Open Thread 184
This is the weekly visible open thread. Odd-numbered open threads will be no-politics, even-numbered threads will be politics-allowed. This one is even-numbered, so go wild - or post about whatever else you want. Also:
1: A correction to my post about Sasha’s LSD experience: I wrote that neurogenesis “probably doesn’t happen in adult humans, or if it does it’s rare and limited to specific areas”. Commenters found some studies showing that, at the very least, it does happen in the olfactory bulb, which would be relevant for smell. I still don’t think it happens quickly enough to explain Chapin recovering. I’ve added this to my Mistakes page.
2: A lot of people reading that post overestimated whether psychedelics could help them with their own weird issues. Psychedelics are pretty well-tested (albeit informally) for things like chronic pain. They seem to work okay but not miraculously, kind of like everything else. I don’t think this necessarily means the mechanism doesn’t work - if you chose a random antibiotic and took one dose of it to prevent random sinus problems, that would probably also only work “okay”, since it would mix infective causes with non-infective causes, appropriate antibiotics with inappropriate antibiotics, and a single dose of antibiotic isn’t very effective anyway. I think psychedelics as treatment for things like chronic pain are at the “we should figure out the mechanism” stage and not the “patients can use this as a miracle cure” stage.
3: I’m pretty annoyed by comments that say just things like “This is a bad post” or “You are clearly misinformed” without any elaboration. This is true whether it’s responding to me or to a commenter. I’m going to start banning these if I see them from now on. Feel free to challenge or criticize anything, but please share your reasoning. I will grudgingly allow things of the form “I’m an expert in this field and I just want to warn people this is wrong, though I don’t have enough time to explain how”. But if it’s just “u suck”, that’s a banning.