A couple of weeks ago I attended the Southern Humboldt Community Values Conference at the Mateel Community Center in Redway. As soon as I heard about this event, I knew I had to attend. I knew I had to attend because:
- I wanted to see who in Southern Humboldt cares enough about community values to show up to an event at 9:00 am on a Sunday morning in April without the lure of alcohol or music. I wanted to meet those people, and…
- I genuinely care about community values.
These days, people endure enormous economic stress. Economic stress compromises, corrupts and crushes values, as well as the people who cling to them. This economy grinds values into garbage just as efficiently as it does redwood trees, rhinoceroses or the rest of us. If you value anything more than money, I think it more important than ever to remind yourself why, and to draw strength from that knowledge. If we share values as a community, we can share that knowledge, and reinforce those values, to make our community stronger and more cohesive. Really, I understand the importance of community values, but I also understood the motivation for this conference.
The Southern Humboldt Values Conference was sponsored by an organization called SHC, which supports and lobbies on behalf of cannabis growers. They had the idea to use Southern Humboldt’s “community values” as a marketing tool, to help them promote and sell their branded cannabis products. They constructed the conference so that no matter what happened, at the end of it, they would have a list of value statements that they could then distill down to a logo that they could slap on product labels and use in advertising to convince cannabis consumers that their pot was worth more money than pot grown elsewhere.
Basically, the Southern Humboldt Community Values Conference was a scheme, dreamed up by pot growers, to cash-in on anyone left in SoHum who cares about anything but money. You didn’t even have to care that much. At the conference, all you had to do, to express your values, was to show up and give them lip-service. You didn’t have to live them, invest in them, or practice them; they just had to sound good to you on a sober Sunday morning in April.
About 30 people showed up to participate in the conference, and another 10-15 straggled in late, missing most of the process. In other words, more than 99% of the SoHum community had better things to do. When you consider that at least a few of the participants were motivated by the potential ad campaign they hoped to create, you would have to admit that “community values,” on their own, are not a big draw in SoHum, but now that we’ve done the hard work of establishing our “community values,” what shall we do to instill them in the rest of our community?
For instance, one of the value statements we generated was some word-salad gobbledygook about how much we love the natural environment. All of the value statements we generated at the conference came out as such convoluted and poorly written sentences that I could not summon the energy to write them down. I found it embarrassing to have even participated in composing them, and I would have been even more embarrassed for anyone to see them written in my notebook. I do recall, however, that this word-salad value statement about how much we love the natural environment, contained the phrase, “we honor the cycles of nature.”
That sounds good, right? I’m down with it. I think we should honor and respect all of nature, including human nature, so sure, if we can at least get “the cycles of nature” into our community values statement, that’s great. At least “honor the cycles of nature” implies that nature is alive. As I recall, the rest of that value statement referred to the natural environment in terms of how we consume it, using words like “scenic beauty” and “peace and quiet,” but we all agreed on, and adopted, “honor the cycles of nature” as part of our cherished community values, while we ignored other values like eloquence and clarity entirely.
OK. Now we’ve had this conference, and we’ve established that honoring the cycles of nature is a stated, adopted and cherished Southern Humboldt Community Value©. Shouldn’t we make it clear to all of the people around here growing light-dep and mixed-light cannabis that they have gotten out-of-step with our community values? Will SHC refuse to allow light-dep or mixed-light product to be labeled with the “Southern Humboldt Community Values©” label?
I mean, it’s bad enough that light-dep and mixed-light growers waste panda plastic by the truckload, create noise and light pollution that disrupts wildlife behavior, and that they pollute and destroy critical habitat here in SoHum, but none of that conflicts with our newly adopted community values. On the other hand, light-dep and mixed-light growers definitely cheat the cycles of nature, for profit, which is clearly not in accord with our stated community values. Should we tolerate this heinous affront to our shared community values here in Southern Humboldt?
Often community values conflict with economic opportunity. People who believe in community values, will uphold the values of their community, no matter how ridiculous they seem, or how much they cost, in terms of missed economic opportunities, because it’s more important to most people to be a part of a community than it is to be rich and alone in secret. That’s the paradox of community values in Southern Humboldt. Here in SoHum, we have a whole community of people who have decided that they would rather be rich and alone in secret, than uphold community values.
Humboldt’s growers should realize that the people who buy their product are all expected to uphold community values, every day, even if they work for minimum wage, which a lot of them do. Even the poor and homeless are constantly reminded to uphold community values, so I doubt that anyone will be willing to pay much of a premium for it in their marijuana. Think about how many marijuana consumers have been kicked out of school, discriminated against in the workplace, and persecuted by law enforcement, because they smoke marijuana, and how much that has cost them in terms of lost income, pain and suffering, and then think about how much these people have paid for weed over the years, because of prohibition. How much chutzpah does it take to imply that there is anything like “fair trade” going on here?
Besides the gobbledygook about the natural environment, we had one value statement that involved respect for counter-cultures, and talked about accepting refugees from all wars, but within it, we included the phrase “we speak in code and privacy is key.” That’s very important to remember when dealing with people in Southern Humboldt.
Nothing you hear, here in SoHum, really means what you think it does. When they say “community,” in SoHum, they mean “growers.” When they say “our diverse community,” they mean, “Some of us grow headband; some of us grow blue dream, and some of us grow OG, but the people who work in our grocery stores, at the bank, or even on our own farms, don’t count.” “Privacy is is key” means “you’ll never find out what we are up to unless we get busted for it.”
The truest, most relevant, and elegantly stated value statement of the entire conference came, near the end, from a cheerful, bright-eyed young woman who obviously knows this community well. She said, “It’s kinda like we all killed the same person and we’ve all been covering it up.”
That’s pretty close to the truth. Since the casualties of the War on Drugs number in the millions by now, it would have been more accurate to use the plural form of the noun, but after a long day of torturing the English language, I really appreciated the honesty and eloquence.
Last Thursday, I attended the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission’s regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday of the month. This “regular” meeting of the HRC proceeded very differently from the “special” meeting they held in Garberville back in February, which I also attended. At that “special” meeting back in February, the HRC conducted no business. Instead, they listened to us for a couple of hours, and scribbled notes in magic marker on a big pad of paper.
This, most recent, meeting was very different. This time, we got the see the HRC in action, and after seeing what they do, I understand why the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors appreciates them so much. The HRC does a lot of work for the Board of Supervisors. In this particular meeting, we watched them hammer out language for a county ordinance modeled after so-called “sanctuary city” laws that other places have passed, or are now considering, in response to recent changes in Federal immigration policy. The volunteers of the HRC drafted the resolution at no charge, so that the Supervisors can get paid to grandstand about it. What a deal!
“Human Rights Commission” is a great sounding name, and if you read their charter you could imagine that they have awesome power, especially when you read the part about them investigating human rights abuses. The charter makes them sound like UN Peacekeepers, but the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission doesn’t work like that. The HRC is made entirely of laypeople, chosen, it seems, because they know how to give good meeting. They have no training in recognizing human rights abuses and no expertise in investigating them, because, as HRC Chairman Jim Glover put it, “That’s not what we do.”
I started going to these meetings because of an ongoing pattern of violence against poor and homeless people in Southern Humboldt. The HRC has received sworn testimony from people who claim they were assaulted, robbed and evicted by vigilantes in Southern Humboldt. These vigilantes handed out eviction notices bearing the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department logo, and told their victims that they were acting on behalf of the Sheriff. I’ve seen a lot of corroborating evidence for these allegations, and investigative reporter Nicole Norris, aka Shakti, has been covering the story for KMUD.
These evictions were, at the time they occurred, just the latest violent attacks on poor and homeless people in Southern Humboldt, and concerned citizens were very careful to get statements from the victims, and sent those statements to the HRC, because this kind of violence has gotten so out of hand in Southern Humboldt. We demand an investigation into these crimes. We want to know who conducted these raids, and what, if any, legal authority they had to do so. We want to know how the Sheriff is involved, and why they have been so slow to investigate and prosecute these crimes, and we want the perpetrators of these crimes to be held accountable for their actions, and the victims compensated for their losses, because we don’t want vigilante violence in SoHum.
