Thursday 28 September 2023

Self-identifying is completely out of control

The age of pandering to individuals and their whims might, I suppose, be seen as some asymptote of the rising trajectory launched by the individualism of the 1960s, coupled with a kind of American liberalism-positivism that says "you can be anything you want! [sotto voce ... if you are willing and able to do what it takes]".

Well, not really.  As well as the lunatic business of allowing young people (often in the hopefully-temporary grip of some pathological condition) to re-gender themselves upon a whim and no meaningful rationale, there are other worrying trends**.  A very good friend of mine, a qualified and highly experienced psychotherapist, tells me that people these days are prone to walking into consulting rooms and self-declaring themselves to be suffering from PTSD.  And of course 'ADHD' is bandied around equally loosely - frequently by parents excusing their badly-behaved offspring, & schools ditto.  Both conditions, if they are to be meaningful, require careful diagnosis: in the case of PTSD, requiring weeks if not months of observation.

Are these complaints the statements of practitioners trying to make a role for themselves?  Well, I think we can discount for that and still recognise that things have gone a long way down a ridiculous road.  We know what Gove means about 'experts'; but technical expertise on serious matters is still not to be idly skipped past.  But the evidence-resistance of much of the population is growing as fast as the antibiotic-resistance of many a strain of nasty bug.

The consequences may be just as bad.  We are all doomed to be dominated by people who think they are Napoleon: and we aren't allowed to disabuse them - still less deploy the Men with White Coats ...



** There's another complete discussion to be had about the self-identifying, self-appointed "voices of the community" who step in front of the camera / Police panel / parliamentary enquiry in order to ventriloquise said "community" for malign purposes of their own.


Sobers said...

"And of course 'ADHD' is bandied around equally loosely - frequently by parents excusing their badly-behaved offspring, & schools ditto."

Er no, its bandied around by parents trying to get their child statemented so they can get more benefits.

Anonymous said...

Er no, its bandied around by parents trying to get their child statemented so they can get more benefits.

I operate in this area and there is a degree of truth (tiny though). There is more abuse by those old enough to know better.

The biggest issue though are those (correctly) self-identifying and not been able to access the men in white coats they need. There are consequences where potentially productive people are removed from society and find it more and more difficult to get back to some form of normality.

We've allowed ourselves to lose sight of the important infrastructure stuff. We just need to get back to the basics and try to catch up - a difficult political sell.

Lord T said...

Experts have taken a bit of a kicking lately. People see 'experts' talking about LBABC, Climate Change and Covid and it is clearly propaganda. SO I now consider experts with suspicion and don't give the the automatic consideration that they know what they are talking about.

formertory said...

I agree with ND and Lord T; but would add that the description of people as "experts" has mushroomed more and more as social media takes over and the age of clickbait causes the tiniest morsel of "news" to be pronounced upon by "an expert" - with little to no evidence of the degree of expertise possessed by "the expert". And no assurance that there isn't a financial or political agenda in play.

When Facebook arrived - in what, 2007? - I decided I wanted nothing to do with it because it was fairly obvious to a miserable git like me that it held the potential for some pretty antisocial stuff. And yet (NOT being an "expert"!) I completely failed to understand the power of the medium to distort and influence, and certainly didn't see how vacuous politicians would allow themselves to be manipulated as they try to keep their jobs, influence and self-importance. Add TikTok, Twitter / X, even Instagram and YouTube and the rest to the mix and any sort of "normal" society - as we used to understand it - becomes impossible because it short-circuits reason and responsibility.

Add uncontrolled immigration from places with some very, very weird ideas of societal norms to the mix, and our society will be eaten from the inside outwards over the coming decades.

Did I mention that I'm a bit pessimistic about it all?

dearieme said...

I admire the chap who refused to pay a ULEZ fine because he identifies as an electric bus.

ADHD children: I assume the A stands for 'arsehole' but what do the DHD stand for? Detestable, horrid, disgusting?

Anonymous said...

I want to be the first person to self-identify as a far-right conspiracy theorist.

Elby the Beserk said...

Identify as means "pretend to be". Fine for kids, in adults an indication of serious mental instability.

Which is what Captcha is causing me - now get it before I write, as I am writing and after, and I get them as well when in mid-completion of another.

FFS, Nick. PLEASE TURN IT OFF. How many bots post here, and who cares?

Nick Drew said...

OK Elby, we'll give it a go.

Seeing as how you self-identify as not-a-bot ...

jim said...

"The evidence-resistance of much of the population". Therein lies the nub, over the last 60 years we have educated a great many people in the arts of framing argument, abstruse legal argument, propaganda and the intricacies of political and media science. In the past very few writers, lawyers, priests, journalists or politicians understood in depth the technology of their craft. Now every competent practitioner does.

Which leads to power moving to the hands of those prepared to use it. Fifty years ago Gay Liberation was a thing, having pretty boy policemen hanging round public loos provoked trouble. The protesters knew who the judges, lawyers and politicians not 'out' were. No one wants a protest group turning up at their house or place of business or Parliament yelling their name and waving placards. This is fully understood any political grouping from the religious to the profane. Add in social media and a universal disregard for truth and logic across the whole political-media spectrum and we have a space where every fad is catered for and defended vigorously.

To quote David Gauke regarding politics 'problems are there to be exploited not solved'. Which as an FT commenter noted leads us to a Munchausen syndrome by proxy - today's political-media landscape.

E-K said...

ADHD is a predictable diagnosis. I can tell you which parents are GOING to have kids with ADHD before they've conceived.

It is classed as a High Rate dependency and therefore qualifies for full benefits and things such as fast passes at theme parks because the poor bairnes can't wait in queue.

Step niece had it and so too her wayward daughter to father anon (conceived when she was on yet another all nighter aged 14)

Now the kid is 18 and has been living on her own since age 14 while mum is shacked up in a love nest with her older divorcee chav boyfriend. All night parties and a shattered neighbourhood of course - a wrecked house and garden too and a neglected dog in tow.

It was one of the things that drove my brother nuts and made him kill himself.

We hear that mum - now that her kid is not a meal ticket anymore - now has PTSD over David's suicide. Neither my mum nor I are claiming that !!!

We are just glad to be out of the vicinity of this howling chaos.

We said to Dave's wife "Now Steph is off with her boyfriend why don't you take Lilly in ?"

"Oooh no. Lilly has her own life now !" With live-in lesbian lover in the same class at school, living like wife and wife. She was sixteen at the time.

E-K said...

The grand-daughter Lilly is living in her Mum's house alone - supposedly an ADHD full-benefit dependent without the state's knowledge.

I can't dob them in it because My mum's house is nearby and vacant and we can't sell it at the moment. It is not beyond them to do something nasty to it.


Good men who say nothing and all that... but this dependency is NOT a fiction, there is a good living to be made from it.

E-K said...

PS. I want to self identify as 21.

Why can't I ?

Anonymous said...

Funny, I don't have any problem with captcha. Brave browser.

Jeremy Poynton said...

Well that didn't work Nick - again presented with Captcha before I started writing!

Jeremy Poynton said...

And after posting as well!

Jeremy Poynton said...

As for myself, I identify as a Black Californian, and claim my $50 million from Gavin Toothsome.

Anonymous said...

More concerned by the number of people self-identifying as the next PM. Most are bat-shit crazy with no ability to turn promises into action. But then neither have the last incumbents - save one.

Caeser Hēméra said...

I suspect a lot of this is down to "kidulting" - an infantile worldview migrates things into 'good' and 'bad', and plops themselves automatically into the 'good' pile, therefore anything they do is aligned with 'good'

Anything they do wrong, therefore, is either in the furtherance of 'good' or Not Their Fault.

So ADHD and PTSD are the modern demons infesting them, and the pharma companies (begin playing Tubular Bells here) are the exorcists.

A certain amount of this come from te Abrahamic religions, with forgiveness being a core theme, whilst a dose of Egyptian lore might be a bit more helpful - a heart lighter than a feather being a Stone Age attempt to grasp that a person can only be defined as good or bad after death, when their deeds can be measured.

Meanwhile, people with real ADHD and PTSD get blocked from support by the navel gazers.

Nick Drew said...

I threw the Captcha switch as requested

I. too, see it has come back

I am at a loss. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

It’s astonishing how much of this stuff can be traced back to the late medieval debates between nominalism and essentialism. Self-identifying is nominalism taken to its logical consequence.

E-K said...

Aged sixteen we had a speech day at school. The brightest and most beautiful girl from the nearby Girl's School got up and delivered her eloquent speech to a beguiled audience on "What is Normal ?"

I thought at the time A) She's so amorphous that I can't argue with her, it would be engaging in combat with a beautiful cloud and B) The West is totally fucked !

E-K said...


Talking of Dave's widow and her chav family. They all live in the same close in their own state-provided houses with not a day's work between them.

Grandma - on her own
Widow - on her own (we think !)****
Grand daughter - on her own in her mum's house
Mum - living with boyfriend in his own house

Half of Dave's ashes were put in a *nice* box made to look like a grand piano with his face on it. She'll probably turn that around when the milkman grinds her tits.

E-K said...


I don't tick "I am not a robot" because I am a robot. I self identify as such now ... but in doing so it also seems to stop me going through the verification process to comment on this site.

E-K said...

... When AI takes over you'll see that I made the right move in self-identifying as a robot.

I wonder if the immaculately logical AI will buy it though.

Anonymous said...

E-K - lol !

Off topic...

"The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) is calling for the Lucy Letby inquiry to cover statistical evidence used in the trial of the serial baby killer, saying it can be difficult “to draw conclusions from suspicious clusters of deaths” in hospitals."

Good idea imho. It bothered me when the news reports said the deaths had stopped after she was taken off duties, but didn't mention that the hospital had stopped taking on such sick babies who were now being seen elsewhere.

andrew said...

I talked to someone claiming to be Napoleon last Saturday.
Not so easily fooled, I saw straight over him.

jim said...

Manchester - Sunday to Wednesday - Dullsville. Nothing useful said, just the usual well rehearsed mantras with no concept of how GB plc will ever become prosperous again. We wait and see if the long predicted train set story pans out as expected. Not even any good groping stories.

Next Liverpool - Sunday to Wednesday with Mr Dull. Probably wise not to say too much, don't feed any red meat. Just let the Tories hang themselves. Perhaps just a hint of the axe and chopping block for the very rich and very fat. Just for show you understand. The usual mantras expected with no concept of how GB plc will ever become prosperous again. Not even any good groping stories.

BTW, look forward to the Letby story.

E-K said...

Jim - The Blob rules whoever gets in.