An Introduction To The Alexander Technique

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The Examined Life: How We Love And Find Ourselves

I love this book.

From page 82: Anyone can become paranoid — that is, develop an irrational fantasy of being betrayed, mocked, exploited or harmed — but we are more likely to become paranoid if we are insecure, disconnected, alone. Above all, paranoid fantasies are a response to the feeling that we are being treated with indifference.

In other words, paranoid fantasies are disturbing, but they are a defense. They protect us from a more disastrous emotional state — namely, the feeling that no one is concerned about us, that no one cares.

From page 111: Many psychoanalysts think that lovesickness is a form of regression, that in longing for intense closeness, we are like infants craving our mother’s embrace. That is why we are most at risk when we are struggling with loss or despair, or when we are lonely or isolated — it is not uncommon to fall in love during the first term of university, for example.

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The White People’s Network

Chaim Amalek: “A modest fortune awaits the capitalist who founds a consciously white cable network. Of course she (a woman or a transgender would have a better shot) would not be able to call it that, but with the right dog whistle it could be done. Just think of the interesting programming that could follow! “Am I White? Let our panel of experts tell you.” This would be a huge hit among the hispanic set. “Test Your IQ” In this one, an Asian would test white peoples IQs or would compete against them on IQ tests for prizes. “Semite Secrets” Jews would explain how to get ahead in business. Etc. Etc.”

Wally Wharton: What a brilliant idea, Chaim— A white people’s network that not only celebrates “whiteness,” but also helps us middle-class Caucasians to co-exist in an ever-darkening, multi-culti world!! Then maybe us foolish palefaces who believe in personal reponsibility would FINALLY learn to appreciate gang cuture, illegal immigration, welfare baby mamas and international terrorism!!!

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Another Outburst From The Outrage Industry

I had a friend drop me as a Facebook friend because I used the expression “Chinaman.” There’s nothing wrong with the term “Chinaman.” It’s the same as Australian man or Jewish man or black man or Englishman.

There’s also nothing wrong with noting that different races have different physical characteristics.

Bob Beckel is getting called out here for pointing out an important point — that China is our biggest competitor and maybe even enemy.

State Senator Ted Lieu thinks he can profit from milking outrage. Asians used to be the model minority who didn’t get upset about things like this but in today’s tribal America, every tribe but whites is angling for advantage by posing as offended.

The Santa Monica Mirror writes:

State Senator Ted Lieu, who represents Santa Monica and much of the South Bay, today called on Fox News Host Bob Beckel to resign immediately after statements the Fox TV host made about Chinese people.

“We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by Fox News Host Bob Beckel,” Lieu said. “His comments have no place in America and this is at least the second time he has used racial slurs. He must resign immediately.”

Beckel said during a broadcast Thursday of “The Five” that “Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S. … Do you know what we just did? As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen – err, Chinese people – how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us.”

Last year, Mr. Beckel said that after he went swimming, his “eyes blew up, and it made me look Oriental.”

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The Only Father In The Lockerroom

I’m watching this “A Football Life” documentary on running back Marcus Allen and near the end, Marcus’s dad says: “I still can’t figure this out. For 11 years he played for the Raiders, I was the only father in that locker room.”

Hmm, I wonder what is going on? Perhaps it is part and parcel of the phenomenon that few men in prison celebrate Father’s Day.

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Roger’s Version

The protagonist in this John Updike novel, Roger, a divinity professor, wants to bed Verna, the single-mother daughter of his half-sister. Roger convinces her to get an abortion.

Adam Begley writes in his biography of John Updike:

In the dingy anteroom, surveying the other “prospective mothers,” he spots a black girl with wet cheeks and an otherwise impassive face, “an African mask, her lips and jaw majestically protruding.” Later, seeing that her tears have dried, he marvels at this “princess of a race that travels from cradle to grave at the expense of the state, like the aristocrats of old.”

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Israeli Flag Flying Over 90035

Out for a walk this afternoon, I spotted an enormous Israeli flag on top of a home and just above that flag was a tiny American flag.

I think that symbolizes how many American nationalists view Jews. They wish we had dual loyalties. They fear there’s nothing dual about it. That our loyalties are entirely towards Jews and towards the Jewish state.

I don’t think it is a good idea to waive the flag of a foreign power unless accompanied by an equally big flag of your own nation.

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I Wailed As A Baby

When I ask people who knew me as an infant what my personality was like, they mention how easily and loudly I would cry. I think that growing up in foster care, I had to wail sometimes to get attention and so I developed my histrionic attention-seeking personality as a reaction.

Dr. Daniel Siegel writes: Later, while at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, [Mary] Ainsworth tested her ideas about attachment patterns by putting in 47 hours of painstaking observation with each mother-child pair in her study. She found that when caregivers promptly and effectively responded to young infants’ cries, the babies cried less by the end of the first year. The securely attached children had learned that their caregivers were reliable and therefore subtler expressions of their distress and needs would generate responses-they didn’t need to be crybabies to get the attention they sought. Infants who develop confidence in their caregivers are securely attached because their caregivers have proven to be reliable.

…Bowlby’s theory suggested that not only would these relationships provide the foundation for personality development, but they’d do so by affecting the child’s capacity for emotional regulation and the formation of mental representations of self and others. For example, a child who’s been rejected is likely to
interpret the behavior of others as rejecting and behave in ways that lead to further rejection, continuing the pattern. However, the theory also states that such behaviors are subject to change, especially given fundamental changes in relationship support. If others are supportive, despite off-putting behavior, a child’s worldview and behavior may change. Further, early experience isn’t erased, but retains its potential to impact later developmental
stages.

LUKE: Boy, does this speak to me. Growing up in foster care, I knew frequent rejection and so by my earliest memories, I had adopted behavior that would lead others to reject me. I’ve been able to moderate that behavior when connected to supportive friends, but when I isolate, I become increasingly weird and off-putting.

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Does Attachment Theory Matter?

The blogger Jayman wrote: “The transmission of misery or bliss in a family is entirely due to shared genes, just like most everything else.”

Rex responds: “But what about religion? Most people take their religion from their parents. Is it totally irrelevant whether a child is brought up Muslim, Scientologist, Jain or Jewish?”

Jayman responds:

To the incredulous commenters above, yes, I realize the idea that parenting has no lasting impact on children’s outcomes is a tough pill to swallow, one that you might say defies common sense and experience. But, as I said in one of my recent tweets, science does occasionally produce counter-intuitive results. Indeed, if it did not – if it always confirmed our naive intuitions – we wouldn’t have to do science.

The case for the non-existence of lasting parental effects is borne out of overwhelming evidence. I review a good bit of it in the following two posts:

The Son Becomes The Father | JayMan’s Blog

and

More Behavioral Genetic Facts | JayMan’s Blog

To be clear: I’m not talking just some broad nebulous personality traits, or even IQ. I mean all the stuff that “really matters” – all the stuff where you’d expect parental treatment, lessons, and examples to “make a difference” , including:

Political/societal views, attitudes, and values
Religiosity
Criminality
Psychopathology (mental problems, like anxiety disorders, depression, ADD, etc.)
Marital stability/divorce risk
Promiscuity
Substance abuse
Income
Mate choice
Adult life satisfaction (happiness)

Each one of these is backed by gigantic studies as discussed in the above posts. These studies span the Western world, as well as East Asia. Parents have an important task in keep their kids healthy and safe. But most of the parental efforts, beyond that which is devoted to this end (which itself was NOT any small job in the past, let’s not forget) or to pass on knowledge merely serves the end of bringing joy to parents and children. In other words, the things parents do for children should be enjoyed for their own sake.

Hmm. Over the past six months, I’ve spent hundreds of hours studying the work of UCLA psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel (who is best known for promoting mindfulness to achieve secure attachment). I’ve Googled him and read all the negative reviews of his books and I can’t find any significant debunking. Still, I want to be sure I am not studying nonsense.

I find this essay fascinating:

Five hundred people sat in a packed workshop at the Networker Symposium last March, listening to eminent developmental psychologist and researcher Jerome Kagan draw on more than four decades of research he’s conducted as he discussed the clinical relevance of inborn temperament. Midway through the session, responding to a question from the audience, he tried to clarify an earlier, seemingly disparaging, comment he’d made about attachment theory. But he soon removed any possible doubt about where he stood. “I’m glad that attachment theory is dead,” he said. “I never thought it would go anywhere.”

There was a moment of stunned silence, followed by a low hum as people shifted in their seats and murmured to each other. Whatever their imperfect understanding of the voluminous research literature of attachment theory, for most therapists in the room, the idea that the early emotional attunement of a mother/caregiver (or lack of it) profoundly affects the child’s psychological development was as self-evident as the worthiness of therapy itself. Indeed, during the last 15 to 20 years, attachment theory has exerted more influence in the field of psychotherapy than just about any other model, approach, or movement. Though not a clinical methodology, it has justified a whole range of therapeutic perspectives and practices. Among them are a particular sensitivity to the role of traumatic or neglectful ties with early caregivers; the fundamental importance of affect regulation to successful therapy; the importance of establishing relationships with clients characterized by close, intense, emotional, and physical attunement; and the ultimate goal of recreating in therapy an attachment experience that makes up, at least to some degree, for what the client missed the first time around. That attachment theory itself has amassed a vast body of empirical evidence (see p.34) is often taken, by extension, to cast a glow of scientific credibility on attachment-based therapy. So when Kagan delivered his offhand rebuke, he was raising fundamental questions about the evidence supporting findings that most therapists there considered not just theory, but well-established fact.

Suddenly, in the wordless void that followed Kagan’s bombshell, psychiatrist, brain researcher, and staunch attachment theory proponent Daniel Siegel popped out of his seat, looked for a floor microphone to respond, and, finding none, strode up the center aisle and bounded onto the
stage. As a startled Kagan looked on and the entire ballroom audience sat dumbfounded, Siegel, the conference keynote speaker from that morning, asked for a microphone and announced: “I can’t let this audience listen to your argument without hearing the other side. Have you actually read the attachment research?” he demanded of his colleague.

There followed a heated, impromptu debate between the two men that later became the talk of the conference. Part of the buzz was because it was a disagreement between two stars—Jerome Kagan, arguably the most revered developmental psychologist in the world, and Daniel Siegel, one of the most influential thinkers and teachers in the field of psychotherapy today. Each brought to bear both an impressive resume and passionately held convictions on the age-old question about human development: which counts more—nature or nurture? Beyond its sheer drama, two things stood out about this spontaneous encounter—the surprise that a discussion of research findings could generate such intellectual fervor at a psychotherapy conference and, for the majority of the audience, the shock that there was any debate at all about the role of early experience in human development. It was as if a leading biologist had gotten up at a professional conference to denounce germ theory.

…psychologist and sex therapist David Schnarch suggests that it can keep adult couples stuck in the role of perpetually needy children. Author of the bestselling Passionate Marriage and several other books, and founder of a tough-minded, differentiation-based approach to couples’ counseling, Schnarch believes that relationship failure stems not from lack of emotional connection between partners—the focus of attachment-based therapy—but too much of the wrong kind. Partners become enmeshed, lose a sense of selfhood, and depend on positive reinforcement and reassurance from each other because they can’t soothe their own anxieties, and then have relationship difficulties when both demand validation from theother but neither will give it. Each partner needs, in effect, to grow up, learn to tolerate anxiety, and take charge of him- or herself before they can fully connect with the other.

Schnarch says that couples come to see him on the brink of divorce, whose own therapists told them not to see him, since they needed to attach before they could differentiate. This is exactly backward, he says. “Adults don’t need to go back and attach—that is not the right approach and just reinforces weakness, fragility, and dependency—characteristics of the emotional fusion, connection in the absence of differentiation, that is causing the problems in the first place. The solution is not to get them even closer together. Attachment-based therapy plugs together troubled couples only as long as they mutually validate and stroke each other, move in lock step, and keep on doing it. It encourages co-dependency.

Part Two

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How Can I Cash In On My White Privilege?

Chaim Amalek: “Sell your sperm to dusky women who harbor the desire for whiter children. Charge $50 a pop. This would seemingly combine two of your favorite things: The goy’s desire to get off, and the Jew’s desire for gelt.”

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