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Master Table of Contents for Miscellaneous Books and Tapes

Miscellaneous book notes - (File 1)


Table of Contents

Power of Positive Thinking, Norman V. Peale

Staying Happy In An Unhappy World, Marie Chapian

Fire in the Belly, Sam Keene

Iron John, Robert Bly

The Bell Curve, Herrnestein & Murray

Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach

A New Birth of Freedom, Charles Black

Jefferson's Children - Leon Botstein

Consilience- The Unity of Knowledge- Edward Wilson


Power of Positive Thinking Norman Vincent Peale */

See peale.htm


Staying Happy In An Unhappy World, Marie Chapian */

Victim Vs. Survivor

Victim: Thinks that because bad things have happened, they always will; everything always happens to me, I never win, I always get shit on, everything is unfair, so and so shouldn't have done such and such to me, no one likes me, I can't trust anyone, no one understands me, no one cares about me or my troubles; expects bad things to happen, expects the worst, dwells on the past, dwells on the negatives, look for outward solutions/distractions/band-aids (other people, drugs, food, alcohol, sex, television), manufactures misery, makes others feel bad, lacks motivation-->energy, so is constantly fatigued

Survivors: think about the future, learn from bad experiences, are thankful for what they have, look for the positive, create positive, knows that problems are not the "end of the world", knows they do have friends, family who care about them, don't rely on others to make them happy or solve their problems, look inward for solutions, create happiness, make others feel good.

(Above enlarged by SPH)


Fire in the Belly -Sam Keen */

A man must go on a quest to discover the sacred fire in the sanctuary of his own belly. To ignite the flame in his heart, to fuel the blaze in the hearth, to rekindle his ardor for the earth.

expectations, initiation, values, tradition

** At some point you must go on a quest to find out what is important to you, who you are- independent of all outside influences.

sph: I am not happy with who I have been up to now. eg: stealing, lying, cheating, swearing, selfishness, using people

Q's 1) what is wrong with me? 2) What if I were healed, actualized, whole? (living in integrity & up to my potential) ** 3) how do I get there

Freud: A negation is as good as an affirmation... hmmm

Life is not about scoring with women. (at least not evolved life)

1) Where am I going 2) Who will go with me

Unconscious bonding to women- we try to conquer, control, them. We react to them because we are vulnerable to them. So much of our identity comes from them. Out of touch with own feelings when in reactive mode.

** The chains that bind most tightly are the invisible ones & those we refuse to acknowledge (ie we are in denial)

So we must separate from women.

Only after leaving can you return and re-unite.

Baby gets feedback from mom & dad. Smile= I am good. Frown = bad. ROM software.

Chap 1

Role model of real man was play sports, drink a lot of beer, screw a lot of girls, make a lot of money.

p. 7 Every serious thinker must ask 3 questions: 1) What is wrong with us 2) What would we be like if nothing was holding us back, if we maximized our potential 3) How do we move towards that condition?

Old concept of "manhood" is changing. Now we are expected to be sensitive, successful businessmen, good lovers, good fathers. But we are criticized for being too controlling, too immature, too insecure, too horny, etc.

We can no longer base our self-esteem on what others (such as our parents & society) want us to be. We must find out for each of our selves what makes us happy, satisfied, what gives us meaning in life. We must do this apart from our relationship to women. Only after we "find ourselves" & our true mission in life can we have a good relationship with a woman.**


In Introduction (first 2 chapters)-- Man cannot find himself without separating from women.

In Rites of Manhood--The new traditional rites of men: war, work, and sex alienate and emotionally impoverish men.

In Taking Measure of Man--Our roles are defined by our vocations and how we fit into the world. Example: I am an accountant, or I am a police officer, or I am a professor.

In A Primer for Now and Future Heroes--finding our heroic virtues

In Men and Women Coming Together--Reconciliation of m&w

"Dad, where have you been, I never knew you."

Chap 2

"There are two questions everyman must ask. The first is where I going. The second is who will go with me. If you ever get those in the wrong order, you are in trouble."

Remember the 4 or 5 f's? find 'em, feel em, f' em & forget 'em

It is a woman's world. Basically, almost everything we are taught to do is for the benefit of a woman, whether our mother or our girlfriend, etc. We spent the vast majority of our time as infants and children with our mothers. [likely that our earliest memories are of time with our mother. Me-laying with head on her ankle.]

We spend all our energy, time and $$ trying to "control, avoid, conquer, screw, and demean women because we are so vulnerable to them and the mysterious power they have over us.

"The average man spends a lifetime denying, defending against, trying to control, and reacting to the power of women.

She is the judge that pronounces us guilty or innocent (or saved). She warms us, comforts us or rejects us. She has mythic power over us. p 15

We need to look at women individually, not as members of a class.

In the first stage of our relationship with women we look at them as either virgins or whores. In the second stage we must leave them and find & live in the man's world. In the third stage we can reunite.

We spend the vast majority of our time with the mother when we are young. Mothers are elevated to an unreal, goddess like status in our eyes.

** While young if our mother smiles, we feel loved and good. If she is angry or frowns, we feel shitty. So we spend all our lives trying to get a positive reaction from women. We react to them.

Her body is our first information system. If she is warm and sensuous and loves to hold us, we learn that the world is warm and trustworthy and safe. If she is tense and unhappy (or strikes us) we learn that the world is fearful and filled with nameless dangers.

"Imagine that long ago your mother wrote and inserted the software disk the pre-programmed your life. She etched the script for your life, inserted a philosophy-of-life program, on the blank pages of your mind. This set of instructions remains in the archaic layers of your psyche and continues to shape your perceptions and feelings well into adulthood. The language in which she wrote is as cryptic and difficult to decipher as ancient hieroglyphics, and yet to break the spell she has woven you must learn to decipher these early messages and bring the wordless information and misinformation into the light of consciousness." p. 19

We will perform for all women as we did for our mothers, fearing displeasure, courting approval.

Freud said first major crisis in a boy's life was severing his attachment to his mother and identifying with his father.

He estimates that prior to WWI men spent 4 hours a day with children, now it is 20 minutes.

p. 21 "The Don Juan male constantly tries to prove his potency by seduction and conquest. The more violent man who is obsessed with pornography or rape is compelled to demean and take revenge of women in order to deny her power over him."

Either way, of course they are still running our lives. Since the more we feel the need to fight something the more power we feel it has over us.

Or we find them irresistible in a mystical, magical way. We need them for our inspiration our motivation, our self-worth.

p. 23 We can't be comfortable in intimacy with women because we have never been comfortable in being distant from them.

We would and do sell our souls for her approval.

To become a man, a son must first become a prodigal, leave home and travel solo into a far country. p. 23 To love a woman we must first leave women behind.

ie we must first find the answer to the question of where are we going.

Chap 3

Ancient Cultures had 1) Separation, 2) Initiation 3) Reincorporation

Separation: Breaking bond between mother/son. Wound. (To remind them they belong to the tribe. Are not individuals.) Warlike act to prove courage, strength. Learns to deny his feminine side.

Initiation: Learn old myths, stories, traditions, chants, ceremonies, dances, trades. Spiritual, technical, social skills.

Reincorporation: Often given a badge, some piece of clothing, a sword. Then they are a "man". They can marry, father, fight, work.

Good part was that people had a sense of identity, certainty, security. Bad news was loss of individuality, freedom. There was no adolescence. No carefree time. Adolescence is a modern invention.

Good also was that it was stable. Bad was that it did not allow for adjustment to change. Things do change and we must adapt. To adapt we must be open to learn new ways. He says that our current lack of models, tradition and customs, may actually be the key to our strength. (Since we are forced to/able to examine our lives and make our own determination of what is called for)

[March 98 - after my trip to mex, I see even more clearly how too much tradition and culture can be so counter productive. How difficult it is to change the things which are unhealthy, like blind obedience to rules and religion.]

Loss of community. Male loyalty has shifted from tribe, community to the corporation, to their profession. Fathers are at work, at the bar, bowling or playing golf. (sph) Grandfathers (if alive as we get older before having children) are retired in retirement communities.

Every recent generation tries redefine itself. Yet many of the most basic assumptions remain intact. For example: the myth that all people are created equal; The two party system; democracy; "Justice" system; Educational system.

"The consensus reality is as invisible to us as water is to a fish"

"The task of any individual who wants to be free is to demythologize and demystify the authority or myth that has unconsciously informed his or her life. We gain personal authority and find our unique sense of self only when we learn to distinguish between our own story--our autobiographical truths--and the official myths that have previously governed our minds, feelings and actions. This begins when we ask: "What story have I been living? What myth has captivated me?" It ends only when we tell our own story, and authorize our own life rather than accept the official view of things." p 33,34

[March 98 - importance of knowing own feelings. Must know selves intimately to shatter myths about what is best for us]

Chap 4.

The army will make a man out of you. Military teaches us to obey first above all else. (Just like religion) To be tough. Not to be a wuss, pussy. To be willing to die for your country. To follow orders. To solve problems by physical violence.

The psyche, per Freud, is like a miniature nation that is organized to guard against threats real or imagined. p 40

The weapons are the defense mechanisms which naturally lead us to deny, repress unpleasant realities out of our consciousness.

They work best when they censor awareness of the actual situation of the self. IE major denial! They foster illusions and keep unpleasant realities out of consciousness.

Here are Freud's defense mechanisms:

Repression: Exclusion of a painful idea and its associated feelings from consciousness

Isolation: Splitting off of appropriate feelings from ideas. (like alienation)

Reaction formation: Replacing an unacceptable drive with its opposite.

Displacement: Directing an unacceptable wish away from its original to a less threatening object

Projection: Attributing an unacceptable idea to someone else

Denial: Stubbornly trying to remain unaware of a painful reality

Rationalization: Using reason to disguise one's unconscious motives. p 41

It is not aggression that causes heart attacks. It is aggression mixed with hostility. We have a hard time separating aggression and anger. p 42

[March 98 - aggression is primary, anger is secondary]

"Warrior psyche"/mentality-- p. 43

Asks how rather than why.

-Has little time for contemplation, appreciation, and enjoyment. It is emphasizes discipline, strategy and how to win.

-We feel alive when we are fighting something/someone.

-Negative mentality. Fear. Paranoid.

-Black/white thinking. For us or against us. Kill or be killed. "The more intense the conflict the more we oversimplify things"

-Repression of fear, guilt, compassion.

-Obsession with rank, hierarchy-limits responsibility, independent thought. Control, order.

-Degrading of the feminine-women are to service the warriors

Chap 5

Economic Man:

Work has become our worth. Material things. White collar. No finished product. $2,500 Rolex 15.95 Timex. good questionnaire about work on p. 56

"We have abandoned & abdicated our power to define happiness for ourselves."

Competition. Price wars. Takeover battles.

Live by the clock. Wear the uniform. Desensitize yourself. Avoid moral issues. Focus on the legal, not the just. [M 98 or the healthy & good for survival of self & species]

Nemesis=any idea, habit, virtue stubbornly held to turns to a destructive vice.

** We forgot to ask, what is worth doing?

First wife: Would you be willing to be less efficient? ? still haunts me, he says.

Chap 6 sex. Chap 7. Measuring Man

who are the historical & current men we admire? Chap 8 History Hunter, planter, warrior,

Homo Sapien: Socrates: Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren't you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige--while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry? p97

Dionysus, Prophetic, as image of god, as power: political, sexual, physical, financial, fire, positive thinking.

Desire to be omnipotent. Feel manhood only when are making things happen, controlling events, women, things. I did therefore I am.

The voyage towards omnipotence is destined to shipwreck on the rocks of finitude.

Anything carried to excess bears the seeds of its own destruction.

Techno man. Tech. turning against us.

Self-made man. Teddy Roosevelt. Boy Scout. But all external-facade.

Psychological man. Freud. subconscious. Product of family.

Postmodern: consumer, materialist, trend follower, quick fix, lack of moral guideposts, (but this could be good), paradoxical counterproductivity,

? Who thinks the answer is in religion

p 104

Discussion of types of power

"Be prepared for complete reversal"

p 130

Crisis or something like it starts journey


somewhere he says part of wisdom is admitting ignorance and searching for knowledge (I think he got this from Socrates)


Iron John, Robert Bly */


No more good mentors/ role models for men. We are either in "tough guy" or "soft guy" mode We are hungering for father/mentor figures. The absent father. We must learn to descend, to grieve, to feel, to be hungry, to get callouses.

The "inner warrior": We must get to know him/honor him. He will defend what one loves most dearly.

Key to the door that keeps the wild man locked in the cage is under mother's pillow. Where she makes love, where she lays her head when she dreams of her son the doctor. He says the boy must steal it because the mother will never give it willingly.

We need to form a partnership with the feminine side.

It is the resp. of adult males to raise boys. --------


The models/images we have received have proven themselves not to work. (OJ, Slick Willie, Trump)

So we need to become open to new models/visions/concepts of what man is/could/should be.

We must separate ourselves from our parental expectations. We need to find second father figure (Fred Pembleton)

The "Dark Side of Men" War, exploitation of earth's resources, humiliation, degradation of women (ho's, bitches, cunts, sluts)

Savage Man: Damages earth, soul, other men, women Wild Man: In touch with instincts, nature, inner strength

Humans have instincts (as animals do--is it etched in our DNA asks Keen) But we also have ability to store information, to tell stories, to write, to paint, to act out plays, to create myths/fairy tales,

We have the ability to react quickly. To be flexible. (But do we always use it??) Adaptable.

(unlike animals we can control our environment(though beavers do a good job) but can we control ourselves??)

-------- Chap 1

Image of man has evolved. For example, just in the 200 years since America was settled. We were Puritans, farmers, cowboys, then industrialists, now Financial analysts, and lawyers.

50's man: IBMer (GE, GM)

But Bly says "without an enemy, he isn't sure he is alive"

Man became isolated, remote, tired, maybe angry, but still responsible. Church going, but lacked true spirituality, compassion, empathy, emotion


Vietnam. Rebel. Freedom. Peace. Women's movement brought out feminine side.

70's- 80's

Soft male. Life preserving but not life giving. Lacks energy, passion. Often with women who "positively radiate energy". Fathers were remote. Inner grief, anguish-- quickly come to tears in his seminars. Not much resolve.


I would say we are producing the irresponsible, violent, life taking male.

He says the journey to softness is valuable, but not the last stop. I would say that violence is def. not the last stop.


p. 5 People who go to that part of the forest don't come back. ie fear. But an this man goes alone, taking only his dog. He loses the dog, accepts the loss. Does not get frantic and loose his own life. He simply says "This must be the place". So he tries a new approach. He drains the pond. Bucket by bucket. Long, slow, tedious. & he finds the iron man.

Each of us has inside us such a man. Covered with hair.

They lock him up. The king gives the key to the queen for safe keeping. The little boy's ball.

The ball is golden. It radiates energy, goodness, playfulness, magic, childlike spontaneity, ideals and simplicity. It is round and smooth. No rough edges, flat spots or missing pieces. It is easy to move & nothing sticks to it. (bothers it--teflon)

Wilhelm Reich?

Looking for wildman is scary, risky--

[March 98 I add now several years later: but worth it all- i write with tears in my eyes..]


The Bell Curve. */

Herrnstein, R. and Murray, C. The Free Press. NY 1994 (Simon & Schuster) - read in Jan 95.

[] = my comments

Note: I first read this before I became familiar with the concept of Emotional Intellience. I have since modified my beliefs to incorporate the importance of EQ. I have added various personal comments since my original reading.

page xxii

To attempt to solve our nation's problems without an understanding of the role of intelligence is "to grope with symptoms instead of causes, to stumble into supposed remedies that have no chance of working." [ 5/98 -- I would add that we also need to understand the role of emotional intelligence. In fact, right now I believe it is the one which is the most vastly neglected and misunderstood]

The authors correctly state that there can be no real progress in solving our problems as long as they continue to be misperceived.

Book is about differences in intelligence between individuals and between groups.

Around 1920 sixteen states had sterilization laws.

Immigration laws favored Northern Europeans p 5

William Shockley suggested paying people with low IQ's to be sterilized. [now we are in effect, doing just the opposite] pp 10

1971 Supreme court outlawed use of intelligence tests for business hiring [another knee-jerk, short-sighted move]

started passing laws that tried to deny differences. Example of 1978 California case that said kids can't be tested for special ed classes by IQ if it means too many blacks end up in special ed! p11

two common misperceptions 1. tests are culturally biased 2. tests only predict success at school

Sternberg: people function through 1) adaptation 2) shaping (environment) 3) selection p 17

g= general intelligence

multiple intelligence is more like talents: - linguistic, musical, logical/mathematical, spatial, bodily- kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal

[even emotional intelligence, as it is popularly defined is more like a skill]

[I would say that whatever helps us survive, ie better than animals, is intelligence, except physical abilities. ? can there be a physical intelligence, or is it just hand eye coordination or brute strength?]

Measures of intelligence ... are a limited tool for judging any given individual. p 21 nq =not quote

Their stated assumptions:

1. There is such a thing as a general factor of cognitive ability on which human beings differ

2. IQ tests measure this general intelligence 3. IQ scores match the commonly accepted definition of "smart" & intelligent (what is meant in ordinary language) 4. IQ scores are fairly stable over a life time 5. When properly administered IQ tests are not demonstrably biased 6. Intelligence is substantially heritable (they estimate between 40 & 80 % heritable [which still leaves a lot of room for the environment- they never claim intelligence is 100% genetic.]

Part I The Emergence of a Cognitive Elite

.. modern societies identify the brightest youths with ever increasing efficiency and then guide them into fairly narrow educational and occupational channels. p 25

People with similar IQ's tend to group together in society, at work, at school and in their social lives, and marriages. The more intimate the relationship, the more closely they match.

[So when it comes to IQ, as with self esteem, like attracts like.]

... the next century will be one in which cognitive ability is the decisive dividing force [I have come to the same conclusion-, but I would also add that values will divide also us. ie I would rather live and employ intelligent blacks who share my values than whites who are less intelligent and have vastly different values. For example, who are dishonest and irresponsible] p 25

[March 97 note: Now I believe it will be a combination of emotional and intellectual intelligence, maybe even more a f(eq)]

Chap 1

"Education affects income, and income divides. Education affects occupation, and occupations divide. Education affects tastes and interests, grammar and accent, all of which divide"

.. school is the place where high intelligence excels and low intelligence fails, so..

"As America opened access to higher eduction, it opened up as well a revolution in the way that the American population sorted itself and divided itself." p 31

.. earlier not many went to school, and you didn't have to go to school to be successful

3 important trends

1. College population grew 2. It became more intelligence oriented 3. Intelligence was further sorted between colleges p 31

example: it used to be easier to get into Harvard if your parents' were alumni, now it is more f(iq) without regard to anything else.

Elite vs public schools, now we have junior colleges, community colleges... so there is lots of division in response to the natural division in intelligence.

Why above 3 trends? - tv, interstate system, flights, more can afford.

Groups and marriages used to be based on: religion, class, family, region, school ties. Now it is more intelligence. p 42

[very hard to argue these points- they have done an excellent job with supporting their work with data]

IQ of top schools has really risen, and moved further away from average.

"It is difficult to exaggerate how different the elite college population is from the population at large--first in its intellectual talent, and correlatively in its outlook on society, politics, ethics, religion, and all the other domains, especially intellectuals concentrated into communities, tend to develop their own conventional wisdoms. " p 50 [ie they live in their own worlds, as we all do]

Chap 2 Cognitive Partitioning by Education

.. to dig a ditch you need a strong back, but not necessarily a strong IQ. p 51 [and to be a police officer you certainly don't need a high IQ, (or EQ) yet they have access to the power of deadly weapons]

[March 98 note- I have realized that a person with a high IQ can often do the work of a lower person, but not vice versa, thus the first is more flexible and thus more valuable to society in terms of survival of the group/species- also I realize that it is a healthy thing for high IQ people to sometimes lower themselves and do the work which is "below" their abilities, as this helps them keep perspective, compassion, and preparedness in case they ever need to do the work in an emergency - for example a boss who doesn't know how to use the copier or a person who doesn't know how to add oil in a car]

More executives are not only college, but graduate college grads.

This sorting is done automatically-- the invisible hand p 52

You hear about exceptions because they are rarities.

Intelligence runs in families, intelligence predicts status, so status runs in families. This somehow "manages to be both obvious and controversial" [Good point! p 54 Good summary of entire book!]

"cognitive segregation" [but the government is trying its best to screw that up too!] term from p 57

By 1976 CEO was disproportionately likely to be Jewish. [partly cultural values of hard work, but I agree that the Jewish people are smarter because I have observed this for a long time in my life- every since grade school -- eg: Andy Zweig]

-social and economic background is no longer nearly as important as in the first half of the century p 58 nq

Chap 3 The Economic Pressure to Partition

"A smarter employee is, on average, a more proficient employee" p 63 & It holds within professions ie smarter lawyer or smarter blue collar worker

he gives a good example of the smarter worker in a restaurant who can make intelligent decisions about priorities, needs, etc.

[March 98 note - Also the high EQ worker will outperform the others]

Test scores predict job performance because they measure general intelligence, "not because they identify "aptitude" for a specific job. [plus how about promotional ability??] p 63

"An IQ score is a better predictor of job productivity than a job interview, reference checks, or college transcript." p 64

... an employer that is free to pick among applicants can realize large economic gains from hiring those with the highest IQ's/ p 64

Estimated cost of our law against IQ test: 13-80 billion per year

"Laws can make the economy less efficient by forbidding employers to use intelligence tests, but laws cannot make intelligence unimportant." p 64

... college degree is more a direct measure of intelligence than it is a credential.. p 65 College is where you find the smart people- - Like in robbing banks: It is where the money is!

[even in personal growth and recovery, I noticed IQ matters]

[when it comes to hiring, managers would always (almost) prefer mgt potential (which is largely a f(IQ) in addition to specific skill when given the choice. Thus don't just test the clerk for clerical skills! She may be able to move rapidly up.]

Anyone who has ever worked knows that ... "no matter how apparently mindless a job is, it can still be done better or worse, with significant economic consequences." YEP p 72

[I have employed people and it makes a huge difference, and I have worked at menial jobs, like folding towels and opening envelopes for the temp services.]

More intelligence just seems to be universally "better."

[March 98 note: ie it is a survival tool- in fact our most important]

.. more experience does not outweigh more intelligence.. p 79 [right again-- take example of my working in restaurant in Montana when I outperformed people after just two days on the job.]

The benefit of hiring smart workers stays with them. And the cost of hiring dumber ones also stays with them. yep nq p 80

Chap 4 Steeper Ladders, Narrower Gates

..the value of intelligence is rising. p 91 (in the marketplace)

Physical segregation of the cognitive elite from the rest of society. 91

[March 98 - example- gated communities- I really saw this first in Venezuela]

"Putting it all together, success and failure in the American economy, and all that goes with it, are increasingly a matter of the genes that people inherit. " 91

Add to this "assortive mating"-- likes attract when it comes to marriage, and intelligence is one of the most important of those likes. 91,92 [ and self-esteem]

Intelligence is increasingly worth more as society gets more complex and as decisions have more profound consequences due to increasing size of companies and markets. p 93

[March 98- also as we have easier access to more and more power - consider the danger of an idiot with access to a machine gun- or a brilliant person with low eq who decides to seek vengeance and has access to chemical weapons - like a Saddam Huessein]

"... there is every reason to believe this trend will continue. As it does, the economic gap separating the upper cognitive classes from the rest of society will increase."p 93

[Example: consultants]

smart lawyers, cpa's can save a company millions; smart lawyers can win billions p.99

people are paid to consult on jury selection, jury convincing etc.

..the more complex society becomes, the more valuable are those who can deal with complexity.. nq p 99 [& those who can understand systems can manipulate them, like my Russian ex, Galina]

It is now even more likely that smart men will marry smart women because they are going to same schools, working same jobs, etc. p 112


1. The cognitive elite is getting richer, in an era when everyone else is having to struggle to stay even.

2. The cognitive elite is increasingly segregated physically from everyone else, in both the workplace and the neighborhood.

3. The cognitive elite is increasingly likely to intermarry.

Part II Cognitive Classes and Social Behavior

How much does intelligence have to do with our social problems-- "quite a lot" p 117

[March 98 - I now believe EQ affects it more]

"High cognitive ability is generally associated with socially desirable behaviors, low cognitive ability with socially undesirable ones." p 117

Low intelligence does not seem to be mainly caused by incompetent parents. p 117

They suggest that intelligence has been largely ignored as a relevant factor in social problems such as crime, unwed mothers, etc. [because it is not "PC" - politically correct- ie "I don't want to hear the truth, so let's not talk about it - it upsets my fragile and unrealistic belief system, and I am too insecure to have my beliefs shaken." I call this the myth of equality, which is especially strong in the US]

Chap 5 Poverty

Poverty is more a factor of intelligence than socioeconomic background .. ie better to be born smart than wealthy. {yep}

Poverty is not the cause of crime, illegitimacy, and drug abuse. He points to poverty in the depression era. [poor/incompetent parenting is the cause of each of these. Financially poor parents can be good parents- my mother's family and our family is case in point]

It used to be the difference between poor and not poor was simply poor had less money.

The poor now are likely to not just be the unlucky, but those who lack energy, farsightedness, determination and brains. p 129 [ie survival skills - so we are artificially subsidizing them and thus fighting against nature-- ie reverse evolution]

Used to be a distinction between those who were poor because of things out of their control and others who were poor because of their own behavior. nq p 131

In the sixties poverty was seen as a product of broad systemic causes, not of individual characteristics. p 131 & the literature follows accordingly ie it does not look for individual differences.

[The figures are dramatic. Even if overstated, they deserve attention. Besides, it makes sense]

Chap 6 Schooling

High correlation between level of school and IQ. [Not surprising.]]

Very few talented but economically disadvantaged youths are falling through cracks now. (because of scholarships, grants, loan programs, etc) [I believe that anyone with brains and determination can make it in US-- I would even say that people are falling all over themselves to find smart, poor people and minorities to help.]

[The smart people are more likely to graduate. It is the smart thing to do and it is easier for them to do. Also, from the debate on reverse discrimination at UF I realized it is one thing to let admit someone into a college, but it another for them to stay there and graduate. The figures show that people with lower than minimum IQ's who were admitted because of their race had a very poor graduation rate. So not only are they taking places from others, but they are wasting the resources of the school.]

Chap 7 Unemployment, Idleness and Injury

long term unemployment strongly tied to IQ p 155

IQ and accidents are also tied together (which is not surprising either) (think of guy climbing on burned house roof in Dallas near)

Smart men tend to be more farsighted. p 160 (also not surprising)

Some portion of what makes a worker more productive is that he avoids needless accidents [yep]

Chap 8 Family Matters

Also tied to IQ! More so even than SES (socioeconomic status) p 167

But once IQ factor is taken out, it turns out higher SES has higher divorce rate. (not surprising because they have more options & place higher value on independence)

Illegitimacy is "strongly related to intelligence" 167 but education also stops illegitimacy 167 (almost no white women are having illegitimate children towards the "higher reaches of education" [people are getting education about real life (relationships, self-esteem, abuse, etc) on tv- Oprah etc. since schools have failed]

From 1960 till 1990 % of illegitimate births went from about 5% to 30%.

[They tie a lot of such statistics to the 60s when Johnson started all these social programs which are now proving to have disastrous effects. Their graphs are excellent and powerful - sad that so few people have seen them- I would show them to all honors students]

Chap 9 Welfare Dependency

Again a strong correlation.

When AFDC program [ie giving money to women with children & no/disabled husband] was set up no one considered the problems with never married women being eligible (see D. Popenoe. J of Marriage and the Family 55:p 527) [Good question: why should we want to support socially counterproductive behavior? This is bad policy for child and society-- again, reverse evolution.]

Again we cannot not anticipate all the consequences of a well- intentioned law. We are creating more problems than solving.

from '66 to '75 the % of people on welfare nearly tripled!

[why has it taken us so long to get with it??]

Trendlines were clearly established in the 60's [when LBJ was president]

The steep rise of these problems in the 60's was not due to a plummet in intelligence. Rather we just made it easier for the unintelligent to live, "freeload".

The smarter the woman, more likely to get job; more likely to get other sources of help; more farsighted about consequences, more careful about choosing partner [sph enlarged]; delay gratification

[low eq, low iq deadly combination.....! --then we empower wrong people them with money, gun- very socially unintelligent...]

Chap 10 Parenting

Everyone agrees there is good parenting and there is poor parenting [nq] p 203 Is their competence affected by their intelligence. Of course it is !!!! p 203

"Neglect, abuse are heavily concentrated in lower socioeconomic classes." 203 just as intellectual and emotional development is more likely to be fostered at the higher levels. [though I would say that the high levels include trouble because parents are too worried about cognitive development not EQ, but they can be quickly educated and their kids can learn faster once society realizes importance of EQ-- May 98 expansion]

...high IQ is by no means a prerequisite for being a good mother." p 203 but at the same time, "the worst environments for raising children.. are concentrated in the homes in which the mothers are at the low end of the intelligence distribution . p 204

"Parenting, in one sense the most private of behaviors, is in another the most public. Parents make a difference in the way heir children turn out--whether they become law abiding or criminal, generous or stingy, productive or dependent. How well parents raise their children has much to do with how well the society functions. p 204 [vast understatement!]

"malparenting" stopped reading on page 205

NOT READ CLOSELY- was probably getting sleepy!!

Chap 11 Crime

Criminals are about 9 IQ points below the mean. (92 vs 100) "More serious or chronic offenders generally have lower scores than more casual offenders [right, they just don't get it! ie they don't learn- part of intelligence is capacity to learn ] p 235

High intelligence provides some protection against "lapsing into criminality" for high risk kids. 235 (right, they can see LT consequences of their behavior, like kid in Highlands, NC)

"Crime can tear a free society apart, because free societies depend so crucially on faith that the other person will behave decently.

... The first casualty is not just freedom but the bonds that make community life attractive.. it is possible to stay off the streets, buy security systems, etc, "but these are poor substitutes for living in a peaceful and safe neighborhood." p 235,6

[March 98 - this is more obvious from Mexico trip where people have to go through 3,4,5 locks to get into their home, have "clubs" on their cars, etc]

Chap 12 Civility and Citizenship

"Brighter children of all socioeconomic classes, including the poorest, learn more rapidly about politics and how government works, and are more likely than duller children to read about, discuss, and participate in political activities." p 253

the brighter ones are also.. the ones who "stick with school, are plugging away in the workforce, and are loyal to their spouse. "

p 265 .. old fashioned virtues are ,.. "associated with intelligence" [this makes sense because they are needed for survival and happiness & growth (more emphasis on latter two- as animals are interested only in survival)

Chap 13 Ethnic Differences

[the first part of the book was not comparing races, so we could see that intelligence matters without regard to race]

p 269 Avg white is smarter than 84 % of blacks, avg black is smarter than 16% of whites

[Groups are compared, but this tells us nothing about individuals]

Even if we all were the same race and ethnicity there would be substantial differences in intelligence. nq p 271

We don't want to talk about it in public, but in private we are fascinated with it - compares it to Victorian era & sex

"As it was true of sex then, so it is true of ethnic differences now: Taboos breed not only ignorance but misinformation." p 297

[March 98 - this also is more obvious after mex]

Chap 14 Ethnic Inequalities in Relation to IQ

Whether we have a problem depends in part on which segment of society we look at. For example, do we have a poverty problem or do blacks have a poverty problem (my words) since their poverty rate is almost 3 times as high. Answer is that if their problems affect us, then it becomes our problem, or at least we have the responsibility (ie the ability) to respond-- so as to protect our citizens from crime and their bank accounts from theft. (Through the government's theft of our taxes to pay for the social programs.)

Many large differences between blacks, latinos and whites shrink when adjusted for IQ. [in terms of things like their incomes, graduation rates etc.]

Blacks are actually over represented in skilled jobs. Particularly in high status jobs like medicine, engineering and teaching. p 321 From Linda Gottfredson

Smart blacks and latinos are more likely to be in a high IQ occupation. p 322

!!! not read carefully beyond this point !! it looks interesting with charts on welfare, latinos etc.

Earning ability for = IQ is almost identical - even higher for blacks in some cases.

Chap 15 The Demography of Intelligence

[tax deduction for all kids without regard to their intelligence is shortsighted - we don't need more kids, especially not unintelligent ones, and we don't need kids from extremely low EQ parents]

Bottom line: we are getting "dumber" p 341 [See also book: "The Decline of Intelligence in America"]

dysgenics: relating to or causing the deterioration of hereditary qualities in offspring.

our "cognitive capital" is dropping

we can expect more crime, more poverty, more illegitimacy-- increases of approx 8-13 percent with a 3 point drop in IQ p 365

Three points mean nothing for an individual, but for a population a three point drop "is likely to be importantly worse off.

See 1938 book by Raymond Cattell (mentioned on p 366) that said we could expect declining morals, more animal like behavior, more people dependent on the state (instinctive satisfactions) more "delinquency against society" [obviously true prediction now]

Chap 16 Social Behavior ...

not read

Part IV Living Together

Do we want to persuade poor teenage women to have babies, etc.... Do we want ..... p 387

Before answering these questions we should think hard about how cognitive ability and education are linked.

Chap 17 Rasing Cognitive Ability

Attempts to raise CA offered disappointing results

More technology simply enlarged gap! p 394 ie giving kids access to computers. [this makes perfect sense to me, if I have more potential to develop, and them am stimulated and challenged, I will develop more of my potential, and faster than someone with less potential who is slower]

Spending more did little to improve IQ p 395

Any intervention must start early, earlier the better 403

Fadeout of increases over 3 or four years 404-5 Even Head Start has fadeout, very hard to prove long term results.

Hard to rely on people who run the programs for data p 409 (true)

Adoption at birth is best method to raise someone's EQ 413

They don't want to expand gov't powers p 416 like licensing

Chap 18 The Leveling of American Education

Special ed and "disadvantaged", at risk children are all the rage, Meanwhile gifted students are ignored, (but that is changing) [problem in Dallas with blacks shouting discrimination in gifted schools- "TAG" school in Dallas] (talented & gifted)

Gifted students never develop their potential (actually none of us do, but loss is greater with gifted students)

The future of the country is in the hands of the gifted. He says it is an American ideal to develop everyone to their potential, but I don't know who really thinks that.


This is an excellent book. It is so damaging to our country and to the world that we can't even talk about this topic without entering to irrational emotionally heated arguments. Like the authors say:

Taboos breed not only ignorance but misinformation.


Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach */

SPH Comments:

I like a lot of what Bach says and believes. I have read four of his books, Jonathon Livingston Seagull, Illusions, Bridge Across Forever, and One. I also have the music from the movie Jonathon Livingston Seagull, composed and performed by Neil Diamond, which is some of the most beautiful, moving music I have ever heard.

Though Bach is a little too "new age" for me when he talks about past lives, out of body experiences, angels, and the idea that our "souls" choose our bodies, he doesn't push these and other than that, we share beliefs, feelings and values.

