Abuse it, Lose it

Experimental Narcotherapy vs Logical Consequences for Chronic Mischief in Classrooms, by Dr. David West Keirsey (1991)

Editor’s Note: It has been about 30 years since my father wrote this article, which was based on his experience in the 50s, 60’s, and 70’s in the American public school system. Unfortunately, the abuse of psychiatry on their victims has gotten much worse and has spread across the world, and not only children in the American public schools are being abused. Old people, babies, the military, and the general public in mostly the “developed world” — are being fooled and drugged to conformity: to the monetary benefit of psychiatry and the drug companies.

When a child gets up out of his seat at school without permission, his teacher tells him to sit down and get to work. If he is out of his seat every minute or so, say every six minutes in a 360 minute day, that makes 60 times a day. If he’s out of his seat that many times each day, five days a week, that’s 300 Out-Of-Seat-Without-Permissions (OOSWOPs for short). Now 300 is an impressive total of OOSWOPs. The teacher, now and then, reminds him to sit down and go to work, but with little effect. Pretty soon she adds scolding to reminding. Then maybe she gets the principal to spank him. Then maybe his parents are brought into the act. They either get after the school or their son or both. Maybe they take his bike away from him and send him to bed without dinner several times. Something like that. But all to no avail. No matter how many reminders or scoldings or whippings or deprivations, he still rings up his 300 or so OOSWOPs a week.

But the child doesn’t rest his case with just getting out of his seat. There are other kinds of disobedience, other ways to disrupt classroom proceedings. Like making motions and noises while seated. For instance, the disobedient child doesn’t raise his hand with restraint like the other children, but waves it wildly and maybe puffs and whistles to get the teacher’s undivided attention. And he gets it. By that time the child has had so much attention that just raising his hand won’t work, so he’s got to distract the teacher’s attention from the other kids with extra motions and noises, none of which are permitted. Let’s call motion and noise without permission MANWOPs to distinguish them from OOSWOPs. And of course the teacher must remind the child (again without much success) that that is not an acceptable way to get attention. Notice the child’s clever manipulation of the teacher: he is doing what he’s supposed to do — raise his hand to get the teacher’s attention –but in an unacceptable way. Now since an increase of reminding, scolding, threatening, paddling, and depriving doesn’t decrease the frequency of OOSWOPs and MANWOPs appreciably, there seem only two things left to do: remove the child from the classroom, or drug him into inaction. Both work. First, let’s look at drugging the child into inaction. To explain accurately what prescribed drugs are doing to our children, I must first describe in some detail just what drugs we are considering. There are many different kinds of drugs, but only those drugs called “narcotics” are of interest here.

Narcotics affect the nervous system and so alter behavior. This effect was first reported by physiologists in the 1920s, followed by a spate of similar reports in technical journals from time to time up to the present. Nowadays physiologists know pretty well what the various narcotics do to the nervous system and how behavior is affected as a result. For instance narcotics like THC (the neuroactive agent in marijuana) is reported to increase the difference in excitation times of adjacent effectors or receptors, while narcotics like LSD reportedly decrease those differences.

“Uppers,” like cocaine, give us a high-high, such that we are both more active and more attentive as long as we are intoxicated. “Downers” such as heroin, in contrast to “uppers,” give us a low-low, so that we are both less active and less attentive, again, as long as we are under the influence of the narcotic. “Calmers,” like marijuana, give us a low-high, which is to say that our activity level is low at the same time that our level of attention is high. Lastly, “confusers,” such as LSD, give us a high-low, which means that we get very active, but have great difficulty paying attention to our surroundings.

