1173: "Steroids"

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Draconaes
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Draconaes » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

Well, I figured Gerv was a creationist, but I didn't want to assume. I've never seen it adequately explained why an intelligence is needed for things to be the way they are, only that it somehow makes some people feel better if they pretend that this is the case. I'm not in much mood to get much deeper into a creationist/evolution argument at the moment, but I will address one point:

gerv wrote:I am asking why something should be so, and you are replying that it is so.


Perhaps the answer is that asking why something should be so is a completely worthless and meaningless question. Perhaps everything just is the way it is without some mystical, unknown "Purpose" or "Reason" or "Plan". Do you ask who put all the grains of sand on a beach in the exact places they are in? Do you wonder who made the planets revolve and rotate in one direction instead of the other? Do you curse or thank whatever whimsical spirit decides which side of a coin will land face up when you toss it? All of these things are quite easy to understand and explain without invoking some intelligent force.

I'm answering that something is so because, well, that's pretty much all I can say. The answer to why something should be so is either 1) "it neither should nor shouldn't, it just is", or 2) "it should be so because it is, because reality should be the way it is" (If reality isn't the way it is, then we have a problem, don't we?). Which one you prefer depends on how you want to think about it.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby sehkzychic » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:38 pm UTC

gerv wrote:
I don't find it difficult to define "alive" because I don't have a reductionistic view of what a human being is. Genesis 1 and 2 answer the questions about what it means to be a human, an animal or a plant, and what they are all _for_. The sack of chemicals view means there is no answer to questions like "What is a human being for?", "What is my purpose in life?", "Is there a right and wrong way to treat other people?". And if it were true, there's no reason why we should even ask those questions. But everyone does. Which, I suggest, is telling.

Gerv


Well, troll or not, I have to ask, what does the Bible say about bacterial, fungal, or amoebic (aka protozoan) life forms? These things don't clearly fit into the categories of animal or plant, yet they clearly exist. (In fact, fungi, in the form of mushrooms and toadstools, have been known for millenia.) My sister is a vegan, and for her, the definitions of fungi versus plants and animals are somewhat relevant. These facts and many others can start to answer questions about what the real distinctions between plants, fungi, bacteria, archea, non-human animals, and humans might be. But science doesn't presume to answer meaning of life questions. We can help you figure out what criteria are useful and not-useful for differentiating life vs. non-life, but in the end these are really arbitrary distinctions. It's like heating a kettle: it starts cold, and it ends hot, but is there really a moment where: before the moment, the kettle is cold, and after the moment the kettle is hot? It's the failing of a discontinuous mind (which all humans have, but which we can strive to rise above). We feel the need to put things in categories, but the truth is that we humans have invented these categories (hot vs. cold, adult vs. child, life vs. non-life) because they help us address practical problems (sterilizing water, granting drivers' licenses, allowing abortions/eating of the meat of animals vs plants), not because they delineate natural categories of real objects.

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Max™
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Max™ » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

Now this is just ridiculous, arguing over whether "life" or "lump of matter" is important?

Let's get back to fretting over who is better at accumulating lumps of matter or concepts which are supposed to represent them!
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:40 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:Now this is just ridiculous, arguing over whether "life" or "lump of matter" is important?

Let's get back to fretting over who is better at accumulating lumps of matter or concepts which are supposed to represent them!


Heh. This reminds me of the beginning of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I just started reading with my daughter last night.

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:28 pm UTC

Draconaes wrote:Perhaps the answer is that asking why something should be so is a completely worthless and meaningless question. Perhaps everything just is the way it is without some mystical, unknown "Purpose" or "Reason" or "Plan". Do you ask who put all the grains of sand on a beach in the exact places they are in? Do you wonder who made the planets revolve and rotate in one direction instead of the other? Do you curse or thank whatever whimsical spirit decides which side of a coin will land face up when you toss it? All of these things are quite easy to understand and explain without invoking some intelligent force.

I'm answering that something is so because, well, that's pretty much all I can say. The answer to why something should be so is either 1) "it neither should nor shouldn't, it just is", or 2) "it should be so because it is, because reality should be the way it is" (If reality isn't the way it is, then we have a problem, don't we?). Which one you prefer depends on how you want to think about it.

Not to defend gerv at all, but you seem to be assuming that normative judgements can only possibly be supported by the intentions of an intelligent agent who is causally responsible for the state of affairs being judged; that, unless someone made that state obtain with a purpose in mind, there can be no judgement about whether that state is a good one or a bad one, and further still, that the intentions of the responsible agent would be not only necessary but sufficient for a normative judgement.

I just want to flag that this is, at least, a highly controversial claim to make. There are plenty of very prominent viewpoints which hold that it is possible to normatively evaluate things that came about from completely impersonal deterministic or even completely random means; that whether anyone meant for something to be some way is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not it ought to be that way.

For a trivially clear example: somewhere yesterday, I'm sure, someone intentionally murdered someone, and someone else died in a freak accident. Does the murderer's intent make it good that his victim died? Does the lack of intent behind the freak accident make it not bad that its victim died? Or is the goodness or badness of those deaths independent of whether anyone intended them or not?

Why should the intentions or lack thereof of a god make any more difference?
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Idetuxs » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

morbit wrote:
Jorpho wrote:I was waiting for someone to bring up the documentary Bigger Stronger Faster*, which might be worth watching if you like that sort of thing. Ebert remarks that it is "pro-steroid", but is even more against the win-win mentality that drives people to use steroids. Certainly, it makes the case that the health hazards may be greatly exaggerated. But otherwise, the only part of the film that really stuck with me is that there are already professions like fighter pilots and porn stars in which people are required to take potentially hazardous drugs over the long term in order to maintain their performance.


While you could said this film is targeted at meatheads, I still would like to everybody trying to engage in this discussion to watch it. It's a pity that I registered at this occasion, regularly lurking fora for few years already, but this topic was a huge let down for me. I was expecting reasonable discussion from scientifically minded people who do a little research at least, no mindless ranting based on assumption of people who are clearly clueless.


Yes, letting me down too. It's just that steroids are so taboo. (and for that, dangerous)

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Omegaham » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:18 pm UTC

On the subject of steroids:

At the highest levels, stopping steroid use is impossible. There's just too much money involved for biochemists to refrain from making new undetectable drugs, and they will always stay one step ahead of the people in charge of policing the athletes. You'll notice that the sports that don't have steroid scandals are the ones that don't need steroids. Sports like competitive shooting, archery, tennis, and so on.

Meanwhile, if you line up twenty running backs and say, "All of you are really, really good, to the point that the difference between the best and the worst in each attribute is less than a percentage point. Thing is, we can only pick four of you to go to the NFL. The rest of you will become gym teachers, high school football coaches, and gas station attendants," every single one of them will look at every possible option to push his body to the limit. And they'll do steroids.

How do you stop a culture like that? You can't. When the difference between failure and success is a few percentage points, and the rewards of success are millions of dollars versus being condemned to obscurity, people are going to say, "I don't give a damn how much it hurts my body. Those ten years of fame are good enough for me."

If we're going to stop steroid use, then we're going to need a far more intrusive environment on how athletes live and work. You'll need to watch your athletes 24 hours a day. You'll need to watch their coaches, their trainers, their friends. You'll need to look at everything they eat, drink, and breathe. And even then, it won't be enough. There will be corruption scandals every year, scandals that will turn a team from best in the league to garbage in the matter of days. Do we really want that?

Our current attitude is about par for the course, and I think it sorta-kinda works in a "Democracy is a terrible form of government, but it's better than the alternatives" way. Officially ban steroid use, and nab the people who are stupid and get caught. Everyone else gets a free pass.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Draconaes » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:52 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Not to defend gerv at all, but you seem to be assuming that normative judgements can only possibly be supported by the intentions of an intelligent agent who is causally responsible for the state of affairs being judged; that, unless someone made that state obtain with a purpose in mind, there can be no judgement about whether that state is a good one or a bad one, and further still, that the intentions of the responsible agent would be not only necessary but sufficient for a normative judgement.

I just want to flag that this is, at least, a highly controversial claim to make. There are plenty of very prominent viewpoints which hold that it is possible to normatively evaluate things that came about from completely impersonal deterministic or even completely random means; that whether anyone meant for something to be some way is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not it ought to be that way.

For a trivially clear example: somewhere yesterday, I'm sure, someone intentionally murdered someone, and someone else died in a freak accident. Does the murderer's intent make it good that his victim died? Does the lack of intent behind the freak accident make it not bad that its victim died? Or is the goodness or badness of those deaths independent of whether anyone intended them or not?

Why should the intentions or lack thereof of a god make any more difference?


Sorry, I'm not really sure what you mean by normative judgement. A quick search reveals something that seems like philosophical jargon, and I have to admit philosophy isn't one of my strengths (at least as far as terminology goes). At any rate, I'm not saying anything about good or bad. I'm talking about what reality is, not trying to make value judgements. Whether something is good or bad is an entirely separate issue, and one in which I think a god is irrelevant.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:42 pm UTC

Omegaham wrote:If we're going to stop steroid use, then we're going to need a far more intrusive environment on how athletes live and work. You'll need to watch your athletes 24 hours a day. You'll need to watch their coaches, their trainers, their friends. You'll need to look at everything they eat, drink, and breathe. And even then, it won't be enough. There will be corruption scandals every year, scandals that will turn a team from best in the league to garbage in the matter of days. Do we really want that?


