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Comment: Re:A short, speculative cautionary tale... (Score 1) 393

by bluefoxlucid (#49545793) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Isn't taking Adderall to study longer another way to employ your brain differently?

In the same way that beating something with a wrench and beating it *faster* with a wrench is different, yes.

Do you dispute that a highly motivated intelligent student would perform better with more time to study?

No. I dispute that an un-motivated, idiotic student with more time to study would perform similar to a highly-motivated, intelligent student. I suggest that an un-motivated, idiotic student would perform similar to a highly-motivated, intelligent student if the former learned to use motivational techniques (e.g. examine the material to study, briefly analyze it from an engineering standpoint, and incorporate it into something of high interest to you) and mental techniques (e.g. SQ3R studying, deliberate practice, mnemonics) similar to those employed by the latter or such as to make them regard the material in a similar way to the latter.

Imagine a future where finishing college in 4 years is a red flag that you don't work hard enough. Where all the high achievers finish in three years with an internship every year and studying abroad and some kind of volunteer project on the side while being in 5 different on-campus organizations and leading at least one of them. And then when that's all over, the same people are expected to work 100-hour weeks all the time.

Besides solving poverty, I am working on the more difficult task of creating an education system which equips small children up-front with the mental tools and techniques to function as geniuses. This has produced some interesting reflections about the nature of education and poverty--that you need tailored strategies for the local culture to make the education system actually work, and so must have a different approach to the same education in poor, inner-city ghettos--among other things. What, then, would you say about a world where not having the education which turns any arbitrary human into a genius is a disadvantage? Is it much different?

I will tell you that I am strongly tolerant of psychosis. I have been afflicted with drug-induced psychosis and with psychologically-induced psychosis. I spent a decade on methylphenedate, eventually paired with risperdal, which induced weak drug psychosis; from this, much of my life has been spent as a collection of many points of view, in which I am a single person existing dozens or hundreds of times, and can move between these viewpoints at will so as to avoid stress. I also learned to stand up separate personalities (under my control, but also semi-autonomous), and so was able to supply myself with constant psychiatric counseling using an array of internal counselors. I was later exposed to prednizone--this was a mistake, and caused severe mood swings, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, and so forth; I of course recognized and controlled these mental disturbances, with no outwardly-visible detriment.

Along with the drug-induced psychosis, I've triggered arguably-worse psychotic episodes from psychological burn-out, learning too many things at once, too fast. The results are similar. There is also the strange loss of touch with reality from this: hyper-immersion in work and study tends to make everything around you look like that work, for example making physical automobile traffic seem like something you could improve with the skillful use of firewalls...somehow.... This is a well-known psychiatric condition caused in normal human beings exposed to excessive job stress; it's actually common for college students to suffer dramatic neurotic breakdown in their late third or early fourth year.

Given that simply using your brain too hard can easily cause serious psychiatric pathology, what opinion do you have of simply improving the general education system?

Comment: Re:Who to believe (Score 1) 78

by bluefoxlucid (#49538935) Attached to: Africa E-Waste Dump Continues Hyperbole War

And here is the UN funded 2012 study of the imports to Ghana which found 91% reuse. [] This was the study that caused (the NGO) to backtrack on their claims.

They didn't want the reuse numbers to get out because their campaign was really about one important American family value: black people shouldn't be allowed near computers. They'll dirty the Internet up.

Comment: Re:A short, speculative cautionary tale... (Score 1) 393

by bluefoxlucid (#49538869) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

I'm using hundreds of studies ranging from 40 people to 50,000 people, using interview, observation, and experimentation methods.

I would bet that you've always found mathematics interesting. I used to find mathematics quite interesting, and so I learned mathematics at an incredibly rapid rate. I learned mathematics so well, in fact, that I theorized new mathematics before they were introduced. Once, in high school, I had a calculus teacher explain to us that there is no chain rule in integral calculus; having found the chain rule so useful and not believing that the rules of mathematics wouldn't bend to my will, I ignored the remainder of the 40-minute lecture in favor of developing a chain rule for integration. For the next three weeks, I was the only person in the class using the integration by parts method; then we reached that chapter in the book, and I was annoyed at my teacher for being such an idiot. It hadn't crossed my mind to blame myself for not reading forward before investing so much effort in breaking the rules.

I never had much trouble with math because I would examine all the behaviors of mathematics and relate them to each other. Rather than memorize formulas, I would learn how the different pieces interacted by examining how they were similar to other formulas. I broke them down into components, understood how the components worked, and then could later remember the rough outline and reconstruct the formulas from that. I could also approach novel problems with novel methods, avoiding a great deal of mathematical effort. I did all of this while my peers were drilling such dull things as the quadratic equation; by the time they had memorized by overlearning, I had memorized by making the material meaningful, creating a network of well-connected memories that were understandable and relatable.

