Valerie Yules Letters

July 29, 2010

My spellchecker helps me wert a story

Filed under: humor, spelling — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 5:59 am

My Spellchecker helps me wert a story

If you are like me and your fringes arr a bit clumsier than they used to be on a kerb yard, it is interesting to see what your Spellchecker suggests to admen your typing splits.  I gaster that all their substations are guenon worsts.

Here is what a short fairy story resulted in when my typing slips were checked by Spellchecker –

Acne upon a tmesis therm was a beatific prises who lidded in a levelly stonk castel on the banns of a girt revere.  She had a pet canny birk, a frog and a sawn, but she had been told that she must ever let them be seen all three together, or something would happen on the lines of the game Paper Stone Scissors.  So she kept one in her room o the windowsill, one on the riverbank, and one in a pion in the courtyard.

And she would say to them, ‘If cony you were a Prince in Disguise, then when I am sixteen there will not be ell the problems tat there have been with my three elder sisters, with Princes cueing form all over and wanting to marry them and going on questions and angering riddles or not being able to or never coming back or woes still coming bock. While al lethe time ter father wanted them to make strategic alliances with other castles down the river and their mooter wanted them to marry the sons of her old schoolf riends back in Braislavinika.  And they – they wee not particularly interested in marae except for the fun of the weddings.  Biot not wall three of the odder sisters had after all been married off, and they arere still not partially interested in their marriages, except for the gorgeous little princesslets and princelings that they burg to visit their loving parents once a yea at the Grato Annual Family Blathering.

That was a busy time for the youngest princesses, because the little children were more inversed in the canary, the frog and the swan than they were in their hula hoops or rice puddings, or face it, each other.

So, one day, the story tells . .

Do you want any mors of this?


July 25, 2010

Hoarding – the problem of our age

Filed under: social problems, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 11:34 pm

Hoarding – the problem of our age

Psychologists are now treating victims of Compulsive Hoarding Disorder, people who cannot get rid of belongings until the belongings take over their homes, and even spill into their front gardens.  They are few, but spectacular.

The greater problem are those who have the first step in this disorder, Compulsive Buying Disorder, but then throw out the back door so much that the home is practically bare.  Contrast the cluttered Victorian home with their energetic inventive inhabitants, with the elemental simplicity of the homes advertised in estate agents’ billboards, and the passive dwellers in them, constantly having to buy anew what they threw out before.

Bare simplicity is a problem in today’s libraries and museums. Chucking out is excessive as the past disappears.

The solution to both ends of this disorder, Buying and Keeping so much, is to buy only what you need.  This will upset our present economy, but it is time we moved to another economy, that did not waste so much of our resources to make unused goods that get thrown out, and humanpower, in selling them.

July 24, 2010

Dumbing down

Filed under: social problems — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 12:16 am

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not  sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

Are We Being Dumbed Down


  1. People have always been stupid – it is more serious a part of the human condition than Original Sin.
  2. What is stupidity?
  3. We are allowing ourselves to be made more stupid.
  4. Responses to the challenges are often paradoxically stupid.
  5. What is required to try to be less foolish?
  6. Mea culpa.

1. Original stupidity.

History is ‘a record of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind’. (Edward Gibbon)

There has usually been a ‘faithful remnant’, so to speak, who have been less stupid, and helped to lead mankind out of extinction and towards better quality of life. But they have not been immune from foolishness either, and some writers make a living fossicking out and publishing the foolishness of the great.  Silly, unless it makes us tolerate our own weaknesses more easily and still keep going in hope. Erasmus wrote The Ship of Fools, Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels. They have been read for entertainment.

One theory of intelligent design is that a creator, to avoid boredom, invented us as a computer game, and set levels of difficulty to ensure human behavior is made more interesting by many of us being clever enough to invent astonishing things, but stupid enough to misuse use them or not be able to cope with their complexity.

2. What is stupidity?

De Bono has Seven Hats for Thinking.  There are Seven Hats for being stupid.

  1. Short Term self-interest that imperils long-term survival.
  2. Preferring ignorance and even preferring stupidity, with various rationalisations.
  3. Not making connections.  Thinking of things in isolation only.
  4. ISAGIAT. Not thinking about possible consequences.
  5. Getting upset about any challenges to personal competence.
  6. Attention-deficit
  7. Not learning from the past or from others.

