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RohinGupta

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  1. I think you will find this video of mine useful.
  2. I think approach involving classification and growth is good. Further, I think before we go into the details of free will and its relation to growth, we should try to understand why the subject of Free Will is so important. Therefore, basic examples involving subjects of Ethics and Independence, Literature and Naturalism/Romanticism, Psychology and conceptual faculty will be good. Comparing Peter Keating and Howard Roark will be especially interesting for me.
  3. I refer to these as projections, which are derived from actual memories, and are therefore not primary. Memories are used in the sense of primary. According to Objectivist Epistemology, ITOE or How We Know, any concept, even first level, requires comparison of two similar objects with something more different. For e.g. 2 chairs with table for concept chair, or dog and pig with tree for concept animal.
  4. 28th December, 2019 marks one year of publication of the book. To celebrate the occasion, book is available for free. The offer is for a limited period. Do read and review... ....Happy Managing ! https://lnkd.in/fVTTfxr
  5. PART 2 — UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY THROUGH CLASSIFICATION PART 1 PUBLISHED HERE PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY Human mind or the Psychological reality, while it’s clearly an important aspect of existence, is definitely not an independent entity set. It’s derived from general and specific reality we analyzed in the previous blog. In general reality, classification, causal connections, principal formation, and field or subjects of study are clearly functions of mind. In specific reality, the understanding of material, social, and physiological aspects also require application of mind. Yet, significant as all these may be, there is more to human mind. So with this this background, let’s look at various aspects of human psyche. MEMORIES The most easily noticeable aspect of human mind are the things we remember from time to time. Mostly the things we have seen in past, but also things we have heard, or touched, or some special fragrances. So sense organs act as the foundation on which our memories are built. Of course, not everything is equally memorable, or even equally clear all the time. Some memories are vivid, some are significant during one point in life, but become trivial later on. Reverse, where trivial memories become cherished is also possible. So broadly, memories can be classified as vivid or trivial, or some spectrum in between. And they can also be classified as short term or long term, or some spectrum in between. Memories have a significant role in life. While our experience has other aspects also, it’s the memories that form basic content of experience. And its experience that not only helps us to navigate different aspects of reality, but also improve the navigation, as we move along. So memories and corresponding experience are the first few pearls in the necklace of Psychological reality. Structure of Memories So how can we visualize the structure of memories? Firstly and obviously, memories exist inside our mind. Further however, many of the memories refer to material reality or social reality or physiological reality. For example, most of the things we remember, like my office cubicle, or my Laptop, or face of my manager, or my spouse, or my school, or memory of me typing this blog, or eating food etc. All these memories exist inside my mind, through my brain, but refer to objects or attributes or events outside my mind. So memories can be structured as follows: STRUCTURE OF MEMORIES Further though, some memories also refer to other parts of psychological reality, remembering some strong emotional experience for example. We need not study these memories right now though. But for completeness, here is the visualization of the complete structure of memories. STRUCTURE OF MEMORIES, INCLUDING MEMORY OF PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY VALUES Not everything we store in our mind is equally beneficial to us. Some things in our mind make us significantly better off, other things actually distract us and make us worse off. Then there are things which are harmful, but we have to think about them, if we have to deal with them. The beneficial things, distractions, and harmful things are again derived from material, social, and physiological reality — derived from external reality that is. Broadly, if we are to co-relate these realities to the benefits, we will come up with following type of values. First, there are things like food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and safety tools, which facilitate immediate survival. Then there are things that may not cause immediate survival, but these do make our lives significantly better. These are machines like cars, or washing machines, or elevators. Then there are emotionally charging things like movies or sports. And institutions like school or government. Structure of Values So how are values different from various external realities we studied? Being psychological, values exist in our mind. Further, they are a subset of memories in our mind. And most importantly, they are not standalone memories. Instead values are a connection of memories. Like an electrovalent or a covalent bond we study in chemistry, the values have two elements which are in the form of memories. One memory element refers to material or social reality. Second memory element refers to Physiological reality or a different part of Psychological reality. Since Physiological reality is simpler compared to equivalent aspects of Psychological reality, I will postpone the explanation of memory that refers to Psychological reality. Instead we can focus only on values that have memories from Physiological reality as one of their element. For example, Car is a part of material reality. The benefit of mobility I get from the Car is a physiological reality. Both Car and the benefit exist outside my mind. But the memory of Car, and the memory of the benefit I derive from Car exist inside my mind. And the connection between these two memories is the value, which also exists inside my mind. STRUCTURE OF VALUE — CONNECTION OF MATERIAL MEMORY AND PHYSIOLOGICAL MEMORY So to summarize, the material and social realities exist outside of mind, but they create memories inside the mind. Similarly, the physiological reality creates memories inside the mind, while actually existing outside of mind (but within the body). Values are a next step in the necklace of psychological reality. In values, memory of external reality involving humans and materials, often connects with the memory of external reality involving personal well-being. EMOTIONS Clearly values are a matter of life and death, or more appropriately, a matter of flourishing and misery for us. The next step after values, in our journey inside psychological reality, involves our reaction to the existence of values in our mind. What happens when we see something that we had earlier inferred as being valuable? How do we even first realize that something is valuable? What happens if some value that we achieved, is threatened? What if we actually lose something valuable? How do we react when we see someone who took away something of value? Happiness and Frustration broadly classify our feelings. And these reactions to values lead us to the next existent in psychological reality, our emotions. Happiness is a positive reaction to values, whether it’s automatic evaluation of something as valuable, or reaction to achievement of values, or just a desire of something valuable. Frustration is the negative reaction towards values, which can primarily be fear, or