That’s why we went to the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission. We went to the HRC because of these specific human rights violations, and because we want to see them investigated. By now, it has been six months since these events took place, and two months since the special meeting where we complained about them not doing anything about the complaints made four months earlier. In the meantime, the HRC has gotten another dozen or so complaints of human rights abuse in Humboldt County, and another one walked in the door on the night of their most recent meeting. The HRC has investigated none of these complaints, and I doubt they would even know how.
I did get a copy of the HRC’s second draft of a new “proposed resolution” for “Houseless Emergency, Affordable Housing Zones and Sanctuary Parcels” which was at least partially motivated by testimony the HRC heard in Garberville back in February. The commissioners told us that the HRC had made similar recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in the past, which the Board of Supervisors repeatedly rejected. Commissioner Byrd Lochte told us that these recommendations had strained their relationship with the Board of Supervisors, because the Board of Supervisors just doesn’t want to hear it.
The way I see it, we have three overlapping problems here in Southern Humboldt:
- The ongoing housing crisis in Humboldt County, which the Board of Supervisors doesn’t want to hear about, because the real-estate developers and property owners who pull their strings are too busy coming with ecstasy over all of the money they make from it.
- As a result of the ongoing housing crisis, we have a lot of people living outdoors and in vulnerable situations, by necessity.
- We have serious allegations against local vigilantes who attacked poor people in their camps, stole and destroyed the belongings of their victims, and evicted them from their camps without due process, using an eviction notice bearing the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department logo.
This vigilante violence remains an ongoing problem in Southern Humboldt with deadly consequences. We demand an investigation into these crimes, and that the perpetrators be held accountable. We also want to know if anyone at the Sheriff’s Department gave these vigilantes permission to hand out eviction notices or in any way endorsed or allowed vigilantes to commit violent crimes against poor people in Southern Humboldt. These specific allegations of human rights abuse must be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Our Sheriff tells people that if someone breaks into your home, holds you at gunpoint and steals your money, you should call 911, even if you have a ton of weed around, because they want to catch violent criminals, and they’ll overlook the weed. Shouldn’t the Sheriff protect people who camp illegally, out of necessity, from violent vigilantes who raid their camps at least as much as they protect black market growers from the shady characters they associate with?
We need to know that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department is not protecting violent criminals within our community, and we need to know that they will uphold the law, and protect the peace by protecting the most vulnerable people in our community. Garberville is crawling with cops these days, and they spend most of their time harassing poor people, but we still don’t know who killed Stephany Gawboy, who set Ron Machado on fire or who’s been leading the vigilante raids into homeless camps in Southern Humboldt. It’s not enough for the Sheriff to be visible; the Sheriff has to arrest and prosecute the violent criminals who prey on the SoHum community, including those who prey on the poor and homeless.
I love science. My grandfather taught science and made sure I had ample early exposure to it. I collected fossils, did the experiments in my chemistry set, built model rockets and kept my deceased pets, snakes and turtles mostly, preserved in alcohol for later dissection. My room looked like a science lab.
I read science too. I hated story books as a child. I cannot describe how disappointed I was in any adult who pointed me towards the children’s section of the library. I’d take one look at the bright primary colors and the smiling anthropomorphic cartoon animals and think to myself, “How stupid do they think I am?” before heading to the science section and jumping into stuff that was way over my head.
As a teenager, they fed us a lot of government propaganda under the guise of “drug education.” Everything they told us about “drug education” seemed fishy to me. Clearly, the government did not want me to try drugs, but equally clearly, the message came through that a whole lot of American citizens thought drugs were worth breaking the law for. The cops that came to my school to convince me to say “no” to drugs, instead, convinced me that cops were small-minded gullible people who understood little besides power, authority and violence.
Drugs remained just as mysterious to me after “drug education” as they had been before, so I became curious. I’d heard the expression “experiment with drugs” and the idea appealed to my young science-nerd mind. At the time, even alcohol was alien to me. My parents didn’t drink, except for, perhaps, a glass of wine with Thanksgiving Dinner. By this time, I knew a bit about the scientific studies on the effects of psychoactive drugs, partially through my own reading, but largely through the state sanctioned curriculum taught to me in public schools.
Among the other propaganda, these curricula included quite a bit of science, and often cited the cruel, gruesome experiments conducted on laboratory animals by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. They made us watch graphic emergency room footage of a heroin overdose and showed us color photographs of all the nasty infections you could get from injecting drugs. Back then, Aids was just a chocolate flavored snack people ate to help lose weight.
