racism, xenophobia, conflicting access needs 

One of the more awkward difficulties stemming from autistic auditory processing issues is that thick, unfamiliar accents are even harder for me to understand than for most other people to understand. Which means precisely those people who already face racism, xenophobia, and plain old language barriers face even higher language barriers with me. Which is unfair to them, and also not something I can do anything about.

Long Discussion of Mental Illness, Psychiatry, and Mad Pride 

@quengaral We're deep in mad pride theory and a lot of what you're saying here applies more generally to the category of mental illness (indeed, we're pretty sure there are other mental illnesses which have "except when it's a cultural practice" as an exception).

One of the core ideas to mad pride is that we are hurt more by how our madness is treated socially than by the madness in itself. Even in cases where it's clearly harming us, like in most cases of trauma, societal treatment still drives the harm that's being done to us.

This forms a sort of critique of the category of "mental illness" (often in favor of terms like "madness" or "neurodivergence") by arguing that there's no such thing as inherent illness or disease to the mind.

This doesn't mean there aren't harmful mental states, simply that there aren't *inherently* harmful mental states, and the harm should be treated on a case by case basis.

With this view in mind, modern therapy and psychiatry have deep and systemic problems with viewing mental states in terms of categories of inherent harm and, in doing so, they destroy a lot of the autonomy of their subjects.

In place of that we necessitate a system which allows people to pursue "treatment" or chemical intervention if that's what they want to pursue, managing your mental states without seeking to change them if that's what they want to pursue, or getting accommodations for it and living with it, if that's what they want to pursue.

This is meant to ultimately center the subject of psychiatry as the driver of what happens to us, to return the autonomy of what to do about our mental states to ourself.

I have been working on finding ways to cut loose and own my sexuality as a full and shameless part of who I am without compromising fidelity to my partner; or, equivalently, I am working on finding forms of monogamous fidelity which do not depend on repression.

It's hard. Shaking off that Catholic upbringing takes effort.


I think Freud made some of the same mistakes as Marx (or at least Marx's English translator) wrt jargon. The work has technical merit, but it's hard to make accessible because the intuitive interpretations of the jargon are just way off-base.

For example, I believe in infantile sexuality, but I also feel that terming this unified notion of desire "sexuality" is actively misleading to general audiences. People tend to focus on reading "adult" desires back into "innocent" ones (because they find this scandalous), without either doing the reverse reading or imagining a more fundamental commonality wherein neither swallows the other and instead the distinction becomes fluid or irrelevant.

teaching kids about gender 

Teaching children to challenge gender itself means first doing a lot of damage control. By the time they're old enough to even be able to understand what you're trying to tell them, you've already got a lot of bad ideas that are in the way and need to be cleared away before you can address the core issue. This is made worse if you wait until they're starting to navigate gender through sexuality and romance.

So I'm sympathetic to hyper-simplistic primers on gender and orientation meant for teens. Yeah, sometimes they fixate too much on it and wind up being annoying essentialists (partly because nobody teaching them this stuff ever shows them the next shade of nuance), but I think that's a manageable problem.

I also realized RE: Your Brains might be less a goofy variation on a zombie story and more a revelation of the horror inherent in intensely fake gaslighty corporate professionalism.

I think the guy was depressed, is what I'm saying.

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Like even some of his silly "let's sing from the perspective of something you wouldn't expect" ones fall into this theme -- I'm Your Moon, I Crush Everything, Blue Sunny Day

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I suddenly noticed yesterday that almost all of Jonathan Coulton's best Thing A Week songs are about loneliness that often verges on incel-y entitlement, and man does it dampen my enjoyment of them.

truly astonishing that addressing the medical condition that was causing me discomfort at night has improved my sleep quality 🤔

My "psychoanalysis wasn't _completely_ full of crap" posts are getting more attention than I expected (I expected none)

hot take 

bayonetta and the lady m&m are the same person

Violent misogyny 

Was watching a guy melt down online about being "emasculated" by his girlfriend and all I could think is that this is literally castration anxiety. Like that's just exactly what it is. It's even the same metaphor -- "emasculate" and "castrate" are synonyms. It's a guy grounding his sense of manhood, his fundamental sense of masculine identity, in his position of dominance over women. This position of dominance is, for Freud, identified with possessing the phallus -- which is only sometimes literal, also a metaphor for a particular subjective act of identification.

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Violent misogyny 

For instance: some of his core theories around the Oedipus complex and sexuation are read as misogynistic (and, let's be clear, the man was not a feminist), but at their core they are describing _how patriarchy works_. The fact that he was generally in _favor_ of patriarchy makes him a misogynist, but this amounts to describing how misogyny is transmitted from generation to generation and then saying "and that's a good thing". That doesn't mean his explanation of how it's transmitted is incorrect! We can agree with his description and then just say "and that's a bad thing"!

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I'm reading Freud lately so that might be a lot of "yeah he got a lot of things wrong but here's something Freud got right"

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Masto might become the place I post things that aren't problematic per se but could be miscontrued and get me dogpiled if the wrong person saw them on the birdsite

It's certainly a word that needs to be retired because of its misogynist origins and the ableist jump from its final medical meaning to its current meaning of "extremely amusing", but the evolution of the word "hysterical" is kind of fascinating.

Sometimes I fantasize about how I would teach a class if I were a professor.

I've been tracking how many non-mature Anki cards I have left at the end of each day, and baffled at how I seem to _lose_ more progress the more I study in a given day

...turns out I forgot to account for mature siblings of studied cards being buried for the day, and no longer counting as mature 🤦‍♀️


I take an interest in psychoanalysis because I think that, while the behaviorist turn in psychology posed some necessary challenges to what had become dogma and introduced important new approaches to developing psychological knowledge, there was also something of value which has been discarded. We shouldn't just accept Freud as doctrine, but it's absurd to assume that ~80 years of practical experience and theorizing on the part of working therapists produced absolutely no useful insights. Moreover, whether it's correct or not, understanding the history of psychological thought is important for properly understanding the present state of the field.

Also, if you haven't given it a serious chance, or if you've only read the earliest works, you probably have misunderstood the Oedipus complex, and you may be judging Freud based on a caricature. It _can_ be about wanting to literally take your mother to bed, but that's not really the point of it.

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Transference, originally, was Freud's notion that the patient would project onto the analyst thoughts and feelings about their father, so that the analyst winds up playing a role in a scene of the Oedipal drama. Jung, characteristic of his split with Freud, agreed that this sometimes happens and is an important thing to note, but insisted that what was projected was an archetype, and it could be any number of archetypes rather than always just the father, even shifting to different archetypes at different points in a single session. For both thinkers, the transference came to be understood as the fundamental driver of the therapeutic act -- it was the bond through which the analyst could participate in the process of the psyche reshaping itself. Jung explained this with an analogy to alchemical imagery where the relationship between ingredients that act on each other is described in mystical and erotic terms -- the bond of love as the engine of a transformation whose progress is marked by the participants taking up a succession of symbolic personae.

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is not alive

timeline's always dead 'round these parts