Avoid US route: Indian minister says American way is ‘recipe for disaster’, the Guardian, by Jason Burke. Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, tells the British newspaper that Indians should not aim for an American lifestyle. How to live with climate change (subscription may be required), the Economist. The Economist argues that the best protection [...]
I have been so busy over the past few days that I have not been able to write all the blog posts I would have liked. There follows some brief notes on subjects I would have liked to have covered in greater detail. In the run-up to the publication of the 20th anniversary Human Development [...]
It is looking increasingly certain that the trend to classify everyday behaviour as abnormal will intensify further. Proposed changes to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) unveiled last month would widen the definition of psychiatric disorders substantially. If the proposals are adopted when the enormously influential reference work is [...]
This week, virtually unnoticed, the British government announced an intervention into the minds of the country’s inhabitants. Although it was pitched as a strategy to deal with mental illness it has implications for the whole of British society although it is particularly aimed at the poor. The official New Horizons website run by the Department [...]
Geoff Mulgan, the director of the Young Foundation and a former senior adviser to Tony Blair, has a comment piece in the Times (London) arguing that poverty should be redefined in psychological and psychosocial terms. In relation to the former he argues: “Most of the arguments about poverty in the past have focused on material [...]
The way things are going it looks like it will not be long before virtually everyone is defined as mentally ill. If you think this is an exaggeration you should read this article by Christopher Lane in Slate. He points out that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is seriously considering classifying shopping, among other everyday [...]
I have written the following letter to the Financial Times in response to yesterday’s particularly outrageous article by Richard Layard on happiness as a goal of public policy. There is much more I would have liked to have said but space is obviously limited in a letter to a newspaper: “Sir, Richard Layard is entitled [...]
Today’s Observer newspaper includes an article on how anxiety about the recession is “forcing the government to offer psychological help to millions of people facing unemployment, debt and relationship breakdown”. Evidently the plan: “will involve training 3,600 more therapists and hundreds more specialist nurses, psychotherapy centres will be established in every primary care trust by [...]
Kate Pickett, one of the co-authors of Spirit Level, has emailed me to say I misrepresented some of the book’s statistical arguments in my 5 March post. I did point out that the post makes clear it is based on a limited range of sources – I have not read the book yet. However, in [...]
The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published today in Britain by Allen Lane, looks set to become an influential addition to the enormous and dubious growth sceptic canon. The two authors are proving popular on the circuit for such things including appearances on the Moral Maze with me yesterday, Start the Week [...]
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