Comments and Contact Form(s)

Due to the fact that probably over 90% of the comments and “feedback”  that shows up here (or on any of our sites) ends up being spam (that’s probably being generous, as 99.99% of the “feedback” I have appears to be spam, but it takes a long time to go through to be certain, and 98.87% of the comments from outside the site are spam (and I suspect I’ve cleaned a number of them up)), we are trying to set things so comments and “feedback” (or contact) are disabled.

It’s not so much that it’s taking huge amounts of time, as they basically can be ignored.  It’s just that it’s taking resources.  And turning it off is better than trying to handle it manually.  I’d *love* to have it so that I could have comments and contact forms, but if real people aren’t using them, sadly just not worth it…

Posted in Site News | Comments closed

Figuring out Autism Acceptance Month — Day 1— 30 Days of Autism Acceptance (2019)

I was going to write about executive function for my first post for the month, but I ended up doing some work to try to figure out what I would want to write about for that, and I hadn’t figured out where I wanted to go with that yet, so I have decided that I will actually talk about what I am trying to figure out about this:

  • Executive function in general
    • What is executive function?
  • Tools to help with that
    • Journalling
      • Bullet Journal
      • Open Journalling
      • Medication Log
    • Taking breaks
    • Goofing off
      • Games
        • Playing Games
        • Writing Game
    • Paper vs. Computer tools
  • Working with other people
    • Often very difficult
    • Sensory issues
    • Communication
    • Social Overload

That’s probably the broad overview of the things that I have come up with, and I’m not really sure where I want to go with any of this.  So I’ll try to write something fairly brief right now as a way to get some idea of where I want to go for the rest of the month (at least at this point)

Executive function in general

This is probably where I had planned on starting, but I’m not sure that it totally works that way for me.  The specific post that lead me to starting this, I have about 3 lines of notes for.  Each one of these could easily end up being at least a single paragraph, and maybe as much as about 200-500 words.

So, I guess I realised that I don’t really want to dive in with that kind of detail, and will probably break it down further, or into different ways of thinking about this stuff.

What is executive function?

I guess maybe I’ll try to have a post in more detail about what executive function is, in terms of pretty basic stuff that I would like to write about.

Basically, in the simple explanation where I don’t really want to give it all away at once, it’s the ability to get stuff done.  And I think that’s probably about where I want to leave the question for now.

Tools to help with that

One thing that I was really thinking about is the tools which help (or maybe don’t help).  Some of this is pretty good, and I think that some things are good to note that they are helpful.  And then, also think about things that for me didn’t actually end up being helpful.

Journalling

Many people talk about the importance of some kind of journalling.  I’m not sure that this helps for everyone, yet I can’t think of what kinds of things will make it not work as a general concept.

Bullet Journal

The Bullet Journal is a specific format which some people really like.  I don’t know that I fully like some of the things about this, but it’s what got me thinking about some of these concepts, and how important they are, and actually start working with this stuff, so it is really important to acknowledge as I have been working with a lot of these concepts for a while.

Open Journalling

This came about with my sense that I just couldn’t explain the concept of Bullet Journals in a way that made it accessible to some people.  I knew something had to be handled differently than the whole “Bullet Journal” concept, and there needed also to be some opening up with this.

A big part of this is the idea that this is more of a, “whatever works for you,” type concept, and there isn’t any right or wrong way to do it.

Some concepts about what works for me are actually a good part of what this is about, but it’s also taking what works for me, and trying to slim it down to the essentials of what it is.

I think I have come up with basically two parts that I think really are essential for finding what works for me, and that is the journal key, and the daily log.  Everything else is probably a bit too much to introduce to begin with.

Medication Log

This is a bit of something that I felt I needed to find a solution for for a number of reasons.  One, it was something that I was having a lot of trouble with keeping track of with how I was handling it at the time (it was really complicated at the time), and I needed to find a way that I didn’t end up getting frustrated with creating it every time I needed to do a “new log”.

Taking breaks

Taking breaks is a really good thing that I think a lot of us fail to account for.  We keep pushing through, and in my experience, this is not a helpful way to deal with things.  In fact, it seems to take a lot less of a “helpful” approach than I would say, and a harmful thing to not acknowledge that you need to take a break.

Goofing off

This is a bit of an extension of the “taking breaks” thing that is important to think about for me.  I still like to think that the real way to take a break is to not do anything.  That is you “simply rest” but I have found that this simply isn’t the way that things work for me a lot of the time, and I need to find a way to shift gears when I need to get out of a space, and do something which is different, rather than “nothing.”

I have in the past (and some of this is quite recent past) had some serious messages that “goofing off” is a really horrible thing, and really you need to be, “working when you are here,” type attitudes, and this not only isn’t helpful, it is actively harmful.  (There is a whole story that I may well write some time this month about some overt messages I received when I decided I wanted to go out and work in the community and tried to work at the local book store.)

