Learn, UnLearn, Learn: Rinse and Repeat

The reward of the scientist, mathematician, or computer scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. Nothing can compare with that experience

On The Rise of Gestalt Science

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him, his ideas, and their consequences, every year.  This is the ninth year.  First year.  Second YearThird YearFourth Year. Fifth YearSixth Year,  Seventh Year, Eight Year.

If you don’t understand something said, don’t assume you are at fault

Dr. David West Keirsey
David Keirsey self portrait
Self Portrait

Prometheus Unbound (1921-1941)

Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound (1845)

In Ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus was said to be the wisest of all the Titans. In the form of fire Prometheus is credited with bringing mankind knowledge and enlightenment. He stole fire from the Gods of Mount Olympus. For acting against the decree of the Gods, who wanted to keep the power of fire to themselves, Prometheus was harshly punished. He was chained to a rock to have his liver eaten out every day by an eagle. Every night his liver would grow back. This was to be his punishment for all of eternity.

My father had questioned the conventional consensus all his life.

Prometheus — “forethinker, foreseer,” from promēthēs “thinking before,” from pro “before” (see pro-) + *mēthos, related to mathein “to learn”

But in the beginning he was a kid in a small town in Southern California, free to roam like Huckleberry Finn in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The outside world of the Roaring Twenties and Depression of the 30’s was a buffeting environment but my father was pretty oblivious the wider currents of the world.

“… I had learned a lot, but not at school. I began reading when I was seven. Read (most of) a twelve volume set of books my parents bought, Journeys through Bookland. Read countless novels thereafter, day in and day out. I educated myself by reading books. Starting at age nine my family went to the library once a week, I checking out two or three novels which I would read during the week. Then, when I was sixteen, I read my father’s copy of Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy. I read it over and over again, now and then re-reading his account of some of the philosophers.

I mention Durant’s book The Story of Philosophy because it was a turning point in my life, I too become a scholar as did Durant, thereafter reading the philosophers and logicians …”

David West Keirsey, Turning Points, 2012

Prometheus Bound (1942-1945)

“The second turning point occurred when there came a sudden, drastic, and permanent change in my life. In May 1942 I was drafted. I quit school immediately and joined the Navy to become a fighter pilot. Why fighter pilot? Because as a child I had read every book I could find about the fighter pilots of the first world war, finally resorting to 5 cent pulp books, many well written (I have no idea why these planes and their pilots fascinated me). So when called to war I could not imagine my engaging in any other kind of warfare. Not that I wished to go to war. Far from it ─ I wished to pursue, not the enemy, but college studies. Even so, I found flight training fascinating but challenging and hazardous, many cadets failing to pass the frequent tests at each stage of training. Incidentally, it was during flight training that I learned the crucial difference between education and training. An educated person has acquired knowledge; a trained person has acquired skill. An effective person has acquired both.

Do the Work

So from August 1942 to November 1945 I was a Naval Aviator, the last eight months of my war career piloting the F4U Corsair fighter attacking enemy forces at Okinawa, Borneo, and the Japanese islands between Okinawa and Formosa. Deadly dull. Boring beyond belief. Fly for two hours on another’s wing, with nothing to do but stay in formation; ten minutes on target with extreme concentration shooting rockets and machine guns, then two more hours of doing nothing but staring at a wing. Then hours of playing cards and acey-ducy in the ready room for fighter pilots.

“During those eight months I had only one book to read—Man the Unknown by Alexis Carrel”

[Editor note]: Because of that book, my father decided he would become a psychologist, if he survived the war.

A page from his aviator’s log book
Japan surrenders August 15th, 1945

In being trained to fly and shoot rockets and bullets and drop bombs I learned how to train others; not, mind you, to teach others, but to train them in how to take action effectively. I applied what I learned about training when I designed a counseling department in a large university in 1970. It was the largest department in the university with 400 graduate students flocking to the department from all over the nation, because it was the only place in the nation where one could be trained to do corrective intervention. 

