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Topics - My AIDS, Your Arse

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Metal / Does decline in quality coincide with a drop in testosterone level?
« on: December 29, 2010, 01:40:28 AM »
Is it any wonder why once-great bands eventually have a steady decline and fall? Or why a lot of the greatest musical endeavors in metal are embarked upon by young males in their prime?

Maybe so many shitty indie-metal bands are coming out lately because of something in the water. Birth control hormones? Bisphenol A? Lack of exercise and red meat? Too much beer (containing phytoetsrogens)? Alcohol in general (inhibits proliferation of free testosterone)?

No wonder Wolves In The Throne Room are connected with indie hipsters (fashionista/crusty vegans enjoy this kind of faux black metal) and they came from Seattle.

I think this connection has been made before somewhere but I can't recall the name of the thread.

In the hypothetic:

Let's assume good music (incl. metal music and other styles) coincides with high testosterone levels during prenatal development in the musician(s) who composed it, as well as having higher free blood testosterone levels.

Manning recruited 54 male musicians from a British symphony orchestra. He discovered that these men had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios than controls -- they had a very "masculine" ratio. Even more striking, when he compared the top-ranked "first" musicians with their lower-ranked colleagues -- a measure of their relative ability-the former had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios. Could testosterone really predispose the brain to be more tuned in to music? Manning thinks so.

The vast majority of musicians (especially metal musicians) are male. With the above evidence, this is no coincidence.

Testosterone is a significant "motivator" hormone in men, contributing to mental and physical energy. Highly-motivated and extroverted men have higher levels of testosterone.

This may be independent to the prenatal testosterone levels, since there are a significant number of asocial and relatively "depressed" or "unmotivated" metal musicians - this could be a sign of low testosterone.

Why productivity fades with age: The crime–genius connection by Satoshi Kanazawa, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury.

Satoshi had this to say...

The age–genius curves among jazz musicians, painters and authors are also similar to the age–crime curve.

Further, marriage has a strong desistance effect on both crime and genius.

I argue that this is because both crime and genius stem from mens evolved psychological mechanism which compels them to be highly competitive in early adulthood but - turns off - when they get married and have children.

Fluctuating levels of testosterone, which decreases when men get married and have children, can provide the biochemical microfoundation for this psychological mechanism.


He mentions marriage and children as the primary reason behind this decline, but as we all know, there are many other causes.

The take home message of the paper is, once you hit a certain benchmark, be it age, marriage, or whatever, T levels drop, and you lose your edge, your drive, and your mental sharpness.

You settle, become complacent, and less creative.

(these statements are based off of this paper. (PDF version with charts)

Another point: Complex music (beyond the complexity of your typical pop/rock structure) takes navigational and memory capacity to process and comprehend. People with high levels of testosterone (males) benefit from good visual-spatial skills. I have no evidence of the connection but I'm sure there needs to be some present capacity for a person's mind to be able to digest and build those musical structures.

But in seriousness: Comments, inqiries or contributions to this thread?

Interzone / Computer time management tools
« on: June 11, 2010, 01:40:52 AM »
I looked for time management tools today, and I've found a really useful browser extension:
LeechBlock for Firefox

LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.

I admit it: I lack self-control when it comes to exploring the internet and reading news and articles all the time. It's human nature to want to constantly find novelty and new information. But it's become a terrible habit for me, and I'm making steps in the right direction to correct it -- these days, sitting down and reading a book for more than 10 minutes doesn't bring me much satisfaction, and I believe that's a sign of a serious problem.

These kinds of distractions have proven to be crippling to the brain:
Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.

These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement — a dopamine squirt — that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored.


I've an idea about blocking all websites after 1 hour total internet use per 12 hours. I could probably use much less time than that and find no problems.

This way I get what I need to do out of the way, and still have just a little bit of time to jack around while still forming a new habit to use this time for more constructive things.

Interzone / Joining and participating in other metal sites/forums?
« on: December 05, 2009, 11:57:28 AM »
How do you do this without someone going "OMG UR FROM ANUS" -- Not that I have this issue often at all.

It's just any time you stir anything up that requires more than a single neuron's thought will get you heckled at by the peanut gallery.

I'm aware that a lot of forums are just people posturing for their little virtual web-empires. But there's a site I'm interested in joining because it's basically a gateway to the "metal scene" in my own locale, and it should be a good way to spread (dis)information and start some good discussions with people I stand a chance of actually meeting.

What do you do in this position? What forums are you a part of?

Metal / Alternative chords
« on: December 04, 2009, 05:04:19 PM »
I'm looking for excellent examples of different chords aside from power chords (root-5th-octave) used in metal music:

Voivod - Brain Scan
Demigod - As I Behold I Despise
Metallica - Orion

I'd like to understand:
-how effectively other unconventional chords are utilized in metal
-how they affect tonality in a given song (not sure if 'tonality' is the correct word here)
-how they come in under distortion, etc. and whether or not counterpointing single-notes would be a better idea, a la At the Gates

Interzone / Readability on the internet
« on: November 13, 2009, 12:23:23 AM »
I'm finding that it's much easier to read lots of text in print than on a computer screen, so do many other people. But there's lots of stuff available online that you can't read in print.

