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The Hacking of the American Mind


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The Hacking of the American Mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhh19cQukfg

Fascinating talk from Dr. Robert Lustig.  I know @Maurile Tremblay has mentioned Dr. Lustig in the past and a friend of mine recently shared this video.  I was familiar with his sugar stance and I'm a firm believer in the idea that it is killing us - just horrible toxic stuff.  He goes further in this talk and reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.

There's a corresponding book - I plan to pick it up and will share some excerpts once I get it.

This is something I strongly suggest you watch and share.

**Originally I put this in the PSF but had the mods move it to the FFA

Edited by AAABatteries
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"Happiness begins where selfishness ends" - Coach John Wooden. It's been the first thing i say to anyone who is unhappy for quite some time and the only truly abiding way to impact people with one sentence that i know. The dopamine/serotonin connection which is the basis of mood is beautifully expressed and supported here. Thank you for posting it.

The most immediately usable & effective of Dr Lustig's suggestions in this would easily be changing the name "Type 2 Diabetes" to "Processed Food Disease". O, what a transcendent bit of propoganda that would be, which is why it will never happen.

In the last couple weeks, I've begun actual composition on my book of observations and methodologies concerning behavior, human nature & happiness after 20 years of research and Dr. Lustig will be often cited. Watch this lecture and see why.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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To further wikkid's point, at the end of the video Lustig talks about what we can do to counterbalance.  He proposes the 4 C's to up your serotonin;  tamp down your dopamine and lower you cortisol:

Connect - face to face, eye to eye human interaction  (spend less time online - go cornhole someone!)
Contribute - do something outside of yourself and for no credit - make the world a better place
Cope - sleep, mindfulness and exercise (these are the typical things you hear people talk about and not so much the first two)
Cook - cook and eat real food - don't buy processed crap;  know what is going in to your food and then sit down with your family and eat it

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Haven't gotten the book yet but bumping this.

Another Lustig talk on Sugar.  If you have kids please watch - stop pumping them full of sugar.  Yes, I know I sound like a zealot/crazy person but I don't care.  This #### is killing us.  Note - a lot of overlap from the first video but it helps cement things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

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Yesterday I finally finished watching the first link.  Interesting stuff.  I could quibble about some of his non-nutritional takes (social security is NOT a Ponzi scheme, for example) but overall I certainly agree with him.

Regarding the American diet and the health effects, I'm not sure how far the government should get involved although subsidies (cutting or providing) should be on the table as well as higher taxation of unhealthy foods.  Deciding what is healthy and what isn't will still be a challenge.  I'd like to think they are starting to figure this all out, but if 20 years ago we taxed foods that were bad for us we might have taxed butter and eggs.

 

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21 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

Yesterday I finally finished watching the first link.  Interesting stuff.  I could quibble about some of his non-nutritional takes (social security is NOT a Ponzi scheme, for example) but overall I certainly agree with him.

Regarding the American diet and the health effects, I'm not sure how far the government should get involved although subsidies (cutting or providing) should be on the table as well as higher taxation of unhealthy foods.  Deciding what is healthy and what isn't will still be a challenge.  I'd like to think they are starting to figure this all out, but if 20 years ago we taxed foods that were bad for us we might have taxed butter and eggs.

 

He likely either said or meant Medicare, which pretty much is (in a good way).

Along with cancelling the subsidies, the govt should be completely shutting down snack food on food stamps. Can't go much farther than that (enforcing fresh food requirements in areas where there's nothing but bodegas to shop at is counterproductive), but subsidizing harmful foodstuffs is ridiculous here. Not in favor of nanny taxes on the basis that it would be a gateway to all sorts of additional silliness in that realm, but using tax dollars to buy Cheetos is the 2nd-most idiotic orange thing in govt right now.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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5 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:
21 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

Yesterday I finally finished watching the first link.  Interesting stuff.  I could quibble about some of his non-nutritional takes (social security is NOT a Ponzi scheme, for example) but overall I certainly agree with him.

Regarding the American diet and the health effects, I'm not sure how far the government should get involved although subsidies (cutting or providing) should be on the table as well as higher taxation of unhealthy foods.  Deciding what is healthy and what isn't will still be a challenge.  I'd like to think they are starting to figure this all out, but if 20 years ago we taxed foods that were bad for us we might have taxed butter and eggs.

