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Brain Chip Implants Could Be the Next Big Mental Health Breakthrough—Or a Total Disaster

This is an article I hope some of my patients don’t read. It is a common trope in paranoid psychosis to believe that you have had chips implanted in your brain by sinister government forces experimenting on or monitoring you:

‘Deep brain stimulation is the bleeding edge of mental health treatment. Originally developed to treat the terrible tremors that patients with Parkinson’s disease suffer from, many researchers now view it as a potentially revolutionary method of treating mental illness. For many patients with mental health disorders like depression, therapies like drugs are often insufficient or come with terrible side effects. The numbers are all over the place, but doctors and researchers generally agree that significant numbers of people don’t respond adequately to current treatment methods—one often-cited study pegs that number somewhere around 10%-30%. But what if doctors could simply open up the brain and go directly to the source of a problem, just as a mechanic might pop open the hood of a car and tighten a loose gasket?

Now, [researchers are] halfway through a five-year, $65 million research effort funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to use the same technology to tackle some of the trickiest psychiatric disorders on the books. The goal is ambitious. DARPA is betting that the research teams it is funding at Mass. General and UCSF will uncover working therapies for not just one disorder, but many at once. And in developing treatments for schizophrenia, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, addiction and depression, along the way their work also aims to completely reframe how we approach mental illness to shed new light on how it flows through the brain…’

Source: Gizmodo

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Why quantum mechanics might need an overhaul

‘Steven Weinberg used to be happy with quantum mechanics as it is and didn’t worry about the debates. But as he has thought about it over the years, the 83-year-old Nobel laureate has reassessed.

“Now I’m not so sure,” he declared October 30 in San Antonio at a session for science writers organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. “I’m not as happy about quantum mechanics as I used to be, and not as dismissive of its critics.”

One reason Weinberg thinks there’s a need for a new chapter in the quantum story is that those who think everything is fine with quantum mechanics take different sides in the debates about it.“It’s a bad sign in particular that those physicists who are happy about quantum mechanics, and see nothing wrong with it, don’t agree with each other about what it means,” Weinberg says…’

Source: Science News

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American “Political Regicide”

‘Donald Trump is going down. His house of cards will collapse at some point. The leaks will keep flowing and eventually his position will become untenable. Conflicts of interest. Connections to Russia. All of it will become too great a weight to carry, especially since The Donald has very few genuine allies in Washington.

The Democrats want him gone. So too do most of the Republicans. Hell, they never wanted him to begin with. The GOP did everything it could to derail his candidacy, and only climbed aboard after Trump’s runaway train was the last red line careening towards the White House. So for now they’re playing nice with the former Democrat who eschews Conservative dogma in a variety of ways and is loyal to absolutely no one save himself. But when the moment comes, they’ll gladly trade Trump in for Mike Pence, a Conservative’s wet dream. For all these reasons, Trump may not make it to the finish line.

…Should the Democrats regain the House in 2018 the midterm elections, it seems all but certain that Trump will face impeachment. But even if Republicans maintain their control of the House, they may yet work behind the scenes to manifest a more informal regicide.

If things continue to deteriorate, Republicans may pressure Trump to resign. Perhaps he would cite health concerns to save face, claiming an endless string of supposed victories on his way out the door.

And if things degenerate to the point that even a sizeable share of Republican voters disavow Trump, then the GOP itself could begin impeachment proceedings should The Donald fail to heed. That scenario, which seems rather far fetched at the present, highly partisan moment, could become more viable should the revelations of Trump’s connections to Russia and Vladimir Putin become so clear that all rational voters can no longer deny them.

Under those circumstances, it would be vital for Republicans to get Trump out of office with enough time for Pence to assert himself as a legitimate incumbent for the 2020 election. Over a year should do it. By the time the 1976 election rolled around, Gerald Ford had spent two years as president after taking over for Nixon. It almost worked. He was able to fend off a challenge within the party from Ronald Regan, and probably would’ve beaten Jimmy Carter had he not hung himself with the albatross of pardoning Nixon in one of his first acts as president.

The Republicans will remember this. If they need to remove Trump from office because they risk going down in flames with him, then they will move quickly so that Pence can establish himself.

All in all, it seems some level of attempted political regicide against Donald Trump will emerge over the next four years. The details of course are impossible to predict. Whether it is the actual regicide that Nixon suffered, the near regicide that Clinton endured, or the far less successful attempts that everyone after Carter has witnessed, remains to be seen. At this point, we can’t even know if it will be out in the open or take place behind closed doors, or if it will be initiated and pushed by the Democrats or the Republicans. But something is probably in the offing.

The king will soon be dead. Long live the king…’

Source: Akim Reinhardt, 3quarksdaily