Don't Lose the Faith

There's a dragging sensation in my neck and chest. I can't describe it any other way. This deadened feeling. The world is maybe a bit grey at the moment. It's been overcast and spitting drops of rain, which is actually good because otherwise it would be blindingly, painfully bright with a searing muggy heat. I'm sort of uneasy as well, but more than anything I feel this deep sense of amotivation. And this fogginess to my thoughts. As if the storm-clouds have actually sunk into my consciousness.

The light in my room is this warm but unnatural yellow. And outside there's this soft amber from the sunset. So I go out to look. My cats are sitting next to each other, unusually calm and thoughtful. The sky is ablaze, the clouds burning gold and amber and that reddish colour of hot coal. It's the most stunning sunset I have seen in more than a year. A cloud of bats rises in the distance, circles, then they split off one by one, a couple heading towards me. I've seen one up close a couple of weeks ago- and it's true, their faces are earnest and soft and furred; it's only their wings that are leathery and dark. In the background is the mountain, and the clouds behind it look like they're rising off its surface like a plume of hot ash. My garden is cast in that soft burning colour.

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When I was young - when I first got depressed - it was this liminal zone, the boundary between day and night, the dying day that really stuck its knife in my guts. I can't explain the feeling any other way other than this tension, this quickening in my chest, this keening pain almost. The intense beauty while the light faded into dark. That nervous energy around the start of the night. The borderline.

And you know even now, sunset, autumn, those liminal times give me this weird feeling. It's like I'm addicted to depression, this sort-of-seasonal-affective-depression linked to colour and light. I get this quickening, this excitement combined with that dragging uneasy feeling. It almost feels delicious, but it is also not-quite-right. Feeling it come on is like greeting an old friend- one of those friends who you know is bad for you, but sort of thrilling, at least briefly.

I suppose this means that in many ways my depression is chemical, just like my anxiety. And I suppose that's true. So maybe we should talk about the times that I didn't get depressed in winter. There's not that many of those times. When I was very young, before I was 10 perhaps. And then that time that I was actually in love with you, before all of those things happened that broke us both. And I think there was another time, actually. But I can't count many of those times easily. The lack of light really gets to me. The cold is ok, it's just the lack of light.

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The cats came in. And Pan insisted on lying across my lap while I was typing. I kept having to move him and eventually he gave up and lay next to me, purring, and fell asleep.

Facebook Censors Famous War Photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc Covered in Napalm

That someone can be suspended for such a post- an important picture that shows the dangers of US imperialism and the horror of war (appropriately titled "The Terror of War")- shows the ugly, disgusting side of Facebook's rulers. People who write algorithms that censor breastfeeding (but sexual pictures of boobs are A-OK), or refuse to censor hate-speech but happily censor its detractors. Man-children.

Probably the best quotes about the debacle I've heard are from Tom Wilson:

The Internet is having it's life slowly choked from it. It'll be a wasteland of lies, propaganda and special offers just like television and radio before it.


Algorithms are bias put to work. AI is an attempt to navigate grey instead of black and white.

Aftenposten's reply is pretty damn great too.


Tom's Random Facts episode 1

Here's the first episode of my Random Facts podcast. Today we talk about common household cleaners and white blood cells, two things you might not think of in the same sentence.