Billions more on the Symptoms of Social Malaise

20/11/2018

In the autumn budget the UK government has just decided to pump an extra £20 billion into the struggling National Health Service. Don’t get me wrong the tens of thousands of sick people on waiting lists for routine surgical operations would certainly welcome the extra funds. Not least the NHS could use the additional cash to train more nurses rather than rely on agency staff and ready-trained imported labour.

Do the elites want to eliminate us?

20/10/2018

Or do they just want to control us by getting us hooked on their technology?

As we progress into the 21st century, most of us find it harder and harder to understand the pervasive technologies that underpin our daily lives. This emerging reality can lead us to radically divergent conclusions. While many of us may fear a techno-apocalypse as we fail to tame the sophisticated systems that support our high-consumption lifestyle, others believe a tiny cabal plans to reduce the world’s population by forcing most of us into big cities and depriving us of the means of self-reliance.

The Day the World Turned Dayglo

26/03/2018

Confusion in an era of instant disinformation

To capture the current state of uncertainty that pervades both global socio-economic instability and cultural decay succinctly is no mean feat. Teenage rebellion is a rite of passage at a critical period of transition in our lives, an interlude between childhood innocence and adult responsibility when we question the powers that be and often challenge parental authority.

Parallel Universes

02/02/2018

When emotions trump logic.. Do you ever get the feeling that your political adversaries do not respond to the logic of your arguments, but merely to their cultural acceptability from their narrow ideological worldview? Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News believed she could rely on good old emotionalism to defeat the purportedly reactionary arguments of Canadian professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson. They inhabited different moral universes. Ms Newman stubbornly refused to accept any scientific evidence of fundamental neurological differences between male and female brains. Over 15 years ago Simon Baron Cohen popularised the distinction between more feminine empathisers and more masculine systemisers or in other words women are more people-oriented while men tend to be more thing-oriented. In practice we all need a bit of both to navigate our social and physical worlds. A technically illiterate project manager is as useless as a socially inept and uncommunicative engineer oblivious to the needs of other human beings. ....

Why does the Regressive Left worship the NHS?

30/12/2017

Or rather why do metropolitan elites not trust the Working Classes? Before you doubt my sanity, let me clarify a couple of buzzwords in the title. By regressive left I mean a widespread political current that positions itself on the progressive left, but when push comes to shove always sides with remote

institutions who do not have the best interests of ordinary people at heart. 

Guilt by Association

02/12/2017

Recently British author Douglas Murray took part in a video chat with the renowned YouTube sensation and self-proclaimed libertarian philosopher Stefan Molyneux. While critical of Radical Islam and mass migration, Douglas Murray has been careful to steer a middle ground. Initially he came across to me as a Blairite, not least because he’s associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a neoconservative think tank that has counted Labour MPs such as Ben Bradshaw and Jim Murphy in its ranks.

Sexual Egalitarianism

20/11/2017

Why it will always remain a wild fantasy... Sex, as practiced for the last billion years, has been an awfully competitive and selective affair. Erotic desire drives much of human behaviour. It motivates us to keep fit, take care of our appearance, elevate our status by excelling at school and in our careers and show off our physical prowess and dexterity through sport, dance and music. 

On Social Competitiveness and Human Nature

18/11/2017

As a species we combine social solidarity and shared culture with a strong competitive spirit. In a way these variant behaviours represent the true yin and yang of the human psyche, collectivism versus individualism or social cohesion versus self-betterment. One could argue that our social and technological reality would never have progressed without these instincts.

Manufacturing Identities

29/10/2017

Humanity has always had a wide range of cultures, vocations and two biologically defined sexes. For most of our history we identified with our family, our tribe, our gender and our vocation. We had no choice over family and gender, seldom switched tribes and had a limited window of opportunity to find a vocation within the cultural paradigm of our era. To the above list we may naturally add status, something we traditionally acquired from a mix of our family’s social standing and any natural talents we can exploit in a socially advantageous or entrepreneurial manner.

Intellectual Freedom

30/09/2017

In the era of hate speech laws, safe spaces and fact checkers... Many may argue that hunger, environmental depredation, nuclear war or extreme disparities of wealth are the main challenges of our times. I don’t dispute for a moment that without life’s necessities, a hospitable environment, peace and social stability, free speech may seem a luxury. 

The Emerging Age of Absolutisms

26/08/2017

What do corporate globalism, Islamic fundamentalism, communist idealism and neo-fascist romanticism all have in common besides being abstract isms? If you look at their attitudes to the key ethical questions of our age, their notional position on the left-right spectrum or their virtuosity in the public mind, they may appear at variance or even diametric opposites.

Just gimme some Truth

19/08/2017

On the importance of intellectual freedom... Hardly a week passes without a brand new high profile campaign against the Orwellian concept of hate speech, perceived public ignorance or the spectre of unofficial fake news. 

The Brave New World Test

02/07/2017

Human history has had plenty of upheavals, but I believe we have never experienced such a rapid rate of technological and cultural change with worldwide reach. In 1931 Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World not so much as a reliable prognosis of human development over the coming six centuries (as the story is set in the year 2540 AD), but as a warning of how our socially progressive trajectory could lead us to a dystopia of complete submission to a technocratic elite. Huxley failed to foresee the likely implications of artificial intelligence and nano-robotics.

Our Workless Future

11/06/2017

Could the universal basic income usher in an age of hyper-dependence, hyper-surveillance and a growing divide between technocratic elites and mainstream humanity?

Your services are no longer required

27/05/2017

Universal Basic Income for all (Terms and conditions apply)

Engineered Chaos

20/05/2017

In the great debate on the relative merits of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and atheism as dominant ideologies, let me declare my relative agnosticism. Sure, on a purely empirical level I’ve long been an atheist and have yet to find any credible evidence of the existence of supernatural beings. However, I doubt we will ever gain a complete understanding of nature so we will always have to account for phenomena beyond our control, but I digress.

Hackneyed Jargon and Intellectual Honesty

29/05/2017

What I really mean by globalists, elitists and corporatists

A couple of weeks ago someone chastised me on Twitter for using the term Deep State to explain Donald Trump’s Damascene conversion over Syrian regime change.

Mainstream Fake News Kills

09/04/2017

On the Brink of World War Three Over Misappropriated Chemical Attacks.

Call me old-fashioned, but facts do actually matter even if they're inconvenient and do not fit with your preferred narrative. Your enemy may be bad, but your enemy’s enemy may be even worse. That said, disinformation and emotive propaganda should concern us most when they come from the world’s best funded media operations.

The Trump Delusion

09/04/2017

Let’s agree that the left-branded neoliberal dream best associated with the Clinton Dynasty in the US and with Tony Blair and David Cameron in the UK has failed their core working class electoral bases. Ordinary working people are fed up with know-it-all talking heads on TV lecturing them on what they should think and belittling their concerns about globalisation and social engineering. How could the working classes turn to political causes such as Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK or Le Pen in France?

Patronising Social Conformists

21/01/2017

Patronising Social Conformists. How the new left merely cheerleads the new globalist establishment Once upon a time left-of-centre social reformers and trade union activists had a bit of a reputation as rebels standing up against the old reactionary establishment..

Whom should we believe?

19/11/2016

The War on Dissident News

The establishment media have now coined a term for news sites that regularly challenge their orthodox narrative, fake news. This is rich for news organisations that have cheerled wars in the Middle East, turned a blind eye to atrocities committed by our allies and consistently supported the suppression of viable national democratic institutions by a cabal of global corporations.

Does the Trendy UK Left Support British Workers?

30/10/2016

Or does it just think we need better mental healthcare

I've long admired Ken Loach, a radical film producer who rose to fame with his 1965 classic, Cathy Come Home, about the homelessness of a young couple. Anyone who challenged the establishment had my support. More recently he has fallen into line with the infantile left. His latest movie, I Daniel Blake, succeeds in portraying an alternate reality that suits the agenda of radical social engineers.

On the Brink of War

10/10/2016

As we stand on the brink of World War Three over Russian involvement in the Syrian quagmire, our mainstream media feeds us with a steady diet of disinformation about the true causes of death and destruction in the Middle East while entertaining us with juicy stories of sexual misconduct of US presidential candidates. In one of the most controversial elections in recent American history, US voters face a choice between a flamboyant billionaire entrepreneur and a puppet of billionaire bankers and autocratic oil sheiks.

Universal Welfare vs Individual Freedom

17/09/2016

Would global corporations bankroll a universal welfare system without seeking to control our lives? Imagine a society that not only provided all your existential needs, but also gave you wide-ranging lifestyle freedoms and did not compel you to hold down a mundane job just to afford the necessities of life.

Expertocracy: the political Elites don't trust you

17/07/2016

Unless you believe their experts

Today people power, or democracy if your prefer a more Hellenic term, means little more than mood management. You may express your feelings on a range of options that other presumed experts and high-profile opinion leaders offer you. However, you are not supposed to have any original thoughts or seek alternative sources of information that have not been given an official seal of approval or at any rate deemed authoritative.

Forget Europe, Brexit was really a peasants revolt against smug elitists

02/07/2016
Oddly this referendum has restored my faith in humanity Last Thursday the globalist establishment and their cheerleaders in the liberal intelligentsia got the fright of their lives. They had failed to persuade the British electorate to vote remain in the referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.

Does the Trendy Left trust you to do anything?

05/06/2016

If you listen to the debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union you could be forgiven for believing that it’s a clash between progressive philanthropists and selfish Little Englanders determined to restore Britain to Victorian values. To the likes of Caroline Lucas the EU represents green fields with solar panels and wind turbines interspersed with cycle lanes, eco-friendly houses and intelligent talented European citizens sharing ideas on how to make the world a better place.

The #Remain Youth Marketing Campaign

21/05/2016

In the forthcoming referendum on British sovereignty, you'd be forgiven for thinking it were some sort of X-factor style contest on the relative merits of continental Europe. The latest propaganda from the StrongerIn campaign press all the right psychological buttons:

Infantile Leftwing Globalism

14/05/2016

You might naively imagine the main focus of the Green Party is to promote environmental sustainability, while the Labour Party seeks to defend the rights of ordinary working people in their country. Yet increasingly both serve the interests of global corporations, just as much as their nominally centre-right counterparts in misnamed conservative, liberal or separatist parties.

Our Emerging Brave New World

28/12/2015

Mental Health Mantra: If you believe vocal lobbies, we can never devote enough resources to tackle our ongoing mental health crisis. Politicians of all hues like to champion the rights of mental health patients to better care. They try to score points on the perceived lack of funding for mental health services. The subtext is ...

Left vs Right: The Yin and Yang of political analysis

08/11/2015

As idealist teenager I always wanted to side with the notional left on everything. The left represented progress towards a better tomorrow freed of human suffering, prejudice, inequality and exploitation, a panacea in which all human beings could enjoy life to the full in a giant communal garden of Eden. The right, on the other hand, represented the forces of reactionary conservatism emotionally tied to the establishment and traditions that prevented progress to a fairer world.

Creepy Agendas

21/09/2015

Do Corbyn and Cameron agree on Policing the human mind?

Did anyone notice that we now have a shadow minister for mental health? Until recently we just had ministers for health concerned with the provision of medical services and social welfare. Indeed Labour’s new allegedly anti-establishment leader chose to use his limited time at Prime Minister’s Questions to address the perceived shortage of mental health services in the NHS. If you substitute the word psychiatry for mental health, you will soon understand where I’m coming from.

The Wealth Illusion

01/06/2015

A much publicised factoid, popularised by many left-leaning campaigners for greater equality, shows that the richest 85 people in the world are as wealthy as the poorest half  or around 3.5 billion human beings. That would make each multibillionaire a staggering 41 million times richer than your typical Sub-Sarahan African, Indian or Indonesian.

Addict Nation

24/05/2015

There has always been a thin dividing line between legal and illegal or between therapeutic and recreational drugs. We tend to call bad psychostimulants “drugs” and good officially sanctioned mind-altering pills “medication”. While the former are distributed by underworld dealers, praying on our psychological weaknesses and the cool factor, and the latter are aggressively pushed by pharmaceutical multinationals.

Nice Party Manifesto

22/04/2015
As an environmentally friendly, safety-aware, anti-racist, disability-positive, anti- homophobia, feminist, pro-growth, pro-children, pro-happiness party, we oppose all nasty policies that may harm other human beings. #satire

Why do people get depressed?

19/04/2015

With so much media attention, you’d seriously think depression awareness raising charities would want to answer this very simple question. As the purported biological disease model of depression has now become almost an act of faith, debate now seems to revolve mainly around the relative merits of different forms of treatment. Whether it’s medication or intensive psychotherapy, any talk of treatment implies a medical condition comparable with cancer, Alzheimers or broken limbs.

Question Time on Rise of UKIP

09/04/2015

How would members of the panel deal with the rise in UKIP support among working class whites?

Dame Penelope Guardian Reader

What the enlightened elites really think of you

15/03/2015

Opinion leaders love to use inclusive first person plural forms, like we, us and our, when addressing unenlightened plebs who fail to share their enthusiasm for all things post-modern and mistakenly reminisce about the positive aspects of our recent past, like greater social cohesion, more respect for age and experience, simpler rules of social etiquette and above all a lot less social anxiety.

Why Labour will not bring about a fairer Britain

01/02/2015

In less than 5 years, the Labour left seemed to have forgotten the sheer treachery of the last Labour administration. Rather than focus their attention on the real ruling classes sitting in corporate boardrooms or relaxing on Caribbean yachts, they prefer to demonise the bunch of overgrown public school boys and girls in the current governmental management team. You see national governments don’t really have much power these days. Big decisions are made elsewhere.

How to Help the Needy

28/12/2014

At this time of year, we are supposed to turn our minds to the wider community around us, so everyone can enjoy a Merry Christmas and restore their faith in humanity. People in the UK seem to have three competing personas.

Ten Trendy Actions which are very bad for the Environment

17/11/2014
  1. Economic growth: Once people have clean water, a healthy diet, adequate housing with plumbing and electricity, meaningful employment, access to modern healthcare and a few other essential personal possessions, all additional consumption does very little to improve life expectancy or happiness. Yet our GDP growth drains many finite resources that could be better used by others suffering real poverty or be saved for future generations. Overconsumption, generating vast oceans of rubbish, is currently the biggest threat to our eco-system.

The Trouble with the NHS

27/07/2014

How disease-mongering turns patients into customers

Twitter Mob: Don't Blame the Users

17/07/2014

How lobbies have turned consumer groups into victims

Dictatorship by Consent

10/05/2014

Apparently, if we believe many opinion leaders, we fought most recent wars to spread freedom and democracy. Allegedly people across the world admire us because of our deep-rooted civic political culture. Never mind any inconvenient conflicts between personal freedom and true democracy, but what do the international ruling elites and their faithful cheerleaders actually mean by this Hellenic word for people power ?

Double Ungood: Brave New World Film

21/12/2012
Things might not have panned out quite how George Orwell predicted in his infamous dystopian novel, 1984. In many ways rather than progress towards austere authoritarianism, modelled on Stalin's Soviet Union, penalising expressions of excessive joy, the latest phase of corporate globalisation has seen the spread of mass consumerism and commercialised hedonism as tools of social engineering. I

All true conservatives are green

29/04/2012

I sometimes enjoy Peter Hitchens’  antidote to mainstream trendy Neo-Liberal thinking, but fear he is on some subjects in bad company and a tad ill-informed. No rational person could deny volumes of hard evidence showing the exponential rise in humanity’s collective impact on our planet’s delicate ecosystem, both in terms of our numbers (rising from just 750 million at the start of the industrial revolution to 7 billion now) and our per capita consumption.

How to argue with awkward purveyors of home truths

13/08/2011

Here are just a few strategies you can adopt when confronted with troublesome individuals who insist on expressing politically incorrect opinions that cannot be refuted by facts alone.

Hedonism Ablaze

09/08/2011

What a coincidence! Just days after the US administration agreed to raise their country's debt ceiling and let the global consumption party go on for a few more months or maybe years, In London marauding mobs run riot, loot retail outlets and set commercial and residential buildings on fire. Reportedly it all started in Tottenham Hale, North East, on Saturday evening when demonstration against the police shooting of a minicab driver and alleged drug dealer, Mark Duggan, descended into violence, just four miles from my bedsit.

Why Procreate?

25/06/2011

While some of us may seem very self-absorbed thanks to generations of social atomisation and disconnection from our palaeolithic roots, most of us are wired to adore new life.

On The Laws of Probability

29/04/2011
Every day we experience hundreds of near misses, accidents waiting to happen unless we take the right precautions and pay constant attention to all potential dangers. Yet the human brain can only actively focus on one event at a time, switching our attention to monitor the progress of other concomitant events. Some of us can switch between events better than others, but then some key tasks require much more intense concentration.

Ubiquitous Assault on the Senses

11/12/2010

How will future generations view early 21st century Britain? An age of enlightenment that allowed more women than ever to work, redefined loud arguments as domestic violence, exposed childhood sexual abuse and extended the benefits of prosperity to more people than ever. This is the spin of the neo-liberal media, i.e. you've never had it so good or experienced such a wonderfully fair and harmonious society.

BBC Drama Promotes Schizophrenia Myths

TV programmes promote agendas behind of smokescreen of wishful thinking. Waterloo Road is no exception. ... Over the last three years Waterloo Road has sought to raise awareness about certain social issues with varying degrees of success and misinterpretation. Considering the programme's main appeal is to teenagers, it comes as a shock, but sadly not a surprise, that the last episode focussed the attention of millions of youngsters on one of the most poorly misunderstood psychiatric...

Rethinking Autism - Assorted notes

What is Asperger` Anyway ? ... Were this personality type promoted as schizophrenia without psychosis , few parents or affected individuals would ever seek diagnosis, yet the history of the emergence of this social construct clearly demonstrates its origins in psychiatry. In little more than a decade Asperger`s has become so instilled in the public mind in Anglo-Saxon countries that journalists and playwrights may use it as a generic definition for social ineptitude or mind blindness. ...

Peddling Misery - Letter to the Independent on Sunday

I refer to your piece (IoS 20/04/08) about Depression Awareness Week. We all know Alastair Campbell sold his soul to the military-industrial complex by playing a key role in preparing public opinion for the Iraqi oil grab and acting as spin-doctor-in-chief for one of this country's most mendacious administrations, now apparently he has sold out to big pharma too. Depression Awareness Week will do nothing to tackle the root causes of the misery and lack of self worth millions of us suffer day in day out. It ...

Dental Health Scandal: Playing Politics with Genes

Few empiricists would deny that both environmental and genetic factors determine subtle variations in the physical health, performance and behaviour of human beings. After repeatedly telling us that diet and lifestyle are largely to blame for the obesity epidemic, the popular media now inform that genetics plays a crucial role in our susceptibility to gaining weight, e.g. two different people eating the same intake of junk food may have very different weights. Our genes do after all provide us with...

A Very Human Animal

What is in your genes and what is not? ... The nature versus nurture debate has long presented us with a false dichotomy as nurture, i.e socio-environmental influences, is very much part of nature. But many commentators have narrowed the definition of nature to refer only to genes, the mere blueprint or genotype that determines our potential subsequent development. To simplify matters, consider a newborn girl. Assuming she does not have pervasive brain damage, her future depends in large part on her...

On The Nature of Violence

Consuming re-enactments of violence in various forms has long brought considerable pleasure to large number of people, especially but by no means exclusively, males. Quite clearly many residents of middle class suburbs in towns and cities across the prosperous world are relatively shielded from the real-world physical violence that millions experience on a daily basis in much of the world, but with extraordinary levels of intensity in regions where wars of resistance and internecine conflict rage. David ...

