18 Nov 22



I’ve slept with a CPAP for nearly a third of my life. From the beginning, my CPAP has improved my sleep. I sleep with less disturbance and awaken refreshed. I adapted to it easily, largely, because I never needed a full face mask. The design of a nasal-pillow mask is such that I can still read in bed before going to sleep and I can lie on either side without discomfort. Head congestion; however, is an unpleasant additional challenge. The positive air pressure helps but has clear limits. As I suffocate, my body tries to compensate. I either open my mouth to take a breath or I suddenly wake up gasping. Neither is pleasant.

Being awakened by suffocation is disturbing. And it is an entirely different disturbance being awakened by pressure-driven air from the nose to the throat and out through the mouth.

There is a state of mind that exists between sleep and being fully conscious where one wants to wake up and remain asleep. During this twilight of awareness, I often simultaneously cling to and flee from my dreamworld.

Suffocation distorts dreams and creates strange narrative landscapes. It is difficult to describe.

Often, there is an internal argument where I am of more-than-one mind. One of me wants to stay asleep, and another wants (needs?) to wake. I am avoiding the suggestion of duality because I also recognize an observer to the debate among selves.

Who are the voices? Who are the observers? Which among them is self? Or should I be comfortable with we (plural) of selves: that we are instead of I am?

17 Nov 22

wake up2pm -- “Another day...”, I say to with a sigh to no one in particular.

Waking up and getting up today was difficult. It’s not simply a matter of sitting up and standing up. As I lay on my left side, I am aware of Sandy cuddled up tight to the inside of my bent knees. My CPAP is ever-so-slightly hissing with the turning of my head this way or that. The cells in my arms and legs seem to cry out a dysphoric harmony, as I will myself in motion.

America's Sigh of Relief?

Today, there is a visceral sense of relief that is being felt by many Americans. The rousing performance by Joe Biden in the Super Tuesday primary represents the extraordinary angst many people have for the possibility of a Bernie Sanders presidency. A “feelings” trend appears to have emerged that has surprised quite a few people, including many that are completely comfortable with Democratic Socialism. The feeling is rooted in the fear and dread of a second-term Donald Trump presidency.

Anatomy of an Online Misinformation Network

Massive amounts of fake news and conspiratorial content have spread over social media before and after the 2016 US Presidential Elections despite intense fact-checking efforts.

How do the spread of misinformation and fact-checking compete? What are the structural and dynamic characteristics of the core of the misinformation diffusion network, and who are its main purveyors? How to reduce the overall amount of misinformation?

Google’s Idea To Reduce Tech Addiction

tech addictionResearch indicates that smart phones are making us unhappy. Google recently revealed that 70% of its users actually want help balancing their digital lives. What can smartphone manufacturers of the world do about it? After all, it’s in their business interests to make their phones as engaging–or addictive–as possible.

For now, Google’s upcoming Android P operating system is introducing three great features to help us break–or at least, better manage–our screen addictions.

Science and Emotion are Inseparable

science emotion brainScience is an endeavour that draws on all of our uniquely human abilities. The need of science appeals to and is guided by common values. Therefore, it needs feelings and imagination as much as observation, analysis and logic. However, here’s a view of science you might recognise as common, or at least see promoted:

“Science is a purely objective pursuit. Words like 'fact', 'proof', 'evidence' and 'natural law' are the marks of the scientific method. This approach has no place for emotion, or any subjective aspects. Save it for the arts!”

Obama Strategy Against Killer Asteroids

AsteroidsIn a newly released strategy, the United States has proposed an increased global effort to locate 300,000 or so Earth-impact risks and prepare for potential future meteor collisions that could destroy cities, civilization, or all life as we know it. Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are defined as asteroids or comets that come near our planet’s orbit.

A newly published White House document entitled ‘National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy’ details how low-probability, high consequence impacts pose a “significant and complex challenge”.

Awe Shapes Views of Science

aweIn general, we feel awe when in the presence of something that is so big, beautiful, powerful or complex that it is hard to wrap our heads around (e.g. gazing at the stars and contemplating the vastness of the universe, witnessing the destructive force of a natural disaster). We feel it when we are struck dumb by the presence of the mysterious, magical, wondrous or beautiful and its experience drives us to seek explanations. Something has not only defied our expectations about how the world works, but it has made us want to understand, explain and find meaning in what has happened.

Time Management is Ruining Our Lives

Time ManagementMost of us have experienced this creeping sense of being overwhelmed: the feeling not merely that our lives are full of activity – that can be exhilarating – but that time is slipping out of our control. The quest for increased personal productivity – for making the best possible use of your limited time – is a dominant motif of our age. And yet the truth is that more often than not, techniques designed to enhance one’s personal productivity seem to exacerbate the very anxieties they were meant to allay. The better you get at managing time, the less of it you feel that you have. It’s understandable that we respond to the ratcheting demands of modern life by trying to make ourselves more efficient. But what if all this efficiency just makes things worse?


Pragmatic Journey is Richard (rich) Wermske's life of recovery; a spiritual journey inspired by Buddhism, a career in technology and management with linux, digital security, bpm, and paralegal stuff; augmented with gaming, literature, philosophy, art and music; and compassionate kinship with all things living -- especially cats; and people with whom I share no common language.