It can be deadly to be seated. Sedentary hours in a chair have been shown to shorten our lifespan and make us vulnerable to all manner of ailments.(1) Sometimes it is metaphorically "deadly" to sit down at my desk when more screen time will not serve me well. I will probably wander wherever the daemons of virtuality are designed to beckon. When speaking metaphorically of death, what passes is psychological, in this case my inner sense of purpose, belief in the value of incremental steps in proportion to my limits and too subtle to solve big problems all at once. Deciding What To Do Next can fall victim to an attention "deficit", "depression", or some less infamous but no less pernicious deadening of my sense of what I feel and feel called to do. Deadly. What if metaphorically deadly beliefs are psychologically linked to literally deadly behaviors and habits?
Once upon a time, I remember hearing "Sit Down!" screamed at each passionate advocate of social justice as they rose in turn to speak in a public meeting. If more activists "sat down" would there be hope for a global psychological shift from white supremacy, a change in the imagination that bends our shared experience toward justice for all? The literal deaths of persons are directly related to the symbolic life and death of Movements toward equity. If this is so, how can I remain seated? But what will I do when I stand up? Shouldn't I have a master plan first? Perhaps I should sit down to think it through. Otherwise, I might be vulnerable to embarrassment.
Standing up has its own sense and symbolic purpose. I can feel myself doing it, the change in my own literal and metaphorical balance. The balance of power changes when someone stands up in a group. Being seen standing up is a big deal, and sometimes your standing up remains private and less significant until you take it into the street. Literal and metaphorical standing up are not really discrete, only different in sense. Standing implies a different state of readiness for action, even if The Ultimate Fix is still a fantasy or not yet in sight or entirely clear. I facilitate those ready to learn about conflict and teamwork like a martial art--through the somatic (embodied) aspects of psychology. I call this Martial Nonviolence. When a group appears to reach a point of waning energy, an impasse, a familiar quagmire of some kind, I sometimes ask that everyone stand and remain standing until we find the way forward. Often that is enough.
Especially at this time in our nation's history, we seem to have no choice but to sit and literally wait. In many ways that is very sensible, especially as we #CountEveryVote. I let this piece of writing wait until after Election Day so that it would not be confused with Yet Another (exhausting but essential) Partisan Appeal and put to the side. If we decide to wait, let us use that time to briefly consider how our light is spent.(2)Even should I be blinded by the moment, or the era, I will stand on my own two feet and be still, as necessary, but I will not wait in my heart. At regular intervals I will sit down literally, to rest, but not for long. Full of metaphors, Spirit will lift my literal body up again until our petty cruelties and habits of supremacy are mostly a memory. My imagination reaches into yesterday, today, and tomorrow with justice and a return to honorable dealing foremost in my mind as I work through conflicts within myself and with others. My soul makes meaning from every experience, so I practice consciously as I am able, careful to study and learn how to balance and stand upright. Let us practice this together as Conflict Done Well with victory defined, especially by anyone in public service, as everyone involved getting what they clearly need and a fair shot at what they want.
If you didn't get this message directly and would like to see more writing like this in your inbox, please go to http://culturesmith.com/Deadly_Sitting and enter your email address in the box provided.
1. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/06/446295001/your-chair-is-killing-you-here-s-what-you-need-to-do-to-stop-it. Also https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/many-reasons-chair-killing-you/.
What follows is feedback about "Deadly Sitting gathered from responses. If you'd like to append your name, please sign in to edit this page.
"Thanks, Brandon, This hits home. I need to sit when I'm actually writing, but I do my best thinking when I'm in motion, standing up, heeding Spirit's call to stand up and move."
"we sit when we are silent. and we cannot be heard sitting. except in silence. thus all stand in the presence of the seated diety. Jesus did not sit. except at the silencing of the last supper. thus we say stand, and be counted. ============= I find I learn more wisely by letting go of what I thought I knew: thus I listen deeper at the font of others' experiences."
"Hey there, I’m writing to you because it’s clear from your writing and sending that you want to be heard. I’m not going to edit, just suggest. I think you are mistaking passion for clarity. This piece would have benefited from a week in the drawer followed by a re-writing. I’ve always known from my own writing experience that passion can seem scenic by night and cynic by day. And, forgive me, for I also remember how pissed off I became when my passionate writing was criticized. I’m also reminded of the words of that ole sage ex-friend of mine...when he said, “I can’t tell what he wants me to do”. I’m not at all certain that you know who your audience is. Just remember, in the words of that famous sea-food chef, “Even in the dark night of the sole, somebody gets to eat”.
