On 22 Feb 2013, at 17:21, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote:

"The people who most hate smokers are ex-smokers."

- PGC's father

Since this thread has become a bit personal, I offer the view of a former judge of the German supreme court, who himself was not a smoker, nor did ever smoke:

"It's not really the passive smoking that bothers people, with exception of course to people trapped in a close working environment where everybody smokes and smoking is permitted. It's not the smell on their clothes either, since we have invented washing machines and dry cleaning. We need an attitude change instead of more rules: I think public spaces should regulate themselves and find creative ways to not "lock anybody out", such as air vents over smoking sections of a bar, or that smokers at a bar will restrain themselves and be prepared to step outside if a guest with asthma arrives etc.

The main issue is that everybody has vices and everybody in Germany has the constitutional right to act irresponsibly on personal choice matters that do not significantly hurt others. Significant harm is an open term here, to be calibrated by judges case-by-case. So the outrage on public smoking is people projecting their judgement of their own vices onto easy targets: passive smoking is a great example. Nobody has a problem walking through smoggy Berlin, Los Angeles, New York where particle emissions from fossil fuels of their SUVs also driven by non-smokers 'make my clothes stink, make me inhale carcinogens, cancerous toxins. Indeed, studies confirm that some cities have been deemed equivalent to smoking a few cigarettes a day, in terms of inhaled toxins.

So why the fuss? People like to project what they dislike about themselves onto others behavior and feel the righteousness of judging right from wrong. I know this because I have been a judge all of my life; but I also know that the feeling is illusory and that these questions are much more difficult than our personal ethics. You can find temporary solutions to such issues and minimize harm. But you'll never get rid of the problem via regulation. You just move towards more extremism and uniformity.

After all it is our imperfections that make us interesting. I've never smoked in my life, but passive smoke doesn't bother me, I even appreciate the smell of pipe tobacco. It's like I am transported to the orient."

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:27 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

On 20 Feb 2013, at 14:59, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

All classical psychedelics exhibit anti-addictive properties. Sure, people can't do mescaline or LSD regularly enough, i.e. every few days to every day,

How is using every day (or every few days) not an addictive behavior ? Seems quite strange to say that to have **anti** addictive properties, you should use it like an addict, seems contradictory.

This does not necessarily follow. Many people can use some medication daily, without getting addicted. Taking salvia everyday asks for a big effort. I call it the "huile de foie de morue" of the drugs (Cod liver oil).

In fact, except in forum, I see very few people developing an interest for that experience (except as a medication). But then I don't know so much people interested in the consequence of comp or in "serious" theology either. Salvia has this in common with comp: it does not go handy with wishful thinking. It has other relationship with comp, like insisting on some secrecy of a part of the experience, which corroborates the G/G* distinction.

And that is the part which I have difficulty with and why I keep it at a close but rare distance. The joke seems immense and euphoric in its own terms, but the relevant brain subroutines, if you permit, are offended by every letter I type here, so there is some sense of stepping over a threshold that is a prohibited hack. Intuitively a question would be: "So why was I invited?" The small composer and the skeptic in me don't like this, even though they know ultimately "resistance is futile".

Yes, I understand.

I will not add much, as I might say things on which I have to remain silent ... if I want to maintain good relation with the "lady". :)

Now, the secrecy problematic is a constant problem in theology, but also in a large part of psychology and medicine. We can guess it is normal, as brain are wired for terrestrial survival, which on some point can conflict with other form of survival. Then with comp it can be formally related to the fact that Bx -> ~ x, admits solutions, like self-consistency (Dt) by Gödel's second incompleteness theorem. The whole G* minus G describes the landscape of the correct machine's secret. Comp makes some secret "conditionally" communicable, in the form "as far as I am consistent then ...".

As for Quentin, I think he's right: poisons are a contradiction. For beside their danger and pleasure, they are equally solvents, medicines, cleansers or Cod liver oil (hemp seed oil trumps industrial fish farms with antibiotics etc., as I am sure you know, it is cheaper too). Perhaps they harm us when we don't have our numbers right, concerning dosage and context. "Be precise with the values" Paracelsus said famously.

Also Quentin, have you mixed MJ with toboacco when you suffered? Because that mixture is narcotic, when MJ on its own is more self- limiting.

That's a good question.
MJ + alcohol can also be quite narcotic for some person. Combination of medication is known to be hazardous, and should be handle with caution.

I agree with what you say below. I think that prohibition is just a criminal technic to sell more drugs, without control of quality, nor control of price, in a way making it possible to target the kids, at every corner of every street. LEAP (http://www.leap.cc/) provides many evidences. The evidences are monumental that the more a drug is severely prohibited in a country, the more it is consumed in that country.

Prohibition makes de facto a nationalization of health, which is the complex locus where safety can be maximized by augmenting the competition.

If we legalize all drugs, and tax them relatively to genuine statistics of problems, people would quickly see which products are "really" dangerous.

The very idea of criminalizing an abuse problem, that is an health problem, is a total non sense. It makes a fake sense through the myth that the good should fight the bad, where the good can only help the bad toward less bad.

Addiction can be cured with iboga, together with some psychological accompaniment. Jail only aggravates the "problem of drugs", itself brought by prohibition.


However I assume, with no rigor whatsoever or claims to validity in this discussion, laying Salvia's particularities aside for a moment, that consciousness is "poisonous" by default; working locally through pain and pleasure system, every operation, whether thought or behavioral, is linked to: how someone gets their appropriate kick in life, from jogging, to cocaine, or to performing their "true social role" for years... is not for anybody else to judge if harms to others are not clearly expressed (what? Somehow the kicks we get for flaunting our nourished identities and accomplishments are not subject to reward/pain histories? Just "transcendental soul" or "the facts" expressing who we "really are", so we're better than that junkie under the bridge? We've reached a state beyond interpretation and prejudice? - this seems insecure at best, with overtones of delusion: again, the drunk knows things are not ideal at this level. This reasoning is based on prejudice of guess who?). Simply because: who would have the data to make such final judgement?

