Molecular Nanotechnology and The Infinite Possibility

It only took one read of the Wikipedia article for Molecular Nanotechnology to get me hooked.

In the seminal graphic novel/comic book series Transmetropolitan there is a race of people, if that word would even apply, called Foglets who are sentient beings whose minds have been downloaded from their bodies and uploaded into a small network of ‘nanobots’ which resemble a small field of pinkish colored fog.  A Foglet can create theoretically any matter out of the constituent molecuels, elements, and atoms present in the air.  And this idea is not unrealistic or far fetched.

It is entirely realistic if some fundamental limitations of modern technology can be overcome.  And I have every reason to believe that they will.  I may be naive but I do not think that in this modern world, it seems at all unrealistic to think that we will find and create ways to manipulate the most basic building blocks of matter and forces of nature in such ways that we can create self-replicating technologies, ones which can be programmed, controlled, and designed to serve an infinite number of functions.

And it scares the shit out of me.  If self-replicating technologies, or so called ‘makerbots’ come into existence, the distopian future of Transmetropoliton will truly happen.  What would stop someone with the knowledge, technology, or money from creating nanobots to kill, destroy, meme, or otherwise wreak havoc on what can only be called an ironic scale.  The most minute machines creating the most epic destruction.

I want this technology to happen so badly because it has literally infinite possibilities, it could be by definition machines with infinite possibilities.  Including all the evil ones.

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Suprise At The Economic Crisis Obsession and What It Says About Us

Let me begin by saying that I’m not an angry dude, I’m very gentle, kind, and pretty quiet. I don’t tend to curse a lot in real life and I’m pretty smart (in the 99th percentile for IQ, not to toot my own horn.) Mostly I say that so that you know that I’m not some dummy sitting behind a laptop, I’m a really smart guy who pays attention and doesn’t fool himself. Although this is a seriously angry rant, its justified, and if you take the time to read my other posts you will see that my blog is not normally like this post. Read on!

Everyone who is surprised by any of the economic troubles, the credit rating downgrade, the ‘double dip recession,’ the fact that we hate our leaders, or that our students are getting dumber yearly, is an idiot. I’m sorry, I usually reserve this anger for the bottle but I’m done pandering to people’s ignorance masked as optimism masked as trust. People might not like the anger, shovenism, or self-promoting nature of rap lyrics, but Mobb Deep had it right: “shit is for real its about to get hectic.” It done been hectic for a long, long time.

Times are hard, better yet, their totally fucked. Or rather, they’ve been like this for a lot of people but now it’s like this for a lot More people in America and some parts of Europe than it was before. Get over yourselves you dumb bastards, quit acting like this economic situation is a surprise, and if it does surprise you, you are dumb, too trusting, and haven’t been paying attention or thinking at all since, well, before I was born (which was 1988.) This isn’t new news. My entire life I’ve listened to, watched, and read politicians, news anchors, and columnists speaking about how “It’s just amazing that something like this can happen.” No actually, it’s not amazing that something like this can happen, it’s average that something like this can happen, even more, its common that things like this can happen. News pedlars make their goddamn earnings on getting YOU to watch, listen, and read. ITS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. That should bother you. If it doesn’t, something is wrong with you, seriously. Not so much as to write off what they’re saying entirely but you should have a healthy skepticism about the motivation behind what their saying. Times have certainly gotten worse for a lot of people in the past 4 years, but if you were alive and kicking during GWB’s presidency and didn’t have a looming sense of doom, than you must’ve been higher than me because there is NO way that you could be that stupid.

Outside of the housing/mortgage debacle which I learned about later, I saw the recession coming half-a-decade away, when I was fucking sixteen years old. It was already in progress, it had BEEN going on. Look back on the 1990’s. Sure, budget surplus, sure .com boom. You know what I remember? Shitty attitudes about grunge music, the growing public awareness of the methamphetamine epidemic, racial tension in California, homegrown terrorism, and people assassinating doctors who provided abortions. And I was under 13 years old. Everyone is so god damn blind, it’s just staggering. I don’t even know what to think anymore, it’s like people are becoming dumber at an increasing pace. Insanity can be defined as doing something repeatedly expecting different results. In that case, everyone is 100% insane for thinking that somehow the world, society, is going to progress into some kind of utopia in one form or another and that recessions, poverty, hunger, racism, etc. will be things of the past. THEY’RE HERE TO STAY. Get that through your thick skulls.

Below are some admittedly handpicked headlines from the New York Times website front-page of August, 6, 2011 at 3:55am EST.

  • Disapproval Rate for Congress at Record 82% After Debt Talks
  • Time to Say It: Double Dip Recession May Be Happening

  • Volatile Wall Street Ends the Day Mixed

  • Rating Lowered From AAA for First Time in History
  • Volatile Wall Street Ends the Day Mixed
  • Failure of Leadership: Political Roots in U.S. Economic Crisis
  • Bloggingheads: Obama’s Undoing?
Congress, people are fucking pissed off because they expect you to work things out in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed, clean and pretty, in the background and in silence. Just because the Repubs and Demos actually tried to stand their ground in a rather ugly and public fight doesn’t mean that something is suddenly different. This kind of bickering and arguing has been going on FOREVER in congress, the media just weren’t all over it. And yes, if you want to cut entitlement programs like social security, Soc. Sec. Disability, Medicaid, and Medicare, your at best ignorant and at worst a sociopath. You try being disabled, see how you feel about it asshole. Balanced budget amendment = good idea, great idea in fact! Its so obvious that this is the truth, but everyone seems to be stuck, caught in some stupid ‘this or that” phase. Just, think for yourselves, have empathy, and be realistic, its not that hard once you try.
OH MY GOD the UNITED STATES CREDIT RATING WENT FROM AAA to AA+. Seriously? For starters, AA+ is a scam title as it still has two A’s and a +, it doesn’t really imply what it means. Also, I’m very American and its about damn time S&P did that shit. Yeah, our credit rating should have been lowered the moment we entered the Iraq War without an occupation plan or exit strategy, I could’ve told you that in 2002 and I was 14. Of course our credit rating went down, I say take it all the way down. Maybe it will finally wake people up to the reality of the situation. Were not going to grow out of this anytime soon, so get comfy with it. Good things can happen even when the statistics show that people aren’t buying houses, that our students are getting stupider, and that we don’t like or even trust our leaders. WE’VE NEVER LIKED OR TRUSTED OUR LEADERS. That’s why they’re our leaders, not our friends!
Finally, are you surprised that there’s a ‘double dip recession’? Yeah, idiot. Of course. The recession never ceased, despite the statistical maneuvering and political labeling. Things haven’t really gotten any better. They’ve gotten worse. And honestly, they’re going to keep that way for most people who are directly effected by the “recovery.”
So quit playing the fool and pretending that any of this surprises you. Use your goddamn brain and think once in a while.

