Drugs are not inherently bad.

  It’s a hard pill to swallow for some people. Which is not entirely difficult to understand considering the massive swaths of money spent every single year on the drug war and anti drug advertising + education. Most evidence seems to show that these tactics are not only ineffective but highly counter productive.

  Legalized Heroin has been popping up in a few countries around the world, as far as I know the results have been the same. For the exception of foreigners entering attempting to snag some drugs without fear of prosecution it has been an overall success. The amount of people on heroin drops with this program, the amount of people picking up the substance drops, and the amount of crime related to the use of the substance tanks. It’s obvious as well, there are a few things that are required for a drug to be popular or widely used. Firstly you require a condition in which consumption of the drug is more positive than other activities and secondly you require some form of mass advertising. Now some people might be curious as to what sort of advertisement drugs like Marijuana get that would be making them so popular in places like the US (which has tens of millions of people actively using the substance).

  Word of mouth is the name of the game with illegal drugs. A combination of users and anti-drug advertisers, its difficult to not think about drugs in a society that is so blatantly obsessed with them. It doesn’t help that most advertising is sensationalist and highly misinformed, which does nothing to raise confidence about the negative repercussions. The natural response for humans (and I imagine any animal if we could speak to them) when told that they are not allowed to do something without proper information on the reasoning is to try that activity. I’m not entirely sure the reasoning behind it but I’m hardly devoid of the allure.

  That said I don’t do (conventional) drugs and it has nothing to do with the morality of it, I am a strong believer that morality is a painfully ambiguous concept that is masqueraded as a reasonable way to lead ones life. If anything in this universe should be shot it would be Morality. That aside I don’t do drugs for the biological reasons, I’m already very weird as is and frankly already have a brain full of thoughts that keeps me going. I am a huge fan of working organs and want to milk every last second I can out of my life.

  I say conventional because many people use drugs, if you have downed anything with Sugar in it you are using a highly addictive substance with mind altering properties. Sugar is even related to many terrible terrible diseases, obesity and diabetes being two pretty popular outcomes. If you’ve ever ingested caffeine or taken anything for headaches and the likes. But for whatever unusual reason these things are all ok, yes I realize that Sugar is required in certain doses to survive so save those comments for someone else ;).

  There is an unusual assumption that drugs leads to crime, it’s something of a self fulfilling outcome that has to do with the nature of our reaction to drugs. In most cases the substance is legal for quite a while, it gains a sizeable following and begins to impose upon more popular drugs like alcohol and tobacco. A large lobbying project is enacted and the substances are made illegal, now you have a large group of people who went from simply enjoying themselves to being criminals. Likewise instead of getting ‘treated’ when they are caught they are put in jail or fined, they lose their jobs, and in many cases end up losing much more. Nothing that they lose is related to the drug but instead the (very hypocritical) reaction towards the use of the substance.

  Even the arguments against illegal drugs is flawed, Marijuana is consistently discussed as the ‘gateway’ drug yet every study I’ve ever read showed that most Marijuana smokers had initially tried Cigarettes and found that Marijuana had better side effects with less noticeable negative side effects (It’s difficult to vomit off a joint but very easy on your first cigarette). Likewise correlating the deaths related to the substance to its harmfulness falls through. The deaths related to illegal substances have to do with the nature of supply and demand with illegal activities, generally the demand is high because of the dark mysterious nature of the item and the supply is low because of the nature of criminal activity which generates HUGE sums of cash (which is lucrative).

  The Harrison act was supposedly going to create this fancy new US where there were no drugs and everyone cuddled bears. Well what it did end up doing was (much like prohibition) was create a multitude of crime syndicates, if you are looking for someone to thank for the massive power of gangs and nations like Colombia, look no further than the US’s prohibition on drugs. The amount of money you can make from dealing drugs is preposterous. Legal drug companies know this too and that is why pharmaceuticals are so powerful in the government.

  However when you look at Tobacco and Alcohol it is literally a case of the substance being harmful. Which is where the irony comes in, two of the most efficient ways of killing people (or at least causing pretty impressive amounts of biological damage) are the two that are legal. It goes back to the experimental neurosis and the unusual effect this sort of hypocrisy has on the trust and reaction of the people to their government.

