“For the practitioner, the patient’s complaints (symptoms of illness) must be translated into the signs of disease. (For example, the patient’s chest pain becomes angina — a sign of coronary artery disease — for the physician.) Diagnosis is a thoroughly semiotic activity: an analysis of one symbol system followed by its translation into another. Complaints are also interpreted as syndromes — clusters of symptoms which run together over time — that indicate through their relationship a discrete disorder. Clinicians sleuth for pathognomonic signs — the observable, telltale clues to secret pathology — that establish a specific disease. This interpretive bias to clinical diagnosis means that the patient-physician interaction is organized as an interrogation (Mishler 1985).” (16)

The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, & the Human Condition by Arthur Kleinman, M.D.

“[Physicians] manage as medical problems the symptoms resulting from the social sources of distress and disease. We blame the victim in the ideology of personal life-style change.” (21)

 The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, & the Human Condition by Arthur Kleinman, M.D.

“Clinical and behavioral science research also possess no category to describe suffering, no routine way of recording this most thickly human dimension of patients’ and families’ stories of experiencing illness. Symptom scales and survey questionnaires and behavioral checklists quantify functional impairment and disability, rendering quality of life fungible. Yet about suffering they are silent.” (28)

The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, & the Human Condition by Arthur Kleinman, M.D.


N44C, an emission nebula in the LMC
Image Credit: Donald Garnett (University of Arizona) et al., Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) and NASA

N44C is an emission nebula of about 125 light-years across in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small companion galaxy to our own Milky Way which lies about 157,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Dorado, while it is receding from us at approximately 278 kilometers per second. The nebula is surrounding an association of young stars.


The pain organ is really a body. The pain body. (is the body really a pain organ?)

The pain body lives inside the body and is also its skin (its surface area, its bound). The pain body is the only way I know I have a body (mirrors and cameras lie). Pain is what is out there even when it is in here. We can only know what is out there through the pain body so there is no body without pain so what is the body?

Pain Taxonomy


Words often used to describe pain: Burning, stabbing, searing, mind-numbing, terrible, excruciating.

Words rarely or never used to describe pain: Luscious, lovely, pretty, soft, favorite, cute, giggly, fun.

So pain is ‘masculine.’ All the words to describe it are ‘active,’ the words we use to describe maleness on the binary. The hard words. Pain is never the soft words. Pain is something done to you. Pain is active and we are passive. Pain makes a woman of us because what else could we be when acted upon?


We are dismayed that discussions of climate change have become so polarizing and have receded from the arena of informed public discourse and debate. Political posturing and budgetary woes cannot be allowed to inhibit discussion and debate over what so many believe to be a salient national security concern for our nation … Time and tide wait for no one.

U.S. military leaders release firm climate change warning

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You know you’re in deep shit when your military leaders have a better understanding of a coming catastrophe (climate change) than your government/politicians.