B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘psychology’ tag

C. G. Jung – Creation of a New Cosmology

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More on Carl Jung’s so-called Red Book, previously discussed, but still unread, at least around these parts

He wrote it out himself, using a runic Latin and German calligraphy. Its opening portion, which begins with quotations from Isaiah and the Gospel according to John, is inked onto parchment, each section beginning with an initial illuminated as if by a medieval scribe with a taste for eyes, castles and scarabs.

The book’s accounts of Jung’s visions, fantasies and dreams are also punctuated with his paintings (some of which are on display in the exhibition), images executed during the years of World War I and the decade after that now appear as uncanny anticipations of New Age folk art of the late 20th century. They display abstract, symmetrical floral designs Jung came to identify as mandalas, along with almost childlike renderings of flames, trees, dragons and snakes, all in striking, bold colors.

But what is particularly strange about this book is not its pretense or pomposity but its talismanic power. It was stashed away in a cabinet for decades by the family, then jealously withheld from scholarly view because of its supposedly revealing nature. Since being brought into the open, partly through the efforts of the historian and Jung scholar Sonu Shamdasani (who is also curator of this exhibition), it has become a sensation.

A meticulously reproduced facsimile, published in October by W. W. Norton & Company, with detailed footnotes and commentary by Mr. Shamdasani (who also contributed to the volume’s accompanying translation), “The Red Book,” costing $195, is in its fifth printing.

[Click to continue reading Exhibition Review – ‘The Red Book of C. G. Jung – Creation of a New Cosmology’ – At the Rubin Museum, a Psychoanalyst’s Inner Universe – NYTimes.com]

Eight photo slide show, here.

Amazon has the book listed for sale, but is continuously temporarily out of stock. Didn’t the publisher realize that this would be a big selling book? We’ve all heard about it for years and years.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 13th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Posted in Suggestions

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Reading Around on November 3rd through November 4th

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A few interesting links collected November 3rd through November 4th:

  • Fluidr / photos and videos sorted randomly – A random assortment of my photos (via Chicago Sage)
  • The Paranoid Style in American Politics – Harper’s Magazine, November 1964, pp. 77-86.It had been around a long time before the Radical Right discovered it—and its targets have ranged from “the international bankers” to Masons, Jesuits, and munitions makers.
  • Authoritarians, pt 2: the Problem Broadly Outlined | Cogitations – How is it that Bush and Cheney could take us to war in Iraq with constantly shifting rationales, unleash the NSA to spy on the country at large, and with the aid of foot soldiers like John Yoo cobble together shoddy legal findings as flimsy justification for torture and other abuses of executive power?

Written by swanksalot

November 4th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Delayed Gratification

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There’s a famous psychology experiment conducted many years ago at the Bing Nursery School, located on the campus of Stanford. Children were told they could eat one treat right away, or wait until the researcher came back in the room, and then they could have two treats. Most kids, once they realized there was no adult in the room, decided to eat whatever they could cram in their mouths, rules be damned. Some children were able to exhibit self-control, however. These kids turned out to be statistically much higher achievers, and less apt to have issues such as substance abuse and obesity later in life.

Box of Cherries

Jonah Lehrer of The New Yorker writes:

Footage of these experiments, which were conducted over several years, is poignant, as the kids struggle to delay gratification for just a little bit longer. Some cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they can’t see the tray. Others start kicking the desk, or tug on their pigtails, or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal. One child, a boy with neatly parted hair, looks carefully around the room to make sure that nobody can see him. Then he picks up an Oreo, delicately twists it apart, and licks off the white cream filling before returning the cookie to the tray, a satisfied look on his face.

Most of the children were like Craig. They struggled to resist the treat and held out for an average of less than three minutes. “A few kids ate the marshmallow right away,” Walter Mischel, the Stanford professor of psychology in charge of the experiment, remembers. “They didn’t even bother ringing the bell. Other kids would stare directly at the marshmallow and then ring the bell thirty seconds later.” About thirty per cent of the children, however, were like Carolyn. They successfully delayed gratification until the researcher returned, some fifteen minutes later. These kids wrestled with temptation but found a way to resist.

Mischel began to notice a link between the children’s academic performance as teen-agers and their ability to wait for the second marshmallow. He asked his daughters to assess their friends academically on a scale of zero to five. Comparing these ratings with the original data set, he saw a correlation. “That’s when I realized I had to do this seriously,” he says. Starting in 1981, Mischel sent out a questionnaire to all the reachable parents, teachers, and academic advisers of the six hundred and fifty-three subjects who had participated in the marshmallow task, who were by then in high school. He asked about every trait he could think of, from their capacity to plan and think ahead to their ability to “cope well with problems” and get along with their peers. He also requested their S.A.T. scores.

Once Mischel began analyzing the results, he noticed that low delayers, the children who rang the bell quickly, seemed more likely to have behavioral problems, both in school and at home. They got lower S.A.T. scores. They struggled in stressful situations, often had trouble paying attention, and found it difficult to maintain friendships. The child who could wait fifteen minutes had an S.A.T. score that was, on average, two hundred and ten points higher than that of the kid who could wait only thirty seconds.

[Click to read more of Dept. of Science: Don’t!: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker]

Fascinating stuff. Wonder how my five-year old nephew would do? Wonder why self-control is important to later achievement1?

And a totally unrelated thought: how funny is it that Microsoft named its new Google-killer search engine after a nursery, in Stanford of all places. Stanford of course was the birthplace of Google.

Footnotes:
  1. he asks, thinking of all the late night sessions, in school, and even in the present day, working on presentations the night before they are due []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 19th, 2009 at 8:28 am

Posted in News-esque

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Caring for Your Introvert

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Of course, as anyone who knows me even the slightest could attest, I am an introvert. Very happy to be one, thank you very much. I can usually “turn on” my gregarious persona when needed, but am quite happy avoiding large groups of people most of the time.

One of these Things is Not Like the Other

Anyway, Jonathan Rauch of The Atlantic wrote:

What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say “Hell is other people at breakfast.” Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.

Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”

How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—”a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population.”

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert,” write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig.

[Click to continue reading Caring for Your Introvert – The Atlantic (March 2003) ]

Via Kottke‘s discussion of introverted travelers.

On that topic: I love traveling, love seeing new things, but have never felt the urge to befriend strangers on the street. Possibly why I love to photograph my world – a camera places a filter between me and the crowd. Even when I don’t have a camera in my hands, I’ve trained myself to scan the environment, looking for quirky details.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 26th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Narcipost

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