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, September 23, 2012

Metacognition and the current dialectic: A "FaceBook" interview


The following is a conversation that takes a question and answer approach with a woman who "liked" occupy critical inquiry on FaceBook, and who happens to have a high-ranking executive position in a very large (and often hated) consumer goods corporation.

John Bessa:

Thanks for "liking" occupy critical inquiry -- based on what I learned (and learned for my psych masters) I have extended the dialectic to metacognition, which is basically the same but different in subtle ways. Dialectic is 2-3 K yrs old, and metacognition is future "thought control" (seriously).


Hi John thanks for the invite to merge our worlds. 1 thing you should know about me is I'm a very simple thinker. By this I don't mean that I'm shallow but because I am aware of how the power of persuasion can alter my ability to perceive, I constantly challenge myself (and others) to understand our assumptions.

Metacognition and the current dialectic

It is a pretty simple concept: the dialectic is the "method" of civilization which is the "process" of controlling society for the benefit of the wealthy (Socrates and Plato 500 BC), and ultimately communism (control w/o the wealthy, 1850-1990). Fortunately communism failed, but it will be back in another format, and that method will be metacognition, and the name will be the (soon-to-be-late Aaron Beck).


Are you familiar with this guy: Edgar Schein?


He scares the shit out of me.

John Bessa:

I think he did pop on the radar once for school in terms of group organization -- question is, is he dialectic? if so, in the trash. Is he anti-dialectic, if so he is an ally. I suspect that as an academic he follows the synthetic path and not the understanding of nature (the physic)


Can you explain that - synthetic versus nature? Ive never heard the term synthetic path so I want to make sure I understand it.

John Bessa:

Path away from nature towards chemical substitutes, gives you cancer, destroys the whales.  In economics, inflation outpaces growth making growth actually economic decline.  The basis is the Hegelian dialectic:

  1. a thesis (a good idea, or abstraction)
  2. antithesis (good idea is attacked)
  3. synthesis (outcome that reverses good idea)

So synthesis is really not a path but a method or process that is like a chemical process.


Designed to destroy and destruct the natural?

John Bessa:

Synthesis processes nature for resources w/o concern for consequences -- including people, and I am specifically thinking about aboriginals who live in nature, or in balance with it.  Synthesis reveals itself as native extermination, the extermination process belongs to people with a specific genetic signalling errors, like Hitler and Stalin (Hegelian followers).


Yes, this describes Schein who believes management should use coercive persuasion to keep workers aligned with the goals of the Org.  Schein was given free reign in the 70's to do psych experiments on prisoners.

John Bessa:

This makes Schein dialectic (cognitive) and didactic (behavioral); he probably got them to do what he wanted in exchange for cigarettes, then they went back to whatever they were doing before the study.  I call that the negative behavioral feedback loop as, in this case, the prisoners create a metacognition to make the dialectic-didactic researcher think he/she is in control.  The researcher then creates a metacognition from the feed back loop to help with the synthesis that is the civilization process.



John Bessa:

So I assume you don't like that guy.


No. Not in the least.

John Bessa:

That is good. I have been working exclusively with empathy (as emotional communication) until occupy came along -- in a few months I had a name for the flip side to empathy, the dialectic, and saw it in revolution, which explains why we get nowhere each time.

My cognitive behavioral therapy class (masters in psych) keyed me into metacognition as the new dialectic (I learned about the dialectic from the Occupy movement), and I have been finding subtle but important differences between metacognition and the dialectic. I believe metacognition will be the future battleground, but typically dialectics (now cognitivists) keep things hidden from the people, which is typical of academia.  Academia tends to change meanings of words (often to opposites) to complicate issues, and is also able to charge amazing tuition for the material that they hold in monopolistic ways.


At 1st I loved Schein because he is the only to understand that a separate culture exists for the Operations level in Manufacturing {my employment}, then I realized his goal is to exterminate my free will.

John Bessa:

Metacognition is already "naturally" in place as maladaptions to life's stresses, such as the use of "sliver linings" to make one feel better or rationalize past mistakes -- little white lies we tell ourselves, really minor cases.  Television, and similar media, is the major case -- total synthesis, pure didactic and dialectic, and increasingly purely metacognitive.  It seems your work environment is precisely Plato's republic:

  • executive class,
  • enforcement class, and
  • workers 

In Plato's republic, only workers have fully functioning ~natural~ minds, which explains mind control.  The two top parts of his (and our) pyramid is un-empathic and hence sadistic (psychotic, asperger-ed, and often schizophrenic).

The bottom portion, or workers, typically suffer from trauma, though many are dialectic themselves and attack meaningful change as "abstract" (from Hegel and Trotsky).

I am hypothesizing that Plato's Republic might have come to Greece from the Pharaoh's influence on the Israelites when they were Egyptian slaves; the concept then spread through the Middle East to Athens. Natural growth, as an extension of guiding evolution, tends to be democratic.  Aboriginal democracy is always find it circles, such as that tribal council circles that are ubiquitous for North American natives.

I am hypothesizing that three DNA signalling errors are governing synthesis (as it is counter-evolutionary):

 are probably the three DNA signalling errors:

  1. aspergers
  2. psychosis
  3. schizophrenia

The first two lead to trauma in others -- combine them and you have a sociopath.  Schizophrenia is harmless by itself, but creates intense problems when combined with the other two (eg. Caligula).

The forth category of illness results from aspergers and psychosis, which together create sociopathy or psychopathy (depending on the context).  I think that in PTSD, the neurons that act as sensory inhibitors, especially for fear, get fried from too much cycling.  Drugs such as cocaine and meth have the same effect as  fat (white matter that is an electrical insulator) melts off the neurons from too much heat making them slower and thus less effective for the brain's important (and ancient) modelling processes.


I am curious to know more: specifically how to recognize and resist.

John Bessa:

Resist what?


Mind fuck, believing the dialect.

John Bessa:

It is a metacognition, which is in the front part of the brain, reality, or consciousness is in the deep part of the brain -- the two are connected by pathways that include empathic neurons.

Ask yourself (as Carl Rogers might): "what does your true natural self believe?"  Get away for a few days and the cognitive "voices" (TV, work, family, sales people, bosses, dialectic sub-workers) will quiet down and your natural voice will emerge from within, as a sort of personal mythical self (from CG Jung).

However, when "resisting," keep in mind that the "revolution" is dialectic and that the low-end dialectics strictly attack the abstract (which is thesis or any new ideas) to create the antithesis (attacks against good ideas to create stupid ideas) to prevent evolution (with synthesis).  The process is pretty simple if you think about it and very common.  It is everywhere -- metacognition is more general than the dialectic (especially Hegelian) and can sometimes be quite different as it involves large chunks of information that have been injected as small pieces on a minute-by-minute basis by media, teachers, bosses, etc.

The fear that all this information causes by replacing naturally derived experiential information (from Carl Rogers) is able to repress the conscientiousness (ancient and inner part of the mind) to convert it into an unconscious that is as disturbed as the dialectics' are making us brain dead, and much like them.

The current strategy involves attacking the abstract as the Hegelian dialect (1800s) that was reinforced by Marx and Engels (to fight Utopian socialist worker ideals) and made "real" by Trotsky in the 20th century as Soviet communism.

This is was a big turning point for me because I always believed that Trotsky is held as the "good" and "true" communist, who was victimized by the traitor Stalin -- but not so.  He and Stalin were on the same page, there combat is consistent with dialectical behavior, as dialecticians tend to be egotistic.  If the dialectic is threatened, however, then dalecticians tend to bond to fight the threat, while conspiring against each other.  This behavior is also typical of capitalists (such as we read about in the New York Times business section) and provides evidence (along with Plato's republic) that capital is dialectic, because it is not specifically described as such by Adam Smith, for instance.  (Smith, however, influenced Hegel's economic views.)

Understanding Trotsky was the big leap for me, as suddenly, all that I had been told about the Left and revolution during my time on the streets (of the Lower East Side [LES] of Manhattan during the homeless crisis of the 80s) was lie, not just some of it: an ancient and well-organized metacognitive plan that even included Emma Goldman, the founding LES anarchist.

 The plan dates back to 2500 BC and, as dialectically designed, is able to keep adapting to attempts to put humanity back on an evolutionary path.  The final adaption is apparently  and independent metacognition strategy that will combine the mass-teaching strengths of the didactic (which can be subverted by the negative behavioral loops that the prisoners probably used to confound Shein's research).  So the upcoming metacognitive thought control strategies will be different,  and I hope to popularize these differences before they get into full swing which should be in upcoming decades: 2040-50.  Science fiction seems to accurately describe metacognitive societies, such as Orwell's 1984, yet we, as society, fail to make the connections perhaps because of the strength of  metacognitive efforts.

It is being predicted by various studies that by 2050 we, humanity, will be experiencing mass starvation resulting form over population, resource depletion, and atmospheric warming (Dalhousie University studies, and others).  Continuing the processes which are causing these problems will require metacognition, and the process itself goes back to the initial purpose synthesis, which is to which is to enable aristocrats and empires to process (other people's) resources for the purposes of becoming wealthy and further building empires.


I think Im getting close to being on the verge of "getting it"(maybe..lol)...Occupy is part of the dialect because its the antithesis to the original thesis which is essentially to keep the Rich rich so in effect has no affect because its still the same mind fuck game.?

Is Anarchy the antithesis to the Occupy thesis OR is it outside the boundaries of the "game"?

John Bessa:

That was my very thought when I first looked at revolution and antithesis; it would seem that antithesis, as the "Hegellian" a struggle that Trotsky describes, would be the attack of the "thesis" that is civilization.  In fact, it would make a lot of sense, and could show that revolutionary activity is beneficial.  But that is not what is happening at all.  First, anarchy is poorly defined; it can be socialistic and hence prone to communist take-over, or it can be individualistic, egotistic, and hence capitalistic.  Or it can be completely discordian, having no social effect at all.  It's anti-thetical nature seems to be so destructive as to prevent synthesis, but as it lacks a foundation of abstract (or thetical) structures, it fails to restore the natural evolutionary path that Kropotkin, for instance, apparently hoped it would when he reinforced Darwin's ideas with Mutual Aid.

As I live in the "sticks," I don't meet many occupiers face-to-face.  The last occupier that I talked to made no attempt to hide his dialectic, and made absolutely no attempt to comprehend the good advice I was giving him (to avoid the dialectic), so my present position is "fuck occupy" as it is  apparently purely dialectical.  This occupier openly supported Neitze and the "ubermensch," or "superman."


So how does one throw a monkey wrench into the metacognitive process to prevent thought control?  Are you familiar with Jacques Ellul? http://www.jesusradicals.com/theology/jacques-ellul/  A friend posted this on FB this morning. Let me know what you think... http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/250493.php

John Bessa:

In the cognitive article you provide, the authors write that "rejecting information actually requires cognitive effort." In response to this, the way that I am writing about metacognition is that there is a "soft" mind inside the "hard," or real mind mind (which is the brain).  The soft mind is like a computer software emulation which makes other software think it is hardware.  So, in other words, the metacognition resides in the "current control" or "executive function" section of the brain (also called working memory) as a type of mind which is independent form the brain (and its consciousness) and thus does not access natural morality (from Darwin's evolution) but instead control directives, such as ethics, laws, and perhaps metacognitive or didactic "guilt routines" that are interjected from the outside.  These are often shared experiences that are not experiences at all, but metacognitions (that are synthetic by definition).


If I understand what your saying about metacognition, our cognitive process can be manipulated til the point we accept 'truths' about 'reality and we become zombie lab rats who will respond in expected ways.  If so is there a way now to fight fire with fire and use the cognitive response to resist allowing future control to occur?

John Bessa:

I think they ARE manipulated every single minute of every day so that we have a synthetic conception that suggests that the end result of synthesis, which is the cooking of the planet through global warming (in parallel with population explosion that is part of economic growth is simply an evolutionary effect of humanity.

The way to get away from the metacognitive process (the dialectic) is to get out to the woods, let the metacognitive voices quiet down (especially NPR or other "liberal" sources for us) and resume the natural (evolutionary) path allowing our senses (including common sense) to guide our intellect.

So when I tell dialectics that I am an "EVOlutionary," I imagine they should get really nervous, because evolution, by extending Darwin, should, through natural selection, remove the mental illnesses that cause dialectical behaviors from future generations (such as in Stalin, Hitler, and Mao had). The anti-Darwin social Darwinists saw this, as did the various churches, and have been thus working (sometimes together) to create a metacognitive form of evolution to replace the natural, empathic one validate synthesis and civilization.

As an aside, the "traditional" view of psychology-psychiatry comes to us from (one of the) Aristotle(s). This gives IQ as the primary intellectual function (because it can be measured empirically with an IQ test and only tests cognition and not consciousness and related creative functions), emotion as psychosis (rather than emotional intelligence) because emotion causes irrationality, and schizophrenia as creativity, because random disconnected signals from the brain (hallucinations) are the creative process.

In the dialectical view only, Uncontrolled emotion and hallucinations are the only liberating forces. I consider this a pretty neat control strategy.  I also see it as core to dialectical control as an easy way to say that normal rebelling people are crazy, and thus crazy people should be in control of rebellious change--dialectics.  This way, any threat to the oligarchy can be put in an insane asylum while being described as a contributing part of the process.  This is precisely how that Soviet Union reacted to serious dissent.

(Nonetheless, it is important to note that the genius of the dialectic is that it encourages its students (or other victims) to seek alternatives [that have been pre-described] that that students will reach conclusions on their own that are precisely what the teacher, or dialectician, wanted them to reach, but the students have been deceived into thinking they reached these conclusions on their own.  If they fail to reach the predetermined goal, then a search for more alternatives are encouraged (until the predetermined "alternative" is chosen.  This also describes metacognitive education, but in metacognitive education, the student will probably be failed as in didactic "behavioral" education.  Metacognitive education intends to leverage computers systems such as the "Moodle" education web system.")

The idea that schizophrenia and psychosis are the sole creative forces that are also forms of mental illness strongly suggests that psychiatry and psychology are dominated by mental illness that is neither of these two.  It suggests that psychology-psychiatry has been historically (and probably still is) dominated by the third DNS signaling error disease: aspergers.  Aspergers is defined as "no emotional interrelation." The cause of it is a disconnection from the control part of the brain (prefrontal cortex) from the consciousness parts of the brain because of missing connecting neurons, or simply dead consciousness.  (It is also considered to be the core of autism, or high-functioning autism; this is a concept I have fought partly because of the official metacognition of autism as I learned it in an autism institution.  I now accept it as I have seen autistic behaviors and physical markers in people who are unquestionably cruel.)

In society dominated by this type of person (aspergers), which would be civilized society (aspergers empire), then the only true escape from metacognition (the norm) is, in fact, schizophrenia because schizophrenia allows mental signalling in the form of hallucinations that cannot be controlled dialectically, meaning cognitively --or didactically, meaning behaviorally. (Hans Eysenck, the creativity and intelligence expert, still promotes this schizophrenia/creativity idea, has many younger followers.  He also helps preserves Aristotle's personality theories based on "colored biles.") So, in civilized dialectical society, only the crazy are free being either psychotic or schizophrenic. Missing, of course, is the normal human who is chafing under control that is often traumatic-- and, of course, media broadcasted and educational metacognitions.

What we have instead is the "normalized" human, which is an important statistical, empirical mathematical function which, in short, means moving the bell curve that statistically describes normality to fit eccentric data. Thus eccentricity becomes normality, and as it happens, Catholic education is specifically called "normal" but is anything but natural. And of course, "Mother Mary sightings" (or Elvis for that matter) are considered messages from Heaven.

As an aside, statistical normalization is usually applied with respect to ethnic diversity which means both native-ness (aboriginals) and immigration with the norm being capitalized, civilized (normal) society, which in the metacognitive model is itself eccentric as it is metacognitive.