boosted

New people, welcome to Mastodon and the Fediverse!

Here's how to get started:

1. Find some people to follow over on @FediFollows, and through Trunk (communitywiki.org/trunk)

2. Find out your Mastodon/Fediverse address so you can share it with friends (mstdn.social/@feditips/1072482)

3. Invite people to join you on here by telling them to go to joinmastodon.org and click on "Get Started". It doesn't matter if they join a different server because the servers talk to each other (here's a bit more of an explanation mstdn.social/@feditips/1070214)

4. Find out what the Fediverse is (mstdn.social/@feditips/1070440)

5. Find out why Mastodon being on so many different servers/instances is a really good thing (mstdn.social/@feditips/1070837)

6. If you see anything nasty, you can report it to your friendly server admin (mstdn.social/@feditips/1065401)

7. You can (sort of) verify your account if you own a website (mstdn.social/@feditips/1062741)

If you have any questions, @ me or DM me!

boosted

Mother and Baby Homes report highlights how eugenics targeted unmarried mothers ionainstitute.ie/mother-and-ba

boosted

Did you know there are centralized alternatives to the #Fediverse?

They are great!
Instead of being developed by volunteers for the community they are developed for millionaires with the sole purpose of getting them more money and influence over the "users".

They contain ads and algorithms, so you don't have to decide, what you want to see, but you get to see what makes you addicted, so you view more ads, buy more stuff and thereby support the capitalist system that we all love.

Instead of anonymity you get to enter your phone number and other form of identification, which totally helps against hate speech, right?

I could go on with advantages, but I think it's best you check them out for yourselves.

boosted

Nice article in Low-Tech magazine on why it makes sense to buy second-hand laptops and install #Linux on them.

Via @Natris1979

lowtechmagazine.com/2020/12/ho

boosted

Mastodon is part of the Fediverse.

The Fediverse is a collection of alternative social networks which are connected together through a common technical standard called ActivityPub.

People on the Fediverse can follow, comment, like or message each other seamlessly.

For example, the account @craftykat is on a video platform called PeerTube, but you can follow them, watch the videos, give them a like and comment on them without leaving Mastodon. Try it yourself!

Another example you can try interacting with is @Picturavis, which is on a photo platform called PixelFed.

When you use Mastodon, a lot of the accounts you talk to are actually not on Mastodon!

It can take a bit of time to get your head round this, because centralised social networks like Twitter or Facebook deliberately stifle interoperability.

The Fedi is different, no one owns it so there's no restriction on what people do with it. The ordinary user is all that matters on the Fedi 💪

boosted

Religious practice makes us happy

Religious practice makes us happy, says Laurie Santos who teaches classes on the psychology of happiness at Yale University.
In an interview with the New York Times magazine, the popular cognitive scientist discusses what contributes to our happiness and, among other factors, she mentions religion.
She reckons that practising religious makes people happy. “There’s a lot of evidence that religious people are happier in a sense of life satisfaction and positive emotion in the moment”, she says.
But Santos also claims that religious people are happier not so much because of their beliefs but because of their actions. Being religiously active means to engage in social connection, to volunteer, to feel belonging to a community, to develop a sense of meaningful life together with those with kindred principles.
We get benefits not from theological principles but from the commitment to our group, she says.
This claim rebukes two common opinions among the critics of organised religion. Not only it contradicts the allegation that religion is repressive and detrimental, but it also confirms that it is organised religion - and not just spirituality – that makes us happy. Belief is not sufficient. In order to be beneficial, religious practice has to happen in some organised form, within a group.
“You need a cultural apparatus around the behaviour change”, she tells in the interview. This apparatus has two elements: theological principles and commitment to the group but the latter “doesn’t have to come with a set of spiritual beliefs”, she claims.
In another interview she explains that religious traditions induce us to do acts of charity, having gratitude, being in communities where we connect with others. All those actions give us a boost, but nonbelievers can get a boost from those habits, too.
Her position is problematic, nonetheless, for two reasons.
Firstly, it seems she suggests that all beliefs are equal and what matters most is the cultural apparatus around them. “Could someone get as much benefit from actively participating in a white-nationalist militia as he could be actively participating in a Quaker church?", asks the journalist.
In her reply, prof. Santos explains that she won’t advocate for such organisations, but she reckons that they give a sense of meaning and belonging to those who are involved in them.
Moreover, her claim that the benefits of religion can come from some substitutes is not convincing. Being involved in communal activities - from playing sport to engage in active politics- gives purpose and sense of belonging but I doubt it can be as meaningful as knowing that God is our Father and we are loved by him. They don't bring happiness, unless we understand happiness in a very narrow sense, as some kind of temporary pleasant experience.
People give up their lives more often for their religious faith than for their golf team or stamps club. Not all communal activities are equally valuable.
In any case, it is good to have one of the main gurus of the “science of happiness” confirming international studies which have shown that the level of happiness cross-correlates with the level of religiosity.
The contribution of religion to mental health and wellbeing is well established, and some surveys suggest that Christians are the happiest among the faith groups.
But one could say that the primary purpose of religion is not happiness in this life but to make us closer to God. It has positive effects, but these are not the best motivation for practising a faith.
Religion can be dangerous; it might involve persecution.
Still, those who suffer because of their faith do not abandon it, because they believe it is true even when it doesn’t make them happy.
It is good to pursue happiness, but it doesn’t lead us to God. Seek God, instead, and you will find happiness.

boosted

Some Fediverse alternatives to "big tech" social media:

Instagram ➡️ @pixelfed

Twitch ➡️ @owncast

Medium ➡️ @writefreely

You don't need an account on all of these in order to interact with them.

Because they all use the ActivityPub open protocol, you can (for example) use a Mastodon account to follow someone on PixelFed or vice versa. That's why they are collectively known as the Fediverse, because they federate together at a technical level.

Also, this is an incomplete list, there are many other Fedi projects out there such as @funkwhale or @inventaire that are not direct alternatives but are their own thing.

boosted

I appreciate #Tutanota because they have one of the best track records w/it comes to protecting users.

If you are thinking about #Ukraine: 25% of revenue will go towards Ukraine Humanitarian aide.

tutanota.com/blog/posts/helpin

Religious practice makes us happy

Religious practice makes us happy, says Laurie Santos who teaches classes on the psychology of happiness at Yale University.
In an interview with the New York Times magazine, the popular cognitive scientist discusses what contributes to our happiness and, among other factors, she mentions religion.
She reckons that practising religious makes people happy. “There’s a lot of evidence that religious people are happier in a sense of life satisfaction and positive emotion in the moment”, she says.
But Santos also claims that religious people are happier not so much because of their beliefs but because of their actions. Being religiously active means to engage in social connection, to volunteer, to feel belonging to a community, to develop a sense of meaningful life together with those with kindred principles.
We get benefits not from theological principles but from the commitment to our group, she says.
This claim rebukes two common opinions among the critics of organised religion. Not only it contradicts the allegation that religion is repressive and detrimental, but it also confirms that it is organised religion - and not just spirituality – that makes us happy. Belief is not sufficient. In order to be beneficial, religious practice has to happen in some organised form, within a group.
“You need a cultural apparatus around the behaviour change”, she tells in the interview. This apparatus has two elements: theological principles and commitment to the group but the latter “doesn’t have to come with a set of spiritual beliefs”, she claims.
In another interview she explains that religious traditions induce us to do acts of charity, having gratitude, being in communities where we connect with others. All those actions give us a boost, but nonbelievers can get a boost from those habits, too.
Her position is problematic, nonetheless, for two reasons.
Firstly, it seems she suggests that all beliefs are equal and what matters most is the cultural apparatus around them. “Could someone get as much benefit from actively participating in a white-nationalist militia as he could be actively participating in a Quaker church?", asks the journalist.
In her reply, prof. Santos explains that she won’t advocate for such organisations, but she reckons that they give a sense of meaning and belonging to those who are involved in them.
Moreover, her claim that the benefits of religion can come from some substitutes is not convincing. Being involved in communal activities - from playing sport to engage in active politics- gives purpose and sense of belonging but I doubt it can be as meaningful as knowing that God is our Father and we are loved by him. They don't bring happiness, unless we understand happiness in a very narrow sense, as some kind of temporary pleasant experience.
People give up their lives more often for their religious faith than for their golf team or stamps club. Not all communal activities are equally valuable.
In any case, it is good to have one of the main gurus of the “science of happiness” confirming international studies which have shown that the level of happiness cross-correlates with the level of religiosity.
The contribution of religion to mental health and wellbeing is well established, and some surveys suggest that Christians are the happiest among the faith groups.
But one could say that the primary purpose of religion is not happiness in this life but to make us closer to God. It has positive effects, but these are not the best motivation for practising a faith.
Religion can be dangerous; it might involve persecution.
Still, those who suffer because of their faith do not abandon it, because they believe it is true even when it doesn’t make them happy.
It is good to pursue happiness, but it doesn’t lead us to God. Seek God, instead, and you will find happiness.

Radical assisted suicide organisation opens in Ireland to almost no reaction ionainstitute.ie/radical-assis

Contrary to popular belief, religious men do more housework than the norm ionainstitute.ie/contrary-to-p

boosted

CW Long posting (original content)

Ireland is experiencing a demographic catastrophe

Due mainly to Covid-19, Ireland saw a significant drop in the number of births in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. At 14.6pc, it was the second biggest fall in Europe, and would have been even worse were it not for the number of non-Irish nationals having babies here. Marriages also went significantly down. We are experiencing a demographic catastrophe.

Vital statistics for the second quarter of 2021 released by the CSO last week show that 11,551 babies were born from April to June this year, whereas in the same period in 2020 there were 13,527 births. That is a drop of 1,976, the equivalent of -14.6 pc. An enormous reduction.

Those born from April to June 2021 were conceived in the second half of 2020, when Ireland was experiencing the second wave of the pandemic.

If we compare births for the first quarter (January-March) of this year with the first quarter of last year, before the pandemic got a grip on the country, there was a fall of 3.3pc, not too out of line with trend for the last few years.

This proves that conceptions dropped significantly only in the second half of last year when, after an initial period of uncertainty, people began to understand the long-term impact of Covid-19 and they planned their future life accordingly.

If we combine quarters 1 and 2, the drop of births was 8.8pc, compared to the first semester of 2020.

A similar drop has happened in other countries but not everywhere. With the exception of Moldova, Ireland has had the highest drop in Europe in 2021 so far.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, births went down in Portugal (-8.5pc)., Poland (-7.6pc), Italy (-4.4pc), England and Wales (-3.9pc). And also outside of Europe: Japan (-4.9pc), United States (-1.9pc).

But there was an increase of births in some North European countries: Finland (6.9), Norway (5.7), Netherlands (5.7), Denmark (3.1). Sweden, which had no lockdowns, also saw a 0.7pc increase.

It is worth noting that in April-June last year, 77.5pc of babies were born to women with an Irish nationality. Non-Irish nationals represent 12.9pc of the total population, but accounted for 22.5pc of births. They are having more children per head than the Irish.

Not surprisingly, the number of marriages plunged as well, but in order to understand the scale of reduction it is better to compare 2021 not with the previous year but with 2019, as in some periods of 2020 weddings were heavily restricted and so most of them were postponed.

(For a more detailed analysis of marriages in 2020 see here: gript.ie/covid-caused-a-bigger)

2,558 weddings took place in the second quarter of 2021 in Ireland. About half (50.8pc) compared to 2019 when, in the same period, 5,204 couples tied to knot. In the second quarter of 2020, there were only 303 marriages, when only six people could attend.

There were 4,823 marriages in the first half of 2021, 42.5pc fewer than 2019 when 8,389 couples married. Instead, compared to the first half of 2020, when most weddings were cancelled, this year saw a significant increase of 68.6pc.

A drop in marriages during the pandemic is a world-wide trend, with no exceptions, and it was already evident from the 2020 data but the impact of Covid-19 on births appears only in 2021, after 9 months. The change in birth rate in different countries is complex to explain but it is associated to how much and when the virus hit them. Only few, mostly Scandinavian countries, experienced a small baby-boom.

The Irish birth rate in quarter 2 of 2021 was the lowest ever since it has been recorded: 9.2 per thousand population. The total fertility rate (average number of children a woman would have in her life) for the first half of 2021 was also the lowest recorded ever: 1.4. This is way below the replacement rate.

All those figures might slightly improve in the years to come, when Covid-19 will fade away, but the current situation is dramatic. Ireland is experiencing a demographic catastrophe and there seems to be little awareness in the public opinion.

Our low fertility rate should be a cause of national debate, but mysteriously is not, despite its dire, long-term consequences.

PRESS STATEMENT: COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS PUBLISH POSITION PAPER ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA.

December 20, 2021.

irishpsychiatry.ie/blog/press-

College of Psychiatrists of Ireland warns against introduction of assisted dying legislation in Ireland.

The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland (College of Psychiatrists) has warned that *physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia (PAS-E) is not compatible with good medical care* and that its introduction in Ireland could place vulnerable patients at risk.

PAS-E is also known as “assisted dying” and in the New Year the issue will be the focus of a Special Oireachtas Committee set up to examine the Dying with Dignity Bill (2020).

The College of Psychiatrists is the professional and training body for psychiatrists in Ireland and represents 1,000 professional psychiatrists (both specialists and trainees) across the country. It has today published a position paper on this issue [see editors’ note below] which sets out some key issues regarding the introduction of assisted dying in Ireland. These include:

* Assisted dying is contrary to the efforts of psychiatrists, other mental health staff and the public to prevent deaths by suicide.

* It is likely to place vulnerable people at risk – many requests for assisted dying stem from issues such as fear of being a burden or fear of death rather than from intractable pain. Improvements in existing services should be deployed to manage these issues.

* While often introduced for patients with terminal illness, once introduced assisted dying is likely to be applied more broadly to other groups, such that the numbers undertaking the procedure grow considerably above expectations;

* The introduction of assisted dying represents a radical change in Irish law and a long-standing tradition of medical practice, as exemplified in the prohibition of deliberate killing in the Irish Medical Council ethics guidelines;

Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist *Dr Eric Kelleher* is a member of the College of Psychiatrists and contributing author to the position paper on assisted dying.

Speaking today, he said: “We are acutely aware of the sensitivity of this subject, and understand and support the fact that dying with dignity is the goal of all end-of-life care. Strengthening our palliative care and social support networks makes this possible. Not only is assisted dying or euthanasia not necessary for a dignified death, but techniques used to bring about death can themselves result in considerable and protracted suffering”.“

Where assisted dying is available, many requests stem, not from intractable pain, but from such causes as fear, depression, loneliness, and the wish not to burden carers. With adequate resources, including psychiatric care, psychological care, palliative medicine, pain services, and social supports, good end-of-life care is possible,” he said.

*Dr Siobhan MacHale*, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, a member of the College of Psychiatrists and contributing author to the position paper on assisted dying, said: “Once permitted in a jurisdiction, experience has shown that more and more people die from assisted dying. This is usually the result of progressively broadening criteria through legal challenges because, if a right to assisted dying is conceded, there is no logical reason to restrict this to those with a terminal illness.”

She continued: “Both sides of this debate support the goal of dying with dignity, but neither the proposed legislation nor the status quo (as evidenced by both clinical experience and the power of this debate) is sufficient. It is imperative for the Irish people to continue to demonstrate leadership as a liberal and compassionate society in working together to achieve this.”

The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland’s position paper on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia is available to view in full here.

irishpsychiatry.ie/external-af

Issued on behalf of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland by Gordon MRM

Julian Fleming Phone: 0876915147
Email:julian@gordonmrm.ie

Karen McCourt, CPsychI Communications Officerkmccourt@irishpsychiatry.ie

boosted
boosted

What assisted suicide tells people with disabilities ionainstitute.ie/what-assisted

CW Long posting (original content)

Ireland is experiencing a demographic catastrophe

Due mainly to Covid-19, Ireland saw a significant drop in the number of births in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. At 14.6pc, it was the second biggest fall in Europe, and would have been even worse were it not for the number of non-Irish nationals having babies here. Marriages also went significantly down. We are experiencing a demographic catastrophe.

Vital statistics for the second quarter of 2021 released by the CSO last week show that 11,551 babies were born from April to June this year, whereas in the same period in 2020 there were 13,527 births. That is a drop of 1,976, the equivalent of -14.6 pc. An enormous reduction.

