Archive for April 17th, 2009


Various Replies of Mine


On Freud:

Nice post. It’s excellent your able to productively reflect on your past relationships.

I’m gonna throw down some challenges to you, in response to your comments on Freud.

“[Pheromones] seem more viable than Freud?”
Hmmm … really? It is either one or the other? So, if your father had been different, you wouldn’t have felt different and, perhaps, chosen different men? It is all predetermined in pheromones and genes and thus the effect of experiences after sperm met egg is eliminated?

Ah, cocaine and Freud-bashing. Bringing up cocaine is just an ad hominem attack. I suppose if I drank coffee (caffeine, another stimulant) and felt a little energized and a little mood lift and then told you 2+2=4 you could “discredit my reputation completely” and never deal with my answer to the math equation directly?

Also, Freud didn’t discover an incest desire. The laws against incest date back to our prehistory. One can deduce from any law that exists (prohibiting an act) that there are people who desire to commit that act or why would the law have ever come about? Freud is only saying that we have feelings and attachments from early life on and he is putting a spotlight on the feelings we had in the beginning stages of our life, before our minds were developed enough to reason and deal with all of them. I think the problem that comes about when people think about Freud is semantical. If Freud had told you that, at times, the small child has strong feelings of attachment and strong fears of losing the parent and strong feelings of worry and jealousy if they see that parent loving someone else, people would readily agree. I think Freud called it “sexual” because he was building a comprehensive model of the mind and seeing the person at all levels, including the biological. So, he was tracing back the roots of feeling-states to biological instincts. Which by the way, is the same thing you and others are doing with the focus on the pheromones connection (feelings –> biology). Ironic, isn’t it?


On The Fetish-izing of Science:

Show me the scientific, peer-reviewed, double-blind study that proves that Shakespeare (or any literature or art) is great, insightful and worthwhile. You can’t. So, you must conclude it is not. You make a religion out of science. Science as the all-knowing, all-seeing God. Science is the Great Negator. Science proves nothing. For science believes nothing is true and proven. Science believes the only thing that it can have is a hypothesis that seems true after 1000s of tests. And that’s it. A hypothesis. It seems true and is not proven true, for it only takes 1 single test to disprove it.  Then hypothesis is dead and gone (and never was a proven truth). The only thing it believes in is disproof, as it should. And that should put it (and you) in a humble position. Not an arrogant one that acts like it knows it all, is the final arbitrator of truth, and everyone else and their contribution to our knowledge is bunk. And real scientists know and believe this and don’t have such an arrogant-orientation. 

Also, science and psychoanalysis are not diametrically opposed, either/or propositions. “The mindless materialism which left little causal room for the mental is now an anachronism so that affective mind and unconscious motivation are no longer banished from behaviouristic psychology which has appropriated psychoanalytic concepts. Including defence mechanisms, the unconscious, therapeutic alliance, attachment and the notion that early relationship templates colour how people perceive and interact with the world as adults. Other psychotherapy models (CBT, IPT and others) have incorporated psychoanalytic concepts without proper crediting, while denying the increasing empirical support for the theory and the growing evidence base for analytically oriented therapies.” (Westen, D. 1998, Psychological Bulletin. 124(3): 333-371; Solms, M. & Turnbull, O. Cortex, 2007 and issues of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis, including 2008 and Todd, P.B. (2008). “Mind and Matter”, Volume 6, Issue 2). The journals mentioned as a sample in this posting are all professionally peer-reviewed.”


“To Eran Segev on the Peril of Doctrine Precluding Observation in the “Myth of Mental Illness” Debate.

Thanks for your comments and defence against my allegation of ad hominem argument against Szasz. I suggest that you consider my April 13 posting on “The Biopsychosocial Model” applied to diseases generally and to the scientific understanding of the vast spectrum of phenomena subsumed under the rubric of “mental illness”. One difficulty which I have with many sceptics, including Michael Shermer, is that they seem to conflate doctrine with the necessity for empirical research into the multifactorial causality of disorders. For instance, such statements as “mind is brain process” and “mental illnesses are therefore other species of neurological disorder” seem to be manifestly empirical assertions derived from research observation and experiment. However, these often dogmatically expressed remarks are epistemological doctrines about the nature of such disorders, otherwise known as neural reductionism, or metaphysical materialism.

