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Archive for the 'Psychology' Category
March 3rd, 2013 by Howard Ditkoff
Just over a year ago, I announced a milestone for me. Reading several books that came to my attention within a period of just a few years prior had convinced me that, when considering health and sustainability, certain topics related to the question of whether that often referred to as “evil” - harmful malicious or willfully negligent activity, for example – has a biological basis are crucial. And I had released a series of comprehensive pages, representing over a year of work, on these subjects, the most important and encompassing being the page on ponerology – the field dedicated to studying “evil” from a scientific perspective.
As I worked on the series, even more relevant material - articles, books, stories, news, television shows, movies, research studies, websites and other resources touching on these topics - continued coming to my attention, precipitating a realization that my interest in them mirrored a growing interest throughout society, supporting many of the arguments I made in the writing and encouraging me to continue the work. While working, however, I did not have time or energy to really focus on or incorporate these new developments.
After releasing the series, these ponerology-related developments continued to arise regularly and it occurred to me to begin cataloguing this emerging material to help support my work and promote it for those wanting to keep up to date. But I put off doing so until a recent coincidence reinforced to me the level of mainstream growth of interest in ponerologic topics and finally spurred me to action.
Now I’m announcing a new website I’ve recently launched dedicated to promoting news and information stemming from disciplines as diverse as neuroscience, criminology, psychology, arts, media and beyond related to ponerology, the “science of evil,” to help raise awareness and educate the public about these issues. Find out about the first set of posts on that site, its mission, early feedback it has received, how you can visit the site and get involved and what it means for the future of this site.
October 17th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff
Leave it to the brilliant comedy writers at the Onion.
Andrew M. Lobaczewski and his colleagues sacrificed and struggled for decades to carry out the work that led to Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes - their explanation of how human systems at all levels, but especially at the […]
September 25th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff
In my last blog post, I offered my response to a debate between Adam Kokesh and The Amazing Atheist that revolved around the subject of anarchism vs. statism. I tried to focus the debate on what I think is the essential issue - the question of how a society can best deal with the inevitable […]
September 16th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff
Thanks to a Freedomain Radio forum thread, I was made aware of , and just watched, the debate (embedded below) between Adam Kokesh of Adam vs. The Man and the outspoken and entertaining Youtuber known as The Amazing Atheist (aka TJ).
In the debate, moderated by Professor Hip Hughes for POLIPOP, and featuring some moderate NSFW […]
March 24th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff
Last year, in response to a podcast in which a call-in show host, Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio, attempted to employ the Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach to help a caller, I made a post in which I clarified many of the details of the IFS model that I felt this host may have misunderstood […]
March 15th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff
Background information on a group of pages that deeply explore evil, its possibly malicious origins emerging from biologically-based empathy and conscience-reducing psychopathology and its role in the evolution and complications of tragic, seemingly intractable problems and suffering at all levels of our world’s systems. These pages, integrating a range of source material, consider and attract attention to evil’s cyclic, manipulative and deceptive dynamics and its contribution to and exploitation of modern civilization, its structures and technologies, and, in turn, much of its dysfunction, abuse, trauma, corruption, absurdity and injustice. They also discuss our best understanding of the variation in people’s responses to these phenomena and their implications for nearly every area.
Furthermore, the pages advocate for an objective, scientific and medical approach to studying harm, highly valuing critical thinking and investigation, technical insight, psychological knowledge, precise and widespread dialogue and modern wisdom. They urge us to enhance reform efforts by better identifying leverage points and cooperatively developing optimal strategies for transcending challenges and resistance and preventing, assessing, reducing and healing from vicious cycles. And they point the way toward the establishment of new healthy, sustainable forms of human systems, more conscious of and immune to pathological influences and capable of flourishing with creativity.
This work is the culmination of a lifelong progressive quest – fueled by an uneasy sense about our world and concentrated through the discovery of what may be the most important book you’ll ever read – to understand issues of ethics and power. Learn about the very personal stories that coalesced in its development.
February 15th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff
I’m impressed and excited that Stefan Molyneux is using his platform with Freedomain Radio to introduce the concepts of the Internal Family Systems model to so many people – especially thoughtful people committed to creating a healthier world - who otherwise wouldn’t know of them. I’m also very glad that he is raising important awareness of the fact that MEcosystem work, like all peaceful change techniques, has limits. But - based on the admittedly limited example of his “The Limits of the MEcosystem” segment from his February 6, 2011 call in show - I think that the approach will prove more powerful for him and his listeners if they broaden and deepen their understanding of the model’s technical details and gain a greater perspective on where MEcosystem work fits in the context of IFS as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »
February 6th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff
Today I was given a copy of an article from the February 5, 2011 Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley entitled “A Key Lesson of Adulthood: The Need to Unlearn”. The title certainly struck me as important for two reasons.
- The need to unlearn has been a central theme in my life. I spent much of my twenties unlearning a tremendous amount of what was fed to me as truth growing up. And through my writing, coaching, activism and promotion of the work of various change agents such as Daniel Quinn (whose book The Story of B focuses on just such an unlearning process), I have long championed the importance of being willing to question dogmatic beliefs.
- We live in an incredibly destructive, unsustainable culture that is driven by the actions of hypocritical adults who act on the world stage in greedy, violent ways that, at home, would get their own children sent to their rooms – if not worse. So I am always fascinated to read commentary by this culture’s adults on what “adulthood” in such a society is considered to really be about.
And so I dove in. Read the rest of this entry »
December 11th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff
As some of you may know, I often rail about the abundance of sociopaths and people with Narcissistic or Borderline Personality Disorder in positions of power in our culture. There has been ample evidence of this problem in the news recently. Yet rarely do analyses of these cases go beyond charges of corruption to asking […]
May 5th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff
Sparked by the painful outcomes of once hopeful relationships involving Borderline Personality Disorder, several recent conversations refocused me on the condition’s growing prevalence, crucial cultural role and disproportionate social impact. Despite a desperate need for greater awareness, BPD remains under-recognized due to various obstacles. However, recent weeks saw the disorder highlighted on television and by the U.S. House of Representatives. In a spirit of compassion and hope for healing, I offer suggestions and resources for education and publicity during Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.