Bias?

This happened to me earlier in the day and I’ve been letting it settle into my head before I actually made a post about it. Now I think I can intelligently blog about it without sounding like a self righteous idiot.

I don’t quite get the idea of bashing for the sake of bashing any side of any argument and believing that only your side is correct. I’ve talked before on Facebook about my disbelief of bringing something up in public and not actually wanting it discussed. I also just don’t get not wanting to hear any differing opinion.

Is it so hard to look at a different viewpoint of something? I often try to look at someone else’s opinion or view before I dismiss or discount it. I like to hear how other people view something, knowing it might be completely opposite to how I see things. I can’t say it’ll ever change my opinion, but is it so hard to give that respect to even fully read what someone else has said? Even knowing how things might be with the person who I had an issue with today, completely discounting her… I’ve seen so many times where someone will read the first sentence or two, or maybe even just a few words, and then ‘see what they want’ rather than reading what is actually been said.

Is this a fault of our online culture? Without body language, facial cues or having to look someone in the eye, do we just make assumptions of what the other person is actually saying, rather than reading what they’ve written down? Have we, as a people, become so closed minded that we lump everyone into groups that might or might not be accurate? Is this fair?

I think each of us are individuals. I know my general slant on things, I know I am biased in my beliefs, but I’ve come by that honestly. I decide on things not from what others tell me, but from how I feel on things. I could call myself a “conservative” when it comes to politics, but not all things to I agree with that group of folks. In fact, there are a lot of things I think the opposite. I vote for a candidate when it comes to that time, not a party. If a candidate says one thing but their record (actions, voting or otherwise) says another, I’m going to view them accordingly. As someone wise once said, “Talk is cheap.”

I think labels have really gotten out of control, and I think we would do best to look at the individual and what they actually act like and believe rather than assuming based on one or two things we know about that person. Some of my best friends feel very differently than I do on many issues, but I still count them as very close friends and don’t treat them differently (or at least try not to) because of those views. I often times learn from them. Another person’s way of seeing something can actually help us see something that we don’t see because of our own circumstances.

For example, I don’t tend to think of a parents’ point of view. I don’t have kids, I’m not close to kids and don’t think of the issues that might be present in the life of someone that has kids. In the same way, many people might not understand my thoughts of pets in their life. To some, it’s just an animal. To us, they are more than that. And then there are people that can see both sides and live both sides.

We’re all different. We’re not cookie cutter people, and that’s what makes the world go around.

Spam, spam, spam, spam

The only good spam is that sung about in Monty Python, and then it’s really only the song that’s any good.

Way too often do people pass on crap that is false, redundant, stupid, virus laden or the like. While this can seem ‘harmless’, it really isn’t. The amount of resources that spam eats up can cause problems. There is a reason there are legal cases against spam. It’ s not just ‘annoying’, it’s very much a problem.

The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_%28electronic%29)

There is also the annoyance factor. As a person with an email address, I get annoyed by spam, and while some of it gets caught in my “Junk Mail” folder, I do have to go into said folder on occasion to make sure there isn’t something in there from someone I want email from. This takes a little extra time. I also have to check my webmail, not just get it downloaded to my computer, because my ISP has their own “Junk Folder”. Sometimes an email will makes it’s way in there that I actually need to have. There’s a little more time. Then there’s all the deleting of spam that’s made its way into my “Inbox”, some from people that I want to still get email from but this is just another forward or hoax so I have to just delete it, and others that didn’t get caught by either “Junk Mail” box.

Spam originating from our servers can cause serious damage, not only to your website, but to all of our customers. Complaints due to spam can cause our mail servers, and hosting servers to be blacklisted by other ISPs, or by Anti-Spam Authorities. Sending mass emails can clog up our bandwidth and reduce the speed and performance of our customer’s websites. Therefore, we have a zero-toleration policy on our servers for spammers. (from “fast server” FAQ)

I also have a separate email that I use to sign up for things that might suddenly explode into extra spam in my box. This gives me another email to check and try to weed through what is spam (most of it) and what isn’t (what I actually signed up for).

And now… Facebook. I’ve missed updates from folks, and have had to resort to going through my lists, because of spam and forwards. Yet another waste of resources. Copy/pastes about viruses that don’t exist, more rumors that Facebook is going to start charging, that Facebook has changed privacy settings (most of which are either old or inaccurate), about groups that are started for nefarious purposes (and usually aren’t), people that if added will cause your computer to explode…. another waste of time.

The reasons for passing these on are as varied as the spam, but a simple search can show if it’s false or not… and ‘encouraging’ anyone to keep passing these on is just setting these people up to be a big joke to those that know better or take a little time to research things. But yet, it continues.

So, the rest of us get to spend our time sloughing through garbage in an attempt to stay connected with those people we have on our list/email. And I know I’m not the only one getting sick of the extra work.

All things mental part 2

I mentioned how I was on the ‘med dance’ now and it was getting better. I think hit a hiccup, and that was the fact that after two weeks and dropping to a lower dosage, I was still seriously out of step. So I talked to the doctor and she said to go to a yet lower dose. Which I did. And felt even worse. Because it was late at night I was left with the internet to see if I find out what the problem was. I did find out. And the answer pissed me off.

Apparently the doctor had put me on a medication that has some seriously fun withdrawal side effects.

Yay.

So now I have to have a discussion with my doctor on what medications are and aren’t acceptable to put me on. I think I also need to be a little more assertive. I know, I know, this might surprise some people but I tend to close up quite a lot when I’m unsure, and I’m very unsure when it comes to my mental health. It makes me nervous and I think I don’t make my thoughts as clear. This could have made my current situation a little more difficult. We’ll see on Wednesday if my new doctor will continue to see me as I know I’m gonna likely be a little terse when talking to her.

But really, withdrawal effects?! This is what you develop for a medication when you often have to bounce around on medications until you find the one that works? Something that takes a month to see if it works and then might take a month or more to get off of? Some of us work for a living and can’t afford that time to get off a med where one of the withdrawal symptoms is insomnia. As someone with a mental illness in the first place, I don’t need something that makes me even crazier.

I ended up doing something I normally wouldn’t do, and I know I’ll likely get yelled at by more than just the doctor… I decided to stop taking it. I have an extra long weekend (4 days) and after feeling like I was gonna die and having taken a full 10 mg ambien and 4 benedryl to try to get to sleep once I moved down in dosage and my body started to react badly, I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and ‘force’ myself off the stuff. I knew full well that going from 80mg to 20mg meant I likely had another few days at least of withdrawal, so why not go the rest of the way.

The doctor will likely give me some grief for it, but not nearly the grief I’m gonna give her for putting me on something that has this type of problem. I’ve walked out of doctor’s offices before, I’m not adverse to doing it again.

So I’m single pilled for the moment, and will be that way until at least Wednesday. And whatever we discuss putting me on then will get major research before I take pill one of it. I’ll also be ‘dominating’ the conversation on Wednesday about what’s generally going on with me instead of ‘letting’ her take the reigns of the discussion. Yes, she likely knows better what my diagnosis will be, but I do know better what I’m doing daily and what my problems are. I won’t deny being bipolar 2, but if that requires medications that have effects like this, I’ll find a different way. I’m not going down that road, that’s for sure.