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.

Feynman

“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.

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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

Let’s be Reason-able

blind_justice

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection [opportunity] of [under] the laws. [14th Amendment of the American Constitution, modified by DMK]

“All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground …”  Sarah Grimke

The Notorious Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

ruth_ginsburg

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.”

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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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Learn

Only the self-educated and educated person is free.
David Mark Keirsey

fancy-frederick-douglass

“Without education we live within the narrow, dark and grimy walls of ignorance. Education, on the other hand, means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of a human into the glorious light of truth, the light by which humans can only be made free. To deny education to any people is one of the greatest crimes against human nature. It is easy to deny them the means of freedom and the rightful pursuit of happiness and to defeat the very end of their being.”  — Frederick Douglass, –Blessings of Liberty and Education (1894).

Douglass, as an adolescent slave roaming the streets of Baltimore, Maryland would hunt for scattered newspapers, torn Bible pages, scanning broadsides, and generally searching for anything with reading matter.

He had a hunger for knowledge and learning.   For Frederick Douglass is a classical example of a Rational, more specifically what we call a Strategic Coordinating Rational: A FieldmarshalRationals are “the Knowledge-Seeking” Temperament.

Strategic Coordinators

Those Rationals who are quick to judge and to make schedules are eager to take the part of Coordinator. Coordinators determine who is to do what at a given time and place, and this role requires a directive character. Coordinators steadily increase in directiveness as they mature, such that they easily and comfortably command others and expect to be obeyed. Indeed, Coordinators are surprised by any resistance to their directives, because it is so clear to them that others do not know what to do, presumably because their goal is unclear or absent, and because they apparently have no strategy in mind by which to proceed. So, in the view of the Coordinator, most people are operating blindly and going around in circles, plainly in need of direction.

Fieldmarshals arrange a well-ordered hierarchy that makes possible the chain of command and the mobilizing of forces. In their campaigns these expressive, energetic Coordinators commandeer whatever human capabilities and material resources are available and use them to execute a complex strategy … Any kind of undertaking, whether commercial, educational, political, or military — whatever — can be arranged hierarchically, indeed must be if success is to be achieved, and the more efficient the hierarchy, the greater the success.  [Please Understand Me II]

Fieldmarshal Rationals include: Marvin MinskyTan LeMuriel SiebertJerry BussJohn AdamsIndra Nooyi, William Pitt, the YoungerEllen Sirleaf and Joyce Banda, and Margaret Thatcher.

RosenRobert

Robert Rosen, Strategic Engineer: Architect, had a similar thirst for knowledge, but in a different way and of course, it was significantly different time, place, and circumstance, from Douglass.

life

When I was five or six, I was taken to see the Disney film “Fantasia”. I remember being mesmerized by the panoply of life through the eons, which the Disney cartoonists set to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”. This was worth spending a lifetime with. Though I did not even know the word at the time, had already determined to become a Biologist.

By that age, I had long since learned not to ask complicated questions of the adults around me, either family or teachers, because they didn’t know. Although I had no idea then where they came from, books seemed more authoritative, so I began reading anything I could find dealing with life and the living. Unconsciously, I was casting about for information, not only about this life which fascinated me, but on how one best went about understanding it; information on how to be the kind of Biologist I increasingly aspired to be.”

Strategic Engineers

Engineers structure the form and function of the instruments to be employed in pursuing objectives, and is the domain of the probing Rationals, those who prefer to keep their options open and to follow an idea where it leads them. Concentrated as they are on determining the ways and means of operation, Engineers tend to have an informative rather than a directive character, which is to say that they are usually eager to provide information and reports regarding what they are currently engineering, but not at all eager to tell others what to do.

Architects make structural plans, models, blueprints. To these reserved Engineers, often working alone at their desks, drafting tables, and computers, the coherence of their designs is what counts, the elegance of their configurations, be they plans for a building, an experiment, a curriculum, or a weapon of war. [Please Understand Me II]

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

oliver_sacks_library

He wrote many books.

Oliver Wolf Sacks, Strategic Engineer: Inventor, (9 July 1933 – 30 August 2015) was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and author. Born in Great Britain, and mostly educated there, he spent his career in the United States. He believed that the brain is the “most incredible thing in the universe.” He became widely known for writing best-selling case histories about both his patients’ and his own disorders and unusual experiences, with some of his books adapted for plays by major playwrights, feature films, animated short films, opera, dance, fine art, and musical works in the classical genre.

Beginning in 1970, Sacks wrote of his experience with neurological patients. Some of his 12 books have been translated into over 25 languages.

Inventors develop their skill in devising prototypes more than their skill in designing models. To these outgoing Engineers, functionality is the objective, as in the case of Nikola Tesla, the gifted inventor of the split-phase electric motor, the giant coil, alternating current, the radio, the inert gas light bulb, and countless other ingenious devices. Inventors must make sure their prototypes don’t just make sense on paper, but work in the real world, or else face the consequences.  [Please Understand Me II]

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

enlightenment

She titled her book, “Nomad.”

For that was her ancestral origins — misleadingly put as “her genetics”  —  supposedly her “inheritance” and her culture.

But she was different.  Something deep inside was different.

She had always read books, from the beginning as a child.

nomad

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Strategic Coordinating Rational: Mastermind (born Ayaan Hirsi Magan, 13 November 1969) is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, author, scholar and former politician. She received international attention as a critic of Islam and advocate for the rights and self-determination of Muslim women, actively opposing forced marriage, honor violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation.  She has founded an organization for the defense of women’s rights, the AHA Foundation.

Masterminds arrange things in coherent and comprehensive sequential order, that is, they coordinate operations by making efficient schedules, with each item entailing the next, as a necessary precursor or consequence. Moreover, Masterminds make contingency plans for keeping their schedules on track. If plan A is in jeopardy or is aborted, switch to plan B. If that doesn’t work, then plan C. Often working behind the scenes, these quiet, reserved Coordinators are able to anticipate nearly everything that can go awry and generate alternatives that are likely to avoid the fate that might befall the first operation. And so it goes, the Mastermind ending with a flow chart of alternate ways and means to reach clearly defined objectives.   [Please Understand Me II]

Mastermind Rationals include:  Andy GroveEd CatmullAyn RandSheryl WudunnSalman Khan,  Susan B AnthonyIssac NewtonSharon PresleyBill GatesMasha Gessen,  Ayaan Hirsi AliRosalind Franklin, and Ulysses S. Grant

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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The Man for the Fall Season

He lost. They didn’t elect him.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

 In fact, he lost partially because of his efforts in behalf the nation.  However, it hasn’t been widely recognized that the most impactful, beneficial, and long lasting effect of his decision, wasn’t the decision that he is known for, reviled for, and awarded for.

vietnamese refugees 1975

“All that is gold does not glitter”

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What is the Presidency For?

“Then, what the hell is the presidency for!”
 “I have the power, now, and I intend to use it.”
— Lyndon Baines Johnson

HBO, All the way

Politics is War.

HBO premiered the movie “All the Way” on May 21. It is great film where Four Temperaments are clearly shown in action.

“November 22, 1963: John F. Kennedy was dead in Dallas, killed by an assassin. Jacqueline Kennedy, her clothes still spattered with her husband’s blood, stood beside Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson as Johnson took the presidential oath of office. Camelot was suddenly and shockingly gone. In the passage of a few jolting hours, King Arthur had been replaced by the crude, graceless, but equally energetic Lyndon Johnson, a professional politician from Texas.”  [Presidential Temperament]

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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

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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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