Before you run out and buy your breast cancer kit you may want to look into this more. I did a few years ago and made the decision not to get the test for many of the same reasons in this article. Although it is a bit reactionary it provides some good points for consideration.
Now I am even less inclined to jump on this bandwagon as the people driving it are the very ones that have demonstrated time and time again that they do NOT have our best interest at heart.
I haven’t quite decided what I think about Angelina Jolie’s role in this. It seems out of character for her to be in cahoots with big pharma. It also seems rather unlike her to be duped by them either.
I wonder what unintended consequences women may be creating for themselves by running out and getting these tests. While I’m not sure whether or not Angelina is in cahoots with big phrama, I’m damn sure health insurance companies are. Data can be skewed in all kinds of ways. The way they report the results on these tests tends to skew the data to high likelihood of cancer. What evils do insurance companies have in store for women with high risk test results?
The presence of a gene does not mean certain cancer or anything else. There is mounting evidence that even if a gene is present it is not guaranteed that it will be activated. Please, before you run out and buy that test, read Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief. If after reading it you still decide you want the test what will it have cost you? A few days delay. We have far, far more control over our health than most people realize. And our genes don’t determine everything. The human genome project revealed that we have 1/10 of the number of genes they predicted. We have less than a fruit fly. That got Lipton thinking, the genes can’t possibly be running the whole show, so what is?
Don’t think that I’m taking breast cancer lightly. Years ago my mother’s doctor was really pushing for me to get the test when my mother had a small malignancy. Based on our family history I could have the gene. This was before I had read anything by Lipton, it was probably when the ideas were formulating in his head. It was before insurance companies had begun to reveal their predatory nature. It was before pharmaceutical companies held patents on human genes. That’s right big pharma holds patents on your DNA – the stuff your mom & dad gave you. The company putting out these tests holds the patent on that gene. Makes Monsanto look like a cuddly kitten.
Anyway, I decided at the time that knowing for sure I had the gene was probably more dangerous than the gene. The mind is a powerful thing. It has a way of creating what we worry about. I knew I’d worry if I came up with a high likelihood on that test. I decided instead to live my life as if breast cancer could be a possibility for me and then stop thinking about it. I turned my attention to living as healthy of a lifestyle as I could. Over the years I’ve made it a priority to learn more and more about how to stay in optimum health and integrate more and more into my life. That test represents a tiny sliver of the contributing factors to my health.
I am not my genes.
We have far, far more control over our health than most people know. At least until we surrender it.
Before you get this test. Stop . Do your homework. Once you’ve done it you may still decide to opt for the test. Just make sure it is a well informed decision and not driven by the stampede of fear.
Facebook is the modern day cyber Kraken. It’s tentacles reaching into yours and your friends’ personal information. Facebook tends to operate on the “opt out” model. Settings default to fully opted in. With constant partnerships and updates and third party applications and games keeping your personal information is like trying to keep water in a sieve with new holes constantly opening.
Today, after reading this article on facebook’s facial recognition technology, explaining what it is, where it could go and how to disable it. After following those I poked around my other settings.
Here’s a few other holes in the sieve and how to plug them.
A couple of friends of mine founded PrivacyScore.com which measures the true privacy integrity of websites. On their site you can check out the security of your site and of those you visit. According to PrivacyScore Facebook games and apps are exceptional information vampires. They are created by third parties and Facebook does little to ensure they adhere to privacy standards. When a friend joins a game or app it mines your information as well.
To prevent your information from being mined when your friends sign up for apps and games follow these steps.
1) Click on Privacy Settings
2) Select Edit Settings for Ads, Apps and Websites
3) Select Edit Setting for How people bring your info to apps they use
4) Any of the checked boxes will be shared whenever a friend opts into a game or app, even if you don’t opt into it yourself. I unchecked every box.
As long as you’re on the Ads, Apps and Websites page you may want to take a look at Apps You Use If you’ve ever logged into another website with your Facebok account chances are it installed an app on your Facebook account. Click on the x to the right to remove any apps and games you no longer want having access to your facebook profile information.
You may also want to take a look at the Instant Personalization settings. According to the description this “nifty app” pulls your Facebook friends information when you visit other sites like Bing, Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp, TripAdvisor and others. You’ll notice, just like the face recognition technology the default is set to opted in. If you want to opt out uncheck the box.
Even with all that locked down you’re probably still getting alot of game and app requests. So far I haven’t found a way to do a blanket block for all games and apps. I get numerous invites every week. When a particular one goes viral I get multiple invites from different friends for the same game. Once a week I click on the games and apps invites on the upper right hand corner of my home page. This provides a list of all the invitations. Hover over the right hand corner of an invitation’s box. An x appears. When you click on it you get the option to block the person extending the invitation or block the app. When you block the app you will get no further invites. I suspect it blocks further mining of your information. However, remember when friends join a game or app int mines any of your information that is accessible through your How People Bring Your Info to Apps They Use Settings and that information has likely already been obtained by all those apps and games to which you have been invited.
Facebook recently lost a lawsuit related to the sponsored ads that say your x, y & z friends “liked this. If you do not want your name and possibly likeness to be used in sponsored ads on Facebook visit the Ads section on your privacy settings. Select “no one” on both Ads Shown By Third Parties and Ads and Friends.
In the daily distraction of posting, sharing and commenting of shiny objects on Facebook it can be easy to forget that there are many tentacles reaching in from all sides to grab for your information. Set a reminder on your calendar to pop up once a month while your on Facebook to pause for a moment in sharing the quote of the day picture and “liking” the latest sunset picture to explore your privacy settings. Facebook is constantly adding in new features and partnerships – all most likely defaulted to opt in. Go through and decide which ones you really want. Opt out of the others.
To keep up with updates on ways to protect your privacy both on Facebook and on the internet in general check out PrivacyScrore’s Facebook page. They regularly post tips and tricks to protect your online privacy.
Update: The facebook app has a default to a feature that track where you are via your phone and tells what friends are nearby. Here’s an article on how to turn off that feature if you don’t want facebook stalking you offline as well as online.
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You might think with my background as a teacher that I would be outraged by the court’s decision to allow violent video games to be sold to children. But I’m not. I’m actually happy for the decision. The solution to this issue is not legislation, but education.
If there were a law against selling these games to children most people would think the issue has been handled and forget about it. And really, what would the enforcement of that law be? Maybe one or two store owners would get a slap on the wrist. Parents who see no problem with their children playing these games would just declare the law stupid and invasive and buy the games for their children anyway.
The Court’s decision not to pass the law has started the conversation. Has gotten people like me (and probably many of you) who make it a practice not to engage with violent TV, movies and games to take notice of the levels of violence and misogyny to which those media have evolved.
I’m posting a segment from the Daily Show where John Stewart addresses this decision. He included footage from the games. Warning! It is very graphic! I was almost able to watch it. Dare to look. Dare to consider how not only watching this kind of material, but engaging in it for hours a day changes a person. Yes, it is fantasy, yes it is through a game controller. And the fact is the human brain does not distinguish the difference between reality and fantasy. It is all real to the brain.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
I would assert the issue is not should these games be sold to children, but how do we shift so that these games become obsolete in the face of love, gratitude and bold enthusiasm in living our higher purpose. The issue is not only children playing these games and being changed by them. You don’t spend hours of your childhood disemboweling people without being changed by it. It is also the loss of the potential contributions of the adults playing them. What could have been created in the world if their time and talents were dedicated instead to engaging in the world?
I don’t really know what the solution is here. I’m probably preaching to the choir in my blog followers. In my experience people who are really committed to playing these games and truly see no harm in them are very hard to convince otherwise.
When I was a teacher we had a kindergartener expressing fear for his mother’s safety. He was sure she would be killed. He shared stories about how it would happen. When we sat down with the family we discovered that he had been playing Grand Theft Auto with his father and older brother. The scenarios he was relating were from the games. On that revelation we suggested the 5 yr old not be a part of the video games. The father’s response was anger at us.
It seems such an impossible mountain to climb sometimes. The violent video games are huge money makers. And they need to keep upping the ante to keep players engaged as their tolerance increases. And their bodies become addicted to the floods of hormones that the games evoke.
How do we make the shift? Thank the Supreme Court for their decision which prevents us from having a false sense of security that the issue is handled. Keep up the discussion. Dare to look at the games your children are playing. Dare to ask what games their friends are playing and to forbid going to those houses to play. Dare to explain to your children why you are making that decision. Dare to talk to other parents about it. Dare to bring it up with people you know who play the games.
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I almost never watch TV. The other night I felt compelled to turn it on and the screen lit up with the words OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD under live coverage of cheering crowds in front of the White House. As I watched Marianne Williamson’s words rang in my mind. (bold is mine)
“A Course in Miracles says that miracles rise from conviction. Conviction is everything now. It’s not enough to be educated, or informed; we need to be convicted. If you want to see conviction, watch the terrorists. I can’t imagine a “kind of, sort of, sometimes, casually, when it’s convenient” committed terrorist. Those people are horrifyingly committed. Hatred in fact has a perverse kind of courage. On the other hand I know a lot of people – who among us hasn’t been there? –who are “kind of, sort of, sometimes, casually, when it’s convenient” committed to love. I think there are far more lovers than haters on this planet, but human evolution is being held hostage by a relatively few haters. And that’s for the simple reason that they hate with conviction and real intent. When we begin to love with greater conviction and real intent, then things will change.”
I dare you to stand with conviction and real intent for love. Instead of celebrating Bin Laden’s death ask yourself, “If I were to love with even more conviction and intent than they hate what would I say? What would I do? And go do it. Do it everyday. Do a little more everyday. With conviction. With intent. Even when it is not convenient or easy.