OCD Definition.  In a state of stupor or lethargy. Slow-witted, obtuse, crass, foolish, silly.

3. We are letting ourselves to be made more stupid.

IQ scores are rising all over the world, an astonishing phenomenon.  Are we really all becoming more intelligent?  Yes, in non-verbal skills that make us wonderful in using and adapting to modern technology – nonverbal problem solving, visual-spatial-organizational skills, visual pattern recognition –

But no, not in verbal skills such as analyzing information, solving problems using language-based reasoning. judgment and general knowledge.  As a mob, we may be falling behind in aspects of intelligence that IQ tests cannot measure, such as wide-ranging curiosity, persistence, and imagination as ‘considering what may be possible in the real world not just in fantasy.’

Interests that benefit from mass stupidity include governments and business that want more docile citizens, workers and consumers.

People become more stupid by –

Damaging and ignorant child care. This is increasing not decreasing

Deliberate self-harm such as binge drinking, drugs, brain damage in car accidents, gluttony, no exercise and even deliberate suicidal behavior when suicide is not a rational response

Entertainment that may affect cognitive function – excessive loud noise, epileptogenic lighting, the incoherence of video clips, ADHD stimulation by constant interruptions on commercial TV, music with excessive drumming and repetition of notes or words.  The numbing effect of stimuli such as poker machines. As far as I can find, there is no real research to monitor the effects of these global experiments.

Excessive Entertainment takes away time previously spent on constructive activities – reading, social, hobbies, political action, reflection, exercise . . .

Responses to challenges by escape/depression not enterprise/courage.

Doing what everybody else does, even if they are going over a cliff.

Taking things to extremes. Even moderation can be taken to extremes.

Low expectations in schools. I agree with Rupert Murdoch  (Boyer Lectures) about the deleterious effect of too-low expectations in schools, but I do not agree with the deleterious effect of his tabloids on public levels of thinking.

4. Responses to the challenges ahead are often paradoxically stupid.

1) The paradox can be complex.  Ethiopia had a terrible famine 25 years ago. Since then its population has doubled and there are more droughts.  For an Ethiopian, more children may mean more possibilities that some may survive- but aid agencies have less to excuse their responses to what could be easily foretold.

2) Stimulating consumption and waste to avoid economic recession, when that is almost the worst thing to do ecologically with climate changes and future shortages of resources. How could the economy itself be adapted to less consumption, and jobs be in more useful fields than producing waste?

3) Carbon trading as a solution to reducing carbon emissions – driven by commercial interests, when carbon taxing would be both more effective and not allow such financial profits to be made in the trading.

4) Water trading – driven by commercial interests seeking privatization of water.

5) Fifty percent of everything the Victorian State government is doing (A Hoocancheckus statistic). A list can easily be provided from  almost every department.

6) The population policies of the West.

7) Myths about human behaviour that are damaging – such as the myth that symbolic violence reduces rather than encourages physical violence by giving ‘outlets’.

8) Enthusiasm for ‘mind-blowing’.

9) Marketing products without testing for bugs.

10) Responses of anger to anything frustrating or against perceived immediate personal interest.  Many responses to online e-magazine articles express bile rather than considered thinking.

5. What is required to become less foolish?

1) It would be foolish and time-wasting to continue this list.

Better to look at what we are doing ourselves.

2) Check up on more myths about human nature and its limitations, and human behavior and its excuses.  For example,0 the myth that Reason has got us into the crises we are now in, and we should have more emotion and gut feelings. The solution is surely to use our reason more, and be less swayed by fear, greed, and the other deadly sins. Reason directed to the aims of these emotions has been a great lapse of reason.

Human reason is limited, but it can do better.  Our emotions are part of the joy of living; they can be less out of control.

3) Education is everywhere, more out of schools than in them. More can be done to redirect our dangerous memes – and Radio national can be part of this. To give Thinking a higher place in being fully human.

Everyone should know more about how they tick – for example, the Freudian ‘mechanisms of ego defence’ and Eric Berne’s Games People Play.

