ERE and Pets

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Dragline
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Dragline » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:00 pm

So the reason my brother is crazy is that my sister owned cats.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:22 am

Dragline wrote:So the reason my brother is crazy is that my sister owned cats.
My mom died of cancer that metastasized from lung cancer. Did she - a lifelong fitness nut - get cancer because my dad smoked in the house? Who can say?

My favorite podcast did an episode on the mechanics of how t-gondii infection causes mice that are otherwise repelled by the smell of cat urine - for obvious evolutionary reasons - to be attracted to it. The parasite takes control of portions of the mouse's (and evidence is suggesting, our human) brain.

http://www.microbeworld.org/podcasts/th ... -and-mouse

jacob
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by jacob » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:33 am

I got it. The parasite attracts infected humans to cats, just like mice.

Likely the cats are getting tired of all these humans constantly crowding them while being too large to eat.

Would also explain a lot of cat behavior.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:00 am

jacob wrote:I got it. The parasite attracts infected humans to cats, just like mice.
Believe it or not, truth is stranger than fiction.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... zy/308873/

After I return from Prague, Flegr informs me that he’s just had a paper accepted for publication that, he claims, “proves fatal feline attraction in humans.” By that he means that infected men like the smell of cat pee—or at least they rank its scent much more favorably than uninfected men do. Displaying the characteristic sex differences that define many Toxo traits, infected women have the reverse response, ranking the scent even more offensive than do women free of the parasite. The sniff test was done blind and also included urine collected from a dog, horse, hyena, and tiger. Infection did not affect how subjects rated these other samples.

“Is it possible cat urine may be an aphrodisiac for infected men?,” I ask. “Yes. It’s possible. Why not?” says Flegr.


Take a whiff yourself....
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22087345

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jennypenny
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:14 pm

Wait, I was just making a joke. I thought the point was that cats can expose people to t-gondii, which makes them more susceptible to schizophrenia (like how H.pylori makes people more susceptible to ulcers).

Are you saying that (possibly) once people are infected, they're more attracted to cats? That's so ... creepy.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:37 pm

jennypenny wrote:Wait, I was just making a joke. I thought the point was that cats can expose people to t-gondii, which makes them more susceptible to schizophrenia (like how H.pylori makes people more susceptible to ulcers).

Are you saying that (possibly) once people are infected, they're more attracted to cats? That's so ... creepy.
Yep. It doesn't get much creepier than that. In that same article Robert Sapolsky says it falls into the "Get a load of this, can you believe what nature has come up with?" category.

From a study on how it takes over the neurotransmitters.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 90165.html
It shows that the parasite is using dendritic cells as a sort of Trojan horse to transport itself from the human gut to the brain,” Dr Barragan said.

“We’ve not looked at behaviour changes in people infected with toxoplasma, as that’s been dealt with by previous studies. Instead, we’ve shown for the first time how the parasite behaves in the body of its host, by which I mean how it enters the brain and manipulates the host by taking over the brain’s neurotransmitters,” he said.
Reminds me of another brain parasite, a fungus called Cordyceps. Maybe taxo is a human version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBAL8

altoid
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by altoid » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:54 pm

We are going through the same dilemma now , since a feral cat from the neighborhood gave birth to four kittens last Saturday right above my attic hatch. We lost our 17 year old cat last winter, and don't want to have another pet since extended travelling in my post ERE agenda.

However, these kittens are so cute, especially the 4th one, very animated, probably the best looking cat I have ever seen, and I felt I had a connection with her the moment I saw her.. I know all this sounds irrational, but I somehow find myself unable to let them go. In the meantime, I don't want myself to turn into the cat lady.. That nice lady I ran into at Walmart Pet aisle, has 15 cats !

Can someone help me out? How should I work my brain to let them go?

SamTheRetiredMan
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by SamTheRetiredMan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:30 am

Like you I grew up with animals but didn't have any of my own when I was working because I found it a waste of money and time. Only got a dog when I had kids because by that point I was earning more and I think its important for children to grow up with responsibility that comes from pets. I'm telling you this because I really understand and agree with your point of view. That said if lizards (I don't get it either) or dogs are priorities to your girlfriend and she's a priority to you, then she's getting both when you move in. The costs of pets won't make a drastic impact on your retirement plans and if you love this person having them in your life and happy is more important.

