Elina Christian

39 karmaJoined


Hi, I agree ETOH is extremely harmful. However, there are existing medications which act on GABA, many of which are both highly addictive and therefore highly regulated themselves. Barbituates are a (now outdated) drug class which acts on GABA, others include benzodiazepines and more modern sleep drugs like Zolpidem. All have significant side effects. 

This website strikes me as very selective in how scientific it is - for example, "At higher levels (blood ethanol >400mg%, as would occur after drinking a litre of vodka) then these two effects of ethanol – the increase in GABA inhibition and the blockade of glutamate excitation – can combine to produce a lethal level of sedation and respiratory depression. In terms of health impacts, alcohol (strictly speaking, ethanol) is in a class of its own, and very different from GABA." ETOH is not that different from GABA, as you can also overdose and cause respiratory depression and death from GABA inhibition. I would like to see some more peer-reviewed studies around this new drink, and a comparison to placebo (if you're giving people this drink and saying it will enhance "conviviality and relaxation" then it probably will).

As with pretty much anything health related, there's no quick fix. Things which depress the CNS are addictive, and not that dissimilar from one another. I can see the marketing opportunity for this in the "health food" arena, which makes me more skeptical of this site. I imagine, if released, it may have a similar fate to cannabinoid molecules being included in all sorts of products - allowed because they are ineffective, or vapes - with a different risk profile to the original substance.

Thanks! And totally agree! Many of these points are similar to the thoughts I've been having since looking into this. Addressing highly toxic or very poorly managed waste sectors makes a lot of sense. Would be interested to know more about the plastic eating bacteria

Great comment, thank you for the info! It seems like there's many aspects to this issue, some which might be neglected and tractable and some which are really saturated already

RE the % question: I think the the sense that HCWs are already doing an altruistic task limits potential donations. Finding the balance between acknowledging this yet pointing out how privileged many HCWs in HICs are is a complex balance. Doctors, at least, are generally aware that they are in a privileged position through interactions with patients and other people at work. As you're appealing to a scientific community, emphasising the cost-effectiveness studies of giving to highly effective charities compared to others would play an important role.

Personally I think starting at 1% and proving to people that that works could enable increases in this amount in the future. Ensuring there is follow up with current pledgers to encourage more donations, perhaps even flexibly depending on life factors or those pesky cost of living crises, seems like a good middle ground for people new to the concept, who are the target audience here as I understand it.

I think asking people to donate when there are already so many solicitations is a big hurdle, not sure about the UK but in Australia there are some tax saving options which give half of the savings to you and half to the employer. Hospital foundations are less common i think.

Do you mean it seems like it is existing policy or that strengthening it should be investigated?

Thanks for the post! The climate issue is something I keep on coming up against when I try to think seriously about other long-term possible x risks. This seems particularly concerning given the uncertainty of the models you describe here. I'm not across all of the studies as other commentors here, but it just strikes me that if cause prioritisation was going to be externally influenced, climate would be the big ticket topic that we are most likely to be led astray by.

What strikes me with this issue in EA, more than any other, is the reliance on our own intuition/politicisation in deciding which level of risk we ascribe to it. Understandably, given the high level of mainstream media and political coverage this issue has seen. I don't want to be provocative, but with this issue more than others I think EA community members need to be especially cognisant about models (or authors) we tend to agree with, and think critically about where we might be employing cognitive dissonance and other heuristics.