Diaphaneity and the Projections

“Now, these psychic irritants fester in the Shadow as “bad conscience”, or a vague sense of guilt, paranoia, or a kind of generalised Angst. In fact, his word “paranoia” (or “two-minds” as in the sense of being “beside oneself”) attests to the tension that exists between the ego-identity (or self-image) and its Shadow counterpart which makes for problems of “21st century schizoid man”, “cognitive dissonance” or “symbolic belief” or “duplicity” and so on. It is the irruption of the Shadow that, in fact, makes for the New Normal at all — in the sense of its problems of Double-Talk, Double-Think, Double-Standard, and Double-Bind. These are pretty much the symptoms of our failure to deal effectively with the return of the repressed as “the Shadow” and the problem of projection.”

The Chrysalis

If you understand how psychic projection operates (and why) you’ll certainly realise that there’s a hell of a lot of it around these days. This is something that concerned Jean Gebser quite a bit so we should spend some time on this because, essentially, the work that Gebser thought we needed to do with ourselves is a matter of dealing with the projections. Insight into the projections (and subsequently retracting the projections) also belongs to diaphaneity or “the transparency of the world” and is a contribution to the development of the new more integral consciousness structure.

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Doubling Down: The Military, Big Bankers And Big Oil Are Not In Climate Denial –They Are In Control And Plan to Keep It That Way.

“A massive Harvard study tells us what we already suspect: we have the most dysfunctional, least democratic electoral system of any so-called “western democracy.” The collapse of real representation is a leading cause of crisis. To think that such a broken system can repair itself and then take on massive problems of its own making without an equally massive and equally disruptive popular movement is more than just wishful thinking — it is a profound disregard for history. Show me some evidence. How was the original New Deal created? The failure to allow moderate and popular reforms like universal health care does not bode well for government’s ability to act on climate and war — issues that strike right at the heart of the existing social order.”

O Society


by Richard Moser edited by O Society July 5, 2019

“Capitalism, militarism and imperialism are disastrously intertwined with the fossil fuel economy….A globalized economy predicated on growth at any social or environmental costs, carbon dependent international trade, the limitless extraction of natural resources, and a view of citizens as nothing more than consumers cannot be the basis…for tackling climate change….Little wonder then that the elites have nothing to offer beyond continued militarisation and trust in techno-fixes. — Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes [1]

The ruling class may be an utter failure but that is not stopping them taking aggressive action on climate change. Their chief concern: maintaining power, control and profits at all costs.

The plan is well underway and it sure ain’t the Green New Deal. Just imagine a more extreme version of the world that already exists: where healthcare is rationed; where wealth inequality strangles democracy; where austerity is…

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Play Through

The capitalist elite, even in the supposedly ‘liberal’ corporate media, do not tolerate the mocking of the elite. It’s not good for business, as they make their money from corporate advertising.

The elite protect their own, including Donald Trump, because at times of popular outrage the elite seek to maintain solidarity in defense of their wealth and power. That is the nature of plutocratic capitalism and corporatism.

O Society

By Michael Cavna edited by O Society

Within hours after an anti-Trump cartoon proved popular on social media, its creator, Michael de Adder, was released from his freelance contract with Canada’s Brunswick News company.

MAD Magazine Donalds World.jpg

The timing of the news — which de Adder shared on social media over the weekend — raised eyebrows within the editorial cartooning community. But the Brunswick News said Sunday in a statement that its cancellation of de Adder’s contract was not because of the President Trump cartoon, but rather follows weeks of “negotiations” over bringing back another cartoonist, “reader favourite” Greg Perry.

“It is entirely incorrect” to attribute the decision to de Adder’s viral immigration cartoon, said the Brunswick News, calling that a “false narrative” that spread “carelessly and recklessly on social media.”

In the viral cartoon, Trump pulls his golf cart up to two drowned bodies and asks, “Do you mind if I…

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How The CIA Watched Over The Destruction Of Gary Webb

Having looked into American history over the years, the most disheartening insight is how closely tied the corporate media has been to the intelligence agencies. Released government documents and investigative journalism shows that it goes back to the early Cold War. And it has continued ever since. But it rarely gets talked about, especially in the corporate media. Funny how that works.

“On September 18, the agency released a trove of documents spanning three decades of secret government operations. Culled from the agency’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, the materials include a previously unreleased six-page article titled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story.” Looking back on the weeks immediately following the publication of “Dark Alliance,” the document offers a unique window into the CIA’s internal reaction to what it called “a genuine public relations crisis” while revealing just how little the agency ultimately had to do to swiftly extinguish the public outcry. Thanks in part to what author Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer at the time of publication, describes as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists,” the CIA’s Public Affairs officers watched with relief as the largest newspapers in the country rescued the agency from disaster, and, in the process, destroyed the reputation of an aggressive, award-winning reporter.”

Hurn Publications

Gary Webb

Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career.On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

These days, Webb is being cast in a more sympathetic light. He’s portrayed heroically in amajor motion pictureset to premiere nationwide next month. And documents newly released…

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Decades-Long Surveys Suggest The “Deleterious Effects of Smoking May Extend to Detrimental Personality Changes”

The personality changes seemingly caused by smoking are actually caused by culture or other environmental factors. Even health problems can’t simply be blamed on smoking.

“A curious detail in the findings is that, unlike the US samples, differences in personality change were not found among smokers in Japan compared with non-smokers. The researchers said this result may be an extension of what has become known as the “Japanese smoking paradox” – the fact that even though smoking rates are higher in Japan than the US, rates of lung cancer and mortality risk are lower.”

Research Digest

GettyImages-157197321.jpgByChristian Jarrett

There is increasing recognition that while our personality traits are stable enough to shape our lives profoundly, they are also partly malleable, so that our choices and experiences can feedback and influence the kind of people we become. A new study in the Journal of Research in Personality shines a light on a highly consequential behaviour that captures this dynamic – smoking cigarettes.

The results add “… to existing knowledge on the implications of smoking by showing that this behaviour is also likely to alter individuals’ characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving over time,” the researchers said.

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Failure of Nutritional Knowledge in Science and Practice

“The idea that the same experiment will always produce the same result, no matter who performs it, is one of the cornerstones of science’s claim to truth. However, more than 70% of the researchers (pdf), who took part in a recent study published in Nature have tried and failed to replicate another scientist’s experiment. Another study found that at least 50% of life science research cannot be replicated. The same holds for 51% of economics papers”
~Julian Kirchherr, Why we can’t trust academic journals to tell the scientific truth

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue”
~Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet, one of the leading medical journals where nutritional studies are published

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor”
~Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine

“Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”
~John Ioannidis, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

“Possibly, the large majority of produced systematic reviews and meta‐analyses are unnecessary, misleading, and/or conflicted.”
~John Ioannidis, The Mass Production of Redundant, Misleading, and Conflicted Systematic Reviews and Meta‐analyses

“Nutritional epidemiologists valiantly work in an important, challenging frontier of science and health. However, methods used to-date (even by the best scientists with best intentions) have yielded little reliable, useful information.”
~John Ioannidis, Unreformed nutritional epidemiology: a lamp post in the dark forest

“Associations with cancer risk or benefits have been claimed for most food ingredients. Many single studies highlight implausibly large effects, even though evidence is weak. Effect sizes shrink in meta-analyses.”
~Jonathan Schoenfeld & John Ioannidis, Is everything we eat associated with cancer? A systematic cookbook review

“Some nutrition scientists and much of the public often consider epidemiologic associations of nutritional factors to represent causal effects that can inform public health policy and guidelines. However, the emerging picture of nutritional epidemiology is difficult to reconcile with good scientific principles. The field needs radical reform.”
~John Ioannidis, The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research

“Incoming residents to a pediatric residency program appear to be deficient in basic nutritional knowledge. With the ever increasing burden of obesity and its associated co-morbidities on society, it is imperative that medical education focuses on preparing physicians to appropriately counsel all populations on proper nutrition.”
~M. Castillo, R. Feinstein, J Tsang & M. Fisher, Basic nutrition knowledge of recent medical graduates entering a pediatric residency program.

“Many US medical schools still fail to prepare future physicians for everyday nutrition challenges in clinical practice. Nutrition is a dominant contributor to most chronic diseases and a key determinant of poor treatment outcomes. It cannot be a realistic expectation for physicians to effectively address obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hospital malnutrition, and many other conditions as long as they are not taught during medical school how to recognize and treat the nutritional root causes.”
~Kelly Adams, W. Scott Butsch & Martin Kohlmeier, The State of Nutrition Education at US Medical Schools

* * *

I’ve written about this topic before. In some of those earlier posts, I used a few of the above quotes. But I also came across some new quotes that emphasize the point. I decided to gather them all together in one place without analysis commentary, as they speak for themselves. I’ll allow myself to make a single note of significance.

