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History of Longevity – Life Expectancy in 1800 to Today

Posted: July 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

How long did humans live in the past? We often hear statistics about the average lifespan of people living hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. Were our ancestors really dying at the age of 30 or 40 back then?Heres a little primer on longevity throughout history to help you understand how life expectancy and life spans have changed over time.

The term life expectancy means the average lifespan of an entire population, taking into account all mortality figures for that specific group of people.

Lifespan is a measure of the actual length of an individuals life. While both terms seem straightforward, a lack of historical artifacts and records have made it challenging for researchers to determine how lifespans have evolved throughout history.

Until fairly recently, little information existed about how long prehistoric people lived. Too few fossilized human remains made it difficult for historians to estimate the demographics of any population. Anthropology professors Rachel Caspari and Sang-Hee Lee, ofCentral Michigan University and the University of California at Riverside, respectively, chose instead to analyze the relative ages of skeletons found in archeological digs in eastern and southern Africa, Europe and elsewhere.

After comparing the proportion of those who died young with those who died at an older age, the team concluded that longevity only began to significantly increase – that is, past the age of 30 or so – about 30,000 years ago, which is quite late in the span of human evolution.

In an article published in 2011 in Scientific American, Caspari calls the shift the evolution of grandparents,” as it marks the first time in human history that three generations might have co-existed.

Life expectancy estimates that describe the population as a whole also suffer from a lack of reliable evidence gathered from these periods.

In a 2010 article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gerontologist and evolutionary biologist, Caleb Finch describes the average life spans inancient Greek and Roman times as short: approximately of 20 to 35 years, though he laments these numbers are based on notoriously unrepresentative graveyard epitaphs and samples.

Moving forward along the historic timeline, Finch lists the challenges of deducing historic life spans and causes of death in this information vacuum. As a kind of research compromise, he and other evolution experts suggest a reasonable comparison can be made with demographic data that does exist from pre-industrial Sweden (mid-18th century) and certain contemporary, small, hunter-gatherer societies in countries like Venezuela and Brazil.

Finch writes that judging by this data the main causes of death during these early centuries would most certainly have been infections, whether from infectious diseases or infected wounds resulting from accidents or fighting.

Unhygienic living conditions and little access to effective medical care meant life expectancy was likely limited to about 35 years of age.

Thats life expectancy at birth, a figure dramatically influenced by infant mortality-pegged at the time as high as 30 percent. It does not mean that the average person living in 1200 A.D. died at the age of 35. Rather, for every child that died in infancy, another person might have lived to see their 70th birthday. Early years up to the age of about 15 continued to be perilous, thanks to risks posed by disease, injuries, and accidents. People who survived this hazardous period of life could well make it into old age.

Other infectious diseases like cholera, tuberculosis and smallpox would go on to limit longevity, but none on a scale quite as damaging of the bubonic plague in the 14th century. The Black Plague moved through Asia and Europe, and wiped out as much as a third of Europes population, temporarily shifting life expectancy downward.

From the 1500s onward, till around the year 1800, life expectancy throughout Europe hovered between 30 and 40 years of age. Since the early 1800s, Finch writes that life expectancy at birth has doubled in a period of only 10 or so generations. Improved health care, sanitation, immunizations, access to clean, running water and better nutrition are all credited with the massive increase.

Though its hard to imagine, researcher Elaine Larson describes in The American Journal of Public Health that doctors only began regularly washing their hands before surgery in the mid-1800s. A better understanding of hygiene and the transmission of microbes has since contributed substantially to public health. Disease was still common, however, and impacted life expectancy. Parasites, typhoid, and infections like rheumatic feverand scarlet feverwere all common during the 1800s.

Even as recently as 1921, countries like Canada still had an infant mortality rate of about 10 percent, meaning one out of every 10 babies did not survive. According to Statistics Canada, this meant a life expectancyoraverage survival rate in that country that was higher at age one than at birth – a condition that persisted right until the early 1980s.

Today most industrialized countries boast life expectancy figures of more than 75 years, according to comparisons compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Some researchers have predicted that lifestyle factors like obesity will halt or even reverse the rise in life expectancy for the first time in modern history. In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, epidemiologists warned that in the United States – where two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese – obesity and its complications, like diabetes,could very well reduce life expectancy at all ages in the first half of 21st century.

In the meantime, rising life expectancy in the West brings both good and bad news: its nice to be living longer, but we are now more vulnerable to the types of illnesses that hit as you get older. These age-related diseasesinclude coronary artery disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and dementia.

Still, while they can affect quantity and quality of life, many of these conditions can be prevented or at least delayed through healthy lifestyle choices like following an anti-aging diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularlyand keeping stress hormones like cortisol at bay.

Sources:

Caleb E. Finch. Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging: Roles of infection, inflammation, and nutrition. PNAS, January 26, 2010, vol. 107, Pages 1718-1724. http://evmedreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/PNAS-EvMedIssueComplete-pages-1691-1799-2010.pdf

Caspari, R. The Evolution of Grandparents. Scientific American. 2011 vol:305 iss:2 pg:44 -9.

Caspari, R and Lee SH. Is Human Longevity a Consequence of Cultural Change or Modern Biology? Am J Phys Anthropol(2006) 129:512-517 http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~shlee/Publications/06%20OY%20W%20As%20(AJPA).pdf

Country Comparison: Life Expectancy at Birth. US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Public Information Sheet. Accessed September 17, 2012. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html

E Larson. Innovations in health care: antisepsis as a case study. Am J Public Health. 1989 January; 79(1): 9299. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1349481/,/p>

Griffin JP. Changing life expectancy throughout history. Int Pharm J 1995. 9:199202.

Gurven, M. and Kaplan H. Hunter-Gatherer Longevity: A Cross-Cultural Examination. Population and Development Review. 2007. Volume 33, Issue 2, 321-365.

Health at a Glance: Disparities in Life Expectancy at Birth. Statistics Canada Public Information Sheet. Accessed Sept.13, 2012. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-x/2011001/article/11427-eng.htm

H. Beltran-Sanchez, E. M. Crimmins and C. E. Finch. Early cohort mortality predicts the rate of aging in the cohort: a historical analysis. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 05/2012, pp. 1 7.

S. Jay Olshansky, Douglas J. Passaro, Ronald C. Hershow, Jennifer Layden, Bruce A. Carnes, Jacob Brody, Leonard Hayflick, Robert N. Butler, David B. Allison, and David S. Ludwig. A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century. N Engl J Med 2005; 352:1138-1145 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr043743#t=artic

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History of Longevity – Life Expectancy in 1800 to Today

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Home, Alternative Medicine, Complementary Medicine …

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Introduction

Definitions

What Is Alternative Medicine?

What is Complementary Medicine?

What is Holistic Medicine?

What is Natural Medicine?

HolisticOnLine Philosophy

What is the Difference Between Conventional and Holistic Medicine?

How Popular Is Alternative Medicine?

Classification of Alternative Systems of Medical Practice

Some of the alternative therapies currently under study with grants from NIH

Approaching Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Assess the Safety and Effectiveness of the Therapy

Examine the Practitioner’s Expertise

Consider the Service Delivery

Consider the Costs

Consult Your Health Care Provider

Guest Articles

Integrative Medicine And Its FutureThe balance between conventional medicine and alternative medicine is a delicate one. Right now, both schools of thought refuse to work together, and the general public is who suffers. (12/2004)

Alternative and Complementary Medicine Therapies Home

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Home, Alternative Medicine, Complementary Medicine …

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Wirehead hedonism versus paradise-engineering

Posted: at 3:47 pm

“The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heaven” Satan, in Milton’s Paradise Lost

Far-fetched? Right now, the abolitionist project sounds fanciful. The task of redesigning our legacy-wetware still seems daunting. Rewriting the vertebrate genome, and re-engineering the global ecosystem, certainly pose immense scientific challenges even to a technologically advanced civilisation.

The ideological obstacles to a happy world, however, are more formidable still. For we’ve learned how to rationalise the need for mental pain – even though its nastier varieties blight innumerable lives, and even though its very existence will soon become optional.

Today, any scientific blueprint for getting rid of suffering via biotechnology is likely to be reduced to one of two negative stereotypes. Both stereotypes are disturbing, pervasive, and profoundly ill-conceived. Together, they impoverish our notion of what a Post-Darwinian regime of life-long happiness might be like; and delay its prospect.

Rats, of course, have a very poor image in our culture. Our mammalian cousins are still widely perceived as “vermin”. Thus the sight of a blissed-out, manically self-stimulating rat does not inspire a sense of vicarious happiness in the rest of us. On the contrary, if achieving invincible well-being entails launching a program of world-wide wireheading – or its pharmacological and/or genetic counterparts – then most of us will recoil in distaste.

Yet the Olds’ rat, and the image of electronically-triggered bliss, embody a morally catastrophic misconception of the landscape of options for paradise-engineering in the aeons ahead. For the varieties of genetically-coded well-being on offer to our successors needn’t be squalid or self-centred. Nor need they be insipid, empty and amoral la Huxley’s Brave New World. Our future modes of well-being can be sublime, cerebral and empathetic – or take forms hitherto unknown.

Instead of being toxic, such exotically enriched states of consciousness can be transformed into the everyday norm of mental health. When it’s precision-engineered, hedonic enrichment needn’t lead to unbridled orgasmic frenzy. Nor need hedonic enrichment entail getting stuck in a wirehead rut. This is partly because in a naturalistic setting, even the crudest dopaminergic drugs tend to increase exploratory behaviour, will-power and the range of stimuli an organism finds rewarding. Novelty-seeking is normally heightened. Dopaminergics aren’t just euphoriants: they also enhance “incentive-motivation”. On this basis, our future is likely to be more diverse, not less.

Perhaps surprisingly too, controlled euphoria needn’t be inherently “selfish” – i.e. hedonistic in the baser, egoistic sense. Non-neurotoxic and sustainable analogues of empathogen hug-drugs like MDMA (“Ecstasy”) – which releases a lot of extra serotonin, dopamine and pro-social oxytocin – may potentially induce extraordinary serenity, empathy and love for others. An arsenal of cognitive enhancers will allow us be smarter too. For feeling blissful isn’t the same as being “blissed-out”.

Ultimately, however, using drugs or electrodes for psychological superhealth is arguably no better than taking medicines to promote physical superhealth. Such interventions can serve only as dirty and inelegant stopgaps. In an ideal world, our emotional, intellectual and physical well-being would be genetically predestined. A capacity for sustained bliss may be a design-feature of any Post-Darwinian mind. Indeed some futurists predict we will one day live in a paradise where suffering is physiologically inconceivable – a world where we can no more imagine what it is like to suffer than we can presently imagine what it is like to be a bat.

Technofantasy? Quite possibly. Today it is sublime bliss that is effectively inconceivable to most of us.

Olds mapped the whole brain. Stimulation of some areas – the periaqueductal grey matter, for instance – proved aversive: an animal will work hard to avoid it. “Aversive” is probably a euphemism: electrical pulses to certain neural pathways may be terrifying or excruciating. Euphemisms aside, our victims are being tortured.

Happily, more regions in the brain are rewarding to stimulate than are unpleasant. Yet electrical stimulation of most areas, including the great bulk of the neocortex, is motivationally neutral.

One brain region in particular does seem especially enjoyable to stimulate: the medial forebrain bundle. The key neurons in this bundle originate in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the basal ganglia. VTA neurons manufacture the catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is transported down the length of the neuron, packaged in synaptic vesicles, and released into the synapse. Crucially, VTA neuronal pathways project to the nucleus accumbens. VTA dopaminergic neurons are under continuous inhibition by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system.

In recent years, a convergence of neuropharmacological evidence, clinical research, and electrical stimulation experiments has led many researchers to endorse some version of the “final common pathway” hypothesis of reward. There are anomalies and complications which the final-common-pathway hypothesis still has to account for. Any story which omits the role and complex interplay of, say, “the love hormone”, oxytocin; the “chocolate amphetamine”, phenylethylamine; the glutamate system; the multiple receptor sub-types of serotonin, noradrenaline and the opioid families; and most crucially of all, the intra-cellular post-synaptic cascade within individual neurons, is going to be simplistic. Yet there is accumulating evidence that recreational euphoriants, clinically useful mood-brighteners, and perhaps all rewarding experiences critically depend on the mesolimbic dopamine pathway.

One complication is that pleasure and desire circuitry have intimately connected but distinguishable neural substrates. Some investigators believe that the role of the mesolimbic dopamine system is not primarily to encode pleasure, but “wanting” i.e. incentive-motivation. On this analysis, endomorphins and enkephalins – which activate mu and delta opioid receptors most especially in the ventral pallidum – are most directly implicated in pleasure itself. Mesolimbic dopamine, signalling to the ventral pallidum, mediates desire. Thus “dopamine overdrive”, whether natural or drug-induced, promotes a sense of urgency and a motivation to engage with the world, whereas direct activation of mu opioid receptors in the ventral pallidum induces emotionally self-sufficient bliss.

Certainly, the dopamine neurotransmitter is not itself the brain’s magic pleasure chemical. Only the intra-cellular cascades triggered by neurotransmitter binding to the post-synaptic receptor presumably hold the elusive, tantalising key to everlasting happiness; and they are not yet fully understood. But it’s notable that dopamine D2 receptor-blocking phenothiazines, for example, and other aversive drugs such as kappa opioid agonists, tend to inhibit activity, or increase the threshold of stimulation, in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Conversely, heroin and cocaine both mimic the effects of direct electrical stimulation of the reward-pathways.

Comparing the respective behavioural effects of heroin and cocaine is instructive.If rats or monkeys are hooked up to an intravenous source of heroin (or other potent mu opioid agonist such as fentanyl), the animals will happily self-administer the drug indefinitely; but they still find time to sleep and eat. If rats or monkeys have the opportunity to self-administer cocaine without limit, however, they will do virtually nothing else. They continue to push a drug-delivery lever for as long as they are physically capable of doing so. Within weeks, if not days, they will lose a substantial portion of their body weight – up to 40%. Within a month, they will be dead.

Humans don’t have this problem. So what keeps our mesolimbic dopamine and opioidergic systems so indolent? Why does a “hedonic treadmill” stop us escaping from a genetically-predisposed “set-point” of emotional ill-being? Why can’t social engineering, politico-economic reform or psychotherapy – as distinct from germ-line genetic re-writes – make us durably happy?

Evolutionary biology provides some plausible answers. A capacity to experience many different flavours of unhappiness – and short-lived joys too – was adaptive in the ancestral environment. Anger, fear, disgust, sadness, anxiety and other core emotions each played a distinctive information-theoretic role, enhancing the reproductive success of our forebears. Thus at least a partial explanation of endemic human misery today lies in ancient selection pressure and the state of the unreconstructed vertebrate genome. Selfish DNA makes its throwaway survival-machines feel discontented a lot of the time. A restless discontent is typically good for promoting its “inclusive fitness”, even if it’s bad news for us. Nature simply doesn’t care; and God has gone missing, presumed dead.

On the African savannah, naturally happy and un-anxious creatures typically got outbred or eaten or both. Rank theory suggests that the far greater incidence of the internalised correlate of the yielding sub-routine, depression, reflects how low spirits were frequently more adaptive among group-living organisms than manic self-assertion. Group living can be genetically adaptive for the individual members of the tribe in a predator-infested environment, but we’ve paid a very high psychological price.

Whatever the origins of malaise, a web of negative feedback mechanisms in the CNS conspires to prevent well-being – and (usually) extreme ill-being – from persisting for very long.

Life-enriching emotional superhealth will depend on subverting these homeostatic mechanisms. The hedonic set-point around which our lives fluctuate can be genetically switched to a far higher altitude plateau of well-being.

At the most immediate level, firing in the neurons of the ventral tegmental area is held in check mainly by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate central nervous system. Opioids act to diminish the braking action of GABA on the dopaminergic neurons of the VTA. In consequence, VTA neurons release more dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The reuptake of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens is performed by the dopamine transporter. The transporter is blocked by cocaine. Dopamine reuptake inhibition induces euphoria, augmented by activation of the sigma1 receptors. [Why? We don’t know. Science has no understanding of why sentience – or insentience for that matter – exists at all.] Amphetamines block the dopamine transporter too; but they also act directly on the dopaminergic neurons and promote neurotransmitter release.

The mesolimbic dopamine pathway passes from the VTA to the nucleus accumbens and ascends to the frontal cortex where it innervates the higher brain. This architecture is explicable in the light of evolution. Raw limbic emotional highs and lows – in the absence of represented objects, events or properties to be (dis)satisfied about – would be genetically useless to the organism. To help self-replicating DNA differentially leave more copies of itself, the textures of subjective niceness and nastiness must infuse our representations of the world, and – by our lights – the world itself. Hedonic tone must be functionally coupled to motor-responses initiated on the basis of the perceived significance of the stimulus to the organism, and of the anticipated consequences – adaptively nice or nasty – of simulations of alternative courses of action that the agent can perform. Natural selection has engineered the “encephalisation of emotion”. We often get happy, sad or worried “about” the most obscure notions. One form this encephalisation takes is our revulsion at the prospect of turning ourselves into undignified wirehead rats – or soma-pacified dupes of a ruling elite. Both scenarios strike us as too distasteful to contemplate.

