Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinowdiscussed his work on the power of the subliminal, and how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world. According to him, all judgments and perceptions reflect the workings of our mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. Subliminal or subconscious effects can play out in a variety of ways. For instance, it's known that the sense of touch can build trust, and in an experiment with waiters and waitresses at a restaurant, the customers whom they subtly touched ended up tipping 20% better than those they hadn't. This is a form of subliminal persuasion, as the customers typically didn't even remember being touched, he detailed.
People respond to non-verbal communication cues-- aspects of your smile, posture, and gestures send messages to people that may be perceived on a subconscious level. Interestingly, he noted that a real smile looks different than a fake one, as it involves different facial muscles. One of the surprising things Mlodinow learned was that people are often not in control of their own biases, which typically come from the bombardment of stereotypes in the media that have entered their subconscious (Project Implicit from Harvard offers online tests that reveal personal biases and prejudices).
One can learn to harness the power of the subconscious mind in different ways, he said. For example, when working on a complex problem, by taking a break and doing something else such as going on a walk, solutions often arise easier. Mlodinow also addressed various topics in science and physics, such as the lack of progress in string theory, the future of quantum computing, advancements in brain imaging, and the effects of randomness and chance in our lives.
First hour guest, writer and medical advocate Julia Schopick talked about several effective treatments that have largely been ignored by the medical community. Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) has been found to boost and modulate the immune system, and works more like a supplement than a drug, she reported. LDN has worked well as a treatment for HIV/AIDS, various auto-immune disorders, and a host of other conditions (PDF list), she sad. Schopick also cited intravenous alpha-lipoic acid as a possible cancer treatment. For more, check out avideo presentation she gave in Los Angeles.
In the first half, investigative reporter Peter Lance discussed his forthcoming book Deal With the Devil, which details how mafia capo Gregory Scarpa Sr., known as "The Killing Machine," served as an FBI informant. Because of his secret relationship with the Feds, he only ever served thirty days in jail despite his long record of racketeering and murder-- in fact, he is thought to be the most prolific killer in the history of organized crime. Lance characterized Scarpa Sr. as a kind of "one man counter-intelligence program" who maintained his relationship with the FBI for 32 years.
Interestingly, Scarpa's son, Gregory Scarpa Jr., was in the jail cell next to al Qaeda terrorist Ramzi Yousef in Lower Manhattan in 1996-7, and like his father, ended up working as an informant. According to Lance's research, some of Scarpa Jr.'s intelligence led the FBI to the discovery of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who was hiding out in Qatar working on the 9-11 plot, but he escaped, and subsequently the FBI tried to discredit the treasure trove of intel Scarpa Jr. gave them. Having spent more than a decade auditing how the FBI deals with counter-terrorism and organized crime, Lance has concluded that the Bureau is resistant to change and still infected with a kind of pathology that dates back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover.
In the latter half, astrophysicist Mario Livio talked about how making scientific blunders is often a necessary part of the scientific process. Five of the greatest scientists in history have made large mistakes, he said. For instance, Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection was missing an understanding of how genetics worked, and Lord Kelvin (a prominent physicist) miscalculated the age of the Earth, estimating that it was 100 million years old. Further, Linus Pauling, the greatest chemist of his day, made an incorrect model of DNA, Fred Hoyle (the astrophysicist who coined the term 'Big Bang') believed that the universe remained the same, and Albert Einstein incorrectly removed the idea of 'repulsion' as a force in the universe. Einstein's blunder actually served as a prediction, and shows how such mistakes can prove useful, Livio pointed out.
Blunders in business have occasionally proved to be fortuitous as well, he remarked, citing how Post-it notes were invented by a company that was actually trying to make a stronger adhesive. Livio also spoke about various space and cosmology topics. In terms of astronomy, the James Webb telescope, scheduled to be launched in 2018, is eagerly awaited. It will not only show us the first galaxies in the universe, but it's hoped it will identify which exoplanets contain liquid water, he said. For more, check out Livio's weekly blog on The Huffington Post.
As an abductee with 95 percent conscious recall of his experiences, Jim Sparks, talked about how over the years he went from resistor to cooperator with the alien beings who abducted him. His interactions were with two different types of 'grey' aliens, he said-- short "worker bees" who were half-robotic, and taller (4 to 5 ft. tall) biological beings with large heads and eyes, and skinny necks, torsos, and arms. They communicate via telepathy, and the taller beings are able to think 10-100 times faster than humans, as well as hold hundreds of thoughts in their mind at the same time, he detailed. Their advanced scientific abilities (such as being able to move through walls) can seem like to magic to us, and they only can be seen when they want us to see them, he continued.
The beings have unfettered access to our minds-- i.e. we have no private thoughts from them, and that is extremely intimidating, and hard to be around, he commented. However, over time, he eventually learned to adapt to being around them, and his fears and discomfort lessened. He's convinced that the aliens have conquered death, though they can be killed. Intriguingly, Sparks revealed they have the ability to time travel. He had a small scale experience of it himself, when he was brought back after an abduction and the clock showed a time that was earlier than when he was taken. In the first years of his abductions, Sparks reported that he was threatened by odd government agents, telling him to keep quiet about his experiences.
The aliens have their own agenda which deals with concerns over the creatures they seeded on our planet (including humans), Sparks noted, adding that various agreements humanity made with them have all been broken (by us) over time. The aliens have suggested "amnesty" be offered to those who have deliberately kept their presence secret from the public, so the truth can come out, he said. Their hybrid program, he explained, was successful in creating human beings that are more intelligent, environmentally sensitive, and telepathic, and they could potentially populate the planet, if something happened to us.
First hour guest, activist historian Webster Tarpley discussed Senator Elizabeth Warren and Cong. John Tierney's proposed bill on student loan reform. They propose that beginning July 1st (when student loan interest rates are set to double) that the interest rate be dropped to .75, the same as what banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve. Tarpley noted that while Wall Street doesn't like this reduction, it wouldn't cost the taxpayer anything, would make education more affordable, and actually help the economy. He further suggested that graduating classes of 2013 turn their graduation ceremonies into a rally in favor of the Warren-Tierney bill.
A Burmese python measuring 18 feet, 8 inches was recently captured in South Florida-- the largest of its kind ever caught in the state. Jason Leon, traveling in a rural area of Miami-Dade county spotted the creature, and with the assistance of others was able to kill it. Such pythons, which have no predators, have been decimating populations of native animals from the Everglades. More here.