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.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spiritual Darwinism :: Scientific Buddhism

This writing evolved into a paper for my degree for which I made a website CLICK

The empathic research pathway has led me all the way back to Aristotle along multiple paths (who would have thunk it?). Darwinism has its roots in Aristotle's approach. Also, as I started reading about Buddhist psychology through the writings and speeches of the Dalai Lama, the term eudaimonia, often meaning leading a good, clean life-- key to the Buddhist escape from suffering. This term, eudaimonia, is linked to Aristotle, I discovered, through -- of all things -- a speech by Dr Timothy Leary. From the Dalai Lama's perspective, eudaimonia implies a psychology that is about discovering the person and making positive changes, especially with the backdrop of the environment. The other approach, what the Dalai Lama would call Western, what I call cold, involves collecting facts from studies and applying them indirectly, and usually unsuccessfully, to therapy.

aristotle and phyllis

These, and other related writings, are leading me closer to a verifiable link between the basic human thinking and feeling facilities (fortified by the new neural research), with local communities (through community knowledge), to the natural environment that we come from (through evolution).

It seems that the paper will have alternate between data collected from the newer studies which I present in as raw a format as possible (so that the readers will be forced to believe the astonishing research), with a series of introductions to the concepts as connectors embedded in between the scientific data.

Major linking information includes writing by David Suzuki about tribal elders, and also a Native tribal document about "historical trauma" that shows how the separation of the Native cultures from the environment damaged the Natives the most. This document shows how the reconnection with nature and the natural community of knowledge is the cure for the inherited trauma disorders lingering since the genocides that ran from the colonial era through to the early 1900s.

In a sense this creates a tight loop against which I can compare cold science-- replete with concepts now proved to be false, such as the greedy gene. I also have examples of animal torture tests done, amazingly, to prove empathy-- showing how much of science can be the most extreme form of stupidity. This stupid, cold science affects us all because it provides much of the data with which didactic teaching is framed, a cognitive approach which does not necessarily, by design, provide students with the truthful concepts. It corrupts society at its very basic learning point: late childhood.

In studying Buddhism, I am finding a positive tool which seems like a form of selfishness. It creates an easy path for an Buddhist towards the concept of self-preservation. Buddhist monks are often former family men-- who abandoned their families, along with their native community of knowledge, for the community of knowledge of the monks-; the Buddha himself abandoned his family. This runs contrary to the concept of empathy and love benefiting the community especially in the evolutionary sense, yet Buddhism is greatest religion of empathy.

And Buddhism goes farther with this selfish concept; it allows for self-actualization in the extreme-- the preservation of self through self-defense with martial arts when we are being threatened. This concept links closely with the aggressive Native rights movement in North America. Both Buddhism and the Native movement create defenses against the destruction of the community, the community of knowledge, and the environment. Buddhism effectively teaches us how to protect constructed knowledge.

The Buddhists promote the concept of the protection of constructed knowledge; the evolutionary approach to nature shows us how constructed knowledge is part of our past and part of the environment, and the Native studies that I am reading prove that humanity needs the environment to survive psychologically and socially.

Unfortunately much knowledge comes from what we lose, in the case of the knowledge learned from the Native tribes comes about from the loss of 90% of their population along with their culture. Much of neurological knowledge comes from the loss of mental abilities in humans, usually from brain trauma. Hopefully, with new research methods such as being used to prove empathy in the mind, empathy in society, and the empathetic link to the environment can be proved through therapeutic positiveness and cultural restoration.

Most religions oppose the idea of aggressive self-defense, rather they prefer to confuse pacifism with cowardice; promoting capitulation to destructive powers. As Mumford points out, religious leaders very often have financially driven agendas. Current global strategies especially oppose self-preservation, promoting capitulation in the face of centralized corporate and multicultural onslaught. In fact they are so certain of their global reach, that they consider the concept of self defence not to be just suicidal, but insane. The terminology revealed by corporations and economic consortia reveals a strategy combining global governance with corporate citizenship; it is reminiscent of the ancient Roman empire and it includes no individual expression in the democratic process. No where in any economic study, especially the study of the psychology of economics, is there any mention of the environment, nor is there any mention of the need to preserve or restore community knowledge. What corporations and economists prefer is the bulldozing of all that precedes them, with the replacement of all those who oppose them. The preservation and restoration of the community of knowledge is nearly purely a tribal, spiritual, and educational idea.

dennis banks, AIM movement

While the tone of the paper is not militant, it is not hard for a reader to get wrapped up in the local struggles of Native peoples everywhere when learning about the suffering Native tribes have experienced, while considering and the benefits of their nature-based knowledge. It so happens that my present sources for tribal information are both Canadian; David Suzuki teaches genetics in Vancouver, BC, and the tribal restoration movement is also in Canada.

