Clive Thompson: How Tweets and Texts Nurture In-Depth Analysis

Even though I'm pretty much just sharing links in the last few posts, I was interested in this article because it does resonate quite a bit, and speaks to why I've been busy researching and contemplating ideas I want to blog about. In addition, stuff I find on Twitter often takes me deeper into an idea and, in some instances, has led to a growing network of connections with people who have gone deep into ideas that attract me as well...

We’re often told that the Internet has destroyed people’s patience for long, well-thought-out arguments. After all, the ascendant discussions of our day are text messages, tweets, and status updates. The popularity of this endless fire hose of teensy utterances means we’ve lost our appetite for consuming—and creating—slower, reasoned contemplation. Right?

I’m not so sure. In fact, I think something much more complex and interesting is happening: The torrent of short-form thinking is actually a catalyst for more long-form meditation.

via www.wired.com


Slavoj Zizek: Why Far Right and Xenophobic Politicians Are on the Rise in Europe | | AlterNet

I have a lot of links stacked up in my unpublished posts bin. I intended to write a little more about why I found them interesting but have not had the time, so I decided to shoot a few out today. I think my main interest in this one by Zizek is that the craziness I see in American politics and politicians is not limited to the United States. So it speaks to me of something worthy of further exploration.

Here's an excerpt from the article in AlterNet back in October of 2010:

In Europe, there is a growing concern about the growing acceptability of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Far from just being expressed by the extreme right wing, the anti-immigrant trend has entered the mainstream. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a gathering of young members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union party this weekend that multiculturalism has utterly failed. A recent German poll found 13 percent of Germans would welcome the arrival of a new "Führer," and more than a third of Germans feel the country is "overrun by foreigners." Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! spoke to the world-renowned philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who has the been called "the Elvis of cultural theory."

via www.alternet.org

 

Cathie's notes: I have long been interested in Zizek's ideas because he's a psychoanalytically trained person who tackles beyond-the-couch intersections of psyche and culture. I can't think of another time in my life in which understanding -- beyond polarized dialogic entrapments -- what I'm seeing in the world right now seems so crucial.


Arnold Mindell -- ProcessMind: A User’s Guide to Connecting with the Mind of God

Interesting article (actually, an excerpt from Arnold Mindell's book by the same name) in the May, 2011 issue of Noetic Now. Excerpt:

Today, about a century after the discoveries of quantum theory and relativity, cosmologists are still wondering about “the secret of the Old One.” Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies refer to the intelligent force Einstein sought as the “mind of God.” Some theoretical physicists hope to find this “mind” in unified field theories or related concepts. C. G. Jung, Roberto Assagioli, and other depth psychologists speak of a “collective unconscious,” the “transpersonal Self,” or some type of transcendent or “unitive” consciousness. Quoting sixteenth-century alchemists, Jung and his friend Wolfgang Pauli, a Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist, speculated about a unified psychophysical region of experience – the “Unus Mundus.” Religions have always spoken of the design, powers, and wisdom of the universe in terms of a Self, a God, or gods.

I call Einstein’s “Old One” the processmind. By processmind I mean an organizing factor – perhaps the organizing factor – that operates both in our personal lives and in the universe. Studying and experiencing this processmind will connect the now separate disciplines of psychology, sociology, physics, and mysticism and provide new useful ways to relate to one another and the environment. The processmind is both inside of you and, at the same time, apparently connected to everything you notice . . . Processmind is in your brain yet is also “nonlocal,” allowing you to be in several places at the same time.

via noetic.org


t r u t h o u t | When Generosity Hurts: Bill Gates, Public School Teachers and the Politics of Humiliation

Another great article from Henry Giroux on the educational system in the United States. Read the whole thing here.

When I refer to a culture of cruelty and a discourse of humiliation, I am talking about the institutionalization and widespread adoption of a set of values, policies and symbolic practices that legitimate forms of organized violence against human beings increasingly considered disposable, and which lead inexorably to unnecessary hardship, suffering and despair.

via www.truth-out.org


Elisabeth Young-Bruehl: A Perfect Storm of Prejudices

[Cross-posted from Raising Cain.]

