Archive for the ‘ Psychology ’ Category

High School Sweethearts

I have seen several cases where these married – with not very satisfactory results. Adolescent infatuation (or any infatuation) is not a good basis for a lasting relationship. Parents should make it clear, what such attractions are to their children – and do their best to make sure nothing serious results.

If something serious does result – everyone is in trouble, including the children that show up – who have no idea what brought them on the stage. What parts are they supposed to act?

Some children, if the are gifted – can tell what parts they are supposed to play, and even add a few of their own. But this is very demanding work, and usually shortens their life.

One example of this was Leonard Bernstein – the son of a typical Jewish family in a New York City. that was full of them. He was able to use all this to his advantage as a symphony conductor and someone who explained classical music to everyone else.

I hope you can watch him do this, in a Medici movie about Mahler. Lenny is a genius – he is also homosexual, but does not mention this.

I Have to Judge the World

I am different this way – I not only have to be, I also have to judge. The vast majority of people avoid both, as if they were death itself.

Bear with me, while I get my thinking sorted out here. This is a huge subject, full of landmines, for those who do not tread carefully.

The basic fact is simple – I know things are going on, because my senses tell me they are. Like the tiny ants, that walk across the screen of my computer – I can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. And more – I know that I am – I am conscious. They ants get along fine without this luxury. If they could think, they would probably think themselves better off, without such extra baggage.

However, since I am human (through no choice of my own) I have to accept this extra stuff. I not not only have to be – I have to judge the rest of the world. But I have to keep this in mind – my judgements are for my consumption only. The rest of the world can get along just fine without them.

We have to accept that our extra abilities, often as not, get us into serious trouble – we end up killing each other – and enjoying this. But, more likely, it seems to me – we also enjoy helping each other.

Our biggest problem – is knowing when are being one way or the other. I see this problem frequently – and I am certain, it is a biggie.

Functions in Psychology and Programming

I am studying Functional Programming, and also William James’ Essays in Radical Empiricism, a basic text in another field: Psychology.

Let me quote from the later:

For twenty years past I have mistrusted ‘consciousness’ as an entity; Let me then immediately explain that I mean only to deny that the word stands for an entity, but to insist most emphatically that it does stand for a function.

There is, I mean, no aboriginal stuff or quality of being, contrasted with that of which material objects are made, out of which our thoughts of them are made; but there is a function in experience which thoughts perform, and for the performance of which this quality of being is invoked. That function is knowing.

I could not find such a clear and succinct definition of function in Functional Programming – and in fact, from my exposure to function in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud – I can see it is something else there (just what, I am not sure). So I have come up with one of my own (using F# terminology):

Problems can be solved by the use of modules of functions. Input data passes through these, and is transformed into output data. The functions themselves must not change – and this restriction is what makes this type of programming so important.

It also makes it applicable to programming only – everything in the real word, that we use to manage things, changes – often radically. Perhaps we should make these more stable – and our world would become more manageable.

Psychology speaks of experiences, Programming speaks of data. Functions, in either case – are what manages this basic stuff.

Psychology

Psychology today suffers from what Science itself suffers from – people do not want to know what is going on. Especially with themselves.

They suffer enormously from this ignorance – one of the fundamental attributes of humans is their curiosity – and their decision to abandon this means – they have abandoned themselves – and have invented social suicide.

Quite an invention – and something no one expected. But looking back at it – it was the logical result of society’s internal forces – that persons, such as Nietzsche could see – easily enough.

People now know something is wrong, and they are looking everywhere for it – except in themselves. For the best of reasons – their darker side, that they had studiously ignored, for a hundred years – has taken over.

Man has always contained both Good and Evil – and the struggle between them, has always been one of his chief preoccupations. And his decision to abandon this struggle, has been fatal.

Dreams

Some people place a lot of confidence in these – but mine are useless. Totally useless – words and images appear in random arrangements, and have no meaning at all. When my brain goes to sleep, it loses its meaningful arrangements that make it so useful – and it becomes a jumble of disconnected memories.

This, for me, it what sleep amounts to – I tell my brain I don’t need it for awhile, and it can relax and do whatever it pleases. There are theories that say it goes into a repair mode that is essential for its survival.

Perhaps so – but this is not included in all the computer models that claim to work as the brain does. They do not need time out to repair themselves.

This is one of the huge differences between computers made of silicon – and bodies (and brains) made entirely differently. Computers are logical (they cannot be anything else) but people are a strange mixture of logic and emotions. That are prone to get out of whack – and work very strangely.

I am listening to a history of WW1 – where Europe did get out of whack, very badly. Especially the Germans – the most talented people in the world, but also the craziest.

Freud was part of this crowd, and he believed in dreams – and wrote a book about them. However, his theories have been shown to have little value – and are in fact, a kind of craziness.

I had a Jungian therapist, when I was working in Silicon Valley in the Nineties. Karl Jung began as a Freudian – but broke with him, and eventually formed his own school – one of which now exists in San Francisco. I had a graduate of this school – who did me no good – but made off with quite a bit of my money – he was clever that way.

He was interested in dreams also.

Making the Unconscious Conscious

The Enlightenment was about making the world better – by eliminating class differences. If everyone was given equal opportunities – everything would get better. But instead, things got more complicated – and new problems arose that had not existed before.

American history was an example of this. America got off to a great start with its Constitution – a new invention that many other countries copied, confident that this would make them rich and powerful also. This happened recently, in Afghanistan. It was given a constitution, written by American experts – and told to have an election. These American experts expected great things to happen – Afghanistan would automatically become a modern country! It never happened.

This did not work in America either – it had a long, bloody Civil War, that solved none of its problems – but it did become an Industrial country, with transcontinental railroads – and a huge inequality between the rich Industrialists and the Workers.

And with the rest the world, it participated in WWI, the Depression, and WWII. with its Holocaust. Something had gone terribly wrong – but no one knew what it was.

What happened was simple – unconscious problems wrecked everything – much to the amazement of everyone – who had no idea these existed. Or that the unconscious itself existed.

The discovery of the unconscious was one of the great achievements of the early 20th Century. But it was soon forgotten – because it was too inconvenient. It revealed too much about who we were.


As I write this, most people will agree – without thinking about it. But I know, from personal experience – how shocking and painful the discovery of unknown problems can be. Their discovery can nearly kill you.  No one actually dies – but it is an experience, that most people avoid, with all their strength.

My External Brain is All Messed Up

I bought a Windows 10 laptop, and put a lot of work into it – making it do just what I wanted. Then it started acting strangely, and ended up – all messed up. This affected my internal brain also – it became all messed up, but has more or less recovered from its temporary insanity.

This could be a fable for our times – it promised wonderful things, but did not deliver. How often this happens!

We put a huge amount of work into something – and it turns into nothing.