Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"What addiction is, whether addiction is a disease--and if so, what kind of disease--cannot be determined purely from a medical or behavioral angle, but rather from more basic considerations of language, given the surrounding instabilities of meaning and logic." (p.63)

Gori, Gio B. Virtually Safe Cigarettes: Reviving an Opportunity Once Tragically Rejected. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2000.

Friday, April 10, 2009


"Although moths as a class are defenseless and can seek safety only in flight, and although they have hordes of enemies in the sparrows, the spotted flycatchers, nightjars (local name, "moth hunters"), and owls, although they are sucked under by fish, snapped up by bats, devoured by the omnivorous hedgehog, and captured in the webs of spiders, still they continue to do colossal damage." (p. 15)

Moncrieff, R. W. Mothproofing. London: L. Hill, 1950.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Freedom of Choice

"Individuals seldom realize to what extent their behaviors are determined by conformity-producing agencies. Many of these agencies are institutional, controlled by leaders of such institutions as the state, church or business organization. Others, although not under the direct control of institutional leaders, become effective through suggestion by prestige, the impression of universality or the desire of ego-enhancement, as in the growth of fads and fashions. An individual has surprisingly little opportunity in a modern culture to experience freedom of choice in the manner of expression of his personality." (p.41)

Boring, Edwin Garrigues. Introduction to Psychology. New York: J. Wiley, 1944.

Testamentary Arrangements

"The testamentary arrangements of eccentric people must, from time to time, have put their legatees in possession of some very queer property. I call to mind an old gentleman who bequeathed to a distant relative the products of a lifetime of indiscrimate [sic] collecting; which products included an obsolete field gun, a stuffed camel, a collection of bottled tapeworms, a fire engine, a church pulpit and the internal fittings of a public-house bar. And other instances could be quoted." (p.115)

Freeman, R. Austin. The Uttermost Farthing: A Savant's Vendetta. New York: Bookfinger, 1974.

Monday, January 19, 2009


"Indeed, it is a never-ending source of astonishment, even to many experienced clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, that the maladjustments from which most people suffer are in the main trivial almost beyond belief, when viewed impersonally. The experiences that most children and adults evaluate as tragedies certainly lack the Cecil B. DeMille touch." (p. 216)

Johnson, Wendell. People in Quandaries; The Semantics of Personal Adjustment. New York: Harper & Row, 1946.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


"In one home where simple and direct explanations were to be had for the asking, a boy of three watched in silence as his baby sister was being bathed. It was evident from his expression that he was troubled by what he saw, now that he was face to face with the fact that there was a human creature who lacked what he had and prized. He did not comment on what he saw, but he became more and more restless and finally, looking up with a troubled face, said merely, 'Mommie, I'm afraid.' "

Wolf, Anna W. M. The Parents' Manual: A Guide to the Emotional Development of Young Children. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1951. (p.163)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Attitude Toward the Body

"Having gotten some hints as to the freedom with which the patient can contemplate the fact that he or she has genitals, without ever having mentioned them, you may then take up a somewhat related topic: namely, does the patient's attitude toward his genitals apply also to the rest of his body? A gentle way to approach this, if you have learned nothing from the discussion of games and sports, is to ask if the patient is a member of the YMCA, an athletic club, or something of that kind, and to ask what he does in such a place. If the patient turns out to be a member of the swimming team, for example, the chances are that he is willing to have some of his skin seen in public, and you don't need to ask foolish questions about that."

Sullivan, Harry Stack. The Psychiatric Interview. New York: W.W. Norton, 1954. (p. 162)