i keep writing/saying.. ‘red flag we’re doing it/life wrong’.. things we keep focusing on that are actually irrelevant s and cancerous.. if we listen deeper.. so.. these red flags are ie’s of bikeshedding ness..
so adding page to gather some of the things i think perpetuate our ongoing tragedy of the non common .. some of the things that i think are keeping us from legit common\ing .. from an undisturbed ecosystem.. from us..
any form of inspectors of inspectors
public consensus always oppresses someone(s)
“Civility” has always been a red herring and code for keeping status quo oppression in place and the poweful in power.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ubiquity75/status/1287045030130008066
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
Jordan Hall on defund (and redesign) everything
jun 2020 – 6 min read [https://medium.com/deep-code/defund-and-redesign-everything-d1b9d674a45d]
If we continue to move forward with can-kicking, partial solutions, we are likely to just continue to experience pain and destruction. The whole system is corrupt and obsolete. Therefore the whole system needs to be replaced. Not burnt down, but carefully and thoughtfully replaced. Redesigned. Regenerated. Local and wholesome.
redesign: cure ios city
we have largely been coasting on the work of our ancestors and we do not really know of what we are capable.. This decade can, should, and, I think, must be one of the most creative, generative and optimistic ones in human history..t
science of people/whales in sea world
Below is the set of principles that I have collected around this purpose.
The Principle of Choice. Designs should be oriented towards increasing the capacity for choice and building on top of that increasing capacity..t
The Principle of Wholeness. Designs should be mindful of creating and working with well integrated wholes.
The Principle of Relationship. Designs should endeavor to place responsibility on real human relationships and endeavor to support the construction of strong, trusted relationships and infrastructure around relationships.
Principle of Development. Designs should strive to build capacity from the ground up, rather than over-ride failures at the ground level with top-down capacity. Make people more capable of being responsible, rather than taking their responsibility away. Build structures at the human scale that can carry more responsibility, etc.
The Principle of Subsidiarity. Designs should push as much responsibility and authority at the most immediate level that is consistent with their resolution.
imagine if we design so that our focus is less on problems/solutions/responsibilities and more on augmenting interconnectedness
Principle of Unbundling. Designs should take care that no choice should be bound to any other choice, unless this binding is strictly required by the nature of the choice itself.
Principle of Rights and Responsibilities. Designs should make rights symmetric with responsibilities. (e.g., the right to free speech should be replaced the the right and responsibility of meaningful communication; the right to private property should be replaced with the right and responsibility of stewardship of property).
The Principle of Fiduciary Responsibility. Designs should ensure that whenever a relationship is highly asymmetric (e.g. when AI is on one side of a relationship and not the other) that the relationship be returned to symmetry by establishing a fiduciary responsibility on the part of the stronger party.
The Principle of Network Optimization for Collective Intelligence. Designs should strive to always promote the evolution of the human social network towards increasing collective intelligence. For example:
– All nodes (people, families, communities, etc.) should be resourced so as to provide minimum viable signal.
– Each node should be able to refuse an offered transaction without fear of privation.
– The generator functions of network topology should balance efficiency and resilience.
unless we design deeper.. and if so.. then focus on intellect ness.. becomes irrelevant/red-flag
Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 7:45 PM on Thu, Jun 18, 2020:
Design Principles for Institutions Based on Social Freedom – P2P Foundation https://t.co/wflfEwcfJF
wouldn’t be social freedom.. nicer.. but not freedom
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
via Daniel here:
Daniel Christian Wahl (@DrDCWahl) tweeted at 12:29 PM – 18 Aug 2018 :
interconnectedness – self sustaining countries are not necessary when the world is as connected as it is – hh
“Know that the hijab–for *me* at least–represents a rejection of materialism, of capitalism, of euro-centric beauty standards (among other significance) and draping an American flag over it erases almost everything the hijab means to me.” @hodakatebi
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/Bali_Maha/status/1030601175937232902
reading via Amy
1 – the plight of the individual in modern society
(on stat method showing fact in light of avg.. but not pic of empirical reality ie: mean may not even be one of data) ..not to put too fine a point on it, one could say that the real picture consists of nothing but exceptions to the rule, and that, in consequence, absolute reality has predominantly the character of irregularity..t
there is and can be no self knowledge based on theoretical assumptions, for the object of self knowledge is an individual – a relative exception and an irregular phenom..t
he is not to be understood as a recurrent unit but as something unique and singular which in the last analysis can neither be known nor compared with anything else..t
at same time.. man.. as member of species.. can and must be described as a statistical unit; otherwise nothing general could be said about him.. for this purpose he has to be regarded as a comparative unit..
why does there have to be something in general..? other than maybe a and a..?
for this purpose he has to be regarded as a comparative unit. this results in a universally valid anthropology or psychology,.. w an abstract pic of man as an avg unit from which all individual features have been removed. but it is precisely these features which are of paramount importance for understanding man.. if i want to understand an individual human being, i must lay aside all sci knowledge of the avg man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude..t
understanding the individual obliges me to commit lese majeste, so to speak, to turn a blind eye to sci knowledge.. t.. this is a sacrifice not lightly made for the sci attitude cannot rid itself so easily of its sense of responsibility.
in principle.. the positive advantages of knowledge work specifically to the disadvantage of understanding.. t
under influence of sci assumptions, not only the psych but the individual man and, indeed, all individual events whatsoever suffer a leveling down and a process of blurring that distorts the pic of reality into a conceptual avg.. t.. we ought not to underestimate the psych effect of the stat world pic: it displaces the individual in favor of anonymous units that pile up into mass formations.. sci supplies us w, instead of he concrete individual, the names of orgs and, at the highest point, the abstract idea of the sate as the principle of political reality.. the moral responsibility of the individual is then inevitably replaced by the policy of the state.. instead of moral/mental differentiation of the individual, you have public welfare and the raising of the living standard,. the goal and meaning of individual life (which is the only real life) no longer lie in individual development but in the policy of the state, ..t.. which is thrust upon the individual from outside and consists in the execution of an abstract idea which ultimately tends to attract all life to itself..
stamped from beginning (in policy)
the individual is increasingly deprived of the moral decision as to how he should live his own life, and instead is ruled, fed, clothed and educated as a social unit,.. t.. accommodated in the appropriate housing unit,
and amused in accordance w the standards that give pleasure and satisfactions to the masses..
supposed.. pleasures and satisfactions
the rulers, in their turn, are just as such social units as the ruled and are distinguished only by the fact that they are specialized mouthpieces of the state doctrine. they do not need to be personalities capable of judgment, but thoroughgoing specialists who are unusable outside their line of business.. state policy decides what shall be taught and studied..t
the seemingly omnipotent state doctrine is for its part manipulated in the name of state policy by those occupying the highest positions in the govt, where all the power is concentrated. whoever, by election or caprice, gets into one of these positions is no longer subservient to authority, for he is the state policy itself and w/in the limits of the situation can proceed at his own discretion.. he is thus the only individual or at any rate, one of the few individuals who could make use of their individuality if only they knew how to differentiate themselves from the state doctrine..t.. they are more likely, however, to e the slaves of their own fictions. such one sidedness is always compensated psychologically by unconscious subversive tendencies..
voluntary compliance et al..
slavery and rebellion are inseparable correlates.
apart from agglomerations of huge masses of people, in which the individual disappears anyway, one of the chief factors responsible for psychological massmindedness is sci rationalism.. which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity.. as a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of stats.. t
looked at rationally and from outside, that is exactly what he is, and from this pov it seems positively absurd to go one talking about the value or meaning of the individual..
if the individual, overwhelmed by the sense of his own puniness and impotence, should feel that his life has lost its meaning – which, after all, is not identical w public welfare and higher standards of living – then he is already on the road to state slavery and, w/o knowing or wanting it, has becomes its proselyte..t
that is what is happening today.. we are all fascinated and overawed by statistical truths and large numbers and are daily apprised of the nullity and futility of the individual personality.. since it is not rep’d and personified by any mass org.. t
begs self-talk as data
conversely, those personages who strut about on the world stage and whose voices are heard far and wide seem, to the uncritical public, to be borne along on some mass movement or on the tide of public opinion and for this reason are either applauded or execrated (loathed).. since mass suggestion plays the predominant role here, it remains a moot point whether their message is their own,..t.. for which they are personally responsible, or whether they merely function as a megaphone for the collective opinion..
under these circumstances it is small wonder that individual judgment grows increasingly uncertain of itself and that responsibility is collectivized as much as possible, ie, is shuffled off by the individual and delegated to a corp body.. in this way the individual becomes more and more a function of society, which in its turn usurps the function of the real life carrier, whereas, in actual fact, society is nothing more than an abstract idea like the state..t
both are hypostatized (treat or represent (something abstract) as a concrete reality.), that is, have become autonomous (acting independently or having the freedom to do so.. (in Kantian moral philosophy) acting in accordance with one’s moral duty rather than one’s desires… wonder which..? ). the state in particular is turned into a quasi animate personality from whom everything is expected. in reality it is only a camouflage for those individuals who know how to manipulate it.. thus the constitutional state drifts into the situation of a primitive form of society, namely the communism of a primitive tribe where everybody is subject to the autocratic rule of a chief or an oligarchy..
2 – religion as the counterbalance to mass mindedness
in order to turn the individual into a function of the state, his dependence on anything beside the state must be taken from him..t
religion, as the careful observation and taking account of certain invisible and uncontrollable factors, is an instinctive attitude peculiar to man, and its manifestations can be followed all thru human history.. its evident purpose is to maintain the psychic balance, for the natural man has an equally natural ‘knowledge’ of the fact that his conscious functions may at any time be thwarted by uncontrollable happenings coming from inside as well as from outside..
already on each heart ness – but i wouldn’t call that religion.. i’d call it.. more.. relationship..or just .. heart makeup
*brass bands, flags, banners, parades and monster demos are not diff in principle from ecclesiastical procession, cannonades and fireworks to scare off demons.. only, the suggestive parade of state power engenders a collective feeling of security which, unlike religious demos, gives the individual no protection against his inner demonism.. hence he will **cling all the more to the power of the state, ie, ***to the mass, thus delivering himself up to it psychically as well as morally and putting the finishing touch to his social depotentiation..
the state, like the church, demands enthusiasm, self sacrifice and love, and if religion requires or presupposed the ‘fear f god’ then the dictator state takes good care to provide the necessary terror..
both the dictator state and denominational religion lay quite particular emphasis on the idea of community. this is the basic ideal of ‘communism’ and it is thrust down the throats of the people so much that it has the exact opposite of the desired effect: it inspires divisive mistrust..
the value of a community depends on the spiritual and moral stature of the individuals composing it.. such changes can come only from the personal encounter between man and man.. the inner man…
begs self-talk as data
3 – the position of the west on the question of religion
.. what can we do to counter this threat .. from the east.. we know that even the biggest guns and the heaviest industry w its relatively high living standard are not enough to check the psychic infection spread by religious fanaticism
the churches.. are no longer based on their own inner experience but on unreflecting belief.. which is notoriously apt to disappear as soon as one begins thinking about it
the content of belief then comes into collision w knowledge, and it often turns out that the irrationality of the former is no match for the ratiocinations of the latter. belief is not adequate substitute for inner experience, and where this is absent even a strong faith which came miraculously as a gift of grace may depart equally miraculously, people call faith the true religious experience, but they do not stop to think that actually it is a secondary phenom arising from the fact that something happened to us in the first place which instilled πιστις (greek for faith) into us – that is trust and loyalty
anyone who has once learned to submit absolutely to a collective belief and to renounce his eternal *right to freedom and the equally eternal **duty of individual responsibility will persist in this attitude.. and will be able to set out w the same credulity and the same lack of criticism in the reverse direction if another and manifestly ‘better’ belief is foisted upon his alleged idealism..
*right and **duty.. ness.. as disturbance to our ecosystem
we accuse the germans of having forgotten it all again already.. but the truth is that we don’t know for certain whether something similar might not happen elsewhere.. it would not be surprising if it did and if another *civilized nation succumbed to the infection of a uniform and one sided idea.. america.. which forms the real political backbone of western europe, seems to be immune because of the outspoken counterposition she has adopted, but in point of fact she is perhaps even more vulnerable than europe, since her ed system is the most influenced by the sci weltanschauung.. with its **statistical truths, and her mixed population finds it difficult to strike roots in a soil that is practically w/o ***history.. the historical and humanistic type of ed so sorely needed.. leads.. on the contrary, a cinderalla existence. though europe possesses this later requirement, she uses it to her own undoing in form of nationalistic egoisms and paralysing skepticisms.. common to both is the materialistic and collectivist goal, and both lack the very thing that expresses and grips the whole man, namely and idea which puts the individual human being in the ****center as the measure of all things
****not in the center.. and not to measure.. rather.. to listen in love
in this reality man is the slave and victim of the machines that have conquered space and time for him..t
all his achievements and possessions do not make him bigger; on the contrary, they diminish him, as the fate of the factory worker under the rule of a ‘just’ distribution of goods clearly demos..
4 – the individual’s understanding of himself
man is an enigma to himself.. this is understandable seeing he lacks the means of comparison necessary for self knowledge..
? if so.. then i’d bag knowledge.. either way.. comparison drives us away from self knowledge
he knows how to *distinguish himself from other animals in point of anatomy and physiology, but as a conscious, reflecting being, gifted w **speech, he lacks all criteria for self ***judgment..
*i don’t know about that..
perhaps ***judgment is disturbance.. and if not.. i wouldn’t imagine it would come from **speech/words.. et al
he is on this planet a unique phenom which he cannot compare w anything else..
compare as disturbance
the possibility of comparison and hence of self knowledge would arise only if he could establish relations w quasi human mammals inhabiting other stars
so.. thinking we need judgment.. knowledge.. perhaps as disturbance .. comparison definitely is..
ie: what is the purpose of judgment..?
he cannot know himself and therefore remains a mystery to himself..
sounds to me like a distinction between having and being/grokking knowledge.. ie: if you have knowledge.. you’re/it’s dead.. you’ve killed it with the defn of it.. if you’re being/grokking.. it’s ongoingly spontaneously everychanging
consciousness is a preconidtion of being…
but not judgment.. or comparison.. or knowledge..
he (dr) knows very well that the preaching of even the worthiest precepts only provokes the patient into open hostility or a secret resistance and thus needlessly endanger the aim of the treatment
supposed to ness
unless he stands firmly on his own feet, the so called objective values profit him nothing.. since they then only serve as a substitute for character and so help to suppress his individuality…
insofar as society itself is composed of de individualized persons, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists.. a million zeros joined together do not add up to one..t
our blindness in this respect is extremely dangerous..
if the individual is not truly regenerated in spirit, society cannot be either..t
it is time we asked ourselves exactly what we are lumping together in mass organizations and what constitutes the nature of the individual human being, ie, of the real man and not the statistical man.. this is hardly possible except thru a new process of self nourishment..t
self-talk as data
i am convinced that it is not christianity, but our conception and interpretation of it, that has become antiquated in the face of the present world situation.. this req’s a very diff attitude towards the individual.. from the one we have had hitherto.. that is why nobody knows what ways of approach are open to man..
that his teachers have themselves gone seriously astray by making false comparisons between incommensurable factors never enters his head..t
or.. that comparing and measuring are not us.. rather.. disturbances
instinct is anything but a blind and indefinite impulse, since it proves to be attuned and adapted to a definite external situation.. this latter circumstance gives it its specific and irreducible form..
5 – the philosophical and the psychological approach to life
no one seems to notice that the veneration (reverence) of the word, which was necessary for a certain phase of historical development, has a perilous shadow side.. that is to say, the moment the word, as a result of centuries of ed .. attains universal validity, it severs its original link w the divine person.. there is a then a personified church, a personified stated; belief in the word becomes credulity, and the word itself an infernal slogan capable of any deception.. w credulity come propaganda and advertising to dupe the citizen w political jobbery and compromise, and the lie reaches proportions never known before in the history of the world..
beyond words ness
thus the word, originally announcing the unity of all men and their union in the figure of the one great man, has in our day become the source of suspicion and distrust of all against all.. credulity (a tendency to be too ready to believe that something is real or true) is one of our worst enemies.. people think you have only to ‘tell’ a person that he ‘ought’ to do something in order to put him on the right track..
in the animals, as a result of their learning capacity, instinct undergoes numerous modifications and differentiations; in civilized man the instincts are so split up that only a few of the basic ones can be recognized w any certainty in their original form..
the question of human instinct is a far from simple matter, we shall probably not be wrong in assuming that the learning capacity, a quality almost exclusive to man, is based on the instinct for imitation found in animals..
nothing estranges man more from the ground plan of his instincts than his learning capacity.. it more than anything else, is responsible for the altered conditions of our existence and the need for new adaptations which civilization brings.. it is also the source of numerous psychic disturbances and difficulties occasioned by man’s progressive alienation from his instinctual foundation .. ie.. by his uprootedness and identification w his conscious knowledge of himself.. by his concern w consciousness at the expense of the unconscious..
his consciousness therefore orients itself chiefly by observing and investigating the world around him, and it is to its peculiarities that he must adapt his psychic and technical resources.. this task is so exacting and its fulfillment so advantageous that he forgets himself in the process, losing sight of his instinctual nature.. and putting his own conception of himself in place of his real being.. in this way he slips imperceptibly into a purely conceptual world where the products of his conscious activity progressively replace reality..
western man is in danger of losing his shadow (person in us grounded in instinctual nature) altogether, of identifying himself w his fictive personality and of identifying the world w the abstract picture painted by sci rationalism..
violation or neglect of instinct has painful consequences of a physiological and psychological nature for whose removal medical help, above all, is required..
we do not think of distrusting our motives or of asking ourselves how the inner man feels about the things we do in the outside world.. but actually it is frivolous, superficial and unreasonable of us, as well as psychically unhygienic, to overlook the reaction and standpoint of the unconscious..
virtually everything depends on the human soul and its functions.. it should be worthy of all the attention we can give it.. esp today, when everyone admits that the weal /woe of the future will be decided neither by attacks of wild animals nor by natural catastrophes nor by danger of world wide epidemics but simply and solely by the psychic changes in man..t
self-talk as data
it needs only an almost imperceptible disturbance of equilibrium in a few of our rulers’ heads to plunge the world into blood, fire and radioactivity..
the more power man had over nature, the more his knowledge and skill went to his head, the deeper became his contempt for the merely natural and accidental, for that which is irrationally given – including the objective psyche, which is all that consciousness is not..
in contrast to the subjectivism of the conscious mind the unconscious is objective,
the seat of faith however is not consciousness but spontaneous religious experience, which brings the individual’s faith into immediate relation w god
here we must ask: have i a religious experience and immediate relation to god, and hence that certainty which well keep me, as an individual, from dissolving in the crowd..
