Falschung, Selb


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Selb Fälschung was born on a travelling circus in Wyoming in 1931 to German-Hungarian-Greek parents. His education during the first ten years of his life included classes in lion taming, clowning and acrobatics. He would later contentiously claim that this early experience led directly to his best known book on management “Free the clown inside” (1971, Pop psychology press).
At aged ten, young Selb discovered the writings of Jung, Freud, and William James. Contemporaries note he would often lock himself away for hours at a time, hungrily devouring the contents. Fälschung earned a scholarship to attend the prestigious Kneedsden University in Ohio. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Behavioural Psychology (1953), and, considerably later, a PhD in 'Advanced pedantics' (1977) granted posthumously.
Between 1954 and 1960, Fälschung was at the heart of the 'cognitive revolution' in American Psychology. His thesis was that both traditional stimulus response and information processing models of human behaviour are littered with small grammatical and spelling errors. His application of 'Advanced Pedantics', while not universally well received within the psychological establishment, did nonetheless lead to the establishment of the 'Society of Pedantry' and the 'International Journal of Psycho-pedantry' (1960-1961). In 1961 Fälschung temporarily left psychology, and tried his hand at various occupations, including a short period as a waiter in a cocktail bar in Belize. In 1965 he returned to take up a teaching position at the University of Falciette in Italy. During this period, he began the work that was to continue throughout the remainder of his life: Applied Psycho-pedantry. The publication of his book series 'Advanced Pedantics for …' (teachers, lawyers, shopworkers, tutors) marked his return to widespread readership – many of his books are still required reading for law, teaching and media degrees. By the late 1960s Fälschung had been caught by the libertarian bug of the time, and began to move away from his earlier work. To some, his works “Do what you want or be square' (1968) and 'Free the clown inside' (1971) represented his best work of this period.
Fälschung was a devoted father of seven children he rarely saw, and an avid sportsman – he was rarely seen without his dominoes nearby. Fälschung died tragically, of unknown causes, following an enjoyable evening at a Leonard Cohen concert in his native Wyoming.