I need this like I need a hole in the head.
February 23, 2004 11:52 PM   Subscribe

Don't try this at home. We picked up the drill, the gloves, sterile gauze, sheets of plastic, sodium chloride, hypodermic syringes, sterile wipes, irrigation syringe, etc. etc. After acquiring all that we needed, we set up my best friend's bedroom as the operating room and prepared to perform the operation. While I have heard of this practice before, this article really shows how far some people are willing to go to enhance their consciousness. Apparently this has been going on for some time. First link possibly NSFW due to bloody pics
posted by bashos_frog (37 comments total)
 
Dr. Peter Venkman: Egon, this reminds me of that time you tried to drill a hole in your head.

Dr. Egon Spengler: That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me.
posted by nf at 12:13 AM on February 24, 2004 [1 favorite]


Diary Entry: 04-19-00

I have come to the frustrating conclusion that the trepanation has had no lasting effect. I mean, the effects were subtle the whole time anyway and they appear to have worn off.


Took me about 2 mins to find what i was looking for ;)

Didn't read the site fully, admittedly, but I have seen this procedure documented on TV several times. What I always thought was missing from those shows, though, was a nice follow up with the patients.

Interesting post though
posted by efalk at 12:19 AM on February 24, 2004


"The first time it happened, when I was in a car with a friend, pulling a big bong hit, I started to feel the heat in my head and I heard a squirt sound inside my head."

Sorry I just had to post this one too ;)

(at very end of first link)
posted by efalk at 12:23 AM on February 24, 2004


If a hole in the head really made people smarter, I'd think evolution would have put one there. (at least in some species) Of course evolution doesn't always end up with the best solutions....
posted by jeblis at 1:00 AM on February 24, 2004


Two words.

Nut. Bar.

I'm consistently amazed by the wacko fruits that populate this lovely interweb of ours.
posted by metaxa at 1:13 AM on February 24, 2004


Think i need trepanation about as much as i need a hole in the head.
posted by de at 1:32 AM on February 24, 2004


when the air hits your brain, you ain't never the same.
posted by crunchland at 1:34 AM on February 24, 2004


Silly question - but, disregarding the potential deadly effects of drilling a hole in your friend's head, wouldn't this be really dangerous? I was always terrified of touching the fontanelle on my kids' heads (the soft bit in under 2 year olds where the skull bones hadn't properly fused).
posted by Pericles at 2:08 AM on February 24, 2004


if you poke a baby's soft spot hard enough, his eyes bulge out all bug-like.


or so i hear...
posted by joedan at 2:38 AM on February 24, 2004


Interesting that this whole thing turns out to be a cautionary tale against drilling a hole in your head. Great use of bandwidth!
posted by luser at 2:41 AM on February 24, 2004


More insane people! Woohoo! Let's point fingers and laugh at the crappy website.
posted by shepd at 2:42 AM on February 24, 2004


I have come to the frustrating conclusion that the trepanation has had no lasting effect.
At least he was honest about the effects, in the end.
posted by dg at 2:42 AM on February 24, 2004


you know when you buy a dvd player or something, that the user manual tells you things like "do not set on fire" or "do not pour rubbing alcohol all over the machine"?
well, it's probably safe to say that you shouldn't drill holes in your (or anybody else's for that matter) skull also. at least without proper professional medical assistance
posted by matteo at 3:16 AM on February 24, 2004


The Tartars are experts at this, but it hasn't stopped them being warlike, has it?
posted by asok at 4:24 AM on February 24, 2004


What fun! If you are contemplating this, perhaps you would prefer a lobotomy. After reading up I think I can do it, just get in touch.
posted by roboto at 4:39 AM on February 24, 2004


I did think, if a mistake is made, if we penetrate the meninges and CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) begins to flow out of my head, we would have to rush me to the emergency room? I thought to myself how to remain as calm as possible if that occurred so that I could convince the doctors that I am a sane healthy man and not to have me committed.

Because a sane person would act calm with a giant open bleeding hole in their skull. :::shudder:::
posted by catfood at 5:41 AM on February 24, 2004


My first ever mefi post was on this subject.

I was always terrified of touching the fontanelle on my kids' heads

The way the trepanists explain it, the hole is so small that the only way you'd ever do any damage is with a knitting needle. Every day activity supposedly doesn't pose much risk. But what the hell do they know, they drill holes in their heads.
posted by jpoulos at 6:01 AM on February 24, 2004


This reminds me of the guy who cut off his genitals before a crowd as a piece of performance art.

He then ate said genitals, much to the glee of the audience.

Funny how much contempt little these people have for their own lives and bodies.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:05 AM on February 24, 2004


(please ignore spurious "little")
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:06 AM on February 24, 2004


The reaL question here is : why have humans been, for thousands of years, obsessed with drilling holes in their heads ?

I can only intrerpret it in terms of my personal experience, and my obsession with tinkering : high risk modifications in pursuit of incremental "optimizations", such as overclocking processors.

Drilling a hole in my head seems like an unappealing mod. to me, though I think a tail would be a handy thing to have. A prehensile tail, that is....I guess that's not a modification per se, but instead an expansion of capabilities. But I'm stumped over how I could acquire such a thing, for grafting onto my coccyx.

Recommendations, anyone ?
posted by troutfishing at 6:14 AM on February 24, 2004


Troutfishing, if you're looking to get a little tail, my advice would be to turn off the computer and go outside.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:28 AM on February 24, 2004


...for grafting onto my coccyx

As we (sadly) learned in high school biology, even if you were able to attach a tail (or third arm in my case, something I cry out for pretty frequently) , and run the nerves, etc., you'd still be missing the part of the brain needed to use the tail...
posted by jalexei at 6:31 AM on February 24, 2004


I watched a documentary on people who do this. It's really, really, really stupid. This is the utter height of stupidity. Saying that you need a hole in your skull to acheive enlightenment is like saying you need a sucking chest wound to breathe true air unfiltered by the barrier of your tongue and throat.

In the documentary, people ended up in the hospital. My personal feeling is, if you want to do this, you should forfeit your right to emergency room treatment. You might think that western medicine isn't the be all end all of health. Fine. You might think that western medecine is based on a profit motive. Fine. But if you can find one doctor that recommends you drill a hole in your head, than that doctor should bear all the costs of treating you through your shortened lifetime.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2004


That is one silly idea.

You know, for someone even just moderately intelligent the idea of coming to the edge of causing oneself permanent brain damage in order to reach a goal so nebulous and (really) meaningless as "increasing consciousness" would be a tough sell.
posted by clevershark at 7:00 AM on February 24, 2004


As someone who, as an infant, needed a hole in my head, at the very least, in order to survive, I saw the FPP a little differently. Still, the guy's a nutjob for not seeking professional medical help.
posted by emelenjr at 7:32 AM on February 24, 2004


jalexei, you fiend [ sheds a bitter tear ] - you've dashed my dreams upon the sharp rocks of empiricism.

emelenjr - well you didn't drill your own hole, right ? [ you were an infant ] besides, there's all that advice - "This procedure should only be attempted by trained medical personnel..."
posted by troutfishing at 7:51 AM on February 24, 2004


The (w)hole thing reminds me of Coyle & Sharpe's hilarious The Druggist (mp3 on the page).
posted by dobbs at 8:03 AM on February 24, 2004


That's not the kind of professional medical help I was referring to. Reading that trepanation would permanently increase his level of consciousness and saying, oh what the hell, let's give it a try, doesn't sound to me like the actions of a stable person.
posted by emelenjr at 8:22 AM on February 24, 2004


emelenjr - I know...... ummm, so you're saying that I wasted $9.97 on that self-tapping titanium 1/8" drill bit?

Damn....

...What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, "The sub-auric pressure relief valve effect" :

I can get the same benefit by drilling through one of my eardrums - though the auric energy, venting on just one side, distorts my personal energy field. I can't drill out the other ear too - I need to hear in one channel, anyway. So, I bought one of those super-powerful magnets I read about on Metafilter and - as my Kirlian photography confirms - it tweaks my aura back into the right shape (as long as I wear it - strong on a necklace - opposite the eardrum-energy vent). I've never felt better in my life.
posted by troutfishing at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2004


Reading that trepanation would permanently increase his level of consciousness and saying, oh what the hell, let's give it a try, doesn't sound to me like the actions of a stable person.

Feh. Typical propaganda from the "we haven't drilled holes in our heads" establishment.
posted by bdk3clash at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2004


you'd still be missing the part of the brain needed to use the tail...

How do we know this? We haven't mapped the entire human brain. We have a vestigial tail in the coccyx, who's to say we don't have vestigial tail-controlling sectors of our brain?
posted by jpoulos at 9:39 AM on February 24, 2004


Wow, I'd forgotten that people are really this stupid sometimes. This guy must be way into conspiracy theories, given his standards for "well-researched" scientific opinion. Unbelievable.
posted by Dasein at 9:46 AM on February 24, 2004


asok - no, clearly what 's needed with the Tartars is a good intercision.
posted by freebird at 10:15 AM on February 24, 2004


jpoulos - I wouldn't be surprised. Vonnegut infected me with this theme from his pulpy sci-fi, "The Sirens of Titan" (by his alter ego, Kilgore Trout - trout again!) - his main character landed on one planet where - conveniently - everyone was quite human except for the fact that they had long, powerful, prehensile tails. They took pity on the tail-less human and gave him a corrective operation. He came to love his tail - which was good for all sorts of things (you can imagine) but, at the end of the chapter (it was a one planet per-chapter sort of book) lost the tail in a tragic accident. He was very sad about the loss.

______________________________________________

Dasein - religious beliefs are weird in general....

But especially when they require drill bits.
posted by troutfishing at 10:53 AM on February 24, 2004



you'd still be missing the part of the brain needed to use the tail...

Perhaps you could re-program some of the section of your brain that controls your penis - seeing as that is about 80% in males, there should be plenty to cover both jobs.
posted by dg at 2:15 PM on February 24, 2004


If a hole in the head really made people smarter, I'd think evolution would have put one there.

As I understand it, the idea is that evolution hasn't yet caught up to the blood flow and/or oxygen needs of the human brain, since we started walking upright. Trepanation is a hack, so to speak.

And really, surgeons and ER doctors drill small holes in people's heads all the time. It's not particularly risky, assuming you keep everything sterile.

I'd try it, given that it was done by people (like ER doctors) who know what they're doing.
posted by Jairus at 3:07 PM on February 25, 2004


Trepanation is a hack, so to speak.
Ah, I see - it's not a bug, it's a feature.
posted by dg at 9:19 PM on February 25, 2004


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