Politics and Opinion

Opinion, politics... or interest

Hi, you have found this website.... 

Nice to know you have. 

It is a journey to write, some would say a journey through a torturous process of dragging ideas out of the self, but for me: I am not a creative type of literary writer, so I never found that to be a problem.  

So: I hope you find things of interest. 

KW.

An unreasonable argument? Medicine, politics and paranoia

A potential hidden problem, or an unreasonable argument?


The nature of mental illness in the mind of an educated person - an argument with regard to the profession of medicine.

Opinion

The essence of the following argument is that mental illness can be hidden, and paranoid beliefs can easily be hidden in well-educated and apparently reasonable individuals. So can racist beliefs, in a well educated person, becuase such people know very well that to voice such statements is considered bad, uneducated, and generally not expected of anyone with a university education. But racist or elitist views could still exist. Should the mental health of the medical profession should be checked out more carefully for this, given that they deal in areas of life and death? Their beliefs are very important, because any hidden beliefs, and particularly any hidden paranoid beliefs, could lead to results for the patient and the following is one theory as to how it could happen.

Naturally, this is a very risky argument. It is highly likely it would be regarded as offensive. However, the bases for experimentation on human subjects, or using women and children or others as human shields, and so on, suggests that it is in the human nature of many to be falliable. To be greedy. To be corrupt and even to use people as human guinea pigs if people think they can get away with it. One can look at history. In many many countries, this has happened.

The following is a theoretical example, developed using one idea, the idea of the use of a person's own abstract reasoning capacities, as a method which could be used to abuse them by an educated professon, or in fact, by anyone at all, but for the purposes of this argument, it is how it could be done to a patient, by a doctor, or a medical professional. The ideas are not necesarily based on anything factual, and have no relationship to any medical personnel anywhere in the world in particular.

It is an argument that uses an example of how an educated professional could use a particular technique to influence or control another person, and it is developed as a theroretical argument to show how it could be done. The essence of this is to illustrate how an understanding of mental illness can be used for, or against, and that this understanding does exist in academic educated professionals is the basis of this reasoning.


'Associations' - cognitive associations:
'Associations': The doctor or medical professional could use a patient's own thinking or abstract reasoning, as a method of control. What is meant by an 'association'? What, for instance, a person might think about when they see, say, geraniums: maybe an elderly neighbour used to always have them on a balcony and so they always 'associate' geraniums with this elderly neighbour. Cognitive associations are known only to the person who has them: they are personal. The next person at the shop waiting in line, when they see geraniums, does not have the same assoication to them.

Everyone makes associations, sometimes, but possibly it is not normal to notice them or even be aware of them. But, in a medical situation, where doctors have sometimes advanced understanding of issues to do with psychiatry and psychology from consultation with other professionals, and in a situation where such a medical professional is also elitist, racist, or paranoid, a doctor might decide to find out what a patient's cognitive associations are. For this, they might ask about dates of anniversaires, birthdays of relatives (or possibly, in conversation, or even for clinical reasons: other events in the patient"s life). 

Why is this any concern? Naturally, it is not, if the doctor is mentally healthy. They may be trying to find out about other medical history and so on, to better treat the patient, or just be being friendly. But in a situation where the doctor is suffering undiagnosed paranoia, such questions could be asked with maleovlent intent. In fact, this argument is suggesting, that possibly such things could develop into a situation of patient abuse and the following is one way that in theory, it could develop. It is not written to create fear, but to try to consider the nature of mental illness in the mind of an educated person, how they may have a very advanced understanding of certain things to do with psychology, and how this can : 'go bad'.

 

If a doctor has undiagnosed paranoia?
So if a doctor has undiagnosed paranoia, they could, in theory, and this is the theory: use a patient's assocations, medically, to abuse them. To create false medical results based on what the patient believes and even insist the person get a psyciatric diagnoses so it can be on record that they are mentally ill, when in fact, it is the doctor who is mentally ill, racist, or elitist.

How could a doctor use a patient's associations to abuse them? Here is one way: the doctor finds out about their associations, and then tries to make them aware of them, unnaturally. This is bad. Why? Because trying to avoid things creates an awareness of the event in the mind. (This is one of the bases of phobic avoidance). To do it intentionally to another person, then, such as a patient, could be maleovolent because it could be done with the intention to create an avoidance of a time or day in the mind of the person, the patient.

Why would someone such as a medical professional or staff person, do this? To try to control, to try to make a person avoid things, to set up associations deliberately.

 

An example: Fear of finding out about pharmaceutical prescribing:

Some people are paranoid about computers for instance, and might try to limit the activity of others on them. A doctor, or medical professional, for instance, could be one of these people. He knows maybe, that the patient uses computer technology a lot, and he personally is paranoid about them scanning the receipts of his prescriptions into them. He has no rational basis for this. He is paranoid. But because of his paranoia, he is trying to make the patient stop doing things like this. (Or, he really has been involved in genuine medical fraud, and is paranoid for another reason). So the doctor might have found out the patient's cognitive associations and be using them as a form of hidden coercion to link medical abuse to it, so as to try to stop the patient from using computer technology, because he fears that his crime will be discovered, or he is paranoid about computers for no real reason, except a vague anxiety that he has never bothered to get checked out or evaluate (mental illness).

So,  here is a theoretical example of what such a doctor could do, if they are paranoid: he (or she) builds up in the patient's mind an awareness, say, of the patient's aunt's latest, say, award - giving anniversary date, for example, which he got from obtaining information about the patient's mother's sister (the patient's aunt)  by asking for family history information, when the patient first visited his clinic, in conversation. He then sends out advertising leaflets on the same date of it, again and again, evey month - or his staff do. Or other medical staff do, from other clinics or medical advertisers and they just keep on being sent to the patient. Spam, letters, advetising leaflets, and a high proportion of them are advertising for medical tests to be done at his clinic on the 12 th of this or that....... It is always on the date or often on the date of the patient's aunt's award ceremony (which was very important to this relative of his, a very nice event, and which he remembers attending) which was the 12th of March. But the 12 of May, the12th of July, the12th of October.. .? Why, the patient asks him or herself? Because the doctor, in this example, is trying to set up a associaton to the date of the 12th - in the thinking of the patient.

 

What happens now?

Now the patient is aware of it, the date. In their mind, and in this theoretical example, this is what the doctor intends. To force the patient to make an association to the '12th'. It is maleovolent, in this context, because it is done for a reason: to try to control the patient's behaviour in certain ways. Such as creating fear of going to the doctor on these days. Trying to set up an avoidance pattern . Then: the following happens, and this is where the result of this process shows: Maybe the doctor then later says that the results of the patient's medical test were '12.01' and on the other result: 36.01. Then they give the patient a choice as to which date they want to book the next appointment for: the 12th of October or the 27 October. The patient decides to choose the 27, then feels guilty. 'This is ridicuous isn't it? ' the patient asks themself, thinking back to how all those letters were sent out on the 12th. But it's a subtle sense of control the medical professional is obtaining over their behaviour, and next time he asks them about their use of computers he mentions medical receipts: 'Do you post them to the health insurer or do you email them?'' he asks. The patient says they send them online, because the health insurance company offers this option. After listening to this, the doctor then suggests the patient should make another appointment as the one on the 27 October is no longer available, and sorry, he did not realise. Unfortunately, the doctor says, the only one available is on the 12 October. The appointment is for a medical test, which, as the patient would be aware, is important that it's results are accurate -  and the patient worries. The patient is beginning to distrust this medical professional.

 

So how could this change the patient's behaviour?

Next time, the patient decides to claim for health insurance, but instead of scanning the receipt into their computer for sending to the health insurer - they mail it. So in this theoretical example: The doctor has influenced and in fact changed, the patient's behavour, just by applying subtle coercion (whether this result would apply to some, many, any patient.. is another argument possibly).   The doctor, in this theoretical example, did it because he is paranoid. But no one knows this.  No testing of him to find out if he is, has been done. (Or, the doctor may be racist, or elitist, for which testing of beliefs about various things could be done, but are probably usually not.) The intentions of the doctor are not easily provable, but it changed the behaviour all the same, of the patient. It was done, using this theroretical example, by the use of sophisicated medical and psychological methods, in such a way that no patient could easily explain it to any authority and expect to be taken seriously. It is the power of mental illness in the mind of an educated person, which, in this theroretical exampe, is a doctor.

 

Medical fraud and perceived 'threat'
In the above exampe: clinically, if this situation actually happenned, it would be a form of paranoia on the part of the medical professional: an effort to protect themselves from percived threat, when in fact, no threat from the patient, or from anyone else, may exist. The doctor is just scared, for example, of being caught and not aware of why he is scared, having committed no crime, and unaware that he suffers from delusions of persecution, excessive anxiety, or phobic fear of being caught 'committing crimes' say, involving medical fraud, or other situations.

