In one of the latest examples of moronic Drug War hyperbole, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is warning parents about a dangerous new “drug” — binaural sound.
Seems these Okie drug warriors are convinced that seemingly harmless MP3 downloads are just the latest way crazy teenagers are using to get high. They call listening to the files “i-dosing,” and claim that evil “digital dealers” are selling kids the aural equivalent of crack cocaine, reports Jason Mick at DailyTech.
“Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places,” warned Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward.
Woodward claims the “digital drugs” are leading formerly innocent children down a primrose path of self destruction and harder drugs.
According to Woodward, who sounds crazier and crazier the longer you listen to him, children are buying a 40-page “instruction manual” that tells them how to locate — and get high from — the droning binaural tracks.
The Oklahoma Mustang Public School District is taking a proactive — and absurd — approach against this new supposed “drug menace.”
The school district has already sent parents a warning letter, and has banned iPods in school to keep the kids from getting high in the hallways.
School officials at this point are even starting to cast suspicious glances at students’ cell phones.
What The Hell?
Binaural sound, discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, does have an impact on brain waves. Research has shown results to be generally positive, with side effects such as reduced anxiety and pain relief (hey, I guess that does sound sort of like marijuana).
Binaural beats happen when opposite ears receive two different sound waves, according to one researcher who spoke with an interviewer at NPR, reports Meg G. at Associated Content.
Normally, the differences in sounds between each ear help people get directional information about the source of the sound (and give rise to the stereo effect in recorded music).
But when you listen to binaural beats with stereo headphones, you can sense the difference between the two frequencies as another beat that sounds as if it’s coming from inside your head, thus altering — and entraining — your brain waves.
“Entrainment” means that your brain waves actually start matching the wave activity they are sensing. This is how binaural beats “alter” brain waves, with the theory being these altered brain waves by definition alter your consciousness.
If you’re thinking about mixing this shit with marijuana, I’m so there with you, man.
But Wait A Minute…
You know the routine. Wherever there’s a buzz, there’s a buzzkill.
Enter Helane Wahbeh, assistant professor at Oregon Health and Science University. She’s done studies into the technology behind these so-called digital drugs, and she says those studies have not shown that sound can dramatically alter brain waves the way drugs can do.
“We did a small controlled study with four people, and we did not see any brain wave activity shifting to match the binaural beat that people were listening to,” Wahbeh told NPR.
Future Candidates Take Note
Meanwhile, DailyTech reporter Jason Mick muses upon an interesting question.
Will future presidents be forced to make the red-faced claim:
“I put on the headphones, but didn’t really listen“?
Hey, Man, The First Is Always Free
Intrigued about this “binaural beats” buzz? Want to get you some o’that?
Let me link you up, brothers and sisters.
But let me just tell you upfront, man. Should you get hooked, don’t come whinin’ for me to pay for your rehab.
High-Theta to Delta, 6 Hz to 2.5 Hz