random thoughts

That odd moment when one gets into the bathroom without being accompanied by one to three cats.  Additional point for getting the door shut before one arrives…

I note that there is no definitive answer, but there are interesting research moments pending.

I’m reminded of my biochem class where the doctor stated he knew of a research where they took an African who had known lack of lactase and provided one cup of milk.  That meant the bacteria in the fellow’s gut would start working.  The researchers then collected and divided by type the gasses eminating from this volunteer.  After the description, the prof says to the class, “See what you get to do if you become a biochemist?”  He then pretended to be the count from Sesame Street and count the….

The reactions here are priceless.  I can’t imagine being without a portion of sight. The closest I can come is walking through a dark room at night.  The idea of being able to discern colors again is incredible.  There is a similar revelation is for those who hear for the first time.  This technology is a gift of incredible value.

I have woken up this morning a little on the sore side.  Nothing out of the ordinary, mind you.  After all, we had quite a day yesterday.  Between the two of us: ran through laundry including stripping and remaking the bed, made breakfast, remade the bed, put 10 pounds of chicken in oven to slow cook,  go to ladies’ meeting at church, shop for Valentine’s items, finish digging holes for base of water tank, cut reinforcing bar and then pour concrete, go to kidinbox’s house to see their progress on pulling the tub and digging out the sewer line (our plan is to finish pulling out the tub today), marinate chicken legs (another set) in balsamic vinegarette dressing for the grill, make pasta salad to go with the chicken, cook on the grill, remove chicken from the baked quarters until it was just meat, place back on pan with a general spice application and place back in the 200 degree oven for 2 more hours then divide up into three meal-sized bags, look up pruning on the web in anticipation of working on the 4 fruit trees.  I have a wonder occasionally how people have time to watch TV.  Oh, I just remembered – ran through the general number on taxes and printed out the forms from IRS website to see how much the leaches are taking out of us this year.  It wasn’t as much as last year, so yea.  In other words, they already sucked out of our checks and this bill is smaller.  That’s how my day went yesterday.

I looked at the electoral college historically and with the parties reversed, John F. Kennedy had similar numbers.  Next, with all the push to get electors to vote against Trump, it was Hillary who lost more.  How about that stated differently – more of Hillary’s electors thought she was unfit to serve than Trump’s electors, by a margin of over 2:1.  Of course the alphabet media will never present it that way, though it fits the style of their propaganda, just in the opposite direction.

In psychology, there was testing many years ago trying to decide on the applicability and limits of behavioral training.  This would be stimulus/response.  The particular test which comes to mind is the one where a bird was given a pellet of food at a timed interval regardless of the bird’s behavior.  The bird was observed to adopt the behavior of turning in circles prior to eating.  The interpretation is that the bird adopted the behavior immediately prior to receiving food as that behavior which produced or allowed the food to be given.  Remember that in this case the administration of food was no relative to the behavior of the bird, only the time on the clock.

People consider themselves a high functioning being than a bird, but I started wondering about people functioning in the same fashion.  I remember just yesterday noting to another nurse how superstitious nurses are.  Example: utter the word “quiet” and the rest of the day will go to….  Where did that thought originate?  Could it be that some nurse was enjoying their day, uttered that forbidden word and 30 minutes later their shift got thrown into the crapper?   I can see a clear parallel here.  There was a school I visited which was designed for bipolar children.  One teacher there informed me that there were doctors who understood the effect of the moon and would adjust the kid’s medications according to the moon’s cycle.  One could argue superstition, another could say that they were observing the behavior of the children relative to the period of the moon and noted a similarity.

So let’s back up a bit and observe what this kind of inquiry is.  The scientific method has been employed to elucidate many useful things.  This is the setting up of an experiment with known quantities and observing the outcome if a specific change is applied to those known quantities.  The experiment must be repeatable to be considered valid.  In other words, others must be able to reproduce the results.  To start at the simplest, babies in their highchairs learn that when something is held over the end of their tray and released, it goes to the floor.  This experimentation may go on until most of the supper is in  a pile, or a parent applies force outside of the experimental lab.

