According to my personal observations and studies done by University of Zurich’s Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, CharitÃ©’s Bernstein Center for
Computational Neuroscience, Neurobiology Department at Duke University School of Medicine, UC San Diego with collaborators at Oxford University, MIT Linguistics professors, Carleton University, and a collaborative of U.S. researchers, I would like to offer advice that might keep you alive through your next decision.
As you exsanguinate this article for info, please keep in mind that I could have gone with any of the following life or death decisions as a title:
- How to Drive Your Kids to School
- How to Walk in the Middle of Central Park Late at Night
- How to Go Shopping at a Convenience Store Late at Night
- How to Work at a Convenience Store Late at Night
- How to Play Go Pokémon Go in the Middle of a Freeway
- How to Be a Hospital In-Patient
- How to Vote for the Next President
That seventh title is a trick title. Although there is a slim chance of your dying from picking the right/wrong president, others have already died under different presidents. The economy, health care, and the U.S. Constitution as We the People first knew it have died with the most recent presidencies. Some people say that We the People must change with the times; we’re going to examine that in this article.
Of course, you must realize that I’m here to discuss the “umbrella” which encompasses all things economic, health, political related and beyond. I’m here to discuss your mind, the minds around you, and the decisions we make that could have life or death consequences at any moment for you and your loved ones.
Where do I get my personal life or death observations?
Unfortunately, this is the easy part. The average driver on our public roads is attached to a one ton extension of his/herself – and people drive the way they live. I have seen enough near hits, hits, full on total collisions into accordionesque heaps, wherein people have escaped, limped away, been dragged, carried away in meat wagons, or covered in white sheets to realize that the average driver is in a “zombified” mental state.
When I say “zombified,” I mean that there is less thought processing than should be going on at the baser level – if it’s not road rage – since the average driver is not being careful and considerate of the people around him. Albeit, I have also seen drivers bounce off of curbs then drive on as if nothing happened, wherein, they could just as easily have killed someone.
When I say “average,” I mean the people NOT reading this article because they are too busy being “zombified.”
Coincidently, the Socionomics Institute recently syndicated the article, Social Mood Governs Speed Limits, Auto Design, and Traffic Fatality Levels, wherein there are less traffic fatalities during bear markets. Although we are in a bear market as of this writing, and, presumably, there are less traffic fatalities, this doesn’t necessarily mean there are less life or death decisions being made:
It looks like more people are dying with changing times according to the market. What the bear market drop in fatalities might mean is that more drivers are being mindful of their decisions and actions of those around them because they have less money in their banks to pay car insurance, court fees, or whatever else. Bear markets tend to make people less emotionally secure from an economic stand point.
But there exists a separate issue that even clouds the judgement of an otherwise bear-market driven, careful person: Toxins that cross the blood/brain barrier. Most people imbibe these toxins willingly, the same toxins that impair decision making processes. With their decision processing impaired, these same people have no problem with getting into their cars and turning them into 2000 pound weapons.
You’re probably familiar with OTC drug warnings: “Do Not Drive Under the Influence,” but of the prescription drugs, the most egregious and ubiquitous are anti-depressants taken especially during bear markets.
Does this mean more drivers are under the influence during bear markets? I don’t know. But as an FYI, most of us are under the influence of toxins that cross the blood/brain barrier.
Mercury in fish? Yes that’s one, but we’re not eating fish all the time. Fluoride? Yes. Fluoride is a key component in certain drugs like anti-depressants because it facilitates crossing the blood / brain barrier. As a result, We the People should be asking questions about certain things, but don’t such as:
- Do people flush drugs into the public sewage system? Yes.
- Do water recycling / processing plants remove drugs from public water supplies? No.
- Do We the People allow artificial fluoridation of our public water supplies? Yes.
- Do the acids, bases, salts, and ions of fluoride in our public water supplies cross the blood / brain barrier? Yes.
- Do all these forms of fluoride in our public water supplies combine with further drugs to affect us? (Answer that if you want in the comment section.)
Before this article degenerates into yet another public health hazard warning of something that’s been used on us for nearly a century including all the toxins in our food supply and the air, I will leave a few items of study to help you understand artificial fluoridation: The Invisible IQ Lowering Drug Most Americans Consume Daily, A Bibliography of Scientific Literature on Fluoride. (I would point you to articles at the poison spectrum, but I didn’t optimize it for mobile devices yet.) We the People have allowed this key, mind numbing toxin for nearly a century to affect our lives. Therefore, I could add one more life or death decision title:
- How to Take Drugs to Affect Your Life or Death Decisions
According to the above graphic, the number of traffic fatalities in 2010 dipped to an all time “low” of just under 40,000 in 2010. Some sociologists and statisticians would argue that number is just about right since this includes human population growth along with cars and road expansions. To me, that all time “low” figure speaks volumes of something wrong.
Fortunately for you, I am NOT a mind “expert;” this means I don’t suffer from over confidence. I believe that I am correct in my observations as a student and that experts confirm what I observe with their clinical studies, but I am not convinced that I am more right than anyone else like a lot of “experts” out there. Ergo, let’s cover the subject of cognitive biases of which over confidence is one.
How Our Cognitive Biases Lead to Life or Death Decisions
Below, I would like to share one of my favorite infographics with you: 20 Cognitive Biases that Screw Up Your Decisions,
This infographic is not exhaustive, but it’s entertaining. Imagine all the cognitive biases that one person can have. Of the 20 mentioned here, I would say that I have five including the placebo effect. Sometimes a bias can be good, like the placebo effect; to me this means I don’t have to spend money on drugs.
Of these 20 biases, I would say the top 6 which causes the average driver to make life or death decisions are:
- Salience – Explained perfectly within the infographic. Although the average driver makes life or death decisions on a regular basis, he/she would prefer to believe that a terrorist bomb or psychotic gunman would more likely get them some day.
- Bandwagon Effect – Including salience, the average driver believes that all other drivers on the road – and the rules of the road for that matter – are inconvenient barriers; these barriers must be overcome in order to reach their destinations as conveniently and in as little time as possible.
- Overconfidence – Not necessarily confidence in themselves as competent drivers, but in the drivers around them to adhere to the rules of the road and get out of their way because, “no one else could possibly have deadlines more important than mine.”
- Ostrich Effect – The average driver refuses to acknowledge the possibility of a fatal situation induced by their deadly driving habits; they are more likely to point their finger at others including “back seat drivers” screaming for their lives.
- Selective Perception – This bias goes hand in hand with a wholesale inability to predict the actions of others – even when all the body language is there. At Constructs of Belief, I discuss in detail how our positive or negative hallucinations are based upon our Emotional Securities. Not only is the average driver over confident in the next driver’s movements in order to maintain their emotional security, the average driver actually perceives others getting out of their way – rather than acknowledge reality – until it’s too late.
- Outcome Bias – If the average driver (and his car) lives another day through all of their above biases, then they will simply repeat the same – until it’s too late.
Since a person can suffer from any number of cognitive biases as a result of cultural / personal upbringing, family / life / traumatic experiences, drug induced perceptions, etcetera, let’s apply an umbrella term that I happened upon in a Study: Kids have ‘and/or’ problem despite sophisticated reasoning. Please see this term under “What adults do: the two-step:”
.., adults compute “scalar implicatures,” a technical phrase for thinking about the implications of the logical relationship between a sentence and its alternatives…
Therefore, instead of saying that the average person has all these different mental problems from all these traumatic life experiences or that a person is “well balanced” because of their “normal” life experiences, let’s just say that the average driver “computes scalar implicatures;” computing scalar implicatures could not possibly only apply to communications or syntax. Why? How can a person change their system of logic simply because they are communicating as opposed to driving? Please tell me in the comment section.
Until anyone can convince me otherwise, people drive the way they live – and the average driver is dangerous making life or death decisions for themselves and the people around them. WE all compute scalar implicatures in our own special way. But when the average driver “thinks” about any implications of their actions, it’s thinking that’s already been done a while back rather than thinking / reacting in real time.
Undeveloped Kids with their and/or logic are a stark contrast to adults who believe that the red light also means “go” because, in that moment, they saw “green” or that stop signs are “invisible” as long as there are no other cars or a one way arrow on the road means they can still drive in the opposite direction because they “saw a bicyclist do it.”
How Self Controlled Adults Avoid Life or Death Decisions
Unless you are an emergency worker of sorts who must make life or death decisions in your line of duty, you, as a self controlled adult, tend to precipitate good, safe situations with equal reactions from the people around you. As a self controlled adult, you have friends and family who feel safe around you as a responsible adult. As a result, they depend on you.
According to the study cited at the article, How brain maturation changes uninhibited teens to self-controlled adults:
..In the adults, the researchers observed an increase in baseline neural activity, even before the appearance of a cue. This was a significant finding, because low levels of baseline activity – as observed in adolescents – are predictive of errors. The researchers believe that this baseline neural activity is related to the preparation of a response, which is critical to inhibitory control…
That bit of information is very telling. Isn’t it? This study explains how kids make mistakes. But how does it explain an adult driver who shoots out from a driveway into busy traffic as if noone else is there?
I have observed this at least 100 times, enough to tell you from the dull looks and glazed over expression on their faces that there is an extremely low level of baseline neural activity. Either that, or there are an amazing number of people out there who know how to put on a poker face when they pull life or death, bone head maneuvers.
