fighting psychosis with psychosis

This method isn’t for the weak-minded:

But I’m not a bit weak-minded and the strategy described below suggested potential when I tested it on myself. (That makes this an n=1 study—hardly scientific—but exploratory research has to start somewhere!).

Background: I carry a long and well-documented case of bipolar disorder, and have become skilled at handling the “lows”. However, the manic “highs” still catch me by surprise. They come fast and full-blown, and I’ve often (until recently) acted recklessly when they occur. The resulting social damage proves costly.

Moreover, a full-blown mania often brings with it some degree of psychosis; realize of course that psychosis lies on a spectrum, it is not binary (sane vs. insane). For my part, I become grandiose and make decisions based on information filtered through that grandiosity, i.e., at some level disconnected from reality.

Now this state is basically a “drug high”, in that it is a chemical situation in my brain causing the mania. As a youth I tried cocaine and the feeling compares.

The psychiatric medicine I take controls the worst of the disease, especially the “lows”, but fails to inoculate me completely against mania. So I still have to learn how to effectively handle these “drug highs” as I don’t expect them to ever go away completely.

It becomes a management game:

So I got to thinking: “Why not intentionally induce manic psychosis in a safe, controlled environment so I learn how to pilot the condition?”. In doing so I’ll develop skill at managing unexpected manic episodes when I experience them in the real world–I’ll strengthen my mental power over them.

This is kind of like becoming well-practiced at meditation when you are relaxed, so that the skill proves easily accessible during an anxiety attack. (For me, the manic episodes impact me far more than anxiety, which also affects me; I’m just trying to draw a useful analogy here. In other words, I’ve ruled out meditation and mindfulness as short-term solutions to my mania challenge, though I’m certainly developing these tools for my long-term repertoire).

So I took a hit of LSD to induce grandiosity, euphoria, and delusional thinking; and then worked diligently and intently through the resulting altered state to learn how to handle the condition effectively, to learn how to take control.

The strategy worked! My recent subsequent manic episode came on quickly and intense, but I was able to recognize the state immediately and take appropriate countermeasures before making any reckless decisions.

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysergic_acid_diethylamide.

thinking big (part #1)

Declaring I’m a “big thinker” understates it. I channel more creativity than a single human can ever bring to fruition, so I’m now going to simply start logging ideas on a somewhat weekly to monthly basis in case others want to take them on, or collaborate with me.

So, here are this week’s big ideas, many of which I received while driving between Carmel and San Simeon on California Highway 1:

Censorship-Resistant Microblogging

For two weeks I’ve been developing a blog post in my head about using Blockchain as a tool for censorship-resistant microblogging. The article will discuss a particular platform’s solution, not survey all possible options (which I’ll do later). It will take the form of a “how to” post.

Technology that Responds to Desertification

Climate change will likely promote heavy desertification. We have two angles to take regarding technological response:

First, we can develop technology that resists the desertification process itself. Think infrastructure and environmental engineering by nation-states. However, given that I do not expect nation-states to be able to respond functionally to rapid desertification, I offer the following alternative:

Second, develop high technology for single family, tribe, and/or homestead use. I’m thinking composting systems that capture water as it is off-gassed. I’m thinking distilling water from urine. Micro-desalination for folks living right against the coast. Massively effective composting reactions from food waste. Capturing and distilling sweat. Capture water from fuel cell use (if I remember correctly how fuel cells work).

That latter social layout risks invoking the “tragedy of the commons” with regard to well water. So we need water-efficient farming technology such as hydroponics and good social compacts.

Adverse Possession

I once claimed squatter’s rights (technically “adverse possession”) to a ten-acre piece of abandoned land. Applied data science to find the ideal property.

About to start the process again, and refine the method.

I’ll give special consideration to developing a strategy that supports the needs of RV boondockers.

Fuzzy Logic-Based Women’s Body Shape Calculator

I wrote a women’s body shape calculator, where one enters their measurements and receives a classification of their body shape into one of the classic style-guide shapes (e.g., “apple”, “rectangular”). My post “artificial intelligence in fashion (part two: a first step)” introduces this tool.

However, I am unhappy with the use of crisp computation by this tool and would rather replace it with fuzzy reasoning, to reflect differences in expert opinion about what makes what body shape what. Then users will receive more informative results. For example, instead of reporting that a user’s measurements indicate a strictly “rectangular” body shape, the fuzzy reasoning-based method could declare that the same use is 90% “rectangular” and 10% “hourglass”.

