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  1. #31
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Is it that reading and writing are counterintutive, or just counterintuitive to those who are not compelled by something other than school to learn them?
    You don't understand what counter-intuitive means.

    For instance, it is intuitive for politicians to increase their power but the point of liberal democracy is to limit power. So liberal democracy is counter-intuitive.

    And for instance, the language of science is mathematics and almost all of science is counter-intuitive.

    And the modern economics of Adam Smith is counter-intuitive for who, before Adam Smith, would have thought intuitively that private greed leads to public prosperity.

    Yes, most of the modern world is based on universal literacy and so most of the modern world is counter-intuitive.

    However the modern world based on universal literacy is coming to an end and we are entering the noosphere based on electronic media.

    But we still drive forward looking in the counter-intuitive rear vision mirror of literacy instead of looking through the intuitive windscreen of the electronic media, the noosphere.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    As described by a recent article on scientific american... depression may be the evolutionary approach to serious analytical problem solving?

    Theory... we get depressed because we have a problem we need to sit down and solve. Ruminating over it directs our energy/resources towards this problem. Then once the solution is found, the depression goes away. If this is true... does it point to cognitive therapy being a "better" treatment than antidepressants? That is, resolve the problem rather than covering up the symptoms?

    Depression's Evolutionary Roots: Scientific American
    I'd say DUH to the cognitive therapy being better except where depression is caused by a physical impairment in the brain, glands, or a genetically caused defect. If you're depressed, of psychological causes, it is because you aren't getting what you need. There are underlying problems that almost always have solutions, but that the depressed cannot solve, thus putting them in the state they're in. For instance, if you are depressed because you are ultimately lonely, that is something that once corrected would eliminate the depression. Correcting it can sometimes be difficult for the individual due to any number of circumstances, particularly once they have entered the depression.

    If depression is an evolutionary adaptation, it certainly is a creation of the subconscious mind to deal with things it perceives to be a "problem", because often the conscious mind would be happy to keep going the way it has. This proves that the sub/unconscious has ultimate power *only* when the conscious mind is not privy enough to tackle an aspect of the sub/unconscious that is vying for control. If the subconscious has a problem it will manifest it without the conscious mind being much aware at all. In fact, we will consciously perceive such things to be problems created in the outer world, but in reality, they are issues created in the subconscious.

    Due to the nature of the human brain itself, there are certain things we can never control, certain urges we can never be rid of, only CONSCIOUSLY ignore and cover up with other things whilst the subconscious is left to mull over it and eventually make the damning call for a correction which we can't consciously ignore. That is when depression sinks in. One mind tells you it needs something while the other mind could care less. While the conscious mind has executive authority in just about everything it can mentally grasp, that doesn't stop the subconscious from putting up a fight. This presents a problem because some psychological needs are not vital to our survival in the modern world of humans, though it may have been crucial in the development of mankind through its evolution and history.

    As individuals we have the power to make whatever decisions we want, but our basic nature will always drive us toward a certain direction. We all have basic needs psychologically, and the subconscious brain will ultimately have those needs met even if it means altering the production of hormones in your body so that you consciously perceive you are in an unfavorable state and are forced to correct it until your subconscious gets what it wants. We are but machines constantly treading the line between conscious intelligence~free will and autonomic programming.

  3. #33
    Senior Member laughingebony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
    In another thread about pain I agreed with the notion that pain, particularly chronic pain, helps to weed out unfit individuals. Pain itself not being necessarily advantageous, but to the species as a whole.

    I think the same notion can be applied here. Those who can deal with depression are better fit than those who cannot. There are two reasons I can think of why this is true:
    1) Individuals who are especially vulnerable to depression, whether they suffer from severe bouts or chronically, may also be poor at making decisions or suffer from hormonal and neurological imbalances. Counselors target the former, psychiatrists target the latter. However, evolutionarily speaking, this may not be ideal for the group if the depression is genetically dependent.
    2) Individuals who aren't genetically prone to severe or chronic depression but become so anyway may be in an environment they aren't well suited for. As a farmer may be unsuited for being a pop musician, or even an elephant unsuited for flight, some individuals may not be suited for the environment they are in. If they are fit, they will survive, and perhaps either adapt or move to a less threatening environment.


    I don't mean to imply that those who are chronically or severely depressed are unfit for survival, but I think that this notion does add to the role of depression in the evolutionary process. While some depression is normal and indeed advantageous for some situations, it also helps to select more fit generations for the constantly changing demands of the future.
    The problem with is that biological evolution for humans is practically obsolete. We have the ultimate adaptation: being able to create our own adaptations. We do this through technology -- a category of which medicine is a part. That is, we evolve by means of technology.

