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Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012

Universal power switch symbols are counter-intuitive. A straight line ends. It doesn't go anywhere. It should mean "stop." A circle is continuous and should mean "on". A line penetrating a circle has certain connotations that means keep it going (or coming) but definitely not "standby". How can we change this?

I want to save myself

Point taken.

Apologies to all involved, especially to DanArmak for muddying up his post.

I'd be happy to delete any comments that came across as offensive.

Beyond Smart and Stupid

Just ran across this quote from John Holt and thought it might apply to this discussion:

The true test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how to behave when we don’t know what to do.

[SEQ RERUN] Self-deception: Hypocrisy or Akrasia?

Interesting as I thought this was the most powerful point of the post:

At the very least, it is a controversial step in moral reasoning to decide that people's emotional impulses and subconscious pressures, rather than their declarative moral reasoning processes and the words that issue from their lips, constitute their "real selves". We should then call akrasia, not weakness of will, but strength of will.

When Intuitions Are Useful

I seem to recall a study that studied intuition in emergency situations such as fire fighters and ER doctors. What they determined was that the more experienced the person, the more likely the intuition was to be correct meaning that it probably wasn't intuition at all but the person's brain working on available data faster than the person was consciously aware of.

Life Extension through Diet Modification

What has always fascinated me about fasting, particularly water fasting, is the issue of cravings versus hunger. Skipping a meal or two usually produces cravings. Cravings could signal a need but more likely mean an addiction (and I'm using that definition loosely here. think coffee, salt, wheat).

My understanding is that 24 hours is the minimum for the detection of unhealthy cravings and that 3-7 days is the average time needed to overcome them. The idea that skipping meals (some even consider skipping snack-time IF) will produce beneficial effects I can only guess is the result of giving the body an unlikely time to rest.

I exercise regularly and found that exercising on the non-fasting days was not a problem.

Did you mean that fasting days?

You'll die if you do that

I get what you are saying, but this can become problematic. It's actually a daily dilemma I face: Do I do what I think is best for my child or what is acceptable by mainstream standards.

You'll die if you do that

Good to know. It reminds me of advice I read somewhere that advised not putting anything on your skin that you would worry about eating as it was going to end up inside you anyway.

Seeking advice on a moral dilemma

I choose door number 3.

This (from wiki) seems to be the closest to my working definition:

According to karma, performing positive actions results in a good condition in one's experience, whereas a negative action results in a bad effect.

For instance, mjcurzi asks around to see if anyone lost a wallet. Reactions will most likely be very positive. The result is an increased opportunity for friendships, offerings of help, status hike, etc.


mjcurzi decides to pocket the money but feels slightly guilty about it. The above potential benefits are out of the picture. That seed of guilt might turn into defensiveness that makes mjcurzi less approachable, producing the opposite effect of the first scenario. Or maybe mjcurzi just carries around this nagging feeling which is distracting. Misplaced keys. Tripping over something in the side walk. Snapping at a friend. Not being able to fully enjoy an anticipated enjoyable event. Etc.

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