navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • Men are different than women

    Imagine if you had the ability to clone adults with technology similar to the Star Trek transporter.  If you cloned a desirable women there would be another desirable women.  If you cloned a desirable man not so much.  This is because you’d have to clone his good job as well and simple economics wouldn’t make that possible.


    Doctors and other helping professionals treat society, not you.  If you are high in society you generally get medication to treat anxiety and pain (this Atlantic Monthly writer doesn’t have any trouble getting anxiety medication).  If you are not, you don’t.  The most extreme example can be found with people dependent on the VA being told to play mind games and seek eastern medicine instead of getting pain medication.  If you’re bipolar you might not get pain medication at all.  This brings up an interesting thought experiment, the mental health medications are prescribed to keep the patient from being a danger to society but society doesn’t accrue any benefit for treating people’s pain.  In fact pain medication can make people function more poorly in society.

  • Letter to the NYTimes

    Concerning the article: A Soldier’s War on Pain

    There’s only one way to change the dynamic so that pain treatment happens fairly.  It’s to have a viable, available way to end one’s life.  Right to die advocates have been pushing for this for years.  When this is in place the patient is on level footing with the doctor for pain treatment decisions.

    I also find it funny that nobody suggests acupuncture and natural remedies for treating schizophrenia.  This is because in schizophrenia’s case a lot of the pathology’s fallout happens to society (ie behavior that makes society uncomfortable, sometimes violence) where with chronic pain the sufferer bears the brunt.

    One can do an interesting thought experiment along these lines.  When someone cuts them self do they get hospitalized for the pain it causes or because the behavior itself makes society uncomfortable?


    People like to say that suicide is a selfish act.  This is undoubtedly true.  But so is wanting someone to keep on existing who would rather not.  The thing is, the people who have the least power (in this case the chronic pain sufferer) are the ones expected to be selfless (it is obvious in religion but harder to spot in these new situations).

  • self-harm and chronic pain

    Let’s imagine that one person is forced to go on medication that puts them in serious pain.  Another person cuts them self.  The former will be fighting tooth and nail to get off said medication.  Doctors won’t listen to him.  The latter will be hospitalized and everything possible will be done to prevent his self harm.

    Both these examples involve pain but the person cutting them selves is bringing on pain in a way that isn’t socially acceptable to those in power.  The kind of pain that is treated is the kind that one has power over (and consequently those in power aren’t comfortable with).  If doctors truly cared about pain the person cutting them self and the person in pain caused by their medication would be treated with the same urgency.