In Transition

My older brother Mike, autistic, low functioning and nonverbal, lived at home until I was 10 years old. I posted a picture taken from that period yesterday and painted a reference portrait. My mother looked everywhere for a place that would take care of Michael. Nobody knew what was wrong with him back in the […]

More Bits from Cybernetics

As I read Steven Heim’s book* I keep finding more and more interesting information. The concept of communication was an important component of cybernetics. In fact  Norbert Wiener’s seminal work Cybernetics was subtitled, Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine. The emergence of the field of cybernetics was the result of more than a decade of informal talks […]

Communication Between Sane and Insane: Hypnosis*

[Note: As I mentioned yesterday, I couldn’t resist saving this article from one the unread books in my collection.] What an intriguing prospect. My attraction to this topic stems from my deep desire since I was a child in the 1950s, to communicate with my low functioning, nonverbal, autistic older brother, Michael. Granted, the title […]

Depression

It is so very sad that Robin Williams found no way to alleviate his suffering.  I’ve read many of the tweets from people who treasured his genius and whose lives had been touched by his wonderful gift.  There are a smattering of tweets who call attention to the serious problem of depression and suicide, but […]

Illness and Consciousness

Foucaultian Slip? We were visiting one of the relatives who is gravely ill today. Since she sleeps nearly all the time now, I brought my books along to to some reading and writing. I have been reading Foucault’s book, Madness, The Invention of an Idea, and posting my thoughts on this subject, which is very […]

Mental and Physical Illness

Organic pathology Physical ailments are much easier to recognize than mental disorders. For example, a person with the flu has a fever, aches and pains, and other recognizable signs; there are laboratory tests that can determine whether a person with a sore throat and a fever has an infection. A doctor can successfully treat the […]

Introduction to Madness

The family’s gone. So I thought I’d pick up some light reading. I frequently gravitate toward the philosophy section of the bookstore, and it was there I came upon the book Madness, The Invention of an Idea by Michel Foucault (Foulcault, M. translation: Sheridan, A.   Madness, The Invention of an Idea. New York: Harper Perennial Modern […]

Gestaltung

Artistry of the Mentally Ill I checked out Artistry of the Mentally Ill,  by Hans Prinzhorn from the library a couple of weeks ago. I just started reading it. It promises to be a storehouse of information relevant to understanding human creativity. Prinzhorn (1) was an art historian as well as a psychiatrist and expanded […]

Last and First

I already did my end-of-year review, but that was on December 30, 2013. I normally write posts toward the end of the day and set them to post automatically at midnight. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem, but in the case of date-sensitive, journal-like posts, it can get confusing. So this is my last post written […]

End of Year Review

Although I started my daily blog on January 19, 2013, tomorrow is New Year’s Day and, in the spirit of ‘carving nature at it’s joints’ I feel that this is the time to commemorate my first year in the blogosphere. Original mission statement Part of my mission statement was a pledge to offer my thoughts […]