Mini Entries

I'm in a place in my work with my projects where I need to keep up a momentum, so despite my rambling about not writing, here I am writing for TealArt. Go figure. Also, if you're reading the RSS feeds, check out the totally cool new graphics I made for and the knitting savant(s).

So I have two completely desperate entire ideas that aren't nearly fleshed out enough (and probably won't be). One's about geek stuff and the other is about Freudianism. So here they are.

Early Adopting Once upon a time, I fancied myself something of a power geek, and I knew a lot about a great deal of technical this and that. I used PCs that I built myself, and I flirted with linux. I worked on the PHP/mySQL code that made TealArt. You get the idea.

Then I went to college, declared a psychology major, and switched to Mac. My computer geek interests these days are all about usability and ease of use. (I'm sort of kicking myself for not taking the psych ergonomics class these days). I used to say this more, but I think it's even more true now: I'm interested in getting the computer to do exactly what I want it to do without having to fuss at it, or having it fuss at me. I use streamlined editors when at all possible. I try and keep all my data local and information in efficient programs that keep the data organized. While I get a lot from the internet, lets think of it as the DVR approach to web-surfing.

But this can be frustrating because there are a number of programing things that I wish I were more able to do. For instance, I can think of a number of AppleScript type things that I would love to be able to add to VoodooPad. There are also programs that I know are going to be amazing, but they need more development time, and there's really nothing much that I can do except wait for the programers to get where I want to be. And its frustrating. angst

Freudianism This is more instep with the kind of entries I'm best at writing...

Anyway, like most people, I've been pretty recalcitrant with regards to psychoanalytic theory. All the usual complains: it's not grounded, it dehistoricizes and universalizes too much, and largely irrelevant most of the time.

A professor said to me last semester, after I made those complaints, something along the lines of: Marxism isn't that much more grounded, but people don't dismiss it so easily. I huffed and puffed, and then I realized that she there was probably something there. Now granted, I'd argue that most Marxist theory avoids a lot of the cultural/social messy-ness by being more specific, but aside from that...

Anyway, so I've been trying to keep an open mind about psychoanalytic-derived theories. Classical psychoanalysis is clearly flawed, and Freud is dated, [1] but psychoanalysis isn't all bad. For instance:

  • it allows the possibility to theorize the mind in a philosophical tradition
  • it allows us to consider mental functioning outside of our awareness
  • it allows us to think about formative experiences as, well, formative in the development of the individual
  • it allows individuals to be considered as individuals, rather than as simply constitutant parts
  • it integrates theories of normal personality with theories of abnormal personality
  • the discourse on psychonanalyical theory exists, for better or for worse, outside of typical academic institutional structures
  • it allows a place for subjective interpretation in the practice/theorizing of psychology and/or the social sciences.
  • So yeah, that's what I've been thinking about. Not exhaustive, or substantiated, but worthwhile, I guess.

Cheers, tycho(ish)

[1]though a friend recently pointed out, quite deftly, that Freud and other early psychoanalysts were incredibly radical for their times.
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