1996-07-07 - Re: [RANT] Giving Mind Control Drugs to Children

Header Data

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 79f9c0cc8066389503f269df26e0fcf0bcaf7ff8e0963f737a72b591eeeab28b
Message ID: <v03007607ae0590e3c1e9@[]>
Reply To: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960707091156.13459A-100000@tipper.oit.unc.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1996-07-07 20:08:32 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 04:08:32 +0800

Raw message

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 04:08:32 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: [RANT] Giving Mind Control Drugs to Children
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960707091156.13459A-100000@tipper.oit.unc.edu>
Message-ID: <v03007607ae0590e3c1e9@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 10:25 AM -0400 7/7/96, Sandy Sandfort wrote:
> > Er... Tim... Ritalin is an amphetamine.
> Yes, normally, but doesn't it have a paradoxical reaction for
> hyperactive children (i.e., it acts as a depressant for them)?

Yes. And for some of *them*, it makes them monomaniacal SOBs. ;-). I get
more work done with Ritalin, but I'm *much* nicer without it. I've decided
to live with ADD rather than treat it, which is what most people (including
"Dr. ADD", Richard(?) Hallowell) do. Jolt cola is also popular. :-).

Like a lot of pop-psychopharmacology, "syndromes" frequently get defined by
whether the right drug has the desired effect. If prozac works, you're
depressed, if Ritalin does, you're an ADDer, and so on. By Tim's anecdotal
evidence, the little hellion (hey, *I* was one...) must be ADD because
Ritalin works.

You can actually see ADD with a PET scan, but the proper way to get a
diagnosis of ADD is to get tested for it, which, in the case of ADD, is an
expensive man-day or two with with some clinical shrink in your face, and a
bunch of frustrating (if you're ADD) tests of your attention and ability to
focus in the presence of a lot of distractions. Oddly enough, *another*
pop-psychologist from Harvard was on "20/20" this week talking about
"emotional" intellegence, and one of the determinants was inability to
understand delayed gratification. Like most kids with ADD, I must have been
a drooling idiot, in that case.

However, I practically agree with Tim on all of his screed. (A good one, I
might add. He probably only reread it once for punctuation and spelling
before he did a command-e to send it on its way. After wiping the foam
from his mouth, that is. ;-)) It seems to me that the very *last* person to
be allowed to diagnose ADD is some crypto-socialist, fucking-statist,
control-freak, industrial-mode, human-warehouse-zookeeping "educator". The
humorous irony of all this is, of course, that my wife is a senior
education bureaucrat for the People's Republic of Massachusetts. An "equal
time" marriage indeed. And *she* pays the health insurance, because I
couldn't keep a *steady* job if my life depended on it. (A compensatory
mechanism?) Well, maybe if my *life* depended on it. That *might* get my

BarelyObCrypto: ADD is more about lack of attention *control* than lack of
attention itself. Hyperfocus is also a trait of ADHD, and computers tend to
cause hyperfocus for a lot of ADDers. How many easily distracted knee-jiggling
wunderkind hackers do *you* know? Care to guess how many ADDers there are
on cypherpunks?

Wiping foam from *my* mouth,
Bob Hettinga

Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com)
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"If they could 'just pass a few more laws', 
  we would all be criminals."    --Vinnie Moscaritolo
The e$ Home Page: http://www.vmeng.com/rah/