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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More etic and enic assessment issues

I am beginning to think that assessment issues don't get the scrutiny that they deserve from ethical and ethnic perspectives, and from my learning about genetic research that is supported by imaging (fMRI, for instance) we are on the verge of many new psychological concepts--assessment will have to catch up.

The irony is this; you will see in the research methods class evidence that assessment is the opposite side of the research coin.  In the Handbook of Multicultural Counseling,  Ponterotto, Suzuki, Casas, and Alexander (2009) seem to reach the core of assessment ethics (in an ethnic context) with language that requires several readings to fully comprehend.  By showing that assessment is a research method that actually studies assessment itself from a moral perspective, they show that the ethical assessment process is not what we believe subjectively to be moral, but what is shown to be moral by research itself (p. 148).  This connects ethics and morals in an objective way that seems to assure us that morals are a real thing, and, as such will ultimately show up as in imaging.  From this visual evidence will come assessment instruments, and I suspect that these instruments will look much different than the instruments we have been using for decades. 

What is interesting is that is that they feel compelled to give this view in the context of ethnicity, and it is certainly the experience of Margaret-Lynn, existing assessment is inadequate for stressed multicultural environments.  They suggest that there is an etic (Lett, 2008) future for assessment (based on the scientific study of morality), and, as such, my conclusion is that present-day assessment that is etic, has to be applied in a emic way at the discretion the counsellors.  In other words, assessments have to be used as tools, just like any other tool, to solve issues rather than reach high-minded conclusions.  To make matters more complicated for multicultural assessment, emic strategies may have to be developed that may not be directly culturally linked based on previous research, but have to be based on current experiences with the types of newly fused cultures that immigrants, especially youth, create themselves as part of normal human experience.  From my perspective, we are waiting for Science for better etic assessment in ethic environments, and have to make the best of what we have by creating our own emic applications and strategies from existing etic assessment instruments.


Lett, J. (2008). Emic/etic distinctions. Retreived from

Ponterotto, J. G., Suzuki, L. A., Casas, J. M., & Alexander, C. M. (2010). Handbook of multicultural counseling. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.

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