Depressants like alcohol reduce nerve conduction, resulting in reduced attention and action. In contrast, stimulants like cocaine increase nerve conduction, resulting in greater attention or action. Tranquilizers like marijuana increase excitation threshold time differences between adjacent nerves so that reaction time is slowed and activity decreases, while attention increases. (Incidentally, this is why swing musicians of the 1930s used marijuana: it sensitized them to syncopation and enabled them to catch each note on the “down beat.”) Lastly, hallucinogens like LSD do quite the opposite. They decrease the difference in conduction threshold time between adjacent nerves so that they conduct simultaneously or nearly so. On the attention side of the neural system the person sees, hears, feels, smells, and even tastes from a single stimulus — that’s why drugs like LSD are called hallucinogens or synesthetics. The same stimulus can also fire off adjacent motor nerves in rapid succession, resulting in convulsions and cramps. Thus synesthetic or hallucinogenic narcotics result not only in more than one of the senses being affected at the same time, they also result in flexor and extensor muscles contracting simultaneously or in rapid succession.

In contrast to the technical names above, the people who use narcotics for their highs and lows (the “addicts”), and the people who try to stop them (the “narcs”) have street names for them. For the addicts and narcs there are “acid heads,” “speed freeks,” “coke heads,” and the like. Calmers are called cannabis, grass, hemp, indian hay, pot, snop, snoose, snuff, etc.; confusers are called angel dust, orange sunshine, PCP, LSD, etc; downers are called barbs, big H, booze, horse, sauce, etc.; uppers are called bennies, black beauties, charlies, coke, crack, crystal, dexies, footballs, heart, MDA, snow, white cross, etc.

There are of course great changes in behavior when people are under the influence of narcotics. This goes for stimulants or “uppers,” all of them. No one doubts that cocaine is a powerful narcotic if enough of it is taken at once, especially if this continues over a long period of time. Whatever the kind of stimulant, the effect on one’s behavior depends more on the amount than on the kind. A little bit intoxicates a little bit and a lot intoxicates a lot. The effect is a high-high, that is a high activity level and a high attention level. When the effect wears off, there’s a crash. The withdrawal from stimulants is said to be far worse than withdrawal from the other three kinds of narcotics. A “speed freak,” whether on bennies, dexies, crystal, or coke, is addicted according to the amount taken and the length of time that amount is taken. And the agony of withdrawal is proportional. People who drink, say, twenty cups of coffee a day are in for a crash when they quit and for painful withdrawal effects. Of course, many won’t admit they’re addicted and they certainly would not like being called “speed freaks.” Incidentally, many are also addicted to nicotine and alcohol, so they’re hooked on three narcotics at once, but still refuse to recognize their drug dependency. Such denial is particularly sad, but the truth is their addiction is their problem because they hooked themselves, however innocently.

But when the physician, with the approval of parent, teacher, and psychologist, risks the side effects and the addiction of children, that’s everybody’s problem. After all, these children are innocent of any desire for intoxication. Narcotics do temporarily quiet some children and heighten their attention level, but surely the “cure” is worse than the “disease.” Along with the “cure” comes arrested growth, brain atrophy, drug dependency, and severe damage to the self-image — loss of self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence. Maybe the child is “cured” of hyperactivity in school, but the price seems terribly high.

The bad names that are currently given to children who disrupt classrooms are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD). Precisely the same misbehaviors used to be called by other names, such as Aphasia, Asymbolia, Brain Damage, Cerebral Disrhythmia, Dyslexia, Hyperactivity, Hyperkinesis, Minimal Brain Damage, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disability, Organic Brain Damage, the Strauss Syndrome, and others. Beginning in the mid-forties those writing about abnormal behavior understandably began to change the name of the suspected “cause” of such behavior as soon as the name stigmatized the children it was applied to. You see, these professionals believed that there was something wrong with the brains of the children who were too active or too inattentive for the educator’s taste. So they went along with those physicians who wanted to experiment on such children with narcotics like benzedrine. Not only did they approve of this practice, they even aided such physicians in their experimentation. The practice spread, slowly during the late forties and fifties, and then very rapidly during the drug-culture days of the sixties. By the eighties and nineties the practice had become epidemic throughout America, as many as a million children per year on stimulants. Some large elementary schools admit that they have as many as fifty children on stimulants at the same time. Can there be that many children with defective brains? And all boys? In the late eighties some physicians were even narcotizing preschoolers with stimulants while they continued to prescribe this narcotic for those adults that became dependent on it when they were kids in school.

Nor are physicians unaware of the risks involved in drugging children. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are careful to warn them, just as have many research reports over the years, of the dangers of prescribing cocaine-like narcotics to children. The long list of horrific consequences of stimulant therapy are now well known: insomnia, fatigue, listlessness, sadness, dizziness, withdrawal, tremors, tics, spasms, skin rashes, nausia, headache, stomachache, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, cortical atrophy, growth suppression, addiction to narcotics, and worst of all, severe damage to the child’s self-image.

Who is abusing whom? Clearly the child is not abusing the persons who are drugging him. Peter Breggin, a noted psychiatrist, calls such experimental narcotherapy “Psychiatric Oppression,” putting it in the same category with shock, lobotomy, and other barbaric practices, thus challenging the justifiability of treating problem behavior with physiological methods, whether child or adult. In his latest exposé of psychiatric barbarism he says:

“It seems to have escaped Ritalin advocates that long-term use tends to create the very same problems that Ritalin is supposed to combat — “attentional disturbances” and “memory problems” as well as “irritability” and hyperactivity. When children are prescribed Ritalin for years because they continue to have problems focusing their attention, the disorder itself may be due to the Ritalin. A vicious circle is generated, with drug-induced inattention causing the doctor to prescribe more medication, all the while blaming the problem on a defect within the child.” (Toxic Psychiatry, page 307.)

It is true that drugged children stay in their seats longer and make less commotion. The trouble is that, aside from the spoiled identity, growth suppression, brain atrophy, and drug dependence the physician is warned about, the child’s restful sleep is diminished. Just as many adults do not sleep well if they take too much caffeine, so children who take too much stimulants do not sleep well. It is also true that these children seem to sleep as they did before medication was begun, but the sleep is not restful as it was before. That they’re tired when they go to school and are much less inclined to get into mischief should come as no surprise. This docility is usually mistaken for obedience by the principal, teacher, parent, psychologist, and physician, who then congratulate themselves on this “miraculous cure” of the child’s dread case of ADHD. One of the interesting things about this solution is that docility is such a relief to all concerned that they don’t seem to notice that the child continues to be unproductive, unfriendly, and unhappy at school. Some physicians will admit that the drugged child doesn’t get to work and doesn’t learn like the other children, but they seem satisfied with reports by parents that the teacher isn’t complaining about too much activity any longer.

For almost everyone involved, in fact, this drug treatment is a comfortable solution. If the child is “brain defective” then his parents and teachers are not to blame for his misbehavior. And the fact that the misbehavior disappears when the child is drugged seems to prove the physician’s case that the child’s brain is indeed “somehow” defective. At least it proves it for those who have a stake in believing it. So everybody’s off the hook. A neat and tidy solution to a knotty problem.

Nor can the child be blamed now that it is “proved” he has something (vaguely) wrong with his brain. For how can you blame a child for misbehavior or expect productivity or friendliness or happiness from one so afflicted? He can now play Eric Berne’s game of “wooden leg.” After all, what can be expected of a boy with a bent brain? There is a terrible irony in this: by stigmatizing the child the adults in his life relieve both him and themselves of responsibility. In that sense even the child is off the hook.

But there’s a problem: even though the child has been drugged into submission he is still friendless, unhappy, has stopped growing, and is not learning. So neither he nor his parents are content. But if narcotherapy is discontinued he will resume his disruptive behavior. The question is: how can he stay in class without disrupting it? The answer is simple. Let him disrupt the class only once a day by dismissing him after his first disruptive act. For example, out of seat, out of school — and nothing more.