The one difficult relationship to be proved in the paper, is that connecting the empathic abilities we experience as humans, with the need for the community of knowledge as the tribal Natives are seeking to restore. A related and equally difficult connection to make is that of the evolution of empathy in nature with spiritual faith: the basis of religion. One source I have found which provides some empathetic linkage with nature is in studies of tribes that are not made up of people-- but are made up of animals. One is a monkey tribe from Puerto Rico, which operates purely synergistically, without possibility knowing who Ruth Benedict is; and the other is the wide reaching tribe of elephants of the world who seem to be rebelling against the pains inflicted by humanity: the elephants seem to be delivering payback to humanity-- they are doing something Goleman would disapprove of, but is natural and in keeping with Buddhist principles of self-preservation. Elephant tribes extend this idea with their legendary burial grounds; a truism that was the basis for much fiction about India and Africa including the story of Tarzan.

As you can see, the cold approach to science has no monopoly, nor has it ever. The cold approach is simply in control because it supports the existing structural arrangement, the one that is causing phenomenal collapse of environments and local society everywhere.

The paper also introduces a new series of thinkers whose philosophy is spiritual and comparable to the Humanists. Daniel Goleman is central to this group, and many of them came from Harvard. Still, I am not as happy with them as I have been with the Humanists. The new group is. well, naive, as they reveal to us concepts that may have been valid twenty years ago, but have now passed. They act as if malevolence does not exist; if it does exist it is very rare, and it is people who resist their perception of how things should be. Following Aaron Beck, Goleman and those he associates with seem to imply that feelings of self-preservation are themselves disruptive thoughts; that simply changing the human mind to feel good thoughts using the science of neuroplasticity will save the day. Goleman is scary in that he supports the concept of rewiring all thinking minds through neuroplasticity. Or more accurately, the minds of people who are troubled, and those who dissent with his ideas. In reality, the well-adjusted Nazis, as Maslow called the most famous of malefactors, will submit to no such rewiring. By changing all thinking to suit his ideals, Goleman proposes leaving us defenseless to economic, cultural, and environmental deprecation-- the work of well-heeled malefactors. The elephants who are rebelling across their habitats will not submit to neuroplastic rewiring either, putting Goleman's thesis for Social Intelligence, his plan to rewire human emotions for global benefits (precisely as Skinner had proposed his world of behavior modification), out to sea into the shark infested waters of reality.

Another area of concern for me relates to the official Buddhist approach with Tibet's domination by China coming from the Dalai Lama; the thought seems to be that Communism is the problem. The solution, as many others as well as the Dalai Lama see it, is that the free financial markets, what they perceive to be democracy, will change China, and the Chinese will give Tibet it's freedom.

That may happen, though I personally doubt it. According to activist sources Communism and Capitalism in China have combined to promote each of the worst traits. The result is a capital growth feeding on near-slavery that has created growth so extreme that it has become the biggest threat humanity has. The effect is that China alone is literally melting the polar ice: China now consumes 75% of the worlds energy; energy consumption for the world has nearly tripled because of combination of Chinese capitalism and communism. This is a threat to the entire planet yet Goleman and the Dalai Lama both turn a blind eye.

Tribal, spiritual, and activist forces may have to move forward without leadership; hopes for pure democracy may have to give way to politics resembling the animal rebellion of the elephants: animals and humans struggling for independence from the dominating controls of governance from all three structures of government, corporations, and religion.

In the empathy discussion, it seems that creation and evolution ideas will clash, yet again. The followers of empathy, at least those of us who allow for the ideas of evolution, there is confusion because, from our perspective, evolution clearly slowly developed minds capable of moralistic and altruistic thought; nature gives us the capacity for faith, and the environment in which to feel it. It is difficult to conceive of why religious leaders have been so commited to separating nature from humanity; putting the two entirely in different domains, giving the human domain the right to exploit, even destroy, the natural one.

