, fudgy, floral nostalgia-blast, encoded in my brain at some long-ago point to signify ‘femininity’, and I realize with a vague sense of disenchantment that this phenomenon – femininity – has not manifested itself at all as I expected, in the form of vanity table, crystal perfume atomizer, kimono suspended from silk-padded hanger, et cetera, but instead as a tangle of greyish underwear, old sports T-shirts for nighties and an unruly Boots-special-offer-dictated assortment of half-finished moisturizers, packets of face wipes and bunches of tampons.
Lisa Owens (Not Working)
My goal was that the reader wouldn't have to be trained in literature or even in science fiction to receive the tale in its simplest, purest form. And, since a great many writers and critics have based their entire careers on the premise that anything that the general public can understand without mediation is worthless drivel, it is not surprising that they found my little novel to be despicable. If everybody came to agree that stories should be told this clearly, the professors of literature would be out of a job, and the writers of obscure, encoded fiction would be, not honored, but pitied for their impenetrability.
Orson Scott Card
The issue of the mysterious power of transmission arises here. What do you transmit to your child? Blonde hair, blue eyes, very small feet? But also a taste for cigarettes, panettone, boys with guitars? Is this foetus’s life destined to be filled with suitcases packed in the middle of the night, suitcases that will always return to their point of departure some weeks later? In other words, is this foetus destined to relive, again and again, emotions encoded in a fossilized region of its brain and thus, almost simultaneously, experience love and the end of the world, hope and lightning, a romantic comedy and a horror film?
Monica Sabolo (All This Has Nothing to Do with Me)
Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment: InterLace TelEntertainment, 932/1864 R.I.S.C. power-TPs w/ or w/o console, Pink2, post-Primestar D.S.S. dissemination, menus and icons, pixel-free InterNet Fax, tri- and quad-modems w/ adjustable baud, post-Web Dissemination-Grids, screens so high-def you might as well be there, cost-effective videophonic conferencing, internal Froxx CD-ROM, electronic couture, all-in-one consoles, Yushityu ceramic nanoprocessors, laser chromatography, Virtual-capable media-cards, fiber-optic pulse, digital encoding, killer apps; carpal neuralgia, phosphenic migraine, gluteal hyperadiposity, lumbar stressae.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
The killing of mature members of any species leads to a reduction not only in biomass and species density and diversity but also in that species’ accumulated knowledge of how to most efficiently fill its ecological niche and interact with the rest of the ecosystem around it. The accumulated wisdom of the species is severely reduced or, sometimes, even lost in the process. Thus the tremendous loss of human languages around the globe that were generated out of thousands of generations of human interaction with specific habitats by unique groups and which encode unique understandings of ecosystem functioning is a tragedy greater than we yet know.
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
Like Kimmerer, I wish for a language that recognizes and advances the animacy of the world, ‘the life that pulses through pines and nuthatches and mushrooms . . . well[ing] up all around us’. Like Kimmerer, I relish those aspects of discourse that extend being and sentience respectfully and flexibly beyond the usual bearers of such qualities. Like Kimmerer I believe that we need, now, a ‘grammar of animacy’. A modern predisposition to regard animacy as anomaly runs through what the poet Jeremy Prynne once called ‘mammal language’, by which he means the language that is used by humans, encoding intent, agency and muscular power deep in its grammar.
Robert McFarlane
Neethan is a tall dude, six-eight, and watching him come out of a limo is like watching a cleverly designed Japanese toy robot arachnid emerge from a box, propelling a torso on which nods his head, across which is splashed a smile of idealized teeth, teeth so gleaming you could brush your own teeth looking into them, teeth that still look fantastic blown up two stories tall on the side of a building, a sexual promise to nameless fans encoded in bicuspid, molar, incisor, and canine. The arm rises, a wave, a hello, an acknowledgement that the assembled journalists exist and through the conduits of their cameras exist the public. Neethan F. Jordan has arrived!
Ryan Boudinot (Blueprints of the Afterlife)
Plasticity in all the brain's systems is an innately determined characteristic. This may sound like a nature-nurture contradiction, but it is not. An innate capacity for synapses to record and store information is what allows systems to encode experiences. If the synapses of a particular brain system cannot change, this system will not have the ability to be modified by experience and to maintain the modified state. As a result, the organism will not be able to learn and remember through the functioning of that system. All learning, in other words, depends ont he operation of genetically programmed capacities to learn. Learning involves the nurturing of nature.
Joseph E. LeDoux
YOUR GENES ARE RUNNING THE SHOW If you’re anything like me, I know you’re champing at the bit to get going on Diet Evolution, but hold your horses. I’ve found that most of us can stick to a program only if we understand how and why we got to our present state of affairs. The next four chapters will do just that. You can thank Mom and Dad for your beautiful baby blues, as well as your hair color, height, and build. All these traits were encoded in copies of their genes—half of them her’s, the other half his—that now reside in your body. Any children you have will in turn have copies of half of your genes and half of your partner’s, and so on through generations to come. Determining
Steven R. Gundry (Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline)
India is triply disadvantaged. As in many other societies, we suffer from the “head versus hand” hierarchy, which ascribes higher status to purely mental work over work that requires physical labour. In India, that hierarchy is also encoded in caste, with mental labour assigned to dominant castes and physical labour assigned to oppressed ones. A widely held Western idea of art is to restrict anything utilitarian to the realm of craft, says Sainath. ‘A product of craft is something which has constant and wide replication, a specific use, plus a restricted number of patterns. The main differentiation made by many is to look at art as creative, and craft—even when highly skilled—as mechanical and unthinking.