When I say “nothing more” I mean that everybody involved — teacher, principal, parent — agrees to say nothing and do nothing. No admonishment, no punishment. Children may have a right to belong to a family, but not to a class. That is a privilege, the most valuable of all the child has, and no child can safely be allowed to take it for granted. That’s what is meant by a “spoiled child,” a child who takes a privilege for granted. The only way to unspoil a child is to take whatever privilege he abuses away immediately and unconditionally upon its abuse. In the case of abusing his class membership privilege, that privilege should be lost solely because it was abused. Once a child is convinced that’s really the way it is, then in order to keep the privilege he’ll stop abusing it.

During those twenty years of using the abuse it–lose it method [Systematic Exclusion] in three school districts, in kindergarten through the 12th grade, I found it effective in all grades. Moreover my students, supervisees, and colleagues have through the years reported continuous success with the method, whether they worked in rural, urban, or suburban school districts. Happily, children are much alike in this one regard. They all want to belong. It’s just that some of them don’t know that and have to find out the hard way. When the truth dawns on them, they stop bothering their teacher and classmates. Guaranteed. Fast.

It’s interesting how age determines how fast children will stop fooling around in class when their disruptive behavior is the direct and immediate cause of their dismissal. A rule of thumb is that kindergarteners take one or two days to stop, first graders two or three days, second graders three or four days, and the rest five or six days. Of course high school kids take up to two weeks, if only because the abuse it–lose it rule has to be established in several classrooms. Added to this, of course, is that older children have had a lot more experience maneuvering adults into reminding, scolding, threatening, and punishing to stop them from abusing their privileges. So they take longer, but even they take, say, ten school days, at most.

For further reading or research:

Evil Practice of Narcotherapy

Drugged Obedience

About Dr Keirsey

Conway’s Mesh of Life

I saw him there as he sat, with his classic slightly bemused grin before his lecture.  I had never got a book autographed, until then. I am not easily enamored by fame, scientific or any other knowledge or skill domain. But I powered through my natural enryo, for I had brought his book with me intending to get him to sign it. I thought his book as one key to unlocking an important question.

I have studied the contents of the book for years. And continue to revisit and re-cycle his ideas contained within.

To Subquotient, or Not Subquotient,
That is the question!

The divisor status, of the lattice, oh my, Times, Rudvalis.
Crack the Dirac, Landau beseech the damp Leech.
It’s a Monster Conway Mesh, Mathieu’s Stretch, Jacques’ Mess, Janko’s Sprains, and Einstein’s Strain…

He had given me a quizzical look, since my hair was graying and I didn’t say anything.  He said it was his “best book.”  I nodded and I didn’t say anything.  I am not a mathematician by training, and I was working on a slow idea, not ready for Prime time On the nature of the universe.

Never mind the mock theta, Ramanujan’s gap, Namagiri dreams.
No Tegmark or Linde, but
Verlinde in name. It’s all but Feynman’s streams,
and weigh.

Such a Prime rank, any such Milnor’s exotic sank
No mess, no Stress, but Strain.
Tensors Bohm and bain

John Horton Conway, Inventor Rational, FRS (/ˈkɒnweɪ/; born 26 December 1937 – April 11, 2020) was an English mathematician active in the theory of finite groupsknot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory. He had also contributed to many branches of recreational mathematics, notably the invention of the cellular automaton called the Game of Life. Conway was Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Princeton University.

He was the primary author of the ATLAS of Finite Groups giving properties of many finite simple groups. Working with his colleagues Robert Curtis and Simon P. Norton he constructed the first concrete representations of some of the Sporadic groups. More specifically, he discovered three sporadic groups based on the symmetry of the Leech lattice, which have been designated the Conway groups. This work made him a key player in the successful classification of the finite simple groups, which is considered one of the greatest quests in mathematics.

Now that John has passed from the scene, his Game of Life has ended, a new requestion will be continued. Conway’s Monster Mesh needs to be fleshed out and explained in more simple and complex terms: 1) in in-form-ation terms, 2) in phys-ical terms, 3) in mathe-mat-ical terms, 4) in in-volut-ionally and en-volut-ionally terms. But also explained with these four towers of Babel — integrated.

