social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

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World AIDS Day is December 1, 2015.

We are closer but still very far away from solving HIV/AIDS. The UN Goal of 2030 for the effective stop of HIV will not happen with the current international politics of HIV/AIDS and the huge global disparities in income, infrastructure, and other resources.

2030 is possible, but to meet that goal, we are going to need a lot more compassionate and adult behavior in the world than we have ever had during the 64 years of my lifetime.

Doable? Yes. But you better start doing your part to do it.

To fix HIV/AIDS, we have to fix income disparities.To fix income disparities the rich of every country in the world need to be taxed at 100% on any individual net worth greater than $X. It may be more difficult to define an $X that the world will accept than it was to develop the theory of relativity.

Doable? Yes. But not without some new definitions of the rights and responsibilities of rich brats like Donald Trump.

[Thanksgiving 2015]

In the USA this week, Thursday is the big day of excessive eating, excessive television viewing (especially of football), excessive consumption of alcohol, excessive noise, excessive bickering, excessive arguing, excessive chaos, and excessive assorted silliness.

It’s Turkey Time named for our almost national bird (Ben Franklin thought that this would be a fine choice; of course this may also be an urban myth) and the way people act at a big family event especially after the alcohol is introduced.

Thanksgiving Day — a day the USA celebrates its harvest festival by having a traditional dinner of turkey and stuffing and lots of greasy vegetables and sweet potatoes and pie. All in honor of the Thanksgiving Dinner the Pilgrims of Massachusetts had in 1620 (or was it 1621 or 1622?) when they were not too busy dying of the diseases they encountered in the New World.

Well OK, except for the facts that the Pilgrims were not eating turkey at time, they had arrived in Massachusetts after the berry and grain harvest, and were living from fishing and stealing corn from the meadows on Cape Cod that the Native Americans had planted. The area where they landed also had rich shell fish fields. Oh, and there was that little matter of the ongoing war between the original inhabitants and the first of the English wave that came to steal their real estate. And yes, while much has been made of the fact that the Pilgrims reportedly came to America to escape religious intolerance, they did not refrain from attempting forced religious conversions of the native peoples.

Now that we have had the history lesson, back to the national holiday as portrayed by television and Hollywood …

Every wonder what it is like for the person living with dementia at the big family holidays? Is it a great day when they can meet with all of their relatives they cannot remember and relive all the great moments they cannot remember and get bombarded by far too much stimulation and be scared because they do not know what is coming next and nobody wants to ruin the surprise by telling them and they rapidly become overtired and overstressed. Like being on a rollercoaster or trying to find your keys or reading a huge run on sentence.

Want to make a great time at the holidays for the person with dementia and the family members who would like to see her-him? Make the part of the party the person with dementia experiences small and quiet and restful and non-stressful and for goodness sakes do not fill them with alcohol or expose him-her to the relatives who have been having too much of a good time at the free bar. And don’t push a lot of their “favorite” foods on them because food preferences change a lot during dementia as does what is safe to eat (possible choking, medication interactions).

A couple of mind maps on the issues. Click on the images to expand them. And yes, the issues are many I have personally faced at the usual big family gatherings and especially (in my case) at large professional gatherings and receptions that I sometimes attend with my family.

And yes, naps are a huge help. Virtually every time. And please don’t wake me up for the big touchdown when I have drifted off while watching the inevitable television.



Enjoy Thanksgiving, religious celebrations, weddings, graduations, housewarming parties, National Holidays, birthdays, awards celebration and all of the other times when groups of family and friends get together. These can be complicated days for a person with dementia but also highly rewarding days for the PWD and other participants. It just takes a little planning and a little tolerance for “changed” behavior. And a lot of love.


I have never seen People with Dementia listed as a group that is included in diversity training.

Why not? Increasing numbers of people with dementia are coming into your stores and restaurants to make purchases, your banks to make withdrawals (sometimes for many wrong reasons that add up to financial abuse), your movie theaters, your hospitals, and your sporting events.

The ones you see can live semi or fully independently until their diseases progress. They are your customers, friends, neighbors, fellow religious congregants, and vendors. At times they are even your presidents, prime ministers, legislators, and judges.

There are many locations, institutions, rules, elements of decor, printed materials, web sites, etc., that are unfriendly to those living semi-independently with dementia and continuing to function outside the home.

Better get the “rules” and “methods” for not discriminating against Persons With Dementia into your diversity training. Those you and your employees touch will be happy. So will your Legal Department.


