Something about them remains ineffably psychiatrist

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Being in a crowd of 15,000 psychiatrists is a weird experience, Scott Alexander explains, as he describes the American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco:

You realize that all psychiatrists look alike in an indefinable way. The men all look balding, yet dignified. The women all look maternal, yet stylish. Sometimes you will see a knot of foreign-looking people huddled together, their nametags announcing them as the delegation from the Nigerian Psychiatric Association or the Nepalese Psychiatric Association or somewhere else very far away. But however exotic, something about them remains ineffably psychiatrist.


  1. Kirk says:

    [sarcasm tag]

    Yeah, it’s that undefinable “do not touch, walk away” vibe you get from crazy people…

    [/sarcasm tag]

  2. Harry Jones says:

    Pity the attendee who arrives without his duck.

  3. Paul from Canada says:

    The article is actually quite good. He pokes fun at big pharma and the lamentable “wokeness”, like for every workshop on ADHD, there were half a dozen on

    -But I’m Not Racist: Racism, Implicit Bias, And The Practice Of Psychiatry

    -No Blacks, Fats, or Femmes: Stereotyping In The Gay Community And Issues Of Racism, Body Image, And Masculinity

    -Silence Is Not Always Golden: Interrupting Offensive Remarks And Microaggressions

    -Black Minds Matter: The Impact Of #BlackLivesMatter On Psychiatry

    …you get the idea, please don’t make me keep writing these.”

    On the fact that the CIA had a booth:

    “I was pretty curious about what the CIA wanted from psychiatrists (did they lose the original MKULTRA data? do they need to gather more?), but I was too shy to ask their representative directly. I did take one of their flyers, but it turned out to just be about how woke they were:”

  4. Graham says:


    That summary made me feel worse, then better.

    A few weeks ago I watched a video on BBC about how implicit biases are inescapable even if one knows all one’s biases and struggles with them.

    If the site had allowed comments I’d have posted my reaction, which was more or less, “well I guess I’ll just f*##*#* wallow in them, then.”

    Bias for this age is as sin once was- inborn, and educated,demanding constant struggle, yet inescapable, the mark of Cain on all, or a subset of us, depending on who you ask. Save that sin was a tad easier to define, some churches could help you with absolution, and you were promised salvation at the end.

    The new religion offers nothing of value, and is less fun than the puritans unless you were seeking
    permission to do freakier stuff.

    I go now to seek fresh opportunity to display bias and cackle malevolently.

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