My slow idea was to use as a Framework based on Conway’s work on Symmetry and the Sporadic Groups, but also other mathematicians and scientists.

Many mathematicians including Conway regard the Monster Group as a beautiful and still mysterious object. Since there is no “physical meaning” attached to mathematical concepts and percepts, these “conceptual ideas” in mathematics will continue to be “beautiful and mysterious” and ABSTRACT. However, one can be more systematic in the use of ideas. It is about that Relational Thing: not only about Conway, Dirac, Einstein, Newton, or Hawking ideas.

Life Itself

When looking both at the details and the overall Gestalt, patterns can be seen. It might be called Existence Itself More and Less, A Gain.

The 27 Sporadic Groups with corresponding
Physical Ansatz Concepts and Percepts
Gestalt Science

Gestalt Science related blogs: Gestalt ScienceReimaginingFeynmanThat Relational ThingThe Digital Sand ReckonerTowards Quantum FormaticsThe Ring that Binds and GrindsPrimeOn the Question of Learning WordsOne Ring that Binds Them AllThe FunctionalWithin the Edge of…

Inventor Rationals include: Feynman, Atul GawandeLarry PageElaine MorganLynn MargulisElon MuskSteve JobsJoseph James SylvesterFrances CrickPaul AllenWerner Von BraunWolfgang PauliAbraham LincolnMark TwainHedy LamarrJulius Sumner Miller, and Zhang Xin

Using Reasoning to Learn New/Old Words

“Only strong characters can resist the temptation of superficial analysis.”

Albert Einstein

Quantum mechanics, with its leap into statistics,
has been a mere palliative for our ignorance.

Rene Thom

When logic and proportion fall soggy dead,
and the white knight is talking backwards,
with the Red Queen is on her head,
Remember what the dormouse said:
Feed your head.
Feed your head!

We typically learn many words from context, rather than looking them up in a dictionary. Each person knows and uses many words which they cannot define exactly. Most of the words we know are not learned by someone telling us the definition. More typically, we learn words by extracting its meaning from context. The first encounter with a given word is usually not sufficient to gain any real understanding of the word.

Understanding can be achieved by comparing several examples. Each successive example can either augment understanding, confirm the understanding, or in some cases, uncover misunderstanding.

Learn, Unlearn, Learn

If you don’t understand something said,
don’t assume that you are at fault.
David West Keirsey

Wandering towards Scientific Enlightenment

Understanding can always be improved.

Problem comes when learning old fast ideas.

The trouble with specialists is that they tend to think in grooves
Elaine Morgan

In 1900, Max Planck had created a theoretical explanation of Wien’s formula on black body radiation. But in that process, experimentalists aware of Planck’s interest in the matter, had recently looked into the matter at longer wavelengths and higher temperatures, and told Planck that the infrared region at high energies violated Wien’s formula — so his original explanation was wrong. To quickly solve the problem, Planck added a “correction” to his analysis. A resulting derived formula proved to correct, no matter the increase in frequency (looking at a wider range of energies) and the improved accuracy of experimental results. Planck went back to his quickly modified analysis and reformulated his ideas to justify the semi-ad-hoc correction and found that it implied that energy was emitted or absorbed in discrete units based on Boltzmann’s combinatorics. He had solved a problem by simply creating a “chimera:” adding a factor in his equation — but he did not realize its consequent was as significant until he tried to justify his change theoretically. Even then, he did not consider it as profound, until Niels Bohr and others started to apply his new idea “a quantum action” to atoms and molecules. Another problem was there was a flaw in Planck’s reasoning for which Satyendra Bose corrected later, but the idea of quantum action has proved to be one of the two key and major ideas of physics in the 20th century.

