Monday, March 30, 2020

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association and The National Institute of Mental Health define Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder, consisting of recurring thoughts, ideas, and obsessions that drive people to engage in repetitive behaviors.  About 1.2% of Americans have OCD, slightly more women than men, and typically show symptoms around age 19.

A diagnosis of OCD requires the presence of obsession and/or compulsions that consume more than an hour a day.  OCD causes distress and impairs work, social, or other important functions.  OCD thoughts cannot be settled by logic or reasoning.  It is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy, or both.

The most prominent example of Obsession:

 Fear of germs or contamination.

Examples of Compulsions:

Cleaning:  excessive hand washing and cleaning surroundings
Ordering and arranging things
Check your environment to reduce the fear of harming oneself
Hoarding
Binge eating
Drinking

Health experts in both the private and public sectors have issued a list of Instructions to the entire American population to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Protect yourself from germ-carrying individuals
Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently
Wash all delivered packages
Clean and disinfect your house daily
Keep a distance of 6 feet from another person
Stay home
Avoid social interactions

If the above measures are faithfully followed, the entire American population will become afflicted with OCD.  With the fear of another pandemic just over the horizon, these behaviors and thoughts will become ingrained in the population.

OCD will become a virtue, not a disorder.

Who knows how many other psychiatric disorders will be transformed into virtues.  Something to think about!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

2020: What's In and What's Out

What’s In                              What’s Out

Sinophobe                            Sinophile
Trust but verify                    Trusting China
Cold War 2.0                        Chimerica
Sovereignty                          Internationalism
America First                       Spreading democracy
Withdraw troops                  Invade foreign countries
Strategic stockpiles              Low-cost outsourcing
Borders                                Xenophobia
Remote learning                  Classrooms
Tele-learning                       Less political indoctrination
Social distance                    Social justice
Home schooling                   Public schools
Virtual conferencing            Conference rooms
Work from home                  Office buildings
Less travel                           Global warming
Less driving                         Air pollution
Staycations                          Foreign adventures
Self-reliance                        Social mixing
Victory gardens                    Discrete shopping trips
Self care                              Routine trips to doctor
Homemaking                        Nannies, cleaners
Homemaker                         Trophy wife
Stay home                            Street murders
Logic                                    Psychobabble
Facts                                    Ideology
Mental toughness                  Victimhood
Caring                                  Selfishness
Truth                                   Lying
Whatever it takes                 Fiscal prudence
Stagflation                           Three Percent Growth
Epidemiology                        Economic modeling
Robinson Crusoe                   Hillary’s “Takes a Village”
National unity                      Racism, sexism, homophobia
Self-improvement                Blaming others
Private enterprise                Calcified bureaucracies
Puzzles, board games           Bars, clubs
Factual reporting                 Schools of Journalism
Sweats                                 Business dress
Monogamy                            Hookups


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

March 3, 2020, California Primary Election: Political Diversity At An Elite Institution

Stanford, among the nation’s premier universities, is home to several thousand faculty and staff who own or rent a campus residence, along with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students who live in student housing.

Stanford encompasses eleven precincts in Santa Clara County.  The County Registrar of Voters reports combine eleven precincts into two multi-precincts. 

Precinct 2542 consists of six smaller precincts:  four are exclusively faculty/staff, one is exclusively student, and the other is mixed.

Precinct 2543 consists of five smaller precincts.  Three are exclusively student, one largely student, and one mixed.

Most students are registered to vote in their home state, not on the basis of their student housing.  This explains the smaller number of student voters in the Stanford precincts compared with permanent faculty/staff.  About half of all faculty/staff lives in campus housing.  I assume campus residents have similar political views to those who live off campus in neighboring towns.

Here are the results:

Precinct 2542, largely faculty staff: Democrat candidates for president received 1,561 votes (96.2%), Republican candidates 58 votes (3.6%), and the candidates of four marginal parties 3 votes (0.2%)

Precinct 2543, largely students:  Democrat candidates for president received 818 votes (97.8%), Republican candidates 15 votes (1.9%), and the candidates of four marginal parties 3 votes (0.4%).

Stanford claims to believe in diversity of political views, along with diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, etc.  Not much political diversity in these voting patterns.

By way of comparison, in the general election of November 2016, Hillary Clinton received 90% of campus resident votes, Donald Trump 5%, and the four minor party candidates 5%. 

One further vote merits inclusion in this discussion.  On the ballot was a legislative referendum, Proposition 13, for a $15 billion bond issue to modernize and rehab schools from K-12 through universities, to be repaid over 35 years at an estimated $740 million/year ($11 billion in interest) from general revenues (taxes).

The measure lost statewide, 54% no to 46% yes.  Santa Clara county voted 50.7% yes to 49.3% no, just barely for the measure, about 5 percentage points above the statewide vote.

Stanford’s precincts 2542 and 2543 voted 83.3% and 86.9% yes respectively, 37-41 percentage points to the left of the California electorate in favor of new debt and higher taxes.  Stanford’s faculty, staff, and student body are not representative of voters in Santa Clara County (home of Silicon Valley) and the State of California overall.

This pattern typifies elite universities and leading liberal arts colleges in America.  Maybe this explains strong student support for Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders.