Thursday, 28 February 2013

It Doesn't Matter Any More

Yestern was of course Wednesday, meaning that only the minimum amount of time was available to make this video:

Click to tweet:  http://clicktotweet.com/eE6tg .  One thing we can all be sure of is that consciousness exists.  The subjective qualities of individual experiences are referred to as "qualia", as in Thomas Nagel's famous "what is it like to be a bat?" essay.

Since it appears to be impossible to account for qualia in terms of behaviourism, physicalism or even functionalism, i choose to adopt panpsychism.  This is the belief that all matter, or even the whole world, is in some way conscious.  It is similar to the idea that everything is alive, known as hylozoism.  The word "panpsychism" is from the Greek words "pan" - everything, and "psyche" - soul or mind, in other words consciousness.

I would explain the way it works by analogy with magnetism.  All charged particles have a magnetic field but only certain arrangements of matter are magnetic in the conventional sense, because of the structure of those arrangements.  Rare earth magnets sometimes contain no iron at all, but can be magnetic, for example.  Similarly, any arrangement of matter is conscious, but few can actually exhibit consciousness.

Suppose there is a robot which behaves exactly like a human being but is completely electronic, or for that matter positronic or clockwork.  Simply denying that it is conscious would come across as mere prejudice rather than a rational judgement, like saying that women have no souls while men have.  This is because that arrangement gives it the opportunity to exhibit its consciousness.

I also hint in this at my basic ontology, which is to assume ethics first and allow metaphysics to proceed from that.  Since i used to be vegan, i acquired a remarkably uncluttered perspective on the nature of consciousness where i had no need to rationalise the killing of non-human animals.  This is the conclusion that i came to as a result - all reality is conscious.

Finally, the question of vitalism and what counts as fundamental science arises.  Whereas we tend to see physics as fundamental, i see no real reason not to suppose that some form of biology could be the basic science from which all other natural science could be derived.


 This proved to be a very unpopular video.  By 7 pm last night it had had just two views.  I must say i'm not terribly surprised but it's still disappointing.

In the meantime, there's a weird phenomenon going on with the views.  Although there was a dip and the recent videos have been unpopular, views have increased in the last few days in spite of unpopular videos.  I have turned automatic playback on at the channel page, but this doesn't explain it as the featured video only had two views.

Today's video, in the meantime, is here:

Advice on preventing hair loss and restoring hair growth, including how to make your own shampoo to prevent hair loss.  Click to tweet:  http://clicktotweet.com/7Tccr

Note that this is quite a big subject to cover in five and a half minutes and i've had to simplify and omit quite a lot of information - for instance, i haven't mentioned autoimmune hair loss or scalp damage from hair treatment, or even traction alopecia.

Nonetheless:  there are two main types of hair loss:  male pattern baldness and diffuse hair loss.  Both can occur together of course.  Male pattern baldness involves a receding hairline and eventually only a small "coronet" of hair at the back or not even that, which is how my uncles and grandfather all ended up quite early on.  This is due to testosterone reducing circulation to the scalp and can therefore be counteracted by shampoos containing topical circulatory stimulants such as rosemary oil.  By contrast, diffuse hair loss is often stress-related and requires a systemic approach involving stress management and the use of sedative nervines such as valerian, chamomile and betony.  There are also dietary factors, particularly iron and B vitamins.  Hypothyroidism is another cause of diffuse hair loss and can be assessed by measuring how long it takes to swallow a mouthful of water.

This is a very simple recipe for hair loss shampoo.  If you want to avoid SLS (sodium laureth sulfate), you will either need to acquire shampoo or shampoo base without any, which can be difficult, or make your own, which means you will need both to remove the glycerine and any excess oil as well as balancing the pH using mild acids such as vinegar or lime juice.  Or, you can just go and buy some shampoo.

It's really very simple.  All you need to do is measure out a quantity of shampoo base (500 ml here), add 2% rosemary essential oil, which i pour in half way through to help with mixing, then stir thoroughly and pour into a plastic bottle.  Then, just use it normally.

You can use the same recipe to make headlouse shampoo (with other oils) or anti-dandruff.


As it happens, there's currently a promoted hair loss video too with almost six million views.  It advertises what seems to be a product which colours the scalp.  The difference between that approach and mine is of course that mine actually leads to new hair growth and slows down hair loss.

I would've preferred to put more in this video as it feels quite sketchy and dumbed down, but even as it stands it's over five minutes long and it's a kind of "how to" video rather than "all about hair loss", so that's where it stands.

A couple more videos in the pipeline, one almost literally, are:  urinalysis and one i thought of yesterday - "The Adsense Mirage".