good words. autokoenony. ubuntu.

autokoenony: a sense of being one indi­vid­ual among many, a dis­tinct indi­vid­ual in inter­ac­tion with a group

the word “autokoenony” (from the Greek “auto” mean­ing self and koinonia” mean­ing com­mu­nity) to invoke the idea of “a self who is both sep­a­rate and con­nected”. It’s much like the idea of ubuntu – “I am because we are, and we are because I am.”

ubuntu: — n (South African) human­ity or fel­low feel­ing; kindness

photo. fire and ice.


from der spiegel inter­na­tional pic­ture this
fire and ice

Chicago Fire Depart­ment Lieu­tenant Charley De Jesus sur­veys an ice-​covered ware­house that caught fire on the city’s South Side Tues­day night. Offi­cials said it was the largest fire the depart­ment had bat­tled in years, with a third of all fire­fight­ers in the city work­ing to con­trol the blaze. The city faced freez­ing tem­per­a­tures again on Thursday.

genetics. twin studies. psychiatry.

Mad­ness Explained: Psy­chosis and Human Nature by Richard P Ben­tall con­tains a chap­ter that also chal­lenges the twin stud­ies chal­lenged below.


Jay Joseph, Psy.D.
Psy­chi­atric Quar­terly, Vol. 73, No. 1, Spring 2002 (°C 2002)

wiley­witch sez: Though it is widely con­sid­ered to be axiomatic that men­tal ill­ness is genet­i­cally deter­mined, upon analy­sis most of the research show­ing a con­cor­dance is, at best, ques­tion­able, and at times fraudulent.

Today, it is widely acknowl­edged by pro­po­nents of the genetic posi­tion that fam­ily stud­ies are con­founded by envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, since fam­ily mem­bers share both com­mon genes and a com­mon envi­ron­ment. As a pair of psy­chi­atric geneti­cists recently put it, fam­ily stud­ies can pro­vide only “the ini­tial hint that a dis­or­der might have a genetic component”

This is what I like to call, “Have I men­tioned that I lived with my mother?” A state­ment that has too often been met with what I call the “ther­a­peu­tic glaze.”

A ques­tion about iden­ti­cal twins sep­a­rated at birth

…let us sup­pose that a 20 year-​old pair of Ger­man reared-​apart male MZ twins, sep­a­rated at birth and brought up in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, had been reunited in 1940. A researcher would prob­a­bly notice sev­eral strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties. Both might be wear­ing swastika arm­bands, have short-​cropped hair, give stiff arm salutes and rail against “the ene­mies of the Reich.” The val­ues, beliefs, behav­iors, and even wardrobes of these twins might be remark­ably sim­i­lar, yet the con­clu­sion that these sim­i­lar­i­ties are caused by com­mon genes would be quite erroneous.

Con­tinue read­ing

mental health. recovery movement. history.

from recov­ery in reach an intro­duc­tion to the his­tory of the recov­ery movement

In 1881, researchers at Mass­a­chu­setts’ Worces­ter Asy­lum for the Insane learned about recov­ery when they sur­veyed 1,157 peo­ple who had been dis­charged dat­ing back to 1840. Of the patients who were dis­charged as “recov­ered,” 58 per­cent remained well for the remain­der of their lives. The idea of recov­ery in the United States is also closely con­nected to the recov­ery move­ment in the sub­stance abuse field, par­tic­u­larly with Alco­holics Anony­mous, which began in the 1930s as a fel­low­ship of peo­ple focused on sobriety.

The nor­mal process of recov­ery was often stilted in the United States through­out the 1940s and 1950s as state hos­pi­tals sought more to con­fine patients than to help them recover. Even through­out the years of dein­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion that began in the 1970s, peo­ple with men­tal health dis­or­ders were fre­quently told that they would likely get worse and even lose their jobs and their friends. Despite these false­hoods, peo­ple with men­tal health dis­or­ders have con­tin­ued to believe in them­selves and in one another and to help one another recover.

fine art. painting. elizabeth stanhope-​forbes.

Eliz­a­beth Adela Stan­hope Forbes, Will-o’-the-Wisp, ca. 1900; On loan from the Wil­helmina and Wal­lace Hol­la­day Collection

from the national museum of women in the artspro­file of eliz­a­beth adela stanhope

An estab­lished pro­fes­sional artist by 1885, she set­tled in New­lyn, Eng­land, where she met and mar­ried the painter Stan­hope Alexan­der Forbes. Together they opened the New­lyn Art School in 1899, teach­ing artists to paint from nature. Despite being a cofounder of the school, she strug­gled against the per­cep­tion that women should not work out­side of the home unchaperoned.

In addi­tion to work­ing in water­color, pas­tel, oil paint­ing, and etch­ing, Forbes also wrote poetry and authored and illus­trated a children’s book, King Arthur’s Wood (1904). She exhib­ited in Lon­don at the Royal Acad­emy of Arts and the Royal Insti­tute of Painters in Water­colours. Addi­tion­ally, she won awards includ­ing an 1891 medal for paint­ing at the Paris Inter­na­tional Exhi­bi­tion and an 1893 gold medal in oil paint­ing at the World’s Columbian Expo­si­tion in Chicago.

violence. domestic. guns.

leslie mor­gan steiner: why domes­tic vio­lence vic­tims don’t leave

from what we aren’t talk­ing about when we talk about gun con­trol by mon­ica j. casper

Find­ings from the National Vio­lence Against Women (NVAW) Sur­vey doc­u­ment that inti­mate part­ner vio­lence in the U.S. is per­va­sive; that women are far more likely to be vic­tims than men; that women expe­ri­ence more injuries than men; and that vio­lence against women is fre­quently accom­pa­nied by emo­tional abuse and con­trol­ling behav­ior. At least 25% of women in the U.S. have expe­ri­enced some form of domes­tic vio­lence in their life­times, and the num­bers are prob­a­bly higher given how infre­quently abuse is reported. The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice esti­mates that up to six mil­lion women per year are phys­i­cally abused by an inti­mate part­ner. Approx­i­mately 19.5% of fam­ily vio­lence cases involve a weapon.