Locating the Internalized Information Guiding Human Behavior So It Can Be Controlled and Transformed

Dictating such a transformation via preschool through high school, students would then essentially have a common core of prescribed values, attitudes and beliefs. For our Want-to-Be social and economic planning set that means future actions of most people would be both predictable and manipulable. The Planning Set, as I will call them, that we now know contains many different groups intent on fundamentally transforming the world that exists whether anyone consents or not, will know precisely what Values and Beliefs have been internalized and what visual Images, Words, and Phrases instilled. All become unconscious triggers available to command action.

To better appreciate why, let me quote Alexander N Christakis from a 2006 book How People Harness their Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy (my bolding to show what Planners take for granted):

“Different people in different situations cooperatively develop different interpretations of realities, especially social realities. In our efforts to understand social realities and design better futures, therefore, we must not assume commonly agreed upon linguistic domains. People come from different cultures and have different cultural sensitivities. They see things differently; have opposing ambitions; prize different values. The first priority, then, in a designing effort is to create a consensual linguistic domain among many diverse voices.”

Students, adults, cities, economies, and societies have each been designated by the Planning Set as subject to their designing efforts. We may start with differing values, beliefs, and experiences, but the new vision of education puts all these things on the table for change. Keeping us lulled as to what is being done to us and our children we get euphemisms like Classical Education as we have just covered, OBE, or Competency-based education to describe the new techniques. Stated goals of ‘Learning’ and ‘Student Growth’ make the changes seem salutary. As I mentioned in a comment to the previous post, that internalized set of Images, Ideas, Principles, Concepts, Values, and Beliefs gets assessed via initial Benchmarks, and then changed and monitored through assessments. Can you say Continuous Improvement?

Some Planners and educators call what is targeted–‘Worldview,’ as we just saw in the last 3 posts. Others use the phrases ‘Mental Models’ or ‘Cognitive Maps’. All are phrases with the same Target and the same aim of where the Bullseye is. To show just how long this has been a target of official Global Policy Planning, I was even able to chase these to the Oval Office of Bush 41 in May 1989.   https://bush41library.tamu.edu/files/memcons-telcons/1989-05-23–Finnbogadottir.pdf To prove that this still matters, here is the recent NSF letter announcing the Brain Observatory to develop a research infrastructure for neuroscience with the same target, techniques, and bullseye.  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16047/nsf16047.jsp

In all my posts from 2016 I have been building up from a theme of what is wrong with an Ideas or Concepts first curricula that are not built up from facts. Instead, the purpose of the provided Concepts and Categories is to interpret experiences in a classroom emphasizing activity. Sometimes the activity is physical as in group projects or role-playing. Sometimes it is virtual reality where only the software designer controls the Cognitive Map being created or shifted, mostly out of sight of the student, the parents, and maybe even the teacher. https://libertymuseum.org/in-the-news/groundbreaking-evaluation-study-released/ is a new curricula and assessment designed for building character and civic purpose by “exploring the concept of liberty as a living moral construct in contemporary society.”

Everyone ready to sign their kids up for one of the bedrock principles underlying the American heritage? Not so fast if we read the report and discover that Liberty has been reconceptualized to be “grounded in the notion that liberty must be just and must serve the common good…liberty [must be] reciprocal and responsible…[Otherwise] when liberty is de-coupled from one’s responsibilities as a citizen, it threatens to become selfish and divisive.” I have linked to the report and know both American and English history and, unfortunately, the fundamental tenets of the Marxist Humanist political philosophy. I get to recognize when Liberty as a guiding concept has been completely redefined to mask committing the student to a notorious normative vision for how the world might operate.

Students and parents though do not get that opportunity. They are not likely to recognize that Liberty “as conceptualized by the Museum and this study…becomes the bedrock for societal flourishing and ethical growth of both individuals and society” just turned into a tool for achieving Marx’s famed Human Development Society. Like the Classical Education we just examined the web-based curricula and interactive exhibits with Young Heroes is designed to create “pro-social changes in student behaviors” grounded in the stipulated virtues.

Most parents though will just think of Liberty in its historic meaning and not know that on top of the above redefinitions students also get experiences designed to change their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regard to “the liberty of society as a collective (collective liberty), as well as the liberty of each individual within society (relational liberty).” Think of this then as a Comrade Reinterpretation of the Concept of Liberty, which gets even more troubling because part of the assessment is looking for signs that the Young Heroes Outreach Program “participants consistently evidenced greater retention of all five pillar virtues associated with liberty…lasting at least three months after their involvement with the program ended.”