6 – self knowledge
the discrepancy between intellect and feeling, which get in each other’s way at the best of times, is a particularly painful chapter in the history of the human psyche..
as his consciousness has broadened and differentiated, so his moral nature has lagged behind. that is the great problem before us today. reason alone does not suffice..t
fear of the evil which one does not see in one’s own bosom but always in somebody else’s checks reason every time..
if a world wide consciousness could arise that all division and all antagonism are due to the splitting of opposites in the psyche, then one would really know where to attack..
if even the smallest and most personal stirrings of the individual soul – so insignificant tin themselves – remain as unconscious and unrecognized as they have hitherto, they will go on accumulating and produce mass groupings and mass movements which cannot be subjected to reasonable control or manipulated to a good end..
it is in the nature of the political bodies always to see the evil in the opposite group, just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know about himself by foisting it off on somebody else..
the more unrelated individuals are, the more consolidated the state becomes, and vice versa..
a human relationship is not based on differentiation and perfection, for these only emphasize the differences or call forth the exact opposite; it is based rather, on imperfection, on what is weak, helpless and in need of support – the very ground and motive of dependence.. the perfect has no need of the other.. but weakness has, for it seeks support and does not confront its partner w anything that might force him into an inferior position and even humiliate him .. this humiliation might happen only too easily where idealism plays too prominent a role..
wherever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work.. human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units.. t.. to counter this danger.. the free society needs a bond of an affective nature.. love your neighbor.. but it is just this love for one’s fellow man that suffers most of all from the lack of understanding wrought by projection.. it would therefore be very much in the interest of the free society to give some thought to he question of human relationship from the psychological pov, for in this resides its real cohesion and consequently its strength. were love stops, power begins, and violence and terror..t
i do not know which is weaker: idealism or the insight of the public..
public consensus always oppresses someone(s)
7 – the meaning of self knowledge
the very fact that thru self knowledge, ie, by exploring our own souls, we come upon the instincts and their world of imagery should throw some light on the powers slumbering in the psyche, of which we are seldom aware so long as all goes well.. they are potentialities of the greatest dynamism, and it depends entirely on the preparedness and attitude of the conscious mind whether the irruption of these forces and the images and ideas associate w them will tend towards construction or catastrophe..
for this exacting work the psychologist requires all his patience; he may not rely on any traditional ‘oughts’s’ and ‘musts’s’ leaving the other person to make all the effort and contenting himself w the easy role of adviser and admonisher..
nothing has happened at all unless the individual changes..
the effect on all individuals, which one would like to see realized, may not set in for hundreds of years, for the spiritual transformation of mankind follows the slow treaty of the centuries and cannot be hurried or held up by an y rational process of reflection..let alone brought to fruition in one generation..
i don’t buy that.. back then.. yeah.. but now we have the means to ground the chaos of 7bn truly free people.. so now.. we could leap there..
(@umairh) tweeted at 5:31 AM – 13 Jun 2018 :
Another giant leap in the construction of a genuinely fascist state, “denaturalization”, or the removal of personhood https://t.co/pZiD4TFvIM(http://twitter.com/umairh/status/1006861531974430721?s=17)
by Gabor Maté
Action has meaning only in relationship and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict.
The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action..t
i now think that physicians and prescriptions for drugs have come to play a lopsidedly exaggerated role in the treatment of add. what begins as a problem of society and human development has become almost exclusively defined as a medical ailment..t
the healing add calls for is not a process of recovery from some illness. it is a process of becoming whole.. original sense of the word healing
daniel j siegel: the dsm is concerned w categories, not with pain..
add has much to do w pain, present in every one of the adults/children who have com to me for assessment.. deep emotional hurt they carry is telegraphed by the downcast, averted eyes, the rapid, discontinuous flow of speech, the tense body postures, the tapping feet and fidgety hands by the nervous self deprecating humor..
images of distress, loneliness and confusion, presented with a tinge of humor.. the strangely dissonant imagery tells also of a troubled soul who found reality harsh – so harsh that the mind had to be fragmented in order to fragment the pain
the law of entropy rules: order is fleeting chaos is absolute
active attention is a capacity the add brain lacks.. whenever organized work must be done, or when attention needs to be directed toward something of low interest..
what if both of those (org’s work and low interest work) aren’t really needed.. what if it’s the tasks.. not the person..
to be able to focus, the person w add needs a much higher level of motivation that do other people
so maybe they’re actually more awake..
maybe they still have the senses of the infant you talk about p73
what can be immobilizingly difficult is to arouse the brain’s motivational apparatus in the absence of personal interest.
add is situational: there are certain classes for i in which the add child may perform remarkable well. while in others she is scattered unproductive and perhaps disruptive..
again.. it’s the system/school.. not the person
many children w add are subjected to overt disapproval and public shaming in the classroom for behaviors they do not consciously choose.
really?.. seems the shamers/disapprovers and the ones sitting perfectly still.. are the ones with the problem
social convo has always been a mystery to me i have at times looked at people engage in animated discussion and wished that i was invisible so that i could overhear them – not to eavesdrop but to find out once and for all exactly what there is to talk about…
one of my patients.. ‘i don’t know how to make small talk’
common theme on all days, good or bad, is a gnawing sense of having missed out on something important in life..
north american society tries to bury may problems under tons of meds, preferring to ignore the social/cultural causes of people’s stressed mental states..
little doubt too that prison conditions could not have been more diabolically designed to exacerbate all these mental dysfunctions
school then too.. no?
we could all go crazy. maybe we already have
yeah.. we have
this feeling of duty toward the whole world is not limited to add but is typical of it. no one w add is w/o it..
add is a prime illustration of how the adult continues to struggle with the unsolved problems of childhood. she is held back precisely where the child did not develop, hampered in those areas where the infant or toddler got stuck during the course of development..
or perhaps most often.. where the school age kid..was hampered.. got stuck..
instead of asking why a disorder or illness develops, we ask why a fully self-motivated and self-regulated human personality does not
we do not have to look for diseases to explain why some people are not able to experience the full flowering of their potential. we have only to inquire what conditions sustain unfettered human development and what conditions hinder it..
the answer to underdevelopment is development, and for development the appropriate conditions must exist.. meds only a partial solution to problems posed by add..
on dogma of genetics.. ie: cree population in nw ontario.. diabetes 5x canadian national avg.. despite traditionally low incidence of diabetes among native peoples.. the genetic makeup of the cree people cannot have changed in a few generations.. the destruction of the crees’ traditional physically active ways of life, the substitution of high calorie diets…. and greatly increased stress levels are responsible for the alarming rise in diabetes rates.. we will see that in similar ways changes in society are causing more and more children to be affected by add
studies do show that if parents/siblings have add, child in that family will have greatly increased statistical risk for add.. add is also found more commonly in people whose first degree relatives are alcoholics or suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, ocd or tourettes’s syndrome.. it may appear.. hereditary.. fam atmosphere in which child spends formative yrs has major impact on brain development.. problems such as add far more likely to develop in fams where parents are struggling w dysfunction or psych problems of their own.. no genes need be involved at all for these conditions to run in families..
misconception stemming from.. ie: adopted twins both having add.. if true.. should correlate 100%.. also.. ignored is a powerful environmental factor: the adoption itself.. given that emotional security is an absolute human need in infancy, it is astonishing that adoption is so often forgotten as a possibly crucial influence..
another factor.. twins had shared same uterus.. pregnancies ending in adoption occur in mothers under sever stress..
even w/o world wars.. siblings growing up in same home almost never share the same environment.. of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical yrs of brain development.. the invisible environment has little to od w parenting philosophies or parenting style.. it is a matter of intangibles… foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals.. pysch tension in parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, i am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of add..
a hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet
although of paramount importance .. these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psych questionnaires or observation of parents in clinical settings. there is no way to measure a softening or and edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. we have no instrument to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation..
whatever hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting..
i have even seen subtly but significantly diff mothering give to a pair of identical twins..
people w add are hypersensitive. that is not a fault or a weakness of theirs it s how they were born.. it is their inborn temperament. that, primarily, is what is hereditary about add. .. in most cases, add is caused by the impact of the environment on particularly sensitive infants..children w add are more likely to have history of freq cold, upper resp infections, ear infections asthma, eczema and allergies.. a fact interpreted by some as evidence that add is due to allergies. although the flare up of allergies can certainly aggravate add symptoms.. the one does not cause the other.. they both are expression of the same underlying inborn traits: sensitivity.. since emotionally hypersensitive reactions are no less physiological than the body’s allergic responses to physical substance, we may say truthfully that people w add have emotional allergies
saying.. stop being so sensitive/touchy.. might as well advise child w hay fever to stop being so allergic
their child’s body is a barometer for the stresses on the whole family system, his symptoms the markings of a minutely calibrated instrument..
the existence of sensitive people is an advantage for humankind because it is this group that best expresses humanity’s creative urges and needs.. thru their instinctual responses the world is best interpreted… sensitivity is transmuted into suffering and disorders only when the world is unable to heed the exquisitely tuned physiological and psychic responses of the sensitive individual..
the human brain is the most complex entity in the universe..
fully 3/4 of our brain growth takes place out side the womb..
3 conditions w/o which healthy growth does not take place can be taken for granted in the matrix of the womb: 1\ nutrition, 2\ physically secure environ, 3\ unbroken relationship w a safe, ever present maternal organism
the word matrix is derived from the latin for womb, itself derived from the word for mother..
in many respects the mother remains the womb even following birth..
life in womb is surely the prototype of life in the garden of eden.. when nothing can possibly be lacking.. nothing has to be worked for..
the third prime requirement, a secure safe and not overly stressed emotional atmosphere, is the one most likely to be disrupted in western societies.. the human infant lacks the capacity to follow or cling to the parent soon after being born, and is neurologically and biochemically underdeveloped in many other ways.. the first nine months of extrauterine life seem to have been intended by nature as the second part of gestation.. during this period.. the security of the womb must be provided by the parenting environ…. the attachment that was until birth directly physical now needs to be continued on both physical and emotional levels.. w physically and psychologically, th parenting environ must contain and hold the infant as securely as she was held in the womb
for the second nine months of gestation, nature does provide a near substitute for eh direct umbilical connection: breast-feeding.. apart from its irreplaceable nutritional value and the immune protection it gives the infant, breast-feeding serves as a transitional stage from unbroken physical attachment to complete separate from the mother’s body..
breast feeding also deepens the mother’s feeling of connectedness to the baby.. enhancing the emotionally symbiotic bonding relationships.. no doubt the decline of breast feeding, particularly accelerated in n america, has contributed to the emotional insecurities so prevalent in industrialized countries..
even more than breast feeding.. healthy brain development requires emotional security and warmth in th infant’s environ.. this security is more than the love and best possible intentions of the parents.. it depends also on a less controllable variable: their freedom from stresses that can undermine their psychological equilibrium. a calm and consistent emotional milieu throughout infancy is and essential requirements for the wiring of the neurophysicological circuits of w self regulation..
dale f hay: the experience of the mother’s depression in the first months of life may disrupt naturally occurring social processes that entrain and regulate the infant’s developing capacities for attention..
infants, particularly sensitive infants, intuit the diff between a parent’s real psychological states and her attempts to soothe and protect the infant by means of feigned emotional expressions.. it is much easier to fool an adult w forced emotion than a baby.. *the emotional sensory radar of the infant has not yet been scrambled.. it reads feelings clearly.. t.. they cannot be hidden from the infant behind a screen of words, or camouflaged by well-meant but forced gestures..it is unfortunate but true that we grow far more stupid than that by the time we reach adulthood.
*why/when does this change..?
asking Gabor and James:
do you know if it remains more in tact in ie: indigenous people who have had minimal oppression from ‘civilization’..?
any observations of this that you have seen @ ..?
then i ask: so if there was a way to heal us.. make us whole again.. de stress us.. we could get that back.. ?..or at least future infants/children/adults wouldn’t lose it..?
huge. thank you.
h u g e
john bowlby: in attunement it is the infant who leads and the mother who follows.. the infant initiates the interaction or withdraws from it according to his own rhythms.. while the mother regulates her behaviour so that it meshes with his.. thus she lets him call the tune and by a skillful interweaving of her own responses with his creates a dialogue
the tense or depressed mothering adult will not be able to accompany the infant into relaxed, happy spaces.. the add child’s difficulty reading social cues likely originates from her relationship cues not being read by the nurturing adult, who was distracted by stress
not only does mother follow child.. but she permits child to temporarily interrupt contact.. when interaction reaches a certain stage of intensity for infant, he will look away to avoid an uncomfortably high level of arousal.. another interaction will then begin.. a mother who is anxious may react w alarm when the infant breaks off contact.. may try to stimulate him.. to draw hm back.. then the infant’s nervous system is not allows to ‘cool down’ and the attunement relationship is hampered…
this sounds like unschooling mom advice.. along side ness
infants who caregivers were too stressed, for whatever reason, to give them the necessary attunement contact will grow up w a chronic tendency to feel alone w their emotions, to have a sense – rightly or wrongly – that no on can share how they feel, that no one can ‘understand’
attunement is the quintessential component of a larger process, called attachment.. attachment is simply our need to be close to somebody..t
add children whose needs for warm parental contact are most frustrated grow up to be adults with the most sever cases of add
if mom becomes preoccupied or distracted while playing w baby, sadness or dismay settles in on the little face – stanley greenspan
nature’s goal for human growth is for the eventual maturation of a self-motivated, self-regulated and self-reliant adult. the infant lacks these attributes. we may say that the natural agenda is really the transformation of regulation from dependence on another individual to independence, from external regulation to internal regulation. this shift from external to internal regulation require the development of the prefrontal cortex, the cortex in the very anterior portion of the brain, including and especially the orbitofrotnal cortex..
the ofc has a major role in the control of attention.. helps to pick out what to focus on..
while the explicit meaning of words spoken is analyzed in the left hemisphere, the right ofc interprets the emotional content of communications..
it (ofc) is deeply concerned w the assessment of relationships between the self and others..
the ofc records and stores the emotional effects of experiences, first and foremost the infant’s interactions w his or her primary caregivers during the early months and year… the unconscious model from which al later emotional reactions and interactions will be formed..
so if the primary care givers were healthy.. infants’ emotional sensory radar wouldn’t become scrambled.. (p 73the emotional sensory radar of the infant has not yet been scrambled.. it reads feelings clearly)
in add there is no brain damage there is impaired brain development..
thru out the human life span there remains a constant two way interaction between psychological states and the neurochemistry of the frontal lobes, a fact that many doctors do not pay enough attention to. one result is the overreliance on meds in the treatment of mental disorders..
modern psychiatry is doing too much listening to prozac and not enough listening to human beings; people’s life histories should be given at least as much importance as the chemistry of their brains..
emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation..
both endorphins an dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex.. (ie: from perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction)
the letters add may equally well stand for attunement deficit disorder..t
what did jewish infants know of nazis, ww2, racism, genocide? what they knew – or rather, absorbed – was their parents’ anxiety. they drank it in with their mothers’ milk, heard it in their fathers’ voices, felt it in the tense arms and bodies that held them close.. they inhaled fear, ingested sorrow.. yet.. were they not loved? no less than children anywhere.. if in the photo the love may be seen in my mother’s face, her fear and worry are reflected in mine..
their (parents who come to me about kids w add) idea of stress is financial disaster or serious illness of death in the family, or perhaps a nuclear bomb going off outside their home. it seems to them just normal human existence to live at a hectic pace and in tense relationships, nerves stretched taut as piano wire..
people can be deeply affected by unconscious anxieties and stresses they have no conscious knowledge of whatsoever..
sometimes a couple will deny the tensions between them and focus on what they believe to be wrong with their child as a means of avoiding conflict with each other..
as happened between rae and me, many of the mothers have been burdened w full responsibility for the family’s emotional well-being.. they may be pushing themselves beyond the limit of their energies, as they have done for years.. such unequal division of emotional labour is, i believe, one of the main reason why more women than men become depressed..
interpretive labor ness
families in which sexual abuse is likely to occur are families that are psychologically stressful to grow up in from the moment of birth. so it’s not the at sexual abuse later in childhood causes add, but that the psych atmosphere that later will make abuse possible is already present in infancy. something amiss in relationships in a family will have neg effects on brain development in early childhood
it has been suggested that, in general, hyperactive kids are the ones most likely to get abused. even if that were so, the abusive inclination of the parent is not caused by the child’s add… only people abuse in youth will go on to abuse their own children.. and they will do so almost inevitably unless they have recognized the facts of their own childhood histories and have taken up the task of healing..
on fewer contacts w extended family.. add children are less likely to have the comfort/support that only loving grandparents can give..
blame becomes a meaningless concept if one understand how family history stretches back thru the generations..
the greater prevalence of add in north america is rooted in something more prosaic and more disturbing than genes from adventuresome forebears: the gradual destruction of the family by economic and social pressures in the past several decades. this process is more advanced in n america than elsewhere in the industrialized world..
how poorly today’s n american way of life serves the needs of the human body may be gauged by the high levels of say, heart disease, diabetes and obesity on this continent.. the situation of the human brain is analogous..
robert bly: what the young need – stability, presence, attention, advice, good psychic food, unpolluted stories – is exactly what the sibling society won’t give them…
the answer to the need of the young child for close parental contact is not the ghettoization of women in the home. it is the recognition by society at large that there is no more important task in the world than the nurturing of the young during th earliest years.. (and.. no biologically based diff when comes to parenting once breast feeding is ono longer the main source of infant’s nutrition)
the purpose was not to overtax the brief attention spas of the intended audience and to hold their interest, which otherwise would quickly wane. in short, whether or not the producers identified it in these precise terms, sesame street was a response to he socially engendered add of poor children..
since then we have evolved into a culture that celebrates a short attention span..
problem w unconscious psych defenses iw that they cannot be shed at will. they were induced w/o our conscious will in first place.. before we had any will at all.. once in place, a defense mech such as tuning out takes on a life of its own.. little or nothing of a distressing nature need be there in the immediate environ for it to happen. it becomes.. as it were.. the default setting in the cerebral apparatus of awareness.. unless some other special switch is turned on, tuned out will be the state that the brain auto returns to
given their automatic tuning out, add children forever find themselves being told to ‘pay attention’ – a demand that completely misunderstand both the nature of the child and the nature of attention
and the nature of the environment.. ie: school
the obvious monetary connotation of ‘pay’ is that attention is something the child owes the adult.. that the child’s attention belongs to the adult by right..the phrase takes for granted that being attentive is always a consciously chosen act, subject to one’s will. both of these assumptions are faulty..
nobody is born w attention. like language or locomotion being attentive is a skill we acquire.. not an isolated attribute of the child’s but the product of a relationship between the child and her environment..
what looks like a deficit of attention may be a preoccupation w something important to the child but hidden to the observing adult: the child’s emotional anxieties..
even the most benign parenting writes allan shcore… involves some use of mild shaming procedures to influence behavior..
when the parent is distracted or withdrawn, the older infant or toddler experiences shame.. shame postures are observed in infants in response to nothing more than the parent breaking eye contact..
believing that.. whatever the parents reaction is, the child is responsible for it..
its (shame) origins have nothing to od w bad deeds, failures or hurting anyone.. like its opposite number, hyperactivity, shame began as a normal physiological state that escaped regulation by the cortex.. it becomes wound tightly into the self-identity of the individual..
john ratey has aptly observed that ‘i’m sorry’ is the most common phrase in the vocab of add..
like so much else about add, hyperactivity, lethargy, and shame are closely connected w the neurological memories of the distant, stressed or distracted caregiver.. there will be a sense of discomfort as soon as te mind becomes aware of itself, because such awareness immediately triggers responses encoded w the infant’s distress at feeling emotionally alone. the mind then lapses into helpless lethargy, or races away, looking for something to attach to: some idea/fantasy/memory/conversations/music/reading.. anything.. when it cannot do so, there is intense unease – or the aversion to one’s own mind, which we call boredom..
it’s not curing that add children need: they need to be helped to grow.. what is required is not a change in parenting techniques but a change in parenting attitudes.. based on a deeper understanding of the child
early in life, plasticity.. is so great that infants who suffer damage to one side of their brain about the time of birth, even if they lose an entire hemisphere, may compensate for their deficit…. w age plasticity declines.. but is never completely lost..
the key factor is cementing the attachment relationship
the relationships w the parents is the earth, the rain, the sun and the shade in which the child’s mental development must blossom. first and foremost, it is in the context of the family that children will have transforming experiences that nourish growth
carl rogers: unconditional positive regard: has no conditions of worth attached to it.. i care.. not i care for you if you behave thus and so..
so the first thing is to create some space in the child’s heart of hearts for the certainty that she is precisely the person the parents want and love.. she does not have to do anything or be any different to earn that love.. in fat, she cannot do anything, the love cannot be won/lost.. it is not conditional… completely independent of the child’s behaviour.. just there..
couple paragraphs on getting an add kid to school on time..
why aren’t we questioning .. the getting a kid to school on time ness.. rather than how to make it easier..?
the world will teach her the necessary lessons
like being on time to school..?
attention given at the request of the child is never satisfactory: it leaves an uncertainty that the parent is only responding to demands.. not voluntarily giving of himself to the child.. the solution is to seize the moment, to invite contact exactly when the child is not demanding it..
the real harm is inflicted when the paren makes the child work at reestablishing contact, as in forcing a child to apologize before granting ‘forgiveness’.. there is neither genuine remorse nor genuine forgiveness in such situations, only humiliation.. since in principle nothing the child does should threaten the relationship in the first place, he should have to do no work to restore it..
in any community of beings living in close contact w each other, the behavior of individuals can be understood only in the context of their relationship to the group as a whole. in an ant colony, for ie, larvae are hatched w essentially identical genetic makeups. who becomes queen or worker or soldier is determined by the needs of the group not by individual predisposition..t.. the requirements of the community shape the physiology and functions of each ant.. the human family is not an exception to this rule.
we think that children act, whereas what they mostly do is react… parents who realize this acquire a powerful tool.. by noticing their own responses to the child rather than fixating on the child’s responses to them, they free up tremendous energy for growth..
offense rather than defense..
michael kerr: if parents shift focus off child and become more responsible for own actions.. child will automatically (perhaps after testing whether parents really mean it) .. assume more responsibility for self..
this taking of responsibility for oneself is based on the capacity for self-regulation..
parents of add child will often say their son/daughter has a ‘powerful’ personality. far from being powerful, the child is weak/vulnerable. it’s not his ‘power’ but the inefficiency of the parents’ own emotional thermostat that enables the fluctuations in the child’s moods to set the emotional tone of the whole household..a child in this situation is deeply insecure.. he is made insecure by his lack of emotional self-control because there are no adults around able to maintain a steady and functioning environ, whatever his own particular internal states may be.. the parents need the child to be in balance only because they are not.. but because the parents are not independently in balance themselves.. the child cannot be..t
the fundamental issue is not how to parent.. but who is parenting.. the state of mind of the adults as they respond to the child..
the child can feel secure w a parent whom he cannot reduce to his own level of functioning..
unresolved psych conflicts between parents, and w/in each parent , are a major source of unrest for hypersensitive add child..
the child is manifesting what ..david freeman calls the parents’ ‘unfinished business’.. that she does so is a sign fo her immature self-regulation.. but what she expresses by acting out says as much about her environ as about herself..
to create safety for their children, parents need to devote energy and commitment to processing their own ‘unfinished business’.. can do much more to further the development of their child than by any behavioral approaches aimed at motivating the child or at making him more compliant..
the child w add has had to pay our more attention than she has received.. which is precisely how she has incurred an attention deficit.. only the adult can break this cycle.. the key to doing so is learning to give the child not the attention he is asking for, but the attention he needs
don’t mistake a child for his symptom – erik erikson.. the attitude adults are best to adopt: compassionate curiosity.. what message the child may be trying to communicate..t
whatever the child receives in the emotional relationship w the parent only after demanding it has, by defn, no capacity to satisfy..
have to satiate the child w attention .. precisely when the child has not demanded it..
no child is by nature manipulative/controlling.. a child who does develop a propensity to manipulate/control others is doing so out of weakness, not strength. manipulation and the drive to control are fear responses based on unconscious anxieties.. the truly strong person need not be so afraid that she has to direct/control every aspect of her environ..
gordon neufeld: the most ridiculous thing we can say is that ‘my child is trying to manipulate me’ it’s like saying the rain is wet. of course children want to get their own way, and often they can do that if they get the adult to go along with them
if we can remain curious, we can explore why a child would need to manipulate..
w children.. the manipulation occurs only because the child has learned that openly expressing his needs will not necessarily bring an understanding and nurturing response.. also.. because the emotionally wounded child may no longer be able to articulate his real needs..
in reality.. the child cannot cause the parent’s rage.. she may have inadvertently triggered it.. but she is responsible neither for the capacity for rage in the parent nor for the existence of the trigger.. the parent acquired them before the child was born..
that other people do not cause our reactions is a difficult concept, so automatically have w come to associate our feelings w what someone else is doing.. the confusion is only natural.. it reflects the failure of self-regulation to develop..
when we consider the word lazy, we realize that it does not explain anything. it is only a negative judgment made about another person who is unwilling to do what we want them to do..t
the solution came not from the parents trying to coerce their son into doing his share, or to bribe him, but from their work on reconnecting w him emotionally..
once they deciphered their son’s messages, they became far more supportive of his needs and less threatened by his seeming indifference to responsibility..
the child’s oppositionality is not an expression of will. what it denotes is the absence of will, which – only allows a person to react but not to act from a free and conscious process of decision making..
figuring out what we want has to begin with having the freedom to not want..
counterwill, they dynamic, should not be identified with the child’s self. this is really important.. it is not the person that we are getting to know when we get to know the resistance..
a strong defense is there only because there is threat, and the child is threatened only because a strong sense of his own self has not developed sufficiently
in the literature of child rearing, a counterwill is sadly neglected because so much of the emphasis has been placed on behaviors.. if specific behaviors are the goal, then treats, punishments, promises and rewards may work very well- for a while..
counterwill becomes maladjusted, as it does in add, only when adults do not understand it and try to overcome it by some sot of pressure,
counterwill is triggered whenever the child senses that the parent wants him to do something more than she, the child, wants to do it.. it arises not just when the child absolutely does not wish to do that something.. but also when she does with it.. just not as much as the parent..
oh my mom
use of rewards… positive coercion .. does not work in long run any better tha threat/punishment.. the issue is the child’s sense of being forced , not the manner in which the force is applied..
even thought you try to put people under some control, it is impossible. you cannot do it. the best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. then they will be in control in its wider sense. t.. to give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. so it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them this is the best policy. to ignore them is not good; that is the worst policy. the second worst is trying to control them. the best one is to watch them, just to watch them, w/o trying to control them.. – shunryu suzuki roshi..
how do i motivate my child.. you can’t
trying to motivate a child.. to accept what the parents want or her is worlds away from promoting the growth of her natural, self generated motivation. the first is done to the child. the second happens w/in the child and is a process…
there are as edward deci point out, universal human needs for self-determination, to feel competent and to be genuinely connected w others. these needs and the drive to satisfy them do not have to be instilled in people: they exist, even if in undeveloped form. allowed to unfold, they will motivate. the problem is not that parents/adults don’t know how to motivate children. the problem is that our parenting/teaching styles in many cases fail to support the child’s natural drive for discovery and mastery. encouraging development to unfold is based on the knowledge tha nature has its own positive agenda for the child: it has given the child, every child, all the potential and capacities required for full maturation…
attempting to motivate from the outside betrays a lack of faith in the child and in nature. it reflects the anxiety of the parent, not the limitations of the child..t
can’t implant motivation.. but too successful at sowing in them seeds of our own anxiety..
w/o the safety fo the attachment relationship, the small child will be too anxious to focus is attention on a meaningful exploration of the world around him..
along with attachment, the other necessary condition for the development of motivation is autonomy..t
‘people need to feel that their behavior is truly chosen by them rather than imposed by some external source’ writes edward deci ‘
w/o some choice, autonomy is not possible.. ‘you dont’ feel like doing your hw now. when would be a better time’
ugh.. total ugh.
children don’t have to be trained into socialization. because it is a fundamental human drive, we naturally develop connectedness and compassion if our own basic needs have been respected.. socialization is at the apex of a pyramid. the base is formed by secure attachment and autonomy.. we often make the mistake w our children of putting socialization – the rules of social conduct, what is called ‘good behavior’ ahead of attachment and individuation.. we try to make our kids act as truly socially responsible people at the expense of their emotional security and their autonomous sense of self.. this may result in compliance, but not in the internal, organic growth of true morality and social responsibility.
hard time w two chapters on 1\ school 2\ teens.. both seem to be ignoring that school is not a given.. and is toxic.. perpetuating not us ness.. science of people.. so reads as figuring out how to fit add into school ness.. when really.. none of us fit..
angus: it’s not that it’s not a problem. i can see how it is but i don’t care. i’m not going to change myself in that way for others. i may be extremely selfish in that respect, but i’m not going to put myself on pills so that i’m more – what’s the word.. more controllable..
manageable i suggested..
yeah .. that’s it.. so that i am more manageable for my teachers..
i pressed point.. but wouldn’t you like to be able to concentrate better, to be more focused in some of those other subjects besides jus your favs..
angus: nah.. i think add in itself isn’t that bad.. it’s when you put it on top of a broken home, or alcoholic parents, or bad crowds .. then you get a serious problem ..and then ritalin isn’t going to take away everything . it’s just going to take away the add, not relive all those other problems you have
i’d say.. including and perpetuated by.. school
many of the traits thought to be caused by add are, i am convinced, not the expressions of the specific neurophysiological impairments associated w add but of low self esteem
some markers of low self esteem: craving good opinion of others; propensity to blame someone – self or others; inflated view of self; mistreating those who are weaker or accepting mistreatment w/o resistance; argumentativeness – need to be right or assuming always wrong; trying to impose opinion; letting others judgement influence; sense of responsibility for other people in relationships; inability to say no; need to achieve; abusing body/soul; .. all of thee behaviors and attitudes reveal a fundamental stance towards the self that is conditional and devoid of true self-respect
true self esteem: has nothing to do w a self eval on basis of achievement.. a person truly comfortable in his own skin doesn’t say’ i am a worthy human being because i can do such and such; accepts; steadfast; great store in what others think; independent of others’ opinions; .. who one is.. contingent self esteem is only what one does
absolutely universal in the stories of all adults w add is the memory of never being comfortable about expressing their emotions.. not safe enough to bare their souls.. kept deepest griefs to selves.. on other hand, many recall being hyperaware of their parents’ difficulties and struggles in the world..
gabor in early years: had little regard for ti (my writing) precisely because i felt it came naturally to me.. i don’t trust my words.. they come too easily..
to me those things come easily.. that’s just who i am… i didn’t have to work at them much… andrea
working to convince themselves of their own self-worth by striving to achieve something completely contrary to their nature..t
one of barriers faced by adults w add in their quest for self esteem is they don’t know who that self to be esteemed is..
sooner or later people come to realize that this false self..wanting what they think they should want, feeling what they think they should feel – does not work for them..t
#1 regret of dying
when they look inside themselves, they discover a frightening emptiness, a vacuum, an absence of a true self or of intrinsic motivation..
human infants are born w no capability whatsoever to hide/suppress any feeling…. given the survival value of emotional expression, nature would not have us give up that capacity unless the suppression of emotion was demanded by the environ.. when we forget how to say no, we surrender self-esteem
in his desperation to be needed was willing to sacrifice his personal life. .. felt so alienated from his own self that he had to keep running away from any awareness of it
the need to be needed at all costs comes from one’s earliest experiences.. if the child does not feel accepted unconditionally, he learns to work for acceptance and attention.. when he is not doing this work, he feels anxious.. owing to an unconscious fear of being cut off from parent.. later as an adult.. when not doing something specific, he has a vague unease, the feeling that he should somehow be working.. the adult has no psychological rest because the infant/child had never known psychological rest.. being wanted becomes a drug.. what one does and what others think of it take precedence over who one is..
appropriate to speak of sense of self.. because from neurophysiological pov the self simply does not exist.. there is no neurobiological ‘self circuit’ in the brain.. no little gnome pulling all the levers..
the self we experience is an unimaginably rapid series of firings of countless neurological circuits.. antonio damsio: at each moment the state of self is constructed from the ground up.. it is an evanescent (quickly fading) reference sate, so continuously and consistently reconstructed tha the owner never knows it is being remade unless something goes wrong with the remaking..
it is the relative consistency of the repetitious neurological activities of the brain that convinces us there is a solid self.. we might say that in add this consistency lacks consistency.. less to hold on to..
this scant reliability of our memories will be satisfactorily explained only when we know win what language, in what alphabet they are written, on what surface, and with what pen.. – primo levi,t.. the drowned and the saved
w/add: a painful hyperconsciousness of injustice.. accompanied by ineffective rage or by shamed silence.. diff.. more painful than empathy and something less effective.. identification.. when a person empathizes, he can understand another’s feelings .. but self as separate.. capable of taking independent useful action.. when he becomes identified , that boundary disappears.. he reacts as if he was himself the victim.. .. humiliation.. helpless rage.. shame..
this is not a state of adult human fellow feeling from which he can act effectively: it si a state of memory.. he is gripped by the past..
to some degree everyone is prisoner of the past.. judith lewis herman..
implicit memory – when people are influenced by a past experience w/o any awareness that they are remembering – daniel schacter..
retrieving memories is not like searching a file to locate some desire item.. the brain has multiple memory systems.. joseph ledoux..
explicit memory is recall..
for short term memories to fix in the brain for storage in long term memory they have to be encoded..
each new memory is a new pattern of strengthened connections between widely distributed brain circuits..
no conscious awareness is necessary for the encoding of implicit memory, or for tis being triggers.. a tone of voice or a look in another’s eyes can activate powerful implicit memories.. implicit memory is responsible for much of human behavior, its working all the more influential because unconscious.. whenever we experience ourselves caught up in feelings that seem to overwhelm us, we are likely in the realm of implicit memory.. – as we also are when we find ourselves quite cut off from feelings..
daniel schacter: while our sense of self an did is highly dependent on explicit memory for past episodes and auto biographical facts, our personalities may be more closely tied to implicit memory..
examination amnesia.. having to prove self in exam setting… personal ie: my voice quickly falter when someone as much as averts his eyes from me while i am speaking w him
a precise marker of what had never occurred..
ledoux refers to implicit memory as emotional memory
should the mother be the one to break eye contact.. infant is mortified.. and is immediately swept into the physiological state of shame.. later.. remembers.. what did not happen
rejection even if no rejection is intended..
from pov of infant.. hardly matters.. (if literally absent or not).. his encoded reactions will be the same, because for him the real issue is not the parent’s physical presence but her emotional accessibility.
so long as i expect a nother person to provide what i am lacking in myself, i am bound to be disappointed..
the unsolved problem is how to be oneself in contact with other people..t
people desperate for a relationship will surrender their sense of self, their true feelings, for fear of being rejected..t
on men seeming more adjusted.. his anxiety can be noticed, however, as soon as she becomes unavailable, for whatever reason
interpretive labor ness
no matter what their conscious intentions, most people are attracted to mates who have their caretakers’ positive and negative traits, and, typically, the neg traits are more influential – harville hendrix
in neurophysiological terms, our choice of mate reflects the early relationship patterns stamped in the neural circuits of the right prefrontal cortex, esp its orbitofrontal portion.. the ofc will recognize and hoe in on someone who, on the unconscious level, activates its familiar reactions.. this person, after all, will most resemble the person whose love one so desperately craved all one’s life..
we are inexorably drawn to marry the individual who is, of all potential partners, the very one most likely to trigger in us the most painful and confusing of implicit memories.. as well as the warmest, happiest ones..
strength is an inner quality; power is a matter of relationship.. i may have strength, yet at the same tim i may be powerful in one relationship and utterly powerless in another..
one of most perplexing problem for non add partner is what john ratey has called ‘the ahistorical memory’ of the add mind. in other words, the add adult (and child) functions at times as if previous events, even the most recent ones, had never taken place. your add partner may have insulted you the night before but this morning greets you with a warm smile, the offer of a hug and the expectation of warm reciprocal contact.. you are in absolutely no mood.. the wounds of the previous night still being fresh..
another aspect of ahistorical memory is its either/or nature.. either nothing bad or nothing good..
something in the add adult dreads going to bed and turning the light off.. the fear is of being alone w one’s urgent mind .. is.. i believe, an implicit memory of finding oneself, in infancy, cut off from contact w the parent..
anthony storr: it seems clear that some kind of scanning or re programming takes place in dreams which has a beneficial effect upon ordinary mental functioning..
the quintessential achievement of western civilization, the scientific method, has come to be interpreted so narrowly that it has been used to exclude essential knowledge human beings have worked and studied and struggle over hundreds of generations to gain: the knowledge that we are not just the molecules that accidentally have come together to form our bodies, the thoughts that temporarily engage our mind, the feelings that agitate or soothe us from one moment to the next.. so ‘scientific’ have we become, that our science has come to ignore or deny the work and experience of the greatest teachers of humankind..
yet it seem to me somehow that i remember these spiritual realities..
written on each heart.. already there.. assume good
contemplative solitude is diff from being alone in a room, reading, listening to music or being lost in reverie.. it means putting some attention on one’s life, one’s thoughts and feelings..
all addictions are anesthetics.. they separate us from the distress in our consciousness..
a fine but clearly discernible line between addiction and passion.. it’s simply a question of who is in charge: the individual or the behavior.. the addiction is the repeated behavior engaged in despite the certainty that it harms oneself or others. passion loves the goal or process.. but the real object of addiction is the thrill of plunging into the behavior.. not the love of it..
my prefrontal lobes were awash with endorphins and dopamine, released by the thrill of the hunt and acquisition. the addiction, in a strange way, makes the addict feel more connected to life.. the downside is that it separates him further and further from himself.. only feeding his appetite, not his hunger..
in biochemical terms, any additive substance or behavior is self medication self administered emotional pain relief.. but the add person is also treating herself for a conditions she is not even aware of having..
to own the addiction is to begin to take ownership of the pain.. until that happens, the pain owns the addict and the addiction rules him..
the deficient neurochemistry of addiction like the deficient neurochem of add, can be traced to events in the first year oor two of life..
the pain the substance abuser does not want to feel has as its original source the same experiences that deprived her of the chemical she is trying to replenish by means of her habit.. .. the harder these people work to compensate.. the more they perpetuate the emotional emptiness.. that only ownership of problem and recognition of causes will fill..
bunter grass: we are far away from our griefs, which are the truest parts of ourselves. there is no path toward oneself that leads away from the pain..
three conclusions may be drawn from that experience (changes in medical baby deliveries .. ie: from cutting for every birth.. to no stirrups.. to not even lying down..) 1\ the medical view of the world tends not to trust nature very much 2\ there are things in the world that are true, even if they’re not taught in me school 3\ sometimes drs have to be educated by the public…. they apply in add.. in ed system.. in psych..
we don’t do our children any favor when we try to protect them from experiencing sadness or failure. what we really want for them when they feel sad is to be able to endure disappointment and hurt feelings, not to hide behind defenses, angry acting-out and driven behavior in order to avoid emotional distress.. it takes a lot of loving to help a child accept sadness.. to know that it can be endured.. it will pass..
to love is to extend oneself toward another or toward oneself, says dr peck. is to happens that this is also the precise meaning of giving attention to another person or to oneself. the origin of the word attend is the latin tendere ‘to stretch’ attend means to extend .. to stretch toward.
if we can actively love, there will be no add and no disorder..
in the realm of hungry ghosts
to unscatter/unscramble us:
But at its core, the story of Place is an eternal story, about the three forces that humanity needs to make art, creation, and technology possible.
1\ First came the Creators. They were the artists to whom the blank canvas was an irresistible opportunity.
The problem was less one of immaturity, and more of the fundamental complexity of the creative process. What the Creators were starting to face was something that would become the defining theme of Place: *too much freedom leads to chaos. Creativity needs constraint as much as it needs freedom.
When anyone could put any pixel anywhere, how does it not lead immediately to mayhem?
*i think this is myth that is keeping us from us – rather .. not enough freedom.. ie: 100% is what leads to chaos
so.. thinking the experiment we really need to try.. is a rat park (open enough system).. for all of us.. with a mech (simple enough) to facil the chaos of 7bn alive (deep enough) people.. ie: short bit
2\ Protectors..Another set of users emerged, who would soon address this very problem.
But like the primitive Creators, they weren’t yet self-aware of their purpose on the great white canvas. Instead, they began by simplifying the experiment into a single goal: world conquest.
This was a turning point. The mindless Factions had turned into beneficent Protectors. – ie: these 3 off limits
Finally at peace with the ravenous color horde, the Creators *turned back to their creations. They started making them more complex, adding one element after another.
But not all was well. The Protectors who they had once welcomed with relief had become tyrants dictating fashion. They decided what could and couldn’t be made. It wasn’t long before Creators started chafing under their rule.
Meanwhile, with the issue of artwork resolved, the Factions had turned their sights on each other, forcing followers to choose sides in epic battles. They had little time to pay attention to the pathetic pleas of Creators who wanted approval for ideas of new art.
The fights between the Protectors got nasty.
But the biggest problem of all was one of the only hard rules of Place — it couldn’t grow. With the Factions engaged in a massive battle among themselves, the Creators started realizing there wasn’t space to make new Art
Leaders form the Protectors and the Creators and met each other in chat rooms, but mostly they just pointed fingers at each other.
What Place needed was a villain that everyone could agree upon.
3\ Destroyers.. Enter the Void.
The Void was no Protector. Unlike the Factions, it professed no loyalty to Art. Followers of the Void championed its destructive egalitarianism, chanting only that “the Void will consume.” They took no sides. They only wanted to paint the world black.
But the Void was not easy to vanquish, because the Place needed it. It needed destruction so that new Art, better Art, would emerge from the ashes. Without the Void, there was no force to clean up the old Art.
This was exactly the kick in the ass that Place needed. While Creators had been busy fighting each other, and Protectors still measured themselves by the extent of canvas they controlled, a new threat — a real threat — had emerged under their nose.
Against the face of extinction, they banded together to fight the Void and save their Art.
And so, by design or not, the Void gave birth to some of the largest Art in the Place
They just needed an idea good enough, with enough momentum and enough followers, to beat the black monster.
That idea was the American flag.
They were people who otherwise tear each other apart every day — Trump supporters and Trump resisters, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and Europeans. And here they were coming together to build something together, on a little corner of the Internet, proving in an age when such cooperation seems impossible, that they still can.
..final canvas. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that on an anonymous, no-holds-barred space on the Internet, there were no hate or racist symbols at all.
It is a beautiful circle of art, life and death. And it isn’t the first time in our history that we’ve seen it.
Many millenia before Place, when humanity itself was still in its infancy (the real one, not the one on Reddit), Hindu philosophers theorized that the Heavens were made of three competing, but necessary, deities that they called the Trimurti. They were Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector, and Shiva the Destroyer.
Without any single one of them, the Universe would not work. For there to be light, there needed to be dark. For there to be life, there needed to be death. For there to be creation and art, there needed to be destruction.
Over the last few days, their vision proved prescient. In the most uncanny way, Reddit proved that human creation requires all three.
i don’t know.. i don’t think we need protectors or destroyers.. i think those functions are baked into each one of us.. so that it’s not really destroying as in fighting.. it’s doing it over..
from twitter convo
Sebastian (@dentlike) tweeted at 6:42 AM – 11 Apr 2017 :
What a story! Not only the experiment itself, but also the article with all the different groups and snapshots. Read! https://t.co/kqxSINTwgv (http://twitter.com/dentlike/status/851777575353561089?s=17)
For once the trolls did not fuck everything up + according to this piece enabled amazing piece of anonymous art http://sudoscript.com/reddit-place/
Given the openness of the instructions, the great abundance of flags is disturbing.
as someone mentioned, easy as hell to make. Hope that’s the explanation.
from fb convo
Jordan Greenhall Yes. This is fundamental. If understood it shows much of the way that we humans make it to the next level.
Jon Husband Yup, I think so too. Arguably it’s a decent description of what’s been going on as humans have populated the planet and done their thing. Is it ‘algorithmic’ or beyond that ?
Jordan Greenhall One question. What is the analog to the Void in the current world? It it yet strong enough?
Jon Husband << What is the analog to the Void in the current world? It it yet strong enough? >>
Un- or semi-consciously detached from selves ?
WIRED (@WIRED) tweeted at 6:24 AM – 16 Jan 2018 :
And the Reddit community that may just be our best hope for civil discourse on the internet https://t.co/uGIjONvX49 https://t.co/fDObm8amZM(http://twitter.com/WIRED/status/953256727297888257?s=17)
[mtn view, ca]
intro’d to Fred here via an interview with Howard:
Conversation with Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround
Published on Jan 31, 2014
Fred Turner, author of “From Counterculture to Cyberculture,” talks about his latest book, in which he uncovered the ways today’s multimedia was deliberately created during World War II & the Cold War to encourage the creation of “democratic personalities” — a multidecade collaboration and convergence that included Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, the Bauhaus, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Black Mountain College, Andy Warhol, Marshall McLuhan, the US Information Agency, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Cage spent a summer at black mtn with Bucky, … stages first happening.. be-in .. intro to 60’s..
15 min – creativity is seen as the solution to a social problem..
16 min – the family of man – fulcrum moment – to a time where democracy is more controlled
18:40 propaganda – therapeutic nationalism – ie: most reporters would take pictures of people taking the family of man in – while they are looking very similar to what they are looking like.. to drive in this likeness mentality
21 – howard – almost like refridgerators/consumerism – helped conquer communism.. fred – push for consumerism comes after ww2.. 50’s .. people’s capitalism.. the surround during ww2.. was now combined with consumer goods.. and buying goods seemed a way to create allies..
23 – informational consumerism happening now..
24 – i had no idea that the world of happenings and be-ins was connected to the world of propaganda.. the idea is almost unthinkable.. i was raised that 60s were a revolution and 50s were a cut and dried father knows best world b/w world. cage would travel – to showhouse free individual.. embracing america.. when cage goes to ny 57-58 w/new modes of performance.. then happenings continue in ny.. 66 show in riverside – first be-in.. became basis of human be in of 67 – kicked off high cultural 60s we know.. one thing that didn’t travel -…
60’s took the inward turn that Margaret Meade tried to get in the 40’s – but it turned in so much that it quit talking – because of that turn inward.. we have limited language to reach across our social divide.. (stopped talking about race/class/et al.. turned away from public critique of difficulties.. ie: if we just fix ourselves we will all be well.. )
howard – this could be a trilogy.. seeing another convergence – infusion of african american music, meets the children.. rave, burning man, google (equivalent of consumerism of production of 50s),..
28 – inside google – work with whole.. work with self.. but still those working in kitchen not making living wage.. easier to ignore that…
re wire ness
Howard posts on fb, feb 2014:
This is a VERY interesting and previously untold history. Before multimedia, raves, multi-screen desktops, they were all made possible through a concerted effort by Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, John Cage, the USIS, Buckminster Fuller, the Museum of Modern Art, that started as a response to fascism.
For that reason, members and friends of the committee advocated a
turn away from single- source mass media and toward multi- image, multi–
sound- source media environments—systems that I will call surrounds.
In 1940s, social scientists agreed that the democratic person was a freestanding individual who could act independently among other individuals. Democratic polity, in turn, depended on the ability of such people to reason, to choose, and above all to recognize others as being human beings like themselves.
Family of Man (360 guy?) visitors free to move, but only w/in environment that had been carefully shaped.
spinach or rock ness…
… even so,…clearly representing the rise of a managerial mode of control: a mode in which people might be free to choose their experiences, but only from a menu written by experts.
1. democratic person – very center of a democratic society
2. find a kind of media to produce that personality – a kind of media that allows us to make choices..
c dot app ness
individuals acting in concert..
early fb rhetoric: surround us with media to make ourselves
a utopian 60’s – actually from the 40’s
– – – – – –
Fred’s conversation with Clay Shirky.. dec 2013:
360 comes to help create space to facilitate the democratic personality
clay – we’ve been asking for 40 yrs… what the heck happened between 64 and 67..
If mass media made fascists, what kinds of media could American leaders make that would help create democratic persons and a democratic kind of unity?
Enter the Committee for National Morale. The Committee was led by Arthur Upham Pope, a Persian art historian, and it included 60 of America’s most interesting thinkers—people like anthropologists. Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, Mead’s husband, Gregory Bateson, the psychologists Gordon Allport and Kurt Lewin, a refugee from Germany. Together they theorized a new kind of media, a multi-media that could surround individuals and allow them to practice the perceptual skills on which democracy depended: the skills of selection, of integration, of knitting together diverse perspectives into a uniquely individual identity that Committee members called the “democratic personality.”This kind of personality was open to difference: open to racial difference, open to sexual difference. It was the opposite of the fascist personality. And it was the basis of a democratic mode of unity, a way of being together and at the same time remaining individual.
The other track follows the development of those same environments for the liberation of individual selves and the making of democratic community in places like Black Mountain College right up into the happenings of the 1960s. It ends in 1967 at the first Human Be-In, where people danced in Golden Gate Park and saw themselves as free, liberal individuals, diverse, racially mixed, sexually mixed, and open in every way. The Human Be-In helped bring us San Francisco’s Summer of Love and the high counterculture of the late 1960s. But the book shows that it was also the endpoint of the movement against fascism that Margaret Mead and the Bauhaus artists spawned.
To give you a sense of why, I want you to remember that, in February of 1939, 22,000 Americans filled Madison Square Garden to rally in support of fascism. Organizers hung giant banners on the wall that said, “Stop Jewish Domination of Christian America.” That’s America, 1939. In October that year hundreds of people marched down 86th Street in New York City with swastikas and American flags. This was in Life magazine and now it is almost totally forgotten.
20 min – counselors offices were called adjustment centers… which seemed nicer than the fascist mentality.. but now we see – we probably got a little to adjusted (to the system)
in need of detox
CS: In The Democratic Surround the fear of fascism is the original motivation for the development of new media strategies. At first, this is underwritten by the US government. By the 1960s the source of fear is often the US government itself. How and when did that turn happen?
FT: The short answer is: when the draft was instituted and we went to war in Vietnam. The more complete answer is actually a story about the long 1950s. In the ‘50s we moved away from a robust, pro-liberal, anti-Communism that was grounded in an earlier anti-fascism toward a consumerist alternative.
We wanted them to experience choice in a commercial as well as a political vein. That turn toward mingling consumption and politics took place in the ‘50s and was available as a strategy to folks in the 1960s. While that was going on, some of the same people who had been working to promote the ideology of choice abroad—Walt Rostow, folks like this—were working at the Center for International Studies at MIT on the ideas that would become the foundation of America’s war inVietnam. Some of the same people who were fighting for a liberated, individuated society that would be diverse racially, diverse sexually, slowly but surely turned into the people who brought us Vietnam. You can watch it happen in the archives. And it’s terrifying.
The fantasy goes like this: If I express myself, the world will change. That is not correct. I was so angry to see Occupy focus on expression while the Tea Party focused on elections. Who is driving our policy now? It’s not Occupy. Sure, we got that phrase, “the 99 percent.” That’s great. It helps frame the debate. But framing debates is totally insufficient.
The business of the individual is to be a free, articulate participant among others. That’s not enough. Folks who buy into that vision have failed to do the institution-building that actually generates change. That’s a negative legacy on the Left, and it’s one that all sorts of New Media companies take advantage of. Google and Facebook are counting on it. They issue an invitation that is very profitable to them: Come connect with your friends. Hook up. Connect. Connect. Connect. Connect. But: Don’t build institutions. Don’t regulate us. We are the key institutions of free expression, free innovation—not the government. Never mind that it was government-sponsored research that brought us the Internet in the first place.
The threats are different today than they were in the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, American intellectuals and artists feared hierarchical institutions and centralized bureaucracies as tools of fascism. They tended to forget that those same structures helped bring America the New Deal. Today, many on the Left—and many in the corporate sphere—are still pushing the pursuit of individual satisfaction and the development of individual-centered networks as keys to democratic unity. The trouble is, what we face today is not the fascism of the 1930s. What we face is the dissolution of the middle class and the predatory accumulation of wealth by a tiny fraction of our population. What we face is the failure to band together to take action against climate change. These are the kinds of challenges that individuals gathered together in expression-centered networks are uniquely ill-equipped to meet.
