Thursday, October 04, 2018

Psychoanalysis as a pseudoscience


Frederick Crews, Follies of the Wise:

In a word, then, Freud had launched a pseudoscience-- that is, a nominally scientific enterprise that is so faulty at the core that it cannot afford to submit its hypotheses for unsparing peer review by the wider community, but must resort to provisos that forestall any possibility of refutation.. And despite some well-intentioned efforts at reform, a pseudoscience is what psychoanalysis has remained.
And this seems especially relevant today:

The potential for mass havoc from 'memory' - based accusations is thus no smaller today than it was in the seventeenth century. In fact, it is incomparably greater, thanks to the power of our sensation-seeking media to spread the illness instantaneously from one town or region to another.
Related:

Don’t confuse us with the facts

We owe Salem an apology

They trusted the experts


You can't expect much history in "historical dramas" when SJWs are in charge.


A proper old-fashioned stinker: ITV’s The Bletchley Circle – San Francisco reviewed

After just one episode, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco (ITV, Wednesday) seems certain to stand out from the crowd. In an age when most television dramas range from the perfectly fine to the extremely good, it already looks like a proper old-fashioned stinker.

Admittedly, one of its more obvious problems is bang up-to-date: by adhering so spinelessly to the mantra of ‘women and black people good, white men bad’, the programme not only creates an overwhelmingly dreary sense of déjà vu, it also deprives itself of any possibility of genuine dramatic tension. But there are plenty of more traditional flaws too, including such classics as wooden dialogue, leaden humour and a plot of impressively po-faced preposterousness.
I watched the first two seasons of "The Bletchley Circle" and tried the third season on BritBox. I could not get past the first episode for all the reasons outlined in the article.

Related:

As their Weemsy takes them

"... who controls the present controls the past."



Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A new book on an almost forgotten economist


Undeservedly forgotten I might add.



Great review here:

The Virtues of the Market: Wilhelm Röpke as a Cultural Economist

More than other economists Röpke was willing to engage fully with the cultural dimension (and the religious dimension about which this book is curiously silent) of liberalism and markets. This meant that he was skeptical that liberal institutions had much of a chance in the absence of bourgeois and Christian culture. An unpopular point to make also in his day and age, and one that did not sit easily with his liberal universalism, but a point hard to ignore after Western attempts to spread democracy and markets which have invariably run into serious trouble.
This makes me think that Ropke might be just the economist we need in the Age of Amazon, Google, and the SJW nomenklatura.

With sympathies for both (European) political integration and a high degree of federalism. It makes him an original critic of monopolies: they are bad not only because they harm consumers, but also because they represent an unhealthy degree of concentration in the economy, with harmful social and cultural effects. He favored the small firm, exemplified by the independent farmer and artisan. It was an economic structure which he found in Switzerland, where he lived the latter half of his life, from 1937 to his passing in 1966.
Perhaps in theory, as in practice, Switzerland is better than Chicago.


"Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies"


Revisiting the 2008 Financial Crash

What Have We Learned Since Bagehot?

Ben Bernanke told an attentive Brookings Institution audience earlier this month, that, after he became chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, in 2006, “Literally one of the first things I did was to ask the staff to give me the handbook or what you do in the case of a financial crisis, and they provided me a little notebook, typed on a manual typewriter and mimeographed, about four pages in it, and it said, ‘Open the discount window.’ And that was about it…. Tim Geithner had a similar experience at the New York Fed, and so we went into one of the complicated and consequential crises in human history with very little in the way of playbook for thinking about how to address the crisis.”
Related:

Coping with a VUCA world

A catastrophic failure of imagination

What was the Fed thinking in the summer of 2008?

It's a shame that we don't have any way to prepare for dealing with crises and unexpected events.

Wargames and crisis management

“Wargaming in the Classroom”

Military Schools and Business Education

Strategy and Execution: Business and the Military


Monday, October 01, 2018

The ultimate in victim-blaming


When your movie turns the murder victims into the bad guys.

‘Lizzie’ Celebrates Murder As Feminist Empowerment

The film is designed to celebrate Borden’s 18 axe blows to her stepmother and the 10 or 11 to her father as feminist empowerment. For this to work, the film-makers follow the time-honored tradition of making the villain of the piece, her father, so detestable that any violence done to him, no matter how savage, is justified.
...
“Lizzie” is pitched to the politically correct crowd, with their views that murder is justified if it is committed by the oppressed. To do this, the film departs from key facts.