 

He either said or meant Medicare, which pretty much is (in a good way).

Along with cancelling the subsidies, the govt should be completely shutting down snack food on food stamps. Can't go much farther than that (enforcing fresh food requirements in areas where there's nothing but bodegas to shop at is counterproductive), but subsidizing harmful foodstuffs is ridiculous here. Not in favor of nanny taxes on the basis that it would be a gateway to all sorts of additional silliness in that realm, but using tax dollars to buy Cheetos is the 2nd-most idiotic orange thing in govt right now.

Keep in mind snack foods tend to be low cost per calorie and if we want better diets for the people who use food stamps we might need to consider increasing the amount given.  (Which I am in favor of)

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1 minute ago, toshiba said:

Keep in mind snack foods tend to be low cost per calorie and if we want better diets for the people who use food stamps we might need to consider increasing the amount given.  (Which I am in favor of)

you apparently havent watched/listened/read much Lustig, because he's quite emphatic that Nixon's cost--per-calorie orientation on feeding the poor backinaday is what started the Poisoning of America

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Just now, wikkidpissah said:
5 minutes ago, toshiba said:

Keep in mind snack foods tend to be low cost per calorie and if we want better diets for the people who use food stamps we might need to consider increasing the amount given.  (Which I am in favor of)

you apparently havent watched/listened/read much Lustig, because he's quite emphatic that Nixon's cost--per-calorie orientation on feeding the poor backinaday is what started the Poisoning of America

My point was not that the low cost per calorie is a new idea, I know that lol ? I was just saying the increase in food stamps might not get the traction it should.  

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1 minute ago, toshiba said:

Keep in mind snack foods tend to be low cost per calorie and if we want better diets for the people who use food stamps we might need to consider increasing the amount given.  (Which I am in favor of)

Regarding cost of healthy food, I was thinking about a sales tax structure that could help.  For instance, donuts or Fritos could be taxed at 20%.  Spinach could have a negative tax (discount).  Overall, tax revenue could still be maintained (or grown) assuming they can predict aggregate behavior.  I know there are other ways to tax but this would be good for consumers to see on their receipts.  Of course, this would require labeling foods with some type of tax rating.

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6 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

Regarding cost of healthy food, I was thinking about a sales tax structure that could help.  For instance, donuts or Fritos could be taxed at 20%.  Spinach could have a negative tax (discount).  Overall, tax revenue could still be maintained (or grown) assuming they can predict aggregate behavior.  I know there are other ways to tax but this would be good for consumers to see on their receipts.  Of course, this would require labeling foods with some type of tax rating.

I get where you're going - it's progressive, but i've yet to see taxes used in a carrot-and-stick fashion (something i was hugely for in my politically-active days) which didn't end up grossly manipulated by moneyed interests. And that's another consideration - giving a dime to govt in its current state is like lending money to one's junkie cousin.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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5 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:
13 minutes ago, toshiba said:

Keep in mind snack foods tend to be low cost per calorie and if we want better diets for the people who use food stamps we might need to consider increasing the amount given.  (Which I am in favor of)

Regarding cost of healthy food, I was thinking about a sales tax structure that could help.  For instance, donuts or Fritos could be taxed at 20%.  Spinach could have a negative tax (discount).  Overall, tax revenue could still be maintained (or grown) assuming they can predict aggregate behavior.  I know there are other ways to tax but this would be good for consumers to see on their receipts.  Of course, this would require labeling foods with some type of tax rating.

I like that idea, but I know that my less progressive friends would crucify me over such an idea. 

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I was in here reading this and then it was suddenly moved to the Politics Forum.  Is this political?  Seemed more sciency.

Nevermind.  Just realized I found it via search.

