Thursday, 26 September 2013


One way you can tell conscious will is not the place to locate the running of a function as vital as eating (the taking in of energy), is something that's being referred to as bandwidth;
[a] team of researchers.....wanted to test a hypothesis: "The state of worrying where your next meal is going to come from – you have uncertain income or you have more expenses than you can manage and you have to juggle all these things and constantly being pre-occupied about putting out these fires – takes up so much of your mental bandwidth, that you have less in terms of cognitive capacity to deal with things which may not be as urgent as your immediate emergency, but which are, nevertheless, important for your benefit in the medium or longer term.
[My emphasis] The interpretation, what it emphasizes is noteworthy. The research describes the design and therefore limits of the conscious mind. It gives an insight into why calorie restriction is so ill conceived, it demands being excessively pre-occupied with putting out fires, generated by its own attempt to locate an automatic cycle from a non automatic space.

Whilst the original action is still going on of course. So it clashes and we all know which one usually. 

Doing something with your conscious mind when it does not originate there drains bandwidth that is, your conscious function.

You only have so much conscious energy, it's a primary reason why automatic functions are not located there. They need a greater capacity than is on offer. Using it for stuff it wasn't designed for in this way quickly causes strain that produces, distress, pathology and at some that's likely to undermine balance. Destroying a person's overall ability to function-that is how diets unravel, they drain bandwidth like all get out and there's nothing to continue them. When the battery on your phone dies, there is pause. The false imposition of diet is false automatism, starve, starve, starve, starve, starve. And again, and again, and again. It has to be because it is artificial.

A break in instruction is the end of that attempt.

But we know all this don't we? Restriction is still promoted to this day for this particular effect, which is a way of keeping the wrong sort of aspirants in their place. Draining bandwidth means taking the edge of thinking about how to improve your situation.

What this research is really noting is this effect. That of stress on overall mental performance;
we examined the cognitive function of farmers over the planting cycle. We found that the same farmer shows diminished cognitive performance before harvest, when poor, as compared with after harvest, when rich.
Poverty is just the form they're observing it in. Though they disagree;
Nor can it be explained with stress: Although farmers do show more stress before harvest, that does not account for diminished cognitive performance. Instead, it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks.
So not only multiple stresses, multiple levels and extents. Either one of those is bad. The latter a chain reaction that is not easily brought to heel-this is often what bourgies call "disease". The "poverty related" thing is probably the ultimate basis, as it is the stress of survival. The rich farmer's survival stress comes with how to dispense their largesse, because his survival is in terms of his class/income position. And that's depends on how resources are used, rather whether you'll have any or not.

I said years ago that I suspect the cause of much neurosis, especially depression boils down to too much conscious input displacing our mind's automatic self management. By dint of our mind's design this is imbalance. Some of this comes from the drift towards assuming logic, reason and intellect are the only required or worthwhile forms of thought.

Whilst I'm second to few in my admiration of how beautiful logic can be, that's just plain wrong. As wrong as insisting your weight is rooted in your conscious mind via control of eating. That is the same mistake twice. Your weight is mix of outcomes and your need to eat is as much an elective choice as your need to sleep. It can be influenced but is not mere habit or decision.

Thinking of human beings in terms of machines rather than what we are, animals makes it harder for us to learn how to manage ourselves. We run on dynamics. By that I mean self sustaining cycles of momentum, rather than computer binary, or push button mechanics.

Something else that struck me about this is interpretation;
Mani said previous research has found that poor people use less preventive health care, do not stick to drug regimens, are tardier and less likely to keep appointments, are less productive workers, less attentive parents, and worse managers of their finances. "The question we therefore wanted to address is, is that a cause of poverty or a consequence of poverty?"
Now even though this comes across as essentially humane and sympathetic, it is still derailed by class vanity. Again, this is about the impact of survival stress, that means that when you observe this in other classes, you'll get the same 'incompetence' and inadequacy. Most of what is being described is how class is a regulated microcosm. Those who are middle class live in a more regulated environment, we all know this.

So whilst the point is valid that survival stress exhausts intellectually, mentally, physically and psychologically, being trained to do as you're told in an environment shaped around benign intent towards you is not a basis of comparison when the environment is either indifferent or outright hostile in intent. Take a look at fat people doing as their told and paying with their health and lives.

This gives us a clue as to how stigma is introduced into proceedings. Those who have their hands on the levers of research, who interpret and therefore define human experience for all of us, cannot be held to be any more impartial than anyone else.

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