Niels Bohr became very successful in applying Planck’s quantum action idea when examining the spectrum of the hydrogen atom. The failure of Rutherford’s simple analog “orbit” model, whereas the precise predictions of Bohr using Fraunhofer spectral lines, signaled the death of 19th century physics in the realm of small. However, for more complicated atoms, Bohr’s model wasn’t as accurate, so his original fast idea [quantum theory] needed modification or to be added to. The initial progress of the ideas: Einstein’s 1) lichtquanten, 2) special relativity, 3) general relativity; 4) Schrodinger’s recursive function equation; and 5) Dirac’s delta functional; petered out into the “particle and force zoo” ending up with the not very well understood statistical and probability based Standard Model of particle physics.

Wandering towards Scientific Enlightenment 2.0

Time, Space, Mass, Energy, Charge, Spin? What do these words mean?

Gestalt Science related blogs: Gestalt Science, Reimagining, Feynman, That Relational Thing, The Digital Sand Reckoner, Towards Quantum Formatics, The Ring that Binds and Grinds, Prime, On the Question of Learning Words, One Ring that Binds Them All, The Functional, Within the Edge of…

The Evil Practice of Narcotherapy.

By Dr. David West Keirsey (published 1991)

Editor’s Note: It has been about 30 years since my father wrote this article, which was based on his experience in the 50s, 60’s, and 70’s in the American public school system. Unfortunately, the abuse of psychiatry on their victims has gotten much worse and has spread across the world, and not only children in the American public schools are being abused. Old people, babies, the military, and the general public in mostly the “developed world” — are being fooled and drugged to conformity: to the monetary benefit of psychiatry and the drug companies.

Something is wrong with the idea of Attention Deficit. Not just a little wrong, but terribly wrong, and, as it turns out at the turn of the century, tragically wrong. Tragic because it gives the appearance of legitimacy to the practice of prescribing stimulant narcotics for children who are said to be short on attention.


During the 1950s the practice of experimental narcotherapy for so-called “hyperactivity” came into vogue. The drugs of choice were amphetamines such as Benzadrine and Dexedrine, and in the late 1950s, methylphenidate (Ritalin), and pemoline (Cylert). At first only the extremely active boys got zapped with stimulants, maybe one or two per school. But since only a few psychologists complained about this questionable practice, and since the “special education” movement was growing rapidly, more and more teachers demanded that somebody else should be held responsible to put a stop to disruptive behavior in the classroom.

During the 1960s and afterwards only the corrective counselors trained and experienced in the methods of Dreikurs, Erickson, and Glasser knew how to control disruptive behavior in the classroom. Not knowing this, parents turned to those local medics who claimed they could control disruptive behavior with drugs. These medics, knowing that activity level could be dampened with drugs that act on the brain, started experimenting with brain-disabling drugs. They’re still experimenting, but they have multiplied exponentially because the practice is so easy and so lucrative. Now there are millions of kids being drugged, whereas there were only thousands in the 1950s.

Continue reading

Drugged Obedience

Experimental Narcotherapy vs
 Logical Consequences for Chronic Mischief in Classrooms

by Dr. David West Keirsey (published 1991)

Drugged Obedience

Editor’s Note: It has been about 30 years since my father wrote this article, which was based on his experience in the 50s, 60’s, and 70’s in the American public school system. Unfortunately, the abuse of psychiatry on their victims has gotten much worse and has spread across the world, and not only children in the American public schools are being abused. Old people, babies, the military, and the general public in mostly the “developed world” — are being fooled and drugged to conformity: to the monetary benefit of psychiatry and the drug companies.

Dr. Keirsey explains in this article what are the kinds of drugs, and their effects.


