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They'll all fall

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What women mean by "intelligence"

In a forum I frequent, a woman claimed she was filtering men for "intelligence", and was challenged by what she meant. This is her reply:


When looking for intelligence in a man, I look for many if not all of the following. They are not ranked in any particular order and some may hold more weight than others.

Ambition - does he have any? What has he accomplished, what are his goals?

Common Sense (street smarts) - generally, more important than overwhelming book sense

Time Management - is he able to juggle many things with ease, or does he struggle with prioritizing his time?

Resolve - does he do what he says that he is going to do when he says that he is going to do it, or does he make excuses for lack of?

Communication - when he talks does he do so in a non attacking, discussion provoking manner. If he makes assumptions he classifies them as such. This one is very hard to put into words, but I'll try to expand later if it's unclear.

Education and Financial Stability - this one has importance, but isn't the driving factor. Let's face it, Nobel Peace Prize winners have been dirt poor, and folks with money running out their ass don't have the sense to come in from the rain.

That's a good start...if a guy can capture my attention with several of these and engage me in a conversation about 'anything' I'm generally sparked by his intelligence.


Most of these are habits, and habits it is possible to aquire.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Wendi's Hypnoquiz

Wendi Friesen has a hypnoquiz up, going through a series of tests and seeing "How hypnotizable you are". Actually, there's two quizes, one after each other.

The first one is fairly OK though somewhat limited by being multiple choice (I'd like to check several of the choices every time). I haven't taken the second one yet.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

(outlink, free book) The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality

Just found this: The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality

It covers the sexuality of a range of different countries, and outer space.

And yes, it's all serious, and a nice information site.

On genetics, natural selection and infidelity

There's an old Times-article here that goes through the topic in some depth.

I'll also present parts of my own view of this. Remember, all of these are the basic biologic systems - there's some cultural conditioning on top. This is just where the *impulses* come from.


First, let's try to get the basics in place: The attraction system - and all other systems - are formed by a single imperative: What makes genes get reproduced to further generations. The overall reproductive success measurement is how many great great grandchildren do you get (grandchildren is actually included in the direct feedback loop, so your influence on them will go on to great grandchildren through only one level.) This seems to be why humans live so long.

The attraction/love system was formed a long time ago; if we're talking the last common full ancestor, that's about 200,000 years ago. However, for the *basic* functioning of the system, we're talking of the limbic system, which goes back before we separated from the reptiles!

Now, to further reproduction, there's somewhat different imperatives for men and women. In both cases, it's about getting your genes paired with other genes that make them survive, keeping the context in which your offspring live safe, and maximizing the use of the available resources.

For females, the restricted resource is how many kids they can have and provide for. The system will attempt to get a paired male of as high value as possible (for providing well for the kids), yet not so much higher than the female that he will run away after getting a better female. In periods of fertility, the system will tempt her towards males with higher genetic quality, as pure gene donators - as long as she don't get caught, so she still keeps the provider male. Her major jealousy factor is towards the male as provider, not sex per se - as the male can service an almost unlimited number of females.

For males, the restricted resource is the females willing to accept his seed, and his time for supporting children. There's several strategies he can use, depending on his "genetic quality". If he's got high genetic quality, he can rely on just spreading it around, having sex with many females who either take care of the kids alone, or that were cheating on another male and have that male help them. Males that follow this pattern is called "alphas". If the male hasn't got the "genetic quality" to do the spreading, he can do second best: Pick a full time mate that will accept him, stay loyal enough to her that she'll keep accepting him, keep her from other males, and impregnate other females when he can. Males that do this are called "betas". The primary jealousy objects for males are if the female has sex with other males or if he risk losing the female as mother for more kids. For betas, there may be the additional point of risking not being able to care for his children (ie, losing invested time.)

The male will thus go for fertility, and wish to "trade up" when that fertility is spent, as long as that increase his overall number of progeny.

A lot of the above is indicated through heuristics. Both genetic quality and assumed provider quality is found by a combination of looks, subconscious smell, confidence, and social proof (how *others* seem to perceive the person - why just judge yourself, when you can add in the combined judgement from a lot of others?) That's a large part of how social skills come into the picture.

There's also a bunch of aspects looking for something that is "like ourselves", for a variety of reasons (including how species creation happen.) There's one aspect (I know of) where we look for somebody that's specifically different: Immune system components.

(outlink) Essortment.com: A gazillion advice articles

Essortment.com has a collection of advice articles that seem quite good. Most relevant to this blog is their relationship articles, mental health articles, nutrition articles, and fitness articles.

The articles are fairly short and simple, without detailed background. However, there's thousands of them on various topics, they're practical, and during my brief inspection I found no serious problems. Worth a visit.

Friday, September 16, 2005

(outlink) In Search of a Deep Psychobiology of Hypnosis

Ernest Rossi, chronicler of Milton Ericksson and well-known researcher in his own right, has written a paper on In Search of a Deep Psychobiology of Hypnosis. Seems interesting.

On the topic of interesting theories of hypnosis: Dylan Morgan's free book Principles of Hypnosis builds a fairly broad base theory for hypnosis using control theory (a branch of mathematics). I'll be posting a review soon, summary: "READ IT!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reconstructing Chaos Magick as Hypnosis

For those willing to work through the obtuse language, Chaos Magick include a lot of nice hypnotic tricks.

For instance, at random, I picked the DNA Scry ritual, by Denny Sargent. I've turned the original bold, and added my own comments in normal face.


  1. The aspirant shall mentally, physically and spiritually prepare him/her self to come "unstuck" in time and space. This means anticipating the form major ego anxiety attacks will take and making peace with all aspects of his/her life as is possible, according to Love & Will.


    Introduction, going for self-examination. Do a setup for an induction by making the aspirant (person doing the ritual) believe a lot of things will happen (social compliance), and follow with a commitment/consistency. The setup of going through all aspects of life also prepares for the next stage.


  2. The aspirant will secure a warm room and bathroom and make sure that he/she shall remained undisturbed for at least 12 hours. An altar representing the universe of aspirant with a mirror thereon shall be present in the room as well as a pad, pen, simple bowl of water and a quantity of sea salt.


    Some parts that are just complexities, again using commitment/consistency by making this complex and extra work. Warm room sets up for relaxation, which is important for the next part.


  3. The temple shall be made pure, the Self shall be centered. Sacraments of his/her mystery shall be accepted/used to energize the rite. The circle shall be cast to encompass the bath & ritual area. The circle is the Body of the Mother, the bath is the Womb of the Mother.


    "Do the things you usually do before starting a ritual, effectively putting yourself into trance." For us garden variety hypnotists, this would just read "Go into trance using your favourite means."


  4. The meditation shall begin. The aspirant shall dispassionately
    examine his/her entire life, specifically noting those things that caused particular emotional attachment; desire or repulsion. Each of these Key Attachments shall be noted on the paper at hand in either written or sigil form. The more automatic the better. As the chain is followed back and back, more will appear. One should go back as far as possible to the earliest conscious memory.

    Then darkness.


    Systematically do a mind-map over all significant memories. "Sigil form" means that you can use a symbol you've anchored the relevant feeling to instead of words. Scan back over what you write, and find more things connected to it, following backwards for each piece. Continue until you've anchored all memories you can find into the paper you are writing on, so the paper becomes one big giant symbol of all the things that form emotional attachments for you.


  5. Repeating the Mantra MA the bath shall be filled with hot water and the sea salt shall be added.


    Do some ritual actions to make the bath seem significant, making that too a symbol.


  6. With Mantras and Actions that come spontaneously, the paper shall be empowered and burnt. The ashes shall be dropped into the bowl of water. He/she shall see the attachments and the life so released as the illusion it was. Does Not Matter, Need Not Be. The aspirant shall have no name, desires, fears, memories or being.


    A metaphorical process, using the burning of the paper as a metaphor for weakening the emotional power from those memories. This is quite similar to what we do in metaphor therapy.


  7. The only light shall be extinguished and the aspirant shall stand before the bath. He/she shall pour the contents of the bowl into the water and with it his consciousness.


    Continued metaphor use. This action would also deepen the trance.


  8. He/she shall enter the bath-womb of the Mother. He/she shall remain there in foetal position. So the Work begins.



    Find the Point of Light.

    Enter it.

    Find the double helix of the DNA

    Enter it. You are now the Messenger; RNA.

    Experiment and Play; all memories are here.

    Find the Keys and Regress.

    Mammal-form

    Bird-form


    Reptile-form

    Amphibian-form

    Fish-form

    Invertebrate-form

    Single Cell.



    (Consciousness must be kept in the DNA during this; to identify too closely with a form that attracts or repels merely replaces previous attachments with new ones and halts the work. It could be dangerous. Once begun, one MUST go to the end, at least the first time.)



    One Cell. United. Not split; whole.

    Activate the final Keys in the DNA; they will be obvious.


    The entire strand shall unravel and dissolve into 4 basic amino-acids.

    There shall be light.

    This is THE BORNLESS ONE.

    ....


    Guided imagery, very metaphorical, can be associated with more or less anything. The compulsion to go through to the end suggests powerful belief, and uses a presupposition that this is real. The overall effect is a hypnotic regression done through a guided imagery based metaphor; sweet work!


  9. At a certain time one shall emerge, grasping certain non-verbal things. Reverse the process. Reform as a foetus. Go through the phases of evolution/body formation. Choose your new incarnation. Emerge from the womb of your Mother with a Cry.



    Notice the use of artfully vague language, Ericksson style: At a certain time (any choice fit the prediction) one shall emerge (implication: You've been in a trance) grasping certain non-verbal things (in other words, 'something' that the aspirant cannot describe, even to him/her self - anything will fit). Reverse the process. Reform as a foetus. Go through the phases of evolution/body formation [Metaphorically, go out of the regression and forward) Choose your new incarnation (Implication: You can do change through this metaphor, chosing how you want things to turn out) Emerge from the womb of your Mother with a Cry.
    (finish the trance, tracking the metaphor)

  10. Dry quickly and retire to the altar. Wrap the body in blankets. Rest. Explore this new world in silence. Record in any form those few hints or names that are necessary. In silence thank the powers for the body and mind that contain all necessary for the Work. Close your circle in silence. Sleep.


    Presuppositions of effectiveness, subconscious finding of what's important and recording of same (can be used as symbol later), sensory system supression to lead to kinestetic/visual focus during exploration, continuing of the metaphor of a new world.

  11. Later; pour some of the "womb" water onto the Earth or into a stream or, better yet, an ocean. All is one, the One is None. Give thanks for now holding one of the keys to this.

    Presupposition of change, continued metaphor, fractination (by going back to things later)


  12. Use what you have received.

    Presupposition.



Looking over the ritual that way, it would surprise me a lot if it didn't work. Brief recap of the ritual: Use symbols/metaphor to disconnect (reduce) all emtional influences in the present. Go through the reverse evolution/DNA metaphor to do a regression, then do your change in the metaphorical past, then go forward, metaphorical rebirth, the "reconnect" to the present world. To strengthen all of this, the ritual represent as many of the metaphors as possible physically, and have the person associated in all visualization.

The problem I see with this (and much of the other "magick" I've seen) is the non-directed nature of the work. Basically, we're hoping that the person is able to do the ecology checks etc implictly. Also, this mix up several processes.

If I were to adapt this for direct use in hypnotherapy, I'd replace the write down metaphor with something else (maybe visualizing a bunch of strings pulling in all directions, and cutting the strings), I'd look to what specifically to modify with the regression work, and I'd do a script where I ran the person through each of the senses while doing the metaphorical regression.

(outlink) Personal Development Product Reviews

Personal Development Product Reviews is a site by Michael McGrath, going through some of the best stuff from self-development. He's a bit more fringe than I like - "energies" enter into some of this - yet most of the hypnosis reviews seem decent.

(outlink) Sacred Texts on Sexuality

There's a bunch of fun stuff in sexuality traditions; you can find 'em in the Sacred Texts: Sexuality archive. (Ritual sex can be really, really good.)

(outlink) HYPNO*HAVEN

HYPNO*HAVEN has a bunch of links, and some WAV files that can be useful as part of a background if you're making recordings.

Seduction in Relationships

I'm going to steal a whole big post from Brian, and hope he doesn't mind. This is from the Hypnotic Techniques Exchange archives of 2002, and I think it is too well said to linger in obscurity:


For possible discussion on how seducton skills crossover into
relationships, edited from a post I made to another list:

--- In mindlist@y..., ____ wrote:

> I am engaged to be married. Thus, I am not all that interested in
> seduction skills.

You should be interested in seduction skills, you should be very interested in them.

Seduction is not just about manipulating some girl you don't know into having sex with you . . . yes, that is an application of seduction that some but not all folks buy into . . . seduction is about attraction and making a person you feel good about feel good too.

Just because you're engaged or married doesn't mean you should stop trying to learn new ways to make your lover feel good and to experience new pleasures or share new experiences.

While much of the discussion of seduction techniques on this or most of the other lists devoted to the topic are about methods to seduce those with whom a person doesn't have a sexual relationship or ways to move a relationship into a more intimate arena . . . and that may be the part of the deal that you or I don't have current interest in, that narrow and specific application . . . but there's a lot more to it than that, positive things that can help your mate experience things with you in new and wonderful ways.

Some people seem to think that a seduction ends with sex . . . bag 'em bang 'em and eject 'em, a rather shallow view of life and relationships . . . it's not true . . . the seduction never ends, in any healthy relationship, where the romance is kept alive, vibrant, and wonderfully real, the seduction continues . . . sometimes with major moves like that unexpected trip to a restraunt to celebrate her unbirthday . . . or in small little things like the tilt of the head, the tender touch behind the left earlobe, and the whisper of 'I love you' as you lips touch in a crowded shopping mall where time has stopped for a moment and only the two of you exist.

Stop thinking of seduction in terms of Cassanova rouges roaming the countryside manipulating innocent milkmaids . . . it's more than that . . . and it can be so much more positive. Engaged, steady, married folks . . . anyone in a committed relationship . . . should be learning as much about seduction as they can . . . as seduction is about bringing pleasure to another person, intensifying experiences, and giving that person a wonderful gift . . . part of keeping the relationship vibrant and alive.


All by Brian David Phillips.

Friday, September 09, 2005

(outlink) Psychological Self-Help - free ebook

Psychological Self-Help is a complete free book on doing self-help on various topics, with supporting forums. It covers all of the following:



Introduction
CHAPTER 1 Understandings about Self-Help
CHAPTER 2 Steps in Self-Help

Understanding the Solution and the Problem
CHAPTER 3 Values and Morals: Guidelines for Living
CHAPTER 4 Behavior, Motivation, and Self-Control
CHAPTER 5 Stress, Anxiety, Fears,
and Psychosomatic Disorders
CHAPTER 6 Happiness, Depression and Self-Concept
CHAPTER 7 Anger and Aggression
CHAPTER 8 Dependency and Conformity
CHAPTER 9 Understanding Ourselves and Our Relationships
CHAPTER 10 Dating, Love, Marriage, and Sex

How to Apply Self-Help Methods
CHAPTER 11 Methods for Changing Behavior
CHAPTER 12 Methods of Changing Emotions
CHAPTER 13 Methods for Developing Skills
CHAPTER 14 Methods for Changing Our Thoughts,
Attitudes, Self-concept, Motivation,
Values, and Expectations
CHAPTER 15 Methods for Gaining Insight into Ourselves



(outlink) A quantititative and qualitative assessement of mature passionate love

OK, I really really need to read this, I think. The structure looks good, and it seems to go through most of the older references that are relevant (and which I've not read yet), and put this into a sane perspective.

Yet, 200 pages of PhD thesis, written in academic language (you know, the kind where there is no personality, no love, no passion, and lots and lots of words with more than two syllables?)

(outlink) A quantititative and qualitative assessement of mature passionate love by Anne J Woodward, her PhD thesis for a PhD in Counselling Psychology.

(outlink) Romantic Relationship Success Questionnaire

SinglesAndSoulmates' Romantic Relationshiip Success Questionnaire is a list of 50 different skills/personal choices targetted at making a love relationship work, where you rate each from 1 to 3. The questions selected are really, really spot on for keeping a relationship and selecting the right partner.

