Thursday, March 17, 2016

Social pressures and transgender identity

A recent article was critical of the increasing rights of transgender people and advocated laws to force transgender people to use public bathrooms according to their birth gender rather than their self-identified gender.

The article came to my attention through an online discussion among astrologer colleagues. In my very brief stint as a practicing astrologer in Toronto many of my clients had identity issues, including gender. I would have thought other astrologers had many similar experiences but this does not seem to be the case. Part of the online discussion cited a recent study that homophobia is significantly associated with homosexual arousal, as measured by sensors placed on the body, that is denied or unwitting. This study helps to understand the larger picture.

Family pressures and social pressures, such as the law changes advocated in the bathroom article, that go against an individual’s gender self-identity can cause that individual enormous and even fatal harm. In the few cases I saw in my practice, I found that the individuals who struggled with these gender identity pressures are almost always engaged in dangerous activities. It is apparent to me that the normalizing of same sex marriage in recent years has likely done much to reduce promiscuity, drug abuse, and crime. If marriage is denied, promiscuity tends to become the norm.

At the same time I have to say that I have encountered a few forcefully gay people and a few very needy transgender people who projected strong coping mechanisms that have made me feel uncomfortable. Yet it is clear to me, based on the calming effect that can be expected from the sanctioning of same sex marriage and families, that once the individuals are accepted for who they are, the disruptive coping mechanisms would become unnecessary. The social acceptance and normalizing of LGBT persons, which will take time, will very likely contribute to reductions of dangerous activities and crimes of the type that are complained about in the bathroom article.

A critical part of gender identity problem is that some people, who deny to themselves or who otherwise have latent and unresolved gender identity conflicts, due to social or familial pressures, and who are in positions of authority and influence, can make things very uncomfortable for people under their influence. Situations of this can range from classroom teachers to presidential hopefuls. When I look at the natal chart of Ted Cruz (,_Ted), and consider the bigoted and religiously glorified views of his father Rafael Cruz, who condemns homosexuality, and consider Ted's distinctly creepy personality and his hateful and dangerous political views, I really have to wonder about this. Enacting laws to force gender identity on people, thereby removing choice and an opportunity for a normal life, is a very bad idea with serious consequences.

The Forecaster -- Documentary

If you haven’t seen it, there’s an intriguing documentary on investment consultant Martin Armstrong called The Forecaster. Armstrong developed a model or algorithm, the Economic Confidence Cycle, based on historic currency cycles and the value of pi, that is so astoundingly accurate in predicting currency collapses that he was imprisoned for eight years for supposedly manipulating the entire global economy. There was no evidence or trial. The actual offense that kept him in jail was contempt of court. Eight years. He refused to disclose the model.

Armstrong is critical of monetary systems that rig the system by pegging currency values, enabling no-risk borrowing that inevitably results in collapse. The documentary views much like a spy thriller except this is real life. Considering the development of events, it is remarkable that he ever got out of prison and that the documentary was made.

The documentary is largely engrossing but covers some esoteric details of finance in a few places where it would have been helpful to have explanations and commentary by third party participants. Here are a couple of trailers and an interactive string of segments taken from the documentary with additional footage. You can skip over the German language parts.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What we should not take literally

We should all know that there were no chariots carrying planets across the sky, there were no crystalline celestial spheres, there are no lines in a magnetic field, and there is no rubber sheet of curved space-time. No one expected to touch or sense any of these. None are illusions we need to free ourselves from but all are metaphors that enabled greater knowledge.