Recently I discovered a great blog -- Who's Afraid of Social Democracy -- by psychoanalyst Elisabeth Young-Bruehl. Today she posted an article on the subject of prejudice, and I thought I'd say a few words, toss in some quotes and post a link to it here at Raising Cain.

On her blog, Young-Bruehl writes about current affairs and reflects on contemporary political issues and questions. Prior to her psychoanalytic training, Young-Bruehl was a doctoral student of the political philosopher, Hannah Arendt, and eventually wrote her biography. Young-Bruehl has also written many papers and books on gender issues, as well as a book very relevant to her blog post today, The Anatomy of Prejudices.

Since I formalized my anti-racist journey by becoming an activist in organizational anti-racism transformation, I've spent much time integrating what I'd previously discovered about human relating and relationships from my psychoanalytic training and practice. The intersection of the individual psyche and the collective mind of society has become an edge of tremendous interest and discovery for me personally and professionally.

That edge is not an either-or space: we need to know a lot about how people come to be who they are AND how the collective mind and societal systems come to be as they are if we want to get beyond racism. The individual and society co-create each other psychologically just as, in a parallel process, a baby and her mother co-create each other. If we would like to change ourselves and the systems in which we live, I believe we'll have to become aware of these complex dynamics.

I have a sense that Young-Bruehl's last two blog posts have opened doors and moved my thinking about all of this forward.

Speaking about a changing view of the nature of prejudice after World War II, Young-Bruehl says:

That decade of psychoanalytic work was extremely important because it opened up for exploration the whole domain of unconscious motivation. But, to my mind, it was also very flawed and replete with misleading generalizations. For example, in Adorno’s and Allport’s books, there is no prejudice against women because all prejudice is against minority groups and women are not a minority group. (By the same crazy logic, there would be no prejudice against blacks in South Africa because the blacks are not a minority group there…) During the Civil Rights movement of the late 1950s, the ethnocentrism synthesis began to unravel under pressure from people whose victim experience it misconstrued or overlooked. People of color pointed out that racism is not just like anti-Semitism. Look, they said, did the white people who invented tests to show the inferior intelligence of people of color also try to show the inferior intelligence of the Jews who supposedly masterminded the international Jewish banking conspiracy?

She follows the evolution of this notion further into the feminist "gender-race-class" discussions of the 1970's, but notes:

Meanwhile, prejudices continued to flourish in ever-changing appearances. Nonetheless, many hoped to be able to interpret America as a nation marching in the direction of being “post-racial,” and many hoped a “post-feminist” era was dawning because women have made considerable social progress. These hopes, it seems to me, reflect the still-prevalent confusion about prejudices and how they operate. Even if the acts and appearances that are typical of a prejudice do abate or ameliorate, the needs or unconscious purposes served by the prejudices remain –and can rise up again or reassert or take new directions as circumstances change. There’s not much lynching going on now, but huge numbers of black men are hung up in jail, and that is not very “post-racial.”

With that, I'll leave you to your own investigation of Young-Bruehl's ideas. I get uneasy sometimes excerpting from pieces that seem so coherent as Young-Bruehl's impress me, so I hope you'll read her entire article.

She references her previous post as well, and you can access that one here.


William Czander - CEOs and Their Need for Money: A Psychoanalysts View of Greed

From Main Street to Washington there are calls for control and enactment of new laws and regulations to rein in executive compensation. While these calls for control may seem correct and needed, they fall into the same category as the "bailout the banks" cry made by omnipotent politicians, economists and government leaders in 2008.

They believed they could solve the problem without understanding it.

via www.opednews.com


This is Czander's first post in a series. See the second one here.


Speaker and Listener: a tale of mutual brain work

Cross-posted from my Speaking blog:

Many years ago when I first read Alan Schore's Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, one of the ideas that blew some new doors open for me was the idea that the brains of infant and mother work together in a mutual project of creating a self. This idea has profound implications for all kinds of relationships and can inform our work toward personal and planetary healing and transformation.

Here's an excerpt from the abstract of a study that looked at nuerological detailed of mutual brain work:
Verbal communication is a joint activity; however, speech production and comprehension have primarily been analyzed as independent processes within the boundaries of individual brains. Here, we applied fMRI to record brain activity from both speakers and listeners during natural verbal communication.

via www.pnas.org

The paper in filed at PNAS as open access. You can download the full text pdf here.

Further note on Schore's work: I found this first volume in Schore's now voluminous work almost overwhelming, primarily because of extensive references to studies at that time. He since has written several updated books that are much less packed and much less expensive. The page for the book linked above has links to several other of his books as well.

Some of his papers are also available online. If you are intrigued but not familiar with his work, you may want to start here and check out some of the Google search results.

Thanks to Norm Holland on the PsyArt listserv for the heads-up on the PNAS paper by Stephens, et al.



The Dems Need to Speak to Progressive Values, or Else Lose Badly Come November | News & Politics | AlterNet

Here's a good companion piece to the Drew Westen article (see my last post) from George Lakoff.

Excerpt:

Westen states as eloquently and forcefully as anyone what he, I, and other progressives have been saying from the beginning of the Obama administration. I agree fully with everything he says. But ...

Westen's piece is incomplete in crucial ways. His piece can be read as saying that this election is about kitchen table economics (right) and only kitchen table economics (wrong).

This election is about more than just jobs, and mortgages, and adequate health care. All politics is moral. All political leaders say to do what they propose because it is right. No political leaders say to do what they say because it is wrong. Morality is behind everything in politics -- and progressives and conservatives have different moral systems.

via www.alternet.org


Drew Westen: What Created the Populist Explosion and How Democrats Can Avoid the Shrapnel in November

Interesting article by Drew Weston looks at populist anger and what the Democratic Party must do now. Read the whole (long) article at Huffington Post.

Excerpt:

To say that the American people are angry is an understatement. The political brain of Americans today reflects a volatile mixture of fear and fury, and when you mix those together, you get an explosion. The only question at this point is how to mitigate the damage when the bomb detonates in November.

via www.huffingtonpost.com


Bering in Mind: Oedipus Complex 2.0

Like it or not, parents shape their children's sexual preferences

In a forthcoming report in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign psychologist Chris Fraley and New Mexico State University’s Michael Marks—a study that would make Freud smile in his grave and give a long-fingered salute to his many critics—these investigators show that sexual attraction to one’s own biological parents isn’t as deviant or abnormal a thing as you might assume. In fact, evidence of these hidden desires, say Marks and Fraley, raise important questions for traditional psychological accounts of incest avoidance.

via www.scientificamerican.com

Great article at Scientific American by Jesse Bering. Read all of Jesse's post here.

From PubMed page for Fraley and Marks study:

Westermarck, Freud, and the Incest Taboo: Does Familial Resemblance Activate Sexual Attraction?

Fraley RC, Marks MJ.

Abstract

Evolutionary psychological theories assume that sexual aversions toward kin are triggered by a nonconscious mechanism that estimates the genetic relatedness between self and other. This article presents an alternative perspective that assumes that incest avoidance arises from consciously acknowledged taboos and that when awareness of the relationship between self and other is bypassed, people find individuals who resemble their kin more sexually appealing. Three experiments demonstrate that people find others more sexually attractive if they have just been subliminally exposed to an image of their opposite-sex parent (Experiment 1) or if the face being rated is a composite image based on the self (Experiment 2). This finding is reversed when people are aware of the implied genetic relationship (Experiment 3). These findings have implications for a century-old debate between E. Westermarck and S. Freud, as well as contemporary research on evolution, mate choice, and sexual imprinting.