Jason Hernandez

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since May 15, 2016
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Recent posts by Jason Hernandez

On the principle that "the problem is the solution," I have begun to notice stories about the sargassum weed along Caribbean and Florida shorelines reaching "problematic" levels due to environmental changes. I have seen whole stretches of beach buried under inches of sargassum. This makes the beach unacceptable to beachgoers. Wouldn't it be amazing if the communities where this is happening figured out a suitable way to transfer all that sargassum from the beach to land that needs remineralization?
1 month ago

Cory Collins wrote:It's astonishing to me the amount of suffering a person will endure without even considering changing their diet or lifestyle.

Marie Abell wrote:So have natural remedy "quacks", which is hard to believe when the only legal treatment for cancer (in the U.S., at least) has as low as a 2 percent success rate.

Paul Fookes wrote:As a thinking ex-health professional, the think I have found highly disappointing is when people overstate their findings/ results/ success, no matter whether they are using traditional western medicine model, traditional eastern model or first nations medicine. My personal belief is that the truth lies in there but it may be a mix of various modalities.

Okay, I compiled a few choice quotes spanning a range of viewpoints. I find it interesting that Marie put "quacks" in quotation marks. Before I would pass judgment -- for or against -- I would want to see whether their success rate differs from that of conventional medicine -- for better or for worse. I can't really assess that from testimonials and isolated anecdotes.

Cory is spot on, though. When my family members talked me into getting a colonoscopy because several of them had had polyps removed, I agreed, mostly to appease them. I had been a vegetarian for a dozen years by then, and everything I had read about colorectal cancer linked it to the consumption of "rare" (that is, undercooked) red meat. When, as I knew I would, I came out clean, it seemed that everyone but me was surprised; and the part that annoys me is that despite seeing it with their own eyes, the doctors still want to treat me as a "high risk" because of the family connection.

Anne Cline wrote:I have lost all faith in the medical industry and I do believe it's all about the money nothing to do with curing you they have no intentions of doing that.

Anne Cline wrote:At this point I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Conventional treatments have failed me.

I'm sorry, but as much as I feel for Anne, I have to push back. I just underwent a major surgery for a pituitary adenoma (non-cancerous tumor). From the beginning, my care team clearly did intend to cure me. It helped that, as a non-cancer, the tumor was curable.

If conventional treatments have failed you, it does not follow that the medical industry has no intention of curing you. It may be that the condition really is incurable. I have no reason to dismiss that possibility out of hand. Of the diseases that modern medicine considers incurable -- some cancers, autoimmune disorders, genetic disorders, to name a few of the more obvious ones -- can we conceive of the possibility that at least some of them may really be incurable?

I know that is a difficult prospect as a patient. We would much rather believe that if we can just find the right treatment, all will be well again. But at some point I find myself asking: where is the line between "disillusioned with modern medicine" and "unable to accept the truth"?

When I was diagnosed with my pituitary tumor, I of course looked for information about it -- especially about the cause, to see if there was any way I could have prevented it. I found nothing about the cause, from conventional or alternative medicine. And as far as a cure, this seems to be one that the alternative medicine community can't or won't touch; for all the books written about "natural cures" for cancer or arthritis, I haven't seen anything about natural cures for non-cancerous tumors. Is it because these are curable? I don't know, but I would rather have avoided such a drastic surgery.
2 months ago

James Freyr wrote:It's so nice to not hear noise like airplanes and car stereos.

Even better -- not to hear those cars that have been deliberately made louder. I could say quite a few unkind things about my impression of the people who do that.

The Bugs- There were tons of fireflies each night during the summer, reminding me of my childhood memories of lots of them in the backyard when I was a kid.

Just the diversity of them. In the Dominican Republic, there are the regular firelies, and also fire beetles, which are big click beetles that also light up.

Devin Lavign wrote:I struggle in cities with the idea that I should treat pee as waste.

Even worse is the hostile attitude toward having to pee in the first place. At least in the United States, the cultural hatred of people who have lost their homes has become so extreme that the entire civic infrasturcture has been retooled around that one agenda. As in, make sure that there are no bushes bushy enough to pee behind, have all the storefronts put up signs stating that restrooms are for customers only, and for good measure, make urinating in public a sex offense. And if people with overactive bladder or other medical conditions suffer, oh, well, they're just collateral damage.

