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Solastalgia Notes III

Speculations about recovery

The CBM-I task may show a patient a situation about a person yawning during their conversation. Then the patient is asked whether that person is “tired” or “bored.” The individual who answers “tired” is told the response is “correct,” and “bored” is incorrect. Through repetition, this type of CBM-I therapy helps the person reframe or reassess these daily ambiguous situations.

“People face countless interactions like this every day in their lives,” Beard said. “If you have a tendency to jump to a threatening or negative conclusion, it can have a huge impact on how you’re feeling and on what you do and how you react. You can get stuck in a cycle that can maintain anxiety or depression.“

“Study could lead to ‘cognitive therapy in your pocket'”

The paper I referenced in the last Solastalgia Notes post makes a distinction between things one knows intellectually, and the things one knows viscerally. We all collectively know, from years of exposure to, say, cable news, that terrible things happen to people regularly. But our personal lived experience reinforces our belief in a relatively safe, sane world.

Occasionally, a traumatic event may ‘shatter’ this belief. It is generally uncontroversial that socializing new kool aid and re-affirming belief in the world and in the self are good, and that rejoining the umbrella of humans who feel Safe In The World is a sign of recovery from trauma. It can be hard to build and maintain personhood, otherwise.

With regard to mitigation, successful therapy can involve changing the person’s sense of what others have to offer, in a way that facilitates re-integration into the public world. Herman (1992/1997) describes three broad stages of recovery: a localized sense of safety is first nurtured, after which the person can attempt to construct a narrative around what has happened, and finally there is reengagement with communal life. What we have said is consistent with this general approach. To begin with, certain possibilities may not even make sense to the person. So encouraging her to do various things, adopt certain attitudes, or change her perspective on life is analogous to encouraging her to swim to safety when she finds herself stranded on a desert planet with no prospect of escape. Given that trust is a precondition for even entertaining certain possibilities, a degree of trust first needs to be restored27. This is not to suggest that a victim of interpersonal trauma can ultimately recover the same style of unreflective trust that previously permeated her world. But she can come to relate to others and to the world more generally in a way that is compatible with moving forward into an open future28.

Cited from “What is a ‘sense of foreshortened future?’ A phenomenological study of trauma, trust, and time”

If I had been writing much in the past 18 months, I could’ve been ahead of the curve on describing LeftTube/Breadtube and I would have effectively reposted Epsilon Theory with few notes.

ET’s Ben Hunt’s solution on the political sphere is to (1) TAKE BACK YOUR VOTE (2) TAKE BACK YOUR DISTANCE (3) TAKE BACK YOUR DATA. In short, act pragmatically and in ways that affirm your identity (that is, vote even when it “doesn’t matter”, and vote for candidates that express your interests, not against candidates); separate yourself from ‘the nudging oligarchy and the nudging state’ to see them more clearly; own your data (this one is a little harder to just “do” as an individual). These are about self-ownership and self-accountability, the first step towards building communities that also express these virtues, that might trickle upwards into stronger, more trusting, more effective institutions.

In contrast to Millenial “Premium Mediocre”, an attempt at controlling the story of our lives during the rush of the Dark Euphoria era, Venkat’s assessment of Generation Z behavior has been tentatively titled “Domestic Cozy“, which is indifferent to being ignored or understood. In Strauss-Howe terms (yeah- I KNOW– but stories are fun and reality is messy) the Millenials produce koolaid about their heroism during a period of unraveling, and Gen Z quietly adapts and finds less turbulent spaces instead of putting up a theatrical fight on a grand battlefield.

The advice at the end of the Dark Euphoria post still applies.

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