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Omri Ceren is a strategy adviser at the Israel Project. I met him at a conference once, a very sharp and likeable guy. I follow him on Twitter. About four hours ago, he wrote this:
Omri Ceren @cerenomri Asian econ collapse. European fragmentation due to debt crises. Westward Russian expansionism. Appeasment in C Europe. Who’s feeling good?
That’s a rhetorical question to which the answer, I would have said, is “no one.”
A close friend of mine works in the mental health field in London. We chat on the phone several times a week. In one of our recent conversations, I said casually that I was sure his patients were reporting a great deal of anxiety about events in the news. To my surprise, he said they were not. In fact, he said, it was extremely rare for anyone to mention a news event to him. “To my recollection,” he later wrote, “it happens about once or twice a year, so once in a thousand sessions.”
The only news events he could recall anyone bringing up, in his 30-year career, were those involving “the mass death of non-combatants caused by ill intent, so 9/11 and Lockerbie, yes. The tsunami no, not one mention.” He said no patient — not one — had ever mentioned elections in the UK or the US.
Obviously, he’s not polling a random sample of Londoners. The people who see him are a self-selected group, and by definition not in good mental health; they don’t go to see him because they’re feeling terrific and they need some help with that.
Still, I’m puzzling over this conversation, and wondering what it means, if anything. Does what he said surprise you? If so, why; if not, why not?