Mental Order for a change

winston_churchill

If you read the indepth biographies of Winston Churchill, you will discover that the man suffered from a mental illness called Bipolar Disorder.  Yet despit a life of political defeats, he was able to win the Prime Ministership and successfully lead Britain in its time of greatest need against the Nazi war machine with the words, “Never, Never, Never Give Up.”  Churchill’s strategic insight during the Battle of Britain and his compelling speeches are still studied by leaders around the world today.

abraham-lincoln-picture

Abraham Lincoln’s indepth biographies also reveal he suffered from a mental illness believed to be Bipolar Disorder.  Yet despite repeated failures won the Presidency and even after the death of his wife, led the United States through the greatest national crisis it ever faced, The American Civil War.  His memorial in Washington D.C. reveal a man of profound depth of thought and compassion for his countrymen.  He is regarded as one of the greatest Presidents the United States has produced.

Differing orders of the brain are often hard to distinguish.  Especially when studying accounts of historical figures.  Often different brain order societies claim that the same historical figures had their particular brain order.  An interesting truth is we all exhibit traits of every brain order.  We just exhibit them to varying degrees.

My theory is that all mental orders are just that different orders.  Some orders are more detrimental to one’s functioning than others.

I suggest we are all wired in a similar fashion, but we don’t understand the wiring yet or the inputs and outputs.  We don’t understand the range of Mental Orders humanity has.  Some orders are just more common than others.  Maybe in the end Synesthesia will be found to simply be a different mental order.  Time will tell.

Maybe, and more to the point I am saying we are confusing mental difference with illness.  Bipolar Order, Schizo Order, Borderline Order, Autistic Order and so on .

What I am really wondering is what Bipolar Disorder,  Schizophrenia and Autism are.

What is Bipolar Order?

bipolar

Bipolar Order is understood to be a chemical imbalance in the brain.  However, every cell in the brain is composed of chemicals and scientists do not fully understand brain chemistry and do not fully understand why the range of medications for Bipolar Order are able to conteract the symptoms.   Bipolar Order is a change in the affective aspect of the self.

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More information about Bipolar Disorder can be found here.

Who has Bipolar Order?

The list of prominent persons with Bipolar Mood Disorder is very long as the video below will show (10 mins).  However, present day medicines are making it possible to manage the illness and lead a more stable life.

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What is Schizophrenia?

schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is not a split personality.  Schizophrenia is not a disorder of mood.

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A more extensive explanation of Schizophrenia can be found here.

Who has Schizophrenia?

beautiful_mind

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What is Autism?

autismpuzzle

Autism is not a lack of interaction with the world.  It is a different way of perceiving and interacting with the world.  Understanding autism is not a failure of the autistic, it is a failure of society to provide them with the tools to interact with us and apply their potential.

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Who has Autism?

AlbertEinstein

1 in 150 Children in U.S. Has Autism, New Survey Finds

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Psychism : Mental Discrimination

However, that is not what this post is about.  This post is about the stigma ignorance, prejudice and discrimination against the mentally different as well as the abuse of healthy people who choose to challenge authority or deviate from convention.  I couldn’t find a term like sexism, racism or homophobia, so I decided to coin a new term, “psychism”.  This is not the usage of psychism in its conventional sense, however I think the usage I propose is much more important to society.  Other schools of thought use “mentalism” or “sanism”, but I think psychism has more punch.  Psychism is mental discrimination and Psychophobia is fear of mental difference.

vincent_van_gogh_16

“You’re Crazy!”

When a person presents an idea the hearer has many options.

  1. You can attack the motive.
  2. You can attack the person.
  3. You can attack the timing.
  4. You can attack the location.
  5. You can attack the function.
  6. You can attack the data.
  7. You can attack the need.
  8. You can attack the provision.

Or you can attack all of them by questioning a person’s sanity.  This is Psychism.

To label a person as mentally ill when they challenge authority, act in a deviant manner or simply attempt to be creative is a psychist act.  It is an attempt to destroy a person’s credibility and self-esteem.  It is a violation of trust and a violation of human rights.  It does not matter whether that person is mentally ill or not.  Psychism is a crime.  It is a crime in religion, politics, the workplace, academically, in family and against oneself.  The only time when it is acceptable to intervene in a person’s actions is when they are a physical danger to themselves or others.  And in the case of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia this is rarely the case contrary to public and media sensationalism.