 

This is why mental health testing could be useful for the medical profession, to make sure it does not occur, and even lie detector testing, due to the nature of the jobs they have involving life and death. it is not unheard of: in some states in the USA there have been some reports of lie detector testing being used for medicaid fraud, which is a major problem in the USA (although possibly it is the patients tested, not the doctors). Another argument for psychologcal and lie detector testing of doctors and medical staff is that in countries which are said to have a reasonably high level of unreported or reported mental illness, it is not unreasonable to assume that some of this could have got into the medical profession, who are after all, part of the community and not a separate species.

 

 Anyone can suffer from paranoia: doctors and medical staff are not exempt

To summarise: A doctor or anyone in the medical profession - or anyone at all of course - could be paranoid. That is, suffer from genuine clinical paranoia, such as delusions of persecution (believing patients are out to get them, dislike them, are going to report on them to health insurance companies for medical fraud, or any other personal issues the medical person may have. Paranoid beliefs, excessive anxiety over crime, unreasonable fear of authorities, grandiose beliefs about their status and overly anxious thinking about what will happen to them if caught having committed fraud as a result, seeing questionning by patients or authorities as something to be feared above all else and a threat to themselves, seeing potential danger as a result from the patient, or from anyone else such as health insurance companies, or authorities. In severe cases of paranoia, a medical professional could believe the patient will report them, and see this as a threat, and actually act on this paranoid belief that they are in danger by taking steps to make sure the perceived threat does not occur, such as by making sure the patient cannot scan receipts of prescriptions into a computer, as the above example described.

If psychological testing of medical staff were required, in addition to regular and compulsory lie detector testing, paranoia, racism and elitism, as problems in the medical world could be monitored, and paranoia, in particular. The danger of undiagnosed paranoia in doctors and medical staff is the essence of, and reason for, this argument: due to the potential of undiagnosed paranoia to cause very severe damage to a patient in ways, that, used by a doctor towards any patient, could be subtle, yet, for the patient who relies on this medical professional, very persuasive.

 

Written by Katrina Wood

January 2017

 

10. The relationship between a citizen and a government

Opinion

The relationship between a citizen and a government

Money and power

Money is an interesting subject. It is a medium of exchange, meaning that the pieces of paper have no value as such, but what they represent does.

Money is also power. To be without it is a shock. It is very frightening to realize what can happen to a person without money. They can be made to beg, or forced into work they may not like.

Recently, the writer of this article ran out of money while travelling, and it occurred to them to ask some of the people around if it was necessary to be a resident to beg, but the writer thought it might not be appreciated as a joke. In walking around, thinking how to ration out their last money, the writer imagined this little joke:

"Is anyone allowed to beg?

No, you have to be a resident."

Money is power in many ways. Denying a person money is one way to make them dependent on others: on a person, on a country, or dependent in society, generally. The relationship between a citizen and it's government, in a democracy at least, is that the citizen has the same rights as others in that country.That is: if a government takes taxes from them, they have the same rights as other citizens: the same rights to drive on the roads, to walk on the footpaths, to vote, and to work.

Elections, for example, imply a certain democratic right,the right of voting, various citizens’ rights, and various conditions of citizenship. While not every country that has elections is a democracy in a conventional sense, as some are more or less democratic, it still implies something:  that it is not a dictatorship for example.

So, the relationship between a government and a citizen is very important when it is considered what it means: In a democracy, if a citizen pays tax, they are allowed to have the same rights as others, they should probably expect. That is: the understanding that as a citizen they have the right to vote, are allowed to drive on the roads without any different treatment to any other citizen, are allowed to walk on the footpaths without any other treatment to any other citizen; it can be argued paying taxes in a democracy implies this.  Otherwise, maybe it could be argued that the government would be taking tax under false pretenses: in fact, stealing part of a citizen's money, versus not stealing other citizen's money - to some extent, in that the citizen who is discriminated against is getting less benefit from the taxes than other citizens and being deprived of rights which other citizens get.

You are a citizen: what does it mean?

So, when a government says: 'You are a citizen', what does that mean? It implies an attitude that the person is accepted, is a citizen, that the person means something. It is something that has a certain implied respect to it, maybe, to say: 'You are a citizen'. If the government is saying their country is a democracy, surely it means the citizen is considered equal to other citizens. It means that the person is not watching their money being stolen from them, to fund the footpaths and roads of others, for example, while they are deprived of this in some way. Maybe they are not allowed to walk the same footpaths; maybe they are harassed or spat at, the message being: ‘You are not equal.’ If this was done with government knowledge, or as deliberate government action, it could be argued it is violating the agreement that the citizen believed they had with the government.

Financial decisions and government information

So, a citizen, for example, lives in a country and assumes they have the same rights as others. They make decisions based on this assumption: they invest in real estate, they spend money in shops by buying items (which is an investment in the shop, as is indicated by what happens if the shop has no customers. It is, then, an investment in a small way, in the country, to shop in it.), they spend money on education maybe, or they invest money in shares in the stocks of the country's businesses. This is money they earned, or that others earned.  It is no trivial thing.  It could be the result of years of work. The citizen has made the choice to invest that money in the country, by living in it as opposed to leaving it. They spent a lot of money on that country, then,  or what may be for them a lot of money: they bought it's coffees, they bought it's clothes, they shopped and bought it's books, and bought it's real estate. They invested years in the country and the amount of money they have spent over those years amounts to a choice they made: to spend it as a citizen of the country they were told they were a citizen of, versus to leave that country, to spend it on another country's coffees, shops, books, and real estate. Hundreds, thousands of dollars are spent by this citizen. Every time they walk into a clothes shop to buy a new shirt for 59.95, they are investing in the country. Every time they go into a bookshop to buy a book for 29.95 they are investing in the country. The shopkeeper makes money from that sale, the government makes tax from the shop keeper’s earnings, and the citizen is investing in the country every time it buys any product in it.  This person has the right to be treated then, as a citizen, not as an inferior, one could argue, as this citizen is helping to support the country with their money. They could easily have left and spent it elsewhere. So, for a government to have lied to a citizen is a violation of what it means to be a citizen, and the citizen is paying the government money, in tax, for which it is receiving benefits less than other citizens. This could be argued as a government having broken an implied agreement between a citizen and a government.

Investments made in a context: social infrastructure

The social infrastructure of a country, such as whether it is secure, stable or in a civil war, and therefore unstable, is indicated, if not stated, by a government. The government also says what is the country’s status as a democracy, a dictatorship, and so on. If it is claiming the country is a democracy, for example, it seems logical to argue that it is also saying by implication that the citizen is considered equal to others. Stock market prospectuses and company prospectuses are issued on the basis of this stated or maybe partly unstated understanding, and they say things, although naturally often with more sophistication, like: ‘this is a blue chip company, it has a secure rating, it has a good history and it is in a secure country’. The implication for the citizen is that they can invest in this company, and that they have the right to take what is said in the prospectus literally. That it is not a lie in any way. That the country is not involved in a hidden civil war, for example, which could make the investment unsafe. The company prospectus, then, is very important. The company exists in a country with a government and the government has organizations that check out this company, and the government has maybe also set the rules for the company's prospectus listings or what information is required to be given to investors for listing on a public stock exchange. The citizen might decide to buy shares in the company.  As a theoretical example, would happen if a government is lying and the country is involved in a hidden civil war? If that same government had not advised the citizen that this is happening? Then, the citizen, in good faith, invested in a company in that country, and the government had not told the citizen that it was not the kind of country the citizen thought it was.

Trickery

If a government lies or misleads an investor, such as by not declaring to the investor that the country is socially unstable or involved in a civil war, does the citizen have the right to sue the government if the company collapses? Or to sue at all for any reason at all: if there was a hidden civil war, for example, and the citizen was not told this at the time, how does the citizen know that the company's results were not affected by this?  They don't. They could not be sure.  So, it could be argued that regardless of the results of their investment, they could still sue, because it is not possible to say what would happen if the country was not involved in the civil war. Their investment might have done well, but it might have done better if the civil war was not happening, for example. The citizen has been tricked, in this illustration, into investing in a company in a country which has an unstable infrastructure, and the government has not told the citizen that.

So, money is power. In this theoretical example, the citizen now has to consider that the government is taking tax from them, and the government has not told them their investment is unstable.

Denying the rights to be treated equally: tax implications

So, in continuing this illustration, the government would now be in a very powerful position regarding the citizen, to whom it had denied rights to be treated equally as a taxed citizen. Imagine a person works four or five days a week, for thirty years, puts money into a bank account, then watches it be stolen in taxes from them to fund others who are allowed benefits they are not allowed: they have nicer footpaths, better roads, more privacy, and are not subjected to harassment on these same footpaths, whereas the citizen is. That is, the things for which tax is paid for are somehow different for others than for them. This citizen is now forced to know the money he or she worked for, or was given as an inheritance or in any other way (which someone worked for) is now being partly stolen by that government.

This would be insulting to the citizen: degrading, even.

One could even suggest it would be a public slap in the face, to such a citizen, depending on what happened, how many people were involved, and how it was done.

Legal fraud?

So a government in such a situation is defrauding a citizen of it’s rights and could one argue, in such an example, that they have violated the fundamental agreement between a citizen and it's government to such an extent that the government does not have rights over the citizen anymore? That they have effectively treated the citizen differently, and that a government that says it is a democracy can't legally do that? Citizens might often discriminate against other citizens in all countries, such as discrimination against race, against sex, against all sorts of things, which is of course also illegal, but a government is not supposed to discriminate against its own citizens: this is political power.

Political abuse of power

Money is power and political power using money could also occur. What is the legal situation when a government knowingly discriminates against a citizen?  It is definitely power involved. (Whether it involves a violation of law could depend on what is considered law. Is the citizen right to expect that it will have the same rights as others? In a democracy, surely it is).To take it to an extreme, a citizen could be forced into effective work or some kind of the equivalent of prostitution, by having to work for whoever paid it, while other citizens had freedom. It is political power if the government knows of the abuse of the citizen, surely, and chooses to do nothing to stop it while taxing the citizen, and definitely political if the government personally gave permission for citizens to discriminate. For example, as an illustration, the other citizens have respect while walking on the footpaths, but a citizen who is spat on, or harassed while walking on these same footpaths, does not.  If a government was involved in this, and actively said: 'Go and spit on that citizen; we give you permission', then that would be the government personally involving itself in the discrimination (but it might also be argued as personal if a government knew it was happening, and did nothing to stop it.)  Then, it would be violating the power between a government and it's citizen. The citizen is discriminated against. Their money is being stolen, to some extent. It is being used to fund others, who are getting benefits from it that are deliberately and obviously denied them. It is then, degrading.

In such situations, maybe it could be argued that the government has violated the citizen's conditions of citizenship. That it has no right to the citizen anymore at all. That the citizen is effectively turned into a stranger in it's own country. Technically, the citizen should be able to get a restraining order placed on such a government, in the same way a citizen can do to a citizen.

Could the citizen sue for part of it's tax back?  Could they demand compensation for suffering, lost freedom, and damages?

So, what does it mean to be a citizen?

Choice

It means a lot.  It means the citizen made a choice. Just because they did not sell their house, pack up and leave and go and live in some other country, did not mean they could not have done so, if they had known that the country they lived in (which means: the country they invested their time, money, and life in) was fraudulently misrepresenting itself to them.

That is what it means.  The citizen made a choice, and on the basis of an implied agreement, which such a government, in such a situation as above, would be arguably able to be accused of having legally broken: the implied agreement between a citizen and a government.

 By Katrina Wood

Written by Katrina Wood: July, 2014

 

9. The double bind

Opinion

The double bind

The Geneva conventions are often mentioned in human rights literature as being able to protect a person in war time for various situations like prisoner-of-war camp abuse.

The following is an illustration of how a psychological process could be used as a form of hate crime by one group of people against an individual, in peace time, as opposed to in war time, and why the Geneva conventions in such a situation would not apply, and how various references to such conventions could confuse.

The double bind is a situation in which there is a requirement that a person will behave one way, while making it impossible for them to behave that way at the same time.

It is a phrase used in psychological literature.

It could be used to conceal hidden hate crime. Here is one way:

A common phrase is to ‘take it at face value’. Meaning that a person has to accept situations as normal. They are not allowed to look for hidden interpretations, extrapolate inappropriately, or attribute situations to things like events that have a cause-and-effect link that involves a line of thought using unacceptable levels of suspiciousness, the level, being defined, in this example, and in the following illustration, by the group that has set the conditions.

The conditions

If the group that has set the conditions for what is considered acceptable is the same group that applies any double standard when there are exceptions to these conditions that an objective observer from a different group or country would consider suspicious, it could be an indication that a deliberate double bind is being applied by this group towards an individual, and it is actually hate crime that is occurring.

One example of hate crime: the use of the’ face value’ argument. This is psychological or possibly not psychological, depending, it could be argued, on the motivations for it being applied. So, if an individual is too suspicious of events occurring around them, and makes connections in their thinking that link one event to another, they can be argued as being paranoid or having paranoid tendencies and that they should learn to take events at face value.

An alternative argument is that it is hate crime that is occurring: the group that has set the conditions is deliberately applying a double standard to the individual for their own reasons and it has nothing to do with psychology, except that psychological reasoning is being used as a tool.

The ruling group is using political persecution in this case to conceal what is actually hate crime by themselves against an individual for reasons unsaid. The use of psychology in this situation is illegal, unethical, and cruel. It would damage the reputation of the profession because the profession is allowing itself to be used for political purposes.  In this case, a psychologist who used political methods for hate crime, would be either ignorant of what hate crime is, or is knowingly using it, is aware that he or she is breaking ethics agreements in using it, and does not care. Psychology is not a political tool, and if it is used in this way, it would damage the psychology profession’s reputation, it could be argued, as the next client who went to a psychologist would not know if they, too, were going to be used as a political tool.

Awareness

With regard to psychology, it can be argued that the concept of ‘the double bind’, being in the psychological literature, should make a defense that a psychologist does not have awareness of the implications of ignoring a ‘face value’ application of logic, questionable. It could be suggested that it is more difficult for a psychologist, perhaps, to argue they do not understand the implications of an unfair application of a double bind, than maybe for a person in the street.

If the combination of political intimidation from another country towards a client of theirs is known to that psychologist, or from their own country toward that client, and it is known by the psychologist that a 'take it at face value' argument is being applied to that client, but the psychologist knows that many events are in fact not coincidence and the client is, in fact, correct when they argue that they are being picked on or harassed,  then maybe that psychologist could be argued as colluding with the ruling group and consenting to the use of hate crime against that client.

Similarly, it could be argued that a lawyer should be aware of the double bind, as they should have legal awareness of such things because they argue cases in courts, often using psychologists, to advise them. Lawyers make logical arguments to defend clients or question witnesses. It could be reasonable to argue a lawyer should be aware of the double bind also, so if they know of situations in society where the client is actually being treated unfairly and they have knowledge that this is true, and if they then do not advise their client of this knowledge, it could be argued they are colluding with the ruling group.

Similarly, a judge, although perhaps slightly differently. They have to understand difficult arguments from opposing lawyers in courts, or listen or read different perspectives, so it could be argued they should be familiar with a double bind concept, or at least understand the concept of the double standard. For example: in criminal decisions rape is commonly argued as involving a double standard in that the victim is often blamed, and it is said that women are equal, but actually in rape, women are often blamed. Judges probably listen to this double standard being argued all over the world, as this is a frequent argument: the double standard is used as the defense in such cases often. In civil decisions, it seems reasonable to expect judges also have to listen to difficult arguments or read perspectives from different lawyers. So, it seems reasonable to argue that a judge must be at least aware of this concept: the double standard, if not aware of the double bind.

Similarly with authorities, but again, maybe differently. The double standard is well known, as regards to crimes against females, for example. It could be argued that it would be very difficult for anyone anywhere in law enforcement to argue they were not aware of the concept of the double standard, but the double standard it could be argued, is not the same as the double bind.

The double standard not the same as the double bind

The double bind, is more psychological.  While a crime- solving person, or a judge might not be aware of it, or might not be expected to consider it, it could be argued a lawyer or a psychologist should be, as arguments from different perspectives  is what they have to prepare and deal in, as part of their work: for a lawyer, written logical argument, that involves thinking of defenses to argumemets, using evidence, seeing the opponents perspective and thinking of arguments against it and writing them and giving them in courts, being cross- questioned by lawyers who may not agree with them, and being treated with a level of suspiciousness in what they say as part of their presentation. They should, it could be argued, have some awareness of the use of psychology and possibly, the double bind. A psychologist, also, and more so, for reasons mentioned earlier, could be argued as expected to have understanding of the double bind. It is in the literature of psychology; it is well known.

Hate crime

Hate crime: it is defined in various ways. The following is an argument that the double bind is one way hate crime could be used, using psychology. It could be argued that psychology used this way, is not psychology.

