Jennifer Lake's Blog

December 24, 2009

Holiday

Filed under: 1 — jenniferlake @ 7:58 pm
  In the darkest times we light the inner fire…Beliefs about reality ARE the reality. These days it’s Reality that’s challenged, and with purpose –to accomplish the disabling of human ‘norms’ and impose a new script on confused populations. Below are quotes from an insightful author –the creator of the book “Order of the Dragon” who brought the concept of ‘profound agnosticism’ to light for me.
 
“Something very important has been actively suppressed across humanity’s existence…
It is the pattern of a massive struggle…a brutal struggle..bought at great sacrifice by determined human minds whose nature is to be free”…
 
“There is another history, a hidden or suppressed history” underlying the “tension of all social systems”…The pattern was “easy to see. It required no psychotic contruction, no occult superstition, no transcendental imagination…
   It was there in front of everyone’s eyes, hiding in plain sight…
It was the gestalt of Gnosis –knowledge, and it was the thought-system of historical freedom fighters, at one time, held deeply in check by the orthodox conventions of traditional societies”…
 
What makes us unique is that “we can express the thinking aspects of the Cosmos. That requires the freedom to seek any experiences, and the freedom to respond to feedback rather than deny or suppress it. So our very nature as human beings is at stake here, and has been throughout history… [T]he suppression of free-thinking is an attack against reality itself. It seeks to deny the possibility of knowledge (gnosis) and attempts to create or force upon us the impossibility of knowing what is appearance and what is reality (a profound agnosticism). This is the same radical agnosticism that postmodernism embraces, and with that embrace destroys sanity and culture.”
 
“If we are rendered unable to distinguish appearance from reality, and worse, if we accept there is no reality through suppression of information, supression of thinkers, reduction of everything to indoctrination and public relations, we are left with useless experiences that are buzzing confusions. Deliberate confusions. The Cosmos then can no longer be understood, and we as part of it are both its destroyer and the destroyed. That metaphysical and epistemological consequence is a frightening one to contemplate, and it makes successful functioning quite impossible. No one has previously succeeded in imposing this total confusion about reality on human beings. But we have new methods and technologies and we just might be able to do it now. It would be massively suicidal”……… http://clementsebooks.com/cdcpdfs/OrderOfTheDragon/Cbkodcp1.pdf
 
[The word ‘agnostic’ was coined by Thomas Henry Huxley….his friends called him “Hal”, and it makes me think about the computer in “2001, A Space Oddessy”]
 
To All, Good cheer and holiday wishes!

December 20, 2009

Police Power

Filed under: police state,Protocols of Zion,Psychological War — jenniferlake @ 6:55 am

Policing lately has been a brutal business. See for yourself but be warned, this is disturbing :

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=456210497&blogId=474666521 “The largest street gang in America”

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The City of San Jose, CA is responding by testing the wearing of cameras by officers, presumably turned on and off by the officers themselves. They beat you up, Joe and Jane Public, and their punishment is to surveil you.

                                                                         ______________

Calif. city’s police to wear head-mounted cameras 

2 hrs 51 mins ago

SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose police are testing head-mounted cameras to record interactions with the public.

The test using 18 patrol officers comes as citizens’ groups criticize the department for too often using force during arrests.

Officers are to turn on the cameras every time they talk with anyone. They download the recordings after every shift.

The cameras are the size of a Bluetooth cell phone earpieces and attach by a headband above the ear.

San Jose is the first major American city to try the devices, made by Arizona-based Taser International. Taser is paying for the experiment, but the price could be high if San Jose equips all 1,400 officers.

Each kit costs $1,700, plus a $99 per officer monthly fee. That’s $4 million department-wide each year.

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Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_california_police_cameras

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Protocol No. 1

(3) It must be noted that men with bad instincts are more in number than the good, and therefore the best results in governing them are attained by violence and terrorism…
Every man aims at power, everyone would like to become a dictator if only he could…
(4) What has restrained the beasts of prey who are called men? What has served for their guidance hitherto?
(5) In the beginnings of the structure of society, they were subjected to brutal and blind force; afterwards, to LAW, which is the same force only disguised. I draw the conclusion that, by the law of nature, right lies in force.
MIGHT IS RIGHT
(12) Our right lies in force. The word ‘right’ is an abstract thought and proved by nothing. The word means no more than: Give me what I want in order that thereby I may have proof that I am stronger than you.
(14) In every State in which there is bad organization of authority, an impersonality of laws and of the rulers who have lost their personality amid the flood of rights ever multiplying out of liberalism, I find a new right –to attack by right of the strong, and to scatter to the winds all existing forces of order and regulation…
(15) Our power in the present tottering condition of all forms of power will be more invincible than any other, because it will remain invisible until the moment when it has gained such strength that no cunning can any longer undermine it.
(16) Out of the temporary evil we are now compelled to commit will emerge the good….The result justifies the means. Let us direct our attention to..not so much to what is good and moral as to what is necessary and useful.
(18) In order to elaborate satisfactory forms of action it is necessary to have regard to the rascality, the slackness, the instability of the mob, its lack of capacity to understand…
(20) A people left to itself, i.e., to upstarts from its midst, brings itself to ruin…
WE ARE DESPOTS
(22) Behold the alcoholic animals, bemused with drink…
It is not for us and ours to walk that road. The peoples of the GOYIM are bemused with alcoholic liquors; their youth has grown stupid…
(23) Our counter-sign is Force and Make-believe…
Violence must be the principle, and cunning and make-believe the rule…This evil is the one and only means to attain the end, the good.
Therefore, we must not stop…
(24) Our State…has the right to replace the horrors of war by less noticeable and more satisfactory sentences of death, necessary to maintain the terror which tends to produce blind submission….we must keep the program of violence and make-believe.
WE SHALL END LIBERTY

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TASER INTERNATIONAL INC. www.taser.com ;  http://www.answers.com/topic/taser-international-inc  Scottsdale AZ

 Richard H. Carmona (US Surgeon Gen.) http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-160485472.html , Board of Dir.

Mark W. Kroll http://people.forbes.com/profile/mark-w-kroll/39056, Board of Dir.

Judy Martz http://people.forbes.com/profile/judy-martz/76687  Board of Dir.

Bruce R. Culver http://people.forbes.com/profile/bruce-r-culver/76684 Board of Dir.

more board members http://investing.businessweek.com/research.stocks.people/board.asp?ric=TASR.O

December 19, 2009

Bunkering Down

Filed under: Military,Modern History — jenniferlake @ 11:35 pm

Deep Underground Military Bases : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEDAE_9v4h0                Cheyenne Mtn  Mount Weather

Private storage facilites http://www.undergroundvaults.com/aboutus/hutchinson.cfm and http://www.undergroundvaults.com/offerings/securestoragefacilities/undergroundstorage.html

 salt mine (this image is from Detroit)                  

salt mine storage http://www.geospectra.net/salt/mining.htm

 the Seed Vault http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7529

Beyond Freedom and Dignity, part III

Filed under: manufacturing consent,Psychological War — jenniferlake @ 8:10 pm
Tags: ,
 [For ease of readng, all three parts are linked in the margin page “B.F. Skinner” >> >>]
 
Shifting ‘responsibility’ to the environment and arguing for the intentional design of environments is the whole of Skinner’s thesis, however his own words are remarkably insightful into the paradigm of control. He made the need for it, more and more of it, appear as a supremely moral cause essential to survival, harking back to Betrand Russell who postulated “There will, therefore, be no more war…experts will control propaganda and education. Thus whatever the outward forms may be, all real power will come to be concentrated in the hands of those who understand the art of scientific manipulation.” And this is the basic dishonesty of science. But for the time being, having come this far in Skinner’s doctrine, I’ll highlight the rest of his proposition in an effort to cull the essence of his point of view and let his words speak for themselves.
 
ALTERNATIVES TO PUNISHMENT
 
[p84] Permissive practices have many advantages. They save the labor of supervision and the enforcement of sanctions.
If men behave badly toward each other in a permissive world, it is because nature is less than perfect. If they fight when there is no government to preserve order, it is because they have aggressive instincts.
Permissiveness is not, however, a policy; it is the abandonment of policy, and its apparent advantages are illusory.
 
[p89] Jean-Jacques Rousseau was alert to the dangers of social control, and he thought it might be possible to avoid them by making a person dependent not on people but on things…the contingencies which involve things are more precise and shape more useful behavior than contingencies arranged by other people.
[p90] But things do not easily take control…and they do not often work…
We must also remember that the control exercised by things may be destructive.
[p91] Those who work productively because of the reinforcing value of what they produce are under the sensitive and powerful control of the products.
 
[p97] A permissive government is a government that leaves control to other sources. If people behave well under it, it is because they have been brought under effective ethical control or the control of things…[which includes things like ‘propaganda’, what Skinner calls ‘weak methods’]
[p99] The fundamental mistake made by all those who choose weak methods of control is to assume that the balance of control is left to the individual, when in fact it is left to the conditions.
When practices are concealed or disguised, countercontrol is made difficult; it is not clear from whom one is to escape or whom one is to attack. The literatures of freedom and dignity were once brilliant exercises in countercontrol, but the measures they proposed are no longer appropriate to the task.
 
[p101] ..[T]he environment can be changed, and we are learning how to change it. The measures we use are those of physical and biological technology, but we use them in special ways to affect behavior.
 
[p105] Feelings are said to be part of the armamentarium of autonomous man…he can ‘heighten his awareness’ of the things inside inside his body…
[p107]..It is the reinforcer that feels good, not the good feeling.
Men do not work to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, as the hedonists have insisted;  they work to produce pleasant things and to avoid painful things…
..the only good things are positive reinforcers, the only bad things are negative reinforcers.
 
[p109] Methods using positive reinforcement are harder to learn and less likely to be used because the results are usually deferred, but they have an advantage of avoiding counterattack.
 
[p113] Once we have identified the contingencies that control behavior called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, the distinction between facts and how people feel about facts is clear. How people feel about facts is a by-product. The important thing is what they do about them…
[p115] In the long run people behave more effectively if they have been told the truth…but the gains..are remote…
[p119] The good things in life have only to be made properly contingent on productive labor. if citizens are not law-abiding..it is..because law enforcement has become lax; the problem can be solved by refusing to suspend or abridge sentences, by increasing the police force and by passing stronger laws.
   The strategy may be successful, but it will not correct the trouble.
…but if a consequence is immediate…
[p121] The process of operant conditioning is committed to immediate effects…
 
[p128] A person is not only exposed to the contigencies that constitute a culture, he helps to maintain them…so the culture is self-perpetuating.
[p129]…the culture determines many of the biological characteristics transmitted.
   Many of the current cultures, for example, enable individuals to survive and breed who would otherwise fail to do so. Not every practice..is adaptive…
[p132] A dominant controlling agency or system may hold a set of practices together..
…most of the practices which compose a culture are concerned with sustenance and safety rather than competition with other cultures.
 
[p134] When it becomes clear that a culture may survive or perish, some of its members may begin to act to promote its survival…[for] the good of the culture.
[p135] A culture survives if its members survive, and this depends in part upon certain genetic susceptibilities to reinforcement…
[p136] None of this will explain what we might call a pure concern for the survival of a culture, but we do not really need an explanation…The simple fact is that a culture which for any reason induces its members to work for its survival..is more likely to survive. Survival is the only value…
[p137] It is not likely to evolve from successful competition…
The great problems of the world today are all global. [he cites overpopulation, depletion of resources, pollution, etc.]
 
[p143] The task of the cultural designer is to accelerate the development of practices which bring the remote consequences of behavior into play.
[p149] A programmed sequence of contingencies may be needed.
[p150] Such a technology is ethically neutral…[but] they will need to foresee some of the difficulties the culture will encounter.
 
[p153] A collection of cultural designs is to be found in the utopian literature…and the transition to a new culture is facilitated by some formalized break with the past…
[p164] It is sometimes said that the scientific design of a culture is impossible because men will simply not accept the fact that he can be controlled.
 
[p165] There are signs of emotional instability in those who have been deeply affected by the literature
[p167]..But if any theory is to be blamed, it is the all but universal theory of a free and worthy autonomous man.
[p168] The group calls it wrong to control through deception…
 
[p171] The great problem is to arrange effective countercontrol and hence to bring some important consequences to bear on the behavior of the controller…
Control and countercontrol tend to become dislocated when control is taken over by organized agencies…
The priinciple of making the controller a member of the group he controls should apply to the designer of a culture.
 
[p175] The intentional design of a culture and the control of human behavior it implies are essential if the human species is to continue to develop. Neither biological nor cultural evolution is any guarantee that we are inevitably moving toward a better world.
Survival value changes as conditions change.
[p177] What is needed is more control, not less…
 
[p181] Attacking controlling practices is, of course, a form of countercontrol. It may have immeasurable benefits if better controlling practices are thereby selected… [but] to refuse to exercise available control because in some sense all control is wrong is to withold possibly important forms of countercontrol. Punitive measures. which the literature of freedom and dignity have otherwise helped to eliminate, are instead promoted.
   A preference for methods which make control inconspicuous or allow it to be disguised has condemned those who are in a position to exert constructive countercontrol to use of the weak measures. This could be a lethal mutation.
 
[p182] All control is reciprocal, and an interchange between control and countercontrol is essential to the evolution of a culture. The interchange is disturbed by the literatures of freedom and dignity, which interpret countercontrol as the suppression rather than the correction of controlling practices.
 
[p191] It would be foolish to deny the existence of [a] private [inner] world, but it is also foolish to assert that because it is private it is of a different nature from the world outside.
[p193] One need not be aware of one’s behavior or the conditions controlling it in order to behave effectively.
A self is a repertoire of behavior appropriate to a given set of contingencies….
[p199] The picture which emerges from a scientific analysis is not a body with a person inside, but of a body which is a person..that displays a complex repertoire of behavior.
 
[p200] ..what is being abolished is autonomous man– the inner man, the homunculus, the possessing demon, the man defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity.
His abolition has been long overdue.
[p205] It is only autonomous man who has reached a dead end.
[p215]…and that is a step forward.
He is ondeed controlled by his environment, but we must remember that it is an environment largely of his own making…man remains what he has always been.
We have not yet seen what man can make of man.
[end excerpts]
 
 

December 18, 2009

Not My Email

Filed under: 1 — jenniferlake @ 12:28 am

Republic Broadcasting Network

Real News – Real Talk – Real People – Because You CAN Handle The Truth! JenniferLake.wordpress.com. JennyLake08@yahoo.com. LÄNKAR. Arkiv Login. Prenumerera Arkiv
                                                ________________________________________
 
By the way, the email address that appears above is NOT MY EMAIL. Someone at RBN posted this, or a responder to the forums. For the record, my ‘contact info’ is here at this blog. This is at least the second time a fake email has come to my attention, (and I’m not looking for it) but I’m happy to have you write to me here.
                                                                                           
 
 

December 17, 2009

Beyond Freedom and Dignity, part II

The Society of Experts
 
“The society of experts which I am imagining will embrace all eminent men of science except a few wrong-headed and anarchical cranks. It will possess the sole up-to-date armaments and will be the repository of all new secrets in the art of war. There will, therefore, be no more war since resistence by the unscientific will be doomed to obvious failure. The society of experts will control propaganda and education. It will teach loyalty to the world government and make nationalism high treason. The government, being an oligarchy, will instill submissiveness into the great bulk of the population, confining initiative and the habit of command to its own members. It is possible that it may invent ingenious ways of concealing its own power, leaving the forms of democracy intact, and allowing the plutocrats to imagine that they are cleverly controlling these forms. Gradually, however, as the pluocrats become stupid through laziness, they will lose their wealth; it will pass more and more into public ownership and be controlled by the government of experts. Thus, whatever the outward forms may be, all real power will come to be concentrated in the hands of those who understand the art of scientific manipulation.”
–Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook, 1931
 
[as found at http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=389, in an essay by Brent Jessup] 
 
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Prefacing the next part in the review of Skinnerian behaviorism, it’s worthwhile to notice how the society of experts protects itself under the cover of national secrets. A news story printed on Nov. 29, 2009 reveals this tactic:
Washington –“President Obama will maintain a lid of secrecy on millions of pages of military and intelligence documents that were scheduled to be declassified….The documents, dating from WWII to the early 1980s, covers the gamut of foreign relations, intelligence activities, and military operations –with the exception of nuclear weapons data, which remains protected by Congress…limited to information generated by more than one agency, the records in question are held by the CIA, the NSA, the departments of Justice, State, Defense and Energy, and other security and intelligence agencies”
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/11/29/declassification_of_secret_documents_to_be_delayed
 
Skinner’s theory of behavior “extinction” appears to apply here –not in regard to the public, but to Congress and the agencies guarding these archives. A comment written by ‘truther’ Jeff Gates about Congress suggests “policy-makers can be induced to support a predetermined agenda not because lawmakers are Evil Doers but because the public mindset has been preconditioned to respond to manipulated thoughts, emotions and beliefs..”; laughable to consider our Pavlovian Congress serving the public mindset, but no less a valuable idea to consider our Congress in the hands of the society of experts for which most all of the lawmakers themselves qualify. 
 
 
Basics on managerial behaviorism: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Pr-Sa/Reinforcement-Theory.html
 
 
 
Had B.F. Skinner never lived, someone just like him would have been invented; cultivated in the proving grounds of academia. In the year of Russell’s “Scientific Outlook” publication, Skinner was receiving his PhD from Harvard. He had already ‘tried’ and failed at the bohemian lifestyle of a writer in New York because, as he recalled for Time magazine, he “had nothing important to say”. Going back to grad school for his degrees in psychology, embracing it as an umplumbed science, at least gave him something important to do. Words came in their own time. By the mid-30s, they were flowing. Skinner did more than write and teach –he organized. Units of experimental behaviorists sprouted in his presence. At Harvard he was called an “institution”. His brand of radical behaviorism brought a calculable depth to animal motivation; experiments were arranged to show very long trends over multiple variations of situational ‘contingencies’. These were dogged trials over years of time –rats didn’t live long enough so Skinner chose pigeons with lifespans up to 15 years. His most interesting results unquestionably led to the ‘extinction’ theory, or how behavior is deprogrammed by creating emotional states which become aversive. But ‘Beyond Freedom and Dignity’ did not deal with the techniques of extinction theory or any specific techniques. It was instead the seminal statement of Skinner’s idealism.
                                                              _____________
 
ON FREEDOM
 
[p.26] “Almost all living things act to free themselves from harmful contacts.
..Behavior of this kind presumably evolved because of its survival value; it is as much a part of what we call the human genetic endowment as breathing, sweating, or digesting food.
..We do not attribute them to any love of freedom; they are simply forms of behavior which have proved useful in reducing various threats to the individual, and hence to the species in the course of evolution..
 
[p.27] A much more important role is played by behavior which weakens harmful stimuli in another way. It is not acquired in the form of conditioned reflexes, but as the product of a different process called operant conditioning. When a bit of behavior is followed by a certain kind of consequence, it is more likely to occur again, and a consequence having this effect is called a reinforcer.
…some stimuli are called negative reinforcers…Negative reinforcers are called aversive in the sense that they are the things organisms ‘turn away from’
 
[p.28] Escape or avoidance play a much more important role in the struggle for freedom when the aversive conditions are generated by other people. Other people can be aversive; they can be rude, dangerous, contagious or annoying…
They may also be ‘intentionally’ aversive…
…a slave driver induces a slave to work by whipping him when he stops; by resuming work the slave escapes from the whipping, and incidentally reinforces the slave driver’s behavior in using the whip…
In one form or another, intentional aversive control is the pattern of most social coordination.
A person escapes from or avoids aversive treatment by behaving in ways which reinforce those who treated him aversively.
 
[p.29] Another anomalous mode of escape is to attack those who arrange aversive conditions, and weaken or destroy their power.
…when treated aversively people tend to act aggressively.
If two organisms which have been coexisting peacefully receive painful shocks, they immediately exhibit characteristic patterns of aggression toward each other. The aggressive behavior is not necessarily directed toward the actual source of the stimulation: it may be ‘displaced’ toward any convenient person or object..
 
[p.30]What we may call the ‘literature of freedom’ has been designed to induce people to escape from or attack those who act to control them aversively.
The literature of freedom..has a simple objective status. It does not impart a philosophy of freedom; it induces people to act.
The literature often emphasizes the aversive conditions under which people live..thus ‘increasing the misery’ of those it is trying to rescue.
The literature also prescribes modes of action. It has not been much concerned with escape..;instead, it has emphasized how controlling power may be weakened or destroyed.
 
[p31] The would-be controllers do not, of course, remain inactive. Governments make escape impossible by banning travel..punishing or incarcerating defectors..
They keep weapons and other sources of power out of the handds of revolutionaries. They destroy the written literature of freedom…
The importance of the literature can scarcely be questioned.
Without help or guidance people submit to aversive conditions in the most surprising way.
…Many people have submitted to the most obvious religious, governmental and economic control for centuries, striking for freedom only sporadically, if at all.
 
[p32] The feeling of freedom becomes an unreliable guide to action as soon as would-be controllers turn to to nonaversive measures, as they are likely to do to avoid problems…
Nonaversive measures..have obvious advantages which promote their use.
 
[p33] Until recently, teaching was almost entirely aversive…but nonaversive techniques are..being discovered and used.
The effects are not as easily recognized as those of aversive contingencies…
A problem arises for the defender of freedom when the behavior generated by positive reinforcement has deferred aversive consequences.
..conditioned positive reinforcers can often be used with deferred aversive results. Money is an example.
 
[p34] But the misuse of many social reinforcers often goes unnoticed.
..a government may prevent defection by making life more interesting…the schedule of reinforcement is more important than the amount received.
Certain schedules generate a deal of behavior in return for very little reinforcement…not overlooked by would-be controllers
 
[p.35] The problem to be solved by those who are concerned with freedom is to create immediate aversive consequences…
[p36] ..sufficiently aversive so that a person will ‘escape from it’..
The more deferred the aversive consequences the greater the problem. The literature of freedom has never come to grips with techniques of control which do not generate escape or counterattack because it has dealt with the problem in terms of states of mind and feelings.
 
[p.37] Freedom is a matter of contingencies of reinforcement, not of the feelings the contingencies generate.
 
[p39] Uncertainty about positive control is evident in two remarks which often appear in the literature of freedom; it is better that a man “feel free” or “believe that he is free”
 
[p40]What the slave is..conscious of is his misery; and a system of slavery so well designed that it does not breed revolt is the real threat.
The literature of freedom has..failed to rescue the happy slave.
Jean-Jacques Rouseau..in his remarkable book ‘Emile’..gave the following advice to teachers:
    ‘Let [the child] believe that he is always in control, though it is always you who really controls. There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom, for in that way one captures volition itself.’
Rousseau..had unlimited faith in the benevolence of teachers…
 
[p41] The literature of freedom has encouraged escape from or attack upon all controllers [i.e.] those who manipulate human behavior are said to be evil men. What is overlooked is control which does not have aversive consequences at any time;…social practices essential to the welfare of the species…
 
[p42] Man’s struggle for freedom is not due to a will to be free, but to certain behavioral processes characteristic of the human organism, the chief effect of which is the avoidance of or escape from so-called aversive features of the environment. Physical and biological technologies have been mainly concerned with natural aversive stimuli; the struggle for freedom is concerned with stimuli intentionally arranged by other people…
[the literature] has made the mistake of defining freedom in terms of states of mind or feelings, and it has therefore not been able to deal effectively with techniques of control which do not breed escape or revolt but nevertheless have aversive consequences. It has been forced to brand all control as wrong and to misrepresent many of the advantages to be gained from a social environment. It is unprepared for the next step, which is not to free men from control but to analyze and change the kinds of control to which they are exposed.
  
                                                                   _______________________________
Skinner’s comments on dignity revolve around concepts of  “credit” , “admiration”, and “achievement”, which are immeasurable ideas that he calls “occult” and are considered significant impediments to progress, arising from a misunderstanding of their causes. He believed if humanity acknowlegded collective “progress” and transferred the concepts of dignity to the achievements of the species as a whole, allowing scientists to lead the way, “we” would accomplish the idealization of human potential –his version, in any case, which is postulated to solve all human problems. Is this the ultimate form of narcissism?
 
ON DIGNITY
 
[p44]…”dignity concerns positive reinforcement.
[p45] The amount of credit a person receives is related in a curious way to the visibility of the causes of his behavior.
[p47] We give credit generously when there are no obvious reasons for the behavior [i.e. reward or originality]
We give maximal credit when there are quite visible reasons for behaving differently [i.e. persecution or threat, etc.]
 
[p49] We attempt to gain credit by disguising or concealing control… We try to gain credit by inventing less compelling reasons for our conduct…. We conceal coercion by doing more than is required.
[p50] We magnify the credit due us by exposing ourselves to conditions which ordinarily generate unworthy behavior while refraining from acting in unworthy ways.
 
[p51] We do not give credit if it will work no change. We do not give credit on reflexes…[or] for what has been done by accident.
We also withold credit if it is going to be supplied by others…
…we do not commend people who are obviously working..for commendation..
We seem to be interested in judicious use when we call rewards and punishments just or unjust and fair or unfair. We are concerned with what a person “deserves”…
 
[p54] What we may call the struggle for dignity has many features in common with the struggle for freedom.
The literature of dignity identifies those who infringe a person’s worth..
A large part of the literature of dignity is concerned with justice…[and the] encroachment on personal worth.
 
[p57] Behavioral technology does not escape as easily as physical and biological technology because it threatens too many occult qualities.
 
[p58] It is in the nature of scientific progress that the functions of autonomous man be taken over one by one as the role of the environment is better understood.
   Science naturally seeks a fuller explanation of..behavior; its goal is the destruction of mystery.  The defenders of dignity will protest, but in doing so they postpone an achievement for which, in traditional terms, man would receive the greatest credit and for which he would be most admired.
   What we may call the literature of dignity is concerned with preserving due credit. It may oppose advances in technology, including a technology of behavior, because they destroy chances to be admired…[or] for which the individual himself previously has been given credit. The literature thus stands in the way of further human achievements.
 
ON PUNISHMENT
 
[p60] Freedom is sometimes defined as a lack of resistence or restraint. Except when physically restrained, a person is least free or dignified when he is under threat of punishment.
Punishment is very common in nature, and we learn a great deal from it…[though] the word punishment is usually confined to contingencies arranged by other people who arrange them because the results are reinforcing to them..
Government is often defined in terms of the power to punish..
 
[p61] We should expect the literature of freedom and dignity to oppose measures of this sort.
…the military and police remain the most powerful arms of government.
[p62]…punishment may generate incompatible emotions
…fleeing to escape from a punisher is incompatible with attacking him.
…a person may subsequently behave ‘in order to avoid punishment’. Some of these are disruptive and maladaptive or neurotic…The so-called ‘dynamisms’ of Freud.
 
[p63] There are more effective ways of avoiding punishment. One may avoid occasions on which punishable behavior is likely to occur…
Still another strategy is to change the environment so that behavvior is less likely to be punished….Still another strategy is to change the probability that punishable behavior will occur.
[A man] may make punishable behavior less likely by changing his physiological condition…
 
[p64] A person may even take steps to strengthen contingencies which teach him to stop behaving in punishable ways.
Physical technology has reduced the number of occasions upon which people are naturally punished… [i.e. safety devices]
Punishable behavior can be minimized by creating circumstances in which it is not likely to occur.
[p65] Punishable behavior can also be suppressed by strongly reinforcing any behavior which displaces it. If all this fails, punishable behavior may be made less likely by changing physiological conditions [Skinner mentions hormones and surgery]
These problems are in essence soluble, however, it should be possible to design a world in which behavior likely to be punished seldom or never occurs.
T.H. Huxley saw nothing wrong with it.
 
[p66] ..[such as] T.S. Eliot’s contempt for “systems so perfect that no one will need to be good”…
[p67] There are of course, valid reasons for thinking less of a person who is automatically good, for he is a lesser person.
The problem is to induce people not to be good but to behave well….The issue again is the visibility of control.
..a state which converts all of its citizens into spies or a religion in which an all-seeing God makes escape from the punisher practically impossible.
[p70] The goodness to which good behavior is attributed is part of a person’s worth or dignity…Goodness, like other aspects of dignity or worth, waxes as visible control wanes, and so of course, does freedom.
 
[p71]..[people engaged in bad behavior because] they cannot do so in one environment and they do not do so in the other is a fact about techniques of control, not about goodness or freedom.
Appropriate contingencies can often not be arranged for primitive people…primitive people are not ready for freedom.
We hold a person responsible for his conduct in the sense that he can be justly or fairly punished.
[p73] If we want to say they are free, we must hold them responsible…
Any move toward an environment in which men are automatically good threatens responsibility…As responsibility diminishes, punishment is relaxed.
 
[p74] The real issue is the effectiveness of techniques of control.
It is the environment which is ‘responsible’….and it is the environment, not some attribute of the individual, which must be changed.”
 
                                                                      __________________________
….to be continued with Part III
  

December 15, 2009

The Host and the Parasite

Filed under: Modern History,Zionism — jenniferlake @ 2:06 am
Tags: , , , ,
“The Host and the Parasite”, presented by its author Greg Felton from Vancouver B.C. in February 2008
 
“September 11…led to the passage of the USA Patriot Act and from there, people might argue, we went into a spiral toward the abyss of statism, torture, imperial overreach and all sorts of other things you can associate with undemocratic activity.”
 
“On October 3rd, 2001, 24 days after September 11th happened, the Department of Justice handed Congress a document; it was called the USA Patriot Act and Congress was told to pass it….here we have a congress being told to follow a dictate from the Executive….
…the Patriot Act was entered into the House on October 23 and signed by GWBush on October 26. For legislation, that is an absurdly fast scenario.
…that document did something very strange and very sad –it legislated the Republic out of existence, legally.”
 
“We have to explain why a Congress would commit political suicide. Why would Congress do this? My book takes the perspective that Congress was incapable of defending the Constitution, which..the Patriot Act utterly destroys.
…beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1980, and through a period of 25 years, the United States managed to mutate from a republic.. toward a police state and it did so because of events that came out of the Vietnam War”…
 
[part 2]”In 1967…Israel provoked a war in the Middle East and managed to seize control of the Suez….They occupied East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Suez, the West Bank, Gaza Strip –it is still an illegal occupation…
The Israel Lobby which came to prominence under Harry Truman in 1948 and owed its allegiance to the Democratic Party was considering supporting a Republican [after Carter, who supported a Palestinian treaty]…with the election of 1980, ..the Zionists and Neoconservatives came to power and their front man was Ronald Reagan.
Through the 1980s we have a transition..between the role of oil as the dominant influence and cause of US policy in the Mid-East and that of supporting Israel, to the detriment of oil and to the detriment of the United States.”
 
“Throughout the 1980s, Israel virtually ignored everything the US wanted to do…It had carte blanche to do what it wanted”…
 
“In 1991, Dick Cheney had acknowledged there was no threat of nuclear weapons from Saddam Hussein. Colin Powell said the same thing in 2000, so did Condoleeza Rice…that Iraq posed no threat to the US or Israel. [Then] the US policy flip-flopped 180 degrees”…
 
[part 3]” the only interested party involved in Iraq was Israel, for three reasons. Iraq has a lot of oil –Israel needs oil. Iraq has a lot of water; the Tigris and the Euphrates all within the ambit of what’s called the Zionist claim on Middle Eastern land, “from the Nile to the Euphrates”…
…it’s also the case that Saddam Hussein was one of the few Arab leaders courageous enough to stand up and defend the Palestinians against the repression and sadism of the Israeli state.
Israel wants complete military superiority over the region and so ‘we’ had a provocation to bomb Iraq.”
 
“The United States government, especially since Clinton, has been populated by people who owe more of an allegiance to Israel than to the United States itself. To this day there are people in the United States government who are citizens of Israel, and to have dual citizens form the policy really brings up questions of duplicity and treason…
…it makes more sense to believe that the United States Congress is not in control of itself. The people making policy would rather serve Israel than serve their own public…and if we’re ever going to have a discussion of what happened on September 11, ..we have to look at who benefitted from it.”
 
“The United States has been humiliated, abused, disgraced, internationally and domestically, as it moves to support Israel in whatever it does. And it is impossible to think that this has been done willingly…The only possible thing that we can conclude is that the United States has been under Israeli occupation, to all intents and purposes.
…The United States..has slowly and quite clearly allowed itself to be occupied and humiliated by a lobby that had as it’s primary interest the interest of another government…
   If you look at the people who run the United States…the interplay between them and the Israeli lobby is very very close, and it makes no sense for the United States to murder Arabs en mass…to repudiate its principles and to declare war on its own citizens. The only way we can make sense of this is that the people in Washington are serving another government…We have essentially a treasonous government.”
*
[part 4,5,6 are question/answer and very instructive]
For a listing of government employees:  http://fedupusa.wordpress.com/  –‘fed up usa’ kicks butt
 
                                                ____________________________________

Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the host.

