Social Glue Mechanism – Religion – Sunday Morning Mass

Social Cohesion

Social Glue Mechanism – Religion – Sunday Morning Mass

Dress your best. Behave your best. Do ceremony same as anybody else. Together with family, friends, neighbors.

Indoctrinated from young age – faith. Intellectualized as an adult – explicit understanding of practical benefits.

Beware corruption mechanisms. Know defenses against.

Two groups. One formed with the principle of family first. The other with the principle of state first.

In the first group, the people itself is the state, which is to say that there isn’t a state technically speaking. In the second, there’s two sub-groups, the state and the people. Several principles define each group. For example, by its very nature, the second group is defined by the principle of divide and control. All groups are defined by the principle of mutual survival – your survival is my survival, and vice versa. In very large groups, this principle of mutual survival is less true than in smaller groups or in a group of two individuals for example. For this, we can take the statistical point of view, where if some individuals do not survive, the group contains enough redundancy to compensate. In all types of groups, the principle of family first still applies. For example, in groups where the state is an inherited kingship, the state sub-group is formed with family first. Or, in a state/people group, the people sub-group is also formed with family first, where this ensures survival of both people and state sub-groups, thus of the main group.

Social glue mechanisms can be destroyed or exploited to turn them into social solvent mechanisms. Some mechanisms can be both glue or solvent, some simultaneously. Imagine a small group – a neighborhood – where some houses will be destroyed to make way for a mall, planned by some developer. People live in those houses. The group goes to church for Sunday morning mass. The priest has power in the form of influence over this group. The developer tries to leverage this influence by bribing the priest with a large “donation”. While a mall may benefit the group, it will not benefit the whole group – some people will lose their homes in the process. The priest understands, presents the facts to his parishioners – including the bribe. Proposes an alternative: Don’t oppose the developer, if he also builds new houses for the people who would otherwise become homeless. Here, the mechanism of capitalism is both a glue and a solvent (the mall benefits the group’s remainder, if the bribe is accepted, but the group is dimished). If instead the priest’s alternative proposition is accepted, the same mechanism is a glue only (the group benefits from remaining whole, from the mall, from the new houses, from the priest’s honesty).

In the above scenario, several social mechanisms come into play. One powerful mechanism is simply Sunday morning mass, as people, families, friends, neighbors, all dress their best, behave their best, do the same rites and rituals and ceremony as everybody else. Whether they do it out of faith or some other reason is irrelevant, it’s the act itself that matters because it’s tangible – it’s physical proof of faith, or of the explicit understanding of practical benefits, or both, whichever way you lean. It’s also physical proof that “I’m on your side. See? I’m doing it, too.”. While there may be specific explicit social glue mechanisms within the religious texts themselves, without this act of all going to Sunday morning mass, these holy texts serve little purpose on their own and have a much lesser effect on social cohesion. If you prefer, it’s the practice rather than the study that has the biggest effect.

These principles and social glue mechanisms are common to all groups, to all cultures, to all religions. They may differ in appearance and manner, but they are identical in substance and purpose. One difficulty is in distinguishing between appearance and substance, between manner and purpose. For example, the Quran prohibits consumption of alcohol, while the Catholic religion expressly promotes consumption of alcohol through the ceremony of blessing the wine. Here, the appearance and manner are different (can’t drink, must drink), yet the substance and purpose are identical – to attempt to prove oneself worthy and to worship.

Imagine a man moving to a country where his religion was not practiced. This man is a muslim and the country where he is now is mostly catholic, or the reverse – a catholic man moving to a muslim country. Would he be required to convert only so he could attempt to prove himself worthy and to worship? I propose that he is not required to convert. I further propose that he could learn and perform the rites and rituals and ceremony of a different religion, yet remain of his original faith.

To illustrate the above scenario a little bit better, imagine if this man did not have faith, yet wanted to go to Sunday morning mass anyways, maybe because he understood the practical benefits of such as I explained them in earlier paragraphs. Would he be required to convert then? No, he would not. In my eyes, so long as he is honest about why he participates, he would be welcome and he and the group would mutually benefit from his participation.

So here, on one hand we have a man who performs rites and rituals and ceremony of a faith other than his own yet does so with the genuine intent to attempt to prove himself worthy and to worship, and on the other hand a man without faith participates no differently than anyone else who has faith yet knowing the practical benefits to himself and to the group. As time goes by, either man may end up converting, but that’s besides the point. Difficulties – and there would be many difficulties in either case – can be resolved. Talk it through.

Think it through.

Do you know your neighbors? Do you visit them, even once in a while? Do you know your family, visit them, even once in a while? Do you believe your group is tight? Would it be easy to separate, take it apart? By what mechanisms would your group be taken apart? In any of those mechanisms, do you think that the above two examples would do that – separate your group? Or instead do you think that it would strengthen your group? Bear in mind that in either case, your group is bigger by 1, and any skills either man has acquired can certainly benefit the group. Also bear in mind that either man is making a personal sacrifice; one adopts rites and rituals and ceremony not of his faith; the other adopts them in spite of his lack of faith. In light of this, one would think that a man who would make such a personal sacrifice would certainly be willing to endure the hardships of life like anyone else in your group.

While I’m talking specifically about religion as a social glue mechanism, it’s certainly not the only one. There are many. Nevertheless, due to its nature and the nature of its rites and rituals and ceremony, religion is probably the strongest after family first, especially if it holds family first as one of its tenets.

Disclaimer

I am without faith. You could say I’m an atheist, but I will say that I don’t believe in any god if you asked me. I could explain my view more at length, but I think it would sound like I’m preaching, so I won’t, at least not in this post. Instead, see this disclaimer as an admission and reminder that I’m not wholly unbiased. Having said that, I think that I have illustrated the point of social glue mechanisms and social cohesion well enough, at least as a starting point for further discussion.

