POWER FOODS FOR THE BRAIN

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Thank you for joining me. On February, 8, 2012, my father passed away.

The truth is that was the day his heart stopped beating. For all intents and purposes, my father had died years earlier.

It started with memory lapses, and as time went on, his memory failed more and more, and it got to the point where he didn’t know his own kids who came in to see him.

His personality changed, and his ability to take care of himself was completely gone.

And… If you could make a list of all the things that could ever happen to you, the very last thing on your list, at the very bottom of the list, the thing you want the least is Alzheimer’s disease, because when you lose your memory, you lose everything.

You lose everyone who ever mattered to you. If you could look into the brain of a person who has this disease, what you see is, between the brain cells are these unusual looking structures.

Beta-amyloid protein comes out of the cells, and it accumulates in these little meatball-like structures that are in front of you, on a microscopic slide. They shouldn’t be there, and they are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

This disease affects about half of Americans by their mid 80s. You could say to your doctor, “OK, I don’t want that. What can I do to stop that?”

Your doctor will say, “Well, its old age and it’s genetics.” There’s a gene – it’s called the APOE-[epsilon]4 allele.

If you have this gene from one parent, your risk is tripled; if you got it from both parents, your risk is 10 to 15 times higher than it was before.

What’s the answer? Get new parents? No, I don’t think so. That’s not it.

So, I’m sorry: it’s old age, it’s genes, period, that’s it; there’s not a darn thing you can do just wait for it to happen. Or maybe not.

In Chicago, researchers started something called the Chicago Health and Ageing Project. What they did was they looked at what people in Chicago were eating. They did very careful dietary records in hundreds and hundreds of people, and then they started to see who, as the years go by, stayed mentally clear, and who developed dementia.

The first thing they keyed in on was something that I knew about as a kid growing up in Fargo, North Dakota – My mom had five kids, we would run down to the kitchen to the smell of bacon. My mom would take a fork, and she’d stick it into the frying pan and pull the hot bacon strips out and put them on a paper towel to cool down, and when all the bacon was out of the pan, she would carefully lift up that hot pan and pour the grease into a jar to save it – that’s good bacon grease, you don’t want to lose that!

My mother would take that jar, and she would put it not in the refrigerator but she’d put it on the shelf, because my mother knew that as bacon grease cools down, what happens to it? It solidifies.

And the fact that it’s solid at room temperature is a sign that bacon grease is loaded with saturated fat, bad fat.

We’ve known for a long time that that raises cholesterol, and there’s a lot of in bacon grease. And by the way, the next day, she’d spoon it back into the frying pan and fry eggs in it; it’s amazing any of her children lived to adulthood.

That’s the way we lived. The number one source of saturated fat is actually not bacon, it’s dairy products, cheese, and milk, and so forth; and meat is number two.

In Chicago, some people ate relatively little saturated fat, around 13 grams a day, and others ate about twice that much, and the researchers just looked at who developed Alzheimer’s disease. And can I show you the figures?

Here’s the low group, and there is the high group. In other words, if you are avoiding the bad fat, your risk was pretty low, but if you were tucking into the cheese and the bacon strips, your risk was two, three, or more-fold higher, Then they looked not just at saturated fat, they looked at the fat that’s in doughnuts and pastries; you know what that is, that’s trans fats you’ll see on the labels.

They found the very same pattern in there, too. So, the people who tended to avoid the saturated fat and the trans fats, wanted to avoid them for cholesterol and heart disease reasons, but they also seem to affect the brain. Then researchers in Finland said, “Wait a minute, let’s go further.” There is a condition we call mild cognitive impairment. You’re still yourself – you’re managing your checkbook, you’re driving, your friends know it’s you – but you’re having mental lapses, especially for names and for words.

They brought in over 1,000 adults, they were 50 years old, and they looked at their diets. Then, as time went on, they looked to see who developed mild cognitive impairment. Some of these people ate relatively little fat, some people ate a fair amount, and then they looked at whose memory started to fail.

They found exactly the same pattern. In other words, it’s not just, “Will I get Alzheimer’s disease?” but, “Will I just have old age memory problems?” Well, what about that gene, that APOE-[epsilon]4 allele the one that condemns you to Alzheimer’s disease? Well, they then redid the study, and they focused only on those people, and some of these people ate relatively little fat, some people ate more, and– …Exactly the same.

In other words, if you are avoiding the bad fats, even if you have the gene, your risk of developing memory problems was cut by 80%. And this is my most important point: genes are not destiny.

Let’s take another look in those plaques. We know there’s beta amyloid protein, but there’s also iron and copper.

Metals in my brain? That’s right, there are metals in foods, and they get into the brain. Now think about this: I have a cast-iron pan, and we had a backyard barbecue, and a week later, I remember, “Oh… I left my frying pan on the picnic table, and it rained last week.” What happened to my pan? It rusted, and that rust is oxidation.

Or you take a shiny new penny, and does it stay shiny forever? No, it oxidizes too. Well, iron and copper oxidize in your body, and as they do that, they cause the production of what are called free radicals.

You’ve heard of free radicals: free radicals are molecules that are swimming around in your bloodstream, and they get into the brain, and they act like sparks that seam through the connections between one cell and the next. So, how is this happening? Where am I getting all this iron? Where am I getting all this copper? How can that be? How many people have a cast iron pan? Let me see hands.

If that’s your once a month pan, I’m going to say, “Who cares?” But if it’s every single day, you’re getting the iron into your food, and it’s more iron than your body needs. Or copper pipes. Who has copper pipes? That water sits in the copper pipes all night long, and in the morning it goes into the coffee maker, and you’re drinking that copper, you get more than you need, and it starts producing these free radicals that go to the brain. If you’re a meat eater, of especially liver, there’s iron and copper in those foods too. And we used to think, “Isn’t that great?” until we realized iron is a double-edged sword. You need a little bit, but if you have too much, it becomes toxic.

Vitamins. Vitamin manufacturers put in vitamin A, and the B vitamins, and vitamin C, and vitamin D. And then they throw in iron and copper, thinking, “Well, you need these,” not recognizing you’re already getting enough in foods, and if they add it to your supplement, you are getting too much.

OK, so what am I saying? What I’m saying is aside from the fact that the saturated fat and the trans fats will increase our risk, these metals will, too, and they are causing sparks to form in the brain, free radicals to form that seam through the connections. And if that’s the case, then I need a fire extinguisher.

And we have one, and it’s called vitamin E. Vitamin E is in spinach, and it’s in mangoes, and it’s especially in nuts and seeds. And in Chicago, some people eat a little bit of it, and some people eat a lot of it, and the beauty of this is vitamin E is an antioxidant: it knocks out free radicals. So, if what I’m saying is true, then the people in Chicago who ate only a little bit of vitamin E would be at much higher risk than people who ate a lot, and that’s exactly what the research showed.

People getting eight milligrams a day of vitamin E cut their risk of Alzheimer’s by about half compared to people getting less than that. Hmm, OK, how do I get that? It’s very, very easy: run to the store and just buy a bottle of vitamin E pills. No, I don’t think so, and here’s why not. Nature has eight forms of vitamin E. It’s built into nuts and into seeds, but if I put it into my supplement pill, I can legally call it vitamin E if it has only one form.

And if you’re eating too much of one form of vitamin E, it reduces your absorption of all the others.

So, you want to get it from food; that’s the form that nature has designed for us, and that’s the form that we’ve evolved with. We can go a step further. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you. How much should I have? If I put some nuts or seeds into the palm of my hand, by the time it hits your fingers, that’s just one ounce, and that’s about five milligrams of vitamin E, right there.

The trick is: don’t eat it; because if you do, you know what happens. If you have those diced salty almonds, and you’ve eaten them: you fill your hand again, and then you eat it again.

There’s something about salty cashews and almonds, is it just me? There’s something about them, they’re a little bit addicting in some way. So, don’t do that, that’s going to be way more than you need.

