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Everything posted by PhDwannabe

  1. Not to get too far afield, since is not really what you're asking, but you complicate the question by asking what we do or will have to feed astronauts. You can't just hook them up to a feedbag or give them iron rations of some kind. Astronauts, like their close cousins, submariners, need a varied and interesting diet to stave off, well, insanity. If you don't feed them well, to borrow a line from Mencken, it wouldn't be long before they raised the black flag and began to slit throats. It sounds a little bit woo, but food provides psychological nourishment as well as physical, particularly when you're floating perilously in a tube surrounded by the darkness of space. That said, add in some greens to that diet, Sorcerer. A salad, perhaps? Oh, and, since nobody else has really asked it, why exactly are you doing this?
  2. For the record, those are actual, legitimate brain regions--the orbitofrontal cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. For the record, it's still sort of gibberish.
  3. Okay. Is there credible, peer-reviewed science for that?
  4. No, Justin's correct. The most wakeful stage of the REM cycle is, well, REM. It's closest to wakefulness, and it's when you dream--lucid or not. "Only" is a tough standard to meet--there is some evidence of non-REM dreams, but they're typically vague and even more poorly recalled than REM dreams.
  5. With all the respect I can give to your knowledge of yourself, that is not a critical distinction. This is not about being "stressed," indeed, that's not the way disorders like this work. And to nitpick terms which you probably don't use in such a technical sense, I'm not talking about counseling--I'm talking about psychotherapy.
  6. kitkat: I can't make diagnoses over the internet for about a thousand different reasons, but I can tell you are describing a pretty textbook panic attack. Depending on some other experiences you may or may not be having that you didn't mention, it sounds quite strongly like panic disorder. I hope it is helpful for you to hear that the body of what you are reporting is extremely common in terms of symptom presentation--I've heard nearly identical things from many people. I can tell you that psychological science knows a lot about how this works, and psychological treatments for panic disorder are extremely efficacious, often resulting in something like 90% panic-free rates after just a few months of weekly one-hour sessions, and that these effects are typically durable, that is, they persist after treatment has been terminated (unlike the effects of essentially any psychoactive medication.) These treatments consistently beat pharmacotherapy in our best peer-reviewed literature. I can't consult with you in-depth about your difficulties, but if you'd like, I can try and help connect you to a psychologist who employs empirically supported interventions for this in your area if you'd be interested, or supply you with more information if I can. Feel free to send me a message whenever you'd like. That you should also consult your physician for whatever testing he or she might feel is appropriate also goes without saying, but it sounds like you've got some reservations about that, and any competent mental health professional I'd look up for you would tell you the same, and perhaps give you some information on "how to talk to your doctor," or speak to them directly. At any rate, get ahold of me if you'd like.
  7. Point taken, moo. Difficult sometimes to describe why something isn't scientific, since that's sort of negative evidence. It's junk because it's had decades of opportunity to empirically validate itself, and it hasn't. I'll just let SkepDic handle this one for me. Read up if you like, but to be honest, NLP is actually a fairly boring variety of pseudoscience. Lot's of wordy pop neuropsych. Yawn. I'd much rather here about the shape-shifting lizards who are running the world.
  8. You might want to narrow this question down a bit. This is sort of the equivalent of a chem question like "what is the scientific explanation of molecules." Also: is a quack pseudoscientific theory. That one, at least, I can explain real quick.
  9. Augh, sweet jesus, I hope that's sarcasm.
  10. Make up your own answer, then. Everyone else does.
  11. The World of Psychology doesn't exactly speak in a unanimous voice. 20 different answers. Not a one of them halfway decent.
  12. Yes. But "possible" is not a difficult bar to cross. It is not probable. It is more probable that this can occur with medication. It is yet more probably if you replace "completely" with "relatively." Nope.
  13. You weren't asking me. But my answer is "no."
  14. I really do want you to answer this question, which can be covered, I think, with a simple yes or no. Do you really believe that it is plausible that the US government orchestrated the demolition of the World Trade Center, by some means other than fuel-loaded jets, and has managed to keep this secret—which literally thousands of people would almost certainly have to be in on—for a decade without any credible source coming forward and outing this plot to the national media or populace, without any clear smoking-gun evidence widely accepted by not even just large government science agencies but the thousands of independent scientists in the country who owe no specific allegiance to the US government, without any documents widely accepted as valid, without any tape recordings or e-mails which unequivocally or even largely point towards a government plan to demolish one of the largest offices in the world in what seems like a vastly and unbelievably unnecessary—indeed, cartoon villainous, almost Michael Bay-esque—step towards the acquisition of "authoritative power," seemingly with well-placed explosives, in the middle of Manhattan on a Tuesday morning?
  15. More classical behavioral theories, I think, try to do things pretty well without a mind. More familiar "radical behaviorism" that has influenced a lot of the modern treatments, well yeah, it simply sees covert events as being governed lawfully in the same manner as overt ones. Your note is well-taken.
  16. He doesn't need evidence that no explosive residues were found. That's negative evidence and it's not evidence. Do you have evidence no unicorn horns were found in the rubble? A great amount of what they call gypsum dust covered the site--they said it was from drywall, but calcium sulfate is also an important component of unicorn horn, which supports my unicorn theory.
  17. Science proves it, does it? And yet, Weird that they could prove it while they were so busy ignoring it. And speaking of ignoring it, have you read the NIST reports? It doesn't look ignored to me. It looks, rather, like you have a bunch of questions that were comprehensively answered years ago, and have ignored or been ignorant of the scientific investigations which have provided lengthy, informed responses to them. Do you have some kind of commentary on the content of the NIST reports or other professional scientific investigations into the means of the collapse of the WTC? I want to make something clear. You are a, as they call them, "conspiracy theorist." You are talking about something which, if it truly happened, would essentially require a massive coverup by a government or some kind of enormously powerful nonstate actor. The content of this conspiracy may seem different to you than the beliefs of most 9/11 "truthers." But when you blast through the gate with a statement like "science proves twin towers were demolished" by some means other than two jet airliners (which is just patently false, since this "science" thing you're speaking of is a massive community whose findings you don't get to independently make pronouncements about) and then, instead of evidence, basically make argumenta ad ignorantiam--the existing story can't explain this and that, so it must be this theory I have instead--and apparently just skip over entirely the actual science that's been done on the topic... yeah. I'm sorry to have to be the one to break it to you. You're a conspiracy theorist.
  18. Ah, yes, the classic question medieval theologians went round and round with for hundreds of years: could God construct a toaster so powerful that it toasted bread to such excessive blackness that even He couldn't bear to eat it?
  19. I think I've mentioning it in IRC before to someone, but if anyone is interested, "The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology" and "Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels" both by Bruce Malina are incredible books. They're essentially about the cultural meaning of the words and concepts in the NT. For instance, when Jesus says it's wrong to divorce someone, what exactly did he mean by "divorce"--what happened to people when that happened? Because to look at that word "divorce" in the 21st century is to understand something extremely different than what was meant. (The basis of his point, which he hammers home for the first few weeks of the class I took with him, is that "words carry no meaning; culture carries the meaning.") Also, lots of interesting things about the way words and numbers were used--for instance, the tradition at the time of using numbers as sort of symbolic adjectives: "40" means "real damn long time," for instance, and that long tie is particularly connoted by burden or struggle. It doesn't mean "40." A reader at the time would've gotten that. So, they didn't read it as "Jesus spent 40 days in the desert;" a better translation that would hit closer to the original understanding is simply, "Jesus spent a long time in the desert and it wasn't terribly fun." Much of the book is about the "honor-shame" social system of the ancient eastern Med--how most social interactions are status transactions involving growth, shrinkage, investments of, or some kind of exchange of honor between persons of typically measurably unequal status: a patron and client. The god of the NT is frequently described in terms of the super-patron, and much of what is said about him is in the language of client requests. (You can tell they're asking him something when passive voice is being used, since that grammatical voice made it easier to avoid writing his name, which was of course a no-no. Thus, Malina say something like "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" means something to the effect of "come down here and tear things up hardcore to keep your promises as patron and improve the status of your clients," etc. It's an expression of messianic/apocalyptic longing, basically.) I could go on rambling about these books for a while. The first is more general about these points, the second is essentially a verse-by-verse annotation along the lines of what I was describing. One of the better classes I've ever taken, and absolutely great books. Shame you can't hear the guy in person--one of the most classically cranky professorial voices I've ever heard. A joy.
  20. I don't want to be an ass, here, but... perhaps it means the story was made up by relatively unimaginative Bronze Age desert people who didn't really have the same concerns about narrative consistency and clear operationalization of terms that we do? It's just a thought.
  21. I'm not sure how seriously you meant this, but this exact quote is actually a nicely illustrative example of the presentistic, teleological lens people often view evolution through. I think we underestimate the extent to which people are suspicious of evolution as a result of this. "If natural selection perfects everything, how come I don't have wings, because that would be awesome and confer a survival advantage because I'd be able to escape predators and go cool places. Surely I'd have that if evolution were real." Only, it doesn't work that way--it's not pointed in any direction, because there's nobody directing it. StringJunky's points are important ones that a lot of people don't seem to get. (For the record, I'm not suggesting that the OP is a dirty evolution denialist--it could also be an honest, curious, hypothetical inquiry.)
  22. Someone finally post that video from your honeymoon? Oh. Just that, then.
  23. Yes, good. This is a great time to start up the process. A lot of students get that APA guide as a Christmas (er, Hanukkah) present in preparation for the next year months of preparation and figuring things out. If she's like me, she'd do anything to get that PhD. Even lie to physicists. The more grad students she can talk to, the better, so I hope she knows a few--there's just no substitute for hearing about all the nuances from someone who has recently been though/is in the process. Moo, you've got my gmail, so feel free to have your sister e-mail me if she has questions that come up on this long, long, long road. One of the keys to success here is to talk to as many people as possible: students, professors, everyone. Oh, and along the lines of what I told you in chat, I sure hope she studies PTSD. "I want into a PTSD lab, I'm Israeli" is not too far off from "I'd like to work at your watch factory. I'm Swiss." Bonus points.
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