Sunday, April 1, 2018

Weekend Roundup

I was prepared to skip this weekly exercise completely: I spent most of the last week preparing for my sister's funeral (or "celebration of life" as the official title went) and related social gatherings. But with the last such event ended this afternoon, and with various guests taking their leave, I found myself wanting to do something "normal." Not that much of what follows can be considered "normal" in any other regard. I recently read Allen Frances' Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump, which fell rather short of its titular ambition. Although there are occasional references to commonplace psychology, he mostly focuses on ubiquity and persistence of "delusional thinking" -- mostly defined as failure to recognize a long list of liberal political creeds. I don't have much quarrel with his platform planks, but I'm more suspicious of economic/class factors than psychological ones. Where I think insight into psychology might be helpful is in trying to model human behavior given the complexity of the world and our various limits in apprehending it. It's certainly credible that psychological traits that were advantageous in primitive societies malfunction in our changing world, but how does that work? And what sort of adjustments would work better?

Some scattered links this week:

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