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Speeding up time

There’s a perception that some people have that time is speeding up. That is, a minute now seems shorter than a minute, say, ten years ago. Sceptics of course debunk this claim as being ‘scientifically inaccurate’, but there is some evidence of this. In fact, what does the concept of speeding up time mean? We measure speed using time, so if time is speeding up how would we know?

What is changing is the difference between objective time and subjective time. Imagine that brain perception is like a movie where a series of snapshots are taken and put together to form a real-time moving image. In the brain these snapshots aren’t just visual but embrace all our senses and even the inner activity of the mind itself in term of our thoughts. Let's imagine that ten years ago our brains worked at 100 snapshots per second. One second was 100 snapshots long. In every second of our day we processed 100 snapshots of experience. Now let's suppose that our brains have slowed down and now work at 50 snapshots per second. Each second is only 50 snapshots and so seems short. Every second of the day we are only processing 50 snapshots of experience and so things seem boring. We want more action to make up for the lack of snapshots that we are processing each second. …


Trangender pronouns
Trangender pronouns

I was recently told by someone that had I looked at her profile I would have noticed her preferred pronouns that I should be using instead of using the words ‘she’ and ‘her’. What she didn’t realise was that it wasn’t that I didn’t know — it was that I didn’t care. Or to be more precise, I do care which is why I generally won’t use the ‘preferred’ pronouns.

Let me explain. Micro-aggression is defined as ‘a subtle, often unintentional, form of prejudice. Rather than an overt declaration of racism or sexism, a microaggression often takes the shape of an offhanded comment, an inadvertently painful joke, or a pointed insult.’


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Covid vaccine

Leaving aside the conspiracy theorists, everyone knows that Covid is a killer that can threaten the existence of the human race. We are told that thousands of people are dying daily from Covid and unless we wear masks and take steps to avoid contact with other people the outcome will be overloaded health services and the deaths of our loved ones. In this article Michael Tamillow shows the real probability of suffering from Covid.

So let’s look at the figures from the people who are producing the Covid vaccines.

This report on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine gives us the first peer-reviewed results. They report an efficacy of 70%. Maybe you’re thinking that if you had a 100% chance of suffering from Covid then the vaccine will reduce that to a manageable 30%? …


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Suspension bridge

I’ve written before about left and right brained thinking. One of the characteristics of left-brained thinkers is that they think in binary. The left side of the brain deals in patterns so thoughts and concepts are put into boxes: an object is a table or a chair or it’s a wall or a door; an idea is science or pseudoscience. Sceptics and Atheists are left brained thinkers. There are few exceptions to that

One of the arguments of Atheists is what I call the ‘Atheist’s question’. It comes in many forms: If God is all good, why do bad things happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why are people grateful to God when they survive a calamity that God caused in the first place? They are essentially the same question and the assumption is that there are ‘good’ things and there are ‘bad’ things. …


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You are offered the blue pill or the red pill

In the movie ‘The Matrix’ Neo is offered the choice between two pills: the blue pill will keep him in the dream where he can believe whatever he wants to believe. The red pill ejects him into a reality.

You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe,” says Morpheus.

“You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Neo takes the red pill. In a way we are all offered this choice and sometime in our lives we made the decision as to which pill to take. …


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Some time ago I saw an online article by a man who’s cat died. He said that some time previously he was incapacitated and laid on a couch for much of the day. The cat would sit with him. He became very attached to the cat which was his only companion and was always there to give comfort. When the cat died he was devastated. He said it hit him harder than when his father died.

The responses to his article were split: most were sympathetic, and as someone who lost a cat that was my companion I could empathise with him. However, a large minority condemned him as being heartless. …


Polarisation of views
Polarisation of views

Some time ago I wrote an article (The girl with the X ray eyes) on a documentary how CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) under the leadership of Prof. Richard Wiseman set out to discredit a Russian girl Natasha Demkina. The documentary was an attempt to debunk the claims but it was so far adrift from any proof that I wondered how the Discovery Channel could even have the gall to present it. At the end of the program, Richard Wiseman says (and I paraphrase, as its a while since I saw the program):

Of course we have to reject these claims. If we were to accept them then it would discredit our whole scientific approach to understanding the world. …


Police on horseback in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Police on horseback in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

There’s a movie from around 2010 called ‘V for Vendetta’. It depicts a UK where a right-wing authoritarian regime has come to power and a vigilante (V) takes on the ruling government. The characteristics of the ruling party are: right-wing, intolerant of minorities, pro religion, and resented by the mass of the population. In reality what we see today is that the oppressive regimes are the opposite: left-wing, supportive of (quite specific) minorities, anti-religion (they are mostly Atheists) and supported by the masses.

Hitler, of course, had the support of the masses and used the Jews as a the scapegoat. The new tyrannies use white men as the scapegoat and suppression of free expression is ‘in your own interests’. …


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Bodies stacked up at a morgue

I saw a question on Reddit recently asking that if there had been no action taken on Covid, what would have happened? One of the answers said you would notice when your neighbours were dying and the coffins were stacked up in the streets.

I hope that people who inhabit the Reddit world are not representative of the population, but if you are in Australia and you listened only to the ABC or you got your news from The Age or the Sydney Morning Herald, you would probably have the same view. If you live in the UK the counterparts would be the BBC and The Guardian. …


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Many years ago IBM was the big force in computing. They had an advertising slogan ‘No one ever got fired for buying IBM’. In other words, if you need a computer project done and you choose a company other than IBM, and it goes pear shaped (as they often do), your boss is going to ask you ‘Why didn’t you choose IBM?’. On the other hand, if you choose IBM and it goes wrong you would tell you boss ‘If IBM couldn’t do it then obviously no one can’.

I was reading a story — intended to be semi-humorous — about an English couple in their 70s. They were in a restaurant in the US and when they went to order an alcoholic drink they were asked for proof of age ID. They initially thought the young server was joking, but she was being quite serious and refused to serve them although she served their 21-year old son who had his passport on him. …

About

Philip Braham

Philip Braham is a writer. My podcast is https://philbraham.podbean.com

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