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[P]
The Internet Is Driving Me Crazy

By LilDebbie in Culture
Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 12:01:56 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

Wherein your humble narrator describes his ever increasing mental instability and its likely cause, the rise of telecommunications and their ultimate expression in the form of the internet, and suggests that his is not an isolated case.


Subject the First - The current state of mental health as regards the author and humanity in general

I am a cynical person. Some say I lack that basic human quality known as empathy. Others add that I am a "brutal, cold, calculating reptile." While these claims are not without merit, I was not always this way. As a child I suffered from an overabundance of empathy. Often, I would meditate on other people's lives and find myself moved to tears. I learned quickly that it is inappropriate to cry in public unless one is mourning his own loss. I learned to turn it off, to not be moved to pity or share in another's heartache. It was a hard lesson, harder still given an ever increasing exposure to other people's pain.

Most people attribute the rise of depression diagnoses in recent years due to greater identification of existing disorders. Apparently, we've always been this fucked up, but we're only just realizing and/or doing something about it. Somehow I have trouble believing this; too many of my friends are on medication. No, I don't have any statistics to back this up. Mike, I'm looking in your direction.

Subject the Second - The ever increasing level of interconnectivity in modern society

Earlier this evening I was browsing 4chan ever in search of the next mindfuck to keep me stimulated. Unfortunately, I found it. For those unfamiliar with the various peccadilloes of the 4chan community, one of the myriad subjects of interest are cute camwhores for the resident otaku to drool over [insert link to cracky-chan pic]. The most recent victim of this disturbing voyeurism is one Jordanna Leah. Indulging my curiosity, I delved into this random girl's life. Within minutes I discovered that she was recently fired from her job at Best Buy and suddenly an image, without context meaningless, managed to punch through my crusty exterior and moved me to pity.

Who was this person and why should I give two shits about her employment? Delving further, I found large archives of images from her apartment, her job, her trips out to Chicago, and suddenly this person became very real to me. I discovered a few .mpegs and download them, only to hear her voice, watch her dance like a dork, and flop around on a couch in boredom. I now know this girl better than some of my real life acquaintences and all in under twenty minutes. AT&T wasn't kidding when they told us to reach out and touch someone.

So as I try to figure out what bowling moniker is hers, it occurs to me that one day these archives will likely stand as a living testament to her life. In case you haven't heard, enterfornone is dead and his family has been tearing through his comment and diary history trying to figure out why. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one of them starts an account. We're all being drawn together, sharing more and more of our lives. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "great, if we're closer we can better help each other through life's miseries," to which I reply that we will ourselves be more exposed to life's miseries. Damnit, it's too much.

Subject the Third - The potential effects this story could have

To further compound the problem, imagine if Ms. Leah checks her server logs and notices several referral links coming from http://www.kuro5hin.org, or maybe googles herself to find a link to this article. Her own curiosity piqued, she comes here and discovers her life being used for analysis of the post-modern human condition. After an initial boost to her ego, she decides to check out 4chan and sees what else her life is being used for. I imagine she would be slightly disgusted and may even feel a bit used.

Let us further imagine that her curiosity gets the best of her and she decides to investigate our recent loss. She is almost simultaneously introduced to a new person while discovering he has recently killed himself. Assuming she is not as callous as say, myself, this might cause her some emotional distress, only leading her to become more callous herself. I suppose what I'm getting at is that we are constantly being exposed to more and more human misery and that what little shred of empathy we have left is getting taxed to the limit.

Subject the Fourth - The rapid propogation of memes and the development of fashionable perversion

The pace of evolution of popular culture has rapidly increased as a result of the internet. The trend over the last century, like so many other things these days, has risen exponentially. Fads come and go in a matter of weeks, whereas a decade ago they generally lasted a few months. Most of these are quite harmless, such as the ever changing internet idioms such as "lollerskates" and "rofflecopter" to name a few. Others lead to perverse obsessions that cause unhealthy sexual identities and bizarre spiritual beliefs. It also exposes us to many shocking and disgusting images, further hardening us to reality and our fellow humans.

Possibly the most disturbing mental assault made possible by the internet is its ability to not only expose us to the evils of the world, but to misdirect our sympathies such that, while we are less likely to empathize with those like us, we may find ourselves empathizing with evil. Returning to the subject of online legacies, we are left with the writings and animations of a mass murderer, one who may not seem so different than ourselves. This realization makes us question just what we are capable of, and the question is the first step towards an answer.

Subject the Fifth - The consequences of all realities becoming no reality

When people can believe they are fantastic creatures and recieve confirmation from a disparate yet tightly knit group of like minded lunatics, the belief starts to cut into the realm of reason. When artists can give life-like expression to their darkest urges and share them with the world, the fantasy enters the mainstream and eventually becomes acceptable desire. People begin to lose sight of consequence and follow the mad piper to the center of chaos whose name is Azathoth.

The internet is not the only place where the real is being replaced by fiction. The false prophet has already taken over the networks to spread his stories of deceit and lies regarding the End of Days. This vast network has bound us so tightly that we shall stand wonder-struck when Magog bears his armies against Jerusalem and the Antichrist rains fire and brimstone upon the earth and brings death to all that lives.

Subject the Sixth - The author abandons reason and embraces the unreality

What have I to fear? My mind has sailed to distant Shaggai and has heard the mad piping beyond. No thoughts now. The stars are not fixed in the Heavens. I stand in the shadow of unknowable Kadath. The Burning Eye seeks me out in the darkness. He has heard my blasphemous prayers! I! I! Shub-niggurath! The Black Goat With a Thousand Young!

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Display: Sort:
The Internet Is Driving Me Crazy | 176 comments (134 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
you have to block it out (2.77 / 9) (#1)
by ccdotnet on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 04:12:10 AM EST

There's a punishment or torture or something-or-other in the Hitch-hiker's trilogy that I vaguely recall goes something along the lines of the individual being shown their significance in relation to the planet, solar system, galaxy, universe, etc. It's enough to make the chirpiest person insanely depressed. My point is, for any human being to actual function on a daily/weekly basis, we have to block-out/ignore our actual significance in the overall scheme of things.

I have no doubt our society's increasing connectedness and general information "overload" is contributing to the problems of those vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other conditions. This too needs to be "blocked out" and if that can't be done naturally (friends and family), then it needs to be done artificially (chemically).

I live in Melbourne. Saw the news report about Steven Blunt a couple of weeks ago - it meant nothing, I had no connection. Having since realised who he was online, it's had a big impact.

You don't block shit out (2.33 / 3) (#4)
by GreyGhost on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 05:49:01 AM EST

All you do is put cement shoes on the fucker and throw it into a deep dark well. But it comes bubbling up eventually the older you get.

This is a seriously cool article.



[ Parent ]

Sure you do (2.00 / 2) (#20)
by vadim on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 02:13:24 PM EST

One way of blocking stuff is avoiding seeing it at all. For instance, I just don't watch TV, so I'm a lot less influenced by some things.

For example, my parents see the news all the time, so they're quite well informed about all the houses that catch fire. Quite often they come to me to ask if it's really safe to keep the computer on 24/7, because the house might catch fire. No matter how many times I tell them that there are millions of computers out there, that they got the elemental safety quite nailed, and that it's quite unlikely that anything will catch fire with 12V anyway they still don't believe it.

Of course, this doesn't mean they couldn't be right, but the point is, I don't watch that stuff on a daily basis, so those concerns never come to mind.

The same way, the best way to avoid dealing with all the crap that goes on is avoiding knowing about it. Don't watch TV, live in a rich area, limit yourself to browsing Disney sites and you probably will never be very concerned about poverty and hunger in the world.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

live in a box (none / 1) (#68)
by m a r c on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:41:11 PM EST

while i don't condone uncritically sucking down mass media, i don't really believe that you are enriching your life by avoiding the 'rest of the world'. Then again, you have a point in that if your only browsing the disney channel you won't be concerned with poverty and hunger; well that is unless it effects you.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]
It's a basic thing though (none / 1) (#69)
by vadim on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 05:08:36 PM EST

In order to be able to do something useful you have to discard large parts of what you experience. The most basic form of it is filtering out unimportant stuff like I do with the curtains so that you can concentrate on something like typing this text.

I believe it goes the same way in the more general sense - you'd get very little done if knew about all the bad stuff that constantly happens.

I think that's what everybody has to do in the end, pick a set of things that are interesting, and just ignore the rest in order to get something done.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

You invite it inside. (2.50 / 2) (#36)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 02:03:03 AM EST

Offer it a drink. Then let it bug you for a while, untill it gets bored and then leaves you in peace.

[ Parent ]
"Total Perspective Vortex" (2.60 / 5) (#31)
by poyoyo on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 12:14:33 AM EST

The Total Perspective Votex derives its picture of the whole Universe on the principle of extrapolated matter analyses.

To explain--since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation--every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition, and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake.

The man who invented the Total Perspective Vortex did so basically in order to annoy his wife.

Trin Tragula--for that was his name--was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.

And she would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake.

"Have some sense of proportion!" she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day.

And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex--just to show her.

And into one end, he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other, he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it.

To Trin Tragula's horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain, but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.

[ Parent ]

proximity too (2.66 / 3) (#67)
by m a r c on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:32:08 PM EST

even discounting the connectedness aspect, just having so many people crammed into one place (cities) puts a lot of strain on us psychologically. If you go to country towns, every one talks to each other... when was the last time you talked to someone on the train. Its like there are too many people to know and not enough time/energy to do it, so we just put up this wall. People all around us but we are alone.

I really pity the people who commit suicide for feeling lonely surrounded by thousands of people every day. It would be like dying of thirst alone on a raft in the ocean.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]

Significance? (none / 0) (#117)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:46:43 AM EST

My point is, for any human being to actual function on a daily/weekly basis, we have to block-out/ignore our actual significance in the overall scheme of things
Block-out/ignore that all of our actions are significant and affect the world around us in some small way or block-out/ignore the fact that we are as worthless as ants?

I've been an ant trying just to live happily for a long time now, I have no pretentions of significance. I am utterly unimportant to the world. That thought gives me peace.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
If (3.00 / 9) (#2)
by forgotten on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 04:26:13 AM EST

you have ever been in the situation where googling your name brings up information you would rather not be known, whether it is true or not, you will have enormous sympathy for others who lose their privacy.

That is all.