Once one is outside of the most simple experimentations, the results and mechanisms become much more diffuse and subject to other forces.  Let’s go to the other end of the scale and think medication.   The development of a medication may take the talents of a doctor, biochemist, and organic chemist as well as the businessman to provide the resources of production.  The doctor observes a particular ailment and proposes a means to alter the problem.  The biochemist considers the application of molecule to the particular site and decides upon a molecule that works on the problem.  The organic chemist takes the proposed molecule and plans how to produce the same.  Each step of this takes observation, planning, calculation, and testing.  Once a medication is produced, an animal is chosen on which to test it.  This is the first stage testing where the question must be asked, “does this do what we want?”  The next question, “what other effects does this have?”  Once these are answered, the medication goes to its first human trial.  These are volunteers who take the medication according to their own ailments and report how it worked as well as the side effects experienced.  These are the side effects noted in the pharmacy insert.

How is this different than the bird turning circles?  Well, we humans reproduce the results, therefore are more “scientific” than our bird counterparts.  I have read may medication inserts and have repeatedly noted the disclaimer that the actual mechanism of the medication hasn’t been fully elucidated.  It is thought to do such and such in this particular area of anatomy.  In other words, the scientists have made observations and are providing the medication based upon those observations.  They have turned a circle and noted the food pellet there and concluded that action may have been involved because of x and x.  The patient is advised to use medication only under the direction of a physician because liability may ensue should the person take medication straight from the manufacturer and not have a good outcome.  How could one not have a good outcome when this substance has been tested?  This medication was tested in animals, and other people with their own metabolisms, but even though people are similar enough to make generalizations, there are specific differences requiring different treatments.  Turning circles may work with one patient, but poking the lever may be required for another.

Every action a person takes can be reduced to testing and results of previous experience.  We walk into a restaurant with money handy, because that exchange is required for obtaining food.  This is known by observation of others and experience the person has on their own.  Who has tried to eat at a restaurant without exchanging money?  There are stories occasionally involving descriptions of the person’s character and the legal results of such action.  Again, stimulus and response.  I have previous written on truth, but a similar parallel could be written here.  We call that letter “a” because the teacher in kindergarten said that particular shape was called that name.  No other shape was assigned the name “a”.  There was a stimulus and a response.  In this case, another individual directed the responses and provided stimuli according to the result to produce similar responses across the classroom.  That is why you can read my thoughts here – similar responses were rewarded and alternative responses were discouraged.

Thinking on that level takes me to the understanding that this could be spokes of a wheel continuing down a road of consciousness with contact at any point having association with the concept.  In other words, it could go on without end, so I will stop now.

I have seen stuff this election cycle that would have made my dad squirm.  Imagine a party running a socialist who is waiting for the indictment of his opponent.  On the other side, a businessman who has interesting rhetoric without any political history except donations to the party of the socialist.  On that point, let me note that donations to a particular individual in a party are the equivalent of security money to the mob in Chicago.  Pay up, and they leave you alone.  I can’t be the only one to make that observation, but I sure haven’t read it anywhere.  Lastly, the term I have been hearing over and over ad naseum is “free”.  Let’s just note that there is truly nothing free.  Everything has a cost.  Those obammaphones – they have a cost, and we who work are paying for them.  That “free” healthcare – we pay for it.  Being in the healthcare field, I have had to deal with a few of these individuals who believe our time, training, and work is worth nothing – to them.  Someone else should pay for their stuff.  That is truly the definition of “free” – that for which someone else pays.  Why would someone else pay for something for you?  There are a few ideas which come to mind:

– loss leader.  That which is low priced to get you in the door so you will buy something else.  The business then makes their profit on the second sold item.

– token.  That which is provided as a zoo keeper feeds the animals to keep them docile. Consider the welfare zones around the country and what happened when the food cards went blank last year.

-bait.  That which is given as the giver wants to lure the individual (prey) into a situation where they have power over you.  “Hi I’m from the government and we are here to help you.  Just fill out these forms, provide all the information and keep updating your personal information to us any time anything changes.”

– charity.  That which is given for religious purposes related to the emotional/spiritual endeavors of the person. Motives in this arena can be harder to pinpoint as they can be from the spiritual efforts of the giver to the social standing obtained by such efforts.

I can see a couple of these definitions fitting a government which provides something to a particular group at the expense of another group.  After all, the only way the government obtains finances is by removing the proceeds of people’s labor at the end of a gun.  If you don’t believe me, stop paying taxes and see what sort of outfit is worn by the individual arriving at your door.  The other possibility in this regard is that they don’t show up, they just remove your bank accounts as noted here.  I would recommend watching the entire instruction she provides.

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