Facebook or Wikipedia? Doing handstands or drinking beer? Travelling or settling? What should I do with my life, how should I spend my time?

Life is like an n-dimensional teeter-totter, with each side having a trade-off:

-After one yoga class, the teacher said, “It’s your choice what to do with your life. You can go out drinking with friends, or you can practice handstands.”

-Settling down in one place provides the opportunity to build a community or family. Travelling provides new experiences and perspective.

-On the computer, you can socialize (facebook) or learn (wikipedia).

Psychiatry of the future (We don’t understand the brain)

“Mr. Smith, you feel sad because you have 4 extra norepinephrine molecules in synapse Q4.0007.496×738 in the nucleus accumbens. Luckily with these tiny tweezers here we can just pluck them out!”

For a summer, I studied the retina, which has 7 well-defined layers:

-The rods and cones respond to light.

-Then the information gets transferred to the next layers of cells.

-By the time the information reaches the brain, it is in the form of a code of action potentials.

From my understanding of the field, we are still far from taking a readout of action potentials from the optic nerve and generating the image that the rods and cones saw. It would be even cooler if we could look at a bunch of action potentials in the brain and know the person’s precise thought.

But a “neuroscience-based” psychiatry would be even more ambitious. It would say: look, here are the few neurons that are the culprit of your OCD or depression. Let’s change them.

I need to remind myself of this more often

“I don’t do anything that has a zero percent chance of getting put on my gravestone.” [Don’t know the source]

This is a bit extreme, but it’s true that I often fritter away my time, doing stuff that’s addicting but not really meaningful. It’s fine to do this stuff (facebook, email, tv) to relax, but there’s an addictive property to these things that can distract from doing better stuff.