Why is that post-program search for continued changes in behavior so crucial? Because it is looking for proof the learning experiences created a change at a neural level in each of those student’s Cognitive Map, Worldview, or Mental Model. When researchers found “increased action-oriented civic and social engagement, identifying a number of social issues, upon which to focus their community projects,” they found that the changes in what was believed and valued were driving a change in behavior in desired directions. Desired first, of course, by the Planning Set and now by the students themselves, if they are even aware of why they are now interested in things they may have previously never noticed, much less acted to change.

Anyone else noticing that Liberty has been quietly redefined in much the same way and for the same purpose as how Amartya Sen defined Freedom? Yes, the nuisance of people who actually read the small print and footnotes. That Torchbearers Report and the redefinition of Liberty was supported by the John Templeton Foundation and the Jubilee Center on Character and Virtues in the UK. When the Report used this quote from Sir John Templeton: “perhaps true freedom is not the freedom to do but rather the freedom to become all we can be,” I recognized the sentiment. Since I found a treasure trove back in January when I searched for the connections between Sen’s philosophy and the Atlas Network members, this time I searched for “Templeton Foundation Amartya Sen.”

http://scienceofvirtues.org/ came up as the Templeton-funded Project at U-Chicago to create a New Science of Virtues. If that sounds like an excellent way to get at the values part of the Cognitive Map, I thought so too. There were conferences in 2010 and 2011. Perusing the Virtues Project Abstracts I discovered that the Divinity School was involved since Virtues were seen as a means to achieving ‘new spiritual knowledge.’ Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience administers the Project. Now would probably be a good time to remember Chapter 6 of my book and how the Planning Set wants to use education to gain a cultural evolution since biological change takes too long.

In the last post we talked about the sudden ubiquity of phrases like self-rule, self-regulation, and self-government. We can now add the Virtue of Self-Control where one of the members of the team of investigators is psychologist Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame. More importantly she is involved through her Character Lab with the national Growth Mindset study being pushed by the White House Behavioral and Social Sciences ‘Nudge’ Team. That means this Science of Virtues is involved too. That certainly puts new meaning to this expressed goal:

“The proposed research will produce a comprehensive framework for formulating and evaluating economic and social policy with deeper psychological and ethical foundations than are traditional in economic analyses. It will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the origins and consequences of human differences.”

Very exciting then for the Planning Set! Another investigator on that same team is a Philosophy prof with a focus on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. That’s a useful link to what we saw as we examined Classical Ed which somehow also loves to name drop Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates while making the point about enacting their ‘virtue-ethics.’ More rationale for transforming the internalized cognitive maps controlling behavior. Another part of the Project seeks “The Transformation of Virtues: Imagination, Vision and Dreams and Sources of Human Excellence and Practical Knowledge.” Sounds good even though it intends to prescribe and create an internalized Worldview of guiding values and beliefs to help students “understand the virtue of being able to face up to a collapse of the virtues when a culture is collapsing or being destroyed-as well as the virtue of living well in the aftermath of such catastrophe.”

Oh, Joy. The Planning Set creates the catastrophe while prescribing the beliefs and values to supposedly adjust to what is now broken. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development again defines “virtues, then, are psychological and behavioral characteristics that guide a person towards integrative and positive, or even noble, purposes for self and the world. In short, virtues are understood to play a key role in a person’s positive life trajectory and in the quality of civil society.”

But those characteristics are being prescribed and instilled via education without notice or even consent. Like the experiences obtained though the reconceptualization of Liberty, the curriculum is designed to guide and motivate certain behavior from a subconscious or even unconscious level.

Cool for the Planning Set who get power, grants, and promotions for pushing this transformation of the purposes of education.

Not cool at all for parents and students unaware of what ‘brain-based learning’ now really means or the taxpayers being asked to fund all these transformations.

Before anyone thinks that the answer is just to monitor what philanthropies or the NSF are funding in the name of education, please appreciate the National Institutes of Health is also launching research with the same Target and Bullseye. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-16-009.html

Theories about Mental Models or Computational Neuroscience are not innocuous terms for research either.




