Wednesday Round Up #58

My Traumatic Breakfast With Gabor Maté

Which brings us back to his diagnosis of me in that Vancouver cafe: “You have deep unresolved pain.”

Telling the mark something everyone can respond to emotionally is the oldest medium’s trick in the book, as in “Someone close to you has passed, and you never told them how you felt about them.” The “psychic” is aiming to produce an emotional “breakthrough” he can play off of.

I finished my muffin and left. It had taken meeting Gabor Maté to realize what a charlatan he really is.

1. In a comprehensive review of clinical trials of alcoholism treatment, psychotherapy was ranked 46 and confrontational therapy 45 in effectiveness out of 48 therapies, while brief interventions and motivational enhancement were ranked 1 and 2 on the evidence.

Masking indoors in the age of the Delta variant

And this explains the CDC’s reluctance to change national guidance. Because no single policy or recommendation could possibly make sense for every region and every state. Massachusetts has fully vaccinated more than twice as much of its eligible population as Mississippi. Infection rates in Mississippi are about six times higher than they are in Massachusetts. The coronavirus pandemic is playing out differently state by state, community by community. Guidance needs to acknowledge that reality.

Here’s another way to think about it. Being fully vaccinated is like getting a great hockey goalie (think of Boston Bruin legend Gerry Cheevers) who blocks around 90 percent of attempts. In Massachusetts, there isn’t much virus around to even put a shot on target, and therefore little reason to wear a mask indoors. In Mississippi, there are simply many more shots on goal, and even a terrific goalie will occasionally let a shot in.

Writing Can Help Us Heal from Trauma

Even as we inoculate our bodies and seemingly move out of the pandemic, psychologically we are still moving through it. We owe it to ourselves — and our coworkers — to make space for processing this individual and collective trauma. A recent op-ed in the New York Times Sunday Review affirms what I, as a writer and professor of writing, have witnessed repeatedly, up close: expressive writing can heal us.

A certain kind of guided, detailed writing can not only help us process what we’ve been through and assist us as we envision a path forward; it can lower our blood pressure, strengthen our immune systems, and increase our general well-being. Expressive writing can result in a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression; improve our sleep and performance; and bring us greater focus and clarity.

These effects of writing as a tool for healing are well documented. James Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, studied the impact of a certain kind of writing on mental health in 1986. Since then, over 200 research studies have reported that “emotional writing” can improve people’s physical and emotional health.

The Resurrection of Bass Reeves

“We quite commonly refer to Bass as the most prolific law enforcement officer the nation has ever seen,” said David Kennedy, the curator at the U.S. Marshals Museum, in Fort Smith. “He was an enslaved person and ends up becoming one of the most well-known lawmen of the age as a Black man in the South.” Art T. Burton, a retired history professor and the leading authority on Reeves, added, “To me, Bass Reeves is the greatest frontier hero in American history—bar none. I don’t know who you could compare him to. This guy walked in the Valley of Death every day for thirty-two years and came out alive.”

Terrence Deacon Part 2: Consciousness, Semiotics, Symbolism and Language

North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds in 50 Years

There are 29 percent fewer birds in the United States and Canada today than in 1970, the study concludes. Grassland species have been hardest hit, probably because of agricultural intensification that has engulfed habitats and spread pesticides that kill the insects many birds eat. But the victims include warblers, thrushes, swallows and other familiar birds.

“That’s really what was so staggering about this,” said lead author Ken Rosenberg, a senior scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy. “The generalist, adaptable, so-called common species were not compensating for the losses, and in fact they were experiencing losses themselves. This major loss was pervasive across all the bird groups.”

Jordan Crowley Would Be In Line For A Kidney – If He Were Deemed White Enough

A patient’s level of kidney disease is judged by an estimation of glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR, which normally sits between 90 and 120 in a patient with two healthy kidneys. In the United States, patients can’t be listed for a kidney transplant until they’re deemed sick enough—until their eGFR dips below a threshold of 20.

Jordan is biracial, with one Black grandparent and three white ones. His estimated GFR depends on how you interpret this fact: A white Jordan has a GFR of 17—low enough to secure him a spot on the organ waitlist. A Black Jordan has a GFR of 21.

Jordan’s doctors decided he is Black, meaning he doesn’t qualify. So now, he has to wait.

Critical race theory is a lens. Here are 11 ways looking through it might refine your understanding of history

CRT has been around for decades, largely without contention, but given the increasingly divisive nature of the term, let’s put it aside and look instead at its underpinnings, the reasons many academics and a growing set of layfolk believe it’s needed in today’s educational landscape — not only on college campuses but for younger students, too.