And since we are "this wired" to pain and reward balance sheet of our histories, we are default junkies of sets of routines, even if we've never touched an illicit substance in our lives. There are often quoted neurological links between for example cocaine use, sex, and the rush of a financial trader making money. Pets and children elevate production of opiates (enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins) in parents; similarly chatting with friends + other forms of social behavior.

I am not saying, that all these activities are equivalent in some normative/ethical sense or all conceivable levels... just that they all tend to become increasingly "addictive, druggy" with inappropriate numbers; e.g. entailment of negative connotations when parents start to over-protect children, or give too little or too much, or the trader looses sleep and burns out, or the cocaine guy goes into daily use several times, etc. Sorry, but shooting heroin or smoking pot + tobacco on the couch has the potential to ruin one life and be a bit of a burden on others. But children with warped sense of reality, traders who's collective behavior destroy pensions, people becoming aggressive through excessive stimulant use: isn't this at least just as much of a problem as "couch potato"? I would say these things can be far worse, because no couch potato endangers my balance sheets long-term. But such is just personal judgement/opinion, no claims to validity.

So from point of view of somebody unwilling, just plain too lazy, to discriminate between how universal machines/people "get their kicks or reward routines" or how their histories shape them to employ pleasure/pain strategies, as long as an increasingly general level of harm is minimized and the opposite maximized, the question concerning plants and molecules that have a disruptive effect on our usual pain and reward system, resulting in less toxicity, less excessive stress states, less harmful anxiety, and more deserved peace of mind, becomes plausible for some machines, irrespective of the discrimination against them.

It follows that the question of "anti-addictive" is more accurately: how can consciousness calibrate its routines (plant- and molecule based or not), making use of recursive quality, towards a more appropriate, healthier, less toxic equilibrium between routine and perturbation, that places those routines in question by altering its own frames of reference.

Analogy for anybody who has problems with that wording: What looks like this complex statement is merely an entity with self- referential abilities putting their own cognitive/behavioral loops into question to engage different sets of locally accessible questions directly. Reality will inevitably place us in front of the next catastrophe, so instead of fighting our loss of control, that wave that's approaching that cannot be "beaten", some people dive right in and permit the wave to pass over them + train for waves in pools + gather data on how they react to waves, not panic, learn to control nervous system in abnormal states etc.

Assuming comp, the computations going through the state of a machine with sufficiently long history include a lot of junk and redundancy (e.g., speaking less digitally, like stress levels elevated because somebody's lack of emotional control endangers somebody else life on the road, or colleagues and bosses are being assholes, inputing redundant media, technology fetishes and related information, reading idiots like myself squabbling in forums, behavioral loops without merit, emotion unchecked etc. :) It's these kinds of computational streams that can arguably require a bit of poison, some solvent from time to time for cleansing, an appropriate amount of amnesia, if some machine wants to open programs other than survival and strategic routines, thinking about competition etc.

Assuming comp consciousness in this non-literal sense, some molecule or plant will serve as a poison, a disrupting agent or solvent to usual patterns of consciousness and behavior. The "rationale" is to keep toxicity low and pleasure/pain displacement appropriate. But others approach that question with a diverse and less linear selection of means to perturb routines. This way, craving for one "kick" or "behavioral loop" is countered by undecidability of the potential engagement of another. They increasingly start to cancel each other out and overall behavior becomes less dependent on histories of routines, pains, and pleasure, as a broader, "less literal" history of how somebody engages pleasure and pain starts to emerge and... This is no rainbow I'm talking about btw: we're talking poisonous plants and propositions here. Ok, sometimes you DO find rainbows, but if you come looking for them you might find the drain of your consciousness bathtub clogged by years of grimy delusions in the way.

And "yes" to the woes of everybody on how exhausting these things can be: it is exhausting for mind, body, soul, or whatever identity conception you have signed a "consciousness mortgage" with. And due to the nature of the thing, you might be modifying those mortgage terms, or even switch contracts altogether. But the opportunity to try something within acceptable safety parameters (excessive Iboga does not meet this standard for me, too many toxicity markers at the interesting levels), then indeed, this is the kick of kicks: not one of some machine's favorite things, but going where you've never been before or taking someone there with you.

And having tried something, doesn't mean the machine can interpret things "correctly". Plants may make machines dream and can create moments where we escape the mortal coil and share the best moments of our lives with loved ones; but the hard work of translating said dreams to work for the machine... No plant can do or facilitate this.

But I agree with everybody that if there is unease, you can't or don't really trust your doctor, with all the wonderful things prohibition brings, like the millions of people who have to remain uncertain about what they put into their bloodstream from some shoddy lab without hygiene standards, not speaking of quality and dosage (µg scale or at least one decimal behind mg, when we are taking, especially longer duration things), then it would be more prudent to not trust the doctor. Exception is of course cannabis, where people risk only getting ripped off with oregano or being sold flower with glass particles sprayed on to look like flowering crystal.

I think the mad hatter said to the eternally late and worried rabbit in one of the Alice books something like: "But HOW could you ever have the time, if you never take it?"

“There is one class to whom reflection is a fault; is not only a fault, is a sin; is not only a sin, is an atrocity - who cannot bear to exist without their own existence dis-existencing somebody else's existence.” - Dale Pendell




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