liveonearth: (Default)
The uglification of which I speak didn't exactly start with Ailes (Fox), but he certainly boosted it. One of the hats that I wear is at a natural products pharmacy; we dispense herbs and supplements and a few hormonal products. I spend some time sitting behind the counter simply helping the next person who comes to the window. Most people are decent, kind, and even patient. But lately I've noticed a trend. The proportion of cranky, mean and abusive people is increasing.

Today it was a lady by the name of Hammer. What's in a name, I ask? Did your name make you into a prosecutor in the pharmacy line? How many hammering questions does one have to tolerate before you are satisfied? Is there an inkling of generosity in you? A morsel of patience? An ounce of kindness? I saw none. I experienced questions hammering in faster than they could be answered, demands stacked up while I was trying to answer the questions, topped with an insult. Ms Hammer is just the most recent experience of this sort. There was one yesterday, and the day before more than one. Too bad it's nice people who get cancer and not the bitches.

This is Oregon. People in general are nice here. But not the raving maniac that stabbed two men to death the other day trying to get to some young women who were a different color than him. This disease of condemnation and hatred is seeping deeper and deeper into our culture, and leaking out in more settings all the time. I do not know how to fix it. I don't believe in phony niceness, but I also don't believe in punishing people just because you can. I am sensitive and not cut out to tolerate verbal abuse in the course of my work. I try to contain my anguish until I am in private. Then I weep. I try to be kind to the people that I meet. And I may have to find a way to not serve the public any more.

In Japan they have a name for it. Hikikomori. It's a sociological phenomenon in which people simply stop participating in society. If society is ugly, then decent people will not show up. If decent people do not show up, society will uglify even more. If we all retreat into our tiny little bubbles even more than we already have, the fractures in our supposed union of states and free people becomes null and void. This culture is headed for the bloodbath.
liveonearth: (starry night)

No matter what our attempts to inform,
it is our ability to inspire
that will turn the tides."
--Jan Phillips

liveonearth: (dont_be_heavy)

  • This epidemiologic analysis revealed that mortality rates are increasing in the middle-aged white male population, largely due to preventable conditions like poisonings and overdoses.

  • Reductions in mortality were seen in other racial groups.

ARTICLE from Medpage, primary care )

liveonearth: (curiosity and cat)
I am an agnotologist, no doubt.  That is to say, I am fascinated with all that we do not know, with the gray areas and uncertainties of life, death, and everything.  Agnostic = Doesn't Know.  Agnotology = Study of Ignorance.  Science depends on us being very clear about what we do not know yet, so that we can devise ways to try to find out.

Great article here from the NY Times )
liveonearth: (moon)
Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2013 Aug;17(3):248-72. doi: 10.1177/1088868313495593.
Targeting the good target: an integrative review of the characteristics and consequences of being accurately perceived.
Human LJ1, Biesanz JC.
A person's judgeability, or the extent to which a person is easy to understand, plays an important role in how accurately a target will be perceived by others. Research on this topic, however, has not been systematic or well-integrated. The current review begins to remedy this by integrating the available research on judgeability from the fields of personality perception, nonverbal communication, and social cognition. Specifically, this review summarizes the characteristics that are likely to promote judgeability and explores its potential consequences. A diverse range of characteristics are identified as predictors of judgeability, all relating to three broader categories: psychological adjustment, social status, and socialization. Furthermore, being judgeable has a variety of potential, largely positive, consequences for the target, leaving good targets poised for greater personal and interpersonal well-being. Nevertheless, many questions on this topic remain and it is crucial for this relatively understudied topic to receive more systematic empirical attention.
accuracy; expressivity; judgeability; person perception; well-being
PMID: 23861354 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
liveonearth: (hwy 666)
Factoid: 1/100 people in the US and Europe live in a cult at some point in their lives

Distinction: living in not same as belonging to (do second generation adults *SGAs* who are plotting to escape count as members? perhaps not)

Sources not viewed by my own eyes: International Cultic Studies Assoc in Florida, European anti-cultic groups ...

This factoid in combination with the assertion that most people in cults do not call them that, means that lots of people have probably been in something Lisa would call a cult, but who would deny it.
liveonearth: (moon)

To Doctors: If you detect signs of abuse or exploitation, you as a doctor are legally bound to report it. There are more cults and troubled families out there than people realize.

In some communities or “groups”, sexual abuse especially of girls, and the use of children especially teens for hard labor is common. These children are not likely to come to you as a doctor, but you may run across them in other parts of your life. You are duty bound to protect children at every age from everyone, including potentially their family.
liveonearth: (dancer romani)
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

--Howard Zinn
liveonearth: (moon)
Herd mentality: Are we programmed to make bad decisions?
A natural desire to be part of the 'in crowd' could damage our ability to make the right decisions, a new study has shown.
December 16th, 2014 |
the article )
liveonearth: (moon)
The people can not be
all, and always, well informed.
The part which is wrong
will be discontented
in proportion to
the importance of the facts they misconceive.

