Category: psychology

A Break to Gather Thoughts and Ask a Question

One Candle in the Darkness is taking a week off to collect thoughts, mostly from the people who venture here from time to time.

Since everyone has only a limited time to read, watch or listen, or to write what folks read, or to create what folks see or listen to I want to make sure the producer (me) is delivering what you the partakers wants:

I’ve embarked on deep dive into psychology as a way to move into science and the process of science more generally, which will set up a dive into agency and how games can explain what we see on the headlines.

In the past, I’ve posted about the process of self-publishing, and dabble in the process of writing long fiction. Even included a few updates on A Perfect Blindness the literary novel that was published back in April 2017. Almost a year now.

The most popular posts were about insights into self-publishing, with a few strong ones talking about depression being an unintended side effect of two seizure prophylactics I’ve taken.

What then would people most like to find here?

  • Updates on A Perfect Blindness?
  • DVD extras from A Perfect Blindness? (cut scenes, background notes, “interviews” with the main characters? More playlists?)
  • Sneak Peaks at other fiction I’m working on?
  • More nitty gritty on publishing?
  • Writing in general/Long fiction in particular?
  • More psych?
  • The dive into science (Which is more interesting and informative that you’d think)?
  • Agency and how games can explain the headlines?
  • Something completely different?

Please let me know in the comments. I don’t want to put up stuff here no one cares about. Wastes your time and mine both.

Next up (Still): Science From Burke to Khun Part 1 (How one gets from Witchcraft to Science)

Know someone who might like this? Post it or Forward this email to let them in on it.

To join Adventures in the Interzone: excursions to the more intriguing parts of a curious mind click here.

Better Living Through Chemistry: Epilogue (One Step Up From Witchcraft)

Unless someone is familiar with the ideas from Thomas Khun’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, calling psychology “one step up from witchcraft sounds like the first shot from someone planning a war on psychology. That reading takes the angry words of a disillusioned from 22 year old too literally, even if it was how he had meant them in 1984—long before he understood how science was born, or how disciplines grow and change.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Epilogue (One Step Up From Witchcraft)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 7 of 7+ (Dread, Depression and Disassociation)

While avoiding as much contact with the world as reasonably possible as a husband, father and self-employed writer provided some sanctuary, I remained assailed by accumulating effects, both psychic and physical.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 7 of 7+ (Dread, Depression and Disassociation)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 6 of 7 (the Meanings of Nausea)

The unwelcomed journey back to the land of the damned wasn’t apparent at first.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 6 of 7 (the Meanings of Nausea)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 5 of 6 (A Fall leading to a Second Face of Depression: Vimpat™.)

Having escaped the world of the damned and back on a clumsy, but effective seizure prophylactic, I waited until my brain healed from the neurosurgeon’s saw and scalpels. Once the swelling receded and the scaring was set, I was given an EEG that, if clear, would let me say goodbye to phenytoin, be drug-free once again. As I had been for seventeen years before the rude growth under my temporal lobe slapped the epileptic label back on me.

In the neurologist’s office, electrodes were pasted to my scalp. Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 5 of 6 (A Fall leading to a Second Face of Depression: Vimpat™.)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression (Part 4 of 6: Inscrutable Chemistry and the 6%.)

Only recently has the concept of decision fatigue as a form of mental exhaustion become a subject of psychological study— decision fatigue acknowledges that

  • decisions take mental energy
  • that any given person has only a certain amount of mental energy
  • that each decision a person makes uses some of this limited resource, and
  • once this resource is exhausted, decision making turns to avoidance—

choosing the least effortful action in every case regardless of possible outcomes.

A recent study (2011) looked at boards granting parole in Israel.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression (Part 4 of 6: Inscrutable Chemistry and the 6%.)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 3 of 6 (Having to Think Slowly)

This pervasive, grinding ennui exhausted me.

It also challenged most of what I thought I knew about clinical depression, which I had studied while getting an undergraduate Psychology degree. I’d read about the exhaustion, the feelings of pointlessness, but had always conflated that with what I had personally experienced as feeling down, blue, bummed, hurt, let down, disappointed, fearful—yet my current state bore no semblance to any emotion I’d faced. To any emotion whatsoever.

Rather as I moved limply through the hours of my waking day, I felt nothing at all. As if emotion had been severed from me—all desire, all displeasure, and every shade of feeling in between. Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 3 of 6 (Having to Think Slowly)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 2 of 4 (The Choices We Make)

So, life hands my new wife and me a choice between three options, each involving some chance of me dying sooner rather than later and in some more or less gruesome way:

  • either develop ever worsening double vision and stroking out in the next decade;
  • or give myself brain cancer to get rid of a benign tumor;
  • or have someone cut a 6 square inch flap of my skull out with a small saw, poke his fingers and sharp metal instruments between my cerebrum and cerebellum, cut out 2 cm diameter chunk of flesh out, and hope that doesn’t turn my new wife into the star of a Lifetime channel movie—woman finally meets the man she wants to marry, marries, gives birth to their son, and then finds herself a single mother and widow, all within two years.

The odds on that last one were stacked heavily in our favor with 98% chance I’d avoid becoming a sad movie cliché.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 2 of 4 (The Choices We Make)”

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 1 of 4 (1978 vs. 2005)

Owing to an odd confluence of events and circumstances, I recently spent roughly 4 days with chemically induced depression. Continue reading “Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 1 of 4 (1978 vs. 2005)”

Self-Publishing Part 12: the Book Hunts for 500 Buyers or A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness

Speaking of marathons, A Perfect Blindness has been out for about 6 months.

Sales?

Not nearly what I wanted, hoped, nor planned for. I’m creaking along with about half of what I need for the first milestone (with an asterisk explained later).

Likely owing to that I’ve avoided doing what’s important. By which I mean the hard parts. Been busy as hell. But not getting what I need to get done: outreach. The letting people know the book exists part. The scary part. Continue reading “Self-Publishing Part 12: the Book Hunts for 500 Buyers or A Marathon, Not a Sprint”