Out of touch with reality: Psychotic Depression: Losing Touch With Reality – Depression Center
Psychotic Depression: Losing Touch With Reality – Depression Center
You may be familiar with some of the symptoms of clinical depression — profoundly depressed mood, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness. But did you know that depression may also be linked to psychosis?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines someone who is “psychotic” as out of touch with reality, likely experiencing false beliefs, known as delusions, or false sights or sounds, known as hallucinations. So when do depression and psychosis go hand in hand?
Psychotic Depression: What Is It?
“Psychotic depression is a relatively rare condition that occurs when someone displays both severe depression and a break with reality. The loss of contact with reality may take the form of delusions, hallucinations, or thought disorders,” explains James C. Overholser, PhD, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Approximately 25 percent of people who have depression that is severe enough to cause them to be admitted to a hospital also have psychosis or psychotic depression. “Major depression with psychosis” is another term used to describe the condition of psychotic depression.
Psychotic Depression: Symptoms
The delusions or hallucinations of people who have psychotic depression often involve beliefs, voices, or visions telling them that they are worthless or evil. In some cases, people may hear voices telling them to harm themselves. In addition to these symptoms, psychotic depression may also cause the following:
- Feeling persistently worried and on edge
- Falsely believing you have other illnesses or diseases
- Difficulty sleeping
- Poor concentration
Psychotic Depression: Getting a Diagnosis
If you or a loved one has symptoms of psychotic depression, see your doctor right away. Your doctor will perform a medical examination and blood work to make sure your symptoms are not caused by a medical disease or a reaction to medications. A complete psychiatric evaluation will also be done to distinguish psychotic depression from other types of depression and from other psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
The cause of psychotic depression is not known, but having a family history of depression or psychosis increases the risk. One of the differences between psychotic depression and schizophrenia is that people with schizophrenia believe their hallucinations or delusions are real. In most cases, people with psychotic depression know their symptoms are not real. They may actually be afraid or ashamed to tell their doctor about these symptoms, which can make the disorder that much more difficult to diagnose.
Psychotic Depression: Getting Treatment
Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are often used to treat psychotic depression. “It is likely that psychotic depression has more of a biological basis [than other types of psychosis], and seems to respond more to biological interventions. Treatment usually requires a combination of medications,” notes Overholser. Electroconvulsive therapy, or shock therapy, may also be effective in some cases.
A recent review of 10 studies involving over 500 patients treated for psychotic depression concluded that it may be best to start with an antidepressant drug alone and then add an antipsychotic drug if needed. Using an antipsychotic drug alone is not appropriate therapy. Treatment of psychotic depression is more likely to require hospitalization than other types of depression, and long-term medications may be necessary.
If you have symptoms of depression combined with hallucinations or delusions, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It is particularly important to share the details of your symptoms with your doctor, because psychotic depression must be managed differently than other types of depression. The most serious risk of psychotic depression is suicide, so getting appropriate treatment as soon as possible is crucial.
Psychotic depression is an illness, not something to be ashamed of or a weakness. It is also a treatable condition, and most people recover within a year.
11 warning signs that might signify you’re out of touch with your emotions
The majority of us aren’t too comfortable with our emotions, which can be accredited to being raised in a society scared to show our feelings. We aren’t properly instructed on the biology of emotions and the brain. And as much as we’re told that we should monitor and regulate our emotions, the reality is that we can’t mindfully control them.
Our school systems should teach students the distinction amongst categories of emotions. For instance, core emotions, specifically anger, sadness, fear, disgust, joy, excitement, and sexual excitement, are biological survival programs encompassing a message we must NOT overlook. There is also an additional category of emotions called inhibitory emotions. Inhibitory emotions are brought about in us through the forms of anxiety, guilt, and shame. These emotions tend to block out the feelings our core emotions bring about in us. Thanks to inhibitory emotions we tend to be kept in the good graces of our families. Nevertheless, once we have ample amounts of inhibition, we cannot thrive – which is extremely helpful information to know.
These days, we are taught ways to escape our emotions. Society commends individuals for not showing emotions, using terms such as “strong” to describe those who push down their true feelings. So, it’s apparent as to why so many people are so uncomfortable with their emotions. The following are signs that you are not comfortable with your emotions:
- At work, you can’t wait to leave and have a drink.
- You prevent arguing with your companion at all costs.
- You find it difficult not to laugh or smile when someone (or you) discusses sad things.
- If you feel awkward in a conversation, you change the topic.
- It’s hard for your to just relax.
- You hate being alone.
- You find yourself blaming and judging others… A LOT.
- You constantly worry.
- You’d choose work over intimacy any day.
- You can’t receive praise.
- You roll your eyes or say, “Whatever!”
All 11 signals above act as a defense mechanism against your emotions. Defenses are the things we do to prevent feeling uncomfortable. Personally, when I’m feeling an added amount of stress, I look forward to a nice glass of wine or a card game on the computer—it helps me alleviate the stress I’m feeling. Avoiding emotions a few times here and there is acceptable, even adaptive, like when we swallow our tears, so we don’t cry at work due to an infuriating situation. Yet, routinely dodging emotional distress using the 11 signs above and many others (that I list in my book) is not a formula for wellness in the long run. And you may not know, but buried emotions are at the origin of our most prevalent psychiatric disorders: anxiety, depression and addictions.
If you notice that you partake in any of the 11 signs listed above, try not to beat yourself up about it. It’s good that you’re taking time to recognize it! It’s important to remember that we live in a society that doesn’t give us the information we need to manage our emotions. We are continuously told myths like: Emotions are for weak people. You can just get over it! And, we adopt these ideals. Later when we are consumed in our emotions and cannot impede them by pure will, we tell ourselves we are dumb or pathetic. It’s a recipe for mental distress.
The reason I wanted to become an emotion-centered psychotherapist was to help people feel better and mature their skills and resilience to meet the challenges of life. I strongly believe that everyone can benefit from a basic education in emotions. My goal was to prompt you to consider learning more about emotions. Just like you learned in high school biology that you had eyes, ears, a heart, and a stomach, and you learned a little bit about how those organs work, you can learn about your emotions and have tools to work with them. To succeed in life, managing both thoughts and emotions is essential. It’s all about a balance. Everyone can become more comfortable with their emotions, and once we all do, it will serve us greatly.
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Losing Touch with Reality – My Mental Health
Losing Touch with Reality
BY INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH
9 December 2020 | 5 min read
Psychosis happens when a person loses touch with reality. When someone becomes ill in this way, it is called a psychotic episode. Psychosis is a psychiatric syndrome that most commonly occurs in young adults. Around 1 in 50 people will experience a psychotic episode in their lifetime.
Signs and Symptoms
Psychosis is not a specific illness, rather it is a syndrome. The central characteristic of psychosis is a loss of reality testing, resulting in some degree of impairment of judgement and abnormal behaviour. Psychotic symptoms may present with a disturbance of perception, such as hallucinations (where they hear voices or see things that do not exist) or disturbance of thinking, such as disordered thinking or delusions (false beliefs that they are going to be harmed or that people are talking about them).
Even before the onset of clear psychotic symptoms that are characteristic of psychosis, there is usually a period with some changes in mood, thinking or behaviour along with a deterioration in functioning.
Perceptual disturbances such as feelings that things around have changed. The person may
- experience heightened senses
- hear voices
- see things that others cannot see
Mood disturbances such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability and anger. The person may
- feel sad and irritable more often
- feel isolated
- be confused or puzzled
- feel that he is unable to trust anyone
- feel that he is being constantly watched
Behavioural disturbances include changes in sleep and appetite patterns, social withdrawal, loss of interest in things, deterioration in occupation and academic functioning. The person may
- have difficulty sleeping
- talk or smile to himself
- neglect his appearance
- avoid contact with people
- behave aggressively
Cognitive disturbances include poor attention and concentration, difficulties in thinking, suspiciousness and unusual beliefs
Different people will probably interpret these disturbances differently. Some may see them as symptoms of stress, especially if the changes are associated with some stressful life events. Others may see them as part of the person’s personality. Cultural influences may also play a part in how the symptoms of psychosis are interpreted. Psychotic symptoms are often attributed to supernatural causes rather than biological causes.
One’s personal understanding of the disturbances will determine if an individual will seek help. Even for those who suspect that it may be a mental condition, the stigma of seeking psychiatric help may deter them from consulting a psychiatrist. It is not surprising that there is often a long delay, for sometimes even a few years, before the person reaches out for professional help.
The exact causation of psychosis is thought to be related to neurological and biochemical changes that occur in a person’s brain during their teenage and early adulthood years.
Having a close family member with a psychotic illness, the use of recreational drugs or a history of intermittent brief psychotic symptoms may predispose someone to developing a psychotic disorder. However, most people suffering from a psychotic disorder do not have these risk factors.