Those born from April to June 2021 were conceived in the second half of 2020, when Ireland was experiencing the second wave of the pandemic.

If we compare births for the first quarter (January-March) of this year with the first quarter of last year, before the pandemic got a grip on the country, there was a fall of 3.3pc, not too out of line with trend for the last few years.

This proves that conceptions dropped significantly only in the second half of last year when, after an initial period of uncertainty, people began to understand the long-term impact of Covid-19 and they planned their future life accordingly.

If we combine quarters 1 and 2, the drop of births was 8.8pc, compared to the first semester of 2020.

A similar drop has happened in other countries but not everywhere. With the exception of Moldova, Ireland has had the highest drop in Europe in 2021 so far.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, births went down in Portugal (-8.5pc)., Poland (-7.6pc), Italy (-4.4pc), England and Wales (-3.9pc). And also outside of Europe: Japan (-4.9pc), United States (-1.9pc).

But there was an increase of births in some North European countries: Finland (6.9), Norway (5.7), Netherlands (5.7), Denmark (3.1). Sweden, which had no lockdowns, also saw a 0.7pc increase.

It is worth noting that in April-June last year, 77.5pc of babies were born to women with an Irish nationality. Non-Irish nationals represent 12.9pc of the total population, but accounted for 22.5pc of births. They are having more children per head than the Irish.

Not surprisingly, the number of marriages plunged as well, but in order to understand the scale of reduction it is better to compare 2021 not with the previous year but with 2019, as in some periods of 2020 weddings were heavily restricted and so most of them were postponed.

(For a more detailed analysis of marriages in 2020 see here: gript.ie/covid-caused-a-bigger)

2,558 weddings took place in the second quarter of 2021 in Ireland. About half (50.8pc) compared to 2019 when, in the same period, 5,204 couples tied to knot. In the second quarter of 2020, there were only 303 marriages, when only six people could attend.

There were 4,823 marriages in the first half of 2021, 42.5pc fewer than 2019 when 8,389 couples married. Instead, compared to the first half of 2020, when most weddings were cancelled, this year saw a significant increase of 68.6pc.

A drop in marriages during the pandemic is a world-wide trend, with no exceptions, and it was already evident from the 2020 data but the impact of Covid-19 on births appears only in 2021, after 9 months. The change in birth rate in different countries is complex to explain but it is associated to how much and when the virus hit them. Only few, mostly Scandinavian countries, experienced a small baby-boom.

The Irish birth rate in quarter 2 of 2021 was the lowest ever since it has been recorded: 9.2 per thousand population. The total fertility rate (average number of children a woman would have in her life) for the first half of 2021 was also the lowest recorded ever: 1.4. This is way below the replacement rate.

All those figures might slightly improve in the years to come, when Covid-19 will fade away, but the current situation is dramatic. Ireland is experiencing a demographic catastrophe and there seems to be little awareness in the public opinion.

Our low fertility rate should be a cause of national debate, but mysteriously is not, despite its dire, long-term consequences.

What assisted suicide tells people with disabilities ionainstitute.ie/what-assisted

boosted

Hello Fediverse! I’ve had several people express interest in #Kiva after I posted about it recently. This inspired me to create a Fediverse Kiva team.

If you don’t know what Kiva is: it’s a philanthropic micro-lending organization that matches people who need small loans (typically a few hundred to a few thousand dollars) with people who are willing to lend. When a loan is repaid, those funds become available for you to lend again (or cash-out if you choose) thus multiplying your impact!

It’s a really neat program, I highly encourage people to check out (https://www.kiva.org), and if you do decide to sign up, join the Fediverse team to show solidarity with your fellow Fedi givers:

https://www.kiva.org/invitedto/fediverse/by/anonym00se

#GivingTuesday is coming up on December 1st. If 10 new people from the Fediverse join the Kiva Fediverse team by December 1st, I will fund 10 $25 loan credits for the people who signed up! If more than 10 people join the team, I will pick 10 team members at random to receive the$25 credits.

If you have questions about Kiva before signing up, I will do my best to answer them.

Shares and boosts appreciated.

boosted

Towns with exclamation marks in their name!
by maps.interlude at instagram