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Comment Re:Why not? (Score 2) 131

I'd agree with this. I'm in school studying forensic psychology. According to what I've learned so far, the best way to treat offenders and rehabilitate them is to first focus on those who have the greatest chance of re-offending in the future (triage), under the theory that they are the most likely to benefit from treatment (this requires an assessment of future risk for each person). In the treatment itself, it's important to match the appropriate staff to treat certain populations so that they are responsive to the characteristics of the people being treated. It's important to target the criminogenic needs of the prison population being treated; that is, addressing those factors that are known to lead to future recidivism. Why did they commit these crimes, and how can we address the needs that they were trying to get met? Things like antisocial attitudes, substance abuse and dependence and promoting prosocial behaviors are some of the areas that most need to be developed in a treatment team relationship.

It is also known which types of treatment are not effective, types of therapy that can actually increase the chances of recidivism. Traditional psychoanalytic and client-centered therapy don't work well in prison. Neither do sociological strategies that focus on particular subcultures, or retributive programs that focus on punishing the offender (i.e. boot camps). Any program that doesn't address the issues/criminogenic needs that the offender is trying to get met will be unsuccessful in the long run.

Psychopaths are an especially challenging group. As a personality disorder, psychopathy isn't really treatable in modern science as of yet. For a long time it was thought that they couldn't even be treated at all. Treatments that tried to improve empathy in psychopaths seemed to just make them better psychopaths as it taught them how to exploit others. There has been more hope in the last decade that some treatments can help.

Considering that as far as we have been able to determine, psychopathy is present in 25% of all general offenders in prison, 15% of child molesters, and 40-50% of rapists, there is a high chance of recidivism among psychopaths - but these are just estimates as it's very difficult to identify them without a skilled assessment (even then they are easily missed as they're good at imitation/masquerading as normal). It's not their fault they are psychopaths and there is a lot of scientific evidence pointing to biological origins (large areas of the cerebral cortex and the amygdala aren't firing). One of the issues with psychopathy is the failure to learn from their mistakes, again something probably neurological in origin. It's not that they can't see the consequence of a future action they are considering, it's more that they are hyper-attentive to the reward of the decision and ignore the consequence. This allows for greater recidivism in this population.

tl;dr It's best to rehabilitate offenders by treating the problems that got them there in the first place, mainly anti-social behaviors/thinking and substance abuse/dependence. Lack of social support when in the real world is another factor for them. Not all prison populations will be treated successfully, obviously. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is currently the most optimistic treatment method.

Comment Re:I don't use social media and I have no friends (Score 1) 142

Re-reading that last sentence of my post, I just wanted to clarify that I'm fully responsible for my actions. I wasn't blaming my situation on my genetics, although they play a part. I didn't want anyone to think I'm just playing the victim and I didn't mean to come off as whiny. One of my earliest childhood coping mechanisms was playing the victim so sometimes I still fall into it.

By the way, I have all these problems and I'm a Psychology major. Jesus. I'm the last person who's qualified to know how people work and how to interact with people well.

So far, every Psychology major I have known has been a very dysfunctional person, even my Professors (with a handful of exceptions). It's strange how it draws the idiosyncratic to the field.

Comment Re:I don't use social media and I have no friends (Score 1) 142

I can relate to you in some ways, Pfhorrest, but then I'm pretty different from you. But I can relate to what you said about suffering. I feel relatively more like you than like lucasnate. I'm inherently introverted and being around people is draining, constantly monitoring everyone around me and unable to shut it off. I also have so many things different than the normal person that it's hard to find common ground for conversation. I don't watch TV or movies and don't really play any video games or other games. I don't watch or play sports. I'm a recovering drug addict so it can be hard to talk to people. I often feel like I've come out of a warzone (which addiction is) where people are dying every day and total chaos, then walking into a room with regular people and they're talking about the Oscars or football, I just can't relate at all to them.

My life is in almost complete disorder. While I went through rehab, halfway house, therapy, I still have problems with use. I'm in school full-time in the dorms and I'm 40, so there's a 20-year gap between me and everyone else who lives here. I have no income, no car, no driver's license, no significant other, all of my family is on the other side of the country. I have very few friends. Depression and anxiety are my companions.