To me, it doesn’t look like there are any computations of scalar implicatures, or any computations, period. That person looks zombified – most of the time. If there are computations, I figure there are one of three things happening when the average driver incites a bone head maneuver:
- The driver believes that he owns the road or, at least, is more important than everyone else, therefore everyone else should get out of his way, especially when he’s had a bad day.
- The driver believes noone else is on the road, therefore he can drive free and clear whenever / wherever he chooses.
- The driver believes that cars bounce safely off each other or even flow like water with no harm done, therefore, he can drive with wreckless abandon.
Reason number one is akin to road rage. In all likelihood, computations are still required for the preconceived notions involved with reasons two and three. If the dull, glazed over expressions in the average driver are real, then there is only one real conclusion: No computations are being made at all because of the low level of baseline neural activity in the average driver.
Are blood / brain barrier toxins involved with that low level activity? It’s possible. I leave that to my readers to research. Please comment below on your findings.
How Stress Affects Our Life or Death Decisions
This one is no joke because stress affects all of us – especially people with that low level of baseline neural activity. The following is an excerpt from How stress can tweak the brain to sabotage self-control:
..The investigators say that their study indicates that even moderate levels of stress can impair self-control. “This is important because moderate stressors are more common than extreme events and will thus influence self-control choices more frequently and for a larger portion of the population,” says senior author Todd Hare…
Most people in modern day society are under moderate levels of stress – especially when they are driving. Some people, present company included, can handle stress better than most. I recall stopping behind a car that was supposed to be getting on the freeway; it never moved, yet the car was running. There was a line up behind me, so I decided to bypass this car. Lo and behold, I saw a woman behind the wheel who gave me a dirty look as if I wasn’t supposed to do that.
Do I feel sorry for someone like that? No. I like the old saying, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” And that woman probably shouldn’t be driving at all. Public transportation exists for people can’t take the stress of driving, yet the average driver has a wholesale inability to handle even moderate levels of stress; there’s just not that much offered in “modern” western culture that helps the average person handle stress.
Yes, there are meditation classes being offered in the corporate and adult education environments. Yes, there are exercise classes and support groups that help people handle stress. But the irony is that the people who have patience for these activities already have the resiliance to handle stress, while the people who don’t have patience for these activities have little to no resiliance to handle stress. Catch-22.
In our “modern day,” convenience oriented, instant gratification culture, patience and resiliance has been bred out of the average driver – which is why the average driver turns to nicotine, maryjane, or whatever sedative is available to “take the edge off” instead of taking time to learn how to relax and think clearly; that’s the culture of the average driver.
In that fold, here’s another title for this paper:
- How to Be Stressed to Make Life or Death Decisions
I’m sure there are those of you have have observed the result of other drivers under stress with low levels of baseline neural activity. Please put your observations in the comments section, but try to keep the horror to a minimum.
Speaking of horror, there is yet another characteristic of the average driver that “drives” them to borderline criminal behavior.
How to Make Life or Death Decisions During the Crash
Part of the Bandwagon Effect is that noone wants a car crash. The average driver takes that understanding a few steps further; since he fully realizes that he doesn’t handle stress very well and his driving habits are as “balanced” as he is, he prefers to drive a big car.
The average driver prefers to drive a big car because he/she doesn’t want to get hurt. In the back of their minds, they know their ungainly driving habits just might end up in a car accident, but they want to live to tell about it – never mind the other guy. If the other guy is not also driving a big car, “that’s their tough luck.”
Ironically, confident drivers usually invest in smaller economy cars or luxury cars; these cars might as well have targets painted on them because they are like “red capes being waved at a bull.” Although the average driver does not want a car crash, they also have low levels of baseline neural activity. In that backs of their minds are very few computations, if any, in the form of: “I don’t want to crash, but just in case, that other car would make a nice, soft landing for my big SUV…”
Here is an excerpt from Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making in which a team of researchers from CharitÃ©’s Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience using state-of-the-art measurement techniques, tested whether people are able to stop planned movements once the readiness potential for a movement has been triggered:
“..Our study now shows that the freedom is much less limited than previously thought. However, there is a ‘point of no return’ in the decision-making process, after which cancellation of movement is no longer possible…”
Unfortunately, that study also proves that there is a ‘point of no return’ for the average driver – and they know it, so they like to prepare themselves for it – never mind the other guy. Sometimes, the average driver gets crazy and can’t stop themselves. Now, that’s real road rage, especially when they discover that people don’t want to get out of their way:
How to Let Artificial Intelligence Make Life or Death Decisions for You
Speaking of state-of-the-art, the mouths of average drivers are watering for self driving cars. Google’s self driving cars are constantly buzzing around here in Silicon Valley like so many busy bees. The problem is that self driving cars have inherent problems; they can’t see everything. Even after the horrible, self driving Tesla accident, average drivers are still looking forward to having personal cybernetic chauffeurs.
