Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sharma Humor perhaps

http://www.drsharma.ca/surviving-cancer-doesnt-make-you-an-oncologist

With success measured at 5% (1 in 20) how good of an expert are any of these weight loss doctors?

So if we, after eight years are at 72 percent of our weight loss still off, are we doing better than the experts on average?

On average is a misleading thing. Bill Gates walks into a bar. On average, everyone in the bar is a millionaire.

On average, one half of the population has less than average intelligence. That does not include we dyslexics, as the intelligence test cannot measure a dyslexic yet.

Time is now standardized as the vibration of a cesium atom. When we use this definition, black energy and black mater, red shift aka expanding universe, and a bunch of weird and wonderful stuff seems to exist. If we define it as a uniform fourth dimension, now is now in all space, and allow gravity to change the speed of vibration to vary the speed of vibration, the red shift reduces, universe gets older by a large factor, black mater and energy become measurement error, and individual life becomes intrinsically valuable again.

So by occam's razor, our definition of time should be changed, but that would create confusion in the world and through a bunch of physics working on black stuff out of work.

So by occam's razor, weight loss should study all those who have had better than average success with weight loss, and understand all the reasons for their success, but that is not likely to happen for political reasons. We can use this thought, as a evidence that individual live have intrinsic value, whether the experts agree or not. It is not going to happen, is it?

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We do things for a reason... BULLSHIT

We do things for a reason is a piece of quick talk, it sounds good until we apply a bit of reasoning and analysis, and is essentially bullshit. The definition of bullshit, in this case, is the speaker/writer does not care if the statement is true or false, it is just for effect. We can do things for a reason/logic or the following incomplete list:
  • Reason/logic (included for completeness of this list)
  • To achieve a goal or objective (instrumental)
  • Stimulus driven behavior, it just feels right or good
  • For pleasure, what ever it is
  • for fun, or a challenge
  • a belief, or as proof of belief
  • emotion or for emotional relief
  • comfort, pleasure... it just feels good to do it
  • stimulus or fixation on doing that thing, habit
  • ego, because I could
  • social/cultural belief  
So why we eat may be for no reason at all. Note that stimulus made the list. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stimulus Driven Behaviors

So how do stimulus driven behaviors develop? Well they start out as goal driven behaviors, and then the goal dies off, it outlives it usefulness, and must be changed.  So in youth we develop a goal of eating enough to grow, it becomes a stimulus goal that encodes, then we slow down, quit growing, or were eating too much to start with, and we have a problem.

Does knowing that it is a stimulus driven behavior help with recovery? Knowing that we are powerless may actually help; we know not to start and to deny the stimulus as a stimulus, we can stay in the present moment and revisit the new goal, objective, we can stay in the conscious mind space, in the present time, we can go into a different automatic stimulus driven behavior. We can name it as an unwanted stimulus and perhaps move on.

 

Eating as a stimulus driven behavior

Eating, for normal people, is or should be a goal driven behavior. For we overeaters, eating is a stimulus driven behavior. That is one more problem we, the obese and exobese, face. I am not concerned about the overeater of normal weight.

Stimulus driven behaviors are encoded in the dorsal striatum, and we are powerless to change these. They are there, and we have great difficulty to de-encode them. We can stay in the conscious and in the present moment, or in some other locked in encoded behavior and avoid the stimulus, or falling into that particular locked in behavior, but this is not easy. That is the simple explanation of why it is so difficult to keep weight off, and why regain is almost inevitable. It is more struggle to keep the weight off as it is to lose the weight in the first place.

Stimulus driven behaviors can be as simple as liking food, and as a result, when it is available we want to eat. We are powerless over the desire. So we need to do something to dissipate the desire or we will eat. That is our life until death. So now what is to remain in the conscious, and not allow ourselves to drop into the automatic portion of the brain state, really like? Strenuous effort. What does it mean to be in the present moment full time? Strenuous effort also. Is it doable? That is the question.

