A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 12, 2010
“Mind over chatter”

"Mind over matter” is a phrase that has used since the 1800s. In February 1923, newspapers published a joke variation: “mind over chatter.”

“Mind over chatter” was the motto of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” in 2008. Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh also frequently uses the phrase “mind over chatter.”

Wikipedia: Mind over matter
Mind over matter is a phrase popularized during the 1960s and 1970s that was originally used in reference to paranormal phenomena, especially psychokinesis. However, it has also been used in reference to mind-centric spiritual and philosophic doctrines such as responsibility assumption. It is the belief that the mind is more powerful than the body. Specifically, mind over matter refers to controlling pain that one may or may not be experiencing, such as holding one’s hand under extremely hot water and feeling no pain. Also, “self-help” personalities such as Tony Robbins claim that, through the power of concentration and “positive thinking”, people can walk on hot coals without getting burned. This claim is made despite the fact that there are solid, scientific explanations for firewalking. The phrase is present in the 2000s as well, usually used as slogan by hackers and hacker sites.

A scientific study (http://psiphen.colorado.edu/Pubs/ModdelSSE07.pdf), referenced in the May 2009 edition of Wired and performed by Professor Garret Moddel of the University of Colorado at Boulder, performed an experiment that supports the concept of ‘mind over matter’: in 2007, Professor Moddel aimed a beam of light at a glass slide and asked his test-subjects to mentally increase the amount of reflected light. With a baseline of 8 percent, the subjects were able to successfully increase the reflection of the beam by .005 percent, and showed a similar success when asked to mentally decrease the amount of reflected light.

“Mind over matter” was also Mao Zedong’s idea that rural peasants could be “proletarianized” so they could lead the revolution and China could move from feudalism to socialism. It departs from Leninism in that the revolutionaries are peasants, instead of the urban proletariat.

The exact phrase “mind over matter” first appeared in 1863 in The Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man by Sir Charles Lyell (1797–1875) and refers to the increasing status and evolutionary growth of the minds of animals and man throughout Earth history.

It may be said that, so far from having a materialistic tendency, the supposed introduction into the earth at successive geological periods of life — sensation, instinct, the intelligence of the higher mammalia bordering on reason, and lastly, the improvable reason of Man himself — presents us with a picture of the ever-increasing dominion of mind over matter.
— Sir Charles Lyell, 1863

Another related saying was coined centuries earlier (19 B.C.) “the mind moves matter” by the poet Virgil in his work Aeneid, book 6, line 727. The latter saying in Latin, mens agitat molem, is the official motto of the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands.

Rachel Maddow Mind Over Chatter T-Shirt

26 February 1923, Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, pg. 8, col. 1:
Always pay attention to very quiet people because they are usually a triumph of mind over chatter.

22 July 1940, Circleville (OH) Herald, pg. 4, col. 7: 
Grandpappy Jenkins says that when a husband never interrupts his talkative wife it is simply a case of mind over chatter.

Google Books
Esar’s Comic Dictionary
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Harvest House
Pg. 35:
good bridge game. The triumph of mind over chatter.

New York (NY) Times
The TV Watch
A Fresh Female Face Amid Cable Schoolboys

Published: September 24, 2008
MSNBC calls it “The Rachel Maddow Show,” but it’s less a show than an annex; Ms. Maddow’s new program is “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” for viewers who are down on Keith Olbermann.

The set is different, and so is her motto, “Mind Over Chatter,” but the sensibility is the same. Both hosts make jokes about the latest Republican missteps and condemn the latest Republican misdeeds.

Wednesday Quotes: Mind Over Chatter
August 11, 2010

Obamanomics: The New Normal
August 13, 2010
RUSH:  That was I, your host, El Rushbo, mind over chatter, with Greta Van Susteren last July.

Thursday Quotes: Mind Over Chatter
August 19, 2010

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (0) Comments • Tuesday, October 12, 2010 • Permalink