Google Violates the First Amendment by Blocking Web Traffic

Google, of course, takes money to have content appear in searches. It is a search engine, and does not own the web, nor even provide access to the internet. That is done by companies like Charter, and ours for this location is 60$ per month.

It is not only that taking money for advertising perverts the searches. My content is as if it were not on the internet at all. Take an example for a test: One blog here is titled “Ben Carson for President.” Even when typing quotations around the words, my blog will never appear in searches for “Ben Carson for President.” Many other things appear which have only some of the words, passing up the literal title, and demonstrating that the content is not available to the search. We have hundreds of pages that are supposed to be on the web, but almost all our traffic is word of mouth.

This fact is a violation of the first amendment, as is especially obvious regarding political speech. Those who will not give Google information or allow them to place cookies in ones private e-mail, etc, are simply excluded from the public forum and political speech, leaving only those who go along with the new monopoly. Facebook does the same, having taken over internet comments to NPR, so that if one wishes to comment, they must give information to someone so that they can be tracked for marketing purposes and anything else Facebook or others choose to do with the information.

My representative has been informed of this circumstance, but either does not understand the issue or does not care. Most people simply go along, because we truly are simply compelled to go along with Google if we want to be on the web. This circumstance is not acceptable, and cannot be allowed in a free nation.

Two Invention Ideas

Another thought to add to the Inventions page, one for the general good, is for medicated e-cigarettes to restore the lungs of us smokers. Doctors might consider what simple things might be a benefit, so long as we are going to smoke e-cigarettes. It is something like vitamin E and Aloe for the external skin. Those who know might study the matter.

And for the Cats, I am sure many before have considered a way to get them to take pills. For his condition, Mr. Black was supposed to take 1/2 pill every seven hours, but would have none of it. I think I got a quarter pill down him twice, which helped him a great deal. We wrapped it in the best tuna, but he’d separate it out. His seizure type reaction stopped yesterday morning, and he’s groggy, but going to make it.

Medicine to restore the usual, after we do harm by blundering.

Toward a Philosophic Psychology

In psychology and psychiatry, many different words are used to describe the standard against which diagnoses are made, beginning with the standard of the “normal.” Words used in the opening chapter of my text on “Abnormal Psychology” include dysfunction, disorder, and maladaptive, followed closely by standards which, as C. Pfeiffer notes, emphasize conformity, such as compliant and non-compliant. These are all attempts to speak scientifically about the standard assumed, trying to speak in a way that is objective and sanitized of personally inserted “value judgments.” Freud seems to have popularized this standard of the “normal.” Because of the attempt to be a medical, scientific and biological psychiatry, Freud was uncomfortable looking into the questions of the ends or goals, the purposes of thought and action, preferring to look to the origins and to the body in the attempt to understand the soul. This preference is itself not scientific or established by science. Psychology, for its first principles, depends on something from outside the science. While Freudian psychology is depth psychology, looking within and emphasizing the unconscious, B. F. Skinner tried to limit study to the observable things outside, subject to experiment. Notoriously, one of the great limitations of the behaviorist psychology is that it produces an instrument to be used toward whatever ends the humans seek, easily prostituting the science of the soul to the common human ends of wealth and power. It is philosophy or philosophic psychology that takes up these questions of the ends themselves, the relative value of each of the goals, and the corresponding hierarchy of ends that is the basis of the priorities and the orders of each of the souls.

And what does the science at the root of psychology and psychiatry have to say about the normal, the functional, the adaptive, the orderly and the compliant? Do they practice a scientific inquiry into these things? Our text presents a scale of functioning graded from 1-100, like a Community College course, with for example those that are a danger to themselves and others at a 20, those who can show up for work, about a 60, and those who can give them a job, about 80-90. One wonders if those practicing the art of psychiatry have spent much time at all scientifically considering these things, the function of the soul or man, the best orders of the soul, what it means to be “adaptive” or not abnormal. Psychiatry is dependent for its first principles on either common sense, tradition, fashionable opinion, or philosophic ethics. Our American psychology will surely involve the American ideal of “success” in the most common understanding of the standard.

Do these words even cohere? That is, is the adaptive the same as the functional and the normal? What if the well ordered soul is rare? And where do we find a scientific study of the well ordered soul, so that we know what is orderly and disorderly when we see it”? And is not the best adapted, according to the Darwinian standard, not the one best at survival and reproduction? Is this not the unjust man, the tyrant and rapist that, while being unjust, appears just, gaining all the social rewards of justice, while gaining the worldly advantages of injustice? Psychiatry simply takes up the wisdom of common sense and fashionable opinion to bolster its profession and its authority, for example to prescribe drugs, to the great profit of all concerned, except perhaps the patient.

Hence, we argue that in the most important respects, modern psychology and psychiatry do not know what they are doing, especially when they drug people. The profession is necessary for practical reasons, and might be humbled and moderated by the recognition. Like Nurse Ratchet, Psychiatry ends by imposing its own interests, based on practical concerns extraneous to science, and imposing these with the authority of medicine and science. Indeed, “compliant” may be a synonym of “adaptive.”

We contend that a new psychology might be pursued by following the example of what occurred in ancient Greece, when pre-Socratic philosophy gave rise to the Socratic study of the human things. Rather than begin from “nothing,” Socratic philosophy begins from common sense, questioning opinions in an attempt to ascend toward knowledge. Famously, Socrates would ask the question of what each thing is, for example, “what is virtue?” or “what is sanity?” and what is moderation and what madness. His famous teachings, such as that virtue is knowledge, that knowledge or wisdom is the health of the soul, that knowledge is knowledge of ignorance, the fear of death, a thinking we know what we do not know, the soul more important than the body, revenge is unjust, learning is remembering, wisdom the highest good, on which the others depend, etc. Aristotle, who is also one of the Socratic philosophers, presents the classical standard most often cited: the end or goal is happiness. To understand his teaching of happiness, though, one must read his Ethics, which is itself a reading of Plato’s Republic.

We think that modern psychology is not serious in its claim to be the science of the soul and to seek the art of healing, because if they were serious, they would all be constantly reading the works of Plato, Shakespeare, and any others reputed seriously to be wise in these matters, which mankind has thought upon on occasion over the past three thousand years or more. In fact, psychology requires the study of history, law, literature, politics, music, biology, medicine, theology, and many other sciences, as a comprehensive science of the human things.

The Biblical tradition cannot provide the scientific basis of a new science of man, because it is not scientific at all. It is the tradition against which the renaissance rebelled, because of the assumption of knowledge based on myth, much like the poets of ancient Greece. But the deep teachings, in fact the greatest wisdom regarding man to which we have access, is not excluded from philosophy, as it is from scientific psychiatry. Jung, by citing a basis for his thought in phenomenology, attempted to return the symbols and the spiritual things from their banishment by modern medicine, in its attempt to be scientific. Imagine trying to understand man without the teachings of the log in the eye, forgiveness, the love of one’s neighbor, not to mention the greater mysteries. Or try to understand man without reference to the law, for example the law against murder, or the assumption that such injustice is wrong and cannot lead to happiness. Such may be at the root of the attempt of modern psychology to understand what it calls the “sociopath,” which again is based on an understanding of good and evil that is left implicit. The word therapy comes from the Egyptian Christian sect, and the purgation of the soul in penance remaing unsurpassed by and scientific treatments.

Our psychology cannot give a consistent account of the difference between crime and the other “disorders,” nor does it have a theoretical account of the difference between genius and madness. The words used as the gold standard in the diagnoses of the DSM are just that, words, with no science behind them. The science of such things might include experimental studies, but is at its heart philosophical, an imitation of Socrates rather than of the physical sciences.

The Liberal Arts: One Thing We Can Do in the War on Drugs

Having tried many things that do not work in our attempts to fix people, it may be time that we are able to consider the liberal arts. The Liberal arts have of course suffered gravely in recent years. We recall a definite line, about 1982, when suddenly there were not enough students to continue philosophy seminars. Now whole careers of effort come to nothing, scattered in manual labor and cat shepherding, while student loans go unpaid, and those who would be students starve. Hillsdale college is a welcome exception. But what is being offered at most schools is not much better than the fare at their cafeterias. Whenever the subject of education arises, our politicians always assume that the goal of education is only jobs and technology. The souls of Americans are empty, because money making does not bring fulfillment. Other peoples seem to earn money for the sake of the family. We do it more for its own sake, from the ideal promoted, as by the success preachers. Then we try to fill our leisure time with television and idle vulgarities that feed the lowest parts of the soul. If we had a psychology that studied the soul, we would be able to see this, that the soul has higher parts that seek fulfillment by nature. This truth explains a great deal about psychology, and would be useful in psychiatry: often what is there is there because some higher thing is unfulfilled or not yet awakened.

Concern with the war on drugs usually leads only to resolution to get tough on crime- but never to step back and think out the problem. The soul is empty, longing to be filled by knowledge.This is so by nature, and true for everyone, though most are not capable of directly desiring to study. The emptiness filled by knowledge takes many secondary forms, such as our love of beauty. We cannot reach even a majority through the liberal arts directly, but we can reach the top ten percent, and the effects of this can filter down. Reading and performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream or the Tempest, for example, would be a good start. For these ten percent, the drug experience cannot compete. And let the neurologists, with their receptors and inhibitors, hit upon this way to address the problem! How long would that take? As for a monkey at the typewriter trying by accident to produce a olay of Shakespeare, this might take a while! The truth is that there is knowledge in the soul, and the health of the soul involves its unfolding. If we do not do this, a thousand things go wrong and attempts to correct them are like cutting the heads off the hydra, they keep growing back.

But whenever government tries to do a certain kind of thing, the result is so artificial as to be useless, or worse. Lets have congress deliberate at hundreds of dollars per hour to improve education, then come up with the activity of teaching to the test as the measure of merit in education. That’s the kind of thing we get, and why liberal arts colleges must be small.

There is another problem too, though, that the liberal arts themselves have been in some measure corrupted. Nazi Germany may have been the best educated nation in all of human history, according to one standard. But they did not study Aristotle and Plato, and bequeathed to us the cultural relativism and the theoretical concern with wealth and power which are a corruption more serious than our own at the present time. How this occurred is a long story, but let it suffice to say that we recommend Shakespeare and Plato, and not much else, to guide education at its pinnacle.

Depression and Change


On Depression and Change

The over-prescription of antidepressants seems to us to be one of the three or four major areas of prescription drug abuse in contemporary America. While our psychology assures us that depression is a matter of neurons and dopamine receptors, drugs like Zoloft and Xanax and Prozac, “tricyclics” and MAO inhibitors, SSRI’s and all sorts of sides seem to us to be routinely prescribed for for things like teen depressions and the sorrows that are a part of human life. While there may indeed sometimes be a wholly neurological cause, say, to a flood of emotion such as fear or sorrow, sometime the human cause is evident. Neurology seems unable to make a distinction between  the psycho-genic and the somato-genic causes of various maladies. Hence, it may be worthwhile to consider some points about depression from outside the medical science.

What if depression is some times psycho-hygienic, working to maintain some general flush or health about the soul? Tears clear the eyes. According to one great psychologist, un-degreed master of common sense, depression has a psychological function: it aims at change. Something is not right. Sometimes the down side is up, and then it is time to see problems, so we might think of corrections. Depression may may occur when something is dying off, so that something new can emerge. Some problems are not resolved, but one can simply do something else, and even let a whole new world emerge. Taking a walk is a well known remedy for common depression. Physical exercise is known to crank the metabolism, refreshing the dopamine receptors. To clean one’s house or room is also a good symbolic activity.

If depression is psycho-hygienic, then the misuse of antidepressants may for example lead to un-dealt with built up rage. The prescription of anti-depressants has coincided with the unexplained increase in  public shootings that have become a part of American culture. Something clearly has changed in American society in the past few decades. Has the possibility been studied that there might be a link, if difficulties with, as they say, anger management, are a known side effect? And why, of all the money devoted through grants for studies, has this not yet been much studied? Again, our position is that because of the unknown side effects, these drugs should be uses as little as possible. Presently, it seems to us, incentives are given to use them as much as possible.

It is because our psychological science does not know what it is doing that these drugs should be used as little as possible. The practice is admittedly experimental, sometimes trying one thing and then if that does not work another. The theory of interfering with dopamine receptors seems to have about as much science behind it as the practice of shock treatment: scramble the brains, and we’ll see if the problem, or “problem behavior” does not go away. Not that such things do not sometimes work, so that they are even chosen by some patients. But the practice is not based on knowledge, and so we should interfere as little as possible, rather than, like an auto mechanic, as much as possible.

There had been a stunning error of common sense in the practice back in the seventies, when drugs susceptible of toxic overdose were prescribed too often. There has been a move toward the less toxic in recent years. But the obvious danger that those depressed might intentionally overdose was ignored. Nick Drake was a great musician of the late sixties and early seventies. He was very sad, in part because his music was not widely received, though it was well received by the other musicians. He was prescribed a toxic antidepressant, and no one knows whether his overdose was intentional or accidental. He has three albums, all very good, though it takes a while to hear him.

