June 1st, 2014

the mark

Overclocking the brain with common household ingredients

There was an interesting link on Jerry Pournelle's Mail page which discussed, not to be excessively blunt, breeding for intelligence with particular emphasis on the Ashkenazi Jews. (Because everybody knows us Sephardim are shiftless and lazy, LOL) Most of the discussion revolves around group-specific genetic diseases which are all basically malfunctions of gene sets believed to improve brain and nerve development; there is also some talk about education v. intelligence, common sense v. book learning (not quite the same as the preceding) and the relative return on intelligence in, say, farming as opposed to banking.

There is also, and more pertinent to this post, an amusing but significant comment by Harry Erwin:
I once heard Walt Freeman suggest that the only three substances known to increase IQ are caffeine, thiophylline, and thiobromine.

Of course, the most common sources of those chemicals are coffee, tea, and chocolate. Caffeine is widely used as a stimulant; thiophylline stimulates breathing, and thiobromine stimulates the heart.

I will also observe that on a low-carb diet, when one's blood sugar is below 100, it seems that I think more clearly and effectively. The same effect pertains (and there's a synergistic reaction) when I am taking 5-HTP and L-Theanine, which are dietary supplements recommended to prevent stress and promote relaxation. Theanine is also commonly found in green tea, so if you're swigging Arizona Diet Green Tea (for example), you get a triple whammy from the caffeine, theophylline, and theanine. It won't turn you into a genius overnight, but it will increase your effective intelligence, because your mind will be clearer, your focus will improve, and shit will get done.

To summarize:

  1. Clear the gunk out of your brain by cutting out sugars and starches.

  2. Drink green tea to increase your caffeine and theophylline intake.

  3. Consume dark chocolate, preferably in a sugarless form.

  4. Take 5-HTP at bedtime and L-Theanine during the day.

Until we can develop direct interfaces to allow us to plug into our computers, this is probably going to be the best we can do.
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