Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from December 21, 2020 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Options December 21, 2020: Station Manager Ken with Poet and Author Elisa Gabbert on Doomscrolling, Contagious Conversion Disorder and More

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The Internet as Envisioned in 1925
The Internet as Envisioned in 1925
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The Internet as Envisioned in 1925

Please call in live (201-209-9368) at the conclusion of today's interview to discuss the following questions:

Do you doomscroll?

Are Q-Anon and Flat Earth mania the "dancing manias" of the internet age?

Is anybody you know really rooting for the apocalypse? Are you?


Links for tonight's guest Elisa Gabbert: @egabbert

Elisa on Twitter: Elisagabbert.com

The Unreality of Memory and Other Essays


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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Ken! Techtonillenarianists!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

TechStaychers!
Avatar 6:02pm Bas NL:

Hi Ken! Techdoomscrollers!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Hi Staysh!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hi, Ken. Let us now gather around the Techto Junction, with its warm glowing warming glow.
  6:04pm David in London:

Evening Technoids.
Handy, ultradamno, tim.
Avatar 6:04pm Bas NL:

Chronic dancer.. that's me.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm ultradamno:

Hiya DiL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm -Ken:

Hi everybody!
  6:06pm hoeg:

i knew doomscrolling was bad when i found myself quickly changing window when someone came in the room
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm DjLorraine:

My bf and I are listening
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm PaulRobeson1920:

Howd’y!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm tim from champaign (now washington):

I'd prefer the have the tagline "Master of Disaster".
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Carmichael:

Hello Kenneth and dancemania enthusiasts.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm melinda:

Hi everyone!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Webhamster Henry:

Winsor McKay animated the sinking of the Lusitania!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm ultradamno:

So the media created bulimia but Karen Carpenter died of it before anyone was talking about it, what a visionary.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm PaulRobeson1920:

that reminds me of a George Carlin bit. The world will be just fine, the earth will be just fine. It’s people that are f’d!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm -Ken:

What year did Karen Carpenter die? I think Elisa says that the first case of Bulimia was in 1979, and it hit the medical literature in 1982, and then mainstream coverage following that.
  6:12pm castor:

Hello all! I am very excited about this topic. My obsession lately is the collapse of the western Roman empire and all that rhymes with today's crises
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Webhamster Henry:

The tsunami video where the whole scene fills with water - will the bridge get taken down? Yes then a house floats by.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm ultradamno:

83
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm melinda:

She died in 1983 according to wikipedia
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Carmichael:

February 1983.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm PaulRobeson1920:

Give peace a chance. Tell your neighbor
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm ultradamno:

So to die of it, she had to have it for awhile.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm ultradamno:

The Greeks knew how to make bulimia fun.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm -Ken:

Elisa is not claiming that the media created Anorexia, just binging and purging
  6:13pm castor:

there is no one apocalypse but many apocalypses for many peoples
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm ultradamno:

I don't think the media helped at all, but I think that gives them more than a little too much credit.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm -Ken:

And, you have clearly researched this issue, ultradamno? You've looked into the history of Bulimia diasgnoses?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm -Ken:

No, of course you haven't.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm ultradamno:

So if I don't have a PhD in the subject, I can't have an informed opinion? Come on, Ken.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm -Ken:

No, you don't have an informed opinion at all. You haven't researched this issue in the slightest. In any way. You are talking through your ass. Which is your right.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm ultradamno:

Well, I don't think that's at all fair and I don't see why you're being defensive about it.
Avatar 6:20pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Apocalypse of course is a Biblical word - interestingly Greek, not Hebrew. It's Mythological - Archetypal. That is, it's kind of hardwired for humans to think about the End of the World as much as it is the Beginning of it...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm PaulRobeson1920:

The ancient Grecco-Roman world would see epidemics kill a full half of the city every 25-50 years. This is the environment people like Epictetus grew up in.
Avatar 6:20pm TDK60:

Thanks for the fill-in, Ken. Just listening.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Webhamster Henry:

Happiness consultant: DJ Stashu!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm -Ken:

I think it's very fair. If you are taking issue with somebody who has researched the issue and come to certain conclusions, why dont you address the research or bring up your own research?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Phillippe Bastille:

Howdy
  6:22pm P-90:

No we’re not “all secretly hoping for the end, c’mon dude.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm melinda:

It's hard for me to imagine what it's like to believe in a rapture, or even an afterlife worth looking forward to.
Avatar 6:22pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

There's your wonderful herd immunity - ask the Native Americans who got that imported when they hadn't had centuries of Europeans living with animals & such...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm ultradamno:

...or you could present facts that prove me wrong rather than resorting to insults.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm melinda:

@Henry true!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm -Ken:

Im glad you're not, P-90. A LOT of people are, and certain groups like Evangelical Christians are not even secret about it. They are rotting for the rapture very openly.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm -Ken:

@Ultradamno, Elisa points out that the first medical article about Bulimia was in 1982. And the mass diagnoses followed that. So show me the bulimia diagnoses that preceded 1982.
  6:25pm P-90:

The yearly flu IS the Spanish Flu.
  6:25pm castor:

The difference with the 21st century crisis is that we've never faced this scale of climate change in thousands of years, so even if none of the other problems cause collapse, climate disruption most definitely will since we don't have the means or will to properly adjust to it while also keeping our current way of life.
Avatar 6:25pm northguineahills:

Plague masks of the bubonic plaque had various herbs in the beaks (damnit, too slow!)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm ultradamno:

Aside from the Greeks?
  6:26pm David in London:

Ring a ring a roses, a pocket full of posies.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm melinda:

btw, happy solstice everyone!
Avatar 6:27pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'Secretly hoping' - myself I wouldn't be quick to conclude what is - or isn't ! - in the collective unconscious. The mind is a funny instrument!
I think about Martin King noting we have guided missiles & misguided leaders. Incredible technology - for mass destruction. Does this come from Christianist conceptions of world order & fate? Look @ the official policy towards the 'holy land'. Armageddon was a Place...
Avatar 6:27pm northguineahills:

Not related, but in the UK, they have a game to see home long you can go w/o hearing Wham!'s "Last Xmas". I just heard a cover in a grocery store. I still can win, right?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Webhamster Henry:

@castor: "We" incudes everything alive and some geological features as well (coasts, glaciers, air and water streams) as well.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm ultradamno:

1972 www.thecut.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm PaulRobeson1920:

What is the good life, and how do I lead it?

(Happiness as a consequence of living virtuously... Or does it come from buttered popcorn?)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm tim from champaign (now washington):

@_Ken - just to clarify (not arguing), are you saying that bulimia was not diagnosed until the 80s? Diagnosed being the key word. It seems like binging and purging had to have existed before then.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Webhamster Henry:

ngh: Here, it's Little Drummer Boy. littledrummerboychallenge.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm ultradamno:

You better have your own book to back that up Tim
  6:29pm David in London:

NGH, it’s called Whamageddon, and for the first time in about 4 years, I’m still in. Unlike my wife...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm -Ken:

Yes, aside from the vomitoriums which I think was very different. That Cut article is interesting and it does back up Elisa's thesis.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm ultradamno:

Was it different? It was likely as compulsive and had to have the same health consequences.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm listener 126464:

Satanic Panic In The Attic
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm ultradamno:

If I can posit an opinion without footnotes.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm melinda:

@listener 126464 those were weird times.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm -Ken:

Ultradamno, Elisa is articulating her research right now. Maybe you should read the book and then converse with her on twitter about it.
  6:32pm carrots:

vocal fry?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm listener james from westwood:

Oh, wow, I read an essay on Morgellons a while back—that is one helluva belief.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm melinda:

Morgellon's is a weird one. I heard Joni Mitchell had it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Webhamster Henry:

Here are 1.2K Slenderman fanfic stories: www.wattpad.com...
  6:35pm Dean:

OED has more than a dozen references to bulimia pre-'80s, back to the 14th century. A 1978 issue of JAMA supplies, "A possible disorder (bulimia), which included self-induced vomiting as a feature, has been proposed by the American Psychiatric Association's Task Force on Nomenclature and Statistics." This suggests one couldn't "diagnose" a condition not yet established ("a possible disorder"). But clearly it was a condition investigated by medical professionals for ages. E.g., Robert Boyle in 1665: "He now thinks the chief cause of the Bulimia to consist in certain steams, that do peculiarly affect the stomack, which they gnaw and distend." Here Boyle identifies a condition relating to appetite, which might have been the source of a subsequent, professionally refined definition. There are many similar examples.
  6:36pm P-90:

Now I’m curious to see what she actually wrote about bulimia.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm chris in the redwoods:

this is fascinating! must read this book. thanks, Ken and Elisa. also, Hi! (i used to have dreams that parasites were exiting my skin. quite disturbing)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm ultradamno:

And we're back to condescending
Avatar 6:36pm northguineahills:

@david: So, am I still in?

I always wanted a vomitorium in my home....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm PaulRobeson1920:

The ancient world was very warty. Most people had warts and lots of em!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm melinda:

I read an article about Morgellon's where one doctor said they probably have a legit neurological problem that manifests as a subdermal irritation.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Does Elisa cover the Satanic panic in the 80s in the book?
Avatar 6:38pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

My understanding is bulimia is a manifestation (interesting word) of an urge for control - when one feels one can't control other things. It's not hard to imagine a psycho-social component to that - especially in light of bodyshaming & unnatural emphasis on skinniness.
History of medicine ? I know nothing...
Cutting - I never heard of it when I was a school kid - then it seemed epidemic !
How about those evil clowns before the 2016 election ! Didn't need StephenKing's analyst for that...
Info & disinformation - it's all I the same Helvetica ! :D ...
  6:38pm David in London:

NGH, covers don’t count, only the original. So you’re still in.
  6:38pm castor:

vomitoriums were what they called the exit halls in Rome
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm G:

Stash taking no prisoners this hour :-)
Avatar 6:38pm Bas NL:

i used to read a lot of books on alien abductions. Always puzzled me.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm -Ken:

Oh my God, I forgot that Joni Mitchell suffered from Morgellons!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm melinda:

That Flat Earth doc was pretty good, it did convey the sense of community they've built.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm -Ken:

Yeah, the vomitoriums in the Coliseum were for people who were exposed to the blood and carnage from the "games" and found their stomach turned, so they walked into the lobby and hurled. It was not a dieting / weight loss thing at all.
Avatar 6:40pm northguineahills:

@David: *Homer voice* "Woohoo!"
Avatar 6:42pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

In context of the Collective Unconscious - a shared unconscious from racial memory - human population had expanded exponentially.
So - how many people for how long does it take to carry that sort of consensus energy ?
  6:42pm castor:

each crisis becomes the new normal, this is how things fall apart without us even realizing
Avatar 6:42pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

*has - is
Avatar 6:43pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Frog in boiling water.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm ultradamno:

Pierre Janet began discussing symptoms of bulimia in the early 1900’s in “Obsessions et la Psychasthenie www.eatingdisorderhope.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Webhamster Henry:

Innumeracy kills!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm PaulRobeson1920:

Critical thinking is learned skill...

The way we symbolize our experiences too shape our world view and ways of knowing.. “NO GRAVEN IMAGES”

Ho Ho Ho
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Wait, so morgellons is cloth fibers in the skin? Do I have that right?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Webhamster Henry:

Godwin's Law song!
brianwoodbury.bandcamp.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm listener james from westwood:

Ohhhh, that "it is..." phrase makes me stabby.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Webhamster Henry:

"Boys will be boys!" CASE CLOSED!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm listener 126464:

I never comment.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm -Ken:

Not very convincing,, that article ultrdamno. S/he describes binging,but not purging.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm chris in the redwoods:

also i thought the point was *media* spreading the illness, but whatevs...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm ultradamno:

Well, it's all eating disorders. You're kind of splitting hairs.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Webhamster Henry:

If she's on Twitter we can doomscroll!
Avatar 6:51pm Constance De Witt:

Thank you for the interview, just been doomscrolling her Instagram account.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Handy Haversack:

Thanks, Ken and Elisa. Been cooking this whole time. Have thoughts, but nothing I can compress to the accu. A thanatophilic culture coming out of hundreds of years of capitalist oppression is kind of where they start.
Avatar 6:52pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Gorge. Be Thin. I'm reminded of things Alan Watts said about society & mixed messages fwiw...
I love Godzilla destroying cities. Why? I'm not into slashers & shockers...
Avatar 6:52pm Fox:

I've actually stopped paying attention to the news. I used to listen to the BBC for hours a day. Now, I just avoid it.
  6:53pm Dean:

The interview discussion of logical fallacies reminds me that I need to read David Hackett Fischer's Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought.

You know who else isn't secret about the rapture? Blondie.
  6:53pm ignatatus666:

I have never heard so many things I disagree with on Techtonic, no I’m not a flat earthed. Can’t discuss what I actually disagree with because there are many listeners that attack people with a difference of opinion.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I find myself refreshing the CNN web site every couple of hours to see if misfortune has befallen the orange-colored dude who's on TV all the time.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Carmichael:

@Rev, history tells us again and again how nature points out the folly of man.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm tim from champaign (now washington):

@Fox - I've switched from electronic news to physical newspapers. That helps me.
Avatar 6:54pm Fox:

Given that the virus has now mutated, I feel like my obsession with 12 Monkeys years ago was good preparation for the future.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm PaulRobeson1920:

If that child should end up in a prison!
As sometimes chance will deal to honest men,
One room is like another to a stranger
Any man of worth will be his friend!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Webhamster Henry:

They put raised dots on our local curb cuts which make a kind of way for visually impaired people to tell they've hi the curb cut.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Carmichael:

@Fox, we'll all live in underground bunk beds.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm iiibeat:

There is relief when "it" happens to someone else and not you . . Like hurricanes.
Avatar 6:55pm Fox:

Tim - I keep meaning to find that slow news site, or just subscribe to The Economist.
  6:55pm Listener Robert:

I thought they compensated for the beveling with those stipples so blind people would feel them thru their shoes. But the installers may not have caught up yet.
  6:55pm Dean:

Yeah, but I'm not in my roaring 20s.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm listener james from westwood:

"Different" is probably a more realistic outlook than "better."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Carmichael:

And don't say "back to normal" ....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm PaulRobeson1920:

Haven't turned on a T.V since 2014 and I do not doom scroll. I try to focus on wholesome things. Graduated SUNY Oswego 2015
  6:59pm Listener Robert:

Hi, Ken, looks like you saved the best interviewee for yourself. Nah, I know you did your own producing and research, great job of it tonight.
  6:59pm P-90:

Yes, most of them really believe. In part because their threshold of credulity is so low. And yes, the internet makes it easier to spread these “alternative” sciences and histories.
Avatar 6:59pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

SciFi & Horror obviously relate to Mythology functionally - I love the book 'The Monster Show' about imagery & the collective psyche. I guess New Media is what many - all of us? - are involved in for such impulses - with less conscious sublimation or distinction between fact & fiction. As Campbell said about religious dogmatics - they mistake connotation for denotation. & the Tech monopolies profit massively from it...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Webhamster Henry:

The true stuff on the internet makes untrue stuff smell true.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Carmichael:

Thank you, Kenneth.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm PaulRobeson1920:

I’m wondering If the author has read any Neil Postman? NYC’s own son
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm chris in the redwoods:

bravo, SMK.
Avatar 7:00pm Bas NL:

Thanks Ken! Thanks Elisa!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Thanks, Staysh!
  7:00pm P-90:

Certainly made me want to check out her book!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm PaulRobeson1920:

May i ask her that?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Webhamster Henry:

Good show Ken! I'll have to read that book!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm PaulRobeson1920:

Gotta LoVe WFMU!
Avatar 7:01pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Henry 6:59 !
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