WADA's ADAMS is half way there and still fails. Also, look for Victor Conte videos if you really want to hear (some of the) truth in blatant manner.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Max™ » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:23 am UTC

I say bring on the Juicer/Cyborg/Robot events!

Do it like Le Mans does, ridiculous class (with certain specs that need to be met, but room how they're approached), slightly less ridiculous class (which usually is supposed to at least loosely resemble a street legal vehicle), more normal racecar class (which generally looks like modified road cars), and the whole lot of them on the field together! It's already the best sport ever created, why wouldn't we want everything to resemble it more?
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:49 am UTC

Draconaes wrote:Sorry, I'm not really sure what you mean by normative judgement. A quick search reveals something that seems like philosophical jargon, and I have to admit philosophy isn't one of my strengths (at least as far as terminology goes).

"Normative" means something like "prescriptive", also roughly "imperative", "moral", etc. A normative judgement is a judgement about what is good or bad, what should or should not be, ought or ought not be, what is praiseworthy or blameworthy, commendable or condemnable, etc. Praise and blame, commendation and condemnation, etc, are expressions of normative judgements. That's what gerv was initially asked about: why do contests praise what they do, why they don't commend the slow as much as the fast, etc. He was basically asking, "What's so good about being fast?" Or rather, he was rhetorically asking what the "sack of chemicals" view would answer to that question, to make the point that it offers none, so he could fault said view for that lack, and count that as a point in favor of religion.

At any rate, I'm not saying anything about good or bad. I'm talking about what reality is, not trying to make value judgements.

And that's the problem. He asked a normative question and you gave a factual (i.e. descriptive, indicative) answer -- a correct answer sure, but an answer to a different kind of question entirely. Then he pointed out the fallacy of that, and you seemed to reply that unless there is someone behind an event intending it to go a certain way, there is no value judgement to be made about it. Which was actually gerv's own point he was ultimately trying to get at: that without a god, there is no morality, no purpose, nothing is good or bad, praiseworthy or blameworthy.

Which is really the origin of my concern: it looked like you were buying into a fundamental part of his worldview while trying to argue against it; but accepting the religious worldview (everything depends on God) and then rejecting God leaves an indefensible absurdity, so if you're going to argue against religion you've got to show how the alternative view isn't just their view minus God, it's got other structures that fulfill the roles God does in their view, e.g. there are other possible bases of moral judgements besides "God intended it to be so".

Whether something is good or bad is an entirely separate issue, and one in which I think a god is irrelevant.

Glad we agree then. Didn't sound like it earlier.

EDIT: Missing words.
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:45 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby niky » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:05 am UTC

Omegaham wrote:Our current attitude is about par for the course, and I think it sorta-kinda works in a "Democracy is a terrible form of government, but it's better than the alternatives" way. Officially ban steroid use, and nab the people who are stupid and get caught. Everyone else gets a free pass.


Never tempted to do the stuff, but I know people who do, and as long as you know what you're doing, it's safe.

All banning steroids has done is obfuscated the issues, made information on safe use difficult to get, and raised the perceived effectiveness of steroids to mythological levels.

If legalized and regulated, steroids would be no more dangerous than the zillion other dietary supplements that athletes already take. And probably less so than caffeine pills. Hell... many athletes consume huge amounts of "dietary supplements" that carry a number of long-term health risks.

Steroids are drugs. People take drugs every day. My wife was on steroids for a few months to treat a medical condition. They're not voodoo magic.

-

RE: violent reactions to breast reduction... it was a joke. Funnily enough... there might come a time when surgical augmentation becomes effective enough that sports will ban it. We can already move tendons around to improve muscular performance... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_John_surgery... Lasik (as Tiger Woods used) can give you vision beyond 20/20, and breast reduction certainly does improve your tennis game.

While the last one, people can accept because the poor girl was handicapped by her physique... what if someone who was not so handicapped used it to remove a breast completely, as the Amazons used to do to improve their archery?

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Age of Fable » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:14 am UTC

If you improve your position in chess by removing the opponent's pieces from the board, why is it cheating to remove a pawn when they're out of the room?

Because it would be too easy to win that way, so everyone's agreed to act as if it can't be done.

To a being from a world without board games, this would probably seem absurd.

---

I don't agree that the health damage caused by steroids is a factor in their banning. I think it's a post-facto rationalisation. It might be a factor in why people support their banning, but not in why they were banned to start with.

For example, are steroids banned in boxing?
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Age of Fable » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:24 am UTC

gerv wrote:You can follow the definitions down, but the comic points out rather well that defining living things (and, on that basis, placing them in moral categories) is an entirely arbitrary process unless you believe in a Creator and Lawgiver.


This argument is assuming what it sets out to prove.

It only makes sense if you assume that "believing in a Creator and Lawgiver" is not itself "arbitrary".

But its ultimate aim is to prove that "believing in a Creator and Lawgiver" is not "arbitrary".
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby addams » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:17 am UTC

Ken_g6 wrote:
dp2 wrote:It looks like Randall is using the Doonesbury method of using a floating object to represent a President. Funny, I would have guessed that he liked Obama.

That was my first thought too. But then I thought, this is XKCD, it must be a nerd thing. Now I figure it must be this.

The problem I see with drugs is in people being forced to take them. This should hit home with this crowd: there are existing brain enhancement drugs and people are working on more. Imagine if your boss gave you an absurd workload, that practically required you to take an amphetamine. I've never taken such a drug and never want to have to start. But if they were more legalized it could happen. I hear a lot of college kids take them already.

As for peptides, I'm more confused. What's the difference between injecting peptides and eating a nice, tender, juicy steak? Though I can certainly understand not wanting to eat a cellular peptide cake with mint frosting. :wink:


How is it going in the area of performers draining off their own blood, then returning the red blood cells to improve performance?
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-blood-doping.htm

What is the difference between using your own red blood cells and using your own blood cells?
Blood doping is so straight forward. What is the problem?

These are people that love to use their bodies. I have read descriptions of what it is like for the performer.
Blood doping is not like being drugged. It is like a Good day. That is what the performers say. It makes sense.
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:21 am UTC

niky wrote:While the last one, people can accept because the poor girl was handicapped by her physique... what if someone who was not so handicapped used it to remove a breast completely, as the Amazons used to do to improve their archery?


Just a quick note that that is a misconception, which arose due to the folk etymology a- (without) and mazos (breast). There are numerous ancient depictions of Amazons and they are not missing anything important.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:15 am UTC

Age of Fable wrote:For example, are steroids banned in boxing?


Yes, even more fictitiously than everywhere else.

niky wrote:And probably less so than caffeine pills


Hell no. Caffeine is probably as benign stimulant as it can be. Steroids innately work on much lower
level of organism (your own, endogenous ones as well as exogenous mimicking them), thus there is
a more room for fsck up.

Saying that, it never ceases to amaze me, when they are portrayed by some/media as drug which will
waste out your body (*).

How gullible people can be?

They are the very drugs invented by medical community to aid in recovery from wasting diseases, tipping
the scale on the positive nitrogen balance side, thus aiding recovery both from training as well as with
intended usage with e.g heavy burns.

Some of them in low doses were/are used even in alcohol induced liver damage, probably opposite of what
you would expect with liver melting propaganda.

The biggest casualty of such policy are people who are already users, seeing that they didn't drop dead
instant and stopping believing in side effects at all (or at least testing tolerance on themselves).

And there are side effects, why there shouldn't be, they are potent drugs altering/mending one of basic
mechanism of human body.

* Anabolic steroids, that is. Corticosteroids on the other hand...
Last edited by morbit on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:39 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby RogerB » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:30 am UTC

I can't believe we've got to page three of this topic without a mention of cycling or Lance Armstrong.

Anyway I just thought I'd mention that David Millar's book gives a really good account of the pressures athletes find themselves under.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:15 pm UTC

RogerB wrote:I can't believe we've got to page three of this topic without a mention of cycling or Lance Armstrong.

Anyway I just thought I'd mention that David Millar's book gives a really good account of the pressures athletes find themselves under.

Yup, road cycling is doping insanity at it's highest. I don't know why weightlifting is poster boy for chemically augmented bodies, while cyclist just take everything that is possible. Osteoporosis medicine, anabolic steroids, corticosteroids analogues, nsaids by buckets, strong stimulants and drugs increasing oxygen capacity, everything that you could think of.

My favourite quote from wikipedia:
Doping at the Tour de France wrote:The acceptance of drug-taking in the Tour de France was so complete by 1930, when the race changed to national teams that were to be paid for by the organisers, that the rule book distributed to riders by the organiser, Henri Desgrange, reminded them that drugs were not among items with which they would be provided.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby ijuin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:38 am UTC

morbit wrote:Hell no. Caffeine is probably as benign stimulant as it can be. Steroids innately work on much lower
level of organism (your own, endogenous ones as well as exogenous mimicking them), thus there is
a more room for fsck up.

Saying that, it never ceases to amaze me, when they are portrayed by some/media as drug which will
waste out your body (*).

How gullible people can be?

They are the very drugs invented by medical community to aid in recovery from wasting diseases, tipping
the scale on the positive nitrogen balance side, thus aiding recovery both from training as well as with
intended usage with e.g heavy burns.

Some of them in low doses were/are used even in alcohol induced liver damage, probably opposite of what
you would expect with liver melting propaganda.

The biggest casualty of such policy are people who are already users, seeing that they didn't drop dead
instant and stopping believing in side effects at all (or at least testing tolerance on themselves).

And there are side effects, why there shouldn't be, they are potent drugs altering/mending one of basic
mechanism of human body.

* Anabolic steroids, that is. Corticosteroids on the other hand...


At regular prescription doses, you would be correct. However, the dosage that produces the greatest increase in muscular/aerobic capacity is significantly higher than the dosage used to counteract natural deficiencies.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Jorpho » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:33 am UTC

ijuin wrote:At regular prescription doses, you would be correct. However, the dosage that produces the greatest increase in muscular/aerobic capacity is significantly higher than the dosage used to counteract natural deficiencies.
Another interesting point in Bigger Stronger Faster* is that apparently it is remarkably easy to persuade a doctor that you have a natural testosterone deficiency and require a prescription. But perhaps that is an endemic problem to the modern pharmaceutical industry.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:24 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
ijuin wrote:At regular prescription doses, you would be correct. However, the dosage that produces the greatest increase in muscular/aerobic capacity is significantly higher than the dosage used to counteract natural deficiencies.
Another interesting point in Bigger Stronger Faster* is that apparently it is remarkably easy to persuade a doctor that you have a natural testosterone deficiency and require a prescription. But perhaps that is an endemic problem to the modern pharmaceutical industry.


From what I see, referential maximum physiological level of testosterone in male blood values used in USA are almost halfway higher than in Europe, so it could be true(*). And some refer to maximum=optimal, which hardly is what anyone would get on their own, even in their twenties. So what? Maybe it really is better living through science for common people? You know, transhumanism and all that.

No sport, strength sports included, need doses used by top pro bodybuilders which are targeted only at greatest increase in muscular size (sport people need it to literally heal from sheer volume of training they do to develop skill (which as a side effect depending on sport could be inducing massive protein breakdown and inflammation too), which could be and on top level certainly is beyond normal means of human recovery). With such training, they are not in physiological state even to start with. It's no wonder in some Russian training manuals anabolic drugs are simply called "recoveries".

(*) But it could be chalked up to different lab processes too.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby MenacingBanjo » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:53 pm UTC

riddler wrote:The only reason I logged in was to comment on what the floaty thing might be:

- God? doubtful, since omniscience would circumvent the need to ask the original question
- Alien? doubtful, for the same reason
- extra-dimensional being? would they really care about our chemical makeup?
- the character's conscious? or extra personality?
- messenger from the past? Ugh, time paradoxes abound.
- spec of dust from the future? Probably would already know the answer.
- Disney fairy? copyright implications aside, shouldn't the fairy be interacting with a cute fuzzy animal, instead of a stick-figure?
- Will we be seeing a hipster-floaty or a black-hat floaty in the near future?


I think it's an asterisk wondering about why he's being used in all these record books.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby eculc » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:24 pm UTC

MenacingBanjo wrote:
riddler wrote:The only reason I logged in was to comment on what the floaty thing might be:

- God? doubtful, since omniscience would circumvent the need to ask the original question
- Alien? doubtful, for the same reason
- extra-dimensional being? would they really care about our chemical makeup?
- the character's conscious? or extra personality?
- messenger from the past? Ugh, time paradoxes abound.
- spec of dust from the future? Probably would already know the answer.
- Disney fairy? copyright implications aside, shouldn't the fairy be interacting with a cute fuzzy animal, instead of a stick-figure?
- Will we be seeing a hipster-floaty or a black-hat floaty in the near future?


I think it's an asterisk wondering about why he's being used in all these record books.


I assumed Extradimensional intelligence. I mean -- we want to know what IT is, why wouldn't it want to know what WE are?
Um, this post feels devoid of content. Good luck?
For comparison, that means that if the cabbage guy from Avatar: The Last Airbender filled up his cart with lettuce instead, it would be about a quarter of a lethal dose.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:27 am UTC

jadoth wrote:I think the bigger more important reason and reason that the bans are there in the first place is that many (most?all?) performance enhancing drugs have long term negative health effects. We don't allow performance enhancing drugs in sports or even performance enhancing drug only leagues for the same reasons we would not allow a company to pay people to work with mercury with there bare hands.

Oh bite me.

Alcohol is toxic to the human body, yet we actually encourage people to drink. And people who don't drink are sometimes even ashamed and viewed upon as "boring" when it's revealed they don't drink.

Smoking, while no longer encouraged, is not healthy either.

And then there's.. Coffee. Or to be more precise, caffeine. It's a a central nervous system stimulant and you can get addicted to it. And spiders using it produce this. Tell me that's healthy.

I do not oppose drugs, quite the opposite. I think people should be informed and in case of serious drugs warned and perhaps even monitored. Maybe cigarettes should not be sold at gas stations but only at pharmacies. I strongly believe it's not a good thing to sell alcohol at supermarkets. All I'm saying is, do it properly. Either outlaw all drugs (that includes alcohol and caffeine!) or allow everything that's not terribly dangerous. And by "not terribly dangerous", I guess alcohol is a great benchmark.
Marijuana -> far less dangerous than alcohol -> legalize.
Mushrooms -> less dangerous than alcohol, just make sure you don't do it alone. -> legalize.
Cocaine -> less dangerous than alcohol -> legalize.
Speed/Crystal meth -> the "trip" is not so dangerous, but the hangover could be -> should perhaps not be legal.

In the end, everything can kill you. Dihydrogen monoxide kills people every single day, yet there is still not a single government in the world that even considers prohibiting it.

Anyone being surprised by me saying cocaine should be legal, it's just like other drugs: as long as you're not abusing it, it's no big issue. Cocaine can damage your nose in the long term, alcohol can damage your liver. Cocaine hangover can include fatigue and depression, alcohol hangover isn't pretty either. The primary reason I consider cocaine to be less dangerous than alcohol: while I wouldn't recommend driving, you're less likely to get involved in a car crash.

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Jorpho
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Jorpho » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:38 am UTC

Wouldn't you say it is generally much more feasible to die from a cocaine overdose than an alcohol overdose?

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addams
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby addams » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:56 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Wouldn't you say it is generally much more feasible to die from a cocaine overdose than an alcohol overdose?

Yep. That is what a reasonable person would think.
Yet; Alcohol poisoning is common and too many young people die of it.

Everyone knows Cocaine is dangerous and it is expensive. Right?
Young people are sometimes put under great social pressure to use alcohol.
Then they don't know when to quit.
Then they get it into the system too fast.
Then bad things happen.
First time drinkers are a high risk group.
This is taught with Sex Ed. Right?
Or; With Health Ed. Right?
Crap. The Americans may not be taught anything, anymore.

I use alcohol like a food.
Many use it like a drug.
It is both.

Steroids. Let them that want to use it use it.
Of course, if you join a club that does not allow it, then you must choose.

And; Steroids do cause people to act and react in ways that would not happen without the elevated levels of steroids.
So; If you do something stupid, The Stupid is all we are interested in.
What drugs you were taking have little to do with how I will react to your stupid.
Everyone does stupid stuff. Make it a good story. We all like a laugh.

Of course, a person with a new-used organ and high levels of steroids will be allowed to throw a temper tantrum.
Major surgery all by its own self can throw a person 'off'. Crying and temper fits are all a part of The Wisdom of the Body.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Jorpho » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:53 am UTC

addams wrote:Yep. That is what a reasonable person would think.
Yet; Alcohol poisoning is common and too many young people die of it.
But the proportion of people who use alcohol and overdose is far smaller than the proportion of people who use cocaine and overdose, is it not?

And; Steroids do cause people to act and react in ways that would not happen without the elevated levels of steroids.
I have the impression that this is not a statement that has a scientific basis.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby addams » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:35 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
addams wrote:Yep. That is what a reasonable person would think.
Yet; Alcohol poisoning is common and too many young people die of it.
But the proportion of people who use alcohol and overdose is far smaller than the proportion of people who use cocaine and overdose, is it not?

And; Steroids do cause people to act and react in ways that would not happen without the elevated levels of steroids.
I have the impression that this is not a statement that has a scientific basis.

Yes. That statement is valid.
It is simply the way most human bodies respond to that chemical.
The brain is part of the body.

You look it up. I have read that stuff repeatedly.

Oh. Personal experience. I took two rounds of steroid for a serious injury. It helped, a lot.
It did effect my emotional responses. I felt better. It lifted my mood. (Shrug.)
Mine was short term use. Long term use changes many things.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:03 am UTC

addams wrote:Oh. Personal experience. I took two rounds of steroid for a serious injury. It helped, a lot.
It did effect my emotional responses. I felt better. It lifted my mood. (Shrug.)
Mine was short term use. Long term use changes many things.


I can't cite studies now, but I think that depression correlation with low testosterone levels
should be expected. On the other hand, I don't think scientifically proving "roid rage" as media
try to portrait is very feasible.

btw, maybe roid rage and pms should be used interchangeably? :P

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby RogerB » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:29 pm UTC

morbit wrote:Yup, road cycling is doping insanity at it's highest. I don't know why weightlifting is poster boy for chemically augmented bodies, while cyclist just take everything that is possible. Osteoporosis medicine, anabolic steroids, corticosteroids analogues, nsaids by buckets, strong stimulants and drugs increasing oxygen capacity, everything that you could think of.

Whilst it obviously was like that in the past, I think cycling is fairly clean now. There's a lot of evidence for this, for example:

    There is the blood passport.
    Cyclists have to be available for testing at a certain hour every day; they have tell the authorities where they will be at that time every day. If the authorities turn up for a drug test and the cyclist isn't there three times they are deemed to have failed a drug test.
    Bradley Wiggins writes articles like this.
    Dave Brailsford and Team Sky have a zero tolerance policy, you can't work for them (riders and coaches etc.) if you have ever doped, even if you are clean now.
    When he won the TdF, Wiggins, and everyone else, were climbing some of the mountains two to three minutes slower than in the Lance Armstrong days.
I'm referring to European cycling here, ymmv.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby addams » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:47 pm UTC

morbit wrote:
addams wrote:Oh. Personal experience. I took two rounds of steroid for a serious injury. It helped, a lot.
It did effect my emotional responses. I felt better. It lifted my mood. (Shrug.)
Mine was short term use. Long term use changes many things.


I can't cite studies now, but I think that depression correlation with low testosterone levels
should be expected. On the other hand, I don't think scientifically proving "roid rage" as media
try to portrait is very feasible.

btw, maybe roid rage and pms should be used interchangeably? :P


Yes. I have pulled over while driving, because I was moody.
No drugs. None.
Who never has a mood swing?

It becomes funny and strange and sometimes dangerous if the moody person does not know they are moody.

The age old cry of the drunk driver, "I'm not drunk! You are!"
The age old cry of family discord, "I'm not moody. Your an Asshole."

Really? I need testosterone to lift my moods? Maybe.
But; I am still going with the obvious.

Damn. I am considering medical advice given on an anonymous internet forum.
(sigh.) It is the 21 century.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:13 pm UTC

It's obviously a compound thing, but if you want to give andropause any recognition, testosterone drop should
at least explain some of it.

I agree that any way you cut it, there is a lot of grey area though.

RogerB wrote:I'm referring to European cycling here, ymmv.


I will remain sceptical, doesn't look too different than WADA's ADAMS, and if it would work 100%, there would be no doping at Olympic Games.

It's not like I'm bashing cycling, I always rather liked bicycles etc. But I don't know any other sport where pharmaceuticals would be so loved
and using whole spectrum of them so deeply ingrained in subculture from the very start.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:41 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Wouldn't you say it is generally much more feasible to die from a cocaine overdose than an alcohol overdose?

I highly doubt it, but admit it's at this point practically impossible to measure.

The problem is that in our reality, cocaine is illegal. Being illegal probably contributes to more abusers. People don't use drugs "just because", there's usually a reason behind that. People who are unhappy with their lives start doing drugs because, what else can they do? There's not always an obvious solution available.

When people start using for that reason, it also increases the risk. Just like people who start drinking because they are not happy, those are likely to become problem drinkers.

As for addiction, put rats in a free environment where they can walk around, have fun and enough food. Happy rats. Also, install bottles of sugared water (rats love that) they can drink from with heroin, cocaine, etc. Will they use? Yes. Will they get addicted? Nope.

Put rats in a cage with nothing to do and the same bottles, and they will get addicted. And in 3 months, dead. Why? Because they don't have a choice. Put any human in cage with harddrugs and they'll also start using, simply because there's nothing else they can do.

In order to kill yourself with alcohol, you would either have to drink and drive, drink yourself into a coma or drink heavily for a long time resulting in liver failure.

With cocaine, in order to die you need to either combine it with other drugs or use heavily for an extended period of time and have a weak heart or perform hard labour (increased heart rate) under influence, which could result in arrhythmia and eventually a heart attack.

If cocaine were legal, I would be very surprised if the total number of fatalities and injured (even when corrected for the larger number of alcohol users) would be higher than alcohol, especially if you include traffic victims.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby philsov » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

W3ird_N3rd wrote:
Jorpho wrote:Wouldn't you say it is generally much more feasible to die from a cocaine overdose than an alcohol overdose?

I highly doubt it, but admit it's at this point practically impossible to measure.

The problem is that in our reality, cocaine is illegal. Being illegal probably contributes to more abusers. People don't use drugs "just because", there's usually a reason behind that. People who are unhappy with their lives start doing drugs because, what else can they do? There's not always an obvious solution available.

When people start using for that reason, it also increases the risk. Just like people who start drinking because they are not happy, those are likely to become problem drinkers.

As for addiction, put rats in a free environment where they can walk around, have fun and enough food. Happy rats. Also, install bottles of sugared water (rats love that) they can drink from with heroin, cocaine, etc. Will they use? Yes. Will they get addicted? Nope.

Put rats in a cage with nothing to do and the same bottles, and they will get addicted. And in 3 months, dead. Why? Because they don't have a choice. Put any human in cage with harddrugs and they'll also start using, simply because there's nothing else they can do.

In order to kill yourself with alcohol, you would either have to drink and drive, drink yourself into a coma or drink heavily for a long time resulting in liver failure.

