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

Cognitive agility

Executive function and memory rehabilitation

As dementia effectively means the loss of cognitive and memory abilities, helping the elderly maintain these abilities is a direct approach that forestalls dementia (Barclay, 2009) and should help the elderly maintain other aspects of their lives.  Cognitive rehabilitation, also cognitive remediation, focuses on executive function (EF) and memory in a way that creates common strategies for diverse therapies concerned with the prefrontal cortex--brain injuries, angioma, ADHD, schizophrenia, and dementia--with its cognitive flexibility, working memory, and planning functionalities.

As cognitive rehabilitation is time-costly, it tends to focus only on the immediate needs of lower-functioning cognitive abilities, and higher executive dysfunctions may never get addressed.  A universal antidote for high cost is, of course, computer automation, and this has not gone unnoticed by cognitive rehabilitators.  Virtual reality (VR) is emerging as a supportive strategy (Castelnuovo, 2003) that is being received with enthusiasm by both clinicians (Weiss, 2009) and patients (da Costa, 2004).  Efficacy-testing, which is also in early stages, is showing benefits for schizophrenics so far (Chan, 2010). 

Interestingly, Web surfing has been shown through imaging to stimulate decision-making components of EF in the elderly, though the benefit only comes with Internet experience (Parker-Pope, 2008).


Barclay, L. , Hall, C., Lipton, R., Sliwinski, M., Katz, MJ, Derby, C., Verghese, J. (2009). Cognitive activities delay onset of memory decline in persons who develop dementia. Neurology 73, 356-361

Castelnuovo, G., Lo Priore, C., Liccione, D., 3, Cioffi, G. (2003). Virtual Reality based tools for the rehabilitation of cognitive and executive functions: the V-STORE. PsychNology Journal, 1(3), 310-325.

Chan, C., Ngai, E., Leung, P., & Wong, S. (2010). Effect of the adapted virtual reality cognitive training program among Chinese older adults with chronic schizophrenia: a pilot study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(6), 643-649. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

da Costa, R., & de Carvalho, L. (2004). The acceptance of virtual reality devices for cognitive rehabilitation: a report of positive results with schizophrenia. Computer Methods & Programs in Biomedicine, 73(3), 173. doi:10.1016/S0169-2607(03)00066-X.

Parker-Pope, T. (2008, October 16). Surfing the Internet boosts aging brains. New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://well.blogs.nytimes. com/2008/10/16/does-the-internet-boost-your-brainpower

Weiss, P., Sveistrup, H., Rand, D., & Kizony, R. (2009). Video capture virtual reality: A decade of rehabilitation assessment and intervention. Physical Therapy Reviews, 14(5), 307-321. doi:10.1179/108331909X12488667117339.

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