When I created this web site, it was with the intention of sharing my concepts and ideas and theories and such. But part of "sharing" is dialog, receiving feedback, being exposed to contrasting ideas as well as elaborations that build on or adjoin to mine, or bridges to other perspectives -- a conversation, in other words. Due in part to the nature of a personal web site, this web site never generated as much of that sense of interactive conversation as I wanted, and so it was that I found myself attracted to a message board characterized by a love for debate, an intolerance for unsupported assertions as fact, a lack of overall ideology otherwise, and a very high activity level -- the Straight Dope Message Board.
I began posting to the SDMB back in its AOL days, around 1997, and have been a participant in the newer standard-internet version (at the above link) since its inception. I've participated in a wide variety of threads on a number of subjects, but inevitably the subjects of most interest to me -- the very subjects about which I had written the theory papers that appear on this site -- would come up and I'd plunge in and debate issues and dispel ignorance with all the fervor at my disposal. Over the years, the subject area that has resulted in my best short writing has been psychiatric oppression and the mental health system.
Eventually it occurred to me that, although these posts are far shorter than the typical theory pieces I think of as "my writing", some of them did a very good job of expressing thoughts and ideas, and that the fact that they took place within a dialog and were (usually) followed on short order by counter-arguments and other feedback makes them more interesting than they would be in isolation.
And so I have come to take them seriously. Writing posts on a message board is very different from writing long theory pieces -- you have to make your point in a short space, and do it quickly in an environment where the last thing said is only going to resonate in people's awareness for a little while before they move on to another topic. Hopefully, I achieved "witty and pithy" at least a good portion of the time!
Here, in reverse chronological order, are my most read-worthy posts to the Straight Dope Message Board on the subject of psychiatry, mental illness, and psychiatric oppression. Each of them contains a direct link to the actual thread on the Straight Dope at the top, thus providing the opportunity to follow the entire conversation and see the post in context. (The copyright agreeement prohibits me from reproducing other people's posts, and therefore entire threads, on my own web site, but each participant retains the right to publish copies of their own posts as I'm doing here):
(titles are thread titles and were chosen by the original poster of each thread)
Psychiatrists on TV/movies and New York/LA 9-23-03
Can one ever be driven insane w/o underlying mental disease? 9-23-03
mandatory medicating 8-24-03
Explain One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest to Me 7-26-03 [two posts]
Is Manic-depresson a disease to be cured? 7-7-03 [thirteen posts]
Psychiatrists: glorified drug dealers? 5-27-03 [3 posts]
What's the appropriate use for antidepressants? 5-26-03
Calling the set of symptoms a syndrome doesn't equal understanding what caused them 4-26-03
Psychology, the law, and being committed 4-20-03 [six posts]
Why does schizophrenia manifest itself in such predictable ways? 1-27-03
What's next, Tri-polar? 1-27-03 [5 posts]
'Mental Illness' and Compulsory Treatment 5-11-02 [six posts]
Dear Sister, please take your lithium 11-22-01 [thirteen posts]
What does it feel like to have schizophrenia? 11-7-01 [four posts]
Shock Treatment 10-1-01 [5 posts]
The Role of Culture in Mental Illness 11-30-00 [seven posts]
How can you be committed against your will? 11-30-00 [two posts]
Do the mentally ill have voting rights? 7-31-00
A Mental Health Epidemic 4-26-00
Clinical Depression 4-24-00
Frontal Lobotomy 2-21-00
Manic-Depressive vs. Bipolar...Why? 2-21-00
How to Solve Homelessness 10-25-99 [two posts]
Schizophrenia 7-1-99 [5 posts]