The answer is pour them into your hand, and then crumble them up, and put them on your salad, or put them on your oatmeal, or on your pancakes, or something. Use them as a flavoring not as a snack food, then you’re going to be OK.

All right, researchers at the University of Cincinnati went one step further. Not just saturated fat, not just trans fats, not just vitamin E, but they said, “What about color?” Look at blueberries and grapes: that color that they have is dramatic.

And the colors of blueberries aren’t just there to make them pretty, those are called anthocyanins.

They brought in a group of individuals into a research study: average age: 78, and everyone was already having memory problems.

And what they asked them to do was to have grape juice, a pint a day. A cup in the morning, a cup at night.

Three months later, they tested everyone, and their memory was better, and their recall was better. Three months? That sounds too easy. How can that be? Well, think about it: a grape has a rough life.

A grape has to sit on the vine, all day long under the sun, and exposed to the elements, and it has no protection. Or does it? That purple color, those anthocyanins happen to be powerful antioxidants, just like vitamin E, but they’re the grape form, and if you consume them, they go into your bloodstream.

And if that’s true, it doesn’t have to be grapes, it could be anything that has that color.

Like blueberries. So, back into the laboratory: a new group of patients, they came in, they all had memory problems. And three months on blueberry juice, Their memory was better, their recall was better.

Now, the moral of the story is not to have grapes and blueberries, and blueberry juice, and grape juice. No, the answer is color. If you look at the colorful foods, there’s an important lesson there for us. You walk into the grocery store, and from a hundred feet away, looking at the produce department, you can recognize beta-carotene, lycopene, anthocyanins. Y

our retina can detect them because that’s the orange color of a carrot, or the red color of a tomato, or the purple color of a grape.

And the brain also tells you they’re pretty, they’re attractive, you can recognize antioxidants, you’re drawn to them. So, back in 2009, my organization, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, went to the Department of Agriculture. We said, “This is important. Let’s throw out the pyramid.” The pyramid was a nice shape, but it had a meat group, and it had a dairy group, despite the fact that people who don’t eat meat or dairy products happened to be healthier than people who eat them. And also, who eats off a pyramid anyway? We eat off a plate.

So, we devised a plate that said fruits, and grains, and legumes – that’s the bean group – and vegetables, those should be the staples. Well, we gave this to the USDA in 2009, and we didn’t hear back from them.

So, in 2011, we sued the federal government, the Physicians Committee filed a lawsuit against the USDA, simply to compel response. And did you see what the US government came out with in 2011?

I’m not taking any credit for this, but this is now US government policy, it’s called MyPlate, and it does look in some way similar to what we’d sent them a couple of years earlier.

Fruits, and grains, and vegetables, and they have this thing called ‘the protein group.’ The protein group could be meat, but it could be beans, or tofu, or nuts, or anything that’s high in protein, it doesn’t have to be meat. In fact, there is no meat group anymore in federal guidelines.

There’s a dairy group there, but to their credit, soy milk counts. So, things are improving. So far, what we’ve talked about is getting away from the saturated fats, that’s in cheese, and bacon, and meats; getting away from the trans fats and snack foods; you’re having the vitamin E and the colorful foods; and there’s one more step. It’s not all food, there’s something to say about exercise.

At the University of Illinois, researchers brought in a large group of adults, 120 of them, and they said, a brisk walk, three times a week. After a year, everyone went into the laboratory for a brain scan. They measured the hippocampus which is at the center of the brain, and it’s the seat of memory: it decides what should be let through into memory, and what should not be let through.

It turned out that this organ, which is gradually shrinking in older adults, suddenly, stopped shrinking.

The exercisers found that their hippocampus was a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, it was as if time was going backwards: It reversed brain shrinkage, and on memory tests, they did substantially better.

So, I’ve devised my own exercise plan. I’d like to present it to you, I do this three times a week. Arrive at the airport as late as possible, carry massively heavy luggage, and just run for the plane. (Laughter) At the University of Illinois they had their own ideas, and their idea was a little simpler.

