Catherine Bennett wrote a good piece in the Observer criticising the Young Foundation’s new report and the general ‘politics of wellbeing’. She writes: It may not be a very scholarly term, but for think tank fashion and versatility, you can’t beat the word brittle. A few months ago, in a report called “Resilient nation”, Demos Read more…

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It’s interesting the way British public policy is beginning to bring together unemployment policy with mental health policy. The British government today brought out a 10-year strategy for dealing with depression, which includes the key strategy of doing more to get the mentally ill back into work. For example, under the new strategy, job centres Read more…

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[This is another chapter from the book I am writing, on the therapeutic techniques one finds in ancient philosophy, and how one can use them in modern life. I'd appreciate any feedback or criticism as usual. Thanks, Julian.] James Stockdale was a young fighter pilot flying bombing missions over North Vietnam, when his F-8 airplane Read more…

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Check out Barbara Ehrenreich discussing her new book, Bright Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, in the lecture [click here]. I’m not really convinced by her argument that positive thinking has become a massive thing because of neo-liberal downsizing – the cult of positive thinking has been big in the Read more…

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDiUG52ZyHQ] I just listened to the latest edition of In Our Time, on the history of Sparta. Interesting show. I was particularly interested in the experts’ discussion of the agoge and the crypteia – the hardcore military training that Spartan boys hand to undergo. Spartan childhood was fairly rough right from the beginning. If you Read more…

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