Unlocking the brain November 18th, 2011

So I was watching this documentary on Daniel Tammet, a math savant. He has great ability with numbers and a special synesthetic relationship with them, identifying them by shape, color, texture and feeling. He performs calculations without actually calculating. The way he describes it is that he sees a landscape which evolves, and these landscapes are linked to numbers which he can extract the answer from. Pretty interesting. The documentary also shows kids trained for years in the use of an abacus, who are able to perform calculations using an imaginary one, extremely fast. This leads to the conclusion that some of these amazing feats can be achieved by nurturing a potential in an ordinary person. Much like professional StarCraft players who are able to execute around 300 APM (actions per minute) while micromanaging their hordes (coverage on that herehere, and here), to the expense of several hours of massive training every day.

I think that in the future everyone will be able to do these seemingly amazing things without much effort. The photographic recollection of memories won’t be a skill of a few, but a synthetically enhancement anyone, at any time (or all the time), will be able to take advantage of.

Why do I think this?

I have a pretty good memory for faces, but an ordinary to poor memory for most other things. I have an interest in dreams, remembering them, the way they seem “erased” from your mind but can be recollected in a split second if something triggers that memory by chance. If that memory can be triggered and retrieved even though it seemed gone, buried pretty deep, so deep you don’t even have that lingering feeling that it’s .. almost .. coming back to you, then there should be something we can take to enhance that process. I’ve got a feeling that mechanism has got to do with turning off all our sensors to the exterior and to our self-awareness, to a blank existence, allowing us to channel that buried memory back into our work memory or something of the sort.

I’ve experienced that blank existence in a lucid dream. It brought me to a state of absolute focus. I had read pieces of a wikibook on lucid dreaming two days before that night. When I felt the snap in my brain and was thrown into lucidity the first thing to come into my mind was the wikibook itself, because I immediately thought it had triggered that state. But I didn’t just remember the bits I had read. I actually saw the Wiki page as though I was sitting in front of the computer at the time. I was fully “awake” in my dream, I read the text my eyes had already covered two days back, the image crisp in my mind, way crisper than any other image I may try to recall while actually awake. Not only that, but I could sort my thoughts as easily as if they were physical blocks I could hold in my hand and shuffle. There was no noise or smell to overwhelm my brain and no other image to disrupt my view. It was blissful, a moment of intense control and peacefulness. I don’t know how long I was lucid for, but after a while I began to lose my focus, ideas became hard to grasp and I fell back into a regular dream of an unrelated subject. This seems to happen in some of my lucid dreams, when I seem to get too excited about how awesome all of it is…

Am I too naive to expect a legal drug able to trigger that sometime in my lifetime?

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Since then… September 2nd, 2011

…I can’t help but picture La Roux’s “In for the kill” in a literal sense, Dexter-ish style, but really full of gore, severed body parts, chopped pieces of meat, rivers of blood, sparkly knives, and Diablo’s The Butcher screaming AHHHH, FRESH MEAT! It brings me to a state of innermost rage not many things are capable of.

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sunny days June 23rd, 2009

June 11th

Lately my only expectation is for a sunny day. I like to go outside and lay on the grass and have the warmness ease the cutting wind. I stay there for a long while thinking about nothing. It’s pretty quiet here. I enjoy that very much. The land is wide and I sit right in the middle. The walls keep me from seeing the outside, the trees keep me from seeing most of the walls. It’s as though I’m sitting still in time and because of that I can just keep quiet to my heart’s content. The more I do it, the harder I crave it, the more it’s the only thing I ever crave for. Except change… which makes no sense. I fear I’m losing all reason. Is this an assurance that I’m not? I often have thoughts that express a lack of sanity, a feeling of disassociation from my own life. I wonder if the ability to recognize this means I’m still able of reaching the right judgement. Maybe what I really fear is failing this test. Meanwhile I hope for a sunny day tomorrow.

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A Disk Read Error Occurred May 25th, 2009

“A Disk Read Error Occurred.

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart”

One fine day, just like that, it gives me no other option. After selecting Vista on GRUB menu, I’m confronted with that message on a black screen. Googleing for a solution I see several people damning the hard drive dead. I could not accept declaring it dead just yet. So I found other comments with different ways around this problem. One of them talked about how the partition boot table could be the issue and instructed on using a rescue console command called “fixmbr”. I chose to give it a try. Here’s how I fixed my Ubuntu+Vista system:

1. Boot from Vista’s DVD and chose open command prompt on the system recovery options menu (this menu appears as you chose to repair your O.S.);

2. Type in the command:

bootrec /fixmbr

More info about that on http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392;

It told me the new master boot record was successfully written. Now I had a new problem. GRUB was gone. How was I supposed to access Ubuntu again? Problem solved with a new Google search.

3. Using a Linux distro live cd, install GRUB. I found the perfect guide for that on http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351

I’m copy-pasting the guide here, for future reference:

#START OF COPY-PASTE#

This will restore grub if you already had grub installed but lost it to a windows install or some other occurence that erased/changed your MBR so that grub no longer appears at start up or it returns an error.

(This how to is written for Ubuntu but should work on other systems. The only thing to take note of, when you see “sudo” that will mean to you that the following command should be entered at a root terminal.)

Boot into the live Ubuntu cd. This can be the live installer cd or the older live session Ubuntu cds.

When you get to the desktop open a terminal and enter. (I am going to give you the commands and then I will explain them later)

sudo grub

This will get you a “grub>” prompt (i.e. the grub shell). At grub>. enter these commands

find /boot/grub/stage1

This will return a location. If you have more than one, select the installation that you want to provide the grub files.

