Category: psychology & philosophy


In 1997 Arundhati Roy released The God of Small Things. It won the Booker prize (now the Man-Booker, as The independent have been pointing out all week whilst writing about it and the recently launched Literature Prize). I haven’t read it although I probably should. I reckon I’d like it as the plot revolves somewhat around the fucked up class system in India (The Caste System) – which i find equal parts interesting and horrific. She hasn’t finished a novel since.


Now, to not follow up the winning of such a prestigious literary prize (or formally prestigious – whatever) would seem like career suicide. Frankly, I don’t think Miss Roy gives a fuck. She’s been far too busy doing more important things. Namely, challenging the capitalist and human being fueled industrialization of India, getting down and dirty in the trenches of India’s hidden war and generally horrifying the countries burgeoning middle-class by writing essays like Walking With The Comrades:

After dinner, without much talk, everybody falls in line. Clearly, we are moving. Everything moves with us, the rice, vegetables, pots and pans. We leave the school compound and walk single file into the forest. In less than half an hour, we arrive in a glade where we are going to sleep. There’s absolutely no noise. Within minutes everyone has spread their blue plastic sheets, the ubiquitous ‘jhilli’ (without which there will be no Revolution). Chandu and Mangtu share one and spread one out for me. They find me the best place, by the best grey rock. Chandu says he has sent a message to Didi. If she gets it, she will be here first thing in the morning. If she gets it.

It’s the most beautiful room I have slept in, in a long time. My private suite in a thousand-star hotel. I’m surrounded by these strange, beautiful children with their curious arsenal. They’re all Maoists for sure. Are they all going to die? Is the jungle warfare training school for them? And the helicopter gunships, the thermal imaging and the laser range-finders?

Why must they die? What for? To turn all of this into a mine? I remember my visit to the open cast iron-ore mines in Keonjhar, Orissa. There was forest there once. And children like these. Now the land is like a raw, red wound. Red dust fills your nostrils and lungs. The water is red, the air is red, the people are red, their lungs and hair are red. All day and all night trucks rumble through their villages, bumper to bumper, thousands and thousands of trucks, taking ore to Paradip port from where it will go to China. There it will turn into cars and smoke and sudden cities that spring up overnight. Into a ‘growth rate’ that leaves economists breathless. Into weapons to make war.

Everyone’s asleep except for the sentries who take one-and-a-half-hour shifts. Finally, I can look at the stars. When I was a child growing up on the banks of the Meenachal river, I used to think the sound of crickets—which always started up at twilight—was the sound of stars revving up, getting ready to shine. I’m surprised at how much I love being here. There is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be. Who should I be tonight? Kamraid Rahel, under the stars? Maybe Didi will come tomorrow.


The reason Roy hasn’t finished the novel she’s working on is because she is living a different one.

I’d heard of God of Small Things, but i hadn’t really heard of its author, not until a few months ago. I’ve become a bit of a newshound since I got my kindle due to the fact that I could download a free copy of The Guardian every day if I wanted to, thanks to their liberal licencing and API. I should be reading novels but I’ve gotten a bit obsessive about it. Right now, for a change, I’m on a two week free trial of The Independent instead. I’ve always considered The Guardian and The Independent the only two decent papers in the UK – but i’d never put this to a taste test. Now I have I think I might prefer The Independent.

Anyway, getting back to my point. A few months ago I read an interview with Arundhati Roy in The Guardian. Today, there is one with her in The Independent.

And that is the reason I have written this post, so I could link to those two interviews. Do yourself a favour and go read them, because Arundhati Roy is quite obviously a remarkable woman, not to mention an amazing writer.


A surge of re-energized American citizens positioned in cities across the country are carrying out the grassroots “Occupy Wall Street” movement (or the “99 Percent Movement”) with an intelligent and provoking agenda that invokes real patriotic citizenship – much unlike the backwards Tea Party protests that have done little more than pervert our founding ideals while hidden under the guise of Americanism.

Also unlike the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street is not fueled by corporate dollars or any major television network (aka, Fox News), but by a vast, grassroots network of individuals who have either been negatively affected by the pro-regressive sentiment in the country or by those who have grown disillusioned by the Right wing’s strangle-hold over our country’s future and its catering to corporate citizenship.

The moniker “We are the 99%” is touted proudly by diverse groups of everyday Americans, ranging from teachers and students to firefighters, nurses, construction workers and Marines.

Unfortunately, though – if you listen to many Congressional Republicans, Right wing pundits and Tea Party aficionados – when common citizens across the country representing the vast majority of America peacefully protest in mass numbers against unbridled greed by Wall Street and the banking industry, they are just angry mobs of un-American thugs engaging in anti-capitalist propaganda mongering.

