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bossel
19-08-05, 06:50
Not to worry, Clawn. I don't think anyone is going to blame you for being gullible; yet I'm sure everyone got a good laugh. :-)
That kind of thing would be more feasible with certain beetles that feed on horse's or bulls', but some scientists have wasted their good talent on some pretty dumb inventions. Dumb, useless, BUT harmless is forgivable while dumb, questionable, AND destructive is NOT forgivable. One ugly example would be methamphetamine, a synthetic drug from early 20th century. Just like the scientists who pushed for using the atomic bomb primarily to see that their calculations were right, the chemist must have been thrilled to see his concoction serving his country by boosting morale for the kamiakze fighters' last flight. How many more trusting soldiers were to take the drug before going on a butchering campaign. Those inventions were evil; and so could have been the rumoured 'thumb-sized lice' eventually because living species always mutate and evolve. Just imagine a blood-sucking thumb-sized louse ! :shock:

Methamphetamine isn't a new drug, though it has become more powerful as the ingredients and the cooking techniques have evolved. It was first synthesized by a Japanese chemist in 1919, and was used by both Axis and Allied troops in World War II to keep them alert and motivated; kamikaze pilots were said to have taken high doses of the stuff before their missions. In the 1950s, it was commonly prescribed as a diet aid, to fight depression and give housewives a boost. The federal government criminalized the drug in 1970 for most uses.America's Most Dangerous Drug (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8770112/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymode/1098/)
David J. Jefferson, Hilary Shenfeld, Andrew Murr, Arian Campo-Flores, Sarah Childress, Catharine Skipp, Susannah Meadows, Dirk Johnson, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Anne Underwood; Newsweek
(c) 2005 Newsweek, Inc. / (c) 2005 MSNBC.comAmerica's Most Dangerous Drug (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8770112/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymode/1098/)
David J. Jefferson, Hilary Shenfeld, Andrew Murr, Arian Campo-Flores, Sarah Childress, Catharine Skipp, Susannah Meadows, Dirk Johnson, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Anne Underwood; Newsweek
(c) 2005 Newsweek, Inc. / (c) 2005 MSNBC.com





One ugly example would be methamphetamine, a synthetic drug from early 20th century.
Ugly? As with most things, there are 2 sides to the story. As it can be misused, it can also be used in positive ways. AFAIK, if taken under medical supervision meth can be rather helpful. Regular usage can lead to addiction & has adverse effects, though.

Edit: BTW, I wouldn't trust some damning report from the warmongering (in this case the War on Drugs) US alone. War time propaganda, probably.

lexico
19-08-05, 07:26
Ugly? As with most things, there are 2 sides to the story. As it can be misused, it can also be used in positive ways. AFAIK, if taken under medical supervision meth can be rather helpful. Regular usage can lead to addiction & has adverse effects, though.Regarding your objection to my value statement of methamphetamine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine) being an 'ugly' substance, I think I understand where you are coming from, Bossel. First would be keeping to an objective and neutral stance when making a statement in science. And second to keep wary of "War-on-Drugs Propaganda."

As for the first part, I understand that a chemical, whether naturally occurring or synthetic, has no inherent moral/ethical value in itself, and that might lead one to think that it is the human use of the chemical that makes it either more beneficial or more harmful, which itself can be subject to what the intended effects are. Nevertheless, I would rather follow the logic of safety by these two criteria;

1) whatever chemical has actually been abused OFTEN in human history in a detrimental way, that chemical will ineveitably become associated with the damaging effects rather than beneficial due to the simple fact that its use went out of control costing ethical downgrading, health, safety, and human lives (either by accident, illness, suicide, or homicide).
Over time the chemical's use, distribution, and place in society changed from insignificant, to controversially beneficial, to terrible infamy.

Later use included its distribution by the Allies and the Axis to troops during World War II under the name Pervitin. The Nazis, in particular, distributed methamphetamine widely to their soldiers, particularly to SS personnel and Wehrmacht forces in the Eastern Front. After World War II a massive supply of methamphetamine, formerly stocked by the Japanese military, became available in Japan; skyrocketing addiction and hardship followed.

