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Journal Journal: Internet Dysphoria - if you don't have it, it's likely you know someone who does 5

Yesterday we read about how smartphones are contaminating family life. People are getting to the point where they feel anger or resentment towards the place the internet takes in so many people's lives, including their own. Here I propose both a formal diagnosis and criteria as a first step in helping those so affected.

Dysphoria is a psychiatric term for a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life.

Gender dysphoria is the psychiatric term for the distress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth not being congruent with who they feel they are.

Which brings is to Internet Dysphoria

Sense of dissatisfaction, unease, or distress with life on the Internet, esp. when the person is finding that, no matter how much exposure they get, the feeling just gets worse.

Symptoms can include:

  1. anger and frustration with the sheer volume of misinformation, outright lies, and manipulation by others, especially for profit
  2. an overwhelming desire to throw their phone against the wall or punch out their keyboard or screen.
  3. reminiscing about the "good old days" when you could talk to people without their phones constantly interrupting
  4. feeling like they, just by their very presence, are somehow inhibiting others from devoting their entire attention to the internet - especially true when visiting someone or sitting down for a meal and everyone else is glued to their phones. See Internet Alienation Syndrome.

The most likely viable treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy to help the individual realize that they are engaging in distorted thinking when believing that the internet should be such a fixture in their daily life, and to see the internet for what it has become - an echo chamber / rage machine / manipulator par excellence for profit at the expense of the users long-term autonomy, independence, and privacy.

Short-term solutions may include

  1. getting a data plan with crappy limits;
  2. "forgetting" your phone in the car;
  3. buying a Samsung Note 7 or Apple iPhone with touch screen disease;
  4. making mealtime rules such as fist one to use their phone at the table does the dishes, and first one to use their phone at the restaurant pays the bill.

More research is needed on this socially and emotionally crippling problem. Feel free to send me research grants, donations, chocolate and pizza, etc.

Note: This disorder is closely related to, but distinct from, Programmer's Dysphoria, which manifests itself in a growing feeling that coding is no longer enjoyable, that many projects are vapid or even evil, and that affected programmers wish they had gone into a different career and just kept coding as a hobby activity.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Post election 9

Assuming we don't elect the fascist, both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to do some desperate soul searching this election.

Democrats are going to have to acknowledge that the race was, at one point, extremely close (at the time of writing, it isn't, but what's to say it won't again in the next three weeks.) They're going to have to recognize that this was, in large part, because whatever Clinton's professionalism and qualifications, and however unfair it might be that she's suffered a decades long smear campaign, even without the smears she was never a great candidate. She represents a centrism and a failure to push for substantive change that is anathema to a significant number of people in the US.

How bad is she? Trump's obvious fascism was not enough to make people vote for her. The entire election has just fallen because he's shown himself to be an unpresidential thug towards women. Not because he advocates violence against his opponents. Not because he has promised to abuse the power of the Presidency to punish and imprison political enemies and journalists. Not because he has promised to make it easier to punish those who criticize the rich and powerful. Not because he has scapegoated immigrants for the problems of Americans. Not because he has smeared as rapists, murderers, and terrorists, immigrants and members of minority religions. Not because he has enlisted and cultivated the support of foreign anti-American despots to his presidential campaign. And not because he's been blatant about it, proposing simplistic solutions to complex problems without details or fact based arguments to back them up.

No Presidential candidate in recent history has been so obviously opposed to the values America fought in WW-II to defend, and yet that candidate got close enough to the Democratic candidate to seriously threaten her chances of winning. The Democrats, by any reasonable measure, put up a terrible candidate.

Republicans are going to have to acknowledge that the experiment started in the early nineties (perhaps earlier) to discredit and illegitimatize Democratic Party Presidents has caused unbelievable damage to the country, and destroyed both parties in the process. From Rush Limbaugh's early beginnings as describing the Clinton Regime as an "occupation", to the scorched Earth treatment of the Obama Presidency by Republican legislators, the end result wasn't a stronger Republican party, but a party that lost control of itself enough to find itself under the control of the first Fascist major party presidential candidate in living memory.

That means Republicans will have to bite the bullet and work with Clinton if and when she gets into office. Both parties will need to find points of agreement, areas where ordinary people will benefit from action, from infrastructure to improvements in healthcare, That's not to suggest they should hide their differences, but the last eight years in particular have been completely ridiculous, with Republicans failing to support stimulus and infrastructure improvements they clearly have no problems with, simply because Obama might get credit.

If you want to get good, honest, respected people to stand for leadership of government, it's a good idea to make that government good, honest, and respected to begin with. It isn't.

