SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Q: How do we make ourselves feel positive when negative things are happening?  

Krishna: The thing that makes us truly strong is ‘being realistic’, neither positivity nor negativity. Being positive makes us expect too much. It is not a very effective tool and can be downright harmful in some cases, when you don’t get the picture right and anticipate more than you put efforts into a situation. That is like kidding yourself!

There are much better ways to get the benefits that positive thinking allegedly provides. Can you actually go through life without labeling what happens to you as good or bad? Yes, you can. You have to train yourself to do this. You have been conditioned to think of things as bad or good. You can de-condition yourself.

Think of our pain and suffering as being hit by two arrows. The first arrow, the inevitable pain of life, whether a difficult event, thought or feeling, is shot at us; we have little control over this. But then we shoot a second arrow at ourselves with our own reaction to the pain, amplifying and prolonging it. The suffering from the refusal or pushing away of this pain, the "it shouldn’t be here," the "I can’t stand this," but also the blaming, the ruminating, the "why me?" the "it’s always been this way and always going to be this way" stories: these are the parts we add. To put it simply: pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Failures might occur in life. When they do, you should revisit your problem, analyse it thoroughly and realistically in an enlightened way and think you haven't found a proper solution to it yet and that's why you couldn't overcome it, then try to get one, increase your efficiency of the effort, plug the loopholes and go after it with all your might to defeat it.

That is the realistic way of doing things.

Q: Happiness makes me sick. People make me sick. Just the thought of "love" makes me sick. Just thinking of the word makes me cringe and sick. What is this?  

Krishna: Different people will have different perceptions about things around them.

What some people call ‘happiness’ what they are experiencing might look false to you if you are a ‘different thinker’ which can make their perception sick.

If people are selfish, shallow, jealous, money-minded, loveless, that might again make you sick.

If people around you are not very good, you might think the world made of tehse people is sick.

What people call ‘love’ might have shown you a different and false angle of it which makes you sick.

You must have seen only the darker side of the world, people, love to make these things look sick.

Change your view and perception, the world too changes.

Q: Will loneliness destroy a person?

Krishna: That really depends on the personality of the lonely being. There are people who enjoy loneliness and make use of it in positive and creative ways and there are people who wail in self pity.

Who says loneliness is boring? It is fun and highly productive. And highly creative people prefer loneliness. Creativity -both scientific and artistic - flourishes in solitude. With quiet, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus.

Behavioral studies have found that more creative people may have leaky sensory filters. That means the involuntary neurological process that ordinarily filters out irrelevant stimuli are not as fully engaged.

To test that idea, researchers asked volunteers to fill out a creative achievement questionnaire and take a test to assess creative cognition. Then, their brain activity was monitored while they listened to closely separated click sounds.

A typical brain responds to the first click a lot stronger than the second, identical click. It’s as if the brain acknowledges it processed something novel and doesn’t need to process the second click to the same extent. But for creative brains—the situation can be different!

Very creative people process the second click to the same degree so they don’t censor out information that is repetitive or irrelevant in some sense. What’s interesting is that it happens 50 milliseconds after stimulus onset. With behavioral studies it’s impossible to sort of know exactly when this…happens. And with neurophysiology they are able to see that only 50 milliseconds after…the clicks in their study were presented. More creative people were less likely to filter out the noise. So 50 milliseconds, you’re not able to decide whether…to process something or not, it’s sort of an automatic response.

For creative minds each and every thing that comes their way is important and should be processed in equal ways and all points should be noted with highest priority.

If this kind of hyper-alert condition sounds familiar, you are highly creative! Mozart, Kafka, Darwin, Chekhov, Tesla, and Proust were reported to avoid distractions while working because they were easily distracted. If noise derails your thought, the problem might be that you may have a highly creative brain that's less able to filter out seemingly unimportant events.

According to Tesla: “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

Goethe: “One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.”

Picasso: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible."

Carl Sandburg: “One of the greatest necessities is to discover creative solitude.”

Thomas Mann: “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.”

“Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”~Lou Dorfsman

So almost all creative people either in science or art prefer solitude and agree with other creative people.

Reasonable-- and meaningful-- set of four factors that govern solitude according to experts:

1. Preference for solitude

Prefer to be left alone, want to be left alone, seek quiet, don't like crowded events

2. Enjoyment of solitude

Enjoy spending time by oneself, amuse oneself easily

3. Introspection

Spend time reflecting on things, enjoy contemplation, like to ponder over things

4. Nonconformity

Have a point of view all one's own, go one's own way, live in a world of one's own, do things at one's own pace.

Research suggests that there are some serious benefits to singlehood. For example, people who score high on the desire to spend time alone are less likely to be neurotic and more likely to be open-minded than are people who prefer to be surrounded with others. Single people also develop a diverse portfolio of skills — they can't depend on a partner to do the taxes or cook dinner — which may give them a sense of mastery over life.

We really need to do is find out much more about what's important to single people, what their lives are like, what they value — and that gives us a much fuller and fairer picture of the different ways of living a life.

Q: Why are some people mentally strong while others aren't as much? Is it mostly genetics? (Not very mentally strong) woman in her early twenties here. Why is it so hard for some people to be mentally strong? Are people just born with a tendency to be mentally strong/weak?  

Krishna: Let me answer you from my point of view.

It is not hereditary for me because none of my family members are as strong as I am. I was also a ‘weak’ person when I was very young.

But I am extremely strong now…

My strength came from my confidence because of my knowledge in several fields and my critical thinking capabilities. I can analyse the problems I have thoroughly and rationally, and solve them using my knowledge creatively. Even I never thought I could do all this until I did and my friends, colleagues, relatives and people who knew me from the beginning too get surprised now.

Like somebody said … you really don’t know how strong you are until … being strong becomes your only choice…

WHEN BEING STRONG BECOMES YOUR ONLY CHOICE

Who knows even you could become a strong person when circumstances demand that from you! So don’t lose heart. 

Q: What would be a perfect one-word answer to "What do you want out of life" be, and why?  

Krishna: Satisfaction!

Everything else comes under that heading!

Q: What are the good points of a religion?

Krishna: The only good point I see in religion is ...  it gives some sort of emotional support to those who need it. 

Q: Why are we expected to oppose superstitions but tolerate religions even though religion deals with several irrational beliefs?

Krishna : Human reasoning takes several routes. It is highly influenced by biases and motivational reasoning. Intuition comes in and corrupts it too using memories of strange kinds and pattern recognition process. But intuition is very limited in its factual basis. Others, like our family members, close friends and relatives, people who we admire and adore, our groups and communities also influence our thought process. Individuals can’t justify their beliefs, but groups are great at justifying things (though not necessarily justifications that would be always right). A little social support from others can generate a lot of confidence and you can confidently go wrong here. :)

We can also reason by deliberating, thinking things through carefully. But we don’t do that very much, and we’re not very good at it as individuals. Unless you are a good independent critical thinker, have the courage to come out of influences, biases and support systems, you cannot free yourself of irrational beliefs.

Nobody can justify an irrational belief properly and correctly.
If you criticize superstitions, you are a hero. On the other hand if you criticize religion, you become a villain.
This is because social groups place religion at the highest level because it has something to do with what they think is the ‘highest authority in the universe’. If you try to fiddle with this thought process or belief system, you will have to face the music.

But at least you are allowed to oppose superstitions. Thank them for it! :)

Irrationality has no real justification. That is why it is called irrational!

Q: If you can give me only one tip to improve my life, what would it be? 

Krishna: Follow the scientific way of life!

Q: Is the death of friends and family members harder on scientists, because they don't believe in an afterlife?  

Krishna: Coping with the death of a loved one is hard for anyone. But as a person of science I could overcome my grief caused by the death of both my beloved parents very well. Read here how science helped me in doing so …

Science tries to strengthen our minds permanently by making us real...

Q: Since you don't have beliefs that hell is real, what guides you to be good and stops you from doing evil? 

