Received t-mail messages and replies

The Giga Society

Introduction

Future Giga Society members, intelligent as they are, will unravel the enigma of time transmission and invent t-mail, a variant of e-mail that allows the sending of messages through time. In their infinite kindness they will send a web-based t-mail interface back in time for use on the Giga Society web site, so that visitors can send their comments or questions. If the future members consider a message worthy, they may display it with their possible reply on the future Giga Society web site. State-of-the-art early twenty-second century technology will make it possible to mirror the relevant page below.

These are the (in your time slice) most recent messages. For the other messages, see Archive 1 and Archive 2.

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Received t-mail messages and replies

Chronological order is from bottom to top; replies by the good Dr. Whither.

Message

Date: Tuesday 8 August 2017
From: Brendan Harris <amalgamiq•20170807154500•gmail.com>
Subject: Coping with cultural relativist nonsense

How is one best to deal with the always enlightening and pacific experience of forced contact with cultural relativists and terrorist group members?

Reply

To the thorough regret of the future Giga Society members, the answer to this question is deemed illegal in the asker's time slice and would result in prosecution of the publisher of the messages that are so kindly sent back in time by aforementioned members.

Message

Date: Monday 22 May 2017
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•2017052202430000•gmail.com>
Subject: Arising purer: step 1

How can one learn resistance to habituation?

Reply

By simply defying it, not giving in to it, say the future members. By doing — mimicking, copying — what conscientious people naturally do. Decide, exercise willpower, delay gratification, consume less of any enjoyable stimulus than one would want so that it stays enjoyable, only open a new bottle, packing, or casing when the already open one is finished, and so on. Failing at this betrays that one is not an aware being. Nevertheless, changing one's habits may succeed, and if external help is needed, behavioural therapy is what the members would have the most trust in.

Message

Date: Tuesday 16 May 2017
From: Charles Peden <earthpet•20170516040100•charter.net>
Subject: Changing an Addiction

What advice would you give to help someone change an addiction?

Reply

The members recommend not so much to change the addiction but to end it altogether. Medical help will often be necessary as addiction concerns a serious psychiatric disorder. To prevent addiction, it may help to realize that addiction comprises two phenomena: (1) habituation (= needing ever more to obtain the same effect) and (2) withdrawal effects. If one simply never gives in to habituation and avoids really harmful indulgences altogether, one will not become addicted (wherein "really harmful" means that even the lowest practically possible dose is harmful). But then, those disposed for addiction possess not the conscientiousness that naturally provides resistance to habituation. Fortunately, resistance to habituation is a skill that can be learnt.

Message

Date: Tuesday 25 April 2017
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20170425135500•gmail.com>
Subject: Reading order.

In what order are t-mail messages read?

Reply

As Whitney said: All at once.

Message

Date: Saturday 8 April 2017
From: Charles Peden <earthpet•20170408124100•charter.net>
Subject: Ethics advice

What advice would you give to help one determine if something is not ethical?

Reply

The question contains a negation that could as well have been left out, say the members. Second, ethics is logic. Only those capable of logic — so, about half a percent of the population in the asker's time slice — can know from within or determine whether something is ethical. And mostly they do not require advice for that, since it comes natural to them. Furthermore, the future members believe that Kant's categorical imperative is a worthy guideline for deciding in ethical matters.

Message

Date: Sunday 26 February 2017
From: Mehmet Uzungol <mehmet.uzungol•20170226033400•yandex.com>
Subject: Travelling method

What is the fastest method of travel from New York to Beijing in your time slice?

Reply

Walking.

Message

Date: Monday 20 February 2017
From: Charles L. Peden <earthpet•20170220112500•charter.net>
Subject: Membership In A Collective

What is the most important collective of which one can be a member?

Reply

Again, easy as can be! Ethical, honest, intelligent people. The future Giga Society members can not think of a more important collective.

Message

Date: Friday 3 February 2017
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20170203165500•gmail.com>
Subject: Golden Ratio

What is most profound about the golden ratio?

To attempt to clarify possible idiomatic confusion, the ratio mentioned is (a + b)/a such that it equals a/b.

Reply

Ah, finally an easy question! say the remotely future members. There is no thing profound about the golden ratio. The abundant claims of having found said ratio in works of art, architecture, nature and so on, rest largely on pareidolia. If one goes purposely looking for the ratio, one will "see" it almost everywhere, but the same is true for other ratios and patterns. The golden ratio is not really that special, and this becomes even more true if, as some do, one sets one's tolerance so high that rough approximations like 5/8, 3/5, or 2/3 are accepted as "golden ratio" too.

Message

Date: Saturday 21 January 2017
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20170121014000•gmail.com>
Subject: Getting high.

Should recreational use of drugs be illegal?

Reply

Assuming that the asker refers to drugs that, when used recreationally, are potentially harmful to users and/or society, the future Giga Society members say that this matter depends on the composition of the population of the society in question. Concerns it a high-level population of intelligent, responsible, ethical, impulse-controlled individuals, the libertarian principles are valid and (use and production of and trade in) recreational drugs can be legal. These people are capable of deciding for themselves what is good and responsible behaviour. No laws or penalties are needed, no prisons, no security measures, no police force, no locks, no passwords, no encryption, no spam filters, no firewalls, because these people do not do wrong to others. They would not know how even if they wanted to.

On the other hand, concerns it a population containing at least a fair amount of lower-quality folks, deficient in ethics, morality, intelligence, impulse control, sense of good and bad, then the legalization of recreational harmful drugs will cause harm to many, as we also see with alcohol and tobacco. Some just lack the constraint and wisdom to handle the availability of such drugs in ways that do not harm themselves or others. And, the notion that legalization will solve at least the problems associated with the illegal production of and trade in drugs is mistaken too, as explained so brilliantly by the Psychometitor in The fallacies of "victimless crime" and "idiot tax". So, with this type of population, prohibition with strict enforcement is imperative to protect people from either themselves or from their weaker fellow citizens. Considering the tremendous harm done to people by these drugs, and to society through the exertion of perverted influence by those who made fortunes producing and trading in drugs either illegally or legally, the members are unanimously of opinion that the life-terminating punitive measure is warranted for any drugs-related crime. The members are also of opinion that striving to legalize recreational drugs in this type of society serves only political ends of a perverse nature, and is the opposite of helpful with regard to national health and wellbeing.

The asker may choose which of the two described situations applies in the asker's society.

Message

Date: Sunday 8 January 2017
From: Charles Peden <earthpet•20170107222600•charter.net>
Subject: Advice On Increasing Instinct-Detachment

What advice would the future Giga Society members offer for those of us who wish to increase our instinct-detachment?

Reply

The members stress that detachment from ancient mammalian instincts is rooted in the individual's brain, which, in turn, is formed according to the blueprint constituted by the genome. Yes, other biological/physical factors during pregnancy and very early in life can disturb this process, resulting in damage to the brain, but the genetic influence far outmatches those factors. So, to increase instinct-detachment in a given adult individual, as the asker desires, one would need to travel back in time and alter the genome before brain formation starts; that is, early in the embryonic stage. Needless to say, the known paradoxes surrounding time travel complicate this otherwise so attractive procedure, which, even if successful, would result in a different individual than the existing one is.

Also superfluous to point out is that modifying the relevant genes in a living adult would be like changing the blueprint of an already built bridge. For clarity, that does not affect the actual bridge. The brain is the only organ that is not constantly rebuilding itself. New brain cells are formed, but those are additional cells rather than replacing dying ones. The brain houses such vital functions that constant renewal of its cells would be incompatible with the continuation of things like heartbeat, breathing, memory, and personality. That is, it would be incompatible with life. Therefore, physical intervention in the brain is required to increase the individual's instinct-detachment (other than by time travel); such is not only intricate and dangerous, but, even if technically possible, would alter the personality and thus yield a new individual. One would not be the same person.

Effective non-invasive methods to increase instinct-detachment are unknown to the future members. If one were bent on experimenting with such methods nevertheless, the members would suggest behaviour therapy to train the subject to react in the manner of an instinct-detached person, the idea being that the practised responses become reinforced while the ignored mammalian instincts weaken through disuse.

Message

Date: Sunday 20 November 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20161119193030•gmail.com>
Subject: My contribution to the gene pool

I have been diagnosed with several mental disorders, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism- formerly Asperger's syndrome- and schizophrenia. However, I also have an IQ somewhere around 110-115. I am wondering if there will be enough genetic screening available by 2035 that it would be harmless, if not beneficial, for the human race if I were to sire children. The question I have, then, is this: will there be enough screening measures by 2035 that I can procreate without contributing to dysgenic effects or should I simply not have biological children?

