Many years from now

Yep, it’s a mess, but it’s part of the power the Social Security
Administration has when you’re on their roster. This all came as a
surprise to me, but they have the right to conduct what they call a
“Continuing Disability Review.” Depending on your condition, these
reevaluations can be conducted every one, three, or seven years. It’s
like applying again for the first time — an initial written booklet
detailing all your ailments, your doctors, your medications, your

After that, you have to make sure that the doctors send in the
questionnaires and medical records that the SSA requests. Several of
my doctors didn’t reply, thinking that I am so obviously unable to work
that there was no need to prove it all over again. So, their
non-response triggered both a physical and a psychological exam. The
physical entailed having me stand on one foot and raise both arms. He
looked in my ears and eyes with the standard Little Flashlight, tested
my reflexes, and zip, out the door he went. He was a retired Family
Practice specialist whose web site said he quit medicine because he
became burned out over the volume of cases of “whining” patients he had
to see every day.

The psych exam entailed an hour-long interview during which I had to
answer each question from the initial questionnaire again: how many
hours a day can I sit upright, do I need help fixing breakfast, can I
drive a car. This was conducted by an educational psychologist whose
main line of work is helping kids in grades 5 through 12 learn study
skills, do homework, and get along with their teachers. I don’t mean
to put him down. He was a decent, stand-up guy who assured me that
there was no way I would be turned down, and agreed that the whole
dog-and-pony show was a ridiculous waste of time and money.

In several cases, I drove around town and collected copies of my exam
records and medical images from various doctors.

All of this, and I “meet the listing” on three or four different

In the end, after six months of growing anxiety about the sheer volume
of proof I was having to provide, I got an innocuous-looking letter
telling me that I was approved for another seven years, by which time I
won’t have to repeat this because I will be just a tad shy of
qualifying for Social Security based on age.

I’m writing all this in such long form to add to the collection of
horror stories here. Many years from now, enlightened civilizations
will read these stories and be required to sit down on the nearest curb
and take deep breaths for more than a few minutes.

gimp.ind 59: Applying for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
#54 of 55: Clive Durdle (clivedurdle) Thu 11 Feb 2010 (01:21 PM)

“I’m writing all this in such long form to add to the collection of
horror stories here. Many years from now, enlightened civilizations
will read these stories and be required to sit down on the nearest
and take deep breaths for more than a few minutes.”

I had a meeting on wednesday with an organisation called Vanguard
Consulting, who specialise in something called systems thinking.

and googling came across


Lots of this stuff seems to get quickly infected by management jargon,
but actually, I think there is something very important here if it can
be distilled.

The story above of the supervisor wrecking people’s medical
arrangements is classic, and actually probably is very challengeable in
law as unreasonable and against the sovereignty of the people, but
lawyers also have lost the plot and forgotten they are about natural
justice – which is a system concept.

Apologies, I haven’t yet got my thinking clear about this. The idea of
the commonwealth, we the people and William Morris News from Nowhere
are key to this.

What is systems thinking?

Systems thinking offers you a powerful new perspective, a specialized
language, and a set of tools that you can use to address the most
stubborn problems in your everyday life and work. Systems thinking is a
way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships among a
system’s parts, rather than the parts themselves. Based on a field of
study known as system dynamics, systems thinking has a practical value
that rests on a solid theoretical foundation.

Why Is Systems Thinking Important?

Why is systems thinking valuable? Because it can help you design
smart, enduring solutions to problems. In its simplest sense, systems
thinking gives you a more accurate picture of reality, so that you can
work with a system’s natural forces in order to achieve the results you
desire. It also encourages you to think about problems and solutions
with an eye toward the long view—for example, how might a particular
solution you’re considering play out over the long run? And what
unintended consequences might it have? Finally, systems thinking is
founded on some basic, universal principles that you will begin to
detect in all arenas of life once you learn to recognize them.

What Are Systems?

What exactly is a system? A system is a group of interacting,
interrelated, and interdependent components that form a complex and
unified whole. Systems are everywhere—for example, the R&D department
in your organization, the circulatory system in your body, the
predator/prey relationships in nature, the ignition system in your car,
and so on. Ecological systems and human social systems are living
systems; human-made systems such as cars and washing machines are
nonliving systems. Most systems thinkers focus their attention on
living systems, especially human social systems. However, many systems
thinkers are also interested in how human social systems affect the
larger ecological systems in our planet.


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