Staying away from the stimulus is the obvious solution, but this may also be difficult when the stimulus are everywhere and food is everywhere. Once we are exposed to the stimulus, we need to move ourselves into the present, and conscious state and do the next right thing before we sample the goods. It is a tough assignment. Waking 24/7 attention. OK.

from SpringerLink: aka Automatic behavior; Stimulus-driven behavior,



Stimulus-bound behavior is commonly found in frontal lobe syndrome and other executive functioning disorders and is a response to stimuli in one’s environment – an externally oriented cognitive approach. For example, the behavior displayed seems to depend primarily upon available objects and subject predisposition, rather than the activation of a specific drive such as hunger, anger, sex-drive, etc. A person exhibiting stimulus-bound behavior may feel the need to use certain items present, regardless of a need to do so. The behaviors are often perseverative in nature and focus on partial information. Immediate stimulus-bound behavior often does not take into account future consequences or long-term outcomes and causes difficulty with planning, organizing, and behavioral initiative.

from wikipedia: perseverative --
In psychology and psychiatry, perseveration is the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.[1] Symptoms include "lacking ability to transition or switch ideas appropriately with the social context, as evidenced by the repetition of words or gestures after they have ceased to be socially relevant or appropriate,"[2] or the "act or task of doing so,"[3] and are not better described as stereotypy (a highly repetitive idiosyncratic behaviour).

So how do stimulus driven behaviors develop? Well they start out as goal driven behaviors, and then the goal dies off, it outlives it usefulness, and must be changed.  So in youth we develop a goal of eating enough to grow, it becomes a stimulus goal that encodes, then we slow down, quit growing, or were eating too much to start with, and we have a problem.

Does knowing that it is a stimulus driven behavior help with recovery? Knowing that we are powerless may actually help; we know not to start and to deny the stimulus as a stimulus, we can stay in the present moment and revisit the new goal, objective, we can stay in the conscious mind space, in the present time, we can go into a different automatic stimulus driven behavior. We can name it as an unwanted stimulus and perhaps move on.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Where is the desire to eat actually at?

When the desire to eat actually at? Is it in the gut, or just a mind sensation? Depending on who' paper one reads, it varies. And when we get right down to it, it may be all of the above.

from;https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/where-addiction-meets-your-brain/201404/your-lizard-brain

The point to all of this is that 12-step recovery recognized (before the limbic system was described) that we all have this tendency to do what we don’t want to do and we are powerless about certain behaviors. Understanding this automatic behavior allows us to surrender to what we cannot control. It frees us to do the next right thing by staying in the present rather than worrying about the future or being shamed and experience guilt about the past. It takes practice. And more practice.

So this suggest the desire to eat is encoded into the R or L portions of our brain and recognizing this, that we are powerless over the desire allows us to let go of the desire and not act on it. Well OK, he can think that, but is it true?

Understanding that this behavior is automatic is likely true, as that is the way it feels. 

So https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/obesely-speaking/201311/compulsive-overeating-and-habit-formation ties it all to eating perhaps.

The stimulus may vary (boredom, anger, happiness, sexual frustration, fear, or anxiety) Ah but, the stimulus may have long been fixed, but the habit or automatic behavior remains... so we are left with distraction... in the present time.

So what do we have... a trained in automatic response to presence of food... so how does one beat that????   

http://www.cres.gr/behave/framework_theory_2.htm  so what is a habitual behaviors, automatic behavior. Given the presence of food, the desire to eat arises, and likely the action.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Enough is Enough.

“enough is enough” It is time to make that big behavioral change again.

A good summary of addiction, as I understand it can be found here: http://aaagnostica.org/2016/05/05/aa-alcoholism-and-medical-science/

 Overeating is a chronic behavioral and mental condition with comorbidity similar to alcoholism. It may also be an inability to deal with the situation we live in. Often the situation is not inducive (or inductive) to a good life, but it is what it is. Now it is about learning to live in the situation we find ourselves in.

There is too much we need to learn to get through life. Each educational professional has there own preference for what is important, and so much is missed, or time is wasted teaching wrong information like religion. And then we are out of time, like learning that marketing misinformation is not suitable for diet decisions. Skim milk is a bi-product, pig feed in my youth. Today it is the recommended food. Barley likewise. Oh well. Stoic philosophy, on the other hand is seen as unimportant, yet has proven to be useful, not as philosophy, but a way of life, of thinking, of being and of understanding other people, complete with their ironic and wrong beliefs.  You can believe what ever shit you want to. The prime directive applies.

