FINS - 03:00 AM EST; January 2, 2006 (Updated 6:35 AM;
Friday, February 26, 2010)
The Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary provides the following
definition of the word "hypnosis":
Main Entry: hyp·no·sis
Inflected Form(s): plural hyp·no·ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin
1: a state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions
are readily accepted by the subject
2: any of various conditions that resemble sleep
In The Nobel lecture given by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter
with regard to the 2005 Nobel prize for literature, Pinter made dramatic and
terrifying reference to this existential state in the United States:
The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant,
vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You
have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of
power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant,
even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
How exactly is this horrible murderous behavior based on a
"highly successful act of hypnosis" achieved? There are various science-based
theories advanced for this condition.
Belief Systems. For most persons, reality is perceived from
a limited fund of personal experiences within an atomized reference point in society.
This thin perspective on reality appears as a field of distorted cognitive images
filtered through irrational social values, attitudes, beliefs and organizational
norms. Moreover, indubitable beliefs that are formed in the human mind, cannot
be divested by an individual, they constitute "the unshakable cognitive burden
imposed by human values of uneven quality," according to the early 20th-century
American philosopher and polymath, Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914). T.A. Goudge,
The Thought of C.S. Peirce 76 (1969).
Spreadthink. Dr. John N. Warfield, the great pioneer of
integrative sciences uses the term "Spreadthink" to describe the outcome of group
dialogue infected with various human species-based constraints. This refers "to
the demonstrated fact that when a group of individuals is working on a complex
issue in a facilitated group activity, the views of the individual members of
the group on the relative importance of problems and/or proposed action options
will be literally 'spread all over the map'"
Groupthink. Moreover, Warfield cautions, "Facilitators who
try to bring groups to a majority view or a consensus without the aid of some
methodology that resolves the difficulties caused by Spreadthink may well be
driving the group to Groupthink, and thus helping to arrive at a decision that
lacks individual support and, usually, lacks substance." Groupthink, refers
"to the deterioration of mental efficiency, quality of reality testing, and
quality of moral judgment that results from in-group pressures. Subject to
Groupthink, a group may seem to accept a specific decision; however, if individual
group members are confronted with that point of view separately from the group,
few members would accept that view as their own."
Market Systems. The consequences of these conditions, which
severely limit the quality of collective political inquiry and action, is that
the "democratic" government of the United States has, since the founding acts,
been plagued by a corrupt, tyranny of "artificial aristocrats" presently described
as a system of "market fundamentalism" by Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001
Nobel Prize in economics, Globalization and Its Discontents (2002). The growing
consensus sanctioning market fundamentalism is underscored by the same paradox
that defines Groupthink, those who seem to accept the system at the same time
raise the possibility that "the millions of people who now endorse it are on the
Among those who raise such troubling questions are Charles E.
Lindblom, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Political Science at Yale University.
In his most recent book, The Market System (2001), Lindblom writes:
Such consensus as exists is a political phenomenon, not a
scientific demonstration. We cannot simply ignore the many highly informed
dissenters who believe that experience with the market system has already shown,
to anyone who cares to look dispassionately at the evidence, that it has put us
all on the road to disaster. Id. at 11-12.
Asleep. The search for truth under such conditions may be
seen as a struggle to escape the "cultural trance" that pervades one's existence
imposed by distorted Belief systems, Spreadthink, Groupthink, and coercive
capitalist Market Systems. Within this existential state we live in a metaphor,
as described by Canadian psychologist Ron Browning. It is as though we existed
in a system called "asleep." The realm lying beyond that system is called "awake."
Browning observes, "Inside 'asleep' we can have a sign representing awake, we can
have the word awake, we can have symbols and images-everything but actually being
awake. You can dream that you have awakened, but you cannot, within that system,
actually wake up." M. Ferguson, The Aquarian Society 372 (1980) (quoting
psychologist Ron Browning).
These theories about hypnosis as an existential state "that
resembles sleep" were examined during the US Congress legislative process of the
early 1990s when the National Information Infrastructure (NII) was approved. In
an article that I wrote on
THE POLITICS OF CYBERSPACE, published online in FINS, and also published in
print by the Journal of Government Information Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 249-280
(May/June 1994), I describe that history.
The first bill to promote Al Gore's "information superhighways" was
introduced in Congress in 1986. Congress approved the HPCC and the
NREN in December 1991, to enhance the research and educational mission
of the nation, but by July 1993 the U.S. House of Representatives gave its
approval to a private takeover of the NREN as a building block for commercial
development of a NII (National Information Infrastructure). (citations omitted)
During this seven year period members of the third sector including the NREN
(National Education and Research Network) community and their broad national
constituency did not produced a shared vision of the future of the "information
superhighways" in a readily available form that could be used to gain
essential political support.
Winner has remarked how "Again and again, we engage in a process
that I would call technological somnambulism--sleep-walking our way through the
process of changing basic patterns of social and political relationships."
Langdon Winner, "How Technology Reweaves the Fabric of Society," The Chronicle
of Higher Education, Aug 4, 1993, sec 2, B2, col. 1.
Patricia Schuman, past president of the American Library
Association has also commented on the failure of libraries and the third sector
to inform Congress adequately about the NII being planned. Responding to an
inquiry about the kind of institutional structure that is required to effectively
address the fundamental social priorities of the nation, Schuman recognized that
"people are asleep on this issue." She also expressed alarm at the powerful,
joint actions taken by industry leaders to secure control over the NII, while
abandoning the "third sector" to an atomized "all-against-all beggars market
without a viable institutional support system."
Searching for a Valid Structure for the NII
Population of Slaves. This brings one back to the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary
definitions, 1 and 2, of hypnosis as an existential state "that resembles sleep"!
In a capitalist market system the attribute that is most
fascinating is the fact that leadership groups do not try to wake up but, rather,
they thrive on the existential state of sleep that produces a vast marketplace
of compliant slaves manipulated by mass-market global telecommunications.
According to one prophetic vision, written early in the 20th-century and forming
the reality of the early 21st-century, the tyranny
of the future would come from the existence of, "a population of slaves
who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude." [N. Murray,
Aldous Huxley: A Biography 257 (2002), Forward to reprint in 1946
of A.L. Huxley, Brave New World (1932)]. Indeed, in the century prior
to Huxley, Melville had described in Moby-Dick "the reciprical love between
the demagogue and his adoring followers," which also marked the special place in
American political history of McCarthyism and Terrorism, as defined by George W.
Bush. Andrew Delbanco, Melville: His World and Work 165-166, 173-174
Photo of Jimmy Wales
Mr. Wales speaking at FOSDEM 2005 in Brussels, Belgium
Forewarned, no one should be surprised to see at this time,
global instrumental forms that can capture the systems
of human interaction and knowledge management founded
upon mass hypnotism and the most influential instruments in which it is nested.
What Jimmy Wales brings into this discussion
is the astounding idea of Wikipedia,
a "World Encyclopedia" based on such despicable values.
Here are a few choice websites, offering a balanced perspective,
which explore in general terms the controversy over Wikipedia further:
- USA Today, John Seigenthaler, Editorial/Opinion piece,
A false Wikipedia 'biography, 29 November 2005.
- USC Aiken Greg-Graniteville Library,
The Mighty Nature Britannica - Wikipedia Shootout, 18 Dec 2005
- By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco,
Nature mag cooked Wikipedia study, 23rd March 2006
- Clay Shirky,
Who's afraid of Wikipedia?, 28 February 2005
A Criticism of Wikipedia
For the same reasons that the ideology of finance capitalism
has survived and prospered during the last 500 years, based on the decadent
Groupthink mode of human association, despite the horror stories that
make the life of capitalism a life of misery for tens of millions, my prediction
is that Wikipedia will survive and prosper. There are enlightened group policy
standards in place at Wikipedia, most are fraudulent, some are just plain
misinformed, a fault shared by many other American institutions. The driving
forces are all too human: the pursuit of wealth and power over others.
Perhaps, the most problematic standard in the field of
Information Technology, including both the traditional libraries and the
electronic kind, upon which the entire Information Age was founded, is the idea
that knowledge management must be based on intellectual "neutrality"! This must
be the most nonsensical idea ever to come down the pipes.
Commenting upon The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2005
given to Nobel laureate Harold Pinter, Wikipedia published this observation in a
section on "Honours," by UK historian
Christopher Hitchens, who disputed the award given to Pinter by commenting:
"... the ludicrous elevation of a third-rate and effectively former dramatist is
driven by pseudo-intellectual European hostility to the change of regime in Iraq"
(Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2005). Nice and "neutral" wouldn't you
Commenting upon an article that I posted in the Blog section
of Wikipedia, discussed below, noting that I was the "First Blogger" one User who
calls himself Jmax posted this observation in a page devoted to
Articles for deletion/Vigdor Schreibman: "Disgusting vanity page. Wikipedia
does not need spam such as this on it." Another example of "neutrality" that
is somewhat lacking in identifiable content.
We all have a narrow perspectives on human existence within
a multidimensional reality. Our diversity insures a wise understanding of the
world only by the whole, if we can discover it. We all possess an unshakable
cognitive program of uneven quality that gives every human being on the face of
the planet an attitude. Every human undertaking ever contemplated started from
where one is at the moment. There is no "neutral" place in the whole of
existence. Moreover, the only way to obtain genuine progress is by moving from
where we are to another, better place, and that implies a struggle, and that
implies a partisan undertaking.
The dismal failure of the
Insane "Information Age", should tell us something about this pathetic
standard of "neutrality" if an interest in betterment is desired. My essay on
Knowledge Organization for the Betterment of Humankind, published by FINS,
and also published by the International Federation of Library Associations,
brought this topic into the light of day and disclosed the deeply flawed dynamics
of the "neutral" library system, which we now plainly see all around.
I recently fell into the mindless trap of Wikipedia, which
others I have linked above describe quite accurately. I won't repeat
those charges here. That controversy arose when I published an article in the
Blog section of Wikipedia with the claim that I was the "First Blog"!
Vigdor Schreibman and Internet News, immediately produced a fierce demand for
deletion, without a shred of evidence that my claim of being the "First Blogger"
was in any respects inaccurate. However, as the process progressed the call for
deletion was switched to a call to keep the article, completely rewritten, as a
new attack article for the big smear.
In an attempt to discredit my life, an earlier piece that I
wrote on the topic of
Assassination by Suicide, was mined. That piece was published by the San
Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, 21 March 2002, with this
A "culture of corporate corruption," which undermines the enterprise system
itself, is epitomized by the spectacular collapse of energy trader Enron
Corporation. What should one call the Information Age corruption, and the other
massive corruptions in the stories yet to come, epitomized by a pattern of
Assassination by Suicide depicted by the author of the story published here?
Wikipedia, mined that piece to produce these (among other)
statements bringing into question my "troubled" state of mind, my "failed business
deal" what I see as "the demons of authority" and my punishment "he is shunned"!
Whether Schreibman is great or only troubled, one thing is
certain: he will not accept the world as it is. His life (since his failed
business deal) has been a yell against the what he sees as the demons of authority.
And for that, he is shunned.
My article on Assassination by Suicide was reinterpreted
to conform to the false ideology of "neutral" Wikipedia. This is the face of
McCarthyism. What sane and reasonable person will accept the world as it is?
Why is my determined resistance so intolerable to the editors of Wikipedia
that they would use their "World Encyclopedia" to publish defamatory conclusions
that are both untrue and without any attempt whatever to provide a reasoned
explanation? Here is a "World Encyclopedia" that would, on the standard of
"neutrality" censor the whole world of human resistance driven by their tragic
ideological madness, pretending the world is standing still as the coming
transformation begins to impact the societies of the world.
Similarly, my so-called "failed business deal" is described in great detail online as
Controversy Over Las Colinas Property. The article reveals no business
failure of mine, but a pattern of blatant robbery of my valuable property by the
"big money" lending institutions that have a deep historical propensity to engage in
pernicious behavior. "There is no fortress so strong that money cannot take it,"
observed the greatest ancient Roman lawyer Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.).
ANTHONY EVERITT, CICERO 58 (2001). In a similar vein, the Supreme Court of the
United States frustrated by the "meltdown" of political campaign finance rules
corrupted by the pernicious influence of "big money," has recently restated
Cicero's axiom: "Money, like water, will always find an outlet." McConnell v.
Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93, 129-130, 224 (2003). The "demons
of authority" that I see are the same that the whole world is now coming to see:
the scoundrels of surveillance, robbery, greed, and aggression who are the scourge
of the Planet Earth, well described in The Nobel lecture given by Nobel laureate
It is somewhat amusing to see this remark: "And for that,
he is shunned". The "Media Aristocrats" shunned The Nobel lecture, while the
world clicked a downloaded to retreive the whole file; now the cabal at
Wikipedia say society will shun Vigdor! "Shunning" is a new style of
civic togetherness founded upon the mentality of Bush cult and religions groups,
a 21st century replacement for the lost sport of bowling, advanced by mind guards
including Federal Police wire intrusions designed to sweep all telecommunications
into the fold (a creative way to maximize the utility of the Patriot Act?). This
conduct is certainly of concern, but shunning, like its cousin marginalizing, in
a world of telecommunications connecting everyone everywhere, is an inane criticism.
This conduct says more about isolating the source than limiting the target and
would certainly not intrude on a person's life or become bothersome to any person
who is of sound mind and possesses a mature
systemic existential state of being.
In contrast with this comical dance of the Bush vipers, during
this morning, though a little late, I reserved a moment to bring my records up to
date with regard to the new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. My local CVS
pharmacist gave me a number to call at Medicare. I made the call while at
my favorite veggie market and they informed me that I was already enrolled
automatically in a new plan but would need to verify my new ID. By the time I
returned home a few minutes later CVS had called and left a message on my
voice mail machine to inform me that they had obtained my new ID and my CVS
record was already updated and at my service. This sharp contrast between the
closed systems of capitalist decadence and the open systems of democratic excellence,
will likely expand as reality imposes its own version of human civilization.
I do want to add a final comment on the following revealing
observation by my critics who say:
These troubles are possibly the burden of greatness. According
to Schreibman: "The human being with 'A Beautiful Mind' is one who has a vision
of the cosmos that overcomes the cultural trance in which ordinary societies are
embedded. Genius lies within the very shadow of madness, however."
Picture of Dr. Alexander N. Christakis
(Click image for the website of world design headquarters managed by Dr. Christakis)
Past President (2002) of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)
Forthcoming Book by A.N. Christakis, with K.C. Bausch, Co-Laboratories Of Democracy: How People Harness
Their Collective Wisdom and Power To Construct the Future
Series of Information Age Publishing, Inc. (2006))
A person like myself who desires to resist the decadent status
quo and struggle for a better future must start with the design of an idealized
desireable futures, and work to build the bridges backward toward the real
world. I have trained myself in a profound understanding of that process in a
long and continuing consultation with a number of the most able world-class
scientists and philosophers. It happened by accident that at the time I was writing
Assassination by Suicide one of those scientists, with whom I have been
friends for much of the past 30-years, recommended that I see the smash hit movie
and read the book "A Beautiful Mind"; a Biograph of John Forbes Nash, Jr., which
was written by Sylvia Nasar and published by Simon & Schuster in 1998. In
this context one should be able to see that "A Beautiful Mind" represented the
successful attempt of John Nash, Jr. to do what all thinking human beings must
do, namely, to "overcome the cultural trance in which ordinary societies are
embedded." Moreover, this kind of "genius" always lies within "the very shadow
of madness" for the simple reason that madness is often just a question of timing.
"Of life madness is an inseparable and sometimes a predominant
part," wrote George Santayana, "every living body is mad in so far as
it is inwardly disposed to permanence when things about it are
unstable, or is inwardly disposed to change when, the circumstances
being stable, there is no occasion for changing. That which is virtue
in season is madness out of season, as when an old man makes love ..." (G. Santayana,
Dialogues in Limbo, III. Normal Madness 41 (1925)
It is quite mad at this time of transformation, and both unfair
and unconscionable for the editors of Wikipedia to attempt to discredit me,
bring my state of mind into question, and censor my article on Bloggers, merely
because of my statement of those profound truths. Wikipedia seems to me a
badly misguided development in the world. But who can tell? Some able and creative
young man or woman might just take their whole "World Encyclopedia" which is
entirely in the public domain, and start a new one. The "World Encyclopedia"
would then have a new beginning; this time, perhaps, with a better grasp and sincere
commitment to genuine consensus building and the means to get past Groupthink
to a strategy based on the pursuit of
Democracy Right Now!.
Learn more about revolutionary new opportunities for management of group dialogue using A Technique of Democracy. Click and type "subscribe FINS INFO (first name) (last name) (e-mail address)" in the message body.
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Portrait of Vigdor in blue 2001.