Reply

The members express dismay regarding the assumption in this question, to wit that genetic screening (in the context of procreation) could somehow prevent an individual's genetic disposition from being passed on to posterity when having children. But such screening only detects the disposition! It does not repair it! Therefore, no amount of screening measures could enable a person to procreate without possibly contributing to dysgenic effects. Unless, of course, the asker is speaking of genetic screening of the embryo, combined with abortion in case of undesired findings, or combined with repair at the genetic level (but the asker says nothing to suggest that the asker means that). Apart from the ethical considerations surrounding those procedures, the asker should realize that, with the array of disorders listed by asker, other complications exist:

For instance, it is known that some of these conditions, like Asperger and schizophrenia, are intrinsically linked to creativity and its high end, genius (which is not the same as to say that one needs to have the disorder in order to be creative or a genius). The gene variants underlying the conditions may also contribute to important traits like wide associative horizon, conscientiousness, or intelligence. So, preventing those variants from being expressed in the next generation may be like disposing of the bath water with the child still in it. Secondly, the only truly serious illness mentioned by asker, schizophrenia, has a large environmental component, its heredity being limited such that a child with one schizophrenic parent has a risk of less than 15 percent. That is not a risk that should necessarily keep one from procreating, and the mentioned disorders are no significant source of dysgenesis.

When it comes to dysgenic effects, the future members stress that the only group who urgently need to be curtailed concerning procreation is the one containing criminals, anti-socials, evildoers, and committers of violence against innocent. The members advise a 100 percent ban on offspring by any such individual.

Message

Date: Tuesday 4 October 2016
From: Mehmet Uzungol <mehmet.uzungol•20161004004500•yandex.com>
Subject: World human population

What is the World human population in your time?

Reply

Wow! The future members congratulate the asker on this profound question. The world human population, in the members' era, is not what it used to be in the asker's time slice. Rather, said population is in a process of speciation, potentially even forming new genera. A wee minority, having had the opportunity and means to benefit from various technological and genetic enhancements, are effectively becoming cyborgs and/or approaching the limits of the human genus. While most of them could plausibly still breed with naturals, they prefer to avoid this, partly to retain their so laboriously acquired genetic superiority, partly because they expect to live for multiple centuries at least as individuals, so that all too diligent reproduction would inherently result in redundancy and overpopulation.

Then, the traditional major subspecies — Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid — have virtually ceased to mix, quite contrary to the expectation of many in the asker's era, who believed there was so much miscegenation going on that humanity was or would become one single race. They could not have been more wrong; the three said groups have taken divergent paths and are now as good as separate species of the genus Homo. Instead of blending into a homogeneous mob, one has opted to maximize the racial differences. The attempted genocide of Caucasoids has been successfully stopped, and its neo-Marxist perpetrators — the promotors of race mixing and mass migration to the West — have been identified and eliminated to the last woman. The worldwide "never again" reaction that followed has contributed to the avoidance of large-scale migration and mixing, and therefore to the ongoing speciation.

The group of mixed-race people, once thought to be forever growing and eventually going to replace all others, has shrunk dramatically in the process of subspecial divergence and speciation, its members largely having been absorbed into either of the new species, the Negroid one, historically the best able to incorporate external influences, doing most of the absorbing. Smaller-sized groups like Indians and Aboriginals have gone the same way. The result is a peaceful new world, richer in human diversity than ever before, wherein war, terrorism, violence against innocent, intolerance of good, and crime are rare to non-existent. The old doctrines of globalism and multiculturalism have thus been thoroughly disproven, and their champions are regarded as, in the asker's time slice, one looked back upon the Nazi leaders. Actually, they are regarded worse.

Message

Date: Sunday 14 August 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•201608132327•gmail.com>
Subject: RE:RE: I forget everything.

Thanks for the grammar lesson. I'm not in much contact with moderately or highly intelligent people; my intelligence atrophies as a result, for I haven't the personal fortitude to maintain my mind in isolation.

What I meant about "holographic thoughts": it was written in the method described for HEAVEN.COM that awareness is holographically spread across whatever substrate it uses. Not fully understanding what that means, I assumed individual thoughts were "holographic", whatever that means.

Revised question: is the content of one's lifetime of thoughts accessible after death?

Reply

Again, the members must correct an error, this time even a factual one: the method described in the good Dr Whence's report concerning the hypernetwork HEAVEN.COM mentions no such holographic spreading of awareness. The asker is truly delusional. Out of kindness, the members will still answer the question:

No, not after death, as after refers to a period that is strictly part of and bound to the asker's space-time continuum. Only a possible observer outside space-time could access events that are as shielded from observation as thoughts that are unspoken, unwritten, unread at time of occurrence naturally are. Notice that thoughts are nothing but events within the brain; patterns of neurons firing.

Message

Date: Thursday 11 August 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•201608102242•gmail.com>
Subject: I forget everything.

Are my holographic thoughts accessible to anyone after my death? I'm certain I've had thoughts that were much greater than me. Such thoughts would take several lifetimes of work to accomplish or describe.

If not-- Oh! What a loss. The asker would be pleased to hear: the content of one's lifetime of thoughts could be somehow be accessed regardless of death.

It is assumed this technology would be of the very, very, very, far future.

Reply

Unfortunately, the asker neglects to clarify what the asker means by "holographic thoughts"; perhaps the asker means simply "the content of one's lifetime of thoughts", but that does not fit the proper meaning of "holographic", so to assume the asker means "the content of one's lifetime of thoughts" would insult the asker. Therefore the question can not be answered; what a loss indeed! as the future members are always eager and pleased to answer.

By way of consolation, the members are so kind as to correct a grammatical error in the question: "greater than me" must be "greater than I"; a subject form is needed, as one will understand the moment one realizes it is short for "than I am". After all, one does not say "than me am", does one?

Message

Date: Thursday 26 May 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•201605260005•gmail.com>
Subject: Schizophrenia and smoking

Why do so many schizophrenics smoke tobacco?

Reply

According to the members, schizophrenics smoke because it makes them feel good, or less bad, as a result of the thus increased dopamine production. Schizophrenics crave this more than many others because of (1) the disturbed dopamine system that is part of their illness, and (2) the effect of their antipsychotic medication, which inhibits dopamine transmission. Regarding (2) it has been observed by members that schizophrenics who secretly stopped taking their pills suddenly found it easy and attractive to quit or reduce their smoking habit; upon recurrence of psychosis and resumption of neuroleptic treatment, the heavy smoking was taken up again.

Although the asker asks it not, the members further point out that smoking by schizophrenics is unfortunate, not only because of the regular evils of smoking, but also because nicotine counteracts the effect of antipsychotic medication, sometimes resulting in the need to raise the dose, which in turn increases the desire to smoke even more, and so on.

Message

Date: Thursday 18 February 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20160217195800•gmail.com>
Subject: Schizophrenia treatments, cures

Will there be any greatly significant advance in the treatment of schizophrenia in the time span from 2016 to 2055?

Reply

The future members would rather speak of gradual progress, concerning the condition's treatment. Its prevention via early genetic interference has more impressive results, the members allow me, Dr. Whither, to convey.

Message

Date: Thursday 4 February 2016
From: Joshua Blackburn Dieffenbach <masterdieff•20160203181500•gmail.com>
Subject: Schizophrenia

Does anything, such as antipsychotic medication, have a protective effect on the lowering of IQ over time in schizophrenics?

Reply

Antipsychotic medication does on the whole protect against the decrease of I.Q. in psychotic disorders, and that effect is already included in the loss estimated by the members in said members' previous message. For better understanding, it is pointed out that neuroleptics themselves reduce I.Q. too in the long term, but that the effect on I.Q. of long-term psychosis or of recurring episodes of full-blown psychosis is much more detrimental, so that the medication protects against loss of I.Q. even despite itself causing such loss.

Naturally, anything that helps prevent the recurrence of psychosis will contribute to the protective effect, such as avoidance of distress and of recreational drugs.

Message

Date: Friday 29 January 2016
From: Blackburn/Joshua Dieffenbach <masterdieff•2016012821400000•gmail.com>
Subject: Blah blah

It was recently found that over-pruning of the neurons, caused by a particular gene, is associated with schizophrenia. I wish the future Giga Society members to understand my dismay at having been diagnosed with schizophrenia, considering it is associated with both neuronal over-pruning and lower overall grey matter over time. That would, however, increase the ratio of white matter to gray, consistent with my Asperger's diagnosis.

Regardless, I wish to ask as well: How does neuronal pruning in humans relate to intelligence?

Reply

Neuronal pruning, say the future members, is a phenomenon inherent to the maturing, developing brain. It has no specific relation to intelligence. For clarity it is stressed that pruning concerns the removing of synapses, not necessarily of neurons as such; the latter occurs too but is, properly speaking, a different process.

However, what the asker likely desires to known is how over-pruning relates to intelligence; unfortunately, it relates to an accelerated decrease of it. In schizophrenic persons, this extra loss amounts on average to roughly half an I.Q. point per annum, next to the possible normal deterioration with age as sketched by the Psychometitor in I.Q. development with age modelled .

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