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Caffeine

Book Notes

I'm fairly certain that Mom asked me to buy this book for her, because I'm not really a caffeine person the way she is. I have to admit after reading this book, however, that maybe I am and didn't realize it? I'm still unsure about that statement.

One of the unfortunate features of this book is that it isn't available in print, it is an audio book only. It listens more like a conversation with Pollan, who is sitting next to you at a little cafe, casually telling you about all these things that he has learned about caffeine, and isn't that just so interesting?

Yes, yes it is.

As such, I'd recommend giving this book a listen.

The book being an audiobook, I grabbed the bookmarks I had in the book and used some Google Docs transcription process. You can see that, well, it rather sucks, despite a fast internet connection and a slower, book-reading speaking pace. I don't understand why either.

What I do understand is that caffeine is out of my daily activities after noon, and I likely have more caffeine in my white tea than I think I do.

According to the researchers I’d interviewed, the process of withdrawal had actually begun overnight while I was sleeping, during the trough in the graph of caffeine’s diurnal effects. The day's first cup of tea or coffee acquires most of its power, its joy, not so much from its euphoric stimulating properties, so much from the fact it is suppressing the emerging symptoms of withdrawal. This is part of the insidiousness of caffeine. Its mode of action, or pharmacodynamics, mesh so perfectly with the rhythms of our body so that the morning cup of coffee arrives just in time to head off the looming mental distress set in motion by yesterday's cup of coffee. Daily caffeine proposes itself is the optimal solution to the problem caffeine creates. How brilliant.

For some reason, we never make coffee at home.

This cracked me up, mostly because Jonathan switched to making coffee only at home after he bought his espresso machine.

Humboldt had a parrot named Jacob who could say only one thing, "More coffee."

Over the course of the next few days I definitely began to feel better. The veil lifted, yet I was still not quite myself and neither, quite, was the world. By the end of the week I had gotten to the point where I didn't think I could fairly blame caffeine withdrawal for my mental state and disappointing output. And yet in this new normal the world seemed duller to me. I seemed duller, too. Mornings were the worst. I came to see how integral caffeine is to the daily work of knitting ourselves back together after fraying of consciousness during sleep, that reconsolidation of self, the daily sharpening of the mental pencil, took much longer than usual and never felt quite complete.
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I love this description of waking up.

Coffee and tea have their own reasons for producing the caffeine molecule and as is often the case for the so-called secondary metabolites produced by plants, this is for defense against predators. At high doses caffeine is lethal to Insects. Its bitter flavor may also discourage them from chewing on the plants. Caffeine also appears to have herbicidal properties, and may inhibit the germination of competing plants that attempt to grow in the zone where seedlings have taken route, or later drop their leaves. Many of the psychoactive molecules plants produce are toxic, but as Paracelsus famously said, "The dose makes the poison."
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What kills at one dose may do something more subtle and interesting at another. The interesting question is why so many of the defense chemicals produced by plants are psychoactive in animals at less than lethal doses. One theory holds that the plant doesn't necessarily want to kill its predator, only disarm it. As the long history of the plant defense chemical vs. insect arms race demonstrates, killing your predator outright isn't necessarily the best move, since it will quickly select for pesticide resistant members of that species, eventually rendering the toxin harmless. Whereas if you succeed in merely discombobulating your enemy, distracting him from his dinner, say, or ruining his appetite, as many psychoactive compounds will do, you might be better off since you will save yourself while preserving the power of your defense toxin. Caffeine does in fact shrink the appetite and discombobulate insect brains.
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A Venetian traveler to Constantinople in 1585 noted that the locals quote, "are in the habit of drinking in public, in shops, and in the streets, a black liquid boiling as they can stand it, which is extracted from the seed they called ka-vay, and is said to have the property of keeping a man awake."

The notion of drinking any beverage piping hot was itself exotic, and in fact this proved to be one of the most important gifts of both coffee and tea to humanity. The fact that you needed to boil water to make them, meant that they were the safest thing a person could drink. Before that, it has been alcohol, which was more sanitary than water but not as safe as tea or coffee. The tannins in all these beverages also have antimicrobial properties. The contribution of coffee and tea to public health might help explain why societies that embraced the new hot drinks tended to thrive, as microbial diseases declined.
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I gave up editing Google's transcriptions here.

Vibrant meeting places for the news of the day political financial and cultural Pizzazz much the drawers the coffee coffee houses became uniquely Democratic Publix in England they were the only such spaces were men of different classes could met anyone who said anywhere but only men at least in England the fact that led one wag to warn that the popularity of coffee quote put the whole race in danger of extinction women were welcome in French coffee houses compared to taverns coffee houses were also notably civil places where if you started an argument you were expected to buy a round for everyone to call the English coffeehouse a new kind of public space doesn't quite do it justice represented a new kind of communications medium one that just happened to be made of brick and mortar rather than electricity and wires these rooms served as the internet of their time londoners went to share and consume news and information as well as rumor and gossip you paid a penny for the coffee but the information in the form of newspapers books magazines in conversation was free coffee houses were often referred to as Penny University's after visiting London coffee houses are French writer wrote that quote you have all manner of news there you have a good firewood you may sit by as long as you please you have a dish of coffee you meet your friends for the transaction of business and all for a penny if you don't care to spend more
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You will have it from St James Coffee House Coffee or the coffee house debated the beverages helpfulness fever tracks and women objected to the amount of time and we're spending and coffee houses in a pamphlet titled the
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Alpha lesson fever tracks and women objected to the amount of time and we're spending and coffee houses in a pamphlet titled the women's petition against coffee the author's suggested that the end stiebeling liquor robbed men of their sexual energies making them quote as unfruitful as those deserts when's that on happyberry is said to be brought the conversation in London's coffee house is frequently turn to politics in vigorous exercise is a free speech that Disturbed the government especially after the monarchy was restored Charles the second worried plots were being hatched in coffee houses
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it's hard to imagine that this sort of political cultural and intellectual ferment that bubbled up in the coffeehouses about France and England if alcohol fuels are Dionysus and tendencies coffee nurtures the apollonian early on people recognize the link between the rising tide of rationalism and the fashionable new beverage Chalet Road bring it to the new kinds of thinking that caffeine help to Foster
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Balzac Wrote one of the all-time best descriptions of how it feels to be over caffeinated estate when she said quot produces a kind of Animation that looks like anger one's voice Rises once gestures suggest unhealthy and patience one wants everything to proceed with the speed of ideas one becomes Brusque ill-tempered about nothing seems that everyone else is equally Lucid a man of spirit must therefore avoid going out in public it is one thing to live in a shared culture of caffeine
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There are some compensatory benefits I'm sleeping like a teenager again and wake feeling actually refreshed there's an explanation for that I will get to I've discovered an odd and unexpected social benefit as well when I turned down offers of coffee and explain my experiment and abstention I find the people are keenly interested and probably sort of impressed it's a storm not some kind of achievement I could never do that a friend will say or I should really try that I know it would help me sleep but I can't imagine getting through the morning naturally these reactions make me feel as though I've actually done something worthy of admiration I suspect on benefiting from The Echoes of puritanism still reverberating in our culture which Awards points for self discipline and overcoming desire addiction even to a relatively harmless and easily procure drug like caffeine is seen as evidence of weakness of character quote I realized my life was being controlled by caffeine a sleep researcher and caffeine abstainer that I interviewed told me traveling I find myself in an unfamiliar City and could not turn in for bed until I had scoped out where I was going to get my fix in the morning I like to feel in control and realized I wasn't caffeine was controlling me
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I recognize drug-seeking behavior when I see it. "Yeah," he agreed that there's "nothing inherently wrong with an addiction if you have a secure supply, no known health risks, and you're not offended by the idea that many of us can't help moralizing addiction." I will confess to indulging in the occasional paying of righteousness through the airport during my months of abstention .
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And the freedom to let the mind off the leash of linear thought how did a psychologist sometimes talk in terms of two distinct types of Consciousness Spotlight consciousness
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The freedom to let the mind off the leash of linear thought cognitive psychologist sometimes talk in terms of two distinct types of Consciousness Spotlight Consciousness which illuminates a single focal point of attention making it very good for reasoning and Lantern Consciousness in which has less focused too many people on psychedelics
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Making it very good for reasoning and Lantern Consciousness in which attention is less focused it illuminates a broader field of attention young children tend to exhibit Lantern Consciousness so do many people on psychedelics this more diffuse form of attention lends itself to mind-wandering free association in the making of Novel connections, all of which can nurture creativity
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Songs for caffeine's mood enhancing qualities the cup of optimism as well as the fact that it is habit-forming
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the direct effect of caffeine on the brain the chemical also has several indirect effects including increases and adrenaline serotonin and dopamine the release of dopamine is typical of drugs of abuse and probably accounts for caffeine's mood enhancing qualities the cup of optimism as well as the fact that it is habit-forming caffeine is also a vasodilator and can be mildly diuretic it temporarily raise his blood pressure and relaxes the body smooth muscles which may account for coffee as laxative effect this could explain much of coffees early popularity constipation was a serious matter in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe but what is unique about caffeine is the targeted way in which it interferes with one of the most important of all biological functions sleep everlife of caffeine prove prostate
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at the time of our lunch I hadn't yet begun my abstinence experimenting Walker inquired about my caffeine use a cup of 1/2 Caff first thing green tea through the morning and sometimes if I'm swaggin a cappuccino after lunch Walker explained that for most people, the quarter life of is usually about 12 hours meaning that 25% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee consumed at noon is still circulating in your brain when you go to bed at midnight.
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this is an acquired condition used for an association indeed
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Let's face it we've erected a top does psychoactive molecules are just cultures way of dressing up our desire to change Consciousness in the finery of metaphor and Association indeed what really commends these beverages to us is there a sociation now we would smoke or stone fruit but with the experience of well-being of euphoria they reliably kill us it is this experience known as reinforcement which practically guarantees we will
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Turn to tea or coffee or wine it also has the power to alter our perception of their flavors people are badly deceived when it comes to taste Roland Griffiths the Johns Hopkins drug researcher explain it's like saying I like the taste of scotch no, this is an acquired condition taste preference
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Tea or coffee or wine it also has the power to alter our perception of their flavors people are badly deceived when it comes to taste Roland Griffiths Johns Hopkins drug researcher explain it's like saying I like the taste of scotch, no, this is an
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Acquired condition taste preference when you pair a taste for the reinforcer like alcohol or caffeine you will confer specific preference for that taste caffeine is naturally present in coffee and tea but typically is added two sodas so why would
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