In any case, wouldn’t we get bored of life-long bliss?

Apparently not. That’s what’s so revealing about wireheading. Unlike food, drink or sex, the experience of pleasure itself exhibits no tolerance, even though our innumerable objects of desire certainly do so. Thus we can eventually get bored of anything – with a single exception. Stimulation of the pleasure-centres of the brain never palls. Fire them in the right way, and boredom is neurochemically impossible. Its substrates are missing. Electrical stimulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system is more intensely rewarding than eating, drinking, and love-making; and it never gets in the slightest a bit tedious. It stays exhilarating. The unlimited raw pleasure conjured up by wirehead bliss certainly inspires images of monotony in the electrode-na&iumlve outsider; but that’s a different story altogether.

Yet are wireheading or supersoma really the only ways to ubiquitous ecstasy? Or does posing the very question reflect our stunted conception of the diverse family of paradise-engineering options in prospect?

This question isn’t an exercise in idle philosophising. As molecular neuroscience advances, not just boredom, but pain, terror, disgust, jealousy, anxiety, depression, malaise and any form of unpleasantness are destined to become truly optional. Their shifting gradients played a distinct information-theoretic role in the lives of our ancestors in the ancestral environment of adaptation. But their individual textures (i.e. “what it feels like”, “qualia”) can shortly be either abolished or genetically shifted to a more exalted plane of well-being instead. Our complicity in their awful persistence, and ultimately our responsibility for sustaining and creating them in the living world, is destined to increase as the new reproductive technologies mature and the revolution in post-genomic medicine unfolds. The biggest obstacles to a cruelty-free world – a world cured of any obligate suffering – are ideological, not technical. Yet whatever the exact time-scale of its replacement, in evolutionary terms we are on the brink of a Post-Darwinian Transition.

Natural selection has previously been “blind”. Complications aside, genetic mutations and meiotic shufflings are quasi-random i.e. random with respect to what is favoured by natural selection. Nature has no capacity for foresight or contingency-planning. During the primordial Darwinian Era of life on Earth, selfishness in the technical genetic sense has closely overlapped with selfishness in the popular sense: they are easily confused, and indeed selfishness in the technical sense is unavoidable. But in the new reproductive era – where (suites of) alleles will be societally chosen and actively designed by quasi-rational agents in anticipation of their likely behavioural effects – the character of fitness-enhancing traits will be radically different.

For a start, the elimination of such evolutionary relics as the ageing process will make any form of (post-)human reproduction on earth – whether sexual or clonal – a relatively rare and momentous event. It’s likely that designer post-human babies will be meticulously pre-planned. The notion that all reproductive decisions will be socially regulated in a post-ageing world is abhorrent to one’s libertarian instincts; but if they weren’t regulated, then the Earth would soon simply exceed its carrying capacity – whether it is 15 billion people or even 150 billion. If reproduction on earth does cease to be a personal affair and becomes a (democratically accountable?) state-sanctioned choice, then a major shift in the character of typically adaptive behavioural traits will inevitably occur. Taking a crude genes’ eye-view, a variant allele coding for, say, enhanced oxytocin expression, or a sub-type of serotonin receptor predisposing to unselfishness in the popular sense, will actually carry a higher payoff in the technical selfish sense – hugely increasing the likelihood that such alleles and their customised successors will be differentially pre-selected in preference to alleles promoting, say, anti-social behaviour.

Told like this, of course, the neurochemical story is a simplistic parody. It barely even hints at the complex biological, socio-economic and political issues at stake. Just who will take the decisions, and how? What will be the role in shaping post-human value systems, not just of exotic new technologies, but of alien forms of emotion whose metabolic pathways and substrates haven’t yet been disclosed to us? What kinds, if any, of inorganic organisms or non-DNA-driven states of consciousness will we want to design and implement? What will be the nature of the transitional era – when our genetic mastery of emotional mind-making is still incomplete? How can we be sure that unknown unknowns won’t make things go wrong? True, Darwinian life may often be dreadful, but couldn’t botched paradise-engineering make it even worse? And even if it couldn’t, might not there be some metaphysical sense in which life in a blissful biosphere could still be morally “wrong” – even if it strikes its inhabitants as self-evidently right?

Unfortunately, we will only begin to glimpse the implications of Post-Darwinism when paradise-engineering becomes a mature scientific discipline and mainstream research tradition. Yet as the vertebrate genome is rewritten, the two senses of “selfish” will foreseeably diverge. Today they are easily conflated. A tendency to quasi-psychopathic callousness to other sentient beings did indeed enhance the inclusive fitness of our DNA in the evolutionary past. In the new reproductive era, such traits are potentially maladaptive. They may even disappear as the Reproductive Revolution matures.

The possibility that we will become not just exceedingly happier, but nicer, may sound too good to be true. Perhaps we’ll just become happier egotists – in every sense. But if a genetic predisposition to niceness becomes systematically fitness-enhancing, then genetic selfishness – in the technical sense of “selfish” – ensures that benevolence will not just triumph; it will also be evolutionarily stable, in the games-theory sense, against “defectors”.

Needless to say, subtleties and technical complexities abound here. The very meaning of being “nice” to anyone or anything, for instance, is changed if well-being becomes a generic property of mental life. Either way, once suffering becomes biologically optional, then only sustained and systematic malice towards others could allow us to perpetuate it for ever. And although today we may sometimes be spiteful, there is no evidence that institutionalised malevolence will prevail.

From an ethical perspective, the task of hastening the Post-Darwinian Transition has a desperate moral urgency – brought home by studying just how nasty “natural” pain can be. Those who would resist the demise of unpleasantness may be asked: is it really permissible to compel others to suffer when any form of distress becomes purely optional? Should the metabolic pathways of our evolutionary past be forced on anyone who prefers an odyssey of life-long happiness instead? If so, what means of coercion should be employed, and by whom?

Or is paradise-engineering the only morally serious option? And much more fun.

Refs and further reading

Roborats James Olds Homeostasis Robert Heath Orgasmatrons Future Opioids BLTC Research Hypermotivation Superhappiness? Empathogens.com The Orgasmic Brain Social Media (2016) The Good Drug Guide The Abolitionist Project Utilitarianism On The Net The Hedonistic Imperative The Reproductive Revolution Critique of Brave New World MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology? When Is It Best To Take Crack Cocaine? Wireheads and Wireheading in Science Fiction Pleasure Evoked by Electrical Stimulation of the Brain Wireheads and wireheading: Definitions from Science Fiction

E-mail info@wireheading.com

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Wirehead hedonism versus paradise-engineering

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Oceania Map – Maps of World

Posted: July 23, 2016 at 4:22 am

About Map :-Though there is much debate over the definition of Oceania, the Pacific Islands including Australia and New Zealand are consistently included. This map of Australia and Oceania shows the many islands that dot the Pacific Ocean, such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands.

Political Map of Countries in Oceania

Top Viewed Australia Continent Map

Cities in Oceania’s Countries Map

Oceania also includes the thousands and thousands of coral reef islands off the coasts of these countries. Some definitions for Oceania include all the nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean between North and South America and Asia, which would also mean Taiwan and Japan were part of Oceania rather than Asia. Oceania is a not just a geographic region and ecozone, it is also a geopolitical region, defined by the United Nations to include Australia, New Zealand, and other island nations that are not generally considered part of the Asian continent.

ACOD~20130104 Last Updated On : January 09, 2013

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Oceania Map – Maps of World

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Catherine Austin Fitts – Transhumanist Depopulation Agenda …

Posted: at 4:05 am

Part 1 of the Breakthrough Interview with Catherine Austin FItts on The Transhumanist Agenda and the 2016 Presidential Election – June 24th, 2016

Deep State Transhumanist Agenda in 2016 Political Race In this special part 1 of 2 episodes, Dark Journalist Daniel Liszt welcomes back Former US Assistant Housing Secretary, Financial Expert and Publisher of the Solari Report Catherine Austin Fitts.

Catherine’s deep analysis of the socio-political forces working under the radar in 2016 shows that unnerving trends like the engineered rise of autism, GMO proliferation, the expansion of Entrainment Technology, the rise of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and the dumbing down of American students with Common Core are all in place to drive a massive Transhumanist Depopulation Agenda!

She sees a clash of political forces in the 2016 presidential election being pawns in a game run by Deep State forces which are committed to putting a friendly face on totalitarian policies by electing corrupt establishment democrat Clinton to grab a number of initiatives under the facade of social equality and female empowerment with he soft revolution.

On the other side of the coin she sees the Trump phenomena and his role as outsider as a strange contrast to his lifelong insider deal-making and status as a top member of the one percent elite. Together they consider the possibility that he developed his own rogue agenda of exposing issues like Common Core and the Transnational Corporate agenda and to expose the secets of the American establishment in the public domain he is upsetting the insiders that helped his rise in the polls.

We’re in for a wild ride with this exciting, unexpurgated and shocking Dark Journalist part 1 episode!

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Libertarian Party of Illinois

Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:24 am

On Monday June 27th, the Libertarian Party of Illinois turned in 53,000 signatures on 4,500 pages. More than twice the required amount for third parties and more than 10 times what is required of a Republican or Democrat in Illinois. As of Tuesday, July 5th, the window for issuing a challenge has officially closed meaning we are on the ballot this November!

Some interesting statistics:

These are more than interesting facts, they represent the lengths (no pun intended) that we as a party must go to in order to secure our place on the ballot. A place we must fight tooth and nail for every single time because the entrenched powers that be make the rules that keep them in power. This year, people are waking up to the options that are out there. The only reason we are on the ballot is the hard work and dedication of volunteers who sacrificed time, money, sleep, and nights better spent with family to make the future a better place for them. The volunteers who came from out of state on their own who collected. The donors who reached into their wallets to fund the work of petitioners. The crew who drove down on the last weekend to bind and validate the last push of petitions. The endless phone calls fielded by our long-suffering ballot access director and state chair. We couldn’t have gotten there without you!

The 2016 campaign season is now in full swing! Visit our campaign page to meet the Libertarians who are seeking election.

Libertarians are traversing the state, looking to meet you. As supporters of the smallest minority: The Individual, we have been looking to touch base with as many of Illinois citizens as possible, from the Shawnee to Chicago.

The message we are sharing says: Enough of the establishments robbing Peter to pay Paul. We need to get the government out of the business of playing one group of people against another. It is time for policies of peace that protect every individuals rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Libertarian Party is the third-largest and fastestgrowing political party in America. There are libertarian chapters in all 50 states and currently over 140 elected Libertarian officials six of them right here in Illinois.

Americans want, and deserve, a political system which respects them as unique individuals, as people who can make their own plans, who take responsibility for themselves, who are compassionate, and who can generally solve their own problems.

Libertarians are practical we know we cant make the world perfect but it can be a lot better.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party that is working to dramatically reduce unrestrained government spending, taxes, debt, regulations, bureaucracies, and wars, both foreign and domestic.

Illinois has the largest pension liability, the worst credit rating, and the most units of government in all the 50 states.

The states foreclosure and unemployment rates are consistently among the worst in the nation.

Meanwhile, establishment politicians make time to control your life, banning incandescent light bulbs and worrying about e-cigarettes and big gulps.

Its time for a change in Illinois politics.

We believe Illinois is ready for a fresh approach. If you do:

Contact us and let us know what interests you about liberty

A fire cannot burn without fuel.

Likewise, nothing happens in the world of politics without money.

Click below to donate an amount of your choosing. Every donation is very much appreciated.

If you wish to make a monthly pledge, visit our donate page for more options.

The next election season is coming up in 2016. We are currently accepting and reviewing candidate applications.

The most recent round of elections were held for municipal offices in April 2015. To see current Illinois Libertarians, visit our candidate page.

If you think that people have the right to control their own lives as long as they do not initiate the use of force or fraud against others, you are a Libertarian.

Join the Party.

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Libertarian Party of Illinois

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ESA – Space for Kids – Life in Space – Space Exploration

Posted: at 2:17 am

For centuries, people dreamed about leaving Earth and travelling to other worlds. Then, in 1957, the Soviet Union made the first small step into space by launching a small satellite, called Sputnik. The Space Age had begun.

During the last 60 years, unmanned probes have been sent towards all of the planets in the Solar System, as well as many satellites, asteroids and comets. Spacecraft have soft-landed on half a dozen worlds, while rovers have driven over the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. The Sun has also been explored in great detail by a fleet of spacecraft.

Many space observatories, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, have been launched to look at the distant Universe. They have sent back some amazing pictures taken in visible light. But they can also observe stars and galaxies at wavelengths that are invisible to human eyes radio, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays. The flood of discoveries has changed the way we look at the Universe.