Obviously, this would remove the stress of driving like public transportation, but they are also inviting a new cognitive bias (#14 from the list):
- Pro-innovation Bias – When a proponent of self driving cars tends to over value its usefulness and under value its limitations.
I’m guessing that pro-innovation bias includes over-confidence in the technology among other computed scalar implicatures. The problem is the average driver wants to treat self driving cars like a cybernetic chauffeur; they want remove that stress from their lives to pay attention to other things according to their baseline neural activity – like that Tesla driver did.
The study cited at Plans for self-driving cars have pitfall: the human brain, has concluded that the average passenger, not “driver,” of a self driving car would NOT be able to react fast enough in a sudden life or death situation; they would be too distracted.
Is there a difference between the average passenger of a self driving car and the average driver? Tell us in the comments section! Meanwhile, let’s consider one more issue that determines life or death decisions by the average driver.
How to Be Distracted to Make Life or Death Decisions
The average driver allows distractions to cause them to drive badly on a regular and continuous basis. You and I have learned our lessons already because of our computed scalar implicatures of past, near miss/hit experiences. You and I expect the usual delays like “rush” hour traffic, trains, road work / debris, occasional car accidents, and, of course, the average driver. We, as responsible drivers, have already computed these possibilities into our minds – and count our blessing when we don’t encounter them.
This is not true for the average driver since they suffer from stress and low baseline neural activity; they have a pattern in mind for the path to their destination and that pattern is easily interrupted.
As previously discussed, there are few thought processes, if any, within a stressed, zombified person imbued with outcome bias on top of all the other cognitive biases while being less than capable to react to a sudden life or death situation.
You may have heard the term, pattern interrupt, from mind control experts on how the average person goes into a slight trance when an expected pattern of behavior, like a handshake, is suddenly interrupted with a different pattern. The researchers cited at Derailed train of thought? Brain’s stopping system may be at fault call this phenomenon a broad stop:
Earlier research by Aron and colleagues had shown that the STN is engaged when action stopping is required. Specifically, it may be important, Aron said, for a “broad stop.” A broad stop is the sort of whole-body jolt we experience when, for example, we’re just about to exit an elevator and suddenly see that there’s another person standing right there on the other side of the doors.
I believe that we have all had trance-like experiences wherein an extremely euphoric or bad event made us feel as if we’re dreaming. Then we “wake up” to realize it’s real.
This is not so for the average driver because the average driver never quite “wakes up,” therefore, they are always easily interrupted. Whether they’re watching kids in the backseat, birds in the trees, or Harry Potter Videos, they are always easily distracted. For this reason, the neuroscience researchers have compared “broad stop.” neural activity observed STN to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
“This is highly speculative,” he said, “but it could be fruitful to explore if the STN is more readily triggered in ADHD.”
If the readers here have done their research on ADHD, STN, baseline neural activity, and drugs that cross the blood / brain barrier and found a correlation, then please include that in your comments below.
This article has been more of a heads up on what is going on with the average “driver.” Does their behavior change when they leave their cars? No. Their behavior is most noticeable when they are behind the wheel; that’s why I call them “drivers.”
Another reason I call them “drivers.” is that they are in the majority of the United States. As responsible, careful, disciplined adults who think as individuals, we are in the minority. The majority is what drives social mood in the country which, in turn, drives the profitability of correlating markets including the stock market.
I’m citing articles from the Socionomic Institute as I say this: The more negative social mood or the more bear the market is in this country, the more likely Hillary will become president. Now you know how voting for president became a life or death title at this article.
The only thing I don’t like about the studies from the Socionomics Institute is they treat social mood like a “wild monkey;” they know how the “monkey” behaves, but they don’t know what drives it. My diabetic mother compares her blood sugar to a “wild monkey;” she knows how it behaves, but she doesn’t know what drives it!
When I studied sociology decades earlier, I learned that public opinion is easily swayed by mainstream media. For example, the War of the Worlds radio play in the 1950’s actually had listeners believing there was an extraterrestrial alien attack going on.
Today, the average person who craves authority and instant gratification takes whatever mainstream info correlates with their belief systems to heart and does whatever it takes to maintain their emotional securities as they give up their humanity and trade it for illusions of health, wealth, and freedom. The news actors need only choose their stories to help manipulate social mood.
The life or death decision you must make is to be your own person and maintain your humanity or to join the average “driver.” Thanks for your time.
Randolph Fabian Directo
p.s. In order to maintain our humanity, we have to go deeper and be more disciplined than the average person. When we meditate upon reality, beyond the bubble of our own reality on what is happening with humanity, we can see our lives far more clearly with much more meaning than the average person. Remote Viewing is one way of doing this.