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Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 4

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

49:30 min | 11 months ago

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 4

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM, dot. com slash red hat. October, sixteenth, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy two. Two Congressmen vanish on a small plane in Alaska. Despite a massive search they're never found. The case goes cold. That is until I. Start Researching it. I'm standing right. Portage Pass and Alaska my name is John Wall. Zach and what I found is one of the strangest stories you've never heard. Did he indicate what was in the suitcase? He said it was a bone. So join me as I travel from China to the Arctic Circle, trying to crack this case. Listen to missing in Alaska on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you find your favorite shows. Welcome stuff while your mind. Production of iheartradio has. Hey welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe McCormack and we're back with part. Of our exploration of psychedelics Robert. Have we ever made it to a part four on any series on the show before? I don't think we we have really. I mean. There have been cases where we've had like an informal series. Where each episode is more or less self contained so Yeah, I can't think of one offhand that that has been a four part on the other hand. We could've gone to eight parts Dune. Maybe well maybe. Certainly there there there there, there's so many topics that we could have divided up more or we could. Do dwelt on greater length this one though I mean. The curious thing is I feel like we've gone in fairly deep, but we still are are only providing like a basically a surface outline everything you know, and leaving lots of room for listeners to go out and explore topics and portions of this topic in greater depth well, yeah, with rich subjects, psychedelics especially anything dealing with the mind. You run into the problem. The deeper you go, the more you uncover that you should you know like you're always just? More cases instead of closing them right. It's like saying we were GONNA. If were going to do an episode unconscious. Yeah, can't it's you could sorta do an outline episode and I imagine we've probably done episodes that are essentially that in the past, but ultimately consciousness is an ongoing series on this show in the Saint Greece at for a number of different topics but hey, you're just jumping in. You should probably go back. Listen to those other episodes I tweeted a psychedelic parts one through three before this. Where what did we talk about? Robert well we talked about what psychedelics are, and also what what drugs are. We talked about how psychedelics factor into traditional societies how they factor into ancient and modern history, and ultimately how they factor into both the hopes and fears that individuals and groups of individuals have had for humanity's future. Yeah, and so in the last episode part three we focused a lot on the twentieth century in how there was research in the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties, looking into how psychedelics could be used in psychedelic assisted therapy for treating conditions like alcoholism A lot of psychiatrists in the nineteen fifties, so its potential is what they consider it. A psycho medic meaning that it would mimic the conditions of psychosis that would allow them to empathize with their patients, but then of course it turned out to be something rather different than just mimicking the effects of psychosis and then we talked about in the in the mid sixties to about nineteen seventy where the wave crashed psychedelic research. Encountered a lot of backlash in for several decades, it sort of was was forced into the underground, and it's only in recent years that it's experienced a resurgence, and that's what we're gonNA focus on today. Yeah, now I do WANNA. Throw in just a quick note that I don't want to leave anybody with the idea that all psychedelic research ended with Nixon's controlled Substances Act of nineteen seventy, and then didn't pick up at all until after the ninety. We've made that point in previous episodes I. Think but that most of it had been driven underground right I. I was actually a good source in this has a nice visual for You know the ups and downs of the research with the the Beckley Foundation at Beckley Foundation Dot, Org. a nice overview. Nice graphic now. This particular organization was founded in one, thousand, nine hundred by. Amanda Feeling I. Don't know if you remember Amanda Fielding. Oh, yeah, she I think she talks to Michael Pollen in his book how to change, your mind which we've been referring to throughout the past few episodes I'm sure we'll refer to several times again today but she talks to him I. Think at some point and says something like look I understand I have an image problem I'm druggy with a hole in my head, right? She underwent trepidation. Yeah, we have a an episode in the we did in the past on trepidation, but but the foundation itself is a UK based think. Tank UN accredited NGO dedicated to global drug policy reform psychedelic research, anyway as they point out the the Control Substances Act of Nineteen, seventy effectively ended all government-sanctioned psychedelic research and brought everything down to a mere trickle be. Be Still had some research going on the the lowest point identified on this website is seemingly in the mid nineties. Though it was you know it was also very low in the mid eighty S, and now we're at the point where the research is even surpassing the previous high point, the previous heyday of the late nineteen sixties I've got an informal theory that you will see a an almost perfect correlation in in the twentieth century timeline between the quantity and quality of action movies produced by Hollywood and the lack of psychedelic research being done. It's like the year speed came out can't have much psychedelic research going. Through that would be interesting to compare those timelines for sure. Now I thought maybe the first thing that would be good to get into. Today is a question about neuro-. Chemistry the question of what's actually happening in the brains of people who take psychedelics like LSD in Silla Sivan. We've talked a lot about the anecdotal phenomenal logical reports. People have you know what do people commonly say about their experiences on these drugs? But what's causing them to have those experiences chemically in the brain right because it's all obviously gonNA, come down to neurochemical situation. The magic. Mushrooms are not actually magic right The machine elves are not actually working on your mind There's something going on chemically inside the brain. Yes, but to go back to another point we've made repeatedly. Already is the importance of setting setting psychopharmacology should acknowledge that especially with some drugs psychedelics being some of them that that that context is going to highly influence what the chemicals do to the brain and that in many ways these chemicals should be thought of as not necessarily the cause of particular experiences, but facilitators of experience of varying degrees of intensity. so these psychoactive compounds are of course different from one another LSD is not exactly suicide and suicide is not exactly d. m. t., and so forth. So what's found about one doesn't necessarily apply to all of them, but there do appear to be some important chemical similarities in the brain, and so i WanNa talk about Serotonin and Serotonin receptors on the neurochemical level there appears to be this really important connection between certain psychedelics in the endogenous neurotransmitter Serotonin zero tone, is also known as five hydroxy trip to me and the role of Serotonin in the brain, and the body is fantastic complex and still not. Not Fully understood and I think partially because of its role in the history of research on mood and depression Serotonin is often thought of as an internal chemical that creates Innis or positive mood such that if you don't have enough of it, you get depressed, but I think it turns out that this is a monumentally oversimplified and largely incorrect view, the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs these days are s are is which stands for selective Serotonin, reuptake inhibitors and. And what they do is they block the reabsorption of Serotonin in the brain increasing serotonin levels overall, but we shouldn't draw the wrong conclusions from this. It is not simply a case that more serotonin equals more, happiness or more, serotonin equals less depression in fact, ending up with too much Serotonin, due to drug interactions can cause potentially fatal condition known to Serotonin Syndrome right one key interacting interaction where it can occur is is with Iowa Ska and. And certain antidepressants, yeah, which is a reason that is often stated like you should be very careful if you are engaging in what's called freelance therapeutic psychedelic us well. Yeah, exactly I mean that's one of the things that We alluded to and I. Guess we'll talk about more. Is the episode goes on? Is that even though we've established? PSYCHEDELICS have relatively low recognized risk when compared to many other drugs. It's not impossible for them to. Represent especially when you think about how they may interact with existing psychological conditions or other drugs that you might be taking right so back to Serotonin while Serotonin does seem highly involved in the internal regulation of mood, it's mechanism is somewhat complicated it's also involved in a number of other processes throughout the body and brain that aren't directly related to mood. At least as far as we know, for example digestion, the like the vast majority of the body's Serotonin is found. Found in the gastrointestinal tract, and it has something to do with the regulation of bowel movements. I'm sure some comedian out. There has a great joke about like they're the depression. Slash bowel movements, serotonin thing I don't know. Haven't put it together in my head, but run with it, somebody Serotonin also has a lot of other uses in the body. It apparently somehow seems linked to the regulation of sleep to bone metabolism. So you know like the creation Osteo? Blasts Osteo. OSTEO genesis sexual arousal blood clotting, so there's a lot of stuff going on. And according to the PSYCHEDELIC researcher Robin Elkhart Harris Who's going to show up in research that we we'll talk about later quote, a compelling unified theory of brain serotonin function has not yet been established. This is likely due to the exceptional complexity of the serotonin system with its fourteen plus receptors over twice. The number identified for any of the other major neuro- modular systems, so there are A. A, lot of different, basically holes in the body in the brain for that molecule to put its peg into, and they probably all do slightly different things or maybe largely different things, nevertheless, it is clear that Serotonin play some important role in psychiatric disorders like depression and one recent theory. I thought this is pretty interesting. It's probably not conclusive. We appreciate you don't have a agreed upon theory of Serotonin yet, but one recent theory is that in Carl. Hart Harris's words Serotonin? Are Important for? Mediating an individual's sensitivity to context so serotonin might play this important role in the brain for like increasing the salience of contextual things in the environment interesting, but where to psychedelics come in, so what happens is the classic psychedelics appear to bind to a specific subclass, of Serotonin, receptor known as the Serotonin two, a receptor in these receptors are found concentrated in the human cortex. The CORTEX is the outer layer of the cerebrum brain, which is associated with a lot of higher brain functions like sensations. You know visual Cortex, the auditory CORTEX. It's associated. Centers for speech and language for voluntary action and stuff like that so when you take a psychedelic like LSD or suicide and mushrooms, the active compounds make their way into the brain, and they sort of play act as serotonin binding to these Syra two a receptors. Now because we have such a limited grasp of the role of Serotonin to begin with, we don't fully know how to interpret the Niro. Chemistry here like what's happening with the Serotonin receptors that's associated with or creating the psychedelic experience, but Robin Harris hypothesize. Is something really interesting? The Socar Hurt Harris says that quote Serotonin differentially encodes behavioral and physiological responses to uncertainty so under this model. You'd have like another serotonin receptor at one, the Serotonin one a receptor in car hurts Harris, says quote that provides Basil Control. Control during normal conditions be a moderating emotion and anxiety and promoting a generalized patients, but the two a receptor which psychedelics have these agonists properties for the PSYCHEDELICS SCO in the to a receptor quote is hypothesized to engage more during conditions of crisis when the above mentioned default mechanism becomes sub optimal Eg when an individual's internal and or external mill you become so changeable, indoor, inconsistent with his or her prior beliefs and behaviors that significant revisions become mandated in other words Carl Hart harasses hypothesizing that psychedelics provide a neurochemical. neurochemical hyperstimulation to receptors in the brain that normally work during situations of crisis in change to quote relax prior assumptions or beliefs held at multiple levels of the brain's functional hierarchy, perceptually emotionally cognitively philosophically G. in terms of biases in so doing it opens a door to heightened sensitivity to context an ideal precondition for effective change. So that was really interesting to me like it to be clear. We still don't know of this hypothesis of what's happening is correct but it seems informed by what we do know about. About serotonin receptors in about the Niro Chemistry of psychedelics and I guess the idea is that they sort of mash frantically at buttons in the brain that naturally when pressed caused the brain to break internal habits, associations and traditions at every level from the senses to the beliefs interesting, so in the same way that a basically like a traumatic experience can change or alter our our our preconceptions about the world, or in the same way that glimpsing something marvelous say like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time might. Have some at least minor change in the way you think about about the natural world like the the psychedelic state is kind of like leaning into those The those kind of experiences though that facilitate change I think that's right. According to this hypothesis, at least in this does seem to ring true to me based on everything else. We add It's Kinda like how I. Think we've talked about this on the show before. How it really seems like it's easier to break habits or make changes in your life while you're on vacation or in in any other kind of doesn't to be just vacation while your external contextual circumstances are different you know you're faced with a different environment different stimuli. Maybe you're meeting different people. You're facing different challenges or problems that seems to give rise to processes in the brain that makes us better at changing what we've done and how we've been before, and it makes sense right, because if we as an organism, we change location we change will. We changed set and setting. You know we we end up having to update our priorities, and our our judgments about where we are, and ultimately who we are and so it seems like under this hypothesis, psychedelics may be doing something like that, but in an even more intense and chemically focused way right and. It's interesting in. In a way that does not necessarily require an experience of trauma, right or or some sort of you know tremendous physical travel well, but there are interesting parallels to trauma I mean again. This is something that's very common in the reports that we've read about with the participants of the Marsh Experiment people very often report having some kind of experience of dying or going through some great trauma during their trip, and yet after their trip on the whole, they report positive effects and. And changes in their mindset in their life so I i. don't think we should necessarily discount the the relationship trauma. There may be sort of a not physical traumas, but but emotional and psychological traumas that get simulated or run through in the brain during the psychedelic experience. Yeah, I mean so many of these accounts that we've read or it ourselves with they they do involve at least a challenging portion of the overall trip. Maybe the trip itself is not a quote, unquote bad trip Because again! That's kind of disingenuous who get into the idea of like purely a good trip. Bad trip scenario so yes, so much of the time there is a for lack of better word, a monster, but sometimes. You have to defeat a monster right I mean it's it's. It's kind of the old hero's journey will. This is one of the things that's commonly reported by psychedelic guides, people who do psychedelic assisted therapy that Michael Talks about this and how to change their mind, a good bit about one effective strategy of guiding people through their meditative experience on on psychedelics is to encourage them. Them to approach challenging experiences in their mind, so if you know they're faced with something that scares them. Don't run away from it. Go toward it, and this actually tends to cause people to have very empowering experiences of discovery I'm reminded of the the original ending to Alan Moore's the for vendetta. I don't know if you ever the comic book I. Don't believe all the movie, but. I don't think this made it into the film, but in in the book There's an individual who ends up taking LSD I. Believe it was LSD and visiting the site of what is essentially like like a Labor camp or In order to fully process like. The state of the world and his relationship with it, really a more of like a shamanistic kind of psychedelic encounter, but one that is intentionally. Traumatic because the character feels that they must, they must confront something that is troubling and traumatic in their life. Yeah, I think there could very well be uses like that that are that are legitimate and take best advantage of the psychopharmacology at work here all right on that note. We're GONNA take a quick break, but we'll be right back. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM DOT com. Slash cove nineteen. Nineteen! This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping IBM dot. com slash coverted nineteen. Okay we're back, so we've been talking about the neurochemical action of psychedelics and some ideas about what may be going on in the brain there with their relationship to certain serotonin receptor, the Serotonin to a restaurant, but there are also ways of going beyond the neurochemical level, and just looking at the neurological effects of psychedelics through brain imaging studies right? Yeah, now I mean nothing spells good trip more than getting somebody on suicide and. In FM machine right, but you can't. I mean I wonder what those subjective experiences are like. Surely somebody's studied that like asking for the The experiential reports of people who've been in the more I but I mean the the studies are quite useful. Looking at where where does the blood flow change? What once receiving oxygen brain pollen talks about this at length in his book one of the most interesting things is that. psychedelics apparently tend to reduce activity in one of the most interesting networks of the brain, which is the default mode network oh? Yes, so our old adversary will normally you'd be thinking okay. PSYCHEDELICS must be causing increased activity somewhere right, but here it's fascinating to see where you know. The brain may be empowered by suppressing certain parts of it, so the default mode network is a brain subsystem. We've talked about before. It involves different regions all over the brain, so it's not just like one little node somewhere. You know it's happening all over, but it's a a set of linked. And related nodes the brain that worked together, and it's normally believed to be most active when we are not engaged in any other particular task, it seems to be highly associated with an idol wandering mind, but it is not only active when we're mentally unoccupied. It's not only when our mind is wandering or idol that we use the default mode network activation of the default mode network is associated with many kinds of deliberate thought processes. Processes especially. Self Referential Thought Processes so like autobiographical and self evaluative thinking the default mode network seems highly involved in knowing facts about yourself and understanding and evaluating characterizations of yourself. If I give you a list of adjectives and ask you to think how they apply to you, we'll probably see activation in regions of the brain that are associated with the primary activity of the default mode network, right, and pretty much any you catch yourself. Thinking, contemplating worrying over who you are, and how others perceive you. This is the network that is in play right The default mode network also seems to be associated with forms of Meta cognition, so like reflecting on your own emotional states and thought processes which this in itself. I mean not really categorize. Any of these is an is an is good or bad right, but but certainly Meta cognition in and of itself, being able to think about your emotions and be self. Self aware I. Mean it's a It is worth pointing out that even though it's a lot of worrying is caught up in the default mode network you can argue then that a certain amount of our ability to to stop and think about how we're thinking is also tied up there. Sure I mean yeah, the default mode network is I mean it's quite clear. We have it for reason right probably. Probably it does something useful for us. It probably just comes with a lot of downsides to it probably allows us to be philosophical and to you know to do a lot of stuff that we value about human culture and human mental abilities, but it just also tends to be highly involved in ruminating on what's wrong with yourself in the world and your life, and all that right and the next two examples. Examples a key example of this well, yeah, so the default mode network seems to be highly associated with mental time travel, thinking about things that happened in the past and episodic memories of those things, and then imagining events in the future, which at all, this is key, if we are going to to navigate the world, be at the world that we built for ourselves or even just the natural world Need to be able to, we need to be able to to mental time travel to to think about the lessons we've learned and prepare for the challenges ahead, but of course as humans we take this to ridiculous extremes, get trapped in the past or trapped in the future and everything that is between those points, is just stretched out to the point of ripping dimension rumination again as a you know psychological. Psychological phenomenon rumination in a way positive version of it could be thinking about plans for the future, trying to think through what you should do and figure out the best thing to do. That's an important skill that we have with our brains, but also that leads to people. Just imagining you know like we're cursive. Thought Patterns of the way all the ways things could go wrong in horrible ways that are. Not Actually useful right well ultimately to it's you know the idea of pursuit of happiness. The idea that we should be happy That's That's that's a that's also human complication, right? It's not only part of the The evolutionary model right I would guess one of the easiest ways to make yourself unhappy is to try really hard to be happy, right? I think about how to make yourself happy. That's the only way I remember. Moments of the purest joy are going to be the the times when we're not actively seeking and grasping for it, yeah. Another thing that seems to be associated with the default mode network is thinking about other people. It's important for theory of mind. So imagining the mental states of others trying I I'm thinking what is Robert Thinking that's theory of mind, but then also in making judgments and evaluations about other people. Yeah, and of course this escape this this is one of the things that's involved in some of the noblest and most sought after human experiences. You know this is. Is this is tied up in love and and and family, but it's also caught up in like the worst inclinations of humanity as well. Yeah, and so the default mode network. We've bashed before, but obviously it not bad and I guess this is sort of a sidetrack, but I have read somewhere that the the concept of the default mode network is one coherent brain subsystem has been criticized or challenge some so not I think not all neuroscientists. that the default mode network is actually a coherent network, but like a lot of these things it lends itself to being used as a mere metaphor for making sense of our. Our mental processes in the similar way that Serotonin can be sort of misinterpreted as. The perhaps the happening of The default mode network if it is being misused as Metaphor some of the Times or even a lot of times people. Maybe it's a little more useful or at least less harmful a metaphor well I think it's still largely accepted. Within neuroscience. I'm not talking about it like. It not being valid theory, but more like when I when I'm engaging with it like to what extent of my engaging with it as a metaphor for how my mind. Oh Yeah I, see! Yeah, yeah, yet I mean. It's just so interesting that this would be a major effect of psychedelics on the brain, the suppression of activity in the default mode network like could it be that suppression of activity in the default mode network, which is so largely focused on the self and Meta cognition and thinking about. About the past and future in the evaluation of self, the this suppression is what causes all these subjective reports of EGO, loss or ego dissolution on Psycho psychedelics at boundary dissolution. Yeah, and again if you don't remember from, we talked about it in the first episode of the series, Ego, loss or ego, suppression is one of the most interesting common reports of people, especially on higher doses of psychedelics, and the best way to I mean this kind of inherently ineffable, but the best way to describe it I guess is. The experience of having experience without a self to have the experience or of sort of being without being an IRA me and of course. Isn't it interesting that we also encountered this dream? Yeah, as well except maybe not that first night of in a new location I remember study that came out several years ago the that pointed out that What do you see with increased activity on that first night of slumber, the a new location, the default mode network Oh, so. So you're dreaming with a higher higher state of awareness of self and self, other distinctions, right or at least It's to revved up to allow like proffer night's sleep to take place so so the ego lost. Thing definitely suffers from effort in F- ability, but to whatever we can't understand it. It seems to involve a reduction or loss in the sense of self as a distinct other separate from the rest of the universe, or from nature, or from whatever's being observed is. Ego losses, pure experience without a me and so I guess you can see if if the default mode network is being suppressed. The default mode network does all the stuff we were just talking about that may be what's active there, and it's also worth pointing out that there are studies showing that meditation tends to reduce activity in the default mode. Absolutely we've talked about some of the research on the show before. And as we discussed in previous episodes, there are some strong parallels between the PSYCHEDELIC. PSYCHEDELIC experience caused by drugs. And the you know the experience of Master, meditators or people who achieve you know like the greatest points of I don't know what you call it. The peaks of conscious experience as as sought after by by meditation like Mindfulness Oh. Yeah, mean. It comes back again to this idea that Meta cognition is part of the default mode network. It's like yes, you can. You can potentially turn to pharmaceutical and pharmacological keys to the to the locks that That imprison you, but also the the key is already in the cell like they're. The key is present arguably within the default mode network itself the one thing at least seems to me. I mean I. You're much more experience with meditation than I am is that? The Meditation route seems to take a lot of work right like it takes a lot of practice and people can't always necessarily get there on their own Yeah, I mean it does, but then again I think I think one of the not trying to knock it. No, no no but I think the other side is like we have to drive home that with with psychedelics, like the again, the importance of set and setting an intention. Yeah, did this is not. Necessarily the easy road either I mean it does seem to be the case that with. psychedelics you can, you can induce a state like this a lot quicker, but at the same time it's not it's not easy. It's just not like hitting. The Nirvana Switch on somebody's brain And and there's GonNa. Be a certain amount of work involved there, and there's going to be there going to be some risks well. Maybe we should talk about what the science says about those risks when we come back from another break. After all you've been through the class of twenty twenty deserves a proper sendoff, which is why Iheartradio Doritos brings you commencement the podcast, featuring speeches and dedications from icons we admire most here from Halsey were little kids. We've shown the world while we can be sold a lot of things. 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Were back, so we've we've spoken a lot on this show. In these episodes about like particular examples of individuals taking psychedelic substance and having some sort of mind altering experience life altering experience. really talked about any of the sort of you know cautionary tales of the psychedelic experience for for one part, because those stories are pretty prevalent in our culture, due to the the backlash and the moral panic surrounding psychedelics but I did think it'd be helpful at this point in the episode to focus briefly on one example and that would be I. I think one of the more famous examples of of psychosis schizophrenia, Schizo, affective disorder, being linked to the psychedelic experience to the consumption of psychedelic substance beach. Boys Co founder Brian Wilson. Brilliant musician, but has also lived with schizo affective disorder since the mid sixties with his symptoms, reportedly remorse emerging shortly after he took St, and after he had taken it after the symptoms began to emerge, he would. He ended up having to struggle with auditory hallucinations from that point on still struggles with them. today I understand. Now at the same time it's worth noting that he's had a lot of positive things to say about the spiritual and creative influence of psychedelics, but his case does seem to stand as cautionary tale of Psychedelic, how psychedelics can affect someone with a predisposition for schizophrenia or Schizo, affective disorder, or at least the perception? They could have played a role they right I, mean because I think we still don't know for sure exactly what that interaction is, but it does not, but but it is it. Certainly it seems real. Yet everyone mentions it and urges everyone to exercise caution in that area. If you do have a family history of schizophrenia, absolutely I mean I'm all for exercising caution. We I think we've said this in every episode before, but we do want to reiterate that we are just trying to be descriptive in these episodes, we are not telling you that you should take psychedelics. That's a decision you can only make on your. Your own and hopefully in with the consultation of a medical professional and learning doing your own research, and all that kind of stuff, so you should make sure that if you are going to go down this path, you understand the risks for yourself and you do all the digging. You need to do there now. It does seem to be the case that there are plenty of reports of experiences on psychedelics. Being timed to make it seem as if they have triggered symptoms in people with a predisposition for psychosis, and of course psychosis, we, we should probably define that I found a good definition by the National Alliance on mental illness that psychosis is disruptions to a person's thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real, and what isn't and so so psychosis a symptom, not a disease. It's a symptom of conditions like schizophrenia, Schizo, affective disorder, but the. The I think an important thing to emphasize there is that psychosis is understood as as causing problems, recognizing reality, which is not necessarily the same as the kinds of experiences, the perceptual disturbances that people might have on psychedelics where you can see things, but you in many cases know that they're not really physically present, but I guess the question is is impure ical evidence about whether the use of psychedelics actually causes psychosis There's a little bit so I was reading a twenty fifteen. Fifteen news feature for the journal Nature by Zoe. Cormier which pointed to two different studies from recent years finding no link between psychedelic use and symptoms of psychosis or other mental health complaints, so these studies are not necessarily definitive. What the evidence at least as measured here seems to indicate, so the first study was published in the Journal of psychopharmacology in two thousand, fifteen by Johanne Krebs. psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior of population study here, the authors reviewed. Reviewed survey data from a huge population study, comprising more than one hundred and thirty five thousand adults in the United. States and the cross checked the use of LSD Silla, Sabin and Mescaline so the study only applies to those three drugs, not necessarily to others those three drugs verses, reports of mental health problems and I should know that almost twenty thousand of the roughly one hundred and thirty five thousand adults in study had used Psychedelic, so that's about fourteen percent. They found no correlation of quote. After adjusting for socio demographics, other drug use and childhood depression, we found no significant associations between lifetime use of psychedelics in increased likelihood of past year, serious psychological distress, mental health treatment, suicidal thoughts, suicidal plans in suicide attempt depression anxiety. We failed to find evidence that psychedelic uses an independent risk factor for mental health problems. So that's one thing now on the other hand cormier. Article also cites an interview with. With Charles Grope Pediatric Psychiatrist at the University of California Los Angeles, who is also an advocate for some use of psychedelics in certain clinical settings and grow seems generally encouraged by these findings, but warns that we shouldn't conclude that there are no risks and says that individual cases of negative effects from psychedelic US do occur one example. He gives his hallucinogen, persisting perception, disorder or HP PD, which is sometimes described as like the never ending trip. Trip it involves like repeated or incessant or invasive disturbances of the visual field or shimmering lights, or seeing dots or something also known as acid flashbacks. If you will and grow, gives a quote, a saying quote, I've seen a number of people with these symptoms following a psychedelic experience, and it can be a very serious condition. Right Yeah I. You know. We have an older episode from years back on this that I think was. was based in part on a two thousand thirteen study in. If I remember correctly that study found that you know it's, it's x was extremely rare in a large part blown out of proportion anti-drug messaging, because of course that was part of the moral panic. That everyone is GonNa, take, LSD, then they're going to. You're either going to force yourself through a Keyhole, or you're going to deal with acid flashbacks the rest of your life. or it's going to be the blue sunshine scenario right. Dominate Oh man blue sunshine has got to be the best and ugliest psychedelic exploitation cinema. Yeah, and thoroughly like non psychedelic really yeah, but still worth seeing that movie. That movie is a Tan shag carpet at is just hideous starring Zalman King. But I do have to dimension to that I. Remember when we aired this episode and this is I think I did with Julie Douglas Back in the day we did hear from a couple of listeners who insisted that they had experienced acid flashbacks. assure point in their life so I mean the the accounts are out there there is At least At least accounts of of people dealing with these, and you know claiming to deal with the reality of of acid flashback so you know perhaps more steady as needed. According to Grove is it's not like that. They're serious doubt that some versions of these things exist. The evidence seems to show that if to whatever extent these problems do exist. They're rare enough that they don't really show up statistically right well, then you know also wonder too like what other factors are involved. They're like. If you have had a psychedelic experience, and it was meaningful as a lot of them end up being. They ended up being something that stick with you, and they give you a glimpse of You know something that is in some way hallucinatory, and then later on. You have some sort of hallucinatory. Experience that is tied to another situation like you might have a tendency to interpret it. as being linked to that original the use slugs. Correlation causation here. I mean the authors of the first study Krebs and Johansen. I mentioned they point out that these symptoms of HP also occur in people who have never taken psychedelics. They you know, so there could be. There could be causality issue there. decided another study. There was a study by Hindriks all in the Journal of psychopharmacology in two thousand, fifteen called Classic psychedelic use, is associated with reduced psychological distress and suicidality in the United States adult population, so this study looked at an even larger sample about one hundred and ninety thousand survey respondents. It also found that the use of those three psychedelics was not an again. I mentioned earlier. It was LSD. Silla Sabin and masculine. so not not necessarily applying to the others. Those are the classic Psychedelic I. Guess So okay. The psychedelic classic yeah. That'd be confused with your classical psychedelics, not new psychedelics. Anyway this study found that those three psychedelics were not associated with any adverse mental health outcomes. The study actually found some evidence to the exact contrary people who had at some time used LSD or Silla. Sivan had a lower lifetime risk of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts, though it's not clear that the psychedelics caused these lower rates have suicidal thoughts and behavior. Maybe there's some factor not controlled for that makes people both less prone to these problems and more likely. Likely to try psychedelics at some point, but it is worth noting that the use of other non psychedelic illicit drugs was mostly associated with increases in risk for past month, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. psychedelics appeared to be the exception. They were the drugs that that did not cause increase mental health problems, and so to go back cormier article this was written up with a with a quote from one of the authors of the paper, saying quote the. The author was Matthew. Johnson, saying we're not claiming that no individuals have ever been harmed by psychedelics, anecdotes about acid casualties can be very powerful, but these instances are rare and he says at the population level. The the data about the harms of psychedelics have been overstated so again. We're not advising any particular plan of action or telling people to take psychedelics I would say the bottom line from my reading on the risks of psychedelics. Is that there? There do appear to be some risks, but the risks are rare. There are risks to any drug any drug you're going to take. You should research from science space sources, and if possible, get medical advice before embarking on but then also those risks that do exist seemed to be relatively low and relatively rare compared to the risks of lots of other known drugs. Yeah, ultimately base your decisions on science, and not on whatever the last horror movie saw. or or or comedy? You could go either way right. Yeah, depending on what you're watching, you get a very skewed view of what a psychedelic is and what kind of experience you can expect from them. Aren't psychedelic comedies generally more horrifying than psychedelic? I'm trying to think of what a good Si- well know you're talking like the monkees movie like head and. So forth or yellow submarine that's. Okay, do we do we run into the problem? We envisioned we might. Which is that? We thought this was going to be the last part, and then we only got halfway by the time where it was like fifty minutes now. Yeah I think we're GONNA need to cut this episode off. There's GonNa. Be One more so for everyone out there. WHO's enjoying this This ride of psychedelic episodes then rejoice because we have one more for you. for the rest of you will the just. Bear in mind. There's only one more I mean you can't get off. You gotta go all the way to the end point right right? Yeah, in our next episode we're going to. 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LSD psychosis IBM iheartradio Serotonin Syndrome Alaska Journal of psychopharmacology apple Cormier IBM smart Red Hat US Hart Harris Silla Sabin HP Hollywood Zach China UK Robin Harris
The Mighty Sarlacc

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:21:51 hr | 1 year ago

The Mighty Sarlacc

"Today's episode is brought to you. By IBM SMART is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM, dot com slash Red Hat Jordan, Magic Bird Barkley some of the greatest players to ever grace. The court played together as a team only once the nineteen ninety-two Dream Team. I'm Jack McCallum. Sports illustrated writer best-selling author now host of a new podcast to Dream Team tapes the real story of the greatest team in NBA history here the whole story straight from the voices of the legend themselves listened to the Dream Team tapes on the iheartradio APP on Apple, podcast or wherever you get your podcast. Starting Monday may eighteenth. Now for traffic. We take you to week way Ray and the channel five sky skiff. Hey Jim. We're pretty clear. Sandstorms across much in Dune see this morning, so that's great news for Sky Hopper Land speeder traffic so far. However, we're already seeing a bit of Pre Boon to eve classic traffic heading into Moss aspect bless things are grinding to a halt out near the great pittock. Are Koon and the wall? Rats are play and is it looks like the huts are hosting another multi skiffs. SARLAK offering hallways best to steer clear unless you've got an invite especially if you've got an invite. All too true ray now let's check in with merge surged on for a look at this week. Solar activity looks like we're in for a double helping a solar flares. Welcome to blow your mind production of iheartradio. Pay Welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb, and I'm Joe McCormick, and here we are finally here in a galaxy far far away. I did not think we would end up doing star wars content especially so close to May fourth, but not on it Strange. Yeah now fittingly. We're recording this episode on May the fourth. But. That just benefits the two of us. The listeners are going to get a little later. However, since the May, the fourth like sales begin before may the fourth. I think it's okay to assume that May. The is just generally a a multiday, even multi week affair in which we celebrate Star Wars. Yeah, it's like Christmas is gradually creeps out to the. Yeah the thirty days of May, the fourth, or what have you? Now, so you've been going on a star wars expedition in your house. Right yeah yeah. We've been watching all the all the movies We also watched the Amanda Laurean. I think at this point. We've watched everything except the most recent one and we're going to catch that one tonight because it just dropped on on Disney plus. Yeah we've been. We've been full full blown into the Star Wars. And it's been. It's been pretty fun because. I. I've I think I've been personally been like several different stereotypical star wars fans over the years. I was born in seventy eight, so the original trilogy and their associated toys were just a key part of my childhood and interest is aspects of their structure were were based on. archetypes of comparative mythology, you know these films introduced Minneapolis to some of these mythic energies, so I remember loving. These films as a child remember lapsing somewhat during what I think of is like the Star Wars dark age of the early and mid nineties. I think that's when I was getting like the star. Wars insider fan magazine Oh cool. Yeah, eighty kind of gone. Underground I mean I don't WanNa. Say Undergone because obviously there was. Still tons of content coming out and you know the expanded universe and so forth there were books comics were there were games, but it it wasn't as as prevalent in the pop culture at that time, but of course it was gearing up, because then came the prequels right I know I remember reading some of the extended universe stuff and getting into that in the. Late nineties, but then we had nineteen ninety nine's phantom menace, and I remember being first of all like super excited for it, and then I was a bit of a prequel apologised. Regarding the phantom menace, and then I became kind of a snarky fan who focused only on the flaws of the prequel films and I'd say I didn't fully recover from that I watched the man delorean with my family, and we all loved it, and then we started watching films again, and now I'm I'm a leaning into the four, and I'm just saying a enjoying all of them. I've enjoyed each film. That, I've watched and dench really kind of tried to watch them, you know with my son also kind of through his eyes, and it's been a blast. What are his favorites? He tells me that his favorites are the phantom menace and re. What's the Yeah Phantom menace in return of the jet? I but especially phantom menace he had in fact requested that we watch that one again. Again, and so we watched half of it last night. Those it, it does not escape my attention that those are the two that have the highest quotient of cuteness content they do they have. They have cuteness, but then also they just have a ton of creatures, and I think that's also key 'cause like the phantom menace. Most of it takes place on like a dinosaur ridden. A planet where there's just you know monster monster after monster, and and yeah, you have the comic elements as well and and you have an actual child in it. Which I think also is you ads this kind of? For younger viewers, though going against what I was just saying about, cuteness obviously returned to the jet is where we get the e walks the classic Teddy Bear Planet, but the first half of return of the jet I. It's just when we re watched it not too long ago. I was like man I love this when I was a kid, but the first half of this movie is Gross. It is full of. Just like like nasty slimy critters everywhere, and and and horrible monsters and and I would say actually the thing. Maybe that stands out the most in my mind is going to be the subject of today's episode, which is the Sarlak yes. Yes, the Sarlak it features heavily into this portion of the film, and it is just something that just captures a certainly captures the imagination you know here's this pit here. Is this thing and I think it also played well with the action figures growing up? Because you could, you could pretty much Mak- sarlak there was I. don't think there was a Sarlak. Like action place or anything. Wrong you are a really. They had one because I was just thinking you just had you had holes you had things you could do with like a bedspread and you had instant Sarlak Robert I want you to scroll all the way down to the bottom of our notes and have a look at the images I've attached for I. Thought these would fill you with joy. This comes from a board game that I found evidence of on the Internet late last night I think. It's called. Battle at SAR lacks pit. It was released at the same time as the movie or sometime around the movie. I guess to help promote it and it is a it is a board game with a Sore Latte or like a cardboard Sarlak cone setup, and then it's got a little barger skiff on top where it looks like you play with miniatures of Hans Solo Luke Skywalker Chewbacca and I guess. Maybe that's also supposed to be Laya. It's Kinda hard to tell. The miniatures are not super detailed, and you have to fight your way through these. Green pig, face guards and Boba Fett to Confront Jab at the hut and I guess if you lose you fall off into the Sarawak's mouth. Will that it looks? Beautiful I mean especially the cover art in this box. Incredible and in the set itself is pretty ingenious, especially given the time, I can't. Obviously I can't speak for the the actual Gameplay, but it looks intriguing. Yeah, I've never seen this before. Well I know you're miniatures. Guy, so I was wondering if you might end up looking this thing up I might have to the miniatures. It looks like the miniatures are supplied poorly painted. Perhaps they're supplied unpainted and what we're looking at here is the work of a child roughly painting them I. I can't tell but yeah. I'm going to have to look into this more this. This is interesting. If I had known this existed. When I was a kid, I would have insisted on so I. Guess we should. We can assume that most listeners have probably seen return to the jet I. Don't the Sarlak doesn't need a lot of explaining, but just to do the the basics we explain what happens in the movie, so the role in the plot. Is You remember our? Our Heroes Luke skywalker Han Solo Chewbacca they are sentenced to death by the gangster job of the hut. He's the big slug guy and Java Java the hut, says the method of execution for these three heroes is going to be a kind of Alien Desert version of the pirates walking of the plane cry. You know they're going to be asked to walk the plank off of this floating Barger this floating boat type thing into this hole in the desert and. And the DROID CPO translates jobs execution order, he says you will therefore be taken to the Dune seve's big desert, and cast into the pit of Car Coon, the nesting place of the all powerful Sarlak in his belly you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years, and I'm not GONNA lie. That concept haunted me as a child I was like slowly digested over a thousand years. Wouldn't it be over sooner than that? Yeah. There's this idea that it extends. You're suffering that it is to enter into the SAR like is to kind of enter into. An underworld or an afterlife of pain. It's like going to hell. Yeah, yeah, a hell of digestion and I also love how in see through translation. There's this idea. Yeah, this that's not only the Sarawak it is the all powerful Sarlak there's this idea that it is a thing that is revered that it almost has a divine quality to it, and certainly as we see in the film, it's not something that is defeated. It is not something that is really truly overcome. It is just avoided and escaped. Escaped at best well, it's not really the enemy, right? It's kind of the setting. It's the threat and the thing is kind of in the way that in most be movies, zombies are not really the enemy. They're more like a hostile environment in which the drama between the characters is set usually in his Ambi- movie. You've got a human villain, and the same is true here. Clearly, the villain is Jabba the Hutt not the not the Sarlak, and of course, so it's very satisfying when when Leah. Jabbed Hud. That's like a great defeat the villain scene, but now there's no need to kill the Sarlak. It's just doing its thing in the desert. That's right. Yeah, there's this. Quality where the Sarawak is kind of like a pet, it is kind of like a pampered pet of of job. As much like the rain core is that we see earlier in the film, but it also feels like something that is greater than job, and certainly it's something that will outlive Java. Yeah, so one thing I really liked about this monster. When I was a kid, was something about the way that the monster was presented visually the pit of cartoon the Sarlak it was that the monster wasn't just in a pit. The monster was the pit. And and sort of explain this a little bit more, it's kind of like a presented visually as a bio, geological hybrid like a cave or a hole in the ground that has tentacle tongues and Eats Bounty Hunters alive. You can't tell where the animal stops. And the Earth begins as a point of comparison. I think I'd I'd use the appeal of the biomechanical artwork of HR eager that and how that influenced the creation of xena morph in the alien films. The Zine more is basically supposed to be an animal, but it has tons of body features that look like parts of industrial machines. It's an animal made out of tubes and hoses, hinges and Pistons and I I. I think I always thought the Sarawak was cool because it was like this, but with geology, instead of machinery it's a mouth that is the earth. It looks like the teeth or coming out of rock, or coming out of the sand and Of course, this is all predicated on the fact that I grew up watching the versions of these movies before the special edition re Masters so the Virgin I'm used to seeing the original where it's just the gaping mouth that blends into the Earth, and has these rings of inward facing teeth, and the tentacles that reach out from who knows where and grab things When the remastered came. Of course, they added a big CGI. Poking up out of the pit, which sort of eliminate some of that bio, geological magic I try these days not to be one of the guys who's just constantly shrieking about how lucas ruined things and complaining about re Masters and prequels and all that, but I I will say. I do not like this change I. Think it's creepy or in the original version without the CGI beak I like it when it's just the whole in the Earth Cave with teeth, yeah I certainly grew up with the the unedited version as well and so that's that's probably the the version that was. Cemented in my mind, the most and I used to feel a lot stronger about it. I'm like Nope, original Sarlak only but I don't know I can. I'm okay with the redesign I. Wish that the CGI would maybe get. Another you know fresh coat of paint to make it look sleeker, but but still I also I understand that part of the original concept was that he would have those elements, but they weren't able to make it happen, because they didn't have the the budget of the technology to implement it at the time but but I and I also think that the addition of the the plant like elements doesn't completely take away from what you were describing this idea of the monster as as pit, the monster as Earth. There's something very primal primordial, even about about the SARLAK and. You know some people I think a lot like to criticize Lucas and they want WanNa. Go all in on this idea that well Lucas. Depended on all these other creative people and anything that he got writing only did accidentally, but I suspect that you know that he was really onto to something with this idea of the Sarlak i. think there there is something intentionally primordial about it and we'll and we'll get into that as we go well. I think it suggests the magical thinking that the is so common in human culture that characterizes caves and pits in the earth as a mouth. I mean that that kind of language is extremely common. Yeah. So before we get a little bit more into some mythic parallels for the Sarawak I wanNA, talk just a little bit more about it's presumed biology and its biology is presented in Canon also just a little interpretation on our part so obviously, the vast majority of the SAR lacks book is hidden beneath the sand. Leaving only at spiked in tentacle mouth exposed now presumably, the SAR like just normally waits there. It doesn't move just weights. I you know some creature to fall into it, you know. Some of the the mega-fauna of Tattoo weaned such as the do back or the Bonte in just wait for them to wander close enough to fall Leeann or succumb to those fast moving grasping tentacles. And if this seems a rare enough occurrence, we have to consider that it's it has an alleged one thousand year digestive cycle, so presumably it has a slow enough metabolism that it doesn't need this regular feedings. It can get by on the I'd Banta. That just falls in. And then on top of that, we have to consider that this Sarlak. A privilege situation as well sustained by regular feedings from job as pleasure barges, because let's face it job as the type of fellow liable to just throw people into the Sarawak on a weekly or biweekly basis, so we may not be observing the Sarlak in its natural environment. This this could be a domesticated SAR. Lack of sorts. Yeah, yeah, I think we have to take that into into account. Now in terms of like you know turning to the literature for. Explanations of something like the Sarlak. A that can be a bit confusing because first of all it's presented as it is in the movie, and I think a fair amount of mystery about it is ideal like for instance C.. Three Po doesn't turn to you and explain everything about the Sarawak he doesn't go into a big ten minute monologue about it because you're supposed to some of the work, right? It's supposed to inspire you right. Yeah, I mean What's cool about? It is that you can't see so much of it. It's A. A mystery hidden under the earth I think some of that would be spoiled if you've got a better look at it or you got C. Three Po. Explaining its whole life history as much as I would have wanted that when I was a kid, and we were talking recently about like children. You know being obsessed with cannon in the stories they love and like wanting to know all the details I mean I bet when I was like eight I would just wished that the star wars movies included like Star Wars illustrated encyclopedia. As like scenes throughout them, but yeah, it works better as a mystery. I think that's my adult mind, yeah! Now that being said it. This mystery has inspired lots of people and so you have you have a number of different. You know expanded universe treatments of the Sarlak as well as compendiums that attempt to explain to some degree what the Sarawak is, and you're going to deal with conflicting accounts and and so forth if you start looking at all of those, but I do WanNa touch on some ideas that were presented in a relatively new book that came out Star Wars. Alien Archive which I've been reading with. My son it's it's basically you know. Know monstrous compendium, a monster manual of Star, Wars Aliens and it's pretty fun. It has these fabulous illustrations in it, and it doesn't have everything that shows up in the Star Wars, films and TV shows, but it has quite a bit You know everything from you know from from major characters in in in major aliens to even a few things that for instance, only show up in one of the walks movies, so it's a fun collection. Naturally. Of course, there's an entry on the mighty Sarlak so I just WanNa touch on a few of the key points. That are that are made in this Lucasfilm press book. First of all it's described as quote, terrifying carnivorous beast. and. The seems to fall more on the animal side of interpretation. Some people try and. Explain the Sarawak is being more plant. And it is sometimes described as reproducing by spores. which leads to more of a fungal explanation, but of course none of this is exactly limiting when we're ultimately talking about an alien life form that may easily skew the lines that we draw on earth between one kingdom another. That's exactly right. I mean yeah, if we WANNA be real technical sticklers. The difference between plants and animals is an evolutionary division at the. Claims, you sort their histories differently, and you know animals arising on other planets might be animal like in that they might move around quickly or something like that, or they might be plant like in that their Cecil, and they photosynthesis is or whatever, but but yeah, they would not be descended from these kingdoms, so those sorting wouldn't necessarily even make sense, Yeah, plus Oh man. There's a whole additional. Deep End. We get into. If we tried to figure out how we consider life. In the Star Wars Universe a universe, where not only do we have life you certainly rising on a plethora of different worlds, but also you have interstellar life life that is clinging to asteroids. You have Panspermia and colonization taking place a you know a at various points in galactic history. There's a lot to unpack their deep space evolution. Yeah, that's right. Right the mine ox, they live in a vacuum. How is that possible? I don't think large animal would do that. Yeah, that'd be a fun one to come back to at some point, May maybe maybe some people have written on that topic okay. A few other points from the Alien Archive Book They to point out that the lack of car coon is sustained at least in part by sacrifices and executions by the huts. But they also say that adults are lacks such as this one can also released an odor that attracts nearby urban wars to the pit. Oh okay, so that answer I would answer a question that I had because I was thinking about how sarlak would normally eat. If it's just this, you know Cecil, pit in the desert. Most Cecil trap predators have some way of assuring that pray will fall in like Cecil predators in the ocean. Ocean will often try to maximize their catch by doing their best to latch on in places where the current will carry unfortunate prey animals right by them, otherwise trapped predators like some we'll talk about in a bit like insects that that lay traps in the ground need to find a place where you know the places that are naturally trafficked by pray places where you know answer Beatles or whatever you're going to be walking by. Another option is to look more at the realm of of plants which you know, let's say like carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant. That's not an animal, but it is a predatory organism that functions as a trap pit, and yet uses smells to attract animals to it. Yeah, so perhaps we might imagined that say the the Sarawak releases. Some sort of odor that mega-fauna would associate with an oasis or With with plant life, and therefore brings them in. It doesn't have to bring them in all the way right because those tentacles will do the rest of of the job, the shifting sand we'll do you know the rest of the work, but but perhaps this older will be enough to just bring in some food that makes a lot more sense than what I had in mind because I was just trying to think okay, so it just waits until the band, the wanders and seems like it'd be waiting long time yeah once a millennium. The Alien Archive also points out that the crew has several stomachs which I guess makes sense given a lengthy digestive process also says that it's average. Length is of one hundred meters, and this is interesting. It contends that younger SAR laxer capable of moving about to capture food, which which is an interesting detail, but I think one that you brought up is is kind of supported by an old Super Nintendo game right Oh. That's right, yeah! Yeah so I I was trying to remember. Don't you fight? Sarlak in like the old Super Nintendo Super Star Wars game so I looked up the boss fight on Youtube Robert. Did you watch it? I did yes, it's terrible. It doesn't capture the magic at all, because it's not a pit, it's just like a big worm that comes up out of the ground, and it moves around and spits rock sets you. That's not a Sarlak, but May. To be a young Sarlak a different part of its life cycle i. If if we were to force ourselves to to take that boss fight and incorporate it into into. Star Wars Canon. I think that's the only way you could go that. Basically, we'd be looking at Say a four part lifespan that goes like this. You have spore of the SARLAK. That's carried by the you know the dust storms, then you have some sort of burrowing larva, and then you have a sand worm, ask burrowing juvenile like we see in Super Ns game, and then that eventually if it survives will become a stationary adult like we see in return. Return to the data that is very interesting, and it's also interesting how that is going to be. The exact inverse of some examples will look at from the from the natural world and a bit where there are things that are only a trap Predator for part of their life cycle, but it actually comes at the beginning rather than the end. Yes, that's true. I it's interesting that if we were to really look for some potential real world analogues that match this basic four part transformation, I'd say that something like this mostly resembles the life cycles of that we would see in say corals, or perhaps a barnacle, both of which we've discussed in depth on the show before You know the idea that this is something that is free swimming or earlier in its development, but then initial eventually puts down roots and stays there for the rest of its life. Yeah, that's interesting. What will maybe we need to take a break? But when we come back, we can talk about pit, Monster Mythology, and about a pit trap predators in the natural world. All right, we'll be right back. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking researchers using supercomputers to discover treatments faster retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM helping at IBM. Dot Com slash covid nineteen this episode. Episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already knew problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot. com slash cove nineteen. All, right? We're back now. Either way you look at. It I. I'd say the Sarlak is a creature with with fittingly deep mythological roots. It is in essence as you as you pointed out the earth swallowing up the living with key ties to understandings, interpretations of earthquakes, sinkholes caves in general, but also other land-based catastrophes. So in preparing for this episode. I wanted to look something up something that I've always assumed because you see it in movies, you know the scene in the movie where there is an earthquake and the ground opens up. There's this giant Fisher then everything just disappear super deep into the Earth Oh, yeah! Yeah! It was like wait a minute. Does that happen in real life? basically from what I could tell most of the time. No I think it's not in principle impossible, but generally earthquakes there might be fishers that form and the ground, but they don't. You don't get these deep chasms going down into the belly of the earth that you know swallow people and buildings hold that if that happens at all, that does not happen very often. That specifically happens in the force awakens. Remember when Ray is having that deal with Kylo, Ren and then the earth shakes, and suddenly there's this this deep gulf between them which is. Awesome in a film. But maybe not that likely in the real world yet, but it's interesting that so if this doesn't actually happen in reality or at least doesn't happen often enough for people to really see it and make me out of it in their culture. Where does this idea come from? Because it goes way back the idea that the earth like cracks open, and swallows people whole right? Yeah, I remember well first of all I probably saw it in various films growing up as well, but I specifically remember having an. An illustrated Bible stories book, and it had an illustration of what I. What I seem to remember being the this episode from the book of numbers in the Old Testament This is the King James version quote and the Earth opened. It's mouth and swallow them up with their households, and all the men with Cora with all their goods Wow, well. Yeah, that's basically what the earthquake movie pictures. Yeah, so you know it's it's I. Guess It's a pretty deeply set idea in in that respect. So I was looking around to see if I could come across any other specific ideas of monsters or gods, or you know the adventures of a hero that involves something like the Sarawak, and what I what I came across. Maybe not a you know a directly related example, but but I think once I explain it. People will see a number of parallels that are pretty pretty interesting. This is from the American. Mythology of the Aztecs the earth goddess plow to Kuechly. That is T., L. A., L. T. E. C.. H. T. L. I. in most translations and man. She is a really interesting Earth Goddess Yeah and scary. Yes, so for starters she embodies a typical primordial God goddess archetype of divided and dismembered form who scattered pieces constitute the world, and we see that a lot in mythologies but she is also monstrous, incorporating amphibian and reptile morphology, and she has also presented as an eater of the dead, so the blood of human sacrifice flows into the earth to feed her, and she is. Is often depicted with a flint knife between her teeth, and or rivers of blood, flowing from her mouth, she's also seen as a boundary deity, a bridging the world of the living to Maitland, the world of the dead in her role here is essentially one of of maintaining balance, and therefore sacrifices made to her are about keeping the balance of the world together I mean she is the earth, and she is also this bridge between our world in the world of the dead, and when you look at a lightness is operatives also interesting. Her likeness often carved into the base of sculptures. Could not see them once. The sculpture was in place where the sculpture touch the earth, so the living would not see this. It's as if it was only be seen by her interesting now her color was red, which is of course, the color for blood associated with sacrifice, but red was also the color of sunset because at night she said to consume the Sun. We think of the you know the setting sun. Seemingly to to be consumed by the earth, and then night sets in. And this Motif we see in other mythologies from around the world I. Think there are The the god of the monster that eats the sun appears in Egyptian mythology. I believe in in Hindu stories. Yes, yes, indeed now if you look up. Some interpretations of this Goddess You'll find at least a couple of different versions. ONE IS MORE OF A. More of a just a monstrous feminine form, but there's another one that's really interesting where it's Kinda the squat toad like. With its mouth, open skyward towards the Eagle and and this one really makes me think of the SAR like because it is like a mouth opened wide towards the heavens. Yes, totally now I think all this is interesting in context of the Sarawak because the Sarlak to is presented as something that is perhaps divine and to some degree immortal. An entity that demand sacrificial victims, as well and something of a gateway between our world and a hellish underworld again think back to that that idea of thousand years of digestion in the belly of the SARLAK. I, remember this was explored to a wonderful effect in a short story. This was by. An author by the name of Daniel Keys Moran published under the name J, D Montgomery and it was in Nineteen ninety-six short story collection called Tale from job as palace titled a Bar like that the tale of Boba Fett. And I haven't read it since junior high school but I remember really loving it because it. It kinda scratch that each of oh I must know how Bobby Fed escapes from the Sarlak. The must write it for me. Make it happen. And so it succeeded in that, but it also presented digestion in the SAR like is being this kind of Sinti and talent pain. I have so many thoughts about this so first of all I'm I'm thinking about all of the like sort of off label star wars fiction that I read in the nineties. Didn't read as much of it as some people did, but I do remember I read some series of books that involved people who had three is, and like the whole bunch of weirdness, but the other thing is I'm sorry. If this is a is a frivolous, a side trail would have got to ask you Robert. Do, you have an opinion on the Belch, the Sarlak burp Oh after fat falls in yet doesn't fit fall in, and then the thing just be burps. It I'm not mistaken about this right? No, no, I believe it does BURP. Pro Anti. BURP I I guess I'm I'm pro burp. It's fine. It's funny I was pregnant. Was Probably a point that I'm not specifically remembering in my star wars fan where I probably thought it was above it and thought that belt should the edited out because I also didn't want any indication that that was gone, and L. should be You know his in his tombstone, but. But now I I don't really have any strong opinions about it now. It seemed an ignominious end for This this much beloved, minor character and I think I think it bothered me when I was younger when I also thought Boba Fett was so cool. I just got to say. I'm about to earn us all the hate mail. We're going to get for the rest of the year. I. Armor looks cool, but I don't actually get what is just like. Mind melting, Lee amazing about him to people i. just feel like he's Kinda cool looking character. He's got like five lines. Yeah, yeah I, think it comes back to like the less you know right there, mystery about really all those bounty, hunters and You know who were these guys? What what Bush their deal you know? What was the I? I like the one that's got like insect is like a flies head. Yeah, he's good or the the Reptilian one with the long arms, and I'm sorry. I know they all have names and species and If if I had my alien archive book in front of me, I would look them up, but Basically, it's a wonderful rogues gallery. Will I don't have a firm position on the BURP? But you know what I'll support you in your decision, so so you have me on board. Pro burp to yeah I mean it's Sarlak getting into a good laugh. There I think I think it was well received by my son. Now I WANNA. Talk a little bit more about mythology, or because I feel like there's an excellent connection to be made specifically thinking about. A parallel here in Greek mythology, where of course we have. And corrupt us. The twin oceanic dangers that Odysseus must sail between the very horns of dilemma. Magnificent monstrosities yeah, the classics I mean like the Ultimate Sea Monster. How could you beat it? Yeah, so corrupt us. I think the most obvious analogue here. An underwater monster of varying description that above water is just seen as this massive oral pool that threatens to swallow up any ship that comes near it. Meanwhile skill is this multi headed beast that plucks men from their ships out. The Sarawak basically incorporates elements from both of these monsters, because we have to remember that Okay Tana's a desert world, but the dunes see has all of these oceanic qualities. Qualities to it as well in fact I mean the whole encounter in return of Jedi is essentially the sci-fi Mash up of nautical swashbuckling tropes. Oh yeah, I mean I think that's the thing. People might not realize if they're not familiar with the old errol, Flynn pirate movies and stuff like that, but clearly they're walking the plank the skiff. This is supposed to be boats on the Ocean Java. The Hut is evil, pirate, Captain Yes. Yeah so. It makes perfect sense to the the Caribbean analog here becomes very clear. And I should also point out that for anybody out there. who may be a Percy Jackson Fan in two thousand thirteen, the film adaptation personally of Percy Jackson Sea of monsters It has a wonderful Caribbean Senate. Caribbean shows up in really takes on a very solid lackey and appearance. No doubt playing upon this connection. Y-you attached an image. That is a very good looking on. It's got the inward facing spike teeth. I like it a lot. Yeah, it's quite. It's quite a wonderful sequence like if you, if you just WANNA. Check it out for no other reason. Check it out for that. was pretty fun as well now my son and my wife, who read the book, tell me that in the book those skill and Caribbean show up but in the movie were just stuck with the whirlpool, but still the whirlpool is fabulous now I think. Maybe it's time to turn to the natural world and look. Look at some animals that that even here on earth somewhat mimic the Sarlak now there there might be one that you out. There are already thinking of because it's. It's quite monstrously close on a much smaller scale, and that would be of course the ant lion. Yes, the ant lion is is certainly the first place that my mind goes when I think of the Sarlak because it's also something that I definitely remember encountering as a child getting to see the ant lions in action. You know in tryon ultimately. Try and trigger them to try and get them to to eat the ends of sticks and whatnot, which I'm not recommending you do, but if you get a chance to observe A. An ant lion in the wild. It's worth checking out Robert. Where did you encounter them? Were you in the southwest and? IN ARIZONA ARE WHEREVER This I definitely remember encountering them in Tennessee Actually Oh Yeah like This would have been North Western Tennessee. I remember encountering them there. Maybe my mind was primed for Arizona. Because I just know that that's where they shot the Sarlak scenes, we? Near Yuma that they did that, but yeah I guess the the range of the ant lion as much wider, yeah, it needs sand or loose soil but I. I understand it's fairly widespread. Now I will say I am just recalling a childhood memory here. It is entirely possible that I was observing something else and thought it was an ant lion or that my memory has some other is being become altered one way or another, but I'm pretty sure I saw Allen. Oh. I'm not doubting you. The ant lion as we alluded to earlier when we were talking about life cycles of of the possible Sarlak or analogs in the. The natural world, the ant lion as we know it is, is actually mainly one stage of the life of a certain insect. That's right. It's the it's the larval form, a rather nondescript of flying rebellion today insect, of which there are some two thousand individuals species, so in other words, the ant lion, the larval form here is a highest highly interesting and unique, while the adult form is basically a short-lived, any very short-lived flying nothing that is far less studied. I mean when you gotta one stage of Your Life. Cycle where you become a Sarlak, you're just not going to get a lot of attention for the part of your life where you grow wings and fly around and land plants. Yeah, so let's talk about the the larval form I the larval an lion, and I recommend looking at a picture of this anyone. If you you seen illustration because it's really gnarly. It. has this globular abdomen a narrow head in a set of vicious sickle shaped mandible manuals some species, but not all famously make their home at the bottom of a shallow pit, a shallow pit trap that they they make themselves. And then they produce by burrowing backwards in a circle, flicking loose so or sand out of the way as they go, and then once they're situated. Only those twin mantles remain visible poking out of the bottom of the San pit. Yeah, so so they form this thing like you're saying by sort of digging around in a conical in a conical shape going backwards flinging the sand out until. Until they've created this pit. That's got these sort of perfectly sloped conical sides. It's like a like a coffee filter sort of and it reminds me of the episodes we did about spiderweb cognition, because you know, it's interesting to think about the underlying algorithms in an animal's brain, like in the spiders, brain produced the web or in the ant lines brain that enable it to make. Make, these perfect, little conical pit traps, and I remember one of the things we talked about in that other episode about Spiderweb Cognition was how beautiful and complex patterns emerge in spider, Webs, even based on extremely simple algorithms for spinning, which of course, the spiders can vary to adapt to environmental conditions and I think there are some environmental variables that work on ant lions as well this might. Might include things like the depth of the sand and the grain size. I was looking at one study that said apparently ant lions, and a similar Predator called worm lions tend to prefer finer and deeper sand. The finer sand I'm sure a better to to trap you with exactly so, how does this trapping work well when answer other small insects fall into the pit, the ant lion. Lion throws up more sand like flicks more sand up towards the The would be victim in order to keep them from escaping, and then they grapple their victim at the bottom of that pit, piercing their body, with those mandible, sucking out the fluids afterwards, the ant lion flicks the desiccated corpse out, and then resets the pit for its next meal. Yeah, the and you. You can look up video of this of the literally just throwing leg desiccated at bodies out of their pit, just chucking them off to the side. Yeah, literally a dead soldier now I can't remember if we mentioned, but the ant lion does have it does have chemicals on its side, winded attacks, the victim that falls down to the bottom of the pit, so it's It's piercing. Piercing mandible manuals look the pincer type things injecting venom to the prey, but then also they've got a digestive enzyme that they use much like some of the spider feeding stuff that we've talked about where they can inject the in Zion sort of melts the guts of the prey animal, and then allows some easy slurping now like the Sarlak. The an lion benefits from a really slow. Slow metabolism they ant lion can go months without food. This does not even have an anus. It simply puts off defecation until assumes it's mature and final form, and this is something we see in other larval forms as well elsewhere in animal kingdom, where basically the creatures and eating machine is just about eating eating, and it can in some cases just put off pooping until it has. Reached that final morphological form that is going to obtain yet. Let's stick on this for a second. In case that just went by you. The ant lion in its larval stage does not have an anus, and cannot poop, and this goes on for the entire larval stage of its life cycle, which can last for up to three years right? No Amos. You got your poop. POOP in for three years so I imagine if like we only grew in Amos and became able to defecate when we turned eighteen or something. You know the parents talking about how you know you'll poop. When you're older, you'll understand then. Oh, man, I mean I guess I have mixed thoughts about that. Because on one hand, not having to poop is, it's really everyone's dream. But on the other hand, being filled with an increasing amount of poop is everyone's nightmare. I guess it just comes down to like you either extreme. You don't want either extreme. You want the the balance of normal human pooping now the funny thing is there are some skewed ways where we conceptualize animal life cycles of insect life cycles and stuff because we're talking about how when the ant line is done with its pit trap, larval stage matures and becomes an adult, but this adult stage lasts. Lasts for a much shorter period than its larval stage does so in a weird way. You shouldn't think of its adult phase as like. It's normal life right right? Yeah, because again you mentioned that the larval stage will live about three years, but the the flying adult stage lives for a mere twenty five days or so so really it's adult. Forum is just it's last Hurrah this is about just. Just, well I, guess finally pooping, but also and more importantly reproducing right. Yes, now this would sort of answer the question for me that I had when we were beginning to work on this episode I I was wondering like sorry lack poop if its whole body is under the ground if it does poop, where does the poop go now? You hypothesized Robert. You're like well. Maybe it doesn't poop just. Just like the ant-line doesn't Poop, but the end lines gotTA poop. Eventually it's got a next stage of its life cycle. As far as we know, the SARLAK does not. It's not going to eventually grow wings grow in Ns, and then fly off somewhere to poop everything that has accumulated over the thousands of years. So what's going on with the Sarlak well, it does make me think it could. Spill on here, but perhaps if there is anything it, cannot. Digest. Maybe it spits it back out kind of like an owl. We'll do something that you know that it is followed the various bones and whatnot, or perhaps there is this just like terminal digestion going on inside the the Sarawak is just digesting digesting and at the end of this. There's just nothing like. Maybe it's just dad. Efficient I can see that, but I also like the idea of the two way digestive system there are organisms that live in the ocean, mainly like the hydride believe has has a two digestive system. We're basically eats and poops through the same opening. That's right. Yeah I think we went into that on our episode about the evolution of the anus. So. Yeah, they're their various models for this that we see throughout. The evolution of life on earth that could be. Used to explain it another way of looking at, it would be something down there under the ground is pooping for the Sarlak, but we don't really know what sort of underground environment it is pooping into like there could be a pretty rich under underground world on Tattoo Lean right I mean there could be or organisms that depend the proof of the Sarlak. For Food or or for shelter, in the same way that the poop of of of large mega-fauna are essential to the life, cycles of organism's here on the surface of earth. Here's one for you. Here's a here's my hypothesis, okay. The SARLAK secretes and acidic compound that slowly over time dissolves, the bedrock could dissolves the sedimentary rock down below where it is resting in the ground, and forms a karst cavity in the ground, basically creates its own poop cave, and then poops into the cave. Oh. What do you think I like it? I like it. You can have it whole. The whole aspect of tattooing society where like was out there trying to dig down to get those poop reserves from this are lax. You know like especially if it's like ancient poop reserves of the Sarawak, it's aged and. Highly valuable for something or another I'm sure. Till I've got it the most sought after fertilizer in the universe. ooh! Nice, yes, the poop must flow yes. Now? I mentioned earlier that not all ant lions are going to be these these these pit digging trap predators. You also have some that that that have other modes of of existence, and we see this also with owl flies which are. An organism that look very similar as larva and also live as ambush predators in the soil. They look again a lot like ant lions but it seems like they have been known to obscure their lower bodies with sand and debris the AL fly larva don't seem to engage in the sort of robust pit based stationary ambush tactics that we see with those most notable species of ant lions now I mentioned earlier that there is a very similar pit trap Predator, which has hunting strategy. She almost identical to that of the ant. Ant Lion and this is a winged insect family. Cold vermillion today, known as the the Worm Lions I think this might actually be an even closer parallel to the Sarawak because it is a striking worm, and in this way it Kinda resembles the tentacles of the car Koon of the lack of the pit of cartoon, so despite how similar their pit traps strategies are. I was reading that the interestingly worm lions are not closely related to ant lions. This appears to be another interesting example of convergent evolution wherein totally. Totally different ways different organisms have discovered basically the same way to to make a living. In this case, it's digging. These conical pit traps in the sand. Another thing I was wondering is like. Why do the conical pits look so similar? If the hunters are not closely related within the pits became more different for these different animals, apparently has to do with master like the the geometry of house, sediments lay at an angle the angles of the pit slopes are determined by what's known as the angle of repose which. Which is the steepest angle at which a sloping surface formed? A loose material is staple interesting, so you'll see that kinda alike on the edges of mountains where their sediment sliding down it will settle into a certain angle that is stable. If it gets any steeper than that, it'll start to collapse in an avalanche will form. Yeah, that makes sense I should also add that everyone should definitely look up a picture of the Worm Lion, because it is very very cool looking at it has I think you mentioned like tentacle. Patricians, around, its head. The image I'm looking at here. It looks like four of them Oh and that its body just itself looks like a tentacle I. It is the the organism, but like when it's wrapping around an answer, beetle or something that's falling into the trap. looks kind of like a Sarlak tentacle. YEA, segmented, but but appears far more prehensile than you know something like a normal worm, but there is another organism that's parallel to the Sarlak in some ways I think we should definitely talk about, and that is the predatory polychaete worm known as. As university, Afro Tohis, yes, also known as a sand striker, and it has some other names I'm not gonNA mention here on the show, but then informally applied to it, but essentially a rainbow colored marine death worm, it buries itself in the sand, ready to strike at passing prey, they can reach lengths of nearly nine point, eight feeders, or two point, ninety nine meters, but most of segmented body remains coiled in the sand as an array of five and today to help since prey, a feature that I think is reminiscent of of. This idea that the Sarlak might have a root like systems of Sistema feeler or spines and tentacles, which you see in some of these illustrations that try to get to the heart of the Sarawak but the striker here it strikes with incredible speed with being out its mandible studied fairbanks to capture prey. Yeah, I think. Let's well on this just a little bit more because this might have gone past. Past really fast. This is a predatory worm berries in the sand attacks, and it grows to like ten feet long. This is a ten foot long or three meter worm, preys on fish and other animals in the sea, so it will just have little head poking out, but if you were to keep pulling this worm up out of the ground, you could end up with like the magician scarf situation. Just keeps coming out is ten feet long. I was reading that. Sometimes it's pincer. Attack is so powerful that it chops prey fish in half. And I was reading a scientific American blog post from from two thousand twelve by writer Mbeki crew about these animals, and she drew my attention to this one story about how back in two thousand nine at a marine. Adam in town called a new key in England aquarium. Keepers noticed that this one tank, the coral on display in some of the fish and stuff kept accumulating weird damage. It was as if something inside the was like chopping parts of the coral formation off and killing the animals, and there was no obvious culprit in the tank, so they had to like remove rocks and coral and plants from this tank one at a time to. To find out what was causing the attacks and curator named Matt, slater was quoted in the Daily Mail at the time talking about what happened, he said quote. Something was guzzling are reef, but we had no idea what we also found an injured Tang fish, so we laid traps, but they got ripped apart in the night. That worm must have obliterated the traps. The Bait was full of hooks which he must have just digested. So I. I don't know if that's. Sounds Kinda hard to believe. But if that's true, it would kind of mirror the the Sarlak digestion thing, but in any case like it does seem to be the case that they had one of these worms one of these worms burrow down in the bottom of the tank, so the workers discovered that there was a stowaway Sarlak like this predatory burrowing sea worm was hiding down in the sediment at the bottom, and it'd probably snuck in among the coral that were. Were transplanted into the transplanted into the tank years before and had just grown. They're in hiding ever since well, but this also made me think so. This worm is fast, powerful, venomous, mostly hidden down on the ground are down in the sediment. How can pray animals defend themselves? Will actually I I found interesting article about this where there is one strategy that's been uncovered and published in scientific reports in two thousand sixteen. It was Bhai Jose. Luis shot and Daniel Haag. Walker Nagel called novel mobbing strategies on a fish population against a Cecil Analytic Predator and basically the authors here described this weird thing where these fish, a type of bream called S- lapsus Africanus they would. Were like one fish would find one of these worms would be near it and discover it was there and would start spitting jets of water toward the worm, and then other fish would join in these prey fish would join in this mobbing behavior where they would all gather around and start spitting these jets of water toward the worm, which apparently caused the worm to retract down into the sediment. I'm not sure exactly what's going on there. I mean so obviously this is. Is some kind of group. Defensive Behavior Against Predator when the predators location is discovered, but it makes me wonder if anything similar could go on with the Sarawak, or would it even need to like? Would you need to have banned Thas like spitting jets of air at Sarawak or something, or could they just stay away from it? Yeah, I guess that's the thing about a land-based scenario versus the marine scenario. Is that on the land once unless you were you know in a? A flying creature by the time you got close enough to the Sarlak to really be endangered to really need to spit at it. It's probably too late. Yeah, I mean. I. Think part of this this behavior though might just be beaten, not necessarily in like harming the worm or something, but in alerting the other con- specifics to its location, so you can imagine something like that for trap predators to I, mean I would I, don't know of any evidence like this but i. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some types of ants or other prey insects of the ant lion that have some kind of group defense strategy where when one species identifies an ant lion pit. It can kind of like you know, sound the alarm and alert the others to to what's happening there I. Don't know of any evidence of that, but I would not be surprised to find out something like that. Yeah, so I think. Maybe the panthers might have some sort of. Some sort of strategy to deal with that. Now also, the sea is home to other bottom dwelling ambush predators as well more than we could conceivably list in the in the the episode here, but you have things like the devil. Scorpion Fish, and the war is stargazer and if you watch enough. On underwater documentaries. You'll see some of these bizarre and wondrous creatures all right. We need to take another break, but we'll be right back to discuss digestion for thousand years. iheartradio and state farm know that the graduation stage is the first of many, and while grads may not be walking across one this year. They can get the send off. 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Comfort calls you still on John with everything. We have going on right now. It's never been more important to get to sleep. We need quality. Sleep is a natural immune booster, and only the sleep number three sixty smart pets senses. Your movements automatically adjust your comfort and support on both sides your sleep number setting so all those other things we're doing to stay healthy and happy well. They'll work better to and now during Memorial Day sale save a thousand dollars on the Queen Sleep number, three sixty special edition smart, but now only seventeen ninety nine, only for a limited time to learn more go to sleepnumber DOT COM. All Right? We're back. Okay, so I think we need to finish up today by talking about the idea of the Sarawak's really slow digestion. Remember C. Three. Po says that when you fall into the all-powerful Sarlak again. I'm not minute. Maybe things. This can come up again. I'm not quite sure why this like is all powerful, it seems. Relatively powerful within its own mouth in the range right around there, but beyond its powers rapidly diminish. But C. Three Po says in there in the belly you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you're slowly digested over thousand years now we've already discussed the slow metabolism and of the eating machine, the ant lion, but I wanNA look at another emblem of slow digestion this time, a mammal I think we should look at the sloth Yes, the sloth, and now there are a lot of ways actually that sloths have been observed to be generally slow. Right the name their. Their English name is not a coincidence and this the slowness does extend not just to their movements through the trees. If you watch them climb something, they tend to be very slow moving creatures, but their slowness extends down to the chemical biochemical level within their bodies. was looking at a study by Jonathan Paulie. Zachariah Pirie Emily D. Fountain and William H Kerris off called boreal. Foley wars limit their energetic output all the way to slothfulness in the American naturalist in two thousand sixteen. And the author is here trying to explore a possible reasons that animals they call are boreal full live ores, animals that e- tree leaves. Hang out in the trees. Eat eat leaves from trees why they are relatively rare compared to some other types of animals and do not display as much adaptive radiation, some other animals and adaptive radiation here means. diversifying of the species into different ecological niches, basically like evolving into many different types variations to fill ecological niches. You don't see a lot of this with animals like sloths, and so they point out that you know mature tree leaves the the dietary, the main diet source of these animals like sloths and other animals like this two pandas Koalas and so forth mature tree leaves are not a very high quality food. They tend to be tough and woody often. They've got some kind of poisons or Tannin's or some. Unpleasant chemical in them. It's generally really difficult to live by eating. Digesting and extracting energy from mature tree leaves, but Sloth Stu it. As a maybe the energy constraints on these animals have somehow controlled. They're spread in evolution, so the authors wanted to measure the metabolic rates of slots and Costa Rica and they write quote. We quantified the field, metabolic rate or FM, our movement and body temperature for sin, topic, two and three toed. sloths extreme are boreal full of. Differ in their degree of specialization, both species expended little energy, but three toed. sloths possessed the lowest FM are recorded for any mammal, and so the three toed sloth lives on a on a field, metabolic rate of one hundred and sixty to kill a jewels per day per kilogram of body weight now that number alone might not mean much to you, but comparing it to other animals. It's way lower than say. The howler monkey who who has a field metabolic rate of five, hundred, eighty three. Per Day per kilogram of body weight, it's lower than Co. Walla's at four hundred and ten, even the giant pandas more at one eighty, five, the the three toed. Sloth is the lowest ever measured at one hundred and sixty two miles per day per kilogram, and so in a way it is a profound evolutionary experiment in slowing everything down, and this is historically in in a kind of funny and interesting way led some thinkers to view sloths as as some kind of like like that. There's a problem with their existence that. That there's something wrong with them. Like count dipper fallen short Louis Leclerc counter bef- on we talked about in our age of the Earth episode because he did some experiments trying to trying to determine the age of the Earth based on I believe his idea had to do with like how long it would take the earth to cool to its current temperature, but he wrote this huge multi volume natural history work during his life where he tried to become the you know the the eighteenth century, plenty of. Of the elder to catalog, all of the stuff in the world, and tell you all about it and his section on slots is is kind of Hilarious or are you ready for this? Robert Yeah both of US bring it on. Okay, so he says these animals have neither incisive nor canine teeth. Their eyes are dull, and almost concealed with hair. Their mouths are wide, and their lips, thick and heavy there for is course and looks like dried grass. Their thighs seem almost disjointed from the haunches, their legs very short and badly. Badly shaped, they have no souls to their feet, nor toes separately moveable, but only two or three claws, excessively long and crooked downwards, which moved together, and are only use to the animal and climbing slowness, stupidity, and even habitual pain result from its uncouth confirmation they have no arms, either to attack or defend themselves, nor are they furnished with any means of security, as they can neither scratch up the nor seek for safety by flight, but confined to a small spot of ground or to the tree, under which they are brought forth. Prisoners in the midst of extended space, unable to move more than three feet in an hour they climb with difficulty and pain, and their plaintive and interrupted cry. They dare only utter by night after some more moralizing about how awful they are, he says. We have already observed that it seems as if all that could be does exist, and of this the sloths appear to be a striking proof. They constitute the last term of existence in the order of animals, endowed with flesh and blood, one more defect, and they could not have existed. Oh my goodness now. I think this is funny. Because like in some ways you know BEF- On was considered a very you know learned man of his day, but like the amazing ignorance of that. Is. Like a given what we know about animals now in. Leclerc had all kinds of terrible ideas. You Know He. He endorsed scientific racism. He believed that like the animals of the new world were somehow inferior to the animals of the old world There's this weird genuine disgust in his writing. When he talks about animals found in north and South America so he had all these extremely misguided theories, because we're all this stuff that he characterizes as defects with this species, I think we would probably look at and say I. Don't know given our modern evolutionary understanding. You are probably not understanding these correctly. These are probably not actually defects. These are adaptations. His his thinking falls prey to the naive version of survival of the fittest as you know the fittest, not as in best adapted to its environment, but as like the toughest toughest, the biggest sharpest teeth, and so forth Y-. Absolutely, it's his his description of the sloth really. Like distract you can't. Against the Slavs, it also reminds me a little bit of Darwin's descriptions of the Marine Iguanas. Oh yeah the IGUANAS. Darwin didn't normally fall into this way of thinking, but occasionally there was some animal didn't like yeah. But the the sloth, like the the main like counter arguments, in addition to what we said here about the the the true nature of that. I would also you know put forth first of all sloths tend to be cute. That tends to be our interpretation of them, especially baby, sloths or sloths, if you're using the British pronunciation, but also the adults, there is a certain adorable. Miss to them and I have to say when when I was in Costa Rica with my family, and we went on a hike through the forest there and we. We got to see got to glimpse a wild sloth like where we had to stand there for several minutes and watch what was presumed to be a sloth finally move and slowly confirm its it's swath would like. That was a genuinely magical moment like that has to be one of one of my top interactions with wildlife. Ever like it. Just it truly felt like magic, and time was standing still. So know it's very difficult for me to to put. Myself in the mindset of Swath Hating A. View! I think befallen would think you're a sucker, but yeah I think he was quite clearly wrong. Like sloths, including the extremely slow, yes, very slow three toed. Sloth are incredibly well adapted to their environments in very interesting ways. I was reading an article about this on the conversation from two thousand, sixteen by a British zoologist, becky cliff, who I believe, she either currently works or has worked in sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica, so doing a lot of hands on clothes In in, so she's writing about these adaptations, she says. Of course it's true that Slavs are slow in pretty much every way at the sloth sanctuary she works at in Costa Rica the used these sloth backpacks, two tracks lost movement in the wild, and yes, it's true they they move very slowly, and they moved very little, but there's a reason for this. It's not weakness it is. Is Strategic in evolutionary sense, slow movement uses a lot less energy than fast movement. remember that metabolic discovery. We were talking about earlier. Three toed. sloths have the slowest metabolism of any known mammal in a weird way. They're almost like you can imagine them kind of like going through convergent evolution thing, but across kingdoms of life. They're trying to slowly over the yawns converged with plants. You know like so to. and to make this possible. This low metabolic rate, of course they move very slowly, but they also regulate their body temperature differently than most mammals. Do you know mammals have their warm-blooded? They have thermo regulation. They gotTA. Keep their body temperature up through internal chemical means, but sloths manage a much lower body temperature than your average mammal. They tend to go around thirty two point, seven degree, Celsius or ninety one degrees Fahrenheit. This a full like you know the seven or eight degrees lower than our average body temperature, and a cliff mentions that their metabolic rate is somewhere between forty to seventy four percent of what you would expect for an animal of its body mass, so they're they're. They're going way underweight on energy needs. So the question might be. Will why live like this? Why would you be so slow? Have such a relatively cool body and all that again it's cheap. It's mega cheap. Slavs require much less food energy than other mammals of similar size. They can eat this. You know this kind of bad food. I mean wouldn't be bad from their point of view, but it's low caloric density. This food like tough fibrous tree leaves, and they don't even need to eat all that much of it usually, if you're an animal that subsisting on tough plant matter, you have to eat a ton of it. It to survive cliff points out that howler monkeys who also live in the trees and eat tough leaves. They have to eat three times as much food per kilogram of body mass, as the sloth does, and so requiring three times less food than something else in your niche opens up all kinds of possibilities for survival, so the sloth might not be lean in fast moving in a physical movement, since but in a chemical since it is lean, it is like it has a lot to work with. Is this wiggle room? But here's another thing we get to with sloth sloth metabolism. In a way that's related to their very slow metabolism. They also digest food really slow, and this brings us back to the Sarawak. Cliff points out research saying well, so we don't know the exact rate you know the exact bounded rates of sloth digestion, but there are estimates that takes food. Lean like one hundred and fifty seven hours or up to twelve hundred hours to pass through the sloths digestive system, so the upper end of this estimate would be fifty days You can imagine you know having having your food waste in your body for that long Robert You said before we came on record today that you have actually watched video of a sloth pooping you people at home. If you have not seen this, you should look it up. It's fair warning. It looks kind of traumatic like there's a lot coming out. Yeah, and I mean the other interesting thing about slots. Pooping is that of course they have to climb down to do it. they don't just out of the branches. They return to the earth to carry this out. Yeah! And so cliff writes quote. Unsurprisingly, the sloths four chambered stomach is constantly full, and so more leaves can only be ingested digestive leaves stomach enters the small intestine, food, intake, and critically energy expenditure are likely limited by digestion, rate and room in the stomach. Indeed the abdominal contents of a sloth can account for up to thirty seven percent of their body mass, so it's digesting for days at a time, maybe a month or more at a time digesting food, it's maybe a third of its body, weight or more is the poop that it's got inside it right now. Now and you know hasn't purged yet. You can also imagine though that like. Why would it hang on this long? I can also imagine this having to do with what you're talking about that. It has to come down to the forest floor to do it, which is inherently vulnerable activity, so and because it slow moving, you might WanNa. Limit those trips down to the vulnerable position as much as possible. Yeah, it's like if you live in a walk up apartment in New York and you prefer to to poop in the say the Jamba juice down on the street. I think that was the joke from thirty rock. Toilets. Limit, how many times you go to the Jamba juice poop exactly yes, yeah, you might, you might wait awhile. There is another interesting fact that came up in this article. By the way the cliff mentioned that I'd never heard about before so the you know, the obvious question might be how to sloth evade predators. If it's so slow, it's not a fighter. It doesn't run. It's Hyder so the sloths have to protect themselves via camouflage and cliff mentions in article that that all of the sloths major predators Jaguars also lots heartbe eagles are primarily visual hunters, so camouflaged can actually go a long way to protect you and she points to. To An interesting, suggested symbiotic relationship with algae with between sloths and algae that grow in the Sloth S- for and this algae is apparently passed on from mother to offspring, so it is visual camouflage through inherited micro Biota, which is pretty interesting. Yeah, I, I. Do have to say that time that I got to to see not only see, but to to find the sloth in the wild like it wasn't pointed out by guide. We just the whole time I knew based on what the guys told us that there might be sloths in the trees. We will just have to look really hard for them. And it did. It took forever to see this. because. You're kind of constantly on the lookout for possible movement possible lumps. In the in the rich canopy of trees that might be a slot in most of the time. I was wrong or at least I was unable to confirm that what I was looking at A. Was living creature at all so it so when you really I was more lucky than anything I think that I was able to two to zero in on this this lump in the trees, and then finally see it move, and finally make out the movements of an actual sloth, so yeah I imagine they have a tremendous advantage of versus predators that are doing the same thing you know on constant lookout for for prey amid the tree limbs I. Don't know this, but I also guest that slower metabolism slower movement would make you less fidgety. Yeah, they're not fidgety like I. Remember that was another thing. It's like the movements were were very slow and fluid and kind of you far between like it wasn't. It wasn't like looking for the movement of a traditional creature you know, or at least the kind of creatures that I tend to find myself looking for you know like the movements of say a squirrel or Chipmunk or a bird of some sort you know it's A. It's a totally different animal. Can, we imagine a SARLAK evolving. Over a very long period over millions of years from some type of sloth, like creature, like a formerly totally mobile creature that overtime evolves to slow its metabolism and digestion down further and further, and further in order to you know, survive on maybe tough dietary material like Blake. Plant leaves or something to support this high-efficiency of you know slow metabolism, a highly efficient digestion. I wonder if they're routes like that I. Mean I have wondered before? Like one of the main things we think of as characterizing intelligent animal life is fast movement, but that doesn't mean you can understand why in. Evolves from fast movement in the history of animal life, but it doesn't have to stay that way in terms of that association, right like you could imagine, there could be an animal with intelligence that just keeps evolving back down to have less and less need to move its body around and kind of become sessile becomes plant like. I don't know I, mean maybe maybe millions of years in the future. I'm just saying there. There will be ant lions that evolved from sloth and. Fall into the pit, and you'll one day get to be a part of their dramatic traumatic pooping. I like the idea of Far Future Cecil sloth all right so there you have it Did we expose all the secrets of the Sarawak we did not. The SARLAK retains its mysteries. which I think is is. One of key attractions to the creature to begin with. Yeah, totally yeah, I mean you can't fully lift up the SARLAK and peak it. What's under it But we'll have to imagine that there is a poop cave. Yeah, or what? If there's just a nonstop party in there, you know like what if you had an alternate cut? Where Baba Fed is is swallowed whole by the Sarawak, and then he just dropped into this stomach cavity. That's actually just a really happening. Hang Out, you know. Everybody that's ever been eaten by just in their kind of chilling, you know, and it turns out the starlight digest instead it has a symbiotic relationship with. Other organisms. Beneath the surface of Tattoo Wayne is likely friends, yeah. It gets lonely its intelligent creature he gets lonely and needs friends, right or Albert. This has been a lot of fun. Yeah. This has been fun. it. It is Kinda hard to believe that this is the this is I. Think the First Star Wars episode of stuff to blow your mind, but hey, who knows there's a lot a lot of stuff in the Star Wars universe. Maybe we'll. Maybe we'll get up the energy to another one of one of these one day I'm game. In the meantime. Obviously, we'd love to hear from everyone out there. We know we have a lot of star. Wars, fans, general science fiction, fans, monster fans a out there amid our listeners, and yeah, we would love to hear your feedback on this episode on the Sarawak itself. Your memories and interpretations of the Sarawak, and indeed if you think there's a strong candidate for a future episode of stuff to your mind, related to star wars or any other work of fiction, science fiction, etcetera, let us know. We'll tell you how to get in touch with us here in a second, but if you just want to support the show, best thing you can is rate review in subscribe wherever you get this podcast. Huge thanks as always to are excellent audio producer Seth Nicholas, Johnson. If you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future just to say, hi can email us at contact. Add stuff to blow your mind dot com. Stuff to blow your mind is production of iheartradio for more podcast iheartradio with the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. MEAN! I'm Jensen Carpet I. Want you to listen to the new podcast from Tree Fort Media? An iheartradio called the no sports report with Jensen cars. You see I'm a comedy writer and a die. Hard sports fan who was terribly missing athletes I loved so much, so every episode I'm talking to the best athletes coaches commentators legends from around the world to see what they're doing now. They were all stuck on our caps on this. This podcast we'll hear all sports figures entertain themselves and their families. We'll find out if they're staying in shape if their kids are heckling them during home school. Did they almost burn down the house trying to make their own bread? Are they sleeping in their jerseys and like I? Do Up. No, just meet all right. 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Invention Playlist 4: Penicillin