Edited by Jayrod
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On 10/15/2018 at 2:34 PM, Juxtatarot said:

Regarding the diet Lustig suggests, I found this link that apparently summarizes his 2012 book:  http://www.chewfo.com/diets/fat-chance-by-robert-h-lustig-md-2012-what-to-eat-and-foods-to-avoid-food-list/

While there's still some level of disagreement on some things, it's almost undeniable at this point that processed food and sugar are not only not that great for you but now everyone should be on the same page that it's horrible for us and should be avoided most of the time.  Basic real food as our primary food source seems to be a consensus among just about every dietician as the way we should eat.  We as a country should do everything we can to educate and make this food as cheap as possible so people can eat healthy.

Edited by AAABatteries
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31 minutes ago, Jayrod said:

I was in here reading this and then it was suddenly moved to the Politics Forum.  Is this political?  Seemed more sciency.

Nevermind.  Just realized I found it via search.

I started it here for 2 reasons:

1. Many of the complex threads in this overall issue are political in nature

2. I know at some point the discuss would head in that direction.  My hope is that we can keep the partisanship out of it and so far so good - this is something that impacts all of us and while again, some of the tangents do devolve in to a political discussion the idea that we should eat healthy and be healthy should be a goal for all people

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3 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

I get where you're going - it's progressive, but i've yet to see taxes used in a carrot-and-stick fashion (something i was hugely for in my politically-active days) which didn't end up grossly manipulated by moneyed interests. And that's another consideration - giving a dime to govt in its current state is like lending money to one's junkie cousin.

The problem is we can't get government out completely - I'm willing to accept that government will make mistakes (many of them) but my initial goal with taxation would be to discourage people from use, not necessarily to get money out of it.  It would be good if we could directly tie food & beverage taxation to healthcare funding.

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11 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

Going to change the title to make it broader and hopefully get more engagement.

Thanks, I'll be honest that this subject is right in my area of interest but when the first post in a thread is a link to a 90 minute talk, it's just not gonna happen for me.  Maybe some shorter written articles would be helpful.

In any case, I'm totally on your side, keep up the good fight.

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18 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

The problem is we can't get government out completely - I'm willing to accept that government will make mistakes (many of them) but my initial goal with taxation would be to discourage people from use, not necessarily to get money out of it.  It would be good if we could directly tie food & beverage taxation to healthcare funding.

America is clearly going to have to find the framework, systematically & ethically, for a society which still allows and incentivizes wealth, innovation and reward but accepts underemployment as an inevitability in a service economy and deals with it without creating a drone class. If economists weren't so busy justifying criminal diversions of the flow of money, they would long ago (i've been posting about this since i joined my first online forum in '02) have begun developing equilibriums for properly managed care of people & capital. Instead, they and the money are making a comic rush toward apogees of greed which will either crash us or require tyranny to protect.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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5 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Thanks, I'll be honest that this subject is right in my area of interest but when the first post in a thread is a link to a 90 minute talk, it's just not gonna happen for me.  Maybe some shorter written articles would be helpful.

In any case, I'm totally on your side, keep up the good fight.

just type "lustig" into utoob and choose from dozens of lectures of varying length. his fussy speaking manner takes some getting used to, but most of us are dumber'n him is why

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On the "science" part of things, in the video Lustig seemed to downplay the evils of salt.  I forgot the exact quote and context.  It was brief.  I've been doing a little reading about salt and it certainly seems to be an area of current debate.  Although, I guess, moderation is often the key to things.  And if you avoiding a lot of junk food, fast food and processed food, your salt intake is probably reasonable anyway.

I do like my nuts salted though.

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2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Thanks, I'll be honest that this subject is right in my area of interest but when the first post in a thread is a link to a 90 minute talk, it's just not gonna happen for me.  Maybe some shorter written articles would be helpful.

In any case, I'm totally on your side, keep up the good fight.

Agree and my intent was to get the book and break it in to manageable pieces.  Still have to do that.  

Sorry for the long first video - it’s definitely not a great introduction, should have gone with his Ted Talk - will try to cleanup the first post to use it for good links/info.

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24 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

On the "science" part of things, in the video Lustig seemed to downplay the evils of salt.  I forgot the exact quote and context.  It was brief.  I've been doing a little reading about salt and it certainly seems to be an area of current debate.  Although, I guess, moderation is often the key to things.  And if you avoiding a lot of junk food, fast food and processed food, your salt intake is probably reasonable anyway.

I do like my nuts salted though.

This.  I won’t go in to a diet discussion (yet) and how big a hypocrit I’ve been at times but suffice it to say my current eating agrees with the bolded.  They salt the snot out of processed foods.

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I don't see being able to convince enough people to go more nanny state with the food to hope to have government enforced healthy eating. I'm not really sure that's even the right thing to do. People do need to be able to make their own choices, even when they're suboptimal from a long term health perspective.

I am certain we need to stop Federally subsidizing HFC proliferation, and other political campaign influenced food favoritism.

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On 10/8/2018 at 9:41 PM, AAABatteries said:

Cook - cook and eat real food - don't buy processed crap;  know what is going in to your food and then sit down with your family and eat it

Someone is going to have to tell me why this is controversial

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On 10/15/2018 at 6:13 PM, AAABatteries said:

Another Lustig talk on Sugar.  If you have kids please watch - stop pumping them full of sugar.  Yes, I know I sound like a zealot/crazy person but I don't care.  This #### is killing us.  Note - a lot of overlap from the first video but it helps cement things.

Same with this one

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4 hours ago, AAABatteries said:

While there's still some level of disagreement on some things, it's almost undeniable at this point that processed food and sugar are not only not that great for you but now everyone should be on the same page that it's horrible for us and should be avoided most of the time.  Basic real food as our primary food source seems to be a consensus among just about every dietician as the way we should eat.  We as a country should do everything we can to educate and make this food as cheap as possible so people can eat healthy.

Take a look at the recipes quoted on these boards. Half if not more are pour this canned stuff on top of that meat - or smother with this preserved gunk, then cook.

Y'all have a long way to go

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20 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

I don't see being able to convince enough people to go more nanny state with the food to hope to have government enforced healthy eating. I'm not really sure that's even the right thing to do. People do need to be able to make their own choices, even when they're suboptimal from a long term health perspective.

That was the reaction about smoking at one time but then the government nanny stated the crap out of it and most of us adjusted.

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28 minutes ago, msommer said:

Someone is going to have to tell me why this is controversial

 

28 minutes ago, msommer said:

Same with this one

I doubt anyone posting in this thread will find it controversial. However, it seems these things might be even worse for us than we thought in decades past. Partially inspired by the war on fat.

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2 hours ago, msommer said:

Someone is going to have to tell me why this is controversial

Not controversial per se but definitely not common knowledge and absolutely not something that most people practice.  Sugar isn’t as bad as cigarettes but it’s on par with alcohol (if we just focus on what it does to our bodies).  But as Lustig points out we have people that feed their kids waffles with syrup and apple juice for breakfast and then let them eat goldfish all day and give them Little Debbie’s.  That same person would think you were crazy if you gave a kid a beer.  Both are horrible ideas.

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I finally got the book so wanted to start highlighting what I'm reading.  Hopefully will generate some discussion or maybe I'll just be talking to myself.

First, I changed the title back because from reading the Introduction this book is really about one thing - the idea that while pleasure and happiness are similar, they are actually distinct biochemical processes.  Both of these, Lustig argues, have been "hacked".  He does spend a good portion of the Introduction laying out his premise for the book but as he says there is no "smoking gun".  He believes we have been hacked but it's not some nefarious plot by corporations and the government but rather just for the idea of profit.  These corporations, with the government being complicit, have blurred the lines on pleasure and happiness and as a result we have suffered.  Obesity, addiction and depression are pervasive across the country and impact all of us.

Two things I really like about this so far - 1. he tends to break everything down scientifically.  2. he admits this is his observation - even states he's not great at doing all the things he suggests to offset the hacking.

 

Edited by AAABatteries
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Pleasure vs. Happiness

For all their similarities these are really two "separate phenomena, and in their extreme function as opposites.  Pleasure is a slippery slope to tolerance and addiction, while happiness is the key to long life."

I'm going to pause here because this was the first statement where I went ? - is that really the key to long life?  Without having read the rest of the book I would argue it's a complex equation - I think I get what he means though, to live your best life, to live a long happy life then happiness is truly the key.

Pleasure - defined by Webster as "enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one's liking" or "gratification" or "reward".  The reward part is what he will focus on in subsequent chapters, discussing how scientists have discovered a "reward pathway" in the brain.

