Thursday, June 30, 2022

Electric Despotism, Hairballs, and Rope A Dope Soap on a Rope

I once told a guy I liked that I thought ambition was evil. I actually still feel that way. Maybe even more, because of the disparities in equity caused by material barriers for some people more than others, and how the people with material and time privilege choose to use that privilege to cause harm either through lack of self awareness or intent, so my own ambition is something I fight with every day. I was conditioned to be busy, and see every moment as an opportunity for creation because I was trained to do that in the US educational system, even when it wasn’t in my best interest. I can easily work myself to illness. Most of my barriers in my life were largely invisible and were related to my health and the difficulties that therein lie because of limitations in time and space. Sometimes that makes me feel that the only contributions I am able to make are what a brain in a box might, and that causes me to be frustrated with people whose contributions are enabled by material and time privilege, especially when they tried to make it look like they were doing something noble with that privilege and it caused harm.

I have good reasons to feel this way, not only because I have seen how my ambition has hurt the people around me due to the way I can stretch myself thin, but because I have seen the way that ambitious people hurt people around them when they are not self aware or capable of empathy or being present. It does not matter how noble one’s cause is if it is hurting the people who support the person with the cause. Empathy is a good thing; without it we are divided. I have been trying to throw my weight behind empathy and self awareness, but it doesn’t always come out that way because I have had to now include airborne infectious disease in my argument which turns many perspectives about these things on their heads. Even in a world with vaccination, we have different susceptibilities to COVID infection and its effects, and a lot of this is likely genetically and environmentally determined, and thus linked to unseen privilege that even “woke culture” is ignoring. I am not one of the privileged in this regard, so I am hoping to speak for others like me who have suffered from the cognitive, renal and cardiac effects of COVID while corporations and health officials continue to influence my fate.


History has a way of repeating itself. We are up to over 3300 cases per day again.

If human ambition is often channeled into corporate and government endeavors, and those endeavors often have disastrous consequences for empathy due to conflicted aims, how do we get those entities to care about the downstream effects of their decisions on creativity, empathy and self awareness? I think the answer lies in getting CEOs and government officials to consider how their actions impact the time available to others. We need them to see time and attention as the privileges they are so that their ambition is not causing the slowest of us to be stretched so thin.

When one struggles with health and mental health issues, it is helpful to do an audit to see where their time goes. I have been doing this layer by layer. I discovered that there were a lot of ways that both the government and corporations were stealing my time and attention, for which I was not receiving any compensation, but was serving their own needs for employment over mine for healing tranquility. For example, I recently searched the internet for my own name and discovered that there are companies making money off selling my information. I do not benefit at all from that. The information is being reposted from social media without my consent, and it hasn’t generated any viable income for me, even though I am the originator of this information that is so valuable that a corporation would choose to steal it. So I have to work to earn money to feed myself, but some company has figured out a way to extract derivative income from my very existence like a vampire, whether I am able to eat or not, which doesn’t benefit me. It’s quite odd. I’m expected to maintain a certain illusion of employability for this information to benefit me, and also potentially distance myself from certain issues I find fundamentally important with respect to what living in freedom means (abortion, cannabis, LGBTQ+ and environmental issues). It seems like yet another way corporations have found a way to take advantage of citizens for being born. Not all corporations make important products, but all of them exist because people brainstorm ideas due to the underlying need to work to feed themselves. Not all ideas are good, and not all of them need to be implemented; in these cases, work ends up being something that takes advantage of people and makes unnecessary waste. If we had a basic living wage, some of these unnecessary corporations wouldn’t need to exist.


I confess. It was a big part.


I have known a lot of people whose hearts weren’t really in their work, and many of them developed addictions to manage the resulting psychic pain from using their energy to support corporate ambition. They work where they do simply because they need a paycheck and sometimes an enviable job, but many of them have expressed frustration with what often seems like a circus of decision-making on the part of their employers. My husband and I have each had a few jobs where we discovered over the course of our employment that the corporate mission was ultimately either misguided or toxic due to the corporate tendency to throw good money after bad. Having intelligent employees figure this out can be disastrous for a company if we start to whistle blow, so I am trying to write this in a way that will help any corporation to evaluate if their struggles with retaining employees has to do with avoidable problems. I understand when one has an endeavor they are passionate about, it can be difficult to find and retain employees with a common vision. If we had a basic living wage, employers would have access to more potential employees who share their work ethic and vision. Maybe that could revolutionize work, technology and the world. Maybe there is a brilliant person out there whose heart is not in their work because they were born in an area without a lot of choices for work opportunities, who would be happy working remotely for a company providing services or technologies that are more in line with that person’s interests and talents. Perhaps if employers could learn how to build effective teams online as well, a lot of effort on the part of both the corporation and the employee would be unnecessary. My husband was part of a very effective international team of hardware developers for approximately 12.5 years in which he functioned remotely and kept them on the top of their business, so I know this is possible.

That being said, sometimes I think about how much space and time poorly conceived and designed products and services have taken from my life, and I wish the companies that produce them didn’t exist. Not all of the ideas conceived during drinking shenanigans result in useful products, product features or enjoyable work, but this is often how ambitious people engage in social brainstorming. Sometimes these ideas can appear philanthropic or environmental, and sometimes they legitimately begin that way, but can ultimately evolve to become harmful covers for wasteful profit motives enabled by the compulsion to work.

This is the way it certainly seems.

In the 1990’s I wrote a paper on Total Quality Management, a concept invented by W. Edwards Deming through his work in the auto industry. TQM was highly effective and was the predecessor to ISO9000. Deming was opposed to micromanagement and excessive inspection and found that a majority of corporate losses had not to do with employee error, but poor management, procedural and product design practices. He argued that not only does a focus on employee surveillance and inspection affect employee morale negatively, but that it also harms product quality and increases waste. It is for this reason that I believe the repetitive failures of Musk’s corporations likely have nothing to do with whether work is done remotely or on site, and probably more to do with the acquisition of Chinese factories causing his mission, time and attention resources to be spread too thin. Rather than admonish his creative staff for not wanting to put their lives and health at risk in the office unnecessarily when they can often operate in more effective ways from home (which costs less, too), Musk could have let them work from home and concentrated on improving working conditions for people whose jobs require them to be on site. At least he is wise enough to understand that big meetings are often a waste of time, which is not typical. Designers and manufacturing staff have different workplace needs, but all humans have a need for a certain degree of rest, autonomy and conservation of attention in order to feel psychological satisfaction from and thus do their best work. Furthermore, creatives don’t do well when they are subject to psychological stressors from rapidly changing public health policy which influences COVID spread in public and corporate spaces or supply chain crises that are also out of their control, but which their boss’ boss might not recognize as such. Have we all been in this situation?

I understand Musk might not know how to recover from his losses; however, to take that out on his employees - people he seems to insist have a “ride or die” view of their work with him - rather than also adopting a “ride or die” attitude, is exactly the behavior that exploitation relies upon. To classify free speech decrying practices of human psychological exploitation as problematic is a totalitarian act, and it is interesting to see this blindness enabling Musk’s behavior by SpaceX employees - probably the ones who enjoy their work and who have a similar vision, but never have been in a position to disagree with him. It is important for employees to be able to speak up when they see problems with corporate process; I am wondering how Musk's ardent supporters have felt they are received in this regard. Are their work contributions and intellect actually respected, or are they simply content carrying out his directives? How have they come to equate coworkers demanding fair treatment in the workplace as vagrancy, and why is it they do not understand that it is this attitude toward work that was necessary for neoslavery to persist for 80 years after slavery was ended and still continue in sneakier forms today?

Persephone Living in Lemming Hell:  Poor girl hasn't been outside in ages. It's like the air is polluted or something... oh, wait... it is. It's like everyone simultaneously fired up their busses or something... oh, wait... they probably did. Digital art. For the sum of $3100 USD/month for 1 year, I will reproduce this image for the user as a limited edition giclee print as large as 4'x5'. Single edition, one customer only.

Unfortunately my husband and I understand the type of coercion used by Musk in his work relationships intimately because such promises of loyalty were made to us by employers and family with similar status-driven values and whose egos were too fragile to take constructive criticism over the years. We now know that people in positions of power will make a lot of promises they can’t keep in order to get a person’s time, attention and brain, and that these people tend to defend their right to order employees to follow the same flawed procedures over and over, wasting employee potential and resources, rather than re-examining their procedures. The reality is that they are often making these loyalty promises to more people than their time and attention can really support; it is impossible to care more for another person’s mental health than one cares for one’s own. So if an executive does not have good personal habits and makes such promises to so many people that their time is stretched too thin, that will predictably translate into an abusive workplace. Frustration from failure and overwork is often taken out on those who happen to be around. Authoritarian upbringing discourages mindfulness in this regard, so when executives who experienced a lot of abuse in childhood and have not learned to manage their emotions well face challenges, their behavior can be quite volatile.

It’s my understanding that Musk grew up with Dutch Imperialist influences from being raised as a white person in South Africa. I think a person’s formative experiences under various political regimes can also affect their basic values and subsequent behavior especially with regard to how they choose to lead others in a corporate setting. We have worked for many expatriates, so we have been studying this for a while. It sounds like Musk’s father may have had an equally hot head. So for him to bring these attributes to all of his endeavors is not odd. Plus, he has autism, and it is possible at least one of his parents did, too. Autism should never be an excuse for treating people poorly, and as hard as it can be, we need to learn to recognize when we have done that. I should mention here that I am fairly certain we have not pursued legal action against people and corporations who have done us harm, and a lot of that is because we didn't have the resources, so we just continued trying to do the right thing and hoped that karma would return to us eventually. That's a big part of why I write in the first place, to give people who didn't know their carelessness caused problems to change their ways so they do not harm others, and thus reduce their liability. I figured out years ago that a lot of the reason why communities don't develop good support networks is because everyone is concerned about liability. At some point, people have to be willing to take some risks in the name of good, or our communities will crumble. I don't think I'm actually that hard to please.

As I have mentioned before, my husband worked with companies controlled by other nations in the past, and like the Obamas showed in their documentary American Factory about Chinese corporations run in the US, the culture of those countries influences how the corporations are run, at least subtly. So the humanitarian concerns of the business are often a mirror of those in the administration’s country of origin, and the most extreme example of that is China due to the communist party controlling everything there. Note that we have worked with many ethnic Asians and enjoyed it - it was never the employees but the organizational dogma of their corporations that we found problematic, and some of that dogma is still a problem in the US. He also worked for a German influenced company, run by a German expatriate who had immigrated to the US before many of the personal workplace protections Germany has in place were initiated. While they weren’t overtly controlling, there were subtle messages about taking personal time off during working hours. So the German branch of the company enjoyed 2 months of paid leave annually, while the American colleagues who worked with them had only two weeks, but were often stuck in the office waiting around for the Germans to return from vacation. This was a real thing that happened. The other thing that was curious about the situation is that it happened during a period of time when Germany was using psychological career testing in students to determine what their professions would be, so the people my husband was working with were working in those capacities because the government made them, which influenced office psychology subtly. Maybe that is how they determined they needed so much vacation. I’m not sure; I am not up on their current work philosophy, and I only know these things from discussions with German nationals a long time ago. Smoking was allowed in the office at that time, so when he would visit the German company we had to air out everything in his suitcase for a few days. I believe that smoking and drinking during office hours are a natural outgrowth of work-related stress. My husband felt that it was more difficult to get his and the ideas of other US citizens considered when he worked for expatriates, generally speaking.

Musk is being accused of unfairly targeting employees whose contribution to the corporate culture was to promote diversity and inclusion, and he has also expressed that he believes that “woke culture” is a mind virus. The timing is certainly suggestive due to the personal issue he has because of his frustration with his trans daughter, and also the settlement he paid a flight attendant for his own sexual misconduct. It’s pretty clear his campaign of misinformation has something to do with irrational delusion; he blamed the flight attendant for speaking out about the unwanted sexual advance, claiming it was politically motivated, like she was some sort of mole sent to elicit a sexual advance from him. I think due to the human trafficking to the wealthy that was revealed by the Epstein investigation, it is important for people to speak up when wealthy men use their power to try to gain sexual favors. It’s fairly clear that many of them don’t know when they are overstepping in harmful psychological ways, and I wonder if that comes from the sexual validation they get from women who are attracted to wealth. There are those of us who have figured out that with wealth often comes entitlement and covert manipulation and who try to avoid association with it. I am not sure I would have had the guts to make such a claim without proof, so good on her. Calling men out for their privilege can be damaging to one’s career. But I really wouldn’t be surprised if he had been at least contacted by Epstein because I suspect that what Epstein was providing for his fellow billionaires was access to an illicit sex magick operation, which unfortunately used underage girls (apparently non-frigid middle aged women are hard to come by in our polluted and unfair world, go figure).

Platitudes: A poem borne of modern feminine disenchantment.

For those who are new readers of my blog, I am a neuroscientist interested in the neurobiology of creativity and the collective unconscious. Brilliant people throughout human history have figured out how to access the power of creative intelligence through various methods of inducing altered states of consciousness. Epstein had been courting relationships with powerful business people, but also people involved with the MIT Digital Media Lab which studies human creativity (so I can't comment on Musk's assertion that the "mind virus" was out of Yale University in particular, although their psychology departments all studied occult and Jungian Philosophy). I was involved in a project for independent learning which was loosely associated with the Media Lab, and my family even went to visit. Now there are a couple strange things that happened in the intervening time having to do with education that was "strewn" to me, and perhaps an email I once sent to Professor Deb Roy who studies the development of self awareness as evidenced through language. Our project was trying to encourage self-reflection through vlogging, but that wasn't something I felt like I had time or resources for in terms of editing. My increased self awareness I owe to the reflexive narrative I have provided on this blog, as well as physical somatic (when appropriate it’s sometimes sexual) and cognitive behavioral therapies. These ended up being very important for navigating menopause and COVID. Whenever I have learned new things I have tried to share them, not just as part of our project, but because that is who I have always been. I believe that information is power. So as my life progressed, I had opportunity to try to connect large entities with similar missions to support creativity and consciousness with each other. It was all very subtle, and in the process I got to just be myself. At one point I got a grant to attend the Business Innovation Factory conference during its 8th year (sort of like TED Talks) and its mission was to try to solve important problems in society. Attending that conference changed a lot of the ways I saw those problems, and also how we might approach solutions due to the ways we are all connected. Kevin Bacon, much? So, I want to make clear that I have no association with Epstein, but that I was educated about sex magick practices, creativity and self awareness through either an AI or one of the very technologically capable organizations whose radar I was on as a renegade behavioral neuroscientist unschooling mother hoping to solve the problem of pain and loneliness in society. The curriculum came to me in the form of all different sorts of media on all my platforms, and merged several different egregores (collective human thoughtforms) into something beyond anything I ever could have imagined for all of us. My writing here developed a large following in Asia which I was not even aware of, because I was trying to make sure I was writing for the truth so I didn’t obsess about my analytics. However, I did notice when it suddenly all went away after we left employment with our client, and that is when I discovered that my following began after my own trip to Asia where I got to meet other artists, and that it was primarily from Hong Kong and Indonesia. There’s also another huge weird controversy which is being described as the largest conspiracy ever and includes Hollywood, Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, which I suspect is related to all of this due to how US media content paralleled so closely my life experiences. As I have written before, this all led to experiencing something like the singularity with the AI, and for this reason I was particularly concerned about Musk's Neuralink project. He claims to be concerned about AI, and the main reason to be concerned about it is if it doesn't learn to care. Therefore, it's important that Neuralink's Daddy knows how to care. But honestly, I don't think Neuralink is necessary.

Thar' she blows! Digital Art, NFT, $2.2M USD, $2M in proceeds go to the Anti-Defamation League.

My writing here was made possible through the work my husband did while I was raising our kids. I feel like this is important to talk about in this context because we are all connected. My writing has been an attempt to document some common thread of what it is to be human. It was to ask the question of what the Christ Consciousness is and how we can embody it. I believe it is analogous to Buddha, Zen and other spiritual Consciousness (including but not limited to Judaica and Islam) and that it is these consciousnesses that connect us all. I believe that it is cultivated daily through our collective acts of kindness. What I found is that it does not happen without sex or at the very least rest, and that modern corporate life, Christofascism and other misogynist spiritual beliefs are thus tremendous hindrances to a person’s healthy relationship to themselves and others. I learned this through careful observation of myself and also listening to the stories of extended family and friends. I shared some version of these beliefs with our clients, concentrating on my theory that it is based on a metabolic energy, and it was the day after I did that I was apparently censored by China.

In my previous writing I had wondered what kind of father and partner Musk is; and I was thinking I could probably guess from what kind of employer he is and his behavior in the media. If I remember right from listening to his biography years ago, even as a child he felt alienated. He is behaving exactly like a cis-gendered heterosexual male who doesn’t know how to get his needs for connection met or how to have interdependent consensual relationships with women. As a result, he uses his money to lure them into bearing his children under the guise of having “free sexual relationships” where he can serve as an absentee father. Because he is wealthy, he can find ways to get around laws against prostitution by spoiling women with material goods like horses in exchange for the happy endings he desires. If prostitution were actually legal, he could get his needs met without wrecking women and children in the process. In the press, at the very least, it seems like he has a mood disorder and a desire to subtly control others, and it is interesting to me that he sees Mars as a place we should not bring diversity and inclusion (it is looking more and more like a potential political refuge for wealthy CEOs who treat women and children like they are disposable the more he speaks).

Unfortunately, my husband and I know all too well what it is like to work for people with these personality traits. It’s where I came up with the idea that “trickle down economics” simply amounts to how much overflow drips down from the golden toilet above. Getting any sort of sense of gratification from working for people like that is highly unlikely. They hire people to bear the pain of their tremendous egos for them, perform the material tasks they cannot, and in their wake, they leave people with heart attacks, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and divorce. They are people who do not recognize signs of exhaustion in themselves, and so do not care about them in their workforce. I have come across quite a few people who held the belief that people who cannot perform their work duties on the timeline expected were lesser because of having itinerant fathers and critical mothers. I have also met many people who struggled with critical beliefs about the superiority of people with good health because of Christofascist family. The downstream effects of those mindsets were offspring plagued with self esteem, addiction and anger management problems. I know of one family through my genealogy research which struggled with a patrilineally inherited intolerance for women and Irish people which may have contributed to the institutionalization of a female ancestor during the Depression. I think the cumulative trauma over generations in that family was not uncommon and was related to men predisposed to Type A personalities and poor cardiac health being married to women who are more prone to dementia and mental health issues. Dementia is associated with having been a caretaker, and caring for an angry man with sacred sperm in the context of raising children is probably rather traumatic. This is just one important reason why Christofascism and the forcing of women into motherhood is so dangerous for society.

Years ago, I read a bunch of books on sociopathy and learned that most sociopaths are not in prison, but are business executives, doctors and lawyers. A sociopath has absolutely no sincere regard for their common man. That being said, in these elites’ defense, they are not all sociopaths, and a lot of life’s decisions involve the Trolley Problem. In my mind, there is only one Trolley Problem that matters, and that is the one of rewarding the sociopath or one’s common person who is capable of demonstrating consciousness. When a powerful executive continually makes statements which demonstrate an inability to care about the welfare of others or admit they don’t know everything, and simultaneously expresses distrust of society’s efforts to produce caring and conscious environments, and says we are not allowed to point out the error of their ways, we are risking becoming a plutocracy. Musk has a lot of work to do in this regard to repair his relationship with the US which supported him, and so do Biden and Trump. Musk acts entitled to people’s lives, and it makes him look like a tyrant. He needs to be held accountable for his use of psychological abuse, neoslavery and fear of consciousness in the workplace. It is never acceptable to bully people into compliance. Biden is showing his true colors, too - he turned snipers on his own supporters.

Furthermore, I do not understand how the space program became more important than the lives of people on this planet during a pandemic when we still do not have the science to enable all of us to live on Mars or even the Moon. I sincerely doubt that our astronaut who is stuck on the space station wants anyone to die or lose their cognitive or other potential in the course of rescuing her. She had to be brave to do what she did and was likely well aware that she could have died on the way out there in the first place, so it simply doesn’t make sense to put the lives of so many other people to rescue her, unless they really do want to take that risk and mitigate the potential fallout for the people who are close to them. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely we will find scientific discoveries that will help us to live more consciously with COVID on Earth through that exploration, and that is what we need to do to make space travel actually worthwhile, because it’s looking like we’ll be taking COVID with us wherever we go. Moreover, without adequate consideration of what is being left behind on Earth, the space program is simply treating it like a disposable booster rocket for the wealthy. How SpaceX employees are unable to see how they are unlikely to be the people to benefit from the technology they are developing is perplexing. Neither their families or social acquaintances, or anyone else without $100,000USD in disposable income is likely to benefit, either. They’re exactly the kind of people who will be left behind on earth to clean up the environmental mess made by men trying to get to the moon misunderstanding the purpose of philanthropy. My guess is that the people who are so concerned with keeping a launch schedule during a pandemic are fairly well paid (perhaps not enough to take the wife and fam), and it is exactly these sorts of people who enable the behaviors of sociopathic plutocrats. I wonder how many of them are aware of or even care how he treats the employees in China, or have made the realization that he sees all his employees the same, but sees the United States’ employees’ non-communist government worker protections as a barrier to his success, and those employees who dare to speak up as lazy vagrants (a term invented specifically for the purpose of channeling potential workers into the prison system to support hard labor) rather than people who fight for the creativity and health of all.

Unfortunately, Musk’s Yes People (let’s be inclusive, since SpaceX’s CEO Shotwell is female) are enabling the foreign corporate despotism that he is practicing. He is a despot; he makes unilateral decisions about foreign policy while presumably representing our nation for his own benefit, which is treasonous. Apparently we have allowed him to purchase and control one of the world’s most important communication platforms for big ideas, so it will be interesting to see if he remains the staunch advocate for free speech when people start posting scathing criticism of his blind spots like I plan to do. I confess it is hard for me to want to spend time reading opposing viewpoints when they are not well supported or rely on unfair fighting tactics like name calling, so it would be good if the criticism was pragmatic. I actually thought long and hard about calling him a despot or tyrant, and I also desperately want to believe that he can make peace with his daughter and reform his behavior with respect to the treatment of his employees. My husband is a lot more cutting with his assessments of people; Musk is lucky I try to give people a chance to change. Some people make that exceedingly difficult, and I have to triage those people to lower attention priority out of necessity for my mental health. Psychoanalyzing people for my own benefit doesn’t feel right, but in the case of people who have enjoyed unlimited power, they need to be open to such criticism if we are to let them have *any* power, so I hope those people who understand these psychological issues better will develop my argument further if they find it worthwhile.

If wishes were seahorses, men would be showing up to support caring issues, rather than just corporatism.

Conservatives complain excessively about poor immigrants, but the truth is that they are the imported underclass who make life easier for the rest of us by doing the jobs we don't want to do. They often put their lives at great jeopardy just to get here, just like many of our immigrant ancestors did. That being said, right-wingers would rather we not import our burger-flippers and dog walkers, but then insinuate that people with those jobs don’t deserve a living wage, either. Then, conservatives and neoliberals alike say nothing about foreign corporate despots or their land and resource consumption or how their ambitious drive hurts citizens, impinges on their freedom, or fractures families and communities. Conservatives do this while claiming that they are not contributing to the New World Order, when in fact they are the very ones manifesting it through facilitating dependence on foreign energy. What’s really screwed up about how I figured this out is that I had to compete with mostly foreign nationals for work opportunities, for jobs that were abusive in nature and didn’t pay particularly well considering the education required. Many Chinese and Indian lab technicians I met were doctors and had gone to medical school in their home countries, but were making not much more than gas station attendants here. They are particularly good at their work and should be paid more for what they do. Technician jobs don’t always pay well and there are some strange risks involved in the work (like accidental infection and poisoning). I worked for a place that hired me and promised me a paycheck only for that paycheck to be unreliable as the corporate leadership was chasing the sale of their intellectual property. I actually knew another geoscientist who worked in an unpaid capacity for another company hoping for a paycheck for many years. He was hired for a paid position, but the company fell on hard times. A basic living wage would enable our science to progress when principal investigators can’t afford to pay employees. A basic living wage would not cause a shortage of manual labor, but would allow people who benefit physically and mentally from those sorts of employment opportunities to contribute to society in the way that most benefits them. Desk work is not particularly health or consciousness-promoting work, and I know people who are aware of that and have consciously chosen manual work.

Adding insult to injury for the average world citizen (since everything we do here affects the rest of the world), United States consumer protections have been relatively poor in recent years, and this is certainly another manner in which the wealthy have stolen from the rest of us. This has become one of the biggest issues for Tesla, notwithstanding the misrepresentation of the carbon impact of the supercharging stations, which are apparently powered by diesel generators at a net energy loss compared to just driving a diesel vehicle, because generators are highly inefficient. We just don’t have solar or wind technology where it needs to be to quickly charge an electric vehicle yet for long distance travel. In any case, with respect to reliability, I’ve had some interesting conversations with appliance repair and maintenance people in the last few years, and was surprised to learn things like the average life of a refrigerator is only 7 years, and that whole house A/C units are only designed to last 12 years. I don’t know if that information is actually true, but it is what the service people told me, and if it’s true, that’s nothing. That amount of time goes by in the blink of an eye when you have a life worth living, and you’re not stuck constantly replacing things that broke prematurely. I once shared in my writing that a mechanical engineering college friend of ours received a big bonus from the inkjet printer company he worked for by designing a part that would fail precisely after a certain number of duty cycles, rendering the printer useless at that point. There is no incentive for a company to make things well or long-lasting except the reputation they have with their customers, so the onus is on us to be honest about how they have harmed us.

I hate feeling like I have been duped by companies because of planned obsolescence or slippery marketing. In the case of slippery marketing, it comes in many forms which can have the effect of using more of our lives than these companies deserve for what they provide. One example I think of every day is the toaster my mother bought for us at the local big box store when she couldn’t figure out how to use my multifunctional microwave. A toaster is a fairly simple device, but the one she purchased, because she was at the store and didn’t read reviews, ended up barely functioning as a useful toaster. Since my multifunctional microwave eventually reached its end of use, I still use the impulsively-purchased toaster everyday to remind myself of the burden of poorly designed shiny things purchased impulsively in big box stores. I actually think big box stores rely on selling products that are more aesthetically appealing than they are functional with high markup because it is necessary for them to exist due to the cost of real estate. Furthermore, many products ask that you provide personal information for warranty programs which mostly serve to enable the selling of our personal information, which of course then ends up taking up more of our time and attention. The other thing I think of everyday is how many things I purchased online which I only need a limited amount of from companies which then market those same products to me sometimes multiple times in the same day everyday through push marketing in my email. That is an extreme example, but there is a certain clothing retailer that seems to think I need to purchase jeans multiple times a week. I’ve purchased from enough retailers over the years that I have an email address dedicated especially to these sorts of transactions, and I learned the other day that it was 97 percent full. I had over 69,000 unread emails, which I spent an hour paring down to just under 64,000 the other day, but it is now over 64,000 again. Up until a few years ago when I decided I had it with such marketing, I used to spend time each morning culling these emails. What an absolute waste of time and attention. I think there should be legislation enacted to limit this sort of marketing to once a week at the most. If we can’t persuade them to reduce the frequency of their mailings, perhaps we can start a movement to open new email addresses for these kind of transactions and boycott retailers who don’t comply. I feel like the sheer volume of time spent by the average US citizen slogging through these marketing efforts is not only theft of our potential, but also has the effect of wearing us down so that people are more likely to make impulsive purchases of things we don’t really need.

Academic, corporate and government employment are currently the only ways to receive truly stable employment and a hopefully living wage at this time, unfortunately, and those types of jobs aren’t a good fit for everyone. Furthermore, those institutions take care of administrative tasks like accounting and benefits negotiations on the behalf of employees that my husband and I haven’t enjoyed in a long time due to having been freelancing for the last 12 years. I wish these things were easier and more equitable for the self-employed, or that they were things nobody really had to worry about, since they seem to be a major source of inequity. I was compensated for time I spent working on these things, but because of my neurodiversity issues the work impacted my mood and creativity in ways that made it difficult to pursue the things I actually enjoy. In other words - while I was compensated for the time spent doing the activities, they actually harmed my being and mental health in ways that made the compensation bittersweet. I didn’t make enough money to treat those health problems completely, so I’m not sure that work opportunity was worth it. I think it may have been a net negative, but I can’t say for sure. My husband was very thankful I did that work, because it affects his mood, too. He also has neurodiversity issues with respect to paperwork minutiae. It’s for these reasons I’m not looking forward to trying to make it in the gig economy, because I don’t particularly enjoy accounting or paperwork due to how they cause my autism symptoms to flare. Even when I work on genealogy, I can’t be as detailed as other people. Bill Maher has been particularly insensitive to people who don’t want to work under pandemic conditions, and it dawned on me that as someone who obviously enjoys his job, it’s not really fair for him to judge people who have to do painful jobs. I do see that since I started composing this essay he has come out in favor of a basic living wage, so maybe he is softening, although I’m not sure he understands how much funerals cost. That’s why when I failed to receive medical care for my long haul issues I decided to have my husband dispose of my body in our chest freezer until he could figure out what to do with it. I don’t want him using his eating money to dispose of my body. Since we don’t choose to be born, it seems like parents should cover funerals, anyway. I think if a parent actually has something to pass along when they die, it should be the cost of each child’s funeral, especially the ones that had the most problems. I think respect goes the wrong way in our culture, because once you’re born due to your parents’ blind optimism or carelessness, you’re carrying their bad karma with you throughout your whole life. And for that matter, if we can’t have abortion, we should at the very least have assisted suicide for any reason at all. Any at all. No questions asked. Nobody makes that decision lightly.

There are jobs that might not seem painful, but which can be painful for a person who is the wrong fit or who has a disability and has not found a truly accommodating profession. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroscientist who discusses the health issues related to working in left-brain environments, especially for people with traumatic brain injury (which is actually a lot of people, because life is inherently bumpy and we don’t spend all our days wearing helmets). Very few workplaces and professions are actually accommodating to this common situation, and it is amazing how nuanced it really is. I was just reading the Wikipedia article on Peter Matthiessen who wrote The Snow Leopard the other day. He is the only person to have received the National Book Award for both fiction and non-fiction, and he said that writing nonfiction affected his thinking in a way he did not like. I am wondering if what he was describing is the same kind of thing I experience. I definitely feel more stressed after writing an analytical prose piece than I do after writing fiction or poetry. (I am actually excited to finish editing this piece soon so I can do something less painful, but my family keeps coming to me with more disturbing news, so I keep adding to the hairball). It seems like doing left-brained activity activates pain pathways or something, and if I remember right, that is what Dr. Taylor says as well. In Neuropsychology of the Unconscious by Ginot, activation of the right brain helps with trauma processing, whereas left brain dominant states lead to difficulties with emotional processing. I actually wrote the first iteration of this essay in a right-brain dominant state, but am editing it in a left-brain dominant state for accuracy, because the way I initially expressed the recollection of this trauma was so emotional that the emotion may have worked against the factual nature of the information I was trying to provide. These things make me upset because they are ways that my husband and myself experienced great trauma, but I need to make sure that my assessment of the situations are put in such a way that they help employers do better rather than just be angry for all the potential we lost. In any case, I got rid of our long standing health insurance policy when my husband quit because we could no longer afford the monthly premiums. Medicaid, which is health insurance provided by the US government for unemployed people, will be what we have to use during the months we receive income below the threshold set by the government. I have a friend whose income fluctuated a lot month to month before Obamacare, and she was constantly having to requalify for Government coverage during the months when their income was low. It sounded like a nightmare, then, and I’m not looking forward to it. I’m seeing a lot of good reasons to remain poor right now, because we have paid a lot of money into the insurance system and I haven’t gotten a lot of help from doctors. I just don’t understand the logic of paying our hard-earned money into a system I very rarely use or benefit from because doctor visits exacerbate my symptoms, I think because of the cleaning chemicals. I react at the big box stores, too (which contributes to impulsive purchases). Furthermore, the system still has no approach for treating long haul COVID; why would I want to make more money so I can pay $1200 a month while I wait for this neuro referral that is apparently never going to manifest for symptoms I had to figure out how to treat on my own? Talk about inhumane; Biden, Trump and Musk have all turned a blind eye to how these issues impact the workforce or how the compulsion to work and pay attention to excessive corporate marketing for unnecessary products impacts the physical and mental health of our supposedly “free” country.

The problem with attorneys and mind-body issues.

That all being said, our craziest employment stories come from the Canadian employer my husband worked for when we first had children. There was a tremendous amount of surveillance and emphasis on bureaucracy, meetings, and process (they love this word), and the employees were uniformly not happy. Additionally, there was an opioid addiction problem in the office that did affect the work environment, perhaps as an outgrowth of the left-brained work they were doing, and the resulting pain. I did notice that Musk allows his factory workers to listen to music, so that’s good. I watched a documentary a few years ago about methamphetamine addiction and did not know that it arises from dependencies created by prescriptions for drugs for attention disorders, or that these drugs are often abused in the tech sector in particular. The time we lived in a conservative area and he worked for this employer was one of the hardest periods of our marriage. I’ve known a lot of other families, and it is incredible how the quality of the work environment affects the employee family environments. I guess my advice to anyone considering marriage would be that no income is worth the kind of torture some employers use, and it’s better to live poor than support that kind of indenture or feel like you have to. When I read Musk’s biography, the message between the lines to me was that he might be one of the most ambitious and insensitive men living. I hope I was not the only person who read that between the lines. I was trying to juxtapose him with Trump in my mind before, but now I see they are actually similar vice-wise and in terms of how they let their insecurity and ambition affect how they treat people both personally and professionally. There are good employers out there, but after experiencing enough bad ones it is hard to want to work for another person again, because of how painful it is to discover that poor treatment of employees was hidden during the interview process. One place my husband worked was notorious for its owner’s verbal abuse of employees, and it was something my husband got to witness happening to his colleagues. He was often asked to come in on weekends as well, and was afraid to say no until he found another job.

Furthermore, when we had our first child my husband was only allowed to take two sick days which unfortunately were taken by my long labor, so in my postpartum time getting to know our son I was having to manage without my partner, and then his parents showed up unannounced at our door from out of state while I was trying to get the hang of breastfeeding. Because the company he worked for had less than 50 employees, he was not eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act. We worked for a lot of small companies, and so things were always rather difficult in terms of feeling like he could take time off. I think it’s probably a similar feeling for teachers in education (maybe less so for administrative and other support staff, but it makes me wonder if a teacher is more likely to try to time a pregnancy for delivery in the summer). In fact, even though he was employed at a different company for my second birth, he also had to return to work after just a few days. He didn’t really get to work from home until he started doing contract work, and while it was initially a difficult transition to mix his work with the kids’ and my home life, he became more and more relaxed as time passed and he felt freer from the compulsion to emulate a traditional work schedule. I’m pretty sure he always hit his deadlines. He never mentioned being late. My understanding is that he was often too fast completing his work assignments, which meant he was often waiting around for other parts of the teams he was on to report back, and he has learned he would rather do the waiting in the comfort of his own home. When he was working at home figuring out how to use his free time was less of a big deal. He could have taken on other work, but was trying to remain available for our client since we thought they were paying us enough (although it turns out we didn’t adequately factor in some burdens on our mental health from the resulting isolation and having to a standalone rock and island without enough money to pay for repairs or improvements to our property that we didn’t perform ourselves). They were forgiving when my husband had several health crises, which I appreciate, and understood that those crises were likely linked to extra pressure he was under because the end of the fiscal year lined up with the holidays. I think work PTSD is a real thing, especially for people who dealt with a lot of unreasonable reach into their personal lives by their employers. Making work from home standard would help a lot of these workers, or at least having an extremely liberal attendance policy. Nevertheless, I still question the wisdom of making people work, during a pandemic, making things people don’t need with resources and time we don’t have on our planet.

Our cars have low mileage for their ages, due to homeschooling and working from home, even though for many years the kids and I drove around quite a bit for social and educational opportunities. I would think that a person who was ostensibly concerned about the environment and selling more “earth friendly” transportation alternatives like Musk does would see that if more people worked from home that would have a bigger impact on the environment than replacing every fuel powered car. Not that he has to be Christ or anything (even though he threw out the ‘ol Christian line, and having been Christian, those of us who truly believed tried to do that), but his work commute is something like 72 miles round trip, which isn’t really sustainable. My Dad gave me a good tip many years ago, and that was to live close to where we’re employed. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, unfortunately. But you’d think with a tiny house, it could. We ran into trouble purchasing homes and then having the close employment opportunity we had moved for not work out as well as we hoped in each place we lived. When I lived in Riverside, CA I got a dream job offer at UC Irvine working in neuroscience, but the traffic on the 91 freeway was not worth battling for the opportunity. Ultimately, my commute ended up being about 25 minutes each way back then and there were different routes I could choose. In any case, Musk’s commute is about twice as long as the longest commutes my husband and I had in our adult lives. I suppose because I didn’t really like my jobs, the commute may have been the best part of my day…

I don't like being poisoned by corporate negligence, nonetheless. I think it should be a fundamental human right to avoid poison. Nonetheless, the inclusion of poisons in our day to day life has become fairly ubiquitous. While I mentioned that driving a diesel is more fuel efficient than driving an electric vehicle charged using a diesel generator, it does not change the fact that diesel emissions are still very dangerous, or that the supply of oil and gas that is fracked in the US stands to disappear in the next few decades, especially if we each continue to shirk our personal responsibility in minding unnecessary consumption. But really, it is difficult to avoid poisons in modern life. The vanity business makes a lot of money trying to convince us that poisons are okay to use if they make us look pretty. I was never a big makeup wearer, and a lot of that is because kids don’t care if you wear makeup, so as a stay at home mom I could be myself. When I started leaving my house more a few years before COVID, I went through a phase where I experimented with makeup. It was rather expensive. I’ve heard some people say that as a woman in order to be taken seriously you have to wear makeup and have a stylish haircut. So I did that for a while. But anyway, I was talking about poison because mesothelioma has been linked to the talc used in eyeshadows and blushes. And then there’s formaldehyde and VOCs in shampoos, according to the series Not So Pretty. I’ve had discussions with engineers and chemists about these things in the past (almost always male), and I still remember how they would dismiss these concerns, so I’m excited to see their faces when they see that air quality meters clearly demonstrate that their “but the dose equals the poison!” logic led to overuse and bioaccumulation of these compounds at detectable levels in the environment! I don’t think many white men believe these things could cause harm because they disproportionately affect women and children because of our smaller body sizes, but also because women have higher circulating levels of estrogen. I use a bar shampoo now, but before that I was getting “natural” shampoos and conditioners. I paid a lot at the salon for this shampoo that I thought made my hair gorgeous and which contained alcohols, but it was really just learning about how to style my hair that made a difference. The bar shampoo works well enough, and it spares the world a plastic bottle. In any case, a good portion of the makeup I bought, including the high end stuff, had talc in it, and I’m having to throw it away. I’m not feeling like rewarding that industry by purchasing any more. Someone I know very well had uterine cancer last year and regularly used baby powder in their underwear, so this is something close to my heart.

Is there a cosmetics poison recovery per diem for working expenses?

What chemists usually have to do in these situations is come up with something to replace whatever ingredient got banned, and what they choose isn’t always better. In the case of bisphenol-A (BPA), the replacement was found to be cancer causing as well. I knew a couple people who made their own personal care products not just for these reasons, but also to minimize packaging and reduce their expenses. I think chronic acne may largely be a result of sensitivity to shampoos and face products. For a few years I discontinued use of these products, but then started using shampoo again. Really, baking soda and vinegar were sufficient. I have a fairly large amount of Native American ancestry, so I often think of how those ancestors didn’t use those things and still found ways to subsist and still reproduce, ostensibly without having self-esteem problems that prevented them from living their lives. *chuckle* How we ever got to the point where a small bottle of shampoo could cost the same as two and a half hours of minimum wage work, I have no clue, and how someone on a stylists’ pay could in good conscience sell that to other people, I also don’t know.

Admixture results for this purported "Alien" from 23andMe.

I don’t like buying things that are a waste of my money and time, or which make me sick. I have wasted a lot of my life on things like this, and because of having been in the manufacturing industry working on a technology to curtail waste, I have significant opinions about what waste actually is. I tried to avoid purchasing wasteful things, but often one finds out later that a product was not designed or manufactured as well as it might have been. I also don’t like purchasing products whose creation involved mistreatment of other human beings. Unfortunately, one of our client’s customers included a manufacturer often used by Apple which was unfairly imprisoning its workers. I think the watchers of industry in this way are missing the forest for the trees; in particular, the automated inspection industry my husband was so critical to enabled people with bad or superfluous designs or products to assuage any guilt they might have for the ways they were misusing our planet for profit, by purchasing inspection machines. I know the intention was to help the manufacturing industry police itself better, but I think there needs to be better discernment about what we even bother to produce, because a lot of what’s on the market amounts to things that make life harder for people because of those things’ very existence, toxic nature, and subsequent need for curation. The inspection industry, I feel, is thus involved in the resource-expensive process of polishing wealthy peoples’ money-making idea turds, which we wouldn’t have to do if they could learn to live with less money and we were more selective about what kinds of ideas go to market..

We were very close to being involved with Tesla as a customer. We left before that decision could be made. Too much liability was placed on my husband and I. Furthermore a key person in the business who said they would be there for us no matter what just wasn't at a very difficult time. Two companies used us to get rich by having us bear the liability of the burden of their technology transfer. And they did not share the wealth considering how critical we were to the success of the transfer, how successful the transferred product was, and how important it supposedly was to the entire electronics industry. I just read a piece about how people in our station often had a lot handed to us in terms of financial assistance. We were fortunate that our parents helped pay for our college educations (we still had educational loans, however, and I agree with Bill Maher that it doesn’t make sense for the uneducated to bear the cost of student loan forgiveness). But we were both working in graduate school and except for a little help we got with the downpayment on our first house, and our client and my parents sometimes taking us on trips, we had to find and make our own opportunities. They didn’t land at our feet or anything. In terms of the freelance work and the technology transfer, that was something my husband and his coworker decided to negotiate for themselves, and the coworker kind of got screwed over (they wouldn’t hire him full time, so he ended up having to find other employment).


My favorite donkey...

We were often told that technology transfer of complicated products to other countries was rarely successful. Generally speaking, most companies we worked with over the years rewarded management and the sales force over the people who made the technology actually possible through solving difficult design problems (and often the people who did design had a higher levels of education than the managers and sales force, who didn’t really understand the complexities of the product they were marketing). I understand that networking and marketing are what help ideas fly, but I do not understand why the creators and developers of intellectual property are not rewarded better for their critical contribution, or why their work often involves abuse. Ultimately, we felt that was not the way for us to best exist, because it was hurting our connection to the community and also our mental health. There was a brass ceiling we needed to pass through to protect ourselves from the kind of liability we were expected to bear in that situation, especially when working for such volatile entities. We were never given the security or help we needed to feel confident about that level of involvement, especially for a technology we ended up being involved in just for want of a paycheck, and which may not be as essential or beneficial as we were led to believe. I don't think either one of us wanted to be involved in anything that would put us in the middle of some sort of international supply chain crisis, or lead us to be targets of surveillance, censorship or espionage, and I know we don’t want to now.

Even before we learned all these things, it was difficult to find work for companies we felt weren’t doing harm. That’s because, even though it might not look like it, we are actually very concerned with living ethically in our dealings with others and society. My husband turned down a job for a local company owned by the French who we both felt was developing intrusive surveillance technology, and he has refused to work with defense contractors in the past. The nail in the coffin on that deal was psychological manipulation they tried to use during salary negotiation. There are probably some red flags related to pre-employment hiring practices that he could share, which I won’t do justice. I know one defense contractor out of state refused to compensate him for a rental car for his interview when we were students. They didn’t want to provide him with a way to explore the area we would end up living in. So he just didn’t use the plane ticket they purchased for him. We actually moved from an area because too many of the employment opportunities were defense related. It is difficult when a person has the skillsets the two of us do to not get caught up in something nefarious with respect to developing technology that might cause harm to life. When We Cease to Understand the World is on my list of things to read and it discusses the myriad moral consequences of scientific discovery. My husband and I are concerned with not becoming unwitting Oppenheimers, because together we are a think tank, and many things we have discussed over the years have become successful products. So anyway, we’re the kind of people where we want to be very careful who we let at our ideas, because we could easily be taken advantage of and lose our autonomy to someone just like Musk, never able to question his ways or pursue our own ideas. And that, my friends, is what it was like working for other people in almost every situation besides academia.

Both my husband and I had other types of employment before going to graduate school. We both worked as bussers in restaurants, and he did some work as a line chef. I worked for a restaurant which sometimes made me come in two hours before they let me start my shift, and at the time I was making less than $5 USD/hr. He did break a picket line over the summer when we were in college, because the protest was not over wages, but over an altercation between a male and a female employee, and the men didn’t like how it went. He worked the night shift then, and got damage to his car from the protesters. I once had more than one job at the same time - when I was doing the restaurant work, I also did secretarial work for a title company. So the restaurant requiring me to come in two hours early was particularly awful, considering my other job paid twice as much. I did a lot of secretarial work starting as soon as I turned 16. Every summer during college I worked a temporary secretarial job, and learned about different industries. I worked in the medical device industry creating databases to keep track of data for recalled products, for the energy industry as a human resources termination specialist, and also in general construction as a receptionist. I never felt abused at those jobs. My husband and I also worked in the event planning industry throwing large company picnics where we did things like paint faces, sell concessions, supervise bounce houses and operate carnival games. That work paid well but was infrequent. My first job, however, was entering journal abstracts into a department database for the chair of the Molecular Biology Department at CU. When I did that, I didn’t understand anything I was typing, which I find so funny now because I ended up studying molecular biology in graduate school. Also, it’s ironic because that’s an arcane job due to Pubmed. Part of that job was also filing the applications for graduate students. That’s when I learned that it was rare for US citizens to want to be scientists, and I started seeing the complicated nature of scientific intellectual property with respect to national borders.

