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Interesting Links for 25-04-2012

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I don't think that long term therapy is a bad thing. I've been seeing my shrink for about four years and can see that I'm making progress (really dramatic progress between where I am now and where I was four years ago) but, you know, life constantly throws new challenges at you and sometimes causes setbacks and I'm still learning more about myself over the course of time and finding new ways to handle situations.

I don't think my therapist is "bad' because it's taking time and she certainly tells me things to do and doesn't just leave me with open ended questions.

It's just an ongoing process. And it does help. I know that I no longer get into pointless fights with my parents. I haven't been kicked out of a bar in years. I don't sit around wondering if people are trying to kill me. I don't create drama out of thin air anymore.

That means I've gotten better, but it doesn't mean I'm fixed yet either. I still get panic attacks (less then I used to, but still.) I still sometimes need independent advice about issues with Rome Girl (and other women.)

I'd honestly have been really dubious of any shrink who had told me they could solve my shit in 10 sessions. I like that there is a mixture of her telling me what to do when it's either really important or I ask her a direct question about it. But, I also like that she's letting me slowly build up new healthier ways to deal with things on my own.

The approach my shrink has taken may be long term but it has demonstrably made my life better.

For 30 euros a week I think that's a good deal.

I don't think it's bad for everyone - there are always people with a massive amount of baggage, neuroses, and other problems which aren't going to shift quickly (if at all). My own counselling took about a year and a half.

But (from my understanding) a lot of people are just a bit miserable because they're stuck, and could be helped to move out of their rut reasonably quickly, but have therapists who are more interested in hanging on to them than actually helping them get better.

I think the big issue is that there are people who are in therapy for years. You've had ongoing steady progress.

It's even apparent to strangers from across the ocean that you are better than you were a year ago. Some therapists see patients for a really long time with no noticeable result.

You can actually tell from my blog that I'm better?

That's cool!

Yes, absolutely.

There is less talking of the things that frighten or upset you.

You mention self-medicating (and glorification of) drinking and smoking much less.

You now talk a lot more about 'healthier' things like your relationships, your work, books, movies, and TV.

And even when these things upset you it is in a normal way. There is less paranoia and your responses are much more appropriate and healthy.

The recent health issues in your family and the bullshit they brought up might have once sent you into a tailspin, but you got just pissed off and worried enough and got over it.

You seem less afraid and more positive about your choices, work, and loves. Your therapist is still a gem.

Edited at 2012-04-25 02:06 pm (UTC)

I think her biggest skill is just calling me on my bullshit.

(Trust me I do still self medicate with booze and cigs, though not seven days a week anymore. Monday night is TV night and I stay in and watch a week's worth of television instead.)

Oh I know you do. But I think there was a time when you might have had a very hard time staying in even that much. It's easy to see that it isn't your life quite as much as it once was.

Maybe someday you'll be eating healthy food, using those smokeless cigarettes, and going for bike rides.

Or not :)

Fuck bike rides.

Fuck whoever invented the wheel.

(I'd probably switch to smokeless cigarettes if they changed the laws so I could smoke them in bars and on planes. As it is my local tabac charges 10 euros for one of them and it's very unclear how long that one would last and/or where I'd be able to smoke it. If smokeless cigs become both more cost effective and practical I have nothing against them. For me the difference between a tobacco cig and an e-cig is as marginal as the difference between a shot of vodka and a shot of tequila. But since the smoke Nazis have so far treated e-cigs exactly the same way as regular cigs the tobacco shops here have to charge an arm and a leg for them because there is no volume profit for them like there is on regular cigs and there is no clear advantage to them yet.)


But yeah. The author made the (I assume correct) observation that lots of people need something more decisive but get stuck in a rut of not really making any progress and not really expecting to. And recognises that some people have long-term issues that do need constantly propping up. But because those people never really came to him for therapy, doesn't necessarily know how _many_.

"Tor drop DRM on their ebooks. Charlie Stross points out how this in their best interests."

That's pleasingly balanced.

It's probably true (and something that I, and most people I know forget) that most people DON'T care about e-book portability and durability, and hence don't care about DRM*. But I'm very glad that someone is catering to my market!

We should probably all rush out and buy a bunch of Tor books!

* FWIW, I'd be totally happy with a special purpose device for reading non-portable e-books provided I had any expectation that it would GO ON working and not randomly delete my books, die with no way to back up my books, stop being produced with no alternative made available, etc, etc. I bought a lot of paper books from amazon, even I likely shouldn't have done, because it was convenient, and because I could always start buying elsewhere if I needed.

My Nook only has non-DRM epubs on it. Either because that's how I got them, or because I stripped the DRM off after I bought them. Those cannot be taken away from me. If they could, I wouldn't be happy paying for them (although I probably would use a Spotify-like streaming model for books).

although I probably would use a Spotify-like streaming model for books

Hm. It feels very strange to do that, since I'm so used to actually owning books. But it would fit my reading model well.