Happiness - defined by Webster as "the quality or state of being happy" or "joy" or "contentment".  Contentment is what will be focused on - the idea that contentment is the baseline of happiness, the state where it is not necessary to seek more - the exact opposite of pleasure, which we are always seeing more of.  Similar to pleasure, scientist have found a "contentment pathway" that is completely separate from the pleasure pathway in the brain.

Pleasure (reward) - this feels good, I want more.  Happiness (contentment) - this feels good, I don't want or need any more.

Edited by AAABatteries
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While highlighting their differences, the one thing Lustig says that pleasure and happiness have in common is they are both slowly vanishing as addiction and depression become more prevalent.  But why - that really is what he is trying to uncover in this book.  I have to say that my immediate thought is that he's taking on a huge topic in just one book and that's it's very complex....but I have an open mind about this and his framing of his argument so far is persuasive (at least to a layman like me).

Seven differences between reward and contentment and then I'll pause for some discussion:

1. Reward is short-lived;  Contentment lasts much longer

2. Reward is visceral in terms of excitement - causes our blood pressure to go up;  Contentment is ethereal and calming - our heart rate and blood pressure go down

3. Reward can be achieved through a variety of substances (alcohol, drugs, sugar);  Contentment is not achievable with substance use

4. Reward occurs through taking;  Contentment often occurs through giving

5. Reward is yours and yours alone, doesn't impact others;  Contentment (or lack of it) impacts those around you

6. Reward, unchecked, can lead to misery (like addiction);  Contentment can keep you from being miserable and you can't have too much contentment

7. Reward is driven by dopamine;  Contentment by serotonin

He then spends the rest of the introduction discussing some caveats about this being complex and while studies back up what he is saying, most of those studies have not been done in humans and they are correlative and not causative.

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On 10/8/2018 at 3:41 PM, AAABatteries said:

To further wikkid's point, at the end of the video Lustig talks about what we can do to counterbalance.  He proposes the 4 C's to up your serotonin;  tamp down your dopamine and lower you cortisol:

Connect - face to face, eye to eye human interaction  (spend less time online - go cornhole someone!)
Contribute - do something outside of yourself and for no credit - make the world a better place
Cope - sleep, mindfulness and exercise (these are the typical things you hear people talk about and not so much the first two)
Cook - cook and eat real food - don't buy processed crap;  know what is going in to your food and then sit down with your family and eat it

PM sent :wub: 

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Some takeaways from the Introduction for me:

  • Some of this is not new to me - the idea that pleasure can lead to addiction is something I've heard before but his premise that all of this could be tied together with obesity and depression is an intriguing premise.  Just why the heck do we know more scientifically today than ever before but we are fatter, sicker and more unhappy than possible ever in our history - something doesn't add up and I think this may be a piece to that complex puzzle
  • I was hoping we was going to hammer sugar in this book (and he may) but I think I may need to go read his book specifically on that to get my pound of flesh I'm looking for.
  • One thing I've always tried to teach my kids is to be content;  I've mentioned in these forums on several occasions.  I've never really known how or why but I've always thought that being content is something that I'm good at.  But I never knew how to teach them to be content - I'm hopeful this book will help me in that regard and I plan to put in to action more of his suggestions as I get to the later parts of the book
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And while I'm screaming in to the wind, I have to ask:  What, if anything, can be done to separate government/politics from medicine and health?  Do we even want to?  The idea that the government knows how addictive certain things are but either don't warn people or even worse, promote those things seems to be the exact opposite or what we want in government.  Again - I don't want this to be another political debate and I don't think those questions I just proposed fall in to the partisan camp but I'm really curious to know what we can do.  Are we just screwed?

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14 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

And while I'm screaming in to the wind, I have to ask:  What, if anything, can be done to separate government/politics from medicine and health?  Do we even want to?  The idea that the government knows how addictive certain things are but either don't warn people or even worse, promote those things seems to be the exact opposite or what we want in government.  Again - I don't want this to be another political debate and I don't think those questions I just proposed fall in to the partisan camp but I'm really curious to know what we can do.  Are we just screwed?

I totally agree with your stance on sugar and a lot of the garbage that goes into foods.  

