I hypothesize that the source of most anxiety or nervousness stems from our brains making no correct predictions in that moment. This is supported anecdotally by my patterns for overcoming social interactions that used to make me anxious that I've now become comfortable with. My brain now makes enough correct predictions that I don't feel the need to leave the situation.
I hypothesize that part of why I started acting on my transgender feelings was because I'd become so uncomfortable in my own body that my brain wasn't able to make accurate predictions about the sensations coming from my within. This is supported anecdotally by the following.
I started 2 activities when I accepted my desire to transition to female. Both were touted at reducing the feelings of un-comfortableness in my own body. Female to Male hormone therapy and taijiquan. Both produced lots of new feelings for my brain. Both gave me a sense of agency over my own body, the understanding that I have the ability to shape my body into what I want. In the end I stopped transitioning because taking the hormones(mostly the T blocker) isn't known to be healthy for the body(Liver/Kidneys). Taijiquan is almost unanimously a positive source of change in ones health for the rest of their lives therefore I choose taijiquan and a long healthy life over my desires to have female genitals. Practicing Taijiquan makes me feel better, and in regards to my gender dysphoria taijiquan has cured it; I am very comfortable with my male genitals now that I'm able to make enough consistent predictions during sex to remain engaged with the situation and remain turned on.
Edit Addition: I'd like to state that I still identify as a cross dresser and I'm comfortable saying that love certain parts/styles of womens fashion and accessories. Example, I love long flowing skirts. As a society I feel we should reassess men wearing skirts as it is much healthier for our genitals.
Why so you say that? Or knowledge of the brain is still very very dim and rudimentary, and ANNs are simple mathematical models (inspired by brain neural networks, to be sure) to fit parameters to data. It's a bit naive, in my view, to assert such a simplistic answer to a very hard question without conclusive evidence for anything.
Since fight/flight behaviour is regulated by the amygdala and basal ganglia, you can say:
Anxiety stems from our amygdalae getting started up, because they sense a threat where none is, and effecting inappropriate behaviour thereafter.
Actually, the threat is often correctly sensed, it's just the behaviour (running away, attacking, feigning death/freezing) that's not useful in the modern world.
The therapeutically interesting question is how to change that.
Compared to the rational parts, those emotional mechanisms are much deeper and better wired to the rest of the brain. At the same time they aren't very sophisticated. Some people refer to them as "reptilian complex".
We can't adjust emotions directly and in general we have to wait much more time (think: weeks, sometimes months) to let new ideas like not being afraid of something sink into the subconscious.
But knowing and accepting that makes it possible to grow.
Finding ways to channel your 'negative' energies into positive, constructive action is basically the foundation to every self-help book ever written.
I'd wager that the first, and often most difficult step is to identify a path that will lead to eventual success (eliminating the threat). Unfortunately, sometimes that's simply not possible.
Like, if you don't have a degree, have a family to support, and the factory you work at is closing down soon, your brain is going to 1) correctly identify a major threat and 2) try to spur you into action. But what if there's no clear path open that will avert the disaster?
I'd wager at least some of this is responsible for the rising rates of chronic illness, drug abuse, and suicide in many parts of the US.
Modern life often constantly exposes us to and reminds us about threats that we can personally do little about.
That, soppy quotes and a desire for a quick buck.
I sometimes think our culture's binary approach to gender creates a sense of imbalance and alienation for those people who do not fit into the binary. It saddens me that these people see no other choice but to loathe their sex, and make such drastic and medically questionable efforts to transition to the binary other.
I think there must be a way for people to learn to love how their bodies are, even if that sex does not necessarily match the cultural mandate of the "corresponding" gender. It's a hard fight, but it's a fairer fight to fight the culture, rather than one's own body.
It's a shitty time. I don't know how old you are, but I really hope 30 years from now I meet you somewhere and we can look back and see that the world has moved on. I'm trying to keep a promise to myself that I'll keep trying.
Sometimes I think we're closer to that future than we think.
The quote exaggerates reality a little, but the point is that the world may move on but not necessarily in the direction you think, or it will follow your hopes only to suddenly go outside your comfort zone.
I also think anyone trying to control the flow of information is fighting a losing battle, so I don't lose sleep over that one either. Censoring the internet is already difficult and economically costly. Once we have Ethereum on a mesh network of $5 handheld computers, the difficulty goes up probably two orders of magnitude. And we're what, 10 years away from that?
I also think corporations are trying to lure you into thinking they control things, when in fact they don't have any real power any more, we (people with a little credit and a computer) have it all. We are just brainwashed into thinking we need them, so we're not exercising most of our power.
What if Comcast et al stopped offering you service entirely? Would you be lost? Would you be able to find the internet again?
What Bitcoin does, specifically, is maintain a ledger. That's all. Very useful, but quite limited. It tracks accounts, and which accounts transfer where. No more, no less.
That simplicity made it somewhat tractable to implement, in a world where no one had ever heard of an autonomous software application before. It was the "Hello World" of autonomous software.
Computer scientists were mostly blindsided by this. At least I was. But Bitcoin's success, even in its earliest forms, suggested that there would be a whole wealth of autonomous software coming. We were excited. A whole new way of thinking about software, where you don't write procedures, you write contracts.
It was easy enough to see that you could store arbitrary information in the Bitcoin ledger... a few kilobytes, maybe a GIF. But performance was awful. So an autonomous data hosting service was certainly on the menu, for whoever could figure out a set of contracts that would scale. But it also seemed like an autonomous application hosting service was also possible. And whoever built it would be holding the keys to another Bitcoin-style explosion of value.
Think of it like this: someone had invented autonomous Visa, the race was on to invent the autonomous Heroku.
MaidSafe was one attempt. Ethereum was another.
I don't have any reading materials for you. This is a brand new area of inquiry. Academia doesn't seem to have taken notice yet, and the AltCoin scene is just a bunch of finance people gathering around cargo cults.
I guess what I would suggest: read up on MaidSafe and Ethereum. The Ethereum blog is fascinating. Start at the beginning. Try to understand what's happening and then ask questions. Don't rely on other peoples' characterizations of these systems, try to understand how and why they work.
Or, if you want to trust someone, trust me: Ethereum is currently the best contender we have. Just learn how to make dapps and start looking for good business opportunities within that ecosystem.
In a world of many competing, stable cryptoprotocols I suspect the biggest pieces of the pie go to communities that are good at fixing problems in incentive balance. It becomes a human challenge more than a technical one. Who are your stakeholders, what are the incentives underlying their supply chain, and is there a better v2 we can design?
If Tezos or any other community shows a culture of doing that I think it's a good investment. Maybe not 2013 Bitcoin good, but a solid growth investment.
Ethereum has the benefit of being first mover, so they will automatically attract some good incentive balancers. And Vitalik has proven he's pretty good at it, having g successfully launched and attracted cash.
An area of Cognitive Dissonance that I have, I know that I need to take more consistent breaks from computer work more often to prevent pain from repetitive stress injuries, But I don't.
Your example is not cognitive dissonance. To be that, not taking the breaks would have to go against a deeply held belief, and make you feel uncomfortable.
"Cognitive dissonance' is far less judgemental–its considered to be an essential mechanism of learning.
Neural networks are a simplistic model of how our brain works, not the other way around.
While I can't imagine what you've been through I have spent a lot of time pondering over what it'd be like to be a woman.
I'm not sure that I could ever be so confident in anything as you are to be stating so unequivocally how the brain works given the track record of previous attempts to model brain function and the current state of neuroscience.
I'm also not "afraid of feeling ways about ideas", I just don't built my models of the world based on feelings unless I'm building a model of my feelings.
On the other hand some things are within our purview to decide and act upon if we believe in them and they feel "right", no rationalizing or justification required. I am always suspicious if I find myself rationalizing a belief or feeling. But if I simply enjoy it or it seems "right".. I just stop thinking there. Mostly these are things that only impact oneself, and not others. I think when choices impact others more analysis is then required depending on the nature of the decision.
Models can be very risky to apply to why we think a certain way, because they are almost always wrong. Or they can be more right than wrong, but wrong in very impactful ways.
That's the point of evolution: we adapt to what's necessary and, for millions of years, constant thought was the factor that made us smarter than everyone else, and the humans in whom this didn't occur weren't smart enough, thus their genes disappeared from the gene pool.
