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San Francisco
  • Re: Getting rid of my smartphone may just save me


    The other day I was listening to a radio program which suggested that many younger people communicate better using devices than actually listening to each other. If this true than using devices for communications seems a social negative.

    Indeed. I'm 30, and while I remember a time where smartphones were not prevalent, I "grew up" on the Internet. This is where I spent my formative adolescent years and made most of my true friends. To this day, I feel far more expressive and fluid in writing than I do speaking. It has been both a positive and negative factor in my life.

    Positive: I can type at over 150WPM and bang out five paragraphs without pausing for breath. This serves me well in the technical world.

    Negative: I'm awkward (or intimidating) in person and have trouble making friends in real life.

    I think Generation Z has it worse than Millennials in some way -- but importantly! -- not all. Generation Z seemingly favors small social networks (intimate friend groups) facilitated by ephemeral mediums like Snapchat as opposed to the wide-spanning social networks with permanent history like Facebook. Facebook hasn't seen wide adoption amongst the Zs. They're on there, but engagement is low.

    I think they've learned from their elders' mistakes, to some extent. The social networks they create with technology more closely resemble social network structures in real life. They also favor in-person communication for important conversations, which is a crucial difference between them and Millennials.

    I'm going from memory here from some papers circulated on Hacker News and other tech sector outlets.

  • Re: Low Carb High Fat...

    In my view, the average American:

    1. Consumes far too much sugar.
    2. Consumes far too little fiber, both soluble and insoluble.
    3. Is likely deficient in magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2.
    4. Likely has an unfavorable omega-6 : omega-3 ratio.
    5. Depending on local water supply, lacks the necessary trace amounts of lithium.
    6. Consumes far too much sodium, which is why the new potassium recommendation is at a whopping 4.7g daily. That's 7 avocados or 11 bananas.

    Amongst other problems. The importance of fiber, though, cannot be overstated. The intestinal microbiome has a profound effect on body composition, inflammation, and genetic expression. Fermentation of resistant starches and inulin results in notably higher plasma levels of butyric acid (butyrate), which has widespread effects throughout the body, including the brain. It's capable of turning genes on and off, particularly in the colon. Sodium butyrate, a synthesized version, is actually used as a medicine in psychiatry.

  • Re: yearning for god

    I get the sense that I may not fully grok your meaning, @genkaku, but if I refrained from entering any conversation where I harbored such doubts, then I might as well take a vow of silence. Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea. Anywho...

    I recall a deep longing for understanding, to know, since my earliest years. I was brought up in a conservative small town in Texas where Southern Baptists held sway. While my family didn't actively participate in the church, Christian ideology was pervasive. Until I was around twelve, I accepted it without question.

    That's when things started breaking down. I couldn't help but to see inherent flaws and contradictions, not to mention outright hypocrisy, in the religion as it was practiced around me. Things came to a head when I began to become aware that my sexual orientation was not in line with the statistical mainstream. It was a stressful time for me. I developed severe psychological problems (and an ulcer) as a result of this internal conflict. I was obliged by circumstance to deconstruct my programmed belief system and cobble together something in its place. I kept certain parts and discarded others.

    This curation left a hole, a most palpable and discernible lacking, which I equate with your "yearning for God." I've been seeking ever since. I came to a realization of no-self in a bout of severe depression a couple of years ago when I spent five months turned entirely inward, socially isolated from other human beings save for one person that I texted but have never met in person. The realization was not a positive experience -- it felt almost like psychosis, and maybe it was -- and I reeled. The ego forcefully reasserted itself over the next couple of months.

    That hole, that yearning, is still there. Lately, though, I've wondered whether it's a yearning for God -- whatever that is -- or whether it's a yearning for an identifiable self.

  • Re: Funny Stuff

  • Hiking in the Presidio

    when I walk in nature
    and the music swells in crescendo,
    a wildfire catches in my heart
    with a thunderous roar,
    giant and all consuming.

    And then I become airtight.
    The flames recede in diminuendo.

    I breathe. I release;
    and the fire is gone.

    It would be such a shame
    to disturb the birds.