The ‘take it at face value’ argument could be used for political purposes, to prevent a victim from complaining about harassment or persecution, and to prevent them from complaining also about things such as being used illegally for medical experiments. They are placed in a double bind by the ruling group who has said they must accept all events as normal. They are actively punished by the ruling group for not doing this.  For example, the essence of the argument that the person is reacting inappropriately to situations, as a basic perspective they have on reality, is what the ruling group argues. This argument, which may not be true, and which uses the double bind, is then applied to the person for every situation and all events.

The person, it can be argued, is actually being abused as a form of hate crime in this situation.

Hate crime can involve things such as discrimination against a person for their race, sex, or possibly external characteristics only, or maybe also in such a way as in what is termed  ‘racial profiling’, where a person can be picked on just for their external physical or racial characteristics or origin.

Can hate crime also be due to hidden motivations on the part of the ruling group that are personal to that group and therefore not to do with the characteristics of the individual? Can this still be classified as hate crime? As a possible example: the persecution of the individual is political, in such a case, although the motivations are not known to everyone. The double bind, in this example, is used maliciously by the ruling group to justify persecution, attack and even for illegal medical experimentation. The hate crime is evident in the use of unreasonable antagonism toward the individual: such as painting their fence with graffiti just after a book is finished by them about fence graffiti- painting, then telling them it is co-incidence, and to take it at face value - this is to use the double bind.

The  double bind used as in way is psychological abuse as the person knows the event is directed against them, but they have to make themselves believe it is not. They are put in a double bind. They cannot believe it. But they are told they have to. The result is likely to be unhappiness at least, and misery at worst. Possibly anger, depending on how bad the situation of the double bind is. It is a form of laughing in the victim’s face, to apply the double bind in this way, because the group who has done it knows the indivual will not be able to take it at face value and that as a result, they will suffer.

Differences between the double bind and the double standard

This is why the double bind is different to a double standard: it is psychological. It uses psychology against the victim to torture them. It could then, be considered, if done in the context of a ruling group against an individual: to be collective use of torture, and hate crime, possibly using psychologists, lawyers or others to do it, if such professionals have reason to believe it is going on, and do nothing. They collude, by implication with the ruling group’s methods. It could be argued that this would be unethical or a crime as their socially-understood and known duty is to put their client first, and the government or political process of any country, theirs or foreign, second.

Collective delusional psychosis

There is also the possibility of brainwashing, or collective false belief. For example, citizens of a country who persecute one individual may suffer a false belief; they may consider themselves to be part of a war crimes tribunal, for example, or a prisoner- of- war camp, or believe they are judge and jury in some way for some political group’s views. In their thinking, they might believe they are justified in what they are doing in some way.  If this happened, it could be argued as a form of shared delusion, or ignorance, because in peace time, the Geneva convention does not apply so the victim cannot get help using it, and prisoner- of- war camps are usually run in declared wars, often with international knowledge, and generally not covertly in peace time, and in peace time international aggression using hate crime or torture is banned.

So, there would be no reasonable or logical argument that could allow citizens to use these methods to justify to themselves what they are doing, except perhaps a delusional psychosis of believing they are in some sort of known fight, but such fights have to be declared. In this case, it could be argued that some or maybe many of these people suffer from a shared delusional or unexamined belief:  the belief that they somehow have the right to apply wartime torture tactics in a situation of peace time: this could be argued as shared psychosis, or shared false belief.

Can a society suffer from delusions? Perhaps not delusions, but it has been known that a society can make mistakes, and can be influenced by others inaccurately and believe things that are not true.

In this case, to continue the previous illustration of the double bind, is it hate crime, or a form of societal madness at work if some or many citizens in a country are following instructions from a ruling group against an individual in a context where a double bind is being used unfairly and they know it is?

Torture versus madness

Knowledge and appreciation of reality are what can be used to determine madness or not. The people applying the double bind in the above example of the graffiti fence know and enjoy the suffering of the victim. They are not mad. They are indulging in deliberate calculated torture. This then could be said to be hate crime, not madness.

The double bind then, used in a context where it is known to be unfair, where it is applied unfairly, with knowledge by those who apply it of what they are doing, could be considered to be the use of torture, and arguably, also hate crime.

By Katrina Wood

Written by Katrina Wood, 2014

 

 

8. The right to vote, and logic

Opinion

The right to vote, and logic

Many countries have signed UN ratifications for human rights laws. Other countries have ratified these laws also, and apparently special UN human rights investigators, for example, can check that a country is complying with the human rights law they have ratified. 

In Germany, for example, citizens are allowed to vote, and, (if correct) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights gives citizens in Germany the right to vote and to be elected. The Federal government is or has been previously involved in making sure adherence to this law can be followed. Consideration of various arguments involved in denying the right to vote to those deemed not capable, has also been considered. A report prepared by various German government and human rights groups (see note 1: reference) mentions, if reading of it is correct, that those who are deemed not competent, are or will perhaps not be, depending on decisions made, allowed to vote, and a court decision could take away a citizen's right to vote if it is decided they are not capable of making conscious independent voting decisions. People with certain disabilities, it seems, (which it suggests could also include psychological or mental disorders) can or could be denied the right to vote if there is a court decision that deems them incompetent. The logic and reason for this, it is suggested in this report (note 1) is that voting implies that an individual is capable of conscious decision, and can make decisions on his or her own.  So in Germany, it seems there is, or has been considered, exclusion to suffrage possible: that is: the right to vote and to be elected - able to be denied.  (Exclusions from suffrage also exist in the European Elections Act, apparently).

Reading this is somewhat shocking to me, as I live in a country (New Zealand) where, and from my earliest days, schools in the country I live in have communicated, at least to me, that citizens are equal, that racism is bad. It is very much, in my view, part of this country, that equality is assumed. To exclude a citizen, is something I find shocking. However, a country could still do this, while knowing it was not acceptable, I suppose. That is: exclude a citizen from the right to vote.  I believe NZ was one of the countries leading the right to vote for women, so to exclude someone from suffrage would be shocking. In this sense, maybe my reaction reflects my experience.

Logical consistency is not shocking

However, one could suggest that it is totally logical and theoretically consistent to argue that if you can't be trusted to make an independent conscious decision as far as voting is concerned, you can't be trusted to make other decisions either, as voting is not particularly complicated.

For example, in law, or as a lawyer, or witness,  a person deciding  guilt or innocence might have to read documents, observe situations, and have a fine-tuned understanding of what they are doing, but a person voting just has to make a decision once every three or four years, go into a polling booth, and sign a piece of paper. The process of voting itself does not take advanced intellectual skills. So, to argue a person is not competent to vote, should surely also logically determine that they cannot be a witness, or a lawyer, or trusted to provide accurate information in situations of crime- solving, or in any situation where detailed and analytical understanding and appreciation of complex information is required.

One advantage of logical consistency: coercion prevention

One of the dangers of a country that does not allow a person the right to vote, is that if it is not accurately or honestly monitored by human rights organizations, the person could be denied the right to vote, while at the same time, coerced into doing things for the state that are not compatible with the logic of denying them the right to vote.

Coercion could occur, for example, if a person is denied the right to vote, but then the government or citizens of the country that denied them that right, try to use them to prove evidence in any way, or for any form of witness information. Such actions would be incompatible with a government that suggested a person was incapable (when it suited them) of distinguishing between fact and fiction. For that same government to then try to use the person surreptiously or force them into giving evidence in such a way that it was indicated that they were capable, after having been excluded on grounds they were not capable, would be contradictory to logic.  Maybe it could also be argued as a basis for the exclusion of such surreptiously-obtained evidence from a court, in addition to it probably being able to be argued that the government doing it was indulging in human rights crime.  

Not competent means…: applying the logic

An understanding of this contradiction seems to be shown in the above- mentioned considerations of German law (regarding voting) where a citizen may be denied the right to vote. These considerations have logic.

It can be argued then, in applying this logic: what is logical about a citizen being deprived of the right to vote if they are also considered capable of giving evidence or making decisions as to guilt, innocence or anything else? If a citizen is presumed not competent to make conscious choice, how can they be considered competent to judge guilt or innocence, for example? How can they be a witness? How can they decide accuracy, facts, observations, details?

A possible danger: rigging mental ‘incompetence’ decisions (and the logic for it)

A person could be considered not competent for many reasons and one might be they appear to be unaware of the situation around them. They smile, for example, when they are insulted. They look blankly at others who are obviously making fun of them. They walk down the street and appear not to notice signs that are derogatory to them. They appear to not be aware. They appear to be not affected. They appear not even to suffer. Some might consider then stupid. Simple. Unintelligent. Unaware.

The converse logic is: the person is put in a stranglehold of inhuman vicious psychological cruelty and blackmail in which not only are they not allowed to complain to authorities, they are not allowed to complain to anyone, at all.

