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Psychopath Test - Week 4 - Ch. 10 & 11
The fourth week's discussion of
"A surfeit of checklists..."
Yes; I definitely agree that it's foolish (and possibly even harmful) to think that anything involving psychological function can be reduced to an objective checklist. I
think that such a checklist can be useful as a very coarse filter--i.e. if you are having visual and auditory hallucinations then there is probably not a problem with your kidneys--but there's also a temptation to think that the list can diagnose
This is much like thinking that a hammer is all you need to build a house.
"I thought for a second that he was crying. But he wasn't. He was just standing there." This sounds like Hunter S Thompson wrote it, although I don't quite know why.
Wait, that's it? That's the end of the book? The closest we get to the Big Dramatic Realization is a few comments to the effect of modern psychology being too inclusive in its definitions of illness and abnormality? No realization by the author that he was using the checklist as a sop to moral guilt rather than as the first stage in a diagnostic process? I guess that he does allude to the idea that society insists on creating morality-play narratives, and that society craves the moral authority conferred by objective rationality, but it's haphazard and scattered, and the author ultimately seems content to just combine all his columns with some new-written material and judicious editing, and sell the result as a book.
I loved this book. I read it faster than any book I've read in the past year or so. I was totally engrossed and still find myself thinking about it. Very worthwhile read.
I am just now catching up. I'm starting the final chapter. When I first started, I was strongly intrigued. By the end, I was just bored. Unless this final chapter works some real magic, the book really does feel like a disjointed series of narratives injected with just enough artificial consistency to allow them to constitute a single work.
Did you ever write up a post for the book?
Podcast is forthcoming. Just some scheduling issues.
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