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Heavy Metal and Emergent Behavior

kid-noodle Physicists (92 comments)

Consider a spherical heavy metal fan..

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

it just assaults you with science!

The best kind of assault.

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

Bugger, I responded to the wrong person, sorry about that.

Medication isn't identical with psychiatric treatment, I think would sum up my objection here. Although I suppose there's no particular argument here, I'm not suggesting (nor was it suggested in my lectures), that people who aren't severely depressed should be taking SSRIs, or anything else for that matter. With hindsight I can see that my initial remark to AC #1 was rather flippant in that respect, which was silly of me.

Besides, the consensus as I knew it was over a decade ago - you'd kinda hope it had changed by now!

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

I think that's perhaps a rather pessimistic view! Any intervention to the brain, chemical or physical, should not be taken lightly, and those available are not exactly precision tools. The full impacts of SSRIs and other anti-depressants vary substantially between them, not to mention between people and I think that very few people (who aren't idiots, or dubiously motivated) would suggest that they are anything other than a short term, emergency intervention to be used to get people to a place where they can engage in more useful and lasting treatments.

If you can engage without some chemical assistance, then you should be doing that, not getting medicated. (I'm aware that I was a bit casual in my original comment in suggesting AC #1 get medicated.)
(As a side note, I'm more interesting in the potential for ketamine and MDMA as replacements for the role our current anti-depressants play - some of the results in that ballpark have been really quite interesting, but regrettably the legal situation makes it hard to expand that further.)
And one last thing - keeping it a secret seems counter productive, it certainly was for me. (Not to mention, the more people hide mental illness, the more foreign it is and the more people feel they need to hide it.)

I've rambled on again.. I wish you the best of luck, and that sometime you look back and feel you were worth rebuilding!

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

I'm sure your anecdotal experience trumps mine, is it a particularly useful (or even interesting) dialogue to have though?
I'm not a psychologist, and I would assume my undergraduate courses on abnormal psychology whatnot are out of date (I'd hope so, otherwise progress has been very slow). My criticism of your 'psychiatric treatment for depression is a con bunk' remark relates only to what seems rather an overgeneralisation in saying that since a particular psychiatric treatment didn't work in your case, all psychiatric treatment for that condition doesn't work.

Would it be fair to assume that you're an American (I'm guessing based on the medications)? My understanding is that there's a very different attitude to prescription and diagnosis (particularly of mental illness) in the US, which I'm certainly not familiar with beyond what I read about in the news (generally, that there's massive overmedication).

In any case, perhaps I have offended you, (which really wasn't my intention) in which case I apologise!

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

I was at the time doing my degree in psychology, the consensus (at least here in the UK), was very clear - SSRIs can be very effective, but only in combination with counselling or something similar. Unfortunately, they don't get used like that. Counselling, and even relatively 'quick fix' type therapies like CBT are staggeringly expensive and time consuming vs. pills. Sadly this means the prescription is the solution option tends to win out.

I do think there's a lot of debate to be had about the efficaciousness of SSRIs in general, they are widely misused and you're quite right to point out that in a lot of cases they really won't help. I also think that the statistical methodology used by pharma to demonstrate their drugs work is misleading at best, and probably outright deceptive (Ben Goldacre has much to say on this subject). However! In this context, I can only offer my anecdotal experience. The greatest benefit to my mental health was certainly not the medication, but the other things I mentioned.
I would take issue with your last statement though - I don't think your assertion is logically sound.

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:A few words of caution (174 comments)

The preprint is available, but is still pretty goddamn short.

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

Good for you!
I was extremely leery of anti-depressants, but I suspect without them I would in fact be dead. They made me feel a whole other kind of awful (shakes, nausea, no libido, etc. ad nauseam), but did get me to a point where I could actively work on healing myself, and changing my life to protect me in future. I was able to cope without them after not so long - they should in almost all cases be used like a splint for the brain, and discarded when some semblance of normal neurochemistry is restored.

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Re:Makes sense to me (174 comments)

Hey, AC - go get help, get medicated and use the time you are medicated to do CBT (because the combination of the two has a good success rate), start jogging (because annoyingly, this too has a good success rate), eat more healthily (specific benefits of this are, I believe, a bit more contentious, but cooking properly is a great and positive activity irregardless), and while you're at it, identify what in your life and yourself you need to change to protect yourself from being depressed. Then use that to actually make the changes - this process took me about five years, but became progressively more worth it and easier. There's no magic bullet, it is hard work, and if you are susceptible to depression you probably need to keep at it in a small way forever.
This doesn't work for everybody (some people do seem to just have bad chemistry), and really isn't easy, but it did for me.

Perhaps the hardest bit is actually getting help in the first place, it took me months and the damage to my life was pretty extensive. Then one day I had a breakdown and sat weeping on my kitchen floor, because I couldn't cope with choosing between frozen pies for dinner and thought "Shit, I can't fix this by myself.". A mere three weeks later I'd actually gone to one of the several doctor's appointments I made.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Don't spam your brain - do something about the sadness and pain.

about a year ago
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Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

kid-noodle Makes sense to me (174 comments)

So, with the big flashing red caveat that this is entirely anecdotal and drawn from personal experience, I recall 'spamming' my senses with as many inputs as possible (lying in bed simultaneously listening to music, a film on, reading a book, eating seriously high fat/salt/sugar foodstuffs, etc.) quite a lot while I was in the deeper throes of reasonably severe depression. Retrospectively it seems like an attempt to blot out as much of reality as I could, and drown out the sound of my own thoughts.
Funny things, brains.

about a year ago
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Cambridge University To Open "Terminator Center" To Study Threat From AI

kid-noodle Runaway processes (274 comments)

Ok, so disregarding TFA, on the basis that the Mail is full of bollocks..

This is actually an interesting thing to do - essentially what they're looking at here is runaway processes. We already have an immediate and pressing one, which they're looking at in the form of climate change. Runaway AI is obviously *not* a problem now, or in the forseeable future, but what is potentially interesting is commonalities between different runaway processes, the ability to identify that something is about to become one, mechanisms to disrupt that and so on. There's a common thread here with examining conditions under which systems destabilise - Reynold's numbers for things beyond waterflow in pipes, which is definitely an important thing to be thinking about if you're looking at the long-term survival of humanity (let's just assume that this is a good thing..).

about a year ago
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Google+ Already At 10 Million Users

kid-noodle Re:Sure, send me an invite! (1223 comments)

Like the rest of the ravening horde trapped in Zuckerberg's basement, I'd love an invite - demonixz at gmail.com.

more than 2 years ago
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"Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

kid-noodle Re:It's supposed to be difficult (863 comments)

Tube: In london the tube is the most expensive public transport of the world. To eradicate privacy concerns you are told that you've got no privacy: the tube is covered with cameras. They are there just to easen your feelings of unsecurity and keeping souvenir videos of dead kamikaze bombers for later inspection.

Deceptive at best there - this is (a) from 2007, (b) solely in reference to 'cash fares' which represent something like 4% of tube journeys.

more than 4 years ago
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Drug Giant Pledges Cheap Medicine For World's Poor

kid-noodle Snarking notwithstanding (317 comments)

I note the comments are filled with cynicism, sarcasm & general snarking - a not unreasonable approach to any announcement from GSK or any other pharmaceuticals company.

That said - this is potentially a really fantastic thing. New CEO, new game plan. Also worth noting that GSK is the second biggest pharma company in the world - this has a pretty good probability of forcing other large pharma companies to follow suit and opens the door to more of the same (for example, HIV/AIDS drugs are not covered in the patent pooling - this is still a move in the right direction, it will make subsequent moves along the same lines easier.)

Patent pooling is something NGOs have been asking big pharma to do for years now. This is a hugely positive move.

Of course GSK have motives to do this besides doing good, that does not mean doing good is ruled out.

(And I will now be watching the obits for news of Andrew Witty's untimely demise.)

more than 5 years ago
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Mythbusters to Test Cockroach Radiation Myth

kid-noodle Re:Cockroaches, harmed in the making of broadcast? (573 comments)

Epic fail. Apart from anything else, dog is nothing like beef. The meat is closer to venison - much heavier. Tastes good though :) I can't vouch for roaches, but cicadas mostly taste crunchy. (Issan cooking for the win)

more than 6 years ago

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