31 thoughts on “Locating the Internalized Information Guiding Human Behavior So It Can Be Controlled and Transformed

  1. Hi Robin. Forgive me for sounding ignorant. But sometimes I have a hard time connecting all of the dots. I’m a CPA, not an educator or a lawyer. I “get” the big picture and there is no doubt in my mind that there is a huge push going on in Europe and the U.S. for global governance. However, in reading some of the comments on your last article what does Christian Reconstructionism (never even heard of that and I’m a Christian) and all of these other educational schemes have to do with one another? Christian schools definitely try to pass on their theological/biblical world view to the student but I believe their adoption of the common core was more in ignorance than any loyalty to a global governance agenda.

    • I believe I have laid it out and given sources, but the core is to go after how the student interprets their experiences and even recognizes as an experience at all. I am not talking about Christian schools.

      I did not come up with the term classical education or write these sources. When these books are read and accurately perceived for what they advocate and they footnote why they come to a conclusion, let’s not be disingenuous. We get to quote people who may never have appreciated someone would come along and read the underlying pinnings and pull together what is sought.

  2. “understand the virtue of being able to face up to a collapse of the virtues when a culture is collapsing or being destroyed-as well as the virtue of living well in the aftermath of such catastrophe.”

    Its so clear the intentional destruction of patriarchy/individual responsibility/personal sovereignty etc ( cultural Karlism) to be replaced with collectivist marxist humanist ” virtue” . They have to coat it in treacle or complex spices to hide. You are so correct! The names change like criminal alias’ to avoid capture!!!

    “Living well ( dubious wellness) in the aftermath of such catastrophe” uh meaning when your kid’s brain gets fried by ” social and emotional learning” or traumatic sex ed or YA lit grooming efforts k-12, gets on meds, escapes with drugs, becomes a hooker, has 12 abortions, dies alone, gets communicable disease, etc they are ” safe spaced” in the collectivist k-21 ESSA welfare net. Or if they can grasp a little virtue ( give up any hope of personal individual happiness/success) they can be part of the ” leadership” class and also have wellness from a benevolent STATE.

    The destruction of tribal social structures internationally by colonial social engineering ( like apartheid) destruction of family are the goal to acheive this Utopian FreakiWorld. So they embed the collectivist community pillars into all institutional doctrine ( bodysnatching) carefully altering the reality at the base… In stealth but we have found it. Hidden under holier than thou lofty scholarsheit to trick the masses lin classic Religious Cult fashion.
    Bravo Robin.

    • I just had another epiphany as I was thinking about the Templeton Foundation also funding spirituality research because the Science of Virtues reminded me of Ken Wilber’s Integral Consciousness. So I searched to see if Templeton funds Wilber. This came up immediately. https://evolution-institute.org/blog/my-spiritual-journey-part-i/ –the Binghamton Religion and Spirituality Project.

      Puts all the determined pushes surrounding mindfulness practices in the classrooms whether parents object or not into perspective, doesn’t it?

      Gulp– http://www.kenwilber.com/Writings/PDF/Religion_and_Science_Ch_31.pdf

      • This is really devastating. I would also hazard a guess that it is not impossible that the kind of catastrophe the planning set has in mind for us and that will require the appropriate virtues to appreciate is a planned economic catastrophe .
        No. I cannot prove this idea but it doesn’t take a great deal of imagining when people like Larry Summers want to nudge us to a paperless currency etc…

        I will echo mm’s sentiments here Robin, ” Very Well Done”

        • That fits perfectly with what I am working on and have pulled together as to precisely what is going on with angst over Trump and supposedly preferring Hillary and ties to Atlas members, what happened in Chicago Friday night, the participants in that Sea Island Conference (I heard the Pres of AEI speak last October and actually know Rove from having homes in same community in Fla Panhandle), the creation of this internal steerable noetic keel that this post is about, and the aims of that paper which supports it all. I am reading the reports that came out of a 1976 Harvard conference and it is laying out what it is hoped policymaking can come to steer social systems politically, but first values, attitudes, beliefs, and what motivates behavior must be changed. Ding. Ding, Winner, Winner.

