Huge dust storms in Australia hit central New South Wales

Videos posted to social media show the clouds turning day into night in some areas

Damaging winds produced by thunderstorms across central New South Wales have whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night in some towns.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a series of severe thunderstorm warnings on Sunday evening for inland NSW with the associated winds generating massive dust clouds.

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* - kalaidoscope

Manic Depression - Part 2 - "Grounds for Hope"

Part 1 HERE.

I haven't listened to WPR's, "To The Best of Our Knowledge", for a few years, as my radio habits changed.  The "thought magazine" rivals NPR's, "RadioLab".  However, I left it when it was somewhat becoming another collection of Democratic party interests, which I can get anywhere.  But it still carries on much of the tradition of being more widely academic.  I heard an episode yesterday which fits right into my posts on "Manic Depression", (bipolar).

This segment of 'TTBOOK' nicely and concisely lists characteristics of depression versus optimism, primarily in the cognitive biases involved, or lack thereof.  This analysis, and my own thought, mainly follow from the work of the great cognitive behaviouralists, Martin Seligman, and Aaron T. Beck.

I will probably do yet another post on the topic of how manics and depressive process information, (as this was the inspiration for these posts), meant also to discuss the 'onus of control'.  However, the TTBOOK segment will suffice as PART TWO in the series.  The main things to remember are that about 80% of the population is normal/optimistic, and tends to, in general, make more incorrect assessments about reality.  The other 20% is depressed - perhaps 3% severely, and so about 17% mildly/moderately.  The severely depressed tend to make pessimistic and perhaps even 'masochistic' conclusions about reality, which tend to be incorrect.  So, that means the other, more moderate depressives, make conclusions which are normatively not biased one way or another.  That is, they, ~17% of the population, are basically correct when it comes to interpretting reality.

(If such a group had sufficient political power, the nature of our world would be very different.  It would be less filled with jingoism, religious crusades, careening capitalists, the bastard class, and so on).

Also, the major population, the 80% various optimists, from private hobbyists to nationalistic, narcissistic psychopaths, and what I am just going to lump together to call, "The (psycho)Positivists", make their assumptions about reality which often involve an attribution of values or successes to SELF.  And this is often a kind of superstition, which I should be discussing later.

In addition, the positivist 80% also tend to make their conclusions of reality based on an idea that they are in control of situations, if not in successful outcomes.  They can range from quiet people who pray in grotto's, to maniacal control freaks, all of whom we do encountre in our lives.  On the other hand, moderate depressives do not make this often false assumption of control, which is often true to reality, whereas the 3% extreme depressives may conclude that something exterior is rather in control of their own fate, depriving them of any will whatsoever.  And this assumption tends to be vague or abstract, rather than specific.  This comports to the fact that severe depressives do not tend to be cognitively dynamic.

So, here is the very nice little 12 minute audio from TTBOOK:
bright brain

How neuroscientist Tali Sharot accidentally stumbled on what’s known as “the optimism bias” — our hard-wired belief that our future will be better than our past or present.

And, on a positive note, here is the whole episode, containing several segments relevant to the concept of HOPE.

Hope: Where Does It Come From?

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NOTE: This post is just too rich for me to do the whole 'tag' listing right now.  However, you can go to my tags page and read more posts mentioning concepts above, like the existential bias, etc.  Most will be preceded by a category word, such as "psychology - ", "environ - ", etc.  (Also note: I do not agree w/ that final comment above - I do believe consciousness is ubiquitous, and yet paradoxically not).

Will delivery vehicles, drones make our skies dirtier, our air unhealthier? Analysis offers insights

Have you noticed the upswell of delivery vehicle-traffic lately? Welcome to the club. And there is the likelihood there will be drone-based package delivery added to that mix. All of which could be a recipe for dirtier skies and unhealthier air – local or otherwise. A Jan. 10th World Economic Forum-produced report investigates just this […]

Why women should start giving short men a chance | Poppy Noor

I used to prefer dating tall men, but now I’m urging women to start lowering their height expectations

This week, the actor Jameela Jamil said she wants to see fewer dating stereotypes on screen. Instead of the usual pretty-women-meets-handsome-man trope, she wants to see love between able-bodied and disabled characters, mixed-race love and, why not, tall women with short men.

It is with much shame that I admit to having been one of those women: the ones who judge the attractiveness of a partner as proportional to his height. My old online dating bio used to carry the tagline “six foot and above only”.

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Daniel Isn't Real !

(But he was the only one who supported my case for Disability / SS due to CFS!)

- hit me man

"THIS MOVIE IS RAD! The beginning went fast & the ending fell flat, but everything in between was so good. Deals w/Imaginary friends, demons, mental illnesses, & connects them. Acting was great & there’s some super trippy scenes of body horror. SEE THIS!" - April