2015-02-11: Mikh’to and kiilas launched an early version of the Darkfang Archive,
a directory of all kinds of resources for otherkin, therianthropes, and
vampires. The new web-site has room to grow. From Mikh’to’s description
of the site, as given on the Elfinkind Digest mailing list, and quoted
"This is a curated database of otherkin,
therianthropy and real vampirism sites, media and social spaces. It’s
partly inspired by otherkin.net and other older resource sites, and is
trying to make an up-to-date online resource (it is not a wiki) that
gives people a way to look into these things without problematic
influences or needless dogma. It separates content by ‘category’, so
each ‘kintype’/’theriotype’/’phenotype’, subgroup, experiential slant,
mythos, etc. that is covered has its own page, so it doesn’t lump
everyone in into some big ‘otherkin’ umbrella. It is designed for both
desktop and mobile browsers.
"It’s currently in a ‘preview’
version - it’s intended for feedback, so it’s unfinished and possibly
buggy. Data submissions are welcome and greatly appreciated. We are also
interested in mirroring old/defunct sites and media in the future with
Personally, I’ve browsed the site a little, and it
looks like one of the most useful resources for the otherkin community
that I’ve seen in some time. I hope some of our readers will offer
feedback and help make the Darkfang Archive excellent.
“I guess I’m just conflicted. I mean, I want to find something like that. Badly. But in all the forms where it’s been offered to me, they seem fraudulent, you know? And so, yeah, I guess it’s one of those topics that keeps coming up. My family is Catholic. I went to a Catholic school, that kind of thing, so that was my childhood for sure. And not that I’m an expert on all these religions, but what I know about all the other major religions kind of all just fall a little flat in their—I guess, just in their kind of narrowmindedness. I feel like there’s something much more basic than what all these people are worried about. I find it really shocking that two groups that are, from an outsider’s perspective, almost identical—you know, Shiites and Sunnis, or Catholics and Protestants—can actually kill each other over these minor details. And dogma and all that stuff, to me it’s anti- whatever I would consider god-like. Which is, I think, a connectedness and an all-encompassing sort of love for things. I suppose that’s a lot of what Buddhism is, but I haven’t found anything that really hits the mark for me. But it’s fascinating—what people believe in.”
You love Monster Hunter? You might like Dragon's Dogma as well! It's more open-world in the style of The Elder Scrolls but it still features big monsters like drakes, cyclopes, chimeras, gryffins, those kinds of things! It's only on Xbox 360, sadly.
yeah ive been told it’s like capcom looking at dark souls and souping it up, i’ve always wanted to play it since it legitimately looks rad as hell, but unfortunately no doritostation for me to play it on
I am not a Muslim. Too be quite honest I am not all that fond of religious institutions all together, and I am brutally intolerant of religious Dogma of any kind. Spirituality is another thing all together. I digress.
What I do love is Architecture, or art of any kind - except dada. That’s trash. The fact remains that Architecture as we know it traces its roots back to the temples and structures built in dedication to the Gods and spirits of the higher realms that were worshipid by the citizens of our ancient past.
Architecture was founded on the need, or desire, for a place to worship. To this day, I am still very much fond of any and all religious centers that incoporate a high level of aesthetics in their places of worship.
Sorry, nevermind, I just saw your tags. I understand.
A theme I regularly address on my blog is the left’s dehumanizing obsession with defining groups of people; what those groups believe, the inherent capacities of those groups and then passing moral judgement from their ethically ambiguous perspective.
The need to define the reality of others is illustrated in that cartoon of the sjw telling the POC to shut up because they don’t comprehend the depths of their oppression.
You will believe what they tell you to.
Your individual experience doesn’t matter and they are intolerant of it.
They infantilize or discount the humanity of social groups in this manner and have done so since eugenics and socialism evolved in the same perverted Western European echo chamber of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Their problem is when you get down to principled fundamentals and away from the dogma, they reveal themselves to be blind authoritarians. It is part and parcel to their collectivist nature.
When you get to this level of engagement you’ll find they have no interest in individual rights or civil liberties apart from lip service. They cannot advocate for them because they are incongruent with an ethos that dictates the collective owns the rights to the labor of individuals.
These types of ad hominem arguments and stereotypical ramblings are indicative of a simpleton. Post-Teenager is a simpleton. Everything must fit into a box that makes the authors dogmatic calculation of reality correct. In this way “what libertarians believe” is a flailing effort to reinforce the integrity of a crumbling perspective based on fallacy.
If they don’t do this their entire belief system will collapse because there is no principled underpinning. Only supposedly grand “moral” ideas based on their subjective definitions.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Happy Birthday, Sir Sidney Poitier! (b. February 20, 1927)
[how he overcame racial dogma] Well, from the very beginning I didn’t believe that. I mean, when I arrived in Florida everywhere I turned that’s what was being said to me. But you see, before I got to Florida, I’ve had the opportunity through my mother and my dad to have set some kind of foundation as to who I was. And I was not what I was required to be in Florida. I was not that, I couldn’t be that. I was taught that I had basic rights as a human being. I was taught that I was someone. I knew we had no money. Still, I was taught that I was someone. We had no electricity and no running water — Still, I was taught that I was someone, you see. I had very little education, a year and a half was all the schooling that I was exposed to — Still, I knew that I was someone.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”
So much for government science; Cholesterol, fat and salt aren't all that bad for you
A recent article in the New York times admitted something that I never thought it would admit: The government doesn’t know what’s best for you (at least where food is concerned). The article didn’t go as far as I would have liked in its call to view government with a healthy dose of skepticism, but hey, it’s a start. The article came on the heels of a series of announcements by various federal agencies that several foods that for decades the feds said were bad for us, aren’t so bad after all.
From the NYT:
FOR two generations, Americans ate fewer eggs and other animal products because policy makers told them that fat and cholesterol were bad for their health. Now both dogmas have been debunked in quick succession. First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report was released, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
…How did experts get it so wrong? Certainly, the food industry has muddied the waters through its lobbying. But the primary problem is that nutrition policy has long relied on a very weak kind of science: epidemiological, or “observational,” studies in which researchers follow large groups of people over many years. But even the most rigorous epidemiological studies suffer from a fundamental limitation. At best they can show only association, not causation. Epidemiological data can be used to suggest hypotheses but not to prove them.
Instead of accepting that this evidence was inadequate to give sound advice, strong-willed scientists overstated the significance of their studies.
…Since the very first nutritional guidelines to restrict saturated fat and cholesterol were released by the American Heart Association in 1961, Americans have been the subjects of a vast, uncontrolled diet experiment with disastrous consequences. We have to start looking more skeptically at epidemiological studies and rethinking nutrition policy from the ground up.
I found the three bold sections particularly interesting (which is why I made them bold). Let’s sum them up:
The government gave us incorrect scientific data because of lobbyists in Washington (AKA: Crony Capitalism).
At their absolute best, the available data can only suggest hypotheses, not prove them.
Stubborn scientists (which are, by definition, not scientists) perpetuated false information because they didn’t want their own studies and research debunked.
Do these things sound familiar? Can you think of anything going on in our current political climate (pun intended) that this might parallel?
As I stated earlier, it was refreshing to see this article in the New York Times. But something tells me that very few of the readers will ever ask the honest question: “If the government can be fallible in this area, can’t it also be fallible in another?” And that is a shame. I’m not sure why millions and millions of Americans instinctively trust a government that is habitually wrong but I remain optimistic that one day, we’ll wise up.
Newborn neurons in the adult brain may help us adapt to the environment
The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear.
In a review article published by Cell Press February 21st in Trends in Cognitive Sciences,
Maya Opendak and Elizabeth Gould of Princeton University synthesize the
vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that
influence the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, a region of
the brain that plays an important role in memory and learning.
The authors discuss how the birth of such neurons may help animals
and humans adapt to their current environment and circumstances in a
complex and changing world. They advocate for testing these ideas using
naturalistic designs, such as allowing laboratory rodents to live in
more natural social burrow settings and observing how circumstances such
as social status influence the rate at which new neurons are born.
"New neurons may serve as a means to fine-tune the hippocampus to
the predicted environment," Opendak says. "In particular, seeking out
rewarding experiences or avoiding stressful experiences may help each
individual optimize his or her own brain. However, more naturalistic
experimental conditions may be a necessary step toward understanding the
adaptive significance of neurons born in the adult brain."
In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that environmental
influences have a profound effect on the adult brain in a wide range of
mammalian species. Stressful experiences, such as restraint, social
defeat, exposure to predator odors, inescapable foot shock, and sleep
deprivation, have been shown to decrease the number of new neurons in
the hippocampus. By contrast, more rewarding experiences, such as
physical exercise and mating, tend to increase the production of new
neurons in the hippocampus.
The birth of new neurons in adulthood may have important behavioral
and cognitive consequences. Stress-induced suppression of adult
neurogenesis has been associated with impaired performance on
hippocampus-dependent cognitive tasks, such as spatial navigation
learning and object memory. Stressful experiences have also been shown
to increase anxiety-like behaviors that are associated with the
hippocampus. In contrast, rewarding experiences are associated with
reduced anxiety-like behavior and improved performance on cognitive
tasks involving the hippocampus.
Although scientists generally agree that our day-to-day actions
change our brains even in adulthood, there is some disagreement on the
adaptive significance of new neurons. For instance, the literature
presents mixed findings on whether new neurons generated under a
specific experimental condition are geared toward the recognition of
that particular experience or if they provide a more naive pool of new
neurons that enable environmental adaptation in the future.
Gould and her collaborators recently proposed that stress-induced
decreases in new neuron formation might improve the chances of survival
by increasing anxiety and inhibiting exploration, thereby prioritizing
safety and avoidant behavior at the expense of performing optimally on
cognitive tasks. On the other hand, reward-induced increases in new
neuron number may reduce anxiety and facilitate exploration and
learning, leading to greater reproductive success.
"Because the past is often the best predictor of the future, a
stress-modeled brain may facilitate adaptive responses to life in a
stressful environment, whereas a reward-modeled brain may do the same
but for life in a low-stress, high-reward environment," says Gould, a
professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University.
However, when aversive experiences far outnumber rewarding ones in
both quantity and intensity, the system may reach a breaking point and
produce a maladaptive outcome. For example, repeated stress produces
continued reduction in the birth of new neurons, and ultimately the
emergence of heightened anxiety and depressive-like symptoms.
"Such a scenario could represent processes that are engaged under
pathological conditions and may be somewhat akin to what humans
experience when exposed to repeated traumatic stress," Opendak says.
Because many studies that investigate adult neurogenesis use
controlled laboratory conditions, the relevance of the findings to
real-world circumstances remains unclear. The use of a visible burrow
system—a structure consisting of tubes, chambers, and an open
field—has allowed researchers to recreate the conditions that allow for
the production of dominance hierarchies that rats naturally form in the
wild, replicating the stressors, rewards, and cognitive processes that
accompany this social lifestyle.
"This more realistic setting has revealed individual differences in
adult neurogenesis, with more new neurons produced in dominant versus
subordinate male rats," Gould says. "Taking findings from laboratory
animals to the next level by exploring complex social interactions in
settings that maximize individual variability, a hallmark of the human
experience, is likely to be especially illuminating."