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Showing posts from March, 2015

Dispatches from Clio's History (part three)


Mar 6

Denis, Robert, Ted, Ken, and all,
Denis, thanks for this important article on the methodology of fantasy analysis (  It seems that within the psychohistory community itself, this methodology was acknowledged to be very much a work in progress.  I thought Howard in his commentary made some excellent suggestions about how it could be developed further and I wonder if anyone followed through on these suggestions. 
Robert, were your comments referring to Ted’s post or the link to the cold fusion article that followed?  It is not clear to me how this article connects to our discussion.
What Ted said about “the context of discovery” vs. “the context of verification” is extremely important and gets at something that Ken and I have been talking about quite a bit on this list.  I have argued that theoretical (as opposed to empirical) work has a legitimate place in psychohistory.  It is legitimate to ask what evidence supports a theory…

Dispatches from Clio's History (part two)

Joel Markowitz

We should again try to clarify the differences between the    psychodynamics of the INDIVIDUAL -- and the psychodynamics of    GROUPS-- in history. 
No one would dispute the value of maternal love in the evolution of    individuals.  It tends to be a major source of self-acceptance, self-  confidence, courage and of social advantages ... 
But the determinism of history-- i.e., primarily of GROUP-minds-- is    more complicated. 
E.g., many individuals in many PRIMITIVE subgroups have been brought    up with the advantages of significant maternal love and acceptance. 
In contrast, and as we know, Western groups were not impressive in    their child-rearing practices-- including in their acceptance and    love of their children. 
        In fact, the Jewish and Christian groups DEPENDED ON the    criminalization of primitive impulses-- which are immediately evident    in children. 
No one better describes  the often-brutal, guilt-driven behavior of    -- especially-- those…

The Hobbit (Tolkien)

The Hobbit (Tolkien)
(a cleaned up version of a paper written in 2014)
I think the thing that must seem most curious about this adventure to slay a dragon and reclaim a homeland and its treasure, is how the hell could adding a burglar to this motley crew be adding the decisive factor? What's the trick? For there must be one, since the dragon has only gotten larger and more deadly as the years have gone by. Peter Jackson changes things so that a burglar is needed because someone small and stealthy needs to enter Smaug’s lair to perhaps snatch one especially bright, one especially brilliant jewel—the Arkenstone—ostensibly readily noticeable even given its being shrouded by lesser delights. With that stone Thorin will earn control over seven kingdoms of dwarves, and with their might the dragon would finally look to be overmatched. In the book, it develops into a situation where, regarding the fighting and the killing the dragon, they decide that a full frontal attack of just themselve…

Perpetrator history

One of the interesting things that happened over the last year was a realization amongst many on the left that perpetrators of considerable power, could be taken down. Even a few years ago, powerhouses like Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, and Ghomeshi (in Canada, he was a superstar) just couldn't be put in the situation, where for crimes of child abuse and rape, they could actually lose their power and be sundered to prison. If you were one of their victims, you could feel that the collective need to keep them vital would mean some means would be found to silence your cause -- your protests would have no chance: even many liberals wouldn't speak up for you -- what presumption, you! Your best salve would be to try not to read the next biography about them, which would surely gloss over any accusations made against them and salute them as great men. But this year, you could feel that somehow this was changing ... that now empathy for victims was such that more people registered the ha…