The 1950s saw a high rise in the legal prescription of methamphetamine to the American public. Prescribed for everything from obesity to depression, methamphetamine, and amphetamines in general, involved a sizable part of the everyday American life ("Pop a pep pill")...Starting in the 1980s and on into the start of the twenty-first century, the rural areas of the United States—especially the Midwest—have experienced a large rise, penetration, and (in some parts) saturation and even decline of methamphetamine use.

The saturation and decline has been seen as more of a natural trend than a result of law enforcement. The damage done by the chemical became so great that parts of society chose to not use the drug as a result of direct observation of the drug's effects.

The future of the drug is likely to follow the same path as the past, with controversy, praise, and defamation of the drug.2) habit forming property of amphetamine makes it difficult to maintain supervison by the medical worker. Prolonged use of small doses will effect permanent, non-reversible lesion in various parts of the user's brain depriving the user of brain parts and mental abilities necessary to function as a healthy individual capable of self-regulation.

UCLA Imaging Study Vividly Shows Pattern of Brain Damage in Methamphetamine Abusers (http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/MEDIA/METH/PR.html)

http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/MEDIA/METH/0720-sci-METH-ch.jpg


Edit: BTW, I wouldn't trust some damning report from the warmongering (in this case the War on Drugs) US alone. War time propaganda, probably.As for the war-on-drugs propaganda; I have no particular stand of my own. They might be exaggerating the meth out of proportion to keep the public busy, dazed, and confused. Still it is true that instances of meth abuse is just second to cocaine abuse although the death statistics may seem mild in comparison. If meth is destorying healthy, productive lives of individuals, should it not be considered evil just by that ? I don't think simple administrative error or medical abuse can be blamed alone.

Besides, whatever methamphetamine could do to cure certain diseases, are there not equivalent remedies using safer chemicals ? I read about ADS, attention deficiency syndrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_Deficit_Disorder) patients. Children with severe cases and narcolepsy patients are known to respond well to meth treatments; but should we not look for an alternative cure since we know the pitfalls of meth abuse ?

See one accusatory essay, where the worst looking pieces of evidence are presented against methamphetamines:

White Man Tweak with Forked Tongue (http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:EH0cCpFLmLYJ:www.american-buddha.com/whitemantweak.htm+%2Bmethamphetamine+%2B%22war+cri me%22&hl=en&lr=lang_en): The Gov't-induced Speed Plague
Charles Carreon.
why do the military get to take speed? Because they need to, we are told. The Iraqis are probably doing speed, too. Theyfre not stupid. It gives them a little bit of advantage, what with having to stay up all night soldering together bomb-timers, and repairing assault rifles, not to mention keeping a prayer schedule. Speed helps.

Wherefs The Money?

The origins of amphetamine are recent. Discovered just before the turn of the century, methamphetamine was synthesized by Smith, Kline & French in 1929. The company filed two trademarks on the trade-name gBenzedrineh in 1936, one as a tablet gmedicine for the stimulation of the nervous system,h and another as a decongestant inhaler, citing first use in commerce in 1933.

Glaxo, Smith Kline is still the big distributor of Dextroamphetamine for the military, and related stimulants like Adderall, for obnoxious little boys who won't sit still in school. Merck developed a simplified synthesis during the second world war to fuel the Blitzkrieg. I assume we arenft holding back from giving infantry their share of the crank.
...
Both Adolf Hitler and John F. Kennedy had gDr. Feelgoodsh who injected them with methamphetamine daily. Dr. Theodor Morell was Hitlerfs psychiatric physician and constant companion, just as Dr. Max Jacobson was always present to serve as Kennedyfs pharmaceutical nursemaid. Both doctors supplemented the stimulant regimen with downers to moderate the manic effects of speed. It has been observed that Hitlerfs mania for annihilating the Jews developed in intensity during the period of Morellfs influence.
...
Hitlerfs allies, the Japanese, were also tweaking freely throughout the second world war, as the Imperial government doled out speed to the military and civilian populace alike, to keep up the gwar effort.h The Rape of Nanking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_of_nanking), a horrific war crime perpetrated by Japanese soldiers against no fewer than 369,366 Chinese men, women and children during 1937-38, was a murderous orgy that continued for months, during which the Japanese troops raped no less than 80,000 women of all ages. Reliable historical reports indicate that the Japanese killed many millions of Chinese during the second world war, although this Sino-Japanese holocaust has received little attention or commemoration.