On the phone they are abused afterwards by a person indicating to them that what they said in private was heard and the listener does not like it. In their house they are monitored so that any sign of complaint is punished by someone down the street slamming a car door if they say anything loudly about their situation. In walking down the streets they are punished by people in the next shop for comments that they made in the first shop.  Even when they try to be subtle, it does not work: the people indicate that they are listening for complaints and the person only has to say something in a sarcastic tone of voice and someone will drop something loudly on the ground, or smash a glass in a café. If they say something critical about a shop sign to a person on the street, while shopping, a person nearby will slam a car door. They can’t even make a comnent, without a consequence. The punishment is internally-orientated now, not just external. They are in a vicious psychological stranglehold with a group of people who monitor their every action, forcing them to smile.

Why is it important to appear to be socially unaffected? To appear happy and to smile?  Because it is desired by the group that monitors them that the person appears simple and unaware. They want observable evidence that the person is stupid or simple so they can legally or illegally justify their arguments that the person does not seem to notice the insults around them. They do not react. They do not complain. Are they stupid? Are they simple? Maybe they are not competent? The same group is denying that they are punishing the person for complaining and insisting that the person is free to complain, but they are lying.  That is one reason: to get observable evidence that the person is simple or stupid or not competent.

A second reason why the person has to appear to be unaffected could be to make it appear that the person is free. This is could be important in a situation where coercion is applied so that the person is denied the right to vote, while being used in other political ways. The person must appear to be happy and not suffering. This must be observable. The reason is: some courts say that information obtained using torture is not acceptable in a court of law. If the person is being tortured into providing this evidence, it can be legally dismissed by the lawyers of the opposing claimant, in a civil or criminal case. 

These then, are two reasons that a court decision as to what is competent or not competent might not be aware of or an investigator for human rights not be aware of.

 

By Katrina Wood

written by Katrina Wood, 2014

 

note 1: National Report in Preparation for the 2nd Hearing of Germany under the Universal Periodic Review

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/cae/servlet/contentblob/637656/publicationFile/176360/UPR-Bericht-Deutschland.pdf

7. The psychology of influence versus artificial intelligence research

Opinion

Code: Programming and psychology

What is code? It is programming instructions for a computer. Code can be programmed socially too, maybe, such as by saying repeatedly:  “It is a very good thing”.  As an illustration, say a person hears this phrase again and again and again. It could be said to be like social code. A phrase, such as this, might be said so as to create an effect on a  listener. This effect might be specific: the listener might think, for example, and be intended to think of, a particular person who first said this phrase to them.  In this sense, maybe it could be argued it is socially programmed code.

Can a person be programmed? Social programming or influence can be done, and there are many studies showing the effect of certain conditioning effects created by society. Brainwashing for example is well known. A person can be influenced, with intent.

So the cerebral cortex could be programmed then? Like a computer?  No, and the reason has to be that this is illogical.  A person is not a computer. They do not need instructions for every action to be programmed into them in order to function. They can generate their own ideas, and learn. They are not just a set of conditioned responses. This argument also leads into an area that the psychology profession, if one wants to call it that, and scientists, study: Artificial intelligence.

How can code be used to program, if a person can’t be programmed? A person is not a robot. But can they be programmed socially? That is: could a society or some people in a society, or some researchers in a laboratory experiment, choose to deliberately target or repeatedly choose to interact with  a person or subject using specific phrases so as to try to create a particular effect on that person’s thinking, to create specific extrapolations or tangents in the thinking of the person, for particular reasons?  I think it could be argued that intent for social programming could occur, but whether or how much this affected a person could be a different argument. It might not affect the person at all: they might regard it as an irritation and ignore it, or maybe they are affected by it.  In this sense, it is maybe not just a choice of language as to what to call it: ‘influence’, or ‘programming’. To continue with the previously mentioned illustration,  what is happening when a person hears the phrase “It is a very good thing’ repeatedly? A shopkeeper says it, a person in the street they talk to says it, and another person says it, occasionally, over some years. Say, the first person who said it to them is what they remember each time they hear this phrase. Is this influence? Is it programming? Is it deliberate? If it was deliberate, it could be considered deliberate social influence.  Or, one could call it deliberate (social) programming: trying to create an association in a person's thinking so that they will think of a particular person every time they hear a particular phrase. Is it done with intent? Well, of course it is (most actions are done with intent: a person does not accidentally say a phrase: they must cognitively think of the phrase first, plan to say it, then say it). But are the people who say it deliberately saying it with intent to socially program or affect another person’s thinking?  Then it might be able to be considered social code, as opposed to social influence.

So, it is evident and obvious that a person cannot be programmed like a computer. They can be influenced, though, and some influence can be very powerful. Regarding social code, and the question: what is code? (and what are its implications and possible applications) the following argument could be considered:  People could use code in a social sense, such as using phrases that are specifically designed to create a specific effect in a particular person.  That is, influence could be specific, or intended to be specific and done using specific social code.

Brainwashing

But isn’t this brainwashing? The Patty Hearst kidnapping for example is one example, maybe, of brainwashing. She was kidnapped and brainwashed into doing things for the gang that kidnapped her. Apparently the jury decided, if I read it right, that her claims to being brainwashed were not good enough as an excuse for what she eventually did. Other kidnappings have occurred. It is well known and has many books written about it. The victim often identifies with the kidnappers. This is called the 'Stockholm syndrome'.  So, brainwashing has happened many times. Is this social influence or social programming? It could be argued many ways I suppose, since the specifics are not known, but in the argument I am following, and also thinking about, so comments would be useful, what is being argued or introduced is the idea that humans might be able to be deliberately programmed using social code, so this is slightly different, possibly to the concept of brainwashing.

Awareness

What is understood, generally, it seems, is that humans have free choice. They are not computers, definitely. Therefore, they cannot be programmed like a computer can be. However, what if a person is subjected to social code programming regularly: will they ignore the associations created by the repetitive phrases they hear? Or will they notice them?  Then there is the concept of associations. What does a person do if they hear one phrase repeatedly? Do they make an association? Are they aware of the association? I argue normal people are not aware of their associations. To think this way would be abnormal I think. It would show a very advanced level of introspection, which could be regarded as excessive. Conversely, if it was done with deliberate intent, and indicated to the person that it was being done deliberately, would they then notice it, and would the noticing of it then, be abnormal? Say someone said a phrase to a person that reminded them of someone, like ‘It is a very good thing’ and then banged a door each time after that phrase was said. Would the person then notice that association? They probably would. Then, would it be abnormal for them to notice their own thinking of the person the phrase reminded them of,  to be aware of the association created? I don't think that would be abnormal in that case. They would be aware of the process.

Artificial intelligence research

With artificial intelligence research, one thing that would need to be done is to make the subject aware of their own thinking process. Because, what the researcher is trying to do is to study the thinking process itself. They need the person to be aware that code is being programmed deliberately, or that the psychology of influence is happening, and happening with intention: otherwise they cannot get the recognition of the association process to register on the person's brain. They are trying, after all, to create artificial intelligence:  which means they need to study the thinking process, which may include the association process, the way associations are made… So they need it to register on the thinker’s awareness so as to be able to study it. They intelligence of a human being is complicated. It needs mapping for study. They must first create a set of maps: so, some might be phrases like: ‘It is a very good thing’ with a variety of people saying this same phrase, and these people may or may not know each other, and may or may not know the person to whom it is said and on whose thinking it is designed to register.

Intent

So: can a person be studied with intent, and can code be used for this? Using the previous argument, one answer is: Yes. Social code. This is illegal under human rights laws internationally: only rats or guinea pigs are allowed to be studied for medical research or maybe a few other animals. Each organization or country has its own laws for this. I read in an article last year, for example, that it is illegal, according to a New Zealand cancer research (animal, I think) law, that they are not allowed to deliberately induce the symptom in a subject in order to study it. This was for animals, I am fairly sure. For humans, it is definitely not allowed.

So, this opinion I am presenting regards the application of programming code as applied to humans, and it is not necessarily theoretical. Brainwashing is real, and has been done many times: Patty Hearst kidnapping, other kidnappings, gangs - it is well known. Were they using code to do it? Or was it more the general use of influence? There are two issues here: one: specific  social code programming on humans, such as might be used in artificial intelligence research, and two: the psychology of influence, social conditioning, social influence.  

