Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why is finding drug treatment so difficult?

Drug treatment can be difficult to find, this is true. But the reasons are understandable, even if they're not entirely palatable. For the thing is that in recent years we've been finding out a great deal more about addictions of all sorts, not just those to drugs. We've been finding out more about what causes them for example: some people do simply have an addictive personality, others can have entirely different underlying problems.

We're also finding out a great deal more about drug treatment in how we actually do about treating addiction to drugs and other things. For example, the realization that there could be other problems, other things needing solution other than the addiction itself has led to the dual diagnosis treatment. There's little point in attempting to treat just the addiction without dealing with what led to it: this would be like offering an alcoholic a new liver without insisting they also stop drinking.

We also know other things about what works in drug treatment. For example, we now think it best that adiction services are offered in a campus like environment: we need to get the addict away from not just the addiction but the background and environment where it happened. We also know a great deal more about what drug therapies can do to help: plus, of course, our knowledge of the human brain continues to advance so we're closer to understanding what addiction itself actually is.

All of these things mean that we're ever more successful at dealing with, limiting the damage done by, addictions: if you'd like to know more about what can be done these days just click through any of the links. But while we know more, of course this is all new so we're still creating some of the facilities we need to use this new found knowledge.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why won't my parakeet eat my diarrhea?

That's a pretty strange question, I think you'll agree: "Why won't my parakeet eat my diarrhea?".

The thing is that it's one of the suggestions that comes up when you put "Why won't" into Google.

Which means that someone really rather odd has trained Google into thinking that that is a common question that people are likely to want to know the answer to.

But don't fear for the future of the human race just yet. There's a reason someone has done so. It's a game, a jeu d'esprit. The full explanation of "why won't my parakeet eat my diarrhea" is here.

This actually all looks like a variation on "googlewhacking". That's the attempt to get your page as the only entry in the entire Google index for some phrase or another. You do have to be pretty inventive to manage it now, given the size of the index. My assumption is that this is a variation: a game being played to see who can get the most outrageous suggestions out of Google by asking the question a few times and seeing if it comes up as one of those suggestions. And I would think that whoever came up with "Why won't my parakeet eat my diarrhea?" has managed to win a very large number of points.

What fun, eh? Anyone coined a word for the game yet?