Author: Paul Tuohy

‘The Psychopath Test’, a Book That Leaves You Dumbfounded

A reflection on ‘The Psychopath Test: a journey through the madness industry’, by Jon Ronson. Jon is fantastic at weaving unrelated interviews into a maddening riddle. The Pyschopath Test is a bizzare collection of stories from 9/11 deniers, to wrongly accused pyschopaths, to new and upcoming messiah’s. Each new piece shocks me or leaves me dumbfounded. And then there’s Jon, always processing each fact with a good amount of skepticism. Both of us fall helplessly further into a world we don’t understand. It introduces new information and then smudges that understanding until you and the author are at a loss as to what to make of it. After while, I started to question whether I was going to learn anything from Jon’s mystery van road trip. Jon pauses often to reflect on his thoughts. He becomes fixated on the parralels between diagnosing humans with pyschopathy, and the challenges of trying to capture human nature in words as a journalist. Jon even questions if he was the best person to have unpacked the madness industry. Jon’s like an …

Crisis Support for Young Paedophiles (Pedophiles)

I took a call from a help-seeker, an under 16-year-old girl, who thought she might be a paedophile. In my head, a paedophile conjures an image of a balding white male who drives a white van. The paedophile I was talking to was 14, in High School, and struggling to admit what her fantasies meant.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Thoughts on The Handmaiden’s Tale *This post hase very little editing, is constructed to reinforce my new knowledge, and therefore not that valuable to the public. I publish it to start a habit of reflection that I hope becomes valuable to more than just me. The book is unsettling, seems unresolved and therefore more of a blip, a small casm into the memory of the protagonist, a moment in “history” that we had forgotten. The whole setup, it’s slow build, the shifts between present and past slowly make up a landscape that seems feasible. I think that’s what I hear predominantly from readers. This scenario could occur. With the amounting political shifts around the world, the direction into nationalism posted by the Trump Administration and Brexit, and the forking and firewalls occuring across the internet, their is a feeling of unpredictability. Maybe with the advent of unicorn billion dollar startups like Uber, the notion of black swan events is being revealed. The ability for corporate giants to built into movements that circumvent local jurisdiction. The …

Nassim Taleb, Black Swan

Thoughts on The Black Swan *This post has very little editing, is constructed to reinforce my new knowledge, and therefore not that valuable to the public. I publish it to start a habit of reflection that I hope becomes valuable to more than just me. Taleb describes the complexity of randomness as it is – unknowable. Randomness isn’t statistical randomness, as he puts it ‘Ludic Randomness’ or some platonic probability. Statistical randomness only occurs within manufactured contexts like casinos or politics. These contexts would fit within mediocristan – I think this refers to the mediocre impacts of randomness – they are in some ways predictable somewhat like a fractal pattern. The unknown unknowns is true randomness – it is not just the map or our interpretation of reality – it is the territory. It is the black swan. The analogy of the black swan is we knew for century of only white swans. I.e. the “Truth” was Swans = White. Until black swans were discovered in Australia, and the truth was dramatically changed. This demonstrates …