sadness, or hate, or anger. Structure of Emotions Before we go deeper into this aspect of psychological reality, let’s look at general structure of emotions. Memories are the elements of psychological reality. Values are the compounds made up of memories referring mostly to external reality. Emotions, unlike values and memories, are not purely inside mind. Part of the emotion exists in material or social or physiological reality. It’s this external part which triggers the values inside our mind, and invokes an automatic reaction which may be happiness or frustration. STRUCTURE OF EMOTION — A CONNECTION BETWEEN SENSE BASED EVENT AND VALUE Let’s look at a child, and corresponding value, his lunch-box. A bully comes along and snatches the food. Now the emotional reaction in child does not involve just the value food, it also involves the realization that an external event has taken away that value. Same can be inferred about the joy this child feels on getting (but not eating) chocolate. It’s not just the value which comprises of memory that chocolate was delicious, but also an external event of actually getting the chocolate, that triggers the emotion of joy. So emotion can be considered as a combination of value derived purely from mind, and an event occurring in material or social or physiological reality (or a separate area in psychological reality). Seven Primary Emotions [1] While emotions are a multidimensional array, varying in intensity of sensation and scope of events or values, all emotional experiences can be derived from seven primary emotions. Three of these primary emotions belong to positive or Happiness category, and four of these belong to negative or Frustration category. If events cause referent of values like lunch box to be taken away, the emotions are sadness for the loss of value and anger towards the person taking away the value. There is another emotion hate which will be triggered later on, by the event which involves sight (or memory) of the bully. Or fear if one thinks that bully is again coming back to take away value (but has not yet taken it, in which case the dominant emotions will be sadness and anger again). Similarly, there is love (or like) triggered by the sight of a positive memory like a chocolate. Desire when the child wants the chocolate, or joy is triggered when the child gets the chocolate. So sadness, joy, fear, and desire are more connected to event part of emotion. Here, through event, there is reaction to actual or potential loss of value (sadness and fear). Or there is reaction to actual or potential gain of value (joy and desire). Other three emotions, hate, love, or anger are more connected to memory than to event. The event in all three cases is again a perceptual sensation of mostly sight, or hearing, touch, or fragrance, or occasionally taste. If the memory corresponds to positive value, then it’s the emotion of love that follows. If the memory corresponds to negative value, then the emotion is hate. And if the memory invoked is the event where there was loss of value sometime before, then the emotion is anger towards the cause of this loss. I will not consider the activity of combining these primary emotions. Just an example though. Emotional part of ambition involves a combination of love and desire of significant value, like career instead of something small like chocolate or ice-cream. (Unless it’s chocolate shop or ice-cream factory as career). SUMMARIZING ROLE OF VALUES AND EMOTIONS IN HUMAN MIND Values and emotions mainly help human mind to determine what is important. The human mind can operate at two levels. If things from reality are deliberately selected as important, then memory of those things becomes a value, and enters conscious part of mind. If one realizes that things of reality are important through emotions, then memory of those things was part of sub-conscious part of mind. Of course, there are more complex combinations. One can think that he values a friend, but resent his presence. These kind of conflicts are a more advanced application of psychology, but still require basic understanding of the separation into conscious and sub-conscious. So to summarize, values and emotions refer to memories and ultimately to external reality, in different combinations. They help mind to determine what is important, as the mind directs body to navigate reality. Values operate at deliberate or conscious level. Emotions operate at an automatic or sub-conscious level. Ultimately however, knowing what is important is just a part of reality navigation. Another important component of psychological reality is the knowledge of methods that are used in actual navigation. Understanding of these methods forms next step in the analysis of Psychological Reality. METHODS After determining various goals through values and emotions, next step is to achieve those goals through sustained action. Achievement of simple values like eating food on the table requires a very basic activity. Complex values like a career require dedicated effort for a long time. It is such complex values that create the need for methods. Elements of the structure of Methods Like other things in psychological reality, let’s look at a general structure of method. Every method consists of the value or a set of values which have to be achieved using that method. Other than values, method also refers to actions that should be performed in reality, for achieving those values. For example, in actions to extract the value oil, method consists of deploying and running oil drills. For value education, we have actions described using teaching methods. For the value software, we have programming and software engineering methodologies etc. While we have already inferred the structure of values, the other part of the structure of method still needs to be discovered. Specifically, how is structure of memories, a superset of values, different from structure of actions referred by method? Memory is from past, and very similar to the existent from external reality it refers to. For example, memory of the face of your wife won’t be very different from her actual face when you see her. But degree of variation of the image of action in method, from reality, may be more. Like memory, actions in method also ultimately refer to images from external reality. The image stored in mind for these actions of methods will be mostly from prior experience or education. More importantly however, the image of some action planned for future, will differ more from reality, when the plan of action is applied later on. This brings us to another important property of human mind, concepts or abstractions. CONCEPTS OR ABSTRACTIONS So while a memory refers to single mental image, abstractions or concepts refer to a set of mental images. These mental images referred to by concepts or abstractions can be divided into two parts. First part consists of memories that are from past, like the memories of actions of drilling method one may have known through prior experience or education. Second is the projection from these past memories into future, where one tries to imagine how actions will look in future activity, like drilling in a newly acquired field. There is more to Abstractions than just images from past or future. These can also involve lower level abstractions like concepts of screw (for drilling), digging, deployment of drill, oil field etc. However, since lower level concepts are ultimately reducible to images, therefore we can represent abstractions or concepts as a set of images in representation of method. STRUCTURE OF CONCEPTS OR ABSTRACTIONS ROLE OF ABSTRACTIONS IN STRUCTURE OF METHODS So coming back to the structure of method, again using the analogy of Chemistry, it can be described like a more complex molecule. Think of memory as an element Hydrogen, value as a