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

Operant conditioning

The three term contingency

Operant conditioning is described in three phases that describe behaviors, the influences that precede them, and their results:
  1. what happens to influence a behavior--the antecedent or discriminative stimulus;
  2. the behavior itself, or operant response; and
  3. what happens as a result of the behavior--a consequence that reinforces the behavior, or an opposite consequence that punishes the behavior.

In a very simple context, a person gets hungry, eats, and no longer feels hunger as a result.  The loss of hunger supports a repeat of the behavior  At the very beginning of life, this three-term contingency is created so that the infant can obtain nourishment.

Discrimination describes what a person has learned from previous experience that will influence the operant response, or behavior that will take place.  The learning that occurs as a consequence of this behavior, which may be reinforcing or punishing, will influence future behaviors in their discriminant phases; this shows the cyclic nature of the three-term contingency.

The consequence, or third component, can be either a reinforcement, which increases the likelihood of the behavior being repeated, or, conversely, punishment, which reduces the likelihood of a behavior being repeated.

Punishment and reinforcement can be either negative or positive:
  • Positive reinforcement means a benefit is given, or in the case of money a mediating benefit called a secondary reinforcer is given, which has the same effect as a reinforcer.
  • Negative reinforcement creates a benefit by removing something that is undesirable, or aversive.  This is the effect of taking medicine.  The reinforcement process is avoidance reconditioning.
  • Positive punishment describes the adding of something undesirable, or aversive.
  • Negative punishment is the removal of something beneficial as a consequence.

Variations in reinforcements will affect learning and responses, such as schedules of reinforcement that describe the effectiveness of the timing and occurance of reinforcement, and conditioned reinforcers, such as money, that mediate tangible reinforcements such as food and clothes.

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