Thursday, August 25, 2016
Did you hear the celebrity "aspie" John Elder Robison on the radio (Life Matters, Radio National, ABC, Australian publicly-funded broadcaster) this morning, raving on about the time he had his head zapped by some quacks and the empathy button in his autistic brain was switched on? The whole unlikely story rests on some very shaky premises. The closest one to Robison is the assumption that autism or Asperger syndrome is or includes a deficit or complete absence of a normal ability to read the emotions of others just by looking at them or listening to their voices. The assumption that that assumption rests upon is the assumption that "normal" people actually possess such an ability. Problem is, they don't.
Think about it. If most people, the vast majority of adults, had the ability to read the emotions of others just by looking deep, deep into their joyful or sorrow-filled eyes, or observing their posture or gestures or listening to their voices, then it follows that no one would ever be able to get away with having an affair undetected (their spouse would easily be able to read a set of unaccounted emotions in their partner, and figure out that something was up). It also follows that every suicide would be entirely predictable and possibly preventable, but we know, in the harsh world of reality, that even psychiatrists with many years of training and university education and presumably buckets of empathy cannot read the minds and the intentions of their patients like a book. If practically everyone could read emotions, I'd also suppose that secrets would be very difficult to maintain, as at least the emotions associated with the concealed knowledge would be on public display, as though the name of the emotion was written on one's forehead in black marker pen.
So I call "BULLSHIT" to Mr Robison, to the people at Life Matters (who gave Mr Robison a run today that had no pertinent questions nor any note of skepticism), and the Australian Broadcasting Commission as a whole, which is most selective about which matters fall under their investigative eye. Bullshit, y'all!
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Dr Ben Dover
Hu Flung Dung
So Su Mee
R. U. Dunn
B. A. Wiseman
* The fact that I do not myself have any watertight metaphysic of morals does not mean that psychology can just rush in to fill the gap.
Theodore Dalrymple, Admirable Evasions: How psychology undermines morality
Thursday, July 28, 2016
You can't ask that!
The only escape from the manager who wants to be your friend is to become physically ill.
- William Davies in The happiness industry: how the government and big business sold us well-being
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The illusion of understanding is like the grin of the Cheshire Cat: it is what remains when all else has disappeared.
- Theodore Dalrymple, Admirable Evasions: How psychology undermines morality
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
If psychoanalysis had been invented by cavemen, Mankind would still be living in caves.
- Theodore Dalrymple, Admirable Evasions: How psychology undermines morality
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
I'm furious that former union leader, former ALP leader and former PM of Australia Bob Hawke appears to be trying to take the personal credit for setting up Australia's Medicare system of universal health service access. The Hawke Government did set up Medicare, but that was merely a continuation of the Medibank system that was created by Bill Hayden and the amazing ALP Whitlam Government in 1970s, from scratch. Apparently fossil Hawke even got the date wrong for the year that his govt established Medicare. Wikipedia says it was 1984, not 1983 as Hawke claimed in the advert.
Mr Hawke, you are a duplicitous creep and I have always hated you. You and similar duplicitous creep former unionist ALP leaders such as Bill Shorten are surely the main reason why people of my generation are reluctant to vote for your party. I keep our fridge stocked with chilled bottles of cider, on hand for a celebration of your passing, whenever that might happen.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
I've been following the ongoing unfolding story of the UK child sex abuse ring of elite entertainers, politicians and powerful figures with utter horror for years now. My left-leaning friends tell me that there's nothing in this horror-story to be surprised about, as people at the top are the lowest form of scum, but all the same, anyone's mind should be blown by the real possibility of British royalty or even a late former prime minister of the UK having a history of kiddie-fiddling. Australian society is still purging itself of books and art works and music created by revolting Rolf. His sentimental singalong nonsense was a part of the popular culture that I had to endure growing up. Everyone loved him to bits, as he groped respected local female journalists and radio personalities behind the scenes. Even Alice Cooper covered one of Rolf's songs. I'm glad to hear that Cliff Richard has not been charged with any sex abuse crime, despite the public trashing of his reputation. Apparently Cliff had a past connection to known child abusers, but I just don't feel that he is the same type of person.
It's the recent and ongoing revealations about Sir Clement Freud that have made my jaw drop today. Women are still coming out of the woodwork with broadly consistent stories of him as an abuser, and he was so close to the tragic Madeleine McCann mystery, and he was the grandson of the evil piece of garbage Sigmund Freud who right-royally screwed-up the sciences of the mind for something like a century with a collection of revoltingly sexualized mythology that identified the victim and the patient as the co- author of their own mental distress. Clement Freud even looked like is creepy old grand-pop; long face and bulging, hyperthyroid eyes and all. I'd like to remind everyone about the grandfather Freud's unappealing dealings in the vile world of child abuse. Sigmund Freud published a case study of a patient who was given the anonymous name of Dora, who as an underage child had been hit upon repeatedly by her father's adult male friend. S. Freud's help for his patient was to try to convince her that she had really enjoyed the attention. How therapeutic! She didn't buy that nonsense and she removed herself from the care of the master psychoanalyst. Much more of a concern than this episode is the general direction of S. Freud's thinking about the mind and mental disorders. Some Feminists have argued that he changed the direction of his thinking dramatically away from considering his patients' allegations of child abuse to be credible, to inverting the entire concept into the vile and absurd Oedipus complex. The whole sordid betrayal has been named "the Freudian Coverup" which is I believe basically an accusation that in general, Freud covered-up not just one or a few cases of child sexual abuse, but covered-up the concept of child sexual abuse as a cause of mental problems. It stinks worse than a dead kangaroo left in the sun for a week. I'd like to check out every single book by Freud from my local university library and utilize them all as collections of bound sheets of toilet paper.
I've got a few questions that I'd like answered, though I'm sure will never be addressed by anyone. Why has the Australian ABC public broadcaster never seemed to give much coverage to the UK elite pedo ring story in general, or the Freud angle in particular? I know they ran an imported news TV feature about the story last year or so, but what else? As far as I can tell, our ABC hasn't yet reported the link between Freud and the McCanns, and the ABC 24 news TV channel did not seem to be running any story about Freud today. The Clement Freud allegations and the McCann link is a horrible story with even more horrible possibilities, and also a story with some important angles. Where is it on Australia's major public broadcaster?
I'd also like to ask has there ever been any social connection between Clement Freud and the Australian rich person Rhonda Wyllie, who was at one time considered possibly linked the the McCann case? I have never met Wyllie (though I used to know an ex-employee) and I've no animosity towards her, but I have reason to ask, and I do think this question deserves a definite answer.
Here's another question, for all to ponder. Which famous patriarchal lineage bred the creepiest brand of misogyny: Joseph P. Kennedy and his boggle-eyed presidential son, or S. Freud and his alleged girl-child-molester grandson C. Freud? Puke!
Thursday, June 09, 2016
How sad that so many Australians think with their penises and vaginas:
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
There's an anecdote about Baron-Cohen on page 21 of the second volume of Richard Dawkins' autobiography, Brief Candle in the Dark. They know each other from way back and both have been a part of the John Brockman stable of pop science authors for ages, so don't expect to ever hear Dawkins apply his famously critical mind to any review of Baron-Cohen's ideas.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Didn't I tell you that psychology is a science utterly compromised by publication bias? Psychology research is like sausages. Believe me, you don't want to look behind the scenes and see how it is made! It looks like another neuro-fad and supposed autism cure is nothing much more than a puff of wet mist. Isn't it time that charities and governments pull the plug on massively funding research into autism, a concept that doesn't map onto reality in any clear or clean way?
Gotta wonder how many null finding studies of oxytocin the ARC are sitting on, or negative effect studies in general.
Tell 'em to stick their unpaid internship where the sun don't shine.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Trust me, I'm a doctor....