TBD on Ning

Gary Freedman's Blog – July 2009 Archive (37)

How Many of Your Know About Robin's Illustrious Career?

Robin Wollaner was an executive at CNET from 1997 to 2002. In 1985, she founded Parenting magazine, later sold to Time Inc.. Her founding of Parenting is documented in one of the most popular case studies by Harvard Business School, taught to all first-year students of the school. She started her career at Penthouse magazine, where she created the magazine's one-liner: "More than just a pretty face." She graduated from Cornell University in 1975 with a bachelor of science in industrial and… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 31, 2009 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Is TBD Getting The Promotion It Needs?

What I'm wondering is whether TBD is getting promoted on the internet? It should be! The way I learned about the old TBD is through an ad I saw on Myspace. But for that ad, I never would have learned about TBD. Robin needs to let the world know that WE ARE HERE!

Added by Gary Freedman on July 30, 2009 at 12:41pm — 1 Comment

The Sublimities of Schumann

I'm a loner who engages in few activities. Small things are important for me. I can still remember that it was five years ago, during the summer of 2004, that I became acquainted with a collection of four piano pieces by Robert Schumann: the Humoreske in B flat, opus 20. The music is sublime. (I wonder if Aida Epstein is familiar with this music? Aida Epstein teaches piano at the Settlement School, in Philadelphia. Aida Epstein, incidentally, was Patrick Dugan's piano teacher. Patrick is… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 30, 2009 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

What I Am Looking For in a Friend

These are the qualities that I am looking for in a friend. Am I being too picky? Maybe that's why I currently don't have any friends!

If you have these qualities maybe we should hook up online.

(A) Warm, outgoing, attentive to others, kindly, easy-going, participating, likes people

(B) Abstract-thinking, more intelligent, bright, higher general mental capacity, fast learner

(C) Emotionally stable, adaptive, mature, faces reality calmly

(E)… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 29, 2009 at 12:09pm — No Comments

What Is Happening to My Neighborhood?

I live on upper Connecticut Avenue in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. It's one of Washington's most beautiful and affluent neighborhoods.

There's a commercial district about two blocks south of me. The commercial district comprises a strip of business that span a two-block area.

Recently, something very strange has been happening in the commercial district. Stores are closing, one by one. The properties are remaining unleased. What stores have closed?… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 29, 2009 at 10:55am — 1 Comment

Does Size Matter?

A TBD member left the following comment on my blog about Jean-Jacques Rousseau's sexual confessions: "Taken in total, such confessions compromise less than a fraction of a percent of his work. I doubt [any reader] would have noticed ...."

My response? Taken in total, the Jews have comprised, throughout history, less than a fraction of a percent of the world's population. You would doubt that anyone would notice them at all. But people do!

Added by Gary Freedman on July 29, 2009 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Anna, Annie, And The Compulsion To Repeat

ANNA FREUD: So, Annie, tell me, what was it like for you growing up?

ANNIE: It was a hard knock life.

ANNA FREUD: No! That was your fantasy!!

Annie's concerns about her hard-knock life may be a legitimate recognition by Annie of the possible role of the repetition compulsion in causing her interpersonal problems.

"Early internal objects of a harsh and phantastic nature are constantly being projected onto the external world. Perceptions of real objects… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 28, 2009 at 12:56pm — No Comments

What If Jean-Jacques Rousseau Were a Modern Blogger?

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a major philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, whose political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought.

For Jean-Jacques Rousseau's biographers the man himself has been as puzzling as his work—a severe moralist who lived a dangerously "relaxed" life, a misanthrope who loved humanity, a cosmopolitan who prided himself on being a "citizen of Geneva," a… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 28, 2009 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Would You Be Friends With Your Psychiatrist?

I started seeing a new psychiatrist about two weeks ago. His name is Abbas Jama, MD. He is a black Muslim from the African country of Somalia. He's very bright, with a research orientation. I admire his work. He was a research fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine doing research on the genetics of schizophrenia. Dr. Jama is the type of person I would like to have as a friend. I think we would get along very well. I like few people. I have no feelings about most people, and… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 27, 2009 at 9:55am — 8 Comments

Is It Appropriate to Tell a Blogger What He or She Can Write?

The personal blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read by anyone but them. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream, but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following. A type of… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 26, 2009 at 12:00pm — 6 Comments

On Wagner, Brahms, and The TBD Blog

In her diary entry for February 3, 1879, Cosima Wagner, wife of the German opera composer Richard Wagner, wrote: "We then go on to a Brahms symphony [the Brahms second], which Richard plays as a piano duet with Herr Rubinstein and which again downright disgusts us."