Aparna Karthikeyan (Nine Rupees an Hour: Disappearing Livelihoods of Tamil Nadu)
One of the simplest is the drive for survival, in other words, your very deep sense of self-protection. If, in the field of sensory inflows in which you are immersed, the parts of the self that gate inflows pick up sensory-encoded meanings that can affect your self-organizational integrity, they will have a very deep evolutionary drive to signal your conscious attention. However, if the paradigm or lens through which you view the world around you does not allow you to receive those signals consciously, this can be thought of as repression-driven gating then the unconscious parts of the self may begin to override the conscious programming. In response your emotional state or behavior may change, sometimes significantly. You just won’t know why.
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
Everything did change, faster than his fingers could type. What he had been too cautious to hope for was pulled from his dreams and made real on the television screen. At that momentous hour on December 26, 1991, as he watched the red flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—the empire “empire extending eleven times zones, from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic coast, encompassing more than a hundred ethnicities and two hundred languages; the collective whose security demanded the sacrifice of millions, whose Slavic stupidity had demanded the deportation of Khassan’s entire homeland; that utopian mirage cooked up by cruel young men who gave their mustaches more care than their morality; that whole horrid system that told him what he could be and do and think and say and believe and love and desire and hate, the system captained by Lenin and Zinoviev and Stalin and Malenkov and Beria and Molotov and Khrushchev and Kosygin and Mikoyan and Podgorny and Brezhnev and Andropov and Chernenko and Gorbachev, all of whom but Gorbachev he hated with a scorn no author should have for his subject, a scorn genetically encoded in his blood, inherited from his ancestors with their black hair and dark skin—as he watched that flag slink down the Kremlin flagpole for the final time, left limp by the windless sky, as if even the weather wanted to impart on communism this final disgrace, he looped his arms around his wife and son and he held them as the state that had denied him his life quietly died.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
Scientists know your DNA reflects the genetic legacy of your parents, their parents, and your ancestors. It’s possible that it also reflects their emotional experiences. As researchers learn more about our DNA, maybe we’ll find that our cells have encoded the traumas of our ancestors. Experiments in mice have shown that aversion to certain smells is passed down to the offspring after the parental mice were trained to avoid a certain smell by being shocked every time they smelled it.8 While we know that a family history of heart disease may mean close relatives share genes and genetic markers, if we look back, we can often see in family stories hearts that are broken, conflicted, and prevented from loving fully. In my family, people tend to die of heart disease prematurely. My maternal
Christiane Northrup (Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being)
You and I know how to stay alive in an urban community. As humans, we are genetically encoded to adapt to many environments when given proper teaching from more experienced humans. We know not to talk to strangers, not to cross on the red light, and not to leave the doors unlocked. Most of us are more or less successful and only occasionally make a life-threatening mistake. Some of us may have an additional set of survival skills, depending on our circumstances. We can live with a debilitating disease, be shot into space and live in a capsule, or survive summer camp. After summer camp, we are still the same people we were before summer camp, except now we know write our name in our underware, not chew gum found under the bed, and to stay away from things that look like sticks but are, in fact, snakes.
Else Poulsen (Smiling Bears: A Zookeeper Explores the Behavior and Emotional Life of Bears)
Search engines and social networks are analog computers of unprecedented scale. Information is being encoded (and operated upon) as continuous (and noise-tolerant) variables such as frequencies (of connection or occurrence) and the topology of what connects where, with location being increasingly defined by a fault-tolerant template rather than by an unforgiving numerical address. Pulse-frequency coding for the Internet is one way to describe the working architecture of a search engine, and PageRank for neurons is one way to describe the working architecture of the brain. These computational structures use digital components, but the analog computing being performed by the system as a whole exceeds the complexity of the digital code on which it runs. The model (of the social graph, or of human knowledge) constructs and updates itself.
George Dyson (Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe)
As one of the most pervasive forms of cultural narrative in industrialized societies, commercial film serves as an extremely powerful vehicle of myth… To some extent the scripts that do get picked up manage to be supported because they already articulate a culture’s social imaginary – the prevailing images a society needs to project about itself in order to maintain certain features of its organization. This social imaginary is not simply encoded in a film or decoded by the viewer from the film’s formal structures. Rather, the mythic meanings of films are the effect of a social and dynamic process of meaning-making in which their production and reception participate. Any film text comes to make sense by means of the historically available modes of intelligibility – a variety of assumptions about reality – through which the spectator chains together the film’s signifiers into a meaningful story.
Rosemary Hennessy
As a result of the experiences we’ve had, it is quite natural to feel unsafe in the world around us. However, from the soul’s perspective, just by enduring each harsh outcome—whether it seems cruel, senseless, or completely justified—we gain the gifts of evolutionary benefit. Each gift rests dormant in our energy fields, like a hidden savings account that accrues wealth. This wealth is a deeper enlightenment. Contrary to the old spiritual paradigm that believes evolution only occurs to those who are always on their best emotional behavior, the new paradigm offers a more inclusive view. Whether we responded consciously or not to these unforeseen, unavoidable circumstances, just by having these experiences the transformative benefits are already encoded within us. However, the cultivation of heart-centered consciousness allows these gifts from our past and future to be recognized and integrated more fully into our daily lives.
Matt Kahn (Everything Is Here to Help You: A Loving Guide to Your Soul's Evolution)
Even as we became increasingly sad and ugly on the internet, the mirage of the better online self continued to glimmer. As a medium, the internet defined by a built-in performance incentive. In real life, you can walk around living life and be visible to other people. But you can't just walk around and be visible on the internet—for anyone to see you, you have to ACT. You have to communicate in order to maintain an internet presence. And, because the internet's central platforms are built around personal profiles, it can seem—first at a mechanical level, and later on as an encoded instinct—like the main purpose of this communication is to make yourself look good. Online reward mechanisms beg to substitute for offline ones, and then overtake them. This is why everyone seems so smug and triumphant on Facebook, this is why, on Twitter, making a righteous political statement has come to seem, for many people, like a political good in itself.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
Twin, family, and population studies have all conclusively shown that psychological traits are at least partly, and sometimes largely, heritable—that is, a sizable portion of the variation that we see in these traits across the population is attributable to genetic variation. However, as we have seen in the preceding chapters, the relationship between genes and traits is far from simple. The fact that a given trait is heritable seems to suggest that there must be genes for that trait. But phrasing it in that way is a serious conceptual trap. It implies that genes exist that are dedicated to that function—that there are genes for intelligence or sociability or visual perception. But this risks confusing the two meanings of the word gene: one, from the study of heredity, refers to genetic variants that affect a trait; the other, from molecular biology, refers to the stretches of DNA that encode proteins with various biochemical or cellular functions.
Kevin J. Mitchell
One winter she grew obsessed with a fashionable puzzle known as Solitaire, the Rubik’s Cube of its day. Thirty-two pegs were arranged on a board with thirty-three holes, and the rules were simple: Any peg may jump over another immediately adjacent, and the peg jumped over is removed, until no more jumps are possible. The object is to finish with only one peg remaining. “People may try thousands of times, and not succeed in this,” she wrote Babbage excitedly. I have done it by trying & observation & can now do it at any time, but I want to know if the problem admits of being put into a mathematical Formula, & solved in this manner.… There must be a definite principle, a compound I imagine of numerical & geometrical properties, on which the solution depends, & which can be put into symbolic language. A formal solution to a game—the very idea of such a thing was original. The desire to create a language of symbols, in which the solution could be encoded—this way of thinking was Babbage’s, as she well knew.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Once again the resistance the visual cortex displayed toward surgical excision suggested that, like memory, vision was also distributed, and after Pribram became aware of holography he began to wonder if it, too, was holographic. The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram certainly seemed to explain how so much of the visual cortex could be removed without affecting the ability to perform visual tasks. If the brain was processing images by employing some kind of internal hologram, even a very small piece of the hologram could still reconstruct the whole of what the eyes were seeing. It also explained the lack of any one-to-one correspondence between the external world and the brain's electrical activity. Again, if the brain was using holographic principles to process visual information, there would be no more one-to-one correspondence between electrical activity and images seen than there was between the meaningless swirl of interference patterns on a piece of holographic film and the image the film encoded.
Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe)
Altogether, these observations suggest that several processes contribute to psychotic experience: the loss of familiarity with the world, hypothetically associated with noisy information processing; increased novelty detection mediated by the hippocampus; associated alterations of prefrontal cortical processing, which have reliably been associated with impairments in working memory and other executive functions; increased top-down effects of prior beliefs mediated by the frontal cortex that may reflect compensatory efforts to cope with an increasingly complex and unfamiliar world; and finally disinhibition of subcortical dopaminergic neurotransmission, which increases salience attribution to otherwise irrelevant stimuli. Furthermore, increased noise of chaotic or stress-dependent dopamine firing can reduce the encoding of errors of reward prediction elicited by primary and secondary reinforcers, thus contributing to a subjective focusing of attention on apparently novel and mysterious environmental cues while reducing attention and motivation elicited by common and natural and social stimuli.
Andreas Heinz
As a thought experiment, von Neumann's analysis was simplicity itself. He was saying that the genetic material of any self-reproducing system, whether natural or artificial, must function very much like a stored program in a computer: on the one hand, it had to serve as live, executable machine code, a kind of algorithm that could be carried out to guide the construction of the system's offspring; on the other hand, it had to serve as passive data, a description that could be duplicated and passed along to the offspring. As a scientific prediction, that same analysis was breathtaking: in 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick finally determined the molecular structure of DNA, it would fulfill von Neumann's two requirements exactly. As a genetic program, DNA encodes the instructions for making all the enzymes and structural proteins that the cell needs in order to function. And as a repository of genetic data, the DNA double helix unwinds and makes a copy of itself every time the cell divides in two. Nature thus built the dual role of the genetic material into the structure of the DNA molecule itself.
M. Mitchell Waldrop (The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal)
He paused as his eyes went Elsewhere. His mouth hung open uncharacteristically in an odd moment of hesitation. But then he spoke: “I dreamt one night that I stood before the Conjurer of All. I do not know if this Conjurer was God, per se , but let us entertain the possibility that there exists, at least encoded in the patterned mechanisms of the human mind, a necessary and indelible embodiment therein that is simultaneously the Creator of the Universe and the Forger of All Things Within It The Knower of All there is to Know, to say the least. I stood uncomfortably before such an entity and this Conjurer spoke thus, ‘Seeker of Truth!’ His words were oppressive, yet assuring, ‘Now it can all be told! Now you may have all the answers you seek. All the answers of the Universe!’ This proclamation only satisfied me briefly, for I almost immediately found myself responding, ‘Dear Conjurer, I do not wish to sound ungrateful, but instead of all the answers, may I not have more questions? An endless supply even? For all else would seem insufficient. I could never face a world that lacked mystery.’ The Maker laughed as though I had told the only joke in the Universe in which he could find humor. I awoke immediately, out of breath, for I, too, had been laughing.
