Archive for October, 2010

TUESDAY IS THE DAY NOTHING CHANGES!

October 31, 2010

Sorry, but that has always been the case after elections, nothing really changes. To get full employment with good wages in the US you have got to get Obama out of his – “box.” And that cannot happen because, as the great psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow wrote years ago, very few voters can vote outside their culture or mode of thinking. Humans, he pointed out, cannot escape their upbringing limitations unless they strive to become self-actualized. You can see that in every “childish” or “frivolous” democratic or republican campaign commercial that refuses to deal seriously with real issues of how to create full employment at good wages and stop spending money on wars. Blame it on Facebook and Twitter, but what good would it do. This generation is shallow. Blame it on a “stupid surge” involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan, but what good would that do. The last generation was “scared.”  Indeed, you sent shallow and scared reps to Washington to do your bidding. The American empire is beginning to decline, just like the British empire has just ended declining.

Sure, there is a better way, but it won’t happen unless  YOU REFUSE TO VOTE ON TUESDAY! Hey, I understand, if you can’t get yourself to be that smart and powerful, at least don’t vote for democrats or Tea Party candidates. The republicans will get the House and the Senate and you will get a gridlock, which is better than a spendthrift – until INDEPENDENTS run for office in 2012 willing to bring the troops home RIGHT AWAY and CONCENTRATE on CREATING decent paying jobs here at home! Let the rest of the world solve THEIR OWN PROBLEMS for a change, and let Americans concentrate on protecting themselves, meaning beating the shit out of anyone in the world who is trying to hurt Americans! No more half-ass job of creating jobs at home. Do you want to get it right? Start by reading Donald trump’s book THINK BIG AND KICK ASS. You see, it isn’t hard to know what to do, what’s hard is to do it. We are back to Maslow full circle: Humans, he pointed out, cannot escape their upbringing limitations unless they strive become self-actualized. So, when you finish reading Donald’s book, go to Google and type in Self Actualization.

Hey, dude, the next posting will be how to create full employment in the US at good wages. Again, it isn’t hard to know what to do, what’s hard is to find a president, congressmen and senators TO DO IT!

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For the visitor: The nature of my blogging.

October 29, 2010

After blogging for about two years, I would like to thank all of you who have visited my blog. Like most of you, bloggers, my blog represents my interests. I have been an educator and a psychologist for many years. My blogging is strictly educational, not commercial. My blog is a forum for people to read my views as a psychologist to benefit themselves. The only requirement that I have is for comments to be decent and relate to what I have posted.  Enjoy!

Estimated results for the up coming mid-term election (second posting).

October 29, 2010

The science of estimating is crucial for success not only as an investor but in any relationship that you are in (I will give you the rules of the science of estimating in future postings). People who shoot for the bull’s eye will be crashed by the bull 99 times out of a 100. People who shoot for the bull’s head will win 99 times out of 100. Perfectionists are losers! Estimators are winners!

We have five days before the mid-term election of a third of the Senate and all the House members in Washington. I made my estimated predictions of the results on March 22,2010 at 10:26 PM as to not to be influenced by last-minute gaffe’ by candidates or distortions by the media. I will not repeat my predictions here. You will need to go 8 months back to March 22, 2010 at 10:26 PM to read my predictions for November 2, 2010 elections! Nest week I will analyze the results against my predictions to find out if I am as good in political estimating as I am in behavioral economics estimating in Wall Street. My estimate is that I will be about 90% correct. You can send your election estimates to my blog (drelior.wordpress.com) for the next 4 days. I will announce the names of the winners – those of you with better estimated results than myself! Let’s have fun with it!

The panda and her feuding twins.

October 18, 2010

Hey, you know who I mean by P, and there is the grown up twin, SK, that P admires, likes to do business with, and uses as a rep to make friends in the neighborhood, but then there is this dummy twin-born holding his brother’s Achilles heel, that twin is a disgrace to his mother in the neighborhood , always getting in trouble and embarrassing her. Why doesn’t P send NK to rehab? Good question, maybe because NK looks like mommy Panda with his red sickle stripes on white fur and a star around the eyes. Well, you guessed it, the P is C, the NK is North K and the SK is South K. Are you confused? I am sure not, after all NK is well-known, proudly wearing a suicide belt while his smarter brother is churning out cars, appliances and TVs. China loves both North Korea and South Korea, but I think one of these days mom will get sick and tired of its unruly twin boy and send him to rehab. There will be a celebration in the neighborhood 🙂

This posting was triggered by the fact that South Korea and China are in the news this week as the strongest trading partners in Asia, to illustrate the findings in psychological research that economic necessity makes for strange bed (bad) fellows. Hey, let’s make this posting even more interesting. Who is the democratic strategist (male) in Washington happily married to a republican strategist (female)? Can you think of a few more strange bed fellows?