compound of elements like Hydro Chloric acid, and method as a more complex compound like Chloro-Benzene or proteins. STRUCTURE OF METHOD More elaborate structure of Methods So overall, memories, values, emotions, and methods can be considered as the core of Psychological Reality. Ultimately, since enabling discovery of various methods is the ultimate aim of Psychology (check my previous blog on Freud for details on purpose of Psychology), so a final word on emotions. What is the role of emotions in psychology, particularly because the emotions do not appear in the structure of method? Actually they do, but I have not represented them explicitly. Since emotions are reactions based on values, so they are also a type of action. Similar to actions in social, material, or physiological reality, emotions can also be referred by method-action related abstraction. Examples of actions in Psychological reality can be thinking, imagining, remembering, feeling etc. MORE ELABORATE STRUCTURE OF METHOD Further, since second part of the structure of value can refer to Psychological Reality instead of Physiological Reality (first part refers to material or social reality), so emotions can also take part in value part of the structure of method. FURTHER ANALYSIS OF METHODS Methods can reside in conscious as well as sub-conscious. That is, they have an aspect which is deliberately selected when being applied, and they have an aspect which runs in auto-pilot during application. Think of a regular skill like driving. During learning stage, there are so many conscious aspects. Position of pedals, degree of steering rotation, concepts related to half-clutch, judging the distance in blind spots ahead, steps for parallel or perpendicular parking etc. However, with practice and after introspecting about various parts of this skill, most of these activities become automatic. (Though even after becoming skillful, every method will continue to have some or few conscious parts.) Ultimately, every method is about first consciously understanding the relevant values, principles, concepts, and causal connections involved. And then training the sub-conscious to automatically apply these abstract generalizations. This brings us to various critical aspects of methods. PRINCIPLES AND SUBJECTS Before acting to achieve values, one has to understand the nature of values being pursued, and the specific means that can be used during the pursuit. This understanding has Principles at their core. Combination of few or many principles forms subject of study. The subjects can be technological in nature like Computer Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. These can also be academic in nature, where value is primarily education. Subjects of science like physics, or subjects of humanities like History and Literature fall into this second category. Given the complexity of using academic principles in Engineering Technologies, we also have intermediate category of subjects called Applied Science. In the realm of physical sciences, the corresponding applied sciences can involve experimental technologies like Lasers or different types of batteries. Or principles of accounting derived from some parts of mathematics. In the realm of social sciences these can be Principles of Management derived from Sociology and Ethics. PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS Subject is a combination of principles. Further, principles can go in two opposite directions. One direction is to combine with other principles to form subjects of study we just looked at. The other direction for principles is to reduce them to simpler causal connections and concepts. This combination or integration into subjects, or reduction into concepts or causal connections, however is not random or arbitrary. The integration or reduction is in a definite, systematic order. First we have concepts like table and chair, or drill, or pulley. Then we have combination of concepts to form causal connections in the form of generalizations. Generalizations can be like “Table is for keeping smaller objects”, “drill digs a hole”, or “a pulley pulls the heavy loads easily”. Combining these causal connections leads to principles like “load balancing using tension in various wired materials”, or “decreasing area of the tip of drill to increase the pressure”, or “flat surfaces having height around one meter are good for keeping smaller household things”. The concepts can be of different types. These can be entities like the things we look and touch and hear (tables, drums etc.). Or these can be attributes, which are a specific aspect of entities, like red color of ball, or cubical shape of Rubik’s cube, or metallic nature of guitar. Or these can also be actions like rolling of ball or rising of load in a pulley. Concepts can also be adverbs or attributes of actions, like drilling deeply or pulling efficiently. Further, there are concepts of consciousness like thinking, knowledge, principles, and “concepts” itself. And then there are higher level concepts like Furniture, or concepts like Government which are a combination of lower level concepts, causal connections, and also lower level principles like “Individual Rights cannot be violated through initiation of Physical Force”. So Principles and corresponding subjects or concepts or causal connections form conscious part of methods. The next part is practice, which involves application of principles in method. CONSCIOUS ASPECTS OF METHODS 1.PRINCIPLES 2.SUBJECTS 3.CONCEPTS 4.MOTIVATION* SUB-CONSCIOUS ASPECTS OF PRINCIPLES 1.PRACTICE 2.EMOTIONS 3.MOTIVATION* *MOTIVATION HAS BOTH CONSCIOUS AND SUB-CONSCIOUS ASPECTS PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE Principles, while necessary for enabling and developing methods, are only a first part. Next part is to train the sub-conscious for applying the principles to form various types of skill. In the skill of driving for example, it’s one thing to know half-clutch and steering rotation, and related but different activity to apply the knowledge in specific situations. Considering that the human mind can only retain very few concepts and images at a single instant (4 to 6), the sub-conscious needs to be thoroughly trained. In which situations should driver be in full control of clutch? Which gear is necessary in which situation? When to reverse in narrow roads and how? Similarly for tennis players, how to react in different situations? Situations like baseline play or net play, defensive or attacking, for all circumstances sub-conscious needs to be trained. Think of your comfort level when you were initially learning to drive or learning your work skills, and your comfort level after few months or years. The principles do not change much, what changes is the skill level through practice one puts in. The practice, or more precisely training of sub-conscious using conscious, can be classified as the motor activity of sub-conscious (corresponding to motor nerve in lower part of brain). Motor Activity therefore being the sub-conscious aspect of practice, and Principles being the conscious aspect of method. Contrasting these from the physiological activities like running or moving in the tennis court, or steering while driving. METHODS AND EMOTIONS Just as the mechanical motor needs monitoring instruments, to check its temperature, general wear and tear, voltage levels, etc. during operations. Similarly the motor in sub-conscious part of method needs to be monitored. Specifically, we need to check if specific actions towards the values are indeed taking the individual in the direction of values. Emotions being automatic response to values on the occurrence of event, provide necessary feedback to the conscious mind about the direction in which the method is taking an individual. For e.g. sadness after practice or production session may reflect individual’s inability to move in proper direction towards the goal. Anger may be an indication that other individuals involved in pursuit, or individual himself, are not motivated or good enough for the pursuit. Joy may reflect that the journey is going good. Desire before the activity of method means that the individual is motivated. Love of values may mean that resources being applied for method are for right values. Reverse being true for the emotion of Hate. Further however, just as the instruments can be faulty or not accurate enough, emotions can also be misleading sometimes, particularly during the beginning of activity. So emotional response, the non-motor sub-conscious, needs to be co-related with the principles governing the methods. And mental actions like thinking, imagination, etc. need to be applied on emotional and principle based data (followed by physical actions like tuning, resetting, repairing etc. in skills like vocational jobs). Taking the analogy of industrial instruments to emotional mechanism further, if motor instruments show voltage fluctuation, you will check electricity supply and condition of wiring. Or if chemical levels and pressure levels in a chamber of factory are toxic or higher than safe, corresponding supplies and recalibration mechanisms like valves are fine-tuned. You have a minor accident while learning to drive. Emotions of sadness, and anger over self or instructor are natural. Taking leads from these emotions you need to evaluate your actions related to learning. Also, you may now have to think more, whether learning this skill is worth it? What will be the benefits once you learn the skill? Whether these benefits are significant enough to justify the allocation of various resources for learning? Further, even emotions like joy or love may not always be healthy. If you feel happy on seeing destructive fallout of methods like “unwarranted subjugation of hard-working subordinates by manager”; this may be reflective of nihilistic approach to values, which should be controlled and ultimately reversed. So to summarize, emotions in methods are a means to monitor the activity, and then re-validate the method. However, even the emotions are not always accurate, and need to be co-related with corresponding principles to understand the correctness of various actions involved in method. Conversely, it’s also possible that emotions are guiding you correctly, but principles and values involved are flawed. METHODS AND MOTIVATION Love of values, though necessary, is not sufficient to motivate an individual. Commitment towards method requires willingness to give time and other resources for pursuing those values. Since time, money, and individuals of various skills required for pursuing values are limited, we need to look at values in a broader context. This broad view provides us with the necessary willingness to spend resources. Only when an individual stacks various material values like Car, social values like Friends, family, etc., cultural values like a social or an intellectual cause, physiological values like health, and professional values like career; only by stacking and then analyzing these values together can an individual make an informed decision about the values and methods involved in pursuit. Motivation is the part of method which helps an individual to look at effort being applied and values being pursued from time to time. Its motivation that helps an individual to course correct by either redefining or refining or sometimes even changing personal values(These values may belong to any of the four realities). Its motivation which allows individual to allocate more time and resources towards values, when needed. Was I too hasty in opening my startup, without really evaluating the market, or skill pool? Should I still continue in my pursuit? Or conversely, now that my initial vision is achieved, can I take next step to pursue broader values in material, social, physiological, or even psychological reality? Motivation is necessary when situations involving different roadblocks or opportunities arise in pursuit of values through methods. HOW METHODS FIT INTO THE NAVIGATION OF REALITY USING MIND? Clearly, methods are not the only aspect relevant to psychological reality. It includes full range, from memories and values to principles and emotions. However, it’s the methods that emphasize the role of psychological reality in navigating various aspects of life. Further, depending on complexity, the scope of methods can also vary. Professional methods like plumbing or carpentry or production grade programming are complex. Other methods like washing utensils, or shopping, or filling a basic form online are simple. Then there are methods of intermediate complexity like cooking at home, or driving to work, which may not require career level focus. Another classification of methods can range from mostly physical to mostly mental. Methods for manually lifting medium level loads or taking bath are mostly physical, though these still require few calculations. Writing or teaching methods are mostly mental, with a few physical aspects. Engineering and Management methods can be considered as having equal weight for mental and physical part. I would like to make a special mention of non-professional, mostly mental methods, like Ethics, helping us to discover goals, to pursue them, and to distinguish right from wrong. One interesting classification can also be done by comparing methods that involve lots of emotional feedback, and methods that involve less emotional feedback. Utilitarian methods like carpentry and driving involve minimal emotional feedback, once certain level of expertise is reached. Artistic professions like painting and fictional literature on the other hand require awareness of emotional mechanism inside the mind of an artist. So overall, whether its career or hobbies or activism or finance or relationships, it’s the methods connected with various aspects of reality, which demonstrate the necessity of human mind. CONCLUSION The blog was mainly about exploration of various aspects of reality, with understanding of Psychological reality at the core. Before going into Psychological reality in part 2, in part 1 we looked at other forms of reality, which contribute to the formation of Psychological Reality. Generally, any aspect of reality is understood by first classifying the objects of reality, then forming causal connections using the classified objects, then forming principles, and then subjects or fields of study from principles after that. Specifically, reality can be material like clothes or cars, it can be social like people or institutions or business corporations in our lives. It can be physiological, which involves benefit or harm done to our body, mainly by material or social reality. Together, material, social, and physiological reality can be classified as external reality. Finally, understanding of psychological reality starts with memories of external reality. Next step in understanding are values, which are a combination of memories of material / social reality, and memories of physiological reality (or memories of other parts of psychological reality, like a memory of an intense emotional response). Then we move on to emotions, which are automatic mental reactions of various intensity, towards the values, triggered by activities in material, or social, or in physiological reality. Values are a part of conscious mind, and emotions a part of sub-conscious mind. Both values and emotions help individual’s mind to determine what’s important, and ultimately his goals. The methods form final aspect of psychological reality. These are the means to the goals determined using values and emotions. These are composed of corresponding values and abstract actions. The abstract actions can either refer to memories of actions in past, or projection of actions into future. These actions of method can take place in any of the four realities. Beyond values and abstract actions, various aspects of consciousness form sub-components of methods. These are principles and subjects of study, concepts and causal connections, connection of principles with practice, and a connection with emotional response related to method, and motivation to move on during the application of method. Overall, enabling discovery and refinement of methods is the ultimate aim of Psychology. References — Seven Primary Emotions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b92mnH3n6Kw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6qzL1FeepU
