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Comment Re: Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

Moreover, adult chimpanzees (our nearest animal cousins) are known to literally tear to pieces young chimps from other chimp communities. Rip them limb from limb. Male adult walruses in heat will try to have sex with baby walruses when they can't find an available adult female, usually resulting in killing the baby.

Religion was put in place to control human behavior, usually for a rich/powerful governing structure or leader. But the honest search for God (an abused term, perhaps "Spirit" or "universal consciousness" or "higher intelligence we cannot adequately explain") has nothing to do with top-down controls and doctrine. But I am digressing. Animals fuck each other up pretty good.

Comment Re:Interfering with serotonin is probably the caus (Score 2) 381

You're right about talk therapy being expensive. I consider myself lucky -- I had the right people, teachers, helpers that could see what was going on for me and give me the appropriate advice, hug or kick in the ass, without having to pay through the nose for their services. If only we lived in a more humane society! But then I think human consciousness creates conditions like depression to teach us how to be more collectively humane (pardon the Schopenhauer-ian digression).

Of course it's not like I consider myself "cured" -- but what I mean about making depression positive is to look at it as a teaching ally. What sort of depth does depression give you? How does it make you more able to empathize with others? How has it forced you to become stronger and wiser? That's different from morbidly attaching to depression as your identity, obviously not healthy. But not everything that's good for us pleases us, and I find being fierce with myself about seeing the good in what's going on for me helps a great deal in improving my life.

Comment Re:Interfering with serotonin is probably the caus (Score 2) 381

My vehemence comes from seeing depressed folks prescribed medications when it is not at all clear that they actually need it. And their healing and overall life possibilities are hampered as a result. I have one friend who committed suicide while on meds due to a badly thought-out prescription -- this after months of work on his personal problems and cleaning up his alcoholism.

I did not mean to imply that this is true for everyone, or for you. My apologies if it sounded that way. I'm sure there are valid cases for prescription meds, I'm just against the blanket approach of solving all mental/emotional problems with drugs.

Exactly what does chemical imbalance have to do with feeling broken or like a victim?

What I mean is, if someone with depression is told by someone with entrusted authority that their mental/emotional problems are due to a physical disruption that cannot be fixed, but only medicated with drugs, it leaves that person feeling dependent on the drug. Their healing is no longer in their own hands. I'm certainly not talking about every case, but I believe folks can heal depression (and other mental health issues) without drugs far more often than is normally realized. It has not to do with "fixing" the problem but giving it the right expression, turning it from enemy to ally. We can learn much from what we cast as abnormal.

Comment Re:Interfering with serotonin is probably the caus (Score 2) 381

What's terrifying about this approach is that it denies the quality of life issues at the heart of many depression cases. A person can be depressed because of feeling isolated, extreme guilt or unworthiness, having no purpose in life that suits their nature, or some form of emotional trauma. Chemicals will only distract from the actual healing that can only take place by slow, progressive inner work and finding the courage to change their life circumstances. The solution to depression can very often be found *within* the person, not somewhere "out there" in drug form. Drugs will only mask symptoms while the real disease remains festering beneath the surface, waiting for the moment to spring in a sudden ugly rampage that can easily lead to suicide (the real reason people on medications do this).

I speak from experience because I suffered from extreme depression for 20 years, tried desperately to fix it with chemicals, almost killed myself (more than once), and finally said fuck it, I'm figuring this out on my own. Turns out, no chemicals needed. A shitload of courage, faith in myself and my friends/family, and a daily, long-term unwavering persistence did the job. Knowing that you have the ability to fix your own problems goes a long way towards giving you the power to do so. Enforcing the idea that a person is inherently "broken", that they're depressed because their chemicals are out of whack, makes them feel like a victim and offers no real hope for healing. In fact, it's an insult to the human soul.

Life is way more than just a series of chemical reactions.

Comment What planet are they smoking? (Score 1) 267

Everyone here knows what's being proposed is technically infeasible. We would effectively end up with no encryption at all. So what would the corporate response be? What would Apple, Google, Cisco, et al, do if this bill were to pass? They can't possibly comply, not to mention their sales would plummet. Their only option, if they want to survive, is to extend their middle finger, pull out their millions in political funding and tax dollars (whatever relatively paltry taxes they actually pay) and setup shop across the pond. Americans lose, completely, every way you look at it.

It would therefore seem there is no chance in hell this bill could ever get passed.

Comment Re:God this guy in an idiot (Score 1) 311

tritone substitutions ... Schoenberg, Webern, Penderecki and Verese just called to say that you're a knucklehead. They were partying over at John Coltrane's house

Sipping cocktails with Berg, Stravinsky, Messiaen and hell, even Chopin and Tchaikovsky.

Damn, sounds like one hell of a party.

Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

The upmodded and insightful posts here are not hateful. Many insightful posts aren't denying that there's an issue. But they are overwhelmingly objecting to the tone of this topic. They are rightfully pointing out that the language used is very much the wrong approach.

My post was made before the more insightful, level-headed posts had bubbled to the top. Most of them at the time of my writing were spewing hate. Probably my bad for not waiting an hour first. :)

Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

But no, we ain't gonna do that, eh? Haven't you seen misandristic behavior online? Why do you think that exists? Are you okay with it? If not, what can be done about it? Let's have a day to talk about it.

I would love to see that discussion, actually. For myself, a white male, I've not felt myself a victim of misandry (my spellchecker does recognize that word) or seen that behavior online, at least not to the point that it has worried me. If your experience is different, I say again, let's have a discussion on misandry and the proliferation of misplaced misogynist complaints. But let's leave insults and vitriol out of it (speaking generally, not to you personally).

Comment Re:All the haters are just proving his point (Score 1) 786

Combined with how computer science curricula are getting changed in a bid to appeal to women (which often seems to mean dumbing it down, because women need things easier for some inexplicable reason?), making the current group feel alienated with their own favorite subject, and how nerds/geeks as a group are known to be often harassed or bullied, the shield raising shouldn't really surprise anyone.

Those are good points, and what I wanted to hear (i.e., here are the reasons for the "shield raising"). I was a bit taken aback by all the vitriol when Bruce's points, whether grounded in reality or not, seem to come out of a sensible and compassionate concern.

Comment All the haters are just proving his point (Score 3, Insightful) 786

What's with all the Bruce hate? What is wrong with discussing a "gender empathy gap", why it might exist and what we might do about it? If you disagree with his point then offer sensible counterpoints of your own, but when you insult him or his ideas you're just reinforcing his point that the tech world is full of socially challenged asshats.

I would also think that Bruce's contributions to open software would merit some reflective humility, to maybe sit back and think a bit about what he's saying. Haven't you seen misogynistic behavior online? Why do you think that exists? Are you okay with it? If not, what can be done about it?

Thank you Bruce for openly speaking your concerns and ideas. I hope we can find a way to foster a more humane and empathetic open source community.

Comment Re: So?! (Score 1) 344

For astrology, it's been discredited over and over and over.

It's also been validated over and over and over but not by anyone with a reputation to risk. The bias against astrology is so strong that it is usually discredited without being properly understood, and the successes are ignored. And it's near impossible to get the funding to do a proper serious study.

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