How scientific journals make money while also impeding science

It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell

…The way to make money from a scientific article [is]…to duck most of the actual costs. Scientists create work under their own direction – funded largely by governments – and give it to publishers for free; the publisher pays scientific editors who judge whether the work is worth publishing and check its grammar, but the bulk of the editorial burden – checking the scientific validity and evaluating the experiments, a process known as peer review – is done by working scientists on a volunteer basis. The publishers then sell the product back to government-funded institutional and university libraries, to be read by scientists – who, in a collective sense, created the product in the first place.

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

DHS officials told “not to speak on immigration issues at the border”

The official with knowledge of the restrictions spoke under the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the matter. “The situation with media relations now is night and day compared to the last administration, The official said. “We have been advised not to speak on immigration issues at the border and to rely on DHS’s Office of Public Affairs and the Whitehouse Press Office to handle messaging.”

The verbal order applies to senior law enforcement leaders within DHS and has no formal expiration date. It comes as the administration is struggling to manage the growing crisis caused by changes in border security and immigration policies leading to a spike in illegal crossings at the border.

Exclusive: Biden Admin Restricts Senior DHS Officials from Sharing Border Crisis Info with Reporters

The left is sufficiently bad enough for this one reason alone that it should be wholly rejected

Democrats almost always vote party-line as a block. Our 95% leftist MSM almost always “reports” and opines in lock-step with the Dem party-line. Ninety percent of academia similarly follows (or in their opinion leads because they are so smart) the same Dem party-line.

For nuance, you can add the vast majority of Republican politicians, who constitute the other wing of the Uniparty. They very often go almost all the way with the Dem party-line. “Independent” politicians are also typically obedient members of the herd.

Party-line, block vote, lock-step conformity, no deviance, we are always right and everyone else is always wrong: This alone is sufficient reason to reject all Dems, almost all GOPs, 95% of journalists, 90% of academics, and most corporate “leadership,” which has now almost fully bowed to the yoke of leftist group-think.

Fortunately, the American public, who are supposed to be served and represented by the above malign actors, are much more various and open in their views with a strong majority still supporting fair elections, our beautiful Constitution, and our rights as individuals to say, think, and do what we want without cowering before the leftist herd.

Incidentally, this basic theme of overweening conformity is similar in kind to the theme of psychological abstractions standing in for the actual realities of dynamic real-world psychology. Abstractions of this type often act like ideologies in that they narrow research and restrict inquiry into areas alive with multitudinous possibilities. Some aspects of this are explored here: Science discovers we don’t know how to end conversations well as well as in many other posts on this site.

Also, Buddhism itself is extremely anti-conformist, anti-group-think, anti-ideological and very pro-individual. The Buddha clearly emphasized the importance of individual responsibility, choice, and freedom leading to liberation. Liberation from? The confines of a false self, ego, identity, group, religion, or ideology. Why? Because those confines are illusory; they are the stuff of delusion. They are the very stuff from which we seek to liberate ourselves.

Science discovers we don’t know how to end conversations well

…When participants guessed at when their partner had wanted to stop talking, they were off by about 64 percent of the total conversation length.

That people fail so completely in judging when a conversation partner wishes to wrap things up “is an astounding and important finding,” says Thalia Wheatley, a social psychologist at Dartmouth College.

People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms

I don’t mind saying that for FIML partners, this sort of thing is child’s play. Not only that, the self-reported accounts of when people wanted to end a conversation, are weak data points similar to self-reported food consumption.

In FIML, conversations rarely “end.” Like all topics, they remain open because conversations are themselves important topics of conversation. FIML partners are rarely stuck with wondering if they said too much or didn’t say enough or understood correctly or missed making a significant point because they can easily revisit any conversation and clear up any and all lingering thoughts about anything.

FIML proves to partners that the real meat of their interactions is the interactions themselves at whatever level is important to them; be that micro, meso, or macro levels.

Besides myself, few if any psychologists have studied live, dynamic interactive interpersonal material because like all people psychologists themselves have been trapped at an abstract level of understanding human psychology.

Most past research about conversations has been conducted by linguists or sociologists. Psychologists who have studied conversations, on the other hand, have mostly used the research as a means of addressing other things, such as how people use words to persuade. A few studies have explored what phrases individuals say at the ends of conversations, but the focus has not been on when people choose to say them. “Psychology is just now waking up to the fact that this is a really interesting and fundamental social behavior,” Mastroianni says.

Lemme tell you guys, there is way more material in this area than when or how to stop talking. In fact, there is so much material, in many ways doing studies on isolated aspects of how people talk actually obscures the subject. This can happen because studies are conducted at a level of abstraction that is different from and much more simplistic than the real-world, real-time reality of dynamic interactions themselves.

We see this kind of mistake again and again in psychology: grand theories of the mind, taxonomies of personality disorders, cognitive reframing, and so forth. Experts peering at human psychology from above or through the abstract lens of scientific studies; when actual human psychology itself can best—and really only—be accessed by individual persons themselves working with a willing and similarly self-aware partner during real-world situations.

I am very much in favor of studies like the one above because they do provide general markers that most people can learn from. That said, the people who really must own the subject of psychology are people themselves. You do not need to wait for more studies to do FIML. You can start today and be well on your way in a few weeks. Plus it’s free and you don’t need a therapist.

Here’s an idea for Mastroianni or any other academic in a position to conduct psychological studies. Study FIML. Contact me for help or figure out how to do FIML on your own. Then teach it to, say, 20 couples and assess their progress over a year or more. Use whatever you like as a control group.

Years ago, I remember getting into lucid dreaming and lucid sleep well before these practices were widely known. I thought it was marvelous to be able to become lucid during sleep. I still do think that and also I am delighted that at some point lucidity became so common teenagers were doing it. I hope something similar will happen with FIML.

The basic FIML technique will become much easier when more people do it and understand how fundamental it is to good speaking and actualizing human potential. Once you understand what FIML is, you will see that you can’t really have a really good relationship with your SO without it.

As for ending conversations: from a FIML point of view it’s a little messy and rarely clearly determinable because all real exchanges are happening live and we almost never know exactly where we are, where we are going, or when our talk is over. From a FIML point of view, this is subject matter for active speech. Easy to handle and fun to play with a few times. There are thousands of reason one may want to end a conversation or take it up again. Or start a new one. A large benefit of FIML is far fewer afterthoughts and almost no feeling of being “stuck in some endless conversation that [you do] not want with no way to politely extricate [yourself].”

Notice how being “polite” is used in that phrase. Consider how much profound psychology lies just beneath that word.

Right-left comparison of top concerns

Here is a direct link where you can see results for GOPs.

There’s the “great divide” in USA if you believe the polls.

Trump policies were typical American conservative: economy, trade, borders, deregulation, energy independence, no wars, taxes, Bill of Rights. MSM grossly mischaracterized his policies in a way that can only be described as propaganda. For proof of this assertion, look at the results above; fear-based caricatures, personifications of primal fears.

Modern psychology is almost entirely the theory and treatment of the “self of the gaps”

The “self of the gaps” is the self that fills in the many gaps of understanding that occur during interpersonal communication.

These gaps can be small or large, but they are always there and there are many of them. Almost all people everywhere build their personalities on their need to fill these gaps.

They have been with you since you became conscious, You were raised on them. You can will yourself through them. Or theorize yourself over them. You can be confused by them or you can use them to confuse and control others. Malignant egos and narcissists thrive on gaps of understanding. Kinder people can be and often are devastated by them.

No one is free of them. Gaps arise frequently and can perdure for decades, whole lifetimes.

Communication gaps are filled with assumptions, illusions, wishful thinking, paranoia, emotionality, habit. When people visit a psychologist, a root cause is always going to be many painful gaps that have been internalized, reified, filled with wrong assumptions, make-believe.

The only way to correct a “self of the gaps” is FIML practice. Only FIML focuses precisely on real-time, real-world communication gaps and fixes them several orders of magnitude better than what they were.

I am in the weird position of knowing something really wonderful while also lacking a large enough public voice to share it widely. I do my best with this blog and hope more than a few people have learned and benefit from FIML, but it would be good if more would understand.

FIML or something similar has never been discovered before because it comes very close to violating a fundamental language instinct; the instinct to recoil at being questioned personally and quickly. Almost all people feel threatened, insulted, attacked when questioned quickly, especially if the question involves something we just said. More precisely: especially if the question involves “personal” contents of the working memory, out of which we just spoke. Doesn’t have to be anything bad in the working memory; it’s just that that information is close to home and almost never shared for itself.

FIML “comes close to violating” this instinct but it most assuredly does not actually do that. Instead, it assuages our tendency to fear being questioned. FIML is never a gotcha question. It is always a question that arises out of an explicit previously made agreement. Any FIML question can be truthfully answered, “I would rather not say.”

By doing FIML, malignant old gaps are gradually filled with truthful data while new gaps are much less likely to form or grow. FIML can be difficult to understand because it entails an entirely new way of looking at human psychology. By focusing on small segments of conversation (psychological morphemes) FIML enables partners to see and understand how their minds are actually working in real time.

This replaces the need to rely on external theories of psychology by just examining what is actually there.

PS: My SO and FIML partner came up with the term “self of the gaps” this morning.

Talking back to Smith College about race: “The consequences for not following the script are so severe…”

Good video. Sad she needs to make it.

Our present fixation on race is an “upgrade” of the communist theory of “class struggle.” Since class struggle does not work in wealthy nations, replacing class with race was an easy fix. This is the “intellectual” origin of “cultural Marxism.” Since the subject is race, Jews should be mentioned as having been among the most avid communists as well as primary architects of “critical race theory” and “systemic racism.”

Herbert Marcuse was a major figure in the cheap “upgrade” to race. Read him yourself to find out why he was so deeply wrong or check out Matt Taibbi’s recent piece Marcuse-Anon: Cult of the Pseudo-Intellectual.

As for “whiteness.” Whites are a large group of people with very different histories and genes. The modern would, like it or not, was invented and first built by Northwestern European men. Others contributed, but Northwestern European men should definitely get the vast lion’s share of credit for having created the greatest civilization the world has ever seen.

In contrast, while Northwestern Europe was doing that, most Eastern Europeans were slaves. Eastern European slavery did not end until 1861 when it was only partly ended. Legal obligations continued until 1910 which explains the large influx of Eastern Europeans after that date into USA.

As someone of Eastern European descent, I can relate to the problems facing black Americans today. A big one is under slavery, men are utterly humiliated and destroyed. This destroys fatherhood and sonship for many generations. My own father passed on many of those difficulties to me. They are very real.

Are the descendants of Eastern European so-called “nobility” obligated to pay me reparations? Or the Jews who for centuries became wealthy running “noble” estates as slave-drivers over my ancestors? If they offered, I would be tempted. But I don’t believe I should have to pay the descendants of black slaves; and neither should I have to be especially solicitous of their problems when no one, including them, is solicitous of mine.

Add to that that almost all Europeans come from common stock; not just serfs, but also peasants, laborers, bonded laborers, cannon-fodder, servants, maids, underlings, etc. And when “corrections” to systemic racism are made today, it is invariably the underling descendants of historical white underlings who pay the price.

And none of that is hard to see. Race theory that replaces class theory only to completely ignore class is pretty stupid if you think about it. I might also mention that Shaw is part of a very welcome new wave of white women who for the first time in fifty years are feeling the heat of Cultural Marxism burning their feet and not just their brothers’, sons’, and fathers’ feet. I doubt the recent appearance of “Karen-hate” is not a factor in this.

Interestingly, the only physical description we have of the Buddha mentions his beautiful blue eyes. He is also very commonly referred to as Aryan in the traditional literature. The word Aryan has been deconstructed so many times, it’s hard to say simply what it originally meant. Make of it what you like.

A final point on race is all races and cultures and people and institutions can be “deconstructed.” It’s good to do that sometimes, but doing it almost exclusively to whites has led to situations like the one in the video above. This has been a very wrong turn in American history and the more of us who say something about it, the sooner it will change, possibly for the better.

More on Shaw and a copy of her letter to Smith can be found here: Whistleblower at Smith College Resigns Over Racism

A fundamental feature of spoken language that is too often ignored

A fundamental feature—a primitive—of all spoken communication is a back-and-forth exchange that details all reasonable particulars of a topic and what both speakers think about them.

Let’s call this feature of spoken communication “primitive conversational induction” or, more simply, “primitive back-and-forth.”

It is primitive because it is a fundamental feature of all spoken communication; it is a primary feature.

It is a kind of spoken mutual reasoning between partners about a topic while also sharing all avenues of reasoning with each other, including emotional, aesthetic, and other nonrational sensibilities.

This primitive feature cannot be ignored without bad consequences for both parties. It cannot be reduced, shortened, or avoided without bad psychological consequences.

In hierarchical relationships, the situational hierarch can decree that the matter is settled to their satisfaction and discussion is over. But that will not avoid bad consequences except in some cases where either or both parties are so bad at negotiating primitive back-and-forths, less confusion and suffering will result if they agree to stop talking.

An example of a primitive back-and-forth happened this morning.

An old chest-of-drawers from one room had been moved into a hallway to accommodate a new and much better chest-of-drawers. The discussion was about what to do with the old chest-of-drawers in the hallway.

If I had been asked to estimate my partner’s ideas about the chest-of-drawers before we had our primitive back-and-forth, I probably would have been very close to 100% correct. The same is true of her estimating my positions before we ever discussed the matter.

That does not mean, however, that we could have skipped the primitive back-and-forth because the only way we could both be sure of all positions is to speak about them openly in a sort of logical tree that includes both practical and nonrational considerations.

In fact, even if we had advanced technology that allowed us to see each other’s emotional states, we would still have had to have had the primitive back-and-forth. Such advanced tech might have helped us in some ways and it might have hindered us in others, but it could not have replaced the primitive back-and-forth because only that can exhaust the logical tree to the full satisfaction and full understanding of both partners.

You can find the need for primitive back-and-forths very often. They are very common. In ordinary life, we cannot always go into them, but with important friends we can and should go into them as often as possible. It costs a bit of energy to do that but pays both parties back with much better mutual understanding and much less unsettled second-guessing or after-thinking.

In macro, we can see the dangers of avoided primitive back-and-forths. American politics is riven with them. Our so-called “divided society” is divided because we avoid so many primitive back-and-forths. Facts are hidden, slow-walked, falsified, etc. just to win a battle as the nation loses the war.

This is actually understandable and to be expected. Primitive back-and-forths are somewhat difficult to do and, so far, we do not have a good term for them or an explicit common understanding of what they are and why we need to do them.

Rather than running from or trying to avoid the next primitive back-and-forth that arises in your life, get into it and do it well; do it fully to the satisfaction of both of you. If needed, explain to your partner what is happening and why you want to do something different about it and what it is you want to do.

Once the concept is grasped, it is not all that hard to do a successful primitive back-and-forth. I can all but guarantee its benefits will become clear to both partners after just a few tries.

The best way to proceed is share this concept and do it on something concrete, practical, and relatively minor like the chest-of-drawers described above. At some point, move carefully into more difficult subjects centered on deep subjective psychology.

UPDATE 2/15/21: As for the chest-of-drawers: I wanted them to stay in the hall for added storage and also had a minor emotional attachment to them because I had had them for so long. They are very cheap and poorly built but still look OK. My partner wanted to throw them out. We went back-and-forth on the matter for a good ten minutes and agreed to get something better and smaller for the hall. We left open whether to use the drawers for tools in the basement or discard them.

The advantage of going into this fully is we both traced each branch of the logical decision-tree wherever we wanted, which was actually quite interesting. We both made sure we understood each other well. Moreover, we gained more practice in fully going through a practical back-and-forth. The more we do this with simple, concrete things, the better we will be with complex or psychologically more significant things.

I am sure we all have done many primitive back-and-forths. I am also sure that most people much of the time try to avoid lengthy ones because they can be irritating or seem more involved than warranted. I think it is a mistake to routinely do this because primitive back-and-forths build and strengthen primitive conversational trust between partners.

If primitive conversational trust is not flourishing in a relationship, the relationship will weaken. Weakened trust will only grow weaker if it continues to be ignored. Weakened (or never having been strengthened) primitive conversational trust makes important discussions much harder to do. Like anything else, good speaking & listening habits have to be practiced often. They are best strengthened on simple, concrete matters that are conspicuously clear to both partners like the chest-of-drawers.

I think the objective mechanics of why primitive back-and-forths can be difficult is they make demands on the working memory.

“Science” as propaganda

In Germany, German ministry hired scientists to induce corona fear:

At the beginning of last year, the German Ministry of the Interior worked with several scientists on a strategy to increase fear of corona, in order to foster understanding for drastic corona measures. The newspaper Die Welt reports this on the basis of a leaked email exchange.

Minister of the Interior Seehofer and the scientists involved have so far not responded. Opposition parties demand clarification.

The emails date from March and April 2020, when Germany was in the first lockdown. Seehofer was concerned about easing too quickly and instructed his State Secretary Markus Kerber to come up with a plan to create support for more stringent measures.

We know similar propaganda happened in USA through improper PCR tests which were knowingly used to inflate “case” numbers; MSM and Dems played along. Death statistics were also falsified to include the mere possibility of covid as “died from covid” rather than “died with covid” or, more honestly, died of something else.

In New York, Gov Cuomo hid damning information about deaths among nursing home patients. The particulars of this story are just breaking but we already knew that Cuomo had deliberately not used the emergency hospital at Javits Center or the hospital ship docked near the city, both supplied by his political nemesis Donald Trump.

It wouldn’t have looked good back then to give Trump a win with the hospitals, just as later it wouldn’t have looked good to admit thousands died for Cuomo’s career. Even more cynically, the resultant large death figures were used to mandate lockdowns which destroyed much of New York’s economy.

UPDATE: Gov. DeSantis Tells Biden: “Go Fuck Yourself”

DeSantis told Dr. Fauci he trusted his own state health authorities over financially incentivized federal officials.

“How much do you stand to earn from these vaccines, Dr. Fauci? And, Joe, if you continue with this course of action, I will authorize the state National Guard to protect the movement of Floridians,” DeSantis said.

“Address me as Mr. President or President Biden,” Biden said.

“I will not, and you can go fuck yourself,” DeSantis said before hanging up.

The cat-like nature of interpersonal conversation

Two people converse with each other.

Their thoughts, words, reasons for speaking and listening are like a small herd of cats, maybe 8-15 cats each.

Your cats sort of follow you and my cats sort of follow me. As we converse it’s like we are walking together; down a road or in a field, wherever you like.

Our cats sort of follow us.

Each impetus to speak and each impetus to listen in whatever manner is a cat. Your thought-cats and my thought-cats wander around and intermingle with each other.

Basically, all psychologically meaningful interpersonal conversations are like that: a couple of small cat herds milling around and sort of going in the same general direction sort of together.

The semi-disciplined, semi-aimless nature of interpersonal speech is one of its primary characteristics. Ambiguity, imprecision, misspeaking and mishearing are also primary characteristics of interpersonal speech.

Where your cats are coming from and how they came to be with you is almost always a mystery to me; and same for you about my cats. Even if we try to be specific about a particular cat (a small speech act), it can be hard to explain and hard to understand the explanation; hard for both of us to be sure we both are understanding the same things about just that one cat.

That is a major reason people typically don’t try to understand particular cats. Spend time on one cat, the rest may wander off or we all forget where we were going. Moreover, even if we try hard, we may never get to shared understanding about just that one cat. We might even become exasperated, even angry with each other because the task is so difficult.

