Blog Main Archive - Jul 2018

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7/4/2018 - "Failure to Launch" is actually Failure to Lem (Freedom)
7/16/2018 - Link: "There Is No Right Decision" (Self-Help)
7/27/2018 - Link: "The Wisdom of the Sloth: Is Sleep a Lost Virtue?" (Health)
7/29/2018 - Bras might reduce melatonin and increase the risk of breast cancer (Health)
7/30/2018 - Steve Pavlina's Deep Abundance Integration live video series (Self-Help)

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"Failure to Launch" is actually Failure to Lem
Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
13:52:38 GMT

Freedom

Blog Post by Apollia, owner and administrator of Non24.Com and Non24.Org


Many millenials (and others) these days are criticized for not moving out and becoming debt slaves and wage slaves to (barely) support themselves, and are picked on for "failing to launch" and become "independent".


"Independence" is such a frequently misused word nowadays. Similar to how "royalties" are probably usually just pittances - what is commonly called "independence" is usually not even close to real independence.

In my opinion, real independence is being at least a millionaire (or maybe even just a several-hundred-thousandaire) - and/or being able to survive in the wilderness like Survivorman.

Certainly not becoming a debt slave and wage slave, and being desperately dependent on having to make money, because of having too high expenses, too little income, and almost no savings, forcing you to live from paycheck to paycheck, and/or to live on debt if your paychecks are too small or scarce.


I think as a society, we should be far kinder to and more respectful of our young people, and simply give them all the resources they need or want, debt-free, to thrive and to build a better future for everyone.

And the same for our older people!

(But I think this should all be accomplished through voluntary charity and voluntary fundraising - not taxation, nor any other ways of stealing people's money.)


Quite often, picking on someone for "failure to launch" amounts to picking on someone for being too rational to jump off a cliff just to follow a lot of conformist lemmings who succumbed to peer pressure or societal pressure, and were all too willing to take the plunge into probably lifelong debt slavery and wage slavery.

(Or who were forced to be a lemming by their parents and society, which both failed to provide an adequate launchpad.)

So, instead of "failure to launch", I think it's more like, "failure to be a lemming", or "failure to launch yourself off a financial cliff only to fall to your doom".


If your parents (or other relatives or patrons) give you the gift of being able to avoid joining the rat race or lemming race which most people lack the freedom to (comfortably) refuse to participate in - I think probably the most rational course of action is to accept it.

(Unless the "gift" comes with intolerable strings attached - in which case it's more of an attempt at manipulation than a gift.)

Without as many bills to pay as someone "independent" (but actually probably extremely dependent on having income) - you have a chance to build up a large nest egg much sooner than someone who has to spend probably most of their income just to keep a roof over their head, and pay for transportation, food, and other basics.

It's not "failure to launch", it's "failure to lem" - and it's a good thing. :-)


Similarly, I think anyone who has rich parents ought to just guiltlessly accept the many advantages their parents made/make available to them, and not feel bad about themselves when jealous people pick on them for supposedly being "spoiled" or "privileged".

Poverty spoils a lot more children than wealth ever did.

Also, I think "privilege" is quite the wrong word for wealth, because I consider wealth something that everyone is entitled to - a human right.


However, I don't think that right entitles anyone to steal others' property. So, no, I'm not advocating communism or socialism - I'm 100% against all taxation, and I think when people have their property extorted from them by things like taxation, their human rights are being violated.

Here's an excellent essay (or small book) on the evils of income taxation. I don't totally agree with absolutely everything in it, but I think it makes a lot of good points:

Income Tax: The Root of All Evil by Frank Chodorov, all in one page

You can also get it on this page in the annoying PDF format, or the slightly less annoying EPUB format.


I'm sure my family would have had a much easier time surviving and thriving if we had been permitted to keep all our earnings, instead of being deprived of so much of our hard-earned money by taxes and other forms of oppression, such as the evil, corrupt so-called "child support" system.

Which is often more like bureaucrat support, or ex-wife support, rather than child support, and which harms and traumatizes children and their families in numerous ways, which you can read about here:

National Family Justice Association (NFJA) Position Statement on Proposed Budget Cuts in Child Support Enforcement Program Funding (Nov. 17, 2005)


Rather than coercive communism or socialism - I am in favor of people earning their own money, and also all voluntary charity. I am totally against plundering or extorting anyone's honestly-earned wealth through taxation or any other form of coercion, even if it's done supposedly in the name of helping the poor. Usually, it's really to help bureaucrats rather than the poor.

