orwell 1984

Coming Soon: Meds And Techniques To Erase Memories

Orwell’s torture ‘Room 101’ to adjust memories may be a thing of the past as Technocrat scientists are nearing a drug-related solution to ‘help you’ erase memories, whether good or bad. Is two plus two really four, or is it five? ⁃ TN Editor
 

The 60 souls that signed on for Dr. Alain Brunet’s memory manipulation study were united by something they would rather not remember. The trauma of betrayal.

For some, it was infidelity and for others, a brutal, unanticipated abandonment. “It was like, ‘I’m leaving you. Goodbye,” the McGill University associate professor of psychiatry says.

In cold, clinical terms, his patients were suffering from an “adjustment disorder” due to the termination (not of their choosing) of a romantic relationship. The goal of Brunet and other researchers is to help people like this — the scorned, the betrayed, the traumatized — lose their total recall. To deliberately forget.

Over four to six sessions, volunteers read aloud from a typed script they had composed themselves — a first-person account of their breakup, with as many emotional details as possible — while under the influence of propranolol, a common and inexpensive blood pressure pill. The idea was to purposely reactivate the memory and bring the experience and the stinging emotions it aroused to life again. “How did you feel about that?” they were asked. How do you feel right now? And, most importantly: Has your memory changed since last week?

The investigators had hypothesized that four to six sessions of memory reactivation under propranolol would be sufficient to dramatically blunt the memories associated with their “attachment injury.” Decrease the strength of the memory, Brunet says, and you decrease the strength of the pain.

The study is now complete, and Brunet is hesitant to discuss the results, which have been submitted to a journal for peer review and publication. However, the participants “just couldn’t believe that we could do so much in such a small amount of time,” he confides.

“They were able to turn the page. That’s what they would tell us — ‘I feel like I’ve turned the page. I’m no longer obsessed by this person, or this relationship.’”

Brunet insists he isn’t interested in deleting or scrubbing painful memories out entirely. The idea of memory erasure, of finding the cellular imprint of a specific, discreet memory in the brain, of isolating and inactivating the brain cells behind that memory, unnerves him. ‘It’s not going to come from my lab,” he says, although others are certainly working on it. Memories are part of who we are, what forms our identity, what makes us authentic, “and as long as only one choice exists right now, and it’s toning down a memory, we feel on very solid and comfortable ground,” ethically speaking, Brunet says.

“However, if one day you had two options — I can tone down your memory, or I can remove it altogether, from your head, from your mind — what would you choose?”

The choice might soon be yours.

“If you could erase the memory of the worst day of your life, would you,” Elizabeth Phelps and Stefan Hofmann write in the journal, Nature. “How about your memory of a person who has caused you pain?”

What was once purely science fiction is moving ever closer to clinical reality. Researchers are working on techniques and drugs that might enable us to edit our memories or at least seriously dull their impact — to make the intolerable bearable — by, say, swallowing a pill to block the synaptic changes needed for a memory to solidify. A pill that could be taken hours, even months or years after the event.

Much of the work is based on the theory of memory reconsolidation – the belief that the mere conscious act of recalling or conjuring a memory makes it vulnerable to tinkering or meddling. When a memory is evoked, a reconsolidation window opens for a brief period of time (two to five hours, according to Brunet), during which time the memory returns to a state of “lability.” It becomes pliable, like Play-Doh. It also becomes susceptible to modification, before “reconsolidating” or re-storage. The thought is that propranolol interferes with proteins in the brain needed to lock down the memory again.

A similar line of thinking holds that a memory isn’t an exact impression of the original event, an Iphone video of the past, says Boston University neuroscientist Steve Ramirez. Rather it’s more like Plato’s wax tablet. Press a signet ring into the wax and it leaves an imprint, but the wax can melt when we recall the memory, form again and then melt all over again. “Memory is dynamic,” Ramirez says. It isn’t static. Memories can also be updated with new information when they’re recalled, like hitting “save as” every time you go into a Word file.

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Sustainable Fail: The Global Fertility Crash

Contrary to UN and globalist propaganda, global populating is crashing, not exploding. The birthrate in many countries is so low that they will cease to exist as discrete nations. For many, the trend is already irreversible.