Do a ten-minute walk, and do it three times a week. And then, next week, let’s do a 15-minute walk, and the week after that, 20. All they did was add five minutes a week until they got to 40 minutes. And a 40-minute brisk walk – this is not a trudge, but it’s a good brisk walk – 40 minutes, three times a week is all you need to improve memory and reverse brain shrinkage.

Very simple. What I would like to do is to go back in time, and I want to sit down with my dad, and I want to say, “Dad, I found out something really important. We can change our diet, we don’t really need that cheese and that bacon. There’s plenty of healthy things that we can eat.

Let’s bring in the colorful vegetables and fruits, let’s make them part of our everyday fair.

Let’s lace up our sneakers, let’s exercise together.” It’s too late for him. But it’s not too late for you. It’s not too late for me either, and if we take advantage of what we have now learned about how we can protect our brain, then perhaps, families will be able to stay together a little bit longer. Thank you very much.

Iklan

BRAIN AND FOOD

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Your Brain on Food If you sucked all of the moisture out of your brain and broke it down to its constituent nutritional content, what would it look like? Most of the weight of your dehydrated brain would come from fats, also known as lipids. In the remaining brain matter, you would find proteins and amino acids, traces of micronutrients, and glucose.

The brain is, of course, more than just the sum of its nutritional parts, but each component does have a distinct impact on functioning, development, mood, and energy. So that post-lunch apathy, or late-night alertness you might be feeling, well, that could simply be the effects of food on your brain.

The superstars are omegas 3 and 6. These essential fatty acids, which have been linked to preventing degenerative brain conditions, must come from our diets.

So eating omega-rich foods, like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, is crucial to the creation and maintenance of cell membranes. And while omegas are good fats for your brain, long-term consumption of other fats, like trans and saturated fats, may compromise brain health.

Meanwhile, proteins and amino acids, the building block nutrients of growth and development, manipulate how we feel and behave.

Amino acids contain the precursors to neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that carry signals between neurons, affecting things like mood, sleep, attentiveness, and weight.

They’re one of the reasons we might feel calm after eating a large plate of pasta, or more alert after a protein-rich meal. The complex combinations of compounds in food can stimulate brain cells to release mood-altering norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.

But getting to your brain cells is tricky, and amino acids have to compete for limited access.

A diet with a range of foods helps maintain a balanced combination of brain messengers, and keeps your mood from getting skewed in one direction or the other. Like the other organs in our bodies, our brains also benefit from a steady supply of micronutrients. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables strengthen the brain to fight off free radicals that destroy brain cells, enabling your brain to work well for a longer period of time. And without powerful micronutrients, like the vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, our brains would be susceptible to brain disease and mental decline.

Trace amounts of the minerals iron, copper, zinc, and sodium are also fundamental to brain health and early cognitive development. In order for the brain to efficiently transform and synthesize these valuable nutrients, it needs fuel, and lots of it. While the human brain only makes up about 2% of our body weight, it uses up to 20% of our energy resources. Most of this energy comes from carbohydrates that our body digests into glucose, or blood sugar. The frontal lobes are so sensitive to drops in glucose, in fact, that a change in mental function is one of the primary signals of nutrient deficiency.

Assuming that we are getting glucose regularly, how does the specific type of carbohydrates we eat affect our brains? Carbs come in three forms: starch, sugar, and fiber. While on most nutrition labels, they are all lumped into one total carb count, the ratio of the sugar and fiber subgroups to the whole amount affect how the body and brain respond.

A high glycemic food, like white bread, causes a rapid release of glucose into the blood, and then comes the dip.

Blood sugar shoots down, and with it, our attention span and mood. On the other hand, oats, grains, and legumes have slower glucose release, enabling a steadier level of attentiveness. For sustained brain power, opting for a varied diet of nutrient-rich foods is critical. When it comes to what you bite, chew, and swallow, your choices have a direct and long-lasting effect on the most powerful organ in your body.

IS UNIVERSE UNIFORM?

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Cosmological models that describe how the universe has evolved are getting quite good at describing the process from “recombination” (i.e. the time when the CMB was produced) up to now. The CMB reveals local fluctuations and, with the right amount of dark matter stirred in, the models can explain how galaxy/galaxy clusters start forming.

However, where did the density fluctuations come from in the first place? The very early ‘stuff’ of the universe was in a state that current main-stream physics cannot handle. Clearly it did not expand uniformly but created almost a ‘foam-like’ distribution of matter.

Current thoughts are that quantum fluctuations did exist in the very early universe (i.e. before inflation) and these became the seeds of the density variations. When inflation happened, quantum variations in the primordial ‘stuff’ expanded so rapidly that they became ‘frozen in’ as permanent regions of density variation.


Implicit in the proposal of smoothness

I feel that if this is true, this should lead to a universe where matter is distributed uniformly across space

is the assumption of an equilibrium, a thermodynamic equilibrium is how smoothness is created in matter as we know it. In order for such an equilibrium to exist all the space time points of the tiny universe immediately after the the Big Bang should be able to interact with each other. This is not true because in the model special relativity still holds and there are parts of the universe that do not have access to others, due to the light cones.

Despite the above argument, the Cosmic Microwave Background data show remarkable uniformity from the time that the photons decoupled from the hadronic soup.

cmb

at the level of 10^-8 the universe showed uniformity that could not have been achieved if General Relativity and Special Relativity, foundation stones of the Big Bang model, hold.

Looking at the details of the map in such definition one sees the blobs and depletions which led to the currently granular nature of the observable universe.

cmb

To explain the inconsistency, an effective quantization model for gravity was introduced for the first times after the Big Bang, before 10^-32 seconds . The inflaton with its quantum mechanical indeterminancy is not constrained by the particle definitions and the velocity of light, and thus it could churn the early universe into a homogeneous soup, the quantum mechanical fluctuations giving the observed inhomogeneity over the largely homogeneous early universe.

Yet most matter is clumped up into stars and planets, with areas of nothing in between. What could have led to such an irregular universe?

Inflation has been continuing ever since 10^-32 seconds , space expanding as the Big Bang models currently, and this expansion has distanced the clumps generated by the quantum effects of the inflaton into what is currently a clumpy universe.

historybb

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisotropy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primordial_fluctuations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflaton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)

FUTURE IS ALREADY WRITTEN

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BRIAN GREENE: And if that’s not strange enough, the direction you move makes a difference, too. Watch what happens when the alien turns around and bikes toward Earth. The alien’s new “now slice” is angled to…toward the future, and so it includes events that won’t happen on Earth for 200 years: perhaps our friend’s great-great-great granddaughter teleporting from Paris to New York. Once we know that your now can be what I consider the past, or your now can be what I consider the future, and your now is every bit as valid as my now, then we learn that the past must be real, the future must be real. They could be your now. That means past, present, future…all equally real; they all exist.

The alien, 10 billion light years away from us, can only see our region of the universe as it was 10 billion years ago, which did not include our solar system yet. However, he could look over here, right now and legitimately say that the future of this region of the universe, for the next 10 billion years is already written. Whether or not it includes earthlings will take him another 10 billion years to find out. We are seeing the region of the universe that now presumably contains this alien as it was 10 billion years ago, and its future for the next 10 billion years has already been written. Whether or not it includes an alien will take us another 10 billion years to learn. Even if this alien, at the “present” time, hops in his spaceship and accelerates up to almost the speed of light, it will take him another 10 billion years to get here (although it could be only seconds for him) and another 10 billion years of history will have gone by during his trip, which did not yet exist at the time he started his trip. Or, if we want to consider an alien from 10 billion years ago (who we could now “see”) who would do the same thing, he would be just now arriving and during his trip, the past 10 billion years of history would have transpired in this region of the universe, as well as in his home region of the universe. (We could watch his journey and it would only take a few seconds of our time to “see” him go from his home to our home.) These comments assume, as Brian Greene does, that we are using a Frame of Reference in which an earthling or an alien is at rest. But one of the tenets of Special Relativity is that only those conclusions that are frame invariant are reflective of reality. Coordinate times and distances are frame dependent and do not comport with reality.

