Showing posts from January, 2013


"A book can teach you, a conversation can assure you, a poem can seduce you, a genius can inspire you but only you can save yourself." Anthony Anaxagorou (hat-tip: An Existential Life )

I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much

Happened to visit the Seattle Art Museum and saw this intriguing art video: Pipilotti Rist - I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986) Brief explanations: here and here .

The Boundary Problem in Psychiatry

What is essentially a valid boundary problem in psychiatry – At what point does everyday sadness become Depression? When exactly does ordinary apprehension become an Anxiety disorder? – is often conflated by psychiatry critics with the question of legitimacy to generate the erroneous conclusion that all of what is considered as psychopathology is in reality normal human experience. The boundary problem plagues all medical conditions in which the underlying process exhibits a continuity. For instance, consider Hypertension and Diabetes. At what measurement does blood pressure become pathological? At what reading does blood sugar level become pathological? (These measurements, like many other physiological attributes, have a bell-shaped Gaussian distribution in a human population, and most likely, so does mood.) Our current criteria are rather arbitrarily set, utilizing available data to make a judgement as to at what blood pressure or blood sugar reading does the risk of adverse e

Untold Stories

"The author Karen Blixen said, “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” But what if a person can’t tell a story about his sorrows? What if his story tells him? Experience has taught me that our childhoods leave in us stories like this – stories we never found a way to voice, because no one around us helped us to find the words. When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us – we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don’t understand." Stephen Grosz ,  Confessions of an analyst

Why Not Restrict Men To Prevent Rape?

"'Where are the men?' I asked her. 'In their proper places, where they ought to be.' 'Pray let me know what you mean by "their proper places".' 'O, I see my mistake, you cannot know our customs, as you were never here before. We shut our men indoors.' 'Just as we are kept in the zenana?' 'Exactly so.' 'How funny,' I burst into a laugh. Sister Sara laughed too. 'But dear Sultana, how unfair it is to shut in the harmless women and let loose the men.' 'Why? It is not safe for us to come out of the zenana, as we are naturally weak.' 'Yes, it is not safe so long as there are men about the streets, nor is it so when a wild animal enters a marketplace.'" This is an excerpt from Sultana's Dream  by Rokheya Shekhawat Hossein, written in 1905, depicting a 'feminist utopia' in which women dominate the world and men are marginalized. I got introduced to this i

Live Dangerously

Last night a friend was discussing how Nietzsche is a dangerous  philosopher, in terms of causing a potential upheaval in the reader's world-view, and I couldn't help but think of this Austin Powers meme! (If you want to hear Austin Powers say it, here you go !)

Think on your Sins, Religion

"Throughout the last four hundred years, during which the growth of science has gradually shown men how to acquire knowledge of the ways of nature and mastery over natural forces, the clergy have fought a losing battle against science, in astronomy and geology, in anatomy and physiology, in biology and psychology and sociology. Ousted from one position, they have taken up another. After being worsted in astronomy, they did their best to prevent the rise of geology; they fought against Darwin in biology, and at the present time they fight against scientific theories of psychology and education. At each stage, they try to make the public forget their earlier obscurantism, in order that their present obscurantism may not be recognized for what it is." Bertrand Russell ,  An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish The historical fact that the clergy have been fighting a losing battle against science doesn't prove that religious doctrines are false in entirety , but rather

L’Inexistence Divine

I read an article yesterday by Graham Harman on the philosophy of Quentin Meillassoux . The most intriguing aspect for me is the second section of the article: "Second, I discuss an unpublished book by Meillassoux unfamiliar to all readers of this article, except those scant few that may have gone digging in the microfilm archives of the École normale supérieure. The book in question is Meillassoux’s revised doctoral dissertation L’Inexistence divine (or The Divine Inexistence ), with its seemingly bizarre vision of a God who does not yet exist but might exist in the future. Without literally accepting this view, I will claim that it is philosophically interesting in ways that even a hardened sceptic might be able to appreciate." The third section, discussing the possible future developments of Meillassoux's ideas is also pretty interesting.


"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler." Friedrich Nietzsche , The Gay Science

Progression and Recession

All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase — "I love you." F. Scott Fitzgerald