They're not 100% optimal for finding a partner, but for that you've got They'll All Fall ;)

(outlink) HypnoFantasy.com

A new erotic hypnosis site. Requires registration, can only play many of the files through Flash. Free access. Downloadable affirmation sets.

www.hypnofantasy.com

There's also some surprise suggestion MP3s. The hypnosis itself is fairly good, though a little more authorative than my taste.

(outlink) ILoveULove.com

If you're interested in spirituality, this looks like it might a decent simple basis for "spiritual love": iloveulove.com - unconditional love, forgiveness, relationships, love & spirituality. Books, articles, advice, forums

I'm planning to read up on this at some point - though I don't believe in spirituality per se, I find that they often have what I see as good metaphors.

(outlink) Hypnosis podcasts: Adam Eason, Brian David Phillips

Adam Eason: "Adam Up Live" Podcast
Brian David Phillips: http://briandavidphillips.libsyn.com/

Their names link to their blogs (not podcasts).

How am I supposed to tell what mood someone else is in if I can't even figure out what mood I am in?

There's a few sides to it.


First, learn to control your own state ("mood"), so you can have better baselines to compare from. There is a trick here: Calling up states from the past by using memory. Just remember a time when you felt the way you wanted to - think of the light and shade, the sound of the place, the smell, the temperature, how you sat, how the entire feeling of the place you were was, how your body moved - and you'll have it. You'll feel the same mood again. You can use the chance to create an association, too - for instance, I have a confidence association by touching my right chin.

That's called "anchoring".

Second, learn to use your senses much more carefully, to notice how people change as their mood change. There are changes in voice tone, posture, breathing, pulse, skin color (flushing), and sweating, and movement rythms. (This skill is called calibration, also talked of a "sensory acuity")

It can take time to learn. I'll start with giving you a simple exercise that you can use for getting better: Sit down. Look at a thing in the room, for instance a picture. Focus totally on it. Then keep your eyes fixed at the same spot, and try to take in the rest of the room, visually. As you see more and more with your peripheral vision, just try to feel the entire room. How all of it is. The skill sometimes comes at once, and sometimes takes some sessions to learn properly. As you try it out, you'll find out which of these it is for you. The point of the exercise is that you train in edge vision and getting a feeling of "space" from sounds, making it much easier to pick up small body language cues.

Third, learn to change a person to be in your own mood/state: First talk to them, then start to match their breathing, some of their movements, their spech rythm, etc. This happens naturally when you're talking deeply and "connecting" with them, anyway - the idea is just to be able to do it at will. (This is called matching/mirroring, or pacing, or rapport). Then, you'll be in the same state as them. Now, you can change your own state (using the skill from above), and you'll pull them along with you. At least if you change your state a little bit at a time. You now know what state both you and they are in!

Fourth, as you learn how to change your own state, you'll learn to discern what state you are in better, too. And as you change their state, you'll learn about how their body language changes. When you've learned that properly, what mood they are in will be obvious - their body language is almost screaming at you.

(From a comment I made to somebody on a website.)

(outlink) The Gurteen Knowledge Database

The Gurteen Knowledge Database is a database of about 4000 pages related to personal development (including some on NLP) and knowledge management.

Subliminal persuasion, seduction, and tapes - are bogus.

The basic conclusion is that tapes with and without "subliminals" work just as well, as long as people are told the tape contains subliminals. Various details references below.



A nice layman's reference:

Subliminal Persuasion Cargo-Cult Science (Skeptical Inquirer Spring 1992)

This article goes through the research, which was quite conclusive at that point (in 1992). And then "subliminal technologies" had been hyped again and again over a period of a hundred years, and the research against it was overwhelming.

Little has happened since.

Sohlberg and Birgegard's "Persistent Complex Subliminal Activation Effects" (2005) is pointed to by marketeers these days, claiming it is "proof". If you actually read the article, you'll find that the authors are much less sure than most people that refer to them. The authors point out several issues that may be the cause for this, and just cautiously report that the result worth doing more research on.