If changes in the individual’s behaviour and functioning are observed and the individual also has associated risk factors as mentioned above, it would be best to refer him early for further evaluation to see if he has psychosis, and for treatment if necessary.
Research shows that early detection – and treatment – of psychosis is associated with a better prognosis. It can be treated and most people make a good recovery.
There are new and effective medicines, as well as improved treatment programmes that optimise recovery and functioning and which contribute to a better outcome for individuals with psychosis.
Besides medication, counselling, and psychotherapy, practical assistance such as getting help with school or work and arranging accommodation are other important aspects of treatment.
The Early Psychosis Intervention Programme (EPIP) at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) emphasises early detection and treatment. The team works closely with healthcare professionals in other hospitals, polyclinics and social agencies to help spot the early signs of psychosis amongst those aged 18 to 40. EPIP also works with educational institutions and youth workers to identify the onset of psychosis amongst the young. For more information, please visit their website or contact EPIP at 6389 2972 between 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays.
IMH also provides assessment and treatment for individuals with psychosis in other age groups. To make an appointment to see a doctor, please call the IMH appointment line at 6389 2200.
Republished with permission from Institute of Mental Health (IMH)
What it is and How to Control it
Anxiety can often make you feel like you’re going crazy. For some people, the issue may be so extreme that they believe it falls under the heading of “psychosis” which many people take to mean that they have actually gone crazy.
Psychosis and anxiety are technically two different things, but for someone with anxiety they can feel as though have a lot in common. This article explores the idea of anxiety and psychosis and the relationships the two share.
Introduction to Anxiety and Psychosis
Anxiety can be an intensely difficult disorder. It’s not simple “nervousness” like it’s made out to be. It can cause a host of physical and mental symptoms so severe that some liken it to psychosis.
Psychosis and anxiety are similar enough that some people that use the terms equally. But in reality, they’re not that clear-cut. Psychosis is:
- A loss of reality in which the person that is losing touch with that reality is unaware it is slipping away.
- Hallucinations or delusions and difficulty differentiating between these experiences and reality.
- Intense confusion or difficulty completing simple life tasks.
- Severe social and behavioral malfunction.
Interestingly, anxiety can cause similar symptoms. But with anxiety, the symptoms are fairly temporary, and they come and go as the anxiety comes and goes.
What is the Difference Between Psychosis and Anxiety
Psychosis tends to be longer lasting, and in many cases, the person isn’t even aware of the loss of reality except for rare moments of lucidity. While the person starts to lose touch with reality, their mind is still treating them like they’re fine. They may have anxiety also because the voices, hallucinations, and loss of social functioning can make it hard to control nervousness, but the psychosis itself isn’t always something that the person is aware of.
On the other hand, those with anxiety often have a fear of going crazy that comes and goes after periods of intense anxiety and stress. But that fear is what creates anxiety, and in general, the person’s fear of losing control with reality tends to go away when the person feels less anxiety.
Although psychosis may occur rapidly in certain circumstances (such as if the person is taking drugs), it tends to occurs very gradually, which is one of the reasons that the person is not necessarily aware that they are losing grip with reality. Rarely does someone simply “snap.” There are such things as psychotic breaks, where a person has immediate acute psychosis, but during the break, the person isn’t aware of it, and they tend to last a considerable amount of time. There are some exception, such as “Crimes of Passion,” but those with a mental health disorder often live with psychosis in the long term.
With anxiety, feeling as though you’re going crazy comes on rapidly, but the feelings may come and go, and doesn’t come with the associated severe psychosocial symptoms and behaviors that resemble a true episode of psychosis.
Similarities Between Anxiety and Psychosis
There can feel as though there are many similarities between anxiety and psychosis. One common similarity is the feeling of losing control. This is common among those with anxiety attacks. During an anxiety attack, a person may feel emotionless or have trouble concentrating on the world around them. They may even have what’s known as depersonalization – the feeling of watching themselves from afar, as though you’re not in your own body.
But again, these feelings tend to go away when the anxiety attack is over. It’s not uncommon to continue to feel as though you’re floating outside yourself for hours upon hours on end, and if that did occur, you would likely not be aware of it in a way that would allow you to think to yourself “I feel like I’m going crazy.”
It’s also possible to experience auditory hallucinations with anxiety, but these are usually mild. It can also be tough to focus or hold on to a thought (this is one of the reasons many feel as though they’re losing control), because anxiety and anxiety attacks can make the brain rapidly fire thoughts.
Anxiety Psychosis Treatment
Experts theorize that the reason the brain tends to have psychosis-like symptoms during extreme anxiety is that the brain doesn’t know how to cope with extreme stress, and uses some of the symptoms of psychosis as coping mechanisms.
In many ways, stress overloads the brain so strongly that many of its functions shut down in order to be less affected by the stress. Once the anxiety decreases the brain no longer needs to protect itself and the symptoms go away.
So in many ways, part of reducing the psychosis is simply waiting it out.
There are ways to get yourself “back” to reality. Psychologists often advise utilizing your senses to make sure you feel yourself in the present. For example, running your hands under cool water and then focusing on the cool feeling can “snap” you back to the present. Focusing on different objects and describing the colors, smells, and sounds can help too. These activities essentially ground you in reality so that you’re not stuck in your thoughts.
But the most important treatment you can implement is to simply control your anxiety. The less severe your anxiety is, the less likely you’ll suffer from these types of episodes. Some of the most effective treatments include:
- Therapy – Particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, which is highly effective at reducing anxiety.
- Medications – Several medications can address anxiety in the short term.
- Self-help – Finding the right self help techniques and lifestyle changes can be tricky and may differ from person to person, but there are effective options.
No one should have to live with severe anxiety. Seek the right treatment, and you should be able to reduce the feeling of “psychosis” that anxiety can create.
Anxiety does not cause psychosis. It does, however, cause symptoms that are often associated with psychosis, including some hallucinations and out-of-body experiences. There are simple strategies to help someone get “back” to reality. Effective anxiety treatments are typically enough to feel that one is back in their day-to-day life.
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Social media caused Gen. Z and Millennials to be out of touch with reality – North Texas Daily
In today’s climate of social media, Generation Z and Millennials have negatively been affected by social media leading to harm their perception of what the real world is like away from Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
There’s a common stereotype today that perceives “old people” (mainly Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation) as folks who are out of touch and they’re not keeping up with the times. Almost as if they’re John Lithgow’s preacher character from the 1984 film Footloose.
Meanwhile, on the flip side Generation Z and Millenials are viewed as the cool kids on the block because they’re in most of the social media sphere and created other recent internet phenomena.
When the phrase “OK boomer” hit the internet in 2019, I immediately knew young people were just as blind to reality as their older counterparts. Social media and the internet age ruined the senses of reality among teenagers, college-aged and young adults by ignoring real-life’s flaws when you take away the cell-phones and smart devices.
One of the biggest phenomena created on social media by young people is virtue signaling to gain attention. There are countless times I’ve seen my peers pretend to be active in social issues and movements to get likes or a larger following. You see it all the time, people feel like they’re morally superior because they’re ‘woke’.
Now I get it, when you get the attention it feels good and why turn it down?
There’s an old saying I was raised on that can apply to this same scenario, “people with a lot of money don’t show off their wealth because they don’t need to”. The same goes for people who think they’re morally superior by being woke. The people who make the biggest differences and care about social issues don’t need validation from other people.
Another issue young people created in social media is the unrealistic beauty standards. When I say unrealistic beauty standards, I don’t mean the good ole’ days where you picked up a magazine and saw Gisele Bündchen or Tyson Beckford on the cover. The modern beauty standards in Instagram’s realm is to be perfect within every single bone structure in your body.
It’s so ridiculous that it’s cringeworthy to see models and influencers post their edited pictures to such a standard that no living person could ever come close to that. The filters and editing software are so advanced you can instantly look like another person. Keep in mind, when you see pictures of any of the Jenners or Kardashians (or other celebrities), they use more than just a cell phone.
They have millions to hire professional photographers, editors and other image consultants to maximize the potential looks. So don’t feel too bad if you don’t look exactly like them.
For men, it’s hard to see pages like Gym Shark showing guys with big arms or pec muscles. There are even times I wonder if I need to be in the gym 24 hours a day to be that muscular.
The bar has been set so high for what people are supposed to look like this day in age on social media, it can lead to serious insecurity issues. Just know what people look like on Instagram or Facebook isn’t always accurate.
For platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram hiding behind your phone to talk smack is one thing young people are susceptible to because they know they can get away with it. Where this might have originated from is online gaming. If you ever played games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare, you’re well aware of the curse words and savagery that came with people who used a headset.
Social media is an open game to spread rumors, false information or flat out just disrespect someone. There are no consequences if you do something like that, meaning it can only create bad habits. If you won’t say those things in person out loud, you shouldn’t say them on social media.
