Protest art-The Rise of American Facism

So I am deviating from my normal topics of autism and aphantasia, but still sticking to my guns of looking at humanity’s context.  The problem with ultra-nationalism is that it is completely predictable and often cyclical in nature.  The feelings and attitudes don’t just blossom into existence, they are already there and people with power frequently utilize this to their advantage.  The reality is, 50% of the population is below average intelligence, this is a statistical reality, that is not a judgment call, but with that comes a decreased ability to perceive cause and effect. As the world becomes more nuanced, more complicated, more grey, it also creates more fear, trepidation and anxiety in the population.  As I have stated many times, no individual human can fully understand objective reality, we have limited senses and limited intellectual capability, the fact is our primate mind is still adapted to the African savannah and many trappings of modernity are showing some individuals as being maldaptive to it. I am from a sensory perspective, there is simply too much data, both knowledge and sensory out there for my brain to handle, I have to fight consciously against black and white ideation, I see the appeal of a simple explanation that suddenly makes the world make sense, and that ideology reduces stress and anxiety on some levels.

In the case of fascist ideology, it is a perfect tool to manipulate people who lack the faculties to engage in extensive introspection of themselves and their own flaws and instead seek to apply the problems on external sources.  By creating fear of an external threat, you tap into this population, who by their very primate nature seek sense, order, and security in a world they simply cannot understand.  It comes in waves and surges, nationalism is not always facism, but it is a fine line. Fascism is a capitalist political system the connects protectionist economic policies with ultra-nationalist politics, and fosters xenophobia of difference.  And it is not just one population that suffers as a result, anyone who diverges from the desired “superior” culture is at risk.  I am not Jewish, but I am on the autism spectrum and during WWII , especially as a child with my frequent outbursts, I would have qualified as a mentally deficient, and I too would have met a state sanctioned end, maybe not a gas chamber, instead they got parents to sign off on euthanasia, left us exposed to the elements during winter, kept us in massive group bunkhouses and did not treat for fatal communicable illnesses, more passive aggressive in nature, but again the culling of difference that was perceived as undesirable.

Now onto the role art plays in this.  Protest art has a long history, my first exposure to Renaissance political art was Heironymous Bosch’s painting of a monkey.  In the case of protest art, it has the power to communicate in a way words simply do not convey well.  I can talk till I am blue in the face about Donald Trump and Facism to a Trump supporter, but it hits that subjective filter where their fear and anxieties are over-riding their frontal lobe, they are thralls to their amygdala and they process a challenge often as a hostile threat and thus a fight or flight reaction.  A visual medium is able to target the brain in a different way, it may be offensive, it may still elicit a hostile reaction, but the imagery also has a chance to plainly show what words are unable to convey. In my case I love to explore dichotomy and juxtaposition,  so in this case a treasured symbol desecrated by a symbol most find abhorrent.   I am a disabled veteran from a multi-generational military background on both maternal and paternal sides.  For me the flag is a powerful symbol, it means a great deal to many, some positive, some negative, but seldom neutral in it’s nature.  Until the rise of Trump’s fascist worldview I had considered using the flag in art off limits, it had too much chance to be divisive.  And yet, I don’t think many Trump supporters actually realize how far down the fascist road they have traveled, so I chose to create an piece to illustrate this, to show the symbolism of the flag, the swastika, a physical wall, the hand of a brown person behind bars, to call out his rhetoric as well. Not easy for me, since planned and conceptualized art is not my strong point, I do far better creating as I go and letting my state of mind influence the final outcome.  Yet, I felt the imagery was needed, that some needed to see images they may hold sacred juxtaposed with imagery they have a visceral reaction to.  And maybe, just maybe for some it will cause a cognitive stirring, it will get them to engage in just small amount of self-skepticism and introspection, even if it is just assessing their present image and saying “you are wrong we are not like that at all”, to which I say “then prove it.”

 

 

Aphantasia and sensory personality

So the recent labeling of the inability to visualize is picking up steam, the BBC has run an article (Here) as well as IFLscience.com (and here).  I have often touched on sensory difference in my blog, and I want to take a moment to put forth a few thoughts on how our sensory baseline and toolkit influence our personality and choices.

We interact and understand the world through our sensory capabilities, everything we perceive and understand must be processed via our sensory functions.  No person can take in all of object reality, we do the best we can with what we have, and this is often part of the core of why our very notions of reality can be strikingly different. Someone who is a color synesthete and translates micro-expressions into a visible color spectrum may believe they are reading auras, some folks see music in color, some people like me have pronounced tactile responses to visual, olfactory, and auditory stimuli.  Since this is our baseline, barring degeneration or brain trauma, it is the only way we know how to view the world, it is comfortable and normal for us, and thus it is very easy to make the mistake that this is a shared human experience.  Our ability to take in, process, store, recall, and manipulate  sensory data is not the same, and it could potentially explain a great deal about our unconscious choices and personality, refuting in a way nulla ratio ad gustum  or in simple English “there is no accounting for taste.”

So, we all perceive the world a bit differently, and what we can do with that data varies greatly too.  If people have a better understanding of their sensory baseline, then they have a powerful tool into personality and knowledge of self.  When you think about your sensory capabilities, you should ask yourself a few important questions. How do I take in data (and which methods do I prefer)? How do I store that data? How can I manipulate that data? and finally, how do I utilize that data when I am thinking?   The answers are not the same for everybody, let me put a few bullet points below to get an idea of some possible differences and how they can affect personal choices. Also, realize that a great deal of research still needs to be done in these area, so do not confuse my questioning and hypothesis as fully vetted science, it would take a lifetime of research to even begin to touch on these things alone, so I hope anyone with a stronger science background recognizes this for what it is, thoughts, ideas, and questions.