I don't know what can be done to separate government from medicine but it seems like it's going in the opposite direction where the government is going to be running healthcare/medicine.  This issue, like many others, seems to be a problem with all the money in politics.  I don't see that changing anytime soon so yeah it feels like we are screwed.

Keep talking to yourself in this thread.  I'm definitely reading and interested in the topic and possible solutions.  

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Interesting stuff.  I'll be following along, but won't have much wisdom to add.

I do think I personally struggle with the reward/content idea (lean heavily towards reward).  I think it's why I am 100% or 0% with most things.  I get that instant reward and keep chasing 'the better high' only to crash out later.  I don't quite know how to be truly content with many things.

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2 minutes ago, Ned said:

Interesting stuff.  I'll be following along, but won't have much wisdom to add.

I do think I personally struggle with the reward/content idea (lean heavily towards reward).  I think it's why I am 100% or 0% with most things.  I get that instant reward and keep chasing 'the better high' only to crash out later.  I don't quite know how to be truly content with many things.

That's the exact opposite of how I feel.  I've never done recreational drugs - doesn't interest me.  The high that you guys get running I never really got - I think I've somewhat experienced it a couple of times but nothing strong enough to make me think I have to chase something more.  I'd say if anything would be my triggers for a better high it would be food and sex.  Those are the only things that come close and as Lustig mentions in the book, those 2 things are very much once you get them the high fades, there's almost no lasting contentment with either.

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4 minutes ago, Ned said:

Also think this might be better in the FFA - a lot of good dudes won't see this here in the PSF.

I'm open to moving it - I just thought based on the original points that it may devolve more in to government/political policy but I'm happy content for it to be wherever it will draw the most discussion and hopefully help people.

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Just now, AAABatteries said:
5 minutes ago, Ned said:

Interesting stuff.  I'll be following along, but won't have much wisdom to add.

I do think I personally struggle with the reward/content idea (lean heavily towards reward).  I think it's why I am 100% or 0% with most things.  I get that instant reward and keep chasing 'the better high' only to crash out later.  I don't quite know how to be truly content with many things.

That's the exact opposite of how I feel.  I've never done recreational drugs - doesn't interest me.  The high that you guys get running I never really got - I think I've somewhat experienced it a couple of times but nothing strong enough to make me think I have to chase something more.  I'd say if anything would be my triggers for a better high it would be food and sex.  Those are the only things that come close and as Lustig mentions in the book, those 2 things are very much once you get them the high fades, there's almost no lasting contentment with either.

Yup, same thing (food/sex and running).  Outside of the endorphin high, running is such an incremental improvement sport (virtually anyone at any age can accomplish) that its very easy to get sucked into that vortex of training to run longer, faster, etc.  

And 100% agree on the no lasting contentment - take a marathon for example.  You train for 18 weeks that culminates in the big day.  If you're lucky enough to perform well and achieve your goal, there's a day or two of elation.  But left behind is a vacuum of 'what now' feelings that have plagued me with every race.  I'll slip into post-marathon depression that takes me a while to shake, and I think that speaks directly to the reward/contentment stuff. 

:shrug:  I don't know, man.  I don't really understand this stuff very well.  Will be watching the videos and following your sharing of the book.

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10 minutes ago, Ned said:

Yup, same thing (food/sex and running).  Outside of the endorphin high, running is such an incremental improvement sport (virtually anyone at any age can accomplish) that its very easy to get sucked into that vortex of training to run longer, faster, etc.  

And 100% agree on the no lasting contentment - take a marathon for example.  You train for 18 weeks that culminates in the big day.  If you're lucky enough to perform well and achieve your goal, there's a day or two of elation.  But left behind is a vacuum of 'what now' feelings that have plagued me with every race.  I'll slip into post-marathon depression that takes me a while to shake, and I think that speaks directly to the reward/contentment stuff. 

:shrug:  I don't know, man.  I don't really understand this stuff very well.  Will be watching the videos and following your sharing of the book.

Yes, and to be clear even though it's obvious - I have no answers here.  I just listened to his Ted Talk after a friend recommended it and it went from there.

I completely get what you are saying about the long training - but having said that, I think goals are important.  The thing is to enjoy the journey and not just the destination.  I do think it's the daily routine, the little things in life that truly make the difference in our contentment.  Maybe reading this book will change my mind somewhat on that but the one thing I do know is I want to spend more time engaged (whether it be with people, out in nature or just living life).  I always find those things much more rewarding than watching YouTube videos, playing games or even at times posting here. 

I also am really coming around to the idea that those substances that give us pleasure and activities that do the same are to be highly scrutinized and evaluated.

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I'm a big fan of Galatians 5.  Not so much the debates in 2 through 12, but everything else.  Seem to me to be saying the same thing.  Just substitutes "indulge the flesh" for "pleasure"  and describes how to be "happy" or "content" with "serve one another humbly in love".    

I also think that we need food (including forms of sugar) and sex and other things to nourish or bodies and minds and spirit, but going overboard with the pursuit of anything is just unhealthy. 

And while I'm referencing "spiritual" text, I think that the message holds up in the secular world.  And it holds up politically.  We were a "happier" nation when our companies invested in growth rather than pursued "cashing out".  We were healthier when our foods weren't spiked with addictive ingredients.  Etc., etc.   The world is a better place for everyone, especially fo "me" when I can overcome my own limitations and think of other's needs before my wants.

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9 minutes ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

I'm a big fan of Galatians 5.  Not so much the debates in 2 through 12, but everything else.  Seem to me to be saying the same thing.  Just substitutes "indulge the flesh" for "pleasure"  and describes how to be "happy" or "content" with "serve one another humbly in love".    

I also think that we need food (including forms of sugar) and sex and other things to nourish or bodies and minds and spirit, but going overboard with the pursuit of anything is just unhealthy. 

And while I'm referencing "spiritual" text, I think that the message holds up in the secular world.  And it holds up politically.  We were a "happier" nation when our companies invested in growth rather than pursued "cashing out".  We were healthier when our foods weren't spiked with addictive ingredients.  Etc., etc.   The world is a better place for everyone, especially fo "me" when I can overcome my own limitations and think of other's needs before my wants.

Interesting - I don't disagree with this but I think what Lustig does is help show why those things may be true scientifically.  Also, with an ancient text like the New Testament there's certain aspects of our life today that don't easily fit in to the good vs. evil categories.  Are video games good or evil?  Is social media good or evil?  I think they can be vehicles for both - but what Lustig is helping show is that these things have hacked our minds where they become bad for us.  I think it's a fine balance and something that falls in to more of a grey category.  Play your video game, just don't play it for 5 or 10 hours.  Get outside and connect with the real world.

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1 hour ago, AAABatteries said:

Interesting - I don't disagree with this but I think what Lustig does is help show why those things may be true scientifically.  Also, with an ancient text like the New Testament there's certain aspects of our life today that don't easily fit in to the good vs. evil categories.  Are video games good or evil?  Is social media good or evil?  I think they can be vehicles for both - but what Lustig is helping show is that these things have hacked our minds where they become bad for us.  I think it's a fine balance and something that falls in to more of a grey category.  Play your video game, just don't play it for 5 or 10 hours.  Get outside and connect with the real world.

I was reluctant to "go there" since I was mixing religion - at least my variant of religion and politics into your thread where these things should be tangential thoughts.   However, at the same time I think all of this is saying the same thing 

  • 2nd Post:   "Happiness begins where selfishness ends"
  • "Love thy neighbor" brings "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control"
  • Hillary:  "We are stronger together" 

The problem isn't so much that we need this to be discovered, but for whatever reasons we are poor at executing our lives such that we pursue those things that really bring happiness.   Which brings us to your questions of whether the power of government can coerce us towards happiness and the more lasting "rewards" .   (Ignoring whether it should.)

I tend to be a let us empower the masses to make better decisions and not ask government to pick winners and losers kind of guy, but then again everyday I'm reminded of that large chunks of people pursue their passions (whether pleasure or anger or whatever) rather than their rational best interest all too often.  So I may end up taking positions that are contrary to that original tendency.   Unfortunately our imperfections makes our politics the muddiests shades of gray and seldom black and white (or red and blue) .   

Now I need my sugar high.

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