Science is not just a theory

I say theory, he says theory but what do you think we mean when we talk about theories, like Big Bang theory, the theory of evolution by natural selection, the theory of relativity (both general and special) and quantum theory. Well, we don’t mean it’s “just” a theory, like some vague idea a bloke down the pub came up with to explain the woes of the world, it’s not some conspiracy theory. If only we could’ve been more positive and used another word without the negative connotations of the man on the Clapham omnibus’ conception of the word theory…well, that’s the theory anyway.

Put them on hold

It’s a quarter of a century since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but still lives are put on hold by those who will divide and subjugate us. Isn’t it time, once again, to reject their calls, put them on hold?

Put them on hold

I made the call that I’m a free man
I talked wild of spirit, throughout the land
I saw the wonders that were open to mankind
I held up hope and love and life as gifts that we might shine

Then days became much darker than the night
The hope we had soon vanished from our sight
The love we took for granted we’d never find
Life fading fast as fear our hearts would bind

We put you on hold
Despite your objections
Despite your deflections
You will do as your told

When you’re out in the cold
No time for reflection
No more defection
We bring you into the fold

I dreamed that I could be a free man
I wondered if my spirit just might find a plan
I saw with wonder how despair crushed all mankind
No hope to hold, no love nor life to help us shine

We put you on hold
Despite your objections
Despite your deflections
You will do as your told

When you’re out in the cold
No time for reflection
No more defection
We’ll drag you into the fold

But, surely we can this hate denounce
We can this fear renounce
If there’s one ounce, one single ounce of decency left inside

We put them on hold
Despite their objections
Despite their deflections
We come in from the cold

We tear down the walls
At last, On reflection
from your hate we’re defecting
We reject all your calls
We reject all your calls

From my mini-album Songs of Experience
Words & 雷竞技官网 by 雷竞技官网
Vocals, instrumentation and mixing by DB

Cover art adapted from a photo by Saxon Moseley. More information about the photo here j.mp/tacheles-berlin-89

put-them-on-hold-240px

Now with added belltree, but no cowbell (yet)

Is breast best?

Is it oversharing to tell you I wasn’t breastfed as an infant? Tough. I don’t feel that being bottlefed formula milk did me any harm. Breastfeeding is natural but it’s not always possible for new mothers and the push from the healthcare workers for breast is best waxes and wanes as any social fashion.

There is a lot of guilt poured on mothers who (a) choose to breast feed their infant (b) choose not to breast feed their infant (c) cannot breast feed their infant. Take your pick, there’s guilt from every angle. If it’s physiologically possible it should be every mother’s personal choice, but none should be made to feel guilty for the choice they make, especially not on health grounds fo their child.

Research published earlier this year looked at various indicators of health over a 25 year period between siblings breast fed and not breast fed. The bottom line is that “much of the beneficial long-term effects typically attributed to breastfeeding, per se, may primarily be due to selection pressures into infant feeding practices along key demographic characteristics such as race and socioeconomic status.”

The researchers report that, “A mother’s decision to breastfeed her child as well as how long she is able to do so is based on a complex web of personal, familial, and social factors.” Women often have to cut their working hours to carry on breastfeeding for some time after the baby’s birth. “This trade off, however, may be especially untenable for poor or minority women who already face reduced access to steady, full-time employment, have few or no benefits, and lower than average salaries often in conjunction with the added pressures of single parenthood,” they say.

Breast or bottle is a small component in a bigger picture of the growing child’s short-term and long-term health. Like all environmental factors the impact is strongly affected by all the other factors and it is very unlikely that any single factor unless obviously detrimental (such as not being vaccinated and succumbing to measles, mumps, rubella or whatever or being run over by a bus) will add up to a significant effect on long-term health.

Is breast truly best? Estimating the effects of breastfeeding on long-term child health and wellbeing in the United States using sibling comparisons.

Don’t worry about anxiety

This week’s BBC “Point of View” was purportedly humanist but is perhaps an age-old perspective that humanity has sought and found many times throughout history for living with less worry and hopefully overcoming existentialist angst at least temporarily.

Adam Gopnik identifies four different types of anxiety that afflict modern people and suggests ways to cure them. Bottom line: make the thrill of the ameliorative, the joy of small reliefs, of the case solved and mystery dissipated and the worry ended, for now – to make those things as sufficient to live by as they are good to experience.

If it’s 10:1 it’s going to happen, then it probably will, this week. 100:1? This year! 1000:1? Maybe this decade. 10000:1 Just once in a lifetime. 100000:1 it ain’t gonna happen. In the words of Bobby McFerrin: Don’t worry, be happy!

You can listen to Gopnik’s monologue via the BBC. If you’re not in licence-fee territory (Britland) you may need to find a proxy or a VPN to tunnel into the UK…

#anxiety #depression #coping #strategies #psyche #psychology #angst #death #fear