The Best of Stuff

53:05 min | 11 months ago

Invention Playlist 4: Penicillin

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM DOT com slash red hat. Guys it's bobby bones I host the bobby bones show and I'm pretty much always sleep because I wake up with three o'clock in the morning a couple of hours later I get all my friends together, and we get into a room and we do a radio show. Wish you're alive. We tell our stories. We try to find as much in the world. Possibly can, and we looked through the news of the day that you'll care about also your favorite country artists are always stopping by to hang out and share their lives and music, too, so wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point seven W. MC in Washington, DC, or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio APP. Welcome to invention a production of iheartradio. Hey Welcome to invention. My name is Robert. Lamb and I'm Joe. McCormick and Robert I know you WanNa talk about dnd before we get to the real subject. Well I don't know I was thinking about doing it last. We can go ahead and talk about it up front. Yeah. We'll in dungeons and dragons. These various Demon Lords, and they they rule over various sort of portions of the of the fiend population in the game, and they're to demon lords in particular that I was thinking about in regards to today's episode, and that that would be. An jubilee. So Saag Moi is the. Demon Lord of Fungi. The Queen Fun Guy, the master of decay and then opposing her. Ever at odds with her is jubilee, the faceless Lord God uses slimes and blobs all the losing nasty creatures of Dungeons and dragons, and yeah there they oppose each other their constant war with each other and some. Campaigns like their forces, and even there there in embodied forms do battle with one another, and it actually ties in a bit with this subject. We're talking about today of penicillin. Okay, so penicillin, the fungus that fights! I don't know. Would you call diseases slimes? Well I feel like jubilee being the demon. Lord of Oozes, and slimes kind of makes it the demon, Lord of of microbiology, as well and you know my groves and microbial illnesses so okay well so today we're going to be talking about penicillin. Maybe one of the great real weapons of Tavoy. Yes, but this this came up I. Think because we'd been talking about fungus on or other podcasts on stuff to blow your mind where we just finished recording a five part series on psychedelics, yeah, yeah, looking at Fungal psychedelics and ongoing research into how these substances could enhance our mental. Mental wellbeing in helping the treatment of psychological issues and one of our big take home that these guys could help save lives and improve the quality of human life, but it would not be the first or only fungi to do so because we can certainly look to various interactions between human health, the different fungi species and their use in traditional medicine we can point to various products including products of fermentation for instance including alcohol but there's an even better example of better living through fungi in that's penicillin. Right so today we're going briefly explored the invention of penicillin, which is often cited as. The first true antibiotic technology of course antibiotics are medications that treat infections by killing injuring or slowing the growth of bacteria and the body. Antibiotics are a class of what you would generally call antimicrobial drugs medicines that kill microbes that present a threat to the body of course and antibiotics generally fight bacterial infections, whereas you could have others like Antifungal that Fungal infections or antivirals that fight viral infections now, antimicrobials antibiotics are gigantic subject area that we're. We're of course not going to be able to get into every nook and cranny of the subjects, but we hope we can have a an interesting introductory introductory discussion. Maybe come back to antibiotic sometime again in the future because it's it's a broad invention that has lots of little invention tributaries throughout history. Yeah, but it is such a fascinating case to look at it and I think should make for a great episode of invention here because. For starters it's it's a twentieth century invention. Slash discovery off, and of course, the line between ambition discovery is a little bit gray. But we we can pinpoint it to nineteen twenty eight, and ultimately like rolled out by nineteen forty or so but so we can, we can look to it. We can look at the world before we can look at the world after with with the sort of clarity that we always have with the certainly older or more ancient inventions, exactly because we always like to ask the question on the show what came before the invention what what changed when this invention came on the scene and what became before widespread modern antibiotics was stupendous amounts of death and misery from infectious disease in blood poisoning I I was wondering like. Is it even possible? To get stats on what the world of infectious disease looked like before we had antibiotics around the mid twentieth century. Yeah I mean to a certain extent, a lot of the suffering is just incalculable you know especially, if you go back and sort of consider all of human history up to that point in the various factors that that influenced infectious disease and injury, you know the the eventually the rise of germ theory, but. This things like that the rise of cities and so forth, but but luckily yes, since it was such a reason invention, we have some pretty incredible stats on the matter. Suddenly. Thanks to this new miracle drug diseases that it simply ravage. The global population like syphilis could be cured. The shadow of lethal infection no longer hung at least as heavily over every scrape, injury and war wound. And with wounds, where often talking about Sepsis, which is a term that was used by hippocrates back in the fourth century, BC meaning blood, rod or blood poisoning. And he was referring more in generally I think to decay, but the term came to be applied to blood poisoning, which arises when the body's response to infection causes. Injury to its own tissue and organs. But just prior to the twentieth century, infectious diseases accounted for high morbidity and mortality rates around the world, even in the industrialized world, according to w a Adedeji in the treasurer called antibiotics from two thousand sixteen, the average life expectancy at birth was forty seven years forty, six forty eight years for men and women respectively, and this was due to the dangers of smallpox cholera. Diptheria pneumonia typhoid fever plague Turkey Laos's typhus, syphilis and host of other ailments that could afflict you. endearingly antibiotic Era that follow again a rising in the middle of the twentieth century, the the leading cause of death in the United States change from communicable diseases to noncommunicable diseases like Carter, cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke, and the average life expectancy at birth rose to seventy eight point eight years, so the elderly were no longer a mere four percent of the population, but grow to become a whopping thirteen percent of the population. So we're talking about you know profound changes. Demographics based on this new this new invention. Yeah, the changes huge. We live in a world now where if you have access to high quality, modern medicine and a lot of people don't. Mind, but if you have access to high quality, modern science based medicine, and you can get antibiotics and and can get to a hospital or see a doctor. You very likely have a good chance to beat most of the Common Infectious Diseases that people get unless you have some kind of you know like another condition that exacerbates it or something before antibiotics. This was just not the people just died from diseases that you catch like diseases that are common for people to catch all the time, yeah or certain. Certain diseases like syphilis that were virtually uncurable you know, and and some of the the cures that were attempted were were pretty horrendous. You know in and had an generally did not work. You know talking about using mercury and so forth and do you mentioned before contamination of wounds? I mean this is just a huge thing. Just like a you know you might you might cut yourself while gardening, and you die from it. Yeah, heaven, forbid you undergo, say Medieval Gallstone, surgery or something like that yeah? By the way, I think tuberculosis has a you. Know is a good example to look at for some of these stats as well according to the CDC. TB was a leading cause of death in the US in nineteen, forty, prior to the rollout of antibiotic therapy in Nineteen, hundred, one, hundred, ninety, four of every hundred thousand us. Residents died from deep TB. Most residents of urban areas in nineteen hundred, the three leading causes of death in the US were pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea, and interrupt us, which together with Diptheria caused one third of all deaths, and of these deaths, forty percent were among children aged less than five years old. Now to your point in not everybody has. Access to antibiotics that say and people enjoy in say Europe and the United States. Yet TB remains a the leading cause of death from an infectious disease in many parts of the world, particularly the developing world and some antibiotic treatments or antibiotic assisted treatments are more complicated and more difficult than others I mean I know the treatment for TB is not as say easy is around of just orally administered antibiotics that you might get for a standard bacterial infection right, but it suddenly was just a heralded rightfully so is is a miracle invention. When it came about you, I saw an image of a of a sign on a garbage. Can or mailbox from the Mid Twentieth Century Advertising that now you can get gonorrhea cured in in like four hours. Thanks to the you know these new developments in antibiotics you know. It can be difficult to put ourselves in that mindset, having grown up in the wake of antibiotics, or at least most of most people listening to this show I was just thinking about how many like us. Presidents died of infections of various kinds. That seems like that would be a very unusual thing to happen now, but like in the eighteen hundreds James Garfield got shot, but it wasn't the initial gunshot that killed him. He lived for like think weeks afterwards he got an infection in the wound. I think because they were digging around with dirty hands to try to get the bullet out of him, and he and they didn't have antibiotics of course when he got an infection, so he died. I think another. A US was William. Henry Harrison who I think. They think Dow died from probably like drinking, fecal contaminated water, and the White House yes, so many different injuries and infections were. Far More likely to be lethal with you know without modern antibiotics to step in and and aid in the fight. Now there were some things that were kind of like versions of antibiotics or antimicrobials from before the discovery of Penicillin in nineteen twenty eight, yeah, the best example from the period, just immediate immediately prior to penicillin would be the Safa'a, miser or the soulful drugs, and these were the first antibacterial used systematically, and they were synthesized in nineteen. Nineteen thirty two in the German laboratories of Bear AG. Now you might be thinking about the time line like wait a minute. Didn't we just say that penicillin was discovered in twenty eight, but it took a long time after the discovery of penicillins antibacterial properties for it to be made as a useful medical dry like it was one thousand, nine, hundred forty. Generally, that's the date you see for. When penicillin actually became a yeah, an actionable thing in Madison. So, yeah, before that we had the SOFA drugs and it they had a rocky start, but they did prove very effective in preventing wound infections during the second world, war they were used on both sides in the in the form of soulful pills and also sotho powders that would be sprinkled over wound so if you've ever watched A. some sort of a period piece, especially a war piece of the twentieth century, and you see somebody, sprinkling powder mover injury. That is what that's supposed to be soft drugs are they're not as effective as true antibiotics like penicillin. And there are a number of possible side effects that. Can take place, and it also can't be used to treat syphilis an and it also can't treat SOFA resistant infections now, of course, this is also a twentieth century invention so I was wondering. Did anybody come up with any version of antibiotics or Proto antibiotics? Before the Twentieth Century? We know that penicillin hadn't been discovered and isolated and made stable as a useful medicine, but were there any things like antibiotics are sort of precursors. Precursors of antibiotic, because in game of thrones right, they have penicillin. Don't they? Or they have some sort of fantasy penicillin I've never heard of that, don't they? Have something the the the the the masters would mention having to do with with Brad in mold or something, didn't they? I? Don't remember that I just remember people get cuts, and then they get infected indic-. Give him milk of the poppy I mean they have milk the poppy maybe. Our game of thrones our our our George. Martin readers left to right in on that, but I vaguely remember there being like allusion to something like some sort of mole based. Medicine that they were using. Let could be wrong. Well. I can't see that being something that's thrown in there as a little aside, but like isn't widely recognized for us. And it's interesting how that kind of parallels. Some interesting pieces of evidence for Proto Antibiotic Technology in the real world, even going back to ancient times so I won't look at the work of the emory university bio archaeologists George. Jr Mela goes. Who is now deceased I think he died in twenty fourteen but he's interest eight interesting scholar, and he discovered something very curious back in nineteen eighty, so the subject he was looking at was a set of human bones from ancient Nubia dating. Dating from between three fifty and five fifty C E, and so the the bones came from Nubia, which is a region of Africa along the Nile, river, but south of Egypt in what would be modern day Sudan, and what these bones showed was evidence that the people they belong to had been taking tetracycline now. Tetracyclene is not the same as penicillin, but it is an antibiotic. It can be used to treat all kinds of infections for minor problems like acne concert with some other drugs. Drugs two major diseases like play or to leukemia, or even syphilis and tetracycline works primarily binding to the Ribe, assumes of bacterial cells, ribes, zones or sort of the cellular factories they build proteins that are needed in order for organisms to live and grow, and by binding to the Ri-. Zome tetracycline makes it difficult for the bacterium to create new proteins. It was patented in the nineteen fifties and became widely used in the second half of the Twentieth Century So, what was it? It doing in the bones of Nubian. People who live like seventeen hundred years ago, well Arm Lago sin colleagues followed archaeological clues to identify the source of the tetracycline, which was beer of course, beer is another one of Ultimately, it falls under zagged Moi's domain. Oh. Yeah, though this is different. Because tetracycline is not made from a fungus, it is actually an antibacterial. That is a byproduct of some bacteria. Oh, okay, so it's bacterial byproduct, but essentially okay, so technically it's duplex. Point to jubilee this jubilee versus Gibb Lakes Right. I mean that's going to happen with your demon. Lord I introduced lean warfare so beer is made from fermented grain of course and the fermented grain in this ancient. Beer apparently contained the bacteria streptomycetes, which creates Tetra cycling as a byproduct, but a question of course so like were these traces of tetracycline in Nubian mummy bones, a sign of like a bad batch of beer, got contaminated by accident, or were these people deliberately culturing their beer with antibiotic producing bacteria, and so to look at a study from the American Journal of Physical Anthropology from twenty. Ten of which are Malaga's was one of the authors the authors examined tetracycline in skeletal remains from throughout this period, and the evidence indicates that the ancient Nubians were consuming these antibiotics on a regular basis in the authors suggest that these ancient people. People were intentionally producing this medicine and this links up with some evidence from other ancient peoples, nearby such as the Egyptians that sometimes apparently used beer as a treatment for conditions like gum, disease, and other types of infections in the author, even found evidence of a four year old child, whose skull contained lots of tetracycline from this beer, suggesting that the child had been fed high doses of this like antibiotic beer, perhaps in an attempt to cure an illness, maybe the illness that killed him, and so the levels of tetracycline residue found in the bones. These mummies is only explicable. If they were repeatedly consuming this antibiotic in their diet. And there are actually other archaeological remains that show evidence of antibiotic use in the ancient world for example samples taken from the Famara of skeletons from the Dock Leo ACIS in Egypt from people who live sometime in the late Roman period, also showed evidence of the same thing of tetracycline and the Diet and this consumption of tetracyclene is consistent with other evidence, showing a relatively rate of infectious disease in Sudanese Nubia during that time period. And a lack of bone infections apparent in these remains from the this acis in Egypt so. It really does look like people in ancient Africa discovered a somewhat effective form of antibiotics centuries before the discovery of penicillin and the isolation and mass production of focused anti-microbial medicines now to be clear. I think like a beer that had tetracycline content from from being cultured with bacteria, like this probably would not be as potent and focused and effective as like the isolated compounds in the drugs you take orally or through injection would be today right, but it would have some effect and. And it appeared that it probably was somewhat effective in fighting infectious disease right, and of course they wouldn't know exactly what they had here, but they knew they had some sort of beer that seemed to some sort of holy liquid that that that had some sort of curative property to it exactly fascinating discovery from the ancient world, another interesting fact tetracyclene is relatively unique in that it leaves clear signatures in the bones that can be discovered long after the person has died so. Don't leave these clear markers like this that make it easy for archaeologists to detect, so you have to wonder like, are they? Were there other cases of ancient peoples in various places in times using some kind of antibiotics or bacterial or fungal cultures to treat diseases like these ancient Nubian people were but that we don't have evidence of because it doesn't show up in the bones. tetracycline does yeah, you could have just been lost to history. I was reading an interesting paper from frontiers in microbiology in two thousand, ten by a Rostom on Minova called a brief history of the antibiotic Era Lessons Learned and challenges for the future, and Aminov points out this unique quality of tetracycline. tetracycline and notes just what I was basically just saying like how easy it would be for evidence of other uses of antibiotics in the ancient world to be lost to us, though he he also mentioned that there are other anecdotes from history about like cultural traditions that show Proto antibiotic technologies in these other examples would include red soils found in Jordan that are used for treating skin infections. It's been discovered that these soils contain some antibiotic producing organisms. I'd guess they're probably also some major risks in applying soil to wounds, and then also plants used in traditional Chinese medicine that actually do have some antimicrobial properties. Yeah, because one thing we have to remember is like the Modern Anti. Effort is ultimately based in going out into the natural world in finding these weapons that already exist. Yeah, and then reusing them in adapting them of for Human Madison and you know this is essentially what is going on in traditional medicines as well, and it also means that are weapons out there that either have not been discovered all especially in particularly vibrant ecosystem, some of which of course of are threatened all the more reason to. US to not decimate say the rain forests or the deep ocean right? But then there are also things that may have been discovered to some degree in the past, but have been forgotten will yeah that that does seem possible, because despite all evidence of ancient sort of Proto antibiotic technologies, the worldwide rates of death from infectious disease in the periods, for which we have data right before the invention of modern antibiotics shows that humans generally did not have effective antimicrobials in that period, so maybe some of this knowledge was lost over time all right well on that note, we're GonNa take our first break, but when we come back, we're going to return to the mold research, the nineteenth century, and ultimately to our key inventor here Alexander Fleming. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster retailers are turning to the cloud restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping IBM dot com slash cove nineteen this. This. Episode is brought to you by IBM Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping IBM, dot. com slash cove nineteen. We're back now. We'll get to Alexander Fleming in a minute with the discovery of penicillin, but Alexander. Fleming was not the first person to notice that there might be some anti microbial properties of certain fungi. That's right. There was there was work going on in this area of prior to Fleming Fleming was was You know picking up on some of it, and and really just overall. Just our understanding of a fungi in general was was advancing as we mentioned era, psychedelics episodes There was a time where we did not recognize fun guy as being separate from the realm of plants right before we realized that it was a kingdom, unto itself in the Kingdom that has a little more in common with the Animal Kingdom than it does with the plant kingdom. And little a lot of talented folks working in this area, but one of them. Might come as a prize to a lot of people and that's because her name was beatrix potter. The bunny rabbit, a bunny rabbits. Yes, okay off the Bunny Rabbit fame. It was kind of a curious coincidence, because I was reading about all this, and then just randomly on the stuff to blow your mind discussion module, which is the facebook group for people listening to the show to discuss episode, someone brought up the trix potter in regards to something to do with squirrels because there's a lot of squirrel. Squirrel content in the discussion module, and yeah, they brought a Beatrix Potter and Beatrix. Potter actually ties in to this episode a little bit, because in addition to being the author and illustrator of the you know the tale of Peter Rabbit and associated British animal tales. She was also a naturalist with a great deal of interest in astronomy, and most importantly of all my college. So she produced a lot of beautiful scientific watercolor. Illustrations of various fun guy in her neck of the British would. As part of her studies, and if you studied a lot of local molds as well and did illustrations of them. She's ultimately very interesting character. That was Unfortunately she lives in time in which the sexism of the day prevented her from reaching the heights of in the natural sciences that she would have been afforded later on, but in a lot of her work is also just being I think rediscovered and appreciated for the first time. you know in recent decades, but the yeah, the next. Next time someone busts out some the trix Potter A. Remember. This is not just a an individual who wrote some fanciful tales, and illustrated them like she was just she was out there, studying the natural world, and in Crete in in advancing our understanding of my college, she was sort of a looking into the hidden life of nature in multiple ways, yeah. I, see some sources that are asking the question. Okay was Beatrix Potter who she a true naturalist, a true natural scientists over she just to. An amateur, that was just very interested in these things, and it's kind of a couple of question. Ask when you consider the limitations. In the Victorian era for women but I think undoubtedly she she I would side with the fact that she was a natural scientist I, mean she? Or co-authored one paper. If I remember correctly so I'm I'm gonNA give her giver. Full credit was about fungi. It was a mushroom. In particular I, forget was one of those related to the Russillo Mushrooms, but I forget which species. But. Basically, she was you know she was kind of up against the the Patriarchy for the most part though. We'll. Is it time to turn to penicillin itself yes? Let's turn to this. The key discovery here and our inventor are discover Alexander Fleming. Okay So, who was Alexander Fleming? Fleming was born in eighteen, eighty. One died in nineteen, fifty five, and he was a Scottish biologist physician, microbiologist and pharmacologist. He was the son of a farmer, and he observed and studied a great deal of death from Sepsis in World War One. He observed that while antiseptics worked well at the surface, a deeper wounds, a sheltered bacteria from the effects of things like sulfur drugs right so if you have the kind of superficial wound, you could clean it off pretty good, and that might help protect you from from bacterial infection, but if you have a deep wound and say like dirty stuff, bits of soil and other you know just crud gets lodged deep in there. You might not be able to clean the wound out very well right and that's exactly the kind of stuff that's going to get lodged in there especially with your war wounds where there is a. Stab or or a deep cut or a bullet entering the body. We'll makes me think about The when we were reading about the idea of Stegosaurus, perhaps weapon I. I mean not consciously, but stegosaurus perhaps Having an adaptation to weaponize infection against its enemies by dragging its Dagga miser spikes through the Dung right exactly yeah, having dirty Bagga miser spikes, and then when it wax the T. rex in the crotch with the that gets infected later, and eliminates a Predator from the area and the the the the predators of the day would not have had access to antibiotics, certainly not or even that beer from the. We mentioned earlier so. Flip Fleming was devoted himself to research he Prior to penicillin. He discovered a lifetime naturally occurring enzyme and mucus in other parts of the body than inhibits bacteria, so he was already. You know in this area looking for for new new breakthroughs new discoveries. But then his biggest breakthrough, all is this discovery of penicillin, and it's truly one of the more amazing invention slash discovery moments from history, because while he was exactly the right person to make the discovery, and then deserves all the credit he was given. The key moment comes down really too pure luck, and we simply don't know if anyone else would have made the discovery if he had not been there to observe it, okay, so what happened with this discovery so around nineteen twenty seven, or so he had engaged himself in studying STAPHYLOCOCCI or Or staff, and he had stacks of Petri. DISHES DISH SPECIMENS IN HIS LAB, which I've seen described as being kind of an untidy lab, so imagine all these likes Petri dishes, full staff all over the place notes, and so forth, and so the key moment comes in September of one, thousand, nine, hundred, twenty eight right right, so he has these staff petri dishes out, and then he leaves them for the weekend. Go on holiday with his family any when he comes back, he expects you just see how they've progressed. See how they've grown. But he finds that they haven't grown. In fact, they have died. Something has ravaged his specimens. Yeah, now it's this is one of those stories where it gets very narrative is so you do have to wonder if some details of it or embellish to and how the story may have changed over time, but this is the way the story has been passed down and and I think it seems to be largely basically true the way that I've seen. The story often told us that. He comes in. There's a blob of mold growing in one of the plates and all around the mold. There's this halo of nothingness where you normally what you would see is that if you got a plate for culturing bacteria, there would be these little dots and blobs on the on the plate. But instead there's this halo where there's no bacteria bacterial deadzone zone now, of course we know staphylococcus is is a bacterium group linked to all kinds of human disease and misery. staph infections right if this mold could kill staff that seems medically relevant. So what happened here well? He He. He realized that he was dealing with some sort of a fungi. So he luckily, there was an ecologist with a lab just below. Fleming on the floor below his lab. Man by the name of CJ La Touche and in fact it's also been suspected that the mold and question that killed. Fleming's staff might have drifted up from a Lotta Shays lab, adding an extra element of weird chance to this whole situation. Okay, so perhaps his samples were contaminated by stuff from the lab next door down a floor, right? That's one that's not. That's not a theory that's presented in every source does pop up fairly frequently so specifically. This mold was what would later be identified as a strain of penicillin, no Tottenham and it was obvious that it's secreted something that prevented staph bacteria from growing and so fleming followed up in studying the secretion. This mold juice says I've seen it called. He he found that it didn't only prevent the growth of staphylococcus. It worked against common bacteria like streptococcus or Meningococcus, and and the back also against the bacterium that causes diptheria interestingly while Fleming did see applications for penicillin and curing disease. He mentioned them briefly in the paper he published in Nineteen, twenty nine about this discovery about a the the antibacterial properties of Penicillin he primarily thought of this secretion of penicillin as a tool for bacteriologist to sort strains of bacteria, independent, sensitive versus non penicillin, sensitive species, and the that that could be useful in the lab. Yeah, so he sometimes criticised is is really not understanding completely what he had here not. Not Having the vision to see where it could go well. I don't think he completely understood, but he did indicate that this could possibly have uses in medicine right so fleming and his assistance, Stewart, crowder and Frederick. Ridley tried for years to turn this accidental discovery into a stable isolated compound that would be useful and this. This was a problem because like you've got this secretion from the mold molds making some juice. It's getting stuff wet with this this stuff that that that fights bacterial growth, but they couldn't isolate the compound that was causing the effect and stabilize it and make it make it generally useful so to quote from. Paper that I mentioned earlier quote for twelve years after his initial observation Alexander Fleming was trying to get chemists interested in resolving persisting problems with the purification and stability of the active substance and supplied the penicillin strain to anyone requesting it, but he really he could never cracked the nut ultimately, and he didn't finally make this discovery of the process for for stabilizing and isolating the compound, and by Nineteen Forty Aminov writes that Fleming finally abandoned quest, but fortunately it was right about that time that they capable team at purdue university, including the researchers Howard. Howard, Florey and Ernst, chain or Chine. They picked up on this research and they. They kicked off the research project that would eventually breakthrough on this and there are all these interesting story so of course this while World War. Two is going on right so research conditions are not ideal and They're all these stories about how they turn to their lab at Oxford into this giant incubation center, or sort of factory for mold like employed all these lab assistants who were these women who had been referred to in some sources as the penicillin girls. And they would work to T-. They would work to grow the penicillin in buckets and tubs, and basically every container that they could And eventually they did. They were able to isolate and stabilize this compound so to quote from an Article from the American Chemical Society. In nineteen forty fluorine that'd be Howard Florey carried out vital experiments, showing that penicillin could protect mice against infection from deadly. STREPTOCOCCI, then, on February, twelfth, Nineteen, forty, one, a forty three year old policeman Albert. Alexander became the first recipient of the Oxford Penicillin. He'd scratched the side of his mouth while pruning roses, and developed a life, threatening infection with huge abscesses, affecting his eyes face in lungs, penicillin was injected, and within days he made a remarkable recovery well, but unfortunately, despite this recovery which lasted for a few days, they ran out of the drug and. and Alexander eventually got worse again, and he died, and I was reading that they were so desperate to cure him that after Alexander urinated while on his antibiotic course, they would collect the urine and try to extract the penicillin. He excreted again so that they could be re administered to him. and I should mention also that the the process that the Oxford team relied on to extract purify the penicillin and the mold juice was led by another important biochemist guy named Norman Heatley, but this case of Albert Alexander shows an obvious early problem they. which was the problem of scale? They simply lacked the ability to make penicillin at the scale. It that would be needed to treat even one person let alone. The whole world the strain of mold that they were using didn't make enough of it, and this led to the search for other species of the same fungal genus penicillin, which would maybe they thought produced higher concentrations of the penicillin filtration, and I was reading an interesting article. Article by the University of Michigan Physician and Medical Historian Howard Markel that tells a really interesting story I'd never heard about this so the story goes like this. Apparently, one of the assistants at the Oxford lab showed up for work one day in nineteen, forty, one with a cantaloupe that she bought at the market, because it was covered in a weird looking golden mold, which is great because this would be the one case where somebody. Somebody is picking over the fresh produce produce to like find the moldy one but the mold on this cantaloupe turned out to be a strain of penicillin called concilium Chris, ogsm which Markle says naturally produced at least about two hundred times as much penicillin as the original strain that they've been studying and then later, markel writes the same strain was subjected to mutagenic processes in the lab, so like bombarding with x rays and stuff to. To produce a mutated strain that would make up two thousand times as much penicillin as the old school fleming mold so by nineteen forty one penicillin is on its way to becoming viable medicine all right on that note we're GonNa. Take a quick break when we come back. We're going to look at the impact of penicillin and we're GONNA. Look at it, you know and I think a fun way by considering really interesting. What if? 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What was possible like clearly there were there were other individuals in the world working on this someone would have cracked if Rontgen had not discovered rays in eighteen ninety whatever year it was, somebody else would have discovered them pretty soon right, but when it comes to penicillin potentially, it's a little more complicated than that. I I ran across a cool article on the topic titled What Filming had not discovered penicillin, and this was a published in the Saudi Journal of biological sciences by all Harvey at all. The authors admit that that certainly if Fleming had made the discovery, someone else might have in the years to follow. Probably you know in the early nineteen forties. They estimate so we could still well have have arrived in antibacterial age. However, they also explore the possibility that we might have simply not made the discovery at all, and it's an interesting argument, so I wonder I. WanNa read a quote from the paper here. Quote of course penicillin could have been discovered. The day after Fleming missed the opportunity, but in reality there was no parallel discovery. The took place as a result anyone taking an interest in penicillin during the nineteen thirties did so in the knowledge of Fleming's work. In particular, the seems no reason to believe that Florey and chain would have discovered penicillin since their work depended on Fleming's famous paper and their access to one of. Of his penicillin, producing cultures, so that's referring to the thing I mentioned about how how a Fleming in his assistance were just like sharing the penicillin strain out with everybody like hey, can you figure out what's going on with this? Can you isolate secretion or the compound in the secretion? Yeah, so think about there was there was so far as these researchers can determine you know other effort out there that would have. In struck paydirt in the absence of Fleming's research, the Oxford. Group wouldn't have been looking for it. Someone Walks Walkman. The father of modern and Botox sometimes called as we made several key discoveries later was also inspired by Fleming so. He has one of these cases where like he seems to be the epicenter. Not only him, but just then the the the the seemingly chance encounter in his lab that day that that we're suddenly, this halo appears in the Petri dish, and that gives birth to a to a whole class of other discoveries right because not all antibiotics are derived from penicillin penicillin, class of antibiotics become sort of like one sort of grandfather class, but then there are all these other classes that are discovered during this golden age of antibiotics that takes place over the next few decades. Just additional medical breakthroughs that would not have occurred without penicillin such as organ transplant. But then there's also the question like what would've what would have happened in the the wider world because again, penicillin comes online during the Second World War, and so that you can easily ask what would have happened if allied troops had not benefited from access to antibiotics at D Day I've never thought about that in fact I. before looking at this episode, I probably would not have known the answer to whether or not. They had accessed antibiotics well. Penicillin production was actually swiftly scaled up just to make sure that allied soldiers had access to it at d day. So, there is a legitimate question to be asked. Might the allies not have won the Second World War without penicillin? Factors consider there I. Don't think it's quite a Gotcha question, but it's it's worth thinking about. The authors argue that without flemming's discovery would have had to depend on the SOFA drugs. An imperfect alternative to a true antibiotics and these. These were described in the nineteen thirties and Fleming worked with him prior to his discovery. But without penicillin in play, the authors argue that sulphur drugs might have become the standard and even push the discovery of true. Antibiotics well beyond the nineteen sixties, and this is also true of the Axis powers had risen in victorious in World War Two because the access powers depended on sulphur drugs and their their key treatment Point out. Quote, despite the fact that the Germans and their allies where at a considerable disadvantage the drugs did a relatively good job at reducing battle casualties, so not to just completely cast, aside the effectiveness of soft drugs, but still they were not as effective as true antibiotics. It's weird to think about the political implications of specific medical technologies. Yeah, and then when you get down to the curious cases of individuals. Yeah, it also gets. Gets interesting where he touched on presidents who died that would have lived potentially if there had been penicillin around right, and so they point out that that soft drugs saved Churchill's life in nineteen, forty three, when he was suffering from pneumonia as well as FDR's life a, but there's also evidence by the way that actual penicillin may have saved Hitler's life following the stuff Enberg assassination attempt of July twentieth nineteen forty, four. This was the plot that tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb. Right like where the some of the officers conspired against him, and they put briefcase bomb in the room with him, and it did explode, but he was protected by a heavy table that prevented it from killing him. He was obviously injured I think he had like nerve damage after. So be the idea here is that perhaps his injuries were treated by by penicillin. Yeah, that's it. At least an argument has been made that they had access to penicillin. I'm unclear on how they would have obtained it. You know through. Maybe there's a spy story. There I don't know. But the the idea being well, if he had if he had didn't have access to penicillin, then perhaps he would have died, and that arguably ended the war in a different manner forcing us to re. An entirely different postwar world. So again we're playing with with what ifs here and also we my understanding is. We don't know for sure that Hitler had access to penicillin following that assassination attempt, but there is the overall scenario of the allies having penicillin and having this ramped up penicillin production leading today. Yeah, that is really interesting. I. I'd never contemplated that before. now something that we do often have to think about, and we should probably acknowledge at the end here before we move on. Maybe this'll be something to come back in. Doing the future with A. New Invention episode is the idea of a possible end of the antibiotics I mean this is kind of scary thing to imagine like what if the antibiotics age is essentially a period in history that has a beginning in an end. Because as we you've. You've probably heard about this. Many disease, causing bacteria and other disease, causing microbes are overtime evolving antibiotic resistance are evolving to to be powerful enough to survive are antimicrobial drugs and I think specifically one thing that's exacerbating. This is overuse of antibiotics and people, not taking the entire course of antibiotics when they're given them. Yeah, because again to come back to the Zagged Moya Jubilee. War Scenario you know it is an ongoing battle, and the the forces evolve. To to better deal with the threats on each side and so. We're we're we're? We're seeing this occur. We're seeing the the overuse of antibiotics producing. Strains that are that are resistant, and it's reversing some of the therapeutic miracles of the last fifty years, and and underscores the importance of disease prevention in addition to treatment, and that means not not abandoning some of our other vital tools for human health like vaccination. We should come back and revisit vaccination. Maybe even various different vaccinations in the future. Yeah, another thing to keep in mind that. I don't think we mentioned earlier. was that the nine hundred forty nine hundred seventy s? Are are considered like the Golden, age of antibiotic, Research Yeah, and we haven't seen at least if you haven't seen any new classes of antibiotics emerged since that time period right now there have been new developments in antibiotics, but I think the way I've read. It is that they're generally modification. Houses of Antibiotics Sorta like we. We haven't. We haven't found anything radically new. Since then. Basically, we reached out into the natural war between. Between Fungi, and the microbial legions and we, we stole some of the tools. We stole some of that Promethean fire. We day we keep adapting that fire to our own purposes, but we haven't. We haven't found any new weapon from that world, and and then they're ongoing war continues. To Change. I'd be interested A. Do you out there? You the listener you work in medical research, or are you working on areas involved in antibiotic resistance, the future of anti-microbials I please get in touch with us. I would like to hear about that. What what are you doing in your work? And what does the future like to you on the inside? Absolutely we would We would love to hear from you again. We've only scratched the surface here. Though thanks to antibiotics, hopefully that scratch will not. Get the life threatening infection. There's a lot more history here, but but hopefully what we've done here. Today is of course, highlight just a very very cool story from the history of inventions and discoveries in human history, and outlined the impact of of one of the greatest inventions or discoveries again. However, you want to classify it from the twentieth century yeah totally. In the meantime. If you WANNA check out other episodes of invention, you can check out our homepage invention pod dot com, and that will have all the episode right there. If you want to support the show and we would appreciate it. If you did support the show, there are a few simple things you can do. Tell friends about it, you know. Tell Tell Your family members about invention and. And, then if you have the ability to do so rate and review US wherever you got this podcast huge thanks as always to are excellent audio producer Maya Coal. 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Invention Playlist 4: The Turnspit Dog