Ashim Shanker (Inward and Toward (Migrations, #3))
The lack of distinction between the real and the virtual is the obsession of our age. Everything in our current affairs attests to this, not to mention the big cinematic productions: The Truman Show, Total Recall, Existenz, Matrix, etc. This question has always been there behind literature and philosophy, but it has been present metaphorically, as it were, implicitly, through the filter of discourse. The 'encoding/decoding' of reality was done by discourse, that is to say, by a highly complex medium, never leaving room for a head-on truth. The encoding/decoding of our reality is done by technology. Only what is produced by this technical effect acquires visible reality. And it does so at the cost of a simplification that no longer has anything to do with language or with the slightest ambivalence and which, therefore, puts an end to this subtle lack of distinction between the real and the virtual, as subtle as the lack of distinction between good and evil. Through special effects, everything acquires an operational self-evidence, a spectacular reality that is, properly speaking, the reign of simulation. What the directors of these films have not realized (any more than the simulationist artists of New York in the eighties) is that simulation is a hypothesis, a game that turns reality itself into one eventuality among others.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories V: 2000 - 2004)
In America, straightforward talk about class inequality is all but impossible, indeed taboo. Political appeals to the economic self-interest of ordinary voters, as distinct from their wealthy compatriots, court instant branding and disfigurement in the press as divisive “economic populism” or even “class warfare.”39 On the other hand, divisive political appeals composed in a different register, sometimes called “cultural populism,” enlist voters’ self-concept in place of their self-interest; appealing, in other words, to who they are and are not, rather than to what they require and why. Thus, the policies of the 1980s radically redistributed income upward. Then, with “economic populism” shooed from the public arena, “cultural populism” fielded something akin to a marching band. It had a simple melody about the need to enrich the “investing” classes (said to “create jobs”), and an encoded percussion: “culture wars”; “welfare mothers”; “underclass”; “race-and-IQ”; “black-on-black crime”; “criminal gene”; on and on.40 Halfway through the decade, as the band played on, a huge economic revolution from above had got well under way. The poorest 40 percent of American families were sharing 15.5 percent of household income, while the share of the richest 20 percent of families had risen to a record 43.7 percent, and the trend appeared to be (and has turned out to be) more and more of the same.41 The
Barbara J. Fields (Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life)
Anyway, if my lips were rose petals they’d taste too bitter. If my cheeks were apples they’d crawl with apple worms. If my eyes were stars they’d be dead by the time you saw them. If I moved you like the moon I’d disappear once a month. If my teeth were Chiclets you’d want to chew on them and spit them out. If my hands were birds you couldn’t hold them; they’d peck you bloody. Is my skin alabaster? Then it’s cold and hard and one day someone will skin me, make me into a cold hard box tinged with pink or yellow, to hold unguents, then how will you love me? If my vagina is a cool, dark forest you’ll certainly be lost, you have no sense of direction. If my vagina is a cave-watch out! It’s prone to seismic shifts and avalanche. If my vagina is a river of honey: orange, lavender, fine herbs, hazelnut, all too sweet. If my ears are shells I can’t hear you, only the ocean anyway. And if my voice is music, it is unintelligible. Don’t say anything. I am not a flower, but a body with rules and predictable, cellular qualities. My eyelashes and fingernails and skin and spit are organized by proteins designed to erode at a pre-encoded date and time, no matter what you do or do not do to me- I am remarkably like an animal. More like a heifer than a sunrise, I want to bite, stroke, swallow you so stop lying there trying to think of something to say and trying to understand me. I am the body next to but unlike yours. You already know me. You already know what I’m made of.
Rachel Zucker
For the Hebrews, names provided a direct link with the Creator. They understood words as being the creative fire of God, the ‘black fire on white fire’ of His Law. Every utterance and every act of creation through which He revealed Himself was not only word made flesh but fire made flesh. The word for ‘being’, yesh, ‘to exist’ or ‘to have substance’ was flame–breathed. The word for ‘fire’, esh, was embedded in the word for ‘being’ and in the very notion of ‘being human’. The rabbis were said to have asked: Why is the word for ‘woman’, ishah? Because she is fire, esh. Why is the word for ‘man’, ish? Because he too is fire, esh. They noted that when the Hebrew letters for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ came together they produced a new word as part of the union: yah, a reference to Yahweh, the Name of God.
Anne Hamilton (God's Poetry: The Identity and Destiny Encoded In Your Name)
Using magnetoencephalography, a technique that measures the weak magnetic fields given off by a thinking brain, researchers have found that higher-rated chess players are more likely to engage the frontal and parietal cortices of the brain when they look at the board, which suggests that they are recalling information from long-term memory. Lower-ranked players are more likely to engage the medial temporal lobes, which suggests that they are encoding information. The experts are interpreting the present board in terms of their massive knowledge of past ones. The lower ranked players are seeing the board as something new...[de Groot] argued that expertise in the field of shoemaking, painting, building, or confectionary, is the result of the same accumulation of experiential linkings. According to Erikson, what we call expertise is really just vast amounts of knowledge, pattern-based retrieval, and planning mechanisms acquired over many years of experience in the associated domain. In other words, a great memory isn't just a byproduct of expertise; it is the essence of expertise. Whether we realize it or not, we are all like those chess masters and chicken sexers- interpreting the present in light of what we've learned in the past and letting our previous experiences shape not only how we perceive our world, but also the moves we end up making in it... Our memories are always with us, shaping and being shaped by the information flowing through our senses in a continuous feedback loop. Everything we see, hear, and smell is inflected by all the things we've seen, heard, and smelled in the past...Who we are and what we do is fundamentally a function of what we remember.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
How does the body push the comparatively tiny genome so far? Many researchers want to put the weight on learning and experience, apparently believing that the contribution of the genes is relatively unimportant. But though the ability to learn is clearly one of the genome's most important products, such views overemphasize learning and significantly underestimate the extent to which the genome can in fact guide the construction of enormous complexity. If the tools of biological self-assembly are powerful enough to build the intricacies of the circulatory system or the eye without requiring lessons from the outside world, they are also powerful enough to build the initial complexity of the nervous system without relying on external lessons. The discrepancy melts away as we appreciate the true power of the genome. We could start by considering the fact that the currently accepted figure of 30,000 could well prove to be too low. Thirty thousand (or thereabouts) is, at press time, the best estimate for how many protein-coding genes are in the human genome. But not all genes code for proteins; some, not counted in the 30,000 estimate, code for small pieces of RNA that are not converted into proteins (called microRNA), of "pseudogenes," stretches of DNA, apparently relics of evolution, that do not properly encode proteins. Neither entity is fully understood, but recent reports (from 2002 and 2003) suggest that both may play some role in the all-important process of regulating the IFS that control whether or not genes are expressed. Since the "gene-finding" programs that search the human genome sequence for genes are not attuned to such things-we don't yet know how to identify them reliably-it is quite possible that the genome contains more buried treasure.
Gary F. Marcus (The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought)
If we stop trying to be present and instead tap into our breath, align our eyes and mind congruently, and respond to life’s invitations, presence finds us. Presence is what arises when we embrace all that life (and light) has to offer. When we stop searching, we start finding. By looking less, we see more. When we allow the light within us to merge with the light that guides us, we experience oneness. Without any effort, we relax into a state where we have no decisions to make. There is no confusion, second-guessing, thinking, or searching for answers. There is just beingness — an acceptance of life as it is. With presence, life becomes magical. We not only feel better, but our stress dissipates and our bodies heal. We respond to life more fluidly, developing an ability to be with whatever arises, flowing in response to life in the same way that children do. Infants and children do not look for anything; they simply respond to whatever calls their attention. When we reawaken this innate ability in ourselves, our lives transform radically. We enter a state that some call “the zone,” “the flow,” or even “genius consciousness,” in which “we” disappear and our knowledge is no longer limited to information received from the five senses. We become more empathetic toward ourselves and others, and more intuitive. Rather than reacting to one situation after another, we start flowing with life and, over time, we become increasingly aware of experiences just before they occur and can now “welcome” them. It is a miraculous state of being. What you might call the “divine inspiration” encoded in light moves us in a direction that is expansive, infusing us with a deep desire — beyond the wish for anything personal or material — to embrace our most potent longing for oneness with the vision we have been given. There remains only a witness who is present, spacious, and imperturbable. Everything appears clear and seems to scintillate. The resulting sense of peace is so blissful that it may bring tears to our eyes. No matter how many miracles we experience, each new wonder is always astounding, inviting in more such experiences and reminding us that all of life is literally beyond belief.
Jacob Israel Liberman (Luminous Life: How the Science of Light Unlocks the Art of Living)
The thought is immediately accompanied by a dull ache below her shoulder. It is a phantom pain, she knows, a psychosomatic ache, but still she feels the hurt. After all, it has been many years since the blow that made her arm swell and ache for days. On the other hand, who knows? Perhaps the body has its own memory system, like the invisible meridian lines those Chinese acupuncturists always talk about. Perhaps the body is unforgiving, perhaps every cell, every muscle and fragment of bone remembers each and every assault and attack. Maybe the pain of memory is encoded into our bone marrow and each remembered grievance swims in our bloodstream like a hard, black pebble. After all, the body, like God, moves in mysterious ways. From the time she was in her teens, Sera has been fascinated by this paradox—how a body that we occupy, that we have worn like a coat from the moment of our birth—from before birth, even—is still a stranger to us. After all, almost everything we do in our lives is for the well-being of the body: we bathe daily, polish our teeth, groom our hair and fingernails; we work miserable jobs in order to feed and clothe it; we go to great lengths to protect it from pain and violence and harm. And yet the body remains a mystery, a book that we have never read. Sera plays with this irony, toys with it as if it were a puzzle: How, despite our lifelong preoccupation with our bodies, we have never met face-to-face with our kidneys, how we wouldn’t recognize our own liver in a row of livers, how we have never seen our own heart or brain. We know more about the depths of the ocean, are more acquainted with the far corners of outer space than with our own organs and muscles and bones. So perhaps there are no phantom pains after all; perhaps all pain is real; perhaps each long-ago blow lives on into eternity in some different permutation and shape; perhaps the body is this hypersensitive, revengeful entity, a ledger book, a warehouse of remembered slights and cruelties. But if this is true, surely the body also remembers each kindness, each kiss, each act of compassion? Surely this is our salvation, our only hope—that joy and love are also woven into the fabric of the body, into each sinewy muscle, into the core of each pulsating cell?
Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us)
The tyranny of caste is that we are judged on the very things we cannot change: a chemical in the epidermis, the shape of one’s facial features, the signposts on our bodies of gender and ancestry—superficial differences that have nothing to do with who we are inside. The caste system in America is four hundred years old and will not be dismantled by a single law or any one person, no matter how powerful. We have seen in the years since the civil rights era that laws, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, can be weakened if there is not the collective will to maintain them. A caste system persists in part because we, each and every one of us, allow it to exist—in large and small ways, in our everyday actions, in how we elevate or demean, embrace or exclude, on the basis of the meaning attached to people’s physical traits. If enough people buy into the lie of natural hierarchy, then it becomes the truth or is assumed to be. Once awakened, we then have a choice. We can be born to the dominant caste but choose not to dominate. We can be born to a subordinated caste but resist the box others force upon us. And all of us can sharpen our powers of discernment to see past the external and to value the character of a person rather than demean those who are already marginalized or worship those born to false pedestals. We need not bristle when those deemed subordinate break free, but rejoice that here may be one more human being who can add their true strengths to humanity. The goal of this work has not been to resolve all of the problems of a millennia-old phenomenon, but to cast a light onto its history, its consequences, and its presence in our everyday lives and to express hopes for its resolution. A housing inspector does not make the repairs on the building he has examined. It is for the owners, meaning each of us, to correct the ruptures we have inherited. The fact is that the bottom caste, though it bears much of the burden of the hierarchy, did not create the caste system, and the bottom caste alone cannot fix it. The challenge has long been that many in the dominant caste, who are in a better position to fix caste inequity, have often been least likely to want to. Caste is a disease, and none of us is immune. It is as if alcoholism is encoded into the country’s DNA, and can never be declared fully cured. It is like a cancer that goes into remission only to return when the immune system of the body politic is weakened.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
MY PROCESS I got bullied quite a bit as a kid, so I learned how to take a punch and how to put up a good fight. God used that. I am not afraid of spiritual “violence” or of facing spiritual fights. My Dad was drafted during Vietnam and I grew up an Army brat, moving around frequently. God used that. I am very spiritually mobile, adaptable, and flexible. My parents used to hand me a Bible and make me go look up what I did wrong. God used that, as well. I knew the Word before I knew the Lord, so studying Scripture is not intimidating to me. I was admitted into a learning enrichment program in junior high. They taught me critical thinking skills, logic, and Greek Mythology. God used that, too. In seventh grade I was in school band and choir. God used that. At 14, before I even got saved, a youth pastor at my parents’ church taught me to play guitar. God used that. My best buddies in school were a druggie, a Jewish kid, and an Irish soccer player. God used that. I broke my back my senior year and had to take theatre instead of wrestling. God used that. I used to sleep on the couch outside of the Dean’s office between classes. God used that. My parents sent me to a Christian college for a semester in hopes of getting me saved. God used that. I majored in art, advertising, astronomy, pre-med, and finally English. God used all of that. I made a woman I loved get an abortion. God used (and redeemed) that. I got my teaching certification. I got plugged into a group of sincere Christian young adults. I took courses for ministry credentials. I worked as an autism therapist. I taught emotionally disabled kids. And God used each of those things. I married a pastor’s daughter. God really used that. Are you getting the picture? San Antonio led me to Houston, Houston led me to El Paso, El Paso led me to Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Leonard Wood led me back to San Antonio, which led me to Austin, then to Kentucky, then to Belton, then to Maryland, to Pennsylvania, to Dallas, to Alabama, which led me to Fort Worth. With thousands of smaller journeys in between. The reason that I am able to do the things that I do today is because of the process that God walked me through yesterday. Our lives are cumulative. No day stands alone. Each builds upon the foundation of the last—just like a stairway, each layer bringing us closer to Him. God uses each experience, each lesson, each relationship, even our traumas and tragedies as steps in the process of becoming the people He made us to be. They are steps in the process of achieving the destinies that He has encoded into the weave of each of our lives. We are journeymen, finding the way home. What is the value of the journey? If the journey makes us who we are, then the journey is priceless.
Zach Neese (How to Worship a King: Prepare Your Heart. Prepare Your World. Prepare the Way)
In Separation, the second volume of his great trilogy on attachment, John Bowlby described what had been observed when ten small children in residential nurseries were reunited with their mothers after separations lasting from twelve days to twenty-one weeks. The separations were in every case due to family emergencies and the absence of other caregivers, and in no case due to any intent on the parents’ part to abandon the child. In the first few days following the mother's departure the children were anxious, looking everywhere for the missing parent. That phase was followed by apparent resignation, even depression on the part of the child, to be replaced by what seemed like the return of normalcy. The children would begin to play, react to caregivers, accept food and other nurturing. The true emotional cost of the trauma of loss became evident only when the mothers returned. On meeting the mother for the first time after the days or weeks away, every one of the ten children showed significant alienation. Two seemed not to recognize their mothers. The other eight turned away or even walked away from her. Most of them either cried or came close to tears; a number alternated between a tearful and an expressionless face. The withdrawal dynamic has been called “detachment” by John Bowlby. Such detachment has a defensive purpose. It has one meaning: so hurtful was it for me to experience your absence that to avoid such pain again, I will encase myself in a shell of hardened emotion, impervious to love — and therefore to pain. I never want to feel that hurt again. Bowlby also pointed out that the parent may be physically present but emotionally absent owing to stress, anxiety, depression, or preoccupation with other matters. From the point of view of the child, it hardly matters. His encoded reactions will be the same, because for him the real issue is not merely the parent's physical presence but her or his emotional accessibility. A child who suffers much insecurity in his relationship with his parents will adopt the invulnerability of defensive detachment as his primary way of being. When parents are the child's working attachment, their love and sense of responsibility will usually ensure that they do not force the child into adopting such desperate measures. Peers have no such awareness, no such compunctions, and no such responsibility. The threat of abandonment is ever present in peer-oriented interactions, and it is with emotional detachment that children automatically respond. No wonder, then, that cool is the governing ethic in peer culture, the ultimate virtue. Although the word cool has many meanings, it predominately connotes an air of invulnerability. Where peer orientation is intense, there is no sign of vulnerability in the talk, in the walk, in the dress, or in the attitudes.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
The last refuge of the Self, perhaps, is “physical continuity.” Despite the body’s mercurial nature, it feels like a badge of identity we have carried since the time of our earliest childhood memories. A thought experiment dreamed up in the 1980s by British philosopher Derek Parfit illustrates how important—yet deceiving—this sense of physical continuity is to us.15 He invites us to imagine a future in which the limitations of conventional space travel—of transporting the frail human body to another planet at relatively slow speeds—have been solved by beaming radio waves encoding all the data needed to assemble the passenger to their chosen destination. You step into a machine resembling a photo booth, called a teletransporter, which logs every atom in your body then sends the information at the speed of light to a replicator on Mars, say. This rebuilds your body atom by atom using local stocks of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and so on. Unfortunately, the high energies needed to scan your body with the required precision vaporize it—but that’s okay because the replicator on Mars faithfully reproduces the structure of your brain nerve by nerve, synapse by synapse. You step into the teletransporter, press the green button, and an instant later materialize on Mars and can continue your existence where you left off. The person who steps out of the machine at the other end not only looks just like you, but etched into his or her brain are all your personality traits and memories, right down to the memory of eating breakfast that morning and your last thought before you pressed the green button. If you are a fan of Star Trek, you may be perfectly happy to use this new mode of space travel, since this is more or less what the USS Enterprise’s transporter does when it beams its crew down to alien planets and back up again. But now Parfit asks us to imagine that a few years after you first use the teletransporter comes the announcement that it has been upgraded in such a way that your original body can be scanned without destroying it. You decide to give it a go. You pay the fare, step into the booth, and press the button. Nothing seems to happen, apart from a slight tingling sensation, but you wait patiently and sure enough, forty-five minutes later, an image of your new self pops up on the video link and you spend the next few minutes having a surreal conversation with yourself on Mars. Then comes some bad news. A technician cheerfully informs you that there have been some teething problems with the upgraded teletransporter. The scanning process has irreparably damaged your internal organs, so whereas your replica on Mars is absolutely fine and will carry on your life where you left off, this body here on Earth will die within a few hours. Would you care to accompany her to the mortuary? Now how do you feel? There is no difference in outcome between this scenario and what happened in the old scanner—there will still be one surviving “you”—but now it somehow feels as though it’s the real you facing the horror of imminent annihilation. Parfit nevertheless uses this thought experiment to argue that the only criterion that can rationally be used to judge whether a person has survived is not the physical continuity of a body but “psychological continuity”—having the same memories and personality traits as the most recent version of yourself. Buddhists
James Kingsland (Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment)
It was discussed and decided that fear would be perpetuated globally in order that focus would stay on the negative rather than allow for soul expression to positively emerge. As people became more fearful and compliant, capacity for free thought and soul expression would diminish. There is a distinct inability to exert soul expression under mind control, and evolution of the human spirit would diminish along with freedom of thought when bombarded with constant negative terrors. Whether Bush and Cheney deliberately planned to raise a collective fear over collective conscious love is doubtful. They did not think, speak, or act in those terms. Instead, they knew that information control gave them power over people, and they were hell-bent to perpetuate it at all costs. Cheney, Bush, and other global elite ushering in the New World Order totally believed in the plan mapped out by artificial intelligence. They were allowing technology to dictate global control. “Life is like a video game,” Bush once told me at the rural multi-million dollar Lampe, Missouri CIA mind control training camp complex designed for Black Ops Special Forces where torture and virtual reality technologies were used. “Since I have access to the technological source of the plans, I dictate the rules of the game.” The rules of the game demanded instantaneous response with no time to consciously think and critically analyze. Constant conscious disruption of thought through television’s burst of light flashes, harmonics, and subconscious subliminals diminished continuity of conscious thought anyway, creating a deficit of attention that could easily be refocused into video game format. DARPA’s artificial intelligence was reliant on secrecy, and a terrifying cover for reality was chosen to divert people from the simple truth. Since people perceive aliens as being physical like them, it was decided that the technological reality could be disguised according to preconceptions. Through generations of genetic encoding dating back to the beginning of man, serpents incite an innate autogenic response system in humans to “freeze” in terror. George Bush was excited at the prospects of diverting people from truth by fear through perpetuating lizard-like serpent alien misconceptions. “People fear what they don’t know anyway. By compounding that fear with autogenic fear response, they won’t want to look into Pandora’s Box.” Through deliberate generation of fear; suppression of facts under the 1947 National Security Act; Bush’s stint as CIA director during Ford’s Administration; the Warren Commission’s whitewash of the Kennedy Assassination; secrecy artificially ensured by mind control particularly concerning DARPA, HAARP, Roswell, Montauk, etc; and with people’s fluidity of conscious thought rapidly diminishing; the secret government embraced the proverbial ‘absolute power that corrupts absolutely.’ According to New World Order plans being discussed at the Grove, plans for reducing the earth’s population was a high priority. Mass genocide of so-called “undesirables” through the proliferation of AIDS4 was high on Bush’s agenda. “We’ll annihilate the niggers at their source, beginning in South and East Africa and Haiti5.” Having heard Bush say those words is by far one of the most torturous things I ever endured. Equally as torturous to my being were the discussions on genetic engineering, human cloning, and depletion of earth’s natural resources for profit. Cheney remarked that no one would be able to think to stop technology’s plan. “I’ll destroy the planet first,” Bush had vowed.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
Two observations take us across the finish line. The Second Law ensures that entropy increases throughout the entire process, and so the information hidden within the hard drives, Kindles, old-fashioned paper books, and everything else you packed into the region is less than that hidden in the black hole. From the results of Bekenstein and Hawking, we know that the black hole's hidden information content is given by the area of its event horizon. Moreover, because you were careful not to overspill the original region of space, the black hole's event horizon coincides with the region's boundary, so the black hole's entropy equals the area of this surrounding surface. We thus learn an important lesson. The amount of information contained within a region of space, stored in any objects of any design, is always less than the area of the surface that surrounds the region (measured in square Planck units). This is the conclusion we've been chasing. Notice that although black holes are central to the reasoning, the analysis applies to any region of space, whether or not a black hole is actually present. If you max out a region's storage capacity, you'll create a black hole, but as long as you stay under the limit, no black hole will form. I hasten to add that in any practical sense, the information storage limit is of no concern. Compared with today's rudimentary storage devices, the potential storage capacity on the surface of a spatial region is humongous. A stack of five off-the-shelf terabyte hard drives fits comfortable within a sphere of radius 50 centimeters, whose surface is covered by about 10^70 Planck cells. The surface's storage capacity is thus about 10^70 bits, which is about a billion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion terabytes, and so enormously exceeds anything you can buy. No one in Silicon Valley cares much about these theoretical constraints. Yet as a guide to how the universe works, the storage limitations are telling. Think of any region of space, such as the room in which I'm writing or the one in which you're reading. Take a Wheelerian perspective and imagine that whatever happens in the region amounts to information processing-information regarding how things are right now is transformed by the laws of physics into information regarding how they will be in a second or a minute or an hour. Since the physical processes we witness, as well as those by which we're governed, seemingly take place within the region, it's natural to expect that the information those processes carry is also found within the region. But the results just derived suggest an alternative view. For black holes, we found that the link between information and surface area goes beyond mere numerical accounting; there's a concrete sense in which information is stored on their surfaces. Susskind and 'tHooft stressed that the lesson should be general: since the information required to describe physical phenomena within any given region of space can be fully encoded by data on a surface that surrounds the region, then there's reason to think that the surface is where the fundamental physical processes actually happen. Our familiar three-dimensional reality, these bold thinkers suggested, would then be likened to a holographic projection of those distant two-dimensional physical processes. If this line of reasoning is correct, then there are physical processes taking place on some distant surface that, much like a puppeteer pulls strings, are fully linked to the processes taking place in my fingers, arms, and brain as I type these words at my desk. Our experiences here, and that distant reality there, would form the most interlocked of parallel worlds. Phenomena in the two-I'll call them Holographic Parallel Universes-would be so fully joined that their respective evolutions would be as connected as me and my shadow.
