Thursday, January 26, 2012
Scared To Hear It
Note: The above snapshot is from my high school yearbook. Probably ninety percent of the book was signed by kids who referenced my quietness in one way or another. As incredible as it is to flip through it and see that, the truth is that it's nothing compared to the day-to-day life at high school. Every day, most of the kids who spoke to me mentioned my quietness. I wish I could describe what that's like. But rather than bombard the world with all of that, I figured that I'd post some of these scribbled notes instead.
This is the first.
Some statements get pounded into us more than others. For me, it was always about how quiet I was. High school is one of those times that leaves a mark. It's a time for figuring things out. For me, it was a time for confronting and discovering my own quiet nature.
I grew much back then; and part of that involved just letting myself be me.
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Think you might find this site, and article interesting;
I appreciate your thoughts.
well at least you had people write something in your yearbook!
I guess you weren't like me,sitting there imagining blowing up the school. It's what "he/she was such a quiet person, I cannot believe that they could (fill in gruesome crime)"
brings to people's mind when no clues are provided as to what is going on in another's head.
I go by visual clues and 'feelings' myself.
Jenna, thanks for the article. I did find certain tidbits very interesting.
I completely agree with several points. The field of psychology should absolutely transform itself into a more scientific one. And the organization for the DSM certainly seems to have lost focus, to say the least; their purpose may have been lost somewhere along the way, too. (Sometimes I think the DSM group should classify their own work as a disorder; it's a debilitating need to classify all human behavior as an illness.) :-)
But the report was far too broad-handed. Despite the fact that psychology has been grossly unscientific, there has been progress in that regard. And some fields are clearly more effective than others. It would have been a more balanced report if it had discussed both sides of the issue.
The author makes sweeping conclusions such as when he says that "psychology relies entirely on description, rarely tries to explain, shapes few theories, and is immune to falsification". He's being just the thing that he criticizes: descriptive, and wrongly so. How can a field be "entirely" one thing, and yet still have room to spare for other things?
I thought it was interesting that Asperger's was being removed from the DSM, but I looked it up and it's not entirely accurate to say so. Apparently, Asperger's isn't being removed so much as it's being combined with an existing disorder, namely Autism. See these links:
(In the above link, see the "Rationale" tab.)
I disagree that psychology could ever be completely replaced by neuroscience, but it would be good to see its methods replaced with scientific ones wherever possible. There are uses for the "soft science". Humans are complex, and not every complaint can be resolved with a "physical" remedy; it's not always as easy as giving someone a pill or prescribing more sunshine. People sometimes have problems that need to be worked through, and it can help to talk about it all.
As for whether there are any mental illnesses, well, I guess that depends on what your definitions are.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by again.
Jade, yikes. :-) No, my thoughts were never so scary as people may have imagined.
My interpretation of what he's communicating is that: Description without explanation (reputable evidence) makes for crackpot theories/theorizing; and imparting practices/disciplines... Though the negative is succeeded by a positive anon; Astrology gave way to Astronomy, Psychology to Neuroscience, etc - because of a certain manner/discipline of thought.
It can be disputed that what characterized the mode of thought that necessitated the development of disciplines such as Astrology or Psychology differs greatly from that which characterizes the "Hard Sciences" (Arachnoids depiction, similar to, the perhaps crude distinction, made by Levi Strauss of the "brocoler" supposedly characterizing primitive thought (regarding how the structure of the mind might be reflected in how culture is organised - deep structures of mind) differing from that which characterizes the "Western mind", the architects (See his book "The Savage Mind" if inclined)... Also, a friend sent me this the other week; http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=5&pageid=56&pgtype=1
Maybe its bunk.... haven't quite the mental machinery to know for sure.
So yes, basically I agree that "the report was far too broad-handed". A bit black and white . . . which ironically is supposed to characterize an autistic mindset, or a Scientists; cause and effect and all that jazz.. ;)
Just the crude sequence, of Astrology leads to Psychology leads to Neuroscience, outlined, seems to depict, on further inspection, a trial by error process that just leaves behind the carcasses of modes of thought considered to be harmful (cause and effect is not so clear)... I suppose you could say that imagination is a cause, which is supposed to be an irrational cognitive function, haha.
So the actual concern with respect to Psychology for instance is that certain aspects known to be false are being engaged with, i.e. some of Freuds theories are grossly wrong, but yet there isn't a complete riddance of fanatics justifying particular theorizing launched off concepts such as "Penis envy"... So yes, as you say yourself, "The field of Psychology should absolutely transform itself into a more scientific one" especially with regards to the DSM. The following quote seems relevant here;
"Mad, adj.: affected with a high degree of intellectual independence, not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from the study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane …" –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
Proponents of Scientific methodology condemn the poverty in accepting descriptions as if conveyers of "truth" or rather, usefulness... So for instance taking what a journalist describes at face value, without further investigations/critical thinking; were you there? Did you gather the evidence? What are the political ramifications of what he/she is telling you, etc. How could you know, the actual meaning being depicted, if you are not the experiencer? How would you know that their interpretation would be truer than your own?
(Basically I think the extremist scientists etc, if that is a truism, ideals, are for us all to be robots or Scientists (no emotions + no socially derived manipulations + no politicians + no hairdressers + no nail salons + no nightclubs = no problems.)
Without proper explanation of such descriptions under inspection, you are privy to ignorance, and incompetence with regard to what you hope to achieve with such descriptions in practice. Which reminds me of this;
"The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship upon them. Explanations bind facts together. They make them all the more easily remembered; they help them make more sense. Where this propensity can go wrong is when it increases our impression of understanding." —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan
"Narrative fallacy: our need to fit a story or pattern to a series of connected or disconnected facts. The statistical application is data mining." (http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/blackswanglossary.htm)
Apparently the merit in Socrates was that he knew that he did not know.
I find this all really interesting when considering that supposedly 90% give or take of our communication is through body language. So what then is the purpose of speech, or language? I just find this interesting to think about. Language in some ways I think is like a piece of clothing. Clothing which has unique functions. I like this quote because I see it as related somehow to the function of language; "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain
Also the more I look into Nutrition, the more I start to see the physical causes implicated in certain mental health problems or those that are depicted as such but are in fact not as one would be inclined to interpret as "disordered" necessarily. For instance see here; http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/
008491.html And see here; http://evolutionary
Hi, Jenna, what I meant by "broad-handed" was that the author dismisses Psychology too readily. Cause and effect is not so clear, as you said. He supplies some evidence to demonstrate the failures in the field, but he either dismisses (or ignores) the successes. His conclusions are stated without a thorough examination.
In any case, I did interpret the article in the same way as you. I like that quote that you provided about the narrative fallacy. I'd say it like this: description rarely provides an accurate picture, but explanation rarely provides a complete one. They both contribute to our understanding, but in different ways.
In the end, I think that you are the person most likely to understand yourself. Science and psuedoscience can both help, but neither has the access that you do. I've learned through experience (and introversion is one of the big examples) that people regularly have it wrong when it comes to who I am. I've tested their theories out in my own ways because I wondered whether I was the one who was wrong. My behavior has been described and explained in so many different ways. But the picture that others see is insufficient.
The truth is that we're all a little different, and science prefers less variation. That's partly why psychology is such a mess. People are messy. The mind is a messy thing.
The food theory is fun, though. :-) I wonder if there are certain bacteria that promote more introverted traits.
By the way, I appreciated the quote by Ambrose Bierce. It's a good book.
"The truth is that we're all a little different, and science prefers less variation. That's partly why psychology is such a mess. People are messy. The mind is a messy thing."
Very true. And the rest.
BTW, If my writing is a bit nonsensical, rambling, or tone is a bit dead, not my intension; its just my approach to expressing my thoughts can be a bit strange, haha.
Jenna, you do seem to have a lot on your mind. :-) I'm not sure how you manage to read so much, but it is interesting stuff.
As always, thanks for sharing.
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