Monday, 28 January 2008

X marks the spot (a state of illusion)


(Click on image to enlarge)

"The male has instinctual urges and predatory ideas. The female has a breast, the power to provoke lust, and the idea that she would like to be attacked by a hungry male. These two phenomena do not come into relation with each other till the woman and man live an experience together. I think of the process as if two lines came from opposite directions, liable to come near each other. If they overlap there is a moment of illusion - a bit of experience which the man can take as either his hallucination or a thing belonging to external reality."

(From D.W. Winnicott, 'Primitive Emotional Development', in Through Pediatrics to Psychoanalysis (London: Hogarth Press, 1975), p152 - Prozacville edition

Monday, 21 January 2008

Internet dating profiles: the triumph of emotional capitalism over romance


"On the internet, the private psychological self becomes a public performance...externalized and objectified through visual means of representation and language....The internet structures the search for a partner as a market or, more exactly, formalizes the search for a partner in the form of an economic transaction: it transforms the self into a packaged product competing with others on an open-end market regulated by the law of supply and demand; it makes the encounter the outcome of a more or less stable set of preferences; it makes the process of searching constrained by the problems of efficiency; it structures encounters as market niches; it attaches a (more or less) fixed economic value to profiles (that is, persons) and makes people anxious about their values in a such a structured market and eager to improve their position in that market. Finally, it makes people highly aware of the cost benefit aspects of their search, both in terms of time, and in the sense that they want to maximize the attributes of the person found. ... The cynicism of [some] internet daters marks a radical departure from the traditional culture of romanticism and is an effect of the routinization produced by the sheer volume of encounters and by the market structure and culture which pervades Internet dating sites....I think that such cynicism is what Adorno had in mind when he suggested that in contemporary culture, consumers feel compelled to buy and use advertising products even though, and at the very moment, they see through them."

Eva Illouz, Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. (2007)

Sunday, 20 January 2008


My therapist has been dipping his foot back into the blogosphere again. Enjoy the free version. Some of us pay him about 1/5th of our monthly earnings so as to benefit from his services.

Saturday, 19 January 2008


"The large brain, like large government, may not be able to do simple things in simple way." (Donald Hebb, 1958)