This, however, doesn't mean we can't keep evolving towards a state of consciousness where constant thought isn't required, it just means that -- as is always the case -- existence is challenging, because there's millions of years of inertia behind the mind. It has a strong pull, because it was needed for survival. But we can keep evolving.
It doesn't need to continue like this forever. It just means that, as opposed to earlier, the people in whom thought is too strong and uncontrollable are now the ones whose genes are removed from the gene pool, through mental illness and anxiety.
If you're willing to spend some time watching your mind, you'll realize that it already stops all the time, it's just a matter of noticing this, thus strengthening its absence. But don't expect there to be a button to push to make it stop. It was needed for survival, so its cessation has become associated with fear. But, while you are conscious of this fact, it's not a problem, just a challenge.
Yes, it certainly is conceivable that people will evolve to "live in the moment". But arguing that those who don't do so have mental illness and/or anxiety is a bit much. That's like saying people who "live in the moment" will be taken care of by natural selection because they won't learn from their mistakes and they won't see things coming until it's too late.
First of all, it's a strawman - just because you're focusing on the present in general doesn't mean you're unable to look at the past or future, and just because you're focusing on the past/future in general doesn't mean you're unable to enjoy the present as well. In other words, even if you're "living in the moment" overall, you can still recall mistakes and avoid repeating them, and you can still have foresight. And even if you reflect on the past or consider possibilities of the future, you can still be neurotypical.
Second, even if these things were all mutually exclusive, what evidence suggests that one of the group's genes will be removed from the gene pool? I know plenty of people who forget everything and also struggle thinking 1 step ahead in tic tac toe, and I don't see them struggling to keep their genes in circulation - they just have a different pool they choose from (other "near-sighted" people). Similarly, I have quite a few friends with anxiety, and they do just fine, because they date other friends of mine with anxiety.
> If you're willing to spend some time watching your mind, you'll realize that it already stops all the time, it's just a matter of noticing this, thus strengthening its absence
And if you're willing to spend some time watching your mind, you'll realize that it already starts back up all the time. It's just a matter of noticing that your mind is inclined towards thinking, and strengthening the presence of thoughts in your mind.
The previous paragraph was not meant as a serious argument. Again, I am not arguing that "living in the moment" is bad or that we should avoid it or anything like that. The point of it was just to demonstrate that the argument needs more to back it up.
In school I had a headmaster who was all about the importance of living in the moment (and related, nice-sounding advice). Naive as I was I spent too much time trying to figure out what is wrong with me until I eventually decided such people need not criticize the minds of young adults with selling this kind of bullshit.
To each their own and measure one another by the value they create, and how they treat others, not by some worldview such as this which basically blurs the line between philosophy/religion and science.
This is true of people who learn to live in the moment despite it not being automatic for them, and its when they do it in a social context that demands paying attention to the past and future. If a group of humans innately lived in the moment, they would be unlikely to learn to care about the past and future. An individual who was born with that innate tendency in a social setting that does care about the past and future might learn to care by absorbing the values through socialization. But the values have to come from somewhere, and they're less likely to be ignored of people care about them by their nature.
I do want to mention two things first, though.
On the topic of evolution, evolution does not occur within an individual, IE: pokemon, which, I feel like, the OP was trying to suggest. Also, on the topic of evolution, who's to say that a quiet mind is ideal? There have been rational arguments that mental illness exists due to evolution.
On the topic of a totally silent mind. That doesn't exist. Brain scans show that even when people meditate and believe that their mind is completely inactive, that there is activity going on. It's commonly known in those circles that it's impossible to be completely blank, and it's even frowned upon to even attempt it; as, ironically, it has the opposite effect of creating more activity.
Maybe it's interesting to examine the possibility of permanent non-existence, but the really fundamental change in perspective occurs when we understand that maybe nothing matters, and then recognize that we are still subject to reality, and do our best to help.
If you really believe in the value of watching your mind, then you should do it full time.
The capacity to adapt to a new environment means different things in the context of day-to-day struggle or millions of years in a stable environment.
Homo sapiens sapiens is +/- 200 000 years old and has demonstrated an incredible adaptability but good luck evolving gills if oceans would rise 20 km in the next 25 years.
> It doesn't need to continue like this forever. It just means that, as opposed to earlier, the people in whom thought is too strong and uncontrollable are now the ones whose genes are removed from the gene pool, through mental illness and anxiety.
Mental illness and anxiety aren't necessarily genetic in nature and I am not quite sure there's such a thing as « genes being removed from the gene pool » in evolution (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/misconcep_0...).
In the context you're referring to, 'short term evolution', isn't evolution at all. That's a misuse of the word evolution.
By what mechanism? Evolution doesn't come about by sheer will.
We also have to leverage our emotions, beliefs, and actions to align them with the motivation of evolving.
Edit: Anyone care to suggest a reason why this comment's being downvoted?
This suggests collectively changing how we use our brains would lead to a society in which people who don't use their brains the same way could be less likely to thrive. Thus, they'd be selected against evolutionarily.
What part of this conflicts with your understanding of evolution?
How is it you're so very certain about how we work and the time scale evolution operates on when we're still discovering core mechanisms?
You may want to consider challenging some of these beliefs you hold because it sounds like they're limiting what you consider possible, which can only serve to limit your own behavior. A growth-oriented mindset is more helpful for learning and if we want to learn collectively, I think we'll need a lot more people with that kind of mindset.
If you don't believe it's possible to collectively organize to strategically change our thinking, will you be less inclined to orient your own toward the goal because "why bother?"
I believe there are simple, desirable ways to change how we use our brains and they're effective enough to get immediate benefits from them. That's enough for me to believe they're globally marketable, which is what it'll take to collectively organize.
I'd also point out that thoughts of the past always occur in the present as well.
And remembering something is not like replaying a movie, but every time you revisit a memory you change it a bit based on your current state.
Remembering is an active process.
But reason corrected the memory.
I'd like to add that I think 'living in the moment' is powerful and useful despite not being literally true because it points to something real and important.
Thousands of years of meditation practices have proven that living in the moment is very possible. Yes our brains are constantly planning and scheming and trying to derail us, but this can be addressed with a modest amount of deliberate practice.
Perhaps imagining the future is emblematic of humans, and maybe that has developed over the last 2 million years, but animals have been around 300 million years, and they are (presumably) quite adept at living in the moment. We can be as well. Striving towards that goal is very beneficial and rewarding.
One entry point to meditation is Sam Harris's book Waking Up which I describe here: http://www.kmeme.com/2016/07/waking-up.html
Saying this though, it's watching the mind. We aren't built to live in the moment, but never the less, something can see this! Something watches all this going on in the mind! What is that? Mostly we make a 'home' in attention and identify as our attention. But whatever was seeing 'me' fantasising about nice little architectural meditation huts in the middle of the forrest, that was indistinguishable from objective reality.
I hypothesize one of the most efficient paths to solving most of societies hardest problems would be to focus our education around mindfulness concepts about conscience. I feel the pairing of meditation and evidence based science used as a new institutional rock(our "mandatory" educational system needs replacing) will lead humanity into the next golden era.
We tell stories about ourselves and call it our identity. Often, we believe so strongly in our identities that we've killed for them or have been killed for them.
One person can have one identity where they're a failure, then through therapy, they change their story and become happier. Same events, different story.
There's also the cultural story: we descended from these people, we share an intellectual lineage with those people, these are the past events that are important, and this is what they reveal about us, etc.
Hey Buddha you ain't all dat!
My homo prospection:
In their foundational paper,"The authors speculate that prospection ..." that will build up a novel cottage conference, paper, grant, VC money startup generating industry catering to the buzzy AI/ML secular humanism neurotechnopoly crowd starving for some paterno-religio-academic validation. 
Carrie Fisher echos, 'Damn, we need you more than ever Pope Francis, you are our only hope...'
I'd like to think computers are amazin' and my brain ain't one of em'
Meditation, yoga, and martial arts has taught me that being in the moment actually makes prospecting easier and better. Not to mention the stress/anxiety relief, being better connected socially, etc.
We've built up a lot of mental constructs over the millennia. These constructs are things like how we're taught to react/respond to various stimuli like emotions from ourselves and others. We're taught these by parents and society. And we constantly refine them for better or worse.
There is so much going in this hyperconnected society that being in the moment has become hard and/or harder to maintain.
Lots of things weren't possible, until they were. Focusing on paths towards a goal beats focusing on paths towards failure. Not focusing on death =/= not focusing on living.
Healthspan is one of the easiest things to increase, and has hundreds of millions of people doing it whether they're aware of it or not, anyone that eats well or exercises is pro-longevity whether they realize it or not :) That could be considered anti-death behavior, without any need to focus on death at all.
> The central role of prospection has emerged in recent studies of both conscious and unconscious mental processes, like one in Chicago that pinged nearly 500 adults during the day to record their immediate thoughts and moods. If traditional psychological theory had been correct, these people would have spent a lot of time ruminating. But they actually thought about the future three times more often than the past, and even those few thoughts about a past event typically involved consideration of its future implications.
> When making plans, they reported higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress than at other times, presumably because planning turns a chaotic mass of concerns into an organized sequence. Although they sometimes feared what might go wrong, on average there were twice as many thoughts of what they hoped would happen.
> Upon moving to New York City, Brian (Eno) found that
“here” and “now” meant “this room” and “this five minutes” as opposed to the larger here and longer now that he was used to in England. We have since adopted the term as the title of our foundation as we try to stretch out what people consider as now.
Saying "built to" is a pretty strong statement. Constructing narratives about the future is one thing the human mind can do, and is clearly advantageous. Focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else is another.
Given their pitch to advertisers, we are built exactly to live in "moments" - all conveniently full of advertising opportunities ;)
Depends on who you ask, I suppose. lol
Humans making plans? Religion? That came as an afterthought and it's mostly forced through society (living the moment). Most people, most of the time will do what gives them pleasure right now instead of what might give them a reward later on. One just needs to look at obesity/lack of exercise/smoking, those are big problems.
The past is important, because all the predictions we do are based on past experiences even if there might be some random factor. Even artificial neural networks learn with time and what happened in the past is ingrained onto them.
Thinking about the future is certainly good but unless people fix their mistakes the outcome will be the same
There are groups of people who don't do taxes at all, but you probably don't want to live among them.
It is the fact that... how much in taxes do we have to pay until enough is enough? Our paychecks are taxed. Our toilet paper and food is taxed. Everything in life is taxed and even our deaths, at least our estates, are taxed.
We weren't born or built to do this. This is an enforcement upon us that we agreed upon and we continue to do in order to live in the "social contract". We continuously feed this unending hungry greed money machine and "this is the way it is."
Of course, there are people who "live off the grid" and found their way to pay nothing. There are also rich people who prefer to pay other people to find loopholes in order to avoid paying taxes too.
And a spear.
>Some of our unconscious powers of prospection are shared by animals, but hardly any other creatures are capable of thinking more than a few minutes ahead.
That's simply not true. Evolution and historical knowledge are intertwined with our RNA/DNA more than we know.
We are completely built to live in the moment, if only we are wise enough to learn from the past. Learning when to trust the hairs on the back of the neck perking up for a sense of future danger is important. I've waited tables. I can tell within 15 seconds if you're generous or a cheapskate.
The article ends up basically trying to state, clumsily, that we don't live in the moment because we're seeking the meaning of life. You know, Flying Spaghetti Monsters. I guess I'm just surprised this article wasn't the result of a NYT All-Star-Idiot team up of Brooks & Friedman. This kind of smells like their brand of shitty intellectual posturing.
Perhaps you're the type of person that's in a meditative state all day, living in the moment. Perhaps you were just so good at predicting that you developed the habit of living in the moment instead of in your imagination because you understood how futile it was to entertain such non-sense.
We do have mechanisms in our brains that live in the moment all the time. Our brain is a conglomerate of brains we've inherited through evolution. The ancient parts of our brains can hijack our neocortex at the sign of danger or discomfort(adrenaline rush), sexual arousal, empathy, etc.
Everyone has different experiences and different levels of understanding of there lives. From my experience many of my acquaintances suffer from not living in the moment. They are off entertaining from fantasy or problem and might endanger someone with their body(bumping or walking into someone). Or the worst case someone absorbed with anxiety or depression about what's going to happen next in their lives and a feeling they have no control over the outcome.
I'd say most of my knowledge about our brains comes from the machine intelligence research of Jeff Hawkins. His research of the neocortex I'd say supports this prediction heavy model of our brains.
It seems to me it states pretty much the opposite, saying we spend >99% of thinking about more practical stuff.
>> That's simply not true. Evolution and historical knowledge are intertwined with our RNA/DNA more than we know.
These are two very different kinds of informational processes:
- the one done by evolution, using genes and other non-conscious supra-individual "devices": (1) does not produce information that can be shared horizontally (unless you're a bacterium) through communication, (2) is not processed consciously in communication, aka "you don't talk about it and analyze it collectively in conversations" (unless you're a scientist talking about evolutionary biology) and (3) it does require individuals to break-out of the moment and think a bit deeper on shit, even if this may have the side effect of making you less attentive and sometimes makes you seem insensitive bordering on either psychopathy or autism depending on your social skills (or an "evil ego-centric not-living-in-the now intellectual" for less sophisticated minds)
- the one done by individuals, using their brains, either consciously or not, and usually in data formats that can be easily encoded in language for people to be able to talk about their visions of the future and "infect" others with them; this is the realm of memes and visions and most of the interesting shit happens there
Also, the article mentions some pretty deep insights when talking about depression, anxiety etc. Imho there's quite a lot that could be done in psychiatry and positive psychology through more "future-vision focused" therapies. Yeah, it's dangerous shit to play with, we know what happened when Hitler did "future-vision therapy" on a whole nation and it went wrong... But it's a tool with great potential, that requires you to break-of-the-now a little bit. And yeah, generally the powerful tools that result from "breaking-out-of-the-now" tend to be dangerous, like nuclear weapons and nuclear power (not "thinking in the now" sane person would develop technology that requires millenia-long waste disposal planning), but we're sure gonna be glad to have these tools once we start moving around the universe more...
(Oh, and I dunno what's with this anti-NYT sentiments Americans have lately... as an European I find it the most enjoyable source of Sunday morning reading from the american press, once you learn to ignore it's obviously partisan political agenda and focus on the actual content.)
The idea that historical knowledge is intertwined in RNA/DNA is not quite wrong but neither is it correct. There are indeed structural biases and priors which make learning things about nature easier (such as scale invariance or compositionality within the signal). Compared to animals however, human children learn slower because we seem to come with fewer such priors. A macaque will reach higher stages of an understanding of object permanence long before a human child. We spend the first few months learning to learn what needs to be learned. Some parts of the brain seem to be experientially independent but others strongly depend on experience, as for example, research into restoring vision has shown.
You linked to an article stating that while detecting the faster P waves seconds before is possible in animals, there is no mechanism or consistency in studies looking for the ability to detect earthquakes at longer timescales. This is poor support for the notion that knowledge is intertwined with RNA.
To the best of our current knowledge, language is key to human intelligence. When it comes to complex grammars, false belief tracking and the highest stages of understanding of object permanence, humans are unmatched. It's true that animal intelligence is underrated, pigs and chimps do track false beliefs but that is only at a basic level, since they fail to account for more complex deceptions.
The ability to engage in counterfactual reasoning is unique in humans but is strongly dependent on a series of situation dependent heuristics or schema codified in language. Deaf individuals suffer similar reasoning and linguistic deficiencies to hearing individuals with damage to eg Broca speech areas. In the delayed match-to-sample task, when deprived of their ability to engage a phonological loop humans are surprisingly not much better than monkeys, apes or dolphins ( < 10 mins) or even bees (seconds).
In learning a transitive inference task, humans take hundreds of trials compared to just over a thousand for a pigeon when given the same training regime. But when the relation is represented linguistically, it takes less than 5 trials to learn.
Animal intelligence is certainly downplayed and beyond our ability to handle complex grammars, there is no aspect of intelligence unique to humans. But that single alteration has made a world of difference.
The actual flaw in the article is that it too easily dismisses language to focus on prediction and inference. But prediction and inference is done throughout the animal kingdom and perhaps even outside of it. The complex sort of counter-factual reasoning unique to us is underpinned by language.
