Image by Tibor Janosi Mozes/Pixabay

As we head into the final months of the election season, it has become increasingly clear that President Trump has chosen to reanimate his 2016 campaign strategy of stoking fears about an existential threat to America, or at least , as we have known it. Capitalizing upon this summer’s protests and civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder under the knee of police, the demonizing Trump narrative has shifted from outside threats in form of immigrant hordes, thugs, rapists, and animals, to threats from within in the form of home-grown rioters, looters, and radical-left anarchists. But the…


image from Max Pixel

1.

She smelled of the sea. And not some stale, oil-slicked, backwater harbor, but a fresh offshore breeze mingled with sea foam spray. This scent was strongest in her hair, which seemed ever-matted from brine, and her entire body was dusted with the finest salt crystals that had a crisp citrus taste and awoke the senses.

“The ocean is in my blood,” she’d told me when we were first dating.

To her, the ocean was all about memories of fog lifting off morning waters that were as still as a plate of glass, the lonely tolling clang of buoys and…


Source: pngegg

“If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer… And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

“The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything. There…


Quality Bullshit, Doug Beckers (flickr)

“One man’s bullshit is another man’s catechism.”
— “Bullshit and the Art of Crap Detection,” Neil Post

What Is Bullshit and Why Is There So Much of It?

With his 1986 essay “On Bullshit,”[1] Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt gave birth to bullshit as a topic of serious academic inquiry.

What is bullshit exactly? In technical terms, it has been defined as “communications that result from little to no concern for truth, evidence and/or established semantic, logical, systemic, or empirical knowledge.”[2] Put more simply, bullshit is “something that implies but does not contain adequate meaning or truth.”[3]

So bullshitting isn’t just nonsense. It’s constructed in order to appear meaningful, though on closer…


Health behaviors should not be guided by false beliefs

Photo by GoToVan (flickr).

In February, the World Health Organization warned of a pending “” of COVID-19 misinformation. Four months later, it would be hard to deny that a misinformation pandemic now exists that is characterized by informational uncertainty, factual inaccuracies, and delusion-like beliefs about COVID-19.

Conspiracy theories are a prime example of delusion-like beliefs that exist in the grey area between mental illness and mental health. With about 50% of the US population and other countries endorsing at least one, conspiracy theory beliefs are normal phenomena that are not generally considered to be evidence of mental illness. …


Back in 2014, Donald Trump went on Fox & Friends to that “when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.” It has been claimed that a year earlier, Trump chief strategist-to-be Steve Bannon of wanting to “bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.” …

Joe Pierre

Dr. Joe Pierre is a psychiatrist, UCLA professor, and author of the Psych Unseen blog at Psychology Today. Twitter @psychunseen.

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