When a child gets up out of his seat at school without permission, his teacher tells him to sit down and get to work. If he is out of his seat every minute or so, say every six minutes in a 360 minute day, that makes 60 times a day. If he’s out of his seat that many times each day, five days a week, that’s 300 Out-Of-Seat-Without-Permissions (OOSWOPs for short). Now 300 is an impressive total of OOSWOPs. The teacher, now and then, reminds him to sit down and go to work, but with little effect. Pretty soon she adds scolding to reminding. Then maybe she gets the principal to spank him. Then maybe his parents are brought into the act. They either get after the school or their son or both. Maybe they take his bike away from him and send him to bed without dinner several times. Something like that. But all to no avail. No matter how many reminders or scoldings or whippings or deprivations, he still rings up his 300 or so OOSWOPs a week.


“What I cannot build, I cannot understand.”

Richard Feynman invented a whole new way of talking about quantum electrodynamics when writing his PhD thesis at Princeton, which eventually helped him detail some of the properties of weak-force in particle physics in his Nobel prize winning work. Later he invented “Feynman’s diagrams” as an intuitive graphical representation of particle physics, which are still used in theoretical physics to this day.

However, he became famous in part through his maverick and distinctive antics. He was a real character: a very curious character. When at Los Alamos working on the atomic bomb, from picking the locks of his colleagues cabinets which contained top secrets, to playing games with the security personnel; naming a few of his antics which had earned him a well deserved reputation of being a trickster and an iconoclast. Freeman Dyson once wrote that Feynman was “half-genius, half-buffoon”, but later changed this to “all-genius, all-buffoon”. Quickly recognized by the intellectual giants of theoretical physics as a brilliant and quick mind, Feynman was sought out by the innovative thinkers of the day. Contemptous of titles, like all Rationals, when awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, he tried to figure out a way to get out of accepting it.

Continue reading

The Boss

“The Boss,” as he was called by those under him, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was born in Gori, Georgia, in the Russian Empire in 1878.  His father, “Besso,” became a drunk, and beat his wife, “Keke,” and son.  They moved a lot, and finally Besso abandoned Keke and Iosif.  Keke, born a serf, was a tough, but righteous and religiously pious woman; she also beat her son. Keke wanted her son to be a priest.

Gori was a rough and poor town.  Street gangs and crime were common, and Iosif, small but wiry, was known to participate in the fighting.  Nevertheless, Iosif was a good student.  The Russian language was required in the Russian empire, and Iosif learned it, but always had a Georgian accent. Education was by rote and corporal punishment was rampant; one teacher rapping the students’ knuckles if their eyes wandered.   Iosif won a scholarship to Seminary at the age of 16.  The seminary was very Spartan, dogmatic, and severe corporal and psychological punishment was normal.

In the seminary, he discovered revolutionary material, including Darwin and Marx, destroying his belief in religion.  “They are lying to us,” he said to a fellow student. Living a double life, one secret, at night, he got involved in Georgian revolutionary activities. He had chosen the name “Koba,” a Russian, fictional Robin Hood-like character. There, quite a few other students became revolutionaries from that Seminary at that time. Ioseph was dismissed for not taking an exam just before graduating, maybe because he couldn’t pay the rapidly rising fees.  He had become a revolutionary, joining an organization that later became the violent part of the Communist party, the Bolsheviks. It was a life of safe houses, forged documents, and secrecy.  Koba was brilliant at organizing workers and also mixing with criminal elements. He collected and directed “enforcers” like Kamo, a brutal, violent, sociopath.  While in prison, he became the boss of the prisoners: he was inured to physical punishment.

Sent to Baku by the revolutionary committee, Koba ordered the murders of many Black Hundreds (right-wing supporters of the Tsar), and conducted protection rackets and ransom kidnappings against the oil tycoons of Baku. He also operated counterfeiting operations and robberies. He befriended the criminal gangs; Koba’s gangsterism upset the Bolshevik and Menshevik intelligentsia, but he was too influential with Lenin and indispensable to be opposed.  As a revolutionary in Tsarist times, he was arrested eight times and escaped seven times, before the Russian Revolution in 1917; but he changed the facts after he was General Secretary, obscuring one of his arrests. It was suspected by some of his fellow Bolsheviks that Koba was a double-agent, a provocateur, for he seemed to go to-and-fro without any visible support, without difficulty, and was not arrested with everybody else in a particular Tsarist roundup.  Koba, most likely known by Lenin as a double-agent, played the game well, with internal party members sometimes sacrificed for the cause. No doubt Koba used this policy for his own purposes also. At one point, when complaints were getting serious, he was arrested, and rumors were dropped for the time being. Continue reading

Officious Busy-Bodies

“Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker.”
What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

I have lost Wikipedia battles.  The latest I just discovered.

