The goal of the Linux-Society (LS, dating back to the mid-90s as a professional club and tech-mentoring group) has been a purely-democratic Information Society; many of the articles are sociological in nature. The LS was merged with Perl/Unix of NY to form multi-layered group that included advocacy, project-oriented learning by talented high school students: textbook constructivism. Linux has severe limitations such that it is useless for any computer that will, say, print or scan. It is primarily used for webservers and embedded devices such as the Android. (Google is high-invested in it).

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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is cognition a metacognition?

The key to this puzzle (in the big picture) is understanding parts of the brain--which is where I am headed with this inquiry.

(Note: this is a work in progress -- my real question is "is Putin autistic?" because there is someone similar where I live who is a business leader who is cruel and who rocks in a chair like autistic do. But here it is, a similar discussion, and the other will have to wait.)

Because humanity has become so synthetic, this cannot be pulled away from philosophy despite its being pseudo-science at best. Oligarchy, the philosophic "right," consistently loses the "war of words" to democracy, the philosophic center. Oligarchy wins because oligarchy it is cruel and violent, and it perpetuates its violence by leveraging a reduced "set" of thinking, which is rational reduction. Rational comes from Latin ratio, which essentially competes with natural human "sense," (or common sense). It is mathematical thinking , but, as it happens rationalists lack a sense of proportion. Surprisingly (and tellingly), rational reduction also competes with logic. Rational reduction is, by definition, an oversimplification of whats before a philosopher (presumably an oligarch). Logic, coming from Greek logos, or language, clearly implements fluency to define reality as fluency is how both the individual, and society, self-organize. Sense and logic are holistic in that they include observation, as learning, and also visceral "thinking" as a neurological link to the environment, which can be included under the topic of empathy.

Logic is often rationally reduced to exclude language, and hence fluency, so definitions of logic that agree with rationality must be marked suspect.

Rational reduction
A rational reduction in thinking must be accompanied by a reduction in the use of the brain so that thinking is no longer holistic, but synthetic. Spindle neurons (or cells) have two long threads that specifically connect parts of the brain, so, in the rationally reduced brain, one might expect either missing or spindle neurons, or, in my belief, a strong possibility of dormant, or "sleeping," spindle neurons. The reason for this is that metacognition is not an extension of the dialectic and Sorates' dialog (of child-rape and national death), but it defines it a lot better by suggesting different parts of the mind (without naming them), that, of course have to map to parts of the brain (that cognitivists are apparently unable to name).

The psychology of state
Cognitivists struggle hard to make themselves appear humanistic by embracing the therapeutic relationship as the "alliance," and leveraging empathy. A quick read of psychological ethics will reveal that the therapeutic relationship as defined by associations is anything but empathic, as oligarchic therapists seem unable to keep their hands off their patients genitals (which puts them on "the impulsive-compulsive-obsessive continuum"). What cogntivists are really interested in is old-school Viennese psychoanalysis because it's dirty secret ~is~ rational reduction. Freud may not have "rationally reduced" his patients to sex objects, but Jung certainly did. (The Freuds have an even darker dirty secret.)

In short, old-school psychoanalysis is philosophic as psychology was the last philosophy to join Science, and must therefore be oligarchic and not democratic as it was aristocratic. Cogntivists are most certainly oligarchic as they can't help but apply Zeitgeist to Socrates' pedophilia (as if parents naturally want their school-age children raped by philosophers--try bothering a wolf pup near its parents).

Brain bits
My present leap (of faith) is that the reduced set of brain parts (that is not a voluntary reduction) may be a maladaption by normal people to societies (and civilization) that is controlled by people who are altered to be cruel, and have altered language (and hence logic) to be rationally reduced, and thus have forced normal people to abandon major parts of their brains, specifically those parts that connect with the surrounding environment. Following this line of logic, the only normal people who would not thus altered are aboriginals who have not been civilized. They, to keep their societies "clean" (as nature keeps wildlife genetically clean) by whacking potential oligarchs. (No wonder Jung referred to aboriginal child-care as "monkey love.")

Cognition, as the basic component psychological activity, does not actually have a specific definition. Most people see it in the word "recognize" where "see" is the operative word, as in "seen before" as an image of a person or thing. Cognizant is also another common use, which suggests "aware," usually on a factual level, which is much different. Cognition is not the only word psychologists cannot nail down; neurosis is another such word, that psychologists bandy about all day and thus say nothing useful. Together, these words could probably be used to confuse whole societies. If you hear them, you must question the context that they are specifically being used (and, also, don't fail to ask for fMRI evidence).

In the above context, metacogntion is two parts of the mind, and thus two parts of the brain. I will throw out "part of the prefrontal cortex (that scores IQ tests), and part of the limbic system (that is thought of as the Id by old-school psychoanalysists). So therefore cognition must be that, or part of that. It is a reduced view of human thought by people with reduced thinking who have created mathematical processes that provide causal or relational relationships as "proof" that they have superior knowledge (Actually, it's insurance math that they use.). Thus, to survive, cognitivists must control societies by rationally reducing the brain sets of school-aged children, providing a whole new form of rape called metacogntion that is new only in that it's modern (or classical), rather than pre- or post-modern.

Hope this helps.