The conclusion that “mental illnesses” are necessarily diseases of the brain follows from a questionable premise, specifically that mind and consciousness as well as such unconscious mental processes as defence mechanisms and emotions are both illusory and causally inefficacious by-products of brain processes. Both biological psychiatry and behaviouristic psychology created an epistemological framework for the scientific understanding of human behaviour and “mental illnesses” which banished affective mind and left little or no causal room for the mental or for phenomenological and subjective experience as a source of robust and useful scientific predictions. Basil Skinner regarded emotions as a “fiction”. “Mountains of research data” to which I have referred in previous postings to this site, however, have challenged the reductionist doctrine and explanatory framework. While suggesting the need for a paradigm shift in understanding and treatment (eg., Pribram, K. 2004:Fonagy, P. et al 2005; Solms, M & Turnbull, O. 2007; Todd, P.B., 2008).

Apropos the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism, refuted for instance by Philosopher Karl Popper in a book co-authored with Nobel laureate neuroscientist John Eccles (The Self and its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism, Springer, 1990), generations of academics and practitioners have nevertheless been required to construe mind, consciousness and “mental illness” in terms of an exclusively reductionist ideology masquerading as science.

The principle that science (unlike religion) rejects the philosophical notion of “synthetic a priori” or self evident empirical truths has more frequently been dishonoured or disregarded than upheld in practice. And therefore in the tertiary initiation of psychiatrists and psychologists into the dogma of neural reductionism and the unquestionable belief that “mental illnesses” are nothing but brain diseases (for instance, due to such genetically encoded anomalies in structure or neurochemistry as those proposed by Susan Greenfield and others). Psychoanalysis was banned in the former Soviet Union because its perceived mentalistic theoretical framework conflicted with the Marxist doctrine of dialectical materialism. Psychoanalytic theory, research and practice have been regarded either as pseudoscience with ritual debunking of Freud in undergraduate psychology courses or as subversive in the biological psychiatry taught to medical graduates. In spite of mounting evidence for such robust and useful scientific predictions in the fields of neuropsychoanalysis and psychosomatic research as those to which I have referred previously.

The efficacy of psychotropic medications in such conditions as schizophrenia and bi-polar mood disorder does not permit the logical leap to imputing exclusive causal significance to neural factors, including the entire pharmacy of neurotransmitters known to cascade through the central nervous (and immune) systems. Again, comprehensive scientific explanation means determining both necessary and sufficient conditions for a disorder, whether physical or “mental”. Contemporary and multidisciplinary research evidence is not consistent with simplistic notions of unitary causality. Science and logic aside, however, paradigm dominance and economic rationalism may covertly dictate or rationalize the over-prescription of drugs and the adoption of short term-interventions. The propaganda that psychoanalytically oriented approaches are not “evidence based” is contradicted by mounting empirical research, as I have indicated in other postings. 





What the hell is going on?

I dig a Sammy Hagar song?

Fucking Twilight Zone!

“Oh Yeah” is an excellent, great song!

–>The Chickenfoot Player<–

Played it 10 times already.

OK. So, someone got through to Hagar, finally. Satch, Chad or a producer and said none of that Van Hagar crap.

I went to IMEEM and played some Van Hagar cuts to make sure I wasn’t loosing my mind.

Why Van Hagar suxed donkey balls [Van Hagar cringe-worthy elements]:

Over-earnest singing and lyrics.

Singing: Trying to push all the emotion out of each line. Forced. Nerdy. Too precious. No air, no space, no relaxing into a groove. Over-singing. Even the screams are forced. Don’t sound like a natural, uncontrolled celebration, but look-at-me-I’m screaming. Almost over-singing the scream, if you will. And singing and screaming in too high a register. Too high and too forced = nerdy. No art to it. No artist-vibe. Cool, open, free, creative – ya gotta feel it in a relaxed, natural way if yr gonna make music, man. Not look-ma, I’m earnest, I’m straining, I’m over-singing, over enunciating.

