Technology is problematic. During the heyday of technology (1990s), it seemed it had the democratic direction Lewis Mumford said it should have in his seminal Technics and Civilization.
Today, we are effectively stuck with Windows as Linux is poor on the desktop and has cultured a maladaptive following. Apple is prohibitive, and all other operating systems lack drivers, including Google's Android, an offshoot of linux.
In the late 90s there was hope for new kernels such as LibOS and ExoOS that would bare their hardware to programs, some of which would be virtual machines such as Java uses. Another important player was the L4 system that is a minor relation to the code underlying the Apple's systems. It was highly scientific but fell into the wrong hangs, apparently, and has suffered from having no progress on the desktop. There is a version, "SE" that is apparently running in many cell phones as specialized telecom chips, but is proprietary. SE's closed nature was only recently revealed, which is important because it is apparently built from publicly-owned code as it is not a "clean room" design it may violate public domain protections, and most certainly violates the widely-accepted social contract.
Recent attempts to enjoin into L4 development as an advocate for "the people" have been as frustrating (and demeaning) as previous attempts with the usual attacks to self-esteem by maladaptive "hacks" being reinforced by "leadership" (now mostly university professors).
In short, this leaves us with Windows, which is quite a reversal if you have read earlier posts here. But, upon Windows, we have free and open software development systems in the forms of GTK+ (the windows usually used on Linux) and the Minimal GNU Windows (MinGW and MSYS) systems. It is very likely this direction that development should go (that is, on Windows) such that s/w can then be ported to a currently-valid microkernel system that includes a driver system that can be adapted by hardware developers to reuse of their windows and apple drivers.
From a brief survey of L4, it appears that the last clean copy was the DROPS system of the early 2010s, was a German effort that used the Unix-like "OS kit" from an American University.
If we are going to be stuck on Windows, then it seems that a high level approach to free and open systems integration, such as creating fully transparent mouse communication between apps so that they can seamlessly work together as a single desktop (rather than deliberately conflicting). This would be very helpful for GIMP and Inkscape, both leading graphics programs that are strong in the special ways, but suffer from an inability to easily interrelate.
Another important issue is the nature, if you can call it that, of the "geek" or "hack." Technology is formed democratically but "harvested" authoritarian-ly --if I can coin a term that Mumford might use. Authority is plutarchy: a combination of aristocracy and oligarchy that is kept alive after all these millennia by using, or maligning, the information society as a part of the civilizing (or law-giving) process that embraces the dialectic as its method. Democratic restoration, that is to put humanity back on an evolutionary (and not de-evolutionary) track, I think, will require the exclusion of the "geek" from decision-making. As is, the free/open s/w culture attempts to give leadership to those who write the most lines of code --irrespective of their comprehension of the real world or relationship with normal users. We need normal people to somehow organize around common sense (rather than oligarchic rationalism) to bring to life useful and cohesive software and communications systems.
Interestingly, the most popular page on this site is about Carl Rogers' humanistic psychology, and has nothing to do with technology.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I strongly believe in the evolutionary model that shows that apes, monkeys and elephants have the "higher" empathy that most humans have because of special neurons enabling the brain networks. Whales have even higher empathy as they have a set of more advanced neurons possibly to link together parts of their huge brains.
Mice have "ancient" empathy, as the basic affection component is ancient and in the lower brain closer to the nervous system, but they are shown to have a high level of empathy, along with other "critters."
So it is all love, but higher empathy is able to plug in advanced thinking (in the frontal brain) into the long-standing love that animals have (that is nearer to the spinal chord).
The evolutionary purpose of empathy can easily be said to help families care for their children, and, I can say that there is a "freaky" tendency for higher empathy to form along different evolutionary branches. Birds descend from dinosaurs, and they have empathy. Doves, for instance, symbolize love for us. If there are aliens out there, they (or perhaps most of them) have higher empathy!
Higher empathy boils down to the idea that higher animals have the ability to care for community, and in the case of humans, care for the World. There seems to be a "will" of evolution to create beauty, such as flowers, and the ability to appreciate this beauty, which is very spiritual if you think about it.
The only "rub" in the theory is that a certain percentage of humans do not have this ability to connection especially with respect affection, as they act partly or purely as predators (1). The more stupid of the predators get locked up; if they are clever, then can drive whole nations into a predatory mode.
My explanation for that is that they somehow did not get the necessary facilities to assure higher empathy, either at birth or during growth, and they have been able to leverage various human components to get into positions of control.
Another factor, is that the non-empathic do not "feel" the pain that they inflict on others, so there is nothing, except possibly a strict upbringing or time in jail, that will prevent them from hurting others. If they are especially clever, they can find loopholes in protection laws, or, if they are especially clever, they can add "riders" to laws that effectively nullify them.
And if they are especially--especially--especially clever (clever cubed), they can "liberalize" the laws as the Neo-liberal former US President George W. Bush did, by, for instance, effectively legalizing torture in a nation founded on outlawing that kind of behavior (2).
(Bush is ESTJ, or perhaps, Bushes are that.)
The most important factor, which is also a form of loophole is empathy itself. Nature requires that you follow the evolutionary path, which, for community- and family-oriented organisms, means being responsible to the family and group. Animals that are not responsible tend to get socially rejected, or at least harassed to isolation, preventing them from passing along their mutated non-empathic genes.
In humanity, we try to give them democratic rights, even giving them special compensation, and, most amazingly, empower them by encouraging them to achieve responsibility in the community (3).
So let's cut to the chase. What is the therapy for people who lack empathy.
That is exceedingly simple to me, and I tested/observed my solution at the most recent national Rainbow gathering. I have camped there with the "fairies" at the gathering for decades, now (4). They are the descendent's of the gay rights movement from San Francisco's Castro, and NYC's Stonewall Rebellion.
This year a particular guy, who I will tentatively define as bipolar in nature (just for background reference), attempted to steer the camp towards a Hollywood version of primitiveness, that included sex shows (5).
My reaction is that this is not what the family-minded Rainbow Family wants in its culture. In the bigger picture, I saw an example of how gay culture can isolate itself from normal culture by making something public that is naturally private.
What happened was simple. The more sensible fairie members pressured him to lay off the Hollywood sex-savage-satan thing, and he very successfully transitioned into the guy who manages the fire and what was on the grill.
What happened, in my view, is that he gave up his unsuccessful attempt to be "great," and lowered his expectations to his abilities, as a bipolar person, which was to focus on an important role within the community that is not socially demanding.
What I am saying is that society demands that we all be "the best," or suffer highly-reduced positions in life that makes us feel like slaves or, even worse, components of a vast machine. Options are becoming the slave-master, as this bipolar attempted, or rebelling completely.
I am also saying that the solution to the problem as I describe it: people just need to reach their normal levels (6).
I think it is easy to imagine that the people who set up this system are highly unempathic; the word system is telling, they are systematic and not emotionally caring: thinking and not feeling, or T's,
Rebellion introduces another rub. Rebels are marginalized from society, and, while many are attempting to liberate society, many are trying to set up a splinter group (7).
Moving to evolution theory--since the majority of organisms are normal, even in twisted human society, it seems that rebels, if genuinely interested helping the majority of people, or the normally empathic, achieve democratic rights, they can count on support of their support. But if they are rebelling against the majority of people, because they believe the norm to be bad and against them (as gays and lesbians might) then they are actually working towards the opposite of democratic liberation, which is fascism in Western civilization.
This is were a key factor comes in (and why I wrote all this). I was studying the evolutionary paths of the thinking VS feeling dichotomy, in terms of "reason" VS "sense" -- or rational versus sensual thinking, I looked at logic and the Socratic school.
I ran smack into Plato through his seminal work, "Plato's Republic." I instantly identified the model for the modern corporation (as a technologist I worked for an endless list of global banks), and also the model for Fascism. This latter lineage is based on Lewis Mumford's "Technics and Civilization" that places Roman colonial fascism as the source of our problems. And also the ancient Roman historian Plutarch, who confirms that Rome's strength was built by implementing Plato's Republic (8).
I see the Socratic/Platonic school as a splinter group that complained about repression but actually formed the basis for repression that is the primary problem with Western Civilization. This is the most significant component of our society, and it was created by a splinter group.
This a very interesting idea, and if it is true, then similar groups that started as splinter groups in other civilizations (Asian, Indian, Muslim) would necessarily have to follow the same development path.
I have not gotten that far yet, but I can give an embryonic example.
For centuries, Japan was a peace-loving liberal Buddhist dynasties kept Japan peaceful with activities like flower-arranging, rock gardening, and abstract pottery design. The leadership wanted to keep Japan that way by isolating it, but an especially liberal dynasty allowed Chinese Confucianism to form a school.
This Confucian school would ultimately become the University of Tokyo, and ultimately take over Japan through its military studies program. With the Confucian takeover became brutal, ultimately destroying China during WWII.
The change converted Japan from a pacifist isolationist country (like Bhutan is now) to an expansion-istic capital-colonial economy, and the change was actually the fault of the USA (9).
In this context, I think it is important to note that the Confucianists invented the examination systems that in Asian determined, undemocratically, who would be in charge (10). High scorers would be come Mandarins, the leaders and poets; middle scorers would become doctors and administrators, and low scorers would be sent back to the nameless mass of people, or the masses (11).
(1) From quantifying observed driving and other behaviors, I believe that the unempathic percentage may be as high as 30%.
(3) I am hopelessly heterosexual, and I am not certain why I gravitate to them, and fairies seemed to wonder why too, but got used to me being a straight among them.
(4) This defines libertarianism and ego-centric anarchism, as opposed to social liberalism and social anarchy.
(5) This cannot possibly exist as nature is evolutionary, and not satanic.
(6) This is something I think gay and lesbian culture needs to look at to help end anti-g/l bias.
(7) Plutarch goes farther, saying that the Socratic/Platonic school, called both the Academy and Lyceum, was repressed by the democratic Athenians, and, further, that the Athenians repressed all scholars and philosophers. Plutarch is obviously lying about the repression, as ancient Athens was the most liberal society ever, encouraging anyone with a significant thought contribute that thought for the benefit of the city's culture. We also know that Athens was exceptionally gay-friendly, and it is believed that they Lyceum was largely gay.
(8) We call them "special," and I believe from observing an FASD who was pushed to get certification, which made him become controlling and cruel based on being pushed. But if he remained at his pre-teen level, he was friendly and fun.
(9) The Western "high stakes" testing serves the same purpose, which is called human capital, and Japan is held as the model
(10) The Western communists are, or were, Platonic (as Marks was reading the classics), and they thought of "the people" as a mass to be dictated to, or over.
(11) The change happened just after an American fleet threatened to destroy Tokyo if Japan did not join the global trade of the time, this was during the 1800s.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Jessica Boyatt talks about the mirror neuron system as a "relation synapse" that is part of the relational psychoanalysis (below, 2009). The mirror neurons enable a connection that is in "the physical and experiential space" (p.2) in between people who are communicating, such as a therapist and client. It can also be the space surrounding the members of crowd, or what she calls a social "bubble." What emerges from the "bubble" becomes part of eveyone's experience, and is the cause for more communication, and more experience construction. The quality of the experience, I imagine, would depend on its context and the emotions experienced in the "bubble."
"Conscious verbal articulation" Boyatt says, "is the tip of the iceberg." There is "implicit, nonconscious communication" in the bubble that is derived from experience. This reminds me of the constructivist "community of knowledge" where "knowledge is a complex of meanings continually negotiated" (Constructivism and education). Boyatt calls communication within her system "languaging" and she says that it operates at a much higher speed than normal articulated langauge. She describes in the context of the therapist/client relationship, but I would probably see it more explicitly in romance, and hence highly more emtional--perhaps emotional communication.
Boyatt, J. (2009). Relational Synapse: Recognition, Thirdness, and the Mirror Neuron System. Washington, District of Columbia, US: American Psychological Association.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In depression, the brain networks become hyperactive, and the serotonin enhancing medication "calms down" the activity, helping the brain networks normalize and allowing a return to normal cognitive-affective functioning. The SSRI medication helps reduce the dysfunction, or dysregulation, that causes depressive symptoms, especially uncontrollable worry (Peterson, 2004).
Sometimes there is no benefit from SSRI medication, and a common alternate strategy is non-SSRI medications such as bupropion, mirtazapine, or venlafaxine (Papakostas, 2008). Mirtazapine and venlafaxine affect norepinephrine function (they are called noradrenergic) where norepinephrine is shown to reduce neuron excitability (Zhaoyang, 2009), and hence help keep the brain "calm" in ways achieved by SSRIs.
In the case of seasonal affective depression (SAD), a third medication, bupropion, is used to prevent the re-uptake of dopamine rather than serotonin (Modell, 2005). SAD is a "hibernation-like response" typically triggered by the change of seasons that creates a desire, even craving, for sleep (Morano, 2003). Bupropion is considered an "activating" medication (Rye, 1998) as it promotes the stimulating effects of dopamine. Bupropion is also effective in treating the "sleepiness and fatigue" associated with major depression (Papakostas, 2008), which implies that there are widely differing seemingly contradictory types, or perhaps components, of depression requiring divergent treatment strategies.
Treatment resistant depression describes depression that won't respond effectively to medication. While counselors remain a lifeline for the deeply depressed who cannot respond to treatment two electric stimulation therapies are used to stimulate the brain: electroconvulsive therapy and Deep brain stimulation (Bewernick, 2010).
Bewernick, B., Hurlemann, R., Matusch, A., Kayser, S., Grubert, C., Hadrysiewicz, B., et al. (2010). Nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation decreases ratings of depression and anxiety in treatment-resistant depression. Biological Psychiatry, 67(2), 110-116. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.09.013.
Modell, J., Rosenthal, N., Harriett, A., Krishen, A., Asgharian, A., Foster, V., et al. (2005). Seasonal affective disorder and its prevention by anticipatory treatment with Bupropion XL. Biological Psychiatry, 58(8), 658-667. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.07.021.
Morano, R. (2003). The sun also rises. Better Nutrition, 65(1), 46. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Papakostas, G., Fava, M., & Thase, M. (2008). Treatment of SSRI-resistant depression: A meta-analysis comparing within-versus across-class switches. Biological Psychiatry, 63(7), 699-704. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.08.010.
Petersen, T., Papakostas, G., Mahal, Y., Guyker, W., Beaumont, E., Alpert, J., et al. (2004). Psychosocial functioning in patients with treatment resistant depression. European Psychiatry, 19(4), 196-201. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2003.11.006.
Rye, D., Dihenia, B., & Bliwise, D. (1998). Reversal of atypical depression, sleepiness, and REM-sleep propensity in narcolepsy with bupropion. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), 7(2), 92-95. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Zhaoyang, X., Pan-Yue, D., Rojanathammanee, L., Chuanxiu, Y., Grisanti, L., Permpoonputtana, K., et al. (2009). Noradrenergic depression of neuronal excitability in the entorhinal cortex via activation of TREK-2 K<sup>+</sup> Channels. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(16), 10980-10991. doi:10.1074/jbc.M806760200.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
In the happier purely voluntary form of therapy the counselor/client relationship is called the therapeutic alliance, "a collaborative nature of the partnership between counselor and client" (Hawaii State Department of Health), counseling ethics are easily applied as boundaries to the relationship to assure that the therapy is beneficial and that no harm comes to the client.
This is described succintly as the "four principles for biomedical ethics" (Westra, 2009): respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice.
The phrase "no harm" (Sheppard, 1999), may be added to stress nonmaleficence. When clients are harming themselves or may be harmed, this comes to mean "preventing harm," and ethical issues become difficult.
Another more subtle situation that equally relevant situation involves what treatment is used, specifically prescribed drugs, rather than if treatment is used.
An approach to these contradictions is to show that adolescents that need to be controlled, have that need because they are victims. Adolescents who have been sexually assaulted are at risk for PTSD (Lawyer, 2006), and PTSD as often as not leads to anger (Saigh, 2007). That may require involuntary treatment if the anger is externalized as violence. Angry adolsecents usually come from angry families (Avci, 2010), and "school refusal" is most often positively reinforced by family members or cohorts from the surrounding environment (Kearney, 2004). Other adolescents who "refuse school" are anxiously reacting to real threats at school (Dube, 2009). Professionals agonize when young assault victims have to be placed in forensic units, really prisons, when they become threatening or self-injurious as a result of their victimization (Welsh, 1998).
Self-injury may be the most dramatic of issues, along with often related suicide, and it is usually an effort to distract from the pain of depression, or the result of low self-esteem depression (Dickstein, 2009) from negative appraisal by others, or assault (Weismoore, 2010). Effectively, they have neurotransmitter dysfunctions (Dickstein, 2009).
Perhaps the best information is that adolescent "delinquents" have normal empathy, and that they apparently suffer from executive function disorders (Lardén, 2006). The stresses that they face force them to limit their cognizance of others' feelings, and there is no self-reported empathy gap between girls and boys.
Avci, R., & Güçray, S. (2010). An Investigation of violent and nonviolent adolescents' family functioning, problems concerning family members, anger and anger expression. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 10(1), 65-76. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Dickstein, D. (2009). A closer look at non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents. (Cover story). Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 25(12), 1-6. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Dube, S., & Orpinas, P. (2009). Understanding excessive school absenteeism as School Refusal Behavior. Children & Schools, 31(2), 87-95. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Hawaii State Department of Health (2010). Therapeutic alliance curriculum activity quiz. Retrieved September 16, 2010, from http://www.amhd.org/About/ClinicalOperations/MISA/Training/Therapeutic%20Alliance%20Curriculum%20activity%20quiz.pdf
Kearney, C. (2007). Forms and functions of school refusal behavior in youth: an empirical analysis of absenteeism severity. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 48(1), 53-61. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01634.x.
Lardén, M., Melin, L., Holst, U., & Långström, N. (2006). Moral judgement, cognitive distortions and empathy in incarcerated delinquent and community control adolescents. Psychology, Crime & Law, 12(5), 453-462. doi:1068-316X print/ISSN 1477-2744.