You will undoubtedly notice that my form of learning mathematics was different than the standard form of reading, memorizing, and practicing. Whereas a normal student will spend hours with flash cards drilling the formula for a parabola or a hyperbola, I'd take the time to notice that a parabola, hyperbola, and ellipse are all different types of conic sections of the form of a two-dimensional plane intersecting with a projected cone formed by a line crossing an origin and rotating. Describing this behavior mathematically leads to the interesting problem of describing a unified conic section equation, which leads to the interesting problem of simplifying equations for each conic section as described within their two-dimensional plane, which leads to deep understanding of conic sections. Likewise, I quickly converted the law of cosines into a unified equation: c^2 = a^2 + b^2 - 2ab * cos(theta) is obviously the pythagorean theorem where cos(theta) = 0 (i.e. for a right triangle), and so only had to memorize -2ab*cos(theta), which is trivially described.

These are not feats of memory or mathematical genius. These are simple observations, creating meaning out of the chaos of arbitrary mathematical facts. I do not doubt that your understanding of mathematics was rich and complex all throughout your educational career; you probably took a more efficient approach, as I had, in completely understanding and dissecting the various mathematical concepts you were given, applying all of your prior mathematical education to every new piece of information. It obviously never occurred to your peers to approach the subject of math in this way; but do you believe that they would have not made greater progress than they had, were they to apply similar methods of thought?

Comment: Re:A short, speculative cautionary tale... (Score 1) 393

by bluefoxlucid (#49538571) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

there are clear differences in intelligence between Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and yourself

Yes. Albert Einstein thought a lot about classical physics; Stephen Hawking thought a lot about theoretical quantum mechanics. If I had put the sort of deliberate study in that Stephen Hawking puts in, I could argue with him about the same shit. Likewise, if I save stated Super Metroid and put in the deliberate practice hours that oatsNgoats or Zoasty put in (Oats is using methods fully supported by modern leading cognitive theory), I could keep up with them in a race. It wouldn't even take that long; an hour a day for a few months.

And some kids do try hard and just can't get the same grades as others. The others probably had a head start with more educated parents, or they have better learning techniques, or their personalities are just better suited to school.

Started earlier, had better resources, better methods, or really just care to learn while other kids frankly don't give a shit. You're not even stretching this; they're all the same, just they're employing their brains differently.

Comment: Re:bypass operation must be covered under ACA (Score 1) 118

by bluefoxlucid (#49535875) Attached to: Swallowing Your Password
Often the things that are brought up are extremes, and ridiculous; but, as we start to accept that they're ridiculous, people start to creep on them. 50 years ago, people would scream bloody murder about the government tapping phone lines--they even impeached the President! Now, they shrug and talk about protecting us from terrorists with all this state surveillance, because the government would never do anything bad with all that information.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 2) 393

by bluefoxlucid (#49529127) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Your argument was effectively "it must do something bad! It's a stim! They make your heart asplode!", so I shot the specific. You've reduced it to, "Well it must hurt SOMEHOW," which is the same fallacy as the trade-off concept.

The trade-off concept is the familiar idea that you can't improve something by making it worse in every way. I usually address this by smashing a beverage vessel such that it no longer holds a beverage, and is perhaps laden with dangerous jagged edges, and deformed so as to take up more storage space. It is obviously possible to adjust something to be worse in every way, up to and including creatively destroying the object's entire useful purpose while making it a burden and a danger.

I did suggest that scientific studies were minimal, and that they gave a good risk outline with empirical evidence but did not give a complete and high-quality scientific image. The problems caused by amphetamines, methylphenedate, and caffeine are obvious, and stand out strikingly; we have enough empirical evidence to show that phenotropil carries none of the negative consequences of these drugs, and nothing notable on its own (upset stomach, for example, can happen--that can also happen with Rolaids, cough syrup, or Diet Coke). We've also seen no notable long-term consequences, despite there being obvious long-term public users--which gives a low but existent measure of confidence.

I am, in fact, quantifying within reason, using a number of data sources of varying quality. I do the same with prescription drugs believed to be safe; hell, I do the same with the belief that fat and salt are bad for you, and now science is reflecting what I've been actively considering for years: that the science behind the original claims was weak and, in some cases, totally invalid (saturated fat dietary concerns were based on cherry-picked data). I don't have 100% confidence in anything, but I do have enough confidence in various measures and observations to scale them against one another.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 393

by bluefoxlucid (#49528593) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Phenotropil is specifically noted for its affect on neurotransmitters, without increasing heart rate or blood pressure. It is part of the racetemic group of compounds, which are the codifying compounds for nootropics; the pharmacological definition of a nootropic excludes things like gingko and vinpocetine (which are often claimed as nootropics), because it explicitly excludes anything that raises blood flow to the brain (blood pressure and heart rate increases would do this). It is specifically notable among nootropics for being a stimulant, and specifically notable among stimulants for not raising blood pressure or heart rate, as well as for not producing withdrawal or other forms of dependency.

If you want a cruder definition of "safe", I'll simply say that it's a shitton less bad than caffeine.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS