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le 14 avril 2018

"Other kids afflicted with PANDAS hear voices or experience 'Alice in Wonderland' syndrome, wildly distorted perceptions."

A controversial disease revives the debate about the immune system and mental illness.

One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies.

Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain and grunt at his parents and peers. When he wasn’t throwing hours-long tantrums, he stared vacantly into space. By the time he was 5, he was plagued by insistent, terrifying thoughts of death. “He would smash his head into windows and glass whenever the word ‘dead’ came into his head. He was trying to drown out the thoughts,” says his mother, Robin McCune, a baker in Goffstown, a small town outside Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city.

Isak’s parents took him to pediatricians, therapy appointments, and psychiatrists. He was diagnosed with a host of disorders: sensory processing disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). At 5, he spent a year on Prozac, “and seemed to get worse on it,” says Robin McCune.

The McCunes tried to make peace with the idea that their son might never come back. In kindergarten, he grunted and screamed, frightening his teachers and classmates. “He started hearing voices, thought he saw things, he couldn’t go to the bathroom alone,” Robin McCune says. “His fear was immense and paralyzing.”

New quantum method generates really random numbers
From Phys.org:

NistsnewquanResearchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have
developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random by
quantum mechanics. Described in the April 12 issue of Nature,
the experimental technique surpasses all previous methods for ensuring
the unpredictability of its random numbers and may enhance security and
trust in cryptographic systems.

The new NIST method generates digital
bits (1s and 0s) with photons, or particles of light, using data
generated in an improved version of a landmark 2015 NIST physics experiment. That experiment showed conclusively that what Einstein derided as " at a distance" is real. In the new work, researchers process the spooky output to certify and quantify the available in the data and generate a string of much more random bits.

Random numbers are used hundreds of
billions of times a day to encrypt data in electronic networks. But
these numbers are not certifiably random in an absolute sense. That's
because they are generated by software formulas or physical devices
whose supposedly random output could be undermined by factors such as
predictable sources of noise. Running statistical tests can help,but no
statistical test on the output alone can absolutely guarantee that the
output was unpredictable, especially if an adversary has tampered with
the device.

More here.

Note: I still think that true, 'absolute' randomness is impossible.  I do see the importance of apparent full randomness via quantum mechanics.

There has been a lot of writing about the importance of kindness lately. I guess this is to be expected, in the context of how insane our planet has become. And, you know me, I have been harping on in advocation of empathy for ages - and so forth. (Did I just now make up a new word?) Anyway - kindness is a good thing to be. But there can be problems. A lot of times, kindness only extends to those who are-of-the-same-kind. Which is actually natural. Another problem can be that kindness is made or seen as something artificial and secretly demanding. Another problem is that so many people exploit, abuse or exhaust those who are kind, sometimes - especially when it isn't marketed wisely, that being kind can KILL a person, by and by.

I have always been a big advocate of kindness - and continue to be. But lots of things, especially my exhausting CFS, has taught me that one has to be careful, if not down-right-conservative, when being kind - especially in a dog-eat-dog or, ironically, conservative society. This last conundrum leaves one with the idea that if one is not kind DESPITE the onslaught of the world, then there will never be kindness. And that is the spiritual path that some choose to make.

I believe in doing certain things one believes in, despite what the world wants or demands. Being at least civil is at least one of the ways one can be transcendentally kind without incurring much death. In a bad neighbourhood, once one gets out of the danger of being bullied for it, one can walk along and pick up trash at the same time, even though there comes no personal reward from the world for this. I believe in each serving the better self, and eventually the world will catch up - but if it doesn't, then it doesn't. The point of transcendent kindness is to be true to one's self.

That does not mean I am a stupid hippie, and it does not mean that I am NOT a realist. I am an ultra-realist. So, I do know, by now, that managing one's kindness wisely is the best course to take. In a society full of idiots, a little non-cooperation - and even cruelty - can go a long way in teaching others lessons that they should have learnt at age two, like not everything is free, life isn't easy, and you cannot just take things from nice people who look like suckers. Right? People are not to be played like cards. If there is one thing that is of prime importance in most every place it is self-respect, ahead of repect-from-others, even if that respect may be your next inroad at teaching others the value of kindness. Gotta get your priorities straight - get a game plan. Every man eventually learns or dies: You don't get nowhere without at least a little POWER in your tank. That is just a reality. The very same reality that seeks to quash kindness and stir up wars - but, you work with what you got.

Anyway, here's a nice little article on how it is OK NOT to be kind, at least sometimes. If you are interested in self-preservation first and foremost. No one ever sought advice from a dead nun.

UNLEARNING: Why I Stopped Helping People and You Should Too - BY CAMMI PHAM

Remember - Most rich people got that way by being anti-kind, so. Be a creep, save up your money, and then become a famous philanthropist. God bless this capitalism thing which, I think, has something to do with the whole formula.

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