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Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today's Buggy Topic Is

. . . found, as usual, in a lengthy prof bug post left at Economist View, the admirable economic blog run by Professor Mark Thoma of the University of Oregon.  This new post appears, please observe, in the same thread that the previous buggy one left here on September 17, 2009, did.  

Hilarious Wacko-City Indignation

Those earlier  buggy posts, as some of you might recall,  set out a couple of long comments on Freud and psychoanalysis, even though the subject matter of the thread was supposed to be about economic conflicts over macroeconomics.  

No matter.  Can't be helped.  Depends on what fickle posters, all convinced that strong convictions validate all their views about the world, decide on a whim to brainstorm about.  And, as it happened in that thread,  not just brainstorm without much knowledge about Freud and his followers over the decades; but, as it also happened, with more and more fury and misleading claims back and forth.

Enter, On That Freudian Topic, Prof Bug's Comments

As always, they ignored the hilarious fury.  Tried, instead, to set out an evidence-backed analysis --- at a fast, fairly top-skimming pace; no alternative to it in even a lengthy post, you see --- of the nature of Freudian psychoanalysis, and its variants after Freud's death, and what the biggest division that now exists between those variants.  And tried, too, in the end, to explore the reasons behind the decline of psychoanalysis of all sorts since the 1970s . . .  above all, the growing influence and popularity of alternative psychotherapies, especially those inspired by cognitive and cognitive-behavioral approaches.  And that was that --- or so the buggy guy thought.  

Yep, ignorance slain.  A pedagogue's work done, right?

Ha! Ha!  Boy, how wrong can you get?

A couple of days passed, you see, and when prof bug returned to the same thread at Economist View, did he find that the exchanges now reflected less rage and more civility and enlightenment? Ha! Ha!  Who am I kidding?  If there were any changes, they were impossible to spot.   Worse yet, the furiosos' subject-matter had shifted again . . . and for equally puzzling reasons.

Because Now, Believe It Or Not, The Testy Empty-Headed Exchanges Were About Violence and Warfare in Primitive Societies

All these fickle swerves, remember, in a thread that was supposed to be about macroeconomics.  Oh well, it's only a blog; not Professor Thoma's fault.  And all too predictably, these new exchanges on primitive societies were crammed with the same bare-knuckled incompetence and personality tics that marred the earlier fracas-frazzled posts about Freud. 

All very amusing stuff, mind you.  Can't complain about that . . . particularly if you read the exchanges for how they reflect certain chronic posters' psychic aberrations.  Still, however diverting, the stuff also stubbornly superficial and misleading. 

And So Once Again, a Pedagogical Rescue Was Required, Right? 

Or at least as prof bug, a hopelessly quixotic romantic, thought. 

In particular, hopping onto his academic hobby-horse once more, he sighed, he reflected, he fantasized about beautiful women, and then finally--- a few inspired ideas bursting inwardly at long last  --- he galloped headlong onto the thread again, scattered his views and the evidence for them, linked here and there to numerous specialist studies, and managed in the end to make it back safely to his study . . . the ranks of the ignorant beserkers surely broken forever, or so he fantasized again.  The new buggy stuff, after all, setting out clearly, with evidence, what recent studies over the last 15 years by archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnologists, evolutionary psychologists, and political scientists have found out about the rife violence and warfare in these primitive societies.  

The term meaning? 

Surprise!  Surprise!  no one else had bothered in the 108 earlier posts to clarify it, so prof bug started out with a careful definition --- followed by the substantive analysis. Did it work, this new bugged-out rescue?  Hard to say; but whether it did or not . . .

In the Process, Lots of Fun Anyway

And for you too, prof bug hopes . . . at any rate, if you click here.