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Re: babble has taken the charm out of transference :-( » orchid

Posted by Tamar on October 21, 2005, at 15:47:48

In reply to Re: babble has taken the charm out of transference :-( » alexandra_k, posted by orchid on October 21, 2005, at 14:26:27

> (as usual before someone comes and tells me "please say it is only your opinion and not the universal truth", I myself will say that :-))

I’m definitely not planning to say that! But you raise a very interesting point…

> I think many people just write books to speculate about things in their own minds without really thinking if it is ultimately useful or not.

I don’t know about self help books, but I’m guessing that in academic psychology people write books because they’ve read books that explain things in different ways, and they have their own ideas about how things really are. So they comment on the ideas that other people have had, and they add their own ideas. It does mean that every academic psychologist in the country (or the world) will probably publish a few books. And libraries will buy some of those books, and before you know it there are thousands of books in each subject area. And to other academic psychologists, each book has an original slant on a particular part of psychological theory (or at least, that’s the intention).

> Lots of these books and fancy scientific terms are really nothing if you understand what is behind it. Most things in life are really quite simple - especially in fields like psychology.
> People unnecessarily make things very complicated and make it sound complex and create a huge database of fancy terms and words in their minds and audience's mind.

I guess it depends on who the audience is. I will admit that I have a very limited understanding of transference because I am not a psychologist; I’m not the target audience for academic books on transference. But in my own field I don’t feel anything is simple really. Take myth: a simple concept, perhaps. But if we want to know how it really works we can look at it anthropologically, psychologically, literarily, sociologically, religiously etc etc… So although the idea itself is simple, if we want to understand all its nuances we have to explore it from a number of different perspectives. And that leads to a lot of books!

> It is getting so prevalent to the extent that even for simple simple issues, people think that without reading a book they may not understand anything.

I think you’re making a really excellent point here. I think it is a real concern: people feel that to understand anything they have to become scholars and there’s hardly any point trying unless they’re prepared to spend half their lives reading. It’s hard to feel confident about one’s understanding of a field without much study. And yet… perhaps it’s possible to feel confident about understanding as much as we need to know. For example, I don’t really understand HTML, but I know enough HTML to write a web page from scratch. It wouldn’t be a very complicated web page, but it would have pictures and text and it could be published on the internet. That’s enough for me… I’m satisfied with what I know about that. And I content myself that despite my lack of knowledge of HTML I know a heck of a lot about myth…





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