Was recently forwarded this paper by a colleague. It is a fascinating read about the 2008 credit crisis which examines Klein’s formulation of manic defences and applies this to the broader corporate and government culture in the lead up to the events of 2008. Melanie Klein is known for her contributions to children psychiatry, in particular play therapy, object-relations theory, as well as her feuds with Anna Freud in the 1930s (Sigmund’s daughter and another prominent child psychotherapist).

A culture of mania: a psychoanalytic view of the incubation of the 2008 credit crisis (Stein, 2011)

“There are two contributions to theory. First, working with ideas from psychoanalysis and its application to social and organizational dynamics, the theoretical framework of a ‘culture of mania’ is formulated and developed. This culture is specified in terms of the four characteristics of denial, omnipotence, triumphalism and over-activity. Second, also drawing on psychoanalytic ideas, this article contributes a new notion of denial to the literature. While denial is usually taken to refer to the overlooking or ignoring of vulnerabilities and problems, the idea of ‘manic denial’ developed in this article refers to the concept that warning signs are indeed noted and observed, but that they serve not as warnings but as provocations to act manically in taking on more extreme risks.”

The full paper is available here, and well worth a look.


Today it was reported that Australian Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has refused to apologise for posters in her electorate office which label Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as racist, homophobic and sexist. The full article is here.

This is one of the offending posters:

The other poster has the caption, ‘Note to the Ladies: Make me a sandwich.’

Can’t let material like this go to waste!

For those wondering, the image is a screen cap from Arrested Development – hopefully we’ll see a new season next year.

What people think I do

February 19, 2012

I noticed there wasn’t yet one of these for psychiatrists, so I decided to come up with one myself…

Thursday Fragments

July 15, 2011

The other day I found myself having a chat with a colleague Z – she was supposed to be at a lecture by videoconference but as luck would have it the technology had broken down.  After being partially productive and demonstrating the ANKI powered question bank (http://wp.me/sklAI-anki) and musing on whether to give it away for free (like the legendary Kaveh exam notes on the ANZAPT website) or charge for the resource and turn it into a profitable business venture (like Rege’s CTF Course) [I suppose that depends on what actually drives me…], it quickly turned to entertaining irrelevancies.

There was some musing on her behalf whether an annual income of $100,000 was enough for a couple [Yes] because “I don’t think my boyfriend will ever get a job. He’s an arty sort who just does his own thing,” a discussion on whether media and social pressure to buy a house was overwhelming and if it was a good thing [Yes, No at the current time] and how real estate statistics (http://bit.ly/nFT4n9) were at least as dodgy as pharmaceutical company funded drug studies.  Somehow this developed into an entertaining discussion followed regarding observations about half Asian kids being either extremely intelligent or the polar opposite) and how this essentially seemed to depend on which parent was Asian and mandatory referrals to the Tiger mum Amy Tan and the High Expectation Asian Father meme (http://chzb.gr/bxyYYe), which I had never heard of prior.

Very (un)productive afternoon… 🙂

This is a screenshot from one of my old stomping grounds: www.gamingforce.org

They always put out a fine effort each year for April Fool’s Day.

With this theme change and those flowers, hearts, sparkles, rainbows and Frienship & Magic signs cascading down the screen they’ve really outdone themselves.

Wordless comic art.

March 6, 2011


Simply adore the style of this artist.

BOA is not Korean?

February 10, 2011

I’d always assumed that “BOA”, the artist behind Duvet from the Serial Experiment Lain anime was Japanese or Korean or… Asian.  While there is a Korean singer called BoA, the Bôa behind Duvet is an alternative/indie UK group.