Knowledge is a tree, not a conclusion, and it has been a tree for all of time. Sometime, however, it verboten in the Bible with a didactic “tale” apparently by oligarchs telling the average religious person to view the tree of knowledge and its information as verboten. This is the beginning of the limits and control of information necessary for oligarchic dominance, as opposed to capital-type control which is more commodity-based --though information is now a commodity as “intellectual property.” (With “intellectual” being a strong word for the slurry capital pumps into the population.)
The most important extension of this type of information control currently exists as academia with its early revival of control as the dialectic and didactic by academy founders Socrates and Plato in ancient Athens, and recently by Hegel to fit current capital. Important is that these instructors specifically used sexual abuse to control, which survived to our time as, for instance, the Aboriginal residence schools openly, and covertly elsewhere.
Causality is a rational reduction of the complexity of life saying that “if something happens in relation to something else, that something else caused the first thing.” As a rational reduction, it is a “dumbing-down” of all the highly sophisticade life-system that affect us. Knowledge is naturally structured both in society and in our minds in tree structures, also called “complex data structures” Personally, I have never been “causal” (I believe) because I have been influenced by aboriginal knowledge organization, and also abstract art and music early on as a child with access to all of New York’s museums and libraries (access has since been restricted to children.)
If I something is unavoidably causal, I say “simple math” --this causes that, w/o making a bid deal about it.
Empiricism is the scientific method (and system) built from causality and is considered the only (measurement) science, even by scientist who should know better. It suffers from being highly-fractured, as it is built from independent causal conclusions that also tend to be ego-vehicles from empiricist scientists. Another widely-misused term is “objective” as a synomym for “cruel” such that normal human thinking, such as the recollection of experiences, is excluded from empiricist conclusions; only empiricist numbers are used, often as an output of highly-purposed statistical systems. Dependance on statistics is such that statistics now often produce hypothesis and theory, that is validated by the same statistical systems. Information from other sources such as experience and observation, no matter how detailed, cannot test well against conclusive information produced specifically to test well by statistical systems. This statistical reality is most true for current control of the mind (both human and animal) in cognitive-behavioral strategies of CBT. Interestingly, in CBT, the dialectic method as the socratic method is also key for (as they say) “thought control.”
Objectivism, such as Ayn Rand’s and (current-capital’s) Adam Smith’s objectivism simply “objectify’s” people to make then inanimate numbers rather than feeling people to allow for capital exploitation. As it happens, capital-supporting empiricism, as info-oligarchic, also leverages this, and fills its capital-supportive role by defining and maintaining it as its own from of exploitation, originally sexual abuse.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Heroin addiction explained in terms of neuro-adaptation (or plasticity)
In the widest sense, neuro-adaptation actually describes the plasticity of the entire neurological system that gives humans (and higher organisms) flexibility. Permit me to focus on the underlying mechanisms of opioid agonist (heroin or morphine) tolerance and withdrawal as examples using Christie (2008).
In tolerance, adaptive mechanisms start at the target receptor for opioid agonists, MOPr; work within the cells to maintain homeostatic balance (K+ channels and voltage-gated Ca channels); and work at the synapses that connect neurons, upwards to the level of neural networks. Long-term tolerance can adapt to ten- or hundred-fold increases in effective dose through these processes as the receptors shut down to compensate for the increased agonists. Sudden cessation -- producing withdrawal syndrome -- impacts the same places in reverse, requiring re-adaptation to readjust to presumably normal levels.
Changes in the homeostatic mechanisms (K+ and Ca+) within cells affect the synapses of the motivational systems, including the reward systems that Jennie mentions. Initial adaptation (tolerance) can happen quickly (in two phases: immediate at the cellular level, and gradual throughout the whole system), whereas re-adaptation (withdrawal in these two phases) can take months. Initial withdrawal peaks as the receptors have no agonists attached to them, causing homeostatic imbalances that users want to restore by filling the receptor with opioid agonists, in other words, a "fix."
Networks adapt in similar (homeostatic) ways but without the influence of opioid agonists, which contributes to long-term addiction issues. It might be--this is purely speculation on my part--that the stimulus of the opioid agonist sets off a neuroplasticity chain-effect throughout the system, but that the opposite neuroplastic process towards normal restoration has no stimulant, and hence takes longer.
Christie, M. J. (2008). Cellular neuroadaptations to chronic opioids: tolerance, withdrawal and addiction. British Journal of Pharmocology 154(2). Retreived Febuary 25, 2011 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2442443/