Medical_Symbol

An Oncology Nurse on the Barbarity of the ‘Culture of Life’

From a thread on Reddit about medical care:

“So I went back to school and became a nurse, recently, and now I work on an oncology unit in a hospital. I used to love what I did, in hospice. It jived well with me to do what I did in every way. Now I feel barbaric. The whole setup feels barbaric, and I feel gross about what I do. The whole system feels primitive to me and I hate going to work each and every day. I don’t say that to complain, I don’t say that because I have an agenda, I just say that because it’s the truth and it kills me.

When I worked in hospice there really was a ‘culture of life’. Even though it was about dealing with death. This author’s description of palliative care professionals being implacably positive is my experience, too, and I think that has a lot to do with the type of person who gravitates towards that profession and the perspective they hold.

Now my job is about doing things to patients. I do things to people, and I keep them moving along, and if I talk to a patient for too long I’m too “touchy-feely” and not managing my time well, even if that patient is opening up to me, a stranger, about being close to death, and the spectrum of conflicts that accompany, even if that patient is opening up to me, a stranger, when s/he hasn’t been able to talk to anyone else about it, including family and spouse, as has happened, I am expected to keep the conversation politely brief and remember my role is task oriented. And this is the “normal” culture I’m now spending my workdays in, and I feel very alone there.

This is probably not the fault of the hospital I work for. It’s the nature of healthcare here. But it’s something I have no idea how I’ll reconcile. I feel my job involves taking care of people in such a limited scope that I can hardly say I’m promoting anyone’s well being. I realize I’m coming to this position where I work now in a backwards kind of way.

I learned to treat the psychological and emotional needs of patients early in my career and later learned how to treat medical needs, whereas most of healthcare is oriented in the opposite direction, medical first, psychological well being secondary. I just have to say that I’m severely conflicted about my current position, and am so grateful to read this article and this thread, to know I’m not alone these days in my perspective.”

Full thread on Reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueReddit/comments/220re9/who_by_very_slow_decay_a_freshlyminted_doctor/cgimgxt?context=3

Image from http://www.franklinjoseph.com/assets/images/Medical_Symbol.jpg

Another quote from the article the writer is talking about:

“I work in a Catholic hospital. People here say the phrase “culture of life” a lot, as in “we need to cultivate a culture of life.” They say it almost as often as they say “patient-centered”. At my hospital orientation, a whole bunch of nuns and executives and people like that got up and told us how we had to do our part to “cultivate a culture of life.”

And now every time I hear that phrase I want to scream. 21st century American hospitals do not need to “cultivate a culture of life”. We have enough life. We have life up the wazoo. We have more life than we know what to do with. We have life far beyond the point where it becomes a sick caricature of itself. We prolong life until it becomes a sickness, an abomination, a miserable and pathetic flight from death that saps out and mocks everything that made life desirable in the first place. 21st century American hospitals need to cultivate a culture of life the same way that Newcastle needs to cultivate a culture of coal, the same way a man who is burning to death needs to cultivate a culture of fire.”

cthulhu-6

Great Cthulu’s Rise from the Pacific Ocean (A Year-Long Timeline)

Amazingly detailed walk-thru of the carnage when he rises from the ocean:

Second-to-minutes: major insanity within minutes at the emergence of Great Cthulhu all along the pacific region. Massive earth quakes in some regions. Madpeople world wide scream, some die, others attack their staff muttering strange languages. A region in the pacific starts boiling without heat. Planes drop from the sky, the crews mad and delerious. A politician in Tokyo speaking on TV recites an ancient series of syllables and starts using a plastic object to skin the flesh of his face, but stays alive as he dismantles the bone from his head with his bare hands. Some of the people watching this unfold do the same, all across Asia. In North Korea a small village erupts in to blue green flame.

Less than 15 minutes A anxious and panicked crowd in San Francisco park comes to a halt as a.. tentacled mass.. erupts from the soil and begins convulsive transformations in all fleshy organisms it touches – a wave of transformations of things proceeds from golden gate park at an exponential rate. In Africa bull elephants all swell and bloat in to red blistered flesh and die, producing voracious green insects that insect humans. In the Pacific a massive blue black cloud is forming like an oceanic nimbus. All who see this cloud develop acute symptoms of stage seven psychotic schizophrenia, massive hallucinations with utterly deranged caleidoscopic images. All across the pacific rim people commit suicide, kill other people. In Indonesia massive crowds living along the eastern coasts turn in to ravenous cannibal hordes that appear to be infectious, and within minutes their bodies seem to be … twisted caricatures of the human shape… Death toll after fifteen minutes is about ten million human beings world wide.

