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DarthMetaKnight
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26 Mar 2018, 7:39 pm

Some people think that, in the future, we will know so much about the human brain that we will create happiness through powerful drugs alone. In other words, medicine will create a world in which happiness is purely biochemical and no longer needs to come from other sources.

In other words, soma from Brave New World could one day be real.

Here's the thing: Wouldn't this erase all of human society? If we could just get a feeling of positivity from a drug, this would effectively erase art, religion, philosophy, politics, fashion, sex, and everything else. Soma would probably also erase further technological growth because, with soma, people would no longer desire anything but soma. All of human society and life would be structured around the all-encompassing nectar of the gods.

This is the real reason why humanity will probably never explore the galaxy. At some point, we will generate happiness biochemically and then lose the desire for space travel. I will admit that generating fulfilling happiness biochemically would be difficult, but it would likely be far easier than travelling across the galaxy. Think about the effort it would require to travel to distant stars, and then compare that to the effort it would require to alter the human brain. Perhaps that's the real reason why we haven't found aliens yet. Perhaps it is the ultimate destiny of every civilised species to not travel the galaxy, but, instead, to independently invent soma.

Could this happen? Would this be good or bad?


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Noca
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26 Mar 2018, 8:46 pm

The drug Soma already exists, it the brand name for the muscle relaxant Carisoprodol :P


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26 Mar 2018, 8:58 pm

With a lot of things like this I think there might be some naive assumptions hidden away in the structure of the question. Not necessarily your fault, just that as someone who has tried his fair share of hallucinogens, dissociatives, MDMA, etc I'd have to argue that the most enjoyable aspect of these substances are what they point at rather than what they provide in and of themselves. Even the same substances, LSD for example, can give absolutely beautiful experiences up front but as you mine the LIFO layers of your own subconscious you'll find more and more of what's been dwelling in the catacombs. It's not even that what some people would call a 'bad trip' is necessarily bad information or an experience you'd regret having - it can be something very true and worth knowing but it's dealt in an almost traumatic manner.

Any which way it seems like our minds are built for certain kinds of operations and when and if our own deeper structures get the impression that we're trying to wring them purely for pleasure they have their own way of running interference on that. It could be that it's nothing deeper than a genetic problem and maybe it's a problem that CRISPR Cas9 could solve - it could be, or that could turn out to be equally naive in it's own right.

The painful thing I suppose is just how little we understand about consciousness and all the weird stuff that kicks off around the liminal borders just makes the experience of being all the more moody and haunted in flavor.


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27 Mar 2018, 2:29 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LdUme7QZLY

