Sunday, March 23, 2014

U-Predict – Should we Use Social Medial to Determine Mental Health? (Air date 3/18/2014)

Researcher’s notes:  Doing U-Predict keeps me on my toes.  I don't want it to be a show about every crazy idea that comes along; listeners and participants don’t want it to be a political recap – though some political predictions are too tempting to pass up.  I feel I've got a good topic when it touches on current events and affects everyone involved – Reading Room or listening audience.  That’s what made this story so perfect.  I felt the first article I read had to be a fluke; no one would really consider reviewing social media posts as a barometer of the poster’s mental health.  I mean we all have the email we want back; the Tweet following a bad day; the defriending after a rant on any topic under the sun.  But someone actually takes these posts seriously?  Then I became shocked – there were many articles written by professionals saying that social media posts might be the best way to peek into the working of people’s minds and determine if they need professional mental health!

The Reading Room for this show included:  Ivy Lieberman, Mary Brown (TarotDactyl) Jean Maurie Puhlman, Camille Kea, and ReeNee Cummins.  We were joined by new reader DivineGoddessEnergy.

So we started by trying to determine if mental illness in society was serious enough to trigger this activity.  Tarot informed us something that most of us already know.  Mental illness is everywhere.  However, in most of society, it is something that is ignored; the behavior is tolerated.  In some cases, the behavior is celebrated – it gives that person “character.”  While reading about this, the Tower appeared, and Jean Maurie interpreted her Tower to mean: “there are problems and they are foolish if they think it’s not, people are narrow about mental health help.”  I totally agreed with her interpretation. 

Since I had a key job in an IT group (corporate webmaster), I reminded everyone that electronic data – emails, web searches, etc. had been used in the past in legal proceedings.  The advice that we gave employees, when I was working, was that you didn’t put anything in electronic writing that you didn’t want presented in a court of law.  Other members of the Reading Room who worked on government contracts had been given the same advice.  There was a mention of the NSA spying on the citizens, but we all agreed that we could do an entire different show on that.

The synchronistic cards we pulled summed up the problem perfectly.  The Fool was the first synchronistic card that we pulled.  One meaning of the fool is stepping off into unknown territory.  We are doing just that.  In fact the Fool is a good card to define the entire dynamic of Social Media.  We have never had the opportunity to gather in a concrete form of the thinking of so many individuals.  People may have had negative, angry thoughts; they may have been love-sick about a neighbor and wrote imaginary love notes encouraging them to run away. But because of lack of understanding and the novelty of the platform people have done unwise things – posting whatever they wanted under the guise of free speech.  No one realizes that while speech is free, there may be a terrible social or professional price one pays for speaking/writing it.

The crux of the problem with this situation can be summed up with The Hierophant.  Again, there are several layers of meaning that can be applied here.  First, there is the stigma in American society about mental illness.  "It happens in other families."  "It is the person sitting next to me – but it is not me or my family."  "It is also easy to cure - there are “meetings” for that."  "More time in church will fix you right up."  Tarot Dactyl’s interpretation was “there's a stalemate”.  Ivy’s interpretation echoed and added:  “this will always be a battle. Taking control of our own mental health helps, but a nation that takes care of its ill of mind will move toward the future.”
What was interesting is that while we were talking about this, Jean Maurie was pulling Angel cards.  We got Michael: “You can be free! Make a courageous choice to change your situation.  Not seeing things clearly” So we need to move beyond The Hierophant and its institutional ideas about mental health.   We need to take responsibility, first for ourselves.  We need to understand signs and symptoms and what are treatment options.

We also keyed off the idea of becoming free and changing our situation.  In other words, now is the time to think before we type or Tweet.  The Rotarians have a code when it comes to sharing information: “1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"  There are many forms and memes of this basic idea out there, but perhaps it is time to bring them back into fashion.    Considering that our words are gathered, and stored, we may have no choice: have our sanity questioned on a bad day, or we may choose to not participate in cyber-ranting. 

We pulled the 5 and 9 of Swords in synchronicity.  These cards are pretty dark. The five  stands for vanquished or being vanquished, and the nine is about sorrow and worry.  There were underlying cards for these synchronicities, and the message was “using social media as a measure of mental health is a dangerous idea; the untrained may take it upon themselves to interpret messages they see online.”  We also pulled some court cards in the suit of pentacles – this could indicate someone who takes advantage of someone who as going through a bad period in life, and charges a hefty fee for help.  TarotDactyl, who is a media coach, added that “the thing about social media is that we are "broadcasting" and we don't seem to be aware of that.”

The final cards we pulled in synchronicity were the Queen of Cups and Empress.  These cards were all about compassion.  This is the most important message of the cards we pulled today.  We need to have compassion and concern towards all our friends – those online as well as those we meet face to face.  We need to have compassion for ourselves when we are going through bad times.  Perhaps spilling our feelings in cyberspace may not be our best answer; we may need to stand up when we need help and seek it – there are many natural remedies to try as was discussed by the Reading Room.  We also can find resources to recommend to friends when we see them going through hard times.

Jean’s angel card offered us advice no matter what is happening:  “(card pulled - Page of Gabriel) - be energetic, brave, optimistic, and playful - follow your passion.  You are ready for any challenge, opportunities for excitement and adventures.   Oh, and think before you post…
Saturday, March 8, 2014

U-Predict Blog – The Future of the Citizen’s Stipend (Air Date 03/04/2014)

Blogger’s Notes:  This topic is one that will enrage a lot of American citizens – what happens if we give everyone their basic living expenses? The US government would stop the hundred or so programs that provide a safety-net, and just give every man, woman, and child in the US enough money to exist.  Now, before someone hurls the device they are reading across the room, realize that this is already happening in many countries.  Several oil-rich countries give their citizens a yearly salary for breathing.  Finland also believes in the stipend.  In the United States, Alaska (yes, the home of “Sister” Sarah Palin who is forever bagging her gums about the evils of socialism) gives “oil and energy profits” to all citizens of the state.  However, the U-Predict reason behind asking this question is:  entry-level jobs in many well-paying industries are being taken over by robotic or complex mechanical systems.  What is left, are service industry jobs that are usually minimum wage, with little or no room for advancement.   How do we provide for people that are stuck at this end of the wage/career scale?

We started the hour by talking about the American Dream as understood by heartland America.  You graduate high-school (don’t need college) and you go to work in the automobile, steel, or aerospace factory where your dad and possibly your grandfather worked.  You start at well above the minimum wage for a company that pays for a large part of your health insurance; if you stick at the job, you will get a good pension at 65, and spend the rest of your life on a cruise ship seeing the world.  If you don’t get this opportunity, it’s because you are lazy.  It is because “you don’t want to work.”  No one says it’s because these dream jobs are becoming scarcer and scarcer. 

The Reading Room included:  Ivy Lieberman, Jean Maurie Puhlman, Camille Kea, and ReeNee Cummins.  We also welcome new reader Yvette Scott joined us – welcome Yvette.  Because this topic is as much spiritual as it is political.  Jean Maurie decided to pull Angel Tarot cards for each question asked.  These cards added a remarkable dimension to the answers we got.
First questions dealt with the philosophy that people who don’t get an American dream job are lazy, and need to get off their backsides and do something.  The answers we got were quick and fast – this is old outdated thinking.   If someone believes this they are sadly behind the times and do not understand the current economy.

The angel card that was pulled was:  7 of Ariel; the interpretation was - you have invested wisely, have patience and wait for the harvest, review your progress and make plans for your next endeavor.  So the card was acknowledging that our corporations are doing very well.  We are seeing growth that leads some economists to say that the Great Recession is coming to an end.  However we are told to review what is going on and make NEW plans.  The Reading Room and the Angel Tarot agrees that changes are required.

We then asked how we should spend the monies the US government collects; should it go for military programs and weapons (where it does now) or should people come first.  All readers in the Reading Room acknowledged that we understood the need for military defense, but that we all personally feel that people should come first.  Ivy Lieberman’s cards perfectly framed the discussion as we are having it in the US “we are at a point of confusion....too much info is mudding the waters of truth. Having a single voice would help.”  Yes, the voices are muddied – when a behemoth defense contractor in your area wins a contract, you are told by your congressman or woman to celebrate the 2,000 GOOD PAYING (translate American dream jobs) opportunities that are coming to your community.  You may be in one of those jobs and say you’re glad to have it.  