4 live well apps

These are the four apps I use to deal with information and cognitive tasks daily. I use all four almost continuously on my MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. I have been using the four programs with cognitive impairment-dementia for several years.

Among other things, they allow me to write this blog 6 years after initial diagnosis.

Google finds information.

Snagit is the easiest way to clip parts of the information into various formats.

Evernote is a great place to store it.

iMindMap is the best way to organize information into forms that can maximize memory, be manipulated for decision making, and multi-task.

These would work darn well without cognitive impairment or dementia, too.


Somebody shows you a picture. You know the headline … John and Mary’s first baby, Bill’s college graduation, Hawaii on vacation. But what John and Mary were saying or how excited Bill was about his upcoming career and all the people he thanked or the details of the restaurant where you ate every night because it was so good. Gone. The content of the brackets is getting empty.

Headlines are great and I am very pleased to have them. At least now I still realize there are brackets to fill. But I can’t always fill them.

Just because I remember the headlines does not mean I remember what was in the brackets. Do not assume that I do.

I remembered to wash the frying pan from making eggs this morning. I can’t remember where it goes. When I locate the drawer by opening a bunch up, I cannot figure out how to get this fifth pan to fit in the drawer I know I will hold eight pans.

Story of my day.

Empty brackets.


Some days it feels like you are wearing a Cheesehead Hat as are these fans and players of the Green Bay Packers.

Empty brackets.


No cheese was harmed in the making of this post. Looks like some of these fans and players may do so damage to themselves, though.


[To the best knowledge of the writer, no individual in these pictures has dementia. Facial features have been blurred as have uniform numbers of players.]

There are two incredible literatures that give a lot of examples that can be used as models for the black&white design world of science diagrams.

I find these very interesting and stretching.

  1. Color Doodles. Design and color and precision and perspective all meet. Many doodles are exceptionally repetitive and precise. Good models for scientific graphics.
  2. Fountain Pen Ink Reviews. Skip right to the pictures. These review are incredible graphic displays of what you can do with color in ways that are not necessarily intuitive. But they make sense once you see the contrasts and comparisons. And look at color pen and ink sketching.

Yeah, I know, weird from someone who had a scientific career of 35 years. But in this new world of visual thinking that is expanding daily, color and design are like fonts and language and grammar used to be — better ways to get your ideas across.

And soon the neuroscience will expand and we scientists will learn which colors and design features get the neurons going. Somehow, I suspect that it will be the very things that good designers have already identified today.

The Visual Era of Scientific Data Communication3The Visual Era of Scientific Data Communication

HITMM 2016

Click here for an index of all HITMM 2016 posts.

I would categorize the pioneering efforts of Tony Buzan and many others to introduce and popularize the method of mind mapping as Mind Mapping 1.0. While mind map program vendors, sellers of consulting and training services, and others sometimes get quite loud in arguing who was the “inventor” of the method, I see claims of who invented what to be primarily marketing ones similar to those used in advertising colas, laundry detergents, and personal hygiene products. The identification of the organization or individual most responsible for making the method practical and useful is much more important than the term “inventor.” It is very clear to me that Tony Buzan was the one who took many ideas about visual thinking, the primitive neuroscience of the day (1970s), creativity, brainstorming, and management and formed it into a coherent and useful model of “mind mapping.” Had he not, the majority of the other players in the field would not be following his suggestions and rules (or arguing vociferously against them) or frequently copying his computer program.

The parameterizations and resulting computer programs by ThinkBuzan, Topicscape, Mindjet, and others comprise Mind Mapping 2.0. Buzan’s ideas and those of many others were incorporated into efficient and accessible computer programs that opened the mind mapping methods to a far larger audience of students, managers, and others.The iMindMap program by Griffiths and his colleagues at Open Genius is by far the best of the lot. Over time, the best programs have evolved into more general visual thinking environments I term these VITHENs) which feature mind maps as the core element but allow the author to show supporting data on the map or as annotations. Annotations can be links, graphs, comments, citations, and other forms of information that support the map or add expert justifications. Technical improvements in these programs are still frequently introduced. I consider Mind Mapping 2.0 to have been more important than Mind Mapping 1.0, and the contributions of Griffiths to how visual thinking should look and be implemented to be seminal.

Mind Mapping 4.0

[As I saw it in 2012 and continue to view it in 2015] Mind Mapping 3.0 is the integration of computer-assisted mind mapping methods, artistic sensibility to enhance visualization, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, substantive, creative, well-documented valid and reliable content of great importance.

