The Fine Line Between Fantasy and Reality

So I’ve started to realize that there are at times a (very) thin line between fantasy and reality. 


In some cases, people hear some facts or some truth, and then in their mind, they concoct entire stories of fantasy or full-fledged conspiracy around it.


But more than that, the fantasy in their minds, because it starts with a real fact or two then becomes entirely perceived as reality itself. 


We saw plenty of this in the last election cycle and even today, with one political side or the other purchasing phony dossiers or making up stories about the opposition–and they may even have some underlying facts associated with it. 


But around these facts, entire scripts and stories are concocted through inductive reasoning or highly imaginative thinking, whether for example, of deep Russian conspiracies reminiscent of the era of McCarthyism or the Salem Witch Trails of yesteryear. 


Again, I’m not saying that nothing is there, but the question is whether there is real truth then to the whole conspiracy that has been drawn from fantastical minds of opposition agents, reporters, and others gainfully benefiting and perhaps running amuck with these grandiose versions of alternate reality?


What I am coming to believe is that it’s not so much that people are willfully making up these stories (although there can certainly be plenty of biases, exaggerations, and agendas at work as well), but that in their mind, they create these bombastic versions of what seems like truth to them and then they pawn it off and sell it to others who are only to happy to latch unto some juicy new gossip or theory of “what’s really going on.”


Similarly, some people who get very mad may actually take albeit a genuine fight with another person and pour layer upon layer of evil doings and manipulations on them until by the time their mind is done, the other person has become the devil themselves–and the fantasy for a short time seems like it is the reality–until such time that cooler heads prevail and reality replaces the mind’s fantasy or it’s ultimate fears. 


In short, there is a very fine line between fantasy and reality–our minds can get carried away with facts or notions of the moment and build those into full-fledged conspiracy theories of “who done it” and “why didn’t we see it all along.”


Certainly, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some very good pretenders out there who truly are doing very bad things and covering their tracks, and it’s for the gifted and detective minds out there to perceive those and prove them as being the greater reality.


But we have to be careful in accusing people–until such time that the facts are all there and the perception or fantasy of our mind’s eye is shown to be the reality indeed. 


We need good investigative journalism, excellent law enforcement and intelligence, and clarity of mind to know what’s real and what’s fake in life and in our fantastical minds. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Self-Aware Grafitti Artist

Writing
So got to hand it to this graffiti artist. 



He/she is quite introspective. 



They wrote on this pole in D.C. “Writes his problems away!”



Thus, it’s not just any old graffiti that often desecrates public or private property, but in this case it is an emotional and psychological catharsis for the artist.  



Sure when you write, you can express yourself and your feelings–you can think things through and work them out in your head. 



Also, you can share of yourself with others and influence them too. 



On the lamp pole, bus stop, or building wall–ah, not the best place to work these things out. 



But on paper or the computer, if you have something important to say, get it off your chest–go for it–and you can feel better too! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Doll For Every Worry

Worry 1 Worry 2
Some kids put their baby teeth under their pillow for the tooth fairy.



But in Guatemala they make Worry Dolls that children can put under their pillows, so they can be released from their worries and sleep better. 



If those were my worry dolls, I wouldn’t put them under my pillow and have a lumpy sleep and wake up to them once again, but rather I would throw them out the window, so hopefully they would be gone for good. 



Man, if only we could really get rid of our worries and problems that easily–I think they call it transference! 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Psychotherapy, In The Beginning

Psychotherapy
Wow, I love this early photo of psychotherapy.



The girl is lying on some pillows on 2 chairs. 



The Freudian doctor leans over the girl and is yanking on his goatee listening intently…and analyzing!



A man, that I assume is the girls dad is in the background, hovering protectively and hoping she is feeling better soon. 



The mind, like the body, unfortunately can get sick. 



And we need to take care of ourselves and seek help to get better. 



Fear not the competent doctor who really cares and sincerely wants to help (and is not just in it as a pure business).



Pray that G-d guides him to heal you and give you strength in body and peace of mind. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Heals

Technology Heals

My wife took this photo today at The Drupal for Government Conference at NIH.

The man in the photo was not only participating in the conference, but also taking notes on his Apple Macbook Air.

It is incredible how technology is helping us do our jobs and be ever more productive.

This is the vision of technology taking us beyond the natural limits we all have and face.

I remember a few years ago when I was in the hospital for something and feeling bad about myself, and my wife brought me a laptop and said “Write!”–it was liberating and I believe helped me heal and recuperate.

I wonder if hospitals in the future will regularly provide computers and access to patients to not only keep them connected with their loved ones, but also let them have more options for entertainment, creativity, and even productivity, to the extent they can, while getting well.

Kudos to this gentleman–he is truly a role model and inspiration for us all.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

2 Heads Are Better Than 1

My daughter brought this incredible video to my attention–conjoined twins Abby & Brittany–age 22–share a body from the waist down.

They have 2 heads and necks, 3 lungs, 2 hearts, 2 gallbladders, 2 stomachs, 1 liver, 1 large intestine, 1 small intestine, 2 left kidneys and 1 right, 1 pelvis, 1 pair of ovaries, 1 uterus, 1 bladder, 1 vagina, and 1 urethra.

The video asks, what happens if:

– 1 gets sick?
– 1 dies?
– Who is the biological mother, if they have a child?
– How do they handle boyfriends?

I understand that 1 controls the left side of the body and 1 the right side–leaves you to imagine the unbelievable coordination issues to do everyday activities like walk, drive, type, swim, and so on that we take for granted.

Yet, despite their life challenges, they are actually staring in their own reality TV show on The Learning Channel (TLC), which premiered on August 28.

Here is a link for more information about these incredible women.

Some of the things that I think about when I watch Abby & Brittany–are not the physical, but more the emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues, such as:

– Do they ever feel lonely?
– How do they handle the need for privacy?
– Are they introverts or extraverts or one of each?
– What are their personalities like?
– Do they like each other?
– Do they fight often and how do they resolve conflict with each other?
– Do they like/dislike similar things?
– Do they share the same religious beliefs?
– Do they feel responsible for each others actions (like if one hits someone or says something hurtful to another)?
– Do they believe in an afterlife?
– Do they intuitively share thoughts, dreams, ambitions (or only when they articulate these to the each other)?
– Do they consider their condition a random occurrence, a “freak act” of nature, a test, a punishment, or something else?

I imagine that they are hugely inspirational and am looking forward to hopefully watch the show tonight at 10 pm with my daughter and learn and marvel how they do it!

A Technologist’s Personal Rorschach Test

So I gave myself a little Rorschach test.

This was from a outdoor mural at school that I really liked.

I let my mind freely associate and had some fun too.

I could’ve gone on with this, but wanted to keep it clean.

Hope you like the mural and creativity.

If you had to do this exercise, I’d be curious to see what you came up with.

Have a good week!

Andy