The war changed my life in another, more vital, way. I appreciated being alive. It was like being born again. Hey, I get to live! Fantastic! What, I asked myself, am I going to do with my new lease on life? Before the war I was going to be a high school English teacher. After the war I was going to be a clinical psychologist.

Prometheus Tethered (1946-1950)

November 1945 came home from the war with a new lease on life. In poor health (no exercise, boredom, and occasional stress for 8 months) having lost 17 pounds of muscle—165 lbs down to 148 lbs. What was I to do with my life? 

Got married on December 22 1945 to my beautiful and bright and enterprising sweetheart from Junior College days before the war. Had she not consented to marry me I’d have joined my two pilot buddies and gone to Washington to set up an airfield for commercial transports (which they tried, but failed, becoming crop dusters and later bush pilots in Alaska).

The training of naval aviators entailed years of study and practice, for which I was credited with three semesters of college studies, leaving three semesters for my BA degree. I decided to become a psychologist. Took most of the psychology courses offered by three of the colleges in Claremont. September 1947 I attended Claremont Graduate University—the fourth turning point in my life.

In 1949 I interned at a fifty-inmate asylum for the so-called “insane”. There I met three “psychiatrists”. I was not only unimpressed with them, but appalled by them. They seemed ignorant of psychopathology and incompetent in psychotherapy. I and the other intern met with them each Saturday to discuss our findings on the inmates we had studied during the week. Each inmate that we had studied would appear before the three “psychiatrists” and the two interns. None of the three knew how to interview, glibly pronouncing each to be “schizophrenic.” Then came the weekly electro-convulsive “therapy”. All 50 inmates were in bed, 25 on one side of the room and 25 on the other side, each awaiting his turn to be zapped. This happened every Saturday for as long as each inmate was resident. Having studied the many varieties of madness since 1946 I was astonished that all inmates would be treated the same. Indeed, I was astonished that anyone would be so treated. But I did not find out how terrifying and damaging electro-shock can be until I read Mad in America in 2010—seven decades later!

[Editor’s note:]. My father discovered and knew about the invasion of psychiatry into the American school system into the narcotherapy abuse of school children [first Artisan boys] and the eventual capture of “mental health” system by big Pharma and psychiatry, before David Rosenhan and Thomas Szasz publicized it.

Prometheus Revisited (1950-1970)

Prometheus stealing fire from Olympus giving it to Mankind

To us it seems that Hermes’ speech is to the point.
What he
commands to you is to relax from your
self-will and seek the wisdom that’s in good advice.
Do as he says, since wrong is shameful in the wise.

–Chorus Prometheus Bound

In 1950 I dropped out of the doctoral studies program. I was out of money, out of patience, out of incentive, and had acquired an enemy on the faculty to boot, she regarding me as too independent. She was outraged to find that I had devised my own scoring method for the Rorschach Ink Blot test, which I had practiced with for years. After all, she supposed herself to be an expert in the use of the Rorschach test, having studied with Bruno Klopfer, no less. So she kicked me out of her case study seminar and required me to study the Rorschach under her toady, this to teach me a lesson and make me subservient and humble—I failed to achieve either subservience or humility. Later she tried to block acceptance of my thesis, but was foiled by her mentor Bruno Klopfer, the world famous Rorschach expert, he praising me for my intuitiveness. At my thesis examination she was kept quiet by no less than Charlotte Bϋhler, world famed Gestalt theorist and wife of even more famed Gestalt theorist Carl Bϋhler (who later championed my doctoral dissertation in 1967). My mentor was professor Theodore Perkins, the only American Gestalt psychologist still living at the time, he seeing to it that I, his only Gestalt disciple, was supported by the Bϋhlers for my MA and PhD degrees. 

Being a dropout, I got a job in 1950 as a counselor in a reform school for delinquent teenage boys, run by the county probation department — the fifth turning point in my life

 I had practiced responsive listening (“non-directive counseling”) for four years, so I found the method very useful in helping troublesome boys accept themselves. I was their friend. Two of the other counselors, untrained, adopted the method, and were somewhat successful using it. It was a very unusual kind of work, we counselors living at the school for three days, then going home or work elsewhere for three days. 