  6. PART 1 — UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS ASPECTS OF REALITY THROUGH CLASSIFICATION INTRODUCTION Life on earth is almost 3 billion years old. That is, it took this much time for evolution to come up with humans, the only organism with conceptual faculty. Further, in a million years of existence of various Homo species, only very recently we started using mind close to its full potential. Building computers, machines, social and cultural institutions. So in this blog I will try to develop methods to understand something that was 3 billion years in making, and a million years of tuning after evolving. So let’s start a voyage to understand the human mind. PURPOSE OF HUMAN MIND Before I delve into human mind, a fundamental question? Why do we need mind? Looking at our various activities, from production and consumption, to commute & entertainment, answer is fairly straightforward. Our mind helps us to navigate the reality around us. Reality of geography we live in, creation of useful products and services, social and cultural interactions we take part in, physiological and psychological realities of our own self. HOW HUMAN MIND NAVIGATES BASIC ASPECTS OF REALITY? How do we understand reality we navigate during the course of our lives? Before we look into the reality of our own mind, it will be easier to first understand the external reality. CLASSIFICATION Let’s just step back and think about the work we would have done in past few weeks. If you are a software engineer, you may have classified the feature you are working on. Whether it is Front End or Backend or Middleware. Interactive Application or server processing requests. Similarly, if you are a teacher, your teaching can relate to classification of Human Organ System or Human History (Pre-History, Ancient History, or Modern History). Or classification of physical phenomena as Gravitational, Electrical, or Magnetic. If you are a manager, your work will involve classifying tasks of your subordinates as customer support, or feature development, or skill development etc. CAUSAL CONNECTIONS After classification, next step is to identify causal connections in the activity classified, like building an interactive application, or other activities we take part in. For example in an interactive application, given the limitation of human visibility and attention span, not much cluttering should be seen. Network facing server processes should just take requests and delegate heavy lifting to slave processes, given the network traffic related requirements in modern computing system. Or given the multi-tasking nature of modern day jobs, it should be possible for low-skilled technicians to manage the application deployment. Or further, in software engineering the interconnectivity of systems and corresponding hackability makes multi-factor security very important. For teacher, various requirements of life like eating, movement, reproduction, etc. lead to different organ systems. Civilizational, social, cultural, and scientific development separates pre-history, ancient history, medieval history, and modern history. Difference in physical phenomena is triggered by difference in various entities that participate in that phenomena. Mass of entities leads to gravitation, or Chemical-Physical-Conductive properties of certain material entities cause electricity. Magnets and Thermodynamic systems trigger different types of motion. Or for a manager, goal directed nature of humans is a key element in management etc. FORMING PRINCIPLES FROM CAUSAL CONNECTIONS After establishing causal connections, some connections are elevated to the level of principal, by incorporating few or many instances of lower level causal connections. Example of such principle creation through causal connections is a famous paradigm for designing user interface, form follows function. Another example is scale-up or scale-down server technologies, widely used in cloud. Integrative approach to child development, by co-relating content of high school subjects like Science, History, and Literature. Or Maslow’s model of motivation, and now also its improvement in management. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE OF CAUSAL CONNECTIONS AND PRINCIPLES The high level principles, or relatively low level causal connections, are then applied to specific situations. For example, a general planning paradigm that it’s possible to control only two things among Release Timelines, Scope of project, and Quality of project. This paradigm can then be applied to some urgent requirements coming in the middle of pre-planned release work. Or while teaching, a teacher can co-relate organ system functioning to some popular fact like a Heart Attack. Or she can co-relate a Historical event to some Bollywood Biography etc. Or a manager can apply customer support & skill development paradigm to a specific individuals he is evaluating. SUMMARIZING GENERAL NAVIGATION OF MIND Coming back to the main subject, general pattern for navigating reality is to first classify the aspects of reality according to one’s purpose, then establish causal connections among those classified things. If required, the connections can be elevated to form principles, by expanding scope. And principles can be further elevated to form specialized fields like Artificial Intelligence for Policy Based decision making by machines, or even to infer correct policies once goals are fed as input. Last step then is to apply the classification, causal connections, principles, and subject based understanding to specific life situations. Overall, general navigation of reality can labelled as Rational Thinking. HOW HUMAN MIND NAVIGATES SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF REALITY? MATERIAL REALITY From general pattern of thinking, let’s now look at special areas to focus while engaging in thought. Digging deeper into our routines, we are surrounded by materials. From fabrics to processed rocks like bricks and cement, to polymer based materials like plastics and cushions. Even more basic part in material judgment is to judge the products based on their usability, and how the usability fits different purpose. The products that fall in this category are chairs, tables, mobile phones, computers etc. Further, for resource intensive products like cars and homes, their maintenance cost also needs to be considered, and also how easy these are to use for different activities. Then there are considerations while doing financial planning for near and long term future, depending on life goals. (Though financial planning also requires understanding of social, cultural, and political reality, apart from material reality). So first type of special navigation can be classified as fidelity to facts of reality. SOCIAL REALITY More important than materials and corresponding products are the humans that make these possible. Next in line of reality navigation is the understanding of various social aspects in our lives, and also how much should one engage in these. Should one aspire to be an introvert genius like Steve Wozniak or Dennis Ritchie, having limited social