Living Public

Hasan M. Elahi
I just read this article about a guy who was harasser by the FBI for 6 months because someone reported him as having explosives in storage somewhere (which he didn’t). They wanted to know everything about him for the last 6 months. SO he started to make EVERYTHING publicly available:

When I first started talking about my project in 2003, people thought I was insane. Why would anyone tell everyone what he was doing at all times? Why would anyone want to share a photo of every place he visited? Now eight years later, more than 800 million people do the same thing I’ve been doing each time they update their status or post an image or poke someone on Facebook. (Just to put this in perspective, if Facebook was a country, it would have the third highest population, after China and India.) Insane?

What I’m doing is no longer just an art project; creating our own archives has become so commonplace that we’re all — or at least hundreds of millions of us — doing it all the time. Whether we know it or not.

Last weekend i also watched ‘We Live In Public’

about Josh Harris who was ahead of his time putting every room in his house online and living in public with his girlfriend. His life became Hell.

With Facebook becoming the internet for most people, this is happening more and more. The first artist thought it was a good idea the second not so good.

As Conan the Barbarian says: “I live, I love, I slay” whats to hide :)

Exploring solutions for Crohns disease

Frustrated by the general lack of responsiveness of the medical industry to new and alternative treatments (with suspicion that most research is drug company funded and colossal bureaucracy generally) I’ve started doing my own research into possible treatments.

I’m on Cortisone right now. The only real treatment gastroenterologist will prescribe when the shit-hits-the-fan (literally). So, since this makes me feel “normal” again i.e. memory improves, body stops aching and becomes limber again etc I have started to look for natural cortisone suppliments.

Found an interesting article about Hypoadrenia and Cortisol which talks about how the human body deal with stress and looks are some food supplements to deal with this. Some of these include:

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • CortiTrophin

I plan to try some of these and see what effect they have on my symptoms, when I get off the cortisone.

Plan B: Hookworms

My father just emailed me this link to an ABC radio show program on Hookworm in which Jasper Lawrence tell how he managed to get himself infected with Hookworm in Africa and it cured his allergy problem. Apparently it is very effective against all auto-immune problems including Crohns disease. Hes setup a company that sell this worm therapy.

I have emailed them and will try and get myself infected. Will report back once I know more…

Gaming for good

Here is Jane McGonigal TED talk on “Gaming can make a better world”:

This is an inspiring talk about using the drive of gaming to useful ends. I have mused before on weather games can be used for education and believe this is an untapped way of motivating people to better themselves and improve their performance.

One of the points she talked about in the “lack of feedback” (winning points) in real life for actions. Then there is Jesse Schell (scary) talk “When games invade real life” and he suggests with sensors and wireless connectivity becoming ultra cheap it will start to pervade everything and thus point systems for things you do in reality will become normal:

I think with ones entire schooling, if turned into a game could be far more rewarding for kids and teachers. You might have whole classes in school competing as one against another class or even another class in another school. In Jesse Schell talk he already mentions that one lecture, Lee N. Sheldon who changed the grading system and gave out experience points for assignments which increased attendance and quality of homework.

“If you want to build a ship don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Visuals for modern dance augmentation

Alex May just put up a sample of his latest interactive performance instillation which he demos with a dancer.

Shadows of Light from Quadratura on Vimeo.

I saw an Australian dance performance last month here in Berlin called Glow which was a floor dance also with real-time interactive dance visuals.

I like this direction VJing is taking. Slightly above the mundane random images with effects layer on.

Chinese herbals and The Alexander Technique for Crohns disease

In another post I talk about living with Crohns disease. Someone asked me to put a up the script of herbs that my Chinese doctor in Australia put me on. I’ve found it helps when an attack is coming on. Here it is:

chinese crohns script translation

The Alexander Technique

Recently I’ve started reading a book about the Alexander Technique and I have found that this is remarkably helpful in dealing with stress. The change in my approach to stressful situations has changed so much that I feel like a different person!

It suggests that some physical problems that manifest in the body are the result of miss-use of the body in times of stress. This stress causes tensions in the body which can result in some nasty things, perhaps even Crohns. There is of course no medical research into this (because there are no drugs involved in this treatment and hence no funding from drug company’s) although it was derived via scientific method. I have found Alexander Technique had immediate benefits for myself. Worth looking into, for everybody really. Its like the drivers instructions for the body.

