I can’t believe how Lebanon’s Fox News, MTV, had the entire country collectively forget they’re educated and the Internet exists. My favorite part was the exorcism-like reaction of allegedly “under the influence” kids. Second favorite part was that “200,000 kids in Turkey were addicted to it”. Here are several reasons why you’re stupid if you’re one of the folks that paid $4.99 for iDoser (which is number 1 in the App Store’s Top Paid Charts in Lebanon).
1- Don’t You Listen to Music?
Did it really take an app with such a shitty logo to make you realize that music does have an effect on your brain? Haven’t you ever felt sad when you listen to a song, happy when you listen to another, excited, horny, ecstatic, relaxed? Yes, you have. Electronic music fans such as myself will especially relate, since often lyrics are absent, and one cannot associate the change in mood/emotions to the lyrics of a song. It’s just the music, the sounds, the frequencies.
2- Haven’t You Ever Pretend-Meditated by Saying “Ohmmmmm”?
You might be trying to be funny, but Buddhist monks and practitioners of different types of yoga and meditation techniques know that a sound at a certain frequency helps the brain get into a meditative, relaxed state. Other than the chants, there are the bonshos (Buddhist bells) and the singing bowls, which vibrate at a certain frequency that also eases our brain waves down from their alert state, to the calmer, meditative ones.
3- Do You Own Studio-Grade Stereo Headphones?
You do realize that the idea behind a binaural beat is that one ear’s frequency is slightly different than the other’s. A laptop’s speaker won’t do, and your stock headphones and iPhone earphones aren’t nearly as good enough to be able to detect the subtle 10-30 Hz discrepancy between each side. So, unless you’re a music producer, odds are whatever track you’re paying for, is just noise.
4- Placebo Effect is Real
We’ve all done it or had it been done to us. Giving someone non-alcoholic beer and watch them get “wasted” a few bottles later, telling your naive friend that the arguileh was actually laced with drugs and they suddenly become “high”. Telling your kid that the water has “medicine” in it, and to drink two sips only, and then they suddenly feel good enough to go to school. The list goes on and on.
Some research shows that even after knowing you’re getting a placebo, your body does react favorably. That’s because the more “primitive” parts of your brain think it’s legit, and the “more advanced” parts in your cortex can’t really tell them it’s not. Think of phobias (real ones, not ghinej). No matter how much a person suffering from a phobia can rationally consider it harmless, when faced with the actual phobia, they will react unfavorably. (You can fix that by either exposing it to them gradually, or extremely all at once, that way, your “primitive” brain will understand, “oh hey, I didn’t die. Must be harmless”).
5- Why Does It Cost So Much Money?
Inno, come on. $4.99, then in-app purchases as expensive as $30? Really? For a sound? Why didn’t anyone upload them onto SoundCloud or Zippyshare for free? And do you really need to buy a booklet to “learn how to get high”, I mean, come on. I’m sure you didn’t read a manual before you got drunk or high for the first time… You don’t need to, that’s the point, it’s natural (cat people, think cat nip. And lotsa other animals like to get drunk and high btw)
6- If it Sounds Too Good to be True, it Probably Isn’t
Sure, getting high on an mp3 song seems awesome, but come on, really. I can’t believe I’m writing this =P How did they do their research? How did they figure out what “sex” feeling sounds like, or what “ecstasy” sounds like. Where’s the research to back that up, the experiments, etc. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and a bunch of reviews online by junkies doesn’t qualify.
Conclusion: Sounds Do Have An Affect, and You Know That Already
I can go back to many moments in life, where my state of consciousness was altered far beyond any drug I’ve ever taken (where it’s legal, not in Lebanon police people reading this). It starts like a cold sweat, then a tingling sensation right at the base of my neck which slowly creeps up, numbing my scalp and finding its way down to my eyes and face. It’s an amazing sensation, and just when the music is just right, I do feel that, and I do get into a trance where nothing and no one else exists but parts of my body and the music pounding it. I’d even go as far as confirming that I’ve experienced some form of synesthesia, where I “see” sounds, and “feel” colors, etc. When you can feel the music, visualize it in your brain as a colorful cloud of matter bending to the will of each frequency and sound. Does it mean I can download an app and press play to get high? To get to an altered state? No. I can do that with my own playlist, on my own bed, with my own headphones if my mindset is just right, relaxed and meditative.
I will admit though, it took almost 18 months for me to properly master my ability to willfully enter into a meditative state, and my personal opinion is that it’s something you can’t be taught. If someone is explaining to you how to meditate, you’ll be thinking of that when you’re trying to meditate, thus, ruining the whole point of thinking of “nothing”. Think when you’re in a car’s passenger seat, and you’re looking out the window, but you aren’t actually seeing anything in particular in those deafening moments of silence: that’s what meditation should be like.
As for the sounds that actually have a real physical impact on our bodies, that too is well-cataloged, but the thing is, they’re not within our audible range, and thus, speakers and headphones are not designed to be able to transmit those frequencies. Examples are frequencies that some police forces blast at a crowd to disorientate them and make them feel nauseated, and thus controlling a crowd without using physical force, rubber bullets or tear gas canisters (or live bullets and chemicals if you’re a dick Arab dictator).
The Lebanese authorities might use this fabricated scandal to further push their agenda of censoring the Internet. Day in, day out, dozens of websites get illegally banned in Lebanon without informing the taxpayers, for absurd, dumbass reasons. Example? This blog was banned once for “facilitating prostitution via the Internet”. Yes, apparently, the authorities mistook me for a pimp, and then hastily changed the verdict when I was like: “lolwut?!” given that they banned my site where I uncovered and bashed an illegal prostitution ring online in Lebanon), but kept the actual “da3ara” sites untouched…
Don’t fall for the lies. If they truly cared about the wellbeing of the taxpayers, they’d stop torturing them in police stations before “banning mp3 drugs”.
Akh, this post ta33abne nafisyan. I can’t believe this has to be elaborated in 2014…