Articles by: Mark Furlong

Author Biography:

Mark Furlong is an independent scholar, and thinker-in-residence at the Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University: .

Non-consensual reality: Conspiracy thinking, delusions and disputed truth

Feeding into this inchoate state of transgression is a cross-current of vectors: our knowledge of impending climate catastrophe, the disavowed madness of the economic system, the danger and transformative power of COVID-19, galloping I-centredness, social fragmentations, and more. This welter of concerns raises the deepest anxiety.

Trump as political calculator, narcissism as design for living

For Trump, it is better to bring the whole country down than to experience the private horror show that would be his lot if he were to be publicly rejected in the forthcoming election.

Trauma Talk

From a minor position less than a generation ago, trauma has come to occupy a central status in psychotherapeutic and mental-health practice.

Informit: Trauma talk

Didn't get that job, relationship breakdown, bad loss in the semi-final? These kinds of losses can now colloquially be described using the 'T' word. No longer unusual or noteworthy, 'trauma' has become common usage for the narration of personal distress.

Addressing Interiority

In the time of coronavirus, what happens to psychic life, to individual and collective subjectivity?

Informit: Read my ‘I’

Crispin tells a friend, 'I feel bad, really horrible'. A little up-ended, Ashley hesitates, then replies, 'I don't know what to say. I can't think of anything useful to tell you. One thing I do know is I feel very uncomfortable. Hey, just what do you want me to say?'

Informit: Redacting the social

The Productivity Commission examines 'mental health' Mental health is a hot topic in the media, in public policy, in elite sport, in the armed forces and in the legal system. Children, like young adults, are said to be vulnerable. One in five of the population are reported to have experienced, or are expected to experience, a mental-health problem. No one is immune, even tycoons and celebrities: in 2018 James Packer was reported to have taken…

Informit: Common touch: Entrepreneurs

Israel is recognised as a world leader in the cyber-security industry. A recent documentary claimed the industry now has so much domestic cachet that many parents dream that their children will launch their own start-ups in this burgeoning trade. Forgo traditionally prestigious occupations, old-world careers like medicine and dentistry; young minds should be applauded for recognising, and seeking to exploit, what the market most wants.

Informit: Pakistan to Kashgar to tibet

Relations with officials began formally in northern Pakistan. Almost always, this stiffness quickly eased into smiles and good spirits. We were two independent travellers. In all but a few places, there were no other Westerners. This made us novelties - distractions whose presence prompted officials, and locals more generally, to do what they do so well: be the benevolent host. Even serious procedures - being registered as a foreigner by a district administrator; finding that…

Informit: The digital panopticon

Uber drivers and passengers are linked by feedback loops monitored by a central register. Before being picked up your rating has been checked. Every time you get out of an Uber vehicle you are also rated. The same process is applied to the driver: s/he is rated by the passenger at the end of each trip. Airbnb and Airtasker function in a similar way. Albeit voluntary, platforms such as TripAdvisor and Zomato employ a similar…

Informit: Common touch: Everybody knows

The narrator in Zadie Smith's The Embassy of Cambodia asks: 'Surely there is something to be said for drawing a circle around our attention and remaining within that circle. But how large should that circle be?' A modern reader might reply: 'Hey, draw that line around how I am thinking and feeling. I want to be in charge'.

Informit: Alight on the dark triad

A contention currently receiving attention in sports psychology is that athletes who succeed at the elite level - those that have the highly focused, succeed-atall- costs winner's mentality - tend to present with a particular personality type: they score high on the scale measuring what has come to be termed the Dark Triad. This proposed personality type bundles three sub-scales: a measure of the person's disregard for others ('psychopathy'), self-importance ('narcissism') and preparedness to be…