  • Visual data: So aphantasia, the inability to picture something in your mind and Hyperphantasia the ability to build photo-realistic imagery in ones mind are two polemics on a bell curve.  Hyperphantasia has some obvious advantages, it is arguable for example that Nicola Tesla was hyperphantasiac, able to build and construct things in his own minds eye.  Where as I am aphantasiac, I cannot visualize at all and instead rely on an inner monologue and vague feelings to put together my conscious thought processes.  Now in the case of me, I have had pronounced and real trauma in my life, and I have often been baffled by people who are stuck reliving their trauma.  Visualization could be an important component in this, I cannot visually or auditorily relive this trauma, I have only feelings and verbal memories, in a way that may give me greater resilience. So when it comes to researching trauma, it might be a powerful clinical tool to understand the sensory personality of the individuals, if they are reliving it in full detail, then you can develop the means to help them work through it.  If they don’t you may be able to prevent a misunderstanding when the clinician thinks the person is not processing it, it may simply be it has less long term impact. Because I have experienced real and prolonged trauma in life, my lack of visualization may be why I am still here in reality with the rest of us, I tried so many ways to escape reality, books and games aplenty, if I was able to construct my own vivid imagery and fantasy world, I think it likely that I would have long ago retreated from a reality that was terrifying to me.  Likewise, our visual acuity influences some of our tastes, I often like to use a discussion between my wife and I as an example, my vision is above average 20/15 in my left eye 20/17 in my right eye (though that is a few years out of date, so degeneration may be setting in), my wife has poor vision and relies on bifocals to make the world anything less than blurry. We both disagree a great deal on how stripes look, for her the stripes tend to be softer, they blend into each other, for me they are stark and in contrast, if they did appear softer I imagine I would like them more.  It is a simple enough example though, our visual capabilities mean we do not see the same thing in the same way, our relationship to the aesthetic appeal of stripes is as much a function of visual acuity as some vague notion of personal taste.
  • Audio Data:  So I have had the (dis)pleasure of growing up with an older brother who is essentially a musical prodigy, he can hear something once, pick up any instrument, even one he has never used, and replicate it.  He has perfect pitch and lives in a world where music is a living and vibrant construct.  I can do no such thing, not only (arguably as a result of not being able to visualize, applies to maths as well) can I not read music, I cannot manipulate it or pull it apart in my head, though I can emulate it and I am a passably good singer as long as I have vocal warm ups before hand (or else I have a gap in the middle of my range).  His love and experience of music is very different than mine, and it makes sense he ended up using music for a time as his career (he was a semi-pro Christian musician, did the Nashville circuit for a bit and still has a Christian music band and is a youth minister). I enjoy music and singing, but I am strictly a vocal sort of person, the mathematical qualities of purely instrumental music are fascinating too me, but I look for patterns in cognition and thought as part of my ASD related obsessions, so I want words, and words that have meaning, so I am not a fan of pop music or fluff either, so to me music is as much about singing philosophy as a simple enjoyment of it.  Would this be different if I could hear a voice other than my own in my head? Most likely, then I could better piece together melody and harmony, I could manipulate it differently, but I can’t and I am no musical prodigy, just a competent singer and I used to feel inferior because of this, but I have different intellectual gifts that my brother does not have, and that is not such a bad thing.  So how we relate and manipulate auditory information is likely to have a profound impact not just on musical talents, but on musical taste as well.  Another noteworthy point in auditory processing is that some people cannot separate out conversations in noisy environments, they can’t filter out the background noise, and it is quite likely that most of us know people who dislike meeting in noisy environments to have a chat, they prefer smaller venues, this preference could simply be dictated by their ability to manipulate auditory data and make sense of it, I am one of those who cannot filter out specific sounds, as a result of this I am also the person who tends to get louder and louder at social gatherings, and when I am singing I must have either a source of feedback, or I cover one ear so I can hear my own voice amongst the clamor and surrounding noise.  What seems like a personality trait “I prefer quiet environments” could be a direct result of ones ability to hear and how they can utilize and manipulate what they are hearing, just more food for thought.
  • Tactile Data: Here is where I excel and also suffer, I am hyper-tactile, I am picky about clothes, hate having foreign substances on my skin, sticky hands drive me nuts.  I also believe that my tendency to chew my fingers is less of a nervous habit and more of a means to remove callouses that try to develop, I hate how they mute my ability to feel things. Likewise, I feel more pain than most people and this greatly restricts some of my activities, when someone wants to feel the burn, I cringe at the thought of it. I have trouble sitting in one position too long, the pressure becomes painful, it makes going to sleep a night difficult as I must toss and turn in an attempt to get comfortable, one position hurts my shoulders, the other my hips, and I have to dangle my feet off the bed or else the tendency to extend them against the bed causes me great discomfort as well.  And yet, there are positives along with these drawbacks, sure I was never good at manual labor or sitting still for long periods of time, but I am very good at feeling textures, even playing with air currents beneath the palm of my hand.  If something is painted and fixed, it may look visually the same, but it is easy for me to tell where metal ends and a bondo job begins on a car frame, the texture difference is stark and obvious to me.  I take in great deal of tactile information, and I can remember that tactile information.  As a child I played a game with my siblings, we would imagine while driving jumping from one mile marker or fence post to another, I could not see that being done, but I could feel it, even now just thinking about it my stomach reacts as if I am actually jumping, I can feel that movement, my muscles remember it and thus I have an excellent tactile memory, in fact it is what I most often use to get around my visualization difficulties. I also process information well this way, I am the type of person who takes notes but never looks at them again, the act of writing helps encode the information into my long term memory, it is the process not reviewing them that helps me remember these things.  But not everyone is as sensitive to touch and pain as I am, I see people wear articles of clothing with no discomfort that makes me itch just looking at it.  Wearing a tie around my neck? horrific, but so many folks manage to do it will no discomfort, this is simple tactile difference…well and folks who make themselves suck it up for business, etc.  How many of us know someone who when they get home get right into their comfy clothes? How many times have folks made fun of someone wearing sweats, PJ’s, or even a mumu when they are shopping? Is it that they are lazy or slovenly? Or does it indicate a person who may just be hypertactile and has issues with restrictive clothing and textures against their body, one is a moral judgment based on assumptions, the other is objective neurological difference that has real potential causation behind it, I naturally favor the later as the case.
  • Olfactory and Taste Data: I am clumping taste and smell together as they are both chemical senses and very closely linked.  Sight takes light waves and converts it to what we know as vision, auditory is a specific form of tactile sense that makes use of vibrations in the environment around us that we know of as sound. Tactile is actually very complex, we have specialized nerves for hot and cold, pressure, etc.  But olfactory and smell, these are a result of chemical compounds that fit within specific chemical receptors and thus are very different in nature.  For example, one can trick the nose with similar volatile organic compounds, I once tricked my wife and even my cats and dog into thinking I was cooking hamburgers, when in fact I was making an inedible combination of panko, egg, and fresh home roasted coffee grounds, because coffee shares volatile organic compounds with cooking meat.  And it worked exceedingly well I must say, my wife was rather stunned she had truly believed I was cooking hamburgers when she walked through the door.  And like our other senses though, some people can recall smells and tastes with vivid detail, others cannot, some of us have very sensitive palates and noses, some of us do not.  Again, neurological difference that sometimes is confused with moral judgments of character and personality.  A person with limited taste may get a fine meal and slather it in hot sauce or ketchup, some may see this as uncouth, but they simply may not have sensitive chemical receptors and thus need strong tastes, instead of picking apart the subtle and nuanced flavors. I am very sensitive to taste, I know well in advance if something is beginning to ferment or rot, and many folks I know still gladly eat food in that state, I avoid it like the plague.  In the area of smell, strong smells overwhelm me, they make me nauseous, sick, and even impact my ability to maintain my balance (connecting back to my strong tactile/kinetic reactions to other sensory inputs).  I cannot remember a smell on my own in my head, but I have excellent recall when exposed to it, I am one of those people who can walk into a kitchen, just grab a bunch of seemingly random spices and make a wonderful tasting meal (my presentation sucks though, shaky hands and such). To me it is easy to meld together those scents, even though I may not be able to actively recall them without them present (so I have limited ability to utilize stored scent data) I am able to do wonderful things with them (so I have a strong ability to manipulate that sensory data), once again this is difference, not everyone can do this.  But these capabilities explain behaviors, do you know people who douse themselves in fragrances to the point of nausea? What about folks who stubbornly refuse to go to crowded areas or complain about the smell of places or people? Are they being just picky and judgmental, or are they taking in more sensory data than other people do?  Our ability to use our senses differently can easily explain why one person may find a candle shop a bit of personal heaven while another has to be coerced into going in.

Those are just quick anecdotes for examples, not remotely an exhaustive list, but enough to really help illustrate just how different people can be based on nothing more than difference in our sensory capabilities.  One mistake often made in our current cultural paradigm is that we test these abilities for the mean, we often do not test to see if someone has a superior sense of vision or hearing in our annual screenings.  We should though, that information is important, it can tell us about possible strengths and explain aversions to certain things. Not everyone is suitable to be a wine taster, it can be trained to a degree, but someone with exceptional chemical sensory capabilities is going to be able to pull more data out of the sip with the same training as someone who is not as sensitive.  It is not a point of superiority though, our brain has finite room and finite capabilities, so strength is some areas are likely to result in perceived deficits in other areas (such as sensitivities to chemicals and smells as well, want to get me to run out of a room? Open a bottle of bleach and see me haul tail out of there, and good luck dragging me to a public swimming pool).  Much of what we assume are character flaws or quirks, can be understood as very natural consequences of our sensory capabilities, thus our sensory personality.  And every interaction we have with object reality will by it’s nature be influenced by these things.  The world becomes much less black and white when people realize just how different our brains are wired. So the next time you call someone a wimp because they complain about something hurting, remember that science is showing that some people do in fact feel more pain. I for one am far from a wimp, I live every moment with pain, I still get up and get things done that I have to, but I will not enjoy it while others might, the pain I feel may often exceed the endorphin rush I would get from certain exercises (or I lack the gene that influences dopamine when it comes to physical activity and thus would not get more pleasure out of it anyway).

As more people begin to understand this difference though, the more we talk about it, and the less judgmental we will be out of completely understandable ignorance.  Science is opening up the human brain, Barack Obama called this the decade of the brain, and he is correct.  We can communicate with folks in vegetative states (check this out here) and we can even see a person’s answers before they are even consciously aware their brain made a decision (here and here). We live in a fascinating time, but our society needs to catch up before we implode.  So much rigid belief, judgment, and biases are putting us at odds, we attack each other over perceived slights, morals, and politics and expect folks to see the world the way we see it, which is not a neurological possibility.  We need to take a collective breath, recognize how alien and different we can be, stop labeling one as superior, one cannot be morally accountable for inherent neurological difference, there is no fault to be had, and instead start talking dialectically instead of using rhetoric and sophistry to attack and undermine each other.  As closing example I have used before in my writing is the use of the hoodie and how people perceive it. To some it is the clothing choice of criminals up to nefarious purpose, others a comfy way to show off their school logo, and for some of us it is a critical piece of clothing for reducing stimuli.  The hoodie is often made of comfortable materials, with the hood up it reduces peripheral vision that many people over-utilize, especially on the autism spectrum. It can dampen sounds coming from behind and to the side of the head, but helps funnel sounds directed at ones face, helping those of us who have difficulty isolating conversation is noisy places better hear the conversations around us. The hoodie becomes more than just a fashion statement, for some it becomes an unconscious tool to help deal with an overstimulating world, and before we pass judgment on the person wearing one with sunglasses on, we should ask ourselves what else could be a reason for wearing such an ensemble, the results could be surprising indeed.

Able-ism at the YMCA…a brief Rant and perspective

Alright, I am going to diverge from my normal blogs to tackle the prevailing issues and images of able-ism in society.

Able-ism @ the YMCA

Able-ism @ the YMCA

First, I am going to state this loud and clear…the intent of this image is not to cause harm, I understand that this is supposed to be supportive and for folks who take things at face value and do not read into the subtext would not see this as disrespectful or harmful in anyway.  It is not “bad” people who do this, in fact it is the very opposite, very well intentioned people create these things in an attempt to show solidarity and compassion for folks who are disabled, in this particular case physically disabled.

Now, I have used a cane for going on 13 years, and I have been forced to live a life where the perception of infirmity by society writ large becomes my defining characteristic. Let us not even go into what happens when I self-advocate as someone with an autism spectrum disorder.  The problem is, these images reduce us to the perceived physical impairment as somehow needing more assistance, and certainly in a few situations accommodations are needed, but when they take front stage over a healthy sense of identity and self-determination, it reduces us to nothing more than the perception of our infirmities.

Why did this image upset me so much though? I see examples of able-ism all the time. The chosen caption is what makes this image so offensive to those of us with physical disabilities.  The word “Responsibility” as defined by Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsibility) includes two pertinent uses of the word, that of being morally obligated and that of being bound by duty.  So, in short something one is forced to do as a result of societal expectations versus assisting someone, ANYONE, simply because it is the right and moral thing to do.  Now, the intent in this case could simply be that the individual is responsible for assisting, heck even responsible for allowing self-determination, but one cannot infer these things from a simple one word example.  Denotative definition aside, we then have to look at the connotative meaning of the word, which sadly becomes synonymous with obligation and even being burdened by having to do so.  So in classic correlative over-thinking, one can then interpret this as a burden to assist the individual.  Not the intent I am quite certain, I believe this was done with the utmost compassion.  But it is still offensive none the less, it puts the focus on the disability and then puts the burden on those who are able bodied to take care of or assist the disabled individual in a paternalistic fashion.  If I was to apply basic research ethics to this image ala the Belmont Report (See it Here) this is an example of something that fails the harm/benefit analysis, because it unintentionally singles out a population and has the potential to cause harm, in this case, emotional and social. Yeah I know, all touchy feely, be a man a grow a pair right? Wrong, see it is the small details that reinforced stereotypes, that feed into the social model for disability, and continue to define individuals by what others perceive in object reality but is than subjectively categorized into a paternalistic worldview.

No one should be forced to feel responsible for someone’s physical challenges, and quite frankly I am offended when I hear parents shush their children to not point out my physical disability, it is there, it is obvious, and the children simply want answers.  Instead of telling them not to stare, which reinforces our difference and sets us apart as “other”, we should be able to inquire, show general interest and de-mystify the perceived disabilities in a healthy manner that lets us move on to other more important things, an able bodied person’s attempt to shield us from something we deal with everyday just seems asinine.  Quite frankly I don’t have the time or interest in having to constantly pander to ableist guilt, much like white guilt in race relations, we need to move past the guilt if we hope to have a healthy and meaningful conversation on the subject.

So in summation, images and captions, like anything written loses the intended context too easily because of how everyone subjectively processing the information, what seems beneficent to one is harmful to another, and ethically we need to move past this. In this case, I sincerely hope the YMCA not only removes and replaces this, but takes it not as me attacking them, but as a teachable moment on how we unintentionally cause harm.  Yelling, screaming, and attacking the people who are attempting to do “good” just alienates them, it is not able-splanning to point out the intentions are good, good people do harmful things, the ole quote “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” applies quite readily.  But I refuse to attack people who are attempting to be decent people, that just alienates and draws lines in the sand, and defensive people cannot communicate effectively.  But we should point out these things when we see them, we should do so with compassion and understanding though, we need to educate not alienate.

