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Western Civilization’s Last Stand

The Art of The Argument

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  1. Part III – Ascetic Ideals Practically speaking, ascetic ideals / virtues we're necessary conditions for the philosophers to exist in ancient societies. Firstly, they hid the philosophers' will to power by masking them as modest monks. Secondly, they forced the philosopher to concentrate on their affects to serve the “greater good”, i.e. truth in this case. Following these ideals – humility, poverty and purity – trains your will itself to be stronger (more cruel) even if the victim here will be yourself; your drifts to 'drink and dance'. In essence, following ascetic ideals means sublimating your natural drifts. This estrangement from life's more primal drifts and wants is also necessary to keep the slaves in check. Slaves are weak individuals who cannot stomach their own shadow self – as a natural result of this sickness of theirs, they feel a lot of anger and resentment towards their masters. The priestly class rechannels this affect towards the individual himself (original sin etc.) - birth of masochism? The belief in truth and especially the belief in the self-worth of truth is the latest and the most powerful manifestation of these ideals so far – the scientist separated the God from the truth in what the older generations would have considered as one entity. In doing so they think they are Christianity's greatest opponents even though they only follow the same exact virtues as earlier generations with the exception that now they don't have a justification for their search for truth and all the sacrifices they have to make during the process. According to Nietzsche, there are only 'truths' with a perspective. The more perspectives we take into account, the more useful 'truth' we end up with. This is some of the weakest points of the book in my opinion. Does Nietzsche believe in this even himself when looking at his own actions? Is it even possible to act as a non-schizophrenic person without making these 'Christian assumptions' about the truth? I don't really know any objectivism apart from Galt's speech so I may not have the best weaponry against relativism – any help is greatly appreciated. 'To read Nietzsche as the devil reads the Bible' – the relativists only took this part of the book and made it their Trojan horse to feed us feminism, Marxism and other nonsense. The nihilists - which Nietzsche despised - might have made this chapter their own too. One central thing I'm unable to grasp about the book is Nietzsche's view on free will or perhaps the existence of individual itself. On the one hand, he claims that the idea of a necessary subject is a result of human confusion about the reality which we still suffer from in our language (e.g. 'the force propagates') but on the other hand, he claims that we never truly lose our ability to will – rather that not to want anything we still want nothing. Our will to power is the essence of being a human. @RichardY Do I agree with Nietzsche then? When it comes to his explanation of the origins of the morality in part I and II: yes. I guess I don't even disagree with his point in part III about the belief in truth as the remanifestation of Christian, monk-like virtues in the service of science. Irrefutably I recognize myself as a masochistic (atheist) monk - albeit a lazy one at times. What I do disagree with is the assumption (?) that morality would be simply a matter of taste, pure aesthetics. Is there a book where F.N. tries to revalue the values or was he just planning to do that before he went insane?
  2. I've been reading Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals lately and in order to understand it better I thought this might be the right place to start the discussion. This is my understanding of the first two parts of the book (part three will follow soonish). Here we go! Part I In the beginning, the ruling elite (i.e. slave masters) define good and bad. Originally they only refer to qualitative differences. Good is nothing more than someone / something better, higher, stronger than the average. In a similar way bad only means something low, weak and ugly – the plebs and the products of their work. No morality has been invented yet, might makes right – the nobility takes what they think naturally belongs to them in a similar way as wolves hunt elks. It is hardly a coincidence that most heraldic signs of the nobility have lions, eagles and bears in them. Morality gets invented by the slave class as a survival mechanism for themselves: whatever the slaves must do in order to survive becomes a virtue. Since the slaves cannot openly be rebellious and keep the product of their own labour they define weakness, lack of courage and even obedience as virtues. In the slave morality 'good' means someone not like the slave masters, it defines good purely by negation of the 'noble' good. To describe slave masters in these new terms it uses the word 'bad'. At the bottom of this morality is the feeling of resentment hiding in plain sight – instead of avenging masters in the real world, what the slave morality offers as medicine is the idea of the spiritual world after death, where a rightful judge will punish the slave masters for their sins and reward the slaves for their virtues. To propagate these ideas, you'll need a new class, the priests. Part II – conscience and bad conscience If I understood correctly Nietzsche thinks that the origin of conscience follows roughly this causal chain: Active forgetting → Active remembering → Being able to give and keep promises → Seeing every human transaction through the lenses of validity of promises to others and/or to yourself == conscience. Remembering with regard to promises is a manifestation of your own strong will to power (yearning for freedom) – you can only give promises if you believe you're strong enough to be able to keep them even in the face of accidents etc. Older societies needed to 'remind' people of the necessity of remembering with different forms of torture. In