They showed us how scientists measured alcohol impairment in volunteer test subjects, and of course, we saw graphic footage of traffic accidents involving drunk drivers. I don’t remember a lot of what I learned in school, but the gory drug-ed stuff, like the image of that poor unconscious kid, turning blue and foaming at the mouth while the ER doc cleaned out his abscessed vein, really stuck with me.
So did a short essay by Timothy Leary, included, oddly enough, in a state sanctioned drug education workbook. The authors of the workbook chose to illustrate this essay with a photograph of a distant and despondent-looking teenage girl, looking up at you from the floor, where she sat, back up against the wall, leaning against an open, dirty toilet, surrounded by dismembered manikin parts. The photo could have been left over from a Frank Zappa album cover shoot. Anyway, in the essay, Leary described his experience with LSD and what he meant by “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”
I didn’t really understand what he meant, or what about the experiences he had, that he found so appealing, but clearly, here was a Harvard professor who sacrificed his career to endorse and promote an illegal drug. I didn’t understand why, but his enthusiasm, and urgency came through. As a counterpoint to Leary’s essay, we heard an audio tape made by a young man, purportedly under the influence of LSD, immediately before he took his own life. They told us a lot about marijuana too, but mostly they tried to scare us away from marijuana by associating it with all of the other illegal drugs, and reminding us that we would get arrested and thrown in jail if we were ever caught with any.
I don’t want to lead you to believe that my early interest in drugs was driven entirely by scientific curiosity and the public education system. When I was twelve, my parents went through a long, messy, traumatic divorce that concluded, when I was 15, with my mother marrying a guy I did not get along with, and my dad moving away. At twelve, I thought that only an idiot would take drugs, but by the time I turned 15, I wanted to try them all.
I’m sure there were other factors involved in my decision, including hormones. My attitude towards girls made a similar 180 degree switch during those years as well. I also realize that living through your parents divorce is a pretty normal part of growing up, these days, and plenty of kids endure far worse trauma than I went through, but I also know a lot of adults who have way worse problems than I have.
For whatever reason, I began taking drugs. I took them of my own accord, by myself, without peer pressure, usually while doing little other than observing the effects of the drug with more or less scientific curiosity. I wanted to know what drugs did, and why people found them so attractive. I began with the drug most easily available to me, model airplane glue. I already had some in my room. At the time, the model industry was switching to fume-free, citrus-based plastic model glue, but the old fumy stuff worked better, and I still had some.
Sniffing glue felt good for about 3 minutes, but left me feeling sick for the rest of the day. Still, the effects were dramatic and interesting enough that I persisted for a time. At school, the first real illegal drug I scored was a black barbituate capsule called a “carbitrol.” I remember having coordination problems and feeling very sleepy when I took it. I did not understand the appeal of this drug at all. Eventually, I came to realize that many popular drugs effect how people feel in social situations, and the effects of these drugs, like alcohol for instance, were quite boring to observe, alone, under more or less clinical conditions.
I smoked my first marijuana through a pipe I made myself from an aquarium air line valve and some hardware I stole from my step-father’s workshop. I couldn’t believe how harsh it felt, and how much my throat and lungs burned from it. I could hardly imagine effects that would make it worth doing again, and I didn’t feel any psychoactive effects at all, that first time, but I figured I must be missing something, so I persisted. Finally, on my third attempt, I felt the full, psychoactive effects of cannabis. It felt great, almost overwhelming, but positively vibrant, in a way that no amount of objective science, or anti-drug propaganda, could have prepared me for.
I continued to explore the world of psychoactive drugs and soon discovered LSD. LSD also had dramatic and interesting effects, so I took it often. I took LSD until I understood exactly what Timothy Leary meant by “Turn on, tune in and drop out,” and I understood his enthusiasm and urgency. I found marijuana and the psychedelics to be, by far, the most interesting of the illegal drugs, and I pursued my study of them enthusiastically. I quickly discovered that marijuana fit nicely into my daily life, while LSD was a much more draining ordeal, that usually involved losing a nights sleep.
