DSM-VBuy Now

Buy it at Amazon!

 

"Next week the American Psychiatric Association is publishing its fifth take on the classification of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-5. Judging by the sound and fury, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is something radical – a great breakthrough in our struggle to better understand mental disorders, or alternatively a dastardly plot to extend the boundaries of psychiatry into everyday life and emotions at the behest of greedy drug companies. Or, if the position statement from the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) is to be believed, an attempt to emphasise the biological causes of mental disorders over the social and psychological.

In fact, it is none of the above. . .

So why the fuss about DSM-5? After all, it's hardly a good read – not the kind of book anyone will take on holiday – and it isn't the system of classification that we use over here in any case. In practice, most UK mental health professionals will barely notice much difference. Some diagnostic criteria will have improved, others less so, and no doubt there will be some "only in America" stories about the inevitable daft new category. But most of those in the business of helping those with mental disorders will be less concerned with what is in and what is out than with the reality of underfunded and overstretched services. The idea that we are part of a conspiracy to medicalise normality will seem frankly laughable as we struggle to protect services for those whose disorders are all too evident under any classification system."

Do we need to change the way we are thinking about mental illness? | Science | The Observer http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/may/12/dsm-5-conspiracy-laughable

Stop change"There's just no incentive to accept changes from outside your own team. You can always find a reason to say "no", and you have very little incentive to say 'yes'."

 

Sometimes when I'm reading about computers, I stumble across something that explains volumes about culture. 

Here is an example about stagnation and the culture of "no" at Microsoft.  Do you see equivalents in conservative cliques within SSA?  It certainly nails the mentality of the ALJ union.  But sadly, I've also seen these forces at work in the community of representatives and attorneys who represent the disabled at SSA.  It is not necessary to understand the technical points to get the important point.

"Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening. The cause of the problem is social. There's almost none of the improvement for its own sake, for the sake of glory, that you see in the Linux world.

Granted, occasionally one sees naive people try to make things better. These people almost always fail. We can and do improve performance for specific scenarios that people with the ability to allocate resources believe impact business goals, but this work is Sisyphean. There's no formal or informal program of systemic performance improvement. We started caring about security because pre-SP3 Windows XP was an existential threat to the business. Our low performance is not an existential threat to the business.

See, component owners are generally openly hostile to outside patches: if you're a dev, accepting an outside patch makes your lead angry (due to the need to maintain this patch and to justify in in shiproom the unplanned design change), makes test angry (because test is on the hook for making sure the change doesn't break anything, and you just made work for them), and PM is angry (due to the schedule implications of code churn). There's just no incentive to accept changes from outside your own team. You can always find a reason to say "no", and you have very little incentive to say "yes".

There's also little incentive to create changes in the first place. On linux-kernel, if you improve the performance of directory traversal by a consistent 5%, you're praised and thanked. Here, if you do that and you're not on the object manager team, then even if you do get your code past the Ob owners and into the tree, your own management doesn't care. Yes, making a massive improvement will get you noticed by senior people and could be a boon for your career, but the improvement has to be very large to attract that kind of attention. Incremental improvements just annoy people and are, at best, neutral for your career. If you're unlucky and you tell your lead about how you improved performance of some other component on the system, he'll just ask you whether you can accelerate your bug glide . .  "

I Contribute to the Windows Kernel. We Are Slower Than Other Operating Systems. Here Is Why. - Zorinaq http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=74

 

Republicans who wish to cut down on the burden of disability insurance would do well to cut down on the burden of guns in this country, which cause a significant amount of disabilty.  Instead, they play games with the lives of our families and children.  For example:

"The Republican National Committee is skewering President Obama for failing to pass legislation on gun control, despite GOP lawmakers blocking the initiative in the first place.

The ad, called “The First 100 days,” shows Obama hugging Nicole Hockley, the mother of a Sandy Hook victim, and criticizes the president for not having much legislative success in the sequester, his so-called reluctance to stay out of the immigration reform debate , and yes, gun control.

In reality, Republicans and the National Rifle Association had been rallying against the bill, which would have strengthened background checks. The amendment failed 54-46, with 41 GOPers and five rural-state Democrats blocking the plan.

“Ninety percent of Democrats in the Senate just voted for that idea,” the president said after the amendment—catalyzed by the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.—failed. “But it’s not going to happen because 90% of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea.” He called the failure a “shameful day for Washington.”"

The RNC blasts Obama for not passing gun reform bill — MSNBC http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/05/02/rnc-blasts-obama-for-not-passing-gun-reform-bill/

"A Wall Street Journal article debunked the myth that federal disability benefits are to blame for the shrinking labor force, "exaggerated" claims that have previously been pushed by the paper itself.

An April 29 Journal article headlined "Real Culprit Behind Smaller Workforce: Age" explained that the recent decrease in the labor force -- the number of employed and unemployed Americans who are currently seeking work -- "has more to do with retiring baby boomers than frustrated job seekers abandoning their searches." The article noted that claims that Americans are voluntarily leaving the workforce to receive Disability Insurance instead of working, for example, "may be exaggerated," and explained that retirees and students made up a far more significant portion of those leaving the labor force. . .  "

WSJ Debunks WSJ On Labor Force And Disability | Blog | Media Matters for America http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/04/29/wsj-debunks-wsj-on-labor-force-and-disability/193817