You may not want to touch one, but if we all buy a permanent marker pen and paint a swastika on every #brexitcoin we're given, people might just get the message that Britain is beginning to resemble Germany in 1933 after the Enabling Act was passed… pic.twitter.com/ZumJB3dWm6
— Neil Marshall #FBPE (@ANMarshall) January 27, 2020
My tweet – obviously intended as typically British humour, i.e. sarcasm – has meanwhile been liked by a second Brexit party supporter, followed by another apparently anti-foreigner (and racist) tweeter. (Are they taking the mickey?)
But I see enough in Bob’s tweets to realize that there is actually something there to work with. (I can’t rule out that he is only pretending to be pro-Brexit.)
So many Brits have been brainwashed into thinking that if they withdraw from football, it means they’ve won the game instead of being out of it.
One Brexit Party MEP very recently made clear that she still has no idea what Brexit actually is, the MEP regretting that the UK will no longer be represented in the EU.
And then there is pro-Brexit Grimsby, which is seeking an exemption to allow the town to stay in the EU, essentially.
They all seem to have the idea that Brexit means something like “telling the EU what’s what and showing them who’s boss” by deciding to retreat to the benches but at the same time, expecting to continue to be part of the game.
No, you’re out. You wanted out, so now you’re out. You’ve benched yourself permanently.
And a fourth… At least this one feels EU citizens deserve support, in spite of the fact that he or she seems to be a big Boris fan.
Don’t worry. It isn’t real. You’re just imagining it. It’s all in your head. See your GP. Your GP will solve the problem for you.
The UK government abuses millions and millions of the British, including many children, because it considers them lesser humans and several of its Conservative Party’s politicians have said that those people should not be allowed to reproduce.
(At least one of them participated in a “secret” old-style eugenics conference and it wasn’t for investigative reasons.)
The UK government targets people who are chronically ill and/or disabled, causing many of them to die.
It inflicted austerity on them and made many “mistakes” and broke the law repeatedly, errors that people needed to take the UK government to court over and then have to wait years and years to see remedied so that many more people pass away in the meantime.
But it has hundreds of billions available for the internal power grab it calls Brexit. (Brexit is about power within the UK. Internationally, Brexit will park Britain on a side track, like an old locomotive that is no longer able to keep up.)
The UK government refuses to let child refugees rejoin their families, turning back on earlier promises. Many of those unaccompanied children will end up in slavery, child porn and snuff films, but the UK government will claim that it could never have seen that coming and that it is, therefore, mean to accuse it of heartlessness.
The UK government refuses to give migrants proof of status so that it can claim “we have no record of you” whenever it suits the government and deport people at will and stop them at the border if they want to return home from a trip abroad.
British citizens risk up to five years in prison if they rent to or hire a foreigner who has no formal residential status in the UK. Opening a bank account also requires proof of residential status, I think. I do think the government is willing to offer an online database where people can check a migrant’s status. Oops. “No record of you.” I am not even suggesting that this always has to be deliberate. The British are not necessarily the world’s best record-keepers.
Just typing this is likely to guarantee that I will not be let back into the country. Already on my two previous returns, UK customs had some kind of problem with me after all. But someone has to say it. The UK government wants people who live in the UK to be meek, obedient and uneducated and be able to feed them tons of bullshit (which they will sadly gobble up like candy) to increase the chance that the government will be able to do whatever it wants and get away with it.
Even Brexit Party MPs and MEPs are currently astonished to find out what exactly they have been pushing for. Some of the Leave voters are now seeking exemptions. The UK government fed them bullshit and they eagerly ate it, no questions asked.
Last year, a local guy asked me how I felt about Brexit – I said I had no opinion on it as I can’t vote on it anyway – and he said to me that in his opinion Boris Johnson had done more for the country than anyone else. He called me “blinkered” when I didn’t agree with his view that my own country is no longer a sovereign state. My egalitarian and prosperous country is in favour of cooperation, prefers to work together with other countries, instead of working against each other. My country chooses to have a voice. The UK voted to have no voice and to withdraw to the sidelines. You’d think that the people in a nation this fond of football would have been able to realise that when a player does not want to participate, he’s out of the game.
The UK government wants to turn back British worker rights. It wants to do away with those pesky human rights that the world came up in response to the atrocities that happened in the WWII period.
We currently collectively seem to be forgetting that the UK government also already has been arresting foreigners at will and can detain them indefinitely, while they lose their jobs and homes, and sometimes also their driving license and passport. These people are sometimes or maybe often simply released again after a while, but now they find themselves without a home and without a job.
But abroad, most people still do not want to believe any of this either. Most have this image of the British as very proper and friendly people, kinda sweet and adorable people, really. Surely the British government, too, consists of very reasonable people, people who will always do the right thing?
Nuclear weapons are not the world’s most powerful weapons. The most powerful weapon is to plunge people into excessive poverty. It completely knocks them out but it also weeds out the physically weakest and allows you to keep the surviving ones as moneymakers. Little worker bees who will always do as told because they are not in a position to say no, for various reasons.
The difference with 1930s Germany is that the UK will not be invading other countries next.
So who on earth will benefit? People like Arron Banks whose mining group wants to open more coal mines in the UK, open-pit mines as well as sub-surfaces mines. Some of his wealthy friends will benefit too, along with bankers who don’t want the EU to curb their bonuses. And a few Russian folks, for some reason.
If you are living in poverty and/or tend to look pale, apply a little bit of blush when you go for a job interview.
It will make you look healthier and it will make most people see you in a more positive way. It’s a subconscious response. Biology-based.
A research-based tip.
Some of you may remember that I talked about the need for poverty therapy a while ago. I come from a prosperous egalitarian country and moving to a country with as much inequality and extensive deep poverty as the UK was a shock for me.
And I have learned to see that my background makes a big difference.
Here is more on that.
Oops. Does this also explain why people in southern England seem relatively, well, underdeveloped? Is it the stiff upper lip and the reticence in engaging in conversations, also with strangers, that is tripping them up instead of making them look more sophisticated or whatever it is they think it does for them? Hmm.
Okay, if this study pans out then this would give the UK’s poorest a reason to sue the UK government for the effect of austerity on their children. Isn’t that something?
A few days ago, I saw a neuroscientist whose name I won’t mention tweet about the “dark triad”, which is not an existing condition but an old-fashioned police term that works well in books and films.
He followed it up with a tweet on “snakes in suits”.
If he was someone’s abused husband, I would have understood, but coming from a scientist who is supposed to be working toward greater understanding and solutions, it was disappointing.
And I haven’t even mentioned yet that he was talking within the context of women and attraction, (not in a scientific way).
“Hollywood here I come” he may have been thinking?
Neurodiversity is a multidimensional space. It includes autism, dyslexia and synesthesia, but also whether you are good at languages or music or maths.
The videos below give you an idea of some of the more challenging aspects of neurodiversity.
There is a TED talk in which a neuroscientist mentions that psychopathy can result from being exposed to too much of certain chemicals (hormones) during pregnancy (in utero). (If someone can tell me which TED talk it is, I’d be grateful. I’ve been trying to find it again. I think it may have had a New Zealand connection or something like that. It was a talk by a man.)
There are also indications that psychopathy can result from severe child abuse.
Some people will read this as an “excuse” and will say that not everyone who has a horrific childhood will go on to do terrible things, which is true, of course.
Repetitive horrific abuse – cruelty – can affect a very young, developing brain. Does not have to.
It is also true that some psychopaths make up that they were abused, scientists who know about this stuff say.
The good news is that we used to think that neurons were not capable of healing or even forming after a certain age (young adulthood). That is not true.
The science and medical knowledge of the brain have lagged behind on the science and medicine of other organs, but are catching up.
That the brain has much greater plasticity than we were aware of may mean that one day we will be able to fix broken brains. Not by stuffing people with pills but by stimulating the brain to do things differently.
We are all our biology. I cannot even order my brain to become a speaker of fluent French or Spanish overnight or turn myself into a composer. I am fairly neurotypical (boring, yes) and I cannot order myself to wake up with a psychopathic brain. So why do we keep expecting the reverse?
There is, however, a lot of great stuff we will learn and be able to do with the brain in the future and that will be good news for all of us.
Warning: These videos contain triggers, notably the fourth one.
This last guy, he intuitively and instantly gives me the creeps. That is not the kind of guy I would ever want to encounter anywhere. That is the kind of condition we clearly urgently need to find solutions for.
Perhaps we will one day be able to diagnose those particular children at birth and coax their brains into forming the parts that contain compassion and “brakes” in neurotypicals.
If you wonder why I talk about this kind of stuff, well, I learned a few things the hard way after I came to the U.K. and I am still learning a lot the hard way, not necessarily always because I choose to but because I have to.
In addition, I’m often driven by scientific curiosity and I like learning more. The more you learn, the more questions you have.
I found that a lot of the problems with some forms of neurodiversity seem to be created by neurotypicals, just like society has created many hindrances for people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters but also because we have bad mental health hygiene.
We brush our teeth obediently, but we don’t do much for our mental health. If people with narcissistic personality disorders (NPD, which is not the same as being called a narcissist) can knock us off our feet so easily, maybe we neurotypicals could look into how we could become a bit more stable.
People with NPD are always on an emotional seesaw, as far as I can tell. One little thing we say or do can cause them to start lashing out at us verbally because what we did or said undermines their sense of security.
We neurotypicals could learn how not to get flustered by someone else’s verbal torrents, perhaps. We could learn how to observe those verbal torrents as if it were the tide rolling in or out or the breeze making the leaves of a tree rustle.
Instead, we feed the torrent and sustain it and reinforce it.
(You can see this in “I, psychopath”.)
I know that these are very easy words to write but hard to put into practice for most people.
A second type of problem is also created by neurotypicals. If you watch “I, psychopath”, you will eventually get to a section in which Sam Vaknin explains what he did to the son of a holocaust survivor. A child. It was a form of what is known as sadistic stalking.
Even if you’re an adult victim, if you try to explain this kind of experience, you are the one who will be considered the problem. That way, society victimises the victims further and rewards and supports psychopathic behaviours.
Now you may need to watch this:
I just read that top jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch was stopped from taking his seat in first class on a train in spite of his ticket. He’s filed a formal complaint. He’s remarkably cool about it.
(He was talking about it on Twitter, I saw, but he’s off to Barbados now, to play. He’s British, by the way, so he does not have to worry about not being allowed back into the country like the rest of us so he has that going for him, thankfully.)
It hammered home a harsh truth for me.
I should have filed a formal complaint every time I ran into abusive shit in the UK, also when it was done anonymously. Thing is, initially, I was so utterly stunned, stood with my mouth wide open, jaw on my shoes every time because I had never ever experienced the kind of abuse I later got used to, in the UK.
And then I got used to it. I am migrant. I learned to expect it. It became normal.
I’d have been really busy writing letters, though, if I had filed a complaint every time. It is not always deliberate abuse. Sometimes, it is plain sloppiness. The result of people not giving a shit.
Still, looking back, I can’t believe that I learned to take so much shit.
This is such an abusive society. But I am not allowed to say it out loud, am I?
And only a few months ago, this happened to him. Watch the video. Turns out that another customer saw it and posted about it on TripAdvisor without having a clue even that it was Soweto Kinch. (One can ask why she didn’t speak up at the time.)
I’m genuinely at a loss to explain this one… just wanted to order a pizza 🤷🏾♂️
Waitress rudely ignores me.
Nobody offered to serve me.
— Soweto Kinch (@sowetokinch) August 16, 2019
Does Julia Roberts know that her face is being used to promote blatant racism?
It is easy to think that many males may have a habit of invalidating women’s experiences.
But what also sometimes happens is that some takes another person’s experience and wants to own it, define it, take it away and completely bulldozers over the other person’s experience.
A few days ago, I saw a post online about some confusion about children who are merely young being “diagnosed” as having ADHD.
Another one of these “FFS!” moments.
Those naughty naughty kids! How dare they and oh, how incredibly SMART of the researchers in question to see that young children were being put in boxes and being accused of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.</sarcasm>
In the same discussion, I saw an educational psychologist moan about the difficulty of properly diagnosing children in a way that really annoyed me, but mostly in hindsight (as went for the topic of the discussion).
I have meanwhile identified why the comment annoyed me so much.
There was zero attention for the children, or even for only one child, in the comment. It was all about this psychologist’s need to be able to put children in the appropriate boxes.
If you do that, you steal a child’s experience and make it your own, to serve you. It focuses on what you need, not on what the child needs.
In doing so, you deny the child its own experiences, don’t you? You tell the child that his or her experiences don’t matter, as long as people get to put the child into a box, that that is all that matters.
To some degree, you are robbing the child of its own childhood.
The fact that children are being misdiagnosed as having “ADHD” because they are young almost seems to indicate that there is no such thing as ADHD and that people (psychologists?) are looking for problems that aren’t there.
Maybe they do that so that they can ignore more difficult problems that do exist. Why else would adults, and notably psychologists, do something as bonkers as this?
Or maybe it means that psychology is an utterly useless profession.
Maybe it means that standardized designer babies really are around the corner, with the option of creating children who never fidget and never run around and never dance or jump or scream.
(Just tossin’ a few options around.)
The title is not really very accurate, though, I feel,
When this is what your life is like, your world shrinks very rapidly, and with it, your opportunities disappear too, and it’s not your fault.
There have been experiments, also in TV series, in which they gave a family £26,000 so that they could finally DO something and turn their lives around. You see people blossom, find jobs, start businesses and keep them going.
The days leading up to the election, I got bombarded with ads telling me to prevent a hung Parliament so that he could get Brexit “oven-ready”. It worked. Johnson got his blue (Conservative) Parliament.
What did he do first, to get cooking?
- Limit the role of Parliament, now that it is no longer a “hung” Parliament, a Parliament that does not vote his way. Surprise surprise.
- Toss out workers’ rights. Surprise surprise.
- Throw out concern for people who flee from wars. No surprise there either.
No longer such a tasty dish, is it?
Apparently, another thing that he plans to do is put judges in the courts who will do what he wants them to do. Brenda Hale is set to retire in January, by the way. I am sorry to see her go.
As was the case for just about everyone else in the UK, a lot of my recent attention went to political developments and the many tensions in British society as I am based in Britain.
Yesterday, I ran into a video series about Chris van Tulleken getting patients off drugs in a TV series. A very laudable undertaking! During his first morning at a GP practice, 39 of the 40 patients seen by one doctor received a prescription for a drug.
Decades ago, I slowly took myself off meds for an extra heartbeat (ventricular extrasystolia; mainly the sign of a very healthy heart but it can put too much strain on a heart if it is too persistent and I suspect it can for example result from drastically diminished physical activity and from certain solvents used in coffee production). I then showed my surprised and somewhat sceptical doctor that I really no longer needed them. The ECG convinced him.
A minute ago, I ran into this video below.
Wasn’t cocaine initially a pharmaceutical drug too, by the way?
I’ve had “psychiatric drugs” three times in my life. (I am 60ish.)
- After I was raped by an intruder in my own home and some days later found I couldn’t sleep and was worried that the sleep deprivation was going to put me into a downward spiral, I talked with my GP. She prescribed 10 pills of Valium. Just a few nights of good sleep was all I needed to keep me afloat. And even half a valium could do the trick. I didn’t use up the prescription.