We need to do the institutional work that builds free societies over the long haul. And if we don’t, the Tea Party will.
i was always told that the 60’s were the 30’s again..
37 min – the family of man – cracked open alternative perspectives
50 min – grand theft auto 5 – such a high degree of choice it feels like freedom – totally structured from the outside..
1:02 – courage – it’s really hard to take public stands esp when everybody around you tells you to take that tight professional stand that will help you move forward in life …it’s hard to reach out to ..people who are unlike ourselves.. tech for reaching to people like us – amazing.. tech for reaching those unlike us – not so much. that’s what the family of man tried to do. that’s our challenge now.. stop focusing on the improvement of self and start focusing on building of a polity out of people who are different than ourselves..
Fred on stanford site:
book links to amazon
“This is the true story of how a small group of artists and anthropologists set out to create an alternative to fascism during World War II—and ended up setting the stage for the consumer-driven, media-saturated world we inhabit today. A gripping, well-balanced, and surprising history.” –Douglas Rushkoff
if mass media tended to turn the psyches of their audiences in authoritarian directions? Was there a mode of communication that could produce more democratic individuals? A more democratic polity? And for that matter, what was a democratic person?
the surround clearly represented the rise of a managerial mode of a control: a mode in which people might be free to choose their experiences, but only from a menu written by experts.
In The Family of Man, Edward Steichen hoped to surround museum visitors with images and so free them to see a whole world of people who were simultaneously unlike and yet like themselves.
Cage’s performance shared their psychological ambition. He, too, hoped to surround his audience with sights and sounds that might free them from allegiance to more authoritarian modes of communication—and, by implication, from authoritarian political systems too.
spaces of permission ness
In Le Bon’s view, a leader could analyze the hidden desires of the individuals in a group and speak to them in a way that would undermine their ability to reason—that is, their “conscious personality.” Once exposed to the leader’s messages and to the contagious enthusiasm of the group, the individual would enter “a special state” like that of “the hypnotized individual . . . in the hands of the hypnotizer.
The Nazi type of morale resulted in “conformity” but not in an “inner strength” that might outlive the regime itself, he argued.15 Nazi morale might have looked like the sort of national unity Americans needed, but it wasn’t: it was too brittle.
sounds like our push in institution Ed for grit.. when what we need is true grit.. (difference if it’s a grit for battle.. or a grit for the thing you can’t not do.. the 2nd is way way stronger.. even if the 1st might appear so)
Thus freedom for the personality may be viewed as the crucial issue of a democratic society. . . .
Nazis longed for nothing more than to obey, and so to lose their individuality in the great mass of the crowd. They wanted only to follow and to attack those who wouldn’t or couldn’t also obey. Under the Nazis, the Germans had given up their powers of intellectual discrimination, of moral choice, of psychological independence. Above all, they had ceased to tolerate racial and cultural differences.
institution of Ed
In place of instrumental, message-driven modes of communication, they developed a theory of what I will call surrounds—arrays of images and words built into environments that their audiences could enter freely, act spontaneously within, and leave at will.
Does not the implementation of a defined direction call for control, and does not control—measured, calculated, definite control; control which really attains its ends—by its very existence invalidate democracy, necessarily raising up some men to exercise the control and degrade all others to be its victims? – M Mead
How would we rig the maze or problem-box so that the anthropomorphic rat shall obtain a repeated and reinforced impression of his own free-will?’
iterations of self. emergence of us. via a people experiment..
As Mead put it, “They go out from the doors of the Museum believing in one of the foundations of democracy, that it is possible, by slow, honest, exact study to find out more about man and the world in which he lives. For an hour or so they have been able to trust their eyes and let their minds rove over materials which have not been arranged to impress, to convert, to push them around, but merely to tell them as much of the truth as is now known, and that quietly.
“The primary need at the moment is . . . to free the individual citizen from his fear of being moved, to restore to the individual his belief that HE CAN MAKE CHOICES, HE IS NOT JUST A HELPLESS MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ON WHICH THE PROPAGANDIST PLAYS WHATEVER TUNE HE WISHES” [capitalization original].
set people free – to believing – it is legal to think for themselves..
In other words, chance methods of composition freed sounds from the need to obey the will of a dictatorial composer or even to follow the norms of an oppressive culture.
He described his new method less as a way of organizing sound than as a way of leveling power relationships between people by organizing sound.
What was the alternative to this implicit fascism? For the audience, it was to hear an array of sounds whose interrelationships could not be predicted beforehand but, rather, had to be made on the spot by the listeners themselves. For the performer, it was to cease to obey the commands of invisible authoritarians and to enter instead into a state of “being alert in an indeterminate situation.
the composer needed to develop a structure within which every person and every sound might be wholly itself, independent and free.
Artaud had long advocated a theater in which, as he put it, “the actors are not performing / they are doing.
Dwight MacDonald, editor of the left-wing journal Politics, put it, “There is something askew with a society in which vast numbers of citizens can be organized to create a horror like The Bomb without even knowing they are doing it.
Americans had been asked to turn off their reason, to act on their most violent impulses, and to do so as a unified, uniform mass. When they returned home to the United States, they brought with them not only their recollections of the fighting but the specter of their own resemblance to the enemy.
It will be a person-centered society in which no type of person can impose his pattern of selfhood upon other persons.”
Each gave voice to a widespread hope that social and technological engineering could enable Americans to manage themselves.
we shall use social engineering to solve the problem of setting up the conditions of freedom but not to determine what men shall do with freedom when they get it. Indeed, we are arguing here that the chief uses of freedom are defeated by those who set up the conditions and try also to determine its content.”
pbl, cc, eve parents who don’t want to – via krishnamurti – so c dot app ness- because tech is non judgmental – no agenda ness – can take in too big to know data – and organize it for connections.. – help us find our tribe.. help us rattle out brain…
In 1950, UNESCO published a complete report of the conference edited by Hadley Cantril and entitled Tensions that Cause Wars.
Even Max Horkheimer, who at times during the conference protested the psychologization of what he believed were also economic and political conflicts, argued that the Nazis would never have come to power had German parents not turned the personalities of their children in authoritarian directions. “Men . . . who have not been browbeaten in childhood,” he wrote, “will not be driven by irrational anxieties . . . [to] aggressive nationalism.
the f scale – testing for vulnerability to fascism. adorno
erich fromm – research in 1920s
Those with a broadly antidemocratic personality structure were unable to recognize other people as individuals, but saw them only as types.
If potential fascists showed a psychological propensity to give themselves over to the will of another, to dissolve their own desires into those of the throng, the democratic psyche longed for a different kind of intimacy. The democratic personality enjoyed “a degree of detachment which enables the individual to sense the feelings and viewpoints of others in the life of the entire group.”
2 books that defined debates on nature of american society through the 50s:
The first was Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s best-selling polemic, The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom, in 1949.
The result should be a balance of “individualism which does not wall man off from community” and “community which sustains but does not suffocate the individual.
Schlesinger. “We must commit ourselves to it with all our vigor in all its dimensions: the struggle within the world against communism and fascism; the struggle within our country against oppression and stagnation; the struggle within ourselves against pride and corruption: nor can engagement in one dimension exclude responsibility for another.
– The second – In 1950, Riesman’s widely acclaimed The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character challenged the confidence of The Vital Center even as it echoed its preoccupation with personality
Even as such an orientation freed individual Americans to make their own way in the world, it knit them ever more tightly into the systems of production and consumption within which they worked.
In the early spring of 1955, more than a quarter of a million people streamed through the doors of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They came to immerse themselves in The Family of Man.
In other words, even as it freed Americans from the massifying effects of totalitarianism and its media, The Family of Man invited them to adjust themselves to a softer but equally pervasive system of management—a system pioneered, in part, in Victor D’Amico’s classrooms.
By January 1943, the Museum of Modern Art had mounted an entire exhibition on the theme, called Art Education in Wartime. In a draft press release, museum officials argued that art educators were helping to win the war from kindergarten through college by helping children avoid becoming authoritarians.
“The war has created new and greater tensions which will cause their share of mental and emotional maladjustments,” wrote D’Amico in 1943. “If the therapeutic value of art is employed in a plan for re-education [of veterans], America may be spared a phenomenal rise in mental illness and emotional disturbance.
for many in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it also meant working to raise the sort of open-minded, empathetic, emotionally flexible children who would not start the kinds of wars they themselves had just survived
Parents became childlike once again, while their children enjoyed managing themselves within an environment established for the purpose. In short, the classroom became a world without a dictator, unified in its pursuit of individual diversity
Fascist-minded subjects show, on a deeper level, no genuine attachments to the parents, whom they accept in a fairly conventionalized and externalized way. It is this configuration of submissiveness and coldness which more than anything else defines the potential fascist of our time.
In this setting children needed to learn not only how to make art, but how to manage themselves in terms set by largely invisible others.
I guess in art you can be pretty free,” said Mrs. Kawachi. “Yes,” replied Victor D’Amico, “that’s what art’s for.”
Many lauded Steichen as a sort of author—speaking in what he and reviewers alike called the “universal language” of photography—and the exhibition as a text, an essay even.
Eisenhower and leaders of American industry worked closely together to establish American goods as intermediaries between the craven, earthly desire for things and more abstract human longings for social justice.
what? consumerism as glue?
Americans had been promoting the overthrow of communist regimes without understanding that principles alone could not sustain democracies, Potter claimed. The democratic character of individuals and nations depended on their collective wealth. For that reason, he implied, Americans should promote not only political democracy, but consumer capitalism
Indoctrination was the tool of totalitarianism; democracy required self-discovery
The real problem is to free the child of his clichés or imitated mannerisms and to help him discover his own way of seeing and expressing.”
In the early years of World War II, Margaret Mead had linked American individualism and American national morale.
What better way is there to develop a feeling of brotherhood among nations than to stimulate the creativeness of their children?” asked the reporter
free to become ever more themselves and, at the same time, ever more collaborative and interdependent
At the global level, the United States promised to enclose its allies in a “free world,” watched over by a benevolent, all-seeing military and guided by disinterested American experts
In April 1957, exhibition planners convened a two-day conference at MIT’s Center for International Studies (CENIS). The center had been founded in 1951 with a grant from the Ford Foundation and received substantial secret funding from the CIA
Like Fuller’s dome, Stone’s circular arena modeled an American landscape open to roaming. Stone even built some forty entrances and exits, so that visitors could come and go as they pleased.41 The interior of the pavilion had no clear beginning and no clear end
The Children’s Creative Center allowed visitors who peered through its windows to practice monitoring—not instructing or indoctrinating, but watching, encouraging, and so helping to set the boundary conditions for their children’s performances.
In each case, visitors were enjoined to express themselves—imaginatively, through identification, or mechanically and imaginatively, by voting or picking stocks. As they did, they simultaneously produced themselves as new, creative citizens of a massively abundant world and practiced engaging with democratic politics, market capitalism, and the progressive child-rearing techniques that were thought to produce people who would thrive in those systems
oh my. .. express by voting.. and picking stocks?
They both imagined themselves as and, for an instant at least, became highly individuated members of a seemingly egalitarian society—an Americanized global community whose stability was guaranteed by military forces arrayed invisibly far beyond the circle of the pavilion’s walls.
Reporters tripped over themselves to celebrate the show when it came to their cities. “I am writing this under the spell of an exhibit that could change the face of South Africa if it were seen and felt and understood by the right people,” exclaimed a reviewer for The Johannesburg Sunday Times, entirely typically. “No human being seeing it and understanding its message could ever hold race hate in his heart again.”
For the staff of the USIA, the exhibition was a godsend. With its emphasis on global humanism, the racial diversity in its imagery, and its utter absence of pro-American bluster, the exhibition seemed to have little if anything to do with propaganda. Visitors might even forget that the United States was sponsoring the show (an occurrence that American embassy officials routinely took steps to prevent). When they did notice American sponsorship, USIA officials hoped that visitors would associate their own desires for peace, familial intimacy, and egalitarian community with the guiding international hand of the United States.
More specifically, it was to turn Soviet citizens toward the creative self-expression and self-development that characterized the democratic personality—in this case, through consumption—and at the same time toward an egalitarian mode of unity based on individualism, that ostensibly characterized the United States.
Even as these systems offered to improve Soviet understanding of American life, most generated records of visitors’ opinions about America, the exhibition, and the Soviet Union
Fred – saying computer preprogrammed/guides with thousands of answers to questions .. but more interested in what questions they were asking..
Nelson explained that the dome would be the first building visitors entered, and would be designed to overwhelm them with highly credible facts and images from the United States. These would help persuade the Soviets that Americans could be trusted to tell the truth
so flooding people with highly credible facts persuades trust?
Together these interactions allowed Soviets to express themselves and, at the same time, rendered their psyches available to surveillance.
2 forms of control: 1-they were offered spinach or rock; 2-they were monitored – raised eyebrow and agenda ness.. ?
They listed the questions asked of RAMAC. (Number one in the first week: “How much do cigarettes cost?” Number two: “What is meant by the American dream?”
A society linked by the intercommunications of independent individuals was a far cry from one organized by the top-down dictates of a totalitarian regime
might tech do better facilitating.. and keep from judgment and agenda ness?
In Wiener’s view, communication was not simply a matter of exchange; it was the essence of social and natural order.
Only by surrounding the eye with new images and offering the individual the chance to link them together—that is, by asking both artists and viewers to speak a new language of vision—could designers begin to help individuals become psychologically whole
strange – because here it is again… assumption that fixing requires given/prescribe images… even with the silence ness of john cage in the room..
First, they asked individual viewers to select among a variety of images on display and integrate their selections into a single, individualized internal picture. In this way, according to Gestalt theory at least, viewers could experience true individuation—an experience that the USIA saw as central to undermining the massified psychology of Soviet communism.
yeah.. that.. over and over.. that. that’s individuation? that’s pbl as we know it.. right? partial freedom is not freedom ness..
soviets found this utterly compelling… yet most compelling was chance to interact with russion speaking american guides.. who were allowed to think on their feet and to acknowledge problems… is that reality?
people drawn to people. that’s it. no? people drawn to awake people.
The USIA had adapted the aesthetics and the ideals of the surround to the work of reorienting the desires of foreign nationals away from the temptations of communism and toward the carefully managed consumer society of America.
so – we modeled what it’s like to dote on a kid.. to offer extrinsic reward.. and clothe it as safety/love/humanity.. ?
The members of the Committee didn’t know how to build these environments. But in the late 1930s, a generation of Bauhaus artists had just fled to the United States from Germany.
They created the spaces that the American social scientists had dreamed of – spaces in which Americans could practice moving their bodies individually together, looking high and low at the world around them, and arriving at a new mode of political unity in the process.
At the same time, artists such as John Cage opened up the soundscape and the world of performance, with an equally explicit desire to engage their audiences in a world of aesthetic democracy – a place in which every sound, no matter how lowly, would be equal to every other, a world in which the European hierarchies of the symphony no longer held sway.
When they headed out to build their communes, the New Communalists of the 1960s tucked books by their parents’ generation into their backpacks. They read Norbert Weiner, Buckminster Fuller, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson – and I wondered why. When I went back to those books, I saw the appeal. These thinkers were far more radical than we remember. –
– – – –
Bayer and his team wanted viewers to practice doing the linking work themselves. They were to engage, even interact with the whole pattern of images and not just any one message they might contain.
Cage is asking his audience to see that they are surrounded by the sounds of their environment. He’s asking them to knit those sounds together in the way that would be most meaningful for them. No piano player, no conductor, no musical dictator demands their attention. The audience, like the sounds themselves, are meant to be free, interacting with one another on equal terms.
The trouble is, these new modes for making liberated citizens also meant a new mode of management. In each case I’ve studied, a team of experts built an environment and selected an array – an often very rich array – of media for audiences to engage. Audience members moved freely, selected what mattered to them, congregated, dispersed – and based on all the archival records I’ve seen, many really did experience themselves as free in these spaces. But of course they weren’t. Or not completely. They may have had more control of their bodies and their senses and their reasoning faculties than, say, the swaying viewers of Disney’s Circarama, but the visitors to surrounds inhabited a thoroughly curated world. They could interact, but the terms of their interaction had been set for them, before they even entered the rooms.
The modes of interactivity and multi-media storytelling that empower audiences to make their own unique sense of the media around them usually invite them to make sense of that media specifically – media which have often been pre-selected and pre-digested for them.
spinach or rock ness in ed – pbl et al
I’m hoping that if we can look back into the 1940s and the 1950s, we can see a world in which it is possible to work for radical political transformation within and around the most powerful institutions of our day – including the media and the government.
Some of the best and brightest social scientists of the 1950s and 1960s, working with the very best of intentions, helped mastermind a national atrocity.
I do see that the lion’s share of funding from the government now goes to STEM disciplines. I think that happens because the outcomes of training in those areas can be so clearly linked to things Congressman care about – jobs, profits, economic growth. But the power of STEM per se isn’t new. The space race and the Cold War drove research in that area to a level of funding and creative abandon that would be hard to imagine today except perhaps in the privately funded stratospheres of Google and Apple and Microsoft. Even with government funding down, the social sciences remain intellectually pretty hardy.
– – – – –
I think that one of the legacies of the Vietnam era for our generation has been a fear that engaging with state policy or trying to directly influence public life will somehow harm either our ideas or the state itself.
But it also travelled because Mead and others like her were not afraid to mix it up with people in power.