In general, parasites are much smaller than their hosts, show a high degree of specialization for their mode of life, and reproduce more quickly and in greater numbers than their hosts. Classic examples of parasitism include interactions between vertebrate hosts and diverse animals such as tapeworms, flukes, the Plasmodium species, and fleas. Parasitism is differentiated from parasitoidism, a relationship in which the host is always killed by the parasite such as moths, butterflies, ants, flies and others.

The harm and benefit in parasitic interactions concern the biological fitness of the organisms involved. Parasites reduce host fitness in many ways, ranging from general or specialized pathology (such as castration), impairment of secondary sex characteristics, to the modification of host behaviour. Parasites increase their fitness by exploiting hosts for food, habitat and dispersal……….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite

                                                _____________________________________________

The parasitic financial class: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/world_order/WorldOrder.htm

Americans spying for Israel –scientists selling secrets to the ‘Mossad’ http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2009/12/02/the-israel-lobby-celebrates-espionage-in-new-york/

December 13, 2009

DNA Ownership

“A man inherently owns his body information because it is the only object with which he is naturally endowed and serves as the basis for his future ownership of any other properties. The definition of body information is the sequence of biological codes that determines individual heredity characteristics…
DNA…becomes unique and is consequently acquired by a unique man through a process of his own creation.
…no person is entitled to the set of body information except the man who bears it.
…whether such ownership can be lost…The answer to this question is yes, yet only with one’s explicit and voluntary consent to a well-defined purpose.
…the purpose is binding.”
http://hussle.harvard.edu/~zhang/lab_reports/docs/MR22%20Ownership%20of%20body%20information.pdf
                                                                 ________________________
The DNA Control Grid http://www.corbettreport.com/articles/20090227_dna_control.htm ; this article states a 40 year (plus) international endeavor of DNA collection has been going on, with the material residing in the hands of private companies who claim ownership. Individuals who voluntary send in samples for “analysis” to programs purportedly determining ancestry or human migration history, such as the National Geographic Society effort, are giving their DNA to IBM and other integrated databases. Physical samples will enhance new and future genetic projects such as “minimal genome” research. 
                                                                ________________________
In April 2008, a legislative move in Minnesota denied genetic privacy to newborns who’ve been having state mandated blood and tissue collection since 1997. The bill made it harder and more complicated for parents to prevent
the proprietary use of their children’s DNA.
   Twila Brase said that “researchers..are looking for genes related to violence, crime, and different behaviors…so this is not just about cancer and asthma”
   In this youtube video, she adds that almost all states collect blood and DNA which they hold in perpetuity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgrmtMBJjcg

December 10, 2009

Beyond Freedom and Dignity, part I

This essay is based on B.F. Skinner’s 1971 book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity”

There is much not to like about B.F. Skinner;  he set himself on a course to obliterate the concepts of ‘freedom’ and ‘dignity’ sensing, he writes, that they are fatal to human survival, or more specifically, to the culture that “we” have made. Skinner’s use of the words “we” and “our” must be deduced to mean “anyone who has an interest in controlling human behavior, other than self”. He never uses the word “they” in any other context than to describe the proponents of ‘freedom and dignity’, and so the lines are clearly drawn. The implication is that in a social order there are two kinds of people: controllers and controllees. According to Skinner, controllers may, in turn, be controlled by the systems they design and controllees have the power of ‘reinforcement’ to affect the behavior of controllers, but ultimately everyone is controlled by ‘environmental contingencies’ which are humanly controllable and therefore the balance falls squarely in favor of the controllers. Skinner’s contribution as a controller was to develop a science of behaviorism : reduce ‘man’ to his observable forms, assess the sum of his parts, and gather experimental data to prove that he is accurately and justifiably categorical.
*
   What we have to imagine, from Skinner’s point of view, is that science will solve all of our problems and that furthermore the process is honest enough to become nearly flawless. There is an awful lot riding on Skinner’s assertions. He assumed “we” would advance toward a perfect state by “our” willingness to be scientifically guided there if only we would discard the obsolete traditions of freedom and dignity. In aid of that objective Skinner reconstructs the ‘autonomous man’, the self-willed individual, and then demolishes him in a demonstration of behaviorism. Was he right? Is science impartial and honest enough to answer that question? If you and I applied Skinner’s theories to himself and the “we” he speaks of, will we be able to discern the likelihood of general improvements that behaviorism has to offer? Skinner’s ascendancy as a psychologist indicates the favor of his views with his paymasters –is it Skinner’s Program and outlook that we are being subjected to ?
*
   Admittedly, the literature of freedom and dignity has won humanity much of its ‘progress’. Why wouldn’t expanding and applying its concepts continue to advance the human cause? What ultimately is the human cause? The risk of not defining it for ourselves (my ‘our’ and not Skinner’s) is to fail in matching our Controllers with effective countercontrols. As we shall see, the defenders of ‘autonomous man’ have already been done away with. Lack of control is not an option. Organization and articulation overcome disorder and weakness, subsuming and assimilating its energy, and ‘man’ is easily disordered by novel contingencies which behaviorism so adequately illustrates. What seems most dire in the views of B.F. Skinner is that he himself had to have disregarded fundamental principles of biology in higher organisms in order to sustain support for his thesis of intentional social design. He did not compare a society to an orgainsm. I don’t know if he ever did, was qualified, or incorporated qualified evidence of complex living organisms as models for larger systems. If he knew that the health of complex lifeforms was dependent on necessary interactions of seemingly opposed internal systems, it did not detract from his enthusiasm to suggest that ‘perfect’ design would eliminate conflict.
*
   The fact that every historical Utopian experiment has failed, and “ignominiously” so agreed Skinner, did not deter him from urging that designers press forward. Is this the definition of madness? Or is it reasonable that science will provide the keys to perfecting the controlled society, and more importantly, will that ensure human survival? Were it possible to do so, would a human ‘organism’ have a better chance of survival if all harmful ‘stimuli’ such as pathogens are designed out of the environment? With no need for a strong immune system will we ‘select’ it out of existence? “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” is not concerned with health –it is concerned with the survival of Skinner’s culture. The task then appears to be identifying Skinner’s culture, deciding whether or not it should survive, if tolerated then to what degree, and how best to apply countercontrols with the support of a new literature of freedom and dignity. Skinner was wrong in the end. Freedom and dignity are as essential to a human society as an immune system is to a human body. Without it we become sick, and we die, and may fail to endure as a species.
*
I have no idea if a ‘new’ literature of freedom exists, or if I would agree to it if it did. Undeniably, it works, motivating revolutionary spirit into action despite the faults found in it by Skinner. The main fault was that it was incomplete. The problem now is that it may not meet the needs of the present and ‘revolution’ as it was conceived in the past may not be the ideal spirit to engender. My personal sense is to ‘recover’ the freedom lost by the slow and ‘silent’ revolutions that have turned legal constructs upside down. Technology has inserted vast new contingencies that alter the definitions once given to ‘self’, ‘privacy’ and ‘privileges’, and with it we may have to forge a broad class of counter-contingencies. In Skinner’s view, ‘spirit’ is merely a colloquialism for a seemingly uncaused behavior. He rejected the notion of ‘uncaused’ –it was simply something lacking an observable form. Perhaps in the process of re-valuing freedom and dignity in light of the present challenges we will come closer to preserving them than our existing  literature can provide. We’ll have to lay our modern technologies on the table and account for them, as they are the ‘inconspicuous’ contingencies that Skinner advocated.
*
Behaviorism was not rejected, but it was energetically opposed by journalists, psychologists, and theologians such as Noam Chomsky, Arthur Koestler, Peter Gay, Herbert Kelman, Rollo May and others. Quoting Time magazine in 1971, as a pre-release notice of the book, Time states “To Theologian [Richard] Rubenstein, Beyond Freedom and Dignity is an important but ‘terrifying’ book. Skinner’s ‘utopian projection’ he says ‘is less likely to be a blueprint for the Golden Age than for the theory and practice of hell’.”
The fatal flaw in Beyond Freedom and Dignity is that Skinner destroyed the very ‘countercontrol’ that he was certain would balance an ‘intentional society’. His critics were wrong too. They said it would never work. Did the critics offer a false security to the public? Was it pretention that they were guardians of freedom and dignity? Skinner’s behaviorism and designer communities do work  which is why his outlook poses such a threat to us. He made himself a “useful idiot”, convinced of his own genius, and his detractors fairly recognized the ultimate price of implementing Skinnerian plans : totalitarianism. Their derision inflated the opinion that Skinner would be easily dismissed, but in fact, the plan is visibly attended. It is becoming much of what he hoped, despite appearances, and with great irony we can look back at the man who constructed himself a “pleasant environment” to live in, yet confessed to being deeply unhappy.
Excerpts from Beyond Freedom and Dignity
 
“In trying to solve the terrifying problems that face us in the world today, we naturally turn to things we do best. We play from strength, and our strength is science and technology.
…we can point to remarkable achievements in all these fields [birth control, weapons, medicine]…But things grow steadily worse, and it is disheartening to find that technology itself is increasingly at fault. Sanitation and medicine have made the problems of population more acute, war has acquired a new horror with the invention of nuclear weapons, and the affluent pursuit of happiness is largely responsible for pollution. As Darlington has said,”Every new source from which man has increased his power on the earth has been used to diminish the prospects of his successors. All his progress has been made at the expense of damage to his environment which he cannot repair and could not foresee”. Whether or not he could have foreseen the damage, man must repair it or all is lost.”
[p.4]…physical and biological sciences alone will not solve our problems…we need to make vast changes in human behavior.
[p.5] What we need is a technology of behavior…But a behavioral technology comparable in power and precision to physical and biological technology is lacking…
Today [man] is the thing he understands least. Physics and biology have come a long way, but there has been no comparable development of anything like a science of human behavior.
[p.6]..our practices in government, education, and much of economics..have not greatly improved. [The Greeks’] thinking about human behavior must have had some fatal flaw…Greek theories..led nowhere…they did not contain the seeds of anything better.
[p.7]..the methods of science have scarcely yet been applied to human behavior…It has to do with our treatment of the causes of behavior.
..Intelligent people no longer believe that men are possessed by demons..but human behavior is still commonly attributed to indwelling agents. A juvenile delinquent is said, for example, to be suffering from a disturbed personality. There would be no point in saying it if the personality were not somehow distinct…Psychoanalysts have identified three of these personalities –the ego, superego and id– and interactions among them are said to be responsible for the behavior of the man in whom they dwell.
[p.9] To the medieval alchemist…properties of substances were compared in what might have been called a “chemistry of individual differences”. Newton complained..”To tell us that every species of thing is endowed with an occult specific quality by which it acts and produces manifest effects is to tell us nothing”. Almost everyone who is concerned with human affairs..continues to talk about human behavior in this prescientific way.
[p.10]…certain stubborn questions about the nature of the mind..still go unanswered. How for example, can the mind move the body? As late as 1965 Karl Popper put it this way: “What we want is to understand how such nonphysical things as purposes, deliberations, plans, decisions, theories, tensions and values can play a part in bringing about physical changes in the physical world”.
[p.11]..the commonest alternative [to God(s)] is to appeal to antecedent physical events.
A person’s genetic endowment..is said to explain part of the workings of his mind and his personal history the rest. For example, because of (physical) competition during the course of evolution people now have (nonphysical) feelings of aggression which lead to (physical) acts of hostility.
…aggression reaches back into millions of years of evolutionary history, and anxiety acquired when one is a child survives into old age.
[p12] Psychotherapists say feelings which have been put out of mind fight their way back in…and so on.
…but it is ususally possible to ignore them, and this may be a good strategy…The world of mind steals the show.
The conditions of which behavior is a function are also neglected…The professional psychologist often stops…how many of those who have considered [William] James’ arguments have noted that no antecedent event has..been pointed out?
[p.13] There is a good deal of current interest, for example, in what must have happened during the evolution of the species to explain human behavior…behavior we cannot explain…
[p.14] The [invented] function of the inner man is to provide an explanation…he is a center from which behavior emanates. He initiates, originates, and creates, and in so doing he remains, as he was for the Greeks, divine. We say that he is autonomous –and, so far as a science of behavior is concerned, that means miraculous.
His existence depends upon our ignorance, and he naturally loses status as we come to know more about behavior. The task of a scientific analysis is to explain how the behavior of a person as a physical system is related to the conditions under which the human species evolved and the condition under which the individual lives….these events must be related…
The contingencies of survival responsible for man’s genetic endowment would produce tendencies to act aggressively, not feelings of aggression….any feelings which may arise are at best by-products.
[p.15] Our age is not suffering from anxiety but from the accidents, crimes, wars, and other dangerous and painful things to which people are so often exposed….we do not need to try and discover what personalities, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, plans, purposes, intentions, or other perquisites of autonomous man really are in order to get on with a scientific analysis of behavior…The inner man has been created in the image of the outer.
[p.16]…[Feelings] are by-products and not to be mistaken for causes.
For thousands of years in the history of human thought the process of natural selection went unseen in spite of its extraordinary importance.
[p.17] The effect of the environment on behavior remained obscure for an even longer time. We can see what organisms do to the world…but it is much harder to see what the world does to them. It was Descartes who first suggested that the environment might play an active role in the determination of behavior…(he excluded the human organism, presumably to avoid religious controversy)
   The triggering action of the environment came to be called a ‘stimulus’ –the Latin word for ‘goad’– and the effect on the organism a ‘response’, and together they were said to compose a ‘reflex’. Reflexes were first demonstrated in small decapitated animals…it seemed to deny the existence of an autonomous agent –the ‘soul of the spinal cord’…
When Pavlov showed how new reflexes could be built up through conditioning, a full-fledged stimulus-response psychology was born, in which all behavior was regarded as reactions to stimuli.
[p.18] The stimulus-response model..did not solve the basic problem, because something like an ‘inner man’ had to be invented to convert a stimulus into a response. Information theory ran into the same problem when an inner ‘processor’ had to be invented to convert input to output.
…Descartes hypothesis held a dominant position in behavior for a long time, but it was a false scent from which a scientific analysis is only now recovering.
   It is now clear that we must take into account what the environment does to an organism not only before but after it responds. Behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences. Once this fact is recognized, we can formulate the interaction between organism and environment…
   There are two important results. Behavior which operates upon the environment to produce consequences (‘operant’ behavior) can be studied by arranging environments in which specific consequences are contingent upon it….The second result is practical : the environment can be manipulated.
[p.19] A technology of operant behavior is..already well advanced. We have moved forward by dispossessing autonomous man, but he has not departed gracefully.
   He is still an important figure in political science, law, religion, economics, anthropology, sociology, psychotherapy, philosophy, ethics, history, education, [etc.], and family life.
   In the traditional view, a person is free. He is autonomus in the sense that his behavior is uncaused. He can therefore be held responsible for what he does and justly punished if he offends. That view..must be re-examined when a scientific analysis reveals unsuspected controlling relations between behavior and environment.
…new evidences of the predictability of human behavior are [being] discovered.
   By questioning the control exercised by autonomous man and demonstrating the control exercised by the environment, a science of behavior also seems to question dignity and worth.
[p.21] [in the traditional view] A person is responsible for his behavior not only in the sense that he may be justly blamed or punished when he behaves badly, but also in the sense that he is given credit and admired for his achievements. A scientific analysis shifts the credit as well as the blame to the environment, and traditional practices can then no longer be justified.
   These are sweeping changes, and those who are committed to traditional theories and practices naturally resist them.
[p.22] As the emphasis shifts to the environment, the individual seems to be exposed to a new kind of danger. Who is to construct the controlling environment and to what end? Autonomous man presumably controls himself in accordance with a built-in set of values; he works for what he finds good. But what will the putative controller find good and will it be good for those he controls? Answers to questions of this sort are said, of course, to call for value judgements.
   A science of behavior is by no means as far advanced as physics or biology, but it has an advantage in that it may throw some light on its own difficulties. Science is human behavior, and so is the opposition to science.
[p.23] We can reject traditional explanations if they have been tried and found wanting in an experimental analysis…
[p.24] Almost all our major problems involve human behavior and they cannot be solved by physical and biological technology alone…but we have been slow…
[p.25]   The behavioral sciences have been slow to change partly because the explanatory entities..have been hard to find. The environment is obviously important, but its role has remained obscure. It does not push or pull, it selects, and this function is difficult to discover and analyze.
…the selective role of the environment in shaping and maintaining the behavior of the individual is only beginning to be recognized and studied…effects, once assigned to states of mind, feelings, and traits, are beginning to be traced to accessible conditions…
   It will not solve our problems however, until it replaces traditional prescientific views, and these are strongly entrenched. Freedom and dignity illustrate the difficulty. They are the possessions of the autonomous man of traditional theory and they are essential to practices in which a person is held responsible for his conduct and given credit for his achievements. A scientific analysis shifts both the responsibility and the achievement to the environment. It also raises questions concerning ‘values’. Who will use a technology and to what ends? Until these issues are resolved, a technology of behavior will continue to be rejected, and with it possibly the only way to solve our problems.”
[end excerpts]