If you want more background, there's another report from 1992 here, covering the different techniques and history a bit more, and ScepDic is on the case as usual, with a nice selection of references. And even the people that seem to be in favour of the effect of subliminal messages at some level discard the effectiveness of tapes.

The most positive comments I've seen are these from Psychology Today, and with the background on the lower efficiency of audial subliminal priming compared to visual (from above), that seems very very optimistic. The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology has a more convential view of this.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Stress and eating with hormones and hypnosis

It might be possible to stop the (bad) stress. Cardio (aerobic) exercise is quite good for that over the short term (day to day), weight lifting (building muscle mass) is good over the long term and has about zero effect over the short term. There are hypnosis tracks available on http://www.briandavidphillips.com/ that let you set a 'relaxation trigger'. These are the DRTRC tracks (Deep Relaxation Trigger Response Conditioning). Listening regularly to these result in you setting a up the trigger word 'Xanadu' for becoming totally relaxed. You can say the word either out loud or inside your head.

Some notes about stress, nutrition and stress eating (intended to be a quick overview):
  1. The primary end[1] effect of stress is cortisol release. Cortisol is released to (primarily) make sure the body has glucose available. Cortisol does its job by breaking down lean body mass (muscle and similar) to convert to glucose.
  2. Eating carbohydrates will stop cortisol release and increase serotonin release. Both of these seem to be involved in stress eating, with serotonin being the primary effect. However, if you eat simple carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, potatoes, etc), the body will produce too much insulin (which "eats" sugar), and you will get too low blood sugar again - restarting the cortisol production, and thus triggering more eating.
  3. Using primarily complex carbohydrates and/or a low carb diet will keep blood sugar steadier, and usually help coping with stress. Be warned that some people need some carbohydrate in their diet to be able to handle stress - low carb isn't for them.
  4. Chrome supplementation might help, as it usually help blood sugar stay steady. This works primarily by increasing insulin sensitivity (and best in combination with Omega 3).
  5. Omega 3 supplementation often help against stress. This is at least partially because Omega 3 is needed to effectively burn fat, and thus help with blood sugar stabilization (as the body can more effectively burn fat instead of blood sugar). The fish oil based Omega 3 (EPA/DHA) is usable by your body immediately, while the supplementation from plant oils (ALA) needs to be converted to DHA/EPA in your body before being used except as fat to burn[2]. There's some the believe that ALA -> DHA/EPA conversion only happens randomly. ALA enter into the normal fat cyclus, at least. This has the disadvantage that it takes longer before ALA works, and the advantage that ALA will stay available for a long time (which EPA/DHA often is spent by the body in an amount of time measured in hours). Note that if your forebears are from Norway or Ireland, or are eskimos, you may want fish oil supplementation specifically anyway. A small large percentage of people from those areas lack an enzyme necessary to do the conversion from ALA to DHA/EPA.
  6. Generic high-quality vitamineral supplementation tends to help. In my personal experience, low quality supplementation helps very little. Most supplementation out there is, alas, low quality, as that's cheaper to make and the consumers don't know the difference. Supplement Watch has good documentation on various supplements. Unfortunately, their brand reviews require a subscription.
  7. Lack of calcium will block fat burning. The common sources of calcium are milk and dairy products, brocolli, and beans. Common calcium uptake inhibitors include caffeine and alcohol. (Stay of these anyway - you're stressed, remember?) There's some more info on calcium here.

[1] Stress is generally anything that pull the body "out of homeostasis". This include mental stress. The process here is remarkably similar no matter what kind of system stress you encounter, and include releasing cathecolamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline), and when you have elevated levels of these for a while, cortisol. The stressed out feeling may come either from cortisol or from the overload on the andrenerg receptors - as far as I know, we don't know yet. Note that cortisol levels rise during the day, and are normally highest at 4-5AM (that's right, AM).

[2] And as a polyunsaturated fat in the usual positions. This paragraph added to satisfy any pedants.

