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On the Job Market

It is with humility that I have accepted a PhD from Harvard. I am freshly minted and on the job market. This website is a bit old and WordPress has updated things such that it makes it difficult for me to lowdate my resume into a CV, update my education and add tons of experiences. I am looking for people who are not brutal but not so soft either or folks willing to accept me that way. -Jennifer Lawson

One Thought for Today on Law

I spent around 8 years oscillating between heaven, hell and in between. My experience tells me the most brilliant thinkers went to straight to Hell. They came up renewed and refreshed and even more brilliant. In hell, there were all the Greats. This may not be sound reasoning, for we really do not know if the future resembles the past.

Welp, I Thought About The Bio-Psychlogical-Social Model of Mental Health and Wellness

This theory was introduced to me as an undergrad. Later, as Targeted Children’s Mental Health Case Manager, I gave the theory tons of consideration, really. I can’t say it’s the best and most true theory when it comes to the health of a nation.

In practice, I didn’t say much about my clients and if anyone knows about them it’s not due to myself.

A New Theory on “Weakness of Will”

The problem call akrasia (or weakness of will) has been around since at least Ancient Greece. Artistotle famously defined it in a particular and popular way. Recently, Nomy Arply, in Unprincipled Virtue, defined it the opposite way.

I have decided both these concepts of so-called weakness of will are incorrect. In fact, what we know as weakness of will is actually succumbing to “evil” born of, well, the Devil, who does not tempt but rather orders. Those who have practice in defiance, activism, advocacy, and non-compliance of unjust orders (or who simply think through things themselves) are the winners. The Devil is always the loser, for the Devil is the one with the weak will.

What Has Donald Trump Done For You Lately?

Ok, so, I’m a Liberal. But, really, I try to take my time when selecting someone to vote for and I revise my thoughts on a person with new information. When Obama was President, he gave me a BIG “Fuck You.” Yes, he wrote me a letter saying, basically, Fuck You. I don’t know why. Guilt by association? A history of mental illness? Trump, however, I don’t really know about. I haven’t been keeping abreast of these things, honestly.

Some Good Organizations In The U.S. On Mental Health And Wellness

I thought I’d make a short list of a few of the organizations I have looked into in my area when seeking good advice on mental health and wellness and developing thoughts and ideas on the topic.

I don’t mean to repeat myself, but I haven’t published these on my blog yet, really.

They are Students With Schizophrenia, SARRDA, NAMI, and a few others.

The Burden of Genius

A few years ago, I went to a therapist who told me that people with “mental illness” are typically geniuses. Frankly, I never wanted to be a genius simply because I have been. Being a genius is a great and heavy burden. I don’t think most people understand–or maybe, these days, they do–understand the incredible heaviness that comes with creating original thought, ideas, theories and concepts. These days, I may just be average. That’s kinda fine with me.

People I Admire

I searching for theories, remedies and professional services–as well as advocacy, activism and other tricks to help me with my mental illness, I stumbled Dr. Elaenore Longden’s work. I highly encourage folks to look her up as well a personal aquaintance: the Vice Principle of Sunrise Academy in Orange City, Florida, whose name slips my mind, but who may indeed have interesting theories and applications in Clinical Psychology.

What I Learned In Parenting Classes

In my parenting classes, we learned about approximately 3 or 4 parenting styles and the measured outcomes of each theory. I tried to apply the one I thought would produce a good outcome, which turned out to be an Aristotlean Theory of Virtue Development. It was something I thought of with help from family, friends and teachers. On this theory, a child will grow into a whole person with a plethora of virtues and be self-directing, aiming for goods in life. That does not mean they will be without internal struggle or “tension”–because the Golden Mean is not necessarily about balance but rather specifically about tensions and a forming harmony of the self. I thank the young ladies I met at Teen Parent East (now known as The Chiles Academy) for this theory, whose virtues were abundant, as well as my Mom, friends, family and professors. (And babies!)

I Wrestled With The Diablo

One day, when I was outside, just doing my own thing, the Devil came around. He said, “Jennie? Fuck The World.” I said, “Nah.” There’s a Utilitarian Calculus we have to deal with, after all. He said, “Screw you.” And then showed me a vision of a world of destruction. It was terrifying, but I knew I could win with God. (And a bit of philosophy.)

I Started Working in Philosophy While Making BBQ

Back when in high school, I needed a job. I also was a mom and went to school. Maybe I lacked in some of these areas. But, you know, shit happens when you’re the one in charge. I was 17 when I got my first job. I was a crappy server, a bad pie cutter and sucked even more a informal logic.

I studied my ass off by….relaxing outside with a cigarette. That’s how I learned all I needed to know. But, to each their own method of learning.

What’s So Scary About Schizophrenia?

I’ve recently added new people in my life. I’ve branched out–taking on some endeavors that have put me into contact with people outside of my normal zone of relationships. This is, I think, a wonderful thing. I look forward to these new adventures.

One thing has come up, though. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia. I’ve been fortunate to have come across people who completely understand and totally get that there are a lot of misconceptions about schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is, perhaps, one of the most stigmatized psychological disabilities. I can’t expect everyone to know everything. So, for those who happen across my blog, I’ve put together this little post to assure you that there’s nothing scary about schizophrenia.

For those who are unfamiliar with this psychological disability, I wanted to share the video below with you. It’s by Dr. Eleanore Longden. Last I knew, she works at the Psychosis Research Unit in Manchester, UK. If you have further questions about psychosis, I do encourage you to look up her and her colleagues’ work. It is excellent stuff.

The theory behind Longden’s work is that psychosis is a result of trauma. Using therapies–like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–can help a person live with psychosis, according to Longden’s work and life.

There have been theories like this before when, for example, Freud posited a sort of loop between the psychological and the social which brings about certain psychological disabilities.

To folks who are new in my life: I have been in therapy for almost two years. I have taken medication for much longer than that. I am a so-called “high functioning” person diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Sure, I’ve had my struggles. But my struggles are not scary to you. At least, they shouldn’t be. I think of managing schizophrenia just like managing any other (less stigmatized) illness. It requires care, attention and focus. I have to attend to certain things about myself.

There are a few things that are, if I may say so, beneficial to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. I can understand and empathize with other people with psychological disabilities. I can appreciate all kinds of diversity in the world. I can understand new, innovative and unique thought processes.

The experience of hearing voices, having delusions and being paranoid–all of which may be present in a person diagnosed with schizophrenia–are not at all uncommon, actually. Tons of people have had experiences of slight paranoia, for example. (Think about an instance where everyone gets quiet when you walk into a room. Were they previously talking about you? If you wonder that, you have experienced an ounce of paranoia.) The difference between me and a person not diagnosed with schizophrenia is that my experiences have been a touch more extreme and have, in the past, interfered with my daily life.

You and I, then, are not so different. We are on the very same spectrum. I just happen to be at the 1% mark on the bell curve. But we are basically the same. Remember that next time you worry about a person being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The Normativity Of Creating New Minds

Perhaps I am mistaken. But it is my impression that there’s a normative aspect of AI that needs to be addressed and hasn’t been. This aspect is a certain normative schema of creating AI minds.

When most people think of AI, such as myself, they think of incredibly intelligent—in the cognitive sense—beings; beings that may or may not be smarter than the average human. These beings often lack certain qualities, such as wisdom, emotional intelligence and the ability to love. In short, we think of the stereotypical human “genius,” who may bumble about, not tying their shoes but producing great theories of the universe.

I want to question the normative aspect of creating a certain type of mind in AI.

As we know, there’s diversity in the human species. Humans can have autism, Down’s Syndrome, schizophrenia. The fact that these so-called disorders are not inspected more by AI developers is telling. And it purports to create a new society—an AI society—without such “disabilities.”

It has been argued by many that the differences in minds—often referred to as “neurodiversity”—is just as beautiful as other forms of human diversity. And these differences give us strength within our communities.

No doubt, it would be difficult to create an AI with a condition like autism and there would be criticism all around such a project—from all sides. But boldly going into that territory nevertheless is perhaps better than ignoring such human differences when it comes to developing AI.

I want to challenge AI developers to look beyond their own current understanding of what they are producing and aim to create artificial intelligence with flaws, deficiencies, vulnerabilities and, yes, disorders. This is perhaps much more challenging than creating the standard AI, it’s true. But erasing the differences in humans while creating AI is perhaps worse.

We cannot deny that most bots created fit into a certain category. This inflexible understanding of the human mind only wipes away the beauty that is humankind. As you think about the characteristics you program and develop into your AI, think about the diversity that lay behind your assumptions.

 

Dystopian Arguments Against AI: The Case Of Wall-E

For about a year and a half, I have done reading on developments in AI. A lot of people are for AI, but others have a dystopian view. I recently came across a new dystopian future as AI develops inspired by the film Wall-E.

In this future, we are not killed by evil robots. Instead, everything is automated and bots rule and keep things in order. The end result is that humans are complacent in a zombie-like state, unhealthy and disconnected.

This future is not too far fetched. Compared to other projections of AI, this one hits the mark much more closely. That is, it’s believable that something like this could happen and is already happening.

In the film Wall-E, we have intelligent bots: Wall-E himself is possibly the most intelligent because he appears to have emotions and wisdom.

It’s interesting to note in this dystopia, however, that while humans create technology to preserve themselves, it’s the bots–particularly Wall-E, who feels love–who save all of humankind from itself and saves the Earth.

So while this dystopian future may look like it’s anti-technology, it’s really not. Wall-E, a bot, saves humanity and the Earth,

What we will need to do, perhaps, as technology develops into AI, is strike a healthy balance between our uses of technology and our connection to one another, our connection to our planet and not allow our use of technology allow us to become to lazy, complacent, disconnected and zombie-like. No doubt, this balance will have to be chosen deliberately and implemented by us individually. For even though Wall-E is the hero of the film, saving us all, we cannot hope for such a kind creature to save us from ourselves.

A Feminist Take On Teen Mothers–From A Former Teen Mother

I’m a feminist. I was also a teen mom. I have read slightly anti-teen mom things recently from the left. I wanted to address those things.

I’m not going to tell you how I was mature for my age, which I was. Instead, I’m going to make a pragmatic case that, so long as teen moms exist–which they do and will continue to until we have better local things to do than have sex, have proper sex education and teenage girls and boys have better access to birth control—that we should evaluate our society and make it so teen moms can thrive.

Having been a teen mom, I know the unique challenges. Child birth and raising children is difficult in “ideal” circumstances let alone when one still needs to finish high school, get a job and a driver’s license and hopefully go on to college.

Fortunately, when I was six months pregnant, I moved to Florida, a state in which a school for teen parents is required in every county. There, my teachers were my role models. They fought to provide us with a quality education, including parenting, nutrition and health classes for both us and our babies.

I have heard leftists say that they themselves had sex as a teen and that they think their teen having sex if fine so long as it’s safe. These are reasonable positions. However, as soon as a girl gets pregnant and keeps the baby, there’s worries about the “morality” of this. On the other hand, if the young lady has an abortion, it’s all swept under the rug.

The worry should be that it is now increasingly more difficult for this young lady to achieve things in life, to succeed, to gain an education. And that decreases the likelihood of the baby’s achievement. When I was a teenager, the statistic was that only 3% of teen mothers graduate high school. And, of those, only 1% went on to college. I had to make up my mind to fight and struggle to be that small percentage of young women with children going on to college.

We need to be more accepting of teen moms instead of scolding them, judging them and making life even more difficult for them. There’s a fear that catering to the needs of teen mothers will only encourage more teens to have babies. That wouldn’t be so if we also have the things in place I mentioned above, such as proper sex education. We cater to the needs of so many kinds of people already—not to make things less of a meritocracy but to even the playing field. Why not cater to the needs of teen moms?