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Cyberpath: Boundaries on The Internet

So recently I had to delete the blog on which the large majority of the posts on this blog you are reading were hosted because a recent ex girlfriend of mine disclosed to me that she had been logging into my email and reading my personal emails, including emails from WordPress. I haven’t shared this blog with anyone, no one I know and no one I don’t, because I don’t want to. It just exists in the ether of the internet, perhaps to be found and perhaps not, and I like it that way. I moved the blog to another and changed some of the post titles and tags, changed the blogs name, my WordPress username, and anything else I thought she could use to find it, to the extent that I felt better but still didn’t feel too paranoid. I did this because knowing her and now knowing what she had been doing, I don’t think she has any boundaries and that she would continue to follow my blog for, well, forever maybe. And the idea of that just creeps me out, it goes against all my instincts and values, and more importantly violates my sense of what boundaries we should have as humans in modern society.

Blogs exist in the public domain, as do social networking profiles, and other information to certain extents. Although we can control some of the sharing of this information, it is largely open-territory for who-ever to view, whenever they want, and as often as they want. This is not a good thing. If people had proper boundaries, healthy boundaries, respectful boundaries, it would be okay, but they do not. Because all they have to do is click and type, people’s sense of boundaries is non-existent and this leads to a lot of improper behavior, problematic situations, and hurt feelings amongst users of these internet services.

In real life, we would consider opening and reading someone else’ paper-based mail to be bad boundaries. We would consider reading someone else’ personal diary bad boundaries. We would consider keeping tabs on an ex through following, watching, asking their friends, essentially stalking, bad boundaries and thus unacceptable behaviors. But in the internet realm, we have yet to create community standards for what behavior is and isn’t acceptable in these respects. People believe that just because something exists in the public sphere of a blog, social networking sites, etc. it is acceptable to view it. It is not. It is stalking, in its purest form.

Everyone gets curious and looks at an ex lovers social networking profile now and again, its only natural that we should have an interest in where they are and what they are doing. And this is healthy behavior, it is a healthy curiosity and interest that is layed to rest quickly and without harm. But so often, as in me and my ex’s case recently, it goes beyond healthy and ventures into hurtful, scornful, and honestly dangerous behavior. To read someone else email is wrong, even if they left it open. Sorry but it really is, it’s not okay and is a huge, immense violation of trust and respect. The same goes for cyber stalking, like repeatedly keeping tabs on your ex or your lovers ex lovers, just to satisfy some unbalanced, mean, resentful, or regretful need. The behavior is similar to that of people with borderline-personality disorder, and has been given its own term. Cyberpath, a definition follows.

CYBERPATH ~ People that display inappropriate behaviors exhibited often in real life by those with personality disorders, where they use the Internet as a tool against others on the Internet (their victims) in order to harm, bully, abuse, provoke, troll, torment, created conflict, destroy, damage, deceive, flame and inflame others for their own gratification , for example, seeking personal or financial gain.

It’s essentially psychopathic behavior exhibited on the internet. And I’m fucking sick of it. Often people use the excuse “If they don’t know and it doesn’t hurt them, its okay.” This is the same excuse used by rapists, murderers, many kinds of criminals, as well as cheating spouses. It is just not true and its a method of denial on the part of the perpetrator, or the perpetrator lacks empathy which is often the case. Just because someone doesn’t know, doesn’t negate the fact that perpetrator has done it, it only means that they aren’t getting blamed by the victim and likely justice isn’t getting served. It is also a crime in all states but 1 to misrepresent yourself on the internet, including logging into someone elses internet services (email, Facebook, bank, Twitter, etc.) which means that even IF you have someone password, it is illegal to use it to log into their services without their explicit permission for that particular instance. So, please people, PLEASE, exercise good boundaries. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. It’s up to you, the person with the screen and mouse, to exercise self-control. Otherwise, you might want to get checked out for a personality disorder. You might lack empathy, or the ability to learn (especially from punishment,) or you might just want to hurt other people emotionally. And that’s fucked, plus, you might be sick, as in cast, disorder, injury, sickness. Get help, because if you don’t, you’re gonna really hurt a lot of people and you’ll end up losing a lot of the people who have loved you because you did. There’s nothing wrong with being sick, but there is something wrong with hurting people. Empathy or die.

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Trapped: The First World Transition To The Intillectual-Economy

It’s amazing how easy it is to get trapped.  Mental entrapment is almost as painful if not more so than physical entrapment.  I am currently stuck residing in my mother’s home, the result of four years spent garnering a degree in Fine Art Photography and finishing it right in the wake of a horrible recession.  Also in a time when the first world economy is transitioning from a matter-based economy to a thought based economy, an intellectual-economy.  In times past, the demand for physical goods far, far outweighed the demand for intellectual goods, for thought, visual design, and mental stimulation.  But as first-world countries have progressed with the evolution of technology, the demand for these services has increased exponentially, perhaps surpassing the economically viable limit.  If your like me, your unemployed.  Or perhaps your underemployed.  Or perhaps your just employed in some function that you find unbearable.  And because of this you regularly read the job listings online on sites like Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, or any of the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of other job listing websites.  If you have a keen mind or memory, you might have noticed a trend in those listings, one that points to a major shift in the employment market, the economy, and the world in general.

There are more listings for graphic designers, writers, and high-level content managers than there are anything else.  This is because the affluence of the western world has created an advertising based economy, one where the competition for individual clients is vague and intangible if existent at all.  On the whole, companies who offers services and goods that are tangible (retail, manufacturers, etc.) has dwindled in correlation to the increasing ease of use and frequency of use of the internet for shopping, intellectual goods, and even social interaction.  Right now as you read this, you are not engaging in the broader economy outside of providing your ISP and money, and perhaps in some statistical maneuver the company that built your computer and the cables that carry your signals.  The history of the world is full of manufacturing based economies where to consume something was equally as difficulty and therefore almost equally as common as manufacturing.  But that has changed, now the proliferation and sale of intellectual goods has far surpassed the demand for manufacturing, and truth be told, this planet and our systems of organization (government, economics, even culture) is not ready or fit for this many people (7 billion this month I believe.)

