Great Reset Requires Instilled Great Narrative to Create Desired Consciousness to Imagine? Mind Arson Helps Too

In the ten years now I have been writing the ISC blog after finishing Credentialed to Destroy, one of our ongoing gags has been the expression “Yet another lost invite” to show sarcasm at a little known gathering where troubling intent targeting all of us is openly laid out. Most of you may have noticed I have not been writing too much as an unexpected tragedy left me engulfed in the fog of grief about eight months ago now. In fact, I considered closing up the blog and figuring out a new way forward. I may still do that soon, but not quite yet. It turns out the infamous globalist Klaus Schwab held a Great Narrative Meeting on November 11-12, 2021 away from prying eyes (like mine) in Dubai. I never saw any reference to the meeting, but on April 8, 2022 the online journal Nautilus published an article by Schwab and Thierry Malleret called “The Power of Narrative”. Turns out the article was an excerpt from a book forthcoming from them and published by the Davos crowd–the World Economic Forum or WEF–called The Great Narrative for a Better Future.

Since the desired Narrative fits so well with how learning standards and competency frameworks in K-12 actually work (as CtD covered at length) and thus quietly force the effect of cultural evolution through altering values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, let’s take a look at the confessed Power of Narrative. After all, Messrs. Schwab and Malleret were kind enough to tell us openly that these alterations are not just an effect, but actually the purpose. Once I became aware of the meeting, I located this article covering the address Schwab gave last November  https://sociable.co/government-and-policy/wef-klaus-schwab-great-narrative-humankind/ where he confessed that those of us who are well-informed, nonconformist thinkers–who are not the least bit deterred by complex situations–are obstacles to the WEF plans. After all, as Schwab apparently stated there:

People have become much more self-centered and to a certain extent, egoistic. In such a situation it is much more difficult to create a compromise because shaping the future, designing the future usually needs a common will of the people.

Just like the stated purpose of Critical Race Theory, Equity mandates in education, and what is called ‘Culturally-Responsive Teaching’ per its advocates as I laid out in the last post. Prescribed learning standards matter to anyone wishing to control “What future do we face? What future do we want?” to quote the beginning of the Nautilus article because they lay out the Abstract Ideas and Conceptual Frames or Lenses to be used to guide perception of daily experiences. They create the very Cognition to be used in this expressed aspiration for what Consciousness can now be made to do with the right practices and learning experiences.

We can’t predict the future. However, we can imagine it and even design it; no outcome is predetermined and, as cognitive human beings, we retain the agency to shape the world we want…As the most effective conduits for ideas, narratives have the unique power to help us determine what is going on, what lies ahead, and what needs to be done.

Those of us paying attention to the implications of that intent, especially if we also remember it was former US President Obama who nationalized learning standards when he became President after bringing them from a 1990s Chicago initiative, can see why he has moved on recently to forums at U-Chicago and Stanford on Disinformation and the need to censor certain ideas and offered facts. It’s part of the same overall vision of how to midwife a desired new Just World Order. If the architects see Media/Big Tech censorship, and the agenda in education ‘reforms,’ as a part of a common assault on prevailing consciousness we should really listen. We can simply think of both as attempts to get at adult consciousness prevailing among the masses in case anyone managed to grow up away from a participating local school or district, or before learning standards became nationalized and then tied to global standards.

Long-time readers may remember my long time interest in the concept of Guiding Fiction, especially as a history or science concept, where the authors readily admit that the belief is not true, but believing it is highly useful to someone pulling the strings of behavior in the masses of people. I really had to appreciate Schwab quoting Robert Schiller to the effect that “The human brain has always been highly tuned towards narratives, whether factual or not, to justify ongoing actions.” Well, that certainly explains the desire to use effective techniques with known neural effects on students. It also confirms the repeatedly encountered new definition of knowledge using an emphasis on theories of what should be over what has been and what is (aka facts). Mind Arson, and a limited ability to read fluently, also comes in handy for anyone hyping an ability to:

rely on the power of imagination to get us out of the holes we’ve dug ourselves into. It is incumbent upon us to imagine the contours of a more equitable and sustainable world. Imagination being boundless, the variety of social, economic, and political solutions is infinite.

It is hard to imagine a more fatuous statement than the quote in that last sentence. What kind of Solution is anything that can be imagined if the likely effects, that are knowable to anyone observant and well-informed, are to create More Problems and Pernicious Effects for the mass majority of people? See the utility now of Mind Arson? No ability to pick up on when a prescribed Metaphor is Inapt, a Guiding Idea or Principle is a fiction, or when the Product of Imagination has led to recognized past social disasters. Just use the prescribed perceptual lenses and all of us supposedly can avoid “getting imprisoned in a dangerous cognitive lockdown because of the magnitude of the task.” Now think of the value to anyone seeking national or global Fundamental Transformation of being able to widely control the following:

Narratives provide the context in which the facts we observe can be interpreted, understood, and acted upon. In that sense, they equate to much more than the stories we tell, write, or illustrate figuratively; they end up being the truths, or the ideas we accept as truths, that underpin the perceptions that shape our ‘realities’ and in the process form our cultures and societies. Through narratives, we explain how we see things, how these things work, how we make decisions and justify them, how we understand our place in the world and how we try to persuade others to embrace our beliefs and values. Narratives shape our perceptions, which in turn form our realities and end up influencing our choices and actions. They are how we find meaning in life.

I think Schwab and Malleret are too modest in using the verb Influence in that last sentence, especially when the Exact Narrative being used is embedded in poorly understood K-12 learning standards for children, as opposed to the overt censorship of a Big Tech platform on what can or cannot be said or an HHS Disinformation Ministry. I want to end this post with a point made by blogger Caitlin Johnstone in a different context with a post  https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/04/15/more-escalations-in-online-censorship/ that makes a crucial and often unappreciated point about the Internet. Learning standards and competency frameworks invisibly censor at the source of perception and become engrained at a neural level by intention. How much more useful than visible, overt action to ensconce a desired Narrative.

The advent of the internet gave the powerful an ability to propagandize the public far more rapidly and efficiently than they previously could, but it also brought the risk of a democratized information space where the public could collectively figure out together that they’re being subjected to tyranny and deceit and decide to put an end to it…The idea is to keep the vast propagandizing power of the internet open while forcing its democratizing power closed…

Precisely the manipulation I can see going on in education now too., especially given the expressed intentions of Ed Tech and prescribed immersive online learning experiences. It’s a great description of what I described in CtD as Transformational Outcomes Based Education which is now all about using schools to get students to internalize the Desired Narrative to reimagine the future and then act to bring that Vision to Fruition.

As a student of history, it is difficult to imagine any authoritarian through the ages who would not have given anything to quietly utilize a tool as powerful as the function Schwab and Malleret ascribe to the Narrative in the above quotes. We will revisit the power of controlling prevailing Ideas in the next post as there have been still more open confessions across the political spectrum since my last post. Everybody wants to control consciousness, it turns out.

You know my motto. If connected people declare something, we get to both discuss it and show why the offered rationales could win a medal in Sophistry. Well, at least if one has not been a victim of Mind Arson.

More than Men in White Sheets: Prioritizing the Power of Imagination Because Antiracism Demands Equitable, Just Systems

This post follows up my previous post by quoting from the sources cited in the various Bibliographies. They make the aims of Critical Race Theory under its various euphemisms utterly explicit. In fact, the confessions are so graphic that EVERY use of italics in this post is original to the source. Let’s start with Kevin Kumashiro’s Spring 2000 “Toward a Theory of Anti-Oppressive Education” published by the same AERA that elected Bill Ayers to a leadership position. You will see why student-centered learning can be so psychologically dangerous and why a social-emotional learning focus is always integral to the desired new form of consciousness.

Students must always look beyond what is known; they must ask, ‘what is not said?’ and then go to places that have, until now, been foreclosed. Of course, such a process is antithetical to the ways we traditionally think about teaching and learning…Teaching, in other words, like learning, cannot be about repetition and affirmation of either the teacher’s or the student’s knowledge, but must involve uncertainty, difference, and change. I should note here that the goal here is not merely any difference, since not all changes will be helpful. Rather, the goal is a change informed by these theories of anti-oppression, a change that works against oppression.

Got that? Not the old-fashioned transmission of knowledge–lectures and textbook vision–and what is being learned are THEORIES justifying the need for transformation beginning at the level of what the student thinks, feels, and wants. That would be the actual definition of what Excellence means in education as long time readers will recognize. It’s also why the quote at the beginning of the post title came from another cited article we will get to shortly published in May 2005 in Equity & Excellence in Education. Back to Kumashiro:

anti-oppressive education involves crisis…learning things that force one to re-learn or unlearn what one has previously learned cannot always be done rationally…learning about oppression and unlearning one’s worldview can be upsetting and paralyzing to students…by teaching students that the very ways in which we think and do things can be oppressive, teachers should expect their students to get upset. Consequently, educators need to create a space in their curriculum for students to work through crisis…teaching and learning really take place only through entering and working through crisis, since it is this process that moves a student to a different intellectual/emotional/political space. In noting that both teaching and psychoanalysis involve ‘liv[ing] through a crisis,’ [Felman] explains that they both ‘are called upon to be performative, and not just cognitive, insofar as they both strive to produce and to enable, change. Both…are interested not merely in new information, but, primarily, in the capacity of their recipients to transform themselves in function of the newness of the information.