So, while I don’t really think that what I’m talking about is what is implied by “goofing off” necessarily, I like the term, because it feels a bit like a reclaiming of a term which is used against people when they are doing something which “isn’t their job” and is “not viewed as productive” which I really hope to be able to explain why it is genuinely a productive use of time to stop doing unproductive work, and maybe do something unproductive (or if you can manage it, just rest).

Games

Games have been an important part of goofing off for me.  These are easy to fit in the category of goofing off (unless you are getting paid to play them, or make them).  To me, they are really important, and I probably will want to write a fair bit about why they are important to me.

Playing Games

Most people are familiar with some form of playing games.  And really I don’t need to talk about what that is (as far as I know).  But I do need to talk about how it is an important thing to do as a way of creating a meaningful life.

Writing Game

Lately, I have been trying to do some writing of games.  I haven’t made a lot of progress in any of the games that I have tried to write, but in a way, I don’t think that matters much.

A lot of why I write games, is because of the process, not because of the outcome.  And working on a game long enough to feel that I have an idea where I want to go with it is a great way to play with that process.  Of course, I still can try to get that together, and that would be a good extension of that process.

Many people would never really consider writing a game, and to that, I say, go for it.  Don’t worry about how well it turns out.  Talk to the people you know who are aware, or are doing game stuff, and find a place to start.  And then start writing the games you want to, (often games that you don’t see other people creating).

Paper vs. Computer tools

This is an interesting discussion, and I’ve fallen all over the place with this.  But I also have found that people who feel that they have an answer to this, often don’t see how there are different ways we process things when they are handled different ways.

My current sense is that it’s great to work with different ways of handling how you handle things.  I know that kind of feels like a crummy way of saying things.  It’s just…  I’m right now talking about how do you “get things done” and I think that’s a useful thing, but there are other aspects where I think this comes as an important thing.  Like how do you “learn things” and how do you “explain things.”  So I wanted something generic.  And well that’s what you got.

Working with other people

Eeek other people…

In all seriousness, I have a lot of trouble with working with other people, and I want to find ways that I can make that a lot better.  I know that some of this is stuff that I’m either not going to be able to change, or how I’m going to be able to change it, is to learn to ignore the ways that things aren’t working.

My experience with learning to ignore the ways that things aren’t working, has failed me miserably.  At best, it means that no one else knows things aren’t working, and leads to it never really getting to a way of actually working.

At worst, it can lead to severe burnout, even in the space of a few hours.  If in the space of a few hours of dealing with something it invariably leads to burnout, and you keep doing it, this can lead to really serious problems, like has happened with me and the fact that I no longer use public transit because of having felt, “I should be able to do this,” and continuing to push through.

Often very difficult

Working with other people is often really difficult.  Even when working with people who are good, when things have been difficult for a while, it can take quite a while to be able to find a nice flow with working with that person again.

Sensory issues

When working around other people, I often have sensory issues.  Some of that is things like people using fragrances which can be very overpowering for me (and if exposed for too long, lead to a great deal of pain).  Other times it’s the way that people are in a space, and that they make noises, or try to talk while the radio is on, or other things like that.

Communication

I have a lot of problems with communication, and learning how to express that in ways that don’t make it even worse has been very difficult.  Sometimes I manage it, most of the time I don’t.

Social Overload

One thing for me (and I think this might be more of an introversion thing, than an autism thing) it can be really overwhelming to be in a social situation for long, especially when there aren’t breaks.  It’s not that I don’t want to be in it.  It’s more that it takes so much energy to remain in it.

So, I think that I’ll leave things there.  And probably get to more of this in the next few days (Hey, I’m almost 4 weeks ahead of schedule at this point (March 5th I’m writing April 1st’s post)) some better idea of where I want to go with these posts.

Posted in 30 Days Projects, Autism, Autism Acceptance, Communication, Future Plans, Journalling, Personal, Relating/Connection, Sensory Overload, Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

30 Days of Autism Acceptance – Introduction 2019

Just wanting to start some idea of what I’m doing with the 30 Days of Autism Acceptance this year.

Last year, I did my first “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” and despite the fact that this was the 3rd year that this site existed during the month of April.  The first year, I think things were “new enough” for me that I just kind of didn’t really think about it, and the second year, I hadn’t really remembered how important it was to do something to get away from the “Autism Awareness” stuff.

So, last year, I knew I needed to create something.  So that was what I did.  This year, I am trying to do the same sort of thing.  Though I’m not quite sure how things will go.

I have some plans, which will end up at the bottom, and I’ll have the written ones at the top:

Planned Posts:

  • Executive Function (Part 3)
  • Journaling
  • Taking Breaks

I am not right now sure of anything more that I’ll be doing over the next little while, but I have set a few things up to print as reminders of what I wrote last year.

Mostly they have to do with stuff I noticed when looking at what I wrote about executive dysfunction last year.

The reason I’m so far ahead of the game this year is because someone noticed that second Executive Function piece, and I wanted to take a look at it.  So, I have to say that this seems to be working out fairly well.

I’m not sure if I might try some audio or video stuff this year, I have some new gear to help with doing that, so that is good.  I’m not sure if anything will happen with that or not.

Posted in 30 Days Projects, Autism, Autism Acceptance, Future Plans, Opening, Personal | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upcoming in April (but working on now) 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Last year I did a 30 Days of Autism Acceptance project during April, and I got part way through.  Earlier this month (I think yesterday) I got reminded, and it appears that I have some place to start.

The reminder I got, was pointing to my second “Executive Function” which was created because someone reacted to the first executive function post on LinkedIn.

So I think that may be where I start off for now.  This is not really the “overview” that I like to do, I just wanted to quickly say that this is coming up, and that I’m very open to input on what might be good topics.

I hope in the next few days I’ll start writing the introduction which changes as I write more…

Posted in 30 Days Projects, Autism, Autism Acceptance, Future Plans | Leave a comment

Spam Comments

I moved this site a while ago (not quite sure how long) and I decided to check things out here and see what was going on.

I came in today and 22 new spam comments.

So, I need to figure out how to reduce those comments, and see what can make sure that I don’t have to deal with them to the extent I have.

If you have some input as to how to deal with spam comments, feel free to use the attacked contact form (wait, I don’t have one to attach, well let’s fix that…)

Ah, there we go: (contact form removed…) spamming something about spam isn’t really that smart…

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Medication Log — Stable Version?

This morning I printed up the medication log that I’ve been using, and I feel that I currently have it at a level where I hope that it will end up staying stable.  When I printed it I noticed two very minor corrections, which I have since fixed.

Medication Log 1.1.1

Medication Log – 2 Sided v1.1.1

Medication log in PNG format

PNG version of the medication log (relatively low resolution, not intended for printing, but should work)

The thing I have found for me, is that I have been really needing to do this, as I have been reducing my medications for a while now, and by doing it slowly like I have been, it means that at times it can be really complicated.

I don’t expect that anyone else would be able to handle this for me, and I have been working with trying to get the medications down to a level that I’m pretty much just taking things as I need them.  It will continue to take some time to get there, but I have got to a point that while I’m not entirely happy with how they are, it has become possible that if I happen to miss a day or two, I have only relatively minor problems that evolve slowly.

While I really don’t recommend missing medications, it is pretty important that if there is a chance that you will end up missing them, that you are not in a position where this will result in very undesirable effects.  At times if I was even a few hours late with my medications I would get severe adverse reactions, and in some cases, extreme withdrawal effects tat either would have to be endured for multiple days (I had to go through them for 4 days before I felt well enough to not continue taking them, and apparently said medications were “not addictive”).

I really want people to be safe with the medications which they take, and if they do decide that they want to get off of them, to do so in a safe manner.  This can mean a very long, time trying to get off of the medications, and depending the getting off of the medications can be very difficult.  It is always better to go off of them slowly, and realize that if you “go too fast” that things can be rough, but if you are going slowly enough, it can be better to simply continue at the dose that it is “too much too fast” rather than trying to go back to the previous dose, as some would recommend.

Anyway, wanted to post something about where I’m at here, and I’m hoping to do something more general in the next week or so about how being OK with where you are at with stuff is a good thing.  Ie. try not to make too many changes at once, unless you really are likely to be able to keep them together.

Posted in Journalling, Organization, Symptoms | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Open Journalling — Health Log — Initial Thoughts

I have been working with trying to figure out how to do my health log for a while and I started to work with what I managed to do so far about 2 weeks ago.  The filled out (but with blurred stuff) form looks like:

Printed page with hand written notes on. Health Log.

Health Log – partially filled out

This is partially filled out, and probably will need a few different things done to it.

I am recording things broadly speaking on a daily basis.  Though I’m recording how often (by number of dots) it happens in the day.  I am only recording “notable” events, which I haven’t left in a readable (though maybe guessable) form.

This is just the start of it.  Though I think that I have a few changes, or more a single more important change:

Health log, with dots to fill in for the days.

Updated version of health log.

This has the way I want to be testing how to fill out the log a little better. I thought I probably would go in this direction eventually as I felt that just leaving the blank boxes, made it difficult to be clear what I was doing with them, but I wanted to get an idea of how many dots I would need in a given day, and how to best handle it. This feels like this may be a good way to handle it, as it should give enough for most of my days, and it’s probably better in terms of that than the current version which I feel one is “full” but I haven’t recorded all the “events” that have occurred regarding that.

I think that I have to remember that for this, that people will need to figure out (as I will) what health events to record, so you can’t really fill that out ahead of time.

With my Medication Log, I have decided to keep 4 lines of notes, as it works reasonably well, 3 felt like too few (the notes are only a reference to the notes I keep on a separate page).  Currently I am not getting anywhere near that, but feel that this will be good and possibly will be much more than I really need, but I will probably need to go through several iterations of this to really know how this will work.

Posted in Getting Stuff Done, Journalling, Organization, Personal, Practices | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Natural Medicine – Is the community ableist?

Just watched this video, and while it is just over a year old, I want to talk about this topic.

The video doesn’t so much as talk about the fact that the natural medicine itself is ableist, despite the fact that is the title of the video.