It’s just like in the Twin Paradox where both twins “see” time dilation in the other one’s clock and different frames will define different amounts of time dilation to the two clocks but it’s only when they return that all frames agree on the difference in time accumulated on the two clocks. Brian Greene is talking only about coordinate times on distant clocks as defined by different Frames of Reference. Of course they are going to be different but this has nothing to do with whether any future has already been written.

The Andromeda Paradox emphasises that the hyperplane called “now” is just a coordinate-based labelling of events. “Future” and “past” are meaningful only insofar as they refer to an observer’s light cones.

This, at present, is more of a philosophical question because the statement, ‘time exists’ is axiomatic with regards to physics. It seems that we need it so as to preserve causality but at the same time we don’t understand it’s presence. I like to visualize time as a membrane on which all events are allowed to flow only radially outward. A sort of heuristic boat on a lake scenario, in which the water (time) allows the boat (object) to move across the lake (space). As you go cross the lake in your boat the ripples radiate radially outward through time and space and the water isn’t being created in front of the boat as it moves across the lake, it already exists there.

Also, something sort of fun I like to think about with regard to time travel and how it is probably not possible therefore time can not be malleable.
Disclaimer: You will most likely have to read this a few times to get what I am trying to say.

Let us assume that the possibility to travel backward through time exists, then at some later time, say in 100 years from now we will actually be able to travel back in time. Also, we must stipulate that if we did travel backward in time we would be able to interact with the space at that time. And lastly, we must stipulate that time does not branch (i.e. no infinite universes theory). So, if time travel is possible then what is to say that right now is not the future’s past? That is to say that someone from the future has traveled back to now. Our present time would then be the future’s past. Because time travel is possible would mean that our present time is not the probable ‘leading edge’ of time because anyone from the future could go back to any point in time. Actually, our present time would be the least probable candidate for being the ‘leading edge’ of time (Assuming all points in time have equal “weight”).

Now since it is most probable to believe that we are existing in the past of some future time and our recorded history shows no evidence of anyone from the future traveling back in time, then their are only a couple possibilities.

Time travel is not possible, people who have traveled back in time have not been recorded into our documented history, or we are the ‘leading edge’ of time. Since there is no evidence in our historical record that someone has traveled back to then and that we are unlikely the leading edge of time, I propose that the ability to time travel is highly unlikely. Therefore time is not malleable.

Has a very distant event in our personal past and outside our personal past light cone, already happened?

Since there is no such thing as a universal simultaneousness, everyone’s personal ‘now’ cuts right through many other’s definitions of ‘past’ and ‘future’, so what exactly would a Universe look like if we’d assume the future hasn’t already happened? How would a Universal ‘now’ progress spatially if it has to deal with everyone’s definition of it?

Or, what I was referring to with the first sentence, what would a Universe look like if everyone’s past only already occurred, if it has moved within their personal past light cones? How would the Universe’s ‘coming to existence’ progress spatially, if everyone’s measurements only makes it real? When we look at the moon, all we are allowed to know is that it was there 1.3 seconds ago…

It’s at least a lot easier to think of the future as already being out there, like some four dimensional object that we live in, with the illusion of moving through it. Like Greg’s rather dogmatic explanation here.

Dr. Greene illustrated how space and time are connected by comparing the space time of the universe to a loaf of bread. Each slice of the bread was a “now” of a different section of the universe. He demonstrated how an alien on the other side of the galaxy going away from earth “now” would include our future.

Once we know that your now can be what I consider the past, or your now can be what I consider the future, and your now is every bit as valid as my now, then we learn that the past must be real, the future must be real. They could be your now. That means past, present, future…all equally real; they all exist.

