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Messages - MMIX

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1
Fuck it to hell. Siwa doesn't need any more dumbass outsiders pissing around with their culture in the name of the great god Sustainability. They have a wonderful traditional building material called kershef that is perfect for their needs. It is a mixture of sand and rock salt and mud, all of which are in plentiful supply on the oasis. It produces buildings which are naturally temperature stabilised. Its not waterproof but in the middle of the Western desert that is rarely an issue, yanno. The Siwans' problem is that incoming Egyptians and other foreigners are more likely to build in concrete, meaning that their traditional building skills are in danger of being lost.
So, Hey dumb artist type, ya wanna build a building made of blood???
Put it in the City of London, or on Wall Street, or somewhere else where the blood of the innocent is worshipped as a by-product. And if you can make a death generate profit twice, well that's a bankers wet dream isn't it?

Edit to add
ALSO
http://www.gizmag.com/blood-bricks/24712/

2
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Also, did you know
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:56:20 pm »
Oh god damn it I just fell for it AGAIN.


4
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Also, did you know
« on: October 16, 2014, 05:36:48 pm »
...that when it snows, my eyes become large, and the light that you shine can be seen?


5
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: So did you know
« on: October 16, 2014, 04:14:46 pm »
...that your skin has odor receptors?

Your whole body is a nose.

You're welcome.

How does this work, are their functions related to perspiration, heat detection etc?

Quote
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/science/smell-turns-up-in-unexpected-places.html
“If you think of olfactory receptors as specialized chemical detectors, instead of as receptors in your nose that detect smell, then it makes a lot of sense for them to be in other places,” said Jennifer Pluznick, an assistant professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins University who in 2009 found that olfactory receptors help control metabolic function and regulate blood pressure in the kidneys of mice."
People call them olfactory receptors because the first place that they identified these structures was in the noses of members of their own species.

Quote
Humans have about 350 different kinds of olfactory receptors, and that is on the low end for vertebrates. (Mice, and other animals that depend heavily on their sense of smell for finding food and evading predators, have more than 1,000.)

Quote
“More than 15 of the olfactory receptors that exist in the nose are also found in human skin cells,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Hanns Hatt.

Its still an interesting finding, though, with potential for the development of treatments which, historically, (and by that I mean right up to the day before the research was published) would have sounded as weird and off-the-wall as dowsing or dare I say homeopathy or any other "treatment" which sounds utterly unbelievable.


edit for missing punctuation

6
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Schools now have M16s
« on: September 18, 2014, 04:02:12 pm »
Ok sure, that makes sense. But realistically, if you are working security in a US school, where shootings seem to occur with alarming regularity, which would you rather be packing?

Well look, in for a penny in for a pound. All US teachers should be wearing nerve gas vests and deadman switches rigged to their heartbeats.

It's the only way to protect the children.

Wow, they turned you to the dark side Faust . . .
do they really have cookies?

7
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: September 08, 2014, 08:11:37 pm »
It actually would still be part of the EU.  There was a big and dishonest campaign by the No Vote over here to say Scotland would have to reapply, until the EU said "uh, no they don't actually".  It would probably have to reapply to join NATO though...if it wanted to, which it isn't clear is the case.

And sure, Scotland would be viable on its own.  I mean, it's a first world economy, high level of education, tourism, a mixture of high-tech and heavy industry, decent exports.  It may not be quite as viable as it is as part of the UK...but it's really a matter of degrees.  It'd be like Belgium, or something.

If Scotland do leave the union then the rest of the dis-UK will not be as viable either. Which would make us erm, something like Belgium; so kinda like reality catching up with pd memes. Its a third of our land mass but only c. 5.4 M population

Also, Cain wtf is with this Glees chap?
"Professor Anthony Glees of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham said: “ISIS are masters of propaganda and realise the impact of selecting a Scot."
Allowing that his splurging allover the Scottish sunday papers is unbelievably tacky and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, is there any substance to his claims?

8
Woo is always bullshit. That said, woo can sometimes be useful in the same way that other kinds of bullshit can be useful. Like when kids get excited about Santa Claus, or when voters get excited about Barack Obama. The fact that it is bullshit has no bearing on whether or not it influences the placebo effect, which is demonstrably not bullshit.

