Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Hardcore memes.

Posted: June 23, 2011 in Internet, Just for LULz, Music, Psychology

It’s been a while since the last time I posted here. Now, when this Uni semester is almost over, I can promise to be a little bit more active on the web.

In this post, I just want to show you a few “Hardcore memes” images (as I like to call them), which I created while procrastinating during my pre-exams study week.

I tried to make them really nerdy and geeky. These memes are based on science and some other topics, which wouldn’t be interesting for most people.

This is Anti-Joke Chicken. She always begins with a joke set-up, and ends up saying something totally obvious and unfunny, which, in such circumstances, turns out to be hilarious as hell. This one is pretty straightforward, just telling the facts as they are.

This meme is relatively new. It always features an image of Fry (Futurama character), in which he looks hard into something, trying to tell the difference between two things. It’s most commonly used with the captions “Can’t tell if trolling or just stupid” to comment on ridiculous questions on Yahoo! Answers. Here, he implies that the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency look similar to what you might expect seeing in people who suffer from a clinical depression (in older people, vitamin D deficiency can cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease, in worst case scenarios). So, I would advice that you get outside more often and eat fish. :)

This is Hipster Kitty. She always knows everything before it gets popular or becomes known to public. You can frequently see this meme on the web with the captions like “Lady Gaga? Do you mean Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta?” or “I was a fan of Justin Beiber back in the times when he was only on YouTube“. I was trying to make this “hardcore” by targeting artists/bands, who aren’t known by most of the people nowadays anyway. Only a few trance-nerds would know a project named “Gouryella”, which was a collaboration between Tijs Verwest (Tiesto) and Ferry Corsten back in 1999. And even a fewer number of people would know that, before “Gouryella”, they already worked on music production together under the alias “Vimana”. Some might have heard of Vimana (the track “We Came” was a dancefloor killer during the late 1990’s), but not many people realize that it’s actually a trace-duo consisting of young Tiesto and Ferry Corsten.

Bill O’Relly is a famous American TV-host and political commentator (you can read more on the origin of this meme on KnowYourMeme.com). Gram staining is a method by which biologists classify bacteria either as gram-positive or gram-negative (by soaking them in chemicals, which react with bacterial cell wall and cause it to change colour in a certain way). This methods provides lots of vital information about the bacteria (e. g. which drug would be efficient at destroying them, how they might adapt to their environment, etc). I think it would be hilarious if O’Relly said that in scientific context.

And here is Xzibit boasting about APA (American Psychological Association) in-text referencing style, which causes headache for the majority of first-year Psychology students. Xzibit is doing so in the same manner as he was doing his presentations in “Pimp Your Ride” TV show on MTV a few years ago. Try to google “yo dawg” to see more images of this sort.

And here is a bonus Rage Comics style image I made a few days ago. It’s not “hardcore”, but I like it anyway :)

Stay Tuned!

Back in February this year, I created an album on Facebook, “Cazy T-shirt designs (self-made)“, and since then, I’ve been uploading some ideas for T-shirt drawings that could provoke a person to correct you by causing cognitive dissonance (it’s when you see something that is strongly contradictory to something that you already know).

Here are some examples from the album:

If you studied Chemistry in school, you first reaction to this should be close to “WTF!?”, because you should remember that the 19th element in Periodic table, the one that has “K” as its symbol, is, in fact, potassium, and not nickel (which is number 28 and has symbol “Ni”).

These lobes are labeled wrong.

This one looks like an ordinary neuron (a nerve cell), but the labels are of a sperm cell. Show this to anyone who have studied Biology on a serious level, and they will die of anger (or laughter… depending on their sense of humor).

There could be countless ways to troll people with these. You, can, for example, have a drawing of one cult music band on your T-shirt, but label it as another band of the same league. It will certainly make their fans mad.

Try to make these some time, for the sake of fun. It takes about 2-3 minutes in to create something like this in Photoshop (I used GIMP 2.6). Let’s see what you can come up with :)

Closed Spaces.

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Just for LULz, Psychology

Word’s population is increasing dramatically. Soon, the Earth will be too overpopulated to live on, so we would have to fly into the space and colonize other planets.

We would probably start with Mars and try to modify its atmosphere to make the planet inhabitable. But let’s skip all the technological bits for now and try to focus on the psychological aspects of colonization process at its very beginning.

Imagine the following scenario: we’ve successfully build an interplanetary space-ship and we are already on Mars. What’s next? It’s only a beginning, and there will be only a few people on the entire planet? How are you going to spend most of your time? Working only by yourself and concentrating on your solitary tasks, or, perhaps, working in a small team of 2-4 people like you? Either way, you would have to spend your first few decades (or even centuries) in a closed space (within an advanced tunnel system, or the pilot cabin of your space-ship, in case if you fail to construct all the necessary structures for the previous option), so you could wait before Mars atmosphere becomes suitable for humans.

It’s going to be really hard, psychologically.

I’ll be honest with you, I was thinking about this issue a lot, in my spare time – Human Psychological Stability Maintenance within Closed Spaces for Long Periods of Time. I have been running some private experiments and researches in this particular area. See, I have a reason to believe that the key component that could potentially solve all the issues is having a group of octopuses around a person all the time.

I’ve been breeding octopuses in my bathroom for a few years now, trying to develop a psychological attachment to them and make some personal benefits out of it (for scientific purposes only). I’ve been isolating myself with octopuses for a few months by locking all the doors and windows in the house, and barricading all the potential exit points, so the attachment behavior could manifest itself.

So far, I’ve only looked into the ways of receiving pleasures by interacting with 2-3 octopuses at a time, using different non-verbal means of communication (between a human and an octopus, as well as some intra-personal communication), creating a virtual meta-social model, through which I could satisfy my mental and physical needs, while keeping my sanity undamaged.

I’ve only started pushing my researches into that particular direction. There is sure much more stuff that needs to be explored. I was thinking here: hence some of you might be interested in permanently moving to Mars, then maybe we should collaborate. We can do a few experiments together. You could come to my place, bring some food and toys, we will lock ourselves in for a few weeks, so it would be only you, me and my octopuses. We could play different games together, developing intimate attachments (possibly mixed zoophilic and homosexual), do all the different kinds of interaction, and maybe even have some fun. We will do it out of scientific curiosity only.

So, if you keen on this, write me an email, so we can start planning on some ways we could collaborate.

Kind regards,
Denis.

I was thinking here lately: why do people find a need to worship something?

If you look into our history, you will find that in all Eras, across all the different cultures, people were constantly idolizing things. At first, those things were different Earth/fire/wind/water spirits, pagan gods, ancient ancestors, etc. Then, when religion became more organised, Humanity had all sorts of supreme beings and prophets (e. g. Jesus, Muhammad… Buddha, etc) to worship. It’s like all people are addicted to the concept of raising someone (or something) and following them as something superior.

Even in Contemporary History, when religion is in decline, we still create idols and follow them. Some people praise political figures and their ideologies (Lenin, Hitler, Gandhi), some idolize fictional characters and create strong fanbase around them (Superman, Spider-man, Batman, Jedi, Harry Potter, Master Chief), some dream to have the same power as certain super-star business tycoons (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Donald Trump, Richard Branson), and some go to the concerts and look up with love and admiration at their favorite artists and performers (Lady Gaga, Tiesto, Black Eyed Peas, Rammstein, Metallica, Usher, Armin Van Buuren… just to name a few. And, what’s interesting. many people go beyond the production of their favorite artists and start digging into their personal life. This kind of fans can buy an old toothbrush that was used by [insert an artist’s name] a few years ago on Ebay for $20 000).

So, why is this happening? Why do people feel comfort when they have something superior to look up to? What psychological mechanisms stand behind this concept and drive people into creating worship targets?

I think that one possible explanation can be derived from the Evolutionary perspective (I want to warn you that these are just my thoughts, and that they aren’t really backed up by any real research… are they?).

As we all know, humans are social animals. People were always tended to join into groups in order to maximize their chances of survival. If you ask a zoologist, they will tell you that almost all group animals who are blessed with cognition of some sort (e. g. wolfs, lions, chimpanzees) have a defined group structure, or, in other words, a hierarchy within their social groups. Every pack has a leader, an alpha-male, whose primary role is to defend his group against other animals and (sometimes) resolve internal conflicts (for example, two lion cabs are fighting over food that is left over after a successful hunting, the noises they’re making wake up an alpha-male, who doesn’t hesitate to roar them away and eat all the food by himself – problem solved).

Homo sapiens’ social structures are far more sophisticated than that, but, nevertheless, the basic concept of a pack leader remains the same. And that can be very beneficial. Different people have different view on things and different ways to act, therefore, a good leader, who is capable of selecting the best ways and direct its group, is a vitally important figure to have.

So, here we have a basic group structure: an alpha-male (who is a leader, an innovative thinker and director) and all the other individuals who follow him. Simple, but efficient.

Evolutionary, it happened that humans have certain biological aids to form social structures like this. For example, not so long ago, it was discovered that our organism produces more endorphin when we work in a team, therefore, it’s natural for a human being to seek a cooperative activity with others of its kind. And, it seems that this principle extends to religion and other sorts of activities when we have to worship someone or something. We just get more satisfaction, due to biochemical processes, when we think that we follow something strong and superior. So, it’s like a by-product of those biological mechanisms that helped us to survive during the formation of our species.

And, of course, there is a relatively small number (around, maybe, 5% of all people) of those who find no need in worshiping others. They have their own ideas and very strong personalities, and they prefer changing their surrounding rather than conform and adapt to it. These people are the leaders and innovators (just like alpha-males and pack leaders back in prehistoric times). This small percentage of people, who stand out of the crowd and initialize the action, is composed of those who move our society, either back of forward. And all the other 95% just follow them.

So, to sum up, my point is that people’s tendency to create idols and worship them is just another psychological/biochemical mechanism, a by-product of our Evolution that helped (and still helps) our species to survive.

Again, these are just my personal thoughts. They could be wrong. You’re welcome to comment and discuss this topic, either here or on Facebook (under the WordPress.com redirect Wall post).

Here is a small test for you.

You’re given 3 words: cat, wolf and chicken.

Pick the odd one out and justify your choice. It’s quite obvious that there could be multiple outcomes with all the different explanations, but the first thing that comes to your mind is the most important one.

***

That was one question from a pack of tasks that aim to determine whether a person has schizophrenia. Normal people would give quite straight forward explanation for their choices, for example, chicken, because it’s a bird and the other two are mammals, or wolf, because it’s the only animal from the pack that hasn’t been domesticated.

Schizophrenic people, on the other hand, are most likely to give you the answers that will cause a complete mindf*ck to any normal person. For example, a person who suffers from schizophrenia might say that cat is the odd one out, because it’s the only animal from the list that is capable of hiding its claws, or they might say that it’s chicken, because it doesn’t have teeth.

Of course, any normal person could come up with such justifications too, if they turn their creativity on, but, as I was saying, the only valuable answers are those that popped up out your head right after you heard the question (so it could determine your usual thinking pattern), and it’s only one question from a big pack of tasks for diagnosing mental disorders.

About 20 years ago, Singapore had a problem with chewing gums: people were littering with them everywhere. You could find chewing gum on the sidewalks, sticked to the walls, elevator doors and public transport seats. There were even some accidents in which escalators in public places got stopped because of the chewing gums that were jamming the mechanism. The problem was so severe, that the Singaporean Government decided to ban chewing gum… Yeah, that’s right. Since 1992, the use of chewing gum in Singapore is prohibited by the law (unless it is prescribed for medical purposes).

The problem of “gumfitti” (a word used to describe chewing gum pollution in public places) is still faced in many places where young people are often present, especially at schools, where children stick gums under their cheers and tables. Even Universities have this issue! I myself stuck a chewing gum under a table at QUT Library at KG, a minute before I decided to write this post.

I was thinking here: what can people do in order to prevent kids from doing this stuff?

So far, I came up with two ways that might be efficient to a certain degree.

First way: A Radical Campaign against littering that would be aimed at school kids and written in their language. Most of the “don’t litter” and “don’t smoke” signs are straight and boring. People just ignore them. A sign might be quite noticeable as well, but, due to the lack of convincing, people would ignore the message anyway. But what if sign makers would try to make it humorous and presented on the level of school kids, on the level at which they might actually get convinced?

I tried to imagine what that sort of signs might look like. I opened GIMP 2 on my laptop and quickly made these:

If this Psychology wouldn’t work, then people can try to use Chemistry…

Second way: making seats and tables with a thin layer of some waxy substance on their surface, which would repel chewing gums (which are made of a substance based on polyethene, apparently). I can’t say what substances could be stable and safe enough to be considered practical, but I’m pretty sure that people who study Organic Chemistry would easily work it out.

It could be expensive to apply this sort of chemicals to seats and tables in public places, but I think it would totally worth it. At the end, if this method would proof to be successful, the demand will skyrocket, and the cost will eventually decreased.

***

Those were just some random thoughts.

Yesterday, I spend over 40 hours without sleep (my personal record is around 47… and it’s not that I’m trying to beat anything).

It can be interesting to observe my own condition during such sleep deprivations. It often goes by this 3-stage pattern:

1) 0-14 hours – normal condition.
2) 14-26 hours – “deep thinking” phase. At this stage, I always become interested in things. I just want to sit in front of my computer and read everything, from news to random Wikipedia articles. It’s like my brain is thirsty for knowledge. How productive can it be? I don’t know… What’s interesting, my sense of humor turns into something weird (for the lack of a better word). Today, I went through my yesterday’s Facebook activity (all the status updates I wrote with my iPhone, all the comments I wrote and all the online convos I participated in), and I couldn’t believe that I was cracking up because of that stuff yesterday. It doesn’t seem that funny to me now (read a convo about iPhone vs. everything else, as an example). It’s also important to note that my grammar suffers badly when I write long pieces of text in that state.
3) 26 and longer – the stage when I become annoyed by everything and start thinking about all the negative things. The annoyance by everything is probably due to the banal (and obvious) physical discomfort that I’m starting to experience under such sleep deprivation. And that serves as a reason for my nearly depressive mood. I also become more aggressive and could easily insult someone…

I’m not sure about the exact hormonal biochemical processes that my organism undergoes during sleep deprivations, but it’s obvious that it never serves me well. Sleep deprivation is bad, m’kay?

I think I would have to do some proper research on this topic while I’m doing my Psychology course this year…