There just aren’t enough jobs, and at that, there are even fewer jobs that are meaningful, challenging, and worthy of anybody.  When there are jobs available, there are so many people out of work that unless you have already had a career or are very well established in your field, there is no chance that you will get the job.  It will be gotten by someone who already has a career behind them, already has the experience, the references, and is going to cost a company/business less money in terms of lost productivity early on and in increased sales/efficiency immediately post-hire.  Its always been a cliché that its impossible to get a job without already having had one, that you need someone to take a chance, go out on a limb and hire you in order to gain the experience needed to get hired again.  This fact has compounded into a death-rattle of sorts that people are not in tune with, especially the government.  No one wants to say it, no one wants to hear it, but there aren’t suddenly going to be a million more jobs in diverse fields.  In the future, specificity fields are going to grow more narrow and the basic services fields as well as internet technology fields will grow drastically.  There won’t be less homeless, less struggle, less strife, there is going to more.  Much, much more than in any time in modern history.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people using these new technologies in novel ways to reinvigorate old crafts/manufacturing/services, but it seems that no longer can you do one thing.  You can’t just make chairs.  Youve got to make chairs and be a web designer, be a marketer, or have the money to pay for those services from someone else.  And if you’re hand making chairs, you probably don’t have the capital to do that.  Sure you can get a loan, you can start from the ground up and work just like people have always done to grow a company, but from ground-zero of recent graduate, unemployed, living at his mother’s house, it just doesn’t seem that way.

Now more than ever I want to escape, to leave this wretched society with everyone’s false impressions and judgementalism for isolation.  I want to be alone, where I can just make.  But it all requires MONEY.  I guess Marx was pissed too, but I’m no communist, I love capitalism.  I also don’t propose to have a solution to the intellectual-based economy problem, where more people will constantly be engaging in the creation of intellectual product than they would in producing physical products or services.  Humans were not made for retail, spending 8 hours a day in a single room, waiting, convincing people to buy something.  It degrades the soul (which I don’t believe in but am referring to the abstract processes and feelings of being human) until one is left feeling dirty.

I am very sick, both mentally and physically as the result of repeated physical and psychological traumas, so my opinion is intertwined in my feelings about that and the reality of my situation.  But I know that many people out there share my view, and many of them aren’t broken.

I am completely stuck here, with my mother who I don’t particularly get along with, and I can neither leave as I have no savings, nor can I work because I am mentally and physically sick and disabled at that.  It makes everyone around me frustrated and angry, resentful of me because I can carry a conversation, because I don’t have a physical deformity to remind them of my disability.  Invisible disability, that’s the term.  I am constantly having to argue, remind, and explain to my mother that I can’t behave normally, that I am abnormal.  Deep down she feels like its a choice, everyone does.  At least everyone whose never experienced it.  And I hate them for it.

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There’s Just Too Many People Here

Arguably, there is no such thing as silence.  Silence generally refers to the absence of detectable noise or the absence of loud/unagreeable sound.  As can be seen in the new(er) Star Trek movie, the complete and total absence of sound occurs only in a total vacuum, a space in which there is no air, gases, or matter to vibrate and thus to interact with you eardrum/cochlea.  It’s another semantic differentiation that is simple enough for most people, it really doesn’t influence their daily lives.  But for people with hearing loss, tinnitus, and other auditory sensory disorders/diseases, it’s an important and often life-changing distinction.  Most of the time people are fairly unaware of the auditory environment around them, like the clothing on their skin and the light all around them, their brains inhibit most of the noise of daily life, especially in a place as auditorialy active as cities.

Consider that in Boston, MA where I am from and live, there are over 600,000 people in the city proper and that of cities in the United States with over 600,000 residents, only San Fransisco, CA is smaller in land-area.  It is the third most densely populated city that is not a part of a larger city’s metropolitan area inside the United States.  Consider that in the year 2000, Somerville, MA was the most densely populated city in New England and that there are an average 18,868.1 people in one square mile, that averages out to about 1477.5 sq. ft. per person.  That seems pretty large when looking at those numbers, but consider that that’s smaller than a 40ftx40ft space for every person.  And that is the entire space of the city.  AND that’s JUST the people who live there who filled out their census in the year 2000, that doesn’t even factor in the amount of people who work in Somerville who don’t live there, those going to its stores or restaurants, or those merely driving through it to get somewhere else.  If you live in your house there and work nearby, perhaps you don’t travel around very much, that means that in all likelihood you will interact physically (either through light, sound, touch, etc.) with 20,000 people in one day.  And I think that’s on the low-end of things.

That’s a lot of people in my opinion.  Think about how every one of those people generates some kind of stimuli response from your system, that every one of those people is either stimulating your vision, hearing, touch, taste, or smell, and often multiple of those senses at once.  That’s a lot of stimuli to interact with on a momentary/daily basis.  I have a strong hypersensitivity to sensory information, I startle very easily and have very volume sensitive hearing.  And it’s not just that things catch my attention more often or that I cover my ears up when firetrucks go by (although both of those things do happen,) it’s that if there is a sudden change in noise, a sudden noise, or a loud noise/sound, my hypervigilant brain pushes the information straight to the forefront of my consciousness.

I’ve written about my sensory overload already but every morning after a sleepless night, which is most of them, there is a transitional period between the silence of night and the noise of day when the morning birds chirp, the front doors of houses and car doors open and close with people leaving for work, and the upstairs neighbors heavy stepping alerts me to their every movement.  It goes from the beautiful, silent, still night where the environment is just being, where there aren’t 50+- stimuli effecting me at any given time to a slow, dissonant one with the ugly noises of car and house doors, the beeping of cars unlocking every 5 minutes, and those pounding, heavy steps from above.  I might be hyper-vigilant, either as an illness or a symptom or a side effect of medicine, or maybe I’m just tuned in.  I know that my brain doesn’t inhibit sensory information as well as the next persons, it never has.  Is this a result of the two TBIs I’ve had?  I think most Neurologists would say yes.  And I’m inclined to say yes, that being knocked out for minutes and blacked out for an hour at age 12, then unconscious for 20 minutes and post concussive for weeks have, if not caused, significantly magnified my sensory neuronal activation threshold.  I also had tubes put in my ears as a baby because I had repeated ear infections and there has been some talk about either the infections or the tubes themselves being a possible cause of tinnitus.  It doesn’t really mater anymore why it’s there, it matters what gonna be done about it.  And the answer is gonna be: nothing.  I’ve predicted so many of the end results of my healthcare problems, so often I’ve known days, months, years before I finally get a diagnosis or a treatment plan, what the doctor will say.  “We don’t see anything physically wrong.  So sorry, your just this way.”

