47 items found for ""
- Twitter Censorship
Robert W Malone, a pioneer in mRNA technology has been suspended from Twitter --probably for not conforming to Big Pharma’s line, as expressed by the American Hi-Tech super cartel of social and corporate media, and tech companies -- to which Twitter belongs. I say "probably" because Twitter never explains its bans. Let us be clear: Malone is NOT an antivaxxer. He has been vaccinated himself. He argues that the coronavirus family --popularly --if incorrectly --called “COVID19”-- does not put children and young people at risk as much as the mRNA vaccines and also the AstraZeneca vaccine which use technologies never used for this purpose before. Statistically speaking he is correct. Malone advocates vaccinating ALL co-morbid --or older people who are at risk from COVID. In the case of co-morbid people, the danger of vaccine side effects rises -- but the virus is a much, much worse threat. Older people—over 50 – however, experience few problems. Malone has is a legitimate argument, which needs to be discussed. “Cancelling” him tends to label him as an “antivaxxer” when he is anything but . Worse, it boosts the zombie anti-vaxxer argument, always ill-informed, conspiracist reactionary and unscientific, distracting us from the important issues that Malone’s carefully nuanced and scientifically accurate statements raise. The neo-luddite AntiVaxxers say “See, they are banning one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet, as far as mRNA vaccines are concerned. Why? What are they hiding? What is their agenda?” And from these points, which are of course, true they can jump to less-true notions, such as government mind control and institutional fascism, and from there to such absurdities as all vaccines are harmful. Let us look at these questions … Why is Malone being censored? Simply because he drawing attention to the problems of mRNA vaccines, which are a matters of documentable fact, especially their experimental nature and their reliance on technologies about which there is little scientific consensus. Malone knows about this better than anyone. Just because a technology is new does not mean it is better, despite what Amerikans believe. Big Tech cannot force people to take vaccines—not directly. Nor can governments. But they can convince and coerce --laundering media narrative so vaccines seem the only answer, in other words, they can “manufacture consent”. Or, so they think. Because in this case--with transparent attempts to censor -- they are really not manufacturing any kind of agreement with their positions but dissent instead. Underlying everything is neoliberalism itself. The most successful form of fascism ever invented, since it convinces people they are free when they are not, a kind of mass hypnosis. What are they hiding? Big Tech, as I said, is a cartel, just like the drug cartels in Columbia--and in some ways more dangerous. Big Pharma is also part of an odious cabal to which Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, the corporate media and various mega corporations belong. One for all. All for one. The "one" part of this being the One Percent. Malone was previously banned on Linkedin for noting the conflict of interest involved in the Chairman of Thomson Reuters sitting on the board of Pfizer. As a molecular biologist, Malone has been taught to be skeptical, skepticism being the basis of all science -- so he questions the safety of an experimental vaccine. Whistleblower reports indicate that Pfizer and Moderna have been fixing the results of trial tests, at least in some cases, while making sure that vaccines, such as Sputnik and the Cuban vaccines which offer competitive efficacy, are cheaper and offer greater safety do not reach the markets of the American Empire. What are they hiding? Naturally, Big Pharma is working hard to undermine whistleblower legislation, not that hard in the US and UK, which sees truthtellers as enemies of the state. So, Twitter has risen to the challenge of enforcing his opinion. If you Google Malone, you will also see a lot of anti-Malone propaganda in the corporate media, although some of it like the Wikipedia article on him is quite subtle since it is factual but one-sided, noting criticism of his views but not support. There is a Malone "narrative", just as their is a Russia "narrative and a China "narrative. Control the narrative—control people’s minds—and actions. How we understand anything is all about information. And most people rely on media for information. . Bill Gates, who is the second largest funder of the WHO after the US, is on the record as urging world governments to punish anyone who questions vaccine mandates, which of course Malone is doing. Admittedly, Gates’s “agenda” is more altruistic than Big Pharma’s – which is transparently, just profit whereas for Gates it is a matter of philosophy. Gates has all the money he needs, but he subscribes to Steven Pinker’s Hobbesian, neo-Calvinist theories of human nature which are the Bible of the corporate world (and which I have dealt with elsewhere)-- namely that human beings are born not so much evil as brutes – at least most of them—identifiable by not having a billion dollars. These animals need to be controlled by their betters. They need to be trained. That’s neoliberalism rationalizing fascism. Agendas. So what is Twitter’s (and the media's) agenda? For Twitter, it is a kind of virtue signaling by its new CEO. Signals? To whom? To Big Pharma and Gates and the US elites, of course. I do not agree with Malone. I would argue that no Pandemic can be controlled except through universal vaccination. Smallpox killed a billion people until we got a vaccine. Universal vaccination would mean, however, lifting intellectual property protections and enforcing mandatory vaccinations, which, of course, would not be possible without socialized medicine, to ensure safety. Medicare for profit is ultimately an ethical contradiction. Every vaccine has a risk factor—as do all treatment regimens—for all diseases. Yes, aspirin can kill. And overdosing during the Spanish flu' killed thousands. It is also true that, unlike the polio and smallpox vaccines, the current COVID vaccines do not offer long-term or complete immunity, Better results would only come if the US and other developed countries would share data and give up patent protection. But does Big Pharma want its cash cow, COVID, to go away? The profit motive is sociopathic. Universal vaccination and the development of really effective vaccines would require global cooperation, if only because this family of viruses was generated by globalization. Worse-- our world-spanning mega-societies have created a perfect cosmic petri dish to conjure up something a lot more fatal. Without worldwide collaboration, the virus will continue to thrive, mutate and adapt. A pandemic virus is at war with the human race. No one gets to opt out in this battle. Refusing vaccines is refusing to fight. Don't be a coward. Get vaccinated. Get your kids vaccinated. That said, we have to look with a critical eye at hi-tech solutions while at the same time encouraging testing and criticism -- and, if necessary, opting for the kind of the tried and true solutions that the Russians and especially the Cubans have innovated. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Sources https://theintercept.com/2021/11/29/pfizer-whistleblower-reform-corporate-fraud/ https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/company-that-managed-pfizer-vaccine-trial-sites-falsified-data-whistleblower/ https://www.top-meds.org/pfizer-whistleblower-exposes-vaccine-data-cover-up/ https://myacare.com/blog/comparison-of-covid-19-vaccines https://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=4288&mn=632475&pt=msg&mid=21935210 https://www.algora.com/Algora_blog/2021/04/23/is-pfizer-quietly-targeting-other-vaccines-while-holding-back-on-its-own-safety-record https://euobserver.com/world/151483 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Malone https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352655/#:~:text=%E2%80%83The%20Sputnik%20V%20COVID-19%20vaccine%20The%20Sputnik%20V,production%20of%20antibodies%20against%20the%20spike%20protein%20%28S%29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8646685/ https://medworm.com/953400268/evaluation-of-the-gam-covid-vac-and-vaccine-induced-neutralizing-response-against-sars-cov-2-lineage/
- Survival in the End Times
I wrote this as an "Op-Ed. It was time for a new one, which is up. So, this is a revised version as a blog post. The Mortality Plateau If you make it to 80 in good health, there is a "mortality plateau", with the risk of death declining over the next few decades. Yes, you can live to 120! if you are older than 70 today, you may see your grandchildren die before you. But you are not immortal. A kid born today faces: pandemics and disease, war, starvation, and rising temperatures that will make many parts of the world uninhabitable. Our civilization has an imperial mindset: it seeks to conquer--everything-- especially Nature. But Nature fights back--and always wins--keeping in mind that "nature" is not extrinsic, it is as much inside as outside. If we don't' pay attention to both our own "nature" and that of the ecosystem, we die. Evolution Matters Yet, that does not have to be. We evolved to be a certain kind of animal. Highly social -- playful-- always learning and developing -- bound to each other by love and understanding and sharing -- and bound to the natural world in the same way. That's when we were hunters and gatherers. Then came climate change, migrations, and adaptation to sedentism, the invention of agriculture and animal husbandry, slavery, property, hierarchies....in a word, civilization. "Normal" and "natural" became two different things. Now, we face climate change again. Neoliberal civilization is collapsing. Once again we must adapt. How will we survive?
- Assange: the Crime of NeuroDivergence
Julian Assange has changed history. And for that, he must die—slowly—so say the US and the UK. Journalism as a crime Assange revolutionized journalism by providing a credible alternative to the mainstream media – Wikileaks – which scores 100% for accuracy and authenticity. He did not offer “stories” or “narratives” that smooth dinnertime digestion– conversational antacids – he offered only facts – the truth, which is something you really need to chew on. Now Assange is held in solitary confinement in the UK’s most notorious prison – Belmarsh – under conditions that no less than the UN Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer calls “torture”. While Tony Blair, a corrupt liar and a bona fide blood soaked war criminal, walked free, Assange was hounded for a broken condom and is now held without bail despite not having being charged with breaking any British law, for exposing war crimes and corruption. You won’t read about this in the New York Times or the Washington Post or hear about it on CNN. There is a news blackout on the whole dirty business as there is on most of the shit-stained laundry for which American politics is remarkable. Instead of honest reporting, the Mainstream media offer an endless stream of fake news and propaganda, repeated over and over and over. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. What’s the difference between a journalist and a whore? With a whore anyone can at least get a good blowjob. With the corporate media, only their owners and politicians get off. To find out what is happening to Assange you must go to the Alternative Media – including WikiLeaks itself. Look for media that offers links to actual sources. And then check those sources. Assange’s lawyers have argued against his extradition to the US from the UK, citing the threat to his mental health: he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and he has recently had a stroke. Assange's Giftedness Looking at Assange’s history, it is likely that he not only has Asperger’s--but also ADHD which often overlaps with the previous mentioned condition. Neither of these necessarily predispose him to suicide in and of themselves – but social retributions, isolation and mistreatment certainly do. DRD4 r7 genes for ADHD, coupled with an IQ over 140 allow for a very clear perception of realities and connections between things, what I call the da Vinci trait., characteristic of all gifted people Asperger’s is not a lack of empathy as some suppose. Rather, it depends on a different set of genes--notably GABRB3, which can enable hyper-empathy, and therefore hyper altruism. The causes can be genetic; more likely epigenetic. You can see evidence \in Assange’s history. Attending as many as 37 schools, but mostly self-educated, he is an autodidact, who taught himself programming and hacking. His also has an insatiable desire to stand up for the underdog and a remarkably clear perception of the systemic corruption implicit in modern societies, which he takes personally as an insult to his – and your – humanity. Like another neurodivergent outlier, Greta Thunberg, he is remarkably lucid and articulate when he speaks. Ethics vs Morality Like Thunberg he simply cannot ignore the truth. Like her, he is often vilified. Is his fault Idealism? No, I would call what he and Thunberg have something like “ethical realism”. Idealism implies a priori values== acquired from others – the abstract goals of morality --based on social norms, which can be good or bad. “Ideals” are a part of an ideology of “shoulds” rarely achieved and not necessarily “good” in the wider sense. Sometimes evil Hitler for example is usually labelled as a psychopath – but in fact was an idealist-- an atavistic moralist. Which is why he could pass the first animal rights legislation while murdering millions. The US of A presents itself as idealistic, which is why it can exalt neo-Calvinism in which a Chosen Few – the One Percent – get Heaven and the rest of us –the 99%--get McDonalds—oblivious to the wars, destruction, and selective genocides worldwide that pay for our Big Mac and enrich Gates and Bezos. What is worse? Nazism or Americanism. The Americans have killed more people and indeed, Hitler credited the US of A with inspiring him in his efforts, saying … not only does man live in order to serve higher ideals, … conversely these higher ideals also provide the premise for his existence as a person. For idealists of this kind, therefore, ideals and the moralistic norms that engender them are a priori to their humanity, as Hitler says, “the premise for his existence”. Sum Ergo Cogito Not "I think therefore I am". It is "I am therefore I think". Or-- feel! For an ethical realist like Assange or Thunberg, humanity comes first. The Person comes first. The ethical realist’s values are based on experience – on empathetic connection with actual people – caring and sharing. To feel another’s feelings – empathy – you must surrender part of what you think is your identity – and become that other person. That moment of surrender implies sacrifice. True altruism therefore means acting for the Other--even at the cost of one’s own life. Good is what benefits all. Bad is simply what hurts someone. Julian Assange knew what he was getting into, taking on history’s biggest and most corrupt--and corruptive--empire And now he languishes in Belmarsh. That’s on all of us. How long did Jesus hang on the cross? Assange has been slowly crucified now for years. If he dies, it will be reported in the mainstream media, as a “mention” in passing, an insignificant event. And if you first learn about it in, say, on CNN, then you haven’t been paying attention. And what are you doing watching CNN anyway? That makes you not only stupid--but an accessory. Like the guy who drives the car for a home invasion in which a family is killed. He didn’t know anyone was going to get killed because he didn’t want to think about it. Even though his "friends" were bad guys with guns and knives He wanted his hands clean. But the law will prosecute him for murder, too. And maybe he gets to die, too. Stupidity kills and it may kill you! In this age, there is no excuse not to be informed. And those who aren’t informed are no better than the Germans who lived near Belsen and Buchenwald and said they knew nothing. Not wanting to know is not an excuse for anything. You smell the flesh burning what do you do? Oh, reach for the air freshner. You hear the screams of the dying? Turn up the volume for CNN. YOU are the Holocaust.
- OMICRON: AFRAID?
Omicron is a mutant. Why oh why can we not have vaccines for the Kardashians? At least, we don't have new mutants, just the current celebrity cluster. And you don't have to pay attention to them. They are not a physical disease. Maybe a form of mental illness. In the case of COVID, you also have genetic aberrants. With new variants like Omicron, vaccines made for one variant, don’t necessarily work for others. According to some reports, Pfizer is just about 20% effective. Score one for the Antivaxxers. So vaccines haven't made the problem go away. That doesn't mean that vaccines aren't the answer. We just need better ones. . What are the best vaccines? The mRNA vaccines, for example, were designed for Alpha and had about 95% efficacy, although with disturbing side effects in some people. With Delta, these vaccines delivered a maximum 88%, according to their makers – and more likely lower, according to real world reports -- with efficacy dropping fast after the second dose to below 50% after just four months, and almost nothing at 6 months. Cuban vaccines such as Soberana designed on the basis of later variants including the virulent Beta form and Delta score almost 93 %, with efficacy lasting 50% longer. Taking into account the fact that they do not need refrigeration, the total cost of application for these vaccines is about 10% that of the American vaccines. The Russian Sputnik vaccines were designed for Alpha but use a dual adenovirus delivery system that offers a wider spread of immune protection covering potential variants, an effect indicated in many studies. This immune effect lasts longer, past 6 months as confirmed by real world studies. By mid-January, Sputnik will be producing a booster tailored to Omicron. Again, the Russian vaccines are a fraction of the cost of the mRNA vaccines. More bang for the buck. Where is Omicron heading? Months ago, I predicted new mutations on the horizon. Omicron proves me right. The main CoV viruses are zoonotic, cross-species organisms and that are constantly evolving. COV-SARS 1 mutated from a disease with a very high fatality rate, into something more benign. So lots of people are hoping COV SARS 2 –the Big O COVID -- will be less dangerous than, say, Delta. Initially the mostly anecdotal reports were that “so far” the cases had been mild. But most infections have been among younger people, who tend to show only mild symptoms But, in the UK,, where the virus is spreading very fast, there have been hospitalizations and at least one death. Obviously more people will die. Among the few things we know about this virus, is that it is genetically unstable – which means it is more novel than th original COVID19 novel virus. So, it could mutate into something completely harmless -- or into something as lethal as the Bubonic Plague There are NO COVID “experts”. In situations like this, people want to trust “experts”. But where are the “experts” for something that didn’t exist before? The experts at the WHO, who may or may not be experts say "don't panic". But I am not into Russian Roulette. The CDC echoes the WHO with the caveat – “everything will be AOK if just get vaccinated with three shots of the old vaccine instead of two”. Does Fauci, who has come out as saying we don’t need an Omicron-specific vaccine, own stock in Pfizer I wonder? Such advice is smart for public servants whose “public” consists of Bill Gates, who just happens to fund the WHO, Jeff Bezos who has made a few extra billions off COVID and Elon Musk who doesn’t much care. You, one of the People wait in line looking at the tail of the cow in front waiting for a bolt betw een the eyes. Trust the cowboys. Be a happy, happy cow and later even happier as a hamburger. The current vaccines available in the USA and its outlying colonies in Europe and Asia aren’t very effective against Omicron -- but better than nothing. And Delta is still around, so you need that booster. The right booster would help a lot but you won’t get that soon without governmental action. The “Free World” is not “free” to buy Russian or Cuban vaccines because the Government must protect its pharma companies and newly minted billionaires. “Free enterprise” is un-American. Sometimes “panic” is the only option So please, please PANIC! Imagine everyone panicking. People rioting. Massive and more less uncivil disobedience. Walmarts being looted of TVs, underwear and socks. Once the people start breaking windows to steal socks, the “Government” will have to do something. Unless of course, the socks were made in China. Yeah, they—the “authorities” have the police and the military. But there are a lot more of us than them. If shit hits the fun, maybe, just maybe, the highly Sputnik and Abdala vaccines might finally get authorized—which is important because with Omicron these vaccines are easier to tweak and produce than Big Pharma USA's hi-tech mRNA vaccines. In three months, you could have a booster that actually works. Otherwise, wait until the summer by which time we should have a new mutant from Africa and we can start all over again. COVID is a bit like a smartphone. There’s a new model every year. Idiots will say, “leave it to the experts”. Experts? Seriously? It’s a novel virus. And where are the experts for something that never existed until now. Predictions One of my day jobs is as a media analyst. What that means is that I look at the main stream media and sort through the propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and fakery, identifying omissions and contradictions. Sure, there is lots of “fake news” on the internet. But the biggest sources are media like CNN, MSNBC, the NYT and WaPo. The only reliable source – 100% so far-- is Wikileaks. And Julian Assange it being slowly executed for that Creepy Uncle Joe. My work leads to conclusions, which inevitably generate predictions, or at least probabilities. In this area, I have a better record than Nate Silver. Yes, I predicted Brexit, the election of Trump, the divisive election of 2020, Biden's policies, recent events in Afghanistan -- and, in the health area, I predicted a pandemic long before COVID! In other words, I am more than qualified to comment. Believe me: the WHO is not the best source of information; nor is Big Pharma Fanboy Fauci and the CDC. They are just two of many sources and may differ. How many times have they changed their story? Do as I do --and look at the widest variety of sources—and the many contradictions—and be very, very afraid. . COVID19—alpha-- became COVID20—beta --then COVID21-- delta, If Covid is like the Kardashions, the earlier iterations are like the Kardashian girl’s obnoxious parents. And COVID 22—Omicron-- is more like Kim. Will COVID 23 be Kanye West? Maybe we should dispense with the Greek and call it Kanye. You get the point. The Media love the Kardashians – they make bundles from these people whose only talent is their ability to appeal to the brain dead.. For Big Pharma, the COVID family is the biggest money maker since Viagra or maybe Oxy’. Universal Vaccination As usual, there is a simple answer to the confusion. Universal vaccination – worldwide. Take smallpox…the first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Jenner. In those days, only a few could get inoculated. Most of the world couldn’t. And the vaccine wasn't all that effective. In colonial times, we used smallpox to wipe out indigenous populations and the Poor. In the 20th Century, smallpox still killed about 300 million people! We only eradicated the disease by vaccinating everyone worldwide, in the last half of the 20th Century. As long as COVID vaccines are only available in Western countries, the pandemic will continue, if not worsen. Africa is just one large bioweapons lab. So, what’s standing in our way? In a word: the US of A. OK -- actually, three words, which apparently stand for the United States of Assholes with its essentially imperial but insular “We are the World” psychology-- the World being wherever you can drive in an hour or maybe your stock portfolio and fuck you if you aren’t an American--or a pet Japanese or a Brit. Homo Sapiens Americanus. The irony is that the mRNA vaccines were mostly funded by the taxpayer. Sure, they often are distributed free – with the Government paying. But that’s your taxpayer money. The mRNA vaccines are patent protected – not that that makes much difference--since they are too expensive for a poorer country and require advanced refrigeration technology. Joseph Biden stutters bromides about the need for vaccines waivers while maintaining the “importance of intellectual property rights. Genocide by any other name would smell as sweet. Greed and Fear? If you not scare by now, you’re just stupid. Or maybe an American, which is statistically at least the same thing as stupid. Let us remember that we don’t know a lot even about the long-gone Alpha version of COVID. Will COVID shorten the lifespan of an entire generation of younger people? Will today’s seniors outlive their juniors? The latter is a possibility, hopefully smaller rather than larger –except for me, since I am older. But – with the US collapsing, and global climate disaster and massive human extinctions in the cards – does it matter? Your kids are going to die anyway. Don’t even think about grandkids. Bill Gates thinks that 6 billion people need to die before the world is habitable. OK for him if that happens because a big die-off won’t affect him and his Billionaire friends who are investing in safe havens in places like New Zealand, and in bunkers and biodomes, which is not of interest to you unless, like Epstein they are having sex with 16 year old whores. Once again, please, please DO PANIC! No, no, those showers are not for delousing – they are gas chambers. Fear is a great motivator, and supports change. Greed is also a great motivator and supports the status quo. In Gordon Gekko country greed is good, evil is good. And freedom is something you buy – IF you have the money. Covid is also a state of mind COVID is not just a medical problem—it is a political and social problem. Russia as failed to defeat COVID for social reasons – the Russian people just don’t trust vaccines. They are conservative. And their government has less control over them than, say, the US which has failed in this area of health care as in so many others -- for social, economic AND political reasons despite its pretensions to “liberal” democracy. I live in Japan. Like many people I got my shots months ago – when there were really just two choices – Pfizer and Moderna. My antibody levels now are down to almost zero. But the Japanese government is starting booster shots of the old vaccines, with plans to vaccinate everyone in a year – that, with a virus that is many times more resistant to mRNA vaccines than Beta and Delta and much more infectious. The Japanese trust American technology they say, although it is always three times more expensive than anyone else’s. And even though the US of A has the highest death rate for COVID than any other country. China, which is now leading the US in many hi-tech areas, remains the ONLY country to have successfully defeated COVID to date. Unlike the US, which is apparently run by one huge Drug Cartel, the People’s Republic IS the “people’s republic—prioritizing the public good, granted -- after many years of painful experimentation with what works and what doesn’t --developing a unique form of direct democracy. It’s still a work in progress. In the US, there is no progress, only regress. If the Chinese and the Russians and Cubans are successful, COVID might be defeated. I vote for them. . I don't know about you-- but I trust success over failure. For real success however, we need the US Empire, surely the most pernicious in human history—to collapse. Then, we will only have to deal with the Kardashians. Their empire is forever. And they reproduce.
- The Gift of Difference
As I mentioned in a previous article, I have Elon Musk coming out as an Aspie to thank for making me less of a weirdo. So now the definition of “different” is not just skin color, gender, sexual preference and the like –it includes odd people like me. Thank you, Elon. “We are all ONE but different. Different but the same!” I hear that a lot--and most people take this as a kind of self-evident truth. I guess you have to be really “different” to get the contradictions. But there’s a catch --or catches. What does “same” mean? It does not mean “equal”. Not in a country where a just a few people own most of the place and there is OK Different and Not OK Different, as we saw in my previous article, in the case of Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin. Of course, we are all the same animal. But, unlike our ancestors, we do not live in small egalitarian bands, where “difference” means different abilities, even among the old who are not shunted away in “homes” to die alone. The ClockWork Man Modern neoliberal societies are large, hierarchical, multi-level societies, in which a few dominate many. While hunter-gatherer societies are fluid and dynamic, ours is structured and static and depends on an artificial rather than a natural order—we are all part of a clock-work machine, in which every cog and wheel and lever has a role and a place and we must, also. Well, not “all” of us. The cogs don’t own the machine. Elon Musk and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos do. If the machine is a clock, whose pocket are you in? In other words, “we are all ONE but different” just means that we are components of the same machine. “Different” just means our mechanical functions are different. “Same” means we all serve our owners. Components that don’t fit end up in the “spares” box, which is not really for “spares” but for junk that might prove useful later. The Machine is also a kluge and you never know what you might need. Most likely, this junk ends up in the trash. I would be more impressed by “We are all ONE but different. Different but the same!” if it was it was “We are all ONE but different. Different but equal!” Or “We are all ONE but different with something to give!” In evolutionary terms, we supplanted other hominids because of our greater capacity for empathy and altruism—not because we were any smarter—but because we were more caring. These characteristics allowed a small band of 30 to 50 people, each unique in his or her own way to adapt to the ever changing circumstances of a nomadic lifestyle. Box Logic “Woke” is a great idea. But what do you do after the alarm rings and your eyes open to the morning light.? Most people just go back to sleep. Contradictions of any kind are like a persistent alarm. So we try to turn them off “canceling:” ideas and people—that don’t fit in—in a process of normalization. I realize that being “divergent” is OK for me so long as I conform to middle class values and a socially accepted lifestyle and don’t tell anyone what I really think. TS Eliot’s J Alfred Prufrock said it right…. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I must be constantly aware of which box I am supposed to fit at any given time. It all depends on the situation. This box logic is taxonomic -- helpful in categorizing people into “identities” and also “roles”, which makes it ever so easy to sort them and assign them to do stuff--or just ignore—or throw out. It provides Order. And Safety. Think about it. You don’t find many squares in nature. Most things are round. Nevertheless, we think in boxes. We live in them. And die in them. Nature provides round holes, like caves for bears, holes in trees for woodpeckers and squirrels. We carve ourselves in to square pegs and then try to hammer them into the holes. Education The Carpentry of the Human Spirit Children are naturally creative but since creativity is always subversive, kids must be “reared”, “brought up” -- “normalized” – trained to be unnatural. As I said—squares and boxes—and pegs traumatically forced to fit. Society imposes an inhuman geometry on its members We take kids and put them in large boxes called schools, with smaller boxes inside called classrooms, with little boxes called desks to which they attached with invisible chains. We demand kids think about one thing at a time, blocking out a world of possibilities, studying one subject ever more closely, a kind of conceptual box, divided into smaller ones, paying attention to the inconsequential and the meaningless. No wonder we need glasses. Our kids come in all shapes, but we make sure they dress the right away, talk the right way, and obey us. If they don’t they have ADHD or ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). Quick! Put them on meth’. Relationships for us are like Aztec pyramids, one box piled on another. The goal is Order. The Sacrifice is Joy. Remember school? Put up your hand, if you need to pee. Fido must ask to go outside and pee, too. You must learn to do things on command. Roll over. Beg. Sit. Stay. Society is a one huge, Dog Leviathan. Still you want to pee on a tree.. Nature will win in the end. 78% of teens diagnosed with ADHD spontaneously recover at age 18. When they escape from School. How NeuroDivergent people (some of them) think Indigenous people have a different geometry as you saw in my article Genius is a Disorder (1). Cats, who all have ADHD and Asperger’s, and are the natural heirs of Pythagoras, know exactly what to do with boxes – hide, sleep, or play. And occasionally pee. Cats are Pythagoreans Neurodivergent people do not think in straight lines: 1, 2, 3, 4. They tend to think in circles, or more correctly spirals and vortices: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. Nature is a Fibonacci sequence which we are taught today as a mathematical algorithm, to elucidate patterns such as atomic structures, human DNA and genetic code, not to mention the impact of great paintings and musical and other creative works. Nature doesn’t “think” of Fibonacci as people do, however, —not as numbers – but as relationships expressed in multidimensional patterns, which our prehistoric ancestors saw and copied. Paleolithic Fibonacci Notice the way the lines curve in paleo. The pattern is circular but dynamic, directing the eyes to move in a curve. The proportions somehow work in a unique way, asymmetry balanced by symmetry. A wall painting is flat. A rose, however, is multidimensional and the Fibonacci sequence is expressed vertically. —therefore vortically, Fibonacci is the Name of the Rose Thinking is a natural function, expressing the organic functions of the brain, therefore Fibonacci cognition is basic to human perception. Many people have noted that when I talk about how I reach certain conclusions, I seem to be switching subjects arbitrarily rather than following the patterns of formal rule-based reasoning. I polymathically link different things that are normally not associated, locking for the underlying logic of possible connections that suggest something else. You didn’t understand that, did you? OK, take poetry. That doesn’t germane to this discussion, right? But metaphors are essential to poetry, as are the contradictions implied in irony. Metaphors connect two different things to communication one or several meta-meanings, which superficially appear illogical. anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did.. ee cummings But the illogicality in this case has its own logic. The fact is our basic mode of thought is metaphorical. A prehistoric hunter could see a broken branch and a bit of hair and smell something different and know that a deer had passed in the last few hours. For the hunter, everything is a metaphor. If you listen to Julian Assange or Vladimir Putin talk unscripted, which they mostly do, unlike Western politicians, you will see similar patterns. They connect things which often seem unconnected and extract unexpected meanings. Which is hard to argue with. You may not like them but they are right a lot of the time. That’s the thing about creativity. It is, as I have said, subversive of social or established order. But let us keep in mind that not all creativity rises to the level of genius and geniuses fail more often that they succeed, which is usually with the help of others. Of F Scott Fitzgerald's half dozen or so novels, only one, The Great Gatsby, was truly great. And that one needed the help of Maxwell Perkins, the same editor who helped Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe and other literary geniuses. It also goes without saying that while all geniuses are neurodivergent, most neurodivergent people are not geniuses. But without the creativity that neurodivergent people offer -- that "difference"--we cannot have even incremental progress or change. The boxes eventually get thrown out – and you with them. Note: Like many writers, I am dyslexic. So you will see lots of typos. Let me know, please! More articles on ADHD... GENIUS IS A DISORDER GENIUS IS A DISORDER 2 Fixing ADHD (1) Fixing ADHD (2) Fixing ADHD (3)
- OMICRON: THE PANIC BUTTON?
COVID is like the Kardashians. There are many of them. Each different. But each… a Kardashian. Variants. They have a "family resemblance" but each is individual, each toxic in a unique way. I wrote this months ago, as I predicted new variants on the horizon. Omicron proves me right Why oh why can we not have vaccines for the Kardashians? At least, we don't have new mutants, just the current cluster. And you don't have to pay attention to them. In the case of COVID, vaccines haven't made the problem go away. And with new variants, it's wack-a-mole. And you can't ignore the problem. I wrote this months ago, as I predicted new mutations on the horizon. Omicron proves me right about those mutations. I wish I weren't right -- but I am. Of course, we don't know what these mutations actually do. After all, COV-1 mutated from a disease with a very high fatality rate, into something more benign. WHO says "don't panic"-- perhaps thinking of COV-1. That's smart advice for public servants who don't actually serve you -- and mostly serve people like Bill Gates. Maybe bad advice for you. Because public panic can help by putting pressure on governments. Maybe if people get upset and angry, the highly effective Russian and Cuban vaccines might finally get authorized. It's important because with Omicron these vaccines are easier to tweak than Big Pharma USA's hi-tech mRNA vaccines--which might well be unavailable in many places for over a year. One of my day jobs is as a media analyst. What that means is that I look at the media and sort through the propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and fakery, identifying omissions and contradictions. That leads to conclusions, which inevitably generate predictions, or at least probabilities. In this area, I have a better record than Nate Silver. Yes, I predicted Brexit, the election of Trump, the divisive election of 2020, Biden's policies, recent events in Afghanistan -- and, in the health area, new COVID variants like Omicron. IN fact, I predicted a pandemic long before COVID! COVID19 is not just one virus: it is a whole bunch of sibling diseases, each awful in its own way — just like Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and the rest: they share similar genetics is all. The“19” in COVID19 stands for 2019 — WHO nomenclature for a coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and was identified in Wuhan in early 2020. There was and is no scientific consensus about the origins of this virus but it clearly mutated from some other member of a coronavirus family — most likely not in China — and variants were quickly discovered early on. All existing vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and the like — are based on creating antigens for the ’19 versions — which, unfortunately for you, have been mutating and differentiating . The brand is still “COVID’ but within the brand, there is a lot of choice. Not choice for you--choice for the Viroids. Forget “herd immunity”. Didn’t work us with the Kardashians did it? No matter how awful, they are still popular. I digress.... COVID22? Ipso facto, COVID19 became COVID20, then COVID21, with new mutations. COVID22 is Omnicron. . No doubt trendier and — but from a virus’ point of view — better, with super advanced features, like winning against that Pfizer jab you were counting on.. In the case of smallpox, we virtually eradicated the disease by universal vaccination, in the last half of the 20th Century. But the first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Jenner. In those days, only a few could get inoculated. Most of the world couldn’t . And the vaccine wasn't all that effective. We face a similar situation with COVID today. We used smallpox to wipe out indigenous populations and the Poor. In the 20th Century, smallpox killed about 300 million people! Today, the most vulnerable are still the Poor and people of one color or another. You can not develop herd immunity without vaccinating 90% of the world’s population with vaccines effective against all variants of a disease. And, ideally, the vaccines have to offer "immune sterility", rather than just reducing susceptibility, as is the case with all current COVID vaccines. In this respect, the US represents a problem, not a solution-- with its essentially imperial but insular “We are the World” psychology. For the Evil Empire, the only people that matter are Americans --or, in other countries, Honorary Americans, like the Japanese or the Brits. If we had started when the first vaccine appeared--the highly effective Sputnik V--, we could be on our way today to vaccinating everybody. American mRNA vaccines are even more effective --but expensive and Big Pharma has a thing about "intellectual property" and profitability trumps humanity (in all senses of that word). Worse, the mRNA vaccines need refrigeration that simply isn't available where you most need it. And, of course, the "West" could never cooperate with countries like Russia, China and Cuba to deal with a global pandemic...y'know...globally. The coronavirus we called COVID19 mutates slowly — but relentlessly. Despite it being two years on, we still know little about it and its sequelae, other than it damages the entire vascular system and has long term post-infection effects even with asymptomatic cases and the young, who are actually the majority of cases. Will it shorten the lifespan of an entire generation of younger people? Will today’s seniors outlive their juniors? That is a possibility, hopefully smaller rather than larger. The worst case is it mutates to something only 2 to 3% fatal to a disease that kills over 50%. The Pandemic is not a Plague -- but that's in the cards. Again, who knows? So...yeah...PANIC! Please panic. Fear is the Great Motivator. GREED KILLS Money, the Bible says, is the root of all evil. In the case of vaccines, that is especially so. But the US of A is really a Gordon Gekko country. Here, greed is good. Evil=Good. American Big Pharma really doesn’t want COVID to go away — it is the biggest money maker since Viagra. Better than 'oxy. For our corporate cartels, the disease is is a marketing and branding bonanza--just like the Kardashians. They envisage creating new vaccines for each of the new COVIDs on a seasonal basis. The newest, most contagious and vaccine-resistant members of the COVID family all come from countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil, countries that have limited vaccination programs. The US says it wants to suspend patent rights--but--that 's just PR-- nothing much as been done in this regard. Believe it when it happens, keeping in mind that many countries don't have the tech for mRNA production. And the US is pressuring countries not to buy cheaper and equally effective foreign products like Sputnik V, which does offer local manufacturing rights, and is much cheaper, simpler to produce, and does not require extreme refrigeration. The American media regularly diss the Chinese vaccines. Sinovac is about as effective as Astrazeneca and J&J -- with arguably fewer fatal side effects.. Sinopharm is considerably more effective than Sinovac. And the Yellow Peril are testing a new and promising vaccine, ReCov, a recombinant DNA vaccine with those closet reds, the Kiwis. But hey!-- you can't trust the commies, even if they do manufacture the majority of American medicines. The bottom line in the "West", it’s not human life that matters— just dollars and cents--or national ego. And, really, death is more profitable. The Land of the Free? Free to Die (at your own expense). Simply put, any vaccine, even the simple, less effective Chinese vaccines can limit the spread of the virus--although you are going to need a third shot and a fourth and probably a fifth.. But everybody has to take them. Even marginal "herd immunity" is not possible unless over 80% of a population is fully vaccinated. So anti-vaxxers have their heads quite literally up their asses. Intellectual Property Is A Bitch Pfizer and Moderna’s hugely expensive vaccines use a new technology, mRNA — messenger RNA. According to Pfizer, the actual creators of this application of mRNA are Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman — but they are really just two “primaries” in a complicated developmental process — mostly funded by taxpayer money. The vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, which are likely to be the first to win FDA approval, in particular rely heavily on two fundamental discoveries that emerged from federally funded research: the viral protein designed by Graham and his colleagues, and the concept of RNA modification, first developed by Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, Moderna’s founders in 2010 named the company after this concept: “Modified” + “RNA” = Moderna, according to co-founder Robert Langer. “This is the people’s vaccine,” said corporate critic Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. … It should belong to humanity.” OK, so the taxpayer and the NIH invested a huge amount of time, effort and money in fostering mRNA technologies. Their payback? Under a 1980 law, the NIH will obtain no money from the coronavirus vaccine patent. Who does profit? How much money will eventually go to the discoverers or their institutions isn’t clear. Any existing licensing agreements haven’t been publicized; patent disputes among some of the companies will likely last years. HHS’ big contracts with the vaccine companies are not transparent, and Freedom of Information Act requests have been slow-walked and heavily redacted, said Duke University law professor Arti Rai. Gordon Gekko wins again. FALLING BEHIND Greed slows down the ability of vaccine research to keep up with mutations, which makes corporate products inevitably retrospective. — with companies firewalling research, inhibiting collaboration among the international scientific community and killing creativity — all so that their executives can buy that new Ferrari or the summer home in the Hamptons. Their wealth must grow like Kim Kardashian's ass. Pfizer’s says it can produce a new vaccine for Omicron in just a hundred days. That's 3 and a half months but they won't have data to start for about a month or two, it needs testing, although not as much as the Alpha version. Production will take time, so the vaccine might not be available in quantity for about a year. HOPE? Neoliberal greed focuses on short term returns in the vassal states of the American Imperium — Japan, Europe and a few others--and, if it has any benefits at all, they go to those countries. Neoliberal=neocolonial. Two-thirds of the world’s population however are outside American influence. And much of it cannot afford Big Pharma's very expensive mRNA vaccines or (as mentioned) simply don't have the infrastructure to support refrigeration. These countries will buy Chinese, or Russian — or Cuban. Compare the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and Sputnik. In terms of cost-performance, the Russian vaccine wins every time — at least three times cheaper, much safer, and equally effective. Tiny Cuba, which devotes more than half of its national budget to healthcare, medical training and development of medicines has been developing sub unit vaccines, which use peptides from existing viruses. The Cubans have a huge amount of experience in developing vaccines and are proceeding with immense caution and care, among other things using computer modeling to predict viral mutations. So their approach is forward looking, making it easier for them to come up with a solution to Omicron or the next variant after that. Pfizer wants steady income from vaccines — which means it doesn’t really want the disease to just go away, despite all the hoopla about AI predicting mutations. The Cubans want to get rid of the disease like smallpox or polio. Despite US sanctions, the new Cuban vaccine Abdala is 92.8 % effective after 3 doses. It is much cheaper than Moderna or Pfizer and does not require hi-tech handling. In addition, the Chinese are developing their own mRNA vaccines — and, of course, cooperating with the Cubans and Russians. Let us keep in mind that China remains the ONLY country to have successfully defeated COVID to date. I don't know about you-- but I trust success over failure. If the Chinese and the Russians and Cubans are successful, COVID might be defeated. Someday..... Then, we will only have to deal with the Kardashians.
- Nature versus Nurture?
No, that argument has not gone away. The question assumes a dichotomy -- that “nature” and “nurture” are two separate things, disconnected, like you and your wife. Or maybe "east is east, west is west”. Except for China, the “West” is actually “East. And really for everyone, the “twain”: is everywhere, which is the case with "nature" and "nurture". Of the two parts of the Nature / Nurture dualism, “Nurture” is the hardest to understand, to the extent that we take what Mommy and Daddy taught us as “natural’ which it is (partly) – and is not (partly). Keeping in mind that while "nurture" calls forth images of sucking at nipple, it is also "go to your room and do your homework" and "stop figeting in class" and "detention for you". And "don't touch yourself down there!" Putting that aside, the popular concept of what we call “nurture” is in fact as an all-encompassing heuristic – a big word, poorly understood-- but popularized by Daniel Kahneman in his book: “Thinking Fast and Slow” and much misunderstood by everyone, as a form of cognition. . Whatever Kahneman says, heuristic “thinking” is in most cases NOT “thinking” at all – it is set of conditioned responses so we can react automatically to pre-defined situations. Heuristics (so-called) can have a kind of logic dependent on the assumptions that support it and experience. For the most part, however, they inculcated along with language in late infancy, developed, reinforced and built upon through socialization processes such as education. There is little opportunity for analysis or rational choice. As habits of thought, this kind of "thinking" forms the basis of all culture. In other words, this form of “nurture” is really conditioning. Please salivate at the bell, and eat your Big Mac. Needs – and Wants As you wolf down the burger – with the fries and ketchup, of course –please realize before cardiac arrest that all modern cultures must meet the needs of “nature” --which include but are not limited to: · Love · Sex · Play · Food · Imagination (expression including art and music) · Spirituality · Identity “Nature” after all is the Body, which includes the Brain, which is the place where your “mind” is supposed to reside. And you can’t do much without a body. Or a brain. Raw or Cooked? Our needs are the social “staples” of humanity, from which we create "dinner", or lunch or breakfast. They are out social being’s version of meat and potatoes. Or, in my case, wine and wine. In your case, that burger. Levi Strauss--who was French and distained American food righteously - distinguished nature and culture as the “raw” and the “cooked”. Every culture takes one of these needs and “cooks” it. So love is like a steak. You can eat it raw – as the French do. But Americans cook it and add sauces, garlic and onions – and try to be French by drinking red wine and insisting your kids eat it properly with knives and forks after thanking God who art in Wall Street. You are not supposed to eat with it your fingers or slather it with butter and ketchup, like I used to do as a kid. I ended up in Japan eating raw fish with fingers..... A Good American does NOT eat steak for breakfast. The US Constitution only allows bacon and eggs or toast or pancakes. You get the idea. We gotta have rules for everything. And we call those rules “culture”. The rules re-define “needs” as “wants”. Stuff you want, like running shoes or a wide screen TV or a boob job, but are not actually necessary to survival. . Prehistoric Cultures Prehistoric cultures managed an excellent fusion of nurture and nature – they were fluid, flexible dynamic and interactive – since “culture” was a result of consensus-- evolving through engagement with the environment. With only 30 to 50 people in a group, these societies were egalitarian, usually matrist, and valued diversity, which enhanced them not only genetically but in adaptability. These were “reverse dominance” societies in which no one person was allowed to dominate others. Each person was autonomous; but each shared his or her identity with others. Every day was Pride Day. And they had a lot of sex, which meant paternity was difficult to prove. While each person had a name and a “self” which were unique and denominators of autonomy, each could surrender that sense of self to recognize and identify with another’s. Hence, the emphasis on transcendent spirituality including hallucinogens and the reverence for dreams, dreaming and “visions”. The capacity for this kind of transcendent empathy meant altruism because it enabled us to act for others without any quid pro quo. All ya need is love? Today, we call this evolved sociality simply “love”, which unfortunately has a zillion definitions . Just go to Pornhub. Functionally, however, we tend to think of “love” as some kind of contract, except for biological maternal / paternal love, which all animals have and is actually temporary. Thank god for schools so we can get some rest from the little monsters. In a neoliberal society, all other forms of love framed by a social metaphysical worldview which derives from a “root metaphor” – business. The contract metaphor is implied in our understanding of all social (and political) relationships. When you work you have a contract? When you marry you have one too. If it is not written, it is understood. And it is very much quid pro quo—which we can see from divorce courts. Our ancestors did not have contracts. As I said, they had consensus. Division of labor was not decided by pre-existing contractual rules, with penalties for non-compliance – it was a result of exigency. To paraphrase Marx: “from each according to his ability to the needs of the community”. “Love” as empathy / altruism was the glue that bound these prehistoric communities together. It was the basis for everything else down that list of natural needs—sex, play, food, etc, etc. It was also the reason these societies were so small and so peaceful. You can only empathize with a limited number of people at one time. Empathy in a small group means violence against another is self-violence. The hippy slogan Make Love Not War was truly atavistic – about 35,000 years atavistic! Our prehistoric groups were remarkably tolerant of not only in-group difference, however, but to out-groups, such as other groups in the neighborhood. They needed these outgroups if only to prevent inbreeding and as to prevent social stagnation. Genes in your jeans: epigenetics One way that “nurture” interacts with nature is by altering the expression of our genes. While the genomic sequences are transmitted unchanged, gene expression is influenced a range of external factors, toxins, diet, behaviors mediating stress and neurochemistry, etc, etc. and these alterations are at least in some cases heritable. Biologically speaking we are neurochemical machines, responsive to “epigenetics”, a new buzz word, which simply means “above genetics.” Love, and empathy, and tolerance for difference produces a social environment that affects our neurobiology, turning off genes that would predispose us to violence and dominance behaviors. Despite what faux “evolutionary psychologists” like Pinker say we are not naturally warlike. That is not to validate Rousseau -- the guy who believed that the Noble Savage lived in the Garden. Violence did occur among hunters and gatherers but it was almost always occasioned by special circumstances, an unnatural aberration, that was usually recognized as such—and often forgiven, following contrition and an attempt to make amends. There is nothing in the archeological record to prove that prehistoric human beings were naturally violent . And there were so many good reasons for them NOT to be! Of course, there were psychopaths and sociopaths -- but they could not fit into reverse dominance societies and were normally not considered human and just expelled or killed. Are you a falcon or a chicken? In our modern societies we reward certain kinds of sociopathy and sociopathic behavior, which is understandable since our “root metaphor” is “business” and all corporations are by definition sociopathic, emphasizing gain at the expense of others. We don't like Ted Bundy type sexually sadistic psychopaths -- but Jeff Bezos is AOK. Still, even without culling sociopaths, our genomes remain remarkably intact, with only 3% of people genetically sociopathic. Sociopaths in law, politics and business are as much as 30% but these are likely mostly epigenetic sociopaths, in which case the genes for empathy and altruism are turned off thanks to nurture. On the other hand, civilizations prioritizing individual survival rather than that of the group tend to have a limited lifespan. As a lifestyle adaptation, mass multilevel hierarchical "civilizations" have only been around for about 8000 years, each lasting just a few centuries. Hunting and gather lifestyles while marginalized for that period have remained, viable for a total of 50,000 years or so. Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The Second Coming WB Yeats. Yeats wrote this poem in 1919, dismayed by the violence of WWI and what seemed like anarchy and disorder. But our ancestors were proto-anarchists. Falcons do fine without a falconer. And most people are not falcons, which may be predators but just kill to eat and fee their babies. Most of us are chickens. And our destination is the slaughterhouse. Sources: Between Social and Biological Heredity: Cope and Baldwin on Evolution, Inheritance, and Mind.Ceccarelli D.J Hist Biol. 2019 Mar;52(1):161-194. doi: 10.1007/s10739-018-9522-2.PMID: 29873001 Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior.Ian C G Weaver 1, Nadia Cervoni, Frances A Champagne, Ana C D'Alessio, Shakti Sharma, Jonathan R Seckl, Sergiy Dymov, Moshe Szyf, Gender Trouble in Social Psychology: How Can Butler's Work Inform Experimental Social Psychologists' Conceptualization of Gender? Morgenroth T, Ryan MK. Front Psychol. 2018 Jul 27;9:1320. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01320. eCollection 2018. PMID: 30100895 https://behavioralscientist.org/the-end-of-nature-versus-nurture/ https://www.livescience.com/640-peace-war-early-humans-behaved.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3521964/ https://www.thoughtco.com/root-metaphor-1692067 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717100548.htm Lamarckism by Other Means: Interpreting Pavlov's Conditioned Reflexes in Twentieth-Century Britain.Lidwell-Durnin J.J Hist Biol. 2020 Mar;53(1):81-103. doi: 10.1007/s10739-019-09568-3.PMID: 31243638 . The Epigenome in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.Reichard J, Zimmer-Bensch G.Front Neurosci. 2021 Nov 3;15:776809. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.776809. eCollection 2021. PMID: 34803599 The root of metaphor theory of metaphysics.Stephen C. Pepper..Journal of Philosophy 32 (14):365-374 (1935) William Benjamin Carpenter and the Emerging Science of Heredity. Hill-Andrews O.J Hist Biol. 2019 Mar;52(1):3-43. doi: 10.1007/s10739-018-9540-0.PMID: 30151778
- The "Natural Diet": Is your ass fat?
Kim Kardashian doesn't like her big butt. Well, what can she do about it? Some of that bottom blubber is genetics. It's called "steatopygia", which is most common among people's living in harsh or marginal environments, a way of storing energy and water. Overall, of course, Kim carries too much weight. And she has made an effort to diet and with the low carb Atkins 40 diet of 1800 kcal--on which she lost 31 kg. after pregnancy -- which is a LOT-- and indicative of metabolic issues. The problem I suspect is both genetics and lifestyle, bearing in mind that any diet like Atkins 40 is hard to stay on continuously, and how much of her diet and exercise routine is just PR is hard to know. Obviously, the Kardashians are very good at PR. Whatever she's doing, she's doing it wrong. I suspect that her much touted diet-exercise routine is just that -- touting to go with the pouting. Touty-pouty is the "look" these days. She may follow the routine off and on and then binge with her celebrity friends. That ass is the give away. She certainly doesn't look anything like this. Bugs are better than beef? Atkins, Paleo, Carnivore. Diets are Big Business. Not just for Kim. The American meat industry pours millions into selling you juicy red meat steaks-- and are naturally supportive. These diets DO work, by reducing overall calories -- but they are not as healthy as you think. Neither are they "natural" in the sense that they represent optimum nutrition in evolutionary terms. While we don't know much about prehistoric nutrition, we obviously did not evolve to eat omelets or steak. And all protein is not created equal. What has more protein? Beef or bugs? Bugs. Of course, modern pesticides make bugs dangerous to eat. And who knows what roaches in a bodybuilding gym eat? Naturally, they are not included in the USDA which does not do business with large bug farms--not yet anyway. Still, 80% of the world's population include bugs in their diet. Take the common cricket. In addition to protein, crickets are high in many other nutrients, including fat, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, copper, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, and iron. One study found that the iron content of crickets was 180% higher than that of beef. Plus, the crickets were higher in calcium and the B vitamin riboflavin than meat products like chicken, pork, and beef (6Trusted Source) Add that chitin, the exoskeleton, that is a prebiotic and stimulates the production of "good" bacteria in your gut -- up to 5.7 times People who eat crickets have less heart disease. And body builders look for cricket protein to increase their indicate of BCAAs. Omnivores all We are neither carnivores-- nor vegans. We are omnivores. The hunter gatherer diet was / is diverse, perhaps 200 different species of plants and animals over a year. Note the absence of cows. And the presence of snails. Go Molluscs, go! Were the Coahuiltecans proto-French? Molluscs loads of protein plus omega 3 fatty acids and other good stuff.-- loads of B12, zinc, potassium, selenium, zinc and copper--and snails are just land-based mollusc Not that Real American Men eat oysters -- or frogs-- or snails, like the French... And...(ugh!) LIberals! Real Americans want things simple. And big .Like a Big Mac. Big tits. Kim's ass. In other words, Joe USA is into Fat. The human body needs fat and dietary fats, too. But our nutritional needs are really, really complicated--right down to the molecular level. Which is why a lot of people live on packaged nutritional detritus from the Convenience Store. ABC -- the Mantra Sheer sloth drives most people back to the USDA pyramid or My Plate-- aka Food Company Propaganda. And then we agonize about our asses, like Kim. Or our weeny biceps. The USDA says you need carbs for energy and protein for maintaining muscles. But it is also selling cereals for that industry, which is something that we did not eat for about 40,000 years. Veggies, fruits, and grain are all different kinds of carbs, with grains and a few fruits such as avocados also supplying protein and each food having some benefits. Dairy is protein, fat, carbs, and calcium, although we are the only animal that thrives on milk from another species and a lot of people are lactose intolerant. Our ancestors got a lot of their carbs from veggie sources -- and, of course, tubers. Schools teach the A, B, Cs of vitamins, along with the ABCs of sex, politics, and everything else. ABC is a Pavlovian metaphor-mantra applied to lots of things to get you salivating or running away in fear. Which is why it the name of a media network and store chains. As a child, you learn vaguely about minerals like calcium and zinc. As an adult, while on the internet searching Pornhub, you have heard terms like “micronutrient” and “phytonutrient”, stuff in produce and of course supplements which are heavily marketed. Your Mom told you to eat your broccoli or you would die, so you still eat it religiously, slathered in butter and ketchup. You will eat oysters only if you have ED. Caution: viagra should not be taken with food. "I have needs"!! Interaction Like sex, good nutrition all so complicated -- but actually easy. You want to get laid but is aint easy. You want a tighter ass -- but how? As with sex, it's all about interaction. For example, that Beta-carotene is just one of a few hundred carotenoids, that Vitamin E comes in various forms of tocotrienols and tocopherols, and that too much of the alpha form can increase your cancer risk by depleting the gamma form. So the vitamin pills you take might be doing you harm. You know that the body manufactures some vitamins like D all on its own—but not really since you need sunlight. You may have heard that your body actually makes a whole range of other substances such as melatonin, 5-ALA, and endocanniboids with nutrient metabolism affected positively or negatively by many factors. You are not a Food Moron but you are not a molecular biologist either. Your ancestors knew better Our ancestors didn’t agonize about what was in their diet or "interaction". But then again they didn't worry about getting fat either. Or fat asses, which were sexy for the San Bushmen. They just ate what they could get. They did not listen to Dr Mercola -- they listened to their gut. Emotions and habits were a priori to integrated into a natural ecosystem, which provided for their needs. Hungry in the morning? Eat a few berries. Or a bug or two. Guess what! The berries contain all sorts of phytochemicals and antioxidants; and, as we saw, a bug is full of good stuff. In a state of nature, with sufficient resources, we would eat up to 100 different species of plant over the year, not to mention multiple animal, bird, fish and insect species, with a significant amount of fiber. Yes, they liked meat. But unlike modern people, who eat what is essentially the least nutritious part of an animal - -our ancestors ate everything—bone marrow, organs—the whole lot. The Iroquois would cook and season their meat – with highly nutritious…wait for it…maggots. Our ancestors also had a sweet tooth--satisfied through sweet saps, honeys, berries and fruits, which offered a wide range of micronutrients. Hunter gathers today live in marginal environments. Once they lived in optimal environments andwere a lot better nourished than the average American. Our ecosystem is not natural – it is consumerist and commercial. Your choices are programmed and conditioned and therefore not free choices at all. Our ancestors had the forest, with huge selection. The "Garden" was a fucking jungle. We have convenience stores with packaged poisons. Our ancestors food preferences were determined by availability and natural need; ours by advertising – and, of course, by Mom and Dad and our friends. When was the last time you went out for dinner with the guys and ordered a meal-worm pizza? God is Monsanto. Of course, it is hard to know about ancestral diets because our ancestors didn’t have he Internet to publsih their diet -exercise programs like Kim. And today’s hunter gatherer groups are mostly homeless people in LA or shoplifting hackers. We culturally neutered by the modern world. Once ,we lived in harmony with nature. It was inside us– not a hundred klicks away in a park-- nor one click away on PornHub.. Paleo diets are popular and maybe even a step up. But we can be sure, however, that our ancestors didn’t eat anything like the modern Paleo Diet, which is based on the false theory of Man the Hunter covered in my previous articles and designed for middleclass Americans. The Paleo Diet is really the Neanderthal Diet. The Neanderthals ate a lot of meat after they were forced north into marginal habitats by the newly evolved Homo Sapiens . Maybe that's why they died out! Not "diet" -- lifestyle Kim Kardashian reportedly gave up pizza and ice cream for the Atkins 40 diet. Looking at her ass, I guess she occasionally binge eats and refreshes her fat stores. This is natural because all "diets' reflect a lifestyle, which reflects a cosmology. The Ancestral "Diet" was a lifestyle -- it depended on what was available, our wanderings, and the season, so it changed constantly. But the huge variety, except in marginal areas, provided us with the broadest spectrum of nutrition. Our biomes were also healthier since we were nomadic. We had loads of bacteria in our guts -- and even worms but not the really nasty kind that evolved in concert with agriculture and the use of human excrement as fertilizer. Like other primates we self-medicated, for example with cannabis leaves and seeds, which-- along with their other health benefits-- are anti-parasitic. Today, you just need a joint of ease the pain of Hollywood celebrity culture. What did we eat? · Animal Protein. Wild meat, birds, fish, eggs, insects, reptiles, molluscs. · Nuts and seeds, including wild grains, wild rice and rye · Fruits, including oily fruits such olives and avocados · Vegetables · Mushrooms · Herbs, leaves of various kinds · Roots and Tubers such as yams and others. · Berries Were we happier then? Maybe. Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins called it "the original affluent society". We were certainly healthier, if we survived past 30 and clearly healthier mentally. Civilizations taught us shit. We grew vegetables in it. And our rulers fed our minds with it. Kim's ass is the icon of post-industrial society.