The older folks can’t be too out of touch with reality compared to younger people if this is a new way of life, right? Maybe they made a smart decision in staying away from social media platforms to use the younger people as guinea pigs.
Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles
How the Stock Market Got to be Out of Touch with Reality
International Man: Thanks to the shutdowns, economic activity on main street is at a standstill. Government, corporate, and personal debt is skyrocketing. Yet, the stock market is in a mania. Has the stock market become out of touch with reality, and if so, what are the consequences of that?
David Stockman: Both ends of the Acela Corridor have lost their marbles. This year, Uncle Sam borrowed $4 trillion in six months, the Fed printed $3 trillion in three months, and Wall Street drove the S&P 500 to 52X reported LTM earnings in the context of a deeper economic plunge than occurred in the worst quarter of the 1930s.
Therefore, Washington has become disconnected from any semblance of fidelity to sound money and fiscal rectitude, while Wall Street has turned into an outright casino, valuing stocks based on endless Fed liquidity injections and the delusion that momentum chasing is an investment strategy.
With respect to the rampant folly in the Imperial City, Treasury Secretary Stevie Mnuchin has always reminded us of Alfred E. Neuman of “Me Worry?” fame at Mad Magazine. Recently, he more than earned that moniker when, in the context of the current monetary and fiscal lunacy, he proclaimed that, “Now is not the time to worry about shrinking the deficit or shrinking the Fed balance sheet.”
That was the so-called Conservative Party speaking, and it is a shrill reminder that the Trumpified GOP has gone utterly AWOL when it comes to its true job in American democracy, namely, resisting the Government Party (Dems) and its affinity for feeding the Leviathan on the Potomac.
That is to say, according to even the Keynesian deficit apologists at the CBO, Uncle Sam will spend $6.6 trillion during the current fiscal year (FY 2020) while collecting only $3.3 trillion in revenue. That’s Banana Republic stuff—borrowing 50% of every dollar spent.
Yet the advisory ranks of the potentially incoming Kamala Harris regency are even worse. They are loaded with “deficits don’t matter” ideologues and MMT crackpots who noisily argue that massive monetization of the public debt is not just a virtue, but utterly imperative.
Needless to say, this bipartisan commitment to all-in stimulus is financial catnip to the Wall Street gamblers because they are actually capitalizing into today’s nosebleed stock prices, not the present drastically impaired economy on Main Street but a pro forma simulacrum of future prosperity based on the delusional presumption that massive debt and money-pumping actually create economic growth and wealth.
The fact is, industrial production in August posted at a level first achieved in March 2006, and manufacturing output weighed in at levels originally attained in December 2004. So the misbegotten lockdowns and COVID-hysteria have cost the US economy 14–16 years of industrial production growth, yet this massive setback was not caused by some mysterious Keynesian-style faltering of “demand” that can allegedly be compensated for by new Fed credits plucked from thin air.
To the contrary, the current depression is the result of the visible shutdown and quarantine orders of the state, which are likely to linger for months to come or even intensify as the fall-winter flu season arrives. Undoubtedly, the Virus Patrol will spur further outbreaks of public fear based on “bad numbers” from the CDC, which are actually an agglomeration of cases and deaths from normal influenza, pneumonia, and a myriad of life-threatening comorbidities, not pure cases of the COVID alone.
But beguiled by “stimulus” and hopium, Wall Street completely ignores the contradiction between over-the-top demand stimulus and what amounts to supply-side contraction owing to economic martial law.
So, at 3400 on the S&P 500, the current LTM price-to-earnings ratio ranges between 52.1 times the earnings CEOs and CFOs certify on penalty of jail time ($65 per share) or 27 times the Wall Street brush-stroked and curated version ($125 per share), from which all asset write-offs, restructuring charges, and other one-timers/mistakes have been finessed out.
Of course, these deleted GAAP charges reflect the consumption of real corporate resources, such as purchase price goodwill that gets written off when a merger or acquisition goes sour, or the write-down of investments in factories, warehouses, and stores that get closed. As such, they absolutely do diminish company resources and shareholder net worth over time.
But for decades now, Wall Street has so relentlessly and assiduously ripped anything that smells like a “one-timer” out of company earnings filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it no longer even knows what GAAP earnings actually are.
And it pretends that these discarded debits (and credits) to income are simply lumpy things that even out in the wash over time. They do not.
If ex-items reporting was merely a neutral smoothing mechanism, reported GAAP earnings and “operating earnings” would be equal when aggregated over several years, or even a full business cycle.
Yet during the last 100 quarters, there have been essentially zero instances in which reported GAAP earnings exceeded “operating income.”
So, in aggregate terms, several trillions of corporate write-downs and losses have been swept under the rug.
During the second quarter of 2020, for example, GAAP earnings reported to the SEC totaled $145.8 billion for the S&P 500 companies, while the ex-items earnings curated by the street posted at $222.3 billion. That amounts to the deletion of nearly $77 billion of write-downs and mistakes, and it inflated the aggregate earnings number by more than 52%.
The game is all about goosing the earnings number in order to minimize the apparent price-to-earnings multiple, thereby supporting the fiction that stocks are reasonably valued and that nary a bubble is to be found, at least in the broad market represented by the S&P 500.
Still, valuing the market at 52 times trailing-12-month earnings during the present parlous moment in time—or even 27 times if you want to give the financial engineering jockeys in the C-suites a hall-pass for $77 billion of mistakes and losses this quarter alone—is nothing short of nuts.
Yet, the gamblers in the casino hardly know it.
Wall Street has already decided that current-year results don’t matter a whit: the nosebleed-level trailing P/E multiples currently being racked up are simply being shoved into the memory hole on the presumption that the sell side’s evergreen hockey sticks will come true about four quarters into the future, and if they don’t, a heavy dose of ex-items bark-stripping will gussy up actual earnings when they come in.
Still, if you think that a forward P/E multiple of, say, 17.5 times is just fine and that flushing the one-timers is OK, then you still need $193 per share of operating earnings by the second quarter of 2021 to justify today’s index level.
Then again, a 54% gain in operating earnings over the next four quarters ($193 per share in the second quarter of 2021 versus $125 per share in the second quarter of 2020) is not simply a tall order; it’s downright delusional.
International Man: What could derail the Fed’s ability to pump up the stock market casino with all this easy money? They simultaneously want zero interest rates and more inflation. It seems something has to give.
David Stockman: Yes, what’s going to “give” sooner or later is the entire house of monetary cards erected by the Fed and its fellow-traveling global central banks over the last several decades. What they are doing is based on the triple error that inflation is too low, that deeply repressed and falsified interest rates fuel real growth, and that private savers are a hindrance to optimal economic function and need to be euthanized via confiscation of the real (after-inflation) value of their capital.
In the first place, as Paul Volcker pointedly reminded, there is nothing in the pre-1990 textbooks that says 2.00% inflation is desirable and is to be pursued with fanatical intensity—even if actual inflation comes in only a few basis points below the magic target.
Indeed, if the 2% target is zealously pursued via prolonged pegging of interest rates to the zero bound and the massive purchase of bonds and other securities, the result is actually inimical to economic growth and sustainable gains in real wealth.
That’s because falsified interest rates and inflated financial asset values lead to massive malinvestment via rampant financial engineering in the corporate sector and reckless borrowing to fund transfer payments and economic waste in the public sector.
Nor is that a mere theoretical possibility. The rolling 10-year real GDP growth rate has now fallen to just 1.5% per annum, or barely one-third of the 3–4% per year rolling averages which prevailed during the heyday of reasonably sound money and fiscal rectitude prior to 1971.
Beyond that, there really hasn’t been any inflation shortfall from the 2% target, unless measured by the Fed’s flakey yardstick called the PCE deflator. For instance, since December 1996, when Greenspan uttered his irrational exuberance warning, the CPI is up by 2.09% per annum and the more stable 16% trimmed-mean CPI is up by 2.12% per annum.
That hardly constitutes a “shortfall” from target, but the Eccles Building money-printers make the claim anyway because the PCE deflator gained slightly less over that 23 year period, averaging an increase of 1.71 per annum.
The truth is, no one except groupthink besotted central bankers would think that a mere 30 basis point shortfall over more than two decades justifies the massive financial fraud of pumping trillions of fiat credit into the financial system.
That’s especially the case because the PCE deflator drastically underweights shelter costs and doesn’t even measure the purchasing power of money against a fixed basket of goods and services over time, anyway. Instead, it is actually a tool of GDP accounting that reflects the changing mix of goods and services supplied to the household sector.
That is to say, if someone chooses to live in a tepee and spend nearly all of their paycheck on computers, TVs, and other high-tech gadgets that have been rapidly falling in price, that doesn’t improve the exchange value of the dollar wages they earn; it just means that their tepee may be getting crowded with tech gadgets.
