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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Latest empathy-evolution-oligarchy

From the free desktop of John Bessa:

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).

Empathy Model
Empathic Dariwnism
Capital Structure

(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

Recognition, Thirdness, and the Mirror Neuron System

Relational synapse of the mirror neuron system

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.