With cocaine, in order to die you need to either combine it with other drugs or use heavily for an extended period of time and have a weak heart or perform hard labour (increased heart rate) under influence, which could result in arrhythmia and eventually a heart attack.

If cocaine were legal, I would be very surprised if the total number of fatalities and injured (even when corrected for the larger number of alcohol users) would be higher than alcohol, especially if you include traffic victims.


[citation needed] x 10
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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:28 pm UTC

The story about the rats? I heard that from a speaker at a conference years ago, but this links describes it: http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/ ... aygrounds/

The experiment the link talks about is only about morphine, no cocaine, but that doesn't change much for the point of addiction.

As for everything else, I would like to see some citation that conclusively proves cocaine is more dangerous than alcohol.

Jorpho wrote:But the proportion of people who use alcohol and overdose is far smaller than the proportion of people who use cocaine and overdose, is it not?

I actually don't know about that, but if cocaine were legal and people were socially encouraged to use (just like alcohol) you would have a large number of occasional recreational users who don't overdose.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby speising » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:59 am UTC

probably the biggest probkem with illegal drugs is their illegality. people od (partly) because they can't get controlled quality. not to mention all the stuff the drugs get cut with.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby elasto » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:54 am UTC

Honestly, there were lots of examples Randall could have used - blood doping for example: Giving a sportsman his own red blood cells back. The extra risk to the athlete is minimal (though non-zero) and the risk to others is zero. Steroids though, that's just not a good example to trivialise:

Banned steroid drugs were found in Oscar Pistorius’s house after he shot dead lover Reeva Steenkamp. Police also discovered a blood-stained cricket bat in the Blade Runner’s mansion in Pretoria, South Africa — and evidence of heavy drinking before the 3am shooting. Cops are now probing a theory that Pistorius may have blasted Reeva in an explosion of fury caused by the performance-boosting steroids. They are investigating whether murder suspect Pistorius was in the grip of “roid rage” — a side-effect of high doses of the outlawed drugs.

Officers who searched the 26-year-old’s home after lover Reeva was killed in the bathroom are said to have found steroids. Blood samples taken from Pistorius are being tested for the drugs. A source close to the investigation said: “Steroid drugs were found at Pistorius’s home together with evidence of heavy drinking. That’s why police have specifically ordered that he be tested for steroids.”

Model Reeva was killed by 9mm pistol shots fired through the locked bathroom door at around 3am on Valentine’s Day. She was hit in the head and body four times in total. But police now believe the first shot was fired at her in the master bedroom — hitting her hip as she fled to the bathroom. Wounds to the top of her head suggest that as she sat doubled up in pain on the toilet she was hit three more times by bullets that ripped through the door. Experts say she may have been covering her head protectively with her hands, which explains the bullet wounds to her finger and arm.

A blood-stained cricket bat was found at the home in Pretoria, South Africa — and Reeva, 29, appeared to have skull “crush injuries”. Tests will establish whether she was injured by the bat before being shot. Police will also examine the theory she used the bat to defend herself or that Pistorius used it to smash his way into the bathroom.

The Paralympics hero denies murder. He is expected to claim he fired after mistaking her for an intruder.

...

Phone records are also being checked after South African reports suggested Reeva got a late-night text from South African rugby star Francois Hougaard, a pal of Pistorius’s. Detectives believe Pistorius may have been angry at the text.

Handsome Hougaard, 24, was close to Reeva before she paired up with Pistorius in November. Sources said Pistorius was unhappy they remained friends.

...

Police arrived at the mansion — which has five reception rooms, a Roman-themed roof pool and three garages — and followed a trail of Reeva’s blood inside. They found her overnight bag and an iPad on the bedroom floor. The holster for Pistorius’s Taurus pistol was at the side of the bed.

The bedclothes were crumpled, suggesting it had been slept in. A bullet cartridge was found in the bedroom — leading to the theory that the initial shot was fired there. Police also have CCTV showing Reeva arriving at the house on the Silver Woods estate at 6pm.

Neighbours told of hearing shouts and screams on Wednesday and early on Thursday.


link

Whether or not it's true in this particular case, steroid abuse doesn't just cheat fans and fellow athletes, it has a wider impact on society. They are controlled substances for good reason, both inside and outside of sport.

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby Jorpho » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:20 am UTC

W3ird_N3rd wrote:With cocaine, in order to die you need to either combine it with other drugs or use heavily for an extended period of time and have a weak heart or perform hard labour (increased heart rate) under influence, which could result in arrhythmia and eventually a heart attack.
Are you implying that it is not possible or even feasible for a person to die by taking too much cocaine?

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Re: 1173: Steriods

Postby morbit » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:12 am UTC

elasto wrote:Whether or not it's true in this particular case <...>


Eh? What's sense of citing very weak anecdotal correlation then? There is also well evidenced strong correlation with having
prosthetics for running, as well.


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