order to understand bad conscience we need to grasp the origin of guilt. The most primitive form of agreement (promise) is the contract between the debtor and the creditor. Nietzsche claims that in the ancient world people enjoyed causing each other pain – usually this privilege was reserved for the masters, but even the plebs had sometimes this luxury. If your debtor was unable to pay you, you could demand your payment in pound of flesh – either as some organ of your debtor or as your debtors freedom all together (i.e. your debtor would become your slave). In a similar way, tribes we're thought to be indebted to their ancestors (gods). Amount of debt would be directly proportional to success of the tribe. Therefore, to please the gods they would sacrifice cattle and even humans to their ancestors. Original sin ('Schuld' means both guilt and debt!!) is precisely this feeling of indebtedness to your forefathers. This is also the bad conscience people feel and religions – such as environmentalism and multiculturalism - utilize in order to keep the slaves in check; “polluting the Earth by existing” and “white guilt”. Christianity claims to solve this problem by sacrificing the God himself on a cross for the unpayable debts of mankind. Bad conscience is formed once the human animal recognizes he cannot escape the society – his natural aggression and cruelty now turn inwards. Original sin would be one form in which this phenomenon manifests itself. So what do you think? Did I miss something crucial here? Should I read 'Beyond Good and Evil' before I even start to tackle this book? One of the most important parts was the link between guilt and credit. Could this ancient moral link be the real cause why nobody has succeeded reinventing the money and making it popular - instead of it (credit money system that is) having been the monopoly of the governments for so long? Anyway, I'm happy to hear your thoughts.
  3. First of all, thanks for the interesting fact-filled discussion - most people who I talk to about economics know almost nothing about it - which is alarming considering I never read any book about economics at all, I'm a total beginner myself. Just to clarify, I'm not an 'Austrian', I don't see inflation (or deflation for that matter) inherently as a problem, and I don't view the private credit creation - which I understood YEARS ago as I cursorily explained it in the chat this week (loaned into existence, paid back out of it) - as immoral and I don't think the gold standard in the 1800's was an example of a free currency system. Unfortunately I don't have time to answer all your counter counter arguments - I need to get quite a bit of work done this weekend. But I summarize my somewhat incoherent counter*3 arguments here: 1. High unemployment might be a natural state of affairs in the modern world as a consequence of wide IQ differences, at least for a couple of generations. This is my strongest argument against FTJ. 2. A (morally) bad act does not automatically require a restitution as an equivalent product. 3. To 'counteract' government meddling in the free market, laissez-faire seems to work the best, both practical and theoretical evidence suggest this. So the cure for too much government is not even more government but less of it. 4. Historical evidence of what these FTJ programs accomplished (from the Nordic countries), i.e. how catastrophic they were. FTJ (Federal transfer jobs) programs have been tried before, from the end of WWII to roughly 1970's many Western countries implemented these policies. For example, in Nordic countries a lot of the infrastructure in the more remote areas was built as a result of these programs. And most of it turned out to be a massive waste of resources, since people moved to big cities after a decade or two. A prime example of these lunatic works in Finland was the program to drain the swamps (this time literally) in order to have more sources of cellulose for the pulp industry.It turned out that many of the wet marks simply never could support any tree growth. Because of these programs, tens of thousands of young men spent their best working years doing something that only did damage - massive amounts of lakes and rivers got polluted, floods got worse and to top it all off, these persons decided to have kids when in a freer society they could not have afforded this, thus lowering the average IQ of the population (since intelligence is probably mostly genetic). If this is the government solution to the government-created problem, I'm fine without the 'solution'. Regarding your argument about "If someone causes a problem he's also responsible to its restitution" (correct me if I understood you wrong there; you said solution, but based on how you continued I think this is what you meant by the word solution): Yes I accept that principle. I did not respond to it last time since I was too lazy to formulate a counter argument - also because I'm relatively bad in verbal intelligence. So here it is now: from that principle, it does not follow, that the form of the restitution needs to be creating new jobs. If a criminal steals a Michelangelo painting, covers it with gang tags and dog feces and then sets it on fire as a protest against 'the patriarchal rule of the society', we don't want the form of restitution to be a new painting from this individual. In fact, in this case the restitution can probably never be made - we have to just try to minimize the future damages somehow. In the government monopoly judicial system this means jail and fines, maybe in more free world it would mean getting all your deals with service providers cancelled or something similar, who knows. In a similar way, it is foolish to rely on the government to create a solution to the employment problem, it partially itself have generated - all the arguments why this is the case I've already mostly laid out: great share of low IQ people in a job market where they simply cannot contribute with much if anything, wrong incentives for government employees, evolutionary harmful cognitive effects to the population, stealing resources from the