December 8, 2009

Pausing For Thought

I’ve reached a point with this blog where I’ve laid out a lot of the things that concern me –and I’ll recap some of that– and for the time being I need to ‘go deep’ and get familiar with the guiding authorities that are shaping this New World into which we’re being delivered. People who generally are not concerned with controlling others have a tendency in common –they don’t explore the mechanisms of control or the literature that supports it, at least not until it becomes a problem. I have this tendency.
 
I’m in the process now of rereading a book that was initially loathsome, B.F. Skinner’s “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” –I highly recommend it. Skinner worked for Army Intel and trained a generation of Harvard behaviorists to create a science of social control. It’s been exceptionally thought-provoking to give Skinner’s book another go ’round and carry his ideas, published in 1971, forward to the state-of-the-art contributions in control made by science and technology. Behaviorism was Skinner’s technology.
 
I’ll give you a taste:
[page 42]
“Man’s struggle for freedom is not due to a will to be free, but to certain behavioral processes characteristic of the human organism, the chief effect of which is the avoidance of or escape from so-called “aversive” features of the environment. Physical and biological technologies have been mainly concerned with natural aversive stimuli; the struggle for freedom is concerned with stimuli arranged by other people. The literature of freedom has identified the other people and has proposed ways of escaping from them or weakening or destroying their power. It has been successful in reducing the aversive stimuli used in intentional control, but it has made the mistake of defining freedom in terms of states of mind or feelings, and it has therefore not been able to deal effectively with techniques of control which do not breed escape or revolt but nevertheless have aversive consequences. It has been forced to brand all control as wrong and to misrepresent many of the advantages to be gained from a social environment. It is unprepared for the next step, which is not to free men from control but to analyze and change the kinds of control to which they are exposed.”
_______________
 
I’m nearly bubbling-over to use Skinner’s book as a touchstone and apply what I’ve learned about the ‘state’ we’re in to his exposition of behavior. That will take some time, but doing so can only be helpful to know where to look and how to strengthen and extend the concepts of the “literature of freedom and dignity” to cover the areas implied by Skinner but not addressed; namely tools of control such as biological/pharmaceutical and electronic means which have slipped into “legal” development –like the article just below endeavors to point out. Freedom and dignity are concepts that Skinner believed to be artifacts from an earlier time when humans “aggrandized the individual” –they could be fatal, he believed, for a culture wishing to preserve itself. What culture, exactly, does Skinner hope to preserve? He answers only ‘our’ culture. His allegiance is to the controller-designers who esteemed him to develop a methodology; and so man is not the autonomous being of his thought and spirit. He is an automaton in motion, subject to the contingencies of the environment and the ‘reinforcers’ that condition him. That’s all.
 
If  governments can manipulate our DNA, and program entirely novel organisms into existence (they can and they do!), nothing prevents them from using it to solve the “Human Question” once and for all. In fact, every aspect of this scientific pursuit has been accelerated. It’s not a moral question in behaviorism, but a contigency. 
 
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