Generalizations, Words as Violence, the Culture of the Bully.

Generalizations, they are everywhere,an inescapable part of the human condition.  When individuals are inherently limited to taking in small amounts of object reality, we by our nature, must succumb to some level of generalization. This is seen in the form of stereotypes and conflict between in and out groups.  Generalizations are in a way, the means by which we paraphrase object reality so it makes more sense and is easier to navigate.  Yet, they are dangerous as well, generalizations can cause great harm when individuals are less aware consciously of the power of them.  I strive to avoid over-generalizing, but even with conscious knowledge, I often still fail to take the step back needed to understand the complexity within any given group.


The greatest threat of generalizations as I see it, is the threat of violence.  And I do not mean physical violence alone, words are easily weaponized, I have proved sadly adept at this myself, and wars or words can cause real harm.  When one talks about non-violent actions, advocacy, and protest, we often lose part of our message, when we attack with words we close minds and hearts, when we belittle someone for having an outdated or harmful world view, they become defensive.  Ad Hominem attacks are the norm in our culture, a culture that is becoming the culture of the bully.  We often discuss the vocal minority, how their harsh words and attacks get so much attention, and when we do this, we feed into the culture of bullying and give it more power.  Violence towards others has become normalized on our social and political stage, we take individual bad ideas and turn the individuals bad.  When this is done, we leave no room for growth, forgiveness, or change, we have passed judgment on the individual as some inherent flaw in their nature, we turn them into the unforgivable other, the enemy.

In our political system we often hear the politicians speak out against bullying in our schools, while they turn about in model the very same behavior on the campaign trail.  Not all of us notice this bit of hypocrisy, even the politicians themselves are not able to see it clearly, but they know appealing to fear and emotion is the way towards getting elected in this current political climate.  I am one of many who point this out, that the debate becomes about tearing the opponent down, attacking them on some moral podium, and thus making them seem to be the enemy to everything the politicians base holds dear.  As a result, populists and ideologues dominate the halls of government, sophists skilled in debate and words, but not in understanding and reason.  As they draw these lines in the sand and form their coalitions based on galvanizing their base to vote for the lesser of two evils, we see clearly the tactics of bullying, of demeaning the opponent. Vast amounts of wealth are spent attacking the individual, or manipulating statistics in a way that makes their bases feel under imminent threat.  Lost is the importance of discourse and reason, lost in this mess is the ability to compromise, and we end up being ruled by school yard ideologues. There has to be more to our discourse than this, and we must field individuals who can rise above the emotional and inflammatory attacks.  But it is hard, even those who say they want to reach across the isle are quickly attacked and demeaned, their motives questions, if they change their mind on something they are “wishy washy”, and we demand as a public promises that in all reality can never be kept, we want hard assurances in black and white.  We need to find a better way, we need to expand our dialogue and stop labeling everyone as evil, idiotic, or somehow less human and therefor less deserving of their thoughts than others, we need to challenge the ideas, not the individual.  And even if the politician fails to hear, their ideology and road map to being elected so firmly set, those that originally identify with that view may themselves be able to hear, be persuaded by solid arguments about the point of debate, when it is spoken with non-violent words. But when one side attacks the other, we galvanize their bases to stand behind their chosen political mouthpiece, and we become entrenched, rigid, and further intolerant and this applies to both conservatism and rote liberalism, neither has a monopoly on words of violence.

Here is a generalization in of itself, that most people view themselves as good people. Certainly there are those who are so damaged they believe themselves beyond forgiveness, or believe that social Darwinism is the natural state of the world. A world we have crafted with our own fallible hands. If a person believes at their core they are “good” and that they are honestly and earnestly doing what they think is right, attacking them makes the attacker on the side of “evil”, or at best an ignorant and damaged person.  We create our own monsters to fight, in our quest to affirm ourselves as “good”, trapped in false dichotomies, burning bridges, and creating the “other”.  And this feeds into the war of words and the culture of bullying, when we demean decent and earnest people for bad or outdated ideas.

When we attack with words and we attack the individual as flawed or faulty, we deny them a chance to hear and listen, we back them into an intellectual corner where their sense of self-identity and self-worth becomes tied to the very ideals they espouse, even if those ideals or tremendously damaging.  It comes down to the tremendous power inherent in the idea of attacking the argument, not the person.   I have held a few faulty ideologies in my life, for near a decade I was a vehement anti-theist, believing that the worlds ills somehow revolved around nothing more that a belief in something I have no context for.  As a result I generalized badly about individuals of faith, something I have struggled with and have never been able to fully understand, and when I saw harm from it, not just my personal experience, but the harm done to others, I attacked and denigrated it.   All this did, was alienate people and complicate my communication with family who are of deep faith, I help further that rift, my words of violence caused harm, the pen can have horrid and fatal results when wielded in anger.

Non-violent acts include understanding our difference in worldview and ideology, it is not being weak in one’s worldview to seek harmony, it is not a path of an idealist to embrace non-violent communication and to help facilitate dialogue between opposing viewpoints, for our survival as a species, it is an imperative that we learn to embrace difference, to educate instead of demeaning someone when their information, worldview, ideology, and difference of opinion is harmful based on our understanding of inherent difference in how we think.   When we look at enculturation and how it is hijacked by forces that are uncaring and amoral in an effort to push our economy forward, or how anger and hate is transferred generation to generation, be it through the mass dominant paradigm, the pulpit, or peer pressure, we can see how even as children we are set upon a road of hate, anger, and bullying.  Add in fear of the unknown, a general inability of many to properly vet sources and understand the motivations of the writer, because we have overly favored knowledge acquisition over critical thinking, we begin to see how we have created a cycle of bullying and violence.

Humanity needs to learn the basic triggers of intolerance and anger, diplomacy should not be about manipulating others to get your desired result, but a dialogue based on our similarity and differences.  The population of a Republic should be taught to look at the underlying motivations and not simply pass harsh judgment, yes generalizations cause harm, but that does not mean an individual who speaks out of ignorance is an inherently bad person hellbent on destroying the other, they are lashing out against perceived threats, and the only way to get rid of the monsters that lurk in the dark is to illuminate them with the truth, and to do so, we must extend a hand and offer an alternative that recognizes that individuals endeavor with the best interests of not just themselves, but friends, family, and a world that makes sense to them.  Times are changing, our technology has outstripped our ability to maintain perspective, many folks are scared and angry in this time of change and seek to impose their worldview upon others.  We cannot allow erroneous and ignorant ideology to dominate our civic dialogue, but we cannot have civil discourse if we continue to assume that the other side of the debate is evil, flawed, or bad….when they may simply just be wrong.  And the arbiter of this, is going to be properly peer reviewed science, and even that has it’s limits and should be challenged, but when science survives these challenges and consensus is reached, we have a guide that is as close to objective as humanity can be expected to achieve.  It may show that our hard held “truths” are flawed, that our ancestors made grave errors, but this does not reflect poorly at all on those who came before, we needed to build our understanding and discover, and the errors of the past and the ones we make today, will inform us for the future, for as long as we continue to truly strive for a better world, that allows difference to flourish without judgment and anger there is hope for us yet.

An Impossible plug…for a website

So, I tend to avoid sharing links to things that interest me, I am really not sure why, since I do not profit at all from this endeavor it is not like I have a bunch of ulterior motives.  So, for those who read this but are interested in lending a hand through their own endeavors, or getting some assistance with their endeavors, I wanted to point out a website founded by British Model and Actress Lily Cole called Impossible.  The reason for this is simple, it illustrates nicely one of the points I made in my exploration of the notion of an endeavorist approach to an economic system.  We cannot always quantify with financial exchanges the value of human endeavor, this site helps connect folks who value their endeavors and self-growth.  In particular, those of us who do not fit well into the dominant paradigm often have trouble showing our value, of fostering our own interests when we cannot sell ourselves to the HR hiring automaton, or when so many places rely on rigid standards of credentialing to determine someone’s value.  Impossible is a stepping stone for great ideas or folks who just want to help, it is a place one could test the waters for their ideas, and there is great individual and social value in this.  So I felt it worthy of sharing, I am enjoying playing around with it, have already found some great music, help discuss with someone how to forgive, but also touched on the topic of being safe and cautious when forgiving someone in a domestic violence scenario.  These things have meaning, even without a price tag attached to it, and I feel it is worth taking this bit of time to promote something that has vast potential.  Well, that is all, holy heck a short post, who would have imagined me capable of such a thing.

An Autistic Veteran’s take on Veteran’s day

Hopefully for once I will keep this reasonably short, today is Veterans day and I often think about those who came before, those I have served with, and sadly those who have forgotten how to work as a team despite substantial differences.  The US Armed Forces are a phenomenal force for breaking down and integrating difference together to work as a team. Though one may argue, that my autistic ass should never have even served, and that may not be wholly unfair, I really was not able to hack it in the long run, my mind and body began to fail me, but that was not the service, that was too many hyper-sensory functions that I could not explain, articulate, and thought mostly made me a whiny lil wimp.  But even still, while I served I was wielded, those above me recognized my unique skill sets and utilized them, and though I broke and broke badly, I still accomplished great things with great people, because that teamwork dynamic meant we were all working together towards the same goal.

So right now, I am a bit annoyed with my fellow Veterans of any specific political orientation, see today our civic and political discourse is about attacking the person not the ideas (nothing like modeling bullying for the nation while giving lip service to stopping bullying for example). I see many Veterans or still active but due to retire in the not so distant future as bitter, angry, and mad, labeling the other side of the political spectrum as trying to attack and destroy them, instead of understanding what is actually going on, which is failing to debate the key issues and understand that for team America to work, we need to get past that difference.  I want to believe that our greatest generations are not just behind us, but also ahead of us as well, we must return to attacking bad ideas, debating the value, and stop this mass paranoid notion based on fear-mongering and willful ignorance that the other side, which ever it is, specifically wants to destroy your way of life.  Neither side wants that, they want to preserve their comfort zones, or make life better for others, or offer more chances, or ensure the government does not overstep it’s bounds anymore in creating more and more laws that inhibit personal liberty and self-determination.  But this is not a Republican vs Democrat thing, if I could share my Facebook feed you would see tons of military and dirty hippy post’s all favoring a more libertarian ideal, the idea that we need to be more free than we are today, because guys, our freedom is more illusion than it has ever been. We still have more in common than not, but if we continue to attack each other based on difference, instead of utilizing that difference to rebuild our nation into something great, then it is we, not some external enemy that has dropped the torch.  It is we, who have fought over the words of our founding fathers, when even they did not always agree, but they attacked the ideas they thought were bad and vetted them, what they did not do was call out to a mass of angry constituents to do everything they could to personally inhibit the goals of other free willed free thinking people.

Finally, I want to again refresh our memories then on the notions of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.  For many, life in this age is a misery, the expectations for almost all of us to fill some productive slot in the economic machinery is not fulfilling, there are so many damaged great thinkers, nurturers, and artists now, that we have forgotten that living life is more than continuing to breath and continuing to pull a pay check, we are forced to specialize to survive, when many of us are more generalists.  Low income families need to work man and woman alike, but if they move up the social ladder, the woman who is then working is devalued for not spending more time at home, double standards exist everywhere, and this system saps the joy of life for many of the people who do not live in the here and now, but instead try to live and anticipate the future, to think and plan and not just do, but right now the system demands do’ers everywhere and demeans people who can only teach, not much of a life when your great nation disdains you just for being born and thinking different.  So, connecting the limitations of Life to Liberty, we then realize that we lack a great many freedoms, we have confused the ability to say whatever the fuck we please with freedom, not realizing fully that we cannot simply move, explore, or adventure, due to property taxes someone who wants to subsistence farm, can’t.  See, if we all must be productive members of society as it is currently designed, then a large chunk of the population forced into roles best fit for automatons are going to be miserable, when you are miserable or depressed, parts of the brain used in problem solving and utility start working on what is wrong with you for not being happy, that in turn hijacks the problem solving circuitry of the brain to work on itself, resulting in poor decision making, poor performance, and if one wants quantitative efficiency, then unhappy people are absolutely not the best approach, we must make room for all folks, poorest to richest to find joy in their endeavors, and then we have a freaking chance. But to continue to insist we break ourselves, that it is ok to be miserable in this life when some say there are rewards in another that we cannot prove, and since we cannot prove it, then we should ensure this life is not suffering either, and to stop that we must start talking about difference, how best to help people find their joy and meaning in life, and then human endeavor, not profits and wealth that has only value because we subjectively agree it does, can drive our economy, our society, and our species into a future than has greater Liberty, and a better life, because we remember how important the Pursuit of Happiness is, and right now so many people cannot, and will not find joy in the current system.

So I call on the Veterans of today, those brave service members who worked with people of so many different background to get an unpleasant job done, and I ask us all to model civility, civics, honesty, and principles in our discourses, to show everyone that there are those who still remember how to get past difference to get the mission done, and we need to hold our politicians and pundits to task, to stop sullying the name of our Founding Fathers through petty bickering and personal attack.  The greatest generations will remain behind us if we cannot walk in their footsteps, if we cannot engage those who oppose our personal views and way of thinking in productive dialogue.  When I see Veterans on either side of the political spectrum attacking each other over political differences, I have to ask, have we become so damaged, has our Armed services become so biased in the last decade since I left, that we can no longer tolerate differences? And if we cannot tolerate these differences now, with a current military skewed more towards the conservative than ever, then how long does it take for them to begin to see themselves as a solution to a perceived problem of nothing more than needing to understand how folks think, approach, and value things differently.  We need to talk, we need to communicate, we need liberals and conservatives alike to serve together, with honor and pride, for we are supposed to represent the best of this country, and right now many of my fellow Veterans are dropping the ball, letting bitterness, anger, and hate to defeat them, Team America is broken when our Veterans can no longer see how to achieve a goal by working together with difference instead of needing to destroy it, and that is a sad day for everyone, worldwide, our ego has surpassed our humility, our desires and wants have become more important than someone else’s need, and that is decadence, not asserting individuality, but valuing it over the suffering of others, and even a cold rational mind should be able to see that for us to move forward and be greater than the sum of our parts, we need to allow difference to find it’s way so we can all flourish and truly enjoy Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

