Sunday, October 26, 2014

Degrees of Separation: Ebola Version

The theory goes that any one person is six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, right? Somehow we all know someone who knows someone that in six easy steps will lead to the Footloose alum.

Well, currently, I'm two degrees of separation from people with ebola.

The root cause of this is the poor policy and lack of appropriate and effective guidelines from the US government.

Containment was an afterthought.

I don't know what the US government was thinking or why they decided doing nothing was a good idea, but they screwed up. Big time.

Also, you quickly do not give a shit about how many people die from the flu each year when you actually know people under quarantine through no fault of their own. They did nothing wrong and are paying for our government's mistakes.

Further, the number of people in Africa predicted to die from ebola this year is about the same number of deaths the US sees from the flu. Ebola is quite capable of giving flu death stats a run for their money. Something, the US government is, apparently, committed to testing for themselves in a real world scenario.

Again, I ask, what was the point of the flu comparison the media has been blathering on and on about? It's like a pop science distraction. A 'Xanax-ian' propaganda that folds under critical assessment.

The other bug up my butt about ebola is the 1% is being ignored. A 21 day quarantine does NOT catch all ebola cases, just most of them. Something like 2-3% of cases won't manifest until the 30 day mark or later. (I don't have have the source for this reference handy, but I'll try to come back and link it later.)

I've been the 1% exception a lot. And I do mean, A LOT. To the point where I think it's a form of insanity to discount those outliers. It's not that they don't exist, it's just that they're a minority. There is a difference!

But see, in medicine, the patients of the 1% are ghosts. They aren't counted in the treatment plan.

The same thing seems to be happening with ebola. The majority medicine paradigm is a big problem because it's blind, it can't see anything outside the norm.

Oh well, there's nothing I can do about any of it.  All I can say is we've been pretty damn lucky so far. Let's hope that luck holds, it's the only thing we've got going for us.

***

On to other things...

Got food poisoning from undercooked chicken which has, in turn, aggravated the SOD. So that's been fun.

I'm trying to ignore it, hoping it will go away but I probably need to switch to a biliary duct friendly diet of yogurt, followed by more yogurt with yogurt for dessert.

And when I get tired of yogurt, I can have...more yogurt. Blech.

***
Writing wise...

I've seen some decent recovery in my earnings. I still wouldn't recommend publishing just now as the holidays are about to hit. As a general rule, that's a very volatile time for book sales. It's not that you can't do well, just the odds are more against you than at other times of the year. Wait for more favorable conditions is my advice.

Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if my sales went right down the toilet again. Ha. I've worked through my bag of marketing tricks, released everything I'm going to publish this fall and don't really have anything else I can do to stimulate sales so I'm kind of stuck for now.

I'm going to hoard what I have ready and publish starting in January.

I will say, brand building is going well. I'm hitting my goals earlier than planned. Same goes for that business venture I started a few months ago.

So I'm positioned well. Just need to write more books, wait for the holidays to be over and then hit it hard.

***

Kiddo wise...

The homework abruptly became more difficult. Ha. That will teach me! I just wish the teacher would've given us all a heads up that this was a 'warm-up' period. I wasn't the only parent wondering if their kid had been placed at the right level.

Also, I went to an academic presentation on Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo and I had to laugh as I spotted their perfectionist tendencies along with what I call the 'boredom of mastery' that often goes along with being gifted. The perfectionism was patently obvious in the things they wrote and said. If you know what it looks like, you can't miss it.

I had never thought of the great masters and geniuses of the past struggling with the pressure to be perfect, so the presentation gave me a new view of the world. It was interesting to see how the two artists' lives played out in an era where there was no advice on how to manage crippling anxieties or disinterest in mastered skills.

Da Vinci, in particular, actually painted very few works and was known for never finishing art projects. Woe to anyone who paid him before the work was done!  I suspect he found it dull. While his work was a revelation for others, Da Vinci wasn't dazzled. (Alternatively, he may have been tied in knots by perfectionism, but I suspect boredom is more likely as he had no problem finishing all sorts of gadgets.) He was much more interested in his inventions, he had a passion for them that drove him forward and nothing could stop him, not even the burden of perfectionism.

Michelangelo, on the other hand, what he excelled at--art--was also his passion. He was lucky. Of course, he hated painting, but suffered through it for various patrons. His true love was sculpture. And he finished his work, which says to me he had developed some kind of coping skills to get him past the hump of his perfectionism.

Ultimately, I divined no solutions for our own little perfectionist from the presentation, more the reassurance that it will all be okay. Plus, the entertaining mental image of Leonardo and Michelangelo at my kiddo's age having an epic melt down of an intensity that only perfectionists can produce. I would pay good money to go back in time and talk to their mothers. They probably were bald from pulling their hair out.

(And no I am NOT saying my kiddo is equal to Da Vinci or Michelangelo. You don't have to be a super genius to have issues with perfectionism.)



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