I need advice on the best and cheapest devices and methods to improve my brain

john grigg (starman125@hotmail.com)
Sun, 25 Jul 1999 18:50:58 PDT

Hello everyone,

I need advice from everyone on the list who would have good advice on the best and where possible least expensive devices, technologies, nutritional supplements and methods to enhance my cognitive performance in college and in my private life.

I have just read "Megabrains" and was enthralled by what I learned there but many of the devices were on the expensive side. But in October the state of Alaska will be sending me a permanent fund check for $1500 which is my cut of the oil profits which I get as a state resident. It is a nice fringe benefit but one cannot live here just for that. And so I wish to spend part of that on these items.

At this point I am considering buying hypno-peripheral audiocassettes that supposedly are a quantum leap up from the old subliminal tapes. Are these tapes really effective? Do any of you use them and think they work? What brands are best? I am planning on buying tapes for memory and self-esteem to name a few.

The "no-horizon in view" goggles for $200 that are in the Tools for Exploration catalog seem a possibility for entering an enhanced state of relaxation so that the hypno-peripheral tapes would have a better chance of influencing me. Anyone tried this device and if so any thoughts?

Though the cost is high and I probably won't buy one the light and sound machines (brain machines) interest me. The company with the David series impresses me the most. If I could shell out $600 painlessly I would consider buying their top of the line model but I have heard conflicting stories on just how well these machines work. Some say all they do is relax or excite you really. What are the views here on them? In my town a local massage place offers them for use at one dollar a minute and I was thinking of visiting him.

I have heard a group of Russian scientists have developed a sort of "brain washing for your own good" system using advanced forms of these technologies. They are trying to market it in the United States now. I saw a short bit on it on cable news a few months ago. Anyone here about this?

In "Megabrains" I read about various systems that send electrical current through the brain. Does this technique really enhance cognitive function? Of the various devices which do you recommend if any? I would look pretty funny all hooked up to some of these as I went about campus!!

I really wish someone in Anchorage had isolation tanks that they rented out so I could try one out!! They fascinate me with the stories of dream-like hallucinations that people have in them. My $1500 would barely put a down-payment of one of these tanks! Have any of you used an isolation tank? What was the experience like?

I am one of those people who rarely remember their dreams and so I paid $250 a few years ago for a dream monitoring kit from that scientist LaBurge(I believe that is the name) who has pioneered lucid dreaming. I tried to use it repeatedly to no effect. I sleep like the dead and it did not work on any setting. If I could afford it I would want the $1200 deluxe device they offer that is what is used in actual sleep labs. Have any of you used this device?

I am interested in the Tomatis technology developed by French scientist Alfred Tomatis. The machine supposedly is a converter of sorts that takes music or the spoken word and puts it into frequencies that give the ear a
"work-out!" He has centers all over the world I have read and quite a
following. The claim is that not only does it enhance hearing but will help with dyslexia and enhance any HPP sort of audiocassette. The price for his device is steep at $800 dollars! I am dyslexic and a little hard of hearing so I would like to try one out.

What nutritional supplements would any of you recommend? I keep on hearing about how great ginko is but have not tried it over the long-term. Does it really work? What general nutritional tips would any of you give to me for enhancing the brain?

OF the different books out there that say they will teach techniques to improve memory and problem solving which would you recommend?
"Super-learning" and "MegaMemory" are what comes to mind.

I am fascinated by the "Tools for Exploration" catalog! I realize some of what is in there is just snake oil but still other items do seem to have real value. Had I the money I could easily spend ten grand on what they have in there!

Are there books on interpersonal relationships with women (a little more advance then "How to Pick Up Women!") that any of you would recommend? There is a fellow who runs a company called "Intimate Connections" that for $350 dollars will send a book and 12 tape set on this subject! I actually called him up and he made a good sounding argument for his methods that involve making connections emotionally with women. He said men have a very binary approach to women where females are very open-ended which throws many men off. The author has an educational background in computing and psychology but still $350!!

I suffer from clinical depression, a.d.d. and learning disabilities that have had their effect on my life even though I allowed the damage to be far greater then it should have been by giving up. I plan on going back on antidepressants soon (money problems...and the state cut all funding for the working poor..) and will probably go back to Luvox which is popular in Europe. I think overcoming my depression alone would be the huge breakthrough I need. I am also considering Ritalin to get a hold on my a.d.d. but am nervous about possible side effects.

What computer software would any of you recommend to help me improve my mind? I have seen the game "Thinkfast" that seems very impressive. Any thoughts on that? I do not own a p.c. and my college would not allow me to play a "game" on theirs but I found a nonprofit agency in town that has a computer lab for the "disabled" and with my l.d. I qualify so I could use the software there.

My learning disabilities have so far stopped me from driving though I took driver's ed years ago and did pass but never went to the DMV after my instructor told me how incompetent I was at driving. I actually bought myself a driving software program from Sierra online for $45 dollars that to me and my driving (but not car owning) brother was a complete joke! Even if you were good at the game it was still nowhere realistic enough to teach driving.

I would like to get my hands (and feet) into a top quality commercial driving simulator but I don't think Anchorage has any except for the state of the art one the police have! I somehow doubt they would let me use it! But if they did I could learn not only how to drive but how to do high-speed pursuits!!

I will probably just buy several HPP tapes and the no-horizon goggles. That will cost me about $400 anyway. I do not want to spend my whole check on the items I have discussed though that would be fun but I still very much want feedback from any of you who have had experiences with these various items. Being in Alaska I tend to be isolated. I have heard how in California there are "brain gyms" where for a fee I could try out just about anything I have written about here! I wish they had one up here.

I will be keeping $500 aside for my Australian ladyfriend who it looks like may very well be visiting me in the first week of December for just a week. This will be the tail-end of a trip to the states and she will have already spent two months in the Utah and California area! So much for getting to know her first-hand before all the other fellows do!! She will stay in my parents spare bedroom while I stay elsewhere. I hope to show her a good time here in Anchorage and maybe win her heart even. Of course that is probably wishful thinking on my part once she gets a good look at me and my life! She already has her degree and I am at least two years away from my own. She is beautiful and can have any man probably that she wants. Earlier today I was reading in Amazon.com about the chilling subject of evolutionary biology and the books written about it.

I know I need to get my act together and these tools may just help me do it. I was seriously disciplined at work for being late three times in a row. I slept in and dragged my feet this morning to the point that I missed church. I know I need to get to bed earlier but more then that I just don't want to get up and face the world in the morning. It's almost like I want to go into suspended animation right now and not face life. Part of me feels poisoned by what I have learned from Extropians but yet I have this urge to get what I consider fair from life despite my genetic and environmental set-backs and to do so while spurred on by an anger that is deep inside me which comes from seeing how so many have it better then I do. Now many are infinitely worse off then me in this war and poverty drenched world and that also makes me enraged.

I look forward to the feedback I get from the group! This is a great posting for those of you who like to cut and paste to do your replies! You can really go to town on this one! LOL! My resources are limited so I want to invest my dollars in technologies and techniques that will really help me. I thank you all. If I can I will attend Extro 4. My only hope to go is to borrow $500 from someone here in Anchorage against the value of my permanent dividend check that I get in October. I have had no luck so far and think I may have to go to a loan shark!! I am kidding on that one. But if I can I will make it.


John Grigg

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