Thursday, 10 July 2008

You still can't grow schizophrenia as a culture.

I'd just like to point out a piece of beautiful writing from Mind Hacks which highlights the problems facing psychiatry as a diagnostic science. I have tried to make this point myself, but Vaughn has done it better:
"Genes are defined on the neurobiological level, while psychiatric diagnoses are defined on the phenomenological level - in other words, verbal descriptions of behaviour, or verbal descriptions of what it is like to have certain mental states.
"There is no guarantee, and in many people's opinion, probably no likelihood, that these 'what it is like' descriptions actually clearly demarcate distinct processes at the biological level.
"It's a bit like classifying people as heavy metal fans if they have five or more heavy metal albums."
Go and read the rest of it.  It will help greatly with your understanding of the problems facing the mental health professions.
Link to Mind Hacks article: Mental Illness: In with the intron crowd

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

What next, are we going back to morals squads armed with tape-measures?

Police warn opless face fines, jail (Courier Mail) (Yes, that was the spelling, at least when I read it).

Topless sunbathers (women, obviously, it's not considered such a big deal when you can see manly nipples) may be judged a "public nuisance".

Let's work through this for a few seconds:
  1. By lying around quietly doing nothing particularly active and displaying non-genital flesh, women may be judged a "public nuisance" and told to cover up, and maybe get taken to jail.
  2. Response 1: Spoilsports!
  3. Response 2: Any member of the public who is nuisanced by this public display needs to be fined for prudery. Or something.
  4. Response 3: We are in what century?
  5. Response 4: Cairns, apart from being very hot, tends to collect European backpackers. Who tend to be quite hot in the other sense of the word. And have fewer inhibitions. Refer to point 2.
  6. Response 5: Anybody who creates a public nuisance as a result of this, through behaviour that is protesting or offensive, needs to be cleared from our streets and let the rest of us get on with life. But I'm pretty sure that's not what they're referring to by "public nuisance".

I really can't get over the "public nuisance" part of this. I am boggled in mind by how this rule may be applied, and really can't come up with any decent explanation of it. I'm pretty sure there are rules about "public nudity". But how...

I give up.

Link to Courier Mail article

How is this possible?

A stapler is one of the most basic tools known, more complicated than the lever but not much more complicated than a mousetrap.

So how is it possible that the frigging brand new stapler I got given at work, doesn't?

More reasons why Internet Explorer 7 sucks

I can drag from the page icon in the address field to creat a bookmark on the Links bar.

I can not drag from a tab to create said bookmark, despite the fact that clearly tabs can be dragged somewhere.

This is logical how?

Hey, Gizmodo crashes Internet Explorer!

I've just managed to get upgraded from IE6 to IE7 at work, because having to use multiple windows was making my brain bleed and I couldn't push things as far as Firefox.

So I'm checking my news feeds quickly, and... Crash.

Damn, I had several tabs open and IE7 is so crude it doesn't have a crash restore facility.

Swear, open, try and retrace my steps.


The third time, I was ready and checked and... Yes, something on the Gizmodo Australia website causes a crash. Repeatably.

Well, fuck you very much.

The third time I even did something I never do and let Windows send off a crash report to Microsoft (hell, you trust them to pay much attention to those?)

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