((NOTE: Since I've directed some people to this page today, and I made up a new phrase
that I kind of like, in that same conversation, let me say I'm never conceived of the
phrase "schismogenic lie" until within the last hour (2022-06-04, 11am), and there are no
duckduckgo or google hits for it, but you can look up definitions of schismogenesis on
the web. A schismogenic lie doesn't have to be ABOUT a group of people you want to exclude.
It can be a lie about a matter that they consider "life and death", which has the effect
that to the people who believe the lie, the targeted group seems to be sputtering and looking
ridiculous. Goebbels would have been proud))
About 10,000 years, a group of cave dwellers in what is now Argentina laid their hands on the cave wall, and sprayed paint
through little pipes made of hollow bones to produce these images.
There are a lot of things I want to share, from being a lifelong
learner, a heavy reader for 60 years. Despite being in a Math
Ph.D., program, and later a full participant in the main organization
for historians of the early 19c U.S., the
last 10 years of semi-retirement seem like my peak of intellectual
ambition. I've been goaded by growing sense of
of our shrinking ability to to use facts, especially in the public
sphere, and have wanted to do something
about it. I have read, and want to write about and interpret for
- contributions of neuroscience
- massive research
into how childhood unfolds our nature, and
- how that nature can be
illuminated by primate nature,
- social epistemology,
- a very broad
background in history,
- esp. close study of the last few years and
the long-term trends that helped form the present.
I suspect all the descriptions of human actions we've ever heard are
are some inner reality of human actions like the level or understanding
of chess we could get from watching
The Queen's Gambit, and knowing the basic moves. I believe there
is an inner reality to human actions that, if we could see the real
dynamics of our minds, would be like getting into the mind of a chess master.
Or consider this literary description:
I think many people could recognize a dramatic level of what's going on,
but it's nothing like being in the minds of the players.
"The pawn exchange in the centre of the
board opened him up to an attack, his black knight sacrificed for
position. Might have been a blunder, his opponent seemed more
confident. He saw a possible check and decided to take it -
Protected obliquely by his bishop, might just pull a win out of this
situation and flip it. Unless there was something he didn’t see.
Reluctantly, he removed his fingers from the rook, committing to the
I really suspect there is some level of our minds that we might eventually
access, where we could compare notes with people very unlike ourselves,
as different as a political consultant and a paleolithic hunter-gatherer,
or actor or social worker or car salesman, and see that we're all
playing the same game.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
It sounds a bit like what I'm after: a set of "moves of the game"
which people generally don't
know. Many people discover amazingly powerful things like NVC,
through practice and intuition and if NVC is teachable, that is much
more encouraging than the mere existence of "gifted" people who can
talk someone down off a ledge or get a kindnapper to release
one thing that gives ideas more power is when they have a foundation,
and everyone who looks into it with energy and good faith will see that
it has a foundation.
The developer of another set of crisis management tools,
Brené Brown, was driven (unwillingly at first) in the direction of her
life work by masses of psychological data showing that vulnerability is
what makes for happiness.
I am always looking for something new that could contribute to a better world.
Passage Writings (In progress)
Michael Tomasello on How and Why Humans Achieve Sociability and Culture
What Happened to Russia? (extremely unfinished)
Can This Be True
3/7/2020 Sunday Feedback Session
Possible Directions for my Online Work:
"Lord Ronald ...
flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in
That's how I seem to some people, and feel to myself at times.
How do I promote, and exploit my own almost manically diverse interests.
Attempting to explain deep structure of human nature: "From
Monkey Neurons to the Meta-Brain"
What is Science? How it is a social enterprise, and how we can socially search for truth
"Cannon Balls, Plate Tectonics, and
Blogs I've tried to start: