Michael Roche

Sydney, Australia

Someone is shy

Michael hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
another way to look at happiness?
Amily I always remember William Blake, the English poet in Auguries of Innocence: "It is right it should be so: Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know Through the world we safely go." I think what he is saying is that when we accept our suffering and our joy, we can live our lives to the full.
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
another way to look at happiness?
I totally agree with you, I think a life without suffering would be meaningless. Firstly, I think it can teach us empathy and humility, and I think it can be difficult to have these qualities if we haven't suffered. For example, I know one man who comes from money. He was also a professional athlete as well as a CFO of a large Corporation during his career. An amazing career it was, no doubt. He was also an arrogant, elitist, and sometimes violent wife-beating bully until he suffered from liver cancer, and after the experience he became much more humble. One day, after I had had an argument with a relative he touched me on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry Michael, we're all different, just accept people as they are". I was shocked. Such guru-like simplicity from a man who used to literally measure people by the number of zeroes in their bank accounts. While he is still a bully at times (old habits die hard), he has improved dramatically, and I feel this is due to the lesson of suffering.
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?
Alcohol is a source of cirrhosis, heart disease, road accidents, pub brawls, bad marriages, and the list goes on. Obviously we can't ban alcohol, it is culturally entrenched (at least in the West), and most people wouldn't want to anyway (t-bone just wouldn't be the same without a glass of red). Banning alcohol, like world-wide vegetarianism, while arguably beneficial, is not going to happen anytime soon. So do we need another legal drug? Legalising it is almost certainly going to make it more easily available and therefore cheaper "An analysis of cannabis markets shows that low prices coincide with high levels of abuse, and vice versa" (the World Health Organisation 2011). For those who keep saying its harmless (not you Nicholas) this is also from the WHO (nothing to do with Pete Townsend): # selective impairment of cognitive functioning which include the organization and integration of complex information involving various mechanisms of attention and memory processes; # prolonged use may lead to greater impairment, which may not recover with cessation of use, and which could affect daily life functions; development of a cannabis dependence syndrome characterized by a loss of control over cannabis use is likely in chronic users; #cannabis use can exacerbate schizophrenia in affected individuals; (the WHO 2011)
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?
Elizabeth, are you the only one apart from me who has encountered evidence of this? The difficulty with proving that pot causes psychosis is that it is not clear which came first, the psychosis or the pot. This is the standard " chicken and the egg" problem that a great deal of research has. Once again, "no concrete proof therefore it is OK" constitutes an argument from ignorance. Note, "no concrete proof" does not equal "no cause for concern".
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?
Apologies for the absence, I've been enjoying my Easter break. You say gambling is legal? Yes it is, but only if you go to a casino. The government sees the need to regulate it, undoubtedly to restrict unpleasant activities like loan sharking. Gambling is also, I'm sorry to say, highly addictive to certain people. Nobody, ever died from gambling...but does gambling have consequences? Obviously, it can ruin your life, even if it is not fatal per se. Now I don't want to pursue the line of a logical fallacy-- that pot is a lesser evil, therefore we should legalise it. That's a topic for debate, to say the least. I also dispute that its OK because it is NATURAL, opium is natural too, and while opium is obviously much more dangerous, I think nobody would even dream about legalising it. Gold-top mushrooms are natural too...have you ever spoken to a "mushroom casualty"? I said earlier that there probably no link between pot and schizophrenia, however a former very heavy smoker I spoke to a few days ago corrected me. He says he knows of people in his circle who have become schizophrenic as a result of smoking excess pot. Personally I can't comment, but if we even begin to accept what he says, then, that's another factor that needs to be considered in the debate.
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
Is compassion the only "pure" meme? Are there others?
My apologies Erik, I found this thread was connected to the Robert Thurman discussion, so I (incorrectly) assumed you were coming from a Buddhist perspective. ( That said, if ethics is not based on consequences, then what system is our entire law and government based on?) Well, now I've cleared that up, I guess my answer is that a meme will naturally seek to replicate itself, so no, I think compassion will replicate itself, just as any other meme would. All memes have their own character, some are aggressive, some dangerous, and compassion is well, compassionate. Sorry Erik, I still do not really grasp what you mean by pure.
Noface
Michael Roche
Posted over 3 years ago
Who thinks it's time for TED to get behind the marijuana legalization movement?
Nicholas,I know you probably won't die from pot abuse, you'll end your days on the couch ODing on peanut butter sandwiches and m & ms (sorry, I'm being flippant). But seriously, I think that the results of the abuse are not in the least bit attractive (go to a government fact sheet (yes, I said the g-word) and have a look). That said, having looked further down the thread to Harald, i think what he says makes quite a lot of sense. I think we shouldn't legalise it, but decriminalising it is perhaps the distinction we need to make here.