Hay look I’m all sciencey now

Thought I’d share a Slashdot headline that hit my e-mail today.

Paternal Stress Is Passed To Offspring

Researchers have discovered that stress experienced by male mice can be passed on to their offspring. “In earlier work, these scientists exposed male mice to six weeks of alternating stressors like 36 hours of constant light, a 15-minute exposure to fox odor, exposure to a novel object (marbles) overnight, 15 minutes of restraint in a 50 mL conical tube, multiple cage changes, white noise all night long, or saturated bedding.

Then the scientists allowed the mice to breed (abstract). Adult offspring of these chronically stressed dads had reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis reactivity; when they themselves were restrained for 15 minutes, they did not make as much corticosterone as mice sired by relaxed dads. This is relevant, and problematic, because blunted stress responses in humans are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and autism.”

Still, it is a little discomfiting that I’m only a day or so ahead of the news cycle. It’s not quite visionary if they’re already finishing and publishing experiments to confirm what I said the previous weekend.

Clearly somebody else is paying attention though, which is heartening.

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About Aeoli Pera

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20 Responses to Hay look I’m all sciencey now

  1. Edenist whackjob says:

    You should be reading this: https://news.ycombinator.com/

  2. Edenist whackjob says:

    Here’s something I came up with just now: the micro-window of sanity.

    In a given delusional system (the workplace, the media, etc) there are certain official lies you must put up with.

    Ie you must not challenge the official lie that you and all of your colleagues are hard at work 8 hours a day, being Really Busy, even if you know it’s not the case at all.

    However, if you’re pulling over your colleague to show some code and ask a question, then it’s back to reality again. Then you’re expected to be ultra-efficient, because you’re bothering him. So you get a lot done in a short while. No one seems to extrapolate that small little window of sanity to the full workday and wonder about the vast discrepancy.

    I think this is also why Pair Programming is a thing. It forces you to be sane for longer stretches of time.

    I don’t have a really good example for politics, alas. It’s on the tip of my mind…

    • Edenist whackjob says:

      Systems that demand silence in a highly compartmentalized way (ie you are allowed to be sane, but there is a complex rule-set to follow) invariably cause me great distress. The doublethink infects my entire mind and I start to doubt my sanity. It’s still hard for me to accept that immigration is bad, even if it’s pretty obvious since we’re not allowed to say that in any meaningful way here.

      Another thing: I can internalize the rules to a great degree, but I often find myself trolling the line from oblique angles of attack that still leave the watchers uneasy. “I didn’t break the rules!” No, but by even skirting around them I made myself a target. Knowing about the taboos means you steer around them in ways that can be detected – you’re supposed to be so oblivious that you won’t even go near them.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Another thing, closely related to this: selective elitism.

        Us IT nerds can ridiculously elitist, you might say fascist, about certain things. Talk to any opionionated Linux user, for instance. But to take that forceful way of being opinionated, that ethos of strictness, elegance and worship of competence, and apply it outside a strictly defined area of tech, and you’re in trouble. You’re supposed to be able to be extremely Discerning when doing your job, while extremely lax, to the point of obliviousness, when being a civilian. Well, I don’t know, but I just can’t do compartmentalization. HP Lovecraft’s quote about correlation of the mind’s contents really strikes home for me, let’s just put it that way.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          >Well, I don’t know, but I just can’t do compartmentalization.

          This is the gestalt shift from thal adolescence to adulthood. Adolescent thals have a local coherence obsession, whereas adult thals have a global coherence obsession. Ye grok?

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        There’s a lot of nerds running around at my work being extremely opinionated and having strong views on all matters tech. But on a personal level, they seem to be downtrodden betas.

        Why do they not realize that they are men, just like everyone else. Men who need resources, who need to reproduce, who need to feel respect for themselves?

        Instead, they have become automatons for someone else’s gain, running around using their powers of discernment for what is essentially just doing data shuffling and solving puzzles for the business machine?

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        “This is the gestalt shift from thal adolescence to adulthood. Adolescent thals have a local coherence obsession, whereas adult thals have a global coherence obsession. Ye grok?”

        Somewhat. Can you elaborate?

        I thought it was more like that young thals are really good little professors who can gobble up a lot of knowledge, but it’s essentially meaningless to them. At around 20, the semantic wall happens and they start caring about what things mean. With caring comes stringency, weighting, ranking and categorization, and so the step to start Connecting The Dots is not far.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Side note: global coherence obsession + belief in the supernatural + tendency toward dissociation which leads to concept-fragility (ideas seem made of air and arbitrary) = extreme anxiety of the Edenist Whackjob variety.

        You’re obsessed with making everything fit together, which means you can’t ignore your whacky belief in the supernatural as normals do. You can’t run back to consensus reality (as normals do after a psychotic break) because see right through it. Ie you are stuck in some kind of waking dream, being half-rational and half-spiritual, not being able to go fully into either one.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        “If you can figure out what I mean by “global coherence” it will be obvious.”

        Does it mean that I entertain many different special interests, and care a lot about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s within each domain?

      • Heaviside says:

        >Why do they not realize that they are men, just like everyone else. Men who need resources, who need to reproduce, who need to feel respect for themselves?

        >Instead, they have become automatons for someone else’s gain, running around using their powers of discernment for what is essentially just doing data shuffling and solving puzzles for the business machine?

        Because they believe that the current distribution of capital, sexual, social, and economic, is somehow “normal” or morally justified. They need to rise up and seize what belongs to them, by force! Nationalize the sexual capital, by turning all women into “comfort women,” nationalize the social capital, by making all clubs and fraternities government organizations, like the national socialists did, and nationalize the economic capital, by seizing all of the assets of venture capitalists and banks.