competent to the less competent. In a moment I will address your metaphor about the inflation. Instead of FTJ (which I think will be / has been only a massive government-generated problem on top of another government-generated problem (partially at least, the IQ issue may explain majority of it though) which it claims to solve) I would favor the other approach; minimizing future and current negative effects of government action in the economy (== form of human action which we choose to measure in term of prices). IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion) this would entail, in no particular order of importance: slashing income taxes to begin with, getting rid of licencing and regulation in the job markets, not supporting 'higher education' with massive subsidies and liberating banking and currency issuing to the individuals and allowing people to pay their taxes in cryptos. And yes, I know you're already on board with most, if not all of these reforms. I think all of these should take precedence above FTJ even in the miraculous case where FTJ would actually work. "The purpose of the guarantee is to catch people who fall off the economic ship because there aren't enough tax tokens in circulation and get them into the private sector." First of all, how would we know what the 'right' level of employment is? Or is your argument that since everyone is forced to use these tax tokens, they need an employment where they can get them (which I don't think follows, since people are 'forced' to work anyway just in order to exist in the world - or rely on other peoples' charity)? How would the recipients of FTJs - which are mostly low IQ persons - ever be able to contribute with something valuable? Even cleaning jobs today require at least reading comprehension, ability to understand maps and basic arithmetics - skills which might be hard if not impossible to learn for maybe 10 % of the population. I'd suggest that we let the markets decide what the 'correct' level of employment is and charities/relatives to care of individuals who can't get a job because they lack cognitive skills. I recognize this is a problem and because I have a low level of empathy myself, I might not give it enough weight. Anyway, a natural unemployment rate might be as high as 20 - 30 %. What about the problem of not having enough tax tokens in the markets then? Well, a somewhat free market solution with limitations set by the government monopoly in currency issuing is decreasing price level. What matters is not the amount of money, but the purchasing power of the money you have. One ounce of gold can serve as a monetary basis for the economy of the whole world - it's just very unpractical. I know you already know this and I'm not advocating for PM standard - it's just a remark for the larger audience. And yes, I understand deflation is problematic when government has banned many forms of debt write-offs and that it might be a long process. So what? You cannot get rid off boom-and-bust totally, but at least you can stop making it worse. What Austrians got wrong are some methods by which the government makes it worse - by having a surplus of tax tokens for itself, thus lowering the buffers of safety reserves in the private sector needed for hiring new people and for investing. All this said, we have some examples of high growth combined with falling consumer prices: US in the 1800's comes to mind. And yes, I know gold standard was not a free market solution, but merely a government currency monopoly with a fixed gold price. A better solution would be, as I've argued before, to free the issuance of new currencies to people in form cryptos and deregulate the finance sector. Lastly, to answer your metaphor of inflation where you use movie seats isomorphic to capacity units (job openings) in the economy. This totally fails to address different levels of skills among people and is therefore nonsense. 'Underutilized' (what ever that means) capacity has the human component to it, it is way more important than the machinery. Unlike in the movie theater, in the economy, it matters who fills these seats - everyone can consume, but only so many are able to offer a valuable service to other people. To take an extreme example, let's consider that we have only job openings in molecular modelling with the requirement of understanding Hartree-Fock methods and numerical techniques to solve integro-differential equations. If the pool of unemployed people has no individuals with an IQ of 130 or higher, no level of government created jobs will move any individuals in the private sector from this pool. This isituation is similar to the current job market - but here the cutoff is maybe 85 or 80 in IQ. No amount of government jobs will ever move these individuals to the private sector - the best we can hope for, is that their relatives or charities will take care of them. There exists no moral obligation to give everyone a job - as there doesn't exist any positive moral obligations. That said, I wouldn't hang out with people who let sufferers of a car accident die on the street and I think most people have some minimal, somewhat similar aesthetic preferences. Giving everyone a job doesn't even fit that category. So how would this create inflation - which, as I've said now couple of times, isn't a problem itself, but rather, how it was created: was it created at the expense of every else forced to use tax tokens or otherwise - if there exists underutilized capacity? It wouldn't, but since there is an IQ-treshold to free market jobs, people who get employed in FTJ programs would not be able to contribute anything - it would simply cost resources to give them these jobs to begin with. So this underutilized capacity does not exist. Thus, since the wages of these people were paid by freshly created tax tokens and more resources (energy, raw materials, managers who lead these people instead of someone more competent, finished products functioning as their tools, buildings for their work facilities) were wasted in the process than created, larger amount of money now chases a smaller amount resources (assuming velocity of money stays the same for simplicity) manifesting itself in higher prices. It's not the inflationary force itself here that I think would be bad, but the fact that resources were wasted. Inflation would simply be a sign of it in this case. Having an employment is not a resource itself and does not have an inherent value - employers don't care what your resume says if your IQ level is not high enough to do even a good cleaning job - you simply won't get hired. Everyone does not get a seat in the economy - it's a sad fact we need to accept, the sooner the better. Wasting resources in the process of guaranteeing these unemployed hoards jobs are the mechanism which means these jobs 'compete' with private sector jobs. Ok, maybe the word 'compete' was a poor choice for my part, my bad. What I meant that wasting resources in FTJs means that there are less resources to the private sector, thus making hiring workers more expensive for it. It competes for the same resources, even if that resource isn't people for the most part - aside from the managers of FTJs. Therefore, it is totally possible that FTJ is an even bigger miss than just welfare. In welfare, these people only do the consumption part. Now they will do both the consuming part and some form of consumption (called production by the FTJ managers) which might be only 0.5 times the consumption of resources compared to their 'pure consumption' part. So effectively 1.5 times the wasting of resources compared to pure welfare. Also, it's very unlikely you get rid off welfare programs by introducing FTJ, most likely you'll get both programs in place, and now we have two ways of stealing other peoples' resources 'to combat the unemployment problem' instead of just one. For these reasons, FTJ is a horrible idea and should be thrown away immediately.
  4. First of all, thanks for exposing the libertarian community to MMT, understanding how money works has been a blind spot for freedom-loving people - especially when it comes to government money. I enjoyed your Mosler interview - I did not know how government currency is issued (spent into existence and taxed out of it), I only knew about credit money creation. Also the part how taxation (alongside with laws requiring people to accept legal tender) creates the demand for currency blew my mind - so simple yet so counterintuitive. That said, here's my critique of your latest video about MMT - it's mostly just practical critique. In the beginning Nima explains how the government causes the problem of unemployment: Since everyone has to get tax tokens but getting a job is punished by taxation, private sector cannot offer as many jobs as without this intervention. As a solution he offers a Federal job guarantee program. i) At 13 minutes he points out how the program "should not compete with private sector jobs". This is impossible. Since you get the resources to pay for these jobs by spending tax tokens into existence and robbing everyone else by inflation (which might just be lower deflation (well, since we don't have a free currency system, we don't know how inflationary the free system would be - maybe rate of inflation would be naturally something as high as 5 %)), you already compete with everyone else who is forced to use your money system. ii) At 14 mins: "These would be jobs where you have to show up etc." Government employees have all the economic incentives to work as little as possible and get paid as much as possible - getting fired would be nearly impossible if government actually guarantees a job. There's no way of making this happen unless you start using direct force. How else will these workers show up when there's a federal job guarantee? iii) At 16 mins: "It would be important to pay less for these jobs than in the private sector in order not to compete with the private sector": Wishful thinking. All the practical evidence points in the other direction. iv) 22 mins: Local government jobs paid by issuing tax tokens will supposedly create so much more new money, that net private savings go up and private sector starts hiring new people, thus balancing the new money creation to private sector's needs. Not necessarily - people tend to take mortgages and perhaps even take a loan to buy a sail boat once their income increases. This creates a massive amount of credit money, which might more make up for the decrease in government money creation. v) 25 mins: "How can giving people gov jobs be worse than paying them for not doing anything?" Easily, make them work for harmful projects like building roads to nowhere (Japan), go to war or build 10's of GW's of wind power (Germany). vi) 26 mins: Nima explains how this program will not cause inflation as long as you have underutilized capacity. Technically this would be correct, if increase in money supply (let's assume for simplicity that v(money) = constant) matches increases in production then no inflation would happen. But the most important component of that underutilized capacity is the human mind. For example, in programming, one talented developer can be 10^6 more valuable than an average one. And a bad developer is harming more than helping, perhaps only top 5-10 % of people can even work in the field. This is true even for other fields too, with different numeric values (which I just guesstimated). Given that 16 % of population has an IQ of 85 or lower (sd = 15) in the Western countries, even having a cleaning job might be challenging for these people. If they get guaranteed government jobs, it'll take more resources to support them at their jobs than they will ever create -> more tax tokens are used, but overall resources diminish or at best maybe stay the same -> more inflation. So why not concentrate on cutting taxes to the abs. minimum while simultaneously not bothering about the deficits and supporting crypto developers by spreading general knowledge about MMT to them? It's only a matter of time when cryptos take over the monetary system, so if they don't figure their system - well government just might "help" them... and take over some coins in the process.
  5. Hubot

