Date: Feb 1, 2013 9:40 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards
Further my response to Kirby Urner dt. Feb 2, 2013 3:15 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=8219914), these further remarks may be appropriate:
> Kirby Urner posted Feb 1, 2013 11:54 PM (GSC's
> resmarks interspersed):
> > On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:37 PM, GS Chandy
> > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > > I don't quite know who "the governors" might be,
> > unless you mean our
> > There's no need to reach agreement for discussions
> > to be effective.
> Please Note:
> I did NOT claim that we have to reach 'agreement'!
> That is not at all what I meant by "effective
> e discussion".
The conventional 'agreement' we reach in any complex situation is almost inevitably based on an inadequate consideration of the underlying realities (by one side or the other or by all sides). Such agreement is, too often, a compromise based on the 'lowest common denominator'. It does NOT lead to progress or development of the 'underlying systems'.
It is possible to arrive at a 'consensus' (see below), which would generally serve somewhat better, when the stakeholders adequately understand how various actions (including thoughts) may "CONTRIBUTE TO" or "HINDER" accomplishment of the Mission under consideration. Such a consensus does often lead to progress/development of the underlying systems.
> I DO claim that actions taken in (or for) a group
> should be taken after a reasonable 'consensus' is
> arrived at. Such a consensus can be arrived at only
> after all in the group have a reasonable
> understanding of how actions performed might
> "CONTRIBUTE TO" (or "HINDER") desired goals. That
> consensus could take quite a while to develop
> formally. Of course, people who have already worked
> together in teams do have a good part of this
> consensus already worked out in practice (though
> informally). I find that it's a good thing to do it
> at least to some extent, formally, to understand
> clearly each other's ideas of "CONTRIBUTIONS", etc.
> > agreement, sure, among allies, but not universal
> > agreement across the
> > board. We respect diversity and abhor
> > on principle, as
> > biologically unwise. Argument is natural.
Observation: fruitless argumentation - which is what mostly happens during the conventional debates - is, shall we say, fruitless. To be 'productive' (in a 'system sense') the discussion does need to go to somewhat deeper levels than is possible in a conventional debate. See "Deep Logic", attached herewith. (This document is only a 'starter' on the issue; will see considerable further development in due course).
> Of course. No question at all on that. However,
> 'consensus' in my sense does NOT mean "agreement" in
> your sense.
> > I want to learn what the schools of thought are,
> > camps. I look for
> > more of a map of the factions. I'm not asking
> > to all come to some
> > uber-agreement or truce. Let them stay clear
> > their differences.
The differences would always remain - after all the people are different. They need NOT come to some, as you put it, "uber-agreement". In a democracy, it is sufficient (and most useful, for the health of the democracy) that the stakeholders arrive at a "consensus".
(My meaning of this important word is, as always, built on its regular dictionary meaning which is then taken a bit further: the stakeholders can and still agree to move forward 'in consensus' on the proposed actions in their 'action model' - while maintaining all existing differences. Some of their earlier differences are often ironed out through adequate discussion of the "CONTRIBUTIONS" of system factors to each other. Now this is a process that can be properly understood only if one has actually been through it on a few live issues).
'Consensus' in this sense DOES represent a significant development of understanding of the many issues underlying the 'system'.
> > As far as I'm concerned, the so-called "math wars"
> > a permanent fixture
> > of a healthy society, as there is always a need to
> > let these camps "duke it
> > out" (metaphysically / psychologically, not with
> > outward weapons, which is
> > immature and not good role modeling for children).
OK, subject to the proviso about 'role modeling', below.
> Well, the underlying issue might be: 'good role
> modeling for children'. By and large, we have
> demonstrated ourselves to be utterly terrible role
> models. Hence the need for 'consensus relating to
> action on complex issues' (in the way I mean it -
> which is not 'agreement'!)
> > > The first thing students should learn is there's
> > lots
> > > of disagreement about what's being taught, which
> > isn't
> > > an excuse to stop learning or not learn
> > > (people have a natural hunger to learn in my
> > model).
> > >
> > Younger people may have a stronger appetite to
> > because as people
> > grow older they may have their natural appetites
> > beat out of them, e.g. by
> > schools, which often work overtime to depress
> > curiosity e.g. by hampering
> > access to the Internet with filthy malware and
> > sending kids to the
> > principal if they're caught reading subversive
> > literature in class (e.g.
> > MAD Magazine).
A strong agreement on the above. How to ensure that we learn to express the 'question-asking process' that underlies all development of human ideas? Well, Mme. Montessori had worked it out pretty well for children.
We need to learn how to take that natural process further. Try out the OPMS.
> See attachment (in an earlier message) "How a Child
> > ... horrendously malpracticing institutions that
> > should have been reformed or shut down years ago.
> Well, yes: most extant institutions SHOULD have been
> reformed years ago. Better late (i.e., now) than
Please note: most existing systems can indeed be pretty effectively 'reformed'.
We do NOT need to "BLOW THEM UP!" (as Wayne Bishop recommends be done with the 'schools of education'). I do agree that these schools of education are probably extremely ineffective (as are most extant societal systems). However, it would not take inordinate time or effort to reform them. I claim it is possible to reform even our 'defence systems'. Of course, such 'reformation' of a nation's defence systems would demand reformation of much of the entire 'national system' - but it need not be scrapped! (This is a quite sizable benefit).
> > It takes a lot of training for sure.
> > Anthropologists
> > tend to do it, and
> > psychologists (the deeper ones). Mathematicians
> > escape into their
> > alternative language games but often at the cost
> > of letting their native language over-dominate their
> > non-mathematical thinking. They lack
> > anti-bodies. Look at Frege, the great logician,
> > who fell victim to the antisemitism of his day.
> OK to much of what you state above. I just think of
> the needed training as:
> Enable the individual to understand him- /her-self.
> Just ask him or her what may may his or her Mission
> n be and then demonstrate some simple tools to work
> that out - in exactly as much detail/depth that the
> person might desire/ need to do it. Such an exercise
> tells you a fair bit of just who that individual is,
> what he/she is capable of (assuming he/she shows you
> the models made - which I never ask to see, but I do
> look at these models if they're presented to me,
> provide suggestions if requested).
One may be pleasantly surprised to find out that we do NOT need to dump ALL our systems down the drain or 'to BLOW THEM UP!" Our systems are quite easily reformed (as we have seen throughout history).
The OPMS process renders the reformation process to be readily understood by stakeholders all around (instead of such work being done in the opaque manner that has characterised much of our work on our societal systems to date). This 'transparency of reform' is an important and valuable attribute of the OPMS process; but it does demand a certain amount of learning and 'unlearning'.
> >I don't believe in forcing people into the
> > closet because of their
> > handicaps. Unless people are open about their
> > needs, it (is) hard to help them.
Indeed. As people recognise the transparency of the recommended process, they would tend to become more open (I claim) about their needs - see below.
> It really isn't the individual's 'fault'. It's the
> weakness of our whole system. Remember Churchill:
> "First, we shape our houses; then our houses shape
> us" (words to this effect). Substitute "systems" for
> "houses" and you have something pretty well
> applicable right today.
I do NOT claim that the OPMS is the 'panacea to ALL our ills'.
But it can help significantly (I claim) in helping us better tackle a great many of the kind of individual, organizational and societal Missions that we have been 'stuck on' for a very long periods of our history.
-- The OPMS process has been systematically applied, in-depth, to a whole host of individual issues - with success ranging from 'OK' to 'excellent'.
-- It has been applied to a fair number of 'organizational' issues - with fair to excellent success.
-- It has not yet been applied to any societal issues - but there is no reason why it cannot be successfully applied to such issues.
[To be entirely up-front about it: there have been several 'failed Missions' as well (in each of the above-noted categories) - some of these failed Missions are described at the .ppt presentation, "Some Missions of Interest". 'Reasons for failure' are various - but none of these occurred on account of any inadequacy of the OPMS process].
(As described in the .ppt presentation "Some Missions of Interest", attached to my message http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7934528 ).
Message was edited by: GS Chandy
Message was edited by: GS Chandy
Message was edited by: GS Chandy