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  • Tech Job Interviews Are Basically Hazing

    I recently read one of the most profound Reddit comments I have ever read, in response to someone suggesting the thread poster go into tech. They said tech job interviews are basically hazing. I wish someone would have told me this 20 years ago, it could have saved me a lot of heartbreak. Unlike hazing at Army boot camp which is designed to tear you down temporarily for them to build you up in their own way, job interview hazing is just them taking advantage of you because of the great power asymmetry that exists in the whole ordeal.

    I have a visual impairment physical disability which means I can’t see very well at certain distances and have very thick glasses like Milton from Office Space. People have brought up my visual impairment and told me I couldn’t do the work because of it. I even had a local recruiter tell me I had to make people comfortable with my physical disability because the presence of it caused the room unease. Even disclosing my disability has not made things better, one person after I disclosed my disability just assumed I couldn’t see. They didn’t write back.

    I get it that society is becoming increasingly harsh and hurtful and people far from privilege are the ones who bear the brunt of it. But a lot of what keeps people far from privilege down is failing at the critical junctures such as job interviews which determine whether or not they get to develop to their full potential and contribute to society.



  • Not In Touch With My Emotions

    Proponents of modern psychology are remiss as to why I’m not in touch with my emotions. There are several reasons:

    I’m bipolar 1 and the illness itself as well as the medication stunts emotion. Before I was bipolar I didn’t have as much of a flat affect, I felt things more and was more expressive. People connected with me better because of it.

    I had some scares around losing my vision when I was in college. For a while I was in fear of losing my vision. This eventually caused me to start repressing my fear which impaired emotional function.

    Starting at around age 31 I got tinnitus. My tinnitus is not near as bad as some people but (as you can imagine) someone likely on the autistic spectrum who was born blind I am super sensitive to sound. To deal with this new stream of unwanted input I became more emotionally numb.

    The parade of people (of both genders) cutting me off and ghosting me hasn’t helped either. Most people deal with this but when you have a disability with relationships you have to take what you get because most people won’t touch you with a ten foot pole. A lot of these people are pretty damaged too so it makes for a lot of bad relationship things.



  • Ask and Tell

    Modern society has made it that much more confusing to navigate with the fact that some asks are really tells. In the olden days there were more tells, in traditional culture there were right and wrong things, for example the Ten Commandments. Nowadays modern psychology runs pretty much everything and people don’t like to be told things outright so they frame their tells as asks. For example I had a job coach who really wanted me to go somewhere and get some IT training. She didn’t tell me this, she just asked about it. But later on I realized when she brought it up again that that was what she really wanted me to do.

    This can also be seen in self care. The party line is that exercise, yoga, meditation, eating vegetables, and chores are good for self care. While this might be for some people I think this is a situation where people are being prescriptive but somewhat disingenuous about it. For me exercise doesn’t help at all unless it is done with people who I have a positive relationship with. Meditation doesn’t work for me, stemming (muttering, yelling and even cursing, rocking back and forth) helps me. I like to drink sweet things (mostly diet pop) and watch trashy TV like Married with Children. None of these are approved ways to deal with things but when suspect an ask is really a tell you’ll just be inundated with blow back.

    The whole enterprise of therapy is a tell framed as an ask. That’s why I’ve had three women cut me off telling me to “go get help”. They wanted someone to change me because they obviously found a flaw in me they couldn’t change themselves.



  • Show Values

    Show values permeate our existence to such a degree that it’s easy to start believing they are actually true. Obama comes to mind, persisting to believe in the better angels of our nature even after being given evidence otherwise over and over again. The other side of show values is if you straight up say you don’t believe in one (like the idea that man is basically good) you get shot down really good.

    As an individual with a disability I live at the intersection of show and actual values. Show values say you get the job your merit affords, actual values say you get the job your physical appearance affords. If I had known the only job I could get was a janitor job then why was so much time, treasure, and hope invested in educating me.

    My latest issue involves something I’ve brought up multiple times on this blog. Show values say that a person with a disability will be tolerated by all but the most ignorant of us. Actual values say that for a person with a physical disability every one of their interactions with the abled world is an incursion that must be apologized for. Granted believing this about people is unflattering which is why the show value of tolerance is pointed to. My problem is because I have impaired social skills I need guidance on how to diffuse the “bomb” of my visible physical disability’s presence in a manner that will appease the room.



  • Being Judged

    I honestly can’t think of anything that fans the flame of narcissism more than being judged. When someone judges you they are signaling that there is something about you they didn’t like. Generally they don’t tell you what it was or they say some bullshit thing that isn’t true. The point is you obsess over what part of you it was they didn’t like and if there is any way you could change it so you didn’t get judged in that manner in the future. This whole process is constant thinking about yourself, you are being rejected for something about you so you can’t stop thinking about you!

    Also when you’re judged it means there is generally one less person in your life and the resulting alone time is often spent in your head having narcissistic thoughts.

    Older generations like to judge our generation and declare us consummate narcissists and they can go ahead, this judgement is just fanning the flames of our narcissism. If you want us to stop being so self obsessed and dwell on anything but ourselves then you have to accept us and point us to something outside ourselves that we could think about.



  • The Isolation of Suffering

    I think one of the best arguments against the existence of a personal god is the fact that suffering is so isolating.

    God’s people dropping out of your life like flies. Me and many others on the bottom experience is that the people who claim to be closest to God are the ones that get the furthest away when things turn permanently worse. They do this all while parroting the romantic notion of suffering that things are going to go according to “God’s plan”. Well they’re not and you are part of the problem. Religious people will trot out their “free will” theodicy trump card when confronted with the problem of evil. But then they put it away when their free will is frustrating God’s supposed “perfect plan”.

    The fact that for a lot of us suffering turns us into much less of an everyman than more of one. One of the things those of privilege selling suffering say is that it will somehow connect you to a greater experience of humanity. While that happens for some lucky people for most of us suffering cuts us off from enriching people and activities we need to actually become what they claim suffering will make us become. I have noticed in my life that I’m not even empathetic to people who have gone through the same things as me (mental illness). This surprised me. I’m just stretched so thin myself I have nothing to give. Plus there is this thing with mental illness called negative symptoms which actually eat your personality away which flies in the face of anything positive coming out of suffering.

    The idea of drawing “meaning” out of suffering helps less people than you would think. Highly principled people may concoct backstories and astroturf the bad things in their life to things make sense in hindsight but that requires an expensive brain that can play good mental gymnastics. I want dignity and relationships, I don’t give a rip about meaning. Suffering actually robs my life of meaning because I found meaning in dignified work and relationships and what I suffer robs me of both.

    Experiences of God going AWOL. The part of your brain synthesizing “experiences of God” is likely to go down if you suffer enough. Part of this is suffering and skills to cope with it make you emotionally numb and religion (or whatever they are calling Christianity these days) largely transpires on the seat of the emotion. Nobody wants to admit this but the way it’s sold (especially in contemporary worship) is all about emotions. Anything that makes you emotionally stunted is going to torpedo your interaction with “God”. This is partially why so many people on the spectrum are non religious because we don’t have the emotional toolbox to interact with a god.

    The fact that a lot of us turn to the internet for refuge. When the world shuns you the internet raises you. Many forms of suffering like disability narrow people who will interact with you beyond reduced functionality mode to a subset of people which you find online. For example with me if someone doesn’t have a disability and/or mental illness the chance of a relationship happening is just about zero. Unfortunately for religion the internet is not a community friendly to religion partly because a lot of the people seeking refuge on it were already rejected by the church so they carry that with them. Also online interaction is not incarnational the same way real life interaction is so it’s less conducive to spreading religion.



  • Team Effort

    Religious people don’t like it that I don’t have any trust in God. They wouldn’t either if he had told them to drink piss, kill them selves, and date people out of their league. I have found that when I make my trust in God a team effort the truth really comes out. People (especially Christians) have dropped out of my life like flies and refused to come in showing me that they are incredibly skeptical about what God is doing in my life. Guess what, I am too!

    Don’t encourage faith with your words and then discourage it with your actions! Because I only listen to the latter.



  • Looking Good

    During some of the worst parts of my life I have had some strange desires, mainly to LOOK BETTER! I know this is shallow but I have been so lonely for so long and looking better was the main way you got a girlfriend (especially in my early 20’s when I felt this the most). I don’t think people appreciate looking good for all it’s worth.

    It sucks that I’m turning 40 and I never had a girlfriend. And a lot of that is due to the fact that I don’t look good. Now in my early 20’s it was directly due to that but now it’s indirect, due to my visible physical disability keeping me from being a vocational success (which keeps me poor and undesirable).

    We are socialized with this myth that “it’s the inside that counts” and that does come into play in keeping a relationship going but to get it started you need to look good and make decent money.



  • Suffering Being For The Good?

    Christians are no doubt revving their engines to romanticize suffering as America approaches one of its darkest hours. I have the view that suffering is unequivocally bad and take offense at those trying to find silver linings in my clouds. That being said the reason I believe suffering to be bad is because it has not been redemptive for me. Basically my life pattern is my visual impairment disability produced pain which, along with abuse, produced mental illness and those put together kept me from being a net gain for society. What I have suffered has also been incredibly isolating and people have dropped out of my life like flies as time has worn on.

    I think the only good that comes out of suffering is the good you and those around you bring into it. If your are surrounded by assholes suffering will destroy you like it did me in my first psychotic break (which gave me a lifetime of bipolar 1). But if you are in a good environment (which Christians romanticizing suffering jump the gun and assume) and you pull together and meet trials with the courage required to be beat them, you will be wounded but not destroyed. Suffering is generally redeemed communally or not at all because courage doesn’t happen in a vacuum and when people act courageously they need to lean on the supports of others around them.

    Suffering can give the individual things like enhanced empathy but not really anything that could be “cashed out” in this society where you are seen as little more than commodity. But the things successfully getting to the other side of suffering give you will help you function in a close knit group.