I have a remote association. I am reminded of TBD members who complain about blog posts that a member posts, but continue to read the blogger's posts. If you don't like a particular blogger, don't read his… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 26, 2009 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Free Associations

Join my new group, Free Associations. Feel free to say anything that comes to mind, without censorship, no matter how trivial, irrelevant, boring or outrageous. Just speak your mind in one continuous thread. No restrictions on topics or language used. Adult content.


Or access the group through my page.

Added by Gary Freedman on July 25, 2009 at 10:14am — No Comments

Why I'm Smarter Than A Harvard Professor

Five simple rules for dealing with the police.

1. Be respectful.

2. Do what the officer tells you to do even if you think it's stupid, meaningless, or offensive. (Police forced their way into my house on one occasion and accused me of having threatened to commit a serious crime. I was innocent. But they didn't believe me at first. They even told me what chair I should sit in -- IN MY OWN HOUSE. But I did as they told, and they eventually left. Even if the police enter YOUR… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 25, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Theme and Variations: On Pushing the Envelope


I get accused of "pushing the envelope" -- here, on TBD, and elsewhere in life. There's merit to the observation. I am constantly testing the limits, constantly challenging the rules. I took a battery of psychological tests a few years ago and the test results said: "Subject has a tendency to challenge or denounce social sanctions to the point where he may lose sight of his own best interests."

Several days ago a TBD member posted the following comment on a blog I… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 24, 2009 at 10:00am — 13 Comments

Does Referring to a Town in Austria Constitute a Prohibited F-Bomb?

I left a post on "All Drift All The Time" about the town of Fucking, Austria. It was meant as humorous, and I think it would be viewed as humorous by any reasonable standard. I do not believe that referring to the name of a town in Austria, whether it be Vienna, Linz, or Fucking constitutes the use of offensive language. It does not even constitute an F-bomb by any stretch of the imagination.

Several days later -- I emphasize, several days later -- I was deleted from the group on the… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 20, 2009 at 11:38am — 5 Comments

On the Problem of Censorship--on TBD and Elsewhere

I guess the rules of some of the groups on TBD preclude me from quoting some of my favorite passages from James Joyce's masterpiece, the novel "Ulysses." Can you imagine getting deleted from a TBD group because you have quoted from a masterpiece of literature? Ha, absurd! I suspect that some of the TBD group administrators are just a clinamen away from insanity.

Speaking of Ulysses, my tenth-grade (1968-1969) English teacher, Thomas Horan, a proud Irishman, wrote his Ph.D. thesis on… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 19, 2009 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Whatever Happened to Ben Greenberg?

My thoughts go back 19 years, to the year 1990, when I worked at the Washington, DC office of the Dallas-based law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. And, yes, those were the happiest times of my life, working for my mentor, Bob Strauss.

During the summer of 1990 the firm hired three temporary employees. They were college students: Ben Greenberg (University of Pennsylvania); Robert Wyman (Brown University); and Matthew Erskine (University of Virginia). Greenberg, Wyman,… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 19, 2009 at 11:00am — No Comments

On Talking About Toothpaste in Non-Toothpaste Groups on TBD

I got a message from George V. Richards yesterday about wanting to keep his group "All Drift All The Time" light. He doesn't want toothpaste comments on his site. He thinks it's inappropriate to talk about toothpaste there. And we all know about the sites where they talk about toothpaste and related issues all the time.

But I'm a nonconformist and a free-speech advocate. So, what the heck, if I want to talk about toothpaste, I'll talk about toothpaste! Here goes.

I do it… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 18, 2009 at 11:00am — 6 Comments

Why Isn't Joan Nathan Preparing for Shabbat?

It's 4:30 on a Friday afternoon at the Cleveland Park Public Library in DC, and Joan Nathan, the world renowned authority on Jewish cuisine is talking to Barbara Gaunt, one of the librarians, about research on her latest book. Wow, a celebrity in my midst! I can't believe it. At this very moment I'm looking at the face of a woman I've seen on Martha Stewart. My heart is racing. I'm in the presence of a real-life personage. I wonder if she's ever read my story, The Dinner Party?

Wow,… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 17, 2009 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

The Other Seinfeld

Jeffrey Seinfeld, Professor of Social Work

BA City College of NY; MSW Hunter College; PhD New York University

jeffrey.seinfeld@nyu.edu | (212) 998-5978

Dr. Jeffrey Seinfeld, professor of social work, joined the faculty at NYU in 1987. He served as chairperson of the Human Behavior and Social Environment area from 1998 to 2001. Dr. Seinfeld’s professional areas of interest include Object Relations Theory, Social Philosophy, and Existential Philosophy. He has received… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on July 17, 2009 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments



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