On a final note, I am pretty pissed actually, see…I have had to fight tooth and nail every day of my life to effectively communicate with others, and I may be too verbose and love run on sentences, but I have never stopped fighting to just be able to talk with others. Something neurotypical people take for granted is communicating and right now we are not doing it, so when a verbal autistic man is able to communicate more effectively than your average citizen, something is right screwed up.  The burden of communication is on all of us, it is the sacrifice we all make to be more than just an individual, but a great people and a great nation, and if my constantly worried, timid, afraid autistic ass can sit here and type something I know might offend other Veteran’s by calling bullshit, then damn well the neurotypical’s can do the same, this shit is supposed to come naturally to you, how far have we fallen when we cannot communicate, even those who have served and learned the value of communication to meet an objective, so yeah, some of you should feel ashamed, you dropped the fucking ball and instead of forgiving yourself and being accountable, you now blame the other side, the other view, hilarious that when one lives in poverty it is their fault, but when one dislikes the way public discourse is going it is the other side’s fault, we don’t get to cherry pick accountability, we don’t get to demean others because we cannot stand to look at the perceived fault within ourselves, when the internalized fault is bullshit that stems from social bullying and failure to accept, understand, and utilize the great amount of difference than pushes us forward, that allows us to innovate through the clash of ideas, but during this process, we must never forget who we served for, who we were willing to fight for, and that is the citizens of the United States of America, be they Christian, White, Black, Gay, Straight, Male, or Female, we serve all American’s even the ones so many claim to hate, that so many would threaten, just because you disagree with their ideas and words, stop threatening and start fucking talking, or else all of this is for naught, and we will dig our own graves with our own shovels and lie down in that hole, roll over and die, because we did not have the self identity, the principles, or the character to not yell and scream because someone’s idea of what will make this country great is different than yours. No party, no economic block of special interests, no one person can make this nation great again, it takes all of us, with all of differences working together, even when it is hard, to make us the best we can be, and right now we fall so short, right now we shame our forefathers not for failing to view the world the same way they did, the world changes and we cannot prevent it, but because we have failed to engage in conversations based on principle and high ideals, instead of attacking, demeaning, threatening, hating, harming, devaluing, and a host of other things that we do to each other every single day.

Keene Pumpkin festival, my backyard…and some Ferguson.

Decided to go topical here today, because folks have this fresh in their minds and we continue to see the breakdown between the population, especially youth and the police force. Here is a link to get folks up to date on Keene, Nh.

If folks would stop holding onto false dichotomies and bullshit internalized faulty thinking, we could actually get past this freaking mess, productively. But as long as we devalue each other, hold onto false notions of what the other group wants, we will continue to fail to communicate, and as folks get more angry, more frustrated, the communication continues to break down, we cannot find parity in our thoughts at all, and that means we cannot find true understanding or compromise, just more rigid restrictions, more devaluing of different ways of thinking and different ways of finding joy.  But the problem is in both the police and those opposing them, and it is rampant, there are many folks I know who will no longer tell their children to trust the Police, even I can be hesitant, I tend to direct my daughter to people in the fire department or emergency services, why? Because once my daughter is no longer a cute little girl, the intense opposition and lines in the sand, will make her an “other” to the police, because like me, my daughter does not think like the dominant paradigm, we do not flourish in a black and white, dour, compartmentalized world that makes sense to empirical ways of thinking, and the police at this time are a bastion for empirical thinking, black and white, frustration and confusion over why the populations police have sworn to protect say they are not doing so and find them harmful.  And it is because of faulty context and false dichotomies, profiling and stereotyping. To me, the true tragedy in Ferguson, Mo was not whether or not Darren Wilson feared for his life, it is the fact he did, almost without a doubt fear for his life, and that is the issue folks, the fact that we still cannot facilitate a conversation, our Police forces are probably closer to being riddled with complex PTSD than most people think, day in and day out they deal with real possible threats and still have to make a choice to go home and see their families, and often that choice is expedient and violent, because hypervigilance inflates how one views probability,makes you become reactionary instead of pro-active, rigid in your interpretation and deliverance of the tremendous amount of laws binding folks day to day actions.  For those who are fighting back against the hold of the dominant paradigm, the Police are not a force to protect and serve, they are the strong arm of a rigid societal way of thinking. This is further worsened by the lack of transparency, the fraternal bonds that bind the police force also keep people at bay. Police officers often show enclaving behaviors themselves, sticking to small circles, going to other localities to have a beer, because they do not need the stress of running into someone they arrested. Our police, sacrifice a lot of themselves in order to do what they think is right, and if we cannot talk about it outside of the fraternal order, outside the blue uniform, folks we have a problem. So let me give you some perspective on the Police side, and then some perspective on the other side, and then tie it together with my Faulty Context Theory and then, after de-obfuscating the communications breakdown, I will apply my communications parity equation to it, and see what possible approaches I can generate based on this understanding, but more importantly, if others can also utilize this tool on a local level, public and police, we might make some progress.  I would love to sit down with the Chief of police, the mayor, some members of the Keene State student body and local Free Staters to facilitate an earnest conversation, but I have neither the ties, credentials that so many folks demand, or even sometimes the energy to do so, I am stretched thin, overwhelmed, in need of help myself to get all the crap in my head out so I can manipulate it differently and use folks as the sounding board I need for healthy, rigorous thought.

Ok, so the police, contrary to popular belief among others, are not “Evil” but they are trying more often than not to be “Good”, and that is a false dichotomy that has repeatedly been stated many times over by great philosophers, religious figures, and scientists.  The problem with being “good” is that you are programmed to stop “evil”, and when the world is unable to communicate as it is right now, when you have to question your gut and fail to understand motivations, when you must act, naturally and rightly so, to value your own continued physical existence, you are going to make choices based on devaluing another, and sometimes they will be right, but often enough, since we have failed to understand each others context, it is going to be wrong. I do not believe in “Evil” people a la original sin, etc.  I believe in damaged children and traumatized adults, folks who stopped reaching out in a natural and healthy way for help, because they were different, broken, devalued.  Right now, folks want that immediate, concrete, black and white judgement a lot, and the Police force writ large tends to favor compartmentalized, solid, empirical thinking.  In fact, if you look at New Haven Connecticut, the courts have upheld the police forces right to deny a position for individuals deemed too intelligent. (1999 NY times article)  Now, from an empirical standpoint you certainly do not want to waste money and resources on individuals you assume will not be fulfilled at their job. But it is yet another false dichotomy, the notion that intelligent people would not find meaning in police work.  Far from the truth there, but yes, you want an authentic intelligent person, someone who has the drive and can show you earnestly that they are invested in this.  And if the police officer is of average intellect, make sure their drive and motivation is correct too. I am gonna side and paraphrase Buddha right here folks, we want our police force to understand right thought and right action, at the very least, mindfulness training would be very beneficial here, and it does not have to be given in a course that seems too touchy-feely, there are plenty of good approaches to mindfulness that appeal more readily to sort of macho world view, it is the delivery of the message, not the message itself that is often why it goes unheeded. So the police force does need official, serious, and earnest training in metacognition basically. Heck, I am pro-martial arts as being more represented in their training, but not just ones that rely on muscle memory, forms that ensure the mind and the body are acting as one, to take control of their fight or flight reflexes better.  Likewise, the Police should be trained in understanding how they personally think, so that they know consciously how their mind prefers to approach a problem, and be able to realize when their inherent way of thinking may not facilitate communication the best, we have to get past ego, be honest with ourselves, and comfortable in what we can do, everything else after that is growth.  And if you have mentally healthy police, able to better trust their guts, understand when a stereotype or over-inflated fear is creeping in, we will have more moral police, and police less focused on being “good”.  Likewise, when they have their baseline, and experience growth, the police officers will again be able to take more important, on the spot decisions, back into their hands, they should be teachers as much as a stern protectors, when a kid is just making an honest mistake, provide guidance through words and forgiveness, not rigid interpretation of jurisprudence. So our Police need help reconnecting with the community honestly, the Police above all really do need to learn how different we think, how many of us have been harmed, and they still have to deal with many existential threats, because the world is ill right now.  So when an officer gives into fear and hypervigilance and a tragedy, like the death of Michael Brown occurs, the conversation has to be deeper, and more inclusive, or we will continue to repeat these tragedies.  The public needs to understand, that we do hold our Police to a high standard, but when the Police cannot trust those they protect, when they must become hyper vigilant as a basic survival function, the public has to help them too, and we have to be able to forgive when they break under the burdens they place on themselves as well as those placed by society, they are fallible too, we need to talk not demean, devalue, and punish. Darren Wilson is going to have to forgive himself for giving into fight or flight before he can reach out and talk to those his actions have harmed.  He can hope the system protects him, it is designed too, officers are often in positions to make some very big, very tragic mistakes, and if, like medical professionals, every time there is a screw up their survival and livelihood is on the line, it becomes an existential threat, and then you fear taking accountability for a tragedy, a mistake, a lapse of judgement.  So now, you cannot admit a mistake, because if you do, those who rely on you suffer, it becomes a catch 22 for the Police, and it makes it almost impossible to talk.  We are obsessed with a punitive system instead of a system focused on helping undo the damage done to so many children all over the world, the Police become the symbol of that oppression, and oppression that folks well adjusted to the dominant paradigm do not see, because they just naturally do not think the same way, and we are failing to understand just how different we think, and thus human assumption becomes damaging, it devalues others even without intent, because so many folks assume the person thinks close to them, when the difference could be far more substantial.

As for the public, the angry youth screaming to be heard, the urgency made manifest in the form of what is essentially a temper tantrum.  And I do not mean to demean the feelings, emotions, and thoughts behind these actions, but when internalized frustration reaches the point of explosive outpouring, it is in fact, a temper tantrum.  A child throws a temper tantrum when frustrated, this can be due to a failure to get something they desire, we often assume this is all too often the case but it can be from failing to communicate, the words and actions they take are being misinterpreted, when your parents, the police, and other folks in authority cannot hear what the heck you are saying, the frustration mounts. There is a reason an autistic mind such as mine gave into physical outbursts, especially bashing my head, that action was frustration over communication, the action for me was self punishment because I internalized that something was wrong with me, that it was my way of thinking that was wrong.  And that was never the case, it was the failure to communicate because people did not understand remotely enough about my context, I was judged based upon our socio-cultural ways of learning, valuing, and knowing things…and I am maladaptive to our society at this time and place, and as a result of no ill intent from anyone, I was harmed.  My case tends to be an extreme, because my inherent epistemology is a rarer and very hyperfocused one, as my father drove into my head over and over again, the nail that sticks up gets hammered.  So right now, College kids for example are digital natives, this is far more important than just being more naturally fluent and adept with the application of virtual technologies, it also increases exposure to different ways of thinking.  The introverts of the world have found a voice online, and many extroverts enjoy the fruits of those labors as well, and outside of peer pressure at school due to a society and education system that devalues difference from the dominant paradigm, that prefers conformity over personal growth and endeavor, the younger generation, online, is learning that these different ways of thinking are not so bad. We can hop on YouTube and watch people do truly asinine stuff we would never do, but appreciate that some else did, shared it, and brought some joy to our lives.  But even the internet is riddled with mental illness, just try to be a female gamer on a competitive level, it is like walking into good ole boys club, it is sacred ground based on a false dichotomy that devalues the “feminine”, which is not even tied directly to biological sex, what we identify as “feminine” in our society are certain inherent ways of thinking, that are not restricted to one biological sex, it can happen in many. But, especially when I was a child and before that too, if you were not a good fit to the dominant paradigm, in my case “masculine”, you suffered for it, suffered for something you had no control over.  And many of our youth are despondent, fearful, the future that has been sold to them is a hollow, soul numbing, and un-fulfilling life for many, the drastically empirically skewed society writ large, capitalism and commerce, black and white, rich and poor, wealth instead of human endeavor, it is hell.  So, like so many other voices they scream to be heard, and are crying out to make room for other ways of being, knowing, living, loving, and laughing.  Our society is out of balance, no society that I am aware of has ever managed to make room for all inherent ways of learning, understanding, and knowing, and when things reach a critical mass, we end up with notions such as Marx saying revolution is the way because the dominant class will not commit class suicide.  Um…yeah, they shouldn’t and I would not expect them too, but they can be taught the importance and value of making room for other people who inherently think different, we do not need to overthrow anyone, that just replaces one dominant paradigm with another, we need to expand our paradigm to include a greater understanding of human context, holistically, writ freaking large.  So, this sea of voices, screams in frustration, visceral, earnest, not understanding fully why those in authority cannot hear what seems so obvious, but authority does not have to respond, once out of college the demands of the empirically-centric US paradigm will either silence you, break you, or spread you to thin, the numbers in the ranks thin, until a few are left standing where once there was a multitude.  That is not growing up, that is destroying the dreams of youth linked to an inherent way of thinking that may vary greatly from someone else’s. You do not need to give up the dreams of youth, you need to mature and place in better perspective those dreams, figure out how those dreams that may have been unrealistic on some level still bring you joy and informs you of your place in the world, and this is where a person’s endeavor will be strongest.