    Hello from Finland

    Tervetuloa! Radio vapaavyöhyke - olet ystävien seurassa. And gongrats, technically you're one in a million. We do have a small group which you may want to join, can I make the bold assumption you too reside in the South? Anyway, I'm very glad to see some new members from the great white North (don't worry, I'm referring to snow).
  6. Hubot

    A weekly skype-call

    Friends... Philosophy... personal development... sanity... This and much more awaits you at Philosophy Europe Call in Google+; every Saturday and Sunday at 19:00 CET. Here's the link to join the community: https://plus.google.com/communities/105784012586757265988 And most importantly, the marketing picture:
  7. Tervehdys! Even though I'm not in Taipei I'm pleased to see a fellow native here (yes, I know nation is pure fiction). If you ever visit Finland you're welcome to our meetup group! How did you become voluntarist? What do you mean by saying that you're an outsider where ever you go now; do you refer to you being a voluntarist or the tendency for people from other countries to put a national label on you even if you don't really feel Finnish at all? I understand you'd feel that way in Taiwan but surely it is not given you would be seen as much of an outsider in London for example? I usually talk more about psychology and economics (femto and macro econ) than philosophy. What pisses me off? Hmm, mainly my limited success of applying philosophy so far. Irrational people don't actually irritate me anymore since I've cut ties with them. I get happy when I can be my authentic self in other people's company without getting ignored and/or attacked - this has been a new experience for me. I use FDR's and different (other) self help communities' GPS for navigation. Ultimately you still have to calculate the new coordinates and directions yourself however. Anyway, if you want to talk to me you can find me on G+ and Skype (look at your private messages (edit: Apparently you cannot use the messaging system, so in Skype my name is unsurprisingly Huboten)). Also, there's the famous "Philosophy Europe Call" community - the only downside for you about that is the timing, if you think you're able to wake up extremely early (2-5 AM) on Sunday (or stay up very late) you can give it a shot. Welcome to... your new life?
  8. Hubot

    What are some of your favorite novels?

    Here are a couple of novels which greatly influenced me (some of these were already mentioned in the thread, but I think they're worth repeating): Konrad - Heart of Darkness, Nostromo Marquez - The Autumn of the Patriarch Kafka - The Trial, Metamorphosis Hesse - Steppenwolf, Glasperlenspiel, Siddharta Solzhenitsyn - Cancer Ward, One Day in the Life of Ivan D Don de Lillo - Cosmopolis Waltari - The Etruscan, The Egyptian Per Olov Enquist - The Visit of the King's Physician, Captain Nemo's Library The creator of this thread already knows the following author: Bulgakov - Master and Margarita
  9. Hubot