4) Beyond immediate short-term self-interest. Everyone should know more about how to check up on how this is affecting their own behavior.

For example, some literate people  don’t want English spelling to be made any easier, even if removing unnecessary difficulties would not make reading any harder for them.

For example, people who have become desensitised to dangerously loud music and need it louder to continue to make an impact, continue to risk hearing and cognitive damage. When bands in public places are asked to play less reverberatingly because a quick clipboard survey shows 90% of the audience would prefer it softer, they will say they cannot.  Why not? ‘Because people would not like it’.

5) Where did this present diatribe begin?

Because so many people have have hearing problems in the presence of background noise (e.g. at restaurants etc). Around 15 percent of listeners (Hoochancheckus) have some degree of disability for hearing higher frequencies, the voice frequencies, and this increases with age.  Most young adults can hear frequencies up to 20,000 hertz as compared with 8000 in the elderly.

The elderly are quite a high proportion of Radio National listeners, and I have found great support for wanting undisrupted speaking on the radio (which does not have the visual clues of real life or even TV and film).  It is proposed to put print clues on screen for TV programs, so the deaf can follow them.  What can be done for the mildly disabled listening to radio?  Research may well find that background music to radio voices also reduces comprehension among the normal.  They are getting ‘entertainment’ but not complete information or thinking.

When the response to this is that radio programs are not intended to be primarily about information or thinking, the response is that Radio National already has a high proportion of programs that are ambience rich and even sequentially incoherent. If people want that sort of emotional bathing, they can go to them.

There is no objection to background noises of all sorts when the voices are not actually speaking. So why not restrict backgrounds to these plentiful times?

Why does Radio national do this obfuscating?  What is driving the producers and the sound engineers to add to the complexity of their programs and even to their promotions (which is fun for them and adds to the interest of their job) at the cost of the taxpayer.

It may be fun to add speakers talking in their native tongues on the News, but when this obscures translations of what they are saying, it is overdone.

Could radio programs on the  National Interest raise the question of Dumbing Down? Probably not.

It would be pretty dangerous. The cries of Elitism, spoilsports, wowsers, who do you think you are, is nothing sacred . ..

Even  ‘Improving Intelligence’ in the National Interest could be a no-goer, although the different slant means also different material and possibly constructive action.

6. Mea culpa.

Most of my life has been wasted foolishly.

I waste too much time foolishly regretting this, and continue to waste.


July 23, 2010

Book on Children’s Stories and Drawings

To consider what may be possible in the real world and the stories children tell.
A book that is for anybody interested in the full development of human beings, individual and social – including parents, teachers and those concerned with raising children. Something that is educative but inspiring, with a coherent philosophy yet practical in outcomes, honest yet humane (and that’s not all!

Brief rationale. Children’s imagination is of special interest and has a special appeal. Imagination is the distinctively human ability to consider what may be possible in the real world, not only in fantasy. Children are still not sure which is which, and they use symbols to express what they do not yet have the language to say directly. This book is about what children imagine, and how their experiences shape it; and about what happens to children’s imagination as they grow up and why – and why this matters. It therefore addresses important contemporary issues, and is relevant to our future.
The aims of the book are to help adults understand children, and to stimulate imagination in practical problem-solving, innovation and enterprise, and to encourage a very pleasurable human activity in fantasy and wonder. My aim is not to say everything that can be said about children and imagination, but what I think needs to be said. It is about imagination, and it is imaginative.
Readers: Primary: The general public, thinkers and people interested in the arts.
cf. the popularity of William Sargeant, Jay Gould, Desmond Morris, Richard Gregory, Bronowski, and others who have written about the mind and behaviour in a readable way.
Secondary: Teachers and students. For courses such as English, creative writing, aesthetics, art, social issues, introductory science, future studies, history and philosophy of thought, general school studies, teacher-training and adult education.

Content: I think this book is important because it presents new and stimulating ideas and material on an important and controversial subject.
It makes connections between concepts, fields of thinking, and disciplines.
It breaks new ground as a non-specialist book for general readers, with original ideas to stimulate imagination and thinking, and with a strong practical future-orientation. Much information is little known.

Original features include
The definition of Imagination as ‘the ability to consider what may be possible, in the real world, as well as in fantasy’, and its implications.
Setting the development of imagination within the whole life-span, not ending with adolescence.
Evidence about the development of children’s imagination.
A rethinking of practical imagination in education.
Application of imagination to a vision of the future, and to problem-solving,

Style and format: Chapters vary in style according to their content, and are each self-contained as essays. There is therefore some overlap, but this redundancy may be necessary to ensure that the messages are understood. A possible layout of the section on children’s stories is a setting in smaller print, with drawings opposite.

Existing publications: To the best of my knowledge there has been nothing published quite like what I seek to say. Bronowski, Storr and Koestler have probably come closest in some of the general themes. The topic of imagination is popular today – the ERIC Education data-base listed 824 journal articles and papers between 1982-93, and hundreds of books are currently in print. Of those I have checked so far, none have the original content and structure of the book I have in mind. Books on imagination have tended to be academic and literary or Buck-u-uppo, similar to ‘Improving your memory’, focussing on fantasy and self-expression in writing, or related to the earlier bandwagons on ‘Creativity’ (See categories of books currently in print)
The manuscript also contains a great deal of original research material from my work and play with children.
The author. The book is the fruit of 30 years of research, practical observation, and reflection, during the author’s work as a researcher and academic, clinical child psychologist and schools psychologist in Universities, hospitals, schools and clinics in Australia, Scotland and England. She has published extensively in the area. See CV and list of relevant publications, which include What happens to children, an anthology of stories told to her by distressed and disadvantaged children (Angus & Robertson 1981), part of her collection of over 2000 stories told by children.

Drawings and stories illustrating particular issues
Cross-cultural – from different countries and cultures
Horror and disaster in the imaginations of ‘normal’ children
Myself. This collection includes drawings of ‘Myself’ by every child in a school in a country town, Prep to Grade 6.
Art and technique. What happens when children are given a minimal training in drawing by an untrained teacher. Comparisons of drawings of ‘A Person’ by a complete grade in a disadvantaged school, with drawings on the same topic by ‘untrained’ children in other schools.
Favorite topics for children’s stories and drawings. Sets of drawings on children’s favorite topics

TABLE OF CONTENTS – not in final order
Stories by Children.

A02 FAIRY Stories

A03 CLASS & SCHOOL groups

A04a. Children’s Art





A09 SYMBOLS folder
A09.1 Children’s symbols Introd.
A09.2 Identity myths.
A09.3 Holes and buttons.s.
A9.4 Symbols – the sun.
A09.5 symbols -sinking ship
A09.6 Traffic and car crashes.
A09.7 Symbols Running boys
A09.8 Birds and animals.
A09.8 Mother animals.
A09.9 Multiple personsS.
A09.10 Space &Plane stories
A09.11 Clowns.
A09.12 rain, snow, mud.
A09.13. The Castle.
A09.14 Excelsior.
A09.16 Repetition of disaster.
A09.17 A Haunted House.

A10a Horror stories by normal children
A10b Unhappy endings

A11 Favorite tos
A11 Animals s & stories
A11 Dinosaurs.
A11 Play & games stories.

A12 1. Perceptions of schools s
A12 2 School behaviour.
A12 3. School Children tures.
A12 4. Pictures of teachers.
A12 5 Friends.
A12 6 Schools History&TV lessons.
A12 7 Stories children’s written.

A13a1 Families.
A13a2 Happy families.
A13a3 Unhappy families.
A13a4 Separation and Divorce.
A13a5 Siblings in the family.
A13b Homes.
A13C Mothers, kindlyS.
A13C Mothers, weak &S.
A13d Fathers+S.

A14a 1 War and terrorism&s.Intro.
A14a 2 Children’s experience of war.
A14a 3 Children’s fantasiesof war& S.
A14b Cars, trains and planes.
A14c Romance & babies.
A14d Crime.
A14d Dangerous men.
A14e World of work.
A14f Adult play.
A14g Religion C’sStories.
A14h Current affairs.
A14i Authorities in stories

A15 Childs’ concept of hero and brave in WISCS responses & S

A16.1 School & organizations Songs Youth Ching & Auburn.
A16.2 InfluencesTV & Film.
A16.3 Influence books Arthur Mee’s Encyclopedia
A16.4 Commerce T-shirts on sale.jpg
A16.5 Stories boys &Girls suburban.
A16b MESSAGE OF THE BOOK folder^ A large section.

