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Comment: Re:It is an extremely common view these days (Score 1) 257

by ddt (#46665809) Attached to: Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

I know a lot of people, my sister included, who have a big issue with taking drugs prescribed by a doctor, but no issue with taking drugs purchased from a dealer.

No offense, but I'm not your sister, and I can articulate why I went this route. :)

I pointed out to her that it was completely my choice to take an SSRI, I could stop any time I wished, they aren't addictive, there is no court or medical order that requires me to take it, I continue to take it because I find it useful.

That's not entirely true. Some SSRI's cannot be stopped:

However it is silly to be ok with THC and LSD and the like, but not with an SSRI.

Now please don't anyone mistake me for saying "Everyone should take SSRIs." No, not at all. However if a professional suggests they, or another drug, may be useful to treating a condition you have, you shouldn't say "No I won't take drugs," but then go out and smoke a joint. That is just silly. That would be like then refusing to use marijuana if a doctor prescribed it.

At least in California, to get your certificate, marijuana has to be prescribed by a doctor. I just renewed mine last week. You have to fill out a pretty extensive questionnaire about other drugs you're taking, how it affects you, how much you're using it, and your health history in general. The doctor took my blood pressure, which was a little high, and she suggested I needed to move to a vaporizer.

I know a lot of people get their certificate for issues that aren't medical, but I see that as an unrelated issue having to do with the legal status of marijuana. You obviously won't see that issue in places where it's legalized. It just so happens it can also be used as a recreational drug, but this is true of a lot of prescription drugs, too.

I have a friend who suffers from chronic pain, and his doctor prescribed him Percocet, an incredibly powerful opiate. He quickly became addicted and went through an horrific ordeal trying to quit it. I'm super glad SSRI's are working out for you, but there are decidedly good reasons to be skeptical of what doctors prescribe. A lot of the drugs they prescribe have been promoted to them by large pharmaceutical companies. It's not exactly a virtuous circle. Doctors are not infallible, and it's always a good idea to do your homework, get second opinions- all that good stuff.

Particularly when it comes to mental health, you should feel confident about the medication you're taking. If your sister fears SSRI's, then maybe it's not conducive to improving her anxiety? Perhaps she just needs to find a doctor she feels she can trust? If you pull that off, then it could be as simple as giving her a placebo. You never know. The brain is the least understood organ in the human body, and to treat it by pickling it in chemicals (including marijuana) will probably be seen in the future as an incredibly crude approach, probably on par with how we view lobotomies now.

Comment: Re:How I deal (Score 1) 257

by ddt (#46665581) Attached to: Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression
I am not able to do nothing. My mind is an insatiable thing, and it needs to feed on ideas, knowledge, people, entertainment, etc. That's part of why I got really serious about the redundant bandwidth. Hadn't considered I might be afraid of emptiness. I'm open to ideas if you have any suggestions on how to test for that fear and/or treat it.

Comment: Re:How I deal (Score 1) 257

by ddt (#46657069) Attached to: Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression
You're right. I meant medicate regularly with long-term anti-depressants. I had heard too many cases of people having to experiment to find the right kind, sometimes experiencing even suicidal thoughts when on the wrong sort, and at the time I was diagnosed, they all seemed to be of the form that you keep dosed all day every day, which made me feel kind of "longitudinally uncertain," if you know what I mean. I was also told that they can shave off your highs along with your lows, and I really like my highs. Marijuana I find you can use more "topically" just when feeling particularly mopey or anxious.

Comment: How I deal (Score 5, Informative) 257

by ddt (#46655321) Attached to: Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

I've suffered from chronic depression all my adult life, but I didn't want to medicate unless it was a medicine which could cure me, which doesn't exist (yet). I've been an entrepreneur for most of my 20+ year career. Here's how I "self-medicate":

  • Moved to a place with lots of sunlight.
  • Sold my car, bicycle everywhere.
  • Got rid of my cell phone, use skype # for calls.
  • Got rid of my TV.
  • Got lots of redundant bandwidth- FIOS, cable, 3G/4G modem
  • Got a roomie.
  • Eat more fish and vegetables.
  • Became a regular at a couple of restaurants.
  • Got involved in local hacker community and broader game dev community.
  • Stay productive. Getting something done every day helps.
  • Work on projects with others, use skype video often if not in same space.
  • Got a medical marijuana certificate. Best when used judiciously.
  • Make a habit of checking in on my last dozen or so thoughts. Are they all sad?

There's no one thing that seems to have done the trick, and it's not a perfect cure. I still have "down days," but I feel a lot better off overall than I used to. I think the hardest thing for anyone to do would be to cut their TV, cell phone, and car out of the picture, but I have to say, these were some of the most helpful things I did. Not only did they dramatically reduced bills but also reduced lots of stress and distractions. Granted, I can find plenty of distractions with my copious internet bandwidth, but at least they're more self-directed.

Comment: Re:Unregulated currency (Score 2) 704

by ddt (#46399657) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

confidence in Bitcoin is gone.

My confidence is bitcoin seems fairly grounded and rational to me.

Despite the failure of both Mt Gox and Flexcoin, the bitcoin exchange rate right now is still $670 according to coinbase, which is what it was yesterday. It's as if the currency is more resilient than the sometimes flawed implementation of a few exchanges, and it doesn't seem as if slashdot skepticism is moving the exchange rate either.

The Flexcoin issue doesn't seem hard to fix on other exchanges. How hard would it be for another exchange to use a smaller hot wallet? Or to insure the maximum size of their hot wallet?

Sites like flexcoin and Mt Gox are some of the early pioneers of probably the biggest innovation in currency in the history of currency. You'd expect some issues.

Here are the stats on the US-only bank robberies in 2011:

The sum total was $38M. Did these robberies decimate the value of the US dollar? Of course not.

When the credit default swaps started melting down, that's because all the banks were trying to insure each other in a giant interconnected circle jerk. That illustrated a huge, late flaw in the US banking system, and it hurt the US dollar. When bitcoin exchanges start trying to insure each other well beyond their actual ability to, then it'll be time to worry.

In the meantime, this is looking a lot like natural selection against bad implementations, not against the currency's fundamentals.

Comment: Re:Alter reading some comments, I would like to po (Score 1) 117

by ddt (#45967769) Attached to: Khosla, Romm Fire Back At '60 Minutes' Cleantech Exposé

Agreed. A lot of people aren't aware of the financing model that Tesla came up with, either. It's a steep monthly note, but your recharges are free, and even if they weren't, the cost would be noise. It would be illuminating to see a true use case comparison between owning a Tesla and a gasoline car given the high price of fuel today.

Comment: Don't. (Score 5, Informative) 336

by ddt (#45946601) Attached to: New Home Automation?

Ever lived in a house with a built-in intercom? Find yourself using it? Don't feel bad. No one else does, either.

For long-term value, try to resist the urge to automate it today. Lasting value will come from routing high quality, shielded cables both for data and power to multiple outlets in every room as well as creating strong rooms and creating lots of easily accessible, strong mount points where you can install things you'd like to automate with whatever the latest and greatest tech is. They might be mounts for motors for pulleys for shades or mount points for light fixtures or for a robotic arm that changes your baby's diapers or a landing pad for flying bot that fetches you snacks from the kitchen. The thing is, tech is changing *so* ridiculously fast now, that no matter what you choose today, it's going to be not only obsolete in no time, but in all probability some kind of maintenance and even security liability later.

If you design those mount points in to look attractive instead of like nubs of unfinished 2x4, that's going to be the real art of making a house that a hacker can thrive in but that can improve continuously over time and that can be of value to someone in the market for a house 10-20 years later. Goes without saying, but removable wall panels are also a great way to make a house far more maintainable into the future.

Comment: Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (Score 1) 1010

by ddt (#45826317) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

They would rather embrace a fantasy and believe they can make it real by closing their eyes and clicking their heels.

Interestingly, strong belief has been scientifically shown to have profound effects on our psyche and even our biology. You can see why religion evolved. It confers impressive "mind-over-matter" advantages. Science, for all the things it does well, has never been too brilliant at helping us blindly believing things to be true, nor can it ever be as accessible to everyone as religions are, simply because it's so much more complex to comprehend. Science in its current form is probably a better fit for computers- deliberate, slow, logical, skeptical. Religion is a much better fit for the design of humans. What would be really interesting is a religion that elegantly incorporated science into its stories and belief system and scripture, particularly one that uses all the other successful global religions' growth technique of folding in other religions, so that they feel they have a place in the new one.

When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson