Date: Feb 16, 2014 1:39 AM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Masters of psycho-babble and edu-speak
Kirby Urner posted Feb 15, 2014 9:38 (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9389137) - [Much of what follows was written some time ago, but then 'my' virus intervened, and am belatedly sending my response written then. Also, I've not yet seen the responses made by others to yours - I may respond further if appropriate]:
> On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 2:16 AM, GS Chandy
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
No one - repeat NO ONE (including Jesus Christ or Buddha) - can individually alter the course of history.
Does Chomsky *actually* understand the 'power of language'? I suspect that he does not - not for the purposes of creating Action Planning to accomplish worthy Missions (see below).
I have the greatest of admiration for Noam Chomsky and his developments in linguistics (the 'universal grammar'; the 'Chomsky Theorem [??] etc [whatever I have understood of them]) - and I have even more admiration for the courage he has shown in his social activism, the way he has been, for ages now, 'speaking truth to power': he has done this, I think, more forcefully than almost any intellectual than I can think of, and he has never faltered. However, I do believe that his studies of linguistics could have helped him (/his students, perhaps) go MUCH further into the mysteries of language (few of which have been adequately unraveled to date) and, possibly, in 'social activism' as well.
Many (not all) of us know that we still need to travel very far indeed before we reach a 'reasonably fair and equitable' society.
I personally cannot tell you how Chomsky should have gone about developing his seminal concepts in linguistics more than he has done - I'm not qualified. However (IMHO), some in-depth study of systems - and specifically with regard to the *deeper implications* of the transitive relationship *IMPLIES* - would have helped significantly.
(I've studied to a fair extent the implications of the transitive relationships "CONTRIBUTES TO" and "HINDERS" in the context of societal and thought systems. The "IMPLICATION" relationship involves some deeper considerations than the simpler "CONTRIBUTES" and "HINDERS" relationships: this is a major issue still pending in the study of 'systems': perhaps some further developments are required of the modeling tools developed by Warfield; perhaps more such tools are required. However, I do believe that Warfield's 'modeling theory' - see attachment - does provide us with a very sound foundation).
> He's in a tiny minority politically however.
Of course. As is every individual with an idea when it first appears in his/her mind. So what can an individual hope to do? (IMHO), the individual might perhaps work to create a 'system' along with other like-minded individuals. (Possibly) the best way Chomsky could have developed his ideas beyond a "tiny political minority" would have been to apply systems science: that is to a great extent what systems science is all about - and, to a great extent - this has been rendered possible for most of us to accomplish through Warfield's contributions to systems science.
Some will of course say that Jesus Christ created a sizable religious/political movement that has developed worldwide over the past couple of millennia without the aid of 'systems science' and any such new-fangled concepts. I'm entirely unable to counter this argument: I'd suggest that anyone who believes he or she possesses the needed 'power' should go right ahead!
> 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.
Of course. No argument there. However, the development of effective systems could help overcome many of the limitations on individuals: this has been proven. I believe some understanding of 'systems' could have helped Chomsky quite significantly spread his progressive thinking. Of course, he did create systems of sorts via those who've been inspired by him - not adequately effective ones unfortunately, he could have done MUCH better. (This is IMHO only. I have no empirical evidence for this suggestion of mine).
> 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.
I personally am entirely certain that Chomsky is a great hero of our times, by no means a 'demon' or anything of the sort. I believe that, alas, he is a 'failed hero'. More effective 'systems' might have helped him succeed better.
> > 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.
OK, but I was only aware of the rule ascribed to Jesus Christ. I haven't been able to *integrate* your 'platinum rule' into my consciousness: in terms of doing something in practice with the 'golden rule', I haven't adequately succeeded as yet. If I succeed in doing so at some future time with your platinum rule, I may respond. However, I do seem to find something lacking in it: how would I EVER come to know how others would wish me to do unto them? It is difficult enough to learn what I know myself!!
> > 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
I have called it the 'One Page' system because it *crystallizes* everything (with linkages, etc, to originals) onto a single page, I claim nothing more than that. It does, probably, save a little paper: MUCH more important, it helps 'maximize' the 'Mission-related utility' of *intellectual effort*. (By and large - using conventional processes - a great deal of our individual AND our group intellectual efforts are wasted. For example, check out most of the discussions that take place in any conventional forum [including here at Math-teach]).
> 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
Of course, and this is a most valuable skill that only a few people have learned to develop. Using the OPMS process may help further develop it. (The OPMS process is - first, foremost and primarily - an *intellectual process*, designed to help improve the effectiveness of most other intellectual processes [very significantly]).
> > 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).
> > GSC
> 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.
Much of the above is something I've long believed to be true. Further, many 'Nazi groupthink' ideas (in particular the ridiculous idea of 'Aryan master race' etc) have long been part of the 'Indian version of the Aryan master-race philosophy' (to coin a phrase) that rules many of us Indians even today. This despite the clear and present evidence available from practically everywhere in India that we are actually an 'amalgam' of almost all racial 'types' - 'brown', 'black', 'ivory' and 'yellow': all these 'racial types' have existed in India through quite some of our history. Some 'gene research' may well be most useful to help us understand ourselves better though I believe to enable acceptance would demand some fairly widespread study of systems. (And possibly there is some 'red' also here! [Though, about this last there may not be any definitive evidence available]).
By the way, I do believe that airing such opinions in the USA (i.e., even hinting that there could be any commonalities between Nazi group-think and current US group-think) may not be the healthiest thing to do. Just a thought that came to mind.
'Cascadia' ? what is that?
Message was edited by: GS Chandy