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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Marijuana. The the herb some many have tried, yet is vigorously rallied against. Personally I have never tried it, nor plan to. I’m someone who doesn’t even take cold medicine unless my cold is ridiculously bad, or I just need my health a little better for whatever I’m doing. No particular reason it’s just something I do.

Having said this, I believe is should be legal. It’s both less addictive and less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. It’s also less addictive. The only real difference is that it’s not as socially acceptable. How could it be? It’s been illegal for several decades and unlike alcohol and tobacco have not been used by the majority of cultures for hundreds of years. With the exception of tobacco of course, but its was popularized in the west only after the discovery of the New World.

Despite this we have such debate over it. The typical person against it would characterize a ‘pot’ smokers as some hoodlum who’s unproductive and a drain on society. Yet anyone who went through high school knows that the divide between users and non users is by no means related to social circles. In fact in my school it actually brought my circles (the unpopular people like goths and nerds and whatnot) together with the more popular people. It was all over the place. Don’t get me wrong the majority of the school never touched the stuff. But the minority that did wasn’t small either. I know several of the users are in college as we speak. And the rest all still hold jobs (dodging drug tests of course). Perfectly productive members of society with a ‘private habit’.

Yet still we cling to our preconceived notions of who’s what and what the end result would be. The majority of nay sayers would have you believe in a heavy decline in society should it be made legal. Yet so many do all ready. Surveys done by the US Department of Health and Human Services have shown close to half of adults have tried Marijuana by age 25. 6% admitted to using it regularly. That means 1 in 20 people have admitted to using it regularly.

So would American society collapse or worsen? 5% of the American population would have a profound effect on America if that was the case in my personal opinion. Yet we don’t see that effect. Given that about 50% have tried it by age 25, one has to wonder what the difference would be if it were made legal since only 6% used it regularly?

I’ll also like to point out that the nature of the survey implied that all of these statistics are likely higher do to people not willing to admit what they do do to fears of prosecution because its illegal, but even at these levels, it’s still telling.

Also note that 850,000 people last year (2011) for marijuana related crimes according to the website repulicreport.org (link below). 850,000 people draining our tax dollars on something not having any significant negative effect on the American society, except when in the hands of criminals profiting from its sale. Depending where you look up the costs of keeping someone in jail (I usually see it anywhere between $100 to $150 per inmate a day for regular jail not prison)  you can calculate the costs for someone per day in jail. So for each day these 850,000 people were in jail, that was ~$85,000,000 a day in jail for marijuana related crimes. According to theDCpost.com 7,225,800 went to jail as some point in 2009. 850000 equals ~8.5% of that. 8.5% that US citizens don’t have to pay for.

Another thing I want to point out is the moral reasons for the government not telling me what I can or cannot put in my body. This nation prides itself on freedom yet incarcerate so many for not affecting anybody but themselves. Obviously we should not drink or drive, but we can still drink. Why not get high? Alcohol damages your liver and brain cells but its legal. Why should the government pick and choose what we can and can’t put into are bodies? I guess I’d be okay if it was all drugs and alcohol. At least them it would be consistent and since America is a democracy so its SUPPOSED to be rules by the people, I’d be okay with it. Instead we have parts of society enforcing its will on other parts of society.  It’s okay to do this but not okay to do this because I don’t like that.

Point is the government should stay out of it. I can at least understand harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. They’re a lot more dangerous and addictive. There is a significant health issue and unlike marijuana, you get the urge to do some really stupid things. Not that you couldn’t on Marijuana, but you’re not compelled to. Actually quite the opposite.

However even in cases such as these, the logic behind these are quite low for many of the some reasons as Marijuana, despite making a little more since.

Point of the matter is, Marijuana should be legal for recreational use. It’s legalization would only bring positive influences to this country.

Sources:

http://thedcpost.com/?p=18444

http://www.republicreport.org/2012/marijuana-lobby-illegal/

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You may have noticed my user name is Cybermind2100. I choose this because it was what I had recently began thinking about and thus the subject of this first post.

The human mind is a very interesting thing. People in times past have often wondered about its existence. Some thought of it as metaphysical, and resided in the human soul. Others thought it existed in physical form. Still others believe it to be a combination of the two. Whatever the case, the inability for a clear answer has kept this subject going well into our times.

Now we hear of the possibility of linking our minds to machines and the internet. This begs many a question, as the moral and ethical boundaries of humanity are pushed further and further into the grey zone.

For example, if I were to ‘upload’ my mind to the internet, would I still exist in my body as well?