- Many years later, when I was getting into a bit of a burnout, I talked with my GP again, a different one this time, and asked if she could give me a prescription. She did, also for just 5 pills or so. It was enough. I also started sending myself on day trips to relaxing destination and made myself take weekends off. (I was a workaholic for a long time.)
- Years after that, I once – one night only – used a “genuine” sleeping pill because I was in a very loud hospital environment; it was not what I wanted but I felt I had no choice. That one pill made me feel scarily depressed – I can’t describe the feeling as it was also very physical as if there was now a pit where my stomach used to be – with a deeper despair and emptiness than I had ever experienced, and also a bit as if I was stuck in the middle of cotton fluff. It scared me. It really scared me. This was the most unpleasant feeling that I have ever experienced (and I’ve seen and experienced quite a bit throughout my life). Never again.
I have no idea who this guy in the video is, but if you are talking people OFF drugs and taking on big pharma, you have to be one of the good guys.
Vanochtend vroegen jullie aan het eind van jullie nieuwsbrief “Heb je nieuws of commentaar of vind jij dat de Britse politiek ook wel een Cleanup kan gebruiken? Mail ons op firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I am currently benefiting greatly from n-acetylcysteine (NAC), a substance that was developed not much later than the drug thalidomide talked about in the video below. NAC was patented in 1960 and launched onto the market in 1968.
Now watch the video. Graphic WWII images. Viewer discretion required.
I am posting this because it is time for everyone to start asking many more questions and developing and spreading their own opinions about the use of techniques like CRISPR, without instantly being called a luddite.
Here is something that you may find highly relevant. It is a long read, part of a book that I am (re)writing.
… you could give all the Brits who’ve been living on next to nothing in the UK for many years and whose nutritional needs haven’t been met in a long time, good food and supplements to help their health recover from all the damage poverty has done to their bodies, for 6 months. Or even 2.
It would make a whopping difference.
Britain is one big torture chamber of a country, isn’t it?
If you vote Conservative or Brexit Party (formerly UKIP), you vote for that.
You vote for all that crazy “class” shit that declares millions of Brits disposable. That includes children.
In the 15 years that I’ve been in the UK, it’s often been a relatively hostile, callous and lawless place, but this has become more pronounced in the past few years. Probably since Theresa May became Home Secretary and when Iain Duncan Smith started running the Department of Work and Pensions.
Boris Johnson, who has been shown to have been lying about just about everything and who sees nothing wrong with openly peddling violence and intolerance, still has the lead in the polls.
What kind of country is this going to be after the 12th?
You can easily judge the character of a party by how it treats those who can do nothing for it.
That said, do I believe that tactical voting can make a difference? Yes, I do.
Tactical voting is not – as some Tories claim – committing voter fraud by for example voting in two towns. Tactical voting means that you vote for the non-Conservative candidate who stands the best chance of getting elected in your constituency. Because even a marginally better candidate can still help make a real difference.
British companies moving to Amsterdam and claiming housing, some even securing entire blocks.
In my inbox this morning, as part of BPS Research Digest, an overview of the effects of poverty.
The British Psychological Society:
Turns out that poverty can be really bad for children, ruin their chances in life. I talk about this in my course, in the lecture on whether it is better to be tall than to be short. The factor that makes the real difference appears to be childhood nutrition.
But not only can poverty affect your brain, it also often makes other people treat you as if you aren’t a fully-fledged human being. Many belittle you or even ridicule you – and that does not help, in my experience. It does not help when the message “you’re stupid, you’re stupid, you’re stupid” gets hammered home over and over and over again.
There is this blind assumption, for example, that if you visit a foodbank, you can’t possibly have anything to contribute to society. After all, you’re “stupid”.
The fact that you’re poor is not the result of how “stupid” you are.
It’s the result of luck, or rather, its absence, as I’ve posted before. Pure chance. Poverty can be the result of having tripped over that wobbly pavement tile. (Or a hacker. Or a disgruntled employee.)
Or a-typical Tory?