Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In Science I Trust...

I believe in science.

I believe in the scientific process.

I believe that large groups of scientists in agreement should be believed.

So that means that for now I believe that vaccines are safe and a boon to public health.

For now I believe that a large component of climate change is man made. Human exacerbated. Made worse by things we do. How ever you want to phrase it.

For now I believe that GMO's aren't bad for my health.

I say for now on all of those things because that's how science works. If new information comes along, and that new information makes a difference in what the studies show right now, and that new information causes the consensus of scientists studying that area to change their minds then I will also change mine.

Science isn't a dogma. It doesn't require you to have absolute belief in something no matter what. As new information comes in things can and do change. It doesn't mean the science was wrong. It doesn't mean you were wrong for believing it. It means that with what you knew at the time was the best decision to make. Science is flexible. But it's also practical. When large groups of scientists are in agreement the odds are very strong that the science is sound and should be believed.

I am more likely to agree with scientists who have studied an issue than with Judy whose cousin Freddy had a perfectly normal child until BOOM autism. And so vaccines. Am I right?

I am more likely to agree with climate scientists than with a congressman holding a snowball in chambers who also happens to be a benefactor of donations from Exxon. And for that matter I am more likely to be in agreement with climate scientists than I am with people trying to tell me that they are all part of a giant conspiracy to funnel money in to alternative energy while they ignore the fossil fuel industry pumping LARGE sums of money in to lobbying for fewer regulations and bad science.

I am more likely to agree with the medical profession who sees no difference in the nutritional value and no detriment to modified food than a non-modified food and no extra nutritional benefit to organic foods as a whole. Now I might still choose to eat organic due to other reasons, but I do understand that I am not getting a vegetable with more vitamins, I'm just getting one farmed in a different way.

And because I believe in science, I believe in all of the science. So when you mock a climate change denier but I know you are an anti-vaxxer I give you side eye. When you mock an anti-vaxxer and I know you are a non-GMO warrior I wonder which leg you think you are standing on. When you mock the non-GMO people but also think climate change is a myth meant to sell more solar panels I just shake my head. You are picking and choosing your science. You are saying these experts should be treated as experts but these guys? Total fraud and part of a giant conspiracy to keep us unhealthy, poor, cold? So I don't think you should mock one group of tin foil wearers while adjusting your own hat.

Now I get it. I have some things I believe that come across as pure hooey. For instance I believe the Universe talks to me. When I need to do something. When I am ignoring a problem. When something in my life needs to change, I believe I get signs from the Universe pointing it out. Now I will say that if we sit down and talk deeply about it I will tell you what I truly believe is that it is my subconscious noticing things and communicating with my conscious mind in such a manner that I don't notice it, but I notice it. My subconscious is chewing on a problem and is sending PAY ATTENTION signals to my conscious mind. The same way that you might pause for a second before stepping out in the street and suddenly a car comes whizzing past. You noticed it, but weren't aware of it, it happened so quickly. So your subconscious mind was saying, hey wait up here for a second and by the time your conscious mind noticed the car was by you and you were feeling like the Universe protected you. Yeah, it did. Through your own systems. It's just more mysterious for me to say I believe the Universe talks to me and so I phrase it that way.

So again, I believe the science. When the science changes I re-evaluate my beliefs and make changes as necessary. I don't believe in anecdotal evidence replacing scientifically sound studies. I try really hard not to argue with you about it, not because I think it's cool you believe hooey but because I understand that me telling you it's hooey isn't going to change your mind. I've been down that road a few times and I also have the scientific studies on belief systems to back me up.






Friday, February 10, 2017

You Mad, Bro?

I know I am not everyone's cup of tea. I am a strong cup of coffee for the most part. And though, I think, everyone wants to be liked more than disliked I am okay with people not liking me. I don't need you to like me. There is a pretty famous quote, "Your opinion of me is none of my business." Now, I would attribute that quote to someone but I can't find a definitive answer as to who said it first. It's been credited to Elanor Roosevelt, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho and many others. So I won't say as so and so says, because I don't know that what I would share would be right so I won't say that. Which is one of the things that annoys other people about me. And I know that. But your opinion of me is none of my business. My business is to be me. And you can take that or leave it. That's your business.

This morning someone on my friend list posted a fairly standard passive aggressive Facebook post and I thought, "Hunh, I'm pretty sure that's about me." And it bothered me, for a little bit. I came to my usual conclusion on those things which is if you don't want to address the issue directly it can't really be much of an issue. I worked out and saw it again after that. Re-reading it I thought it probably wasn't about me after all because it would have been a wrong conclusion to make from the actions I took so it must have been directed at someone else.

Now that's why I say it was a fairly standard passive aggressive post. They are like horoscopes. Just vague enough that you can read in to them things that apply to you. Or that you think they think apply to you. But not specific enough that you would always be 100% accurate. They are tricky little things.

So I made my own post about it and ended with a joke, as is my way, and also a reason why I annoy a lot of people. In the discussion that followed I had a conversation with a friend on how she would have handled it, and she would have asked the person if it was about her. That's not my way. If you have a problem with me it's your responsibility to either get over it or tell me about it. Now I'm not saying that if you come to me and say, "I do not like the way you turn everything in to a joke." I will stop making jokes. But what I might do is make sure I tell fewer jokes around you. Or delete a post that you felt was inappropriate (if I made it on your timeline, if it was on mine I would kindly show you how to hide specific posts). I'm not going to change who I am to suit your needs, but I might, depending on how I feel about you, temper my personality around you at times.

