[Paleopsych] why does disaster cripple our two brains?

G. Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 10 02:19:31 UTC 2005

Thank you immensely for writing and posting this.  I'm blown away by the 
comparisons between the article you wrote today and the appended old 
posting.  The former engaged me immediately....I understood why music, 
of all things, repelled you so that you went music-less for a decade.  
The exact same thing has happened to me.  I loved music, grew up with it 
and spend a great deal of time in both my high school years, college, 
and teaching English engaged in recordings of all types.  It was how I 
communicated with the younger generation.  Now I'm in a vacuum without 
music or friends....a hermitress on an island in Palo Alto.  I keep 
asking myself how this happened and the usual answers flow forth....I 
never wanted to live in Cali, my partner is of German descent and they 
don't pay much attention to music, I no longer have contact with the 
younger generation....and so forth.

So where do I go from here?  I have my eyes focused on a Bose radio 
which just might do the trick.  I've narrowed down a color and a spot on 
a shelf close to an electrical outlet so that very little in our tiny 
apartment needs to be displaced.  I've located an outlet for Bose in the 
nearby shopping center and tomorrow after an early movie I will purchase 
the radio.  I certainly hope that this instrument will reawaken my love 
for music...and I'm looking forward to an entirely new circle of friends 
so I too can become some group's fan.

Best regards,
Gerry Reinhart-Waller

HowlBloom at aol.com wrote:

> re: the old posting I’ve appended below: Why would misfortune and lack 
> of control turn down the body’s two leading learning machines—the 
> cognitive brain and the immune system?  Here’s a guess.  When I left 
> the music business, I needed to get away from music completely.  
> Music, something I’d loved all my life, repelled me.  So I went 
> utterly music-less for ten years.  Then, when my thirst for music 
> kicked up again, a strange thing happened.  I’d driven the old music 
> out of my system and was eager for the new.  A kid of five or twelve 
> imprints on the first music he hears and loves, the music that gives 
> flesh to his sense of identity.  Here I was, fresh as a kid, 
> imprinting on music as if I were twelve years old again, but 
> imprinting not on the music of my youth, but on the music of the 21^st 
> century.  My musical death had prepared me to be born again.  It had 
> prepared me to become a Maroon 5 fan.
> So here’s the hypothesis and the question.  Does woe and misery turn 
> down your two key learning machines to prepare you to grab hold of 
> something new? Does it flush your learning system so you can stitch 
> yourself into a pattern you previously didn’t see, a team that’s 
> getting the things you got wrong right?  Does it prepare you to follow 
> new leaders, new ideas, and even new beliefs? Does it prep you to join 
> a segment of the neural net of society that’s contributing more than 
> the old weave you were ejected from when you lost your job, broke up 
> with your girlfriend, were rejected by the grad schools you were going 
> for, or went through a messy divorce?
> Is the disability the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune impose 
> on you a two-sided device used by the neural net, the collective 
> learning machine of which you are a part?  Does it tune down your 
> influence and your access to resources so that you don’t get in the 
> way of the mass mind when you are a failed component, a component 
> that’s chosen the wrong approach to the problems of the moment?  The 
> evidence I’ve marshalled in The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific 
> Expedition Into the Forces of History and in /Global Brain: The 
> Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21^st Century/ says 
> yes.  But does it also prep you to become a useful module in a more 
> promising part of the neural net? Hb 4-09-05
> We’ve known for several years now that the immune system and the brain 
> are joined.  The brain can turn the immune system up on high or down 
> to underdrive depending on the way it perceives external reality.  A 
> brain that senses social isolation will shift the immune system into 
> low gear.  So will a brain whose perceptual powers tell it it no 
> longer can control its circumstances or predict what’s coming next.  
> (Yes, future projectors that fail are hacked away by  apoptotic 
> processes—they self destruct.  By keeping only future projectors that 
> work, evolution compacts past knowledge into a memory that then has 
> future-predicting powers.  But I digress.) The following press release 
> hints that the brain and the immune system are part of a common 
> learning loop.  John McCrone, in material I posted last night, pointed 
> out the value of a hierarchical learning system.  A hierarchical 
> system may have a processing mechanism that operates at superspeed on 
> problems that need an instant solution. It may have other processors 
> working on the micro-level with a clock tailored to nano-speed.  It 
> may also have slower processors that work on the big picture, the 
> macro view.  All can crank input into the others—or even reset the 
> others’ controls.  This multi-layered approach gives a neural network 
> system flexibility.  The immune system is a learning machine par 
> excellence, but one that works by rewarding lymphocytes that are doing 
> useful work.  It showers them with resources and with the ability to 
> multiply.  Like evolution itself, the immune system ruthlessly strips 
> assets and the right to reproduce from lymphocytes that just don’t fit 
> the system’s needs.  The brain also works on the Matthew Principle: 
> “To he who hath it shall be given.  From he who hath not even what he 
> hath shall be taken away.”  It rewards neurons that are helping it 
> cope and strips those that aren’t of such privileges as attention and 
> influence--the right to connect to others, the right to feed on 
> information, the right to spoon its output to others, and even, in the 
> cerebral neurons of  babies, the right to live.  Yet the vast system 
> of swiftly changing networks in the brain gives it many levels of 
> capability, many simultaneous processing powers, all of them different 
> than those of the immune system. Combine the two—the immune system’s 
> methods of processing and the brain’s many separate ways of sifting 
> input, mulling it, stewing it around, and making sense of it—and you 
> may have a more intricate and able team than we imagined—one doing 
> things throughout the body and turning literally every limb and 
> circulatory alleyway into an extension of the mind.  Howard  Ps Note 
> that the system described below works on attraction and repulsion 
> signals, just like electrons, protons, animal voices, and bacterial or 
> human pheromones.  Reprinted from ScienceDaily Magazine ...  Source: 
> Washington University School Of Medicine  Date Posted:  Friday, April 
> 20, 2001  Web Address: 
> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010419072152.htm  
> Molecule That Guides Nerve Cells Also Directs Immune Cells St. Louis, 
> April 19, 2001 — Researchers have the first evidence that *cues that 
> guide migrating nerve cells also direct white blood cells called 
> leukocytes, which have to find their way to inflamed, infected or 
> damaged areas of the body*. The study is reported in the April 19 
> issue of Nature. "This similarity between the immune system and 
> nervous system might suggest new therapeutic approaches to immune 
> system disorders such as inflammation and autoimmune diseases," says 
> Yi Rao, Ph.D., an associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at 
> Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This study was 
> a collaboration between the School of Medicine and Baylor College of 
> Medicine. Rao and Jane Y. Wu, Ph.D., an associate professor of 
> pediatrics and of molecular biology and pharmacology, led the 
> Washington University teams. Lili Feng, Ph.D., led the Baylor team. 
> *After a cell is born, it navigates to its destination, guided by 
> signals from other molecules already in place. Researchers have found 
> that the nervous system uses molecules that attract migrating cells, 
> molecules that stop cell migration and molecules that push cells away. 
> But so far, only attractive molecules have been identified in the 
> immune system. *Neurons take minutes or hours to migrate to their 
> destinations, whereas leukocytes migrate within seconds. Even so, Rao 
> and colleagues wanted to determine whether migrating leukocytes and 
> neurons use similar mechanisms for finding their ways. "These 
> experiments were carried out to address the question whether there is 
> mechanistic conservation between the two systems," Rao says. His group 
> studied a protein called Slit, a known repellent in neuronal 
> migration. Two of the three known Slit proteins also have been found 
> in organs other than the brain. The researchers simulated leukocyte 
> migration in a dish, using a molecule known to attract immune cells. 
> When they added human Slit protein (hSlit2) to the dish as well, fewer 
> cells migrated. They repeated the procedure in the presence of a 
> bacterial product also known to attract leukocytes. Again, hSlit2 
> inhibited cell migration. However, it did not inhibit other functions 
> of the bacterial product. The team then determined whether Robo—a 
> receptor that enables Slit to act on nerve cells—plays a similar role 
> in the immune system. They had previously made a fragment of Robo 
> which blocks the normally full-length Robo protein. When this blocker 
> was added to the dish, Slit no longer inhibited leukocyte migration. 
> So Robo and a receptor on the cells appeared to be competing for Slit. 
> "These results suggest that Slit also is likely to act through a 
> Robo-like receptor on leukocytes to inhibit their migration," Rao 
> says. He and his colleagues also are trying to find out whether Slit 
> can actively repel leukocytes and whether other neuronal guidance cues 
> influence immune cell migration. This study bridges the gap between 
> two previously independent fields—immunology and neurology—and 
> highlights the need for collaboration. "This kind of research could 
> have been done several years ago," Rao says. "But we all get used to 
> addressing questions in our own fields. This study shows what happens 
> if we venture out and collaborate with scientists in other fields." 
> Reference: Wu JY, Feng L, Park H-T, Havlioglu N, Wen L, Tang H, Bacon 
> KB, Jiang Z, Zhang X, Rao Y. The neuronal repellent Slit inhibits 
> leukocyte chemotaxis induced by chemotactic factors. Nature, April 19, 
> 2001. Funding from the National Institutes of Health supported this 
> research.  Copyright © 1995-2001 ScienceDaily Magazine | Email: 
> editor at sciencedaily.com
> ----------
> Howard Bloom
> Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the 
> Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From 
> The Big Bang to the 21st Century
> Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; 
> Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
> www.howardbloom.net
> www.bigbangtango.net
> Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: 
> Epic of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; 
> founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of 
> Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
> American Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human 
> Behavior and Evolution Society, International Society for Human 
> Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org; executive editor 
> -- New Paradigm book series.
> For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see: 
> www.paleopsych.org
> for two chapters from
> The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of 
> History, see www.howardbloom.net/lucifer
> For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the 
> Big Bang to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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