The blog of February 28, 2018 relied heavily upon the wisdom of David Brooks but there was more to be found on the Internet. In another article Brooks asked students at the University of Chicago who there heroes were and they came up with Steven Pinker who is a psychology professor at Harvard. He was a hero to students. Brooks points out because of his positiveness, he fashions himself as an Enlightenment man. Brooks defines Pinker as a scientific rationalist who puts “tremendous emphasis on the value of individual reason.” “The key to progress is information — making ourselves better informed. The key sin in the world is a result either of entropy, the randomness that is built into any system, or faith — dogma clouding reason.”
David Brooks thinks that Pinker does not have all of the answers because he puts blinkers on – refusing to look at major issues such as the decline of social trust, the breakdown of family life, the spread of tribal mentalities, the rise of narcissism, the decline of social capital, the rising alienation from institutions and the decline of citizenship and neighborliness. The blinkers allow a good news story, without them it’s simply impossible when looking at the data from these moral, social and emotional spheres. Brooks concludes that the USA’s problems are relational; that “our nation is emotionally sick.” In my observation, Canada is not as far gone as the USA but it is heading in that direction, However, it is my observation that Vancouver is emotionally sick, so I pondered my rather scarce knowledge of the psychiatric diagnostic tool the DSM 5 and sent an email off to F Guy who is my go to guy when I have questions that involve psychiatry (because he is smart, knows a lot and keeps up with current research). This was the question I posed: “If we were to give Vancouver a DSM 5 diagnosis what would it be? The city lives in a state of unreality with separate, unreconcilable “selves” – the ordinary Canadians, the super rich Asians, the poorer, more assimilated Asians, disaffected youth and an enormous crowd of depressed deniers. So perhaps a form of schizophrenia? What would you do without me to tickle your brain? Hahahahaha” In my humble opinion F Guy took the easy way out by responding: DSM doesn’t make societal diagnoses though, only diagnoses for individuals. And the criteria for diagnosing a mental disorder are set at a fairly high threshold so one can be quite disordered and still not have a diagnosable mental disorder.” He did give me a link https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm. But I had no time for that as I was off to VPL (which is Vancouver Public Library not Visible Panty Line) as I had received word that preliminary research on my topics had been completed but I needed to fund further exploration. So I met with the extremely competent woman who had done the research and will continue to help. I was about to go and find more books when the fire alarm went off. It was sheer pandemonium, there were no systems in place and the messages on the loud speaker told everyone that there was a fire on floor four but if you were on floor five (which I was) you had to get out of the building necessitating going to floor four where there was supposed to be a fire. People acted like sheep, I raved and ranted.
Me: If there were a fire we would be dead as there is no procedures and no systems and sheer panic would ensue!
The Sheep said nothing. I finally reached the great out of doors. I did a video to post on Instagram in the courtyard. It is too long and I need the help of my Equinox trainers to edit it. Then I started chatting with a guy who said that this was the second time this happened to him. I suggested we go have some nachos and a drink at the Kingston. We did and had a lively chat. Then later I went home (alone) to eat and welcome multiple emails including a link to some news which I provided to my faithful readers.
Today it is personal training with Hottie and then a man and ped with Amy. The difficult and harrowing life of a retiree.