Whether either side will do any of this is.... I'll be happy if they do, but it really requires both parties to understand what just happened, and to change direction. I'm not sure they can.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mod points? I don't want fricking mod points! 7

I always feel obligated to use them. Just got rid of 5 yesterday, and today I have 15 more. With so much crap on the internet, including slashdot, it's like King Canute telling the tide to turn, or Sisyphus rolling that rock up the hill over and over.

I mean, what's the point. Nothing changes, because the internet is a vast echo chamber/rage machine/for-profit disinformation generator.

So instead, I'm going to talk about my dog Toby, who died a week ago after 13 years. At least that's grounded in reality (note: virtual reality is an oxymoron - get over it already). And it's something that people can perhaps relate to that is real and unhyped.

Toby was a good dog. He was dumped on me when I was asked to watch him for 10 days, and as a pup he got along well with my St. Bernard. At the end of the ten days, I called to ask when they were taking Toby back, and was told "He's yours now. I left his papers with you." Considering that Toby was chewing everything in sight, and would pee within a minute of my leaving, and poop within 5 (separation anxiety), I was a bit bemused. He was an ugly dog - his head didn't fit his body, all the parts were gangly and awkward. People would ask me what type of dog he was, and I'd tell them he was a fugly.

That changed as he grew up - people were still asking me what type of dog he was, but they were complimenting his good looks and his friendly character. The little kids in the neighborhood thought he was an over-grown world (he got big, just the way I like my dogs). Even dogs that tried to bite him, he would step back a pace and look at them as if to say "okay, NOW can we be friends?" Often it worked.

When I was told that I was going to eventually lose my sight, I trained him as a guide dog - without a harness. When my blood sugar went too low, and I couldn't tell what was happening but just wanted to get in my home, he pulled me past the entrance and to the next house (where we had never been). I woke up on the concrete porch, police, fire, ambulance, and doctor trying to figure out how to get to me because of the dogs (Bear #2, my second newfie, was there also), and I knew that there was no way I would have made it up 14 stairs if we had gone in. And that being indoors, nobody would have seen what happened.

I owed this dog big time. I also gave him a far better life than most dogs could hope for. We were good for each other, and in the end that's what counts.

This is the first time in decades that I haven't owned a big dog. What do I have left? Well, there's my neighbor's little shih-tzu mix who thinks he's mine (since he's been living here most of his life). Guess I'll get me some more of good old-time reality by taking him for a walk :-)

As for the internet? I'm not impressed.


Journal Journal: Repeal, repeal, repeal says the GOP 40

I'm pretty sure I predicted this months (if not longer) ago, but now some Trump supporters are working hard to build momentum for repealing the 19th amendment . They don't seem terribly concerned about the fact that they would have pretty well zero chance of pulling it off between now and election day, and any effort to do it after would be even more futile. I might be over-generalizing here but I doubt the 20 women in the senate or the 84 in the house would be enthusiastic about repealing their own right to vote, even if it prevented Hillary from becoming the first female president.

Journal Journal: The Latest DrudgeDot Let-Down 2

Slashdot was energizing their base over a supposed anti-Clinton wikileaks dump to hit today and the truth ended up being there is no big dump for today (note that even foxnews said "October Surprise fails" in regards to this). Slashdot readers may be able to take solace, though, in that apparently fox news is rescheduling this year's election to maximize opportunity to bring in revenue:

information regarding the presidential election "every week for the next 10 weeks."

Which if my calendar is correct puts us at the week of December 13th.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Best simple SID to USB connection? 3

That may not be a good way to describe it but... I have a C64 I never use and I think I shall desolder its SID before consigning it to recycling since they are now officially hard to come by. What can I put it on that will let me use it efficiently?

User Journal

Journal Journal: What I think of you based on your politics 12

(0. You don't have the vote. Sit down, relax, and watch the fireworks I guess.)
1. You're voting for Trump because you agree with him or hate Clinton that much: You're probably a horrible person. You should definitely feel bad.
2. You're voting for Trump because you want to upend the establishment: I don't think you're very bright. Hey, I don't want to live in suburbia any more, but I'm not going to get out of it by committing a Federal felony and letting the FBI know. I'd rather bite my lip until an opportunity arises to move to somewhere better. There are worse things than "the establishment" (like a fascist government), just like there are worse things than "Suburbia".
3. You're voting for Clinton: Probably the best choice given the circumstances. Don't blame you.
4. You're voting for Johnson or Stein in a swing state: OK. Well, I respectfully disagree with your decision, I feel Trump really is that bad, but at least you're letting the politicians know you're not happy with them and what direction to go in.
5. You're voting for J or S in a solidly red or blue state: Cool.
6. You're not voting: what the f--- is wrong with you? Write yourself in if you have to, but vote.

Regardless of my feelings towards your decision, I love you all. I just think those of you who actively support Trump probably deserve a good kick in the sensitive places.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What the? Where am I? 5

I don't know if someone accidentally nuked the mod-ban list or what, but I checked the front page today and I see I have moderator points.

A whole five of them, but moderator points no less.

I can say that based on my own comments indeed I have been commenting somewhat less often on here, so that may have made a difference. I guess if the front page here was more tech and less conservative FUD I would be likely to comment more often again...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Another TV season, another Transparent freak show. 14

What is portrayed on that show is not how it is for many of us in real life. Putting a man in a dress and having him portray a transsexual is not really going to capture it, except for the unpassable. But of course, that's what makes good TV. The truth is boring.

Of course, it IS more accurate in portraying the intersection between transsexuals and the LGB community - but only for those who believe that the LGBT community is also their community. If you're not a gay/lesbian/bi transsexual, it's an alien portrayal except for a few freaks.

But don't you dare say so - it goes against the "agenda."

One of my neighbors called me over to watch it, and she knew I was trans. At one point, "Maura" is walking into a restaurant for a date. I couldn't help but say "What the heck? The walk, the posture, that just screams man in a dress." She said that she was thinking the same thing. Come on, put at least a minimal effort into it. What I see there is parody. The hollywood/gay community's view of transsexuals is so full of shit compared to most straight transsexual's lives outside the "community." Assholes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The lameness filter is broken (again) 13

Your comments "spectacularly brain-damaged suggestion" and "drug-fueled" are why I consider your post troll like.

The above quote rendered one of my comments unpostable...


Journal Journal: DrudgeDot Rides Again 26

We had some solid reality-stomping conservative nuttery on the front page here just yesterday, yet it only pulled in 590 comments (as of my writing this JE). I'm surprised there wasn't more circle-jerk action going on over that. While Trump doesn't exactly have hte slashdot base whipped up in a frenzy the way that had core fascists like Ron Paul routinely would, there is no doubt that the majority of slashdot commenters will happily parade to the polls to vote for Trump.

Reading through the comments, one commenter pointed out a pretty significant reason to doubt the survey entirely:

"The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine"

Which matches The wikipedia entry on the same group that orchestrated this "survey"

User Journal

Journal Journal: An Lá 2

BÃ go maith, a mhuirnÃn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Establishment vs Establishment 1

The framing of the 2016 election is that this is the establishment vs the anti-establishment. Clinton represents Washington DC. Trump represents the masses.

This is bullshit.

There are two establishments at war here. One is the obvious one, the party elites. Clinton is more or less part of that, though not as much as people suppose. She's actually an outsider who's fought her way in. If you doubt this for a second, examine the first Clinton's presidential period of 1991 to 2001 (I'm counting the initial campaigns as much as the being in office), and notice the entire period was a war between the Clintons, a Republican establishment who despised them, and a Democratic establishment who didn't trust them and only rallied around the cause when the Republicans went over the top.

The second is the general group that's had power and had the government direct power in their favor for as long as the US has been in existence, primarily the rich, but with a white, male, protestant secondary base as a group to keep happy.

These are, to some extent, the same groups, but the second group no longer believes that the party elites can be trusted to keep bowing to their whims.

Hence the fact a third rate reality TV star whose business successes are built upon fraud and deceit is suddenly able to reach this level of electoral success. Trump is a prime example of someone government has always worked for, yet he's untainted by DC itself. His character doesn't matter. He's part of the underlying establishment, and not part of the elite, so he's the person they pick.

Journal Journal: Shouldn't need to say "I didn't care much for Gawker but..." 3

The fact you have to bend over backwards to disassociate yourself with Gawker before pointing out that Thiel's assault on it was a dangerous attack on free speech is a dangerous sign that we've already drifted a fairly long distance towards fascism.

And, FWIW, if Thiel had bankrolled Elton John's (far more legitimate) lawsuits against The Sun newspaper in the 1980s, and bankrupted Rupert Murdoch as a result, there'd have been a public outcry in Britain.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Christian Distributism, explained 62

The capitalist solution is to allow one man to own most of the hens and turn to distribute eggs to workers who prepare the nests for him. The Communist solution is putting all the eggs into the hands of the dictator cook, who makes an omelet which is bound to be unsatisfying because not all the people like omelets, and some do not like the way the dictator cook prepares them anyway. The Christian solution is to distribute the hens so that every man can cook his eggs the way he likes them, and even eat them raw if that is his definition of freedom.

-- Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom under God, Economic Guarantee of Human Liberty, 1940/2013 (PAGE 129 -130)

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