Steroid addiction

There is a dull drone in my head
that squeezes my shoulders to to to the ears
A graffiti proof paint on which no thoughts may stand out
Except to bite at the world
EVERY SINGLE SOUL
So the mind is put to the grid
Till it is only sharp and stabbing
And every stranger is your new found enemy
And every friend only thinks of themselves
Against you! Against you!
The world is an ugly cage
Against which you RAGE

When you are tired of dwelling in this hell
And forgiveness the unreachable holy-land
Tomorrow begins again

Games can alter the structure of your brain

Wired has an article on “playing Tetris actually gives you more brain to work with“:

This, says the doctors who undertook the study, shows that focusing on a “challenging visuospatial task” like a videogame can actually alter the structure of the brain, not just increase brain activity.

I wonder if this has anything to do with learning?

Living with Crohns

Here is a list of things I have found affect Crohns over the last 12 years of dealing with it. Western doctors will give you no info regarding this. Mainly because all research is funded by drug company’s and its safer, liability wise, for them to prescribe drugs than diet change. I have meet people who completely control Crohns with diet (vegetarianism) who have suffered much worse than myself. Everyone is different and you have to find the things that aggravate it in yourself.

Avoid:

  • Milk is evil. Stay away from all dairy products. Usually you can find soya milk versions of everything.
  • Meat seems to have an affect on the digestion generally. I cut it and lost weight and felt better generally. Also any amount of meat (excluding fish) seems to make me feel bloated and tired as its hard to digest.
  • Coffee. All stimulants seem to have a stressing affect on the body.
  • Cigarettes. I blame smoking for the initial onset of my Crohns as I was a heavy smoker just before I got it and a couple of puffs on a cigarette gives me immediate stomach pain.
  • Alcohol. Beer seems to be bad for me. Wine is OK but only small amounts. Spirits are the best but harsh on the body.
  • Stress. Medium to high stress _always_ triggers a flare up.
  • Changes to sleep patterns. This affects me a lot. Probably due to the stress it causes on the mind/body.

Try more of:

  • Fish oils (D vitamin) are very good for you and will help stop Crohns coming back. I take Cod liver oil tables daily now.
  • Fresh veg, home grown. Most of the produce in supermarkets is picked very green and has no chance to rippern and thus has almost no nutritional value. I lived for a month only on garden greens (in Czech Republic) and I lost weight and my Crohns was completely reverted.
  • Exercise. I found riding my bike 2 hours a day (to+from work) made me very fit and more resilient to stress. When I was in this state I cold drink as much as I liked without much effect on the Crohns.
  • Chinese herbs. 6-7 years ago I started to take Chinese herbs for Crohns and found they could completely stop a flare-up. I have managed since them to live without western prescription drugs. This amazing fact also lead me to believe that diet can completely control the condition.

I’d experiment with your diet try being vegetarian or even vegan (I’m about to try this when I return to Berlin) to see how it makes you feel and how your condition responds. If it keeps you off the drugs and out of hospital its worth trying.

Finally the biggest hurdle will be yourself. I tried to ignore it and refused to accept the complete change of life style that it demands. I suffered fairly badly and almost died twice from loss of blood. You are now forced to become aware of your body and what affects it, which is a good thing and I’m grateful to Crohns for that as I know I wouldn’t have gotten there until I was much much older. Sadly most people don’t start to look after their health until it breaks. The sooner you accept it and start to respect it the healthier and happier you’ll be.

Seven deadly sins

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth/dispair, wrath, envy, pride

The ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ or should I put it the ‘7, Deadly, Sins’. The seven part is merely score keeping and nothing more, but the ‘Deadly’, which we usually skip over is more than just an adjective, it is a warning. What is it warning against? What do the Seven Deadly Sins lead to other than Hell itself.

Sin‘ is also a much miss understood word, particularly by those who grew up in a Christian based society.

In the biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to err, to miss the mark. It does not mean to do evil.

Continue reading “Seven deadly sins”