Lexicon

L-arginine

Another useful supplement is L-arginine, an amino acid that is the primary precursor of nitric oxide (NO)—one of several biochemical pathways that are powered up by exercise. In addition to its protective effects on the mitochondria, NO is a very powerful vasodilator. It relaxes the arteries, enhances vascular health, improves blood flow, and even boosts sexual function. The suggested dose of L-arginine is 1,000–2,000 mg a day.

Language

Language is the medium for the transmission of ideas: the vector for meme activity, perhaps. It also appears to be something which differentiates humans from other animals (although perhaps whale-song or even bird-call is more complex than suspected). In “Human Traces”, Sebastian Faulk suggests (through his characters) that language developed with consciousness; the two are inextricable. Further, he suggests that our ability to abstract (reality is an abstraction) the world and hear the voices of leaders/kings/gods are both part of (the main function of?) consciousness. When we developed writing, he says, we found a way to express language that didn’t require us to hallucinate voices — and this is why so-called gods and spirits stopped talking to us. It’s a nice […]

Learning hacks

There are a number of hacks that can make learning easier or more effective. Active Reading   Elaborative Interrogation & Self Explanation The ‘Feynman technique’ for actively digesting, understanding and remembering a topic of interest involves reading/researching, then explaining (as if to someone else) the key points of what you’re trying to learn. This highlights gaps in your supposed knowledge, and probably also tricks the brain into assigning a higher importance to it, thus enabling better recall. (Reading is easy. Try reading a chapter and then summarising it in this way!) There is a huge difference between “play” and “practice”, although it seems to me that both are necessary and that deliberate practice can only be sustained if it becomes […]

LEV

Longevity escape velocity: the point at which life-extending technologies improve at a fast enough rate to allow new life-extension technologies to be developed before death. If we achieve this as a species, we (or at least some of us) can become effectively “functionally immortal” — we won’t have to die from disease or debilitation, although we can always fall prey to accident or foul-play. From Wikipedia: Life expectancy increases slightly every year as treatment strategies and technologies improve. At present, more than one year of research is required for each additional year of expected life. Longevity escape velocity occurs when this ratio reverses, so that life expectancy increases faster than one year per one year of research, as long as that rate […]

Life, The Universe and Everything

“What I need… is a strong drink and a peer group.” ― Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything There’s a good chance we only get one shot at this: a “brief flight through a brightly lit room†” and all that. (Of course, maybe we are stuck in cyclic re-existence, but how can we know?) Anyway, the point is I (seem to††) get everything I want so long as it improves the sum-total “good” in the superconscious multiverse — but the first step is knowing what I actually want! Ask yourself, as I do: What Future Do You Want, young padawan? Remember to make great art Consider the five lists and all your personal resources. If you’re feeling particularly positive & powerful, check out righting the […]