Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Current Events

Learning at Warp Speed

I was reminded of the theme of “big history” recently. Collective leaning is a powerful force, and it’s not clear we’re learning. Big history shows us the broad sweep of evolution, physical, chemical, biological. We haven’t had the knowledge to tie all these together before the mid-late 20th century. We are the living residue of […]

“Being Yourself”—Some Thoughts

A contemplation on two poems from the early-mid 20th century poet, e. e. cummings: — "may I be I is the only prayer— not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong." – – "to be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody […]

“Clues of Trust and Common Values”

A recently-published book by Prof. Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in England, is titled Wired for Culture: origins of the human social mind (London and New York: W. W. Norton, 2012). I was struck by his conclusion: “The key (to the message of this book) is to provide or somehow […]

“Medical-ization”

This is the tendency to treat things as if they were a disease when instead they should be better imagined as something else, such as a common problem in ordinary life. A friend suggested that a number of conditions are “medicalized”—implying that they should not be. This is really interesting from multiple viewpoints. When is […]

“My Precious” (Trash?!)

It doesn’t have to be a magic ring that could make you invisible if you wore it—and which imparted a kind of “high” that made you want to wear it a lot—, as it was for the weird frog-man character, “Gollum”  in the Hobbit stories by Tolkien.  It can be a plastic ring that you […]

“Mythification”

I am not shy about daring to coin new words, such as the verb, “neologize”—to create neologisms, which means “new words.” Today I’ll put out for your assessment the word, “mythification,” meaning to generate mythic-type ideas or mages. I see a trend in our culture towards mythification that has been advancing especially since the mid-1960s. […]

“The Good Ol’ Days”

I have an acquaintance with an obviously conservative political inclination: She wrote: “It seems that no one wants responsibility anymore. I remember my proud, independent mother whose greatest fear was that some governmental institution might try to step in and interfere with the raising of her four girls.” Then she wrote, “We should all rise […]

“Twidiocracy”

Ah, new words. This one, in an article online: My comment: seeking connectedness through twitter and so forth: It’s not a religion. It’s just the latest intoxicant. Think of it, having followers! wow! Not that it doesn’t have a function. I acknowledge this: But now the electronic media has figured out a way to get […]

A “True” Story (?)

A friend today sent me one of those touching stories about whatever—there are a number of them floating around in cyberspace. The email said: “(This is a true story.)”  Oh, well, then, it must be so—I mean, if it weren’t so, why would someone say that? Sincerely, now, I really mean this. To be utterly […]

A Critique of the “War on Drugs”

Book Review: Pain control and drug policy : a time for change, by Guy B. Faguet, M.D. Santa Barbara CA: Praeger / ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2010.     This excellent book offers a careful, scholarly analysis on the war on drugs—taking a stance that challenges the hysteria associated with this policy. I especially resonated with something I […]

A New View of the Non-Rational Mind

A few months ago I wrote of one feature of the unconscious mind that is as yet hardly known. I call it the “amplifying unconscious mind.” Another category operates in some ways similarly and in other ways, I’m not so sure. (Well, I’m not very sure of any of this, but I am addressing some […]

A Personal Greeting

Good morning. This posting is aimed at you. Yes, you! Ah, what a weird world: I don’t even know your name. I don’t know to whom I’m writing, or who I’m writing to (to use more common but technically incorrect grammar). By the way, my mind tends to fly off into eddies like that, parenthetical […]

About the Fall 2008 Financial Crisis

Here we are at the peak of the controversy whether to okay the Bush Administration’s proposal for a 700 Billion Dollar Bail-Out. It’s a conundrum, indeed, as it is possible that if we don’t keep up the general level of confidence, banks will tighten credit so much that we’ll plunge ourselves into a depression. But […]

Action Explorations: A New Category

I’m proposing a new category for thinking about and addressing collective challenges: “action explorations.” This term includes a variety of approaches that have in common the properties of enactment, improvisation, role, and story. One of the approaches within this category is psychodrama, but most dictionaries and many professionals think of this approach mainly as a […]

AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR AGAINST DRUGS

We need to get out of Afghanistan, because its prevalent culture is essentially corrupt and our efforts to change it only result in our pouring money into the pockets of local politicians—who then give kickbacks to opium-growing warlords. Related to this, we should legalize drugs—including opium products such as heroin—and re-channel funds away from trying […]

Against Torture—Still a Real Issue

In the August 2008 Esquire, they have a section called “What it feels like…” and they run interesting different kinds of experiences—crashing a motorcycle, having an airplane fall on your home, etc. This time, on page 76, a truly horrifying report: What it feels like to be a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, where the young […]

All Over the Internet

What does it mean that my friend Russell Williams in Southern California has been writing about me and inviting me to write about my ideas? I’m present at more than one place on the internet! Wow! http://passkeys.org/author/russell-williams/page/6/ http://blogs.ocmetro.com/1979-adam-blatner/ http://blogs.ocmetro.com/a-lively-curiosity/ Perhaps you too will find yourself thus publicized as time goes on. Perhaps it is not […]

Anthro-zoology: Human-Animal Relations

I was stimulated by a book recently published titled Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals, by Hal Herzog (New York: HarperCollins, 2010.) This book is fun and delightfully varied, addressing many aspects of pet ownership, why we eat some animals and not others, […]

Applied Drama: An Open Letter

There is a new field emerging that might best be called “Applied Drama” or “Applied Theatre,” but it doesn’t really know it yet. It’s a term for a wide variety of endeavors that use drama to promote personal and group consciousness. There are a few academic departments that use terms like these, but it still […]

Appreciating Complexity (Cultural Trends Part 4)

Another trend is toward a growing appreciation of complexity in the social as well as natural sciences, and indeed in the general mainstream world-view. (For many of these trends, the growing awareness of a given trend may only involve a small fraction of the general population in the next few years—but I think this number […]

At Least They Admit They’re Fake

This came as spam: “Buy Custom Made University Diplomas, Fake College Degrees and Transcripts of World Famous Universities. Buy fake/novelty university diplomas and degrees online. We design our Degree or Diploma Certificates and Transcripts to look 99.99% identical to world famous originals including identical security grade transcript paper, identical water markings, raised-ink crests, embossed seals, […]

Before Cell Phones

Stephan Pastis, who draws the “Pearls Before Swine” cartoon strip, did one lately that touched my sense of growing older. Says it all, doesn’ it?

Challenging Psychiatry

I have been re-thinking my profession in preparation for giving a talk on the changes it has gone through over the last fifty to a hundred years. The title is “We Don’t Do That Anymore,” but alas, we do, at least some things that maybe we shouldn’t. I’ll post it on my website when I’ve […]

Challenging the “War on Drugs”

Building on a Lecture by Adam Blatner, M.D.to Senior University Georgetown‘s Summer Program, June 9, 2004, posted on website November 18, 2004) For over sixty years, and with some significant escalation beginning in the late 1960s, local, state, and federal efforts to arrest and imprison those found to possess even small amounts of illicit drugs has […]

Changes are Happening!

Things that are changing at an ever-increasing rate: – People learning that other people have other opinions     … and what those opinions are          about religion, politics, etc.   – People are feeling free to change denominations,       or join this or that religion, or no religion        or make up their own, or […]