Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Trans-Epistemological Etymologues - VOC vs VOC

Violating Organic Content - The new VOCs!

For years we have been both addicted to and suspicious of VOCs -- volatile organic compounds. They smell great, like gasoline, baked bread, or bergamot. They can also get into our bloodstream and cause health problems. They evaporate from all kinds of things, and we can measure them with special "VOC meters," although the human nose is by far the most sensitive all-purpose VOC-detector on the market. (Don't forget there are plenty of things that are bad for you that you CAN'T smell at all; and then there's anosmia too.)

But now, a new VOC is on the scene, one potentially far more serious to the survival of our cultural species. They're called "violating organic contents," and they're like little diseases floating around our collective neural network.

Perhaps "floating" is the wrong word. They're jamming your brain via high-frequency algorithms, engineered to reprogram your hardwired hormone circuits of reward and control. Like spores of a Cordyceps mushroom, they invade your neural system, changing the way you think, and using you to propagate itself throughout the network of other-people's-brains. 

You can't smell these VOCs; in fact, even the digital social networks themselves can't seem to detect them very well. We need a better detector for violating organic content (and a better immune system for our collective brain, perhaps some memetic inoculations?). 

Apple threatened Facebook ban over slavery posts on Instagram
Sep 2021, BBC News

Apple threatened to remove Facebook's products from its App Store, after the BBC found domestic "slaves" for sale on apps, including Instagram, in 2019.

"We removed 700 Instagram accounts within 24 hours, and simultaneously blocked several violating hashtags."

It added that it had also developed technology that can proactively find and take action on content related to domestic servitude - enabling it to "remove over 4,000 pieces of violating organic content in Arabic and English from January 2020 to date".

Image credit: That's not a VOC-detector, it's a radiation detector, used by NASA JPL for Mars research.

Partially Related Post Script:
Why cannabis smells skunky
Dec 2021, phys.org

Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have discovered a new family of prenylated volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that give cannabis its characteristic skunky aroma. 

Prior studies have focused mainly on terpenoids—molecules that range in odor from fuel-like to woody, citrusy or floral.

However, although terpenoids are the most abundant aroma compounds in cannabis, there is little evidence that they provide the underlying skunk-like smell of many cultivars. Skunks use several VSCs in their smelly defense sprays, so Iain Oswald and colleagues suspected that there could be similar molecules in cannabis.

One compound in particular, 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, referred to as VSC3, was the most abundant VSC in the cultivars that the panel reported to be most pungent. This compound has previously been implicated in the flavor and aroma of "skunked beer"—beer that goes bad after being exposed to UV light.

via American Chemical Society: Iain W. H. Oswald et al, Identification of a New Family of Prenylated Volatile Sulfur Compounds in Cannabis Revealed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography, ACS Omega (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.1c04196