Categories
Psychology

War: Psychology and Deterrence

Context: Psychology and Deterrence “(…)deterrence strategies often backfire by aggravating a nation’s sense of insecurity, thereby calling forth the very behavior they seek to prevent.” This kind of feedback loop is really quite foundational in the analysis of complex systems, of which strategic standoffs are a salient (and topical) instance. Something which I haven’t (yet) […]

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Psychology

The Masks We Wear

A brief thought for today but based indirectly on a peculiar montage and vintage vignette of Lacanian mirrors and Zen voids. We all wear masks. To be a person, an individual, a subjective experience in the world is to adopt a role, a pattern or perceived or expected and normative self hood. Underneath it all, […]

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Psychology

Russia, the War, May 9 and a Narrative of Insecurity

There is a core property of human experience that aligns with the reflexive self-validation of narrative cognition. Whatever facts might exist in the world, the structure and cadence of the conversation (and, clearly, of interpreted conflict) has a tendency for better and for worse to exploit behavioural and psychological instinct as bias towards pattern recognition. […]

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Psychology

Collective Psychosis

On the topic of untenable belief systems, unsubstantiated conspiracies, intransigent disinformation and ideological absurdity – I was watching a lecture from Gresham College today in which psychosis was posited as the default mental state. If the default state of human mental life is in fact some kind of dissociative discontinuity and stochastic chaos, this might […]

Categories
Psychology

Autocracy: a Spiral into Madness

Context: Will Putin Outlast the War? I can never quite get past the astonishing degree to which these things resemble individual psychological pathologies writ large. There may indeed be some kind of unhappy statistical inevitability of cognitive macrocosm here but for all its failures, the antithetical pole of liberal democracy certainly resembles a more successful […]

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creativity

Creative Cognitive Semantics

From the article: “participants with higher creative activities and achievements had semantic memory networks that were less segregated and more efficient”. So, creative utility is a function of a globally-distributed semantic potential (as memory, encoding, storage). The more semantic combinatorial possibility, the greater the potential creative “depth” of a cognitive system. If “creative cognition involves […]

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Alien Anthropology history Philosophy politics Psychology

Making Monsters

As an authoritarian regime always and implicitly depends for self-validation upon the presence of external and internal threats, where it does not find them it will manufacture them. This is a narcissistic pathology, writ large. The essential and interior psychological surface as self-definition of an individual (or organisational system as political abstraction of nation) is […]

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creativity ignorance imagination

On the value of not stealing ideas…

…and yet the persistent absence of intellectual creativity is a necessary condition for its acquired significance and perceived value. A principle of scarcity in economics resonates. That said, I’m not certain that the boundary conditions between intellectual theft and ethical practice in any autonomously self-propagating sociotechnical (information) system has been, or perhaps ever could be, […]

Categories
Psychology

Shame

You should see (or intuitively feel) how shame is a trap, a labyrinth of pure abstraction and emotionally-infused imagination or half-blind fear that no rational or intelligent person should ever become ensnared by and yet we just can’t help ourselves and so easily and serially drift through regret into pity and – often enough – […]

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Psychology

Therapeutic Psychedelics

Context: Psychedelic Therapy Is Poised To Create A Revolution In Mental Health, Can VR Accelerate It? It is worth noting, also, that in traditional cultural – often shamanic – contexts these chemicals were used in reference frame of religious or spiritual engagement that positively shaped the perceptions and experiences of those who took them. Beyond […]

Categories
Psychology

Emptiness in Psychology, Subjectivity and Art

This, from the book above: (…)art functions, in essence, to “creat[e] the void and thereby introduce[e] the possibility of filling it.” Staging Nothing: The Figure of Das Ding in Poe’s “The Raven”, Sean J. Kelly, in Psychology in Edgar Allan Poe, Logos Verlag Berlin, 2019, p. 69 Replace “void” with “subjectivity” and you have a […]

Categories
Psychology

Healthy Psychological Growth

Healthy psychological growth is quite likely a function of the degree to which a person, or indeed – a civilisation, can successfully negotiate the persistent presence of irreconcilable absence that difference and logical dissonance invokes. In this sense, (both) neurotic obsession and territorial expansionism represent an orientation towards the world that constitutes, in varying degrees, […]