Can we ever truly understand anything beyond our own mind? If not, do assumptions form the backdrop of all human behavior? What assumptions do we make about others, and how does this affect our interactions? “The Solipsist” is a story about a clash of cultures, where either side is perhaps a little too certain of its understanding of the way things are and should be.
Protests are underway in Russia. Tens of thousands of people are out on the streets. Are the current violations of human rights in Russia on par with Soviet-era abuses of power and misrule? Is Alexey Navalny an earnest reformer or simply a rival of Putin seeking ever greater power? The following journalistic piece hints at Dostoyevsky’s “The Gambler” to shed light on Russia’s unrest.
This is a story about a troubled man’s relationship with authority. In psychoanalysis, Freud’s concept of “transference” has to do with a process where the analyst becomes the object of all the patient’s emotional energy and neediness. But does it happen only in a psychoanalytic context?
In the popular mind, older generations are generally more conservative and younger ones more open-minded and willing to embrace change. It’s a dynamic often played out in popular culture — think of the conservative administrators in Dead Poets Society who don’t take well to an upstart professor with an unconventional approach to teaching young minds. The modern history of the United States is a primer in the tension between generational values. The baby-boomer generation (the hippies and protestors and activists) are widely seen as having broken free of the traditional ethos handed down by elders and as having applied idealism and passion in the name of promoting peace and building a better world. But the real picture is far more complex than the stereotypes. In some cases, members of the younger generation turned out to be more conservative than their elders. The following family history challenges generational stereotypes by describing how a mother, who lived in New York at a time of radical upheaval, found a very different political identity from that of her progressive mother.