Lyrics: Cliche, Hallmark Card, bore-me-to-tears, so common-place they say nothing, can’t get into them. Over-earnest. Little-boy-showing-it-to-mommy sweet lyrics.

Why Oh Yeah! [I’m calling it Oh Fuck Yeah!] is a great song:

Singing: Someone made Hagar relax a little. Restrained him somewhat. Sing in a little lower. Not straining high. There is some space and air, lets a little authentic feeling into the delivery. A little coolness. There you go, Sammy. With “Ain’t nothing I wouldn’t do for you” and a ton of other lines and even with the screams – you can just feel Hagar being restrained and just where the Van Hagar dude would have pushed it outta the zone. “Oh Lord I could sing” – Van Hagar would have forced that line through the stratosphere and drenched it with over-emotions

and strangled it completely to death. And his vocals are louder in the mix than with Van Hagar (where perhaps he is straining just to be heard, huh?).

Lyrics: Not pissing me off. Tells a story. Rock n roll lines. He doesn’t nerdy it up.

What the fuck!

Satch is being very tasty. Bravo. No mechanical “scale” and robotic guitar-work or soloing.

Chad. Don’t miss the drums. He’s got an excellent touch and dynamics and sound quality. And puts alotta details in there. Not boring. Not pedestrian.

Mikey. Someone plugged him in finally and turned up his base (I can hear it!) – and even lets him explore his fretboard. Mikey is part of the song, finally. Satch let’s bass players be bass players in his bands. Listen to the first note and the opener.

So, Bravo! The first rock from old-timers since Velvet Revolver that I really like. Most of the other releases from old-timers have been: Well, boys. Good later day effort. Good to hear from you. Play it a few times, then drift away from it. (That fun Motley Crue last effort The Saints Of Los Angeles was one exception. Still good to spin).

Hell, maybe someone played the first 6 Dave-VH albums for Sammy and explained why they were great – cause they were cool and unforced – had space and air. Now the rest of the album just has to be as natural. They better have controlled his bad habits throughout. I don’t want this to be like U2’s album with “Get On Your Boots” being great and then nothing else on the album sounding even remotely like it. Old bait and switch.

Well, there you go. See, I never was an automatic Hagar-hater. Van Hagar just offended my ears and artistic sensibilities.

Can’t believe they restrained Hagar and made him be cool for once. Actually sounds like a goddamn artist for once. Musta made him look up the word “atmosphere” in the dictionary – cause this song’s got it.

*And now we just need Diamond Dave to undergo the same treatment in the studio. Control, restraint. Bring some pot to the studio, if you need to. Make him relax, too. Cause he had some similar problems on his solo work (after Eat Em And Smile, that is – a great record). For him it was straining for an unnatural high note and those pinched lines and those disharmonies. They were nowhere to be found on the first 6 VH records. Well, they made him concentrate on the singing on the ’07/’08 tour. So, hopefully they will work with a strong producer and put out some shit that’s in the groove.

Like this little new song, “Oh Fuck Yeah”!










     Sigmund Freud synthesized an original and influential theory of human motivation (psychoanalysis). In this paper I will argue that Freud’s creative genius depended on the expression of three highly developed and dominant tendencies and that the etiology of these three personality traits can be traced by examining the biographical details of his youth and adulthood. The three character traits discussed are: intellectual (need for systematic understanding and mastery), introspection (need for self-knowledge and conflict resolution), and courage (need for bold reaction to inner and outer resistance). Freud’s life history is an example of the axiom: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It was precisely when Freud experienced a profound need to solve the riddles presented by human psychology that he originated psychoanalysis. A number of pressures impinged simultaneously on his person and triggered a Herculean fusing and deployment of these three highly developed abilities.

