Four Yorkshiremen

The older I’ve got and the more I have learned about life, the more I have come to realize that I was borne at a very fortuitous time. (What I’m going to write will sound a bit like Four Yorkshiremen but so be it.) I spent my childhood in post-war Finland living on a small farm (we did have a floor and no holes in the roof though). I was about four Continue Reading

All bets are off

From the The Guardian on Thursday 17 November 2016: Outgoing US president voices hopes during Berlin visit that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will defend democratic values and rule of law. Except that the article didn’t say “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”; it said “my successor”. I never thought that I in my lifetime would read anything like that…

Axioms of psychiatry

I want to write a few posts about psychiatric care. As I wrote in a recent post I’ve come to realize that psychiatric care is inadequate in many ways in the western world. I believe that I need to declare a fundamental set of “axioms” (beliefs, assumptions) to be able to discuss many of the more practical problems in psychiatry later. Many decisions and treatments in psychiatry depend on such things as Continue Reading

Nation-level self-harm

With ever increasing astonishment I read this piece in The Atlantic. It’s about the self-censorship applied more and more extensively at US campuses to prevent students from becoming offended. Students become offended even by the sheer questioning of the policies that are put in place to prevent them from becoming offended. I guess I should apologize in advance for the “microagression” at the end of this sentence and give a “trigger warning” Continue Reading

We are failing the mentally ill

As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve been thinking a lot about the sorry state of psychiatric care in the Western world (the only part of the world from which I happen to have information – I speculate that the state is even sadder in the developing world). Mental illnesses as a group cost the society more than cancer or cardiovascular diseases, between two and four percent of the GNP of Continue Reading


I’m reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I’ve read only a handful of books that have changed my life. Escher, Gödel, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter and the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge come to mind. I have added Fast and Slow to that handful. I pride myself of being a reasonably rational person. Sometimes I’m even arrogant enough to accuse other people of “intellectual laziness”. Fast and Slow presents a Continue Reading

Another harmful label

In an earlier post I wrote about the labels “race” and “gender” and their limited usefulness in discourse and policy making. There are several more where those came from. An often mentioned one in Sweden right now is “unaccompanied refugee children”. It is claimed that they are over-represented in crime statistics, in particular sexual offences. Whether true or not, this is yet another use of a useless and misleading label, like “race” Continue Reading

What is normal?

There will probably be some posts on psychiatry here going forward. I’m going to argue that psychiatric care is in dire need of a Silicon Valley type of disruption. More on that later. With this post I just wanted to share a couple of interesting quotes from the book Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience by Charles Zorumski and Eugene Rubin. A delusion is a fixed false belief that is outside the cultural context Continue Reading

Go figure!

So the British decided to leave the EU. When Brussels asked them to get started they said “we’re in no hurry, let’s think this through”. The old people who voted to leave said they will certainly suffer for it but they did the sacrifice for the younger generations. The younger generations voted to stay. The British voted “leave” to cut immigration. But they want a trade deal with the EU. Which comes Continue Reading

An immigrant’s advice

I started writing on this post in the aftermath of the riots in Husby near Stockholm in 2013. I thought I’d share some hypotheses about why I never rioted and instead became a rather typical middle class, reasonably well-educated and somewhat boring citizen, with a clean criminal record (bar a few speeding and parking tickets). Now, with the unprecedented number of refugees flowing into Sweden at the end of 2015 the post Continue Reading