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Comment: Re:Memory (Score 1) 79

by Udom (#48851079) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
Many families opt for a warehouse with minimal care, then they never come to see Mum again. And through Power of Attorney the money gets siphoned off leaving nothing to pay the bills. Being sent to a home is like being sent to a Psychiatric hospital, you're locked in, have no rights at all and are pumped so full of drugs you never complain again. I've seen all this happen to friends. Care on any level is big business and the only goal is to siphon off as much money as they can. Most people sent to homes have simply become too weak to defend themselves against their family's greed. You think you're a citizen and protected by the Bill of Rights? Wait til you turn 70.

Comment: Re:Memory (Score 0) 79

by Udom (#48846871) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
Hmm. I did say "implies". Valid point, but it's kind of a loose definition. One could say membership in the Tea Party indicates a disorder in function that produces specific signs or symptoms. I was cautioning against the habit we have of plugging in a label to explain complex phenomena. In this case pronouncing the word "disease" is a slack way of dismissing the symptoms of dementia without any futher thought. Humans have a history of such rough sorting, using it as justification for all sorts of monstrous human rights abuses.

Comment: Re:Memory (Score 0) 79

by Udom (#48846785) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
Often the elderly are put in homes because their relatives want their money, and distress at being stripped of their freedom and rights is considered proof that they need to be confined. If they've been abandoned by those they care most about and condescended to by all and sundry, they may well exhibit rage. Essentially, we condemn them to solitary confinement.. And... for most people, contact with family is more important that where you left your keys. Women tend to define themselves by family ties, men by their jobs. Take those away, put them in what amounts to concentration camps, force them to take drugs... and they are nothing.

Comment: Re:Memory (Score 5, Interesting) 79

by Udom (#48846419) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
"Disease" is an unfortunate label because it implies a pathogen and there is none for Alzheimers. The term "Alzheimers" is simply a convenient catch-all term for a class of symptoms. One reason memory doesn't "fill up" is that unimportant memories are routinely deleted. Most of us don't remember the names of all of our Grade 1 classmates, for example. So the best place to look for causes is whatever is considered important for the sufferer. For (most) women the most important connection in life is children and grandchildren. Yet we push the elderly off into isolation and offer them daytime TV as a substitute. For them, it's isolation from family that causes their descent. To assume that this situation can be addressed with a wonder drug is incredibly foolish... I read of a young missionary girl who went off to Africa to teach children. After introductions she asked if anyone had any questions. One girl asked, "Is it true that in your country you send old people off to live alone?"

Comment: Re:Memory (Score 1) 79

by Udom (#48846239) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
Not at all. Of course damage to brain tissue can cause memory loss. But ascribing all memory loss to brain damage is simplistic and stems from an archaic concept of what memory is and how it works. Also, the belief that there is a single process involved that we can label Alzheimers and be done is unworthy of science... At best the term might be used as a rough container for a collection of symptoms.

Comment: Memory (Score 0) 79

by Udom (#48845947) Attached to: Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimer's
All memory is re-creation and only kernels of information are stored. That is why it's so easy to plant false memories... one doesn't change a memory, one subverts the re-creation... Memories are tagged with importance values when saved and unimportant memories lose significance and get cycled out, so the cause of memory loss is less likely to be brain damage and more likely to be flagging interest. Older women often obsess about their grandchildren and lose track of everything else. Older men no longer have work to organise themselves around and stop caring about the world around them. In both the patient simply loses interest. Lost interest means lost memory kernels... All brain research into memory loss is valuable, but the focus purely on physical causes is misguided.

Comment: Re:Art expands thought, science limits it (Score 1) 59

by Udom (#48532177) Attached to: The Ancestor of Humans Was an "Artist" 500,000 Years Ago
Art and thought have no natural link, and the link forged in the last 100 years or so is artificial and destructive. And Art is no evolutionary leap as its effect depends on emotional cues weighed by a variety of subsystems of the brain that are present to greater or lesser degree in pretty much all living things. It's ironic that the Western Art world wraps itself in the mantle of the rational while studiously ignoring the science behind perception.

Comment: Re:Art expands thought, science limits it (Score 1) 59

by Udom (#48531537) Attached to: The Ancestor of Humans Was an "Artist" 500,000 Years Ago
Bizarre that rationalism evangelists should try to claim Art created by a Homo Erectus 500,000 years ago. For many decades there has been an ongoing war being waged against the Art of the wild by those who would confine it in cages of polite discussion... Rationalism does to Art what taxidermy does to wild animals.

Comment: Re:Is it true... (Score 0) 355

by Udom (#48508157) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week
Development is not necessarily good. The developed nations have poisoned a great deal of the earth and radically changed the global climate. There are many other ways one could argue that the west is still backward, religion and superstition are rife, war is commonplace, etc. One of the biggest differences has been the decentralized nature of African political and social organization. In that it is similar to what westerners encountered amongst North America Natives, who lived in small nations with many languages. In North America we stole the land and kept it. In Africa, with the exception of South Africa, we just stole the resources... In the Lord of the Rings we all cheer the hobbits and despise Mordor, but in real life the Native peoples of the world are the hobbits and our empires are Mordor.

Comment: Re:there are lots of cultural reasons (Score 1) 355

by Udom (#48507751) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week
Missed in the list were the Congo Wars, (still percolating), that have killed close to 4 million people, (pretty much ignored in western media). But further back there was the colonization of the Congo by Belgium, which saw the enslavement of most of the inhabitants to produce rubber. Those who did not meet their quotas had their hands chopped off and the hands were used as currency to exchange for money or goods.

Comment: Re:First time? (Score 2) 275

Humans infected with Toxoplasma gondii are more prone to risk taking, apparently having more car accidents, for example. Infected mice lose all fear of predators and will happily walk right up to a cat. It was thought that humans could only be infected by contact with cat feces, but thousands were exposed in Victoria BC through a contaminated water supply. Untested so far is the legal culpability of someone who carries the parasite if they are accused of a crime.

Comment: Moral Imperialism (Score 1) 475

by Udom (#48195827) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK
Christopher Handley, a 39 year old comics and Manga collector in Iowa pled guilty in 2009 to an offense under the Protect Act after a shipment of comics he sourced from Japan was opened by customs. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison. With real child pornography real children are abused in the making of the film. The extension of the prohibition to virtual children criminalizes the communication of bad thoughts but the same holds for other types of material, possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook for example. There are lots examples in Labor history of union organizers being arrested for distributing pamphlets. So criminalizing the communication of ideas is not new. The question is where to draw the line.

Comment: Overly broad? (Score 1) 422

by Udom (#48187197) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
The article was written by a news service reporter who took a complex issue and boiled it down into 156 words. Such articles routinely garble the information, partly in an attempt to make it sexier. The original in the American Journal of Medicine is behind a paywall. of course, but no such article showed up in their search results. No doubt it's somewhere, safely hidden from the public who are affected by the issue. The use of the word sugar is misleading, because there are different kinds of sugar. The kind alleged to be the most damaging is fructose, which your body is unable to metabolize properly. Fructose is said to be linked to diabetes, alzheimers and a wide variety of other diseases. Fructose is in just about all processed foods now, (I found it listed on a can of cat food). There's a good chance that the sugar industry will eventually find themselves in the same boat as the tobacco industry, but it will likely take decades .

Weekend, where are you?