All of playtherapist's Comments + Replies

Thanks for explaining that to me. It probably was two down votes in Main, as it showed up as ten points gone, and then another ten points gone shortly there after.

Some people voted this up, others down- currently it's at -1. Somehow, though, I ended up with 22 less karma points then before I posted it and it was my first post in months. Initially I mistakenly posted it to "General" instead of "Discussion". I moved it as soon as it was pointed out to me, at which point it had -1. I'm not upset, I have a thick skin, but I'm curious about how and why I lost 20 other karma points. Perhaps many people had already downloaded it when it was posted to "general" and voted it down? Either that, ... (read more)

You lost 10 points from the downvote in Main. Moving, deleting, or doing anything to a post doesn't change karma gained or lost from it, and votes on posts are worth 10 points in Main. The other 10 might be another downvote in Main before you moved, though that's a narrow time window.

It's a state, not a country, obviously- but until recently New Hampshire had not sale or income tax. The government was funded almost exclusively by real estate taxes and government run liquor stores.

I think watching people taking acting lessons must be a very good way to learn how to read others. Unfortunately, it's not something that's very convenient for most people to do. I think focusing in on the facial expressions and body language of good actresses and actors while watching movies, t.v., etc. would help, too.

I'm atypical of people on this board, as some of you might know. I found it through my son, who fits the demographics much more. I'm a clinical social worker/ child therapist- thus my name "play therapist". What I didn't see mentioned, which I think is probably a more common problem than people not using the right body language to convey what they mean to, is not picking up on the body language, tone of facial expressions and tone of voice of people you are speaking to. I don't have any easy answers about how to learn to read them, it's somethi... (read more)

Perhaps watching people taking acting lessons might help? Those people are trying to learn body language, vocalization, and effective communication, so seeing what they do when they get it right may help with learning how to read others.

Employee compensation generally includes more than just salary- there's the cost of the employers share of social security, health insurance and any other benefits. If these are included in the figures listed, then the employees salaries are considerably less. If the Singularity Institute isn't providing health insurance, than buying individual policies is a major expense for the employees. The Bay Area is also one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.

The rule of thumb I've heard is that an employee's cost to their employer is between two and three times their salary. Even if the employer is not paying benefits, they still have to carry worker's comp insurance, for example, as well as administrative overhead on managing payroll, etc.
If donation money is used to buy worktime (which is good and well), why not move to Thailand and save the world from there? :-)

In case you didn't figure it out, I thought you were making a joke. As Jimmy pointed out, I don't see "parent", because I look at his history and don't read the sequences. I have been corrected.

Mom, I keep telling you that you need to read the sequences. Many of my posts won't make much sense if you haven't, even if you do read the rest of the thread.

Alicorn was referring to the Parent link that appears under comments, which refers to the parent comment-child comment relationship. The reason you aren't seeing Parent links is because you're reading a user history page, rather than the comments feed or a comment permalink. If you follow the comment permalink from that page, you'll get a view of that comment and its replies, from which you can click Parent to go one step up the thread.

Often I'll see that someone made a comment in response to what someone said as part of a discussion. If there's an easy way to see what specifically they are responding to, without searching through the entire discussion, I haven't found it. I know that one can also click on the name of the person being responded to, but if that person does a lot of posting, it can also be difficult to find that comment. A feature whereby one could click some where and be taken to the comment being responded to, in the context of the discussion would be helpful.

Click "parent".

I didn't mention antibiotics, I said antibacterial products- I was referring to cleaners that kill all the bacteria on surfaces, thus altering what people are exposed to. Antibiotics do, also, alter the gut bacteria.

Yes, I am saying there may be links that the articles didn't mention. It's not just the higher activity level, but the increase in risky behavior.

Those are good points about effective calorie intake.

I would like to know how living in hermetically sealed environments have effected childrens' brain development. I've never seen anything published about that.

The Science Daily report on the article states

" The adult germ-free mice were observed to be more active and engaged in more 'risky' behavior than mice raised with normal microorganisms."

That's what made me think of ADHD, but I initially posted the link to the original research and the abstract doesn't mention the risky behavior. Children with ADHD are more active and take more risks. I think that's partially because many of them are less fearful and partially because they often act... (read more)

Hang on a second - how are they controlling for effective calorie intake? Intestinal bacteria steal calories, and I would expect that to affect activity level, especially in mice. The inferential distance between this study and linking antibiotics to ADHD in humans is huge. It's the wrong species; a few antibiotics aren't at all like being raised in sealed plastic and fed autoclaved food (and as far as I know the few people that do live in hermetically sealed environments don't develop ADHD more often than normal); and for that matter, higher activity level isn't the same thing as ADHD. Neither the original study nor the Science Daily article mention antibiotics or ADHD. Sorry mom, there isn't anything here to even raise it as a possibility, let alone meet the elevated standard of evidence required for making reliable conclusions about human behavior.

I'm a clinical social worker/therapist and know a bit about bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. My clients are all children and few have been given either diagnosis yet, although more will probably when they are older. I don't think that we really know yet whether avoiding medication increases ones chances of actual schizophrenia. One article I recently read actually suggested that taking anti-psychotics long term might prevent one from making a full recovery after a psychotic episode.

I do know that you should avoid certain psychoactive substances, mos... (read more)

As a clinical social worker and a therapist, I can attest to the fact that if you want to bill an insurance company for therapy you have to label the patient/client with a DSM diagnosis. If one is paying a doctor themselves for medication, there probably is a bit more leeway.

You might want to consider substituting another kind of cheese for American. I suggest this for two reasons: 1- If you have to cut it, rather than having it presliced, you'll be more mindful of how much you are eating it. 2- American cheese has more additives than other forms of cheese.

I, also, think the hummus suggestion is good. Keeping other healthy snack foods around might also be helpful- fruit, salsa, guacamole, carrot sticks or baby carrots and nuts.

Such good suggestions. Your mom must have done something right. :)

Upvoted for sharing half my genes

Interesting post. I agree that disagreement is productive and necessary for an organization to be effective. I know, however, that there are ways of disagreeing in a diplomatic way that lead to others being more likely to listen. Learning to be diplomatic takes practice, desire and good social skills. Diplomacy and social skills can be learned. By my post, I was suggesting ways one can be more diplomatic when the menu isn't to ones liking.

Oh, I'm not sure if it was clear, I was linking to agree with/amplify your point.

You might have heightened expectations, but I don't think it's realistic to expect that much. I belong to several nonprofit organizations that have meet ups with food and ask for a donation or admission charge Often it is expected for participants to bring a dish, in addition to making a donation. If invitees don't like the menu, they either usually bring something they do like tp share or don't com. If they do complain,they generally do so more discreetly or put a positive spin on it. For example, they might praise the organizers for a job well done and say they think a dinner organized around such and such dish or catered by, or held at, such and such restaurant would be great for the next event.

Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate []

Kevin, I think it's really nice of you to invite everyone and to elicit their food preferences. I live on the other coast, and have other plans. It looks to me like you have taken vegetarians into consideration. If I were invited to a party and was concerned that their was not going to be enough food that I could, or wanted to eat, I would offer to bring a dish of something that I wanted to eat- with enough to share.

I'm pretty sure I heightened expectations of perfection by saying people should pay (not me) for eating. Speaking of which, people should lower their expectations, this thing is going to be as informal as it gets. Like... I'll have adequate seating for everyone but no dining room table. My place isn't exactly set up for a dinner party and this isn't a dinner party so much as an extremely informal party at my house that happens to also have delicious food being served.

You must misunderstand why my name is "playtherapist"- which is understandable. I really am a playtherapist. I do therapy with children, using play. I get paid for playing with doll houses, sand trays, play dough, action figures, etc. with troubled little children. I help them to work out their anxiety, anger, feelings of loss, etc. using play.

Thanks. Yes, jimrandomh is definitely American, so unless David came to one of the Singularity Institute's conferences and met him there, they wouldn't have met.

p.s. Are you someone who my son has met live or just an online friend?

No, just here :-)
David Gerard is a well-known UK Wikipedian, and I have the impression jimrandomh is American, so probably the latter.

Not really. He told me about the board. When I told him I looked at his posts occasionally, he suggested I register and post myself. Then, when I told him that his post about our town's Santa program was slightly inaccurate, he said I could clarify it if I wanted to. I pointed out that I'd have to reveal my identity and he didn't have a problem with it!

I really must say, your name is hilarious.

jimrandomh's mom here. That's not exactly right. It's a town wide program, all volunteer. Parents drop off gifts at a central location on a set day. Routes are planned, each with a driver and a volunteer. The gifts are delivered on Christmas Eve. Santa comes and rings the doorbell and comes in, often posing for photos. I'm pretty sure we only did it once, when he was 4 or 5, but it made a lasting impression, he knew that Santa came to the house and was not his dad, as his dad was right there.

Upvoted for sheer weight of online pwnage. This is worse than when both my mothers discovered my LiveJournal.

Everyone's judgment and prejudices are influenced by their life experiences and, to some extent, their personalities. On just about any topic where the facts aren't entirely clear, intelligent people are not going to all agree. The directions in which they disagree will be determined by judgment and prejudices. It makes sense that people on this board will find themselves disagreeing with the same people repeatedly.

And most of which are not even possessed by humans.
Hmmm. I am able to achieve a modicum of empathy with my pet dog. I doubt that this is due to my possession of a neuron that fires when I wag my own tail.

the ability to develop empathy is tied to what have been labeled "mirror neurons". They are missing in people with autism

98% confidence that this is at least a massive oversimplification.

Supposing that you wanted to go the mirror neuron route for developing empathy in an AI, it would need a virtual body linked to its utility function. Damned if I know whether this is a reasonable path for AI development, but it would be a very handy premise for science fiction.

I just read the survey from May 2009 than jimrandomh posted a link to. I found it extremely interesting. I would guess, from the postings I've read, that the demographics haven't changed drastically since that survey was taken.

Re: IQ's- I remember from one of my psychology classes that the 98th percentile is an IQ of 130 and the 99th is 150. I find it quite believable that the average IQ on this board is in the 140's. I know my IQ is in the 98th or 99th percentile, based on how I did on other standardized tests and I feel like the dumbest person on the ... (read more)

One supplement that is now being widely prescribed is Vitamin D. Testing to see if one is Vitamin D deficient is common here in the Boston area. It is being suggested that insufficient Vitamin D is linked to multiple health ailments- autoimmune diseases and increased risk of heart attacks in particular. My doctor prescribed Vitamin D supplements for me.

I haven't found one. While searching I found comments that castration protects against testicular cancer, enlargement of the prostrate and related infections.

On the other hand, I also found a reference stating: " two studies found that the metabolic rate of spayed and neutered cats is lower than intact cats" and that ":Spayed and neutered cats have an 8.7 times greater risk of developing diabetes than intact cats"

Well, that much I can certainly believe with utter confidence.

Hi. I've been lurking here for awhile, because my son is a major contributor. I recently confessed that I was reading his posts and he urged me to register and contribute. I made my first comment a few minutes ago, in response to "What hardcore singularity believers should consider doing."

I think I'm probably atypical for this site. I'm a 58 year old, female, clinical social worker. I've worked in mental institutions, foster care for the disabled and, for the past 21 years as a play therapist with children. I'm also a part-time artist and a volunteer executive director of a non-profit organization. I'm not sure that I am a "rationalist".

I did a little Googling. It seems that cats and dogs that are castrated do live longer than those that don't, so lower testosterone might be correlated with longevity. I think, though, that the effect on patients in mental institutions may be greater than on the population as a whole. Mentally ill, institutionalized patients are often violent. Castration would tend to calm them down. It would lead to less fights, less time in isolation rooms and being treated better by the staff. That would all contribute to longer lives on average.

In any case, even if castrated individuals don't live longer, it would FEEL longer.

My vet explained that this is because a castrated (male) cat doesn't seek out risks, travel far, get into fights, or claim a large territory, as much as an non-castrated cat seeking to mate. Do you know of a study that shows castrated cats live longer controlling for environmental danger, e.g. a study of indoors-only cats?