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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Personal experiences of ethnic learning in an urban environment

My life experience as a life-long New Yorker has been a continual ethno-cultural learning experience, and not always for edification, but for survival as I lived most of my life on New York City's Manhattan Island.  Cross-cultural interrelation is not an option there, success depends on it; and it is a pretty much limitless number of cultures that are encountered.  (Recently I remember seeing a Chinese-language movie with another Chinese language in the subtitles.) 

Manhattan has unquestionably been a multicultural success story at every socio-economic level with no significant cultural or racial friction in recent memory, the African-American civil rights struggle of the 60s-70s being the last significant event that could be termed a struggle.  (I cannot say this is necessarily true for the other boroughs, such as Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or the Bronx, or nearby Connecticut or New Jersey--I can only speak for my cohort.)  I think it is a very good question to ask why Manhattan has been uniquely culturally harmonious.  On the surface of it, I think that New York City's feminist (and other gender-related movements such as GLBT rights) have provided guiding influence.  I get this "feeling" from my psychological and counselling feminist reading (Collins & Arthur, 2007), where the writers have shown male-female inequities and disparities, but have faithfully gone on to look at underlying causes, which can then be applied generally to resolve all inequities.  The historical white-male dominance becomes obvious if you try to quickly name a few famous psychologists or psychiatrists.  Only Satir comes instantly to my mind who was not male; though Ruth Benedict who defined Synergy (in terms of First Nations) and mentored Abe Maslow is never far from my mind, she was a sociologist (Young, 2005).

For me personally, a strong influence has been cultural appreciation of culture, such as in art, music, and ways of life through museums.  Museums tend to work hardest at bringing culture to you, albeit as scenes behind glass, and the scientists who brought that culture are the anthropologists, ethnologists, and, to a degree, archeologists--whom I have admired along with other sociologists who have leveraged their material.

Since starting at Yorkville, ethnology has shown itself to be the most useful "other" discipline to apply to counselling in this context.  By definition, ethnologists are psychically nurtured by learning about other cultures.  Just as we are learning to self-monitor internal functions such as transference, ethnologists learn to self-monitor bias and integrate it into their research, and therefore their thinking (Clark, 2000).

I happened to click on an article about a murder of a hip-hop rapper in Toronto on the Sun's website, and looked at the forum discussion.  I found a good number of posts that were anti-ethnic in nature if not racist, and also a number of posts responding in critical but positive ways.  There is no question that therapists are concerned about this in society outside of the privacy of therapy; both Rogers and Beck committed much time to the topic, with Beck's Prisoners of Hate (2000) coming to mind.  Rogers left me with the impression that "we are mostly normal people reacting to abnormal situations," such as cultural and racial inequity (Evens, 2009; Rogers, 1978).  I get hints from the CPA's Code of Ethics (2000) and its supporting documents that we should be activists in influencing how government should enforce policy, for instance, by legally challenging unethical laws and rulings that erode the the rights of the clients and hence their communities.


Beck, A. (2000). Prisoners of hate: The cognitive basis of anger, hostility, and violence. New York, NY: Perennial.

Bemister, T. B., & Dobson, K. S. (2011). An updated account of the ethical and legal considerations of record keeping. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 52(4), 296-309. doi:10.1037/a0024052

Canadian Psychological Association. (2000). Canadian code of ethics for psychologists. (3rd Edition). Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved

Clark, J. (2000) Beyond Empathy: An Ethnographic Approach to Cross-Cultural Social Work Practice. Retrieved from

Collins, S., & Arthur, N. (2007). A Framework for enhancing multicultural counselling competence.

Evens, S. R. (2009). Carl Rogers 1902-1987. Retrieved from

Rave, E. J., & Larsen, C. C. (1995). Ethical decision making in therapy: Feminist perspectives. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Rogers, C. (1978). Carl Rogers on personal power. New York: Dell.

Young, V. (2005). Ruth Benedict: Beyond relativity, beyond pattern. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment