We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, June 20. 2014
I have no answer. There are many people who can not be helped. The world is an asylum, and life is tragic.
Thursday, June 19. 2014
When it comes to sex, will humans ever be liberated from the basic biological needs that drove our evolutionary past?
Let's hope not. Actually the article is a critique of behavioral genetics, aka evolutionary psychology, as much as anything else.
Humans are a highly-sexualized sort of ape, with no estrus period as most mammals and even monkeys have (except for the "great apes" of which we are one). It's difficult if not impossible to determine what sexual behaviors are "natural" for humans because mental activity, fantasy, relationships, and culture are such major parts of being human. After all, rape, murder, theft, violence, pedophilia, etc. are all sort-of "natural" for humankind, and there are cultures in which monogamy is considered a mental illness or a form of infantile behavior. It's safe to say that the Western bourgeois ideal of lifelong monogamous marriage and the nuclear family is very far from "natural" despite being fairly effective for child-rearing and overall life stability in Western culture.
It also is safe to say that humans are the horniest of animals and, with our capacity for wild imagination and strange (by animal terms) sexual desires and fantasies, a rather insane species.
Freud explained a lot of that.
Wednesday, June 18. 2014
Tuesday, June 17. 2014
Sunday, June 15. 2014
Friday, June 13. 2014
Thursday, June 12. 2014
There is nothing new there in the age-old nature-nurture game. Does it really need saying that people who are more closely related likely have more traits in common? "Race" and "ethnicity" are just words for common ancestry, like "distant cousins." Early humans spread around the earth, and bred with others in their own neighborhoods just like Darwin's finches. Naturally, differences happened but not to the extent of new species, but enough so that people recognize their cousins.
AA is a wonderful thing which has helped countless people, and countless patients of mine.
I have no idea why our internet friend thinks that we shrinks do not appreciate it immensely: Does AA Work? In fact, I have often said that there should be an AA for non-alcoholics. Its general approach could help people grow up even if they aren't drunks.
As we have posted in the past, the format of AA was based on a Methodist program for personal spiritual growth, and spiritual and emotional maturity.
Sunday, June 8. 2014
Friday, June 6. 2014
No, he did not. You cannot make a diagnosis based on brain imagery.
- An entertaining site, found via AVI: Neuroskeptic
At Maggie's Farm, we are always skeptics
- Does hyper-parenting damage marriages? Of course it does.
Marriage must always come first. It's the job of kids to adapt to the family, not vice-versa.
- Another link re Schneiderman's book: "The Last Psychoanalyst"
Have not read it, but I can sort of guess where he is coming from. However, many of us are still transforming lives with psychoanalytic principles.
Sunday, June 1. 2014
The joint medical school-VA staff there were wonderful and more practically-minded than the full-time academics and researchers at the med school. They let us do things and procedures which the regular med center would never have let us do, and that was good experience. The patients, mostly WW 2 and Korea vets, but some Vietnam vets (they were still youthful and healthy then) were poor, on the whole, lacking in financial and overall life resources. There were plenty of veterans admitted to the regular medical center too but, at the time, I had no interest in how these systems worked.
Now I understand the the VA is plain old government medicine. Here's Charles Krauthammer, MD:
This article is good: Transform The VA Into A Pro-Growth Model For First Rate Health Care. There is no reason for the VA to exist today. It's an obsolete government program and does no favors to American vets.
Thursday, May 29. 2014
How many times have I said that here? Life is traumatic, at times it is a vale of tears. That's not illness.
From Lynn Jones, Each scar is different - PTSD has come to signify the moral, social and political suffering of war. But not all suffering is a mental illness
Sunday, May 25. 2014
Psychiatry has little influence over evil. That's for theology. Evil fantasies are things we (and everybody, pretty much) deal with routinely, but actions are another matter. The devil is stronger than we doctors are. Some evil is everywhere, from boardrooms to government to priests and pastors to teachers to cities to campuses. Please do not tell me that this kid had "PTSD," or an "anger management problem." Some people lack a moral compass almost entirely, but that moral compass spectrum spans from none to spotty to obsessionally scrupulous and fearful. We can deal with the latter relatively easily, but not the former.
The truth is that some people are "born to be hanged," and, at the least, removed from the gene pool. We too often piously imagine that happy and good are default settings for humans as if we could get everybody there with a rearranged psyche and a right environment (we term that "psycho-utopian"). It's an evil lie and an evil vision because it denies the existence of evil itself. My life, and history, have taught me that sin has great power. For all we know, violence, deceit, and destruction of good cheer are the default settings, and civilized behavior a special, difficult undertaking. That happens to be what Freud concluded, and he was smarter and a deeper thinker than I am. Not to mention many prophets, and Christ himself.
It is a positive comment on our level of Western civilization that we are surprised by gross acts of evil rather than taking them for granted. Quite remarkable in human history.
Good and evil remain the basics, as they always have done.
Addendum: I realize that my metaphors sounded as if I believed that evil is genetic. What I mean is that some people simply seem destined for trouble.
Monday, May 12. 2014
I view part of my duty as to debunk folk myths about health and medicine. Readers know that one of my bugaboos concerns the human diet and the First World preoccupation with what we eat as if it mattered all that much. Food faddism has always been part of American life since we became a wealthy country and had food choices.
Eating fats does not make you fat. Carbs make you fat. That is no longer in dispute.
Do saturated fats "cause" heart disease? There is no evidence for it. Bacon and eggs is the Great American Breakfast, with or without grits, or biscuits and gravy. In the WSJ, The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease -Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade.
Saturday, May 10. 2014
It is not only true in medicine, it applies to all statistical research. Here's Why Most Published Research Findings are False.
1 Boring Old Man has been devoting himself to uncovering the Pharma-Psychiatric research cabal, but nobody is really listening. My rule of thumb is to take everything I read with a a few grains of salt.
Friday, May 9. 2014
I agree with some of this, disagree with some of it. For one thing, she ignores insulin physiology. For another, she ignores menopause. She is right that losing weight is difficult given all of the abundant and cheap carbs available to everybody, and she is surely correct that people without weight issues are those who hear an internal signal that says "That's enough."
In the end, though, carb "addiction" is the main challenge for anyone who is overweight.
Wednesday, May 7. 2014
How Dante Saved My Life - A midlife crisis is cured by The Divine Comedy
A Cholagogue containing Iron, Quine, Strychnine, and who knows what else:
I found this somewhere:
Continue reading "The ancient and ongoing pharmaceutical scams"
Tuesday, May 6. 2014
I worked part-time when my kids were young, and almost 3/4 time when they entered grade school. Right or wrong? I don't know.
Monday, May 5. 2014
The neuroscientist discovers that he has a sociopathic brain:
Sunday, May 4. 2014
Film noir, with a beautiful Psychoanalyst. The whole 1953 film.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 2. 2014
This seems to have been culturally normative, at least for their class, and accepted by all. Did they need moral leadership?
Every person has such impulses of course, but it has often seemed to me that the wealthy and powerful often come to believe that the rules apply to the little people. That is true in America today.
Thursday, May 1. 2014
Wednesday, April 30. 2014