  There are plenty of dangerous things that people can do that are legal, like sky diving, spanking gorillas, juggling knives, drinking the water in Mexico, saying anything negative about any non-white person, or shooting of fireworks while hammered during the appropriate holiday. While some of these are in jest I find it difficult to argue that most are less dangerous than most (if not all) illegal substances. If you don’t believe me make a video of yourself slapping a gorilla on the ass and live to tell about it.

  Most drugs are not shiny nor are they rare, which means that they do not have an intrinsic value. The entirety of their worth comes from the militant nature of our laws against them, likewise the higher their worth the more dangerous activities involving them become. Drugs themselves are not inherently bad, we have to work very hard to make them dangerous and to make them popular.

  In a closing thought I find it funny that one of the world’s largest faiths is built off of a story of a man ‘hearing things’ after being near a ‘burning bush’ yet we try to take a morale high ground on drugs. What do you think that bush was?

By | 2009-02-22T18:01:07+00:00 February 22nd, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on Drugs are not inherently bad.

Freedometer 2.0 – Still not quite there

  I’ve been thinking about the glaring flaws in my original Freedometer and the fact that it didn’t express my point correctly. So without further adieu this is the new and approved Freedometer:

freedometer2

The Freedometer 2.0

  The way this works is that you have a binary situation, there are only two likely outcomes to be had. Now I understand that this is an unlikely situation and possibly impossible, but this diagram was made to explain the simplest situation so as to help people understand more complex ones. You would have a bar on top of this circle the length of its diameter and pinned at the center so that it can spin. Ideally you would turn it clockwise, the left hand side of the bar would show you the % likelihood that option 1 (or A what have you) would be chosen and the right hand side of the bar would instantly show you the % likelihood that option 2 (or B) would be chosen.

  Now this is grossly oversimplified and I believe it is easily argued that my ‘red zone’ is too large. However again this is for the concept and not necessarily precise. Lets look at example one for a little bit of guidance.

freedometer2example1

Example 1 (Option 1 20%/Option 2 80%)

  What this example shows is the bar moved so that you have an 80% likelihood of choosing outcome 2 and you have only a 20% likelihood of choosing outcome one. If I was good with gradients I’d have a third zone “yellow” that would probably span 89% to 71% and 11% to 29% respectively as a “zone for debate” or “possibly free choice”. The general idea being that once you get into the extremes of one choice being chosen 9 out of 10 times you have entered a region of positive gain to negative punishment that is far too large to be considered an earnest free choice. Likewise when you get really far, say 99/1 chance that you’ve entered an ‘ultimatum’ or some sort of extreme non-free choice.

  So by the loose definition of the 2.0 Freedometer (who’ll see a facelift once I learn gradients) the above example is a situation where you do not have a free choice, you are given a choice where option 1 is exceptionally poor and option 2 is exceptionally great. Say someone offering you cold unflavored coffee (option 1) or offering you cold filtered water (option 2) after you’ve just competed in a triathlon.

  freedometer2example2

Example 2 (Option 1 27%/Option 2 73%)

  This would be a situation of free choice, it’s in that yellow zone that may be added at a later date but for now its a situation of free choice. While one option is nicer than the other neither puts the organism in a place of great disadvantage. I suppose this would be something akin to going to see a bad movie or a good movie, neither will destroy your day and while you do have a higher likelihood of choosing the good movie you may end up last minute entering to see the bad one to give it the benefit of the doubt.

  It would be unfortunate but not exactly life ending. Now this last example is what I envision when I look at situations where someone says something like “You can either give me your wallet or die.”

freedometer2example3

Example 3 (Option 1 100%/Option 2 0%)

  These are highly popular abuses of the free choice concept. You are given the choice of say “believing in a deity” or being punished to an eternity of unpleasantness. Neither option accurately relates to the consequences of its choice and likewise the grandiose nature of the aversive to the mediocre nature of the appetitive is (likely) infinitely large. Because of this you have a choice between a seemingly infinitely large positive outcome on one end and a seemingly infinitely large negative outcome on the other end. This is not a free choice at the utmost, it even looks weird on the Freedometer 2.0, it makes him very unhappy.

  So of course this is a work in progress. I think ideally I’m just trying to create a visual diagram (with the wonders of geometry) that can help provide visual aid for a very serious problem. Far too much of the world’s population abuses the concept of freedom or free choice. It seems to me anytime the options are vastly different in a negative correlation that they are directives masked behind choice.