Just as we think of all of space as being “out there,” we should think of all of time as being “out there” too. Everything that has ever happened or will happen, it all exists, from Leonardo da Vinci laying the final brushstroke on the Mona Lisa; to the signing of the Declaration of Independence; to your first day of school; to events that, from our perspective, are yet to happen, like the first humans landing on Mars.

Just the way an entire movie exists on celluloid, think of all moments of time as already existing too. The difference is that in the movies, a projector lights up or selects each frame as it goes by, but in the laws of physics, there is no evidence of something like a projector light that selects one moment over another. Our brains may create this impression, but in reality, what we all experience as the flow of time really may be nothing more than an illusion.

This means I’m already dead in someone else’s “now”. If the alien is traveling close to speed of light toward you, he is actually freeze in time in your time frame, you’ll be progressing until you are dead in normal speed, then the alien will wake up and find you dead.


Me: I heard Jamal from 90th street watched that tape last week and this mornin’ he woke up dead!

You: How the hell do you wake up dead?

Me: Cause’ you’re alive when you go to sleep.

You: So you’re telling me you can go to bed dead and wake up alive?

Me: You can’t go to bed dead! That shit would’ve been redundant.

You: No it would’nt cause’ you can go to bed and not be dead, and you can die and not be in the bed.

Me: But you are in the bed. That’s how you wake up dead in the first place fool!

You: Damn! that’s some quantum shit right there man! You should be teaching classes!


 

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/illusion-of-time-is-the-future-already-written.550435/page-2

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/illusion-of-time-is-the-future-already-written.550435/page-2

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/illusion-of-time-is-the-future-already-written.550435/

What Happened Before History? Human Origins

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The world we live in feels normal, ordinary. It feels like this is just how humans exist and always existed. But, it’s not. Never before have we humans lived in a world as sophisticated and engineered to our needs as today. Giving us the luxury to forget about ourselves and not worry about survival. Food, shelter, security – all of this is, more or less, taken for granted. But we’re a special few; for more than 99.99% of human history, life was completely different.

And there’s no such thing as just one human history. Our story begins 6 million years ago, when the tribe of hominini split and our relationship with the apes ended. 2.8 million years ago, the genus of homo, the first humans, emerged. We like to think about ourselves as the only humans, but this is far from the truth.

When we, homo sapiens sapiens, came into existence 200,000 years ago, there were at least six other human species around. Cousins of comparable intelligence and ability, which must have been incredibly scary, kind of like living with aliens.

Some of them were very successful. Homo erectus, for example, survived for 2 million years. Ten times longer than modern humans have existed. The last of the other humans disappeared around 10,000 years ago.

We don’t know what caused them to die out. Modern humans have at least a few percent of neanderthal and other human DNA, so there was some mixing, but certainly not enough to be a merger between species.

So we don’t know if our cousins went away because they lost the battle over resources, or because of a series of minor genocides. Either way, only we remain. Back to the beginnings of humanity. 2.8 million years ago, early humans used tools, but did not make a lot of progress for nearly 2 million years.

Until they learned to control fire. Fire meant cooking, which made food more nutritious, which contributed to the development of our brain. It also produced light and warmth, which made days longer and winters less gruesome. On top of that, it not only scared predators away, it could also be used for hunting.

A torched wood or grassland provided small animals, nuts and tubers that were pre-roasted. From 300,000 years ago, most of the different human species lived in small hunter-gatherer societies. They had fire, wood and stone tools, planned for the future, buried their dead, and had cultures of their own. But most importantly, they spoke to each other. Probably in a kind of proto-language, less complex than ours.

If we had a time machine, how far would we be able to go back, steal a few babies and raise them today without anyone noticing that they’re a bit different? There is much debate. Anatomically, modern humans emerged 200,000 years ago, but probably 70,000 years is as far as we could travel back and still snatch a behaviourally modern human.