It is time to sort out more wrong information. Weight control is more about what lies between metered meals. Get on with life.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Opinions of Others

 Confessions of a desire driven eater:

I am and always have been on of those people who is easily influenced by others. It is not intended, it is just the way I am, or was. I was generally cooperative with my parents. And with employers, and with other people, but I am not outgoing, and have some fear of dealing with other people for the purpose of selling. I just do not like to approach others.  It all come back to being to easily influenced by the opinions of others, except when they are missing the issue that I can clearly see, and know the cause of the problem.Often I would feel that I wanted to agree with others, but I know they are just wrong.

As a kid, my parents were very negative toward me socializing. I was always told to stay away from other people. I do not understand their logic, but it did have an impact on me, and my thinking as a young person. I do socialize more now, but it is not comfortable. Over protection? Religions bigotry? Racial bias? Embarrassment? "Stay away, they do not want to be bothered by you" was mothers refrain. And I would eat anything I could get my hands on.

I do not like the cold. Yes, winter is hell for me, and I live in a cold climate. As a kid, I was cold all winter. Too much cold. Not enough heat in that old log place. Not warm enough close. Perhaps it is that I feel cold more, I do not know. I find it hard to be active when it is cold. Eating warm stuff also helps with that cold feeling, so I would eat.

There is no help for this desire to eat, other than to not eat. The desire is still there. That is the real problem. Others seem to not have this. Some people cannot accept that. They do not know what it is like to have a ongoing desire to eat, and make it worse by expecting me to sit in front food and not eat. That is torture. I just will not do it.

Or is it that I just like to eat. But there is the desire. Or is it that I just like food too much, yes, that is the desire. Oh well, there is no medical help for that either.

It come down to "I do not need to have an opinion about things that do not concern me." I could have one, but I do not need one. If that applies to me, it should apply to all. There opinion is none of my concern. and still we see thing like this in other countries.http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/04/27/two-hindu-teachers-in-bangladesh-sentenced-to-six-months-in-jail-for-alleged-blasphemy /
People, who insist that there belief are right when clearly there is no life after death, no gods; this is all there is. Anything that we must suspend rational though to believe, is just not believable. I am among the godfree when I am by myself. There is no conflicts that way.   

Sunday, April 24, 2016

low carb vs slow carb

Anyone who has been around the low carb net community knows that there is a common belief that hunger is less low carb. It seems to be true for me. Yet cravings drive me more than hunger. So what about a slow carb diet, that is one in which there are more carbs, but those are slow carb? It appears to reduce cravings in the short run.

When I look at the calories to satiate, it becomes obvious that slow carb seems to have a advantages, if I can still live on three meals each day. More self testing I guess.

But what do I know?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The approching end of life as we know it

The end is coming, as each day slides by. That is the end of life as we know it, that I speak of. Change is the only constant. Impermanence, to the Buddhist. Reflection on the shortness of life, continual change and passing time for the Stoics.

Industrialization has brought us rising Co2 levels, and with that comes turning the oceans into weak acids. Plankton and corals die off. With plankton die off, we lose Co2 buffering. Plankton absorb sunlight and use that energy to free the carbon from the oxygen, and create hydrocarbons, the basics of the ocean food chain. That unused sunlight will warm the oceans, creating an eternal El NiƱo environment and all that that entails, mainly drought in inland Alberta, and similar areas, and erratic severe weather. We have reached the tipping point, we are beyond any chance of a world's governmental intervention. That will not happen until the event actually happens and China and US are in pain. Oh well, that could be soon but too late for correction.

The second last great extinction was similar. A volcano set a massive coal formation on fire, and that acidifies the ocean, and with the smoke and ash from the volcano, a big percent of life on earth was wiped out. Oh well, what survived had space to grow, and resulted in dinosaurs and that megafauna.  

South Asia main protein source is fish from the oceans. China may see the light before the US. Canada is such a small contribute to the problem. Oil Sands, although more Co2 releasing than conventional oil, by only the cost of extraction, will be needed by the world at some point. Saudi are in fear that there economic base will be of lost through low demand are likely somewhat alarmist, as it will be along time before oil is not needed. Without oil we cannot build solar panels and wind turbines. It will be a brave new world we face.