Mind Mapping 3.0’s primary characteristic is that it emphasizes content within the mind map. Mind mapping has evolved from its start as a method which emphasized brainstorming, management observations, and business functions (calendars, timelines, responsibilities) into a much general form that permits the development of knowledge databases and models, communicates history and science, and can organize the rules of English for those learning the language.

Mind Mapping 4.0 goes far beyond Mind Mapping 3.0 as each map is created from the perspective of an expert both in the content area (such as dementia or memory or stress or the plays of Shakespeare or the development of the nuclear age) and the application of specific and unique styles of mind mapping to maximize the utility of the resulting mind maps.

The expert mind maps may then be turned into templates suitable for distribution to end users (such as healthcare providers, patients-clients, caregivers, managers, employees, educators, students, scholars, politicians, news reporters, engineers and hundreds of other end user groups. The key feature is that an expert is able to combine a high level of knowledge and expertise in the content area of the map with very advanced “formatting” methods (colors, fonts, organic or boxed styles, and others of format styles in the Buzan guidelines) using the very best combination of these for the subject matter, template users, objectives of the map, and for enhancing wanted outcomes and minimizing unwanted ones. Additionally, the expert needs to decide whether to use Buzan’s fairly standard and rigid rule of one word per branch in the mind map, Huba’s flexible, more valid judgment-based rule of one concept per branch, some combination of the two, or another innovative approach.Mind Mapping 4.0 is a highly accurate description of content (substantive) knowledge by an expert who also has the highest level of mind mapping expertise or collaborates in a team with an expert in mind mapping.

Does an “expert” in content matters need to have graduated from a specific degree program, taken a specific set of courses, had a certain number of hours of classroom or practicum hours, or obtained a specific professional license? I believe the answer to be ABSOLUTELY NOT. While formally educated professionals are typically content experts in some areas of specialization, this is not universally the case. Many people running around with doctoral-level training are not content experts in any area and many draw conclusions outside their areas of expertise. And certain topics (such as patient perceptions on disease or feelings or creative solutions to conflicts) are almost universally ignored by “advanced degree” content experts.In addition to the formally educated experts, there are many people who have become experts in various content areas through life experiences, self-teaching, on the job observations and inspirations, brainstorming, synthesizing the views of others, the experiences of disease and achievement, and personal research.

These are true experts. As was often said in earlier prehistoric times (the 1950s and 60s), they are graduates of the “School of Hard Knocks.” Among other famous graduates from this form of education is Bill Gates.In Mind Mapping 4.0, experts in some content area (a medical disease, mindfulness, best practices for management, the exploits of Henry the VIIIth, the history of caffeine addiction, the poor decisions of George W Bush, trends in high fashion, urban dictionaries, the characters of Star Wars, the jokes of Groucho Marx) use their knowledge, supporting data, research, synthesis, and creative insights to develop mind maps. With expertise in the possibilities of mind maps and their usage, in Mind Mapping 4.0, definitive content can be presented in mind maps that “bend” formal rules of mapping and present the best ways of formatting maps for the audience, type of information, intended actions, memory retention, creative insight, novelty, humor, and acceptance of new ideas, as well as unambiguous and easily understood communication.

In Mind Mapping 4.0, the presentation of new thinking and excellent information is enhanced and supported by the use of the “best” techniques of mind mapping tailored to the purposes for which the map was developed.Mind Mapping 4.0 should produce easily understood maps that can be translated into templates that can be widely used by others (as some examples consider such content as medical symptoms and disease screening, pharmaceuticals, recommended treatments, cautions, coming trends, and research findings in the areas of healthcare where I work).

Some characteristics and concepts of Mind Mapping 4.0.Click the mind map to expand it.


The following presentation presents one section of the mind map at a time. If you would like to go through the presentation at your own speed, click the stop button in the presentation and use the arrow keys to navigate

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


or a 36th or a 54th or a 72nd. Life is a process. Keep working the program and — if others help you with their resources and opportunities — eventually you can pull yourself out of personal problems, poverty, poor health, an inadequate formal education, depression, or a sense of failure.

Unlike the politicians of the US — trying to save money for those fortunate to be born in the right color skin, neighborhood, economic opportunity system, body, gene pool, country, or religion — I want everyone to have an almost unlimited opportunity to sincerely work themselves out of bad situations. This is the American dream, the core of world religions, and just the right thing to do.