1. Intellectual

     Freud spent his youth in a lower economic rural Viennese household and was raised by parents that did not engage in any intellectual endeavors or creative pursuits. However, they recognized the precocious, quick mind of their young son (the mother’s first born) and fostered within him the love of books and learning, as well as the belief that he would achieve intellectual greatness. Much of the history of Western thought was consumed by Freud. In creating psychoanalysis he drew on his wide-ranging knowledge that included medicine, Positivism, Darwinism, literature, poetry, history, ancient cultures, mythology and many other areas. Psychoanalysis was the end-product of an act of creative divergent thinking, par excellence. If Freud had not been as intellectually driven or merely driven toward one field of inquiry, he would have never been able to construct a new way of conceiving human reality. Psychoanalysis owes its existence to Freud’s voracious reading and to the value his parent’s placed on learning and education.

2. Introspection

     The creation of psychoanalytic theory required an inquirer that not only looked outward and closely listened to patients and looked backward to learn from history, but also one willing to look deep within. In the five years leading up to the advent of psychoanalysis (commencing upon the publication of his seminal work, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)), Freud questioned and developed his new ideas by reflecting on his treatment of hysterics with hypnosis and by undergoing an intensive self-analysis. His introspection was fueled by both his need to help his patients and by a need to understand himself. Love was on the line. Success at winning the hand of his fiancée required understanding his family history, overcoming strong reactions of jealousy, and changing career paths (abandoning the medical research he was passionate about and starting a private practice treating hysterics in order to earn a salary large enough to support a family). Freud succeeded at love. One of Freud’s greatest legacies was to radically alter the modern view of the very nature of troubled individuals. Prior to Freud there was very little medicine had to offer individuals who suffered psychologically and the most extreme cases were deemed moral failures to be left to the church or as beings who’s experience of life appeared so irrational that they were viewed as essentially non-human. Freud induced and revealed that everyone is in possession of the same mental structures and mechanisms and that those who suffer the greatest were not of a different kind, but merely farther down on a universally shared human continuum. Freud’s profound need and ability to introspect deeply is directly responsible for a paradigm shift that has resulted in both our modern understanding of the human mind and in the humane treatment of those who suffer psychologically.

3. Courage

     During Freud’s youth, his father told him a story that impressed him deeply. An anti-Semite had once thrown his father’s cap in the mud, the father picked up the cap and walked away. The young Freud raged internally, both at the injustice of the act and at the obsequiousness advocated by the story, and vowed to himself that he would never back down from a fight. Later in life, he concluded that the anti-Semitic bias and hatred he had received during his lifetime had served to steel his resolve. Freud worked closely with a colleague, Joseph Breuer, during the years in which they both treated hysterics with hypnosis. Breuer became unnerved by his patient, Anna O. (who later became known as the first psychoanalytic patient and the woman who coined the term “talking cure”) and abandoned further use of the novel treatment method. He had been overwhelmed by the content of Anna O’s. freewheeling narrative. In contrast, Freud was fascinated by the Anna O. case and all that he could learn from it. From the very inception of psychoanalysis, Freud’s courage allowed him to overcome resistances (internal and external) and pursue lines of thought against all tides. Psychoanalytic ideas were radical and bold and Freud fought hard against hostile reactions that were launched from some members in the medical establishment. In addition, his courage also triumphed over internal resistances that he experienced during his self-analysis and when he published an account of his self-analysis that revealed extremely personal details. Freud viewed himself as an intellectual conquistador and it was solely due to his possession of a frequently tested fortitude that psychoanalysis was able to survive its birth pangs and persist long enough to establish itself.


     Creative geniuses tend to be endowed with a stellar IQ and fortuitous brain structures. However, any attempt to explain the determinants of creative masterworks must, in addition to researching and accounting for biological underpinnings, examine at the level of the person and scrutinize their life history. Locating the life events that shaped the three catalytic traits discussed here (intellectual, introspection, and courage) has increased our understanding of Freud’s creative energy. Freud gave birth to a system of explanation that influenced not only psychology, but numerous domains and aspects of modern culture. Psychoanalysis had the great fortune to be born of just the father it required.


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