When we erroneously make a discussion of CRT, or new equitable practices for learning in education, about mistaken facts in the 1619 Project or Action Civics as getting academic credit for attending protests, we miss the intentional, psychologically traumatizing, aims of these confessed practices and stated purposes for a new kind of pedagogy. If the cited authors state that “anti-oppressive education also involves self-reflexivity (and the change of the individual)”, we should take them at their word, even if most parents and taxpayers never read the sources I am citing here. If they say they want to alter students at an internalized, psychological level “significantly changing how they see themselves and who they are,” don’t think that disputes over whether CRT is taught in schools are about whether the history of slavery or Jim Crow laws can be discussed in class. That is utter deflection from what is being aimed at in the name of antiracism and anti-oppression.

The change this pedagogy will produce cannot, of course, be known beforehand. Its goal is not, think like this, but think differently (and not different in any way, but different as informed by these theories).

Think about that line and those italics next time you hear the cry of Misinformation to something that is provably true as we have been seeing so much in the coverage of CoVid in the last two years, or when someone argues for, or disputes, that Mass Formation Psychosis can be deliberately arranged by collaboration of educators and the media. It’s how Standards for Teaching and Learning in K-12 all over the globe actually and intentionally work. Its why UNESCO created them and the US helpfully apes them. Informed by these theories is a chilling phrase, especially to an article that concludes with “how we want students and society to change.” Sounds like an essential component of any Great Reset or Building Back Better to me. To fully understand why these shifts are essential, we have another cite as I mentioned above by Sheri Lyn Schmidt called “More Than Men in White Sheets: Seven Concepts Critical to the Teaching of Racism as System Inequality.”

Created as a framework for college students, the concepts guide what teachers are taught and made to believe so that “students move from viewing racism as individual bigotry to recognizing its complex nature as a systemic phenomenon that pervades every aspect of United States society.” Theories, then, that justify the supposed need to transform “our systems of education, justice, business, health care, and government.” Students need to be taught that

Racism is part of a system that is larger than individuals and operates with and without conscious support…To help make the concept [a theory] of institutional racism concrete for students, it is important to use statistics and clear factual examples of the current disparities found in a wide range of institutional settings..,it is very important to concentrate on current examples so that students can see that racism is still very much a part of every aspect of our institutions.

That was my bolding to highlight what is now known as Mass Formation Psychosis if the shared instilled belief is pernicious and Shared Meaning-Making if the beliefs and attitudes support a Collective Understanding on the need to shift to a Just, Inclusive Society. Either way, the technique is intentional, the same, and quite well understood as necessary for the desired internalized change at the level of each ‘citizen’ in a society. Schmidt even has a section on Internalized Racism that states “it is important for our students to understand how racism has become internalized within the human psyche” and refers to the phrase as “this psychologically-based concept” in case anyone still thinks that the CRT dispute is a battlefield of ideas, rather than the intended psychological bullseye it really targets.

Why? From the section on Historical Inequality, we have this explanation that clearly aims at what the Political Theorists call Social Reconstruction:

Understanding history is central to an ability to understand ourselves and the world in which we live. History is a valuable tool that social justice educators can and should use as a foundation upon which to construct the current realities of oppression…History can be studied as a way to understand the current situation of all racial groups…a historical review can help students see that oppressive circumstances can change through the concerted efforts of committed individuals…Centuries of ‘historical forgetting’ have taught them that the United States is a place where anyone who works hard can get ahead. Therefore, it is crucial to share with them a history that makes clear the ways that past events and policies have directly shaped the social reality of today.

If those quotes are not graphic enough, I was following up recently on a webinar for educators tied to the Roadmap for American Democracy civics/history initiative and how it intended to use the topic of Oppression in the classroom. It planned to push a concept called ‘co-processing’ which sounded like a new way of describing shared meaning-making and what theories must now be used to shape each student’s thinking. A little internet sleuthing pulled up a March 2019 OECD paper called “Imagination Unleashed: Democratizing the Knowledge Economy.” Recognizing one of the authors who has a tag here at ISC, Harvard prof Roberto Unger, its education vision fits with the above, but is not sold in terms of antiracism. Nevertheless, its needed Education vision (which used bolding instead of italics for emphasis) states:

We must equip citizens not only to participate in the economy and society but to transform it, through a lifelong education system that promotes cooperation and prioritises the power of the imagination…The knowledge economy, therefore, calls for education, both in youth and throughout life, that develops character, mindset, and non-cognitive as well as cognitive skills…as crucial as these immediate questions are, they also form part of a larger challenge: how to equip every student with the tools they need not only to flourish within their societies as they currently exist but to transform them for the better. Teachers and students must have the political, legal, and financial means to deal experimentally with the central tension in education under democracy: preparing people to flourish within present arrangements and assumptions while equipping them to defy those assumptions and arrangements.

Some of the four basic elements such a vision ‘demands’ of education are that “engagement at depth across disciplines, around themes or projects, counts for more than memorizing facts.” It can be viewed as a ‘dialectical approach to education’ that emphasizes “jumbling up disciplines and methods. It would aim to form a different mindset: one that refuses to treat radical doubt and intellectual experimentation as the prerogatives of genius and turns them instead into a common possession.” The same classroom function of that global vision then gets pitched in the US in another cited CRT paper from March 2005 published in Race Ethnicity and Education by Tara Yosso on “Whose Cultural Has Capital?”. So when your local school board, a legislator, or the media insists that CRT is not “taught in our schools,” be ready to recognize that its advocates write about it as reflecting a focus on ‘experiential knowledge’ and a refusal to make any student a ‘deficit thinker’ because of their lack of factual information.

Yosso stated and anti-racist educators cite her work in their Bibliographies that

I define CRT in education as a theoretical and analytical framework that challenges the ways race and racism impact educational structures, practices, and discourses. CRT is conceived as a social justice project that works toward the liberatory potential of schooling [Imagination Unleashed?]…CRT utilizes transdisciplinary approaches to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community…CRT finds that racism is often well disguised in the rhetoric of shared ‘normative’ values and ‘neutral’ social scientific principles and practices.

So next time anyone is told “CRT isn’t taught to students in our schools”, turn that statement into its actual, openly declared purpose as laid out in this post. Are its tenets and practices USED on students in the classroom, whatever it is called? Is it their thinking and emotions being targeted for transformation? Are we prescribing Theories and Conceptual Understandings that they MUST use in evaluating their lived experiences and current situation? The advocates say quietly in publications not intended for us that all these things are components of CRT, whatever it calls itself and whatever its pitched rationale. If we investigate by function instead of name, we can still recognize what we are dealing with.

And remember that it ALWAYS aims at social, economic, and political change at an institutional level. The individual student and their psyche is merely the conduit for mass, almost invisible, change.

Critical Race Theory as a Tool for Social Reconstruction: Why Consistently Omit Its Stated Purpose?

Welcome to 2022. This post starts a series that once again gets to the essence of what educational practices and standards are intended to act as a handmaiden for–the transformation of individual consciousness. That amalgamation of values, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions that motivate behavior, often at a subliminal level. It’s no accident that the civil rights slogan for schools all over the US and frequently elsewhere calls for Equity and Excellence. It sounds fair and few places other than here at ISC have laid out that the meaning of Excellence is getting at students at the level of what they think, want, and feel as psychologist and cultural evolutionist Mihaly Csikzsentmihalyi (Csik) laid out decades ago. Now he pushes much the same globally as Part of the Positive Psychology orientation of the schools which is why he has a tag here at ISC.

The point is that if education practices and standards, especially when coordinating with the media and think tanks around the same messaging and conceptual framing of real events, can change enough individual mindsets and worldviews, we get a deliberately changed culture. Julian Huxley, the founder of UNESCO, knew that and hoped for it as I covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy. I just didn’t fully appreciate how widely spread and coordinated that common aim to force cultural evolution was when I wrote CtD. That’s what we are talking about here and in companion posts. It’s how this relates to my discussion of the Chinese concept of Tianxia, which has a common purpose and function. It also seeks to use the student and adult’s mind, heart, and soul as instruments to be manipulated by the state for political ends.

I have covered Uncle Karl’s Human Development Society, its ties to Humanist Marxism and need for a Moral Revolution at a psychological level numerous times here at ISC as it just keep coming up. It seeks to use education to target a person’s internalized reflexivity–the internalized process whereby perception affects actions because it is the social world and its institutions that need to be transformed. That is the repeated stated purpose of CRT and its new moniker–Anti-Racist Education– as I will show today. If someone writes or states that Marx was a historical materialist and did not write about psychological aims, they do not know his work, no matter how lofty their title, how famous the publication they are writing for, or how deep the pockets are of their funding source. If someone writes an article that CRT has no place in K-12 education because it is a ‘legal theory’ and should be confined to law schools, they are not familiar with the Bibliographies in relevant sites like this one  https://antiracistfuture.org/web-series/principles/ and what the cited sources say must be changed in K-12.

