Friday, August 20, 2004

New critical psychology network

Here is an interesting new initiative -

Critical Psychology International - Call for Contributions

A website is being developed to facilitate the work of Critical Psychology International. This website will provide a place to publish articles and reports of all kinds, a forum for discussions across the network, and an email list.

The CPI will be an international network of relationships and connections based on affinity (which should not be confused with uniformity, as the positive values of discrepancy, divergence and disparity are assumed), whose main aim is to promote the development of critical work within and beyond psychology. It will be multilingual and is available to all who wish to belong, no matter what their language of use. The CPI will be formed as a network of nodes (with nodes being made up of individuals, research groups, departments, collectives, teams, etc), with no hierarchy or management structure, but a collective guided by objectives proposed and developed by its members. It will aim to connect people and groups to do research or other activities, and develop and maintain exchange of knowledge, information and experience, promoting and strengthening trans-disciplinary and co-operative research.

The website will be formally launched early in the new academic year, and this is a call for contributions of all kinds. Register yourself, department, research or project group as nodes of the network, join the email list, and submit documents of all kinds such as conference papers and other grey literature, work in progress, and suggestions for the form the network should take.

Please direct all contributions, and statements of interest in becoming part of the network to Louise Madden at

A preliminary form of the website, and email list will soon become available, please email Louise Madden for updates as these develop.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

In the true spirit of the games

Like everything else, the olympic games have fallen prey to the dual scourge of lawyers and corporate greed. To see the lunacy that lawyers can goad otherwise sane people into, check out the idiotic hyperlink policy page of the Athens 2004 site. The policy kindly informs me that "by introducing a link to the ATHENS 2004 official Website on your site" (as I have just done) "you are agreeing to comply with the ATHENS 2004 Website General Terms and Conditions". Well no, actually I don't. Not at all. So sue me. The General Terms and Conditions (note those imposing caps) state that I may "use the term ATHENS 2004 only, and no other term as the text referent". So if I link like this: Stupid, lawyer-befuddled olympics site I'm in violation. Also, I'm supposed to send a request letter to their Internet Department asking for permission to link to them, including goofy info such as "reason for linking" and "publishing period". This sort of thing happens because most corporate lawyers thrive on further stoking up the paranoid tendencies already inherent in most corporations, and because they know from experience that bullying language, no matter how devoid of any basis in law, will scare most people into submission.

Item 2 for today's "true spirit of the games" rant is the warning that the organizers have issued to spectators that they may be refused admission if they carry food or drink from companies that did not sponsor the games. So it has to be Coke - no Pepsi. And if you pitch up in a t-shirt carrying a non-sponsor's logo you can be made to wear it inside out.

All of this to "protect" those poor sponsors...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

More from the better than (critical) psychology department...

Today John Walkenbach mentioned Afri-Can guitars from South Africa on his popular J-Walk blog, saying that he's probably going to buy one. They sound good, are sort-of environmentally friendly (being partly made from old oil cans and all), and are being sold for up to $525 (that's R3000 plus) in the US. The website that sells them has a "hall of fame" where all the artists have surnames except for Vusi Mahlasela, who is billed simply as "South African Artist Vusi". Not sure why that is. But they do have nice free sample mp3s of people playing Afri-Can guitars. So rush over, take a listen, and get your very own guitar now. Or if you don't have that kind of money listen to short samples of Vusi Mahlasela's songs over at Calabash Music and buy a CD for only $15 or so.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Critical Methods Nine: Trauma in context

This year's South African critical methods conference - Critical Methods Nine: Trauma in context - will be in Durban from 31 August to 2 September 2004.