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Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

Oh really? When someone quits tobacco, alcohol, or caffeine do they exhibit physical withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, Increased tearing, Insomnia, runny nose, sweating, yawning, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dilated pupils, goose bumps, nausea, and vomiting? Nope, they only get that with heroin. Nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine are not nearly as physically addictive as any opiate or cocaine.

While it's true the physical withdrawal symptoms of heroin are pretty bad, that's not actually a good indicator of the addictiveness. People don't (only) fail to quit or avoid quitting a substance because they can't handle the withdrawal, they do so because they 'feel they need' the substance - that's what addiction is.

That aside, these other substances aren't without their withdrawal symptoms as well:

  • - Tobacco withdrawal can cause constipation, depression, sleep difficulties, and energy loss.
  • - Caffeine withdrawal is pretty mild in general, but can include headaches, depression, anxiety, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain. I've experienced this first hand, going from a regular habit of 20 strong cups of coffee per day to zero (I later resumed at around 4 to 5 mild cups per day). The initial symptoms were very unpleasant and lasted around two days, with minor symptoms continuing for around another week after that. The worst part was the intense cravings for coffee, which I didn't expect (far worse than my cigarette cravings when I quit smoking, which themselves were pretty bad).
  • - Alcohol is the worst of the three by far. Withdrawal for a serious alcoholic can include hallucinations, anxiety, shakiness, seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are characterised by fever, rapid heartbeat and severe confusion. They can be fatal (estimated 1% to 5% of cases). Alcohol withdrawal for a serious alcoholic can be as bad or worse than heroin withdrawal for many junkies.

Also note that the symptoms you listed for heroin withdrawal are 'worst case' - not everyone goes through that, just as many alcoholics can quit without all of the nasty symptoms I just listed.

Comment Re:Shoot first (Score 1) 871

Well hearsay applies to police statements as well; a lot of statements contained in police reports, for example, are inadmissible hearsay, though prosecutors sometimes try to get them in. The system is generally loaded against the innocent, though, simply because of the usual disparity in resources between the state and the defendant (though not always).

Comment Only one argument in essence (Score 4, Insightful) 53

I was HOPING in this second part, he'd say something new; but in essence it seems his entire argument comes down to various themes of "targeted advertising (online) is cheap and therefore anyone can and will advertise anything and you can't trust it".

Is that really it, or did I miss some insight as his voice made me doze off?

Comment Re:Liars, liars, pants on fire (Score 4, Informative) 301

Bad analogy, since much (not all) of what McCarthy said turned out in fact to be true. The State Department WAS rife with people who were in fact Communist sympathizers or active Soviet agents.

Not really. McCarthy didn't have evidence or even a reasonable basis for making his claims. Playing the lottery and winning doesn't mean you can see into the future or are a whiz with statistics; claiming that there are communists in the State Department didn't mean he had even the tiniest bit of intelligence.

Plus, if he did know, it would've been grossly irresponsible to say so. Exposing known enemy spies and agents just means that they'll be replaced by others who you'll have to find all over again. The better tactic is to in some way turn the ones you know about so that you control what information they send back to your enemy.

And 'rife' is somewhat of an overstatement.

Frankly, McCarthy was a drunk bully. We'd all have been better off if he'd never been in politics at all. It's entirely proper to despise him and it's nice to see that so many do.

Comment Re:More to the point (Score 1) 187

Your slashdot sig is not an advertisement. Your using the same misconception as girlintraining.

All advertising is communication for the purposes of marketing.

Honestly, my slashdot sig is an advertisement. It is exactly for the purposes you describe. Specifically to "encourage an audience (slashdot readers) to take a specific action (buy my book)". I am marketing my book through my sig (amongst other methods of course).

This is what I meant when I said you were either building up a strawman or using a no-true-scotsman fallacy. If you define advertising as being something very specific that no one else uses as the definition, then you can make any claims you like about it. However as that's not the commonly understood definition, it's only going to misdirect people hearing/reading your statements to think you mean something else.

Comment Re:More to the point (Score 1) 187

I have never seen advertising that contained a shred of truth.

I challenge you to find a single lie in the advertisement that constitutes my slashdot sig or even the Amazon web page it links to.

Once you have a tighter definition of just what advertising is , it's clear that he is absolutely correct. All advertising is indeed harmful, because all advertising contains only manipulative content devoid of any real truth. In fact, dissemination of truth is the last purpose of advertising.

With this argument you're either building up a strawman or using a no-true-scotsman fallacy (too early to tell, but could be both). A lot of advertising is manipulative content devoid of any real truth, but that's not the definition of advertising. It's fair enough to say that advertising that falls in to this category is harmful, however - even if that were 99.999% of advertising which exists (which I doubt) - that still does not say that advertising itself is always harmful.

Comment Re:More to the point (Score 1) 187

You know what else is great for discovering products? Asking knowledgable people with no financial interest in my decision.

My sig is an ad. It's advertising a book I wrote. Let's look at a couple of hypothetical where I decided not to ever advertise it.

1) Let's say you're interested in the subject of Self-Discovery through psychedelics, but you're unsure what good books there are on the topic. You Google around and find.... a couple of Amazon links to books written a long time ago that other people have finally written reviews for. Do you find my book? Not likely. No one has ever heard of it so no one ever wrote anything about it. It's there on Amazon, but so far down in the list that unless you were searching for it specifically it won't come up.

Why is this a bad thing? Why should my book get advertised and get some priority? Well, because it's new and it might be better than other existing works on the topic. You'll never know if you don't get a chance to ever even know it exists.

2) You're a psychologist but have somehow never come across the idea of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy during your studies. "Recreational drugs" have never really interested you, so you never specifically go searching online for anything to do with them. The chances of you ever hearing about my book are very slim. As it turns out though, psychologists who have never heard of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy are exactly the kind of people who may be very interested in my book, as it gives them a wealth of information that they can then use as a starting point for further investigation in to the subject.

So yes, I have a financial interest in your decision of whether to buy my book or not, and I'm advertising it with the specific hope that people buy it and give me money. However the alternative would be that my book sales remain at near zero forever and I wasted a lot of time writing it. I never wrote it to get rich - I wrote it because I'm passionate and knowledgable about the subject and want to spread that knowledge to others. The money from it is nice to have and I feel it's only fair to compensate me for my work, so I won't give it away for free to everyone (also 'free books' are usually not viewed as well by large subsets of my target audience) but it still is a secondary motivation to the desire for my book to be read.

Comment Re:More to the point (Score 1) 187

I think it depends on what is being advertised and the method of targeting.

You (and Mr Marti) make a point, but I think it's only a point against one of the very common forms of targeted advertising that exists today.

In your first example, they don't know you bought the windscreen wipers, so they keep advertising them to you and it's useless to both you and them. In your second example, they're targeting to you for the wrong products based on incomplete information about you. These are problems with the implementation, not the concept.

As per my sig, I recently launched my first book. My sig is an example of nontargeted advertising. Anyone who notices it and is interested may click on one of the links and may end up buying my book (and I thank anyone reading this who has done so or will do so!). However I don't expect it to be a particularly large generator of sales. The intersection of 'slashdot readers' and 'people interested enough in knowing more about psychedelic assisted self-discovery' is probably not very high (although hopefully greater than an empty set).

Facebook's advertising however is different. On facebook, people list their own interests. This therefore allows me to pay some money and specifically target my ads at (for example) people who 'speak English'; 'are interested in psychedelics'; and 'enjoy reading'. This way, I can be sure that my ad only appears in front of people that at least have a reasonable chance of being interested. This not only means that people who might be interested get made aware of my book, but also I don't have to worry that I'm paying for showing it to people who will absolutely never be interested in reading it.

This kind of targeted advertising makes a lot more sense to me and I have yet to see a downside.

Comment Re:Shoot first (Score 1) 871

My point was just that as the accused you're not in the best position to determine what "time-sensitive information" is, and you certainly can't trust the police on that matter, because they will have no problem trying to guilt you. See, for example, Rhode Island v. Innis. At the very least invoke your right to remain silent, ask for a lawyer, and if the cops keep pressuring you or try guilting you about "time-sensitive information" and you feel that guilty about it you might be able to get what you say tossed at trial if it's used against you.

As for the opinions of judges, I moved from law to the sciences so I like to think I have a good perspective on both, and I've found that lawyers and scientists frequently get the other subject wrong, at least in the sense that they frequently don't really understand what the other is trying to accomplish. Approaching it as a science would not be a good idea for many areas of legal reasoning. Judges need to make distinctions between things that are frequently on a continuum. Yes, you can theoretically identify someone from an IP address, just like you can identify someone from a mail address or a telephone number. But it's harder with an IP address. The judge therefore has to decide where on the continuum does it get hard enough to identify someone to the extent that it's not really "personally-identifiable information" as contemplated by the contract; he picked IP address on the "not PII" side of the spectrum and frankly I probably would have done the same thing. And the judge didn't poll law professors, but in a sense they did poll judges -- for the exact point of law you point to, the judge cites another court case (1 judge) and an appellate court decision (at least 3 judges) who came to the same conclusion. I mean, scrolling through the slashdot story you posted, a lot of the commenters (and I would suspect a good percentage of them are network engineers, programmers who work with networking, etc.) agree with the judge.

Comment Re:Er, wait, what? (Score 5, Insightful) 140

Well, nuclear reactions that we can turn off like laser-initiated fusion are a lot nicer than the alternatives. The inside of your car engine is a raging inferno shot with electric sparks and compressed with inexorable steel cylinders. That doesn't keep you from going on a nice drive with your sweetie.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

I think that your post nicely dovetails with my overall point - there will almost certainly still be black markets even after legalization of various drugs. There will still be people pursuing illegal highs.

I believe there would be, yes... however if you legalise the 'safer' variants of most classes of drugs, the quantity of people persuing illegal highs will be significantly lower. As another poster mentioned, no one* would take "Krokodil" who could get their hands on cheap and easy Heroin.

Just legalise one or two opiates; one or two amphetamines; an entactogen or two; most of the tryptamine psychedelics; a few of the phenethylamine psychedelics... etc.

* "No one" meaning 'almost no one', since there'll always be morons.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

Does a shovel, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Does a knife, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Does heroin, when used as intended by the seller cause anyone harm?

Depends on the seller's intention... generally not, but maybe.

Drug dealers usually don't want to harm or kill their customers. It tends to reduce repeat business...

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

right....because if it were all legal, people wouldn't be addicts still...

So, based on this line of thought, we should immediately outlaw alcohol, tobacco and coffee; all three substances only have very limited positive use and a high potential for harmful addiction.

The risk of addiction - hell, even the DANGER of the substance - has very little if anything to do with its legal status in most countries' legal systems.

Legalising or decriminalising various drugs may or may not reduce the number of addicts; but it WILL decrease the associated dangers that only exist because of the current legal status.

Comment Re:Queue The Anarchist & Druggie Comments In.. (Score 1) 318

The bad effects of meth are widely known, but people still take it instead of just using marijuana.

That has nothing to do with the relative dangers of the substances and everything to do with that the 'desired effect' of the drugs are totally different. It's like saying, "the bad effects of McDonalds are widely known, but people still eat there instead of just having a raw carrot.".

I'm a relatively frequent user of psychedelics (as my post history and sig clearly show), however have absolutely no interest in marijuana, opiates, or alcohol despite having tried all of them. On rare occasions (approx. once a year) I enjoy entactogens (almost exclusively MDMA) and on very rare occasions (approx once every two to three years) will also use amphetamines, however that's more for their direct use (in helping to perform a long repetitive task without losing focus or getting tired) than for any kind of enjoyment.

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