NTSB board member commenting on co-pilot error in crash of Virgin Atlantic space vehicle: "Humans will screw up anything if you give them enough opportunity." And the humans who are supposed to anticipate the screw-ups also screw up sometimes.
Dogs look to people when determining how to respond to crazy green monsters. If you've had a dog, you've probably seen this. Something makes the dog nervous, and the dog looks at your face for cues.
Imagine what it would be like to hold the unshakable conviction that you are dead, or that a functioning body part attached to you is not part of you, as if your very essence or, in religious terms, your "soul," didn't extend into that body part. Imagine that conviction is as rock solid as your own conviction that you, and what you regard as your body, really do exist as a unified entity that constitutes a self to which you're referring when you use the words I or me. Difficult to imagine, no?
For those confused by the term, I would describe the self as that sense of conviction, across time and situation, that you are one and the same essential entity. This holds true even as the contents of your mind, your accumulating experiences, your body and your abilities may change dramatically. You are still you, no matter what changes occur in your mind and your body.
Of course, in the act of using the words you and yours in the description above, I'm guilty of begging the question, presupposing that everyone reading this intuitively feels that they are such an entity or self, and that we all know what that means. But we also use expressions like "I'm not myself," or "he's not himself," and we may describe someone with advanced dementia by saying: "that's not him" or "he's no longer there." So we also have a sense that this essential entity that exists through dramatic changes in composition can also be disrupted.
Really, the problem of nailing down the notion of "self" is as much a philosophical problem, as it is a psychological conundrum. We can come up with different slants in our understanding and attempt various definitions, but there is always something elusive about the concept of the self.
In the podcast posted below, NPR's Terry Gross interviews journalist Anil Ananthaswamy, whose book, The Man Who Wasn't There, investigates the underpinnings of the sense of self through a discussion of dramatic examples of disrupted selfhood, with particular attention to the neurological substrates of the self.
I award this podcast five stars for a thought-provoking discussion.
The drama continues. Of course, Trump's lawyer is wrong. Marital rape was recognized in Trump's home state of New York in 1984 and throughout the United States in 1993.
But I have no idea if Trump raped his ex-wife, and neither do you. Ivana said he did, then she retracted the claim or at least walked her statement back.
People often say crazy things when marriages are on the brink of divorce. They accuse spouses of rape, spousal abuse, child abuse and child neglect. A demonization factor kicks in when the parties are enraged, and rage is a common feature of divorce. Events are often reinterpreted in a wildly unflattering and self-serving light.
That doesn't mean spouses aren't sometimes guilty of terrible criminal acts, but when these accusations arise in the context of divorce, especially when infidelity is involved, it's best to maintain a skeptical position.
Get three or four ex-wives who independently tell the same story, and I'm listening. Get thirty-five women telling the same story, and we're almost surely talking about things that really happened. But if one soon-to-be ex-spouse tells an ugly story, without any corroborating evidence, be skeptical. People, when they're honest, will even admit, sometimes, that they were effectively insane during a divorce, doing and saying crazy things that they wouldn't have said if they were in their right mind.
Most unfairly to Donald Trump, virtually the entire Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party would like to see the rape accusation stick in the public imagination. While Trump has done plenty to sully his own reputation using nothing but his own big mouth, in my opinion, as a clinician who has worked with many divorcing individuals and couples, using this accusation against Trump is just not right. Unfortunately, this is American politics today.
As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment - which I do not believe -- and which I apologize for entirely.