This has helped me to read in the browser.
Arc90 - Readability
You configure it, then drag the bookmark link to bookmark toolbar, and clicking it transforms any article text into something more readable.

What do the rest of you do to read on the computer, besides not reading?

Interzone / INTP, INTJ - Which is more Aspie?
« on: November 09, 2009, 08:45:28 PM »
The thread that started this: Personality of Hessians

I was reading about the Myers-Briggs types, INTP and INTJ, and this particular article noted that a lot of INTPs will test as INTJs:

INTP and INTJ may appear externally similar, but they are almost near opposites, with the INTP preferring to focus on details, as a person with Asperger's syndrome would prefer.

Here's the differences I've gleaned:
The INTJ likes to use ambiguities/generalities to come to certain conclusions, but never sticking with any wholly-unevaluated one, and are focused on the bigger picture -- They are natural philosophizers-with-hammers (Judges), and are unlikely to be Aspie.

The INTP avoids ambiguity, and prefers to stick to "safe certainties" with focus on certain details instead of the bigger picture -- More likely to be Aspie.

I'm unsure of how many of us here have taken the Jung/Myers-Briggs test and whether they follow it or not. A lot of so-called INTJs here may really be INTPs in disguise.

Just spurring some discussion here. I'm not implying that one is better than the other, because both types may as well be aspie nerds in the long run

Interzone / Dharma of evolution
« on: September 21, 2009, 09:15:45 PM »
I'm not new to this concept, but I was re-reading this edition of the Gita, and this quote hit me in the face, so I will share it with my brethren:

Quote from: The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction by Eknath Easwaran
[...] Rightly understood, however, reincarnation is not exotic but quite natural. If personality consists of several sheaths, the body being only the outermost, there is no reason why personality should die when the body is shed. The sages of the Upanishads saw personality as a field of forces. Packets of karma to them are forces that have to work themselves out; if the process is interrupted by death, those forces remain until conditions allow them to work again in a new context.

People seem to inherit the basic elements of their personality genetically. Both good and bad personalities are to reincarnate (appear in subsequent offspring) until their particular varieties die out somehow. Evolution is a process of samsara (life and death), and reincarnating into a lower being via karma isn't a wholly-inaccurate concept; we will regress to a dumb ape state if we embrace bad qualities in the human gene pool and keep dumping HIV into our water supply.

Samsara can be good, as it can help to eliminate unwanted elements.

On the flip-side: we can only go higher if we strive for and only accept the best, and not just for ourselves, but for our future selves.

Metal / Lyrics as mantras
« on: September 20, 2009, 02:40:22 PM »
I've been dabbling in meditation techniques, but I found Mr. Easwaran's passage meditation to be very effective so far.

So I've been meditating on this segment of Praise of Death ever since:

Stricken to live
Hell on Earth
Shackled and bound we lie

Praise of Death
Life's a dream
We're only living to die

(Repeat slowly, times infinity)

And it's been helping me focus on what needs to be done ever since, repeating it ad nauseam, at a slow pace, when I have time to kill, sitting idly. It echoes in my subconscious, and it has far-reaching implications. They're catchy, yet rich in meaning.

Try repeating the above, gently skimming across the implications of the passage, see for yourself whether it does anything for you.

Can we think of other great parts of lyrics to serve as mantras? Something else that's catchy, yet rich in meaning.

Metal / Introduction to musical form/compositional structure
« on: May 23, 2009, 02:20:15 AM »
Probably, the best way to appreciate something is to understand it, and that goes for music. I noticed that all of this talk about good 'compositional structure' on ANUS can be confusing to newbies who don't already grasp it or are unaware of it. Others spout off things about 'compositional structure' or 'structural music', etc., and can grasp it, but can barely explain it to themselves.

It shouldn't take an entire music theory course! So this is for you:


If you don't learn anything new from it, share it with someone who will!

Any similar links would be welcome here, by the way.

Metal / Prokofiev
« on: February 21, 2009, 01:42:02 PM »
It hasn't been used in heavy music like it is being used today. Not even a little bit.

Oh, I beg to differ.

This isn't hipster bedroom music though, so I'm sure you've probably heard of it. Right?

Metal / San Diego Metal Swapmeet -- April 25, 2009
« on: January 12, 2009, 10:28:37 PM »
Not affiliated, but I just heard about it.


Darkthrone shirt..
Cinderella LP

Then you should go to:
This event will be located in the City Heights area of San Diego, CA and is free for all buyers. Food and Beverages will be available as well as drawings and Prizes and a DJ blasting your favorite Metal tunes. Buy, Sell or Trade your CD's. DVD's, Vinyl, T-shirts, Posters and all types of Metal memorabilia. This is the only event of its kind in Southern California so don't miss out!!

April 25, 2009 11AM to 4PM
4637 Dwight Street
San Diego, CA 92105
Vendors: $7 (must be reserved)
Buyers: FREE

Food, drinks and restrooms will be provided.
Vendors who wish to reserve a vendor spot and sponsors interested in participating in this event please contact us through PM or contact us at sdmetalswapmeet@yahoo.com or brian@sdmetal.org.