~Thomas Jefferson
liveonearth: (Donkey)
What do you think? Have you ever fallen into that pit where you had no "real" life and your entire life existed through a keyboard and screen? Have you found your way back into the land of living and breathing? Have you discovered your body? Are you OK being alone with yourself??

Got me started thinking about this (again):

I had a housemate once who would become completely obsessed with a new video game and play it continuously until he had completed all the levels. It took a couple months for him to master Grand Theft Auto. He took me for a ride in it. Our virtual reality was shared in living and breathing space, and he was not a lost cause. I don't think. I hope not.

I have a friend who lives a good fraction of her life in second life. She is married in this life and has a significant other in second life. Her 2nd life SO is known to her and her husband. He has a wife and kids. They visit together, eat icecream, break ankles, breathe the same air. Second life has merged with first life.

I have a sister whose occupation is building things for the second world. That is, she obtains or develops images and sounds that she can sell for virtual money. Her reality is beyond my comprehension, except that when she is there beside me she is just as solidly herself as she has ever been, with a sharpened wit.

I have a boyfriend who barely exists on the internet. I told him how many fb friends I have now and he laughed at me. I think he is afraid that I will go where my sister went, or my friend. He likes to exercise and play his guitar and garden and read. Doing all those other things sounds far better than this. I'm outta here.
liveonearth: (sexy tits)
I am a river runner. From way back. My father got me started, in canoes first. When I was very small he would put me in the bow of the canoe, tell me to paddle, and surf the canoe in river waves. We used to camp by creeks up on the plateau, and he'd let us take the insulite pads that we slept on and go hiking up the stream to float back down on the thin beige mats. I got my first kayak when I was 11. It was a cut-down Mark 4. I was already too big for it, or at least, it was uncomfortable and I always got fiberglass in my arms and legs when I used it. I only used it a few times, once when I got hypothermic on the Nantahala and had to be plowed to shore by my dad's canoe, and once when I got tangled in vines on the Green and completely panicked. I didn't paddle for several years recovering from these experiences.
ruminations provoked by another woman's story of becoming a guide )
liveonearth: (hwy 666)
The take-home message
is that we should blame religion itself,
not religious extremism
- as though that were some kind of
terrible perversion of real, decent religion.

--Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion
liveonearth: (dancing calvin & Hobbes)
The most efficient way to get the behavior you're looking for
is to find positive deviants
and give them a platform, a microphone and public praise.

--Seth Godin
liveonearth: (Default)
I'm not sure how they figured that I'm "pro-family". Probably because I support Ron Paul. Contrary to their assumption, I am capable of appreciating his positions without being a social conservative. The message behind the cut is stimulated by the Student Nondiscrimination Act which is before congress. They claim that this will be the last straw causing our descent into the vice of promiscuous sex, by way of indoctrinating our youth in "pro-homosexual" values from kindergarten on. I don't know about this being a significant law in the great scope of our cultural slide, but the writer is correct in his panic that all will be lost. What he does not see is that the new thing which arises from the ashes may well be an improvement. My personal position on homosexuality is as follows: May all people love who they love, no matter. Now, on to the ridiculous slant of this email:

Dear pro-family American,

The Radical Homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan:
behind the cut is the text of today's anti-homo spam email )
liveonearth: (Default)
Empathy is the Antidote to Shame.

This one has been recommended to me three times in as many days. And I see why.
liveonearth: (Default)

Nice acrobatics on the part of the ape who would like to frighten away a tall man.
liveonearth: (endless_knot)
Nobody expects him to win. Not even him. It would be quite a shock, after this many attempts. Ron Paul realizes that he's not really campaigning for himself to be president, but rather for an alternative view of how government works and what it should do. For a movement, and a revolution. For an alternative view of how society works, and what it means to be human. I am thrilled for him because he got the youth vote in Iowa today. The new voters came out for him. Probably because of that Big Dog ad, in combination with Dr Paul's willingness to legalize pot. Strange bedfellows indeed. Societies shift according to the ley lines of the culture.

It's pretty amusing to hear the rest of the candidates talk mainly about defeating Barack Obama. I would and will vote against all of them in favor of Barack Obama. Newt makes me wish desperately for a moral atheist candidate. The others I can't even remember. I wish for Palin. She'd at least make big enough gaffes to make me spit out my food.

Don't worry, I'll turn off the radio, soon. I have to say I really do enjoy hearing the candidates speaking to their own people at these events. I learn a lot more than I do from statements that have been honed for the mainstream news.

We're all Austrians now.
--Ron Paul

(Austrians = opposite of Keynesians. This quote of course taken radically out of context, he is speaking of some time in the future when Keynesian economics is no longer broadly accepted and applied in America.)


liveonearth: (Default)

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