At the same time I worked for three days a week as a credentialed school psychologist (also licensed as a clinical psychologist) in a small elementary school district (five schools) not far from Claremont. Nobody told me what I was to do, so I asked the teachers to identify all troubled and troublesome kids. Each school had a few of both troubled and troublesome kids. I started with the troublesome ones, all boys. Figured out a way to stop them from troubling their teachers. Called it “systematic exclusion.” Got the mother, teacher, and principal to agree that if the boy made a single noise or motion without permission he was to be immediately excused from class and sent home for the rest of the day, with nobody (teacher, principal, or parent) saying anything to him about his departure from school or his arrival at home. Being a member of a class was defined as a privilege which, if abused, was lost for that day. As long as the boy was not troublesome he could stay in class; the instant he was troublesome in the slightest degree, such as getting out of his seat without permission, he could not stay. (see Abuse It—Lose It ). In contrast, how to help troubled children was an entirely different matter, which took me a long time and a lot of experimentation to figure out how to do.

Starting in 1955 got a job coordinating psychologists and counselors in a much larger district with twenty five schools—nineteen K-6, two 7-8, and four 9-12. Stayed there fourteen years in frequent contact with each psychologist and counselor, while working in the four high schools myself. Was continuously in search of method, while weekly discussing these methods with each psychologist and counselor in the K-8 schools. I also met frequently with the principals to clarify the function of psychologists and counselors as corrective intervention rather than mere testing and reporting. Since graduate schools had no practitioners to train graduate students in corrective intervention, it was necessary that psychologists and counselors learn how on-the-job. Each year they practiced they improved. Many improved a great deal, a few improved a little. The staff of psychologists and counselors became noted in Los Angeles County Schools for the change in their function from the study of pupils to the correction of the action of pupils, teachers, parents, and—yes—principals too.  

[Editor’s note:] My father also started collecting students that had “high IQs” (~ 160-180) and interacting with them. I also was able to observe them when they dated my elder sister. He told me that these individuals had a different problem with the school system. These students saw their teachers, parents, and all authorities as not very smart and would often “lose their way” — finding high school boring and pointless (and not interested in college because they never could tolerate the classroom environment). Meanwhile, I also was observing individuals from a personality perspective, and our family discussed issues regarding human behavior and interaction between individuals and social systems. My personal interest in Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Evolution was helped immensely by this perspective.

Crossing paths with Isabel Myers got me in the habit of typewatching way back in 1956. Myers completed her book The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in 1958 and published it in 1962, though Educational Testing Service had been using her questionnaire for some years doing personality research in numerous colleges and high schools around the country, and this is where I first encountered her work.

[Editors Note:] In 1957 my father starting taking classes at Claremont Graduate School again, while having a full time job as the head clinical school psychologist and being a parent. Being primarily self-educated in personality and psychopathology (madness), he was collecting and developing corrective intervention methods [like Systematic Exclusion] in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and he was training his staff of counselors to help students navigate between their parents, the school system, school teachers, and administrators. Having observed people in action and interaction, he realized that the problems arose from the clash of Temperaments, and their differing agendas.

My father being a researcher in psychopathology (“crazy people or abnormal? people” like in the old vernacular 20th century phrase “abnormal psychology”) and personality (“normal? people”); and, being on the frontlines of the school system, when he encountered Isabel Myer‘s work, he quickly realized the link between the two. Every individual can exhibit “productive” (positive) human behavior and “defensive” (negative) behavior depending on the circumstances. Isabel Myers illuminated the kinds (“types of personality”) of long-term “normal” patterns of human action, generally being productive within society. Ernst Kretschmer and William Sheldon covered “mad, bad, crazy, and stupid” human behavior (thru Physique and Character, Varieties of Delinquent Youth) and my father seeing this defensive (“mad”) human behavior as a function of the kind of inherent personality of the individual and the circumstances surrounding that individual they find themselves in. My father devoted his life in understanding the nature of productive and defensive (madness) behavior relative to his Framework: Temperament.

I soon found it convenient and useful to partition Myers’s sixteen “types” into four groups, which she herself suggested in saying that all four of what she referred to as the “NFs” were alike in many ways and that all four of the “NTs” were alike in many ways — although what she called the “STs” seemed to me to have very little in common, just as the “SFs” had little in common. However, four earlier contributors, Adickes, Spränger, Kretschmer, and Fromm, each having written of four kinds of personality, helped me to see that Myers’s four “SJs” were very much alike, as were her four “SPs.” Bingo! People-watching from then on was a lot easier, the four groups being light years apart in their attitudes and actions.

[Editors note:] Being a practicing Gestalt Psychologist, my father tasked himself to finding methods of corrective intervention, and discovered the writings and work of Milton Erickson and Jay Haley.

Prescribe the Symptom

Milton Erickson tutored Jay Haley for ten years in how to manage madness, whereupon Haley wrote a series of books defining Erickson’s method of managing madness, thus creating a revolution. It started with Haley’s book Strategies of Psychotherapy (1963). This book totally changed my take on both madness and its management, elevating Haley and Erickson far above all others in my view.

What was the counselor to do when asked for help? Tell the client how, when, and where to practice his symptom, and report what happened during and after the practice. The method came to be known as “prescribing the symptom” and “psychotherapy” was forever changed. So was I ─ a turning point in my career.  

I hired Marilyn Bates from a State University to teach my counselors and psychologists her model of group counseling. Her model was brilliantly designed such that it was very helpful to participants. At the end of my contract she suggested that I apply for a job as professor at the University. I applied and was accepted, this a major turning point in my life equal in effect to that of my becoming a fighter pilot. 

Prometheus Unbound (1970-2013)

Bates and I wrote three books, one of them titled Please Understand Me, the contents taken from transcriptions of my lectures and conversations with Bates, she the scrivener. [Marilyn Bates died, in 1977]. I then retrieved and rewrote the manuscript entirely and, finding no publisher, published it myself in 1978—a turning point.

[Editor Note:] Advertised only by word of mouth, Please Understand Me and Please Understand Me II became international best sellers. More than 4 million copies in more than a dozen languages have been sold in the past 40 years.

Bates died in January of 1977 (as did both of my parents, all three within a span of only ten days, my brother died two months later). So I became chair of the department. From September 1970 to October or November 1976 I had been very active and fascinated with ideas on training graduate students in understanding and managing troubled and troublesome children and their mentors, the latter far more difficult to manage than the former. After all, parents, teachers, and principals only rarely saw their own actions as contributing to the troubled-ness and trouble-some-ness of their children. With Bates’s departure from the chair in late 1976 I was suddenly confronted with a totally different task: managing the largest graduate department in the entire university.

Do the Search and ReSearch

[Editor Note:] The Keirsey Temperament Model (KTM) is a Framework for understanding yourself and others. The impact of the Keirsey Temperament Model has been lasting and substantial, helping individuals, groups, and institutions deal with themselves and others in the world.

For more information on David Keirsey and the impact of his ideas.

  1. Professor Keirsey’s blog
  2. David Mark Keirsey’s blog
  3. ProfessorKeirsey.org
  4. David Mark Keirsey’s home page
  5. The Facebook Private Group: Keirsey Temperament Model
  6. Keirsey.com
  7. Wikipedia Page for David West Keirsey (generally correct, but beware)

The Yearly Tributes of Dr. David West Keirsey

First year.  Second YearThird YearFourth Year. Fifth YearSixth Year,  Seventh Year, Eight Year, Ninth Year.

Go Ask Alice,

I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head

From the beginning, she would read to me what I was interested in. I learned to read by listening to her and looking at words and the pictures.  Not fairy tales, not silly stories, but from the natural world: she read from Time Life: The World We Live In.

She encouraged my passion of Science, to be the best I could be. She loved learning, I did too.

Teach Your Children well

She was an elementary school teacher for forty years. Everybody loved her, her fellow teachers, her students, their parents, her children and her grandchildren.  She was my father’s best Advocate.  And she was my Advocate too, for I was her son: the scientist.

She was the most positive person I knew. The energized bunny personified.