          Everybody running for Pres but Trump is either clearly on board with social system steering by the Oligarchs or steerable themselves. Trump may or may not be, but he’s a Wild Card in what is supposed to be a done deal on where we are being led. Also fits with this piece of propaganda put out by Discovering the Networks that led me to discover that a major funder of the Horowitz Center is the Bradley Foundation, which also owns Encounter Books. Encounter seems determined to push the false ed narrative and phony school choice. It also funds the Center led by the person who called me at home back in December that made me look hard into Easterly and the Atlas Network organized deceit involving Hayek. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=2232

          Remember when we looked at GEFF 2030 and 2035 and the Silicon Valley Forum last spring involving the Laszlos and Tom VanderArk? All that came out of the ISSS annual conference from 2015 and said that it would culminate in a recommendation out of 2016 Davos. Now we have that report that also fits with what we know World Bank is doing, the Science of Virtues, and how both Competency-based education and Classical Ed are targeting the internalized cognitive maps.

          As I have said all along. Somehow I am where I need to be in time, but it all makes sense. Even fits with what I heard at a breakfast last Thursday that the Foundation for Excellence in ED held in Atlanta. When Jeb created that entity in 2008 it would push the ed models to create the needed internalized noetic keel the Social Planners and Policy Planners of both parties and pols at all levels need. ESSA is in place and so is WIOA. Trump appears to be the unknown wild card in all these carefully laid plans going back decades.

          The problem is I have all those old books laying out what was sought. GEFF’s creation in 2014 with MIT and Russian academics and Davos are just the latest in everything falling into place.

          Down to just two kids now. My Human Eating Machine left town a few days ago. Hopefully will get back to a regular schedule soon.

          • Notice the reference on page 5 of that pdf to “successful public policy change”. That is the key to Systems Theory as a new transformative science starting at the level of controlling the human mind and leading to the attempts to politically control other mass social systems like economies, cities, etc.

            They all turn out to rely on Mass Ideological Homogenization and I have the books that ties all this together and to WOMP, CoR’s Limits to Growth, the Bariloche Model, sociocracy. Somehwre they all start talking about what will be needed for public policy going forward. Apparently it has long been regarded as necessary to merge and plan the ‘systems’ of the East and West.

            Then look at page 24 and where policy makers is located and recognize that graphic is based on Urie Bronfenbrenner’s work. He has a tag and is another psych grad student who did an exchange in the Soviet Union and knew all about Luria and Leontiev’s work because he worked with them there.

            What’s that Italian expression for Enough?

          • Robin, which PDF are you referring to here?
            “Notice the reference on page 5 of that pdf to “successful public policy change”.

    • There is nothing accidental about it. Notice that is emotional role playing where the children are being asked to assume they are x and then act in the manner suitable for the given parameters. Remember when I wrote about Pearson’s Sir Michael Barber and the Gates Foundation’s Vicki Phillips writing a book in the UK around 2001 on how to ‘Unleash’ Irreversible Change via education? Do, then believe? Mandate the actions and make it a matter of emotions and desired beliefs will follow. I explained it here and how it ties to teacher evals. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/using-teacher-evals-to-coerce-irreversible-change-in-the-drive-towards-statism-globally/

      I know Australia hired CASEL and Nel Noddings from Stanford (who is tied to this changing mindsets noetically via GERG General Evolution Research Group) to be part of its anti-bullying, social and emotional change emphasis. That story from the early days of the blog and the Australian Wellbeing Framework is here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/

      As you know, I do not allege anything. As usual I have the documentation. What Bolt has documented though is worse than I could ever have imagined back in 2012. Once changing the child’s mindsets became the goal of education globally, that sluice can be used to alter the belief system in almost unfathomable ways. What you linked to is pure, unadulterated research on children to see how malleable they are. Will they check back in three months like the National Liberty Museum to monitor if the fluidity and change is lasting?

      Thanks for linking that. I have a college kid home for spring break who has other plans for me apart from writing. Hard not to look at last night’s behaviors in Chicago and not remember that Benjamin Bloom made CPS the lab for his Mastery Learning work. He also wanted to alter Mindsets and push the ascendancy of the emotional. Chicago is also where the 1992 Joyce Foundation-funded Standards for Teaching and Learning were rolled out. They were the model for standards that would prescribe desired values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors instead of knowledge. President Obama on more than one occasion has used the phrase “Standards for Teaching and Learning” as synonymous with the Common Core.

      As you know my jigsaw puzzle of how everything fits is fully filled in now. Virtually every contemporary push alerts me to its real antecedents. Useful for these dangerous times.

  3. Each new Robin post amplifies Lewis Carroll’s (1871) oft quoted lines from “Through the Looking Glass”:

    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    `The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    `The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master — that’s all.”

    Which, indeed, is to be master — the sovereign individual and Liberty, or the state and totalitarianism? Those who seek to master the rest of us grasp the reins of stealth and deception tightly, intent on making Big-Government-Schools into factories that stamp serfdom cloaked as voluntary choice into students’ minds. State-sponsored imprinting, if you will. “Education [is] being used to mount a nonconsensual political coup at the level of the human mind…” (Robin 2014, Feb. 24).

    Totalitarian wannabees seek to replace a word’s original denotation with Newspeak, often by distorting meaning only slightly at first but increasing the deviation until antipode is achieved. “The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black” — or that totalitarian oppression is freedom (Russell. 1953, p. 30). Not all Newspeak transitions are as easily grasped.

    Ervin Laszlo and Ignazio Masulli (2003), as Robin reported (March 8, 2016 at 7:02 am), assert “cognitive maps are composed of both values and beliefs that guide behavior and serve as limitations on what behavior or ideas are likely to occur. Other synonyms for cognitive maps per the book would be worldviews … and mental models. The latter term is what the World Bank proclaimed as its new target in its Mind, Society & Behavior report that … dovetails with what ESSA requires for funding. It’s also the term the White House’s Behavioral Science team uses as part of its Nudge work. It is also the term used in that NIH computational neuroscience grants’ cite above.”

    Is anyone bothered by Laszlo’s claim that “mental models,” “cognitive maps” and “worldview” are synonyms? Or, that related terms such as “schema,” “schemata,” “connectionism” and “viewpoint” are missing?

    Among academic cognitive psychologists who investigate mental models empirically, the early work of Charles Pierce (1896) is acknowledged, and Kenneth Craik (1943) is usually credited with originating the term “mental model.”

    Craik wrote, “If the organism carries a `small-scale model’ of external reality and of its possible actions within its head, it is able to try out various alternatives, conclude which is the best of them, react to future situations before they arise, utilize the knowledge of past events in dealing with the present and the future, and in every way to reach in a much fuller, safer, and more competent manner to the emergencies which face it.”

    Embedded in this quotation are several assumptions that underly the concept of the individual mind; namely, that internal mental states exist, that an external reality exists apart from the individual perceiver, that an individual can apprehend reality, an individual can reason, and that an individual can engage in teleological reasoning (i.e., “try out various alternatives, conclude which is the best of them, react to future situations before they arise, utilize the knowledge of past events in dealing with the present and the future”). Further, Craik adheres to the correspondence theory of truth. These assumptions stand in sharp constrast to the naturalistic, materialistic, and deterministic assumptions that underly science (Bolles, 1967) and which are evident in Laszlo’s system theory view. Craik’s description of mental model has more in common with the concept of the individual mind than it has with the mindless collective Laszlo promotes.

    Philip Johnson-Laird (http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/publications/) is perhaps the most prolific expositor on mental models today. A very brief overview of mental models and reasoning is found here: (http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/about/what-are-mental-models/). Mental models, according to that website: “have a structure that corresponds to the structure of what they represent. They are accordingly akin to architects’ models of buildings, to molecular biologists’ models of complex molecules, and to physicists’ diagrams of particle interactions.” In Johnson-Laird’s words, “A principle of the modern theory of mental models is that a model has the same structure as the situation that it represents” (http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/papers/2005HistoryMentalModels.pdf). Much of mental model research focuses on developing empirical procedures for inferring mental representation of an external reality, including that found in the oxymoronic “virtual reality” of computer games. Chapters in Gentner and Stevens’ (1983) edited volume, “Mental Models,” focus on mental representations of physical systems and unseen processes, such as mental models of electricity or gravity — mental representations of a physical reality. Mental models as investigated and discussed in the psychological literature align more often with the concept of the individual mind, not with Laszlo’s collective.

    Consider another term related to the concept of the individual mind, one that Robin introduced, at least to me: “Axe-maker Mind.” If this term, and its relationship to the concept of the individual mind is somewhat nebulous, “Flying Bicycles,” written for general audiences, is nothing less than a tour de force in showing how mental models facilitate our understanding of the pivotal role played by the axe-maker mind in the success of the Wright Brothers’ project (http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/papers/2005flyingbicycles.pdf).

    While government schools may teach the Wright Brothers as just a pair of bicycle geeks who just happened to be lucky enough to keep a heavier-than-air platform aloft for a minute or so, in Johnson-Laird’s account we see the Wright Brothers are nothing less than the epitome of individuals who have highly developed Axe-maker Minds. Much of the brilliance of Johnson-Laird’s description lies in his discussion of the mental models Orville and Wilbur may have used for solving previously intractable theoretical and mechanical impasses. Parenthetically, “Flying Bicycles” is fascinating reading because it is a form of biography, and history engages even high school students when taught via biographies.

    To be sure, some interaction between cyberneticians and mental modelers does exist and is traced by Husbands and Holland (2002); nonetheless, that collaboration remains a distinct offshoot from empirical investigations of mental models reported in academic journals within psychology and computational science.

    What Robin tells us about Laszlo’s use of mental models corresponds to reality. Compare Johnson-Laird’s conception of mental model to the depiction on page 36 of Laszlo and Krippner (1998) — the original Johnson-Laird denotation vs the Laszlo antipode. If the description above of the original denotation of mental models is valid (cf. “The History of Mental Models” Johnson-Laird 2004), does it matter that Laszlo and other system theorists are attempting to redefine “mental model”? `The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ Can they?

    First, consider that both Craik and Johnson-Laird’s description of mental model resemble what we conjecture upon reading words such as, “the concept of the individual mind” (e.g., Apperly 2012), while Laszlo’s conception is nothing more than collectivism elaborated (cf. Laszlo & Krippner (1998, pp. 27-28, points 1-6). Second, observe that Craik and Johnson-Laird adhere to correspondence theory of truth — facts matter and individuals can discern between truth and falsity. Laszlo, in contrast, adheres to coherence theory of truth; something is true if it coheres to a body of conceptual knowledge. A rough analogy might be global warming is true because computer generated models show it is occurring while external measures do not. Correspondence to external reality is, however, deemed irrelevant. (The difference between correspondence theory and coherence theory may underlie, in part, Robin’s insistence on teaching facts first).

    Third, if we look at Laszlo and Masulli (2003), we see a irresolvable contradiction between their foundational assumptions and their systems theory project. In their book (Laszlo & Masclli 2003), we see the in first section “Introduction to the Series” and read the series is associated with “World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution.” Ervin Laszlo’s father (Alexander Laszlo & Krippner 1998, p. 18) states the evolutionary assumptions that underlie general systems theory. In simplest terms evolutionary processes are based on the assumption of random variation over unimaginably long periods of time. According to Laszlo the elder, such naturalist and mechanistic assumptions are sufficient to explain “formation of stars from atoms, Homo sapiens from the anthropoid apes, as well as to the formation of complex societies from rudimentary social systems.” Yet, even though random variation is a foundational assumption, Laszlo and system thinkers in general have the temerity to assert they, and presumably only they, have the profundity of insight that entitles them to impose non-random plans and policies, containing more than a touch of teleology, to achieve a utopia that has eluded the evolutionary processes in which they profess belief or, at a minimum, form their foundational assumptions. Or am I the only one who considers this a contradiction? More importantly, can anyone point to an evolutionary-based belief system from which the concept of the sovereign individual, or Liberty, emerged? Colp (1974) traces the contacts between Karl Marx and Charles Darwin while Himmelfarb (1959) provides the same service for Hitler and Darwin. Is it not possible that variations of evolutionary assumptions are common to all those wannabee masters of the rest of us?

    Fourth, Laszlo’s explication of system theory states the favored method of those who want to master the rest of us: intimidation and silencing anyone who disagrees — as we see today on campuses. Examine Laszlo & Krippner’s (1998, pp. 27-28) points. Point 4 states “Society’s cognitive map can be researched and its main features identified. This … serves as an operational framework to describe the society’s culture. Point 5 reads “Society’s cognitive map includes values and preferences regarding notions of change…. Note point 6 cloawly: “Difficulties arise when individual cognitive maps do not jibe with societal directions regarding alternatives for cultural development.” In the system theorist’s view, the collectivist state is the master, and “difficulties arise” only when a troublesome individual does not agree with the state — precisely what students are taught in most schools. Readers interested in a closer look will find application of cultural anthropology to terrorism research illuminating as well as troubling (Sieck, 2011). Roth and Moorman (1988) provide background information.


    Apperly, Ian A. 2012. What is “Theory of Mind”? Concepts, Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol. 65, No. 5, pp. 825-839. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.676055 Available: http://www.ianapperly.eclipse.co.uk/Apperly%202012.pdf

    Colp, Jr. Ralph. 1976. The Contacts Between Karl Marx and Charles Darwin. Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 329-338. doi: 10.2307/2708767

    Craik, Kenneth J. W. 1943. The Nature of Explanation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Bolles, Robert C. 1967. Theory of Motivation. New York: Harper & Row. Available: http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/readings/bolles67_ch1.pdf

    Gentner, Dedre, Stevens, Albert L. 1983. Mental Models. Erlbaum.

    Johnson-Laird, Philip N. 2005. Flying Bicycles: How the Wright Brothers Inented the Airplane. Mind & Society, Vol. 4, pp. 24-48. Available: http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/papers/2005flyingbicycles.pdf

    Johnson-Laird, Philip N. 2004. The history of mental models. Available: http://mentalmodels.princeton.edu/papers/2005HistoryMentalModels.pdf

    Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1959. Darwin and the Darwinian Evolution (1959), p. 343-344.

    Husbands, Phil, Holland, Owen. 2002. Warren McCulloch and the British Cyberneticians. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 237-254. Available: http://www.mathcomp.leeds.ac.uk/turing2012/Images/mcculloch.pdf

    Laszlo, Ervin, Masulli, Ignazio. (Eds). 2003. The Evolution of Cognitive Maps: New Paradigms for the Twenty-first Centry. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Science.

    Laszlo, Alexander, Krippner, Stanley. 1998. Systems Theories: Their Origins, Foundations, and Development. In J.S. Jordan (Ed). System Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception, pp. 47-74. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science. Available: http://www.terras-altas.net.br/MA-2013/Systems%20Theories/SystemsTheory-Alexander%20Laszlo%20and%20Stanley%20Krippner.pdf

    Roth, Martin S., Moorman, Christine. 1988 The Cultural Content of Cognition and the Cognitive Content of Culture: Implications For Consumer Research, in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 15, Micheal J. Houston (Ed.), Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 403-410. Available: http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/6838/volumes/v15/NA-15

    Russell, Bertrand. 1953. The Impact of Science on Society. New York: Simon and Schuster. Available: https://archive.org/details/TheImpactOfScienceOnSociety-B.Russell

    Sieck, Winston.R. 2011. A Cultural Models Approach for Investigating the Cognitive Basis of Terrorism. Journal of Terrorism Research. Vol. 2, No. 1. doi: http://doi.org/10.15664/jtr.171

    • A hat tip would be nice. I suspect Gretchen does not know the ancestry of how I found this group, but for some reason we are once again at the “let’s tell a little bit of truth” while mining Robin’s research.

      What is called longitudinal data now, in the early days of cybernetics was called ‘time series data’. That name makes the ‘changes over time’ aspect that is the real purpose and which does not care about personal identifiability clear. This treats it as static as does Jane Robbins hyping out of APP in the legislation hyped for Georgia.

      They are not creating a database of PII values, attitudes, and beliefs to track the child. The child doesn’t get to keep those values, attitudes, and beliefs. They are merely benchmarks. Otherwise there would be no Student Growth or Learning and then teacher and principal would not pass their evals for tenure and promotion and those magical pensions and consulting gigs that only a few get.

      I finished up what I have been working on today between college kid’s appointments. I think I am sad. The book was from a 1976 General Systems Research Group annual meeting that was followed by a conference the next day at Harvard. It brought it all together in terms of aspiration. Not just at the level of the mind and the need to blend reason with emotion if the image of the world was to change. It tied it to the hopes for broader change in human systems that we are dealing with in real time today.

      Then a mention in a footnote brought it all to the classroom. Here’s some of what flowed out as I continue to have my Mom First hat on. http://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings54th/article/viewFile/1393/502

  4. Robin, We discussed offline the Bold New 21Century Board that I am hearing educators spout off about and how it is supposed to operate within the ( Broffenbrenners-BEST) bioecological systems model of homogeneous thinking for a classless, compliant society.

    In laymans’ speak what this Bottom Up ( Big Ideas? ) model looks like to me is systemic and systemized Delphi programming for adults who have not had the benefit ( as their children will ) of a social emotional education where they are already programmed to want particular outcomes for the common good.

    Erstwhile grown ups on boards and management ‘teams’ will be surveyed and their capabilities ( strengths) assessed in order for their ego’s to be stroked enough so that they happily buy in to whatever agenda has been predetermined by their Leader/facilitator.

    Via gems roundtable formats or private school Harkness table discussions each board member will “contribute” their expertise, everyone will be heard, and steered to the predetermined outcome having been made to think it was their own great idea that had something to do with the final outcome.

    • I think that is right and that psychological transformation is honestly the effect I have seen on Board members and other adults who go through this leadership training. Their affect changes.

      I said I had the volume from the February 1976 Harvard meeting when WOMP, GERG, systems thinkers, educators all seem to have come together. A Michigan prof wrote a chapter called “Information Systems for World Models” and had a footnote on the need to use the Delphi Method to get the participants to a shared meaning and essentially what we would now call a common cognitive map.

      I’ll quote it: “Delphi is a procedure for ‘structuring a group communication process so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem.’ In general, this involves several stages of discussion and revision of questions, and often individual biases are cancelled out. Because some of the problems that would-be users of world models encounter do not lend themselves to precise analytical techniques but can benefit from subjective judgments on a collective basis, and because these problem solvers may have diverse backgrounds in experience and expertise, the Delphi Technique is an appropriate supplement to the use of world models.”

      Delphi then, under any name, is intended to get a group of adults or students or both to perceive, be motivated, and act as if they were ultimately a single system. The participants get taught that is a worthy goal. Communities of Learners is another word for the same idea.

  5. Last night board approved 5th grade travel to Seattle to the ME to WE conference.
    They asked no questions regarding what it was all about. I cannot recall if we talked about this conference but I am sure you are aware of it. Frustrating that parents will h ave no clue about what it is really all about.

    • If you define people as the systems thinkers and competency-based education does as goal-oriented systems, that conference constitutes Learning because it is designed to change what the goals are. It also changes what is valued and thus what motivates future behavior.

      Parents think of brainwashing using an inappropriate paradigm because they are unaware that it is really cognitive maps being targeted. Fifth graders are all still neurologically malleable and quite subject to the herd effect.

      Thanks for linking that. College kid wanted me to drive her to get her hair cut. Then high schooler out us getting quart mason jars and non-foaming, biodegradable powdered dishwashing detergent. Sounds like a science project. Maybe they are calling it a Maker Faire to get the seniors ready for college.

  6. Have to put my 1 1/2 cents’ worth in here. If an entity is running a declared Delphi, then they have to acknowledge that if three levels of responses are returned to the director that are negative in their response, then the director must declare the Delphi process a failure and dissolve it. That method has been used successfully to delay many of the best laid plans. Keep that in mind.

    • Maybe that is why Delphi gets renamed now in virtually every forum where it is used. I was quoting Manfred Kochen who in 1976 was a professor both of Information Science and of Urban/Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. Home base of both social science and education research and he teaches the how to techniques for steering people, economies, and societies. That should be unnerving to all of us that the two areas are one and the same. Fits though with Donald Schon being an Urban Planning prof at MIT and the ultimate Action Research guru. Remember he created the Generative Metaphor phrase to describe the interaction between what was internalized in the individual in terms of his view of the world and his motivation to act to change it.

      This is where I explained Donald Schon and the significance of that instilled Generative Metaphor http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/aspiring-to-create-new-habits-of-mind-and-mental-models-suitable-for-a-new-culture-society-and-economy/ back in February 2013. Kochen may well have known Schon as he had a BS degree from MIT and then an MA and PhD from Columbia University. He in turn was quoting from a 1975 book edited by HA Linstone and M Turoff called The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications.

      Communication for Social Change pushed now by the Rockefeller Foundation and Christakis’ Structured Design Dialogue are renamed versions of Delphi. They are being used now to insist that entities like school boards come to a shared understanding of what their goals are to be going forward and how to accomplish them. If you remember I also covered that Finnish Ladder of Cooperation created to be used in classrooms starting very young to condition the children that they must come to an agreement and then all adhere to it.

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