Long ago I gave into the likelihood that no doctor, shaman, homoeopathist, or healer will ever be able to rewire my brain.  As I said in an earlier post, I love GABAergic drugs, they just take everything down a notch, and I love smoking relaxing cannabis, it also takes everything down a notch.  I also have tinnitus, a condition/symptom/disease (their not sure) where I have ringing in my ears.  I’m lucky in that mine isn’t a roaring volume as some people have, but for everyone who has it, the ringing penetrates the conscious listening and is present always.  In quiet or silent environments, the ringing is more noticeable so it sounds louder (much like a needle wouldn’t be visible in a pile of hay but would be very visible on a black cloth.)  I also get these massive bursts daily where, over the course of about 20 seconds to two minutes, the ringing in one of my ears rises in volume and I become deaf in that ear.  It’s not instant, it happens on a sliding-scale and sometimes it waxes and wanes in under 30 seconds, sometimes over a full two minutes.  But nothing I have found online has given me any information about what these sudden changes are.  I have several theories.  The first is that it’s a sudden change in blood flow in the ear, the head (migraine-esk?) or the brain that generates the sound.  The second is that it’s an electrical disturbance, either a sudden activation of the auditory neurons/nerve/system or some kind of seizure like activity in the brain.

I take a super low dose of Zoloft, half regular dose of Wellburtin, and almost the regular dose of Gabapentin, and none of these medicines have made this any worse.  The Gabapentin has actually decreased the frequency of the sudden changes, although the consistent level of the tinnitus is still there.  I have been thinking that the level of stimulus that we interact with everyday is absolutely insane, it’s just not normal.  I’ve been thinking that its largely this that is responsible for many people’s illnesses both physical and psychological.  I mean, if confirmed, the most recent known instance of human evolution would be the genetic adaptation of some/most Tibetans to living in a low-oxygen environment, 3000 years ago.  A lots changed since then in the world, but our sensory systems evolved to suite the needs of the past, and I bet there were a lot less stimuli then.  Oh man do I pine, I yearn, I crave a place and time where I don’t hear anyone if I don’t want to.  Where there isn’t much noise from nature outside of blowing wind and dropping rain, and the purring of my cat.  I’m always inclined to say “Well everybody wants that.”  Everybody wants to have a nice, quiet life.  Everybody wants to be in nature, somewhere exquisitely beautiful.  Everybody dislikes the amount of stimulus that modern cities subject you to.  But I’ve decided that is just not true.  Not everyone wants a quiet peaceful, solitary life.  Not everyone likes nature and being in nature, otherwise there would be a whole lot less people living in Somerville, MA.

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Religion as an Egomaniacal Idealogy

Today I heard a short piece on WBUR/NPR about the increasing conflict within the Jewish parental community over the tradition of bris/circumcision.  I did find some of the viewpoint rather insane and lacking in any honesty, but what I found more odd was the egomaniacal nature of the parents, rabbis, and adherents of the faith.  I’m not going to pick on Judaism, in fact if I had to pick an Abrahamic religion, I would probably pick Judaism.  I was actually more dumbfounded than I was angry, just awestruck at the egotistical nature of religious faith as reflected in this radio piece.

One man said that he began to try to read a book on the historical, religious, and medical value of circumcision and couldn’t get through the first two pages (because of his disgust and repulsion.)  This guy was considering scalpeling off the skin around his sons penis but couldn’t handle actually intellectualized and understanding the physical act.  It reminds of something I once heard somewhere that said “If you and your sexual partner can’t use the anatomical words for your sex organs when talking about sex or with each other, then you shouldn’t be having sex yet,” in reference to teenagers inability to understand and express openly the act which they are or are considering doing.  I love the sentiment of that quote, I think it’s a truly beautiful way to shell-up the truth about the implications of sex and to hopefully show someone that they are either not mature enough or that their not ready to engage in sex with someone.  The father I mentioned before was so blinded by his adherence to his faith that he was actually considering doing giving his as-yet unborn child a permanent body modification to his penis when he himself couldn’t bear to read 3 pages about it.

I have a pretty high tolerance for grotesqueness, at least intellectually (I do not like horror or gore movies as I have an uncontrollable startle reflex and don’t like being made anxious.)  I have my nipples pierced, have had my septum pierced by an ex girlfriend in my bedroom as well as having her dermal punch my earlobes.  Having 3mm pieces of your earlobes removed is a pretty intense experience with a pretty fair amount of blood, an experience which you do not soon forget.  I have a geometric tattoo that spans the entirety of the back of my left calf that felt the entire time like someone dragging a razor blade on my leg.  I also spent a fair amount of time play-piercing myself, which took some serious balls.  I guess I’m writing this to illustrate that not everyone is like me, my tolerance for these things is pretty high (not the pain, I have a low, low pain tolerance and I by no means like seeing gore or anything such, like most people I actively dislike it.)  However I am no hypocrite when it comes to the body and I think that if you can’t even get through the first two pages of a book about circumcision then you definitely should not be the one to say it should happen to anyone, ever.

Aside from circumcision and body modification, the NPR piece just featured countless people, adherents to the Jewish faith and Rabbis in particular, talking about the religious-tradition aspect of the choice.  At one point someone said “…which god said in the bible.”  God said something?  You think God is a speaking entity, a person at that, who spoke once and now you and your cohorts are hearing it?  Last night I finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” and in the last chapter there is a part where he quotes his mother as saying that “God said to me..,” she actually heard God speaking to her?  God spoke directly to her?  We put people in mental institutions for saying that god is speaking to them, for having beliefs that are outside of reality.  But the people in this conversation on NPR all believed that they were at odds with what God wanted them to do.  They actually believed that God, an all-powerful sentient being who exists in a place we cannot observe, has an opinion on what he wants you, a single human on earth, to do.  That just seems insanely egomaniacal to me, to think that if there was an all-powerful being he would A.  Have an interest in our reality, let alone our universe, or earth, or humans, and B.  That if he did exist and if he did have an interest in humans, that out of all the humans ever, you are listening to his word, considering them and weighing them.  You, an individual human amongst a potentially infinite number of us who will or will have existed, have a connection with GOD.

The whole time I was listening I couldn’t shed my disbelief at the egotistical nature of these people’s perspectives, by some standards considering modifying and by some standards mutilating, a baby’s penis because they believe that the Jewish God is the only God and that he wants them to do it otherwise they’re not faithful or going to heaven or whatever they think.  I am pro circumcision, from what I have heard and read, it is usually easier to keep clean and results in a lesser rate of infection (both HIV and UTI’s) than an uncircumcised penis.  And more-so I like the aesthetics of it.  It does reduce sensitivity of the penis (most say to a negligible degree though) and if done improperly, which the rate of is higher than people would like to think, can leave someone with one or more of the many different forms of scars and anatomical dysfunctions that can occur.  Its pretty brutal when they heal wrong and result in some disfiguring scar.  Or when the glans keretonize.  Most of these complications can be remedied both by a precise and proper circumcision done by a medical professional, in a medical setting, with medical advice and follow-up, although scaring has just as much to do with how the individuals body heals as it does the execution of the procedure.

If your interested you should look up the devices that they use to circumcise, their pretty archaic if you ask me.  And also look up the things that can go wrong both at the moment of cutting and in the healing, their pretty awful and mostly sad.  People need to stop being such god damn flakes, if you want to make the decision for cutting someone else’s penis up, you had better be fucking sure to know the risks and be willing to take the responsibility if something doesn’t go as planned or if they don’t like the results.  And for gods sake, let’s get this procedure out of the hands of Rabbis and into the hands of a trained medical professional who specializes in circumcision.  No offense to all you Bris performing Rabbis and you Jews out there but a Rabbi is not a doctor and you’re not in a doctor’s office for the procedure.  We don’t let priests give people tattoos of the Christ and Madonna, so why let a Rabbi cut off a babies foreskin?  It is a surgery and a Rabbi is not a surgeon.  It just doesn’t make any sense.

Edit:  I apologize for the ignorance in my above statement that Rabbi’s perform circumcisions, as you can read in the comment section of my blog a fellow wordpress-er has alerted me to the fact that it is a Mohel who performs the circumcision in the Jewish tradition and many Mohels are doctors or Rabbis or both, and even if they aren’t a doctor they are required to have appropriate training (I still don’t know exactly what that means.)  But as far as I’m concerned, circumcision is a surgery and should be performed by a surgeon in an appropriate medical environment to ensure the highest degrees of safety and success.  If I ever have a son, I will weigh the pros and cons and if I do decide that he should be circumcised, I would want it done at a hospital by a trained surgeon who has a good track record.  Like a piercer, tattoo artist, or scarification artist, I would want to see a book of photos of his work, as a circumcision is a very permanent and extreme body modification and we expect body modification artists to show us their work as proof of their skills.

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The Dynamics of Choice: Observation and Sum

Choice, as it were, is often billed as a this-or-that type event, one which we think of under the guise’ of ethics, morals, and motivations.  But choice is much more than merely a singular event or a retrospective analysis made by others, it is a short hand way of describing a behavioral/temporal dynamic that is more complex than we ever realize.  If we think of time as a dimension rather than a series of events then we begin to see that time is not a straight line but an infinite range of possibilities from which only one is ever observed (at least so far.)  This means that of the one choice that we make, there is an infinite range of possible choices that could have existed.  Why is this important?  Because if we are to both make choices and to judge others we must understand that choice, on a most basic level, is really not a singular event, it is both an observation and sum of events.

I think we can all agree that choices are made, that to choose there must be an action, something must be done.  Thus, on a cognate level, choice is actually the differentiation of doing.  And to clarify, only beings do. Therefor choice is when a being does in the face of two or more possibilities.  Simple enough despite my petty intellectualization, except for the Being part.  A living being is as infinitely complex as we could ever hope to imagine and here lies the dilemma of choice. Having one result of multiple possibilities is simple, time being an array of infinite possibilities is more complex but still doesn’t trip us up.  It’s the being part that really takes this for a whirl.  Reads a lot like goblty-gook but itll be important later on.

For starters lets look at a definition and etymological history to gain the most basic insight into our understanding of choice.

Choice (n) – An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Origin – Rooted in the term Choose whose history follows  – Old English ceosan  “choose, taste, try” (class II strong verb; past tense ceas,  pp. coren ), from P.Gmc. *keusanan,  from PIE base *geus-  “to taste, relish”; Variant spelling chuse  is M.E., very frequent 16c.-18c. Old High German kiosan  ( German kiesen ); akin to Greek geúesthai – to enjoy, Latin gustāre – to taste – to enjoy, Latin gustāre – to taste

So the act of choosing is making a decision between two or more possibilities and is rooted in the Old High German term koisan which is akin to, as far back as I can find, the Greek term geúesthai (to enjoy) and the Latin term gustāre (to taste, to enjoy.)  I’m not as concerned with the historical aspects of choice as I am with the behavioral aspects of its modern incarnation.  We speak of the choices people have made, of why they chose to do something, of the different choices they had, etc.  It’s an infinitely complex array of ideas, some of them more objective or informed than others.  The placebo effect has shown us that these ideas and thoughts have immense impact regardless of their factuality, validity, or truthfulness.  Consider for a moment the last time you thoughts about a particular choice, your own or another’s.  A single path was created in the act of choosing and the being who made the choice came to that choice through their past.  And as we discussed earlier, time is just a series of infinite possibilities and if we consider someones past to be of primary influence upon their choices then we must also see that for what it was, is and most importantly what it means.  So as beings, the experiences in our past that define us are only one observed possibility in a realm of infinite ones.  If by now your thinking, this guy is just spewing words, your right but don’t worry, I’ll bring it all home.)

We are quick in retrospect to assume, to for whatever reasons, fill in the gaps in our understanding or lack thereof.  We assume that because we think something or have observed something, we know it.  But when dealing with an infinite range of possibilities, we actually don’t know anything besides one possible observation, or if were of keen mind we find other sources of observation such as conversations, writing, or recordings.  (Watch the movie What the Bleep Do We Know both proof of and a counter-hypothesis for this idea.)  We think that we know why people do what they do, but if you’re not the person actually doing, then you have no idea, your observation is based on your series of events and because we cannot directly experience another’s life, personality, and feelings, we cannot ever truly know what it is like to be them or why they do things.  We can make educated guesses sure, but to BE is singular in a realm of infinity, and everyone is this way.