Food production is not, as I see it a issue, if we start soon to address the drought/inland water cycle issue. We know the methods, we have the technology. We lack the political will as a nation/province to do it. We also lack the private and corporate will also. It is that simple. We just do not want it bad enough. We will need to get to crises to see the need for change. Oh well. it has always be thus. We will not do it until it is too late. So be it. As it was, as it is, as it will be.

What will the next species of man look like? Will we be more proactive? Will we be more social, and more concerned about the weakest in society? Will we eliminate the weak out to the reproduction pool? Will we be more warlike and independent, reverting to tribal type attitudes?  How will we, as a species, control our population? Or will we all just do as we can to get by as best we can, unplanned?

Many of us have learned how to eliminate the mental suffering from our lives. Godfree (the condition) is a good place to start, then the Mangala Surta with a side of Seligman. Start where you are, and the list of possible choices is long.

Many of us have learned what not to eat, as most industrial foods are dose dependent poisons. Oh well. Some know that vegetarian, although a good sounding idea, misses one fact; we humans need proteins to support the carriage for our big brains and omega 3 oils to support our big brains. Inland, grassed beef is the best source. End of consideration for veggie ways.

Government control is just too expensive. The alternative is producer to customer short chain. Living in the right place becomes critical for survival. But what do I know?      

 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The abyss

When we can see into the abyss, we must make changes, change our direction, speed, or we will go in.

Our mortality is a major abyss. Overeating is only one way. Plankton die off is the other.

Population/Co2 production is another. As the plankton die off, the sunlight produces heat rather than Co2 buffering through photogenesis. The higher Co2 is killing the plankton, so we have gone to the edge of the abyss, and some have looked over and know what is there. If a major correction is not made in the next few years, we are in for heat like we have never known. The middle hot dry latitudes will be in for drought, and major population die off. Oh well.

The earth is only able to handle 1960 level population and Co2. Until this is a well known, obvious to everyone, few will make the changes necessary. What are those changes: Birth control, education, lowering of expectations, acceptance of the reality of life in the present conditions, a cleaning up of morality and of living in general, a clear understanding of virtues, and living by them, acceptance of facts, benefits and limits, downsides of our technology.

As the Co2 continues to clime, as the ocean buffering is dyeing off, and drought is everywhere inland, we will experience water shortages, food shortages, unrest, unemployment, and much political change as society devolves. Oh well. The spoils of war will go to the survivors, whoever they may be.

What is the timetable: Ocean collapse underway now, complete by 2050. Drought started 2015 and continues. The technology to fix this is not ready, but we can turn off non-essential stuff. Agriculture (organic carbon capture) should be untaxed and encouraged. Soil building should be the agricultural past time, as should water capture so that short cycle rain can happen, but the drought will still be with us in many parts of the world.      

When we recover in a few hundred years to about the 1960 population.... there is room for a novel or two there.

But what do I know?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Its back, but why

  That damn craving is back. It is not hunger, but my hunger is also excessive. Still there is not treatment. It cause is either physical, brain, or mind; and still the only solution is live with it but behave differently.

Plagiarized from :http://eating-disorders.org.uk/information/compulsive-overeating-binge-eating-disorder/ 

Making sense of compulsive overeating

Is compulsive overeating:
  • A dieting disorder?
  • A food addiction?
  • A bad habit?
  • A lack of willpower?
  • Comfort eating – to manage difficult and troublesome feelings?
  • A stress disorder?
  • A body image problem?
  • A sign of a deeper emotional problem?

A Dieting Disorder

Many writers have blamed dieting for provoking compulsive eating problems. They claim that dieting makes people deprived and depressed – and thus increases the desire for food which they are not supposed to eat. The solution would therefore be to forgo dieting, stop worrying about one’s weight, eat to excess all the foods on the forbidden list and eating would then settle down.
Formal studies of dieting have shown that dieting provokes cravings, impulsive eating (you must eat something just because it is there), low mood, and the inability to stop eating when satiated. These symptoms persist well after someone has stopped dieting and even if they are eating normally. But not all people who diet become compulsive overeaters so obviously something else must be true those who develop a very unhappy relationship with food.
Not all people who ditch their diets regain control of their eating. Also, while the importance of prior and ongoing dieting cannot be ignored, other personal influences will bear on whether one dieter will develop a problem and the other will not.