"WOW! I love this piece. When I finished reading it I said, “That’s my Brandon!” Between you and me and the balance exercises you taught me, I have found myself leaning to the right physically (not mentally) both in my 10,000 steps a day and in sitting in my chair. That has caused physical pain on my right side. My...NP helped me with a stretch that relieves it, but your words help me with what I am wrestling with mentally (and physically). Thank you. Now back to this piece, may I share it with a group at [church] that I am on? It’s work is to look at [our] history...and why it is such a white church. We’ve delved into segregation of the schools, busing in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, city policies of red lining and covenants in real estate, and we will have a presentation Wednesday on John Wesley and his mark in the church. We are working on what we are can/want to do next, and in the future to make it a more inclusive church. ... If you want to share this piece, would you be willing to let me send it...? Or you could send it and say I suggested it to this group. Thank you for being in my life. I love you."
"Very nicely said and thought provoking. Still life throws too much at me to think of something new. Hard enough wading through the swamp I’m in."Vote Today For Humanity
Honor the dead, the saints, by making fewer of them. Choose as president a flawed but profoundly qualified person with a known positive and negative record of service who wants to be seen as a decent human being, rather than a treasonous mass-murderer. Tough choice? Are you feeling depressed, hopeless, frozen in fury/terror, lost, or in some other way disinclined to act? You are not alone, even across time.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
But let us not fall victim to the ever present danger of making everything (even anything) about Precedent Rump, Hamlet, or any other figure whose inner monologue seems inevitably dominant at center stage. Vote Democrat all the way down the ballot not because that party or our two party system is just, but because that forced binary is the choice before us today. One choice will kill future generations in advance in ways that are nasty, brutish, and short, while the other will give us more time to save ourselves and the planet.
The GoP, the historical Republican party is dead, consumed by the cancer of Supremacy, white, class, gender, nationalist, etc. #BuryTheGoP because that zombie institution has been (re?)designed to eat the brains and burn the lives of future generations, fellow human beings hurled on the pyre of power-at-any-cost and for its own sake. But hate the sin and love the sinner, as it were. Honest Republicans and Democrats are both doing what they believe to be best based on purposefully limited information.
Any #BlueWave is only as good as the Bluevolution it brings about, the passing of and grief over the choices by which we are killing ourselves, each other, and our world. We all will die, often at the hands of our own policy, but we are throwing ourselves on the sword of our obsessions so fast that we don't have time to make meaning out of it. Mourn and allow to pass the long, brutish night of domination, the tooth and nail of crotch-clutching and consuming as much as possible. The fantasy that this is Just The Way Life Is also afflicts The Democrats and all powerful political parties. Only a party with the deepest blues, sorrow so profound it cannot use its power to oppress, can result in an America where government by and for The People might be possible.
If you would like to see more writing like this in your inbox,
Responses to Vote Today For Humanity
Thank you for the catch up share. Been a year since we've been together. This video fell into my lap. Sharing with you . . . because it's you too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLe1o80zwgYFailures of Imagination Beget Horrors
Little Known Black History Facts (on Facebook)
“In Louisiana, black women were put in cells with male prisoners and some became pregnant. In 1848, legislators passed a new law declaring that all children born in the penitentiary of African American parents serving life sentences would be property of the state. The women would raise the kids until the age of ten, at which point the penitentiary would place an ad in the newspaper. Thirty days later, the children would be auctioned off on the courthouse steps 'cash on delivery.' The proceeds were used to fund schools for white children. . . many of [the black children] were purchased by prison officials.”
Source: American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer
H/T Sharon Morgan
Brandon WilliamsCraig: Just when you thought we could sink no lower...
Lenore Norrgard: We can always sink lower. Things can always get worse. I hope this is something some people will learn from 2020. I think that thinking we have hit bottom and that things can't get worse is a serious problem. It is a kind of blindness to what is and how things work.