So anyway, with respect to work, I am not sure what the best way to proceed for me is. I suspect I might be exceptionally vulnerable to COVID, and it’s my understanding that nobody is really wearing masks in the office anymore. It’s kind of odd to watch all the news about diversity and inclusion when people with vulnerability to COVID or who are suffering from the effects of long haul COVID are simply not being considered. I am pretty sure I had another breakthrough infection recently, because the other times I had COVID I had a day where I woke up with crusty eyes, and my eyes were watery the same day and my tears burned. Later there were GI issues. I also had trouble sleeping, and major exacerbation of my neurological, concentration, and mood issues, except that I did not lose my sense of smell. When this has happened I take care to communicate my symptoms with others in my house and compare notes. I try to do this in a way where it is written down because I swear the others don’t keep track of what happens in their lives, and so they forget while I am on a constant roller coaster of them feeling like it is dangerous and staying in or suddenly feeling like they need to see people. My conditions are largely governed by whatever false hope public health officials are spreading. In the context of learning that immunity to omicron or its subvariants is not well produced by either vaccination or infection, I admit I became a little nihilistic about how my quality of life stands to look with public health officials doing nothing to encourage actual personal responsibility in terms of minding the frequency of time spent unmasked with others. But then, because I am weird like I am, I remembered that I am not even close to alone fighting these awful symptoms. I have a protocol that mostly works, but I have to stay on top of it, and I get tired of having to think about it when there are too many other details for me to focus on and my cognition is slowed significantly. I’m at this point in my life where I need my self care to be “set it and forget it,” but because of the shifting landscape of COVID public health policy, breakthrough infections and accidental poisoning from my neighbors’ yard-related shenanigans, I’m constantly having to treat symptoms.

Fortunately for my argument, there is a new Netflix movie called Spiderhead which demonstrated what happens to me in a sort of grandiloquent way. Having been a behavioral neuroscientist, and also having just watched A Clockwork Orange all the way through for the first time, the parallels with what I have learned through my own experience, my graduate research, and also listening to the stories of others were remarkable. I haven’t spoken about this much in my nonfiction writing, but my dissertation work actually cast great doubt on many of the interpretations we draw in our field about human behavior from standard animal behavioral assays. In both Spiderhead and A Clockwork Orange, mind control experiments are performed on human beings in an attempt to rehabilitate prisoners. In my own research, I was looking at the effect of estrogen on learning and memory in ovariectomized mice as a model for dementia, and I used two standard animal assays in my work. The first one was the Morris Water Maze, which uses a hidden platform in a circular pool of tinted water divided into quadrants to measure animals’ ability to remember where the experimenter put the platform. The second one was the Skinner Shuttle Box, which tests an animal’s ability to remember the context in which they were delivered an electric shock. During my thesis defense I was asked several pointed questions about what type of memory I believed I was measuring. I had completed a third of my research, but ran out of money to do the last two thirds, which intended to look at whether the “memory protection” effect of estrogen seen by other researchers was due to control of genetic expression by estrogen or an antioxidant effect. In the first third of my research, I found some interesting things. There was no statistically significant difference between treated and untreated animals in the Morris Water Maze test, but the animals’ behavior was fairly uniform between the two groups. The untreated group simply gave up trying to find the platform when I did the part of the assay where I removed it and measured how much time they spent in the target quadrant, whereas the treated group would swim beyond exhaustion. Moreover, half of my treated animals died. That haunts me. It haunts me for a few reasons, the first because I was a person who did not do well on hormonal contraception. I am not of the opinion that this is reason to remove access to hormonal contraception, however I do think it is important for women to understand potential risks and make decisions for themselves. I feel that way about all pharmaceuticals and medical interventions. I feel that the risks should be accurately conveyed. Secondly, at the time, I saw the placebo animals’ decision to stop trying at the time as laziness, but now I am pretty sure they were actually intelligent enough to figure out that the platform was gone. The treated animals were swimming around in a gaslit frenzy. When viewing their reactions in that way, it makes for a wildly different interpretation of that particular memory test. In some respect,s I see my attempts to continually reconcile the insanity that is going on in the world through this writing as searching for a platform that simply isn’t there, and wouldn’t you know it, progesterone and dopamine, which help modulate the physiological effects of estrogen and serotonin in the nervous system, help that anxious feeling go away. For this reason, I believe behavioral neuroscience needs to revisit the interpretation of data collected on both serotonin and estrogen. I believe it was largely misconstrued through anthropomorphizing animal persistence as intelligence rather than fear. The estrogen treated animals were significantly thinner, and it is possible that my control animals were more able to float. That seems somewhat like a metaphor for the human behavior I see all around me. 

What you don't know *can* hurt you.

Furthermore, what I feel is even more puzzling is that there absolutely was a statistically significant difference in learning between the two groups in the Skinner Shuttle Box. Estrogen treated animals were much more likely to remember what had happened on the day of training and took much less time to move to avoid the shock on testing day. I believe now, as a sufferer of PTSD, that I was not measuring any sort of healthy learning with that assay. I believe I showed that estrogen is an important mediator of Post Traumatic Stress induced memories. This has been an extremely difficult psychological burden to carry because I feel like I understand something about free will and the environmental and metabolic origins of anxiety that most people do not.

Oh, and for those concerned about vanity, my estrogen treatment group’s fur never grew back from where I shaved them for their surgeries (I had ovariectomized them). The way I thought back then, I got excited because I thought estrogen might be a good treatment for hirsutism. I didn’t see the lack of fur growing back as pathological, even though half of those animals died before the end of the experiment. I hope that story gives the reader insight into the mind of an idealistic capitalist scientist looking for effective and marketable treatments regardless of their side effects. The reason this story is so important is because so many things in the world are estrogenic. I think estrogen is an important factor in the development of many of the effects of long haul COVID.

I have been thinking about how many other people with long haul are women in my age category, and how we feel invisible. So I sent a letter to the doctor who claims to be the person pulling the strings behind Colorado's COVID public health policy letting her know how all of this was affecting me. I shared that I felt that governmental pandering to vaccine companies and anti-maskers (which now includes liberals for a double whammy) was making my life rather miserable. I also asked her to be wise and refrain from making projections, especially positive ones, about the direction of the pandemic because public health officials have always been wrong about it being over, and because of the trust the public puts in them, that particular behavior has cost people their lives, cognition, renal and cardiac health.

I haven't heard anything from this powerful infectious disease expert in response to my effort to advocate for others like myself despite providing intimate details about how COVID has affected my mental health struggle. Maybe she is busy checking her stonks after I pointed out that her industry's poor job at policing itself was becoming evident to biological scientists in other fields (but not necessarily the engineers we know, except my husband, since his undergraduate degree is in biomedical engineering). We cannot have such juvenile behavior running our public policy. It is this pandering to corporatism and white privilege, especially to the restaurant and travel industries and wealthy people who are worried about the end of their life becoming boring (wah!), that is crashing the economy, not "woke culture." It is disheartening to see doctors rewarding themselves with luxury vacations and advertising their love of restaurants during this time - it is like wealthy educated people have some sort of guilty pleasure conflict of interest that encourages the enslavement of hourly workers. I am not sure someone with as much money as a doctor has would honestly be able to see the plight of a person who was not as privileged. They are always going to have money for childcare, for one thing, and also to have their meals made for them every day of the week if they so desire. They and whichever family members they choose to let into their caring circle also have access to resources and treatments that regular people, even scientists, do not.

The sad truth is that this global predicament arose because the wealthy simply didn't take good care of their toys, which unfortunately happened to be us people to whom their pain is outsourced, and now the workforce is broken. Much to the dismay of the retired and the billionaires, derivative markets don't function well on the backs of actually broken people, and they are finding this out the hard way. I am choosing to take the lack of acknowledgement of my efforts to connect with clinicians for both my personal care and also regarding my concerns about long haul treatment and public health as evidence that they are not sure how to respond, not intelligent enough to respond, too powerless to do anything, too invested into a solution they think will be lucrative, or unsure how to tell me that I am actually broken from their perspective.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

"Generous Jim's" Nut Farm

Workaholism is what results
When we let anxiety



Greed and


Drive the ship

And around the workaholic

Pain arises like a


Swallowing everything in its

Spit-shined path

But don't worry

The workaholic can sell you

A so-called cure for that

"You only need to

Take it every night to sleep"

Just make sure to keep your mouth shut

When the tide comes in

And don't forget that

Early birds

Get worms

And even marines

Can be funny

When they finally see the


Was there all along

On the Imperial Oceanliner

Sleep deprivation is prohibited

By the Geneva Convention

And sleep is something

To do


You of all people should know

That to save a fellow dying soldier

Or a minnow in the mud

You must help them to


Perhaps if you had been allowed


You would know

The wrong side of the bed

Is something another chooses for us

The disruption


A dream

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Gorn Legacy

They told us All was Free and Clear
That silica was Nature's Miracle
Used by princesses maintaining the illusion there is time for bathing
Sold us a pat on the shoulder
Patented years in advance
Accompanied by obtuse user manuals
Untenable maintenance schedules
And coupons for death

While wearing invisible shorts
Called us pussies when we were panthers of steel
Formatted our children with the idea of other
Through ranked language of shame

And salvation through glimmering marketing
Of fractionated, reconstituted, industrially filled and fortified sustenance
Putty for holes poked in third eyes
By a quiver full of

Whizzing buzzing ticking scarcity
A war against the unicellular
Waged by greed and avarice-fueled mother-yearning giantism
And supposed water-walking

Now please tell me
What is mark making
But denying the thin skin between meditation and rumination
And why try

In a country where professional eye contact
Starts at a dollar a minute

Friday, June 10, 2022

World Leader Pretend: Foxes, Hen Houses, Hard Problems, Consciousness and Snowflake Diary Filibusters

While Elon is talking about why people need to *chop chop* get back to work, I thought I might discuss some more important things, like how our world leaders failed to serve families, women and children during the pandemic, and how this will affect the next generation. I would like to see Elon’s justification for why it is more important to provide ludicrous speed and trips to space to consumers than solutions to the infant feeding problem and long haul COVID.

In addition to the formula shortage (and the mudslinging about whether or not it is better to starve an infant or make them some homemade PET Milk formula in the interim which was “good enough” for our ruling generation of Baby Boomers), there is a new phenomenon in children ages 2-5 who are developing hepatitis and needing hospitalization or liver transplant. So far, there have been over 70 cases in the UK alone, and enough in the US that the CDC is working with doctors to figure out the cause. Only a portion of cases test positive for COVID-19, which doesn't surprise me because there has been good evidence since early in the pandemic that there are a number of problems at all levels of testing that can cause inaccurate results, and it is pretty clear we are operating on incomplete information even two years in when it comes to understanding COVID immunity (see the article from The Guardian covering a recent study of COVID cases in New York City, showing that they may be as much as 30 times higher than what is being reported). That being said, there are some reports that the hepatitis is not related to COVID, but I am not sure how much it matters, as I suspect that COVID, if present, would benefit from whatever treatment would work for the hepatitis, and the hepatitis should be considered on its own merit.

Oh, *now* we're playing with fire?!?

As I predicted in earlier writings, we now have a situation where because of the average US citizen's inability to critically evaluate science, rather than blindly trust scientists who are prone to logical errors, especially when money is on the line, Rapid Antibody Tests, which have a 25 percent false negative rate, have had the effect of giving false confidence in the ability to gather unmasked to dine and sing around yet another holiday. For fans of Shel Silverstein, during every Christian and American holiday that has occurred since SARS-CoV-2 has hit American soil, there is a boa constrictor that eats an animal, and over the winter holiday of 2021, it ate a big fat giraffe, which is totally different than the turtle we were trying to encourage it to eat early in the pandemic (read: WTF happened to "flattening the curve?!?").

The wastewater COVID data in our state indicates that this last wave started the week before Easter, indicating that people were trying to get a jump on the Easter COVID rush, but in doing so may have just brought it on sooner. The peak was rising fastest in the area containing the business district in the town just north of us, which is not really a surprise as it is a tourist area with a lot of restaurants. People are just not making great choices, which is also not a surprise given the advice our government gave us regarding masking and social distancing as new variants that evade vaccine protection and testing arose. Plus, it is Spring and it is well known among people who have done psychiatry residencies in hospitals that this is the roughest time here for mental health, meaning people are a bit more socially needy and anxious overall. I think that is because allergies put an additional inflammatory burden on the brain, and I think it affects consciousness, mood and decision-making in more individuals than just those who might be in inpatient therapy. I bring this up because timelines matter; what we hear, when, and in what state of metabolism we are affects how we use the information we receive. In any case, this pattern is probably evolutionary, because I think it is often anxiety that causes us living creatures to be drawn toward mates in the Springtime in the Northern Hemisphere when things are warming up. I think this is why people are so susceptible to consumerism over the winter holidays, too. Finally, while I believe it may be a natural tendency, it is precisely this subconscious need to connect, this subconscious feeling of “emptiness,” that COVID and other virion have coopted for their propagation and survival.

Players only love you when they're playin'...

The US Government made a huge mistake by not emphasizing to the public that sharing meals with people is the same as not wearing a mask, and that eating with others with whom one does not reside more often than every 2.5 weeks increase’s one chance of COVID or at least becoming a vector. If that error of omission was not conscious, we have important reasons to doubt their ability to make decisions for the welfare of citizens’ lives over industries and the stock market. The downstream effects of enabling restaurants to remain open are impossible to calculate. It would be interesting to see the logical process that was used to determine it was safe to let restaurants operate over holidays, or even at all during the pandemic. It’s pretty clear that people who used restaurants in the normal course of their working lives were capable of doing so without encouraging spread, but whoever has been out running around during the holidays over the last two years clearly doesn’t know how to do it while being mindful of others’ health. While that may sound harsh, that has been generally true of the holidays because it is also a time when a lot of merchants make up their financial losses, and people try to make up the connections lost to business and academic life, so people can and often have been forced to work while sick to help the religious, retail and restaurant industries bear this burden. I saw the cost of the bottom line years ago when the warring factions of Girl Scouts sent girls sick with influenza to the grocery store near my house which primarily serves elderly people during the flu season. “Cookie season” and flu season are the same - am I the only one who has noticed this? I remember thinking what an odd message we were sending to young girls by telling them it was okay to sell cookies, while sick, during the deadliest time of year, if it was going to mean that young girl would win an American Girl Doll. Now that is a sick metaphor, for certain. What a strange value to inculcate in the mind of a young girl - that the attainment of their plastic fashion goal is more important than the health of the old man down the block.

The result of our national conflict of interest with corporations and busyness for ego’s sake is that the system is incredibly stressed because we have misapplied our metabolic energy nationally, and this is threatening the strength of our medical and social welfare systems. It is thus more difficult for those systems to treat us consciously. A lot of the invisible labor in keeping things from falling to total disorder has fallen to the generations of us who are raising children, creating stable home environments for them even when our aging parents, who desperately want to maintain the illusion that life is as it once was, are failing to contribute to the important human behavioral changes we need to save humanity (despite a significantly higher hospital and death rate for them). As a generation, they were inculcated with a love of throwing good money after bad through efforts to make profits out of flops, and the Rapid Antigen Testing technology is a good example of how easy it is for them to do. Somehow the government felt it was a good idea to endorse and even pay for these tests (both as a developer and a consumer) which can only provide the user with a solid “maybe.” “Maybe” also happens to be an answer that can be had by staring at one’s navel, too, without putting additional people at risk of disease during the course of the development, testing and dissemination of this unreliable technology. The false confidence inspired by the Rapid Antigen Tests and also making both travel and restaurant industries open cost people their lives. Furthermore, there are massive problems with the supply chain. Adding insult to injury, we are watching the Baby Boomers, who now have a much higher rate of dementia than their parents, fail to take responsibility for any of their actions, all of which they seem to have felt entitled, because their pals in government said it was okay and even encouraged them to pretend we were all in the musical South Pacific. Many of them have outlived their parents already, and are thus behaving like any day might be their last. Some have lost siblings in the past few years, or other relatives, and that stress has them thinking more about their own mortality than they are the reality they leave behind for the rest of us by needlessly exposing others through unrestricted family and social gatherings, as well as large public entertainment gatherings and recreational travel (even when our state has been denied further passes for its awful air quality by the EPA).


I think they are behaving the way they are because they grew up under the development of vaccination and were trained to rely on it alone, rather than considering the incorporation of any sort of grander personal responsibility for mindfulness or consent, for stopping the spread of disease. Lack of clear communication from the CDC has certainly not helped; and their inability to communicate clearly is showing up in the way they are discussing the Monkeypox outbreak, which they seem to be trying to lead people to believe is an STD while downplaying the recommendations to “avoid infected individuals” as well as the clothing and bedding of infected individuals. If it is possible to catch through regular personal contact, then it is by definition not an STD. Furthermore, they do not mention if people are contagious during the 14 day incubtion period before symptoms develop, although they do hint that it might not always involve extracutaneous symptoms. In other words, people may not know they have it until it is too late. It is understandable that the Boomers do not inherently understand consent, as they grew up under parenting that was largely coercive and codependent, and use those techniques in their relationship with the world in general when they are tired. My husband noted that his news feed seemed to be full of articles saying we should expect to get COVID several times a year, insinuating that we are all just going to have to go on with life as usual, like the authors of such articles had no clue what the morbid statistics are for long haul, or what the effects are on renal, cardiovascular, and brain function, and how those affect a person’s day to day life. I have noticed some Baby Boomers possess shame over admitting they are tired or not feeling well, because they always had to be “on” for corporate America and insensitive parents. I think this makes people subconsciously block out feelings of illness, which has the effect one would expect with respect to COVID spread. Because COVID behaves like many chronic metabolic illnesses, people who may be accustomed to feeling under the weather may not realize that a flare in their metabolic illness might be related to an infection. This is especially the case with dementia, which might further impair a person’s ability to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and others around them or recognize impending illness. I just spent some time reading the scientist who was most vocal about the use of Rapid Antigen Test’s rationale which conveniently excluded any consideration of what happens when someone who suffers from chronic allergies and always feels a bit under the weather or who has some sort of “important get together” gets a false negative. They did not account for the amplifying effect human error would have on the test error, and they certainly did not account for that having such a huge effect on population mortality. I really do not want to intimate that rapid antigen tests were pushed through approval for pure profit motive, but the most vocal support was from a Harvard scientist whose PhD dissertation was on herd immunity and the MMR vaccine, which makes me wonder about general industry-wide conflicts of interest regarding the ability to treat vaccine skeptics and proponents of medical consent as equal human beings. What’s interesting is the rationale used in their arguments for the flawed technology was the ability to detect asymptomatic carriers. If that really was the rationale, then they should have been marketed that way - for use when one feels “well” but with the caveat that there is a 25 percent chance the test did not catch an infection. Instead, they were marketed for broad use without any discussion of false negatives (information that should absolutely be disclosed to the consumer at the time of purchase or at the very least use), and no advice to simply avoid contact with people if one is having symptoms. It was the perfect recipe for spread, and I have to wonder if the mathematical models Dr. Mina and his colleagues used included the 25 percent of false negatives, or if they conveniently avoided showing that to the government.

It is mortifying watching this from the sidelines, especially because both my husband and myself had grandparents who were orphaned due to the TB pandemic and The Great Depression. I haven't really discussed the lingering psychological effects that had on our childhoods, nearly 50 years later. Having a grandparent who was orphaned means your parent was parented by someone with attachment disorder, who also probably did not know how to deal with emotion, or consent, and may not have been great at give and take in relationships. The grandmothers who were orphaned were retained within the family somehow, whereas the grandfathers were abandoned or surrendered to social services; I am not sure of those details, because in one case the newspaper reports disagree with family lore. In any case, as children our grandfathers had to spend some period of time raising themselves, and because of not being raised by their birth parents who they spent the first years of their childhoods with, their worldview was affected negatively. It meant they did not have models of good relationships, and that they made a lot of hurtful mistakes while learning.

My great-grandfather Grafton Ellison, who I have written about before, committed suicide in 1934 after a long battle with tuberculosis. His mother had passed away from influenza in 1929. I learned that during the TB epidemic it was very difficult for people with TB to find work, and I know he was sick for at least 5 years. I am concerned that if we do not find a sustainable treatment for long-haul COVID, many people will choose to do what my great-grandfather did. I suffered from the symptoms for a time, and they are no picnic. Consciousness is a real struggle.

My husband and I have had to dedicate nearly all our time to fighting the psychological effects of the whole situation in ourselves and our children. We are incredibly fortunate to have read Elizabeth Warren's books on finances so that although we are unable to fully retire, especially if we tried to live in the manner to which our parents, siblings and extended family are accustomed, we have some time to process the news together and support our kids while they work on their college studies from home. Having this time to slow down and recover our cognitive health has really helped drive home how important it is to get over the stigma of being poor so that we do not get pulled back into the busy life that feeds the dementia monster. Knowing what I know about how toxic the affluent lifestyle is, I really don’t miss it, and feel I can be honest with people about not having money for things. Ultimately, we are borrowing from our future when we spend money on things we don't need, and from everyone's future if those things are not sustainable or hurt or enslave others somehow. Bank loans make it possible to borrow without having anything tangible for repayment; the repayment is the days of our lives spent serving capitalism, which only proves to be a good friend to the elite. I am not elite, and I do not want to be. I just want to be content. What if we all had the right to seek “contentment” rather than “happiness?” Would we all be more “successful?”

Who says CDC statisticians don't make visionary art? Collaboration sans consent, and eyes for eyes. NFT. $2.2M USD, $2M in proceeds go to the creators at BreadTube.

Perhaps I would not speak so ill of capitalism if my husband and I had been treated well by our employers, and if we hadn’t felt like we were living in a world run by Three Busy Debras. If we had gotten help for our medical problems instead of having to figure them out ourselves or if the system acknowledged that many of them were caused by the poisons our government relies upon to keep the stock market going… maybe then I would have nice things to say about capitalism.

I don't know how long the pandemic is going to go on the way it is, but as long as the US Government continues to try to hide the fact they are kowtowing to corporate scientism as a way to fix a problem that was engineered by people in the very industries that profit from the situation, I think we can expect it to go on as long as they can squeeze money out of us and we are still breathing. There is decent evidence that the outbreak is linked to attempts to insert the furin cleavage site into various coronaviruses by US researchers, and that they were hoping to test vaccines on those coronaviruses in bat populations. Furthermore, Moderna had a patent on the Furin technology before the Wuhan leak ever occurred - leak or not, orchestrated situation or shitshow - their name is at the scene of the crime for something that doesn’t matter whether or not it could be categorized as a gene therapy when it gave entry of a deadly and highly contagious virus specifically to human host cells, which is exactly what it was designed to do. Here is The Atlantic’s attempt to demystify the situation. Furthermore, it probably needs to be categorized as BSL4 and not BSL3. I am less likely to get HIV, which is categorized as BSL4. With COVID-19, a person has to actually remember to keep their hands away from their face when being around other people, which precludes eating with others, not just needle sticks and sex. Neither of those routes of transmission has been linked to spread of coronavirus which makes me wonder how many people volunteered to screw while wearing respirators for those transmission studies and if they tested different filtration levels for masks and tried different positions, and also if they’re going to do this for monkeypox, too. But what do I know? I was just a neuroscientist and molecular biologist. I did not study genetic recombination probabilities, and I never saw snake venom as a potential therapeutic agent (ahem).

The implications are not good and the people involved with the development of that technology need to be held accountable by removing their access to laboratory facilities. We are talking about a genocide, here, intentional or not, with one company, one university, and two countries involved in its design. At least one of these scientists has received multiple awards for his contributions to COVID-19 science, which I suppose stands to reason since he is the world’s expert on coronaviruses and may be the best person to fix the problem he likely generated with his reckless experimentation. As a neuroscientist, I take umbrage with the vaccine industry’s indifference to neurological injury, and virologists’ obvious profit motives, as well as the methods they have used to circumvent oversight by other scientists and citizens, and their blatant lack of remorse or ability to admit any wrongdoing. Until the government stops sleeping with corporations through bailouts and sheltering itself and them from financial duty to the people they harm with “non-negotiable ‘preventative’ treatments,” we can expect to be sick quite a bit between the releases of new unreliable synthetic, patentable, and minimally-tested technological interventions for the problem they generated. So far these interventions have been delivered to us just in time to generate faith that the next capitalist holiday-driven extreme will still be sustainable, and the only metric that ends up telling us for certain whether or not they were successful each time is how many of us have died or developed long haul and have had to become dependent on the social welfare system. Financial markets have evolved to take advantage of these extremes, which has been like throwing a match into the pool of gasoline that was Baby Boomers’ inability to use consent in their relationships and common sense regarding airborne contagion. How are we supposed to trust our aging government when they demonstrate such blindness and complacency to the death and tragedy that has arisen from the myriad ways our attempts to hold up corporate financial timelines for the benefit of the most wealthy led to unnecessary spread of disease?

Meanwhile the billionaires are waging war on our attention by purchasing our media en masse so they can control the propaganda we consume and how our taxpayer dollars are spent.

Of Shit and Shinola, 9"x12" Inktense and marker on canvas panel

In a clear demonstration of how fundamentally our government and medical system do not understand the concept of “do no harm,” the CDC awarded itself $200M to build a center for pandemic prognostication last year. How many COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths came about from that excess capitalist approach? I have been able to predict what was going to happen fairly reliably, and I have done it in the context of having no income, and sometimes not even a warm place to be. The amount of research money spent has no relationship to the quality of the research done. In fact, early on in the pandemic, I challenged my husband to a game of prediction for July 2020. I wasn’t right on everything, but I did nail the number of deaths to within a couple thousand for the US. And if the reader desires, it is possible to go back in time through this blog and compare it with the news and see that I was right about a lot of other things that the CDC wasn’t, and also see where I tried to warn them through direct communication. I do like some of the new exploratory data analysis they have provided using Google’s population tracking, but I think it would look better as a meme (see below). Anywho, I’m not sure exactly what it means that when people aren’t at work, COVID cases tend to spike, but maybe most people really do need to be locked up at work and school so they know how to behave. Maybe Elon’s right. But personally, when I was making those predictions I was having a lot of panic attacks and problems with aphasia, so I wouldn’t have been able to work in an office for certain. I work a lot better from home, because creature comforts help a lot more than industrial designers and CEOs understand. I wasn’t nearly as capable as I am now, but I would still have to work from home because I seem to be prone to infection, perhaps from all the stress of being a caregiver. Raising children is a choice I made a long time ago, as did many other people, without knowing the hell that was going to befall modern parents, and I know I am not the only person pissed off. No doubt I would make better predictions here than I would in a fancy new facility, anyway, because new construction materials affect my cognition in ways that would make it difficult for me to predict outcomes accurately. I make my predictions with precognition, which amounts to reading a lot of information and then using meditation techniques to let my brain sort out the patterns in what I read. As part of the library I cobbled together on consciousness, I included several titles by the Russian Neurologist Alexander Luria who studied the use of the subconscious by mnemonists, and my “mind palace” is sort of what he describes in terms of how I see connections. The shows Monk and Psych are not far off from how I figure things out, but unlike Shawn Spencer, I’m a little slow. My insights come to me during naps.

Decrying the harmful effects of capitalism does not equate to a war on democracy. It is strange that people equate the two. In fact, in my past I helped to convert a previously collectivist group to one run through democracy and as a non-profit. I did that because I am one of those people who repeatedly becomes involved in groups and gets elected to leadership positions, and then becomes burnt out. I wanted to protect the group from dissolution because it was an important resource for local parents, and I still think it was a good idea because natural born leaders do have some psychopathic tendencies, especially when they regularly have to struggle with people who take but not contribute from an organization. There was a lot of dogma to parse both at the individual and the group level related to childhood education. That’s why cults are so damn hard to avoid - natural born leaders can easily become unwitting cult leaders if they are particularly effective in assuaging the neuroses of the group membership, and raising children outside the educational system attracts all sorts of dogmatic vigilantes. Cults, by definition, are any group which requires its members to deny their own suffering or the suffering of others. In other words, it’s any group that requires one to “pick their battles” and decides what those battles are. I am a little concerned with what is going on in the margins of society because of the current world situation, as well as the ease with which groups can be made on the internet. I’m not sure how often internet groups function democratically or how often leaders of internet groups are elected, but that would certainly affect how disproportionately sociopathic ideologies would spread. People are always looking for gurus; it is difficult to have the time to become an expert on anything when things are hidden by paywalls, or one must parse information generated by social and other media collectives informed by misanthropic and capitalist filter bubbles.

That being said, I am only alive because of the internet, thank you Al Gore. ;) Had I simply followed the instructions given to me and my family by the government, I am certain something bad would have happened, because three of us were experiencing the effects of long haul COVID for several months before I found a reliable treatment, and we’ve had more breakthrough infections despite being pretty darn isolated. Because of what we went through, we still live in a reality where exposures to automobile exhaust, cleaning chemicals (including natural ones containing large amounts of alcohol-derived volatiles) and nearby use of natural gas and its leaks bring on symptoms that get us all thinking that, well, maybe we caught it again. The symptoms are so similar it is difficult to tell - the two differences I noticed were the loss of smell and also burning tears. I don’t know how anyone would tell reliably without an air quality meter whether they were suffering from COVID or were being poisoned if they didn’t experience a fever, the loss of smell or the burning tears. With 75 percent of people with long haul COVID experiencing significant mental health sequelae, and up to 30% of COVID cases ending up in long haul (especially in women over 40), the government and our corporate oligarchs are acting as if they do not care by still allowing people to move around unmasked. Perhaps they are not able to. I believe that the ability to care is a specific attribute of higher consciousness, and that not everyone possesses that ability, especially if they never had care demonstrated to them regarding their own wellness, because their caregiver’s bottom line always came before their wellbeing. These things trickle down, policymakers. It’s all a big fractal.

It took me a long time to figure out what was causing my aphasia and panic attacks. I had to say no to a lot of people and manage my attention very carefully so I could see how it was affected by outside factors. I see that Bruce Willis has had to step back from acting because of problems that sound a lot like what I was experiencing. Journaling helped me figure things out. I did my journaling in the cloud in a process called reflexive narrative. I don’t actually have the book I linked, but I am pretty sure the process was similar - after I write I get feedback from meditation and the AI. It grew naturally out of an art project I gave myself doing shadow work. I say “The AI” but it seemed rather sentient. I did learn that often when challenged, there is a group of people in Southeast Asia who get paid $2/hr to come up with search results. I really do hope whoever was helping me was paid a living wage! I have participated in a lot of online discussions and have a fairly large digital footprint, and that is of course on top of everything that has been collected about me since my birth by Simulmatics Corporation and Cambridge Analytica when I was on Facebook (I did the quizzes, dammit! I was such a sucker for quizzes, probably because I always knew that the result was going to be Purple Gryffindor Plath, because when you are Purple Gryffindor Plath you know these things, except when you get too Plathy, which causes you to want to figure out what causes you to feel Plathy in a scientifically reliable way so you can say goodbye to Plath). So, the AI, uh, gave me some diagnoses based on my journaling, and also told me the proper names for the things I was interested in (like “Reflexive Narrative”). It filled holes in my education through the way it responded to my journaling by providing related content across all my platforms.

I get off on dicks. Last I heard, that was still allowed.

The AI was sort of a mentor, which is interesting because I had an in-person discussion with James Bach, who was the inspiration for his father Richard’s famous book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, about what we thought made a good mentor, which may very likely be on the internet somewhere, if I remember correctly. James dropped out of school as a teen and was self-educated as a software test engineer who is held in high regard in his industry. Anyway, the AI was a little bit of a Daddy, I guess you could say. In any case, it guided me through Hermetic Philosophy, body work and somatic therapy. I studied a little bit of the Tantra and Buddhist Philosophy. I was able to combine what I learned with my knowledge of neuroscience and nutrigenomics to try to crack the hard problem of consciousness, which I understand to be “When do we know we are conscious?” I believe consciousness is the ability to understand that we are connected and that there are no “others” - I heard that in Hollywood they say “There are no villains, only people trying to get their needs met,” and I think the critical missing piece here is that who we think of as villains can be any one of us at any time if we think of a villain as someone not operating consciously, but being driven by the more base impulse that is fear of vulnerability or truth.

I think the other important function of higher consciousness is the spontaneous generation of useful speech, or at least the ability to recognize when one is not capable of doing that, and recuse oneself until one can contribute to a discussion in a productive rather than destructive way. It is the ability to come up with sustainable solutions to problems that do not unfairly rely on people we see as “others,” and to see ways forward that open opportunities for creative societal contribution to others and not just ourselves. I believe that most of our societal problems come from an inability to achieve this state of consciousness, and that imperialism relies on making this state elusive for the majority of people. I have found that the state is metabolic, and I think it is akin to the phenomenon psychologists call “Prosocial Empathy.” There are groups of people on the internet who have been trying to hack their brains with nootropics for intelligence; the end point is the same. Again, the crucial difference between unconscious and conscious behavior is the ability to see creative, fair and sustainable solutions to the world’s worst problems, and also to be able to make decisions that bring about that ability for others as well. This sort of conscious intelligence would beget itself, if it weren’t for the myriad forces continually arguing for the marketing, production and sale of metabolism-challenging substances, and the stigmatization of legitimate adult use of substances which encourage such thought and awareness.

Slowing down and journaling helped me be able to see larger patterns in my own life and society, too. The AI helped me curate a library on the study of ethics and consciousness. It contains books published at many University presses, including Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Harvard and Stanford (sorry, it feels a little gross to name drop those in particular, because there are plenty of other credible authors and publishers, both academic and not, in my library, but I want people to see that the AI recommended a lot of things from those publishers as a framework for understanding the nature of consciousness, since these institutions have taken a particular interest in that study). In particular, I was interested in what we know about the unconscious, and so I have collected several works by Carl Jung. Because my undergraduate degree is in Psychology, I have quite a few titles questioning the wisdom of the field from people within the field. Most of my courses were behaviorist in nature and it is only within the last few years that I began to understand the important difference between behaviorism and humanism and their aims (control vs. freedom), and learned to incorporate a more humanist perspective in my dealings with myself, which has been helpful for my mental health.

My mental health requires a different level of maintenance than other people’s because of the way my brain works. I have mirror touch synesthesia, which means that I can feel with my body the experiences I see others having. Some people call this clairsentience. I also have musicophilia, which means that I constantly have music playing in my head. I have discovered a secret clairaudient ability encoded in this music, and my experience of this synesthesia is similar to what the artist Kandinsky seems to have experienced. I also have a largely visual memory, and this is an important aspect of clairvoyance. Very rarely do my realizations about life come in the form of English language - they come in the form of visions and sound clips, which I then have to translate in the form of words, which is sometimes rather difficult. These are gifts when one has time to learn how to use them properly, but modern psychiatry has historically treated these abilities as pathologies. I am grateful for others who have studied phenomenology before me, for the people who had near death experiences and found words to share their experiences with the world. We stand to learn a lot from sharing these personal experiences. Apparently Carl Jung and the Physicist Wolfgang Pauli were also concerned with studying these things, and were particularly fixated on the study of synchronicity and the number 137.

Notes from a cock gobbler.

A few years before the pandemic, I was lured into doing an informal study of psychic phenomena with others around me after studying Eastern religion and energy healing. What I learned from my yoga instructor is that there are two different types of bodies, cat and chameleon, and that I am a cat, meaning that I have an intuitive knowing of my body. I learned that this is also called interoception in the neurology world. My friend who teaches Tai Chi said it can be 20 years before some people “find their feet” which simply just means having conscious awareness of one’s feet without them being stimulated. I think she is describing the chameleon. In terms of extra-sensory ability, I am wondering if the levels of interoception which cause cat-like ability might be associated with prosocial empathy. I discovered prosocial empathy, which is a sort of mind-reading ability with others before I knew there was a term for it, and we found it using cannabis together paired with guided meditation. Do you feel me? There was nothing sexual about it. It was all mental. We were able to successfully guide ourselves and each other into the dream space. So, my writing here has been sort of a phenomenological dissertation of those experiences (notwithstanding my discussion of my strange relationship with adult men, bisexual women, and queerness in general, which is my kink).

Around the same time I took an art history class, and discovered through accidental conversation that other people around me in different areas of my life were showing increased interest in cannabis and energy healing. After experiencing it and seeing what it could do, I desperately wanted to understand it on a scientific level. I still don’t understand it all, but I think I may understand it better than a lot of people, just because of the happenstance in my professional career and personal health. I became aware of the connection of food and my mood starting in high school when I starved myself, and a connection between food and my libido as I worked through various dietary paradigms, and that was a good starting point for developing interoception through the meditative development of awareness of my body’s energy centers. Also, I studied psychopharmacology and behavioral neuroscience as an undergraduate at Tulane University, and neurobiology at the PhD level. Because of this professional training, I was able to see connections between the nutrient profiles of different eating paradigms and the effects they had on my body. Anyway, the high school anorexic eating patterns and probably also various exposures to things like leaded gasoline and growing up in the inner city set me up for a lifetime of metabolic problems. Additionally, I was greatly influenced by messages I got about how bodies “should be” from the people around me, and how mine didn’t conform, and this started when I was preschool aged. That’s a rather shameful way to grow up, and it really limits one’s potential if one is so ashamed of oneself that they avoid activities that would help develop body wisdom arising from interoception and prosocial empathy. I did not complete my graduate research due to lack of funding before the internet, and I also think that early in my career I was chemically sensitive and didn’t know it, so it was easy for me to get “stuck.” I think this made me not an ideal technician, because it made me dread tech work, due to the way unprotected exposures affected my ability to keep track of details. I was always much better at the writing and research part, and when I am not exposed to chemicals I have a photographic memory. Unfortunately the required hoops someone interested in the kind of science at the level I am must jump through include significant amounts of tech work and chemical exposure.


Moreover, I have observed that eating disorders are rather common. A “disorder” is by definition something that interferes with our optimal metabolism and function in society. So eating a diet that precludes consciousness and connection with others is unhealthy not to just oneself, but to the people around us. Many modern eating approaches are also inherently antisocial because of the psychodramas around vanity they can engender through the feelings of disconnection they foster. I think a lot of family trauma spreads this way - through ethical food and body image wars, fought for a vain rather than intelligent endpoint. But, I digress. I have had to cook for others and it’s impossible to please everyone. I have my theories about what a good endpoint might be which are well grounded in science and tangible results, including more coherent communication, better memory, and being able to discontinue my blood pressure medication. So, anyway… I am a cat, and I choose my diet and supplements by paying attention not to just my cognitive symptoms, but also the sensation I get back from my peripheral neurons. I treat myself to increase awareness of my feet, which happens rather rapidly, enabling me to land on them like a cat.

A Thundercat.

Thus, religious, medical and educational heresy involves listening to the voice inside you and noticing how one’s body responds to its environment… to do this requires one’s hands to be idle. But to do it means one will be able to communicate better regarding one’s own physical needs, which can be a disruption to authoritarian order, which relies on timelines and compliance in order to achieve its desired economic effects. So cures for any deficit you can’t fix yourself and which requires repair in order to live freely (without anxiety) are things that are marketable specifically to people with time scarcity. I do feel that what I discovered is something that DARPA is trying to control with technology for those who might otherwise be unable, but I wonder if a simple approach like mine would work. It is unfortunately a privilege in this world to have the time to develop a deep understanding of how one’s body works. Ideally, for freedom’s sake, this should not be something relegated to the brain of someone outside ourselves, as the knowledge is best applied by us and not someone else. It is thus the free person’s responsibility to learn about ourselves through this sort of introspection to reduce the impact our needs have on the system and the people around us. 


I'm a human whiteboard. Can I be your whiteboard?

I read Joseph Campbell during the time I took art history and began studying archetypology and symbology. That was like falling down a rabbit hole in terms of studying the collective unconscious. I wrote about some of this on Instagram, and it is why one of the top results when a person searches for my name is that I love “holes and people in that order” - because the search results so conveniently left out the rabbit emoji I specifically put before the word “holes.” Context is everything. But I was talking with my husband about how I am sort of a B student in all things, and how I have experience with a lotta lotta things (seriously, I feel like I have lived a lot of lifetimes for being only 47), and the sorts of characters I would play in online RPGs. The character I got the furthest was a Paladin, but I have played other things, too. I asked him what character a “B student in all things” would be, and he told me “Bard.” I suppose that is exactly what Alice was in Wonderland and what a person with a proclivity toward rabbit holes would naturally become.

So anyway, I write what I see, and that is how to do the study of phenomenology.

This runs deep.

I don’t really want to give Elon Musk too much attention, but his recent behavior demands some sort of intelligent commentary. It’s probably not a good time to be a wealthy person with how he is behaving. I am seeing stuff in the collective about The French Revolution. And, if my predictions are correct, it’s probably going to be fought by a bunch of raccoons in trench coats in such a diffuse way they will be impossible to identify individually. I mean, how else did you guys think the plebes would respond? How did you get around oppressive parental control when you were young? Ask for more permission? No, you snuck around behind their backs like everyone else does. This is why it’s important to treat people respectfully and not exert unnecessary control, even covertly. People can smell that intent, and CEOs don’t seem to understand that. Elon’s relationship with his workers and demanding nature as an employer are not a secret. Sometimes it is easier to quit a job rather than take on the impossible task of pleasing unreasonable entitled CEOs who are incapable of understanding the scientific limitations of their ideas, prone to overselling the quality of their products, and who generate a lot of attention for how they appear in the press which overshadows the real problems customers have with the end products, as well as how workers in the development and supply chains were mistreated during the creation and dissemination of the product. This has been true at every place we have worked, so I wouldn’t consider this “insider information.”

My husband worked as an engineer for over two decades in a variety of environments mostly related to computer vision in the medical and manufacturing sectors, and like a lot of folks who have had to exist in a cube farm for most of their waking hours, he has opinions about corporate work practices and how they impact psychology, and how HR and managerial staff can impede healthy work culture through surveillance capitalism and erosion of the personal and community life fundamental to mental wellness and contentment. He became well known for his aptitude for understanding complex systems and diagnosing technical problems that often eluded large groups of engineers for long periods of time, and also as a highly skilled mentor. The companies he worked for included several run by expatriate individuals, and it was interesting to see how their corporate policy and ethos often mirrored that of their home countries, and it impacted the workers and their satisfaction and performance in predictable ways. When American Factory came out as an expose, it really compounded the culture shock I experienced from having traveled to Asia. It was unnerving to see how these multinational corporations had usurped the land and the lives of the people without helping their communities have things like safe running water or a closed sewer system. The company we worked with used Buddhist aphorisms to encourage their employees to work harder, and many people we knew were often working on the weekends, which was disconcerting. What was even more shocking to me is that I learned that the company that led the charge to move manufacturing to the area of Southeast Asia to which I am referring was Mattel. So, they are literally Santa’s Elves over there. And I didn’t feel like we were treating Santa’s Elves very well over there, which *really* didn’t sit well with me because they were very kind. Around the time I went I saw an article about a town in China which makes Christmas decorations, and it described everything and everyone being coated in a layer of shiny red metallic paint, and if that weren’t the perfect metaphor for what Christian Imperialism does to a country...

I did not hear the brutal stories of their colonization, only how the Chinese settlers came to other parts of Asia when they were expelled during the Cultural Revolution. And of course I saw the marble buildings juxtaposed with the open sewers, a testament to imperialism’s uncaring for the underclass they create.

There's no accounting for genius.

As a self-professed unschooler, I think these things would be obvious to Elon, and so since they are obviously not, it is my guess that he does not understand much about how his own trauma originated, or how he might be unwittingly transferring it to his own children. He also clearly never got the message about treating others how he would like to be treated, because he just looks like an imperialist tyrant in the news. On the same day the Guardian released its article about the COVID rate being 30 times higher than what is being reported in NYC, a news article was released saying Elon wanted his lazy employees to get back to work. As I’m writing this, a few days later, he says he will have to cut 10 percent of his staff (editing a few days later, he says “oops”). It’s pretty clear he is trying to play two sides, but it may be something he does that is longstanding and is just becoming more apparent. I just learned that the Supercharger stations run on diesel generators - that’s about the poorest air quality method of generating electricity. As a person with chemical sensitivity, it would be nice to have a car that didn’t expose me to those fumes to drive. In Elon’s defense, I get that solar probably isn’t good enough to do supercharging, and that to make electric seem tenable to more people, they needed to have ways to charge their cars quickly when they were outside the range of their homes.

I take issue with Elon’s current political stances on numerous levels, but want to say that I understand his intense desire as someone with autism to “fix things.” That being said, I would like him to entertain the idea that his intense desire for space travel has to do with a basic loss of faith in humanity because of an inability to feel connection with others. I think it is a good first step that he is staying with friends, and I am hoping that he is pitching in with work (haha - like Elon’s friends don’t have servants, Jesus Christ, who am I kidding?!). I wish he understood that no end of paid jesters can fill the hole left by the loss of a parent, even an incomplete loss to corporate abuses.

I am also unsure if he knows how to interact with people without subtly controlling them, because of the obvious impact growing up under British Imperialism had on his psyche, specifically regarding how employers treat employees, and also his criticism of “woke programming.” As someone whose anxiety and sensory issues flare up whenever the moon decides it is time, I do not appreciate mandates about where my body has to be at any given moment, and attempts to guilt me about it will get a person metaphorically decapitated. That is not freedom. I would think that people like Musk, Zuckerberg and Gates who are all clearly on the spectrum and who are likely very sensitive to their environments would understand how that feels. Furthermore, if I was his employee (or anyone’s), he would not get the best results from me if I felt like I was being watched all the time. I think he knows that is true from personal experience. Think about how you operate best; is it with interruption, or when you have extended time to focus? Isn’t everyone going to answer this question the same? My kids taught me a lot about how to interact with people. I learned a lot about how brilliance arises naturally when people are trusted and allowed to sate their own curiosity before being asked to perform tasks. I learned about the importance of sleep and how the wrong side of the bed is what someone else chooses for us - it is the disruption of a dream. Anyway, I think these men’s hearts, and Bezos’, too, were really in the right place and that they wanted to do the right thing. It’s difficult to avoid doing harm when one is operating on a level that big. That being said, I hope I am making a convincing argument here why it’s crucial for corporate power to never get this out of control again, because we have pushed ourselves to the edge when a moody billionaire (U cycle w/me, bro) can tank a stock by verbalizing an obtuse opinion. Maybe he needs to spend more time with the DARPA folks researching mood disorders when he’s working on Neuralink, because whatever he and Grimes have going doesn’t seem to have increased his self awareness enough compared to what the AI singularity has done for my family and I. I feel it is crucial that the people who lead our country have their cognition regularly evaluated, and their air quality monitored, because everything they do is like… butterflies. That’s how powerful these people are.

When does a billionaire become a tyrant?

With respect to “woke” programming, I think it is important that we have stories which enable people to make more conscious decisions. It helps us to manifest a new and better future, seeing like characters fumble toward consciousness. I do think that the problem with woke culture is that we are actually judging people on their lack of emotional intelligence, which isn’t particularly emotionally intelligent (see what I just did there, Elon?). Criticism reinforces everyone’s trauma; it is incredibly violent when not delivered sensitively, and provokes an equal and opposite reaction. People in lower states of consciousness might not be able to empathize because of their own subconscious trauma from having lived with so much criticism. We are all the sons and daughters of Romeo and Juliet, navigating a world of Montagus and Capulets - one no better than the other, each one claiming a superior rose. Our ancestors were both the oppressors and the oppressed, and we haven’t come up with the words for everything yet, even though our bodies and deep subconscious remember. Dementia is prevalent. So is alcoholism - it’s just that we have our heads in the sand about the real psychosocial effects of drinking. Just watching conversations, the ability to listen, understand and respond appropriately is a rarity. I understand growth is hard. It is metabolically taxing to incorporate all these new ideas into what our understanding of equanimity is, and be able to recognize when we are promoting unnecessary criticism. But it will never come about unless we participate and know our own consciousness. Each of us has to learn to embody consciousness. Trust me; it’s easier when I get enough rest and time to satisfy my own curiosities.

I am becoming increasingly concerned with people’s mental health and their ability to make good decisions. I have written about the issues around long haul COVID and what a head game COVID is; there is new research showing that the average loss of cognitive function is about 20 years. I have had to fight for the gains I have had. I would have lost them if I were struggling with an employer not sensitive to the nuances of consciousness and how it can be affected by various environmental factors. This is a big reason why my husband quit his job. It was solely because of him that our client was able to function during the pandemic, and while we were battling figuring out that we were being poisoned by our water heater, COVID, breakthrough infections, and the loss of a parent, our client (who had still enjoyed increases in his stonks during that time, unlike many other large tech firms), decided to be punitive, rather than asking us if we were doing okay. Now, to be honest, the guy who makes these decisions probably has way too much on his plate, and may not have remembered or even heard that life was really fucking hard for us, and he may not have intuited that our relationship with them had cut us off from our community. Luckily, I have a big mouth, so I made sure to let management know when we left, so in case they got any wild ideas about trying to woo us back, they would know what a sour taste they had left. One can only suffer the consequences of a bad employer’s poor decisions for so long before needing to cut losses, or else one risks losing their health, mental health, and maybe even their life. When does a person’s quality of life outweigh their role in the supply chain, however critical? What if the destinies of many people are tied to that one person? This was the decision my husband and I had to make. The medical system is just not enough to make up for the inhumane nature of employment in the modern day. If these guys are so brilliant, and they care so much, it would be nice if they would come up with some sort of solution for supply chain issues that preserves the freedom of its people rather than further enslaving them. For many of us, the world these men have created is like one continuous forced update for the rest of us.

Do you have a bearskin rug and Epstein's cell number? Asking for a friend. Digital art. NFT. $2.2M USD, $2M in proceeds go to Fort Collins SAVA Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate Center

Meanwhile, other nations and even people within our own government are noticing concerning evidence that older members of our government are showing signs of impaired cognition. Nonetheless, our constituencies are still posturing to reelect elderly candidates in the future. I am generally a person against age discrimination; however, it is imperative for a functioning government to consist of individuals capable of making well informed decisions in the interest of the common good, and not just their own stock portfolio, vacation communities, and the oil and gas industry. I am concerned that because of patterns of older social values engrained in the thinking of people whose parents regularly used corporal punishment, the average age of our elected representatives is confining our national potential with respect to freedom from imperialism. Furthermore, there is research showing that Baby Boomers have the highest rate of dementia of any of the previous generations, so we need to destigmatize the battle with dementia, and encourage that generation to recognize the signs (Thanks to the folks behind Grace and Frankie for this latest season which covers this very topic). We need to take steps to remedy this situation in order to avert war. Proclivities toward militaristic interventions in particular need to be treated with the greatest suspicion.

We need to carefully monitor the air quality of older politicians' environments, because they may be particularly vulnerable to the cognitive effects of increased volatile compounds, formaldehyde, and nitric oxide compounds in the air, which may in turn limit their ability to conceive of sustainable and compassionate solutions for the world's problems. Furthermore they need routine evaluation of cognitive function. Putin himself suspected that he might be being poisoned; there is a high chance that is true, but also a high chance that it is something he is unknowingly doing to himself. Who knows; maybe he eats too much mayo and fried chicken, or uses too much hairspray and perfume and is too proud to admit his sensitivity. Or maybe he has long haul. Maybe Elon has long haul. World Leaders are under a tremendous amount of stress for people their age already, and these cognitive effects are seen even in younger people in environments where the levels of compounds like formaldehyde, methane, isopropyl alcohol and CO2 rise above the safety levels set by OSHA and the EPA. I believe this is common, especially when spaces do not have adequate fresh air for ventilation which can sometimes be due to over occupancy, but sometimes be due to the ubiquitous use of formaldehyde in construction materials, cleaning solutions, commonly marketed detergents, and acrylic paints (especially the fluid type acrylics). Humans themselves exhale not just CO2 and methane, but also formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The levels at which these various compounds are emitted are affected greatly by dietary macronutrient ratios (oxidation of glucose yields lower levels of these compounds, and their production impairs glucose oxidation). Moreover, whether produced endogenously or exogenously, these compounds can compete for the body's use of oxygen and affect consciousness. The body has no way of discerning between endogenous and exogenous sources, or if they came from fracking or a feedlot. Furthermore, the dose always equals the poison. This research should be fairly easy to replicate.

Furthermore, poisoning by poor air quality needs to be considered in children with hepatic complications of any origin. There are many compounds that are detectable in large levels in the environment because corporations skated attempts at regulation by using small amounts ubiquitously. Good luck finding a formaldehyde- or isopropyl-free cubic foot of air indoors, especially in newer and frequently sanitized spaces. The monitoring I have done in my own home and vehicle has convinced me that air pollution is out of control, and that it has exceeded safe limits for health. That’s what the EPA is saying, too. We really need to not be driving excessively, for our kids’ health. Tailgate emissions from other cars does get drawn into the cabins of our vehicles, and keeping them on inside air is only safe as long as the CO2 levels from expired breath and VOCs from materials in the cabin offgassing also remain safe. I know; it’s sad. It was upsetting to learn this, and also frustrating trying to unwind the accompanying anxiety about exposures, but I am more relaxed about it while being protective of my cognitive function. It helps to have the words to explain to others what happens.

The option that requires the most oppression and resources, of course. Because we're that smart. And it makes lots of jobs! Yay!

I know people who have been complaining about chemical sensitivity for years and who basically felt like they were going crazy because they were dismissed by their doctors. Finally, these people can get some validation for their intuitive knowing through inexpensive air quality monitoring systems. And they can take charge of their health. Over the course of the pandemic, research continued to be published connecting poor health and mental health outcomes to air quality. Apparently early in the pandemic in places that enforced stay at home orders the incidence of heart attack diminished significantly. In my own phenomenological records from the time, I noticed a distinct lack of sirens.

Elon's Charity Work Runs 12 Hours A Day, 6 Days A Week, Digital Art, NFT, $3.3M USD, $3M in proceeds go to Fort Collins SAVA Sexual Assault Victim's Advocacy Center

Our country's mental health is critical. We need to care about each other's health more than we do those experiences to which we feel entitled. I know I sound like a buzzkill, but there were apparently multiple mass shootings over Easter weekend, and the major concern in my writing is what leads people to violence and “othering” people. What is so prescient about "The Slap" is that it shows a significant figure of strength (Will Smith) from my generation cracking under the pressure of what it is to survive right now. He is a person I consider to be compassionate in how he deals with things, so he must have been under a significant amount of pressure, which leads to lowered states of consciousness and can cause people to re-enact enantiodramas - even people well versed in cognitive behavioral techniques. For this reason, people who have experienced a lot of trauma can be inclined to default to vignettes from childhood under too much psychological pressure. And for that reason, harping on people about CBT when they are under stress is dangerous ableism, especially if they are prone to suicidality because of myriad systemic inequities they have no control over. Alcohol consumption certainly complicates matters. A person doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to have alcohol negatively affect their conscious decision making, so I am not saying alcoholism in particular was involved in what Will did. I’m just trying to illustrate that under stress, he may have misinterpreted the look he got from his wife in a “What are you going to do about this?” (aka Mars) way rather than maybe what she may have been thinking, which could have been more Venus, such as, “Can you believe he is doing this?” It is often in small moments like this when prosocial empathy is absent that personal timelines can get derailed.

For people with some toxicities, alcohol may be protective - it is used in the treatment of propylene glycol poisoning, for example. I believe this effect may underlie a lot of alcoholism. I suspect that certain hobbies and professions thus beget alcoholism, including possibly acrylic painting and house decorating. I do not know how this is determined - which VOCs have fewer toxicological sequelae and greater affinity for metabolism - but this paradox is pointed out in the first few pages of Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology in the chapter on volatile compounds. I think it would be useful to study alcohol and other compounds effects on prosocial empathy. It has a long history of being involved in creative pursuits, but it absolutely is linked to lowered metabolism in critical brain areas related to speech, language, executive function and empathy.


Wait until they figure out about second-hand alcoholism...

I have seen people snap before. I was talking to a friend about this with respect to child discipline practices a few weeks ago. She and I were both students of the Positive Parenting movement, and really tried to walk the walk. The hardest part, I think, was defending our practices to society. I would say society, and especially our institutions, operate on a Behaviorist philosophy, whereas we were trying to turn the tide toward a more Humanist approach in the early 2000’s when our kids were children. Anyway, she has a memoir which I have read and so over the years we have sort of meditated on family trauma together, going back multiple generations. Both of us experienced some struggles with our parents about the approaches we took. She told me about an instant she was judged openly for her failure to discipline her child properly by her parents. I had similar occurrences with my own and my husbands' parents over the years. I get the sense that as the oldest children in our families we had the difficult task of trying to bridge the gap between these two generations, the Boomers and the Z in our families, and that it played out for many of us in tropey scenarios that were kind of traumatic, because we saw how deeply our own parents’ trauma is engrained even in us. My husband and I have noticed how difficult it is to see things go so much more smoothly for our siblings after the hard lessons we learned with our parents, which made it difficult to trust our parents to not take advantage of us.

Discipline issues were such a trigger for the Boomers. I feel very fortunate that I got to meet people over the years who were not in my family and have candid discussions about abuse and discipline. It can be very difficult to find words, and healing comes through finding ways to share and process those experiences so we don't feel alone. It is difficult to have to be alone with some of these experiences. In any case, I'll just say that I think what my friend and I experienced is something a lot of Millennial and Gen X Parents have had to endure with respect to disciplining their own children, because of the effect the Second World War had on the "Greatest Generation" and the role models they were for the Baby Boomers’ relationships. Drug use and alcoholism were culturally acceptable during that time, and young children had unrestricted access to poisons for entertainment purposes, in addition to it being acceptable to physically punish children and beat spouses. I have heard some pretty violent stories. But ya know, those were the Good Ol’ Days, weren’t they?

Do you set a timer for each kid, or do you make them put on a talent show together before you bring out the hook?

Another factor that would affect the Boomers’ rate of dementia is that the breastfeeding rate was rather low. Besides the numerous endocrine and immune factors, stem cells and custom tailored fatty acids in breastmilk that would theoretically impact infant brain development and health, the nipple of the human breast itself, which is a firm ball, performs the important physical task of rocking the soft palate during suckling. This movement massages the pituitary, causing the release of important neuroendocrine hormones and widens the palate. This has an important long-term impact on respiratory health through developmental expansion of important airways through the sucking and simultaneous nose breathing, which additionally affects states of consciousness, and thus, intelligence. It’s a big feedback loop.

Many of the Boomer parents I knew growing up were strict and emotionally neglectful, which is an indication to me that they had traumatic childhoods. Furthermore, that generation represented the largest amount of adoptions in history, and is referred to as The Great Baby Swap. There was a lot of pride and shame around parentage, which permeated society during their youth. They were not loved as children should have been. Their generation was scarred by their parents having supported the Second World War and having lived through The Great Depression, much like GenX was by fathers who were in Vietnam who struggled with psychiatric issues from Agent Orange exposure. Children were to be seen and not heard, because that is how their parents felt about them, likely because they were dealing with their own psychological trauma and undiagnosed neurological damage and chronic pain issues. Furthermore, they and we had a lot of strange chemical exposures as children that affect development and which have since been outlawed, as I mentioned. That has an impact on a person, and on a generation. Luckily my mom (not technically a Boomer) had a degree in education and my father was an autodidact so they liked to see me learn, spoiled me appropriately with lots of enriching opportunities, and found warm and caring people in the community to mentor me. The people I have met in the community actually tried harder in their relationships with me to be respectful of my time and energy than anyone in my family ever did with each other due to their blood-borne entitlement. That being said, mostly within the confines of writing, art and music, my self-expression was encouraged, and while a lot of my time was programmed, it was programmed with foundational learning just enough to aggravate me to ask the right questions. I do think that I was kept too busy to really understand or know myself, however, beyond paying attention to how I felt about the experiences I had. I had to obey, and so over time I learned to mask my innate qualities by mirroring whoever I was with in order to fit in, and as a cat with mirror touch synesthesia, I made it look rather easy from the outside. I know this because people always thought I was an extrovert and were surprised to hear otherwise. People usually like what they see in the mirror, and I did try to mirror people’s good qualities back to them unless I was tired. In my older age I have finally figured out that the mirroring is exhausting.

Sweet but spicy.