OK, seriously. Why the fuck am I talking about religion and why the motherfucking fuck am I explaining the practical benefits of religion, huh? I’m a fucking atheist. I gotta be nuts. It’s the only explanation, right? Nope. I truly do have a reasonable reason to do this. In the past few days, I’ve been watching clips on yootoob about Scientology, particularly from ex-members who literally escaped. I mean, what the fuck. This shit ain’t no fucking religion, no matter how much you wanna believe. It’s ever been my impression that regardless of what I think of any religion, family first appears to be a main tenet, if not explicitly, at least as a manifestation of other tenets. It can’t be otherwise. If the family is destroyed, where the fuck do your parishioners come from, huh? Scientology contains an explicit mechanism that invariably results in the destruction of the family – disconnection. So I guess the reasonable reason I wrote this post is to illustrate the counterpart, whereby religion is a social glue mechanism through its rites and rituals and ceremony. I mean I didn’t write this directly because of that, but one thing led to another, ideas popped up, here it is. Also, this post could fit nicely with the previous where I talk about the tea ceremony and its purpose. And also also, I’ve been watching a bunch of clips about social justice, social justice warriors, freedom of speech, all that crap. I don’t care which way you lean, that’s not the point. But I have been wondering about it and I think I came up with a fairly workable model here (social glue mechanisms – social cohesion) to which I can apply the question –

Is this shit gonna make or break my community?

Martin Levac copyright 16:29 1/17/2019

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The Tea Ceremony

The Tea Ceremony

I won’t even check but Ima say that every culture on this planet has a tea ceremony. What I did check was what is meant by tea ceremony and it so happens that wiki reserves this expression to Asian cultures, while for other cultures on the planet it’s called “tea drinking habits” as if there was no ceremony to it. The fact is there’s a ceremony to every “tea drinking habit” on the planet regardless of culture or perception, i.e. it’s not merely boil water add tea and drink.

Some cultures it’s not tea it’s some other plant like mint and other aromatic herbs for example, nevertheless the ceremony is still present. For some cultures the ceremony is wildly intricate and complex while other cultures it’s much more simple yet still “ceremonial” to some degree.

What is common to every tea ceremony on the planet however is to boil water.

But let’s take a closer look at the ceremony itself. What’s its purpose or function? I mean, it’s just tea and boiled water, what more could the ceremony add to that? Today we boil water to make it potable, cuz it actually works. No ceremony, no tea, no fancy ceramics, no absurd getups, just boil water and drink. So we know that the tea ceremony, which includes boiling water, actually works because we boil water at least. So what can everything besides boiling water add?

Well, let’s look at other kinds of ceremonies just to see how it works. First thing comes to my mind is religious ceremonies, but the most common is social status stuff like shaking hands and bowing to superiors and crap like that, cuz it’s all a ceremony. Would you act like that of your own initiative if nobody ever taught you any of it when you were young? Nope. So the ceremony serves a purpose other than pragmatic.

Except when it comes to the tea ceremony, cuz here boiling water actually serves a real genuine purpose.

Lemme put it this way. Imagine the tea ceremony looked just like a lab test instead of something out a fancy epic novel. First we dip something in the cold water, put it in some test machine, check the output. Then we boil the water, dip another widget in the boiled water, put it in the test machine, check the output and compare to the cold water printout. If everything checks out, we drink the water. From the point of view of the ignorant, there’s no difference, it’s just another tea ceremony, except there’s no tea, it’s just boiled water. So the ignorant who has any clue about tea would wonder about that part, probably conclude it’s not a tea ceremony cuz there’s no tea.

Remember what I said about what is common to every tea ceremony on the planet? It’s not the tea, some cultures it ain’t even tea. It’s the boiled water.

Remember what I said about the purpose of ceremony? It serves a purpose other than pragmatic. What is this purpose? To perpetuate something we’ll otherwise forget cuz either it ain’t actually useful or it is actually useful but so weird we will forget anyways.

Tell me, is religious ceremonies, social status stuff and all that crap actually useful? Doubtful but I’ll let you think about that while I tackle the genuine usefulness of the tea ceremony purely cuz of boiling water. Only recently have we discovered microscopic lifeforms that can make us sick or even kill us. Only recently have we determined that washing our hands before we dig into somebody’s open chest was a genuinely good thing. Only recently have we figured out that boiling water was real good at killing those tiny things to make otherwise unsafe water, safe to drink. Only recently have we implemented a “boil water” public safety announcement protocol when the water supply broke and possibly got contaminated.

Yet, the tea ceremony exists for eons in all cultures.

How is it even possible that ancient ceremonies from every culture on the planet with a single common element, and where this common element somehow fits within modern and widely and firmly accepted scientific findings? Did one of you cheeky bastid scientist go back in time or some shit like that? Gimme a break, something’s going on with this and it ain’t about the ceremony, it’s about boiling water. Rather, it is about the ceremony and how it perpetuated something that kept us alive and well through our eons of ignorance. Somehow I doubt we could say the same about various religious and certain other kinds of ceremonies through the eons, but that’s for another blog post which I won’t write cuz I don’t give a shit about that crap, so whatever you get the point about the tea ceremony.

So, cuz of the obvious ignorance of old, the next logical question is – who the fuck gave us that tea ceremony, huh? Cuz it wasn’t us, we were completely ignorant about boiling water until not 100 years ago. Did some douchebag with a high hat just make that shit up just for kicks, or cuz he wanted to get the chicks or something? You just think about that question and the crazy answer it suggests, while I illustrate ample precedent in our current era.

When the boss wants to keep his employees working, he does shit nobody understands even if he explains it at length. I mean, come on, does anybody understand the whys of anything the boss does? Fuck no, we just say “he’s the boss, he does whatever the fuck he wants, just do what he says and you’ll be fine”. And it works. It’s a sort of ceremony, just not as fancy or satisfying. An uncle of mine worked at a huge project in Alberta. There was a morning safety briefing by the safety officer every single fucking morning before they got to work. He told me of an anecdote where a crane signaler fooked up and got fired on the fucking spot by that famous safety officer. His retarded mistake almost got somebody killed by the (enter number here) ton crane he was signaling to. They gave out awards and medals and shit to safest employees with longest time on the job without an injury. They put up a prominent sign with the number of days since last injury. It’s all one big ceremony, cuz it used to be we totally forgot about people dying all the time on the job, and instead just replaced them with some new fresh workers, cuz there wasn’t any lack of those, ever. Nor is there any lack of those today. But we changed, added a big ceremony to keep people alive on the job. I guess we didn’t like to die on the job.

Does that illustrate ample precedent yet?

Right, so imagine the entire population is your workforce. And imagine the single most dangerous risk for that workforce is to drink contaminated water, which will invariably happen cuz we’re talking about a time when we were absolutely oblivious of all that stuff about tiny things that make us sick and kill us. That kind of risk ain’t about a few people getting crushed under a heavy rock or some shit like that, which is how we saw it before all that shit about morning safety briefings. It’s about the entire workforce at risk all at once from a common source of water, or not even common just a source which contains pathogens which then becomes an epidemic by spreading across the whole population cuz that’s what that shit does and we have ample precedent for that too. Well?

This is about the tea ceremony, but as I’m writing this I’m thinking about any other ceremony that may not look like a ceremony at all yet serves some genuine purpose anyways like taking a bath or something as innoccuous as that.

Some of you will invariably think of many arguments, which sound sensible on the face of it, like it makes the tea taste better or whatever. But I promise you there ain’t no fucking way you can convince me that the ceremony to bless the wine actually makes the wine taste any better cuz you just gotta see that’s some giant bullshit of the highest order. No, instead this is what I’m telling you. Every single argument you can think of that sounds sensible, they’re just part of the ceremony itself. They serve to perpetuate the ceremony, which itself serves to perpetuate something innocuous and easily forgotten – boiling water – but which is genuinely useful as opposed to all that bullshit you could ever believe in otherwise. So on the one hand it’s all bullshit, but on the other hand you keep believing whatever you want, and you keep doing the tea ceremony, and you keep boiling that water, cuz you just gotta know by now that doing that last part is actually genuinely useful.

Here’s an idea. Make up your own tea ceremony. It can be whatever you imagine. But one golden rule – boil water.

Martin Levac 07:30 11/27/2018

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Innate Preconceptions

Innate Preconceptions

An innate preconception is a conclusion drawn from the obvious. It’s the simplest conclusion. An example. We see a guy limping. We conclude – his leg is fucked up. While it seems obvious and it’s probably true, a problem with the leg itself isn’t the only possible cause of limping. For example, a spinal injury which prevents proper motor control signals from reaching the leg, but the leg itself is just fine.

Now for a more complex example. We see a guy acting all weird and shit, he’s got autism but we don’t know anything about that. We conclude – his brain is fucked up. It’s an innate preconception because we are aware that behavior rests within the brain, and not for example within the gut or the feet or whereever else. It’s the same innate preconception with the limping dude because walking normally is all about normal legs, and not for example about a normal belly button or whatever the fuck.

In the same way that limping can be caused by something other than a problem with the leg itself, autism can be caused by something other than a problem with the brain itself. And this is likely true for all other brain disorders.

When I was a kid, I knew one kid who suffered from autism. I asked what’s wrong with him, as kids do. Adults who knew a bit about that, told me his brain is fucked up. That was my innate preconception. The answer I got from adults and whoever else, fit exactly my innate preconception. The answer was easily absorbed as the truth. In retrospect, I imagine that as a kid I would not accept an answer that did not fit my innate preconceptions as quickly or easily. It would need to be exlained more at length and the answer would need to make some sense at least. Today as an adult, I’m aware of alternative hypotheses about autism and other brain disorders, which posit that the cause of brain disorders lie not in the brain itself – the brain is just fine – but lie elsewhere like in the food we eat, infections, deficiencies, environment, or any combination thereof, and so forth.

In science, a fundamental principle is occam’s razor where between multiple hypotheses, the simplest is the one most likely to be true. Well, in every day life, the simplest hypothesis is innate preconceptions – a conclusion drawn from the obvious. So, in science, there’s another fundamental principle – observational bias. There’s different kinds of bias. For example observation can be inacurrate or observation can affect the thing observed, and so forth. Scientists acknowledge and address bias in various ways, mostly successfully, and in turn produce reliable results.

In spite of careful scientific methodology, the science and results most widely and readily accepted are those that still only fit our innate preconceptions, even by scientists themselves. Indeed, the entire pharmacology for autism targets the brain and only the brain. This is also true for all other brain disorders. To me, this seems rather retarded. I mean, are we that dumb about all types of limp? Of course not, we know about spinal injury and all that shit.

In another realm of medicine – gut disorders – the problem seems to be turned upside down. For some fucked up reason, scientists and doctors and specialists somehow miss the most fucking obvious – it must be something you ate. IBS, Crohn’s, even celiac, it’s all said to be about genetic predispotion and auto-immune and inflammation and whatever the fuck else – EXCEPT THE CRAP WE PUT IN OUR MOUTHS. Jebus for fuck’s sake, I could spew pages of insults at every one of you motherless fucks. Dude, this ain’t the time to ignore innate preconceptions that would tell you right to your face that it must be something you ate. I mean if I had a gut problem of that nature and a doc told me it must have been something I ate and he explained it to me and he knew what he was talking about, I’d probably take him seriously. But you can’t find a single fucking doc who will do that. Every motherless fuck is gonna talk to you about genetic predisposition and auto-immune and inflammation and whatever the fuck else – EXCEPT THE CRAP WE PUT IN OUR MOUTHS.

I’m not sure I wanted to write that last paragraph in that way, but I’m going with it.

Anyways, I guess the point is to be aware of innate preconceptions and that it makes it easy to accept what we hear and read, because it just fits, not necessarily because it’s true. It can be true, but it can also be false. It’s just that our innate preconceptions make is easy to accept it as true, or to reject it as false.

Martin Levac 12:50 8/12/2018

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Micro Stutter in Games – Possible Fix

Micro Stutter in Games – Possible Fix

 

Update 2018-07-02 – Nah, doesn’t do shit. Placebo? But I tested with FRAPS and FRAFS to see perf graphs. I figured out that for Unity games like The Long Dark and Planet Nomads, the interval when nothing happens is about 800-1000 frames, so the higher the frame rate, the shorter the interval. Also, vsync affects the spike. For example:

The Long Dark

Vsync off 50fps = 200ms

Vsync off 110fps = 60ms

Vsync on 60fps = 80ms

Planet Nomads

Vsync off 71fps = 60ms

Vsync on 30fps = 80ms

Vsync on 60fps = 80ms

These numbers were recorded when standing still. At either 30fps or 60fps with vsync on, it’s 80ms in either game. In The Long Dark with vsync off at 50fps, only slightly slower than 60fps with vsync on, it’s 200ms. Somehow, vsync affects whatever is happening during the spike. Anyways, in Unity games like those two, something’s going on every 800-1000 frames, and it takes between 60ms and 200ms to complete, depending on vsync on or off. Bear in mind that the duration of the spike and interval length will vary with machine performance, but the fact that there is a spike in Unity games (most likely all of them) is unquestionable.

 

(TLDR, just scroll down to the end of the post you antsy bastids)

Micro stutter is a specific type of stutter where the amount of time for a frame is much longer than other frames (or the amount of time between two frames is much longer than between any other two frames), so that when it occurs, the game appears to freeze momentarily, then resume normally, and this occurs at a fairly regular interval, every few seconds or so. Micro stuttering even occurs when nothing is happening in the game, no resources are loaded, the character is not moving, etc. It’s not a matter of things happening in the game, it’s purely a function of synchronization of multiple renderer threads as I explain below.

The frame rate could be high, but the game could still appear to stutter. This is because micro stutter is unrelated to frame rate, i.e the number of frames per second. In fact, the higher the performance of the computer, the more obvious micro stutter becomes. In contrast, a slow machine that puts out a low frame rate already has a long frame time for all frames, so that when a slightly longer frame time occurs during micro stutter, it is simply assumed that the problem is a low performance machine. Also, only a few people can actually notice this effect, maybe we’re just a bit more aware or something. This explains why only some people complain of the problem.

Found a fix. If you have an nVidia GFX. Dunno about ATI cards.

In the drivers, the option “Threaded Optimization” is set to “Auto” by default. For most games, this means it’s turned on. This is the problem. Let me explain how I understand it.

Threaded optimization splits renderer processing across multiple CPUs (i.e. multiple threads), synchronizes the result, then sends it to the GFX. The problem occurs during synchronization. Take Fallout New Vegas for example. It has a built-in feature that splits renderer processing (i.e. iRenderingThread2HWThread, iRenderingThread1HWThread). Fallout New vegas is famous for micro stuttering. Other games based on the same engine also suffer from the same problem. Many, if not all, games “made with Unity” (The Long Dark, Planet Nomads, Wasteland 2, etc) also suffer micro stutter, almost as a guarantee out of the box. Anyways, when renderer processing is split into multiple threads, one thread could run quicker than another, leading up to a point where the threads must be synchronized, resulting in micro stutter. When a game has loaded everything then starts running, processing load becomes more regular, the rate at which each renderer thread runs is more constant, this results in a regular interval. This interval can also be influenced by the interval at which synchronization is set within the game code, i.e. the longer it is the longer the micro stutter interval (and possibly the longer the frame time because the more data needs to be synchronized).

In a game I’m playing now, Planet Nomads, micro stutter also comes with a strange problem. When moving around the map, the game loads stuff according to quality settings, the higher the quality, the more objects it loads and the farther we can see them. As we move forward, we can see objects appearing. So that’s the normal behavior, normally when shit works right. With “Threaded Optimization” set to “Auto” (this game turns it on when that’s the setting), there’s micro stutter and objects appear and disappear in a random confused fashion at nonsensical distances, i.e. close objects disappear while far objects appear. That’s some weird problem that is also explained by the split renderer threads where one thread processing close objects finishes later than another thread that processes far objects, for example. When I turned off “Threaded Optimization”, micro stutter is gone, objects now load properly according to quality settings, i.e. close objects always load while far objects never load (renderer obeys quality settings, it’s no longer confused). Unfortunately, the first time I did this, the game crashed 5 minutes in for no reason I can fathom. I guess it’s borked either way.

Another game I’m playing, The Long Dark, is also free of micro stutter. I’ll try a few other games “made with Unity” to see how it goes. I got Wasteland 2 installed.

Those with multiple GFX cards also report micro stutter when running them in SLI. It’s possible SLI runs in multiple renderer threads naturally, which would explain the micro stutter and a typical slit-screen hang where only part of the sreen hangs while the other still runs smoothly (if I understand that one properly, correct me if I’m wrong).

A slightly different type of micro stutter occurs when game tick rate and screen refresh rate are out of sync, i.e. when game timer runs at an exact 60fps while screen refresh rate runs at a slightly lower rate like 59.97fps or whatever. In this case, the micro stutter occurs exactly once per second every second. Although this is also a sync problem, it’s not the specific problem I’m talking about here.

Another type of stuttering (which is not micro stuttering but a different kind of stuttering altogether) is related to loading game resouces like textures and objects. This is unrelated and typically only occurs when resources are loaded or when lots of shit is happening all at once like a big ‘splosion with bits flying in all directions or something. Once that’s done, stuttering disappears. This also explain why most suggestions are “get a better machine”, because that would certainly help here. In fact, when I turned off “Threaded Optimization” on Planet Nomads, I could now see this type of stuttering as it was loading resources and only then, because, well, I ain’t got the mostest bestest machine there is, but it does the job just fine when all the other shit isn’t fucking up my game like split renderer threads ‘n shit.

Turn Off “Threaded Optimization”.

That’s it. See if it’s an actual fix for you, comment if you want or spread the love elsewhere or whatever.

Martin Levac
18:27 6/28/2018

Divergence – Many-Worlds

Divergence – Many-Worlds

In short, the many-worlds theory says that all possible outcomes have been, are and will be realized. An extension of this theory is the unspoken conclusion that no two quasi-identical choices produce the same exact outcome. Another way to say this is the butterfly effect, where it’s assumed that a tiny variation in the starting conditions will lead to an ever increasing difference in outcome.

In fact, the correct interpretation of many-worlds is that any number of starting conditions can and will produce the exact same outcome, as well as produce just as many different outcomes.

The standard many-worlds theory can be described as a tree with all its branches diverging from each other, never to converge again. In fact, the correct description is two trees connected by their branches where a number of branches diverge up to a point midway, then converge again to the same point.