But even if it's done with the genuine intention of helping the poor, stealing is still wrong.


However, one reason I don't consider the legendary Robin Hood a villain is because he meant well, and possibly none of his "stealing" was truly stealing.

I actually don't know if Robin Hood is said to have refrained from stealing from any innocent rich people who earned their money honestly and legitimately.

But, I think Robin Hood is best known for taking back what had been stolen from the poor by rich criminals. (Not innocent rich people who stole nothing from the poor and did the poor no harm.)

And it doesn't seem accurate to call the recovery of stolen property, and returning it to its rightful owners, "stealing".


Some people seem to think taxes are like Robin Hood because taxes steal from the rich and supposedly give back to and help the poor - but, I definitely don't see taxes that way, because unlike Robin Hood, taxation punishes everyone without distinguishing between the guilty and the innocent.

In fact, taxation mostly punishes people too honest and law-abiding to engage in tax evasion - so taxation actually punishes virtue. (However, having the spine to resist complying with evil laws is also virtuous, so I don't regard tax evaders as automatically bad people.)

And taxation is also harder on the poor than the rich, because being deprived of any amount of money (even the seemingly "small" percentages confiscated by sales taxes) can easily reduce poor people's ability to buy groceries and other basics for themselves, their children, their elderly relatives, their pets, and any of their struggling other relatives or friends.

(Many poor people are very kind and generous, and do a lot to help each other out. And sometimes poor people who almost start to rise out of poverty get dragged back into poverty because of helping the people around them.)


And much of the plunder extracted from so many honest hard-working people of every class (whether rich, poor, or middle class) gets wasted by bureaucrats, often on horrible things such as war.

And the government programs for poor people probably usually fail to enable most of the poor to escape continued poverty and dependence.

And those programs often involve policies that actually harm poor people, such as the horrendous, evil "individual mandate" that was a part of the misnamed "Affordable Care Act", which fined people a massive $695 a year per adult (and $347.50 per child) for the disservice of NOT having any health insurance at all!


And for a few years, I was afraid that if I earned too much money, it might harm my family by possibly getting us kicked off of Medicaid, since I definitely didn't think I was capable of making enough money to pay for insurance for us all, nor the $695 penalty fee per person if we went without insurance.

So, because I thought it might do my family more harm than good if I somehow managed to make too much money for us to stay on Medicaid, but quite possibly not enough money to compensate for the possible loss of Medicaid - I felt like I had little choice but to (again) postpone seriously trying to figure out how to make a living.

It wasn't all bad - at least it was nice finally not having live in fear of not being able to afford to see the doctor or dentist if a health crisis happened.

But what would have been even nicer would have been being able to make a significant effort to earn my own living without having to worry that doing so would seriously harm us all by possibly getting us kicked off of Medicaid and costing us thousands that I couldn't imagine that I (or any of us) would ever be able to afford.


So, I definitely don't believe that taxes play a heroic Robin Hood-like role of recovering the poor's stolen property and giving it back to them.

In my experience, taxes are yet another thing that kick poor people when we're already down. I still remember how robbed and violated I felt when I saw all the deductions from my first paychecks way back in 2002 - particularly because at the time, I DESPERATELY NEEDED EVERY LAST CENT I HAD EARNED.

And every year, my family and I have to waste a lot of time doing our taxes. And since a lot of our income has been from self-employment rather than conventional jobs, and we often have had to live on all our income and couldn't afford to set aside any for taxes, we've often had to worry that in April we might get financially kicked when we're already down (yet again) by suddenly "owing" a lot of money.

Or, if we were lucky enough to get a refund of our own hard-earned money that we never should have been deprived of in the first place - we had to wonder when or if we will ever receive it, and at least once, it got delayed.


So, I think taxes are much more like the Sheriff of Nottingham than like Robin Hood. (And actually, that Wikipedia article says: "He is generally depicted as an unjust tyrant, who mistreats the local people of Nottinghamshire, subjecting them to unaffordable taxes.")

In my opinion, taxation needs to be 100% abolished for all - poor, rich, and middle class alike, because stealing and extortion are wrong no matter how rich the victim is.


Admittedly, taxes do pay not only for many bad things, but also for many good things. (But I wonder if they pay for more bad things than good things?)

But I think more ethical, non-coercive ways to raise funds for the good things could and should be used instead.

Perhaps lotteries? Or even something like Kickstarter?


It's completely heartless to say it's acceptable, or in any way good, for poor people and their children to either suffer and die, or else become wage slaves and debt slaves with hardly any realistic chance of ever escaping poverty no matter how hard they work.

Also, the stereotype that poor people are lazy is usually false. Some people talk like they think laziness is so evil that it ought to be punishable by poverty. But that's a monstrously cruel punishment, since poverty can be torturous and like a death sentence.

(Such as if you get seriously ill in a society where health care costs a huge fortune, and where insurance is still unaffordable despite a misnamed law to supposedly make it affordable.)


Also, what seems to be "laziness" can actually be a medical problem (rather than just a psychological issue or moral failing), resulting from things like sleep issues, such as circadian disorders, or fatigue from something like low iron, which is one of the world's most common nutritional deficiencies - especially amongst the poor.

Or other nutritional deficiencies - which poor people tend to be extra prone to, because many of us (including me and my family at times) can't always comfortably afford enough good, healthy food and vitamins.


However, even if someone's "laziness" is not excused by medical issues, I believe that freedom actually includes the freedom to be lazy, since being coerced to be unlazy - being coerced to work - is the very definition of slavery, and slavery is an opposite of freedom.

So, if you think about it, being against laziness and in favor of people being coerced to work, actually equates to being against freedom, and in favor of slavery!


Certainly, it can be very noble to choose to work rather than do nothing to help others.

But there is nothing at all noble about making people into slaves, such as by coercing "lazy", or even truly lazy, people to work.

And people are not bad, or "lazy", or lazy, or suffering from "drapetomania", just because they aren't eager to be a slave.


Also, not every form of work significantly helps anyone. For example, I don't think teenagers (or anyone else) should be encouraged to waste their time on jobs like flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant instead of studying, and learning more valuable skills.

Living with your parents and learning how to do something difficult but valuable like computer programming is probably a much better option in the long run than "launching" (or being launched/evicted) too early, then ending up endlessly struggling to survive with possibly only a minimum wage job, and having much less time and energy to study anything.


So, if anyone ever picks on you (or someone similar to you) for being an "entitled", "spoiled", "lazy", "irresponsible" millenial (or older or younger person), I hope it won't make you feel bad about yourself.

If the person saying such things is sincere, and not just trolling you to try to deliberately hurt your feelings, then they're probably a lot more enslaved by conformism and internalized oppression than you are - and that at least partly explains why they say such illogical but hurtful things.

You might not have as much outer freedom as many of our critics, many of whom grew up in more financially fortunate eras and don't understand how different things are now. But, you probably have more inner freedom than they do.

And, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said,

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."


I feel more sorry for such people than offended by them. It's truly sad that some people seem to think insisting on freedom and human rights is just being "entitled" and "spoiled" and demanding "privileges".

But freedom and human rights are not mere privileges - they're rights, and everyone truly is entitled to them.

And if we all don't have enough "entitlement" and self-respect to insist on freedom and human rights, we all might eventually end up with our freedom and human rights being trampled upon by tyrants.


Frederick Douglass said:

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

So, I think having low tolerance for oppression (including internalized oppression), and feeling strongly entitled to freedom and human rights, is actually a good thing.

And I think we'd all be better off taking the words of great heroes such as Frederick Douglass to heart, rather than the misguided, self-destructive notions of anyone who argues that demanding human rights and freedom is just being "spoiled", "privileged", or "entitled" - as if all feelings of entitlement are illegitimate and bad, and as if freedom and human rights are nothing but revocable privileges.


If any struggling millenials (and older and younger people) who the media and others like to kick when we're already down are reading this, I hope this blog post makes you feel better.

Another comforting thing to read might be the Slightly Aggressive Affirmations blog.

And even I should read more about history and other cultures to broaden my perspective even more, and make it even more comfortingly obvious how narrow-minded, provincial, and ignorant it is to mindlessly believe that current conformist mainstream opinions on how people should live are "normal" and "universal", rather than irrational, twisted and warped in contrast to wiser cultures, both past and present.


Here's a blog post I wrote about 10 years ago:

Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty


Another thing that comes to mind is the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The hare who "launched" quickly had a superficially more impressive start, but the slow and steady tortoise won the race in the end.

Being a careful tortoise is a much more mature, responsible approach to life than being a reckless, delusionally optimistic hare, or a willingly-following-the-crowd-over-a-cliff lemming.


I think caution, learning valuable skills, avoiding debt, and building up a nest egg are usually a much wiser, more mature approach to independence than launching yourself (or being forced) into the world poorly prepared and too soon, with debt being the closest thing you have to a safety net.

(However, in some circumstances, leaving as quickly as possible might actually be the more appropriate course of action, such as if you're living with someone who is dangerously abusive.)


People picking on fortunate people such as rich kids, rich people in general, and people whose parents don't kick them out or treat them like slaves, make about as little sense to me as a slave arguing in favor of making non-slaves into slaves, instead of arguing to end slavery for all.

I also think it's wrong to automatically and indiscriminately be against all rich people, since it is quite possible to become wealthy in honest, legitimate, perfectly moral and honorable ways.

And I think the more wealthy and prosperous everyone becomes, the freer we'll all be.


And I hope that well-meaning rich people DON'T feel guilty and DON'T believe that to be good people, they must make themselves poor (and relatively powerless) by giving away most of their wealth.

I think what would be more virtuous than disempowering oneself would be to remain wealthy, and keep generating more and more money (and other valuable resources) to give away to worthy causes and individuals.

So, if any well-meaning rich people who unfairly torment themselves with guilt are reading this, I hope that makes you feel better.

And I welcome donations and microdonations. :-)


Nowadays, women are definitely under some pressure to "launch", but still probably not as much pressure as men.

So, as a woman, I would like to point out that despite all the despicable propaganda there is out there which bashes men who live with their parents - not all women are so conformist, short-sighted, and/or gold-digger-like as to scornfully look down on all men who live with their parents.

I actually consider living with one's parents as probably indicative of a man who is unusually strong, rational, sensible, and wisely resistant to conforming to illogical and harmful societal standards that simply don't make sense, especially in a society as financially oppressed as ours. A man who is not a sheep or a lemming - a man to admire!

A man with the strength and confidence to stand his ground and stay his course, despite the media and the flocks of conformist sheep, lemmings, and trolls who viciously bash men like him.

I feel sorry for the sheep, lemmings, and trolls who attack such men, since those sheep, lemmings, and trolls seem so misguided, so full of internalized oppression, and so unaware that in cultures other than the USA, it's actually considered normal and wise to fail to launch yourself off a financial cliff like a lemming. Some examples:

Immigrants Baffled by US Debt Culture
Oct. 24, 2012 from VoicesOfNY.org

Brother, Can You Spare One-Point-Seven Million, at 6.25%?
Feb. 13, 2008 from HuffingtonPost.com


So, if you have failed to lem, I applaud you. :-)

And if you have already lemmed, I hope that you will be (or already were) lucky enough to sprout wings and learn to fly. :-)

And I hope those who somehow still think being a lemming is a good idea will wake up from their folly in time to make better life decisions, and free themselves from believing that debt slavery, wage slavery, and going along with the crowd all somehow equal independence and freedom.


Also, Happy Independence Day (July 4th) to all!

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Link: "There Is No Right Decision"
Monday, July 16th, 2018
07:30:14 GMT

Self-Help

A very comforting, philosophical self-help article:

There Is No Right Decision
July 2018 from Raptitude.com


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Link: "The Wisdom of the Sloth: Is Sleep a Lost Virtue?"
Friday, July 27th, 2018
14:25:06 GMT

Health

Blog Post by Apollia, owner and administrator of Non24.Com and Non24.Org


Here's an excellent article I found today via Aeon.co:

The Wisdom of the Sloth: Is Sleep a Lost Virtue?
June 14, 2018 from KnowingNeurons.com


Here's a particularly shocking quote:

Moreover, we often fail to take sleep deprivation as seriously as alcohol intoxication, even though both immediately impair our behavior and cognition. According to Matthew Walker, "After 20 hours of being awake, you are as impaired cognitively as you would be if you were legally drunk." Driving after 24 straight hours awake gives similar levels of sleep impairment as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1, higher than what is considered drunk driving in many jurisdictions.

Recently, Walker went on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to share his perspective on sleep as a neuroscientist and promote his new book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. During their conversation, Walker and Rogan discuss what is perhaps the most appalling irony of ironies: that medical doctors - the very people who are supposed to be caring for our health - are often complacent in creating today's sleep deprived culture.

New medical residents serve 30 hour shifts, and this sleep deprivation affects not only medical residents, but also their patients. Indeed, Walker states that "Residents working a 30 hour shift are 460 percent more likely to make diagnostic errors in the intensive care unit relative to when they're working 16 hours." Doctors' lack of sleep may literally be killing patients.

End of quote.


30 hour shifts?!?!!!!!!! I think even 16 hours seems quite excessive, given that a "normal" 9-to-5 workday is "only" 8 hours.

I wonder what shift length would be ideal to reduce errors.


But shift length is definitely not the only relevant factor to take into consideration. Some people function best at night, while others function best in the day, or for part of the day and part of the night. And Non-24 people continually vary.

So, maybe it would be best if doctors (and others) were assigned shifts that match their own circadian rhythms - or no specific hours at all, if they have Non-24.


I don't know if there are any doctors who have (or are aware they have) Non-24.

But if there were, I'm guessing they might function best if they were allowed to flexibly come to work, or not, anytime they feel well-rested enough to do a good job - and allowed to leave work anytime they wanted or needed to.


Actually, perhaps that's the way it should be even for people without Non-24.

With more freedom and flexibility in the hours they work, doctors (or anyone) would probably be much better-rested, happier, and would probably make far fewer mistakes.

Which could save lives. And maybe also reduce malpractice lawsuits.

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Bras might reduce melatonin and increase the risk of breast cancer
Sunday, July 29th, 2018
19:49:36 GMT

Health

Blog Post by Apollia, owner and administrator of Non24.Com and Non24.Org


Here's a link which probably every woman should read:

Ladies, Ditch the Bra for Your Health
July 1, 2014 from FearlessParent.org

Quotes:

"There's evidence of a relationship between bras and breast cancer"

[...]

"BRAS AND GIRDLES CAN REDUCE MELATONIN LEVELS

Japanese researchers found they can lower melatonin by 60%. Melatonin has anti-cancer properties. And Spanish researchers wrote about the use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment. (Mercola.com)

End of quotes.


Melatonin has a lot to do with sleep and circadian rhythms.

So, I wonder if that up to 60% reduction in melatonin might possibly cause some havoc with many women's circadian rhythms?


Unfortunately, occasionally going constantly braless definitely wasn't a cure for my possible Non-24.

However, I think maybe I really do sleep better when I sleep without a bra.


And I definitely think usually wearing a loose bra, rather than a tighter and more aesthetically pleasing bra, feels much better and is probably better for my health.

A "properly-fitting", nice-looking bra actually makes my boobs ache, especially when I finally take it off.


My loose bra is so loose I can easily take it off or put it on without even unlatching it.

Perhaps I'd be better off (health-wise) without even that, but, I'm just hoping it's harmless enough, since I find totally doing without a bra impractical, awkward, and worrying in a variety of ways.

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Steve Pavlina's Deep Abundance Integration live video series
Monday, July 30th, 2018
18:14:08 GMT

Self-Help

Blog Post by Apollia, owner and administrator of Non24.Com and Non24.Org


This costs money ($97), but, since it's by the wonderful Steve Pavlina, I'm sure it will be marvelous, and worth far more than $97. I signed up today.

Deep Abundance Integration - August 1-30, 2018

Steve will host a live video call every day from Aug. 1 to 30, which will be influenced by feedback from people who signed up.


Edit, Aug. 1, 2018, 1:12 PM EDT The signup page no longer shows a deadline, and the count of signups keeps growing.

So, if you want to participate, it looks like you can still sign up!

Or, if you'd rather wait, you'll probably be able to buy the completed videos, etc. eventually when they are released as a product.

End of edit.




And if you can't (or would rather not) buy anything - Steve has a wonderful, fascinating website:

StevePavlina.com

And the vast majority of what's there is free - not only free as in price, but also free as in freedom, since much of it is actually uncopyrighted!




Of particular interest to people interested in sleep issues might be his fascinating articles on his 2005-2006 experiment with polyphasic sleep:

Polyphasic Sleep
Oct. 20, 2005 from StevePavlina.com

Polyphasic sleep is a very bizarre sleep routine which, to me, actually sounds even more difficult to adjust to and work around than Non-24.


I doubt I'll ever attempt polyphasic sleep myself - I wouldn't even consider it until I greatly improve my health and diet, and give up caffeine again.

And I definitely don't recommend attempting polyphasic sleep. Even far less extreme modifications of sleep patterns, such as chronotherapy, might carry a risk of actually causing Non-24 in people who didn't have Non-24 to begin with, according to this page on the New England Journal of Medicine website, Wikipedia's chronotherapy article, and various people's messages on the Niteowl mailing list.

But I really appreciate Steve writing about his polyphasic sleep experiment in so much fascinating detail, and I'm also very happy that he seems to be doing very well despite having put himself through such an ordeal.


I don't always agree with everything Steve says, but I always find his perspectives thought-provoking and well worth reading or hearing. And over the years, I think his writings, podcasts, and videos have definitely influenced me greatly for the better.

So, I highly recommend checking out StevePavlina.com, and signing up for Deep Abundance Integration if it appeals to you.

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