Date: Feb 15, 2014 11:08 AM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Masters of psycho-babble and edu-speak

On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 2:16 AM, GS Chandy <> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> In general - despite the huge advances in linguistics and associated
> sciences - we little realize the 'power of language'. It has struck me
> that even the pioneers in linguistics (Noam Chomsky and others) have little
> understood that 'power': had they adequately understood, they surely would
> have gone much further than they have succeeded in doing. I suggest that
> their major lack is of a deficiency in understanding about 'systems'.

I think Chomsky in particular appreciates the power of language, but that
doesn't make him individually able to alter the course of history in ways
he'd like, beyond exercising what liberties he has to express himself, as a
tenured professor at a respected academy. maybe emeritus by now I don't

He's in a tiny minority politically however.

I would claim that, regardless of his understanding of 'systems', he would
still encounter limits on his power to make a difference, simply by virtue
of the fact of there being many more of everyone else than of him.

He's not a Dr. Faustus character, in league with the devil to amplify his
powers by supernatural means, regardless of some people's tendency to wanna
demonize the guy.

> Over the past several decades (or even the past century or so),
> circumstances have been indicating that we (human beings) are in dire need
> of some further development of 'language' to enable us to 'handle' the
> situations we have been encountering. By and large, in the 'prose mode' of
> communication, the 'inter-relationships' between the factors in complex
> systems' remain rather ambiguous, leading often to quite significant
> deficiencies in the way we communicate with each other - and even more
> grave deficiencies in the way we behave (act) with each other.
> For instance, Jesus Christ is said to have articulated (about 2000 years
> ago) the profound wisdom: "Do thou unto others as thou woulds't have others
> do unto you" - I believe this must be the basis of all human society.
> (Buddha, even earlier, is said to have gone even deeper into the 'heart of
> things'). But remarkably, in recent times it has been an ostensibly
> 'Christian nation', the US of A, that has been most gravely contravening
> the 'fundamental law of society'.

That "do unto others..." rule is called the golden rule, but many think the
platinum rule is better: "do unto others how they would have you do unto
them." The reason being, how people treat themselves may be far from
acceptable as a behavior towards others.

> Some developments from Warfield's approach to systems (in a tool called the
> 'One Page Management System' [OPMS]) now enable individuals or groups
> (high-school upwards) to identify any 'Mission' of current interest and to
> develop

One may surmise that the system currently in vogue is the MMMS (many memo
management system) or the MPMS (multi-page management system). In getting
it down to one page, your system saves paper and is to be commended on that
score. As a taker of minutes for Quaker Oversight Committee meetings, I
try to keep it to one page also. Minutes are not tape recordings. One
gives the gist, not a verbatim account. Distillation to plain speech of a
pithy nature -- that's value added by the minute taker.

> I would even go so far as to suggest (not necessarily claim as yet) that
> most of the horrors of the Nazi era (and most of the horrors following that
> era) may well have been prevented if people at large were a little more
> aware about 'systems' and how they function. (The basic 'modern ideas'
> about systems came to light with the researches of Ludwig von Bertalanffy
> and many others, circa 1930s I believe - well in advance of Hitler and Gang
> taking control in Germany).

Cruise missiles are a perfection of the V2 in many ways and Nazis would
have loved to rain them down on London. The language used by those
fighting the Drone Wars (not endorsed by Cascadia, though we love our
drones, control 'em with Clojure 'n such) has many commonalities with Nazi
groupthink. Indeed, there's much continuity between US policy post WW2 and
Nazi thinking, more than you'd expect given "who won the war", but then
remember a lot of that 'master race' BS started in places like Long Island.