Tag Archives | Psychology

Cult Members: Aberrant But Are They Insane?

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

To plead not guilty by reason of insanity, cult members will need to prove they’re insane beyond belonging to a cult. As Michael Smith at Medpage Today notes, juries and judges are not convinced that cult involvement equates insanity.

Michael Smith via Medpage Today:

TORONTO — Cult members who kill can be grandiose and delusional, controlling and violent. They can claim to communicate with God. They can claim to beGod. But are they insane?

From a medical point of view, the answer obviously varies from case to case (and some would argue that insanity is not a medical concept). But from a legal point of view the answer is “no,” according to Brian Holoyda, MD, MPH, a psychiatric resident at the University of California Davis Health System.

In general, courts and juries are not impressed with a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI), Holoyda said in an a presentation at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual meeting.

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The Scent of a Cabbie

Bluury Streets of SF

Tuesday

5:05am:
The sun’s been coming up early. (Ok. And I’ve been “sleeping in.”) Regardless, I do feel the unrelenting compulsion to race in to work, to beat its rise, like a vampire trying to make his casket before turning to ash. Hopefully, mine will be full of coffee grounds. I need a buzz.

5:30am:
I’m finished greasing Tony’s palms back in the Citizen’s Cab office, and I head out to the lot.

Aside: Yeah, I chanced a $5 bribe on Tony for an airport this morning. I don’t actually expect to see one come my way from dispatch. But I gotta check-in now and then, if only to keep Tony on his toes.

5:31am:
I’m in new ‘ol 137 and I’m immediately overcome with a strong wave of fruity… Well, just strong, fruity. I look around hard, but I cannot find the offending Christmas Tree air freshener, however hard I try.

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The Extended Mind and the Coupling-Constitution Fallacy

vesalius brain

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions

The extended mind hypothesis (EMH) holds that the mind isn’t all in the head. While it is no doubt true that the majority of our cognitive processes are situated in our brains, this need not be the case. For example, when performing the cognitive act of remembering, I may rely entirely on the internal activation of particular neural networks, or I could rely on some external prompt or storage device to assist my internal neural network. According to some philosophers, the extension of cognitive processes into the external environment is what gives rise to the EMH. As Andy Clark puts it, we are all “natural born cyborgs” – agents whose minds are jointly constituted by biological and technological materials.

Some philosophers dispute the EMH. Two of the most vociferous critics are Fred Adams and Kenneth Aizawa. They take particular umbrage at Clark’s claim about the possibility of joint-constitution.… Read the rest

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NSA’s Big Defenders Cash Big NSA Checks

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

via Lee Fang at The Intercept:

The debate over the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance.

The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA’s mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed. They spoke out to support the agency when NSA contractor Edward Snowden released details of its programs in 2013, and they’ve kept up their advocacy ever since — on television news shows, newspaper op-ed pages, online and at Congressional hearings. But it’s often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.

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A Disinformation Compendium: The Prophecies on the Antichrist, End of the World, and the Apocalypse of the Abbot Joachim

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A Disinformation Compendium: The Prophecies on the Antichrist, End of the World, and the Apocalypse of the Abbot Joachim

Vaticinia, sive, Prophetiae Abbatis Ioachimi, [and] Anselmi Episcopi Marsicani; cum imaginibus aere incisis, correctione, et pulcritudine, plurium manuscriptorum exemplari ope, et variar imagin tabulis, et delineationibù, aliis antehac impressis longè praestantiora; quibus Rota, et Oraculum Turcicum maxime considerationis adiecta sunt; una cum praefatione et adnotationibus Paschalini Regiselmi

Translation:

The predictions of , or, the Abbot Joachim of prophecy , [and] the Bishop Anselm Marsicani ; with statues of the air muscles are cut, his amendment, and beauty, it by means of a copy of a number of manuscripts , and to vary the images of the instruments, and delineationibù , when printed, the other far more excellent than the past ; which the wheel , and Oracle Turkish especially considering there were added ; together with the preface, notes and introduction Paschalini Regiselmo

Published 1600

by Joachim, of Fiore, ca.… Read the rest

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Conspiracy Theory as a Personality Disorder?

She's protected

Photo: John Allspaw (CC)

“The treatment of ‘conspiracy theories’ by the US intelligentsia is reminiscent of the Soviet commissions that labeled political dissidents mentally ill,” claims Kerry R Bolton at Foreign Policy Journal:

While psychiatry as a means of repressing political dissent was well-known for its use the USSR, this occurred no less and perhaps more so in the West, and particularly in the USA. While the case of Ezra Pound is comparatively well-known now, not so recognized is that during the Kennedy era in particular there were efforts to silence critics through psychiatry. The cases of General Edwin Walker, Fredrick Seelig, and Lucille Miller might come to mind.

As related by Seelig, the treatment meted out to political dissidents in psychiatric wards and institutions could be hellish. Over the past few decades however, such techniques against dissent have become passé, in favor of more subtle methods of social control.

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Nam’s Mission

137

Monday

4:15am:
I awake groggy from the weekend. And I want to call in sick. (ZzZzzzzzZZzzz.)

4:20am:
Ugh! I should work! (ZzzZZZzzz.)

4:25am:
Besides, the road might be a good distraction from my mental state. (ZZzzZZzzz.)

4:30am:
Okay! Okay! I’ll get up!

5:05am:
It’s a (now) rare foggy day in ‘ol San Francisco. I’m slogging up through the Citizen’s Cab lot and headed towards the office.

As I near, Sammy – the new office guy who’s taken over Kojak’s morning shift, passes me. He’s leaving the office with some new West African driver. They’re heading out to the lot … with a jump starter.

Note: Kojak has been moved to the afternoon office shift for some unknown reason. (Unknown to me, anyway.) This is how the cab biz works. Drivers, office workers; one day ya see ‘em. And the next, they’re gone.

Anyway, hmm.

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Because the Japanese Lolita Sex Dolls Just Aren’t Creepy Enough

As you may or may not be aware (and trust me, if not, your naivete is about to be shattered forever), there is a company in Japan that makes creepy, creepy life-like Lolita dolls.

Well, Buck Dobson (certainly doesn’t sound like a classically creepy name to me) is taking things a step further. One step beyond, as the kids say.

so very very creepy.

No word yet whether or not they’re compatible with AmericanGirl doll outfits.

For the children, of course. Praise Jeepers.

CSglobe tells the grotesque story:

Abused by his adult sister at the age of 10, Buck Dobson of Denver, Colorado, made his mission to cure pedophiles of their illness. But he says every attempt, such as rehabilitation and outreach programs, seems to have failed, which caused him to look into starting a company that will focus on creating child love dolls, according to Celebtricity.

However, the abuse inspired Dobson to spend most of his adult life working to cure pedophilia.

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Believing That Life Is Fair Might Make You a Terrible Person

Bryon Lippincott (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bryon Lippincott (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Oliver Burkeman writes at the Guardian:

If you’ve been following the news recently, you know that human beings are terrible and everything is appalling. Yet the sheer range of ways we find to sabotage our efforts to make the world a better place continues to astonish. Did you know, for example, that last week’s commemorations of the liberation of Auschwitz may have marginally increased the prevalence of antisemitism in the modern world, despite being partly intended as a warning against its consequences? Or that reading about the eye-popping state of economic inequality could make you less likely to support politicians who want to do something about it?

These are among numerous unsettling implications of the “just-world hypothesis”, a psychological bias explored in a new essay by Nicholas Hune-Brown at Hazlitt. The world, obviously, is a manifestly unjust place: people are always meeting fates they didn’t deserve, or not receiving rewards they did deserve for hard work or virtuous behaviour.

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