Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Narcissism epidemic, a little more on Cassab and Google's Ngram viewer

Winton Bates is taking his Christmas blogging break, but I thought that this radio program, The narcissism epidemic, would be of later interest. The ABC summarises the program in this way:
Are we in the midst of a narcissism epidemic? Attention seeking behaviour, the need to stand out, an increased focus on image, fame and money seem to be on the rise. Researchers from the U.S. have found that young people’s average scores against the Narcissistic Personality Inventory are significantly higher than in previous generations. We explore the causes, symptoms and possible solutions to this growing trend of self obsession.
While I am suspicious of this type of analysis, it's still interesting.

I added a postscript to Monday Forum - go where you like drawn from Judy Cassab's diaries on Chaney Coventry's eyes. In a Facebook comment, Neil Whitfield remarked that there were some Cassabs at Sydney Boy's High. By accident, I found this reference in the SBH magazine from 2013.
Judy Cassab is one of Australia’s best known portrait painters and the winner of many prestigious art awards including the coveted Archibald Prize. Her sons Peter Kampfner and John Seed, attended Sydney Boys High (John [1962] and Peter [1964]).
 SBHS was honoured to receive her generous gift of six works which showcase the wide range of subject matter and provide a glimpse into her extraordinary career and contribution to Sydney Boys High School and Australian culture.

I guess it wasn't quite by accident. The references in her diaries to the counter-culture movement in Northern New South Wales led me to do web searches, something I mentioned in Saturday morning musings - meander though Belshaw's writer's diary 1. Once this started, finding a reference to the SBH paintings was only a matter of time.

Finally in this morning's short post, I have rediscovered Google Books' Ngram viewer, This allows you to search the frequency of words or phases across time from all the books digitised by Google. Have a go; its quite fun.

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