In Association with Pfizer

Someone queried the other day whether any evidence linked Stanley Feldman, co-author of Panic Nation , with Spiked Online. A quick Web search reveals a number of his articles and references in the infamous GMO-promoting, pro-Nuclear, pro-Drug and pseudo-libertarian Web site. But then something caught my attention, right on the front page. Spiked Online are running a What Inspired You? event, purportedly to raise awareness of scientific innovators, but conspicuously sponsored by Pfizer, manufacturer of...

Something's Changed

Thoughts on Michael Bywater's Big Babies or Why Can't We Just Grow Up ... Originally prepared for a talk and discussion at the South Place Ethical Society Book Club. ... Why do people seem to behave differently these days? Why do young girls appear to be more interested in sex? Why do young boys appear to be more restless and inattentive? Why do so many adults comport themselves like overgrown children, always eager to indulge in new high-tech toys or score with members of the opposite or indeed of...

May the Thought Police be with you!

Over the last week the mainstream media in the UK have focused on two moral issues. The first concerned the televised racial slurs of a working class Londoner raised in a Bermondsey council estate who made her name on Channel Four's Big Brother against a multi-millionaire Bollywood diva. The second drew our attention to the unwillingness of the Catholic and other religious adoption agencies to place children with same sex couples. Campaigns against discrimination on grounds of race or sexual orientation...

Conspiracy Theory Slur

act of working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations. ... Conspiracy (crime) and conspiracy (civil), an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future ... Conspiracy (political), a plot to overthrow a government or other powers ... Conspiracy theory, attempts to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance ... Many defenders of orthodoxy can simply shrug off all challenges ...

The Awareness Raising Scam

On the surface there seems nothing wrong with bringing people's attention to the plight of other human beings. As a concept awareness raising began life in political activism, but was soon embraced by the advertising industry. It does not take a huge leap of faith to conclude that National Smile Week , as delightful and charming as we may find smiles, was sponsored by the British Dental Association and not by an independent group of well-intentioned philanthropists. When the instigators of various...

The Misery Industry

In the run-up to New labour's historic 1997 electoral victory, thespian extraordinaire Tony Blair launched his rallying soundbite " education, education, education ". Any brief exposure to modern teaching techniques as they have continued to evolve since would reveal the necessity to revise that slogan to " edutainment, edutainment, edutainment " . ... Outside the bustling edutainment sector with semi-privatised unis offering students free I-pods and advertising the prospects of vibrant night life and...

Shameless Celebrity Promotion of Personality Disorders

Letter to the Independent (on Sunday) ... Judging from the Independent on Sunday's feature on Stephen Fry's high-profile outing as a bipolar-defined person, we can look forward to a new season of personality disorder awareness raising. If we believe the hype, until the mid 1990s human beings labelled with the new generation of behavioural disorders lived in the dark ages condemned to a life deprived of media-filtered awareness of their plight, a burgeoning support and counselling sector and a new range...

You're just an Individual

Whether you read psychiatric literature, social work reports or listen to the speeches of leading politicians, you'll find ordinary citizens increasingly referred to not as women, men, people, human beings or citizens but as individuals. Whether you lead an atypical lifestyle, are considered to suffer from a disorder or disease, are addicted to an obsessive behaviour or harbour subversive opinions, someone somewhere will probably refer to you as an individual with some label or other. A quick Web search...

A Curious Exchange on Gambling

I belong to the school of thought that views happiness as a state of emotional equilibrium in which one's desires and material expectations are socially and environmentally sustainable. Should one feel unable to attain the required dose of desires in a highly competitive setting, this can indeed lead to much misery. The broad theme I'd like to develop is that the mass entertainment industry would be more aptly named the misery industry. One does not need access to official statistics to claim that the...

Who Needs Psychiatry?

Most human beings have undergone moments of emotional disturbance and have at times engaged in unwise and irrational behaviour due to inexperience, extreme stress or intoxication. Our unconscious may have created sensory illusions, echoes of past ordeals. Many of us have felt the need to withdraw, if only temporarily, in a world of our own. A sense of insecurity, guilt or just personal fascination can lead us to obsess with actions, issues or objects. We may even sink into a mire of introspective...