CRT is a tool to get at individual consciousness. It is NOT a body of knowledge or part of a set of information students are to learn. As that link above from the Center for Anti-Racist Education lays out in “Our Vision for an Antiracist Future”, CRT is about transitioning to a more just future where governments and laws will restructure economies and social institutions like workplaces so that “we look to a future where the promise of equality is upheld for everyone”. Democracy is not about elections so much in this vision, but about a purpose that almost sounds like a Portrait of a Graduate from local schools. As a new book coming out called For the Common Good put it recently, the shift to “a more just social order…is not a morally optional undertaking. The claim that community members have to a social order that protects and advances their ability to pursue a reasonable life plan” is to now be implemented and enforced.

That Vision quotes Nelson Mandela “that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and the last Principle calls for an aim to Create Just Systems. That’s Social Reconstruction, even if the author of the recent Conflict Campaign brief on the horrors of state-anti-CRT legislation only briefly alludes to the transition to a more just order as the CRT purpose in her paper being hyped here https://www.thenation.com/article/society/critical-race-theory-elections/ to inflame partisan discourse around what can, cannot, or must be allowed in K-12 schools. The actual report basically accuses the writers of the legislation of wanting to go back to the Jim Crow era, which ought to be a clue as to how useful this tool of Critical Consciousness can be. Since everyone can read those graphic Principles themselves, let’s jump to the explicit intentions laid out in the References, including the book from the main author of the above paper–Mica Pollock–from 2008 called Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real about Race in School .

Here’s a sampling from that book she edited that fits with the Social Reconstruction purpose mentioned above:

My greatest challenge as a teacher educator has been to help white students and students of color understand that racism is not simply a personal attitude or individual disposition and that feeling guilty or ‘being nice’ are not enough to combat racism. Racism involves the systemic failure of people and institutions to care for students of color on an ongoing basis…[Or] What is often missing in classroom discussions of racial issues is a critical examination of how the concept of ‘race’ has been linked to the distribution of resources…[Using] curriculum aimed at developing young people’s abilities to evaluate, understand, and confront oppressive structures of racial inequality…contributing to the development of a just nation.

Pollock’s Conflict Campaign paper is definitely angry about state legislation blocking the desired use of CRT and the wild accusations of the purposes of the legislation really did not seem to me to track with the language. The reason, I believe, is that the legislation affects the desire to use classroom activities and practices to affect each student’s internalized Identity and Purpose going forward. The section of the 2008 book called “Remember that People are Treated as Racial Group Members and Need to Examine that Experience” told us that:

a core principle of everyday antiracism: students (and teachers) need to process their experiences in the world as racial group members. How can educators assist students in this ‘processing’? Create cocoons for strengthening identities…so that students of color in particular can benefit from some time voluntarily ‘cocooned’ with students from the same racial group, in order to process their schooling and life experiences as group members and build healthy identities as such. Be aware that students of color may need to heal from internalized oppression…[where] racism can involve people hating themselves, not just ‘others,’ and that students need to be assisted to analyze how such self-hatred comes about. [Third] students need to see and treat one another as equally worthy. [They] need concrete opportunities  to learn to value each other equally across racial lines.

Again, that’s not CRT as a subject and it very much targets reflexivity as I quoted above.  It encourages students to change their Worldview, at both a conscious and subliminal level, so they will look for actions they can take “to achieve justice for themselves and their communities.” In this vision reading is not a tool to get information, but a means where students “learn to see the text as an extension of their lived experience and their lived experience as an extension of the text”. I read that and immediately recognized that the hated, but graded on, current high school practice of Annotation was straight out of Paulo Freire’s “reading the word and the world”. It also has a comparable, but unstated to parents, revolutionary aim because it trains students to critique their lived experiences and real world conditions so

educators can link discussions of texts about inequality to students’ experiences of inequality. This  move raises critical consciousness and can empower students to act collectively to transform these structures. Educators must also prompt discussion of how such inequalities can be collectively addressed. An emphasis on critical awareness and collective struggle against structures of inequality should replace the current overemphasis on individual striving as the sole way to transcend the conditions of poverty and racism.

We just need that fundamental transformation as a former US President put it in his plans for what to do to the US once in office. He ought to know since Chicago was Ground Zero for the use of learning standards as a ‘reform’ to push for Social reconstruction covertly, at the level of the mind, heart, and soul. We will cover other materials from the References in the next post. Before I get to one last quote affirming the purpose of CRT in education, the author Pollock has relocated from her perch at Harvard where she first came to my attention to UC-San Diego. Why does that matter? Maybe she just loves sea lions and wanted to be closer to the caves in La Jolla ? Given these stated aims and the histrionics of the accusations laid out in the report   https://idea.gseis.ucla.edu/publications/the-conflict-campaign/publications/files/the-conflict-campaign-report I think it is important to know that Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT with a tag) with its intentional plans to manipulate consciousness for revolutionary purposes grounded in Soviet psychologists translated work from Russian is also based there.

Totally coincidental I am sure, just like the major philanthropies involved with the import of CHAT to the West. I will close with a good explanation for why Positive School Climate is so important and manipulable that Obama made it the purpose of an Executive Order in summer 2012 that would make social and emotional learning front and center in every classroom in every school. It went well with his Common Core learning standards and fundamental transformation via education as this passage on Developing Antiracist School Policy laid out near the conclusion of Pollock’s book. The author

works from a perspective that understands racism to include a much broader set of actions and assumptions than racially biased hatred. Crude, obvious, and deliberate acts by individuals are only the tip of a much larger iceberg. While there are no biologically meaningful subdivisions to the human race, social beliefs and daily practices construct inequities around the notion of racial differences…Racism cannot be understood in isolation from wider economic, social, and political inequalities. At the same time, one of the central messages of this collection is that racism operates through countless ordinary assumptions made and actions taken by people in educational settings, as well as outside them.

As we will see as I continue this discussion, there is no ambiguity as to the purpose of CRT in education or its broader aims. It is stated repeatedly, graphically, and with detailed illustrations. Why make criticisms of it about anything but its stated purpose? Why treat it as a dispute as to what to teach in history and why or what literature to cover in Language Arts? Why ignore the revolutionary intentions when evolution is sought in culture?

Tickling the Brain to Invisibly Assert Control: Guard Rails and Common Rules, Student, Then Citizen

When I laid out the authoritarianism from the inside-out definition of the Chinese term–Tianxia in the last post, regular ISC readers may have seen the reference to a “common choice” and remembered that UNESCO has made “decision-making” a main focus of its education efforts globally. Likewise, last week UNESCO was one of the key sponsors of this event https://www.aiathens.org/ , where one of the highly influential speakers https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210430005340/en/Bruce-Simpson-Former-McKinsey-Company-Senior-Partner-Hired-as-CEO-of-the-Stephen-A.-Schwarzman-Foundation-Co-CEO-of-Schwarzman-Philanthropies made a reference to the 3 Rs no longer being enough. He envisioned “tinkering with our brains” so that “Aristotle and Ethics” could be integrated into a focus on gaining knowledge via education.

It’s Tranzi OBE (covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy) all over again but now with access to Digital Technology and Immersive Learning Experiences tied to learning standards grounded at the neurological, intrapersonal level too few are aware of. It is how the Sustainability Agenda is actually to be implemented as an article in AI and Ethics called “Conceptual and normative approaches to AI governance for a global digital ecosystem supportive of the UN SDGs” laid out. It seeks to get to people at the level of “what people are able to do and to be” and have “government, private sector and others coming together to promote guard rails and common rails” so that people will develop “a common purpose” and “shared principles and values”. See why I brought the term Tianxia to our attention? We all see these same aims when Portraits of a Graduate or Learner Profiles lay out creating a common North Star to guide student’s actions.

Anyone who has read CtD and reads ISC understands what is really going on in education–K-12 or higher ed–but I was quite struck by two different quotes recently where the writers were responding to the Pandemic hype and what governments have mystifyingly decided they now can and MUST do, See what I mean? From this essay https://dailysceptic.org/reaping-the-whirlwind/ from December 7th:

…In each case, we find the same conclusion that to successfully govern complex, massified modern societies is not to thrash citizens to within an inch of their lives (the state riskily showing its hand), but, rather, to mould and shape those citizens into people who won’t ever need to be thrashed (the state remaining safely in the shadows).