Within the hour there are visible changes to all natural laws occuring. Machines fail to operate. World wide thingscrawl from graves that were never human, and who chant in alien languages. Half a million people n Siberia see a new primary color between yellow and red. In many places along the pacific rim, half the people - well over a billion have gone insane. Everyone on Earth at the very least feels a mixture of paranoia, acute pains, nausea, has subtle dreamlike hallucinations, sees things move in the corner of their eyes, smells unnatural smells or is otherwise impaired. In some places massive stones float up from the soil in grotesque swirling patterns. The nimbus of clouds in the Pacific roils out an an exponential rate. In space the international space station is slowly filled with a protoplasmic froth of tentacles. A US commander who tries to launch nuclear missiles finds all containment for fossionable materials slowly melting from the insides (as much happens in nuclear power stations or storage spaces for radioactive waste) and turning in to a brightly bluegreen slime that bubbles and spreads. Millions of humans suddenly develop, for a brief time, telepathic and other supernatural abilities, often with extreme pain, emotions, psychotic episodes. Beasts transform world wide in to blasphemies beyond words. CERN, and several other particle physics laboratories, were just conducting experiments and perceive a radical change in how subatomic particles operate. In one instance a small accelerator in upstate New York produces a elongated area stretching out a mile from the particle emission lab where natural laws and matter and human bodies – even light – seem to be completely of a different nature. None who walks in that region comes out recognizable. Death toll about 150 million humans world wide.

In several hours In many places along the pacific things unhallowed emerge from the ocean in a nightmare landscape, amid absurd and completely bewildering weather phenomenon. Our sun experiences a most peculiar active phase, with geometric patterns appearing on its surface. On Jupiter’s moon io, half the crust cracks and massive volcanoes emerge in a twisted pentacle configuration. On Mars mons Olympus erupts black ooze. In the Himalaya’s a mountainous region slowly collapses upwards in to majestic floating mountains amid an unbroken rythmic trembling series of earthquakes that seem more like chants. 95% of all humans are infected, sick, deranged, in a severely confused state. 25% of all humans world wide have sudden physical abnormalities. About half a billion humans are now effectively deceased, most of them by suicide, although in many cases these suicides don’t appear to be fully effective an they keep trying over and over and over.

One Day - the world is half covered in a dark storm interspersed with lightning. In many places slime and twisted shapes rain from the sky. Existing buildings have deformed, many landscapes have become completely unnatural. Woods mutate, change shape. In some places dimensions are distorted, villages and landscape elements changing shape. Worldwide people are transported between places, or rifts to other realities open up. Most humans have been affected physically, mentally. About half of humans have turned in to something else, mostly dangerous, especially along coastal regions. Everyone is pretty much clinically insane. Strange disease spread and it is hard to say where one disease, mutation, hallucination or contamination begins and the other ends. The moon changes color to deep red, star patterns in the sky change in to new shapes. Several billion humans are now effectively lost, although in many places the dead are coming back to life, even dead gibbering things centuries dead – some of these form bloated monstrosities that shamble across the landscape…

One week The entire planet is a blighted sickness of roiling clouds streaked with primal and unnatural colors, all life is twisted, most minds have melted in to a roiling blasphemy incanting His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name, His name ….

366 hours after emergence the last human in northern Europe, while hiding in a mine, succumbs, twists in to insanity, stalks grow from his eyes and he starts devouring his six family members in the next underground chamber, who have already died a day earlier - and where fornicating in to an assembled tentacled mass of putrid black ooze.

In the pacific a monolithic black …”structure” miles high spreads like a cancer on the planet, well visible from space. Peaks jut from a boiling ocean strewn with tentacles and filth, and in the middle.. ahh.. nnn .. no. I.. can n.. not ahh..”

From http://www.reddit.com/r/Lovecraft/comments/20ols3/what_would_happen_to_the_world_if_cthulhu_showed/cg5l2be

Fight_Club_0452

Fight Club as a Buddhist Metaphor

(Spoilers)

“Tyler allows his illusion (ego) to control him more and more as the movie progresses until he finds himself the leader of a giant cult who follows his every whim, no matter how insane or unreasonable. Additionally, as Tyler continues to fall deeper in love with Marla, the illusion seems to hate Tyler more and more. This is the central conflict of the film: Tyler’s Ego vs. Marla. Self vs Non-self. Yin vs. Yang.

