Changed self. Life. Acting. Loving.

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When thinking about the future, some people think they will change, and others expect they might remain the same. But, how do these predictions relate to happiness later on in their lives? According to new research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), expecting ourselves to remain mostly the same over the next ten years is strongly related to being happier later in life. The research is published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

One would assume that if people make optimistic predictions about the future, such as “thinking they will become more compassionate and intelligent in the future,” as Joseph Reiff (UCLA) suggests, “they would end up becoming happier in the years that follow.” What Reiff and colleagues found however, surprised them.

“The more people initially predicted that they would remain the same — whether predicting less decline or less improvement across a number of core traits — the more satisfied they typically were with their lives ten years later,” says Reiff. (1)

We have idolized change.

But can anything change?

Whatever you do you will always be you.

Unless you choose not to.

But even then, this is you.

Trying to be someone else.

Life as a theater play. And we are all actors. Others perform well, others not so much. But only a handful of us remember that at the end of the play, we will retreat backstage and go back home again…

Only a handful or us remember that the play is not important…

Hello daughter! I’ve been waiting for you…

It was a terrible play dad.

I didn’t watch it. Come. Dinner is on the table…

Brain. Seeing. Not speaking.

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Brain region discovered that only processes spoken, not written words. Patients in a new study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them. For instance, if a patient in the study saw the word ‘hippopotamus’ written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say ‘hippopotamus,’ they could not point to the picture of the animal.

“They had trouble naming it aloud but did not have trouble with visual cues,” said senior author Sandra Weintraub, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We always think of these degenerative diseases as causing widespread impairment, but in early stages, we’re learning that neurodegenerative disease can be selective with which areas of the brain it attacks.” (1)

Spoken words.

Written words.

Mute.

Words expressed can never convey any message.

It is this silence which holds the dearest secrets.

Within its mist you rediscover yourself.

Staying silent.

Holding still.

Outside the realm of words.

Staying speechless.

And yet feeling full.

For this is the only place where things which cannot be expressed…

Can ever be expressed…

Listening to words…

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For humans to achieve accurate speech recognition and communicate with one another, the auditory system must recognize distinct categories of sounds – such as words – from a continuous incoming stream of sounds. This task becomes complicated when considering the variability in sounds produced by individuals with different accents, pitches, or intonations. In a new paper, researchers detail a computational model that explores how the auditory system tackles this complex task. (1)

In the beginning there was silence.

And then… noise.

Noise cancelling everything out.

With time, we managed to get used to it.

In time, we managed to recognize words.

And we thought we discovered Logos.

Meaning out of nothingness.

Order out of chaos.

But there can be no such thing.

For chaos is chaos.

And noise is noise.

Listen carefully.

Beyond the words.

And you will see the void.

Don’t be afraid of that void.

For it is you.

Unique.

Alone.

Complete.

Staying silent.

Listening to everything…

Before it was ever spoken…

Societies… Cooperation… A lone man in the forest…

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Researchers are exploring how cooperation arises in human societies, where people tend to cluster into various group types — political, religious, familial, professional, etc. Within such groups, people can cooperate or ‘defect’ and receive payoffs based on those exchanges. Cooperation, they observed, is most favored when allowing for the existence of ‘loners’ — people who are temporarily not members of any group.

Chu and Tarnita found that cooperation still emerges, but that it is most favored when they allow for the existence of “loners” in the population – people who, due to barriers, are temporarily not members of any group. Loners are essential, Chu explained, “because they keep group sizes lower than they would have been without barriers to group entry.”

Smaller groups allow cooperation to thrive, while making the system as a whole more resilient, by limiting the destructive influence of a defector exploiting a group of cooperators. Chu cautions against drawing too much from one model amid a sea of evolutionary game theory models. Nevertheless, their recent work shows, reassuringly, that there may be hope for maintaining cooperation in our world. (1)

Societies thrive.

But only because there are people outside of them.

It is those people who drive societies along the dark paths of history.

By holding the light on while others are too preoccupied gazing at it.

For the dark forest is far away.

We may fear it, but we want to go back in.

We left it a long time ago.

We gathered together because we felt lonely outside of it.

And we never stopped thinking about it.

So many people gathered together.

Secretly longing to be lost in the woods again.

That’s why society will always need those people.

Staying where we once were.

A constant reminder that societies exist for no other reason,

Than to remind us that there is no reason for them to exist…

Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;

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As two people speak, their brains begin to work simultaneously, synchronizing and establishing a unique bond. This is what in neuroscience is called brain synchronization.

New research by the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastián and published in Cortex magazine confirms that this phenomenon depends on the language we use to communicate.

“When a conversation takes place in one’s native language, both interlocutors pay attention to it in a more global way, focusing on the sentences and the global content of the message,” stresses Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, co-author of the study. However, when done in a foreign language, attention resources focus primarily on other, more complex linguistic levels for non-native speakers, such as sounds and words.

“In the latter communicative context we need to reconfigure our attention strategies so that we can understand each other, and this may be directly related to the difference in the areas synchronised during the conversation,” suggests Duñabeitia. (1)

Language.

Portrayed as a facilitator of communication.

But it is actually a barrier we must overcome.

Only when this barrier is lifted can we actually speak to each other.

Because communication and understanding never stem from logos.

But Logos is the result of the understanding we already have.

Speak to me.

And I will understand you…

Only if I already do…

Note: “Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;” = “Can you understand me?” in Greek…