A lot of medical research is done by doctors. In Rigor Mortis, Richard Harris points out that doctors aren’t generally well educated and trained in research methodology or statistical analysis. My cousin who does medical research confirmed this observation. On top of that, doctors when they were back in medical school also weren’t taught much about diet and nutrition — interns right out of medical school get about half the nutritional questions wrong, which would be a failing grade.

So, combine doctors not trained in research doing research on diet and nutrition which they never learned much about. It is not surprising that nutritional studies is one of the worst areas of replication crisis. The following are the prior posts about all of this:

Flawed Scientific Research
Scientific Failure and Self Experimentation
Clearing Away the Rubbish
Most Mainstream Doctors Would Fail Nutrition

* * *

Bonus Video – Below is a speech given by Dr. Aseem Malhotra at the European Parliament last year and another speech by Dr. Michael Eades. Among other things, he covers some of the bad methodologies, deceptive or misleading practices, and conflicts of interest.

Sometimes research is intentionally bad because of the biases of funding and ideological agendas, an issue I’ve covered numerous times before. It can’t all be blamed on the insufficient education of doctors in their doing research. After the video, I’ll throw in the links to those other pieces as well.

Cold War Silencing of Science
Eliminating Dietary Dissent
Dietary Dictocrats of EAT-Lancet
Monsanto is Safe and Good, Says Monsanto

Adults Who Played Pokémon Extensively In Childhood Have A Pokémon-Sensitive Region In Their Visual Cortex

“As well as being fascinating, the study has potentially important practical implications. “Our data raise the possibility that if people do not share common visual experiences of a stimulus during childhood, either from disease, as is the case in cataracts, or cultural differences in viewing patterns, then an atypical or unique representation of that stimulus may result in adulthood, which has important implications for learning disabilities and social disabilities,” the researchers write.

“Consider autism, for example, which is associated with difficulties recognising faces and an aversion to eye contact. If kids with autism grow up looking at faces differently from how most children do, perhaps this explains the observed deficits in the function of the face-sensitive region of their visual cortex, and in turn this could contribute to the social difficulties that autistic children experience. If this account is correct, then finding out how long the window of visual cortical plasticity lasts will be critical for designing effective interventions for autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. “

Research Digest

GettyImages-89053808.jpgByEmma Young

If you have healthy vision, there will be a specific region of your brain (in the visual cortex) that responds most strongly whenever you look at faces, and similar regions that are especially responsive to the sight of words or natural scenes. What’s more, in any two people, these face, word and scene regions are located in pretty much the same spot in the brain. However, there is not a specific region for every possible category of visible stimulus – there are no “car” or “shoe” regions, for example (at least, not that have been identified to date). Is that because childhood experience is critical for training the visual cortex – we spend a lot of time looking at faces, say, but not cars? And, if so, in theory, could a lot of childhood time spent looking at a different type of object generate its own dedicated, individual…

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Fat Doesn’t Mean Not Fit

Eric “Butterbean” Esch, having weighed 425 lbs at his heaviest, was one of the best boxers of the 1990s. He regularly knocked out his competitors in under a minute. He didn’t look impressive, besides being obese. He wasn’t the best trained nor did he fight with much style. But he was a powerhouse. He could take punches and give them in return. And when he landed a punch, it was devastating.

As with many others, Butterbean’s obesity was not an indicator of a lack of muscle, stamina, and aerobic health. Even in later fights when his power was decreased, he still could hold his own for many rounds. In 2002, he remained on his feet for 10 rounds with one of the greatest fighters of all time, Larry Holmes, before finally knocking him back against the ropes with the fight ending after the referee did a standing 8 count. He expanded his career into professional wrestling and MMA matches, winning many more fights. As late as 2011 in his mid-40s, he was still knocking out opponents and he was still fat.

This is why so few people can lose weight through exercise alone. All that more exercise does for most, specifically on a high-carb diet, is to make them hungrier and so leading to them eating more (exercise on a ketogenic diet is a bit different, though). And indeed, many athletes end up focusing on carbs in trying to maintain their energy, as glucose gets used up so quickly (as opposed to ketones). Long-distance runners on a high-carb diet have to constantly refuel with sugary drinks provided along the way.

Americans have been advised to eat more of the supposedly healthy carbs (whole grains, vegetables, fruit, etc) while eating less of the supposedly unhealthy animal foods (red meat, saturated fats, etc) and the data shows they are doing exactly that, more than ever before since data was kept. But telling people that eating lots of carbs, even if from “whole foods”, is part of a healthy diet is bad advice. And when they gain weight, blaming them for not exercising enough is bad advice stacked upon bad advice.

Such high-carb diets don’t do any good for long-term health, even for athletes. Morally judging fat people as gluttonous and slothful simply doesn’t make sense and it is the opposite of helpful, a point that Gary Taubes has made. It’s plain bullshit and this scapegoating of the victims of bad advice is cruel.

This is why so many professional athletes get fat when they retire, after a long career of eating endless carbs, not that it ever was good for their metabolic health (people can be skinny fat with adipose around their internal organs and have diabetes or pre-diabetes). But some like Butterbean begin their athletic careers fat and remained fat. Many football players are similarly overweight. William Perry, AKA The Fridge, was an example of that, although he was a relative lightweight at 335-350 lbs. Even more obvious examples are seen with some gigantic sumo wrestlers who, while grotesquely obese, are immensely strong athletes.

Sumo wrestlers are also a great example of the power of a high-carb diet. They will intentionally consume massive amounts of starches and sugars in order to put on fat. That is old knowledge, the reason people have understood for centuries the best way to fatten cattle is to feed them grains. And it isn’t as if cattle get fat by being lazy while sitting on the couch watching tv and playing on the internet. It’s the diet alone that accomplishes that feat of deliciously marbled flesh. Likewise, humans eating a high-carb diet will make their own muscles and organs marbled.

I speak from personal experience, after gaining weight in my late 30s and into my early 40s. I topped out at around 220 lbs  — not massive, but way beyond my weight in my early 20s when I was super skinny, maybe down in the 140 lbs range (the result of a poverty diet and I looked gaunt at the time). In recent years, I had developed a somewhat protruding belly and neck flabs. You could definitely tell I was carrying extra fat. Could you tell that I also was physically fit? Probably not.

No matter how much I exercised, I could not lose weight. I was jogging out to my parent’s place, often while carrying a backpack that sometimes added another 20-30 lbs (books, water bottle, etc). That jog took about an hour and I did it 3-4 times a week and I was doing some weightlifting as well, but my weight remained the same. Keep in mind I was eating what, according to official dietary guidelines, was a ‘balanced’ diet. I had cut back on my added sugars over the years, only allowing them as part of healthy whole foods such as in kefir, kombucha, and fruit. I was emphasizing lots of vegetables and fiber. This often meant starting my day with a large bowl of bran cereal topped with blueberries or dried fruit.

I was doing what Americans have been told is healthy. I could not lose any of that extra fat, in spite of all my effort and self-control. Then in the spring of last year I went on a low-carb diet that transitioned into a very low-carb diet (i.e., keto). In about 3 months, I lost 60 lbs and have kept it off since. I didn’t do portion control and didn’t count calories. I ate as much as I wanted, but simply cut out the starches and sugars. No willpower was required, as on a keto diet my hunger diminished and my cravings disappeared. It was the high-carb diet that had made me fat, not a lack of exercise.

First Systematic Study Of The Advice People Would Give To Their Younger Selves

If I were to give advice to my younger self, I’d first tell myself that this society is shitty and evil. Acknowledge it and accept it, but don’t dwell upon it.

Don’t waste your energy on useless fights. Relax. You’re not going to save the world. We are all doomed, civilization is likely to collapse, and so do the best while you’re here. Try to be a good person and try to be kind, but don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re only human. The deck is stacked against you. You will fail again and again and again. Don’t worry about it. Lower your expectations. Keep it simple. Stay focused. Figure out what matters most and what doesn’t. Do what you can and ignore the rest.

Prioritize what is within your power, such as diet. Ignore the authorities who are either ignorant or lying to you. Go straight to a ketogenic diet. Cut out the industrially processed foods with refined carbs, added sugars, industrial vegetable oils, and long lists of additives. All that crap is slowly killing you. And, yes, sugar is an addictive drug. Instead, eat as much nutrient-dense foods as possible. Spend your money on quality food.

Also, exercise. Get outside. Feel the sunshine. Go for long walks. Enjoy nature. Breathe the clean air. Take care of yourself. Avoid stress and, when necessary, find means of escape from your problems. Don’t worry, your problems will still be there tomorrow. If you’re not healthy, everything else will be much worse. If you don’t feel good in your own body and mind, all of life will be a constant struggle. Take care of the foundations before attempting to build upon them.

Last but not least, find good friends and, as with family, hold onto them. Know who you can trust when everything goes wrong, know who will have your back, know who will help you when no one else will. A trustworthy relationship is of immense value. It’s impossible to get by without help from others. Gather your tribe around you. Prepare for the long haul.

All in all, life isn’t always that bad. Keep your mind open. Let curiosity and wonder be your guide. And never be afraid to look into the darkness. The world can be an amazing place, often in ways unexpected. Don’t let suffering close down your heart. Remember that others are suffering too. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Do what good you can do in your small corner of the world.

Oh, by the way, ignore all the bullshit advice from so many others. It will fuck you up in the head. Quickly learn to be discerning.

Research Digest

ByChristian Jarrett

The question is an old favourite – if you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Yet despite the popularity of this thought experiment, no one has, until now, actually studied what people would tell themselves.

Reporting their findings in The Journal of Social Psychology Robin Kowalski and Annie McCord at Clemson University have done just that in two surveys of hundreds of participants on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. Their findings show that people’s advice to their younger selves is overwhelmingly focused on prior relationships, educational opportunities and personal worth, echoing similar results derived from research into people’s most common regrets in life. Moreover, participants who said they had followed the advice they would give to their younger selves were more likely to say that they had become the kind of person that their younger self would admire. “…[W]e should…

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Weight Watchers’ Paleo Diet

I know someone on Weight Watchers. She was on it before, as was her mother, but like so many others they fell off the Weight Watchers’ wagon. Since they now live in the same town together, she decided to join Weight Watchers again in order to motivate her mother to do the same. It’s a social bonding experience, as the social component is central to Weight Watchers — their dieting support groups sound like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

This person and I were talking about diets. One thing that came up was the points system with some foods listed as zero points. I’d heard about how fruits are considered zero points on the Weight Watchers’ plan. This is absurd from a low-carb perspective, but to be fair the diet does recommend to eat such things as fruits in moderation. It seems odd to call them zero points, in that case, since the point system is what is supposed to help people to maintain dietary moderation.

The original Weight Watchers had both fruit and vegetables as zero points. The purpose was to encourage people to eat more “whole foods” in place of industrially processed foods. As with so many other diets, Weight Watchers ended up severely restricting refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and seed oils. That is the reason almost any diet will lead to at least short term health benefits such as weight loss, even if the diet isn’t healthy in the long term such as lacking optimal nutrition.

Anyway, the restrictions increase over time. As one loses weight, one is given fewer points to use on a daily basis. This steadily shifts the person toward eating the zero point foods. It’s a simple form of behavioral modification, simple enough for almost anyone to follow, assuming they have the willpower to do so, albeit a major assumption to make and the typical reason why such diets have high rates of failure.

The purpose of the social support and social pressure is to keep the individual on board with the protocol, the reason almost anyone turns to a support group for any problem, from addiction to mental illness. Being around those of like mind or rather of like problem allows for commiseration and understanding. The lady I was talking to said this is the main attraction for her and I do see the value in it for many people.

What is interesting is that the zero point foods are basically part of the core of a paleo diet. Hunter-gatherers tend to eat limited fruit, although there are examples of traditional diets with higher amounts of fruit. The focus on high intake of vegetables, though, is particularly paleo.

There is a newer version of Weight Watchers, what they call the Freestyle plan. Along with fruits and vegetables, a much larger list of foods are now deemed zero points. This includes a wide variety of lean meats, something that was prioritized among many early paleo diet advocates and still is followed by many, although fattier meats have become more common in the paleo crowd. Also included are eggs and seafood, which likewise are well within the range of the paleo diet.

There are a few zero point foods that aren’t paleo. These are corn, tofu, and nonfat plain yogurt. There are also legumes, but they are eaten by some hunter-gatherers, if typically more limited in amount. But more important is what isn’t zero points, such as high-carb foods that were key to the rise of agricultural societies: potatoes, rice, grains, etc. Most dairy foods also have points and so are restricted. As one loses weight and loses points to spend on these foods, one’s diet increasingly falls in line with the paleo ideal.

I find that amusing. It might be simpler to go straight to a paleo diet and get the same results without all the complicated fuss and the unnecessary costs. Maybe that is why popularity of Weight Watchers is on the decline and popularity of the paleo diet continues to rise. But if Weight Watchers helps you move toward a healthy paleo diet, then more power to you.