The end of the film culminates with Tyler claiming that his “eyes are open” and shoots himself in the head, killing the illusion. This is a visceral metaphor for seeing the truth; that the ego does not exist. It seems, for real this time, that Tyler has finally found peace through the non-self. I can hear you asking: wait a second, didn’t Tyler learn that at therapy? He let himself go and found peace, what happened to that?

Tyler thought he found peace through selflessness in the meetings, but it wasn’t really him who found enlightenment. Recall that Tyler would enter the meetings under a false identity to pose as a terminally ill person. People would reveal their deepest fears and bare their true selves to him, all while he was hiding own. Sure, he felt compassion, but it wasn’t really selfless, it was selfish. Tyler’s ego was the one who became enlightened. Once he met Marla; his first real taste of selflessness, the ego materialized into a full blown illusion, distracting Tyler from the one thing that would truly make him happy, the one thing that would truly destroy the ego – love.

Tyler kills his ego which was blinding him to the truth which was right in front of him all along. The truest way to experience selflessness is through compassion which in this case is love. Tyler realizes this as the final shot shows the two holding hands, becoming one. Tyler and Marla have found balance through opposing forces. Yin and yang. Two becomes one. Duality becomes unity. Peace is finally achieved. There’s so much more in the movie that I haven’t touched on but that’s the gist of it.”

Full thread and discussion http://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/comments/210yv1/fight_club_and_buddhism_profanity/cg8tcvj

drought1

A Desolate Tale (Fiction)

From /r/writingprompts:

“So the Earth had dried up. What limited resources left would not sustain much longer.

It was no surprise, people have seen it coming a hundred years ago. The world government had put together a last-ditch effort, and funded the conception of a spaceship named the Ark. The team consisted of nearly half of the remaining population. They trained long and hard for many months, studying late into the night for survival and colonization, driven by the responsibility on their shoulders to find humans, their brethern another home. They were pioneers, they were heroes. They brought loved ones aboard, so that they may reproduce on the journey that will outlast them.

Captain looked out the window of the Ark. What a fine machine. He watched the hardened faces of his people load up the craft, commending each their bravery and their volunteer for the survival of the human race. Today was the big day.

Of course, the Ark never made it out.

Science never got that far, what a bunch of idiots to have believed that a ship could travel for light-years.

The remaining populace all knew, some were sad, others rejoiced. They bought a little bit more time.”

Full story and reaction http://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/219yo9/wp_nsfw_destroy_my_soul_a_challenge_to_write_the/cgb500r

Image from http://americanvision.org/

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The Economics of Med School Debt

From a Reddit thread about med school and student loans:

“400k for a medical education is a crippling, unconscionable amount of debt. That amount will capitalize upon graduation, and then you’ll hardly be able to touch the loan during residency. Here’s four years of $100k/year expenses with 5.4% interest. Holy shit.

medschool-1

(it’s slightly off because the interest does not capitalize until graduation but too lazy to do the calculation otherwise.)

What does that mean? So you will be left with 440-450k of principle right at graduation. Now here’s what happens after 3 years of residency:

Double holy shit.

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So you’ve got $537k in debt after residency! You have no house. You’ve got no savings for your kids to go to college. You have no retirement funds. Each kid will probably need at least $100k for college, and you need roughly $1.5M to retire comfortably. Now you get to start over from scratch with a massive debt burden in your mid to late 30′s. Congrats – doctor.

To pay off $537k at 5.4%, you would have to pay $5000 per month for over 12 years! Think about that – writing a check for $5000, every month, for 12 years.”

Full discussion and graphs from http://www.reddit.com/r/medicalschool/comments/20t3yn/how_can_i_possibly_afford_this/cg6um2f

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Chinese Seniors and Life After Deng Xiaoping

From a Reddit thread about collect psychology of older Chinese people:

“Imagine you were born in 1955, so now you’re 59 years old. Your youth was quite possibly affected by the GLF famine, where you either witnessed or at least heard about people fighting almost literally like animals for survival, often having to compete with their neighbors and “do whatever it takes” to ensure food for their family. These experiences will never really leave you, and their effects will linger with you subconsciously.