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:07:50 hr | 11 months ago

Invention Playlist 4: The Turnspit Dog

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM. DOT, com slash red hat. A class twenty twenty. We know things have been super weird lately robbed at a graduation ceremony, so found some people to write you Clinton speeches John. Legend Pisa Hillary Clinton. She's into over twenty of your favorites from Dj College Coach K. Abby Wambach to halls. They're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now. To iheartradio new podcast commencement. He just dropped me. Fifteen on iheartradio APP and Sunday may seventeenth across all IHEART radio stations in partnership with the twenty two thousand census shape your future start here. Welcome to invention a production of iheartradio. Hey Welcome to invention, my name is Robert Lamb, and I'm Joe McCormack, and today we are continuing our trek through Acumen Techno history and we're going to begin with the Flint's. Okay, If you've ever watched the flintstones the old. Nineteen Sixty s American cartoon. You're probably familiar with their over the top cartoon world in which you know you have. You have these cavemen, but they're also. It's also like a commentary to a limited extent on nine hundred sixty s American culture, and they live alongside dinosaurs, and they utilize them to power pretty much. Every aspect of their society is the satirical element there if I've only seen the Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas probably. I think so because they if I remember correctly those. Adaptations did put a lot of emphasis on the dinosaurs and prehistoric creature based technology. Oh yeah, clearly, that's the big draw. The series is the curiosity. What kind of dinosaur is going to be playing the role of toilet today? Yeah, because they didn't use dino. Power Everything for instance they did insist on footing ridiculous stone cars around town the love that they had a typewriter that was a mere stone machine. Kinda like a cross between A. Typewriter in a stone, xylophone or something? But they also used of course that would be. What is it a Litho phone? Actually it's not as there is a name for stone xylophone talk, but but it was more complicated, ridiculously complicated in Flintstones, but then they also used just to name a few inventions the following. A little go back and forth and these jared okay. A sorrow pod powered construction crane device. A stegosaur based fire truck theropod based mobile stares. At the airport, yeah, okay, a small dinosaur that they used a can opener yet This is really famous and I know they use this one in the live action film a garbage disposal dinosaur that just lives underneath a counter I. Remember this actually. The garbage disposals acting up, and he opens up the cabinets, and like yells at a yeah, but they've also got a record player. That's a turtle and hummingbird. Yeah, it's like the Hummingbird is the needle of course in the Journal is somehow spinning the record. Wait a minute. We're there. hummingbirds wait a minute. This is ridiculous. Question! Definitely not humans coexisting dinosaurs. They had a mammoth based. System of running water. Didn't they also have a tiny mammoth? That was like the vacuum cleaner they used. The hose. Maybe it's young I. don't know how this worked. There is also a I'm not sure. It was a bird or terrastar based camera, so he like you hold up the camera to take the picture and the small winged creature users its beak to then a chisel the image into a piece of stone. That's funny that some kind of bird as a dishwasher like a Pelican. Yeah looked a lot like a Pelican, and then of course if you need a kitchen knife, what are you going to use a sawfish? Why Not Iraq? Like a Flintstone it's there in the nave plant the Hilarious, if it is an actual swordfish, but then defeats the purpose I mean why would use an animal in place of machine is that an animal is complex and has moving parts and can generate motive power. If you just need a knife or something that seems like real. Stone, age technology would work just. Just as well. Oh, absolutely, and then, of course there's the the added fact that they have a dinosaur named Dino who is just there for companionship. Now all of this is ridiculous and even today we watched it and we laugh at it because it's ridiculous. Exaggeration of Animal Labor each dinosaur star creatures highly specialized so either the humans of the flintstones just. The right animals to perform these very specific functions. Or like US real life humans they bred them to encourage certain traits traits that would make them ideal for highly specific specialized tasks, such as living under your sink in eating all of your scraps. That's right and to explore this concept further today we're going to look at a real historical example certainly not the only example of an animal bred for a certain job within the house, a pre providing some kind of motive power. Of course we know farm. Farm animals draft animals pack animals have been doing this kind of thing for Millennia. But today we're going to be looking at a very strange specific case from history, the turns spit dog, a breed of domestic dog that is bred to run around a small wheel to power a rotisserie. Yes, and this is this. This is amazing I was I, had not heard of this before, so this was like suddenly suddenly realizing the flintstones were real to a certain extent. But but this is going to be a great episode as well because it's not just gonNA. Be about this dog is going to be about sort of. Two or three additional technologies that factor in to this period in time, in which dog Labor was used to help? Cook Big Chunks of meat. Right so I guess I. We always ask the question here. What came before this invention? So obviously we should look at the dog itself and the dog in a way. If you if you sort squint, it is sort of a human invention I, mean obviously it's a product of nature, so we like. We didn't create you. Know Canine generally, but the domestic dog and Reads that exist have in many ways been guided by human hands to Greater and lesser extents. Yeah I. Mean It's not you know not necessarily situation where a prehistoric. Member of human society said that is a good wolf creature out there live a few pointers for what we might change it. But that is essentially. The process ends up taking place so yes before you can have a dog powered, meet spinning grill machine. You have to have a domestic dog. In brief, the domestic dog dates back an estimated twelve thousand years to the Near East before the cat before the sheep before the goat, and before the Horse, the dog may be man's best friend, and it is certainly one of his oldest non-human friends. It is the oldest recognizably domestic animal and we know they were used some eleven thousand years ago in post, glacial Europe by Hunter Gatherers, and they were almost certainly used in hunting. Interestingly enough. It sometimes questioned why humans didn't actually domesticate the dog sooner than this one idea is that there was even more incentive to domesticate these the wild wolf like creatures into the domesticated dogs in the post glacial world, because you increasingly then had to track wounded animals that wounded during the the the hunt through wooded regions, increasingly wooded regions, the forest return and a dog, superior sense of smell could make a huge difference in that task, so the dog was a pre farming domestic species, and that's something that's really essential to note because the cat I think we've touched on this before not. Not An invention that stuff to blow your mind, you know the cat comes about as a domesticated species in the post farming world, because of the post farming surplus of food right so in the in the post farming world you might have say stores of grain or other foods in the settled location. The you're not moving around from, and those might attract to say rats or something like that that would get into your grain, and then the cat can follow the rats right, and in these areas, other species, many of them, of course our food species that we domesticated so in so as to. Control them and not have to hunt them anymore. They live with us and we kill them when we desire to kill. But of course, as great as dogs can be, continue to be in the in aiding the hunt, we know that they can be bred to specialize in a number of key tasks, and I'd have a shortlist here that I thought we might go and forth on again much like we did with the dinosaurs of the flintstones. Okay, so you can, of course breed a dog over many generations to fetch Feld thou-. That's kind of a tongue. Tongue twister, but yeah you see maybe you shoot down a bird. You don't know exactly where it went, but the dog can find it. Essentially, the dog is still aiding in the hunt, but it's the more specialized version of aiding in the hunt now the other thing would be playing more of a role. We think of with cats these days, a ridding the home area or the food storage areas of rats and other vermin right. Another one is to aid and fishing specifically in this one of the breeds. You see this with the Newfoundland Dog. Which is Ken the Labrador retriever Labrador retriever fetches filled foul, but the traditionally, but the Newfoundland dog is there to retrieve floats in ropes from dangerous icy waters. No, of course we see lots of shepherding dogs in world traditions that they can help control the movements and direction of flocks right a big scary dog with a loud bark of has long been used and. Is still used to as as protection, either to protect an individual or to protect property. Yeah, and I. Guess this would be a part of a bigger thing is just sort of like using dogs for violence or the threat of violence of dogs used in war, fighting were in in combat. Dogs unfortunately sometimes dogs. You use to fight each other. Yeah, purely for sport, which is terrible or in other equally kinds of bear bait exactly yeah. Another area that is is is not dark or not not intrinsically dark tracking, because dogs May, dogs could be used to track somebody or something for nefarious reasons certainly, but dogs can be used to track. People say to find. Say Find individuals have been buried in an avalanche that sort of thing right, and then, of course you've got the the final version. The version that many of us today probably know the best, which is just pure companionship. Dogs are a good friend. Good Buddy, and this is where we get the the final form of the dog. The pug right. But, while we often think of other animals, like horses, donkeys, cattle, and stuff like this a clearly as draft animals animals that are used to pull loads or as pack animals, animals that are used carry loads. Animals that there to provide motive power. We don't often think of the dog this way and yet. Nevertheless, the dog has been used for these purposes in many ways around the world all throughout history. Yeah, and one of those ways is what we're going to talk about today. Pairing dogs for motive power with a specific type of cooking technology, which is the turns bid to the practice of using a dog to turn a wheel like a hamster wheel to turn a Rotisserie and kitchen, right? I mean before we really started researching this. The only example that would have come to mind would. Would be sled dogs where the dog is used for locomotion to pull a sled across snow. Yeah, I mean. There are plenty of examples of people using dogs to to pull carts and things like that, and there are other. Carry a pack. Yes, yes, exactly but later in the episode we'll also talk about other types of more treadmill base motive power that come from dogs, another important thing to note when we were talking about all these different things that dogs have been bred for, and and this is this is one of those sort of overstatements of the obvious, but. The the role. Changes the form of dog so like when we were talking about these dogs that are they were bred to to catch rats and to chase vermin. We're often dealing with dogs that are there are small in stature making chase the rat into its hiding places, likewise the dogs that are used for tracking, and in many cases, involving the hunt is well are often some of the absolute best sellers inner. Just you know the ideal for tracking, and in all this to we get into the problem of the modern world, sometimes where someone will have a purebred dog, a dog that has been whose evolution has been hijacked. To for this specific function, and then it finds itself as a pet without a without necessarily having an avenue for that special power that it has been given through selective breeding a lot of times. It's funny that people will have a dog for a pet, and they don't even realize what the that dog breed that their pet is was was originally bred for and so they may notice behavioral characteristics of the dogs. That come through without knowing why. That dog is like so attuned to chasing after mice or little moving objects or why that dog has to sniff everything. Yeah, I've heard though of specific cases where especially urban dogs. have. Their owners will make an effort to find outlets like find a place where they can heard a single sheep around and use that energy or these groups that will go through I think it's New York. I heard a radio. I think an MPR. Story about this where people with traditionally vermin hunting dogs. We'll get together and basically go on a big rat change. Streets know because that's that's what the dog wants right, so we've had plenty of breeds for different tasks but I guess we should turn to the other half of the equation here. leading to the turn spit dog, which is the Rotisserie. He asked the Rotisserie. So, have you been to the supermarket I? Think you know the basic idea here because you've probably seen in rotisserie chickens right with this. It's a chicken on a spit. And usually they're like multiple spits creating this whole carousel of rotisserie chickens in their moving under some sort of a heat source. Be It a lamp or some sort of actual You know heating element, but you've probably also seen it if you've ever seen like the spit for donor Kebab or for euros. Is these are traditionally done where there's a heat element on one side, and there's a bunch of you know season meet. That's on a spit that constantly rotates and the idea with the constant rotation is to provide, even heat right meat is skewered, and then placed over or adjacent to heat source, but then what happens if you don't turn it, you're going to get one side of the me. That's hideously burned and one side of the meat that is perhaps undercooked. Even though you know what you want, you want uniform heating around the meat, and within the meat, and this method actually still works one of their in Robert. Do you ever encounter steak world the this whole world? Wisdom and false wisdom about what you're supposed to do or not do with stakes it can be. It can be a treacherous pass used to when I. When I still ate beef and grill. Sometimes I had I would look a grill book, and there would be a lot of wisdom there do it, and then you go on line, and thereby the wisdom that said the opposite. Dad Wisdom guest off that about this one of the one of the myths that people often say is, you should only turn your steak once you put it on the grill one side let it go halfway on that side. Flip at once and let it go halfway on that side that is not good wisdom. You can turn a stake as many times as you want. If you're grilling it, and that actually helps the state cook more evenly, you know by constantly turning it you are. Are Not letting the heat build up too much on one side and overcook that side. Okay, well like a similar thing I do when I grow I tend to do veggie grilling. Yeah, and so I'll do like a grill basket and I'll just make sure. I stir it up and the same principles. Actually I think would apply pretty well to vegetables. Probably the more you stir them, the more evenly cooked. They're going to be, but in this case we're continuing to talk about big hunks of meat. The bigger the better on a spit turning. So as stabbed that uniform cooking, but here's the thing you gotta turn that spit. In the most basic way to do that is to turn it by hand. Now of course later. It's no spoiler. Say That eventually machines are gonNA come into play into it because again. You've been to the grocery store. You've seen machines turning rotisserie chickens. You know that that is coming right? However the Rotisserie. In Vogue in the Medieval world, and we see plenty of illustrations of their use both both in. Terrestrial Setting depictions of every day medieval humans engaging in rotisserie cooking, but then you also see lots of these imagined rooms of hell to wear it. If you see a big elaborate depiction of eternal damnation, there's almost certainly going to be some individual spitted on a long skewer, and then turned over a fire right the culinary traditions of the time come through in our imaginations of torment right now. Now the word Rotisserie rotisserie concept itself. Of course it's not too complicated, but the word come. goes back to France in around fourteen fifty, or so, which is ironic, because while there were versions of turn, spit, roasting or Rotisserie over Europe from the medieval period, and probably some earlier than that, but especially beginning in the medieval period I've read that it is most common in Great Britain. Roasting was an extremely popular form of cooking that alleged on the European continent, and elsewhere in the world, people would be more likely to use like ovens enclosures to cook inside if they were going to do a roast of meat at all or anything, like apparently he for some reason, English culture was just not into the ovens for roasting. They liked the open flame, and the constantly turning spit. Yeah, absolutely! Boat I think the main sources we turn to in this. Yeah, they send her almost exclusively on England. That's where we look at the documentation of the of the the spit, and all of these additional details about how the practice changes I think this for two reasons number one spit roasting in general, seems a more popular form of cooking in Great Britain and then beyond that where spit roasting is done. It seems like the dog was a more popular way of doing it in Great Britain than it was elsewhere now. One of the sources that I used in in my research. Here is an excellent book. By one B Wilson called. Consider the fork. A history of how we eat, and the one thing that's important is even though we have this cartoony and perhaps even Flintstone Ian. Of Meat spitted above a fire and roast in. I think this is how the walks were attempting to to to consume the heroes and star wars right. Maybe I mean they've got him hanging from a stick. It would be kind of awkward. Spit it. They weren't. There would be a lot of like tumbling and falling around the ropes. They were hanging from so I'm not sure how well that would work. Okay? I thought they were GONNA. Eat somebody that we're going to eat them. I just don't know if they would have turned them. I think they probably would have just burn them on one side, and then they do all right well. One thing that they'd be Wilson points out, is that the the the spit was typically located next to a fire, and not over it for most of the cooking you would only position it more over the fire toward the end to toast. It sort of like in another now you might you know. my bake something and then Broil it the last few minutes to get it a little crispy on top right then that makes sense putting in next to the fire. Think you could get gentler more even heat throughout right and a lot of times in England. We're talking about open hearth cooking, too. Yeah, so that just makes more sense right? The fires in the. The fireplace and then you're You're Rotisserie is positioned in front of the fireplace, but for open hearth cooking. You have to understand that this means the kitchen especially near the fireplace is going to be a sweltering environment and somebody's gotTa. Turn that spit and according to be Wilson before we put the spit dogs to were turning the spit. We used turn spit boys. Yes. It's it's it's it's it's hilarious. And at the same time it is so disturbing. Yeah, so only the only during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Did the dogs take over the work really? And they took over the work from human children She includes a quote from biography John Aubrey. WHO said? Quote in Olden Times, the poor boys determine the Spitz and lit the dripping. Pan! Boy The drippings and be described this as perhaps the worst of the mini quotes soul destroying jobs in the rich medieval kitchen. Here's a passage from their book quote. By the reign of Henry the eighth, the king's household had whole battalions of turn spits, charring their faces in tiring their arms to satisfy royal appetite for roast. Capons ducks Venison beef crammed in Cubbyholes to the side of the fireplace the. The boys must have been near roasted themselves. As they laboured to roast the meats until the year fifteen thirty, the kitchen staff at Hampton Court, work either naked, or in scanty grimy Garments Henry, the eighth address, the situation, not by relieving the turns bits of their duties, but by providing the master cooks with a clothing allowance with which to keep the junior staff decently closed, and therefore even hotter. This horrible I mean this lines up with everything. I've read that. The turns bit role was essentially the lowest rank the kitchen. It was the last job you'd WanNa have because it's like it's not only sweltering hot hard work. It's also incredibly dull and repetitive. You know you're not getting much variety. You're just standing there by really hot fire, turning a crank at a steady pace for hours and hours at a time it's of. It's like Conan. The barbarian running the mill. Yeah, exactly yeah because. It's very important that the crank had to be turned into steady rate. You couldn't have the person turning the crank. Take a break for a few minutes and go do something else. Because then the meat would burn on that side, so you had to keep turning. Yeah, so it's yeah, it's it's grueling re just. Monotonous. Manual Labor here and even it's not even just the big kingly houses, even lesser houses use them. And they were, they were actually seen as acceptable well into the eighteenth century, in England and and also in Scotland, be rights that Scottish highlander John McDonald born seventeen forty one, he was an orphan, and at the age of five he worked the spit in a household. Yeah, and I think this comes through in common expressions within the English language of the period like there was the expression turn spit to like refer insultingly to someone. Someone essentially you'd call somebody a turn spit to suggest they were like lowly and not worth your time that they were in some way but around the Tudor area, which is roughly like the sixteenth century late fourteen hundreds through the end of the fifteen hundreds technology changed the picture, somewhat for this is when kitchens and in England started using the Rotisserie spit powered by belt and dog. We'll so maybe we should take a quick break, and then when we come back, we can discuss more about the turns bit dog. P- this episode is brought to you by. Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot com slash cove nineteen. This episode is brought to. To you by IBM, today, the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping. At IBM DOT com slash coverted nineteen. All right, so here's where we're going to look at the turn, spit dog and the wheel itself so I guess I should mention a couple of sources that I use for this one is a book by Jan bond assassin called amazing dogs, a cabinet of Canine curiosities from Amber Publishing. Two, thousand and eleven in another book by Brian. D Cummins who is a cultural anthropologist who is focused on the relationships between humans and dogs, and this book is called our debt to the dog. How the domestic dog helped shape human societies from Carolina, academic press two, thousand. Thousand Thirteen so according to Cummins, the first published mention of turn spit dogs in history, comes from a treatise published in fifteen, seventy, six, written by an author named Johannes or John Kyis. Who was quote doctor of physics in the University of Cambridge, and this is sometimes claimed to be the first English book written about dogs I think he actually wrote it in Latin, but it was quickly translated by an assistant and English. and Cummins points out that right from the beginning chaos identifies the turn, spit dog, or what he spells, the turns Pete Dog. As a breed which comes thinks is probably incorrect. We'll come back to that more later. Whether the turns bit dog was a distinct breed of dog, Rinat, but John Chaos appears to have gotten a lot of things wrong about dogs in his book about dogs. He didn't know much about dogs, but he's like our book anywhere. But this this being the first mention in literary history I guess we should take a look at what he says, and so the text reads of the dog called. In Latin Veru. There is comprehended. coarsest kind, a certain dog in kitchen service excellent for when any meat is to be roasted, they go into a wheel, which they turning roundabout with the weight of their bodies, so diligently looked to their business that no drudge scully, and can do the feet more cunningly, whom the popular sort hereupon call turn speeds. Now that is, that is interesting. Even if there is, we'll discuss maybe problems with it because it does imply the this is not just. Random animal and throw it in and just see what it did in the wheel. Now the the dog seems to have been trained to to to to proceed on the wheel at a regular pace, so as properly cook the meat right. Kaya says that it's not just that the dog can turn the wheel is the dog turns the wheel and the spit at a better rate than the human cooks in the kitchen. Do which I think. A lot of people can probably relate to the idea of a dog meat, being more reliable than a human. but but the premise here I think is that a dog runs inside a wheel like a hamster wheel in order to turn a belt that turns a spit to ensure that even cooking on all sides of the roast, so beginning a few centuries later in the seventeen hundreds more records of turns bit dog show up in the literature, including a formal breed categorization by Carlin s the Swedish scholar who established a lot of important conventions of taxonomy and nomenclature in zoology and botany, and so again I think lineas here is identifying the turns bit dog as a distinct breed of. Of Dog a bond us in points out that says name for the breed is Kanus, vertiginous or dizzy dog, a name used in several English sources the VERNA. PATER Kerr, so here's bond descend on on lineas, description here quote small long body and Bandy legged most had drooping years, but some had ear standing up some turns bit dogs had gray and white, for often with a white blazed on the face, others were black or reddish brown. There may as well have been several. Other colors Brian Cummings says that the most common characteristics of the dog identified as a breed. Small size short legs muscular, especially for their size and weight estimates are kind of all over the place they range from fourteen to thirty five pounds, good cardiovascular conditioning for obvious reasons and generally being terrier like, and it makes sense because a terrier would already be a breed that is we're talking with breeds that are small in stature utilize mainly as vermin. Chasers I don't actually know, but that sounds right, and quite others like the rat terrier. Right, yeah! So Charles Darwin even made reference to turn spit dog in on the origin of species I had forgotten about this, but. So of course, one of Darwin's main arguments for his theory of evolution by natural selection was artificial breeding of animals, such as cattle and dogs, showing the descent with modification was possible by the guidance of human breeders, and thus it could also be possible by the guidance of the natural environment that was the point of comparison he was trying to make, and so Darwin writes that in domesticated strains of animals we constantly see examples of adaptation quote, not indeed to the animals or plants, own good, but to man's use or fancy, some variations useful to him have probably arisen suddenly or Bhai, one step, so it has probably been with the turn spit dog. So! We know that in the middle of the eighteen hundreds when Darwin's writing about this would have been a common enough like a well known enough phenomenon to have a turn spit dog working in a kitchen that he could just make casual reference to it and people would know what he was talking about. Oh yes, that dog. That is so well adapted to turning a wheel and kitchens so, but the question kind of becomes. Is the turns dog like? Are these dogs bred for this work or you? Merely selecting dogs fulfill the role of the turn. Spit Dog, right and I. Think it's possible. Some combination of the two right that dogs with initial bits of characteristics were selected for the job early on, and then maybe they were bred to bring out certain characteristics that made them especially good wheel Turner's right in this would be the same process that you would say a good rat. Rat Chasing Dog, right, you can imagine like early on people saying I need some dogs to go get to those rats. Give me some short-leg dogs right, and then you know the the the breeding commences, and you get increasingly breeds, if short-leg dogs that have a real tenacity for chasing rat right. If you've got a batch of them, maybe the two that catch the most rats you breed them together and makes the next generation. At the time and author named J G would mentions the turns dog in his illustrated natural history in eighteen, fifty three. But he writes that by his time the dog had become rare, and while it had previously been very common, then existed only in. Regions, but in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, turns bit. Dogs were extremely common in Great Britain bond in rights that they were especially common in the west of England particularly in the city of Bristol in in Wales especially South Wales. bonds in writes quote in sixteen, Thirty Nine, when the Cornishman Peter Mundy visited Bristol. He was amazed that there. There was quote scarce a House that Hath not a dog to turn the spit in a little wooden wheel, so he's not just talking about palaces or like INS kitchens their. He's saying scarcely a house. Yeah, so that's where was apparently most common, but those less common. There are still records that were returns bit dogs outside of Great Britain in places like France. France where they were Shinto Rene broaches or in Switzerland Germany and Holland in in North America. They're even references to turn. Spit dogs in Ben. Franklin zone Pennsylvania Gasset but I mean we should recognize something so Cummins characterizes the turn spit dogs work as often quite wretched for the dog, so they'd they'd be having to power a wheel by walking. Walking essentially inside the wheel for hours at a time, these roasts take a long time to cook and they were near the heat of the fire, which meant that their work with sweltering, and they were often dehydrated, and they can't take breaks because the wheel has to keep going well, they can in some cases I'll get to that and then second. Generally, the dog wheel was hung suspended from the ceiling next to the fireplace believe there would cut the kind of show this as well like it almost looks like. Something you would see. On a cracker barrel wall. Exactly, yeah, except it has a living dog and it turning a crank. Yet, this is one of the things that's so interesting about. This is all these other categories we've looked at. Or at least you know disgusting and passing in which we have bred a dog to to fulfill specific task, those tasks exclusively I think in the wild you know like it's some version of the thing they would do be at hunting, a rat or fetching a a bird that's been shot out of the sky, with with bow, or or Buckshot, or usually yeah, swimming after fishing lures, or or even pulling a sled at least it is, it is out in an environment running across the countryside. In this kind of artificially constructed pack structure well, yeah, you know I would say even for more indoor dogs like companion dogs that sit on your lap and cuddle with I mean that does seem more analogous to some kind of natural behaviors like Din snuggling, exactly this sort of like being trapped in a kitchen in a wheel. Turning the wheel does seem more estranged from the natural. Habitat and behaviors of a dog in the wild than any of these other uses I can think of it is at best almost animal cruelty, and probably just animal cruelty Oh. Yeah I mean in many cases. Surely I mean it's hard to know because on one hand like a lot of dogs do seem to kind of like enjoy having a task to do right, but this seems like it's really hard work that is sustained for a long time. That like there are lots of stories of the dogs not wanting to do it. They try to flee like they would dogs are. Yeah and so one of the details I was reading that you would have the dog that I mean. It's not in the wheel all the time. One presumes that just sort of hanging out in the kitchen or around the house, and then if the dog begins to observe the telltale signs of a roast, being prepared if will run off in high, because there's no one knows what's coming. Yeah, and there are explicit tales of of. In some cases at least like where authors at the time right that some cruel cooks, if a dog didn't keep the wheel turning at a satisfactory rate that mean cook would put a hot coal into the wheel dog, so the dog would be made to run to escape the coal, which continually tumbled in the wheel after it was obviously, it's horrible on the other. Hand it. It doesn't seem like it was always equally bad everywhere like some luckier dogs worked in pairs, trading off in shifts on the one could rest while the other worked Maybe maybe they would have arrest today while the other worked for. For a day, or they could trade off, you know in know by the hour or something like that right, so there is there is the possibility for a less cruel model and yet at the same time as we'll discuss later there, there were individuals who who who specifically pointed out the practice as cruelty, yes, and as as one rare piece of good news in the story in the seventeen fifty six Sino Graphic Carolina's again. The Swedish scholar wrote the when he was writing about turns bit dogs that as a reward for their hard work turns bit. Dogs would often get to eat a piece of the stay. That's good I guess well. I doubt that the CUCKOO's putting the hot coal in there with them, also giving them a taste of the roast, but I I imagine kitchen to kitchen. It would vary to give it a flavor about what this was like to see in person from from people who were there witnessing firsthand I wanna read. One often cited passage that comes from a work called anecdotes of dogs by Edward. Jesse from the nineteenth century. So, here's what Jesse Rights. How well do I recollect? The days of my youth was the operations of turn spit at the House of a worthy old Welsh. Clergyman in Worcestershire as he had several borders as well as day scholars, his to turn spits had plenty to do. They were long bodied crooked, legged and dogs with a suspicious unhappy look about them, as if they were weary of the task they had to do an expected every moment to be seized upon to perform aunt cooks in those days were very cross, and if the poor animal wearied with having a larger joint than usual turn stopped for a moment, the voice of the Cook might be heard. Rating him in no very gentle. Gentle terms when we consider that a large solid piece of beef would take at least three hours before it was properly roasted, we may form some idea of the task. A dog has to perform in turning a wheel. During that time, a pointer has pleasure in finding game. The terrier worries rats with considerable glee. The Greyhound pursues hairs with eagerness delight, and the bulldog even attacks bulls with the greatest of energy while the poor turn spit performs his task by compulsion like a culprit on a treadmill subject to scolding or beating, if he stops a moment to rest his weary limbs, and then kicked about the kitchen when his task is over that at some star condemnation, and of and of course. It does. It does bring to mind. All of the popular CHEF TV reality shows in which the chef is is just nasty to humans. One can imagine how nasty a chef could be a stereo typical. TV Chef could be to the poor. The four spit dog I wonder. Why is that such a common stereotype of the angry yelling chef? WHO's mean all the cooks working for them? Is that. Is that just an accident? A cultural contingency or does does that grow naturally out of the kind of work that happens in kitchens with the heat in the rapid pace of work and everything I don't know it'd be interesting to hear from people because I know it. I heard shows where people are talking about The regional differences goodness me I'm I'm terrible remembering podcasts. I've listened to before what what radio shows, but I specifically remember listening to show. It was a documentary. Was Visual about. Believe it was a British couple that had moved to Thailand. To open a Thai restaurant news in Tai- chefs and I believe it was The the wife was was tie and the husband. Was a British and so he was used to the more British kitchen culture, and when they when they were setting up shop in Thailand like she advised him look. You can't yell at the staff like you. You did back in Britain. It's a different culture here. Yellow them. They just won't come back to work the next day, so that anecdote in that showed lead me to believe that it it does go is. is going to vary greatly from culture to culture, and maybe what we see on TD's is largely a product of sort of the you know the big city, high cuisine and major metropolitan parts of Europe in the United, states, or maybe even something specifically about like angry British, food cuisine culture. Yeah, because almost all the angry chefs I can think of or like. British guys yeah I. WanNa see the gentle chef. Maybe. It just takes forever for the food to come out. Oh, I well I. mean you never really know what they were like actually in their work, but I mean as far as TV personas come along. There are some gentle chefs I think of pulp. Rude Dom, you know. He always seemed like such a lovely gentle soul but I wanted to turn back to turn spit dogs for a second year so there's a fact about them. That cited in multiple sources that I thought was interesting, which is that? Apparently, it was a well known custom on Sundays to take turns bit dogs out of the kitchen and bring them to church with you not just to have his companions at church, but specifically to be used quote as foot warmers. Foot warmers I guess you, so you put your feet on the dog and the dog is warm. Maybe I assume it's cold church, and that I don't know lessens the pain of going to church somewhat I guess I mean it sounds like a step up for the dog. uh-huh, not that that saying much, though this actually led to a number of popular church jokes at the expense of the poor turn spit dogs. A bond notes a couple of these from from. Saying quote. According to an Eighteenth Century Joke, the Bishop of Gloucester once preached to a church in bath, uttering the line. It was then that Ezekiel saw the wheels. This is the passage from the Prophet as equals. Coming in the sky, and and bonding continues at the mention of this dreaded word, all the bit dogs ran for the door, their tails between their legs, and then abundant mentions that another version of the story has the Bishop talking about the horrors of hell where there's like roasting and turning on spit, and again the mention of these words sins all the foot warmer dogs running to escape, and it's. It's a clever joke, but it does get back to the idea that the dogs dogs are intelligent and dogs would. Would pick up on the cues. They might well pick up on the on particular words like this, but that even I think even the smaller signs like the just just little clues that everyone is preparing for a feast right now. Robert I think you turned up some examples of other animals that were used in a similar fashion. Yeah, yeah, so this is something that be brings up in their book. because like we've been touching on. The dog was awfully smart, perhaps too smart for the work and could run in Hyde. So there were some who says that the turn spit goose was the preferred. That you would get You would get a goose in there, and it would perform better and longer, and would be less prone to out. Think the chefs, so we have thus far we have turned spit children turns bit dogs, and the turn spit goose, but of course there was like there was an arc of the turn. Spit dog turns dog as a convention came and wind John Bonda. Seventeen fifty. Turns bit, dogs will be found all over the place in Great Britain extremely common by eighteen fifty people still knew about them. It was like a a thing you can make reference to and people knew what it was, but they'd become more scarce at that point by nineteen hundred, they had almost completely vanished there. There were just a few here and there left. And of course, the main reason is the increasing availability of mechanical alternatives like clock. Clock Jacks, which we will talk about more in a bit, but there was also an accompanying shift in social norms. I think not just against animal cruelty, which was thing that changed somewhat in social conventions over time, but by the middle of the nineteenth century when turns, dogs were increasingly rare to be seen with the turn, spit dog in your kitchen came to be interpreted as a sign of poverty of sort of backwardness or old fashioned. Or just of ECCENTRICITY, it was the kind of thing you might have like you're saying at at the cracker barrel wall. People putting up weird stuff you having strange attraction at their in or restaurant you could have A. Dog It'd be like. Isn't that quaint? The the old school turns bit dog, and like this would be today of course even more so like this would be a moment in the horror film. The Cup young couple their car breaks down, and they're invited in to the you know the warm the living room of this eccentric individual, and there on the wall is it turns bit dog running in its wheel to. The rotisserie, right the sign. You should turn around and go back now. We'll come back to the question of whether the turns bit dog was actually a breed of dog or not. But bonding argues that the disuse of the wheel turned spits over time, and you know again by the beginning of the twentieth century that almost completely vanished that the disuse of this technology led to the extinction of the breed of dog, known as the turns bit dog since the looks and the temperament of the dog made them mostly unattractive as pets. In fact, one of the extremely few records of turns bit dogs being kept as pets. The decline of their role in the kitchens is that Queen, Victoria herself kept three turn spit tixx as personal pets at Windsor Castle. So whatever you think of Queen Victoria, otherwise she she took in some turns bit Tixx. Yeah, that was pretty decent and you know what it also speaks we've. We touched on the cleverness that would still be innate in turn, spit dog, but also like it also shows that the dogs other long-standing ability. Could not be bred out of it. Its ability to bond with humans yeah to to look up at humans with those. Those is that seem almost watery with devotion and emotion and. Enabling this bond form, and indeed a bond to form with the most powerful individual in said country. The bond between them and the lowest domesticated animal. Well, you know you you could identify. Many of the great powers of the dog is a species. They have an amazing sense of smell you can. You can see their determination and dedication and hard work in many cases to to the tasks they set to, but I think it could easily be argued that the. Superpower of the dog is their ability to form emotional connections with humans more so than any other. Yeah, after all they've. They've lived alongside a so long longer again than any of the domesticated animals all right on that note, we're GonNa take another break when we come back. We're going to get into the legacy of the turns. Spit Dog. That would lexus opened stores. One of the first dealers made an important observation. Lexus wasn't in the car business. They were in the people business. Above all they needed to be helpful, respectful and compassionate. To treat people like guest, it's what they agreed to do from the start. And rededicate themselves to every day. Today how we all interact with each other's changing, but who we are isn't in a time of uncertainty. We are all looking for new ways to be human to connect to reach out. To Respond Now when we need each other, most lexus will continue to do what they've always done. Take care of people first then the rest will follow. VISIT LEXUS DOT com. Slash people I to find out what Lexus is doing for their guess, their employees. For our communities. iheartradio and state farm. No, the graduation stage is the first of many, and while grads may not be walking across one this year. They can get the send-off. They've always dreamed of with our new podcast commencement, featuring inspiring speeches from the biggest names like John Legend I'm honored to have the chance to speak to you to share in this special moment Katie couric. You'll need some very important life skills to move forward. Perhaps the most important one is resilience. Chelsea handler. Dare to do things that scare you if you can embrace the. The unknown and fully jump into what life has to offer you. There will be much to celebrate and much to enjoy and cash. Reflect on the work you've done and celebrate moving into your new phase. These iconic names all coming together to celebrate you. The class of twenty twenty listened iheartradio's new podcast commencement brought to you by state farm speeches drop may fifteenth on the iheartradio APP, or wherever you get your podcasts and remember state farm be there for this stage and every stage after like a good neighbor. State farm is there. All right, we're back all right. Think we should talk a bit about the the legacy of the turns bit dog in English literature, because references to them show up in English literature roughly from like the fifteen hundreds when the turns bit dog, I became popular roughly to the eighteen hundreds it kind of cuts off after in the twentieth century, and it makes sense right because if especially in in in Britain if this was something. Something that was to be found in pretty much every household or a lot of households. Anyway it would be a common becoming frame of reference it'd be a combination of a metaphor for expressing something about the game condition, and so it might not surprise you that since it goes back to the fifteen hundreds. It shows up in Shakespeare in Shakespeare's comedy of Errors Dromey, O of Syracuse says I amazed ran from her as A. A witch and I think if my breast had not been made a faith in my heart of steel, she had transformed me into occur tale dog, and made me turn in the wheel so curtail dog there. refers I, think to the docking of the tail in curtailed like cut off, and that seems to have something to do with the social class or status or value of the dogs like the led the more. More valuable breeds that would would have belonged to rich people I think were more likely to have the full tale, whereas the detail was curtailed in breeds that were maybe for working like in the kitchen on. That's where we get the word curtail yes. Oh, my goodness, all right I am all sorts of discoveries are taking place for the stopping well. Actually I want to go back. I'm not sure that's where the word curtail. Means cut short. Right like yeah, but let's just say that is where worrisome. but by Brian, Cummings, account usually a curtail dog. Shakespearean references is a reference to turn spit dog. There's another quote in the merry wives of Windsor quote, hope is courtesy dog in some affairs and Cummins links this to the futility of hope, in some cases like to the futility of the work in the turns bit wheel, and he just goes on and on another one is that some authors have even alleged that the saying every dog has its day comes from the turn spit dog Shen. I think this is not proven. I can't find strong evidence linking the saying to the roasting spit, but the idea is that since many kitchens would have two dogs in some cases, they would trade off every other day, so you'd have a day where you work in the wheel, and then you'd have a day of rest and from what I can tell. This English expression does probably show up during the Tudor period in the fifteen hundreds, which is also the time wind turns bit. Dog Wheels became common in England, but again I can't prove that's where the phrase comes from interesting. Yeah, it's like there's this handy example of cruelty. Right and every household, and of course it makes way into language, or in this case potentially. Yeah, unfortunately, it's like every reference to it in English. Literature is to the fact that it is wretched work that it's something you don't want to have to do that. It's hard that it can be cruel. In fact, even not just not just hard-working cruel, but SISYPHEAN literally. Because bondage and also quotes a quote, a rare collection of poems entitled Norfolk Droll Arri and here's the quote this I confess he goes around around a hundred times, and never touch the ground, and in the middle circle of the air. He draws a circle Lak- conjurer with eagerness. He still does forward tend like SISYPHUS. Has, no end of course is the what Titan is. Punished by having pushed the rock up the hill, and then it rolls back down. Yeah I I don't know if it's a titan, you probably right that yeah, but in Greek mythology having to push the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down again every time, somebody who who ticked off a God right after, but it's interesting, because then why mythologies is usually the the handy metaphor to turn to. For, this period of time you had replaced the sophistication. Replace Myth because you had the real life. CICIS installed in your home. That's the epic struggle that everybody can relate to because they've seen one of these in the kitchen and it turns out. We mentioned this earlier, but there were other similar dog powered machines in human history for some reason always. Always especially in Wales I. Don't know why Wales and western England seem like the epicenter for dog powered machines, so you had dog powered butter churns powered fruit presses. Dog powered green wheels, even water wheels to draw water from a well and then later I was reading about how in England in the United States Refu- examples of dog powered printing presses. Wow! I mean it really sounds almost getting into the room of dog punk. Yeah well. That could be a great like whole family plus dog Halloween costume is some kind of dog punk outfit actually and. Inch do this. You could have a scenario where it's like a dog punk world, but of course the dogs are heroes, and they of course, escape and rebel sort of like dog punk meets rats of nimh basically writes itself yeah. So we talked before about the question of whether the turn spit dog was actually a breed of dog. There's been a lot of speculation about which dog breeds most resemble, or most closely related to the turn spit dog. to bond descend the DACHSHUND and the Basset Hound have been proposed, but bothersome thinks these are bad candidates. Maybe better candidates for relations are the Glenn of interior, which greatly resembles historical roope reports of the turns bit dogs, though has a more terrier like head, and this wasn't, but this was also a dog that was definitely used to hunt vermin. Yes, so we're getting into that area to where perhaps this is a dog that had to do a real like. We have these rat catcher dogs. I need something to. To turn this wheel, go grab one of those rat catcher dogs throwing the wheel. Yeah, I think that's highly plausible. Especially early on you know. And maybe they were bred more for wheel duties. As time went on another bid. A Better candidate also is apparently the Welsh Corgi, the Corgis, which is ironic because of the famous Welsh Corgi Corgis, who are royal companions at the Castles. Castles of the British monarchy which might sort of fit with the story of the Nineteenth Century Queen Victoria taking interns dogs as pets. Oh, I mean because perhaps you end up with another selective breeding situation, the cutest of the turns bit dogs are taken in by the Queen and you get you, Corgis I can see it though I. Don't know how far back Corgis go. That may not actually match up with the the corgi lineage empire. Perhaps we'll hear from corgi breeders, right so Cummins ultimately argues that given all of the disparate reports about size, appearance coat, and so forth the turns bit dog in his mind probably was not a distinct breed of dog, but rather was any small dog that could be trained to turn the wheel, though he believes they were mostly derived from terrier breeds, so we've. We've got these different I. think it's not fully settled whether the turns dog was a breed of dog, or was in large part, maybe sort of breed of dog, or just was was a class of types of dogs. Yeah, like we might be in that area where it was on its way in some regions towards becoming a breed, but ultimately and thankfully the practice does go away. There is one known taxidermied turns bit dog at the. Abergavenny Museum in Wales. It's name whiskey. I've included a picture for you here, Robert I mean it's a small dog with short kind of Binter, crooked legs, and it is a cute dog. I could see a dog like this you know. Earning its way out of the wheel, and into the hearts of Queen. Now be writes. That turns big. Dogs were used in America in the nineteenth century, and the you had an early animal rights advocate by the name of Henry Bergh, who lobbied against there use any ultimately succeeded in bringing some shame to the practice, but with limited consequences. Yeah, there were there were at least some cases where he like identified turns bit dogs. That were being used in some cities as like as where there was obvious cruelty, any like took the people who were who own the dogs to court. Yeah, and he would make surprise visits and Kachins to catch the dogs and their use, and reportedly in be writes in some cases. They found that the. The dogs have been replaced by young black children. This horrible Cummings writes about that, too that in some cases when the dogs were removed, that human children were used in the role, especially black children, and that Berg tried to to advocate on behalf of children who were put through this cruelty to in some cases, arguing that like will children not be given the same rights as an animal. Yeah, thankfully, however, even though we we started with children, and then dogs into the picture then giessen picture. Thankfully, going back to children is not the change that ultimately brought the end of the turns. Bit Doc, right just as dogs replaced some human turns bits. Bits early on automotive power ultimately replaced the majority of dogs and and it started not the majority, but it started somewhat as early as the sixteenth century, and would just go on to replace dogs more and more for spit, turning as time went on so bond in rights that Leonardo Da. Vinci of course invented an automatic spit, turning device that was called a smoke Jack, and it worked sort of on the principle of a windmill, except inside a chimney, so smoke in hot air, rising from the fireplace up into the chimney would rotate a turbine with several blades, and the turbine driven by the smoke in the rising gases would generate rotational energy that. That could transferred by belt or chain to the roasting spit. Yeah, it's a clever clever invention. They would later see some use one of the drawbacks to it. Of course. Is that you do have to? You have to feed a lot of fuel to the fire. You have to keep the fire up. You have to keep that updraft powerful enough to turn the machinery. Yeah, there were several problems with the smoke Jack Model the it was improved upon incrementally in later decades after DAVINCI's invention of it abundance in notes that records indicate smoke jacks were in use in England. During the time of Samuel, peeps, who was an English naval administrator and prolific dire. Journals give us a window into much about what English life was like at the time, which was like sixteen, thirty, three to seventeen three, but even these later improved models of smoke jacks were still dirty. They were unreliable and yeah. They required a very hot fire, and a lot of you know putting awful so a lot of fuel essentially to get them spinning the right rate, but even with those limitations they could do the work of a lot of dogs. Bond Sin writes quote in the early nineteenth century, low thir- Castle near. Penrith had a particularly advanced smoke jack drew driving eight horizontal and vertical spits, saving the Labor of not less than twelve turns, bit dogs, but another automated. Automated Solution and I think the one that ultimately really replaced turns bit. Dogs was also in existence by the sixteenth century, and this was the clock. Jack sometimes called the the meat. Jack had other names as well. Yeah, clock Jacks used a suspended weight or a spring that you would wind up at the beginning of the cooking process to store potential energy that would slowly be released with a steady rotation mechanism, and it worked much better than any of the other known methods, yeah, basically consisted of a weight suspended from a cord and wound around a cylinder, the weight slowly descended the power, transferred through a series of cogs and pulleys, and powered one or even multiple spits. Sometimes there is even a bell included, which would ring when it stopped when the food was done even. So some commentators have likened it to a modern microwave in that respect. Oh, that's interesting, but did have popcorn function. I bet not. So. You might be asking the question. Wait a second if clock checks existed since the sixteenth century. As long as smoke, Jackson almost as long as the turns bit dogs, like why were inferior turn spit engine such as dogs or smoke jacker whatever used at all in the main answer? Here is cost clock Jacks especially early on were expensive. They these were mechanisms that had intricate clockwork issue designs, which were too expensive for standard homes and ends, but I think as time went on. As they became cheaper to produce or mass-produce, you could get them cheaper and more people would replace their turns bit dogs with an automatic system like o'clock Jack, and indeed be points out that by around seventeen forty eight. The meet Jack was just praised as a method to keep the meat turning. And you actually would find them in nearly half of English households. And that's all households, not just the rich ones, but they're just all English households. The these culinary robots says because them. They did the job. They didn't invoke even a tinge of shame. And it wouldn't run off in high like it turns fit dog and we know this when we know that it was an in half of all households based on probate inventories of the deceased. So this would be where you know they go. They had records of what we're in the households of people who had died, and so they knew like this house had had a headache lock Jack this. House had clock, Jack, and ultimately like half of England had. Had Clock Jack in their house, thus driving away the necessity of the turn, spit dog, so you would hope that that what would have happened historically is that there was a great awakening of people turning away from animal cruelty, inhuman cruelty for these these biologically powered Spitz and saying hey, there's a better way, but no, it sounds like. Probably it was more like technology and economics played the main role in replacing dogs and humans to turn spits. And, so you you, you had a number of these gadgets came into play, not only the clockwork Jack but also the smoke Jack, which earlier had become the design to become better Still there are certain design problems with it, but you saw them implemented other English inventors experimented with steam water clockwork. Even more elaborate clockwork wonders. You spit roasting. Meat was just such a central part of the English way of life. That, it attracted the sort of. Innovation that we see now and things like coffee preparation. Yeah, like he's to have their coffee. And so you see so many inlets varieties of ways to make a cup of coffee, and still continue to see new innovations in coffee, percolation, design, right, and then of course once electricity came along I think that was a huge game. Changer right now rotisseries pretty much. All of them are going to be electrically powered right in the other big factor to be points out. Is that With with all these jacks, we had a an increasingly high tech invention based around rather old cooking methodology, the like open hearth, cooking, cooking, something, big open fireplace, but then this went out of style during the mid nineteenth century, and so did the Meat Jack and it's related. Meet turning robots. Though forces to spit roasting itself of course did not go away. spiriting itself lives on as the do various mechanical rotisseries. You can buy them for your backyard grill. You can buy you. Can you know certainly you can see them at the grocery store? The butcher shopper anywhere chickens or other meats are. Are you know turning about and cooking their own juices, but thankfully you will not find dogs turning tiny wheels to power. Air. Say. This one was interesting, but it tugged on my heartstrings. Yeah, I mean they certainly. I mean in a way it's this is human techno history, right? You have to consider the light and the dark. Yeah, but I mean also just seeing the way changes in technology and culture constantly interacting with each other as time goes the way the technology influences what's culturally appropriate and acceptable and that, and then then cultural values affecting what kind of technologies into banned yeah, and then also I am so interested in the fact that you had. This, some very old technologies that were remaining the same, but this one aspect of the process kept getting altered like the cauldron the spit itself. There's nothing modern about that. The hearth itself did not change for so long, but there was like a one pit in the process that was where you saw all this innovation, and then ultimately everything else changes as well fortunately now in the twenty first century. We can cook all of our food in the microwave. Yes. And hopefully I think the plan. Is So this November? Of course we are doing a lotta food based episodes that we'll do. Food based episodes the rest of the year as well as we have already. But we wanted to really focus in on food. Given that this is a period feast. Traditionally and especially in America so hopefully we're going to get to the microwave this month. As well. It'll melt your brain in the best way. All right. I'm sure everybody has some thoughts on this a whether you're a fan of spitted, turning meat or a fan of dogs were like You know someone who is. Starkly. Offended by the prospect of putting children to work olds to work in a kitchen. Performing Manual, Labor. Love to hear from you. You can reach out to us a number of different ways. You can also find the podcast at invention par dot com. That's where they all are, but you can also find the podcast everywhere. You find podcast these days wherever it is just make sure you subscribe. In checkup episodes, and if you dig them leave, some stars Nice Review that really helps us out huge. Thanks as always to are excellent audio producer Seth Nicole Johnson. If you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future or just to say hello, you can email us at contact at invention, pod DOT com. Invention is production of iheartradio for more podcasts from iheartradio. Is the iheartradio APP apple podcast or wherever you listen to your favorite shows? A class two thousand twenty. We know things have been super weird lately were robbed of graduation ceremony, so we found some people to write you speeches. John Legend Pisa Flurry Clayton. She's into over twenty of your favorites from Dj College coach. K. Abby Wambach to Halsey. They're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now. Listen to iheartradio new podcast commencement speeches drop me fifteen iheartradio APP and Sunday may seventeenth across all IHEART radio stations brought to you by state farm like a good neighbor. State farm is there.

Rotisserie England IBM Great Britain Brian Cummings Newfoundland Dog Britain France Wilson Europe Hillary Clinton Lexus Cummins spit Pete Dog IBM smart Red Hat DOT Coach K. Abby Wambach
Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 1

The Best of Stuff

1:25:16 hr | 11 months ago

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 1

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM, dot. com slash red hat. Hey Class at twenty twenty. We know things have been kind of out of the ordinary lately. You'RE NOT GONNA get a graduation ceremony, so iheartradio found some people to write commencement speeches just for you. John Legend he's Hillary Clinton she's into over twenty of your favorites from Dj College to coach Katie Abby. Wambach to Halsey listened to radio new podcast commencement out now. iheartradio APP the ever you get your podcasts. Welcome stuff player mind. A production of iheartradio has networks. Hey you welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe. McCormick can stay. I wanted to start with one of those great navel. Gazers okay. Are you ready? Let's do it okay, so the question is. We know how to describe what we see. When we look at things, you know you can look at the room. You're in right now and right down the features or Or you can try to describe a great landscape that you remember from some trip you took, but when somebody asks you to look inside yourself well, how do you begin to describe what you see in your own mind? I mean how in a way you're forced to resort to metaphors. We talked about this a lot. They're like concrete metaphors for abstract mental properties, and so maybe you think of. Of your mind. If you you try to examine it as something like a you know like a castle or building a solid landscape, you can walk through. That has features you could describe, or maybe you think about it like a weather pattern that's constantly transient and changing, or maybe you can't really think of it. in in comparison to any physical object at all. In which case. How would you? You ever even be able to describe what you're looking at. And how different of a person would you be if you had the tools to see more clearly, what's inside your own mind? Well, even in this were using terms about seeing in individualization, yeah, and and certainly I think a lot of us. Fall back on cinematic interpretations of the of inner, mind states and identity and who we are. But there's there's more going on there like I sometimes when I'm more self conscious. What's say is going on in my default mode network. It won't even be visual like my visual world will be just wrapped up in whatever I'm doing. Say driving down the road. But. It's It's this non visual world that is wrapped up in like voices of the past and perceived for possible future. Would you like to think about death? And about all the ways in which you have failed exactly that sort of thing you know and that, and they may be flashes of visualizations in there, but but but often not at least in my case and of course in all the things concerning the the inner mind. This is going to change from individual to. To individual yeah, totally so today we are embarking on a multi part episodes series that we're going to be doing here on stuff. Blow your mind looking at the general topic of Psychedelics, and most specifically I think with with a strong focus on the fungal domain there on on suicide and mushrooms and related species and compounds. Yeah, yeah, not only about two our point earlier, only about what they seem to change and human perception and cognition, but what they reveal about human. Human perception and cognition yeah, how factor into our past how they factor into our present in how they may well factor into our future. Yeah, that's right now. I think maybe one thing that has pushed us in. The direction is some books we've been reading recently so maybe I should mention them at the top. I know we've both been reading. Michael Pollen's most recent book. How to change your mind which is all about psychedelics about You know the the concept of of spirituality. Spirituality and mental life, and why this is so elucidated by an associated with psychedelic compounds right, and it is just an excellent book you know it's gotten rave reviews of for for for excellent reasons it's it's one of these regan. Pick it up without knowing anything really about psychedelic culture or you know, or the in the nineteen sixties or or botany, an ethnobotanist. You don't really have to have a background in any of these things and pollen as with his other major works. Really walks you through. It adds in personal experiences and is very much approaching a as an older individual who did not have a lot of experiences with psychedelic substance and I think it's very interesting and appropriate treatment, because a lot of what I've at least learned recently about psychedelics makes it seem like psychedelics, maybe of much greater use of much greater interest, actually to older, more mature people, dealing with thoughts of life and death in the meaning of life, and all that then as say as it is often presented as sort of a party drug to. Experience Teenagers Right Yeah I think camera was P-, Pollen said this or quoting somebody else's saying that psychedelics are wasted on the young. It might have been Carl Young. WAS IT Carl Young? That said that okay. It's politics countering with quoting young on that, but but yeah. I can see there being an argument that to a certain extent. However, that's not discount the possible benefits to younger individuals as well but we'll get into all that as we proceed well I just think it seems very plausible to me that it's actually much more useful in. In general for older people to be given tools to win, they're doing that mental introspection looking through the window into their own mind to have the tools to to see more clearly, what's inside and to go in and move the furniture around right or to sort of knock the barnacles off the hull of the ship? Because that's that's one way of looking at it is just the the younger vessel may have fewer barnacles. or or at least a for a lot of people when you're younger, perhaps you were you fortunate enough privileged enough to not have that many psychic barnacles that need to be dislodged or could conceivably be dislodged, etc, yeah, though despite everything we're saying right now. I also want to make clear that approach over these following episodes. It's going to be mainly a sort of like a descriptive and analytical discussion, not one where we are advocating any sort of personal course of action, so we're not going to tell you to take psychedelics. We're not going to tell you not to take psychedelics. That's not our goal instead. We want to talk about what they can do and what they mean right, but in addition to mentioning Pollen's book, another important book that I haven't read, but you have and I've read about is a book by terrence McKenna that I. Know you've been enjoying greatly. Which I think is out in maybe is You might say on less solid footing or little squishy territory, but is also very interesting. Well, yeah, one thing about about of the gods, first of all it's a nineteen ninety-three book, so a lot of time has passed since it came out, and then also it is, it is. is kind of a mixture, so McKenna brings his background and Ethno Botany Ecology and an understanding of Shamanism into this this book and he's ultimately making a rather grand hypothesis that that all talk about here in a bit but yeah you, I feel like with with the food of the gods one has to be a little bit choosy, and what what you really like. Grab onto, but but he has a lot of very interesting things to say some wonderful insight. It's still stands up to this day, but it is a book that I think needs to be appreciated alongside aside other sources especially today. Especially in the kind of perspective, we tend to present on the show. I feel like there's a lot of great literature in the realm of Psychedelia that falls into this category where stuff written by people who are genuine experts. You know really do know what they're talking about. In the realm of psychic psychedelic compounds, the chemistry the botany, the the cultural practices, and all that and have great things to say on those subjects, but then also tend to be. Be Prone. I would say much more often than people in other subject domains to kind of get out into highly speculative and even seemingly supernatural territory right, so you have that tendency, but also just the the the post nineteen sixties, taboo aspect of the subject where for for as well, we'll discuss decades It was not something that was accepted area of study. It was left the fringes and the counterculture, and so there was a lot of baggage there. The both of those those things can sort of hurt. Individuals work in this area, but in other sort of compelling inspiration for these episodes. When I attended the the recent world signs for New York there was a panel on psychedelics as well Oh yeah. When Eduardo cone was on. Yes, cone was on here. This is where I learned about him in his work, plus a few other individuals that will discuss as we proceed. So, obviously, we've covered psychedelics and stuff to blow your mind numerous times in the past discussing. LSD Ibon as well as such counterculture figures as Tom is, Timothy, leary and John C Lilly and we, we've been meaning to come back to psychedelics for a deeper dive for a while, but one of the real reasons that were reaching back into the subject right now is that we are living in very exciting time as far as these substances are concerned. Yeah, because talk in in research term research terms, yeah, because basically these are substances that modern Western medicine explored for a brief time in the mid twentieth century. And then, and then, and when they were looking at them, they were encountering many promising results, indicating how they might be used to treat addiction address psychological problems in even unlock a better understanding of the human mind. But due to political and societal pressures They were all in turn declared illegal substances Schedule One drugs in the United States. I think Simon I, think was made illegal in the United States in nineteen, sixty eight, and then made a schedule one substance in I. Think Nineteen seventy. Yeah, I believe that was the timeline and and of course this also in in in you know involved LSD and various other substances, but basically the result was the decades of potential exploration were lost when modern science it scarcely explored more than what ancient peoples understood about the substances involved, or you know to a certain extent. Less well compared to ancient societies that I mean we're talking three plus decades, during which these powerful substances were purely the domains of counterculture and illegal activity. In the West in you know nobody was studying. Is there well? There was some steady bill. It was sort of driven underground right or not taken very seriously in the academic community. Right? It was it was. Considered like risky to. Say A suicide and study for a while. Yeah, like if you're a pharmacologist psychopharmacologists pursuing civil sign, it could be a bad career. Move Right. Yeah, so it was almost treated as if all of these substances were get ends as if we would reach the point where it was like. Oh well, this is a this just a poison. The you know for the that some people are going to dangerously use for recreational purposes. which you know is explore is is is wrong in two ways I guess wrong in historical context when you see how substances like this have been used. Used for thousands of years and it's wrong on the the medical research front. Yeah, I, mean one of the funny things is given our view of the very like square buttoned up nineteen fifties. The nineteen fifties were relatively a time You know a abundant research in permissiveness exploring these topics absolutely so yeah, there were some decades. There are some pretty dry decades as far as psychedelic research was concerned, but as we emerge from the nineteen ninety s, the culture began to shift, and we began to see new experimentation into how especially suicide and could be used to treat specific conditions. And you know this is what we've covered in the past on the show and what you've heard covered a lot elsewhere. The studies here and there that reveal new potential, and perhaps point the way for greater and renewed study and even decriminalization at least for clinical uses you know in study and studies, if nothing else, and so as Michael Paulin points out in how to change your mind, you know we're living in a true renaissance of psychedelic study and I don't think that's. An overstatement to say that I think especially since around the year two thousand six, when there was a a big seminal research paper out about suicide, and we will talk about in detail in the later episode in the series right and I'm not, and I'm not referring to say like what Colorado efforts Colorado decriminalize them for perhaps with with recreational usage in mind I'm talking about like clinical uses. The potential benefits here are profound and. and. If the trends you know, continue here, you know modern medical science has a has a lot to gain from it. You know it's it's frustrating to to think about those decades in which you know less was being done with them, but but you know we could easily remained in kind of dark age in had several more decades in which these substances not being studied, so it's a remarkable time really all right well I think. Think before we dive into especially suicide then, but the psychedelics in general May. Maybe we should do a little foundation work because I. Know One thing that you were talking to me about the Terence McKenna gets into conveyed in his work is the idea of like what is a drug? What are drugs? And what do people see as drugs? Yeah, yeah, he. He had a lot of great thoughts on this on this matter that I think. Think are really good. At sort of disrupting the sort of like mental concrete ends up getting embedded in our head, regarding the different substances that we take into our body, so yeah, let's I think we should talk about like what a drug is because for instance. If you look at just a basic say, websters definition, a drug is a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effects when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. Now while the certainly applies to say, cocaine or Ibuprofen, it also applies to coffee and alcohol. It applies to melatonin herbal supplements. Chocolate tea, wheat, grass, shots, camomile liquorice. He'll you name it? Yeah, we were talking the other day. I know about it was it? WAS IT Melatonin supplements? You were looking at Oh. No I heard an ad on the radio for them. Yeah, were calling them drug free all these drugs people take. Themselves as drug free, which I think is just. I. I'm not sure what people mean by that. I think I mean maybe like not containing synthetically or lab isolated chemicals that you can't pronounce the names of Yeah. It's you know all natural or something well. Yeah, it's weird how we use the term drug disorder refer to things that are either in the domain of the illegal is in the war on drugs or something that is in the domain of medical professionals. Yeah, maybe something that requires a prescription is produced by the pharmaceutical industry. Yeah, but yeah I. I don't see any reason why these. These all natural substances are not drugs. They certainly are I mean I'm doing drugs right now. I've got my Coffee Cup next to me. Oh yeah, the whole drug free thing kind of reminds me of like the people who say I don't put any chemicals in my body. I know what they're talking about they you know they wanna eat sort of like all natural whole foods you know I I'll eat an apple I'm not going to eat an apple bar that was in a factory, and has all these chemical ingredients listed that I can't pronounce. What that stuff is so I i. mean I understand that, and of course you know there. There are some reasons that you might be in truth. Want to avoid certain kinds of industrial food additives, but the whole idea that you don't put any chemicals in your body is ridiculous, and and of course we're not arguing that one should put everything into your body. Tiny means you know. Ultimately we all have to draw lines in the sand, concerning the sort of thing and those those lines May. Not Make a whole lot of sense. If you really analyze them but I think one of the important things is to be able to realize where we're drawing the line in the sand, and where that line is being drawn for us, by you know other other parties in society. But anyway, this is one of the the the ideas that Terence McKenna discusses and food of the Gods, and I think before we go. Any further I should just go ahead and like summarize like what this book is about. It's kind of about a Lotta things, but but ultimately he has this central hypothesis that he's pushing You know. He makes a passionate case for not only humanities. Humanities connection with psychedelic substances in the promise their power, but also with the notion that they played a role in the emergence of consciousness, yeah, well and sort of like in language and human intellectual abilities right right right self reflection in language in particular and Michael Actually mentions it in his book as well he refers to it as quote, the epitome of all Meiko centric speculation. and really you do encounter some people in this world who? I maybe their enthusiasm for for. And the effects of these psychoactive mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms you get the sense that they have had such positive experiences with them that it drives them to think about mushrooms as a sort of like center of everything, good and holy in the world. I mean in a way that might be unfair. Maybe that's over psychology. Their hypotheses and points of view, but like for example the bike allergist Paul, Steinmetz or stats who comes up in Michael, Pollen's book. We've talked about on the show before I. Think we talked about him in Dune? Episode because I think he was friends with Frank Urban. Who Yes? The belief, so he's got a very like mushroom centric view of the. The world where you in ways sort of mushrooms, rule everything in that the mushrooms are like trying to communicate with us through these compounds, and all that and McKenna falls in this category to he's sort of like. Seize the the mushroom regime everywhere on earth. Yeah I think that's that's undeniable. at the same time I mean he does make a very. Very, robust case in this book again, Nineteen ninety-three book so a lot has happened since then but Michael Pollen also points out. You know it's a ultimate lean. something that's not really susceptible to prove or disprove, and ultimately McKinnon never really fills in the blank on how this would have actually affected biological evolution right, so you probably can't put a lot of stock in his hypothesis being correct barring some other evidence that we're not aware of yet, but basically you know his idea. Is that like well? Humanity owes its mental and cognitive capacities to mushrooms, because for example like I know one of the arguments. He adduces that. Because Silla Sivan mushrooms caused the experience of Cynthia you know the cross pollination of senses, so like colors have sounds, or or music has colors, or whatever you know. sounds have a taste or something that this led to the creation of language, because the language is a sort of cross pollination between the idea of a sound in the idea of a concept ends so. So this kind of like a mental boundary crossing wouldn't have been useful in animals. suddenly is is spurred by ingestion of psychedelic substances. In this case, I think Sila Sivan, and then that leads to humans creating language again i. don't know what the direct evidence for this would be. It's it's like an interesting speculation, but I don't know how you would prove it. It right I think ultimately you would not be able to prove it or really disprove it in which makes it I guess of a safe hypothesis in that regard, but also hypothesis that will probably never evolve beyond the IPOD asus level. Yeah, this is kind of stuck at the interesting speculation station. Yeah, and it is interesting speculation, but anyway I just want to go. Go ahead and describe what that is because I feel like with McCain. Especially depending on what you know about him and his work, you might enter into it thinking only about say machine elves, and the time zero, and some of the the you know, the the fringes things that he discussed thing. You know his discussion two things that he saw Santa on DM T. But, but on the other hand you know. He was an accomplished ethnobotanist in when he was talking about about mushrooms e. he certainly knew what he was talking about and. He just had a lot of wonderful insight into just what was culturally going on and had been going on at this point in time, especially in the United States concerning the subject of drugs, so he points out that drug is a you know. Is it times in Amorphous term that we used to apply to certain substances? especially if we want to demon is one substance or elevate another exclusively the to the domain and control of medical professionals but he he writes this quote. Eating, a plant or an animal is a way of claiming its power. Away of assimilating its Magic to oneself in the minds of preliterate people, the lines between drugs, foods and spices are rarely clearly drawn the Shaman who gorgeous himself on Chili peppers to raise inner heat is hardly in a less altered state than the nitrous oxide enthusiast after a long inhalation in our perception of flavor in our pursuit of variety in the sensation of eating, we are markedly different from. From even our primate cousins somewhere along the line, our new omnivorous eating habits, and are evolving brain with its capacity to process, since re data were united in the happy notion that food can be experienced. gastronomy was born born to join pharmacology, which must surely have preceded it. Since maintenance of health regulation of diet is seeing among many animals that offers you a little bit of a glimpse McKenna has a fantastic way with words and I think he's also fantastic public speaker. If you've ever seen videos of him, giving his, you know, which are you know? He's one of those people who I think is able put things in a way. That's captivating that maybe makes the ideas shine as if they have more merit than they would have put in a less captivating way by another speaker Yeah, yeah, absolutely and you know he certainly, there's a little bit of shamanistic flavor at the beginning of that passage, but I think what he's saying here we can. We can all agree with I mean we are what we eat and so many many ways you? You know we're continually. Rebuilding are ephemeral bodies out of the materials we consume the chemicals and the nutrients in can also said quote, the strategy of early hominids omnivores was to eat everything that seemed food like in development, whatever was unpalatable plants, insects and small animals found edible by this method were then inculcated into their diet I mean that's certainly I I see that in other animals. You know you think about the way. Even domestic dogs who are tend to be quite well-fed in you know like it's not like they're lacking for nutrition, but is just like. If there's a thing that might be, they're going to try to eat. They're going to give it A. A shot, and if it doesn't work out, thing just vomited up. Yeah, I mean it's. This is one of those areas that I that I think really remarkable when we stop and try to imagine the process of human beings, especially figuring out what they can eat what they can't eat what what substances they can use just the right amount of and not kill themselves in potentially you know, have some sort of finish official effect, medicinal culinary, or otherwise because ultimately we're talking about a long multigenerational process of human beings, figuring out the properties of plants in their immediate surrounding, and then passing that knowledge on in it's it's really it's enough to tempt us with. With details of ancient astronauts, the idea of surely some other force, some alien, or some angel came to us, and told us what we could eat, but resist that impulse. No, you're looking at real scientific labor in the ancient world. Yeah, the kind of scientific Labor that was on the subject of the Self, and like putting your own life on the line. Yeah, absolutely anytime we touch on this topic. I'm always reminded of a particular. Chinese myth the mythical emperor. Shinnung the divine farmer and ultimately the founder or the the mythological founder of Chinese herbal Madison as well as agriculture itself. There's the link again between the medicine and food. Yeah, absolutely. And anyway he's credited as having authored a couple of really important books on You know the herbal world, and according to the the myths. She naung, either tasted hundreds of herbs or thrash them with a magic whip in order to learn their properties. That's great According to one legend, he consumed seventy different poisons in a single day. in order to just continue this examination of the natural world. I also ran across some variants of the. The story online that mentioned him having a transparent stomach so that that allowed him to see you know how food is being broken down in his body, but I didn't see. This is not referenced in either of the main. Chinese mythology text books that I I frequently referred to so I don't know you know to what extent there's validity to that, or if it's an accurate translation, etc, but still you know in college. Shinnung is essentially. Classifying all drugs, he's humanities multigenerational process of food testing condensed into a single individual Because you know, of course, climate change humans move into new environments and destabilize their own environment. Ancient peoples would have figured out roughly what was in their immediate vicinity, and then they would have perhaps try to take their important plants with them, but not every plan is easily suited for agriculture or new environments in new plants would have continually presented themselves in the course of their migration. You've got this image of Shimon here in. In the outline and he's just sticking something in his mouth and grimacing. Yeah, yeah, it's great. There's some wonderful paintings and drawings of Shinnung. where he you know, he seems to be just doing the work. You know just out there. Chewing on a twig relief here and there and and syncing it out seeing what well what is this good for? What can this be used for? What can this be used as a treatment for and in in the the writings attributed to him, mentions a host. Host of different substances at one point cannabis comes up. It said it quote will produce hallucinations taken over a long term it makes one communicate with spirits enlightens one's body, and while cannabis is not generally considered a a psychedelic This does bring to contemplation of psychedelics which are our premium primary concern here these episodes, especially the two major psychedelics, if played a role in the often stunted western exploration of their potent powers to bring about a different state of consciousness all right well. Maybe we should take a quick. Quick break, and then when we come back, we can dive more into the question of what our psychedelics. This episode is brought to you by IBM, today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I think the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM. Dot Com Slash Cova. This episode is brought to you by IBM. Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves. More likely teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot com slash cove nineteen. Back so we've been talking about psychedelics in this first of our series, exploring the subject and I guess let's go into the origin of this term. Why why do people use the word psychedelic as opposed to other terms that might mean similar things are the same thing. Well th the the term psychedelic derives from the Greek words for soul or mind, and manifesting in this name was bestowed in Nineteen fifty-six by British Psychiatrist Humphry Osmond Yeah another frame for the etymology is, so it's mind manifesting, of course the Greek see. He spill like psyche is a term for minder soul, th the Greek word De. De lune where the psychedelic part comes from can mean multiple things might mean manifesting can also I think to reveal to make visible or make clear, and this is interesting because it fits with the early uses of psychedelics in psychiatry and neuroscience in the nineteen fifties and sixties when they were considered a revolutionary research tool, a multiple people I think have made this comparison, but one of them is the The psychedelic enthusiast love Groff who wrote that quote. The potential significance of LSD and other psychedelic for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value of the microscope for biology or the telescope astronomy. E-, so he's framing it as like a tool of magnification and clarification. It's something that allows you to see farther. See inside at a greater resolution. Now the term Delic. Ended up taking on a lot of additional baggage, because this term was was definitely taken up by the champion by Timothy Leary. And Others Timothy. Leary. Of course. We have a couple of episodes of stuff to blow your mind on him. that I recorded with Christian several years back and. As we discussed their like leary leary. Ultimately I think did a lot of damage to the perceptions of PSYCHEDELIC. He became he was who's ultimately more of. A more of a Guru type as opposed to you know pure dedicated scientists he. He began as a Harvard academic researchers study out psychedelics, but yeah he clearly he became the dice. Word I think would be an enthusiast somebody who was clearly at a certain point, not studying the subject in an objective and dispassionate way right, but was more just sort of. Of like an advocate for psychedelics, like these things are great, and everybody should be taken them right, and then he didn't. you willingly embrace the the position of being sort of this leader. Almost this unofficial in you know a guru figure. It was the forefront of this counterculture movement, both in in in the the ups and downs of that counter culture. Culture as well, yeah, and so I think this is your correct one reason why the term psychedelic has acquired some perhaps negative baggage I think sometimes people think of that word more having to do with like recreational and sort of music, associated or party associated uses of of these compounds that tend to cause you know, hallucinations or highly altered states of consciousness. Consciousness and I i. don't I don't think that's quite fair. I. Mean I think Psychedelic is a good term and I want to keep using it throughout these episodes. Yeah, and I think there's a reason that the people have stuck with it. other terms. Having been presented for instance in Theo is one that comes up the most and has been Taken out then champion by in some respects, but more and more you do see people coming back to to psychedelics, and that's what we are going to use these episodes. Yeah, and of course in Jen's I think one reason that's difficult is because in theory. Jains means like sort of like you know God. Revealing it conjures up It brings up the Gods or brings up the divine. Up The nineteen sixties as much to its credit. That's I think the benefit of it, but then actually take it apart and look at what it means. It is perhaps leaning more heavily into the mystic. Yeah, which is fine, because I mean to be fair, the mystical experiences very important part of the sort of research history. Oh, absolutely! What the what these? What effects? These drugs produce in the most common reports about the effects that they have on. People's thinking on their lives. If they very often do encourage types of mystical, thinking they very often do lead to people reporting mystical experiences or experiences that people. People you know relate to God or gods, or some kind of divine spirit but at the same time not everybody has those experiences on them and not everybody who has those kinds of experiences on them would attribute it to any kind of real spiritual force, though a lot would so I think in Thea. Jen's does have the negative property of maybe assuming a little too much of a thorough association with the spiritual right and so so I yeah I like the idea of psychedelics it is, it is mind revealing now. They're also sometimes called hallucinogens. Roughly which of course is is confusing as well for starters, something can be an elusive agenda and not be a psychedelic compound. For sure isn't cannabis sometimes classified as a hallucinogen? I think I've seen it. classified as such. Yeah, one part of this of course is you don't have to take a psychedelic to have an an audible or visual hallucination there many other causes and conditions that can be involved, and you can make a strong case that our default perception of reality is nothing short of an elucidation. Likewise, psychedelics don't always cause hallucinations. Full blown. Hallucinations are actually uncommon, and they're probably not going to be like the hallucinations. You've seen in a PSYCHEDELIC film right? I mean I think often the hallucinations that are depicted in psychedelic movies or given far too far too concrete of a character that makes sense like so you see a glassed dragon flying out of the andromeda galaxy to eat your pain, and you know rebirth. You is a fire child. Child or something, where whereas that kind of thing, you might see especially on some higher doses of some of these psychedelics, but more often, you know people, especially on lower doses will have some states of altered perception, but they're not necessarily going to see like whole concrete visions of agents and objects coming toward them that aren't there. Yeah, I mean we have to cut films a little bit of slack I think because ultimately it's a largely visual medium. That's what they're telling their stories with. So of course they're going to gravitate towards hallucinations, visualizations of psychedelic experience, some of which are just laughable and occasionally you'll have a film that that really does a good job of capturing something that feels like an authentic psychedelic But I don't know I find those to be few and far between. Yeah, Oh i! Know I should also point out that if you when they would you classify Psychedelia as a hallucination, you're also of limiting you know. Because ultimately these substances do a number of different things outside of something that you could even loosely described as an elusive nation. Yeah, I mean again. I think psychedelic is a good term. They are more generally mind revealing or mind manifesting yeah by downplaying the role of hallucinations. We don't want to suggest that these drugs can't cause hallucinations. They very often do especially at higher doses. Yeah absolutely especially when you're also, things are a little different is. We'll discuss when you get into clinical situations where you know, just the way that particular substances is it administered can make it more potent. However you know on the subject of visualization at that world. Science Festival panel that I attended One of the speakers was A. Was a British professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience of the University of Sussex and L.. Seth and he pointed to the Google deep dream generator as actually being a decent approximation of the sort of visuals that can go on during psychedelic experience. I think everybody's probably seeing images or video that you utilize this deep dream. Generator but it's the kind of thing where it's like. There's a face of the dog and everything exactly. Yeah, so if you've never seen it and may basically what it was was, it was an algorithm that would take a photo that you supply. Upload a photo, and then you run it through the system you could I think determine like to what degree it would get you know. How crazy it would get. It would start to reveal fracture patterns, emerging from the lines and boundaries in the image and very often Yelich. Faces and other recognizable forms that would show up in images from around the Internet would start showing up in the image might see forms of plans very often forms of animal faeces dog faces in the couch cushions. Yeah, yeah, this. This absolutely matches up with with my experiences where I. It's not like you're going Oh. My goodness. There are dogs everywhere, but it would be more like there's. There's a there's a practice pattern to my immediate environment that I that is not there usually, or it looks like the grass is breathing, or you know. Perhaps you know looking at something like say a work of art or in my experience of hanging African mask, and it seems to be alive a certain to a certain extent. Yeah, not in a away where you're like Oh my God. The the mask is coming alive. You know or anything like that and It's It's rather hard to put into words but. There is a you know the sense of facto life to everyday objects that is, that is not there otherwise. Yeah, and I think another way that the deep dream is appropriately. Compared to psychedelics. Is that the deep dream generator? I think basically worked by a recurrent pattern of extrapolation amplification. So you know it sees something. That's zero point. Five percent like a dog face recognized that because it's tried to track a lot of dog faeces the Internet, and it says let's lean into that, and then it makes it two percent like a dog face, then ten percent like rice, and finds more dog faeces in what it's been extrapolating from the original image so I can't help but notice that you know one tendency of the hallucinatory experience or of the psychedelic experience seems to be extrapolating an amplifying perceived significant. From random noise, so let's take another step back and talk just in general about psychedelics in what particular substances were talking about. We need to briefly addressed the chemistry part of this right. Yeah, so we're largely talking about the the in Dole psychedelics. There's big acid diethylamide LSD There's still Simon which occurs. Naturally in several different varieties of mushrooms Two hundred different varieties, then there's also In in an DI methyl trip demean which is DM? T, there's a there's. And they're the Beta carbon aligns the ones that we're going to be discussing. The most here are suicide, which again occurs naturally in mushrooms, and then of course LSD which is a is a is a synthetic psychedelic. Those I generated by Albert Hoffman in nineteen, thirty, eight from lysergic acid, a chemical from the for the fungus. Ergot and we've discussed on the show before and Hoffman actually played an important role in isolating the compounds from the Salah's Abe's. A mushrooms as well Yeah, so he he sort of figures in both of the mainstream here, but one thing I want to make clear that I didn't understand for a long time is that there is not just one species of mushroom that is the Silla, Cyb and mushroom, right? It's that species. There is this whole class of the Selahs Abe's or the suicide and mushrooms. That is a you know. A A multi species huge range of hundreds of varieties of mushrooms that have these related effects. I think mainly based on the compounds. Even which breaks down into silicon in the body DM t by the way is a a naturally occurring compounds. Well, it's found in many different plants and animals, and is found up inside. The human brain is well, but it was also first synthesized in nineteen, thirty one by chemist. Richard Helmuth Frederick Mask there. There are plenty of other additional psychedelics that occur pop up in research, and all their in occur naturally in the world there the gain substances that are found in two related African and South American Tree Genera Mostly, known as an Aphrodisiac and Africa, but it also has psychedelic properties at higher doses. there's a the here's the hallucinogenic mescaline which is in the spineless CACTUS Peyote. It's a financial I. Mean as is md May as his methamphetamine, and as are a host of other drugs including just like basic decongestions. Yeah, you mentioned him. De May Young Christian did A. couple of episodes, I think. Years ago. Yeah, and we're not really focusing on MDA here. but you know it is also a powerful schedule one substance with some promising possibilities for therapeutic therapeutic use, and also some promising history of therapeutic use, but he kind of fell victim to the same anti-drug. Efforts in sort of a moral panic, there was associated with with illusions as well but according to Stephen Ross md of the nyu source. I've been. Cancer Society Study speaking at the two thousand Nineteen World Science Festival. It said that we're you know there's a very strong chance we're. GonNa see. MDA rescheduled on the next couple of years due to the promising research. That's going on using yet. particularly dealing with PTSD and you're talking. Talking there about it, being reclassified as a less dangerous and less legally prohibited drug in the United States right because a schedule one in the US means like there's nothing there's nothing you can do with it. There's no one even like a medical use for it and and I think in in some times in the past and to some degree, still in the present the schedule one classification I think is treated more as Sort of punitive category. Then they truly you know research or science-based category for instance, Cannabis one India may schedule one so assignment scheduling LSD schedule cocaine scheduled to. There you! Go interesting. Well since we're going to be focusing more on suicide and mushrooms, than on other psychedelics, I also thought it might be useful to just quickly mention a few of its more straightforward, medically recognized effects and medical significance. Before we get on into the the more phenomenal logical common reports so I, mentioned this minute ago I, think the primary compounds responsible for the psychedelic effects of suicide and mushrooms are the compound, Silla Simon and silicon, which ultimately amount to sort of the same thing syllabi, breaks down into silicon once inside the body Simpson is a more potent compound, but it occurs in smaller original quantities within the mushroom flesh in. In compared to almost all other known drugs, Suicide Ben has an exceptionally low potential for abuse and exceptionally few known risks according to the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research Quote. There are no reports that suicide and mushrooms are psychologically or physically addictive, and use does not lead to dependence for several days following the use of mushrooms users may experience a period of psychological withdrawal and have difficulty discerning realities, so like a potential drawback, but right the way I've seen it described as that there's there's virtually no physical ramifications you in terms of like physiological damage to the body, as you would encounter with various other substances. That's that's not the the risk. There is like a small risk psychologically especially for namely for individuals with a family history of say, psychosis, yeah, or schizophrenia, no psychoactive drug is completely without risks, and we're not encouraging people to take suicide and mushrooms or any other drug. If you decide to take a PSYCHEDELIC any psychedelic compound, you or any combat at all, really you should thoroughly researches the its effect for yourself any possible risk factors, trustworthy and science-based sources right and I I think this is an area where like people talking about recreational drug. Use I think that can be economically damaging because it implies that. Powerful substances like this can be purely recreational. It's kind of like. Are you flying this F. Fourteen fighter jet recreational you or are you taking it seriously like? It's a powerful thing. It's powerful tool you should. If you're going to choose to engage with the do so with with four exactly, so yeah like like you were just sort of alluding to while Sivan has an exceptionally low level of recognized risk when compared with other drugs, it's still possible to experience negative psychological consequences for example, if you have pre existing risk, factors like high anxiety or past episodes of de Realization. Then, of course also, we should just mention the sort of practically associated risks as the Michael adjusts pulse damage makes clear psychedelic species of. The Syllabi Mushrooms look extremely similar to many other species of poisonous little brown. They can lead to an agonizing death if ingested so people who plan to take solicitation mushrooms should get them from an experienced knowledgeable source. Who knows exactly how to identify them reliably. You don't want somebody who doesn't know what they're doing. foraging suicide and mushrooms for right, of course when you have a substances outlawed That's kind of thing. A lot of people end up falling back on. So that's one of the other benefits of I think personally decriminalizing this sort of thing. Yeah I, I would agree now, also according to the Maryland Center there plenty of possible physiological effects of ingestion, depending on tons of different factors like the exact species of mushroom. You're dealing within the preparation method. Method which can affect these, but they include just to read through few these nausea, vomiting abdominal cramps, diarrhea, muscle, relaxation, weakness, and twitches, drowsiness, dizziness, lack of coordination, lightheadedness, pupil, dilation, dry mouth, facial flushing. You might have increased heart, rate or blood, pressure, body, temperature, sweating, chills, shivering numbness of the tone, lips or mouth, and then feelings of physical heaviness or mobility, or feelings of lightness or floating and then, of course you get to the psychological consequences, these aren't all the possibilities, but just to mention a few you, of course have the possibility of hallucinations heightened sensory perceptions were maybe colors seem more vivid, or sounds or more, cute flavors, more explosive, or smells or stranger. We mentioned earlier. The cross sensory contamination colors make sound sounds have colors that kind of thing the lack of ability to focus is commonly cited alterations in perception of space and time you might kind of like time seems dilated or sped up anxiety and restlessness, or a sense of detachment from the cell for from the surroundings, including the the concept known as ego loss. Loss which will get into in more detail later, but beyond all those sort of like top line descriptions of of psychological consequences I think maybe we should take a break and when we come back, we can discuss a little more detail like the kinds of common reports that people actually make about their experiences with psychedelics and the more complex phenomena logical responses to them. After all, you've been through the class of twenty twenty deserves a proper sendoff, which is why I iheartradio and Doritos brings you commencement the podcast featuring speeches dedications from icons. We admire most hear from Palsy. Kids we've shown the world while we can be sold a lot of things we will never buy a dream and pit bull guys, incineration stand you guys, generation make a difference. You guys a generational change. The World Tacky G. John Legend Cashew Angie. Martinez Khalid, and many many more all have something to say to you the amazing class of twenty twenty so choose. 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You know one of the reasons we focused in on suicide, and but also LSD to a certain extent. Is that when you look at the studies that were done with these early on like you know in the fifties and early sixties when there when there were. Widespread Studies, being the looking into psychedelics, they were mostly using LSD because that was what was readily available at the time today. Studies are going to be almost exclusively using suicide Sivan a for a couple of different reasons that we'll explore later. Yeah, I think we're especially. Get into those more recent studies maybe in our third episode, so yeah, so what? What are these common reports? The phenomena logical reports one thing that I think we should emphasize upfront is the thing that a lot of people maybe who? For the first time, don't quite realize is the extreme importance of what's known in the PSYCHEDELIC literature as set and setting so the PSYCHEDELIC drug is a fairly reliable gateway to an altered state of consciousness, possibly containing hallucinations, feelings that parallel the classical forms of mystical experience in. We'll get into more on the mystical experience in a minute here. But. The experience produced by the compound is not standardized by the psychopharmacology itself it appears to be extremely sensitive to external factors like the personality emotions, thoughts and expectations of the person ingesting the compound You know this is referred to as the set or the mindset. And the physical environment in Stimuli encountered while on the trip, which is the setting and I in my experience, a hallmark of the majority of especially negative experiences, people report with psychedelics come from inattention set and setting right. Yeah, like I remember speaking to somebody, and they said that they had a terrible experience on mushrooms or LSD and but the the setting that they had was trying to drive away from a firework show and their car overheat. Besse terrible terrible set and set it. Yeah, I mean this might seem kind of obvious, but like these are the kind of things that if someone is going to experiment with them and in in addition to all the you know research, you should do beforehand making sure that you feel safe, and you know what you're doing and all that it's also important to pay attention to set and setting to approach it with the right mindset, maybe to approach it in the. The company of someone who can be a positive guide for you, and also to approach it within a setting that feels positive and comfortable such as a place where you feel at ease and at home maybe with access to nate nature and natural settings, people often report wanting to be outside, wanting to be among plants and things. It's interesting how all of these these things are matching up with some of the really most of the the traditional ritualistic control. Control monistic practices, concerning these substances they were around for thousands and thousands of years before you know, anybody thought about going to woodstock or burning man right, I mean very often. These compounds were ingested as part of a ritual and a huge part of what rituals are. I mean even outside the consumption of psychedelics are set and setting manipulations. What is it when you go into a Gothic Cathedral? And there is music in their sacred sounding music echoing throughout. Throughout the stone architecture in the room is dim and buy candles, and someone passes you by with a sensor. You know that incense smoke is coming out of and in alters your senses with the smells and the sights and the sounds. This is creating a sort of a set and setting for you to have a slight mystical experience, even though you're not ingesting psychoactive compounds no well, but then again when I go to church They always have coffee out front. Sugar and cookies for the kids. There's T and if you're going to church in the Middle Ages, you might be some of that Ergot Ri- true always always potential risk but yeah, I mean. That's just one example. I mean a huge part of what people do in religious rituals I. Think has manipulation of set and setting to create a sort of sacred or altered mind state, in which you have a certain kind of experience. One thing I wanted to talk about. Is something that Michael Paulin mentions in how to change your mind at one point. He's describing his own personal experiments with Cilla Sivan. One point I know he talks about how he he took some when he was much younger, and he had kind of a bad time because he was out away from home I think he was out in the park in New York City and he. He was getting worried about if people could tell when they were looking at sounds like he was not in. In a comfortable environment, yeah, well I think he related to income one was further out of the city, was in the park and one in the park with a little more anxious, because was I go? Can they tell them and drugs thing, but he also describes the one that he did much later as an adult when he was preparing to write the book. And so he describes the altered sensory and conceptual experiences that he has on the drug. This is interesting, not as hallucinations, but as quote projections, and so he says projections are determined largely by his physical surroundings, and by his own present thoughts in preoccupations, he defines a projection as quote when we mix our emotions with certain objects that then reflect those feelings back to us so that they appear to glisten with meaning so again you know he's not seeing the dragon flying out of the andromeda galaxy instead he sees two different trees standing in a meadow when he feels deep insights about his parents looking at these two trees, and this experience is largely. Largely determined not just by the drug, but by the environment that he's in and what's his preoccupations? What's on his mind? But certainly and setting are are essential really in in all the literature concerning psychedelic experience, be it you know ancient rituals, counterculture usage the usages of the substances or the various clinical trials that are ongoing now. Yeah, so let's go to the next big common report. That's pretty interesting. This one we should call nf ability This extremely common report is that the psychedelic experiences one either difficult or impossible to put into words or two? If it is put into words, the words do not accurately capture the nature of the experience. And this is interesting in the way that it's both similar and dissimilar to every day experiences total league mundane ones. You know we're all familiar with your hanging out with some friends and something happened, and you have an experience that has features that are hard to put into words like anytime. You're telling a personal story and you end with the conclusion well I. Guess You had to be there to your. Well you're saying there was something interesting or funny. Your notable about the experience that you don't know how to recreate with words and that maybe your shortcoming. Maybe you're not very good with words, and you can't do it or maybe there's something that nobody could adequately put into words. or I always am suspicious. Maybe they're just too lazy to tell me that's. Enough about conveying this experience to me. You can't just take a few steps back. Put it put it in some better words, and then have another go at it. Place so holy I know you said it? I know you've said it at some point or no I don't I don't remember having said but I may have well said it. Oh, you are very good with words so well I think there is a tendency with the background in writing is that you tend to think that writing can do anything they? Can Be, captured in words, but then again it's interesting to to then turn that on its head and think about what our word to do. Our words don't always. Sometimes they do capture an experience in capturing it. They cage it and they cage it within the limitations of those words you know, so. We're so used to doing this with a lot of different experiences. We don't even think about how our we're taking something that was absurd. We're taking this this experience of reality that is rather different than from the paragraph. The create out of it, but we think of that. That paragraph is an you know one hundred percent accurate depiction of reality. Yeah, I mean something of course is always lost in the translation. Two words and everybody has had this experience every now, and then of not being able to explain things, but it is notable how often how almost always inevitability emerges as one of the most salient features of psychedelic experience. You pretty much always just had to be there. There you know you had to be me? Basically is the only way you can understand what the experience was, and often, if you at least in my experience, if you re description of somebody, else's experience with LSD or suicide, and that was incredibly profound and meaningful and notable to them. You might think okay I. Don't get what so profound about this something important is lost in the translation of the experience. Experience into verbal narrative. Well, I mean it's kind of like dreams right I. Mean you know there's the old saying that you know the old observation that we we only find our own dreams interesting and we're not interested in. We don't understand that people's dreams more. Certainly, the sort of you had to be there. That applies to dreams all the time. I certainly I'm always having dreams that when you're having. Having them their profound or scary or frightening or beautiful or weird, and then when you try and describe them later outside of the trappings of dream. You realize that sounds Kinda Hokey. Yeah, there's a quality that you can't really identify and words, and here's an interesting distinction. Maybe we can come back to this. Is the episodes go on, but I wonder. Is this quality of inevitability that so common to psychedelic experience? Experience because we don't have the vocabulary yet or because there is equality of the experience that's inherently indescribable in any words. I mean I've heard some psychedelic enthusiasts frame it in the first way. It's like you know the one who's quoted in Pollen's book. I think it might have been Bob. Jesse but I don't want. It could have been somebody else, but anyway he's describing psychedelic experiences and saying. Saying you know it's like you took a male ethic person, and then transported them through time to Modern Day Manhattan and sat them down. Let them look around, and and then sent them back and had them tried to explain their experience. They wouldn't have the words to describe what they were looking at cell phones and skyscrapers, and all that, so that's one way of looking at why psychedelic experiences are harder describes. Describes like we. We don't have the words to put it into yet, but there's another way of looking at it, Says No. It's not the we lacked the words just that it can't be put into words. There's a there's a permanently irresolvable unexplainable quality to the experience. Well, it's kind of in a way maybe to it's. We're removed of some of the shackles of of language in our linguistic thinking. You know it's kind of like you. GonNa trip in your cell phone batteries dead. You don't bring back any pictures because your cellphone wasn't operational during that time. Interesting yeah, Paulin by the way we there was an excellent interview with him from Terry Gross on fresh air, and in that he talks about this the ineffable aspect of the experience and he mentions that William. James said that the mystical experiences ineffable yet. We try very hard to it. which I thought was was clever. that is good William James is gonNA come up a lot in the next few minutes, but anyway I you know I think back you know just on the power of language, and and also you have to me. I always have to realize that there are plenty of very talented writers and speakers who have discussed this people that that surely have the tools to communicate. Communicate what they experienced, but then again like Terence Mckenna I think an example of someone who you know. He only speaks of the ineffable rarely, and otherwise more than up to the task of discussing and describing what he experienced on psychedelics or interpreting and reinterpreting what he experience, but even he at times kind of falls back on the. Hey, look, you had to be their. Nation particularly when he was talking about experiencing this other like the idea of like experiencing an other entity while on emt, he was he kind of sort of leaves it with with like. Hey, you try it as well. You tell me what it is. That experience of the other I think is the next thing. I want to get into Oh. Yeah, you're right. This does flow directly into the next area where you're going to discuss. Yes, so the next feature that's a common phenomena, logical report of the PSYCHEDELIC experiences verticality. That's what I'd call it William James called this the Nowak quality, so this feature of psychedelic experience, which is long interested me. Is the way that a lot of people emerge from their experiences on Scylla Siobhaun or on LSD or something believing not just that they had an experience that was fun or is interesting or was unique, but that they learned something crucial and objectively true that they acquired real true information or genuine standing that they did not have before in the American psychologist William James We've mentioned a couple times already. He called this the no edit quality and And he noted very pointedly that it's different from the way people feel about dreams. Where you go into a dream, you might have a very altered state of consciousness. Some strange things happen. You feel maybe in the dream like you learn things that are important, but you almost never wake up from a dream and think you know. I learned objectively true information from the dream. Right like there's there's this knowledge. There's this understanding that it was not reality. Even if You know extreme cases of nightmares or disturbing dream content. We might still feel shaken by it. I mean we've all. I think that experience where like the dream leaves you? It affects you and it takes maybe a day to shake it off. Yeah, but. You're not. You're not viewing as it like. Having seen a par movie disturbed you right close to Oh my goodness. Jason Voorhees attack me. You easily discard. The dream is nonsensical. now not everybody does this I? Mean some people think they get you know prophetic visions and dreams and stuff, and this is usually part of some kind of supernatural worldview, in which you believe that there are gods that are communicating with you all that, but people don't typically Go from you know not believing in. Conveyances and communications to saying, oh a dream taught me something objectively true about the universe and but a commonly reported type of psychedelic experience, for example is the feeling of having been put in contact with or in the presence of some other entity, frequently interpreted as God or as embodied form of an ideal love or an embodied form of the universe or some universal consciousness, or as maybe a loved one who has died, or as some more obscure others like terrence McKenna's machine elves. He talked about Taking d MT in just encountering these other entities. The machine elves are the or whatever you call them right? Yeah, in food of the Gods, I. Don't think he refers to them in. There but he discusses briefly the other. That is experienced through GMT and ultimately he's like. Hey, try it. Yourself set aside three minutes eight minutes of your time and go try it for yourself, and you tell me what you experience. Yeah, and so the really interesting thing here is that so many people come out of these types of experiences, not just thinking. Wow, that was an interesting hallucination like they were watching a movie, but believing they've actually been made aware of the real existence of a real other entity and carrying this belief of acquired knowledge with them, after the effects of the drug have worn off. Another way I'd say verticality presents his in ineffable perceptions of the value of statements and insights. An example of this would be maybe a person on a psychedelic substances realizes that some cliche. Times realizes that God is love and they may have heard this a million times before, but suddenly the same statement is interpreted as a profound insight that's revealing in true in ways that can't really be explained, but you have the feeling that you've discovered a great truth, even if others you know in communicating it to them, they might not see it as as insightful as you do. Another interesting feature of this no Ebtekar vertical quality of psychedelic experiences that it often feels kind of Nas tick to me I mean Nas tick in the religious sense of course, awesome was an ancient religion in which some form of salvation relied on acquiring secret knowledge or Esoteric, Dogmas and rites that were only revealed to initiate. The sort of like the false fraudulent public face of the religion that was four, just all the people hanging out and listening in the crowds, and then there were the real dogmas, and the real truths about you know the heavens and what you do to get there. That are sort of only talked about in secret if you're one of the in crowd. And, it's not just that. Many people think they've gained objectively true information from psychedelic experiences. It's often interpreted as a sort of deep secret that they've been to glimpse like. The curtain has been lifted for them, and they are. They've been let in on the secret. Yeah, they've seen through the illusion of of perceived reality. Maybe had some glimpse at absolute reality right, so a really common version here the idea that people have psychedelic experiences, and then afterwards emerged with a strong conviction that. That, there's more to life than what we see or that. There's some dimension of existence that's beyond the better understood material dimension of existence in the words of William. James the experience quote forbids a premature closing of our accounts with reality. Oh, that's nice. In certainly, the history of psychedelic research is filled with examples of this as well often very scientifically minded individuals emerging with a newfound or developing or enhanced since of you, the mystic or often is the case you know connection with nature. And there could be multiple things going on here either way. It's interesting I mean one way of looking at is that psychedelic experiences do actually reveal something true. Two people, and another way of looking at it is, there is a fairly consistent psychological effect. They produce creating the illusion that something objectively true has been revealed but either way it's very psychologically important and powerful. Powerful and fascinating that they do this right i. mean you could suitable to grounded more in some of the the signs we've touched on on the show before like plasticity. Look at it from a plasticity standpoint, and you could say well. You know it's. It's allowing the mind to change. You know I mean that's kind of pollens. Whole point in the tidal is. it's not so much these individual substances in what they do. It's not like I in in. That's certainly one of the hallmarks of the studies. We'll get to later, but it's the state of mind that it puts one in what can be done with an individual when they are in that state of mind exactly, I mean one of the interesting things about these psychedelic states of mind that that of course is brought up by. By lots of authors is the ways that they parallel. What William James wrote about is the traditional qualities of mystical experience you a profound religious experiences that people have both of these first two characteristics. We've been talking about ineffable and the vertical or no edit quality are also the first two markers of mystical experience that James writes about in the book, the varieties of religious experience which is published around the turn of the twentieth century. Century now of NFL James writes quote. Mystical states are more like states of feeling than states of intellect. No one can make clear to another who has never had a certain feeling in what the quality or worth of it consists, and of the no edit quality or the vertical quality rights that mystical experiences quote our aluminum nations, revelations full of significance and importance all inarticulate, though they remain and as a rule they carry with them curious. Curious sense of authority for after time this reminds me the key aspects of traditional psychedelic use. Some of the the more thought out. counterculture uses as well as clinical uses. Today is what occurs after the trip this period of consolidation and integration where you're. You're stopping saying okay. What did that mean? How? How shall I interpret this and then and then move on and apply it to my life I. Think we have to realize that Our our memories of psychedelic experiences are still memories. Yeah, they still can be altered by. The mind will be altered by the mind. Every time we draw them back out again. Of course, yeah, as inexperience would be just as a funny. No one thing I thought we should mention. Is that you know? William. James He's writing around the turn of the Twentieth Century and James was not afforded the many wonderful options for chemical alterations of consciousness that later researchers were apparently, he did a lot of nitrous oxides Ya. Read William James It's funny to imagine him and trying to like talk about this experience firsthand than just doing. Whip it, S-. but we should mention also James has to other markers of mystical experience, so I'm not necessarily counting these as as clear markers of psychedelic experiences, but just to to continue his exploration of mystical experiences since there's been a lot of overlap so far. the other two James Mentions are transparency and passivity, so transient see means the experience. Is Time Limited? You know true enough of course for the trip. Length of PSYCHEDELIC drugs didn't seem a super relevant but what does seem a little more relevant is James's comment that while the experience itself doesn't last forever quote from one recurrence to another it is susceptible of continuous development in what is felt as inner richness and importance and pollen quotes the section as well. And then finally there's passivity is a Jamesy and marker of mystical experience, which means the person having mystical experience believes there will has been subverted or held in abeyance, a superior power, and there are some psychedelic experiences that have this quality. You could view it as somewhat. They're not exactly parallel to the next characteristic about to mention yeah, and I think, said and setting likely a play a key role here as well though though it seems to be very difficult to shake with with more intense experiments Albert Hoffman reflected this personifying to a certain extent. It's like a thing that found him. Yeah, and and Makino certainly disgusted in these terms as well. Yeah, so the next big thing that is. Very interesting, common feature of especially maybe higher doses of psychedelic experience, is the idea of loss of ego. I it's it's affected by the NFL criterion. I would say because it's often hard to describe what this is like. But many who have had psychedelic experiences report the dissolution of the Self. Having consciousness reduced to a state of experience in which there is no I- anymore. There is no me in one way. I've always interpreted. This is that some psychedelics have the power to reduce or eliminate the self world distinction. We have this categorical barrier. We put up in our minds between everything that is not me in the me, and what happens when that distinction sort of gets blurred or raced. Yeah, I mean I can certainly relate to this experience with Yoga and Meditation Yeah you know when not every time, but occasionally occasionally by like a really good yoga session I can. Can reach that point where it's you know I i. lose a sense of me. It's a wonderful experience that it can be difficult to put into words I mean the only way you can describe it is like is ego, loss or some use the term ego death which I think is a little. That's a little harsh. Let's not pull death into this. Whole situation experience without a self. Yeah, yeah, one way to Terence McKenna described these these substances and others He described him as being boundary. Substances and talked about their boundary. Dissolving Properties which I think is is a perfect description, the boundary between you and others between you in nature, or you in the cosmos, it seems to dissolve, so the fortress of the self crumbles away only for a little bit, and and of course, this sort of experience like a lot of the experiences involved in the psychedelic experience can can can of course be achieved via other means, but as a number of these companies point out these these chemical shortcuts are shortcuts, but they're also kind of like high speed. Speed shortcuts. Yeah, they're kind of like. Express Lane's yeah, exactly better or worse, they require a lot less work than achieving of ego through meditation or something, and a lot less practice I would say probably two right, but I again I, really love this description of something being a boundary, dissolving substance, or even just a boundary, dissolving experience, and I feel like You know putting aside psychedelic substances entirely I feel like we do need more boundary dissolving experiences in life, because we just throw up so many boundaries between ourselves and each other and. Certainly against nature well. Yeah, I mean this is a common think way. We'll talk more in subsequent episodes about interesting research about the ways that psychedelics have been shown to have the potential to actually change adult personality, which is a fascinating property and makes them kind of worth their weight in gold, right, but yeah. I mean some of the ways we can see that as so in the the boundary dissolving property to whatever extent that does exist between humans, I think tends to lead people who consume psychedelics to have a more communitarian mindset after using them the nature boundary. Disillusion thing is very interesting because you very often see. People having stronger affinities with the rest of nature with plants and animals and the natural environment, after taking these substances in Michael Pollen in his book compares the this dissolution of the boundary with nature. To one of my favorites, Alexander Von Humboldt I think he doesn't name the book, but I think in the book eludes to having read the invention of nature by Andrea Wolf that biography of Humboldt that I recommended a couple of years ago in the still a great read. If you get a chance, but von Humboldt said you know one of the great realizations is that you know you are not in nature. He says I am nature. And that psychedelics seemed to encourage people to think this way. One last interesting common report is this thing that is sometimes I think termed the afterglow worth mentioning that some users of psychedelic substances report additional subjective experiences after they returned to their baseline state of consciousness. So you're no longer experiencing may be sensory hallucinations or significantly altered states of consciousness, but After, you're done with the PSYCHEDELIC trip on LSD or suicide, and sometimes people reported that the world just seems very bright and alive and wonderful and full of possibilities Michael Palin describes this as quote, the opposite of a hangover. It's kind of like the windows have been opened and allowed the air to circulate, and then after the windows are closed once more or mostly closed The air is still fresh. Air is still renewed, and this brings me back to what I just said earlier about consolidation and integration, and I think this is very important to keep in mind as we consider traditional, shamanistic and you know in scientific uses of these substances you know both the. The scientific research is going on today, and also the sort of underground therapy sessions that ours wealth at Michael. Pollen writes about in his book. You know where afterwards during this afterglow you ask, what did I learn from the experience? What can I bring this? Bring out of this into the waking world It reminds me of one of Alan. Watts famous quotes about you know in which he compared psychedelic experience to a scientist using a microscope. Oh, like grafted. And the idea being that biologist will use the microscope, but then and he's not going to have They're not going to have their I glued to the microscope. They have to leave the microscope. Then in order to understand nature as it is conceived of you know outside of the microscopic or telescopic experience, right? You don't really see. Just by looking at something you have to also step back and think about what you saw right now. A couple of other bits of insight there were brought up in that world science festival, panel and L. Seth, mentioned that there's increased randomness, or there can be and and and he also pointed out that you know this. Our sense of self is ultimately a perception. Oh, yeah, and the default mode network plays a big role in it. He said it's important to point out that the self is not the default mode network. We shouldn't like draw too strong a comparison between the two, but they're still. Still a strong connection and he said psychedelics temporarily reorganize these networks you know so for so forget new hallucinations. They mess with the primary hallucination of the self. The hallucination that we have day in and day out you know the idea that we're set off from the natural world that were set off from each other, so that's I. think that's a a a really interesting way of looking at it. Don't think about the new hallucination that is brought on by Psychedelic, but the primary hallucination that may be disrupted, and then what we can learn from that I mean one of the funny things. Is that so? The idea of seeing hallucinations. While you're on, a PSYCHEDELIC can sort of bias you toward thinking that what psychedelic do is they give you an inaccurate perception of nature. Because of course you know you hallucinate things, psychedelics could LX that there's no way to show that they're actually physically there. But at the same time you shouldn't conclude from that the corollary that. These standard like the default state of consciousness is accurate, and the altered state of consciousness is thus estranged or inaccurate right, it might see things in the physical environment that aren't physically there, but it's perception of the self, and how the self works, maybe no less accurate or maybe more accurate than your default state, right and a lot of this, too. It's like we're not necessarily talking about a matrix scenario where it's like. Oh, now I see the real world, but like the details that the emphasis is that we play some things that set the values that we place. I another individual on that panel world. Science Festival was Berkeley Professor of psychology and Philosophy Alison Gopnik who we've also discussed in the program here before. Because she does a lot with the minds of young children and developing mind states, you know. She discussed how it's how these How psychedelic seem to open up exploratory possibilities in individuals? In keeping with the plasticity of in the mind of a young child shoe calls this lantern consciousness. Comparing it to the illumination of a lantern, and she says she said before that babies and young children are basically tripping all the time. They are basically having a psychedelic experience, which is why you know, children can be so trying, because they just really will not boil down and be a part of the the rational world there continually in psychedelic exploration mode in so maybe in part. Part of it is that psychedelics put one or allow one to connect maybe in a more adult way with that same level of plasticity. Yeah, I mean one of the things that's commonly. It's a metaphor that's often used by a psychologist psychiatrist who are interested in this mode of thinking that psychedelics sort of like they break the automatic cliches of connection that you make in. In your mind, so you're able to see familiar objects as if you're seeing them for the first time, and our mind is just full of these nonverbal cliches of connections. We make between things when we see a pin. We know it's for writing in your. See and like you ignore all of the other strange associations. You might make about the form of the pen in your hand. Hand, but the psychedelics alike they break that automatic connection, and instead you see it as this radically ambiguous form that appears before you and you could make connections do all kinds of things all right? WE'RE GONNA call this episode. Right here, but we will continue this exploration in the next a couple of episodes so a lot of ground to cover. I think we went a long. Long time, but I think it was important to get all the grounding there, so we can follow through in the next few episodes where we're going to talk about the history and the natural history of psychedelics and especially suicide, and to talk about some of the research that's been going on especially since around two thousand six about therapeutic uses of psychedelics and the ways they can contribute. Contribute to adult personality, change and other things yeah I think it's fascinating. How just just in the history of this show in the history of stuff to your mind like we? We have seen so much progress made with with psychedelic research, so it's going to be real exciting to discuss that in upcoming episodes totally all right in the meantime if you want to check out more. More episode stuffed. Blow your mind. Their tunnel ways to do that. You can go to our mothership our homepage that stuff to blow your mind dot com also. 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From the Vault: The Great Wave

