Thursday, February 22, 2024

ENG 102 2024: Resources #10

Conti, Paul. Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic. Sounds True, 2021. ["A Journey Toward Understanding, Active Treatment, and Societal Prevention of Trauma. Imagine, if you will, a disease—one that has only subtle outward symptoms but can hijack your entire body without notice, one that transfers easily between parent and child, one that can last a lifetime if untreated. According to Dr. Paul Conti, this is exactly how society should conceptualize trauma: as an out-of-control epidemic with a potentially fatal prognosis. In Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic, Dr. Conti examines the most recent research, clinical best practices, and dozens of real-life stories to present a deeper and more urgent view of trauma. Not only does Dr. Conti explain how trauma affects the body and mind, he also demonstrates that trauma is transmissible among close family and friends, as well as across generations and within vast demographic groups. With all this in mind, Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic proposes a course of treatment for the seemingly untreatable. Here, Dr. Conti traces a step-by-step series of concrete changes that we can make both as individuals and as a society to alleviate trauma’s effects and prevent further traumatization in the future. You will discover: The different post-trauma syndromes, how they are classified, and their common symptoms. An examination of how for-profit health care systems can inhibit diagnosis and treatment of trauma. How social crises and political turmoil encourage the spread of group trauma. Methods for confronting and managing your fears as they arise in the moment. How trauma disrupts mental processes such as memory, emotional regulation, and logical decision-making. The argument for a renewed humanist social commitment to mental health and wellness. It’s only when we understand how a disease spreads and is sustained that we are able to create its ultimate cure. With Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic, Dr. Conti reveals that what we once considered a lifelong, unbeatable mental illness is both treatable and preventable."]

Conti, Paul and Andrew Huberman. "Tools and Protocols for Mental Health." The Huberman Lab (September 27, 2023) ["This is episode 4 of a 4-part special series on mental health with Stanford and Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Paul Conti, M.D. Dr. Conti explains what true self-care is and how our mental health benefits from specific self-care and introspection practices — much in the same way that our physical health benefits from certain exercise and nutrition habits. He describes how the foundation of mental health is an understanding of one’s own mind and the specific questions to ask in order to explore the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves. He describes how this process can be done either on our own, through journaling, meditation and structured thought, or in therapy with the help of a licensed professional. He also explains how unprocessed trauma can short-circuit the process and how to prevent that, and the role of friendships and other relational support systems in the journey of self-exploration for mental health. People of all ages and those with and without self-introspection and therapy experience ought to benefit from the information in this episode."]

Coombs, Wayne. "Analysis: The Pharmaceutical Colonization of Appalachia." The Daily Yonder (February 7, 2018) ["To fight the opioid epidemic, first we need to identify the enemy. Research on the theory of historical trauma – affecting entire populations and regions – could point us toward more effective treatment."]

Eldeib, Duaa. "A Lab Test That Experts Liken to a Witch Trial Is Helping Send Women to Prison for Murder." Pro Publica (October 7, 2023) ["The “lung float” test claims to help determine if a baby was born alive or dead, but many medical examiners say it’s too unreliable. Yet the test is still being used to bring murder charges — and get convictions."]

Greenwell, Garth. "An Unquiet House: Jonathan Glazer's The Zone of Interest." To a Green Thought (February 5, 2024) ["I wasn’t sure what I thought after seeing the film for the first time. All I knew was that something had happened to me: the film wouldn’t let me go, it was like a dark stain spreading in my interior. The film disquieted me in a way that felt more important than whether it was “good” or “bad,” certainly more important than any argument I might make justifying my response. I talked about it with friends. I bought the Martin Amis novel on which the film is putatively based (it’s also up for the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, though it’s hardly an adaptation at all) and read it in a day. I went to the film again, this time not in a little art cinema but in the huge AMC in Times Square, my first time in that bizarre labyrinth of a space, where I felt a little like a lost figure in an Escher engraving, riding endless escalators up and up. Ten minutes into the movie—maybe it didn’t even take that long—I felt sure I was seeing something great."]

Hedges, Chris. "Let Them Eat Dirt." The Chris Hedges Report (February 8, 2024)  ["There was never any possibility that the Israeli government would agree to a pause in the fighting proposed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, much less a ceasefire. Israel is on the verge of delivering the coup de grâce in its war on Palestinians in Gaza – mass starvation. When Israeli leaders use the term “absolute victory,” they mean total decimation, total elimination. The Nazis in 1942 systematically starved the 500,000 men, women and children in the Warsaw Ghetto. This is a number Israel intends to exceed."]

Hedges, Inez. "Gaza Screened." Jumped Cut #62 (Winter 2023 - 2024) ["Perhaps nowhere on Earth is the power of film more striking than in its portrayal of the Gaza strip. The seismic shifts in Israeli policy, military intervention, and access rules that have affected this narrow stretch of territory, lying between Israel and Egypt along the Mediterranean sea, have resulted in a landscape so transformed and traumatized that fiction films from a few years ago become documentaries of what was, while documentaries evoke ravaged science fiction dystopias."]

Huberman, Andrew. "Understanding and Conquering Depression." The Huberman Lab #34 (August 23, 2021) ["This episode, I explain what major depression is at the biological and psychological level and the various treatments that peer-reviewed studies have revealed can help prevent and treat depression. I explain the three major chemical systems that are altered in depression: norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. I discuss genetic predispositions to depression and how stress, thyroid hormone and cortisol play a role in many forms of depression. I also discuss inflammation as a common feature of many depression symptoms. I review 8 specific science-supported protocols for treating and avoiding depression, including EPA fatty acids (which have been shown to rival certain prescription treatments), how exercise protects against depression, studies of creatine, adjusting dopamine balance and more. I also discuss the results of ongoing clinical trials for ketamine and psilocybin for depression, how these compounds work and finally, I review how ketogenic diets can help in certain cases of depression, especially treatment-resistant major depression."]

Huberman, Andrew and Kay Tye. "The Biology of Social Interactions and Emotions." Huberman Lab (February 5, 2024) ["In this episode, my guest is Dr. Kay Tye, PhD, Professor of Systems Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. We discuss the neural circuit basis of social interactions and loneliness. We also discuss how animals and people establish themselves in a group hierarchy by rank and how the brain responds to dominance and subordination. Much of our discussion relates to how social media impacts our sense of social connectedness or lack thereof. The topics covered in this episode are directly relevant to anyone interested in the neuroscience of mental health, work-life balance, abundance versus scarcity mindset, and interpersonal dynamics."]

Kafer, Gary. "There is No A.I." Jump Cut #62 (Winter 2023 - 2024) [Review of Kate Crawford, The Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021: "The first chapter, “Earth,” examines the mineral mining practices that underpin the construction of computational systems. In chapter two, “Labor,” Crawford examines the forms of workplace surveillance that enervate data systems—including digital pieceworkers, Amazon warehouses, and assembly lines—all of which subject the body to temporal management.
"Data” is the subject of the third chapter, which tracks how datasets are built from harvesting personal information and transformed into pattern recognition models. Chapter four, “Classification,” focuses on how that data is used to construct taxonomies of social differences like race and gender within machine learning systems. Next, Crawford turns to “Affect,” recounting the history of scientific attempts to create universal mappings of facial expressions that now subtend the development of emotion detection systems by tech industries. The final chapter turns to the “State” to explore how the private AI industry is taking an active role in reshaping government activities, including policing and warfare.
Crawford’s atlas concludes with a discussion of “Power” and the possibility for justice, which is followed by a brief coda exploring the role of “Space” as the ultimate frontier of AI’s imperial project."]

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