Interzone / Ecofascism
« on: November 26, 2008, 05:08:09 PM »
In this particular case I would consider genocide a last resort at best, and more likely to undermine the ends we are trying to achieve in the first place.  This site in particular thinks that people who are 'morons' should be killed some way or another.  Besides any practical problems about getting someone to run a winning election on the genocide platform, there is the practical problem about how to distinguish morons from the 'worthy' minority.  First of all there are other virtues besides intelligence.  Second, most people referred to as morons simply have different values, instead of lacking in intelligence.  No man is an island and I would seriously doubt anyone could support negative eugenics to the degree of actually killing people, considering they have friends and family members who might be included in the genocide, if not to the first degree of relation, at least to the second and third.  Most people would be outraged at this even if they didn't know a single person at any degree of relation.

Genocide is definitely a last resort, but we've come too far with reckless breeding of useless individuals.

By "useless individuals", I'm sure most of us would agree that those are the lazy, sloth-like (procrastinators), hedonistic, shallow, immoral, and who never act on their thoughts. These are values the ancients rejected in people and often saw as sinful, and with good reason. There are virtues besides intelligence, like patience, foresight, moderation (knowing your limits) and many others that are common across all cultures. These and intelligence don't seem to be mutually-exclusive. Go out to any urban area, and you will have instant evidence of this.

We embrace the other values because it's what the morons are capable of, and as long as everyone "puts in their time" at work, it's "ok" to live like this, because we're all short-sighted hedonists, only concerned about getting that paycheck so we can get a bigger house in the suburbs away from the encroaching ghetto-cancer in the older part of town, only to do the same thing again 10 years from now. Yes, we don't tolerate these "different" values because they're the exact opposite of what humanity needs.

As far as technology goes, it comes with it's draw backs, but it's hard for me at least to imagine living without it.  I would imagine the same would be true for all of us considering we are talking on an internet message board and trade mp3s etc.. You can't even play an electric guitar without mere electricity.  Finally, I am going to have to side with the new Christian environmentalism movement.  (As an aside this is hilarious because environmentalism wasn't an issue in biblical times so the argument that there are the same, timeless moral issues is bunk.  Watching Christians fabricate biblical evidence for environmentalism is hilarious.)  Anyway, according to them the purpose of saving the environment is primarily to serve man.  I'm not sure what the purpose of saving the environment as an end in itself accomplishes if we won't be around to utilize or at least enjoy it.  Sure as Nietzsche says "We enjoy being out in nature because it has no opinion of us." but people are more important than trees.

Again, understand that ANUS isn't promoting an absolute abandonment of technology. It promotes nihilism, which is sort of a moral/value opportunism, choosing which will work best.

Will technology really benefit us, or will it weaken us further?

Aren't there better ways to produce electricity than burning fossil fuels, like solar power, but aren't viable because there are too many people?

Should every human being even have access to this electricity?

What are they doing with it?

Oh, we can't ask that, because it's their personal freedom.

It doesn't matter if that electricity can be better put toward mapping the human genome and being able to correct mutations and other errors of that nature, because the guy next door wants to use 10,000 watts to power his new Fuck-o-Tron 9000. At least he conserves water by turning off his sprinklers when it rains, so it's ok. He's an environmentalist. And he puts in his time at the local McDonald's.

We're a failed species because the majority fails to transcend immediate physical gratification, among other things, and that is a disgusting quality to find in a human being. This is why there are advocates of mass genocide.

Not only that, but there are simply too many useless and uninteresting people. Why is it that after mankind has achieved so many grand things with such a small population, that we have so many millions of people now and no really notable achievements to compare to those of the past?

Quote from: Pentti Linkola
...What meaning is there in these masses, what use do they have? What essential new contribution is brought forth to the world by hundreds of human societies similar to one other, or by the hundreds of identical communities existing within these societies? What sense is there in the fact that every small Finnish town has the same choice of workshops and stores, a similar men's choir and a similar municipal theatre, all clogging up the earth's surface with their foundations and asphalt slabs? Would it be any loss to the biosphere - or to humanity itself - if the area of Äänekoski no longer existed, and instead in its place was an unregulated and diverse mosaic of natural landscape, containing thousands of species and tilting slopes of gnarled, primitive trees mirrored in the shimmering surface of Kuhmojärvi lake?


He raises some good points, just be a little more open-minded and take a look at them.

It would be difficult to sort people out for a mass-genocide. So maybe we should just hope for some gigantic global catastrophe, like poisoning the air, earth and water...
or bet on 99942 Apophis coming a little too close to our planet.

-- may the best man survive.

Interzone / Asian 'pentatonic' scale?
« on: November 07, 2008, 04:09:40 PM »

I found this video on a blog posting, and the music they are playing, at times, sounds like it fits the intervals in the blues/pentatonic scale.

Are there any other observations that the more musically-inclined here can lend?

Audiofile / Bad Brains
« on: September 18, 2008, 02:54:01 AM »

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