Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Internet and Suicide

I think this article makes some interesting points about how the Internet could be used as such a valuable resource by those ambivalent about suicide, but instead often exacerbates the problem. It's sickening that when somebody writes about their suicide attempt, and shows video of it, people egg them on instead of trying to get them to stop and seek help.

In a world where people increasingly turn to the Internet as a source of information and a way to document their lives, there should be less of these kinds of problems, not more. About 80% of people give somebody an indication that they are planning to commit suicide before actually doing so. I would not be surprised if that number went up, given obsessions with web forums and social networking pages (status indicators included). The question is: What will people do with that information? Hopefully in the future, people will offer help, or at the least discouragement, rather than treating the suicidal individual as an anonymous source of entertainment, as seemed to happen in the tragedy in the article above.


There are a number of things interesting that I find interesting about the case of a girl who committed suicide after a fictional love interest on MySpace spurned her.

My first reaction after reading the article linked above, though, relates mostly to the terms of service argument. Basically, it is ridiculous. If somebody went into a court room and said they didn't read the laws of the United States, so they didn't have to follow them, it wouldn't mean a damn thing. I can't see the not reading TOS argument holding any weight here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

CNN: Post-Election Blues

Article on post-election "depression"

Conceptual Knowledge

As a kid, I often felt frustrated going to Hebrew school because I was taught to read and chant Hebrew without knowing its meaning. Essentially, I was trained to stand up for my Bat Mitzvah and sound good, even if I had no clue what I was saying. I figured if I was going to spend all that time, I should at least be able to speak Hebrew somewhat conversationally and know what was going on.

These days, my statistics class feels rather similar to Hebrew school. I'm learning how to plug things into formulas to determine significance of just about anything. However, I generally don't know why I'm using one test or another, or really even what is going on within the test. If I had a giant set of data, I probably wouldn't know all that well what to do with it on my own. It's quite frustrating, and I've been attempting to get more books and do more internet research to fill in the gaps, but having difficulty. Hopefully this will change over time. I keep wishing the information would magically implant itself into my brain, but no such luck yet...


Today is a very happy Friday. My general life desire lately has leaned toward running away from PhD land to play with dolphins. As that is clearly not an option right now, I'm doing my best to just recognize that the first year sucks and tough it out.

Today, though, both clinical supervision and professional development seminar are canceled. Which means I can stay home and work on my stats quiz. Okay, the stats quiz is not happy. But the staying home is, especially if it snows as predicted.