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Ideas and information in action
Ideas and information in action

Protension's posts

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+Austin Cherry - Simple mindfulness allows us to notice ?what? something like synchronicity.
"The Death of Expertise; The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters"
The sorta thing that comes to me now and again.
I'm samurai when it comes to judgment/condemnation. I don't cause suffering. Though I'd cause death as the situation requires.
Sanity is about simplicity ... parsimonious ... Occam's razor and all that ... triage.

How to combat stupidity and false news? Forensically. Precisely. Comprehensively. Thoroughly.
#DeliberativePolitics #Exhibitum #Protension

Why has my project taken so long? cuz ahh ain't schmart is why!
"Convergence" is tech talk for "reaching some agreement".
Major problem: folk (meaning you) are actually pessimistic to the point of cynicism when it comes to working through conflict by talking rather than fighting.

My "discourse-based decision support system" is so simple that nobody gets it. The method's effect is so obvious, nobody sees it.
I needed to find an intermediate step. Which I did. Working name "Ice Pick".

Given some disagreement on some issue any discussion almost immediately gets tangled in who's saying what about what.
So? Something we've never been able to do before the age of "cloud" and "big data": a comprehensive list of issues and arguments.
If //one party// can clearly identify precisely what they're arguing about (I really do mean "in detail") they can share that with the "other side" of the argument.
And here's where your pessimism kicks in. You'd like reply something along the lines of "So what / who cares?!"

Clarity of concept has nearly magical powers to act on our mind/brain functioning. Kinda like how sometimes we form a mental image of a notion or concept.

With the exact issue precisely in mind ... "convergence" is right there, within reach. What stops it? either ignorance (about a precise something) or dishonesty (with very clear evidence).

#DeliberativePolitics 3DEC2016

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It really does come down to "... as though persons matter". If ever these brilliant systems grapple with meaning perhaps then we'll take at lease a tiny step towards real social justice.
I've never been other than extremely skeptical of the whole ‪#‎BigData‬ thing but +David Colarusso's work had me re-think and now I see that this actually could integrate with ‪#‎DeliberativePolitics‬ and ‪#‎Discourse‬ without dehumanizing the entire situation.
‪#‎Lateral‬: I remain practically allergic to sociology.

Testing the connection with G+

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Bottom line: summer of 1976 (still scorched by knowing that in the case of Chile we had handed a democratic country over to fascist military) me and mine produced a series of workshops on foreign policy and social justice in general, "living wage for cocoa and coffee farmers" in particular.

In the end ... I can recall the very moment ... I realized that most of what we'd done resulted in folk with superficial understandings having a slightly broader / more complete set of superficial understandings, and with confidence.
There was nothing like "realization" ... certainly nothing close to "paradigm shift" or "metanoia" ... just self-serving blather with even brighter yuppie smiles.

SO: if I wanted to colonize others' brains? that was the way to go about that very conventional project. If I wanted better?
And that's what took me about 8yrs to clarify as a "system requirement" and then fully 20yrs to set out as a "detailed design document". Key component? discourse. Not debate or discussion. Discourse. (see Jurgen Habermas on this) Just that? nope. Rigour. Forensic quality propositional analysis ("Since most think-tanks are liberal, then X Y Z ... and most think-tanks are not in fact liberal ... and so therefore M N O.") ... sylogistic logic. Hammer&Tongs ... Nuts&Bolts.

"Discourse-based decision support" in the domain of #DeliberativePolitics. Public discourse on policy decisions. PD^2 /grin/

see this from Herman Hesse's "Magister Ludi" (The Glass Bead GameMaster")
This is a very helpful interview on how we think /should deal with talking to people with whom we disagree. It addresses fully informed, rational people. I realize sock puppets are a special case since they are likely compensated or mentally ill.

Changing one's mind when presented with evidence should be seen as a good thing. Not doing it should be a metacognitive alarm siren. What is wrong with me? Is my attachment to something irrational messing with my ability to think about my own behavior?

Let me give an example. My friend told me liberal think tanks outnumber conservative think tanks as part of an argument about climate change. I subsequently counted them and found conservative think tanks outnumber liberal roughly two to one. This did not affect his opinion. In general he possesses awesome grasp of historic events and he has often persuaded me.

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from mark Kingwell's "What Are Intellectuals for? A Modest Proposal in Dialogue Form"

A: I'm not sure any really great thinker can deny the temptation [to rule], even if they should always resist it. An intellectual looks at society and thinks: "I could do better than that, for crying out loud."

Q: But not without some violence. And that would make them, and society, worse. Also, they're probably wrong. The basic building blocks of politics are people, not ideas. Of course ideas are in the mix, sometimes with real power, but it really all comes down to the mysteries of human desire. What do the miserable creatures want? They hardly know themselves.

A: That's it. The whole "crooked timber of humanity" business. No such thing as an ideal state, or even a very rational one, when you're dealing with the humans. They're pretty hopeless.

Q: So philosophers, or intellectuals, should not aspire to rule.


[... T]here's no way out, no transcendence possible. But what you can do is hold on to an awareness of that fact. Frye once more, capturing the larger stakes of critical intellectual engagement: "Democracy is a mixture of majority rule and minority right, and the minority which most clearly has a right is the minority of those who try to resist a passive response, and thereby risk the resentment of those who regard them as trying to be undemocratically superior." Hence anti-intellectualism, which is really a resentment against assumed claims of elite status. Who do you think you are, being critical?

Q: Yeah, that sounds familiar.

A: But the real issue is the interior tension, not the external hostility. Frye nails it: "I am speaking however not so much of two groups of people as of two mental attitudes, both of which may exist in the same mind. The prison of illusion holds all of us; the first important step is to be aware of it as illusion and as a prison."

Q: I do like that--it sounds right. But if that's the first important step, what's the second?

A: Now we finally get to the fourth type. The second step is: make yourself indigestible.

Q: Uh ...

A: So the best public intellectuals can hope for themselves is to be good citizens, and to engage the semi-conscious majority with as much self-awareness, wit, and eloquence as they can muster. But they cannot expect to be thanked for this, nor should they take refuge in the soft tyranny of "non-material advantages." Especially in an age when there is no such thing as real public discourse, they will always be in danger of being consumed by the system they inhabit. More insidiously, they may find themselves doing the consuming, calculating the costs and benefits of their buy-ins of the mind, their mental self-cannibalizing. At that point, the best strategy--the only alternative--is to be as indigestible as possible.

Q: But come on, this is important! Don't you worry that we live in an age where irony is out of fashion, lost equally on militants who don't care about reason and on those autistic narcissists who spend all their time checking email on their phones?

A: Yes. Yes, I do. But you have to keep trying, and by any means necessary. Because if you give up, the system will eat you alive. It might do that anyway, but you can at least make it hurt a bit going down. Do you know Michael Foot? A British politician. He said this about intellectual engagement, in a campaign speech for an election his party went on to lose: "We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves."

Q: Yes.

A: Yes. Never worry about those on top--they will always find a way to take care of themselves. And never try to be on top yourself--you won't like it there. No, worry about those stuck at the bottom, speak and provide for them as best you can. There's no other point to being here.
"I argue that generally as a society we are failing to engage and that we need to find new and imaginative ways to do so if our democracy is to flourish." ("To this process of democratic engagement, I argue, intellectuals but contribute.")
--Janice Gross Stein; "The Public Intellectual and the Democratic Conversation"

Nice to see that some folk get paid to talk about this stuff. I get shunned and ignored.

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It is unreasonable to expect a person to abandon an opinion or position that pleases them. And yet that is what the situation requires of us, as persons and as citizens. Not all opinions and positions are optimal. Not all opinions are balanced and beneficial. Indeed, not all opinions and positions are well reasoned and grounded in accepted fact. We have to acknowledge a pair: it is human values that very typically determine opinions even in the face of well grounded counter-arguments. So even the least reasoned positions must, as rooted in human values, be respected for that, and even appreciated.

"Tragedy of the Commons"; see Samara Canada; (2014) p. 10
"How would you describe the job of an MP?"

"Well, I can give you the canned thing of why they tell us we're there, and I can share with you what I believe is the truth. So, in a nutshell, we're there to adopt national policy for the betterment of all in the country. The truth is: you're there to develop policy that is self­serving and beneficial to your party in order to keep you in power and get you re-elected .... There is politics involved in everything, so you kind of look at 'Okay, how many are we going to gain from this?' 'How does it fit with the principles of the party?' ... That was the challenge of me deciding to become an MP: I've always been an independent thinker and the fact [is] that the majority of life was governed by someone else, and you had to adhere to the policy or [endure] the wrath of the whip."
-Russ Powers, Liberal MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough Westdale, 2004-06.

Is this what Powers set out to do when he ran for office? Exist in a system where the majority of his life "was governed by someone else"? Of course not. Nor did his fellow MP's aim to work in similar conditions. But change is not so easily accomplished.

In 1968, the American biologist Garret Hardin published an essay in the journal Science called "The Tragedy of the Commons." In it, Hardin discusses the challenge of managing common resources. In his most famous example, Hardin describes the situation of a group of farmers who can freely graze their animals on a shared pasture. Facing no extra costs 10 Tragedy in the Commons ...
#Aggregation - My notion is that when the input is processed, that it is in effect bowdlerized. All very good to harvest propositions and proposals, but there's a whole human value aspect that tends to evaporate. (Something like how when data is "sanitized" or "normalized" information is lost when significant out-liers are exterminated.)
Conversation is not debate. And discourse qua discourse is more than just discussion.

p.s. any cog-psych geeks out there? Lateral intraparietal area ... Like/Not Like in less time than it takes to blink an eye.

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“Freedom vs control: For a democratic response”
"Submit lab ideas now for the World Forum for Democracy 2015."
What we're really talking about here is obligation and freedom, the tension.
It's that type of tension that gave me my company name: Protension. There's an energy in contention that can be very enabling. Sort of like how Bucky Fuller used the notion of tensegrity.

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This also connects with  "decision-making as a self-documenting process" in <>

"Wouldn't it be nice if policy decision making also produced an easily accessible "paper trail" of what went into making that particular sausage?
I talk about "bumper sticker slogans and fortune cookie wisdom" ... and you just blow me off for that.
"The argument economy: When ideas trump information journalism veers into propaganda."
--The Atlantic (via @TheAtlantic 9 minutes ago)
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