The same is true of the aggregate level. Just because the mix of goods and services changes over time, that doesn’t miraculously rescue the purchasing power of the dollar from the ravages of inflation.
Nor does it alleviate the savaging of lower- and middle-class living standards that are the direct product of the Fed’s misguided commitment to inflation targeting. In fact, during that same 23-year period, the annual rate of increase for professional services, shelter, food away from home, medical services, and education expense has been 2.6%, 2.7%, 2.8%, 3.5%, and 4.5%, respectively.
So once you set aside the foolishness of 2% inflation targeting and the Fed’s sawed-off inflation measuring stick (the PCE deflator), what you really have is growth stunting monetary madness. There is no other way to explain a Fed balance sheet that went from $4.2 trillion on March 4 this year to $7.2 trillion by June 10.
After all, the first $3 trillion of Fed balance sheet took nearly 100 years to generate, from its opening in 1914 to breaching the $3 trillion marker for the first time in March 2013. That the Fed has now become a monetary doomsday machine, therefore, is no longer in doubt.
Editor’s Note: The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming.
That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.
What to Do About Early Signs of Psychosis
Maybe it’s a glimpse of a person that no one else seems to see. Or hearing voices that no one else seems to hear. Or an overwhelming feeling that the innocent gesture of someone on the street actually means something sinister.
These experiences, and others that make it feel like reality is cracking, can be embarrassing, or even frightening.
They can also be the first signs that someone is experiencing a mental health symptom called psychosis.
This means they may be heading for one of several mental health conditions that include it as a symptom, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Or in some cases, it may reflect a medical condition.
But if someone gets proper help in the early months of having these experiences – when they can still understand that something’s not right with the way they’re experiencing the world – they may be able to avoid getting worse.
Since these symptoms most often start in the teen and young adult years, when the brain is changing and maturing, early action can make a major difference, says Stephan Taylor, M.D., who leads a team at Michigan Medicine that specializes in early care for psychosis.
And even if someone has already begun to experience more serious signs of psychosis, and threatening to harm themselves or others, modern therapy can still help if those around them help them get care, he says.
Taylor recently spoke about identifying the early signs of psychosis in a live video chat on the Instagram feeds of Michigan Medicine and the University of Michigan. He described the care provided by the Program for Risk Evaluation and Prevention (PREP) Early Psychosis Clinic team, and some of its research studies that are currently seeking volunteers to help uncover the roots of psychosis.
“When a person is experiencing the early phases of psychosis, they’re very embarrassed and frightened,” Taylor says. “They may not want to admit it’s happening to them because they’re afraid they’re ‘going crazy’, and they don’t understand there is help available.”
90,000 why Trump said that the United States is ending the “era of endless wars” – RT in Russian
The United States is ending the “era of endless wars” and is taking a “new, sober course to protect vital American interests,” Donald Trump said at the graduation ceremony of the Military academy at West Point. According to him, the United States is “not the world’s gendarme” and is not obliged to continue “the settlement of long-standing conflicts in distant lands, which many have not even heard of.” At the same time, the head of the White House stressed that his administration has taken on a “colossal reconstruction” of the American armed forces and has allocated more than $ 2 trillion for these purposes.According to experts, Trump is trying to demonstrate commitment to his 2016 election program, which involved the abandonment of interventionist policies. However, almost four years later, the actions of the United States in this area have remained practically unchanged, analysts say.
Speaking to alumni of the Military Academy at West Point, Donald Trump said that the United States is “not the world’s gendarme” and that it is not the responsibility of the American military to resolve long-standing conflicts in distant lands, which many have not even heard of.
“We are reviving the fundamental principles according to which the task of the American soldier is not to rebuild other states, but to defend – the most decisive defense – of our country from foreign enemies. We are ending the era of endless wars. Instead, we will have a new, sober course to defend vital American interests, ”Trump said.
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At the same time, the US President emphasized that his administration has taken up a “colossal reconstruction” of the American armed forces. Trump noted that more than $ 2 trillion was allocated for these needs. It is worth noting that each year of his presidency, the volume of the country’s military budget set new records.
At present, according to the head of the White House, hundreds of American enterprises are producing new ships, bombers, fighters, and helicopters. In addition, they build tanks, military satellites and missiles.
A significant achievement, the US President called the creation of a hypersonic missile, which is allegedly 17 times faster than existing analogues. The range of the new ammunition, according to Trump, is 1000 miles (1.6 thousand km), the probable deviation from the target is 14 inches (35.5 cm). At the same time, the head of the White House did not explain what specific weapon was in question and when it was tested.
“Retained its ideological positions”
The experts drew attention to the contradictory theses voiced in Trump’s speech at West Point.According to them, on the one hand, the head of the White House proclaimed the principle of non-armed intervention in the affairs of foreign states, on the other hand, he confirmed his commitment to “pumping money” into the military budget in order to quantitatively and qualitatively strengthen the army with new offensive weapons.
- US troops in Iraq
- © Saad Shalash
In an interview with RT, political analyst Alexander Asafov noted that Trump’s statements at West Point contain elements of his 2016 election campaign.Then the Republican candidate promised to settle local armed conflicts, in which American troops are involved, and “get along” with the alternative poles of power – Russia and China.
“In general, Trump retained his ideological positions. Above all, he seeks to minimize the loss of American soldiers abroad. However, the reality turned out to be much more complicated: America continues its military expansion in dozens of countries around the world, conducts a huge number of provocative exercises, and relations with Moscow and Beijing have objectively become more tense, ”the expert said.
According to the analyst, the US foreign policy of the last four years has retained its traditionally aggressive, expansionist character. According to Asafov, under Trump, the methods by which Washington is trying to maintain its status as a global hegemon have changed only slightly.
So, recently, the United States has mainly limited itself to one-time military actions against states that they consider enemies. In 2017-2018, US troops launched several missile attacks on the targets of the Syrian army, and on the night of January 3, 2020, the US military killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani using a drone in Baghdad.
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In his West Point speech, Trump ranked Soleimani on a par with the leader of the Islamic State * Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was allegedly destroyed last fall.
The elimination of Soleimani led to a serious aggravation of the situation in the Middle East, which ultimately affected the American positions in Iraq. In retaliation, Iran launched ballistic missile strikes against US troops in the Arab country. Later, the Iraqi bases of the United States Armed Forces were attacked several times by unknown persons.
In addition, Trump did not fulfill his promise to return home American soldiers who are illegally in Syria. As a result, the United States retained its military presence in the republic under the pretext of continuing the fight against IS and “protecting” the oil fields.
In an interview with RT, the editor-in-chief of the journal Problems of National Strategy of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), Azhdar Kurtov, said that Trump’s refusal to withdraw troops from Syria was caused primarily by his unwillingness to admit defeat in the struggle to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. In addition, from the point of view of the American establishment, a military presence in the SAR is necessary as a lever of pressure on Iran.
“In the Syrian direction, the US policy ended in failure, and in such a situation Trump must save face, that is, not surrender those positions that he still managed to keep.For this reason, the Americans continue to support the Kurds and local militants, periodically inflict airstrikes, try to escalate the situation around the military in Russia and Iran, ”Kurtov said.
According to the expert’s forecast, the presence of US troops in Syria and Iraq will continue mainly to “contain” Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, as well as to resist the peace process in the Arab republic launched without Washington’s participation.
“Craving for absolute domination”
Another extremely negative phenomenon of Trump’s foreign policy, experts called the destruction of the established architecture of international security.In May 2018, the US President announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, which his predecessor Barack Obama called one of the key achievements of American diplomacy.
Following this, the United States increased the sanctions regime and military pressure on Tehran. For example, Trump has repeatedly threatened Iran with military action in the Persian Gulf, accusing the republic’s fleet of dangerous maneuvers.
The White House also initiated the withdrawal from the fundamental agreements in the field of nuclear security – the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty).In addition, the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in February 2021, remains in question.
- US Navy grouping off the coast of Iran
- © U.S. Navy
According to experts, all this increases the risk of an arms race and the emergence of new armed conflicts.
“The United States under Trump really began to fight less, but decisions have been made that increase the risk of new large-scale wars. The United States is trying to position itself as the number one power and to concentrate resources to defend this status, ”Vladimir Bruter, an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Research, said in a conversation with RT.
According to the analyst, Trump seeks to somewhat reduce the military participation of the American army in local conflicts, so as not to “spray” money and forces on them.However, a full-fledged withdrawal of troops from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, from the point of view of the US President, is impossible due to the threat of losing influence in the Middle East, the expert noted.
“Trump wants to discard unnecessary, as he argues, obligations to allies in different regions of the world, to show before the elections that he is consistently implementing the program of non-intervention, which he talked about four years ago. But all the wars in which the United States is involved are a natural manifestation of the urge for absolute domination.Therefore, one should not expect a real refusal of Washington from the role of the world gendarme, ”Bruter emphasized.
* “Islamic State” (IS) – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.
Out of touch with reality – Ogonyok No. 7 (5116) dated 22.02.2010
Computer space – with games, information flow, shops and tutorials – appeared in our lives less than two decades ago.The recent action of the European Union “Safer Internet Week” tried to comprehend the digital reality.
A big-eyed monkey, a good-natured purple hippopotamus and a green cat with a red nose run across the screen, flash in place of bursting soap bubbles and look out through the crack of the door. To change one picture to another, just hit any part of the keyboard. These are computer games for children from six months to two years old.
“When my youngest daughter was six months old, I saw that the older children were busy with the computer, and she didn’t get anything,” said Jim Robinson, one of the creators of the site of games for babies.- It is quite difficult to come up with a computer game for babies, because they cannot sit and hold a mouse in their hands, but they can already play on a computer. Who doesn’t like bursting bubbles or jumping on the bed?
It is not very clear why jumping on the bed is necessary in cyberspace. Even 20 years ago, the idea that every house would have its own computer seemed to be nonsense. And today more than half of the adult population of Europe is sure that they cannot live a day without a computer.In Russia, according to VTsIOM, there are 29 percent of such cyberdependents.
One of the leading sociological institutes in Europe and the world, IPSOS, found that today 44 percent of six-year-old children are already “swimming” with might and main on the Internet, going to various sites and playing online games. By the age of 11, this figure is 70 percent. At the same time, 92 percent of European parents do not know how to properly organize a child’s work with a computer, what he can and cannot do, how this “cannot” be done and, most importantly, what to expect from the new computer generation in 10 years.
A child’s rapid mastery of a computer is often associated with the functional immaturity of the frontal regions, mainly of the left hemisphere, which is responsible for creativity
Many parents notice that modern children very quickly grasp everything connected with the computer: they understand better than us, where are the buttons, they understand better than us and learn games faster. Due to the recent emergence of computer games, no large-scale and significant temporal studies have yet been carried out.Nevertheless, neurophysiologists drew attention to the fact that often unconditional love and rapid mastery of a computer by a child is associated with a special population syndrome, which has become widespread in the last half century. This is a syndrome of functional immaturity of the frontal regions, mainly of the left hemisphere, responsible for creativity. People with this trait are very prone to any kind of addiction – from computer games to drug addiction. Children with this syndrome are very impulsive, cannot concentrate on one thing on their own, are extremely inattentive (they do not finish the words until the end, not noticing it), simplify the tasks, practically do not get tired – they can rush until the body simply turns off …
– In my practice, such children are found more and more often. The percentage is especially high among younger schoolchildren, – says Olga Martynova, child psychologist, head of the Internet project “Psychotherapy and Counseling”. – Such children especially like computer games, because they are based not on conscious acts of mental activity, but on involuntary motor reactions, that is, on emotions. The frontal lobes are practically not involved. Playing computer games, the child masters the computer, instead of developing his own mental activity, his own intellectual abilities.
The more emotional a computer game is, the more it attracts a child. He actually does this kind of activity better than others, and therefore he prefers it.
It should be noted that here we are talking about fairly simple games that have filled the online space, which are called casual. But the size of the casual games market today is growing at an incredible pace and even outstrips the online games market. To knock on the head of worms protruding from an apple with an aluminum spoon or to throw penguins at a distance, the frontal lobes are not needed – only manual dexterity.
Another thing is complex, confused games, for example, historical or military simulators, with a well-thought-out scenario, a dramatic basis and a non-linear plot. Their popularity is also growing at a gigantic pace. Revenue from the sale of the latest version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 exceeded US $ 1 billion. In the first five days of release alone, sales totaled $ 550 million, which exceeded James Cameron’s Avatar in a similar period of time.
The reason for the popularity of this segment of games consists of a dozen components, of which two main ones can still be distinguished: ontological and historical.Play is natural for a person: this is how we learn the world from childhood. Play is older than human culture – its biological basis is confirmed by play manifestations in animals and the same type of play of infancy in all peoples of the world.
On the other hand, right now, computer games, having absorbed the latest scientific and technological developments, have combined with good management and the ideological interest of government agencies. We have no chance not to fall in love with this product.
Inside the film
Computer games are a new kind of art. True, this is the only art that can be so addictive. There were no cases when a person, after reading Tolstoy or Gorky, stopped going to work, taking a shower and answering phone calls, until they were noticed. The main hook for a person is the interactivity and realism of what is happening. Adventure at the level of reactions of the brain and peripheral nervous system is perceived as real.
For several years now, Americans have been training soldiers on specially created computer simulators, practicing combat tactics
The first computer game – “Tennis for Two” – was created by the American scientist William Higinbotham – a high-ranking employee of the Brookhaven military nuclear laboratory, one of the creators of the atomic bomb, a passionate tennis fan.Two men on the oscilloscope screen were throwing a ball to each other. The ball bounced off the horizontal line located at the bottom of the screen, and it was necessary to hit it with a short line at the top of the screen. Current games, such as the hit of the season, Crysis, which tells about the invasion of aliens on Earth, have stepped forward in terms of realism: the world lives, breathes, obeying the same physical laws as ours. For example, a player can kick any stone, and he will fly like a real stone, break everything that breaks, see the play of light and shadow.If you raise your head, you can see that the wind sways the tops of the trees and drives the clouds across the sky. The immersion is almost cinematic. Only the main character in this movie is yourself.
– Computer games are the youngest type of creativity, and they naturally absorb the developed culture of mankind, – says film director Alan Dzarasov, who developed scripts for computer games. these two spheres.
The game is a very complex technologically product, in which the most advanced technologies have come together to make the fictional world real. In the 1980s, American physician Tom Calvert began using computers to study the movement of the human skeleton and muscle defects. For this purpose, special sensors were attached to all the joints of the examined person, which transmitted the image to the computer. This technology, later called Motion Capture, made possible the emergence of improved 3D animation.Now any character moves realistically, as in life, and the brain believes that everything is really happening. Today, such technologies make it possible not only to accurately convey the movement of the human body, but also practically all the wealth of psychoemotions on the character’s face.
In addition, many techniques are used to maintain attention. For example, to make it look more like a movie, game creators arrange cameras in the game according to all the laws of cinematography – the angle of view of what is happening is the same as when we are accustomed to watching a good movie.To prevent the viewer’s attention from being scattered, frequent cutscenes are used: short scenes are inserted directly into the game’s narrative. Often, after passing the active area, the player suddenly loses the ability to control the character, and he is shown a cinematic plan, for example, a gorgeous panoramic view, which allows you to relax and relieve tension and switch your eyes to a different perception, thereby pushing back the moment of irrevocable fatigue.
In addition, recently, computer games have been quite rigidly specialized in age categories: a game for a preschooler will be made with the assistance of a preschool psychologist and will take into account the worldview and worldview of a child of this age.The elf from the preschooler game will never speak the way the elf from the teenage game speaks.
When a sufficient number of volunteers ceased to come to the US Army, the Arma-2 game appeared on the market, in which you need to complete tasks as a soldier
“In contrast to Russia, huge amounts of money are invested in the development and promotion of computer games abroad,” says director Alan Dzarasov, “because they have long understood that games are not only a way of entertainment on which you can make good money.This is a very effective ideological product. Take Ghost Recon, for example. According to the plot of the game, the offended sovereign democracy asked NATO for help. After installing the game, we learn that “the Russian boot tramples the ground again …” etc. Do you remember when this game came out? Six months before American advisers first came to Georgia. Another example is a toy, where there are two game situations: either Kiev is bombing Moscow, or Moscow is bombing Kiev. I wonder if you can suggest a level for the game where Washington is bombing Los Angeles?
It is known that it is not the first year that the Americans and the British have been training their soldiers on specially created computer simulators, practicing the tactics and strategy of warfare.And when, after the ambiguous campaigns of the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, a sufficient number of volunteers ceased to come to the US Army, the game (Arma 2) America’s Army appeared on the market, in which you need to complete tasks as a soldier of the US Army. And at the end, a real questionnaire appears on the screen, filling it out and sending it correctly to the specified address, you can join the ranks of the real US army – the game is free and is distributed via the Internet.
– With the help of computer games, you can not only shape the present, but also remake history.No one will prohibit changing the course of a particular battle in the Great Patriotic War, and thousands of children and adolescents will remember exactly the game, and not what is written in the textbook. Americans, who have a landing in Normandy in their historical arsenal, are presented with it in dozens of varieties, and we, having hundreds of real brilliant military operations, miss this field for education and upbringing
Limitation of zero and one
Society began to think about how to protect itself from excessive addiction to computer games almost immediately after their appearance.True, in the case of William Higinbotham’s first game, everything turned out to be simpler: the laboratory needed an oscilloscope and the toy was erased. But already in 1993, the first investigation into violence in video games was launched in the United States. A year later, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a special video game licensing authority, was created in the United States. In 2003, in accordance with a decision of the EU, all computer games on sale were affixed with the same indices as on videotapes, defining the permissible age of adolescents who can play a particular game.This will allow parents to regulate the scope of availability.
Another regulation option is incorporated by the developers directly into the game itself. Rather, in her characters. This is the so-called fatigue system: if a player spends more than three hours on the Web, then his character dramatically loses the speed of gaining experience. Playing such a clumsy elf or troll is sheer torment, so gamers themselves are often unhappy with this measure.
“Such a system is beneficial for both manufacturers and society,” explains Sergey Orlovsky, President of the Nival group of companies.- On the one hand, our servers are not overloaded, on the other, people avoid computer addiction. In offline games, it is more difficult to control the time of the game, therefore, in China, such games are de facto prohibited. And from an online game after six hours you are simply disconnected.
In ancient Greek, and therefore in modern European culture, the world is a mixture of good and evil. And everyone is faced with a choice in which world to live.
Roughly the same can be said about the computer.We can no longer refuse it. Well, maybe not for long.
Vladimir Putin’s conversation with the country – out of touch with reality
Vladimir Putin’s conversation with the country showed a lot.
Firstly, the majority of people understand the problems of the country and begin to realize that the national leader is unlikely to be able to solve them. The questions are becoming more acute, the topics, no matter how you filter them, are more and more relevant. The country is gradually realizing the price and results of a decade of “stability” (or rather, a new stagnation).
Secondly, the prime minister himself understands only one thing: he is the master. And therefore, you can not answer the questions, or answer in the most paradoxical way. When asked about the local authorities, completely mired in crime, one can say that the electoral reform was carried out just to prevent this crime from entering the government. When asked about nationalists taking to the streets, assume that they were inspired by the liberal opposition. The people will eat everything, apparently, the prime minister thinks. Because he’s been eating for ten years.And at the same time he is humbly silent. And it will continue to be silent. Because if you don’t take to the streets, this is the desired stability.
Third, the “straight line” showed that the national leader was nervous. He has already sentenced Khodorkovsky – this is understandable – but he could not have spoken out about this case so revealingly: after all, this has not been counted as a plus for him for a long time. He does not tolerate opposition, but to blame the three fellows, poor in comparison with many of those who were once his classmate and colleague and no longer distinguished themselves, is simply ridiculous and senseless.
Vladimir Putin has completely lost his sense of reality. He does not live in the country, but somewhere high above it, not seeing problems, not wanting changes and almost torn from a sense of his own significance and greatness. It is overflowing with it to the brim. And while watching “Straight Line”, I could not help remembering the little girl from the commercial for fruit juice, to whom her dad tells that she will burst soon. The girl, as you know, answered: “You pour it and move away.” It is a shame that the country will have nowhere to go when the overflowing bubble of Putin’s narcissism bursts.
Out of touch with reality, issue No. 23 (31083) March 5-10, 2021
Author: Boris PROSTOROV.
The leader of the opposition political party Civic Platform in Poland, Boris Budka, accused Deputy Prime Minister and head of the country’s ruling Law and Justice party Jaroslaw Kaczynski of being extremely far from reality. The Polish edition “Dzennik” wrote about this the other day.
“I have the impression that Kaczynski is becoming more and more detached from reality.I can only sympathize: this person does not understand what is happening in Poland. Entrepreneurs want to work quietly and have guarantees of good conditions, young people want to live in a free European country, and his party exercises control over the media, the increasingly widespread introduction of religion into education and dubious initiatives such as toughening the ban on abortion, “Budka told reporters.
Earlier, Kaczynski accused Budka and Civic Platform of the fact that they “want to destroy Poland as an independent state in the name of their own interests and the interests of external hostile forces.”
Meanwhile, representatives of the sociological center Social Changes conducted a new survey of public opinion regarding the sympathy of the Polish population towards the political forces of the country, informs the Internet portal wPolityce.pl. A total of 1,076 adult residents of the republic took part in the survey.
According to the results of the study, if the elections to the Diet were held next Sunday, the ruling Law and Justice party, as in the previous poll, would have outstripped other candidates, gaining 30% of the vote.But the movement of Shimon Holownya “Poland 2050” (awaiting official registration as a political party) unexpectedly burst into second place with a result of 23% of respondents’ sympathies (during previous studies, it took third place). The main oppositional force in Poland, the Civil Coalition, has moved to third place, with 19% of those polled ready to vote for it.
The fourth and fifth places were distributed between the united left and the nationalists from the “Confederation”.They scored 12% and 8% respectively. Other political forces have not crossed the 5% electoral threshold, which allows them to have representation in parliament.
90,000 Out of touch with reality – Kommersant St. Petersburg
Formation of a comfortable urban environment is called the primary task of both the authorities of St. Petersburg and developers. But the new quarters growing on the outskirts of the metropolis can hardly be called comfortable.Market experts believe that the process of creating comfortable residential areas should be formed with the active participation of government authorities.
The idea of comfortable urban life, known as new urbanism, was formed back in the 1980s. Dmitry Karpushin, a member of the board of directors of the Lenstroytrest Group of Companies, says that today the ideas of new urbanism are actually in the air. But they hover like a dream. “New urbanism, in particular, assumes that the main urban objects that people visit or use on a daily basis should be within walking distance, and jobs are confidently occupying the first place in the list of such objects.Access to work is one of the key reasons why people tend to live in big cities. While the possibility of access to earnings in any new projects remains incomprehensible or undeveloped – developers will try to settle as many people “close to the metro” as possible, neighborhoods with a high population density and, as a result, high number of storeys will grow, and new projects for the integrated development of territories ( CAT) will be crowded around the few transport routes leading to the established districts of St. Petersburg, where offices and production facilities are located.And this forced centripetal tendency is now confidently killing the dream, “the expert laments.
Petr Buslov, head of the analytical center of the company “Glavstroy-SPb”, believes that the ideas of new urbanism and the creation of a friendly living environment are becoming more and more in demand every year. “People want to feel comfortable not only in their apartment, but also outside it, to go outside, walk, communicate with neighbors, find various activities to their liking,” the expert says.
He notes that for a long time urban areas were built according to the principle: home – in one place, work – in another, rest and entertainment – in the third. This reality has divided urban areas into giant enclaves, laced up and down with transport networks. Today, the situation is beginning to change, new projects are being launched based on the IBA concept, which are designed to change the existing model of the urban environment.
Arseniy Vasiliev, General Director of the Unisto Petrostal Group of Companies, believes that buyers respond favorably to a safe environment where pedestrians, cyclists, skaters are preferred, to transport infrastructure, where public transport has an advantage, to a low building density, where infrastructure for recreation and sports.”But buyers remain loyal to this concept exactly until the truth of life begins: the lack of a sufficient number of free parking spaces, dedicated lanes for public transport and cyclists, narrowing the roadway intended for motorists, an increase in the cost per square meter of housing, so as with a low building density there is an increase in the financial burden on each square meter of land. Buyers vote with the ruble, and in the end it is their desire that is a priority for developers, “says Mr. Vasiliev.He believes that a compromise is needed between the ideal and the real world, where dreams and physical capabilities collide.
“Now it so happens that an object has good views, but there is no security. There may be good ecology, but at the same time very unsuccessful apartment layouts. And the task of the builders is to competently balance all the criteria of the urban environment. If such a balance can be achieved, then comfort becomes a completely different meaning, “says Roman Miroshnikov, executive director of ZAO Oykumena.
Mikhail Golubev, developer and investor of the Pribrezhny Kvartal project, believes that in order to introduce and use new urbanism as a methodology for the development of the environment, patronage from the authorities is needed, first of all – to build all the processes associated with the registration of territories, provision of transport infrastructure, social facilities, work with investors. “Understanding on the part of officials is necessary: if this is a large urban area, then they should set the main vectors of its development, if this is work with a private investor who develops his territory, then he needs help in terms of patronage of territorial planning,” the developer believes.
Andrey Berezin, chairman of the board of the investment company Evroinvest, says: “System investors, including our company, are interested in large-scale projects related to the integrated development of territories. Obviously, such potential is possessed by lands located on the conditional border between the city and And in terms of the qualitative development of these areas, the authorities of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region need to strengthen constructive dialogue both among themselves and with federal structures, especially those responsible for the development of transport infrastructure.For example, I fully approve of the initiative of the Governor of the Leningrad Region, Alexander Drozdenko, to ban high-rise construction near the city. This decision just fits into the ideology of new urbanism, when a comfortable living and social environment is formed around the metropolis due to low and medium-rise buildings. “
However, the expert notes, in St. Petersburg, which is confidently moving towards the status of a “global city”, the historical center still remains a key urban link, and transport arteries that ensure its connection with other parts of the agglomeration are very important.Realizing that transport accessibility increases the cost of both plots and housing on them, many large developers themselves are ready to invest in transport infrastructure on the basis of PPP. And such projects can also be of interest to investors.
The principles of new urbanism provide for the creation of compact, self-sufficient areas, where within walking distance there is everything you need for a full life. Sergey Khromov, CEO of Start Development Management Company, believes that for St. Petersburg this is the only possible way of development, since the further growth of monofunctional “sleeping bags” will lead to a sharp aggravation of socio-economic problems associated with a lack of transport infrastructure, and most importantly – with a large territorial gap between residential and industrial zones, which leads to significant commuting and transport overload.
“Today in St. Petersburg, the creation of a living environment in new territories is most often limited only by a minimum set of social facilities – kindergartens, schools, clinics. At the same time, such factors as the availability of public spaces, landscaping are practically not taken into account. At the same time, consumer demands are already people are worried about the provision of their place of residence with trade and service facilities, places of leisure. It can be expected that new requirements for the living environment will eventually force developers to abandon the same type of building and reorient to projects that take into account environmental aspects , – sums up Mr. Khromov.
Indefatigable lawmaking out of touch with reality
Correspondent “Pravo. Ru ” attended the meeting of the section “Sociology of Law” held at the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences within the framework of IV All-Russian Sociological Congress. Most of the speakers, regardless of their scientific specialty and place of work, spoke about the crisis of Russian rule-making and law enforcement.In the opinion of the audience, one of the main reasons for this situation is that legislators pass laws out of opportunistic considerations, are almost not interested in whether these norms work in reality, and do not listen to the opinions of scientists.
On Friday, February 3, sociologists and legal historians, criminologists, constitutional scientists and representatives of other fields of science gathered at the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On the sidelines before the start of the scientific meeting, conversations were heard on a topic that was relevant for the entire academic community: due to the ongoing restructuring of universities and scientific institutions, many Russian students did not receive scholarships for January on time, and teachers and scientists did not receive their salaries.So the participants in the sociological congress asked their colleagues how things were going in their institutions.
“Our full-time professors do not receive less than 60 thousand,” the venerable lawyer shared with his colleague. “And where are you now?” “I am at the Moscow State Law Academy”. “And I thought you were at HSE, where they pay 70 thousand each.” “The Moscow State Law Academy also pays so much!” However, whatever the payments to the employees of the IGN RAS, they were delayed: on the door of the trade union committee there was an announcement that “wages are being postponed.”
“Laws are adopted by the thousands without any study of realities”
The day began with a session on the topic “The current state of sociology of law in Russia.” Valentina Lapaeva, chief researcher at the Institute of Geology and Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, described this state as deplorable: according to her, even during the Soviet era, the sociology of law felt better, not to mention its pre-revolutionary heyday.
“In Soviet times, science was harmed, among other things, by the identification of law and law,” Lapaeva said.- This greatly narrowed the possibilities of the researcher, but the legalistic approach still dominates. Before the revolution, scientists relied on a sociological approach and studied law as an established reality. Both sociology and legal consciousness are now in a split. As a result, sociology of right has nothing to rely on. ” “said Lapaeva, nor the relevant independent academic institutions.As a result, according to the speaker, laws are adopted by the thousands without any study of realities, without relying on fundamental applied research.
“Our law is everything, whatever the legislator does”
Against the background of other speakers, Valentina Lapaeva’s assessment sounded rather restrained. For example, Professor Yuri Grevtsov (Faculty of Law of St. Petersburg State University) noted that “the gap between legislation and what is being done in reality is enormous.” The “irrepressible lawmaking” is especially striking – according to Grevtsov, in the entire history of Canada, only about 800 laws have been adopted, while in Russia so many laws are adopted in a year and a half.Here Professor Grevtsov quoted Tacitus, who wrote that a large number of laws characterize a badly organized state.
“We are dominated by the idea that the law is everything, whatever the legislator does,” said Yuri Grevtsov. “As a result, completely different laws coexist, like the 6-FKZ, which regulates the entry of new subjects into the Russian Federation, and the law of the Arkhangelsk region “On the provision of an individual tax benefit to Energomashcorporation OJSC. Both we have – the law. “
According to the speaker, the adoption of more and more new regulations and the introduction of many amendments to the existing ones violates one of the basic principles of the “present” law: its certainty. Also, according to Professor Grevtsov, – the law should not pursue a specific goal, it only sets the rules of the game for all interested parties. Finally, the law must be stable, otherwise the possibility of long-term planning decreases in society. We do not observe any of these conditions, Grevtsov believes.
What does this situation lead to? Evgeny Salygin, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Higher School of Economics, said. In Russia, the law sometimes begins to change even before it comes into force, Salygin said, and the real relations he is supposed to regulate develop on their own. As an example, he cited the law on mediation: for a year and a half after its entry into force, it did not unload the courts at all, as the legislator intended. “Mediators today are considering mainly those cases that, for formal reasons, do not have a judicial prospect,” Salygin explained, “for example, when a controversial agreement was drawn up incorrectly.That is, mediation does not help the court, but competes with it. “
Evgeny Salygin, like Professor Grevtsov, sees opportunistic motives in the activity of Russian rule-makers. jurist. – Almost the majority of Russian laws are adopted in someone’s interests, creating rent that someone uses. However, we have already crossed the line when it is possible to adopt norms without discussing with those whom they will regulate, “Salygin said.
51% of Russian lawyers are “not entirely satisfied” with their work
The second session of the Sociology of Law section was devoted to issues of legal culture, especially in its ethno-social and political aspects. Several reports were made about the “clash of legal consciousness” of migrants and the local population of Europe and Russia, about transformations in the legal consciousness of Russian citizens, about their views on the behavior of the authorities – here we can note the words of sociologist Olga Zdravomyslova that in the minds of the majority of our fellow citizens “the image of power has become completely unlawful. “Unfortunately, the speakers managed to tell about their research only in the most general terms (the abstracts of most of the speeches are published here). They also explained the lack of specific data by the fact that fundamental research in the sociology of law is carried out extremely rarely and irregularly.
A typical example is the study of the professional culture of Russian lawyers, which was described by its author, Professor of Moscow State Law Academy Nikolai Sokolov. Back in 2005, he interviewed 1,200 lawyers, judges, prosecutors, legal advisers, notaries and representatives of other legal professions to assess the level and characteristics of their legal culture.Note that Professor Sokolov has been conducting research on this topic for more than a dozen years, but each of them takes years, since he is forced to carry out them on his own.
Professor Sokolov tried to assess, first of all, the volume of professional knowledge of his respondents: according to his observations, for several years before the study, “the legal awareness of Russian lawyers has significantly increased.” At the same time, Sokolov said, as soon as he in his questions “deviated a little from a certain basis, and the knowledge of the respondents in the laws fell sharply.”Half of the lawyers interviewed by him believed that it is important for them to know well the branch of legislation with which their work is connected, and in other areas it is enough to “orientate”.
Also, the researcher was interested in the question of professional motivation of lawyers. Here, the majority of those surveyed by Sokolov named a sense of responsibility (58.5%), noted how difficult and interesting their work is (54%), and said about their mission to protect the interests of citizens (39%). True, a significant number of respondents admitted that they perform their professional duties “out of habit” (27%), “for material reasons” (27%), and some even “out of fear of punishment” (8%).
According to Sokolov, the majority of Russian lawyers are satisfied with their work: according to his research, 40% are “quite satisfied”, 51% are “not entirely satisfied”, 6% are “not satisfied”, and the remaining 3% “found it difficult to answer.” … But the social activity of lawyers, according to the scientist, is insufficient – often they are simply busy with their work and in connection with it communicate with colleagues.
“You are asking what is the meaning of the new laws, but they say: the president instructed”
In the final, third section of the IGP RAS conference, speeches were made by criminologists researching criminal crime and law enforcement.Many of them have worked in the Ministry of Internal Affairs for decades and have senior officer ranks. Perhaps the most harsh assessments of the quality of modern Russian laws were voiced here.
For example, Professor Sergei Maksimov, Head of the Criminal Law and Criminology Sector of the Institute of Geology and Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, devoted his report to “criminal-legal myths” that have a huge impact on the rule-making culture in Russia. He settled on four of them. The first is that criminal law does not regulate social relations, but only protects them from criminal encroachments.In practice, Maksimov noted, the threat of criminal punishment affects people’s behavior, and they expect some certainty in the question of “what is good and what is bad.” However, the legislator shows inconsistency, for example, repeals the article of the Criminal Code “pseudo-business” and two years later returns it in amended form, establishing responsibility for the registration of companies on a front person. “You ask in any offices what is the meaning of all this,” Professor Maksimov wondered, “and they say: the president ordered . No one will even explain to him that this should not be done. “
The second myth is that the Criminal Code and fear of punishment stop a criminal. But in reality, Maksimov notes, the criminal law has almost no effect on criminal behavior, since the established norms are not applied. the popular premise “let’s introduce responsibility for this and people will stop doing it” does not work.
The third myth is that the crime of an act and its consequences are determined only by criminal law.But in practice, legislators seem to point to the “relativity” of many crimes: for example, they raise and lower the weight of a drug, for which possession is criminalized. As a result, the number of crimes under Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation changes significantly.
The fourth myth, according to the speaker, is that “the Criminal Code is outdated and must be replaced immediately with a new one.” Doing this is dangerous: it is possible to paralyze the work of the law enforcement officer, who, according to Maksimov, “is already maddened by the fact that the Criminal Code he works with is constantly being changed and has practically lost the motivation to honestly fulfill his duty.”
Already today, the scientist believes, the most interesting subject for sociology of law is “anti-state” and “anti-law”, that is, what legal realities take place in the country and how they relate to nominal laws and the formal structure of power. For example, in order to simply launch the mechanism of criminal law enforcement, “additional incentives” are needed, the existence of a law alone is not enough, Maksimov said. It has become the norm to initiate and close a criminal case for a bribe. “We need to put all the rule-making in order,” Maksimov said, “until we come to the legal death of the state.Scholastic lawmaking must be suppressed as absolutely ineffective. And scientists should not hesitate to remind the legislator of this. “
” The main tragedy – we do not know the real statistics of crimes “
Following the speech was the chief researcher of the Institute of Geology and Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Viktor Luneev, who said that, judging by the reports already made, sociology there is simply no law in Russia. “The sociology of law is a mirror of law, without which one cannot live,” said Professor Luneev. – We are here discussing how to understand this or that norm: where is the main thing – statistics? Where is the collection and processing of real facts? This is our main tragedy: we do not know the real crime statistics. “
According to Luneev, one of the reasons for the state’s inattention to sociology is that official statistics look much better than field research data. “According to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, over the past 4 years, our crime has decreased by more than 20%, – said Professor Luneev. – Even Bill Clinton, with his $ 30 billion crime program, did not achieve this! the instruction was given: to work for statistics “.
The speaker noted that any police statistics depend on the conjuncture: say, it is worth increasing the police force by 10% – and the recorded crime will increase by the same amount, because the new employees “will prove that they were not hired for nothing.”However, in the West, for example, in the USA and Great Britain, in addition to departmental statistics, the criminological situation is monitored by independent sociological agencies. “We do not have a single institute that would purposefully study reality in this regard,” Luneev stressed. “Even at the All-Russian Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there is no sociological service.”
At the same time, according to him, even according to the available statistics, it is possible to record trends in crime and law enforcement, and these trends are also disappointing.For example, it is officially believed that about 17 million crimes are committed in Russia a year, said Luneev, in the All-Russian Research Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs there are 25 million crimes. Annually, law enforcement agencies receive 23-24 million statements of crime, of which only 3 million are registered, and 800,000 cases reach trial. This means that millions of criminals, that is, the overwhelming majority of them, evade responsibility, the scientist believes.
“Science is powerless here”
Critical speeches of colleagues were largely supported by Professor Semyon Lebedev, head of the Department of Criminology of the Moscow University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.True, he said that so far he did not see a catastrophe in the field of sociology of law and in criminology, but he also admitted that “there is a complete imbalance of the law enforcement system and, consequently, equality of all before lawlessness and social apathy. it cannot, but the complete destruction of the state – yes. ”
Professor Lebedev believes that this situation is largely the result of the simultaneous reform of all law enforcement agencies – the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor’s Office, the TFR and the Federal Penitentiary Service.The disorder was intensified by constant amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and other legislative innovations, “not based in any way on scientific knowledge,” Lebedev said. “Russian law is at odds with reality,” Semyon Lebedev said, and Sergei Maksimov added: “The first reaction of the authorities to any problem in society is to adopt a new criminal law. It is so pointless that science is powerless here.”
90,000 Center for Political Analysis – Out of touch
15 August 2014 / 15:04
Almost every day brings us from Ukraine another sensational “news” concerning the alleged intrigues of “imperial” Russia.
Almost every day brings us from Ukraine another sensational “news” concerning the alleged intrigues of “imperial” Russia. And such revelations are not the fruit of a sick fantasy only of the yellow press, although it also makes its feasible contribution to denigrating the Ukrainian neighbor. Take it higher – this kind of “ducks” fly from the capital city of Kiev, from the offices of the highest ranking officials, choosing a variety of paths: from public statements to innuendo on social networks.And in fact, such “news” stuffing by its complete separation from reality is very much reminiscent of nonsense, but apparently, someone needs them, for example, the current puppeteers from the USA and Europe, pulling the strings in the Ukrainian crisis. And there are many examples of this. Here are just a few of them.
The other day, the deputy head of the presidential administration of Ukraine Valery Chaly sounded the alarm: they say, Russia was trying to carry out – and yet another (!!!) – a breakthrough of some peacekeepers across the border in the Kharkiv region.
However, thanks to the “wisdom of the country’s leadership”, the hostile action was prevented. The official explained that President Petro Poroshenko promptly convened a meeting on this issue, held negotiations at the international level, and that is why the situation – and it never happened! – managed to keep it under control.
The press center of the military operation of the security forces in the East and Southeast of Ukraine, which Kiev calls anti-terrorist, is not lagging behind the cabinet workers in its fantasies – practically all the population of these regions was indiscriminately registered as terrorists.So, according to him, Moscow allegedly continues to supply both weapons and mercenaries to support the militia of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. It is noteworthy that – as in other cases of libel – again, no more or less reliable facts are presented. I do not think that the dreamers from the press service liked the message of the OSCE mission on the Russian-Ukrainian border, which officially stated that it had not recorded the movement of armed people into the territory of Ukraine.
Take even such a good deed as the provision of humanitarian aid by Russia, and this is two thousand tons of urgently needed cargo.
Moscow persistently sought this out of humanistic considerations – the personnel of devastation in the settlements of the East and South-East of Ukraine cannot be forgotten, unless, of course, they are ignored, as many politicians in the West do, and it did. The reaction of Kiev, which – with many conditions – was still forced to agree to the implementation of such a mission, to put it mildly, strange, but at the same time explainable, taking into account the true interests of those forces that initially stood behind the tragic events for ordinary people in Ukraine.Its essence fits into the framework of the obsession with the “imminent invasion of Russia.” This is how one can and should interpret the nonsense voiced at the briefing by the press secretary of the President of Ukraine Svyatoslav Tsegolko, who voiced the scenarios for the development of the situation with the humanitarian aid convoy. One of them: “a direct invasion of the territory of Ukraine under the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid.” The other sounds no better than the first: “provocations with cargo on the territory of the Kharkiv region with a high probability of aggression from Russia.”
And on the tape of one of the Ukrainian news agencies there appeared “analytical material”, in which a script was written about a humanitarian convoy. The essence of the nonsense is that if the first such action is successful, then Moscow will launch a second convoy with the same cargo, the only task of which is to provoke … its own destruction – either with the help of the security forces or “Russian agents”. And this allegedly will serve as the basis for the Russian Federation, which in the opus is referred to as an enemy, to send troops into Ukrainian territory.
The Kiev officials also agreed before the initiation of a criminal case against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think that such an option can be considered, I will report to the minister about it,” said Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, on the air of the Kiev TV and radio company. Base? A visit by the head of the Russian state to the Russian Crimea. True, Ukraine for some reason considers it its own, although there was a referendum in Crimea in full accordance with the norms of international law.However, Gerashchenko understands the stupidity of his own option. “The only thing is that Putin is an inviolable person, there is a diplomatic Vienna Convention, so it will be impossible to bring him to justice,” the adviser grieves.
To characterize this official, it will not be superfluous to cite a couple more statements that speak of his “talents” exactly what you thought. In a recent telephone conversation with the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky, he demanded “to return Moscow to Ukraine,” and also promised the Russian politician to make him “persona non grata in the entire civilized world” (according to Senka, is it a hat ?!) …
… Recently I was digging on the Internet and quite by accident came across a series of articles on the topic of mental and psychological illnesses, among which delusional complexes were analyzed, that is, a group of mental illnesses that are very close to schizophrenic ones.Delirium is a pathological state of a person, seized by ideas or sensations that are far from reality, and at the same time he becomes deaf to any reasonable arguments and evidence refuting his statements – it is impossible to dissuade him of their alleged truth.
I am not a doctor. It is not my prerogative to make a diagnosis.
However, you must agree that the powers that be in Kiev are clearly – you don’t even need to be a doctor – there is a disconnect from reality.