Lawyer, S., Ruggiero, K., Resnick, H., Kilpatrick, D., & Saunders, B. (2006). Mental health correlates of the victim-perpetrator relationship among-interpersonally victimized adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(10), 1333-1353. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Saigh, P., Yasik, A., Oberfield, R., & Halamandaris, P. (2007). Self-Reported Anger Among Traumatized Children and Adolescents. Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment, 29(1), 29-37. doi:10.1007/s10862-006-9026-9.
Sheppard, G., Schulz, W. and McMahon, S. (1999). The code of ethics. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association: Ottawa.
Weismoore, J., & Esposito-Smythers, C. (2010). The Role of Cognitive Distortion in the Relationship Between Abuse, Assault, and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 39(3), 281-290. doi:10.1007/s10964-009-9452-6.
Welsh, J. (1998). In whose ‘best interests’? Ethical issues involved in the moral dilemmas surrounding the removal of sexually abused adolescents from a community-based residential treatment unit to a locked, forensic adult psychiatric unit. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27(1), 45-51. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1998.00502.x.
Westra, A., Willems, D., & Smit, B. (2009). Communicating with Muslim parents: “the four principles” are not as culturally neutral as suggested. European Journal of Pediatrics, 168(11), 1383-1387. doi:10.1007/s00431-009-0970-8.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Kutob reports low self-esteem in elementary and middle school girls in California and Arizona manifested as "low academic performance, social isolation, depression, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and stomachaches" (Kutob, 2010). The low self-esteem was largely caused by cruel teasing and bullying associated with appearance: body weight. Kutob promotes "zero tolerance" for teasing. He blames society for allowing a "mindless acceptance and promotion of stereotypic definitions of personal value based on 'Hollywood' appearance standards."
Self-esteem issues can be cultural
Self-esteem for White and Hispanic girls declined by age 11, but, for Black girls, self-esteem remained the same "between the ages of 9 and 14." The Black girls were immune. As global self-esteem for Black and White children is equal (Jackson, 2009), the difference appears to be cultural.
Chinese children with "absent migrant parents" suffer low self-esteem (Li-Juan, 2010). Loneliness predicts low self-concept, which is restored when their parents spend quality time with them. Here, family affection links to self-esteem and -concept rather than appraisal.
Top down (social) and bottom up (biopsychological)
Low self-esteem for White and Hispanic girls in California and Arizona resulted from negative appraisal rather than self-concepts of appearance. There seem to be distinct internal and external components of low self-esteem and poor self-concept. Mentoring improves self-concept and reduces anxiety, but may not improve school behavior or relationships, and depression may remain (Schmidt, 2007). Bonding in group therapy benefits self-esteem (Marmarosh, 2005), but those who attempt bonding to reduce depression often become more depressed (Cambron, 2010).
Low self-esteem includes normal reactions (Hendel, 2006):
- need to win
- pleasing others
It is also associated with three indicators of psychological distress (Huajian, 2009):
- "low subjective well-being"
Exercise improves self-concept, and hence self-esteem
Cambron, M., & Citelli, L. (2010). Examining the link between friendship contingent self-esteem and the self-propagating cycle of depression. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 29(6), 701-726. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Hendel, A. (2006). Restoring Self-Esteem in Adolescent Males. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 15(3), 175-178. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Huajian, C., Qiuping, W., & Brown, J. (2009). Is self-esteem a universal need? Evidence from The People's Republic of China. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 12(2), 104-120. doi:10.1111/j.1467-839X.2009.01278.x.
Jackson, L., Yong, Z., Witt, E., Fitzgerald, H., von Eye, A., & Harold, R. (2009). Self-concept, self-esteem, gender, race, and information technology use. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 437-440. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0286.
Kutob, R., Senf, J., Crago, M., & Shisslak, C. (2010). Concurrent and longitudinal predictors of self-esteem in elementary and middle school girls. Journal of School Health, 80(5), 240-248. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00496.x.
Li-Juan, L., Xun, S., Chun-Li, Z., Yue, W., & Qiang, G. (2010). A survey in rural China of parent-absence through migrant working: The impact on their children's self-concept and loneliness. BMC Public Health, 101-8. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-32.
Marmarosh, C., Holtz, A., & Schottenbauer, M. (2005). Group cohesiveness, group-derived collective self-esteem, group-derived hope, and the well-being of group therapy members. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 9(1), 32-44. doi:10.1037/1089-2622.214.171.124.
Schmidt, M., McVaugh, B., & Jacobi, J. (2007). Is mentoring throughout the fourth and fifth grades associated with improved psychosocial functioning in children?. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 15(3), 263-276. doi:10.1080/13611260701201943.
Friday, September 24, 2010
A myelin, or ErbB3, study (McIntosh, 2009), shows that mutations resulting in NRG1/ErbB3 signaling failures causes oligodendrocyte activity to be impaired so that less "white matter" is produced resulting in a diminished "anterior internal capsule in subjects with both disorders" (p. 2) including unaffected directly-related family members of the bipolar disorder and schizophrenia subjects. This effect is assumed to be developmental, and myelin formation in "frontal lobes, continues into late adolescence and beyond" (p. 3), giving optimism that new drugs could reinforce myelination for those at risk.
This study also says that plasticity relates to myelination, and that there is myelination in adults, and hence plasticity, that may relate to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in terms of both development and maturity.
Neurotransmitter, or ErbB4, studies have a brain-wide view with a focus on neuron and transmitter activity such glutamatergic hypofunction (Li, 2007), failures in the formation of inhibitory synapses (Fazzari, 2010), and neural development such as the "wiring" of GABA-mediated circuits (Fazzari, 2010), all in the context of schizophrenia. While a bipolar disorder can be linked to schizophrenia in the context of ErbB4 (Chong, 2007), the more detailed material on neural activity focuses on schizophrenia.
As dopamine hyperactivity is part of the schizophrenia pharmacological model (Stone, 2007), and methamphetamine is used to simulate it experimentally (Homayoun, 2008), studies concentrating on stimulants may give clues about the neural activity of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The "white matter" study links myelination to plasticity, and is optimistic that new drugs may reinforce myelination (p. 4), and so raises an idea about myelination and plasticity with respect to maturity: could such drugs help the elderly retain plasticity?
These studies show similar diseases apparently caused by the same mutations, creating a causal relationship that should point to a common location for both diseases. But we find the expressions on completely different levels--the causal relationship is misleading! Still, the "neurotransmitter" studies show causal relationships linking the neural functions of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to glutamatergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic responses to stimulants, such as methamphetamine. These relations may help show us how the disordered neurons may affect behavior.
Chong, V., Thompson, M., Beltaifa, S., Webster, M., Law A., and Weickertad, S. (2007). Elevated Neuregulin-1 and ErbB4 protein in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients: Schizophr Res. 2008 March ; 100(1-3): 270–280. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2007.12.474.
Fazzari, P., Paternain, A., Valiente, M., Pla, R., Luján, R., Lloyd, K., et al. (2010). Control of cortical GABA circuitry development by Nrg1 and ErbB4 signalling. Nature, 464(7293), 1376-1380. doi:10.1038/nature08928.
Gever, J. (2009, January 15). Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have overlapping genetic roots. MedPage Today
Homayoun, H., & Moghaddam, B. (2008). Orbitofrontal cortex neurons as a common target for classic and glutamatergic antipsychotic drugs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(46), 18041-18046. doi:10.1073/pnas0806669105.
Li, B., Woo, R., Mei L., Malinow, R., (2007, May 24). The neuregulin-1 receptor ErbB4 controls glutamatergic synapse maturation and plasticity. Neuron, 54(4), 583-597.
McIntosh, A., Hall, J., Lymer, G., Sussmann, J., and Lawrie, S. (2009). Genetic risk for white matter abnormalities in bipolar disorder. International Review of Psychiatry, 21(4), 387-393. doi:10.1080/09540260902962180.
McIntosh, A., Hall, J., Lymer, G., Sussmann, J., and Lawrie, S. (2009). Genetic loading for psychosis and the internal capsule disorder. International Review of Psychiatry, 21(4), 387-393. doi:10.1080/09540260902962180.
Stone, J., Morrison, P., and Pilowski, L. (2007, January 26). Review: Glutamate and dopamine dysregulation in schizophrenia — a synthesis and selective review. Journal of Psychopharmacology June 2007 vol. 21 no. 4 440-452
Executive function (EF) and working memory
ADHD is largely defined in terms of executive function impairment (Biederman, 2004), and shares descriptive language. Very recent studies describe executive function as "executive attention" (Kane, 2005) and show a unitary model that links it with working memory in terms of working memory control, or WMC, and higher levels of cognition. WMC is central to to EF, often called "central executive functioning" (McCabe, 2010). McCabe indirectly describes WMC in terms of ADHD: inhibitory control, and focus of attention.
WMC benefits from education
Gathercole shows benefits for impaired working memory through remedial education (Gathercole, 2006), and Berneir shows autonomy support as the "strongest predictor" for healthy EF in children (Bernier, 2010). Jang suggests a blending of autonomy support and traditional structure, or "autonomy-structure," that has high understanding and leadership, and low admonishing and uncertainty in a way that should benefit working memory control in view of recent executive function material.
Speculated benefits for ADHD
These executive function, ADHD understanding, and educational concepts form a tight matrix with respect to working memory and its control. Perhaps, for this reason, parenting and early education strategies that target WMC development via autonomy and guidance will help children with ADHD and other executive dysfunctions.
Bernier, A., Carlson, S., & Whipple, N. (2010). From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children’s Executive Functioning. Child Development, 81(1), 326-339. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01397.x.
Gathercole, S., & Alloway, T. (2006). Practitioner Review: Short-term and working memory impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders: diagnosis and remedial support. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 47(1), 4-15. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01446.x.
Jang, H., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities: It is not autonomy support or structure but autonomy support and structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 588-600. doi:10.1037/a0019682.
Kane, M., Hambrick, D., & Conway, A. (2005). Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence Are Strongly Related Constructs: Comment on Ackerman, Beier, and Boyle (2005). Psychological Bulletin, 131(1), 66-71. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.1.66.
McCabe, D., Roediger, H., McDaniel, M., Balota, D., & Hambrick, D. (2010). The relationship between working memory capacity and executive functioning: Evidence for a common executive attention construct. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 222-243. doi:10.1037/a0017619.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I have been following the L4 operating system's slow growth, and there is now a runtime environment that includes a framebuffer and a windowing service.
I am attempting to continue my socially motivated input into computer/network growth by adding suggestions to the L4-developers mailing list that are much the same as my initial suggestions in 1989 when I was one of the very few socially-motivated engineers (actually, administrator, same thing!)
My first "demand" is a drop-in replacement for Linux, so that common Linux users will not notice much of difference, but L4 developers can develop and implement on one machine. This "demand" specifically attempts to create a pathway for poverty-stricken Third-Worlders who have limited equipment, and especially youthful programmers in the first world who are continually being told that they are wasting their time because Bhopal owns computing.
Of the two, I think youth support is the more important from our perspective because it is nearby, and the youth, of course, are the future. Today's youth are purely open-minded with respect to culture, thanks to the efforts of previous generations--that would be us!
What I want to do is to help guide the purely technical low-level programmers with high-level design so that they can now that the GNU-type freedom strategies do work, and do make money! These programmers need to know that the corporations that they are developing systems for free for, are not necessarily God-like and all-powerful, and that there is computer and network democracy.
I want to focus first on the social aspects, but then quickly get to the nitty-gritty of the lower technical layers. In my very successful implementation of layered models, I think the social aspect is, in fact, the top layer -- morality, if you will. This would imply, I hope, that simply feeding the cell-phone monster with free code is not moral, systems morality means modeling a full system that supports every aspect of humanity in beneficially in efficient ways.
I also see transforming the culture to being multi-localist, where localist literally means local activism (I am still busy attempting to redeine nativism as native activism.) The international nature of computing already supports this with the use of the term "locale" to mean internationalization.
All I am looking to do is create short lists of desireable things so that these things are necessarily included. Linux has fit many of these criteria, but as a monolithic kernel, it has been unable to fulfil other needs, such as a path for hardware driver implementation that does not include re-compiling the kernel, something the vast majority of users cannot do. L4 is also vastly more efficient in every way.
I am still using the banner of "ThinMan" as an data-centric open network VM that still seems to be the obvious solution only to me. The derivation, a ubiquitous thin client, really is excellent marketing, and I own it so I can assure that it is used in the spirit of the public domain, or sector--democracy.
I hope you can find some time to list out criteria with me, as I don't want to be the only person doing this, for obvious democratic reasons.John
Saturday, June 26, 2010
This situation is so prevalent in society that it has formed society's control structure and that structure has been given a name: the oligarchy. It is described nearly precisely in Plato's republic and it is the basis for control in our civilization--police enforcement, corporate management, judicial officials, politicians--and especially medicine: doctors and the medical and hospital industries that now absorb approximately half our money.
We termed the neurological defect "emotional communication dysfunction." People with the dysfunction cannot collaborate in the normal way because they cannot connect using the emotional communication paths that humans and many higher mammals have. Because of this, they cannot directly sense the pain they inflict on others, and further, they cannot conceive of the long-term effects of their actions. This is a handicap in normal society, but society has been changed by them, as they can be intelligent, and they can cooperate to solve their problems, allowing them to obtain what they cannot create by trickery and force. With time their cooperation became organization allowing groups of these dysfunctional people to gain control over large components of society.
For the West, the development of societal templates such as Plato's Republic, was a locus for their control, as Plato and his followers are credited for the basis of Western Civilization. At the highest levels, Plato's elite, the dysfunction is complete; there is no human empathy, and the system is operated purely mechanically with only affectations to normal humanity allowed to create a thin, yet effective, pretense to humanity. This is medically described as Aspergers In the middle layers of the template is the guardian class; dysfunctional people whose inhumanity is part-time; they have hybridized diseases: bi-polar. Some of the time they are humane and can connect with the mass of normal people, and sometimes they cannot and their disassociation allows them to be inhumane. Without expert knowledge of these dysfunctions, a normal average person is easily confused by the changes, and hence the value of the part-time inhumane to the oligarchic structure.
