Ethics of Subliminal Effects?

Our 2005 theme explores psychology: self-expression, self-reflection and the unconscious power of dreams. Discuss.

Ethics of Subliminal Effects?

Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:15 pm

We have several concepts this year that involve subconscious levels of audio. Participants would be exposed to inaudible levels of low frequency sound. The desired effect would be a stimulation of the flight/fight response, similar to what happens in "sensarround" theatres. It is possible, however, that individuals in altered states could react negatively to such stimulus. For this reason, some of us are thinking that some level of warning signs (with enough explanation so that people can understand the issue) should be there. Others feel that this warning will minimize (or eliminate) any effect, and is not required in any event (the "read the ticket" philosophy). What do people think? Has anyone used infrasound like this before to "jazz up" a camp or ride? What was done then?

A) lighted perimeter fence around project, with warning signs & explanations posted
B) lighted warning sign & explanations at entrance
C) "Warning: Infrasound in Use" at entrance/inside (no explanation)
D) no warnings

the ethics discussion could also be applied to video projects with subliminal content...
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Postby Badger » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:45 pm

A) lighted perimeter fence around project, with warning signs & explanations posted
B) lighted warning sign & explanations at entrance
C) "Warning: Infrasound in Use" at entrance/inside (no explanation)
D) no warnings


E) "Welcome to our instalation. This may not be for everyone. You've been warned."
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Postby tonytohono » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:24 pm

I'm with Badg...

or if you wanted just put up signs that say:

Danger - Do Not Enter!
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Postby Ranger Genius » Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:24 pm

Warning: trespassers may have their internal organs liquefied.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”
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haha

Postby Lysergic » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:20 pm

I can see it now, a bad trips and mass hysteria!
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:20 am

Darn, it's been done before! The Church of Saint John the Baptist of the Alien Artichoke brought a Bass horn in 1999 & 2000 that is essentially what I was proposing. They found the horn to be very directional and have ~1/4 mile range (which is reassuring, I won't be wiping out the entire city!)

http://www.modernsolutions.com/artichoke/bman99_p4.html
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:47 am

dragonfly Jafe wrote:Darn, it's been done before! The Church of Saint John the Baptist of the Alien Artichoke brought a Bass horn in 1999 & 2000 that is essentially what I was proposing. They found the horn to be very directional and have ~1/4 mile range (which is reassuring, I won't be wiping out the entire city!)

http://www.modernsolutions.com/artichoke/bman99_p4.html


Any schematics/diagrams for the speaker unit?
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Postby Alex_uk » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:00 am

i think you should have some form of warning, hard to know what since you dont want to spoil the effect

not sure about the u.s but in the uk the use of subliminal messaging has been illegal since the 1970's i think
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:02 am

The horn that was posted on the website I do not know how they made. It was tuned a bit higher than I want anyways (more of a music horn, playing full range sound). I am currently leaning towards a triangular-shaped tapered transmission line about 23' long, using the Playa as the bottom. My design will be useful only for a very narrow bandwidth, however, and not useful for music reproduction. Your typical ported sound reinforcement speaker stacks would be best for that....(assuming that is what you are looking for...)
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Postby trocar » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:45 pm

Quote:
A) lighted perimeter fence around project, with warning signs & explanations posted
B) lighted warning sign & explanations at entrance
C) "Warning: Infrasound in Use" at entrance/inside (no explanation)
D) no warnings
E) "Welcome to our instalation. This may not be for everyone. You've been warned."


F) "Read your fucking ticket"
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Postby sparkletarte » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:55 pm

I'd hope at least that it wouldn't be pointed towards other people's camps. With music and noise you can wear earplugs, but this thing sounds like something entirely different, something that you can't really get away from.
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Postby Mister Jellyfish Mister » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:01 pm

sparkletarte wrote:I'd hope at least that it wouldn't be pointed towards other people's camps. With music and noise you can wear earplugs, but this thing sounds like something entirely different, something that you can't really get away from.


It will pass right through you like bad mexican food. Gimme the controls on this baby! I want to make everybody dance!
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Postby chineseobelisk » Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:38 pm

read the ticket.

we spend the rest of our lives being warned about everything and anything.if your installation trips me out, altered states or no, -power to ya.
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Warnings...

Postby Ron » Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:03 pm

I've no idea what actual biological effects you can expect from this but you may want to consider a warning not so much for the other campers but to help yourselves out. If throwing up can be a not unexpected result when one is both drunk and exposed to your subsonics, for example, you may find yourselves ankle deep in vomit and with a hell of a mess to clean up. Just by way of one example.

So the value of a warning may not be so much in informing other campers of the possibilities, but in minimizing the fallout you all will have to deal with....

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Postby spectabillis » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:24 am

dragonfly Jafe wrote: I am currently leaning towards a triangular-shaped tapered transmission line about 23' long, using the Playa as the bottom. My design will be useful only for a very narrow bandwidth, however, and not useful for music reproduction. Your typical ported sound reinforcement speaker stacks would be best for that....(assuming that is what you are looking for...)


Oh shit, this is sounding better than my flamethrower.

I dont know what I am looking for, dont know much about it, but if you design and/or build it I am VERY interested in knowing how you build the speaker unit.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:02 am

Actually, you may be able to have your flame thrower and hear it too! (so to speak). check out the concept of Rijke resonators; http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hb ... ke.html#c2
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whine whine whine, drink, drink, drink, whine whine whine...

Postby Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:45 pm

Warning:

If erection lasts longer than 4 hours see a doctor or a hooker immediatly....


just a thoughtly,
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:17 am

dragonfly Jafe wrote:...
Hey! I have been looking for something like that for a loooong time, it has excellent calculations and reference material for open air column physics and wave mechanics. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hb ... pecol.html ... looking over it now. Thank you very much.

I remember an old high-school physics experiment where we had several pipes of different lengths, layed out horizontally. Flamable gas feed on one end, other open. Down its length of the pipe, the top had several holes drilled in at equal length. Armed with different tuning forks, the intention was to find the standing wave harmonic frequency for each tube. When lit, and you find the right frequency, the density points match up the holes in the top of the pipe, and you go from a half-inch flame to one over two-feet high.
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Re: whine whine whine, drink, drink, drink, whine whine whin

Postby spectabillis » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:44 am

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote:If erection lasts longer than 4 hours see a doctor or a hooker immediatly...
Powertools, flamethrowers, subsonics... who needs a hooker?
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Low frequency exposure=Bad Karma

Postby EvilDustBooger » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:24 pm

I am familiar with the ultra low frequency sound that you are referring to, and I don`t believe it is anything to bring to; or something you would want to subject Burning Man Participants to...unless you wanted to be cruel. If you`ve ever been exposed, you know what I`m talking about. Along with the symptoms of un-easiness, or the "fight or flight" mechanism you spoke of, exposure to ULF sound results in nausea, erratic behaviour, violent behaviour and actual illness that can last for hours or days. Exposure to a strong enough ULF broadcast can even result in organ damage and even death. Is this the type of thing that would promote the love and good will that characterizes the burning man festival? I for one don`t believe this idea is a sound one at all(pardon the pun), and I would be furious if I were to discover an ULF device at Burning Man, let alone be exposed to one. Leave the nasty toys to Big Brother and the KGB. . .as far as I`m concerned, Burning Man is a "feel-good" festival, not a place for dirty tricks. . . Thanks for listening. . . Love to all...EDB
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Re: Low frequency exposure=Bad Karma

Postby spectabillis » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am

EvilDustBooger wrote: Is this the type of thing that would promote the love and good will that characterizes the burning man festival?


That would be ideal, but since this is your first post I think you will find the eplaya does not reflect that.

I would be furious if I were to discover an ULF device at Burning Man, let alone be exposed to one.


Not knowing his intention, but if this were located on the outer edge by the trash fence, aimed away and remotely located, I dont see how this would effect anyone without knowlege of its presence. I want to see it, want to experience it, because crossing its path quickly enough would give you a sense of its effect without severity.
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Postby EvilDustBooger » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:56 am

OK. I agree that on a volunteer basis...far away from the general population, it might be kind of thrilling to experience a pulse or 2 of ULF sound, maybe coupled with some Tiger`s roar or earthquake effect perhaps? But speaking from experience, I found the exposure was very aggravating and uncomfortable. I even felt flu like symptoms i.e. headache/gut ache, for extended periods after even fairly short exposures. I`m sorry if I seemed to be totally poo-poo-ing the idea, it is a fascinating phenomenon, but I guess I have seen the more negative side of ULF devices. They can be used to great effect to disrupt and disperse crowds, for animal control, and to severely fuck with people`s heads if they get into the wrong hands. BUT as far as the "Psyche" goes... ULF sound is something we do experience, at various levels, daily. It is a naturally occuring phenomenon that man has "felt" since the beginning of all this craziness. If this idea were administered very cautiously, with the full knowledge and consent of the participants, I would agree it might be cool. And I might even want to see how people "feel" afterwards, It is one hell of a sensation, but I know I would be standing far away. I get queezy even thinking about more exposure to ULF. . . And I would like to personally thank you for not reaming my ass about being a newbie to posting on the Eplaya! I have never posted here before, but I have been lurking around here for a long time. And I have attended Burning Man. I realize the danger of taking a stand here. Someone might even call me out and spank me. (I`ll come running.) This was a topic that alarmed me at first glance, and I thought maybe a voice of reason should intercede. But, thank you all for your posts and great ideas! I may have to chime in a little more often now that I`ve finally registered to speak. I`m enjoying the discussion. I would be interested to hear about other`s ideas about how to safely and effectively administer this gig. And I also wonder if "warning" someone would lessen the "thrill" of the exposure? Thanks for the comments, now, draw your propane rifles, ... and......Burn.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:03 am