And that is where the muck and muddiness starts. Could that contract money be used to fix up the rusting bridge you have to drive cross every day to get to work?  Could the plant you work at be converted to a plant that builds biomedical or renewable energy equipment? The angel card we got for this question was Queen of Raphael; the instructions were to follow your heart! A love of home and family. Trustworthy psychic information.  This was interesting – isn’t protecting home and family important? We all agree it is.  But are we truly spending ANY of the money wisely? Many experts on both sides of the fence will say “no”.  The rest of the answer was to follow our hearts and trust or psychic information.  It is time to rethink our priorities.  Jean also pulled the Knight of Gabriel, which translates to time to take action! Great passion for a cause. Instinctively knowing just what to do.  She also pulled the 2 of Ariel - It's important to have balance! Working multiple jobs or projects at once.  Making work fun.   Again the cards (both Tarot and Angel) are saying that our ideas on this subject are outdated, and we need to completely rethink what we are doing and why.  The final card hints at the satisfaction that would come from knowing you were building something that would make people’s lives better.

ReeNee out-and-out asked the question if giving everyone a stipend to cover housing, food, and medical care was a good idea.  The cards responded that our society is not ready for this concept.  Neither those who legislate how the money is spent nor people receiving it would do it in a completely fair manner.  Corners would quickly be cut; people receiving the aid would find ways to use others to get more aid.  The Angel Tarot pulled for this question was Archangel Chamuel, who offered “There’s a better way! Pause for reflection and insight. Dare to be different!”  Jean also pulled the Page of Ariel.   This card talked about an excellent opportunity will be offered to you!  Scholarships or the pursuit of education. Time to get to work.  So the Angles suggested that we study for the jobs that will be available in a new economy, and help retrain people so their skillset matches what is available.  Tarot has told us in this session that we have to get rid of the laziness theories before we can set up programs to offer this kind of help to people.  However, the Reading Room was very much in support of educating people for the future.  Camille Kea said it best, “sometimes you need a hand gently on your shoulder.”  This kind of educational opportunity could be that hand leading someone to a better life.

When looking at the synchronicities for this reading, the focus was an echo of what the show was about.  We got The Hierophant (the set-in-stone concepts and corporations that support them), The Wheel of Fortune (reminding is that time passes, and change is constant), The Tower (we have a lot of shaky foundations on this topic), Justice (in the end fairness will be the end product –ready or not) and The Sun (giving up on the shaky foundations and bringing justice with bring joy to all people).  In fact, we PULLED ALL THE MAJOR ARCANA AT LEAST ONCE, EXCEPT THE DEVIL CARD.  Wow!  Tarot sees this as an important topic, a very important topic.  It is also very spiritual.  All great religious works tell us to take care of one another.  The fact that The Devil was missing says one thing:   for the most part - IT IS NOT THE RESULT OF INTENTIONAL, MISGUIDED THINKING BY THE RECIPIENTS THAT HAVE GOTTEN THEM TO THIS STATE.”  U-Predict’s theory that the economy is changing and we must prepare for this change is what Tarot wanted to share.  Furthermore, Tarot stated that we needed to look at the problem from an educational standpoint instead of just “giving away” money.

We also ran the entire suit of Swords, except for the 2 of Swords.  Here the Tarot is pointing out that we are overlooking the simple idea of balancing these ideas – both the idea of protecting people and how to protect them, as well as meeting their needs.  All these Swords is about thinking about these ideas and preparing ourselves for the change society is going through.  As far as synchronicities, the most common card was the 3 of Wands – yes, the man looking for opportunities off in the distance.  We need to look up and out instead of staring at our own feet.  All we accomplish with staring down is not looking the people that are hurt the most in the eye. 

We had an interesting triple sequence with the 6, 7, and 8 of cups all pulled in synchronicity.  Numerologically, we see the minor cards, 1-10, and a cycle.  When a series comes up, it can point to where you are in the cycle.  This cycle says that we are hanging onto our nostalgia (6 of Cups), but there are daydreamers thinking of the way forward (7 of Cups), and someday, we will recognize the madness of “doing the same thing over and over and again” and move on (8 of Cups).

We also pulled the 9 of Wands in synchronicity.  This is the card of doing the right thing.  It is the card of fairness.  It was also the perfect card to end the discussion.  Jean Maurie pulled more Angel Tarot.  The final cards she pulled were:  Archangel Ariel - strength and grace through kindness. Self - confidence, forgiveness.   Ace of Raphael - a positive new emotional experience, deep and lasting spiritual insights.  The final card - Archangel Raziel EPIPHANY, JOY through spiritual growth, be a light to others.   Did the angels give us a positive answer and way forward?  U-Predict…