Upside Downer

12 chapters

Who was the bright spark that chose Alexander Downer to run interference for them?

Alexander Downer is an Australian legend.
A man who was nearly Prime Minister of Australia.
Who headed our secret service for a while.
Who was Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
He has been heavily involved with the Australian Government for 4 decades.
He is Australian Royalty.
Diplomatic to the Nth degree and the absolutely top notch English accent.
But sadly gaff prone.

The Peter Principle guaranteed bright outcomes for this wealthy young man.
Good schools. Good, excellent education.
The right circles, the right girlfriend.
Jobs in various industries, then a career in politics.
Whats not to like?
But very sadly gaff prone.

In the end he could have had a career on the stage, he tried his hand at writing, he tried his hand at spying, but he chose politics. Or did politics choose him?
The world is full of not very bright politicians, but he had an education.
Politics is full of nepotism, but he had a flair, a gift of the gab, that would have had him elected anywhere in England, and perhaps in very English, suburban, South Australia.
He should have been in the Senate but instead ran for the House of Representatives in Downer, His father’s old seat, His daughter’s attempted seat and one that he held for 25 years.
Gaff prone or not.

For all his proud achievements two things stand out the most. He had taken over from the toffee, even more unaware John Hewson as leader of the Australian Liberal Party after he lost the unloseable election to Paul Keating.
Paul Keating was a pirahna when it came to Liberal politicians. He would eat them up and spit them out. But he was also like a cat, he liked to play with his food before he killed it.
And Alexander was, did we mention it? Ah, yes, Gaff prone.

He made the mistake of appearing in a picture wearing lace up stockings. True it was for a fancy dress party, Sure he had a plum accent and true he did come from South Australia with all it’s English public schoolboy connotations.
But he made a serious gaff doing this with Paul around.

Secondly he had backed Andrew Peacock in a previous leadership challenge over John Howard. When push came to shove John Howard was just as piranha like as Paul Keating. Alexander lost the leadership to the blandest, simpering, small schoolmaster man in Australia. Which showed that the Australian Liberal Party had a slight IQ potential.
Some one there had registered what had been obvious to 90% of ordinary Australians for the 8 months of his leadership.
Gaff prone.

Cue Keating the Musical, a gaudy, rude and very funny musical of the events of the Machiavelli of the Australian political landscape. With its picture of Alexander in stockings, with his character in stockings and a Boa.He had to leave Australia and was appointed Ambassador to England. For many years Australia had had the indignity of being landed with the absolute chumps of the British Parliamentary system. Now it was time for our revenge, in spades. Alexander could out talk, out mince and out drink the most poshest Bertie Wooster England could produce. and look good at it. After all he had found the land where Gaffs live and in his top hat and tuxedo and champagne at the Ascot Races with her majesty you would have almost thought of him as one of the family.

What could possibly go wrong??

Who was the bright spark that chose Alexander Downer to run interference for them?

Chapter 2
There are many intelligence agencies in the world.
Feared, Feral, Secretive and Deadly.
There are ones you have heard of, the KGB, Mosad, The French.
There are the ones you do not hear of.
Even worse.
The Chinese, The Indian, The Japanese and The Egyptian.
There are tinpot ones like the Danes and Swedish.
Dark ones like the Saudis.
Private ones like Facebook, Google and Murdoch.

And then there are the CIA  and MI5.
Agencies that can sometimes make the term Intelligence agency an Oxymoron.
Here we have the problem.
All the intelligence in the world cannot prevent a 9/11.
Why?
because they do there jib so well that most 9/11 are found out, investigated, stepped on and eliminated. We do not get told about all the successes and there are many of the them,because it is not a good idea to scare the people you are protecting and you do not want to advertise to your enemies what you are doing so they will keep making the same mistakes.
Gaffes do not happen, are not supposed to happen, are not allowed to happen.
Was there a plot, a conspiracy to bring the President of the USA down to his knees? To force him to resign or else run the risk of impeachment.
By the Intelligence Agencies of America and Britain?
Of course not.
Consider this, a properly run operation by these agencies would already have worked. There would be no slop ups no trail. Seamless.

Chapter 3 Conspiracies.
Conspiracies exist in many areas of our lives, in small groupings, because the image of a conspiracy is that it is secretive and hidden, you cannot have a conspiracy without other people to conspire with and you cannot have other people to conspire with that you cannot trust.

Some conspiracies and groups are able to overcome this by fear. Think Mexican drug gangs. Wow. Think the Sopranos or years ago for Americans the Mob. Think of the Unionists and what it meant to be a scab.

But even these organizations, with their well drilled businesses, are not immune to people breaking down and betraying the confidence. Not even the threat of broken legs, concrete boots or worse can overcome a desire for revenge or a need for money. That is how we know about them. Shadowy, very powerful, conspiring but not completely hidden.

Other areas have their illegal activities Most conspiracies are illegal in some shape or form. Sports teams and sport stars use performance enhancing drugs. The world of road cycling was at one stage unusually prone to this. As a conspiracy it worked well. If you did not fit i, join the group you were ostracised and excluded as a way of keeping the secret. Of course when you did very well you conspired to get other non performance enhancing drugs or enhancing in a different way..

Even well meaning groups, the police , the army the priesthood have their rituals and conspiracies. Doctors as well though it is more one of being with the group. Politicians and journalists. Though police and journalists are often tasked with the responsibility of trying to break other conspiracies

Spies. The Illuminati. The knights Templar. The youth gang down the road.

So which group did Donald Trump belong to and how did it work?

 

Chapter 4

The foolishness of the Democrats. The counterpoint to this is the assumption that a conspiracy was working to bring Donald Trump down. I hope to show in this book just how foolish that idea is as well. But this does not distract from the notion of the foolishness of the Democrats.

The first thing with a good conspiracy theory is that it has to have a nugget of believability.  Then you sell it as hard as you can. But it has to have a nugget.

What if Melania was born in Russia. What if Donald had been sent to school there for 2 years. How about if he had a half share in a Russian company.

Well the first thing is he would not have been made President. Americans know a commie when the see one. Forget the birther certificate row. He would have been toast.

So no real dirt on him. What would it take to conspire with the Russians. If you were really going to do it? What would you be offered in exchange.Who could you trust, the nub of all conspiracies. And where was our vaunted Secret Service.

No person running for office of the President could or would be foolish enough to ever enter a conspiracy with the arch enemies of America. There is no reward great enough for having to sell your soul and expect people to never find out. Blackmail. Impossible for the same reasons.It is an obvious no brainer.

So the American people know they are being sold a pup. Blatantly lied to. But half the people are Democrat. They do not want Trump at any price. They are able to pretend they don’t notice the lie, even though they know it instinctively and intuitively. But they know.

The Republicans know as well but cannot do anything about it. The people pushing the lie, journalists working for major news companies, console themselves with their paychecks. Why the news companies are so Anti Trump is a mystery. One view is that they pushed to get him in as a candidate never believing he could win as an alternative to some of the stronger Republican candidates and to help Hilary win.

But that is conspiratorial thinking of the worst kind. The facts are that American News owners are liberal, christian and push family values which were at odds with candidate Trump. They thought they were doing their country a service in  attacking and tearing him down.

Nonetheless the idea of Russian collusion in the sense of working for, doing deals with the Russians to the detriment of the American people is one of those theories which make us rubbish conspiracy theories. It has no legs no wings, cannot run and cannot fly and deep down everybody knows it.

Does that mean there was no Russian interaction. A group of Russians reaching out with secret information garnered from Hilary’s well guarded computers. What could they give that did not already arise from the fact that she left her computers open to hacking by anyone. The Russians were only 5th in line and that was after a couple of amateur 11 year old hackers.

Poor judgement.
What would they have done if they had got any information and the impact of what they had done sank in.  Did they involve the Secret Service. On the Russian part why would they voluntarily admit to spying on Americans with all the damage that could do.

So no. The Russians would never have done it. Trump would certainly not do it.

Chapter 5 What do we know.

This involves a lot of Conspiracy theory with a lot of actors and some common threads.

Obama ,
The Clintons,
Fusion GPS,
Christopher Steele,
and Alexander Downer.

So lets get the fishnet stockings out and see what we can put together.

 

 

This was meant to be a novel on the tumultuous events surrounding a plan to bring down the Trump presidency and to destroy DonaLD tRUMP, WHETHER HE WON THE WHITE hOUSE OR NOT.

It is also the story of one Alexander Downer, set as a counterpoint to the Donald told from an Australian perspective

Keating!

Penned in a burst of creative energy by Casey Bennetto on the eve of the 2005 Melbourne Comedy Festival, “Keating!” is an hourlong, high-energy rock opera that rampages across the last 15 years of Australian politics with wit, unrelenting mirth and an accuracy of flavor, if not facts.

.Current toffy foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer once was photographed wearing a garter and stilettos to promote the Adelaide season of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” That pic has been reprinted hundreds of times since, but Bennetto takes Downer’s misstep farther, having Cam Rogers warble about being misunderstood while wearing the Frank ‘N’ Furter get-up.

Now I must admit that I was not a fan of Alexander based on my dislike of privilege and I have no doubt that in real life he is as genuine a person as you or I. But he does have a curse over him of forever being in the wrong place, or the wrong stockings at the wrong time. This is the story of two star crossed lovers of life, a Romeo and Juliet of modern times.
Persona Dramati.
Downer,
Born into a well to do South Australian Family in 1950 Alexander attended Kings College in SA and went on to do University first at Adelaide then later at Cambridge,. This later time developed his already English South Australian into full blown plum English of the “Woyal” persauasion.

