Afloofdala

Afloofdala (floofinition) – Small, lima-bean shaped mass of gray matter located in the medial temporal lobes, that allow humans to emphasize with, love, and care for and about animals.

In use: “Surveys and interviews show that people with small or inactive afloofdalas often thought animals didn’t feel pain and lacked intelligence. Those with active afloofdalas reported otherwise. Interesting, but the size and activity of the afloofdala didn’t affect whether people kept pets, but it did affect how they regard their pets and how the pets are treated.”

Self-evident

It’s humbling to think about how little I know, and disturbing to ponder how much I’ve learned and forgotten, or how often I learned, retained, and applied wrong information.

The information was sometimes wrong because we thought that’s how things worked back when we learned it. Then, later, you discovered, “Oh, shit, that works for everyone else, but it doesn’t work for me.”

Yes, this is another Big Lie rant. The Big Lie is that we’re all the same. Eat these foods, gain these nutrients, do these exercises, and you should be good to go.

Yeah, they then admit — you know they, the great aggregate of society, social media, medical professions, governments, you know, they — well, they admit, there are some exceptions. Like, you may be diabetic because your body rejects the insulin it makes. So you’re like, whaat?

Maybe you’re allergic to things. Or you may have problems because your body doesn’t process certain vitamins and minerals well, rejecting them. Maybe you hear things different. Perhaps you hear shapes, or you taste something because you hear a sound.

Whacked, right?

I grew up learning that people that talked to themselves were most likely not right in the head in some way. Now we’ve learned, no, they’re probably fine. Their personality is different from your personality. Conversely, telling me to come out of my shell and socialize more works on the assumption that I’ve made a choice to stay in my shell and not socialize, and not because of the components at work inside me.

Not all people we called slow were slow thinkers, but they didn’t benefit from the learning environment. Too bad for them, back then, because we didn’t know.

We keep learning that there’s a lot that we don’t know, and that what we thought we knew and pushed as truth was wrong. This was sometimes done deliberately to further someone’s wealth — remember how they told us for years that smoking cigarettes aren’t bad? — or to achieve a political advantage.

That takes me to food shopping. Oh, lawdy. I’ve decided to cut down on processed foods and reduce my sugar intake, so I’m reading labels more intently than before. A correlation often exists; if a food is low-fat or non-fat, it’ll be loaded with sugar. If it’s sugar-free, it has a lot of fat.

They say — now — that supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals probably doesn’t do anything for you, if you’re healthy. You really can’t tell that from the advertising and commercials that abound, can you?

If you’re not healthy, too much of one mineral or vitamin can cause greater problems. All this comes with that caveat, for some people. You need to learn early that you may be some people. You learn by observing your body and reactions to different inputs, studying those differences, and consulting experts when necessary.

And these deficiencies can have profound effects. Constipated, tired, and depressed? You might have a potassium deficiency. Or something else. Just saying.

Consulting experts — or the Internet — doesn’t always work out. Some experts dismiss study results. Reasons vary for why they dismiss the results, or skew them. It could be from ignorance, religion, or false information that they acquired. It could be because they’re being paid to dismiss the evidence, or they’re pathological liars, or protecting someone or something else. This spectrum about why is as broad as humanity.

Even when you find your flaws and shortcomings and address your patterns to cope, it ain’t over. Your body and brain, and our society, are dynamic. Our body is changing, sometimes from aging, sometimes from abuse. Sometimes, it’s just a slow shift because of habits.

As a society, we’re always learning new information, or revealing old frauds, or finding something new about the human body. Our food security gets exposed in unimaginable ways. Consider from this week:

Cocaine in shrimp

Cocaine in salmon

Blood absorbs sunscreens

In each case, these findings surprised scientists and investigators because it wasn’t expected. The sunscreen lotions were most interesting to me. They’ve been around back to a time before governments, industries, or individuals worried about the active ingredients in sunscreens, so they were never tested. That was partly propagated by the good ol’ common sense approach that sunscreen is rubbed on your skin; how the heck would it get into your blood? (That’s typically followed by mocking chortles because doesn’t that seem so self-evident?)

Yeah, there’s a lot that isn’t self-evident, isn’t there?

Influenced

When you start chasing butterflies, stalking spiders, and trying to catch house flies, you may have been around cats too much, and might need to take a break from their presence.

This is also true if you get excited when you hear food being opened, or if you try to get into a room when someone else is in there and have closed the door.

Learning From Writing

I’ve been working on the yard this week. It’s a personal Möbius strip. Cut the front grass, edge, weed, trim. Cut the back grass, edge, weed, trim. Weed, trim, and edge the side yards. Trim back the neighbors’ trees and bushes. Begin again.

