He cites an experiment, conducted in the 1990s in Washington, DC, where thousands of people meditated together and tested the impact on the area.
Brand notes excitedly that over the two months of the experiment, crime fell by 23 per cent...
I looked into that study as it seems like quite a claim. Turns out it’s never been replicated.
Those who reviewed it were all adherents of Transcendental Meditation.
It also turns out that the murder rate in Washington hit its highest ever level during the experiment.
What’s more, the drop was not an actual measurable drop in recorded crime, it was a drop from what a computer model created by one of the experimenters predicted would have been the crime level had these people not been meditating and levitating and what not.
Alexandra Levit spoke to The Recruiting Animal about the potential negative effect of blogging on your career. This was recorded on October 15, 2011 during the Occupy Wall Street movement. She wrote a book about this and related topics. It's called Blind Spots.
Our brains are wired to prefer melodies we already know. David Huron, a musicologist at Ohio State University, estimates that at least 90 percent of the time we spend listening to music, we seek out songs we’ve heard before.
That’s because familiar songs are easier to process, and the less effort needed to think through something—whether a song, a painting, or an idea—the more we tend to like it.
In psychology, this idea is known as fluency: when a piece of information is consumed fluently, it neatly slides into our patterns of expectation, filling us with satisfaction and confidence.
“Things that are familiar are comforting, particularly when you are feeling anxious,” Norbert Schwarz, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, who studies fluency, told me.
“When you’re in a bad mood, you want to see your old friends. You want to eat comfort food. I think this maps onto a lot of media consumption. When you’re stressed out, you don’t want to put on a new movie or a challenging piece of music. You want the old and familiar.”
Perhaps one reason machines haven’t yet invaded the recording room is that listeners prefer rhythms that are subtly flawed.
A 2011 Harvard study found that music performed by robotic drummers and other machines often strikes our ears as being too precise.
“There is something perfectly imperfect about how humans play rhythms,” says Holger Hennig, the Harvard physics researcher who led the study. Hennig discovered that when experienced musicians play together, they not only make mistakes, they also build off these small variations to keep a live song from sounding pat.