Sunday, January 30, 2011

Psychology the fake science

Subjective Modality Assessment

I work in manufacturing so I work with statistics. To make manufacturing engineering really easy essentially manufacturing engineers manage process variability. When trouble shooting a process you break it down until you find the most variable portion of the process and then you break that section of the process down even further until you can accurately predict and manage the results and the time it takes to achieve those results.

If you cannot accurately predict a specific variability at any point within a process your process is out of control.

Period. No ifs. No buts.

Psychology is the weirdest mix of subjective and objective assessment that I have ever had the misfortune of coming across.

Science is OBJECTIVE. Psychology is called a Pseudo-Science because it is primarily subjective.

Let me break it down.

Essentially a psychologist develops a characterization. Multiple Intelligences is a good example. We could use the traits of the P-E-N model of personality. In both cases a specific researcher subjectively developed characterization profiles based on their education and experience. These are both easy to read about on the web.

I used to work in a plating plant. We needed to do statistical process control. Management decided to measure and statistically control the temperature of various plating solutions. My question: Does temperature change the time or results? Answer, if the temperature is not maintained within a specific window, yes. My question: Will controlling the temperature more accurately influence the plating results? Answer, no or we would have installed better thermal controls.

In manufacturing engineering you seek out the process variability. Why does one part have a thicker or thinner coating than another. Voltage, amperage, connections between racks and bars, between bars and conductive bar rests, position on a rack, surface area of the bulk plating material? They measured temperature because it was easy and looked good and it did influence the results.

In psychology there is always argument about the categories that are developed. It isn't as easy to determine or define the various variabilities in human behavior. The fewer the categories the more generalized the outcome. The more specific the categories the less generalized and the more difficult the categorization is.

Psychologists use a combination of training, experience and subjective assessment to develop categories and determine the categorization of a specific individual.

People filter things through their own individual experiences and out look on life. You typically cannot change a person's core beliefs, even with a sledge hammer. It literally takes an act of God to change a person's core belief system. Even when presented with insurmountable evidence people will refuse to change their core beliefs.

Anyone who studies History will tell you that the Democratic political party in the United States provided the political support for the genocide of blacks in the United States.

Ask people if NAZIs are bad and they will tell you “yes”, ask them why and they will mention the history of genocide and suppression-segregation of minorities.

Ask people if Democrats are bad and they will typically say “no” or they will respond with “individuals may be”.

Both political parties supported the genocide and segregation of minorities.

Since people are just going to believe what they want to believe how can we expect psychologists not to filter their subjective analysis though this ridiculous core belief system that every person has.

We can't.

Until psychology becomes totally objective, until psychology can observe remote events without participation and objectively define characterization modalities without a subjective and individual filtration it cannot be considered a science.

Does that make it useless?

No. Talking to people who listen is always useful.

Should we use it to identify kids who could go postal in our school system? NO.

We will though, because most people have a core belief that includes the idea that stereotypes are based in reality.

Some well adjusted son of a police detective shoots up a school without warning and the psychologists run and hide.

Some communist nut case shoots up a congress person because of a personal snub and psychologists demand funding for schools so they can help kids with obvious problems before they shoot people up. The media demands Sarah Palin apologize because she said “retreat and reload” and used camera style cross hairs on a map (not a scope reticle as is often cited).

Until psychology can become an objective science we can use it, but, we should not use it to harass people because the may fit a stereotype someone has developed.

We should talk to people and help them as much as we can.

What I want from readers of my blog

As some of my readers may have noticed I often blog about my pet peeves, Judgmental Christians, Annoyingly stupid propaganda and Segregation. I also blog about diet and things I care about and want to see become better. Positive blogs versus negative blogs.

Interestingly enough these are both important steps on toward the same goal. I always move forward. I'll explain.

Recently I wrote what is essentially a rant about Northern Segregation and how Michigan destroyed it's own economic prosperity by isolating it's primary urban development. At the end of my rant I pointed out how important it is to create racial integration on a professional level. This is something Michigan has not done effectively.

Whenever I rant about something I always define not only what I feel are the inappropriate actions but also what I feel are the appropriate actions.

I have written blogs about how Galileo was employed by the Catholic Church to do the research and how the Catholic Church published the books that eventually led to his trial. I have written about how even today we, as a society, reject new ideas in a similar fashion to the Catholic Church of the European Middle Ages.

I have written blogs about how ignorant people are when the argue that the closed source research conducted by the Western European Catholic Church for the exclusive use of the Western European Catholic Church resulted in a “World Wide Dark Ages”. What is really funny is that a very well educated and very intelligent 1st generation immigrant from India actually made this argument to me. Of course he became a little sheepish when I pointed out that far more open technological development was occurring in the rest of the world, the Middle East, India and China specifically, during this time period. I have pointed out that the closed source software development and the application of copyright law instead of patent law to these important technological developments threatens the world with a new “Dark Ages”.

I have pointed out particularly heinous propaganda and asked people to search out logical fallacies and the descriptive prose that separate objective from creative writing.

I have pointed out problems with FDA approval of dietary supplements and told people to constantly seek out better and less expensive sources for supplements that they take.

I have experimented on myself, posted the results and made suggestions about how people can objectively experiment on themselves.

I have pointed out that medical professionals often have really crappy educations, mediocre intelligence and give advice that might work for some people so you really need to do your own research and learn about your own body.

I don't want to think for you. I don't even want to educate you. I want to encourage you, whoever you are, to educate yourself. I want to encourage you to get out and learn however you can learn about whatever interests you.

You can't know everything. I do not expect you to. I can't know everything. I hope you don't expect me to. I want you to become the best you can be. I want you to make informed decisions and take responsibility for the world around you.

In the end I hope you make the choice to become a better person every day and in becoming a better person ever day I know you can make the world a better place to be.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Michigan Destroyed Itself with Segregation

I have lived in the Detroit area most of my life. As a child my parents constantly argued so I didn't get very much sleep and I would often lay in bed awake for hours. Sometimes I would read by flashlight, but, usually not since the batteries would wear out after a few hours and then my father would punish me for wasting batteries.

I remember laying in my bunk bed above my brother listening to the tanks drive down 8 mile during the 1967 riots. Did that really happen? Did I hear it or is it a memory my mind created after listening to my parents describe it. I was only 6 years old. My life was totally unstable with an abusive father and an alcoholic mother.

During the 1967 riots in Detroit my father organized a neighborhood group to protect our suburb from the gangs of marauding blacks. My father didn't use that word at the time. He used the N word and later, after our maid quit because my father was a racist, he beat me once for using that N word.

Psychologists tell us that kids typically grow up to be the person they are raised to become by their parents. The life of a young adult in their 20's is typically defined by the way they were treated by their parents as a child and an adolescent. The basic rule of thumb is, the worse the young person behaves the worse they were treated by their parents. (Not quite exactly on point, but close and interesting because it compares the States to other nations)

I behaved pretty badly in my early 20's. By my late 20's I had dated a few women who were either majoring or had majored in Psychology and I had spent about a year in therapy discussing some of the issues that led to my marriage, my break-up and where I was in life. I had also accepted Christ as my savior.

My understanding of biology and psychology tells me that people have genetic predispositions toward some behavior and that those predispositions can be actuated by environmental situations. In other words, you can treat two people exactly the same and if one has a genetic predisposition and the other does not the one with a predisposition will begin acting out.

That was not my problem in childhood. My father loved my brother more and treated him much better than he treated me. My mother divorced my father, primarily to protect me from him, and spent the rest of her life loving him and hating him. My mother tried to offset my father's abuse with rewards. My Dad would beat me, my mother would reward me. I became a modern day human Pavlov's dog.

When I joined the Army at 17 I began learning that I was not the loser my father had convinced me I was. This is also when I figured out my father was racist. My father once asked me how many blacks were in my unit. I have always been proud of the fact that I didn't know and couldn't even guess. He told me that there were more blacks than whites and I should count them sometime. I never did, primarily because I didn't think it mattered and to believe it mattered meant race mattered and I am not a racist.

But I was raised by a racist father and so I had racist ideas shoved into my head at an early age. As I became older I realized that where I was very upfront with people, very out in the open about my ideas and beliefs because my mother created the belief in me that open dialog is the most important factor in developing a relationship, my father and my brother were very different. They would create situations where they were alone with someone before they would express their true feelings or beliefs.

I realize now that this is the way it is for 99% of people, black or white or orange or purple.

I suck at bluffing in poker. My mother raised a son who is about as up front about their opinions and ideas as they can be.

Over the years I have occasionally made stupid remarks that were taught to me by my father in the presence of others and some people have labeled me racist for those remarks. Sometimes they just make me look stupid.

Once when I was in Army I was talking to a black guy working on their car. They had a really great car and there were black mechanics in my unit. We were drinking beer and I was helping. I said something like “this is a really great car, I didn't think blacks did this kind of stuff”. He stopped and looked at me funny and did something really amazing, he turned back to working on the engine and asked, “why would you believe that?”. I said “I guess my father told me once that blacks make lousy mechanics”. He shook his head and said something like “You need to get rid of those racist ideas”. I said “I'm not a racist”. He said something like, “You are if you believe racist things like that. Hand me the ratchet.” I was insulted.

Over the years I have looked back at that and thought about it. He was right of course. As children we believe things our parents tell us and don't even understand how racist they are. We become insulted and we make up excuses for why we should segregate people based on race or religion or culture or even economics.

Quite often I will talk about this and other people, white or black, will engage in a Relativist Fallacy argument. Essentially people will say that may apply to you, but, it does not apply to me so I reject your belief.

As if people do not accept stupid things their parents say.

As we grow older many of us reject many of the ideas that we were taught as children. I have found that quite often people who “rebel” in their 20's end up being very much like their parents in their 40's. Sometimes we grow to reject some of the things our parents teach us.

Some people will claim that I am saying that this idea of learned racism is true because I say it is true when what I am actually doing is offering evidence from my own experiences. There are papers that describe the results of studies on this issue. You are welcome to hunt them down.

In the 1950's and 60's blacks moved into the city of Detroit. By the late 1960's the majority population in Detroit was black and the '67 riots occurred. White Flight ruled the next few years. Without the traditional white people “guarding” voting booths more blacks were able to vote and Colman Young was elected Mayor of Detroit.

Coleman Young was and may still be a Segregationist. As a Michigan Congressperson he presented an education segregation bill. Coleman Young was black and his politics taught me that some blacks wanted to be separate from whites as much as whites wanted to be separate from blacks.

There are differences though and I want to point out one of the essential differences.

In the 1980's when Detroit was trying to develop a metropolitan public transportation system the white suburbs refused to co-operate with the leadership in Detroit.

The leadership in Detroit built the People Mover, a very small system that runs around in a small circle in downtown Detroit. Basically a train chasing it's own tail.

Most of the white people in the suburbs were too stupid to understand the complex metaphor. A mass transit system built in such a way because white people refused to co-operate with blacks. I didn't get it until a black guy I worked with pointed it out.

You see, the Whites had isolated the Blacks in Detroit and were forcing them to chase their own tail around in a tiny little area. This is typical of white segregationist policies. In my experience Black segregationists typically want to maintain their own culture AND associate with Whites on a professional level. White segregationists typically do not want anything to do with Blacks.

If you go back and read about the People Mover there were plenty of “reasons” not to build a metropolitan Detroit public transportation system. I look back at them now and see them for the racism that it is. Ideas that spring from the same stupid well as the idea that “blacks make lousy mechanics”.

I came up from the shop floor. I have worked in many shops. Like many blacks I know I have held two and three jobs at a time. The difference between me and the blacks I know is my race. Because I am white I had opportunities to advance in manufacturing that do not exist for blacks. The higher up on the food chain I have risen the fewer black faces I see.

My father's question of me when I was in the Army taught me to notice when blacks are absent, not count them when they are present.

That isn't the point of my blog though. This has all just been lead up and explaining the experience that leads me to believe what I believe.

The primary economic draw in any area is and always will be the major Urban area. Without access to the resources that an Urban area provides, the population density and labor force, you cannot industrialize. Industrialization and urbanization come hand in hand.

The state of Michigan destroyed it's own industrial economic future by doing everything it could to isolate a black community which also happened to be it's primary urban area and primary area of industrialization.

Across the United States Michigan is known as a hotbed of racism. NAZI's publish their filth in Michigan. McVeigh developed his plan of action in Michigan. Michigan Militia. People in Michigan wonder why and I can tell you right now that a lot is because of Detroit. People all over the world recognize Detroit for what it is, a deliberately segregated and impoverished black community.

It is not because Detroit is a primarily black city. It is because of the way the rest of the state has isolated Detroit, segregated Detroit and left it to die after it became a primarily black city and in doing that Michigan cut it's own industrial economic throat.

Some areas in Michigan have tried to build up enough of an urbanization to support industrialization. The Tri-City area of Grand Rapids, Holland and Grand Haven for example. I won't get into the logistical issues that make this a terrible idea and reduce the economic potential of the region as well as jeopardize the ecology of the Lake Michigan shore line.

I will just point out that fifty years ago Michigan was a thriving industrial state with one of the highest standards of living. Forty years after segregating Detroit and leaving the black community to chase their own tail in a tiny little region Michigan is a “third world” state.