In his books he criticizes schools, governments, institutions such as marriage, and conformity. He has a very poetic, romantic, literary way with words. Later I will add my notes from Illusions and possibly from JLS.


This is a story about his search for soulmate. It is based on his real life, which is similar to mine in several ways. Bach was traveling around the US, never staying in one place very long. He is single and for a time believed that lots of women, money and freedom would make him happy. Then he has lots of short, unfulfilling relationships. So he decides to stop traveling so much, and to instead stay in one place for a while and pursue his mission in life, which was to write. He decided it was more likely he would attract his soulmate through his writing than to meet her by chance while traveling around.

Here are a few notes and quotes from the book.


He says dragons today wear government costumes. Demons screech down on you when you fail to keep your eyes on the ground or if you dare to turn left where you were told to turn right.

"The most advanced people, I thought, they are the ones most alone." p 22

p26 He is on a bus writing down some thoughts for the person he was twenty years earlier & woman asks how he will mail them. He says he doesn't know but...

"Wouldn't it be terrible the day comes when we learn to ship things back in time and we've got nothing to send?" ... So many times I thought if only I'd known this at ten... so I thought I'd get the package ready and worry about the postage later.

She soon asks if he minds if she smokes. He is completely repulsed. She moves to a different seat. End of that story.

He realizes that most people invalidate his beliefs or think he is crazy as we see in the following line:

"... things you've chosen to believe, things you'd die for, are to most people funny, or mad." p 29

[notice the word "chosen" to believe-- each of us must sort through the make believe and the beliefs we never questioned from our childhood.]

He is making a list of the requirements for his soulmate when he writes:

30- "The more enlightened we become, the more we can't be lived up to by anyone, anywhere. The more we learn, the more we'd better expect to live by ourselves."

He calls his publisher - she says book (Illusions, probably) is best seller- check your bank account - he does - over 1 million $. After he just sold his plane and took the 11,000 cash and felt rich on a bus to Florida.

She wants him to do television interviews - he isn't sure about that...he doesn't like cities. 38

He is stunned... thinks it is too good to be true - fears big problems.

Goes to the local library in a little town in Florida...

"Anything we need to know we can learn it from a book." p 45

Wants to find out what to do when suddenly rich, can't find any books like that though.

He says we look up and to the left when searching for old knowledge, up and right when searching for new (per a book he read) - I heard it was a function of whether you were right brained or left brained - you look to opposite side. Hmmm.

He realizes that writers can have their names known, but not their faces, so this gives them freedom that other famous people don't enjoy. 47

[his plane commentary reminds me of my flying lessons...]

Money will kill the search for the soulmate - won't know if she loves you or money, he thinks. p48

But also, she will know that I exist if I am famous.

He decides to do the television interviews, meets a lot of women. Quickly finds problems with all of them. Goes through a bunch in a hurry.

59 meets a girl he likes who asks him if he minds if she smokes - his answer shocks him: not at all! He says:

"My principles disappeared so fast it frightened me."

79 I am here not because I am supposed to or because I am trapped, but because I would rather be with you than anywhere in the world.

He sleeps with her, spends some time with her, gives her his sermon on smoking. She doesn't get defensive but still he soon realizes she is not the one & that spending time with her was time he couldn't be looking for the right one, so he takes off.

p 65

Part of us is always the observer, and no matter what, it observes. It does not care if we are happy or unhappy, if we are sick of if we are well, if we live or if we die. Its only job is to sit there on our shoulder and pass judgment on whether we are worthwhile human beings.

He gives himself a C- during a parachute jump and says "my observer grades hard."

Then later in the jump the observer says "Mind uncontrolled, no discipline. D minus."

Later he says "Guardian Angels A. Richard F" [yuck to the angels stuff]

When he gets home he realizes he has no one to share his near death experience. Realizes no one would validate him or know what to say. Thinks they would probably just give him some simplistic advice like "You have to be more careful." So he calls no one. [very familiar...]

78-79 talking with a female about how he values freedom and how he is the "safest friend she will ever have" because he is very sensitive and will respect her slightest feeling and leave if he ever is restricting her freedom.

He says:

I am here because I want to be here. Not because I am supposed to be here or I am trapped here. I am here because I would rather be here with you right now than anywhere else in the world.

80 He realizes the word "love" has lost its meaning. He also realizes this dilemma: If the perfect woman is one who meets all my needs, but one of my needs is variety, then one woman won't satisfy all my needs. So he thinks he needs a variety of women, each meeting some of his needs.

He decides that an endless supply of money, women and airplanes is happiness for him.

p 82 "There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn..."

may be continued...


A New Birth of Freedom - Charles Black */

Subtitle: Human rights, name and unnamed

entered May 18, 1998

big shot at Yale Law School

he cites decl of independence, 9th amendment, and section one of 14th

[I can't believe no one else has noticed that we have needs, not rights!!!]

he says for a 80+ year old guy to go to the trouble of writing a book, he must really think something needs to be said. - yeah, good reason for writing

"The foundations of Amerian human-rights law are in bad shape". p 1

he says we feel entitled to be the world leaders not just because of our power, but because of our commitment to human rights p 2

Problems he cites:

- the specific rights detailed in Bill of Rights are "very plainly insufficient to found a system broad and comprehensive enough for a really free people to walk around in." p 2

- 14th ammendment promising due process doesn't address bad laws - just how they are enforced - example if a state says you can't get married before 40 or 50 or whatever age they want, then you can' [regardless of your needs....again we see a disregard for individual and we see that laws assume we are all equal in what we need and in what hurts us]

- substantive due process is completely inadequate to protect our "rights"- [I do not understand this term] he gives examples of right to have or not have chilren, to teach them foreign language, to not have your property taken by a state without compensation [.... hmmmm what about my ticket??]

- citizenship and privileges and immunities clause of 14th has been ignored [he doesn't explain this well, and the clause is very vague so he has his own interpretation of it. Just as all written laws will always be subject to interpretation]

- equal protection clause of 14th is not applied to Fed gov.

- first ammendment only talks about congress, not states making no laws....

He says he is attempting the construction of a "better system of reason for the grounding of constitutional rights iin this country." This is a noble cause. But he fails because he keeps the false assumption that there is such a thing as "rights" at all. Also he fails because he assumes it is the primarily the government's responsibility to deliver "rights" and not primarily the individual's responsibility to fill his own needs.

He doesn't address one of the major problem with rights- which is that they create the entitlement mentality. This mentality quickly leads to people feeling victimized when these "entitlements" aren't delivered by someone [it is never clear who is personally responsible for fulfilling someone else's entitlements] to the "unfairly deprived victim."

He says we are looked up to around world - tienanmen square for exam. bc of our ideals of human rights [true, but we are misleading the world by talking about human rights and not human needs]

...and also bc of our respect for law.

p 5 He says "Law is reasoning from commitment." But I see very little intelligent reasoning. And just about zero emotional intelligence in the laws. He says we have made a commitment to human rights so our laws need to back up this commitment. [Again, the fatal flaw in the logic: there are no such things as rights in nature. Rights are a completely man-made fabrication which hark back to the days of kings and subjects.]

He starts by zeroing in on Decl of Independence:

We hold these truth to be self-evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men....