Alexander John Gosse Downer AC (born 9 September 1951) is a former Australian politician and diplomat who was leader of the Liberal Party from 1994 to 1995, Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 2007, and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2014 to 2018.

Downer was born in Adelaide, the son of Sir Alick Downer and the grandson of Sir John Downer. After periods working for the Bank of New South Wales and with the diplomatic service, he was appointed executive director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in 1983. He also served as an advisor to Liberal leaders Malcolm Fraser and Andrew Peacock. Downer was elected to parliament at the 1984 federal election, winning the Division of Mayo in South Australia. He was added to the opposition frontbench in 1987.

After the Coalition lost the 1993 election, John Hewson‘s position as leader of the Liberal Party came into question. Downer successfully challenged for the leadership in May 1994, thus becoming Leader of the Opposition. He initially had high approval ratings, but after a series of gaffes resigned the leadership in January 1995 and was replaced by John Howard. He was the first Liberal leader to fail to lead the party to an election, and remains the shortest-serving leader in party history.

When the Howard Government came to power in 1996, Downer was made Minister for Foreign Affairs. He served until the government’s defeat in 2007, making him the longest-serving foreign minister in Australian history. Downer left politics in 2008, and was subsequently named Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus. He held that post until 2014, when he was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom by the Abbott Government.

On opposition leadership, he said in 2008, “The moment when I wanted to [leave] was just about the first day I started in the job. There was many a time from the first day onwards when I thought to myself, How the hell can I get out of this?

Following the Howard Government‘s defeat at the 2007 federal election, Downer declined to make a comeback to the leadership and to serve on the Opposition frontbench, amid widespread speculation that he would resign his seat and seek new employment. He subsequently resigned from Parliament on 14 July 2008.[42] His resignation triggered a by-election in the seat of Mayo.

On 3 July 2008, the University of Adelaide announced Downer’s appointment as Visiting Professor of Politics and International Trade in the School of History and Politics, including contributions to teaching and research, and work with the University’s Institute for International Trade.[43] He was also the vice chairman at Carnegie Mellon University, South Australia.

At about the same time, he went into partnership with Ian Smith (a former Liberal Party advisor and husband of former Australian Democrats leader and Senator for South Australia Natasha Stott Despoja) and Nick Bolkus (a former Labor Senator for South Australia) in a boutique consultancy firm, Bespoke Approach.[44]

Also in 2008, Downer discussed the possibility of working as a United Nations envoy to Cyprus with the UN Secretary-General to help revive the peace process.[45] The appointment received the support of the Rudd government, via the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith,[46] and it took effect on 14 July 2008.[47] He resigned in February 2014 to take up the post of Australia’s High Commissioner in London.

He has had a number of board appointments, including the Advisory Board of British strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt & Company,[48] Merchant Bankers Cappello Capital Corp.,[49] the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra,[50] Huawei in Australia,[51] and the board of Lakes Oil.[52] Downer has said that Huawei should not be considered a potential national security risk.[53] Downer’s comments are at odds with an October 2012 US congressional panel’s findings that have deemed Huawei a security threat to the US and other nations.[54]

A longtime supporter of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Downer has played a leading role opposing moves to replace the Queen with a president.[55]

In 2015, he was recommended by British and Australian officials as a possible compromise candidate for Commonwealth Secretary-General[56] but Baroness Patricia Scotland was ultimately elected to the post at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.[57]

On 10 May 2016, according to The New York Times, Downer met with George Papadopoulos in London and information from this meeting caused the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 US Presidential election, and whether there was any involvement by Donald Trump’s associates.[58] Downer told The Australian in a 28 April 2018 interview that, “nothing [Papadopoulos] said in their meeting indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton.”[59]

In 2017, it was announced that Downer would join UK think tank Policy Exchange as Chair of Trustees.[60] In June 2018, Downer became the Executive Chairman of the International School of Government at King’s College, London. He is a non-executive director of CQS and of Yellow Cake plc.

In 2018, he was named to[61] Tilray’s International Advisory Board.

In 2003, Downer was accused of not passing on intelligence reports he received before the 2002 Bali bombings. He countered that the warnings were not specific enough to warrant their further release to the Australian public.[26]

Downer supported Australia’s participation in the Iraq War. He argued that Iraq, the Middle East and the world would be better off without the regime of Saddam Hussein and he defended the claim that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq.[27][28][29]

In August 2004, he made the claim based on official assessment reports that North Korea‘s Taepo Dong ballistic missile had a range sufficient to reach Sydney, a view disputed by some.[30]

In 2005, Australian members of the spiritual group Falun Gong launched action against Downer in the ACT Supreme Court alleging that his department had unfairly limited their freedom of expression.[31][32]

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under Downer was accused by Chinese diplomat and defector Chen Yonglin of closely collaborating with the Chinese Embassy in Canberra, even to the extent of “giving suggestions to the Chinese Government on how to handle difficult political cases.” Downer was accused of pursuing an unduly strong pro-China policy and failing to address human rights violations adequately.[33]

In March 2006, Downer said the Australian Government opposed selling uranium to India. Downer was quoted as saying “Australia had no plans to change a policy which rules out uranium sales to countries like India which have not signed the UN’s nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).” Following the conclusion of the US-India nuclear agreement, the Australian Government said it would export uranium to civil nuclear facilities in India subject to several conditions, one of which was the conclusion of a bilateral safeguards agreement.[citation needed]

In April 2006, he appeared before the Cole Inquiry regarding the oil for food scandal and testified that he was ignorant of the huge kickbacks paid to the Iraq government, despite claims by the Opposition Labor Party that many warnings that had been received by his department from various sources. The Cole inquiry made it clear Downer had been unaware of the kickbacks.

In July 2006, it was claimed that six months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Downer had argued that participating in the invasion would be commercially beneficial for Australia. Downer expressed concern that the war might lead to America taking all of Australia’s wheat market.[34]

In August 2006, it was claimed by a former weapons inspector Dr John Gee, that Downer had in 2004 suppressed accurate and provable information that the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was fundamentally flawed.[35][36][37] This claim was false.

As Foreign Minister, Downer initially supported the United States Government’s incarceration of two Australian citizens, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[38][39] Downer later told the US he wanted both released if they were not to be charged. On that basis, Habib was released and Hicks charged.

A major challenge for Downer was handling relations with Australia’s most important neighbour, Indonesia. Downer negotiated the 2006 Lombok Treaty to put security relations between the two countries on a stable footing, built bilateral co-operation to fight terrorism, people smuggling and illegal fishing. One of the recent difficulties which erupted between Australia and Indonesia was when Australia accepted a boatload of asylum seekers from Indonesia’s Papua province in March 2006.[40]

In September 2007, on the sidelines of the 2007 APEC Conference in Sydney, Downer indicated that Australia planned to launch bilateral ministerial-level security talks with the People’s Republic of China. Downer also stated, “China is a good partner of Australia. Whatever the differences there are between us in terms of our political systems, human rights issues, China is a very important part of the strategic architecture, the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region and it’s important we have good forums to discuss any issues of that kind with them.”[41]

Hakluyt & Company

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Holdingham Group Limited
Private limited company
Industry Management consultancy
Predecessor Hakluyt & Company Limited
Founded 1995
Founders Christopher James, Mike Reynolds
Headquarters

,

United Kingdom
Key people
Paul Schreier, Managing Director
Paul Deighton, Chairman
Revenue £44.7 million (2015)
£11.4 million (2015)
Website hakluyt.co.uk
pelorus-research.com

Hakluyt & Company is a British strategic intelligence and advisory firm, and since 2011 has been a trading name of the renamed company Holdingham Group Limited.[1] Pelorus Research is another trading activity of Holdingham Group, started in 2011, providing research to investment managers.[2] The company is headquartered in London and has subsidiary offices in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.[3]

Hakluyt avoids publicity, but is regarded as having a reputation for discretion and effectiveness among its client base.[4] Hakluyt was founded by former officials of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).[5][6] It attracted controversy in 2001 when Hakluyt was alleged in the Sunday Times to have employed staff to infiltrate environmental groups when working for BP and Royal Dutch Shell.[7][8]

Holdingham Group is chaired by Paul Deighton, and the other members of the board include managing director Paul Schreier, Robert Webb QC and Matthew Williams.[9]

Corporate governance

Hakluyt’s international advisory board comprises senior figures with backgrounds in business and government. It is chaired by Niall FitzGerald, KBE, former CEO and chairman of Unilever, and its current members are:[10]

  • Professor Sir Roy Anderson — Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and former Rector, Imperial College London
  • M. S. Banga — Partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and former Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever
  • Keith Craig — Former Managing Director, Holdingham Group Limited
  • Amaury de Seze — Vice Chairman, Power Corporation of Canada
  • Sir Christopher Gent — Former Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline and former CEO, Vodafone
  • Dr Jurgen Grossmann — Founder and Shareholder, Georgsmarienhutte Holding GmbH
  • Irene Lee — Chairman, Hysan Development Co. Limited
  • Sir Iain Lobban — Former Director, UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • Minoru (Ben) Makihara, KBE — Former President and Chairman, Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Trevor Manuel — Former Minister of Finance, South Africa
  • Akio Mimura — Chairman, Tokyo and Japan Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Lubna Olayan — CEO and Deputy Chairperson, Olayan Financing Company
  • Sir John Rose — Former CEO, Rolls-Royce
  • Andreas Sohmen-Pao — Chairman, BW Group
  • Ambassador Louis Susman — Former US Ambassador to the UK   ****
  • Ratan Tata, GBE — Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons

Australian High Commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer had been on the advisory board of the firm from 2008-2014.[11]

Keating! The Musical

Bennetto’s inclusion of Alexander Downer’s ‘fish net stocking’ moment is always a highlight of this show – and Jonathon Holmes does it in style. He struts, poses, thrusts and shimmies, neither losing the sting of the lyrics nor the pace of the pretty racy choreography. Holmes also plays John Hewson in a less suggestive costume but a similarly spicy performance.
Coustley shows his versatility a little later when, dressed in fishnet stockings and tights, he gives us a racy Alexander Downer to remember. The Adelaide Hills will never be the same. Eddie Perfect’s moment of glory comes as Alexander Downer. He appears in fish-nets and corsetry, and gives pressing the flesh with the audience a whole new meaning.

Keating! – Alexander Downer: Freaky

Alexander Downer, Australia’s longest-serving foreign minister, is set to quit politics. TonyWright examines a colourful career.

ALEXANDER Downer has long been a runaway favourite with cartoonists. The fishnet stockings, the penchant for off-key karaoke in foreign climes, the apple-red cheeks. Here was a fellow, surely, who could be produced only by Adelaide society and centuries of gentle breeding.

His political foes saw Downer as splendid sport: a sort of throw-back to the foppish drones of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, minus the Catholicism (Downers are, of course, Anglican). In doing so, those who sought to lampoon him also underestimated him.

Here is the former South Australian Labor Senator Chris Schacht in full cry in June 2001, after an Australian ambassador had been withdrawn from his post in Chile, allegedly after Downer became outraged because the envoy had not sent a car to meet him at the Santiago airport.

“This is typical of the background of Alexander Downer,” Schacht railed. “He is the last vestige of 18th century Australian aristocracy – a bunyip aristocracy. He was brought up in the Adelaide Hills at Arbury Park, with 200 acres, deer running around, a dolls’ house for the children to play in, gatekeepers and gamekeepers. He inherited the seat. His mother won the preselection for him.”

The late Mick Young, intellectual shearer and Hawke government minister, used to tell of turning up to the Downer estate to pick up a cheque for shearing and being dumbstruck at the immensity of the mansion. That wasn’t the mansion, a Downer manservant told him. That was simply the gatehouse, where young Alexander kept his dolls.

Stripped of its colourful rhetoric, it is true that Downer is from a privileged, dynastic background, though his own home these days is a relatively modest house modelled on a log cabin. Son of Sir Alexander Downer, cabinet minister in the Menzies government and later Australian high commissioner to London, young Alexander, born in September 1951, was educated at Australia’s leading school for the squattocracy, Geelong Grammar, and later moved among minor British aristocrats at a boarding school in Oxfordshire, Radley College, and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

His grandfather, Sir John Downer, was the premier of South Australia and a founding father of Federation. His mother, Lady (Mary) Downer, is a Gosse, from early South Australian stock.

Yet to paint Downer, for all his plummy tones, as a cardboard cut-out upper-class twit, who Paul Keating once called “the idiot son of the aristocracy”, is to sell him short.

Rather than pursue the life of a dilettante, he chose the path of public service – first as a diplomat and then, for the past quarter century, a politician utterly dedicated to the conservative side of political philosophy.

Now, with him about to assume the post of United Nations envoy to the divided island of Cyprus while working also in a new Adelaide-based lobbying company, it is impossible to judge him as anything less than one of Australia’s most influential figures over the past 12 years.

It is equally impossible to find agreement among political players and commentators about whether that influence was predominantly positive or negative. The very name Downer tends to polarise, because even if compromise is supposed to be the heart of diplomacy, this is one diplomat who has no taste for compromise in politics.

He has long been detested by the left – both within and without his own party – and in turn he detests what he perceives to be the left.

Last year, ABC-TV’s Australian Story followed him and his family around. His wife, Nicky – a former journalist – revealed a little of Downer’s view of the world.

“He often gets very passionate about the ABC; politics on the ABC,” she observed. “If the Liberals, you know, aren’t getting what he believes to be a fair go, he’ll go, ‘Oh the bloody ABC, you know, if they’d only put our point of view, you know’. And then, ‘that one’s a leftie, you often hear this sort of thing you know, lefties, and you know, everybody’s a leftie who’s interviewed on the ABC.’ In fact, I’m quite surprised you’re interviewing us at all!”

Downer’s private rages are said to have been volcanic (and whispered still by staffers and public servants) at the media’s depiction of his appearance at the Cole inquiry into AWB’s Iraq wheat scandal. There was widespread incredulity when he testified that he knew nothing of the kickbacks paid to the Iraq government.

Despite recent suggestions that the Rudd Government was interested in re-opening the inquiry with an eye to placing Downer under harsher scrutiny, the prospect appears to have evaporated. Downer has the Rudd Government’s backing to become UN envoy on Cyprus, and it would be, to use a Rudd-ism, more than passing strange for the new Government to seek to blacken the reputation of one of its own nominees on the world stage.

Now, about to retire from politics, Downer retains the record as Australia’s longest-serving foreign minister – a man who moved easily through the corridors of power across the world for more than a decade, and whose influence over many crucial federal government decisions was second only to that of prime minister John Howard himself.

He was intimately involved in Australia’s military intervention in East Timor after earlier keeping secret Australia’s knowledge of Indonesia backing murderous militias. The Tampa incident, the Pacific Solution, the peace negotiations in Bougainville, peace keeping in the Solomon Islands, and every other major Howard government decision relating to the rest of the world bore Downer’s stamp.

Indeed, it was Downer who formed Australia’s first serious relationship with a Texas governor who would become a US President – George W. Bush – whose international policies would draw Australia into the international conflicts that would define this first decade of the 21st century: the war on terror in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.

Downer, aged 46, had been foreign minister for less than a year and a half when he met then governor Bush, and they got on so famously that Bush wrote to him later declaring he was “very impressed that your country would have a foreign minister who was so youthful and so bright”. The letter has been pinned on Downer’s office wall ever since.

Downer kept in touch as the governor became President and sparked in John Howard an enthusiasm for Bush that, in the days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, would bind Australia to the US and Britain as original partners in the “Coalition of the Willing”. Indeed, just a day after the 9/11 attacks, it was Downer who advised Howard that there was nothing to stop the prime minister invoking Article IV of the ANZUS Treaty, which required Australia to “meet the common danger” and go to war with the US, in this case against terrorism. Downer has never backed away from his belief that Australia was absolutely right to accompany Bush’s troops into Iraq.

Fourteen years ago, there was a brief shining period when it appeared Alexander Downer might become prime minister himself. Elevated to leadership of the Opposition after the failed years of Dr John Hewson, Downer found himself an immensely popular leader of the Liberal Party: so popular that Newspoll had him ranked number one in 374 polls listing the approval ratings of all Opposition leaders since the mid-1980s. It was July 1994.

And then, through his own spectacular lack of judgement – a penchant for off-colour jokes turned his own party’s policy on domestic violence into a tasteless spoof : “The things that batter” – he ensured his own fate would be that of the Liberal Party’s shortest-serving leader. He remains the only Liberal leader who never got to contest an election.

The Newspoll list that ranks Downer top of the approval ratings also ranks him at the very bottom of that list of 374 polls – by December 1994, he had turned a net approval rating of 34 into a shattering minus 49 (a figure reached by subtracting the satisfaction rating from the dissatisfaction rating).

In early 1995, Downer sat at dinner with John Howard in Melbourne’s Athenaeum Club and agreed there was no reasonable alternative but to sign up to a bloodless leadership handover. It was this agreement – tantamount to a concession that leadership would never be his – that granted Downer almost unmatched influence in the parliamentary Liberal Party in the years to come.

Once Howard became prime minister, Downer was granted the right to choose his own cabinet post – Foreign Affairs – and over the years he became the prime minister’s closest confidant, not simply in international affairs, but in the politics of government. He was much given to sitting in his Parliament House office, his shoes off, sucking merrily on his pipe, plotting the course of conservatism and the fate of colleagues.

It was his status as confidant that caused an anxious Howard to send Downer on his last fraught diplomatic errand. This time, it was to seek the views of his cabinet colleagues. Last September, with political clouds threatening and an election looming, Howard wanted to know if he still had the confidence of his ministers. Unhappily for Downer, the answer was no. More unhappily, Howard didn’t want such a message brought to him.

Downer, who had eased Howard’s way to the prime ministership, was cast as the unwelcome messenger. The election last November brought the Howard government’s final message, and Downer, so fed up with politics that he did not even attend Howard’s own farewell to The Lodge and his ministers, has been waiting ever since for the right moment to make his own exit.

The cartoonists – and, one suspects, his foes – will miss him.

Tony Wright is National Affairs editor.

Trump What can one say?

Like Downer I must admit to having formed an antipathy to him based on my semi Presbyterian upbringing and our version of CNN transmitted news.Again I have no doubt that in real life he is as genuine a person as you or I. Just not one that you would want one’s friends to think you knew, other than in a Kardashian celebrity way.

Trump grew up with three elder siblings – Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth – and younger brother Robert. Trump has five children by three marriages, as well as nine grandchildren/

The Cabal  is this the C in Covfefe? or is it for Conspiracy?

A cabal is a small group of people united in some close design, usually to promote their private views of or interests in an ideology, state, or other community, often by intrigue and usually unbeknownst to those outside their group. The use of this term usually carries negative connotations of political purpose, conspiracy and secrecy.[1][2] It can also refer to a secret plot, or a clique of people, or may be used as a verb (to form a cabal or to conspiresecretly]. When half the

Memory places

This is an easy way to demonstrate a Journey.

We make a house with 10 rooms  A -J  1-10

The list of objects to put in is water , a helium balloon, a lithium battery, strawberries, a border collie, a car, a Knight, an Ox, a flower and a neon sign.

Lets go  first room dunking an Apple in a tub of water do you get wet head pushed under?
second room Two helium balloons Brown stuck on the ceiling Look Up!
third room  Three lithium batteries in a Charger do you get a shock removing them?
fourth room Four Dishes of strawberries, Delicious taste.
fifth room Five border collie pups spread around the border of a rug Eating Eggs.
sixth room  a Ford car with 6 wheels as we are changing the rear ones to make it Sprint
seventh room A Suit of Knights armour, with a Knights shield with 7 geese on it
room eight has a heavy Ox in it eating Hay with a figure 8 ring through its nose
Room nine has a floury perfume scent from the 9 flower incense sticks burning.
Room 10 Has an X shaped Neon sign flashing saying the end The end and a broken one saying Ten. Got it?

 

 

 

Memory U3A

Today I am going to give a talk on memory and the human brain, on ways to improve memory and also on memory problems
To this end I am first going to do a small trial with all of you. The object is to demonstrate some of the techniques we will talk about later, not to get them all right.

I have a list of 11 numbers to look at for a very short period that you can scan briefly and try to recall some later.
Next though is much easier, 5 letters EJOTY,   good we will try them again in 10 minutes

Now we move onto the substance of our talk.
What is memory. A little Frank Sinatra explained it all ……..
Memory is the recollection of past events and emotions in the present. I include emotions as they are very important and often missed in texts on the subject.
Memory and time are intimately entwined. One does not exist without the other. Memory is taking a time machine into your past and bringing the event or emotion back to the present.
Rene Descartes said “I think therefore I am” but he forgot the codicil, “I have memory, therefore I think.”

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Human memory is not a stand alone, it does not just happen. It needs a brain, sensory organs, surroundings and people. When these exist a set of steps, some complementary or overlapping occur. It needs ISPR – Input, Storage, Processing and Recall, one could remember this with a ** Mnemonic “Is some Porridge ready?” *Charlie
Memory needs *Cognition, it is not good enough to talk about memory on it’s own.

Input works on special sensory cells throughout the body, These interface with neurons in the organ or nearby ganglions which interface with other neurons in the spinal cord to take the messages to the cerebral cortex and midbrain. These areas communicate in the brain with the other active sensory neurons.

*During this talk I will add in comments on memory training and enhancement.
Input is something that we have improved. Due to technology we are  able to see in higher and lower frequencies of sound and light. Due to writing and then electronic communication we are able to access more data and more relevant data. We are able to travel further both physically and mentally to explore the boundaries of our world. The more we are exposed to, the more memory we have.

Storage is still a mystery. Computers are easy, The single stream of binary data comes in and is multiplied in yes/no steps. The human brain though takes streams of data in bites which are the sensitivity and number of the receptor cells and the length of time it takes to get through to the brain and processing centres. This is not occurring simultaneously but in overlapping waves of activity. The way to imagine this biological brain functioning is that at each millisecond it is building up a neural 3D snapshot which is the initial storage. Then overlaying and comparing it to the subsequent images to build up over time a 3D internal world which it orientates itself inside.The more important areas build themselves up with time. The primary types of encoding are visual, acoustic and semantic.

** This storage stage includes LTM and STM. Phonetic and numerical STM storage is best in chunking small bits of information, like phone numbers into groups of 3 or  4,

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Processing is the art of storing links to the now accumulating 3D images in sites that are able to use the data meaningfully and enable recall when needed. This activity takes place in the midbrain and midline structures like the thalamus and hippocampus as well as  the motor areas and cerebellum for movement and posture. The cerebral cortex also plays a processing role as well as a storage role as shown in certain cortical areas like Broca’s area for speech. Processing allows the construction of consciousness as it  builds up both the 3d person and the local 3D Room plus the wider 3D world beyond. [3 layer structure].

* During this talk I will add in comments on memory training and enhancement.
The only comment here is that the 3d processing structure and the room concept lends a lot of power to the room linkage techniques discussed later.

Recall or retrieval … is the process of bringing out the stored memories. It needs a thinking process called consciousness to do this. Consciousness can only develop after memory has been set down and is a by product of the very processes that store the memory. Using the central part which has set up the processing and is responsive to it develops an identity. This identity can now remember not only danger and response but also it can recall that it is responding and study itself [realisation] thus becoming self aware. It is thus able to set in motion actions including memory retrieval and walking.

*Recall can be aided by many small external tweaks directed to the memory process. Linkage is very important as is activation of any and every sense that we can avail ourselves of including the imagination.

Cognition is the process of thinking , of being self aware, of being conscious; It is basically the 6th sense. Each earlier sense developed by accident egged on by evolution. They reacted to the environment around them. This then resulted in a sensory organ which could learn and anticipate trouble. In effect it is a sense which lets us affect the future. In effect it is a time machine into the future instead of the past.

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I have left out the brain from this talk. I can give you references which do it no justice at all. The machinery is so complex, the interactions and wiring so subtle and widespread. The histology so detailed that it is wrong to give a picture and say this bit of memory occurs here. Phrenology told what a persons mind was made of from the shape of his skull. Any interpretation of the brains innards have almost the same reliability. Thinking occurs all over the brain. Memory is stored all over the brain.

Types of memory.
There are two basic types, Short Term Memory STM [includes ultra-short term sensory memory, and slightly longer working memory and Long Term Memory LTM but there is no difference other than the length of time a memory is useful for and retained.
The brain has conscious and unconscious memory processes . Unconscious memory is the bulk of the work the brain does. Breathing, Heart rate, Respiration, Digestion, Movement  and Sleeping. The mere act of standing upright balanced, let alone walking, uses up more neurons and brain structures than any thinking about memory or what to have for lunch today. It is said that the brain only uses 10% of its capacity. This is not true, it is chugging along at a very healthy rate all day and does a bit of recuperating at night. We are so important that it switches us off for 8 hours and does not lose a beat.

Short term memory is the immediate input and response in both processes. Short working memory only lasts a few seconds and is discarded quickly as  not important on the long term. The slightly longer working memory lasts up to 40 seconds.This is where the importance of the information is not yet decided or is only needed for a short time . If not recognised as important it too is discarded. To implant a message as LTM that is not LTM  needs repetition for at least 8 seconds in STM enhances the chance of retaining it.

LTM is the storage of memory that is rated as important by the brain and not to be discarded. It has to be recognised as important due to being new, different [hence untagged, emotional [dangerous, exciting], or related to known important LTM [consolidation]. These memories often store significant events or interactions in one’s life both on a personal or a more community  nature. Winning a race or a prize at school, tipping over a boat, a car accident are just some examples. Our life history is made up of all these memories. They are what we have come from. It can be
Explicit memory (or declarative memory) refers to all memories that are consciously available.
It is composed of
Episodic memory refers to memory for specific events in time
Semantic memory refers to knowledge about factual information, such as the meaning of words.
Autobiographical memory refers to knowledge about events and personal experiences from an individual’s own life.
Emotional memory, the memory for events that evoke a particularly strong emotion, can involve both declarative and procedural memory processes.
Or
Implicit memory (procedural memory) refers to the use of objects or movements of the body, such as how exactly to use a pencil, drive a car, or ride a bicycle. Procedural memory is considered non-declarative memory or unconscious memory. Emotional memory, the memory for events that evoke a particularly strong emotion, elicit a powerful, unconscious physiological reaction.

 

Page 5 Tricks of the trade for a better memory.

Simple measures. More sleep, more rest, more alertness and more interest, the old early to bed and early to rise makes us healthy and wise. It also improves our memory. Avoiding overuse of drugs like cigarettes and alcohol, in general.
We need to be interested.
Input is easy. We can add to input by being more attentive, alert, and interested thus increasing the range of data we are exposed to.
Storage  Chunking  chunking small bits of information, like phone numbers into groups of 3 or  4  reduces the memory effort required.
The more inputs at the same time the better the better, writing speaking out loud, visualisation and elaboration activate alternative storage sites which can link with the primary memory making it more important.
The more important we can make the data appear the more it is retained. Repetition  implies importance.
The more associations we can make with the data particularly important data like locations, people and emotions the more retention

another method of improving memory encoding and consolidation is the use of a so-called memory palace (also known as the method of loci), a mnemonic techniques that relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect other memories. The method is to assign objects or facts to different rooms in an imaginary house or palace, so that recall of the facts can be cued by mentally “walking though” the palace until it is found

Medical notes.

Decrease in memory is a necessary part of aging. Aging leads to slowing down of the nerve fibres, delay in neurocrine ending secretions and delayed reaction time.Alertness decreases and physical activity decreases. We lose neurons at a slightly increasing rate and we lose 200,000 a day from birth. Luckily we have an enormous starting point.People do not suddenly become chess champions at 60 and most innovative work is done from the late teens to 40 years of age.
Not to complain. Older people have a life replete with far more experiences than a callow 20 year old. We can still learn and improve the memory we have at any age by application, learning and a little ju jitsu with the memory tricks.

Dementia due to aging is called senile dementia and is affected by poor health, atheroma, strokes, reduced exercise and toxins like alcohol. Lifestyle is important.

Presenile dementia is due to a variety of neurological conditions of which Alzheimers is supreme. It is of variable onset, usually slow progress and can be improved for a while with medication. Currently there is no cure.

The best remedy is to attend science talks at U3A and exercise the brain as well as the body. At least you will feel smarter and how we feel is the most important thing, not what we know

 

 

 

 

types of memory 2

Types of memory.
Since the brain works as a multi input constantly both inputting and reassessing data in a sensory field that is stabilised as a hemisphere memory storage

Yes that is still there.
Yes position is still right.
the need for recall is prioritised.
The input still goes in, not of course by exactly the same channels [nerves]  and is recorded as discardable, that is as not being of current [immediate] use in the next frame of thought once used. Hence we do not have past positions and orientations persevering or interfering with the current thought interface. This implies an exponential shutdown time.
We discard our bulk input or mechanise it to perform automatically. This is going on constantly, repetitively, maximally all of our lives. The bit of the brain we use, the concept of I, is actually only using a small percentage of the larger machine or being allowed to use it since we switch off for 8 hours a day. not voluntarily.
The memory we talk of is much more our verbal visual and auditory thought memories built up by our verbal and written thought patterns.

It still works through the same system however so that these patterns die away once not needed. The difference is that we work out our priorities as to what we need, as a consciousness, rather than what the brain works out for the body as a whole.

In essence we are a minibrain in a bigger brain. Just as our world is a mini world in a bigger world. What are the rules for the human part?

Order, symmetry, heuristics. We have made our room more comfortable than it really is in appearance.

We dampen the noise of our breathing and heart, we ignore most of the positional and visceral effects happening in our bodies.

We develop a persona and a world view that we aspire to created both from our memories and for our memories. We use our memories to try to run this.

Rabbit holes.

There is no difference in the way long term and short term memories are taken in. There is a priority based on past memory to new memory, a ranking system. If it is already known it just gives a minor amplification to that memory and is otherwise ignored. Most new memory is thus short term memory basically not used again. New memories however elicit two reactions after announcing themselves as a variation that does not fit the past known patterns heuristically.
Meeting a person first time. First a recognition response comparing it to all other past memories for a fit. Identification, fish or fowl. Grouping into categories. Person, personal, height, weight, age, attractiveness, position, time event place. This may fit into something already primed or be out of the blue like a lift encounter. The danger response is activated and evaluated. Fight or flight is turned off. Introductions commence.
This is where the memory is most important for us to use. Names are a giant memory tag that everything else gets hung on. Yet at the same time a heuristic kicks in. Do we want to know them? Are they going to be in our life for 1 minute, 10 minutes, an hour or on and off the rest of our lives? Do we really want to put them in our short term or long term memory?
Half of us do and half of us do not, hence some people remember names easily and others do not. This decision is already made by our id.

This is true of all human memory. We decide what we want to remember at a subconscious level and are very good at it.

Hence STM is memory that we need briefly but is otherwise discarded. Not forgotten, just assigned to the discard bin.
The term “working memory” was coined by Miller, Galanter, and Pribram,[5][6] and was used in the 1960s in the context of theories that likened the mind to a computer. In 1968, Atkinson and Shiffrin[7] used the term to describe their “short-term store”. What we now call working memory was formerly referred to variously as a “short-term store” or short-term memory, primary memory, immediate memory, operant memory, and provisional memory.[8] Short-term memory is the ability to remember information over a brief period (in the order of seconds). Most theorists today use the concept of working memory to replace or include the older concept of short-term memory, marking a stronger emphasis on the notion of manipulating information rather than mere maintenance.“magic number seven”, short-term memory is limited to a certain number of chunks of information The slave systems include the phonological loop, the visuo-spatial sketchpad, and the episodic buffer

Longterm memory is memory that we can recall again an hour a day or a year later. It goes in in two ways. First by priority if we decide it is needed. Secondly by repetition.

Long-term memory (LTM) is the stage of the Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model where informative knowledge is held indefinitely. It is defined in contrast to short-term and working memory, which persist for only about 18 to 30 seconds. Long-term memory is commonly labelled as explicit memory (declarative), as well as episodic memory, semantic memory, autobiographical memory, and implicit memory (procedural memory).\

** Because of the associative nature of memory, encoding can be improved by a strategy of organization of memory called elaboration, in which new pieces of information are associated with other information already recorded in long-term memory, thus incorporating them into a broader, coherent narrative which is already familiar. An example of this kind of elaboration is the use of mnemonics, which are verbal, visual or auditory associations with other, easy-to-remember constructs, “Roy G. Biv” In the same way, associating words with images is another commonly used mnemonic device, providing two alternative methods of remembering, and creating additional associations in the mind

another method of improving memory encoding and consolidation is the use of a so-called memory palace (also known as the method of loci), a mnemonic techniques that relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect other memories. The method is to assign objects or facts to different rooms in an imaginary house or palace, so that recall of the facts can be cued by mentally “walking though” the palace until it is found

[NB attention (regulated by the thalamus and the frontal lobe) Emotion tends to increase attention, the amygdala combined in the brain’s hippocampus into one single experience. completely new neurons can grow. hippocampus, deep within the medial temporal lobe of the brain,   other retrograde pathways emerge from it, ]

another method of improving memory encoding and consolidation is the use of a so-called memory palace (also known as the method of loci), a mnemonic techniques that relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect other memories. The method is to assign objects or facts to different rooms in an imaginary house or palace, so that recall of the facts can be cued by mentally “walking though” the palace until it is found

Types of memory

Tip * Walking through a door resets the the program. Why we forget what we were going to do when we walked into the room and also what we were doing in the previous room.

Tip  * Concentration for 8 seconds MINIMUM  length of time to move from STM to LTM

*pUTTING THINGS IN BOLD DOES NOT HELP LONG TERM MEMORY ltm INSTEAD IT JUST HELPS FOCUS stm

* Writing things down. This shifts the memory input direction from Visual and reading to Writing and verbal hence reinforces by giving an extra 2 inputs and establishes pathways interconnecting the different modes of learning. It also leads to reitition due to the nature of linking one word to the next [Linkages]

* Avoid distractions  music, bright light  TV in the background etc. Basically this is maximising the input and lessening the extraneous noise.

* Association or linkages The major takeaway for  memory improvement. Memories need to be laid down through the maximum number of channels available. Thus a castle model or house linking an object to other known objects and site for cross retrieval plus bizarre linkages through sight, humour, sound, mispositioning, number [3 whales better than 1 ]

* Clumping we can remember numbers and objects in groups up to 5  much easier than groups that are larger in number  Groups themselves are easiest to remember up to 3 groups.

*A heuristic technique (/hj???r?st?k/; Ancient Greek: ???????, “find” or “discover”), often called simply a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method, not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but instead sufficient for reaching an immediate goal. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision.[1]:94 Examples that employ heuristics include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, a guesstimate, profiling, or common sense.

Stereotyping

Heuristics are the strategies derived from previous experiences with similar problems. These strategies rely on using readily accessible, though loosely applicable, information to control problem solving in human beings, machines, and abstract issues.“Heuristic” is also often used as a noun to describe a rule-of-thumb, procedure, or method

The most fundamental heuristic is trial and error, which can be used in everything from matching nuts and bolts to finding the values of variables in algebra problems.

Here are a few other commonly used heuristics, from George Pólya‘s If you are having difficulty understanding a problem, try drawing a picture.

  • If you can’t find a solution, try assuming that you have a solution and seeing what you can derive from that (“working backward”).
  • If the problem is abstract, try examining a concrete example.
  • Try solving a more general problem first (the “inventor’s paradox“: the more ambitious plan may have more chances of success).

occam’s razor This finding, known as a less-is-more effect, would not have been found without formal models. The valuable insight of this program is that heuristics are effective because of, not despite, their simplicity.

individuals consider issues rationally, systematically, logically, deliberately, effortfully, and verbally. On other occasions, individuals consider issues intuitively, effortlessly, globally, and emotionally.[14] From this perspective, heuristics are part of a larger experiential processing system that is often adaptive, but vulnerable to error in situations that require logical analysis.[15]

wow

Mind

Right Side Up

Studies of perception show the importance of being upright

THE LENS IN YOUR EYE casts an upside-down image on your retina, but you see the world upright. Although people often believe that an upside-down image in the eyeball gets rotated somewhere in the brain to make it look right side up, that idea is a fallacy. No such rotation occurs, because there is no replica of the retinal image in the brain—only a pattern of firing of nerve impulses that encodes the image in such a way that it is perceived correctly; the brain does not rotate the nerve impulses.

Even leaving aside this common pitfall, the matter of seeing things upright is vastly more complex than you might imagine, a fact that was first pointed out clearly in the 1970s by perception researcher Irvin Rock, then at Rutgers University.

Tilted ViewLet us probe those complexities with a few simple experiments. First, tilt your head 90 degrees while looking at the objects cluttering the room you are in now. Obviously, the objects (tables, chairs, people) continue to look upright—they do not suddenly appear to be at an angle.

Now imagine tipping over a table by 90 degrees, so that it lies on its side. You will see that it does indeed look rotated, as it should. We know that correct perception of the upright table is not because of some “memory” of the habitual upright position of things such as a table; the effect works equally well for abstract sculptures in an art gallery. The surrounding context is not the answer either: if a luminous table were placed in a completely dark room and you rotated your head while looking at it, the table would still appear upright.

Instead your brain figures out which way is up by relying on feedback signals sent from the vestibular system in your ear (which signals the degree of head rotation) to visual areas; in other words, the brain takes into account head rotation when it interprets the table’s orientation. The phrase “takes into account” is much more accurate than saying that your brain “rotates” the tilted image of the table. There is no image in the brain to “rotate”—and even if there were, who would be the little person in the brain looking at the rotated image? In the rest of the essay, we will use “reinterpret” or “correct” instead of “rotate.” These terms are not entirely accurate, but they will serve as shorthand.

There are clear limits to vestibular correction. Upside-down print, for instance, is extremely hard to read. Just turn this magazine upside down to find out. Now, holding the magazine right side up again, try bending down and looking at it through your legs—so your head is upside down. The page continues to be difficult to read, even though vestibular information is clearly signaling to you that the page and corresponding text are still upright in the world compared with your head’s orientation. The letters are too perceptually complex and fine-grained to be aided by the vestibular correction, even though the overall orientation of the page is corrected to look upright.

Let us examine these phenomena more closely. Look at the square in a. Rotate it physically 45 degrees, and you see a diamond. But if you rotate your head 45 degrees, the square continues to look like a square—even though it is a diamond on the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye that receives visual inputs); vestibular correction is at work again.

The Big PictureNow consider the two central red diamonds in b and c. The diamond in b looks like a diamond and the one in c looks like a square, even though your head remains upright and there is obviously no vestibular correction. This simple demonstration shows the powerful effects of the overall axis of the “big” figure comprising the small squares (or diamonds). It would be misleading to call this effect “context” because in d—a square surrounded by faces tilted at 45 degrees—the square continues to look like a square (though perhaps less so than when isolated).

You can also test the effects of visual attention. The figure in e is a composite. In this case, the central red shape is ambiguous. If you attend to the vertical column, it resembles a diamond; if you view it as a member of the group forming the oblique line of shapes, it seems to be a square.

Even more compelling is the George W. Bush illusion, a variant of the Margaret Thatcher illusion, which was originally developed by psychologist Peter Thompson of the University of York in England. If you look at the upside-down images of Bush’s face on this page (f), you see nothing odd. But turn the same images right side up, and you see how grotesque he really looks. Why does this effect happen?

The reason is that despite the seamless unity of perception, the analysis of the image by the brain proceeds piecemeal. In this case, the perception of a face depends largely on the relative positions of the features (eyes, nose, mouth). So Bush’s face is perceived as a face (albeit one that is upside down) just as an upside-down chair is readily identified as a chair. In contrast, the expression conveyed by the features depends exclusively on their orientation (downturned corners of the mouth, distortion of eyebrows), independent of the perceived overall orientation of the head—the “context.”

Your brain cannot perform the correction for the features; they do not get reinterpreted correctly as the overall image of a face does. The recognition of certain features (downturned mouth corners, eyebrows, and so on) is evolutionarily primitive; perhaps the computational skill required for reinterpretation simply has not evolved for this capability. For the overall recognition of the face simply as a face, on the other hand, the system might be more “tolerant” of the extra computational time required. This theory would explain why the second upside-down face appears normal rather than grotesque; the features dominate until you invert the face.

This same effect is illustrated very simply in the cartoon faces (g). Upside down, it is hard to see their expressions even though you still see them as faces. (You can logically deduce which is smiling and which is frowning, but that is not the result of perception.) Turn them right side up, and the expressions are clearly recognized as if by magic.

Finally, if you bend over and look between your legs at f, the expressions will become strikingly clear, but the faces themselves continue to look upside down. This effect is because the vestibular correction is applied selectively to the face but does not affect perception of the features (which are now right side up on the retina). It is the shape of the features on the retina that counts—independent of vestibular correction—and the “world-centered” coordinates that such corrections allow your brain to compute.

Depth Cues

Vestibular correction also fails to occur when we perceive shape (and depth) from clues provided by shading. In h, you see what appears to be a 550-foot-tall mound in the desert. The brain centers involved in computing shading make the reasonable assumption that the sun usually shines from above, so hills would be light on top and concave areas would be light on the bottom. If you rotate the page, you will see that this is actually a photograph of Arizona’s Meteor Crater.

You can verify this effect by repeating the experiment of looking between your legs while the page is right side up in relation to gravity. Once again, the mound and crater switch places. Even though the world as a whole looks normal and upright (from vestibular correction), the modules in the brain that extract shapes from assumptions about shading cannot use the vestibular correction; they are simply not hooked up to it. This phenomenon makes evolutionary sense because you do not normally walk around the world with your head upside down, so you can afford to avoid the extra computational burden of correcting for head tilt every time you interpret shaded images. The result of evolution is not to fine-tune your perceptual machinery to perfection but only to make it statistically reliable, often enough and rapidly enough, to allow you to produce offspring, even if the adoption of such heuristics or “shortcuts” makes the system occasionally error-prone. Perception is reliable but not infallible; it is a bag of tricks.

Bobbing Heads

One last point: Next time you are lying on the grass, look at people walking around you. They look like they are upright and walking normally, of course. But now look at them while you are upside down. If you can manage yoga, you might want to try your downward dog or another inversion. Or just lie sideways with one ear on the ground. The people will still look upright as expected, but suddenly you will see them bobbing up and down as they walk. This motion instantly becomes clear because after years of viewing people with your head held straight, you have learned to ignore the up-down bobbing of their heads and shoulders. Once again, vestibular feedback cannot correct for the head bobbing, even though it provides enough correction to enable seeing the people as upright. You might be bending over backward to understand all this, but we think it is worth the effort.

 

The brain is a three layered structure matching our psyche of Id, Ego and Superego. Hence there is a central mid brain often described as a

The Reptilian or Primal Brain Those who subscribed to the triune brain model believed that the three major brain structures developed sequentially. First of all, the basal ganglia (found at the center of the human brain) was ‘acquired’, followed by the limbic system (which consists of various component brain structures, such as the amygdala and hippocampus), then the neocortex (which is implicated in conscious thought, language and reasoning)

In MacLean’s triune brain model, the basal ganglia are referred to as the reptilian or primal brain, as this structure is in control of our innate and automatic self-preserving behavior patterns, which ensure our survival and that of our species. The primal brain is also in charge of, what are often referred to as, the four Fs: Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing, and… Reproduction (well, we won’t use that other f-word here!). Notable behavior patterns include defense of self, family, and personal property, physical communication, and socially approved actions, such as handshakes, head nods, and bowing.

Evolution

Paul D. MacLean, as part of his triune brain theory, hypothesized that the limbic system is older than other parts of the forebrain, and that it developed to manage circuitry attributed to the fight or flight first identified by Hans Selye[26] in his report of the General Adaptation Syndrome in 1936. It may be considered a part of survival adaptation in reptiles as well as mammals (including humans). MacLean postulated that the human brain has evolved three components, that evolved successively, with more recent components developing at the top/front. These components are, respectively:

  1. The archipallium or primitive (“reptilian”) brain, comprising the structures of the brain stem – medulla, pons, cerebellum, mesencephalon, the oldest basal nuclei – the globus pallidus and the olfactory bulbs.
  2. The paleopallium or intermediate (“old mammalian”) brain, comprising the structures of the limbic system.
  3. The neopallium, also known as the superior or rational (“new mammalian”) brain, comprises almost the whole of the hemispheres (made up of a more recent type of cortex, called neocortex) and some subcortical neuronal groups. It corresponds to the brain of the superior mammals, thus including the primates and, as a consequence, the human species. Similar development of the neocortex in mammalian species unrelated to humans and primates has also occurred, for example in cetaceans and elephants; thus the designation of “superior mammals” is not an evolutionary one, as it has occurred independently in different species.[dubious ] The evolution of higher degrees of intelligence is an example of convergent evolution, and is also seen in non-mammals such as birds.

According to Maclean, each of the components, although connected with the others, retained “their peculiar types of intelligence, subjectivity, sense of time and space, memory, mobility and other less specific functions”.

 

 

 

take 3

I am here today to do a talk on Memory and the Human brain.

A subject of interest to most of us but still not well understood.
A few quotes

“Memory is the art of time travel.” When we remember things we travel into the past of our mind and bring them forwards into the present.
What is memory?
It is many things, from the  Frank Sinatra “memories are made of this” we learn it is love and good times. From Hiroshima we know it can be death and suffering. Emotions are an important part of the paradigm.  Memory drives our rages and passions, Fills our nights with dreams and our days with nightmares.  We fear to lose it yet some yearn for it to go away.

What is memory?
Scientifically we can describe the components. They consist of input, storage, processing, evaluating and recall. They are the functions of the human brain that enable it to develop consciousness, thought and action. We cannot have one without the other.
A famous quote is “I think, therefore I am“. [Cogito, ergo sum[a] is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes ] but it misses an important codicil, ” I think because I have a memory.”

The brain then is the source and receptacle of memory so we need to start there. A brain was originally part of the blind watchmaker’s  evolutionary design. {The simplest cells survived if a mutation brought about a survival advantage. Being able to detect the environment we live in is an important step forwards.Whether this was an ability to detect sunshine or shade. To feel vibrations from other life forms or to find a partner or food and water at a distance, Sensation was an advantage. As cells became more complex and multi-cellular  function developed so did the senses and specialisation. Nerve cells developed and so did a primitive organising point, the brain.] Each development that makes our memory is reflected in the design of the brain.

Input is by multiple sensory mechanisms, Extroceptive like the 5 senses and temperature, we can also add vibration, position, [proprioception], pain, and visceral sensations [interoception]. This is at least a 3 stage transfer with several neural interfaces before the message reaches  the right area in the cortex of the brain. The neurons in the cortex then also interact with  other cortical neurons that receive the other sensory inputs.The brain is thus awash all over with stimuli and resending of second hand stimuli.

Storage is a mystery. Repetition of signals leads to a stronger memory so changes are recorded and stored by the neurons in the cortices. This may involve changes in the nerve cell  or the axon itself or a more complex feedback loop with the other sensory neurons that are triggered at the same time. We do not know.

Processing happens. Again we do not know but in parallel with the development of Artificial Intelligence we know what might be happening. Memories are stored all over the cortex, not just at the receptors.Memory is also stored and utilised in the other brain structures under the cortex. Theses include the thalamus and the midbrain structures which involve our emotions and our fright or flight reflex.

Recall is the activation of cortex and limbic structures to bring a stored memory back to consciousness.

Here is the true mystery of memory. We have a central processing room in our heads when we think. It builds up a view of the world from our visual memories as if we are the central player looking out on the world. Thought itself though is verbal, in words with an underlay of emotions and visuals. It is an artificial construct. The best way to understand this is with vision The images transmitted to the brain go mainly to the opposite side and are upside down yet our brain sorts all this out into a right side up picture with 3-D effects in a double processing manoeuver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

take 2 Memory lane

I thought I could address this topic in a novel way to highlight the many facets of memory in a way that we all could remember. Acting on the memory is thought or thinking. “I think therefore I am” needs a codicil, ‘I have memory, therefore I can think”. I want to introduce some heuristics, memory tactics, the history of memory and the uses of memory and what memory can imply using our imagination and thought. And make it fun as well.

The exercises we do will later illustrate some of the various types of memory and how it works.To start with I am going to ask each of you with your pen and paper to write down an object for me and read it out . I will chose 10 to put down on the board.

Next  I will show you a list of 10 random numbers. They are, 17, 23, 5, 18, 20, 25, 21, 9,15,16, 1,

Another arrangement is e,j,o,t,y. This is a significant arrangement.
[KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (literal translation: Royal Aviation Company, Inc.),

We will discuss these later .

Finally there are 10 objects on this table . You all have 30 seconds to look at them.

 

Memory is basically time travel. The ability to travel both back and forward in time. We go back into our past experiences and recall it in the present moment when needed. Dean Martin [play song] \ says it like this.  Memories are made of this …. take one stolen kiss …

[Traveling back is due to the ability to recall now a past sensory or thought process as it happened usually when needed. Acting on the memory is thought or thinking.] [not actually memory though some instances are conjoined, like in breathing or walking.]

The things one needs for memory are input, storage, processing and recall [retrieval].

Input comes from both sensory input and also thought input. The human senses of exteroception are touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing. We can add vibration, position, [proprioception], pain, heat and visceral sensations [interoception]. Other species have extra senses or heightened senses. It is stored in the brain primarily (The stomach senses food even without central feedback and responds.). Sensations are the data. We react to pain both on a local and cerebral level.

  • The somatosensory system consists of primary, secondary, and tertiary neurons.
  • Sensory receptors housed in the dorsal root ganglia project to secondary neurons of the spinal cord that decussate and project to the thalamus or cerebellum.
  • Tertiary neurons project to the postcentral gyrus of the parietal lobe, forming a sensory homunculus.
  • A sensory homunculus maps sub-regions of the cortical postcentral gyrus to certain parts of the body.
    The secondary neuron acts as a relay and is located in either the spinal cord or the brainstem. This neuron’s ascending axons will cross, or decussate, to the opposite side of the spinal cord or brainstem and travel up the spinal cord to the brain, where most will terminate in either the thalamus or the cerebellum. The primary somatosensory area of the human cortex is located in the postcentral gyrus of the parietal lobe. There are four main types of cutaneous mechanoreceptors: Pacinian corpuscles, Meissner’s corpuscles, Merkel’s discs, and Ruffini endings. proprioreceptor: A sensory receptor that responds to position and movement and that receives internal bodily stimuli. Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles.

    The thalamus is a midline symmetrical structure within the brain of vertebrates including humans; it is situated between the cerebral cortex and midbrain, and surrounds the third ventricle.Its function includes relaying sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex, along with the regulation of consciousness, sleep, and alertness.

The areas that are activated by our senses are the primary storage sites but due to the massive interlinking of our neurons the data is stored all over the brain as well as it links with the other data accompanying it and our processing system. This provides a backup which means it is incredibly hard to destroy data (amnesia) completely.The means of storage is still in dispute.

Processing is the way of arranging data ready for retrieval. Areas of the brain specialise in taking the data in and arranging it in ways that allow steady, useful retrieval. This enables the thought processes to access the data when it is needed or required. These areas are increasingly well known.

The amygdala deals with …. most of these process take place in the midbrain where the neutrons transmit the data for specific uses. Broca’s area is where speech patterns are stored. Usually on the left side of the brain. Damage this and the  ability to speak properly is lost, but not the memory of past conversations.

We can store memory as short or long term memory. It is thought that certain areas do have more more of a role to play in the retrieval process rather than the storage process. Again there is some argument as to whether there really is a difference other than  repetition Our immediate  verbal numerical memory span is quite short 5-9 characters,

Using our memory.
[Thinking fast and slow] authors won a Nobel Prize for their work on heuristics. The short cuts we use in processing informationNow the first test , the 5 letters I gave you in reverse order, write them down.

You will see that it is much easier to remember the shorter sequence. Also that the longer sequence, done first, disappears from the memory due to a process called recent activation which makes an earlier memory harder to retain.

A similar phenomenon is the unfinished task, a  job left undone demands constant re attention but when completed the task that seemed fresh in one’s mind has now gone.

Memory improves with repetition. A rule of thumb is that 5% of a given lecture will be retained long term with rapid fall off of the other 95%. Repeating the lecture will fix a further 5% in place and it will stay for longer.This is one of the principles for improving in examination tasks.

What are the hints for improving one’s memory?

Focus and attention are the main keys. These two techniques are a prerequisite.In order to encode information into memory, we must first pay attention, a process known as attentional capture.

Motivation. Desire or need is a great motivating factor. It is much easier to stick at a task

Immersion. This is the best way to learn any subject, particularly languages but also art, science painting and music.

Now for some tricks to help when all else fails.

Reminders. Notes are usually best but recording can be done in many ways with film or sound on one’s mobile phone. Tying a bit of string around a finger.

Association is a recognised technique What we do is tie a link between a long term memory and our new short term memory. The link is composed of a visual or verbal surprise between the task at hand  and a known recallable object, then wrapping it in a visual or verbal picture.
A well used method is the family home or the workplace where one can walk around the rooms and leave the associations inside.

Method of Loci

One example of taking advantage of deeper semantic processing to improve retention is using the method of loci. This is when you associate non-visual material with something that can be visualized. Creating additional links between one memory and another, more familiar memory works as a cue for the new information being learned.

Mnemosyne (/n??m?z?ni, n??m?s?ni/; Greek: ?????????, pronounced [mn??mosý?n??]) is the goddess of memory in Greek mythology. “Mnemosyne” is derived from the same source as the word mnemonic, that being the Greek word mn?m?, which means “remembrance, memory”.[1][2]

Memory

I thought I could address this topic in a novel way to highlight the many facets of memory in a way that we all could remember.

I want to introduce heuristics, memory tactics, the uses of memory and what memory can imply using our imagination and thought.

To start with I am going to ask each of you with your pen and paper to write down an object for me and read it out . I will chose 10 to put down on the board.

Next  I will show you a list of random numbers[ that some of you may recognise]. They are, 17, 23, 5, 18, 20, 25, 9, 15,  21, 16, 1,

Another arrangement is e,j,o,t,y. This is a significant arrangement.

We will discuss these later .

Finally there are 10 objects on this table . You all have 30 seconds to look at them.

The tests we have just done illustrate some of the various types of memory and how it works.

Memory is basically time travel. The ability to travel both back and forward in time. Traveling back is due to the ability to recall now a past sensory or thought process as it happened usually when needed. Acting on the memory is not actually memory though some instances are conjoined, like in breathing or walking.

The  things one needs for memory are input, storage, processing and recall [retrieval].

Input comes from both sensory input and also thought input. The human senses are touch taste sight smell and hearing. We can add vibration, pain, heat and visceral sensations. Other species have extra senses or heightened senses.

Sensation is stored in the brain primarily (The stomach senses food even without central feedback and responds.). Sensation is data. We react to pain both on a local and cerebral level. The areas that are activated by our senses are the primary storage sites but due to the massive interlinking of our neurons the data is stored all over the brain as well as it links with the other data accompanying it and our processing system. This provides a backup which means it is incredibly hard to destroy data (amnesia) completely.The means of storage is still in dispute.

Processing is the way of arranging data ready for retrieval. Areas of the brain specialise in taking the data in and arranging it in ways that allow steady, useful retrieval. This enables the thought processes to access the data when it is needed or required. These areas are increasingly well known.