Scientifically, both cannabis and LSD have dramatic psychoactive effects that the user feels very strongly, but that cause few, and relatively superficial, changes in behavior and physiology that scientists can measure objectively. The objective studies I read, of the effects of LSD, prepared me not at all for what I experienced when I took it myself. For instance, the study that examined the effects of LSD on cat behavior, found no specific behavior that cats only did under the influence of LSD, and only a few behaviors that scientists could measure as increasing or decreasing under the effects of LSD.
Objective science yielded very little insight into why LSD effected people so dramatically, and why people like Timothy Leary, who took it themselves, rather than feeding it to lab animals, felt so strongly about it. To this day, most of what we know about the LSD experience comes from direct, observational experience, and objective science has gotten little better at explaining it.
Today we have MRI machines that can measure crude differences in brain activity between high people and people who are not high, but MRIs don’t explain why some people have religious experiences that change their lives, while others become paranoid, anguished and suicidal. I’ve had both types of experience, as well as several others that I found totally inexplicable, but absolutely fascinating, but back then, it was time for me to choose a major in college.
Since these experiences happened in my mind, I thought Psychology would be an appropriate field of study. I very quickly discovered that psychologists had, quite artfully, excised the mind from their field of inquiry, and had defined “psychology” as “the study of behavior” so as to fully embrace the methodology of objective science. In Psychology classes, once again, I found myself reading studies that measured crude behavioral changes, objectively, and offered little insight into people’s lived experience.
I took several psychology classes and learned that, for all of it’s objective science, the field had yielded very little insight into the nature of mental illness, nor done much to improve the condition of mentally ill people, but had made great strides in predicting and influencing consumer behavior. I found it very curious, and rather disappointing, that scientists who were so eager to attach sensors and electrodes to every inch of our bodies, and sample all of all of our bodily fluids, apparently had no interest at all in studying the contents of our perceptions, scientifically.
No one seemed interested in studying direct experience, and there didn’t appear to be a way to do it objectively. That is, according to the scientific method that had been drilled into my head, over and over again, since I was a small child. Then, in my college catalog, I spotted an interesting elective in the Philosophy Dept called “Phenomenology” with Dr. James Buchanan. Phenomenology is the study of perception and direct experience. I had to buy five books for the class, all of them translated from German, none of which would I have found penetrable without the absolutely riveting lectures of Dr. Buchanan.
Dr. Buchanan deftly explained the shortcomings of objective science and how objective science distorts our view of the world. He explained why physics and chemistry have advanced so much faster than biology, medicine and psychology, and he very clearly explained the difference between a machine and an organism. Dr. Buchanan explained why objective science had been very helpful in learning to build machines, and why it was totally inadequate to understand organisms. Then he taught us the phenomenological method of scientific observation. I promise I won’t bore you with it.
It changed my life. The following semester, I took Dr. Buchanan’s Existentialism course, which I found just as riveting, and over the summer I did an independent study project with him on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. After that, I dropped out of college and started a band.
I didn’t start a band because I thought it would make me rich and famous; I started a band because I didn’t want to perpetuate a culture that systematically debases life by objectifying it. Instead, I wanted to work on building a new human culture, organically, from the ground up, based on the shared experience of people working together in small egalitarian groups. A band seemed like a good way to do that.
I still love science, especially ecology and wildlife biology, but I understand the limits of objective science, and I understand the poisonous cultural myth that uses objective science to push us down the road of maximum destruction and harm. I’m still interested in building a new human culture from the ground up, but, unfortunately, I don’t meet many people who found drugs as educational as I did.
The War on Drugs is a horrible crime against humanity, and if we ever manage to bring this bloody chapter in American History to a close, we should make sure that it never happens again, but there’s one thing I miss about the whole police-state, lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-key attitude of the ’80s and ’90s. Back when you could still go to jail for growing weed, drug dealers used to keep a low profile, and they kept their mouths shut. I miss that.
These days drug dealers never shut up, and the more they talk, the dumber they sound and the uglier they look. I realize that they’re just trying to organize, raise their profile, and lobby on their own behalf, but the more they do it, the creepier it gets. They can’t help it. They have an untenable position. War profiteers hate to see wars end, but they should know better than to complain about it in a room full of veterans, widows and orphans.
