👆 These red titles are links to more detail...
My mother built bombers during WWII. My dad flew as a radio operator in the Pacific war. They returned to hide in their tiny Midwestern town and have a family. Their idyll was short lived - when I was two years and nine months old mom was overcome by the tuberculosis we both caught from her father, and she nearly died in the state hospital.
Around 7 May 1947. 2 min read.
🧩 This mix of topics probably seems chaotic, but they are all clues...
I have records of three positive chest X-rays for TB before I was three. I was tested for brucellosis (bovine tuberculosis), apparently positive since I was then X-rayed again for that.
Around 13 March 1950. 2 min read.
🧒 Clues about self-perception and relationship to the world...
When I returned to town, I was forced to play the gender game. I did not let it influence who I felt I was, only what I would be allowed to express. I never insisted I was a girl, I wouldn't have wanted to be locked into female stereotypes. But I really hated being expected to act like a guy!
Around 1 September 1952. 2 min read.
🎲 Some with surprisingly formative effects...
When I was six I passed out while standing motionless for hours in suffocating hot weather, beside my mom's chair while visiting her ancient aunt. I was taken to the hospital for three days and given all kinds of inconclusive physical tests. A month later they put me back in the hospital and cut out my tonsils and adenoids. Made no difference in how often I was sick, but drastically changed how I felt my head, neck, and throat.
Around 20 October 1953. 2 min read.
👽 Some with eerily life-changing effects...
By now the ball of yellow light was closer, brighter, becoming huge, beginning to envelop and swallow up my feet. As it crept ever so slowly up around my body I found I was unable to move. It reached my chest and I was unable to breathe. Just before the light swallowed my head, I attained logical consciousness of the consequences of not breathing. But I was totally unable to move any part of my body. In parallel with the classic inventory of my life flashing before me, I frantically (if one can be frantic and paralyzed simultaneously) explored for some bit of my existence I could still control.
(Actually, I have no idea when this happened... Probably after 1953... )
Around 15 November 1953. 7 min read.
🔆 Some with no effects... But useful clues...
In second grade, I was suddenly taken out of class to an office one day, where a guy from the state university spent all day and most of the next testing me with the full Stanford-Binet, and reported my IQ as 160. The school system responded with a decree that I must be treated exactly like all the other kids, and do exactly the same class work.
(I can't date this beyond second grade, the school burned, evidence gone!)
Around 20 October 1954. 1 min read.
🌠 So why should anyone read about my lousy childhood? Where is this going?
In third grade I was the male lead in the multi-class operetta, playing a scarecrow in a cabbage patch full of fairies (the female ballerina kind.) Rehearsal prepared me for everything except the reality of it being night, the auditorium totally dark, and the two piercing spotlights, at my eye level back along the side walls, utterly blinding me.
Around 2 June 1955. 1 min read.
🧬 This site tries to tie together things many people share but have no words for...
Just before fourth grade I was no longer able to avoid the eye doctor. He was a true believer in the “Plus Lens Theory”, a type of “conversion therapy” which imagined you could train away myopia by forcing kids to wear bifocal glasses for every waking moment.
Around 28 August 1956. 5 min read.
🌦 So far we're just setting the stage; later there will be theories...
But that was also the summer of Sputnik, and my first shortwave radio kit. Hints there was an interesting world somewhere beyond my limited horizons. (Shortwave then was a bit like the internet is now - your choice of news, education, propaganda, and music from all over the world!)
Around 25 December 1957. 4 min read.
♻ And here is the tortured birth process of the theories...
Without words to recall and research my inner memories of childhood, they faded to insignificance behind the onslaught of fascinating technology I discovered during my teen years. Soon after I entered the engineering curriculum at the University, I was reading Ayn Rand's Objectivism and looking to the conscious mind for answers to all of life's questions. And then the 'Death of God' made the cover of Time magazine...
Around 1 April 1968. 4 min read.
🤼 Separating the Psychoros from superstition
We learn the shape of our world primarily through vision, with some help from hearing and touch, and by the effects our movements have on those sensations. Their pathways through our brains are vulnerable to modern physical influences outside our evolutionary development, and to accidental or intentional social manipulation.
Around 6 January 1976. 8 min read.