What we are not evolved to do is to live in an overpopulated urban areas, forced to wage slavery and to constantly compete for everything, even a place in a subway, while being awashed with emotionally charged verbal and visual bullshit 24h, hipsterism and other forms of idiotic cosplay of unearned success and presumably high social status by each and every one passed by, while being over-regulated by stupid laws imposed on us by a bloated self-serving "government" so even a straight look of contempt at a tasteless, fat woman in some stupid yoga pants would lead to trouble.
the Moment has nothing to do with this. It is so called "human society".
If you find yourself constantly angry or stressed or nervous about other people you should probably remove yourself from the situation, relax and let it go. If you aren't prepared for confrontation or are worried about the situation escalating then use the moments before you let it go to come up with other ways to potentially solve the problem. Get crazy with it, like making a bunch of untraceable fliers, or making a long anonymous post to some digital community related to the location or activity. Their are lots of ways to influence how people act in the long term, in the short term direct confrontation almost always works.
Situations where you're unable to remove yourself from the area to avoid someone are the worst. This is why performances on the subway piss me off so much, or people ranting about something. I've been making a point to directly confront anyone doing anything that makes me uncomfortable on the subway and tell them why it makes me uncomfortable and that they need to stop. Just today some women came on the train and started yelling about eating a plant based diet, how it was good for the planet. I agree with her and I'm on and off vegan, but it's NOT fucking cool to start yelling on the subway unless you're getting violated by someone or you're in danger. I snapped her with my spectacles repeating, "ma'am, would you stop yelling on the train", ending with, "You're making all vegans look bad." She did finally stop
My main point is that the knowledge in this article arms you with the idea that you can cope and live within these non-humane environments by basically hacking your brain(avoiding negative prediction paths). You could call it raising your awareness to a higher level of consciousness. So, while you still might notice from time to time someone is doing something gross or that would annoy you, you no longer focus on it. You let it go, you focus on something else, your breathe, your balance, what you making for dinner, how much you love someone, how bad our infrastructure is, how to solve that problem at work, how not to solve that problem at work, how did that nasty ass smear get on the subway door's window?
In other words, they fail to take into consideration that reduction of challenge (e.g. through technological means) is also change in everyday behavior that deviates from the "orthodox" way of living, but nevertheless it makes life much better. We don't live how our bodies intended to live, and prehistoric behaviors are no longer practiced - but the fact that there is no need anymore to exercise this sort of behavior is a good thing, since the necessity to do so implied struggle, discomfort and scarcity - all unfavorable circumstance.
In short - living as nature intended implied struggle, and the cessation of that way of life is in many ways a result of removal of struggle, and not necessarily just some "unorthodox" living that allegedly puts our being under unnaturally high amounts stress.
My point: Yes, the contemporary lifestyle is stressful, and yes it is very different from the way we've evolved to live, but it's probably still much more comfortable and enjoyable than any aboriginal circumstance and prehistoric way of life our ancestors found themselves in.
What technology has really given us is security. The paradise of our ancestors could have been ruined by disease or famine caused by the climate changing or and unexpected flood. Or just a new group of predators moving into the region making it dangerous or killing off the prime game food for the tribe. Our technology and knowledge provides us security and foresight so we're able to move or stockpile or even invent new technology to avoid catastrophes. Sadly, here we are faced with the total disruption of our biosphere and we're having trouble not fucking it up.
One, I believe people feel this way about our ancestors because of the feelings one experiences when they really visit and listen to nature. I for one can almost solve any emotional problems with a good walk in the woods. This feeling drives our awareness of the discomfort that our civilization shoves down our throat everyday. We've used technology to simplify our lives and complicate our lives. Right now I think we've complicated our individual lives quite a lot, but with that complication comes a security that someone else did enough work that I can get something eat tomorrow.
"There is nothing that is that important. As long as you believe this or that is so important, you are caught up in playing a game."
Here's a quote from the article that you didn't read:
"Homo prospectus is too pragmatic to obsess on death for the same reason that he doesn’t dwell on the past: There’s nothing he can do about it. He became Homo sapiens by learning to see and shape his future, and he is wise enough to keep looking straight ahead."
One of those is nihilistic...