They are virtually nameless.  They just appear in the history of edits on a Wikipedia page.  They are vandals in the guise of “Wikipedia Administrators.”  Self appointed legal vandals, in the guise of upholding “Wikipedia standards and practices”.  Their religion is to enforce that the Wikipedia has conforming and superficial knowledge.  I believe there are some good Wikipedia Administrators out there, but I haven’t encountered one.  I have had battles with these “little Caesars” with their officiousness throughout the years.

Here is what this “Wikipedia Administrator” troll has to say about his “work” — what he doesn’t mention is his trashing and deleting of Keirsey Temperament Wikipedia pages:

My current Wikipedia programming project is Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss, which aims to spell-check, grammar-check, and style-check all of the English Wikipedia.

“spell-check, grammar-check, and style-check”  and deleting perfect legitimate material that had been on Wikipedia for more than a decade at least.

I call it: Ignorant Censoring

Continue reading

Gestalt Science

modeling_relationA Viking Reader

Fearless Asymmetry and Symmetry

Chaos to Order,                                 Order to Chaos

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and the consequences of me integrating his ideas every year.  First year,  Second YearThird Year, Fourth YearFifth Year, Sixth Year. this is the Seventh Year.

keirsey_seaweedMy father, near the end of his life, considered himself the last Gestalt Psychologist. When I was very young I was fearful of kelp seaweed: my father showed me that it couldn’t hurt me, so I shouldn’t be afraid of it.   I learned from him. If you understand something, you can reason about it.   If you only have a correlation, you can’t be sure of the factors. He was never afraid to question conventional wisdom or the current fashionable and entrenched ideas (however old or fast those ideas were).

As a clinical school psychologist he was on the front line against invasion of chemical psychiatry into K-12 schools, and he saw how they used “their pseudo-scientific expertise [and argot]” to fool and trap kids and parents into approving the use of brain disabling drugs, within the “educational system” and with the implicit pressure and blessing (and relieving of responsibility) of the teachers and administrators.  He also didn’t buy into the dominant paradigms of the first half of 20th century of Freudian psychology and the correlational “blank slate” behaviorism of Watson and Skinner.

“If you don’t understand something said, don’t assume you are at fault.”
— David West Keirsey

Throughout my discussions and debates with him in my lifetime, he talked about ideas.   We talked about philosophy, science, mathematics, computers, people, and life. 


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More Moore

I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I was in his office.  I remember it to this day.  Think it was Sue Lapin who directed me to his room, but that’s another story.


He was a classic example of a gray haired, balding, absent-minded professor, his office shelves stuffed to the ceiling with books, papers, and other flotsam and jetsam of an academia life. There we were: two different generations —  he, my father’s generation, and me, a 50’s nerd baby boomer. The commonality was we were both computer nerds, interested in ideas and the nascent computer science field.   At the time I was just trying to get a job to support my education: a Masters degree at University of Wisconsin, Madison, far from my home in sunny SoCal.  I had driven the two thousand miles or so across the US for the first time in my life to get there.

We talked for about four hours non-stop about all kinds of things, the Chinese language is the only subject I remember: he was a fountain of knowledge, and both us could have gone on many Moore hours.  I probably didn’t know the significance of it at the time, except he did point me to a job which I got to support myself in that strange land.  A year and half later, I got a Masters in Computer Science, and left Madison to wander towards Enlightenment for the next 46 years, and hopefully beyond.


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