Psychiatry, Brexit, Wittgenstein, Oscars, New York, British Breakfast


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Two Attitudes In Psychiatry

Scott Alexander | Slate Star Codex | 24th February 2016

"Attitude 1 says that patients know what they want but not necessarily how to get it, and psychiatrists are there to advise them. Attitude 2 says that people are complicated. Sometimes this complexity makes them mentally ill, and sometimes it makes them come to psychiatrists and ask for help, but there’s no guarantee that the thing that they’re asking about is actually the problem" (2,300 words)

Britain’s Unsolvable Problem With Europe

Clive Crook | Bloomberg View | 25th February 2016

"Europe's other governments won't help Britain prove the viability of more economic integration combined with less political integration. The split won't be friendly. Making a success of exit would not be impossible, but the odds are against. Does this mean Britain should stay? As a matter of fact, I'm not sure it does. Making a success of not exiting would also be difficult. I'd say the odds are against that too" (1,600 words)

Wittgenstein, Bewitched

Tim Crane | Times Literary Supplement | 24th February 2016

By the age of 32 Ludwig Wittgenstein had lost three brothers to suicide, studied under Bertrand Russell, gained and given away a fortune, fought in the Austrian army, and drafted his Tractatus in a prisoner-of-war camp. Believing he had solved all major problems in philosophy, he turned briefly to schoolteaching, built a "modernist masterpiece" house in Vienna, then decided philosophy had further need of him after all (3,312 words)

We’re Not Ugly People

A.S. Hamrah | n+1 | 25th February 2016

Capsule reviews of Oscar-nominated films. "Swinging hard for the visionary and missing, Alejandro González Iñárittu’s The Revenant is a slog — Klondike Kat crossed with a Matthew Barney film, dominated by Tom Hardy’s distracting-entertaining Appalachian accent. One thing is certain: Iñárittu has finally solved the problem of how to film a realistic bear fight. The next cinematic problem he should tackle is screenwriting" (4,480 words)

One Day, 625 Delays

Robert Kolker | New York | 23rd February 2016

A loose bolt at Union Square cascades into 625 delays across the New York City subway. A sick passenger on a downtown 5 causes 19 trains to be halted or re-routed. Rising passenger numbers, under-investment, deadweight bureaucracy and defeatist management have pushed the subway system beyond breaking point. "On bad days, the delays add up to a point of no recovery. On good days, it’s just plain bad" (6,100 words)

You Will Know Us By Our Silence

Clementine Wallop | Roads And Kingdoms | 24th February 2016

The British at breakfast. Almost a poem. "You will know us, the British holiday makers, by the nature of our quiet, our plans for the day that we whisper so as not to annoy anyone else’s boiled eggs and soldiers. Our eggs we will have ordered with a string of pleases, thank yous, and sorrys for things we haven’t done that wouldn’t have been rude even if we had done them. You may not know it, but we are dreading your speaking to us" (400 words)

Video of the day: The Chemistry Of Matches

What to expect: Popular science explainer, with super-slow-motion footage of a match combusting (2'02")

Thought for the day

The only people we think of as normal are those we don't know very well

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