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Drugs

Aaaah, the sweet spot. The place where magic happens because all of the planets align  - but typically those planets are called drugs, effort, alcohol and desire.

pool

For me it has manifested itself the most when playing pool. Many pool players have experienced the sweet spot, and strive to achieve it every time they play. It is a time when they can do no wrong, and unfortunately it doesn’t last long. I’d say 10-15 minutes tops.

While I can see how the abstinent and the stoners could have a similar sweet spot, I believe it predominantly belongs to the drinkers. It is hard to strike a ball smoothly when stuck in sober reality, but as the beers or more kick in so does the smoothness and confidence. Before long you are in a league of your own, and shortly after that you have peaked and fail quite terribly.

As, I said, it is a well-known phenomenon in pool, but perhaps it is a universal principle that can be applied to a wide variety of situations?

I mentioned a combination of  drugs, effort, alcohol and desire.. If theoretically drugs, alcohol and effort were limitless, I suggest that desire wanes.

To take it a step further, perhaps desire is allocated according to long-term returns? If you are thinking of winning a game or a tournament, your desire might wane quite soon. If you are fixated on being the world snooker champion, then your desire might last longer.

Desire is most associated with romance, and I’d like to think that they who desire for love last longer than those who wish to win a game of pool or two.

[and I figure that all desire comes from a base of wanting to be loved]

Example: Gary Numan. He had the tunes to some degree, but was lacking looks or a voice. Normally all three are required. Not for Numan, because his desire to succeed rode over all barriers.

Live musical performance is a ritual, and rituals feed the flames of desire. I suggest that one-hit-wonders are just that because they tend not to tour, and have no ritual.

Yep, it is all just in your head.

 

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drugs

A perpetual debate involves alcohol/cigarettes vs illegal drugs. Why are some harmful drugs legal and others not? Why is ecstasy illegal (minimal harm) while cigarettes are legal (high rate of cancer)?

Maybe it is time to use math for such decisions?  Try this:

If the drug causes long-term, detrimental impairment to more than 25% of typical users – it should be banned.

Typical means that standard deviation should be invoked.
Long-term means more than 2 days from a single use, and more than 1 week when long-term users quit.
Detrimental impairment means ill health, involuntary movement, paranoia, violence, disorientation etc – but not don’t give a fuck or radical ideas

I can see a 25% rule outlawing ice/P/meth, cigarettes and heroin, but not ecstasy, marijuana or alcohol. 

IT’S ABOUT TIME our governments made gave such rulings a logical basis, rather than being swayed by public opinion and taxes.

*The 25% can be adjusted higher/lower according to public/professional opinion.
* Obviously opinions vary, as per the graph above – presumably these studies had differing criteria
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The quote says it all – for some people recreational drugs can be mentally beneficial:

In 1966, Mullis tried LSD for the first time. After it was made illegal two years later, he and some student colleagues learned how to synthesise hallucinogens that were still legal. These drugs, he later said, were essential in allowing his mind to process ideas visually, enabling him to imagine himself “down there with the molecules”, looking at what would need to happen for the DNA strands to separate and be copied.

The breakthrough moment came in May 1983 when he was driving along a Californian highway. “My mind drifted back into the lab. DNA chains coiled and floated. Lurid blue and pink images of electric molecules injected themselves somewhere between the mountain road and my eyes,” as he puts it in his 1998 autobiography Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. It was on this journey that he came up with the polymerase chain reaction, the first method used for copying DNA.

The idea won him a Nobel prize. The Nobel Foundation described it as “of very great significance for biochemical and genetic research”, but made no mention of hallucinogens. [New Scientist, 9 July 2011]

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It is because they know they are stoned and compensate for it when driving.

Real-world data from auto accidents indicate that a drunk driver is approximately 10 times more likely to cause a fatal accident than a stoned driver. In most studies, smoking one-third of a joint or less has virtually no impact on a driver’s performance. A couple of studies even suggest that pot smokers are less likely to cause an accident than sober drivers.

…Participants in one study who smoked one-third of a joint perceived themselves as being impaired, even though the experiment suggested they were not. By contrast, subjects who had two drinks thought they were fine, despite performing poorly in driving tests. In the driving simulators, pot smokers drove significantly slower than the drunk drivers, even with researchers reminding them to speed up. They also gave the car in front of them a lot more room and were less likely to pass. Alcohol, on the other hand, increases risk-taking behavior. Drunk drivers drive faster, tailgate, and pass recklessly.

The most consistent result of the driving studies is that taking marijuana and alcohol together creates a much greater hazard than taking either one alone. Drivers who are drunk and high seem to suffer from the worst effects of both drugs: They meander, pass recklessly, drive too fast, take unnecessary risks, and are unaware of their incapacity.

Full story at Slate

And, to confirm that this is real, US states that have legalized marijuana have seen a 9% decrease in road fatalities. Perhaps many drinkers would prefer to be stoned, if only it were legal and readily available…

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