Monday, June 27, 2016

Life after death

Life after death is a religious/fabulous concept that requires faith in a fabulous concept. Note that I use fabulous in the same scene as Thomas Paine did 250 year ago, to imply a factitious concept or if you prefer a fictions concept. Not real concept, but just a concept.

The closest we come to life after death is in the memory to those who life we have touched in a substantial way. We can also leave people with beliefs, resentments and behaviors they will need to recover from to become fully correct, true evidence based human. Although you may be remembered for these, it will not be in a good way.

The old Greeks thought that as long as you were remembered, you were not completely dead, as an approach to life after death. That is likely the best you can come to in reality.

Now that I have said that, perhaps I can move on to this issue of intentional overeating, where a we intended to overeat for some reason, and now that the reason is passed, we are left with the encoded behavior to deal with. It seems that this is the same as so over driven physical desire, and all we can do is forceful not eating. With Labrador Retrievers that have the overeating gene, all one can do is cut there food and control them by a shortage of food, feeding them only twice each day and a carrot or chew bar each day. To start, the food is generally cut in half. But can I do that to myself, and stick to that program?      

Monday, June 20, 2016

Was my overeating intentional?

Was my overeating intentional? It certainly became automatic, like most other skills learned in childhood. Modern child studies indicate that much of our personality and automatic behaviors have formed by the age of seven. So how much of those trained in and genetic characteristics can be change in life, and do we automatically revert to those behaviors as soon as the effort to change is relaxed. It certainly seems so. That would explain why it is so difficult to maintain weight loss; the behaviors that lead to weight loss must be maintained indefinitely to maintain the weight loss. As our metabolism slows, the amount of food consumed much also decline to match the slowed metabolism. So it is a never ending battle to eat less, as this natural drive to eat must be crushed, and any encoded behaviors must also be crushed.

So why would I have developed the over driven desire to eat? The usual suspects, stress, discomfort, emotional issues, personality issues, behavior issues, crap environment, free-range food rich environment, isolation from other male children except for a few hours per week, ignored by the adults, who knows?  Well somehow I may have gotten the idea that eating more food and growing up would be a good thing, and I was off to the races. Is this a common issue among the obese youth today? Seems so visually, and by example, but that is just anecdote. Anecdotal evidence is a derogatory term used to put down examples. So science just says no, there is no study to prove it, so we will not look or try to help. So I will call Pigshit and walk away.

We overeaters are a self selecting bunch who do not know why we overeat, are unable to correct the behavior, or want to overeat. What other choices are there? So if I want to overeat for the benefits of overeating, what ever those may be, but do not want the obesity, I am caught between a rock and a hard place with no logical solution.The only available solution is to stop eating and learn to deal with the drive to eat, which does not lessen, and does not go away. All those that say it will become habit are full of it; the drive to overeat is stronger than it ever has been in the past, and I am losing the battle.

Understanding that at one time I may have made a conscious decision to overeat has not made it easier or provide a obvious path to removal of the urge to eat/overeat. It remains entrenched. I expect it is as entrenched as the sexual desires are. This is to suggest that these are natural survival instincts that have gone overboard for what ever reasons. Some of it may be our environment contamination and trace chemical sensitivities. That is the physiological. Some of it is likely psychological, and some is philosophical, our belief system. Investing time in development of our belief system may be the push that helps some OA people. To bad their chosen belief system is just wrong, otherwise it could provide some help. There is no point in debating with those who will not understand real legal evidence concept to as applied to science.

So what have I concluded from all this failing? That there is a chance that my overeating problem started as a conscious decision to eat/overeat, for a possible desire to grow big and strong. It became encoded, and that lead to a screwed up survival instinct. The only solution is still to stop overeating, to remain unsatisfied, and craving and or hungry with an unsatisfied survival instinct. Oh well, in the end we all just die.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

What gives our life meaning?