Blockchain

Blockchain matters. Learn it inside and out. Learn about the “internet of money”. Learn about “discretized valuation”. Program it. “Get” it.

Expand My Social Media Footprint

People generally like what I have to say online, and I believe it provides social value. So therefore I want to expand my reach. This is not so much for my “glory” as it is to promote diverse voices in media. My agenda is to “transmit” what is given to me.

So I will apply my full data scientist brain to this task and see what happens! Perhaps it starts with measurement?

Extract More Precise Signal from the Media Firehose

My friend Epochryphal challenged me to think of improved ways to capture, sort, and process online content as it emerges. I started them off by recommending an RSS reader but we agreed the problem requires a better solution. My next move involves checking out Feedly.

Practice Navigating Without a Smart Phone

I ran into a situation where I needed a road atlas due to lack of wireless service, but didn’t have one. Not good! Such an atlas might also prove important if one is running from the law and cannot have their cellular phone turned on (to avoid tracking).

Dead reckoning is a powerful skill. Nurture it.

Revisit Development of Technology for “Off-Grid” Living

A primal value of mine. Will discuss specifics in later posts.

LSD-25 and CRISPR/Cas9

Use CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer a fungus or a mold to safely produce clean LSD-25 on a table top.

Grow a Vagina in a Petri Dish from Stem Cells

I’m not happy with current male-to-female gender affirmation surgery technique. Let’s grow a vagina and clitoris from reprogrammed stem cells and then install it.

a corset and an LSD trip

I’ve dropped acid trice in my life, both times for religious reasons. The first time was on New Year’s Eve in 1993, and the second last Saturday.

During the latter experience I took detailed notes, which I may publish on this blog in the future. What can I say? I’m a scientist!

I respect the drug, so before each trip, I took prudent steps to ensure physical and psychological safety. So this last time I tripped while wearing an extremely tight-laced corset. You see, corsets make me feel cozy—like being constantly hugged. I wear them whenever I’m experiencing psychological distress, which is often. They comfort me. (Please don’t ask me to explain this right now—I know why, but I’ll save that matter for a later article).

I believed this decision helped keep me remain positively “grounded” during the trip; i.e., it limited the risk of a “bad” trip. I would have embraced a “bad” trip as educational, but I’m happy to report my experience went fabulously. Took advantage of LSD-driven thought processes to gain clarity regarding my love life and my frequent suicidal ideation.

More generally, I made sure to dress extremely feminine before proceeding. I expect this helped as well. Note the lace socks in the picture below. (Also note that I wore lace gloves during the trip which are not pictured below):

vision quest, punishment, and burning desire

I’m on a conscious mission to rid all my remaining masculinity from my subconscious, and I’m constantly looking for tools to help me do it. — From my post “corset training

Smoking weed puts me in touch with my base sexuality like nothing else, and femininity consumes my base sexuality. And my base sexuality demands complete femininity.

So should I follow Timothy Leary’s approach and smoke pot to engineer my subconscious?

If so, how would I do it? Marijuana delivers two major challenges: Inaction and likely distortion of the memory-forming process. So I’d need a robust plan for successfully enacting an “engineering” activity while high. Then it might be a crap-shoot regarding what I retain.

We are not talking about surgical precision here.

Timothy Leary preferred LSD anyway. I’ve taken it once, and remember the key life lessons learned from the trip (even after over 20 years). Perhaps a vision quest now that I’m a woman is the ticket?

I’m likely going to pass on the LSD approach for two reasons: First, I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize my forthcoming gender-affirmation surgery and its long term success. Second, it probably won’t help my struggles with bipolar disorder.

I’ll also pass on using marijuana as a tool for engineering my subconscious. There are just too many variables for a controlled process.

I don’t think behavior modification as a psychological practice survived long in psychology after B. F. Skinner. The exceptions I’ve seen are the highly related cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

CBT and DBT work by developing conscious skills for managing subconscious responses to stimuli. This is simply training and practice.

This points to the core: I think the only behavioral modification strategy that really works is training and practice.

In sissy games, the dominant partner often employs punishment in attempt to drive out masculine behavior and masculine thinking. I suspect this ultimately fails, as it probably just breeds resentment and frustration—even if the person being subjugated “wants” it. And there really is no incentive for the sissy to change if both partners “like” the punishment cycle.

This points to an even deeper core: I think the only behavioral modification strategy that really works is burning internal desire for change.