Brian Greene (The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos)
crash. It might simply encode: KRISPY KREME. DANGER. The result is that when you see a glazed doughnut or a blue Wolverines T-shirt, you might become uneasy without understanding why. Your brain is recognizing a pattern that it has flagged with life-or-death importance, and it reflexively shoots out what it believes to be the appropriate emotional response. This reflex might manifest in a big way, like a panic attack. Or it might manifest in a smaller way, like suddenly feeling very grumpy. You might decide that you’re irritated at your girlfriend for a mildly stupid thing she said that morning and text her to say so. None of this, of course, is reasonable or rational. But your brain is not trying to be reasonable. It’s trying to save your life.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Current scripts—form: Individuals differ in the symbol systems, formats, or intelligences in which they habitually encode their mental representations. To the extent possible, it is desirable to determine which “forms of representation” are favored by an individual and to embed new concerns in those familiar forms. So, for example, if a person favors graphic demonstrations, these means should be employed when feasible. If, on the other hand, the person is influenced by the human embodiment of a desired perspective, the mind changer should try to model or embody the desired changes.
Howard Gardner (Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other Peoples Minds (Leadership for the Common Good))
The body keeps the score:17 If the memory of trauma is encoded in the viscera, in heartbreaking and gut-wrenching emotions, in autoimmune disorders and skeletal/muscular problems, and if mind/brain/visceral communication is the royal road to emotion regulation, this demands a radical shift in our therapeutic assumptions.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma)
building relationships between humans is an intricate adaptive process because it requires us to deal simultaneously with our biologically encoded impulses to both compete and cooperate in a cultural context that tends to favor one over the other. In our U.S. culture, it can be especially difficult to build enough trust to feel comfortable asking for help.
Edgar H. Schein (Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling)
There were so many different ways in which you were required to provide absolute proof of your identity these days that life could easily become extremely tiresome just from that factor alone, never mind the deeper existential problems of trying to function as a coherent consciousness in an epistemologically ambiguous physical universe. Just look at cash point machines, for instance. Queues of people standing around waiting to have their fingerprints read, their retinas scanned, bits of skin scraped from the nape of the neck and undergoing instant (or nearly instant-a good six or seven seconds in tedious reality) genetic analysis, then having to answer trick questions about members of their family they didn't even remember they had, and about their recorded preferences for tablecloth colours. And that was just to get a bit of spare cash for the weekend. If you were trying to raise a loan for a jetcar, sign a missile treaty or pay an entire restaurant bill things could get really trying. Hence the Ident-i-Eeze. This encoded every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you could then carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology's greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
When zebra finches are raised by Bengalese finch foster parents, the juvenile birds retains the silent gaps characteristic of zebra finch song patterns, which is distinct from the shorter gaps of the Bengalese song. Thus, the syntactic rules are genetically inherited species-specific patterns, just like brain rhythms in mammals, whereas the variable content of the syllables and words can be acquired by experience. The pattern and content are processed by dissociable neuronal circuits in the bird's brain. In the auditory cortex, slow-firing neurons are mainly sensitive to the acoustic features, such as timbre and pitch. In contrast, faster firing, possible inhibitory, neurons encode the silent gaps and rhythm of the song, and they are insensitive to acoustic features. This division of labor between the inherited temporal patterns that serve as the syntax and the flexible content may be similar to the way human speech is organized.
György Buzsáki (The Brain from Inside Out)
We can encode all of this into a phrase: history is a cryptic epic of twisting trajectories. Cryptic, because the narrators are unreliable and often intentionally misleading. Epic, because the timescales are so long that you have to consciously sample beyond your own experience and beyond any human lifetime to see patterns. Twisting, because there are curves, cycles, collapses, and non-straightforward patterns. And trajectories, because history is ultimately about the time evolution of human beings, which maps to the physical idea of a dynamical system, of a set of particles progressing through time. Put that together, and it wipes out both the base-rater’s view that today’s order will remain basically stable over the short-term, and the complementary view of a long-term “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
Balaji S. Srinivasan (The Network State: How To Start a New Country)