These are established facts of American history, many of them included in “Race, Whiteness, and Education” by scholar Zeus Leonardo, who presented these and other wayposts in an effort to “capture a reliable portrait of White supremacy.”

The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it lifts key and oft-overlooked elements of America’s story to the fore in an attempt to analyze how they’ve molded the present and might shape the future.

Land was taken

Before the United States was born, European settlers killed millions of indigenous people across the Americas, but the fighting didn’t stop after 1776. The Last Massacre, as the Battle of Kelley Creek in Nevada was known, unfolded in 1911.

Deemed “savages” who must be civilized, Native Americans were left out of the 14th Amendment, which grants birthright citizenship, until 1924. This came after more than three centuries of seizing land from tribes, some of whom had been on the continent since Before Christ. The Indian Removal Act codified the relocation, regularly violent, of people from their homelands. While the Trail of Tears is the most famous of the forced migrations, state-sponsored violence against tribes was profound and persistent.

The so-called “termination policy,” another attempt to assimilate Native Americans, wasn’t abandoned until 1970. Legislative and judicial disputes over sovereignty continue today.

Why the NFL Embraced the Racism of ‘Race Norming’

On June 2, 2021, the National Football League (NFL) announced it would discontinue the use of race norming—the practice of assuming a lower baseline of cognitive abilities in Black players—in legal settlements for concussion-related injuries. For the past several years, Black former professional football players, led by former Pittsburgh Steelers Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport, had been speaking out against the practice. Henry, Davenport and colleagues demonstrated that race norming was interfering with their ability to receive compensation and benefits from the settlement. Black retirees, who are overrepresented in the number of former players, staked legitimate claims about their impaired health after risking their minds and bodies for this American sport. Bottom line: the race norming practice limited Black players’ access to the compensation they were rightfully owed.

Death Bed: The Story of Kelly Savage

In New Zealand, if a person dies in a psychiatric hospital, the death must be reported to the coroner and, by law, an inquest must be held. In Japan, there is no such law. When Kelly died after being restrained at Yamato psychiatric hospital, a private facility in Kanagawa Prefecture, there was no external investigation. In order for one to be held, the hospital’s doctors, nurses and management staff would have to report themselves to Medsafe, Japan’s medical accident investigation authority. Perhaps unsurprisingly, and despite repeated requests from the Savage family for the hospital to do so, Kelly’s death was not reported as being out of the ordinary.

In a letter to the family, as part of its reasoning for not reporting Kelly’s death, Yamato hospital denies having restrained the 27-year-old for 10 days, saying he was released “from time to time and only restrained when necessary.” The section of his medical records that have been viewed by RNZ contradict this statement; they say that Kelly was restrained the entire time he was in hospital.

Methods of data collection in psychopathology: the role of semi-structured, phenomenological interviews

Today, the majority of psychopathological research are built on data from self-rating scales, structured interviews, or semi-structured interviews, with the two former data collection methods in a dominant position. The purpose of this article is to critically assess the appropriateness of these data collection methods in psychopathological research. This article is divided into two parts.

In the first part, we try to get the object of psychopathology into proper focus. This is required, if we are to assess the appropriateness of the different data collection methods for this particular field of study. In the second part, we discuss the appropriateness of self-rating scales, structured interviews, and semi-structured interviews as data collection methods in psychopathology. In this part, we emphasize basic methodological and epistemological issues that underlie self-rating scales and fully structured interviews as data collection methods in psychopathology, and we argue that they may lead to results of questionable validity.

Stolen by the State

One vital bearer of that identity are religious sites known as mazars, a chief focus of Dawut’s research. The teepee-like structures, draped in pieces of bright cloth and other offerings, dot the Xinjiang countryside like holy antennas. Each belongs to a specific saint and all have different functions. You might pray to one mazar for rain, another for fertility. Dawut calls them “living shrines” and, in her writings, depicts them as a kind of cultural nervous system. In 2012, years before the Chinese government began demolishing mazars and other religious sites en masse, Dawut envisioned, in an interview, a Xinjiang without mazars. “The Uyghur people would lose contact with the earth,” she said. “They would no longer have a personal, cultural and spiritual history. After a few years we would not have a memory of why we live here or where we belong.”

Naomi Osaka: ‘It’s O.K. Not to Be O.K.’

Life is a journey.

In the past few weeks, my journey took an unexpected path but one that has taught me so much and helped me grow. I learned a couple of key lessons.

Lesson one: you can never please everyone. The world is as divided now as I can remember in my short 23 years. Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested. I mean, wow. So, when I said I needed to miss French Open press conferences to take care of myself mentally, I should have been prepared for what unfolded.

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