A brain scientist explains how humans could be able to erase bad memories within ten years

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Business Insider UK spoke to British neuroscientist Professor Tim Bliss about the likelihood of being able to remove a human’s bad memories in the near future. 

Professor Bliss said, "There are certainly studies in mice in which it’s been possible to erase fearful memories and the way that is done is to identify the pathways which are storing the fearful memory.

Then by stimulating down those pathways we actually drive down the efficiency of transmission in those pathways. When you do that in mice or rates then you find that the fearful response can be erased.

Of course, that’s a surgical interventional kind of approach but what’s possible in humans.

I think probably a pharmacological approach will be taken first and there are experiments with groups of humans who have got PTSD, that’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, trying pharmacological approaches to alleviate that disease with I think some success.

I think that’s something which within ten years we probably will have a good handle on."

Produced by Jasper Pickering. Special thanks to Leon Siciliano

 

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The Problem Is Bigger Than Trump And Obama: Should The One-Man Presidency Be Abolished?

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Authored by Justin Gardner via The Free Thought Project,

There was something very revealing about Charlottesville and its aftermath. Not the behavior of the president, or the disturbing resiliency of Nazism, or the willingness of some counter-protesters to initiate violence. We saw how the repugnant actions of a very tiny percentage of people can be manufactured into an all-encompassing narrative – while the corporatocracy continues fleecing America.

With his (perhaps intentional) bungled response to Charlottesville, President Trump propelled race onto center-stage, as corporate media piled on to cash in on Trump controversy. Race issues should undoubtedly be part of the national discourse, but Trump and the MSM are using Charlottesville in a manner nothing short of ‘divide and conquer.’

This demonstrates one of the main reasons why the U.S. presidency should be abolished.

Having a president is a prime driving force in the devolution of debate. Complexity is boiled away, leaving cartoonish characterizations promoted by cable TV personalities armed with clichés and the day’s talking points.

With a president, emotions are channeled into supporting or opposing the words of one person.

Rationality is completely overshadowed by fear-based fallacies and the tendency toward violence. Middle ground continually disappears, growing a dichotomous world of fawning followers and rabid dissenters – regardless of which of the two parties is in power.

A president makes it easy to produce ‘fast food’ news, irresistible to short attention spans and poisonous to the system. Every four years, two people are made to represent the myth of ‘liberal vs. conservative,’ directing everyone’s energy into straw man issues. There is no room for nuance, let alone building a rational case on an issue of importance.

If you are against candidate X, then you must be a [insert buzzword] who follows candidate Y. So goes the narrative. And every four years the corporatocracy celebrates another win.

A president makes it easy to distract the masses with issues that have nothing to do with how government actually spends your money (besides Confederate statues, of course). Trump does it, Obama did it, Bush did it, and so on.

Under this framework, people are easily labeled and put into neat boxes to be used for cable TV talking heads. Sound bites from shouting matches have replaced well-informed essays. The president makes all of this easy, because he or she is willing to represent one side of the fictional debate.

Much of what is fed to the voting populace is essentially fake, but the power of the president has never been greater – especially since 9/11. The person who gets into the Oval Office has immense power to shape the federal bureaucracy to his or her will.

If “democracy” means the 51% winner of a years-long celebrity showdown gets to impose his or her will on 323 million people, it’s time to think of a better system.

Every candidate claims to be working on behalf of the people, but every president in reality is paying back the relative few who helped put him in power, while strengthening the centralized State in his own fashion. Trump is pumping up the police state with his “law and order” crusade, just as Obama vastly expanded the surveillance state.

What real function does the president serve, anyway?

For many, the first thought is “commander in chief.” But nothing prevents a representative body from selecting a commander in times of war (which really isn’t necessary in an enlightened society). The president is really there to convince Americans to ‘rally round the flag’ when the military-industrial complex wants another armed conflict. The president greases the wheels of American hegemony and economic sabotage.

Now, with the help of such things as the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force – given to the executive in the wake of 9/11 – the president can bomb and invade countries at will. A single person can decide to invade Iraq, drone bomb kids in Pakistan, or drop nuclear bombs on North Korea.

Picking a Supreme Court judge? Who says a judiciary panel of representatives can’t select someone? Instead of multiple voices from different parts of the country debating over the best pick, a single person called the president is free to pick someone far more interested in ideology than rationality.

This is not a defense of the current legislative and judicial bodies. The executive branch is the focus here. Instead of serving useful functions, presidents serve as lightning rods for creating a false narrative.

And while they’re at it, presidents live a lifestyle that monarchs would envy – costing taxpayers untold billions.

As Ryan McMaken pointed out in February:

“Just last month, the taxpayers were forced to pay more than 100 million dollars to throw an immense party for the new president so he could be honored with fanfare and solemn ceremonies that would have made the Caesars envious.

 

As the head of this huge unitary executive, Presidents can command a huge national audience and face no opposition from any peer. They hand our awards to their friends, enjoy sumptuous food at state dinners, travel in luxury on Air Force One — at great cost to the taxpayer — and shut down entire highways and city blocks wherever they choose to go.”

McMaken, who argues that the Founding Fathers “were not nearly as insightful as is often pretended,” provides an interesting analysis of what they had to say at the Constitutional Convention.

Alexander Hamilton, in pushing for a strong executive branch, cited the need for “decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch.” Hamilton would be overjoyed today, as the presidency now exerts inordinate amounts of activity and secrecy.

Not everyone was fooled at the Convention, including George Mason who correctly noted:

“If strong and extensive powers are vested in the executive, and that executive consists only of one person, the government will of course degenerate (for I will call if degeneracy) into a monarchy – a government contrary to the genius of the people that they will reject even the appearance of it.”

Mason was not insightful in his prediction that people would resist the slide to an executive branch with monarchic powers. Now, we see more polarization than ever – centered on the president – and more people saying they would support the president no matter what he does.

The pestilence of presidential politics is growing, and it’s creeping more and more into Congressional races – choking out debate about local issues in favor of divisive sound bites about allegiance to or resistance to the sitting president. Thus it serves the purpose of sustaining central authority.

Decentralization is needed now more than ever, especially considering the size of the U.S. in terms of landmass and population. Perhaps we should study whether Canada’s system of provinces offers more regional autonomy than U.S. federalism.

Different parts of the country have different ideas about doing things; one person called the president will never come close to getting everyone to agree. Isn’t it uncanny how, despite decades of U.S. presidents who profess a desire to “mend the nation,” America seems more polarized than ever?

Things are not getting better. Having a president is only making it easier for centralized power structures – represented by many factions including the Federal Reserve – to cement control over people’s lives and their economies.

McMaken proposes to break the executive branch into several administrators, which is the way most states govern. It’s difficult to fathom any solution to the situation as long as corrupt money rules politics.

If things are bad now in terms of presidential power and false narratives, there’s one thing that would drive American over the proverbial cliff. A terrorist attack the likes of 9/11, regardless of the potentially questionable circumstances, would sweep away any remaining opposition to virtual dictatorship.

Before that happens, let’s abolish the presidency.

from Zero Hedge http://bit.ly/2vok5nf
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New wearable tracker can transmit vital signs from a soft, tiny package

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Body sensors have long been bulky, hard to wear, and obtrusive. Now they can be as thin as a Band-Aid and about as big as a coin. The new sensors, created by Kyung-In Jang, professor of robotics engineering at South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, and John A. Rogers, Northwestern University, consists of a silicone case that contains “50 components connected by a network of 250 tiny wire coils.” The silicone conforms to the body and transmits data on “movement and respiration, as well as electrical activity in the heart, muscles, eyes and brain.”

This tiny package replaces many bulky sensor systems and because the wires are suspended in the silicone you are able to create a denser electronic. From the release:

Unlike flat sensors, the tiny wires coils in this device are three-dimensional, which maximizes flexibility. The coils can stretch and contract like a spring without breaking. The coils and sensor components are also configured in an unusual spider web pattern that ensures “uniform and extreme levels of stretchability and bendability in any direction.” It also enables tighter packing of components, minimizing size. The researchers liken the design to a winding, curling vine, connecting sensors, circuits and radios like individual leaves on the vine.

The researchers can power the device wirelessly which means it can sit almost anywhere on the body. Further, the team expects to be able to use this system inside of robotics where a softer, squishier connector is needed.

“Combining big data and artificial intelligence technologies, the wireless biosensors can be developed into an entire medical system which allows portable access to collection, storage, and analysis of health signals and information,” said Jang. “We will continue further studies to develop electronic skins which can support interactive telemedicine and treatment systems for patients in blind areas for medical services such as rural houses in mountain village.”

from TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/2vYm6dC
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Mapping The World’s Most Liveable Cities

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If you want to move to one of the world’s most liveable cities, pack your bags and book flights to Australia or Canada…

Infographic: The World's Most Liveable Cities  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, The Economist assessed 140 major cities worldwide on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, declaring Melbourne the most liveable city in 2017 for the seventh year running. Australia’s second most populous city scored 97.5 out of 100. Vienna, the Austrian capital, came second and three Canadian cities rounded off the top five – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

As well as those three Canadian cities, a total of three in Australia made the top-10 list (Adelaide and Perth as well as top-placed Melbourne). Interestingly, U.S. cities are notably absent from the top of The Economist’s list with Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg all boasting high liveability scores.