From this, we can predict any number of intermediate events between here and there, and choose in advance in a boolean fashion at each fork, effectively forming a plan of action to achieve a goal. A popular expression is all roads lead to Rome. I could make up a new expression that says between here and there is an infinite number of roads.

I’ve been working on an idea where the brain manifests by prediction rather than by reaction. I haven’t refined it enough to post it but it fits with this latest idea of many-worlds, where we act by predicting all possible forks and simply making boolean choices at each fork between here and there. Even if not all forks between here and there have been predicted beforehand, each fork is decided according to at least a minimum predicted (desired) outcome.

In a previous post, I described quantum entanglement as a zero flex axis, or quantum axis. From this idea, a quantum axis can take any possible path across this and any universe, multiverse, and many-worlds. A variation of this is that any two points separated by any arbitrary distance are connected by an infinite number of quantum axis that encompasses all.

Martin Levac copyright 00:54 5/22/2018

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Paradigm – Progress

Paradigm – Progress

I often discuss health and diet from the point of view of what I call “my paradigm”, which I outlined a few years ago in a blog post. Since that original post, I’ve developed my paradigm further. So, this is a progress report and reiteration of my paradigm for reference.

Ketones are signaling molecules.

Ketones work in steps in the liver, where first step is activation of insulin receptors in the liver. Last step is degradation of insulin in the liver.

Ketones activate insulin receptors (first step in the liver), primarily in the liver, but also elsewhere so that all cells become more sensitive to insulin. A logical conclusion from this is that the primary cause of insulin resistance is absence of ketones, where a relatively constant blood ketone level constitutes a constant stimulus to keep insulin receptors open, and where insulin receptors shut down for lack of this constant stimulus.

Ketones self-regulate, through invoking insulin, for inhibition of ketogenesis in the liver (second step), after activation of insulin receptors in the liver.

Ketones regulate other substrates, namely blood glucose, through inhibition of glycogenolysis (third step), after activation of insulin receptors in the liver, after inhibition of ketogenesis, for the purpose of storage of excess blood glucose. This mechanism is primary for disposal of excess blood glucose after a meal.

Ketones stimulate degradation of insulin in the liver (last step), through activation of PPAR-x pathways, then through insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE). After activation of insulin receptors in the liver (first step), after inhibition of ketogenesis in the liver (second step), after inhibition of glycogenolysis in the liver (third step). This last step is critical because it ensures that once insulin has done its job of regulating blood ketones and blood glucose, it does not simply remain at the same level in the blood, which would otherwise continue to regulate these below normal. In other words, insulin is no longer needed. This mechanism in the liver and especially IDE is primary for disposal of excess insulin and regulation of insulin level.

Ketones stimulate insulin at the pancreas, but only so much to compensate for subsequent degradation at the liver shoftly thereafter. Compared to dietary carbs or dietary protein for example, the amplitude of stimulus is almost nil so we could just ignore it for practicality, nonetheless it’s important to mention it here because it helps to understand the following paragraph.

The pancreas consumes ketones. Not much but enough to create a small dip at that point. Between the pancreas and the liver, blood ketones level should be a bit below normal. Simultaneously, due to ketones, we get a small rise of insulin, insulin level should be a bit above normal. So, ketones go low, insulin goes high. Then at the liver, ketones go back up, insulin goes back down. Once at the liver, we go through the steps.

Add the gut in the equation, we have the short loop. So, gut -> pancreas -> liver. The short loop is the primary point of disruption, especially by diet, especially by dietary carbs, especially by refined carbs like sugar and wheat.

Add the entire circulatory system and other things like urine where we can measure ketones for example, we have the long loop. The long loop is where we measure blood stuff. This means that we have no clue what happens in the short loop, we only have proxies. Nevertheless, it’s through these proxies (and a bunch of other stuff like dietary experiments) that I’ve developed my paradigm. This paradigm should serve to explain observations.

Everywhere, in the blood and in cells, ketones stimulate chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), the recycling of glycated protein or advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). The most widely known form of AGE is HbA1c, or glycated hemoglobin, a fairly reliable marker for long-term recent dietary carbs consumption (past few weeks and months), and also a fairly reliable marker for diabetic severity (diabetes type 2).

 

Dietary fat is a signaling molecule. Though fat is composed of several different fatty acids, any of which likely interact in different ways with cells and stuff, so I’m not sure which particular fatty acid(s) is responsible for the signaling.

Eating dietary fat, especially animal fat, is self-limiting. We just can’t eat too much of it, and if we try, self-limitation is quasi-immediate – between this bite and the next. Signaling occurs directly in the gut, even before it hits the liver or anything else. Most likely target is hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin respectively. Ghrelin stimulates hunger, we eat more or keep eating. Leptin shuts down hunger, we eat less or stop eating. Another likely target is the vagus nerve.

At the liver, dietary fat activates PPAR-x pathways. I’m not too familiar with all the mechanisms here. One possible mechanism is to rid of hepatic fat accumulation, i.e. fatty liver. Anyways, the point is that dietary fat is a signaling molecule, not merely a material or a source of energy.

 

Dietary protein is a signaling molecule. Though here too, protein is made up of several amino acids, not all of which perform the same signaling, i.e. insulin and glucagon stimulus.

Dietary protein has only one place to go – lean tissue. It can’t go to fat tissue for storage, it can’t end up as glucose.

Dietary protein stimulates insulin. In turn, insulin does the following:

Inhibits gluconeogenesis (the creation of new glucose)
Inhibits glycogenolysis (the breakdown of stored glycogen in the liver)
Stimulates protein synthesis (the creation of new protein)
Inhibits proteolysis (the breakdown of existing protein)

Dietary protein stimulates glucagon. In turn, glucagon does the following:

Stimulates glycogenolysis (the breakdown of stored glycogen in the liver)

Note how dietary protein stimulates both insulin and glucagon, and how insulin inhibits glycogenolysis, and how glucagon stimulates glycogenolysis. If all is equal, blood glucose should neither rise nor drop. But all is not equal. While all this is happening, if the glucose that is being spent is not replaced by new glucose, total glucose drops (stored as glycogen in the liver and elsewhere, and glucose in the blood), blood glucose drops.

Dietary carbs is the primary disruptor of everything.

