mental illness

On Masks, Ableism, and Being A Jerk

(This article is designed to follow two others: Masks Don’t Help You Much, and Defying Mask Mandates. If something in here doesn’t make any sense to you, perhaps you missed it in one of the other two.)

As I begin this, it’s quarter past five in the morning. I’m just back from taking out the garbage. I usually do this around three, but today I slept in. I do this in the middle of the night for two reasons: one, it’s much cooler; two, I’m less apt to meet people, so I don’t wear a mask.

The reason I don’t wear a mask while hauling trash is that I tend to hyperventilate. I get panic attacks which induce asthma, and masks set me off for some reason. I’ve read articles and talked with smart people, and on their advice I’ve tried acclimating myself through long use — and with some success. Even so, I find that the only way to be sure I don’t pass out on the (concrete) stairs is to take my mask off while hauling heavy burdens.

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The Application of Relativity to Social Issues: A Thought Experiment On Racism In The Criminal Justice System

Between the years 1905 and 1915, Albert Einstein worked continuously on certain abstruse mathematical frameworks within which the great puzzles of the universe could be solved — for it was impossible to solve them without something of the sort.  From his work arose his Special and General Theories of Relativity, which redefined science’s approach to such problems as travel at the speed of light, whether gravity has waves, and what spacetime’s shape is like.

I’m not going to explore the full ramifications here:  first, because we don’t need them for our purposes, and second, because the full ramifications make my brain hurt.

But I would like to present the concept of the Special Theory in simple terms (in order to apply it in ways that the designer never intended, but that’s not at all a bad thing.  Stick with me; it’ll be a ride.) (more…)

…But Back To Gun Control

My last article was, at least nominally, about gun control.

It started optimistically enough; I began by stating that our country is more heavily armed than some war zones and pointing out the most recent mass shooting event.  Somehow, though, in examining the statistics on gun violence, I concluded that the guns are not the real problem.

If you’re curious about that, feel free to go read that article; it’s a trip.  If, on the other hand, you’re concerned directly with controlling the ownership and possession of firearms, read on here. (more…)