Hotwiring the Second Wing of the Eagle: Utilize the Human Brain as the Sustainability Trigger in the 21st

I suppose I am giving away both my age (autos before too many electronics) and geography (southern) with that metaphor, but it struck me on a walk yesterday that the old technique for surreptitiously taking a vehicle you didn’t have a key for also fits with how global learning standards and digital curriculum immersions actually are designed to work. Instead of being forthcoming that a Portrait of a Graduate is not about knowledge in the traditional Periodic Table in Chemistry sense. Rather it goes to what physicist David Bohm meant when he wrote that:

Science consists not in the accumulation of knowledge, but in the creation of fresh modes of perception.

That quote was the Epigraph to a 1998 essay called “The second wing of the eagle: the human dimension in learning our way to more sustainable futures,” that was in turn footnoted in an 2019 article pushed last week called “Community science: A typology and its implications for governance of social-ecological systems.” That’s us, people, once we parse through that mouthful of verbiage because the keystone for the desired control over and coupling of human and ecological systems is so-called ‘social learning’. Learning and a transformed nature of education need to create a “shared understanding of the social-ecological system” for the purpose of  “complex social-ecological problems.” Those problems get highlighted via provided experiences and conceptual frameworks, images and emotions, that create common ‘shared beliefs’ of the type we covered in the Trilogy finished in the last post.

The Blue Dot July 2018 issue on “Digital Pedagogies” from the last post mentioned its use of something called the LIBRE process so I of course went a-searching and quickly located a September 2019 article called “Libre–Nourish the Brain So the Future Can Flourish” that insists that the UN’s global goals for sustainability can only be met if:

Education needs to shift from a utilitarian perspective to one that focuses on the greater social good. Recent brain research supports the multiple digital pedagogies of Libre.

Before we cover those,  let’s clarify what is meant by the Second Wing of the Eagle metaphor since as we will see the Right Emotional Brain Dominance of the Logical Mind, Prospection, and deliberately crafted virtual reality experiences from the Trilogy all fit with liberating that Second Wing. It fits with what both Community Science, at a collective level, and Citizen Science, at an individual level, want to transform via a new kind of education. It is clearly what LIBRE means by enabling the critical consciousness needed for ‘active citizenship’. This is from a review of the article in June 1999 in BioScience:

Environmental management has traditionally been regarded primarily as a technical task, whereas the causal agents of environmental damage are people. Until human behavior is brought into the equation, solutions will not be forthcoming. [The Second Wing essay] introduces the concept of social learning and discusses the need for integration of the scientific and social disciplines to achieve social action. The authors want to get the eagle that is environmental management flying again. The figurative eagle is currently skirting the issues, madly beating the one wing it knows how to use. The coupling between ‘human systems’ and ‘ecosystems’ can only constructively be addressed using the social learning approach.

Puts a new perspective on the hype over the supposed Anthropocene Age and man-made global warming that doesn’t care about actual temperatures and uses every graphic weather image to try to reenforce the theory, doesn’t it? It’s about the coupling and control–the need to resculpt human perceptions and link that to the motivation for future action. As the second wing essay puts it, the resolution to getting at both wings working in a manner that does seem like totalitarianism from within must get at “the self-understanding and self-definition of individuals [which are] in a state of flux.” This so-called “environmental crisis within” has two aspects that must be targeted by education.

The first has to do with values and beliefs…The second aspect has to do with knowledge itself…This is not a disguised attack on science…It is an attack on ways of thinking, approaches to problem solving, and political institutions founded on the ideological view that empirical science is the epitome of human reason and the primary route to truth and human understanding [Truth? Beauty? Goodness?]…The engagement of individuals in understanding the environmental crisis and in developing a willingness to promote or at least accept substantial change is essential…Social learning is an approach and philosophy which focuses on participatory processes of social change… It encompasses a positive belief in the potential for social transformation based on:

  •  critical self-reflection;
  • the development of participatory multi-layered democratic processes;
  • the reflexive capabilities of human individuals and societies;
  • and the capacity for social movements to change political and economic frameworks for the better.

Social learning, then, fits precisely with Libre as we are about to see. It regards knowledge from an “actor-orientated perspective…as a potentially powerful force for change. Such change emerges as actors ‘change their minds’ through interaction and dialogue with others.” Since I alluded to a link to Classical Education above, minus any link to Paulo Freire, let me do a quick link to a 1987 Virtue Ethics Essay I found when following up on the IEEE Standards for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (which includes people) and then recognized the Humanity 2.0/ Jubilee Center link that popped out. also wants us to know that education and the “moral life is also a matter of trying to determine the kind of people we should be and attending to the development of character within our communities and ourselves.” Sounds like the IEEE is not the only entity desiring a common core so be wary about so-called ports in this storm.

According to Libre, “education needs to be restructured to respond constructively and progressively to both social change and technological advancement.” Its purpose must also change so that education will now “empower learners to question inequality, unsustainability, loss of common identity, and violence.” Libre intends to utilize the “neurobiological process called ‘neuroplasticity,’ which is the capacity of the brain to change, at the levels of both structure and function, in response to change in the cognitive environment.” Libre also makes it clear that ‘personalized learning’ is not about different trajectories for learning since shared understandings, beliefs, values, and motivations for future action are needed for the desired socio-ecological transformation. No, personalized is a reference that in the beginning, say preschool, “no two human brains are identical” and “each brain is unique.”

Remember that when you read now of required student assessments and inventorying of attributes in kindergarten. Beyond the EMCC we met in the last post, Libre proposes:

a problem-based approach to education that enables learners to build a critical consciousness to drive ‘active citizenship,’ develops their abilities to frame their identities; and empowers them to critically question any systemic, cultural, and physical manifestations of exclusions and marginalization…The ‘Libre’ process was developed to achieve such [full potential] learning by creating environments that ‘liberate’ learners and provide them with competencies to build knowledge using their lived reality…It adopts Freire’s ‘problem-posing’ approach in the classroom, which allows learning to be driven by the learner’s inquiry and guided through everyday words that have a direct connection to students’ lives.

The pedagogies of Libre and the learning experiences they create use 5 methods that all fit with both the Trilogy and the Second Wing essay. They are (1) Storytelling (“helps build a caring and cooperative attitude”); (2) Gamification (“failures become challenges, which encourages learners to revise their actions until they arrive at the ‘correct’ way of doing things”); (3) Inquiry (Mindfulness practices); (4) Reflection (OECD’s A-A-R Cycle in 2030 Learning); and (5) Dialogue (“seeks to adopt a collective learning approach”).

Putting the above back into the goal of bringing the human dimensions to learning so that dormant wing begins to flap we are told we are told requires a willingness to act despite:

unacknowledged conditions and unintended consequences of action. Hence, human judgement and political activity became things not to be simply made ‘scientific’; but rather are more encompassing dimensions of the human condition fundamental to our ability to ‘go on in the face of uncertainty and our potential understanding of the worlds we inhabit…Social learning, while not outright rejecting the utility of positivist methodologies, is predicated on a constructivist position…not with some external reality out there…but rather human experience (human life).

I need to finish up but think about the real reasons for constructivism in the reading, math, and science wars in light of the following quote that also fits with that Freire mention in the Libre aspirations for digital pedagogies now.

The constructivist alternative to positivism is based on recognizing the primary importance of language. Humans are reflexive knowledgable beings because of language. Consciousness and ‘reality’ arise from language and not vice versa. This shift places the emphasis for understanding knowledge not on the subject-knowledge relationship but on the relationship between human subjects. What we experience as ‘reality’ and hence knowledge is to a very large extent constructed by social processes.

If that was an aspiration back in 1998, we are now twenty years later with such uses of language and creation of experiences and social processes locked in by learning standards tied to digital technologies and required school practices. Then we add in where Libre intends to go globally under the euphemism Sustainability as it calls now for a “revolution in education–one that is restructured to promote global citizenship and allows humans to flourish rather than one that only caters to narrow political or economic agendas” and we once again find ourselves beginning to flap that second wing allowing total planning and control over the biophysical dimensions as well as the human and social. What Libre sees as “education as the life-long process of learning and un-learning [that] involves an intense churning of beliefs, values, and worldviews,” the second wing metaphor graphically told us that:

A process of ‘structural change’ in a person’s thinking can be triggered but not directed. The nature of the change will be determined by the pre-existing structure of the person’s ideas and theories of the world which have been learnt during life and their cultural heritage…the reality we perceive is determined not by what is external to us but rather by our own physical and cognitive structures. Because we are informationally closed systems we can only ever talk of our experience.

Neither you, dear reader, or I, the ultimate autodiadact, are ‘informationally closed systems’ although I guess reading this or my book qualifies as an experience. That’s the aspiration anyway and what is needed for the planned transformation in the name of Sustainability.

It’s all about getting access to our brains and minds. That’s the focal point for the planned revolution in thinking. I would argue, in fact, that the planned thinking is more emotion and visual images than what created the West, its economic prosperity and technological inventions, and regard for the individual. All on the chopping block now in the 21st century assault on the individual and genuine autonomy from political overreach.




43 thoughts on “Hotwiring the Second Wing of the Eagle: Utilize the Human Brain as the Sustainability Trigger in the 21st

  1. I started my day by reading this quote, bolded and highlighted at the bottom of an email — the writer’s creed.

    “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

    Actually, I have met “the illiterate of the 21st Century”, students of U.S. universities and they cannot “read and write”.

    It occurred to me that I could collect many of the insights presented in the forum from the taglines attached to the email of the “transformed”.

    • Alvin Toffler, the systems thinker, may have said it, but it is Kurt Lewin’s theory that I have listened to ed admin’s in my local school district proudly say they will terminate any teacher who doesn’t believe that and wants to keep subject content the focus. Yesterday, the Great Transition, which I have written about, with writers like Steven Rockefeller whose biography of John Dewey and secular humanism I covered here at ISC and Richard Falk who led the Rockefeller Foundation funded World Order Models Project started in 1973 that I have also covered, which by 1987 in Russia had also picked up Mary Catherine Bateson as a participant, put out a series of essays to commemorate the anniversary of the Earth Charter. This essay stuck out because it explains that the very things all these transformative ed visions target, whether in the name of the UN and Sustainability or as Classical Education–mindsets, worldviews, values, beliefs, goals that guide decisions–are all the ultimate drivers of fundamental transformation in any socio-economic structure.

      Not exactly news to anyone who has read CtD, but an excellent affirmation of the why nonetheless. If the students could read and write in a non-standardized and tied to a supplied and thus approved conceptual framework, then they would not have the needed Sustainable minds for the politically organized society Ervin Laszlo laid out back in the 70s about the time WOMP launched. I wrote about that too and how the book was published over in the Netherlands.

    • Yikes!

      This report is aimed at innovators working in public sector and civil society organisations who have some experience with participatory methods and want to understand the opportunities for combining machine and collective human intelligence to address social challenges. We hope that it can serve as inspiration for funders who care about determining a trajectory for AI that can bring the broadest possible societal benefit.

      This report will also be relevant for technology and research communities with an interest in new opportunities for solving real-world problems, in dialogue with decision-makers and members of the public. Ultimately, we aim to stimulate more communication and collaboration between all of these groups.

      Nesta is who Google worked with in the UK to lay out their vision of a post-capitalist economy and society several years ago and I also remember when they had Harvard’s Robert Kegan as a speaker. As you know he works closely with Ken Wilber on Transpersonla Psych and Integral Theory and was one of 2 people (the other being Peter Senge) Hewlett F hired to make sure the Common Core assessments were looking for deeper learning evidence.

      • Ironically, I was recently ex-communicated from a discussion group focusing on Landmark Education because I averred that LEC programs align, perfectly, with Lewin’s change model. I added to this insight Lewin’s own observation that group cohesion was enhanced by the creation or identification of a noble-external-to-the-group’s-agenda-goal that members could work TOGETHER to realize. And, probably, the bigger, vaguer, more utopian the goal, the better. Substitute addressing ‘climate change’ for ending ‘world hunger’ (Erhard’s “Hunger Project”), and you’ve got it. Add a saint, Greta Thunberg, or two, and identify your evil doer’s, the ‘deniers’ and you’ve got it.

        I believe I may be perceived as harping on about a cast of ‘actors’ engineered to play parts in this drama, but the person of Kurt Lewin offers a good case in point. I would like to say that he has been ‘lionized’ in the world of organization development, but it goes well beyond the usual “father of X field” thing. This guy walks on water in the practitioner mind. Yet, nobody seems to know much about him, and given his extremely elevated status in the world of social psychology/group dynamics, I find it strange that there is not one comprehensive biography of this person available in the English language. As usual, it is ‘feelings over facts’, any interest in facts.

        A few ago, I attended an ‘OD’ conference hosted by a university in Nanjing, China. There, again, I had to listen to the keynote speaker, yet another ‘father of the field’, present the Lewin hagiography. He embellished this for the Chinese student masses (some of the sweetest, most gullible people I have ever encountered) by describing his own close association with Lewin, the person, and late in his career. Kurt Lewin died in 1947, so how likely is it that someone standing on a stage lecturing in 2015 was his research associate? Feelings over facts.

        I have been pretty stymied in my Lewin biographical research, so if anyone has resources (any language) in this area, I would be grateful.

      • Slightly off point, and back to the FAKE ‘the ‘good’, the ‘true’, and, maybe, the ‘beautiful’ agenda, I woke up this AM remembering a textbook I was presented in the Home Room of my 7th grade. Title: Introduction to Psychology. I guess this is probably a college text, now, given how far we have fallen, but, my recollection is this introductory text is that every chapter began with a quote from the classics, the genre of the good, true and beautiful. And, I recall my 11 year-old brain thinking with regard to the quotes, “That sounds pretty good, so WHY are we not reading that book?”…but, then I looked around the room and realized it would be very challenging for many to read ‘any’ book, including the one we had before us.

        They have been working on this for a loooooong time.

        • Yes, because Classical Education can be simply a euphonious and duplicitous way of obscuring Tranzi OBE and what Bela Banathy called the Systems Design of Education; A Journey to Create the Future. I went back to that 1991 book that I first covered here at ISC here on Creating the Behavior Government Officials Want to See in Future Citizens (still a goal) and then next here which clearly fits with MGIEP and this post. Its discussions of McREL tie to Columbine High which was using this template the whole time the shooters and aspiring but ineffective bombers (the part of the horror too many overlook).

          In describing what he calls the Interactivist/Backwards Mapping from desired vision of the transformed ‘human activity system’, Banathy wrote this that fits well with what the emphasis on Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as the normative frames from which to view the world and experiences leads as well. This is from a section called “Approach to Dealing with Problems”.

          Ackoff (1981) suggests that to deal interactively with any problem situation, two things are required. We must determine what the situation has in common with other situations that we previously experienced. This tells us which part of our available knowledge is relevant. Science enables us to do this. Second, we must also know how the situation we face is unique and requires knowledge which is not yet available. The arts and humanities enable us to do this. In addition to science, the arts and humanities reveal the questions yet to be answered and the values yet to be obtained. They jointly provide answers to those questions and offer ways of pursuing those values.

          That’s precisely the function of the True, Good, Beauty frames in Classical Education. Claim to be a hurricane port in the storm surrounding the Common Core, misrepresent its true nature and function, and then supply a remedy that also seeks to create the needed ‘core values and core ideas’ needed for the desired societal transformation that is physiological and internal instead of a publicized external edict that could be resisted if understood accurately.

          Saw where Japan’s schools have been closed. Guess the Libre process of digital pedagogies will come in handy now, huh?

          • On JP’s response to the ‘virus’…well, nothing goes down better, here, than a perceived external threat…and, add a Chinese dimension to that, and whoop de doo. My client organizations are asking their employees to work remotely, but most are ignoring this directive. The international media is, of course, not helping matters with its description of this “deadly” virus. Reliable sources estimate that over 2,000,000 Chinese die each year of pneumonia, and this figure may be much higher. It looks to some eyes like a common symptomatology is being appropriated to engender panic. Oh well!

            With regard to your post, I smiled tonight listening to Tucker Carlson’s description of what were the formerly “finest universities in the world having been turned into a joke.”

          • Thanks for that bit of useful detail not available elsewhere. from yesterday fits Banathy’s plans perfectly, but notice that the supposed “needs of the employers” being unmet becomes the excuse for transformation at the level of the student.

            Not going to result in anyone you are willing to hire, but they will be on board for transforming the rest of the human activity systems like workplaces, the overall economy, what universities may demand in return for a credential, etc.

            I am not so much worried about the virus as to what panic can do to a distribution system as we see when demand suddenly shifts for gas and stations run out just from a change in pattern from filling up at half a tank instead of a quarter. All the years we spent summers in Fla when the kids were younger trained me not to go below half a tank so we could get away from beach if a storm brewed up quickly in Gulf.

          • Oh. My. I really hate that I am so prescient on all this.

            Themes About the Digital Disruption of Democracy in the Next Decade: Hopes and Suggested Solutions
            Innovation is inevitable: Change is beginning to happen at the level of individuals and social systems. History shows how human adaption pays off in the long run.
            EVOLVING INDIVIDUALS Increased citizen awareness, digital literacy improvements and better engagement among educators will be evident in the next decade.
            ADAPTING SYSTEMS Changes in the design of human systems and an improved ethos among technologists will help democracy.
            ENSHRINING VALUES Deep-rooted human behaviors have always created challenges to democratic ideals. Historically, though, inspired people have shown they can overcome these darker tendencies.
            Leadership and activist agitation will create change
            WORKING FOR GOOD Governments, enlightened leaders and activists will help steer policy and democratic processes to produce better democratic outcomes.
            Technology will be part of the solution: Some of the tech tools now undermining democracy will come to its aid and helpful innovations will be created.
            ASSISTING REFORMS Pro-democracy governance solutions will be aided by the spread of technology and innovations like artificial intelligence. Those will work in favor of trusted free speech and greater citizen empowerment.

   is the source.

            Notice this quote bemoaning any “retreat from the collective” and the link to the primary funder of the Common Core, its learning tasks, and the global achievement standards digital curriculum providers’ like IMS use:

            danah boyd, principal researcher at Microsoft Research and founder of Data & Society, wrote, “Democracy requires the public to come together and work through differences in order to self-govern. That is a hard task in the best of times, but when the public is anxious, fearful, confused or otherwise insecure, they are more likely to retreat from the collective and focus on self-interest. Technology is destabilizing. That can help trigger positive change, but it can also trigger tremendous anxiety. Technology also reconfigures power, at least temporarily. This can benefit social movements, but it can also benefit adversarial actors. All too often, technology is designed naively, imagining all of the good but not building safeguards to prevent the bad. The problem is that technology mirrors and magnifies the good, bad AND ugly in everyday life. And right now, we do not have the safeguards, security or policies in place to prevent manipulators from doing significant harm with the technologies designed to connect people and help spread information.”

          • On your posts below/above, Digital Disruption of Democracy; I did a mental ‘search and replace’ of the terms “democracy”, “democratic”, subbing in “communism”, “communistic”, or “communitarian”; the content made more sense.

            Also, with regard to the “needs of the employer” rationale, here is my solution:

            Henceforth, I am recruiting student interns by ‘word of mouth’, and via very select academic programs.

            Also, in that, I am often asked by client organizations to recommend university-based executive development programs, e.g. MBA and related tracks — I am ‘purging’ from my list U.S. universities. Right now, I am liking IESE, and INSEAD, although the American schools might be appropriate for ESL people, and those simply seeking a piece of paper.

            It is the vapid, kumbaya ‘tone’ of these posts that gets to me, and the reek of imagined moral superiority.

          • I agree wholeheartedly with your substitution of terms. Democracy is a euphemism for the global imposition of the MH, little ‘c’ vision by 2030.

            Did you notice how many of the commenters used terms about the need for “shared understandings of the world” or “shared body of information about public affairs” for this vision to work? It is a highly censorious vision, but put out in the name of combatting misinformation. What is really intended is to control the narrative. The storytelling as Libre understands its function. Peter Singer of Brookings on page 14 even has the doozy to state that “shared truth, which modern democracies are based upon” was one of “the fundamentals of the Enlightenment”. Perhaps we can get the ignorant or deliberately obtuse Mr Singer to go read some history and understand that the Enlightenment was jumpstarted by blowing up the imposed shared truth because of books becoming available in the vernacular created on printing presses that could produce in mass quantities for the first time that led to widespread literacy. Maybe start with William Manchester’s A World Lit Only By Fire.

            No wonder no one wants actual knowledge. Not only does it encourage the obstructive Axemaker Mind in some people, but it enables one to read the assertions in that document and recognize we are being played. That ‘democracy’ is being used to enable the ultimate in control-at the level of the mind. Or as that document also acknowledges using psychological and cognitive tools. No kidding. This idea of “citizens to stay informed in an objective way” really is designed to go back to a world where political authority, whether asserted by Church or Crown or both, could control what people are even allowed to think.

            Notice the skills listed as “needed for democracy” look precisely like what the typical Portrait of a Graduate calls for: “(ability to listen, think critically, gather data, weigh sources and empathize), because when voters lack these capacities, they become extremely subject to manipulation.” The reality is that when those capacities are created via Libre and tied to the concepts and images laid out in learning standards those are the people who are easy to manipulate without that being apparent to them. The needed handles for pushing and windows for opening are laid out in conceptual frameworks, Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross Cutting Concepts practiced in Inquiry, Reflection, and used in these contemplated Dialogues.

            This document that was also pointed to yesterday called “Can Technology Support Democracy?” makes it clear that ” an updated version of civics” via “quality education” in k-12 is essential for a “viable democracy.” This needed, expansive vision of civic intelligence would target each individual’s capacities for ” perceiving, learning, negotiating, decision-making, remembering, and reasoning.” What totalitarian could have asked for more control? Then later the paper comments on what I laid out in Credentialed to Destroy and again when I did a post on Steven Rockefeller’s bio of John Dewey and his so-called secular humanism.

            It was John Dewey who laid out the groundwork for thinking about democracy as the foundation for nearly everything that is important.

            No wonder, as I covered in CtD, the Soviets in the early days after the Revolution were so determined to translate Dewey’s books into Russian.

          • I would like to discuss the level of deceit entailed in all of this. I would also like to discuss the personality traits and other factors that inform a faction of humans that it is their rightful trust to transform/reform the cognitive processes of the rest of us; my thought is that ‘normals’ do not wake up each day with a desire to prosecute this agenda on small or large-scale.

            Mainly, though, I am interested in the element of deceit, why this stuff is wrapped in weasel words, inverted language.

            I offer my own experience of a CA university-based graduate program: Organisation Development and Management. This program and many like it are broadly understood to constitute the ‘people’ side of MBA training or to provide a focus previously absent in management training. Given my work designation and context (organizations that struggle mightily to cope with very real big and little ‘c’ cultural divides, this seemed a reasonable and attractive path of study.

            What I can say is that throughout the first year of study, residency and distance-learning (heavy on-line contact I struggled to understand why we were immersing ourselves in various readings and ‘experiential’ activities. No intellectual context was provided, no historical antecedents. Additionally, there seemed to be a strong inclination among facilitators to promote discussions about ‘real world’ conditions impacting the organizations we were working in, or consulting to, and this even included the ‘elephant in the room’ at the time, Lehman shock. Well, I knew Frankfurt School thinkers and ideology from a past life so could ‘tag’ the presence of this. Most members of my cohort, however, just took this all on ‘faith’ and assumed that what we were ‘learning’ was rigorous, validated, research-based. Note, I use the term “research-based” because I believe “evidence-based” is another weasel term. Nobody, aside from your’s truly questioned the program content and how is applied, could be applied to the very vexing circumstance many of us were plunged into via ‘Lehman’. Applied research was ACTIVELY discouraged in favor of ‘thought’ experiments. While I managed to self-direct my learning such that they netted some benefit to my actual work, I continued to wonder, “What are students in this program being trained to do?” The only answer that came to me was, “social activist”, “change agent”…and, on the most primitive level. FYI, Robin, many worked in the field of public education, and these are most probably the teachers/administrator you now observe threatening content-focused instructors.

            In the context of this, in part, tax-payor funded, highly-ranked institution, the linkage between Frankfurt School agendas, pedagogy, and the grooming of future “community organizers” was completely bald-faced. Any faculty members who objected to this path were gotten rid of, and in the course of my brief tenure. Aside from the contingent of public educators, there were many corporate types, HR Directors and attorneys participating. Presumably, at least some of these people took this plague straight into their organizations and sectors; transformed their immediate worlds.

            Even I was subject to this inculcation of belief. A few months after I matriculated, a hedge fund manager friend took me by the shoulders and shook me, saying, “Come back to earth, Leslie…please de-program yourself!” I owe him a debt.

            My thought is that ethical people, “authentic” people are confident enough in their own ideas to transparently insert them to compete in the marketplace of ideas. I don’t see this, however; so, must assume that rather than merely being ‘wrong’, ‘wrong-headed’, we are confronting forms of willful academic and other fraud.

            All thoughts welcome.

          • I find a lot of answers here in a paper barely covered.

            Notice how often there is an assertion this is no longer about knowledge but personality development. That what makes a school innovative and advanced is a focus on values, attitudes, and motivations instead of knowledge. What we have is unquestionably Marx’s sought Moral Revolution at the level of the individual needed for the MH society, Just like what I put up Friday and yesterday.

            You have an Axemaker Mind, which allowed you to be deprogrammed by yourself once the insight occurred. You had the ability and the motivation at that point. Who will with these new definitions of Literacy. Also alarming is the essential role here of political will. No wonder the organized deceit seems as driven by public policy think tanks as by higher ed.

    • Thanks, Ollie.

      The content of this resource is focused 90% on the ‘work’, and 10% on the ‘life’ of Lewin. It is my impression that profiles of his work are often sanitized, too. I believe, for instance, that during WWII, Lewin was tasked, or tasked himself with studying the psychological resistance of pilots and bombardiers to the targetting of populations in Japan, and possibly Germany, the goal being to overcome this resistance. There is also a Soviet collaboration period that I think Robin may know a bit about.

  2. From Robin’s post:

    “a problem-based approach to education that enables learners to build a critical consciousness to drive ‘active citizenship,’ develops their abilities to frame their identities; and empowers them to critically question any systemic, cultural, and physical manifestations of exclusions and marginalization”…

    ‘Abilities’, which manifested themselves in the delightful slugfest that was the most recent DNC ‘debate’. We ‘global’ citizens wish to thank the U.S. for this endless source of entertainment. Where else can one tune in to find a FAKE Native American female, verbally pugilizing a diminutive male billionaire for his ‘sexist’ behavior, and with the aid of a guy she recently pugilized for his ‘sexist’ comments; a candidate now accused of being yet another ‘Russian asset’?

    I keep remembering back to what looked like Obama’s Russian Federation rapprochement, which I am sure the FAKE Native American was ‘down for’.

    We definitely need that legal impeachment squad from Harvard and Yale to referee the next debate.

  3. In response to Robin’s March 1 post, let me say a little more about my experience. I was an adult learner returning to school, mid-career. My cohort began the program on-line and were to meet later for a residency. One of the first courses was “Team- Building”…and, the rules of engagement stipulated that we not contact fellow team members outside the group forum. About a week into this online engagement, I got a private message from a Canadian professor who was on my team. The message informed me that our facilitators were teaching this program two grade levels below graduate work and that if I wanted to get anything out of this pricey experience, I should take only courses facilitated by X,Y, and Z. And, this I did. (Note, X,Y, and Z were later run out of the institution they had built owing to their Axemaker Minds.)

    Also, the EBC coaching program at this institution was designed by a former est/Landmark member, who has described Werner Erhard as being, “…the most influential person in this history of mankind!”

    This is yet another person who has mysterious gaps in her professional bio.

    Remarkably, and I think it was when I was re-watching Adam Curtis’, “Century of the Self”…up pops this very person in a scene from what seems to have been a Harvard LSD experiment — she is the guinea pig, research subject, ;-).

    Also, alumni and even doctoral students of this institution have noted that its faculty and administration is very lax in responding to email, even when this involves critical communication or inquiries regarding programs. I sent no less than five queries to various faculty members regarding their H.O.D. program and never received an answer. I was not alone.

    Finally, it would appear that the business model entails accepting disadvantaged students from appropriate demographics (why they are teaching below grade level) for which they receive ‘awards’ and ‘grants’, which obviates the need to respond to email from alumni, or interested representatives of the wrong demographic.

  4. Robin, have you ever had the “inner game” (of tennis, of golf, of everything) come up in your research? This appears to be a left-brain/right-brain technology that many people find VERY uncannily similar to NLP and something called neuro-semantics?

    Interesting that Tim Gallwey stumbled upon this technology while teaching tennis on a court located near the Esalen Institute, where he was taking a few courses, and, almost at the very same time, Michael Murphey starts penning a book on the mystical aspects of golf. You kinda gotta wonder what they put in the water, there.

    • Oh, just learned that Gallwey spent a year in India, ‘meditating’ under Prem Rawat…and, incorporated this mystical technique into his ‘inner game’.

    • That sounds like Mihaly Csiksentmihaly (Excellence and now behind Positive Psych globally with Martin Seligman’s conception of Flow.

      That does come up so often I have read the book after it kept being footnoted.

      • This seems to be another one of these Esalen stories. Gallwey who was working as an ‘administrator’ at Harvard, takes a sabbatical and winds up teaching tennis in Monterey, CA, just a few ticks from the Esalen Institute. He discovers the magical kingdom and takes ‘classes’ there…gets hooked up with Perls, Satir, and I guess Bandler…timing is right…then has an ‘epiphany’ on the tennis court, and turns this into, or his ‘epiphany’ is turned into a NYT’s best seller. How come my life doesn’t work that way? Yes, for sure, it is related to FLOW, but there is also an NLP component.

        • Note, Michael Murphey had the same ‘epiphany’ on a golf course in Scotland and wrote a very similar book with golf as its focus. These books were stocked in sporting goods stores and then went mainstream and then went into corporations, IBM, CocaCola, and U.S. military training programs — Bandler was very involved in military training programs.

          • Csik was at U-Chicago and had a stint as a fellow at CASBS in Palo Alto and basically decided he was not going back to the windy city and its winters. So all these people are in physical proximity to each other.

            Csik also wrote a book I have covered here at ISC in the past on the role of cultural memes. He wrote it with John Goodlad’s son as well as William Damon, who is now so involved with the citizenship curriculum. I suspect (and actually know) his version is not really about voting either.

            Interesting as this is just out today and is hyping the “core ideas and values (virtues)” meme and had this quote:

            Civics was really a preoccupation of the Founding Fathers. They thought of it not as something that was the responsibility of the federal government so much, but the responsibility of communities.

            Lately, I’ve been thinking about a quotation that Thomas Jefferson had when he said, “Citizenship is not just about voting one time a year, it’s really an everyday thing. It’s an everyday responsibility.”

            If you think of that idea, that notion of everyday citizenship, today we’ve sometimes reduced it to just voting and for kids kind of recycling or figuring out ways that you can get the government to do something and mobilize people.

            I think the notion that we’re really trying to do in the Bill of Rights Institute is very different. That’s to say to students, “You have rights, you have responsibilities. What are you going to do to a noble civil society?”

   Also ties to Classical Education and the Barney Charter Initiative as the interviewee hypes his education at Hillsdale and then working there and also that Larry Arnn is on the board of Heritage. As I have pointed out repeatedly, the think tanks are all pushing the same ed template under a variety of names and rationales. It is not about a body of knowledge but training the perspective. Also interesting as I have found the Zinn hype fascinating since there is a desire to use history for role playing and creating Guiding Fictions here too. Sure enough, it’s not that Zinn was an egregious creator of factual narratives, it was that he didn’t use history as the desired tool. He was creating bad history instead of switching to the conceptual frameworks and virtues emphasis. Somehow I think if Zinn was still alive, he would love to sculpt just such a narrative.

          • “It is not about a body of knowledge but training the perspective.” You are so right, here, and I would also suggest that this is why organizations like my graduate university, ultimately, exclude Axemaker Minds and grow their own ‘right’ thinkers to train the next generation of ‘right’ thinkers.

            Also, you have helped me understand how this totalism is cloaked under the language of civic responsibility.

            As for the ‘proximity’ thing, well the need for safe spaces in which one can operationalize one’s utopian vision with like-minded individuals kinda ensures this. And, it seems to me that this is what many U.S. universities and think tanks have become — and, by design. Of course, this was the strategy in the PRC, too, and was why the indoctrinated turned on their professors, parents, and elements in the community, at large.

            As for my own field, I entered it because it advertised itself as a medium of continuous learning and exchange among peers. What I have found, though, is a monologic structure with ‘right’ think being driven from ‘above’. Any dictator would be proud to have created such a system.

            One thing I have to laugh at, given the stated beliefs, is how patriarchal is all is, with numerous leaders competing for the title of “father of X”, or “father of Y”. Also, a perusal of the images of leaders of the New Age, e.g. Perls, Ram Das, Leary evidences that these guys took great pains to groom themselves as patriarchs in the classical tradition.

            Oh well.

          • This is from a couple of days ago.

            It seems we now live in a society of hyper-individualization to the point of isolation with complete disregard to our deepest human needs for meaningful connection; a society that seems to have forgotten that personal and collective well-being cannot be dissociated. We cannot have large groups of people who are genuinely happy and thriving in a society that is not. If a society is sick, its members will get sick, and they will get sick in increasing numbers. And yet, the majority of our focus remains on ourselves. We perhaps don’t even stop to consider the underlying belief that motivates our behavior — the belief that we are separate and capable of happiness all on our own. There are more books that specialize in teaching us how to unleash our personal power than one can read in a lifetime. It is perhaps time to recognize that if we live in a society that causes us harm, focusing on self-care as a way to “fix ourselves” might be a futile exercise. Activist Chloe King writes “changing your attitude is not going to change or help to dismantle structural injustice and a failed and unsustainable economic model which serves only the elite rich of this world and exploits the rest of us.”

            So it is not just that self-care might at times be misguided, but also that this hyper-focus on ourselves keeps us from collectively taking action towards breaking the status-quo. In their book The Wellness Syndrome, authors Carl Cederström and André Spicer argue that our “visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation” and the obsessive focus on wellness has come at the expense of our collective engagement.


            Those paragraphs are then followed up by this

            This is not to say that all focus on ourselves is futile. In fact, I strongly believe that societal transformation derives from personal transformation. The subtle difference here is that personal transformation is not dissociated from the collective. Rather, personal transformation is in service of the collective. Personal and collective transformation are intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship. The goal is not personal happiness and fulfillment for its own sake; the goal is to become a more conscious being capable of connecting with one’s broader life’s mission. Gandhi famously said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” This is more than an inspirational quote for Instagram hip millennials to put as a caption to their travel pictures. It implies first thinking deeply about the world you would like to live in: What values does it stand for? What do people believe about one another? The vision for the collective comes first.

            So, how do we redesign our societies with our collective well-being at the center?

            There are many interconnected answers to this question but I would like to focus on the need for the development of a corps of professionals that are focused on collective well-being. The personal well-being industry is composed of a wide diversity of well-being professionals, from therapists to fitness and personal coaches. We need an equivalent on the collective level.

            Apparently you were being groomed to be, and are still actually supposed to be grooming that ‘corps of professionals’.

          • Notice the bolding for emphasis. You could have been a contender!!! if you had not objected.

            It is rare that we even get as far as this void as a group but when we do, we are not skilled at navigating through those situations to move to the next phase of the group collaboration. We need trained professionals who can lead us out of the opposition, out of the anger, out of the chaos, and into a deeper level of conversation from which we can start rebuilding and co-creating our new story.

          • Groomed, grooming is an apt term. Yeh, that has been my j.o.b., and I would assume is the j.o.b. of K-12 teachers, as well.

            Here is how I see it. The current management ‘team’, obsessed with the strange, quasi-religious endeavor called “transformation” waxes between a focus on the individual and the collective. In either case, resistance if futile — I, you, we, will be transformed.

            Oh well.

          • Another lost invite from about a week ago. An inaugural event too.

            The inaugural RoundGlass Learning Summit ‘Learning for Holistic Wellbeing’ will be held in Jaisalmer, India. Where 100 of the world’s most visionary learning leaders will come together to foster collaboration with a shared purpose to redefine education for a flourishing world.

            We believe in a future where holistic wellbeing is the standard in education for young people worldwide: developing physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually, all while acting for the wellbeing of self, others and the planet…
            We have reached a critical point in history. We must now, as a matter of urgency, equip and incline everyone to take charge of – and to act for – holistic wellbeing. Which means acting for one’s own personal wellbeing, societal wellbeing and planetary wellbeing — collectively. In a world of constant change, being equipped and inclined to make positive change is paramount.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Robin! I feel my (HWQ) holistic well-being quotient, rising by the minute.