But when corporate-sponsored Tea Partiers protest outside the White House or other public centers (albeit carrying signs promoting bigotry, racism, hatred and/or violence), they are symbolic of the purest form of patriotism in action…

< link shit >

It’s true!

Extraverted rational types


“…characterised by the supremacy of the reasoning and judging functions.”

but is yet

“…influenced in almost equal degree by unconscious irrationality.”


From the outside, with no consideration of “unconscious manifestations” this type may in fact appear more irrational than most.

“…the case with the psychologies of both Freud and Adler. The individual is completely at the mercy of the judging observer, which can never be the case when the conscious psychology of the observed is accepted as a basis. He afterall is the only competent judge, since he alone knows his conscious motives.”

Here Jung lays down the reason (or one of them) for this split with Freud, the split itself seemingly focussed around Jung’s insistance upon the importance of individual subjectivity and Freud declaring that such a perspective was not valid, was meaningless as it belonged to the realm of the sub-conscious (Jung uses the term unconscious to highlight its importance, that it wasn’t merely a sub-set of consciousness as Freud declared).
Of course Freud would say that. Dude wanted to kill his father and sleep with his mother and he found the idea abhorrent. It was only by projecting this desire onto everybody else (the Oedipus complex) that Freud was able to deal with it.


“…life in both these types [reasoning/judging] involves a deliberate exclusion of everything irrational and accidental… a force that coerces the untidiness and fortuitousness of life into a definite pattern, or at least tries to do so… restriction of sensations and intuitions is not absolute… but their products are subject to the voice made my rational judgement.”


“For them nothing is rational save what is generally considered as such. Reason, however, is in large part subjective and individual. In our types this part is repressed… Both the subject and his subjective reason, therefore, are in constant danger of repression…” at the whims of ‘objectivity’ and the object “…and when they succumb to it they fall under the tyranny of the unconscious, which in this case possesses very unpleasant qualities… primitive sensations that express themselves compulsively, for instance in the form of compulsive pleasure-seeking in every conceivable form; there are also primitive intuitions… everything sniffed out and suspected, in most cases it is a half truth calculated to provoke misunderstandings of the most poisonous kind… the individual becomes the victim of chance happenings, which exercise a compulsive influence over him either because they pander to his sensations or because he intuits their unconscious significance.”

Rationality then is handed down via consensus; What has been called Consensus Reality. What the majority agree, either consciously or unconsciously, to be reality. This world view, however, does not take into account either subjectivity or the unconscious. What i think Jung is saying here is that when you ignore subjectivity and and unconscious you can become enslaved by them. This enslavement takes place through the lens of ‘rationality’. When you ignore sensations and intuition then intuition and sensation present themselves to the conscious mind as in fact being rational thoughts. This is of course posited on the fact that the mind in question is lacking equilibrium. When everything is running smoothly everything is cool.

This type brings to mind the ‘character’ of the paranoid conspiracy nut – everything he does and thinks/feels he considers in the upmost as Rational. He checks constantly to see if anyone is following him because it is reasonable for him to assume somebody is because of what he knows or at least thinks he knows. You could have a lot of fun with this type in a narrative watching their sense of reason and logic eeat them alive. In fact I would argue that many a screenplay/novel turns on this idea of a protagonist’s rational world view being turned on its head. The idea of this reversal is a strong impetus for the dramatic.

fung in the jung

So, true to my word, i took myself off to the library to make notes from Psychological Types for the next installment of my series on Jung’s models and theories. I’ve had a thing for mister Gustav since i first learned of his ideas of the collective unconcious and synchronicity when i was but a wild eyed highschool student and have the vague intention of owning and studying his complete works at some point. I have a few volumes but that fucker sure did write and think alot! I’m thinking also of writing a general outline of Psychological Types because I feel like there isn’t enough on jung online that draws directly from his work. There’s alot in that book that explores the idea of psychological types through different lenses and from different perspectives of philisophical history. What do you think?

For those that thought that yesterday was a bit flippant and lighthearted here on Either/Or/Bored here’s an article on the casualisation of the language of rape in modern society:

We live in a strange and terrible time for women. There are days, like today, where I think it has always been a strange and terrible time to be a woman. It is nothing less than horrifying to realize we live in a culture where the “paper of record” can write an article that comes off as sympathetic to eighteen rapists while encouraging victim blaming. Have we forgotten who an eleven-year-old is? An eleven-year-old is very, very young, and somehow, that amplifies the atrocity, at least for me. I also think, perhaps, people do not understand the trauma of gang rape. While there’s no benefit to creating a hierarchy of rape where one kind of rape is worse than another because rape is, at the end of day, rape, there is something particularly insidious about gang rape, about the idea that a pack of men feed on each other’s frenzy and both individually and collectively believe it is their right to violate a woman’s body in such an unspeakable manner.