Next, THIS IS IMPORTANT, whatever was returned for the find command use it in the next line (you are still at grub>. when you enter the next 3 commands)

root (hd?,?)

Again use the value from the find command i.e. if find returned (hd0,1) then you would enter root (hd0,1)

Next enter the command to install grub to the mbr

setup (hd0)

Finally exit the grub shell

quit

That is it. Grub will be installed to the mbr.

When you reboot, you will have the grub menu at startup.

Now the explanation.
Sudo grub gets you the grub shell.
Find /boot/grub/stage1 has grub locate the file stage1. What this does is tell us where grub’s files are. Only a small part of grub is located on the mbr, the rest of grub is in your boot folder. Grub needs those files to run the setup. So you find the files and then you tell grub where to locate the files it will need for setup.
So root (hd?,?) tells grub it’s files are on that partition.
Finally setup (hd0) tells grub to setup on hd0. When you give grub the parameter hd0 with no following value for a partition, grub will use the mbr. hd0 is the grub label for the first drive’s mbr.
Quit will exit you from the grub shell.

**This set of instruction is a combination of 2 guides I saw before. One was a Mepis grub how to but I never found it again. The other is the grub manual. It’s section explained the find, root, setup process but never mentioned it could be done from a live session.

This is the grub link

http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/html_node/Installing-GRUB-natively.html#Installing-GRUB-natively

Post script;

Just to post as much information as possible, this is an older how to for restoring grub to the mbr. The original post is directions for using the install cd and then there are replies that mention the method I posted here, as well as the chroot method mlind mentioned. If this method fails, you may want to try this http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=24113

#END OF COPY-PASTE#

(Originally posted by catlett on the Ubuntu forums).

4. Lastly, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst adding the entry for Vista.

##########

Edit: so my HDD really had deep troubles. After the fix it worked for a few days, only to fail again. Same error. This time I just installed Win7 on a different drive and copied a few files from it. Big mistake. Just a couple days later it failed big time as partition got corrupted and I couldn’t access data on it. I ran some tests on it with Spinrite which seemed to find bad blocks. I tried a few other software to try to recover the partition, with no success. One software, EASEUS Partition Master (freeware) was my salvation. It could not recover the partition, but it made a recommendation to another EASEUS product: Data Recovery Wizard. At this point I had lost all hope and formatted the HDD. This recovery software, unlike other products I tried, worked very well and I was able to get back most of what mattered to me. So, yeah, if you have to fix your boot record once, beware that the issue with it might be more than superficial. BACKUP your files!

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Lying wasting time; Wasting time lying March 18th, 2009

These are amusing links about how one lies to oneself.

So much about that “the truth will set you free” bullshit we’ve been hearing all our lives. Where does that come from, anyway?

The truth will NOT set you free. It can lift a bit of the weight of mundanities off your shoulders, but it will add on twice that weight in other things. The overwhelming innards of the universe, for one…

5 Ways Your Brain Is Messing With Your Head

5 Ways ‘Common Sense’ Lies To You Everyday

The 4 Most Impressive Wastes of Time On Record

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amarelo verão March 6th, 2009

Era pra ser uma coisa, foi outra. Ficou temático, brega e sujo de graxa. Mas foi e taí.

17.abr.08 1:57am

Amarelo Verão

Te amo de solavanco…
Só pega no tranco
esse músculo sofrido,
que você tem espremido,
entre as mãos.

Num disparo afogado
você o tem acordado
cada vez que me vê,
que me enxerga à mercê,
do seu “sim”, do seu “não”.

Me dê um pouco dos seus óleos,
um pouco dos seus olhos,
uma piscada de farol, buzinadinha.
Me diga que você quer ser minha
no banco do meu carangão.

Agora vem cá e me ensina
como adulterar gasolina
pra te levar passear,
prum chopp à beira do mar,
amarelo verão.

Na volta se o motor enguiçar
pode deixar que só eu me sujo de graxa…
Você acha que não
mas eu sei…
Má, Marina você é má.

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bebida quente March 6th, 2009

2008.09.10

você é como uma bebida quente
que queima a língua
numa rápida lambida

tão difícil resistir
e só lembra o perene gosto
não remetendo ao desgosto
de se deixar ferir

você é como um fruto fresco
encontrado a esmo
em infértil escampada

tão bem-vindo ao paladar
que faz-se esquecer da casca -
que pra degustar uma lasca -
é preciso penetrar

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meus dedos dizem sozinhos March 6th, 2009

27/10/2008

meus dedos dizem sozinhos
o que eu tento não escrever
eu môo as frases que crio
mas elas transbordam em rio
para chegar em você

só minhas razões não te dou
motivos de eu te querer
eu guardo, eu rasgo,
eu cuspo, eu engasgo
mas nunca eu te conto os porquês

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equívoco March 6th, 2009

13/10/2008

equívoco

se quero me afogar
é porque dói – sei aguentar
isso só, eu aguentaria, mas não é só isso
esse tipo interno de rebuliço

essas facadas que vêm
detrás de mim – olhos não tenho
mas eu sinto e ouço também
e sinto o peso do meu empenho

não desvia seus olhos de mim
fixa-os aqui e aqui os mantém
que eles são lindos assim
da forma que me convém

egoísmo é algo que desconheço
possessividade? petulância do que me pertence
eu não nego que exijo apreço
e não nego que desejo, continuamente

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uma palavra não tem volta March 6th, 2009

21/12/2008

uma palavra não tem volta
meia volta é quase uma inteira
quando uma cobra a língua solta
palavra é veneno, a esguichar traiçoeira

a língua da cobra tem trombose
quando fala da moça, do corpo de pêra:
inflado o ventre, é só verminose…
a cobra, de pronto, já chama a parteira

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