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.
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.