The Careless Language Of Sexual Violence – The


an absolutely facinating and disturbing insight into the Church of Scientology, from the inside out, and back in again, via the life of director-screenwriter Paul Haggis. This is a long one so I wanna see fingers hovering over ‘bookmark’ people!

In previous correspondence with Davis, Haggis had demanded that the church publicly renounce Proposition 8. “I feel strongly about this for a number of reasons,” he wrote. “You and I both know there has been a hidden anti-gay sentiment in the church for a long time. I have been shocked on too many occasions to hear Scientologists make derogatory remarks about gay people, and then quote L.R.H. in their defense.” The initials stand for L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, whose extensive writings and lectures form the church’s scripture. Haggis related a story about Katy, the youngest of three daughters from his first marriage, who lost the friendship of a fellow-Scientologist after revealing that she was gay. The friend began warning others, “Katy is ‘1.1.’ ” The number refers to a sliding Tone Scale of emotional states that Hubbard published in a 1951 book, “The Science of Survival.” A person classified “1.1” was, Hubbard said, “Covertly Hostile”—“the most dangerous and wicked level”—and he noted that people in this state engaged in such things as casual sex, sadism, and homosexual activity. Hubbard’s Tone Scale, Haggis wrote, equated “homosexuality with being a pervert.” (Such remarks don’t appear in recent editions of the book.)

And this is all I wrote. There was much more to get through. I mean, i was in a university library making notes from Jung because i couldn’t get the book out. Now I own the fucking book. Guess I’ll have to continue the series 😉


“In precisely the same way as extraverted thinking strives to rid itself of subjective innfluences, extraverted feeling has to undergo a process of differentiation before it is finally denuded of every subjective trimming. The valuations resulting from the act of feeling either corresponds directly with objective values or accord with traditional and generally accepted standards.
This kind of feeling is very largely responsible for the fact that so many people flock to the theatre or concerts, or go to church, and do so more over with their feelings correctly adjusted… In these matters extraverted feeling proves itself a creative factor. Without it a harmonious social life would be impossible” [596/355]

The extraverted-feeling attitude is directly responsible for the dominance of consensus reality. Does this make extraverted feeling the norm?

“[as soon as the object gains ascendancy] The force of extraverted feeling then pulls the personality into the object, the object assimilates him, whereupon the personal quality of the feeling, which constitutes its chief charm, disappears. It becomes cold, “unfeeling”, untrustworthy. It has ulterior motives, or at least makes an impartial observer suspect them… one suspects a post, or that the person is acting even though he may be quite unconscious of any egocentric motives. Over-extraverted feeling may satisfy aestheitc expectations, but it does not speak to the heart; it appeals merely to the senses, or worst still – to reason.” [596/355]

When the extreme extraverted thinking model is faced with a ‘problem’ requiring a certain subjective/introverted perspective to truely understand and grap a thing, he authomatically reduces the problem to his own accumulated objective/extraverted knowledge and experience. Viewing the ‘problem’ through this filter gives an extremely narrow view of the ‘problem’, with only a few molecules of understanding beingh attracted to and sticking to his pre-existant knowledge/experience. This personality type appears quite often in the short stories of Franz Kafka.

“it is a fact of experience that the basic psychological functions seldom or never all have the same strength or degree of development in the same individual. As a rule, one or the other function predominates in both strenth and development.” [584/346]

The basic psychological functions are split into 5 groups under the two headings: Extraverted / Introverted

These are: Thinking/Feeling/Rational/Sensation/Intuition

Thusly is Jung’s model of being mapped.

“[the extraverted-thinking] type will, by definition, be a man [Or woman. Use yr imagination peoples!] whose constant endeavor – in so far, of course, as he is a pure type [if such a thing exists in the world] – is to make all his activities dependant on intellectual conclusions, which in the last resort are always orientated by objective data, whether these be external facts or generally accepted ideas.” [585/346]

I think what Jung is trying to say in his use of the term ‘last resort’ is that if the individual can’t think it out for himself he will rely on preconceived external data.

The objective-thinking type seems, to me, to embody the personalities of the majority of politicians/right wing nut jobs.