Krishna: If I do something bad, it will hurt human beings like me. They will have emotions like I have that might make their life difficult to live.

What more reasons do you need to be good as a rational human being? 

Q: Why is selective thinking wrong? Why do people do selective thinking?  

Krishna: Motivational reasoning, biases screw up your thought process and you end up compromising to make peace with yourself. Then you enter a phase of unreal or pseudo-world but think it is real! That is how irrationality originates.

Yes, you can live in this artificial and easy world if you want like several people do, but you miss the beauty of reality and real mind strength brought by it. 

Q: How should I respond when I'm told that my beliefs and religion aren't beyond criticism?  

Krishna: If you are a critical thinker, you accept it. If your thoughts are driven by emotions, you feel bad and start attacking the person who said it or the one who criticizes your beliefs.

Now decide for yourself which category you belong to. 

Q: Why do people keep their houses messy?

Krishna: Because they didn’t experience the real benefit of orderliness!

The usual explanation they give is thy don’t have time to keep it in order.

My reply to them… just try orderliness once and say that again. Orderliness saves time!

Q: Do people always listen to good advice given by experts?

Krishna: Human perception is a strange thing. People get influenced by several biases. 

I met an interesting lady sometime back. She gives importance to statuses in society and money people have. According to her, rich people can never go wrong or be wrong! Because all their 'rightness' made them succeed and rich! She listens to them when they talk and think all that they say is correct even if it is not! Hmmm!

Poor people or experts who are not rich don't even exist in her world. When such people talk, she just ignores them or argues against them. What can you say about such people?

Hit 'ignore' button and move  on! Science doesn't give a damn! 

Q: Between being stupid and happy vs being smart and not so happy, what would you choose?  

Krishna: I feel this Q is not framed rightly.

Yes, you can be stupid and be happy in a stupid way!

You can be smart and be happy in a smart way too! If you are smart, you can turnaround every unhappy situation into a happier one!

So I prefer smartness any day!

Q: How do you deal with people who hate you?

Krishna: Hit the ‘ignore button’ and move on. Who has the time for such people? I have better things to do than dealing or thinking about them!

Q: Can anyone donate a kidney to anyone?

Krishna: Kidney donation begins with a blood test. The test will determine your blood type and if it will match the recipient's blood (compatibility). If your blood type is compatible with the recipient, two more blood tests will be done (tissue typing or genetic typing and cross-matching).

Tissue typing is a blood test that matches the number of antigens the donor and recipient share. These antigens can recognize the difference between two people's body tissue.

Each person has six basic tissue typing antigens (or markers) shared equally from their parents. The markers help tell which donor will be the best match between the recipient and donor. A parent and child would have at least 50 percent match while siblings could have a zero to 100 percent match.

The best match for the recipient is to have six out of six antigens match. (This is known as a zero mismatch.) It is possible for all six markers to match.

It is not necessary that you match your antigens for a successful transplant. Even matching one antigen may make for a more successful transplant than matching five or six antigens from a deceased donor kidney.

Cross-matching is a blood test you and the recipient will have at least two different times to see if the recipient will react to your kidney. If there is no reaction, the result is a negative cross-match. This means the transplant surgery can happen.

You can pass all of your other tests, but if you have a positive cross-match - meaning the recipient's body would attack the new kidney - you cannot donate your kidney to that person.

Also, to be considered for kidney donation, you cannot abuse drugs, including alcohol and you shouldn't have serious infections like HIV.

Q: Why is luck so important?

Krishna: What you call ‘luck’ is just your perception or an interpretation about a situation.

Actually if you lack control over a problem and when your effort is not up to the mark to solve it, you call it bad luck and you try to make it responsible for your failure.

On the other hand if you succeed, you call it good luck.

Either way, your smartness, effort, determination to solve a problem or defeat your opponent are more important in determining your success.

When you screw your thought process you end up with a thing called ‘luck’ either good or bad. That is undermining the power of a human mind and yielding to uncertainty and chaos. 

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