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

58:25 min | 11 months ago

From the Vault: The Great Wave

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM DOT com slash red hat I'm Jensen carpet. I'm a comedy writer. Die Hard sports fan and I'm terribly missing the athletes and Sports I love so I'm checking in on them with a podcast called the no sports report with Johnson Carve your favorite athletes, commentators and legends. Legends from the sports world are revealing what they're doing. Now that the sport they love is suddenly gone, and they're stuck on their couch, just like the rest of us. Are they staying in shape or their kids heckling them as they attempt to home school? Did they almost burnt down the house trying to make bread? Are they sleeping in their jerseys? I do oh just me. Okay! Listen to the no sports report now and subscribe on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts forever. You get podcast. Hey welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert. Lamb, and I'm Joe. McCormick ended Saturday time to dive into the vault. This time we're doing an episode that originally aired on May Thirtieth Twenty nineteen. This one was called the great wave. It was about Giant waves rogue waves. I remember this episode being very interesting, especially, because in preparing for it. It was when I I learned about the The incredible survival by sea voyage of was the Shackleton, expedition, yes I believe so yeah, so this one. This one is filled with aquatic payroll and. I seem to recall. There's a fair amount of sort of looking at at historical accounts and and people weighing in on exactly what kind of wave we were talking about here. Welcome stuff for your mind production of iheartradio. Hey stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe McCormack going to kick off this episode by talking about a piece of art and It's a piece of art that I imagine a lot of you have seen, and if you haven't seen it, you can in. You're not driving a vehicle or anything right now. You can easily look it up and you can certainly find it for the landing page of this episode at stuff to blow your mind dot com. It is a Japanese sprint is a title the great wave off of our, and it's a nineteenth century Edo period woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai. And it depicts a great wave endangering ships off the coast of Kanagawa, and it was once thought to depict a Nami, but now most. Commentators think that it actually depicts a rogue wave. Now the the artists here he explored the subject matter many times in his career. So if you look at other images created, there are plenty of other waves, but this particular print is considered the peak the culmination of sixty years in the arts. And since it's a woodblock print, and not a painting, you can actually find it in numerous museums around the world, thus increasing the odds that you have seen this image, if not online than perhaps in person in person. But I think one of the great things about it. Is that it? It captures a sense of the majesty of a great wave. The idea that it's it's there's like a topography of the ocean visible. The ocean surface visible in this picture the that reminds us that are wave can be a mountain, we and the wave in the woodblock. Even what do you call it a? A printer a painting when it's the painting for whatever it is on this image the wave resembles the mountain in the background in the mountain in the backgrounds, has sort of a blue grey slope, and then the white peak of course covered in snow, the waves are much like that with these the white surging foam at the top, but in the painting the foam. Foam has these like hooks that almost like Eagle's talons, reaching out of the top of this wall of water, and there's there's a way that I at least often looked this painting without even realizing that were supposed to boats represented at the bottom. Yeah, it's kind of easy to miss the boats. They're all swallowed up by what's going on all around. It's a beautiful piece of. Of Art and I. Don't know why, but I've always. I've looked at it before thought of it as somehow combing or like a picture of sort of like serene nature, which is hilarious, because it's depicting a scene of utter chaos and destruction and terror right I mean he's spoken like a true landsman. Right when clearly like this is a product of of an island culture that. Was Very. You know very aware of the dangers posed by the by the ocean and Yeah, because I probably am in the same same boat No Pun intended view is that when I've seen the image in the past it was just always like yeah, serene nature, but no, this is a cresting mountain of oceanic. Destruction or at least potential destruction in terms of human activities on or near the ocean, the mountain that flows. So speaking of the dangers of the ocean i. mean there are many of them, and we know what many of them are, but we often discuss ancient bestiary records of monsters and strange creatures from the ancient world, and of course, some of the best ones even through the Medieval period are of sea monsters, so you've got these stories about lizards that kill with gays or giants, monsters suck entire. Entire ships into their mouths, and they can be funny to read about now. especially with the certainty that ancient writers had when they talked about the subjects, but one point I've made before, and that I want to echo again is I think it was not at all stupid or irrational for ancient peoples to believe in sea monsters I think it was perfectly reasonable and rational thing for them to assume. Assume and there are a few reasons for this. We've touched on some of them on the show. Before Number One, there actually are sea monsters in a way. We just call them by different names. Now like you know the sperm whale blue whale, giant squids sunfish, the lion's Mane Jellyfish. These are all giant magnificent, all inspiring creatures, but what's changed is that we've fit them into a standard evolutionary taxonomy. Taxonomy, we think of them as animals that have common origins with the other animals, but when ancient sailors told stories of these giant beasts out in the ocean, many were probably telling the truth to the best of their ability, they saw something huge, strange and terrifying, and they're trying to remember and describe what it was, and then on top of that dealing with with just a a culture a legacy. Of Danger upon the sea in beneath the sea. Yes, so those two things come together I mean here there be monsters, right exactly an because the see you know. A Life at sea has long been associated with the kind of with the kind of daring and bravado, right but also I think there's another reason it was sort of rational to believe in giant cracklins could pull ships down to their doom, and it's that Poseidon is one of the cruelest and most fickle of the gods, the the that's not an accident that the Greek myths are like that it is not at all uncommon for ships to set sail on the high seas, and then just vanish leaving behind no trace at all. Other Times you might find a giant sturdy ship wrecked with no apparent cause like its mast, and rigging smashed bids with giant holes, blown in its solid hull, and when you see rex like this in fact, some of the REX. I was looking at in preparation for this episode. It calls to mind I was thinking about that poem. We've talked about on the show before Alfred Lord Tennyson the crack in where you know, there's this beast battening upon huge C. Worms in his sleep, until the latter fire shall heat the deep, and he comes up to the surface, and of course in the poem he dies, but what's more likely, it's he's. He's actually going to punch a hole. Right in the middle of your ship now. Obviously there are many ways for ships to reckon sink causing them to vanish without a trace they can hit. Rocks can hit hidden reefs. They can capsize and take on water, but there is one particular phenomenon that sailors have long been telling these dark majestically terrifying stories about. It's something that could explain many sudden disappearances of seagoing vessels if it was anything more than a fantasy, and it's what you mentioned about the block painting earlier, the monster wave, the rogue wave, also known as a frequent, if frequent, which I li- because it sounds like either a musical sub genre where some sort of like misfits style punk band. You know. Freak wave. That mixes punk music. With carnival music he has circus music I. You know I say that but I. Bet that's actually a genre. Probably at this point all sub-genre exist. But so yeah, the the idea of a rogue waiver monster waves, so we're not just talking about rough. In general, but a single gigantic wave, an unbelievably high wall of water that appears as if out of nowhere and crashes over your ship, like a hammer of the gods, and so sailors have talked about this, and we WANNA ask today. Could these tales be true? Do we now know whether they're true? And could they explain many of history's vanished ships and holes broken like? Now at this point I. do want to mention that. In our research I think we'd hope to maybe throw in more like giant wave myths more accounts from say ancient histories of giant waves as opposed to. Organic Sea Monsters and I'm not saying they don't exist. They may well exist, but I had trouble finding them, and we were discussing why that might be I mean we could go back to what you said earlier. How ship disappears at sea, perhaps caused by a giant wave, and the story is about a sea monster or becomes about an organic sea monster. Yes, and the one point parallel here is that obviously even the ancient peoples knew. Knew about the idea. The ship could encounter say bad. Weather was out at sea. Be Wrecked, and and all that so it's not like there was no other way for ships to sink, but the way in which a rogue wave as a concept resembles a sea monster is that it's unexpected you know the that it reaches up out of the deep that it's much higher than all the other waves in the ocean, and it just takes. Takes you completely by surprise, and that's key here. It's not a situation of like. Oh, suddenly all the ways where enormous no suddenly one wave stands vastly above all the others much like the mountain wave in the the print we were discussing the top of the episode now obviously lots of ships in history of encountered rough seas, like certain regions of the ocean and certain weather patterns can generate lots of chop in the high waves. Waves, but chips are usually made withstand bad weather. That's part of what ship design is for. You know you say okay might encounter this kind of weather, so we need to make this amount strong to withstand it right. Have you know you're going around the Cape? You'RE GONNA? You'RE GONNA build and sail vessels designed for for rough, seas, yeah and these wave patterns have long been understood to be predictable within certain parameters. You make ship strong. Strong and she'll hold but what we're talking about with these monster waves, stories wave, that suddenly appears without warning and is at least twice as high as all the other waves in the sea, and of course, when you're talking about a wave of water that's twice as high as the other way around it it where you know the power and destructiveness of it doesn't just scale linearly you know it. It becomes a new kind. Kind of phenomenon. You're dealing with now I want to be clear here that we're. We're talking about true. Rogue, waves or monster waves freak waves, etc, here, the do seem to come out of nowhere, and they're not to be confused with giant waves generated by seismic activity right like underwater volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or cascades writing those can be incredible. I for an example as reading about the earthquake generated soon Nami in Alaska's Latorre. Bay. Bay which according to discover magazine was a four hundred feet taller than the empire. State building yeah. There are people have done like illustrations of this on. You can find where the it's. It's just staggering like it. It created this I think it was supposed to be like seventeen hundred feet roughly yeah. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Nineteen fifty-eight earthquake shook loose millions of cubic yards of dirt and rocks from a forty. Forty degree slope in the northeast corner of the bay. The Rock mass displaced a large body of water, causing both the splash wave that rose to one, thousand, seven, hundred and forty feet, and a gravity way there was one hundred and fifty feet high at the head of the bay, the waves sheared and strip the bark from thousands of trees, some of them four feet in diameter, just clear cut the land the next to the bay. And this occurred in nineteen fifty eight again, but they seem seemingly us something like it occurred at the same area in thirty six, and also in the eighteen fifty s and eighteen, seventy, four, as well so that's just a taste of the destructive possibilities of seismically generated waves in shallow coastal areas. Yeah, and of course, so we've got soon nominees as well soon. Nami happened when something happens out in the ocean. There's like an earthquake or shift in the seafloor. Seafloor eruptions something like that, and then there's a pressure wave that goes throughout the water column toward the shore, as it nears the shore, of course, as it enters the shallow waters, that's when it becomes really destructive, because that massive pressure rises up out of the water, and you know keeps coming and flooding against the shore, taking whatever is on the shore along with it. Yeah, obviously, atmospheric conditions are complicated as we've discussed on the show before the complex systems. A lot of forces conversion together becomes very difficult to predict atmospheric conditions and weather conditions are increasingly far in the future, and of course we have a very similar situation with the movement of the fluids in the ocean, but but but with these cases they make more sense to us right this anomaly. The earthquake generated Nami a because we can. We can easily say well. This is the thing this is the great event that caused the great wave and the idea of a wave, just coming out seemingly out of nowhere. The the sources is seemingly a little more elusive like it seems to be emerging from the complex interplay of different storm, patterns and occurrence. Yeah, you might be just out in a storm with waves that are pretty regular, certain height, coming and going and going and going and going, and then there's one. Yes, suddenly the mountain arrives, or so the stories tell us right so the question is win. Sailors tell these stories are they true and so I thought. Maybe we should look at a couple of firsthand accounts. You Ready Robert. Let's do it her first adventure well I thought we should turn to one firsthand account from the Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton which came from the famous voyage. Voyage, of the James Cared now. This voyage was one part of the overall survival journey after the failure of Shackleton's Antarctic expedition in the ship called the endurance that started in nineteen fourteen, and this is an absolutely astounding survival story. That is worth looking up. If you've never read it on this, this is only one part of the story but the short version of the context here was it nineteen fourteen shackleton crew set out for Antarctica in this ship the endurance, but the ship became trapped in ice in the Weddell Sea and the ship eventually sank, and of course this was nineteen, fourteen or fifteen year in Antarctica that you know your ships, thinking is sort of a death. Yeah I mean even today. Yeah, very bad news, so the crew made their way. You know they're out there. Stranded and the crew made their way to an uninhabited island known as elephant island from after where the ship sank, and Shackleton reason that their only hope of survival was seeking help and reinforcement from the island of South Georgia where he knew that there was a whaling stations. Stations of they got to where the people were at the whaling station there that could come back for rescue with the bigger ship, but south Georgia was about eight hundred miles or thirteen hundred kilometers away over terrible seas, the seas around Antarctica are there's there icy. There's rough bad whether it's not a place to be sailing in an unreal enforced vessel and the only viable vessel. Vessel they had for making the voyage because remember their ship sank the the best thing they had to use a twenty two foot, or about six and a half meter lifeboat called the James Cared so shackleton and a few others they left the rest of the crew sheltered at elephant island, and they set out on this brutal journey to get a rescue party during. During which they encountered ice and bad weather, the story is harrowing and amazing. They talk about how you know. ICE WOULD KEEP building up on the boat, because was freezing, and they'd be soaked by all these horrible waves that are pounding on them. It's freezing weather and they'd have to keep constantly chipping the ice off of the boat because the ice would way the boat. Boat Down and start to make it sink. and you know this is a this is like a multi week journey, and at one point while Shackleton was at the Tiller of the boat so there'd been very bad weather of course, and then he, he's at the Tiller one time, and he thinks he sees the clouds breaking and a clear sky up ahead and then. Then I want to quote from Shackleton's own account quote. I called to the other men that the sky was clearing, and then a moment later I realized that what I had seen was not a rift in the clouds, but the white crest of an enormous wave during twenty six years experience of the ocean in all its moods had not encountered a wave so gigantic it was. Was a mighty upheaval of the ocean, a thing quite apart from the big white capped sees that had been our tireless enemies for many days. I shouted for God's sake. Hold on, it's got us then came. A moment of suspense seemed drawn out into hours. White surged the foam of the breaking. See around us. We felt our boat lifted flung forward like a cork and breaking. Breaking served. We were in a seething chaos, tortured water, but somehow the boat lived through it half full of water, sagging to the dead weight, and shuttering under the blow, we bailed with the energy of men, fighting for life, flinging water over the sides with every receptacle that came to our hands, and after ten minutes of uncertainty, we felt the boat. Renew her life beneath us. So the fact that this giant wave did not sink or just completely smashed. Their tiny boat to pieces is one of the many bizarre miracles of this unbelievable journey You know you always have to wonder like how things like that happen, but. It did according to Shackleton's telling and the crew actually did manage to reach south Georgia according to an account by Gary Pearson, though after they got ashore in south Georgia quote at two am. On the first night ashore, Shackleton woke everyone shouting. Look Out! Boys hold on. It's going to break on us. It was a nightmare. Shackleton thought that the black snow crested cliff above them was a giant wave. Oh well. Yeah that that is an impressive telling him, but yet at the same time you can easily go either way on it right. You can say well right. Shackleton is a trustworthy source of information. This is what he saw, but then on the other hand we have to say. He was in an extreme situation I mean we've spoken before in the show about how extreme conditions can lead to seemingly paranormal encounters. Oh, you know if you've. You've been awake for a long time. If you're fighting for your survival, etc, and all of those elements are are here and their problems, the plausibility of the story I mean. How did this way of not sinking? Kill Them? Yes, so whatever happened obviously made an impression like this consummate survivor had nightmares not of sea monsters in the butt of a lone killer wave, rolling up out of the ocean, as high as a mountainside. And, so one thing about giant waves like this is that if they exist, we shouldn't necessarily expected to hear eyewitness accounts of them all that often in history, because of a couple of things number one of course. If they do exist for a long time, people thought them to be very rare, but on top of that if sailor is in the wooden ships of olden. Olden days encountered away of like this There is not a good chance of them living to tell about it right right. The goliath wave would just arise suddenly kill everyone, sink the ship, and then melt back into the sea without a trace. How would you? How would you even know it had happened? It'd be like asking for eyewitness. Accounts of the grim reaper yeah. Because if if if the report showing up then it's probably doing its job. Yeah, but of course shock story is not the only one there actually were a lot of stories like this. Many mariners told these tales of a giant killer wave in the book oceanography in the days of sail by Ian Jones Joyce Jones. The authors write about the French. Naval Explorer and scientists, Dumont d'urville, and his his disputes with the French scientists Francois Era. Go about the upper limits of wave. Wave height quote when the Astrolabe and that was d'urville ship when the Astrolabe eighteen twenty six was making its way across the southern stretches of the Indian Ocean, it encountered a gale with mountainous in which a man was lost overboard, Dumont d'urville, in his narrative, expressed the opinion that the waves reached a height of at least eighty to one hundred feet in an era when opinions were being expressed that no wave would exceed thirty feet Dumont. d'urville estimations were received. It seemed with some skepticism. And Francois Air ago rejected and even ridiculed d'urville claim. Basically you know this is just a seaman's fancy. He referred in writing to quote truly prodigious waves, with which the lively imagination of certain navigators delights in covering the sees. That sounded like a burn. That was a bit of a burn I think yeah. I think he was being a bit dismissive here, but maybe we should take a break. And then when we come back, we can talk about some physical evidence that actually points to the existence of waves like this that would lexus open stores. One of the first dealers made an important observation. Lexus wasn't in the car business. They were in the people business. Above all, they needed to be helpful, respectful and compassionate. To treat people like guest. It's what they agreed to do from the start. And rededicate themselves to every day. Today how we all interact with each other's changing, but who we are isn't in a time of uncertainty. We are all looking for new ways to be human to connect to reach out. To respond. Now when we need each other, most lexus will continue to do what they've always done. Take care of people first then the rest will follow. VISIT LEXUS DOT com slash people I to find out what Lexus is doing for their guess their employees. For our communities. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot. COM SLASH COVID nineteen. All right we're back. We've discussed accounts anecdotal evidence of giant waves of freak waves of rogue waves, but now we're going to get into what the science has to say. What what kind of proof is there if any to substantiate these claims? Do you want some kind of physical evidence? Other than just people saying they saw John Way, because people will say all sorts of things, but. Ultimately the this is why we have science. This is why we have recording equipment This is so we can actually validate the. Waves of this nature exist. Yeah, and so we talked about the French scientists Francois Arrigo. Being severely doubting waves like this existed, and from a scientific point of view there had long been reason to doubt these accounts of gigantic monster waves, not that it was impossible for a giant wave to exist, but that monstrous waves of the kind reported by mariners, the kind that would cause some of the damage attributed to them they they were thought to only come about on the scale of maybe once in hundreds or thousands of years. You know it's like the thousand year storm kind of rang. Rang so every thousand years a wave like this might occur, but it just might not be people around to see it. Yeah, exactly so you know you've got this question. We're shackled and all these others exaggerating hallucinating missed remembering was this the was the mountain that flows like a mermaid or something right, so I mean on one hand. You have that argument right that Maybe they're just not occurring enough for anyone to ever see them, so it doesn't seem right that we had numerous accounts. Where people say they witnessed them. Of course, we also have to consider the fact that ships and seamen again have always gone missing like this. You look to the sheer number of shipwrecks. You looked to accounts of of human activities. On the sea. Ships have always sanctions have always encountered bad weather or various other things that would cause them to parish. Yeah, and another thing we should think about that ships sink and disappear at a rate that would absolutely set our hair on fire if it was like airplanes or something, you know if there's like one major airline crash, people freak. Freak out, but ships go missing or sink all the time. Yeah, I was looking around for some stats on this end today, and again as humans command the see more than ever before more ships are on the than than at any point in human history, and we're looking at a loss of something like one hundred large vessels every year. It's about an average. Seen. It also is the stat also thrown out there that it basically amounts to two vessels per week, and that's just large vessels when you add in smaller vessels, it's even more now. Of course. Some of these are going to be clear. Cases Ride where they say. Oh, you know this. Was this ship sunk because It ran aground here some sort of a collision here, etc.. But in other cases, it could inevitably remain a mystery. Is just you know case by case scenario? So we have to ask these cases of the mysterious cases. Very sort of case that may have led to various nautical superstitions like the Bermuda Triangle, and in olden times see monsters. Could these be due to some manner of rogue wave? Yeah, exactly and so to answer that question I. Think one good thing one good place to start him where people did look for a long time was for physical evidence of damage caused by rogue waves, yeah, and and for the longest. We simply didn't have any solid evidence. Yeah, we didn't have any evidence of them. A solid evidence of them occurring. We didn't have footage or anything. so all we still had were just those those various bits of anecdotal and from. From anecdotal evidence, and then experts weighing in on what seemed possible unlikely, but of course if waves like this were occurring, they should, in some ways cause damage that we should be able to see in detect because I mean. Water is amazingly powerful people. We do not have good intuitions about the physical power of moving water This may come from our experience like swimming pleasure or splashing in a bathtub. We're moving. Water just glides gently gracefully around the body, causing no harm at all, but our intuitions about water really fail when we encounter large masses of fast moving fluids like the way people behave in flash floods, a great example of this you will. See. People who appear to think they can just wade through knee high moving floodwaters, only to discover tragically that it just washes you away instantly. Yeah, or in many cases. They think they can drive through Oh. Yeah, and and it's tragic, but it it it's It reflects the fact that our intuitions about the power of moving water are not good. We underestimated likewise with giant waves. You know we may be used to playing in the surf on a beach, vacation or something where the waves are harmless. They're fun. You can glide with pleasure over each peak and trough, but. Sufficiently huge walls of moving water that are moving fast can act more or less like huge walls of concrete smashing. Right into you at speed just like soon Nami know tear down solid buildings and trees, a giant wave, crashing into a ship, or a structure can cause devastating physical damaged hits. It moves twists. The structure I mean I. It's like a hand of God. Indeed besides heavy hitter. Yeah, so if you ask. was there ever physical damage that would indicate the existence of seemingly impossible rogue waves like? Before we had director records of one I think the answer is yes. There are some very chilling and mysterious clues left in the wreckage of battered ships and structures in or near the water, their stories going way back to like wives crashing against lighthouses that that are so far up off the water. It seems impossible that like a wave could have damaged them. You know lighthouses more than one hundred feet up off the norm waterline with windows smashed out and stuff like that and you'd be like. How how did that happen? in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, two, the mobile off-shore drilling platform, the ocean ranger was apparently damaged by a giant wave off the coast of. Its sustained damage to its ballast control room which only could have happened if there was an extremely high wave in this led to a chain reaction of events that caused the platform to sink, and tragically all eighty four crew members died, everyone aboard died when this thing sank, but there were also there have been stories all throughout the twentieth century of like Ocean Liners about the know passenger vessels and cargo vessels and naval vessels that. Would report being suddenly hit by a giant wave that the just wreaked havoc upon the ship. It would damage the bridge. It would rip off the mast and rigging. Sometimes it would rip away lifeboats that were like you know, had steel bolts holding the place things that wouldn't make sense if it was just rocking in normal bad weather, but even with all the physical evidence of structures and ships being hit by these powerful events. It still be hard to measure and confirm the existence of these giant rogue waves first hand because number one. You can't predict in advance when one will appear like they're obviously better places and times to look for them right, but you can't know when one's going to happen, where and then when one does show up a you suddenly have a number of priorities. Yeah, exactly I had of perhaps recording that being said we are increasingly in an. An age of Nicholas according equipment, so who knows what the very near future will bring yeah, and so when one does appear the there's generally not time to react and track and observe it like you're saying it's just there, and then within a few seconds you will vary possibly be dead, so the key here really is to Cincinnati, of course, not just depend on eyewitness accounts which we already had, and of course there's an inherent problem there. and. We can't go looking for them. Per Se because their difficulties there what you need are essentially machine recordings passive detection. Detection system that that will say will tell you will like what what sort of wave activity is occurring. You're given vessel or near given. Offshore, platform and one that is lucky or unlucky enough to catch one in the act, and so the history of rogue waves science I think really changed in nineteen ninety five right because that's when we finally get this this sort of evidence, so it was January first name ninety five in the North Sea. The North Sea Platform Drop ner which is a gas platform. This is built in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty four, and it consists of seven risers and even today. It's an important complex in the Norwegian industry. Yes, this would be situated like in the North Sea between Norway and Scotland basically. Yes, so which are you know this is like? These are rough. Seas, yeah. But on this particular day equipment aboard the platform, namely a downward looking laser. Recorded a monster of a wave so significant wave height in the area, the just like the average sort of wave. Hi, there was occurring was already twelve meters or thirty nine point thirty seven feet. Okay, so everything was already like real. That's that sounds horrible. I would not I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that. You know you don't WanNa. Take Your James carried out on that right. But then according to the data away rolled in the was twenty five point, six meters, high or eighty three point nine feet now. As is often the case you. You might just hear a number, and it might not mean anything to you, but do your best to stop for a second here and picture it yeah, we're talking a seven story building away. Yeah and. And it's coming at the platform, and indeed the platform sustained minor damage. Luckily, but that damage was enough to to verify the reality of the wave, so in other words showing that this wasn't just a recording anomaly where you know. The the laser went wonky or something. A seagull flew hundred. Whatever would cause it to to to produce some sort of an anomaly. No, we also have the physical damage to the structured a backup. So they've got the they've got the accurate scientific reading from this instrument, and they've got corroborating evidence, so it wasn't just a freak measurement. He was in fact, a freak wave, a rogue wave, and so in nineteen, ninety five, the first day of the New Year. We entered an era in which the rogue wave was no longer purely a myth. It was a reality and from there we enter the decades of of fearing out well. What's the frequency? What's the cause and ultimately? What is the risk now so you might ask the question. Okay, we. We've just been talking about big waves. What is a rogue wave? Technically I think I alluded to this. This earlier, but a rogue wave is defined in relative terms right, so it's a wave that's greater than twice the size of all the other waves in the same area at the same time and yeah, so rogue waves do occur even in the context of very powerful regular wave pattern, so even in places where the waves are unusually high and choppy. You can get these things that stand out. That are more than twice as tall as the other waves around them. Because again. This North Sea example it goes to some pretty tile, tall waves I mean we talking earlier about about earlier? Experts thinking they're like thirty feet was more or less. Less the limit, yeah, that that was long believed to be about where waves capped off at least in the kind of conditions you'd expect every year right and so the the ambient wave height in the in the area was already inaccessible that now I guess maybe we should talk about how rogue waves exactly cause damage to ships, right because there are multiple ways that being hit by this flowing mountain. This giant wall of water can sink. You destroy you right of course anytime. Ship is hit by a giant wave. Its physical structure can just be directly damaged by the force of the impact and this is. This is especially relevant to. To the superstructure of a ship's superstructure is what you call all that stuff that sticking up off the top of the whole like the mask, the rigging the bridge, the lifeboats it can be smashed bits or ripped apart, and of course, a lakes worth of water is going to wash over the top of the vessel, and if there's a way of for the vessel to take this water on, it very well can do that, so that's your first problem. That and I think that's an easy one to miss because again like you, said we we just. We often don't think about just the sheer punch of that water especially when it is like. A fist, the size of a lot of lakes worth water. Yeah, we'll just imagine you are standing in the bridge of the ship in this wall of water comes across you, so it washes over the hall who washes over the deck and it smashes into the bridge and what? What very well could happen there? If you know if the bridge is not in some significant way destroyed, it may well smashed through the windows and throw the glass at Shia wash into the bridge but so if it hits, ship laterally hits a ship on. On the side, the ship can be capsized by a rogue wave. flipped over on its side or upside down. Which of course can lead to foundering? You don't want your ship sideways. if it gets if a ship gets hit head on by a rogue wave, this can also harm. It caused major problems. It can lead to the bow, or the stern of the ship, being lifted an angle up out of the water, and if it's a large ship, this can be really dangerous because Robert. You remember that scene in titanic. Ship starts sinking from the bow. And the stern of the boat is lifted up at an angle in the air ship holes are extremely heavy, and they're not designed to withstand Shear stresses on the hull of that immensity, like the structure can't support half of the way to the ship hanging up in the air, so the titanic of course Kinda cracked like celery stalk. We I think I was reading that the main theory now is that the cracks started at the bottom at a weak point along the base of. Of the ship, and then it just cracked off, and then the bow sank, and then the Stern Bob for a bit, and then sank as well, but of course giant waves can cause other large ships to do the same. The wave washes over you. You can end up with one end of the ships sort of lifted poking up out of the water as it comes out of this wave, motion, and that stress can crack or or otherwise significantly damaged the hull, which of course. Course again can make you sink so there are a lot of ways that a giant wave can mess you up. You just don't want him at all or we're GONNA. Take One more break when we come back. We're going to discuss some of the causes for rogue waves, and also a very recent paper that explorer, the question, just how often are these occurring? And how powerful are they? This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems. Problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot. com slash cove nineteen. Though we're apart these days sharing more so at Geiko, we'd like to say thanks. Thanks for sharing you savage dance moves. Thanks for sharing your diy haircut fails. Thanks for sharing your inner lip sync star. Now it's our turn to share with the GEIKO giveback, fifteen percent credit on car and motorcycle policies for current and new customers, because we're committed for the long haul, the fifteen percent credit last year, full policy terms visit Geico dot. com slash. Give back for more INFO and eligibility. Think. We're back, so we're looking at the question. First of what causes rogue waves, and this is not a fully settled question I think that there are some some competing in not necessarily mutually exclusive hypotheses here right so I go back to the drop Norway for a moment, according to the European Centre for medium range, weather forecasts, high resolution retrospective forecasts forecasts. He's going backwards in time. Retro Casts. Quote suggests that waves driven by a southward moving polar low interacted with a substantial local wind generated waves system to produce the conditions conducive to the observed large rogue wave, and that's from work by a bit slow at all. Okay, so that's saying that there are there were conflicting wave patterns right at that came together in a way that they think created this massive wave. It was something about the way that these two different patterns interacted when they when they crashed together. Right and you know again. Storm systems whether and the movements the ocean, these complex systems that are often difficult I understand, but I think we can all. Understand the the the power of convergence. You know when you have have. I mean we see this is something that's understandable about whether. To fronts coming together, you know we realized that that can be bad news. And and so it seemingly, we had a similar situation here To energetic systems coming together, and it creates conditions that are optimal for this extra large wave to rise up out of the sea, and I'll talk more about stuff like that in just a minute. They also point to the work of a cavalier at all from two thousand sixteen, and they point out also that we shouldn't think of roadways is ultra wear. All too rare wants generation occurrences rather quote such waves, a regular part of large storms and coming across is just a matter of probability, depending on the spatial and temporal scales considered so the drop Norway was probably. A result of these two crossing low frequency waves systems, and it's it's it's it may be more common than we initially thought especially with fast moving storms. Yeah, so what exactly is like the physical mechanism that causes them in these situations? Well, that's still being investigated, but there do appear to be several potential causes and explanations said I think these are not mutually exclusive like some might explain. Explain some rogue waves and others might explain others. According to the NOAA picks out a couple of main ones. The did identifies as the primary candidates. One is wave interference so when you study the propagation of waves, and this is not just waves in water waves of all kinds like electromagnetic radiation waves, sound waves waves through matter like like you see in water when you see these. When you look at the propagation of these types of waves, you begin to see that when patterns waves come into contact with one another they create an interference pattern, and this means that waves can for example sort of cancel each other out. This is a also known as destructive interference You might have seen a demonstration of this with like speakers who you take like sound. Sound speakers and you place them at just the perfect distance apart away from you. The sound waves can actually cancel each other out, and suddenly you're not hearing the sound. They're making anymore. Oh, but if you turn off one of the speakers, then you can hear it again because they're not cancelling each other out anymore, so that's destructive interference when the peaks and troughs are. Our alternating, cancelling each other out, but peaks and troughs can also lineup to multiply one another into giant waves, and this is known as constructive interference. Ironically, it's the constructive interference that is destructive to our stuff I ships in our structures. So, that's one thing just the normal kinds of wave wave interference patterns. Another thing sounds like it taps into the explanation. We were just discussing, and this is the interaction of water currents with wave patterns created by storms essentially, when the current is flowing, one way and storm winds are pushing surface waves the opposite way this can cause an interaction. This shortens the frequency of waves, and the sometimes leads to waves, joining together informing these gigantic rogue waves, but there's one other major proposed mechanism early proposed explanation I was reading about two. And this is a hypothesis, the deals with non linear effects, so the details of this are far over my head, but I'll do my best to basically some research shows that you can actually predict the formation of rogue waves if you model ocean waves with reference to to a non linear version of the Schrodinger equation, which of course we normally would use to model the behavior of objects that the quantum scale such as individual atoms, but the interesting thing about matter about objects that the quantum. Quantum scale like atoms or electrons or photons. Is that in many ways? They seem to behave like waves. You know that's one of the great paradoxes of quantum mechanics as well. How can a particle behave like a wave pattern, but the Schrodinger equation and it's highly predictive. It tells us yes, they do in fact, behave like a wave pattern, and you need to model them like a wave pattern, or you can't predict what they're going to do, so the Schrodinger equation is useful at modeling. Modeling in predicting these the behavior of these wave patterns but but also apparently the the non linear version of it is relevant to predicting the behavior of waves at large scale like waves in the ocean and the mathematical functions underlying this explanation like I, said they're way over my head, but essentially it's a model that shows how normal interacting wave patterns just know standard waves, going back and forth in the ocean can sometimes become unstable and result in one way of one way. Way of peak leaching or sucking energy from the surrounding wave peaks, reducing or the surrounding waves, and this one way of becoming huge in the process, so that that's another proposed explanation. So where are we currently are in our understanding of rogue wave is probably the the next logical question to get to. Because if we've discussed already, it's like we we've. We haven't known for sure. They exist too terribly long and we're still we still competing or multiple scenarios. That may explain how they're occurring. Well I looked to a two thousand nineteen research paper from the University of Southampton in the UK and basically what they did is they looked at? They decided to take instead of a global look at the data they tried to to isolated. They look to fifteen different boys on the US Western seaboard, and they looked at a twenty year window, so we're looking at ninety four through two thousand sixteen as being the window of data that they were looking at isolated to this of this region and This study revealed the following, so first of all rogue waves vary greatly depending on the area of sea, and the time period focused on the first part of that I. Think Makes Sense because we discuss. It just needs to be twice as big as the as the waves in the area. And also, this is very key across to the two decade window studied instances of rogue waves fell slightly while the size of the individual waves increased. Okay, so there's less of them, but they're more powerful. When you do get the right kind of get a good news. Bad News situation, right? they also found that rogue waves are more prevalent and and severe in winter months, and they're. They're happening with increasing frequency within calmer background. See That's interesting. Now we know from previous just first of all from anecdotes, common sailors knowledge, but also I think for more recent research that there are rogue wave hot spots in the world where there's particularly dangerous sorts of interaction between ocean currents and weather I know for example, one place that's believed to be a rogue wave hotspot is like the the Southern Cape of Africa and you're going around the Cape of Good Hope. It's long been understood as treacherous waters. For a long believed to be place of bad weather, but also apparently a place of rogue waves, so you're everyone's probably wondering well. How often are these things occurring again? There is this idea that these were once in a lifetime events and. It was like seeing a Unicorn on the high seas, but it looks like now. We're talking many times per day in the global ocean. And then you know that's a ship. That's a concern for ships at sea, not only. The global shipping industry, but other vessels as well. Two, thousand four study identified more than ten giant waves of the twenty five meter eighty two foot mark. During a mere three week window. As well as things that makes you thankful that the ocean is big, and we're not on most of it most of the time, but there's a lot of us out there a lot of our stuff out there at any given time also again. Yeah, weird there. There's more human activity on the oceans than ever before just to give everyone a taste of just that the shipping industry alone because the shipping industry is huge way, it's easy to take for granted, but it is how. Most of the goods make their way around the world. They're not traveling by airplane. They're traveling the ships. I found some good stats in this from the International Chamber of Shipping. So first of all the international shipping industry is responsible for the carriage of around ninety percent of world trade. And given ship vessel. We're talking a two hundred million dollar investment like that's the when when you see these ships that are laden with shipping containers. As a two hundred million dollar vessel, you're probably looking at the operation of merchant ships generates an estimated annual income of over half a trillion dollars in freight rates there over fifty thousand merchant ships, trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo, and the World Fleet and shipping is it's in over one hundred fifty nations and man by over a million seafarers virtually every nationality, so it's. It's it's immense, and there's more of it than ever before, and then we have these waves out there. Yeah, and the so the idea that these waves could be increasing in intensity or becoming more dangerous. That's pretty scary because it doesn't just mean like carrier for people who physically go out on the water. Of course, it certainly is, but it also represents a threat to to. The world economy, you know the economics of goods moving back and forth right. And, then, just some more data from this particular paper, the University of Southampton Paper. Just considering the US west coast, which was the focus of this study, they say that here you have forty nine percent of total US containerize trade, and this is the largest us as gateway for container vessels. And even when ships are not Sunkar, capsized by a wave like this, there's still the risk of rogue wave induced collisions. You know that's another thing to consider. If you have two boats that are near each other. And you have an enormous wave disrupting the waters, and there's a possibility that things could slam together which they're certainly not designed to do then on top of that, this is a region where there's just a high volume of tanker bolt. Carrier roll-on roll-off passenger fishing ships. All focused around the ports in the region, and then of course you have a fair amount of activity just to service offshore structures in the oil and gas industry coming back to in our examples with oil platforms earlier, yeah. Rogue. Waves have also swept people out to sea in California and Oregon and. One other point, the researchers indicated that global climate change isn't necessarily a factor in all of this. Part of is, there's just a great deal of Oscillation. with the with the size of these waves in we're dealing with such a complex system, and we have only two decades of rogue wave data to deal with you, but at the same time. They don't seem to be ruling it out. Yeah I. Mean because of increasing energy right if the sea levels are rising in the oceans, getting warmer, and you're getting more intense weather patterns right Yeah, so basically they're not saying it's not the cause of just saying we're not presenting that with this data oldsmobile again only two decades worth of data to go on here I was reading an interview from back in two thousand ten. Ten with the author Susan Casey who wrote a book that I read a few years ago and I absolutely loved it sort of a half memoir half-science book about the Farallon islands off the a new off sort of ramblers San Francisco is and about great white sharks, and the book was called the Devil's teeth, but this interview was about another book. She wrote apparently a book about giant ways called the wave published in two thousand ten in the interview. She talks about how companies that right insurance policies for maritime voyages are concerned about increasing risk and part of this risk seems to be concerned about rogue waves. She says quote. Lloyd's of London of course a big maritime insurer. Lloyd's of London is actually quite concerned about cruise ships. One of the guys said to me. This is a high concentration of risk. You've got five thousand people on boats that are getting bigger and bigger, and they're going into gnarly gnarly replaces. They're all over Antarctica now. For example recently, one of the Hardier cruise ships got hit by a hundred foot, rogue wave, and all of its navigation equipment got. got knocked out in. The windows got broken during another recent cruise in Antarctica. All all the people ended up in the water, which isn't a good situation. By the grace of God, there was another boat nearby now. We're talking about big picture risk here I. Just want to stress that we're not doing more in in this episode. We're not attempting to scare you out of your next up oceanic voice. Or anything of that nature though I think if that were our goal. We do a very good job of it, but. I, Know, that is not our goal, but yeah, there are obviously. Going to be huge risks to ocean, ocean voyages of all kinds of one of the biggest impacts that would be there would obviously betrayed I. do think it's interesting that there still Such mysterious unresolved questions about the behavior of waves of waves in the ocean I mean this seems like something that people have been aware of for a very long time studying for a very long time, but it's one of those kind of chaotic and complex things that maybe we don't often stop to to to appreciate the mystery and majesty of what's easy to just watch wave activity in the Oceania sit on the beach or The deck of a ship and watch the waves, and it's calming. It's it's rhythmic. There seems to be a I mean there is an order to it, but it seems to. There seems to be an order that we can grasp that we can. We can understand from a human perspective, and of course really it's it's. More the domain of Of Increasingly Complex computer simulation pro- programs, if not the machinations of some sort of vengeful seek guide well I think one of the reasons were so tempted to. Wish to think of the waves as regular is because we can listen to them is because it's auditory auditory information, instead of just being visual information, it assumes kind of background rhythm whenever we're by the ocean, or we hear something recorded by the ocean on the ocean you know the the wave activity becomes the the steady reliable percussion of our lives, and then the idea that one of these waves could suddenly reach out and be not like the others be this angry. Hand of God feels like a violation of what nature has asked us to expect the white noise that used to sleep every night. Never gives me a roadway since always consistent calming. Actively? What if it suddenly screamed your name? All right well there you have it. As as we've mentioned before you know. We were both landsman here, so we would love to hear from the C. Folk out there. If you have any anything to add on this? Have you encountered? Sizeable waves or even if you have you witnessed or seeing the the handiwork of something, they could be classified as a rogue wave. We would love to hear from you. Absolutely Yeah, please get in touch in the meantime If you want to listen to this episode of more episodes, acceptable your mind head on over to stuff to blow your mind, Dot Com. That's where you'll find the landing page for. For this episode in that also features the the artwork, the great wave off Kanagawa. You can see this image in case you're not sure you've seen it before. And if you want to interact with other listeners, be sure to head on over to the discussion module. It's called sterile your mind. Discussion modulator is a facebook group It is a it's a pretty decent place as far as social media guess. One of my more. Few preferred social media destinations these days literally the only reason I still have a facebook. So make it your reason as well and as always to if you want to. We want to support our show. You can buy some merchandise through our T. shirts store. That's always appreciated, but the best thing you can do is just a rate and review the show wherever you have the power to do so and affront if an episode really resonated with you, share it with someone else i. mean really that's a. that's the bread and. and Butter of the shows appeal big. Thank you as always to are excellent audio producer Tari Harrison. If you'd like to get in touch with us with feedback about this episode or any other suggested topic for the future or just to say, hello, tell us about rogue waves. Tell us about waves in general. Tell us your stories of the high seas. 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Invention Playlist: The Motion Picture, Part 3

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:08:41 hr | 1 year ago

Invention Playlist: The Motion Picture, Part 3

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM. Dot Com slash red hat. Ester Dean and I'm excited to welcome you to a brand new season of song, land and Sung lands podcasts. We have an amazing roster talent this season I promise you. You don't WanNa miss one single episode. Don't miss some men Monday nights at ten nine central on NBC. And Join US for your song podcast available every week after the show on the IHEART APP or wherever you get your podcast. Welcome to invention a production of iheartradio. Hey Welcome to invention. My Name's Robert Lamb and I'm Joe McCormick. Can we're back to finish out our discussion of the invention? In the early days of the motion picture now last time I think should have been the episode where we talked with Scott Benjamin about the murder mystery, or the maybe murder mystery, the disappearance mystery. Yes of Louie La Prints the person. Person, who actually did shoot a film camera shot movies before anybody before Lumiere, Brothers before Edison and his team but in the episode before that we talked about the earliest commercially viable motion picture technologies so by the mid eighteen nineties. You had the flourishing of Thomas Edison and W Kale Dixon's Kim graphing can amount a scope in America, which made roughly fifteen. Second movies that you could watch by sticking your head in a viewfinder and a cabinet again, I. I love the image like you just got your face down in the cabinet, and somebody walks up behind. You puts the kick me. Sign on, or whatever happens in these parlors. I'm sure it was a rowdy seen around the same time. You've also got the cinematic graph the Lumiere brothers in France which projected films on a wall, and this is a kind of different thing because it allowed this communal viewing experience, which is last time we talked about. About how we think this is sort of important both culturally and economically that you can show films for a for a big audience same time. Yeah, and I think that when we look at the history of film, viewing and film technology, we see that that push and pull between the communal experience and the individual experience, whether it's the communal experience of of the brothers, invention or movie houses, or it's go or places where we go back towards the the individual experience such as suddenly being able to watch films at home on television films on VCR. Other home media advancements no right down to our our modern use of smartphones where you can, you can just crawl underneath a blanket and watch whatever you want with your headphones in, and it's you're all just shoving the screen directly into your brain. I think I would bet that film historians have some interesting thoughts about how the changes in technology, especially like home video changed the art of film itself Yeah Yeah I mean it's had major. Certainly the I've I've read some about its effect. Say on the the adult cinema industry right were there are obvious clearly. Yeah, Click clearly obvious influences the technology on on that Shawna but I was thinking just the other night about a different avenue of film enjoyment that being roofing. Oh. Yes, so we're of course both big fans of mystery science theater three thousand. If you've never seen it well, you've probably seen images. It's the old TV show where they were. were. It was a sci fi comedy premise where they would take old movies that were generally very bad and poorly made, and you'd have hosts who made jokes about the film as you wash enc little silhouettes bobbing in front of the screen, a human in to robots forced to watch bad movies, and in order to survive the experience they refund. They make jokes. They talk back to the screen You know all this sort of you know. Humorous Shenanigans created by the Great Joe Hodgson Yeah, but the this is of course turned into a wider genre, the just the show mystery science theater three thousand. That's been off the air for twenty years or whatever. Netflix that's true but is so. It was off the air for a long time, but the the tradition continued I. Think is inspired a sort of style of media presentation and it wasn't the only one. I mean there's also you were talking before we went on Mike Today about this other phenomenon of not people talking during the movie, but the the TV movie host all that like daytime. Daytime horror host. Yeah, House! What is GRANDPA months hosting movies back back in the nineties unlike the Turner Channels Elvira, Elvira or Joe Bob Briggs Monster, vision where they're not chatting during the movie, but there are these bumper segments where they're saying. Hey, how about that film? You're just watched. How about those? How about that scene? With that monster and they? Maybe they crack a few. Few jokes right so even if you're at home alone watching the movie, it's kind of like when you go out to the movies with your friends, and if it's a bad movie, lean over next to each other and make jokes about what you're watching. Yeah, so I wonder to what extent like these are reactions to to these these different technological advancements where movie viewing has leaned away from the. The communal towards the individual experience, but then we compensate for that through the pseudo communal experience of riffing or the host speaking to you about the film, and then later on when we get more into the DVD a Jew of course, have commentary tracks Oh. Yeah, which I think the better commentary tracks I'm thinking of particularly like the John. Corrupt Carpenter and Kurt Russell commentaries. Commentary tracks you know where it's. It's like you're hanging out in the room with them. Listening to them. You're watching the film with them to a certain extent listening to any Arnold Schwarzenegger commentaries. What's happening in the scene? In total recall the the unbelievable distortion of the face. Bay, even that is Louie. You know sort of a communal experience like you're. You're watching the film with Arnold. Zony way that's it I haven't researched that to see if anybody else's has given a lot more serious and structured thought to to the nature of riffing and winds important, but Yeah, he came to mind thinking about the way the technology influences our experience. Yeah, I have a hunch that you're exactly right that there is this push and pull and that we want. We want to be able to have privacy. Privacy bound experiences. You know within our own boundaries within our own You know the convenience of being able to do it at home whenever we want to watch a movie or something, but also there's there's part of us. That cries out for that kind of instant reaction. You wanting to be able to lean over to the person next to you and talk about what you're seeing right in a counter that would of course be some of these examples. That you've seen of movie. Theater innovations designed to limit the communal experience when you're like dividers next to your head. That sort of thing well I mean I guess it's. It's also going to be annoying if you're just trying to pay attention to the movie and the people right in front of you or having a conversation about whatever well, it's the human experience as a whole right, wanna be alone, but we want to be surrounded by people in. If we're and we have, we have whichever we are. We want the. Grass is always greener, but we so we should come back to the early days of film and pick up on this technologic yesterday. okay, so yeah, so we had the Edison and Dickson graph in command, commander scope, and then you had the lumiere brothers with their cinematic graph. And these established some slightly different early traditions of films. One of the things we talked about before is that there weren't already films waiting to be shown, so the people who invented these camera and projector technologies had to make their own films to go in them. They had to be not only inventors of the technology, but media producers. Zo Edison Dixon's early films were usually like short recordings of things that would be Kinda like circus acts or Vaudeville performances. Here's the strongman. Here's a dancer, acrobats or some something quick and interesting to look at that would be interesting without sound and last about fifteen seconds, because that's how long the film's could be based on the limitations of their technology, the Lumiere brothers created these short documentaries of real life with scenes like a train, approaching the camera or I was reading about one this just five men diving off of a Jedi and bathing in the sea. There's one that's got a bunch of photographers getting off of a river boat for a photography conference Leone. Riveting stuff. But people were really into it. Yeah, I mean just it's the the magic of seeing the moving picture without with without living in an age of just ubiquitous much pictures like we have today exactly and so the Lumiere opened the Lumiere, brothers also created at least one fictional story that we mentioned in that previous episode. The classic the Sprinkler Sprinkled yes, which is this is one of the first ten films that they that they unleashed, and it is clearly a humorous little fiction piece where a gardener's. Is. Step down by a child, and then, of course he does the natural thing right the. Comedic Clown Joyce, and looks down the hose, and that's when the water skirts him in the face I, actually watched it today. Not only does he get squirted in the face. The knee chases down the child and beats the child savagely. That's how it ends. The. Different humor back in the day. If only we could have had the sprinkler sprinkled cinematic universe where they come back, and and that would be explored in a later film, but you know, take the beating aside it is exactly the type of humor that has continued to be an important part of motion. Pictures of like right up until today Oh, of course, yeah, I mean slapstick humor is still a very cheap way to make a movie that can make a Lotta money. but by the mid eighteen ninety s films we we should say we're still mostly something like a curiosity in a technological spectacle and less like a fundamental medium for stories in mass culture the way they are in our culture today. So what changed in between you know? How do we get from that point this point? One thing that I think is really important along that journey is that of course there were plenty of technological upgrades came along to improve what people could do with motion picture, filming and projection early on, but the one innovation that I think might be most important. Early on is something that is usually called the letham loop. Now we've talked before about how early films were less. Less than a minute long right there. There were technical reasons for this. It wasn't an artistic choice. One of the technical reasons was the strains put on recording media, so these early films were shot on celluloid film. Strip and celluloid film was good. It was more durable than the flimsy paper film of the past, but still it had its limits and one. Was this the more? More film got coiled up on a roll and you know you're pulling on the harder. It is to pull two feet along past the shudder like you can sort of imagine the physics of this right. You know trying to pull tape off of a huge role and pull it really fast and the way film cameras and projectors worked to. The time was to grab the film. Film along these perforated holes along the sides. So if you've seen film before you know you see the sprocket holes along the side of the the latch or the lever can grab the film advance it exactly one frame in front of the shudder, and then move it along another frame after that and so if you tried to record or project a really long piece. Piece of motion picture you would inevitably end up tearing it in the process often by ripping through the sprocket holes, as you tried to advance the film, and this actually put an artistic limit on the medium was reading in Nineteen Ninety nine article for the American Society of cinematographers by the film. photographer and film historian David Samuelson and Samuelson writes that in the eighteen ninety. Ninety s the problem with the tension on celluloid film meant that you couldn't pull the more than maybe like one hundred feet, or so about thirty meters of film through the camera projector without tearing it and this limited films to roughly two minutes runtime now in our brains that were thinking like. How do you tell the story of Robocop in two minutes you? This is A. A ROBO COP less world. You can't have it but but it was actually a different question that led to the defeat of this technological hurdle, and that question was a more i. don't know kind of maybe more mercenary economic one, but maybe that's just me saying that because I'm not a big a big sports fan. The question was. How do you shoot him? Him Play back in entire boxing match. Oh, now! It's funny that again. This reveals how little interest I have in sports that I didn't even think about the idea of filming and exhibiting sports matches as like a major early use of film, but of course this is this is going to be big money right? Yeah. I mean I was mainly thinking about the You know the artistic possibilities here and do a certain extent, the journalistic a possibilities, but then again journalism would cover sports as well. There will be an interest in capturing what occurred exactly so there. A family company run by an American named Woodville Latham in his sons, and they wanted to pioneer this process to make money off of exhibiting boxing matches after they'd happen, so the idea. was you film the fight the screen it later and you charge admission, and obviously most boxing matches would have been too long. They would tear the film. Film because they're going to need more than one hundred feet. They're so the answer. Is something called a film loop or a Letham Lou and this invention essentially use wheels to spool out kind of short slackened loop of film ahead of the camera or projector shudder so that when the lever grabs the film to pull it down rapidly advancing past the shudder frame by frame, it wouldn't be pulling tight on the entire roll of film. It just be pulling down from the sort slackened. Loop film right above it. Does that make sense? Sense, yeah, yeah, absolutely, so according to Samuelson, though Woodville Latham gets the name credit for this invention. The Latham loop a sworn statement by our old friend, W K L Dixon. Who Remember Invented Edison's Connecticut Graf? indicated the invention was actually the work of a guy named Eugene lost who was otherwise known for inventing the idolised scope, which was a wide film projector, and also as a side note, Samuelson notes that years later in nineteen eleven lost would also travel to America to quote. GIVE THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION THERE OF A. A combined sound on film, recording and reproduction system, though his method was not ever successfully commercialized, and actually synchronized sound didn't become mainstream films until the late nineteen twenty, so there is a ways to go before that became big lost by the way is spelled L., A. U. S. T.. Yeah, maybe that's loss day her. Maybe la stay at I don't know either way. He was quite the inventor. Yeah, totally double innovator here. The letham loop was a big deal in addition to this this later on commercialized sound on film process. in the late was such a big deal that Samuelson writes about it quote for filmmakers of the time. It was as big a breakthrough as anything that has happened since and. Think about it again. This is so important because this is what makes it possible to have long films without it? We couldn't have long films right now. I mean obviously prior to this technology. We had all these other storytelling. Mediums were long form We had books we had. We had plays especially. But but it'd be, but clearly the medium was not ready to receive those longer form stories yet. This allowed them to receive those forms exactly and I think this is one reason early on you. You wouldn't have had people quite yet thinking. Yes, this you know. The the film will become the medium for visual novels. You'll adapt a novel for film if they would be like saying. Look at postage stamps of the stories, we can tell with postage stamp. No, you can't. It's just not that big. You can't put Macbeth on postage stamp, but then suddenly it's like hey. We just figured out what the away makes the stamps so much bigger. Than, suddenly the sky's the limit. Yeah and so, there's another piece i. read emphasizing the importance of the loop. That was pretty interesting. It's an article. I found in the Atlantic. In two thousand, seventeen by Henry Giardina, though originally it was from an essay series, called object lessons, and its title is the camera technology that turned films into stories talking about the LETHAM. Loop there and So note several things of course I wanted to know. What's the deal with this boxing match? The delay themes were into well. It's got the details on that in May of eighteen, Ninety Five, the Latham family successfully screened a boxing match in New York City and the boxers were Charles. Barnett and somebody named Young Griff. Oh, so I'm wondering. Is this the inspiration of the character in a song of ice and fire? There's a young Griffin. Remember Young Griff. He's in the books, but not the show I. Don't remember younger if He's a younger if I don't know who won the fight by the way I'm pulling for young Griff Oh, but this. This invention obviously wasn't just for boxing. The film loop or Letham made longer motion pictures possible, and we all know the stuff that came along with that Though Giardina article is also interesting in documenting the obsessive tactics that Thomas Edison pursued in order to hinder the early production of independent films and extract every dime he could out of trying. Trying to make a movie mostly through you know obnoxious patent claims like you'd try to patent every part of the process, and and if somebody's doing it, he's going to be making money on it and remember early on films were not thought of yet is primarily as art or in terms of copyright law. They were technology primarily framed in terms of patent law. So ultimately the all these films that are being produced like they're still nothing but. Proof for the technology at this point like that like the films have not really taken on a life of their own. Yeah, exactly I mean audiences were enjoying them I. I don't think they thought of films yet. The way we think of films is like this is another medium. It's like you know it's like the written word. We think of film as being something like. Like that and before we move on I just have to mention also that in this Georgina piece it. It talks about how it's been alleged that Edison didn't just US patent harassment on on people who were trying to make films that the around the turn of the Twentieth Century It's also been alleged that he is sheer muscle and intimidation. Intimidation to control the early film industry and the author hair talks about an interview between Peter Bogdanovich the you know. The nineteen seventies, filmmaker and and an early film director was working in the early days named Allan Dwan who said that quote Edison's gangsters across the country to follow them when they when they went west, and that the gangsters would shoot at their. Their cameras quote most companies only had one sometimes they'd wait until a fellow was cleaning the camera and take a shot at it anything to destroy it. Oh, so I don't know if that stories is accurate, but Wow, it does seem like another tally in the Edison as villain column APPs absolutely the idea that you'd be I mean there's so much I mean. Any film that gets made. It's kind of a miracle right. There's so much work that goes into it and then these days. That was those still the case as well then on top of that you're GonNa have Edison's gangsters allegedly showing up and and potentially messing with your camera. That's awful. Yeah, so whether or not that story is true. Of course, Edison couldn't stop you know independent films. Entirely films continued to develop in France and elsewhere, and then even in the United States filmmakers moved west and spread out all over the. The place and Edison's Power Wayne so he just he couldn't put a lid on all of it so I think it's clear that the film loop or the Latham loop was a crucial invention enabling the transformation of motion picture from just a technological spectacle into a mainstream storytelling medium, an art form like it allowed the creation of longer films, and it made possible new things that you can do with film editing now. We'll have to ask the question in a minute. Who picked up on this opportunity? Like who worthy artists who who realize I can make art I can tell stories with this new medium you know who who took advantage of the technology, but also I was just wondering I about a question about film history as an example of something that can be generalized. How does a new media technology? Come to be perceived in culture as a legitimate art form because I remember. Maybe you weren't aware of this, but I remember some debate in the mid to late two thousands where people would go back and forth about whether or not video games can ever be considered art. And I. Maybe people still have that debate today. I I would say that to me. You know most video games to me. Don't seem like things that I really think of as art, but I don't have any problem at all with the idea that they potentially can be in some probably are you're talking about the piece itself being in its entirety, a work of art, not merely like encompassing nice production designed. Yeah, that's a good question. I mean certainly video games today you know a lot of them have some beautiful designs in them that you would think of as visual art so the question is. Once it incorporates game, play mechanics, and all that kind of stuff like does it lose some artistic quality than I? I don't know I mean people have to work that out among themselves, but I also think about the same thing with the virtual reality. Can you just take a virtual reality environment and say you know This is art I mean? It seems to me that reality. Reality is sort of in a space kind of like the films of the first decade of films were in. You know where it still maybe like a question of like. Is this just sort of a new technology and a spectacle that makes use of it well I think a lot of it comes down to you how you're utilizing the new medium because we mentioned plays earlier A OF I. Don't know about all of us, but I've certainly seen my share of filmed plays especially when I was taking Shakespeare courses in college, and so many of them were very good. Because you're in many cases, it is a film author, a wonderful performance, but if it's if the camera's not moving or barely moving, you know. It's not the same as watching a film. It's not using all of the the tricks. Available to the filmmaker, so it's it's very difficult. I think to make an argument that a filmed play is a good film. Even if it is a great play. Likewise when you're looking at virtual reality video game, it's like. Is the video game just? Giving me some nice visuals and I'm having some fun playing it, or is it doing something with gaming itself? Then doing something with the way that I interact with it that it is that is refreshing and unique, and likewise with the virtual reality or the mechanics of the invention or technology integral to what the art is or how the art works in the same way that they are with films. Yeah, exactly I mean for example film the simplest thing you can think of a film. can use and edit to make point you know A. A film can I jump cut between two things to cause you to have a connection between them in your mind, and that's the thing that sort of unique to film as a medium right absolutely yeah, so I guess the question is. Are there things similar in games in virtual reality where the mechanics of it sort of the physical characteristics of the medium are used to do things that other media don't do in service of an artistic design yellow. Well, you know in in gaming. I'm thinking. The examples would be games. That kind of lean. into. Trying to create the feeling of watching a motion picture but but but but feels that way. You know what I'm saying like. Oh this is, this is almost like watching a movie I'm almost achieving something, but I'm not quite fully immersed in the experience. Maybe you're being hit on the head with a bunch of cut scenes. Yeah, in between the cut scenes. There's more traditional video game like maneuvers, but then. A game like well so much comes to mind is a recent game that the we both played its horror. Sci Fi horror I fi- game and that game felt like as I. Recall, it was not heavy on on cut scenes. You were controlling the elements for the most part, and and the way that you interacted with elements helped. Tell the story of your experience. I agree Yeah. I think that's a very. Very, good candidate for that kind of thing, yeah, as opposed to say, mini say fighting games or shooting games where you're just doing the fighting of the shooting, and then there are moments that come along where like hey. I'm here to tell you what the narrative is, and how the stories progressing, and then you move back to the thing you were doing right. If I know anything it's the twisted metal is art. I mean I was thinking about this. The most recent say mortal. Kombat Game Oh. You're a fan of those Y- but. you know I would never say that I didn't mean that. No, Toronto. It's not a game that I would say is art though it combined, it clearly was built on the talents of of numerous Very accomplished artists is a lot of cool art in the game, and then there is a certain amount of storytelling that takes place in the game, but the core game experience is still not a narrative. It is fight. Yeah, I mean to a certain extent of fight is narrative, but know what I mean then again. If we're starting to set a high bar, but what counts is art? And what does most films probably don't count either. I mean who knows. I'm sorry I guess. This is a pretentious discussion. My fault because I started I. Mean we're not the council of Wizards. That decides what is our. What is not well? I think here's one of the things. About it that was like. Are you using tricks? Various Bells and whistles of the medium to engage the audience and I think one of the important things to keep in mind about about cinema about filmmaking. Is that a filmmaker benefits from a great number of tricks and effects to capture our attention manipulate our feelings, and these were these were orange, all rolled out at once so it's not like Edison or anybody else came along all right. Here's here's how you make a film here all the techniques you can do here. The types of cuts etc like these were all developed. Through trial and error, yeah, over decades and decades of filmmaking, and that means the the work of you know highly acclaimed and serious filmmakers as well as as everybody else involved in the game of making films. This was pointed out by the way in Psycho cinematics, issue and directions by P Shimomura so little changes here in their new advancements in cinema that allow a film to get. It took into so ultimately I. You know matters they've say. The blob is a work of art. Eat. The, but clearly it's using all of these various artistic tools that were created. To better tell the story to better engage a viewer through the medium of cinema. Yeah, and I would also say that I think you can make the make the point that commercial cinema develops takes techniques that are crucial to later art. Yeah, anyway so I think. Maybe we should take a break, and then when we come back, we will discuss some of these early innovators in the art form film. Problems, it's human nature to hate problems, but why is that? After all problems inspire us to mend things ben things make things better. That's why so many people work with IBM on everything from city traffic to ocean plastic new schools to new energy flight delays to food safety smart loves problems IBM. Let's put smart to work visit IBKR DOT com slash smart to learn more. Guys, it's bobby bones I host the bobby show and I'm pretty much always sleepy because I wake up with three o'clock in the morning, a couple of hours later I. All my friends together we get into a room and we do a radio show. You're alive. We tell our stories. We try to find as much good in the world. If you possibly can, and we look through the news of the day that you'll care about also your favorite country artists are always stopping by hang out and share their lives and music, too, so wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point, seven W M Q in Washington DC, or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio APP. All, right we're back. Okay, so we've been asking this question. Throughout of how did film and motion picture transition from being STA technological curiosity, you know a new invention and a spectacle into something that was more oriented around narrative and story in something that might be considered a legitimate art form. And, so we want to talk about just a couple of important figures here. One that I think is definitely worth. Mentioning is an interesting figure named Alice Gay Blush. In the words of the American filmmaker and film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She was quote the foremost pioneer of cinema which I think is interesting, because before preparing for this episode I want to be honest. I had not heard of her. Yeah, Mo and most of the names that come up are are men. Yeah, from cinema history, so it's refreshing to see a woman playing such an important role early on and I think it is highly possible that her gender might have had something to do with the reasons. She wasn't remembered as much as she probably should have been so alecky blush. Was Alice Key in France in eighteen, seventy three, she grew up going to Catholic school, and she early on had a love of narrative literature and theater. She you know. She was a fan of the arts, and she began her career in eighteen, ninety, four as a secretary working for the engineer inventor and industrialist Leon Gaumont. In, the mid eighteen ninety s gaumont ran a photography company, so he made equipment and materials for this brand new film industry. For example the this company had relationship producing equipment for the Lumiere brothers in through her work with Gaumont Company. She was able to attend. The Lumiere, brothers projected film premiere in eighteen, Ninety five. We talked this in the previous episode Oh, yeah, so she she got to. To see the sprinkler sprinkled. Yeah, at the premiere she was there and by by the way all of these old films. We're talking about these these little short films. They are all available on Youtube. We'll the lumiere brothers ones I think yeah well. Yeah, but some of these others that we are discussing. We've looked up on youtube so there. There's a youtube for all of its crimes. Crimes Incense still a great place to find these little tidbits of cinematic history. Yeah, all the ones that are available. Yeah, you should definitely look up check out. a lot of them are actually loss story ones that are lost. You're not gonNA find to with the others are fair game. We'll talk about that in a minute so so she asked so she's working for. For Gaumont company she attends the Lumiere Premier and by eighteen ninety six appears she'd gotten a bug, even though she was still officially only a secretary at Gaumont company gay had become interested in filmmaking as an art form and wanted to see what she could do. Crafting films herself now remember. This is an age dominated by films that are less than one minute long. They're mostly like. About people getting off a boat. Yeah, so that year in eighteen, ninety six, Gig got gaumont to let her use the company's equipment to direct her own feature to direct a roughly one minute film of her own called the cabbage ferry or a loaf ao shoe on her lunch break. This is she made, so she made the movie at lunch. And this film involves this beaming ferry woman in a gated garden, pulling real babies out of giant heads of cabbage. It's pretty creepy. There is something I. think captivating about it. I mean It's doesn't have much of a plot but I couldn't take my eyes off it. Yeah, I watch this as well. The this is definitely on Youtube and It's it's pretty captivating and kind of predicts the popularity of cabbage patch kids later on. Oh, I hadn't even thought about that So this is sometimes cited as the first fictional film. I do think that's debatable. Because why doesn't the sprinkler sprinkled from eighteen ninety five count any doesn't that doesn't contain a speculative element right true. True whereas the baby's becoming of cabbage. That's clearly if that is exactly what I was about to say, whatever one comes down to on that question whether it's the first fictional film it did occur to me. Is this the first ever fantasy film? It's possible I'm missing something, but I can't find an earlier example, and the films you see most often cited as the earliest fantasy films are films by a filmmaker. We're about to talk about named George Melly as from nineteen two. So this is much earlier than that unless somebody can provide a counter example, I'm going to say that this is the first fantasy film ever made the cabbage ferry now. What was the date on Edison's? Frankenstein adaptation nineteen ten. She's still beat him way after. Yeah, that's the way after me as though that is worth a look as yes especially looking Frankenstein. Especially given what you know about us. It's almost like a metaphor. But so anyway Alecky the cabbage vary based on her success in directing the cabbage fairy give went on to direct and produce more films, and she was eventually made the head of production when go. MONCE company transitioned from being technical camera equipment business into a full-fledged film studio, and it's interesting how you see this transition happening over and over again with like with Edison with Leumi Air with Gaumont like people get into the film business, and then they're like I. Don't WanNa be just on the technical side. I WANNA be making movies so keyed directed hundreds of films, and she oversaw the production of hundreds more perhaps her most famous film and the the best remembered. One is one. One from nineteen o six called the life of Christ. Of course it is a silent retelling of the life of Jesus. It's a little over thirty minutes long, and I watched some scenes from it. For example, the scene where Mary Magdalene Washes the feet of Christ, and I watched the crucifixion scene, and it's beautiful film in many ways like the sets, costumes, and the staging or wonderful for nineteen, ninety six in nineteen o seven. She married a gaumont camera operator named Herbert. Blush. A and she became Alice Gibney Shea, and after that the two of them traveled to the United States where Alice founded a new film production company of her own in New York called the SOLEX company. And so share was prolific over the course for career, she wrote directed and produced more than thousand movies, sometimes like three movies. A week the last movie she made in Nineteen Twenty. She died in New Jersey in nineteen, sixty eight, unfortunately, most of her films like many films of this era have been lost, so we can't go back now and watch them for a long time. It seems Gi. She was left out of many film histories like we were talking about new there, so there'd be histories of the period. That just didn't really mention her. Though some did I, want to say that there have been some people on I've read. Read saying that she was like completely forgotten until recent years I, that's not entirely true, but it does seem that. Her role in the history of film has been grossly under emphasized, and it does seem now. There's sort of a revival in the tension to her story. In the past few years including I was looking. There is a documentary film about her. That came out in two thousand, eighteen called be natural, narrated by jodie foster and I haven't seen the movie, but I like the title because I think the title comes from another thing. I've read about her. Which is that in her studio? She hung up a sign urging actors to be natural. Kind of Hilarious, if you think about the other staged films from this time such as those of the Great, George, as with all these wild exaggerated gestures and movements in the you know which. which really I think. It was a benefit to those films I mean. You're dealing with your so far far removed from an from capturing natural performance, there's no sound right. There's no sounded so yes, like scream and court your face and as much as possible because you're you really almost have to shout through the limitations of the medium. Yeah, so quote again from Wheeler Winston Dixon the scholar who called her. The foremost pioneer of cinema Dixon also argues quote. She's basically the first person to make a film with the plot, the first person to use color and this wasn't color photography. This would mean hand tinted films. And also the first person to use the krona phone process, which was an early sound on film method that like the other one we mentioned earlier. It did not commercially takeoff for awhile again. Sound film didn't become mainstream until the late nineteen twenties. Yeah, she's She's looking ahead. She kind of sees the and ultimately the whole idea of asking the actress to be natural. I mean that's the same thing. Yeah, nowadays, you know a lot of movies. Certainly you're more serious dramatic pieces I. that's where the focus is. You want to capture all the emotional nuance of a performance. And she saw that when others did not yeah, these early films were very well again they were still it was still the spirit of spectacle and waving. They were very stagey. No these. Motions not to capture any kind of nuance of the characters, but more in the spirit of vaudeville exaggerated motions to to really draw the eye and engage people, and and not ask them to to like very boldly telegraph everything to avoid subtlety right, because the another thing to keep in mind is that the medium is ultimately going to change the way that you can You can bring an actor's performance alive like. Like he's GonNa make those really close tints. Steady descent of an actress facial expressions possible in ways that a stage production will never would yeah, and these these earlier films were generally more like stage productions. The I mean they usually didn't have things like close ups right now. I think. Maybe we should take another break. When we come back, we will discuss another better known, but also genuinely amazing and influential early film pioneer. In a world where everyone is confined to their homes, society begins its largest been watched to date. In the Hallowed Library of Hulu or perhaps on a shelf of DVD's, you haven't looked at in a decade is show that perfectly encapsulates life in the early arts and launched a friendship that would inspire millions. Hi, I'm Zach Braff and I'm Donald Phasing in two thousand one. We start in scrubs, a Sitcom that revealed a glimpse of what it was like to survive medical internship as Turk and J D. we explored Guy Love nearly twenty years later. A lot has changed. We're not superman, but we're still best friends. Friends given a mandatory lockdown. There's no better time to relive the series that brought us together in the first place, and we're doing it with a podcast. That's right people. We're going to bring friends and crew members and fellow cast members and writers, and and guess what we're going. Even invite some of you to call into the podcast and ask all the questions you want the entire sacred heart staff join us for fake doctors, real friends on the heart radio, APP apple podcasts, and wherever you get your podcast. All, right, we're back, so let's let's go to the moon. Oh I, think we should so one of the most important people in the transition from film as straightforward recording of documentary spectacle to longer narrative form is George me as who lived eighteen, sixty, one to nineteen, thirty eight, and even if you don't know much about early film history, you are probably still a little bit familiar with me as through his nineteen to film, the Voyage Don loon or a trip to the moon. In which some learned. Astronomers dressed lugubrious wizard fly to the moon in a giant artillery shell. They land there. They meet some moon men they smash them with umbrellas and make them explode. They capture a moon being, and then they travel back home. Yeah, that's the plot, yeah? And I think everyone out there either. You have seen this in its entirety. Then you have seen allusions to it right or you've seen the smashing Pumpkins I. Think had a music video. Yeah, it, that the utilize a lot of the the visuals from the this picture, well the most famous image from something you've probably seen this one where the ship lands on the moon, and there's a close up of the moon. Moon which has a human face, right, and the so they're special effects that do do a cut to make the ships smash into the face, and then the face looks very displeased. Right and so a trip to the moon is just still excellent to watch today. Yeah, it's just really kind of whack a doodle too much because it's, it's not quite. It's certainly not a film of play Betty there is a sense of. It's kind of like films. A film spectacle these these scenes on the you're presented with where you just there's. There's something of phantasmagoric about it. Oh yeah, and only thirteen minutes long very short time now. It's really the perfect film for today's attention. And it wasn't as only film of course he I mean. He made all kinds of stuff He was another great pioneer in early film, production and I I like the say that it does incorporate more of that tradition of spectacle because there are some things about him that I, think we'll explain that now like Keebler Shea. He was one of the first to see the storytelling potential film. Film as a medium in the mid eighteen, ninety is me as was a stage, magician and theater director in Paris and also like Gabe Laissez. He was present for the earliest demonstrations of the Lumiere brothers so when they're showing this thing on the wall Lumiere brothers, checkout our cinematic graph, and multiple members of the of the audience, or like I can do this. I can make a career, yeah. He's probably thinking I could do better. You're just filming people. Leaving a factory could build you a set. Yeah could perform you for you. An illusion I can make you a cabbage ferry now I can take you to the moon, and so yeah, so when Nellie as saw what the lumieres camera and projector could do. He pretty much immediately imagined the potential of the medium. He acquired a camera of his own. He founded a film studio which I've seen described as like a giant glass. To let as much light as possible for filming, and he started making movies, and as in a way, brought the spirit of a stage magician to the technology of the movie camera, he employed trickery, and that is one thing that he really revolutionized about early film. He pioneered many kinds of editing techniques and in camera, special effects that are inspired by the tricks that stage magicians would use. Yeah, the trickery is so essential to the filmmaking process. We lose sight of IT I. Really had I lose sight of that aspect until I'm find myself explaining films to my son who asked like how did they do that? How did this you know how to? Disappear in the scene or you know. How did this happen? How did that if the special effects occur and then I have to stop and break it down a little bit like well. It's it's. It's a trick, they? They stopped filming, and then they move things around, and then they start filming You know explanations of that manner, but yeah, they are all essentially based in tricking the audience into thinking something happened. That didn't happen well I'm sorry I've forgotten the source on this because our. This is a story I remember from years ago, but I think there is a story that millie as told that. He discovered the possibilities of for special effects when one day like he was filming something, and then he just stopped while he was, and then he started filming again, and then when he watched, it played back, there was a jump cut and you know that was like. Oh. Oh, I can just transition from one thing immediately to another if I stop working the camera and then started up with something different. Different in place, and it's like magic. It's like something disappears appears somewhere else right? That's so obvious to us now. Who were familiar with movie special effects? It's hard for us to appreciate how revolutionary of an insight that was right, and it would make sense that a magician would see it like yeah, who's who's trade depends on misdirection and you know, and and also playing with expectation. Yeah and. And so me, as was the first great special effects wizard, he used all kinds of tricks. He pioneered a double exposure. You know where you would run the film through the camera twice and the second time it would also pick up a trace of an image. One would be like would come through stronger on the film than the other, but you know you can do all kinds of interesting special. Special effects like that he used jump cut editing like we were just talking about, and his movies are generally still pretty wonderful to behold. There was a nineteen ninety one film did called the man with the rubber head that I watched earlier today in in this film as uses special effects to make duplicates of his own severed head, which he then inflates with a furnace pump until it explodes. And a belief from reading about his films, he also put an emphasis on music. Having like? Having, some form of live music, present to fully bring the production alive, but this was still the silent film era, so there was no sound on film. The film would not have a dedicated soundtrack that went along with it. Unless like you know, you had like a score written out and had a say, okay, give this to the piano player in the theater writing or in some cases I believe there would be recommendations like here's. Here's a song you can play for. For this particular, this particular short film and of the case of a trip to the moon makes me think about an interesting modern phenomenon with film, which is thing I've encountered several times of restoring old silent films are films that were made with older soundtracks by modern musicians and I I really am interested in this phenomenon and I like it I want more bands to create attract synchronized to a voyage to the moon. Yeah, not enough of them do it Of course, Air did soundtrack to avoid the Moon, two thousand twelve live orage downs La. Luna I I remember when it came out, and because I because I love Air Air Traffic Act an remember liking it at the time. I haven't listened to it a lot. Okay I haven't heard it. It's good. That, but that being said I have not listen to the album sinked with the the the movie itself. I see I know people have done this with in fact I've watched more than one modern re scoring of metropolis the Fritz Long. Yes, movie, which is of course you know, it doesn't have its own sound, and it's the, but it's different because it's like a long science fiction feature a full full feature. Yeah, for sure. Moroder. The French `electronic artists does your Moreau's yeah. which I remember getting into I was like all right I'm gonNA watch metropolis. Use the score in I. Really wanted to like it more than I know I ended up just playing a bunch of craftwork over it instead of anything that we had been you know. There was a dedicated composition for metropolis. and I have to say craft worked worked really well. I think Autobahn did a good one, too. But various folks have cover metropolis over the years I found one that was really interesting by a group, called the new pollutants and They did a pretty cool re score of it. That's as of this recording. Fully available on Youtube is from like two thousand ten. I think I may have actually watched it with the soundtrack before I've watched with multiple sizes tracks another one that comes to mind that you brought this up Dracula. Was Not a silent film. No, but it has been record. Yeah, This one was by Philip Glass and the most famous performance was by the kronos quartet And then. Some other silent films that have been restored many times include the Passion of Joan of Arc from nineteen, twenty eight, and of course, nineteen twenties, the Cabinet of Dr, category and I. Think that one rate creepy film great creepy film with some wonderful. Surreal. German sets at the German expressionist periods. The sets are not designed to be realistic. You know they they. They are all these bizarre sharp angles. I remember a scene. Maybe I'm imagining this. I remember a scene where somebody sits on the stools just way too tall to be a stool. I would love to see more of this sort of exercise with films. So, if you're an electronic artist or any musician out there and you like these old films, as well score some George militias, as yes, and then tell us about it, and we will, we will promote it on the show or score some Alice. Glushak that'd be cool, too. Yeah, but that's probably going to be just like part of a track for most of this over the early ones it will I mean like so the cabbage varies less than a minute long, but of course. Course a long career films got longer in the film she made got longer right, but I can see. That could also be a worthwhile experiment. What can you do with a really short film? Like what? What can you apply to musically to really bring it to life especially for modern viewers all right, so we've talked a little bit about you know. How just how effective films are in manipulating our cognitive functions, because because that's ultimately the thing about it right when you watch. A certainly a great film or even a good film or even a bad film has something captivating about it like it is captivating, it hangs over. Your mind takes over your thought processes like it. It becomes your new site. It it. It becomes reality for your brain well. Yeah, we have the expression that you can become lost in a film lost in a narrative, and of course that's a metaphor, but some degree. It's kind of a little bit literally correct I mean at least in the mental sins that it. There's often while you're watching a film. Some degree of distance where he's sort of going in and out of of being there with the characters, and then having a thought this disconnected, but there are times when you just disappear, you just become the narrative. You just become a part of it. Your whole consciousness is the character within the narrative in films do this. This in a way that I think it's even more seamless, and it's easier for it to happen with films than it is with something there. That requires more cognitive effort like like reading text narrative. Yeah, I mean we'll also the the film a really good film, I. Certainly Modern Film is going to employ moves. It is going to employ visuals it's. It's really. Using our most powerful senses and in changing the way. The way we're viewing the world at least for a short period of time So I was looking into this little bit and I was reading the science of cinematic perception on the Oscars. Website had the Oscars website has a wonderful overview of a series of lectures that they They hosted oh I, didn't even know they did features and stuff. Yeah, yeah, this one is a pretty cool on this one This one involved a series like basically you had professional researchers in a in film and cognition, and they were paired onstage with various directors and filmmakers and sort of the film world experts, and they talked about You know what the evidence said about the psychological the neurological effects film. For instance in the some of the lectures included. Tim J. Smith a senior lecturer and psychological sciences at Birkbeck University of London who specializes in the study of visual cognition as well as Yuri Hassen, Oh yeah, an associate professor of psychology and Euroscience Princeton. University who used FM Awry to look at how we view films we've talked about. Re hasn't before on stuff to blow your mind I think we discussed him. In part two of our episode about about against narratives, yeah, so hasn't for instance the. Observed that showing a the movie Dog Day afternoon from nine, hundred, seventy, five engaged sixty three to seventy three percent of viewers brain well. That's a good one to use dog day afternoon. We'll engage. Seventy three percent of my entire body. Well Yeah. It's it's. It's a very well made movie with great pacing to it but yeah just shows like how you know how well it captivates us up. Some other things that came up in this in this article I, and in these lectures There's some connection between blinks and cuts, and between our blinks, and a characters blinks. James Cutting a chair of the Department of Psychology at Cornell. University has tracked the downward trajectory in average shot duration which he says has been quote consistent and uninterrupted since the silent era oh. Yeah, this is so films used to have longer uninterrupted shots. You just have the camera trained on something without cutting away and cuts are getting faster and faster whole now, yes. Yes signed plenty of you know. Smaller films are art films. especially that will really go for those long drawn out scenes, but for the most part yeah, everything gets flashier and flashier I mean. If you've seen like a battle scene in game of thrones, you'll, you'll know what we're talking about right? Yeah, or heck I I feel like I. Everything's more laid back there. You Watch something like transformers movie where modern TV Ninja Turtles Movie. It's like I don't even know what's happening. It's just it's a million things happening it. Just bombarding the is in the brain. Constant changes. Similar findings this? According to Geoffrey Zach say psychologists and neuroscientists founded scenes from the films step, Mom Sophie's choice and oddly enough the ring to the ring to remind the ring to and not dumbing the ring, the first ring, the first American ring fill is terrific, and probably one of my favorite horror films second, one. Is, a sequel to agree with the second one takes everything that's scary in the first one and makes it funny so. That's sort of interesting I remember. I mainly just remember being kind of boring and at times wet. Of Water. It's pretty wet, I mean. But anyway the the got that creepy girls scamper in like a cockroach all over the place well, then in and out itself is good I guess, but at any rate pete scenes from these films were shown to individuals NFL. It was found to produce quote complex responses deep within the brain and generated activity beyond normal cognitive levels, so as much as we might heart on the ring to the the idea is that when you're watching it? It can engage your mind more than most things in life. Oh, I believe that yeah. And then another one way I mean we are profoundly familiar with having deep thoughts about bad movies. Talk about this all the time. I'm probably more engaged with a with a good bad film. Part of it is like. Is the movie doing the thinking for me or am I left to thinking? And sometimes it's the latter example that produces the most brain activity take. You're right about that and then one more bit from this. From this article in this this luxury series Towel Mahinder, founder, and director of the Functional Brain Center at Tel Aviv. Medical Center has found that certain scenes from Black Swan is of course, the surreal kind of horror movie about ballerinas. During off ski has an area. Okay Yeah. Natalie Portman kind of A. Kind of a spirit a feel to it. Anyway, the hinder found that watching certain scenes in this would produce quote results that hinder compared to a schizophrenia like state with the cognitive and emotional centers of the brain operating dramatically in and out of sync well, that's kind of interesting I mean. So one thing I think we could say from this. That movies do is in a way. They produce a slightly altered state of consciousness. Yeah, which also of course some drugs do I mean there's a whole thing about like people taking psychoactive or psychogenic drugs to produce some effects that somewhat mirror aspect of psychosis. In many cases, people you know like intentionally do things to their brains. Stuck with or unable to turn off, but like they'll experiment with them in a in a controlled setting in an I wonder if visual storytelling like. Can also be considered a form of that. Yeah I. Mean They I think you think of like Francis really interesting examples of psychedelic cinema now some examples of psychedelics, Mar, just you know bad movies, trying to cash in on on whatever the psychedelic craze was at the time like in the sixties, or or even in the seventies, but but then you have those examples where they're really like playing with your perceptions of reality in a way that feels. More authentic and his ultimately more upsetting and and in you can point to various examples this even two thousand one space odyssey. That's film that really kind of messes with your perception of reality, not in terms of like thinking about the nature of reality, just like purely the way the you're experiencing the fill one of my favorites definitely and if you'd like to hear Robert, nigh, talk more about two thousand one a space odyssey. We have a whole episode of stuff to blow your mind about it. You can go look up. Oh, yeah! I WANNA. Come back just briefly though, too. You know we were talking earlier about how? All the tools of filmmaking not developed at once, so they were developed gradually over time I wanted to just run through one quick example of this, and that for that I. WanNa. Talk about the jump. Scare Oh boy, so! One of the best Joe Joe describe a good jump scare to to our listeners, case enough familiar. Okay, so a little bit of tension building goes on. This is usually aided by character being alone I, mean it can be anything, but I'll I'll paint one for your character is left alone in a horror movie. Nothing all that dangerous has happened in a while, so the audience is guard is up. They think maybe something's about to happen. A character is alone in a house wandering around asking is anybody there? Hello, hello, the music is not in full force. Maybe it's tinkling a little bit on the little you know, and then the character opens the closet and a cat jumps out. Not only a jump scare, but a cat scare. The gas scare is the classic jumps because it's something suddenly happens. There's a blast of music. Something flies at the camera and. And then I was just just a cat so I mean it's. It's wonderful because we've talked about on on some shows before that when you're scared and a film, and then that that that scares deflated like you realize it's not a threat after all like that is that that is one of the the pivotal. Emotional rollercoaster experiences that you have in watching a film. Yeah, but but when we look at the history of the jump scare. I was looking around and it seems like the first jump. Scare that we really have was probably the Luton bus seen in cap people from nineteen forty two. Okay, describe this. Okay, so this is just very similar to what you just described. Actually except I didn't mean, do not completely, but basically you have a female character walking down this the superbly darkly lit street like these shadows in this movie. Movie is is phenomenal especially for the time, and and he just getting a little more tense, a little more tense, and then a bus pulls up and it just scares the hell out of you. Hover like I watched it on Youtube. You can find the scene isolated on Youtube. I wash it before I came in here and it got me it it it. It legitimately gave me a fright. Even though it's just a bus, it doesn't hit her or anything. It just comes out of nowhere and as a surprise, and then she you know she boards it or whatever to sudden and loud. Yeah, as it's a famous scene for this purpose, but. After this film you see other jump. Scare sprinkled across the decades that followed by jump scare mania doesn't really kick into the nineteen eighties. It's almost as if it's not till the eighties that you have enough filmmakers. Who Realize Oh this is? This is important magic. Let's let's just over the hell out of there, and then of course it becomes a cliche and then becomes a hated cliche. Can I tell you one of my favorite examples of the hated cliche? Jump scare the mirror scare. Oh, yeah, how many movies is this? In some horror? Directors picked up on it. I think sometime in the nineties to two thousands. They're like. Oh, wouldn't it be great to have something suddenly appear behind somebody in a mirror, right, or course they the or it's the the the medical cabinet exactly. Yeah, the medicine. Cabinet Mirror of somebody looks inside the medicine cabinet. If you're in a horror movie, somebody looks inside sees what pills are in there or whatever and then they. They, close the medicine cabinet, you got a ninety nine percent. Chance that when it closes, there's something creepy in the mirror either the person's face. Looking back at them isn't really their face is all distorted and scary, or there's somebody looking at them over their shoulder or something like that, and then you throw in a nice borough. Yeah, the sound effects and just a drive at home. Yeah, I mean at the same time. If we start really thinking in there are these other sort of counter. Examples of jump scares done really well. I mean Alfred Hitchcock Jump Scares John Carpenter has some really nice jump scares that show up the time or two so just prince of darkness. It has a wonderful jump scare with a mirror that kind of plays. With the format of bit Bowman I. Love Friends of darkness. As Fun one. It's an unpopular opinion. That's that's in my top three John Carpenter movies. Yeah, but they'd bit again. Yeah, the jump scare is just one of so many examples of cinematic techniques tricks, and it's probably an ultimately more of like a an obnoxious one to bring out because there's so many other tricks. We don't even think of as being tricks and we don't say it's only because it's got to the point. Point where he kinda irritates us at times in single it out, but every film we watch is just a non stop barrage of tricks. One of the things that bugs me the most about myself is when I catch myself. Using cliches and I know I use them all the time. Everybody does everybody talks in cliches. It's just it happens effortlessly automatically. They just come out of you and you don't know where they came from. And I tried to cut them out when I catch myself using a cliche and speech. I always Kinda wince and I'm like. Oh, I'll try not to do that again, but there's no way to stop it. In in films, there are also they're like visual cliches like the Mirror scare, but there's a zillion of them. You know there you see them and they're invisible to you because they're so common, but they pass right over you. You don't stop to notice how frequently you've been exposed to one. Yeah! I. Mean it's fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me for three hours straight. well I guess it's my fault, but if I enjoyed the picture, I'm happy being fooled, but I do think it's interesting that the film cliches are not. They're not just artistic laziness. Also come out of the the material realities of making a film right like film cliches happened because of what filmmakers can do with the techniques they have and will like what's cheap to do in that kind of thing. Yeah, the way that I think often. Verbal cliches come out of our mouths, because we might suddenly find ourselves limited to a limited vocabulary right, but to come back to the jump scare. Yes, it's overused and films these days, but a good jump. Scare still works, and there's nothing like it for getting a viewer washing it by themselves on their iphone APP. More an entire audience entire theaters audience. They're watching it together and so you I mean you might say it's good as Gold Yeah I tell most foolish to resist at least one good jumps here. I'm not saying you know back to back, but he kinda e- Kinda got to put one in there I feel. Look. I don't begrudge. Hor Filmmaker, one or two good jump scares. You just can't build a whole film out of them. Well. That's what we say but I think the box office Probably says otherwise and I would say also if you're a horror filmmaker and you want to put a cat scare in your film. Don't make it an a Tang scare. Instead just having a a Tang jump out of the closet and enjoy scamper down the hallway, and it never addressed again. They xactly right I like that. Okay, I guess this must. This must mean. We're done I. think so yeah, so yeah, we've not. We've not giving you an exhaustive history of of of cinema here that of course. But, hopefully we've given you like a grounding in where the motion picture came from how it emerges from these other. Visual Technological traditions that came before it, and and a sense of why it is so pervasive it is so potent and why we we continue to worship at the theater. Do you have early favorite films or early favorite filmmakers that we didn't talk about in today's episode? If so let us know I want to hear what else is out there. Absolutely your thoughts on jump scares your thoughts on tearing new scores with old films. anything discussed. Here is fair game. In the meantime. If you want more episodes of invention, well, you can find us wherever you get your podcast. We also have a website. Is Invention POD DOT COM? You can go there and see the various topics we've been discussing as always the best way to support the show is to make sure you subscribe to it in the rate and review it wherever you have the power to do so huge. Thanks to our friends, Scott Benjamin for research assistance on this podcast and thanks to excellent audio producer Tory Harrison. Touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future. Just to say hello. You can email us at contact at invention, pod DOT com. Invention is production of iheartradio for more podcasts from my heart. Radio is iheartradio APP, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hi there. I'm Zach Braff, and I'm Donald. Face on. We're real life best friends, but we met playing faked life best friends. Turk and GD on the Sitcom scrubs twenty years later we've decided to rewatch the series one episode at a time and put our memories into a podcast. You can listen to at home. We're going to get all our special guests. Friends like Sarah Chalk John C McGinley Neil Flynn. Judy Reyes Show Creator Bill, Lawrence Editors Writers, and even prompt masters will tell us about what inspired the series, and how we became a family, you can listen to the podcast. Fake doctors, real friends with Zach and Donald on the iheartradio APP, apple podcasts and wherever you get your podcast. One night in one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, one on the side of a dark highway. Betty and Barney. Hill Kat lights in the sky two years later, the underwent hypnosis to try and recall what happened. Some took it as fact, others thought it was a fantasy, but what really happened that September night in rural new? Hampshire, join me toby ball for the inaugural season of stranger rivals co-production of iheartradio in grim, mild from Aaron McKie listen to strange arrivals on iheartradio, APP on Apple, podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Invention Playlist 4: The Vending Machine

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

44:00 min | 11 months ago

Invention Playlist 4: The Vending Machine

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM. Dot Com slash red hat. A class twenty twenty. We note things have been super weird lately robbed of a graduation ceremony, so found some people to write you Clinton. Speeches John Legend. He's a Hillary Clinton she's into over twenty of your favorites from Dj. College Coach K. Abby Wambach to halls. They're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now. Mrs I Heart Radio New podcast commencement speeches drop me fifteen. An iheartradio APP and Sunday may seventeenth across all IHEART radio stations brought to you by state farm like a good neighbor state Pharma's there. Hey Welcome to invention. My name is Robert, lamp and I'm Joe McCormack and you might know us from our other podcast stuff to blow your mind, but today you have apparently wandered into our hall of cursed invention. That wait. It's not all Kirsten. Mention. You, know so some things are perfectly fine. Inventions some of them. Make our lives better. But you know, or they taunt you with goods that you could almost reach. Robert did you when you were a kid? Did you ever play that game I suppose? It was a game, but I took it very seriously where you really thought you could reach up through the bottom of the vending machine and get that food item from the bottom row. remember trying too hard at it because it ultimately seemed like there were there were too many risks both both physical and social, because either you are going to get your arm caught in their jammed or pinched. Opened there are going to be some sort of trap. Her failsafe or you're just going to be seeing doing it, and you're going to get in trouble for trying to steal from a candy machine. It always seemed like a kind of humiliating homer, Simpson esque way to die would be you die accidentally pulling the vending machine over on top of you while you're trying to reach up and grab some. Some Andy CAPP hot fries from the bottom row. Exactly and you know these are two key points though that we're. GonNa we're GONNA. Come back to again and again in this episode. In this episode we are talking about the Vending Machine Aka the robot cashier. That's right, so time was back in the old days yield and days when you had to either buy goods directly from a human salesperson sounds. Sounds horrible, or you simply had to leave payment after you took off with it, and as far as that payment goes prior to the invention of money, which would be have to be another episode for us. You'd have to leave goods there in you know in exchange, some sort of barter system that sounds difficult if you can't workout with the exchange rate for what you bring is so right in either. Either case though there's human interaction or there's some there's some human judgment on what is fair, or there's just some sort of an honor system in place or human there just to prevent you from stealing right, but then what about a machine that sells goods for you something that has become so ubiquitous now it's fascinating to think back on wear. The shift occurs. We get into this vending machine territory. Just wear. Does such a machine come from? At what point do we crossover from machines that are ultimately little more than honor boxes you know honor system situations where you're just trusted to leave your money and take exactly what you paid for. And then where do we get into true mechanical sellers right? The honor box system is what you often find in. Say A. A church where they'll be selling prayer candles or something like that, and there's an offering box and like please put a dollar in just take all the candles right and in and yeah. The the honor system is enforced by the the sacred nature of the space in your obligations there. There's a supernatural security guard in that right. Yeah, you don't have to worry about. Somebody trying to reach their hand in there just make off with all the candles for the most part, but you really do have to worry about that. If say you want to sell minor food items, snack items and say you're running a concession. Stand at the poolside or something like that and you need to run off to put some money in the parking meter. Whatever whatever the people meaning those concession stands had to do when they put up a sign. That said be right back. So so kids are coming. They want to buy an ice cream bar. Snickers or something like that and the goods are just right there. Do you trust the children to leave money on the counter as they should and take things and take only what they've actually paid for. Wouldn't it be better if you had a machine that enforced the exchange of currency for for payout of items and didn't allow kids to sneak an extra hot fries here and there? Now of course. We're talking about honor boxes here. One of the important things to notice that. You still find plenty of honor boxes out on the street in the form of of newspaper on her boxes. Oh the newspaper vending machine. Yes, yeah, you put your money in and if you wanted yes, you could take all the newspapers. That would be cumbersome. How often somebody want more than one newspaper though. They're like there's an article about them in it right, but but obviously you could not do the same with say you know. Cola machine chocolate machine now I wonder something that we can become back to a bit because I wonder how the psychology of transaction and the psychology of consumer behavior changes when you're dealing with a machine versus with the person, because I think back to my childhood self who I would reach my arm in the machine and see if I could grab. Grab a whatever a brisk t out of the drink machine or grab something out of the snack machine. I don't think I was ever able to do anything like that, but I would try and I would never do that. At even. If the the concession stand attendant was away and I, could have just reached out and stolen whatever I wanted I would never have done that at a real concession stand. That was not controlled by machine operated. Mechanisms has a different scenario entirely. And then at the same time it's it's ultimately not. It's still somebody's property is for sale. They're still individuals involved in this scenario, and you are defrauding them well. It felt completely legitimate to try to reach into the machine and steal from it in a way that it wouldn't from a place that had human even if they weren't there right right because you would have been exploiting a design flaw, right, yeah! I guess so that maybe that makes it okay. It doesn't to be clear, but but let's go back in time a bit. Let's let's look for the roots of the vending machine, so I was reading through an excellent book on the social. History of the vending machine titled Vending Machines on American. Social history by carry, see grave, and points out that the you know the first American vending machines popped up in the eighteen eighties, but the earliest mention of. Of what we can reasonably described as a vending machine is attributed to the Greek inventor, hero or heroine, the Alexandrian engineer of the first century. Ce Okay now hero has tons of inventions attributed to him right, and then the book that the the stems from is is loaded with descriptions of strange devices so this sixty two e book pneumatic has descriptions and illustrations of various Curios Fountains Temple Gadgets. Doors that open due to the you know some sort of movement of steam or firewater. With injuries like a drinking horn, in which a peculiarly form Siphon is fixed and. Water driven from the mouth of a wine skin in the hands of Seder by means of compressed air, so a lot of Curios Marvel's toys, essentially, so it sounds like he designed one of those early on like peeing fountains right exactly, and it would would would would have been technological wonders then, and are still kind of technological wonders today, but Where does the vending machine come in? Well? He describes and illustrates a coin operated device for for selling sacred. Sacred Water in Egyptian temples. Okay, so the idea. Is it it? Maybe you don't believe in the honor box system like we discussed for buying candles in a church or something? Maybe think well. People are just going to be stealing sacred water if we don't make them pay for it, so you need a machine to enforce that transaction well I don't know how much of it was because I think there is still an honest I mean it's a temple, right? But maybe there's a sense of. Let's make it a little wondrous. You know because they'll number of these devices. That like the doors open. You know as if by sacred magic, but of course it's supposedly caused by some sort of heat apparatus. But but here's how this device would work. Okay, you'd insert a five drachma coin. The coin would tip balance inside which would lift a plug and allow a small amount of water to escape, and then pour into your chalice or copper. What have you? And then once the coin makes its way into the collection chamber. The balance returns in the plug goes back into place. Okay, so it sounds like a very simple design. You've got like a lever. And when the weight of the coin hits, one side of the lever like a seesaw lifts the plug up and it's kind of like a toilet. Actually it is very much like a modern toilet especially when you, when you see the illustration it, it basically functions like a coin operated flush nice. I should also point out that say he Chagrin also discusses this in his American scientist Article Water Fountains with special effects from two thousand and five. But still certainly benefited from an honor system of sorts of the gods are watching so you're not going to try and cheat the machine with. Some sort of a coin on a string or some some smooth stones that are just happened to be shaped like five drachma coin ride, because this was not a refined system of judging what had been put into the slot. It was basically anything that could push the lever down right. Now in terms of like who actually invented this, and whether it was actually bill. This is a little more difficult to to really figure out. It's certainly possible that hero himself. was indeed the inventor of the device, but we don't know for sure. It might have been to CBS reputed inventor of water clocks from two seventy BC, who also would have resided in Alexandria to CBS his water clocks are worth looking up by the way I looking at some video of how these things worked in. There is some ingenious design because it's difficult to design a consistent water clock that just. Just keeps working the same over time. because you know you're you're reservoir. Tanks Drain Down, so he created the these really smart designs with like extra reservoir tanks that would pour into your main reservoir tank, and then siphoned manage. How high the water level was is really clever. Now we also don't know if what hero describes here was ever actually built or just a. you know a novel design. And this is the case with a lot of old technological gadgets described in books, and then on top of this, some mentions of this vending machine include embellishments that are difficult to nail down. Simply don't fit the time line, but it does give us an idea of of what some of the earliest, if not, the an actual vending machine consisted of then, at least the earliest ideas of what a vending machine could be right the general principle of automating transaction without just relying on the honor system on the buyer's part right and it's kind of a gradual evolution to get to that point. However as a cigarette points out. It's going to be a long time after after this temple device. Describe a hero before we actually get any real advancements in vending machine technology. He does point out there. There's some for instance. There's an UN credited nineteen sixty New York Times article that claims among other things that there was a coin operated pencil selling machine in ten seventy six China. You know is really holding out for that medieval European vending machine that you put it in a coin dispenses a piece of the true cross, well I. I mean there were certainly automatons throughout European history, and I guess with the vending machine, especially the early days of the vending machine. You're looking for a very particular type of Automaton. That does something or rather not just does something you know, but actually gives some sort of good in exchange either leaks out some sort of valuable liquid more gives you a candy bar in exchange for a coin because we have all matter of amazing. Tomasson of showing up in European history and everything from pooping ducks to praying monks, but to what extent you have things that are actually facilitating exchange of of money for goods all right, we'll take a quick break and when we come back, we'll discuss more of the history of the vending machine. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I think the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is. Helping at IBM DOT com slash Cova Nineteen. iheartradio and state farm know that the graduation stage is the first of many, and while grads may not be walking across one this year. They can get the off. 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So according to see grave quote, nothing happened in the vending industry until the seventeenth century. And that's when you had snuff and tobacco boxes pop up in England around Sixteen Fifteen, and these were definitely honor system devices, not unlike newspaper, boxes, and they believe just filled with various tobacco products instead, so it'd be kind of like you pay for access to them, but you could take as much as you wanted right. Yeah, like you, you you. You pay your money. You feel your pipe and you move on you. Don't fill your pockets. If just fill your pipe, and then you had you had other instances early advancements in the USA vending machine technology couple centuries later eighteen, twenty two English bookseller restrict Carlisle tried to vending machine for books in order to avoid arrest for selling certain blasphemous publication. And a wait a minute. Okay, so he's saying like I didn't sell it. Yeah, machine sold it Nice. However he was still held responsible, and one of his employees was convicted for selling blasphemous literature via the machine. Now it's unknown if the thing was truly automatic, or this was basically another honor box system, but it is kind of a little one of these early examples of who is to blame when a machine sells something that is illicit. This is something that has fascinated me for a while. Now I can think of examples, not necessarily with selling but I think about the experiment from several years back the random darkness shopper. which was this program that people? People came up with where you could load it with some some budget. Give it some money than say go little thing. Just go out onto the dark web and by randomly Gosh. So you know then they got in trouble because obviously bought drugs bought whatever kinds of illicit materials, but then they say well. We didn't tell it to buy drugs. We just gave it money and released into the wild. So how can you say we did something illegal? Now more strides were made in tobacco on her box arena but the next area of exploration and patent in England happened to be stamps eighteen, fifty seven Simeon Denham applied for a patent for a quote self acting machine for the delivery of posted and receipt stamps, but it would be another thirty years before any real headway was made in this area now, the first US patent for vending machine was a liquid distribution machine. That actually sounds a lot like like heroes, fabulous temple water distributor. Liquid though. Well it's interesting when we start looking at the the early distribution of liquids in these machines like they're essentially fountains that are going to distribute drinking water, such as cold drinking, water or later. It's going to be things like beer. That makes sense now by the early twentieth. Century Gum and candy machines began taking off now. One of the machines featured in secrets. Book is an amazingly creepy clown head. This thing is from Hell. It is this very row? Oh my God! It's face! It looks kind of like an Oni Japanese Oni that kind of demon, but much worse, much more kind of. It's got these creepy sleepy. Is that are alike? When I wake up, I will come kill you well. It doesn't help that. The coin slot is kind of protruding from one side of the forehead as if it's a devil with only one horn right, yes. And Asymmetric Devil and it's got this white ring around. Its mouth is just an absolute terror. Yeah and then you pull the gum from its teeth force. Like, a high was chewing. He'll come to your house tonight. Now already at this point, there were designer concerns with the use of slugs and hairpins cheat the. So the idea of a slug is what we mentioned earlier, it's like a weighted device that you'd put on a string or something and put it into the machine and. The coin detection without actually paying I. Mean you get into this whole thing like it? It's not like the machine is reading the coin. It's reading a coin shaped piece of metal some if you have a coin shaped piece of metal, that has no intrinsic value then whammo. You guys with Gum right right? You know because it comes down to basically whatever kind of honor system works with a proper English pipe, tobacco box or the world, the Holy Water for sale in the temple. A clown head that spits gum at a local train station is not gonNA, benefit from the same holy reverence. The I do wonder if they're onto something here with the clown head to because. This is personified. Yeah, looking right at you. It's anthropomorphic and I think that could play an important role in the relationship between the buyer and the vendor. When the vendor is just like a rectangular machine, you need to put a coin in be more or less likely to try to defraud that machine. Then you would a machine that looks like a creepy demonic entity that could follow you home. It's true. You know yet another twist on this. Though, is it? You also saw charitable vending machines pop up in late nineteenth century France, which when this seems like a decent way to invoke the honor system for machines. That can't really defend themselves. You know it's like yes, buying gum, or what have you from a crappy machine? You could probably defraud, but the money's going to charity. So how much of a monster are you really? You might be surprised. Now speaking of defrauding machines, the earliest record of vandalized machine, according to see grave comes from. Eighteen eighty seven in England, three young men were convicted for using brass disks to buy cigarettes. Then there's also an 1891 Saint Louis Account, where a man had aucoin on a string, and he was using it to score cigars out of Shane okay, and it was created quite a stir. People were coming around to watch him. Do it like who's performing some sort of A. A magic trick in the judge. In this case, he wasn't even sure of this was larceny, and ended up just finding the man for disorderly conduct instead again coming back to that same conundrum. How do I? How do I punish a man for stealing from an inhuman entity? Yeah, stealing from a machine, really stealing now another concern of course with all this is that. Today, we have problems with ending machines, not working properly. You know you go to you putting your money. You expect to get a candy bar and it like sticks to the side right so obviously you had similar issues back in the day with these clumsy or machines, I'd imagine even more often right like you try to get the gum out of the clown's mouth, but instead it just Kinda makes a. Noise, yes! And I think one of the the more I mean. When you look at the history of vending machines. On one hand you see like the definite areas where people realize. Yes, WE'RE GONNA. Use these to sell candy. We're going to sell cigarettes. These are the obvious uses, but what I really loved about researching. This was seeing the various areas. Where they were just throwing everything to see what would stick right, there was a real flash in the PAN. Since too many of these applications stuff, some of the stuff generated attention, but then didn't find a place in society, and yet you still see early versions of vending devices that we now take for granted like gasoline pumps water pumps. Well maybe not beer spigots, but you also have these beer spigot. Feed the money into, and then you fill up your your glass. I don't know there's some pretty strange vending machines out there today, and it's. It's still a developing field. Yeah, like I I'm sure you've read about like live animal vending machines like their live lobster vending machines alive crab vending machines I I did enjoy when I was in China several years back to see wine vending machine where you put your money, and it was very high tech into you know it has a computer interface, but ultimately would get entire bottle of wine out of it. Oh bottle. It wasn't like a spigot of no not as big interviews, just distributing full bottles of wine. Now the eighteen nineties also saw the birth of the slot machine now not the game engine that would evolve from it and keep its name but basic coin-operated machines that sold various odds and ends so cigarettes station. Etc.. So early on there was a link between vending machines and gambling machines, and sometimes the blurring of that line would help you get round gambling restrictions. Yeah I mean it reminds me of a of a whole episode. Maybe it was more than one episode that we did for stuff. Double your mind about The slot machine about gambling and GAM- gambling psychology and gambling devices and automated gambling. Yeah, and there's I mean there's a clear history here. That's the that's part of the legacy of vending machines. Is the gambling machine? You would not have the gambling machine without these early vending machines. You know we. We often see new technologies take on kind of Sheikh appeal and I. DO wonder sometimes if you would have seen that in early vending machines like when a vending machine became the new way, you could buy an item in a place like would it? Would people come to think that an item bought from vending machine as opposed to bought from a human selling point would be cooler would be better. Yeah, I mean it's the basic novelty attraction. Right like here's this new technology. This new way of doing this thing I was going to do anyway I. Think one of the best examples of this. Is the rise and ultimately the fall of automats Oh. Yeah so. I was thinking about that scene in dark city with the. Yes, there's a wonderful scene with an automatic dark city. If you don't know what we're talking about, and or you haven't seen dark city, we're talking about a restaurant. In which the walls are lined with all of these these little doors with little windows and behind each window you see a plate or dish. dish. Some sort of food is prepared, and he put your coin in, and then you open that little door, and then you take the plate, so it's like Apple Green Jello Sandwich and these are real. This is this is something from dark city that you can You can take to the bank. The first of these opened in Berlin in eighteen, ninety five and. It was it was true novelty because he'd beat. You'd be hard pressed to find a true automatic today, but the basic concept lives on in probably my one of my favorite restaurant innovations. The Conveyor Belt Sushi restaurant. If you've been to one of these Joe. Heard you talk about it. Oh, it's marvelous. I highly recommend everyone. Go to one afterwards. You will feel cheated if a human brings you your food restaurant as opposed to a conveyor belt, it has tiny little plates with the with like bubble canopies them so at the. On the conveyor belt, how do they keep track of what foods you have taken? Oh well. They have a fabulous system at least the place that that I frequent because my my child loves it. And I love it, too. Is that after you're done? You have to stick the plate into a receptacle, and it counts the plates see charged by the plate, and you're also encourage gamification here as well. You're encouraged to insert more plates, because if you hit I, WanNa say it's fifteen plates. You get a little prize. Nice comes out layup vending machine, so it's wonderful collision of these different vending machine concepts into one food delivery system. Now it's also worth pointing out that even though the Auto Matt went away the in. In many ways it lives on in in just modern cafeterias Oh. Yeah, and ultimately I guess it comes down to the fact that you really didn't have to have the food behind all those little locked doors. You just had to have it in in a rapper. You just need to have some steamer trays. Put up some sneeze guards and have what one to humans around just to make sure you didn't do anything stupid. You can never really make sure though Robert in every. I I've worked in a grocery store. I know what people do with food items. I guess it comes down to. What do the vast majority of the of of the customers do with the food item for the vast majority of people are very nice and very well behaved everybody, sticking their arm up the the Cola machine, or trying to you know to to cheat it with little disks of lead or something, Republican popsicle sticks down in there. That's when I tried. What was wrong with me? Why was I so into defrauding machine? Just wanted to your rage against the machine Joe. What was going on? It's kind of a little boy scout. In other ways like I never would have done that, too. You're natural, but Larry is where you were I. Guess All right well On. That note we're going to take one more break when we come back and talk a little bit about the legacy of vending machine technology. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM DOT com slash Cova. That will lexus opened its doors. One of the first steelers made an important observation. Lexus wasn't in the car business. They were in the people business. Above, all, they needed to be helpful, respectful and compassionate. To treat people like guest. It's what they agreed to do from the start. And rededicate themselves to every day. Today how we all interact with each other is changing, but who we are isn't in a time of uncertainty. We are all looking for new ways to be human. To connect to reach out. To respond. Now when we need each other, most lexus will continue to do what they've always done. Take care of people first then the rest will follow. VISIT LEXUS DOT com slash people I to find out what Lexus is doing for their guests, their employees and for our communities. All right, we're back, so of course vending machines still exist right. You know they're all over the place. In there now fully adapted to the modern economy mini, accepting credit cards, and so forth and a lot of them have less cute mechanical tricks behind them now they're just sort of electronic, and you know that that's fine. Yeah, I. Mean I like it when there's an arm when there is some sort of robotic component. Like there's a you can still find a ice cream machines that do this where an on a little lead and cooler will open behind glass in an arm. We'll go down and grab one of the. The ice cream pops and bring it out and I love that because there's a sense of drama to it. Yes, we'll the claw be able to do it. will I be have or will I have to call this eight hundred number on the side of the machine and inevitably talked to another automaton. Well, that is one that that is one appeal of the machine right? There is an inherent delight in watching how some machines weren't most vending. Machines aren't really like this, they're. They're not all that exciting. But these these other ones little things with arms these are coming back to the automatons of Heroes Day and the medieval. Wonder devices the philosophical toys they were sometimes called. They put on a show. Put on a show and they made. You think about what was happening, and it wasn't just a matter of yeah. I want an ice cream and I'll pay dollar for it. But in terms of legacy, I do want to think about how the vending machine, even the early rudimentary vending machines. Did kind of portend something, even more significant something about the the automation of the service economy in general, because you can, of course point to plenty of vending machines that still existing semen airports all the time, selling headphones and stuff like that a bit in a way you can also look at for example online commerce as an extension of the principle of vending machine across time and space it's. It's shopping without the interaction with a human vendor. You Make Your selection from an automated display. You pay automated cashier, and then you receive your item without having to meet anybody at what is say. Amazon DOT COM, but the biggest vending machine of all time right? Yeah can buy everything from it, but even at in in person purchasing there is the there has been a push at least. least in many cases to try to automate aspects of the of the service relationship right? Yeah, think of grocery stores, gas pumps I mean basically sort of world that was predicted in early vending machine ventures is what we're living in today. We just managed to keep a few human act interactions around you know for flavor, and and or to enforce the honor system, and to provide flexibility that. That means don't have the human can be there for win. Something goes wrong or win. Someone has an unusual need or requests and to service the machines. Yes, however, I have to say I'm a little amazed that one particular vending machine designed and take off. This one is also mentioned in secrets. Book comes from Nineteen thirty four, and it's the back of the movie theater seat Candy Machine. That is pretty brilliant. Every seat in the theater, and then you have a candy machine. Right on the back of your seat. Just imagine how help perfect and perfectly annoying that would be. I mean I would hate that because I never buy candy at the movies I would despise it then for that very reason. I'm surprised that it's not happening right now. I suspect that maybe the reason that didn't take off is that you want to get people out of the theater into the lobby so that they buy. Oh. There's only so much you can sell through a back of the seat to vending machine right you could by increasing the convenience of selling one popular item actually decrease overall sales. If you just like, make it too easy to get that one popular thing without people having to be tempted by all these other less popular. But on the other hand. Some people are not going to want I don't WanNa get up in the middle of the movie to go stand in line or even not stand in line to buy food, but they're always telling you to. But what if I could just buy a glass of wine and some twizzlers right there in my seat without involving any human interaction, which I clearly did not come to the movie theater, for what if you could just swipe your credit card in the ceiling would rain popcorn. Without would work too hot buttered of course. Robert, picking, up from this I wonder. In fact, I was about to ask you, but I don't have to ask you. Because I've been to one with you. These new school restaurants that have you order through an automated touch screen menu rather than talking to your server Oh. Yes, we encountered. This at an airport is required. Yeah, yeah, we were at a restaurant. Every restaurant I've been to Laguardia. New York works like this. And what I wondered at that restaurant was consumers behave in a measurably different way when they're ordering or buying through a machine than when they're ordering or buying through a person and the data says in many cases absolutely, yes, people do behave different when they shop through machines. Versus when they shot through human gatekeepers, wanted to call attention to a twenty fifteen interview piece i. read by Gretchen Gavitt and the Harvard Business Review with Harvard Business Professor Ryan Buell. WHO talks about this change in human behavior with with automated selling versus human selling and so? One very common trend is in food sales thing about like the restaurant. That's got the automated ordering pat or online ordering APPs. What what research has found is that people who order food machines rather than people tend to order more food and more customized food. So for example is, there's no social barrier being a pain in the butt. Exactly that's I think that's exactly it so Taco Bell. They had a digital APP. You could order through, so you didn't have to talk to a person. You just order in the APP and then pick it up. And what they found was that orders were twenty percent more expensive when ordered through the APP then when people talk had to talk. Talk to somebody to order mostly because people picked more add on ingredients in the APP so is like yeah, I wanna add sour cream. Want to add whatever also chilies apparently reported that more people started ordering desserts when they could order through self service computers that were stationed at their tables and movie. Theaters have reported that self service kiosks mean people keep ordering more and more stuff while I. You know I think another. Aspect of this might be situations where you are relying on memory while you're ordering in in kind of at times at least for people like me a high pressure social situation. You're the front of the pokey Bowl Line you're trying to order your Polka bow, and you're having to. People were looking at you. People were waiting on, and you have to also remember all the things you just said are saying and also. Also keeping in mind what you're about to order for your child, or your or your or somebody else's, you know fetching drinks sooner, or what have you I get a lot of moving pieces? And if you can externalize that process or part of that process under a screen, then it's it is a calmer situation for all involved. That's why we ride. We check things off on a Sushi menu as opposed to. To, telling the server is yeah. I think you're exactly right. There's there's less pressure. There's less of a rush, but I think it's also very important that authors less fear of less self consciousness because I want to talk about a couple of other studies. One was a twenty fourteen study that looked at liquor stores. They found a liquor store switches over to self service, the market share of quote difficult to pronounce. Pronounce Items Increases More than eight percent, so people buy more hard to pronounce liquor products if they don't have to interact with a human when they buy them, so I won't be self conscious about trying to order chartreuse chartreuse through South Ruse chartreuse chartreuse. I think it starts. Reuss sounds good to me, but I would be a little hesitant. I would say the battle. Download the one the horse on it. Robert. have. You ever done the the online pizza APP. Ordering no I haven't but I have nothing they do. Yeah, yeah, so like I know Domino's does I think they all do all the big chains or maybe not all of them. Most of the big chains do that now and pizza chains that introduce automated online, ordering that people order higher calorie meals when they order through the APP and they also order with way more special instructions. You know so if you're somebody who's like I, want the gluten free dough, but not as a crust I want chopped up and sprinkled as toppings. That people are more likely to do that on the APP and they are talking to somebody on the phone because you don't feel like you're inconveniencing anyone, right? You're ridiculously detailed. Order exactly so it seems like a recurring feature is that people just might feel? Let less self conscious when they order through a machine than when they order through a human and The machine isn't going to judge what you eat or how unhealthy what you're ordering is or how complicated your special instructions are, or how you pronounce things. The machine doesn't judge. There's no fear it just takes the order mechanically now. Of course, this isn't. Isn't without downsides in this article, buell points out a lot of companies also lose business from attempting to institute self, service kiosks and stuff like that because it might make customers feel like they're getting less value from the business. They're having to do too much work where they don't have the flexibility they would. When interacting with a human agent at a lot of it probably has to do with how easy these things are to interact with, but I wonder how how much that whole thing can be extrapolated, not just to, I mean most of this focused on food, but can be extrapolated to commerce as A. A whole when you go to a vending machine when you order something online when you order through a little ipad or something at your table, instead of talking to a human or having the look of human in the eye when you do any of this buying purchasing behavior, how does that change? You spend your money and what choices you make with your life, and indeed these are changes that certainly, too many individuals like we're not. We're not even fully of away aware of what's happening. While meanwhile, the the companies that are rolling this out are often going to be hyper aware of what's happening there. There, going to you know it's like McDonald's they. They know you're going to spend a dollar more. And therefore they're going to do the math and figure out that this is the way of the future that you need to be ordering through the machines. You'll spend more I. absolutely understand this working like at the level I have personally experienced feeling the freedom to order things I would be embarrassed to order out loud with my voice if I ordered them on an APP like ordering some kind of complicated request or request for extra stuff, and yet at the same like one thing that comes to mind is. Is really the domain of films, obviously, one can obtain any film. You want a pretty much especially good films you can get through. Digital means you can order a copy of it rented et Cetera. When you go into the right kind of video store. I guess some people might be embarrassed to ask for certain titles, but there's also pride in asking for certain titles like you want. You want to be recognized for being the person that wants to watch Leviathan. You WanNa you do want kind of a social connection, and you want approval for participating in this transaction, and you're not gonna get that from those, and you're not going to be judged, but you're also not going to be celebrated well it. It just highlights how the social aspects of commerce array. Double Edged Sword times having a person there to react to you. Socially engage with you socially is going to be A. A limiting factor in what you would do, and how much you would indulge in all that, because you're afraid of judgment and other times it will be an empowering factor, or if the word is empowering, if it would be an encouraging factor encouraging you to participate in this act of commerce, because there's some kind of positive social benefit to it, and if nothing else, I just wanted to be a belt, you know. At least there needs to be a sense of wonder there needs to be. Some sort of spectacle going on even if it's just a small one. One last thing I was thinking about is I. I've never tried to cheat or defraud Amazon or anything like that but I wonder like if if my feeling from childhood is generalize -able that people for some reason while they would never try to steal from a human or a physical brick and mortar store would try to reach their arm up into the vending machine. Does the same thing apply to these more modern worldwide vending machines like online, commerce retailers or just normal stores that that delegate? All of the selling functions to machines and APPS and stuff like that I wonder to what extent we. Attribute Amazon with a little more agency than we. That we would, we would give say Coca Cola machine. Yeah, all right so there you have it. That is the episode of invention for this week. we do hope that you will check out invention pod DOT COM. That's where you'll find the existing episodes of the invention podcast. You'll also find links out to our social media accounts, and if you WanNa talk about this episode inside of Facebook Group, you should go to the stuff to blow your mind. Discussion module because that. That is where we are known to hang out and discuss episodes of stuff to blow your mind, but we're also happy to talk about episodes of invention huge thanks as always to Scott Benjamin for research assistance on this show, and to are excellent producer Tari Harrison. If you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future or just to say hi, you can email us at contact at invention pie dot com. Hey guys. It's bobby bones I host the bobby bones show, and I'm pretty much always sleepy, because wake up at three o'clock in the morning a couple of hours later I get all my friends together, so we get into a room and we do a radio show. Wish alive. We tell our stories. We try to find as much good in the world. Possibly can, and we looked through the news of the day that you'll care about also your favorite country artists are always stopping by to hang out and share their lives and music, too, so wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point seven, W. MC in Washington DC, or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio APP.

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Invention Playlist 4: Barbed Wire

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

54:27 min | 11 months ago

Invention Playlist 4: Barbed Wire

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM dot. com slash red hat. A class twenty twenty. We know things have been super weird lately robbed of a graduation ceremony, so found some people to write you. Commencement speeches John Legend. He's a Hillary Clinton. She to over twenty of your favorites from Dj. College Coach K. Abby Wambach to halls. They're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now, Mrs I. Heart Radio New podcast commitment he just dropped may fifteenth iheartradio APP and Sunday may seventeenth across all IHEART radio stations brought to you by state farm like a good neighbor. State farm they're. Welcome to invention a production of iheartradio. Hey Welcome to invention. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe McCormack and today. We're GONNA. Be Talking about barbed wire, which which for me it's it's interesting to think about how varied our thoughts can be just basic word association with barbed wire, because when when I just instantly think of the word that a lot of prepping. Of course I think of barbed wire barriers often a in particular, I think about barbed wire that is like in the woods. you know wrapped around old trees, the it kind of grow the tree is grown around the barbed wire in this kind of grotesque way, but also the the trees kind of concrete, the barbed wire. So I. Think of that, I of course think of. Metal fences, the tops of metal fences, particularly to keep people out of industrial areas. You see that a lot in the urban environment, and then of course I think about its use in say, hello, Razor, horror films, you know event, horizon, an or of course, the the violent stunts that you see perpetrated sometimes in professional wrestling I definitely assumed there was a pro wrestling angled you to the topic. Yeah, well. No, no I wouldn't say that. That led me to the topic. I I'm not sure what exactly yeah. I can't. Can't remember what made me think this would be a good one to look into Probably part of it could be the fact that there's barbed wire everywhere we we tend to not see it even as we see it, and I mean part of that is just the the nature of say a barb, wire fence, or if or or cycling fencing, this top with barbed wire, is it? Of course you can see through it? You can see what's on the other side to a certain extent it is, it is almost invisible. But Yet It is there and it is You know if you've stopped to really think about it. It's quite an oppressive presence to have in the world around you. It's peak hostile architecture. Yeah, because you know just to go a little deeper in terms of associating barbed wire with what it's been used for I mean we have to realize that it's been used to divide up the natural world and enforce artificial barriers to both wildlife and humans. It's been used to enforce contested borders. It was used to create the physical barriers of Nazi prisoner of war camps, and most infamously of all the fences of concentration and death camps during the Holocaust. It's used to enclose human prisoners, and in all of its uses against humans, and with human populations carries with it, the threat of ripped and torn flesh It doesn't just prevent you from crossing. It threatens you. It says not just like I'm GonNa make it hard for you to get past this point, but it says you will get injured if you tried to get past. This will be difficult and or isn't. So you'd better stay on your side of the fence, your side of the barbed-wire now all that is kind of dark and grotesque and oppressive and so forth. But the entire episode is not necessarily going to be. As Grim, barbed-wire has a pretty fascinating history. In the United States and in Europe and we'll get into that, even as we discuss its its uses, and and also some of the times and places where people tried to make it a little more. Little Tamer. Generally barbed wire is still going to be barbed wire no matter how you twist it. So as usual let's first talk about what came before barbed-wire. Okay I figured. This is a good place to call at one of the main sources that we're going to be referring to the steps sewed, which was a good chapter on the history of barbed in a book called the Devil's Rope a cultural history of barbed-wire by Krill who is an associate professor at the School of Art, history and art education at the University of New South Wales, and so a lot of this book is actually more in the kind of art history realm. It's talking about symbolism and stuff, but He works Jesus of Nazareth into the the first. First chapter well, it's interesting when you look at like the early days of barbed wire. What was the closest precedent you might find in the imagery around you for this twisted thorny strand of material. It was probably going to be like the crown of thorns that you would see on Jesus's head in medieval artwork. Yeah, yeah, so it's really is a natural transformation to go from from Crown of thorns to potentially you know like crown of barbed wire, which is the author points out like you see this kind of imagery thrown around even in the early literature about barbed-wire so for the most part we're talking about. Inventions and innovations of the nineteenth century here prior to the nineteenth century, humans obviously had a robust collection of barrier technologies up their sleeves wall. Infants Technologies Extend Back to to ancient times, and we mentioned a lot of this in our previous invention episode on walls among the earliest known defensive walls are the ancient walls of Mesopotamia, specifically, those constructed in the twenty first century, B C E. The Sumerian rulers Shuiji and shoe sin, and of course this would refer to the earliest like territorial border wall. We find evidence up now if you're just talking about defensive walls for like castles or towns buildings, that's. Much older go back many centuries. Yeah, and as for financing itself, and it is in the construction offenses as opposed to full on walls. The ancient history here is also murky and impossible to nail down. I was looking at old fences in archaeology by Arne, embarrassing presented at the eighty fourth annual meeting of the Society for American. Archaeology and the author points out that fences are just a prominent feature of most cultural landscapes, and they frequently play into land vision in on farm grazing management a so it stands to reason that we can. We can roughly I guess think of fencing product of the agricultural revolution, but on the other hand nomadic herdsmen seemingly made use of animal pins in essentially fences as well in their temporary settlements so. It really goes back far. In human history, there is no individual person or culture. We can point to and say hey. They came up with fencing. Yeah, I think when you go back farther in history, most fencing is going to be for the control of animals rather than for the control of humans. Yeah, you're talking about just mild barriers to make managing your various domesticated animals a little easier. So let's fast forward a bit all the way to nineteenth century CE America in Europe. Specifically America because this is where the we encounter the the European settlers dream of manifest destiny. The idea here is the American frontier spread before us, and it is, it is ours for the taking by divine right and part of this This whole vision of course is the idea that you just have these these vast empty stretches of land right of course in reality. These lands were far from unoccupied. Of course animals living there as with any you know. Any of the continent's. You have large. mega-fauna that require large areas to roam around, but also had native peoples that had lived here for at least a fifteen thousand years, but in spite of all that you know it was decided that. Everybody who's going to get a chance to have a piece of this unclaimed frontier? So as eleanor coming outlined a brief history of barbed wire for popular, science Abraham Lincoln Homestead Act of eighteen sixty to open it up for any American to claim a on one hundred sixty acres of public land per citizen had to do is out there claim it, and of course, what are you GonNa do maybe throw a fence around it and so the. The land was divided. The land was worth and transformed, and if you're looking to keep animals on your property, and or keep other animals off of it, it does pay to build some fences, but while the American frontier wasn't all empty planes baron the great American desert, and so forth there are still plenty of areas where there is a lack of trees and wood, and therefore made traditional fences, a difficult proposition and it also took. A more took longer than was comfortable. In many cases to grow, say hedgerows to serve as natural barriers, and so settlers began to experiment with the use of wire for fencing. In this makes sense right, you use less wood. And depend on fewer post trees this way, plus despite the weight metal wire travels rather well, yeah, wire is a pretty natural solution here. Wire fencing is less likely to be harmed by the weather. It doesn't get blown down by high winds because it doesn't have a flat side to catch the GAELS. It doesn't get weighed down by snow in the winter. It doesn't catch fire if it gets struck by lightning. wire fencing is kind of a perfect solution for the planes, yeah. Yeah it, you know it doesn't last forever, but it. It certainly stands the test of time. I mean I feel like a lot of my childhood involved in countering old wire fences or barbed wire fences that no longer have any purpose. They're there in the woods or you know, and they're just. They have survived while everything else is just a ghost of of whatever settlement was a part of. It was one of my favorite kinds of things to discover as it could. Out Run through the woods, and you'd find like a half buried old barb wire fence. Yeah, it's like that. Maybe a sunken grave of coursing like a a line of of buttercup sit still come up a marking some walkway to a lost house of some sort, but there is a downside to wire fences, which is that they're not super strong Especially you know they might be strong for a human to try to get through but imagine you are a bull. Or Bison yeah, large animals like this cow or bison horse they can simply tear into it. Make a mess of and maybe get tangled up in it, but in the fence itself would be reduced shambles in with no longer serve its purpose, and and of course. If you were at all concerned about humans, a wire fence like this is not going to really be you. You know any kind of an obstacle for humans, either so they quickly realize what was lacking here spikes right passive weapons just just some static poker's to sit there and hurt you if you if you press too hard, so an American farmer and businessman named Joseph Glidden is often given credit for the invention of barbed wire, and he does play a very. Very important role in the history of barb wire, but it looks like there were a number of inventions of similar types of fencing material. Before glidden swooped in, so we really need to take a pretty large step back before we get to Clinton so we we will get to him in a bit one of the first things. I thought we should mention since we're. We're still sort of in the what came before. Phase is the idea of live fencing or live fence, specifically, a species of plant known as Mac Lura, peripheral commonly known as the osage orange or the hedge apple tree. You ever seen a hedge apple. Oh, yeah, yeah, they're fun to kick down the road. Yeah, never tried to eat one hundred what they taste like. I don't know. I never tried either bet they're nasty. This was a thorny hedge plant that could be in was used as a kind of natural barbed wire. To Form Boundaries and barriers, but it had many problems. You could try to line your fields with osage orange, but it was difficult to maintain. It required a lot of trimming it. Can you know sh shoot up big branches all over the place and it in in crawls, words quote harbored noxious weeds, and so the question is, can you recreate some of the desirable qualities of this thorn hedge through industrial means or synthetic means and And despite the historical association between barbed wire and the American ranch land frontier, it seems that a number of French inventors preceded the Americans the released two French patents on barbed wire that came before any patents in America and then another one that came before most patents in America, so let's let's look at France for a second right now i. will out though that the Krell doesn't seem to think that there's necessarily any connection between. Between the French and the American inventions they came up. Come up with these independently. So imagine it's one of those things you can. You can ultimately explained just in terms of in the material science, reaching a point where people could could innovate with it or or the demand the there'd be a situation where the suddenly appears useful right, and what's fascinating here is that the way that it's useful varies greatly from Europe to the Americas. Americas? That's right So in the year eighteen sixty, there was a Frenchman named Leeann fusion grass and belong who acquired a patent for quote grating of wire work for fences and other purposes, and I've got an illustration for you to look at here. Robert but this consisted of a system of twisted iron, employing a flat, thin wire, known commercially as ribbon iron that could be applied to everything that ought to be enclosed or fenced. In this Krell says this would include railing for parks. Railroads Meadows Gardens pavilions, and even trees be like God imagine that world. You know just a barbed wire fence for every tree Yeah, like if it's not clear already, the focus here is not so much on wandering cattle, but on people yes, in Creil says that most historians of kind of ignored aggressive. NBA Lawn, but his patent was the first to describe the common features of twisted wire with sharp projections aggressive. Aggressive ambit- along called these projections, bristling points, and Creil is careful to point out that GB here didn't describe the material as something that you would make fencing out of, but rather as something that would be mounted on top of normal fence to make it harder to climb over, which is exactly how we see barbed wire used a, and of course it's cousin razor wire us today, something you can put at the very top of a non barbed fence like cyclone fencing, etc.. To to make it difficult to climb over right, so you WANNA put fencing around all the trees in your city or something you put this on top of the fence around all the trees beautiful, but after this there were more Frenchman to follow with ideas for barbed wire. There was another guy named Louis Francois Jean who was awarded a patent in April. Eighteen, sixty five zero five years later, was awarded a patent for barbed-wire of a kind of different design. Here the fence. Fence would consist of double twisted wire with diamond shaped barbs made out of flat pieces of sheet metal. So this isn't. This isn't going to be a little like poker. Sticking out like thorns, this is going to be more like sharp flat pieces of metal embedded in the wire as it goes along to the little diamond shaped blades. Yeah, one of the really interesting things to come out of researching. This episode was just how many different types of barbed wire have been devised. It's. It's amazing, and we'll get more into some of the variety as we go here I mean I think there were hundreds just between like eighteen, sixty, seven and eighteen seventy four. Yeah, so later patent was filed by a brick manufacturer from Brittany in out not to be confusing. If you don't know Brittany is in western France in Britain Brittany in western France and this guy was named Gilbert Lard this was granted in August, eighteen, sixty seven, and it was forgive Lords Brigade Sean which describes fence composed of Ron, says Oh, my my French, failing me here, Rhonda's artificial meaning, artificial thorns would be things that would be quote caught between three strands of intertwined wire. This brings to mind a description that that Krell shares he's he discusses the powerful WASHBURN and melon manufacturing company out of Massachusetts, which was a big, a major producer of barbed wire, and of course, a major marketer of liar, they put out some some gloriously over the top descriptions of of barbed wire, the perfect fence and one of the quotes from the perfect fence is quote. The steel barb is nothing more than a thorn, the spur the animal instantly. Instantly retreat from and thereafter carefully avoids yes, it is compared to Thorne again and again emphasis on the natural about the natural nature, the naturalness of the Thorn Michael Kelly of new. York, who received a patent for a barbed wire design on February eleventh eighteen sixty eight rights of his invention quote my invention relates to imparting defenses of wire character, approximating to that of a thorn hedge. I prefer to designate the fence, so produced as a thorny fence. You know you re these arguments in in what could be more natural. You're not making something grossly artificial in industrial. No, you're. You're taking something that the world does naturally that vegetation does naturally just applying it. A little more towards your specific aim. Yeah, I wonder if aggressor Battleplan was anticipating somebody like me. WHO's horrified by the idea of a barbed wire fence around every tree? Because when he's talking about his proposal for Tree Guards, he writes that they quote maybe of double ribbon wire, which allows the addition of small wire points, and when these ribbons are twisted together, the wire points Bristle in every direction and spikes, imitating thorn branches. He's just saying it's like another part of the trees just like a plant. Yeah, you could well imagine him today. Saying naturally trees grow upward and in reach towards the heavens. Why not also help transmit wireless signals telephone? What could be more natural uh-huh, but it's funny I mean, and we're not even really the surface of all the different marketing materials and patents and advertisements and everything that described barbed-wire as a thorn. They were obsessed with this idea that it's just like a thorn Bush is just like a Brier, and I wonder if I wonder where a lot of these comparisons are coming from I think some of it must be coming from like trying to make it seem more humane, more natural less like some kind of gross metal claw. That's invading your environment right and then Some of the literature touts really just pressing. Just how? Culture it is how essential it is to have. Fencing fencing is the thing that separates us from the savages. Right which you know as as Krell points out just sitting. There is steeped in the language of of European colonists, yes, and crow also shows these advertisements from the time that that sort of envisioned barbed wire as the demarcation line of kind of controlled Arcadia, where he where he would depict people walking along lanes, where they would be surrounded by beautiful plants, and then also just like Menagerie of animals, all mixed together like elephants. And camels and horses and dogs and stuff all in the same pins, but they're all separated from these lanes by this elegant, looking barbed wire, and so it's like a I don't know it's it it. It enforces this theme of like man vs beast and humankind versus nature, and we can tame it and put it in the box and control it with these artificial with these industrial thorns, the thorns of human ingenuity. There there's one point for Creil is dealing with this this illustration by one of the the barbed wire. Masters Are A of a of a cow, trying to eat an apple, but is prevented from reaching that apple in this you know otherwise you know a pristine garden environment by barbed wire fencing. Then to the garden of Eden, and the and the you know the the the tree of knowledge of good and evil and so forth. which which is maybe a bit of a stretch, but but still I like the argument. If we just had one of those three guards in the garden, there wouldn't have been a fall right, yeah! The fences order, and and in the opposite of order chaos right so maybe we should take a quick break, and then we come back. We can explore the year that the that the dam broke on the barbed wire flood. iheartradio and the US census. 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Mentioned that the first Patton was in France in eighteen sixty, there was another one in eighteen, sixty five, and then in eighteen, sixty, seven, th the American floodgates open there were so many barbed wire patents and designs that popped up between around eighteen, sixty, seven, and running into the mid eighteen seventies, and again we, we mentioned earlier some of the demands that might have put pressure on this invention. You've got the continued colonization of the Western prairie. Prairie lands the desire for farmers to keep animals indoor, keep animals out of their fields in a place where lumber was scarce, and the weather could easily damage a solid wooden fence. Anyway, wire fencing was kind of this perfect solution, and then the barbs meanwhile were there to discourage animals from knocking down the wire fencing. So who were some of these early American inventors of the Industrial Thorn? There are honestly too many to name here, but just. Just to mention a few, there was a guy named Alfonso Dab. Elizabeth Port New Jersey and he got a patent in April, eighteen, sixty, seven for an improvement in pits for fences and walls, and this would be like you've got a wrought iron mounting strip, and you could put this on top of an existing fence, or an existing wall, and this would be to in in DABS. Words quote, stop juveniles or others from climbing them. So. These are these are. The anti human spikes would put on top of offense and. You attached a picture of this for our notes here and really they look more like spearheads. They're saying that or something to that effect. Less like like anything we would identify as barbed wire. These are less for agriculture, these or something that would go on top of an existing fence, and they would poke your, but if you tried to climb over. And then in the same year, but a little a few months later in June, eighteen, sixty, seven, eight Lucian, B Smith of Kent Ohio came up with a barbed-wire invention which Smith describes thusly quote posts of cast iron, between which two or more stout wires are strung tightly, which wires are provided with spools, a few feet apart and protected with short projecting points and this is so offensive. This kind can be constructed very cheaply, and we'll turn animals readily as they can see it better than the ordinary wire fence, which has nothing attached to the wires to attract attention, and the animals will not counter the spurs or the schools so. So this is kind of interesting. Smith is saying not only will. These spurs, poke the animals if they press against the fence and deter them there. It also make the fence more visible to the animals so that they won't need to poke up against brush against it by accident. They'll be able to see it more easily than they would see just plain smooth wire and another early American patent for something counting as a barbed wire fence belong to an inventor named William. De Hunt of New York in This was awarded in July eighteen, sixty seven. The design here is a little bit different from the barbed-wire were familiar with. It was conceived as a farming and ranching innovation and from hunts patent He describes it as. The Spurs fit the wirelessly so as to revolve easily upon it by providing the wire with these sharp spur wheels, animals are deterred from pushing against the fence or attempting to break over it, and so this would not be twisted wire, forming little artificial thorns, but rather it would be a smooth wire along which are strung like beads, these little kind of like saw blade looking things rotate freely around the wire, and then they would be held basically in place by the little studs on the wire. Yeah, kind of like Little Ninja throwing stars right. Yeah, and Also. This looks Kinda Neat, actually illustration, I, can imagine it being kind of you know shining and decorative. It was deployed in a way that would perhaps be pleasing to the eyes, but also coming back to that previous point, perhaps highly visible to animals. Yeah, and I think this might actually be a slightly more humane version of barbed-wire I'm not sure because I haven't tried it myself, but. It would still provide a painful resistance if say cows tried to press up against it, but because the sharp spur rotates freely around the wire, it seems a lot less likely than the barbed-wire. We're used to catch and tear skin. Does that make sense? Yeah, like it's not a hook going into you. It's just a sharp little thing and the fact that it rotates means it. You know it might hurt to press against it, but it's not going to stay in you now. There's a great thing that's quoted in crawls book, which is hunt describing his inspiration for the invention, which was basically he had. Had had trouble with a very stubborn mule, and he said quote I made up my mind that one young mule couldn't beat me so one day. The idea suggested itself to me. Somehow I know if I can tell how that a wire fence might be bird as I called, it then barbed as it has been changed to since and I thought it would make a good thing. The reason why I thought so was that this mule would press against thing in stand so obstinate it would hang against the board of offense and I thought if I had something sharp, he wouldn't crowded so hard. So bird fencing colon a good thing well at least a hunt. It was you know when you gotTa stubborn. Mule but there are many problems with the early designs for barbed-wire fencing. A lot of these designs beginning in eighteen, sixty seven might have been effective if they were used, but there were problems with the production, the barbs had to be created and placed along the wire by hand, and this was extremely laborious, potentially dangerous or painful for the worker. It would have made production of the wire, slow and expensive. Yeah is you're basically having to make a necklace every time? He's stringing up some some wire if you're having to. To beat it with these little Shahrukh, Khan's and so forth right so the next major revolution and barbed wire I was less about how effective the specific wire design was at controlling animals and more at more about how the design could be mass produced, and this is where Joseph glidden comes in. This is where everything seems to change the eighteen seventy four Joseph glidden in patented the first design for barbed-wire that would ever become a huge commercial success, according to crawl in eighteen, seventy, four, just about ten thousand pounds of barbed wire, were produced and sold six years later in eighteen eighty. That figure was more than eighty million pounds. There's a there's a great line from Clinton's marketing he he claimed that this his wire was quote lighter than a stronger than whiskey cheaper than dust. Well that taps into another thing that I think is common in barbed-wire marketing which is. Think pretty straightforward appeals to kind of masculinity marketing. There's like very gendered marketing with barbed-wire. You know what I mean well I mean. It was pretty obvious that it was going to be a male audience. There was going to be buying this barbed wire firm for a variety of reasons. But yeah, there's this whole again the man versus nature. Attaining of the Wilderness for the most part, but we will get into a major divide on that as we move forward sure so was gladdens mass production method, while it involves taking two strands of wire, and twisting them around each other, while barbs were automatically strong along one one of the two wires, and then held in place by the wrapping of second wire. It's a pretty ingenious method. Yeah it's it's basically an example of what we we come to see. Is the standard barbed wire and that is the sense of barbed wire is kind of not yeah, that is formed as opposed to something that is manufactured by the beating of spikes, and so forth exactly yeah, now there was a huge amount of legal battling over barbed-wire patents, but glidden managed to come out ahead in all of this, but this mass production method, his barbed-wire not was also pretty straightforward by the way about the legal battle. There's a whole history here with this battle Royale. All these various American individuals get into that in the minute. I was actually I was running across the New York Times from the day where they were had updates to the legal battle. Yeah, it was a crazy drama and we'll even get to some poetry about that drama in a minute Now there's another interesting fact here. Which is that There's some versions of the story that point out Joseph glidden. Wife Lucinda Warren. Warren guidance role in this parents, Lucinda helped Joseph figure out the process that would set his barbed-wire apart so first glidden used his wife's hair pins to twist sharp points that he tried to attach to a piece of straight wire, but like many other barbed-wire inventors before him, he came across the problem, which was that the hairpin barbs kept slipping down the length of. Of the wire, they couldn't be held in place so to describe what happened next I'M GONNA quote from Creil quote. Turning next to a coffee mill retrieved from the kitchen. glidden converted it in such a way the by cranking it, he could produce a uniform barb. The problem of the sliding barbs was finally resolved when he hit upon the idea that a second wire. Wire might secure them if it were twisted around the first to this end, he converted an old grindstone into a rudimentary twisting device, and with the help of Lucinda who turned the grindstone while he held the wire, proceeded to make the first sixty six feet of barbed wire in their backyard. Also thank you been for turning every device in our house into a barbed wire. Construction method yeah, from then on the coffee tasting barbed-wire area. Now another interesting individual, and all this was John Warne bet a million gates. So named because it said that he'd take bets on whether cows could break through. And apparently there was some. Criticism that he was maybe using really lazy cows or in. Some sort of back and forth in this, but either way he became quite rich off the product, though he he engaged apparently at times in the sale of quote moonshine wire. Which understanding correctly would have been like kind of like bootleg design wires. Barbed wire recipes that he wasn't actually legally supposed to be selling the amount of anguish over bootleg or like scalped barbed-wire is is one of the most shocking things I discovered in this. There there was great passion about the intellectual property disputes of barbed wire in the eighteen seventies and eighties, and and this is because glidden was not the only person to invent to invented barbed wire in the eighteen seventies, or or to invent an effective mass production system for barbed-wire. There was another inventor named Jacob Hey shoe came up with a similar process to glidden in the same year, but glidden won the legal battle over precedents. In fact, there were at least three inventors, so you had glidden. You had Jacob. And then there is a hardware dealer named Isaac L Ellwood. who were all involved in a long running Ip dispute after the each tried to file patents for barbed wire after the three of them all visited the Dekalb Illinois County Fair eighteen seventy three, where the three of them all saw a display by a guy named Henry, rose, which included a long strip of wood that had barbs attached to it, which could be? Be used to keep an animal from pressing against defense, and so all three of them looked at this idea of roses like a long wooden Dowell with barbs on it, all three of them independently had the idea that it would make more sense to do the same thing, but put the barbs on a length of wire instead of a wooden rod, and then all three set to work trying to acquire a patent. Patent and glidden just happened to turn out the big winner of this long and acrimonious dispute, but I think it's funny that like they're all fighting. They're fighting each other, and like they all basically got the idea from this other Guy but they just all had the insight that wire would work better than than a wooden rod, but at some point the defeated inventor Jacob Hayes Shoe. You know who lost this. This intellectual property battle to Joseph Glidden. He wrote a poem called. Be As happy as you can. That is quoted in Krell's book the so good. This life is not all sunshine as barbed fence, scalpers have found the crosses they bear are heavy, and under them lies no crown, and while they're seeking the roses, the thorns full off. They scan yet. Let them though they're wounded. Be As happy as they can. It's like the Bobby Fuller four as letter dance of barbed wire. And in this we do have the the the the the crown of Christ imagery, as well absolutely, but what comes out of this is that glidden version of barbed wire is probably correctly understood to be the progenitor of most existing types of barbed-wire today. Yeah, in summary of vehicle it is accurate to say that barbed wire quote was born in France independently conceived in the eastern states of America new. Jersey Ohio in New York and grew up on the prairies plains, where for different reasons, farmers, especially and later ranchers increasingly defensing. ARE WE'RE GONNA? Take a break, but when we come back, we will continue to discuss barb wire and we'll even get into. One or two examples of barb wire used in a way that we might well describe as A. Not Evil Yeah. I think that would be accurate. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. 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The class of two thousand twenty listened iheartradio's new podcast commencement brought to you by state farm speeches, drought fifteenth on the iheartradio. APP or wherever you get your podcast and remember state farm will be there for this stage and every stage after like a good neighbor. State farm is there. Are we're, back. So there are again many different varieties of barbed wire and one book that is that is often mentioned in in writings about the history of barbed wire is a book to push published in Nineteen Seventy, seven titled the Bob Dwyer Bible that's bombed. By Jack Glover Post and seventy seven and I think earlier as well I think maybe the edition I was looking at this from seventy seven, and it contains illustrations of seven hundred and thirty four different steel, barbed wire knots, including things like Scutts, wooden block and the Shin Round Line lock, bar. And? If you if you can find a copy of this or just find some images of pages. From, this book, it's pretty fascinating because they're. They're NEAT, little illustrations and it just really drives home the diversity. That went into envisioning all the ways that you could create a barb out of out of metal wiring. It's amazing how much human imagination went into lengths of wire? That can hurt you, yeah. Now a particularly nasty variation on all this is, we mentioned razor wire, briefly earlier or concertina wire, which is either the same or very similar depending on how specific you get in your barbed-wire terminology, I felt concertina-wire had to do with like how it was coiled. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so, but sometimes the words are sometimes. People say Constantine wire, which is just a perversion of the term. Oh, but but in these were really getting into anti human barbed-wire varieties, they usually see used in military penal or border settings. The development and widespread use of this sort of wire really goes back to the first and second. World Wars where they were used in trench, warfare environments and other fortifications. Yeah, and this does seem to be a change over time that like early on most of the messaging about barbed-wire is as Krell points out this culture versus nature thing it's humankind, versus the untamed animal world, and you're putting these barriers in place to keep the animals in or keep the animals out, especially over the course of the twentieth century barbed wire. Wire is it takes a much darker turn and see we see more and more deployed specifically for uses on humans to keep the humans enter to keep the humans out. Yeah, absolutely now one. Oh, we mentioned earlier about like masculinity in the marketing and acceptance of Barb Wire. One huge fact of the American West was that while farmers were very much in favor of barbed wire. Cattleman were not because what does it do when you start throwing up miles and miles of barbed wire fencing? Well, it disrupts the open grazing lands. And it prevents cattle horses from from moving around freely, or you know from cal prevents cowboy from moving heard across. Great distances, and on top of that cattle, horses could get pretty messed up in barbed wire. I mean that's that's one thing that is often kind of a skimmed over in in the marketing material is that is that stuff can really cut up animal or a human and and and put them in some pretty you know. Put them in dire shape. Well. I think that's specifically. A lot of the early advertising was trying to be misleading. That's why it kept emphasizing the thorn. It was I think it was trying to suggest your animals will not get hurt. They, they will just. You know it will just deter them. We're just strategically deploying something that they would otherwise encounter naturally. Yeah, but that's not really quite the case so cattleman did not really take kindly to barbed wire for a very long time it was a also apparently decried by Texans is not only cruel and alien to the culture of the open range, but also as as Krell points out quote, a Yankee scheme to benefit the industrial north. Okay, which I don't know I mean you can. You can certainly understand that point of view right because look at some of the places it's coming from so some of the birthplaces of the barb wire industry. You could easily see it's like well. This is some stuff that's made up north and bring it down here and they're just selling it to all these farmers and it just cutting up our land and so this. This is this is like a whole part of of You know sort of wild west history. Wasn't that familiar with, but cattlemen would would sometimes get fed up with it, and they'd go in they'd they just cut down like miles of barbed wire fencing, sometimes as part of masked gangs working at night, and these mass gangs sometimes even had cool gang titles. And then the at first, it was illegal fencing, but then they would also use the these vigilante powers against legal fencing, as well, and in terms of just sort of the humane inhumane aspect of barbed wire. You had varieties of more humane barb wire designs that were rolled out the idea being that it'd be easier for cattle to to to be freed from them. some of one variety I was looking at in particular had. Blocks of wood that were inset in the wire as well, but this ended up, not really taking off. A BIG PART OF IT! Is that just more manufacturing required? Either on the industrial end, or on the farmers end, and therefore it just wasn't. wasn't picked up easier to stick with the crueler product in this case also points out that the use of barbed wire against humans and animals led to a micro industry of barbed wire ligaments in antiseptics, such as silver, pine, healing, oil, or Dr, Cox Ligaments in antiseptic among others, basically like kind of snake, oil, esque, or they may have done some good. Put the healing power of Dr Cox's on your barbed-wire, but reynolds will be healthy is ever exactly but i. mean it really shows you like there was there were enough people and animals getting cut up by this stuff that there was a like a side industry of selling specialized ointments to deal with all of those cuts to humans and livestock. Yeah, totally, and as long as we're talking about the cultural impact. I mean obviously barbed-wire. barbed-wire think came to be seen as one of the most iconic technologies symbolizing the brutal conquest of the North American continent from from the native peoples. Who lived there? Yeah, this is where apparently the name of the Devil's rope comes from one of the The name for it that was used by the native peoples of North America some of the Plains Tribes Devil's Rope Yeah Yeah and speaking to of the of the precolonial. you know a West? Not only humans and domestic herds that were impacted, but also the American Bison which of course, more famously suffered from over hunting, hunted to the brink of extinction, but also this ever expanding use of barbed wire, also cut them off from vital grazing and watering areas. So while the story of the invention of barbed wire isn't interesting one. It's hard not to be left When you just think about the impact of this technology left with a pretty depressing. Landscape yeah, yeah, it it. It does literally make a landscape look depressing. At least the more you think about it again, barbed-wire something especially. If you've grown up around it, you can, you can take it for granted especially if it is not used so much against you, you, you know if it's used sort of used against livestock or against you know people in an outline group that you're not a part of perhaps you can, you can be blind to its impact as well, but yes, if for the most part it's. It's not an invention that I would really classify in the good category. However. A couple of examples of of of uses for barb wire. Both of which surprised me. The first of which is that while barbed wire couldn't transmit a signal as well as traditional telephone wire. which is you know, insulated copper wiring. You still saw this case. In the early nineteen thirties, where rural farmers were some of the early adopters of this new technology of virtanen telephone lines, and for a few years they would, they were actually using barb wire, because they had to build out their own telephone collectives and without access to easy access to that insulated copper wire. They had access to the to the barbed wire string the barbed-wire instead. which is which is interesting. Wonder what this call sounded like. Probably. Pretty Rough Probably Ju just just clear enough to get by. And then this is just a few years before then it was replaced, and also at that point of farmers when no longer required to string their own wiring now more surprising use though. Is a multiple cases that came across off in which barbed wire has been used for science. So you have a great many studies that utilized strands of barbed wire. Usually, it's like a single strand to study bear populations so basically what you have is a situation where researchers will use single strands of barbed wire to obtain I samples from wild bear populations for DNA testing. And this also entails aiding them a little bit which according to Tom Dixon of Montana outdoors. This would be a bottle that contains quote year old, a year, old, fermented mix of cow, blood and fish guts, which to a human is pretty disgusting, but to a bare. Nice, worth checking out, so this is this is fascinating, so the idea of course is to to hurt the bear a really not even necessarily to scrape into its skin, but to catch some of its for this ample for armor that like a black bear. Hasn't it's body so the the barrel come to check out the bait, and when it does so the the barbs on the barb wire will catch some of the for and pull it free, and then researchers were able to use that for a look at the DNA and use it to understand You know basically the shape of wild bear populations. So we can at least we can put that then another check under the positive uses of barbed wire. In world history away of caring for bear. Populations are like it. But. That's all. I have. To. Those. Are the only examples. Also Fun to play with. Barbed wire. When I was a kid backyard wrestlers. Not Not for its to I. Don't know it was just like Kinda cool whip around and stuff. Oh, well, I guess I don't know. Where it's fun to play with in the same way that like a good sticks fun to play with well I. Don't here's the thing I do. Remember like kids when when I was a kid in Newfoundland Canada. The other kids, the older kids. The dangerous kids were into to thinks Michael Jackson read leather jackets like Michael Jackson really yeah. Those were very popular, and then everybody was making. They were making like a like a mace out of a stick of wood that had nails driven through. It so You know just lower the flies I guess sounds like an eighties movie. Yeah, it was. It was the eighties. They on rollerblades now because the the roads were were all gravel where I was I, don't know what you would have done with rollerblade there, but I don't remember there being a lot of barbed wire around. If there had been I'm sure they would have wrapped it around their makeshift. Melee weapons. Do they answer the Lord humongous? They I'm sure they knew Lord humongous. He was I think he was pretty popular at the time. But yeah. I think that would have been the window for me. Encountering people playing with barbed wire for the most part I think I was always like a little wary of it, because when I would encounter barbed wire, either is either a good chances, either like super rusty. And therefore kind of. or it might be electrified and therefore I really don't WanNA touch. It actresses another feature. We didn't even mention about bar players that strong properly then you can put an electric current through it, which adds to its effectiveness. Yeah, and I think in some cases use it like especially in ranching or livestock control whatever the places where you would wanna have barbed-wire have been replaced mostly with electric fencing, because if you have an electric current going through, and you need not have actual barbs because you. You Have Electric Barbs but I will come back to what I said earlier is that I think that our attitudes toward wire? They're going to really revolve around our own experience in the area in which we encountered it so love to hear from listeners out there like what how how you interact with barbed wire like what is what comes to mind when you think of barbed wire, and to what extent is it influenced by the way it is used in your rural setting urban setting. Is accused used in. Prison environments or border environments or Used in. Warfare Fortifications, etcetera I'd love to hear from everybody on these on these points in the meantime. If you want to check out other episodes of invention including that that episode that we did on walls, for example, you can head on over to invention pod dot com shoot you over to the IHEART listing for the show, but you can find us absolutely anywhere wherever you. You get your podcast and wherever that happens to be just a rate review in subscribe. Those are some acts you can. You can do that. Really help us out, also telephoned. If you enjoy invention, tell another human being about the show, and perhaps they'll enjoy it as well and I'm suddenly remembering. We didn't even get into tattoos. How many TATTOOS OF BARBED WIRE ARTHUR And then I wonder are people really appreciating all the varieties of barbed wire? If you're thinking of getting a barbed-wire Tattoo? Stop in go kit. Go Get that book that I mentioned earlier with the seven hundred and something different varieties of barb wire. Look around a little bit. Do a little shopping window shopping before you decide on a particular brand of barb wire. He's going to be tattooed around your BICEP. Get one of the French varieties. Huge thanks as always to are excellent audio. Producer Sets Nicholas Johnson. If you'd would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future just to say hello, you can email us at contact at invention pod dot com. Invention is production of iheartradio for more podcasts from iheartradio radio, the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Class of twenty twenty. We know things have been kind of out of the ordinary lately. You'RE NOT GONNA get a graduation ceremony, so iheartradio found some people to write commencement speeches just for John Legend. He's Hillary. Clinton then to over twenty of your favorites from Dj College coach. K. Abby Wambach to halls listen to iheartradio new podcast commencement speeches drop may fifteenth iheartradio and Sunday may seventeenth across all I harbour stations brought to you by thereto taking the class of twenty twenty Valedictorians to another.

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Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 3

The Best of Stuff

1:17:07 hr | 11 months ago

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 3

"Today's episode is brought to you. By IBM SMART is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM. Dot Com slash red hat. We're all living in the ripple effects of history. The Butterfly flaps its wings in China in the nineteenth century, and your Uber driver misses the turn for the airport or an eccentric genius and Vince air-conditioning and changes the course of American politics. I'm Sean Braswell host of the thread and I'm back with a brand new podcast presented by ozzy called flashback as series of stories of unintended consequences. Listen to flashback on the iheartradio, APP apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome stuff player mind. A production of iheartradio's has networks. Hey! Wasn't this stuff to blow your mind? My name is Robert Land and I'm Joe McCormick and we're back with part three of our exploration of psychedelics, these compounds that lead to the mind manifesting experiences which we've been describing in the past couple of episodes now if you're just tuning in, we recommend that you probably should go and check out the previous two episodes I I, this is probably one. It's not best to jump in midstream right. Yeah, it's a continuous though at times meandering journey. History of psychedelics not an all inclusive history, so we've multiple times. You know there's no way we can cover all of the studies. All the the curious tidbits of history, all the various traditional uses of psychedelic substances so certainly we implore you to to check out some of the sources we've mentioned here. Explore them for yourselves as well as additional resources right, and so in the previous episodes we mentioned some books that have been part of our guides on the way through I know you've been enjoying some of the works of Terence McKenna. Michael Palin has. been reading on that. Yeah, Michael Pollen's most recent book how to change. Your mind is a great book about psychedelics that covers a lot of the same grounded some some history, some science, and especially this recent renaissance in psychedelic research, and how it there's renewed interest I think since like the early to mid two thousand, especially about the clinical significance of psychedelics how they could actually be used to treat mental conditions, addictions various problems. People have. Have and that they're not just a recreational drug, though there are also plenty of people who would make the case that it might not be a bad thing to use them recreationally we're. We're not going to try to evangelize or demonize either way. Recommend that you use them. We just want to be descriptive right, but we will. We will discuss some of these viewpoints that are brought up regarding the beyond medicinal uses of psychedelics right. And as far as the modern stuff like a again. We're living in an exciting time when they're. They're all these these current studies going on revealing more and more about a house. This can be used to to help treat various problem, psychological problems, addictions, etc, We're probably going to get into most of that. In the following episode, this episode is largely going to deal with some of the original studies that were taking place especially in the nineteen fifties. Yeah, so yeah, the thing that comes. Comes as a surprise to a lot of people who you know, if you think about the the origins of the drug war, the counterculture of the nineteen sixties and I don't know may have some various ideas about the square nineteen fifties. It might come as a shock to you the A flourishing body of psychedelic research, going on during the nineteen fifty s and early nineteen sixties, especially focusing on LSD in the treatment of things like alcoholism in the nineteen fifties, and then you later the use of Silla Sabin and Types of research. In the early to mid nineteen sixties, psychedelics did not just emerge from van at Woodstock. Right and start corrupting the youth of America. now before we go any further I do WANNA. Take a step back for just a little bit and I wanted to talk about about fungi or fungi. If you will just in junkie if you're making a pizza. Isn't that the Italian way to say it? I also watched British documentaries for prefer prefer fungi, but I'm I'm more of a fun guy, so I go I, go I tend to go for fun guy. Let's go with all right so I just wanted to step back and talk about just how weird and wonderful, the entire kingdom fungi really is yeah. Yeah, well, we should say the reason for that of course if you've been with the last two episodes, is that of all the psychedelics that we've looked at the most focus has been on suicide and mushrooms right and even LSD is derived from Ergot which is a fun Guy Yeah so so the so the fungal element here is is very rich and second. So so yeah. The kingdom fungi because fungi are their own kingdom We often associate them with plants kind of an informal way you know, but we in. They weren't considered plants up until the later half of the twentieth century, but there's something different of course their thought to outnumber plant species on a scale of ten to one, and they all descend from a single species that derived from a common ancestor with animals about eight hundred million to nine hundred million years ago. Ago Is it true that Filo genetically humans are more closely related to fungi than to plants. I think that's that's that is that is what I have read. Yeah, and and it's an amazing thing to think about. It's also something that you know. It's that fact that some people to wonder about our relationship with fungi you know why, in some cases we have this this close relationship, because ultimately fungi have a lot more in common with us than the plants. And then again that's interesting. Considering the close relationship we have with them, and not only us. There are other animals as well I mean. Think the leaf cutter ants. Stand out is one of the most impressive fungi dependent species due to their practice, a fungal agriculture. They're mushroom farmers, yeah! Because, when you think about how humans use Fun Guy, we've certainly been focusing on psychedelics, but certainly fungi factor into our cuisine endure medicines both in in major ways, but and also in ways we don't. You know major and obvious ways, but also as we maybe don't think about as much because certainly you think about cooking and mushrooms. You think about culinary mushrooms. The buy at the store which I love mushrooms, one of my favorite ingredients. Yeah, of course, not every edible mushroom can be cultivated I I got to learn about this over the weekend i. I went with a licensed nerveless on mushroom, foraging walk, and we'll get to pick few different mushrooms that cannot be of cultivated released can't be cultivated in you know dependable manner and got to bring some home and eat them. Is that why Sean trails are so expensive? You can't grow them on a farm. Yeah, well I. Forget the exact species you know, but there are several varieties like that where a local restaurant is serving than they have to depend on forager's bringing them in and selling them, and so a lot of a lot of the forager's. Mushroom enthusiasts kind of pay for their hobby. By selling their mushrooms to local restaurants interesting. But, yeah, so there's that level. I would obviously eat them, but they're also. You know ingredients in many different foods, especially modern processed foods, and they're an important part, an essential part of the fermentation process Oh. Yeah, Yeast! Yeah, and you don't have to be drinking some sort of weird mushroom to be partaking, of Medicinal, Fun Guy Because. Of course we have penicillin to consider Oh yeah, which you know is is, I would love to future episode of our other podcast intervention on Zilin, because in terms of a fun goal, inventions or discoveries. However, you want to describe it like. Like, that is that is a major one. Yeah, and and it is totally dependent. It came from mold growth right? Yeah, which of course is a fungus and on top of that You know we also have? We talked about the microbiome a lot, but we also have a Maiko Bio, which is a small but significant portion of the human bodies, overall microbiome fungi also play a crucial role in the nutrient exchange of trees, growing around their roots like fungal gloves and exchanging nitrogen for sugars, and this forms the basis of what some researchers call the would wide web. Which is kind of? That's a little too cute little. Cute because ultimately. It's like really just mind blowing Lee Weird. Because, we're talking about a fungal network of hi Fi. Remember that a mushroom. We often think of the mushroom as the thing itself, but the mushrooms, the fruiting body, and the you know the spore spewing death emergence of a larger organism, and so the these this network of hi fi underground, and growing around the the trees, and between trees it allows for the plans to distribute resources such a sugar, nitrogen and phosphorus between one another and by some definitions, this comprises a form of communication. These types of thinking can get really psychedelic on their own. Oh, absolutely my college Paul Statements for instance. Who Did we mention Oh yeah? Came up several times, so yeah, he's. He's like a mushroom answer for everything, Guy Very. Important figure in in modern Mike. My colleague and he's gone so far as to to to suggest according to Michael Palin in his book that these networks are in some sense conscious that they're aware of their environment, and they're able to respond to challenges accordingly in Pollen says that that initially he thought this was mere metaphor. You know that clearly statements is just being. Being overly enthusiastic and metaphorically about What's going on with these systems? But that he thinks that growing evidence actually suggested it might be. There might be more involved here well, I think this depends heavily on simply what you mean. When you use the word conscious, because there I think you can definitely make the case that mushrooms and very interesting and surprising ways are. Aware of their environments able to respond to stimuli and stuff like that I think it'd be much harder to make the case that you know. The thing that we think of is like the hard problem of consciousness meaning that it is having a subjective experience. There's something that it's like to be the mushroom. I. I'm not saying that that's not true but I don't know what the evidence. I think much more more of a stretch. Yeah, make that case now on similar lines though I got to hear Eduardo cone. associate professor of anthropology at McGill University speak on on basically the same topic at the two thousand nineteen. World Science Festival He's the author of a book titled How Forest. and. He's worked extensively with Amazonian people in his work, especially considering concerning their use of psychedelic substances, but he's focused on the same issue of like a the use of fungal networks in the soil within forests as a as a type of communication, or even thought. Yeah, he gets into. This is well so just to give you an idea because it's ultimately kind of a heady concept, but but it's basically this idea that that you have non human entities that quote unquote think the an ability to represent produce and interpret signs interesting, and so this is this quote from? From his book. How forest think quote? Life is constitutionally symbiotic that is life is through and through the product of sign processes what differentiates life from the inanimate physical world is that life forms represent the world in some way or another, and these representations are intrinsic to there being what we share with non human living creatures, then is not our embodiment as certain strains of the nominal logical approaches would hold, but the fact that we all live with and through signs we all use signs as canes represent part of the world to us in some way or another in doing so. Make us what we are interesting, symbiotic definition of life I. Don't know if I've ever encountered that before and I took a class on semiotics. Oh No I was Kinda Weirdo. Well I'm very interested in his thoughts and his work I'd I'd I'd love to actually see about having him on the show in the future. But like I, said he's worked extensively with Amazonian peoples, and explored their use of Iowa, and he said that Amazon's several technologies including psychedelics, but also dreams to connect with the mind of the forest in. He says that these approaches breakdown the way language tells us what we are. They helped him find a path forward a path of healing and problem solving. Any also point out that the Shamans of the Amazon by basically have a message for the rest of the world. They want us to know that the world is a living world, and we have to connect ourselves with the mind to the forest to save ourselves from the planetary depression that we are now entering into and I found this really interesting, because this is even though cone to my knowledge to never mentioned tenants McKenna's work, but some. Some of this lines up with the messages that McKenna of had in the food of the Gods in his other work, regarding This idea of an archaic revival, a necessary reconvergence with the natural world through psychedelics and in at least in McKenna's definition and overall Bohemian. Thread of human cultures to save us from the you know, the doom of a nature deprived ego driven dominator culture. The save us from silent running. Yeah away absolutely. It, it matches up with this theory. I mean this this viewpoint of of modern life. We'll come back to this that you see this. Throughout a lot of the lot of psychedelic literature and also sort of counterculture, nineteen sixties, messaging including silent running, which was very much a product of that time. the science fiction. Fill the. We've discussed previously on the show now. Conan mentioned the World Science Festival the. He thinks even our modern fascination with psychedelics, maybe a symptom of disconnection with nature, and he says the solution isn't simply to to take psychedelic substance, but rather live psychedelic to live live to be in the emergent merchant mind. What exactly do you think he meant by that quote to like? What does the emergent mind being there I'm my understanding and like say. Perhaps we can get him on the show to discuss these topics in greater depth, but I think he's he's talking about. This basic idea that you can you see again and again in in the among advocates of Psychedelic, there's there's something wrong with modern humans that we're. We're cut off from each other that we're. We're sort of in these little individual cells of the mind, and we are in many cases have great difficulty in being part of some sort of a larger system You know it maybe? A bit elaborate to to to think of IT I. Mean I don't know if I would I would describe it. manminder standing is like an emergent mind you know but but but that's kind of the vibe. I get from it the idea that like we're. We're cut off from each other. We don't understand each other. We don't understand nature We're all. Wrapped up in our own egos, and if we could break through those boundaries that we would have a better relationship with each other, and with the world like so often in the world of psychedelics and stuff coming from psychedelic enthusiasts that that's the kind of statement that is either truly profound or extremely been all. Yeah, I mean I get it because I. Know a lot of people out there probably shaking their heads as saying like well, that just sounds like hippy nonsense, and it's not even new hippie nonsense, hippie nonsense I've heard time and time again, but for for my own part. You Know I. Think Yeah, you can be overly optimistic about a lot of this stuff. But on the other hand you know you look at the literature, the Scientific Literature that that is that shows us and is continuing to show us what psychedelics can do I think at this point. It's you know it's more a question of like. At what level are psychedelics useful? Know is it? Is it purely in the clinical world been purely among you know people who are suffering from some condition or another, or does it go beyond that? You know I think it depends on who's advocating on where that line. On some people draw it all the way the horizon where you draw it I, think is clearly a source of the conflict that led to the demonization of psychedelics and to the sort of closing of the psychedelic research regime in the in the mid to late nineteen sixties, right? Yeah, well On that note, let's let's go to the nineteen sixties. In fact, let's go to the nineteen fifties. Okay, let's go. Let's go back. In fact. Let's go to the nineteen forty. Let's do it I'll take you up and it will go all the way back to the forties and let's. Let's just discuss twentieth century. PSYCHEDELIC research itself so as we've discussed. Most of these substances are nothing. New Humans have used them for thousands of years, and even synthesize substance LSD of course is derived from fungi that has been around forever as well right, but there was certainly a period of time between Albert. Hoffman's nineteen forty-three bicycle ride and Nixon's controlled Substance Act of nineteen seventy, in which they were tons of studies that examine psychedelics in especially LSD in many cases, because it was more readily available at the time, a one reason also I think is the the. Pharmaceutical manufacturer that Albert. Hoffman worked for in the Nineteen Thirties. Forties Sandoz. Which I guess held the patent on LSD was just given it out like candy basically. I think they were trying to find uses for it in their. Their method of doing that was like well. Let's just give it for free to tons of researchers, and they'll find a good way to use it. Yeah, it's kind of like in the lyrics. The snead was invented which everyone needs like? If you invented this thing that clearly has some sort of use, but you're not exactly sure how to market you're. You're not sure what the the uses for you kind of just let everybody play with it though you can figure out how you're GonNa make your billions of dollars off of it. but I don't say that to undermine the fact that it really does seem like some researchers were finding extremely promising clinical uses for LSD in the nineteen fifties, particularly in how they might be used to treat addiction depression. Obsessive compulsive disorder, Schizophrenia Autism and end of life anxiety so in his book Michael Apollon chats with Stephen Ross md at the nyu suicide been cancer anxiety study, which of course comes back to that end of life anxiety. Exporter. I guess we'll explore that more probably in the next episode. Yeah, we will, but in the book. Ross Mentions to pollen that you know. These efforts involved roughly forty thousand research participants in more than a thousand clinical paper. So when we're talking about LSD studies of the The nineteen fifties for instance you know we're talking about where we're going to highlight a few isolated studies, but we're not talking about like a just a study here study there. You know there was a lot of research going on. Yeah, it was huge wasn't just a blip. An initially reach researchers thought that L. later so assignment they might be used to understand psychosis is they believe that individuals who are using these substances deployed displayed similar thoughts, behavior, and so clinicians also thought that well, you could take one of these substances yourself in therefore get a taste of what a psychotic episode is like and then be better able to empathize with a patient exactly in this vein, the same compounds we now refer to as Psychedelic were then referred to by many clinicians as psycho medics mimicking the state of psychosis so. So your therapists could take this in order to understand what you were going through key figure from this period. English Psychiatrist Humphry. Osmond entered the picture and he figured that okay. If you had a substance like a masculine and it could be could induce the sort of symptom. He's sort of symptoms in in in human. Took it then perhaps you know? Schizophrenia was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, which is kind of you know, ultimately a an eye opening hypothesis. Right of if this substance makes my brain this. Is What this patient's brain is doing is due to something very chemical in nature as well something that could be addressed perhaps with another chemical well. Yeah, I mean and I think this middle of the twentieth century period was actually a very important time for understanding the role of physical causes in mental phenomena. like I. Mean You know there is of course? The rise of skinner isn't like B F skinner. which you can have lots of criticisms about maybe it doesn't take into account cognition, and the mind and enough about what our thoughts and emotions mean because it was just about. Can we do to control and measure external behaviors? Because that's the only thing we have access to scientists that that might not be the right approach, but it was certainly useful in some ways to kind of clear out I think a lot of the the kind of a almost religious kind. Kind of metaphysical baggage that had been coming along for the ride with some versions of psychology up until then with you know, Freud young and all that. Yeah, so yeah, ultimately we have this this push for biochemical answers to concerning mental issues, and this propels the the the young field of Neuro Chemistry leading in time to our modern understanding of neurotransmitters and their role in our mental states, leading to the discovery of Serotonin and the development of Sri Antidepressant drugs. But then you know some also made the connection between the symptoms of Psychedelic us and delirium trend INS or the DT's. This is of course associated with the alcohol abuse. Alcoholism alcohol withdrawal. You, so like if you, you're used to extensive alcohol, consumption and somebody stops, they might experience these negative symptoms that have been referred to is the delirium chairman's so this led to in to the I think by modern from a modern viewpoint kind of a weird idea, weird seeming idea that you could use LSD to sort of shock, alcoholics into Sobriety, and so Osmond and a gentleman by the name of a hall for conducted these studies with hundreds. I think seven hundred, according to pollen, alcoholics, and they found it effective roughly half the time. You mean using LSD to treat alcoholics. Yes, yes, and this particular study by the way was one of the ones that caught the eyes of Stephen Ross decades later as an example of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics quote buried in plain sight. but anyway the the the original researchers here they expected that the trips in question, the psychedelic experiences in question would be essentially nightmare. Fuel would approximate the feelings of the DT's and this was seemingly based on physician. Sidney cats is reports that pollen summarizes as being something like you'd. You'd see an an anti. LSD propaganda from the nineteen sixties just about house, just just pure mirror fuel, and you know running from Demon, sort of thing, but of course. What happened is that they gave in. In their study anyway, they found that when gave these substances to people? They reported all manner of things. beautiful things, even so there was definitely some anxiety, some depression, some hallucination in individuals when they were administered psychedelics, but most reported feelings that were described as transcendental in nature, so for instance, an ability to see oneself objectively almost as for the first time, and so this would seem to be the experience, or this was possibly experience was was playing a role in them than being able to cease their addiction and outside of the black box experience. The the research results, spoke for themselves and indicated that you know somethings working here, so this opened up the idea that there was something more to the experience, and that it might be utilized as a treatment method now. I know it was especially. In Canada the that LSD treatment for alcoholism was picked up and I. Think this one. This particular study was in Saskatchewan. I believe well. I think that was where Humphry Osmond was based for. For a long time but that another thing I think to make clear is that it's not thought that just giving somebody drug triggers a change in the body that defeats alcoholism wreck that there's something important going on by about the nature of the experience that people have on psychedelics that contributes to their recovery and staying sober over time right right? Yeah, this sort of this metaphorical shaking of the snow globe, as some call it. is playing a role in allowing some sort of. Curative therapy to take place now I should point out that in terms of this particular study later on in the early sixties, the addiction. Research Foundation in Toronto set out to replicate these results with better controls, and they failed to reproduce the the same robust results in this ended up giving fuel to critics of of LSD, but also supporters again stressed the importance of set and setting right I mean this is something that I guess we'll come back to this in minutes all I'll say by tangent here for later, but yeah we'll put a pin in that and just come back to the importance of set and setting in research, but but still there. There there was enough going on here that people were very encouraged, and by the end of the nineteen fifties LSD was considered a miracle cure for alcohol addiction. A lot of people were excited about it and pollen points out that one of the people that was it that ended up getting excited about it was none other than Bill Wilson, Co founder of alcoholics anonymous Yeah, who who incidentally create credited his own sobriety to a life changing mystical experience. He had on on Bella Donna which also has psychoactive properties and was used in a tree in treatment at towns hospital in New York. City in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, four. That's when when He. Had the substance as part of the treatment, and so you can see that in a lot of the alcoholics anonymous messaging like the idea of. The the idea of acknowledging a higher power you know I think a lot of people just interpret that as a more traditional kind of like you need a religion or something. Yeah, especially, if you're meeting in a church, basement or something. Yeah, but I. in fact it seems like this has something to do with the common kinds of mystical experiences that people have on psychedelics where they you know, they commune with some kind of reality greater than themselves, they they. They believe that they've encountered some other being or some universal consciousness or the universe itself in might have something to do with the ego dissolution that sometimes people experience on Psychedelics, Wilson by the way would later try LSD with some researchers in l.. A. And he actually thought that it might prove very useful in treating alcoholism, and that that it might even have a place in a but others in the in the organization struck down this idea. For a few different reasons, one of which being that it would perhaps muddy the the messaging of the organization itself right like You know that you would turn to another chemical Yeah, and so for a time LSD, assisted psychotherapy was considered a powerful legitimate and evidence based method for treating alcoholism in Canada. Definitely, but maybe we should take a break in the movie comeback. We can discuss some problems with scientific research on psychedelics. This. Episode is brought to you by IBM Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot com slash covid nineteen. Nineteen. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM helping IBM dot. com slash coverted nineteen. All right we're back now. I think this is a good place to start. Discussing the fact that there are widely acknowledged inherent difficulties with doing rigorous scientific experiments on the effects of psychedelics, and so one of these problems is the problem with Placebo Control now normally when you wanNA, test and see if a new drug works, you need to do a placebo controlled test. You have to do this if you want to sort out specific former logical. Logical efficacy versus the placebo effect you know the effect that sometimes people who are given a treatment, even if the treatment doesn't have active ingredients, just the fact that they think they're being treated appears to cause a feeling that their condition has improved. They'll report less fewer negative symptoms or something like that, so yeah, imagine you give a hundred people, a new anti nausea, drug and fifty of them report their nausea going away. Was it because? Because the compound in the pill relieves nausea, fifty percent of the time, or could much or all of that response just be due to the placebo effect. People thinking that they're being treated, so if you placebo control your drug trial to find out if there's a difference, subjects get randomly sorted into multiple groups with one group getting the actual drug being tested and one group getting a pill. That has no active ingredients than you might be able. Able to get a better idea. If the group who receives the drug gets significantly more of a desired outcome than the placebo group. Then you can have confidence that the drug probably actually works so if you wanted to run a placebo controlled test of whether, say Silla Sabin helps. People kick and alcohol addiction than stay sober for six months. You'd want to run a test with people who actually get suicide been versus people who think that. That, they might be getting it, but are actually getting placebo. So why is this a problem with psychedelics? Will that's because of the next issue, which is blinding So the thing you've got to do to have an effective placebo controlled test is blinding double blinding the this is to avoid response biases from subjects, and from the people who are carrying out the tests. You have to blind the experiment meaning subjects don't know which group they're in. In and the people working with the subjects to conduct the experiment. Don't know who's in what group at psychedelics make this hard? Because most of the time you can definitely tell whether you've received a large dose of Silla Sivan versus Placebo a ride. I mean even even if the individual the test subject in question has no experience of psychedelic use. There's a very good chance that they have been exposed to some representation of it some. Some expectation of what the the the the the experience is going to be like just through media and culture. Yeah, we'll end. The effect of the drug tends to be so powerful on the mind that it's nearly impossible for you to think like. No. I didn't get anything I. Mean No give if you are becoming a comet's tail of disembodied consciousness, you watch your ego dissolved like sugar in stream. You're probably part of the active test. Test Group right, but yeah, even even if the effects are not that strong of the roses lower like it will be undeniable, yeah, I mean maybe not always because some people are very suggestive. Little, you know, but but the majority of the time people are Gonna be able to tell what group they're in Furthermore, the experimenters can usually tell if the subject they're working with is on LSD or Silla, Sivan versus a placebo like you've. Be People who are on these drugs tend to act a certain way. That's pretty different than people who are just getting sugar pill. Now. There are some ways of making this a little bit better. For example you can use an active placebo, which is a placebo, does something to the body that the subject will be able to sense one example that has been used in historical researches Niacin which causes physiological effects like flushing of the face and tingling in the body but still a lot of subjects and experimenters can probably still pretty tell the difference between if you've gotten a large dose of. St Versus Niacin so you still are going to have this blinding problem, but then there's another problem that makes it worse, a problem with conducting psychedelic research the same way you would conduct other drug research, and that is as we mentioned him indigo, the importance of set and setting an remember in it was in the first episode. I think where we talked mostly about the importance of Seddon. Setting people's takeaways from psychedelic assisted therapy seem hugely dependent on their expectations on the environment and on the guide. Yeah I. I think it was the pollen who pointed out that really the only person to ever take lsd without any expectations of what it might consist. Was Albert Hoffman Himself? Yeah, because he took it by accident in. Nobody knew what it was. Yeah, that's funny, but I mean I. It's clearly true that people's experiences on these drugs are highly dependent on on priming and on stimuli from around them, and and what they're told going in and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, for instance, just maintaining a very like calm. Calm therapeutic in a physical environment, having people interact with you, the researchers and question in a likewise manner that sort of thing in other words I would say despite the most clinical use and the most positive effects out of these drugs. It seems like you specifically want to do the opposite of what you normally do. In a drug trial, you explicitly do want to bypass the subjects, expectations and interpretations of their drug experience in a way. That suggests it will help them with their problems. Yeah, so. So basically if you're doing a a a suicide study, in which the individuals taken suicide are going to be laying on a beanbag, for instance listening to some ambient music and attended to by you know you know very courteous. therapists it. You'd have to have the same situation going on with the Placebo Group and in doing that. You have all of these like situational effects that may will create like something kind, certainly not the psychedelic experience itself, but some sort of comforting suggestive situation. But this has also been invoked to explain some of the differences in like some of the replication difficulties that people have had with psychedelic experiments, because sometimes you know. People in these experiments are given psychedelics with a certain kind of set and setting and the replication attempt to just sort of gives them the psychedelics, but doesn't replicate set and setting and finds that Oh in this in this study, the didn't replicate the original set and setting people are not getting nearly as positive a benefit and that just seems to show again. How dependent the experience is on set and setting it comes back to what the substance does that. You know these these early researchers. They they pretty early on. On were convinced that it was not something that the substance was doing to the body. He was what it was the mind state. It was creating exactly what that'd be gained from that mindset. Yes, psychedelic seemed to be in in to whatever extent that they are effective at helping people and have clinical significance. They seem to be more a facilitator of experiences than a direct action. Drug is not the take Scylla Sabin and the compound carries your alcoholism, but the taking Silla Sivan allows you to have an experience of profound emotional. Emotional significance that helps people overcome alcoholism It seems it's the experience that actually matters so just say locking somebody in a sterile and comfortable white room, giving them a shot of Silla Sabin, without a therapist or guide present is maybe not a very good recipe for getting the most positive effects out of the drug right, but the this is frustrating. If you're like, you know if you're used to running drug tests because it seems that win, psychedelics have clinical significance. It is in some ways similar to inactive placebo it. It just appears to be an extremely effective active placebo. So yeah, there have been these kind of difficulties over the years like I'd say the bottom line is that objective research is so important in medical science, but the standard methods that we have for objective research, don't apply especially well to psychedelics, and some methods of achieving objectivity appear to directly counteract the most powerful clinical potentials of these compounds. Another problem we could talk about from the history of psychedelic research is not a systematic methodological obstacle, but it's more like A. Trend that you know we're not alone in observing other people who deserve this, which is that I would say due to the unique properties of these drugs. A lot of researchers who focus on this subject area appear over time to tend to lose objectivity and become more endorsers and enthusiasts than objective scientists. Just trying to find out what's true well. I mean I don't know to what extent it's a lot of them, but I guess we'll problem. Is that the ones who do become certainly more noticeable? Yes are often the loudest right now again. I want to be clear I'm not saying all scientists who worked with psychedelics to this, and maybe not probably not even most. But -nificant number do follow this path right and again their voices are the loudest and in terms of loud. The PSYCHEDELIC voices. Few voices were louder than Timothy. LEARY's yes, so like one example of of of what you're talking about. Here Timothy Leary's work on the Harvard suicide and project in the early sixties some of the methodology. There was highly criticized. Yeah, any basically seems like he was intentionally biasing the experiments to make psychedelics seem more clinically useful you know which is a shame because the research does actually suggests. Suggests that they're useful. Yeah, it's just the you know. He he was being hasty was being hasty was taking shortcuts for example an example of this is the concord prison experiment, which was aimed at studying recidivism in inmates, they were administered suicide and and You know this is basically the ideas like if you give them suicide than like, how are they going to successfully transfer into You know back into normal everyday life or they're gonNA. Wind up in back in the prison system again and so he. You know it sounds like a pretty interesting premise, but then the execution was flied. He looked at recidivism rates ten months after release for the suicide and takers, but thirty months later for the control group. And of course time is vital and all this because you're dealing with somebody like returning to life and so like I mean not just like month-to-month, but day to day week to week. Right is vital in any kind of study having to do with recidivism. Because like the first day back, you know what what's somebody doing. There've been visiting family or whatever it's. It's the as the days go by the weeks go by the months go by. They're going to have to potentially deal with ray temptation. Yeah, and he and he was widely criticized by colleagues at the time for this. Yeah, Richard Alpert. those also known as a Ramdas would later explain that you know. The aim of the project was solid and had a reasonable their pubic model, but when he would have required long-term application study and Leery just didn't have the patience for long term studies Ultimately this is something you see throughout leary's life restlessness, this lack of patience passion, but then a tendency to rush things. It's almost like he had more system. One thinking you know than system to thinking and of course this is not the preferable balance for serious scientific inquiry, right? Now, there was another classic experiment from the Golden Years of PSYCHEDELIC research in the nineteen fifties and early sixties, and this one I think we should look at for a minute. This is done under the supervision of Timothy Leary's Harvard. Silla Sivan project, but it wasn't I. Think directly carried out by leary was directly carried out by him Walter, Panky, and this was the nineteen sixty to experiment with the use of. Of Silla Sivan to occasion mystical experiences that were subjectively perceived as positive valid by religious people, and this is sometimes known as the Marsh Chapel. Experiment or the Good Friday experiment because it took place on Good Friday nineteen, sixty, two, so Walter Panky at the time was a divinity student at Harvard Divinity School in the basic details like this. He had twenty divinity students in the Boston area and each got an injection. Injection before a Good Friday service at the Marsh Chapel of Boston University half got Silla cyber. A half got an active placebo which was Niacin and remember niacin tends to cause flushing and tingling, so they would feel something going on, and the basic findings were that the students in the test group overwhelmingly reported positive, and in some cases life, changing religious experiences, and some later rated this experiment the Good Friday Service Day. Day as among the most profound and significant experiences of their lives, but there were complications one subject on suicide been had some kind of episode, which involved trying to leave the chapel to proclaim a religious message, and he had to be tranquilized with Oracene I think they backed off with the tranquilizing people with thorazine after this experiment, and these were the these were the researchers, not like the old church ladies. Who may also keep thorazine? Pastor tranquilized him authority. And so I was like I was wondering you know. How did this experiment hold up over time? What do people think looking back on it? There have been some later attempts to analyze. Follow up on. The experiment was by Rick Dobelin of maps. organization I. Don't know if we've mentioned already but I. Think you'll refer to later. It's the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, and either. They're involved in a number of research efforts. Efforts involving psychedelics, and also MD May by the way they also are involved in something called the these Indo project, which aims to promote proper psychedelic peer support especially for individuals, especially first timers who are having a difficult trip so I think they've set up operations that the major cultural festivities such as burning men before, but I think this is a really interesting project like to see how it develops because I think it's an important step of you know we're GONNA. See decriminalization of psychedelic substances in the United States Oh. Yeah. I mean this is something we should continue to explore more as we go on. I think the idea of having the proper guides who know what they're doing is a is a very important part of what might be considered legitimate psychedelic use I mean a lot of the research on the clinical significance of psychedelics we should. Really stress is not just giving somebody a compound, and then leaving them alone right? You know it is It is psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, so you might have a guide A. A psychiatrist, or psychologist or somebody who is experienced in working with people to therapist of some kind who, either like guides you through the experience itself or sort of holds the space with you, while you have your experience, and then later helps you talk through it and go through the integration process I think the idea of having positively socially chaperoned and and sort of like expert guided psychedelic experiences is a very important thing that shouldn't be under emphasized, and it's present in a lot of the traditional uses of psychedelics like when we talked about the traditional uses with the current Deras in southern Mexico I mean the. You just take a drug out in the void by yourself. I mean you would be guided by someone who is a is a religious leader. You have a shaman, and in these these tests cases you would have a therapist or a researcher that was There was filling in for that role, and then outside of the you know the traditional usage or the the research shore, medicinal or psychotherapist usage. There is still room for an individual that like somebody that is guiding the experience and Senate and and attending to set and setting. Yeah, Oh, so that was important to mention, but we did get sidetracked. Dobelin. Well the follow up and analysis of the original marsh. Chapel experiment from nineteen sixty two Rick Dobelin followed up on it in the nineteen nineties, and he made some criticisms of the original studies methodology like he pointed out that there were the problems you would expect with double blinding. We already talked about earlier there were some imprecise questions in the questionnaire given to subjects to evaluate their experience and a few other things like the original study failed to report the fact that one participant had. Had to tranquilize. It seems like something you probably should've mentioned. Yeah, and there was also the fact that while on the whole. The students viewed their mystical experiences on suicide is very positive on profound. Many of them struggled with intense ballots of fear and difficulty in negative emotions at some point over the course of their trips in this probably should have been reported in more detail than it was though the experiences were positive overall, but also Dobelin conducted a twenty five year. Follow up. Up with some of the seminary students from the original study, and he confirmed that they reported sustained profound positive effects from their religious experiences with Cilla Sivan and I think it's really notable of the Marsh Chapel experiment that this was not like so many of the studies that came before research into how to treat people's problems like addictions or mental illness, but to use psychedelics and away to enhance the experience of so called healthy normals. This was a case where these people weren't like suffering. Suffering and needing treatment it was like. Could they have a profound religious experience that they deemed valid on with the aid of the substances, and the answer appears to be yes, but that's a very different question than most drug trials investigate right right. Yeah, I mean generally it is, it is with the aim of carrying a particular malady of seeing something. The substance is useful in treating particular condition or symptoms but this is more about if anything, it's about treating the human condition itself. seeing what effect it could have on on just sort of baseline, human experience. Yeah, and I. Think Maybe we should take another break and then come back and explore that concept a little more. Though we're apart. These days was sharing more so at Geiko. We'd like to say thanks. Thanks for sharing your savage dance moves. Thanks for sharing your diy fails. Thanks for sharing your inner lip sing star. Now it's our turn to share with the guy. 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Rollback all right, so we sort of the general outline of what happened in the mid nineteen sixties, the this significant backlash to what had been for a while now at least a decade and a half of interesting in some ways very promising, psychedelic research but by nineteen seventy or so drugs were public enemy number, one and scientific research in them dropped off, dramatically encountered a lot of obstacles at that point, and it's only more recently that we've seen this renaissance of of psychedelic research, so I guess we might want to look at a question of like, and this is something that's hard to answer in a definitive way, but examining some possible reasons. For the cause of the moral panic around psychedelics in the mid nineteen sixties, first of all, I think some of it you could chalk up to a somewhat legitimate reaction to the perceived enthusiasm of people like Timothy Leary. Some of the scientists involved in psychedelic research were clearly not practicing the most rigorous objective science, and were in cases, turning into enthusiasts and gurus something more like alternative. Alternative. Religious leaders and it's not surprising at all. This caused a lot of skepticism and and and push back within the scientific community right. Yeah, because here's here's leary. This kind of weird and at times Kinda goofy character in any times very profound in well-spoken he was, he was a a very charismatic guy, but you can. You can understand I. Think you know? Especially members of the older generation and more traditional folks Being a little suspicious of this character, yeah, another big part of the backlash I, think which pollen definitely acknowledges at length in his book is specifically. This is what we were talking about. Before the break. HOW SCARY! It seemed that some psychedelic enthusiasts were recommending psychedelics to so-called healthy normals. You know just regular people. The idea will tolerate a lot of different methods of treating people who are facing problems, people who have mental illnesses or addictions, and many of these solutions could include drugs, even drugs that have a potential for abuse Because we think well, it's you know it's fighting a problem, and it's helping people get better, but what if a drug implies that the whole of society is sick and there's something wrong with the baseline culture that so called normal people could benefit from using it to affect change on themselves. Yeah I mean. That's quite a pill to hard to swallow. To to hear Oh, there's something there's something terribly wrong with us, or there's something terribly wrong with the way we're conducting ourselves in the modern world, I mean this continues to be one aspect of of the problem with communicating the dire threat of climate change is because there is a certain amount of judgement to be placed on the way that modern industrial society has conducted itself well. Yeah I. think that's right. I mean there's always going to be negative reaction against any indictment that goes to our general way of life like we. We want to indict You know antisocial abnormality like the the. The murderer or you know somebody who did something very unusual, but what if everybody is doing something? That's harmful. If if that's the case you WANNA, make you're gonNA have a hard time getting people to accept it absolutely yeah I mean ultimately nobody nobody's GonNa, want everybody's afraid of change. Yeah, and certainly the nineteen sixties were a time, and where there was a great fear of of various changes, not only the changes that were you know offered or at least advertised by you know the the Psychedelic counterculture, but also the fear of change via political ideologies fear of communism the fear of racial integration. You know all these various changes that were. That we're taking place in society yet, and so you can definitely see why. There's a lot of fear around the idea of treating normality. So Aldous Huxley in Humphry Osmond. They were friends and wrote back and forth to each other in the nineteen fifties, and there there is one letter that was quoted in Pollen's book that I thought was interesting, were Huxley Was Writing Osmond in Nineteen, fifty five about people taking compounds like Meskel in an LSD and Huxley wrote quote. People will think that they are going mad. When in fact, they are beginning when they take it to go sane and also as Poland notes from his experience, researching the book that there's this quote drift from the treatment of individuals with psychological problems to a desire to treat. Treat, the whole of society and add this drift. He says a change that quote seems eventually to infect everyone who works with psychedelics, touching scientists to and so I think everyone. There is probably an overstatement. He's being a little casual, but it does seem to me to be a startling trend. Maybe one that should give us pause. I don't know I mean it's worth considering that, but like how many scientists involved in the in the investigation of psychedelics deal end up thinking that it shouldn't just be used to treat people in a clinical setting, experiencing one problem or another, but it's something that so-called. normals should take to improve their lives and improve the whole of society. Well I mean it's it comes back to the traditional uses of these substances. In many cases they were they were not necessarily taken purely as as medicine for an ailment than in many cases. Just part of you know your your continued You know what what would we describe now as mental health Yeah I mean That's a good point, and while we certainly don't want to demonize these substances I do think also we should be skeptical of of that impulse. I mean it's worth asking the question. Is that correct, or is that just? Is that over enthusiasm based on positive personal experiences that people have had? Yeah, yeah, and then I guess you could also say it's kind of like if you're if you're acknowledging that their big almost impossible problems in the world, wicked problems as the. As, we often refer to them. Things that seem insurmountable. The kind of problems that make us in the lead leaders to be convinced that surely only. The the return of savior or the interference on by by aliens could possibly help solve. Humans are just incapable of solving these problems on their own. Then perhaps we're putting. We might be putting too much stock in the powers of of the PSYCHEDELIC substance to somehow fix that forest on an individual level or cultural level. Yeah I. I think that's a good point of comparison. I mean while while we certainly don't want to deny the evidence of the potential positive uses of these things you don't WanNa. Make them a god, either I. Mean You don't want to drift into the miracle. Cure mentality because a lot of these studies show quite frankly is that there is a lot of potential for? For psychedelics in treating things like addiction and depression, and all that, but they're not miracle cures. It's not like a you know this fixes. All your problems immediately in the world's a perfect place now there's another reason that we can go to to explain the the Anti psychedelic backlash that I. Think is probably the most obvious one right. The counter cultural associations with and possible direct effects of Psychedelic us. Of course we all know these compounds came to be associated with rebellion and rejection of mainstream culture and rejection of political authorities. Your team leary would proclaim to people that kids who took acid won't fight. Your wars won't join your corporations I mean that. That's scary to the authorities right right? They're not gonNA. Fight our wars anymore. How are we going to? HOW ARE WE GONNA fight? They're not going to be a part of corporations. They're not gonNA found a Silicon Valley corporations in the future. Well that's funny. I mean turned out to be true. A lot of the a lot of these acid takers did turn out to be business leaders. It's obviously not a panacea against business. But I did want to quote a couple of sections from pollen that I thought were very very smart on this so I. The first one is pollen, said quote. LSD truly wasn't acid dissolving almost everything with which it came into contact beginning with the hierarchies of the mind, the superego ego unconscious and going on from their societies, various structures of authority, and then two lines of every imaginable kind between patient and therapist, research and recreation, sickness and health self and. Subject and object the spiritual and the material, if all such lines are manifestations of the Appalachian strain in Western civilization, the impulse that makes distinctions, duality and hierarchies and defends them, then psychedelics represented the ungovernable deny she enforce that blithely washes all those lines away as beautiful, and that comes back to terrence McKenna's definition of them is boundary dissolving? Yeah, and I think that's largely correct based on everything we've read, but another passage that I thought was very interesting about this counterculture backlash. Is it goes like this quote? For what other time in history did a society's young undergo a searing rite of passage with which the previous generation? Generation was utterly unfamiliar. Normally rites of passage helped knit societies together as the young crossover hurdles, and through gates, erected and maintained by their elders, coming out on the other side to take their place in the community of adults, not so with the psychedelic journey of the nineteen sixties, which at its conclusion dropped its young travellers onto a psychic landscape, unrecognisable to their parents that this won't ever happen again. As reason to hope that the next chapter in psychedelic history won't be quite so divisive. Well I mean it won't happen quite the same way again, but as himself points out like he grew up in the dark times. Of you know, he basically grew up in the moral panic period. Yeah, so didn't really experiment much with psychedelics when he was younger and really wasn't until quite recently as as an older man that he was able to really experiment with them and understand them in a greater sense so I feel like there are still going to be generated. There well that last sentence may be far too optimistic I'm in the main part I was thinking about was the beginning of this. He points out the idea of rites of passage that expand the consciousness. They are supposed to be passed on from parents to children, and we've generations together, and if the young acquire a consciousness altering rite of passage that the older generations don't have, that can be terrifying to the older generations. It's like they're not our children anymore. They've been initiated into. into some other tribe, no, I think it's a great point. I mean yeah. This was a new rite of passage that the older generation by and large had no experience with. There's one other possible thing going on in the nineteen sixties that I think might be worth mentioning which is we'll. Maybe we'll get into more detail about these studies in the in the next episode, but there are at least a couple of studies have been reading from the last decade or so. So one from two thousand eleven and one from two thousand eighteen that are about adult personality change occasioned by use of psychedelics. You've got these various ways of measuring personality traits and and people. Might you know your personality might over time sort of be in flux? But you know mostly you're traits are going to be pretty set by the time. You're an adult you around a baseline, you might hover, and but there appears to be some evidence that using psychedelics can actually change adults. Adults personalities, and so one of the many things that been observed is that for example use of psychedelics appears to increase people in a psychological personality trait that's known as openness to experience people who take psychedelics appear to increase in openness. An openness is actually a highly socially significant personality trade It's been associated with all kinds of other things in societies in various research, like openness is highly correlated with with like lack of prejudice and lack of authoritarianism and stuff like. Appreciation for art and for other cultures and things I think you'd find the openness personality trait, largely associated with like environmentalism and multiculturalism. Yeah I mean just if nothing else. If you become more kneel Philip in you, know you know attracted to new experiences, you become more attractive to travel than an traveling. You're exposed to to I. mean travel itself is kind of a I think a lot. Lot in common with psychedelic experience. You know where you suddenly you're in in a place that is mostly the same at a little different, and may people around you are different, and yet the same, and it forces you to sort of reconsider who you are and the whole scenario, so if this is true, yeah, th there these cascading effects from the use of psychedelics that may be. On a broad scale say changing the personalities of young generation, especially changing them in ways that might not be so congenial to you if you are Richard, Nixon or something Oh. Yes, that these personality changes could be perceived as a direct threat to the polity of the country. Yeah, and that's exactly Richard Nixon saw it. I mean Richard Nixon is is is the anti psychedelic Pre US president by far yeah I mean. I it's difficult to unravel this. Because on one hand you have to. You have to suit I. Try and figure out what the nineteen sixties were you know like what was the nineteen sixties experience? And certainly you and I were not around in the nineteen sixties, so we can't attest to it. we do have some listeners I know that were so hopefully. We'll hear from from you on. It I. I remember my. My father told me once that Jefferson. Airplane's somebody to love. Love captured what the sixty salt like I, but I never had a chance to ask him what he really meant by that Maybe he just meant it was an iconic song of the time, which it certainly was but yeah I guess one of the things with it with the sixty to. Is that like all times you know the older generation is always going to be concerned with the young generation is doing and how what they're doing doesn't reflect your values like. I can't relate to the experience of you know of grown up in the nineteen sixties you know, say a middle aged person looking at the young generation in and asking Oh. What are they doing psychedelics? But like maybe on some level I understand that in regards to poke him on. You know where I'm like. Oh, I, I had this was not part of my childhood. And yet it's highly influential for for these kids. What am I missing? And why should I do? What extent should I be afraid of weight? Were you one of those preachers going on TV during the POKEMON crazing, saying it was causing devil worship, no, no but but I do love that kind of I, I love the sort of mild moral panics like that that There rise out of any new thing. The pokemon Harry Potter this is I think there's one for teletubbies teletubbies yeah yeah. So, yeah the fact that there's kind of a generational divide in a in a in a moral panic popping up around something like that in itself. I think this is always going to be the case and we see shades of that I mean certainly I think we have viviscal is we've discussed on the show before, and will in the future you know we certainly have some issues with With mobile technology and with social media, and out the effects that those technologies are having on culture, and certainly you know it can lean it. Sort of you know crankiness where we've look at younger generations and say Oh, they don't even know what it's like without social media. That's our grumpy old men issue. Yes, it's the tech. Yeah, but we'll have to come back to that, but The the older generation looked to the younger generation, and they didn't see their values necessarily reflected their values that had carried them through a world war, and of course threatened to carry into one final world war as well. And, so it makes sense that these typical generational concerns would be exasperated by the introduction of something new, or at least knew from a Western perspective there was not only consciousness changing, but but also four and yeah and remember remember that most anti-drug messaging in America has depended on xenophobic and or racist messaging Oh. Yeah, an association was also made between psychedelics and a radical leftist ideologies so I think that was very much a factor as well well I mean one thing that's interesting. I remember from reading the individual testimony, also the people who were involved in the marsh. Chapel experiment. This is anecdotal, so the this is. The HAP things they happen to report, but I, think multiple members of the Marsh Chapel experiment said that you know. They had their Silla cyb inexperience, and it prompted them to go get involved in the civil rights movement. Oh so you know, which of course by the you know, the conservative authoritarian know white ruling class impulse at the time would have. Probably they would have seen that as a political threat. Speaking of political threats Let's get back to Richard, Nixon. Okay, so Richard Nixon famously considered. Timothy leary quote the most dangerous man in America okay and and and he apparently his handlers were even concerned at different times that left us might try and slip Nixon LSD. Of I'm sure somebody was working on a plan there. One of those sixties prankster. Oh well. Yeah, actually allegedly, Jefferson airplane lead singer Grace Slick plan to slip. LSD NIXON'S T at a White House Tea Party because apparently she attended the same college as Nixon's daughter, and there was going to be an event there at the White House, but the the event turned out to all female events so Nixon wasn't actually there and I think sh-. She got she got scared off by the security and left anyway. She didn't try to give him a PAT. Apparently, not well see. They didn't quite make I think. She was accompanied by Abbie Hoffman. who the sounds like an Abbey Hoffman's yeah, so it didn't the the the scheme didn't actually make it through the front door, so they didn't actually get to that level of of decision making. But this all does lead to an interesting question that comes up from time to time sometimes flippantly and other times quite seriously. If certain world leaders could be tricked into having a psychedelic experience, could we change them? Could there'd be like a scrooge moment, right? Would they see themselves objectively would connect with others or connect with nature in a meaningful in life changing way I've heard people say this. In fact, I, remember a lot of teenage donors saying like. If you. Just get all these dictators and you know and we stop all the wars. If we could just get people to take acid or I think they even just say like smoke, weed or something I'm. I mean I again I'm I'm very open to and interested in the many of the reported positive effects of psychedelic experiences, but I do not believe it is a miracle drug in that way, right candidate in and of itself cure human nastiness especially because set and setting are so important. Yeah, I, mean what if you take a drug? And the is the is the Nixon white right? You have a psychedelic experience where you're just like all revved up on the idea of slaughtering your enemies and stuff I. I don't know I, don't? I'm not sure that would make things better, yeah? One specific version of this question, that I've kind of tossed around in my own head from time to time is not so much, you know. WHAT HAVE WE You know what if Hitler took acid kind of think you know if we look at when LSD came into being who was first synthesized in nineteen, thirty, eight in Switzerland, India may was first created in Germany in Nineteen, twelve in both cases. No realize what they discovered. It wasn't a later that they took them off the shelf with Adam again a, but what if these substances are leaked out into Europe especially, Germany before World War Two and granted LSD. To to to work its magic right, but I'm not the only one who's thought about this. For instance, Terence McKenna and food of the Gods wondered. What would it have been like? If the the Nazis had found out about LSD quote, it is frightening to imagine some of the possible consequences had Hoffman's discovery been recognized for what it was even a moment earlier so there I mean he's looking at it. It as not necessarily a good thing for everybody who takes it, but like that it could be a facilitator of great evil. Yeah Yeah I. He may have gone into more detail on this in other works or lectures. Certainly, McKenna spoke a lot about these topics, but so, but I am not aware of any additional thoughts had on the matter, but I suspect that they would've probably done much the same. Same as the CIA did in their experiments with with L., S. T., searching for ways to use it as a weapon or a mind, control substance, and then ultimately find wanting in that regard. Yeah, and we've talked about this and other episodes of stuff to blow your mind in the past, but yeah, the that seemed to be the primary focus of defense based research on psychedelics in the nineteen fifties is can. Can we get it to make? People do what we want against their will, or as a truth serum right, and in certainly this is the deal with the Third Reich. They were in a state of total war. They were interested in rockets should yes, but they weren't interested. Because of any space exploration, advantages they. It was about weapon delivery. It was about pursuing their own awful and in racist, ideology. As conquest mentality, yeah, absolutely, but on the other hand you know Hitler took a lot of drugs especially after nineteen forty one is apparently taking a lot of stimulants, lot of opioids and So you know one you can't help but wonder right like what? What if? Hitler had taken a bunch of Md. may analysis LSD in one, thousand, nine, hundred, forty, two well, that have had any effect I. I'm suspicious that it would have any effect ultimately. Yeah I. I don't think I by the sooner line that you know. Just get the dictator to take a PSYCHEDELIC, and they will be cured I mean. Turn No, but I. I'm I. Doubt It. I mean it'd be interesting as an experiment though. This just to poke one of them up out there. Well, another interesting question is instead of like these individuals dose the dictator cases if psychedelics and psychedelic culture were more widespread in general throughout the world you know in throughout industrialized societies going way back. Yeah, I do wonder then like if the you know the common. If the common drug of choice among industrialized societies in the eighteenth, nineteenth century had not been alcohol, but had been cyber or something. Yeah, and I think that's ultimately the more interesting question is not what if Hitler Etc D. or MD, but what if they? What if they had been at large in in German culture of preceding the war end you know ultimately like. Like the counter argument to that would be well there already was a a strong Bohemian vibe in pre war Germany, and it was not sufficient to prevent the horrors of the Second World War and beyond the yeah, I think ultimately when you see people like Terence McKenna arguing for an archaic revival for some sort of like return and psychedelic assisted return to nature and interconnectedness, like they are talking about a cultural movement. They're not talking about strategic doses dosing of key individuals. Yeah, you've only. Were that easy all right? We've been going. While I think we got a rapid up for this one, but we. We gotta come back in the. We were originally going to do just three episodes. Right psychedelics took. Took hold. And now we've been going for three, and we still haven't gotten to the twenty first century revival in psychedelic research, which we will focus on next time as right, so join us for part four of our psychedelic series here on stuff to blow your mind. I mean who knows there might be a apart five we. We have no idea. We have no idea when this is gonNA, end all right in the meantime. If you want to check out other episodes of stuff to blow your mind, head on over to stuff to blow your mind, dot com, that's the mothership. That's what you'll find it all You'll find links out to various social media accounts. You'll find our T. shirt store. 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Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 1

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:25:45 hr | 11 months ago

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 1

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat, let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM DOT com slash red hat. We're all living in the ripple effects of history. The Butterfly flaps its wings in China in the nineteenth century, and your Uber driver misses the turn for the airport or an eccentric genius and Vince air-conditioning and changes the course of American politics. I'm Sean Braswell host of the thread, and I'm back with a brand new podcast presented by ozzy called flashback as series of stories of unintended consequences. Listen to flashback on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome stuff player mind. A production of iheartradio's has networks. Hey you welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert Lamb and I'm Joe. McCormack can stay. I wanted to start with one of those great Navel Gazers okay. Are you ready? Let's do it okay, so the question is. We know how to describe what we see. When we look at things, you know you can look at the room. You're in right now and right down the features or you can Try to describe a great. Great landscape that you remember from some trip you took, but when somebody asks you to look inside yourself well, how do you begin to describe what you see in your own mind? I mean how in a way you are forced to resort to metaphors. We talked about this a lot there like concrete metaphors for abstract mental properties, and so maybe you think of your mind, if you you try to examine it as something like a you. You, know like a castle or building a solid landscape. You can walk through. That has features you could describe, or maybe you think about it like a whether pattern that's constantly transient and changing, or maybe you can't really think of it. in in comparison to any physical object at all. In which case. How would you ever even be able to describe what you're looking at? And how different of a person would you be if you had the? The tools to see more clearly. What's inside your own mind? Well, even in this were using terms about seeing in individualization, yeah, and and certainly I think a lot of us fall back on cinematic interpretations of the inner minds, states and identity, and who we are but there's there's more going on there like I sometimes when I am more self conscious. What's going say is going on in my default mode network. It won't even be. Like, my visual world will be just wrapped up in whatever I'm doing. Say driving down the road but it's It's this non visual world that is wrapped up in like voices of the past and perceived you possible future. Would you like to think about death? And about all the ways in which you have failed exactly sort of thing you know and that, and they may be flashes of visualizations in there, but but but often not at least in my case, and of course in all the things. Things concerning the the inner mind. This is going to change from individual to individual. Yeah, totally and so today we are embarking on a multi part episodes series that we're going to be doing here on stuff to blow your mind looking at the general topic of psychedelics and most specifically I think with with a strong focus on the fungal domain there on on suicide and mushrooms and related species and compounds. Yeah, yeah, not only about two point earlier not only about what they to change and human perception. Perception and cognition, but what they reveal about human perception and cognition. Yeah, how they factor into our past how they factor into our present in how they may well factor into our future. Yeah, that's right now. I think maybe one thing that has pushed us in the direction as some books. We've been reading recently so maybe I should mention them at the top I know. We've both been reading Michael. Pollen's most recent book how to Change Your Mind. which is all about psychedelics about You know the the. The concept of of spirituality and mental life, and why this is so elucidated by an associated with psychedelic compounds right, and it is just an excellent book you know it's gotten rave reviews of for for for excellent reasons, it's one of these regan. Pick it up without knowing anything really about psychedelic culture or you know, or the know the nineteen sixties or or or botany, an ethnobotanist aid. You don't really have to have a background in any of these things and pollen as with his other major works. Really walks you through. It adds in personal experiences and is very much approaching it as an older individual who did not have a lot of experiences with psychedelic substance and I think it's very interesting and appropriate treatment, because a lot of what I've at least learned recently about psychedelics makes it seem like psychedelics, maybe of much greater use of much greater interest, actually to older, more mature people, dealing with thoughts of life and death in the meaning of life, and all that then as say as it is often presented as sort of a party drug to. Experience Teenagers Right Yeah I. Think Carolina was P-. Pollen said this or quoting somebody. Else's saying that psychedelics are wasted on the young. It might have been Carl Young was it? Carl Young said that okay. Politics countering with quoting young on that, but but yeah, I can see there being an argument that to a certain extent. However, that's not to discount the possible benefits to younger individuals as well but we'll get it all that as we proceed well I, just think it seems very plausible to me that it's actually much more useful in general for older people to be given. Given tools to win. They're doing that mental introspection looking through the window into their own mind to have the tools to see more clearly, what's inside and to go in and move the furniture around right or to sort of knock the barnacles off the hull of the ship? because that's that's one way of looking at it is just the the younger vessel may have fewer barnacles. or or at least a? People when you're younger, perhaps you were you fortunate enough privileged enough to not have that many psychic barnacles that need to be dislodged or could conceivably be dislodged, etc, yeah, though despite everything. We're saying right now. I, also want to make clear that are approach over these following episodes. It's going to be mainly a sort of like a descriptive and analytical discussion, not one where we are advocating any sort of personal course of action, so we're not gonNA. Tell you to take psychedelics. We're not going to tell you not to take psychedelics. That's not our goal instead. We want to talk about what they can do and what they mean right, but in addition to mentioning Pollen's book, another important book that I haven't read, but you have and I've read about is a book by terrence. McKenna that I know you've been enjoying greatly. Which I think is out in Maybe you might say on less solid footing or little squishy territory, but is also very interesting. Well. Yeah, one thing about about of the gods is first of all. It's nineteen ninety-three book, so a lot of time has passed since came out, and then also it is, it is kind. kind of a mixture so McKenna brings his background and Ethno Botany Ecology and an understanding of Shamanism into this this book and he's ultimately making a rather grand hypothesis that that all talk about here in a bit but yeah you, I feel like with with the food of the gods one has to be a little bit choosy, and what what you really like. Grab onto, but but he has a lot of very interesting things to say. Some wonderful insight still stands up to this day, but it is a book that I think needs to be appreciated alongside aside other sources especially today. Especially in the kind of perspective, we tend to present on the show I feel like there's a lot of great literature in the realm of Psychedelia that falls into this category where it's stuff written by people who are genuine experts. You know really do know what they're talking about. In the realm, of Psychic psychedelic compounds, the chemistry. The botany, the cultural practices, and all that and have great things to say on those subjects, but then also tend to be prone I would say much more often than people in other subject domains to kind of get out into highly speculative and even seemingly supernatural territory right, so you have that tendency, but also just the the the post nineteen sixties, taboo aspect of the subject where for for as well, we'll discuss for decades It was not something that was accepted area of study. He was left the fringes and the counter culture, and so there was a lot of baggage there. The both of those those things can sort of hurting individuals work in this area, but in other sort of compelling inspiration for these episodes when I attended the the recent World Science Festival in New York. There was a panel on psychedelics is well Oh. Yeah, when Eduardo cone was on. Yes, cone was on here. This is where I learned about him in his work, plus a few other individuals that will discuss as we proceed. So obviously, we've covered psychedelics unstoppable bill your mind. Numerous times in the past discussing, LSD suicide Ben as well as such counterculture figures as Tom is Timothy leary and John C Lilly, and we, we've been meaning to come back to psychedelics for a deeper dive for a while, but one of the real reasons that were reaching back into the subject right now is that we are living in very exciting time as far as these substances are concerned Yeah because talk in in research terms in research terms, yeah, because basically these are substances that modern Western medicine explored for a brief time in the mid twentieth century. And then, and then, and when they were looking at them, they were encountering many promising results, indicating how they might be used to treat addiction address psychological problems in even unlock a better understanding of the human mind. But due to political and societal pressures They were all in turn declared. Illegal Substances Schedule One drugs in the United States. I think suicide I think was made illegal in the united. States in nineteen, sixty eight, and then made a schedule. One substance in I think nineteen seventy. Yeah, I believe that was the timeline and and of course this also in in in you know involved LSD and various other substances, but basically the result was that decades of potential exploration were lost when modern science it scarcely explored more than what ancient peoples understood about the substances involved or you know. To a certain extent understood them less well. compared to ancient societies that I mean we're talking. Three plus decades, during which these powerful substances were purely the domains of counterculture and illegal activity in the West. And you know nobody was studying. Well there was some steady bill, it was sort of driven underground right or not taken very seriously in the academic community. Right it was. It was considered like risky to. Say A suicide and study for a while. Yeah, like if you're a pharmacologist psychopharmacologists pursuing civil aside, and it could be a bad career. Move Right. Yeah, I mean so. It was almost treated as if all of these substances were dead ends as if we would reach the point where it was like. Oh well, this is a this just a poison. The you know for that. Some people are going to dangerously use for recreational purposes You is explore is is is wrong. In two ways, I guess wrong in historical context when you see how substances like this have been used for thousands of years, and it's wrong on the the medical research front. Yeah, I mean one of the funny things is given our view of the very like square buttoned up nineteen fifties. The nineteen fifties were relatively A. A time of you know abundant our research in permissiveness, exploring these topics absolutely so yeah, there were some decades there as pretty dry decades as far as psychedelic research was concerned, but as we emerge from the nineteen ninety s, the culture began to shift, and we began to see new experimentation into how especially suicide and could be used to treat specific conditions. And you know this is what we've covered in the past on the show and what you've heard covered a lot elsewhere. The studies here and there that reveal new potential, and perhaps point the way for greater and renewed study and even decriminalization at least for clinical uses you know instead he and studies, if nothing else, and so as Michael Paulin points out in how to change your mind, you know we're living in a true renaissance of psychedelic study, and I don't think that's. An overstatement to say that I think especially since around the year two thousand six, when there was a a big seminal research paper out about suicide, and we will talk about in detail in the later episode in the series. Right and I'm not, and I'm not referring to say like what Colorado efforts in Colorado decriminalize them for perhaps with with recreational usage in mind I'm talking about like clinical uses the potential benefits here are profound, and if the trends you know, continue here, you know modern medical science has has a lot to gain from it. You know it's it's it's frustrating to. Those decades in which you know less was being done with them, but but you know we could easily remained in kind of a dark age in had several more decades in which these substances, if not being studied, so it's a remarkable time, really all right well, I think before we dive into especially suicide Ben, but the psychedelics in general May. Maybe we should do a little foundation work because I know one thing that you were talking to me about the Terence McKenna gets into. In! His work is the idea of like what is a drug. What are drugs? And what do people see as drugs? Yeah, yeah, he. He had a lot of Great thoughts on this on this matter that I think are really good at sort of disrupting the sort of like mental concrete ends up getting embedded in our head, regarding the different substances that we take into our body. So, yeah, let's I think we should talk about like what a drug is because for instance. If you look at just a basic say, Webster's definition, a drug is a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. Now while the certainly applies to say cocaine or Ibuprofen, it also applies to coffee and alcohol. It applies to melatonin herbal supplements. Chocolate tea, wheat, grass, shots, camomile sugar, liquorice OATMEAL. You name it. Yeah, we were talking the other day. I know about it was it? WAS IT Melatonin supplements? You were looking at oh? No. I heard an ad on the radio for them. Yeah, we're calling them drug free all these drugs people take advertise themselves as drug free. which I think is just. I. I'm not sure what people mean by that. I think I. Mean maybe like not containing synthetically or lab isolated chemicals that you can't pronounce the names. Of Yeah it's you know all natural or something well. Yeah, it's weird how we use the term drug disorder refer to things that are either in the domain of the illegal is in the war on drugs or something that is in the domain of medical professionals. Yeah, maybe something that requires a prescription is produced by the pharmaceutical industry. Yeah, but yeah I. I don't see any reason why these all. All natural substances are not drugs. They certainly are I mean. I'm doing drugs right now. I've got my Coffee Cup next to me Oh yeah, the whole drug free thing kind of reminds me of like the people who say I. Don't put any chemicals in my body I know what they're talking about right? They you know they want to eat sort of like all natural whole foods. You know I I'll eat an apple I'm not going to eat an apple bar that was made in a factory and has all these chemical ingredients listed that I can't pronounce. What that stuff is so I I mean I understand that, and of course you know there. There are some reasons that you might be in truth. Want to avoid certain kinds of industrial food additives, but the whole idea that you don't put any chemicals in your body is ridiculous, and and of course we're not arguing that one should put everything into your body right tiny means you know ultimately we all have to draw lines in the sand, concerning the sort of thing and those those lines May. Not Make a whole lot of sense if you really analyze them, but I think one of the important things is to be able to realize where we're drawing the line in the sand, and where that line is being drawn for us, by you know other other parties in. But anyway this is one of the the the ideas that Terence McKenna discusses and food of the Gods, and I think before we go. Any further I should just go ahead and like summarize like what this book is about. It's kind of about a lot of things, but but ultimately he has this central hypothesis that he's pushing You know. He makes passionate case for not only humanities connection. Connection with psychedelic substances in the promise their power, but also with the notion that they played a role in the emergence of consciousness. Yeah, well and sort of like in language and human intellectual abilities right right right his self reflection in language in particular, and Michael Actually mentions it in his book as well. He refers to it as quote, the epitome of all MICO centric speculation. and really you do encounter some people in this world who? I, maybe their enthusiasm for for. Ben And the effects of these psychoactive mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms you get the sense that they have had such positive experiences with them that it drives them to think about you know mushrooms as a sort of like center of everything, good and holy in the world I mean in a way that might be unfair. Maybe that's over psychology. Their hypotheses and points of view, but like for example the bike allergist Paul Steinmetz stats who comes up in Michael. Pollen's book. We've talked about on the show before. About him in Dune episode because I think he was friends with Frank Urban, who yes I believe so, but you know he's got a very mushroom centric view of the world where you in ways of mushrooms rule everything in that the mushrooms are like trying to communicate with us through these compounds, and all that and McKenna falls in this category to he's sort of like. Seize the the mushroom regime everywhere on earth. Yeah, I think that's that's undeniable at the same time I mean he does make a very. Very robust case in this book again Nineteen ninety-three book, so a lot has happened since then but Michael Pollen also points out. You know it's a ultimate lean. something that's not really susceptible to prove or disprove, and ultimately McKinnon never really fills in the blank on how this would have actually affected biological evolution right, so you probably can't put a lot of stock in his hypothesis being correct barring some other evidence that we're not aware of yet, but basically you know his idea. Is that like well? Humanity owes its mental and cognitive capacities to mushrooms, because for example I arguments, he adduces that. Because Silla Sabin mushrooms caused the experience of Cynthia. You know the cross pollination of senses, so like colors have sounds, or or music has colors, or whatever you know. sounds have a taste or something that this led to the creation of language because the language is a sort of cross pollination between the idea of a sound in the idea of a concept and. And so this kind of like a mental boundary crossing wouldn't have been useful in animals. suddenly is is spurred by ingestion of PSYCHEDELIC substances in this case I think Sivan, and then that leads to humans creating language again. I don't know what the direct evidence for this would be. It's it's like an interesting speculation, but I don't know how you would prove. Prove it right. I think ultimately you would not be able to prove it or really disprove it in which makes it I. Guess kind of a safe hypothesis in that regard, but also hypothesis that will probably never evolve beyond the hypothesis level. Yeah, this is kind of stuck at the interesting speculation station. Yeah, and it is interesting speculation, but anyway I just want. Want to go ahead and describe what that is. Because I feel like with McCain especially depending on what you know about him and his work, you might enter into thinking only about say machine elves, and the time zero and some of the Delo the fringe things that he discussed the thing. You know his discussion two things that he saw on DM T. But but on the other hand you know he was an accomplished ethnobotanist in when he was talking about about mushrooms e. he certainly knew what he was talking about and. He just said a lot of wonderful insight into just what was culturally going on, and had been going on at this point in time, especially in the united. States concerning the subject of drugs, so he points out that drug is a you know. Is it times in Amorphous term that we use to apply to certain substances? especially if we want to demon is one substance or elevate another exclusively the to the domain and control of medical professionals but he he writes this quote. Eating a plant or an animal is a way of claiming its power. Away of assimilating its Magic to oneself in the minds of preliterate people, the lines between drugs, foods and spices are rarely clearly drawn the Shaman who gorgeous himself on Chili peppers to raise inner heat is hardly in a less altered state than the nitrous oxide enthusiast after a long inhalation in our perception of flavor in our pursuit of variety in the sensation of eating, we are markedly different from. From even our primate cousins somewhere along the line, our new omnivorous eating habits, and are evolving brain with its capacity to process, since re data were united in the happy notion that food can be experienced. gastronomy was born born to join pharmacology, which must surely have preceded it. Since maintenance of health regulation of diet is seen among many animals that offers you a little bit of a glimpse McKenna has a fantastic way with words and I think he's also fantastic public speaker. If you've ever seen videos of him, giving his, you know, which are you know? He's one of those people who I think is able to put things in a way. That's captivating that maybe makes the ideas shine as if they have more merit than they would have put in a less captivating way by another speaker Yeah, yeah, absolutely and you know. Know, he certainly, there's a little bit of shamanistic flavor at the beginning of that passage but I think what he's saying here we can. We can all agree with I mean we are what we eat and so many many ways you know we're continually. Rebuilding are ephemeral bodies out of the materials we consume the chemicals, and the nutrients in McCain, also said quote, the strategy of early hominids omnivores was to eat everything that seemed food like. Like in development, whatever was unpalatable plants, insects and small animals found edible by this method were then inculcated into their diet i. mean that's certainly I. I see that in other animals. You know you think about the way, even domestic dogs who are tend to be quite well-fed in you know like it's not like they're lacking for nutrition, but is just like. If there's a thing that might be, they're going to try to eat they're gonNA. GonNa give it a shot, and if it doesn't work out, thing just vomited up. Yeah, I mean it's this is one of those areas that I that I think really remarkable. When we stop and try to imagine the process of human beings, especially figuring out what they can eat what they can't eat what what substances they can use just the right amount of and not kill themselves in potentially you know, have some finish official effect medicinal. Culinary or otherwise because ultimately we're talking about a long multigenerational process of human beings, figuring out the properties of plants in their immediate surrounding, and then passing that knowledge on in. It's you know it's really it's. It's enough to tempt us with details of astronauts, the idea that have surely some other force, some alien, or some angel came to us and told us what we could eat, but resist that impulse. No, you're looking at real scientific labor in. In the ancient world yeah, the kind of scientific Labor that was on the subject of the Self, and like putting your own life on the line. Yeah, absolutely anytime we touch on this topic. I'm always reminded of a particular Chinese myth of the Mythical Emperor Shinnung the divine farmer and ultimately the founder or the the mythological founder of Chinese herbal Madison as well as agriculture itself. There's the link again between medicine and food. Yeah, absolutely. And anyway he's credited as having authored a couple of really important books on you know the herbal world, and according to the the myths, sh, she naung, either tasted hundreds of herbs or thrash them with a magic whip in order to learn their properties. That's great According to one legend, he consumed seventy different poisons in a single day. in order to. To just continue this examination of the natural world I also ran across some variants of the story online that mentioned the him having a transparent stomach, so that he that allowed him to see you know how food is being broken down in his body, but I didn't see. This is not referenced in either of the main Chinese mythology textbooks that I I frequently referred to. To, so I don't know to what extent there's validity to that, or if it's an accurate translation, etc, but still you know in college Shinnung is essentially a classifying all drugs. Humanities degeneration process of food testing condensed into a single individual Because you know, of course, climate change humans move into new environments and destabilize their own environment. Ancient peoples would have figured out roughly. Roughly what was in their immediate vicinity? And then they would have perhaps tried to take their imported plants with them, but not every plan is easily suited for agriculture or new environments in new plants would have continually presented themselves in the course of their migration. You've got this image of Shimon here in the outline, and he's just sticking something in his mouth and grimacing. There's some wonderful paintings and drawings, of Shinnung where he you know, he seems to be just doing the work. You know just out there. Chewing on a twig relief here and there and and syncing it out seeing what well okay. What is this good for? What can this be used for? What can this be used as treatment for and in in the the writings attributed to him, mentions a host of different substances at one point, cannabis comes up. It said quote will produce hallucinations. If taken a long term, it makes one communicate with spirits, enlightened ones body, and while cannabis is not generally considered a psychedelic does bring us to contemplation of psychedelics. Are. Primary concern here in these episodes, especially the two major psychedelics it have played a role in the often stunted western exploration of their potent powers to bring about a different state of consciousness all right well. Maybe we should take a quick break, and then when we come back, we can dive more into the question of what our psychedelics. This episode is brought to you by IBM. Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with. With a I to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot com slash covid nineteen. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM. Dot Com slash cove nineteen. Back so we've been talking about. psychedelics in this first of our series exploring the subject, and I guess let's go into the origin of this term. Why why do people use the word psychedelic as opposed to other terms that means similar things are the same thing. Well, th the term psychedelic derives from the Greek words for soul or mind, and manifesting in this name was bestowed in nineteen. fifty-six by British Psychiatrist Humphry Osmond Yeah another frame for the etymology is, so it's mind manifesting. Of course, the Greek see he spent like psyche is a term for minder. Soul the Greek word de Lune. Lune where psychedelic part comes from mean multiple things might mean manifesting can also I think like to reveal to make visible or make clear, and this is interesting, because it fits with the early uses of psychedelics in psychiatry and neuroscience in the nineteen fifties and sixties when they were considered a revolutionary research tool, a multiple people I think have made this comparison, but one of them is the the psychedelic enthusiast Stanislav Groff who wrote that quote? The potential significance of L., S. D. and other psychedelic for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value of the microscope for biology or the telescope astronomy. e- so he's framing it as like a tool of magnification and clarification. It's something that allows you to see farther. See inside at a greater resolution, yeah! Derek. Ended up taking on a lot of additional baggage because this term was was definitely taken up by the champion by Timothy Leary? And Others Timothy Leary of course we have a couple of episodes of stuff to your mind on him. that I recorded with Christian several years back and. As we discussed there like leary leary. Ultimately I think did a lot of damage. To the perceptions of Psychedelic, he became he was. WHO's ultimately more of A. A more of a guru type as opposed to you know a pure dedicated scientists he he began as a Harvard academic researchers study out psychedelics, but yeah, he clearly he became the dice word. I think would be an enthusiast somebody who was clearly at a certain point, not studying the subject in an objective and dispassionate way arrived, but was more just sort of. Of like an advocate for psychedelics like these things are great, and everybody should be taken them right, and then he didn't. you willingly embrace the the position of being sort of this leader, almost this unofficial in you know a guru figure that was the forefront of this counterculture movement, both in in in the the ups and downs of that counter. Counter culture as well. Yeah, and so I think this is your correct one reason why the term psychedelic has acquired some perhaps negative baggage I think sometimes people think of that word more having to do with like recreational and sort of music, associated or Party, associated uses of of these compounds that tend to cause hallucinations or highly altered states of consciousness. Consciousness, and I I don't. I don't think that's quite fair I mean I think. PSYCHEDELIC is a good term, and I want to keep using it throughout these episodes. Yeah, and I think there's a reason that the people have stuck with it. despite other terms having been presented for instance in entheogen is when it comes up the most and has been. Taken out then champion by you know in some respects, but more and more you do see people coming back to to psychedelics, and that's what we are going to use these episodes. Yeah, and of course in Thea Jen's I think one reason that's difficult is because in the jains means like sort of like you know God revealing. It conjures up It brings up. The gods brings up the divine. Bring up the nineteen sixties as much to its credit. That's I. think the benefit of it, but then actually take it apart and look at what it means. It is perhaps leaning more heavily into the mystic. Yeah, which is fine because I mean to be fair, the mystical experiences very important part of the sort of research history. Oh, absolutely! What the what these? What effects? These drugs produce in the most common reports about the effects that they have on people's thinking and on their lives, if they very often do encourage types of mystical, thinking, they very often do lead to people reporting mystical experiences or Or experiences that people relate to God or gods or some kind of divine spirit but at the same time not everybody has those experiences on them and not everybody who has those kinds of experiences on them would attribute it to any kind of real spiritual force, though a lot would so I think in Thea Jen's does have the negative property of maybe assuming a little too much of a thorough association, the spiritual right, and so yeah I like the idea of psychedelics it is it is mind revealing now. They're also sometimes called hallucinogens. Just sort of roughly which of course is is confusing as well for starters, something can be an elusive Magen not be a psychedelic compound for sure it isn't cannabis sometimes classified as a hallucinogen. I think I've seen it. classified as such. Yeah, one part of this of course is you don't have to take psychedelic to have an an audible or visual hallucination there many other causes and conditions that can be involved, and you can make a strong case that our default perception of reality is nothing short of an elimination nation. Likewise psychedelics don't always cause hallucinations. Full blown. Hallucinations are actually uncommon, and they're probably not going to be like the hallucinations. You've seen in a PSYCHEDELIC film right? I mean I think often the hallucinations that are depicted in psychedelic movies or given far too far too concrete of a character that makes sense like so you see a glass dragon flying out of the andromeda galaxy to eat your pain, and you know rebirth. You is a fire child. Child or something, where whereas that kind of thing, you might see especially on some higher doses of some of these psychedelics, but more often, you know people, especially on lower doses will have some states have altered perception, but they're not necessarily going to see like whole concrete visions of agents and objects coming toward them that aren't there. Yeah, I mean we have to cut films a little bit of slack I think because ultimately it's a largely visual medium. That's what they're telling their stories with. So of course they're going to gravitate towards hallucinations, visualizations of psychedelic experience, some of which are just laughable and occasionally you'll have a film that that really does a good job of capturing something that feels like an authentic psychedelic experience, but I don't know I find those to be few and far between yeah. I should also point out that if you when they would you classify psychedelic hallucinogens? You're also kind of limiting you know. Because ultimately these substances do a number of different things outside of something that you could even loosely described as an elusive. Yeah I. Mean Again I think Psychedelic is a good term. They are more generally mind revealing or mind manifesting yeah, by downplaying the role of hallucinations. We want to suggest that these drugs can't cause hallucinations. They very often do especially at higher doses right. Yeah absolutely especially when you're also, things are a little different is. We'll discuss when you get into clinical situations where you know, just the way that particular substances is it administered can make it more potent. On the subject of visualization at that world. Science Festival panel that I attended One of the speakers was A. Was a British professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex and L., seth and he pointed to Google deep dream generator as actually being a decent approximation of the sort of visuals that can go on during psychedelic experience. I think everybody's probably seeing images or video that you utilize this deep dream. Generator, but it's the kind of thing where it's like. There's a face of the dog and everything exactly. Yeah, so if you've never seen it and made basically what it was was, it was an algorithm that would take a photo that you supplied. You Know You upload a photo, and then you run it through the system you could I think determine like to what degree would get you know? HOW CRAZY IT WOULD GET! It would start to reveal fracture patterns, emerging from the lines and boundaries in the image and very often yeah, like faces and other recognizable forms that would show up in images from around the Internet would start showing up in the image. You might see forms of plans very often forms of animal faeces dog faces in the couch cushions. Yeah, yeah, this. This absolutely matches up with with my experiences where I. It's not like you're going Oh my goodness. There are dogs everywhere, but it would be more like there's a there's. There's a facto pattern to my immediate environment that I. That is not there usually, or it looks like the grass is breathing, or perhaps you know looking at something like say a work of art or in my experience, a hanging African mask and it seems to be alive certain to a certain extent. Yeah, not in a away where you're like. Oh my God. The the mask is coming alive. You know or anything like that and It's you know I. Guess it's hard to put into words but. There is a you know the sense of facto life. to everyday objects that is, that is not there otherwise. Yeah, and I think another way that the deep dream is appropriately. Compared to psychedelics. Is that the deep dream generator? I think basically worked by a recurrent pattern of extrapolation amplification. So you know it sees something. That's zero point. Five percent like dog face. It recognized that because it's tried to track a lot of faces across the Internet and it says let's lean into that, and then it makes it two percent like a dog face then ten percent like. And finds more dog faeces in what it's been extrapolating from the original image so I can't help, but notice that you know one tendency of the hallucinatory experience or of the psychedelic experience seems to be extrapolating an amplifying perceived significant patterns from random noise, so let's take another step back and talk just in general about psychedelics in what particular substances were talking about. We need to briefly address the chemistry part of this right. Yeah, so we're largely talking about the the in Dole psychedelics. There's lysergic acid diethylamide LSD. There's still than which occurs. Naturally in several different varieties of mushrooms I think two hundred different varieties. Then there's also In in Di Methyl trip demean which is DM t, there's a there's a gain their the Beta carbon aligns the ones that we're going to be discussing. The most here are so Simon, which again occurs naturally in mushrooms, and then of course LSD, which is a is a synthetic psychedelic. Those I generated by Albert Hoffman in nineteen, thirty, eight from lysergic acid, a chemical from the for the fungus, Ergot, which we've discussed on the show before in Huffman actually played an important role in isolating the compounds from the Salah's Abe's. Mushrooms as well Yeah, so he he sort of figures in both of the mainstream here, but one thing I want to make clear that I didn't understand for a long time. Is that there? There is not just one species of mushroom that is the Silla. CYB and Mush, right? It's that species there is this whole class of the Selahs Abe's or the suicide and mushrooms. That is a you know. A multi species huge range of hundreds of varieties of mushrooms that have these related effects I think mainly based on the compounds. Even which breaks down into silicon in the body, DM t by the way is a naturally occurring compound as well. It's found in many different plants and animals, and is found up inside. The human brain is well, but it was also first synthesized in nineteen, thirty, one by chemist Richard Helmuth. Frederick mask there. There are plenty of other additional psychedelics that occur pop up in research, and all their in occur naturally in the world there, the laganes substances that are found in two related, African and South American Tree Genera Mostly known as an Aphrodisiac in Africa, but it also has psychedelic properties at higher doses There's a here's the hallucinogenic mescaline which is found in the spineless CACTUS peyote. It's a financial I mean as is empty, may as his methamphetamine, and as are a host of other drugs including just like basic decongestions. Yeah you mentioned him to. You May Yellen Christian, did A. couple of episodes I think on MD.. Years ago. Yeah, and what? We're not really focusing on Indiana here but you know it is also a powerful schedule one substance with some promising possibilities for therapeutic therapeutic use, and also some promising history of therapeutic use, but he kind of fell victim to the same anti-drug. Efforts in sort of a moral panic, there was associated. With with loosener. Jen's as well but according to Stephen Ross md of the nyu source, Ivan Cancer Anxiety Studies, speaking at the two thousand, Nineteen World Science Festival it. He said that we're you know there's a very strong chance we're. GonNa see MDA rescheduled on the next couple of years due to the promising research. That's going on using yet. particularly dealing believe with PTSD. And you're talking there about it. Being reclassified as the less dangerous and less legally prohibited drug in the United States right because a schedule one in the US means like there's nothing there's nothing you can do with it. There's no one even like a medical use for it and and I think in in some times in the past, and to some degree, still in the present the schedule. One classification I think is treated more as A. Sort of punitive category, then they truly you know research science-based category for instance cannabis. Schedule One and schedule one so assignment scheduling LSD schedule. One cocaine scheduled to. There you go interesting. Well since we're going to be focusing more on suicide and mushrooms than on other psychedelics, I also thought it might be useful to just quickly mention a few of its more straightforward, medically recognized effects and medical significance. Before we get on into the the more phenomena, logical common reports, so I'm mentioned this a minute ago, I think the primary compounds responsible for the psychedelic effects of suicide and mushrooms are the compound Silla Sivan and silicon, which ultimately amount to sort of the same thing since Sivan breaks down into silicon once inside the body, silicon is a more potent compound, but it occurs in smaller original quantities within the mushroom flesh in compared to almost all other known drugs, suicide been has an exceptionally low potential for abuse and exceptionally few known risks according to the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse. Research. Quote. There are no reports that suicide and mushrooms are psychologically or physically addictive, and use does not lead to dependence for several days following the use of mushrooms users may experience a period of psychological withdrawal and have difficulty discerning realities, so that's like a potential drawback, but right the way I've seen it described as that there's there's virtually no physical ramifications like in terms of like just physiological damage to the body as you encounter with various other substances. That's that's not the the risk. There is like a small risk psychologically especially for namely for individuals with a family history of say, psychosis, yeah, or schizophrenia, no psychoactive drug is completely without risks, and we're not encouraging people to take suicide and mushrooms or any other drug. If you decide to take a PSYCHEDELIC any psychedelic compound, you or any combat at all, really you should thoroughly researches the its effect for yourself any possible risk factors, trustworthy and science-based sources right and I think this is an area where like people talking about recreational drug use I. think that can be economically be of damaging because it implies that. Powerful substances like this can be purely recreational. It's kind of like. Are you flying this F. Fourteen fighter? Jet Recreational. or or you taking it seriously like? It's a powerful thing. It's powerful tool you should. If you're going to choose to engage with it, do so with four exactly so yeah like you were just sort of alluding to while Sivan has an exceptionally low level of recognized risk when compared with other drugs, it's still possible to experience negative psychological consequences for example, if you have pre existing risk, factors like high anxiety or past episodes of de Realization, then of course also we should just mention the sort of practically associated risks as the Michael adjusts pulse damage makes clear psychedelic species of. Silla cyber. Mushrooms look extremely similar to many other species of poisonous little brown mushrooms that can lead to an agonizing death if ingested so people who plan to take suicide and mushrooms should get them from an experienced knowledgeable source. Who knows exactly how to identify them reliably. You don't want somebody who doesn't know what they're doing. foraging suicide and mushrooms for Ryo, of course when. When you have a substances outlawed That's kind of thing. A lot of people end up falling back on, so that's one of the other benefits of I? Think personally decriminalizing this sort of thing. Yeah, I I would agree now also according to the Maryland Center there plenty of possible physiological effects of ingestion, depending on tons of different factors like the exact species. Species of mushroom. You're dealing within the preparation method, which can affect these, but they include just to read through these nausea, vomiting abdominal cramps, diarrhea, muscle, relaxation, weakness, and twitches, drowsiness, dizziness, lack of coordination, lightheadedness, pupil, dilation, dry mouth, facial flushing. You might have increased heart, rate or blood, pressure, body, temperature, sweating, chills, shivering numbness of the tone, lips, or mouth, and then feelings. Feelings of physical heaviness or mobility, or feelings of lightness or floating and then, of course you get to the psychological consequences, these aren't all the possibilities, but just to mention a few you, of course have the possibility of hallucinations heightened sensory perceptions where maybe color seem more vivid or sounds or more, cute flavors, more explosive, or smells or stranger. We mentioned earlier. The cross sensory contamination colors make sound sounds have colors that kind of thing the lack of ability to focus is commonly cited alterations in perception of space and time you might kind of like time seems dilated or sped up anxiety and restlessness, or a sense of detachment from the cell for from the surroundings, including the the concept known as ego loss. Loss, which will get into in more detail later, but beyond all those sort of like top line descriptions of of psychological consequences I think maybe we should take a break, and when we come back, we can discussing a little more detail like the kinds of common reports that people actually make about their experiences with psychedelics and the more complex phenomena logical responses to them. Radio and state farm know that the graduation stage is the first of many, and while grads may not be walking across one this year. They can get the send-off always dreamed of with our new podcast commencement, featuring inspiring speeches from the biggest names like judge. Ind- I'm honored to have the chance to speak to you to share in this special moment, Katie couric. You'll need some very important life skills to move forward. 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Yeah, now I we are talking sort of about psychedelics in general, but with a special emphasis on suicide and mushrooms or Salafi is right and We should br probably mentioned you know one of the reasons we focused in on suicide, and but also LSD to a certain extent is that when you look at the studies that were done with these early on like in the fifties and early sixties when when there were. Widespread studies being the looking into psychedelics, they were mostly using LSD because that was what was readily available. At the time today. Studies are going to be almost exclusively using suicide. Even for a couple of different reasons that we'll explore later. Yeah, I think we're especially. Get into those more recent studies maybe in our third episode, so yeah, so what? What are these common reports? The phenomena logical reports. That I think we should emphasize. Upfront is the thing that a lot of people maybe who? For the first time don't quite realize is the extreme importance of what's known in the PSYCHEDELIC literature as set and setting so the PSYCHEDELIC drug is a fairly reliable gateway to an altered state of consciousness, possibly containing hallucinations, feelings that parallel the classical forms of mystical experience in. We'll get into more on the mystical experience in a minute here. But the experience produced by the compound is not standardized by the psychopharmacology itself it appears to be extremely sensitive to external factors like the personality emotions, thoughts and expectations of the person ingesting the compound you know this is referred to as the set or the mindset and the physical environment in Stimuli encountered while on the trip, which is the setting and And I in my experience, a hallmark of the majority of especially negative experiences, people report with psychedelics come from inattention set setting right. Yeah, like I remember speaking to somebody, and they said that they had a terrible experience on mushrooms or LSD and but the the setting that they had was trying to drive away from a firework show in their car overheat. This terrible terrible set and set it. Yeah I mean this might seem kind of obvious, but like these are the kind of things that if someone is going to experiment with them and in in addition to all the you know research, you should do beforehand making sure that you feel safe, and you know what you're doing and all that it's also important to pay attention to set and setting to approach it with the right mindset, maybe to approach it in the. The company of someone who can be a positive guide for you, and also to approach it within a setting that feels positive and comfortable such as a place where you feel at ease and at home maybe with access to nate nature and natural settings people often report wanting to be outside, wanting to be among plants and things. It's interesting how all of these these things are matching up with some of the really most of the the traditional ritualistic. Ritualistic shamanistic practices concerning these substances they were around for thousands and thousands of years before you know, anybody thought about going to woodstock or burning man right I mean very often. These compounds were ingested as part of a ritual and a huge part of what rituals are I, mean even outside the consumption of psychedelics are set and setting manipulations. What is it when you go into a Gothic Cathedral? And there is music in their sacred sounding music echoing throughout. Throughout the stone architecture in the room is dim and buy candles, and someone passes you by with a sensor. You know that incense smoke is coming out of and in alters your senses with the smells and the sights and the sounds. This is creating a sort of a set and setting for you to have a slight mystical experience, even though you're not ingesting psychoactive compounds no well, but then again when I go to church They always have coffee out front. True sugar and cookies for the kids. There's T and if you're going to church in the Middle Ages, you might be some of that Ergot. Ri- true, always always potential risk but yeah I mean. That's just one example. I mean a huge part of what people do in religious rituals I. Think has manipulation of set and setting to create a sort of sacred or altered mind state, in which you have a certain kind of experience one thing. I wanted to talk about. Is something that Michael Pollen mentions in how to change your mind at one point. He's describing his own personal experiments with Cilla Sivan. Sivan one point I know he talks about how he he took some when he was much younger, and he had kind of a bad time because he was out away from home I think he was out in the park in New York City and he he was getting worried about if people can tell when they were looking at sounds like he was not in a comfortable environment. Yeah, well I, think you. He related to, and kept one was further out of the city, was in the park and the one in the park with a little more anxious because it was like. Oh, can they tell them and? Thing, but he also describes the one that he did much later as an adult when he was preparing to write the book. And so he describes the altered sensory and conceptual experiences that he has on the drug. This is interesting, not as hallucinations, but as quote projections, and so he says you know. Projections are determined largely by his physical surroundings, and by his own present thoughts in preoccupations, he defines a projection as quote when we mix our emotions with certain objects that then reflect those feelings back to us so that they appear to glisten with meaning so again you know he's not seeing the dragon flying out of the andromeda galaxy instead he sees two different trees standing in a meadow when he feels deep insights about his parents, looking at these two trees, and this experience is. Is largely determined not just by the drug, but by the environment that he's in and what's his preoccupations? What's on his mind? But certainly set and setting are are essential really in in all the literature concerning psychedelic experience be it ancient rituals, counterculture usage the usages of the substances or the various clinical trials that are ongoing now. Yeah, so let's go to the next big common report. That's pretty interesting. This one we should call nf ability This extremely common report is that the psychedelic experiences one either difficult or impossible to put into words or two? If it is put into words, the words do not accurately capture the nature of the experience. And this is interesting in the way that it's both similar and dissimilar to everyday experience is totally mundane ones. You know we're all familiar. Your hanging out with some friends and something happened and You haven't experienced. That has features that are hard to put into words like anytime. You're telling a personal story and you end with the conclusion. Well I guess you had to be there the year. Well, you're saying there was something interesting or funny. Your notable about the experience that you don't know how to recreate with words and that maybe your shortcoming. Maybe you're not very good with words, and you can't do it or maybe there's something that nobody could adequately put into words. or I always am suspicious. Maybe they're just too lazy to tell me that's. Enough about conveying this experience to me. You can't just take a few steps back. Put it put it in some better words, and then have another go at it place so holy. I know you, said it. I know you've said it. At some point, I don't know I don't I. Don't remember having said, but I may have well said it. No, you are very good with words, so well I think there is a tendency with the background in writing is that you tend to think that writing can do anything they? Think can be captured in words, but then again it's interesting to to then turn that on its head and think about what our word to do. Our words don't always. Sometimes they do capture an experience in capturing it. They cage it and they cage it within the limitations of those words you know, so. We're so used to doing this with a lot of different experiences. We don't even think about how our we're taking something. There was observed. We're taking this this experience of reality that is rather different than from the paragraph, the create out of it but we think of that paragraph is an you know one hundred percent accurate depiction of reality. Yeah, I, mean something of course is always lost in the translation. Words and everybody has had this experience. Experience every now and then of not being able to explain things, but it is notable how often how almost always inevitability emerges as one of the most salient features of psychedelic experience. You pretty much always just had to be there. you know you had to be me? Basically is the only way you can understand what the experience was an often. If you at least in my experience, if you re description of somebody, else's experience with LSD or suicide, and that was incredibly profound and meaningful and notable to them. You might think okay. I don't get what's so profound about this something. Something important is lost in translation of the experience into verbal narrative. Well I mean it's kind of like dreams right? I mean you know there's the old saying that you know the old observation that we we only find our own dreams interesting and we're not interested in. We don't understand other people's dreams more. Certainly, the sort of you had to be there. That applies to dreams all the time I certainly I'm always having dreams that when you're having them their profound or scary or frightening or beautiful or weird, and then when you try and describe them later outside of the trappings of. Of Dream. You realize that sounds Kinda Hokey. Yeah, there's a quality that you can't really identify and words, and here's an interesting distinction. Maybe we can come back to this is the episodes go on, but I wonder is this quality of inevitability that so common to psychedelic experience, because we don't have the vocabulary yet or because, there is a quality of the experience that's inherently indescribable in any words I mean I've heard some psychedelic enthusiasts frame it in the first way. It's like you know the someone who's quoted in Pollen's book. I think it might have been Bob Jesse but. It could have been somebody else, but anyway he's describing psychedelic experiences, and saying you know it's like you took a male ethic person, and then transported them through time to Modern Day Manhattan and sat them down. Let them look around and and then sent them back and had them tried to explain their experience. They wouldn't have the words to describe what they were looking at cell phones and skyscrapers, and all that, so that's one way of looking at why psychedelic experiences are harder describes like we. We don't have the words to put. Put it into yet, but there's another way of looking at it, says no, it's not the we lacked the words just that it can't be put into words. There's a there's a permanently irresolvable unexplainable quality to the experience. Well, it's kind of in a way maybe to it's. We're removed of some of the shackles of of language in our linguistic thinking from day. You know it's kind of like you GonNa trip in your cell phone batteries dead. You don't bring back any pictures because your cell phone wasn't operational during that time. Interesting, yeah Paulin by the way we there was an excellent interview with him from Terry Gross on fresh air, and in that he talks about this the ineffable aspect of the experience, and he mentions that William James said that the mystical experiences ineffable yet. We try very hard to effort. which I thought was was clever. that is William James is gonNA come up a lot in the next few minutes, but anyway. I think back you know just on the power of language, and also you have to me I always have to realize that there are plenty of very talented writers and speakers who have discussed this people that that surely have the tools to communicate what they experienced, but then again like Terence Mckenna I think an example of someone who you know. He only speaks of the ineffable rarely, and otherwise more than up to the task of discussing and describing what he experienced on psychedelics or interpreting and reinterpreting what he experience, but even he at times kind of falls back on the. Hey, look, you had to be there A. Clinician particularly when he was talking about experiencing this other like the idea of like experiencing an other entity while on emt he was he kind of sort of leaves it with with like. Hey, you try it as well. You tell me what it is. That experience of the other I, think is the next thing I want to get into Oh. Yeah, you're right. This does flow directly into the next area where you're going to discuss. Yes, so the next feature that's common phenomena logical report of the PSYCHEDELIC experiences verticality. That's what I'd call it William. James called this the Nowak quality, so this feature of psychedelic experience, which is long interested me. Is the way that a lot of people emerge from their experiences on Scylla Siobhaun or on LSD or something believing not just that they had an experience that was fun or interesting, or was unique, but that they learned something crucial and objectively true that they acquired real true information or genuine standing that they did not have before and so the American psychologist William James. We've mentioned a couple times already. He called this the no edit quality and he. He noted very pointedly that it's different from the way people feel about dreams. Where you go into a dream, you might have a very altered state of consciousness and strange things happen. You feel maybe in the dream like you learn things that are important, but you almost never wake up from a dream and think you know I learned objectively true information from the dream. Right like there's there's this knowledge. There's this understanding that it was not reality. Even if You know extreme cases of nightmares or disturbing dream content. We might still feel shaken by it. I mean we've all I think that experience where like the dream leaves you? It affects you and it takes maybe a day to shake it off. Yeah, but. You're not. You're not viewing as having seen a par movie that disturbed you right close to Oh my goodness Jason Voorhees attack me. You easily discard. The dream is nonsensical. now not everybody. Does this I mean some people think they get you know prophetic visions and dreams and stuff, and this is usually part of some kind of supernatural worldview, in which you believe that there are gods that are communicating with you and all that, but people don't typically Go from you know not believing in supernatural conveyances and communications to saying Oh. A dream taught me something objectively true about the universe. but a commonly reported type of psychedelic experience, for example is the feeling of having been put in contact with or in the presence of some other entity, frequently interpreted as God or as embodied form of an ideal like love or an embodied form of the universe or some universal consciousness, or as maybe a loved one who has died, or as some more obscure others like terrence McKenna's machine, elves talked about Taking d mt in just encountering these other entities, the machine, elves, or the or whatever you call them right. Yeah, and food of the Gods I. Don't think he refers to them in the. elves there, but he discusses briefly the other. That is experienced through GMT and. He's like hey, try it. Yourself set aside three minutes eight minutes of your time and go try it for yourself, and you tell me what you experience. Yeah, and so the really interesting thing here is that so many people come out of these types of experiences, not just thinking. Wow, that was an interesting hallucination like they were watching a movie, but believing they've actually been made aware of the real existence of a real other entity and carrying this belief of acquired knowledge with them, after the effects of the drug have worn off. Another way I'd saved. verticality presents his in ineffable perceptions of the value of statements and insights. An example of this would be maybe a person on a psychedelic substances realizes that you know some cliche they've heard a million times realizes that God is love, and they may have heard this a million times before, but suddenly the same statement is interpreted as a profound insight that's revealing in true in ways that can't be explained, but you have the feeling that you've discovered a great truth, even if others you know in communicating it to them, they might not see it as as insightful as you do. Another interesting feature of this no Ebtekar vertical quality of psychedelic experiences that it often feels kind of Nas tick to me. I mean NAS stick in the religious sense of course, Austin. Was An ancient religion in which some form of salvation relied on acquiring secret knowledge or Esoteric Dogmas and rites that were only revealed to initiate. The sort of like the false fraudulent public face of the religion that was four, just all the people hanging out and listening in the crowds, and then there were the real dogmas, and the real truths about you know the heavens and what you do to get there. That are sort of only talked about in secret if you're one of the in crowd. And, it's not just that. Many people think they've gained objectively true information from psychedelic experiences. It's often interpreted as a sort of deep secret that they've been allowed to glimpse like. The curtain has been lifted for them, and they are. They've been let in on the secret. Yeah, they've seen through the illusion of of perceived reality. Maybe had some glimpse that absolute reality, right so a really common version. Here is the idea that people have psychedelic experiences, and then afterwards emerged with a strong. Strong conviction that there's more to life than what we see or that there's some dimension of existence that's beyond the better understood material dimension of existence in the words of William James The experience quote forbids a premature closing of our accounts with reality Oh. That's nice in the history of psychedelic research is filled with examples of this as well often very scientifically minded individuals emerging with a newfound or developing or enhanced sense of you, the mystic or often is the case. Know Connection with nature. And there there could be multiple things going on here either way. It's interesting, I mean one way of looking at it. Is that psychedelic experiences do actually reveal something true? Two people, and another way of looking at it is, there is a fairly consistent psychological effect. They produce creating the illusion that something objectively true has been revealed but either way it's very psychologically important and powerful. Powerful and fascinating that they do this right I mean you could tell to grounded more in some of the the signs we've touched on on the show before. like plasticity, you can look at it from a plasticity standpoint, and you could say well. You know it's. It's allowing the mind to change. You know I mean that's kind of pollens. Whole point in the tidal is. it's not so much these individual substances in what they do. It's not like I in in. That's certainly one of the hallmarks of the studies. We'll get to later, but it's the state of mind that it puts one in what can be done with an individual when they are in that state of mind, exactly I mean one of the interesting things about these psychedelic states of mind that that of course is brought up by lots of authors is the ways that they parallel what William James wrote. About is the traditional qualities of mystical experience, a profound religious experiences that people have both of these first two characteristics. We've been talking about ineffable. And the vertical or no edit quality are also the first two markers of mystical experience that James writes about in the book, the varieties of religious experience, which is published around the turn of the twentieth century. Now of NFL, James writes quote, mystical states are more like states of feeling than states of intellect. No one can make clear to another who has never had a certain feeling in what the quality or worth of it consists, and of the no edit quality or the vertical quality rights that mystical experiences quote. Our aluminum nations revelations full. Full of significance and importance all inarticulate, though they remain, and as a rule, they carry with them curious sense of authority for after time this reminds me the key aspects of traditional psychedelic use. Some of the the more thought out. counterculture uses as well as clinical uses. Today is what occurs after the trip this period of consolidation and integration. Where you're, you're stopping saying okay. What did that mean? How? How shall I interpret this and then and then move on and apply it to my life I think we have to realize that Our our memories of psychedelic experiences are still memories. Yeah, they still can be altered by. The mind will be altered by the mind. Every time we draw them back out again. Of course, yeah, as inexperience would be Ju- just as a funny. No one thing I thought we should mention. Is that you know? William James He's writing around the turn of the Twentieth Century and James was not afforded the many wonderful options for chemical alterations of consciousness that later researchers were apparently, he did a lot of nitrous oxides. Read William James It's funny to imagine him and trying to like talk about this experience firsthand than just doing whip. S-. but we should mention also James has to other markers of mystical experience so I'm not necessarily counting these as as clear markers of psychedelic experiences, but just to to continue his exploration of mystical experiences since there's been a lot of overlap so far. the other two James. Mentions are transient transparency and passivity so transient see means the experience. Is Time Limited? You know true enough of course for the trip length of psychedelic drugs. Didn't seem a super relevant but what does seem a little more relevant is James's comment that while the experience itself doesn't last forever quote from one recurrence to another it is susceptible of continuous development in what is felt as inner richness and importance and pollen quotes the section as well. And then finally there's passivity is a Jamesy and marker of mystical experience, which means the person having mystical experience believes there will has been subverted or held in abeyance by superior power, and there are some psychedelic experiences that have this quality. You could view it as somewhat. They're not exactly parallel to the next characteristic about to mention yeah I, think said and setting likely. Play a key role here as well though it seems to be very difficult to shake with with more intense experiments Albert Hoffman reflected this personifying. A certain extent. It's like a thing that found him. Yeah, and and Makino certainly disgusted in these terms as well. Yeah, so the next big thing that is. Very, interesting common feature of especially maybe higher doses of psychedelic experience. is the idea of loss of EGO. I it's it's affected by the NFL. Criterion would say because it's often hard to describe what this is like, but. WHO HAVE HAD PSYCHEDELIC experiences report the dissolution of the Self. Having consciousness reduced to a state of experience in which there is no I any more, there is no me in one way. I've always interpreted. This is that some psychedelics have the power to reduce or eliminate the self world distinction. The we have this categorical barrier. We put up in our minds between everything that is not me in the me, and what happens when that distinction sort of gets blurred or raced. Yeah I mean I can certainly relate to this experience with Yoga and Meditation Yeah. you know when not every time, but occasionally occasionally I like a really good yoga session. I can. Can reach that point where it's You know I i. lose a sense of me. It's a wonderful experience that it can be difficult to put in a word I mean the only way you can describe it is like is ego, loss or some use the term ego death. Which I think is a little. That's a little harsh. Let's not pull death into this. Whole situation experience without a self. Yeah, yeah, one way to Terence McKenna, described these these substances and others He described them as being boundary dissolving. Substances and talked about their boundary dissolving properties which I think is is a perfect description, the boundary between you and others between you in nature, or you in the cosmos, it seems to dissolve, so the fortress of the self crumbles away only for a little bit, and and of course, this sort of experience like a lot of the experiences involved in the psychedelic experience you can can can of course be achieved via other means, but as a number of these come point out these these chemical shortcuts are are shortcuts, but they're also kind of like. Like high speed shortcuts. Yeah, they're kind of like. Express Lane's exactly better or worse. They require a lot less work than achieving loss of ego through meditation or something, and a lot less practice I would say probably two right, but again I really love this description of something being a boundary, dissolving substance, or even just a boundary, dissolving experience and I feel like you know putting aside psychedelic entirely I feel like we do need more boundary dissolving experiences in life, because we just throw up so many boundaries between ourselves and each other and. Certainly against the nature. Well, yeah, I mean this is a common think way the we'll talk more in subsequent episodes about interesting research about the ways that psychedelics have been shown to have the potential to actually change adult personality, which is a fascinating property and makes them kind of worth their weight in gold, right but yeah I mean some of the ways we can see that as so in the the boundary dissolving property to whatever extent that does exist between humans I, think tends to lead people who consume psychedelics to have a more communitarian mindset after using them the nature boundary. Disillusion thing is very interesting because you very often see. People having stronger affinities with the rest of nature with plants and animals and the natural environment after taking these substances in Michael Pollen in his book compares the this dissolution of the boundary with nature to one of my favorites Alexander von, Humboldt. I think he doesn't name the book, but I think in the book eludes to having read the invention of nature by Andrea Wolf that biography of Humboldt that I recommended a couple of years ago in the still a great read. If you get a chance, but von. Humboldt said you know one of the realizations. Is that you know you are not in nature? He says I am nature. Yeah, and that psychedelics seemed to encourage people to think this way. Last interesting common report is this thing that is sometimes I think termed the afterglow worth mentioning that some users of psychedelic substances report additional subjective experiences after they've returned to their baseline state of consciousness, so you're no longer experiencing, be sensory hallucinations or significantly altered states of consciousness, but. After you're done with the PSYCHEDELIC trip on LSD or suicide, and sometimes people reported that the world just seems very bright and alive and wonderful and full of possibilities Michael. Palin describes this as quote, the opposite of a hangover. It's kind of like. The windows have been opened and allowed the air to circulate, and then after the windows are closed once more or mostly closed The air is still fresh. Air is still renewed, and this brings me back to what I just said earlier about consolidation and integration and I think this be very important to keep in mind as we consider traditional, shamanistic and you know in in in scientific uses of these substances. You know both scientific. Scientific Research is going on today. And also the sort of underground therapy sessions that are as well that Michael. Pollen writes about in his book. You know where afterwards during this afterglow you ask. What did I learn from the experience? What can I bring this? Bring out of this into the waking. World It reminds me of one of Alan Watts famous quotes about you know in which he compared psychedelic experience to a scientist using a microscope. Oh, like grafted. The idea being that a biologist will use the microscope, but then and he's not going to have They're not going to have their glued to the microscope. They have to leave the microscope. Then in order to understand nature has it is conceived of you know outside of the microscopic or telescopic experience, right? You don't really see or observe just by looking. Looking at something, you have to also step back and think about what you saw right now. A couple of other bits of insight there were brought up in that world science festival panel, and L. Seth mentioned that there's increased randomness where there can be and and and he also pointed out that you know this. Our sense of self is ultimately a perception. And the default mode network plays a big role in it. He said it's important to. Point out that the self is not the default mode network. We shouldn't like draw too strong a comparison between the two, but they're still a strong connection. And he said psychedelics temporarily reorganize these networks. You know so for so forget you new hallucinations. They messed with the primary hallucination of the self. The hallucination that we have day in and day out you know the idea. Idea that we're set off from the natural world that were set off from each other, so that's I. think that's a a really interesting way of looking at it. Don't think about the new hallucination that is brought on by Psychedelic, but the primary hallucination that may be disrupted and then what we can learn from that. I mean one of the funny things. Is that so? The idea of seeing hallucinations while on a psychedelic can sort of by issue toward thinking that what psychedelic do is they give you an inaccurate perception of nature. Because of course you know you hallucinate things on psychedelics that there's no way to show that they're actually physically there, but at the same time you shouldn't conclude from that the corollary that. D- standard like the default. State of consciousness is accurate, and the altered state of consciousness is thus estranged or inaccurate right, it might see things in the physical environment that aren't physically there, but it's perception of the self, and how the self works, maybe no less accurate or maybe more accurate than your default state, right and a lot of this, too. It's like we're not necessarily talking about a matrix scenario where it's like. Oh now. I see the real world, but like the details, the emphasis is that we play some things etcetera the values that we place. Another individual on that panel World Science Festival was Berkeley Professor of psychology and Philosophy Alison Gopnik who we've also discussed in the program here before because she does a lot with the minds of young children and developing mine states. She discussed how it's how these How psychedelic seem to open up exploratory possibilities in individuals? In keeping with the plasticity of in the mind of a young child shoe calls this lantern consciousness. Comparing it to the illumination of a lantern, and she says she said before that babies and young children are basically tripping all the time. They are basically having a psychedelic experience, which is why you know, children can be so trying because they're just really will not boil down in be a part of the the rational world there continually in psychedelic exploration mode in so maybe in part. Part of it is that psychedelics put one or allow one to connect maybe in a more adult way with that same level of plasticity. Yeah, one of the things that's commonly. It's a metaphor that's often used by psychologists psychiatrists who are interested in this mode of thinking that psychedelics sort of like they break the automatic cliches of connection that you make in your. Your mind, so you're able to see familiar objects as if you're seeing them for the first time, and our mind is just full of these nonverbal cliches of connections. We make between things when we see a hin. We know it's four writing in your. See and like you ignore all of the other strange associations. You might make about the form of the pen in your hand. Hand, but the psychedelics alike they break that automatic connection, and instead you see it as this radically ambiguous form that appears before you could make connections do all kinds of things all right? We're GONNA. Call this episode right here, but we will continue this exploration in the next couple of episodes, so a lot of ground to cover I think we went a long time, but But I think it was important to get all the grounding there, so we can follow through in the next few episodes where we're going to talk about the history and the natural history of psychedelics and especially suicide, and to talk about some of the research that's been going on especially since around two thousand six about therapy uses of psychedelics and the ways they can contribute to adult. Adult personality change and other things yeah I think it's fascinating. How just just in the history of this show in the history of Steph? Your mind like we? We have seen so much progress made with with psychedelic research, so it's going to be real exciting to discuss that in upcoming episodes totally all right in the meantime. If you want to check out more episode stuffed. Stuffed blow your mind. Their tunnel ways to do that. 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From the Vault: Send an Owl/Raven/Pigeon!

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

1:09:23 hr | 11 months ago

From the Vault: Send an Owl/Raven/Pigeon!

