Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in April, 2003


No comments

Noted programmer/consultant Michael Crawford posted Part 1 of Living with Schizoaffective Disorder. It’s a long detailed article, and worth reading. Thanks, Michael!

For my part, I’ve never had to contend with anything more severe than slight depression and/or programmer’s block; having a borderline case of the Geek Syndrome led to a difficult childhood but a great profession. However, I’ve helped friends with severe depression. This sort of article is badly needed to help people cope with brain chemistry-related disorders, which seem to be on the increase worldwide.

David Weinberger thinks this explains it all:

According to a Harris Poll:

…half of all adults believe in ghosts, almost a third believe in astrology, and more than a quarter believe in reincarnation – that they were themselves reincarnated from other people. Majorities of about two-thirds of all adults believe in hell and the devil, but hardly anybody expects that they will go to hell themselves.

One very strange (at least to me) result of the Harris poll is that significantly more democrats than republicans believe in astrology, but more republicans than democrats believe in hell and the devil.

At the same time, Tom Coates expresses his amazement about American Fundamentalism:

…the idea that challenges to theories like “evolution” can circumvent the entire academic peer-review and testing process by way of the courts – inspired by people who want to find ways to equate the world with their religious beliefs… Well, it’s scandalous! Totally, utterly scandalous!

The Guardian is running an article in its new Life section today on exactly this subject: The Battle for American Science. It’s this article that part-inspired me to write about this subject today…

I could list dozens of other links about the “creationism” thing, which seems to be a uniquely American delusion. I’m looking forward to reading the comments to all these posts…

…as for me, I believe that being superstitious brings bad luck… icon_wink.gif

blogalization [colin] wrote:

By the way, come by Blogalization and see if you would be interested in participating or passing along the word.

Thanks, Colin; I just registered, and look forward to puzzling out something to contribute. (Comment for other readers: Colin’s Hairy Eyeball is very good reading…)

Posted by blogalization [colin]:
It was another Berkeley metaphorist, folklorist Alan Dundes, who noted that American football is rife with metaphors of sadistic sodomy, such as “penetrating the end zone” of the opponent. I think that analysis was slightly tongue-in-cheek. In the present case, I have to agree that Lakoff’s rhetoric in the first part of the essay was a bit too recondite to influence anyone — as he recognizes. But starting with the sentence, “Awareness matters,” he starts making a lot of sense to me.

By the way, come by Blogalization and see if you would be interested in participating or passing along the word.

John Gruber translates the Quark XPress 6 press release into English:

Quark has not yet announced pricing or an anticipated ship date for QuarkXPress 6.

QuarkXPress 6 will be expensive and late.


You MUST read the entire thing to properly dislocate your diaphragm, but here’s a meta-quote from Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders, 2nd edition:

A great way to come down with a case of ‘medical student’s disease’ is to read a survey of personality disorders. For example, a reader of Milton’s (1982) impressive summary of each of the categories for personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition (DSM-III; All-American Psychiatric Association, 1980) can believe that he or she has nearly every personality disorder there is. Probably any remaining disorders cab be assigned to one’s spouse.

…Who does not suffer from official ‘symptoms’ of personality disorders, including idealization, devaluation, vanity, temper outbursts, boredom, seductiveness, rapidly shifting emotions, devastation in face of criticism, needs to be special or unique, failures in empathy, cruelty, infidelity, working too hard, working too little, hypervigilance, ideas of reference [see Little House on the Prairie], odd mannerisms, wanting to be too intimate, wanting to be too distant, needing advice about little things, being too autonomous, having trouble getting started, feeling devastated when a relationship ends, being perfectionistic, being irresponsible, being too bossy, being too deferential, being withdrawn, hating being alone, wanting acceptance but fearing rejection, resenting others’ control, or being critical of authorities?

Many thanks to Doc Searls for the link! This made my day…

Joey deVilla, the AccordionGuy, last week waxed enthusiastic about “Ten Cool Things About The New Girl”:

– She went to high school at the hoity-toity Trafalgar College in Montreal

– She graduated from University of British Columbia with a degree in computer engineering

– She worked as a webmaster at Alliance Atlantis…

…she cooks, programs, dances, is cute, and so forth. Complete with photo. Hmm.

So, Joey’s a nice guy (anybody who puts me on his blogroll must be a nice guy, right?), so I thought this was worth thinking about… and I pondered about this sudden enthusiasm… while deciding whether to send e-mail, join the congratulants commenting on his post, or to post here… and trying to hit the appropriate balance between cautious optimism and sounds-too-good-to-be-true… then, while my comments still hovered on the fuzzy side of the Heisenberg barrier… he yanks his post.

Uh-oh, I thought.

So today he tells, in great detail, what happened; it was a sham. More’s the pity.

The interesting part is that a reader of his weblog recognized the “New Girl” from the photo he posted, and decided to blow the whistle on her. Just after I saw the news on his RSS feed, Boing Boing also had a note, and many other webloggers commented. Joey has quite a lot of free beer coming to him, it seems… I may buy him one myself next time I go to Toronto. 😀

Joey, I wish you better luck next time. Meanwhile, how about reposting the original entry (with names changed and so forth)? I think this might be helpful to other people.

Posted by Joho the Blog:
Joho the Blog linked to this post

George Lakoff Is Like a …

Let me begin with the standard-issue praise, which is no less sincere for being completely predictable: George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By helped shape my thinking. Their book Philosophy in the Flesh is a truly fresh and mind-pivoting look at philosophy. I thank them for all that I’ve learned from them. (And now comes the “But…”) But Dr. Lakoff’s most recent op-ed comes close to self-parody. Lakoff has a superb eye for pointing out how what we take as straightforward, factual descriptions are in fact highly metaphorical — everything from talking about “high” notes to “straightforward” descriptions.

Photos licensed by Creative Commons license. Unless otherwise noted, content © 2002-2022 by Rainer Brockerhoff. Iravan child theme by Rainer Brockerhoff, based on Arjuna-X, a WordPress Theme by SRS Solutions. jQuery UI based on Aristo.