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Meditation / Permanently Moved / Podcast

301 – 1909 – Never Tried To Put A Cat In A Box

S2E19

 

“Mr Schrodinger I thought, had obviously never tried to put a Cat into a box before.”

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

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Never Tried To Put A Cat In A Box

This episode is more or less just collaging of interesting snippets. 

Kenric McDowell current lead for the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google Research tweeted the following three tweets yesterday on May 9 2019.

I read them here with permission:

Schrödinger puts me in the box with a vial of cyanide. Outside, he imagines my life suspended in quantum superposition, but I know I am alive.

‏Even muffled by this box, I recognize the timbre of his voice, his familiar accent. I continue to hold my breath.

An impishness overtakes me and I waste a few precious calories scratching at my container. Schrödinger pauses his lecture, just for a moment. We both know he’s heard my protest.

Kenric McDowell

Now THAT It is one of the best pieces of flash fiction I have ever read. I had a visceral reaction to it for a number of reasons that I won’t list here except one. 

When I was a kid – I don’t remember how old I would have been – but it was definitely in secondary school as I can still picture which lab in science block i was sitting in, the first time that our teacher (shout out Mr Bowman) told us about Schrodinger’s Cat the thought experiment. Whilst I understood the metaphor it is  an extremely poor one. 

This, Mr Schrodinger I thought, had obviously never tried to put a Cat into a box before.

Also yesterday May 9 2019. The Independent reported the following

“More than a quarter of people who regularly meditate have had a “particularly unpleasant” psychological experienced as a result, a new survey suggests.

The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, involved 1,232 participants who had at least two months’ meditation experience answering an international online survey.”

It continues:

“The results from the survey showed that more than one in four respondents (25.6 per cent) said that they had previously encountered “particularly unpleasant” meditation-related experiences.

Meanwhile, almost a third (30.6 per cent) of those who didn’t have a religious belief had a similar negative “trip”, compared to more than one in five (22 per cent) of those with a religious belief.

The lead researcher goes on to say:

“Very little is known about why, when, and how such meditation-related difficulties can occur: more research is now needed to understand the nature of these experiences.

“When are unpleasant experiences important elements of meditative development, and when are they merely negative effects to be avoided?”

He called for more studies to be carried out to help researchers learn when, for whom and under what circumstances these “unpleasant experiences” arise and the possible long-term effects.

What nonsense this all is.

For whom and under what circumstances these “unpleasant experiences arise” What kind of research are they going to do?

The other 75% of people that DIDN’T report a negative experience just need to do more. These people are just experiencing exactly what meditation is designed to do. It surfaces old traumas and half remembered experiences and makes you face them, process them, and then close the chapter on all the useless loops that keep spinning in our minds.

The idea that meditation is being marketed to people because it will make them feel better and happier is dangerous, not to mention the way it is being sold, here have the first 10 hours free or whatever and then you have to pay. Seriously, I’ve met drug dealers with more open and honest business practices.

Don’t get me started on mandatory mindfulness training mandated by an employer. This is the equivalent of giving someone a loaded gun & saying “here you go, have fun!” as you push them out the door. ‘Psychological problems’ as people would classify them are an expected side effect of a long term meditative practice. And like I said last week you can’t really go to the doctor about it, as they will immediately think you are mad.

Meditation is one of the only true weapons you have available to you in the culture war. 

But using it to just make you feel less bad is like using a JCB to dig out a window boxes.

Give it a try, but I’m not sure it’ll go the way you expect. 

Anyway, I’m really not an expert and you shouldn’t listen to me, I’m probably just talking total BS, and Im way off script now and i can’t remember what I was saying, oh yeah, that scientist guy needs to stop conducting surveys and just sit on the mat himself if he wants to know more.


The script above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in audio due to time constraints.

About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, Theorist and Strategist for hybrid environments. His concerns are with culture, humans and technology and the environment. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

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