What gives our life meaning is one of those questions that is designed to look like a real question, but is really hollow. This is a skin of the onion questions. On the surface we are all chasing after some concept of what life should be; a delusion. This is the cause of stress in our life; the "chase" after some mystical concept. When we stop and look, the cause is really nearly empty, we are just treading water to keep afloat on this delusion. All we really have is the present moment.

Now my memory is getting much worse. I can sit down and figure our what I feel at this moment and walk across the room and not recall what it was that I was feeling or thinking. My short term working memory is just not there anymore. It never was good, but now it is just not there. This is weird to me. I need to write it down to recall it, yet my ability to recall word spelling is rather limited also, to only the most familiar of words.

Having studdied Stoicism as a general philosophy of life, the desires are gone, and the aversions are in order. Ethics are not a problem, for age has helped with that. There is little that drives me hard, other than commitments to maintenance of my own property's, and even those do not drive me like they did. I just do not care about much.

In the bigger picture, I recognize that we all are just opportunistic organisms whirling about on a big rock in space, so it does not matter much. There is no plan, no cosmic purpose, until we choose one.  The most important issue mankind faces is how to get along and not kill off those who offend us. Many of those who offend us simply do not believe as we do, and that is the foundation of their desire to kill off those who do not believe as they do. It is that simple. The foundation of society must be founded on truth and evidence; there is little else that can work that is not arbitrary. Until something is fixed and standards defined, little can be developed that could be accepted by all.

So what gives meaning to life? I am a truth seeking person. Reason holds power over story, yet. at the same time, my mind need story to operate. Cognitive dissonance what? Oh well, we all die in the end. We each have our own end.     

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Glenn Livingston Pig

"What is a Glenn Livingston Pig?" is the natural question, unless you have read Never Binge Again. This book defines what the problem is that I have had all my life and was unable to clearly name. I knew it was a encoded residual survival drive to overeat, likely as a result of some emotional, stress related or intentional reason to overeat in childhood becoming encoded. The book provides the name for the problem, and the only solution I have ever seen for treating this problem with a simple philosophy. To some, this philosophy may come automatically, but it did not to me.

This Pig is a natural survival instinct in overdrive. It resides in the automatic part of the brain, either primal or unconscious portion. The solution is to move the process into the conscious part of the brain, where the conscious part of us can deal with the problem, and to do this in a full time real time basis.

I have beaten food addiction. That was tough, as was the stress driven overeating, or emotional overeating. Those are eating as a result of feelings that are not hunger. Of course, I also need to learn a bit about food as well.

I grew up in a food rich environment, where there was no shortage of food...ever. Nothing else was in abundance, but there always was food and work. No money, just food and work. It is not clear to me if my overeating was intentional or emotional, but at a young age I became fixated on eating. That is for sure. Once I recovered from food addiction, and desired to stop overeating, the mental drive was locked in. Now what? How does one deprogram an encoded behavior? I liken it to turning a gay straight or a straight gay. Now Glenn Livingston has described a method.

Now does it work long term? Only time will tell. Now just listen to that Pig squeal.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yah, But....

Every one has the right to believe what ever they want, even if it is wrong. That shows the basic problem; if we are truth seeking, what do we use as the decision criteria for belief? If we are not truth seeking, but belief based, it does not matter anyway.

If we are truth seeking, evidence and decision criteria develop importance. So does the questions we try to answer? It it a valid question? Is the question real or hypothetical? Does the answer have any real impact? Just because the mind can conceive a question, does not mean that the question or answer is of any real value anyway.

What is the purpose of life? Well we are just opportunistic organisms whirling around on a big rock, trying to pass on our genes to the next generation, and help others to pass on our genes, and human genes in general. Our real purpose is reproduction, but we humans want a headier explanation. 'The human species must improve, grow in complexity, give all an equal chance, to prosper, develop flow, and mass populations. But now we have overloaded this environment and are starting to see early clear signs of the environment failure that will cause mass die off of the human species. I am not saying extinction, but great reduction in numbers. We humans reproduce too well. War is one solution. Civil war... over religion lines...who is right...