    OK, here is what I can tell you about this gaggle of utopians based on way too much personal experience, and I hope you/all are comforted by it.

    1) they are insanely materialistic — always want special perks, e.g. limousine from the airport, ‘special’ accommodation; the Megan/Harry private jetting about to evangelize on ‘climate change’, behavior.

    2) they never really focus on the ‘do’able’ — small, incremental improvements — how things really change.

    3) they avoid actual work, personal sacrifice.

    4) they live off narcissistic supply.

    5) they are ABSOLUTELY first on every list of sexual abusers: clerical abuse, teacher abuse, workplace abuse.

    6) they almost never accomplish anything tangible, beyond campaigns of self-promotion.

  6. I have a slightly-formed hunch about the Axmaker Mind, who has it, and…oh BTW, Happy International Woman’s Day, yippee ;-)…and, that/how it may preclude cognitive re-wiring in some individuals.

    Not so big on psychometric tools, but find that MBTI provides interesting insights.

    I would say in TYPE-terms, the Axmakers would be the NT’s, with largest concentration in the INT’s; the Rationals, the Architects, the Thinkers.

    Can say that this INTP has no affinity for teams, or rather teaming for the sake of teaming. It mauls my buzz. I am very comfortable in the context of a philosophy seminar, in which members are seeking a ‘TRUTH’; or a group focused on the solving of a specific problem, BUT, if the problem or task is how to converge the thinking of the group, NO THANK YOU!

    I have thought a lot about the ‘NT’s’ and their role in the human drama. What I can report is that based on my observation of many leaders operating ‘in extremis’ during the Lehman meltdown, assured me that it was the ‘NT’s’ who could process the complexity, connect the dots, and see their organizational ships to safe harbors. When the shit really hit the fan, the Axmaker’s carried the day. Remove the Axmaker’s from a population, or stultify their neural habits with nonsense, and you have a world of Soviet Science, where winter wheat grows in the Spring.

    • An interesting new role for literature that is just painful to read.

      Critical thinking and literature are two disciplines that play quite nicely together, as students can use the study of the latter to strengthen their skill set in the former. Having students examine a work of literature requires, after all, that they step into the points of view exhibited by the characters in a story. And this may then push young readers into critically examining their own lives, as noted in a 2009 study.

      But curriculum too can be designed to encourage students to think critically about literary works. Educators can, for example, ask students to act out the roles in a written work of literature, opening their eyes to other world views. They could then be asked to critically consider the reasons that may have led those characters to make the choices they did — actors often call this a backstory — helping them uncover major themes in a book.

      Students could also be assigned to research the history of an author. Perhaps Jamaica Kincaid and how her childhood likely influenced her novel, “Annie John,” or how Virginia Woolf’s life influenced the themes she wove into books like “Mrs. Dalloway.” That way, these lessons can move across multiple academic areas, from literature to social studies, history and more.

      Time to get back to writing as life will hopefully be more orderly this week. I know you will be shocked I seem to have found the seminal framework for everything going on globally in both our areas as well as Climate Change hype. Started with a newsletter from another country, followed the footnotes in cited reports, and Voila! I know everyone will also be shocked as to how central Pavel Luksha is. And Charles Fadel. And Qatar…

  7. Vis a vis Daniel Goleman, et al., and the co-option and distortion of both Western and Eastern religious canons:
    (published in 2019)

    “Today, many Jewish Americans are embracing a dual religious identity, practicing Buddhism while also staying connected to their Jewish roots. This book tells the story of Judaism’s encounter with Buddhism in the United States, showing how it has given rise to new contemplative forms within American Judaism—and shaped the way Americans understand and practice Buddhism.

    Taking readers from the nineteenth century to today, Emily Sigalow traces the history of these two traditions in America and explains how they came together. She argues that the distinctive social position of American Jews led them to their unique engagement with Buddhism, and describes how people incorporate aspects of both into their everyday lives. Drawing on a wealth of original in-depth interviews conducted across the nation, Sigalow explores how Jewish American Buddhists experience their dual religious identities. She reveals how Jewish Buddhists confound prevailing expectations of minority religions in America. {Rather than simply adapting to the majority religion, Jews and Buddhists have borrowed and integrated elements from each other, and in doing so they have left an enduring mark on the American consciousness.] (brackets mine)

    American JewBu highlights the leading role that American Jews have played in the popularization of meditation and mindfulness in the United States, and the profound impact that these two venerable traditions have had on one another.”
    I guess that is one way to look at it. What is the mantra in 12-step cults? “Take what you like, and leave the rest behind”?, or in this case, adopt a ‘perceived’ moral relativism, appropriate navel-gazing techniques, and a focus on the NOW, “mindfulness”; whilst leaving behind the mythological DNA, the moral framework (which actually does cancel out Door #1), and the HARD work entailed in any spiritual practice — VOILA!

    Reviewers of this book and its thesis, note that the innovators of the ‘American’ school of Buddhism rarely study under or associate with Asian practitioners in the U.S. or Asia, which might be akin to launching a new order of the Catholic church w/o setting foot in Rome.

    And, speaking of, I braved the non-existent Corona Virus threat to attend, last night, a Lenten reading. Topic: (Masculinity in the Church), which was held in a Franciscan facility (empty), and led by a Jesuit-trained pastoral associate, and included readings of KEN WILBER.

    • Thanks Leslie. Dealing with logistics here but wanted to show how the brain emphasis gets turned into social justice advocacy for middle schoolers:

      Developing a better understanding of how the brain works—especially during the middle school years—has helped me normalize my students’ experience and prepare thoughtful strategies to support them when opportunities arise. About two years ago, I started wondering if helping other educators learn more about the adolescent brain could result in a totally different experience for middle school students and educators. So, after a decade as a teacher and administrator, when I was presented with an opportunity to start a new middle school, I seized it.

      With a founding team of teachers and school leaders, I began programmatic planning for Ida B. Wells Middle School. As I created a vision, I reflected on my experience in schools and what I’d learned about adolescent development. I considered how the same brain research that indicates the middle school years are a time of identity formation also makes this developmental stage ideal for service learning. Students are eager to address inequities and their tendency to move towards action can be harnessed to make positive social change. Providing students the opportunity to engage in service learning helps them envision themselves as service-oriented leaders and advocates.
      That’s why I designed a model that leverages research about the adolescent brain to create a culture of social action and service learning. During the planning phase, the staff read excerpts from Dr. Steinberg’s book, which shares some of the challenges that adolescence brings, including an increase in mental health needs, aggressive behavior and in some cases, low achievement. We also discussed strategies from “Middle School Matters,” a book by Phyllis Fagell, school counselor and author who focuses on adolescence, which echoed that adolescent students are more attuned to equity and justice issues and that during this age range, they solidify values they will hold for life.

      • Well, it would seem that whatever flows into the milieu of human development (corporate or edu) — be it Buddhism or adolescent angst — the outcome must be social justice.

        Japanese orgs are saturated with this agenda, which kinda renders the formerly functional values of Kaizen — positioning the right person in the right job at the right time, moot.

        A few years ago, I designed and delivered a fabulously successful leadership development program in one such organization. OMG, we cut over-time in many departments, identified and began to develop leaders who would be key to the success of ‘do or die’ globalization agenda…employee participants raved about the program, calling it, “the most valuable learning experience of our lives”. And, then it was time to select participants for the next iteration of the program.

        Then emerged a conundrum, and it went like this: ‘some’ employees have greatly benefited from this program, which means that these employees have skills, attitudes, insights and capabilities that other employees do not have. This is NOT FAIR. If we cannot provide all 6,000 employees with the same resources, then NO employee shall have access to these resources. And, so it went.

        One has to question if, in the intersectional universe, ‘achievement’ of any kind constitutes injustice. BTW, I am currently interfacing with a recent graduate of Boalt Hall. This guy strikes me as someone who would, in a prior generation, have contented himself with a job pumping gas.

        • Precisely on your point from yesterday and pitched as a ‘conservative’ vision because it believes in changing the individual at the level of purpose and motivation.

          Here we get communitarianism and an emotional mandate for altruism pitched as ‘patriotism’. I remember when Damon wrote a book with Csik on using cultural memes to drive evolutionary transformation. “Felt attachment to our broader society’ indeed.

          The homes for the elderly here are closing doors to visitors, including family. Sometimes with no notice and sometimes with a few hours for one last visit. The latter is the case for my dad and we now know one of his frequent tablemates is in the hospital with pneumonia. Life is a bit distracting from writing these days. Keep thinking of that old expression about living in ‘interesting times.’ That would be now.

          • Communitarianism and “negative interdependence”. The fake Convid-19 phenomenon…and, I say ‘fake’ because the smart money in my environment is saying it, summons the worst expressions of communitarian Japanese culture, and I have seen every ‘crisis’ occasion these same behaviors. Starts with hording, toilet paper in the most recent case; escalates to group engagement in meaningless risk management — mask wearing; and sustains itself with the quiet satisfaction that others are likely worse off than oneself. I think it goes like this…”I mired myself in a useless job in a firm that I despise, and have no hope of ever doing anything else, but goddamn it, I have SECURITY, now, in the face of a “global pandemic”. Nevermind that there is no evidence of death and destruction in one’s immediate, or even distant circles…the enemy is OUT there, and my communitarian strategy has kept me ‘safe’.

            Think this goes back to Kurt Lewin’s logic of group cohesion being based on a shared sense of larger/cosmic purpose (in the best case), and if you can’t get that, go for safety from the unknown. And, I must say it is not HARD to get people imagining that every sniffle is a harbinger of doom. Convenient, too, that global celebrities, e.g. Tom Hanks and wife are now among the ‘victims’.

            Had to laugh at a comment by a fellow skeptic. We had dipped into a co-work space to have a conversation. On the way out, HE noticed that not a soul in the establishment was wearing a face mask. We concluded that this was an exemplary population, and we would make this place our ‘home’ for future chats.

  8. Well, that grant notice is dated 2016, but I am sure many more have come down the pike since then. And, speaking of RFP’s, I have been revisiting the commentary of early AIDS researchers — the ones with integrity like Kerry Mullis — who describe their futile search for authoritative research linking HIV to AIDS. Mullis, evidently, took the RFP process ‘seriously’ and thought he had to provide a literature review in support of his team’s research thesis and request for funding. Not only could he not find written documentation of this linkage, he could not get ‘one’ AIDS luminary to go on the record with a verbal statement of this finding. Tokyo Metropolitan Government has shut down pretty much all public facilities based on less research than even Mullis found.

    • Yes, there are plenty dated 2020, including an upcoming virtual webinar. Also, in the world of intended consequences, the remedy of closing schools to go to virtual instruction enacts the Libre process of digital pedagogies I wrote about.

      Just an accident? It also makes it easier to foster ‘shared understandings’. Yesterday i was working on a recent ssrn paper from New Zealand promoted by GovLab that helpfully told me that “systems thinking sets boundaries to delineate what is relevant and what is not–such boundaries are often operational rather than spatial. Systems thinking introduces a set of concepts that help to map, explore, interrogate and give meaning to a complex problem at hand.”

      Reminded me of all the requisite conceptual frameworks and references to lenses and that David Horowitz lecture and others pieces I have called attention to that insist they desire to “teach students How to Think, not What to Think.” Once again, as I noted with Classical Ed we are back to the cybernetic model.

      Back to bed for me. Sinuses annoyed with all the pollen, but the trees are lovely now.

      Adding this Never let a crisis go to waste.

      • From the Psychology Today article:

        “As the course was winding down, we implemented a practice at our weekly staff meetings, and now we begin our check-ins by answering two questions:

        1. How are you feeling emotionally and physically?

        2. How are you bringing mindfulness to work?”

        I had a French CEO client, who became a minor hero of mine when he forbade his Japan team’s participation in global ‘check-in’s. These were DAILY calls in which members had to describe their emotional state. The company was tanking with all of this ‘sensitivity’, but no one could see a correlation.

  9. The social engineers are mad at work w/ a sensemaking campaign (Corona Virus), and are already projecting scenarios in which ‘everybody’ contracts it. Please dear god, has there ever been any virus scenario in which ‘everybody’ got it? And, why is this virus so fundamentally different from a SARs or MERs, or even a Spanish flu, which I learned, today, had a 4% mortality rate. Not what one imagines based on MSM retellings of that event. Having been recently involved in a bioscience start-up, I can tell you that I would not trust the ‘researchers’ involved in that field to call a cab for me, alas.

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