Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm not sure what The Scene is, and as I said above my brain seems to match the circuit III model more than any other.  I would not make a good teacher to anyone under the age of sixteen, and I should say that I was thinking in particular of education at the "pre-hormonal" level, say 6-11, rather than secondary education.

What my sense was--and is--is that there is a general feeling (I'm getting this from your diary and from the idea that people just "don't get it", where "it" is related to understanding some facts derived from scientific thinking, and where "scientific thinking" means a process that a majority of people don't understand, and that this entire process is deleterious to society.

On re-reading das monde's diary, I class myself as a person who doesn't understand the following sentence:

But the main purpose of school education (and I would be wholly happy just with that) is to help students to realize that scientific logic is something different than everyday practical-empirical logic.

I understand that the way the world works is sometimes counter-intuitive, but that would depend on what one's intuitions are.  If we take the birthday paradox


I can't make head nor tail of the maths, though I'm sure it's right.  Now I think a circuit III teacher would try and take me through it slowly, then perhaps more slowly, but there would be that underlying frustration as they realised that I couldn't "get it."

But, taking another tack (which is what a circuit V type would do, I think), the problem might be re-stated in terms of counter-intuity.  What is the simplest counter-intuitive situation we can imagine?  How about: we are moving, the sun isn't, but it looks like the sun is moving.

I've tried this test on a lot of people since I realised that I didn't naturally know the answer:

First, ask a person "Which way is north, east, west, south?"  I'd say perhaps half of the people I asked knew.

Then I'd say.  "Where does the sun get up and where does it go to bed?"

Again, there was not unanimity on this one.

Then I asked: "Okay.  We know the world is spinning.  Which way is it going, north, south, east, or west?"

The fact that most people don't know doesn't, for me, say anything about their circuit III capabilities.  Rather, it says something about the nature of science education proposed by circuit III types.

As I said, I work at circuit III so I find it very hard to get my head around the idea of being on a ball spinning in space and how that affects the position of the sun and the moon (not forgetting light pollution.)

Therefore, I think it would be better for circuit III types to worry out their thoughts about this lack of people's knowledge with circuit V types, as it seems clear (judging by history) that without that circling back to the basics (the kids never look up--they look forward; they can't do the birthday problem because they're not bothered about probabilities and and fact is that in a school of 365 people the likelihood is that only one person shares your birthday--or rather, the birthday paradox seems to resolve as a bit of a magician's trick (if I've understood correctly):

The actual birthday problem is asking if any of the 23 people have a matching birthday with any of the others -- not one in particular.

I mean, you're right that a lot of young dope smokers may like to think of themselves as circuit V types, but I don't share what is my (maybe entirely mistaken) sense that here at ET this makes them risible.  I mean, they are at least trying to think outside the work-for-money-for-success-and-progress paradigm, and also outside of the gun-status-intimidation-power paradigm.  And, of course, what I think a circuit V type knows is that there are clear reasons why their ideas struggle to touch reality, including maybe the fact that it costs money and time and materials and the good will of other people to learn.  It takes good teachers, and good teachers don't take the attitude that those who don't know are laughable.  

That may be a harsh presentation.  But I see key scientific ideas being proposed by DeAnander, and she is basically told "You want to live in an agrarian utopia", when she seems to me to be analysing what is going on and using science in a holistic sense to discuss possible solutions to problems perceived through the paradigm of "holistic science" or science-as-synthesis, where it is...

Ach.  I know a little bit about music.  A student who wants to learn how to play an instrument in order to play, say, Bach, will have to knuckle down and study, if they want to play Bach.  I would say you need both a student who wishes and is happy to play music written by others and a teacher who knows the latest techniques for the most efficient acquisition of said skills.  And, of course, some people don't have the manual dexterity (small fingers!) to acheive certain results.  But this in no way should close off the area of human activity known as "music".

I realise now, though, that I have a completely alternative view of secondary education, which I would link very strongly with the wider society, where children going through the various hormonal stages would interact not just with peers, teachers, and mass culture (tv, etc.)...but that's a whole other essay.  It's what I mean by circuit V types as teachers, though.

Not very coherent, I know, but there is something there I'd like to tease out, maybe something to do with how "science" is seen as somehow "separate" from humans, when it is one of our tools...ach...it's something like DeAnander's point about rich people thinking you can eat paper, as if some scientists think science will just continue without humans, when science is...I'm back to das monde's point that I didn't get.  I thought science was hypothesis, experiement, analysis, then repeat.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 04:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think intuition as you're using it here possibly isn't what RAW means.

For me, intuition is defined by knowing things - and I mean accurately knowing things - that can't be worked out using IIIrd circuit tools.

If someone logs onto Second Life for the first time and finds their way to the virtual property of a friend by flying around at random, that would be intuition.

It can be explained as coincidence, but it's so statistically improbable, given how big Second Life is, that it's actually very unlikely. Especially when similarly unlikely things happen to them rather a lot. (Not a hypothetical, BTW - I know someone who operates like this.)

What you're calling intuition seems to be more about default assumptions about the world. Most of the time people don't need to know whether it's the earth or the sun that's moving. It's enough to know that when it's daytime the sun is up, and then it gets dark for a while, and there are seasons which make the cycle vary, and that's pretty much it.

The point of science is that it asks lots of 'Yes, but...' questions and eventually you end up in a place which looks nothing like that view of the world. It happens to be more useful and inclusive for certain things, but the fact that it's not rooted in everyday experience is exactly why - it doesn't take things at face value.

So at face value the birthday paradox, or the fact that the odds of a coin showing heads are always a nominal 50%, even after a freak run of 1,000 heads in the past, makes no sense. That's because our face value views of the world didn't evolve to deal with those kinds of problems.

If there's a point to science education it's that the face value view of the world is tentative and usually limited. Chasing after a more comprehensive view is very much a IIIrd circuit thing to do. And - as RAW says - it's easy spin your wheels endlessly in 'Yes, but...' without getting anywhere useful. Especially if you don't have peer review and other kinds of reality checks to stop the process becoming parasitic on your consciousness.

Intuition can sometimes short-circuit that, not by building a more accurate map - which is what the crank-types always try to do, and fail - but by realising that sometimes you don't need either Science[tm] or face value to connect with reality in a useful and fun way.

Similarly with drugs, you can take the experiences at face value. You can analyse them intellectually to build a map. Or you can 'know' what you do and don't need from them, and what's right for you. There is a kind of messianic narrative about drugs which suggests that using them will help you to know. But in practice face-value use seems to be more common than that. and it's the odder non-mainstream drugs, like ibogaine and ayahuasca, that seem to have more potential for persistent intuition. Weed and LSD - not so much, I think.

As for music, it's true that people have to practice. But for some teachers that's an end in itself. It's about teaching values like persistence and hard work for their own sake, and not about making performance skills fit into a bigger picture of Bach's intentions and musical spirit. For me that's a crippling and not a liberating way to teach music.

The basic narrative here is personal liberation. The progressive idea is that if people can function without being crippled, they won't need the kind of oversight that conservatives believe is essential.

Conservatives know what goes on in their own souls more than they understand anyone else. On that basis it's not surprising they want to control the world, lock it up, and declare war on it.

With higher circuits those knee-jerk conservative reactions become frightening first, then pitiful, then rather funny.

But conservatives won't see it like that, because the idea that a world of switched-on people might survive happily without their much coarses responses is something that's completely beyond their imagination.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 07:08:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Intuition can sometimes short-circuit that, not by building a more accurate map - which is what the crank-types always try to do, and fail - but by realising that sometimes you don't need either Science[tm] or face value to connect with reality in a useful and fun way.

Yeah, that's the one.  What I'm aiming towards, maybe, is that the circuit V holistic view can sense with confidence where the face-value limits lie, has a channel to the hidden assumptions because, I dunno, once your fifth circuit starts firing regularly your assumptions are running constant tests against the realities around you--all of 'em, without prejudice--and seeing how they join...and as you say, in the context of drugs,

you can take the experiences at face value. You can analyse them intellectually to build a map. Or you can 'know' what you do and don't need from them, and what's right for you.

I realised somewhere in what I was writing that there is a paradox about asking a circuit V to teach what can't be taught, but I think that's what makes them ideal teachers--that endless living in reality as a holistic, intuitive, centred continuum, seeing when a particular scientific tool will have maximum effect in opening the student's eyes to all those realities happening around them...

Ya know, I think there are historic precendents for individual schools turning out amazing communities of students.  Summerhill comes to mind, as does the (maybe apocryphal, but I think it existed) primary school in Brooklyn that produced a number of nobel prize winners...and off to google I go to find a list of nobel prize winners and their schools....


...though I'm sure there was a primary school where a bunch came from...anyways...

I take that to mean once you get those circuits firing up and through...ach...ya know, RAW always makes me chuckle and think, and that mix of humour and thought is, for me, a sign of someone working from...I dunno...I don't want to say "higher", maybe "wider"?, states of relation to their immediate realities.  

But yeah, intuition and its results.  I suppose I place myself with the stupid people and wonder how we can all get a bit less stupid, and if intuition is worth developing (and for this circuit III chap I think it definitely is because of its lateral nature), I think its worth giving those who are trying it out some slack if the results are sometimes...well...I suppose I'd say if the student is trying to learn then the mistakes are where the learning happens, and the pratfalls...a good laugh with rather than at the poor bloke with his face in a puddle (c'est moi), and then--and I think this is another circuit V element that is a powerful teaching tool--knowing what to do next...a helping hand?  Dive in the puddle too and have a splash around?  Hand the guy in the puddle a towel?  Or a drink?  Or maybe the circuit V tripped them up?  All so fast and subtle and science, yeah, its in there, I think you're saying its key role is when what appears ain't necessarily so, and how to maintain that scepticism while being fully engaged...ach...but yeah, sommat along those lines.

I think the real loss of scientific thought among the general population came when what science was discovering in the sixties was stomped on by the police.  HST placed it to the '68 convention in Chicago--that was when he saw it stomped.  There's that part in Fear & Loathing where he says something like, "Nobody wants mind expanders these days.  Reality is too harsh.  No, now it's all about downers.  Blot it out, man!"  Only he wrote it a lot better.

RAW, for me, was right in there as the science expanded; these guys knew--and shared ideas with--the cutting edge scientists of their day.

In fact, as it's late, I'll suggest that this har internet is one of the fruits of that widening of consciousness--the widening of the field of understanding and its myriad forms--heh...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Jul 23rd, 2007 at 07:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
interestingly, people who suffer from adrenal fatigue or exhaustion (Addison's Disease) develop a very strong sense of empathy, and can read other people's feelings.

in traditional Chinese medicine, this is associated with the kidney meridian, which controls the person's self-will.  so, when one's self-will is weak, one can read other people's emotions and feel them as if they are one's own.

by zoe on Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 08:38:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series