To Her Children’s Children Children Children

I quickly surpassed her in understanding the natural world, although she was always better with the people world.  She was my first Teacher: she was my mother: all four feet, eight inches.

Continue reading

Active Learning

Learn, UnLearn, Learn.

Understanding should never stay put. It is important to get a new understanding. Understanding can always be improved. 

There are two ways to do good science.
The first is to be smarter than everybody else.
The second way is to be stupider than everybody else—but persistent in the cycle of learn, unlearn, learn.

Hacked from Raoul Bott’s quote.

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 YearSixth Year, Seventh Year. This is the eighth year.

On Gestalt Science: Relational Complexity and Comparative Science
David West Keirsey and David Mark Keirsey

On the nature of ideas: almost right, almost wrong, brilliantly confused, abstractly confused.

On Ansatz and Ersatz Ideas

Feynman Diagram

No ideas are absolutely right. Good Ideas, that are almost right, model the world well. However, words are slippery and ambiguous, open to misinterpretation for those who are ill informed or misinformed. Ideas are model metaphors, limited in context.

Almost Right.

Green Ideas sleep furiously

There are almost right ideas that are complex ideas. These almost right ideas are a mixture of fast and slow ideas in a circumcised context. These ideas take time to be developed and are not the complete answer. These ideas are opposed or ignored by society in general. Moreover, the incumbent experts of the fast ideas vehemently oppose the incorporation of the slow ideas, but eventually accepted when their time has come.

Keirsey Temperament

The Keirsey Temperament Model (KTM) is a framework for understanding yourself and others. Millions of people have benefitted from the KTM, even though there was no advertising of it, except through word of mouth.

Keirsey Temperament Model’s Top Matrix

The Keirsey Temperament Model does not address, explicitly, the effect of gender, culture, and other environmental factors and influences on a person’s character, which are important factors in the development of an individual. On the other hand, understanding a person’s Temperament often can help in understanding these other factors and influences.

Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Potential

Quantum mechanics is the most accurate approximate theory in Science. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is correct but incomplete in understanding, because it is a principle (an assumption) not an explanation.  The debate between QM (ala Schrodinger, Heisenberg (Born), Dirac) versus the “hidden variable” QM Bohm-Einstein, both assume the continuity of the speed of light relative to the Planck scales (time, mass, energy, distance, spin, and charge). David Bohm’s new Quantum Potential (via The Undivided Universe) is a better ontological model than conventional QM; however, still doesn’t address the digital (Diophantine) nature of reality.

Quantum Potential

Quantum mechanics does not predict the right magnetic moment of the muon or tauon. And there are the three neutral leptons that have no explanation. Moreover, there is no set of relations, at this point of time (2020), that conventional physics has any hope of using to bridge that Fermi-Dirac-Landau gap. The Ersatz concepts of Dark Matter and Quantum Entanglement are vacuous rhetorical concepts pushed by the neo-Ostwaldian prophets. Quantum entanglement is a real phenomena, but the popular explanations are nonsensical. Formatics will hopefully address these issues.

Almost Wrong.

Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds,
bursting with its own corrections.
You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.
Vilfredo Pareto

There are almost wrong ideas that are much better than vague or confused ideas. These almost wrong ideas often are ground breaking for a time, and they are crucial in the evolution of science and ideas. These are the fast ideas or slow ideas of yesteryear. They’re the best science at the time, limited in the scope, and clearly to some degree very incomplete.

Personality Types

Isabel Myers created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and helped millions of individuals understand themselves better as individuals. Most people are not very good at introspection, but the MBTI although atomistic in its approach, the four linear factors [E-I,N-S,T-F,P-J], provided a better set of factors to see the People Patterns, than looking to doGs, daemons, tea leaves, 2000 year old texts, or dead ancestor’s droppings, to understand and as a guide to operate in the past, present, and future.

