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.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

state / trait

The state-trait anger test, the STAXI-2, provides a description of state and trait in real terms that we can apply (Borteyrou, et al. 2008).  I chose anger because it is often a component of personality disorder (Varghese, et al. 2010), especially Borderline PD.

Trait anger is measured as temperament and reaction (Varghese, et al. 2010).  State anger is measured as angry feelings, verbal expression, and physical expression--or violence.  Trait here can be described as a personality construct that consists of cognitive and motivational factors that describe how a client thinks and what he believes; his thinking (state) may be distorted because of problems in the underlying constructs (traits) (Owen, 2011).  As construct implies permanence, a therapist would want to find ways to alter or replace those permanent constructs (traits), that, in turn, would improve behaviors (state).  Reconstruction of traits to provide better states (behaviors) is a way to describe the cognitive strategy of CBT.

Pharmacology seeks to manage traits as vulnerabilities and states as symptoms (Bellino, 2008).  This implies that a defective trait needs to be fixed by making it less vulnerable with medicine. Topiramate is an anticonvulsant that can be used to manage anger in Borderline PD clients, and especially shows improvement for trait anger using the STAXI-2 (Varghese, et al. 2010), implying that it makes the clients less "vulnerable" to angry outbursts.


Bellino, S., Paradiso, E., & Bogetto, F. (2008). Efficacy and Tolerability of Pharmacotherapies for Borderline Personality Disorder. CNS Drugs, 22(8), 671-692. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Borteyrou, X., Bruchon-Schweitzer, M., & Spielberger, C. D. (2008).  The French adaptation of the STAXI-2, C.D. Spielberger's State-trait anger expression inventory. Encephale. 34(3) (pp 249-255).

Owen, J. M. (2011). Transdiagnostic cognitive processes in high trait anger. Clinical Psychology Review.31(2) (pp 193-202). 

Varghese, B. S., Rajeev, A., Norrish, M., & Bin Mohammed Al Khusaiby, S. (2010). Topiramate for anger control: A systematic review. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 42(3) (pp. 135–141).

Part II

The 7 studies I looked at (on PubMed) focused on state-trait anger, and Borderline PD was a secondary focus.  They were all positive for use, though all recommended more study.

The most critical study was an overall view of pharmacology for Borderline PD (Lieb, et al., 2010).  It stated that medications should target Borderline PD symptoms, and the disorder as a whole.  This suggests an interesting (though hypothetical) state-trait question.  If a drug is effectively treating a symptom, such as angry outbursts, but is shown by testing to be treating a trait (vulnerability) as much as state (symptom), then is the trait is only a single component of the disorder?

(I say "hypothetical" because only the study I cited, Varghese, et al. (2010), specifically offered trait data, though 6 of the 7 did trait-state anger testing.)

Returning to the conceptual idea of a trait as a distorted construct (Owen, 2011) that causes irrational talk and actions, my significant thoughts while writing this were about using Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), with pharmacology only as a support.  DBT focuses on a near-mechanical cognitive restructuring of the client's destructive psychological constructs (trait) that dominate his actions (state) (Oldham, Skodol, & Bender, 2009).  Assertiveness is taught as a skill to challenge the ill-logic of the defective constructs so as to remain "on track" to recovery (p. 242).  Interestingly, this thought process is categorized in terms of "interpersonal effectiveness" (p. 242).  Intrapersonal might be more descriptive of the client's self-approach to trait change.


Lieb, K., Völlm, B., Rücker, G., Timmer, A., & Stoffers, J. M. (2010). Pharmacotherapy for borderline personality disorder: Cochrane systematic review of randomised trials.British Journal of Psychiatry. 196(1) (pp. 4-12).

Oldham, J., Skodol, A., & Bender, D. (2009). Essentials of Personality Disorders. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Varghese, B. S., Rajeev, A., Norrish, M., & Bin Mohammed Al Khusaiby, S. (2010). Topiramate for anger control: A systematic review. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 42(3) (pp. 135–141).