Saturday, October 24, 2009

How to Stop Our Addiction to the Internet

I disagree with Orenstein that everyone has a thirst for knowledge. It is exactly the opposite even in college. I have seen very few read books not assigned by the professor.

I do realize that the Internet can be really addicting. I have been able to ignore what comes over the Internet by not opening my computer until late afternoon and deleting most e-mails not from friends and stop when I have to cook and eat.

In the past when I am writing my blog, sometimes hours could pass before I realize how much time has passed when I am reading on the computer to get more information. I don't hear loud alarms or the loud dryer Buzz or other distractions.

But the reason I want to read more books is that politics has become boring to me because it never seems to change, but as you do, I am very interested in why people behave as they do.

In the Saturday Financial Times, the stupid experts say that we cannot recommend a large increase in the dose of vitamin D based on only epidemiologic studies! The same was done with the treatment of SARS. Instead of doing the double blind study, the Chinese doctors found that sick people who died at a very high rate were now saved because Prednisone attenuates the excessive immune response by younger victims. The goal was to save their patients, not our desire to have a double blind study!

It is nonsense to require a double blind study when we already see that higher levels of vitamin D became even more necessary when we started to use excess sunscreens which did not filter out UVA, but got rid of UVB which burns us and causes some cancers and produces huge amounts of vitamin D which goes to all cells our body. From many studies. It behaves like a hormone for a whole host of health enhancing attributes including reducing all sorts of cancers by 60 percent!

Before extensive use of sunscreens in the 1980s, all cancers were lower and have risen every year since high use of sunscreens. Ideology rules. Brain and neurological problems such as Autism, MS, and even ALS has gone up sharply since the high use of sunscreens. Vitamin D is vital to our best health. Adults need to take 1,000 to 2,000 units of vitamin D to maintain health.

Professor Reinhold Vieth since his graduate student days in 1974 working on vitamin D has been so frustrated those old folks who decide how much vitamin D we need and wants a double blind study which no one will or can afford to do. Big Pharma has no incentive and the medical doctors and oncologist may subconsciously want absolute proof. When we have accepted the study of many people for various illnesses in the past such as the Framingham study on heart disease and other diseases such as diabetes, why do they not do something that at worse will not be harmful because we can store months of vitamin D in our body now. When we are low, we have no storage of vitamin D.

Have to go cook and watch football between USC and Oregon State because USC will play Univ of Oregon next Saturday. I want to see if they are better than their ratings indicate. Oregon is now #11 and USC is #6. USC lost of Washington today and Oregon won easily even though they have been playing very well. Our great defense seems to stop even the best and our top quarterback is back and he played extremely well both running and passing.

I have to cook!

Jim Kawakami, Oct 23

Is this the conundrum that you are feeling?

Excerpt from Peggy Orenstein's NY Times Magazine Oct 25, 2009
... Can increased knowledge really destroy us?
Well, yes. According to Elster, there are certainly occasions when choosing ignorance could be smart. ...

When I looked up, three and a half hours had passed.
And that is why I need the mast. It came in the form of an app called Freedom, which blocks your Internet access for up to eight hours at a stretch. The only way to get back online is to reboot your computer, which — though not as foolproof as, say, removing the modem entirely and overnighting it to yourself (another strategy I’ve contemplated) — is cumbersome and humiliating enough to be an effective deterrent. The program was developed by Fred Stutzman, a graduate student in information and library science, whose own failsafe self-binding technique — writing at a cafe without Internet access — came undone when the place went wireless. “We’re moving toward this era where we’ll never be able to escape from the cloud,” he told me. “I realized the only way to fight back was at an individual, personal level.”

Freedom, which runs only on Macs, is downloaded more than 4,000 times a month. Stutzman says this mass-erosion of our self-control was inevitable, as the instrument of our productivity merged with that of our distraction: since computers have expanded from mere business tools to full-service entertainment centers. But I think there’s something deeper going on as well. Those mythical bird-women (look it up) didn’t seduce with beauty or carnality — not with petty diversions — but with the promise of unending knowledge. “Over all the generous earth we know everything that happens,” they crooned to passing ships, vowing that any sailor who heeded their voices would emerge a “wiser man.” That is precisely the draw of the Internet.
It is heartening that the yearning for learning is the most powerful of all human cravings (though it applies equally to obtaining the wisdom of Zeus or the YouTube video on how to peel a banana like a monkey). Yet the sea surrounding the Sirens was littered with corpses. ...

I searched for the “Sirens” episode in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” I can’t quite recollect how I got to the video for the song “Sirens,” by the alternative rock group AVA, but that put me in mind of Blink-182 (with whom AVA shares a frontman), so I clicked over to that band’s site to check for any updates on the release of its new album, then watched its reunion performance from February’s Grammy Awards. . . . When I looked up, three and a half hours had passed.
Can increased knowledge really destroy us?
Well, yes. According to Elster, there are certainly occasions when choosing ignorance could be smart. ... Sunday Magazine

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