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July 20, 2005

Reasons I'm Not ...

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Dodging all question of brains and talent ...

* The reason I'm not a philosopher is that much of what I want from philosphy is trustworthy life advice.

* The reason I'm not an economist is that I spend zero time marveling that people aren't economically rational. I start with the conviction that people are multidimensional and often confused beings, and I marvel that they ever do manage to act in economically rational ways.

* The reason I'm not a Literary Theorist is that what interests me lots more than my own thought processes is the experience of the arts as they're actually lived.

* The reason I'm not a photographer is that photographic possibilities leap out at me only after I put the camera away. When I actually do have a camera in hand, no good ideas for photos ever, ever occur to me.

See also: Life's Cruel Ironies.



posted by Michael at July 20, 2005


Hi. I found your site when searching for info on KP and saw your "Goodbye KP" article. Well, it's true what goes up must come down. All good things must come to an end. But KP still has a long way to go before that.

If you care, please help save KP

Posted by: Andy on July 20, 2005 12:10 PM

Actually, I think you are a philosopher!

Posted by: annette on July 20, 2005 1:03 PM

PS--The reason I am not a psychologist is that I'm more interested in learning to feel good than I am in simply "understanding" all the reasons I feel bad, and forgiving sundry people for them!

Posted by: annette on July 20, 2005 3:04 PM

Does any writer (speaking of Literary Theorist) have the foggiest idea what drove him, and continues to drive him, to write? Or what makes a reader a reader, for that matter? Need, in both cases. But once you've said that what more can really be known about the whole business?

Posted by: ricpic on July 20, 2005 9:03 PM

Annette, check out Martin Seligman's recent stuff. He's the head of the American Psychological Association, an enormously influential theorist and researcher, and he thinks psych. should be helping people do exactly what you said you're doing.

Lots of links, but he's up on the Edge, where he talks about this kind of thing.

Posted by: PatrickH on July 21, 2005 12:38 AM

PatrickH -- Our minds run on parallel tracks: I've been trying to write some postings about happiness, and have been playing with Seligman's books as part of that. (Well, actually for fun too.) I think he's pretty good, don't you?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 21, 2005 12:01 PM

Thanks PatrickH, but I think Seligman may be wrong when he says modern psychiatry reduced the tonnage of misery but failed to increase the tonnage of happiness. I don't know honestly that they reduced misery that much--maybe by the ounces, not by the tons.

Posted by: annette on July 22, 2005 10:45 AM

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