As Far as 'Soma' Goes, and a 'Brave New World';
it's here; and direct enough evidence is one can find
Soft to Hard Core Porn of the current President's Wife and Two
of his Mistresses online for Free in literally Hundreds of Photos
and Action Shoots too. For me at least, a Secret to Lasting Happiness
in both Dark and Light now is to never leave boot camp even if one has never been
in the Military; as just a Metaphor that's Real as Science Literally Shows Humans are
Evolved like all other Animals in the Wild for Intermittent Gratification where Work is the
Path to the Bliss of Animal Homeostasis after the Jobs of Forage and Reproduction and
Finding Shelter are done after a Satisfying Meal that does not include all the fats and sugars
and Alcoholic Drinks one can and will Consume at a Pizza Parlor browsing a New Naked Woman
in every compromising and Hopefully Consensual Position of Activity as that comes and goes too
for every "Old Muslim Man's" Dream
of 72 Virgin Looking Women
in a Hadith of Heaven complete.
What else; oh yeah, there's the 'Kiss of Jesus'
as studies show that in the Most Fundamental Bible
Belts come the highest levels of both Opiate Addiction
and Porn too; and in general misery loves company where at
one time, the Religious Dancing and Singing holding Hands together
was enough when folks had Social Roles and Statuses that really meant
something where folks could actually touch the end-products that brought
Greater General Subsistence Tools to get the Job of Forage done. No; it's not a Brave
New World; for it is a World where Physical Education is no longer even required after
9th Grade; where Data Download Mind is the Price for living now; so, yes, there are Many
Boot Camps going on that involve no blood or sweat; but yes, growing depression and tears
as Humans no longer move and connect and co-create with others. And yes, what Science suggests
is a main source of the Disease of Addiction for Children who were/are Ignored, Neglected, and or Abused
by Parents and Peers from Child to Adulthood too. It's true, down "30 to 40 Percent Avenue" of the United
States Misery Enjoys Company Lives even Worse with the Addictions that have come to be as the Disease
of Addiction replaces once what was the Science assessed Number One Factor for Happiness now that is the
Human Connection of Dancing and Singing and Working Together for Common Holy and Sacred Full of Meaning
And Purpose Activities of Life
that Are A ReaL FuLFiLLinG
'Pill'
that
never needs
anything but
the Heaven within and
ToGeTHeR oF Course too;
It's true we are hard wired for
Both Struggle and Heaven; leave
out the dark or light and voila; the other
place comes from DArkest Abyss to Purgatory
SHades more. 'Real Soma' Takes Work and reaLiTy also known
as Nature and in some Corners used as a Metaphor for "God"
as nicely illustrated from a Dude in a Ted Talk in the Attached
YT Video that sees God as ReaLiTy as Nature as I do when we get all of
Life Together as a Real Endeavor of Moving Connecting and Co-Creating
that is Holy and Sacred, Full of Meaning and Purpose; and to be clear now; the Holy
and Sacred Part is Respecting and Honoring/Doing all the perks that already live. As in
all stuff, Moderation; And surely, I can't imagine a more stimulating pill that is an all one
can/will consume Platter of the Consensual leaning opposite Sex; except, Dance of Course
with Emotional/Sensory Inspiring Music too; as that never gets old to me NoW iN Ascendent
Transcendent Ecstatic Ways of NoW ALWaYS Feeling and Sensing iN Creating New Emotions
as Colors of Moving LiFE; but also, the Real Science Assessed Benefit of Building Grey Matter
in most parts of the Brain; except the Amygdala, where Grey matter actually is reduced
where in effect for one who gains Proper Bio-Feed back and the Intelligence of
Moving Connecting Co-Creating ways of Dance and Song in LiFE, one Directs
Waves of their own Emotions and Senses as Bliss and Nirvana
lives 'right' inside
at the 'finger tips'
of Personal Mastery
And that takes a Boot Camp
that never ends, 'till last Blink of
Life; but Heaven's worth it when that
Play of Life is You as the Director and
Producer and Actor too; anyway, more
evidence from Jonathan Haidt on the ways
Humans open Doors for that Elevated Human
Experience; as attached Below in YouTube Link way, too.
What I accomplished in Moving Meditation was inspiration
enough as I've said before; where my Original Psychiatrist of 7 years
and 7 Months attempted to help me through 19 total Medical Disorders, who
could bring no Pill other than Ativan to put me to sleep at night to escape pain;
as he actually Quit His practice, Seeing that Moving Meditation was a Better Answer
then, to Teach at a Hospital in South Florida that Actually Works and is all Natural too.
And this is no pipe dream or woo for Doctors do not write out Prescriptions for a Remedy
And Cure for potential symptoms of out of 'range' Emotions and Sensory Experiences of Life
Unless Science backs up the Prescription now. For it's true, when I do this therapy for Bliss and
Nirvana and Heaven, everywhere I go; as some other folks might term my all Natural Soma as just
Stimming too that works, just like Trans Cranial Magnetic Therapy too as it lights the entire brain up
And Grows the Grey Matter up as even in Still Meditation for those who practice that way of life versus
those who do not; a Fifty-Year Old Brain may more reflect the Health and Youth of a 25 Year-old Brain now;
most anyone can and will move in a spiral of free form dance if they are not afraid of people who insist they
move in Straight Line way as it's true; Science Shows that even Doodling in Spiral Lines increases Connections
in the Brain and Creativity too; out of the Box of Lines as the way I am Writing now is making me smARTer now
ALWays with emphasis on Art too. It's true, doubt it not; for those who do the actual research; Science Proves
that a Religion of Life in Routine and Newer and older Traditions that still works is a Religion of Life That
Does indeed Bind a Bond of Happiness and or Heaven within; generally speaking, the semantics
of Secular and Religious Terms can and will Hold Hands for those who are not so closed
minded and bodied that they refuse to step out of the Soul Cages that hold
them Back from Happiness
now that's real and
works; best part of all is,
it's free; and that's all it costs
is works; nope, no magic incantations
of John 3:16 or Romans 10:9; just real
Heaven within as Scientifically Evidenced now.
Anyway, the worst thing that could happen is one might get healthier now.
Thing is, too; there's instant gratification just waiting to take the Heaven out of Balance too.
'Real Soma' isn't
Free without Work;
don't take my word for it
alone of course; as the Research
and the Studies are clear enough to
understand in straight lines and sentences too;
just not nearly as Happy as little old me with my Art and Science
Hats
full
in Balance
as Mind and Body ReaLiTY SoUL NoW;
It's True, in my case at least, it's a ReaLiTY SHoW, too;
i am no Apprentice For I Master Heaven where 'Trumps'
Have Zero point clue
in the
'other
places' for now;
It's true, too, as in some cases, some folks like 'Jordan Peterson'
may imply that we are still mostly just Lobsters 'competing against
each other'; and although he acknowledges the Ascendent Transcendent
and Ecstatic Experiences of Life Now; add in the Word Religion or not for
the Bio and Neuro-Chemistry at Essence is indeed the similar to same now
and different too; as even Sam Harris and Russell Brand with much different
Language for the Yogi-like Experience do relate the essence is real at core, beneficial now.
Sadly Haidt, is the only one who mentions a Spiraling Dance all Natural as Effective; sure beats
War and
boring
still
Meditation
as far as the
ADHD of me is concerned
for with this practice of life;
i am focused with practically
no limits; compared to my peers
at least; some of which/who, have already
fallen to opiates and other addictions of life out of control;
or, are just sitting around frowny faced barely able to move.
Meanwhile, i've got a Photo Album of 300 more Beautiful Smiling
Selfie 18 to 21 Year old Women doing Selfie Autographs with me
from the Metro Dance Hall as i've done that as a practice of 6 month
increments for the last 4 years now as this week is my 206th Thursday
Night Week of doing just that; The Perks of Dance are literally life in my estimation
now; who knew 'then', I would ever learn the most important Instinct with Intuition with
no books at all; and verily no pills at all, too. I feel it, I Sense 'it' and that'S how Heaven comes best;
Work
For
Free;
at least for me.
Anyway, thanks for the
'Soma Topic', on the 'Wrong Planet';
always fully engaging as my Mind
and Body Lights Up More as ReaL SouL NoW
iN A Brave New World that is 'The Good Place', NoW..:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MYsx6WArKY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QeTWVw9Fm4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh6hv4wssSQ


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shlaifu
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27 Mar 2018, 4:08 pm

well ... soma leads to a brave new world, a world of a vapid, distracted, highly stratified but docile society.
we're headed there.


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Dataunit
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29 Apr 2018, 12:28 pm

MDMA, ketamine and benzodiazepines do make people happy, irrespective of their circumstances, so they're similar to soma. MDMA and ketamine are rapid-acting antidepressants, as well as working against depersonalisation, and benzos work against states of anxiety and anger.

MDMA and other amfetamines* wouldn't eradicate the desire for space exploration; if anything, they might enhance it.

I'm not sure you're right (but you're not necessarily wrong either) in saying that the ideal soma** would kill art, philosophy or science. If it could help depressed people, it could even improve productivity. Depression is a huge burden on economic prosperity: getting rid of it would release all sorts of talent and hard work.

Soma would only destroy human curiosity and ambition if it had a benzodiazepine/opiate effect, or if its long-term use caused psychosis as amfetamines do, which doesn't seem to be what Huxley was alluding to.

*I know most people spell it "amphetamines" but my pharmacology textbook uses an 'f' and I prefer that :P
**which doesn't have the nasty amfetamine/benzo side-effects


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29 Apr 2018, 12:41 pm

The thing that's really been neat about MDMA is what it's been able to do for people with PTSD. I've been financially supporting MAPS where I can because I think our take on hallucinogens as well as MDMA as things that bad people obliterate themselves on, right along with heroin and meth, are pathetic escapes from reality that people need to be ruined for. The kind of self-knowledge people can get with things like LSD and like are breathtaking.

The thing I'd add though, I was thinking about the soma situation, and realizing that we'd probably keep it as a medicine for either those disaffected enough to have it go dark or, alternately, people who have a need to bully to the point of distorting reality around them. I have a feeling, if we really think the DSM through, we'll probably either shift it away from being purely a 'whether or not someone can function or has painful functioning' type of thing and more toward questions of long-term survival and how pernicious certain behaviors are to others, even if the person who has them sleeps great at night, feels great in the morning, and wakes up to inflict their greatness onto the world. That clearly could get dangerous in the social control direction but I also think if humanity's survival of its own technologies, when paired with its evolutionary dominance and zero-sum competitive tendencies, comes into question there could be enough eyes on the matter that it would get the kind of public attention (and rightful/proper anxiety with respect to corruption) that it would come out the other side with enough checks and balances to at least keep it on the rails long enough to solidify without turning into something draconian or totalitarian. The danger would be of course that it could slowly drift draconian or totalitarian, incremental change is something people have a terrible time mustering the motivation to deal with, but I do think we could find ourselves at that point in our lifetimes where behavior hazardous to humanity, even if it makes someone highly successful in the short term, gets thrown either into the DSM or perhaps some other equal-but-opposite manual.