Isabel Myers modification and adding to Carl Jung’s vague and sloppy ideas was a major improvement. The idea that people are inborn in their different wants, needs, and styles of behavior, often contrary to their families, friends, and communities, was a game changing idea against the early and dominant 20th century blank slate ideas of Watson/Skinner or simplistic primal instinct theories of Freud and Pavlov. Can the individual be explained by four factors? No, but as an initial way of looking at an individual for the “content of their character”

Relativity and Particle Types

Energy/Matter: Isaac Newton was extremely successful when he invented differential and integral calculus to model Kepler’s concept of the motion of the heavens. Newton used his newly coined (mathematical) concepts of mass and fluxons to generate a simple equation relating these two to universal gravity. He also was the first to guess that light was a particle. He obviously had no idea of electrons, protons, and the particle and force zoo that his followers would expand upon.

Space/Time: Einstein, abandoned his work on Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect (involving a Planck constant), to concentrate on the mismatch between Hamiltonian mechanics and Maxwell’s equations. With the use of covariant tensors and the formalism of the Minkowski space, Einstein generated an approximate model of Newton’s guess at gravity that has been excellent in predicting interesting phenomena such as the bending of light waves, time dilation, gravity waves, and phenomena such as black holes. On the other hand, Einstein’s field equations cannot explain the rotation of galaxies and the evolution of the universe without numerous fudge factors (the Gravitational “constant”, the Hubble “constant”, “Dark Matter”, and “Dark Energy”). Einstein’s equations do not involve the Planck (finite) constants, in some sense hiding behind infinity.

From all this it is to be seen how much the limits of analysis are enlarged by such infinite equations; in fact by their help analysis reaches, I might say, to all problems, the numerical problems of Diophantus and the like excepted. [Editor’s emphasis]

Isaac Newton (Letter to Gottfried Leibniz on the advantages of infinitesimal calculus)

Ersatz Ideas: Brilliantly Confused or Sloppy Confused.

“Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus

Margaret Thatcher

These ersatz “confused” ideas are to be explored in more detail in a later blog; however, what follows is a short introduction of the concepts to be developed further. My father spent most of his life combating or ameliorating the effects of confused ideas. But it is not enough to criticize ideas that one considers wrong or confused, better ideas must be built from from old ideas and new ideas that address the issues finessed or ignored by the ideas of the current time.

Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig; es ist nicht einmal falsch!

Wolfgang Pauli

Almost Right and Almost Wrong Ideas are the bulk of science; however, there are ideas that arise that are either Brilliantly Confused or Sloppy Confused, that contribute to the evolution of science. These ideas are a little more complex to describe in their role in the evolution of science.

“What you said was so confused that one could not tell whether it was nonsense or not.”

Wolfgang Pauli (to Lev Landau)

Brilliantly Confused ideas often open up new vistas implicitly. To a degree the Brilliantly Confused ideas are partially right, but typically, for wrong reasons. Archetypes of Jung and Freud’s “talking cure” were better than the torture methods of the medics of the first half of the twentieth century, but ultimately have no scientific basis other than vague metaphors. String Theory was promising in the beginning, once Green and Schwarz figured out the right scale, but it rested on a bad assumption: mass and energy are continuous and proportional factors in non-equilibrium circumstances. These ideas eventually fade, but seem to never die.

Abstractly Confused Ideas are wrong turns on bad assumptions (often seen in hindsight, but sometimes obvious to a silent or silenced minority). The “Mental Illness” metaphor used to rationalize psychiatry’s and the pharmacological industry to drug their patients or clients, often compounding the problems of these victims of abuse from dysfunctional families and/or institutions. In the science of cosmology, Steven Hawking used his credibility and dominate position in the field to speculate about how the world works, the popular media loving to advertise his every word. However, Steven Hawking and David Deutsch’s Multiverse is more religion than science.

Active Learning: Learn, Unlearn, Learn

The thing I miss about my father, besides our spirited and long debates, was his interest in ideas. He was always up for discussing them. Looking at them and examining the pros and cons of ideas: how they are almost right, almost wrong, brilliantly confused, and sloppy confused. Understanding can always be improved.

I bailed out of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering as undergraduate to go into computing; however, I never gave up on trying to learn more and understand more, like quantum computing. With a fifth watching of Andrea Morello’s interview, I am still learning, unlearning, learning.