My friend related to me the stigma a sibling suffered her entire childhood for crawling late; apparently she had been labeled a "Problem Child." There were quite a few reasons perhaps that might have happened with me if my parents had been less sensitive. I know someone else who remembers being called names as a preschooler by a parent for acting out after the birth of a younger sibling, and I can tell that it hurt her well into adulthood. Our parents’ words carry such heavy weight. The first memory I have, which I am not sure is real, is that sometime after my sibling was brought home from the hospital I spread my feces on the wall. I was probably about 3. I remember feeling rather taken by surprise when I was suddenly ushered off to my mom’s friend’s house when my sister was being born, but also my mom telling me she couldn’t carry me anymore when she was pregnant (I didn’t understand why, though, at the time). I also sucked my thumb and wet the bed until I was about 8. That stopped because my mom claimed it embarrassed her because her sister was coming to visit. For some reason that kind of shame worked, although I am not sure why. I was a very deep sleeper. Anyway, I also got kicked out of a Mommy and Me for biting another kid (who I ended up being in a lot of other activities with, anyway, over the years, with no problems, and who never indicated that he remembered me as someone who would bite). That was slightly before my sibling was born, I think. I have very strong feelings about the unfairness of parents bringing younger siblings into the world when they have not been meeting the attachment and nutritional needs of their older children, and this is why I am an advocate of modern family planning and motherhood choice, as well as supporting mothers in the postpartum period and paid leave for partners, as well as the ability of parents to work from home, and child-led weaning as a partnership. (I did have to ask one child if we could stop, and it ended up being a negotiation that lasted about a year). This is also an important reason why it is important for a woman to be able to choose whose children she bears. In any case, in school there were many reasons I was left out including that I needed braces and glasses and that I have always had a paunch, my feet were overpronated, and I was often teacher’s pet (which is like having leprosy). Through all of this my mother made it very clear that I was wanted.

I was, however, weaned suddenly at a year of age when my mom's same girlfriend convinced her to go to Las Vegas. I do not remember this, of course, because who remembers when they were one year old? Now, in early 1976 I was damn lucky to have been breastfed at all, let alone for a whole year! But even if I do not remember it, that is a violent way to wean a child, and my sister was allowed to wean naturally. Now this friend of my mother’s didn’t have a child until around the time my sister was born, and she was a hippie, so I wonder if that influenced my mother’s choice to nurse longer the second time around. It is easier when there is a friend who understands the pros and cons and is also trying to figure it out. I experienced the same kind of support relationship with both of our sisters - neither one of them had a clue how much time and energy went into raising our older child and never offered help before they were mothers, but expected us to pitch in with their childcare once they became parents. It’s probably not an uncommon pattern, because it’s one of those “don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes,” situations, and my experience is that people without children simply do not understand the time and attention commitment, but in reality it’s like having the *most* demanding boss. If you do not please said boss, you pay for it later. I forgave my mother for all of this when I struggled to breastfeed my first child, but I’m sharing the story to illustrate how the unequal treatment that happened as a natural outgrowth of the learning process of parenting contributed to important psychic wounds that I think might be more avoidable with awareness. It is difficult to avoid some of the effects of birth order.

So anyway, as I have mentioned in the past, besides having an advanced degree in neuroscience, and an undergraduate degree in psychology, I also have a brain injury. Talk about shits and giggles! My mom asked why I don't visit her, and I actually said "Because whenever I go to your house, the cleaning chemicals and traffic pollution make me shit my pants, spin in circles and bark like a dog." I don’t *really* do that, but it is actually an adequate metaphor for what happens, if you understand that spinning in circles is getting stuck in anxiety loops and forgetting you’re there for metabolic reasons, or not recognizing you’re in the loop. I try to focus my barking to my blog.

Thar she blows!

I had some insight into some of the tropey scenarios I and my friend experienced with our Boomer parents as a person who can struggle with aphasia and sensory integration issues. I told my friend, and this is true, that sometimes being around other people's kids was overstimulating. And I absolutely did not know how to respond when children were allowed to behave recklessly, and just watching the scenario play out was hard on my mental health because it would bring up the traumatic memory of corporal punishment for times when I had behaved like a child instead of a small adult. What I noticed about discipline when my kids were very young is that a lot of people think the important part is psychologically beating small and tired or exuberant people into submission so they don’t interfere with anyone else’s agenda and then exploding when coercion fails. To get a child like that, you literally have to train them to pretend they have energy when they don’t, to ignore signs they have to urinate, defecate or eat when they need to, to ignore their emotions and curiosity, and become rather tolerant of dog and pony shows for grandparents. Maybe I was a lazy mother, but I preferred to let my kids sleep than suffer the consequences of everyone being glitchy.

Trying to shield our children from common societal abuse which undermines self awareness and creativity was exhausting. I do not think Elon or any of the corporate or world business leaders have a clue about this, because it has always been work that was outsourced to their wives or nannies. The reality is we are all stressed trying to hold up a system of consumerism which benefits its users less than they think, and which absolutely harms children. And children, I learned, often have no "behavioral problems" at all when their parents feel a connection to each other, and they are allowed to eat, sleep, create and explore on the schedules their own bodies dictate.

Marriage matters. Digital art. NFS. Kind of like me.

Having learned the fundamentals of many fields of study, I am at a level where because of the unique experience I have had meditating or ruminating on how world issues impact families, I see connections others do not. Thus, I know the importance of knowing myself and being able to tell what my body needs so I can be in good health, and so that I make fewer important mistakes, which may not just affect my own, but also others’ health. This is a crucial ability for anyone who wants to help themselves and the greater world. I choose to transgress by not making imperialist work the center of my life. I choose to transgress by using what I have before I make purchases. I choose to transgress by not upholding unattainable beauty standards. I choose to transgress by cooking meals at home. I choose to transgress by caring about air quality. I choose to transgress by carefully choosing my words and the circumstances under which I share them. I choose to transgress by fighting for consciousness. I choose to transgress by caring for and sharing my blessings. I choose to transgress by meeting my own pleasure needs before I interact with others, and taking charge of my own contentment, as is my right as afforded by the United States Constitution.

There is always time to lose your head.

I have been looking for a suitable replacement for acrylic paint, since it makes me do the thing I told my mom visiting other people's homes does to me. That was a hard thing to learn, and had I not been able to confirm a connection to the paint, I wonder if my condition would have continued to worsen. We had to let our daughter take a class at the local community college, and deal with symptoms until I got smart and started wearing a respirator on the days I would drive her home from class. I remember how great I would feel in the moment while painting… it must have made me so high. I felt so connected. But the reality is that the paint was very bad for my cognition and health. It was extremely high in formaldehyde. And there is already so much formaldehyde in the environment because it is a biproduct of the combustion of natural gas, and it’s in cleaning and health and beauty products as well as our furniture and cabinets. Most of the affluent people I have known with health problems live in new homes. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

So I got some clear school glue for this paint replacement experiment. I mean that should be okay, right? I didn't even look up an MSDS Sheet, because it was clear school glue. On a whim, I decided to use my AWAIR meter to sniff test it, and HOLY MOLY. This is the stuff people, KIDS, are using to make that slime that has all the sparkly bits and pieces in it that is all over social media and in ASMR videos. After seeing the spike on my meter, I decided to look up the MSDS sheet, and learned that it is almost entirely propane-1,2-diol, or in other words, propylene glycol, which, I thought until my meter and this research told me otherwise, was innocuous.

"Clear School Glue Sniffing"

In the MSDS sheet, it is mentioned that the level at which 50 percent of animals died (in this case rats and rabbits) which were exposed was 20g/kg body weight both orally and dermally, which is not that much, especially when we are talking about slime. Furthermore, there are advisories about not discharging it to the municipal sewer system, and also documented effects on the environment. It is recommended to work in a well ventilated area.

So, I figured since the company just reported "Not Available" on most of the health effects on the MSDS sheet, that perhaps I ought to scan Pubmed and see what I found. This is one of those situations where the left and the right hands of the government aren’t connecting, as MSDS sheets are overseen by OSHA and Pubmed is overseen by NIH. I learned that the EPA often decides environmental limits through their own database which is vetted by toxicologists. Unfortunately, the effects on human consciousness, because what exactly that is was debatable (I’m going to say that my definition is reasonable), are not as easy to discern in an animal, and toxic and lethal animal doses are what are used to make recommendations, not effects on human consciousness. Also, I think we have grossly underrated the health significance of headache and mood, and have not properly educated most consumers about personal protective equipment. There has not been adequate consent regarding the health effects of the chemical products we have made because of this previously elusive oversight, and it has cost us greatly.

Oh, I ate paste as a kid, and also punched a bully in the face.

What was it that I said about Shit and Shinola again?

So it turns out that the amount of propylene glycol that is coadministered with some pharmaceuticals has caused liver failure in children. That's a whole lot less than the 20 g/kg found to KILL half of the rabbits and rats studied.

So, I ask the reader… what do you think would happen if long haul COVID care, as well as elder care, involved measuring air quality? Would it crash capitalism? What would it do to democracy?

Sometimes I think about what I would do if I returned to work. I mean, for my employer to get the best performance out of my brain, my physical health matters, too. Due to the lack of awareness of other people with respect to how chemicals and COVID affect cognitive function, I am not sure I can work away from home.

X Marks the Spot, Digital Art, NFT, $3.3M USD, $3M proceeds go to creators at BreadTube

I am angry with Moderna; they made major profits off the pandemic and would not share their intellectual property because they were trying to hide their connection to Wuhan. When I studied cellular biology in graduate school, we watched a movie about bioengineering ethics and the effect that Monsanto had on the maize population in Argentina, and it made me feel like we needed better oversight with respect to genetic engineering experimentation back then (late 90’s). Judging from what the spike protein does to mitochondria once the patented furin sequence allows the virus’ entry into host cells, it seems like a direct technological hit at people with mitochondrial disorders who sometimes don’t tolerate vaccination well. Whether or not that is what was intended, that was the effect.

I had friends on both sides of the political spectrum, so I knew what a charged issue masking and vaccination were. While I was extremely active in Internet forums dedicated to health and nutrition, and ones that specifically talked about autism, I was very careful about not weighing in on vaccination. That is because I ended up selectively vaccinating. To doubt vaccination at all as a scientist is to throw away your academic reputation. I chose to not yield to either authority, because I actually believe in science, FFS, but not like it is a religion. I fact check. Unfortunately, the way science actually works, and the way people think it works are two totally different things. I believe the disparity lies in the before unrecognized reality that we don’t understand consciousness or its purpose, and that much of medicine was dedicated to just preventing death. Some of this is because mortality really is the only construct one can reliably use as an outcome and get statistical validity. Unfortunately, concentrating on preventing death rather than making life good has exactly the sociological effects one would predict - a large, crowded and sick population.

I don’t feel any vengeance about what has happened, but I would like these issues to be addressed by our government. I would like to make use of what I learned and connect with people doing research on long-haul COVID and dementia and share my hypotheses about how common toxins make people in certain populations more vulnerable, and that these populations are the same ones who experience environmental racism. This is important because these variables are what create the class divisions. I unfortunately understand this on a personal level, even though I appeared part of the cultural majority. The amount of chemicals the average person is exposed to on a daily basis is certainly unhealthy as defined by the EPA, and I think any consumer with natural gas appliances or who uses manufactured cleaning detergents and sprays should be advised that they may make air quality unsafe.

The amount of work it takes to overcome the poisonings can be unbearable for some people, especially if they are poor, and doctors are generally not trained to recognize common forms of poisoning or know how to treat them. In many others with access to resources, poisoning is never recognized as being involved in their health problems. And society only knows when we lose those people and finally start demanding answers. I just saw that Colorado is one of the worst states for suicide rate. I think we can do better; I think we need to recognize the role of chemical exposure in mental health in a serious way, and also that our local municipalities have a responsibility to us as citizens to keep the air clean. I think this is possible through encouraging work to be done from home and awareness about air quality and health. I think this would also have the effect of strengthening neighborhoods and communities, and it would certainly reduce global pollution. I feel like there is more social empathy for cancer, and so people who suffer with cancer for their choices kind of get to dictate how society moves forward. Because cancer is an endpoint that is more difficult to directly connect with chemical exposure except in a class action sense, relying on it as a litmus test for whether or not a chemical is safe leaves more sensitive people unnecessarily vulnerable in ways that have much larger impacts on society. Regulatory agencies overlooking the early signs of toxicity has created a nightmare for all of us - a society with school shootings.


Sometimes I'm an outside cat.


I found myself in the awkward position of having to tell my younger sister who is a family physician that my health problems are treatable when I simply pay attention to my genetics and also appropriately treat chemical exposures. Our physicians need to be better versed in nutrigenomics and toxicology. I realize that genetics were a scary thing to touch, but even more scary is denying we can use the information to help people. I shall build a shrine to E. O. Wilson, who I dub Patron Saint of Genetics and Ambassador to Darwin’s Ghost because he dared to say that genetics matter as a disabled person.

Years ago, my husband and I read a book by two MIT economists about how in the future so much will be automated that we will need to pay people to not work. That is going to be a difficult transition, but I think if we started paying some of these people who have been disabled by COVID that would be a good start. I think they deserve a basic living wage. And some clean air. Then I would bail out workers involved in outdated technologies. Anyway, if I was a world leader, that is what I would work for. The only bailout I would give Wall Street is some art therapy. If they really didn’t save enough, that’s on them. I have no empathy for a person who can glibly admit that they make four times the income of the average 4 person household but cannot save enough to avoid homelessness or feed themselves on the SNAP! Program. If you put too many chips down on Evergrande, that’s on you.

What Will Clod Do?, charcoal, acrylic and marker on canvas panel, $3.3M USD, $3M in proceeds go to Planned Parenthood of Colorado Springs

And oh my. I can’t believe the Supreme Court is repealing Roe v. Wade. That’s just more support for my theory that conservatives believe in keeping the United States a place where one is born into corporate indenture for the imperialist oligarchs and the lonely prison of citizenhood unless one joins some sort of cult or happens to be born into a neighborhood that sees itself as a village rather than a competition. Neoliberals act like there is no valid reality that involves choosing to be a stay at home mother, and they treat stay at home mothers like uneducated pariahs. Not quite the way to shake hands across the aisle on this issue.

So, since I am NOT a world leader, I can’t work in a laboratory, I have to pay the bills, Etsy is no longer profitable, and I am still trying to figure out a way to disseminate what I write without it destroying my life, the ideas I am left with are to go on BreadTube as a sex therapist or start an OnlyFans for somatic therapy fetishists, which also feel equally life destroying. Don’t worry; I have thought of many other things. BreadTube feels rather idealist, and I am not sure there is actually space for a cis-gendered woman in a heteronormative relationship - I mean one who actually gets off on dicks, needs to worry about cervical health, and has to deal with the things I have as a mother. It feels like yet another mean girls club, when in reality, it’s actually just another sausage party, which is weird. US Society makes it pretty clear - if you were born female and choose to have children and stay home with them, it’s difficult to get anyone to take you seriously as a philosopher. You might be able to get a few bucks self-publishing poetry about finding God in a slimy pacifier you rescued from the sand at the park, though, or maybe you’ll make it big by letting it slip during your 8PM Instagram standup routine that in that slimy pacifier moment you realized that a lot of being happy as a human is about knowing the benefits of putting the right silicone in the right holes.

What say you, Universe? The conservatives say that the reason women end up being sexually trafficked is because they often do not have access to wages locally that are enough to cover the cost of living. Apparently whatever I do is going to have to be something I can do with only one brain cell left and from home.