I didn’t realize just how dumb and repulsive drug dealers really were, until I heard them complain about the falling price of marijuana. Really, you should keep that to yourselves. The people out there forking over large sums of cash for paltry quantities of cannabis don’t feel your pain. They probably don’t even like you, and only tolerate your company because you have weed. If they could get it somewhere else, for even a dollar less, they’d do it in a heartbeat.
Complaining about the falling price of cannabis, and lobbying politicians to keep prices high, didn’t win “The Humboldt Brand” any friends among cannabis consumers. We want the price of cannabis to fall further, much further. We want the price of cannabis to fall below what it costs to produce it in the forests of Humboldt County. We don’t care that this long overdue price correction will affect growers negatively. In fact, that’s what we want.
Putting dangerous drug dealers out of business has always been half the reason to legalize marijuana in the first place. Black market drug dealers earned their reputation for violence. Black market drug dealers earned their reputation for destroying communities, and black market drug dealers earned their reputation for destroying the environment. In one way, you could say that black market drug dealers helped the cause of legalization by creating more social and environmental problems than legal marijuana possibly could.
If Humboldt County growers want to convince us that they are anything but dangerous drug dealers, who should be driven out of business, complaining about the falling price of marijuana and lobbying to keep pot prices high doesn’t really help their cause. Complaining about the bad press they get every time another grower gets caught doing something horrendous to the forest, or someone gets killed at a grow scene, or in a drug deal, or another hash lab blows up, doesn’t really help their image either.
It doesn’t look good to be more concerned with how a problem affects your image than you are with the problem itself. We ignore sex trafficking, hard drugs and violent criminal gangs in our community, as well as way too much environmental damage and worker exploitation, just to protect the wholesome fiction of “Mom and Pop Grower,” and the “Small Farmer,” that we so desperately want to project to the world. We dismiss anyone who doesn’t fit into that happy, mythical stereotype as “a few bad apples” no matter how many of them we find.
Now they want us to call them “farmers” instead of “drug dealers.” They like the term “farmers” because farmers have political clout. Farmers also do a lot of environmental damage, but people cut farmers slack, because farmers produce food, and everyone needs food. Dope yuppies think we should treat them with the same deference and respect as we do farmers. Of course, real farmers, working flat, fertile land with a tractor, could put Humboldt County’s so-called “farmers” out of business, overnight, if it weren’t for the law. If the value of your product depends upon an army of law enforcement officers, courts and prisons to prevent honest business-people from competing with you, you’re a black market drug dealer, not a farmer.
Humboldt County growers know that they cannot compete with real farmers on a level playing field. They know that their income depends on the War on Drugs. They don’t care. They know that they have blood on their hands. They know that prohibition makes their operations profitable, and they don’t care who it hurts. They just want the money, so now they dismiss our concerns about the environmental damage they cause, by claiming that they’re not as bad as the timber industry or the wine industry. That’s one more unbelievably stupid thing that growers say all of the time now.
Growers tell us: “The marijuana industry hasn’t done nearly as much damage to the environment as the timber and wine industries, so give us a chance.” That’s like saying “Compared to Charlie Manson and Jeffery Dawmer, I’m a pretty nice guy.” The timber industry took 96% of all the old growth forest and practically drove the Humboldt Martin to extinction. The wine industry decimated native salmon populations. Thanks to the brilliant, government sanctioned land use practices of those two industries, we can’t afford to lose any more wildlife habitat to blind greed. Sorry folks. Cannabis is a beautiful plant, but what’s going on here is ugly, and unnecessary. Without prohibition and the black market, no one would ever dream of wasting so many resources to produce cannabis flowers as we do here in Humboldt County.
When it comes down to it, what’s good for the environment, is also good for cannabis consumers and the economy. Legalization should bring large scale production of commercial cannabis out of the forest and on to farmland, and into places where it can be grown most economically. Legalization should bring down the price of marijuana and eliminate the black market. This will hurt black market drug dealers in Humboldt County, who would, clearly, rather devour the forest like locusts, leaving mountains of grow garbage and useless consumer crap in their wake, than face a world in which selling weed at inflated, black market prices, was no longer an option for them.
I think Humboldt County growers realize they face a perception problem, but they haven’t quite figured out that the problem lies not so much with changing the way the world sees them, but rather with changing the way they see the world.