Doesn’t that perceptive quote get at the aim I had in mind when I created the Invisible Serf’s Collar metaphor for what is really going on in education? The author may not be aware of the global education learning standards and competency frameworks but he grasps that their essence is government mandated action to ” help inculcate certain values, behaviours, habits, mores and beliefs within the hearts and minds of Italian citizens.” And not just Italy we can all add in unison. We also have the insightful essay–“The Death of Europe” cited to here https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2021/12/13/2021-the-year-freedom-died/ that aptly recognized that:

we are living through a chilling overhaul of the entire relationship between the state and the individual, with the state empowered to such an extraordinary degree that it can now instruct its citizens on what to inject into their bodies, and the individual so politically emaciated, so denuded of rights, that he no longer enjoys sovereignty over himself, over that tiny part of the world that is his body and mind.

I think that is precisely right, but my point is that required vaccinations to avoid punitive measures and learning standards aimed at controlling hands, heart, and minds to create Habits that guide at an unconscious level are part of the same aim. The idea that Tianxia is an acceptable aim of governments in the 21st century. The belief that neurological synapses can be tinkered with to fit collective normative aims no one asked us to consent to. It all comes out of the assertions we are seeing all over the world that Wellbeing is THE Goal of Government in the 21st Century. That means there are no barriers to regulation, even if the realms to be dictated and controlled are far more out of sight than Lockdowns and required vaccinations.

That “Death of Europe” essay may have helpfully gone back to English philosopher John Locke’s assertion in 1689 that “even if a man ‘neglect the care of his soul’ or ‘neglect the care of his health,’ still the authorities have no right to interfere with him. No man can be forced to be healthful'”. Well, that kind of vision may have stoked the Glorious Revolution Locke had just lived through, and ultimately the American Revolution, but it is certainly in the way of all these 21st Century plans for us that require a common purpose, values, principles, and common mentally and emotionally tools grounded habits of “sensemaking”. That aim gets us back to the real meaning of the Social Credit System being pushed by the Chinese beyond its geographic boundaries once all these education initiatives and Pandemic remedies are better understood.

An Essay by Braden R. Allenby called “World Wide Weird: Rise of the Cognitive Ecosystem” published in Issues in Science and Technology lays out just how crucial control over cognition is for all these plans for us. As the article subtitle tells us that “social media, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and the data economy are coming together in a way that transcends how humans understand and control our world”. Yes, that’s the aim, which is why I write. Quoting usefully, we should never forget what Allenby owned up to here:

As historical examples suggest, the emergence of the cognitive ecosystem has the power to transcend and radically reshape everything from individual psychologies to institutions to societies and geopolitics, and indeed the world.

That’s the real purpose of Critical Race Theory under its various aims or Intersectionality to give two current examples. To change how this world is seen and motivate beliefs about what must be done to transform it. Same reason learning standards now make Knowledge about Concepts that then must be tied to current real world examples illustrating Global Challenges. Interestingly, Allenby then pivoted to the Soviet Union in the 1970s as his illustrative example and its desire for what it called ‘reflexive control’ over people who had no idea they were being programmed.

To understand what this looks like today, and how it differs from the past, remember an example from the Cold War. During the 1970s, the Soviet Union developed a theory of ‘reflexive control,’ which involved structuring narratives and disinformation campaigns causing people, such as activists in the United States, to act in ways they would believe were voluntary, but in fact were predetermined by the Soviets to benefit their country’s interests, Such a strategy, while seductive, proved difficult to implement given the technological and geopolitical environment of the time.

Well, it’s no longer difficult to implement, which is why I included the Marc Tucker interview link in with the last post. It’s why it matters that the IEEE discussed here http://invisibleserfscollar.com/stealthily-weaving-cybernetic-citizenship-at-the-requisite-neural-level-in-the-name-of-universal-well-being/ was a major sponsor of that AI Athens Conference. Not only have they incorporated normative goals into their standards for educational digital platforms, but the US entity–NIST–that gave the Chugach School District in Alaska its innovation award https://www.nist.gov/image-19594 for its Competency-Based education learning standards, had a speaker at the conference–Elham Tabassi– who spoke about how closely NIST works with IEEE and ISO–another global standards setting organization. Guard Rails and Common Rules–that’s what standards are, even when what they target is the human mind, emotions, or the soul itself.

Allenby’s second case study was China’s social credit system and he recognized that digital technology and the “rise of the cognitive ecosystem” now allow the targeting of “the individual citizen” with “a degree of granularity”, which was previously impractical, if not impossible. Much like the quote above that recognized a subtler shift away from directly “thrashing” citizens, the Social Credit System which can use “data regarding many aspects of an individual’s private and public behavior” [now do vaccine passports make more sense regardless of the efficacy of the vaccine?] evaluates “how good a citizen that person is”. Do that exhibit characteristics and behaviors showing they adhere to the Common Rules and stay within the desired Guard Rails? Digital technology, the common learning experiences it can easily provide, and the tremendous data it produces when tied to standards offers “For the first time, this powerfully ubiquitous tool offers governments the ability to design social and cultural stability with reasonable efficiency and cost.”

It’s supposedly a way around “traditional authoritarianism” being implemented that represents a “new technological reality that the Chinese are using well, and the Americans and the West, so far, are not.” It may be true that the Chinese are successfully targeting the cognitive, social, and emotional realms of their citizens, but the truth is the West, and especially the US, are trying to keep up. I think it’s why we have had so much organized deceit around the Common Core learning standards and what competency-based education really is. I think it’s why we have the overlap laid out here between the targets being aimed at in the name of the Pandemic or Structural Racism and what must be transformed in the name of a new kind of education to be grounded and shrouded by the term Equity. It must be Equitable because it aims at All Hearts, Hands, Minds, and Souls.

The banner being raised and the rationale being offered change depending on the audience. The targets never do. Well, maybe, the lexicon of vocabulary does, but it’s why we keep track of the targets by the function of the tools used. Learning Standards being a misunderstood, global favorite.

Ubiquitous being one of my favorite words. Good to be able to spot Ubiquity, even when it utilizes a variety of words to obscure its continual presence.

See you in 2022.

Tianxia Aligned to Thinking of the Person as a Platform: Physical, Psychological, and Social

Tianxia is a phrase translated from Chinese aspirations that caught my eye because it fits so well not only with what I see being mandated via K-12 learning standards all over the world, but also with False Narratives and Accurate, but Irrelevant, Narratives that seem to be used to distract parents from the true focus of changes they might rebel against. Personally, I think parents would be really outraged by a politician or principal openly admitting that they seek to control each student’s ‘cognitive system’ so they can control “what they can do or be” in the future. That’s far worse than simply hyping White Privilege or Gender as a Social Construct. Both those examples that now rightfully have many parents in an uproar are simply components of larger, more invasive aims that we need to talk about.

The Chinese idea of Tianxia, like other aspirational terms we have illustrated here at ISC like Upravleniye or Dirigisme, become useful shorthands that allow us to know it when we see it because we now have a concept that illustrates an effect or plan that would otherwise make no sense. Tianxia struck me as akin to an invisible and unconscious Mental Habit of Mind being fostered that guides, and even controls, future decision-making, perception, motivation, and likely behaviors since it is defined as “a common choice made by all peoples in the world, or a universal agreement in the ‘hearts’ of all people.” In fact, after I first outlined this post, I came across this https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/commission-on-information-disorder-final-report/ released this week. Those recommendations simply reinforced my sense from reading materials and reports being pushed all over the globe that there was a common effort to control what must be thought, believed, and valued.

That Aspen Commission insisted such common beliefs must be held, mentally and emotionally, “at all levels of American society, paving the way for sincere collective progress.” That emphasis on collectivism  fits with the Chinese emphasis, as would Aspen’s insistence that We the People now begin to build “trust across division, which is a precondition for societal cohesion.” Collective Progress and Cohesion in some kind of alliterative motto then rely on Control over each Individual’s Cognitive System. There’s a pattern here! I know there are skeptics reading this that think I am only inferring that aim because of my analysis in my book Credentialed to Destroy that this is how Competency-Based Education grounded in Learning Standards like the Common Core actually work, but like a seasonal Holiday Ronco commercial from my childhood: “Wait! There’s more!”

Back in early October the National Science Foundation in the US, which has done so much to finance the now no longer mysterious ‘constructivism’ in reading, math, and science because it turns out teaching the actual subject matter is passe, released its “Next Generation Earth Systems Science” vision urging a shift in emphasis from the physical sciences primarily to including the social sciences. Things begin to make far more sense when we remember that Pedagogy and Psychology are Social Sciences. When they are then rounded in Neuroscience we suddenly have an excellent tool for the classroom to combine the physical sciences, with social sciences’ normative aims as to what society can become. All it supposedly takes is for the typical student, and then citizen, to have the desired values, attitudes, and beliefs instilled in them via prescribed learning experiences.

The always useful Bibliography to that Initiative’s paper linked a 2013 article from Systems Research and Behavioral Science called “Understanding Systems Science: A Visual and Integrative Approach” that included just such an explicit aim. It also helpfully provided a graphic illustrating “The Function of Systems Science in the Field of Sciences.”  Cognitive Systems were one of 5 listed Areas of the Phenomenological Sciences–Physical, Living, Social, and Technological Systems are the others–that will need to be controlled in the 21st Century. This will allow for all 5 systems to then feed into a desired “Systems Design” vision where collective decision-making, problem solving, and design can all be guided from afar to yield the needed Values and Aesthetics. See how the aims of Tianxia fit?

It fits in even better once we become aware of a paper by a Chinese professor from Lanzhou University published in the International Journal of Education, Learning and Development in mid-September called “The Construction of a Learning Field Based on Lewin’s Equation for Behavior”. It calls for thinking of each person as a platform with the targeted human elements listed as the “physical, psychological, and social.” Redefined as competencies in education, those aims would correspond to the Cognitive, Intrapersonal, and Interpersonal that were the topic of a 2014 White House conference and now are tied to mandated Whole Child learning standards. Without outlining that paper fully at this point, it also aims to hack the cognitive system to rearrange its synapses in order to create ‘fitness’ “for the modern, interconnected world.” Now we have a vision of learning that seeks to “redesign and reconstruct [each student’s] inner psychological structure.”

We have comparable aims in the US, but they tend to get obscured as Civic Education initiatives or Personalized, student-centered learning. Such nice euphemisms for aims that function just like Tianxia and the Human Being as a Redesignable Platform to fit new political and normative aims. Rather than summarize any of these papers with a common aim in this post as I wade back into writing, let me call attention to one more influential recent paper with global aspirations. https://ncee.org/quick-read/rethinking-education-systems-for-tomorrow-a-conversation-with-marc-tucker/ is from the group that originated the first set of Learning Standards back in the 90s . Tucker also wants to make sure that students all “develop the social and emotional attributes to function effectively in relation to others” which rather fits with all this emphasis now on working together as a collective, as does the “need to understand and develop empathy for others near and far who may be very different from them.”

Beyond that emphasis on the psychological and social attributes, we get another Cognitive hack of students being trained to use prescribed abstract concepts as they “draw on that deep understanding of multiple disciplines to analyze the enormous challenges society now faces” and draw also on the cognitive “ability to interweave the study of theory and concepts with the constant application of theory to real-world problems great and small.” Those aims are what makes a school, district, or country Top Performing in the 21st Century, even though even a cursory knowledge of history would be a tip-off that applying theories of what might be is a poor model for redesigning what already exists. That, of course, would be what Tucker’s paper decries as “the accumulation of facts and rehearsed procedures” instead of the sought, far more flexible to upending the social status quo: “deep understanding of core concepts and the structure of knowledge.”

Nobody then has the pesky facts to notice an Inapt Metaphor being used to hack the Cognitive System. In the next post we will cover all these papers with a common, global, and internalized aim for students as “adaptive agents” who will practice experiences to “take the [conceptual} frameworks they had learned to understand in one part of the world and use them to gain a new and more creative perspective on another part of the world.” There’s a reason such Higher Order Thinking Skills are considered a prerequisite to envisioning a new society, economy, culture, and even a new ethos for humanity itself.

It all goes back to hacking the Cognitive System and grounding its perceptions and interpretations in emotion and useful transformative images. All these game plans and more plan to take us to a common destination. Shouldn’t we all know the Itinerary before inadvertently climbing aboard? Especially since it is so detailed if we know where to look?

Here we go again here at ISC.

Enshrining a Neural Expansive Universe of Obligation via Collective Cognition and Calling It Good Citizenship

Consider this post to be the mother of all syntheses from this past year of confessional online webinars coupled to insights that go back to the research from my more prescient than ever book Credentialed to Destroy. At one point I even considered using the post title “Most Apt Analogy Ever!” to describe just how well the metaphor of this blog that there is a quietly imposed, via education, ‘serfs collar’ of owed obedience planned for each of us all over this globe in the 21st century. Education and communications generally, including the media and public policy think tanks, are a big part of this coordinated effort. I have known that for years, but recently the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US (that is so involved with the absurd response to COVID in the US) put much of what I have found into perspective. https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/118/27/e2025764118.full.pdf explains the pandemic, learning standards in education, climate change hype, and allegations of ‘structural racism’ and inequality generally are all tools for “Stewardship of Global Collective Behavior”.

Inferring is one thing, but that’s quite the admission, isn’t it? Now the term–Expansive Universe of Obligation–is not in that paper. It comes from a civics curricula Facing History and Ourselves has created for K-12 teachers and students on the Holocaust and Human Behavior, but I recognized it functioning the same as what already has a tag on this blog–Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory. We also covered it years ago as being part of the Hong Kong Citizenship K-12 Curriculum imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. I guess the new phrase gets the function without any notoriety, but in two separate webinars this summer on the new ‘history/civics’ Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy (EAD) I heard the presenters hype creating a belief in the students that they have a responsibility to enact what was laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That this is what Democracy entitles all people to in the 21st century.

I even clarified through the CHAT function that students were to be taught that Democracy now means an “Expansive Universe of Obligation coupled to an Economic Justice Vision”. The speaker, who works for the Illinois Holocaust Museum, thought that was a lovely, succinct new definition of what is intended. So when the White Paper linked to above mentions that ” A consolidated transdisciplinary approach to understanding and managing human collective behavior will be a monumental challenge, yet it is a necessary one” and that “decisions that impact the structure of society should not be guided by voices of individual shareholders but instead by values [functions like Principles or Ideals from previous post] such as non-maleficence, benevolence, autonomy, and justice,” they mean that they will create “ethical standards” to be imposed via a new vision of education globally that will impose “a globally held normative framework for deciding what constitutes healthy societies or desirable socio-technical interactions.”

As that paper detailed, this stewardship process has to intervene at a personalized level that gets at beliefs as to ‘perceived reality,’ in order to inculcate desired ‘feedback loops’ to address ‘injustice and inequality.’ It must also get at ‘individual motivations’ and provide new ‘ethics’ for future behavior. All of that fits both with how personalized learning in a Competency-Based Framework really work, especially when coupled to a digital environment delivering some of the desired experiences. None of this is an accident, since I recognized one of the institutions–the Santa Fe Institute–from both the proclaimed (ny name, not function) Marxist aspirations for the US of some of its fellows using education, as well as Santa Fe’s Artificial Societies research. The first matters because Samuel Bowles has now moved on to selling his vision in terms of “Good Citizenship’ in his 2016 The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens. Add the word ‘Citizen’ to our list of hijacked Abstract terms to be wary of.

The second matters because David A. Lane’s “Artificial Worlds and Economics” paper from Santa Fe, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation [both heavily involved with learning standards and pushing Constructivism in education], laid out a new theory of learning that it contrasted as follows:

In the rationalistic view [the old transmission of knowledge/textbook/lecture approach], the world is composed of definite objects, properties and relations, and ‘learning’ is the process whereby an agent forms a mental model of the world that correctly describes these features. Learning in classifier systems is acquiring circumstance-specific behavioral propensities that function together to produce reward. That is, the agent is learning how to act in the world, rather than how to describe it.

Bingo!! Best explanation I have read for Constructivism in subject-disciplines, competency-based education, and all the hyping now about Conceptual Frameworks to trigger ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’ in all students. Those HOTS skills have to be assessed now at least annually in the US to keep track of each student’s needed ‘internal states’ and the mental ‘classifier system’ the student is using.

A learning-based theory directly models the transformation from information-stream to actions.That is, all the mechanisms that process the information stream on the basis of which the agent is assumed to act are handled internally to the theory. In principle, agents in such a theory could learn to ‘choose’–but the theory would be responsible for describing how the agents identify situations in which they regard choice as appropriate, how they organize what they perceive about the environment into the ingredients of a problem of choice, and how they develop the methodology that they apply when they go about the act of choosing.

I guess we could define Misinformation then as factual information that incompatible with the Theories needed for this invisible stewardship? Remember when I explained that UNESCO wanted to make education globally about getting at decision-making processes and how the Rockefeller Foundation in 2014 began to focus on getting at ‘anticipatory assumptions’ students were using? The above quote is saying the same thing. These are all a means to get at:

the internal states…agents [use] to progressively ‘model’ their world: that is, to generate broad categories that describe the world, to develop plausible hypotheses about the relationships between these categories…and to refine these categories and hypotheses on the basis of increasing experience.

See now why Knowledge has become about Concepts, Principles, and other abstractions with a supplied illustration to fit a Narrative instead of a body of facts as in the past? In late July the Institute for New Economic Thinking put out “The One-Earth Balance Sheet” explicitly stating that “a new collective mental map is needed” because “siloed thinking created many of our problems with inequality, injustice and planetary damage.”  Now all the Misinformation hype makes more sense. We must not have Information circulating that disagrees with this desired new Collective Mental Map. It’s also why UNESCO is pushing the idea now of an Infodemic that is as dangerous to its plans as the Pandemic. https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2021/08/16/reflections-on-the-covid-19-second-wave-in-india/ Education now is needed to create desired ‘internal states’ in students to “help create shared efforts for a common understanding of shared threats.”

Anyone in a back-to-school sudden hyping of Humanities and STEM should recall that the needed collective mental model calls “to evolve trans-disciplinary thinking that integrates the natural, social, biological sciences and arts by transcending disciplinary boundaries.” Now imagine those concepts for the Collective Mental Map coming from those who admit wanting “active management and guidance” of collective behavior using internalized mental maps and new values. I am fascinated to see so much fascination with “vaccine refusal” in a paper from people who want to ‘steward’ our behavior with no right to say no. Who want to create the Theories through which people “model the world’.

I want to close with a recent anecdote from my alma mater that it is calling the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative. It let me know about “our common humanity” and how the term Citizenship bolded just like that was NOT being used “as a narrow marker of legal status but as a source of identity we all share as human beings, a collective identity that complements our individual commitments and associations”. In other words, there is a vision being put out by educational institutions at all levels that each of us has an obligation to “transcend our existing positions as we work together to solve the deep challenges that face our society” and that this obligation is “the work of citizenship“. Italicized just like that.

If alumni of highly-ranked colleges and universities are getting these kinds of lectures unsolicited, just imagine what is occurring on campus with the young people. I mentioned FHAO above and the materials being used as part of the professional development webinars for the EAD Roadmap. This unit https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-holocaust-and-human-behavior was referenced in the webinar along with the question “What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?” Anyone not convinced this is not ultimately about getting at that internalized Classifier System within each student and the teachers as well should read this concluding Learning Goal that came up in connection with what is supposed to be ‘integrated history and civics’. This really is NOT about a body of knowledge being transmitted at all.

Make connections between universal themes related to democracy, citizenship, racism, and antisemitism that this history raises and the world they live in today. Understand their responsibilities as citizens of the world to make choices that help bring about a more human, just, and compassionate world.

Neuroeducation via Learning Standards to force Neuroliberalism: Such a Fruitful Site for Intervention

The original title for this post on the admissions about Psychological Governance (PG) and its declared ties to ‘standards-based’ education reforms and ‘competency frameworks’ was going to be “Shaping Citizen Identity and Social Practice so that Governance is Inside-Out, not a Building”. That gets at the function nicely and what must be, and is being, changed by law and governmental edicts as a matter of public policy. It’s also an aim that has been lied about repeatedly over the years in a most coordinated manner by people with ties to public policy think tanks and the philanthropies that fund them. I don’t think any of this is coincidental as I will explain. As I was outlining this post, however, the admissions about what neuroeducation and PG are were even more explicit than I remembered. Plus, the Hewlett Foundation, which has been heavily involved with education reforms via its Deeper Learning Initiative to prescribe the conceptual frameworks to be internalized within each students’ minds (the micro level of reforms),  moved forward in December 2020 to the needed shifts at a more macro-level in what it is calling its Economy and Society Grantmaking Initiative that seek to explicitly move beyond ‘Neoliberalism’ to get to a ‘Fairer Tomorrow’ as the our old instigator-in-chief the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences is calling it.

We are going to deal with the micro-level today, although I have tracked down, downloaded, and read all the cited macro reforms that apparently can now be put in place via higher ed and the Academy because the K-12 learning standards aligned to neural pathways are fully in place. Let’s start off with the definitions of Neuroliberalism and PG contained in the 2017 Psychological Governance and Public Policy: Governing the mind, brain and behavior. They are essentially the Goal and the envisioned Tool of Choice.

Neoroliberalism is a vision to change the contents of people’s heads using education, cognitive restructuring and behavioural exercises…[to get to] a more inclusive and emancipatory politics. Psychological Governance are interventions targeted at the interface of conscious and non-conscious thought and action, connecting emotional response and rational deliberation…The exercise of psychological governance is a form of regulation of the social good through targeting the minds of individuals as a means of changing their behaviour…with a view to normalizing ‘an interrelated set of psycho-emotional’ attributes, dispositions, attitudes and behaviours associated with emotional regulation/intelligence/literacy, resilience, stoicism, optimism, character, hope, aspiration and community-mindedness…

I was revisiting my ISC posts from the spring of 2018 when I was working on the nexus of the think tanks and their seemingly organized deceit around education over the weekend. I came across the advocacy for instilled Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (the Reflective System!) within the mind of each student and the accompanying quote about how what air is to the lungs and blood is to the heart, experience is to the brain. I guess the author of the analogy wanted to remind readers that the brain is a physiological organ of the body with a purpose, but, in my mind, pumping blood and breathing air don’t change how the heart and lungs function. Experience, though, changes the brain at a physiological–predictable and observable–level and that universal reality of being a human being is precisely what standards-based reforms and competency frameworks have always been intended to quietly manipulate. That manipulation embodies a new vision for “an understanding, empathetic citizenship [grounded] in a ‘universal’ dimension of human experience and identity.”

That’s why john a. powell in Racing to Justice wants to hype racism in the US as a reason to target students at the level of their automatic decision-making systems. It’s why the 2020 Behavioral Insights book from MIT argues for a vision of education that recognizes “there are many environments that individuals struggle to change on their own, indicating a change in politics or policy is needed…to gain a healthy democracy and civic agency.” Sounds like just the thing Hewlett now wants to fund under its Moral Economy or Law and Political Economy Initiatives, doesn’t it? Getting back to our micro-level discussion though, that sought civic agency needs  “the use of behavioral insights can actually help build that agency.” Here’s the next paragraph on how–

At the most basic level, behavioral insights can be used to nudge people to take part in civic activities in the first place. Although this nudge may be operating on the Automatic System, the goal is to make sure that someone takes part in in an activity that engages their Reflective System [where it gets to use the instilled Fuzzy Concept Map]. Then, behavioral insights can be used to design better deliberative mechanisms. Many of these activities take place in groups, but behavioral science shows that groups are vulnerable to issues like group polarization, availability cascades, and self-censorship. We can’t just assume that good reasoning prevails in deliberative settings–but evidence-based design makes it more likely.

Both of these books insist that this nudging and the behavioral insights work is done in “full public view,” that there is no “conspiracy to govern through expert knowledge on the mind, brain and behaviour,” and that “there is no sense it was a secret cabal unleashing a programme of control of citizens around Whitehall.” None of those assertions, however, dovetail with the ties to mandated learning standards globally that quietly impose a vision with “implicit moral assumptions about the kinds of young people we ought to cultivate” by targeting their Automatic Systems through the classroom and digital learning and manipulating their Reflective Systems. When the footnotes in these books take me to the 2012 Special Feature of the journal Ecology and Society called “Nudging Evolution” that laid out how to manipulate conceptual frameworks to gain new useful belief systems to allow a reenvisioned social construction of reality, it becomes clear just how targeted both the Automatic AND Reflective visions are in this vision of education reforms.

Learning Standards, and the curricula and assessments they quietly impose, then simply become a euphemism for what author Daniel W. Bromley called “Rules to Live by”. In this vision, instead of the purpose of education being to gain an understanding of reality itself, we are to get a replacement–

a workable view of the world out there, and its meaning to us, [which] comes to fruition (is realized) as a process of convergence…this alternative approach authorizes an epistemic community to engage in a process whose very purpose is the creation of convergence. When a consensus emerges among members of that epistemic community, then this consensus might as well come to be regarded as the accepted account of that observed and apprehended reality. In other words, what is really out there is the agreed upon account presented to us by those whose job it is to study and analyze what is out there, and then report back to the rest of us.

So in this vision of the social construction of reality it is the media, the academy, and public policy think tanks who are to provide us with the agreed upon account, which we are to simply accept. No wonder I angered so many when I wrote Credentialed to Destroy and then started this blog. Learning standards, in fact, prevent the ability for most students to develop “our own idiosyncratic meanings”  and they force students to come to a “shared understanding” of global challenges and observed problems. Those are necessary for social systems, including individual people, to evolve toward “a desired outcome in the future, and the preferred means by which that outcome might be brought about.” Further,

In essence, each individual must work their way through this process by continually ‘updating’ their beliefs, as new evidence emerges, in order to reach some consensus on the exact problem, plausible solutions to that problem, and the range of feasible instruments by which the solution might be achieved…Reason giving is the essential component of democratic discourse in which a gradual evolution in mental models is the point of that discourse.

In PG, and its favorite tool–learning standards–we see a phenomenon going on around us that is insufficiently understood–“the role of the state in responding to and producing particular subjectivities.” It’s every bit as intrusive if it is the local mayor and Chamber of Commerce pushing for this invisible manipulation, as it is if Congress enacts it (which it has). In actuality, all these levels and institutions coordinate around the use of neuroeducation for 21st century transformations and “the broader rubric of psychological governance as a strategy for molding the adolescent brain, behaviour, character, and resilience.” Remember all the references we keep encountering to Virtues and Aristotle, apart from all the mindfulness mandates grounded in Buddhist practices? PG recommends either turning to “ancient Western or Eastern philosophies,” such as Aristotle, to “provide philosophies for living, tools for happy, virtuous and well-regulated emotional lives.”

How ironic, huh? Let’s finish with the quotes from the title that bring this all together.