Food shortages as the ocean die off may reduce populations. Cannibalism may arise, and as a result with CJV. Antibiotic resistant viruses and drug resistant germs and bacteria, parasites of various forms...   

Local overpopulation has long a problem. Some societies have used religion as a "solution". Celibate monks and nuns for example. Parts of Borneo used castration, but that is not effective, only for selection of the breeding males. Easter Island cut down all the big trees, and lost ocean travel boats, and turned to cannibalism for protein. Change is the only thing that we know for sure will happen.

What gives meaning to our life? Well my parents were "not of the same species", aka, they produce no grand generation. End of the line as it is. Well family does not provide meaning for sure. I was not raised in a environment that valued family much either. Education of myself and any that will listen is all I have to hang onto. Truth seeking (aka science) as it were, is what provides some of my motivation. Living is an ongoing struggle in this climate of untruths, with religions and belief systems dominating much. This is made worse by our own natural resistance to change, which is part of our natural makeup. So change is a move against our very nature.  Change is a slow and step wise process, that can and must happen. It is directing that change is the real issue. Oh well, what do I know?   

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Free will... a chistian problem

Sam Harris has a video on the subject. But as I see it, this is a christian logic problem. We who have read the stoics recognize that free will could only apply to the things we have complete control over; that short list of ours, assent, desire, motivation to act, and after owning our beliefs, our own beliefs. Free will cannot apply to those things we have only influence over, and those things which we have no control over. Of those things we do have control over, it is only the available choices we need consider. So by all this, we have defined what we have free will over, as Sam Harris goes on for most of an hour.

On a related subject, vein diagrams of skills. We may need two skills or three skills to deal with a problem. Add to that that that a skill can be near automatic, aka learned as a child, or we may need to learn it. Those who learned it to the point of automation often make poor teachers. They are not able to explain the root principals that the older student does not understand, or have. That is likely the problem with teaching science and maths. The other problem is the student may need to unlearn wrong religious information first. Think evolution vs creation, myth vs facts. Oh well. Shit happens.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stoic, Buddhism vs PP got me thinking. Professors always think their subject is the most important thing, and often that they know best. The rest of us fact the real world. Oh well, shit happens, and when it does....

Moral character is necessary and sufficient for a good life, but that just keeps us out of the negative attitude, into a low neutral position. We can function well at this level. Some of those preferred thing, adequate housing, food, employment, income and the like raise us to the high neutral or positive state, if our expectations do not get too high. Our expectations shift the neutral position higher through hedonistic adaption. This is often the problem, our expectations get too high and we think we are in the negative, when in fact we are leading the good life. Oh well. People who think or say "you can be anything your want to be" are typical of creating the problem, raising expectations above reality.

Positive Psychology is an attempt to make this science, to generate more work and money for psychologists. It is working, and can raise some people to a new high, but if they cannot maintain it they crash, a hard landing concept. How we the people, feel, is more a function of where our expectations are, rather that there actually conditions. Lowering of our expectations is what Stoicism, Buddhism, and the like are about, whereas psychology and positive psychology specifically is about generating an artificial high. So with balance in our lives we can lower expectations, the zero mark, to maintain a positive state at all times.

If we have moral character we can think that "if there was wrong done, it was not done by us, at least not intentionally." This attitude fosters satisfaction and removes all guilt, and can build a false ego, if taken to far. It can be true, and produce satisfaction, meaning, engagement, and stoic joy; the stoic good life, also PP flow. Anything further we obtain is just gravy. This is the foundation of positive psychology.

Relationships with other people is all good and fun if you want them, but it can also create difficulties. Epicurus and others suggested that we stay out of public life to avoid those entanglements, yet Epicurus lived and ran a commune. Cicero states "When a man is able to communicate with himself, he has little need of company." So just depending on what we each personally like, relationships can go from a full public life to the hermit, and all be happy, satisfied, at peace with ourselves.

We can be happy as long as we are doing better than our expectation. It is our expectations that are the root cause of our discomfort. This is the part of the first noble truth of Buddha.