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Comment: Re:Agrarian shift caused mass underfeeding (Score 1) 254

by Kingofearth (#47668517) Attached to: The Benefits of Inequality
No, I simply said I heard another explanation for why people got weaker when they became farmers that complicates the causal link WillAffleckUW was implying. I just figured I'd throw that information out there and that maybe someone else would respond with more info.

Besides, how do you know Will didn't get his information from something he read (it was video lectures actually) on the internet? Are you really criticizing me for providing context and a reference for my knowledge?

Comment: Re:Agrarian shift caused mass underfeeding (Score 1) 254

by Kingofearth (#47666897) Attached to: The Benefits of Inequality
I heard that the reason people got smaller and weaker when they moved to agrarian societies was because they went from consuming a wide variety of foods which together provided ample nutrition to consuming mostly a single crop, generally a high-carb grain, which was enough to keep them alive, but didn't provide the necessary amounts of certain nutrients needed for optimal health.

I'm not nessessarily trying to dispute your implication, I just remember this from the Brief History of Humankind course I took on Coursera and thought it was relevant.

Comment: Re:Snake Oil (Score 2) 114

by Kingofearth (#47602717) Attached to: How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil
Facebook doesn't promise that your ads will only be shown to people who care about them, they offer the ability to target ads based on fine-grained characteristics. I often see ads for bands and DJs that I like when they're coming to my area. No one's guaranteeing I'll buy tickets, but if I "like" Bassnectar and "music festivals", and Bassnectar is playing a music festival in the midwest, (aside from the fact that I likely already know about it) targeting ads to people like me is about as effective as you can get for advertising.

Comment: Re:Snake Oil (Score 1) 114

by Kingofearth (#47602655) Attached to: How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil
I help run the NORML chapter in Wisconsin. I can target ads for our page to people who "Live in Wisconsin" and "Like 'marjuana', 'legalization', 'weed', etc". Users tell Facebook their demographic info and their interests, Facebook lets advertisers target ads based on that information. What part of that system is deceitful?

Comment: Re:It's just sad... (Score 1) 164

by Kingofearth (#47160671) Attached to: 'Godfather of Ecstasy,' Chemist Sasha Shulgin Dies Aged 88
Why do so many people seem to think it's axiomatic that all drugs cause brain damage? Most psychedelic drugs are not known to cause any neurological damage. Our brains are constantly restructuring themselves to adapt and learn from the current environment, and drugs, like everything else you come in contact with, will affect that. But in general that's a neutral change; it's not necessarily good or bad, it could be either.

A few people do end up rewiring their brains in negative ways from psychedelics, but most people generally find the changes beneficial if they are using it safely (which I suppose is a subjective term). Many people who have used psychedelics report being better able to connect with people and nature, being able to watch the flow of their thoughts more easily, and having abstract thinking come more easily. Not to mention the new perspective on what it means to be you and the subjective nature of reality that the psychedelic experience itself gives you.

If you think people take LSD "to get cool dreams, feel bliss, or see things" you obviously don't know much about it.

Comment: Re:Whatever (Score 3, Interesting) 529

by Kingofearth (#46493883) Attached to: Religion Is Good For Your Brain
I'm an atheist myself, but if you don't think there are real benefits from the community and support involved in group religious participation you're just as deluded as they are. My parents are involved with their church and I see a lot of benefits that they gain from it, in addition to the sense of hope and protection their "delusional" beliefs bring (which provide some value as well, regardless of their truth).

They have a community of people they've gotten to know fairly well over the years, some of whom they have become good friends with. They take part in numerous "extra-curricular" activities made available to them such as softball leagues, YMCA outings, book clubs, etc. One summer when there was lots of flooding a bunch of them helped put sandbags around people's houses. When I was moving apartments and had a 3-day gap between move-out and move-in, someone from their church let us borrow a large trailer for the week so we wouldn't have to rent a U-haul and deal with unloading it just to load it back up in a couple days.

Then there's the fact that they regularly get together with their fellow church-goers with the express intent of discussing deep topics. Things getting to the core of what makes them who they are. What the purpose of life is. Why things are they the way they are. Discussions of right and wrong. Although I really wish those discussions wouldn't be limited to biblical analysis and based off what I see as extremely flawed premises, at least they're discussing these significant topics. And even if they aren't discovering fundamental truths, there are big emotional and cognitive benefits to just having those discussions.

I really wish there were similar groups for the non-religious. Where we could meet weekly to discuss philosophy and the state of our existence. Get to know a group of people at a deep level, where it's encouraged to discuss our feelings, hopes, fears, and beliefs to get support and feedback. A community that will help each other out in hard times, and organize fun events for good times.

Comment: Re:Article not quite right (Score 1) 221

Magic? Did you read the article? There were concrete demonstrable results from the experiment. No magic involved, just a drug that activated certain receptors. Are you also going to argue that amphetamine doesn't actually make people better able to focus and any benefits it allegedly provides people in getting things done is "magical thinking"?

I'm not saying do acid all the time. And of course had work and discipline are important to improving yourself and coming up with new ideas, but LSD opens up a different way of thinking about and perceiving things that a lot of people find very valuable. I fail to see how any of those things precludes the others.

Ever hear the phrase "sleep on it"? It's true that a lot of the time sleeping and not thinking about something will cause you to come up with a solution to a problem. That certainly doesn't mean sleeping all the time and constantly ignoring your problems will solve everything.

It's all about using the wide range of tools at your disposal.

Comment: Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (Score 1) 221

Probably fear of the unknown, mixed with jealousy for those who get to experience a future i never will, mixed with disappointment at all the answers i'll never get to some of the questions that really fascinate me. There are some other emotions too. I don't live like that though. I don't think i'm unique in this respect.

You're definitely not alone. That sums up my view perfectly

"What man has done, man can aspire to do." -- Jerry Pournelle, about space flight