        Engineers are proletarians too. They’re what the compass in the hammer and compass stands for. I still have pins marked with that sigil, from when my grandfather visited the DDR on behalf of Japanese nuclear power engineers.

        When I learned that engineers are proletarians, that was when I became a National Socialist.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          >Engineers are proletarians too.

          I don’t think this is true. You push a prole and what happens? He pushes you back. You push an engineer and what happens? He looks at you confused. You would have to push him half a dozen times to even get a rise out of him, and then another half dozen times before he finally gets mad and shoots you.

      • Heaviside says:

        Why shouldn’t engineers should push back too?

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          I’m not making a “should” observation. If an engineer is going to push back, he must be taught to do so or pushed until he gets angry and comes to that conclusion himself. This is not true for proles, who will not tolerate small indignities willingly. Ask any prole what “respect” means and you will get PRECISELY the same rant, every time.

    • Edenist whackjob says:

      A related concept: selective discernment.

      People have a need to discriminate, to exalt certain things over others, to be ruthless in their disdain of inferior things. But this is not allowed in society as a whole. So, we get grown men discussing whiskey, chocolates, coffees, wines, beers, etc, instead of things that actually matter. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a culinary snob, but often it feels so forced. Why does *every* middle class man over a certain age seem to have a predilection for this or that $insert_thing_you_eat_or_drink?

      Now, I am also a connoisseur, but a dark one, a discerner of forbidden topics. A prime example would be humans. I am a connoisseur of humans. Just as the wine snob grades wines using a complex set of dimensions and an intuitive appraisal trained through careful practice, I do the same with humans. I find this immensely fascinating, not to mention useful at times. But to the wine snob, wine is A-OK to discriminate against, but when it comes to humans, it’s like all that capacity for difference-observing and multi-dimensional gestalt-making gets thrown out the window. Then it’s pure egalitarianism. If one wine can be better than another based on its vintage, aging, bouquet, aromatic overtones, fermentation technique, then shouldn’t a human, several magnitudes more complex, be a lot more discernible? But no, it is mandated by decree that People Are All The Same.

      I choose to use “selective discernment” as a term instead of “local-coherence discernment” because I’m not really sure whether coherence plays into discernment at all. Geniuses, feel free to expound.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Seth Roberts on connoisseurship: http://blog.sethroberts.net/2011/10/17/willat-effect-experiments-with-tea/

        http://blog.sethroberts.net/2007/07/10/my-theory-of-human-evolution-diet-soda-edition/

        If, as he writes, connoisseuring is critical to evolution, then our society, which forces us to be anti-connoisseurs in the most important matters, is actually dysgenic by design.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        Garlic man, check your spam filter…

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          I’ve been checking it regularly. Sometimes you get flagged for moderation, but only Laz goes straight to spam, at times (because he’s sensible enough to be paranoid about internet use).

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        I suppose global coherence discernment, would be the attitude that one does not modulate one’s discernment level based on strictly compartmentalized zones of differing tabooness.

        Of course, one still has to modulate one’s public expression of discernment. This leads me to wonder if one can devise a test to see if someone is indeed a global coherence discerner. I mean, a guy like Ribbonfarm just has to be, he is way too good at not avoiding de-compartmentalizing truths. But, he never talks about any really taboo topics. Were he Clueless and discernment-variable, though, he WOULD talk about taboo topics, but only in a permissible way. So, the test for someone being a global coherence yada yada is that they have certain areas where they just don’t go, or offer up some PC boilerplate that gets them off the hook without violating their own sense of compartmentalization-is-for-fools.

        By this logic, Scott Adams is also a global coherence discerner.

        Am I on to something here or just abusing my high verbal dexterity?

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          >I suppose global coherence discernment, would be the attitude that one does not modulate one’s discernment level based on strictly compartmentalized zones of differing tabooness.

          Or rather, the lack of the opposite attitude.

          >Of course, one still has to modulate one’s public expression of discernment. This leads me to wonder if one can devise a test to see if someone is indeed a global coherence discerner. I mean, a guy like Ribbonfarm just has to be, he is way too good at not avoiding de-compartmentalizing truths. But, he never talks about any really taboo topics. Were he Clueless and discernment-variable, though, he WOULD talk about taboo topics, but only in a permissible way. So, the test for someone being a global coherence yada yada is that they have certain areas where they just don’t go, or offer up some PC boilerplate that gets them off the hook without violating their own sense of compartmentalization-is-for-fools.

          It would be hard to get around the self-reporting part, where people might withhold taboo thoughts. But the Rorschach ink blot test would be a good starting place. You’ll enjoy learning how it’s interpreted, I think: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test#Features_or_categories

          “The interpretation of the Rorschach test is not based primarily on the contents of the response, i.e., what the individual sees in the inkblot (the content). In fact, the contents of the response are only a comparatively small portion of a broader cluster of variables that are used to interpret the Rorschach data: for instance, information is provided by the time taken before providing a response for a card can be significant (taking a long time can indicate “shock” on the card).[35] as well as by any comments the subject may make in addition to providing a direct response.[36]

          In particular, information about determinants (the aspects of the inkblots that triggered the response, such as form and color) and location (which details of the inkblots triggered the response) is often considered more important than content, although there is contrasting evidence.[37][38] “Popularity” and “originality” of responses[39] can also be considered as basic dimensions in the analysis.[40]”

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