Neuroeducation is still very much an effort to make pedagogy more effective in terms of teaching competencies that are dictated by standards committees…in neuroeducation, neural pathways are the real and imagined site of relevant moral and pedagogical interventions…what makes the brain such a fruitful site of intervention is that it is located at the threshold, intimately connected as it is to the senses, between the body and its social networks and environments, and that it is plastic, changeable, malleable. The brain is a site of encounter amenable to manipulation…the objective of teaching pupils to ‘respond not react’ to stressful, emotionally charged situations has put the brain and, in particular, the prefrontal cortex as the location of ‘executive function’–as that which must be crafted in order to achieve the most positive outcomes.

See how ALL students can learn or succeed and why Equity mandates are so crucial and ubiquitous now? They all force or flow from this recrafting of the brain quite literally to supposedly force a more normative vision of the future. Let me close with a quote which followed the above and note that by writing about these aims and methods here today they are ‘unnoticed’ no more.

What goes unnoticed, however, is the difference between the brain as a real organ in people’s heads and the brain as an ethical object that motivates new practices and behaviors.

Interesting isn’t it how all the offered solutions to the hype misrepresenting the nature of the Common Core and competency frameworks turn out to envision an education remolding the brain as an ethical object? That thus “Nudge Evolution’? That this is also ultimately the solution being pushed as the solution for ‘systemic racism’?

These days nothing is a coincidence when it comes to education. It’s simply too useful a tool and the changes are mostly hard to observe, unless you know who to quote as they proclaim their intentions and methods of choice.

 

Mappae Mundi, Psychological Governance, and 21st Century Citizenship Priming

Let’s start with a quote that will help us recognize the bullseye that needs to be manipulated by education reforms tied to social and political transformations. This blog and my earlier book laid out in depth that those transformations are the undisputed goal.

To acquire knowledge we need an apparatus of concepts to classify and organize our sensory experiences–the more so as the latter become, through all kinds of measuring equipment, elaborate extensions of those experiences…Beyond our immediate sensory experiences, with or without artificial extensions, we use inferences, hypotheses, speculations, conjectures and refutations as part of our genetic and acquired configuration…It may sound trivial but: you can only see what you can see. Yet even in the realm of sensory perceptions philosophical questions may arise about the relationship between those perceptions and the associated experiences, information and knowledge. There is always a lot of filtering and selection going on, followed by complex cognitive processes which add ‘meaning’ to the perceptions–or simply ignore them.

That’s what was being manipulated that gave rise to what were misleadingly termed the reading, math, and science ‘wars’–pretending the dispute was about how to properly teach a subject. As the book Mappae Mundi put it, “human beings are able to conceive new ideas, put these new ideas into practice and transmit their innovations that come after them”. That capacity, however, is not evenly distributed among human beings and is thus not equitable. Even more crucially though, those who possess that capacity, really do not fit well into a collective. Inventors of new ideas may not simply accept the transformational “myths, maps, and models” those with political power insist that they use.

the idea of myth as a narrative account intended to make sense of the present by explaining it in terms of events and developments in the past…[This interpretation of myth] has the advantage of not drawing a sharp dividing line between ‘true’ and ‘untrue’ images of the past…The standards by which we measure the validity of our myths evolve; but this applies to our maps and models as well. Maps are a pictorial means of orientation and communication…The standards by which we measure the quality of maps depends on the purpose for which we wish to use the maps…Loosely speaking, any scheme representing associations between events may be called a model…In the process, the complex forces at work are interpreted and simplified. Even rudimentary and relatively simple models can serve important heuristic purposes by pointing to significant problems for further research…Myths, maps, and models represent three modes of discourse, that is, of thinking and communicating, which are, respectively, mainly narrative, descriptive or explanatory.

Useful to control in other words for anyone wishing transformation in the world that currently exists, but not just at the level of conscious thought. In July 1999 American Psychologist published an important article entitled “The Unbearable Automaticity of Being” that recognized a crucial aspect used by learning standards and the conceptual frameworks they mandate. School curriculum can be created to manipulate “mental processes that are put into motion by features of the environment and that operate outside of conscious awareness and guidance.” See how useful controlling Myths, Maps, and Models can be once they become embodied in the neural architecture of the brain as Habits of Mind that can be activated without any conscious thought, but still actively guiding both perception and behavior? That article quoted a 1911 insight of philosopher Alfred Whitehead we should also be aware of:

It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle–they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.

Controlling conceptual frameworks instilled in students at both a conscious thought and an automatic level means that when the student believes they are making their own decisions–launching a cavalry charge to use the above metaphor–they are still coordinating their life in a way designed by others. When it is unconscious, it uses what that article called “a direct and automatic route provided from the external environment to action tendencies, via perception.” Makes the requirement that student achievement now be measured by action required–‘performance standards’ as the measure of learning make more sense, doesn’t it? The student as automaton, completely unaware of how much his or her future action has been programmed into them. A useful tool for anyone with aspirations for a compliant collective and disdain for the historic Western conception of the individual.

That includes john a. powell from Racing to Justice to build on the previous post, whose interest in dreams in the book, made it crystal clear that he too wants to reconfigure K-12 and higher ed to use the psychological fact that:

Mental representations designed to perform a certain function will perform that function once activated, regardless of where the activation comes from. The representation does not ‘care’ about the source of the activation…The activated mental representation is like a button being pushed; it can be pushed by one’s finger intentionally (e.g., turning on the electric coffeemaker) or accidentally (e.g., by the cat on the countertop) or by a decision made in the past (e.g., by setting the automatic turn-on mechanism the night before). In whatever way the start button is pushed, the mechanism subsequently behaves in the same way.

Think of it as BF Skinner’s aims, but not his methods, because the values, attitudes, and beliefs–the categories of thought whether myths, maps, images, models, lenses, or frames–become the activated mental representations guiding perception and behavior. Across the political spectrum, this bullseye appears to be what everyone wants to use education to remodel and control. It’s also the source of a great deal of deceit. Much of the deceit comes from think tanks, which makes far more sense given these totalitarian aims, when we become aware of a book from 2017 called Psychological Governance and Public Policy: Governing the Mind, Brain and Behavior. No wonder there was such an organized effort to misdirect public attention away from the documented revelations in Credentialed to Destroy, especially in the areas of how learning standards, competency frameworks, and Tranzi OBE (as defined in book) operate.

They all utilize both the manipulation of nonconscious processes, as well as when the student believes they are making their own decisions consciously. Why on earth would a think tank that quietly advocates that governments and the law promote “the widespread use of psychological governance techniques” be forthcoming about such aims? Utilise the methods of 21st century governance that rely on

the ‘two-brain model’ that succeeds in gaining policy traction precisely because it does not challenge liberal democratic assumptions of political freedom…Certain nudges are aimed at cultivating deliberation and rational responses, whilst others seek to bypass conscious awareness to achieve rational responses through irrational (heuristic) means.

That 2017 book recognised valid concerns that such psychological governance techniques could be considered by some to be overly intrusive in a free society, but rejected that contention since there was supposedly no covering up of this nudging. My point in today’s post is to reject that contention because this targeting is being made in K-12 learning standards that virtually everyone writing books and white papers on behalf of think tanks is misrepresenting. That deceit then leaves no impediment to each student’s very mind, brain and behavior becoming a means where

Key to the exercise of psychological governance in this case, therefore, is a set of technological developments that represent certain tools and techniques necessary for the practical workings of governmental power…[It allows] the political and cultural normalisation of a therapeutic behaviour change agenda. In educational settings from early years to university, numerous policy reports reflect a wide, influential consensus that an interrelated set of psycho-emotional attributes, dispositions and behaviours…can be taught, learned and transferred over time as an essential foundation for successful education and life functioning…All mainstream political parties now agree that the inner states of human subjects determine the relationship between psycho-emotional responses and behaviours in complex, non-linear ways.

Ways that are now being deliberately manipulated via education globally to create the desired citizen of tomorrow, ready for the ‘wicked problems’ of 21st century living. For our own good supposedly we are seeing a new vision of 21st century education grounded in values, attitudes, and beliefs and controlling the instilled mental representations, operating largely unconsciously where

psychology is a source of knowledge and practice with regard to policies and initiatives designed to make live: to impel people to live in particular ways, to endorse certain views of the good or responsible life, to promote and normalise ways of achieving this good life.

In the next post,  I will track this aim through particular curriculum like a 21st century conception of American Democracy grounded in a new vision of History and Civics, as well as Global Education Futures new Learning Ecosystems: An Emerging Praxis for The Future of Education.  These qualities for a governmentally mandated and psychologically instilled ‘good life,’ with its need dispositions and attributes, are ALL communitarian in their vision. They all have the effect that at least john powell laid out explicitly as the real purpose of all this attention on race–to target and then rearrange–“the meaning of the Western self, to bring us into a new relationship with the other and the self. We can and must expand the circle of human concern and attend to our structures and the work they are doing.”

Rather than quoting more from powell that ties to the next post’s specific curricula or restate his tied to both K-12 education and higher ed, let me point out he has a tag for anyone interested in previous posts. Let me close by pointing out that he covered the importance of “framing and priming” because “what we call something can be consequential, affecting the way we think and what we do in relation to our conceptualization of it.” Mandating desired categories of thought to guide our perception and thought at an unconscious level are a major target of his book Racing to Justice as a way to get to his vision of a just society laid out here in a way that will fit well into the next post.

as humans, we are living beings, inherently connected with one another and with the natural world. So although our brains develop partly through categorizing and organizing in ways that can be challenging in a diverse society, our hearts orchestrate a system hardwired to care and respond empathically to one another’s suffering and joy. We can’t allow structures–economic or political–to block or blunt these connections…To embrace our commonality…will require new selves, who are citizens in the true sense of the term: individual, interconnected, and inclusive in ways that reflect the highest aspirations of our nation and our species.

Those new aspirations, to be instilled neurally at an unconscious level, just happen to be the target of the Roadmap to American Democracy and Learning Ecosystems for the global or species level. I guess we could call this the Instilled Mental Map Trilogy.

Promulgating a Personality Manipulating System However One Regards Cries of Structural White Supremacy

The word ‘promulgate’ has several meanings per the always useful OED, but today I am using it in the sense of “to make widespread, as, promulgate learning and culture.” Lots of stories in recent days and weeks of the curricula planned beyond the links I have provided, including a Fox News story on Oregon’s Department of Education revising its learning standards, https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/08/how-socio-emotional-learning-became-another-vehicle-for-anti-white-racism-in-schools/ and https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/02/12/activists-outline-their-plan-to-push-black-lives-matter-in-classroom/ as recent examples. These are all rightfully outraged, but erroneously create the impression that there is a special place where these types of emotionally evocative curricula (to go back to the point of the previous post) can be avoided. No, not until the actual source of the contagion, and its true target, is understood.

That’s where ISC comes in as usual using my quite literally huge library of materials, which I mine to put things into perspective. The category White Supremacy is an example of an idea being used in the same twofold process first described in a Dutch book by Fred Polak from the 1950s called The Image of the Future. It won lots of European awards and fellowships for its author, including one at the inaugural program of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in 1954-55. Polak became close friends with the same Kenneth Boulding (see tag) who would create the systems science vision of education and helped found the social science-oriented General Systems Research Group that same year with fellows at CASBS. Kenneth’s wife Elise taught herself Dutch in order to be able to translate and abridge Polak’s book into English.  That’s what I am quoting from:

Man’s attempts to push back the frontier of the unknown…can be seen as a twofold process: the development of ideas concerning the ideal future as it ought to be, and the unfolding of the real future in history, partly as a result of man’s purposeful intervention…The relationship between conceptions of the time-dimension, the future, and the idealistic ethical objectives of mankind for that future, has been a neglected one and offers a fruitful field for research.

Well, it’s no longer neglected and has been a major source for behavioral science research of the kind laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy and now on ISC where we cover the twists and turns of a new vision of education and student learning. Neither actually seeks a return to the past or a ‘classical time.’ Rather, this new vision seeks concepts and images that:

picture a radically different world in an Other time, and they are imaginatively shaped in a way that they can be applied on behalf of mankind…The more general theory of images may be thought of as ‘eidetics’. This concept, derived from the Greek eidelon, ‘image,’ has a long history…[Not] enough emphasis [has been put] on the significance of the time-dimension in the dynamics of image formation and image propagation…attention must be given to the dynamics of image formation, both in the public and private mind, and the function of images in the economy of the individual personality and the social, national, or cultural group.

What do images mean, how are the meanings transmitted, and how do they affect individual and social behavior? Under what conditions do images change, and why? What can accelerate or retard these changes? How amenable are they to purposeful manipulation, in both the short and the long run?

The answer to the last question is quite amenable to purposeful manipulation, which is precisely how we should start seeing the New York Times’ 1619 Project or Howard Zinn’s work as well. It’s not about history as a body of knowledge, where someone is erroneously changing the facts of the past. This is actually about how education, as a social science, is a tool to where “social science is increasingly making use of these images to increase its analytic power.” That analysis is only the beginning though as this later quote recognizes. The point is to “control social processes” and redirect them to what john a. powell [see tag] described in his 2012 book Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society as the use of allegations of White Supremacy to change our categories of thinking to force “a renewed commitment by all of us to fulfill the promise of a truly democratic society.”

Before getting back to powell and his intention to use White Supremacy as a means to target and alter the unconscious mind to create his desired new kind of self and new kind of citizen, let’s quote again from Polak because powell’s techniques seem to be exploiting Polak’s insights.

The image of the future as such may be an important tool for interdisciplinary social science. The possibility that science may be able to predict and control social processes through analysis of existing images of the future, both private and public, and direct a change of these images, is a thought-provoking one… it is still not too soon to begin pondering the problems of controlled image-change. How could such a possibility be fitted into a democratic system of government?..If we pause to think what can be done with the minds of men…

And women. Boys, and girls. It has happened and is happening even more now. These aims of reconstruction are how we should view not just these White Supremacy curricula currently receiving so much attention, but also the Pandemic, the Holocaust, Reconstruction, the Charlottesville Hoax with the tiki torches, and, finally, the Insurrection at the Capitol. It’s about the Images of the Future  and their potential to incite and justify transformational change in the minds and hearts of students at all levels of society. To quote powell again from his Afterword:

Although our brains develop partly though categorizing and organizing in ways that can be challenging in a diverse society, our hearts orchestrate a system that is hardwired to care and to respond empathically to one another’s suffering and joy. We can’t allow structures–economic or political–to block or blunt these connections…To embrace our commonality in an increasingly diverse public space will require new selves, who are citizens in the truest sense of the term: individual, interconnected, and inclusive in ways that reflect the highest aspirations of our nation and our species. This is a heavy lift for all of us, and it is particularly heavy for those who continue to organize around the myth of the radically isolated individual. The alternative–a just society–requires major realignments with respect to corporations and a remaking of our institutions and ourselves. But it is a dream worth dreaming and a fight worth fighting for.

I think that Dream fits with the essence of what ‘public policy’ is always about, whatever the expressed goals of any think tank, is, which is why we keep getting cries for School Choice that actually enable the planned mechanism of change when examined closely. I think it’s why there has been so much deceit surrounding the Common Core, competency frameworks, and especially CtD’s coverage of what I nicknamed Tranzi OBE. There is a desire for this kind of change to a just society grounded in the minds and hearts of a new kind of citizen. Powell mentioned the unconscious target, but his footnote went to a 2002 book Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious . It is that adaptive unconscious, a term I had never encountered before, that I immediately recognized as the true realm of Tranzi OBE, the actual language in charters for schools and districts, mission statements for private schools now, the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks, state Portrait of a Graduate mandates, and other redirections with the same aim.

Let’s finish this Part 1 on Images of the Future, the ‘adaptive unconscious’ with its “distinctive characteristic ways of interpreting the social environment and stable motives that guide peoples behavior”, and how it can be manipulated by quoting the ‘personality mediating system’ it creates. Yes, I substituted the word ‘manipulating’ for the original term ‘mediating,, but it fits with what media actually means and does. Media, whether print, broadcast, or social platforms for dissemination, has now set itself up as the Lighthouse that gets human perception to notice and then the Interpreter that explains the to be accepted significance of what got noticed. It is no accident that the Oregon pamphlet on Equity in its new curricula intends to target the ‘lived experiences’ of the students as the area of change to supposedly end White Supremacy. It gets at what Walter Mischel in 1968 found in a review of personality research (my numbering to ease the categories):

people possess a unique set of cognitive and affective variables that determine how they react to the social world. They describe five components of this ‘personality mediating system’ that guide people’s behavior: [1] encodings (people’s construals of themselves, others, and situations); [2] expectancies about themselves and the social world; [3] affect and emotions; [4] goals and values; and [5] competencies and self-regulatory plans. In short, they argue, people have distinctive ‘if-then’ rules that determine how they respond in a particular situation; for example, ‘If I feel I’m being ignored, then I get angry and aggressive.’ [Remember] a fundamental property of the adaptive unconscious is that people have no access to the ways in which it selects, interprets, and evaluates information.

The student may not know that, but personalized learning, formative assessments, and holistic, evidence-based strategies can all ferret that out, call it personalized learning, and use curricula to instill the desired images, ethics, categories of thought, and interpretive tools to be changed. Feelings and emotions can be changed through role play. Digital learning is a particularly rich source for mining and manipulating this ‘personality mediating system.’ The system each and every student has so targeting it for change is equitable and coincidentally, conducive to the sought change to “ourselves and institutions”. The other part of the rallying cry and civil rights mandates of Equity and Excellence turns out to mean getting at students at the level of what they want, think, and feel. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/excellence-means-education-putting-what-we-feel-wish-for-and-think-in-harmony/

Sounds just like a bullseye of the Adaptive Unconscious to me.