Neuroscience biofeedback improved novice sniper shooting by 100% by helping soldiers get into the right mental zone

A previous DARPA program yielded some remarkable insight into the potential for better soldier performance through focused brain states. Amy Kraus, a former DARPA program manager, on Monday told a group at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, the work that she presided over succeeded in finding the secret mental secret that preceded good marksmanship. “It turns out the expert marksman has a brain state,” she said, “a state that they enter before they take the perfect shot. Can I teach a novice to create this brain state? The answer was yes.”

via Neuroscience biofeedback improved novice sniper shooting by 100% by helping soldiers get into the right mental zone.

Inequality Isn’t a Union Issue – Bloomberg View

I tend to think that these arguments get cause and effect backward. Unions were strong in the 1960s and 1970s for the same reasons that inequality was low — and while the law may have been one of those reasons, it was at best a minor reason.

To see what I mean, look at the United Automobile Workers union, which is a pale shadow of its former self. Its workers have made huge concessions, and its numbers have dwindled to the point where the union, like many of the mighty industrial unions of the past, has more retirees than workers.

Is that because the law won’t let them strike? Obviously not; the problem is that striking wouldn’t do them any good, because the companies they work for are too fragile to give them more money. A more labor-friendly National Labor Relations Board couldn’t magically generate the profits and market share necessary to pay hundreds of thousands of workers above-market wages, as General Motors Co. did in the 1960s.

The modern industrial worker’s main problems, which have nothing to do with the law, are:

Immigration.

Automation.

Trade.

via Inequality Isn’t a Union Issue – Bloomberg View.

Electric Solarwind Sail for Spacecraft

A paper analyses the potential of the electric solar wind sail for solar system space missions. Applications studied include fly-by missions to terrestrial planets (Venus, Mars and Phobos, Mercury) and asteroids, missions based on non-Keplerian orbits (orbits that can be maintained only by applying continuous propulsive force), one-way boosting to outer solar system, off-Lagrange point space weather forecasting and low-cost impactor probes for added science value to other missions. We also discuss the generic idea of data clippers (returning large volumes of high resolution scientific data from distant targets packed in memory chips) and possible exploitation of asteroid resources. Possible orbits were estimated by orbit calculations assuming circular and coplanar orbits for planets. Some particular challenge areas requiring further research work and related to some more ambitious mission scenarios are also identified and discussed.

via Propellantlesss propulsion with Electric solar wind sail for cheaper and faster space missions.