I have been periodically revising the following mind map since 2012. Here is the late 2015 version.  (more…)

I have written so many times about learning how to write a mind map that I have neglected to blog very often about reading one.

Oh, no real need to. Drop a mind map on the typical adult’s lap and they can learn to read it (usually by just looking at the map and tracing through the information trees with their fingers).

Takes about 20 minutes for them to get it.

Hand the same mind map to a typical 8 year-old and she will be reading the mind map in 5 minutes. And drawing her first one 5 minutes after that.

That’s the power of mind maps. You can write something complicated down in a few words and pictures and people intuitively get it.

It’s so simple even a native Klingon speaker can figure it out.

reading a mind map

By the way, would someone please give the big Klingon in the corner some crayons?

Medical patients can use a lot of help in managing their treatment, lifestyle needs, mental health services, and social care.

Doctor visit? Got it. Food? Yup. Transportation? Here’s the taxi. Funds to help from the State? Let’s file the forms together. Frustrated? OK, they are jerks at the government office but I know a person who can help us. Which doctor? Everybody loves Dr B and thinks she is terrific. Forget to take a pill? Let’s look up the instructions for that medicine.

Case managers — be they nurses, social workers, peer counselors, other healthcare providers, caregivers, the local religious social services agency — make the health system work. Equitably. Rapidly. Efficiently. Effectively. Masters of greasing the sticky door.

For the masters of multi-tasking, being interrupted, needing to work rapidly, required to document everything, and needing to stay calm and collected what better professional tools than a costume with a cape (and flight capacity) and a mind map to guide the way?

Up up, and away!


heart eyes

Case Managers!

71 college football coaches in the USA make more than $1,000,000 yearly according to USA Today.

7 make at least $5,000,000 per year.

According to Harvard University, the current cost of a year at Harvard including tuition, room and board, fees, and miscellaneous items is $60,659.

For Nick Saban’s salary ($7,007,481, America’s highest paid college football coach at Alabama) 115.5 deserving, needy, and brilliant kids can go to Harvard. Toss in the annual salaries of the other 6 coaches who make more than $5,000,000 yearly and more than 500 kids can go to Harvard for free.

America’s highest paid college football coach or 115.5 kids going through Harvard learning STEM or liberal arts. Which do you think is the most likely to change society permanently and for the good of all including minority and other disenfranchised members?

In case you wonder, 10% of the current members of the US Congress have Harvard degrees as does the President and the President before him.

Look around the sideline at a college football game. There is a white head coach, a bunch of white assistants making in excess of $500,000 each per year, and 75 kids, primarily minorities who are unpaid and receive substandard college educations because they spend much of their time in practice and taking the easiest, lowest-quality courses on the advice of their tutors and coaches. The kids go out on the field and risk lifetime head and other injuries. 250 college students are drafted into the NFL each year and may receive salaries as high as their college coaches FOR A FEW YEARS (only).

Don’t tell me that the way to empower minority and other disenfranchised communities is to make football scholarships available to second-rate colleges to take third-rate courses. Yes there have been US Presidents who played college sports (Gerald Ford, football) and George H W Bush (baseball). But both Ford and Bush had degrees from Yale and Ford was an undergraduate at Michigan one of the finest public universities in the USA. Expensive private educations produce minority US Presidents, Senators, Representatives, CEOs, lawyers, physicians, Nobel Prize winners, and even, among the drop-outs from Harvard, two of the richest individuals in the USA. The first minority US President (Obama, who also won a Nobel Peace Prize) has degrees from Columbia and Harvard.

In contrast to the 71 college football coaches in the same top tax bracket, five professors in the United States make more than $1,000,000 per year. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman (previously of Princeton) was criticized for accepting too much at $220,000 per year to join the faculty of the City University of New York, primarily because he is also perhaps the best liberal political commentator on the pages of the New York Times.

Nick Saban or a possible US president and likely CEOs and doctors? Nick Saban coaching boys. Harvard educating both girls and boys. Is Harvard or Nick Saban more likely to make a child from a poor, disenfranchised group a world leader, great humanitarian, or world-changing scientist?

Just a little more than half of Nick Saban’s annual salary could put his whole team through HARVARD or any of the most expensive private colleges in the USA.

Hey Nick, go find a real job. It might be difficult because you are not sufficiently educated to get a $220,000 teaching job at the City University of New York, but undoubtedly the NFL would take you back.