circle? Or like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, have an expanded social circle? What are the general social principles applicable, irrespective of scope of the circle? Contrary to today’s mainstream idea “Don’t Judge”, judging individuals is the most fundamental quality required to navigate social reality. The judgment basically involves two parts. Behavior of person being judged, and how the person impacts purpose of the individual who is judging? For example, judging a plumber is fairly straightforward, compared to the judgment on subordinate for over a year. Similar specific thinking can be applied to judging of institutions like businesses, corporations, political parties, cities or states or countries. Such judgment is primarily derived from the products of the institution or society (companies that design and manufacture mobiles, or roads built or cleanliness in a social setting like a city), and also from behavior of public facing representatives like support people or sales reps or candidates or citizens. CULTURAL REALITY A special case of social reality, cultural reality involves judgment based not just on behavior of individuals and their products or services, but something more profound. The policies or the strategies or the ideas in general, governing various cultural products. Ideology of political party, the nature of story movement in literature or movies (Driven by main characters or periphery social circumstances? Each approach represents fundamentally different approach to human world view.) Pedagogical principles in education, or investment principles in banks etc. govern understanding of cultural reality more than the individual representatives. Though these representatives and corresponding products can act as first input in the ultimate inference. Overall, the evaluation of social reality can be labelled as Justice. Further however, the evaluation has to be ultimately first hand. That is, one may rely on peer review for people or products being judged, but he has to cross verify the feedback with sufficiently independent facts. So apart from Justice, Independence is another factor in the judgment of social and cultural reality. (Or even material reality for that matter). PERSONAL ASPECTS OF REALITY What is the Objective of all this thinking and judgment? Navigating reality, yes. But where does the navigation, from general thinking to material evaluation or social and cultural judgment; where does this navigation of reality lead to? It’s all about personal well-being. One starts with a small part time job, upgrades to entry level full time job, growing to become a technology leader or a manager or a territory supervisor, even a CXO, or an entrepreneur improving the world around. The end result is happiness, specifically in the form of purposeful days, hopefully complemented by a comfortable lifestyle. The first aspect of this fulfilling life is physiological reality, and second part is psychological reality which we will explore later. PHYSIOLOGICAL REALITY Is my lifestyle enjoyable yet healthy? Are all my needs geared by and aligned with my purpose? Does my food keep me healthy and energetic to do my job, and any other life purpose like writing or activism? Do my clothes, apart from protecting me from the environment, create an overall confident personality, fulfilling the needs required to complete my purpose? Are my housing and commute requirements optimally aligned to make the movement towards my purpose significant enough? Do my social relationships enable or disable well-being of my body — health, comfort, and purpose that is? Physiological reality therefore is the consolidation of general reality we understand through rationality, and specific realities derived from material, social, and cultural constructs around us. The consolidation of these constructs in physiological reality is driven by the objective of body being healthy and comfortable, to move towards purpose. OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS OF REALITY Together, material, social and physiological aspects of reality can be classified as external reality, differentiating it from the reality of our own mind. Other fundamental classification of reality is metaphysical aspects of reality and man-made aspects of reality. The aspects of reality that existed without intervention of humans is metaphysical reality. The geographical features around us, various plants and animals, the solar system, rest of the universe, and most importantly its laws, are metaphysical reality. On the other hand, the food grown, animals domesticated, products, services, and knowledge created by humans, the society and social interactions are parts of man-made reality. Material reality can be metaphysical reality, if one is considering geographical, astronomical, biological or theoretical physics driven aspects. Or it can be man-made if one is considering products and services. Social reality is mostly man made, except fundamental social characteristics like “Man is a contractual (or a promise driven) animal” in social interactions, or part of human evolution that may lead to cultural practices like marriage etc. Physiological reality is balanced. Nature of human body being metaphysical, and things that contribute to its flourishing being man made. In the next post we move on to central theme of the blog, the internal reality or the reality of our own mind, the psychological reality.
  7. My Further thoughts are here - SYSTEMATIC PSYCHOLOGICAL INSIGHTS -> STRUCTURED APPROACH TO UNDERSTAND HOW OWN MIND WORKS -> PART 1 — UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS ASPECTS OF REALITY THROUGH CLASSIFICATION https://medium.com/@rohingupta2k18/systematic-psychological-insights-part-1-9eb9debfeaf My Further thoughts are here - SYSTEMATIC PSYCHOLOGICAL INSIGHTS -> STRUCTURED APPROACH TO UNDERSTAND HOW OWN MIND WORKS -> PART 2 — UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY THROUGH CLASSIFICATION https://medium.com/@rohingupta2k18/systematic-psychological-insights-part-2-63e86a5a0111
  8. I think since early Ayn Rand, meaning of the term instinct has significantly deteriorated, as is evident from negative uses by later Ayn Rand. So question is, whether I am justified in contributing to further deteriorate the word use, by using it with negative ideologies? I think the term which means "the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.", unlike selfishness need not be resurrected. Particularly because we have the term "sense of life" or "sensibility" to replace positive connotations early use of the term had. Good to move it to completely negative usage, and discredit the people who use it positively.
  9. Thanks for the reference. I will take away following learning from the section. The role of sub-conscious or sense of life in formulating right ideas. Since psychology is the study of sub-conscious, so systematizing this aspect can help in formation of right ideas. So while focus will still remain on training sub-conscious using conscious, I will consider adding a chapter where conscious ideas are aligned to subconscious ideas from sense of life. For e.g. I can compare my current philosophical bent to the study of good literature in school. While my brother lacked this bent and ended up being more pragmatic, because his school curriculum was very science and math focused. Not sure where this is coming from, but I used "instincts" twice in my blog, both in the context of ideologies I do not subscribe to. How exactly should these should change to "mental connections", I am not sure?
  10. I have now moved my focus from the field of MANAGEMENT, to the field of PSYCHOLOGY. This is my first blog on the subject. The inputs here will be quite helpful, as I am planning to write more blogs and perhaps a book on the subject of Psychology.
  11. PSYCHOLOGY BY FREUD AND OBVERSE PLATONISM Sigmund Freud [1] was an Austrian-German psychotherapist, who wrote some books and presented many ideas in the field of psychology, when the subject was in its infancy. Here are the key points that Freud brought into this field. Division of mind into conscious, subconscious, and unconscious elements. Further claiming that unconscious and subconscious aspects like dreams and hypnosis are most important. Emphasizing on the urge to break rules, like longing to incest with mother (what he called the Oedipus complex). Overall, generalizing ideas from behavior of individuals like Dora[7], who was in a mentally disturbed state of hysteria. CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SIGMUND FREUD Despite many shortcomings and contradictions I see in his approach, the one thing that draws me to the ideas of Sigmund Freud is his cultural impact. In this age, when Pragmatism or aversion from principles, or aversion from abstract ideas as such, is mainstream; in this age you can just look at ideas of Freud, and cultural products like movies or commonly spoken phrases, and point out that ideas do impact culture and people. Specifically the lingua or phrases I am thinking about is slang like mother f*****r or sister f*****r, connecting it to the idea of Oedipus complex by Freud. Or his focus on characters like Dora (Ida Bauer), and widely popular movies like Psycho, or Exorcist, or Shutter Island, or Silence of the Lambs. If we look into essence of lead characters in these movies and also few other plot elements, signature of Freud is unmistakable. ANCIENT GREECE AND PLATO The deeper understanding of Freud’s ideas will require some digression. A look into the ideas of Ancient Greece, specifically those of Plato and Aristotle. How these ideas, which originated in 4th Century BC, impacted the intellectuals like Freud in 19th century AD? Basic summary of Plato’s ideas is as follows. There is this world that we see, which is imperfect in every respect. There is this other world that we should strive to know, but we cannot see. For example this world has circular rings or spherical rocks, which clearly vary from ideas of circle or sphere. The other world has perfect circle and sphere, which are the cause of corresponding imperfect objects in this world. Similarly it can be extrapolated that perfect human is in the other world, and humans on earth are shadows of the One. There were other Platonic ideas like Authoritarian dictator he called Philosopher King, pure (Platonic) love devoid of carnal instincts etc. With some application these ideas can be also traced back to the dual world theory. ARISTOTLE Aristotle’s focus, as is quite clear from this painting, was on this world. He rejected existence of the other world of forms by Plato, and instead focused on forming concepts through categories, inferences through syllogisms etc., and deriving ideas from objects one could look and see. Geometric circles for example are a “quality” (in contemporary terminology we will call it “attribute”) of circular rings. DISSEMINATION OF PLATO’S IDEAS A chain of intellectuals, mostly in Roman-Christian culture, distributed and applied the ideas of Plato. These intellectuals included Plotinus, Porphyry, Saint Augustine, and some more. The Christian idea of Original Sin, cemented by Saint Augustine, claims that every human is not just imperfect, but irredeemable in this world. Only hope is to give up pride and focus on salvation in the other, most perfect world. DISSEMINATION OF ARISTOTLE’S IDEAS ­­­Aristotle’s influence started becoming mainstream with Saint Aquinas in 13th Century AD. With Newton applying Aristotelian logic to usher scientific revolution in 17th Century, and ideas like Liberty from American Revolution through John Locke in 18th century; this worldly Aristotelian ideas started dominating Platonic-Christian ideas. IMMANUEL KANT This brings me to the reaction to Aristotelian dominance in 18th century. A committed Christian and intellectual Immanuel Kant came up with a new Philosophical system. Rather than uphold Plato, his intent was to develop a system similar to that of Plato, with the objective of confusing Aristotelian ideas. So here also two worlds were postulated, but the other world was not a higher reality like that by Plato. Like Plato the inferior world was the one we could look and see, but the superior world was also around us, not an entity like heaven. Only we could not observe (or infer from Observation) this noumenal world, because our senses distorted the true view. Since Aristotelian idea of one world had established the Law of Identity, Kant discredited Aristotle by appealing to the identity of human sense organs. Unlike Plato who claimed that superior world can be known through some direct connect like intuition, for Kant noumenal world was unknowable. And since abstract ideas like those of Ethics cannot be seen, so he postulated that ideas like Altruism or sacrifice as good cannot be scientifically derived. Instead these should be accepted on faith, through the term he called Categorical Imperative [2]. LONG TERM IMPACT OF IMMANUEL KANT The contemporary philosophy of Pragmatism is the product of ideas of Kant. Since as per Kant abstract ideas were unknowable, so advocates of Pragmatism denounced principled and abstract thinking. Instead advocating action based on limited or no thought. Further, current wave involving ideologies like Egalitarianism and Nihilism is also an application of Kantian Philosophy. Since Altruism through Categorical Imperative is an important component of Kantian Ethics, so Equality of outcome through Egalitarianism, and destruction of well-to-do through Nihilism for achieving equality are often advocated. CAUSE AND MEANING OF OBVERSE PLATONISM The ideas of Pragmatism, Egalitarianism, and Nihilism have become mainstream in 20th century. Before, in 19th century and early part of 20th century, the time when Freud was active, Kant had a different type of impact. Instead of directly leading to ideas like Pragmatism, application of his philosophy, the ideas of Kant (and ideas of his predecessor Hume to a lesser extent), mainly stunted and stopped the dissemination of application of the Aristotelian ideas. As a result of this sudden halt, the academic focus shifted back to the application of Plato’s philosophy, and also application of Platonic thinking Christian ideas encouraged. During Aristotelian rise since 13th Century, and dominance since Newton and Locke in 17th and 18th century, the cultural focus was on understanding and improving this world, through methods like scientific discoveries, institutionalizing Liberty, and Industrial Revolution. With Platonic thought coming back to forefront, the focus on this world remained, but the perspective of this worldly focus became Platonic. Plato had postulated that superior world is perfect, and this world is transient and miserable. So Christian-Platonic culture in pre-Aquinas era involved focus on superior world, with cultural representatives like priests and nuns giving up the worldly pleasures. But Christian-Platonic thought in post-Kantian era focused on what Plato regarded as inferior and miserable, this world. Therefore the term Obverse Platonism. (Obverse means the other side). DISSEMINATION OF OBVERSE PLATONISM First major product of this thought was the Philosophy of Hegel. The superior world is eternal and static, but the world we live in is changing and full of flux. Then came Communist Manifesto. Superior world is harmonious, where there is peaceful co-existence. In our world you are either exploiter or exploited. Since Win-Win relationships in this world are impossible, bourgeois ends up exploiting Proletariat in a Capitalist society. So while Plato proposed dictatorship of Philosophers, Karl Marx tweaked the idea and offered dictatorship of Proletariat to curb and reverse ugly human instincts that drive this miserable world. Similarly French Revolution started with Aristotelian idea of Liberty, but they too ended up with a dictator. This seemingly contradictory time has been elegantly captured in the opening of the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens [3]. Best Time (Aristotelian perspective) — Worst time (Obverse Platonic perspective), Wisdom (Aristotelian) — Foolishness (Obverse Platonic), Light (Aristotelian) — Darkness (Obverse Platonic), hope-despair, everything-nothing etc. So in a nutshell, scientific, free-thinking, and industry inducing ideas of Aristotle were in a decline. And depravity upholding, reason disparaging, and industry hating Marxist ideas of Obverse Platonism were on the rise. SIGMUND FREUD IN THE ERA OF OBVERSE PLATONISM It was during this dominance of Obverse Platonism that Sigmund Freud started his practice of psychotherapy in Vienna. Since Plato and Christianity upheld rules of decorum in public space, Freud through Obverse Platonism believed that humans have an urge to break rules. Further, due to Kantian influence which intended to confuse Aristotelian ideas, Authoritarian rules from Christian-Communism-Platonism were falsely packaged with naturally derived rules like respecting and learning from wise people in society and family. There is nothing authoritarian about respecting genuine social boundaries, when these promote material and mental flourishing. So end result of Obverse Platonic application of Freud were ideas like incest with mother. At a broader level, ideas like Freudian slip communicated a general view of human nature. Focus on conscious ideas deliberately written in certain books is what Christianity and other religions promote (especially the monotheistic ones). Freud with Obverse Platonic premise promoted primacy of sub-conscious and unconscious aspects, over conscious aspects. Aristotelian application would have upheld conscious over sub-conscious, while acknowledging that sub-conscious is extensively used in productive endeavors like driving or drawing or forging. (I reject the idea of unconscious mind as proposed by Freud, because mind, a faculty for awareness not being conscious and still working is a contradiction of terms. There is enough empirical evidence for sub-conscious though.) Further, since Aristotle upheld this world, so application of his ideas focused on positive people like wise men and productive humans. But Obversely Platonic Freud had a world view of earth as miserable. So according to him disturbed and deranged individuals like Ida Bauer were true representatives of humans. For Freud purpose of Psychology was to focus on Criminals or negative aspects of humans like lying, cheating, manipulation etc. Aristotelian purpose would have been to train sub conscious using conscious, for improving skills like writing or machine use or repairing. So it’s no surprise that post-Freudian world came up with ideas like Game Theory, focusing on thought process of criminals trying to Game the system. (In Aristotelian Psychology focus on criminals will still be there, but not as prime-movers. Instead criminals will be secondary, being blockers or speed-breakers for producers). USING IDEAS OF FREUD TO IMPROVE PSYCHOLOGY Despite focus on negative human attributes and social elements, like Plato, Freud also had one positive contribution to the field he worked in. Plato rightly classified philosophy as the study of 5 branches. Metaphysics or the nature of reality and worldview, Epistemology or the method of thinking, Ethics or the methods of action based on guidelines, Politics or social structures involving Government, and Art or creation of artificial reality. The answers by Plato were two worlds in metaphysics, supernatural thinking as primary in epistemology, emphasis on authoritarianism in Ethics and Politics, and Art as a distraction from rational thought. These answers were of course wrong, but questions or the division of the subject into proper branches was correct. And eventually, we did get right answers from Aristotle’s philosophy, and now even better answers from Ayn Rand[4], Dr. Peikoff[5], and Dr. Binswanger[6]. Like Plato, Freud also correctly classified the key insights in the subject of Psychology. Insights like the division of mind into conscious and sub-conscious, with one of them being primary, is perhaps the most significant. Emotions being a critical part of psychology is another insight. Of course, given the Obverse Platonic premise which upheld miserable world, focus was on negative emotions of hate, anger, sadness and fear. Positive emotions of desire, joy, and love were mostly explored from a hedonistic perspective, rather than the depth of thought these emotions deserve. With right questions from Freud, and right guidelines from Aristotelian philosophy and Objectivism of Ayn Rand, subject of Psychology has a lot to offer to humanity. So let’s introspect using correct methods, and explore the most complex entity in nature, the human mind. References [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative [3] Opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. [4] http://aynrandlexicon.com/ [5] https://www.amazon.com/Dim-Hypothesis-Lights-West-Going/dp/0451466640 [6] http://www.how-we-know.com/ [7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dora_(case_study)
  12. Excited to publish most important part of the "Right & Wrong" video series. The animation about Ethics of "Rational Egoism". The Ethics Ayn Rand discovered and advocated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x84uNdST2Ro
  13. RIGHT & WRONG - Ethical Survey of Altruism, Predatory Egoism, Hedonism, Eudaimonia Part 2, Episode 1, where Ethical code of following systems is analyzed, synthesized, and understood Altrusim Predatory Egoism Hedonism Eudaimonia or Flourishing Life Part 3, Episode 2, will have Rational Egoism, Nihilism, Categorical Imperative, Skepticism, and Pragmatism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfOmLOBp6ro&fbclid=IwAR3uxSpyZAeQOIlntCrCl-clB8vPHT9STCG0cWUaY2rR1R4uRSJatujcI-8
  14. Hi All, I am in middle of converting the content of blog into video. Please check the first draft of part of video and share feedback. Pending : Voice over and parts explaining values, Central Purpose of Life, and Alternative model.
  15. Specialized sciences need both, Philosophy and Observations. Check DIM Hypothesis by Dr. Peikoff for details. My blog contains both, the Philosophical Premises and Observation of Human situations.
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