To continue with the previous illustration of phrases:  Say a person is hearing one phrase ‘It is a very good thing’ and they think of one person, every time they hear it. Are the people making the statements doing it with intent? Or, is it just a phrase that has become common in the language? Another example: ‘No, ma’am’ (or ‘Thankyou ma’am’). This is an American expression but if a person hears this said in another non-American culture it might seem strange. Could it be deliberate programming done for a specific reason? Such as to create an effect of American culture in a customer for example if a shopkeeper says it? That would be social programming, done with intent, to a customer, or customers, specifically with the intention of creating an association of ‘American'.  Why? Who knows? Maybe they want to create a particular effect for the culture of the shop, or maybe they want a particular customer to think of Americans when they go into their shop. So, customers could be socially influenced. Is this programming. Is the phrase code? Is ‘No ma’am’ code? What determines what is code? If an American heard it, in America, they would think nothing of it. It is normal, and would not notice it. This is maybe where the artificial intelligence research has applications to social code programming: if it is said in a non-American country, the customer might notice it, though. It is out of context for the culture. They are aware of it. Is it programming their awareness with intent? If they were the subject of artificial intelligence research, it could be argued that this would be one way it could be done: code, with intent, on a research subject, to create awareness in the subject that it was being programmed, while programming it at the same time. It needs to register. Why? Because this is how the study of artificial intelligence is done, I would suspect.

So there are two examples of code: ‘It is a very good thing’, and ‘No, ma’am'. In both situations they are not code, they are just phrases. It could be argued that it is the way and who by and who to and the specific circumstances, then, that determine if they are programming a person or people in a way that is deliberate social influence, or deliberate social code programming, or not. 

Registration

Continuing the above example, and assuming it is the same person who hears both the previously mentioned phrases, can they be, or are they being programmed? If they always think of a particular acquaintance when they hear ‘It is a very good thing’ and if they always think ‘American’ when they hear ‘No, ma’am’, it could be argued that they are making associations, yes, but are they being programmed? Does being programmed happen with intent, with recognition, or without intent, and even without recognition? As I alluded to earlier, a normal person may not notice their associations. If they don't, can they be programmed or influenced? One could suggest it would be more difficult (or again, maybe not: as social influence can be subtle and not recognized necessarily). If they do notice, though, what happens: are they likely to be less or more influenced, and can they be socially programmed…..What is this process?

If it can be accepted that the psychology of influence applies to programming in a social sense, using language, then maybe it can be considered code. What is code? What determines if it is considered code? Intent?  But, also, maybe, recognition, on the part of the person or subject on whom the social influence being done.

Ethics

It is a bit like the concept of Chinese water torture, done in WW 2 or some other war. The person sits in a room with a tap and it drips on them. Eventually they go mad, or give the information that is requested. It would be a similar process to reinforcing the awareness of code if someone banged a door every time the phrase ‘It is a very good thing’ was used: it would reinforce the awareness of the subject of the association being made: this is how artificial intelligence research could be done. It cannot of course, be done legally: it is illegal. A human being has to consent in writing to be being used for medical research, and this is well known.

Violations of medical and scientific ethics have happened many times of course. One in New Zealand: a cancer researcher experimented on some women and they developed cancer, probably unnecessarily. He did it for the good of humanity no doubt, but for the victims, it was probably their death. He withheld treatment from half and gave the other half treatment for cervical cancer, if my memory is correct: one lot got placebos and the other got cancer drugs. The ones getting placebos developed cancer, or some did. One of the patients wrote about it. Her story was published years ago. Violations of medical or scientific ethics have happened in many countries.

Could such violations of ethics also occur with the use of social code, or in artificial intelligence research if it was done using social code?  A subject being the victim of this, without consent? I think it could.  One way is as described previously: the use of phrases in social interaction in such a way that it is 'programming’ or 'deliberate influence’ rather than just common language phrases. The specific mechanisms? One: the deliberately forced awareness (such as through the equivalent of Chinese water torture: e.g. banging doors) that follows a phrase, so reinforcing the awareness of the subject of an association being created, but also creating awareness in the subject that maybe it is done deliberately.

So: can humans be deliberately programmed? Maybe they can be influenced in specific deliberate ways. This has applications to the study of social psychology, the psychology of influence, and the study of artificial intelligence. Such actions would be illegal. A subject has to consent, and they have to consent in writing, too. These are the rules of experimentation in laboratory research on humans, as far as I have read.

So, what is code? What are implications regarding artificial intelligence research?

The word code, used in the previously mentioned  social sense of socially programmed code,  is what is interesting here. Why is it code? What determines code? Intent? What is the difference between influence and code? Deliberate intent? Can a person be programmed against their will? Obviously they can be influenced against their will. Can they be programmed? They are not a computer. They can ignore the programming surely? To what extent can they ignore it?  Can a person be held down and programmed without their permission like an object?  Can they ignore the programming or code or influence? It would depend how it was done maybe.

Everyone is aware that social influence exists. Programming intentionally, using social influence in a specific, intentional way, might be different, and less known, and it’s specific mechanisms less known, but maybe could also exist.   If it is done without intent, is this code?  If a phrase is repeated that makes a person think of someone, or some situation, but it is not done with intent, is that then influence, or can it still be considered code?  

So to summarize, maybe it depends on the way it is done: with intent or not, and with the forced recognition of the subject being part of it, or not. This is where, I would argue, artificial intelligence research differentiates from the more general area, or study, of the psychology of influence.

Written by Katrina Wood, 2014.

 

6. Censorship

Opinion

Censorship:

Some ideas and thoughts on censorship, and possible effects of it:

One way to censor is to refuse to investigate things, which, while logical, is also deceitful, if the person or organisation to whom the crime is complained of, is aware or has reason to believe the claimant or victim is right.

Does a court, such as an international legal or any criminal court, actually have a legal obligation to investigate? If it does, then if that court refused to investigate, and had reason to believe a crime was going on, would it be being deceitful? It seems to me that it could be argued that the court is not the same as 'doing a favor' : the court is there to investigate. That is what it is for. It is a court.

So here is one situation: a court hears a request, listens to it, and decides, for example, what they will do. On the basis of the evidence supplied to them they evaluate the evidence, then reject it, but all the time knew that what the person claiming was actually true, or had reason to believe it was.  Would that court be doing what it says it does? Similarly, a lawyer. If they knew what the person claiming of was true, and had reason to believe it was, and they only considered the facts put before them, but all the while, knew or had reason to believe the person had a case and was right, and they ignored this evidence, would they be being unfair to the client? 

So: If it is accepted (and it may not be, of course) that a court, such as an international justice court of any sort, has some legal or even moral obligation to investigate a claim,  or to at least consider the case of a person and not as a 'favor',  can it then also be argued that a court that does what is described above has, in effect, used censorship?  

To me, censorship sounds such a mild word in some ways, but it is not. Here are some ideas and thoughts on censorship, how it can be done, how it could be used by a variety of organisations, and possible effects of it.

Torture, and censorship:

I think that there are various methods of censorship and some of them can be argued as torture or using torture, If used, they would break international and national laws and agreements on what is acceptable or legal, or it could be argued they do, I am sure:

1. There are various methods of censoring: one is to 'pace' : to try to wheedle and extract information without committing to asking for it. To use 'levers' and suggestion to gradually get information out of a person, all the while pretending they are doing nothing at all. It is a very manipulative tactic. It prevents making a commitment to a victim or complainant who might be complaining of a crime or some problem. Why would anyone do this? To censor.

What this can lead to, and what this can involve: A corrupt situation could easily develop in which a person is tortured, monitored, and information extracted out of them from people who know the person. These people may already know the information, but can't say how they know.  A good example is a person who is a spy. They spy on others or on an individual.. They already know certain things, and don't actually need the information, but they can't admit how they got it. It needs to be extracted from the individual or group on whom they are spying, in some verbal or written way, so they can then say they got it by being given it, and not by spying.

2. Another method of censoring is to assert the claimant or victim is 'informing' and to use a 'collusion' argument to censor them. This applies particualrly in cases of people who might suspect harassment, spying, or various forms of intimidation. The tactic used is to try to get the person to collude with the harassor, spy, or intimidator in some way. Once they do, innuendo (or even open statements) begins to occur to the effect that the claimant or victim has no longer any argument: It is suggested to them that it is their fault, and that they are colluding, so they then can't claim against the other person, group or government that they are the victim of a crime. 

By suggesting the claimant or victim is 'an informer' or 'informing' or 'an informant', a few things can happen:

i) an attempt to try to 'block' communication by suggesting 'informing' as a defence.

ii) An attempt to excuse failure to investigate by implying that there is a 'defence', and the 'defence' is: that the claimant or victim is or was 'informing':

How this works: the claimant or victim complains of a crime: the person to whom they complain does nothing. But later, the person, (or group) they complained to suggests the claimant or victim is guilty by implying it is not their fault for not investigating, but the claimant's fault for colluding with them in some way. To achieve this, they force collusion by various methods by throwing it in the claimant's face so it can't be ignored. It's a particularly interesting defence this one. It's like saying:

'Why are you ... (by the way I like your blouse...) asking me this as I know nothing about you (by the way, your clothes are nice today...) and as I told you, I don't think your legal argument is very good, but if I need information I will ask you, it's nice to meet you,  and thank you for your time.'