What it is talking about is how people who are supporting natural medicine, and providing information about it, can and often are very ableist.  I want to talk about a few of the points that she has made in the video, and likely expand on them.

An important thing to remember, that neither of us are talking about natural medicines, but rather the mindset of people who promote them.  This is something that I often want to find ways to talk about.  This short video (just over 2 minutes long) does a good job of it.

In fact, already I’m probably at more than half the length of the video, in terms of people being able to read what I’ve written.  So the points:

  • Natural Medicine vs Natural Medicine Mindset
  • Natural Medicines
    • Some are helpful
    • Many find that they don’t do enough for them.
  • Natural Medicine Mindset
    • Attitude that natural medicines can cure disabilities
    • Insistence that pharmaceuticals are bad
  • Natural Medicines vs Pharmaceuticals
    • Hardly anyone is happy taking pharmaceuticals
    • Medical industry is highly questionable

My own points that I hope to address:

  • Issues around mental wellbeing and natural medicine
    • Dichotomy between natural medicine and pharmaceuticals
    • Biomedical approach in both approaches
    • Opposition to other by proponents of both systems
    • Lack of middle ground in most debates

OK, let me look at these…

Natural Medicine vs Natural Medicine Mindset

This I want to make a big point here, we are not really speaking of the use of natural medicines.  I like many people I talk with on a regular basis, use and support the use of natural medicine.  I really like to use natural medicines, in fact, I really would rather use natural medicines over any pharmaceuticals.

My preferred treatment for anything is food that I’m eating on a day-to-day basis.  That is my “regular meals”.  This almost never ends up being enough for me, but when I try to keep that in mind, I can at least try to have that be a helpful part of my self-care.

This is something that I have to speak a little bit to in terms of actually the degree of both the financial impact, and also the ability to manage the ability to prepare food.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I want to speak to the fact that diet sometimes can’t be what works for certain people.  I know at times I have not been able to afford the kind of diet both in terms of energy required on my part, and the expense (especially when low on energy) for food.  In fact, I could never be in market housing and have any money left after rent and utilities to buy a decent diet at this time.

While natural medicines can be very helpful for a number of people (and probably can be helpful for most people, though they can be unaffordable for many people), what often is not helpful, is the mindset that many people who promote natural medicines have towards, well pretty much anyone who they come into contact with around health issues.

This mindset is often a matter of “natural medicine can cure everything.”  This is a reasonable idea to hold on to, when you are speaking of people who you consider to be “the worried well” (a phrase I consider to itself be rather ableist in the sense that it almost always, if not always refers to people other than the person who is making the statement about “worried well” and it is an assumption those people “are just worried, there’s nothing really wrong with them.”) as it means that if you remove the worry the wellness will show through.

Natural medicine can be extremely helpful in removing worry for people.  It gives them something they see as doing for their health, and even if it’s not actually doing anything beyond placebo effect (which is real, and valid) it can be hugely helpful for those who don’t have problems of a physical nature.

The problem that exists with the natural medicine mindset, is that too often it’s one of “if you just did this, you’d be all better,” and a lot of times with little idea what the person has tried, or often little idea of what is going on with the person.  So most of the criticism is around the mindset, not around the use of natural medicines.

This can also apply to those who are promoting pharmaceutical solutions, especially around mental health conditions.

Natural Medicines

Natural medicines, I’m not sure how broadly or narrowly I want to define this.  It comes everywhere from the food that you eat, the fluids you drink and everything on that level, all the way up to some pretty highly refined products promoted as “natural” which are very refined, and in some cases well into the pharmaceutical level of product, but due to the natural origin, are not patentable, thus are not marketed as pharmaceuticals.

So, I’m mostly talking more on the “food” end of things, than the very refined end of things.  Though a lot of what I use is quite refined, though less so when it comes to herbals and such, and more in the case of vitamins and minerals.

Some are helpful

Most people will find some natural medicines to be quite helpful to them.  I think that is an important thing to remember, is that a lot of this is actually helpful, and for many people can provide a good adjunct treatment to pharmaceuticals that they use.

Many find that they don’t do enough for them

People who have disabilities (ongoing health conditions which interfere with day-to-day living) find that natural medicines can be quite helpful but often are not enough.  So they have to use other forms of therapy such pharmaceuticals.

Natural medicine can be expensive in time and money

Many natural medicines are either expensive in terms of monetary cost (especially for people who have coverage for pharmaceuticals) or the time involved in the production or use of the natural remedy.  I personally will make my own cough syrup, because it works well for me, and I’m currently managing the financial cost, as well as the time involved.  At other times I have ended up using pharmaceuticals that have been covered because I haven’t managed to find something that works for me that I’m able to afford in time and/or money.

Natural Medicine Mindset

Specifically this is the attitude that natural medicine can cure anything, or at the very least treat anything.

This has been interesting to me in the sense I see people who have this attitude speak to taking massive doses of vitamins and minerals as curing some condition, while at the same time speaking that pharmaceuticals are incapable of producing the same cure.

I’m not really wanting to go too deeply into that, but to me the taking regular medicine whether pharmaceutical or natural is pretty much the same thing.