Dietary carbs disrupt insulin above and beyond the threshold needed to shut down completely ketogenesis at the liver, such that beyond that threshold, normal regulation of ketogenesis and all subsequent mechanisms otherwise regulated by ketones are disrupted, including degradation of insulin resulting in higher-than-normal insulin. Disruption occurs in various ways, such as reduction of insulin sensivity (insulin resistance) through absence of ketones, excess fat accumulation at the fat tissue (obesity), and usurping the function of insulin-degrading enzyme in the brain (Alzheimer’s, the theory of insulin).

Ketones are signaling molecules with a therapeutic usefulness.

Ingesting or injecting ketones causes both insulin and blood glucose to drop, at least if insulin and blood glucose were too high to begin with. Here, it’s easy to see the potential benefit for diabetes type 2. Otherwise, exogenous ketones will do very little to change the profile of an existing state of ketosis achieved through diet alone or other means. Accordingly, exogenous ketones can be used as diagnostic tool to determine the effectiveness of those other means, and by extension help pinpoint the point of disruption, to determine where diet fails to produce expected results for example. Diet on its own can also be used like that by comparing actual to expected results.

With low-carb, the common principle when we start is induction where we first cut out all or almost all carbs to induce a state of ketosis, where the liver produces as much ketones as it can resulting in fairly high blood ketone level (or at least higher than zero). In turn, we look at the steps in the liver and subsequent regulation of various mechanisms downstream. With diet alone, this may take a while. With exogenous ketones, it’s possible to cut down this period to mere hours instead of days, especially since ketones start to appear almost immediately after ingesting/injecting them, especially if we assume that if we can detect ketones in the blood or urine, they must be doing some signaling because that’s what they do.

A good analogy is a construction site that’s ready. Ready for what, you ask? For the foreman (ketones) to come up and tell the workers what to do. Without the foreman, nothing gets done. Workers can be promoted to foreman, but only after a time as the worker learns the new job. Hire a foreman directly, much quicker to get things going.

Dietary fat is a signaling molecule with therapeutic usefulness.

If ya can’t stop eating, eat some fat. Sounds crazy to somebody who believes we get fat by eating too much therefore by eating fat cuz it’s got twice the calories as carbs or protein. But when we accept that dietary fat signals directly in the gut to stop eating (either through ghrelin or leptin or both, and/or through the vagus nerve), then it makes perfect sense.

If ya got fatty liver, eat some fat. Sounds equally crazy to somebody who believes that eating fat causes fatty liver, just cuz of some acutely simplistic principle of “we are what we eat”. But when we accept that dietary fat signals directly in the liver to rid of excess fat accumulation in the liver (through activation of PPAR-x pathways), it makes perfect sense.

Besides signaling and therapeutic usefulness, dietary fat is essential to obtain and metabolize fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, though I guess it’s possible that signaling of dietary fat is also involved in absorption and metabolism of those fat-solubles.

My paradigm, this paradigm, provides explanatory and predictive power. It has served me personally to figure out an on-going health problem.

Recently, I’ve come up with a fairly clear understanding of the most likely culprit(s) for my health problem. I outline it below, even though it doesn’t necessarily fit the overall ketones/signaling tone of my paradigm above, because I think it can still serve to explain certain problems experienced by others.

After several years of experimentation with various medications and drugs and other means, and through extensive reading of various texts, discussion with lowcarb.ca forum members and others, and of course lots and lots of thinking about all that stuff, I’ve determined that the most likely point of disorder is either the liver, the appendix, the pancreas, or the gallbladder, or a combination thereof, with a strong leaning toward the pancreas and the common bile duct, combined with a chronic infection most likely fungal in nature. It’s important to note that I may very well be wrong about all of it, since I acknowledge that this is merely the latest determination among a slew, all of which I’ve tested by experiment and so forth.

So basically the common bile duct is blocked between the pancreas and the gallbladder. The initial trigger of all that is a potent immuno-suppressant, administered during a clinical trial where I was a subject back in 2009. This allowed an existing pathogen to proliferate to the common bile duct, at which point it formed a mass, creating an obstruction.

This obstruction formed fairly quickly, with symptoms appearing within the first few days and weeks following that clinical trial. Even during the trial I experienced severe symptoms, though at the time nobody, not the attending physician or myself or anybody else, drew any conclusion of the sort. Since then, all symptoms have worsened, up to a critical point where I went to the emergency with an acute abdominal pain, which today I can safely conclude is a consequence of the initial blockage of the common bile duct. This particular symptom persists as I write this, though acute pain occurs in a more or less predictable manner, after I figured out by trial and error pretty much what triggers it. This symptom is, I believe, caused by pancreatic cysts, created by accumulation of enzymes and fluids produced by the pancreas, which normally flow through the common bile duct, combine with bile from the gallbladder, to eventually end up in the gut to digest food.

Blockage of the common bile duct between the pancreas and the gallbladder means that the enzymes amylase and lipase don’t go through, which means that starch and fat don’t get digested properly, which means that starch and fat end up in the colon undigested, and instead get fermented by gut bugs, with obvious consequences like bloating, gas, and distinct stools. Not to mention disrupted bowel movements, diarrhea, constipation, discomfort, etc. As a consequence of accumulation of amylase and lipase in pancreatic cysts, these enzymes can be measured in the blood and help diagnose pancreatic cysts and obstruction of the common bile duct.

Obviously, it’s more complicated than just measuring the enzymes before a diagnosis can be made definitively, but I fear that if I explain all the other symptoms I have suffered and continue to suffer, it’s just gonna muddy the waters and send the docs on a wild goose chase. Been there, done that, these docs just aren’t equipped to handle this problem.

