Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Comfort TV

Brian Broome wrote an article Monday of this week ( about turning off “the strife” in our relentlessly cruel, crazy world. His solution is to watch comfort TV, and he listed his favorites.

He said: “And I watch them over and over. I long ago memorized all the dialogue and every twist and turn that these shows and episodes will take.”

Broome noted that, “You might even engage in this soothing ritual alone . . . .[because you] just can’t deal with the outside world. . . . We are supposed to ignore those nagging feelings of worry, angst and helplessness . . . .”

Broome’s article resonated with me because I also watch comfort and escape shows and also because this is also something that disabled people sometimes do. See my blog post of October 1, 2019:

As I pointed out in that blog, taken from my book on how to apply for Social Security & SSI disability, claimants for disability benefits actually have to explain their “watching television” so as not to be denied benefits.

Social Security disability administrative law judges are trained, when questioning about memory issues, to ask claimants, “Can you follow the story on TV[?]”

Television comfort shows, as I have written, serve many purposes:

“In reality many people leave a television on as background noise or to offset other noise in an apartment building or on the street outside, as a way to block out intrusive thoughts and/or as company when lonely and depressed. Many people identify with the characters portrayed in television series—they become almost like real friends. Many people will doze off for brief periods when watching television particularly people who are in constant pain and people who are unable to sleep through the night. Perhaps a claimant may be able to concentrate on television programs, and that while watching TV, his pain is somewhat dulled.”

Monday, July 4, 2022

Vaccination vs. Non-Vaccination (Demographics vs. Psychological History)

With Covid 19 vaccination at issue, in this study, researchers attempted to identify “health messaging that is more empathic, respectful, and sensitive to the deep-seated needs of vaccine-hesitant and resistant audiences.”

Taking advantage of an ongoing longitudinal study (a 5-decade longitudinal birth cohort study, the New Zealand Dunedin Study), researchers uncovered personal psychological stories associated with vaccine intentions.

The researchers concluded that “demographic groups are poor proxies for people's actual long-held personal beliefs, preferences, cognitive abilities, and motivations that might feed into their vaccine intentions . . . .” [Emphasis added.]

The abstract stated:

“Vaccine-resistant and vaccine-hesitant participants had histories of adverse childhood experiences that foster mistrust, longstanding mental-health problems that foster misinterpretation of messaging, and early-emerging personality traits including tendencies toward extreme negative emotions, shutting down mentally under stress, nonconformism, and fatalism about health. Many vaccine-resistant and -hesitant participants had cognitive difficulties in comprehending health information. Findings held after control for socioeconomic origins. Vaccine intentions are not short-term isolated misunderstandings. They are part of a person's style of interpreting information and making decisions that is laid down before secondary school age.”

“Deep-seated psychological histories of COVID-19 vaccine hesitance and resistance” [Accessed 07-04-2022]

Nicely Said

“. . . the court’s new originalist majority appears most of the time to be making history by inventing it, instead of by interpreting the law.” (Clarence “Thomas’ Latest Guns Decision Is Ahistorical and Anti-Originalist” by Saul Cornell, June 24, 2022). [Accessed 07-04-2022; h/t Laurence Tribe/Brian DeLay on Twitter]