He thinks Declaration of Ind. should be considered part of law, even though it is not part of constitution.

p. 8 "It is my own view that the doctrines of the Declaration should be taken to have the force of law..."

[I think he is overly optimistic that enough legislators will go along with him on this one, but even if we did we would still argue endlessly about what the "pursuit of happiness" means]

[which brings up the question of what is the purpose of laws-- to put forth ideals or to define systems of administering procedures which are supposed to support and nurture the ideals? It seems the Dec of Ind. is more like the ideals and the Constitution is more like the administrative guidelines. It is not clear which is which and thus even an expert like Black is confused. But I say, let's stop trying to figure out what a bunch of dead people intended and instead let's concentrate on what is best for the country now.]

he didn't like coolidge saying business of america is busines. says no, it is nurturing of "human rights" p 6

he stresses the importance of happiness [something I was pleasantly surprised to see]

skips over part of "creator" - doesn't address that they are "self- evident"

on page 22 he makes it clear he believes in "God." He jumps in fact from using the term Creator to the term "God". A subtle but important slight of hand. Note that no where in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, is the label "God" ever used.

[I say there is no "Creator," so this nulifies one of the most basic premises/assumptions of our country. Also, I say there are no inalienable rights even in nature. For example, we all die, so there is no right to life. We can be imprisoned, so there is no right to liberty, and if we are dead or imprison, we certainly have little chance of pursuing happiness. So the entire beautiful, poetic statement is nothing more than an unrealistic ideal. This fact goes a very long way to explaining our current problems of everyone feeling entitled and us chasing the wrong problems.]

later in the D of I it talks about:

.... appealing to the "Supreme Judge of the World" for the rectitude of our intentions [they don't use the word "god" but they came close enough that they left this can of worms open. Big mistake. But then this was all pre-Darwin, and they were forced to believe in make-believe by the Church of England when they were children, so it is hard to fault them. Another reason we need to create a new country from scratch.]

9th says "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

This leads to his main premise of the book:

Just because we list a few "rights", doesn't mean these are all there is. It is not an exhaustive list. The people have other rights as well. (nq)

[This is his premise, which using his terms, I agree with. But a better term, much better, is "needs." The writers never addressed the idea of natural needs specifically. And they did not understand human nature well enough to realize that each individual has distinct emotional needs. Even if they did know more about psychology, it would be impossible to write a system of detailed laws about how much a person is entitled to his individual needs and what to do when his needs conflict with another person's needs or with society's needs. Yet we need to attempt to define exactly such a system as best we can with the information we now have. Each year we wait will bring more physical and emotional pain to the world.]

p 101 gives a good example of lack of intelligence: Grandmother had two grandsons living with her. One from each of two different sons. City said that was a violation of single family zoning laws and one would have to go! The city code was designed to reduce "overcrowding" and "traffic congestion." But if one family had 8 teenagers, that would be okay. Just not two little boys from two different dads! This had to go to the Supreme Court before someone realized this was pure stupidity. Even then the decision was not unanimous. Frightening.

p 105 he says we need to ask the right questions. I agree. He says what if the judges asked these two questions: is this a crushing blow to the pursuit of happiness? Is the benefit to the community worth the damage to this family's happiness? He says the answers are obvious and "this is what happens when you ask the right questions." Bingo.

The book is heavy with legal terms and case histories, though, making it difficult for me to read. I was a little frustrated with how he repeats himself and does not do a good job of concisely stating his main points. His reliance on Lincolns phrase "a new birth of freedom" is doesn't offer strong support for his position. It is too subject to interpretation. He keeps refering to the pursuit of happiness, at one point saying we should look at that "above all." I agree, but being in the Dec of Ind. is not good enough, unfortunately, and his wishing it were law won't make it law. Thus, I believe we need to start over.

Chap 4 Talks about majorities spends a lot of time showing how we can elect a president without the majority of the people voting for him. Most of us already know that. He doesn't state whether he believes a actual headcount would be preferale though, so I am not sure why he raises the issue. I guess just to take some air out of the claim that judges reflect the majority views. [which I personally am opposed to since the majority of the people are less intelligent and educated than me and have far different values than me.]

p 118 The individuation of law is the business of judges. [but with each law we write we take more of their power away to decide cases based on individuals. Also, they don't know anything about emotions so they don't know, ask or concern themselves with how individual people will feel about their decisions.]

p 127

"Let us thankfully use these judges for what could be--and in some cases already is--their highest function: the making good of our claims, before the world, of being a country wherein governments are restrained from acting in ways destructive to liberty and obstructive to the pursuit of happiness"

He says if judges can't fulfill our promise to create a land where one can pursue happiness, then no one can. I tend to aggree with him. Someone needs to be able to make decisions when problems can't be solved through any other peaceful means, such as mediation. Arbitration is okay, but still the arbitrators must use judgement.

I agree, we have to have judges that can use judgment! I believe, though, that it is far more imporant for them to understand nature, in particular human nature, and psychology than law.

His main message is an important one:

We have not identified all of the rights/needs which are required for a happy society.

He basically says these all can be implied through existing documents, but I disagree with this assessment. I believe it is unrealistic to think that we can name certain rights/needs specifically and then expect judges to figure out the other ones on their own. We need to have it one way or the other. My preference is to toss out the whole legal system and start over based on a deeper understanding of psychology, the root causes of crime and unhappiness, the imporance of parenting, the importance of belief systems and childhood development, the vast inequality of individual emotional needs and sensitivities, and the ineffectiveness of punishment.

In Chapter 5 he starts to slide off the slippery slope of the "rights" pile. He makes a very weak argument that everyone is entitled to a minimum "livlihood. He does not address the issue of responsibility, in fact I don't recall him using the word at all in the book as it relates to individual responsibility. He does talk a lot, however, about what the "duty" of the president and of the congress is. He never mentions anything about parents being responsible for their own children's basic needs. This kinds of thinking sets people up to feel victimized and encourages irresponsibility and division between the contributors and the non-contributors to society, or we might say between the givers and the takers. Worse, the takers are forcing the "givers" to "give." They do this by electing politicians who pass laws which forcibly take the fruits of the producers and contributors via taxation, which is certainly not a voluntary system.

He side steps the issue of how much to give away or who will decide how much is enough for people to be able to pursue happiness.

Chap 6 p 142

he says the thesis of the book is:

"...our constitutional law of human rights is underdeveloped"

I would say our knowledge of human emotional needs is underdeveloped. As is our knowledge of evolution and species survival needs.

p 144 "My reach in time--through voices I have heard and ears that have heard my voice--is something over two hundred years..." very pretty. I see in the bio that he has written some poetry books!

he refers back to p 26 he defines privileges (based on one of the definition in a 1939 dictionary.

Any of various fundamental or specially sacred rights considered as peculiarly guaranteed and secured to all persons by modern constitutional governments, such as the enjoyment of life, liberty,...[and] the right to pursue happiness.

p 152 again he calls our rights "God-given," though the word "god" is never used in either the Decl of Ind. or the Constitution. And which god? There are said to be over 30,000 in the world.

He basically is saying we have lost our sense of direction. And I agree. We have lost sight of the original goal. [like guys cutting through jungle in wrong direction that Covey talks about. They tell the leader who sees that they are going the wrong way: " Be quiet! We are making good progress!"]

he points out it took 62 years to interpret due process as including a free lawyer for a poor murder defendant. And nearly 100 to extend that to all serious state criminal cases.

He says we have failed to "make use, in law, of our unique and irreplaceable national heritage of committed principles." I agree, but I add that the Jefferson et al missed the mark in setting the goals.

So we have two problems. 1) goals were a little off 2) headings are a little off. When we add these two together, we are way off.

Laws should keep us headed in "right" direction. Ie towards long term goals. But to work we need both 1 and 2 above to be corrected.

it took about 90 years to abolish slavery and about 58 years to kick out segregation

to be continued...


Jefferson's Children - Leon Botstein */

read May 1998

Subtitle "Eduation and the Promise of American Culture"

"The views put forward here are my own." vii

p 1 "this is a book of opinion. It seeks to take its place in the tradition of reasoned polemics. It was not written in anticipation of agreement."

"There are no footnotes."

5 aspects of R between education and society

1. revival of religion. & demise of rationalist and secular attitudes

2. Collapse of communism & revival of simplistic notions of free competition and less government- laissez-faire attitude.Any confidence in govt to intervene constructively has "disappeared"

3. More identification with groups. Loss of individuality. Overuse of simplified labels such as Jew, Catholic, Christian, white male, liberal, conservative

later I opened to these pages:

p 154 Merely going along with a group is not a virtue.

p 155. ... the danger to society is not difference, but horrifying sameness.

"Our differences themselves have been standardized into routine, generalized labels that deter and obliterate individuality."

Uniformity spells the death of all individuality

p 156 - On concepts such as justice, beauty and truth he says" one must concede Plato's view that there are perhaps only a few in society who have the intellectual capacity to grasp such higher truths."

Thus he recommends we don't generalize when teaching children. This is similar to my advocating that we stay away from subjective labels such as "good/bad," "nice/not nice." He suggest we be more specific & I agree. From the specifics they will learn to form their own generalities. This allows more flexibility as times change from one generation to the next. What was "good" once, may not be "good" now. And what was "bad" once, might be "good" now. Human needs change over time. So our values must also change.

will be continued.. this appears to be a very good book...


Consilience- The Unity of Knowledge- Edward Wilson */

hard to read.. Interesting but doesn't seem too practical.

from reading inside cover it seems main point is that everything is connected, All knowledge is connected. And all study should lead to connections, not divisions.

says that everything is organized in a few fundamental natural laws that form all branches of learning. ie that there is some order, like ancient Greeks said.

Chap 1

knowledge has become too fragmented and specialized.

says unity was one of the goals of the Age of Enlightenment

he liked to categorize plants and animals as a kid.

Linnaeus- swedish naturalist who started modern biological classification.

first step to wisdom, according to Chinese: getting things by gtheir right names p 4

he got very interested in evolution and its implications for world order.

ionian enchantment - (Gerald Holton) a brief unity of the sciences; a conviction that the world is orderly and everything can be explained by a few natural laws. Thales of Milea in Ionia ?? Aristotle considered Thales the founder of physical sciences

"we are always frustrated by the failure to grasp that which seems within reach" p 5

he talks about people needing a higher purpose - something beyond themselves - I say this is simply survival of the species, which depends upon survival of the planet.

Let us see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings. (re story of Icarus which says he was too ambitious and didn't listen to ie obey, his father)

"when we have unified enough certain knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here." p 7

"If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost they will find another way."

pretty writing, especially for a brain.

10 How wisely policy is chosen will depend o the ease with which the educated public, not just the intellectuals and political leaders, can think....starting at any point and moving iin any direction."

we need to integrate the sciences and humanities.. example what to do about rainforest, ozone layer, etc. [& who has children & parenting cause and effect]

Chap two

ethics, social science, biology, environment, economy, etc.

he wants to turn more of philosophy into science [and I add religion]

talks about cycle in science of dreaming, searching, discovering, explaining and dreaming again.

p. 13 lots of legislation involves science. but they don't know much about science.

we need a balanced perspective

we need to give purpose to intellect [survival]

Chap 3 The Enlightenment

Calls it "a vision of secular knowledge in the service of human rights and human progress." & The West's greatest contribtion to civilization.

Marquis de Condorcet: persecuted for his beliefs, died in jail. he was too intellectual, too reasonable,

23 we must understand nature, both around us and within ourselves, in order to set humanity on the course of human nature. [not really true, because evolution will keep working slowly, like with animals, but we can help speed the process along and reduce the pain]

Bacon said we jump to conclusions. Need to just observe human nature, not philosophize so much. he talked about the false power of the mind. he liked induction.

Bacon said "on a tablet you cannot write the new till you rub out the old; on the mind you cannot rub out the old except by writing in the new." 27

he talked about the power of the "mere words to induce belief in nonexistent things."

"His philosophy raised the sights of a small but influential public." [like I would like to do]

Talks about Rousseau & freedom and serving society.

JJR said we are each part of the whole.

Robespierre killed about 17,000 intellectuals, jailed 300,000. "reign of terror"

"... easy cohabitation of egalitarian ideology and savage coercion"

He likes Francis Bacon. Bacon said of himself:

He reasoned thus with himself and judged it to be for the interest of present and future generations that they should be make acquainted with his thoughts.

feel inspired reading about these guys. but when I think about our country, our schools, about our parents, I feel discouraged, sick even. Detaching more and more. No longer "our" but "their"

p 28 talks about Descarte- cause and effect. Logic. then Newton, Galileo, Copernicus

p 30 - talking about how we are nothing more than complicated machines & so we conform to laws, though still undefined.

p 32 wilson says "we are a product of evolution, not the purpose of it."

32-33 deism- between reason and revelation - former takes precedence - but in religion, latter.

33 but pure reason without emotion loses out because it doesn't appeal to enough people- like I have been saying connection comes from emotion. [good authors mix both]

belief in a god helps people feel good by providing a false sense of security. an illusion like Freud called in his book "The Future of an Illusion"

deism didn't provide alternate system of ethics. -but I say we can base one on survival. purely scientific.

I predict he will arrive at same conclusion later in his book - that things are not good or bad, but healthy and unhealthy.

Prometheus? lifting above savages ?

34 some people still think we need religion to keep order in the world, to keep us from returning to stone age. I say religion is keeping us from progressing to next age of unity.

p 35 he says jjr thought learning and social order were enemies of humanity. JJR worte a book called "Emile" about education. "Religion, law, marriage and government are deceptions created by the powerful for their own selfish ends." jjr says.

36, 37 talks about Emerson and HDT a little - '"transcendentalists" - rejected commercialism.

37 the enlightenment waived everything aside, "every form of civil and religious authority, every form of imaginable fear, to give precidence to the ethic of free inquiry."

Chap 4

Natural Sciences- skipped over

Chap 5

Ariadne's Thread (leads guy back out of labyinth)

the social sciences and humanities will be the ultimate test.

... has all the aspects of a Greek story: treacherous road, heroic journey, secret instructions that lead us home.

did not finish reading... was due back at the library!




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