--

Empathy huh? (2.91 / 12) (#12)
by onix on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 09:22:28 AM EST

I find it something of a coincidence that the person who has stimulated this outpouring of sympathy for the human condition happens to be a pert, attractive twentysomething with exactly the sort of anime haircut and quirky weblog that would so appeal to your common or garden, basement-dwelling nerd.

Go outside, meet people and try to get laid. I expect your "empathy" problem will clear up in no time.

---
I'm interested in certain of your thoughts. - medham

Not a coincidence of course (2.50 / 2) (#16)
by LilDebbie on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 12:48:26 PM EST

Certainly, those venal qualities were the reason I checked out her site in the first place. Also, there is undoubtedly some Freudian desire thing going on here. However, I wouldn't call this sympathy for the human condition; I'm just trying to figure shit out.

And I'll take your advice in order to try to figure out where to take this thing (well, except the last bit - I have my reasons). Also, a hearty breakfast will probably help too.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
The internet is gay and so are you. (1.05 / 17) (#13)
by We Are 138 on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 09:39:14 AM EST

Homosexual trick, $20.


Hey baby, wanna sauna?
An interesting story. (2.40 / 10) (#14)
by blue car on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:24:19 AM EST

It invites discussion of the malaise which afflicts all of humankind. Was ever there a person born who was not tormented by his twisted mind? I do not think so, because the nature of society and of people is that you cannot fit into society or be a part of society without becoming psychologically damaged. Perhaps this is because we cannot reconcile our collective social conscience with the brutality of our animalism.

In general terms happiness can be identified as a sense of gladness which arises through feelings of security and satisfaction and can be enhanced by the experience or anticipation of pleasure. Pleasure here can include not only physical pleasure but the pleasures found in emotional connection, intellectual stimulation and so on. It could be said that if a person existed who throughout his life was never deprived of pleasure or threatened with such deprivation, and always had access to every pleasure offered by life, that person would be in a state of constant happiness. But would not such a person one day grow tired of whichever pleasures he had up until that point enjoyed and yearn for something which was so exotic that its attainment was impossible? Maybe. In any case, in practical terms it is very close to impossible for such a person to exist.

It is said that practitioners of Buddhism achieve higher levels of happiness than the general population. This article provides the following interesting information:
During Buddhists' meditation, "we don't know if they're changing the structure of the brain, though it's our hunch that they do," says Davidson. "But they do change the function of the brain over time, in a rather enduring way. So that kind of evidence suggests that these changes really do persist in a way that infuses everyday life with certain qualities that are cultivated by the meditation."
This suggests that happiness can be achieved by some method apart from the availability and experiencing of pleasure. The article goes on to suggest that the supposed changes in the brain can be achieved by methods other than practicing Buddhism. "'Many different traditions call upon many similar basic mechanisms to call upon these effects,' says Davidson. 'I do believe there is something quite generic about this.'"

Buddhists teach that the desire for worldly pleasures causes suffering. And considering the virtual impossibility of always getting exactly what one wants, it might seem wise to consider other paths to happiness than through the derivation of pleasure. But this is difficult to do, especially if all of one's happiness to date has been through normal means. Returning to the question of our animalistic nature, most pleasures are in the nature of rewards for behaviour likely to ensure survival. To renounce such a deeply ingrained pleasure mechanism for any more metaphysical method of inducing happiness is not an attractive proposition for most, especially since the majority of people suffer from a lack of happiness already, and do not want to risk any further shortage. But is the happiness achieved by the meditating monks the same as what one would ordinarily define as happiness? And if so, is their meditation not just another pleasure to experience? Supposing it was possible to train one's brain to such an extent that happiness could be dispensed as easily as a rat pressing a lever, would we be any better off? There are drugs which will stimulate the brain in highly pleasurable ways, but the pleasures are not without their drawbacks, according to this article.

For my part, I believe that a fundamental change in the psychology of people is required to increase happiness. Human brains are far too similar to animal brains to allow us to live harmoniously. It is not merely an increase in the amount of available pleasure which is required, but an acceptance by humans that they cannot always have what they want. Humans need to free themselves from the fear of loss of avenues of pleasure, and from selfishness, jealousy and guilt. We need to rid ourselves of our animal instincts and of the biological reward mechanisms we are so dependent upon.

The internet as a means of deriving pleasure, and of communication between people, does not significantly affect the psychological makeup individuals using it, in my opinion. At least not as significantly as factors such as genetic inheritance and socialization.

Real empathy vs. socially-correct empathy (2.84 / 13) (#25)
by jd on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 07:46:36 PM EST

Real empathy gets a person to do something. Socially-correct empathy leads a person to conclude they can't do anything so should just feel miserable.

My guess is that you are not so much overloaded with the real pain of society, as lacking enough of it. You are mostly concerned with the illusion of caring but I don't see much evidence for actual caring.

The Internet isn't driving you crazy - you are. The Internet is merely facilitating that which you would have done to yourself anyway. Insanity has always existed in abundance. Most leaders, inventers, scientists, religious teachers, philosophers, etc, are insane. They'd beno good at their jobs if they weren't. The difference is not even diagnosis. The difference is this stupid idea that difference is unacceptable and intolerable, precisely because we are socially conditioned to play-pretend caring about things that do not matter, but ignore the things that do.

So to clarify (2.75 / 4) (#30)
by topynate on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 11:19:17 PM EST

you have no empathy with this girl on the internet for losing her job, because you cannot help her? You have no empathy for, as an example, Anne Frank, who is surely beyond all aid? Is it just social conditioning that gives me a similar perspective to LilDebbie? Because if it is, how much of my mind is my own and not some meme?


"...identifying authors with their works is a feckless game. Simply to go by their books, Agatha Christie is a mass murderess, while William Buckley is a practicing Christian." --Gore Vidal
[ Parent ]
You do not belong to yourself (2.00 / 2) (#41)
by whazat on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 05:07:14 AM EST

You belong to the universe, it formed you from remnants of stars long past. It determines the way you act and feel.

So to ask how much of your mind is your own, the answer is also none, because neither you nor I exist except for transitory illusions that help the autopoietic collections of matter that we are.

[ Parent ]

or in other words (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by wre on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 10:39:07 AM EST

You are those memes.

Dun dun dun!!!

[ Parent ]

You really don't understand, do you? (3.00 / 4) (#62)
by jd on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 02:08:31 PM EST

I have no "empathy" for Anne Frank in the sense that there is nothing I can do for her. She's dead, and all the compassion in the world will not alter that one bit.

My compassion is reserved for the living Anne Franks of the world, who are suffering and who - maybe, just maybe - I can make some kind of a difference for. It is better to learn from history than to cry over it, because by learning from history, it is possible to avoid repeating it.

How is this different, say, from someone who lost their job? I can do nothing about a job. I don't have a magic job-creating machine that I can use to rescue people without jobs. Pitying them achieves nothing and even risks feeding the depression that comes with losing a job. Feeding the disease may feel like it is doing something, but in truth it is not. It emotionally cripples people.

It is also true that people can survive without jobs perfectly well. True, you can't watch cable TV, drive an SUV, or fly to the Bahamas on holiday, but the first destroys your mind, the second destroys the environment and the third destroys what little is left of a foreign culture. As such, I find it hard to be overly sympathetic if you miss out on these "luxuries". I don't see that it helps anyone to promote destruction.

Empathy, true empathy, fights monsterous evils, prejudice, hatred and destruction. These are things we can all tackle - if we choose - and which if defeated, even marginally, would lead to the betterment of everyone.

You may "care" about Anne Frank, but that is because it is "safe" to do so. Nobody will ever ask you to do a damn thing for her. The same is the reason why many Americans favoured "liberating" Iraq - it wasn't their skins involved. No, it's easy to care when you aren't the one having to do anything.

On the other hand, there's plenty of people in the world who suffer persecution - and murder - at the hands of fanatics. These are the Anne Franks of today. I don't see you mentioning them in your post, but unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there's likely a dozen within a block of you.

There are likely businesses illegally dumping deadly toxic waste in residential areas, in your community. There are probably gifted but chronically homeless people who just need a helping hand for them to support themselves. Chances are good that someone you meet on a daily basis is physically or sexually abused by someone they're close to. Many communities have thriving black markets, particularly in deadly drugs. It is likely that persecution of people who are "different" is a regular occurence along your street.

"Faith without works is dead", we are told. I would argue the same is true for empathy. If it doesn't lead to you doing anything to address the issue, then you have nothing. Talking about issues is important, but only if it then leads you to do something, however small.

[ Parent ]

Empathy without works... (none / 0) (#83)
by vhold on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:50:51 PM EST

To me, empathy is that moment where I feel the same emotion I think somebody else is feeling, and therefore it is an emotion itself.  To say it does not exist without some kind of behavioral manifestation is like saying anger does not exist unless you go and do something angry.


[ Parent ]
That's sympathy [n/t] (none / 0) (#89)
by vadim on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 03:27:07 PM EST


--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]
I wonder (3.00 / 3) (#87)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:54:21 PM EST

My compassion is reserved for the living Anne Franks of the world, who are suffering and who - maybe, just maybe - I can make some kind of a difference for.

This strikes me as very unusual. So in order to feel empathy, you have to make a rational evaluation of its potential utility? It sounds like you almost have voluntary control over empathy. Most people have the capability of feeling empathy even for fictional characters.

I wonder if what you are calling empathy is the same thing most of us seem to mean by it?

How is this different, say, from someone who lost their job? I can do nothing about a job. I don't have a magic job-creating machine that I can use to rescue people without jobs. Pitying them achieves nothing and even risks feeding the depression that comes with losing a job. Feeding the disease may feel like it is doing something, but in truth it is not. It emotionally cripples people.

This also strikes me as unusual.

Most people don't experience empathy as emotionally crippling, and are aware of a whole spectrum empathetic emotions running from mild sympathy to full blown pity.

On the other hand, there's plenty of people in the world who suffer persecution - and murder - at the hands of fanatics. These are the Anne Franks of today. I don't see you mentioning them in your post, but unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there's likely a dozen within a block of you.

I don't see how one precludes the other. In fact, for most people, empathy is something they feel involuntarily, that forms a basis for their motivation to action, but is also present when no such action is directly possible (although it may motivate other actions such as joining Amnesty International etc.). It seems like for you that such action is motivated exclusively by an intellectual principle, which in turn comes from a sense of moral identity. It's not that most people aren't capable of this kind of motivation (although it is possible), but it seems rare that somebody is exclusively motivated this way.