BW: I agree fully. The phrase #failureofimagination, for instance, suggests so much more than "Gosh, we hadn't thought of that," which is almost always not really true. The mytho-historical record provides plenty of factual evidence and fictional projections about how far down the sui-homicidal hole we can plunge. Our conscious despoiling and voluntary avoidance are apocalyptic enough before we even get to the tragedy of the subconscious (not unconscious) dynamics we could understand but will not do the work to uncover. We frantically distract ourselves. If we didn't we would Know and give up the plausible deniability which allows us to enact horrors for short-term gain while dodging liability and claiming ignorance.COTE
Collaborative Outplacement for Temporary EmployeesDo you have an interest in:
- Employment opportunities arriving in your inbox on the regular
- One-on-one coaching and interview preparation
- Checking-in with a group of supportive people who have wisdom to offer and want everyone to succeed
- More as requested and availableIf you would like to opt-in to an email list and receive outplacement support while you seek your next employment opportunity, please enter your information atand enter below some amount of $10 or more, whatever you think the service is worth each month, and PayPal will debit your account.Hoping we stay connected and supportive of each other,Brandon
Current and Former Employees of ACO 3174 in Richardson, TX, will need to apply for an account and then sign in here at Culturesmith if you want to read information collected here, but all of it has been sent to your email group at https://groups.io/g/Outofsite-3174 and may be found there. If you are signed in, the link to 3174 info will appear below this line.
Census Completion Wrangle
Judge says 2020 census must continue for another month
Updated Sep 26, 3:41 PM; Posted Sep 26, 3:41 PM
By The Associated Press
By Mike Schneider
ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge has stopped the 2020 census from finishing at month’s end and suspended a year-end deadline for delivering the numbers needed to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress.
The preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California late Thursday allows the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October.
Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by President Donald Trump’s administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.
The judge sided with civil rights groups and local governments that sued the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the statistical agency, arguing that minorities and others in hard-to-count communities would be missed if the counting ends this month.
In granting the preliminary injunction, the judge said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed at a trial. Despite concerns raised by top Census Bureau officials about the shortened schedule, the Trump administration failed to consider its duty to produce an accurate head count and neglected to adequately explain a reason for it, she said.
Koh said inaccuracies produced from a shortened schedule would affect the distribution of federal funding and political representation over the next 10 years. The census is used to determine how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year and how many congressional seats each state gets.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, around the same time the census started for most U.S. residents, the bureau had planned to complete the 2020 census by the end of July.
In April, in response to the pandemic, it extended the deadline to the end of October. Then, in late July or early August, the deadline changed once again to the end of September after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to take up a request from the Census Bureau to extend the Dec. 31 deadline for turning over the numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets.
Attorneys for the Census Bureau had argued that the census must finish by the end of September to meet the Dec. 31 deadline and have enough time for crunching the numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets, in a process known as apportionment. But Koh said that argument “runs counter to the facts.”
“Those facts show not only that the Bureau could not meet the statutory deadline, but also that the Bureau had received pressure from the Commerce Department to cease seeking an extension of the deadline,” she wrote.
Koh’s preliminary injunction suspended that end-of-the-year deadline, giving Census Bureau statisticians time to crunch the numbers for apportionment from the start of November until the end of next April, for the time being.
Previously, the Census Bureau had only half that time for data processing, from the start of October until the end of December.
The San Jose, California-based judge earlier this month issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Census Bureau from winding down field operations until she ruled.
Attorneys for the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce said Friday they would file an appeal and asked the judge to suspend the injunction while that happens.
“Were the Bureau to miss these deadlines, Congress could well decide to disregard the 2020 census results in conducting apportionment, as it previously did for the 1920 census,” the attorneys for the federal government said in court papers.
The civil rights groups and local governments alleged that the decision to shorten the schedule was made to accommodate a directive from Trump that tried to exclude people in the country illegally from the apportionment numbers. A three-judge panel in New York blocked Trump’s directive, saying it was unlawful. The Trump administration is appealing to the Supreme Court.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross directed the Census Bureau to come up with a shortened plan, despite concerns raised by top bureau leaders who worried in internal communications that cutting a month off would produce a count with “fatal data quality flaws,” Koh’s order said.
The bureau was facing a shortfall in census takers after large numbers reported for training but then dropped out.
An email from Tim Olson, associate director for field operations, to his colleagues called it “ludicrous” to believe a full count could be completed before Oct. 31 and that anyone thinking the apportionment numbers would be turned in by Dec. 31 “has either a mental deficiency or a political motivation.”
Koh’s decision ensures that hard-to-count communities won’t be overlooked and produce an incomplete count, said attorneys for the plaintiffs after the ruling.
“As the court recognized, the Census Bureau has itself repeatedly recognized that a full, fair, and accurate count takes time, especially when faced with a historic pandemic,” said Melissa Sherry, the lead plaintiff’s attorney. “Every day that the 2020 Census count continues, and Census operations appropriately continue, will help ensure the accuracy and completeness of this once-in-a-decade tally.”Seminar with Brandon Sensei - Sat 26 September
Come join us on Saturday, September 26th, 2020, for an international seminar!