How is the claimant or victim supposed to react to this? It's very manipulative. This is how the 'informing' defence could be used to prevent accusations that a court or a lawyer, for example, did not investigate. It could be much more sophisticated than this: such as text appearing on a website a person clicks on after they have written notes for a story that then appears on  the same website they look at, which happens to be the website of the lawyer they have just contacted to ask for help with corruption.

One really nasty part of this, which can make it worse, would  be if the person who is doing the forced collusion knows or has reason to believe that the person to whom they are forcing collusion on, has no alternative. The claimant or victim can't just go and get another lawyer, or there is no other court, or no other person they can contact.

The collusion and 'informing' defence could be used by : a media organisation , a journalist, a lawyer, a doctor, or any citizen.

A government could do it too: a claimaint or victim asks them for help with a crime, say, and then the government tries to dump collusion on the claimant or victim, or tries to lure them into dealing with them in some way. If the person then interacts with this government, they  can then be accused of 'collusion', instead of the blame being on the failure of the governent to investigate it when they were told.

So for a person, court, organisation, government, or anyone at all to try to use: 'informing' as a defence can be a very nasty thing for a person who thinks this is being done or has reason to suspect it is. It can be censorship.

What could happen then? Allegations of paranoia. Possibly even suggestions that the person 'hates' others, and 'does not trust' others, and 'is a danger to others'. A web of defences and excuses for failure to investigate a reported problem or crime can in this way be built up by a government, a court, an organisation, or even a health professional.

The person then is trapped and it is only their word that this is happenning. They are complaining to the very people who are doing it themselves. What are they going to do? They have nowhere to go.

Do they call them liars?

3. The [what I call] 'paranoid defence' and forcing a person to complain,  so as to use it: A tactic is to try to use what could be termed 'the paranoid defence' to tie the person up in knots by making it impossible for them not to complain, then: when they do: they are told they are paranoid, think everyone is out to get them, don't trust anyone, and so on.

What could happen then: An implied argument, with various suggestions. For example: A media organisation might use  'the paranoid defence' to censor.  Themes could be introduced such as: journalists are at risk and must be protected....then, stories are published that are unnecessary. Blatently flagging things such as where journalists work, how many work in a room, photos of the building....This information is then unnecessarily given to the public, and published.

Then: themes of persecution begin. People are 'out to get' journalists, and gradually a suppression effect is built up through subtle manoevering of the way things are described. Extremist language is used: Or, other situations could occur: Journalists who complain about human rights abuses in society are 'activists' not journalists, which might allow them to be considered 'aggressive' by connotation.  The language changes, and it gets emotive, dramatic...

Then: it could be implied that society itself is at risk, that the community itself is at risk, and humanity is a community.

4. Another method of censorship?  failure to mention certain things about a justice system, until it is too late. This form of censorship uses legal aggression and its use could be seen in corrupt societies that pretend to be democracies but are in fact nothing more than police states. For example: a failure to tell a citizen how the justice system really works: such as: giving the impression that the system is 'innocent till proven guilty', but actually behaving as if it is 'guilty till proven innocent'. This would be deceit. It would be to mislead a citizen, deliberately, and breaking a legal agreement implied in that citizen's residence in the country. It is censorship in that the person is censored legally, and possibly physically: laws are applied to them that take away their freedom, laws they did not know existed. They are censored in that they can't complain of, because the country will not admit it's justice system.

5. Trying to force a person to complain about someone else is another tactic: one person 'throws themself into the fray' so another person will be forced to say something. When they do, they are told something like: 'we're very worried about your behaviour, and it is showing signs of increasing paranoia, and we are concerned'. The tactic is to flag their inhumanity - but do it anyway. One example is to flag the process of 'sending to coventry' or restricting freedom of association, or in other ways the process of cutting off a person's communication:  They don't want to admit it, so they flag it. They appear to be being 'blatent', and 'mean' and they 'play the bastard' .  This can be a tactic that is merely face-saving for a person or group that wants to cut off communication but has not got the courage to say that they do.  Maybe In the eyes of others, they want to look good. They don't want to look like a bunch of intellectual cowards so they use things like 'covers', 'human shields' or 'playing the bastard'

This then is the danger of using torture or 'pacing' to extract information, and how it can be done to censor. In peacetime, it is illegal and in wartime it is often considered illegal. In both situations, the use of it might be able to be dismissed in a court as evidence not acceptable if obtained under torture. It is, I think, banned under various articles of the Geneva convention in wartime. But, on a lesser scale, torture can exist in peacetime, such as by using the lesser tactic of 'pacing'  to extract information: while it is not 'torture; as such, it could be said to be also unfair, manipulative, and psychologically deceitful.

Some might even consider this tactic to be rather cowardly. 

What is the alternative?  A legal system that does not bend to the demands of others and prevents torture and 'pacing' to get information. This  prevents vendetta justice, pacing, torturing, and other forms of thuggery where citizens are allowed, sometimes with judicial approval, to harass others, which is where censorship can get frightening.

My argument is that: The claimant or victim must know before they more to or live in a country what it's legal system is. It is not okay to deceive them, then tell them later what kind of country they are living in, or have travelled to.  They should be allowed to sue the government for not telling them. So they should be told exactly how the legal system works: what is it's judicial system, it's sytem of interrogation, its courts and it's ways of dealing with complaints about various things?

A question that could be used to define it: 'If you had known what kind of legal system you were living in, would you still have chosen to live in this country or not? ' If the answer is: 'No, of course not!' then that should be some indication of the level to which the citizen has been fraudulently misled.

So, for a country to not declare it's judicial system openly and honestly and in detail to citizens and travellers to it, to me, is a serious thing. The person has made a commitment to that country in living in it: they have invested money, bought a house, paid tax, maybe gone to it's universities and it is expected that the country has not lied about it's judicial system to them. That is the very basis upon which they have made an agreement with the government, surely: as a citizen, as a taxpayer: that they know what country they are living in. That when the police and government tell them: 'you have the right to privacy': that they actually do, that when they tell them: 'you are equal to others in law',  that they actually are. That this is not lies.

So, why is censorship such a concern?

Censorship should be very carefully observed. It should not be ignored as the methods of it are often illegal, and are often a form of cruelty in itself, and what it can lead to is worse. Censorship can start gradually and increase and turn into a form of paranoia that spreads though society, until even the society itself shows indications of paranoia.

Written by Katrina Wood,  2013.

 

5. Dreams

Thoughts on dreams:

What causes dreams?  Some people say it is the unconscious mind trying to work out things.

The movie 'The Wall', Roger Waters: interesting dream scene. Imagery.

I suppose everyone dreams, and to some, it is a source of great fascination. Is it really, though, the unconscious mind trying to work out things, or just a random series of cognitive information-processing events?

By Katrina Wood, 2013

edited 2018

 

 

4. Berlin history... a long way back

Berlin:

My great grandmother was born in Berlin: Selma Hewald, born Oct 20, 1867. My great grandfather, Laurenz Moritz Enting, was born Westphalia (apparently Westfalen, Germany) Oct 31, 1857.

Selma Hewld and her family left Berlin and travelled to New Zealand, arriving in 1875 (if facts are right). Selma met Moritz in NZ and they married in Napier, June, 1887. They had six children, one being my grandmother who was born in NZ in 1895. 

Selma's mother, Charlotte,  was born in Frankfurt, and her father, Martin Hewald, born Germany. They married in Berlin.

Other details (if correct):

Laurenz Enting trained to be a priest in Germany, but one day, while in Hamburg, he decided to give it up, and quit, apparently, and left Germany to go to London. He left there and got work as a chef on a ship, and sailed around the Atlantic before arriving in NZ. His parents stayed in Germany. He had a few siblings, and one of his brothers went to the UK possibly. In NZ, Laurenz met Selma Hewald, who had also emigrated from Germany (Berlin) with her family when young. It seems he worked for awhile in a tavern in NZ as a pastry chef in a business with Selma's father, Martin Hewald. Laurenz died in NZ in 1907, at age 49.  He was found drowned in a pond after one night having left his work at the tavern. (Apparently, he was a bit of a drinker, and a jury found no evidence of foul play).

Other ancestry, going way back, is UK. If correct:  My great grandfather (Albert Newman, married: Phoebe Bee) was born in UK in 1840 (emigrated to NZ) as were his parents (James Newman, born 1779, married: Maltida Mount; and: James Newman, born 1771, married: Hibbert) and grandparents. My grandfather (Albert's son) was born in NZ. 

Albert and Phoebe's son (my grandfather) married Selma and Laurenz's daughter (Gretchen, my grandmother) in NZ. (I am a NZ citizen).