Food Addiction

Food can feel like an addiction, a desire to eat something that is forbidden; that will make you feel better in the short term even though it may harm your health and your weight in the long term. Both addicts and overeaters refer to preoccupation with the “substance”, the sense of craving for particular foods, giving in, and not being able to stop when you have had a reasonable amount. Both addicts and overeaters talk of repeated attempts to give up “tomorrow”. Like the traditional addictions to alcohol and drugs, compulsive eating can interfere with your life and cost a great deal of money and remorse.
Food like ice cream, chocolate, biscuits and French fries which are rich in fats or sugars affect the same regions of the brain which are stimulated by drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. Trying to stop eating these foods can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
There is a popular theory that certain people are “addicted” to refined foods and sugar and must abstain from them. But when such persons are given white flour and sugar in blind trials, they do not show increases in cravings or loss of control. This suggests that the addictive effects of these substances are largely psychological.
So, addictions and compulsive overeating share some features but at the NCFED we firmly believe that it isn’t  helpful to think of compulsive eating as the same as, for example, alcoholism because we can live without alcohol but we cannot live without food. We do not like to think of people as addicts and we can treat compulsive eating effectively.

A Bad Habit

Much of what we do is habit and some habits can be very stuck. Where food is concerned some of our habits track right back to our childhood. Food habits are predictable, we all tend to eat what we like and we eat more at the weekend than we do at the start of a week. Even our indulgences are a habit. None of us change our habits very easily.
Treating compulsive overeating must involve treating that part of the disorder which is a habit. But this is one aspect of the problem, even if it is a very important part.

Lack Of Willpower

People who try to control their weight but fail to do so often say that they lack willpower. They may try many different kinds of diets, or resort to slimming pills or other more dangerous practices to control their weight but nothing works in the end. Some people say that they have just given up trying to lose weight but this does not change their damaging relationship with food.
Compulsive overeaters do not have less willpower than people who eat normally and healthfully. They do however have more cravings for food and stronger cravings. It follows that to treat compulsive eating means getting rid of the cravings and then it will be far easier to stay in control of food and weight.

Eating For Comfort

We all eat to change our emotional state to some extent and we all learn to do this early in life. We might reward ourselves with food at times, eat to share a social occasion, nibble in response to anxiety, eat to fill up the time when we are bored, or have a special meal to calm ourselves down when we have had a bad day. However research clearly shows that people who eat compulsively are often triggered by mood changes, whether the moods are good or bad. Feelings such as anger, guilt, sadness and anxiety can often trigger episodes of overeating.
What does this tell us about the inner world of someone who eats compulsively? Psychologists believe that comfort eating is not so much a way to feel better as it is a way to avoid or manage emotions that might lead to shame or emotional discomfort. The events which have given rise to this situation are varied.
Treatment of the overeating involves helping people to manage these emotions without needing to turn to food instead. It may also involve providing a person with a new range of skills dealing more effectively and assertively with other people.

A Stress Disorder

People with binge or compulsive overeating problems are very stressed. Stress can come from the disorder itself; after all, overeating and blaming yourself for your behavior is very stressful. People are very ashamed of their behaviour and try to hide it from others. And this may lead to more overeating.
Sometimes life is very stressful and the sufferer has learned that overeating provides a short term remedy for feeling overwhelmed, also offering a way of coping with the ups and downs of life.
Sometimes the stress comes from within. If you suffer from perfectionism, and are always trying to perform to your own high standards, if you never feel quite good enough, overeating can be both a way of consoling yourself for the pressure or even beating yourself up for not being as effective as you would like.
Learning how to manage stress is an important part of treatment but the therapist must first discover where the stress comes from and how to address its roots.

