Older blog entries for pfh (starting at number 50)

Athymhormia. Interesting disease.

Incoherent screaming.

Thesis passed.

Stapled walnut leaves to a halloween mask. Tied grass skirts to my knees and elbows. Won Narnia figurines: a child with a sword, a dwarf with a bow, and a large carnivorous predator who symbolises Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yay!

Looks like it was mostly placebo effect. Or some kind of short lasting effect. Oh well.

Commenced taking bupropion. Modafinil has been pooping out on me.

Bupropion is a re-uptake inhibitor for noradrenaline and dopamine. Being able to take any drug that buggers with dopamine directly is unusual. Most anti-depressants, for example, target seratonin and/or noradrenaline. Dopamine is taboo.

I decided to take bupropion because there seems to be some link between dopamine and sociability. A long shot. The last in a series of long shots (in one case asking more of a friend than is fair -- on reflection, doomed to fail whatever they said, it would not have fixed the core problem, just sucked them into it too).

Initial observations: yes, I do seem to be somewhat more sociable. Possibly placebo effect. Also, possibly a stimulant effect (probably noradrenaline related). So take the following comments with a pinch of salt.

Seems like I can make relevant associations more quickly, eg recall names -- I would say this is the major factor affecting sociability. In this respect, it feels similar to the modafinil.

Also, everything gets a bit "glowy". I am reminded of nicotine. I was hoping for this, so possibly a placebo effect.

Slight feeling of fug typical of anti-depressants.

21 Jun 2005 (updated 21 Jun 2005 at 00:31 UTC) »

Hmm, what's been happening?

I officially have Asperger's Syndrome (in the sense of mild autism). I got to see a real live psychologist, did a WAIS-III intelligence test, the whole bit. Apparently I'm freakishly good at duplicating block designs, and rather slow on social reasoning (as measured by a test that requires cards to be arranged in a logical story order).

Took a modafinil holiday last week. Unpleasant, but necessary. It's resensitized me nicely, and probably given my liver a much needed holiday as well. I'm even smiling again, sometimes, and the earth's gravitational field seems to have been reduced significantly.

Oh yeah, and I am making a website that includes a form to create a new species of animal :-). It does not actually create a new species though, just a database record :-(. But it is cute to have a link that says "create new species". The people who will be using the site only rarely create actual new species.

Something that's been bugging me. Two contradictory feelings: i want to be a valuable cog in society, but i don't feel like working. What's more, everything new i do seems to twist round and place demands on me that cause me pain.

There's expectations people have of brainy people. They should be able to write in a certain formal manner. They should be able to talk on the phone/IM/IRC/email without effort. Society sees a brainiac, and tries to use it in a certain way. IF you can do this THEN you can do that. Be verbally fluent and precise, basically. Indeed you MUST, because it would be such a waste if you didn't. Except i can't, or not without a lot of pain.

Like for example if i can create jigsaw puzzles that simulate cellular automata capable of universal computation i must obviously be able to explain it over the phone to someone i've never met. Talking on the phone just doesn't require that much intelligence. Stands to reason.

What it feels like is I am a tool being used badly. Like trying to chisel wood with a saw.

Not just me. I can name two other people in the exact same kind of situation. Very smart people. What happens is after a while we just back off and stop trying.

That damp pitter-patter sound you hear is the shit beginning to hit the fan. Anti-depressants make people feel agitated and suicidal. Not just children.

I feel the need to rant.

Medicine has always been pretty fucked up. It took ages to convince surgeons that washing their hands was actually quite a good idea. But now we fuck medicine up with creative statistics, thus taking things to a whole new level of fuck-up. A whole extra level of abstract, scientific, classical-statistics based, dogmatized meta-fuck.

The methods of Science are not a magic bullet. t-tests just aren't all that useful, one also has to observe and think. Insight and honesty are also required. Of course you will always invalidate the null hypothesis with enough data, but how much did you invalidate it by? Is there some simpler explanation for the results?

All those people once lying in bed feeling depressed, now up and about... did they consider that maybe that their fancy new chemical is just a stimulant of some kind?

Depression is a chemical imblanace in the brain? Pull the other one, it has bells on. Everything is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Joy and sadness and love and hate and fear, normal perception just as much as psychosis. It's all just chemicals in dis-equilibreum. To say something is caused by a chemical imblance in the brain is a statement that is both useless and misleading. Brain and mind are irrevocably entangled, thought can give rise to depression or end it... depression isn't just some physical disease. To tell people with depression such defeatist crap is really harmful and dangerous dogma.

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