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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 http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=103331 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.


Comment Re:Is this really that uncommon? (Score 1) 398

You really hate the mall? I'm similar to you about being bored shitless about clothes (I do like to get unique T-shirts from thinkgeek or whatnot), but I've never had bad feelings about the mall, really. I hate clothes shopping... but the mall also has a bookstore. I guess if you're not into gaming it's not as big of a draw, but especially when I was younger I loved going into stores like Electronic Boutique, the video arcade, and if you were lucky the mall would have a gaming store that sold tabletop RPGs / wargames / comics/ M:tG and other card games, etc. I guess my love for malls came from when I was younger, but I still like to go in to the bookstore and look around for a while... I guess I am still just a kid. I haven't been into an arcade for some time, though, and wonder if I ever will again... but I do like going in and looking at RPGs and things in the gaming store and the bookstore, maybe manga (though it's hard to find anything good that's worth the fuck-me-over price, unlike how cheap manga is in Japan). And looking at magazines (I still pick up a new issue of 2600 now and then and maybe weird tales or something).

but clothes shopping? what a drag...

and oh yeah - I've been into cooking for about three years now and always make a new dish or two every week. I try to change up enough things on the menu so we don't have a similar dish for a week or more... as far as breakfast goes, I always forget you can eat in the morning. =) I do love making new desserts all the time though, and I'm really into baking right now...

Comment Re:it worries me (Score 2) 398

Er.. she could be a chef. ;)

I'm actually in my 'cooking' phase right now... now being about three years. Due to various awkward circumstances about not working and stuff like that, I have always had lots of free time and never did much with it that was useful or constructive... so finally finding some way that I could help contribute has been a very useful activity for me. Having this sort of time means that I can try to make new/different meals every day/week... maybe eventually I will become a pastry chef or something. I really like baking and am learning a lot right now, even though I also do all the cooking for supper, desserts and etc. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Did you know there's so many types of flour that it can literally make your head explode thinking about them? True story.

In fact, the difference between regular all-purpose flour and pastry flour or cake flour is the amount of proteins per gram in them, so if you buy all-purpose and figure out how much protein is in the flour per gram, it might turn out that it's actually cake flour (7% protein iirc). And you should never buy bleached flour - it's pointless and takes away from the taste. I'm not even sure why they bleach flour, except that the process is probably easier and more efficient for them when they make it... but it's not really any cheaper than unbleached flour, which is what you should always get. Except cake flour is always bleached due to the way they make it.

Then there's wheat flour, which has the entire wheat kernel in it, which means you are supposed to always refrigerate wheat flour, otherwise the wheat germ oil becomes oxidized over time. There's many subtypes of each flour, depending on the region it was farmed and made, and even variations in the same brand of flour across the country, because it's produced from different fields...

Comment These posts remind me of... Koyaanisqatsi. (Score 1) 428

Koyaanisqatsi. Hopi for "life out of balance," a word that is only known to many because of a particular movie of the same name. It's not that technology drives our lives out of balance; far from it. It is when technology supercedes everything else. Serial Experiments: Lain. Ghosts in the shell. Living in the circuitry. A holy silicon wafer.

So many posts in this thread use the excuse, "We will be buying a 2-year plan for a phone we have to have anyway, might as well get this one," or "A phone is something you use everyday anyway, might as well be a good one," when these statements blind users to the fact that a phone isn't always necessary. I must be the only person reading this thread without a smart phone. Am I saying, "Look at me, I don't need it?" It's not that I don't need it; I choose to live without it. Am I dysfunctional for not wanting a phone? Probably. Yet our relationship with technology has blurred the line between natural being and artificial machines.

Communication is an integral part of the human condition and required for emotional links to our family and friends. Yet, comments and phones like these remind me of technological pornography: an addiction designed to rub you all the right ways. These phones remind me of substance abuse. It is good to have a phone, of course it is... but there must be a limit between use and abuse. There is now a generation that has never lived without smart phones, who have never lived without the Internet, a generation of people dependent on electrons pushed through never-ending wires, eternal radio transmissions, an endless vista of pure silicon and gleaming metals. The amount of information overload in our society is staggering, and this double-edged sword will continue to whet and sharpen... but when will it actually sever and separate the truth from fiction?

A book called Brave New World postulated that in the future there will be so much information that the powers that be will be able to control the masses through things they like, not things they fear. The amount of data that is processed through our heads has reached a point where we have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality, what is trivial from what is important, what is true from what is false. Objects bubble up in the maelstrom into the awareness of the public consciousness, then quickly sink and fade into obscurity: Ruby Ridge and Waco are the first things that come to mind. Things happen and then they vanish, only to be mentioned as a blurb in the history books. There was once a time when people remembered. Now we happily drown in a sea of solipsism, engrossed to the point of dissociation.

Okay, I'm done. No, I'm not on anything. I wish I was, then I could forget...

Yes, I'm crazy. I must be the only one.

and yeah, soon I won't be able to resist the lure of smart phone, either. But not yet.

Comment Re:Willing to bet.. (Score 1) 1706

Treating other humans like animals is not the hallmark of civilization, nor the pinnacle of human excellence. It's rather the opposite. Am I the only one who sees innocent people being castrated under your policy? I noted that you didn't imply chemical castration, but rather physical castration, and along with the underlying tone of your sentences, this says to me that you posted this message with vengeance and ill will in your heart. Or you were trying to be funny - and I stand for your right to joke, even if I may find it tasteless.

If you treat another human as an animal, guess what that makes you? Some might say it makes you less than human. While I might find distaste for your ideology, I will still treat you as human because that is the fundamental privilege that you deserve. Do you see how that works now? Treating others as animals never ends well.

Do you also throw statutory rape into the mix? 17-year-olds getting castrated because they had sex with a willing 16-year-old (in states where that is illegal)? I assume so, or you would have made an exception. Do you support the uterus and ovaries being physically ripped out of a woman rapist? Or do you only have hangups with men?

I take it that you support the death penalty for rapists? Treat them like an animal and all that. Do you take them out back and put them down like a lame horse? Are you aware that castrating a human male carries risks of death? Don't tell me you don't have an emotional stake in the game. Emotions have no place in a court of law. Your statement reeks of vigilantism to me.

Do I support rapists? No. We have laws against it, and those laws carry punishment of stints in prison, but the punishment varies depending on the severity of the crime. Your solution attempts to cover a wide range of circumstances with a one-size-fits-all answer, and as history can tell you... solutions such as yours are barbaric and not fit to be found in a modern and equal society. I also do not approve of castrations for convicted pedophiles or others, perhaps not even if they ask for it - because it is too likely to be coercion from law enforcement or others. Or chopping the hands off of thieves. The state does not have the right to sever body parts. I also do not support the death penalty, even though I live in Texas.

Obviously, your three sentences struck an emotional chord in me, or I wouldn't have bothered to reply, and I'm not acting like your words didn't affect me. I just feel revulsion at the idea of innocent people subject to punishments that can not be reversed.

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