The brain’s “Oops!” button

The brain has an error-detection system. Scribal Terror explains:

The brain’s error detection mechanism

This seems to be what triggers that “Oh crap . . . why did I push SEND?” effect, as explained by Scientific American:

Hints of the brain’s error-detection apparatus emerged serendipitously in the early 1990s. Psychologist Michael Falkenstein of the University of Dortmund in Germany and his colleagues were monitoring subjects’ brains using electroencephalography (EEG) during a psychology experiment and noticed that whenever a subject pressed the wrong button, the electrical potential in the frontal lobe suddenly dropped by about 10 microvolts. Psychologist William J. Gehring of the University of Illinois and his colleagues confirmed this effect, which researchers refer to as error-related negativity, or ERN.

Conversion story

On Sikhchic, Manjyot Kaur tells how she came to embrace her religion:

My “date with destiny” arrived quite unannounced one evening via the Internet, during research I was doing on a topic of interfaith significance. My initial reaction to Sikhi was absolute love at first sight; I felt instantly magnetized, both intellectually and emotionally.

As I began to insatiably devour everything I could find about Sikhi, I was entranced to encounter it not as an esoteric conglomeration of rigid do’s-and-don’ts, but a vibrant spiritual path, universal and timeless.

Like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Sikhi is a totally monotheistic religion.

The three pillars of the Sikh faith – always keeping God in one’s mind and heart, earning an honest livelihood, and sharing one’s resources with all those in need – struck me as a simple, rational and relevant “blueprint for everyday life” as an actively engaged, fully contributing member of contemporary society.

The fundamental teachings that Waheguru (as Sikhs refer to God) is an all-pervading Deity, not one limited to any creed, nation, race, color or gender, and that human life is a unique opportunity to discover and nurture the Divine Light residing within all Creation, tremendously appealed to me. I also found the emphasis placed on performing selfless volunteer service quite compelling.

Among the many amazingly revolutionary precepts put forth by Guru Nanak, the founder of the faith, and reinforced by the nine Gurus that succeeded him, was the concept of complete gender equality. As a woman, I derived enormous satisfaction from learning that Sikhi accords both sexes the exact same status before God, as well as equal access to scriptures and to positions of Sikh religious and political authority.

As my nascent attraction ripened into a life-altering spiritual quest, I began delving into the exquisite poetic text of Guru Granth Sahib, the compilation of sacred writings imbued with the status of a living, eternal Guru by the tenth and last human Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in 1708.

Exploring these soul-captivating scriptures and trying to incorporate their teachings into my life connected me with the Divine like never before….

Read the whole article.

Day of reckoning?

The trouble with reading science fiction and popular science is that I’ve been worrying about overpopulation, running out of resources, environmental degradation and the rest for more than thirty years.

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