A continual barrage of news and commentary about politics – particularly today’s politics – can be exhausting. Personally, I have cut my viewing of the news considerably, probably watching only 30 minutes a day. This has been a good thing. In the run-up to the 2016 election I was listening to or watching the news several hours a day.
An unexpected benefit of the Trump election has been that I am spending more time in my pottery studio, in reading, and in talking to actual people. I like to read articles about the brain; neuroscience and psychiatry. I subscribe to a couple of services that point me to articles and news in fields in which I have an interest, so I get articles from Discover magazine’s Neuro Skeptic, and an occasional article from Live Science.
A recent article, from the Conversation, reprinted in Live Science, presents a very clear view of the difference between lies and falsehoods and of the continuum of distortion of reality from the least distorted, “wacky view”, to completely distorted delusion.
The author, psychiatrist, Ronald W. Pies, Tufts University, is forbidden legally from making comments about the mental condition of public figures, and would not make an observation without actually examining a person, but there is little doubt of whom the discussion is about.
I am not in the habit of giving people lists of suggested reading, but for anyone, lay or professional, this is short and worthwhile. It gives a better understanding of the difference between the neighbor who thinks the earth is 6000 years old and the one who thinks Martians are living in his garage.