On group dynamics and the value of drugs

July 31, 2022


Been a while since the last newsletter, so quite a few articles to update you with—one brand new and four overhauled to the point they are essentially new. Also some background edits to the site, to speed things up and make publishing easier for me. Also some cleaning up from the transition from Armchair Collection/ive to btrmt.


New articles:

Useful Pharmacology:

We absolutely love some drugs. Others terrify us. The difference is familiarity more than any other single thing and the result is confusion. A much more principled framework for thinking about drugs is thinking of them as tools.

Full article at bottom of email

Recently updated:

Our success is not our own:

The success of the people we surround ourselves with directly influences our performance and sense of accomplishment. It’s worth paying attention to how we balance this, both with those more successful but also those less.

The value of relationship control:

‘Control’ isn’t always a bad thing in a relationship. In fact it’s necessary. We always have a level of control over our partners, we must just use it with their approval, and to meet their needs as well as ours.

The five stages of grief are a lie:

The five stages of grief were never supposed to be an orderly process, despite the common wisdom of many clinicians. Rather, anyone can experience any stage at any time, and the best support recognises this.

Explaining group dynamics:

Group dynamics are often thought to be a complicated thing to explore. But a 50-year-old model explains much of it with only three things: a need for Belonging, for Affection, and for Control.

Highlights from the Marginalia:

A Platonic take on the leadership crisis.: “the dilution of the aristocratic element in the mix may also have removed some of the grit that produced the pearl of leadership: Schools have given up providing an education in human excellence — the very idea would be triggering! — and ambitious young people speak less of obligation than of self-expression or personal advancement. The bonds of character and duty that once bound leaders to their people are dissolving.”

A short summary of Friston’s Baysian Brain theory: The brain is a prediction engine more than it is a reality processor.

Another update on Herman and Chompsky’s filters in the modern age.: In video form this time.


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That’s all from me! Enjoy.

Warm regards,

Dorian | btrmt.