November 08, 2007


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In addition to links and comments about current events, the theme of this week's Goat Rope is drawn from physician, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl's classic, Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl developed his psychological theories, which he called logotherapy, at least in part from his experiences as an inmate of several concentration camps.

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Considering the heaviness of the topics covered in his book, Frankl's best known book is also hopeful and even humorous at times.

I was probably under 20 when I first read it. It made enough of an impression on me that parts of it have stuck with me through the years. On re-reading it in a new edition, I came upon a key sentence that could have made my life a whole lot easier. It was contained in an essay added to later versions of the book.

But first, ask yourself this question: have you ever wished you could go back in time and do things differently knowing what you know now? Yeah, me too...

Well, here's the part I missed. According to Frankl, the "categorical imperative of logotherapy"--his approach to mental health-- is this:

"Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!"

Doh! I wish I would have seen that the first time around...

HOUSE PASSES PROTECTIONS. The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to extend workplace anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation. That should give the domestic Taliban something else to howl at the moon about. They've been stuck on trying to ban books lately.

SPEAKING OF THE DOMESTIC TALIBAN HOWLING AT THE MOON, here's the latest on the book-banning effort in Kanawha County.

ANTHROPOLOGY GOES TO WAR? El Cabrero has been following this story for a while now. The Pentagon has developed Human Terrain System which seeks to embed anthropologists and other social scientists in the military. The American Anthropology Association has expressed its concerns about this trend. I'm still trying to adjust to the employability of anthropology majors.


More than 25 percent of the homeless population in the United States are military veterans, although they represent only 11 percent of the civilian adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

On any given night last year, nearly 196,000 veterans slept on the street, in a shelter or in transitional housing, the study by the Homelessness Research Institute found.

Meanwhile, many veterans are still not receiving the health care they've been promised.

AN ENCOURAGING SIGN? While newspaper readership declines, the often laugh out loud paper The Onion is doing great.

RELATIVELY SPEAKING. Here's an interesting take on the moral relativism of the right wing, which has been hammering others about moral relativism for years now.


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