Thursday, February 24, 2011

Libya, Gadhafi, revolution, drugs, & NRI's

This from CNN:

"Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi blames the violence in his country on young people, who he said are taking some sort of pills and being exploited by Osama bin Laden."

Frankly it sorta sounds like something my mom would say if she were an intolerant dictator. Well, now that I think about it, it sounds like my mom.

Honestly, I can't make up anything funnier about this Gadhafi quote... but I'm gonna give it a go (insert applause here).

I wonder where one gets these protest drugs? Seriously, what if Gadhafi was right? What if people were generally okay with his rule but somehow some crazies got a hold of drugs and they were ruining the country for everyone?

I think it is our duty to try and sort out what drugs there people are on. Now there's only one problem, I don't live in Libya, I don't know anyone who does, and I don't really want to go there for the sake of hard hitting investigative journalism.

Well, I suppose we can work at it through a process of elimination.

1) Stimulant or Depressant?
Okay so if you're taking a drug that makes you want to go out and fight for your right to have basic social services, jobs, freedom of speech, and the right to vote there's a very good chance that you're not on downers

Downers may make you angry, but you're highly likely to sit at home and club a baby seal versus organizing friends, family, sympathizers to protest the government

I'll take stimulants for $500 Alex.

2) Which Stimulant?
Alright Watson, let's do a quick rundown of the common stimulants and see which fits the bill. According to Wikipedia there 9 types of stimulants: Caffeine, Nicotine, Amphetamines, Ecstasy (MDMA), Coke, NRI's and NDRI's, Modafinal & Adrafinal & Armodafinil, Ampakines, and Yohimbine

I could research more but it's just too much work to hit "next page" on the Google search pages. Only Page 1 searches for me. Remember the olden days when you would routinely look at like 10 to 15 pages of search results on Yahoo until you found something mildly relevant to your to search topics? Have we become that impatient in only a 10 year span? But I digress.

To the cloud!...

a. Caffeine
Well it's the most widely available and common stimulant which makes it an interesting drug. The problem is that I'm pretty sure the people of Libya have had access to soda for a few years and it didn't exactly excite them to do anything before. I'm not sure why that fact pattern would change now, unless Pepsi Max is really that amazing (and yes I did just put the link to the Pepsi Max twitter page which for some reason has over 8,000 followers)

b. Nicotine
Have you seen people in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East before? These people have smoked like chimneys for centuries. Ain't no revolution goin' down because of Camel Turkish Blends.

c. Amphetamines
Well they give elevated mood swings and cause euphoria but then have an after effect of depression and anxiety. Hmm... well in Libya you have a scene of protests and excitement along with elements of violence when people are just frustrated (or hooligans). This seems to be an interesting fact pattern where amphetamines could explain that full range of behavior. This makes the short list.

d. Ecstasy
Listen, I don't exactly know what the scene in Libya is like from a first hand perspective, nor have I ever been there before. But I do know this, it's not exactly like a rave is taking place on the streets as far as I can tell. There may be music, but there ain't no dancing. If were on E there would be a lot more protesters wearing pacifiers. Look at this picture, I don't see any pacifiers. Next!

e. Cocaine
This is Libya, it ain't Hollywood. Next.

f. NRI's and NDRI's
This is weird because Wikipedia's list now starts to include categories and drugs I've never even heard of before. When I saw "NRI's" my first thought was Non Resident Indians the term for Indian citizens who no longer live in India - like my parents were when they first came to America like 40 years ago. The funny thing is that if someone told me that a bunch of awkward Indians were causing confusion in Libya I'd probably believe them. It's a pretty solid fact pattern. But alas these are a different sort of NRI's. A drug sort.

Well NRI drugs are used by people for a variety of reasons rangings from depression and fatigue to bedwetting and obesity. Hmm. An oppressed people suddenly coming alive and potentially peeing everywhere? We could have a winner. Let's put these on the short-list.

g. Modafinal & Adrafinal & Armodafinil
Ummm this sounds trio sounds like a terrible law firm. Well basically they're used to treat sleep disorders. Let's see... a sleeping body politic who are now awaking the the 21st century with Modadinal!... This sounds like a stretch. If anything Libyans would be happy and mellow if they were abusing Modafinal and getting a good night's rest for once. Why protest? Next.

h. Ampakines
Say what? This is a new one for me... but according to Wiki it's helpful for alertness without nasty side effects like massive addiction and post-high depression. It's big in Russia. Hmmm this may explain why people are marching in the streets, but not why they're being violent. If people had a sorta constant happy buzz you'd think they would just go to the park and play ultimate frisbee instead of bringing down a decades-old dictatorship.

i. Yohimbine
Contrary to popular belief, this is not the 2nd largest suburb outside of Tokyo. Apparently it's used as a treatment for both sexual dysfunction and Type 2 diabetes. In animals (and humans). Hmm, there's a cheap and pathetic joke waiting to be maid here... made. Wait for it... wait for it...

I'm pretty sure Libyans aren't having problems mating with sheep. Ah, there it is! Next!

3) The Short List
Well that pretty much leaves us with Amphetamines and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (NRI's). I don't really have a good way of determining which is the winner other than perhaps checking what the availability would be like in Libya.

Ideally you'd need a drugs which is available now but wasn't available before. This would fit Gadhafi's foolproof theory perfectly. After all it would be odd if the cause of the violence was a drug that was always available to the masses before that suddenly and inexplicable surged in popularity.

Okay, so let's do this scientifically:
- when I Google "amphetamines + Libya" I get 491,000 results
- when I Google "Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors + Libya" I get a paltry 14,500 results.

NRI's sounds new to me based on the fact that it doesn't have a lot of connections made between it and Libya on the ol' Googlebox.

Now sure most of these search results in both cases don't have anything to do with drug use in Libya, but that's besides the point. When it comes to humor never let the facts get in the way of the punchline.

4) The Winner: NRI's
Congrats NRI's! You win! Through the use of the process of elimination and the science method we can why it is the drug that Gadhafi is surely targetting. Let's summarize our results.

Gadhafi's Thesis: Drugs are causing people to protest in the streets

- High excitment: Surely do to a stimulant drug
- Violence seems to follow excitment: Indicative of a drug that has a "downer" period post "high"
- Relatively new drug: Some drug which wasn't on the scene before but is not playing a part

Cause: NRI

See! Science and Gadhafi can be fun!

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Anonymous said...

You are and have always been a funny man. Loved sitting by you to laugh in high school. Lovereading your thoughts now. Cheers

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