- Why Greta sees reality and you don't
Greta Thunberg sees reality. Most recently, she called out COP26 for what it is -- a cop out. That generated a lot of hate. And the usual dismissal, "Well, she has a mental disorder--she's not normal". Most of the time, she's smiling and happy. But it seems that every photo the MSM shows is of her scowling. As if she's pissed off by the prospect of being slaughtered by Corporate greed. Maybe it is the "normal" people who are sick. There is a word for it. Normopathy! How do we characterize people like Greta? "Abnormal? " "Deviant? " "Sick"? Usually we say that have a mental illness, that impairs their ability to function. Quite the opposite. Greta calls her Asperger's her "super power" and whether it's "super" or not it is real power. If you think "normal" is "good", you're rationalizing dysfunctionality Normopathy is delusional state in which you accept other people’s way of seeing the world as your own. If the rest of the rats think their kids are cats, you do too. And most normal people are like white rats-- they do what they are trained to do. They think the Lab is reality. They think their perceptual strait jacket is a mental fashion statement. Fifty shades of ... ? By all means, buy a strait jacket and have some kinky sex, but don't put one on your brain. Normopathy is schizoaffective but since your delusions are held by the rest of society, you have no need for Thorazine—just beer--and maybe some weird. sex, as long as everyone else is doing it. A recent article describes human consciousness as “controlled hallucination”. In other words, we are all mad – and the craziest are those who think they are “normal”. The hallucination theory is a more elegant explanation of what Julian Jaynes tried to explain many years ago in this theory of the “bicameral” mind, which suggest that “consciousness” as we know it evolved just about 4000 years ago and before that we listened to the voices of the gods. Controlled Hallucination By “consciousness”, he meant something like rational thought. Poor Julian got it wrong. The Neolithic gave us “civilizations”, which used “reason” to keep the status quo, pyramidal, unequal societies, “normal” as mechanism for rationalizing an artificial social order. Today, we still listen to the Gods – CNN, WaPo, the BBC, the NYT, MSNBC-- are the voices of a Pantheon made up of rich sociopaths.Like the Greek Gods, these ones care little about mere mortals like you and me--but demand worship. For “normal” people, “consciousness” as awareness is still far off, an unrealized ideal -- and in the meantime we have to be satisfied with controlled hallucination. “Reason” as the philosopher Heidegger pointed out is just a tool, and often the “adversary of thought” where it is a cultural artifact. But Greta uses reason to break into that mortgaged suburban home you call a mind. Perception and Imagination What exactly is a “controlled hallucination”? It is pretty simple really. “Other directed” people see the world as others do. Perception is selective. You know, figure / ground. Y’know—gestalt . So, conception is pre-determined by what we see. The animals or the tree. We see what we expect – or more correctly are expected to. Or, we do not see at all. Let’s take another example. Conception is always immaculate -- which is to say that conceptualization is pre-determined. We see what we expect – or more correctly are expected to. Or, we do not see at all. The thing is that conception is not necessarily "rational". Mary had to be a Virgin. Jesus arrived by "Immaculate Conception", an idea invented a few centuries after the Birth of the First Great Hippy, who, as we know, liked to hang with the Fallen. As with the gestalt above, "context" is all. We can revise our conceptions only through radical perception of realty, which is what Greta is offering. The simple fact that, at this point in time, "adults" are offering kids only death. To get to the truth, you have to unhide it, as Greta does, creating a new paradigm, which was not really new but there all the time -- you just didn't see it. Imagine that you’re on a train. The train starts moving. You look out. “Oh, the train is moving”. You imagine the train moving – but you don’t actually see it. Einstein sitting next to you, looks out and sees the world moving. You don’t know who Einstein is. But he has weird hair. You move to another seat so you don’t have to sit next to a nutjob. Somehow he reminds you of Greta. In the meantime, Albert is asking the question: how could the world be moving when it is actually the train. He connects this to issues in Newtonian physics, which works well most of the time for most people – but not always—and realizes that the principles of time and space may be different on a cosmic scale. Hence: relativity. Einstein’s perception is accurate. Yours isn’t ---because you don’t actually see the train is moving – you just infer it. Your inference is correct, of course—you get where you are going. Lucky for you. But Greta is telling you your destination is a train wreck. Executive Function. A psychologist will tell you that Greta has "impaired executive function". “Executive function” or EF, has various cortical functions supposedly providing a kind of as top-down guidance—a concept that is no doubt heart-warming to academic fakes like Stephen Pinker, the Harvard academic who writes popular books about the need for top-down control of our base instincts to rape and kill. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but I had to get a dig in there. I have ADHD. Still, Pinker’s Leviathan is some neurologist’s EF. Both fit the neoliberal worldview. In the Neoliberal Brain, the prefrontal lobes of the brain do interact with other parts. We just don’t know exactly how. It’s a bit like the old Left/Right brain canard that so many people still believe. Yes, the right and left brains do have different functions but not as different as you think-- nor as you think. Activity on both sides of the brain are similar, despite differences in personality. Differences reflect neurological distribution of functions-- helpful if you have a stroke. "EF" is not "science". It is not proven . Rather, it is one theory among many and more of an attempt to rationalize the differences between “normal” people and those whose brains “diverge”-- and justify categorizing the neurodivergent as broken or impaired. That makes it easier to dismiss someone like Greta -- or the young Einstein. According to this theory , the prefrontal lobes guide attention in the sensory cortices and inhibit behavior in the premotor cortices and basal ganglia, so don’t hit "act out" and hit your boss with a hammer as you frequently imagine doing. You tell yourself he is a "person" and not the asshole that you hate. That makes it easier to kill time in the office till 5 when you can go home and enjoy Dexter dismembering someone in his "kill room". EF regulates emotion—in this example, anger-- in the hypothalamus and cerebellum--which enables tdhe “high” level of latent inhibition, characteristic of “normal” people---ummm…normopaths, most of you—if you have never at least peed in your boss’s coffee. If you have peed in his coffee, welcome to humanity. As I said, there is no indication that the brain is "normally" top-down. As in successful businesses, I suggest it is as much lateral and bottom-up. Appropriate Behavior Greta sees things as they are -- unfiltered. She tells the truth. But she is criticized for "inappropriate" behavior. It is not her place --she is a young girl. Suppose your boss calls you a “high maintenance fucking cunt”, when you ask for a day off to see your sick mother, and you don’t hear him because your EF has turned your emotional hearing aid download and you just smile and ignore it. That response is dictated by perception, or lack of it. You may think it "appropriate" because he is your boss and can fire you, if you do something inappropriate like hit with a hammer. Now, let’s say your EF was off -- and you did hear your boss--emotionally, that is.. What exactly is an “inappropriate” action here? The hammer is probably not a good idea. The man is a bully. Replying “takes one, to know one”? And a sarcastic smile? And "I'm taking the day off anyway". Too risky? Actually, not responding is risky. Putting him in his place, you are protected in most jurisdictions by law. He can only lose by pushing it. Some people with go the "moderate" root -- “Let’s discuss this a little more…you may think I am demanding too much, etc, etc”. But you cannot reason with an unreasonable person. If you have ADHD or Asperger’s you will automatically go for confrontational response, which is why neurodivergent teenagers are often classified as having "oppositional defiant disorder", often as not, just responding to harassment. "Normal" people don't like conflict with authority figures. Another reason, Greta gets so much hate. Dyshonesty Disorder Normopaths are taught to be dishonest to themselves. So, how can they be honest to others? Maybe we should call this Dyshonest Disorder. People with ADHD and high-end autism on the other hand tend to be very honest and they see other people’s emotions very well, unfiltered by social conditioning: they will see an asshole as an asshole. Call a spade a spade. They react intuitively—which normopaths would term “impulsively”. Greta Thunberg is a high end autist -- Asperger's. Julian Assange is too. They are very, very different people but they are both honest and focused on uncomfortable realities, which “normopaths” do not see at all, thanks to the the mainstream media and other arbiters of “normalcy”. They are both regarded as somehow "inappropriate" -- which leads to a lot of sometimes unsubtle slander -- Assange as a egocentric rapist; Greta as an angry, mentally ill teen. Not many people come right out and say these things, but the language they use often implies it. So, Assange, the most important investigative journalist of all time is in Belmarsh Prison, under conditions widely regarded as torture -- for exposing war crimes and atrocities that contradict American propaganda. But imagine if there had been no Julian Assange. Only Wolf Blitzer. Would the world be a better place? Imagine no Greta Thurnberg. Only Kylie Jenner. We would be the poorer for it. Julian Jaynes was, in a sense, correct about the bicameral mind – except the voices in our heads, are talking heads on the media --and our “consciousness” is another form of sleep.. Maybe the next stage in evolution after a provoke a Great Extinction and you suddenly discover yourself ... dead. But then death only comes to those who have really lived. Have you? In this age of virtual reality, willing suspension of disbelief rules, but the result is not poetry or art—just controlled hallucination. In the shadows, unseen horrors hide, biding their time, sharpening their knives. Greta Thunberg is said to have a "mental disorder" because she sees it as it is and speaks the truth. Most Americans are oblivious to their psychotic fate.
- The Bruce Lee Diet : Get Fit
Bruce Lee was among the fittest athletes of all time. He trained for strength and speed and health, not muscular size. He paid particular attention to diet, which is responsible for his remarkable muscular definition. Keep in mind that the much sought-after "six pack" is not result of just hours in the gym but of diet .You can only see muscles with a low BMI. Bruce Lee eat a very varied diet, with a lot of vegetables, in the Chinese tradition. He avoided white flour, sugar, alcohol and ate red meat sparingly. His fat levels were very, very low. To get fit, you need to dump the fat -- in your food and your body. You need some fat, of course. But not as much as you think. And you definitely don't need refined carbohydrates. No one can be "fit" without a proper diet -- which means that huge variety of natural foods that Nature intended you to eat. A lean body = a lean immune system, that fights cancer, inflammation, and infections of all kinds. Survival, as Bruce Lee, knew is not a given. And Lee himself died tragically from a reaction to a prescription painkiller. Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning. Bruce Lee Fat kills COVID is a teacher, too. Early on, it became alarmingly clear that being overweight--and deficient in nutrients, like vitamin D, zinc and copper, increased a person’s risk factor – regardless of age. Yes, junk food is a WMD. Suddenly, a lot of people became “nutrition aware”, as Lee had been long before COVID. Sadly, for too many meant just popping a few vitamin pills and wolfing then down with a MacShake and a Big Mac and fries. (Sorry, Wolves I know you don’t do McDonald’s). Feeling a little chubby. Just do a little exercise. Now, Lee ate four or five meals a day. But he also exercised intensely at least 8 hours a day -- almost everyday. Then, Boris Johnson was hospitalized for COVID -- and attributed his infection to his high BMI – aka excess body fat. If you get up close to Boris (ugh!) you will notice that he looks about 10 years older than he really is, despite his hair stylist and maybe a little nip and tuck. He lost weight -- but is still fat. Brits -- at least --began paying attention to calories: they began eating only half the fries and gave up double cheese. Of course they also rationalized that age was still the critical risk factor. And soon went back to same old same old. Life had taught a lesson, which like many lessons in school was paid attention to briefly and forgotten. Boris had been on life support and Prince Charles, two decades older had recovered in a week. The Royals, as we all know, are different. Just ask Oprah. But if you were paying attention you knew that fat kills you, usually softly, a little bit at a time until things suddenly get hard. Which is why so many young people die of old persons' diseases. Fitness = Immunosenescence Lee's low fat levels and dietary pattern indicate natural caloric restriction and high level of immune response, which may, in fact, have contributed to his unusual allergic response to the mixture of aspirin and mepromamate (Miltown) that causes his death. Caloric restriction is so far the only thing proven to retard, if not reverse ageing. It was conceptionalized in 1964 in Dr. Roy Walford's “immunological theory of ageing" and popularized in books like “The Longevity Diet” and “Maximum Lifespan”, Research over the past few decades has repeatedly confirmed the insightful predictions made by Roy Walford regarding the role of the immune system in various pathologies of aging. Indeed, in accord with his original hypothesis on the role of immunosenescence in human ageing, there is accumulating evidence that many of the so-called "diseases of aging" are caused by dysregulated immune function and excessive inflammation Naturally, there are naysayers, who defend the Great American Diet. Hamburgers, pizza, pop tarts, and Cheetos.Just like there are people who still smoke a pack a day. The will point out that Walford, who had gotten by on 1600 kcal a day, succumbed to ALS at 79 , rather short of the 120 years his theories promised. ALS, is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and is a brain disorder accompanied by muscle wasting. Walford’s diet was much lower on protein than it should have been in my opinion, but ALS is a genetic disease. The causative factor are a cluster of 20 or so genes. There is no cure and no real drug therapy. Drugs extend lifespan by just 3 months. In any case, the Critics, in between bites of Quizo Tuna Melts (no meat! fish!), suggest that his low energy diet contributed to his early demise citing rat studies that suggest that low energy diets hasten progress of the disease while high energy diets are ameliorative. Although some people develop ALS in their 20s and 30s, the average age of onset is 55. However, it is probably not as simple as that. Critics of the critics say, "Why not Hamster studies or Bunny studies?" This is the Age of Woke and ya' have to ask why rats get all the glory. Because 90% are white? Hmmmmmm... Walford survived 12 years on his diet, which in fact was not a "low" energy diet, providing him with sufficient energy for his metabolic needs. With ALS, average survival is just 5 years--so he survived two and half times longer. There is increasing evidence that oxidative stress due to poor nutrition is a factor in a range of diseases – including ALS. The Chinese have always known that. And certainly Bruce Lee did. Some foods such as green tea and Chinese mushrooms have neuroprotective effects known for thousands of years. . And if you don’t have those pesky little ALS genes, you have little to worry about. The evidence is overwhelming -- people who eat sparingly tend to live longer, barring accidents and infectious diseases. Taking fewer but nutrient dense calories, doesn’t mean giving up the good things of life, And an low calorie diet comprised a wider variety of foods to cover all your nutrient needs, doesn't leave you hungry -- on the contrary. Less sugar, less hunger. It's that glycemic thing you read about but forget when you see ice cream. Bruce Lee enjoyed eating. And always allowed himself "cheat" dinners when he ate all the bad stuff. You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need Except for the drug given to him by his mistress, Lee would still be alive today, I think. 81 and still kicking ass. Lee was a polymath and clearly neurodivergent, falling in the category of people with the DRD4 7r allele, know variously as the "adventure gene" and also the "longevity" gene since 70% of centenarians have it. Jennie Stejna is not a martial artists. But she is 103. She celebrated her recovery from COVID with a swig of Bud Light. Note, however, that’s the “light” version and all she needed was a taste. Most people who restrict their calories, allow themselves the occasional treat. A glass of wine. Chocolate… Eunice Modlin is 102 eats two slices of dark chocolate a day – but no more. She has never smoked nor drunk. And maintains community through church activities, and as you can see, a furry friend. For years, she mostly ate vegetables from her garden. Her motto: “You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.” To which I would add, “you get what you need, if you know what that is”. Furry friends help too. It is actually pretty easy to restrict your calories, if you avoid sugars and alcohol (also a sugar). A taste of wine is OK. Wine has lots of good things in it, like resveratrol – but a half glass is better than a bottle, or even half bottle. Or, of course, you could do as Melita Gordon does and smoke pot. She's a hundred and her doctor encourages her not to quit. Nutrient dense diets are filling. And you need to the fullest range of nutrients— not just the vitamins you get in a pill-- A, C, E, D, etc.—but all their forms available in natural foods, along with the widest spectrum of phytochemicals, polyphenols, antioxidants, phytonutrients and the like. Notice something? None of these people are fat. Know what you need. Natural--not nurtural . That's a mantra in case you didn't know it. Good food, not packaged food. Community. Love. Spirituality. A furry friend. All these things make a difference. Caloric “restriction” is a misnomer. It isn’t limitation: rather it implies a cornucopia. The Modern Western diet relies on "staples", restricting nutritional variety, and focusing on the addictive qualities of refined carbohydrates and steroid-grown meat. A “low calorie” diet doesn’t mean you are tired all the time, unless you limit to one or two kinds of foods. Quite the opposite. Good and full nutrition and less body weight give your energy levels a boost. Low-calorie is not therefore necessarily low energy: it can be high energy for a higher level of fitness -- and that sexy six pack. Just like Bruce Lee. Below, what Lee advocated.
- Counseling? There are no experts.
Who's Qualified? We live in the Age of Experts. We spend billions on "experts", probably two-thirds of it wasted money. Recently, there have been warnings about "unqualified" counsellors online. "Unqualified", of course, means uncertified, as psychiatrists or clinical psychologists-- you know, the folks who gave us DSMIV and V and other forms of institutional madness. "Experts"! There's the rub: MOST "certified" psychiatrists and psychologists are unqualified to the extent that they are part of an industry. There is no proof that in a majority of cases they do any better than just a good friend--certainly not for depression -- and a lot of evidence that they can sometimes at least make things worse. Shrink are experts in making money; not so much at helping people, or addressing the real ills of society. Online counsellors may be better because it is easier to sort out the wheat from the chaff, as you will see at the end of this post. Background Most people misunderstand psychotherapy or psychiatry, both of which are framed by the concept of “mental illness” and whatever society tells us is "normal" -- products of the industrial and postindustrial ages and the atomization of human relationships. In their own way, psychotherapy is a new religion, with its own priests. Naturally, it requires ordination, which requires study of scripture -- with DSM V, the Bible. Let us keep in mind that Freud and Jung were not "certified". None of this stuff existed before the early 20th Century, nor in the form that we understand it today since 1970. In other words, our present understanding of “counseling” is less than a half century old and evolving fast. Not so long ago, being "gay" was a mental illness. And look up drapetomania sometime Let us say you have a problem. The death of a loved one? Loss of a job or income and anxiety about the future? A traumatic event that has left with you with PTSD”? Problems with a lover or family member such as a mother of father? Divorce or breakup? There’s a long list. CBT-T? CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a new term for a centuries-old approach to problems, which used to be known variously as commonsense or reason, with a dash of imagination --which people have always applied in a crunch. And "crunches" is where it really matters. As interventions. For example, studies indicate that professional “interventions” can be effective in preventing PTSD—but rarely are==and a licensed shrink may not be your best choice. Here is an excerpt from an academic article: Consistent with our previous review, the current findings suggest that psychological intervention offered to all individuals exposed to a traumatic event irrespective of their symptoms cannot be recommended for routine use following traumatic events. Several interventions – CBT-T, cognitive therapy without exposure, EMDR, structured writing therapy, and internet-based guided self-help – provided evidence of efficacy in reducing traumatic stress symptoms, when targeted at symptomatic individuals EMDR is well known. It stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” CBT-T? In the article’s words: CBT-T was defined as any intervention that focused on the trauma using written, imaginal or in-vivo exposure therapy with or without cognitive therapy and other cognitive behavioural techniques. Note the words “any intervention”. CBT is nominally the province of a licensed therapist or doctor, depending on the "school" or therapy. But they can by used by anyone because they dependent on rational and also imaginative thought -- yours -- not the therapists'. The ancient Greeks and Romans had their own versions—the just used different terms. As a formal approach, CBT normally takes advantage of a variety of techniques including “imaging” which may include hypnosis or guided fantasy to harness imagination to establish new neural pathways in the brain reshaping our memories of an event. Indigenous peoples have had their analogues for this for thousands of years. Journal writing is also used, which only became common with the invention of paper. “In vivo exposure therapy” is simply identifying activities that make you nervous, rating their severity, and then doing them starting with the easiest first, for desensitization and re-orientation. Priests and religious figures have always been good at this. Here’s what the Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in his journal: ‘You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength,’ and ‘Very little is needed for a happy life: it is within you, in your way of thinking.’ That is CBT in a nutshell. All that is new is really, really old. Interventions Interventions by unlicensed counselors, including phone-in services and online services often work better than visits to a psychiatrist’s office or that of a clinical psychologist simply because “professionals”, if only because they are usually more immediately available. Timing matters in real world challenges. Psychotherapy is an industry, hugely profitable to those who sell it. Most licensed professionals have to build up clientele – and keep a client base. They want to keep you coming. How else can they buy that new BMW? Or afford their own therapist. Yet, the vast majority of “psychological” problems are not "illnesses" or "disorders" tied to events and coping strategies that can be resolved – IF they are EVER going to be resolved in 12 weeks or less, without the need for medication. Neurological issues that affect the mind such as psychosis or bi-polar disorder are, of course, another matter. Unprofessional Professionals “Professionals” are usually amateurs with a diploma who charge for what others do for free. In the case of psycho-pros, they see a lot of people--too many. Turn around is the thing . Therapists are taught “clinical (affective) distance”, which means dulling their natural empathy and altruism. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is their Bible – an attempt to categorize “mental illnesses” as “disorders”. If you read it you will notice that almost everyone of your friends and family can be diagnosed as having a “disorder”. As I said, psychiatry has a lot in common with religions such as Christianity. We may not be all born in sin-- but we are born into "disorders". There is lots and lots of “scientific” research to support this approach. Look carefully, however, and you will see that this research, while “scientific” in methodology, designed to prove certain assumptions, it has, to date, not been able to validate even the basic efficacy of professional psychotherapy, which led to anti-psychiatry movement which began in the 60s and 70s. We have seen one psychological theory after another overturned not in response to science but to changes in social attitudes. Masturbation was once a “sickness” -- pervert!. Lobotomies were once the most advanced therapies, until drugs arrived, to provide similar but less draconian solutions. The Good Counselor A good counselor, as opposed to a good clinician who is taught semi-sociopathic clinical detachment, has to have empathy. He or she has to be strong enough to identify with your feelings, without being overwhelmed by them—to see through your eyes with being overcome by your emotions. In other words, he or she is an alter ego. Such a counselor has to be able to offer strategies – “homework” , if you like, that help you overcome your problems. Some problems are rooted in childhood conditioning or habits of though “received” in early life, which, as habits, are heuristic, automatic, and just below consciousness. Those habits of thought, like any habit, can be overcome, or even used to create a more functional “you”. For every person this might seem like an individual journey—but it is not. We are social animals and our identity are not singular--but multiple. Think about it, it's a different "you" at work, with Mom and Dad, and Friday Night. As Tennyson writes. I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move. You are a part of not only “what” you met – your experience – but of “who” (whom) you have met. As another poet--Whitman--suggests, you contain multitudes. That leads to contradictions and it is a counselor’s task to help you resolve those contradictions when they become problems in your life. Of course, some licensed therapists understand this. But they are few and far between and their understanding contradicts their training. If you have a problem, shop around for advice. Keep in mind, however, that friends often have their own problems and prejudices. You must choose people who can listen and not necessarily accept everything you say as you say it -- but feel the contradictions in you. Identifying contradictions is the first step. A friend is not someone who just tries to "make you feel better"; they are someone who seeks to help you find a solution within yourself, as Marcus Aurelius would have it. They are those who can criticize directly and tell you to cut the bullshit. The same applies to a counselor. Counseling is a relationship. Volunteer counselors can help a lot in a pinch and have literally saved a lot of lives. The case of R Let us take the case of R. R is 17 and was admitted to hospital after slashing his wrists. He was profoundly depressed and addicted to benzodiazepine. He is recovering well now thanks to support from others -- his grandparents, for one -- and more particularly-- the nurses in the hospital. Not the hospital clinicians -- the nurses. "They understand me", he says. Meaning they empathize with him. Ultimately, R's addiction is physiologically not very strong, and the wrist-slashing was due to overdosing and suffering rebound depression afterwards. It was also manipulative: he wanted attention and support. HIs grandparents have given him that. My advice was for them to tell him they loved him but ultimately it was his choice to get high, now that physiological addiction had diminished -- and they weren't going to enable him. Empathy can be a double-edged sword. For the doctors and staff psychologists he is just another "client". They get him "clean", knowing he will be back and they benefit from him coming back again .... and again....and again. I don't think a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is the best choice for him -- he has learned how to use the "system". In any case, in my experience, only 1 in 10 "therapists" has what it takes. His grandparents so far have done a better job. Longer term counseling to effect real change is tough. It should identify issues, set goals and involve homework. And if you don't see improvement in real world terms in 12 weeks, something is wrong. In the end, it is the individual who chooses -- but difficult choices need support -- give'm love, tough or not. ' Finding the Right Counsellor Credentials mean little. This isn't rocket science. And you don't learn how to counsel people in a university course. Good counsellors are born--not made, very much like good teachers. In this respect, compatibility means a lot; humanity means more. Online non-certified counsellors have some advantages. And the good ones are easy to identify. They are the ones who insist on need rules and conditions. The first session or two with an online counselor should be free, with either of you entitled to discontinue or a guarantee of refund of moneys paid after a month, if you --or they -- are not satisfied-- providing you have fulfilled all of the counselor's conditions. Online counselors do have expenses such as websites, so generally you have to pay if you find the right match. The counsellor should outline conditions, such as homework, commitment on your part to change and growth, with a proviso that if you follow through on commitments outside the counselling session, the counsellor can discontinue services. A "growth contract" or "contract for change" is the mark of a good counsellor, indicating that they are results oriented and not just looking for lifetime flow of cash like many certified therapists. That contract needs an expiry date -- say 6 months --at which time it can be renegotiated. COVID counseling takes both empathy and empathy. Your counselor has to learn all about you, your situation, your challenges, childhood conditioning and the like. So, a necessary component of your "contract" is open-ness and honesty. Only then can your counsellor identify issues, which you very likely cannot identify on your own--of misidentify. Only a very few "certified" counselors offer this approach. Yes, counseling can help -- whether it's about relationships, sex, careers or work, even business.