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29 Apr 2018, 1:45 pm

Soma is most likely ephedra or ephedra extract compounded with opium and/or hashish, at least historically. The words haoma and soma are cognates and haoma is still used to refer to ephedra plants.



shlaifu
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05 May 2018, 5:48 pm

Huxley himself commented that Soma is fictional - not in it's function, but in it's properties. A single substance that's a stimulant, depressant, anti-depressant, tranquilizer and psychedelic. So, let's talk about function: well, technically, you can have specific drugs for all these purposes. They're not as perfect, but then: the culture we have around something like alcohol is largely similar: its use is socially encouraged to a certain degree. while overconsumption is discou-raged and for the majority that is effective - yes, there are people who overconsume, damaging themselves etc. like the mother of the savage ( I forgot her name) in the book.
But even though soma is near perfect, and it still can be destructively overconsumed, the alphas still do their job.

mankind however will probably not explore space. machines will. dna is too vulnerable to cosmic radiation. sorry. mankind will go to mars, but die there.


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05 May 2018, 6:53 pm

I remember back from my raver days, ie. around 20 (2000'ish) that a lot of my friends talked about the five neurological pathways - ie. stimulant, opioid, depressant, psychedelic, cannabinoid. I don't know if that categorization might be terribly cliched or roundly debunked in that there may be more or a few of these might not be as entirely separate as people might have imagined them. Similar rumors hit me as well that dissociatives covered a wider range of these pathways and that DXM was rumored to be as such.

I think they all have their own tools but with a particular catch - I think we may want to perhaps inform our guidelines of what's use vs. abuse on whether people are trying to go toward themselves or obliterate/run away. If we took that line seriously and use things like psychedelics therapeutically more often, its hard to tell how much we'd change as a culture but I really get the impression that far more people would have a firmer grasp on what sorts of nasty social habits make the world a worse place and certain kinds of doministic and cut-throat 'dog eats dog' ethics would likely become frowned upon for their reality and integrity-distorting effects on a broad and deep enough basis to curtail it's prevalence in our culture in favor of deeper dedication to collaborative aims both in work and competition. In a lot of ways I do think psychedelics could be a significant prong of Bret Weinstein's 'game b' in that the knowledge they bring gives the incentive toward integrity as people get to see their real selves and really grapple with the question of 'would I want to be this sort of person for the rest of my life?'.


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06 May 2018, 11:35 am

DarthMetaKnight wrote:

Here's the thing: Wouldn't this erase all of human society? If we could just get a feeling of positivity from a drug, this would effectively erase art, religion, philosophy, politics, fashion, sex, and everything else. Soma would probably also erase further technological growth because, with soma, people would no longer desire anything but soma. All of human society and life would be structured around the all-encompassing nectar of the gods.
Only if you assume people only want to pursue happiness.



shlaifu
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13 May 2018, 12:13 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
I remember back from my raver days, ie. around 20 (2000'ish) that a lot of my friends talked about the five neurological pathways - ie. stimulant, opioid, depressant, psychedelic, cannabinoid. I don't know if that categorization might be terribly cliched or roundly debunked in that there may be more or a few of these might not be as entirely separate as people might have imagined them. Similar rumors hit me as well that dissociatives covered a wider range of these pathways and that DXM was rumored to be as such.

I think they all have their own tools but with a particular catch - I think we may want to perhaps inform our guidelines of what's use vs. abuse on whether people are trying to go toward themselves or obliterate/run away. If we took that line seriously and use things like psychedelics therapeutically more often, its hard to tell how much we'd change as a culture but I really get the impression that far more people would have a firmer grasp on what sorts of nasty social habits make the world a worse place and certain kinds of doministic and cut-throat 'dog eats dog' ethics would likely become frowned upon for their reality and integrity-distorting effects on a broad and deep enough basis to curtail it's prevalence in our culture in favor of deeper dedication to collaborative aims both in work and competition. In a lot of ways I do think psychedelics could be a significant prong of Bret Weinstein's 'game b' in that the knowledge they bring gives the incentive toward integrity as people get to see their real selves and really grapple with the question of 'would I want to be this sort of person for the rest of my life?'.


well... our society isn't really set up to reward people for integrity. Almost the opposite. And to set it in a different way, it feels like it already had to be set up towards integrity in the first place.
Meaning, we all get raised to not lie, cheat, and steal. But by the time we're thirty, those seem ideals that lead towards a lower position in the dominance hierarchy. My immediate social environment may reward my personal integrity, but society as a whole tends to reward people without taking personal integrity into account.


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