“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
David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)
re-: Latin – ‘again‘
–imagin-: Latin imaginari – ‘picture to oneself,’
–ing: Germanic -ung – Gerund – ‘continuing action‘
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]
“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.
“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
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
I have the impression that some ways must be left behind, some mental habits must be abandoned, if we are not to clip the wings of progress. Even to science we must sometimes repeat Charon’s cry: By another way, by other ports, not here, you will find passage across the shore. In my role as teacher I hope to be able to show you other ways, if not other ports. — Giuseppe Vitali
“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” — William James
Bill Thomas has been described as a Cultural Jammer: trying to change the American attitudes towards aging.
In 1991, Bill Thomas, having been an emergency room doctor, became the medical director of a nursing home in upstate New York. He found the place, as the Washington Post put it, “depressing, a repository for old people whose minds and bodies seemed dull and dispirited.”
So says her, and she should know: she has done the research.
It’s complicated, and there are no panaceas.
Real Complex. It’s hard work.
Politicians, Lawyers, Journalists, and the Public at large love simple explanations and simple solutions: let the Government or the Market solve it.
Simple Solutions for Complex Problems: NOT A GOOD IDEA. Many Simple Solutions are Fast Ideas.
Rather it’s communication: both cooperative and competitive.
Her ideas are slow ideas: complicated. And the world took awhile to recognize them. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics three years before her death.
“Lin Ostrom cautioned against single governmental units at global level to solve the collective action problem of coordinating work against environmental destruction. Partly, this is due to their complexity, and partly to the diversity of actors involved. Her proposal was that of a polycentric approach, where key management decisions should be made as close to the scene of events and the actors involved as possible.”
They had to be discrete. Tongues will wag. For their idea is a slow idea, not well accepted in the world even today. Their slowidea on the human element, Hu, analogously called latentheat in physics and chemistry, generated a lot of heat by others, full of sound and fury at the time, for these other people vigorously opposed the idea:On Liberty – moral|economic. It wasn’t the fastidea at the time: the conventional wisdom of Victorian, Anglican, England: the idea of nationalised merchantilism — tariffed moral, economic, political, and social trade: locally culture restricted and centralized regulated trade of ideas and things: Oh Britannia.
‘… Bill Gates weighed in with his condemnation. “I think that the book actually did damage the generosity of rich world nations,” he said in a 2013 interview. “I have read it and I think she didn’t know much about aid and what aid is doing.” ‘ [My emphasis]
Sorry Bill — think again, haven’t you got that the other way around?
“Don’t just read it; fight it! Ask your own questions, look for your own examples, discover your own proofs. Is the hypothesis necessary? Is the converse true? What happens in the classical special case? What about the degenerate cases? Where does the proof use the hypothesis?” – Paul Halmos