But one of the things I told my friend is that I don't generally take things personally. If I am taking it personally and getting my feelings hurt then there is something going on that I need to pay attention to. This morning it was my breakfast hadn't caught up to me yet and I tend to lean toward hangry at those times. I also know that I am operating at half annoyed right now as soon as I hear the news for the day. So once my blood sugar leveled and I had some time to just walk I was fine again and didn't take the post personally. Don't take it personally. Most of the time it's not about you. Even if they say it's about you, it's not about you. It's about how they are reacting to you. Same goes for you when you are mad at someone else. It's not about them. It's about how you are reacting to them.

Don't get me wrong, there are people out there who will always get the reaction from me that I can't stand them. Even then it's not about them, it's about me. I am sure their mother loves them. I just don't.

You will be a much happier person in life if you do that one thing. Don't take it personally. Person ahead of you in the grocery line is rude? Don't take it personally. They probably had a really crappy day that started with a passive aggressive Facebook post and no time to go the gym. It's not about you. It took me a lot of years to understand that and I got so much happier on a day to day basis once I did. I highly recommend it.

And that is the other reason I don't generally confront someone over a passive aggressive post. I just can't take it personally. Not for long. I'm not going to court the drama and potential for a fight by asking. "No it wasn't about you but it begs the question why do you think it was??" Meh..if you are mad at me you need to address it with me. We have options. When I get mad at someone I make the choice, is it worth talking to them about this? And worth it can mean a few things, do I think it will make a difference? Do I think they will change their behavior? Do I think it will make either one of us feel better if I say something? Or is it really not on them but on me? Am I hangry? Am I hormonal? Am I bugged by something else so something that normally wouldn't bother me is bugging me? Is it temporary? Am I mad about a situation that isn't going to last? Why make a fight that can leave a permanent mark on a temporary inconvenience? Is this an area where we will never see eye to eye on so it's just best avoided all together?

It has to be important for me to take the fight. And there is a difference for me in a discussion or debate and a fight. I love to debate and discuss ideas. I am passionate about a lot of things, another thing people find annoying about me, and I will debate with people who hold equally passionate but opposite views. And as long as we are talking about the subject, even if the discussion gets heated, I don't take it as a real fight. It's a "fight." If you can't and it gets ugly then you fall in to the "I'm sure your mother loves you" category and poof... So I get mad. I do fight. I even stew sometimes. But then I get over it. Remember it was never about me. Stop taking it personally and move on.





Okay so here is my other confession on this subject. Not only do I know I am not everyone's cup of tea but sometimes it amuses me to go be coffee around them. Another reason why people find me annoying. I have people in my life that I annoy. Crazy right? I know that I annoy them. I can see in their reactions that I annoy them, and yet they stay. Now I get it, sometimes you sort of get stuck. You have too many friends in common and the person is just annoying not actually hateful so it would be A DEAL to dump them. Sometimes your mother would be mad at you for being rude in dumping a family member so you are stuck with them. Sometimes there are other redeeming qualities that balance out the totally annoying ones. So I get it. We all have people on our lists that aren't our favorites but are there for whatever reason. But if I know you've kept me yet I annoy you there are times I am doing that thing that you hate just because you hate it and your passive aggressive status really is about me and I am deeply and highly amused by that fact.

I am often a strong cup of coffee when all you want is tea.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Education?

I was coming in here to write a blog about something entirely different and then the announcement came down the line that Betsy DeVos was approved as Secretary of Education and I just sort of stopped in my tracks. I mean, I knew it was going to happen. When the count came down to tied and Pence is the tie breaker you know how it's going to go. But there was still hope that one more Republican would understand one small fact:

She's unqualified for the position.

I don't care what your political leanings are, I don't care what you think about school choice, I don't care about any of that. I just want to make perfectly clear that she is totally unqualified for the position. She has no background in education. None. She has no experience with public schools. All of her children went to private schools. She has no teaching, no administrative, no local school board experience. None. She runs a company whose very foundation is built on faulty pseudoscience. She is an advocate for using education as a way to advance "The Kingdom of God."

She's unqualified.

But she's rich.

Fabulously rich.

And she made a lot of donations. She owns the fact that her family (at the time, in 1997) made the largest soft money donations to the Republican party and that she expected to get a return on her investment.

Well, congratulations, Ms. DeVos, you got it.

 Too bad our children are the ones who will pay.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bored...

“I’m bored…there is nothing to do anymore.”

“You’ve never been bored.”

“I know! But everyone is playing without me now. I don’t have anything to do.”

“Nothing? Really?”

“Nothing. I swear. I looked everywhere.”

“Well you can’t play here. I’m working on something important and you will just mess it up.”

“Fine!”

Chaos hated to be bored. What was she supposed to do? Her toys had decided to play by themselves and sadly they were doing more damage than she ever could.

Maybe it was time to rest and let her sisters take over.

Once they calmed things down she could start again.

But for now she was bored.

She wished she had never taught them how to fuck things up on their own.

They were actually better at it than she ever was.

Though she was Chaos she always tried to keep things slightly orderly. Enough that people thought they could make sense of the patterns.
But there wasn’t really a pattern. Just enough order to pretend there was.
But now that they were doing her job for her….nothing but chaos. No order. No reason. No sense.

Just madness.

Destruction.

Would it lead to that again?

The last time things had gotten out of hand they had to wipe the slate clean and start again. They thought it would be easier with people than it had been with dinosaurs.

And at first it was…it was fun to teach them things.

But now?

Now all they remembered was how to wreck everything.

And that was no fun. Not even to her.

And she loved to wreck things.

They were no fun.

So maybe that was the answer.

Time to wipe the slate clean again.

Maybe next time they could just have fish.