We are quick to minimize the responsibility of someones choices when their ability to make choices is skewed beyond the realm of reasonable control.  Take for instance the recent tragedy in Norway.  I don’t think anyone would say that the gunman (Anders Behring Breivik) was in his right mind, meaning that his choices were so far from normal that they point to some underlying psychological problem, one with either his mind-frame or with his psyche, or both.  In the legal system there is Defense By Reason of Insanity where the defendant is claiming to, at the time of the crime, not have known right from wrong.  This is reason that we don’t try children as adults, their brains are not fully developed such that they can make an accurate and appropriate distinction between right and wrong.  We also grant this reasoning to those who are legitimately insane for reasons either physical (neurological) or psychological, although there is almost never any neurological evidence presented (neuropsychological testing is the most advocated form of neurological evidence.)

In relation to the Norway massacre, Breivik is in my mind, insane.  Murdering over 90 people and children is fundamentally insane, it defies my beliefs of the moral and ethical reality of being human so blatantly and obviously that there is absolutely no way that he could have been operating on even remotely the same plane of consciousness as everyone else.  I’m not advocating that he be found insane legally, I’m just pointing out the insanity of his actions.  I firmly believe that he should spend the rest of his life in jail or some legal equivalent thereof (I still don’t know where I stand in terms of community rehabilitation/reconciliation vs jail,) and I do not believe in the death penalty or physical/psychological torture of any form (is being confined physically to a cell torture, idk-probably.)  We are quick to say that there is no justification for his actions, that there is absolutely no reason or explanation outside of not knowing right from wrong that could defer responsibility.  But consider your absolutely limited perspective, you can only observe one series of events, and his series of events is completely unknown to you even if you know his family history etc.  The great thing about the modern world is that when something this horrendous happens, the possibility for exploring and further understanding the singular series of events that is Breivik’s life is great.  I imagine we will find out that he has had significant trauma in his life that has warped his sense of right and wrong (often manipulative people with very evil agendas recognize those who are manipulatable and consciously infect them with their ideology.)

The reason this all sounds so incredibly disordered is that my brain is abnormal.  My vision doesn’t function properly, nor does my hearing, or my sense of reality, life feels consistently like a first-person video game when you realize your brain hurts from observing Being-John-Malkovich style.  As much as I would like to say that I am a competent and sane individual, I know deep inside me that I am not a capable decision maker on some level.  This all arises out of the persistent suicidal ideation that I have been experiencing for months on end.  I’m sane enough to not have done it, to wait it out, to understand the reasons for not doing, but I’m starting to feel like life is more of a competition than a collaboration.  I’m starting to become a firm believer that if modern society doesn’t make you feel insane, then You are the insane one.  Humans aren’t built to live such a mediated life, its resulted in a complete lack of thought.  If you watch the news or television period and don’t think “wow, this emotion-mongering for-profit enterprise if fucked,” your not thinking hard enough.

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Mostly Empty and Definitely Meaningless

It’s a well-known fact that matter is mostly empty, that the subatomic particles that comprise atoms which comprises matter only occupy a fraction of a fraction of the space which they seem to occupy.  It is a matter of scale that we both observe and interact with these forces on a level at which the emptiness of them is unknowable.  Through various imaging and visualizing techniques we have observed the emptiness of matter and the underlying theoretical framework is very strong.  I often consider the idea that nothing is actually touching, that despite feelings something or appearing to touch it on the order of magnitude which we exist on, on the truly physical level we can never touch anything.  Nothing is ever touching anything else, even itself.  This is relatively theoretical and meaningless when it comes to the daily interaction between ourselves and our environment, we exert forces on things and those things react appropriately.  But it’s not just objects that are mostly empty, it is matter.  All matter.

Humans are walking blood sacks, a single large piece of hide holding in various liquids and solids at a considerable amount of pressure.  As carbon based life forms (mostly nitrogen actually,) we are made of matter, of atoms and molecules and subatomic particles, the electromagnetic force between those minutest of minute parts holding them in place, allowing matter to exist on the scale which we do.

Consider that we are mostly empty, that you body, your skin, your organs, your blood, your eyes, and your brain, are mostly empty.  Despite the inability to permeate your own cells and particles, you are in fact largely made up of holes.  Those forces that hold everything together keep your body parts together, keep your brain together, and keep you together.

My late grandfather, Charles Milligan, was a scientist, theologian, philosopher, minister, and also a proponent of Pantheism.  In his view, the physical forces that underly existence are what one would call “god,” although many pantheists tend to hush the term ‘god’ because of the deityzing connotations of the term.  I myself am Agnostic, I just don’t claim to know whats what.  I air on the side of atheism but I’m by no means atheist, I don’t claim to know that there’s no deistic or spiritual force.  In my view, if subatomic particles comprise matter, and we as beings are mostly empty, than doesn’t it stand to reason that almost anything is possible?  If life can come into existence, if matter can exist, if light and temperature and emptiness can exist, why can’t anything exist?  I am a man of reason, I believe in what someone can show me, what can be proven or deduced, and I believe in letting people have their beliefs.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t have opinions about those beliefs, but I’ve never seen the emptiness of matter, I just know it’s there (or not there really!)  My main gripe with spirituality and religion is the underlying belief that there is meaning in existence.  It’s an old philosophical argument, what is existence, does it exist outside of an observer?  In short, yes.  If there was no life then matter would still exist as would space-time.  The multiverse is the new poster child of the physical/philosophical explanation for existence, and Im inclined to say Sure, why not?  Its apples and oranges to me, whether or not there’s more than one universe or whether our singular existence is merely the creation of an entity.

I just think that it’s a waste of time to spend your life preoccupied with the possibility of another life.  And to be honest, if I thought there was another life, I would have killed myself long ago because one is exhausting enough.  As many, many, many sociologists, psychologists, and scientists have written and stated, there is only now.  Both the past and the future are constructs, ones that are true or are likely true, but constructs none the less.  Therefor there is only the moment.  And I’m not a “Seize the day!” kind of guy, I hate that bullshit.  If there is only the moment, then as these thinkers I mentioned have said we can only do things in the now.  Acting is our only force.  We are what we say and you are truly only as good as your word, even if it is just vibrating molecules in mostly empty space.

My theory on religion is as follows.  The physical world in which we exist is complicated, it’s mostly empty, we know this, yet we can directly see this and we cannot (most of us) interact with it on this level.  This is a fine type of existence, if you’re not a thinking machine.  Humans brains have evolved into infinitely complex arrays of ideas and knowledge, so much so that it is too painful and difficult for people to interact with our physical existence in their current state of mind.  By giving up some form of control to a high power or outside force, people morally justify the actions of themselves and others and escape the pain of being human.

If thinking that you’ll be redeemed allows you to reconcile your thoughts with the physical world in which you live, so be it.  Just don’t use religion and spirituality to comfort yourself and make excuses about the actions of people.  People make choices, it why children, who have as-yet not fully developed brains, can’t be tried in courts as adults.  They can’t make choices properly in relation to the shared values of human existence at their age and the legal world understands that.

I’m no nihilist, although I can identify with some of their underlying arguments.  I just think that meaning is a construct of life, and life is a one in infinity chance, as is existence period, so don’t try to treat me like a sucker and tell me that existence is inherently meaningful, because its not.  Its physical, vibrating, and mostly empty.  Its an awfully large part of the earlier theory I wrote about the Seductiveness of Nonexistence, the emptiness of existence.

Whatever helps you sleep at night I guess.

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Belief, Truth, and Fact: Reflections on Manipulation and Trust

Another common misconception that I find rather alarming is the treatment and use of the words belief, truth, and fact. As we all know, language is a flexible construct that can be used, understood, and interpreted in an infinite number of ways. All too often people use the terms truth and fact interchangeably when in reality these words have specific meaning and connotations that are ignored usually out of laziness and ignorance. People also tend to claim that they either do or do not believe in something, something which in reality is not a matter of belief but rather a fact or a truth. Let’s begin by defining the terms fact, truth, and belief and giving a brief etymological history.

  • Fact (n) – Something known to exist or to have happened

Origin: 1530–40; Latin factum something done, deed, noun use of neuter of factus done, past participle of facere to do

  • Truth (n) – The true or actual state of a matter

Origin: before 900; Middle English treuthe, Old English trēowth (adj.) loyal, trusty, honest

  • Belief (n) – confidence; faith; trust

Origin: Rooted in the term believe (v) which is descended from Middle Enlgish bileven < bi, be- + -leven, contr. < ileven < OE geliefan < IE base *leubh-, to like, desire > love, lief, L libido

What we can take away from these definitions and histories is that a fact is something that is known to exist or to have been done and is rooted in the Latin word facere (-to do.) A truth is similar to a fact in that it is the actual state of something, it is rooted in the modern word truth which is however descended from the Old English trēowth (adj) meaning loyalty, trusty, and honest. And a belief is a faith or trust in something and is rooted in the Middle English word leubh – to like, desire.

From this we can discern that a fact is something that has happened, that is rooted in reality and exists outside of mind of the individual/observer, something which is scientific. This is very different from a truth, which although we often understand to be an expression of reality, is actually philosophical and is rooted in confidence, faith, and trust. The modern misconception occurs when people claim that something is true or that they speak the truth when what they are implying is that something is fact or that they speak of facts. There is a very tangible and real difference between speaking facts and speaking truths. We often speak of half-truths, things which are not quiet up to-par so as to be truthful and at that nowhere near factual. Facts, although often proved to be false, are understood to be existing, real, and in some human form tangible.

The implications of this misunderstanding are immense and account for a very large part of human endeavor. Manipulation is the effect of changing someone’s understandings so as the result in actions more favorable or wanted by the manipulator. Without a strong self-awareness, a keen and inquisitive mind, and/or a strong literary understanding, people are susceptible to the simplest forms of manipulation. In our societies this takes the form of advertising.

A TV Commercial: A pizza flashes across the screen and large text comes up Our Pizza Is The Best while a voice from off-screen speaks the words

A Religious Sermon: The speakers talks of the truth of his holy text, of the falsehood of other texts and others beliefs that contradict his own

A Paper Advertisement On A Bus: Rated Top After-Hours Spot in The City

All of these previous examples are truths in that none of them are false. By never communicating the ownership of the statement, advertisers can say anything they want because when questioned, they can and do produce an individual who agrees with the statement and holds the beliefs contained in them. There is that word again, belief. The viewer takes these statements and because they lack any ownership assigns them ownership, usually the viewers own. Just by denying someone a face or group to judge, an advertiser is able to manipulate the viewer into owning the idea. I heard they have the best pizza, this book contains the truth (truth which is assumed to mean fact,) that club is the best in the city. None of these ideas are factual, they are truths that are purposely forced upon consumers and anyone who encounters them.

Often times I am conversing with someone and they say to me “I don’t believe that” or “I don’t believe in it” in reference to something I have said when what I have said is not something that is a matter of belief, it is measurable, quantifiable fact. Take for example a conversation I had recently with someone about ADHD during which they said they don’t believe in it. Going back to the earlier definitions and etymological histories, ADHD does not fit the construct of belief, it is not about desire or faith, it exists outside of belief, whether anyone believes in it or not. It is factual, quantifiable, measurable, and observable. I am the first to admit that ADD and ADHD are overdiagnosed and that the medications for them are overprescribed in the wrong people. However I do think that these diseases are underdiagnosed and undermedicated in the wrong people. If you look at the efficacy and accuracy of the current diagnostic approaches to ADD/ADHD, you will see that they are largely diagnosed using self-reporting and parental as well as teacher observation and reporting. And none of these methods has a high accuracy rate, in fact they are so often inaccurate that I believe they should be considered a small piece of the diagnostic process for ADD/ADHD.

Picture this: A 3rd grade student who clearly has attention problems rooted in sensory overload does not understand why he cannot focus. For starters he is in 3rd grade so he does not have the self-awareness, vocabulary, or medical/behavioral knowledge to understand let alone describe what happens to him, most things in his life merely are. (His brain is also the size of an orange.) After a year teaching 30 students in a busy and full classroom, his 3rd grade teacher does an evaluation and report for ADD/ADHD testing of the student and determines from his observations that the student does not have the disease. This report goes out to the parents who take the negative diagnosis as a blessing, thank god their child is not sick, he’s just distractable. The parents believe the teachers report to be fact when it is not fact, it is merely conjecture based on observation. The child goes unmedicated and continues to have problems at school for the next decade+.

There are alternatives to belief, to truth, to wanting something so bad that we consider beliefs and truths to be facts. The alternative is proof. Quantifiable, measurable, tangible, statistical proof. In the case of diagnosing ADD/ADHD, the qEEG brain scan has been proven to be over 94% accurate. That is a huge, massive, reality shifting difference from the 60+-% accuracy of the observation/reporting technique. I could not find any studies on the combination of the two techniques but I imagine that they would complement each other beautifully. The brain of someone with ADD and/or ADHD has considerably different electrical activity than someone without it, there is a distinct neurological difference that is at least partially responsible for the behavior of the diseased individual and as is so, so often the case people believe (there’s that word again!) that the diseased person/child is just different. That they aren’t trying hard enough, that their just distractible, that it’s a matter of will or chance. That is just not the case. Like someone with a torn-ACL or clinical depression, the ADD/ADHD afflicted have a disability, a disease and because this particular disease manifests itself behaviorally, people want to believe that it’s a choice. But it’s not, it is a fact.