In light of the routine use of toxic medicines to treat depression, it is strange that Marijuana is not officially considered an anti-depressant, and a possible replacement for worse things. So one sees a natural right to herbal simples where no commerce, and no one else’s rights are even involved. Alcohol is both toxic and addictive, and yet a beer in the evening is a well known home remedy for the stress of the work day, and a drenching drunk for blows of sorrow like the loss of love. Like George Carlin notices, when one has a hangover, his priorities get readjusted: (“I don’t care about my shoes!). Despite the obligation to regulate the sale of snake oils and toxic medicines, aspirin, made from willow bark, could hardly be criminalized. Is psychiatry and the industry serious about acting, like Hippocrates, with the intention to cure, and do no harm?

In the psycho-hygienic function of depression, there is a churning of the soul. Jung too writes of how the “Unconscious” produces contents intended to “compensate” the conscious mind, for example in a one-sided attitude. For some, dreams can provide a remedy for despair, and for some too, poetry, song and the liberal arts. The emptiness of the soul is the same for all humans, because it is intended to receive knowledge. There are some very sad truths in life, and so there is a kind of depression common to all humans, and philosophic characters are known for “melancholy.”

One of the great mysteries is cause. The matter and motion reduction of cause cannot explain what anything is or what it is for. Hence Aristotle, one of the great Socratic philosophers, described things in terms of four causes, the better two of which are rejected by modern science, in favor of the more scientific explanations in terms of neurons. So Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedo, caricatures the natural philosophers as being like those who would explain the cause of his remaining in prison by reference to his legs, the muscles and the tendons, being bent there on the bench in a certain manner. So let us ask the psychiatrists, what is the cause of Socrates remaining in prison?

In these pages on Psychology, we will devote ourselves to a new king of fusion between Jungian psychology and the classical Socratic study of the soul, which, we argue, can provide the basis for a new psychology, though not, however, the authority to set a career on prescribing drugs. When Socrates turned from the pre-Socratic study of nature to the study of the human things, a new kind of the study of man and nature emerged. In our own terms, we can repeat the Socratic turn, in answer to the contemporary crisis at the basis of modern psychology and psychiatry.

St. Francis would pray to be more concerned with others than himself. Random acts of kindness or concern for the sorrows of those around us take us out of ourselves, so that soon, like Mother Theresa, we are not concerned if we are thin and short! Sometimes the down side is up, and the glass is half full. We are in truth, and in general, lucky to have the astonishing opportunity to be here at all, between the two eternities of the future and the past.

One final note: the word love does not occur in the 1998 textbook of abnormal psychology. Neither does repentance, forgiveness, or mercy, and yet it is a pretty good book on the science at the basis of the healing of the soul.

Lawn Farming II: Do Grasshoppers have intelligence?

Here is a thing that seems to occur when mowing the lawn. It leads to an hypothesis that I will check with further observation. There are moths and grasshoppers in the grass, and I always slow down to let them get out of the way. The moths seem to scurry more randomly, while, I swear, the grasshoppers seem to move always to the side, and never to the front of the mover, as though they understood where the mower was going to be. We will go check this again, as it is time to mow, quick, before it rains. One must regret the critters that get caught up in human enterprises, though we plow ahead and just expect them to get out of the way. Plow when the top of the earth is dry, and fewer worms get injured. Humans just ignore this stuff, but if one pays attention, the little things will teach us.

Here is an update: While mowing, I had to stop for one big grasshopper, and when he didn’t move, I had to turn off the mower and go move him. I told him he was disconfirming my hypothesis, but he just took his good luck and hopped away. My sister says now he’s going to reproduce, and we’ll have a bunch of challenged, moth-brained grasshoppers because I messed up the natural selection.

Ah, the philosophic life!

HMO Hitmen and the Profits of Heroin Addiction

Mr. Oz-Born here has a fine essay on the history of Oxy and Heroine, coming just short of the suggestion in my own blog on the same topic. The Taking the Mask Off website understands our assertion that our ignorance of causes in psychology and psychiatry leaves a large opening for drug marketing. Lets get marketing out of medicine!! America, just say no to money making as the embodiment of “success” and the American dream, by thinking of the more important things we whore to it, such as education, liberty, privacy, and our future, our youth, such as Suzie. Are these rich men truly examples of “success.” Do they understand politics and education because they knew how to get rich and had nothing better to do?