Before that, the babies would probably lack a few crucial gene mutations. Necessary to build a brain with modern language and abstract thinking abilities. At some point, around 50,000 years ago, there was an explosion in innovation. Tools and weapons became more sophisticated and culture became more complex, because at this point, humans had a multi-purpose brain, and a more advanced language to communicate information with each other effectively, and down to the last detail. This allowed much closer cooperation, and is what really makes us different from any other creature on Earth. Not our comparatively weak bodies and inferior senses, but the ability to cooperate flexibly in large groups, unlike, for example, rigid beehives or intimate, but tiny wolf packs.

As our brain evolved, we became able to do something, life had been unable to do up to this point. One – expand knowledge quickly. Two – preserve the knowledge gained over generations. Three – build on past knowledge, to gain even deeper insight.

This seems daft, but until then, information had to be passed on from generation to generation, mostly through genetics, which is not efficient. Still, for the next 40,000 years, human life remained more or less the same. There was little to build upon. Our ancestors were only one animal among many.

Building a skyscraper without knowing what a house is… is hard. But while it is easy to be arrogant in our attitude to our ancestors, this would be ignorant. Humans 50,000 years ago were survival specialists. They had a detailed mental map of their territory, their senses were fine-tuned to the environment, they knew and memorized a great amount of information about plants and animals.

They could make complicated tools that required years of careful training and very fine motor skills. Their bodies compared to our athletes today just because of their daily routines, and they lived a rich social life within their tribe. Survival required so many skills that the average brain volume of early modern humans might even have been bigger than it is today. As a group we know more today, but as individuals our ancestors were superior to us. But then around 12,000 years ago, in multiple locations, humans developed agriculture.

Everything changed very quickly. Before, survival as a hunter and forager required superb physical and mental abilities in all fields from everybody With the rise of the agricultural age, individuals could increasingly rely on the skills of others for survival. This meant that some of them could specialize. Maybe they worked on better tools, maybe they took time to breed more resistant crops or better livestock, Maybe they started inventing things. As farming got more and more efficient, what we call civilization began. Agriculture gave us a reliable and predictable food source, which allowed humans to hoard food on a large scale for the first time, which is much easier to do with grains than meat, the food stock required protection, which led to communities living together in tighter spaces first, early defense structures were built, the need for organization grew.

The more organized we got, the faster things became efficient. Villages became cities, cities became kingdoms, kingdoms became empires. Connections between humans exploded which led to opportunities to exchange knowledge. Progress became exponential. About 500 years ago the Scientific Revolution began Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, and Chemistry transformed everything we thought we knew.

The Industrial Revolution followed soon after laying the foundation for the modern world As our overall efficiency grew exponentially, more people could spend their lifetime contributing to the progress of humanity revolutions kept happening. The invention of the computer, its evolution into a medium we all use on a daily basis, and the rise of the Internet shaped our world It’s hard to grasp how fast all of that happened It’s been about 125,000 generations since the emergence of the first human species.

About 7,500 generations since the physiologically modern humans saw the light of day 500 generations ago, what we call civilization began 20 generations ago, we learned how to do science. And the Internet became available to most people only one generation ago Today we live in the most prosperous age humanity has ever experienced. We have transformed this planet, from the composition of its atmosphere to large-scale changes in its landscape and also in terms of the other animals in existence.

We light up the night with artificial stars and put people in a metal box in the sky. Some have even walked on our moon. We put robots on other planets. We’ve looked deep into the past of the universe with mechanical eyes. Our knowledge and our way of acquiring and storing more of it has exploded.

The average high school student today knows more about the universe than a scholar a few centuries ago. Humans dominate this planet, even if our rule is very fragile. We are still not that different from our ancestors 70,000 years ago. But your lifestyle has existed for less than 0.001% of human history. From here on, there’s no saying what the future holds for us. We’re building a skyscraper, but we’re not sure if it’s standing on a solid foundation or if we’re building it on quicksand.

Let’s leave it with that for now. The next time you miss your train, your burger is not hot enough, or someone cuts in line. Remember how special this made-up human world is…

Maybe it’s not worth being upset about all those little things.