A17 ACTION & THOUGHT, reality & fantasy and defence mechanisms ^

A18.1 Creation Stories act of creation&s.
A18.2 Dream and reality.
A18.3 Mechanisms of defence.
A18.1 Conclusions. Children’s FUTURE
A18.2 Conclusions. Children’s’ stories
A18.3 Conclusions. Imagination and Environment G3

Stories children References not read
Bibliography C’s imag.
Refs C’s Imag. Other books
Stories Children Refs, conclusions, quotes,citations, appendics

A20 Messages fr horror movies
A20.2 ImagChildren’s storiesCHUKOVSKY.

B INDEX part B. PSYCHIATRIC children’s stories

B Preface.Labels for children.

B01 CHILDREN out of touch with reality
B01A Stories Children with psychosis -Intro&storiesS.
B01 1. Psychotic borderland Neville S.
B01 2. Schizophrenia Angela series
B01 3.Cookalookaloo.
B01 4. Child on the edge of reality – potdog
B01 5. Kite Man.
B01 6. Paranoia

B02 Stories Index Physicaldisorder.
B02.01 Children with Epilepsy.
B02.01 Child with Epilepsy Series Dale

B02.02 Children with Brain Damage.
B02.02 Cerebral Palsy

B02.03 Cardiac Defect

B02.04 Adhd Multiple-Minimal
B02 041 Mark, with ADHD
B02 042 Hyperactivity and Attention disorder
B02 043 Case study, Paul, an adopted child who is hyperkinetic and aggressive.
B02 044 Multiple Minimal Handicaps. A child with glasses
B02 045 Something after her. Debbie L.
B02 046 Ghost Adhd.
B02 047 Twobouncers.Jpg

B02.06 Cerebellum Missing

B02.07 Muscular Dystrophy-

B02.08 Deformities

B02.09 Spina Bifida

B02.10 Anorexia Nervosa

B02.11 Progressive Neurological Disorder

B02.12 Eye Problem

B02.13 Obesity-

B02.14 Thalidomide.

B02.15 Failure To Thrive.

B02.16 Accidents

B03 1 TO SORT^.

B03 2 Hyperactivity
B03 3 Repetition compulsion

B04 1 Stories by violent children
B04 2 Psychopath.

B05 1 Delinquent Children Anneliese Pontius.
B05 2 Stories by delinquentchildren 1.
B05 3 Stealing and delinquency
B05 4 Boys in a gang.
B05 5 Arsonists.

B06 ANXIOUS children
B06 1 StoriesAnxious childrens.
B06 2 Phobias.
B06 3 Fears of attack.
B06 4 Repetitioncompulsion defencemechanisms.
B06 5 Varieties of anxiety.

B07 Stories by retarded children.

B08 1 Children’s responses to school failure.
B08 1 Stories & learning diffs&S
B08 2 Boog eyes Girl&smallboy PhobiaSchool panic.
B08 3Stories Language Difficulties&s.
B08 4 Learning diffs familrelationsTrevo
B08 5 1 Write&speak.When the rart went out see dis see sna.
B08 5 2 Balance.
B08 6 Inattention & Micky Mouselollipop.
B08 7 Emotional problem Frank isolate.
B08 8 Common symbols of children failing at school.
B08 8. The road is confusion.
B08 9 reading refusers. Orphanage Literacy Danny
B08 10 The genius teacher.
B08 vy draw

B09 1 Disadvantage and Affluence.
B09 2 Disrupted homes & divorce.
B09 3 Disadvantaged Children roaming.
B09 4 Criminals’ children – parents in prison
B09 5 Inadequate parents.

B101 Unwanted children.
B102 Rejected childrenhungry.
B103 Isolates Disadvantaged or rejected childrenS.
B104 feelings of rejection children in institutions.
B105 Fatal stories.

B11.1 The Other Child^.
B11.2 Self in hospital.
B11.3 Parents sick .

B12 HAPPY/UNHAPPY CHILDREN COMPARED happy/unhappy children^
Of Happy/Unhappy Children^

Australian population

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 4:12 am

Water, soil fertility, animal and plant life, and people’s comfort, all demand a stable population.
Lacking our own manufactures, we rely on escalating property values and the building industry, as well as imports, for our economic prosperity on the existing economic model.
We need another model.

The pressure groups for escalating population are all short-sighted.

July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 12:43 am

Child abuse came to professional and media attention in the 1960s with the battered baby syndrome, attention then increased to include physical battering of all children, then to include psychological abuse of children – to my mind the worst of all, as a clinical child psychologist and schools psychologist. I have thousands of drawings and stories by children which demonstrate this. Today it is taken to mean sexual abuse. Yet the other categories remain, worse if anything.

July 7, 2010

Museums of the Future

Filed under: Pleasures — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 11:58 pm

Museum of the future

Could it make people think, if we had a Museum of the Future?

It could be on the Internet, as well as if possible in reality, traveling round as an exhibition.

Imagine the diaromas, contributed by people with very different ideas of the future:

  • The scientific nerd, with space export of people to distant stars, climatologists doing amazing things without dreadful results, food grown without anything to grow it with, genetically modified human beings…
  • The capitalist dream
  • The Marxist dream
  • The pessimists’ nightmares – a different diorama for each of them –

Climate change, the ultimate war, the overpopulated planet, Back to the Stone Age, etc.

People’s responses could vary from determination not to let their children face these futures, to morbid fascination with the horrors – as if they were only another horror film.

  • There could be a diarama of what we have now, and what our children will not have – extinct animals and flora, tropical and temperate forests, newspapers, big cars, aeroplane flights for tourists, suburban gardens, old books . .

Peace Museums

Filed under: Pleasures — Tags: , , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 10:43 am

Many countries have War Museums, but war does not stay in museums.

Peace Museums could glorify Peace.

How?  Displays of civilisations, Before and After  Displays of Lost Treasures, built up over hundreds of years and destroyed in brutal minutes A child, nine months in the making and the short time of its little life, and the minute that destroys it.     Smiling countrysides and beautiful cities – and the desolate wastelands made of them The suffering of survivors.    War is harder on the living than the dead. The other creatures that die when men fight.

What it is like in countries that do not know war.  That do not pay for s armies, and military research.  The many causes of war – and how they could   be removed.

See the delights of constructing, and creating/  Little toddlers’ love to smash  towers that others set up – when they grow rightly, the greater pleasure is to build towers ever more wonderful, but stopping before the pride that brought down Babel.  Nine-year-old boy’s love to scuffle, and join a mischievous gang, and revel in tales of blood – but as he becomes a man, he can put away these sorts of childish things.  The Peace Museum would show how human energy can turn away from aggression. If there is a Freudian Death instinct how even this might be turned to prevent killing and grief.

The stories and histories which live to warn us.  Gulliver’s little people, who fought over which end of an egg to cut first   An honour roll of real life Peace-makers, who made ‘Peace with Prosperity’ and not just a staving-off, and not those who ‘made a desert, and they call it peace,’ as Tacitus said of his Romans.  Stories from this honor roll would be studied in schools –  but not killed by exams.

The Black Lists of arms manufacturers and traders and similar war criminals, kept up to date.   Inventories of what poor countries pay for the arms that destroy them, and how they paid for them.

Music plays in the Museum forecourts – “Where have all the flowers gone?”,  and the music that Beethoven composed as he was deafened by the siege of Vienna, and the laments that have arisen at so many times, in so many languages.

Peace blockbuilder films and documentaries, to go all over the world  to arouse appetites for Peace.  The ‘Irene’ awards more beautiful than Oscars.

Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad. The people of Athens knew this saying. Their story too, would be in the Peace Museum, in hopes that we can stay our own madnesses

Imagination is the ability to consider what may be possible, in the real world, not only in fantasy.  On TV, ruin, destruction and suffering entertain voyeurs.  Through the eye of imagination, we can feel what these really would be like and imagining further, imagine peace.

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