Depression Responder

I’m cleaning up my computer and found this intricate piece of writing from a few years ago. It might prove to be of some use during the current pandemic situation.

* * *

Dear valued correspondent,

The nature of our digital reality compels me to let you know that my online availability is limited, for personal health reasons.
I have developed some symptoms of DSM5 depression (depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, decreased appetite, concentration problems, see ), but do not actually suffer from the disease. Depression still doesn’t get the recognition we need to give it, so I decided to compose this email responder.

I believe my symptoms may have been caused by perceived meaninglessness (with 2 academic degrees the only way I have been able to earn money, is by translating things like consumer manuals during the last 15 years (I am opposed to consumerism). There is no real (ie monetary) appreciation for anything I do in which I am able to discern meaning, while I am too afraid I won’t have any income if I stop doing what I perceive as bullshit.)

I would like to use this opportunity to ask for recognition of the seriousness of the depression epidemic. I related my feelings because I think they may be recognizable for others. I want to urge them to take the appropriate preventive measures.

Depression should not be stigmatized, so I decided to speak up on behalf of those who suffer from the disease and might not be able to do so themselves. Please support an initiative that works on nonpharmaceutical ways to fight depression and help friends and colleagues recognize the symptoms and take early action.

Please don’t support me: I don’t have depression yet. I am merely taking measures to prevent it from happening.

I wish you, dear reader, a meaningful day filled with smiles.

For matters of life and death, you can reach me at […]

Thank you very much for your understanding,

Best regards,

Kamiel Choi

Depression Responder was originally published on Meandering home

Professor Trompsky is back!

Professor Trompsky, you said that the current pandemic is the defining moment of capitalism’s moral refinement preparing its coming demise? Could you explain?

Well, uhm, we see that more and more people are pushed towards precarious jobs with no security whatsoever and more importantly devoid of any real interaction with their peers. That, you know, forces them to beg for work they don’t really want to do, often from behind their screens in their own homes. Yet they keep doing it, and the entire system is banking on it that they do. Why is that?

I don’t, I mean I…

Well, it’s rather trivial. They fear destitution, is the obvious answer. But they did that before too. What is new now is they are alone. No unions. No-one to remind them why it is wise that they stay on, no-one but themselves. And who fails at motivating themselves, will fail at their job.

The work they do is of course unnecessary, that is a threshold we crossed a long time ago. But the requirement for self-motivations is new. It spawned an entire industry, as you know.

Professor, how does this lead to the downfall of capitalism?

Well, uhm, look, the physical coercion is replaced by self-coercion, in other words moral force. And that is much more volatile depending on the political sphere. We will see a lot of populist on the left compelling workers to demand meaningful work.

That sounds like a good thing?

Yes, certainly, but it is driving a stake in the heart of capitalism. Such a demand can only be met with a policy that reverses the tendencies we see today. The only meaning capitalism has to offer is money, so it should start there. And I don’t see how that is possible without cooperatives and worker ownership.

But is still require a revolution?

Oh, it will be a silent one, these populists will not call for an uprising but facilitate the proliferation of worker owned industries, sucking up all labor and so crippling the old capitalist bodies.

Professor Trompsky, insightful as always, we thank you for this interview.




Professor Trompsky is back! was originally published on Meandering home