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Comment Re:"Neuroadaptation" and the Pleasure Trap (Score 1) 311

Depression can be cured, or let's call it remission if you want.

This is a big lie promoted by psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry for their own profit

Sadly, a lot of the treatment plans for depression seem to be keep throwing things at it and see if something sticks.

Or you keep throwing things at it until it gets better by itself and the psychiatrist takes credit for it.

Okay, you really gotta pick one. Use whatever term you like, but either you can be depressed and then no longer be depressed, or once you get depressed you will remain depressed for the rest of your life.

I agree, far too many pharmaceuticals are made with the primary (or sole) intention of making profits, which probably includes using them where they shouldn't be. But as you said, they can be effective in extreme cases.

Nothing psychiatry has to offer can be clinically shown to make depressives feel normal. They only make the extremely depressed feel marginally less shitty, if they're lucky.

Well, having been extremely depressed, if this is, "marginally less shitty", I'll take it. I believe I feel pretty damned good (but what basis do I have to make that distinction on). As for normal, that's not something I was ever aiming for. ;)

What it comes down to for me is, if you have a problem, deal with it. Pharmaceuticals may be the solution for some people. If it isn't working, stop taking it! If it's done its job, stop taking it! If you still need it to function normally (or what passes for it), keep taking it! That can be applied to any situation you can find yourself in. "If you act like an ass whenever you drink, maybe you should stop drinking." "If you can't stand the pain without a having a joint, maybe you should have one." "If that anti-depressant isn't making standing in front of a bus look like a bad idea, maybe you need to do something else (but don't stand in front of a bus!)."

For the record, I find most psychologists and psychiatrists to be a waste of time. My anti-depressant was prescribed by my GP. The other things I had to help deal with my depression was coping mechanisms I had developed for myself over decades of undiagnosed major clinical depression (the label my doctor gave me on our second discussion).

P.S. The poorest test for depression is asking "How often do you think about suicide?" and taking anything but a number over a time span as an answer. Depressed people often have no idea how often is normal, so "Not very" doesn't mean very much at all.

Comment Re:"Neuroadaptation" and the Pleasure Trap (Score 1) 311

BTW, if you feel you normally have a consistent low level of mood otherwise, look hard at what you eat (artificial colors, sugar, refined starch, caffeine?) and what you don't eat (vegetables, omega 3s and other healthy fats, B complex, vitamin D, etc.). See Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Joel Fuhrman as places to start with that.

Please. There's even less reason to believe that diet can improve depression than there is to believe that antidepressants can. Depression is complex and multifactorial, and no one anywhere has demonstrated any unambiguously effective treatment for it. Nor should we expect them to. Depression isn't a disease, it's a rational reaction to living in an unbearable society.

Society has been pretty much unbearable since more than one person has been in a group. Before that, loneliness was unbearable. And yet, most people aren't clinically depressed.

Depression can be cured, or let's call it remission if you want. Maybe not for everyone, maybe not forever, but life is pretty malleable, and no single state seems to last a lifetime.

As you said, depression is a very multifaceted condition, which makes it very hard to determine what treatments are effective. One of the biggest problems in this area is that we still have very little idea how the brain works. Sadly, a lot of the treatment plans for depression seem to be keep throwing things at it and see if something sticks. Sometimes a combination of things helps synergistically, other times nothing short of drastic measures seems to have any effect at all. I remember a documentary about a guy who had to go for quarterly electro-shock therapy to treat his depression. He found that somewhat more desirable than committing suicide. Until we have a better picture of what's really happening, what's causing depression in a given circumstance, any treatment is going to be very ineffective in general. That doesn't mean it won't be effective for everyone.

Comment Re:Why the hell are people accepting this? (Score 1) 622

I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure it's because less than 3,547 of those traffic accidents were intentional, and less than 3,547 of those handgun deaths were not self-inflicted (sorry, double negative). Answer without the snide tone: combating terrorism, both foreign and domestic, is a goal worthy of our time and talents.

First, the 3547 were terrorist attacks, not traffic accidents. Second, If you want to compare intentional attacks of terrorism versus intentional attacks of car accidents, the number to beat is 5 or 6, not the number of deaths by terrorist attack. Third, presuming combating terrorism is worthy of our time and efforts, the next step would be to determine how best to do that. So far, the two most effective things that are done with respect to airplanes are to lock the cockpit and for the passengers to not sit on their hands if someone tries to hijack or blow up the plane. Patting down children seems to be a little lower on the scale of effectiveness. Another thing that is known to be effective is to have a known agent on the plane to subdue any hijackers or bombers. Air marshals seem to once again be pretty much a thing of the past, presumably due to cost. Given that having an air marshal on every plane would require no more than 10000 (there are apparently 5000 flights at any given time, with 1/3 being passenger flights, which means there would be 2 air marshals for every flight), and assuming these people get paid a hefty wage of $50k, we're looking at $500M per year. Given the DHS budget of $60B, and the relative ineffectiveness of some of their operations, this seems far more reasonable than almost all the other efforts they engage in (with the exception of non-invasive scanning of passengers, and perhaps some others I haven't heard of).

Comment Re:Try to avoid 9 billion (Score 2) 293

right now we have very talented (and intelligent) women not giving birth due to not wanting to deal with the problems of being pregnant.

Good. Fewer people is fewer people. Don't worry, we've a long way to go before there are so many people refraining from breeding that we can't find "talented (and intelligent)" offspring anywhere.

So actively dropping the median is okay, then. Gotcha.

Comment Re:But is it permanent? (Score 1) 160

not the same.

Make anyone change glasses every day and it will be natural for them. I doubt you can unlearn something that became a "skill".

While I suspect Wayne Gretzky is still a better hockey player than I am, I doubt he's anything like he was 20 years ago. Skills fade. Unused skills fade faster.

Comment Re:First (Score 1) 405

and what happen when you drive into canada who will pay the $20 a meg roaming fees?

All the issues brought up in this conversation, and this is the one you latch onto? Maybe they'll do what Amazon does with the Kindle - make it free for it's standard uses. Also, I think if it has GPS it might be able to be just a little more intelligent than your typical cell phone, even if they don't have those features.

Comment Re:...and device runtime with stay the same (Score 1) 322

First, the most likely mass initial deployment, once approved, will be in new cars. The net mechanic hours will be nil, but I expect the cost will still increase, at least initially. Like most people, besides mechanics, I don't care how many hours it takes, I care how much it's going to cost. The two aren't completely related.

Second, if someone decides to upgrade their car with the new battery, I expect the old one will get you some credit. Again, the question is how much will it help?

Third, the mechanic hours isn't the big deal, the big deal in an aftermarket upgrade is, "How long will I be without my toy?" Again, how much the mechanic gets paid, which will certainly be a only fraction of the overall cost, but the inconvenience of waiting for your toy (or your primary means of transportation) will be a factor.

And the difference between a major overhaul and a simple drop-in replacement is similar to the difference between buying a great new home and renovating your home while you live in it. One has a certain amount of pain and an immediate result (for some definitions of immediate). The other can take a loooong time, inconveniences you while it's happening, and invariably has hiccups along the way. Likewise, the new home may as well have been built by magic pixies, too.

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