[ Parent ]

Empathy is the awareness of the emotions of others (2.50 / 4) (#43)
by vadim on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 05:46:18 AM EST

That's all it is, IMHO. Whatever you use it for is a different matter.

Empathy is something that can be felt towards people, but also cartoon characters. I got seriously freaked out by the 7th episode of FullMetal Alchemist (seriously, try watching that one), but I don't think there's anything socially incorrect about that.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure that's 100% right (3.00 / 2) (#85)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:29:10 PM EST

It is quite possible to be aware of another person's emotions, but not partake of them. It is also possible to partake of them, without being consciously aware of them. The idea of empathy as a character trait is somewhat more complex than it would appear at first glance. For example, consider the case of a person who is capable of sympathizing with another person, but is poor at reading social cues.

[ Parent ]
Different things (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by vadim on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:48:48 PM EST

Empathy is being able to put yourself in somebody else's shoes - you can understand what somebody is going through when their dog dies.

Sympathy is the reflection of another person's feelings on yourself - you feel sad because your friend is sad.

I'd say that the ability of reading social cues is somewhat different. Sometimes you fail at it because you're genuinely bad with the skill, sometimes because you're not used to those particular ones, like when you go to a country with a noticeably different culture.

But I'd say that neither of those makes you a sociopath. I think the Internet tends to be very helpful with that problem, since it removes a large amount of social cues.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

Good stuff (2.42 / 7) (#26)
by elver on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 07:54:19 PM EST

I was gonna fuck off to sleep, but then I thought I'd check what's new on k5. Found this one, started reading and just kept going. I do believe it's the most insightful piece I've read this month. Thanks!

I'll be sure to vote this up. Oh, btw, the " nit " thing in the article is a typo? Should it not be " knit "?

fixed, thanks (nt) (none / 1) (#33)
by LilDebbie on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 12:45:38 AM EST



My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I need more coffee (3.00 / 4) (#46)
by army of phred on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:09:49 AM EST

I was reading that the parent poster said this was an insightful article and then you posted "fixed".

Its amazing how easily I accepted that before I realised that there was an actual typo to fix.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]

+1 FP, HARD HITTING. (2.00 / 12) (#29)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Apr 24, 2005 at 10:00:39 PM EST

in the course of reading, i was struck with a revulsion that went to the very core of my being.

now THAT is HARD HITTING!


rmg: comments better than yours.

i'm wondering why (none / 1) (#63)
by lostincali on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 02:16:52 PM EST

people modded this down?

IMO the ghost of rmg is one of the best posters on k5. Even if what he does is "trolling," his comments usually contribute to discussion. Even if they don't contribute in the ordinary sense, they're usually good for a chuckle or even a laugh.

For that reason, I for one will continue to encourage these posts.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

they know that. (1.75 / 4) (#66)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 02:42:58 PM EST

that's what gets them the most. even though i'm constantly engaged in this vaguely destructive behavior of "trolling," it is plain to all of them that my contributions actually add far more to the site than any of theirs. the fact of my presence here undermines the legitimacy by opposition that justifies the boring, middling crap they post day in and day out.

people need to feel like they're doing well at whatever it is they do. when all the signs indicate that they're not, they need to believe they're doing better than someone else, even if that comes through an artificial construction like the idea of "trolling." this is the logic of condemnation: the fact that rmg is a troll is crucial precisely because there are no other terms by which to claim superiority to one of the site's best commenters.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

+3, you are far to narcissistic -nt- (none / 1) (#72)
by wobblywizard on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:16:56 PM EST


--
You never win an argument with anyone who fucks you or signs your paychecks. I just smile, bite my lip and sip my drink. --Philalawyer
[ Parent ]

What's wrong with you? (1.11 / 9) (#37)
by the dead on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 03:32:40 AM EST

Idiot.

-1: self-involved and -centered psychobabble. (1.66 / 6) (#38)
by fyngyrz on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:01:36 AM EST


Blog, Photos.

Be completely honest (none / 0) (#84)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 02:20:49 PM EST

How many people do you find as fascinating as yourself?

If you're totally honest, the answer is probably "none".

So self-centeredness can hardly be a disqualification. The piece just doesn't appeal to you because you can't identify with the author.

[ Parent ]

problem (none / 0) (#129)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:12:39 PM EST

with the article is that the author gives the impression of writing it for attention moreso than writing it to spark discussion or provide some useful information.

[ Parent ]
that's the point! (none / 0) (#133)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 02:26:51 PM EST

yes and yes.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Wow. (none / 1) (#136)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 04:50:40 PM EST

I feel like the girl in that commercial where she's daydreaming on travelocity or somesuch and suddenly you burst in, fat, and tell me there's donuts in the conference room.

[ Parent ]
Honest as can be (none / 0) (#147)
by fyngyrz on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 01:54:31 PM EST

How many people do you find as fascinating as yourself?

Many. Here is an offhand sampling of some of them: Jimmy Carter. Albert Einstein. Tom Lehrer. James Blish. Martin Luther King. Nicola Tesla. Gichin Funakoshi. Sang Woong Lim. Benjamin Franklin. Francis Bacon. Leonardo DaVinci. Issac Newton. Edward Teller. William Gibson. My sweetheart. My sister. My mother. My cats.

On the other hand, not you, not psychobabblers in general, and not "Little Debbie" specifically. My fascination, like my respect, must be earned.

As far as identifying with the author, I have no wish to indulge in metaphor as a replacement for objective reality. I consider it a complete waste of my time. Your mileage apparently varies, and that's fine. My vote was honest and reflects my opinion of the article as well as the voting system here allows.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Doesn't this strike you as a bit ironic (none / 0) (#157)
by jolly st nick on Sun May 01, 2005 at 07:07:03 PM EST

to wit, "My fascination, like my respect, must be earned." ?

By the way Funakoshi, but not Jigoro Kano?

[ Parent ]

nope. :-) (none / 0) (#177)
by fyngyrz on Wed May 18, 2005 at 01:50:58 AM EST

Please explain the irony to me, it seems I'm just a bit too stupid to see it right now.

Note that I specifically said that was an offhand sample; I wasn't holding Okinowan kara te do over ju do (or gung fu, or hap ki do or anything else) I was just mentioning a few people who came to mind. There are others. ;-)

Funakoshi was more on my mind because of something he said about the importance of kata. Which, unfortunately, I cannot remember where I saw, though I have been trying to for weeks. It may have been in Kara te do Kyo han, but then again, maybe not. Time is short, the search is broad because my arts library is deep and well explored... and as Funakoshi would probably have said, I should be doing kata and not concerning myself with why I know I should be doing them. :-)

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Way to go all Derleth, buddy. (2.00 / 3) (#39)
by sudog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 04:34:39 AM EST

Down with non-Lovecraft-purists!

Down with the contemptible push of Christian values into the Cthulhu mythos! Lovecraft's imaginings are properly and uniformly outside of them!

Derleth sucks!


Cthulhu fthagn! (2.33 / 3) (#54)
by Peahippo on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 11:22:49 AM EST

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh na gCopaleen Baile atha Cliath wgah'nagl fthagn!

(And you can quote me on that one, Bub.)


[ Parent ]
You suck! [n/t] (none / 1) (#59)
by sudog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:01:56 PM EST



[ Parent ]
What's wrong with me... (none / 1) (#70)
by wobblywizard on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:09:25 PM EST

that I
    firstly know that Baile atha Cliath is Gaelic for Dublin, and
    secondly see that you put that into some sub-sub-sub-post in some joke-threat.

Maybe I should get a life...*sigh*

--
You never win an argument with anyone who fucks you or signs your paychecks. I just smile, bite my lip and sip my drink. --Philalawyer
[ Parent ]

Thread! Thread, not threat! No pun intended. -nt- (none / 1) (#71)
by wobblywizard on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 06:10:44 PM EST


--
You never win an argument with anyone who fucks you or signs your paychecks. I just smile, bite my lip and sip my drink. --Philalawyer
[ Parent ]

Well, yes ... (2.50 / 2) (#73)
by Peahippo on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 08:53:13 PM EST

... since I was talking about the Vast and Tentacled One sucking out the brains from all Dubliners.

In case you doubt my assertions, then I can only say:

Bhugg-shoggoth n'yaathai m'waflghaa toglesh-shelgoth!

Now, THAT should hold you until breakfast. (If you are instead susceptible to such invocations, you might find your molars are on fire about now, which I apologize for. See a competent dentist.)

P.S. Have you hugged your Shoggoth today?

P.P.S. I have some baseball caps with "W.W.C.D." printed on them. $20 each, or $5 if accompanied by the sacrifice of a small child. Email me.


[ Parent ]
Never heard of Derleth (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by LilDebbie on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 12:03:39 PM EST

I ripped off most of that from Haunter of the Dark.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Lovecraft was an atheist. (3.00 / 5) (#58)
by sudog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST

Derleth, who was a friend of Lovecraft's and corresponded with him regularly, also wrote in the same style and used many of Lovecraft's ideas and creatures in his own stories.

Unfortunately he also decided to Christian-ise (or more appropriately, demonise) the Lovecraft creatures and, if you allow Derleth's words to expand on Lovecraft's, made it a sin to think Cthulhu was cool! In my view this has lessened the impact of Cthulhu, since instead of a Universe-destroying entity from another dimension, he's now just another demon, subjugated by Lucifer and ultimately God.

So, what once was completely outside the realm of a Christian belief system and thus safe to revel in, now has Satanic leanings because Derleth couldn't see grander possibilities than his own Christian-coloured glasses would let him.

Down with Derleth's perversions!

I don't want bible-thumpers breathing down my neck just because I have a plush Cthulhu sitting on my desk...


[ Parent ]

Ahh... (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by LilDebbie on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:19:13 PM EST

I did not mean the imply in my ranting that I tie Apocalyptic teachings with the wisdom of The Outer Gods, I was just senseless stringing along whatever madness came to bear.

If anything, Satan is merely one of the many Faces of Nyarlathotep.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Argh, he said it again! [n/t] (none / 1) (#61)
by sudog on Mon Apr 25, 2005 at 01:20:40 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Down (1.00 / 3) (#128)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:03:19 PM EST

with dorks who even know who Cthulhu is.

[ Parent ]
I'm guessing Glenma (none / 0) (#80)
by thankyougustad on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:12:28 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de got.

A few thoughts (3.00 / 4) (#81)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:45:44 PM EST

Earlier this evening I was browsing 4chan ever in search of the next mindfuck to keep me stimulated.

This is total speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised if many highly frequent contributors to sites like K5 are borderline or full blown ADD cases (Attention Deficit Disorder likely without Hyperactivity otherwise you'd be out bungie jumping).

As evidence, I'd present a couple of observations.

First, scratch a freqent K5 poster, and you'll find an amazing trove of trivia. ADD types are on that end of the human bell curve that is restlessly seeking novelty. In our prehistoric ancestors, the presence of this trait is apparent by the documented fact that H. sapiens bands would often travel a hundred miles to get flint that was just right, whereas Neanderthals would use good enough flint that was close by. The modern equivalent is a passion for absorbing curious facts that don't have much immediately utility -- Google being a major enabler of this behavior.

(I am fully aware of the irony of the above paragraph.)

Second, a characteristic of many people with ADD is that they seek stimulation, and often have poor impulse control. This manifests itself in either conflict seeking behavior, or willingness/eagerness to engage in conflict. ADD types also have the ability to hyperfocus on a task that they find stimulating. A flamewar, or even a heated exchange fits this activity profile perfectly.

Third, ADD people are often humane by nature, but poor at reading others accurately, and are prone to impulsiveness. This leads to negative evaluations of their personalities that often become part of their self-image.

I don't want to be presumptuous, nor do I wish to reduce any person to a diagnosis (which I am not qualified to make in any case), but this piece of LilDebbie's article really stood out for me: "I am a cynical person. Some say I lack that basic human quality known as empathy. Others add that I am a "brutal, cold, calculating reptile." While these claims are not without merit, I was not always this way." This kind of change in self-image often happens when ADD people become teenagers and adults, and the expectation that they are able to read others accurately produces the impression that they don't care about others.

It should be noted that some people with attention deficit problems related to (if I recall correctly) temporal lobe dysfunction really are nasty, although they can't help it. However, your garden variety ADD person isn't really nasty, he's just prone to misreading, saying what comes to mind, and may have a number of coping mechanisms that cause social problems. The tendency not to follow through on things leads to broken promises, which in turn lead to the idea that they are somehow pathologically self-centered.

Finally, don't we all have other things we're supposed to be doing?

C'est moi! (none / 0) (#116)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:40:59 AM EST

Bloody hell, that's me you've described. I don't suffer from too much of the social awkwardness (though people do consider me a bit odd until they get to know me usually), but the love of useless trivia and constant search for novelty are two things I most enjoy in life and most hate about my own personality.

I find it difficult to work because I'm always either reading about new tech or have picked a topic and can't put it down until I know everything about it. A couple of weeks ago it was cephalopods, after I came across the idea (how??) that one could keep octopods as pets.

I also do feel like I myself am a bit cold and calculating, even though I have lots of friends and everyone says I'm emotionally well grounded and quite mature (I'm 26, but they've been saying that for as long as I can remember, with the exception of probably my closest friend who thinks I am a childlike idiot. I think he is right :).

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#118)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:41:52 AM EST

can't put it down until I know everything about it. A couple of weeks ago it was cephalopods, after I came across the idea (how??) that one could keep octopods as pets.

I was talking wiht one of my Kung Fu buddies one time about the generally poor quality if Chinese blade weapons, and different modifications we'd made to them to make them safer or improve their cosmetics. "I'm going get out my jewelry making stuff and fix this bit here on the scabbard; I have the German silver on order." A little light bulb went off in my head. "Hey," I said, "I bet you've done some calligraphy."

"Yeah, not just calligraphy, I also do manuscript illumination," he replied.

I turned out, as I guesed, that he had a staggering array of craft interests (including computer disciplines which I count as craft). They all had the same things in common: scope for creativity on one hand and the room to get lost in endless details needed to make a creative vision come true. It turns out this friend, despite his obvious high intelligence and creativity, could never quite fit in in companies as an employee, so he has his own small computer support business. When his inability to focus on routine details of the business began to limit his success, he wisely went for help and was diagnosed as having ADD. With his doctor he found a sufficiently small dose of Ritalin, such that he doesn't really feel any different, but has more ability to keep track of routine details.

There's some concern of course that ADD is the "diagnosis du jour". And I susepct over time the diagnostic criteria will become more precise. But when I think of all the intelligent, highly creative people who somehow never seem to be able to put those assets together into something that feels like success to them, I don't think it's overdiagnosed.

[ Parent ]

Mature, or repressed? (none / 0) (#122)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:42:04 AM EST

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether or not you have a good grip on your emotions or have just shut them down instead and affect happiness. If you're good at it, no one can tell.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Now you've confused me (none / 0) (#124)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 11:34:53 AM EST

'cos i can't tell myself half the time. Though overwhelmingly I'm happy on the inside too.

I do definately repress when I'm in unfamiliar situations and people don't know.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
H. sapiens & Neanderthals (none / 0) (#154)
by daigu on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 06:31:22 PM EST

...by the documented fact that H. sapiens bands would often travel a hundred miles to get flint that was just right, whereas Neanderthals would use good enough flint that was close by.

Interesting point. Ever think there might be a reason for this that Neanderthals or modern H. sapiens that do not travel in bands don't see - and that has nothing to do with the pursuit of novelty?

I haven't made any stone tools lately - but I do know that certain types of wood are better than others for different purposes. For example, you could probably make a deck out of any type of wood. However, I most frequently hear chemically treated or cedar offered as the two main options.

Perhaps it was easier to travel the hundred miles than trying to make what was available locally work for a specific purpose?

Just a thought...



[ Parent ]
If you're patient (none / 0) (#155)
by LilDebbie on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 12:23:35 AM EST

you can make stone tools out of granite. It's just some rocks are easier to work with than others.

Yes, I know how to make stone tools and have done so for shits and giggles.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Painful. (2.80 / 5) (#82)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:48:21 PM EST

I'll preface this by saying that it's possible you are a troll, since what you've written would be about exactly what I would if I was trying to make fun of you.

I am a cynical person.

Defense mechanism, probably from a young age.  Your parents probably didn't help that out.

Indulging my curiosity, I delved into this random girl's life.

"I'm an insecure dork and sometimes there are cute chicks online."

And on and on.

What is really frustrating about your type of person is that you are so, soooo needy.  Normal people don't need to make posts like yours because they already have what you want.

Your very pursuit of the cure for your broken selves is exactly the problem.

Great work - my .02$ (3.00 / 3) (#88)
by MMcP on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 03:13:29 PM EST

I've hit upon a similar idea - I can lessen the pain of empathy by basically removing myself from those in suffering - namely everyone.  

I habitually avoid people because it harms me to see them not only hurt themselves but also those near and dear to them.  I hold out hope then I can find people interested in not harming each other and also  discussing it like human beings when harm inadvertantly occurs.  

Still waiting...

Regarding Psychiatry, (3.00 / 6) (#90)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 03:33:12 PM EST

It's already been pointed out in many places that so-called anti-depressants aren't effective at treating depression after the first few weeks. One such place is this APA Journal article on the effectiveness of SSRIs and related atypicals compared to placeboes:

We are very heartened by the thoughtful responses to our article. Unlike some of the responses to a previous meta-analysis of antidepressant drug effects (Kirsch & Sapirstein, 1998), there is now unanimous agreement among commentators that the mean difference between response to antidepressant drugs and response to inert placebo is very small. It is so small that, despite sample sizes involving hundreds of participants, 57% of the trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry failed to show a significant difference between drug and placebo. Most of these negative data were not published (see Thase, 2002) and were accessible only by gaining access to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents.

The small difference between the drug response and the placebo response has been a "dirty little secret" (Hollon, DeRubeis, Shelton, & Weiss, 2002), known to researchers who conduct clinical trials, FDA reviewers, and a small group of critics who analyzed the published data and reached conclusions similar to ours (e.g., Greenberg & Fisher, 1989). It was not known to the general public, depressed patients, or even their physicians. We are pleased that our effort facilitates dissemination of this information.

The issue of psychiatry's failures is a complex one. There are certainly many well-meaning people involved in psychiatry, and I would not be at all surprised to find there are some not-so-well-meaning people involved too--most likely in the upper positions of power.

I think at the heart of the issue is whether the use of chemicals is appropriate for dealing with emotional and social problems. (I should point out that as far as we can tell, we aren't dealing with medical diseases in the vast majority of psychiatric cases. Psychiatrists have moved away from using the term 'disease' and instead use 'disorder' due to this very lack of proof. If anyone wants me to expand on this particular subtopic, please ask.)

The question is: if psychiatry's approach is so wrong, how did it manage to become so significant and popular? Well, obviously, profit is a primary factor. But I think there's a key to understanding what went wrong. The key is the difference between the institution of medicine, a healing profession, and the judiciary and penitentiary institutions, which are centered around punishment and behavior control. As you might expect, to be treated as a criminal requires a high degree of evidence (or at least it should). We do things to criminals without their consent but only with a code of law in place and the right to a fair and reasonably immediate trial. On the other hand, doctors can treat people nonconsensually in the cases where the patient is unable to make a decision (e.g. too young to decide; unconscious from an accident; not in a sound state of mind; etc.). Doctors can only do this when using approved medical treatments and practices, and it is done for the benefit of the patient.

Okay, I'm rambling here, but the main point I'm approaching is that in medicine the focus is on doing what's best for the patient, but in the judicial/penitentiary institution the focus is primarily on doing what's best for everyone else (ie- society) at the expense of the person in question. What would happen if there was a medical profession which filled the function of the penitentiary system? What if it treated behaviors against which one can't reasonably make criminal laws, like being annoying in a classroom? Or being angsty or otherwise annoying?

p.s.-
I suppose this is the sort of thing one writes a thesis about rather than a post to k5. I've certainly skipped a lot when writing this, so please ask for clarifications, more evidence, further explanation, etc.

p.p.s-
The links are all worth reading for people interested in this topic. :-)



So... (none / 0) (#105)
by MTremodian on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:22:42 PM EST

What you need to do for this project is

(1) Read Foucault's body of work (or at least Madness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish), taking care to understand it on its own (prepostfreudian) terms,

(2) Wait a few months/years, until you can intelligently disagree with him (on at least a few points, if not the argument as a whole),

(3) Write your analysis of the modern medical (specifically psychiatric) profession.

Good luck!


...speed overcomes the fear of death.
[ Parent ]

Foucalt (none / 1) (#109)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 12:12:59 AM EST

I've read some summaries and excerpts of Foucalt, and he seemed somewhat dated although still relevant in ways. If what I've read gives an accurate view of his work, then I don't need to wait several years to not agree with him in some ways. My overall impression is that Foucalt and I have different arguments. There's been quite a few scientific advancements since his time, and society has changed in many ways as well.

I have put his books on my to-buy list, and I will try to get around to them sometime soon. At the very least, I should probably be more aware of his arguments since he is so influential.



[ Parent ]
Wow. (3.00 / 3) (#111)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:39:10 AM EST

It would sure help if I spelled Foucault's name correctly. x.x

MiscURL: Wikipedia's entry on Michel Foucault

I want to be clear that I agree with much of what I've read of Foucault's work (or I at least see his viewpoint). However, modern psychiatry is a slightly different beast than the psychiatry of his time.

Also, I had more points I wanted to make, but I found myself editing and rewriting so much, that I decided if I didn't post what I had then I probably wouldn't have posted at all. One such point was the issue of where the fault lies: with the patient or with society? If you're familiar with those puzzles where there are many pieces of a different shape such as stars, squares, circles, triangles; and there is a board will holes for each piece, then imagine if you have a piece in your hand and you try it in one particular hole and the piece doesn't fit. Do you blame the piece for not fitting the hole or do you blame the hole for being the wrong shape for the piece? If you blame the piece, you'll set it down and look for one which fits the hole. If you blame the hole, you'll keep the piece in your hand and look for the hole which fits it. Neither choice is particularly right or wrong. You can solve the puzzle with a mix of either method.

When there is a conflict, we are often faced with the problem of deciding where the fault lies. In order to apply effort to make a change to correct the situation, we have to know where to apply that effort. Sometimes the situation could be complex and both sides seem at fault. Other times, maybe it seems a little more clear. For example, if a woman of color has had a long day of work and she's sitting there on the bus trying to relax on the way home and a white person comes up to her and tells her to go stand in the back so the seat is free then is the black woman maladaptive for not conforming to society's rules and doing what she's told? No, I think not. Yet in today's world, Rosa Parks could end up being another person put on medication for maladaptive behavior rather than becoming an unwitting hero of the civil rights movement.

Certainly some people have illnesses. My point is not to claim that all psychiatric patients are simply misunderstood. However, psychiatry is only capable of blaming the patient or not blaming the patient. Psychiatrists can't apply treatments to society. It's like they can only blame the piece and never the hole, and in many real life situations there isn't the same symmetry of choice as in the simple game: often one side really can be blamed more than the other.



[ Parent ]
we only need to do 3 things?? (none / 0) (#144)
by OzJuggler on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 11:57:29 AM EST

I read the conclusive paragraphs of that first link, especially where it mentions the alternatives to drugs. It got me thinking.

Do any of you realise that there is no problem we will ever face that cannot be solved by a combination of reading, talking to people, and physical exercise? (!)

Just those three things are all you will ever need to do to solve any problem that you will ever have.
Books for facts, people for feelings and consensus, and physical exercise for health and strength.

Think about it. Just try and find a counter example. I don't think there are any.

OzJuggler.
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

Question (none / 0) (#150)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 06:10:16 PM EST

When you say 'problem', are you refering only to emotional and social problems? Because, medically speaking, I can think of some problems which only get better with a doctor's help.

One thing which bothers me is that people have been convinced that when they're feeling sad either it must be something that they can fix with willpower alone or it must be a medical illness which only drugs can cure. A good example is the blue period most people go through at the end of their teens and the start of their twenties. The body's neurological system changes sometime during that period, and there's really nothing one can do to completely avoid a little depression. Pretty much everyone goes through it.



[ Parent ]
I've been caught. (none / 1) (#156)
by OzJuggler on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 10:34:19 AM EST

I thought every problem could be solved that way, but in my idealistic meanderings I obviously forgot a few facts of life which you've just brought home.

Yes, reading, talking and exercise won't cure chronic disease. That I overlookd this is probably a consequence of being insulated from chronic disease by a high standard of living and hermitic habits.

Your remarks about sadness don't go far enough. In this commercially driven world we are expected to be happy all of the time and if we're not a deliriously smiling idiot like in the advertisements then we're treated like we're defective. An alien on Planet Mirth.
The taboo on sadness stems from an unwillingness (on the part of people generally) to understand over people's problems - which I think is in turn symptomatic of feeling powerless during these chaotic, interconnected, unjust and uncertain times.

Yeah, books and exercise won't chage that much.
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

D'oh! (3.00 / 4) (#91)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 04:39:08 PM EST

I'm such a klutz. I didn't even directly address the issue you brought up:

Most people attribute the rise of depression diagnoses in recent years due to greater identification of existing disorders. Apparently, we've always been this fucked up, but we're only just realizing and/or doing something about it. Somehow I have trouble believing this; too many of my friends are on medication.

The rise in diagnoses are directly related to the use of algorithms designed to mark a lot of people as mentally ill, and soon one such set of algorithms, the TMAP (Texas Medication Algorithm Project) model, will be put into place nation wide by the Bush administration. So expect even more diagnoses. (Google the texas TMAP and other keywords for more info.)

There has also been an enormous amount of advertising/propaganda directed at both doctors and patients. The usual PR plays a role in the increase of diagnoses too:

While the common image of the legal drug industry is of workers in white lab coats, the reality is that public relations, marketing and administration commonly absorb twice the amount spent on drug research and development. During 2000 more than $13.2 billion was spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the US alone.

[...]

According to Bob Chandler and Gianfranco Chicco, former staffers at the PR firm of Burson-Marsteller the key to promoting drugs is creating "buzz."[...]

[...]

While some PR firms work to gain media profile for their clients, others work hosing down bad publicity. In January 2003, for example, pharmaceutical companies were caught with their pants down when the British Medical Journal featured an article by Moynihan challenging the use of exaggerated statistics by corporate-sponsored scientists seeking to create a new medical "syndrome" called "female sexual dysfunction.

[...]

Pharma PR practitioners are sometimes quite candid as they discuss the art of creating a need for a new product. "Once the need has been established and created, then the product can be introduced to satisfy that need/desire," states Harry Cook in the "Practical Guide to Medical Education," published by the UK-based Pharmaceutical Marketing magazine.

Sometimes patient groups are created out of whole cloth to boost a new drug that is about to emerge from a drug company's "pipeline." Most of the time, however, drug companies woo existing non-profit patient groups. "Partnering with advocacy groups and thought leaders at major research institutions helps to defuse industry critics by delivering positive messages about the healthcare contributions of pharma companies,"explains Teri Cox from Cox Communication Partners, New Jersey, in a September 2002 commentary in Pharma Executive.Corporate-sponsored "disease awareness campaigns" typically urge potential consumers to consult their doctor for advice on specific medications. This advice works in tandem with corporate efforts to influence doctors, the final gatekeepers for prescription drugs.

Etc, etc. Read the article for more. It's the usual PR stuff.



So when are you doing the article (none / 0) (#95)
by LilDebbie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 05:57:11 PM EST

on big pharma? Or have you already?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Alfie's Failure at Writing (none / 0) (#98)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 06:34:21 PM EST

I've tried several times, but I'm having trouble tying it all together. I do think the use of chemicals for behavioral control (as opposed to the use of drugs for medicine) is one of the huge issues, and I think I can give a sound explanation for how such a state of affairs can come to pass given relatively well-intended people trying to do good and adding to that a healthy dose of money and greed. However, I suspect there may be something more than greed involved. There might be an ideology behind the use of psychiatry in its modern form. However, that's travelling deep into tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory country. It's not that things like this haven't been done in other country's pasts, but to suggest it might be done here in the U.S. is kind of scary. I don't know how to approach the topic. -.-



[ Parent ]
What you know and what you think (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 12:43:44 AM EST

It's not like I provided any answers in this article. Sometimes, just posing the question is good enough.

That, and if there's any place for tin-foil hat stories, it's kuro5hin.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Psychology and Psychiatry like Religion (2.60 / 5) (#93)
by cronian on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 05:12:03 PM EST

The whole modern mental health establishment replaces many of the traditional oppressive functions of the catholic church. Instead of using the old, discredited religious terminology, it has been replaced with pseudo-scientific jargon.

Possesed people were supposed to be exorcised supposed through all sorts of cruel and sadistic tortue, whose modern descendents are psychiatric wards. Those who behaved anathema to official doctrines, like Galielo, were killed.

Of course, at times the church had a softer side. Like modern psychologists, priests allowed their parishoners to repent, and seek help from god.

Today, we have a sophisticated modern mental health establishment, along with lots of expensive drugs. The problem is not individuals, but the creation of an inhuman society. Fancier and fancier methods used to destroy all natural feedback mechanisms.

Psychologists have been put in charge of designing school curiculums, government, and military institutions, make the institutions fill some grand goal, they have for it. The problem is that they want to engineer humans to a certain function. They seek to serve some 'greater' goal, and ignore what is actually best for individuals.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
You are correct (3.00 / 4) (#94)
by daveybaby on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 05:49:09 PM EST

Something is happening. The number of people i know personally who are on medication has very recently risen from zero to something like 50% of my close friends (people affected cover a wide range of ages and are from all walks of life). While i tend to drift through life oblivious to this kind of thing in general, there is definite marked increase which i cannot put down to either coincidence or my own personal increase in awareness of the subject (see below).

Recently i have become aware that i am also suffering from clinical depression. It should have been obvious to me for a long long time, but several articles i have read on k5 have inspired me to read background material that has made me realise what it is that i am experiencing myself. The reasons/triggers are obvious (to me). The treatment and cure is also obvious. Which, of course, doesnt help one iota in actually forcing myself to do something about it.

Another reason that i have been forced to realise what is going on inside my head is that the large number of my that friends are suffering from depression all recognise my blatantly obvious symptoms and are advising me to do something about it. Or maybe its just that i am pissing them all off. Cause and effect are getting VERY subjective right now.

But, for fuck's sake people, i seem to recall a statistic often quoted in the eighties and nineties that 10% of the population would suffer from mental illness throughout their lifetimes. What i am seeing now is like an epidemic. What the hell is going on?

I think (3.00 / 3) (#97)
by vadim on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 06:22:23 PM EST

That it's just becoming "fashionable" to find new "diseases". Mind you, I don't want to sound like I'm attempting to belittle serious mental illnesses, but lately I have the feeling that psychologists are a bit too busy finding new ones.

I think that there's quite a lot of variation in behavior that can be had, and that there's nothing wrong with it until it gets serious.

The problem as I see it is that there's quite a lot of rather suspicious conditions as ADHD which I just can't see as being important unless they're really highly expressed.  Then there's that if you read enough pages about illnesses you'll inevitably find you match at least a few of them, since mental illnesses have rather fuzzy symptoms. Things like "40 degree temperature" and "strong persistent headache" are easy to check, but "restleness", "impulsive behavior", "decrease in interest" are very fuzzy, and leave lots of wiggle room.

My advice would be: If you really have a big problem, talk with a professional and maybe get medicated. However, if you simply found yourself to match the description of some illness, and perhaps are simply a bit "non-standard", then probably don't.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

You may be partly right (none / 0) (#121)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:05:39 AM EST

but I think there's more going on here than diagnostic fads.

First, I think there are simply more precise diagnostic categories; whereas once one might be diagnosed as "Neurotic", the same person might now be diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Secondly, I think there are lifestyle changes which present challenges to human biology. In one way we are healthier than ever, due to medicines and diagnostic procedures. Our life expectancy is longer. However, we're also becoming obese, and there's an epidemic of insulin resitance. The brain is a tremendous user of energy, it's energy use is a major driver in our evolutionary biology. It may be that the biological changes driven by our diet and exercise changes exacerbate conditions that would otherwise be benign.

WRT to ADHD, take a look at some of these brain images of ADHD and brain trauma, also pet scans of ADHD and normal brains. There was a sense among many clinicians that ADHD was a fad diagnosis used, until the origninal PET scan work was done and they could see that ADHD brains worked differently. Literally, the harder the ADHD person tries to concentrate, the more the parts of the brain involved in attention shut down.

My advice would be: If you really have a big problem, talk with a professional and maybe get medicated. However, if you simply found yourself to match the description of some illness, and perhaps are simply a bit "non-standard", then probably don't.

Well, it's dangerous to give advice. There's an attitude that there is no such thing as mental illness, and that people who are having problems in their life should just try harder. I'd say, if something is causing actual prblems in your life, and you think there may be some condition that explains it, you need to find a specalist who is capable not only of diagnosing that condition, but differentially diganosing other conditions.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#123)
by vadim on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:59:20 AM EST

I'm not saying that ADHD isn't an existent condition. What I'm questioning is whether it's something we should "fix", and how much of it could be considered normal.

I probably have ADHD myself, or something more or less similar. I'm considered a fairly weird and not terribly social person. The main characteristic seems to be what I describe as being utterly bored between my periods of obsession.

For instance, a frequent one is coding. I'll write a lot of code very enthusiastically. Then it will suddenly stop. Period of boredom. New interest: Coffee. I spent the whole day looking at coffee sites, got an espresso machine and learned quickly to use it. After a few days that excitement runs off a bit, although I continue to use it of course. A day or two more of boredom. New interest: Anime. Started obsessively looking for interesting stuff, and re-watching the same episode up to 4 or 5 times in a row while waiting to get the next ones. Etc.

During those periods of overwhelming interest, nearly everything else will get neglected, but I'm still not able to maintain my attention fixed on that particular subject, so I end heavily multitasking with unrelated stuff unless I really get into the zone.

IMHO, the problem here is finding the difference between what is the "real me", and what isn't. For instance, it's pretty obvious that having something like a permanent headache would be a very undesirable condition.

However, I happen to consider this weird and easily distracted me to be my real self, and while it might not be 100% perfect and integrate perfectly into society, I definitely don't want to. I'm in no hurry to change into something else from what I have been for 24 years.

What I meant by the advice is more or less this: I might not be perfect, or fit in 100%, but I've been like that for a long time and things didn't go too bad for me. So I'm in no hurry with changing that for something new, and I'm pretty sure that some variation in behavior is actually a good thing and shouldn't be suppressed.

Besides, should this kind of behavior really be changed? Must the society be so limited that it can't manage to find a place for somebody who is not content with doing the same stuff day after day?
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

This is why (none / 0) (#125)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 11:55:58 AM EST

All disorders in the DSM-IV have the caveat "if it adversely affects your social, family, or work relationships." To wit, you can still be considered sane if you hear voices in your head telling you to kill your boss but choose to ignore them.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
One thing that psychiatry will never fix (none / 0) (#126)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 12:36:47 PM EST

the human condition. Seeking psychiatric help for existential conditions isn't going to help. Those answers have to be sought elsewhere.

I understand completely your concern about identity. All I can say is my friends who have sought treatment for ADD are not different people than they were before. They simply feel like they are able to accomplish some things that were difficult for them before. In some ways media stories of dramatic transformations of peoples' lives using Ritalin are probably doing a disservice. They still struggle with the same things they did before, only with a little more success. With all the assets that these people have, especially if they are highly intelligent, a little help goes a long way.

Your point does raise an interesting question though, about the treatment of children. In that case, you really are intervening in the development of their identities.

So I'm in no hurry with changing that for something new, and I'm pretty sure that some variation in behavior is actually a good thing and shouldn't be suppressed.

Yes, I agree completely. If my highly creative, wonderfully imaginative, broadly read, multiply skilled friends could take a magic pill that made them mundane, I'd be dead set against it. Fortunately, there is no such pill.

Besides, should this kind of behavior really be changed? Must the society be so limited that it can't manage to find a place for somebody who is not content with doing the same stuff day after day?

Well, it depends. Here is a story I once read about a woman with ADD. Her husband took a cough drop he'd been sucking and put it on the dashboard of her car. It bothered her, and she resolved to get rid of it when she got home. Except she forgot to. The next time she got in the car, she saw it and remembered that she wanted to get rid of it, but of course she forgot again. This went on for months, until, when she told her doctor, she wept in rage and frustration.

I think diversity is well and good, but it is not society that is inducing rage in this woman -- it's the fact that the portions of her brain invovled in coordinating the carrying out of plans shuts down the harder she tries. She wouldn't be a different person if she was able to do this, she'd just be a more effective one.

We speak of ADD like it's a single phenomenon, but it probably isn't. Head trauama, for example, can induce ADD like symptoms. However, it is true that garden variety ADD is part of the natural variation of the human species, and the human species benefits from this variation. But often, the individual suffers. If the individual is not suffering, then there is no reason to address this condition.

[ Parent ]

Dunno (none / 0) (#127)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:01:41 PM EST

The few times I've used amphetamines the moment I finished everything I planned to do, I ended up staring at a wall. For hours.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Was this recreational? (none / 0) (#130)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:34:16 PM EST

Physicians will probably describe much lower doses of Dexedrine than a recreational user would take.

[ Parent ]
I took a prescribed dose (none / 0) (#132)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 02:22:59 PM EST

and it was to get homework done, which works fantastically well. I try to avoid addictive substances for recreation.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#146)
by jolly st nick on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 12:36:29 PM EST

So, I presume because of the side effects you're off of the amphetamines now.

If you don'tmind my asking, how do you deal with the issue that warranted the prescription in the first place?

[ Parent ]

There was no prescription (none / 0) (#149)
by LilDebbie on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 04:39:51 PM EST

At least, not one written out to me.

And to answer you're question, I've never taken amphetamines more than once a week, and even that at most was no more than two consecutive weeks. I'm a smoker, I know addiction when I see it, and I avoid the hell out of it now.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#134)
by vadim on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 02:37:47 PM EST

Yeah, I see your point about that woman. I have a problem like that myself, although not that bad. Took me almost a week to finally mail a package, although a noticeable amount of the time the post office was open I was busy.

As a computer geek I managed to compensate for some of my problems with technology. I have a database where all my chat logs and email gets added. It's one of the things that reduces the excuses not to get things done. For instance, the excuse of that it would take too long to find the address doesn't work - searching it is trivial.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

Creativity (none / 0) (#135)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 03:00:42 PM EST

I think a lot of creativity in IT is driven by people on the ADD end of the spectrum turning tedious tasks like following throug on things into exciting tasks like designing datbases or in extreme cases entire paradigms for solving mundane problems.

The problem is its rare for these people to benefit much from their creativity unless they're fortunate enough to be in a very supporting environment. Otherwise their lives are often marked by chronic underacheivement. Of course, I understand the fear that if somehow you were more organized, you'd lose what makes you special. I don't think this happens, at least from the people I know. I think once your personality is ingrained this way, it can't be flipped 180 degrees, only trimmed a bit.

[ Parent ]

The definition of mental illness (none / 1) (#140)
by GenerationY on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 02:58:07 AM EST

begins with the view that your symptoms are maladaptive. If you are OK in yourself -- what ever it is isn't ruining your life -- then you aren't mentally ill in a meaningful way so long as you are not (without knowing it) a danger to yourself or others of course. If something is causing you a problem, then we move on to issues of diagnosis and symptoms. These "fuzzy" categories are not so fuzzy when brought to bear on a genuine case.  The problem is that the language of these things doesn't help much in specifying degree. Theres lack of interest (I'm a bit bored) vs. lack of interest (my wife divorced me and took the kids because for the last two years I've sat on the couch staring at the wall for eight hours a day).

Its not just mental illness people do this with though. If you've ever had a migraine headache you know its not really about the headache. Its a day or two of being virtually blind, lying in the dark in agony and chucking up with some regularity. But you still meet some people who think a bad headache is a migraine and that think they have flu (that most lethal of diseases) when they only have a cold.

[ Parent ]

More on TMAP (3.00 / 2) (#96)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 06:03:01 PM EST

Okay, I haven't verified this, but apparently a whistleblower named Allan Jones has filed a lawsuit. A 66 page pdf document of his complaints is online here.

It looks authentic, but I'm having trouble tracking down supporting references from authoritative sites. :-/



Looking in my direction (none / 1) (#99)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 07:28:21 PM EST

I don't have statistics or links at hand but I expect I can find some.

Manic depression is known to be more prevalent in the United States than in the world in general. I don't know how it compares to other industrialized countries though.

Someone, I think the World Health Organization, found that the chronic mentally ill do better in general in third world countries than in industrialized countries. The best explanation I have heard for this is that in the third world, the mentally ill are more likely to live with their families. The legions of homeless mentally ill are a well known sight in the US.

I don't think my illness in particular had anything to do with the internet. I was diagnosed in 1985. I can't say the internet does me any good though. I can see how the time I spend online serves more to harm my mental health than help it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


also they have less free time (none / 0) (#103)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 10:45:21 PM EST

Having a lot of free time is more conducive to being a bit crazy. If you have to spend most of your time performing physical labor so you can eat, you have less time to contemplate philosophy and whatnot.

[ Parent ]
I've never gone on disability (none / 1) (#107)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:31:12 PM EST

... I've never been willing to. Not that I didn't need to at times, but I had the sense that I would never get off it and back to work if I did.

My doctor told me today that was a realistic fear. It is very common for mentally ill people on social assistance to find themselves unable to get back to work.

I told him that I felt that having some kind of work to do, and to be accomplishing it, gave me a sense of purpose and meaning that I would find very hard to obtain if I had nothing to do all day.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Depression is the new ADD (3.00 / 5) (#100)
by thankyougustad on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 07:56:08 PM EST

Pharmaceutical lobbies have pulled another coup de maitre. When I was growing up, every kid had ADD and had to pay money to medicate (I suppose they still do.) These days, everyone is depressed (lord have mercy) and has to be medicated. My God, people lived for thousands of years and didn't buy into this tripe. I agree that our disposable society isn't helping people feel useful, and some of you certainly are depressed, but for fucks sake lets pull ourselves together. Everyone feels blue every now and then, thats no reason to shell out money every month on the latest chemical (which just exagerate the existing chemical balances in peoples heads). Clean living is becoming no match for Rx pads and the money behind them.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de got.

My mother is out of six kids... (none / 0) (#138)
by aralin on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 06:56:22 PM EST

... three of whom survived. I have not heard much about people having more than two kids these days around where I was born. What does it have to do with that? Well, maybe the people who get medicated today, did not really survive half a century ago. Many more kids born prematurely survive than they used to. Many more mentally weaker kids make it into a normal life these days using drugs. I still cannot decide if its for better or worse. I guess it depends on which viewpoint you take.

[ Parent ]
Progress (2.00 / 2) (#101)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 08:53:38 PM EST

In December of 2003 I went to the emergency room paranoid and hallucinating. The doctor they paged increased my dose of risperdal from 3 mg per day to 5.

My symptoms abated, but I struggled in my work. During the summer of last year, my paranoia flared up, and I increased my dose on my own to 6 mg a day.

Doing such things as bicycling every day improved my mood and relieved my stress, so in December my dose was reduced back down to 5. In February I was doing really well, so it was again reduced, this time to 4.

Stress from my job makes it so I haven't done as well recently as I was in February, but I'm managing to do well at my work. Today my psychiatrist, concerned about side effects from the risperdal, suggested I switch to seroquel. I suggested instead that I reduce the dose again to 3 milligrams. Tonight will be my first at that dose, since December of 2003.

I actually did really well at 2 mg for a number of years, but stress caused by the economic downturn made me increase my dose to three in the spring of 2001.

I think that if I am able to continue to do well for myself, I could go back down to 2. I'm not sure I could go lower than that and not ever hallucinate. Some people are able to live with the hallucinations, even this guy I heard of who sees bugs crawling on him all the time, but the ones I have tend to stimulate my paranoia, which tends to snowball.

I've been taking a high dose of the antidepressant imipramine for a while too. Maybe next time I'll try reducing that too.

I have to just always take valproic acid (depakote or epival). The symptoms it treats don't happen to me very often, but when mania hits, it is quite sudden and dramatic. I usually don't realize it until it's too late. If I weren't to take valproic acid I might decide one day it would be fun to hijack a 747, just to go on a pleasure cruise.

Some people say that mental illness is on the rise due to drug company conspiracy, and maybe that's true. They say that we just need to get stiffer upper lips. Well, maybe for some. But there have been times I have hallucinated so hard I could not see where I was going when I walked. That was really unpleasant, and I find the medicine is pretty good at preventing that.

I first took risperdal in the spring of '94, just a few months after FDA approval. It put a stop to a profoundly paranoid psychotic episode in just a few days. The staff at the hospital where I was treated seemed to regard it as some kind of miracle drug. It's not without fault - a side effect called tardive dyskenesia can put you in a wheelchair. But I don't think it's unreasonable to describe it and the other atypical antipsychotics as miracles.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Licking your chops a lot? (none / 1) (#104)
by LilDebbie on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:06:49 PM EST

I remember having to visit the dean at my middle school for some malicious hacking I did (really minor stuff, but they were morons so it was major). It looked like he was chewing cud the whole time, smacking away and licking his lips. Not the thing you want to see after you just learn about tardive dyskenesia.

BTW, I'm not suggesting that there aren't people for whom medication is useless. I have my own prescription which is very useful (phenytoin, 400 mg daily). I'm simply worried that it's being used on too many people, people who don't need it.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
More like chewing (none / 1) (#106)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:28:24 PM EST

There are different kinds of motion side effects. I don't think I have tardive dyskinesia, but I thought I did when it first happened. It's a repetetive motion of my jaw and mouth, opening and closing, sometimes as if I am chewing, sometimes like I am clicking my teeth together.

I don't think it's TD because cogentin (benztropine mesylate) controls it. It doesn't actually bother me, I hardly notice it. It really bugs Bonita though, and she often asks me to stop, but I have to make a conscious effort to stop it. Once I stop paying attention, my mouth starts moving again.

Another reason to believe it's not TD - yet - is that TD is generally completely involuntary. You can't stop it even when you try.

My p-doc suggested I should try Risperdal Consta, a new injectable nanotechnology form, which would allow a lower dose because it avoids getting a bunch metabolized by my liver as happens with the pills.

But it turns out it cost a thousand dollars a month. I was offerred financial assistance for it, but I told my doc today that he should use that money for someone for whom taking Risperdal Consta would keep them out of the hospital. The other advantage is that, since a dose last two weeks, you don't have to worry as much about someone forgetting to take it. Someone who's really symptomatic can end up in the psych ward just because they forget a few daily doses.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

You don't need to drive, it's a short walk for you (none / 0) (#102)
by redelm on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 10:39:17 PM EST

... to crazy, that is.

Look, the Internet is a very simple thing. It is a series of protocols that enable your computer to talk with others. Many others. Thanks to the magic of search engines (Google.com is undoubtedly one of the most powerful computers on the planet 30,000 parallel CPUs even if it isn't good at SPECmarks) you can find all sorts of things.

The net result has been said to be like drinking from a firehoze. But even that's easy if you know how (pipewrench). The answer is the same -- you have to learn some selection and editing skillz.

Or maybe you'd rather trust someone (parents, spouse, boss, govt, media.congloms, priests, etc) to do you filtering and tell you what is safe for you to watch?



Christ. (2.00 / 2) (#108)
by Kasreyn on Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 11:54:52 PM EST

I normally hate it when people say "Kuro5hin is dying, because this story made it FP", but I think I'm going to have to become one this time. >_<<br>

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Well, that's democracy for you. (none / 0) (#120)
by jolly st nick on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:45:02 AM EST

Apparently, enough people saw themselves in the article that they wanted to talk about it.

For the record, I'm all for democracy, but I don't expect it to give me the results I want (Bush et al).

[ Parent ]

A wise man once said: (none / 0) (#141)
by HollyHopDrive on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 09:04:07 AM EST

"The trouble with democracy is that every silly bugger gets a vote."


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

k5's democracy (none / 0) (#142)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 11:07:00 AM EST

The measure of how close k5 is to a democracy depends in part on how near it approaches "one person, one vote". What effect do multiple accounts and friends with multiple accounts play in what gets voted up or down?

(This is a general question, and not directed at any article or poster in particular.)



[ Parent ]
An awful lot (none / 0) (#143)
by HollyHopDrive on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 11:10:38 AM EST

And the power to abuse the system by modbombing from multiple accounts is also great.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

and you would know (none / 0) (#145)
by LilDebbie on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 12:22:41 PM EST

wouldn't you, rmg.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
You taught me everything I know (none / 1) (#151)
by HollyHopDrive on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 06:16:42 AM EST

rmg.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

I can't believe *Me\ [:adjective:] got FP :( (none / 0) (#112)
by dimaq on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 04:24:04 AM EST

what's this world coming to?

um. (none / 0) (#114)
by redrum on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 05:33:35 AM EST

i don't know what the others are on about.

i enjoyed the article very much. nice ideas.

Two kinds of people (none / 1) (#115)
by slaida1 on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 06:35:14 AM EST

For me, all this wondering if I'm getting insane by internet (or other mindboggling things) is quickly done when I remember that there's only two kinds of people in this world: me and everybody else.

'Me' is not concerned nor affected by statistics, what other people do or didn't do. The history of me started when I was born and it'll last about hundred years from that point onwards, so I will not bother myself with something that happens or happened outside of that timeframe.

This worldview of mine is rooted in computergames where the player is the one experiencing a world that wouldn't exist without him. Sounds megalomaniac but it works. I play me through life, experience a world that's there just for me to play and that way all the possibilities really seem infinite.

Anyway, I'd suggest you not to mix statistics/other people/history and your life like you did in your story. Keep it simple and keep'em separated. You is you and everything else is just that, everything else.

One more thing: I've heard that people in US tend to work way too much. Absolutely don't do anything work-related for more than 8 hours in a day. It could be that many of those mental cases are simply due to too much work.

Just go out, see the beautiful volumetrically shaded 3D clouds and that amazing, at least 5000:1 contrast-ratio between sunshine and deepest shadows! See those perfectly rounded stones at beach, gotta be at least 10k polygons and.. Whoa, check that babe, 32bit textured, coulda swear there's another 16bit alpha blending used on her bikinis and just think of all the polys, even there where you can't see!

Strange metaphor (none / 1) (#119)
by LilDebbie on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:44:53 AM EST

What do you do to power level?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I don't have the stamina to power level (none / 0) (#175)
by slaida1 on Thu May 12, 2005 at 08:27:31 AM EST

If I try, I always forget what I was supposed to do and just start playing with surroundings, walk to strange places or happily waste time doing something insignificant.

[ Parent ]
It always makes me unhappy (none / 0) (#131)
by Maurkov on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 01:43:52 PM EST

when I realize how far back it is to my last save point.

[ Parent ]
The Anthropic Principle (none / 1) (#137)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 05:41:19 PM EST

One way of explaining why it is that the Earth seems so hospitable to human life, and to argue against intelligent design, is to point out that if the Earth weren't so nice, we wouldn't be here to ask the question. This is called the Anthropic Principle.

There are plenty of places that aren't hospitable to life, but there is nobody there to ask any questions.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

random thoughts #45 (none / 0) (#176)
by slaida1 on Thu May 12, 2005 at 08:48:20 AM EST

It seems I have absorbed that principle and have built some of my ideas on top of it. Taken it to a personal level to be specific.

Still it's hard to _know_ from experience that many people have died and die at this very moment and the world keeps turning despite it, and at the same time _feel_ that for each of those died individuals, what happens now after they're gone is so utterly meaningless that for them we might as well vanish.

I've wondered many times how should I, in light of my personal version of anthropic principle, feel about suicide bombers. I mean, they value something so much that they do the stupidest of all things and make themselves incapable to do anything (else) for their much valued thing. Whatever it is. They clearly don't understand the extent of death..

[ Parent ]

this is new? (none / 1) (#139)
by jcarnelian on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 01:33:05 AM EST

Do you think depression, anger, worry, and all the other things were invented with the Internet?  Do you really imagine that the pre-Internet time was sheltered from disgusting and shocking images?

And, on the subject of fiction and non-reality,almost all of the six billion people on this planet believe in all sorts of superstitions, divinities,

People had different things to obsess about, different things to get depressed about, and they saw different disgusting and shocking images.  The only reason the past seems better is that people tend to forget the bad stuff and because they tend to attribute their innate unhappiness to something external.  However, generally, your level of happiness is largely unrelated to your life circumstances.

Kill yourself while you still can. (none / 1) (#148)
by skyknight on Thu Apr 28, 2005 at 02:09:11 PM EST

Before long, your consciousness will be backed up on tape drives and you won't even be able to end your insanity. Suicide will be a crime for which punishment will be imprisonment of your reinstated consciousness.

Welcome to the post-human era.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Kurzweil (none / 1) (#166)
by MrLaminar on Wed May 04, 2005 at 03:20:02 AM EST

wankery

"Travel & Education. They will make you less happy. They will make you more tolerable to good people and less tolerable to bad people." - bobzibub
[ Parent ]
Call it what you will... (none / 0) (#169)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:37:34 PM EST

but it will still happen eventually. You can't stop it.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Sure, (1.00 / 3) (#173)
by MrLaminar on Thu May 05, 2005 at 01:28:55 AM EST

as will the sun go out. That will also happen, but it is on a totally different time scale, so I don't really worry. Same thing about Kurzweil's "prophecies".

"Travel & Education. They will make you less happy. They will make you more tolerable to good people and less tolerable to bad people." - bobzibub
[ Parent ]
If you've read anything about Kurzweil... (none / 0) (#174)
by skyknight on Thu May 05, 2005 at 07:18:58 AM EST

you should now that he has been disturbingly good at predicting technological trends. That, combined with the fact that he is predicting the beginnings of this kind of stuff happening this century, is rather alarming. If biotech delivers on its promises then you and I will live long enough to see this weird post-human world, and then we may subsequently be granted an immortality of sorts.

Or maybe I'll be hit by a bus tomorrow. Given the amount of work I have to do in the next three weeks I should count myself lucky. :-)



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Criticism? (none / 0) (#152)
by zecg on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 10:00:04 AM EST

The article is a bit too short; you should have expounded on almost all of the points you brought up just a bit more - consequently, it feels (to me) as if some of the lines of thought you started just get drowned by new ones and contribute nothing in the end.

But the writing is mostly brilliant and the last paragraph in itself is worthy to close a novel. A very nice article, overall. What is it actually about?

Never figured it out really (none / 0) (#153)
by LilDebbie on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 05:21:24 PM EST

That's kinda why the last paragraph happened. I was hoping one of you kids would have an answer, or at least a better question.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
prespective helps (none / 0) (#158)
by liminality on Mon May 02, 2005 at 04:02:47 PM EST

Derrida and Habermas keep me grounded and give me the tools to understand this fantastical human world. Derrida helps me come to terms with the God-ness of humanity, and Habermas is hopeful because his epistemological theories on intersubjectivity and fact/validity/justification make sense of the info-sphere and its relation to me and wider social discourse. also, i only do what i like (within the bounds of ethical justification!) and take on only what i can manage (though i challenge myself all the time). this helps me stay centered, and gives me a strong sense of self. i do not judge myself according to artificially selective objective standards. i have a lot of advantages however -- white, well educated, from a decent home. so i don't inherently feel that i face a lot of barriers. but even so, trying to care about the world and the madness of others is a great burden.

the question remains: (none / 0) (#159)
by LilDebbie on Mon May 02, 2005 at 04:53:24 PM EST

how do you deal with that burden?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
reply (none / 1) (#160)
by liminality on Mon May 02, 2005 at 05:17:00 PM EST

oh sorry -- that was a poorly worded post. the very act of reading and understanding the world through those two philosophers (and others) helps me deal with "the burden". for me, a sense of "making sense" of the crazy world seems to be enough to keep me grounded in those things that are most important to being happy: indentity, self, hope, objectives. it helps me identify what i want, which helps me act (ie get off my ass every morning), relate to other people constructively, and get what i need.

personally, i think our society as a whole is austistic, or at least has autistic qualities that it seems to act out. the massive flow of internet information feeds one aspect of the autism -- too much information and no way to give it meaning or coherence. its no wonder we are all going bonkers.

a neat (and short, and well written) book that might give you some food for thought is "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by mark haddon. looks at the world through the eyes of an autistic child and shows, in my reading, how social relations themselves are becoming increasingly fractured.

[ Parent ]
I'm fed up of... (none / 1) (#161)
by shinnin on Tue May 03, 2005 at 11:00:10 AM EST

...all you people who complain about the so-called information flood, the unrealiability of information on the net and the general effects of teh intarnet on whatever aspect of their mental / physical / social health they care to drag into this place.

As I have posted elsewhere and in much less short-tempered fashion, if you can't deal with it, don't do it. It's got nothing to do with the information, but solely with your lack of strategies for selecting, processing and evaluating it.

The truth is - and their continued loitering in places such as this is - is that this attitude bestows assumed coolness upon the author of OMFG too much information OMG I'm goig cr4zy!!!111 complaints (expects sympathy and admiration for being so avant-garde to be overloaded with information).

Shh! (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 03, 2005 at 11:37:46 AM EST

You'll ruin my street cred!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Gotcha (none / 0) (#163)
by shinnin on Tue May 03, 2005 at 11:45:31 AM EST

But now the secret's out you can always try my aloof "I have significant suitable strategies to approach information" approach, can't you? Might not get you the desired kind of attention, though.

[ Parent ]
Meh (none / 0) (#164)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 03, 2005 at 12:07:53 PM EST

I don't think anyone will read this anyway.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
you don't mean people comment without (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by shinnin on Tue May 03, 2005 at 12:38:32 PM EST

reading first, do you?

Good way of dealing with info overload. Must consider.

[ Parent ]

I read it, but he's wrong. (none / 0) (#170)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:41:40 PM EST

As so many weak minded fools do, he supposes that free will exists. Hell, I'd be impressed if he could even define what free will would mean. I've yet to come across someone who could give a definition that was neither circular nor internally inconsistent.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
not good enough (none / 0) (#167)
by liminality on Wed May 04, 2005 at 10:08:01 AM EST

ah yes -- the old standby arguement: agency.

you will be stuck thinking a lot of inadequate, boring thoughts if you keep relying on this old dog.

It is a nice idea to think that every person is absolutely responsible for and determinative of their actions, but it just isn't true. people are fallible, people are weak, people exist in a social construct that places demands and expectations upon them. to reduce everything to "agency" -- to the idea that free will allows for choices which create a causal chain and hence responsibility -- is to simplify too much. do you really , honestly think that the internet is a "yes / no" proposition for most people? or that its negative effects should overwhelm its benefits (as would be the case in suggesting we "quit it")?

i like the agency arguement because it is persuasive. but i like understanding problems even more than pretending they don't exist.

[ Parent ]
good enough at the time (none / 0) (#168)
by shinnin on Wed May 04, 2005 at 10:34:36 AM EST

you will be stuck thinking a lot of inadequate, boring thoughts if you keep relying on this old dog.

I don't rely on it at all. There has been a spate of "the internet is fucking us all up" articles here on k5 that have been very esoteric to say the least. Above comment was a short-tempered reaction (as I explicitly stated).

True, free will is limited by human fallibility for one thing, I'm the first to agree.

There are many issues regarding strategies for information consumption. I agree - there is an overabundance of information in our society, and little guidance, education or advice in how to select, process and evaluate it all. Fault can be found on many levels - parents for not educating their children to deal with information, schools for not teaching the competences, information providers for exploiting human weakness to sell dubious forms of content.

do you really , honestly think that the internet is a "yes / no" proposition

I did not infer that in my comment. I wrote "if you can't deal with it, don't do it" which referred to information a person may deem harmful. The internet cannot and should not be seen as an either totally benign or totally harmful entity, which was the point I was trying to make. "The internet is driving me crazy" is the generalisation I was attempting to rebuke.

[ Parent ]

It is cute, isn't it? (none / 0) (#171)
by skyknight on Wed May 04, 2005 at 08:42:40 PM EST

So he believes in free will... I wonder what other things he holds dear. Santa Claus? Jesus?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Life Is What You Make of It (none / 1) (#172)
by MonsieurMerdique on Thu May 05, 2005 at 12:50:02 AM EST

Madame, I wonder to myself why you continue to use the Internet if it is driving you crazy. Where is your joie de vivre? Enter the outdoors! Breathe! Live!

Buy yourself a fresh loaf of bread and sip a coffee while the people pass. Look at the busy people who are hurried to their destinations, for what! Smile at the them and laugh the laugh of the sage!

Discover an interest new to you. Visit a gallery!

You do not respond to culture. Culture responds to you! Do not worry of the ill photos. Seek the pleasant.


No, merdique is not French for shitty!


The Internet Is Driving Me Crazy | 176 comments (134 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
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