A Body Image Disorder

People who binge eat generally hate the way they look and have poor body image. They always feel that they should be eating less even if they can’t always do something about it.  Horrible feelings of fatness means that even when they do eat they can’t enjoy it properly. Poor body image has many effects, from avoiding social situations, not taking care of yourself and not being able to enjoy a holiday.  Compulsive eaters believe themselves to be fat even when they are not and they feel instantly fat after eating foods which are considered forbidden.
The consequence of feeling fat and feeling terrified of weight gain leads to constant attempts to compensate for taking in unwanted calories by dieting, starving, taking slimming pills and so on. Sadly these strategies usually make the eating problem even worse. There are some overeaters who feel so hopeless about their weight that they give up trying to control it. I’m fat anyway, so why bother, they might say as they reach for another piece of cake.
Helping a person think more kindly of their body  is an important part of treatment and will have knock on effects on self esteem.  Treating body image helps a person be kind to themselves with food and predicts recovery from the eating disorder.

A Deeper Emotional Problem

Many people believe that compulsive or binge eating is a sign of deeper psychological difficulties. There is little evidence that this is the case, although severely overweight binge eaters have a greater lifetime risk of depression, alcohol abuse and anxiety disorders.
Compulsive overeaters who develop harmful weight control practices such as vomiting or laxatives have a greater likelihood of traumatic events in their early childhood such as physical or sexual abuse, or even neglect. It is only necessary in treatment to go back and resolve these issues if it is felt that the person is still being affected by these events.

Treating Binge and Compulsive Overeating

The first part of treatment is a very good assessment with a professional who understands eating disorders and who will identify what kind of compulsive eating is going on from the checklist above. A full eating history will allow the therapist to identify the events and challenges that predisposed you to the problem. The assessment will also pinpoint what is keeping you stuck right now.
Treatment will then be directed to both the physical and emotional factors which are maintaining the unhelpful relationship with food, depending on what has emerged at the assessment.
Treatment of compulsive overeating is more than giving you a positive relationship with food. We would attend to the “whole person” and our outcomes would include all or some of the following;
  • Dealing effectively with your feelings
  • Eating comfortably in a wide variety of situations
  • Managing problem situations like parties and Christmas effectively
  • Sleeping well and feeling healthy
  • Managing stress and being happier
  • Handling personal relationships well
  • Building self worth
  • Being able to say “no” to food and people when you need to
  • And much more…

Or is it just a bloody compulsion... a brain worm.... I want food... I want food... something like the fluke that drives ant to the top of grass blades so the sheep can eat them.

but what do I know.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mind or Brain

Is overeating a mind or brain problem?
http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2016/04/12/cartesian-dualism-in-appalachia/

Previously, I have never thought of separating the two. Mind functions can be learned, brain function cannot. Dyslexia is a brain problem, overcoming it is a mind problem. Is overeating the same or totally a mind problem?

That requires a bit more thought.

But what do I know?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Equal, well not really

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/04/11/heres-how-religion-contributes-to-the-wage-gap/

Well, here is the problem with this; few women stick around through the tough sledding in some industries to reach the top. As a geotechnical materials engineer, there are no women in this area. There are a few environmental paper pushers but we have never had a women that was willing to do the long years of heavy slugging, long hours, dirty jobs, in remote conditions, in the junior years of this profession. There may be a few working for the government somewhere.

There was one who started out in university with me, and after a few years she returned to university... to take up nursing. "It was too difficult to get ahead" was her words. She did less than the remainder of the workers at her engineering job also, but that is of course all opinion.

But what does this have to do with eating? Well learning to sort real, aka story that matching personal experience, from the news bullshit, taints information gathering, so much that real information has a difficult time getting through, if we take any of it seriously. For some one to figure out that it is the intake of carbohydrates, quick digesting carbohydrates, insulin raising carbohydrates, at the same time as enough fats to make them taste good, is the primary cause of obesity, combined with a obsessive-compulsive personality trained in from childhood, largely by the media. The medical profession is of little help, as they are now controlled by government guidelines. It is all the miss-information that is the real cause, and our inability to follow a proper life style, due to the available entertainment, and baiting of junk food companies.

We find ourselves in a obese-genetic environment, and we must resist. Oh, well, shit happens, and the human life has little real value to the elected governments. That is the issue of society today, to recover we need to step out of the society with its obese-genetic cultural norms.

But what do I know?     