Practice Conflict Done Well, the missing set of skills that can make the world a place that works for everyone.
Understanding Stuff You Can't Change By Yourself
(Means Not Feeling Like Everything In Your Way Is Somehow Your Fault)As you know, and contrary to what gets said out loud, bias is everywhere, certainly at every level of hiring and employment, and is handled poorly more often than not. We are in a terrible labor market brought about by the way current leadership has handled the economy and pandemic. For certain, i.e. having been studied way beyond politics or opinion, we also suffer from an economy almost entirely controlled by the wealthiest of the wealthy and constructed with a bias toward short-term gain pushed as high up the chain of ownership and as quickly as possible. This feels like every last drop of time and effort (life) is being squeezed from the workforce because the institutional support that our (grand)parents' tax dollars paid for, like early education (serving as childcare so parents can work), healthcare, retirement and banking we can count on, etc. are being stripped away to increase the investments, influence, and systemic control of those in power. Here is a basic introduction to how that works.When the workforce lives in uncertainty, those providing "opportunity" have exponentially more power to call the shots. This is not lost on the owners of enterprise, especially at a global level. To achieve this, certain divisive ideas have been repeated over and over in corporate media and political messaging, and labor organizing has been ground down since the 1980s. That removes the largest force powerful enough to lift all boats, the minimum wage, and keep afloat institutions that support workers in need of healthcare, education/childcare, etc. This passes value up the chain of ownership. Studies show that this structure leads to specifically constructed outcomes, most of which are attributed to "society" as though we wanted it that way, including stereotypes about people of color and "the poor", an obsession with youth, the idea that Technology Will Save Us, and an avoidance of consequences/death, even at the planetary/ecological level.Looking specifically at the prejudice against age, the drive to undermine expertise and devalue lived-experience continues because the inexperienced are typically willing to "pay their dues" (not be paid an appropriate wage for their work), are in an understandably more independent/individualistic phase (Those people are having a hard time, but I can beat the odds!), and don't know yet how much the status quo will cost them and their families. When young people take jobs offered to them because a more experienced (valuable/expensive) worker has been squeezed out, they seize a piece for themselves in a way that guarantees that The System will also force them out when they have experience.To those I help find jobs, who also happen to be Of A Certain Age:You are already doing what I do when I realize I am being discriminated against. Every time I hear that I am "overqualified", or "surely don't really want/won't stay in this position, given your experience", or get radio silence in response to an application that moved into the realm of actual human contact and then stalled. I feel depressed and hopeless, then I talk to others who are well informed and sympathetic, read well written articles about the problem and write publicly, and find out which companies seem to be hiring more experienced folks and reward them with my purchasing power. Then I revisit my application materials, expectations about what does and doesn't matter, and online profile, from which I remove all obvious traces of age, which is only possible to a certain level, unless you have years of obviously position-relevant experience all in the last decade. Then I apply for positions for which they are obviously seeking a more experienced candidate, after which all the usual advice applies:
- Network like Who You Know is the only reason you will get hired.
- Be fearless about asking for what you really want, but ready to accept odd routes to your goal.
- Track everything you do and apply for many more positions than seems to make sense.
- Put your best foot forward, whatever that means for you and whatever it takes.
- Follow up respectfully but relentlessly
From a good article at the WSJ https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-overqualified-trap-can-hit-you-at-any-time-11566207000 I will add:
Avoid the Overqualification Label
* Explain up front why you’re applying for a position that seems beneath you.
* Research the job in depth so you can describe how it matches your experience.
* Be consistent in explaining your reasons for applying throughout all interviews for the job.
* Show openness and flexibility by talking about things you want to learn.
* Line up references who will vouch for your commitment.
* Network with contacts who also know insiders at the target company.UnHeard Immunity
KG: Hey folks,
Me and an old Marine medical corpsman buddy started thinking about the insanity of proposing to open up early and just let herd immunity fight the virus. These fools need to do the math. They have no idea what they are talking about.
Virologists say for herd immunity to work about 70% of the population must become infected and survive. In the US, with a population of 331 million, 70% surviving a COVID19 infection comes to around 245-250 million people infected. How do I arrive at that number? It’s estimated that about 20% of the infected will need hospitalization. That’s 45-50 million people. About 6% of the infected population will die. That’s around 14-16 million. 70% of 331 million is 231 million, plus the 14-16 million who you must compensate for because they will die, getting us to around 245-250 million.