I was so conditioned to this, it took some getting used to to see Dominicans in rural places just casually step aside to pee.

I'll add one of my own. When I ask a campesino about a tree or plant, not only do they tell me its name, they usually also tell me why it is important. Maybe that kind of tree is good for wood, or its leaves are nutritious for dairy cows. Maybe that plant is medicinal. At least in the Dominican Republic, country people seem to have a closer connection with nature than was the case in the American suburbs where I grew up; depending on it in many complex ways, and so, of necessity, having an understanding of it.

I noticed the recurring themes in this thread: lots of stars, lots of wild critters. After my suburban upbringing, those were what most struck me about rural places. And that was why I sense such a disconnect in what is termed "country" music. A lot of those songs seem to be about people making bad decisions. "Blame it on your lying, cheating, cold deadbeating,
two-timing, double dealing, mean mistreating, loving heart." Or, "Momma's in the graveyard, papa's in the pen." Or even the one about counting rounds with Jose Cuervo. If that was what country living was all about, no one could be blamed for wanting to stay as far away from it as possible. But then, there are songs like "Wildflowers," by Maddie Poppe. That one is also about a country upbringing, and a much more positive view. If that's what country life is about, count me in.
4 months ago

Kat Ousley wrote:Thank you so much for all of your replies! I really appreciate all of the input.

It's just really hard to come to terms with since up until my Americorps job I have only worked jobs solely for the money and felt really unsatisfied and disillusioned with life, even while volunteering and pursuing passion projects on the side.

You're young yet. I felt the same way when I was young, and I made some (arguably) poor decisions as a result -- as in taking seasonal jobs that were in line with my interests over steady jobs that were not. Do I regret it? Yes and no. Yes, because it meant that I never did get "established" in life, nor did those gigs lead to what I really wanted to do. And no, because the adventures I had as a result would not have happened if I had been a career man.

I would ask you this: when you were working those jobs just for the money (and pursuing passion project on the side), was it part of a plan? Or was it just an expediency for survival? I believe that the choices I made could have worked for me better if I had had a plan at the time, rather than just a dream.
1 year ago
Lately I have discovered the YouTube channel, "Mother the Mountain Farm." The premise is a good one: permaculture life in the Australian rainforest. But of course, like all media production, these videos are edited for content and narrative, and I can't escape the impression that they have a rather dream-like quality. Lots of images of cuddling with cute animals or playing at the swimming hole, not many images of actual income-generating activity. It looks like such an idyllic life, but, knowing how narrative video works, we of course ask ourselves, what are they NOT showing us?

Of course, if a YouTube channel is popular, then making videos can, itself, be an income-generating activity. These two young women always remember to thank their patrons, and some of their videos contain paid product promotions. Sure enough, in one of their videos, they answer that very question:

You can almost miss it in the elaboration, but yes, they admit that they make a living off their YouTube channel.

Well, it's wonderful that they've found a means of living the dream, and that their feelings about life are expressed in such happy videos. But as a promotion of the permaculture life, it leaves some questions open, don't you think? If living a life like theirs requires a YouTube channel popular enough to earn them a living, then it isn't really scalable to permaculture as a movement. We can't all have YouTube channels; even if we did all have YouTube channels, the inherent competition of the market means that we couldn't all support ourselves off YouTube. Plus, it tends to suggest that permaculture can only be done by subsidizing it with non-permaculture ventures.

On second thought -- a lot of us subsidize our permaculture ventures with non-permaculture activities. Affiliate links from this site being just one example.

I lke the concept behind these videos, which is why I have watched several of them. I think that as far as promoting the permaculture life and values, showing happy things like this is a good way of attracting people's interest. Gotta love that duck! I also think, though, that there needs to be more of an indication of how to make a living at it besides YouTube. What if there were videos about the kinds of products we produce -- the fruits and nuts from our food forests, maybe nutmilks if we have the equipment for that, eggs from those ducks or milk from those goats? How can we balance portrayal of the dream with portrayal of the practicalities of making it happen?
1 year ago
I suppose more ideas for passive income would go in the "More coin please" category? Affiliate links may be fine for someone who has a website that gets visitation, but I don't see as we can all do that.

Dale Hodgins wrote:Punishment or the threat of punishment when he's in that state, would not be appropriate.

