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

Pets in therapy: Responsibility-based benefits

Animal domestication goes so far back in human history that domesticated animals have evolved with, and, hence, socially integrated into humanity; more children live with pets than both parents (Walsh, 2009).  As much of psychology, especially depression, benefits from social supports, it seems reasonable that "companion animals" should be able to help provide physical and mental well-being.  Two areas stand out in this context: programs for the elderly who suffer mental illness that bring specifically-trained dogs to visit them, and prison programs that leverage dog training as part of rehabilitation.

An elder mental health study demonstrated the strengths of animal-assisted therapy with a modest program that brought specifically trained dogs for 90-minute weekly visits to a nursing home six times (Moretti, 2010).  The elder patients, mostly women averaging age 85, suffered from dementia (47.6%), psychosis (33.3%) and depression (19.0%).  These patients showed a 50% decrease on the Geriatric Depression Scale and a 4.5 point increase on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).  The latter is significant as 4.5 is approximately the maximal range within MMSE categories (Family Practice Notebook, 2010).

Animal-leveraged prisoner rehabilitation programs can statistically stand on their own as they lower recidivism (Ormerod, 2008).  The use of animals, usually dogs, in prison programs forces prisoners to allow well-structured positive influences to resolve their disorders so that they can benefit from the program--that is, to become free again and stay free (Walsh, 2009).  Prisoners develop responsibility for their dogs, or, perhaps, "take ownership" of their dogs' well-being, reversing their previously irresponsible relationships with their environments.

The companionship component of the "companion animal" relationship with humanity can assist therapy for the suicidally depressed, further showing  responsibility-based benefits.  Pet owners who ideate suicide report that they would never act on the ideation because they do not want to leave their pets un-cared for (Walsh, 2009).


Family Practice Notebook. (2010). Mini-mental state exam. Retrieved October 30, 2010 from

Moretti, F., Bernabei, V., Marchetti, L., Bonafede, R., Forlani, C., De Ronchi, D., et al. (2010). P01-364 - A Pet therapy intervention on elderly inpatients: an epidemiological study. European Psychiatry, 25577. doi:10.1016/S0924-9338(10)70572-1.

Ormerod, E. (2008). Companion Animals and Offender Rehabilitation – Experiences from a Prison Therapeutic Community in Scotland. International Journal of Therapeutic Communities 29(3). Retrieved November 1, 2010 from

Walsh, F. (2009). Human-Animal Bonds I: The relational significance of companion animals. Family Process, 48(4), 462-480. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2009.01296.x.

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