The sound of boiling

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When we are born, we are innocent. We have had no time to make mistakes, we are just there, trying to understand the world. We grow and learn. Both good and bad. Mostly, we grow up in secure environments and become the people we want to be. But some people don`t. They grow up in unsafe environments where their needs are not met. Far too many experience trauma and must live with it. And what once was a safe, protective womb of water, becomes polluted when we are born.

One of the things I`ve learnt when I was at school is the difference between individualistic and collectivistic cultures. A teacher said that in Asia and other counters where they have arranged marriages, could be compared to a pot of water. When they start their marriage, the water inside the pot is cold. But after a while, it starts to boil and keep boiling as their love grows stronger. In indiviulaistc countries, the opposite happens. We fall in love with fervor, but for many the water cools when everyday life makes us take off our rose-colored glasses.

The pot of water is right now filled with boiling water. In Turkey, Syria and France, hate is making the water almost boil until it spills over. The soil underneath the pot is blackened by the oily water, and the hate runs into rivers and waters. We drink this water, and feel the hate it consists of. But will it stop boiling? Will hate and fear start to fade, and make the water colder. Because right now, we need to turn down the temperature, so we can think clearly. If not, fear in our hearts will lead to irrational decision. And this is especially worrying when fear also seeps into the leaders and politicians who are here to protect us. Terror is here to scare us. And when we are scared, we often respond the only way a scared mind can: By attacking the ones who scares us. When Donald Trump wants to attack and keep the “Muslims” away, he breeds more hate. And then ISIS and other terrorist organizations have even more reasons to continue doing what they do. Terrorism can’t be excused. It is wrong in every way, but we have the chance to keep our heads clear and respond rationally. We can show our sorrow, and we can do everything we can to help the people who lost somebody in the attacks. But we should not respond with violence.

As Gandhi said: There is no way to peace. Peace is the way

Why do police in this Canadian town hand out tickets for good driving?

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I love kindness. I also love the idea of it being recognized more, in a society where we sometimes feel helpless, especially after terrorist attacks or tragedies. That`s why I want to share an article about focusing on good deeds and behaviors, and remind you that it feels good when we help others or act in a way that feels right to us.
The article is from this site.
( ©Anne Sutherland / Montreal Gazette)

This is Jim (white beard) from Pointe-Claire, Montreal. He’s just been handed a ticket for good behaviour by Mayor Morris Trudeau (white shirt, former cop, no relation to Justin) in a pioneering project we’re studying as part of our Smart Cities research at Fluxx.

Since May 2015, over 1,000 citizens have been given tickets for good behaviour like “using roads in a safe and respectful manner, stopping at red lights and stop signs, obeying signals, waiting for the crossing lights at busy intersections and neither texting nor talking on a cellphone while driving.”

Citizens are a little confused: “I saw the flashing lights of the police car but I had no idea what was going on,” Scott told the Montreal Gazette. “I wondered why they were approaching me.” The ticket he received has a thumbs up logo, and no monetary or prize value.

This kind of positive reinforcement can seem strange in the context of police enforcement, but is rooted in the most basic behavioural psychology, and is increasingly being used by cities around the world to deal with a range of issues.

Turin’s terrible traffic was a key plot point in The Italian Job (1969), which is still probably the most entertaining film ever made about smart city infrastructure. (Image IMCDB)

Milan: The insurer paying drivers to leave their cars at home

Milan has the worst traffic in Europe and North America. Drivers there spend 57 hours a year in jams. (INRIX data, reported here in the Daily Mail).

To counter this and following a similar approach to Montreal campaign the second largest insurance company in Italy Unipol came up with an interesting solution to the city’s problems. By giving the residents of Milan free public transit vouchers in return for leaving their cars at home.

The city is using connected car devices made by Octo Telematics, a Rome-based telematics provider, installed behind the dashboards of Unipol customers’ vehicles, to transmit location data and ensure that cars remain parked on the driveway.” (FT).

This is the little box of traffic magic from Octo, called Unibox

Unipol policyholders receive a credit of €1,50 — the cost of one public transportation ticket — for every day their vehicles remain parked during peak hours.

In a lovely connected cities detail, participants can collect their tickets at any ATM ticket machine, in Milan.

Breda, Netherlands: The city rewarding drivers for staying at home

Dealing with traffic issues of their own, the Dutch city of Breda in 2012 launched the initiative ‘Positive Drive’. Instead of an expensive telematics box that needs to be installed in the car, they used a simple smartphone ap.

The Positive Drive app uses nudges (coaching, prizes, social status, achievements, etc) to strengthen the positive behaviours.