A particularly difficult symptom to explain regardless of the cause is lethargy and fatigue. It’s even more difficult to explain when combined with yet another very difficult to explain symptom – loss of appetite. But becomes completely impossible to explain when also combined with a self-explanatory symptom – obesity. Unless armed with my paradigm, though even here an explanation is incomplete, but at least it’s a start. The pancreas and/or the liver are affected, specifically to explain excess fat accumulation. The pancreas by inflammation and/or infection, insulin higher than otherwise, fat tissue, excess fat accumulation. The liver by lack of dietary fat, PPAR-x pathways not activated as much as otherwise, insulin-degrading enzyme not as active, insulin not degraded as much as it should, higher insulin than otherwise, and so forth. The liver likely also by inflammation and infection, same chain to insulin, same effect on fat tissue. Loss of appetite, I can’t explain right off the bat, my paradigm would explain this by activation of leptin, inhibition of ghrelin, or activation of vagus nerve, all by dietary fat, but there isn’t much of that. Instead, I use other evidence with regards to injury that drives one to not eat, by some mechanism obviously, likely to conserve energy for repair. I could use this evidence to explain lethargy and fatigue too, but then eating less on its own can explain this.

Anyways, that’s it for my paradigm. This paradigm is what I refer to in discussions.

Martin Levac copyright 11:58 5/17/2018

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Fundamental Motion Explained

Fundamental Motion Explained

Time does not exist. There is only motion. However, motion is yet to be explained.

The simplest yet most accurate description of motion is:

An object displaces* itself from one place, and replaces* itself to another place. *Here, the verbs are “to remove” and “to place” in the sense of removing something from somewhere and putting something somewhere, rather than “to displace” and “to replace” in the sense of substitution. Though if we did use the sense of substitution, the thing being substituted is not the object, but the place.

For a large object where its motion appears to be smooth and unbroken, this motion is deemed to be made up of an infinite number of slices of motion. These slices of motion are in fact iterations of that basic description of motion, so that the motion of a large object is made up of an infinite number of iterations of displacements and replacements.

Vector and velocity come into play such that the primary vector determines the tendency of subsequent vectors, and velocity determines the power of each iteration of displacement and replacement. Though here we can also describe velocity as: the power of each iteration of displacement and replacement determines velocity. Velocity then strengthens tendency of vectors. This description assumes that each iteration is of a finite quantity of distance, and only its power changes. This finite quantity of distance may be variable and depend on mass of the object. Here we can see a clear contradiction between infinite number of iterations, and finite quantity of distance for an iteration. To resolve this contradiction, we change “infinite” to “near-infinite”, though the meaning “smooth and unbroken” remains.

Martin Levac copyright 22:13 5/3/2018

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What If

What If

What if you made everything you used. Would you make it highest quality? Highest efficiency? Highest durability? Highest reliability? Highest interconnectivity? Highest privacy? Highest ergonomy? Highest versatility? Fastest, quickest, strongest, lightest, heaviest (in certain circumstances, it’s a desired trait), hardest, softest, safest, smoothest, roughest, greatest range, highest transfer rate, best possible, etc? Think of any other quality, would you make it highest?

Would you customize it to your exact specifications? Keep in mind that your specs could mean lower quality than otherwise possible, but then they’re your specs so you decide. In this case, if we described it as best of anything, it would be best adapted to you.

An obvious example to illustrate.

Consumer cars and fomula 1 cars. On the one hand, consumer cars are made all exactly the same to begin with (within the same model line, i.e. a Honda Accord for example), then adapted only to a small extent with options, and then some more with after-market parts, and then some more with unique scratch-built parts. On the other hand, every single formula 1 car is uniquely adapted to each driver and only to this driver and no other. In fact, when a car is shared among several drivers (not in formula 1, but in other types of racing like 24h of Le Mans for example), they switch seats which are made specifically for one driver and no other, and sometimes will adjust pedals and controls to suit the driver’s preference. Even then, two formula 1 cars of the same model are also made exactly the same to begin with.

And, on the one hand, consumer cars are made to a wildly varying level of quality. And, on the other hand, formula 1 cars are all made to the highest possible quality and only the highest possible quality.

Now that you figured out the first problem, let’s see how it actually works now.

Everything you use was made by somebody. It’s very likely that you make things for others. Do you make it highest quality and so forth? Based on the ridiculously wide spectrum of quality available everywhere, it’s a good bet you don’t. But you do make it to a certain level of quality, below which you are just not satisfied with your work.

Let’s try something. Check everything you use that you don’t make, what level of quality it is. Now check the level of quality for the stuff you make. Where does it fit in the big picture? If there’s anything you use that’s of lower quality than what you make, if you made those things, would you make them at least as high quality as what you make?

It’s just an idea.

Martin Levac 09:44 4/10/2018

Growth Theory

Growth Theory

Not to be confused with Economic Growth Theory which deals purely with money and profit.

OK, so I was downloading something with bittorrent and I was thinking about peer interaction with regard to their upload contribution to the swarm, or at least that’s one way to describe what I was thinking about. We can categorize peers by upload capacity – high and low. We can describe swarm upload capacity as a function of peer upload capacity. It begins with a single seed. Then as peers get the whole file, we can then describe this process as growth, hence growth theory. Then I started thinking about biological systems that also grow, with cells and bacteria and viruses, then about knowledge systems with information and ideas, then about things we buy and so forth. It occurred to me that growth theory should be able to explain and predict all types of growth. Then, because it’s not the first time I get an idea and it’s not the first time the idea isn’t new, I did a quick search and found there was already something called growth theory, i.e. Economic Growth Theory and its variations, all purely concerned with money and profit.

From this I imagine a few basic principles that should apply to all types of growth. For example, growth occurs in steps through and within cells, cells can either multiply or not, cells are part of an arbitrary closed system or organism, systems can be part of larger systems and so forth, establishing a priori that growth has a finite maximum potential, and that this potential can grow too.

So, consider that file I was downloading with bittorrent. It’s done through the internet which is a system of subsystems, i.e. interconnected networks. One of these subsystems is called a swarm, formed first by a metafile that determines which file, which initial seed, which tracker(s), which interconnected peers, etc. There can be more than one swarm, each getting the same file through different metafiles made by different initial seeds. Each metafile can have more than one tracker. Each tracker can serve multiple metafiles. All these things constitute growth factors, i.e. how quickly a file gets distributed across peers.

Now consider a virus that infects somebody. The human body is a system of subsystems, i.e. organs and tissues, all made up of cells, all interconnected by the vascular, lymphatic and nervous systems themselves made up of cells, also all interconnected structurally as to make a single organism. A virus distributes itself across multiple cells. The more cells are infected, the quicker a virus spreads. There is growth.