I have avoidant personality disorder, not like it matters what the label is. I don't hide behind the label. All it means is that I seem to have a harder time coping with problems and situations, especially social ones, and so I have to find new ways to manage my problems.

What do I do for fun? Nothing really. I watch Twitch TV. I would play video games but it's so linked to drug use that I've burned all the fun out of it if I'm sober. same with movies, they are boring to me. I write poetry sometimes, usually just as a channel for pain and loss. I do read, but not as avidly as I used to. I listen to music, lots of music. I fall into my schoolwork, so my grades are good, at least.

Am I lonely? Sort of. I feel a sort of "terminal uniqueness", feeling like no one can understand, even though I know that's not true and it's solipsistic and self-centered. I get lonely but I can't find anyone to relate to. The only people I can relate to are other addicts, which is good for support. I get intense loneliness sometimes when I see people out doing things together, because I avoid most social events or fun gatherings. "Fun" is anathema to me. I have a lot of self-loathing. So am I lonely? Yes, but I don't think it's possible to fulfill that need. I'm alone. So what. I don't ever plan on getting married, having a significant other, or have kids. I'm the last of my genetic line, and good riddance. My genes really fucked me.

Comment In Plato's Cave (Score 1) 142

Susan Sontag once wrote a book in 1977 called On Photography. While it was about that specific portion of media, it is illuminating to compare her thoughts on what photography is and isn't and juxtapose it with modern social media. In a nutshell, she compares photography as simply one more way for humanity to continue looking at the shadows on the wall of Plato's cave instead of turning around and seeing the real world. Photography, as well as social media, is a way for a person to remove themselves from the world while creating the illusion that they are in it. She makes a good point that photographs seem to furnish evidence, for example. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we see a photo of it (but does it?). She flatly states that one can never understand anything from a photograph, because understanding is rooting in the mechanism of action: it takes place in time. The amorous relation is based on a thing's appearance, but understanding something is about how it functions. We're drowning in the paradoxical banality of mystery: Social media, or pictures, can only show the surface of anything, but lacks almost all context. It can TRY to narrate but cannot, and only narration brings understanding. It denies continuity and interconnectedness and is ultimately completely shallow. (Several people in the thread mentioned how looking on Facebook makes people think that all their friends are doing something awesome every day when most of the time is filler that isn't seen.)

Taking pictures and using social media is a way to convince ourselves that we're a part of something. Take vacations for example. In the past, people took vacations because they were fun, and when cameras became portable, it begged to be used for such an event to create keepsakes. Now, the situation is almost reversed: we go on vacations so that we can take pictures. We post the pictures online as if to prove to ourselves and to others that we actually went and had fun. But a significant portion of the vacation is spent in the act of taking pictures instead of having said fun. When a person takes a picture of something during an event, they are removing themselves from the activity and become an external observer, inherently denying themselves the experience. It is in this way that pictures and social media can increase the solitude of a person and become a compulsive, shallow replacement of a real life, leaving it hollow.

There's more to be said about it, I don't mean to close off other avenues of exploration with photography and social media. It does have positive impacts but it's also desensitizing to sex and violence. It is slowly removing the idea of privacy (google glasses and live streaming, the amount of cameras in London). It only increases society's addiction to consumerism and the need to stay busy, busy, busy. Did you know that there was a study done where all they did was take a test subject's phones and tablets away, left them in a room with the promise to come back and get them, and then see what happened? People started getting severely agitated. If there was a shocking device just happening to be left there by the researchers to see what happened, people started shocking themselves with the device (especially men, 64 percent of them, only 15 percent of women) rather than sit quietly with themselves. People just can't stand to be in their own heads.

By the way, I've never had a Facebook account, but now that I'm a returning adult in college, a Psychology major looking to go into research or forensics, I'm probably going to be forced to have a Facebook account. It might count against me if professionals and companies ask and find out that I'm not on social media.

Society in general has a real problem with ADHD, inability to soothe the self, consumerism and especially an addiction to smart phones. I make it a game that when I'm in a waiting room somewhere, if I see someone come in from the outside and sit down I make a guess as to how many seconds it takes before they pull out their phone. It's interesting, you should try it.

Comment Re:cognitive science (Score 1) 418

You know, it's rare but sometimes the lack of judgment of one's own ability goes the opposite way. For example, I'm 36 and should have had my license when I was 16 just like everyone else, but I let fear rule my life... I've avoiding driving for twenty years. A large part of that avoidance has been because I don't trust my ability to drive (I have an inferiority complex). I'm sure I would get into an accident at some point... yet, my reflexes and driving ability is probably average (or better, but it's easy to think one is better than average, so best not to), but it's not poor. My other fear is of failing the driving test ... and I live in the US. The driving test is a joke here. But my fear of failing it has cascaded into a major avoidance problem that has hampered my life and helped me become overly dependent on others.

Anyway, it's possible for this stuff to happen. I'm evidently a poor judge of my own ability, but I judge it to be shit when I would probably be okay...

That said. My goal is to get my driver's license this year. For the first time ever. I know I shouldn't let fear rule my life... but it does. This isn't the only example, either. Fear completely controls me and leaves me in a prison of my own creation. What is sad is that I realize this, and I realize the ramifications and what it has cost me. Yet I still let it control me, because evidently I'm unable to do otherwise. But I'm trying to change...

So, to be completely on topic: I would be the type of driver who will never, ever answer the phone or read a text message or even have my phone near me while I am driving. I know that's probably an overreaction, but I'm concerned enough about how dangerous driving is already. I don't need things around to make my fear worse.

(I'm aware of that human tendency to take for granted dangerous activities over time. To treat them as boring and mundane as you do them over and over and nothing bad happens... once I get my license for the first time, it's a certainty that at some point further down in time I will begin to fear driving less and less to a certain degree.)

Comment Re:Why Harm? (Score 1) 138

Of course you can share it.

I currently see a psychiatrist and have seen them since I was a teenager. I am on antidepressants and have been on many different ones (but none of the SSRIs or MAOIs etc seem to do anything at all). I didn't get into the religious side of the psychotic break, but it's also a long story.

If you'd like to read more about me and my struggle with addiction, you can check out which I wrote in 2009. It includes my email address if you'd like to talk further.

I'm trying to be careful, but right now I'm physically dependent a great deal on DXM - I must have it every three days or I start experiencing "brain zaps," a phenomenon normally associated with quick cessation of antidepressants that have a short half-life in the body (like suddenly stopping Cymbalta or Zoloft, both of which I have done and know what it feels like). I have never experienced brain zaps until this last relapse - but I've been drinking a bottle or two of robitussin every three days this year to prevent the brain zaps... this last month, with my dad's help, I've been trying to taper it down so eventually I can "close Pandora's box again." I'm nervous about otherwise suddenly stopping and trying to persevere through the brain zaps - it was horrible on Cymbalta and lasted a long time - weeks of severe brain zaps - until I gave in. .. but I've never experienced them through stopping Robitussin until this year.

I have been trying to take as little as possible; both breaks happened on relatively high doses... I know when I relapse I'm just digging my pit deeper and I still have all my problems afterward, it doesn't solve anything... but it's all entwined into very complex character traits and learned behaviors. I'm going to stop, though... I can't grow while I'm on it. It's just been very difficult this time to stop, but my viewpoints and attitude has changed a lot since I've been trying to recover.

Depression and anxiety? I think about death and suicide every day... I'm just too scared to do it. and that's how the psychotic break manifested the order of self-destruction to myself: growing and representing the suicidal urge that was already there. Giving it what could be perceived as a legitimate reason to kill myself, to convince myself to do it.

Comment Re:Think of the children blah blah (Score 1) 186

This is wrong. It's a pretty well-established fact that sexual inclination is at least partly caused by exposure to hormones while in the womb. There have been studies that show second and third sons are more likely to be homosexual because the mother's womb and body administer different levels of hormones than in their first birth. It's considered an evolutionary advantage because first sons can go out and sow their wild oats and start a new family while second or third-born sons can stay with the parents and assist in running the household and caring for them or other siblings.

