Becoming Normal Is a Full-Time Job
ROUND-UP: the ABA Industry, gender-affirming surgery for cismen, and daydreaming as disorder
I’m back from my much-needed break last week and I’ve got a great cacophany of stuff for you! We’re talking:
More on WitchTok’s viral manifestation sounds
an (unsurprising!) influx of private equity investment in ABA therapy
the rise of a particular gender-affirming surgery for cismen
the psychedelic hype bubble
creepy AI monsters and the horror movies I watched this week
The Law of Algorithmic Attraction
That thing happened to me again where I was reading an article and thinking, huh, I wrote about this recently too, and then my own name smacked me in the face! I swear I do not have a Google alert on myself (too much anxiety), these things just keep popping up (maybe a sign I am too plugged in to the discourse??)
This Daily Dot piece by Nicole Froio takes a look at the manifestation sounds going viral on TikTok that promise to help viewers attract good things to them. She cites research from my recent post, The Capitalist Origins of #Manifestation, and interviews WitchTok creators about the trend, who say it’s “predatory” and inaccurate at worst, a well-intentioned attempt to help others at best, but just because people are capitalizing on a trend, it doesn’t invalidate their spiritual practices.
Which I would agree with! Spirituality is important and I’m not here to argue against anyone’s beliefs, just the way they’re exploited and used to obscure social issues, as Froio concludes:
Perhaps the problem is viewing any spiritual practice—online or offline—as a solution for financial struggles when the real problem is the exploitation of capitalism. Manifestation shouldn’t be seen as a solution for our problems—rather, as a tool for coping when things get difficult.