OCD is another related dysfunction; those with it drive the system recklessly so that it can grow fast enough to offset the waste caused by its inefficiency: gambling is obsessive compulsion; Capital is obsessive consumption.
ADD also appears to be an oligarchic component, though its use to the structure is less obvious. Possibly the random nature of the attention deficit mind mimics the random changes to DNA that drive evolution. It may introduce the only form of creativity internally available to the oligarchy, as the oligarchy has to obtain all of its ingenuity from the normal mass of people; people the oligarchs cannot trust because of all they have done.
The oligarchy has continually leveraged technological evolution to expand its control to offset the natural enlightenment of a continually modernizing humanity. Today the annexation of technology is so complete that entire Information Society is skewed to obscure the mentally dysfunctional reality of humanity's controlling elite. The oligarchy has corrupted morality by confusing its meanings to focus society on a singular task of empowering the empathically defective, what is often called "the high-functioning autistic." Initially these misconceptions were forced on the native and natural by the Roman Church; now even socialists work to convert sadistic children into future leaders and healers.
The oligarchy is ancient in its core, but as adaptable as a virus on it's surface. in the post-Apartheid era, even its capital component has adapted to using anti-bias as a tool for the benefit of the pathologically-biased elite by forcing the misconception that the further expansion of their control, what they call governance, and along with it, exponentially increasing rates of natural exploitation, will benefit the mass of normal humans. Of course it has not as it has never done so before; the moral fabric of natural society if further torn apart as the planet is moved exponentially closer to environmental collapse.
The most recent strategy of using anti-hate as a weapon of hate against anyone or any group that attempts to resist oligarchy's inhumanity. It followed the successful destruction of the last the slavery societies, South Africa, when democratic peoples effectively politically forced South Africa's economic isolation causing Apartheid's collapse.
Other biased groups preceded Capital's conversion pure hate to a hybridized anti-hate hate; the most biased group of all, Feminists, successfully converted the struggle for equality in democracy to equality in the oligarchy; these women were the only of the socially rebellious to benefit from the global expansion of Capital. The Western oligarchy has internally incorporated equality within their structure and for themselves in a way that allows it to bond with oligarchic structures from regions that were former competitors. But the peoples of these regions are forced into fierce combat for resources made increasingly scarce by Capital's continuing growth; and any complaints from the lower productive levels can be dismissed as racism. In their minds, they can plausibly deny their bias with the most absurd rationale; they and only they deserve to be elite, as only they are unbiased. Of course the normal average person, upon hearing that, will obviously think them insane, but will be frustrated as the oligarchy has now, more than ever, dominant control over all of valid humanity.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
But not XML: I started with complex structures with Perl, and had amazing success with them building a fully secure OO dataserver that we entirely editable from a recursive web page. In fact Perl is built around complex structures, though Perl got the "smell" a decade before the rest (Shell never did!)
XML is simply a complex structure system that has been deliberately crippled through arbitrary limitation from the outset, I believe, by the WWW Consortium.
(I found a project called Water that does HTML programming, but the owner, at the time, was opposed to our domain of public software, or the public domain. Richard Stallman, oddly, also opposes the public domain, I can forward emails if you want to see them.)
Actions like this usually require an act of congress, such as the act of congress the forced the US phone monopoly (then called Ma Bell) to create Unix that in turn created the open system concept that led to BSD and Linux, and was also extended by IBM with the invention of the PC's open architecture.
But as we all know, insanity has replaced normalcy in US government. (There seems to be a glimmer of home with the NY State governor, Patterson, who has bonded with the last of the genuine activists in NYC -- but I doubt he sees votes in free software.)
Friday, January 01, 2010
The last decade, the beginning of the new millennium, was an extremely difficult time for the Information Society, at least in my region. In September of 2001, our Information Society "head quarters," so to speak, was struck by the most concentrated violence in human history, essentially ending, at least for us, the most incredible growth spurt of the Information Society: the development of the Internet as the core of human communication with the invention of the WWW.
The last decade has been introspective; most people I know have been searching for answers, wondering what went wrong when things seemed so right. Now, exactly ten years out of synchronicity, we are finally empowered with the properly constructed knowledge that will enable us to adjust humanity's future history for its journey through the Twenty-First Century.
Unquestionably, completely open and freely available information systems are the key to us, as free and open describe this very system that we work and live in. I believe that they will be key to humanity's path into the future, and that the work we are doing here is blazing that path.