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Observance and Inhibition in Relation to Unconscious, Subconscious, and Conscious Awareness

I am a cynic, I have observed time and time again the absolute worst that people have to offer each other.  This is in large part due to the fact that I am hyper-observant, even more so than hyperacuity would account for and that I have that bad habit of expecting people to be considerate and self-aware as well.  There are definitely people on the other end of the spectrum, people who aren’t present to their surroundings and whose brains don’t push their sensory information or thoughts directly into the ‘front’ of their consciousness; people who aren’t conscientious and who aren’t considerate.  I don’t even have a reference point for what it would be like to be “in a fog” as a mode of operating, perhaps being extremely sedated from smoking pot, which I have a long-standing addiction problem with but have been clean from for two months.  The point is that some people are just spaced-the-fuck-out, if something isn’t directly interacting with them and often even when it is, they aren’t aware of it or they don’t think about it.  Things, events, information and thoughts just slide out of their brains as quickly as they were there.  Sadly, I have come to believe that this is true of most people and it has become increasingly hard for me to tolerate.

On an unconscious level, our beings interact with an infinite number of stimuli a day.  At every moment, the forces that activate our sensory neurons are acting on us, clothes and wind touching our skin, the noise of a fan in the room or a neighbors conversation outside the window, the taste of our bad breath and saliva, the smell of our bodies and the objects around us, and the unceasing torrent of light that comprises the visual world.  All of these forces that exact on our senses are regulated by our bodies and brains.  If it were not for our bodies inhibition of these stimuli, we would go completely and utterly insane.

This inhibitory effects our bodies enact are largely unconscious, they occur without our awareness of them.  For example, clothes.  Our bodies adjust to the touch stimulus of clothing so readily that no one even thinks of it unless something is wrong in which case our bodies itch or feel pressure, alerting us to the offending garment.  In many ways, the reaction is autonomic and happens completely without our knowledge and without our psychological influence.  I call these Outsiders, for they exist in our bodies and minds but we are completely unconscious of them both inside and outside ourselves.

However I believe that there is also a subconscious component of these processes, one which is largely a result of our psychological state.  If we are stressed, we often become hyper aware of one or some of our senses, and thus our bodies, through biochemical reactions, send some of the previously unconscious stimulus into our consciousness but on a subconscious level.  It is not completely outside of our awareness but our minds, without our conscious knowledge, recognize and inhibit the conscious recognition of the offending stimulus.  I call these Part-Timers because they make it into our consciousness for moment but are pushed aside without much if any effort, we are aware but unaware at the same time.  Think of being at an NBA basketball stadium, the noise is often deafening and we are aware that it is there but our bodies and minds set the sensory information aside and focus on the conscious effort of observing the game.  The information, the stimulus of the noise affects us and makes its way into our thoughts but without trying our bodies set it aside for the far more enjoyable game.

Then there are the stimuli that our bodies and minds consciously recognize, the ones that aren’t inhibited and that are recognized in their entirety as Stimuli.  I imagine that it is a left over evolutionary mechanism for safety, our senses telling us to pay attention immediately.  Some people react this way to certain stimuli regardless of the situation, say a car honking at a pedestrian or someone yelling in our face.  Our bodies don’t even attempt to inhibit these stimuli because they are in some way negative and possibly dangerous, they are important enough to our un/subconscious minds that they are forced to the front of our consciousness.

This is a great system when it works well, it allows us the freedom to interact with the world in relative terms and to get by in an immersive sensory experience.  (Those rides and movies that say they’re immersive sensory experiences are really telling you that they encompass more sensory stimuli than the average ride/movie.)  But for some, sensory inhibition does not operate as it should.  For some, the conscious self is constantly bombarded with stimuli and even minute sensory information is relayed directly to the forefront of the conscious mind.  I am one of these people.

My brain is like a magnet, one that’s aware of the vibrating of every atom inside itself.  Sure, I forget that I’m wearing clothes and I don’t have a photographic memory, but my consciousness is very much so effected by the large majority of sensory information I come into contact with.  They say that we are only consciously aware of 10+% of what our eyes actually see, that our brains filter out the extraneous information that our globular eyes take in.  It is not so for me, it is like my entire visual field is vibrating, like I can sense the atoms moving in every object, like the subtly shifting colors of the world are relayed to my consciousness, to my thoughts rather than inhibited as extraneous information.  I become fully aware of every noise around me, the conversation outside of the window feels as if its right next to my ear when in reality it is far away, the barking dog in the neighbor’s house causes my brain to cut into whatever I am currently doing and I become fully consciously aware of it.  And it is a huge problem for me.  I experience life such that it is tangible, like I’m in the ether that is the world, like I’m swimming through reality, aware of it.

Some of this is attributable to hyperacuity, the hyper sensitivity of the senses, but I think that it is mainly due to failure of the inhibitory processes of my brain.  I am someone who avoids stimulants like they were fire, I don’t even drink caffeinated coffee or soda and often even juice because the caffeine or sugar would only magnify my sensory overload, and I can barely take it as is.  This is the reason that I have such a problem with smoking pot, its like horse-blinders, it just washes over me and suddenly I’m far, far less conscious of whats around me.  But that’s another story all together.  I’ve become a really big fan and proponent of Gabapentin (Neurontin,) a GABAergic drug that aids the brain in converting glutamate to GABA.  It has not only taken away my constant headaches, it also takes some of the edge off of my sensory overload.  Its got all the good things about benzodiazepines and none of the bad things, at least for me.  Some people out there call it Morontin for the stupefying effect it has on them.  (If I was ever going to get one of those stupid molecular-model tattoos, it would be GABA for sure.)

Lately I’ve been trying to find a reference point, a way to relate to the experience that people have of being just tuned out, of having  a naturally inhibited consciousness to the point that one isn’t even aware of that fact, and I just can’t even imagine it.  Its like trying to imagine being a bear or an alien, it’s so far outside of my experience of reality that I just can’t relate.  Somehow I doubt that this physical sense of the world that I have will ever change and everyday I try to ignore it as much as possible, instead escaping in a book or focusing on some task.  But it just creeps back in time after time.  If I ever kill myself, I will attribute it highly to this fact.

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