My feeling is that I want access to things, not ownership. I want to be able to watch DS9 whenever I feel like it, and if someone else will hold onto it on a file server and stream it to me at a moment's notice, then that's awesome. And if not, then I'd better have a local copy instead!

Makes perfect sense to me – it's just like going to the library, only without having to leave your chair!

"If you remember floppy disks then this will make you feel old..."

I mapped a network drive to B: once. I felt very adventurous! :)

"7 Commonly Corrected Grammar Errors (That Aren't Mistakes)"

Hm. I haven't previously given in to the new use of "literally". But maybe it's time to do so??

Another pet peeve is when people are correcting people who say "literally" to intensify something figurative, and say "you don't mean literally, you mean figuratively". NO THEY DON'T. Everyone KNOWS it's figurative. They're not trying to say it's figurative -- they're trying to say "very" or "I really mean it".

Come to think of it, what word would be best to use in place of "literally" if you want to mean "this is an analogy, but an exact one, that's not exaggerated"? "Actually"?

The "literally" one still gets to me somewhat. But I grit my teeht :->

And I think that you have to go with the context. I can't think of an alternative.

Yeah, I get that 'literally' annoys people, but I don't get why people get so angry about it. I'll only tease someone about the 'literally' thing if what they've just said would be amusing in some way if literal - if I think that the mental image is funny enough to draw attention to. And if it's not disruptive to the flow of the conversation.

I'm a bit of a grammar fascist even though I'm in principle trained to be a descriptivist, so I was relieved that the only one of these drums I bang is less/fewer, and even then it's reflexive, not something I care that much about any more.

I mean, some of those things I'd never do - I tend to avoid split infinitives for example - but I don't criticise them in others - to be honest, I thought even the prescriptivists had given up on split infinitives by this point...

The other old rule that I expected to see on there was the 'never end a sentence with a preposition' which, in writing at least, does I think make a person seem a little less erudite. That one I certainly correct in myself whenever I catch myself doing it.

Edited at 2012-04-25 12:18 pm (UTC)

I don't get why people get so angry about it

I'm not sure, but I think that level of anger is what you get when people feel defensive -- when they feel sure they're right, but they feel stupid because they can't EXPLAIN why they're right, so they hope the argument will just go away. The same sort of thing where people hate Harry Potter because it's so popular, but they didn't think it was so innovative.

'never end a sentence with a preposition'

I still tend to mentally categorise rules into "those that provide some benefit, which may or may not be worth it" and "those whose benefit is solely showing that you know to follow the rules".

Eg. using usual capitalisation rather than all-caps or no-caps provides a specific benefit: it's possible to read it. So I think it's a good idea.

Eg. Capitalising random nouns is not usual so it's wise to avoid it, but only because that's what everyone else does: if we did capitalise important nouns, the language would probably be equally good.

So to me, avoiding the new use of "literally" provides some small benefit: if "literally" is used to mean both, occasionally, it will be genuinely ambiguous. Likewise, any instance of using a new word when there's a perfectly good existing word. We already have "lend" and "borrow": what's the benefit of abandoning one and using "lend" for both? But if everyone else wants to, it's probably not worth fighting over.

But I don't see the benefit of avoiding ending sentences with prepositions. It feels like a mangling of some previous rule. Did people used to leave sentences half-finished? Is it a massive overreaction to people moving a preposition to the end of a sentence when it naturally belongs with a verb at the beginning.

I don't even know -- theoretically are we "supposed" to avoid similar constructions even if it puts the preposition at the end of a clause rather than the end of a sentence? It just feels completely pointless and contrary to how English is naturally used.

I mean, so long as people prefer to write that way themselves, and not critise other people for it, I'm absolutely happy for them to do so, but I'm curious if there's an actual rule I'm misunderstanding, or not?

Re: You literally just gave me an earworm


2012-04-25 03:44 pm (UTC)

OK, given the title, I'm definitely not going to click on the link :)

Re: You literally just gave me an earworm


2012-04-25 03:47 pm (UTC)

It's an amusing song.

Damn, you linked to a list, then there were more links at the end of the list... and now my lunch hour has vanished with no lunch involved. I hate it when that happens.

Oh noes! I'd drop round with more tea, but standing up makes my head swim at the moment :->

I'm now officially old At 35. *sigh*

I'm 34, and have enjoyed being old for a good year or so. 33 was especially awesome.

I'm enjoying being the age I am. But this is just one of those things. Like being called sir for the first time. Like the realisation that people won't get lost ever again because of smartphones and googlemaps.

All of a sudden you're accutely aware of the fact times change and time waits for nobody. And that those whippersnappers should get off of my lawn.

I have no idea what a therapist would do with me. I either know what my problems are, or what I want is too vauge. Not sure what good someone either contradicting or validating my choices would be - and it's all down to choices. Sometimes life (and/or yourself) put you in a tough spot and none of the solutions are good. I feel that you just have to get on with it.... which is easier said than done....

Edited at 2012-04-25 03:49 pm (UTC)

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