“Their best aspect is to be found at the peiphery of their sphere of influence. The deeper we penetrate into their own power province the more we feel the unfavourable effects of their tyranny.” [586/348]

“The thinking of the extraverted type is postivie i.e., productive. It leads to the discovery of new facts or to general conceptions based on disparate empirical material. It is usually synthetic too. Even when it analyses it constructs, because it is always advancing beyond the analysis to a new combination, to a further conception which reunites the analysed material in a different way or adds something to it. One could call this kind of judgement predictive. A characteristic feature, at any rate, is that it is never absolutely depreciative or destructive, since it always substitutes a fresh value for the one destroyed. this is because the thinking of this type is the main channel into which his vital energy flows. The steady flow of life manifests itself in his thinking, so that his thought has a progressive, creative quality. It is not stagnant or repressive. But it can become so if it fails to retain prior place in his consciousness. In that case it loses the quality of a positive, vital activity. It follows in the wake of other functions and becomes Epimethean [an afterthought]. Plagued by afterthoughts, contenting itself with constant broodings on things past and gone, chewing them over in an effort to anlyse and digest them. Since the creative element is now lodged in another function, thinking no longer progresses: It stagnates. Judgement takes on a distinct quality of inherence: It confines itlsef entirely to the range of the given material, nowhere overstepping it. It is satisfied with more or less abstract statements which do not impart any value to the material which in not already inherent in it. Such judgements are always orientated to the object, and they infirm nothing more about an experience than its objective and intrinsic meaning.” [592-593/351-352]

“Its habitual mode is best described by the two words “nothing but”. Goethe personifed this thinking in the figure of mephistopheles.”

Everything in its right place.

“Whenever somebody defends or advocates a cause, negative thinking never asks its importance but simply: “What does he get out of this?””

“The trick [to pure extraverted-thinking] is to make it appear dependant on something quite common place.”

the parenthisised doohickies at the end of each quote refer to the page numbers in C. G. Jung’s Psychological types. The first number refers to the page, the second number refers to the paragraph. As each edition has varying page numbers yr best bet is to refer to paragraphs numbers if you wanna reference the original work.
I shall be embarking on a series of posts concerning Jungian Psychological Types for the purposes of character development in fiction. The notes for which i shall be uploading here for safekeeping and for anyone else to make use of. Afterall, not everybody can just go down their local university library and look through The Collected Works of C. G. Jung for their own personal satisfaction. As I am reading them in the library, and therefore having limited access to them, i will be updating the posts as new information and reflections become available.

The Extraverted/Introverted Type

So, it seems, according to Jung, that your one or t’other, and that the extraverted type relates his entire existence to external objects; be they people, projects, shiny things, whatever. He has no time for the subjective, merely the objective. He lives an ‘objective’ existence (if such a thing can exist in our post-post-modern times) : 

“this is the extraverts danger: he gets sucked into objects and completely loses himself to them.” (565/336)
the subjective/introverted world becomes manifest in his unconscious, in a kind of mirror. This is all fine and dandy, as long as the individual in question doesn’t ‘completely lose himself’ to his objects: 

“It is an outstanding peculiarity of unconscious impulses that, when deprived of energy by lack of conscious recognition, they take on a destructive character, and this happens as soon as they cease to be compensatory. Their compensatory function ceases as soon as they reach a depth corresponding to a cultural level absolutely incompatible with our own. From this moment the unconcious impulses form a block in every way opposed to the conscious attitude, and its very existence leads to open conflict.” ( 574/340 )
( It should be noted that Jung goes on to make further distinctions between types of Extraverted and Introverted types, little sub-groups if you will. I ain’t got to that bit yet. In fact, I ain’t even finished the Extraverted section. ) 

What does this mean for the screenwriter if the extraverted reacts to external objects, and the introverted with his own internal subjectivity? Surely, within a film script, protagonists must be of the extraverted type because, according to the screenwriting guru types, Protagonists are defined by action/reaction? (Okay, this may not be the complete truth, but stay with me here).

What if the external objects are in fact manifestations of the protagonists subjectivity? That everything within the diagesis can in fact be mapped, directly or indirectly, back to the protagonists unconscious? What if that’s why they came into existence in the first place? If you map your protagonists’ conscious/unconscious first, then develop the story and sub-characters second, what kind of film are you writing? How does this effect everything? Does this open you up to new realms of creative expression, or just picking a way to filter that creative expression in the first place?

( i’m thinking outloud here, btw )


Consider the play of the extraverted/external and Introverted/internal outlook in both Julian and Gethin, with each sliding between the these two extremes throughout the plot, in a kind of counterpoint. A character in a film could be considered extraverted by the very nature of the medium i.e. external factors (preassures cause the actions of the protagonists and sub-characters) but this does not mean that these external forces cannot be, in actuality, manifestations of the internal.