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jennypenny
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by jennypenny » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:16 pm

T. gondii may also contribute to aggression disorder in humans. http://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/article ... n0313.aspx

"These results are supported by findings from animal studies that showed a relationship between T. gondii infection and elevated aggression-related behaviors and a recent study of 1,000 psychiatrically healthy subjects that documented elevated trait aggression and impulsivity as a function of T. gondii seropositivity."

Freedom_2018
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Freedom_2018 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:41 pm

You say you love her. Perhaps bigger question is how well do you know her?

- from a once married man

thrifty++
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:14 pm

I absolutely adore dogs so much. Its amazing how unconditionally they love humans they live with and that is priceless. They are also fun and hilarious. I think they are worth at least every penny and more. I grew up with one as a child and have always wanted one as an adult. However I am too transient going overseas regularly and not necessarily fixed in one country. Also I live in a city centre apartment and work all the time. But one day once things are more stable and I have a yard for a dog I would not regret any money spent.
I guess one option if you don't want long term responsibility is to sign up with animal shelters to look after animals needing temporary housing. Sometimes they might contribute to food costs. Or train blind dogs could be another thing to do. Still not enough capacity for such things in my life atm.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:05 pm

thrifty++ wrote:Its amazing how unconditionally they love humans they live with and that is priceless.
I think this is probably the biggest problem I see with them. It is becoming increasing acceptable to dress up pets. Walk them in strollers. Talk to them like babies. Treat them like children. Attribute human characteristics to them that just aren't there. It wouldn't really matter all that much if not for the fact that people are increasingly using them as surrogates for real human contact. But I've said that before. There is another troubling problem.

The opposite of anthropomorphism is dehumanization, where people think of humans from another group as lower life forms. As animals. Seeing a human being as an animal requires a cognitive leap that doesn't happen naturally except in psychopaths. For most of us it takes no effort at all to empathize with other humans. It just happens. We can't help but to feel their pain.

On the other hand, it takes a great deal of training to break down this natural reaction in non-psychopaths. It takes training to get people to see a dog as more deserving of respect than another human being.


Image

Think about the arc of Bernays style social control. How might pets fit into that arc. Socially atomized. Commoditized love provided by bought, controllable companions.

enigmaT120
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:09 am

Ego wrote: " Seeing a human being as an animal requires a cognitive leap that doesn't happen naturally except in psychopaths."

Are you sure you're not anthromorphizing people? Humans have long considered other (man-made) categories of people as being less than human, or at least as not deserving the same consideration they give real humans like their family, friends, or race. Empathy isn't a good description for how humans apparently feel for one another, based on how they treat each other.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:42 am

enigmaT120 wrote:Are you sure you're not anthromorphizing people? Humans have long considered other (man-made) categories of people as being less than human, or at least as not deserving the same consideration they give real humans like their family, friends, or race. Empathy isn't a good description for how humans apparently feel for one another, based on how they treat each other.
That's true. Maybe I am expecting better of humanity than we have.

I guess my main point, which I didn't express very well, is to look at pet ownership through the eyes of Bernays.

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ydobon » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:57 am

Ah... pets... expensive little buggers!

Shortly before I discovered ERE, I found a lot of time on my hands. We'd just bought our first home, weren't really bothering with much DIY as it was in ok condition bar decor and I pretty much went to work and played computer games in my spare time.

I allowed myself to foster an interest in tropical fish and quickly got caught up in the collector/consumer aspect of it, subscribing to a magazine in which all the shiny new shit in the world of fishkeeping was paraded on a monthly basis. Fast forward 6 months or so and I'd spent £1,300? on a bright red aquarium and a bunch of hi tech light fittings and filters to create a complex life support system for 20-30 attractive but silent lifeforms that then proceeded to waste my money for 3+ years.

Over this period I spent money on replacement parts, electricity, plants, chemicals to nurture the plants, fish, fish food, dechlorinator, medicine, piping and buckets. I also spent hundreds of hours and for what? Basically the occasional look in the tank to make sure that nothing was dead! Ok, maybe a little pessimistic, it did teach me a bit about biology and chemistry and made me think a lot more about the environment.

After a mass wipeout at the start of 2016, I bit the bullet and admitted to myself that the hobby was no better than a habit and got rid of the aquarium, rehoming the last few fish.

If I had a time machine, I would go back and punch myself in the face at the point where I decided to buy the aquarium.

No longer having a pet is liberating!

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Olaz
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Olaz » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:49 pm

I try my best to avoid pets at all costs. Sadly one of my roommates decided it'd be a great idea to leave their cat behind for two months and ask for me to take care of it after they had already departed.

I value my time and freedom more than I do purchasing, owning paperwork for, feeding, providing water to, cleaning crap, and treating illnesses of other animals. I further value human connection more than using other animals as a surrogate for human connection. Finally, purchasing and owning other animals for what seems to be human entertainment seems just as unethical as human slavery was. I mean, even if the cat or dog is otherwise happy, it still cannot leave it's 4 walls without the owner's permission in any suburban or urban space.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:47 pm

Ego wrote: Think about the arc of Bernays style social control. How might pets fit into that arc. Socially atomized. Commoditized love provided by bought, controllable companions.
The poor writer is being crucified in the comments...

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/10/pets-ar ... -that.html

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by jacob » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:01 pm

@Ego - Of course, the idea that there's something called "childhood" and that it deserves to be elevated to something special is also a rather new idea. Less than 100 years ago, children (over age 7) were still thought of as small and fully responsible adults albeit somewhat incompetent/inexperienced instead of ... controllable companions, i.e. "kids". Turning pet ownership into some kind of "special" glorified experience along with parenting seems like just another progression in #firstworld #luxury #livinginabubble experiences.

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:28 pm

I mostly agree with the author, but I would add that I also find it somewhat baffling when adult humans treat other adult humans like babies. Almost everybody, except BRUTE, has some level of need to be inner spoon, outer spoon, or both. Who or what do you take care of? Who or what takes care of you? Might be my cat and Jesus. Might be my Teddy Bear and my Mommy. Might be my crew and my Commander. Might be my significant other and my significant other. Etc. etc. etc.

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jennypenny
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by jennypenny » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:39 pm

Just for you, Ego ... People who talk to pets, plants, and cars are actually totally normal, according to science

" ... there’s a scientific explanation for why we anthropomorphize as adults—and it’s rooted in intelligence, not ignorance."

and ... “For centuries, our willingness to recognize minds in nonhumans has been seen as a kind of stupidity, a childlike tendency toward anthropomorphism and superstition that educated and clear-thinking adults have outgrown,” writes Epley. “I think this view is both mistaken and unfortunate. Recognizing the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognizing a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity.”

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:46 pm

Actually JP that quote just made me realize that I only fool myself into thinking that I recognize a mind in another human being. It's still just my imagination, just like it is with my old Triumph Bonneville or trusty Fargo.

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Ego
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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by Ego » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:05 pm

Funny, a few days ago I was reading Derek Sivers Tiny Summary of that book and reserved it at the library.
https://sivers.org/book/Mindwise

In the summary he mentioned....

Your brain’s greatest skill is its ability to think about the minds of others in order to understand them better.

More time together did not make couples any more accurate; it just gave them the illusion that they were more accurate.


Hah!

I certainly believe that the ability to see the world through other peoples' eyes is an important skill. I doubt it is equally importance to see the world through the eyes of a car or a house or a cat. As I mentioned above, this type of anthropomorphism is at the center of consumerism, where you are buying something that you can have a relationship with rather than... a thing.

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:17 pm

It might be important to see the world through the eyes of a woodchuck or a streptococci.

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Re: ERE and Pets

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:53 pm

Frank Herbert discussed this in The Dosadi Experiment. The people on the experimental planet survived by building accurate working models of other people, in their own heads. Teams could somehow use tech to fine tune a working model of somebody outside the group, usually an enemy. That book helped me realize that 1) I suck at that. and 2) even when I can do it, I still can't see through anybody else' eyes. I can just better predict that person's reactions to what I might do. Hey, it was high school.

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