Anticode t1_je6m7ry wrote

> A cool theory is that when the universe was young, dense, and hot, enormous stars formed that were so massive their cores compressed into black holes.

Sounds a lot like my teenage years.


Anticode t1_jao6k7n wrote

I've been collecting microbiome-related studies as of late. The body itself - not just the brain or the mind - absolutely alters or even creates certain psychological states. Anecdotally, I've found that taking a couple of grams of GABA on an empty stomach is a way to evoke the way "body anxiety" feels, likely because the body overzealously pushes out the excess GABA , leaving a momentary shortage (localized to the neuron clusters in the gut because dietary GABA cannot readily pass the blood-brain barrier). The sensation is distinct and can be recognized, helping one overcome it by compartmentalizing it once it's identified.

Here's a relevant study relating to IBS specifically posted here a couple of days ago:

>New research establishes a link between irritable bowel syndrome and mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation --


And semi-related:

>Regular use of laxatives is associated with more than a 50% increased risk of developing dementia --


Pinging /u/Ok-Cut4890 too.


Anticode t1_j7mg4x1 wrote

I think you've got the arrangement of the dynamic backwards. Red states are some of the poorest in the union. I suspect that the reason why so much of the wealthy elite are conservative is a combination of...

  1. The republican party is practically specifically geared towards policies that benefit the rich, obfuscated by social policies that revolve around things the voters are angry about.

  2. Those least concerned with equity, empathy, and fairness are those most likely to pursue extreme wealth - and to acquire it (via variously unethical means).

I also think that having wealth also inspires people towards paranoia and fear, as they've now compartmentalized themselves from the masses and/or recognize the disparity (subconsciously or otherwise).

Like another commenter pointed out, democrats raised more money than republicans during that period of time (if you ignore the big-big contributions).

That being said, I deeply agree with you that democrats are the 'default party' and that there is no liberal party.

(Which is why I like to say that republicans/democrats are the offensive and defense lines of the elite respectively.)


Anticode t1_j7jt4hc wrote

> As people get older they tend to start to vote more conservative

This is not necessarily true (anymore?). Studies are starting to find that 1) People actually become more liberal as they age; and/or 2) Views remain relatively stable throughout life.


>If people really become more liberal as they age, why does common wisdom hold the opposite to be true?

>People might find an average 60-year-old to be more conservative than an average 30-year-old, Danigelis said, but beware of extrapolating a trend. The older person, for example, might have started off even more conservative than he or she is now.


>Consistent with previous research but contrary to folk wisdom, our results indicate that political attitudes are remarkably stable over the long term. In contrast to previous research, however, we also find support for folk wisdom: on those occasions when political attitudes do shift across the life span, liberals are more likely to become conservatives than conservatives are to become liberals, suggesting that folk wisdom has some empirical basis even as it overstates the degree of change.


All-in-all, it's pretty hard to track these sort of things since there's a ton of factors at play. Studies that occurred near the emergence of Trump onto the sociopolitical stage may have had their self-identification (rather than their beliefs) pushed left, now given an example of what right really looks like, for instance. It's hard to say.

In any case, I suspect that it's more generational than anything - specifically as a result of socio-environmental pressures. It's a bit much to get into this late at night, but I hypothesize that "conservativism" is a behavioral (mal)adaptation in the same way ADHD is a maladaptation to the flicker-frame-flashy-light modern world.

In the case of conservative behaviors, the symptoms emerge primarily in the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls for anger/disgust. If ADHD emerges to better handle the fast paced technological world (and subsequently results in failures to focus on more traditionally "slow" activities), then conservativism emerges in response to fear/chaos which subsequently results in failures to empathize with outgroups. You can think of it like a survival mechanism that switches on in response to war/conflict historically (and still responds to the illusion of danger).

Studies find that liberals and conservatives can be detected by brain scans alone and that's the part that's more heavily active in conservatives. It's why their responses to the world are so often based in fear or aggression (often both simultaneously).


Re: Brain scans, etc. --


Anticode t1_j7jcu93 wrote

It's a bit strange that a significant proportion of US politicians are - and have been - the same age, regardless of what point in time you're looking at them. It's almost like a single ~5 year window is all that's generally been allowed to hold office since the late 1980s. The same pattern is visible in congress/senate. It's like all of the big political "headliners" essentially spawned from the same graduating class.

Bush was born in 1947. Hillary? 1947. Romney? 1947.

Trump was born in 1946. Bill Clinton? 1946.

Biden, 1942. McConnel, 1042. Pelosi, 1940. Sanders? 1941.

The last four of five presidents (ie: the last 30 years) were born within ~5 years of each other - and if you ignore Biden, ~2 (!). Obama is obviously an outlier, but when we look at his political arc, he seems quite anomalous anyway; like something "unplanned" and capitalized upon.

