Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brain's Dark Energy. Why Eye Witnesses Have Been Wrong So Many Times

Brain's Background Noise Found to Be Crucial in Our Thinking and Creating Processes

Tags: Brain's Background Noise, Day-Dreaming, Sleeping Induces Learning and Thinking, MIT, Experience Necessary for Leading, Ideology thwarts Thinking Critically, Great Lyndon Johnson, Eye Witnesses Wrong, From March 2010 Scientific American Magazine:

Scientists have ignored the background noise of our brain from their brain scans to more clearly see the 5% of minor activity of the brain induced when we concentrate on reading or other activities. The other brain activity which goes on when we are day-dreaming or sleeping are extremely important for future planning and getting rid of extraneous unimportant information. The deeper brain function organizes information and makes them more easily retrievable for later use.

While doing problem solving research in chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering related areas, I have always found that the solutions do not come while I am gathering information, but the solutions come after I have completed them. I discovered answers to problems when day-dreaming or sleeping.

About a decade ago MIT scientists found from mice studies that sleep is crucial for learning. Because we intake so much information during the day and often in an unorganized manner, it takes our Dark Energy Brain to sort out everything to make sense.

The bottom line is that running a complex organization such as an American President or CEO of a corporation requires lots of relevant experience. Too often we hire someone who is very smart and young or is ideological and they mess up royally.

Lyndon Johnson was one of the most effective Presidents because he had experience as a leader of the senate and many years of political positions. I still marvel how he got the Civil Rights Bill through congress with a recalcitrant Southern Democratic Senators who filibustered the bill for about 76 days! The Republicans obstructed the Medicare Bill throughout the process and finally enough Republicans finally allowed the final vote which had to pass with the vote of Democratic Vice President who heads the Senate.

The Republicans now have become radical and must not be elected to office. They know how to fight the election wars using every dirty trick possible, but we have seen that they cannot govern because their only role has been to gift corporations and corporation loving Supreme Court Justices, and the Wealthy and filthy rich and the regulatory agencies like the FDA, and other crucial departments needed for our health and welfare have been neglected or even destroyed by a lack of funding and hiring poorly trained but ideological people for the government Civil Service. President Obama has suffered from Republicans refusing to seat needed leaders even in National Security positions.

Income data has shown that bottom 99 percent of Americans went down in income and wealth and in job security during the Bush years and saddled us with three trillion dollars of debt by not paying for the two wars, his two income tax cut almost entirely for his rich friends. By not renewing the tax cut for those making over a million dollars, Obama gets back a trillion dollars for the rest of us.

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine explains how Disaster Capitalism works. New Orleans is a prime example where they eliminated public schools and teachers and brought in their special schools that likely does not teach Evolution. Corporations use disasters such as the Financial Crisis to fire lots of employees so they could hire young less paid employees to replace them or send more jobs overseas. Yes, they fire employees while still making record profits, but they want more for themselves and their rich clients. This approach was invented at the very conservative Chicago School of the late Milton Friedman.

Although we get millions of pixels of visual information through our eyes, very little of it remains after going through the retina and the brain processing and the final product left has very few pixels in comparison. Then the brain must look for prior experience stored there to complete the picture. That is why many Asians, Caucasians, and Blacks living in San Francisco who are often exposed to other races have a hard time remembering the faces of people of other races. Because I grew up in a Black Watts district in Los Angeles due to segregation of Japanese-Americans until the mid-1960s and now can recognize Black strangers more easily than the White majority.

The Illinois governor once had to suspend all the death sentences because he found at least half the death roll prisoners were innocent based on DNA tests. Sure some dedicated lawyers have saved a few of these people, but DNA tests is usually the deciding factor. Prisons, especially in the South, refused to due DNA tests for a long time even now do it reluctantly because they do not want to release Blacks.

I think it is about time we don't allow eye-witness identification to be the primary evidence to convict or release a prisoner.

Jim Kawakami, Feb 23, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com



The Brain's Dark Energy ( Preview )

Brain regions active when our minds wander may hold a key to understanding neurological disorders and even consciousness itself

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