By | 2009-02-21T20:56:23+00:00 February 21st, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on Freedometer 2.0 – Still not quite there

The Life of Man

  I know technically I should say “human” or “person” or something but frankly women on average already live 7 years longer than men, I’d say since I’m likely to die almost a decade sooner than a lady that I should be at least given the joy of popping my gender into the title. There will be at a time someday when its ironic.

  There are so many reasons that the human life is just sadistically short. The wonderfully bright radioactive mass bursting brightly at the center of our universe lives for an estimated 10 billion years. That means that at best I’ll survive likely 1 hundred millionth the span of our sun. In the history of our universe a human life vanishes so quickly that its not even a blink, it’s hardly a trillionth of a blink if that. We take up something like two square feet of area when the very planet we are standing on takes 5 in a half quadrillion square feet…we are the tiniest of tiny ants upon a small rock in the middle of a vast expanse.

  Some people talk about heaven, an afterlife, but I’m not satisfied. I don’t want an afterlife, I want this one. If I were to paint my own heaven ala, what dreams may come (good movie), it would merely be our current reality but with me immortal (and likely invulnerable). But all in all it would be the same thing. I love reading about this world, watching it, seeing it evolve, I want to watch the continents change and move. For new land masses to split and for others to crash into one another.

  To see the first massive space ship begin its trek across space warping space and surviving the impact of hyper fast matter with nothing more than the shields wrapped around it like saran wrap. I would love to colonize my own planet, terraform it, and begin my own civilization. I want to watch a star die at the absolute smallest safe distance I can possibly imagine.

  I want to see a time when we come to a point where we no longer are discovering the universe but making our own. I think in the end I just want to see a point in which the life of man doesn’t vanish into nothingness, to see a point where the irresponsible nature of a half dozen fanatics cannot nearly obliterate everything.

  It is truly a frail and meek existence we life in, I hope to see a point in which life ends on our terms.

By | 2009-02-20T22:59:40+00:00 February 20th, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on The Life of Man

Fascinating Facebook

  Seeing as I’m swamped with crap to do today (because every professor feels they are your only professor) I would like to posit a bit of information today that caught my eye in the New York Times.

  Facebook has over 175 million active users, Of the two hundred and twenty one official countries in the world, this internet social networking site has more people using it than 216 of them! That’s 97.7% of the worlds countries each having a smaller population than a single website. You could likely have the lower 100 hundred nations fit snugly into Facebook and still have room.

  So yes, tomorrow I’ll be back in force most likely since I’ll be into the weekend. For now let this leave you awe struck ;). I might come back to this with excel and make it even more interesting.

  Coming up this week: Freedometer re-thought and corrected. I noticed some glaring flaws in its design (when I should have been sleeping).

By | 2009-02-20T23:00:24+00:00 February 19th, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on Fascinating Facebook

The wonders of the zHome

  The zHome is easily one of the most interesting things I’ve read about in the last few years. It’s a project in my own particular state that has been harshly effected by the economy. Once funded this project will produce homes that actually produce more energy than they consume. Through the use of solar paneling each home in the 10 home townhouse setup will use as much energy as it needs and the rest will be sent out on the grid (to power other structures). It’ll also use multiple systems so that the water use is roughly 60% lower than the average American home. This is nice especially considering in my lifetime alone I’ve watched Washington, a state known for its rain, have some pretty noticeable water scares with their reservoirs being exceptionally low.

  Likewise the materials in the home are either non-toxic and environment friendly or they are recycled non-toxic and environment friendly (nice options). In fact the only negative I can see from this project is the support its receiving, projects like these should be supported with every ounce this country has. If all new homes were built with these kind of specs we could see a complete revolution on the way the world works around us, this is not a thing of the future, it is technology available now that can only get better.

  It bothers me that we are wasting money on the automotive industry (that honestly has half ass-d any attempt to revolutionize their merchandise) and not pouring it into projects like this. Hopefully for those that visit here they’ll read up on these wonderful (and very pleasant on the eye) homes and tell their friends. The more people who know the better chance that projects like these will go somewhere instead of being dropped for ‘clean coal’ funding and other complete malarky.

  Further information can be found at: zHome Website

  Thanks for visiting and have a great day.

By | 2009-02-18T19:57:37+00:00 February 18th, 2009|Journal|Comments Off on The wonders of the zHome