Declining population guarantees huge reductions in economic activity, productivity and economic security. Inflation will turn to deflation and wars will be fought over precious resources. ⁃ TN Editor

 

At least two children per woman—that’s what’s needed to ensure a stable population from generation to generation.  In the 1960s, the fertility rate was five live births per woman. By 2017 it had fallen to 2.43, close to that critical threshold.

Population growth is vital for the world economy. It means more workers to build homes and produce goods, more consumers to buy things and spark innovation, and more citizens to pay taxes and attract trade. While the world is expected to add more than 3 billion people by 2100, according to the United Nations, that’ll likely be the high point. Falling fertility rates and aging populations will mean serious challenges that will be felt more acutely in some places than others.

While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—in 2017, about half of all countries had already fallen below it, up from 1 in 20 just half a century ago. For places such as the U.S. and parts of Western Europe, which historically are attractive to migrants, loosening immigration policies could make up for low birthrates. In other places, more drastic policy interventions may be called for. Most of the available options place a high burden on women, who’ll be relied upon not only to bear children but also to help fill widening gaps in the workforce.

Each of the following indicators tells a part of the global fertility story: not just how many babies women have on average, but also how well women are integrated into the workforce, what slice of the income pie they receive, and their level of educational attainment. Overall:

Government attempts to manage population growth are nothing new—consider the generous paid maternal leave of the Scandinavian countries or China’s recently rescinded one-child policy, each relatively effective in achieving its stated goal—but a new sense of urgency and even desperation is creeping into the search for ways to reverse the current trends. That said, achieving robust population growth is by no means the only contributor to economic growth—in some countries too-high fertility may actually be a drag on GDP, because of higher costs. But as these indicators suggest, it can be an important tailwind.

To explore these demographic and economic shifts, Bloomberg analyzed fertility data for 200 countries and picked four that were outliers in some respect. Local reporters then interviewed one woman in each place about her economic and cultural forces that shaped her choice to have children—or not.

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Syracuse

Microsoft Puts Smart Cities Tech Hub In Syracuse, NY

Technocrats at Microsoft will promote application development for 5G, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, in a quest to flood cities with Smart City command and control systems. ⁃ TN Editor
 

The software giant Microsoft plans to open a hub in Syracuse aimed at developing uses for new technology, aiding tech start-ups and training the workforce of the future.

Microsoft will establish a “Smart Cities Technology” hub as part of Mayor Ben Walsh’s Syracuse Surge plan to bolster the regional economy with high-tech jobs. It’s Microsoft’s third such hub in the nation and the first in the Northeast.

“It’s significant for us,” Walsh said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s third-party validation not only of the Surge and the strategy, but the partnership and leadership we have in the community.”

Microsoft announced similar hubs earlier this year in Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas.

The Microsoft announcement reflects the second major corporation to show an interest in Walsh’s Surge strategy. Earlier this summer, JP Morgan Chase committed $3 million toward workforce training programs and to ensure economic growth included traditionally disenfranchised communities.

Details of Microsoft’s physical location in Syracuse haven’t yet been finalized. Walsh said the software company plans to locate somewhere on the south end of downtown in the footprint of the pending Southside Campus for the New Economy. Microsoft will staff the hub with its employees, though city officials weren’t sure how many.

For now, Walsh has asked the Common Council to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city, Onondaga County, Syracuse University’s iSchool and Microsoft. The council could vote on that agreement as early as Monday.

The agreement formalizes a three-year partnership between the school, the governments and the tech company and outlines some of what Microsoft will bring to Syracuse.

According to that agreement, the hub will be a resource for entrepreneurs and start-up companies, providing consulting services, education and training on burgeoning technology like 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

Microsoft has also agreed to sponsor public events here, including an “innovation summit” to be held next year for local and national tech experts.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the Microsoft agreement is just the next step toward transforming Syracuse and the region.

“What we think of as downtown today won’t be what it is going forward,” McMahon said. “You’re going to have this young tech corridor, more high-tech manufacturing…I’m ecstatic.”

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