Knowledge is a tree, not a conclusion, and it has been a tree for all of time. Sometime, however, it verboten in the Bible with a didactic “tale” apparently by oligarchs telling the average religious person to view the tree of knowledge and its information as verboten. This is the beginning of the limits and control of information necessary for oligarchic dominance, as opposed to capital-type control which is more commodity-based --though information is now a commodity as “intellectual property.” (With “intellectual” being a strong word for the slurry capital pumps into the population.)

The most important extension of this type of information control currently exists as academia with its early revival of control as the dialectic and didactic by academy founders Socrates and Plato in ancient Athens, and recently by Hegel to fit current capital. Important is that these instructors specifically used sexual abuse to control, which survived to our time as, for instance, the Aboriginal residence schools openly, and covertly elsewhere.

Causality is a rational reduction of the complexity of life saying that “if something happens in relation to something else, that something else caused the first thing.” As a rational reduction, it is a “dumbing-down” of all the highly sophisticade life-system that affect us. Knowledge is naturally structured both in society and in our minds in tree structures, also called “complex data structures” Personally, I have never been “causal” (I believe) because I have been influenced by aboriginal knowledge organization, and also abstract art and music early on as a child with access to all of New York’s museums and libraries (access has since been restricted to children.)

If I something is unavoidably causal, I say “simple math” --this causes that, w/o making a bid deal about it.

Empiricism is the scientific method (and system) built from causality and is considered the only (measurement) science, even by scientist who should know better. It suffers from being highly-fractured, as it is built from independent causal conclusions that also tend to be ego-vehicles from empiricist scientists. Another widely-misused term is “objective” as a synomym for “cruel” such that normal human thinking, such as the recollection of experiences, is excluded from empiricist conclusions; only empiricist numbers are used, often as an output of highly-purposed statistical systems. Dependance on statistics is such that statistics now often produce hypothesis and theory, that is validated by the same statistical systems. Information from other sources such as experience and observation, no matter how detailed, cannot test well against conclusive information produced specifically to test well by statistical systems. This statistical reality is most true for current control of the mind (both human and animal) in cognitive-behavioral strategies of CBT. Interestingly, in CBT, the dialectic method as the socratic method is also key for (as they say) “thought control.”

Objectivism, such as Ayn Rand’s and (current-capital’s) Adam Smith’s objectivism simply “objectify’s” people to make then inanimate numbers rather than feeling people to allow for capital exploitation. As it happens, capital-supporting empiricism, as info-oligarchic, also leverages this, and fills its capital-supportive role by defining and maintaining it as its own from of exploitation, originally sexual abuse.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Body work

Wohlrab reports that tattoos and piercing (collectively here as "body work") are mainstream for adolescents (Wohlrab, 2007). Those with body work are largely "Sensation Seekers," with multiple sexual relationships. "Previously" he says, body work was seen as "showing antisocial, aggressive, high-risk or deviant behaviours."

Koch reports that body work is still deviant, as multiple tattoos or piercings are likely to mean "regular marijuana use, occasional use of other illegal drugs, and a history of being arrested" (Koch, 2010).

Tattooing is tribal, having been introduced to modern society by crew of the explorer, James Cook (Utanga, 2006). Native tribes decorate their bodies for the "aesthetic and symbolic" and to show a connection with nature (Jefkin-Elnekave, 2006). The majority of contemporary tattoos are tribal- or nature-based, perhaps showing a desire for a natural connection as part of a rebellious expression rather than behavioral deviance (Wohlrab, 2007).

To show the extremes of body work as rebellious expression, the conceptual artist Orlan had herself physically reconstructed to represent the ideal "in classical works of art" (Mullis, 2006). With eight operations she represented "the body as meat" for audiences around the world via satellite.

While society has sanctioned piercings and tattoos as "socially normative practices" (Toste, 2010), and separates them from self-injury, pain still links them. Siorat says that tattoos are symbols of the pain of the "many hours under the needles" necessary to create them (Siorat, 2006). Tribal scarring can be different different from tribal body decorations in that it often represents the pain of war (Jefkin-Elnekave, 2006).

If we allow for gray area between body work and self-injury defined by pain, perhaps we can speculate about a biopsychological connection: depression. For this speculation, let's allow for a link through pain. The physical pain of self-injury can be an escape from the pain of depression (Dickstein, 2009) where the most common diagnosis for self-injury is depression followed by PTSD. If we allow for the "old school" view that body work, specifically tattooing, is representative of lower and criminal classes, and we can show depression at these social levels: "increased frequency of child exposure to poverty is a consistent predictor of adolescent and young adult anxiety and depression" (Ying, 2010). More challenges, and hence stresses, exist for the present adolescent generation than did for previous generations (TODAY Health, 2010), so perhaps body work is a way to cope and express the increasing stresses of the adolescent contemporary experience.

JefkiElnekave, D. (2006). Tribal identity through body art: Extraordinary people living in the remnants of itme. PSA Journal, 72(7), 22-25.

Koch, J., Roberts, A., Armstrong, M., & Owen, D. (2010). Body art, deviance, and American college students. Social Science Journal, 47(1), 151-161. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2009.10.001.
Mullis, E. (2006, May). The violent aesthetic: A reconsideration of transgressive body art. Journal of Speculative Philosophy, pp. 85-92. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Wohlrab S, Stahl J, Rammsayer T, Kappeler P. Differences in personality characteristics between body-modified and non-modified individuals: associations with individual personality traits and their possible evolutionary implications. European Journal of Personality [serial online]. November 2007;21(7):931-951.

Dickstein, D. (2009). A closer look at non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents. (Cover story). Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, 25(12), 1-6.

Siorat, C. (2006). The Art of Pain. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 10(3), 367-380. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
TODAY Health (2010). Students report more serious stress. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from

Ying, S., Fangbiao, T., Jiahu, H., & Yuhui, W. (2010). The Mediating Effects of Stress and Coping on Depression Among Adolescents in China. Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(3), 173-180. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6171.2010.00238.x.

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