Master of Word, Wit, and Wisdom.
Last update
2022-01-24 23:57:38

    “this non-drug activity is just like drug addiction because when people engage in it their brain releases chemicals relating to enjoyment just like drugs and hopefully you assume that only drugs release those chemicals and therefore the thing in question in seen should be demonized and you don’t think about if those brain chemicals correlate to other normal activities people enjoy”


    I recently saw a radfem say that BDSM is self-harm because it releases dopamine just like drugs do and I’m just like, if you take that belief to its logical conclusion you’d need to advocate for banning chocolate.


    Don't do drugs—you run the risk of experiencing pleasure.


    “I have seen countless news reports that claim that some activity or other causes dopamine to be released; that dopamine is the ‘pleasure chemical’; and that it’s also released by ‘drugs’, ‘sex’, ‘gambling’ and ‘chocolate’ (a quartet I have named the four dopamen of the neurocalypse).

    Normally, this breathless attempt to make something sound sexy is followed by a slightly sinister bit where they say that this dopamine activity is also likely to make it ‘addictive’.

    Dopamine is involved in drug addiction, but the over-extended cliché is drivel, not least because the dopamine neurons start firing in the nucleus accumbens when any reward is expected. Whether it be heroin, a glass of water when you’re thirsty, or your favourite book on calculus – if that’s what floats your boat.

    And herein lies the subtlety. Our best evidence tells us that while the dopamine system has many functions, it’s not really a reward system – it’s most likely a reward expectancy system of some kind. Theories of exactly what form this takes differ in the details, but it certainly seems to be active when we’re expecting a reward, whether it actually turns up or not.”

    —@vaughanbell via Mind Hacks (2009), “Numbers Up for Dopamine Myth” (emphasis added to the delightful term “four dopamen of the neurocalypse”)



    Could the “nucleus accumbens“ be surgically removed without causing damage to the brain? That might solve the problem of addiction.


    june 2020


    its like they forget their own archives exist or smth


    so to be a bit clearer here was my thinking:

    1. the “yes we mean literally“ op-ed seems to me the high point of a broader editorial line that was if not abolitionist in 2020-21 at least quite sympathetic to the idea we should be decreasing police presence esp in black communities (x x x x). this wasnt uniform: they ran editorials and hosted debate participants with opposing views, and the most daring visions you will see from them arent exactly hardline anarchism. but even with the opposition they seemed pretty eager to flatter the sensibilities of ppl calling for defunding and abolition (x). you might disagree but this is my read on yesteryear

    2. now that the heat of the blm moment has passed they come out in their big centrepiece on the dreaded murder spike pretty unambiguously in favour of drastically harsher policing in specifically black communities

    3. the activist reasoning for decreased policing and the body of reformist research [eta: supporting targeted policing increases] are neither of them new. theyre both pretty old hat, so the obvious explanation for the pivot (if real) is not a legitimate diversity of opinion or new information coming to light but simply craven pandering to political fads (first blm, now panic over murder rates). and even if the explanation is false thats still how it comes off

    4. either we should be policing black communities more harshly or we shouldnt. if the former, the nyt ought to be shouldering responsibility for dangerously fostering anti-cop sentiments. if the latter they should have maintained the courage of their convictions and not published a “morning highlights” saying specifically we need more jailing and arrests in black neighbourhoods

    5. this is completely incidental but i missed this letter to the editor in 2020 and it was very funny


    glad to know radblr is making its voice heard in the grey lady lmao


    Aren't you perhaps being a bit uncharitable? I hate to be a gadfly (I actually don't, I love it), but isn't this what we should WANT from journalists? They were wrong. Reality proved that they were wrong. Fewer Policemen => More Murders Adjusting their views in light of new evidence isn't necessarily some betrayal of their core principles, it's just an empirical worldview. 2020-2021 conclusively disproved the idea that a life in a society without police could ever be anything except (as Hobbes put it) Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short!!


    I have issues with Trek, sure, like how much the technology and stories have gotten way dumbed down, but I am also sick of an assumption - an object lesson - in lots of other space settings that fascism and empire are basically a given that we should all just resign ourselves to and that humans don't actually have meaningful agency.


    I have some thoughts about the main thesis here, but:

    “gotten way dumbed down”


    How quickly Spock’s Brain is forgotten.

    Now, to the main body of the text.

    “fascism and empire are basically a given”

    Fascism is less clear, and more fuzzily defined, but Empire? Yes, that is a given. Source: literally all of human history. And, notably, even Star Trek did not try to tell stories without Empire, it just insisted that the Federation wasn’t one, and had a bunch of other polities act as Empires.

  • Romulan Star Empire
  • Klingon Empire
  • Dominion (not in name, but unarguably in behaviour)
  • Borg Collective (arguably)
  • Tholian Assembly (arguably)
  • Cardassian Union (arguably)
  • Furthermore... Star Trek was often frustratingly vague about how its “utopian” Federation actually WORKED. How it’s economy functioned. How its (presumably elected) President governed.

    When it did come close to answering these questions, it seemed a lot less Utopian! See: “whom gods destroy”, where the Federation’s treatment of the criminally insane seems to be using advanced science in an attempt to rewire the brain. I’d argue that is a future in which Humans don’t have meaningful agency!


    Are you kidding me this is the best video I’ve ever seen


    those are wood ducks! they tend to lay their eggs inside tree hollows away from predators and when their ducklings hatch they sort of plop down. The parents usually only nest about as high as their young can handle which can be up to 50 feet up!

    this momma had the misfortune of making her nest over concrete so it sgood that she had assistance.


    @is-the-owl-vid-cute, I’m curious about your take here. Is this guy genuinely saving their lives, or would touching the babies be more help than harm in this situation?


    Touching them does not do any harm. Unless the thing touching them is concrete at a high velocity. That would do harm.


    Do they normally build their nests in tree hollows above bouncy castles? What substance softer than concrete are they normally expecting to land on?


    I don’t know where these ducks are native, but if they usually nest in trees then it would stand to reason that their native habitat is forests close to a body of water; so it could be anything from soft soil (mossy or muddy), underbrush, grasses, a bed of leaves/pine needles – you name it – all much softer than concrete.


    I suppose that's true.