That’s a major problem and it distorts everything we think, feel, and believe.

It happens because we can’t control our cats very well, nor do we know all that much about them; even our own cats are typically very mysterious even to us. What is your actual impetus to speak at any moments? And how did you understand what you just heard? How long can you remember either one of those? What is all that stuff in your mind and how can you possibly convey it to someone else?

The difficulty of answering those questions all but forces us to abstract our conversations and our selves. That is what all cultures do. All languages do that. Instead of appreciating how ambiguous and indeterminable our minds and conversations really are, we make up abstract roles for each other and our selves. And thus is born the illusion of human psychology. The illusion that we can know each other and our selves through abstractions while ignoring the realities of our herds of cats, which over time can become very large.

Say what you like, but when we stop conversing with each other, chances are that some of your cats will follow me and some of my cats will follow you. Also very likely is some of both of our cats will have wandered off and some new ones will have joined us.

Government officials in China believe that boys are getting more effeminate

In the latest attempt to tackle what academics and news outlets call a “masculinity crisis,” the Education Ministry has proposed emphasising the “spirit of yang,” or male attributes, by hiring more sports instructors and redesigning physical education classes in elementary and secondary schools.

The plan, a response to a top official’s call to “prevent the feminisation of male youths,” was released last week.

link to original

Patrick Byrne describes more of why post election plans flopped

He also tells an interesting side-story (below) about Trump being threatened through Melania; JFK’ed if he won the second term.

…I was told something by someone very much in Trump’s inner circle. What I was told was this: Melania had been warned by a government official that if Trump served another term he would be JFK’ed. It may even have been someone in the Secret Service itself, in a “We will not be able to protect him” sense. The threat included another family member as well, per the telling. I find it hard to believe that anyone in the Secret Service itself would ever say that, but the source of the information to me had otherwise been blemishless, and the claim was that whoever (perhaps Secret Service, perhaps someone else) had said this to Melania, it was someone from whom such a claim would be taken seriously. Melania was begging Donald not to fight, and simply to concede and get out of Washington with his family.

How DJT Lost the White House, Chapter 4: The Christmas Doldrums (December 23- noon January 6)

I doubt I am the only one who has had the clear realization that elites—or anyone with any status compared to someone else—can be extremely narrowly confined within the beliefs and mores of their immediate community. Be that supervisors versus workers; white collar versus blue; or the super-rich versus everyone else, people in higher places can be completely blind to what is really happening around them.

Nations, such as this one, fall due to that blindness. The Russian elite of the early 20th Century barely perceived the danger that was fast approaching. And even when they did, they were not prepared to act decisively.

Byrne describes how the January 6 DC rally became an example of just that sort of blindness. It’s a sad chapter to read in the decline and fall of USA, but important nevertheless.

UPDATE Related: They’re admitting it: TIME Mag: “Trump Was Right. There WAS A Conspiracy”… “Well-Funded Cabal, Powerful People Changing Laws, Steering Media And Controlling The Flow Of Information.”

RIP USA: What kind of candy-ass, jackass country allows this?

Are we so weak we cannot handle these views? Lindell is not saying anything terribly controversial. Nor is he saying anything that “might lead to violence,” which is the absurd excuse FB and other Big Tech use to censor.

Sellers running off the set may be due to personal cowardice or due to fear of his supervisor and company policy. Whatever the case, it’s shameful that Lindell’s views—which are common among citizens—cannot get a fair public hearing.

It is the scared duty of government to ensure that elections are run fairly to the satisfaction of all citizens.

And it is the duty in our system of government when it is working properly for the news media to support those who doubt the government by giving their views a fair hearing. US media does that for communists, both foreign and domestic, for Wall Street, for lobbyists, for BLM and Antifa, but not Lindell, Powell, Trump, Giuliani, and literally hundreds of millions of Americans who, at the very least, just want to be sure we have a legitimate president in the White House.

The one-sided “elite” narrative of the past five years—now emphasized and made even worse by blatant censorship—is destroying us. The creative beauty of our system cannot survive this.