  4. #34
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Hmmmm, back to the OP. It's an interesting concept, and I agree with it to a certain extent. Especially with regards to my own experience. However it's just not that simple is it. They boiled down the fundementals of depression. You have a problem, so just solve it. Some problems aren't that easy to solve. For instance, some kid who going through an exastential depression over the state of the world? You can't just solve that wee problem. To me, depression is a multi-faceted problem. Sure, for some, even most, it is a matter of instigating change, but some it would be a mission, just trying find out what the true problem is.
    I do agree that that depression medication is over prescribed though. Especially teenagers and kids. I think that's irresponsible.
    I've have been prescribed them, and taken them. The second time frightened me. I stopped eating and sleeping, and I didn't like how my moods evened out. No lows, but no highs either. It was a bit wrong.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member Kangol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughingebony View Post
    The problem with is that biological evolution for humans is practically obsolete. We have the ultimate adaptation: being able to create our own adaptations. We do this through technology -- a category of which medicine is a part. That is, we evolve by means of technology.
    If you're saying that humans are overcoming and coping with environmental stressors through technology, yes, they are. However, until science is fully capable of genetic modification and society accepts its practice, human genes will still be a limiting factor on our ability to survive and continue to the next generation. Currently, the best we can do is attempt to prevent or suppress maladies, but I wonder what happens if otherwise unfit genes continue to spread through future generations, especially if they express unwanted dominant traits? Almost seems like controlling a bonfire with single pails of water.

    I really hate to sound like I'm proposing eugenics, but as long as we're talking evolutionary advantages, it's going to have to.

  6. #36
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
    If you're saying that humans are overcoming and coping with environmental stressors through technology, yes, they are. However, until science is fully capable of genetic modification and society accepts its practice, human genes will still be a limiting factor on our ability to survive and continue to the next generation. Currently, the best we can do is attempt to prevent or suppress maladies, but I wonder what happens if otherwise unfit genes continue to spread through future generations, especially if they express unwanted dominant traits? Almost seems like controlling a bonfire with single pails of water.

    I really hate to sound like I'm proposing eugenics, but as long as we're talking evolutionary advantages, it's going to have to.
    Personally, I think depression is over diagnosed. Maybe that has something to do with western culture, and societal expections, but people get diagnosed with depression after major life events, such as a death of someone they were close too. A perfectly natural response of grief gets misconstrued as depression. I think this may have something to do with the clinical definitions of depression also......I don't think this neccessairly translates as a genetic weakness.
    I also rather think from what surmised from the literture I have read, that depression is very much determined by enviromental factors. Control enviromental factors, and you pretty much eliminate it's expression. Predisposition dosen't equal definite expression.

    That said, It is not my intention to belittle those of you who've been diagnosed with depression.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member Gewitter27's Avatar
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    I don't care how evolutionarily adaptive it might be, I just want it out of my life and NOW.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Wild horses's Avatar
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    What about depression that comes for no apparent reason. Anyone experienced this kind of thing?? Is it just purely the chemicals in your brain messing up or would one suggest that there MUST be a root problem and the person just does not want to admit to it, or is unable to distinguish it
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  9. #39
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild horses View Post
    What about depression that comes for no apparent reason. Anyone experienced this kind of thing?? Is it just purely the chemicals in your brain messing up or would one suggest that there MUST be a root problem and the person just does not want to admit to it, or is unable to distinguish it
    I was just thinking about that this morning. Unfortunately I don't know enough about neuroscience to come to a conclusion, although it is popularly believed that chemical imbalance can also cause it. I don't see any reason that wouldn't be true, but it seems to me that there's still a lot we don't know (have you seen the commercial for that antidepressant where they say "such-and-such medication is thought to work by doing x y and z"?).
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  10. #40
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    That article smells like bullshit to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    Maybe something happens with a very mild depression that allows focus. It is always good to get an escape from your problems. But at some point it definitely affects your focus.
    +1

    When I read the OP, I thought you might be referring to the theory that it is a survival strategy for non-alphas.
    Advantageous, only in the sense that low serotonin individuals avoid conflict and therefore live to hide another day.

    One important contribution of rank theory is that it has proposes a hypothesis of how depression actually evolved: it emerged as the yielding component of ritual agonistic conflict. This has been called the yielding subroutine (Price and Sloman, 1987). The adaptive function of the yielding subroutine is twofold: first, it ensures that the yielder truly yields and does not attempt to make a comeback, and, second, the yielder reassures the winner that yielding has truly taken place, so that the conflict ends, with no further damage to the yielder. Relative social harmony is then restored.



    ETA: The Neurotransmitter revolution
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
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