The amygdala deals with …. most of these process take place in the midbrain where the neutrons transmit the data for specific uses. Broca’s area is where speech patterns are stored. Usually on the left side of the brain. Damage this and the  ability to speak properly is lost, but not the memory of past conversations.

We can store memory as short or long term memory. It is thought that certain areas do have more more of a role to play in the retrieval process rather than the storage process. Again there is some argument as to whether there really is a difference other than  repetition Our immediate  verbal numerical memory span is quite short 5-9 characters,

Using our memory.
[Thinking fast and slow] authors won a Nobel Prize for their work on heuristics. The short cuts we use in processing informationNow the first test , the 5 letters I gave you in reverse order, write them down.

You will see that it is much easier to remember the shorter sequence. Also that the longer sequence, done first, disappears from the memory due to a process called recent activation which makes an earlier memory harder to retain.

A similar phenomenon is the unfinished task, a  job left undone demands constant re attention but when completed the task that seemed fresh in one’s mind has now gone.

Memory improves with repetition. A rule of thumb is that 5% of a given lecture will be retained long term with rapid fall off of the other 95%. Repeating the lecture will fix a further 5% in place and it will stay for longer.This is one of the principles for improving in examination tasks.

What are the hints for improving one’s memory?

Focus and attention are the main keys. These two techniques are a prerequisite.In order to encode information into memory, we must first pay attention, a process known as attentional capture.

Motivation. Desire or need is a great motivating factor. It is much easier to stick at a task

Immersion. This is the best way to learn any subject, particularly languages but also art, science painting and music.

Now for some tricks to help when all else fails.

Reminders. Notes are usually best but recording can be done in many ways with film or sound on one’s mobile phone. Tying a bit of string around a finger.

Association is a recognised technique What we do is tie a link between a long term memory and our new short term memory. The link is composed of a visual or verbal surprise between the task at hand  and a known recallable object, then wrapping it in a visual or verbal picture.
A well used method is the family home or the workplace where one can walk around the rooms and leave the associations inside.

Method of Loci

One example of taking advantage of deeper semantic processing to improve retention is using the method of loci. This is when you associate non-visual material with something that can be visualized. Creating additional links between one memory and another, more familiar memory works as a cue for the new information being learned.

Semantic Processing

Semantic processing is when we apply meaning to words and compare or relate it to words with similar meanings. This deeper level of processing involves elaborative rehearsal, which is a more meaningful way to analyze information. This makes it more likely that the information will be stored in long-term memory, as it is associated with previously learned concepts.

Phonetic Processing

Phonetic processing is how we hear the word—the sounds it makes when the letters are read together. We compare the sound of the word to other words we have heard in order to retain some level of meaning in our memory. Phonetic processing is deeper than structural processing; that is, we are more likely to remember verbal information if we process it phonetically.

Structural Processing

Structural processing examines the structure of a word—for example, the font of the typed word or the letters within in it. It is how we assess the appearance of the words to make sense of them and provide some type of simple meaning.

image

Letters: Processing how a word looks is known as structural processing.

Structural processing is the shallowest level of processing

To return to the example of trying to remember the name of a restaurant: if the name of the restaurant has no semantic meaning to you (for instance, if it’s a word in another language, like “Vermicelli”), you might still be able to remember the name if you have processed it phonetically and can think, “It started with a V sound and it rhymed with belly.”

Finally I would like to talk about where our memory takes place. Basically we recreate the world we live in inside our heads. We uses our senses to build up a room with our central awareness located behind our eyes. This room is our 3D representation of the world, populated by our memories and our current sensory inputs. We know, due to our memory, what other things may be happening outside of our room away from our senses.
Though we change locations this one room is always with us, just the wallpaper changes.

Jim Carry, The Matrix, etc , The concept of living in a computer world.

The universe we live in is a marvel but we can only know it from the input of our senses. We do not know what we do not know. .

Limits of memory and the human mind.

It is theoretically possible to have a much more able mind but we are limited, sensibly, by the world we live in. Some people say we only use 10% of our brains. This is not quite right. We can only use them to the extent that the wiring allows. No one deliberately chooses to under use an asset.
Some people have virtual photographic memories, Others names, places or people.

What is memory
What is happiness? Happiness is a life of good memories and an ability to let the bad memories fade. Memories are made of this  Frank Sinatra.

Memories come on board as the brain wiring expands to network properly and language develops. The ability to develop a language is innate, in the genes programmed. We have an inbuilt memory both to be able to communicate to each other  and to develop our memories. It is rare to really remember much before the age of 3. Somewhere between then and 5 comes the development  of an awareness of our awareness. To know that we are alive. Memory storage continues through out our life with overlays of hormonal directed behaviour.
We keep losing brain cells from the moment we are born if not before. 200,000 a day! Luckily there are about 86 billion neurons so even at 70 we have lost less than 10%. Lifestyle affects the rate of loss so head injuries, alcohol on some people, Atheroma, diabetes and smoking. None the less this effect called senile dementia  is usually very late in onset and most of us die before getting there.

More to the point are the presenile dementia’s like Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.  There is a genetic predisposition and an unknown environmental factor or factors. Basically they can be slowed a little with medication but not stopped in progression and the best advice is to preserve what  we can, a little late now for some.

Lastly we all know what old age is like. It really seems to be partly a state of mind and partly

mid 18th century (as an adjective): via medieval Latin from Greek mn?monikos, from mn?m?n ‘mindful’.
Middle English: from Old French memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor ‘mindful, remembering’

Memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action.[1] If past events could not be remembered, it would be impossible for language, relationships, or personal identity to develop.[2] Memory loss is usually described as forgetfulness or amnesia.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

Memory is often understood as an informational processing system with explicit and implicit functioning that is made up of a sensory processor, short-term (or working) memory, and long-term memory.[9] This can be related to the neuron. The sensory processor allows information from the outside world to be sensed in the form of chemical and physical stimuli and attended to various levels of focus and intent. Working memory serves as an encoding and retrieval processor. Information in the form of stimuli is encoded in accordance with explicit or implicit functions by the working memory processor. The working memory also retrieves information from previously stored material. Finally, the function of long-term memory is to store data through various categorical models or systems.[9]

Declarative, or explicit, memory is the conscious storage and recollection of data.[10] Under declarative memory resides semantic and episodic memory. Semantic memory refers to memory that is encoded with specific meaning,[2] while episodic memory refers to information that is encoded along a spatial and temporal plane.[11][12][13] Declarative memory is usually the primary process thought of when referencing memory.[2] Non-declarative, or implicit, memory is the unconscious storage and recollection of information.[14] An example of a non-declarative process would be the unconscious learning or retrieval of information by way of procedural memory, or a priming phenomenon.[2][14][15] Priming is the process of subliminally arousing specific responses from memory and shows that not all memory is consciously activated,[15] whereas procedural memory is the slow and gradual learning of skills that often occurs without conscious attention to learning.[2][14]

Memory is not a perfect processor, and is affected by many factors. The ways by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved can all be corrupted. The amount of attention given new stimuli can diminish the amount of information that becomes encoded for storage.[2] Also, the storage process can become corrupted by physical damage to areas of the brain that are associated with memory storage, such as the hippocampus.[16][17] Finally, the retrieval of information from long-term memory can be disrupted because of decay within long-term memory.[2] Normal functioning, decay over time, and brain damage all affect the accuracy and capacity of the memory.[18][19]

The Nine Greek Muses

  1. Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry
  2. Clio, the Muse of history
  3. Erato, the Muse of lyric poetry
  4. Euterpe, the Muse of music
  5. Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy
  6. Polyhymnia, the Muse of sacred poetry
  7. Terpsichore, the Muse of dance and chorus
  8. Thalia, the Muse of comedy and idyllic poetry
  9. Urania, the Muse of astronomy

The Muses were nine beautiful young women who were the goddesses and embodiments of science, literature, and the arts. In ancient culture, they were the source of orally related knowledge of poetic lyrics and myths, and were considered to be the personification of knowledge and of the arts, especially dance, literature and music.

The Muses were believed to live on Mount Olympus, where they entertained the Olympian gods with their artistry, but later tradition placed them on Mount Helicon or Mount Parnassus.

The Birth of the Nine Muses

The muses were the nine daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods, and the Titaness Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory.

Mnemonics

Mnemonic devices, sometimes simply called mnemonics, are one way to help encode simple material into memory. A mnemonic is any organization technique that can be used to help remember something. One example is a peg-word system, in which the person “pegs” or associates the items to be remembered with other easy-to-remember items. An example of this is “King Phillip Came Over For Good Soup,” a peg-word sentence for remembering the order of taxonomic categories in biology that uses the same initial letters as the words to be remembered: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Another type of mnemonic is an acronym, in which a person shortens a list of words to their initial letters to reduce their memory load.

Changes

Changes in my lifetime We used to do a 5 man rotation on weekends and nights. We did deliveries and assisted at operations .Some did anaesthetics or their own surgical lists. TB was dying out but there were still old sufferers attending a TB clinic at the hospital. We attended nursing homes and we all had our own patients that we were responsible for. We did fractures, sutures and migraines. and worked up to 80 hours a week. Antibiotics, scopes USS CT MRI and coronary stenting.
Now the biggest problems are an aging population and the worried well. Last week I did my bowel screen and Kidney function. Today I am having my BP and diabetes check. Next week a breast screen [sorry computer error] and a genetic testing. Meanwhile I will enjoy having a soy latte, some Pilates at the gym and a debreif from my psychologist on why I do not understand my children.