The Syrian capital of Damascus was at the very bottom of the ranking with a score of 30.2, along with Lagos in Nigeria (36.0) and Tripoli in Libya (36.6).

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Use your Instagram to make money — here’s how

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Use your Instagram to make money — here’s how

This could be making you richThis could be making you rich

Image: pixabay

You already spend tons of time each day on Instagram. What if you could also use that time to grow your business and even make some money? It’s totally possible, but you’re probably not going to be able to figure it out on your own. 

If you’ve got a business, brand, or even just want to boost your own page, check out the Complete Instagram Marketing 2017 Training course. It will teach you how to master Instagram marketing and grow your account with the right followers — plus it’s a pretty sweet talking point to bring up during job interviews.

You’ll begin by building an Instagram marketing plan and daily posting schedule, and then learn which tools you can use to schedule posts and create images and videos. Next, it’ll show you how to create and optimize Instagram ads in a matter of minutes. Finally, you’ll learn how to attract thousands of targeted followers and build deep relationships with them — which you can turn into cold, hard cash.

The Complete Instagram Marketing 2017 Training course normally costs $195, but you can get it for just $25, a savings of 87 percent.

Buy it here.

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Date Smarter: Study Of 3 Million People Reveals Which App Singles Prefer, Snapchat or Instagram?

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dating study which app singles prefer

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That’s right, we’re back again with some more dating news you can use. Because when it comes to dating and relationships there is no such thing as having too much knowledge. Think about it. We can send a man to the moon, but we still can’t figure out how to partner humans up together with a better than 50% success rate. Obviously, there is still much work to do in this department.

So yeah, here we are again. Last week we shared the top relationship dealbreakers for women and prior to that it was the “manly” things guys do that annoy women and the things women consider to be dating red flags.

Today, however, we’re going at this in a slightly different way. Today we’re taking a look at a study of singles conducted by the dating app Clover. Clover analyzed data from 3 million, yes, MILLION, users to see if singles preferred adding Snapchat or Instagram to their dating profiles.

Turns out that the differences between which photo app a person chose to use are pretty interesting. Here’s what they came up with…

Key Highlights:
– 55% of singles prefer Snapchat compared to 45% preferring Instagram
– Snapchat is #1 for singles aged 18-34
– Instagram is #1 for singles aged 35+

Singles that prefer Snapchat:
– Intention: Looking for Long Term Relationships
– Occupations: Barista, Dental Hygienist, Security Guard, Secretary, Journalist, Nurse, Fitness Worker
– Schools: University of Houston-TX, Michigan State-MI, Minnesota State-MN, Southern Illinois University-IL
– Interests: Cuddling, Sports, Bonfires, Gaming, Movies, Tattoos and Laughing

Singles that prefer Instagram:
– Intention: Looking for a Date
– Occupations: Art Director, Graphic Designer, Lawyer, TV Producer, PR, Software Developer, Freelancer
– Schools: School of Visual Arts-NY, Berklee College of Music-MA, Cornell University-NY, Art Centre College of Design-CA, University of San Diego-CA
– Interests: Hiking, Live Music, Reading, Coffee, Photography, Art, Food

Summary: The data clearly shows that Snapchat is the social media service of choice for singles aged 18-34, whereas singles aged 35+ prefer Instagram.

If you fall into one of those groups and aren’t using the right photo-sharing app, you might want to hit up the app store and hit download.

Here’s a cool infographic that covers some of the results of the study…

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These Bears Decided to Stop Eating Salmon Thanks to Climate Change

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Image: Christoph Strässler/Flickr

You may be familiar with the Big Buck Hunter bonus level where you pump a few dozen rounds into salmon flopping out of the river while grizzlies look on. This is not an especially good bonus level (I prefer the one with the basketballs or the electric eels), but it would be much worse if you needed to shoot elderberries.

The level might need an incredibly boring update for some future Big Buck Hunter sequel as the climate changes. New research analyzed climate’s influence on the food choices that Kodiak brown bears make; during warmer years, the bears chose elderberries instead of salmon when the berry ripening season and salmon spawning season occur simultaneously. These timing changes can throw entire food webs out of balance. The Atlantic’s science writer Ed Yong summarizes it in a tweet:

The researchers surveyed a Kodiak brown bear population in Alaska, calculated elderberry ripening dates, analyzed bear poop and estimated salmon abundances to create a picture of how the relationships changed over time. It seemed to them that the more ripe elderberries there were near the stream, the fewer bears went hunting for the fish. Warmer years move the elderberry season earlier to overlap with the salmon species, so the bears chose the less calorie-dense but more nutrient-rich elderberries over the salmon protein and fat.

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More importantly, the analysis suggests that this overlap will occur more often. “If these trends continue, by 2070, the average onset of berry availability would occur during the average peak of salmon availability,” they write in the paper published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, implying that bears could pick berries over salmon more often in the future.

Yong’s story in The Atlantic includes speculation as to what this means for the bears: Maybe they’ll be worse off during hibernation from switching to a less fatty food, for example. Or maybe other animals like gulls and smaller fish will miss out on the salmon scraps the bears leave over.

But more importantly, there are probably a lot of other places where the changing climate or human activity messes with entire food webs and ecosystems. On the California Channel islands, for example, the introduction of the feral pigs led to more golden eagles to prey on the pigs, and therefore more eagles preying on the island’s native foxes. The authors write: “We suggest that similarly strong and under appreciated responses are occurring elsewhere as climate change reschedules species interactions across ecosystems.”

[PNAS]

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Sony Legalizes Remixes

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Image: Pixabay

In a rare instance of a record company doing the right thing, Sony became the first major label to legalize unofficial remixes and DJ mixes. It’s not like DJs were ever going to stop borrowing copyrighted samples for remixes. Remixes can’t be stopped! But now, finally, you’re going to start seeing more remixes on Spotify and Apple Music.

The somewhat surprising (if long overdue) move comes with a deal Sony just signed with Dubset, a San Francisco-based startup that fingerprints mixes and provides royalties to the record companies that own rights to the samples. When a DJ releases an unofficial remix of a Sony-owned track, Sony will now get a cut, and listeners will get to enjoy the remix on more platforms. Major Lazer and Bad Royale proved that the model works seamlessly last year, when they worked with Dubset to release “My Number,” a cover song with samples from other copyrighted tracks. It’s now been listened to 1.7 million times with each play depositing a little bit of cash in everyone’s pocket. Good song, too.

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Despite showing that compromises can be made on the copyright front, the Sony deal is inevitably a big blow to Soundcloud. TechCrunch’s Josh Constine says that Dubset signing agreements with Warner and Universal after the Sony deal goes through “might eliminate the differentiation that’s kept struggling SoundCloud afloat.” Constine explains:

Illegal music uploaded there has sometimes flown under the radar since SoundCloud is protected by Safe Harbor law regarding user generated content. But if it’s legally available on Spotify, Apple Music, and elsewhere, listeners wouldn’t have to go to SoundCloud.

The death of Soundcloud would be sad. But it wouldn’t really be a surprise. The company has been knocking on death’s door for years now, as Spotify and Apple Music continue to dominate the streaming business. Furthermore, the free-for-all of remixes and DJ mixes that used to make Soundcloud great has been restricted since record companies started cracking down on copyright infringement. These days, tracks either fly under the radar or get taken down almost immediately.

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It seems like there’s a third way now. Unfortunately for Soundcloud, it’s the record companies and the streaming giants that will benefit from it. Fortunately for you, the aging club kid, this new age of legal remixes will be good for music enthusiasts.

[TechCrunch]

Correction 12:30 – An earlier version of this post said that Dubset was based in Berlin. The company is actually based in San Francisco.

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SMS Is on the Rise for Business: Trends and Stats [Infographic]

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As long as people have carried mobile phones, marketers have seen the potential for a new way to contact an engaged and responsive audience.

So far, however, SMS hasn’t picked up like other forms of communication have, especially in the US. But the channel is on an upward trajectory, and today’s infographic, by Semaphore, explains how recipients use SMS and suggests ideas for how marketers can implement SMS in their marketing strategy.

A whopping 98% of SMS messages are read, says the infographic, and the response rate of text messaging is 45%, versus 6% for email. It goes on to take a global view and explain that since much of the world still doesn’t have easy online access, SMS is often the preferred way to receive promotional communications.

How can your company take advantage of this channel? In addition to promotional messages, brands can consider password resets, event reminders, customer support, coupons, and more, the infographic suggests.

To see the latest trends in SMS for business, check out the infographic:

Laura Forer is the manager of MarketingProfs: Made to Order, Original Content Services, which helps clients generate leads, drive site traffic, and build their brands through useful, well-designed content.

LinkedIn: Laura Forer

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