There is little disagreement that the idea that the world today is a pretty screwed-up place. Very anxiety-filled. Loss of hope about the future. Rabid tribalism, economic inequities, racial inequalities, rampant capitalism doing what it was designed to do; increase capital, rather than support people, protect the environment, or anything else.
But why? Why is it like that? And why, recently, does it appear to be getting worse?
The Donald (said in a facetious tone) and his whole gang of short-term thinkers is an easy answer, too easy to be more than a little correct.
I propose that part of the reason is deeper, that there’s a fundamental disease underlying our worsening world that is really the cause of all of these symptoms. …
SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. When you search for something, the resulting list of links shown is known as a SERP, and there is a lot of jockeying done to get placed high on those pages.
As all of us here are, more than likely, long time denizens of the Internet. We have seen search evolve from extremely primitive to the complex, interactive, data-driven, service that it is today. Always there on some of our phones, and rarely more than a click, swipe, or gesture away. …
For this essay I refer to God with the English objective pronouns: they and them (and no, not capitalized). Until someone can convince me that God has a gender or anything else we use to describe ourselves, it’s as close as I think we can get in English. My apologies if this distresses any reader.
We are puny-yet-arrogant beings.
We are so puny-yet-arrogant that for a while we thought that we were close to knowing just about everything about how the universe works. …
The state we get in when we meditate
The not-quite-sleep state
Or the mostly sleep state
Or, perhaps, even the sleep state (presuming that mediation-sleep is different than sleep-sleep, which is my experience)
We/some call it unconsciousness or semi-consciousness
I don’t think so
I think it’s a lie our egos tell us
I think it’s, if anything, hyperconscious
More connected to whatever-you-want-to-call-it (the divine, god, the universe…)
It’s not UNconscious
It’s egoless (or, ego-reduced) consciousness
All of our individual egos and whatever group ego there might be have a HUGE stake in us not believing this
Our ego carries our sense of self, our traumas, our fears, and our survival…
It’s been a truism on the web for millions of years of internet-time. “Content is king.”
It’s nonsense. Don’t believe a word of it.
Context rules all.
Content derives a large part of its meaning from its context, so if you control the context, you can have an outsized effect on the meaning of any content. Any content.
In an Orwellian fashion, you can change black to white while even suppressing the knowledge that it’s being done. It’s a scarily powerful way to influence people.
Killing your mother, for instance, is generally regarded as a bad thing. Give it the right context, though, and it can become heroic. The manipulation of contexts is a very powerful tool that is used every day on all of us, mostly without even knowing about it. It’s a tool that is part of the national defense toolkit, and a large hammer in every political consultants’ black bag of tricks. …
My internal landscape is so much larger than it used to be. I feel like the Tardis now, bigger on the inside than on the outside. The people who follow me (bless you all) know that I have been meditating for 30 years and I write in the hopes that it can help other people walk the path and achieve what many meditative philosophies say is a waypoint; being able to be an observer inside one’s own head.
A few years ago my internal map “zoomed out,” so that the depression, addiction, and anxiety that were most of my inner life before suddenly became just part of a larger landscape. That theme park is still there and I can zoom back in anytime (and sometimes it still zooms out at me). …
That voice inside your head. The one you’re probably listening to right now, as you read this. The one that’s always there, providing the voice-over to the narrative we all live. The one that seems so us, so much of who we think we are. The one that tells you what’s going on with other people and the one that tells you what’s going on with you (or so it seems).
Here’s the thing about that voice: it lies.
A lot of the time. About anything it wants. Not all the time — then we could just discount it — but enough of the time that it can really mess with us. At times it’s smart, insightful, funny, clever, compassionate, a lot of things that we think we are. …
I started writing this post as an answer to a post by June Beaux,
When it got to 400 words or so, I realized that this was both a personal story and one that might add to an on-going dialog here regarding mental health in general and depression-addiction in particular.
I was meeting with a CEO recently about why their sales were trending down. After looking at a lot of their outreach materials, the answer was clear: inconsistent branding.
This is an actual snippet from our conversation following my reveal of that:
Me: Your sales are trending down because the branding on your outreach is inconsistent.
CEO: That’s all you branding guys want to talk about; consistency. We don’t want to bore people with our marketing.
Me: Well…there’s a difference between being brand-consistent and being stultifying.
In the name of full transparency, he fired me shortly thereafter.
That’s the problem I see in a lot of branding; some companies and, apparently, some (marketing) executives, think that the choice is binary: be consistent or, interesting, fun, entertaining, whatever. …
I am becoming antidepressed. Antidepressed as in antifragile, per Nassim Taleb. Not “antidepressed” as in under the effects of antidepressants, but “antidepressed” as in the opposite of depressed. Antifragility enables things to become stronger with shocks, antidepression makes me stronger as I overcome that which once overwhelmed me.
It has, and continues to, take a lot of time, money, therapy, drugs, patience (so much patience), hope, and acceptance. And…it’s been worth every bit.
The result is wonderful most of the time, although the depression still occasionally takes over, but less completely and much less frequently. …