Archive for October 24th, 2012

October 24, 2012

Harm Reduction

Needle exchange

Harm reduction refers to a range of public health policies designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with human behaviors, even if those behaviors are risky or illegal. Examples of behaviors targeted for harm reduction policies include recreational drug use and prostitution. Criticism of harm reduction typically centers on concerns that tolerating risky or illegal behavior sends a message to the community that these behaviors are acceptable.

In the case of recreational drug use, harm reduction is put forward as a useful perspective alongside the more conventional approaches of demand and supply reduction. Many advocates argue that prohibitionist laws criminalize people for suffering from a disease and cause harm, for example by obliging drug addicts to obtain drugs of unknown purity from unreliable criminal sources at high prices, increasing the risk of overdose and death.

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October 24, 2012

The Influence of Sea Power upon History

mahan

The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783′ is a history of naval warfare written in 1890 by US Navy flag officer Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power throughout history and discusses the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet.

Scholars consider it the single most influential book in naval strategy; its policies were quickly adopted by most major navies, ultimately causing the World War I naval arms race. Mahan formulated his concept of sea power while reading a history book in Lima, Peru. The book was published by Mahan while he was President of the US Naval War College, and was a culmination of his ideas regarding naval warfare.

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October 24, 2012

Orgasmatron

Orgazmo

The orgasmatron is a fictional device that appears in the 1973 movie ‘Sleeper,’ which also shows the effects of a related device, an orgasmic orb. Similar devices have appeared in other fictional works. The term has also been applied to a non-fictional device capable of triggering an orgasm-like sensation using electrodes implanted at the lower spine. Author Christopher Turner has suggested that the orgasmatron was a parody of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘orgone accumulator,’ a device which claims to concentrate ‘orgone,’ a bioenergy theorized by Reich.

The orgasmatron is a fictional device in the fictional future society of 2173 in the Woody Allen movie ‘Sleeper.’ It is a large cylinder big enough to contain one or two people. The orgasmatron was made by decorating an elevator in the home where the movie was filmed. Once entered, it contains some (otherwise undescribed) future technology that rapidly induces orgasms. This is required, as almost all people in the ‘Sleeper’ universe are impotent or frigid, although males of Italian descent are considered the least impotent of all groups.

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October 24, 2012

Orgone

devo

Wilhelm Reich

Orgone [awr-gohn] energy was a hypothetical universal life force originally proposed in the 1930s by Austrian psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich. In its final conception, developed by Reich’s student Charles Kelly after Reich’s death, Orgone was conceived as the anti-entropic principle of the universe, a creative substratum in all of nature comparable to Mesmer’s animal magnetism, the Odic force of Carl Reichenbach and Henri Bergson’s élan vital.

Orgone was seen as a massless, omnipresent substance, similar to luminiferous aether, but more closely associated with living energy than inert matter. It could coalesce to create organization on all scales, from the smallest microscopic units—called bions in orgone theory—to macroscopic structures like organisms, clouds, or even galaxies. Reich’s theories held that deficits or constrictions in bodily orgone were at the root of many diseases—including cancer—much as deficits or constrictions in the libido could produce neuroses in Freudian theory.

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October 24, 2012

Orgastic Potency

Orgone

Within the work of the Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), the term orgastic potency referred to the ability to experience an orgasm with specific psychosomatic characteristics. Reich described it as ‘the real emotional experience of the loss of your ego, of your whole spiritual self,’ and believed it was essential for the capacity to love.

For Reich, ‘orgastic impotence,’ or failure to attain orgastic potency (not to be confused with anorgasmia, the inability to reach orgasm), meant that the undischarged libido, which he saw as a physical energy, might cause illness. This he defined as neurosis, arguing that ‘not a single neurotic individual possesses orgastic potency.’ According to one of his followers, Elsworth Baker, someone who can attain orgastic potency ‘cannot maintain a neurosis.’

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October 24, 2012

Quarter-life Crisis

the graduate

The quarterlife crisis is a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult. The term was coined by analogy with mid-life crisis. It occurs shortly after a young person enters the ‘real world.’ Austrian psychologist Erik H. Erikson, who described eight crises that humans face during their development, proposed the existence of a life crisis occurring at this age.

The conflict he associated with young adulthood is the ‘Intimacy vs. Isolation’ crisis. According to him, after establishing a personal identity in adolescence, young adults seek to form intense, usually romantic relationships with other people. The notion of the quarter-life crisis is explored by the 1967 film ‘The Graduate,’ one of the first film depictions of this issue. Other notable films that also do so are ‘Garden State,’ ‘High Fidelity,’ and ‘Lost in Translation.’ The 2008 web series ‘Quarterlife’ was so named for the phenomenon.

October 24, 2012

Identity Crisis

Tomato

Identity crisis, according to psychologist Erik Erikson, is the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence. Erikson coined the term. The stage of psychosocial development in which identity crisis may occur is called the ‘Identity Cohesion versus Role Confusion’ stage. During this stage (adolescence), we are faced with physical growth, sexual maturation, and integrating our ideas of ourselves and about what others think of us. We therefore form our self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of our basic ego identity.

Successful resolution of the crisis depends on one’s progress through previous developmental stages, centering on issues such as trust, autonomy, and initiative. Those who emerge from the adolescent stage of personality development with a strong sense of identity are well equipped to face adulthood with confidence and certainty. This sort of unresolved crisis leaves individuals struggling to ‘find themselves.’ They may go on to seek a negative identity, which may involve crime or drugs or the inability to make defining choices about the future. ‘The basic strength that should develop during adolescence is fidelity, which emerges from a cohesive ego identity.’

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October 24, 2012

Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

eriksons stages by brianne thompson

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development are eight stages through which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood, according to neo-Freudian psychologist Erik Erikson. In each stage the person confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds on the successful completion of earlier stages. The challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the future. However, mastery of a stage is not required to advance to the next stage.

Erikson’s stage theory characterizes an individual advancing through the eight life stages as a function of negotiating his or her biological forces and sociocultural forces. Each stage is characterized by a psycho social crisis of these two conflicting forces. If an individual does indeed successfully reconcile these forces (favoring the first mentioned attribute in the crisis), he or she emerges from the stage with the corresponding virtue. For example, if an infant enters into the toddler stage (autonomy vs. shame & doubt) with more trust than mistrust, he or she carries the virtue of hope into the remaining life stages.

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October 24, 2012

Psychosexual Development

 

Sigmund Freud

In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido (sexual appetite) that develops in five stages.

Each stage — the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital — is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the libidinal drive. Sigmund Freud proposed that if the child experienced sexual frustration in relation to any psychosexual developmental stage, s/he would experience anxiety that would persist into adulthood as a neurosis, a functional mental disorder.

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