Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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Freedom

Posted by ubpdqn on June 2, 2017

This week it…Zihuatanejo is still quite far off…

Squeezing and Folding

Posted by ubpdqn on May 2, 2017

This post is based on the Henon map:
$x_{n+1}=y+1- a x_n^2\\\\ y_{n+1}=b x_n$

Here is are 1000 iterations of a point:

The following animated gif illustrates the “fate” of a disk after 10 iterations:

Clarence Odbody

Posted by ubpdqn on November 11, 2016

I have frequently contemplated the film: “It’s a wonderful life” (George Bailey,Angel Second Class).

This difficult year and the events of this week in the United States at this time of year drew me again to this film. This saccharine film with some stereotypes of the period (esp with respect to women’s roles and African American’s positions in society) still presents a vision of the triumph of the “better angels of our nature” (pun intended) whether one invokes the supernatural or spiritual aspects or not. It is, perhaps, one of the “big lies”.

I have struggled all my life with the concept of “friend” but never so intensely than this year. So, Clarence Odbody’s message in front leaf of “Tom Sawyer” viewed from a position of failure, my experience sadly supports the contrapositive.

This, however, does not prevent me from seeing the hope in my children’s generation despite the “movement” that events like the outcome of the US election seems to represent. My children (my eldest daughter in particular on this occasion) gave me this hope directly. It is easy to focus on villains and escalate divisive rhetoric. “Haves” and “have-nots”, “educated” Perhaps, some small legitimacy to many or all of these factors from various narrow and often self-serving viewpoints (I claim no immunity from such framing and frank biases). However, at such a complex and confusing time rather than escalating division contemplating George Bailey and Clarence Odbody has lessons (at least for me).

The “message”: never give up provides me a kernel for my own little “world”.

Interesting Times

Posted by ubpdqn on November 9, 2016

This has been a year of extremes and on this day that the United States has (likely) decided to elect Donald J Trump as its president. This speaks to the cumulative frustration and anger among people who believe they are invisible and trodden upon by the established forms of government. This pain and suffering has motivated a change that on paper is irrational, irresponsible and dangerous. The United States is not alone in this “movement”.

The wheel has squeaked, will the “engineer” prosecute reparation (including judicious use oil to lubricate the machine) or will the wheel and the wagon race unimpeded over the cliff into the abyss?

Interesting times indeed…

Beauty in a Cup of Tea

Posted by ubpdqn on October 19, 2016

I was (pleasantly) distracted by the cup tea interface with its kissing ovoids. Alas this was the zenith of my recovery. Events have once again exerted an intense and effective suppression. What will come next? My heroes stand steadfastly by me but I do not know why.

Ideal Clinics

Posted by ubpdqn on October 13, 2016

A topical TEDMED talk on physician suicide. Nothing more to be said.

The Undiscovered Country

Posted by ubpdqn on October 11, 2016

This term from Hamlet (Act III Scene I) refers to death (and the speech it is embedded in has been a source of contemplation). In this case, I refer to the “future”.

It is Mental Health Week and I watched “The Not So Secret Live of the Manic Depressive: 10 years on”.

The subjects of this documentary were exceptionally brave and sharing their stories. Stephen Fry was no exception. This is, perhaps, another effort to improve understanding about mental health issues. I, however, found this documentary a source of despondence rather than uplifting. The young women who was directing her energies into helping people with similar problems was inspirational. The other sufferers marching on and their heroic relatives and friends by their side were reasonably presented.

The pain of the struggle and its lurking presence just under the surface with little real progress in terms of reducing suffering (be it pharmacology or behavioural) and the sentiment: “well you just have to live with it”,seemed to me as disturbing and unhelpful as “suck it up Princess”.

I hope that “having a conversation”, “increasing the profile of mental illness” are more than societal tick boxes. We watched a program about mental health. We’re informed, governments can tick boxes while sufferers remain isolated, disconnected with hidden pain and their heroic friends and relatives remain unsupported.

Mercy

Posted by ubpdqn on September 7, 2016

I have found more connection with individuals I have never met. As the saying goes:
The Internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents. However, the intelligence, creativity, humour and remarkable kindness from the limited group I have intersected with in cyberspace has been a surprising comfort during this difficult time. These undeniably shallow and transient interactions are cyber-aquaintances.

Take comfort in your friends…”, Michael Stipes sings…ay there’s the rub.

Step by Step

Posted by ubpdqn on May 25, 2016

I hope, step by step, both my weight and overall health trends positively.

Endless Forms

Posted by ubpdqn on May 24, 2016

I have just passed the best few days since the beginning of the year. I was immersed in the mundane but surrounded by those remarkable (few) people who attach some value to me.  These briefest of moments were priceless to me.

There are still extremely dark days ahead but I do not walk alone. I have, for the first time, some inkling of a meaningful future, even with such a deep and extensive wound.

The fog clears but nothing changes the malevolence that has pushed me into the abyss.  There are lessons and I hope I learn them. I will, however, (while my brain is intact) not forget. The wound may never heal and perhaps the vulnerability it presents and the pain  it induces serve or transform into useful to me and others.

I enjoyed watching ants scurry. They walked on loosely defined trails. Local signalling with emergent larger structure. Each ant doing its thing but ultimately achieving a purpose for the whole. A robust system. Loss of one ant has another ant hot on the trail. Small obstacles and perturbations are locally solved.  Hanging clothes became a journey for the imagination.

How long this clarity lasts who knows. I am thankful for those very small but compassionate souls who have been by my side in this difficult time.