Attitude that natural medicines can cure disabilities

There is an attitude that natural medicine can cure disabilities in ways that pharmaceuticals can not accomplish.  This is something that while I agree that natural medicines can cause significant improvements for many people, I am firmly of the belief that there is no good evidence that there are any genuine cures through natural medicine, though often some evidence of good treatments being available.

The lack of evidence isn’t so much a criticism of natural medicine as a whole, but rather a criticism of those who claim that the evidence exists, and that it is strong, but suppressed.  The lack of evidence often also exists in “evidence based medicine” in the sense that a lot of the research is limited, and sometimes stuff claimed to have “strong evidence base” is based on at best poor evidence for efficacy, and hardly any research done on “negative effects”.

Insistence that pharmaceuticals are bad

With a lot of people promoting natural medicine, there is an attitude that pharmaceuticals are bad, and that using pharmaceuticals is a problem.  There are even cases where people have refused treatment that would have greatly improved their quality of life, and in some cases, would have likely also increased their lifetime.

Yet, the natural medicine mindset would say that those people were doing the right thing by refusing “conventional” treatment.  Yet I don’t understand how they justify that claim, when people are having a demonstrably worse, and/or shorter life because of not seeking “conventional” treatment.

Natural Medicines vs Pharmaceuticals

This is something that I’d like to point out that I don’t see that this is really a “one versus the other” as in that they are different things.  But more they are different approaches to what hopefully is similar end goals.

To me, I think that for the most part there is a lot less difference between natural medicine, and pharmaceuticals than similarities.  Essentially I think that they are the same thing, though with slightly (or in some cases radically) different approaches.  The aims are largely the same.  The approaches are different.  And often the approaches aren’t all that different even.

Hardly anyone is happy taking pharmaceuticals

Most people are not happy taking pharmaceuticals.

I don’t like taking any of the pharmaceuticals I take.  Though I also don’t really like taking the “nutraceuticals” (natural medicine) that I take either.

The argument that people are taking pharmaceuticals because they are “too lazy” or “brainwashed” or many other claims of the natural health sector, is very misguided for a number of reasons, but the fact that they think that they want to take the pharmaceuticals, and wouldn’t take natural medicines if they just knew better or put more effort in is hugely ableist.

The fact that long-term use of pharmaceuticals (even on an as needed basis) is rarely something that a person with disabilities actually likes, is often missed by those who criticise said use.

Medical industry is highly questionable

No one seems to think that the medical industry is really working for people, but rather more that they are focused on profits, and maximizing those profits.

There are a lot of problems, even people who are involved with the medical industry have serious questions about a number of basic assumptions within the medical community.

The natural medicine industry isn’t a whole lot different from my perspective.  Again, I’m speaking of not the natural medicines themself, but the industry and/or attitude around that.

Issues around mental wellbeing and natural medicine

This is something that isn’t at all in the video, but this is something that especially with the topic of this site that I want to make a special mention of.

Mental wellbeing should not be thought as separate of from physical wellbeing, and in some cultures it really isn’t seen exactly as different (though I am not entirely sure that is true, as I have heard that they often are more dismissive of the mental wellbeing, rather than merging them).

Some groups of people like the use of natural medicine as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, or even more broadly the “mental health industry”.

Dichotomy between natural medicine and pharmaceuticals

This is something that bothers me greatly that there are people who are very heavy on either side of this argument, even to the extent of statements such as “Emotional instability is a symptom of a chemical imbalance as expressed by mood swings, mania, or depression, and is highly respondant (sic) to medication.”source

This is something that I feel is problematic with both the natural medicine supporters, and the pharmaceutical supporters.  Both of them have a strong tendency to believe that their way, is the only way.  Both will make statements which exclude alternative ways of handling things, especially when it comes to mental health issues.

Biomedical approach in both approaches

Both approaches have a strong sense that this is all about “chemical imbalances” which have never been demonstrated, and a claim that these actually “fix” some physical problem.

There is no evidence for this being valid, and it is practically impossible to test.  It doesn’t mean that it is “wrong” or that it is an invalid interpretation, but due to the fact that the closest we can come with either of these approaches is the claim that “these increase this chemical” or “these decrease that chemical” or whatever, and even these claims are potentially problematic, as that action may be either more broad or more narrow than it is believed, and there is little understanding as to other potential effects that may be going on.

Both approaches tend to use very similar arguments about how they work, and oddly, very similar arguments about why the other one is not the right approach.

Opposition to other by proponents of both systems

Both sides here will argue that the other side is flat-out wrong, and it is very difficult to find people who look at both what is right, and what is wrong with both sides.  This is an old “us versus them” type situation, and it rarely leads to actual understanding on either side.

The presentation of good arguments by either side, often is viewed as “fake news” (to use a relatively new term) or some other way of “false reporting” and even when the person is simply pointing out that the dichotomy is dangerous, they can be seen as attacking and harmful.

I have literally had people criticise me because I have said “please don’t create artificial division here,” and literally been called a Nazi because of stating things like that (no I am not exaggerating).  Simply stating that things are not black and white, and that looking at them in that way is dangerous has lead to calls of my being a Nazi, and an extremist.

