[ExI] addiction

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 23:26:46 UTC 2022

Will someone tell me what I am wrong about?  It does not take a high school
degree, much less being a neuroscientist or physician or addiction
treatment specialist to understand circularity, and until someone comes up
with a noncircular definition of willpower (which would not make me wrong)
I rest my case.  Neither of you is a psychologist, I might add.

bill w

On Fri, Apr 8, 2022 at 3:40 PM Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 8, 2022 at 2:30 PM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> What an overly simplified view of the brain, as if parts of the brain
>> don't send signals to other parts.
>> Why is it so hard to admit you are wrong?  You are wrong.  The science is
>> the opposite of what you say.  You are not a neuroscientist, are you?  An
>> addiction researcher?  Is there any reason your intuition and personal
>> single anecdote would possibly be something I would consider true over
>> literal thousands of pieces of vetted scientific research?
>> Blows my mind.  Not sure how you are usually into science but not for
>> this one thing.
> ### I agree with you, Will.
> I also think it is useful to look at the problem from a practical,
> problem-solving point of view. The most important characteristic of
> addiction is that it is a behavior that the addict continues despite
> knowing that it has significant deleterious effects on his life. One could
> quibble about what is "deleterious" but in practical terms addiction is the
> kind of behavior that just doesn't stop easily despite significant cost. If
> it stops after a stern talking-to, it's definitely not an addiction. If it
> continues after losing your job, money, spouse, after a jail time, being
> beaten up and going through rehab, yes, might be an addiction. Researchers
> will look at the neurological correlates of the behaviors but us practical
> people mostly ask "How do I fix the problem?"
> People with a moralistic bent may talk about blame, guilt, shame,
> weakness, lack of willpower, etc. but again, what counts is the practical
> outcome - Is he still doing after whatever intervention you tried? Did he
> stop after the priest chewed him out? Did he get better with the help of
> suboxone or methadone? Did CBT help?
> What counts is how many people avoided being homeless and overdosing in an
> alley or getting lung cancer, whether by pulling themselves up by their own
> moral bootstraps or by mere nicotine patch.
> Rafal
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