If the human mind is a physical entity, then to remove it would likely kill you, much like removing a vital organ would if not properly replaced. So I uploaded my mind, then I would in fact do one of 2 things; kill my body and exist solely in cyberspace, or copy my mind into cyberspace and I still exist in my body.

If the mind is metaphysical, then uploading my mind would likely leave my body functioning, but ‘soulless’ and without conscience. This would inevitably lead to the possibility of body swapping, given all that I am can be detached from it.

You see what I’m getting at here? Who are we? If it is one day possible to upload you mind to something other than your body, then the result of it would have profound effects on who we are.

Personally I believe the mind is physical. From what science knows of the brain, the human mind seems to resided in how the neurons are structured in the brain, developed from you utilizing that brain throughout you life. If this is the case then clearly uploading would be impossible without copying, as there is nothing to ‘take’ from the body into cyber space. All you could do is replicate those neuro structures in some form to ‘create’ a conscience in its own right. Arguably this would render uploading pointless unless you intended to replace humanity with a cyber counter part.

However this still leaves further possibilities. Once such one is ‘connecting’ the brain to cyber space, treating it similar to a computer. In this case ‘you’ would exist in cyber space, much like software exists in hardware. But physically you’d still exist in your brain it’ll only be from your point of view that you’d exist somewhere else.

Still in the meantime we have technology already that allows us to use our minds to control machines. By tracking neural activity with a sensor, a computer can be programmed to respond to certain patterns. Then by teaching you’re self to repeat that pattern, you can perform that action. Now this is a lot harder than it sounds and requires much training to develop the mental discipline to perform this action. Currently this tech is being developed to help disable people function.

Personally I’d like to see a more developed one in the future for more commercial uses like video gaming and surfing the web. A well-developed form of this tech could open up all kinds of new possibilities. But that is a ways off. Perhaps in time it’ll come about, but I’d give it a decade or two before its viable for general use.

Now here’s an interesting question. How much of the brain can you replace and still be you? For example earlier I side the science describes you mind as a developed neural structure. Replicating it would make a copy. But what if for say, immediately before an accident you’re neurological structure was mapped. In this accident you suffer brain damage. Doctors then replace the damaged area with artificial ones in the same structure.

Now are you still you? In all likelihood you wouldn’t notice a difference. But on a philosophical level, are you still you are a new sentient being with the same memories?

Let’s put it another way. How much of a car’s engine can you change and it’ll still be that same car? I drive a 95′ Ford Taurus. How much can I replace the insides with a different kind of part before it’s no longer a 95 Ford Taurus. It may look the same. It may have the same performance. But is it still the same car?

Personally I believe self to be subjective. Therefore the mind in this case would still be you, even if it was completely changed.

Now if I would make an entire new copy, which one would be you? You’d both have the same memories, the same likes and dislikes. Who’s the real you? Sure you can say the original. But why does that matter if the copy is 100% the same? That would simply be solving a problem, and dodging the question.

I believe them to be two separate individuality. Here why.

If current science is correct on the mind, then every moment you’re developing and changing your neural structure. Every single moment you’d being replaced with a ‘new’ you.

You’re not the same anymore. You’ve got a new memory. So as soon as the copy is made, you become two separate individuals. You (the original) have new memories. You’re not the same anymore. You (the copy) have new memories of a different perspective. You’re not the same anymore.

No one may ask, what about at the very moment of creation? What about if the copy was produced instantly and for that very moment where identical in every way?

Well answer me this. Are they inside each other exactly? No. Then the copy and the original would exist in a state irrelevant to the conversation at had. So the copy from the exact moment of creation would have an entirely separate identity and perspective. Even if he does not recognize it, its existence is as immediate as him.

Well I’ve rambled on enough now. Have fun thinking about this. It’s ultimately as confusing as you dare it to be.

Just a googled image.   Hello world! Well given this is my first blog post I guess I'll explain what this blog is all about. My whole and utter point for this blog is to share my thoughts one things. Philosophy, science, religion, culture, war, peace, etc anything I feel like putting thought into. Which is a lot things considering its a favorite pass time. I'll give you forewarning. I'll be covering whatever subjects come to mind. Mostly they'll be normal, but occasionally I'll cover something of more adult or mature nature that may or may not be bizarre. So do keep that in mind. But anyways, enjoy yourself to my thoughts. I don't know how often I my post. Maybe once a week or 3 times a day. Its all depends on what's on my mind that I feel like sharing. Well enjoy.