When introducing Darwin, my research revealed a root cause of the conflict between evolution and creation; that is that church leaders of the time had no desire to see the human spirit connected with natural beginnings: a phobia to nature. On one side is Darwin; on the other is the Church and Hobbs. Hobbs is an originator of the unfeeling approach to nature; he is possibly the originator of the concept of the greedy gene. Hobbs is heartless, and so is the Church; Darwin is only slightly better; it is he research that benefits nature; not his approach to life. When it comes to everyday human life, Darwin comes across as colder than ice: he viewed the suicides of depressed people as part of natural selection.

Darwin was not radical in the way we imagine the word to mean today. He was a man of his era-- totally misogynistic: he considered male dominance of society to be the result of natural selection. He was nearly antithetical to our notion of a liberal: he was all for locking away people who are foot-loose; he would have put me in prison for my wandering ideals.

I moved on from Darwin to try to find other better examples of empathy as it has been correctly understood in the past, in light of the new research. In other words, I want to be able to say "Hey, that research is great, but we (the old school empathizers) knew that all along."

My reading by David Suzuki and that of the Natives in Canada seeking to treat their cultural losses as historical truama, shows the universal tribal approach to empathy is an approach to nature. In a sense, nature acts as a mediator for humanity; we all relate to nature, but not so much nature, but our perception of nature: our community of knowledge that is built on nature. Knowledge built by people considered to be ideal from the Constructivist point of view, as Tribal members are able to practice a perfected form of community construction, and have the opportunity to be humans at their finest.

This learning helps confirm my view that knowledge, and especially community knowledge, cannot be built-- it can only be built upon. When there is no community to build upon because it has been destroyed, what existed before the destruction, presumably by bulldozers, has to be restored. I developed this concept after taking a ride with some old acquaintances that went wrong; I wrote about it in my blog: The negative flip side of community of knowledge construction.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bubble 2 dot Oh

Today's Technology Elite: Looking for anything they can get, Web 2 is an attempt
to inflate the bubble again, re-establishing the technical elite, cool and manic, spawned in the fraud and greed of the gutting of the new economy; an economic collapse that was the fiscal black whole that sucked down all the innovative money, and with it the American innovative technology ideology. All the American wealth and development oddly reappeared, and then re-exploded in Bangalore; in the antiquated, and obscenely genocidal and repressive culture of
the dominant Hindus: the Aryans.

Who could have done this? Probably the same people who invented the idea that the collapse of a healthy economy is a natural phenomena: a cyclic rotation. It was probably the culture that triggered their cyclic euphemism into a frenzy of short selling that made some rich, many poor, and destroyed the emerging beneficial cultures of the still young American nation. Those few who benefited got to spend the booty, themselves under-employed, inflating another bubble: the crippled US economy. The irony is that there is no bubble it is a myth, bubbles are being inflated everywhere except in the US; the US economy is completely foreign debt and depleted personal savings accounts.

Only massive exploitation of the order of the colonial invasions of a century ago can repay this debt; a return to the level of exploitation that only recently evolved into this particular monster. Or, more likely, the debt will be repaid with the gifting of American land to foreign lean holders, themselves corrupt lean holders, coming from corrupt nations to enjoy American social stability. America becomes everything but American.

But, was American ever American? Just as surely as Nazism is German and Arianism is purely east Indian, a diverse array of dominant and genocidal cultures have always celebrated their capital commonalities globally, mutually strengthening their dominant family biases as each of their respective lands, annexed from natives, is harvested in a carnival of economic exploitation: humanity is yet again united in suffering. The dominant elite celebrates in New York City.

Or, will the Americans, reclaim their nation, liquidating the yellow liquidators, sending yellow markets spiralling into their own unique implosions? Again, there will be re-exploding. But this time, will there be the Synergistic and equalised return of the Asian garden farmers to their natural positions at the peak of the food chain? Will the warlords go broke from isolation as localities experience Independence and self-reliance from domination; their knowledge cross pollinating in a networked building process that includes mutual support and self-defence?

Meanwhile they, the members of the Web 2 consortia, blissfully re-inflate the technology bubble, un-realizing of the completely distributed model on the horizon, where every textual thought is linked object, joined conceptually. The only service necessary is a linking service to match each linking objects with their families contextually. The natural evolution will be originality built on a component model returning to the world's people the distributed model that had been hijacked long before the cannibalistic technical crash of the year 2000 had even been engineered. Or, was it simply delivered? Who, if anybody, can we trust?