Monday, April 27, 2009

Between Experience and Reflection

4/27/09. Theodore Dalrymple reviews "The Only Superpower: Reflections on Strength, Weakness, and Anti-Americanism" by Paul Hollander.

Monday Quotations


"Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?"

"The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That - with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success - is our national disease."

"First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it."

William James (1842 - 1910)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Enlightenment Therapy

4/25/09. After fourth marriage ends, Zen master meets psychoanalyst.

Beth Clark Award

4/25/09. Last night in Lansing, MI at our annual Michigan Psychological Association Spring Conference, I, along with two of my colleagues, received the Beth Clark Service Award.

The late Dr. Beth Clark was a respected leader of MPA and this award was given by her husband, Dr. Charles Clark to an MPA member "who has demonstrated volunteerism, initiative, perseverance, integrity, selflessness and good will" in service to MPA.

I had the privilege of nominating Dr. Beth Clark for the MPA Distinguished Psychologist Award in 2000. Last night, Dr. Josephine Johnson received the MPA Distinguished Psychologist Award.

It feels good to be recognized by your peers.

Just My Confabulations

4/25/09. This article is about Choice-Blindness -- or we often don't know what we want.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena


The Marriage of Reason and Nightmare

4/21/09. Novelist J.G. Ballard exposes the fragility of the affluent society.

To Fight Stigmas, Start With Treatment

4/21/09. Now is the best time in human history to seek treatment for psychiatric disorders. Why? Because treatments work.

Yet, there is still much stigma surrounding the mentally ill.

Psychiatrist Sally Satel says that antistigma campaigns are well-meaning but not enough to change people's attitudes.

What's needed, she says, are psychiatric treatments that work which reinforces encouraging people to seek those treatments --- "nothing destigmatizes likes success."

Monday, April 13, 2009

To Have, to Hold, For a While

4/13/09. Amid divorce, remarriage, and co-habitation, children do not do well. This is a review of Andrew J. Cherlin's book "The Marriage-Go-Round."

Over 35 years of practice, I have witnessed many changes in families.

Above all, divorce is significantly more common, and so to is remarriage. Even though divorce affects many more youngsters now, the psychological effects of divorce are no less painful for children, parents, and other family members.

I have sometimes said to families - in an ironic tone - that I am starting a group for children whose parents have stayed together - to help them cope.


4/13/09. Atul Gawande asks, "Should long-term solitary confinement for prisoners be considered torture?"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mind-Changing Books

4/12/09. Economist Thomas Sowell discusses some of the books that deeply influenced him.

Sowell's book "Conflict of Visions" is a mind-changing book, clarifying the assumptions underlying political ideologies.

Sowell observes that experiences changed his mind more than books.

When asked to give a list of books for a psychologist to read, one of my favorite professors, Fritz Redl, advised, "Read people, not only books."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Science of When to Get Married

4/7/09. Hannah Seligson asks "How do we pick the moment at which we finally decide to settle down?" Do neuroscientists have something to say about this urge to merge? See what you think.

"The End of Philosophy"

4/7/09. David Brooks reviews some recent findings about the evolution of morality. Reason is not the master in the moral house --- emotions appear to come first.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Quotations


"It's deja vu all over again."

"A nickel isn't worth a dime anymore."

"You can observe a lot by watchin'."

--- Yogi Berra (1925 - )

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Benny Golson's Adventure

4/2/09. Jazz critic Nat Henthoff writes about Benny Golson, an 80 year old jazz saxophone player. I talked with a well respected jazz sax player from Detroit the other day. Here is what he said about Benny Golson:

"This guy's the real deal. I play his tunes all the time, as do all serious musicians that I know. Every recording he's made is great."

Jazz has been defined as "the sound of surprise." Benny has spent his life creating effective surprises, traveling on a life-long adventure translating his life experiences and heart-felt soul into jazz.