Think about those numbers folks. There are only around 924,000 hospital beds in the USA. ICU beds? A fraction of that number. Even if spread over 2 years, there is no way we can hospitalize around 25 million people annually in the USA, our health infrastructure would be disastrously overwhelmed, so the death rate of 6% from the virus alone would actually be much much higher, likely 15-18%.
It gets a lot worse.
And what about all the people with life threatening heart conditions, cancer, and all the other life threatening illnesses. Cancer diagnoses alone are around 1.75 million annually. Heart disease and stroke kill over two million with access to medical treatment. Over 70 million Americans have some sort of cardiovascular disease. Without any access to proper healthcare, how many of these millions would die?
What about all the victims of automobile accidents or other spontaneous life threatening events? They’d have scant access to lifesaving healthcare, so they’d just be left to die too? And what about the frontline healthcare professionals. How many of them would die from exposure to the virus, further comprising our healthcare system? How would we replace them, and with who?
It gets even worse.
If 45-50 million are are hospitalized over 2 years what will happen to our food production and distribution chain? Who grows our food? Who processes our food? Who delivers our food? People were fighting over toilet paper for God’s sake. If it comes to food, it will not be fist fights in a parking lot, not in a country with over 300 million guns. How many will die from random violence and malnutrition or starvation?
But there’s more.
Will we maintain proper sanitation, or will pestilence run rampant? What will we do with the millions and millions of dead bodies? If we can’t even give the people in Flint, Michigan clean water in the best of times, imagine what will happen without properly maintained city services and sanitation.
So, how many will really die? It’s too horrific to imagine, and still there are people saying they won’t wear a mask because it violates “their rights”, and herd immunity should be allowed to take its course, you know....... because .......the economy.
News Flash! There won’t be an economy folks!
Social distance, wear a danged mask, and vote Trump’s goddamn GOP into the Stone Age, they’ve done enough damage already. Sadly, November may be too far away to prevent a massive loss of life.
- SN: As bleak a picture as you've described, the reality under this administration can still be so much worse. If ever one wondered what it might be like to stand at the tipping point toward dystopian future, this is it. Not from a sudden catastrophic event, but the accumulation of fear, mismanagement, selfishness, and the weaponization of the worst human tendencies during a prolonged crisis.
- At first I didn’t get the math right but now I see what you were onto. Since 70 percent of the population must be infected and survive for herd immunity to work you have to subtract the dead from the equation. So you are adding the 14-16 percent to the 231 million, getting 245-250. But, if as you say, our healthcare infrastructure is badly compromised most of the people who need hospitalization will not recover. That’s the 15-18% number you provide, so in reality 85-88% would need to be infected, further exacerbating everything further down your list.TT: Well KG, That was uplifting news on a Saturday morning, but thanks for the gut check. January 20th cannot get here fast enough.
- KG: Yeah TT, my scenario is kinda rosy isn’t it? In reality 85-90% would need to be infected. A small minority of stupid muthfuckers really could bring the whole country crashing down, and we’re just sitting around watching it. What will it take to get people marching in Washington? What will it take to scare the shit out of McConnell and the rest of the GOP traitors and get them to throw Trump the curb?
- KG: Absolutely. Go for it.
In order to secure financial gain or increase in power, he materially betrayed his office and people/country through several intentional breaches of trust or confidence, many of which he admitted publicly in order to shrug them off. That is The Reason For the #Tre45on. This is not an insult, not a personal attempt to hurt somebody's feelings by running them down. We are not acquainted and he has made absolutely clear that he couldn't care less. It is a public condemnation. If someone commits crimes and then, upon being accused, says "that's how the game is played" or "so what?" it is not an insult to call him a criminal. I don't hate him. I don't know him. I am furious but not irrational about what he has done to us, admitted, and shrugged off. He has explicitly made himself the poster boy for I Could Kill Somebody On 5th Ave And Not Lose Votes. That and what followed is not comparable to any other American politician alive, as far as I know. I am not comparing him to the most infamous war criminals of all time. I am taking seriously all the admitted outrages to which he has sold tickets so everyone can see them riveted to the forehead of his public persona. His entire strategy hinges on being The Biggest Trump Ever, the most hated by his enemies and followed without question by his worshipers, the most lethal to cross, the most impossible to anticipate (erratic and not subject to rational predictability). He must pretend to be bigger than life and mortal consequences, more outrageously powerful, uber dispenser of outrages, such that Nobody Can Stop Me. The actual man is irrelevant. It is not Oedipus one decries, but Hubris. That does not make me an NeverOedipuser; it makes me a citizen invested in civilization and the more humane side of humanity.
All the news... (includes older items)