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM smart is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM, dot com slash red hat. Hey, class twenty twenty. We know things have been super weird lately. You were robbed of a graduation ceremony, so we found some people to write you Benton speeches. Legend. Hillary Clinton. She's into over twenty of your favorites from. Dj College Coach K. Abby Wambach two Alsi. They're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now. Tune into iheartradio's new podcast. Commencement speeches are out now on the iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcast. Hey welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert. Lamb and I'm Joe McCormack and it Saturday time for a vault episode deepen the Volta here the fluttering of wings. Yeah, that's right. This is our episode. Send an owl slash raven slash pigeon. This episode, basically explorers, the actual use of pigeons to to relate messages from one point to another, but then also exploring the use of Ravens and owls in our various fictions namely. The song of ice and fire by George Martin and JK rollings Harry Potter series. To. What extent do these make sense? Could an AL actually deliver a message? How smart is now? How capable of being trained is an Allen likewise? What's the situation with the Raven? This is what. The questions that this episode attempts to answer. We hope you enjoy. Welcomes your mind. Production of iheartradio's has networks. Hey, welcome to stuff to blow your mind. My name is Robert. Lamb and I'm Joe McCormick Joe in my household. We're slapped. Dab in the middle of Harry Potter Mania. You've been telling me all about it dude. Yeah, yeah, we're reading our seven year old the books we're making our way through the movies. My son applies an amazing level of focus and determination to all these Harry Potter Lego kits. Now you gotTA. Tell me about those because I love. legos and I am hoping some in my life to be able to play with legos again. Oh, well, yeah, the Lego. Kits are pretty great They're not a sponsor, but I'm just saying the. There are a lot of fun. The the hogwarts especially as is quite quite a kit. He also has a stuffed owl. which has of course named HEDWIG after Harry Potter's Al and at the same time when he goes to bed, my wife and I are currently enjoying the final season of game of thrones, as am I and my wife Yeah those guys. Who Your current Oh. Yeah, we're hooked won't be any spoilers in this episode, but but I'm glad that we're on the same wavelength and you and one day I. Think I I'm I'm looking forward to actually finishing reading the books as well once they are all written Oh. Yes, so are you actually caught up to where the books are in the song of ice and fire series I? I'm caught up and eagerly awaiting the subsequent me too I've read them all, and now it's been so long I'm going to have to go back and read them again before the next one is going to have to the wikipedia entries. So. In the whizz earning world of of the JK rolling created the magical community. They use owls to send messages back and forth, and it's beautiful, and it's settling magical part of the book right playing on their traditional ideas of witches and wizards, having familiar years as well as the properties of als that make them seem mystical right there silenced. They're not colonel habits their wise appearance. But in reality is, we'll discuss. No one actually uses an owl to send messages in the real world, but the more general idea of using birds to send messages is not so magical, and not so far fetched I. Guess That's what we're going to be talking about today, unlike wiser George, Martin's a song of ice and fire books. And the HBO TV TV Adaptation Thrones Now folks. If we call the books game of thrones today, don't get on our case. It's just the same. It's just what we've been programmed to do. At this point in both properties, Ravens are the bird of choice for members of the Senate all to relay messages to and from various castle cities and important locations the email of west coast. Yeah, and you need. It's described the books that these clever messengers usually only function like real World Messenger Pigeons Right, they that smarter and capable of traveling to multiple locations but But for the most part, you're sending a message from one place to another right, yeah, that's right actually to without any spoilers to extremely comic effect sometimes in the TV show especially where like seems like somebody will write a message. Put It on a raven. Send it off and they get results within like a day when it was supposed to travel a thousand miles. I'm not quite sure exactly how that happens. I think they have to move a lot faster on the TV series right I. Think this has led to a lot of memes. Where like the? Jet Packs on that. One, and they also have I believe there's an additional separate species a white raven that the citadel for particularly important messages. Don't recall that, but there's a lot of detail in the books that didn't even stick had a lot of a lot of time with game of thrones to to forget many different details myself but I you know I think all of this works nicely in the books and the TV series because it puts an alternative. Universe Kinda spin on everything right like in your world. It's a pigeon, but in in in West arrose it is. It is a raven, and then you know it's kind of like. Some of the other spins that they do like like having this predominantly polytheistic version of medieval Western culture. So this alternate of vision of how bloodlines genetics work, though I do think they're interesting a to turn this into just a game of thrones episode there's some interesting parallels between the religions in the game of thrones, world, and and the religions of Western. Europe like so you originally have these Pagan polytheistic religions, but I know Georgia are Martin has commented the faith of the seven in the books in the TV. Show is really. Really an analogy for the Catholic Church that because it has you know even? I it is considers itself a monotheistic religion. It has a trinity. It has many saints and other figures in. He just said well I just went ahead and made them all gods. Yeah, he he. He did a great job of of taking things that were familiar in tweaking on this little bit where they still felt like you didn't have to. Take a running start at understanding the religious world of game of thrones, but it was a little bit different. Just they'll just just a little bit skewed in a way that made it to. Resonate a little more. Yeah, and and likewise the ravens fit perfectly in this you know this grim dark setting, because the Raven of course is a bird that's associated with with darkness and carnage, and so it makes sense that the cares. Be using this bird to send their messages as opposed to the peaceful, dove or pigeon. Pecking bits of flesh from dead bodies on the battlefield. Imagined but. The way the Ravens are used in the book as we've already alluded to is actually very analogous to real life uses of Messenger Pigeons. That's right messenger, pigeons carrier pigeons. This is an actual method that that we use and have used for thousands of years to deliver messages across long distances. And and it's not really it's not like a magically trained pet. It's more of an animal that will dependency dependency return home after you transport it somewhere else, and then lead-free does a much less impressive trick, though still impressive. Yes, I would be pretty amazing. If you could just like. Send one to another city on command, and then it would come back right. It's like imagine doing it with. Say a guerilla from the local zoo. Zoo you're like? I want to send a message to the zoo where this guerilla lives okay well, I'm GonNa take one of its guerrillas with me. When I visit another city that will give the grill of the message. Let the gorilla loose in the gorilla will of course return home thus delivering the message so I. Guess That's where you get the idea. You may have heard the phrase a homing pigeon right? Yes, it is returning home. So here we are. We're talking about pigeons. We're talking about owls and we're talking about Ravens. We figured we. We know that. Homing pigeons. this has been a subject that the numerous. podcasts covered I. Know Josh and Chuck covered. Homing? Pigeons Awhile back on their show. That doesn't surprise me and and so we wanted to to to discuss them, but we this might spice it up a bit to also discuss them in relation to the owls and the Ravens of the world of Harry Potter and the World of West Coast and in doing so we'll be able to highlight wipe. The pigeon has worked so well for these purposes and why we use the pigeon and likewise. Likewise why we don't actually use ravens and owls, what is it about Ravens analysis that that would make them ideal for the sort of work, and then also what proved prevents us from using them for this sort of work to begin with. Why say let's go pigeon I? Yeah, let's go. Let's let's hit reality. And then we'll dip our toes into the fantasy a bit so first of all. Let's consider some of the end of the epic facts. From history of homing pigeons I think. Should ground their use in a real world that feels as epic is anything from West rose? So so first of all, it seems that pigeons were originally domesticated for food. In the Middle East, and in Europe much in the same way that the jungle fowl that we now call it. Chicken was originally domesticated in India and East Asia. So they were domesticated for their meat for their eggs which. The pigeon has tiny eggs, but you can't eat them. the pigeon. Is, maybe not as rural bust is a modern. Enhanced Chicken but it still is edible I mean again. If you've read the song of ice and fire books, one of the common menu items at feasts and stuff, roast, squad, or stuff squad of course, squad would be like a young pigeon. Yeah, and you can still find swab on menus in various places. Now when we're talking about homing pigeons, homing pigeon is technically Columba Livia domestic. That's the domestic version of the rock pigeon, which is just Columba Livia now one interesting fact about the common pigeon, the Rock Pigeon. Also known as the rock dove in their natural habitats, their cliff-dwellers, they tend to live and nest on cliff, faces and rock ledges, which probably at least partially explains why they thrive so well in modern urban landscapes, full of buildings that function as artificial cliff faces. That's true, and I think we talked about this some with with our guest. Jason Ward who came on the show wants to talk about urban evolution, especially, if birds absolutely highly successful species. But back before their success was so guaranteed. Yeah, they were this. This wonderful edible bird, the good stuff in cages pretty easily, and as you might imagine people you know, kept their birds and the. In doing so prohibited from flying away, and as they travelled around with these birds, and then I'm assuming they probably discovered the curious and dependable way that these birds could then return to their home nest across increasingly long distance. And as such. We have been using birth these pigeons for thousands of years to deliver messages. IT IS A. Pretty ancient practice, yeah, but it appears to emerged out of this original destined domestication for food I. Eat them, and then you put them to work right which? which you know, it sounds rather ultimately document very mundane use of the bird right? We're going to use it for eating and we're going to use it for delivering messages, but it's also worth noting that pigeons have sacred significance in many cultures, though we often refer to them in doves in that in in these instances at least in the English language, right pigeon and the same thing. Yeah I mean we're talking about the about birds from the family. Columbus Day, which has doves and pigeons. But you know, we can think to the roles of say doves, and Christian symbolism, and even as kind of a secular symbol of peace right. Releasing dubs. To is. A. Symbolic Act right. Likewise we can go all the way back to ancient. Sumerian Patina where we see. The use of the dove is an associated an animal of the goddess in Ana We love in on this show, but that's interesting. Because a non has multiple valances, Nana can be of course like a fierce goddess of war, screams death through the rebel lands or she can be. Be You know like a peaceful goddess of fertility is. She has both meanings in different contexts and I wonder which which way the dove comes in there. Is it like the way we associated with piece, or is it? The way that doves can be used to send messages and gather intelligence during war as just as a means of conveying information can serve both ends right. But it doesn't really seem like this this prior relationship with domestication with the pitch and his ultimately what sets it up for uses the carrier bird earlier people domesticated them live with them, and picked up on their abilities, and really the only other burr thing to the other birds that have a legacy of domestication, and and each one we can try to imagine to what extent they could have actually been used to carry messages I. Mean You have the the chicken? It's not gonNA work. The duck goose. It though that's the chicken, yeah, the chicken that would be like a good cartoon. Chickens out the duck and goose. I couldn't find any real discussions of this, but they are migratory. Birds so it's it sounds possible, but are they are they ever domesticated? I. Don't know I. Guess They are sometimes. I've seen them. Yeah, listed as as birds that we have domesticated some cases, likewise goose, the Guinea Fowl, the Turkey canaries and finches, but but of these the domestication of the chicken, the duck goose in the Turkey those go back thousands of years, but canaries only go back to the fifteenth century and the finch. The eighteenth century. But you know to to put ourselves back in ancient shoes on this right? As one be presumably you know picks up on the ability of the of the of the pigeon to carry messages just think of the advantage. In a world where message delivery is only as fast as a human or a horse and rider can, can travel across either open to rain or more likely a series of winding paths or roads. Yeah, I mean we take for granted now that we have wired or wireless communication that can send information electrically or whatever I mean back then of message had to be physically taken one way or another. Either you tell it to a person, and they go deliver it in person, or it had to be carried by hand. Yeah, you'd have a runner carrying her carrying it to the next runner. And then, yeah, yeah! If you're going from point A to point B. you're probably not able to go in a straight line. But the bird can. The bird can fly in a literally as the as the crow flies. Yeah, the bird also has the advantage of this is seen sometimes in the song of ice fire series where say if your castle is under siege and no person, no human messenger would likely get by without being captured a bird probably could by. Yeah can leave a besieged city in. Go relate a message. They might try and shoot it out of the sky with a with an Arrow then. That's why you have multiple pigeons imagined or multiple owls or ravens in your fantasy says. Of Treatments, a birds can also carry messages quickly over water. Right humans can't or I guess maybe could by boat, but yeah, it's it's easy just to sort of focus on the sort of the primitive nature of tying a message to an animal with in just forget the tremendous freedom of movement that a bird like a pigeon has. And then in terms of speed with a pigeon, we're talking speeds of fifty to sixty miles per hour and up to record speeds and I think this is you know when you're really pushing racing them? You can get into the low nineties. Horses on the other hand. You're only going to reach the mid fifties, and that's going at full gallop, and that's like a world record for horse. Common Gal that's really going, and and again the chances of you being able to send a message by horse at top speed at record speed in a straight line, Mike on this magical highway. You've built between Fortress A. Be It's just not. It doesn't stack up against the power, the the the message delivering power of the pigeon, so to give everybody a you know some more ideas about just the the history, the legacy of of carrier pigeon use I was looking at the hallowed history of the carrier pigeon by Mary Bloom From The New York Times two thousand four. and. Some of the high points of the author of mentioned here and I believe this was covering museum exhibit about the carrier. Pigeon, but we have like. An addition to mythical. Stories of in honor in her association with the with the pigeon, or dove also biblical accounts such as. Noah, releasing doves or pigeons? Yeah, it was to test whether the flood waters of the great flood had abated things in genesis chapter eight where. Noah releases multiple or either the same dub, multiple times or multiple doves to go out and see if it can land somewhere at first it goes out, and it can't find anywhere to land, and it comes back to him the second time it goes out, and it brings back a branch, and that means the waters must proceeded from somewhere in the third time it goes out. It just stays gone and never returns. So, if you love a dove, said it three. So the ancient Romans used pigeons for chariot races to tell owners how their injuries had placed. Genghis Khan established pigeon relay. Points across Asia and much of Eastern Europe Charlemagne made pigeon raising the exclusive privilege of nobility. Pigeons were used for military communication well into World War One. Rolled out cure carrier pigeons with cameras. They were soon replaced by reconnaissance planes by the end of the end of the War France had mobilized three thousand pigeons, and they the declared that anyone impeding their flight could be sentenced to death. There's actually a famous story from World War. One I believe about a group of allied soldiers who had come under friendly fire from artillery, and only managed to communicate to their allies the. Stop shelling us by accident by the use of a carrier pitch allowed saved many lives. Pigeons have been used transfer blood samples from remote regions regions of Britain and France in eastern India. They were used for communication between remote police outposts, and as of at least last year at least one of these. Lines was still in use. The. US is used. To spot shipwrecks, a drug drug traffickers have used pigeons. Seemingly around the world I was looking at various stories about this, and you know I was finding hits from North South and Central America as well as in the Middle East you know obviously you're not going to send to like an entire brick of hash up in the attic pigeon, but if you want to send a small amount of something like across the Border Police Steria, yeah, Yankee, take opinion from its home, attached the drugs to it and then let it fly home. Yeah, and that's exactly what some people have done. This is a fun account that my wife shared with shoes, remembering a West Virginia white water rafting place from sort of like the pre digital photo age, and and they used Pidgin, so what they did is You know you're going on this Whitewater rafting ride right and. Nowadays. We just take this for granted right. You ride some sort of a ride like a roller coaster. At the end they sell you a picture of yourself enjoying the ride. Of course now we just digital photography, but this particular Whitewater rapid place the way they did it is. They had a photographer with a long lens up on a hillside where they could get a good shot of the river. They would snap your picture as you're going down the river, and then it would take the film. They would attach it to the homing pigeon, the pigeon like to the end of the river. Up is they would develop the film, and then they would sell you the picture because you know this is of course of. That's when you want to sell the picture. You're just getting off the the rafting ride. You're excited like ooh, that was awesome. I didn't die. It was great, and then there's the picture ready to like magic, and you pay for it now. That probably wasn't even possible until like celluloid Acetate film right? Try to attach a daguerreotype plate to your pigeon. Work to understand that joke. Make sure you listen to our series of episodes on our other podcast invention about the invention of photography. Those have been a lot of fun. They're not listening to invention yet. What are you doing? Go listen. Yeah, yeah, and you can check out the website at invention pod dot, com okay I. got one for you ever wonder about the origin of the term pigeonhole. I'd never thought about it, but now I am yeah, Pigeonhole as verb right like I don't want to be pigeonholed. I. Don't know exactly how I guess it means like It's sort of like the the the idea of being typecast. I don't want to be pinned down in this kind of narrowly defined space well, apparently, this expression has a very literal origin in the the domestic pigeon raising trade it comes from wind pigeons used to be given like individual holes or recesses to nest in, and then after that later came to have another definition of quote, one of a series of small open compartments as in a desk cabinet, or the like us for filing or sorting papers. And so that's like a standard definition which I think more to further into the more abstract. Of having your. pigeonholed into a narrow slot interesting. Yeah, I'd I'd never thought about it before, but that makes perfect sense, and that metaphorical definition came about I think in the eighteen sixties in the mid late nineteenth century all right, so why and how do pigeons carry out these impressive feats of speedy delivery? Yeah, why then? Why not some other bird? Yeah, why not AL and Dowse when Ravens why not rats? One hundred the in the neighborhood house cat and I think he might be able to answer this question. Two different ways that we could, we can get into more. Is the episode goes on, but one explanation might be rooted in the sort of innate tendencies or abilities of each of these animals, and another answer might be more rooted in just accidents of history. Yeah, yeah, I think so like touched on the fact that the pigeon was domesticated a seemingly originally for food, and so that kind of like provided the. Groundwork for further domestic uses of the animal. Yes, but it is certainly true that pigeons have some very impressive qualities when it comes to navigation and long distance travel right there. Navigational Abilities are essentially twofold so first of all they have a compass system, and this tells them which direction they're headed in and the sun position of the sun and the Earth's magnetic field. Make this possible, but then they also have a map system which tells them where they are in relation to where they want to go now it's this ability that is a lot more controversial that we have sort of competing hypotheses. Competing theories about how they're actually working, so it's not totally settled exactly all of the methods that pigeons have to navigate the way they do and find their way back home, right? There's still there's still research on going as to what's going on. And complicating. All of this is the release site bias. This is when birds go off in the wrong direction that release leading investigators to ask what what's happening in these cases to disrupted their return. What can we learn about the functionality by looking at the disruption events? And so the basic theories for how the mapping system works are as follows first. There's the smell theory. So odors carried on the wind. Allow the pages to map their way. Home and studies have shown that the atmosphere does contain the necessary olfactory information. And, pigeons have been observed to get disoriented when their sense of smell is impaired or when they don't have access to natural wins at their home nest And then there's the earth's magnetic. Field Lines, so there is a theory that there's some kind of inherent magneto reception in the birds right as Cordola v, Mora and Michael Walker pointed out in two thousand, nine, studying the proceedings of the Royal Society. B Biological Sciences Quote Pigeons May derive spatial information from the magnetic field at the release site that could be used to estimate their current position relative to their loft. Okay, so this sounds like it might especially help with like initial orientation toward their target destination. And again working with that compass system, so these two things working together another is also a third theory. That I ran across in this one's not as big as the other to do. Just give everyone an idea of some of the alternative ideas that are being explored here. Geophysicist John Hagstrom. Has This theory that they follow ultra low frequency sounds back towards. Towards their lofts, and the why certain areas can confuse them and throw them off. He argues that topographic disruptions ultrasound account for why some pigeons are thrown off track in known disruption disruption zones such as in parts of upstate new. York, that was the the region that that Hagstrom was actually looking at and conducting Oh you know some experiments in. In homing pigeons, they can't hear sounds as low as point zero five hurts so so they do have. They do have impressive hearing that that's base, yeah. However it's also been pointed out outta particularly I. was looking at a National Geographic article new theory on how homing pigeons find home by John Jay Lee. Pointed out that the the given pigeon might use. Either the smell or the magnetic field? Mapping system it might just depend on where they're raise leaning on magnetic fields in some cases smell in the others, other areas, or perhaps leaning on ultrasound of that is is in fact, one of the methods at their disposal well, and that would sorta makes sense given what we know about our senses that we use for navigation. I mean it would depend on where you were. You were trying to find your. Your way to right right like some places. It might be good to listen for traffic or something. Yeah, you don't know if you're like trying to get back to a traffic area in otherwise wilderness area or my main more sense to just look with your eyes and see what kind of place you're going to yeah I. Mean in all these cases. I keep trying to put myself in the shoes of the pigeon. Imagine somebody like sticking me in a cage transporting me say. Two counties over releasing me in the wild and giving me a message to return my how to my House I would probably just die in the woods and. It's. We look at something like the pigeon animal that is not. Held in high esteem. By most people you know we, we take a pigeons. We think of essentially winged rats in the city and we may not stop to realize. What kind of amazing and navigational abilities. They have but they do. They pigeons can do can do the these feats that that humans would be completely lost to try and replicate. Do you think the pigeons internal? Navigational computer is as annoying as the navigation APP on most phones or like you know a GPS. Devices I I would think not because it's a part of them right I mean the the the annoying thing about GPS technologies that it is external and. It's it's something we have to divert attention to or and or you know we drop our phone out of that little cradle horsing around with it while going down the interstate. Brand it was, but there was one I used to interact with fairly wasn't mine. It was somebody else's but but it. was incredibly passive aggressive like anytime you missed. Attorney would almost hear it like get Kinda Huffy. Who'd go? RECALCULATING! Yeah, yeah, there are all sorts of weird quirks They've got a lot better, but. It's still there they don't still they still don't feel like a natural instinct by any stretch. Now obviously we can spend more time here, talking about the navigational abilities of pigeons, and and certainly the way that pigeons and other animals. Seemingly interact with the magnetic field. But. We want to take a quick break here when we come back. We're GONNA, move onto the next animal in this episode. We're going to discuss. The owls of Harry Potter, but more specifically the owls of the real world this episode is brought to you by IBM Today the world looks pretty different, but already new problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with a I to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping. Helping at IBM dot, com slash covid nineteen. This episode is brought to you by IBM Today. The world looks pretty different, but already knew problems are being met with new thinking. Researchers are using supercomputers to discover treatments faster. Retailers are turning to the cloud to restock shelves more quickly. Teachers are working with ai to rethink the classroom. It's not everything, but it's a start. Let's put smart to work. See how IBM is helping at IBM dot com slash cove nineteen. All right, we're back or robber, give it to me straight. What are the what are the chances? The fighting chances of military force that wants to deliver messages between its ranks by the use of war. All's well. It depends if we're talking about MUGGLES or we're talking about members of the Wisden community. I'm talking about real real world here. Well. Just just take the pigeons of world. War One replace them with our. What happens The messages don't get delivered. For starters, because I think ultimately, an important part of this is the of course, the legacy of using the pigeon. Yeah, but the the the question. The question is what what if there had been no pigeons, what if for some reason? Early on people had gone the direction of the wizard in community in the Harry Potter novels and had said let's use. AL's. Let's let's not focus on any other animals. Let's focus on this species or the species of how. Can we use this animal to deliver our messages right whether rain or snow or dead of night. Will this owl deliver your message? Right and I have to say when we we set out to do this episode. My initial suspected answer was going to be no. They can't and I suspected that the reason was going to be that houser. Dumb what? Really because. This. This is like this is pre research, but I've I've found that. Multiple birds shows that I go to. Bird shows or Like wildlife rescue places places where they have saying that can't be released into the wild, because it has a damaged wing, so it's used for educational purposes multiple times. The the individual caring for the creatures has pointed out that well. This owl is really dumb, not a smart creature. And, so we have their their limits on what we can expect from it. That strange I tend to find the people who work directly with animals are tend to. They tend to err on the side of overstating the animals intelligence. Well and I don't mean to speak for every like wildlife refuge rescue. Individual, out there bird, show, worker, etc, but you know it stood out to me and I probably stood out to me because there is this idea of the wise now. It's firmly established not only in pop culture, but in our mythic traditions. The Owl was the bird of Athena the Greek goddess of Wisdom. They were thought to see the future, and of course they're not colonel nature in there. Silent Flight Made Them Creatures of Occult Fascination. The Romans saw them as portents of doom, they fulfil a number of roles among the native peoples of North and South America ranging from dire omens to. Actual spirits of the dead in some traditions, thou an evil creature. Another it associated with the goddess as in Phoenix case, or in Welsh mythology the goddess. Blow to wed is associated with the OWL. It is not hard at all to imagine how else could come to occupy a place of like a terrifying spiritual power, because you've ever been out in the woods at night and heard and now. It's I mean it's a cliche now, because in the movies and all that, but in person it is freaky. Yes, and then they have enormous is. You can't help it. Lock eyes with the owls and it's. It's intimidating to to look them. They're just in there just fascinating impressive specimens. And in terms of pop culture, who can forget the great owl from the secret of Nimh? It's so good. Yeah, kind of Wilford grimly faced owl. It had some heavy brows and mustache from what I recall, but also glowing is yeah. A lot of types of there's something like two hundred species roughly. They're amazing creatures in there somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred different species all our. By the way, possibly the largest owl, ever to walk the earth, the Cuban giant Al, which stood about three foot, seven or one point, one meters tall, and was either flightless or nearly flightless, a giant flightless owl, so what was it like a like a raptor, like run around along the ground and snatch up its prey, so yeah, you know, we could possibly have achieved a very limited flight in the same way. Chicken may fly, wow. But but als are specialized killers. They're mostly solitary creatures. Social complexity to their brain load. You know it's it's It's more about the spotting. In Perceiving Pray and then stealthily swooping down on them and and and smashing them up. But but I was looking into this more and I found a book. Titled the Science of Harry Potter Okay Two Thousand and two by Roger Highfield and it's A. It's a pretty cool book obviously. It's been out for a few years, but. So this would have been the earliest Harry Potter books or not that the use of owls really. Changes much series. That's pretty stationary. Our just how you send messages. But the major reason he says that als- wouldn't be ideal for this sort of work is that most of them are rather sedentary, so they don't mind rate in migratory skills would be ideal for the sort of messaging work It's it's kind of like if you've heard I know you and I have heard this a presented intent Calica self defense of scenario by saying that if someone is looking to say, rob you on the street. They have a remember the the term. Use a small office. They have small work area. Anyone get out of that work area. Just you know it's like a pickpocket or robbers working like within like one st worth of area. Yeah, and that's the similar case with a lot of predatory organisms. They ultimately have a small zone in which they operate operate very well in that zone. But. You, get out of the zone and you might be in the clear now. That might be a good point about the owls, and not being migratory in being fairly sedentary, but then again I believe pigeons are non migratory released most in most cases, non migratory, and yet they have this powerful homing and messaging ability, and then also in Highfield does acknowledge that we do have some that are migratory. You have I think two out of the five native UK. Al Species are migratory nature and in theory could handle the ranges involved in most potter world letters. And they have great eyesight. which would be useful as well so we think of the ways that these. The given messenger species would find the places that needs to go well. The AL has excellent. Eyesight could be. It would be very useful. Now as for their brain power he's. He pointed out that there had not been a lot of systematic study of Al Brainpower but this would have been two thousand two right, but he said, but he also acknowledged that you know there have been some some work in looking at the memory of Barn, owls specifically by Erik Knudsen at Stanford University, and that research seemed to show that they did have solid working memories. While on the other hand, some species were considered to be required, rather dim due to their the predatory niche that they depended on now, but of course in all of this anytime. We're talking about animal intelligence. Where it's always a bit unfair because ultimately. Given species is as intelligent as it needs to be for what it does right and I mean. Even given that caveat, I think we have learned a lot more about bird intelligence just in the past couple of decades than we knew before like it is becoming increasingly clear. How Smart Chords are and we'll talk about that when we get to Ravens in the next section, but we didn't always know everything we know now about bird intelligence I, think the picture is becoming clearer that the birds are much smarter than we have long thought. Thought, though not every bird is equally more intelligent than we have long thought. Right I mean ultimately is a lot is going to depend on what that ad that particular bird, or in this case. What that does for instance? I was looking around it. Some some some other. Some actual studies on this I. Two Thousand Thirteen study from the International Journal of Comparative Psychology found that the great grey owl or strips nebulizer which. That's one of my favorites there. That's that's I mean. That's sounds like spell from Harry Potter. These particular didn't do so hot and cognitive ability tests. They said quote. Our results suggest that the owls fail to comprehend the physics underlying the object relationships involved in the task presented. But then again, as pointed out in two thousand four study published in nature from Levy, Dunkin and Levin's burrowing owls or Athenee Gloria, which is another nice when? They use Deng as a tool, or at least they use Deng, as bait to attract Dung Beetles, which were favourite prey, but you could would that be like novel or cognitively discovered behavior. Is that more probably like an instinct? They, they were framing it in terms of You know this is a potential tool. Use that is You know granted anytime. You're tool. Is Dengue these days I mean? It's not quite the same as using. A crafted TWIG. To to pull grubs out of state of log or something edge, because it's done doesn't mean it's not a tool right? Yeah, but I mean it still works for him, so I mean ultimately field had argued that well. Maybe maybe an hour could be used for such purposes and I think based on some of the other research. We're looking at It does seem like the canal. Canal could pull off some of the feats involved. Well I think one of the big questions that you would need to ask about whether a bird could be trained as some kind of messenger would be. How well do they respond to training? Right and to domestic depend domestication. Yeah, I mean sadly the popularity of the Harry Potter books and movies reportedly caused an increase in the trafficking of pet. Which JK rollings has as vocally condemned by the way, do not go out and try and buy a towel just because you like Harry Potter. The important cases here's that that outside of the magical world, though the realm of professional wildlife rescue efforts, AL's should not be kept in cages and they're you know they're not going to deliver your mail for you, but but more to the point they ha- handling pigeons, one thing stuffing than in and out of cages by hand it's one thing, but in our has some pretty vicious talents that can certainly send you to the hospital so. Just generally, not good candidates for domestication right outside of a magical. Fantasy series it. It doesn't sell it. The talons alone would give pause. If you look up if you're if you're curious about this, do Google image search on like our related injuries? You know find some Nice Wipes and slices here and there. It'll be enough to make you think well. Yeah, maybe we should leave the owls alone as much as possible. All right, let's take a break when we come back. We will talk about Ravens has messengers. 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So let's turn now to game of thrones to West roasts and the use of Ravens A. why are we not using ravens and we really wanted to. COULD WE USE RAVENS TO DELIVER MESSAGES? This one I think the prospects are different, but maybe a little bit better than ours, so you mentioned in mythology earlier that you talked about the doves of the Noah story in the book of Genesis Noah releases doves, and eventually they let him know that all the water's gone from the Earth, but don't forget. There's another part of the story. This is very strange doesn't necessarily really seem to add up to anything, but Noah actually sends out a Raven I ta. It's Kinda hard to tell what the ravens supposed to be doing in the story. It starts off by saying that it came about the end of forty days. Forty days and forty nights of raining at the end of forty days that Noah opened the window of the Ark which he had made, and he sent out a raven, and it flew here, and there until the water was dried up from the earth, and then after that it just goes straight into the story with the doves So that's confusing I'm not quite sure what's happening there I. Do know that there is some There's some theories about the version of the story. The great flood that we have that say it's actually at least two different original stories that have essentially. Essentially been edited together in in the version that we have of the book of Genesis so it could, this could reflect different versions of the same story, just sort of being stitched together, but I don't know that so like one of them is the Georgia Martin? Yes, exactly and it was never finished, so they had to dislike. Slap it together with this other version of the story. Yeah, so there's some other author is I don't like the Raven I'm going to do doves. Okay, but they also didn't WanNa. Throw anything away, so the Raven still there, but yeah, anyway, the that's. That's one of those interesting little textual mysteries so, but yeah, the question would ravens be good messenger birds as in game of thrones now in the world of Georgia are Martin Song of ice and fire in the TV show game of thrones, the people of West roasts they use ravens mainly to send long distance messages like we're talking about much vert very comparable to the way people have used Messenger pigeons. There's a scene where maistre aim, and the the maistre like the sort of learned person and the up. The Wall Tells Jon. Snow quote, doves and pigeons can also be. Be trained to carry messages, though the Raven is a stronger flyer larger boulder, far more clever better able to defend itself against hawks, so I think we should keep that in mind. We'll come back to it later to see whether Mr Raymond's mostly are not on the money there. Okay? the first thing we should look at of course is whether in fact, ravens are far more clever, and I think the answer to. This is a resounding. Yes, yeah, and this was before we went into the research. My suspicion was. They might be too clever like that in this may be. Unfounded a bias, but maybe maybe the owls too dumb, mainly though the ravens to smart in the pigeon is just this perfect. Mix of skill and navigational ability, but also it's not gonNA. Get bored and curious on the way I can totally see why you would think that I don't think that's what I would think. After the research for this episode I think that that sort of underestimates als a bit maybe overestimates pigeons and Ravens in in the unruliness of intelligence, because it is the case that for many very intelligent animals, it doesn't necessarily manifest as like a surliness and rebelliousness. Often very intelligent animals can respond well to training and conditioning. Though often they respond in ways that are unpredictable to you, which is the? That's an interesting thing. We'll get to a minute about ravens. The Ravens are cords, there a family of birds, containing many other kinds such as crows, Jays and magpies both sides in general and Ravens in particular, have especially in recent years, but for a long time been known to be extremely intelligent and especially in recent years. Years we've gotten these studies that show these startling displays of intelligence in lab conditions, and there are tons of examples of this. If you want. A whole episode focused on this subject. Go back to the one. We did a couple years ago called the unsettling depths of bird intelligence. Oh, yeah, that was a good one that we also talked a little mythology in that when I remember hugging and moon, the norse mythology represents aspects of what Odin memories, thoughts and his memory. yeah, and we also talked about it with Jason Ward when he came on the show. Yes, to talk about the birds of the city, but the yeah, there are just so many interesting stories about what cords and Ravens in particular can do. just one recent example I was reading about about the intelligence of Ravens in particular, came from a couple of researchers at Sweden's Lunde University named Can Kaba Die, and Matthias Owes Fath-. Who did a study where they showed really intelligent interesting forethought, or at least what seems like evidence of it in Ravens so it's already been demonstrated. Many Times corvettes like crows and ravens can use. Use Tools, and that's one of the hallmarks of complex intelligence once thought to belong to primates alone you know if you go back and look at old textbooks, it's like only humans and great apes can use tools, but nowadays corvettes and sincere certain occupy. Take issue with that Oh. Yes, certainly and one of the interesting things about this to me. Is that tool using suggests that? If you go way back in time, rewind the clock and just let evolution run out in a different way, if other types of animals with the seeds of tool, using intelligence could have independently developed their own technological civilization, the way primates like us did yeah. What sort of world would it be if it was a world of coordinated Technology Raven world. But so yeah, we know now that Corbin's like ravens used tools, and this more recent study showed that once ravens had learned that they could use a particular tool to open a box and get a piece of Dog Kibble, which they absolutely love, they would choose if they could to grab that particular box opening tool and keep it on hand win. The food box was not even present so that they could use it to open the box later whenever it was presented to. To them maybe you know minutes or hours later, so that's already interesting like the bird is recognizing okay I can use this tool to get food. I'm going to hang onto the tool. Even though I can't use it right now. Gather thinking ahead. Also the same researchers demonstrated evidence that Ravens on average have a pretty strong ability to delay gratification to get better reward like those as demonstrated in humans with the marshmallow test. Yeah, yeah, so of course the classic marshmallow test, I? Why am I getting a tickle? The that somehow people have questioned the setting of that test now. They, certainly been a legacy of reproducing the test and altering the yeah different different versions of the test me I don't remember what that is off the top of my head. Maybe we can revisit that in the future. That'd be fun basic ideas like you know. If you cannot eat this marshmallow for five minutes, you'll get three marshmallows or something. and they do a version of that kind of thing with different animals to test their abilities by in large animals are terrible at. At this just hopeless they live in the moment. They have impulses immediately. If a piece of food is in front of them, they're going to eat it, but in this this current group what the study found is that when you give the ravens choice between okay, you can grab an okay piece of food right now, or you can grab a tool or a bartering token that the ravens have learned can be used to access a better more delicious piece of food later. One of these experiments showed the ravens will pick the delayed path to better food more than seventy percent of the time it. Was Seventy three point eight percent of the time they'd get the tool or the bartering token than they knew would lead to the better delicious piece of kibble. Oh, well, and in these experiments, the intelligence of the Ravens in question was even sometimes an impediment to controlling the experiment, because for example I was reading. A motherboard article about their research where they talked about how there was one raven started building his own tools to defeat the box. So instead of using the tool, they were supplying the Raven. It was like I. Can I can get around this, and so it was like putting together sticks in an arrangement there were could trigger an open the box without the tool. They supplied it in also that one raven apparently started trying to teach the other ravens how to exploit the box. Wow, and neurologically speaking. It's been shown for example twenty. Twenty sixteen paper in a by Ochowicz at all that birds like cords, and some parents have an enormous number of neurons packed into the four brain areas, quote, large parrots chords have the same or greater four brain neuron counts as monkeys with much larger brains. Avian brains thus have the potential to provide much higher cognitive power per unit mass than do mammalian brains, so mammals primates like us. WE'VE GOT A. A bigger brains than birds do, but it seems like birds are really packing in the neuron connections in there to make make more with less matter, but there are also really startling. examples of social intelligence incorporates like Ravens like their stories of how the trainers who have close relationships with Ravens can train these ravens to follow and fly ahead of them. There's even video as watching before we came in. In here of a BBC segment, where they had a raven trainer, who had a relationship, a previous existing relationship with this raven that he'd trained for a long time, and this guy's riding along on the side of fast moving truck, with the Raven just like flying along chasing after him, trying to land on his arm so I mean that kind of activity. You like the Raven chasing after it makes me okay. I see. Potential possibility for like a delivery system. Involving Ravens doesn't seem entirely out of the question. Just remembering when we did this earlier episode on Bird Intelligence, one of the things we did was I interviewed one of the researchers who'd worked on a paper that we talked about in that episode on on bird intelligence The researcher owner Guenter Yes, and you know I I was asking him about the differences in cognitive ability between different bird species, and basically the question of have we underestimated all birds, or is it just basically core Vitz? Parrots that are smarter than we thought, and he was pretty generous in his estimate of all birds. Though of course, Corbin's in Paris he said you know essentially, there's no major cognitive difference between what they can do, and what primates can. Can Do so yeah, he's putting them like way up there on the cognitive ladder th, they're much smarter than we realized for a long time, but even birds like pigeons chickens, he put more on the level of mice and rats. which you know, I think the average person probably assumed. Oh, my sir lot smarter than pigeons. That's not necessarily true. Yeah, and in the idea that a chicken is up there as well I mean check made verner Herzog. Who I believe what he was. Hers, argued, said that Saddam. Being just this like. The overwhelming immensity of stupidity in. Guys Chicken. I think what he's seeing. There is not stupidity. He seeing like profound ancient magic. That chicken is a dinosaur. I mean birds are again. Dinosaurs Avian dinosaurs, the dinosaurs that are left, and he is seeing lineage going back tens of millions of years all the way to the junky. Sorry some deep cuts on Verner Herzog's. Interviews here, but can't go too deep. But anyway I think it is fair to say that Ravens are much more strikingly intelligent than pigeons, but also that pigeons are probably more intelligent than people usually give them credit for one interesting and funny game of thrones parallel came across. There's a scene in the in the song of ice and fire books where you know. The three eyed crow in the book series called the three crow in the books and three Ad Raven in the show. The guy played by Max von Sydow. I'll show. In the books CEO? He's talking to young brand stark which another side note I just found out the other day. That brand in Welsh I believe means Raven or means. but he's speaking to the character brand stark, and he says it was the singers who taught the first man to send messages by Raven, but in those days the birds would speak. The words saw the trees remember, but men forget, and so now they write the messages on parchment and tie them round. The feats of the birds have never shared their skin so I think this is different because he's talking about war, gang and magical stuff rise in. In the books, but he saying it used to be that you'd like. Tell the message to the Raven, and the Raven would go carry the message and win got there. It didn't let us enough to take a tag of parchment of its leg. It would just tell you the message, and this actually does have some basis in reality, because ravens much like parrots can be trained to mimic human sounds like talking even better than parents in some cases. And, if you don't believe me, look it up their videos of this online talking ravens. It's creepy. No it's not creepy. It's gorge. That's amazing because he I would have just assumed assumed that this is just a purely magical wrinkle in the world building here but yeah the idea that you could you can on some level, a trainer Raven to mimic human language. That's isn't incredible I. Think especially if you read them for it like the best the best, the ones best at mimicking human language and talking you bred them for repeating phrases, and you train them individually in their lives I. Don't know I think it's not out of the question, but I don't know of any cases in the real world where there have been breeding programs to try to bring out the best talking ravens. Or even I mean I don't even know to what extent that's been done with with parrots idea. At all I wonder. anyway a few other things of note, so I was reading about the University of Vienna Biologist Matthias Cloudy Loretto speaking to the writer Davies for the Guardian. In two thousand, seventeen, on the question of Ravens as messengers, so they're directly addressing this question from the the game of thrones show, and so larose a researcher who works with Ravens and he said the following, so he said they are good fliers maybe. Maybe not well suited to quickly crossing long distances some bird species are already biologically adapted to rapid long. Distance, migrations, Ravens are not one of them basically everywhere except in the Arctic Ravens, quote Non Migratory and move rather opportunistically that said they can sometimes fly across moderately long distances and now I'm trying to think back to my maps of West roasts exactly what sort of distances we're talking about between say. The. Wall and winter fell I. Think it's supposed to be pretty far I think I remember off the top of my head. The West Coast is supposed to be roughly the size of the continent of South America. Okay but to mention specific about Ravens traveling abilities that that that research I just mentioned. Loretto and couple of other researchers published a study in current zoology in two thousand sixteen that GPS tagged Ravens to track their natural. Natural movements out in the wild, and they found a a maximum movement range for one day of of about one hundred and sixty kilometers that was the maximum but this was not common in its way less than daily traveling distance of say a car. You know a lot of ravens mostly what they did. The researchers discovered was they hung around quote. anthropogenic food sources as not surprising. You know like the bodies of the dead. Up On pikes by victorious army, that would be an anthropogenic food source. I imagine it's more likely kind of a pizza rat scenario. Yeah, okay. But. In terms of how fast they travelled, they can be found traveling at speeds of up to forty kilometers per hour about twenty five miles per hour. So let's see how this matches up against the Maistre Raymond. Quote I read earlier about why Ravens are better than pigeons at at delivering messages, so compared to the pigeon. Maistre Raymond says a raven is stronger flyer larger boulder, far more clever and bettle better able to defend itself against hawks. So when he says that a raven is a stronger flyer than the pigeon. It's hard to know exactly what he means. There would depend on what stronger means but in. In general, I don't think that's true. If it means faster that seems to be a no, because the ravens normal top range of traveling speed looks like it's about forty kilometers an hour as we saw earlier, you mentioned the pigeon flies more than double. That speed generally flies a lot farther now. If means by stronger, he means like more acrobatic. That could be true. Ravens do have some kind of. They got some good moves like and you can. Can if you watch Raven flight and slow motion, it can be very cool 'cause they'll do. Like flips and twists and flap side down all Kinda strange stuff, no, in addition to the speed and distance of travel I haven't seen any indication that ravens have the same kind of long range navigational abilities that pigeons do they obviously have some kind of navigational abilities, but I've not seen evidence that there's has been shown to be of the same power powers. Powers that of the homing pigeon, so the ability to find their way back home from great distance that that may be more unique to the pigeon. No the part where he says it's more clever. That's absolutely true, undoubtedly more clever but does that matter much in delivering messages I don't know. How clever does it have to be to just get something from one place to another right I? mean if they're not actively engaging in spycraft if they're just. Taking a message, and delivering it without getting smashed by Hawk from one fortress to another. How how what do you need? I will come back to something. You just mentioned there. Though another thing, the Raven is generally larger. That is what what may Draymond says that is certainly true, but does this matter. If it's just delivering a small message written on a piece of paper, I mean I might be able to carry a heavier load if it needed to deliver something big. I mean if you're smuggling milk, the poppy around. Becoming, handy, but yes, after just a message. What second matter! Yeah! He says it's under I. Don't know exactly what that means, but I think that's probably true if it means like more aggressive. To approach familiar objects execute. It's training. Ravens are I think it fits that they are smart and bold, and they'll do what they need to do. When it comes to being better at defending itself against Hawks and other predators. I assume Raven's are large. They have very few natural predators mainly just humans in some of the larger predatory birds, sometimes including hawks so yeah. I think that probably is right. They are better able to defend themselves so I think based on what I've read I wanNA. Say That while pigeons. Pigeons are generally preferred, and it seems like they naturally especially when they've been bred this way, fly farther and faster with a message. I don't see any reason why Ravens couldn't in principle be trained to become messenger birds especially if they're bred for that purpose over many years like the pigeons have been I mean that's another thing to consider the domestication program here the again we have to look at the at the the long standing traditions that have enabled the the carrier pigeon. To to be the species of choice for delivering small slips of paper, right but then again while it may be the case that pigeons are more suited for long range delivery for multiple reasons, Ravens might be more useful on other kinds of long range jobs I would say for example if you want me to train an animal to actively do spying or reconnaissance of some kind like I could imagine that you. You might be able to train ravens to go into an enemy encampment, and recover certain kinds of objects and bring them home to you. probably better than you could train a pigeon to do something like that like if you were to train a raven. basically where the Raven knew that. If it found a flash drive, yes, it could return that and get a special treat. Yes, and then you would just. Receive Flash drives, and hopefully they would have something of interest on them I think there are some reports that throughout history ravens have been rumored to have been considered for for like war, surveillance and espionage purposes I don't know to what extent they've ever been fully used. especially not to the extent that pigeons have been, but there's your movie setup. Raven James Bond. I was trying to think of examples of other messenger animals in fiction. And nothing was really coming to mind except for the I I didn't read the book series, my wife or the books, but the at least the television series the magicians. ARIZON- sci-fi, they have these talking rabbits that they'll show these messenger rabbits, and they'll just sort of pop into existence on. Say Your table and they'll speak in this This kind of like weird. Almost almost Gilbert Godfrey Ish. Voice stood of liver the message. Wow, yeah. But. Nobody it's. We're not even going to consider the possibility of messenger rabbits. You're on this podcast I. Think we should consider Messenger Sicilians, the like underground Dome Fabian, the burrow through the earth, until they get to their target and the message and worms. It's dirty dirty by the time it arrives. There's some significant slime. Yeah, well, I wonder if there are any other really fascinating treatments out there I. Mean ultimately the Bir-, a bird is going to give you. The Best Bang for your buck right is going to be able to do to fly. It's going to be able to travel in a straight line. It's going to be able to execute a fair amount of. Reasonable like stealth and avoidance of threats and they're smarter than we thought. Yeah, unless I. Dunno in West in waterworld. Did they have like Messenger fish that they used? Even. That wouldn't be as good as the Messenger Bird. Yeah. MESSENGER RATS I duNno I well at any rate. If you're out, you're out there. Listening to this episode, perhaps you have encountered another messenger, animal or another variety of Messenger Bird. In fiction and you'd like to share that with us a likewise. A lot of people still raised I. Have a friend who who just picked up raising carrier pigeons, so perhaps some of you out. There have some expertise with pigeons. You'd would like to share breath. She s some expertise with with owls or ravens. You would like to share you have some insight on. The intellect of the Raven or the OWL or the pigeon obviously love to hear from you in the meantime. If you want to check out more episodes of stuff to blow your mind, head on over to stuff to blow your mind, Dot Com. That's where you'll find all the episodes. You'll find links to social media accounts You'll find a link to our store it's a cool way to support the show, but the best way to support the show is to rate and review US wherever you have the power to do so and make. Make sure you have subscribed and hate. Make sure you subscribe to invention as well. We talked about it once in the show, but invented pod DOT com. That's where you'll find it. You can also find that podcast wherever you get your podcasts huge. Thanks as always to our excellent audio producers Alex, Williams and Tari Harrison. If you would like to get in touch with us with feedback on this episode or any other suggested topic for the future just to say hello, you can email us at contact at stuff to blow your mind dot com. Stuff to blow. Your mind is a production of iheartradio's. How stuff works for more podcasts from IHEART. Radio is iheartradio. APP Apple podcasts. Wherever listen to your favorite shows. Class Twenty twenty. We know things have been super weird lately were robbed of a graduation ceremony, so we found some people to write you Clinton speeches. Legend. He's a Hillary Clinton. She's into over twenty of your favorites from Dj. College Coach K. Abby Wambach two Alsi they're all here to give you the wisdom that we could all use right now. Tune in I. Heart Radio New podcast commencement speeches out now iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcast.

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Introducing Smart Talks with IBM and Malcolm Gladwell

TechStuff

00:54 sec | Last month

Introducing Smart Talks with IBM and Malcolm Gladwell

"Hello hello malcolm global here. I'm excited to tell you about smart talks with. Ibm a show him doing about what it means to look at. Today's most challenging problems in a new way. Which is something. I'd like to think. I know a little about in over a dozen episodes. All interview thought leaders and industry innovators and together. We'll discuss how they're creating smarter solutions to global issues. This podcast will explore cutting edge. Innovations and how they've grown out of pivotal collaborations between ibm and leading companies in every industry lookout for smart talks with ibm every month. Starting march twenty fifth. You can find it on the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts.

Ibm ibm apple
Is Sparkling Water Good For You?

BrainStuff

05:13 min | 1 year ago

Is Sparkling Water Good For You?

"Today's episode is brought to you by ibm. Smart is open open is smart. I._b._m.'s combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of red hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at i._b._m. Dot com slash red hat. Welcome to brainstorm production of iheartradio mark. Hey brain stuff. Lauren vocal bomb here as consumer preferences veered towards more quote unquote natural ingredients in their foods and beverages diet. Soda sales are dropping in place of soda. Carbonated waters like seltzer water are tingling evermore tongues americans are buying three three times as much of the staff as they did a decade ago and although there are plenty of reasons to give up the artificial sweeteners and diet soda could all those bubbles potentially bad for us to i let sit on a bit of carbonated water lingo. Sparkling water is a type of mineral water. That's bottled at the source. Think brands like perry. The minerals in them are naturally occurring and the carbonation might be too although some manufacturers might add bubbles for more zip salter waters biting bubbles rules are all created artificially but they have no other added ingredients save for sometimes flavorings of some sort either natural or artificial a side note here natural flavoring means. This chemical was derived from plants or animals including laboratory farmed microorganisms and official means. This chemical was synthesized in a laboratory from other chemicals. A natural chemical and an artificial chemical may be molecular identical and batches of the one labelled artificial might actually be more pure because they were synthesized in the carefully controlled lab anyway other than sparkling water and seltzer water. There are the offshoots of carbonated water that have other added ingredients. The club soda is a seltzer water with added minerals and sodium potentially table salt or even baking soda both of which reduce acidity and conjure flavor that for many drinkers anchors is more reminiscent of natural spring water tonic water is altogether another entity typically loaded with sugars and a dash of cleaning making it more soda soda pop then seltzer all of these bubbling waters. Oh their existence to an eighteenth century english preacher named joseph priestley who created a technique that forced carbon a oxide gas in two regular old flat water when held together under pressure the gas remained in the water indefinitely in till it was released into a glass and the gas began and the process of floating out the drinker finally enjoyed the refreshing tingle of carbonation on their tongue leader researchers found that forcing carbon dioxide in water has has some notable side effects. It makes the water a bit more acidic which adds some bite to flavors it also helps to preserve the drink to make taste fresher longer priestly erroneously crony asleep touted his revolutionary drank away for sailors to beat back the effects of scurvy during long voyages and even rigged up a portable system that allowed them to create carbonated water on aboard ships on demand so our modern health conscious consumers mistakenly believing other health benefits of sensors and their kin a two do those one study found that sparkling mineral water caused slightly greater dental rozhin than stillwater but according to the report quote levels remained low and were of the order of one hundred <unk> times less than the competitor soft drinks and two thousand seven study found that flavored sparkling waters could be just as creative as orange juice to the teeth but all the flavored waters in the study contained citric acid which can be highly erosive. We spoke by email with marissa more registered dietitian here in atlanta she she said that beyond those issues bubbling water is rather innocuous quote. The carbonation may cause bloating for some and or feelings of fullness but overall. It's a fine way to hydrate eight and especially helpful for those who don't particularly enjoy still or flat water and if you're trying to lose weight by cutting your caloric intake that feeling of fullness might even be a benefit and fizzy water might be a good way to entice you into drinking more h. Two o. moore said seltzer water is a fun and effective way to hydrate particularly for those who wouldn't drink water otherwise if you have any digestive issues or effects from seltzer water then you might cut back or even steer clear of it otherwise i'd say consider enjoying your seltzer with a meal instead of solo or rinsing with plain water afterwards. Today's episode was written by nathan chandler and produced by tyler clang brains devos's production of iheartradio's. How stuff works for more on this and lots of other efforts topics visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com and for podcast from iheart radio is iheartradio app apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by ibm. Smart smart is open. Open is smart. I._b._m.'s combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of red hat. Let's unlocked the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at i._b._m. Dot com slash red hat.

ibm I._b._m. joseph priestley bloating perry stillwater iheartradio official atlanta nathan chandler o. moore apple devos
How Do Starling Murmurations Work?

BrainStuff

08:28 min | 1 year ago

How Do Starling Murmurations Work?

"Today's episode is brought to you by ibm. Smart is open open is smart. I._b._m.'s combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of red hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at i._b._m. Dot com slash red hat. Welcome to brainstorm production of iheartradio interview. Hey brain steph lauryn vogel bomb here. Individually a european starling is a common blackbird. That's it starlings are short and thick with dark feathers and long pointy bills. If you live in north america or europe you've seen them though birdwatchers have spotted them throughout most of the world more than two hundred million live here in north america alone singing their chirpy songs and being too many backyard growers in full-time farmers a bit on the pesticide collectively collectively though starlings transform into something else entirely together in-flight in mesmerizing flocks sometimes number in the hundreds of thousands. They are breath stealing stealing wonder a pulsating swooping harmonized whole seemingly defying the laws of nature while defining nature itself to watch memorization shen of starlings in mid air. That's what the flocking behaviour is called. A murmur ration- is to experience firsthand the power and mystery of the natural world. We spoke oke with mario lopez indoor for a postdoctoral associate at the cornell lab of ornithology. Who's also a research associate. At the smithsonian migratory bird center he said i think that the core or feeling is a sense of aw the spatial scale of something that's moving very rapidly which we are utterly unable to do and the visual patterning that occurs when a lot of individuals are doing the same thing really mesmerizes us <unk> spark curiosity and they spark scientists like peasant orford to figure out how swarming animals like beans beans and birds and fish can better our own lives in the nineteen thirties famed ornithologist cells suggested that birds moving in murmurings where using some sort telepathy to transmit. They're flying intentions. He wrote in his book thought transference or what in birds they must in collectively all the same time a flash out cbs so many brains as the years wore on we found out that that's not quite it in the nineteen fifties scientists studying insects and fish and other collective animal behavior posited that group movement is more of a stunningly fast response to others in the flock or school or swarm rather than some innate mind reading ability or a command from a group leader the authors of two thousand fifteen paper published in the journal proceedings of the national academy of sciences wrote. It's the rapid transmission of local behavior sponsors. It's two neighbors that enables such startling synchronicity piece indoor for said. There's two ways that you can elicit large group behavior. You can have the top down control control where you have some kind of leadership or some kind of top down mechanism. I think of a rock show you have the rock star in the front and he starts clapping his hands and the whole stadium starts clapping but these are actually self organized meaning that it's the individuals little behavioral rules that make it scale up to the large group in order to understand that this behavior here. We have to go from the local scale. The individual is doing what are the rules of the individual is following to the global scale. What is the outcome in twenty the thirteen i'm mechanical and aerospace engineer and her team from princeton collaborated with physicists in italy study murmur rations naomi leonard the princeton engineer said back then in a flock with one thousand two hundred birds. It's clear that not every bird will be able to keep track of the other one thousand one hundred ninety nine birds so an important question is who who is keeping track of whom the italian physicists used more than four hundred photos from several videos to find out plotting the position and speed of birds as as they flocked from that they built a mathematical model that identified the optimal number of flock mates for each bird to track it turns out the magic number is seven and each bird keeps tabs on it seven closest neighbors and ignores all else considering all these little groups of seven touch on other individuals and groups of seven twists interns quickly spread and from that a whole memorization moves though it looks coordinated on a large scale the individual birds are concerned with only three aspects of their flight and the flight of those around them. These factors have been described in several ways but they boil down similarly. They are an attraction zone. <hes> an area where you're going to move toward an expert over a repulsion zone an area where you don't fly because you'll interfere with another bird and you'll both fall and and angular alignment meaning that you're following a neighboring birds directional movement past the door for said depending on how you change those three parameters you can get everything from those barrel looking baseball's that you get an ocean fish too loose looking insects worms to highly highly organized fish swarms and rations all in those three little parameters scientists believe these birds flock in the first place to confuse them discourage predators through their sheer numbers with the noise such a flock makes and of course it's motion some communication between birds may be happening to in memory sion's essay pointing out good food sources or the birds may simply be keeping warm. What may maybe most stunning to mere. Humans is these birds react so quickly and do so in such synchronization if not immediately within a couple of flops for birds wings they move almost almost as one in a type of lockstep or as it were blocked flap but how birds can take insert information around them and process it much more quickly in humans. They see faster than we do. They basically have a higher frame rate back in nineteen eighty-six craig reynolds and m._i._t. Trained computer scientists built computer models bird flocking and fish schooling in something he called boyd's these programs provided the basis for lifelike animation and movies initially and notably a swarm of bats in the nineteen ninety-two tim burton film batman returns in applications to real life the ability to understand the behavioral vural movements of large groups of starlings or bats or bees or whatever and to program swarms of robots into making similar movements has amazing possibilities. This is called a bio mimicry or biometrics an example less. Cumbria's observatory has twenty two robotic telescopes on seven sites around the world the coordinate with each other to function as one big telescope from the elsia website. It's called time domain astronomy which means that we can continually watch phenomena in in space as they change when we get to see the big picture as it unfolds. We're able to learn more learn faster and dramatically increase our understanding of the forces that drive have the universe another example the emerging field of swarm robotics uses information gleaned from the study of starling could according to the institute at harvard unquote enable new approaches for search and rescue missions construction efforts environmental remediation and medical applications swarm robotics could also so have used military applications like micro drones released from fighter aircraft a swarm of self driving cars working together could help reduce or eliminate traffic jams all from watching ching studying learning and building on the wondrous flocking of this simple bird piece endorphins said as humans who have very complicated decision making processes. We're not used to looking at simple decision making processes that scale up to what looks like complex behavior. These models help us understand these types of patterns. Today's episode was written by john donovan and produced by tyler clang. Brain stuff is production of iheartradio. How stuff works for more on this and lots of other topics visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com and for more podcasts from iheartradio iheartradio app apple podcasts wherever you listen to your your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by ibm. Smart is open open is smart. I._b._m.'s combining their industry expertise with open source source leadership of red hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at i._b._m. Dot com slash red hat.

ibm I._b._m. north america smithsonian migratory bird cen engineer mario lopez cornell lab of ornithology research associate national academy of sciences postdoctoral associate harvard naomi leonard craig reynolds princeton tim burton apple memory sion cbs Cumbria
Impeachment Trial Could Be A "Disaster" For Senators In 2020 Race

NPR Politics Podcast

15:01 min | 1 year ago

Impeachment Trial Could Be A "Disaster" For Senators In 2020 Race

"This message comes from NPR sponsor IBM smart is open open is smart IBM is combining their industry expertise with with the open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential let's put smart to work learn more at IBM DOT com slash red had had this is Stephen Chapel I am a college journalism instructor in I along with more than sixteen hundred other college student journalists and their advisers are attending the National College Media Convention in Washington DC where the inimitable Nina Totenberg is about to grace us with wit knowledge and wisdom the three fifteen pm on Monday November fourth things may have changed by the time you hear this keep stuck with all of NPR's political coverage on NPR dot org on the NPR one APP and on your local public radio station all right here's the show I can think of no better word for Nina Totenberg than inimitable hey there it's the NPR politics podcast cast. I'm Susan Davis I cover Congress Detrick campaign and I must follow they also cover the campaign another Democrat has exited the presidential race former Texas Congressman Vito Rourke and it is campaign on Friday after we take the podcast and he did it in the most beto way possible the ball yeah in a medium post where else he wrote that it is clear to me out that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully which Osma something that we were talking about much more blunt than other candidates who have been trying to do last minute fundraisers and things like that he just said we don't have it anymore to me sort of this amazing story of his his meteoric rise I mean we all remember when I entered the campaign where he raised like six million dollars the first day and then how quickly his fortunes faded he was also the vanity did you know cover of Vanity Fair he had come out of the two thousand eighteen campaign he lost his senate campaign to Ted Cruz but had been sort of one of the rockstar candidates of the cycle the rising star are tag was on him and he was like the echoes of the race right he flew high big dramatic Afri- and then just tumbles that six million dollars in the first day the last two quarters here's the three month period that we measure campaign fundraising in in neither of them to be raised as much money over a three month period as he raised that very first day in the race okay so we should note go yesterday marked the one year point from Election Day twenty twenty and normally we would probably be consumed with these one year out reporting stories but the one story that that Washington can't stop talking about impeachment because if the House impeaches president trump by the end of the year which we increasingly believed they will do that means it would trigger a Senate trial almost immediately and that is a big deal in two thousand twenty because as Scott you reported very clearly there are six candidates running running for president who will also be jurors in the trial of president trump and maybe it's worth just running through all the remaining senators in the race and that seventeen percents lease field so you've got Elizabeth is with Warren and Bernie Sanders at the top of the polls you've also got Kamala Harris Amy Klobuchar and cory booker who had been spending a lot of time in Iowa specifically feel like they have the ground organization they need to get back in the race and then you have Michael Bennett. He hasn't been on the debate stage for a while but he's still running for president now all these people want to see impeachment happened they've been calling for it for for a while but they're about to get what they want most likely and that is going to be a huge problem because an impeachment trial could last week's it could be six days a week according into Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and if you are a US senator you are a juror in the impeachment trial your presence is mandatory and that means you cannot campaign Hayne you cannot go to Iowa in maybe the weeks leading up to the race which is just a crazy notion that's clearly never happened before so I made a lot of phone

NPR Nina Totenberg Ted Cruz IBM president senate Red Hat Washington DC Michael Bennett Congressman Vito Rourke cory booker Vanity Fair Iowa Kamala Harris Mitch McConnell Stephen Chapel Texas Susan Davis instructor
Why Is the Sky Blue?

BrainStuff

06:01 min | 1 year ago

Why Is the Sky Blue?

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM. Smart IS OPEN. Open is smart. Ibm's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM DOT com slash. Red Hat welcome to brainstorm. Production of iheartradio. Hey Rain Steph. Lauryn Bogle bomb here. It seems like a simple question but it took many centuries and a lot of smart people including Aristotle Isaac Newton Thomas Young James Clerk Maxwell and Hermann von Humboldt to puzzle out the answer to why is the sky blue that's because the solution encompasses so many components the colors in sunlight the angle at which solar elimination travels the atmosphere the size of airborne particles atmospheric molecules and the way our eyes perceive color. Let's take the sky out of the equation for a moment and begin by looking at color from a physics standpoint color refers to the wavelengths of visible light leaving an object and striking a sensor such as a human eye these wavelengths might be reflected or scattered from an external source or they might emanate from the object itself the color of an object changes depending on the colors contained in the light source for example red paint when viewed under blue light looks black. Isaac Newton demonstrated with the prism. The white light of the sun contains all colors of the visible spectrum so all colors are possible in sunlight in school. You may have learned that for example. A banana appears yellow because it reflects yellow light and absorbs all other wavelengths. This isn't quite accurate. Though a banana scattered as much orange and red as it does Gallo and it scatters all of the colors of the visible range to some degree or another the real reason. It looks yellow relates to Hauer is since light before we get into that however let's look at what Colored Sky Actually is like Bananas Atoms Molecules and particles in the atmosphere absorb and scatter light. If they didn't or if the earth had no atmosphere we would perceive the sun is very bright star among others in a sky of actual night not all wavelengths in the visible light spectrum scatter equally however shorter and more energetic wavelengths toward the violet end of the spectrum scattered better than those tour to be longer less energetic read end this tendency is due in part to their higher energy which allows them to ping pong around more and in part to the geometry of the particles that they interact with and the atmosphere in eighteen seventy one Lord Rayleigh derived a formula describing a subset of these interactions in which atmospheric particles are much smaller than the wavelength of the Radiation. That are striking them. The Rayleigh scattering model showed that in such systems. The intensity of scattered light is inversely proportional to the fourth power of light's wavelength. Which is a really matthew way of saying that shorter wavelengths of light like blue and violet scatter a lot more than longer redder ones when the particles that they hit such as oxygen and nitrogen molecules are relatively small under these conditions. Scattered light also tends to disperse equally in all directions which is why the sky appears so saturated with color if we were foolish enough to look directly at the sun we would see all wavelengths because light would be reaching is directly. That's why the sun and the area around it look white when we look away. From the sun at the cloudless sky. We see light mostly from shorter scattered wavelengths like violet indigo and blue. So why doesn't the Sky Appear Violet? Instead of light blue here the Ayes have it your papers. Perceived color using structures called cones. Your Retinas Bristle. With about five million cones each a made up of three types that specialize in seeing different colors although each kind of cone is most sensitive to certain peak wavelength. The ranges of those cone types overlap as a result different wavelengths of light and combinations of different wavelengths can be detected as the same color unlike our auditory senses which can recognize individual instruments in an orchestra our eyes and brains interpret certain combinations of wavelengths as a single discrete polar. Our visual sense interprets the Blue Violet. Light of the sky as a mixture of blue and white light and that is why the sky is light. Blue Today's episode was written by Nicholas Gerber and produced by Tyler. Clang for more on this amount of other curious topics is how stuff works. Dot Com brainstorm is production of iheartradio. The more podcasts. My heart radio. The iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Here's something good is a new show from the Seneca Women podcast network and iheartradio each day. We aspire to bring you the good news the silver lining the glass half full because there is good happening the world everywhere every day. We just need to look for and share it. Here's something good is a short daily show that offers positive stores helpful suggestions and shared experiences to inform and inspire you every day. Listen to hear something. Good on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Wherever you listen to your favorite shows subscribe now.

IBM Blue Violet Red Hat apple Aristotle Isaac Newton Thomas Isaac Newton Lauryn Bogle Lord Rayleigh Hauer Gallo Nicholas Gerber Hermann von Humboldt
BrainStuff Classics: Do Juice Cleanses Actually Work?

BrainStuff

05:15 min | 1 year ago

BrainStuff Classics: Do Juice Cleanses Actually Work?

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM. Smart IS OPEN. Open is smart. Ibm's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work. Learn more at IBM DOT com slash. Red Hat welcome to brainstorm. Production of iheartradio. Hey rain stuff lauren. Vocal bomb here with another classic episode from former host Christian. Sager in this one. We tackle the phenomenon is juice cleanses. What do they actually do to our bodies and what about? Us needs cleansing in the first place Christian Sager here. Let's talk about purity because we are surrounded by toxic stuff in this modern world car emissions in our air factory. Run off in our water herbicides pesticides in our food trolls and our comment sections. If our bodies are temples every pizza roll is a desecration. How can we become pure again? Well juice cleanses supposedly rid our bodies of toxins and restore our digestive systems depending on the specific and sometimes copyrighted cleanse. You spend a couple days to a couple weeks consuming nothing but liquefied fruits vegetables and maybe some nut milk since lots of people are pretty bad about eating enough fruits and vegetables. To begin with this may mean that. During a juice cleanse you'd be getting more vitamins and minerals than usual. These are substances that your body needs turn food into energy and to grow and maintain sells some even have antioxidant properties which means that they can help prevent cellular damage. Under particular circumstances. The benefits of these vitamins and minerals are real. But keep in mind that your body can only process a certain amount of them at once. After that you're just going to excrete the rest. Research does show that eating fruits and vegetables. Rich in these substances can decrease some risk of some diseases in the long run. The key phrase here is in the long run the best way to reap these benefits is to consistently eat five or more servings every day one juice. Benge isn't going to do much consuming. Nothing but juice for a few days also means that you'd get a lot less fiber fat and protein and way fewer calories than normal fats and proteins are just as essential for healthy cellular function as vitamins and Minerals and fiber in. The Diet is actually part of your Colin's normal cleansing system. It absorbs water and Water. Soluble waste in your intestines and moves. Everything on out plus fiber can slow down your body's uptake of sugar keeping your blood sugar levels more stable without it and considering the high levels of fruit sugars in the limited calories involved on a juice diet you will feel extra hungry and may experience dizzying blood. Sugar spikes and crashes a day or two of this shouldn't do any harm to the average person but restricting calories and nutrients for much longer than that contributor starvation mode. Your body doesn't know when it's going to get more food so it slows your metabolism down. When this happens too often the change can be permanent. So is it worth it. Psychologically maybe you'll probably lose a little weight to the decrease in calories which might be what you're looking for and people around. The world have been using short fasts to practice. Mindfulness for hundreds if not thousands of years but physiologically juice cleanses. Don't help clear. Toxins out of your body. The thing is that your liver and your kidneys are natural detoxifiers. They filter bad stuff out of your body all the time but they need the full complement of nutrients provided by a healthy diet in order to do so. Today's episode was written by me and produced by tyler playing for more on this and lots of other topics visit. How stuff works. Dot Com brainstorm is production of iheartradio for more podcasts. My heart radio visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows Zach Braff Donald Phase on. We're real life best friends. We met playing fake life best friends and Gd on the Sitcom scrubs twenty years later we've decided to rewatch the series one episode time and put our memories into a podcast. You can listen to it home. We're going to get all our special guests friends like Sarah Chalk. John C McGinley. Neil Flynn Judy. Reyes show Creator Bill. Lawrence Editors Writers and even prompt masters would tell us about what inspired the series and how we became a family. You can listen to the podcast. Fake doctors real friends with Zaken. Donald on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. And wherever you get your podcasts.

Us IBM Christian Sager Red Hat apple Donald Phase John C McGinley Neil Flynn Judy Sarah Chalk Zaken Zach Braff Benge Reyes Colin Gd twenty years milk
Could Maggots End World Hunger?

BrainStuff

04:40 min | 1 year ago

Could Maggots End World Hunger?

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM. SMART is open open is smart. IBM's combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at IBM DOT com slash red hat welcome to brainstorm production of iheartradio mark. Hey brain stuff lauren Vogel bomb here chances are that you like me have spent the better part of your sentient life assuming that maggots are gross and a lot of them are due to their intolerable habit of eating rotting flesh and feces but have you considered that maggots might be what saves saves you all of us in the end. Not maggots are created equal of course no one. That's going to save you is not the flesh-eating screw were Maggot of the Florida keys. He's not the larva that Invest Sardinia's infamous end legal delicacy Casa Mars Zoo or mega cheese. There's only one maggot currently known to science that that could possibly save humanity and that's the larva of the black soldier fly and they're still kinda gross thousands of them will feast on a single food source at once creating reading a writhing living fountain of Maggots but sometimes you just have to set aside discussed in the interest of survival. It's arriving Living Fountain of Beneficent Earth Saving Leaving Maggots Common in much of the Western Hemisphere and Australia. You may not have remembered noticing a black soldier fly before the adults are about one inch long around two and a half centimeters and can be mistaken for wasps. Only they're extremely slow and lack a stinger they often issue flight and spend their fourteen days or so of adulthood Mosey around on the ground but what black soldier flies look like as adults hardly matters as they spend very little time in their grown up bodies in fact thus have no mouth parts or digestive organs because once they become flies it's sort of a hit it and quit situation they can meet within a couple of days of hatching and they don't live if more than a week or two after that so it's the larva that have sustainability researchers salivating literally if their plans come to fruition we will all be eating black soldier fly larva which are referred to as BS. NFL in the Biz this is because BS NFL contain about forty three percent protein in addition to who some calcium and amino acids which is astronomical compared to every other plant and animal based food on the planet and they taste like peanuts or Fritos depending on who you ask according to a two thousand thirteen United Nations report insects already made up parts of the diets around two billion people worldwide and as Earth's human population grows meat like beef and chicken will be a protein option for fewer and fewer people it only takes one acre of BS NFL to grow the same amount of protein S. three thousand acres of cattle or one hundred thirty acres of soybeans. The larger themselves can be dried and turned into flour pressed for their oils or roasted and sprinkled over over a salad for a little extra crunch. The Sky's the limit with these little buddies not only that BS F l make great trash processors. They're capable of eating a wide variety of organic waste nearly anything you can throw at them from food scraps and rotting carcasses to poop and toxic algae although they reportedly had a difficult time managing in hair bones and pineapple rhines so farming with them would leave us with a smaller carbon footprint and a whole lot of compost a group of researchers at Texas am and has even figured out how to put. Bs fell to sleep for long periods of time and then wake them up when it's time to put them to work eating waste a few different companies. These are currently trying to make this BS F. L. being happen but can we get over a revulsion in the interest of survival. Keep

IBM NFL Red Hat lauren Vogel Casa Mars Zoo Invest Sardinia Australia Florida United Nations Texas one hundred thirty acres three thousand acres forty three percent fourteen days one acre one inch
Should You Rent Grass-Mowing Goats?

BrainStuff

04:27 min | 1 year ago

Should You Rent Grass-Mowing Goats?

"Today's episode is brought to you by IBM. SMART is open open is smart i._B._M.'s combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of Red Hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at I._B._M.. Dot Com slash slash red hat welcome to brainstorm production of iheartradio. Hey brain stuff lauren vocal bomb here in the latter half of the twentieth century. One George Ballas invented what he called the weed weed eater. It's a motorized we'd grass trimming device that uses rapidly revolving strings to cut down vegetation in small spaces without destroying the bark of trees. It's easy to use doesn't require much gas or electricity to run genius but perhaps not <music> as genius as humanities original weed eater domesticated ten thousand years ago goats of course using goats as mowers went wildly out of fashion for awhile in between that a now but using goats to maintain vegetation works just as well today. It did an ancient Mesopotamia goats are commonly used to control big swaths of land in cemeteries parks airports and even Google headquarters and though they don't cut grass and vegetation down as evenly as a piece of machinery there are a lot of benefits to using animals rather Ben Machinery and herbicides goats after all don't require petroleum products residential homes in the United States us about six hundred million gallons of fossil fuels each year on lawn maintenance and that doesn't even include green spaces like highway medians military. Hey Basis and public lands but we're there is vegetation goats can do a decent job of nine down invasive weeds in a more sustainable way. Also goats can turn that unwanted brush into milk meat and fiber like Kashmir. If you play your cards right goats are known for their nimble hooves which can get places a mower can't especially through rocky or wooded areas. They're also highly motivated and will accept the challenge of even the steepest slope Chicago's O'hare International Airport. Isn't it seventh season of using A. Mixed heard of goats sheep and donkey named Jackson to clear the grounds around the airport. All eleven acres. That's about four and a half actors in the past. They've also incorporated Llamas Alpacas into their grazing heard a plus goats eat a variety of different plants. They're not picky. Goats are browsers rather than grazers like cows and horses aggressors will keep the lawn mode but if you want an animal that will take a chance on an unusual looking vine goats are for you though practically always try plant they don't know and they can tolerate a wide variety of plant species though care should be taken to make sure there's nothing on the land that's outright toxic goats. Perhaps the only drawback is that you can't set goats out to work on their own. They need to be monitored because they're great escape artists. It's at O'hare national land cleaning is important because it keeps wildlife off the property because they can denude even the toughest bramble ticket the airport uses goats and other animals to take care of their stubborn overgrowth to keep wildlife and people safe. Wildlife composed safety concerns for aircraft taking off and landing and keeping the land cleared encourages animals to live elsewhere. If you want to rent a hurt of goat landscapers that's doable. There are many companies out there that will service your goat gardening needs and according to red wagon goats located here in Atlanta Georgia. Most residential customers can get their backyard cleaned up within the four hundred thousand dollar range depending on size and complexity. Today's episode was written by Jason Shields and produced by Tyler Clang brain stuff is a production of iheartradio's has stuff works for more in this lots of other Harry topics visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com and for more podcast iheartradio visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts? Wherever ever you listened to your favorite shows would not story?

O'hare International Airport iheartradio George Ballas Red Hat IBM Google Chicago O'hare United States Atlanta Ben Machinery Jason Shields A. Mixed Jackson Harry Georgia Tyler Clang four hundred thousand dollar six hundred million gallons