Today's Hate Hour

" Today we're dedicating our hate hour to an evil man, suffering from a chronic psychopathic sexual disorder. He deserves only contempt and should bury himself under the nearest rock. This man was caught viewing paedophiliac images on the Internet. We don't have any evidence linking him to real-life sex crimes, but are in no doubt that anyone casting their malevolent eyes on images deemed paedophiliac will sooner or later commit such a crime. It is imperative that we apply the preventive principle to avert ...

We Care about those who disagree

Samantha Stasy is a loyal Labour MP who genuinely cares about the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of her constituents. Every week she holds a surgery providing local electors with a forum in which to air their grievances. " I believe it is essential to stay in touch with our electors, listen carefully and help them overcome their problems or refer them to professionals who can ." ... Samantha: " Hello, Mrs Contrary, I've read your e-mail, taken on board all your comments and fully sympathise...

The Arbitrary Extension of the Autistic Spectrum

11/04/2005

Over the last twenty years we have witnessed a semantic shift in the concepts of autism and the wider autistic spectrum. The former may assume three broad definitions: ... A mental condition devoid of a theory of mind with which to relate to other human beings. In this sense we all start life in an autistic state and gradually develop progressively more advanced theories of mind. Early attachment with one's primary care-giver and bonding with real-world friends clearly play a crucial role. However, ...

Is AS really on the Autistic Spectrum or are we just redefining Autism?

The overall message we get from the growing AS/Autism support industry is that we are part of the autistic spectrum and we have a psychiatric disorder, even if the language used by professionals when addressing us is much more diplomatic. I agree we have problems with socialisation and manifest behavioural traits that come under the broad umbrella now labelled as Asperger's. ... I take issue with this arbitrary extension of the so-called autistic spectrum to include people with a high verbal...

Is Asperger's a Learning Disability?

Currently many services for both children and adults diagnosed with the Asperger's Difference fall under the umbrella of learning disabilities. Indeed some professionals seem eager to broaden the definition of learning disabilities to encompass a whole host of individuals whose learning patterns may diverge somewhat from the norm. To confuse matters more the term is often interchanged freely with learning difficulties. Why should we take offence at these sweeping generalisations? After all in the spirit of ...

AS vs Autism Neuroimaging

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;61(3):291-8.  Investigation of neuroanatomical differences between autism and Asperger syndrome. ... Lotspeich LJ, Kwon H, Schumann CM, Fryer SL, Goodlin-Jones BL, Buonocore MH, Lammers CR, Amaral DG, Reiss AL. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA. ... ... Linda.Lotspeich@stanford.edu CONCLUSIONS: Lack of replication between...

Obsessive Delusional Heterodoxy Disorder (ODHD)

16/05/2004

Most people have an aptitude for teamwork and instinctively know when constructive discussion and even new ideas are both welcome and socially advantageous. But some are not so fortunate. They live in a state of paranoid fear and dismiss conventional wisdom on most issues, often leading to obsessional interest in erudite subjects, sympathising with tyrants, downplaying atrocities and inventing absurd conspiracy theories. In synthesis they turn reality on its head, never believing anything emanating from...

Is it Time to Rethink Media Effects?

It has become increasingly common in some academic circles to write off public controversies about children"s media as moral panics. This paper sets out to challenge the implied claim made in this argument that media do not have psychological and cultural impacts on children. This position confuses public concerns with public safety and children"s well being with right wing moralizing about children"s taste. It also reduces the scientific study of the relationship between violent entertainment and...

Prescience from January 2002: The Myth of Autism

15/02/2002

In Leo Kanner's now classic 1943 paper he outlined the behavior pattern, present from early in life, which he named 'early infantile autism'. Prior to this, there were, in the literature, occasional accounts of individual children whose behavior fitted the picture Kanner later described. Kanner described only the autistic children referred to his clinic and, later on, those attending a particular special school (Kanner,1973). He made no estimates of the numbers in the general population, but thought that his syndrome was rare.

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