Saturday, September 12, 2015

Skull-blogging: Stool-pigeon edition

A recent anecdote [not yet made up] involving gender stereotypes, map-reading and stopping to ask directions left us wondering, Whatever happened to John Gray? -- who soiled bookshelves back in the days, and launched a thousand parodies, with his pop-gender-essentialism reductio ad nauseam about the respective planetary origins of men and women? Turns out that he has hung around ever since, a career sponger & grifter peddling supplements on-line in lieu of honest work, and naturally he is aboard the GcMAF scamwagon. Naturally.
Also he writes prefaces.
This "Third Brain" business is a logical extension of the Ballard-Goethe Theory of Primitive Symmetry, in which the bones of the pelvis reflect the bones of the skull -- they are vestiges of an earlier evolutionary stage in which humans displayed top/bottom as well as up/down symmetry.¹ There follows the ineluctable corollary that the contents of the cranium and the colon are also equivalent.

The colon is filled with bacteria rather than with neurons and glial cells, which replace themselves on a daily basis rather than lasting for a lifetime... but this presents no challenge to endowing them with information-processing, consciousness-sustaining capabilities. This also explains my sporadic bouts of Irritable Vowel Syndrome.

Before this book was written, man did not know that his thoughts, feeling, emotions, behaviors, his supposed free will were under the control of a non-human organ whose existence had gone undetected until very recently, the microbiome.
This pre-occupation with one's intestinal fellow-travellers leads to the anxiety (or can be led to that anxiety) that we are not controlling them properly, or not looking after them with the appropriate diet. As noted in one less-than-positive review, it is not clear from the press releases for The Merde Brain whether the book is primarily intended to extol the genius of the authors for discovering the importance of the microbiome approximately a decade after everyone else, or to promote 'probiotic yogurt' -- administered from both ends of the digestive tract -- as a way of modulating the microbial mixture. Because "colon" and "colostrum" are almost the same word.
To support the health of the third brain, Dr. Ruggiero’s team created a super food.
The research that is at the basis of the super food for the third brain has been published by Dr. Ruggiero and colleagues since 2011, this independent confirmation coming from Japan further reinforces the scientific validity of their work.
Coincidentally, Marco Ruggiero (the second author) has a side-line selling Bravo Probiotic Yogurt (contains GcMAF!), he is a veritable Caliph of Kefir.² Also if you do want a positive review for the book, several are available through the Amazon at affordable rates.

The first person to prescribe yogurt per vas nefandum was J. H. Kellogg, of cornflakes and peanut-butter fame.³ This is a useful thing to know when it is Danainae Synapomorphies and Snake-Oil Trivial-Pursuits Night at the Old Entomologist.

Before this book was written, man did not know that his thoughts, feeling, emotions, behaviors, his supposed free will were under the control of a non-human organ whose existence had gone undetected until very recently, the microbiome
All this invites two questions. First, if bowel contents are the Third Brain, what is the second? (I dare not look). And why is the first brain necessary at all if our internal symbionts control so much of our behaviour? This point has not escaped Marco Ruggiero (whom God preserve), who invokes the gut-brain to explain the good recovery of patients after resection of brain tumours.

This brings us to the Brain Replacement school of thought, which holds that normal intelligence and consciousness can be sustained despite slow degradation of our neural architecture, because those functions migrate to some remote cloud-storage facility... or perhaps the brain was never more than an interface to that distant facility -- a remote-access terminal over-rating its own importance -- and can still perform in that role even after 99% has been eroded away.
Enlarged ventricles caused
by letters in the brain
For some reason this recent report of "intelligence in the absence of neural substrate", along with Lorder's earlier anecdotes reported in 1980, all involved enlarged ventricles from hydrocephalus, rather than neurodegenerative disease.
A more accurate headline might be "Are brain-scan reconstructions reliable when tissue density and fluid contents fall wildly outside the range of parameters used by the magnetic-resonance deconvolution algorithms?" Although that is longer, and less dramatic. Either way, Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies.
Some haterz slag the cover art
but Hey, it's Bob Haberfield!
The 1980 report inspired, or was inspired by (causality has been hard to pin down ever since time travel will be invented in 116 years' time) the 1969 "Savage Mandarin" case,* in which Coad -- the titular Mandarin -- chose Mr Rogers from the neighbouring apartment in Finlandia Flats as the lucky subject for Conversion... that is, the gradual liberation of consciousness from the anchors and trammels of physicality, by obliterating his brain one cubic centimetre at a time using focussed microwaves through the intervening wall. I am not sure what a 'trammel' is but I imagine it as similar to the Chinese cangue.
Trained rat can also subst-
itute for absence of brain
Sadly, the author of the cloud-storage simile was not aware of the merde-brain as a potential locus for the outsourced information processing. I am not well-pleased with the whole notion but possibly that is because my gut-brain -- malfunctioning in the absence of GcMAF yogurt suppositories -- is dominating my head-brain cerebration.

1.We should not forget the Initial Bipedalism theory of human origins in which the first vertebrates evolved 'skulls' -- enlargements at the anterior end of the notochord -- as flotation bladders, and the later filling-in with neural tissue was a secondary adaptation, easily reversed.

2. Before Bacterix there was Silver Spring Sagl (possibly named as a homage to the FDA headquarters), and before that was the nominally-NZ-based Les Alpes. Bravo Yogurt's other franchises include Jeremy Ayres' skeevy little operation, while Ruggiero's colleague David Noakes -- previously noted for selling a GcMAF-labelled product extracted from plasma -- seems to have shifted to yogurt as the raw material, as he writes that
Our scientists extract GcMAF from colostrum in a 22 step process.
For all those readers who care about Jeremy Ayres' Barbados-based thalassotherapy, he is currently asking people to give him $500,000 to establish 
International Natural Healing Centres [...] on 100 year-old untouched Mayan land [...] The Natural Healing Centre (Hospital) will be designed and built using sacred geometry to maximize the energetics of the buildings.

3. A comprehensive history of "Colon obsessions and what people pump up there" would be fun but TL;DW (go find a copy of "The Anxiety Makers" instead). It would have to include the episode in À Rebours in which the protagonist turns to meat-extract enemata for nourishment:
The thing was successfully carried out, and Des Esseintes could not help secretly congratulating himself on the event which was the coping stone, the crowning triumph, in a sort, of the life he had contrived for himself; his predilection for the artificial had now, and that without any initiative on his part, attained its supreme fulfilment! A man could hardly go farther; nourishment thus absorbed was surely the last aberration from the natural that could be committed.
[...] now he was surprised to find himself all of a sudden pondering over combinations of a posteriori gourmandise! Then a grotesque notion shot across his brain. [...] Once started on this train of thought, Des Esseintes busied himself in composing novel recipes, contriving dinners for fast days and Fridays, strengthening the dose of cod-liver oil and wine, while striking out the beef-tea as being meat and therefore expressly forbidden by the Church.
One recent passenger aboard the GcMAF scamwagon is Kerri Rivera. The other side of her business involves curing autism with bleach enemas, so this is progress of a kind.

* Masque contains in passing a rather good pastiche of the 'Ithaca' catechism from Ulysses.


Yastreblyansky said...

FYI, the second brain is alarmingly also in the gut, but is more similar to the first one in being composed of nerve cells, like the imaginary arse-brain of the stegosaurus in which people of my parents' generation believed. I think that messes up their symmetry argument, at least temporarily. Hopefully they will come up with a matching second microbiome of cerebral bacteria that you can feed by squirting yogurt in your ears.

tigris said...

I'm not pooping, I'm just clearing my mind.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Assholes are from Uranus

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Mini-me vs. microbio-me: who wins?

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

Irritable bowel syndrome?

Sirius Lunacy said...

I believe they pulled the entire third brain theory right out of their ass.

Jamie Parsons said...

Personally I am from Saturn.

Is it just me, or is the whole "pelvis and brain symmetry" thing eminently worthy of one Rudolf Steiner?

Smut Clyde said...

I believe that Jamie is correct:

Smut Clyde said...

Personally I am from Saturn.
Do not make me scan whole pages from "Why I Hate Saturn".

JP said...

^ That was me up there, bee-tee-dubs. Annoying frakking Google accounts.