Today we need to do two things I think: first, campus-based writers like you and I need to keep trying to speak outward, to the world beyond the walls, in plain English. Second, we need to work with and if necessary build new kinds of institutions to support the kind of society we want. New social networks, new peer-to-peer collaborations are nowhere near enough. What we need are places where people who are unlike one another can gather and work together, slowly, over time. We are far too entranced with the power of networks today. What we need are not better ways to contact others like ourselves, but better ways to work across our differences. What we need are not better networks, but better institutions.
interview dec 2014 in paris – digital utopia:
today – info machines can make everything manageable.. a vision that kind of underlies google..
ww2: idea against fascism.. late 30s early 40s.. fear that mass media had a 1-many structure that turned people into fascists… americans are wondering how to do propaganda on our own people w/o turning them into fascists… 2 ideas emerge: 1) democratic personality – every nation has it’s own style 2) media had power to shape personality… we need a form of multi-media (as opposed to mass) to produce democratic personality… so get bauhaus artists to help induce that balance
1) democratic person. 2) geographically distributed media shape your personality
1\ cybernetics – theory of info systems.. but also world as info system.. late 40s early 50s.. weiner from mit:.. digital media as leveling world.. a way to manage world that is deeply freeing.. people as computers… but free computers… learning machines.. opposite of mechanistic machines.. once we accept that we ourselves are info systems.. we can be free.
2\ counter culture has 2 wings: 1\ new left – do politics in order to change politics; 2\ new communilist – politics is the problem, we don’t want to do govt/states/parties.. make visible the invisible systems of info that surround us.. manage those.. come to unspoken agreement.. very congenial to think of selves of their own systems…
but also opened door to our world… we imagine we are alone w/our computers.. but we are never alone with our computers.. in and out
a world originally imagined of free democratic political choice.. but has become a world of carefully managed consumer choice.. much more limited democratic choice..
i’d like to remember that moment of ww2 – 40s.. bring us to a state of individual info systems that is not narcissist, not self-centered.. that takes self only as a beginning – for reaching out to others unlike ourselves.. .. i think we can recover that vision
Srnicek and Williams believe that emerging technologies have laid the foundation for the kind of egalitarian social world once promised by Lenin himself. To bring that world into being, they argue, we need not to resist but to accelerate the development of new technologies and the spread of capitalism.
The first of these is that capitalism is omnivorous. Srnicek and Williams note that, as Marx pointed out, capitalism devours almost all social forms in its way. This means that *efforts to create local enclaves of, say, ethical consumerism or horizontal, extra-market social relations, are ultimately bound to fail. For all their emphasis on bottom-up reform, such efforts can do little to prevent the commodification of experience, the expansion of inequality, and the ever-extended need to turn social life toward financially profitable ends.
unless.. perhaps.. we design to make capitalism/money-as-os ness.. irrelevant.. ie: hard to devour something that isn’t there.. ie: imagine no *efforts to create local enclaves of ethical consumerism or horizontal extra-market social relations..
this is where Srnicek and Williams take an unexpected turn. Rather than try to resist the forces of technology and capitalism, they urge us to embrace them. Or more specifically, they argue that in fact the *only way to escape the maw of the consumer society is to accelerate the engines driving it. The left must do what the neoliberal right has done: it must celebrate the liberating tendencies of capitalism; it must take advantage of the ever-more-social affordances of new technologies; and it must help the world imagine both as sources of social improvement.
*accelerate – as in leap – to a nother way….ie: be brave enough to disengage from any measuring of transactions..
In the hands of neoliberal ideologues, for instance, Schumpeter’s notion of “creative destruction” becomes something that individuals can do (as entrepreneurs), that companies can do (through innovation), and that even whole economies experience (in cycles of growth and recession).
For Srnicek and Williams, the central problem with capitalism is not the inequality it produces, nor the ways it intersects with longstanding patterns of racism and nationalism, but rather the hoary problem of labor. For generations, they write, the left has “sought to liberate humanity from the drudgery of work, the dependence on wage labor, and submission of our lives to a boss.” New technologies allow us to build “a postcapitalist and post-work platform upon which multiple ways of living could emerge and flourish.”
We have authentic selves, they argue, and to work for wages, we must leave our authentic desires at home.
If this sounds more than a little like a marketing campaign for Uber, it should. This is the same logic that drives the rhetoric of the sharing economy. And that should make us nervous. New digital platforms really are making work patterns more flexible and automation really is replacing (some) drudgery. Yet, marketers’ claims notwithstanding, they have hardly brought us a new era of social sharing. Instead, they’ve marketized ever smaller segments of time and transformed formerly private resources (such as your car) into potential sources of profit.
As Noys points out, these first accelerationists did much more than fail to spark a populist revolution; they actually helped legitimate the technologies of domination in place today.
For all its talk of a technology-enabled socialist utopia, accelerationism actually offers little more than a steep dive down a nihilist rabbit hole.
Here Noys picks up on an essential paradox of accelerationism, and in fact of many ostensibly left-leaning, technology-embracing social movements. The same devices that are slowly choking off our ability to act in the world without their help have also offered us extraordinary pleasures.
Yet as the Futurists themselves have taught us, the dream of machines that will speed us away from everyday life can just as easily open the road to fascism as to democracy. In their rush to celebrate the benefits of automation, Srnicek and Williams have forgotten this history. Lenin may have turned to Taylorism to ease the lives of peasants, and the founders of the CCRU may have embraced Schumpeterian creative destruction in order to experience a technocentric form of ecstasy. Yet neither approach substantially improved the prospects for a more egalitarian social world.
the problem of politics writ large remains. How can we build a more just, more egalitarian society when our devices already surround us with so many of the personalized delights we might want such a society to offer? Meetings are boring. Talking to people unlike ourselves is hard. How can we turn away from the mediasphere long enough to rediscover the pleasures of that difficult work? And how can we sustain it when we do?
To these kinds of questions, the accelerationists have no answers.
let’s try this: a nother way
“Fascism and The Historical Irony of Facebook’s “Fake News” Problem” by @kimmaicutler https://t.co/OI8P9AYGCR
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/bacigalupe/status/802506560316444672
How did the country that brought us Goethe and Beethoven bring us Hitler?
Many Americans blamed the mass media.
If they used mass media, they risked turning Americans into authoritarians. But if they didn’t, they wondered, how would they achieve the national unity they needed to fight fascism?
There was one school of thought that said, “We’ll just copy [Joseph] Goebbels. We’ll de-program Americans later [if they turn totalitarian].”
But there were about 60 American intellectuals who were part of something called the Committee for National Morale who had another idea. These were people like anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, psychologist Gordon Allport, and the curator Arthur Upham Pope.
They dreamed of media that would surround you, that would require you to make your own choices and use your individual perception to define the images that mattered most to you. It was meant to be a kind of media environment within which you could make your own decisions, and so become more individually unique. At the same time, it put you in the company of others doing the same thing. The environment was designed to help forge both individual identity and collective unity simultaneously.
Over the next 50 years, through a series of twists and turns, the democratic media dreams of the Committee for National Morale actually set the stage for Facebook, Twitter and other kinds of peer-to-peer media.
The irony is that with Donald Trump, we are seeing a medium and a set of tactics designed to confront fascism being used to produce a new authoritarianism.
Trump has use the media to take over an existing state apparatus.
The multi-media images in “The Democratic Surround” provide a glimpse of the kind of perceptual world that media thinkers believed would make us less racist and more embracing of our differences. It’s a world in which we’re meant to practice looking at and identifying with others who are not like ourselves.
multi-image environments as part of trade fairs or exhibitions in the belief that they would give people the ability to practice the modes of perception that democracy depends upon
math as diff perception – roger et al
The second way the surround aesthetic has come down to us and helped drive the rise of social media is through the art world. Thanks to John Cage, it became the basis of Happenings in New York in the late 1950s. Cage believed that concerts and symphonies embodied the hierarchies of old Europe and were essentially exercises in domination by aural means. He knew the Bauhaus refugees well. And so he did with sound what they had done with pictures. He designed sonic surrounds that would open people up to listening to sounds around them and choosing the ones that were most valuable to them.
then to stewart brand and.. If they just built the right geodesic domes, took the right LSD, and surrounded themselves with the right music and light shows, lots of folks believed they could establish a new and better society. This society would be based on a shared mindset, a shared consciousness that technology would help create.
This idea of shared consciousness became a conceptual foundation of the Internet as it emerged into public view.
Stewart Brand and the people who were building communes in the 1960s reimagined computers as technologies of liberation. They turned the dreams of the commune movement — which by then had failed — into fantasies that the Internet could be an “electronic frontier.” The computer would now be a “personal” technology — that is, a tool like LSD for the transformation of consciousness. And the net would link these technology-enabled minds together in “virtual community.
The counterculture’s utopian vision of technology still lingers in the air when, say, Ev Williams founds Twitter, or even when Mark Zuckerberg declares his desire to connect everyone on the planet through Facebook.
huge.. looking at intention..
If multi-media was such a democratizing force, why is mass media still here?
One of the things we see with Trump and the Twitter-sphere is that when new technologies come on the scene, they don’t replace old technologies. They layer onto older technologies.
Twitter and its liberating potential is already mass mediated. It’s already commercial. When Donald tweets, he isn’t just tweeting to a general populace. He’s generating stories for CBS and NBC, and for that matter, Facebook. He’s generating stories that create an entire media sphere on their own. That is the source of his power. He is using the old fascist charisma, but he’s doing it in a media environment in which the social and the commercial, the individual and the mass, are already completely entwined.
I think “fake news’ is a really important phenomenon. It’s rumor, and one of the things social media do best is accelerate rumors. Social media radically disable fact checking. They make it easy for people to make up stories that can travel at the speed of light. Social media also show that the original idea that the Internet could be a neutral dissemination medium for news was just a fantasy.
I’m not at all sure how firms should manage the new situation, let alone how the state should intervene. “Fake news” is only part of the problem. The real problem is actually more of a structural problem. Media firms in lots of different subsets need to make money on advertising. When you are dependent on advertising, controversy is good. Truth ceases to matter. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. What matters is that it gets a lot of attention.
It’s the turn from fact that makes fascism possible. If they turn away from reasoning altogether, they can turn toward feeling like part of a body following a charismatic leader.
we can’t pretend that engineers are not legislators of public discourse anymore.
If Donald Trump is a fascist, he’s a fascist for this time and this country, because the source of his power is his ability to manage and grab attention.
fb share by Howard:
I’ve had very few mentors. Fred Turner was and is one of them.
Don’t Be Evil
Fred Turner on Utopias, Frontiers, and Brogrammers
We sat down with him to discuss how Silicon Valley sees itself, and what it means when the tech industry says it wants to save the world.
The other—and this is where the tech world gets its mojo—is what I’ve called the New Communalists. Between 1966 and 1973, we had the largest wave of commune building in American history. These people were involved in turning away from politics, away from bureaucracy, and toward a world in which they could change their consciousness. They believed small-scale technologies would help them do that. They wanted to change the world by creating new tools for consciousness transformation.
This is the tradition that drives claims by companies like Google and Facebook that they are making the world a better place by connecting people. It’s a kind of connectionist politics. Like the New Communalists, they are imagining a world that’s completely leveled, in which hierarchy has been dissolved. They’re imagining a world that’s fundamentally without politics.
It’s worth pointing out that this tradition, at least in the communes, has a terrible legacy. The communes were, ironically, extraordinarily conservative.
*When you take away bureaucracy and hierarchy and politics, you take away the ability to negotiate the distribution of resources on explicit terms. And you replace it with charisma, with cool, with shared but unspoken perceptions of power. You replace it with the cultural forces that guide our behavior in the absence of rules.
So suddenly you get these charismatic men running communes—and women in the back having babies and putting bleach in the water to keep people from getting sick. Many of the communes of the 1960s were among the most racially segregated, heteronormative, and authoritarian spaces I’ve ever looked at.
So the New Communalists failed, in a big way. By 1973, virtually all of the communes had disappeared or dissolved.
Through the 1970s and into the early 1980s, most of the folks who used to be on the communes are still in the Bay Area. And the tech world is bubbling up around them. They need work, so many of them start working in the tech world.
The folks associated with the commune movement—particularly Stewart Brand and the people formerly associated with the Whole Earth Catalog—begin to reimagine computers as the tools of countercultural change that they couldn’t make work in the 1960s.
Stewart Brand actually calls computers “the new LSD.” The fantasy is that they will be tools for the transformation of consciousness—that now, finally, we’ll be able to do with the computer what we couldn’t do with LSD and communes. We’ll be able to connect people through online systems and build new infrastructure around them
let’s try tech as it could be
At other companies, I think it’s very sincere. I’ve spent a lot of time at Facebook lately, and I think they sincerely want to build what Mark Zuckerberg calls a more connected world. Whether their practice matches their beliefs, I don’t know.
There’s more talk about the dark side of technology: surveillance, data mining, facial recognition software, “fake news,” and so on. We’ve seen more resistance to the basic utopian line. Where do you think that comes from?
I think you can track it directly to the Snowden revelations.
..In terms of the public conversation, Snowden is when people became aware of surveillance and began to see it as a problem.
Burning Man is to the tech world what the nineteenth-century Protestant church was to the factory.
In the nineteenth century, if you lived in a small factory town, you’d work six days a week through Saturday. Then on Sunday, you’d go to church, and the bosses would sit up front, the middle managers would sit right behind them, and all the workers would sit in the back. You’d literally rehearse the order of the factory. You’d show, in the church, how you oriented all of your labor toward the glory of God.
Burning Man is the very model of the Puritan ideal.
When I went to Burning Man, that’s what struck me: I am in the desert. The desert of Israel, from the Bible, under the eye of heaven, and everything I do shall be meaningful. That’s a Protestant idea, a Puritan idea, a tech idea, and a commune idea. All of those come together at Burning Man and that’s one of the reasons I’m fascinated by the place.
Burning Man has many problems, of course, and I am distressed by many pieces of it. However, there was a moment I had during my first visit when I went two miles out in the desert and I looked back at the city and there was a sign that looked just like a gas station sign and it was turning, the way gas station signs do. It could’ve been a Gulf or Citgo sign, but it wasn’t. It was a giant pink heart. And for just a moment, I got to imagine that my suburbs back in Silicon Valley were ruled over not by Gulf and Citgo, but by love.
That’s a thread running through Burning Man. And it’s a thread that I treasure. In the midst of all the other things that made me crazy.
One of the great myths of the counterculture is that it wasn’t engaged with the military-industrial complex. That’s true of the New Left—but it’s not true of the New Communalists. The communalists were engaged with cybernetics in a big way. They bought deeply into the hope that through LSD, they would attend to new psychological frontiers and build new social frontiers.
..Nobody thinks they live on a frontier anymore.
However, inside the tech world, there are still people microdosing with LSD. There are still people experimenting with polyamorous relationships. There are still people pursuing the intersection of consciousness change and new social structures. And those worlds are still quite tightly intertwined with the legacy of the counterculture. So although the language of the new frontier has gone, and the frontier itself has been closed off by surveillance and commerce, people who work within tech are still treating their lives as if they were frontier settlers. And that’s fascinating to watch.
Exactly: Elon Musk is the classic example. And I actually really admire Elon Musk. I should say that one of my principles for working on Silicon Valley has been to take people at their word.
As we try to figure out Silicon Valley, I think it’s important to pull back a bit and try to see it from both sides. That can be tough if you have stakes in the debate. But it also gives you more room to see the whole world.
Our society tends to give permission to younger people to do certain kinds of experimenting that also happen to be really valuable inside the tech world. So, for example, we give our young people permission not to get married or have kids until they’re in their mid-thirties. That gives you your whole twenties to live in tech dorms, to try stuff out, to do things that my grandmother would have considered screwing up.
..If your vision of the progress of life includes a long hiatus for your twenties, that’s great for tech firms. If you stay all night at Google, that’s great for Google. They can bring you the barber. They can bring you the restaurant. You can have your love life at the firm. Have multiple partners, they don’t care. As long as you are super flexible and committed to the firm.
One of the legacies of the counterculture, particularly on the left, is the idea that expression is action. This idea has haunted those of us on the left for a long time.
But one of the reasons that the Tea Party came to power was that they organized—they built institutions. So the challenge for those of us who want a different world is not to simply trust that the expressive variety that the internet permits is the key to freedom. Rather, we need to seek a kind of freedom that involves people not like us, that builds institutions that support people not like us—not just ones that help gratify our desires to find new partners or build better micro-worlds.
The New Communalists believed that the micro-world was where politics happened. If we could just build a better micro-world, we could live by example to create a better world for the whole. I think that’s wrong.