You also grew up hearing lots of stories about the wars with Japan and the civil war from your parents, and your education was full of hardline leftist theory. Around the age of high school or university, the WHGM hits and you either become a Guard, a potential target, or try to just hide until the madness is over. The educational system itself melts down for nearly a decade when you were essentially going through your transition to adulthood. Meanwhile, your country essentially commits cultural suicide, leaving a massive hole in your values system, heritage, and sense of identity that still hasn’t even been fully realized.

Then it’s just…over. Deng takes over, and all of a sudden basically pulls a total 180 degree turn from the whole hardline leftist thing. You just go straight from wearing red scarves in your teenage years to becoming a super-competitive business tycoon (or lackey) in what will soon become the fastest-growing economy ever, anywhere, at any time. All the Marxist stuff basically gets gently bumped out of the picture as GGKF evolves, and suddenly you go from being trained to avoid foreign spies and celebrate the proletariat to buying Japanese TVs and working for HSBC, or at a factory making Happy Meal toys for obese American children.

Now you’re flooded with foreign images of wealth you’d never imagined, and money seems to be pouring in. In two decades you go from being excited about your first Panasonic radio to cynically comparing the benefits of an Audi vs. a BMW. In your youth, the government provided the fangzi and nobody needed a che, but now you’re expected to have both to get a serious date.

So how could you, when it’s now your turn to lead society, not create a confusing mishmash? Your life has been a confusing mishmash, and the only constant thing you’ve been able to rely on is having enough resources and guanxi to pull yourself through whatever comes.
Ideology? What does that mean anymore? Cultural identity? Didn’t you spend a decade getting rid of that? As a kid you learned that sometimes you had to be a little ruthless to survive, and the hyper-competitive 80s and 90s rewarded that ruthlessness with piles of cash and the status symbols that came with it.

True, you still have an empty hole in the center of your being, but since you don’t have anything to fill it with you just throw consumption and hedonism (under the guise of “Western culture”) into it, hoping that eventually it’ll be filled up, or that at least it’ll distract you until you no longer care.

Anyway, that’s my best stab at it.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/China/comments/21b5pk/native_chinaman_rant_over_chinese_mindfckedness/cgbibvd

Image is Deng Xiopeng featured as Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1979 http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916563,00.html

voter-fraud-egg-hunt

Voter Fraud Isn’t A Real Issue

Round-up:

South Carolina
State officials claimed on Fox News that “900 dead people had voted”.

After a year-long state investigation, the actual number of dead people voting turned out to be ZERO.

*Note: South Carolina only made the study public after being forced to by a judge in a FOI request from the media. Fox has not retracted or corrected the story.

0 out of 1.3 MILLION votes.

(SC still went on to pass one of the country’s strictest voter ID laws “to prevent dead people from voting”)

EDIT: Here are some additional links about the elusive “voter fraud”.

Iowa
Iowa spent two years and a total $430,000 investigating voter fraud, including a full-time investigator. They turned up a grand total of 15, but only 5 cases were sufficient to prosecute. None were prosecuted as intentional.

5 out of 1.5 MILLION total votes.

Ohio
Ohio found 17 non-citizens who voted illegally.  None were prosecuted as intentional.

17 out of 5.5 MILLION total votes.

Colorado
Boulder/Denver investigators found a grand total of zero.

Minnesota
Fox News reported that hundreds of convicted felons voted in 2008, possibly handing the election to Al Franken.

An independent audit of Minnesota election fraud cases found 10.

None were prosecuted as intentional. Fox has yet to correct or retract their story.

10 out of 2.8 MILLION total votes.

Maine
The Maine GOP gave the AG a list of the names 206 college students they believed voted illegally in the state. The AG expanded the investigation to include several years, and all types of “voter fraud”. All the students were cleared, 1 case of a non-resident was discovered.

1 out of 717,000 votes.

Pennsylvania
When appearing in court to defend it’s new voter ID laws, a request for evidence resulted in the state offering the “Applewhite Stipulation” ; where the state acknowledged it could not produce a single case of in-person voter fraud.

0 out of 5.9 MILLION votes.

Texas
Texas conducted a multi-year study (2002-2012) and found 18 prosecuted. One of those was a case of someone voting twice.[10]

18 out of approximately 45 MILLION votes over a decade.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/PoliticalDiscussion/comments/1zyn3q/i_would_like_to_understand_the_controversy_about/cfy7xw4?context=5

Political cartoon from http://woodgatesview.com/2012/01/11/are-picture-id-requirements-restrictive-for-some-voters/