More than 500 people have also flown in space since Yuri Gagarin paved the way in 1961. 20 people have travelled to the Moon and 12 of them have walked on the Moon. Space stations have been built, and astronauts have learned to live and work in space for many months, or even years.

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ESA – Space for Kids – Life in Space – Space Exploration

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Boy & Girl Scout Space Exploration Merit Badge

Posted: at 2:17 am

Is your Girl or Boy Scout troop interested in earning their Space Exploration Merit Badge or Patch? If so, theres no better place to learn about space exploration than Kennedy Space Center, NASAs launch headquarters!

Join us for an exciting day of hands-on learning activities designed to fulfill the requirements necessary for Scouts to earn the Space Exploration Merit Badge or Patch.

Hours of Operation are from 9 am – 4 pm

The cost of the program is $65 (plus tax) per scout and $21 (plus tax) per chaperone, which includes a one-day admission ticket to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, valid for use within six days of the program. Program cost also includes instruction from educators who are Merit Badge/Patch Counselors, certified through the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, along with all program and rocket supplies.

Please note: All scouts must bring their blue card with them in order to receive an educators signature certifying that badge requirements have been met.

Call 855.437.0482 to reserve your space now! Agents are available daily from 8 am 6 pm.

In order to ensure adequate supplies for each scout, please register five days prior to the program date.

Group Size This event is open to individual scouts or troops.

Food/BeverageAll participants and chaperones should pack their own lunch, snacks and beverages. Water fountains are available. No food or drink will be sold onsite.

Location/Parking All activities will take place at ATX Center, located six miles west of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. There is no cost for parking.

Arrival/Check-In Please arrive by 8:30 am to check in your scout or troop. Activities will begin promptly at 9 am.

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Boy & Girl Scout Space Exploration Merit Badge

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The Meaning of Empowerment – Powerful Information

Posted: at 2:12 am

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“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Confucius (Chinese philosopher, 551 BC – 479 BC)

Much of our work is concerned with empowerment- the photo shows three participants emerging from one of learning circles in Sierra Leone, proud of their education packs and the progress that they are making. We have explained below what we mean by this term. In essence, empowerment is about having or taking more control over all aspects of your life.

Individuals: On an individual level we see empowerment as building confidence, insight and understanding, and developing personal skills, for example, being able to analyze situations and communicate more effectively with others. Being empowered presupposes some level of common sense and emotional maturity and access to appropriate information and know how; it also implies someone who cares about others and is tolerant of other’s views and behaviour (within limits!)

Groups: Within a group or community, empowerment can be taken to involve building trust, co-operation and communication between members, and a prerequisite for this is that there are appropriate structures, protocols and procedures in place, with effective sanctions against those who default or abuse the system. There must be opportunities for people to meet and exchange views and opinions, and ways of recording what is agreed and done; and there must be scope for having fun and celebrating achievement.

The evidence for empowerment is often anecdotal in nature, but this is still valid, especially when set alongside quantitative data. We have listed below some possible indicators that we consider useful:

For an insight into how we put all of this into practice, see our programme for rural womens basic education in Sierra Leone. You might also like to look at some of our most recent work on empowering local people; or return to Home Page.

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The Meaning of Empowerment – Powerful Information

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Libertarian Party of Alabama

Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Libertarian Party of Alabama

4 hours ago

Libertarian Party mourns slain officers in Baton Rouge

ALEXANDRIA Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, states, “The events in Baton Rouge are heartbreaking and we all mourn with the people of Baton Rouge as they grapple with the loss of innocent lives.”

“After every tragedy, people rightfully want to find the cause and prevent future tragedies. Many will use this event to call for gun control and more laws. However, the real solution here would be fewer laws.”

Sarwark continues, “If we truly want to reduce situations in which police are pitted against the people they are sworn to protect, we would end the war on drugs. The constant escalation of prohibitionist policies have increasingly pitted police and citizens against each other for decades and are largely responsible for the militarization of police forces across America.

“Ending the violence means ending the policies that lead to black and grey markets, the highest incarceration rate in the world, and reduced economic opportunities in the formal labor market for huge swaths of Americans. Ending the violence means ending the war on drugs.

“Ending the drug war will do more to heal the divide between police and citizens than any other measure. It is the best way to save lives: both those of innocent police officers and innocent citizens.”

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all rights of all human beings all the time. As part of this mission, the Libertarian Party seeks a minimal set of just laws that defend the rights of individuals and are equally applied to all. … See MoreSee Less

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Libertarian Party of Alabama

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