Our challenge is to build a world that takes responsibility for people not like ourselves. And it’s a challenge we won’t meet by enhancing our expressive abilities, or improving the technologies of expressive connection…t
has to be all of us.. so perhaps.. techs that improve on all voices being heard.. whatever they’re saying
We Can Change the World. Let Me Show You How.’: https://t.co/3MXK1ErcbY via @theprospect
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/fturner/status/1001955858102800387
In his book, Turner describes how the “political” (commune-forming, alternative lifestyle–adopting) strand of 1960s radicalism diverged from the “digital” (company-forming, technology-adopting) strand of the counterculture. The great challenge for Valley denizens who deem themselves progressives is how to re-twine these strands.
to talk to and with, and not past, each other.
on team human: EP. 107 FRED TURNER “BEYOND THE MASTER PLAN”
douglas rushkoff (@rushkoff) tweeted at 5:51 AM – 17 Oct 2018 :
This is Team Human conversation at its very best: Stanford prof and counter/cyber-culture historian Fred Turner engages in an honest evaluation of utopian visions and mundane solutions. https://t.co/zoNOcYhNcl (http://twitter.com/rushkoff/status/1052527576021946369?s=17)
5 min – d: on a reset.. i’d rather see people go to a town and ie: start one school to help kids learn.. rather than getting credit for these sweeping coop commons .. i’ve found that step by step little changes work best.. all these details you can’t pave over w master plan.. i don’t know if more construction of big plans is a way to get ourselves into more coop approach toward making world more sustainable.. i’d rather not replace the world but bring in tweaks we know how to make
7 min – d: if we have a problem now.. people thinking at too big a scale..
i agree w what you’re saying about people who are trying to make this a huge production.. (ie: it should be rev of everyday life.. right where you are .. via 2 simple rules) but i believe this has to be a leap.. for the world.. or we won’t ever get into sync.. tweaks are fine for people who aren’t currently starving/dying/sleeping-rough.. et al
d: let’s make changes we want on small scale first and then see if others want it.. let’s modify/adapt world we’re in to better intentions rather than thinking we have to start whole thing over.. it’s too late to start over..
fred starts at 11 min
15 min – working class in sv – mtn view.. whole street of nothing but people living in cars.. the beauty/bubble that is here has also produced some of the ineq that makes people live in their cars at the edge of the bubble
can’t remember the context now.. but the lady that lived in million dollar mansion in the ghettos saying it was lovely living there.. because her here was just the bubble of her house.. her here didn’t include what went on in her neighborhood
16 min – when i first got here.. thought of cruella deville – on how do you like living here.. well absolutely beautiful as long as you don’t mind the screaming of the puppies
17 min – sometimes i feel like i’m a giraffe in a wild life museum.. but i’m glad.. because it’s a good place to be a giraffe..
wtf..? thinking whales in sea world
so much of my life is so much easier here.. i can think about things that are hard to think of else where.. challenge is to remember we’re being subsidized.. given phenom lives.. gotta try to be useful in return.. i see my day to day job.. is trying to figure out.. w all the time that i have.. how it is that we got into the cultural condition that we’re in right now on behalf of people who don’t have time to do that figuring.. and to write books.. give classes.. do videos.. so that people who don’t have the time to do that figuring and aren’t living in these lush surroundings.. can learn and can see how they got to where they are in their life/historical time
dang.. how about using what you’ve seen .. (because w new tech times really are diff.. we really can make global equity happen) .. to make it so that everyone does have time to do whatever they want.. (so 7bn people aren’t relying on a few to ‘teach’ them.. while not being heard ie: tech as it could be)
18 min – i think of myself as someone who studies american cultural history after ww2
25 min – those communes were among the most racist sexist places i’ve ever looked at
26 min – when you take away bureaucracy/rules and try to substitute for that.. shared consciousness.. projection of individual authenticity/identity.. you actually re empower cultural norms.. the invisible stereotypes that people carry around w them all the time.. (ie: not saying no blacks.. saying .. they’re just not cool enough) .. can’t challenge that.. whereas if you redline in law.. you can negotiate.. vote .. fight for that.. now will it take a generation of two.. absolutely.. but it’s fightable.. when things are cultural and rule by charismatic leader.. there’s very little you can do to overturn them
28 min – public & civic neutrality.. public – have to place limits so can do things together even if don’t agree… civic – collab despite diff places of origin
32 min – on world built by engineers who’s focus is utility.. does it work.. not for whom..
36 mi n- the fantasy that engineering can sub for politics is an cybernetic fantasy.. norbert weiner.. human use of human beings.. 2 worlds.. 1\ hier 2\ cyber.. feedback adjusting accordingly.. that vision.. cyber fantasy.. 50 comes to life in 67 in haight asbury
cybernetics: Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems—their structures, constraints, and possibilities. Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics in 1948 as “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.”
37 min – idea that comes from cybernetic thru counter culture and stewart brand is one of the central vehicles as is gregory bateson.. that the world is an interconnected system.. and you can see that mystically.. as a system of energy/lives.. or as scientists do as system of consciousness/info exchange..
d: this is like daophysics dancing wully masters
exactly.. all of that comes out of cybernetics.. that’s all a kind of popular bastardization of norbert weiner’s vision from the 50s
38 min – d: there’s e ching.. buddhism.. and now there’s sort of quantum science and
it’s all coming together.. and now we can come together around it.. finally.. we don’t need this politics that seems to have taken us to atom bombs and the vietnam war.. now finally we get to be our whole selves all the time
d: left/right.. man/woman.. sun/moon… nature/artificial.. it’s all one
and i still shower w dr bronner’s soap.. says.. all one.. people ask what i do and i say.. i’m trying to explain the label on dr bronner’s
d: that’s when i get worried about my writing when it’s too much like dr bronner’s bottle.. i think ok.. i’ve got to pull it back a little bit
but that’s why computers begin to look appealing to some subsets of counter culture.. computers look like the tools that model and make accessible/actionable.. this deeper/mystical truth.. that the whole world.. natural/mechanical/human/nonhuman is nothing but a system pattern.. norbert wieners talked about it .. we are patterns of info in the rivers flow of time.. that’s a mystical vision embedded in the birth of networked computing.. and it crosses back and forth between the counter culture and technical world
39 min – stewart brand, gregory bateson.. were all about that.. but here’s the rub.. when we talk about the early 80s as a time when people form the counterculture sort of ushered in a new way of understanding computing.. that did happen.. but what i think what we forget is that.. for people in the counterculture in early 80s.. their counterculture had failed.. largest commune movement of all time in mid 60s.. millions of americans.. but by 73.. virtually all the communes had died and the ones that hadn’t were either very religious or by authoritarian leaders..
40 min – by early 80s.. people like steward brand and keesey (?) are on the outs.. they were the heroes of what was supposed to be.. a countercultural revolution.. a complete transformation of american society.. well reagan by that time had declared morning in america
d: on saying timothy o leary had sold us up the river w a false ideal
well it’s a false ideal that’s deeply deeply embedded in america’s central military industrial complex.. ie: win vietnam war by winning hearts and minds of vietnamese people thru our amazing tech.. (big sigh) don’t even get me started
41 min – my point is that in the early 80s you had a whole generation of former commune folks here in the bay area who needed jobs and they got jobs in the computer industry and brought with them the political/social/mystical ideals that animated their social lives and they began to read those into computers
d: so that even though we lost in the 60s.. now it’s gonna come
right.. the communes.. well they failed.. but
d: even timothy said that.. lsd was too hard.. but computers are going to be the new lsd
yeah he got that from stewart brand.. but in early 80s.. the hope that computers were tools of personal transformation.. that’s straight out of the counterculture.. out of the hope that smaller tech.. like lsd and stereos.. that will transform you to live and get along with others.. virtual communities
42 min – in early 80s.. for hippies of bay area.. to text on computers was the sharing of consciousness.. suddenly it look like the high tech world had provided.. not thru lsd or autos..
d: then we retrofitted a philosophy around that.. human beings are the neuro net.. the global brain.. for gaia
that and gaia ..that philosophy too.. are deeply rooted in systems theories of the mid century.. this idea that we are a brain.. that our brain can be rep’d and sustained by digital networks
43 min – d: but systems theory is still valid.. right..? i just talked to ie: nora bateson.. that there’s more to the connections between people than in the actual people..
i think that’s a good principle to start with but over my working life i’ve become a radical contextualist.. i’ve really come to distrust any theory that seems to be applicable outside time and space as a sort of universal truth
people ask me what i think of utopia.. and i think that any total system is likely to fail
dang.. i’m thinking that’s because we’ve never tried total ness.. we keep dabbling in partial.. (not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake ..a nother way)and then saying.. nope.. doesn’t work.. i’m thinking we need the sync from ‘total’ .. in order to get to meadows undisturbed ecosystem
i don’t want to live in a utopia.. but i want to be hopeful and hope is the thing that is not dominating.. it’s the same way w systems theories.. there are times when systems theories make a ton of sense.. ie: family therapy.. many of bateson’s ideas inform family therapy.. the idea that we should have a systemic understanding of mental health/illness.. terrific..
d: cities.. their economics
right .. but the questions you might ask about how systems work in cities might be a little diff about how you ask about how systems work in families.. what i want to let go of is the mystical fantasy that animated in some ways norbert wiener and in sometimes gregory bateson – though less than others
d: and albert einstein and stephen hawking for that matter
right.. this idea that we are all interconnected information systems.. there’s a shift there.. it’s a little bit like buddhism on computers.. suddenly we are all patterns.. great that’s buddhist and there’s a great emptiness and emptiness is form and form is emptiness.. and i’m right there with you.. but that doesn’t mean that any of those things can/should be computed.. or that devices that do computation using electronic media.. are actually the best models of that world
d: right.. they’re just a tool
45 min – they’re just a tool.. and systems are powerful approaches.. but classic ie where gregory bateson’s theory went wrong.. bateson.. in family therapy.. talked about schizmogenesis.. which is his account where schizophrenia comes from.. essentially a systems theory of schizophrenia.. by virtue of blaming the rise of schizo in young people on the members of the family system around them.. he did families great harm.. these days we know better..
again.. that’s partial.. and what one guy partially did.. i don’t know
chemistry matters and chemistry is not a systems phenomenon.. it’s just chemistry.. and that’s my point about totalizing systems.. sometimes it’s just chemistry and you have to be open to that possibility just as you’re open to the possibility that interaction and relation are potentially more important than the ground state of any of the things are interacting or relating
again partial.. so yeah.. i agree.. not one more important than the other.. all a part of the dance.. (sounds like you are siloing them.. and maybe that’s why we haven’t yet got/grokked systems thinking.. you can’t silo it if it’s systems.. you can fractal it at best.. but when you silo.. no longer systems.. because you’re leaving out.. ie: in your ie.. the chemicals that are a part of systemically causing/curing the schizo)
46 min – d: we’re so driven to somehow believe/feel that there’s just one thing going on.. always one.. as if we can’t all get along unless we somehow accept our..
i actually have a little bit diff read on this.. i think human’s are a little cursed by their need to be in intimate interpersonal relations w small groups.. because we’re living in a time where we’ve built these massive global systems.. connecting people across space/time in a deeply cosmopolitan way.. and if you’re a tribalist.. if you’re oriented toward your family/tribe that makes living in a cosmopolis pretty challenging.. i think we’ve gotten very very good at id ing and speaking on behalf of our tribes.. and we id our tribes on very basic bio conditions..man/woman/straight/not.. i’m all in favor of speaking personal id/truth.. but i’m also in favor of the civic and the public.. the challenge is.. to speak your truth in a way that invites someone else to speak theirs when it’s diff than yours.. to hear it respectfully.. and to see where the common ground is.. and that’s the stuff we’ve lost the habit of.. and that’s the stuff that universal humanism was designed to promote
thinking we’re doing too much of that.. maybe what we really need is to focus on our truth.. our art.. as gift to the world.. and let that work/dance for us.. (assuming we have much more in common than we don’t)
47 min – i realize i’m a tall white man.. which universal humanism was based in.. but it’s also a way that others who are diff from tall white man.. can claim rights that aren’t tall white man.. ie: to say .. you say we are created equal.. i am a man.. i belong
rights .. dang. such a sad way to spend our days.. claiming rights..
48 min – d: that’s what the net was designed to promote too.. or so we thought
i actually disagree w that about the net.. the last two books i’ve traced this history.. i actually think that what the net was meant to do was build out an engineered public sphere in which we could all be free and free speaking individuals..
that’s good – tech as it could be..
it was sort of meant to produce habermas
The Theory of Communicative Action (German: Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns) is a two-volume 1981 book by Jürgen Habermas, in which the author continues his project of finding a way to ground “the social sciences in a theory of language”, which had been set out in On the Logic of the Social Sciences
ok so not that
and to create a world where.. almost like it’s a universal tavern.. where we can all get together and speak to one another on equal terms.. and that vision of decentralized communication that fosters indivdual voice
tavern doesn’t foster individual voice..
that’s the vision norbert wiener, gregory mason and margaret mead promoted
d: and that’s what i was even taught.. by both my real profs and my counterculture profs.. that you become a high leverage point in the chaotic system.. that any person can be the butterfly that flaps its wings
49 min – my idea of a utopia is perversely a hospital..
a hospital is an extraordinary, carefully regulated world.. in which people are held to very high standards and in which everyone has a role and they are working toward the common good.. they’re working to support one another.. the mission is mutual support
oh man.. dang.. this is fred turner
49 min – and loose social networks. . they don’t work very well.. you need training
dang.. goes back to him spending his days to enlighten the rest of us..? i’m thinking the need of training is a sign we’re doing it wrong
bureaucracy.. knowledge to travel down thru time.. organize ways to be available to new generations as old generations fade away.. you need institutions.. and you need institutions that don’t traffic in *personal diff.. that are open to excellence..
dang.. sinclair security law
what if we agree.. but the excellence comes from the entropy/disorder/chaos of first thing everyday.. 7bn people speaking their cure ios city .. and then meeting with those *personal same ness es.. diff people.. just same daily curiosity .. that day..
50 min – then you need to.. this is the bad stuff.. this is where it gets challenging.. you need to be alert to cultural mechs for mis characterizing excellence across diff.. ie: hard to see others’ excellence if you are an all white male group.. but you need to figure that out
d: constant refrains of team human message boards: where do we meet .. how do we do this.. they want a place a thing..
d: but a large part of that is because they want to be w other people who are thinking this way
51 min – d: it’s not just that i don’t know how to do that.. which i don’t.. i’m not a community leader.. but.. somehow doesn’t seem like the right thing to be pushing for.. what i’m thinking instead.. is it ok to just consider intransmit (?) values and let people do what they do with them.. let people change as they interact w the systems and institutions they’re already involved with
dang.. good for you guys.. bad for refugees.. incarerateds.. homeless..
51 min – so.. i’m involved in 2 diff groups.. very diff in character 1\ mtn view morale.. meet monthly to talk about the state of the political universe.. a resistance group.. and our politics are all pretty similar.. 2\ radical all affirming methodist church called glide.. famously all accepting church.. but also reach out to other churches that are more conservative and try to build connections across that.. and that’s very powerful/important
52 min – i guess what i’m trying to say – there are places to go where you will meet others of your kind and they’re very easy to find.. ie: online.. you can find people like yourself i think that’s very easy
whoa.. i’d disagree with that.. if we could all find our tribe everyday.. i think that would change everything.. but we can’t.. because 1\ most of us aren’t ourselves in the first place.. so current connective data is non legit 2\ don’t have time – to find out what our ie: curiosities are.. and then to find.. and be with.. others like us
disclaimer – i’m seeing our only differences/labels.. as our daily curiosities.. other than that.. we’re all human..
what’s harder is finding places to talk seriously on equal terms and warmly with others who are diff than yourself.. and to do that civic work..
why..? why make it civic ‘work’..?
churches have often provided that role.. enter church .. share a certain belief.. gave you ground for speaking.. that’s very difficult now.. i would urge the people that you’re talking about on the message boards to visit a school board meeting.. *ever been to one.. democracy is still here.. institutions of democracy are still in place..
wtf? holy crap
*you mean as a tall white man w time to spare and no worries that it would affect your children..? dang.. wtf
i’ve been as a district employee .. as a parent.. on the agenda .. and still no real voice.. ie: no one really listening
go to a zoning board meeting.. talk about the kinds of buildings that are getting built in your neighborhood.. talk about the school system..
dang.. why zoning..?
53 min – work on a budget.. our mtn view morale group is very active in rent control.. get involved in a rent control campaign.. go canvasing.. take actual political action in an institutionalized setting..
dang.. man.. who are you talking to..? not every day humans
you’ll begin to meet diff people and begin to make the kinds of change that stick
? where/when has that ever happened..?
53 min – d: people think.. and i understand it.. that any of the existing things out there are.. i don’t like this/that .. but that’s part of the point
that’s exactly the point.. the idea that i have to like everything.. that’s a toddler’s state of mind
i agree you don’t have to like everything.. but you also don’t have to participate in what is already going on.. if with yourself.. we should all have the bravery (of a toddler) to change our mind everyday/minute..
53 min – a toddler’s state of mind is.. everything i put in my mouth must taste delicious..
no.. that’s our state of mind.. a toddler is just curious.. putting things in his/her mouth is how they test curiosity
mommy i’m really mad because you made me eat peas
dang.. why do we insist on making kids do things..