Combined seduction and relationship attitude course - a vision

Brian comments on Thundercat's writeup about "The 40-year-old Virgin:


Thundercat lists the Lessons From The 40 Year Old Virgin and then develops it into his system for helping guys in similar situations move in to the realm of not being forty year old virgins. The clips of the The 40-Year-Old Virgin preview looks cute but the advice in the clips is not really the best . . . certainly the character's application of it is not the best. I suspect there is a market here for teaching guys to do it right . . . and by right I don't mean just losing one's virginity, I mean building worthwhile meaningful relationships and losing one's virginity.


I have also noticed a strong division between those that teach effective techniques for attracting women, and those that teach sane things about relationships.

My guess is that both of these boil down to practice. Those that are good at keeping relationships working hasn't had that much practice in hunting girls - why would they? So they don't know that much about it. Those that have had a lot of practice hunting girls usually are so-so on the relationship front.

I've still not decided if trying to combine the two types of course is good idea. I would like for it to be a good idea, so I'll just list the challenges I see and hope that Brian finds out how to deal with them.


  • Many of the guys that take such a course is likely to have a bunch of psychological problems that really are what's blocking them. Fixing these problems can be a challenge.
  • Making people able to get a girl in the first place seems to need quite a bit of practice. That is, doing approaches over time, getting used to talking to girls, getting used to being sexual, gaining the confidence to start being picky, etc. Training the relationship techniques at the same time as you start this process seems to be inefficient.


Actually, that seems to be all of it. That might be worthwhile. I think such a course could be great. To make it work, I would structure it as follows:


  1. Interview with each potential participant, before admitting them to the course. This would try to identify if the challenges of this participant would be met by the course, and if the participant seemed off, try to guide the potential participant in a direction that's more suited.
  2. Run a weekend course with going through some techniques, some ethics, pick away approach anxiety, train on actually doing approaches, maybe some simulation of situations, and a little background on relationships in case somebody happens to bump into them during the next period.
  3. Let the participants train at home for a period from one month to half a year , with followup by message boards and chat. To make them follow up on this, also use hypnosis at the weekend course.
  4. Run another weekend course, with focus on how to define yourself ("Building more personality"), how to set up your filters for what kind of girl you want, how to interact in dating to end up with a fullfilling relationship. Maybe include some communications theory for how to run a relationship (inspired by the PREP method or similar).
  5. Followup period, with discussion forum plus chats.
  6. Potentially: Make it possible to arrange for the participants to join PREP courses or similar when they actually get into relationships, to work on both sides of the relationship. This doesn't have to happen at once, I guess, so maybe the same instructor could tutor that, too.

Simple Sleep Techniques

My personal favourite is to first do a "brain massage", followed by a slow Yoga "witnessing" of my body.

A "brain massage" is done by closing your eyes, then looking up and down 5 times with left eye, then right and left 5 times, then draw 5 circles clockwise, then circles 5 counterclockwise. Then up and down five times with the right eye, then right and left 5 times, then draw 5 circles counterclockwise, then 5 circles clockwise (opposite of the technique for the left eye). Then, just feel turn your attention around, and have your left eye look at everywhere in your right brain half - slowly, just thinking about each part, as if your eye is moving around in there, then imagine it is an xray eye looking through the skull and scanning your entire right brain hemisphere. Feel how it totally relax; every manifestation of tension is just an invitation to relax. Then repeat, looking through the left half with the right eye.

Feels like your brain just had a massage :)


Yoga-witnessing is just focusing attention. Start with focusing your attention on your left big toe, then follow up with each of the toes, then slowly move over the entire body, area by area. Don't do anything - just focus on that area, sensing input from just that. Before you get through the head, you'll be asleep.

(outlink) Geek Overcomes Social Anxiety By Turning Life into RPG

By way of Brian:
Geek Overcomes Social Anxiety By Turning Life into RPG.

Interesting idea. It's an application of one of my favourite tricks: Anything that makes progress measurable will make you much more likely to progress. That's one of the reasons I like juggling - just count how many throws you can do!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Repetitions and set counts in strength exercise

Just talked to my main reference on exercise. His summary of the available research on repetitions and sets was as follows, under the assumption that you are going to use a single repetition range (which is an OK assumption for beginners and intermediates).

Use 8 reps per set for the upper body, 12 reps per set for the lower body.

Beginners (first three to six months) should use one or two sets; more sets damage. Two sets may damage in some cases, and seem to be only neutral for exercise effect.

Intermediates (first 1-2 years) should use two or three sets. The third set gives about 5% extra exercise effect (and can be seen as a waste of time.)

Well-trained people should use two or three sets. The third set gives 25 to 30% extra exercise effect. Note: This is if you are going to do the same every time. Varying between high-rep and low-rep gives even better results for the well-trained.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

(outlink) Enhancing Human Performance (book)

In 1988, the US military commisioned the book Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, and Techniques. Here, researchers evaluate the efficiency of various techniques for "making us better", including NLP.

The link is to a (legal) scanned online version of the book.

(outlink) Hypno1 UK

Hypno 1 UK claims to be the world's largest site for hypnotherapy, coming in at over half a million words.

The information is really good, at least. I'd just wish for a better layout.

(outlink) NLP Research Data Base

There is an
NLP Research Data Base. I'm still uncertain of overall quality of the NLP research, and try to view NLP as a sort of source for inspiration more than The Holy Set Of Techniques.

Short Description of Client-Centered Therapy


Client-Centered Therapy (CCT) was developed by Carl Rogers in the 40's and 50's. It is a non-directive approach to therapy, "directive" meaning any therapist behavior that deliberately steers the client in some way. Directive behaviors include asking questions, offering treatments, and making interpretations and diagnoses. Virtually all forms of therapy practised in the US are directive. ... Remarkable as it may seem, research has never shown that it is more effective to address specific problems with specific therapy techniques. Amazing, yes? Without this result, there is no justification for a therapist to make diagnoses in the first place.


Read more here

Friday, September 02, 2005

Feeling and emotion

Steven Fineman has the following description of emotions and feelings, which gave me a nice feeling in my stomach - "This is the definition I've been looking for".


Feelings are a subjective experience that provide us with an experiential, personal readout on how we are doing, what we want, what we might do next. To feel means to be aware of a bodily state, or more diffuse psychological change. Feelings may be in part determined by early life experiences, the source of which we may be unaware. We may fall victim to our feelings or get stuck in feeling traps (e.g. feeling anxious about being anxious). We have feelings about our feelings, guided by social scripts or knowledge (e.g. I ought not to be upset by this). Emotions are the personal displays of affected states, such as of joy, anger, shame.
They acquire their meaning, their social currency, from the socio-cultural setting. A bodily sensation, such as a churning stomach, only becomes ‘revulsion’ when labelled and/or performed in a manner consistent with repulsive circumstances and
behaviour. “(Bodily sensations) become felt emotions of disgust, pleasure, excitement or apprehension according to (a) prior learning about the type of sensation as being disgusting, pleasurable and so forth, and (b) the social/cultural protocols of what emotional body-display is appropriate (such as professional, non-insulting,
face-saving) in the particular circumstances. In this manner embodiment, emotion and socio-cultural processes intertwine”

Steven Fineman, Emotion in Organisations, 2000 p.9, (London, Sage)

(outlink) Been Dumped | Improving self esteem

Been Dumped is a site for people that have been on the bad end of a relationship breakup (primarily divorcees, it seems.)

They've got a good article on improving self esteem. Nothing revolutionary, just a simple good reference.

(outlink) Evolutionary reasons for the mechanics of sex

Thrusting to remove sperm from competitiors? See Carnal Knowledge | Upending ideas on the 'sluts' of the world in the Philadelpha Inquirer. (Free registration required, or use BugMeNot)

Dane Cook

Lots of people seem to want to combine jokes and being sexually interesting. If you want a role model for how to be "alpha" and deliver jokes, check out Dane Cook.

Oh, and he's funny.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Brain remembers familiar faces when choosing potential mate - University of Liverpool


The research team found that people find familiar faces more attractive than unfamiliar ones. They also found that the human brain holds separate images of both male and female faces and reacts to them differently depending on how familiar it is with their facial features.


More info in this press release: Brain remembers familiar faces when choosing potential mate - University of Liverpool

Alas, only the press release is available, not the full article. The quotes are somewhat clumsy, and makes it hard to determine what's really been done here. It may just be a repeat of the old result "Those that are closer to average seems more attractive."