Not specifically around these issues, but similar arguments have occurred, and the issues involved were mental health related.

Lack of middle ground in most debates

This is something which I see that we have become increasingly polarized in our discussion of practically everything.  Any and every criticism that a person may make about what is the better way to be, and whether or not the other person is actually making a valid argument, is considered to be blatantly false, and uninformed.

“If you watched the video you could just see how wrong you are.”  This of course is the argument of the person who either is being criticized, or is supporting the person who is being criticized.  They know that all it would take is to “watch the video,” or whatever, and they rarely, if ever actually look at any of the arguments which are presented to say “are you sure you are correct?”

My feeling is that too often the argument is often about one extreme vs another extreme, and my feeling is that almost always the answer not one extreme or another, but somewhere between the two different extremes.

Posted in Mental Health Politics, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

No Science Thinking This Month…

I had planned on writing a bunch of stuff on science, and looking at how people can look at science, and articles about science (including scientific journal articles) and better understand what I was going to really do with it.

I am not feeling inspired to do that, but I have been working with my “new” camera (it’s a new body) and trying to get it so that I have things the way that I want with that, but I haven’t really figured things out.  So, I believe that will be mostly what I will be working on over the next few weeks.  So, look over to the Datse Multimedia Site, and over at the Jigme Datse Site, to see what I’m up to. There may be some stuff here which is relevant.

The Jigme Datse site will just be mostly information about “what I’m doing.”  Though there have been a few “quick notes” I have written there which I hope to flesh out over here…

So, that’s it here for now.

Posted in Personal, Site News | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Open Journalling — Introduction — Getting Started

I just want to write a bit about what I think isn’t exactly new, but is based on a bunch of other stuff, and hopefully is pulling together some ideas in a new way.

I am wanting to create a different version of what often are “different journalling systems” and are seen separate, but really shouldn’t be.

These journalling systems are ones which are at least primarily paper based.  This is for personal reasons, and they are discussed below.  The idea here is that these really aren’t independent ideas, and that they ideas that I want to present can’t really be set in a single system.  So I’m creating this.

Introduction

I will start by saying that I am not trying to do anything to take stuff from other people, and I probably couldn’t do so myself.  I am not someone who is good with success.  I don’t like it, and really I haven’t found success (for the most part).  So I don’t want, or expect this to take off and become, “the next big thing.”

That said, what I do want, is to produce something which does not violate the ideals of the Open Psychology Project (which we’re considering changing the name of, and always have been) of openness and accessibility.

So, we are looking at different journalling systems, and trying to find ways that we can make something that we can share, call our own (whoever ends up contributing), and allow other people to do the same.

Origins

First, I am offering a bit of an “origin story” which parts have already been told here.  This direction has come from a number of different ideas coming together, but a few different key ones are that on the YouTube Channel, How to ADHD, I saw a video about doing Bullet Journals.  This got me thinking about Bullet Journals, which got me working on setting up a Bullet Journal myself, and I think it really is a great concept.

But then I also have a few problems with it.  First off, I think that the goals are great, and all the individual tools that are part of it are great.  There’s really nothing wrong with that aspect of it but I have a few issues:

  • The basic setup is too complex for some people
    • It’s a great system if people can understand the whole thing all at once, but some people can’t
  • There is too much of a “right way/wrong way” feel that people end up getting from it.
    • This is partially because Bullet Journal, is a proper noun, the whole thing is “owned” (as best I can by one person) who developed it for himself.
    • This is more to do with the idea that there is a right and wrong, which is just a societal problem.
  • This is at least partially protected by intellectual property laws.
    • I have seen no evidence to support that the originator has made an effort to make it open.
    • Unless declared otherwise, by law (in most jurisdictions) published work is covered under Copyright
    • The intellectual property rights thing is a “block” to our concept of openness.

About

So, here is where we are, and why we are building this “Open Journalling” (can’t find that someone else is using the term in this manner).  So I want to come up with some ideas about this, which I hope to expand on in the future:

  • Open Journalling is open…
    • This system is not protected as copyright or patented material (sources may be, which may require components either be removed, or changed)
    • People may use this how they want and contribute to the core if they so desire.
    • Any software form of this will be released under some “Free Libre Open Source License” FLOSS license.
    • Any non-software content created for this will be released under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA currently)
  • This system is first off flexible.
    • The first part about this is this is intended to be flexible, and that you bring what you want to it.
  • There technically are no core components
    • This is tricky, because it will look like there are, at least in initial forms of it, this how to get started will have core components in it.
  • This system is currently paper based, though the ideas can be transferred to your own electronic format.
    • We may be putting some sort of app together at some point.
    • Paper based is for a number of reasons.
      • It works for me.
      • Physicality
      • Cost/accessibility
      • Permanence (stability of access to the content).
  • The core intentions are:
    • This is to help people “get things done.”
    • This needs to work for the individuals involved.
    • The starting team (two of us currently) are using it in part due to disability issues.
    • Disability should be accommodated (this is part of why the simplified version will be presented).
    • The individual builds their own system (in the end it has to be individualized).
  • Principles include:
    • Open content.
    • Intention of non-encumbered components.
      • Many things will come from other systems, we try to consider whether we can use them as “fair use” or “open”.
    • Credit is to be given to sources.
      • Inspiration sources should be mentioned.
      • Components based on other sources should clearly have that stated.
      • Attempts to find original sources should be made.
    • Commercial use is allowed, under the relevant licenses.