- Diet made easy: but should you eat rats?
Can you actually get younger? And should you eat rats? We'll deal with the rat issue at the end so bear with me. I have ADHD. I tend to jump it around. Yes, you can get younger -- in some respects anyway. I am living proof of that. Diet is one thing. But taking it easy is the real secret. Or, more correctly, figuring out how to take it easy the right way! Taking it easy Human beings are the laziest of God’s creatures. Come to think of it, God was lazy too. Almighty but took a day off after six days--hasn’t been around much, doing anything either. Fire him! Sloth is an evolutionary trait, actually an advantage. Sheer laziness motivates our big brains to make us very efficient — so we can do things the easy way, without even thinking . Unfortunately, in modern America, without evolutionary challenges, you have the archetypal Couch Potato, convenience stores — and beer bellies. We cannot undo evolution. We are always going to be “immediate reburn hunters and gatherers at our cores, which just happen to be in the stomach. We are just not very good at long term thinking-- only at immediate tasks, like stuffing our mouths the easiest way possible, having fun — singing and dancing--and sex which today is TV and the Internet and maybe politics. We are driven by our taste buds and our penises or vaginas. Homo Sapiens? Haha. You wish! We are not really sapient. For us, long term thinking is half fantasy, predicated by wish fulfillment, bias, and often times frustration. We only get up off the couch under threat or to pee. As mentioned, we are not limited by evolutionary challenges. Gluttony Our ancestors were gluttons when they managed to kill a big animal. But theirs was a feast and famine existence. Their was no refrigeration. You kill it: you eat it -- quick before it rots and the hyenas come. So sloppy joes and onion rings are in your genes -- and then, of course, in your jeans. Today, of course, we face real threats but of a kind different from hyenas, which evolved to become the One Percent. Climate change. Overpopulation. Mass extinctions. First of animals, then (naturally) of you and your kids. Shortages of critical resources matter --that was the case at the beginning of the Holocene. Then we adapted because we got hungry. It wasn’t long-term thinking. We just chose the easiest ways to avoid dying. And our choices were "sapient" or optimal. . We haven’t done anything about climate change because things haven’t gotten bad enough yet. And when they have it will be too late. Today, pandemics make us afraid. Diseases do not discriminate. So, once again, it should be adapt or die. Suddenly people question the status quo. Or rather the status quo that used to be. But if the pandemic passes, we will revert to form. Homo stultus. (stupid) Fortunately, some of the pro-social qualities that made us successful hunters and gatherers — specifically egalitarianism and reverse dominance psychology — and which were liabilities in the crowded, sedentary, hierarchical, institutionally sociopathic societies, which developed in the Neolithic — remain. Nature can be perverted by nurture but it endures. Civilizations -- Syphillizations Natural tendencies never went away, eventually undermining all human “civilizations” and causing them to collapse under their own weight, as a result of what you might call "cultural obesity". That’s why no human civilization has lasted more than a few centuries, their most obvious defect being inequality — leading to war, and also disease, which always affects the poorest and weakest, those most affected by lack of access to good food and water. Mass migration was another factor. Rome, feudal empires in Europe, and the Mayan empire all succumbed to disease as they reached what you might call “peak inequality” and of course contact with new biosystems as they made contact with other cultures. Today, it is the turn of that most evil of evil empires — the US of A, the unhealthiest of unhealthy nations, culturally and physically. The two factors most important in pandemics are overcrowding and mass migration or invasion. These two things necessitate supply chains that are complex locally and extended otherwise -- allowing diseases, old and new, to spread quickly. For example, the Bubonic Plague was introduced into Europe by rats on a single ship from Asia. It spread quickly through Europe’s overcrowded cities, already suffering from a host of local pathogens. The Spanish introduced European diseases to the Maya Empire which decimated their overcrowded cities, although the Mayans had already been weakened by parasitic infections, originally from Africa and then endemic. A diet restricted to a few staples, leads to nutritional deficiencies and poor health. The Roman diet was abysmal, as was diet in feudal Europe. The Mayans were better off — but not in the cities. 21st Century America? Everything you need for a healthy diet is there. But red meat and sugar are our gustatory opiods. Donald Trump is the real Captain America. Imagine the mortality rates without modern medicine! 80% of you reading this article would be dead. Unless you lived like, say, American Indians used to. Lessons from First Nations Peoples By contrast to the colonials, American Indians in what is now the US and Canada had excellent diets but still succumbed to smallpox to which they had no immunity at all. European settlers also died as a result of smallpox. Their death rate, when infected was about 30% — or higher, thanks to inferior hygiene and food. But the American settlers had an inexhaustible supply of recruits from Europe to replace their deaths and a higher birth rate among their female slaves; ie: wives. And they made sure the Indians got the disease by supplying them with infected blankets as a bioweapon. While the Six Nations were still a viable force in French-Indian wars of the mid 18th Century, bio-warfare eventually reduced their populations to the extent that they could no longer challenge the settlers militarily. The colonists also supplied Native Americans with oils sugar, bread, and alcohol, the "white" poisons". The Indians had micro evolved to accommodate a diet based on the local environment, however: they could not handle lactose or gluten or unrefined glucose like Americans, yet quickly became addicted to foods with these things in them. Their famous intolerance for alcohol, a sugar, is part of this. Even after smallpox had been eradicated through inoculation programs, the standard of health among Native Americans (First Nations people in Canada) has suffered, with their lifespans shorted by a host of degenerative diseases, especially Diabetes Type 2. Naturally, they are much more at risk for a disease like COVID 19, where co-morbidities are important. One can only guess at how many indigenous people might have survived, it their bodies had not been weakened. In British Columbia in the 1860s, estimates of mortality from induced small pox vary but generally are higher than 70%, up to 90%, with tribes numbering over 6000 reduced to a few hundred. The colonization of the Americas was the first and greatest Holocaust and it continues today. Genocide was intentional. Diet Genocide The Indians that survived bio-warfare and direct slaughter ended up on reservations. Their ability to live traditional lifestyles was limited, first of all by lack of education: their children were taken from them and put into residential schools, fed a substandard diet that killed many and “de-educated”. When they returned to their reservations, they had no useful skills, little sense of their history or language and were dependent on government handouts. Yup. Sugar and salt. They did not starve: instead, they were condemned to slow death. Apartheid might have been a step up since at least Apartheid openly acknowledged the racism of the dominant, white community. Only recently has there been a movement back to traditional indigenous diets — with excellent results. It’s called the “Decolonizing Diet” program. This in fact a modified hunting and gathering diet, emphasizing a very wide range of natural foods. Simple Cherokee succotash. Add just about anything You would do well to de-colonize — or de-civilize — your diet. An ageing young antivirus diet is basically a “de-civilized” diet. Forget Paleo (based on the Great Hunter Myth) Don’t eat processed foods, except occasionally. Don’t add sugar or salt to anything and beware of hidden sugar and salt. Eat the widest variety of vegetables, fish, de-fatted chicken and the like. Don’t eat bread unless you make your own. Eat brown rice. Eat fermented foods. If you are eating 40 different foods a week — good. And forget breakfast. Bacon and eggs was part of an advertising campaigned engineered by Bernays for the American pork industry. Eat like a hunter-gather, when you feel like it. Graze. Munch. Eat bugs if you want. Nothing like a crunchy locust or juicy cicada! You don't have to be vegan. But if you eat meat-- kill your own. Should you eat rats? Rats and mice? You may have to soon enough. Food shortages are predicted in less than 20 years. So what do we do when supply chains break down and your local supermarket doesn't have meat? Worldwide, a lot of don't have beef or pork. They a lot of their protein from insects, mice and rats. Yes, that's rat steak! City rats carry human diseases and poisons. Fortunately, rat poisons are mostly warfarin, a carbohydrate based blood thinner degraded by heat. Toxoplasmosis cysts are killed by cooking above 67 degrees Celsius. That includes hantavirus--bubonic plague. Insects? They eat crops coated with pesticides, so carry pesticides. On the other hand, factory farmed beef, chicken and pork can carry all sorts of nasty stuff. If you don't care about the steroids and antibiotics in your steak, should you worry too much about a tasty rat or mouse. I hesitate to eat rats. Some of them are just so cute! Maybe eating people?