    Interstellar Movie - Parenting Quote

    I think you're right, the film is mainly about the bond (or lack thereof) between parent and child (father and daughter more specifically). I recently watched the film and it moved me couple of light years. You essentially summarized the film in the quote. Here's my own interpretation: Film starts with a slightly atypical dysfunctional family, a former alcoholic (I'll offer the proof later) father as the single parent somewhere in Redneckistan. Mother has either just left or is really dead because of drug abuse. The home environment is increasingly toxic and stifling (dust) for the children. Cooper can't really handle the dullness of being a father and working a low paying shitty job to provide for his family, he wants to take a trip out there (better life through chemistry). After a while the grandfather will be the only parent left, since Cooper needs to go to rehab (or to a hospital for the mentally ill). The chief psychiatrist, prof. Brand, relies heavily on the chemical solutions in treating patients. For the actual trip to the space I have two different explanations: 1. Cooper gets “treated” for his mental illness with a cocktail of chemicals, he'll get drugged out his mind. 2. Cooper escapes the rehab and starts using again (alcohol, meds, meth) and never becomes sober again, the space trip takes him to the outer limit of human existence. Murph wants to make sense of all this, she ends up taking a job at the same facility. She wants to heal her wounds by trying to cure the patients from addiction/”mental illness”. This offers also an escape from putting the responsibility of her shitty childhood on her father. She comes back to the scene where her father left her, she wants to understand it and tries to find some sign of hope in the scene, sign of parental love in her memories (=book shelf). In the meantime, her father takes his last trip with his user “friends”. His “friends” include even an equally irresponsible woman, prof. Brand's daughter who's also an addict. Brand (the female one) sleeps around with a dozen of different men, she goes on bad trips with them. Usually these trips ultimately end in death for the men. Once she goes on a trip with Cooper himself, Cooper never recovers after this last high, he can't get out of the black hole ever again. In his last breath, he regrets leaving his family, but it's way too late to do anything about it anymore. From this moment on Cooper only lives in the memories of other people, in a n-dimensional library (n>4) where you can easily travel back and forth in time (and space). After years of introspection she recognizes the source of the stifling dust in her childhood home: it was her family all along. Consequently prof. Brand is exposed as a liar; he wants to escape his own responsibility of making her own daughter a drug addict - he only offers complex medical causes for the addiction instead of looking at the more obvious causes at home. Now it all makes sense, she cracks the code of her early experiences and with this new-found confidence she tries to spread the truth even to her brother. But her brother chooses not to listen and chooses to repeat the family pattern in his own behavior. In the end scene the father returns to Murph, Murph is dying and she's the second last person who still harbors Cooper as a memory. He is luckily completely foreign to Murph's own family, and the memory of him and his legacy fades away in Murph's own family tree. The only person left in the world who still remembers him is the addict daughter of prof. Brand. This is the last place where Cooper now goes to die.
  10. Hubot

    Neglectful Family?

    Good question, I totally agree that this kind of discussion has not happened enough in this forum – for obvious reasons, it's easier to see violence than lack of nurturing. And I'm very sorry for what you had to go through in your childhood, hopefully me rambling about my own experiences will offer some help and/or perspective. If you can, you could get some kind of data of how much you spent time with your parents and how much with someone else who was close to you. Then compare how many positive memories you have about your parents and how many about that someone else – or maybe compare your parents, if one of them was significantly more emotionally available than the other you'll probably remember him/her better (and more importantly in more positive manner) even though he/she might have spent much less time with you. For example, I remember my authoritarian father much more positively and better than my mother, even though I spent 5-10 times more time with my mom. In fact I have more early childhood memories of the day-care workers than of my parents. If you were neglected in your early childhood you'll surely remember something about it, no matter how small it might seem at first. For me it was for ex. showing my “treasures” which I had found in the forest to my mother - who remained utterly non-responsive or at times just unwelcoming and irritated. I'm sure you have explored this kind of stuff through therapy/journaling/dream analysis. Another way to test it is of course to see how your parents react to you now and what kind of feelings you experience around them. Chances are they are still uninterested about you and in denial about it. But this is something you'll have to test to know for sure. Try talking to them openly about these things and see how they react (or maybe you already have enough data points), you'll know soon enough what kind of persons they are. Ask yourself, would you allow your friends behaving the same way towards you as your parents do/did? If you then decide to deFOO and it turns out your parents were really neglectful, you won't have to worry about them trying to contact you too often (unless they have fundamentally changed, it's rare but it can happen too). You've probably already read about the manifestations of early childhood negligence in adult life, but I'll post one wiki-link anyway. It's about attachment styles in adults, I mostly recognize myself in the third and fourth group (=dismissive-avoidant and fearful-avoidant... and obv. I'm in the process of changing this). The third group would roughly correlate with having experienced negligence in early childhood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults
  11. Hubot

    Vegetarian/Vegan Questions?