That itself is more than I really wanted to write as an introduction, and a lot of this will probably end up changing as I write more about it.  I am going to want to have feedback, and will have a contact form at the bottom of this post, and will eventually work on a contact page so people have means to contact us.

Getting Started

Here I am going to take a bit of a break from actually writing, as I want to provide some pictures of what I am talking about, and I don’t have recent ones.

I am going to talk about a few different components and concepts, which for me are a very good starting place, and I will be using my actual journal as an example:

  • Notebook and pen
  • Page Numbers
  • Non-Linear:
    • Linearity not required more than it will be non-linear.
  • One thing per page
  • Page Headers
  • Components:
    • Key
    • Index
    • Daily Log

So here we go:

Notebook and Pen

This really should probably be stated (I almost forgot).  This system is based on your notebook, and a pen (or pencil) as the two basic tools.  The notebook and pen are whatever you want to use.  Nothing special here.

Your notebook can be a cheap “scribbler” or whatever you want to use.  If you happen to have a blank notebook, just use that.

Page Numbers

So, this is an interesting thing that I’m taking from Bullet Journals (but I think it’s a common thing), is the use of page numbers.  Now one thing that is interesting is that the basis is a “basic notebook” is where you start with this.

I use a different format for “front material” (upper case Roman Numerals) than for my main material, but I write them by hand as I am creating my journal.

I put the page numbers on the outer corner on the bottoms of the page.

Non Linear Content

The creation of the content does not need to be in a literal format.  Part of this is simply separating things out, but part of it is also “just put stuff where you want it”.

The page numbers in part come into play here.  Because the pages are numbered when you are creating content.  You don’t need to number the pages when you start, you can work with blocks of numbering or whatever.  I like to number all the pages at the creation of the journal.  You can also buy journals with numbered pages.

There are ways which we deal with this non linear format, and the one I will talk about is the Index.  There are other ways which we can use as well (none of which I have used myself).

One Thing Per Page

This is something which to me is related to the index, and what I think about the way that you can identify the pages as you are flipping through.

For me, a page title (which I put on the upper outside edge of a page) should refer to the whole content of the page.  These are really simple, but you don’t do a “sketch” and a “daily log” on the same thing.

For me, I prefer to keep a page spread (two facing pages) to be one topic, but this is a personal thing, and some people don’t really stick to that.

Keeping page spreads together, and also keeping one whole topic together (like the meeting notes or something) contributes to the non-linear nature of how things work out.

Page Headers

Page headers are what tell you what is on the page.  I don’t always manage to put them in before I start working on a page/spread, but I intend to.

I put page headers on the outer top corner of the pages.  I keep it simple, things like “Index,” “Daily Log” (or simply Daily), “Future,” “Notes,” “Meeting,” or whatever it might be.  It might be “Sketch” or “Doodle” if I’m doing that.  It’s an identifier of the page.

As I said, I try not to combine different content on a single page, but that may change, if for example I am writing notes, and I decide that a little drawing will be needed, or something like that.

Components

What I am calling components, are the different types of pages that you will have.  I am keeping this to what I consider to be the bare minimum.  I can see this trimmed down even further, but it is a good place to start, and I think that there is a good reason to use all these tools, and none of them are all that difficult to understand…

Key

I am writing these as I put them in the book (ie. as they fit in the journal when I am setting it up).  The pages are in the order they come in the book, but they don’t really work quite as well in terms of understanding them as they show up in the book, but that’s partially because the “front material” is references or notes for the later material.  So here we go.

Journal Key with the key entries for ways of marking my content.

Detail of the Journal Key. It lists my journal key items.

This is the detail the journal key.  The Journal Key is what there is for the content and I have it broken down into 4 different sections, and these are really not that well defined yet, because for me I am just mostly writing based on what is in the Bullet Journal system.  Some of this stuff I feel it is important to have as different things to look at differently (what you use is not that important).

  • · – I use a “middle dot” to indicate to do items.
    • This does not show up well in the text.
    • The “to do” indicator I think is important, but some other version may decide it is not.
  • o – I use an o to indicate an “event”
    • Events are things of “note”.  Birthdays, anniversaries, moon phases, whatever you want to note.
    • The “event” is not really something I use a lot of, and probably is something that I would say to simplify, you don’t need.
  • – – I use a hyphen to have a “note”
    • Notes are things which you are taking note of, but aren’t to-do, or events.
    • I use these when I am taking notes in a meeting, or when I am writing some notes about some ideas I have.
    • I keep these short.  This journal has no notes in it that I remember.  No longer ones yet.
  • With the “to do” items I feel that I need a variety of ways to handle them.
    • I agree with the “deal with each event” idea that Ryder (I think that’s how you spell his name) before moving to the next day.
    • This “deal with” is not really part of the “getting started” thing, but because it’s here I will at least note what the indicators mean.
    • With the “to do” dot, when you are going through the events you mark that dot different ways.
    • X – Indicates that you have done that event (on that day, week, month, or whatever the timescale of the page is)
    • Strikeout the event (through the dot) to indicate you are “dropping” the event.  You are deciding it is irrelevant.
    • > – Arrow to the right, you are moving that to the next item in “that timescale”.
    • < – Arrow to the left, you are moving it back to the enclosing “larger” timescale.
    • / – Slash through the dot, this is my thing, but it’s helpful for me, it means work has been done on that item.
  • Signifiers are important to note, but also sort of not part of the “getting started” so I’m just going to briefly note my thoughts on them.
    • I use signifiers (and I rarely actually use them) as an indicator of how the “to do” “event” or “note” should be looked back on.
    • They are ways to indicate more detail, without putting too much effort.
    • I have a very brief list, it’s just some starting out stuff.
      • * – Indicates this is something important, and I may want to note it quickly coming back.
      • ! – I use an exclamation point to indicate something is an inspiration for something else.
      • 👁 – I use an eye icon to indicate I want to look into more detail of this.
  • Abbreviations These are just a list of short forms of things that I use in my notes.  The list could become long, but mine is quite short.
2 page spread with Journal Key at the top, and various entries below.

Journal Key Spread, this shows the Roman Numerals at the bottom, as well as how this looks as a spread

This is how the journal key spread looks.

Most of what I talk about is talked about above.  You can see that I have written “Journal Key” on the outer top corners.  And on the bottom outer corners, I have I, and II to indicate page numbers.

I have already talked about how those work, but I wanted to give a bit of a visual of how that looks in my own journal.

Index

The index is the next component.  The Index is part of how we have things in a non-linear form.  You can find stuff here.

Of course with it being all by hand, it will probably need a bit of work on a regular basis to keep it up to date.

There are also other ways to handle some of this stuff.

text with Index at the top and different entries with page nuimbers after them.

The content I have put in the index. This is a very new journal, and really does not have a lot of stuff.

This is a detail of my index.

The Index spread looks much like the Journal Key spread, so I am not making a note of it.

There really isn’t a lot here to say anything about.  What I have is different categories of things, and I am noting the page numbers of each one.

The crossed out numbers are “mistakes”.  I made note of the page, but then things ended up on different pages.  Or in some cases “will end up” on different pages.

Something to note, I have Daily listed, and a couple of pages crossed out.  At the time of updating this, I hadn’t updated to put where I had been putting Dail Log content, so it looks like things are a bit out of whack (and they are actually).

Daily Log

The Daily log is the core content of the journal.

This to me is probably one of the main purposes of the journal.  This is entries created for each day, on that day.  This is only planning for the day you are in, and stuff which has happened that you want to take note of.

daily log with red ribbon bookmark.

The spread that the daily log shows. This shows the Arabic Numerals for my “main content” as well as the ribbon bookmark which marks the current main entry point.

This is a spread of the journal daily log.

There are a few slight differences from the Journal Key spread.

First off, instead of Roman Numerals, we are using Arabic Numerals.  In this case 9 and 10.

Second, something that you might want to think about, as you can see the “10” is slightly folded, this is not intentional, it is something that was happening with working with it one day.

Third, you may note I have “gaps” here.  And one thing of note is that today is the 31st, and there is no entry for the 30th, or the 31st.  This is because “I forgot”.

The other thing to note, is the use of the ribbon bookmark.  This bookmark is just where I am currently.  I like the way the ribbons work as they can nicely stay in place, unlike what I more commonly use as bookmarks, which is business cards, which have a habit (at least with my other journal) of falling out, and will get in the way, so I’m thinking of actually looking for some ribbons to use as bookmarks which probably will not be attached as this one is, because doing that would either be clunky, or difficult.

various notes from a journal, with two different days

Detail of the Daily Log, containing notes I have made in my daily log.

Detail of the daily log.

First of note, is this is not how things are intended to look.  I forgot to fully handle the 28th, so a lot of items don’t have an indication of what I have done with them.

That is just how things were (and mostly still are).  And I decided to leave these with them as they are, rather than try to get this to look the way it should.  I have not changed anything (that I remember) to this since I photographed it.

What is shown here is how I have handled “to do” items, and completed to do items, as well as a brief note.

The items with just the dot, are things I intended to do (though sometimes not expecting to do them).  I should have them (at this point) moved to the next day, or whatever.

I am about to look at today, and probably plans for tomorrow.  Other stuff will probably be coming up as I want to have some stuff for who I have started working with.

The intention of creating this with this person is in part “how do we work together”…  I am finding that I need to figure that out a little differently, and not quite sure how to do it.

Please feel free to use this contact form.  (and removed due to massive levels of spam)

Posted in Getting Stuff Done, Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed