Data and Subjectivity

One's writings in a blog surely needs to be considered as highly subjective data, yet that does not preclude it from being considered useful and meaningful. In experimentation, it is sometimes difficult to eliminate all "subjectivity", such as in "placebo effect" and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. One seeks to deliver only data that could be independently observed by all others as the same.

Yet, it seems to me that, to any individual person, everything is 100% subjective. So the "elimination of subjectivity" perhaps is to select out only that which all observers would perceive, leaving out the parts of ongoing experience that is a function of the individual's variables, unique characteristics. (Similarly leaving out all data that is a function of the situation setup, experimental setup, attempting only to pass thru the data that would be perceivable by all people anywhere anytime.) "Temperament", Jungian psychology psychetypes, show some such "variables" yet also show they occur in clusters and that every person is typed in one of the clusters, e.g., the "Idealist, Behind-the-Scenes" cluster in which I personally fit best.

So that part of "subjectivity" is definable, therefore it seems to me that if included along with the observer's observations, such observational factors as modifiers of the data, would allow more of the data to be "valid."
Analogy is in physical instrumentation, therefore one has to understand the sensitivity range of the instrument, for example an Infrared (IR) optical telescope, and define its data produced as being that which can be perceived by the particular IR sensor, and not attempt to "eliminate subjectivity", because it would be wasteful to claim an X-ray sensor telescope would see same data. They might both perceive some object, or they might not, but what they individually perceive is not the same thing, regardless. They merely perceive different aspects of the perceived object, and the individual data sets produced are equally valid; yet neither data set is very useful if not associated with the "bias" of the particular type of sensor, perceiver, used for the data set.

Thus a data set of a person's perception of some experience, without accompaniment of description of the person's nature including Temperament type, is going to provide accurate data only to others who happen to be the same Temperament as that of the original observer; and to require other people of different Temperaments to consider the data equally valid for them, would produce erroneous results.

Possibly many people subconsciously estimate the individual's temperament and automatically do some error-correction for themselves to some extent thereby, using context, language, (e.g., factual instead of colorful and colloquial) and behaviors. Yet in human affairs, much data is not accompanied by definition of the "instrument" (person) who perceived the described experience; so when this data is received by an individual person (and seems reasonable to assume we each are individual persons) of a specific Temperament type and Interaction Style, the presence of data will "thump and ring" (or "trigger") the individual receiver's nature, instead of fully accurately copying over the data. Individual people, analogous to the IR and X-Ray telescopes, if "chatting" re some astronomical location, will have some disagreement about what is found there. If one is dominant, the data of the less dominant one is disregarded in decisions.

Therefore, defining the characteristics of the perceiver and including as part of each data set, would enable a wider range of data to be utilizable. Defining the perceiver's nature, therefore could bypass the need to "eliminate subjectivity" in the research's produced primary data set. Later, when comparing data sets of different individual observers, aspects common to all could be sifted out, yet inclusion of the modifiers (e.g. Temperament Type) could also provide a larger valid data set from which more useful aspects of the sum data set as useful to the receivers' Temperament.

In fact, tossing out all data that is unique to some specific Temperament type person, has thus lost that kind of data, which would have been valuable and useful even though mostly to people of same Temperament.

Particularly for "holistic" experimentation, instead of attempts to "eliminate subjectivity", far more useful data would be saved if the characteristics of the individual perceiver were attached to the data set of perceptions of experimental setup and results observed. Some parts of resulting data would be useful only to people of same temperament of original perceiver, but that does not make it invalid data.

To avoid loss of useful experimental result data, therefore, typology category of perceiver needs to accompany the produced data. For me, that would be "Idealist Temperament, Behind-the-Scenes" adult male human, later mid life crisis stage, single, heterosexual, currently in need of a woman, otherwise fairly self-sufficient, etc. The closer match with those particular qualities, the more accurate the meaningfulness to the reader; yet meaningful data is also there for those of other characteristics. Maybe it would be helpful to define such characteristics in the intro of one's blog.

To make such data sets more conveniently useful, converters/sifters could be derived, such that the data set is pre-sifted and languaged for maximum accurate data availability to each of the different Temperament types.




Writing here,

leaves a trail of hand gestures,

a record of the path traversed.

Black marks on what had been

pristine white faceless world,

now forever changed

by my passage across it

via my emissary pen.

Making my mark on the world,

something to remain

after I passed by,

something left of me,

after all.

"Pasa por aqui, en el ano..."

I recall seeing scratched

into desolate red sandstone in New Mexico,

all that remains

of a Spanish Conquistador's march

past that very spot hundreds of years before,

the winds of time

having erased the other tracks.

The time-perseverance of writings,

accumulating in the presence of mankind,

as an ever-growing parental spirit

offering to emboss the wisdoms,

the tracks left by those

who passed by here before,

into the minds

of the fresh,

that they may have a head start in life,

going arm in arm

with a humanity not quite bygone.

James E. D. Cline 2004/04/07



“Bullying” is one of the most obnoxious subjects I can think of; yet if one is to deal with something proven unavoidable, then it is important to explore the subject for understanding.

I as a youth, usually the smallest boy in the class, newest kid on the block, and with Asperger’s Syndrome’s need for companionship yet socially unable to comprehend goings-on, occasionally I suffered from being attacked by some boy for no reason I could see. It got my attention enough to find out those attacking me were called “bullies”. That did not explain bullying to me, however. Those bullies were highly esteemed by their peers, seemed very healthy, were not loners, and the girls adored them, gathering around and laughing while the bully assaulted me.

Apparently the bully’s behavior of pushing others around and starting fights, putting others down and making fun of them, and spreading nasty rumors about others, made the girls love them, and gathered admiring persons around them.

Teachers’ frowns on the behavior did not change it, and the bullys’ threats to terrorize any who might “squeel” on him, made it difficult for teachers to do anything about the problem. Bully’s aggressive abusive behavior brought rewards to them, and continued into adulthood, in more refined forms. The abuse has usually become less physical and more of the “putting others down, and spreading nasty rumors about others” varieties, demonstrating the bully’s cleverness.

The national information networks being established, including those used by store and business security national networks, surely is enticing to be used by bullies to “spread those nasty rumors about others”; because once gotten into the national database somehow by the cunning bully, the victim cannot counteract it. Buying & selling becomes very difficult for the targeted victim, reminiscent of the biblical prediction but without the tatoo numbers on forehead yet.

In a wider view, no doubt the eyes of all the nations have watched to see if the American Democracy really is self-balancing enough to prevent abuse of leftover extreme military might, would the temptation to be a bully be overwhelming, given some seeming excuse? It seems unlikely that bullies will stop, while peers admire it and women love the bullies, and disdain their victims.

From the Asperger’s viewpoint, intellectually understanding it only helps intellectually. Understanding that the bullying phenomenon can be considered merely that some guy having an “alpha-male-itis” fit: the guy (or group) is having a temporary behavioral fit caused by genetic memory of a reproductively successful but species parasitical nature, not helping species survival, when some male ancestor of his discovered he did not have to be a better person to be chosen as mate by the females, it was far easier to just dispose of the other males by driving them out of the safety of the herd so as to quickly convert them into meat for the herd's predators, leaving the females no choice in mating season, a reproductively successful behavior thus propagating itself down through time. And so the alpha-male-itis syndrome is expressing in the bullying fit going on. I remind myself that despite such shortcomings, man is still the best monkey that God has built. Look at the great bridges he has created, the complex computer innards he has crafted, clearly there is more to man than mere freaking-out monkey.

Perhaps understanding of the phenomenon is not just to be found among animal behavior, but also in the human system of interpersonal competition and the rewards society provides to the “winners.” Perhaps the social systems are a best-attempt to tame the alpha-male-itis gene-driven behavior found in many, by taming it into a system of competitive rivalry, instead of striving for a system of achieving to help the species best survive in all ways responsibly. Is polished-up bullying to continue to be effectively our highest standard? If so, surely we will get more of it.

-- Jim Cline 20040825


Asperger's Syndrome sees Group Think

When I read an article candidly concluding that "Group Think" was why we went to war in Iraq, I wondered, what is "Group Think"? Pursuing that question has produced some of those aha! feelings, and I recognize my prior ignorance is probably due to my having Asperger's Syndrome, and the addition of awareness of its existence has become one of the key discoveries to help me understand the world around me and my place in it.
At least in my case, Asperger's Syndrome enables me to achieve near-genius concepts; but at the cost of having to endure being utterly stupid socially nearly all times (particularly when attempting to introduce myself to a potential woman mate); and the lack of comprehending heirarchy, people with urges to bully go on the assault such as by letting me "hold the bag" when I attempt to join in; getting framed up is another repeating mode bullys use against those who miss the point of bully's superiority over others.
The cause of Aspergers' is likely to have been too much mercury in childhood Thimerosol-disinfected innoculations, and swabbed on scrapes as Merthiolate and Mercurichrome, doing a litle something to brain development. In some ways, helpfully.
So now "Group Think" gets added to the list of keys to mysteries I experience much too unpleasantly at times. So here are some of the new understandings, perhaps to help those who have, or deal with, Asperger's Syndrome (and maybe other things, like figuring out the why of wars and street mob action startups.)
So again I ask, what is "group think"? Perhaps it has something to do with the passing around of gossip until so many people have heard and said it that it is held as "the truth" and can be used as basis for action when something unusual happens.
I sometimes discovered that I was the one last to hear what was on "the grapevine"; it seemed that for something to be secret at least one person had to not be told it ... and that person was most often me, apparently. Not that it mattered much to me, most of people's groupie compulsive turmoil was beyond my comprehension, all I needed to know is how to keep from being sucked into it.
Someone proclaiming "everybody knows that ..." and "it is common knowledge that ..." seemed to preclude any thoughts that something needed validating, the individual hearer assuming he/she must have missed something that everybody else knew: so, don't show ignorance by making contrary observations or stupid questions.
Putting a Reward Poster up, in the Old West anyway, somebody's picture and name and "Wanted Dead or Alive", one just knew the person was guilty of awful crime, no questions asked; and if you were enraged about whatever kind of crime mentioned, you were ready to go out and help kill the fingered person, no questions asked, so angry about such things going on. Deliberate use of gossip, about something not easily verifiable, yet not implausable, could be used to stir up a group about something until they could become a hangman's vigilante group, disposing of an unsuspecting innocent, the instigator using the wave of stimulated anger to support a peak of violence of his/hers, then the whole group feels implicated and does a group hushup of the crime, lest all be to blame. Better yet, tell around the horrid deeds of the dead man and brag about how you all were heros saving people from horrid other doings he might have done to them, continue building Group-Think cleverly.
Group-think could also be some unifying common belief system too, a way to identify who belongs through query re some otherwise innocous information re person or place: a true group member quickly responds with the Group Think response.
Yet group think would seem harmlessly idle chat passing the time, or stiring up some adrenaline in an otherwise boring Neighborhood Watch group or political meeting. But also it could be deliberately whipped up to a fervor, like Old West Indians doing a War Dance whooping along as they hop around a blazing fire in the night brandishing their weapons imaginatively at some foe, repeating some statement until they believe it and are ready to go do violence to fix the problem as a group. Then, somehow, they become transformed into a violent, lethal destructive force, perhaps totally amazing to an otherwise innocent and unsuspecting foe that is assaulted by those otherwise peaceable people.
Spreading around enough implications of someone being a dangerous person, get people to watch him and report, do it long enough and what would have been questions, eventually becomes truth, to an excited people; a deliberately seeded and whipped-up social energy dark storm gathers and eventually lightening strikes.
So "Group Think" has potential to be deliberately used, or evolve somehow on its own maybe, from idle gossip to "everybody knows that ..." to a war dance whoop event to a group assault on something. Like Iraq, like maybe the neighbor ... who will be next?
It also seems that there has to be some sustaining energy, something that persists long enough to pump up a group into some false belief about something enough to get it to become "common knowledge", otherwise there would be little reason to do more than some brief idle prattle, soon forgotten if not reinforced somehow. I've read that it was hunger for oil for energy that was a factor, one of many, including some of psychological origin, in the case of Iraq. Did we really believe we were going to be welcomed by a people liberated from a tyrant rulership, did Group Think blind us... probably so, expecting a grateful "freed" nation to shower us with oil favors forever after. We too have our hidden armed fundamentalist-minded militamen; are such the real problem in today's Iraq?
Is there some practical way that all people be embraced into welcoming belonging, productive for the whole? Much of all religions strive for this, I believe; yet obviously it does not work 100%.
On a smaller scale, how many Asperger's genius loners had the product of their genius absorbed by waiting businessmen when they were mowed down in some clever way by whipping up fervor against him/her using Group Think techniques?
Asperger's hunger to be part of the group, otherwise they could protect themselves better, but their naive nature and need for companionship are forces that can be used by the greedy and mere bullys thrashing around. I well know. And I wonder: my own creative product, KESTS to GEO (ref. ), could bring fortunes to manipulators, eventually vastly more than all the oil in the world... would this provide the energy to Group-Think me out of existence, stiffling its public awareness until the Group-Think-powered dirty deed done, leaving my life's creative product abandoned to the ready grabbers?
Ah, paranoia, must be. But, paranoia is the only thing that helps caution this natually very naive man.
Another "aha!" I got from this thinking, was that "other people" (the 250/1 people who do not have Asperger's Syndrome) are quick to conclude that when there is any problem, the solution is to get rid of some person. that is, it is a person who is the cause of what is going wrong, no matter if it is global warming effects from CO2 buildup, lack of electric power to power the air conditioners, nuclear wastes that nobody wants, or starvation in Africa. Attack some person, solves these problems, that entrenched belief seems to proclaim instantly to "normal" people. This response is apparently because they are "people" oriented, 100%.
Well, I've heard that it is important for each person to not be part of the problem, but instead be part of the solution.


Natural History Museum

Sitting back taking a break to scribble down something for my blog later at home, here at the NHMLAC, where I’ve been doing specimen processing of microscopic sized foraminifera from ocean floor core samples, previously gathered by remotely operated submersible vehicles; now down in the processing facility in the bottom of the 1910 museum structure with a ground level view of the Rose Garden, I recall that many of the high points of my life growing up were family visits to natural history museums. Buildings filled with objects enticingly placed for view to evoke meaningfulness tantalizingly gathered in the images, each a bit of history pulled out of some now-unseen place, time, and context to be seen here and now, imagination now activated to evoke the long-gone context in which each almost magical thing was produced by nature. Those museum visits stimulated me to collect things too, such as insects and mineral specimens I found along the way, each a reminder of its piece of the world. History is the lineage as the past brings to play out in the here and now, headed somewhere into the future. People’s history is woven out of natural history; the wooden chair and table so re-shaped as to almost forget the trees which originally made that wood during their slowly busy life in the sunshined forest rains. Above my head, above the old concrete ceiling, is the floor which now houses the exhibits from American Indian life ways much simpler and closer to the natural world, than that I encountered this morning riding the city buses on asphalt streets for two hours to get here, some trees and the sky all that remain visibly unshaped by the hand of mankind along the way. As we gather the stuff to make our comfy nests, seeming by changing it from natural history, to human civilization history, the place is no longer the same, for the next go-around. The earth with vast oceans had seemed an endless source of materials and room to dump our wastes. But it seems now to have been territorailized, marked off in real estate for buying and selling, each parcel of land built upon with homes or stores, no heed to the original inhabitants there, the trees and birds and insects who had found homes there, but no more. Years ago, before the associated Page Museum was built, the museum floor above where I sit writing this on my breaktime, held skeletons of mastodons and sabre tooth tigers found at the La Brea Tar Pits some miles from here, reminders of the creatures that claimed this very spot as their territory, mere thousands of years ago. Their tusks and sabre teeth carved at this world, as surely as do our shovels and laser beams. The separation between natural history and civilization history blurs, maybe there really is only “Natural History” as seen in the overall context of the flows upon this planet. Am I, are we, going to like the tomorrow’s world which infills out of today’s? What are we doing anyway, what is going on? Seeing the history, best as can be determined, can see the flight path of the arrow, better to guess its impact. Heads up, time to make our nests to make peace with the future.

Jim Cline


Pondering pearls and swine and today's world

A biblical phrase which I ponder once again is the one "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them beneath their feet and turn to rend you," one of Jesus' wisdoms. Seeking its messages for myself, it is clear that it intensively pertains to my efforts re my ideas for improving life in so many ways, often through special applications of technology. Along the way, there have been some expressions of acknowledgment and appreciation of my creative ideas (as one co-author of a US Patent; and once by getting made a full Electronics Design/Development Engineer even though non-degreed) but the vast majority of responses have been much to my discouragement. Returning to the wording of the "... pearls before swine...," seeking more understanding for my real-world experiences, gradually I saw that swine would be hoping for feed, maybe some tidbits of corn grains distributed by my hand in front of them, yet pearls would seem like mere pebbles to them, and become infuriated at one's mischief at them, giving pebbles instead of tasty corn. That I knew the pebbles were precious pearls of great potential worth, gets lost in the interpretations by the hungry swine even though I think they could trade a few pearls for great heaps of their desired edible corn. So, pulling this teaching into the world I have found in my walk some 2,000 years later, first re-defining the problem as observed, then offering some solution idea, several thoughts appear:
1) The world does not beat a path to one's door to buy your creative goodie from you, although you might return home some day and find it gone and erased from your files. People nowadays seem to require advertising sales pitches and some store to buy at, otherwise, there is nothing of interest to them. And, potentially competitive concepts must be hidden and destroyed, apparently they think.
2) Working in some lowly position (such as an engineering technician) for a corporation so as to have the opportunity to show them one's creative ability through ideas for new products for them so as to make things better for everybody, amazingly got automatically virtually destroyed when walking in through their door, when the "Employment Agreement" had to be signed as a condition of employment, a legal document that declares that all of the employee's ideas and inventions freely belong to the employer (and the employer had no responsibility toward the creative ideas.) Sign it or don't work; no work thus no way to pay bills or buy groceries. So, sign and hope they have better sense in reality. Nope; it generally was pearls before swine result. Lots of my concepts and ideas got ignored or rejected, and rarely did they later acknowledge that many years later the very thing I had earlier offered, was made into working reality by someone else, who additionally gave no credit to me. The company people were totally absorbed on the track on which they started, and to them the "employment agreement document" was just to ensure no one stole their pre-loaded company goodies. It all maintained the illusion that the company personnel, particularly management, were the only ones capable of improving the company's output, thus guaranteeing security in their jobs. Don't rock the boat, it is hard enough for them to keep all their ducks in a row.
3) So I began to put my ideas out on a computer network (GEnie, Space and Science library) and then when internet access came to me, I put my ideas online, Earthlink starting in 1996, then eventually my own domain too. I found that people out there either considered my ideas as potentially upsetting to their delightful life, and/or implied that I was attempting to horn in on their paycheck-producing job field, particularly to my amazement the Space Station field; filibustering loaded the chats I attempted to get going re my ideas, even back in the late Eighties.
4) So I thought that writing technical papers for conferences which were proclaiming interest in fields that my ideas and conceptual designs pertained to, would get interest from those who functioned on the idea level. Several conferences would accept abstracts even from those not of the field professionally, the papers concepts would be judged on their content, not the prior visibility of the author. So I learned to write my ideas in the form of a professional technical paper, and with minimal resources, even had to use a poster shareware software to prepare my first published paper in "camera ready" form, each page was a two-column poster (Wet Launch of Prefab Habitat Modules, SSI, 1995). Previously, in 1985 I had attempted to get Aerospace focused on the great potentials of new transportation concepts, not just mine but those of Loftstrom and Hyde among others, by giving testimony before the National Commission on Space, and found interest by Commissioner Dr Paul Coleman of LANL; yet it all vanished by the time the report was published by the NCS. I then processed those ideas and digested them and built anew to form a new concept which seemed cohesive enough to give industry a place to look for great new things to do, and eventually called it KESTS to GEO. I wrote of it on GEnie, then on my internet freebie earthlink website, then submitted it to the RAND system, told it to various groups like the SSI team here in LA and the ISSS LA chapter. Polite noticing then they went on their prior way. Presenting it to the SSI in 1997 at Princeton resulted in the strangest response, and their failure to publish my paper on KESTS, in 1997, additionally embarrassing me there and subsequently to my mother who in her ailing last years had given me the $3,000 it took to do the conference paper effort, sadness all around. Not until 2000 did I get a technical paper formally published and presented at a related technical conference, that of ASCE's Space 2000 conference. Another paper published in ASCE's Space 2002 conference, this time as the 2nd paper in the proceedings, labeled an emerging technology ("Kinetically Supported Bridge Vehicle Lift To GEO", ASCE Space 2002 Robotics 2002) and I began to guess that it was some knowledgeable personnel at LANL that were of some help to me. Then the news began to have reports of some mudslinging at LANL, stuff any company would have if intensively "investigated", but LANL was being targeted. ASCE deigned to allow me to have published another paper in their space conference at Houston in 2004, however, the conference management had changed and corporate political interests seemed supreme; by that time, "Space Elevators" had branched off and were focused on the anchored tether variety as if it were the only way, and not inviting me or my papers there, even though my unpublished 1972 paper "The Mooncable: A Profitable Space Transportation System" (which showed the feasibility of a constant stress anchored lunar tether through L-1 made of fiberglass) had many of the concepts now applied to anchored earth tether designs now that eminent availability of tether material strong enough for an earth anchored tether space access elevator appears on the technological horizon.
So, where were the present-day manifestations of the "pearl trampling and turning to rend you" phenomenon, I ponder. My ineptitude at public speaking made me an unimpressive presenter; my lack of a degree made those who depended on their high academic achievements for status, resented my attempts to do what they had not done; implications that I must be crazy or have stolen the ideas from someone, me a mere electronics engineering technician sometimes unemployed even, perhaps even through some security breach at some big corporation or government facility, since I had referred to a Hyde document by title, at the 1997 SSI conference paper (the unclassified Hyde document was not understandable by me in my brief look at it as provided by a retired Huges engineer also a futurist, but the document appeared related to Hyde's "Starbridge" presentation I had attended in the mid-1980s at an L5 Society meeting, thus a reference for my 1997 KESTS paper) and apparently it was preferable to some authorities to infer that I had stolen the ideas than to let it be known that it was not they who created the conceptual design ... maybe they would lose their credibility and their great jobs? Worse yet, KESTS to GEO would displace existing aerospace launch vehicles and many of their functions for access to space from the ground, big upset to big jobs, out of their control: no way will they let that happen, Control is what they do best, leverage. My Asperger's Syndrome problem made it easy for frame-ups and mudslinging to keep me looking like the "bad guy" in incredibly diverse ways, while my KESTS to GEO with Applications Enabled was kept stifled and hidden, waiting for this older man to get dead or worse ... yes, "trampling with their feet and turning to rend you" fits very well to the observed phenomena. Reaching out through 2,000 years via the Bible, Jesus helps me comprehend the problem. And it is said that correctly defining the problem is half the solution.
"Pearls" I have had abundantly, ones which could enormously help civilization quickly and make fortunes for those who implement them: enabling transportation to build facilities that would provide abundant clean electrical power worldwide, huge reduction in greenhouse effect, ability to totally recycle the worst of toxic industrial wastes, and permanently opening the doorway to space for the masses, not just for energy and resources but also for building vast cities orbiting the Earth, easy commute between there and the ground... all just too very unordinary to be noticed and adequately checked out for feasibility, it seems, by a population being scared by threats and thus unable to rationally build their future.
Is it good enough for me to proclaim to the empty air: "I tried", don't blame me when the lights go out permanently, or first you stifle in your own terminally fouled nests? I wonder if the wise teacher Jesus thought of doing the "I tried" thing, too. Not good enough, got to keep going, do one's best; the world will provide the stops.
An answer appears to be in the understanding of the various basic temperaments with which people experience their lives; and to encourage educational processes that give equal time to both sides of the brain (big-picture vs detail oriented sides) and seeking the context that links them.
Good Luck from Jim Cline. Thanks and Cheers....