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Comment: Re: One thing for sure (Score 4, Informative) 531

by bitrex (#49140131) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion
It's called a delusion of reference: It's a common symptom of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Religious people may have a mild form of it, but in severe cases there is no mistaking the fact that it is simply a manifestation of severe brain dysfunction and nothing more.

+ - MIT removes online lectures by Walter Lewin due to sexual harassment accusations->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The physics online lectures and courses of Prof. Walter Lewin ( are extremely popular in YouTube, and have been discussed several times in Slashdot.

Due to recent accusations of online sexual harassment against Prof. Lewin (who retired from MIT in 2008), MIT has decided to remove all lectures and courses (

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Avoid a psychiatric diagnosis at all costs (Score 4, Insightful) 784

by bitrex (#45553719) Attached to: Disabled Woman Denied Entrance To US Due To Private Medical Records

The state of the art in the field is medication. The drugs have changed over time, but drugs have been the first line of treatment for at least 40 years now. I have both experienced myself, and witnessed in others the indescribable suffering and agony that can occur due to drug side-effects, and those that appear due to withdrawal of the drugs after long-term use. Psychiatry would have you believe, I suppose, that the central nervous system is endlessly plastic, and can rapidly adapt and respond to medications being added and removed as one pleases. For the majority, perhaps this is true - but there is a sizable minority who find their mental health deteriorate the longer they are on the medications, and then discover (to their horror) that they cannot discontinue the drug without terrifying mental and physical symptoms, far worse than the original illness. If it should happen to you, psychiatry absolutely _will not_ have your back, or really anything to offer you, as even the drug manufacturers themselves do not know how the medications affect the brain long term.

One might argue that any treatment has risks, but after experiencing what I've experienced, I think people should understand what kind of risk they're really taking. For my part, I do not consider this kind of medication Russian roulette to be a "basic health care service."

Comment: Avoid a psychiatric diagnosis at all costs (Score -1) 784

by bitrex (#45553333) Attached to: Disabled Woman Denied Entrance To US Due To Private Medical Records
And certainly avoid being hospitalized for a psychiatric issue, if you can at all help it. Without even going into the potential damage that psychiatry's drug "treatments" can cause, having a psychiatric diagnosis (which will remain in your medical record for eternity) can bite you in all sorts of ways. Not least of these is the fact that if you develop a physical illness which is at all difficult to properly diagnose, your doctors will take not of the psychiatric history in your medical record and spend forever attempting to attribute your physical symptoms to your "mental illness."

Comment: There is no "chemical imbalance" (Score 0) 329

by bitrex (#43703577) Attached to: Psychiatrists Cast Doubt On Biomedical Model of Mental Illness

There is no "chemical imbalance" other than what the psychiatric drugs create, and the issue of drug dependence and withdrawal is systematically ignored by psychiatry. It has been shown that long-term use of the medications prescribed by psychiatrists can cause significant changes in brain structure and function that may be difficult or impossible to reverse, and that in susceptible populations attempts to discontinue certain medications can lead to withdrawal reactions that far exceed the severity of the original illness, even with slow tapering. For these people, there is virtually no assistance from the psychiatric community available (aside from a few "renegade" practitioners), and certainly none available from the pharmaceutical industry. Nobody really knows exactly how the drugs work, or what's happening when one tries to withdraw and things begin to go wrong. Keep in mind that in all likelihood you will be blamed for the withdrawal symptoms, not the drug, because acknowledging a withdrawal reaction would force the profession to admit that they have no idea what to do in such a situation.

Comment: Human Suffering (Score 1) 1142

by bitrex (#41701543) Attached to: Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education
One of the major functions of religion has been to address the problem of human suffering. Some of this suffering is caused by other humans, some of it is simply due to chance misfortune, and it is likely that much of this suffering will never fully be ameliorated by scientific or technological means. A book I was reading recently about suffering by a well-known theologian stated that atheism allows the simplest resolution to the "problem of suffering" in the world, that is, that there is no problem. Otherwise, reconciling the amount of suffering that exists with a personal God makes at first glace this God seem at best indifferent, and at worst unnecessarily cruel - which is indeed seems difficult problem for theists to grapple with. Is atheism the best solution to the "problem of suffering"? Does a world without religion have any answers or comfort to offer a person faced with great suffering other than "Sorry, but that is the way of things"?

Comment: Re:Who could ever need more than 740KHz? (Score 1) 126

by bitrex (#38067130) Attached to: Intel's 4004 Microprocessor Turns 40
Just noticed that you didn't specify what type of 15 kHz wave we're talking about, I assumed sine. Obviously a 44.1 kHz rate can't reproduce any arbitrary wave shape at 15 kHz, because by Fourier theory that arbitrary wave shape could contain frequency components well above Nyquist - even a 4 times greater sampling rate probably wouldn't be enough to reproduce a nice-looking square wave at 15 kHz, as you'd only be getting the fundamental and the first square wave Fourier term (3rd harmonic.)

Comment: Re:Who could ever need more than 740KHz? (Score 1) 126

by bitrex (#38067014) Attached to: Intel's 4004 Microprocessor Turns 40

Huh? A simple bandpass filter does the trick. Higher sampling rate, higher frequency filter. You realize that there are radio frequency filters, which are far higher frequencies than sound?

The maximum achievable dynamic range of an ADC is determined by the bit depth of the converter. In practice, this dynamic range is limited by the steepness of the roll-off of the anti-aliasing filter - you can have a 16 bit converter, which implies 16*6 = 96 dB of dynamic range, but if your low pass filter only rolls off 12 dB before you hit the Nyquist frequency, your dynamic range will be limited to 12 dB. The OP is working under the assumption that the "final" sample rate, as indicated by the information on the .WAV file, for example, is the sample rate used throughout the entire ADC system. This is not how modern audio ADCs work. The input signal is oversampled, an analog lowpass filter is applied (based on the Nyquist frequency being k*F_s/2, where k is the oversampling amount.) The signal is then converted to digital, a _digital_ filter is then applied, and the signal is then decimated back down to the "final" sampling rate. In fact the ADC block in the system for most audio converters is of the sigma-delta type, which are only "1 bit" converters and have their own interesting properties, but the same basic principle applies.

The higher your sampling rate, the less aliasing you get. At 44.1 sample rate has only three data points to describe a 15 kHz wave's shape. That's not nearly enough. I'd guess that if you quadrupled the sampling rate (and raised the number of stored bits) you could sample an analog high quality studio-produced audio tape and nobody would be able to tell the difference between the two.

Oh, BTW, the GP was joking.

I don't know why you say that three data points isn't nearly enough, as the whole point of Nyquist's theorem is that it is, if the signal is perfectly bandlimited. If you mean that it's probably not enough to reproduce a 15 kHz wave accurately given the imperfections of most consumer 44.1 kHz ADC or DAC systems, I think I'd agree with that.

Comment: Re:Who could ever need more than 740KHz? (Score 1) 126

by bitrex (#38066416) Attached to: Intel's 4004 Microprocessor Turns 40
Almost all modern audio ADCs use oversampling to relax the requirements on the input analog anti-aliasing filter, regardless of what the final sample rate is going to be. The digital anti-aliasing filter still has to roll off before the Nyquist frequency of the final sample rate, but since it's much easier to construct good filters with sharp stop bands in the digital realm, I'd think what sonic advantages you get from brickwalling between 20kHz and 24khz vs. 44 to 48 khz would be debatable.

Comment: Re:I'm a shrink and I can tell you why this is... (Score 1) 542

by bitrex (#36788446) Attached to: Mass Psychosis In the USA?

There is an issue I haven't seen mentioned in the article or in the discussion, but that I hope will become more common knowledge: many of these anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications can cause devastating withdrawal symptoms upon attempting to reduce or discontinue them. I've never spoken with any mental health professional who has acknowledged openly that such effects exist, but all the studies are available on the Web, along with patient support websites like It seems some drug companies have started to put small blurbs about "discontinuation syndromes" in the list of drug side-effects in an attempt to mitigate their liability.

I believe all psychoactive medications are, to a greater or lesser degree depending upon individual physiology, going to have the same issues of drug tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal that many "street drugs" have. When one is modifying the sensitivity of serotonin, dopamine, or norepenephrine receptors with chronic consumption of a medication, causing them to up or down-regulate depending on the drug, when the drug is removed there is going to be a massive over or under sensitivity situation - the same kind of situation that arises in benzodiazepine or opiate withdrawal. How could one expect different?

Decades after the introduction of the typical antipsychotics the mental health industry grudgingly recognized that iatrogenic effects like akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome could result from the use of the medications - but perhaps because anti-psychotics were generally only prescribed to the seriously mentally ill who could be expected to be on them for life the withdrawal syndromes did not get a great deal of exposure. Now with atypical antipsychotics prescribed more and more for off-label uses, and SSRIs, many "less severe" cases may find that their medication becomes less effective over time, and then find out to their horror that there is no easy way to cease taking the pill. As I mentioned, the mental health professionals I've encountered have in general flatly denied that any of these dependence issues exist, which brings to mind the quote from The Life of Galileo: "He who does not know the truth is only a fool. He who knows he truth and calls it a lie is a criminal."

Weekend, where are you?