I also didn’t continue to learn more “mathematical” (non-discrete) concepts beyond my BS and MS degrees. Only in the last couple of decades I have gone back to learning, unlearning, learning other mathematical domains. For example, in understanding internal structure and dynamics, Peter Scott’s article The Geometries of 3-Manifolds has valuable information about the eight kinds of geometries in three dimensions.

Architect Rationals include: Mary SomervilleDavid Mark KeirseyJames MadisonSrinivasa RamanujanEmmy NoetherPaul DiracRobert RosenDavid West KeirseyAlbert EinsteinLonnie AthensDavid Bohm

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

Gestalt Science

modeling_relationA Viking Reader

Fearless Asymmetry and Symmetry

order_chaos_particle_biform
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. 

to_explain_the_world_cover 

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Bourdain

In the Heart of Darkness and Lightbourdain_congo_river

On June 8, 2013,  ‘Congo’ — Season 1, Episode 7 of Parts Unknown was aired on CNN.

“It is the most relentlessly fucked-over nation in the world, yet it has long been my dream to see Congo. And for my sins, I got my wish.” Bourdain starts the episode off on a dramatic note as he tries to recreate his favorite book, Heart of Darkness.

On June 8, 2018, he committed suicide while on location in France for Parts Unknown.  The suicide appeared to be an “impulsive act“.

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Slow Ideas

Comparative Science and Relational Complexity

We would debate for hours.

Over decades.

Only the educated and self-educated are free.

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 Year, Fifth Year  This is the sixth year.

When I was young, my father would introduce and discuss, around the dinner table, the ideas of philosophers, scientists, and historians: like Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Georg Hegel, William James, Arthur Schopenhauer, Bertrand Russell, Oswald Spengler, Will Durant, Ayn Rand, Milton Erickson, and Jay Haley, to name a few.

I had a question early on “How and Why does the World Work?” He had a more difficult question: “What are the long-term patterns of an ‘Individual’s Human Action?” He was clinical school psychologist, who was identifying deviant habits of children, parents, and teachers. He was developing techniques aimed at enabling them to abandon such habits. His methods of research and reasoning enabled him to evolve his ideas into a coherent system. His model of Human Temperament has helped many people to better understand themselves and others.

He was good at qualitative reasoning, wholistic thought: the Gestalt (despite [and because] of having lots of training in statistics). I became good at quantitative reasoning: conventional science and mathematics. Between the two of us, as we debated, I realized that there was a middle way, much more powerful than ad hoc wholistic reasoning or ad hoc atomistic reasoning, when they are used separately. The new middle way, The Slow Idea, is using Comparative Science and Relational Complexity in conjunction as fields of scientific endeavor using systematic qualitative and quantitative reasoning together. To some extent: (hard and soft) science, mathematics, and computer science are towers of Babel, not able to understand each other’s argot and considered irrelevant to other.

The idea ofSlow Ideas <=> Fast Ideas

The root of this idea appeared just recently, thanks to Atul Gawande. He and Matt Ridley noted that ideas operate very much in an evolutionary manner.

Fast Ideas and Slow Ideas

FAST IDEAS WORK

eventually, SLOW IDEAS WORK BETTER, and longer

Atul Gawande introduced the idea of slow and fast ideas with an example from the 19th century. The fast idea was anesthesia and the slow idea was antiseptics. To quote him:

“Why do some innovations [ideas] spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century.”

“The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846…”

“The idea [anesthesia] spread like a contagion, travelling through letters, meetings, and periodicals. By mid-December, surgeons were administering ether to patients in Paris and London. By February, anesthesia had been used in almost all the capitals of Europe, and by June in most regions of the world.”

Antiseptics, on the other hand, was a slow idea. It took decades for antiseptics to accepted by doctors, who had no incentives to change their practices that didn’t help them immediately. Blood stained clothes was a sign of a experienced surgeon; and washing hands, sterilizing instruments, and keeping hospitals clean seemed unnecessary. Germ theory was dismissed by doctors because the “germs” were not readily observed. Miasma Theory still was used as an excuse to not change.

Hey buddy, can you spare a Para-digm?