As there are two Protagonists (Julian and Gethin) in this paticular narrative, and neither one supercedes the other, do they in fact become in actuality two sides of the same character? Is this a useful way of looking at them? Also, as they also represent a comedy double-act, is this what the comedy double-act can be viewed as?

FURTHER STUDY: psychological types of comedy double-acts

“A normal extroverted attitude does not, of course, mean that the individual invariably behaves in accordance with the extraverted schema. Even in the same individual many psychological processes may be observed that involve the mechanism of introversion. We call a mode of behavior extraverted only when the mechanism of extraversion predominates. In these caesd the most differentiated functions are in part unconscious and far less under the control of consciousness.” [575/340]

“…There is a constant influx of unconscious contents into the conscious psychological process, to such a degree that at times it is hard for the observer to decide which character traits belong to the conscious and which to the unconscious personality.” [576/341]

“Introverted thinking then appears as something quite arbitarry [to the extraverted thinker] while extraverted thinking seems dull and banal [to the introverted thinker]. Thus the two orientations are incessantly at war.” [581/345]

I recently excavated an old shortlived blog of mine on which there are about three posts worth saving. Here’s the first one. These notes were taken during a period of my life which was spent on the dole, skating into town everyday, hitting a few spots, knocking on friends, and generally putting myself about. I have a few poems from this period that seems to embody it quite well. Got them in a notebook somewhere. I’ll dig them out. The notes i was taking were research for an as yet unrealised screenplay.

“On one level this activity appears as urban escapism… it was a repositioning of the urban… The modernist spa e of surburbia was found, adapted and reconveived as another kind of space, as a concrete wave.” (refers to erly surf-style skating) (p.33)

“New hillside housing tracts lost their hideous urban negativity and emerged from the metamorphosis as a smooth uncrowded ribbons of winding joy.” (33)

“This recombination of body, image, thought and action lies at the heart of skateboarding – an integration of abstract and concrete, object and performance…”

“the third stage [of skating up a bank that goes vertical] is that stalling space-time where the skater reaches the top of the trajectory, hangs momentarily, and begins the kick-turn – for the skater, this is a highly phsyical yet simultaneously fantastical and dream-like experience, where space-time are confronted and frozen in a dynamic, yet stable instance.” (35)

“these aural salvos remind us that ‘space is listened for, in fact, as much as seen, and heard before it comes into view,” that hearing mediates between the spatial body and the world outside it, and that it is therefore not only in a cathedral or cloister that ‘space is measured by ear’. This is ‘sensuous geography’ created by a phenomonal experience of architecture, a ‘sensory space’ constituted by an “unconsciously” dramatised interplay of relay points and obstacles, reflections, references, mirrors and echoes.” (35)

note: ‘sensuous geographies’ (Paul Rodaway)

“…’working the surface’ involved thinking less about the pool wall as a concrete wave, and more as an element which, together with the skateboard and skater’s own body, could be recombined into an excited body-centric space.” (36)

via Tim Hole

One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.

The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists. Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.

Journal’s Article on ESP Is Expected to Prompt Outrage –


The Masturbation Gap

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photosvia mindhacks – Whacking off: a psychological history

…by tapping into the zeitgeist of a cultural shift, where concerns about privacy were becoming paramount. Masturbation, along with reading printed books–a new technology at the time–had become a symbol for the uncontrolled, uncensored private lives of individuals, including women. Such private power was felt to threaten the social order. The social keepers of the order–the politicians, aristocrats, and professional classes–hence hurried to proclaim the potential dangers embodied in this newly shamed and shameful act.

The Masturbation Gap | Psychology Today.

via Mind Hacks:

Wired Science has an exclusive interview with Ari Ne’eman, the first openly autistic White House appointee in history, who has been given a place on the National Council on Disability that advises the president on equality for disabled people.

Ne’eman is an advocate of neurodiversity, which rather than automatically seeing conditions like autism and Asperger’s syndrome as diseases to be cured, understands them as another form of human variation that should be accepted.


Creeping out of the silence I come.; hoping that nobody will notice.

I lay all absence at the foot of my novel. Scheduled programming will return eventually.

In the mean time…

Creativity is akin to insanity, say scientists who have been studying how the mind works.Brain scans reveal striking similarities in the thought pathways of highly creative people and those with schizophrenia.Both groups lack important receptors used to filter and direct thought.It could be this uninhibited processing that allows creative people to “think outside the box”, say experts from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.In some people, it leads to mental illness.But rather than a clear division, experts suspect a continuum, with some people having psychotic traits but few negative symptoms.

BBC News – Creative minds ‘mimic schizophrenia’.

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