Worry not, EvilDustBooger, if this project is brought it will only be after a thorough informed review by the BM Art committee, and it would be located in the deep Playa away from the city where the levels would be well below established limits for night time residence. I have no intention of dosing anyone involuntarilary. I appreciate (and share) your concern. PM me if you know of any good websites with information that you think I should have....
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:02 pm

EvilDustBooger wrote:... And I would like to personally thank you for not reaming my ass about being a newbie to posting on the Eplaya! I have never posted here before, ... I realize the danger of taking a stand here...


I'm not that way, so I got no problem with that. But I understand your concern and unfortunately its a valid one here. We are making the attempt to improve things though, so thanks for being civil and speaking on your opinion.
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Friendly discourse rules

Postby EvilDustBooger » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:25 pm

Thanks for the kind words mon ami. EDB
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:53 pm

EvilDustBooger wrote:...And I would like to personally thank you for not reaming my ass about being a newbie to posting on the Eplaya! I have never posted here before, but I have been lurking around here for a long time. And I have attended Burning Man. I realize the danger of taking a stand here. Someone might even call me out and spank me. (I`ll come running.) This was a topic that alarmed me at first glance, and I thought maybe a voice of reason should intercede....


Hey, it's all good - this thread was started in order to solicite opinions on this concept. You have stated your opinion, and I thank you for your trouble. All thoughts on this topic are welcome...
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Postby spectabillis » Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:48 pm

dragonfly Jafe wrote:Hey, it's all good - this thread was started in order to solicite opinions on this concept. You have stated your opinion, and I thank you for your trouble. All thoughts on this topic are welcome...
Whoops... did not mean to step into your domain, did not note who created the thread.
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Postby ricochet » Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:48 pm

Just post: "Does 'the Brown Note' mean anything to you?"
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu Mar 24, 2005 3:55 pm

Update on the infrasound thing; I have decided to abandon the concept. Our prototype never really resulted in anything "positive" (except for one person), but lots of "negatives". And we never got to full power! Testing this definately requires a window-free enclosure....(full power sounded like it would have broke some of my windows, based on the 10% power test). The effective radius was not able to be tested (but it "filled" my entire house, even rooms at the far end).

Negative effects were mainly feelings of vertigo, difficulty breathing (like sticking your head out the woindow of a moving car), headaches, and a "creepy" feeling. Aside from some distortion (sounded like a click), and the windows vibrating loudly, you could barely "hear" the 19Hz tone, and the 16 Hz tone could not be "heard" at all. Just a sensation of pressure.

The only person who reported a positive effect said he felt "exhilerated", but also admitted to feeling funny in the chest

One interesting effect was the creation of nulls/peaks inside the room (due to room effects). There were locations where you could barely hear anything, and other spots where the sound was at it's peak. This would not occur outside, however (unless you had multiple sources of infrasound)

The Rijke Resonators are more promising. We had to use a propane torch to heat the screen (they must get red hot) - once the heat is removed, they "hum" for 5-10 seconds. The volume depends on how hot the screen gets initially. Tone is determined by pipe length. We could not get a wood fire to set one off, but it should be possible.

Next concept is a flaming "kazoo" (using propane as the driving gas, then igniting it as it leaves the reed)

regards, Jafe
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:01 pm

The other thing to think about as well is if the effect goes beyond the range of your village/camp/whatever, and it creates a bad, well, "effect", the BRR's (and even the dreaded L.E. types) may shut it down, and possibly even shut your residency at BRC down. Not that I'm opposed to the idea, it might be interesting, but if it infringes on another camp you can get hammered, And (goddess forbid) if it caused harm to another (even something as gentle as inducing convulsive vomiting, tho I have seen people go into Grand Mal eizures exposed to ULF) LE *will* go after you.

It's fun to play, and you are responsible for your own safety - but you're not allowed to endanger another, ticket warnings or not. Especially if you know beforehand it may (or will) cause an adverse reaction and don't warn people. If I did a project like that I'd sure as hell have warnings up - if for no other reason thatn to keep some litiguous person sue me out of my home and whatnots when their kid went into seizures from the ULF.

Now, flamethrowers, OTOH... ever see the cross reaction between flame and various frequencies, not just audio but electromagnetic? Hmmm... maybe next year...

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