54 min – d: i kind of like that.. i don’t want to create another thing.. there’s enough things out there
created by tall white men.. we have the means today to let everyone create/taste.. whatever.. everyday.. let’s listen for and facil that
54 min – there’s plenty of things out there.. and i think that’s really important
the main thing is to stop thinking of yourself as a consumer and start thinking of yourself as a citizen
how about.. just as a human.. a free human.. because when you say citizen.. all i hear.. is that i need you to teach me how (which is how we got here in the first place).. not humane
this idea that i want experiences of the kind that i want and the world should provide those for me.. that’s the toddler appetite that we develop/cultivate in a consumer society
but that’s not what a healthy toddler wants.. they don’t want help..provision.. they just want to be able to do it.. they need us to be there.. but out of the way..
it’s the fantasy that thru consumption the world should be made whole..
it’s the toddler and younger that aren’t yet looking to fill holes.. we should be paying closer attention to that..
if go to organic farm.. there may be workers that aren’t getting a full salary.. can’t address those issues by eating diff lettuce..
that’s such a consumer driven statement – assumption of money.. and .. dang it seems it came out of the blue.. just to address ..? poverty..? like.. would you tell that farmer that wasn’t getting a full salary to go to zoning/board meetings .. in his free time.. in his ie: working while homeless state..?
there’s politics out there
55 min – d: ie: going to parties w timothy o leary.. he would always either talk to the musicians or the wait people.. .. it wasn’t a performative/political thing.. that’s the lesson.. i love when i go to these supposedly progressive conferences and everybody’s a rich white person and the only people of color in the room are standing in white jackets serving.. it’s like what the hell are you talking about
that’s what this episode feels like (probably my mindset coming it.. i don’t know.. but dang.. crazy you’d go to that when that’s how i feel here)
i have a deep fantasy.. from the 50-60s.. we had exchange programs.. i would like to see that same sort of exchange program going on inside the us..
d: could you imagine
would you guys even do it..? and dang.. that’s not how we could be spending our time.. you two who surely know the capabilities of tech.. come on now
i would love to spend some time in a s baptist church in rural mississippi
oh.. that kind of exchange.. ok
d: people can’t do that today.. so busy ie: getting kids college ed
56 min – my biggest regret.. i went to brown.. they had a program w historically black college.. could take a semester there.. i wish i had done that.. i would like to experience what it means to be a minority in a far away place
57 min – but as my daughter tells me.. it’s not the business of students of tutulu to teach you how to be a human being.. you have to figure that out for yourself
d: she’s right
this is another one of the struggles.. if you start to talk w folks who are diff than yourself seriously.. you start to find the things in yourself that run against your politics.. you start to find little bits of racism/sexism/homophobia.. and you catch yourself being the person you didn’t want to be.. and that’s exactly the opp.. get to learn about your whole self and make it a better self.. and that in turn changes the world.. but you make it better on the inside by looking outside.. that’s not something the left is very good at
d: yeah.. we’re trying to figure out .. who am i
58 min – yeah.. that’s the legacy of the cold war.. the 60s..
d: maslow’s hierarchy.. once i’m actualized.. then
could you imagine a better ideology for a consumer society
d: but some people blame bateson and meade for that
yeah.. they shouldn’t .. that’s just naive.. bateson and meade have become real heroes for me
59 min – bateson and meade were first off.. as intellectually responsible as anybody..
intellectually responsible.. is that humane..? – i think that’s a symptom of being whales in sea world.. thinking we have to be ‘intellectual’ and ‘responsible’.. rather than ie: curious and kind
what you see in meade is an intense effort even when she is intellectually way off the game
intense effort to try and understand how societies work and to try to advocate for the greatest level of openness/acceptance in societies/people.. it’s a beautiful vision.. you seeing her trying really hard
imagine what it must have been like in middle of 20th cent to go to somoa.. write .. what is a date.. using your data from somoa
1:00 – that’s very powerful in a society that was very restrictive of women.. to say.. here’s a super healthy society..
d: and dangerous
she found a way to say it in a mainstream enfiron
bateson.. while theories sometimes wrong.. opened whole vistas for the rest of us.. and just in general.. the fundamental good hearted way of being
d: also surround sound resembles the shopping mall..
1:03 – in america.. we’re so used to the desublimation.. the releasing of the inner person is the key to a political democracy.. we can’t see how it opens us up to suppression all the time
this is why i see the challenge right now is to re embrace the boring in a very deep way.. you know.. city council meetings are stunningly dull.. you could melt into the floor..
d: i’ve been to the board of ed mtgs.. so much anger and repressed rage in these
? that’s democracy..?
those are the things to be.. we need to make our schools better.. ie: palaces for the people.. eric klinenberg.. be together .. so we can have equal claim on that space
equal claim.. ? (not even sure why i’m still listening)
1:04 – those are the kinds of things we need to do.. get to the library committee.. that’s where the better future lies..
on a committee..?
and if you’ve traveled a lot.. then you’ve had the good fortune of seeing countries that can do that.. ie: germany.. finland.. denmark, sweden.. do that very well.. french do food very well.. give out food lunch vouchers to make sure french restaurants stay strong.. that’s fostering the civic good
sounds like fostering consumerism..
1:05 – let me be a bit more provocative.. we imagined when we hit zuccotti park in 2011 that we were taking civic action and the nature of the civic action was the human mic.. ie: i shall speak my truth in presence of others.. we will meld our truths together w a single voice.. become the human mic.. our truth shall be heard and i shall be transformed in the telling of it.. we shall foreshadow the kind of good society we want to make
while we were doing that.. the tea party was taking congress.. remarkably anti institutional and so.. ineffective.. yes.. we won the brand war.. we got to say.. we are the 99%.. but the tea party took congress and i think we see where that’s led us
1:06 – our challenge is not to believe personal transformation is necessarily the source of political transformation.. that’s a leftist canard..it’s been around for decades.. a pillar of left theory.. it’s actually not entirely true.. it’s at least insufficient
agreed.. we need both a’s.. simultaneously
what we need to do is remember the power of the institutions that we on the left have criticized for so long.. during nam i understand why B looked so bad.. same fbi launched couintelpro to spy on college students should be unforgiven.. but right now fbi is holding a line against a potentially authoritarian president.. those institutions are what sustain us.. we’ve got to support them
this is team human.. right..?
1:07 – experience living in san diego.. friend was a warrant officer for aircraft carrier.. i’m radically anti war.. yet.. i get on the carrier and the young men/women i meet are some of the most capable/responsible/civically-oriented (and other good words) people i have never met
i was taught these people were the problem .. these people were not the problem
agreed.. but mindset/valuations of ‘capable, responsible/civically-oriented’.. those are definite instigators/sustainers.. of the problem
1:08 – the young people i met on the airplane were the very defn of engaged/humane/responsible democratic citizens
not humane.. but yeah.. engaged/responsible.. via voluntary compliance.. et al
1:10 – one of most impressive.. 19 yr old on that airplane.. you want him alienated from himself so he can focus on the fuel levels on those (war) planes
d: same w my heart surgeon
precisely my point.. that’s why .. utopia..
what if we don’t need war/heart surgery..?
and even if we need any of that to that expertise.. people following their daily curiosity/whimsy are going to be more expert.. ie: malpractice.. big pharma.. sicko.. et al
i don’t know that this is team human
1:11 – pocket theory – haven’t verified but i believe.. it’s clear that maslow and search for actualization is an elite ideology.. ie: farming.. don’t have a gap year.. lot o structured incentives.. to not self actualize in ways s californians did.. ie; group massage.. my point.. self actualization in ca model.. is more for an elite class
1:14 – maybe the flow (ie: milking cows) just sucks.. however.. you’re building something.. maybe in ie: sacrifice; long view; deep belief in community.. things of the right
left tend to disrespect other value systems.. on which they depend.. ie: milk on cereal..
we who are in the secular left.. who do our protests by camping in parks.. and go go burning man.. we would do well to step back and go to a s baptist church.. become pre occupied w actualizing the others
The only credentials/expertise we perhaps have (and keep seeking to have), .. we
Fittingness, rather than fitting/getting in, as credential – how well your actions match your gifts, match who you are.
Which feeds into/out of and dances with – community.
via twitter convo – @rogre @willrich45 @hjarche Me too. Post-productive economy pinboard.in/u:robertogreco… +theleisuresociety.tumblr.com/post/390577295… and art leisure pinboard.in/u:robertogreco…
It’s hard to shoehorn some of the most important things we do in life into the category of “being productive.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. — Harry Truman
what if – in the future/world (we all know is possible in our hearts), we are all so authentically ourselves/us that..
the only credential needed..
(to get in or join something or other or nothing)
..is that you asked/want to join.
is that you decided that’s what you wanted to do.
what if that’s all we needed to know.
do you have a desire. (stand and deliver ness)
and are you ongoingly listening – to your/our song/curiosity/bent/whim.
that sounds crazy to us now.. but if we all felt that the world needed us to be us.. whatever that is.. when we do/be that thing.. any company/community that needed that thing.. would be wanting us. that person that is sold out to that thing that is needed – would be the most powerful/perfect fit. imagine 7 billion people that alive.
perhaps xmooc ness (drop out rate) is a transition to that. if we listen – that’s trying to tell us something. ie: that we are primed and ready for choice.
we need detox from assumed basics and toward permission to be us. toward permission/bravery to change our minds everyday.
perhaps the mooc drop out rate isn’t telling us how uncommitted we are. perhaps it’s telling us things more like – see – see all the people that are curious about things.. but that want to be able to have it be their choice. no strings attached.. no pkg deals.. ness. people are looking (desparately) for the freedom of that. even in the land of the free – we can smell a raised eyebrow in a few weeks/sessions/minutes.. no?
the dilemma of too many – trying to get into your business/college/community/whatever.. dies down. (as that’s part of the purpose of credentials no? to help narrow down who to let in.) right now – we’re telling people there is only one route.. so even if they don’t want to – too many people are trying to get in places specific places.
we really just need to stop that.
let things sift themselves out.
tech can help with that. tech can hasten the lag time of sifting. which is quite often what we fear most. no?
In the meantime, each year students have poured forth from universities, a clear, harmful case of education surrendered to credentialism. One wonders at the docility of the students who evidently must be satisfied enough with the credentials to be uncaring about the lack of education. – Jane Jacobs
Wanting credentials, wanting confirmation, wanting approval … is a kind of aggression.
1/ If the primary purpose of school was education, the Internet should obsolete it. But school is mainly about credentialing.
Bill Fitzgerald (@funnymonkey) tweeted at 5:49 AM – 11 Dec 2019 :
If any part of you thinks that a blockchain for learning credentials is either needed or important, stop working in or near education. https://t.co/DbQ9wBGHBt (http://twitter.com/funnymonkey/status/1204744913784647681?s=17)
once we realize credentials are neither needed/important.. are cancerous to learning.. we’d all let go of education/teaching .. and jump back/into life
(2020) by yanis varoufakis
adding page sans book (at least for now).. just as place for all the convos about the book
Book of the Day: What would a fair and equal society actually look like? The world-renowned economist and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis presents his radical and subversive answer in ‘Another Now’. H/B £16.99 https://t.co/3JwPVX6dVg
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/FiveLeavesBooks/status/1303631406455754753
the genesis of a world without commercial banks or stock markets, where companies are owned equally by all staff, basic income is guaranteed, global imbalances and climate change cancel each other out, and housing is socialised.
not radical/subversive enough
from sept 2020 – another now – capitalism isn’t working.. here’s an alt [https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/09/05/another-now-my-political-science-fiction-novel-depicting-a-fully-fledged-socialism-we-could-have-had-the-guardian/]
Consider the principle of one-employee-one-share-*one-vote underpinning a system that, in Another Now, is known as corpo-syndicalism. **Amending corporate law so as to turn every ***employee into an equal (though not equally remunerated) partner is as unimaginably radical today as universal suffrage used to be in the 19th Century. Indeed, its effect on the future economy promises to be more radical than the effect of granting all adults a vote was a century ago
sounds like the same song
In Another Now, Central Banks provide every adult with a free bank account into which a fixed stipend (called universal basic dividend) is credited monthly. As everyone uses their central bank account to make domestic payments, most of the money minted by the central bank is transferred within its ledger. Additionally, the central bank grants all new-borns a trust fund, to be used when they grow up.
we need to live sans and form of money
w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring
In Another Now persons receive two types of income: The dividends credited into their central bank account and earnings from working in a corpo-syndicalist company. Neither are taxed, as there are no income or sales taxes (VAT). Instead, two types of taxes fund the government: A 5% tax on the raw revenues of the corpo-syndicalist firms. And proceeds from leasing land (which belongs in its entirety to the community) for private, time-limited, use.
not radical enough.. let go of earn a living ness
While the new international system is impressive, it is the granting of a single non-tradeable share to each employee-partner that holds the key to Another Now’s economy. Turning shares into something resembling the student card students receive upon enrolment, or the single non-transferrable vote that citizens get once they reach a certain age, the single non-tradeable share changes everything. By granting employee-partners the right to vote in the corporation’s general assemblies, an idea proposed by the early anarcho-syndicalists, the distinction between wages and profits is terminated and democracy, at last, enters the workplace – with the new digital collaborative tools standing by to remove all inefficiencies that would otherwise hamper the prospects of a democratically-run corpo-syndicalist firm.
From a firm’s senior engineers and key strategic thinkers to its secretaries and janitors, everyone receives a basic wage plus a bonus that is decided collectively: Once a year, each employee is given one hundred merit points to distribute among her colleagues in proportion to her assessment of their contribution to the firm. Each receives a share of the total bonuses (a sum that has been chosen earlier) equal to the percentage of the total merit points her colleagues gave her. E.g. if three per cent of a firm’s overall merit points are awarded to, say, Harriet, Harriet collects three per cent of the firm’s total bonus fund.
Once this principle is embraced, a market-socialist blueprint almost writes itself: Since the one-employee-one-vote rule favours smaller decision-making units, corpo-syndicalism causes conglomerates voluntarily to break up into smaller companies, thus reviving market competition. Even more strikingly, share markets vanish completely since shares, like ID and library cards, are now non-tradeable. Once share markets have disappeared, the need for gargantuan debt to fund mergers and acquisitions evaporates – along with commercial finance. And given that the Central Bank provides everyone with a free bank account, private banking shrinks into utter insignificance.
Some of the thornier issues I had to address in writing Another Now, to ensure its consistency with a fully democratised society, included: democratic checks and balances on corporations and elected bodies; the fear that powerful people will manipulate elections even under market socialism; the stubborn refusal of patriarchy to die; gender and sexual politics; land use, housing and real estate; the funding of the Green Transition; borders and migration; a Bill of Digital Rights; etc.
Writing Another Now as a manual on how to construct the best possible socialism would have been unbearable. It would have forced me to pretend that I have taken sides in arguments that remain unresolved in my head – often in my heart. I, therefore, owe an immense debt of gratitude to Iris, Eva and Costa – my characters whose feisty personalities yielded debates from which I feel I learned a great deal. Above all else, they allowed me seriously to ponder the hardest of questions: Once we have settled on a feasible socialism that blasts Thatcher’s TINA out of the water, what must we do, and how far are we willing to go, to bring it about?
there’s a nother way.. sans math man
Exactly what Iris, my protagonist, says in the book. [Read first, criticise afterwards – a fair point?] https://t.co/LECWEwov81
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/yanisvaroufakis/status/1303674342736310273
maybe not (a fair point) if we’re looking for (craving) another ‘now’
what we need is a means to undo our hierarchical listening
ie: get/read my book (costs $30).. then i can hear you.. then you can hear you.. et al
“This is our conundrum: Never before have we needed global governance more, [and] many see the United Nations as dysfunctional.”
@yanisvaroufakis argues we shouldn’t shy away from hitting the reset button on global institutions. https://t.co/JQrlDfFVSB
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/DohaDebates/status/1311931422140055553
reset institutions..? or re\set the way human beings live their days
from 2 min video
in short.. world needs new common plan and new institutions to implement it
In #AnotherNow, @yanisvaroufakis shows us what a world without banks, tech giants, and billionaires would look like. The book confounds expectations of what the good society would look like and reveals the uncomfortable truth about our desire for a better world. https://t.co/Ve23cQOIuA
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/PenguinIndia/status/1313406326035357696
via michel fb share – the wire oct 2020 book review – A Life Beyond Capitalism: Reimagining a Socialist Future With Yanis Varoufakis – In the former Greek finance minister’s latest book, Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present, he presents a humane alternative to financialised capitalism. – https://thewire.in/books/yanis-varoufakis-another-now-review
Varoufakis needed to break much fresh ground: for, although the literature on how capitalism can possibly transition to post-capitalism is admittedly copious, there is very little by way of an explication of the shape of things after the transition. Karl Marx himself abstained from specific comments on the economics and economic institutions of socialism, and said nothing about what communist society would likely look like. Nothing, that is, other than the laconic catchphrase that his Critique of the Gotha Programme popularised — “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” – which is fine as an overarching principle, but hardly a *workable guide to action.
*workable guide if we legit believe it.. problem is we keep saying it but organizing our infra’s to compromise it..
At the plot’s core lies an ingenious thought-experiment involving a tiny, subatomic fold in space-time which apparently opens into ‘an Einstein-Rosen wormwhole’, making it possible for our protagonists to communicate seamlessly with ‘another now’, the living utopia around which the story unfolds. The transition from ‘our now’ to ‘another now’ is believed to have taken place through a process which comes across as a tad wishy-washy, but this, after all, is the story of an imagined future, not of our dreary present, and if dreams do not fly on wings of fancy, what will?
this would/could transition us: short bp
adding page day jon shared this oct 2020 guardian article on fb – how to stop interrupting and change the world – [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/oct/24/let-me-finish-how-to-stop-interrupting-and-change-the-world]
you could mention just about any stubborn issue in your life and I would wonder whether you might have resolved it already had you not been interrupted so many times on the road to now.
willard heard law et al
Polarisation is not a result of disagreement. It is a result of disconnection. When we disconnect from each other, when we see each other no longer as human beings but as threats, we polarise. And the first, most forceful disconnector is interruption.
I have seen people stop that cycle (of disagreeing so then interrupting). I have seen them gather instead, determined to understand each other, not to convince each other. Crucially, they have arrived having promised to stop interrupting.
We think it is nearly always justified, and maybe even the very best thing that can happen at that moment. We think we are even saving time by knocking down the person talking while we hold forth.
First, we really need to understand that interrupting is a violent act. To begin with, we need to understand what interruption is. We have to recognise all of its pernicious and artful forms.
It is different because it requires a donning of humility, a rich regard for difference and for “other”. It is different because it upends the appearance of stability, because it wants to, and does, produce independent thinking. And so it is subversive. It is different because it requires us to stop wanting to impress and to start wanting to free. It changes what we call expertise. It changes what we charge for and pay for and what we reward. It can change our very purpose.
This felling begins by facing the emptiness of our excuses for interruption: “I must clarify; I must correct; I must look smart right now; I must enrich; I must follow my own curiosity; I know where you are going with this; I need to take you elsewhere; your unformed thought will be less valuable than my formed one; I am more important than you are; I look stupid not talking; no one needs to listen this long; you will never stop.”
Extracted from The Promise That Changes Everything: I Won’t Interrupt You by Nancy Kline
all the interrupt ing ness.. putting/keeping our lives/aliveness/fittingness on hold (ie: supposed to’s of school/work; any form of people telling other people what to do; voting; decision making; inspectors of inspectors; money – any form of measuring/accounting; all the red flags; all the irrelevant s; all the noise; all the distractions; et al) all violence on human being ness
begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening
listen deep.. to self/others/nature.. et al