“Positive Drive rewards car drivers who respect speed limits with (s)miles. If they cycle instead of driving, they earn more (s)miles. Bonus (s)miles are rewarded when road users choose certain trajectories over others. In this way, the municipality can promote particular cycle routes and locations, and with their ‘smiles’ the participants can win prizes donated by enterprises based Breda” (Eltis).

Yes, the Dubai police do have a Bugatti Veyron, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini, although they’re parade cars, not actually out chasing criminals. Jalopnik have the story.

Dubai: White Points to reduce deaths in traffic

Back in 2013 the city of Dubai together with its police department launched a project called the ‘White Point’ system. Where participants can earn points by following traffic laws and avoid getting fines and tickets.

It was launched by Maj Gen Mohammed Al Zafeen, head of the Federal Traffic Council and assistant to the Dubai Police chief in operational affairs as an experiment that hopefully could help reducing the amount of deaths in traffic, but also encourage positive driving.

We started in 2013 by honouring 700 motorists, and now in 2016 we’ll be honouring more than double that amount. The system is still being developed, and we believe the more we reward people for good behaviour, the more positive the effect will be.” Maj Gen Al Zafeen (The National)

The participants can then earn a maximum of 24 points in one year. In case of a traffic violation, motorists can lose a month’s points and if involved in a huge violation, may lose their accumulated white points. These violations also include traffic fines such as ‘Salik’ (tolls) and parking fines. The system also allows drivers to recover points lost on their licences by driving without any infringement over a period of time.

The sound of terror 

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When I close my eyes, I hear them scream. I see them running, trying to save their lives. I can also see the 10 children who stood no chance and died.

The terrorism in France scared me. But not just that, it breaks my heart. The 22 of July Anders Behring breivik shot and killed innocent teenagers on Utøya. The tradgey is that there is no time to heal the traumas, since  another act of terror  triggers all who’s lost somebody to terrorist-attacks again. I can not imagine what the ones left behind must be feeling right now. But I can cry. Even if it doesn’t help them, I know the support the families and friends needs, will be provided. Because in even the most horrific situations, there will always be people ready to do all they can to support and help those left behind.

In Norway we tried so hard to not show hate, but love. We wanted to be strong together, and knew that the only thing we could do is to counterattack by the weapons we had available: Our empathy and love. After the terrorism in Norway,  we started to volunteer more. We wanted to do something, we NEEDED to do something. To find meaning in the meaningless. And I do hope many in France will do the same. Because terrorism doesn’t occur in a vacuum. There is a reason that extremist become who they are. France is a hard country to live in for many refugees. They are lonely and desperate and easy targets for ISIS. So they find comfort in what they feel are the only alternative: A group that brainwashes them and provide companionship. Even if it’s hard for me, and others, to accept that people can do evil things, we must not sink to their level. Fear is dangerous and polarize society even more. We can’t think that the solution is to send all refugees home. We must work together to find solutions that bind people together.

Luckily, Norway has been blessed. We have a system that tries to integrate refugees into the society. We try to do something about problems before lonely and angry people goes to the step where violence feels like the only option. We are also blessed with millions who are able to respond with love in the worst circumstance. Because we truly do our best to take care of everyone. There are not many murders in Norway, compared to many other countries, but we do fail to prevent many tragedies too. We have no ‘perfect solution’ that will wipe away all the problems we have. But we try our best.

But before we can start solving our problems we must take time to grieve. Grieve over the ones who lost everything they had. The ones who will never see smile on their children`s face and hold them tight. Only then can we start to make changes, to make the world a better place. Because, even if there has been over 200 terrorist attacks the last year, there could have been more. we don’t need to go far back in time to see this: The Holcost killed so many that it’s unfathomableb. My wish is that we can answer the hate by not hating the people who don’t terrorize others, refugees and citizents who come to us in need. Because most of them mean no harm. At the same time we must protect ourselves, but I honestly believe that the best way to protect is to collaborate and find new solution that bring us closer together. 



Integrating a dissociative world

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One of my heroes is Steve Jobs. After hearing his autobiography, I was convinced that this is one of the few who have changed the world for the better. Steve Jobs started small, but as most people know, it did not take long before his pursuit of perfection became a reality. Throughout his life he was convinced that the Internet would be able to influence the world.

The Web is not going to change the world, certainly not in the next 10 years. It’s going to augment the world. And once you’re in this Web-augmented space, you’re going to see that democratization takes place.

Steve Jobs, on a interview with business insider 

As a psychologist, I have worked a lot with the integration of traumatic memories. The method I have used most, is EMDR. Five years of practice has taught me how important it is to create unity. This often takes a long time and it is necessary to only take one step at a time to succeed. Steve Jobs knew this. He had to start with designing his MacBook before he could work with programming it. Step by step he walked forward, and the longer he came, the faster it went.  Steve Jobs was a good judge of character, which helped when we walked towards the future. By finding people that transported him from one point to another, he got to his goal faster.

The brain consists of nerve cells that are organized in networks. This network is so complex that we are still far away from recreating it. The brain is plastic and can reorganize itself, and if you transfer this to society you can see the same thing: By letting everybody work together to find a solution, we can adapt to challenging circumstances. The internet also makes it easier to transfer knowledge and help our brains to adapt by providing the information it needs.

Sometimes it feels like I can see lines that criss-crossing over the earth. We have telephone cables, internet lines, radio waves and planes. All have one thing in common: They are connecting people.There have been many articles lately that we stand on the edge of a melt-down. The  financial crisis and the Syrian war are examples of problems affecting us all in one way or another. But might this not be positive too? When everybody is affected, we can no longer close our eyes and pretend it does`t exist.

Trauma can shatter people into a thousand pieces. But for every traumatic event, there is a person who wants to help. Somebody who wants to pick up a bit to put it back in its place.

When I say I want to help as many as I can, people tell me to slow down. I agree. I know my enthusiasm must be contained, that I cannot do everything. But their worries will never stop me, because I do believe that we all can change the world. Countless times I`ve heard that I must take care of my own needs first, and I have listened. But when somebody tries to tell me that I should`t try to change the world, I protest. If you told the same thing to Steve Job, he would keep on walking. He would not just find allies, but also enemies. But he would not let it stop him, because he needed to be true to himself.

I know I need to watch my feet when I pick up broken pieces of glass, and let others help me when I fall apart. But in spite of the dangers, I will never let go of the person holding my hand.

When we all pick up our pieces and glue them back together, we will realize one thing: We are all the same. We can recognize ourselves in others, and learn from them. There are no bad, good or crazy people. There are just different points of views. We are not one person, we are one world. We don`t need borders, we need to stand together.

We need to integrate the world.



Mass suggestion: A way to save the world? 

The sound of spinning around

Kindness to a stranger

Steve Jobs


Brain scans have clearly demonstrated pre-post changes after EMDR therapy, including increases in hippocampal volume, which have implications for memory storage. The bottom line of EMDR outcome research is that clinical change can be both profound and efficient.

Balancing act: Anders Behring Breivik

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How do we decide between giving people a chance and not trusting them? In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed innocent people on Utøya. The cruelty of it all, shocked us. Norway used to be safe. Suddenly everything was turned upside down. Today my room-mate asked me: Should Anders Behring Breivik be released from prison after he`s done his time? An ethical dilemma that raises a lot of questions with no clear-cut answers. I won`t even try to answer this question, because I am not sure. My attitudes normally veers towards giving people second chances, but I also know that some people never change. Would it potentially harm more people if he was released? Could he do the same thing again?

This is a dilemma that engages all Norwegians. When the “Utøya” massacre happened, we stood together. We showed that we would not react with hate or fear. Even the families of those who died, tried to suppress their hatred and focused on getting through it all. The way we Norwegians reacted was talked about in the media all over the world. How could be talk about love after such a tragedy? Where was our blood-lust, or need for revenge? Off course, it was there. But something else was more important: To show that no matter what, we stand together.

But what happened to us, happens all over the world today. Unfathomable acts of violence happens every day. Refugees flee for their life, and tyrannic leaders kill thousands without guilt. What would be the right thing to do in these cases ? Could we forgive the ones who have so much blood on their hands that it never can be washed off? What about child-soldiers, and what about rapists and torturists? Here too, it is hard for me to say what would be the right way to react. Don`t we foster more hatred, mor war, more blood-lust by doing to them what they do to us? The balancing act of giving people another chance, and punishing them for life, is a tough one. But in my heart and mind I must believe that we don`t accomplish anything by being cruel. This doesn`t mean not to take action, but I do believe that we should consider more options than putting criminals in prison for life or executing them. Because there might be some potential for change, and as I see it, where there is potential there is hope. And if we don`t start to do things differently, the balance might just tip us all over the edge.


Norway`s reaction after the 22th of July massacre

Typisk norsk

The sound of hearts beating in tune

The brain of a serial killer



Breaking news: Live from a mental institution

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sickAn anchor woman holds her microphone steady as she reports live from ‘We have the power’ , an old mental institution where the walls should have been painted decades ago. Her voice intermingle with twenty other reporters looking seriously into the camera, pointing occasionally to the building behind them. The anchor woman turns her voice dramatically down when she arrives at the conclusion.

“Sources tell us that in this mental institution, often just keep patients long enough to give them medication before they send them back. They sometimes don’t arrive at the right diagnose, and it is rumored that they don’t take enough time with traumatized victims or that they even consciously decide not to talk about what they have experienced. Only 30% report that they felt better or had hope for the future after being released, and surveys show that staggering 20 % of the patients will be readmitted after not receiving the help they wanted”

Her face is now full of rage. Her mother killed herself after being hospitalized in a mental health clinic. When she had read through her mother’s journal she saw how many pills she was on, barbiturates strong enough to knock out a mammoth. When she tried to find therapy notes where her mother could process her traumatic past, she only found short conversations where the doctors wanted to know if she slept well, eat what she should or if she felt a bit better after taking another pill. She shouldn’t even be reporting, but she manages to do her job, t is important for her to get it all out there.

Another reporter talks with the direction, who promises that they will do everything to make this right. They will look into their routines and see what they can do to make sure this will never happen again.

The news report goes viral. Oprah dedicate her next show to the cause, and Internet users on Twitter have started protest demonstrations, venturing into the street with their fists pumping in the air as they chant: ‘Stop this, stop this, stop this’. They bring posters where with personal accounts: ‘My mother only got three days in the institution, when her depression intensified they said they have done everything they could so she was not prioritized. Take mental health seriously!” Some write messages to the government. ‘We want that our tax payers money go to mental health care for the 450 billions who needs better treatment” or “Why only research on drugs?”.  The protesters don’t make to much of a fuss. They don’t shout out obscenities, but they gather in every city, staying put and showing their support. They have started a peaceul war.

Why don’t we see this in the real world? Where is the public outcry over the state of unsatisfactory mental health care? When someone breaks a leg, we demand full treatment until the injury is fully treated. We never take off the bandage after three weeks instead of six, telling our patient that they can come back if the leg breaks again as it will because it simply was not healed. We protest when the plumber does a bad job, demanding to sue them if they don’t come back and fix it. When politicians have done something wrong, news papers write about it for days, as they do when an actress have broken down and been sent to rehab. But where are the headlines after it thousands of citizens have been ignored by the health care system? Where are the depth interviews with families who’ve seen their loved ones break down after unsuccessful treatment?

In my future news scenario, the media would focus on mental health daily. They would write nuanced articles on every subject relating to how we suffer and what our options are when we do. There would be demonstrations to so that we get what we need.

We would all be small Ghandies, damanding justice. We wouldn’t close our eyes, we would engage and try to change things. The media would not ignore us.

In my future utopia, the mental institution ‘We have the power’ would change their ways. They would give the power back to their patients, not giving up before they had tailor made the treatment that was right for them. They would listen to them and find their resources.

They would use money on educating their employees, giving their patient the very best care. We do it with cancer patients, we even do it at Starbucks to make sure that the customers are a hundred percent satisfied with their coffees. I dream about a world where surveys about how satisfied their patient are with their treatment. Why shouldn’t we give mental health all of our attention? When almost a fourth of us have psychological issues, stigma should be lifted by never ignoring our troubled minds.

We should not be afraid to speak up.



Mental health research in India

 Stigma | Mental Health Commission of Canada

Readmission Rates for Mental Health Patients – NBRHC

Strategies for reducing stigma toward persons with mental illness 

Persistence pays

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We have all been there: We just want to give up. The effort feels too great, the will to small. Some minutes ago, I found an encouraging article about persuasion. What I really liked about it, was the paragraph about persistence. Persistence is our strongest weapon, and we all need to remind ourselves of that every now and again.
e28ffa37bf9f8d6de16ea017cf61579fThe person who is willing to keep asking for what they want, and keeps demonstrating value, is ultimately the most persuasive.  The way that so many historical figures have ultimately persuaded masses of people is by staying persistent in their endeavors and message.  Consider Abraham Lincoln, who lost his mother, three sons, a sister, his girlfriend,  failed in business and lost eight separate elections before he was elected president of the United States.

Persistence Pays

The sound of shackles

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Some people put chains on others. They play judges or police like they did when they were kids. They love the sound of shackles on the prisoners feet. It symbolizes their power and inflate their ego’s. These are the humans we see in the public when they throw a tantrum. It’s the men and women who grew up with a dark omnipotence. Some were protected too much. How do children react if they get no boundaries?

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The sound of shame

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Since October (when we got a new government), more and more shocking news articles about the “best country in the world” , have appeared. Its scary in addition to shameful, that instead of focusing on kindness and compassion, we have started to behave like other capitalistic countries do. We have everything we need, so why don’t we do more ?
I have included an article from the Guardian, even if I feel ashamed about posting it. I hope that the new government don’t mess up too much before reelection, and I certainly DO hope that the mistakes they`ve made (which aren`t few ) guarantee that they never rule again.

One Of The World’s Richest Countries Wants To Ban Begging