This is why Richard Branson can trust his personal team to take all the time off that they need, because he knows they are invested, their endeavor is what drives them, not just wealth or power, they are a team, a community of their own, as mentally healthy moral people, or just as people hurt but still devoted to a cause they find hard to truly attain, they will not let others shoulder burdens they can handle and they can ask for help when they need it, and when they have done great work, they can reward themselves, or take care of themselves in a healthy manner.  Work and play can become the same for many, it does not have to be rigidly separated out for some of us, I can work and play and switch it up readily when I find joy in both, my mind does not stop thinking about work when I am not in a work space, I am one of many who when I was in a scheduled shift job, took my work home with me every single day and tried to understand and trouble shoot problems, increase efficiency, that is something a lot of empirical thinkers and us logical rational types can agree on at times, I don’t want to be bogged down in mundane crap all the time, I want that to flow too, be productive, get it done, but my desire is not because I rely on the system to make sense of things, it is because I want to get that crap done as quickly as possible so I can move onto more cerebral tasks, like trying to define humanity’s context.   But the 9 to 5 job, that seems so sensible to some, is not just soul numbing, it is a waste of human endeavor, and folks that does impact wealth for those who see wealth as a measure of their value and success, because if you have a brilliant logical mind tied down to a cubicle who is just going through the motions, not only is that inefficient, it is a huge waste of an intellect better utilized in other ways.  We have to make room for more thinkers, more artists, more nurturers in the world, the folks who are not as obvious to society at large that there is value in what they “do”, and there is value in what they can’t do but others can, the artist fosters thought and feeling, they anchor us in reality while at the same time allowing us all to take a look at someone else’s inner world, honest, though metaphorical, communication, they should not starve ever, for this has value, it is just not easily quantified, and empirical fact-based society values the quantifiable over the qualitative, when the two need to be in balance, they are not separate or Alien modes of thought in any extreme, just some are more comfortable naturally with one or the other.  Sadly, marketing, a hugely immoral construct, uses many of the minds damaged by internalizing faulty ways of knowing to produce the capitalist based propaganda it is, it tries to create an artificial market for a product, it hijacks human enculturation processes to convince consumers to buy things they do not need, this is not longer supply and demand folks, that is addressed through advertising, marketing creates an artificial demand at the expense of individual and social mental health, it is not an art form as some have said, any more than torturing a human being is, it is immoral though, it is harmful, and sadly, there are plenty of marketing execs aware of this, but I digress.

So let me try and wrap this up, it is going way too long as usual.  My faulty context theory states that we have failed to adequately understand humanity’s and individual context and as a result we cannot find parity in communication. To do so we must understand that a person’s context is made up of both his/her personal and inherent way of thinking and the socio-cultural ways of knowing they have internalized in a healthy manner, though lies and ill health are informative, they are still inhibitory to conversation.  So when two people from say the US and China meet for business, if they know a bit about each other personally, not a lot just how the other side likes to approach problems, you can tailor the conversation appropriately for the two parties involved, you can foresee where there will be shortcomings as a result of culture or the fact that one is a logical vs empirical thinker, or one may be more cautious, prospecting, and analytical so more hesitant naturally to make firm assertions, but you also know, that when people who are cautious do make a strong assertion, that it can be with some truly stubborn conviction, they take the more circuitous route to understanding, but when they arrive at that conclusion, like my Faulty Context Theory, damn right we can become assertive, just took me a long time to get here, and that is easy to devalue, the fruits of my endeavor are so much harder to quantify, so much harder to assign some arbitrary wealth based value to in an attempt to subsist, for me it is going to be hit or miss, if I was not in the service the time my body began to fall apart, I would not have had a safety net that would have let me continue to learn and try to fix the damage done to me over the years, crap digressed again…  So, if both parties can find parity in communication because they understand, at least on a solid general level how the other thinks both inherently and culturally, you can communicate effectively, even if it can still be difficult.  I talk a lot about logical vs empirical thinking, that is because of my own inherent hard wiring favors logic to an extreme, it gives me a decent perspective to attempt to understand. But in day to day communication, it is the Judging personality that gives me the most trouble, not the empirical thinker, not the extrovert, not the feeling vs rational, I have trouble with folks who arrive quickly at a very black and white decision, so an Empirical and Judging personality, just rubs me raw, it is almost painful when they are damaged and cannot hear what I am saying, and that is a shame, because I then avoid them, and deny myself the fruits of their endeavor, I unintentionally devalue them, because that worldview is so foreign to me, we are all fallible, we all think in ways unique to us, but also share cultural contexts and there is still humanity writ large.  We are Aliens to each other, we need to stop the hostilities and learn to speak each other’s language, and that is our inherent and different ways of thinking and how we must expand society to enable self-determination for everyone in a moral form, with morality ruling over the false dichotomies of today, you can actually trust people to contribute to society, but folks that does not mean working a 9 to 5 and generating wealth. And I have faith we will not starve, because the great do’ers and nurturers and even my gimp ass will lend a hand to make sure folks don’t starve, because when we stop devaluing each other’s difference and see how it compliments and informs our own inherent gifts, we can trust each other, even when we get mad, confused, or frustrated, we can know in a real and healthy way, that it was a mistake, misunderstanding, accident, or miscommunication at fault, not “bad” people trying to cause harm, we must get past the animal reflexes of assuming we have to perceive difference as an existential threat, we just have to make room and accept difference, even when we don’t understand it. But when you spend all your time and efforts attacking and devaluing another person’s way of thinking, you draw lines in the sand, you stop communicating, we obfuscate our data and fail to understand clearly what we are seeing, we begin to medicate difference into oblivion so folks can be happy in the dominant paradigm, when all we really need to do, barring underlying neuropathy or damage, is to let people learn about objective reality in the way natural to their subjective way of viewing that reality.  We must allow people to find out how they think, find meaning in that, be able to grow off that baseline and become vibrant, happy members of society, instead of where we are now, when we see someone mentally healthy, happy and vibrant, and we think there is something wrong with them, this is dystopia right here, right now, but we can fix it, it is not insurmountable, it is just large, scary, unwieldy, and dire.  And we all will need to make sacrifices and we will all need to truly remember what it is to forgive, we have all harmed others, intentionally or not, we cannot take in all data we see, process it, and spit it out appropriately all the time, we are mortal, fallible, but we can do so much better than this, we can, we just need to find how we personally are wired to think, ensure our culture and societies can make room for these differences, and then we can have harmony, then we stand a chance of setting aside false dichotomies, and the potential for human growth at that point is astounding, and I will fear less the development of AI when we have proper context for humanity, I will fear less encounters with other intelligences as we move beyond our solar system, slow as a snail if needs be, we will still endeavor too, it is a species imperative at some point to get off this world and ensure our survival through the population of others, but a healthy human species will not do so at the expense of itself and other biomes, we will contaminate what we touch, that is natural, species come into conflict, but if humans can expand to accept all our differences, there is a better chance we can expand enough to include other intelligences, in some fashion, even if most of the time we play quietly in our own corners, we can still value each other, and if social creatures can expand to include other social intelligences, that will be yet another new stage in human/sentient development.  The hour is currently very late, there is fog on the streets and people cannot trust each other, but we need to equip all of ourselves with just a bit of enlightenment, enough that together we can burn away the fog, put the monsters of our collective imagination to bed, and see each other, honestly and with compassion for the first time.  Thanks again to all who manage to read this, I know there are so many points, triangulated correlations that I just did not manage to integrate into this, the expansive pattern of my logic is simply to overwhelming for me to get out in a concise, usable format at this time, which is why I blog and post, because this is how I learn and how I ask for help with my obsession, the definition of human context, no less than exposing the collective spirit of humanity, and I am bound to fail on the grand scheme I think, hubris to think otherwise, but even if I fall short of the vaunted goal, my efforts do have value, they do shed light on things we have data for but are not quite understanding, because of a notion of faulty context. Take care all and be well.