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  #1  
Old 10-21-10, 04:47 PM
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Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely


Russell Barkely famously rubbishes Thom Hartmann's Hunter Farmer Model of ADHD by repeatedly saying that there is no way he would want to be out in the woods hunting deer with an ADHD sufferer. The subtext of this statement of course is the implication that we might accidentally shoot him, and that our incompetence is such that we could never catch our dinner.

He seems to think that he has proved a great point here and that this “settles” the argument, and that his view of the nature of ADHD therefore prevails.

However I was reading “Healing ADHD” by Thom Hartmann, and on page xi (Acknowledgements) he is very specific the book is about "healing the damage done to a person by growing up as a Hunter in a Farmer's world".

So in fact Russell Barkely's great put down of the ADHD model proves either that he has not read and understood the model or that he is deliberately misrepresenting it.
Given his other statements I prefer to believe the former. However I think this is a very poor commentary on his academic standards, and a poor commentary on the intellectual habits of the opinion leaders in our universities. It is a classic piece of academic authoritarianism.

I came across this quote on academic authoritarianism the other day in the course of my net surfing:

Quote:
Quote:
Professors often make a strong impression on their students, but, especially in technical or scientific fields, they usually do this by controlling the discourse, so that radical questioning is excluded. What they don’t know “isn’t knowledge.” Under the pressure of “getting a professional education,” students appreciate organizing principles and mnemonic devices, but this gives traditional ways of systematizing knowledge tremendous power that, in practice, is far more important than mere experimental results. (Experiments that don’t acknowledge the ruling metaphors are almost universally considered inadmissable, unpublishable.)


http://raypeat.com/articles/other/autonomic-systems.shtml

At this point I would like to assure Dr Barkely that should we go hunting together there is absolutely no danger that I would shoot him inadvertently.





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Old 10-21-10, 04:52 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

The problem is that "a farmer's temperament" is a meaningless phrase. As is a "hunter's temperament." People are just people, and people with ADHD are not throwbacks to some kind of glory days where we hunted and caught our food. It doesn't make any ******* sense from the roots, and it's not really worth debating because it's based on . . . well, seemingly nothing.

People with ADHD would be poorly suited to hunting and gathering in a pre-agricultural world just as they're poorly suited to tasks in today's day and age. Inability to curb frustration and regulate emotion, inability to focus sustained attention on goals that are not immediately rewarding, and impulsiveness all make for a poor hunter in the environment of evolutionary adaptation.

It's fantasy.

So while Barkley's reasons for dismissing it may be invalid (I have been hunting many times, and I shoot high powered rifle competitively, and I collect firearms, and yet haven't shot anyone), the actual dismissal itself stands. Poor premises supporting a true conclusion.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:03 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Barliman,

I would like to take a look at this from another point of view. I am going to start by saying that Barkley's statment was derogatory and completely lacking in tact. I also don't agree with him.


You point out that Thom Hartmans model is a metaphor to help heal the damage caused by living in a world that denies difference. I think his metaphor is beautiful and spoke to a deep need.

Barkley has been waging a battle against those forces that minimize just what it is we're actually facing.

Both of these people are allies.

The problem is that a lot in the satelite 'helping' industries took Thom Hartmans metaphor too far and did use it to minimize what we face. The whole "ADHD is a gift" phenomenon appealed to popular ideals about positive thinking but in practical terms the damage they caused is just as real as the damage Thom Hartmann was trying to aleviate.

What damage did they do? Well when something is a gift it's an advantage and by insisting that ADHD was actually an advantage just waiting to be unwrapped it gave rise to people with ADHD being blamed for not 'utilizing their gifts' and it negated the disabling nature of ADHD.

I've stuck my foot in my mouth often enough.. I'm not going to get overly upset because Barkley did.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:14 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

I guess I'm included in the foot in the mouth thing, since I misunderstood what Barliman was trying to say Hartmann was trying to do.

Regardless, I don't think feelgood metaphors are an effective way to help people. It's the same as "but Van Gogh had bipolar disorder and he made beautiful art!"

Van Gogh also shot himself to death. Not a great role model.

The difference is that the research indicates people with bipolar disorder are more creative, whereas the research does not support any ideas about ADHD being advantageous or being some kind of "hunter in a farmer's world" misplaced and misunderstood whatever rubbish.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:43 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

One point I want to address. While most of those who are ADHD are quite safe hunting, I have run into some severe cases where their impulsiveness could be of serious danger to themselves or others.

To shoot impulsively at a sound or at a movement in the brush is something a severe case would do. I would not want to be hunting nor be in combat with these. Ready, fire...oops! is not a good formula for working with loaded weapons.

Impulsively shooting at sounds or movement has resulted in the death of more than one hunter.

This has nothing to do with the hunter/farmer issue but only to address those that seem to shocked that anyone would say they would not want go hunting with an ADHDer. It is, as in all things, according to the person and the situation. I will just say that I have been put in serious danger more than once by someone's impulsive actions.

Just for what it is worth.

Dizfriz
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Old 10-21-10, 05:57 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

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Originally Posted by KMiller View Post
Regardless, I don't think feelgood metaphors are an effective way to help people. It's the same as "but Van Gogh had bipolar disorder and he made beautiful art!"
I think you are misrepresenting what Thom Hartman did. It wasn't just a 'feel good' metaphor, but rather he allowed for the possibility of discussion by creating a hermeneutic shift in interpretation of our symptoms.


Whether his metaphor is complete/incomplete or simplistic or whatever is irrelevant because all metaphor breaks down eventually. It is necessary to challenge interpretations particularly because there is a tremendous amount of language used to regulate thru manipulation.


It is taking responsibility when we work towards regulating our own image rather than allowing ourselves to passively be defined by error filled perceptions.
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Old 10-21-10, 06:45 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

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Originally Posted by ginniebean View Post
Barliman,

I would like to take a look at this from another point of view. I am going to start by saying that Barkley's statment was derogatory and completely lacking in tact. I also don't agree with him.

I just saw some of his videos for the first time today, so I have little to offer to the convo.... BUT this comment pricked something in my memory. In one video he mentioned that ADHD is present in his family. He also mentioned that the cerebellum of close relatives of those with ADHD is diminished compared to those with less family history of ADHD. He noted that one would see ADHD types of symptoms, but they may not be disruptive enough to be diagnosable.

Don't think it disqualifies or diminshes his insight, BUT it might explain it.... AND I feel like it has potential to be meaningful, but not sure how exactly...

ok, carry on....
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Old 10-21-10, 07:56 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

I posted the following a few weeks ago in another thread on the same topic:

"

I was able to find a table comparing the traits from the perspective of "disorder", "hunter" and "farmer." http://www.thomhartmann.com/articles...proach-addadhd


It's a testament to the creative ability of the ADHD mind to look at something from another perspective, that I was able to interpret each trait on that table showing the vocation of farmer to be as ideal for the ADD person as Hartmann presents the vocation of hunting to be.

Here's my take:

Trait: Attention spans short, but can become intensely focused for the long periods of time.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Constantly monitoring their environment."
Hartmann says opposite farmer trait is: "Not easily distracted from the task at hand."
I say: ADD Attention spans are short, jumping from activity to activity - farming provides opportunities for a huge variety of different tasks.

Trait: Poor planner: disorganized and impulsive (makes snap decisions).
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Able to throw themselves into the chase on a moment's notice"
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Able to sustain a steady, dependable effort."
I say: Farmers are able to change plans on a moment’s notice due to rain and other changes in the elements. The unpredictable nature of farm work keeps ADDer on his toes.

Trait: Distorted sense of time: unaware of how long it will take to do something.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Flexible; ready to change strategy quickly."
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Organized, purposeful. They have a long term strategy and they stick to it."
I say: Progress is measured in series of short-term goals - “when harvest is over”, “when all the hay is baled and in the barn for the winter” “When we’re done with the planting” - the same strategy encouraged in managing larger tasks with ADD.