It is often forgotten that the mentally different were among the first victims of eugenics, Nazism and fascism.  Is there going to be a place for them in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights?

Mental Difference and the World

It is predicted that Mental Health will be the dominant concern world wide this century.  It will affect us or someone close to us if not now in the near future.

Here’s some interesting statistics regarding a country struggling to get its Mental Healthcare System into place in the face of modern societal stresses:

  • I have been reading statistics on China.
  • There are only 17,000 psychiatrists for 1.3 billion people.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Chinese between 15 and 34.
  • Chinese culture does not know how to deal with mental health issues due to stigma.
  • China has developed its own diagnostic manual that deviates from international standards to address “pragmatic” requirements, but also challenges the tendency in the west to pathologize everything.
  • China refuses entry to anyone with a mental disease, I think more due to incapacity of the health care system than anything else.

Australia will not grant immigration to anyone with a mental illness on the basis that they will burden the healthcare system.

Singapore built a new Mental Healthcare Hospital in the early 1990s to prepare to deal with this emerging issue.  However job security is still an issue if you fall ill.

I am still researching.

I hope that this century will be the century when psychism will become extinct in society.  When we learn compassion and help Synesthetes manage their health and recognize deviation by any person as a creative force.  Let’s forget Mentally Ill.  Let’s use the term Mentally Different.

lincolnpenny

Everyone has worth.

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Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

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The Brain: Creativity and Convention

I have been reading Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight and began thinking about creativity and convention as right brain parallel and left brain linear functions respectively. I also began to think about David Bryson’s Circadian Theory of Learning and related research where left brain linear learning seems to dominate the waking state and right brain parallel learning seems to dominate the sleeping state.

Concludes Walker, “These findings point to an important benefit [of sleep] that we had not previously considered. Sleep not only strengthens a person’s individual memories, it appears to actually knit them together and helps realize how they are associated with one another. And this may, in fact, turn out to be the primary goal of sleep: You go to bed with pieces of the memory puzzle, and awaken with the jigsaw completed.”

My work with systems has me thinking about Cursive and Recursive relationships and how they might play out as right brain and left brain phenomena as well where right brain cursive relationships interrelate and left brain recursive relationships intrarelate.

Finally, I am thinking about John Zachman’s Enterprise Architecture and the creation of Collections, Associations and Attributions as right brain functions and Objections, Definitions and Operations as left brain functions.

Here is the video of Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED.com presentation

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Design: Attacking Convention

It’s wrong. The way we think about managing files in applications is wrong. And it is wrong for one reason. It lacks conceptual abstraction, simplicity and consistency.

“Wait!” you may say, “the icons are the same in all the applications! We’ve got the sheet of paper for ‘New’, the opening folder for ‘Open’ and the diskette for ‘Save’. We’ve even got a cute magnifying glass for ‘Search’.”

Frak the magnifying glass!

That’s part of the problem. The “New”, “Open” and “Save” icons should be sacrificed on the alter and replaced. New is relatively acceptable, but when we open it is not file we open but a folder. When we save we are not saving to a diskette. And we shouldn’t even be using the term “File” for anything. We are managing “Email”, “Documents”, “Worksheets”, “Presentations”, “Databases”, “Calendars”, “Projects”, “Drawings”, “Contacts” and “Browsers” people! If our applications are single function so should be what we are editing.

When you “Open” you could be uploading or downloading into your computer’s memory. When you “Save” a document, you could be uploading it to a hard drive on the web or downloading it to your hard drive; it could be burning it to a CD-ROM or good heavens even writing to a diskette. I’m not going to draw little hard drives. I’m going to abstract the concepts completely.

I always hated the clipboard metaphor. I just decided to call it a “content block”. You either delete it from your document, copy it from your document, update your document with it or select it in your document.

This is not my final version in the least. But I wanted to put some food for thought on the tabula rasa.