What is even more interesting is that you can tell people they are taking a placebo (and explain what a placebo is) and they will still respond positively to it.  Possibly due to mental cues based on the setting and practice of being given "medication" lowering stress levels and allowing the body to more effectively fight off infection than it would otherwise.

But research on placebos is strange and contradictary at the best of times.
A] I wouldn't even call it a healing process, more of an optimization of the existing healing system.

B] You push the command to get better from a cold down the chain, the body can do that.

C]You push the command to get better from a severed leg down the chain and the body is going to look at you funny. You're not getting the leg back but you might get some pain relief out it.
A]I think you're right about systems optimisation
B]I have a stinking summer cold/fluey thing going on. Maybe I need to learn to program #cos nothing I am doing consciously is making a blind bit of difference
C]And ghost limbs as well maybe

9
I've been saying for years the placebo effect is interesting. It's unfortunate that it manifests in the form of a "gotcha" and is readily dismissed by saying "yes but it's not real, it's just the placebo effect" as if this negates the fact that the patient improved. "Yes his tumor disappeared but it was placebo so it doesn't count"

Would be pretty neat to be able to harness it without the need to hoodwink the recipient.
Amen brother P3nT, preach that truth!

10
Woo is always bullshit. That said, woo can sometimes be useful in the same way that other kinds of bullshit can be useful. Like when kids get excited about Santa Claus, or when voters get excited about Barack Obama. The fact that it is bullshit has no bearing on whether or not it influences the placebo effect, which is demonstrably not bullshit.

What is even more interesting is that you can tell people they are taking a placebo (and explain what a placebo is) and they will still respond positively to it.  Possibly due to mental cues based on the setting and practice of being given "medication" lowering stress levels and allowing the body to more effectively fight off infection than it would otherwise.

But research on placebos is strange and contradictary at the best of times.

If I was young and looking for a worthwhile area to research the placebo effect would certainly be high on my hit list. Any area which offers both strange AND contradictory has got to be an interesting way to go

12
I don't suppose I need to point out to you that you live in a country where somewhere in the region of 80% of your compatriots have an invisible friend who they turn to for succour and relief and who they believe takes an up-close and personal interest in everything they do. The whole "woo" thing is so tightly wound into the structure of life that to try and compartmentalise "woo-based" therapies seems to be like trying to swat a ladybug while there is a hornets nest in the middle of the room.

Most major religions don't explicitly forbid skeptical inquiry and testing, while many woo peddlers do.

Yep the Catholic church for example is really committed to skeptical investigations of miracles in its attempt to stop itself making unworthy saints. And the less said about that probably the better. And woo peddlers can be equally dastardly in pursuit of big bucks and reputation. NB I am also including the major religions in that rather broad church of "Woo peddlers". The point I'm trying to make is that the very existence of such a high levels of religious belief worldwide normalises "woo" within societies. Even in Britain where levels of religious affiliation are much lower and we probably seem like a godless desert to the US we still have 60% Xtian 5% Muslim and smaller communities of Sikhs, Hindus, Jews & Buddhists. Correct me if I'm wrong but the impression I get from reading the forum is that even discordians seem to regard individual religious practice as just a private thing which is nobody's business but the practitioner's. I see religion as being something which ties individuals into networks of "woo" and hence in my perception is that religion is an intensely social and communal activity. That is the contrast I am trying to highlight, the contrast between the relatively harmless ladybugs. Yes they have poisonous knees and make you a bit uncomfortablew if you are really, really unlucky, but don't get hung up on the ladybug and ignore the hornets nest, cos that fucker is a much more serious prospect.

edit to insert missing word

13
[quote author=N ·̤̻͉͕̋̀͂ ̰ͦ̀͢E̳̭̻̙̥͖̦̐̔͡ ̷̱̞̠̠̮͎͈·̾̈͗̇ͪ͋ͨ T link=topic=36760.msg1355654#msg1355654 date=1409785215]

 I think the risk is getting so psychologically invested in woo ANY beliefs that the consequences can be far costlier than the benefits, e.g., believing the woo X worked when it hadn't and a treatable condition deteriorates beyond repair. Chapel perilous and all that jazz.

[/quote] fixxored!