Other history (if correct):

1914 - 1918:  My grandfather (Albert and Phoebe's son) fought in WW1 on the side of the 'allies' and was in the army of occupation in Cologne in 1919. He survived the war, then returned to New Zealand. He later met and  married to my grandmother, Gretchen, whose parents had emigrated from Germany, and whose mother was born in Berlin.  (If correct: one or maybe several, of Gretchen's brothers, being NZ citizens, also fought in WW1 on the side of the 'allies').  

Laurenz (Moritz) Enting had three brothers, and he was the youngest: Names were, if correct: Bernard, Anton and William. It seems two of them stayed in Germany, and one went to the UK and worked in a tavern there. 

 

By Katrina Wood 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Music and The Beatles

Music is an interesting subject: I tried to find the name of the double album I had while in Texas in 1981 as an exchange student: it was by the Beatles. On it was: 'Back to the USSR' among other songs. (Others were, I think: 'Hey Jude',' My guitar gently weeps', and a few others).

I took some tapes over to the USA with me, but they did not work in the stereo I had in the USA. So I either bought or was given while in the USA this Beatles double album.  My favourite song was 'Back to the USSR'.  

In the last few years I  made some effort to find out if someone can remember me playing it, as I have not found the name of the album looking at the internet. The 'white ablum' seems closest to it, but I don't think the cover of the double album I had was the same as the white album. 

Later, in 1981, after I had moved out of the place where I played the album, but while stil in Texas, I heard of John Lennon having been shot: 1981, so it was a year I will always remember. 

By Katrina Wood 2013, edited since

(my name in 1981 was 'Julie'.  I had planned to go to Europe in applying to Rotary, but after I was selected, there were two choices offerred: USA or South Africa. I chose USA, as South Africa had fighting going on at the time, so that is how I ended up in Texas.

Regarding: 'The White Album': I don't think this is the one I had in 1981, for several reasons, one being that I don't remember the song 'Julia' being on it in 1981.   I noticed this, because 'Julia' was one of the names that my parents had thought of for me, and one I'd always liked.  They chose 'Julie' instead.)

2. The limits of objectivity?

The limits of objectivity?

Politics and opinion: (article written by Katrina Wood)

What is copyright? How can it be broken? What defines 'style'? An opinion, but also an 
application of psychological interest to the argument that personality is
not a factor in thematic style, and that an author has the ability to be
totally objective and original:

Some say that a person can never truly be objective and that to divorce oneself from the subject of one's own personal interests is not possible. Some would argue it definitely is.

Can a writer though, ever truly be objective?  Can an opinion ever truly be divorced from the interests of the writer? Is an idea ever truly original? Some would say not, and some might even suggest that the human being is nothing but a set of conditioned responses. If an idea is suggested or elaborated upon in one context, does it thread through the rest of one's ideas and if so, is the writer then, no longer to be considered original? (The legal answer to this is: An idea cannot be copywright. But the means of it's expression can be.)

One could argue that the desire to be totally original is to deny the human experience. It is not actually possible to think of one idea that has not already been thought of or expressed in some way by someone else maybe. How can an idea then, be totally original?

Personality factor: contradictions or integration?

What about the threading through of the personality then: how pervasive is this in style and to what extent does it represent aberrant versus non-aberrant behaviour? If it is too extreme, one could argue, maybe, that it illustrates a lack of ability to divorce oneself from the subject in which one writes. An interesting idea regarding this involves the application,  and (conveniently), the use of psychological literature and analysis:To what extent is personality continuous? Just out of theoretical interest, maybe it could be argued that it is, and that the dynamics involved in mental illness might illustrate this:

For example: A person with a neurosis might find that neurosis reappearing in many different contexts. The individual may attempt to change the behaviour or to stop it, but it may not necessarily work. Why?

There are various arguements: Some argue it is due to a lack of logic and the use of logic will stop it. (such as Albert Ellis : a practitioner who wrote a book on 'rational emotive therapy'. The rational angle of analysing the neurotic response to a situation by using logic, and his suggestion to question one's assumptions, logically.). But the logic may not work, the behaviour may repeat and repeat regardless, which is why some therapists might suggest other methods such as flooding, psychoanalysis, and so on.

Still, it is also a lack of logic that underlies the neurotic behaviour in some ways. A well known statement in psychological literature is: the neurotic is very aware of their problem, often acutely... Why then: does the illogical behaviour repeat itself? It is illogical, which the person experiencing the neurosis knows. How then, can a person understand that his or her behaviour is illogical, and yet not be able to stop doing it?

What is the underlying dynamic? is it conditioning? If so, can conditioning be changed? If a therapist throws a biscuit to an animal every time it jumps on a shelf, the beheviour will be rewarded, being part of the theory. You change the reward, and the animal will reduce it's
behaviour. How does this relate to the neurotic behaviour for example? Can you change the behaviour just by changing the rewards or punishments that follow it?

Or, is it a mix of logic and conditiong that is needed and if so, what precedes what? Therapists spend a lot of time on various therapies and the literature is full of therpeutic approaches. They rely on arguements for changing a behaviour, in this example, such as neurotic behaviour and this behaviour is well known to be quite difficult to change sometimes, despite it's obvious irrationality to the sufferer of it.

So the answer to the question: is personality continuous? Does it have a continuity? It could be argued that it does. 

A neurosis is real. It is a real problem. A person really is afraid of some ridulous thing, which to him or her appears ridiculous also. Yet, they cannot change it. Why? It reappears in other contexts... why?

Because personality does have continuity. 

Ideas are free... but the expression of them may not be.

By  KW.

(by Katrina Wood, 2013)

 

 

 

1. Politics and Opinion: 'Is elitism just a 'concept'?'

 

(The following was the first part I wrote for this website, when I started it, in 2013, and now since November 2016, I moved it to the end, because I decided to not write any book.)

 

Politics and Opinion

Opinion

(Included, as I wrote it as an abstract or summary of a book or article I might write.)

'Is elitism just a 'concept'?'

The thinking style of an individual, such as a wish to hide in the world of abstractions as a defence to reality, for instance, can precede nationalist and extremist actions.  From right wing nationalism to communist idealism, from benevolent or aggressive dictatorships to anarchistic actions, elitist thought can be involved. While any person can work themselves into a state of self- rightous justification and churn out words about human rights in legislation, the real belief of the person can still be unchallenged. How important is an unrecognised belief?

At the end of WW2 the world condemmed a particular group of people within a country for their nationalist views and racist actions towards a race of other people, which led to eventual extermination of human beings.  The world said it must not happen again, but other countries have also carried out political or racist actions, or cruel activity towards various groups, such as has been reported in various eastern europe countries.  It is based on a thinking that relies on a process:

Elitism:
1. This is the undermining of the value of an individual. Psychologically,
maybe it could be seen as a process of thinking:
a. First, the individual is dehumanised.
b. After the individual is dehumanised sufficiently, it is possible to view it
as an object.
c. Once it is viewed as an object, it can be used for various things such as
medical experimentation or other things, as has been done
before in concentration camps internationally.

It is not new, sociologically perhaps, to recognise the dehumanisation
process as the beginning of the trend into elitist thought, which precedes
dangerous actions such as hate, leading eventually to situations that the
world has said it would like to prevent. But it is true that the past can be
repeated if it is not taken seriously enough. It would be easy to forget.
The banality of everyday life can lead to a sense of ease and comfort, and
it is easy to think one is not elitist or not racist perhaps...but elitism has real results.

How important is an unrecognised belief?


Background of myself:

If I was going to say: what is my interest? Is it psychology or sociology, I
would have to say that I have always been more interested in the social
views of reality. I find psychology, while interesting in some detail, can
take too small a view of reality in my opinion, and ignore the larger
picture. Also , it to me, can ignore also, the forces of society which can be
very difficult to fight against, despite the ideals expressed of 'you choose
your own views' . A person does, but society too, has a major effect and I
don't know it is realistic to expect a person to be able to be independent
totally from the society in which he or she lives, regardless of the
individuals mental health.

I find psychology in this view, to be rather an ivory tower profession. It
might be true in an ideal world that a person can choose what they think
and control their behaviour but in a larger social context, forces can
swamp the individual maybe. To recognise this, to me, is important, and
for me has always been one reason why I have been interested in
philosophy and see psychology as very interesting, but not necessarily in
tune with the real world.'

Katrina Wood, M.A. (psychology).

 

 

Note (Jan 2016): In the absence of any criticism made to me, I would like to take the opportunity of apologizing, if the wording of the above has offended any German people in any way. It does seem a bit stark, on re-reading it, although I still agree with the sentiments.  Katrina Wood, Jan, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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