A Morning Peacock of Links (3/3)

Find God’s Will By Ignoring the Decision at Hand

On biblical wisdom, focusing not on the decision but on God, and engaging in sanctified reasoning.

Tornadoes Rip Through the Midwest and South

Photos (with captions) of post-tornado destruction in the Midwest and South.

Tim Hawkins: Tips on How to Raise Your Hands During Church Worship

Why Jesus Creates Science

Pastor Will Little (also a brilliant researcher who’s been studying the “biophysics of how cells move” in relation to cancer) on why Christianity is the strongest world view to stand on and to make sense of everything. There’s also a businessman that speaks on Why Jesus Creates Business, but they still haven’t released his session yet. In any case, all these videos are worth it.

The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever

Fascinating article on Wired about how memories are formed, how memories are changed every time they are recalled and how there might be, one day, a pill that can help you “forget” bad memories and their associated pains:

This isn’t Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style mindwiping. In some ways it’s potentially even more effective and more precise. Because of the compartmentalization of memory in the brain—the storage of different aspects of a memory in different areas—the careful application of PKMzeta synthesis inhibitors and other chemicals that interfere with reconsolidation should allow scientists to selectively delete aspects of a memory. Right now, researchers have to inject their obliviating potions directly into the rodent brain. Future treatments, however, will involve targeted inhibitors, like an advanced version of ZIP, that become active only in particular parts of the cortex and only at the precise time a memory is being recalled. The end result will be a menu of pills capable of erasing different kinds of memories—the scent of a former lover or the awful heartbreak of a failed relationship. These thoughts and feelings can be made to vanish, even as the rest of the memory remains perfectly intact. “Reconsolidation research has shown that we can get very specific about which associations we go after,” LeDoux says. “And that’s a very good thing. Nobody actually wants a totally spotless mind.”
The problem with eliminating pain, of course, is that pain is often educational. We learn from our regrets and mistakes; wisdom is not free. If our past becomes a playlist—a collection of tracks we can edit with ease—then how will we resist the temptation to erase the unpleasant ones? Even more troubling, it’s easy to imagine a world where people don’t get to decide the fate of their own memories. “My worst nightmare is that some evil dictator gets ahold of this,” Sacktor says. “There are all sorts of dystopian things one could do with these drugs.” While tyrants have often rewritten history books, modern science might one day allow them to rewrite us, wiping away genocides and atrocities with a cocktail of pills.

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