In any case, there's a lot of data to pull from so it's easy to cherry pick names and dates. It's surely just coincidence that most of the Big Names most often thrown around in the media are born within a few years of each other.

What's not a coincidence is that the average age of US politicians is quite high. In some cases the same age group has remained in power/significance for the last ~30 years. The average age for the senate and house is 63 and 58 respectively, implying half of them are older than that.

It's obvious that American culture fetishizes age as if it were a function of wisdom, even though we often tease that same age group for being technologically/socially inept and culturally backwards. Bizarre.

Sometimes I like to imagine what the country would be like if it was being managed by people in their 40s-50s rather than 70-80s. When our bosses at work are older than 60 we start to doubt their performance and judgement, right? Somehow we don't do that for our politicians (generally speaking).


Anticode t1_iy0e4cm wrote

I think it's quite amusing to learn that it's an intentional strategy.

Consciousness is often lauded as the most important feature of humanity, especially because it is "us", but it gets in the way incredibly often.

Generally speaking, we perform more poorly on most tasks when we have greater awareness of what we're doing. Anybody who has played an instrument knows what it's like to suddenly become aware of what your fingers are doing and miraculously losing the ability to play. Stepping in front of a group to read a well-rehearsed essay only to forget the words, finding yourself inexplicably "manually walking" past your crush in an empty hallway, so on.

Inversely, we're capable of grand feats of intuitive functionality when we're not paying attention ranging from spontaneous mathematical solutions, motor control, recollection, and problem solving. There's endless examples to choose from, each suggesting that the conscious self isn't often even "doing the work" at all, merely taking credit for answers that were performed elsewhere with a wink, like a student being passed notes during a quiz.

Whenever "we" try to do those things consciously - manually - we find ourselves performing poorly, even ineptly. We often think about our conscious selves as the driver behind the wheel, but we're more like the person in the passenger seat. We can reach over to grab the wheel to steer the car, but we're not going to do it well. We can change the radio station, but when we look away it'll often be tuned to a different station again.

When we look at one of our closest evolutionary ancestors, we even see that they outperform us cognitively in various ways. There's videos of infant chimpanzees kicking the dogcrap out of adult humans in memorization games, for example. When humans are performing with that kind of grace, we're doing it subconsciously or from within a flow state (and those are quite similar, in a sense). That's where the chimp always is.

What's consciousness good at? Managing concepts and abstractions, and overriding conflicting motor impulses. This ability is what allows us to make fire, a task that seems fruitless and painful for many minutes until smoke begins to rise. It's also what allows us to grasp onto a hot bowl of soup rather than dropping it on the floor, an instinct we subvert in favor of avoiding a mess that would also ruin our meal. Looking at our chimp friend, this is precisely where we leave them in the dust.

But when it comes down to just about everything else, other parts of our brains are carrying the load and we're just taking credit for it, often retroactively. This is why we're often so much better at things we're not trying to do, why we suddenly suck at a video game the moment we're showing a friend our skills, and why a moment of high intensity can turn an expert into an apparent novice.

It's no surprise that expert archers have learned to utilize surprise release mechanisms. It's a lesson we can all apply to our own lives, in fact. Whenever I find myself hesitating, I recollect or withdraw because the outcome would have been in conscious hands - and conscious hands aren't good hands except when making a decision to act or not.

I'm not a fan of the movies by any means, but this is probably what Yoda meant when he said "Do or do not do. There is no try."

Trying fails where doing doesn't.


Anticode t1_ixsxzkm wrote

> your eyes are just a TV screen

Does anyone else feel like this more or less constantly? In the past I've somewhat jokingly described myself as "permanently disassociated" due to the persistent sensation that I'm a mind in a meatsuit. It's not a "weird feeling", it's more like an unshakeable fact of the matter, even intrinsic - and in a very real sense, that is the case (for everyone).

But... There's no sensation of discomfort or dysphoria. I don't feel like there's anything wrong with feeling this way, nor do I have difficulties functioning or interacting with other people. In fact, I'm often told that I'm quite charming and grounded.

The way I've described it in the past is that my conscious 'manual override' switch is stuck pressed down, with absolute awareness of myself and my body being a constant. I am always looking out from behind my eyes and what the body/brain does subconsciously implicitly feels like somebody else's decision.

That is generally known as the neurological reality, with the consciousness (us) merely "taking credit" for everything else that happens, even when we had nothing to do with it or are rationalizing a decision after "we" have made it. Experiments reinforce this truth but it's something I've always felt to be true, even when nobody else wholly shared my experiences.

Does this resonate with anybody?