May 31, 2005
Beijing. A student leaps from a 24 storey building, unable to cope with his IAD. That’s Internet Addiction Disorder.
He left four notes before he committed suicide. In the letters Xiao, playing the role of a character from a computer game, said that he wanted to meet three friends who also played the game in paradise.
He did not even mention his parents in the letters.
This is a serious problem.
The last time his parents found him in a cyber cafe, Xiao Yi had not had any food for two days. He is said to have made a tearful confession to his father, saying that he had been poisoned by the games and could not control himself.
Experts say that attention should be raised about the issue among young people, who are vulnerable to IDA.
How to deal with one’s IAD? The helpful Dr Grohol at Psych Central has it all mapped out.
Some people simply get caught in Stage I and never move beyond it. They may need some help to get to Stage III.
tags: suicide, IAD
Just back from the Hay-on-Wye literature festival. Well, it was great. We camped out at the Hollybush Inn which, we discover, has changed somewhat since last year. At first we struggled to understand the bunch of insanely smiley helpers that guided newcomers along the dirt roads, helped out in the shop, or slopped out the, frankly gross, toilet block. Only later did we find out that the whole place has been taken over by a cult. Apparently the cult grades its members. One woman has attained grade 8, which infers invisibility. This woman wanders naked down to the river under the impression that no one can see her. Any wolf-whistles she hears are, she believes, purely coincidental. We met some good people whilst camping. There can’t be many places where you can sit around earwigging and every conversation you can hear is a literary one.
The wheather was fantastic, hot sunny. The location, as always, beautiful. The place was crawling with literary types. The ’stars’ mingles with the crowd in cafes, bookshops, at the events, and wandering the few streets of Hay. Before seeing Malcolm Gladwell talk, I’d already bumped into him three times. It amazes me that he turns out not to have heard of CS Peirce. It’s not surprising that he hadn’t prior to publishing “Blink”, but you’d have thought that someone would have mentioned him since.
The highlight for me was Chritopher Hitchens. He’s good VFM. He’s funny, he knows everyone, and seems to have memorised every word he has ever read or written. He tells a story, presumably true, of being asked by the vatican to be the devil’s advocate in the beatification process for mother theresa. He launched into religion early on, continuing a trend that I’ve noticed recently. In the last year or so many more media gurus have begun to weigh in against religion. Hitchens says you’ve got to do this all the way down. Fundamentalists are a bunch of people that really believe the crap written in the holy books. It is odd that this bunch, more than those that merely purport to believe, are villified. But Hitchens wants to take them all down, even the “sinister” Dalai Llama.
tags:gladwell, hitchens, tags:hay
We’ve had the youngest suicide. Here’s a contender for oldest suicide. A 100 year-old man steps in front of a train.
May 27, 2005
George Orwell said that second hand bookshops will never die. But in the UK half of all second hand bookshops have closed in the last three years. Tomorrow, however, I’m off to a small town with 38 bookshops: Hay-on-Wye. It’s the annual literature festival held in one of the most beautiful places in the universe.
I’m not planning on seeing much, maybe Christopher Hitchens at the Economist debate on Saturday, and solo on Sunday. The fantastic thing about Hay is the surroundings, the bookshops, and the wandering literati.
Walking past a jewellers shop today I noticed a sign in the window.
10 YEAR GUARANTEE ON ALL DIAMONDS
How nice to have peace of mind. Just imagine how you’d feel if you accidentally dropped your diamond ring on a hard surface or, heaven forbid, inadvertantly left it out in the rain.
May 26, 2005
In Australia the greatest “at risk” age group for suicide is 25-34, in the UK 35-44. In the Netherlands and the US its the over 75s. (stats).
Why should aged men take their lives?
Men are very production-oriented and not process-oriented. They tend to build work relationships rather than personal relationships and often do not have the vocabulary to express grief
The theory goes that women suffer more from depression but are much more likely to seek treatment. With babyboomers getting older the number of older people attempting suicide is expected to double. Reports show that the older age group also choose to fall from a large height rather than the usual gunshot method of ending it all.
the World Health Organization and the U.S. surgeon general have highlighted the need for more comprehensive data on the occurrence of suicidal thoughts and attempts, with the assumption that such data would be useful for planning national health care policy, as well as for evaluating efforts to reduce suicide and suicide-related behaviors.
Recent studies have found that, despite a large increase in the treatment for suicide attempts, there has been no decrease in the number of people reporting suicide related behaviours.
News from Switzerland that one in ten attempt to take their own lives, half admit considering suicide. Similarly in New York one in ten students make a suicide plan, though of 150,000 attempts at suicide in 2000, only 84 succeeded.
News that the yellow boards I’ve been blogging about are to go.
Another familiar London sight may soon be a thing of the past, but whether this particular icon will be missed at all is still being debated. Bright yellow ‘murder boards’ are to go according to the Telegraph. Scotland Yard is about to ditch the boards because of concern that they generate public anxiety while adding little or no benefit to police investigations.
May 23, 2005
More incredible scientific breakthroughs
College students who get drunk at least once a week are significantly more likely to be hurt or injured than other student drinkers, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
remember you heard it here first.
A new breakthrough in understanding how the brain works when it comes up against sarcasm. No really . . .
* 1-The left hemisphere language cortices interpret the literal meaning of the utterance;
* 2-The frontal lobes and right hemisphere process the intentional, social and emotional context, identifying the contradiction between the literal meaning and the social/emotional context;
* 3-The right ventromedial prefrontal cortex integrates the literal meaning with the social/emotional knowledge of the situation and previous situations, helping the listener determine the true meaning.
Shamay-Tsoory says, “A lesion in each region in the network can impair sarcasm, because if someone has a problem understanding a social situation, he or she may fail to understand the literal language. Thus this study contributes to our understanding of the relation between language and social cognition.”
So now you know.
photo from flickr
May 21, 2005
It’s banksy time again. In new york recently, he covertly added his own artworks to various galleries and museums. Well his additions have been found again, this time in the british museum. The text of the exhibit ran:
This finely preserved example of primitive art dates from the Post-Catatonic era. The artist responsible is known to have created a substantial body of work across South East of England under the moniker Banksymus Maximus but little else is known about him. Most art of this type has unfortunately not survived. The majority is destroyed by zealous municipal officials who fail to recognise the artistic merit and historical value of daubing on walls.
He’s also quoted as the inspiration behind secret wall tattoos.