Mar 17·edited Mar 17

On the topic of 2013 and the apps: bring back OG OkCupid style online dating, please. The swiping apps are so bad — I miss online dating when sites that required more thorough, “deep” profiles were normative(ish). Not saying all OKC dates I had were amazing, but it was a lot easier to get a sense of who I’d likely click with than (ugh) Hinge and its useless prompts.

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Shoutouts to Xanga, which I feel is lost in the sea of relevance for Internet platforms. Livejournal has much better unified culture, and Blogger seemed much more ubiquitous.

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We’re in a purgatory of self-narration, aren’t we?

To me, self narration is a function of what I see and touch. In the time of only, 'the movie', (other than a book and some bad TV, the movie was my dreamscape) I wanted to be "the movie" and would become obsessed with the topic of the movie. I so wanted the Nakamichi tape deck out of "Nine and Half Weeks", more than Kim Basinger as I thought the tape deck was at least 'maybe' attainable. I now watch the same movie and I know I have been there, but it has no resonance to today and the tape deck is more than likely in someones trash. Maybe we have seen all that is real to see so we now look to the unreal, or not solid, not formed, to be our must have - people are no longer content with the solid, and want instead the feeling, the illusion. Kim and/or Mickey, or maybe both and now within reach.

At 55 I can 'think' the movie but I do not have regrets - there has been enough time to mourn and forgive Kim - and whilst I have now a set of Kef speakers and I know where I can buy a Nakamichi tape deck, I feel no sadness, only melancholia - the good sort.

Today, sadly, the youth (under 50) get the chance to be sad all the time (not just sad that Kim never let her hat on just for you) - what they miss yesterday, don't worry, you will be faced with the compounded (non) interest of more wants in the wind today -

Good luck with that keeping your soul in check...

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"When I was in middle school, everyone was self-diagnosing."

I might take this a bit further and say that everyone knows what is 'smart'/'right'. By that I mean that there is enough knowledge about mental diagnosis, the arc of history, etc that the 'smart' position is adopted. Such as 'my ex is afraid of commitment', 'I am depressed', 'racism is systemic', etc. It seems like these ideas are simply adopting what has historically been seen as smart and relevant without appreciating why they were smart.

It also leads to an uncertainty, as these ideas are adopted without a deep understanding. Am I afraid of commitment or was the relationship just not meant to be? Am I especially depressed or am I just experiencing what people always have? The seemingly smart answer is to say that there is at least some truth and if you don't question it, it is easy to end up spiraling down.

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This! "We’re in a purgatory of self-narration". Brilliant and so true. So sorry you're sick and hope you feel better soon ❤️

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We are almost done with the 2010s. I feel it.

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Man, your friend's me too problem sounds like so many of these, where usually the woman goes through some elaborate psychgological Rube Goldberg where they can possibly be hurt at some future point if they're not enthusiasticly engaging enough with a certain man. Or they're uncomfortable and no one knows it. Because they are afraid to say something at the time when they are uncomfortable. Instead, they mention it to their friends/therapist, and well, gasoline and fire etc.

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Something transcendent, huh? I have something transcendent cooking. It's built around getting people to answer the following question: What do you wish everybody knew? If you have one (or more) answer(s) to that question, you can contribute! Do you (or anyone reading this) have an answer to the Question?

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Mar 10·edited Mar 10

Call-outs about how "long covid isn't real" have some room for precision. It's a complex problem but it's material as well as sociocultural, and jumping the gun to psychosomatism isn't useful.

- Some people with apparent post-viral sequelae have somatized their mental health problems.

- Some have common post-viral fatigue that resolves on its own. That can make for a crowd-pleasing story of how they, true psychonauts, bravely resolved their somatized mental health problems. Way more glamorous story than "Sometimes that part of recovery's just really slow; I got better though."

- Some have primary ME/CFS, which turns out to be a thing with observable biological differences though the exact pathology/pathologies are not yet nailed down by the syndrome's underfunded biomedical researchers. There are some old scandals of institutional capture there that badly delayed the science, but it's coming along.

- And some do seem to be getting something post-acute that is specific to covid. That may wind up dividing up into subtypes of people with and without a continued infection.

Psychology is a discipline — or, perhaps, a community — that may have done some good in the world, and is the only port of call for the problems of many people, but is prone to fads, tribalism, and soft thinking. Historically psychologists have been drawn again and again to "bad thinking gives you BadThinkitis", claiming one less-understood medical illness after another as they've attempted to establish their bona fides as medical professionals and claw some underdeveloped medical turf for themselves. From diabetes to asthma to cancer, psychosomatizing psychologists have been on it like an opportunistic rash. The phenomenon goes back at least to 19th century New Thought, and that long history of conjecture seems to have a weight of its own no matter how many specific conjectures were bad enough to abandon. Now, given some novel and undercharacterized illness, psychologists will deliver pronouncements about BadThinkitis with the authority of a stopped clock.

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If you're basing your tribal or individual identity on what you consoom, it's pretty much a given you're gonna be unhappy.

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How do you know when a community provides "true" belonging? How much do you have to invest before you know? Maybe the fact that we can pick and choose which communities we're in so easily makes it harder to find something that feels real.

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Got me wondering if the Dutch ever found the Harlem Shake to be confusing.

On the mental health topic, I have been thinking for a few days about how to possibly disentangle the contributory factors. I've yet to think of a really solid natural experiment that might shed light on the identity-based change. One possible avenue would be through the Tumblr diaspora following the porn-ban, and see if there were a quantifiable contagion effect. I don't think that is quite early enough to get I at the root of the issue.

Perhaps there might be something with the rollout of 4G networks that would be plausibly exogenous to underlying factors, but that ties the identity-exposure theory with the phones-theory even more closely.

There have been some field experiments with giving Chinese students free access to high-quality VPNs. In at least one, the authors noted the high usage of Instagram among the treated students. That sort of approach might give something on the social media theory.

Without a role at Facebook or Twitter and access to the social graphs and post content, I doubt I can make much headway into the issue.

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You made me do this!

Lasciatemi cantare

Con la chitarra in mano

Lasciatemi cantare

Sono un italiano

Buongiorno Italia, gli spaghetti al dente

E un partigiano come presidente

Con l'autoradio sempre nella mano destra

Un canarino sopra la finestra

Buongiorno Italia con i tuoi artisti

Con troppa America sui manifesti

Con le canzoni, con amore

Con il cuore

Con più donne sempre meno suore....

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