Broadband

About this time last year my broadband provider had no problems that caused me lengthy periods looking at “Connecting…” every time I opened a new browser tab. Nothing to do with browser tabs. The time it took for TelstraClear’s servers to lose interest in serving me just happened to be about the same amount of time it usually took for me to find something on a page I was reading that I wanted to follow-up on another site.

I think it was about mid March when they sent an extremely non-committal letter offering a discount on degraded services while they did a “major upgrade”.

The problem that had never existed did go away about the time they announced their upgrades completed. The service after the upgrade has been no better than it had been before the non-existent problem and the alleged upgrade.

Fine. I am so over getting worked up over such nonsense. But don’t do it again.

They’re doing it again. Something between their modem and the world at large goes to sleep for a few minutes after any period of more than about five minutes inactivity. Most of the rest of the world is not currently suspect, as this almost certain non-problem also affects email.

Never mind. Just for now I’m enjoying occasional high-speed broadband.

Broadband is a very interesting thing. I never cease to be amazed at how much data can be crammed into a piece of copper. With fiber optic and wireless is relatively easy to visualise different wavelengths and frequencies “layered” so that many channels can exist simultaneously – lots of parallelism. With copper, coming from the days of 110 baud comms, the extraordinary tricks played to load every cycle with more data and to cram more cycles into every second simply boggle my mind.

I like to think of a correctly functioning brain as a broadband device. In the course of our day’s activitities it will rev up or chill as the needs dictate. That’s in a correctly functioning brain. That’s in a correctly functioning brain in an environment that mostly makes sense. Unfortunately for most of, our brains spend a lot of time in non-optimal states.

There’s a whole lot of factors that seem to be conspiring to lead many of us to dwell more in certain ranges of brain activity than is desirable. Society, our environment, mostly doesn’t make sense. We spend far too much time in a state of alarm – too much demanding our urgent attention. There is also a strong predilection for high adrenalin recreation – be it base jumping or MDK video games. The popularity of prescription and non-prescription stimulants suggests that a good proportion of us are hooked on a degree of speed. The necessity to bring so many kids “up to speed” with Ritalin et al also suggests that we are being required to function at a pace not wholly natural to our species.

The ideal of “the good life” is unattainable to those who can’t keep up the pace, leading to a special sense of non-belonging and failure that may manifest as any of the many mental illnesses, so-called.

Then there’s those who look at what most people are scrambling for and fail to see the point/value. When reality objectively sucks in terms of a set of well established values, all manner of escapist strategies may be adopted, ranging from any of the aforementioned mental illnesses and throwing in substance abuse as well.

Some can keep up the pace, but usually at the expense of anything that could be confused with a healthy relationship with others.

The wonderful thing about all this is that all of these behaviours reflect with statistical significance in our EEG output. Many people experiencing depression will exhibit low beta and or a beta/alpha lateral imbalance. Many people experiencing ADD will show low beta and excess theta. Alcohol and cannibis addicts often exhibit low theta. So it goes on.

Is it the correct strategy to try to pump up the deficiency by injecting it from outside? Hmmmm. Mebe. Superficially it seems this may work. Results from neurofeedback where they cultivate the desired frequencies with exercises suggest that correcting the deficiency is a good thing.

Thing is, I still haven’t seen one shred of evidence that exposure to a particular brainwave-range frequency, in the absence of any other factors, has the slightest influence on human thought or behaviour. There’s a whole heap of “other factors” that have not been adequately excluded – placebo and expectation being among them. Neurofeedback is a closed loop system – feedback makes all the difference, it makes the process “self proving”.

There are some direct, physiological effects – notably release or inhibition of various hormones – that have been directly associated with particular frequencies, but as far as I know, this information is derived from the natural activity of the brain. The supposition that mere exposure to said frequencies will have the same effect as has been observed when they occur naturally in the brain has not been adequately demonstrated.

I know I’ve said most of this before, several times, but it so important that it’s worth saying quite a few different ways… effectiveness of AVS/entrainment is more dependent on what you are consciously doing with your brain than on session content. A lot of good work can be done by training in each of the different “thought bands”. As suggested in an earlier paragraph – there a lot of reasons why a lot of us probably do have some anomalous deficiencies and excesses. I’ve had to deal with some of mine with Prozac, but them’s is the breaks.

Now that I have, with AVS, chemistry and a lot of different therapeutic and recovery experiences, got a brain that’s well-behaved most of the time, I can get into serious optimisation techniques.

I still enjoy sleep induction, anxiety reduction, pain relief and a few other fixed frequency sessions, but my interest lies in broadband applications – ways to interest as much of the brain as possible. My energies are directed not so much into finding just the right frequency to stimulate health, wealth, wisdom and popularity, but to exercise every neuron in my body, to find out what unsuspected treasures are stashed away in obscure, barely referenced, regions of the memory and to establish fresh new connections. When I think, I want to do so with the use of every shred of information/experience stashed away between my ears. To this end I write sessions that make my brain do unusual things. Training a brain to exhibit a particular frequency is akin to teaching a dog to sit – it knows how to do it, all you’re doing is establishing a tightly specified condition under which to do so. Frequency Independent Sessions are more like teaching a dog to sit whenever you want it to without having to give it any specific instruction.

Early on in the piece, research kept revealing single frequency cognitive/behavioural association. As time is passing more and more complex frequency relationships are being observed. One of the best documented, and of great interest to me, is the theta/gamma connection in cognitive binding. I’ve written a number of sessions to explore this, and I’ve been thrilled to bits with the results. I’ve not had a lot of feedback from others who have tried these sessions, but more than a few have reported “nothing happened”. Absolutely correct!!! These sessions are not structured in the way a “normal” targeted frequency session is. The only immediate perceptible effect is likely to be an assault on aesthetics. The readily recognised sensations associated with the distinct frequency ranges are unlikely to be felt. These sessions can be range biased – great for theta/delta meditation/contemplation as they’re not conducive to sleep as so many conventional low-frequency are.

It’s now way to late to cut this particular long story short, but I think I’ve reached the point where I’d better make my point – I’m not sure if my analogy has survived the flogging.

Lots of us are running on switched a single frequency basis. We switch between modes of thought. This results in relatively inefficient serial processing and often we switch too slowly, meaning that some decisions are made in the mental light of earlier circumstances, or too quickly, in which case anything can happen. Outcomes depend a lot on our “mood” at the time “intent” and “action” impulses occur. We often think we’re “multitasking”, but we’re timeslicing, not multiprocessing, not even multithreading.

A flexible brain is a broadband brain. A broadband brain “sees” all known facets of the matter at hand simultaneously without prejudice or favour. A broadband brain can home in on a detail, do it’s business and then zoom back out to the big picture. A broadband brain is much easier to keep satisfied, it doesn’t get bored as easily, it’s good at finding constructive ways to amuse itself.

Chances are that I’m representative of a very small demographic. There’s little likelihood that there will be a large number of people whose brain is structured sufficiently similarly to mine to fully benefit from sessions that I have developed and optimised for myself, but there will be some, and that’s why I’m developing AVS content for commercial distribution.

Cheers,
Craig

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Comments

  • seo companies  On November 24, 2009 at 1:12 am

    I work in seo and constantly need good access to the web, l have used Bt for my broadband, normally very good, but for a week my broadband was down with no compensation, get a dongle

  • CraigT  On November 24, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Have been seriously considering it, however cellular rates in NZ are still absolutely ridiculous.
    Cheers,
    Craig

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