13 Comments
Mar 5, 2023Liked by Alex Olshonsky

I started highlighting favorite sentences, and then stopped, as I’d essentially highlight this essay in its entirety! 😆👏 Definitely looking forward to this book, now.

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Mar 8, 2023Liked by Alex Olshonsky

Came here to say the same thing but you beat me to it!

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Thank you Sara :)

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Damn, this makes me so happy to hear, Shan, bless you

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Another good one Alex.

A thought I ponder often, and you briefly knock on the door of, is this one: If we do all agree on the definition of “A compulsive behavior one cannot quit, resulting in negative consequences,” then if I’m doing something I might think of as addictive, but that’s beneficial—to me, to my family, to my wider community—should it still be considered an addiction?

The gym is a great example. You might have become hooked on that high, and need it every day, or at least a few mornings a week. You’re healthier, happier, if a little lighter in the wallet. There are any negative consequences, unless you push too hard, or put gym time above family or work. I suppose it lands towards how much we let “compulsive” act as the centre of gravity.

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It's a great question, Kevin, with lots of room for divergent interpretation. In the way you describe it, I would not characterize that as an addiction. Most, if not all, addictions start out *without* negative consequences, like the gym or even painkillers. But I know in my case, there have been times when I obsessively work out and diet too hard, and then, all of sudden, you're in a situation where you're body image obsessed and creating more anxiety for yourself than you ever wanted. So rather than "compulsive," I see the center of gravity as "negative consequences." Some compulsions/obsessions/dependencies are healthy and net positive. The trickiness here: it's easy to deceive ourselves of what is positive, which is why community/family/feedback is so important.

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Mar 4, 2023Liked by Alex Olshonsky

Nuance?!?!?!?! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

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Lol, talk about a word suffering from concept creep!

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Mar 4, 2023Liked by Alex Olshonsky

Really great thoughts here. I feel like this is something you will continue to expand upon and I’m excited.

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Thank you so much, and yes, you are spot on, Anna. The spectrum concept is a core part of the book I'm working on. Felt like I need to start sharing more clearly about it

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Alex Olshonsky

Thanks!

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Thank you, Steven :)

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Another term which has suffered "concept creep" is trauma. But there are also other forms of behavior which need similar scrutiny, including the desire to be an influencer, to be obscenely wealthy or successful, to be a celebrity or "a star". Our society reeks of it. Sadly the platforms we use, whether YouTube or social media, promote such aspirations, because they have incentivized them. The fact that a dancer these days has to have at least 10,000 followers on Instagram before daring to even show up at an audition is indeed a sad and pitiful situation. Cardi B's success had a LOT to do with the fact that as a stripper she had 70,000 followers on Instagram before she ever recorded anything. The plain fact is music industry marketers saw her as an opportunity to earn lots of $ by promoting her to a particular demographic. When I point that out to millennials I'm always asked why I am a Cardi B. "hater". I am not. I find her to be pretty funny, charmingly self-deprecating and even endearing, even if I detest her "brand." But brand, as we all know, is what sells. She was savvy enough to figure that out and capitalize on it. But as she has stated herself, she doesn't trust "them niggers", i.e. the music industry folks who manage and promote her. Here's another form of outrageous self-aggrandizement that's far more despicable because it actually defrauds people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOip1UZ3hL4

I'm waiting with bated breath for the time when "our" tribe will not only abandon but outright ostracize such folks altogether. Perhaps that's a pipe dream because, as we all know, a sucker is born every minute.

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