I know, it’s my choice to have a lawn and do all of this. I can hire others. I can zeroscape. I’ve considered both. Or I can let the lawn go to hell.

We don’t use weedkillers or anything artificial on our lawn. The weeds multiply. Out come yellow dandelions. We accept them because bees and butterflies love them. I leave the dandelions when I pull the weeds. Well, mostly. I try to keep them at a reasonable number.

I like the yardwork. In a world where projects take so long to accomplish and we rarely see tangible results, the yardwork provides me with satisfaction that I did something. I also like being outside, and sweating, exerting myself, and feeling the sun and wind. It’s great.

Yardwork also frees my writing mind. Not much thought is required for yardwork, and that lets me think about writing and the work in progress.

I had a surprising epiphany about all of that yesterday. I thought, I don’t understand people. I don’t get their thinking. I struggle to understand their motivations.

I know these aren’t simple questions. Adrenalin rushes and endorphin highs contribute to the pursuit of our fixes. Financial gain, self-esteem, respect, and admiration can contribute. The need for revenge provides some stimulus to people, as does immaturity and warped views and skewed memories. Motivations are complex formulas.

I thought, I don’t understand people, and that’s what I like to write. When I write, I can explore the characters’ inner worlds. I can study their thinking and moods, relationships and memories. My future technology lets them have augmented memories and enhanced communications. Technological capabilities blend with organic skills to blur the lines. Personal scanning technology lets measurements of micro-changes in another person’s temperatures, heart rates, pupils and other biological indicators help detect lies. In more sophisticated people, these things can and are masked to trick others through technology.  Sometimes, it’s like a technological chess match.

Writing about these characters help me learn. From them, it’s reaffirmed that humans are complicated. Matters such as truth and motivation are rarely black and white subjects. Skills like memories, self-awareness, and interpersonal communication vary immensely among people, but also in ourselves. We’re not always the same person today that we were yesterday. Allegiances waver. Certainty wobbles. Hopes sink and rise.

Now, with that cleared up for me, I have my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

I Catch Myself

I catch myself

berating others for being cruel, short-sighted, stupid, insensitive, or inattentive

and

 

I catch myself

doing the same damn stupid things that I berated them for doing

and

 

I catch myself

remembering other times that I did these stupid damn things

and

I catch myself

reminding myself that we’re all human, with foibles and inconsistencies

and

 

I catch myself

realizing that I’m just as fucking flawed

and

 

I catch myself.

 

There I Go

Got my special space

at the special place

checking out the people

thinking what a waste

but for God and grace

there I go

 

Been lucky again

just like I always been

living life like it’s a mortal sin

I’ve always had an in

because of love and kin

and here I am

 

here I am

on the top

of the bottom

there I go

thinking I have problems

here I am

working the middle

there I go

again and again

 

you say

he’s such a waste

no style or grace

what’s the matter with him?

but that’s not the truth

you don’t know what he’s been through

thinking that he’s just like you

 

there you are

on the top

of the bottom

there you go

thinking you have no problems

here you are

working the middle

there you go

again and again

 

The Tale of the Tail

You ever think, what if humans had tails that stuck out of our clothing? Ever think about how our tails might form our self-image and be part of our cultural landscape, or how your tail would appear? Can you imagine how our tails might give us away by their aspect?

“He said he wasn’t interested in her, but that’s not what his tail said. It was straight up.”

Another Frontier

I was thinking about my body, and your body, this morning, and the myriad energies that our bodies generate, use, store, emit, and absorb.

I think our current approach to our bodies’ energy is oversimplified and misunderstood. As I contemplated myself and my spectrums of behavior and being, I listed the kinds of energies manifesting and flourishing in us as humans:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Biological
  • Intellectual
  • Sleep
  • Life
  • Time
  • Creative
  • Psychic
  • Dream
  • Cellular

That’s a small beginning.

Most people probably treat these energies the same. They probably dismiss that all these energies, and more energies, co-exist in us, coming together as energy flows to help us function. Privately, though, many people know and understand on some level that these energies are different and unique.

People know when their energies are off. They’ve privately experienced the differences. They’ll tell you, “My physical energy is low, today.” Substitute emotional or intellectual energy for physical energy. Or they’ll paraphrase, and mention, “I can’t think straight, today.”

I think someday, we’ll have a much better understanding of these energy types, and their sources, and interactions. Meanwhile, we’ll make-do, struggling to cope with your physical energy, when it’s actually your sleep energy that’s mis-aligned.

Of course, I would think these, because I think life and reality is a series of overlays. As we learn and evolve, layers are peeled away, but we’ve barely begun to understand.

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