I tend to think of punishment as never being appropriate; but I recognize that is my own past trauma.

Dale Hodgins wrote:My oldest brother is autistic. When he was 11 they decided the demons needed to be cast out of him.

Oh, I've been there, only it wasn't my family, but some roommates. It took me some years to figure out that the exorcism was bogus, just me reacting to manipulation. Autistic people are more susceptible to abuse, I am told, be cause we don't know how to recognize it when we see it.

But that's not what I want to add to this discussion. This thread has reminded me of my late mother. As often happens, we had no idea of her mental health issues when we were kids; it was something we only came to understand as adults. She would go through these strange phases, often, though not always, food-related. For instance, in her Shrimp Phase, her lunch every single day was a baking sheet of shrimp. Until she got a bad batch -- and for the rest of her life, she never again ate a shrimp.

But her bigger issue was hypochondria, and possibly Munchausen disorder as well. By the end of her life, she had more than 100 different prescriptions for all kinds of different things. I really do think that her unnecessary prescriptions caused her to die before her time -- my dad is around the same age as she would have been, and he only just retired, whereas she basically lived as an invalid for close to twenty years before expiring.

What would have been the compassionate thing to do here? Once I was an adult, I always was skeptical of all her meds; but in my autistic lack of social graces, I did not know how to be tactful about it, and that created some friction between us. When my oldest sister oversaw her move to the nursing home, she worked with the geriatrician to taper mom down to maybe two or three prescriptions; the geriatrician was surprised that mom had talked so many doctors into prescribing so many things. I sure would have liked to be able to do this earlier; I think she would have had a better quality of life as well as a longer life. Going along with her, I would not consider ideal. But when someone has a mental health issue, you can't apply normal reasoning.

Through it all, I continued to love her with a fierce intensity. I came back from the Dominican Republic to the States to fulfil her dying wish to see me one last time, and once she was gone, I felt lost for nearly two years -- lost, as in, "what am I going to do now?" A person with mental health issues can still be very important to someone.
2 years ago
Okay. I haven't been around here much, because I needed time to think about whether I can even contribute meaningfully under the publishing standards. (Not that I would expect to be missed if I left; I know that's not how forums like this work). Here is some perspective.

In the thread called "CENSORSHIP - Paul Wheaton Requested," there were two opinions expressed as to how an internet forum ought to be run; one by Henry Coulder, the other by Paul Wheaton. Now, from my perspective, I would not hold these two opinions as having equal weight -- and not because Paul owns the website. Suppose I was thinking of starting my own online forums, and was interested in best practices as to how to do that. I come here, and see that Henry had no experience running forums, and Paul had many years of such experience. That bit of information would cause me to weight Paul's opinion on the matter more heavily. More so when I additionally find out that Paul originally tried it Henry's way and found that it didn't work.

Anyway, the trouble I got into over the topic of this thread was induced by my impressions of that jungle known as social media. My impression of the social media ethos is: "If someone somewhere believes it, it's true -- unless it's established science." To cite actual research scientists on social media is to invite accusations of being sheeple or worse. I feared that this site had bought into that same ethos.

So what you're doing is unconventional, but you can show me practically that it works? Great. That actually fits my definition of science -- it's an experiment. In Spanish, the verb, "to experience" is experimentar. All of us permies who try things out to see what works and what doesn't are on the most basic level actually doing science. Which is why I do not understand anti-science sentiment -- the disdain for people who make a career of doing essentially the same thing, just on a larger scale and with more funding and better equipment.

Scientific consensus is simply the sum total of all experimental results, which is why it sometimes changes when different experiments are done.

Henry had no experience running online forums, Paul had many years of such experience, and that affected my weighting of their differing opinions on the running of online forums. How is this different from, say, a scientist who has studied viruses for many years, and a blogger who has not? Why wouldn't my weighting of their differing opinions on viruses follow the same pattern?
There is some species of native guppy in the Rio Magante, although I have yet to identify it exactly. The dominant male of each group has orange fins, but otherwise, they are not colorful. I have been thinking that I would like to try them in an aquarium, and since they are native, they should be well adapted to conditions.
2 years ago
Well, you could try the experiment with just one -- one that you wouldn't mind losing if it turns out not to work.
2 years ago