Now I couldn't agree more. And elevating science to a special position where we refuse to believe that it is anything other than pristine and rational is the most dangerous thing of all. The thing about science is that it is performed by human beings; and we all know what a bunch of hyped-up hominids they are.

14
For fuck's sake.

Look at the functional aspect of Reiki.  Acknowledge the suffering of others.  Help them relax.  Pay attention to them.  Get them to pay attention to their own bodies.  Create a somatic feedback loop.  Encourage their positive feelings.  All of this has been shown to improve the mental and physical health of patients.

PLEASE NOTE NONE OF THE ABOVE NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED BY PHANTOM MYSTICAL ENERGIES, NONE OF WHICH ARE EVEN BOTHERED TO BE EXPLAINED OR EVEN TESTED BY SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES, CHANNELED BY A GURU THAT COST SHITLOADS OF CASH.


It's kind of weird I have to explain that.

Yes, I hear your pain.

also if you weren't too pissed off to actually read it I did say
Quote
Actually I've been thinking about this whole "woo" thing and the thing that really makes me
[edit for emphasis] REALLY
Quote
uncomfortable is if there actually needs to be "woo" to make the effect work. If that turns out to be the case then I guess all bets are off

Thing is not everybody sees the world in the way you do. I don't suppose I need to point out to you that you live in a country where somewhere in the region of 80% of your compatriots have an invisible friend who they turn to for succour and relief and who they believe takes an up-close and personal interest in everything they do. The whole "woo" thing is so tightly wound into the structure of life that to try and compartmentalise "woo-based" therapies seems to be like trying to swat a ladybug while there is a hornets nest in the middle of the room.

My mother was a radiographer, my father was an industrial chemist, my cousin is a GP, my uncle was a medical photographer, 3 of my sisters in law are nurses of various specialisms, my aunt was a senior nursing officer involved in hygiene research, I originally trained as a therapeutic radiographer and later as a behavioural scientist. OK, none of us ever tried to knock some scientific sense into Dubya's administration but we are not by nature or training a "woo based" family. Point being, I think you have a tendency to not listen when the whole "woo" thing comes up. So, no, you don't have to explain the scientific shortcomings of reiki, I get it, I hear what you are saying and on some level I totally agree with you. However unless and until we understand the placebo effect the book cannot be closed on these sorts of practices. Or trance healing, or psychic surgery, or the vast range of other weird shit that people believe.
And I think that that is why I call myself discordian. I can look at things with wonder and be intrigued by them without feeling the need to believe in them. I think in the long run that is a pretty sound basis for dealing with the unbelieveable amount of unbelieveable things people have generated

15
[quote author=N ~̝͓̙͍̫͈̪̠͌̀͘͝E͛ͬͪͩ͆ͦ͑͏̘~̴͇͇̳̲͈͙͚̜͑͆͆̃̄ͯ̍̚͠ T link=topic=36760.msg1355644#msg1355644 date=1409778503]
also Your new avatar - it is designed to cause madness, blindness & incontinence isn't it?

8)

My new username also broke the quote function, but I think I fixed it while retaining its terrible glory.
[/quote]
Terrible Glory!!!! hmmmm yep that has a nice ring to it. Also I don't want to sound alarmist but bits of your avatar new username seem to be crawling out and curling up in strange places . . . 

Anyhow, the problem I have with people reacting to the whole concept of "woo" is that you can hear the sepulchral clang of minds closing or the fairy farts of minds opening so they are dribbling out of folks ears. I normally regard LMNO for example as quite an open-minded sort of cove. But upthread his reaction to "woo" indicates a real blind spot to potentialities. Until the jury is finally in and we have a definitive verdict on just what the hell is happening when people get positive benefits from "therapies" which aren't scientifically explicable there has to be enough wiggleroom to allow us to actually investigate fully. That's all I'm saying. And it seems to me [YMMV] that we need not so be so quick to scoff until we actually have the evidence we need to be sure we are not missing something important but which is maybe not obvious or maybe counter intuitive.

Actually I've been thinking about this whole "woo" thing and the thing that really makes me uncomfortable is if there actually needs to be "woo" to make the effect work. If that turns out to be the case then I guess all bets are off

edit for getting mucking fords wuddled

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