This type of lethal productivity has the feel of a meth-fueled murder nightmare. The suicide pilots of the Japanese air force were given amphetamines to overcome the desire to survive. The Japanese reversed course on their people after the war, made meth illegal in 1952, and arrested over 50,000 people. The country still has a serious problem with intravenous methamphetamine users, who comprise a large proportion of the 2 million meth users in the land of the Rising Sun.
...
African Children Turned Into Killing Machines

Many of the approximately 100,000 children under arms in the world are manipulated with amphetamines. For example, in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burma, and other war-torn nations, children are taken captive, raped, starved, brutalized, and then injected crudely with amphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs, and directed to commit murderous rampages. A Washington Post article by Douglas Farah, published April 8, 2000, quoted international aid sources as follows:

gIn Sierra Leone, said social workers and the child combatants, taking drugs-especially amphetamines and cocaine-was a regular part of emilitary training.f Human Rights Watch found in a 1999 report that echild combatants armed with pistols, rifles and machetes actively participated in killings and massacres, [and] severed the arms of other children. . . . Often under the influence of drugs, they were known and feared for their impetuosity, lack of control and brutality.fh

American Children Turned Into Substance Abusers

Thatfs one way to get folks into drugs young, but we are more subtle in the USA, and we use what is called gtreatment.h Under the guise of treating ADD and ADHD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention-deficit_hyperactivity_disorder), two gdiseasesh that seem to afflict little boys who eat junk food and watch a lot of TV, our little preschool punk rockers are gtreatedh by school nurses who dole out speed from a jar.

Of course, first they started out using gmethylphenidate,h aka Ritalin which supposedly gwasnft an amphetamine.h This label-switching was ordained by the pharma marketing geniuses who started this project to turn kids into cranksters back in the fifties, because the diet pill craze was winding down, and amphetamines, bennies, white crosses, pink hearts, and black beauties had all got a bit of a bad name at the courthouse and in popular literature.
...
the pharma hacks are always good at finding another use for powerful substances, and now, it turns out that Dextroamphetamine, mixed with meth, in a formulation called gAdderall,h is even better than silly old Ritalin. So what good is it to give speed to kids who are speedy ?

Thanks for asking. To answer, I must introduce the vaunted gparadoxical effecth of amphetamines on children under some uncertain age. Marvelously, the pharma hacks explain, speed slows down speedy kids ! And you know, with proper medical care and monitoring, maybe it is helpful in extreme cases.

But in the USA, whatfs good can get force-fed down your throat, whether you need it or not. Think lobotomies for excitable mental patients. The same thing has happened to children. Researcher Nadine Lambert recently presented data at the Consensus Development Conference indicating that prescribed consumption of stimulants during childhood predisposed young adults to cocaine abuse.
...
Meth has crept into our lives very quietly, and will not leave easily. It may very well explain the extreme bellicosity and hard-headedness of many white American males, who develop a strong loyalty to the drug because of its association with productivity, the work ethic, and a positive, can-do attitude.

There is a great false optimism that is brimming over among the nationfs military leaders. We are going to export democracy, uproot tyranny, and kill all the bad guys. With a little crank, itfs all in a dayfs work, because speed helps. On speed, we can do more.I have heard rumours of "morale boosters" administered to combatants resulting in overreaction/war crimes against humanity in Vietnam War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_war) 1964-1973 and Gwangju Massacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju_Massacre), Korea May 1980. Although "meth" was not speifically mentioned, I suspect it was the military's standard booster drug before a major battle operation.

bossel
20-08-05, 07:29
1) whatever chemical has actually been abused OFTEN in human history in a detrimental way, that chemical will ineveitably become associated with the damaging effects rather than beneficial
True, but that doesn't make it right. What people associate with stuff & what stuff really is, are 2 (often very) different things. Think of all those freaks who would kill a spider, just because it's "ugly."


habit forming property of amphetamine makes it difficult to maintain supervison by the medical worker.
Yep, but a well-educated doc should know when to stop.


Prolonged use of small doses will effect permanent, non-reversible lesion in various parts of the user's brain depriving the user of brain parts and mental abilities necessary to function as a healthy individual capable of self-regulation.

UCLA Imaging Study Vividly Shows Pattern of Brain Damage in Methamphetamine Abusers (http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/MEDIA/METH/PR.html)
Abusers are not really representative for medical application of meth.


Still it is true that instances of meth abuse is just second to cocaine abuse although the death statistics may seem mild in comparison.
Maybe in the US; in Europe Cannabis comes 1st, 2nd are either amphetamines (don't know if meth is included, though) or ecstacy, depending on the country (eg. Germany: Cannabis 9.0, Ecstacy 1.9, Cocaine 1.3, Amphetamines 1.1, Hallucinogens 0.8, data from 1997 for young adults from 15-34 in %).


If meth is destorying healthy, productive lives of individuals, should it not be considered evil just by that ?
Should it? I have problems with the term evil, anyway. But, if I would use it at all, I would use it for people (IE intelligent beings) not for things or non-sapient animals.


I don't think simple administrative error or medical abuse can be blamed alone.
I don't see how people can blame a drug. (Well, actually, I can see that. It's so much easier to blame such an eeeeeeevil drug, than to admit that a large part of the human population consists of idiots [or that everyone of us under certain circumstances could be such an idiot] who abuse said drug.)


Besides, whatever methamphetamine could do to cure certain diseases, are there not equivalent remedies using safer chemicals ?
Yes, there are. AFAIK, in Germany meth isn't used as medication anymore for that very reason. But, still, that doesn't make the drug ugly or evil.

Can a drug be "the bad guy"?

lexico
22-08-05, 01:37
You are absolutely correct in every instance. But seriously, Bossel.
Can't you cut some slack ? There is a legitimate field of parole that can be called 'rhetorical extension' or 'figure of speech,' I believe.

For example, if I engaged in a lazy form of speech to figuritively call a chemical ugly or evil, that is very different in usage from calling a spider ugly/evil, or an animal ugly/evil, or a baby of a certain human group ugly/evil.

These two groups of inanimate and animate objects are different in quality; furthermore several different kinds of distinctions along the line of satience can also be used (which involves our common topic of value judgement by attributing words such as 'ugly/evil') for the criterion of consciousness/moral knowledge. Since an invention or chemical are inanimate being without a consciousness or moral knowledge, I would be exempt from your line of criticism in that I am implying the human factor involved in the invention a/o the human use of the invented object.
True, but that doesn't make it right. What people associate with stuff & what stuff really is, are 2 (often very) different things.According to some, what is associated with the usage actually becomes the meaning; it's called denotation.
Think of all those freaks who would kill a spider, just because it's "ugly."Although drawing an example of the spider being unduely 'exterminated' on grounds of being 'ugly/evil' may sound amusing, and might even trick the reader to believe that your criticism is valid, in reality your reasoning is without a solid logic because it only relies on superficial identity of the word whereas the respective referents are clearly seperable. Furthermore, there are people like me who think spiders are 'pretty/beautiful/good.' I never kill a spider as it is a predator of many harmful insects, bugs, and birds; and not to mention that an unexpected visit by a spider is considered good omen. I might find an old shirt I had forgotten about in the closet ! :p
a well-educated doc should know when to stop.Ideally that is what we would like to believe. But does that belief reflect realaity ? In fact people in the medical profession exhibit a high inidence of abusers, both admistering overdoses to patients as can be observed in medical malpractice cases, and to themselves. And that has more to do with the malpractitioner's personal psychological health rather than good training (s)he has received.
Abusers are not really representative for medical application of meth.True that the statistics drawn from a population of abusers and those from a population of patients will probably be different. Yet does the methamphetamine have the ability to distinguish an abuser and patient unpon enterig the body and treat them accordingly ? Equal amount of intake will affect both abuser and patient in like manner as a chemical is logical, impartial, harbouring no emotions ill or good.
Should it? I have problems with the term evil, anyway. But, if I would use it at all, I would use it for people (IE intelligent beings) not for things or non-sapient animals.Alright, Bossel. Your sensitivity to proper language is admirable, and although I have explained that my usage has no logical fault at all in that the two uses show complementary distribution, I shall try to be more picky like you just to keep the discussions more centered on content rather than formality. Your hypersensitivity, however, might involve more subjective choice and a general preference for politically correct language rather than pure objectivity. But I understand yours is also a coherent system of communication, albeit a bit cumbersome.
I don't see how people can blame a drug. (Well, actually, I can see that. It's so much easier to blame such an eeeeeeevil drug, than to admit that a large part of the human population consists of idiots [or that everyone of us under certain circumstances could be such an idiot] who abuse said drug.)As I have defined my usage in the first paragraph above, my reference to a drug being 'evil' is an expression, a figure of speech, a short cut way of saying what you referred to as 'abuse by an idiot.' Actually I should add a word to that to affect 'the possibility of abuse by an idiot' in order to make the long version and the short version equivalent. See how it gets cumbersome ?
Yes, there are. AFAIK, in Germany meth isn't used as medication anymore for that very reason. But, still, that doesn't make the drug ugly or evil.

Can a drug be "the bad guy"?Well I guess I'm repeating myself for the third time; but I shall use it to good purpose.

How can a non-satient drug be called ugly/evil by a lazy person like me ? Let me reconstruct the history of methamphetamine usage schematically, ie. not historically verified, but assumed to fit the rough evolution of meth use/abuse.

1) 1919. Japanese chemist A. Ogata synthesises methamphetamine. discovers that it has beneficial effects. the military around the world begin to use it for boosting morale for people undertaking stressful tasks.

2) 1950's. methamphetamine is used to treat medical problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, obesity and as recreational drugs for euphoria or as a stimulant .

3) 1970. As averse effects such as the following became apparant, methamphetamine becomes illegal, and falls out of mainstream use in the US.

amphetamine psychosis (chronic)
clinical depression (=)
kidney damage (=)
liver damage (=)
hypertension (Cardiovascular)
elevated body temperature (Endocrinal)
dilated pupils (occular)
diarrhea (Gastrointestinal)
nausea (=)
vomiting (=)
altered brain chemistry (Neurological)
euphoria (Psychological)
rash (dermatological)
anorexia (Miscellaneous)
insomnia (=)
restlessness (=)
weight loss (=)

An imperfectly known drug was used for more than 50 yrs with many victims who had not started abusing it from knowledge. Such a drug as is known only partially, and not tested thoroughly before human use was vastly damaging for human subjects who only became human guinea pigs for posterity however scientist might have worked in ernest to benefit mankind; even this last statement can be vastly misleading because many scientists/medical workers are insecure, both psychologically (capacity to identify with human subject), socially (must earn bread), and intellectually (has imperfect knowledge, limited experience) to admister an imperfectly understood drug with absolute certainty of its safety.

Given the insecurity of scientists/medical workers, it is only logical to blame the drug. The intended effect is to reverse the lowered level of caution regarding the drug's use often manipulated and encouraged by such impersonal, neutral, terms that make the use appear innocuous. Therefore my accusatory, value-charged qualification of methamphetamine as 'ugly/evil' can be considered to affect a more balanced, normalised sense of warning and adequate level of caution for the reader.

In conclusion, language can rarely become value-independent. For what damage that has been done for 51 yrs until its banning (US) and 35 more yrs of abuse, I think I am justfied in deliberately using value-laden qualifiers such as 'ugly/evil' to equalise the danger to a more acceptable, even honest, level.

bossel
22-08-05, 08:15
According to some, what is associated with the usage actually becomes the meaning; it's called denotation.
Er..., you seem to misunderstand what I said, may I quote myself: "What people associate with stuff [= the meaning] & what stuff really is [the thingy itself & perhaps its actual effects], are 2 (often very) different things." I can't see how "what stuff really is" can be interpreted as denotation.


Although drawing an example of the spider being unduely 'exterminated' on grounds of being 'ugly/evil' may sound amusing, and might even trick the reader to believe that your criticism is valid, in reality your reasoning is without a solid logic because it only relies on superficial identity of the word whereas the respective referents are clearly seperable.
Er... (again), you're taking things out of context here? That sentence has to be understood in relation to "what people understand... [see above]". & why would this sound amusing?


Furthermore, there are people like me who think spiders are 'pretty/beautiful/good.' I never kill a spider as it is a predator of many harmful insects, bugs, and birds; and not to mention that an unexpected visit by a spider is considered good omen.
"your reasoning is without a solid logic because it only relies on superficial identity of the word" spider, whereas it is pretty clear that I was only talking of "those freaks," not of people who actually like spiders. :p


Yet does the methamphetamine have the ability to distinguish an abuser and patient unpon enterig the body and treat them accordingly ?
Just my point, the medicine is not to blame.


Equal amount of intake will affect both abuser and patient in like manner
I doubt that a patient would use meth for as long a time that the intaken amount would equal that of an abuser (at least not with responsible docs).


Alright, Bossel. Your sensitivity to proper language is admirable, and although I have explained that my usage has no logical fault at all in that the two uses show complementary distribution, I shall try to be more picky like you just to keep the discussions more centered on content rather than formality. Your hypersensitivity, however, might involve more subjective choice and a general preference for politically correct language rather than pure objectivity. But I understand yours is also a coherent system of communication, albeit a bit cumbersome.
Sorry, can't make much sense of that part. & where comes PC into the game?


As I have defined my usage in the first paragraph above, my reference to a drug being 'evil' is an expression, a figure of speech, a short cut way of saying what you referred to as 'abuse by an idiot.' Actually I should add a word to that to affect 'the possibility of abuse by an idiot' in order to make the long version and the short version equivalent. See how it gets cumbersome ?
Not really, since I can't really see your point. "Although drawing an example of the [drug] being [evil] may sound amusing, and might even trick the reader to believe that your criticism is valid, in reality your reasoning is without a solid logic because it only relies on superficial identity of the word whereas the respective referents are clearly seperable."


1) 1919. Japanese chemist A. Ogata synthesises methamphetamine. discovers that it has beneficial effects. the military around the world begin to use it for boosting morale for people undertaking stressful tasks.

2) 1950's. methamphetamine is used to treat medical problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, obesity and as recreational drugs for euphoria or as a stimulant .
Actually, AFAIK the effects of amphetamine (& meth I suppose) was only recognised in the 1930s. Medical usage for the wider public started at around the same time as military usage.


3) 1970. As averse effects such as the following became apparant, methamphetamine becomes illegal, and falls out of mainstream use in the US.
Don't know about mainstream use, but the US is one of the countries where a meth-based drug is still available.


Given the insecurity of scientists/medical workers, it is only logical to blame the drug.
Huh? Sorry, but your logic must be completely different from mine.


Therefore my accusatory, value-charged qualification of methamphetamine as 'ugly/evil' can be considered to affect a more balanced, normalised sense of warning and adequate level of caution for the reader.
Balanced? Ugly & evil don't sound balancing, esp. considering the fact that there are hardly people around who'd call it beautiful or virtuous.


I think I am justfied in deliberately using value-laden qualifiers such as 'ugly/evil' to equalise the danger to a more acceptable, even honest, level.
Justification & acceptability are rather relative, for me your way doesn't work. Honesty is probably relative as well, but to me honesty is what I said in my 1st post: "As with most things, there are 2 sides to the story. As it can be misused, it can also be used in positive ways."