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cultural norms (rant)

Sharma point to the real problem http://www.drsharma.ca/global-obesity-is-not-about-to-get-better-any-time-soon but does not clue in.

We have fucked up cultural norms. Now TV, mass communications, have overlain a new level of "norms" on society that indulge of buy in to the scheme. Not scheme, but I do not know the word, scheme but without a end plan or reason.

This video, before you reach the paywall, defines the problem. http://study.com/academy/lesson/cultural-norms-definition-values-quiz.html
We can be whatever we want. Bullshit!!! Some just do not have the skills, opportunity,  finances, education, drive. The majority fail. And get frustrated, and then use food as a soother. High glucose leads to insulin surge, and to early hunger, and the cycle starts.

And then there is the illusion of free will....and of self. Chinese are trained through there cultural norms to be good dutiful followers, and to respect there elders. And so says Confucius, so the society does. That is the main reason the Communism works in China. It is more about their cultural norms than anything else. 

Primer on Cultural norms:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfpo0FeYfyU
http://www.globalcognition.org/cultural-norms/ 

And we should not confuse cultural norms with social norms, for social norms are not rooted as deeply, and are the surface in mixed culture societies. It is politically incorrect to say that some cultures, like many of the natives in Canada, do not subscribe to the modern social norm, but hold to their cultural norm. Sit on the reserve and wait for government handouts. It is there culture.

and social norms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norm_%28social%29 

We overweight people have a eating culture, many of us were trained to it in our youth. It may not have been what our parents intended to teach, but it is what we learned. Now we must change our culture. Our values, beliefs, thinking, emotions, language, behaviors, all depend on our culture.

Some of us are more Neanderthal body type, and have higher BMI than the Homos. Oh well, we play the hand we were dealt. (eg, beef, not dairy)

http://www.abroadintheyard.com/20-physical-traits-inherited-from-neanderthal/

Enough. What do I know?

Free Will - not so much

Do we have free will or is it all the interweaving of our actions, needs and desires?  Is it all determined... no, not until it happens. It could change, maybe. Not much, but at any moment, I could decide to do something different.  My simple answer is we have a tiny bit of free will; but it is biased on the past; or on our body training and chemistry; hence, free will is mostly an illusion.

Epictetus said some things are up to us, and some are not. He goes on to list the things we have complete control over: our opinions, our ability to accept or reject propositions, mentally controlled desires and aversions, and the mental side of impulse to move. Not our bodies. Perhaps, after examining our lives, as Socrates suggested, even our beliefs. Not very much that we have complete control over. And as our unconscious mind does some of that leaving us, the conscious mind, even less. When the decision is made by our unconscious part of our mind, we have no control. The unconscious mind relates to our past, and uses our trained in beliefs, values, and behaviors. These of course, we have no control over until we examine them and clean our the garbage from our early learning. So we have free will over our rational decisions, but little else, and we make so few rational decisions outside of work. The real illusion is the "I", it does not exist, it is a concept of self, that is flawed.

Moving down the line, beyond what we have complete control over, is a category of things that we have influence over, but nothing like control. Here is where we live most of the time, where we have the illusion of control, but the unconscious mind's automatic decision making and our body decisions, what will yield the highest dopamine dose, are really in control. This is where eating falls, and that is the essential reasons that diet fail. And the world tells us that we can be anything we want to be. One more myth perpetrated on us by the ignorant... unthinking adults... and we swallowed it for a while, until we ran into reality, and had to examine the idea.

Moving down further, there are all those other things we have no control over but others have influence over. We may be able to influence them, or jump through their defined hoops to become whatever, and perhaps the hoop is moved, or changed, or we do not have the required skill set, or whatever. So if we want it bad enough and it is within the realm of possible, we may be able to acheive it maybe. It may not be what we thought it was either. All the negatives are filtered out of marketing. In terms of education, the only available jobs may be to teach more people those same skills, and how many replacement teachers do they really need. Job dry up and blow away with technology also.

Then there are all those things that we have no control over; that no one has any control over, truly deterministic, or nearly so. Consider global warming; are we really going to freeze to avoid using carbon based fuels? There are too many people. Oh well, we could have some control over that, but the government chooses not to do anything.

But what do I know?