Now consider stuff we buy. Things are special such that once we buy something we need, we don’t buy anymore, nor do we distribute what we bought, growth ceases. However, we talk about those things – word of mouth. This tends to induce growth in other people – they buy it too. There’s advertising so growth results from this too. Each person can be seen as a cell, each cell has a maximum capacity. Here we see the maximum growth potential and the ability for a sub-optimal potential to grow up to absolute maximum capacity of system-of-systems. The stuff we consume regularly like food and clothing for example is also dictated by these principles, especially because we have a limited capacity to consume, i.e. eat, drink, can only wear one pair of shoes at any one time, etc.

Now consider information, an idea. Ideas and information distribute across human brains through word of mouth and other communication systems like phones, computers, internet, TV, radio, etc. Information is copied, albeit not necessarily accurately, as opposed to let’s say a factory blueprint or the plans for a house or DNA or digital data, nevertheless distribution of information occurs by copy. The initial seed doesn’t forget what it gave.

Now consider an immune system that prevents local growth, that prevents further distribution by this peer. The simplest form of immunity is that the peer did not get infected, did not hear the news, was not aware of a new thing, did not make or receive a phone call, did not download the metafile, and so forth. A more complex form of immunity is passive refusal of infection, barriers and such, no thank you, knowledge of existence mated to absense of desire. An even more complex form is active defenses like white blood cells for example that do not prevent infection but instead hunts down and destroys intruders and even remembers them. An idea can be tried then found to be incorrect or wrong and subsequently rejected. A bittorrent client downloads a chunk, compares it to metafile hash, finds it doesn’t match, rejects the chunk, if the peer that sent this chunk keeps sending bad chunks, that peer also gets rejected from this peer, from other peers, and ultimately from the swarm. In the case of digital data, we call this error correction but in fact it’s an immune system that ensures immunity from data corruption whether intentional or accidental. Conversely, what we call the immune system in biological systems is also a form of error correction especially when we see DNA as information.

Once growth occurs, it doesn’t necessarily maintain itself. Thus, we get the principle of entropy and maintenance. However, maintenance and growth are done through the same mechanisms, i.e. we buy another one, buy regularly, infect the same cell again, download the same metafile, make the same phone call, connect to the same website, etc. The only difference here is that we distinguish between initial growth and subsequent growth, where what we call maintenance is in fact also growth. Biological systems illustrate this most clearly, as we secrete growth hormone for tissue repairs for example. Growth hormone is the same agent used for initial growth. DNA is used throughout for initial growth and subsequent function including maintenance.

These basic principles should form the outline of what I call Growth Theory, and Growth Theory should be applicable to all types of growth and all types of systems-of-systems, with the appropriate allowances for specificity.

Martin Levac copyright 18:30 3/12/2018

 

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Points of Reference 4 – The Brain

Points of Reference 4 – The Brain

Background – My Paradigm

The liver is central to regulation of fuel supply and hormonal signaling of same. Long loop, short loop. Long loop is from the liver, through the bloodstream, back to the liver. Short loop is from the gut to the liver. The liver produces ketones that make their way to the bloodstream, then back to the liver to regulate ketogenesis, glycogenolysis, and insulin degradation, in sequence, all by invoking insulin. In order to do this, ketones activate insulin receptors. This makes the absence of ketones the primary mechanism for what’s called insulin resistance. In turn this makes a high-carb diet the primary cause of insulin resistance, due to the stimulus on insulin and in turn on the shutdown of ketogenesis once insulin hits the liver. Ketones stimulate insulin in the pancreas, but only enough to compensate for the degradation of insulin in the liver, which ketones also stimulate once the first two steps (inhibition of ketogenesis, inhibition of glycogenolysis) are complete.

What happens to the brain?

First, the liver must be overwhelmed by a high-carb diet. Then the liver stops doing its job of clearing glucose from the blood – coming from the gut, then between the pancreas and the liver – and clearing the insulin bolus coming from the pancreas. Both glucose and insulin spill over into the bloodstream which we can measure at the arm. At this point, due to the requirement by cells of a specific proportion of fuel substrates – glucose and ketones – there’s a lack of ketones, therefore glucose is used up much slower than otherwise by all those cells, glucose continues to linger, so does insulin.

The brain to the rescue. The brain is the only other organ that can degrade insulin with insulin-degrading enzyme. It’s also the second most expensive organ, which can and will use lots of glucose. So now the brain takes over the liver’s job, unfortunately it does so by doing its own job less well. For example, the insulin-degrading enzyme is also required to perform maintenance on the brain’s tissue – amyloid* degradation. Since IDE is now more occupied with insulin degradation – it must for it has priority over degrading amyloid* – amyloid* tends to accumulate. We get the theory of insulin for Alzheimer’s (not yet demonstrated, but nonetheless plausible).

So, what’s the brain’s job?

Aha, you might think it’s to think. Partly correct. Its true job is to execute behavior in response to both external and internal stimuli. Thinking is only part of this job, at least once we’ve figured out how to respond – once we’ve learned through some thought and practice – then it’s all automatic for the most part. For example, we’re hungry, there’s nothing in the house, we gotta go out shopping for food. If we don’t know where the shops are, we gotta think a bit, but once we found one, that’s it, all we gotta do from this point forward is repeat what we did the first time, maybe improve a bit on it, but that’s it for the thinking part of the brain’s job.

Now let’s introduce brain fog, which most low-carbers know well because it just goes away once we eat low-carb. It’s like dude, I didn’t even know about brain fog until it went away. The point is, there’s brain fog, cuz there’s liver disruption. The liver isn’t doing its job, the brain isn’t doing its job. It’s also likely that whatever disrupts the liver, also disrupts the brain directly. But then that’s a double whammy for the brain, ya?

Now for something I’ve been saying for a while now.

Imagine we take care of that high-carb diet and just go all out low-carb, Atkins, lots of fat, Jebus mofo let’s do zero-carb all-meat tons of fat whoa. All good, but not really, there’s still something. If it’s true about the double whammy, at least we fixed the part that directly disrupts the brain. But it’s not all good, there’s still something. You think about that.

Martin Levac copyright 19:07 1/17/2018

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*Correction 2018-05-04. I wrote “myelin” originally, I often confuse the two.