We did it to ourselves. Not with the kind of bigotry that lynched Detroit Red's father in Michigan. We did it with an insidiously evil kind of bigotry that hides behind a thin veneer of acceptance and prevents blacks from leaving the poverty stricken shop floor, from moving into skilled trades and eventually into the white halls of industrial upper management.

We did it because our parents taught us stupid things like “blacks make lousy mechanics” or “it isn't because they are black, we just don't want hoodlums running around our little white oasis”.

We segregated Detroit and Detroit Red made an excellent observation of the why, prejudice is so ingrained in the white culture that white people can't even recognize it when they help build monuments, like the People Mover, to their own bigotry. Prejudice is so ingrained in the white culture that whites would rather destroy their own state than help blacks achieve economic prosperity.

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in the South where blacks and whites often worked together in the lowest jobs available, picking. For hundreds of year land owners and their families have worked side by side with pickers. Martin Luther King knew Blacks and Whites COULD work together. Detroit Red grew up in the North where blacks worked FOR whites and not together WITH whites. Northern Segregation vs Southern Segregation.

Detroit Red made another observation near the end of his life. The same observation that Martin Luther King made. It is possible for blacks and whites to work together in harmony to accomplish a common goal.

We as a people have to start by working with segregated communities to integrate them on a professional and industrial level. First we learn to work together. Then we learn to live together.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Capitalism, Communisim and the future of the United States

Roosevelt was an amazing President. Almost single handedly he stopped the slide of politics in the United States from going into a socialistic labor union dominated system.

In 1932 the United States was in a depression that some blame on the stock market crash of 1929. The problem was not the stock market crash, the problem was unsecured lending. Banks made loans to people whose individual finances were less than sound and these loans were secured only by a commodity whose value fluctuated on the open market.

In other words, the depression in 1932 was caused by the same problem that caused the bank issues today.

The market crash in homes or financial products did not cause the economic crisis. The lending to people who could not pay their loans by banks caused the economic crisis.

The mortgage bail out was exactly the right thing to do. Hoover should have done something similar in 1929.

Because employment was difficult to find in the early part of the 20th century employers reduced wages and benefits while increasing the amount of work expected. By the 1930's Communism was spreading world wide and the United States was in real danger of becoming a Communist or Socialist nation.

Roosevelt did several things to prevent this from happening. The two most important were the establishment of social security and making the ownership of gold illegal. Making gold illegal effectively prevented an armed insurrection in the United States.

Wars take resources. You can't fight a war without money. By taking Gold away from people Roosevelt made the internal funding of an armed revolution near impossible.

By taking away one of the most important reasons to join or belong to a labor union, a pension plan, Roosevelt effectively stopped the growth of unions in the United States.

Roosevelt did other things to help prevent socialism. His employment of millions in the "New Deal" which people claim prolonged the depression. Banking regulation and the FDIC.

Economists may be correct that the government employment of so many and the tax burden on businesses prolonged the depression. Without those jobs those unemployed workers would have revolted against capitalism and the length of the depression would have continued as long as it did in the USSR, sixty years or more.

To stay a capitalist nation the United States is going to have to shore up Social Security and make sure workers have the ability to retire rather than work themselves to death.

To stay a capitalist nation the United States is going to have to implement a national health care plan.

To stay a capitalist nation the United States is going to have to improve the education system so that workers are internationally competitive.

If these things do not happen the United States can expect the same kind of armed demonstrations and protest marches that took place in the 1930's and the 1960's.

The US government may succeed in making firearms illegal and they may succeed in squashing free speech.

Like the feudalistic lords of the middle ages who attempted similar actions they will find that strength of arms does not replace the masses of the people when they are willing to die to achieve their goals.

Democracy won over feudalism because, while it took years, the feudalistic lords realized they could not control the masses, the leaders had to work with the proletariat.

As I watch Congress and other morons undo the work of Roosevelt, as I watch social security die out and people argue against the national health care plan I realize that we, as a nation, are about to make mistakes that will ensure the mediocrity of the future of this nation and destroy the standard of living we enjoy.

People may think that since the USSR died out Communism is now dead. They are wrong. Unless the proletariat are given the tools they require, retirement, health care and education, they will once again rise up and cast down the totalitarian leaders who attempt to work them to death.

Or, like the plebeians in Rome and the peasants in Viet Name, they will do nothing when the time comes to protect their "way of life" because their way of life will not change just because the government of another nation takes over.

The death of a nation IS decided when the government decides the people can take care of their own lives, can protect themselves, can feed themselves, because if the people have to take care of everything for themselves why do they need the government?