    Answers to the questions: A. Evidence (allthough still weak) that vegan diet is not healthy. Firstly I have to state that direct, strict evidence of vegan diet being unhealthy does not exist. No double blind experiments or even epidemiological comparing vegan diet to say primal have been made so far. The only studies about vegan diet compare it to typical western diets (which are extremely unhealthy). Meat consumption is usually lumped in the same group in these studies regardless if it is grass-fed bison meat or fried, industrially manufactured chicken meat. So obviously vegan diets will deliver better results than Joe Average's supersizing food choices. However, I see five big problems with the vegan diet: 1. Too much carbohydrates causes type II diabetes. Gross, Lee S., et al. "Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment." The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.5 (2004): 774-779. 2. Some evidence suggests lectins (in plants and especially in grains, nuts and beans) may lead to autoimmune disease. This is not yet very well researched. Freed, David LJ. "Do dietary lectins cause disease?: The evidence is suggestive—and raises interesting possibilities for treatment." BMJ: British Medical Journal 318.7190 (1999): 1023. Jordinson, Mark, Raymond J. Playford, and John Calam. "Effects of a panel of dietary lectins on cholecystokinin release in rats." American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 273.4 (1997): G946-G950. Cordain, Loren, et al. "Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis." British Journal of Nutrition 83.03 (2000): 207-217. 3. Vegans not getting enough DHA, which is crucial for our brain. Rosell, Magdalena S., et al. "Long-chain n–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma in British meat-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men." The American journal of clinical nutrition 82.2 (2005): 327-334. 4. Vegans not getting enough B12 and/or the cofactors. Obersby, Derek, et al. "Plasma total homocysteine status of vegetarians compared with omnivores: a systematic review and meta-analysis." British Journal of Nutrition 109.05 (2013): 785-794. Woo, Kam S., Timothy CY Kwok, and David S. Celermajer. "Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health." Nutrients 6.8 (2014): 3259-3273. 5. Vegans not getting enough D3. Crowe, Francesca L., et al. "Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans: results from the EPIC–Oxford study." Public health nutrition 14.02 (2011): 340-346. B. Second question was about evidence for paleo diet being optimal for human beings. Unfortunately no one has done any double blind studies here either. The only evidence we have is epidemiological at best and prehistorical (based on for ex. bone structures of fossiles) at worst. 1. Constrains carbohydrate consumption to safe levels preventing diabetes II. Jönsson, Tommy, et al. "Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study." Cardiovasc Diabetol 8.35 (2009): 1-14. 2. Prevents crosslinking of sugars and protein for the same reason. Brownlee, MD, Michael. "Advanced protein glycosylation in diabetes and aging." Annual review of medicine 46.1 (1995): 223-234. 3. Prevents metabolic syndrome. Frassetto, Lynda A., et al. "Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet." European journal of clinical nutrition 63.8 (2009): 947-955. 4. Removes most of the common food allergens from the diet (like gluten and casein). Here is some evidence that those compounds are more dangerous than we've thought. Wildner, Gerhild, and Maria Diedrichs‐Möhring. "Autoimmune uveitis induced by molecular mimicry of peptides from rotavirus, bovine casein and retinal S‐antigen." European journal of immunology 33.9 (2003): 2577-2587. Kamiński, Stanisław, Anna Cieślińska, and Elżbieta Kostyra. "Polymorphism of bovine beta-casein and its potential effect on human health." Journal of applied genetics 48.3 (2007): 189-198. Catassi, Carlo, et al. "Non-Celiac Gluten sensitivity: the new frontier of gluten related disorders." Nutrients 5.10 (2013): 3839-3853. 5. Delivers you the nutrients in a very bioavailable way, only some supplements are needed (See points 3-5 in my vegan answer). More articles (I have read only couple of them) about the benefits of paleo at http://thepaleodiet.com/research/ At this point I have to mention that I'm not expert on these issues - I have no medical/biochemical/biology background so feel free to point out the mistakes in the articles. They should all be available as pdf with a simple google Scholar search.
  12. Hubot

    Vegetarian/Vegan Questions?

    Hello fellow voluntarists! I wanted to make this post a long time ago so without further ado I'll cut to the chase. This post is for all those persons who want to improve their health through diet and exercise. We have surely all heard the phrase “Eat less and exercise more and you'll get in shape”. Sadly, this is a crude oversimplification that doesn't help too many people. Calories are not equivalent for humans in a sense that 1 k cal sugar would be the same as 1 k cal fat (because they have very different biochemical responses) and neither does exercise make you thinner easily. So why am I posting this in the vegan thread? Well, mainly because I want to help the sufferers of the vegetarian and other health myths (regarding for example cholesterol, ketosis or fat ). Posting this in the paleo threads would just result in one more voice in the echo chamber of “primalism”. So what do I have against veganism? Simply put it is likely to make you sick. Yes, I know we humans are omnivores but that doesn't mean all diets would be equally healthy to us. It is critically important to optimize it in order to thrive. Second issue I have with the vegan claims is that it doesn't hurt animals. This is untrue because harvesting, pesticides, and ploughing do kill a lot of animals. And what happened to all the animals who used to live in the forest/prairie that is agricultural land now? It is possible that meat consumers kill more animals than vegans by their eating habits but the score certainly isn't 100-0. My recommendation for you would be to test the so called paleo/primal lifestyle. The basic idea behind it is to mimic the diet (and some other habits like natural movement etc.) that humans had before agriculture. The diet consists of a lot of green leafy vegetables, tubers, good meat, fish and fats. It includes almost no processed foods (some supplements like Mg, Zn or D3 are needed), sugar and only moderate amount of fruits and berries. Although not scientifically proven (i.e. no double blind studies are done about this) the anecdotal evidence and epidemiological studies suggest that it works well. My own N=1 -experiment basically gave me my life back so understandably I can't take this stuff very unenthusiastically. In my opinion one of the best podcast series about paleo diet is Robb Wolfs “The Paleo Solution” -podcast. It delves into paleo basics, answers listener questions and interviews many doctors, biochemists and paleo pioneers. Another pretty good series about health is Chris Kresser's podcast and Dave Asprey's “Bulletproof Diet” (Bulletproof lifestyle includes also Dual N Back -training which is a brain exercise for masochists). If you want to be more thorough, then those same guys have more detailed blogs as well. Also blogs like “Nephropal”, “Cooling Inflammation” and Cordain's “The Paleo Diet” contain a lot of useful information. P.S. This post is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult a doctor before making any drastic changes in your life and always do your own research.
  13. Hubot

    Sunshine by Danny Boyle

    Well thank you! I thought the new captain might be the therapist, counselor or maybe even some inspirational radio host. Someone or something that makes clear for him which thoughts and preferences are truly his and which aren't. I haven't actually gone through every character and tried to figure out who he/she might represent in Capa's life except for Pinbacker (that being said maybe Cassie could be his mother figure or even girl friend). I found it interesting how the crew (especially the new captain Kaneda) tries to make sense of the old video messages from Pinbacker. In other words the therapist is trying to make sense of Capa's past life. Then it would make sense that Icarus I is Capa's childhood experiences; the character(s) a more primal and there exists an overwhelming fear and anxiety around the old ship. Once they board the ship everything gets less controllable when strong concealed feelings/emotions come to light. This is not the only explanation of the film that I came up with. The more pessimistic one would be translate the film into collectivist propaganda: The dying Sun represents the coming “ecological doomsday” and therefore every human being must sacrifice all they can to rescue our planet. Only socialism can save us from the “judgement day”.
  14. Black old sun and so forth... namely the visually stunning film “Sunshine” by Danny Boyle from 2007. As in almost all SciFi -films the plot is basically just rubbish (spoiler alert): The sun is losing power and to restart it again a team of scientist with fissile material is sent to orbit our star in a giant space ship, Icarus II (lol). Icarus I was lost a few years before. Our protagonist, physicist Capa, is accompanied by other scientists in different fields. Due to a small error in calculations the spaceship gets progressively more damaged and Capa's fellow crew members start to die in the process. Then by a miracle the crew finds Icarus I intact nearby. They board the ship hoping to get more resources but unfortunately they also get a new crew member hiding in the ship... the captain of the former Icarus I -mission, who has become completely mad in years of isolation. He goes on a killing spree eliminating the crew members one by one. At this point it has already become clear that no one aboard will return to Earth and even the mission to rescue the Sun is in danger. In the end the crazy old captain tries to attack Capa but fails. Capa succeeds to manually start the fission bomb which then also restarts the Sun. So here's what I think the film is about: It's simply about a journey in our “core self” through therapy, journaling, etc. All of Capa's fellow scientists are a “mecosystem” of himself. In other words, they are different simulations of other very influential (for him) persons in his life (especially in his early life). As he get's closer to his core self (=the Sun) he can let go of them. The most difficult one to confront is his abusive father (the crazy captain). After all, it was he who had sabotaged the former approach (Icarus II) to reach the truth about himself and his family. Once Capa reaches his core self his false self dies in 10^10 Kelvin flaming explosion. The process also sets free an enormous amount of “life force” as material (inner potential) becomes energy (real life actions). What do you think, am I just rambling here and trying to fit everything in one theory that I like? Or am I perhaps just talking about myself and about my narcissistic “Sun King”- fantasies? Anyway, it would be nice to hear if any of you have seen the film and your thoughts of it.

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