Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Post about Posting

In some ways it was gratifying to see that my last post struck a nerve and was passed around a bit.  It wasn't quite "viral" but it was read by many more people than usually view my occasional thoughts.

If ever there was gong to be a critical moment in my life as a blogger that could have been it.  I should have followed up immediately with clever, insightful posting on each of the next five days, with the hope that my mumblings would become the "go to" place for psychological insight into the evolving and/or decaying state of our wired, digital, always on, always expressive society.

But I didn't.  I had a cold.  I still have a cough.  It is the holiday week so I only have to work one day of  eleven. Due to my coughing, and everyone else's illness also, we canceled our trip to the Big City, and I stayed home and read old books, old and new magazines, blogs and weird web sites.  I watched things on YouTube, I listened to things on SoundCloud, I almost caught up on my email, I watched really meaningless football and I spend some time with the grandgirls, who had been sick also.

After all of this I have come away thinking that before I say anything else; before I rush to post my brilliant insights out here in the great and ever expanding world of cyberspace, I really ought to have something unique and interesting to say.  Even then I have to make sure that I am putting it out there because I want people to read and comment on it, more than I want to become known for saying it.

Russ Douthat, one of the NYT's more conservative columnists wrote today that people should take the time to read opinions that don't agree with theirs.  They should try to understand that the opposition, no matter which side, may not be just a bunch of brainwashed nutjobs.  While I think that idea has a lot of merit, for me, at this time, I am recommending that I stop reading almost everyone.  The political noise has become deafening.  Everyone has an opinion, many people put them out there, and then even more people write mean, trite comments, dismissing what was said.

There is a constant flow of opinion, information, music, art, good and bad science, family pictures, famous people, naked celebrities, half truths, the other half of truths, ways to be creative, ways to be creative differently, ways to make money, creative ways to make money, ways to spend money, ways to stay healthy, things to eat, how to cook them, how to grow them, where to buy them.  Individually, people post about the parties they are at, the restaurants they go to, the drinks they make, the people they don't like, the pills they take, the things they buy, pictures of their kids, their plants, their private parts, on and on and on and on........

My friends and colleagues are making "apps" as I predicted they should.  One is even making the exact app that I had designed one day last summer.

Everything is in the marketing. My app, which I never actually finished, is no better or worse than her app, but if she can get it our there first and fastest, then maybe, perhaps.....

The good thing about having a cold is that I didn't feel like doing much of anything.  I just let myself stare out the window at the early setting sun and just let my mind wander, without the pressure of doing anything worthwhile, and without trying to keep up with what is going on.

What I seemed to learn from this was that things will keep going on, and on, but that they really don't seem to be going anywhere particularly quickly, except "over the fiscal cliff" which could happen because no one can make anything happen.

So, my job now is to make sure I move back a little, for a while.  I will just sit here, or walk somewhere, or play with one and two year-olds, and give my own mind a chance to clear.

I will finish Moby Dick, (only 1/3 left), listen to some Bach, and I will watch the sunset, and sometimes watch the sun rise.
Perhaps, if I gain some brilliant insight, I will write about it here.  But I don't expect brilliance, and that's OK. It's enough to be alive and getting healthy.

Happy New Year to all!

I hope all of you stay healthy,  find some peace, some prosperity, find some fulfilling activities, and enjoy being with a few people who are important to you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What the NRA mean

I think i am paraphrasing here, but this is the jist of what the NRA said today:

The nice old guy

in the blue uniform

with the gun in his holster

making $8 an hour

in the school entry way

will be honored as a hero

after the first bullets from the high-velocity automatic weapon

pass through him.

And then we will have the funerals for the rest of the children.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Terrible, terrible, terrible

Anyone who knows or ever knew a six-year old has to be totally stunned and heart-broken at what happened on Friday. It is one of the scariest and most meaningless kind of acts that anyone can commit.

The U.S. is faced with another awful, expensive dilemma, as another part of our infrastructure is found to be neglected, underfunded, and ignored, and that again, it is revealed what happens when a problem is left to grow instead of being solved.

The first problem, and one I admit I have an interest in, is the huge amount of mental and emotional difficulties that are not dealt with.  There is a growing number of kids who are on the autism spectrum and/or have really difficult behavior problems.  These kids either don't get help and end up in jail, or they bounce from school to agencies, to probation to special schools, and if they are getting the treatment they need, and some do, it is very expensive.

Could this kid have been found and his behavior averted if there were more services available?  Perhaps.  That is very difficult to know. It is certainly worth the effort.  I think some of my patients could have gone that way, perhaps, but they got at least some attention.

And the other part is guns, especially automatic weapons, that can shoot dozens of rounds very quickly.  I have asked on some of the web sites I visit on which there are some gun advocates, for an explanation of why American citizens need to be armed.  I have not yet received an answer that I really understand.  I do not expect it to be rational, as perhaps my abhorrence of the availability to such weapons may not be rational, but I would like to understand the thinking, or the feeling.

Yes, gang member have guns, and drug dealers have guns, and so do legitimate hunters and backwoods men.  But we don't live in the 1820s any more.  We live in a time when all of our lives are greatly intertwined.  There are many more restrictions we have to live under if we are to have a society that functions.

But I really believe that there are many people out there who believe that the Muslim in the White House is about to declare Sharia Law, and that if we are not armed out women will be taken away. I guess tehy feel that if it can happen in Egypt, it can happen here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Blow to the Profession


It's a joke, and everyone knows it.

It isn't enough that we, Ph.D. Psychologists have to battle it out with "coaches," gurus, Internet experts and mystics, now the entire field of psychiatry has disgraced itself.  Since 2/3rds of Americans really don't know the difference between Psychology and Psychiatry we get lumped in with this blatant attempt to bolster revenue by a profession that is even worse shape than ours.

Psychiatry has become a profession in which 96% of its practitioners have become nothing but pill pushers.  I don't think they get more than ten hours of training in psychotherapy.  So now, to help them out and to aid their fellow travelers in Big Pharma, the list of thoughts and behaviors that can now be considered "pathological" has been increased to include almost anything except brushing your teeth and going to bed early.

The worst part is that they did this despite a lot of pressure, even from their own members.And because of all of the disagreements, they skipped the part about getting anything close to scientific data to back up their ideas that a three year-old who screams and cries because you take your iPhone back, is having an out-of-control event that may require medicating.

The only thing they seemed to have left out is the "Delusional Grandiose Marketing Strategy" diagnosis that should be given to the entire  crew that put this thing together.

Let's just all start over with the big masks, and shake those coconuts with seeds in them.  That will drive the evil spirits away.