Trait: Impatient.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Tireless: capable of sustained drives, but only when "Hot on the trail" of some goal."
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Conscious of time and timing. They get things done in time, pace themselves, have good "staying power."
I say: Farmers are conscious of time, but their schedules are constantly at the mercy of forces they can't control. I'm not sure if going for week-long stretches of doing field work until the early morning hours and working all day on little sleep can be called "pacing themselves" - but I do know they pace the floor a lot when yet another unforeseen complication crops up. LOL! But they knowingly choose a lifestyle/profession that puts them in constant uncertainty. Farmers are the original gamblers!

Trait: Doesn't convert words into concepts adeptly, and vice versa. May or may not have a reading disability.
Hartmann says Hunters: are "Visual/Concrete thinkers, clearly seeing a tangible goal even if there are no words for it.
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Patient. Aware that good thing takes time - willing to wait."
I say: First of all, see above! The description "Patient, willing to wait" gives the impression of sitting around waiting for time to pass. Farmers don't do a lot of sitting around and waiting. They may know the time will pass, but that knowledge comes from long experience of having time pass unexpectedly quickly while they are preoccupied with working.

Also, farmers hardly deal heavily in words. The hands-on, physical work of farming is beneficial to the restless, excessively energetic ADDer. Provides plenty of challenge and opportunity to self-motivate by setting goals and seeing measurable progress.

Trait: Has difficulty following directions.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Independent."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Team player."
I say: A farmer is his own boss and can run his own business according to his own methodology. Just about any born farmer will chafe at the thought of having to knuckle under to a boss.

Trait: Daydreamer.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Bored by mundane tasks; enjoy new ideas, excitement, "the hunt" being hot on the trial."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Focused. Good at follow-through, tending to details, 'taking care of business.'"
I say: Farming is perfect for the daydreaming ADDer! Long sessions of field work give ample opportunity for reflection and daydreaming while working.

Trait: Acts without considering consequences.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Willing and able to take risk and face danger."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Careful. 'looking before you leap.'"
I say: The farmer does things that would frighten cautious people, without being deterred by the risks….handles huge, potentially dangerous pieces of equipment, and large, potentially dangerous animals. Braves the risks of grain storage facilities by climbing high on the outside, facing noxious gases inside. Takes other risks daily. Again - farmers are the original gamblers!


Trait: Lacking in the social graces.

Hartmann says Hunters: "Have 'no time for niceties when there are decisions to be made!'"
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Nurturing; creates and supports community values; attuned to whether something will last."
I say: Farmers are known for “farmer talk” - cussing and angry roaring when things go wrong. Those around him accept this as part of the job, not a character flaw. Hartmann says that hunters have "no time for niceties when there are decisions to be made?" Maybe so but farmers have even less time for them! In most social circles, "b***sh** is a profanity...in farming circles, it's technical jargon!


At some points in this metaphor, I do wonder whether Hartmann has even met a farmer.


Add: Regarding risk-taking, farming is consistently listed in the top most dangerous jobs in America and in the UK as well.
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Old 10-21-10, 08:22 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizfriz View Post
One point I want to address. While most of those who are ADHD are quite safe hunting, I have run into some severe cases where their impulsiveness could be of serious danger to themselves or others.

To shoot impulsively at a sound or at a movement in the brush is something a severe case would do. I would not want to be hunting nor be in combat with these. Ready, fire...oops! is not a good formula for working with loaded weapons.

Impulsively shooting at sounds or movement has resulted in the death of more than one hunter.

This has nothing to do with the hunter/farmer issue but only to address those that seem to shocked that anyone would say they would not want go hunting with an ADHDer. It is, as in all things, according to the person and the situation. I will just say that I have been put in serious danger more than once by someone's impulsive actions.

Just for what it is worth.

Dizfriz
Of course the critical issue here is that in ADHD the symptoms are generally situational.
Certainly for most of my life as an ADDer-I could concentrate very well in an environment of my own choosing. However there were points where that would come apart.
I think that Lara Honos Webb addresses this very well in "The Gift Of Adult ADHD." when she talks of an "ADHD crisis". Prior to my diagnosis- I was inattentive and impulsive in almost every situation very much an ADHD crisis.
Barbara Fisher addresses this very well in her book ADD Practical Coping Mechanisms ( practically my bible in developing my own self help approach.)
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Old 10-21-10, 08:31 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Quote:
Originally Posted by spunkysmum View Post
I posted the following a few weeks ago in another thread on the same topic:

"

I was able to find a table comparing the traits from the perspective of "disorder", "hunter" and "farmer." http://www.thomhartmann.com/articles...proach-addadhd


It's a testament to the creative ability of the ADHD mind to look at something from another perspective, that I was able to interpret each trait on that table showing the vocation of farmer to be as ideal for the ADD person as Hartmann presents the vocation of hunting to be.

Here's my take:

Trait: Attention spans short, but can become intensely focused for the long periods of time.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Constantly monitoring their environment."
Hartmann says opposite farmer trait is: "Not easily distracted from the task at hand."
I say: ADD Attention spans are short, jumping from activity to activity - farming provides opportunities for a huge variety of different tasks.

Trait: Poor planner: disorganized and impulsive (makes snap decisions).
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Able to throw themselves into the chase on a moment's notice"
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Able to sustain a steady, dependable effort."
I say: Farmers are able to change plans on a moment’s notice due to rain and other changes in the elements. The unpredictable nature of farm work keeps ADDer on his toes.

Trait: Distorted sense of time: unaware of how long it will take to do something.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Flexible; ready to change strategy quickly."
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Organized, purposeful. They have a long term strategy and they stick to it."
I say: Progress is measured in series of short-term goals - “when harvest is over”, “when all the hay is baled and in the barn for the winter” “When we’re done with the planting” - the same strategy encouraged in managing larger tasks with ADD.

Trait: Impatient.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Tireless: capable of sustained drives, but only when "Hot on the trail" of some goal."
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Conscious of time and timing. They get things done in time, pace themselves, have good "staying power."
I say: Farmers are conscious of time, but their schedules are constantly at the mercy of forces they can't control. I'm not sure if going for week-long stretches of doing field work until the early morning hours and working all day on little sleep can be called "pacing themselves" - but I do know they pace the floor a lot when yet another unforeseen complication crops up. LOL! But they knowingly choose a lifestyle/profession that puts them in constant uncertainty. Farmers are the original gamblers!

Trait: Doesn't convert words into concepts adeptly, and vice versa. May or may not have a reading disability.
Hartmann says Hunters: are "Visual/Concrete thinkers, clearly seeing a tangible goal even if there are no words for it.
Hartmann says opposite Farmer trait is: "Patient. Aware that good thing takes time - willing to wait."
I say: First of all, see above! The description "Patient, willing to wait" gives the impression of sitting around waiting for time to pass. Farmers don't do a lot of sitting around and waiting. They may know the time will pass, but that knowledge comes from long experience of having time pass unexpectedly quickly while they are preoccupied with working.

Also, farmers hardly deal heavily in words. The hands-on, physical work of farming is beneficial to the restless, excessively energetic ADDer. Provides plenty of challenge and opportunity to self-motivate by setting goals and seeing measurable progress.

Trait: Has difficulty following directions.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Independent."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Team player."
I say: A farmer is his own boss and can run his own business according to his own methodology. Just about any born farmer will chafe at the thought of having to knuckle under to a boss.

Trait: Daydreamer.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Bored by mundane tasks; enjoy new ideas, excitement, "the hunt" being hot on the trial."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Focused. Good at follow-through, tending to details, 'taking care of business.'"
I say: Farming is perfect for the daydreaming ADDer! Long sessions of field work give ample opportunity for reflection and daydreaming while working.

Trait: Acts without considering consequences.
Hartmann says Hunters are: "Willing and able to take risk and face danger."
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Careful. 'looking before you leap.'"
I say: The farmer does things that would frighten cautious people, without being deterred by the risks….handles huge, potentially dangerous pieces of equipment, and large, potentially dangerous animals. Braves the risks of grain storage facilities by climbing high on the outside, facing noxious gases inside. Takes other risks daily. Again - farmers are the original gamblers!


Trait: Lacking in the social graces.

Hartmann says Hunters: "Have 'no time for niceties when there are decisions to be made!'"
Hartmann says Opposite Farmer Trait is: "Nurturing; creates and supports community values; attuned to whether something will last."
I say: Farmers are known for “farmer talk” - cussing and angry roaring when things go wrong. Those around him accept this as part of the job, not a character flaw. Hartmann says that hunters have "no time for niceties when there are decisions to be made?" Maybe so but farmers have even less time for them! In most social circles, "b***sh** is a profanity...in farming circles, it's technical jargon!


At some points in this metaphor, I do wonder whether Hartmann has even met a farmer.


Add: Regarding risk-taking, farming is consistently listed in the top most dangerous jobs in America and in the UK as well.

A couple of points- the traits become exaggerated to the point of being dysfunctional when one decompensates.
This truth goes much further than just ADHD.
In almost every case of personal distress I see it seems to come down to a lack of balance. A situation occurs where a potentially positive characteristic is not counterbalanced by other necessary personality traits.
So the question is what is the simplest cluster of basic traits that will contribute to making a resilient and functional human being? Once we have that list- how do we go about developing them?
Martin Seligman's positive psychology is very helpful here.

The second point is that the model Hartmann is talking about is metaphorical- but it is a valuable metaphor that expresses the problem in a different light revealing new aspects to the problem and its solution.
Maybe hunter - accountant would be a better model?
The fact remains though that our schooling and our workplaces demand a very narrow range of behaviours. The range of behaviours and attitudes demanded of us in school and at work are also manifestly destructive to our own welll being.
After all- most Americans are dying of the complications of hypo-activity.
( So who are the crazy ones?).
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Old 10-21-10, 08:34 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

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Originally Posted by KMiller View Post

Regardless, I don't think feelgood metaphors are an effective way to help people. It's the same as "but Van Gogh had bipolar disorder and he made beautiful art!"

.
If we think of ourselves as weak and stupid that is what we become.

If your self image is so robust that you have never understood the significance of this truth then you are in a position that some would regard as enviable.
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Science advances --one funeral at a time.

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Old 10-21-10, 09:57 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

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Originally Posted by Barliman View Post
If we think of ourselves as weak and stupid that is what we become.
On the other hand, when we think of ourselves as capable of things we are not or unique in ways we are not, we become delusional.
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Old 10-21-10, 10:51 PM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Personally,

I don't take the title as anything more than conjecture;which it is.

The "theory" is designed to be entertainment/fantasy related.

Russ's statements weren't meant to be "scientific," as that would be impossible

given the subject matter.

This is pure speculation,nothing more.

That's how I view those remarks in response to this "topic."

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)
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Old 10-22-10, 04:18 AM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Barliman I don't understand why you're in this constant state of "sticking it to the man". You're hyper skeptical of anything in a suit, but accept any other kind of idea even when there is no reason to. What's going on?

I know you're a smart guy, so clearly it's not a lack of intelligence. What are your goals?


I'm not trying to have a go at you, I know you're not an idiot. I am just extremely confused as to what you're trying to say most of the time.
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Old 10-22-10, 04:51 AM
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Re: Hunter Farmer Model Misrepresented by Russell Barkely

Impulse control issues is an ADHD trait. Is that a good trait for a hunter?

Concentration issues..... Oh, look, a squirrel - bang....

Russell Barkley is right, as always.
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