Tuesday, April 20, 2010


An article by Virginia Heffernan in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine points to the interesting Psych-Babble website hosted by psychiatry professor Robert Hsiung at the University of Chicago.
Hsiung’s F.A.Q. includes a section called, “How should I decide what information to trust?” Compiled entirely from board posts, it’s a masterpiece. Above all, it empowers Web users and psychiatric patients alike to be strong readers, to mediate between dictatorial commercial culture and the radical factionalism and individualism of Web communities. One answer came from a poster called Daveman: “The search for truth reminds me of Hegel. It is neither the ‘thesis’ (the claim by the manufacturer that the medication is some sort of wonder drug) nor the ‘antithesis’ (the claim by someone who blames all their problems on the medication) but rather a ‘synthesis’ (a sober analysis of both positive and negative aspects).” Very sanely put.
The article also points to an online cognitive behavioral therapy site, and the Icarus Project, investigating "the space between brilliance and madness."

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