“Science advances one funeral at a time.” — Max Planck

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

Establishment science needs to protect themselves from quacks, but it also resists slow ideas that are not easily incorporated into the current fashionable (often fast) ideas. This is natural, this is the way evolution works. However, Kuhnian revolutions (as in Margulian-Darwinian evolution) are necessary in science to progress and leap across the Quantum Gap.

On the Question of Learning Words…

… and Tools.

“It is important to understand that the Four Temperaments are not simply arbitrary collections of characteristics, but spring from an interaction of the two basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply, what we say and what we do.” — David West Keirsey

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and his ideas every year.  First year,  Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year.david_west_keirsey_young_man

David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
and next year’s words await another voice.
— T.S. Eliot

He concentrated on them:  the use of words,

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Re-imagin-ing

David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)

frame work

Frame
Work

re-: Latin – ‘again
imagin-: Latin imaginari – ‘picture to oneself,’
ing: Germanic -ung – Gerund – ‘continuing action

david west keirsey self portrait 2

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and his ideas every year.  First year,  Second Year, Third Year

His ideas still have use because his ideas are slow ideas. Moreover, his ideas have wider applicability if re-imagin-ed, judiciously.

Only the educated and self-educated are free.

“… Up to that time I had learned a lot, but not at school. I began reading when I was seven. Read (most of) a twelve volume set of books my parents bought, Journeys through Bookland. Read countless novels thereafter, day in and day out. I educated myself by reading books. Starting at age nine my family went to the library once a week, I checking out two or three novels which I would read during the week. Then, when I was sixteen, I read my father’s copy of Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy. I read it over and over again, now and then re-reading his account of some of the philosophers.” [Turning Points, David West Keirsey, 2013]

Klein Dual Inside Out

“I mention Durant’s book The Story of Philosophy because it was a turning point in my life, I too, become a scholar as did Durant, thereafter reading the philosophers and logicians—anthropologists, biologists, ethologists, ethnologists, psychologists, sociologists, and, most important, the etymologists, all of the latter—Ernest Klein, Eric Partridge, Perry Pepper, and Julius Pokorny—of interest to me now as then.” [Turning Points, David West Keirsey, 2013]

When I arrived on the scene (about 30 years later) upon which my father and I started debating about ideas. He was well educated, and more importantly self-educated, in Philosophy and Psychology.  He considered himself to be the last of the Gestalt Psychologists at the end of his life.

Being a “hard” science kind of guy by nature but always being questioned by my “Gestalt” psychologist father, I always, in the back of my mind, questioned the basic assumptions taught to me in school — like the physics concept of “mass.” I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was wrong or what issues were being finessed, for I figured that I was either ignorant or not bright enough to know better.

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

My father was called Dr. Matrix by his staff at Covina School District. He considered himself as an self taught expert in Qualitative Factor Analysis, because he had to have six semesters of statistics (quantitative and correlative) as a PhD requirement for psychology, and found that those techniques missed important factors and meaning.  Rather, he looked for systematic (and wholistic) patterns in human action, using the principles of Gestalt psychology.  I often would be his sounding board on his tentative propositions in characterizing the observable action patterns.

Temperament Framework Productive Action
The Temperament Framework for Productive Human Action

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Transformation: Swimming Across the Universe

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.”  — Andy Grove

moore_noyce_grove

In Memoriam: Andy Grove
2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016

Andy Grove was noted for making sure that important details were never missed.  Having a strategic vision helps in recognizing the important factors.

He had survived by getting things right in the long term and transforming himself.

“By the time I was twenty, I had lived through a Hungarian Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis’ “Final Solution,” the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, a period of chaotic democracy in the years immediately after the war, a variety of repressive Communist regimes, and a popular uprising that was put down at gunpoint. . . [where] many young people were killed; countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West. I was one of them.

Even though he arrived in the United States with little money and not knowing English, Grove retained a “passion for learning.”  He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, followed by a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.

“Probably no one person has had a greater influence in shaping Intel, Silicon Valley, and all we think about today in the technology world than Andy Grove.” — Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware

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