Saying that most homosexuals are not genetically homosexual but are instead caused by the environment makes it sound like parents have some sort of control over their children's orientation, when they absolutely do not. Children develop unique orientations despite of, not because of, their parent's actions and/or meddling.

Comment Re:Why Harm? (Score 2) 138

TBH, I have had an experience with voices. I had never experienced anything like it before.

Everyone has internal voices that represent different aspects or masks of their being - part of the exploration and learning in life is recognizing these different aspects of yourself and learning to join them together. It's sort of the process of satori, or enlightenment, IMO. One of those tasks is to unite all aspects of yourself into a single being while simultaneously still possessing understanding from different points of view.

Anyway, those are not the voices I'm talking about. I have those, I recognize them as parts of me. The real voices I heard were something... different.

It happened on Jan. 2 of this year. I had been suffering a longstanding crisis (was keeping a secret on owing lots of money from someone; about 2 years kept as it got progressively worse) on top of an emotional argument (close friend threatened to let the secret loose if I didn't, or to never talk to me again until I did). All of this is on top of many other stressors: I'm an addict and still dealing with that, I have an inverse ego (inferiority complex) and suffer from depression and generalized anxiety my entire life. It includes a long list of non-accomplishments like not having a proper education, dysfunctional family that never socialized, avoidant personality disorder tied into using substance abuse as an escape, having no friends, no job, no career, no money, no driver's license or insurance, no goals or plans, etc... room and board was supplied, everything else was up to me and I kept avoiding everything. Oh, and I got this other.. thing I have to deal with my whole life that's also very stressful and personal.

So all of that stress, then my friend saying he wasn't going to talk to me anymore unless I told a certain someone a necessary secret (my friend was trying to help me, but it made me want to hurt him) so I relapsed after almost two years off of it just to hurt my friend..

Yeah. that night I had a psychotic break.

I can't really explain it. You can't understand unless it happens to you. While I heard the voices distinctly in my head, I couldn't say if I really heard them with my ears... but it was definitely very different from anyone's normal, everyday, internal conflicts and discussions that are part of the human condition. No. This was different.

I've never had or exhibited schizophrenia, a psychotic break, or hearing voices. Through this unique experience, I came to see how such a thing can be extremely convincing. I can't convince you of what they told me, because when I was told a lot of these things there were certain other signs that came with them. I didn't find out later that one aspect that can come up in someone who has schizophrenia is the ability/mental illness to see signs in everything. Suddenly everything seems to _mean_ something, to correlate with what the voices are saying.

I don't know how detailed I want to get into this, because it's very embarrassing and personal. There were two different, but related, experiences that night. The first .. well... it was about...

I could hear a whole roomful of people very clearly and closely, as if we were all trapped in an elevator or something. They were all people from the future and said that they could only contact someone in the past under very specific conditions. Every time they have contacted someone in the past for help... didn't work. Their argument:

The survivors of planet Earth were all in one spaceship trapped in orbit around Earth. It was really the future (I forget the year but it was like 52xx) and the 'reality' I had experienced my whole life was the past - the Matrix, you could say... it was just an entertainment device, but my real self was trapped inside while my body was comatose in the giant spaceship in the future, and they couldn't get me to come out.

They said that Earth's orbit had been interrupted by a giant black hole (I know, it shouldn't be able to happen) and the planet had already passed beyond the event horizon and was heading inwards toward the singularity. They only had so much time left and while I was in a simulation, where much time passed, "real" time in the future was still passing, albeit slowly - and there wasn't much time left.

They said it was highly imperative that I exit the simulation as fast as possible. However unlikely it seemed, the fate of mankind rested on one of us (I wasn't the only one) trapped in the simulation Waking up. Essentially to "push that button," is how they said it... but it had to be one of us. They had contacted others in the past and none had been receptive - because the only way to rescue Earth was to shoot myself in the head with a gun right away. It couldn't wait.

So.. the _urgency_ was what seemed so real and important. The major thing that convinced me at the time was because most of this conversation came from my dog. Okay, I know, it's cliche for weirdos to talk to their dogs and their dogs tell them to go shoot kids or something. But... it was so convincing, and it was only to kill _myself,_ not anyone else...

I won't ever be able to convey how real my conversation with my dog was. She's 9 years old, and I've raised her, so I know her the most. She didn't talk aloud or anything.. it was just that... while all the "future people" sounded like they were nearby, one of them had teleported themselves into my dog, to help convince me. It was a guy. His personality was very distinct and separate from anything I'd ever known. Obviously, my dog couldn't talk, so he would use sign language to converse with me. And when I asked certain questions he would bark for yes, hold his paw over his(her) face for no.

When they talked about how urgent it was and how it had to be done _right away_ to save Earth, that time was dreadfully short, that's when my dog would run to my closed door and started jumping against it, something she has never done before or since. she had many other behaviors at the time that made complete, total sense with the ongoing, real conversation within my head. It meshed so perfectly that I had a very hard time convincing myself that it wasn't real.

That was the first half. The second was even stranger, but I'm afraid this is a little long.

When I went to bed, then woke up later that day, I knew it couldn't be real. but that morning, if I would have had a gun... I would have been strongly tempted. I was tempted to somehow get my dad's gun safe key and get the 9mm out without him knowing... but I didn't.

When I woke that morning, there was a huge pile of post-its on my desk, all things I had written while talking with my dog, and it was full of all kinds of weird crap. there were about 100 post-its with all different things written on them, including things like KILL YOURSELF NOW and SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE HEAD and stuff like that. a lot of religion-related ones from the second half of my delusion, which I'm not going to get into right now.

Let's just say the other half was completely full of religious significance, even though I'm an atheist/agnostic. It also affected me greatly, perhaps even more so. But the richness of the vision faded over time, and after a few months have passed, I can tell myself it's not real at all. it's... almost certainly not real.

it was only the one night that this happened, but about a month or six weeks later, I had a similar experience, but less potent, again with a relapse and an emotional and stress-related breakdown. It wasn't as vivid, and I was able to resist the allure of it. And it was shorter.

OK. I'm done.

Comment Re:They need something to replace WOW (Score 1) 193

Maybe D3 was "unplayable" for some players... I don't know, but it was fun for me. I got D3 for my birthday the month after it came out (May 2012) and played for about five months or something. At the beginning I struggled up to lvl 30 or so before I found out a friend I had found from an unrelated forum who also played Diablo3 and started grouping with him... he already had a lvl 60, and quickly got me leveled up to 60 as well. Then we just did tons of runs looking for good equipment. It was slow to find good items, but we did find them.

I also made quite a bit of money on the auction hall - given that I was not working at the time, it was my only source of money for a while. I played a total of about 80 hours and I sold 2 $25 items, many $10 items, and a $40 item (cash into my paypal after fees). At the end when I stopped playing, I had found a $250 item... I sold it for $190. I never spent a single dollar on the RMAH... not even a small purchase, not even $1. I made out like a bandit otherwise and had lots of fun, to boot.

Although, doing the runs could be repetitive and it took a lot of time and luck to find anything, really... I stopped playing shortly before that huge patch that was going to change so much, I suppose fall of last year or something.

If I wouldn't have found a friend that helped me and was someone to group with every night and do many dozens of runs, I probably would have taken forever to get to lvl 60 and then stopped after that, I dunno if I would have even made it that far.

The game overall was quite a disappointment for me, but that's only because it's in D2's shadow. I still got my time's worth out of it and a profit.. the first time that's ever happened to me. I never win prizes or find anything good, not ever since I was a kid... so it was a real boon for me - I used it to pay bills.

Comment Re:True (Score 1) 530

Having said all that, it's also true that some people are just objectively more capable overall than others. The idea that all men are equal just isn't true. We lack the means to comprehensively measure enough abilities in a person to be able to say what they are "worth," but it is clear that the human brain is where almost all measurements should take place. While having large muscle mass, like in a weightlifter, or having stretchable ligaments and tendons, like in a contortionist can be developed to amazing depths, the muscle memory inherent to skills is almost completely found in the brain itself. We just don't know how to measure the brain accurately enough, in enough different vectors, to be able to rate a person's value. The skills learned to become a master boxer, for example, are all in the brain itself, even if the muscle development is in the arms and the reflex development is in the nervous system. A crude indicator of logical intelligence lies in the physical weight of different sections of the brain and their complexity, but that's only one miniscule measure of thousands or even millions of needed measurements of the brain to have any hope of accurately measuring a person's overall abilities.

Beyond raw ability, however, are things in the personality of a person like ego, drive to succeed, social skills and other intangibles that directly relate to the chances of success when faced with certain problems. Someone can be a genius with extraordinarily high problem-solving skills and an eidectic memory, but if their self-esteem is negative and they consider themselves worthless, for all practical purposes they _are_ worthless. They will refuse to use their skills and languish in an internal prison of their own construction. Another intangible is the correlation between high IQ and personality disorders; there is, as they say, a fine line between genius and insanity. People tend to be too smart for their own good and construct their own prisons, develop their own internal problems, and in general fuck their life up. While everyone has problems, smart people tend to develop systems of misbehavior that are very difficult to escape from, with slick and high walls to their trap. Their oubliette is laden with many feedback loops, self-delusions and logic patterns that have been specifically developed by themselves as defense mechanisms which have gone awry over time and become a complicated system of webs that keep them in their cognitive dissonance. Many people, "smart" or not, have these sorts of complicated problems that can be very difficult to process and resolve.

Ignorance is truly bliss, as well. Some people seem to be hyper-sensitive emotionally and experience situations completely differently than others, which can be, like anything else, a double-edged sword. Depression tends to go hand-in-hand with emotional sensitivity and awareness - most people don't think about death every day, for example, and those that do tend to be depressed. The human psyche is usually developed internally to avoid thinking about death. If everyone had to think about death all the time, its inevitability, nothing would ever get done. Yet it is true that death is inevitable. One of the functions of the human mind is to develop safety mechanisms and blind spots to certain things. Hyper-sensitive awareness in people tends to eliminate these blind spots in everyday living. And there are many of these hidden egresses that most people just don't pay attention to and learn to ignore. Your clothes constantly rubbing on your body all day is another example, just like the sheer amount of detail processed through the human eye. Our minds learn as children to filter out the overwhelming amount of incoming stimulation from all of our senses. Sometimes these filters become dysfunctional.

People are only worth what they think they are worth. Convince them that they aren't worth anything and it becomes self-fulfilling. People are also not equal to one another, even when comparing overall abilities. Memory is a huge factor in this. It's very difficult to learn anything with a poor memory, and if you can't learn anything, you aren't worth much. That's not to take away from the value of human life itself, though. Life is very precious. And no, I didn't say all this because I think I'm better than anyone. it's rather the opposite - I believe I'm rather worthless. I recognize that this is a product of low self-esteem, but it doesn't make it any less real to me. Inferiority complexes are like that. If I believed that all people are equal, that would force me to believe that I'm not a person, then. I admit I'm a human being... just a very lowly one who doesn't know anything and can't do anything right. It's why I don't post in these kinds of discussions, because I'm inherently wrong about everything. Even this post should just be ignored, as it's full of red herrings and false conclusions.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 403

Thanks for mentioning Ultramon. It reminded me that I had my mom's old Xerox LCD in the guest room closet, so I dragged it out and set it up next to my normal one. I had neglected to do this before for some reason, probably to save energy, but it's irresistible to set it up now...

It's nice having a different background for each monitor, but the only thing I miss is that I can't use a slideshow of backgrounds anymore. Even worse, if I use Ultramon at all, then I can no longer have background slideshows on my primary monitor, either, since it's all set to a single profile. Oh well. I just set up a background for each of the monitors and when I get tired of it I will change it by hand...

Anyway thanks for reminding me. :P Appreciate the Ultramon tip.

Comment Re:it worries me (Score 1) 398

That's very interesting. Thank you for the information - I know this is a late reply and we are a bit off-topic.

I have started using King Arthur flour just recently - their all-purpose and bread flours. As part of my wish-list for Christmas, I've got about thirty things I want from their website; while it is a bit pricey, some of their stuff looks awesome. This includes some of their custom flours that can't be found in the grocery store. Thanks for the recommendation; it shows that I'm on the right track, and that's encouraging.


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