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Comment Re:We're fucked (Score 2) 51

My library enables third parties to access users' computers by piggy backing on the library connection, and the search string is included in the url of accessed pages. One of those sharing the connection is google analytics, which can then link the search terms with the IP. At the same time Google drops tracking cookies. The library sees nothing wrong with this arrangement.

Comment Good News (Score 1) 109

"clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques...". On autopsy, some alzheimers patients have been seen to have had no amyloid plaque while others who had no symptoms of alzheimers had large amounts of amyloid plaque... The brain produces it's own insulin and the high levels of fructose and related sugars in western diets result in Type 3 diabetes. Fructose is to alzheimers now as smoking was to lung cancer in the 20th century... But there's another important contributing factor, which is how the brain creates and maintains memory. Memories that no longer have importance are deleted. When you warehouse elderly people, drug them, take away all decisions and responsibilities and isolate them from their families they have nothing left to care about. Combine social isolation with fructose induced Type 3 diabetes and you have an alzheimers epidemic.

Comment Re:Memory (Score 1) 79

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

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

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 0) 79

One minor quibble, "recreates an activation pattern" suggests that the activation pattern is stable. It's clear that the activation pattern is quite vague and subject to corruption, which is why memories can be off on some points, and also explains false memories encouraged by police or therapists.

Comment Re:Memory (Score 5, Interesting) 79

"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

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

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

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

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

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.

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