The psychology behind 911 and Mumbai.

October 16, 2010

That’s the problem, there is no psychology behind 911 and Mumbai.  All the analyses of what caused terrorists to commit the 911 and Mumbai bombings to date are conventional and appear rational to the FBI, CIA, to average Americans and to “trained” investigators. Just about all the attempts to analyse intelligence data to predict and prevent such events appear reasonable to the FBI, CIA, the public and professional investigators. Analysing causes, predicting events and preventing disasters is the domain of psychologists, but none was ever asked to help! What is going on is an exercise in futility within the context of conventional thinking. It is pathetic because it shows that government is so rigid that it refuses to get out of the “box” even when thousands of people die!  Fighting terror is not a common sense operation, but they think it is! Fighting terror requires different psychological thinking that even most psychologists  do not posses! Research in China concluded (happily) that US military authorities functioning within the American culture have always failed to identify the one person out of ten that can make a difference in difficult operations! Getting out of the “box” means being allowed to function in the way that works rather than in the way that looks right because it conforms to expected standards, logical, acceptable, or commonsense, a freedom American culture allows only under duress or desperation. Any investigator who would do the correct analysis of 911 or Mumbai right now will be “sacked,” laughed at, ridiculed, dismissed or ignored. For that reason you will never find that one psychologist out of ten who would do the correct analysis of 911 and Mumbai!

Bernanke Signals Intent to Further Spur Economy (Sewell Chan, New York Times, Friday, October 15, 2010)

October 15, 2010

Let me make sense for you of the psychology behind the article by making a contrast between Bernanke (B), the present Fed Chair and Greenspan (G), the previous one. G created the economic mess by letting smart bankers create sub-prime mortgage securities, package them, sell them to smart Americans who sold them to  stupid Chinese, each group making a marginal profit in the process at the expense of tax payers. The house of cards collapsed when millions of cheap folks defaulted on expensive house payments. G left the mess he created to live the rest of his life-giving speeches as a genius celebrity. Comes in Bernanke, the present Fed Chief, and makes vague speeches in an article, like his predecessor, not to inform but to confuse so consumers will not have a clear understanding of policy and be pacified – to buy time because the recovery will take longer than the public has patience for. Like his predecessor, he is vague taking about executing “unconventional policies,” actually meaning “Assets purchasing mortgage related securities,” meaning the Fed’s buying subprime mortgages to help banks recover!” or handle the “Contraction in the economy,” meaning, “not hiring employees or starting businesses because of fear of failure in an irresponsible bailout environment.”  You see, speaking in vague terms is a government policy, the less you understand the less you can protest with your vote in November! Then he says, “The Fed is prepared to manage the risk,” Sounds good but too obvious, meaning, “handing the fallout from G having unregulated economy to B overpopulation it by purchasing  ill products or companies instead of letting them go. You see, again, G was deregulating and B is re-regulating. This is the “stuff” of life in every group of any kind in this chaotic world!

In the final analysis, what I want you to get about the groups that you belong to, is that the Feds, like any other group, including yours, is already lined up as liberals versus conservatives, which has more to do with their personality than economics, or Leftist versus rightist, or democrats versus republicans, which clarify the last paragraph in the article about taking action. The democrats want to act now on the economy and “spend” your money to “save” the economy (B already does that) while the republicans on the Fed committee want to act later only if unemployment gets worse, the “wait and see” attitude. Who is right? Neither, neither, neither, the right action is in-between, the mid-course, let Fanny May and Freddy Mac  go, support others, but that is not a possible option in a society that wants to be “perfect” like ours! Bail out most companies, even those that can’t manage (democrats), Sell cars to all Americans (both), even those who prefer to take the bus, have “a chicken in ever pot,” even for vegetarians, or, own your own home at any price (bankers), all Americans should own a home (culture), even those who had always rented before. That’s what started it all, a dummy culture that tries to make everyone the same as everyone one else!

Happiness is…living on the light side.

October 12, 2010

Let me give you the good news first and then I will give you the best news about  – blogs. The wonderful thing is that every Dick, Tom and Harry has one and they are too hard on themselves trying to express their point of view on everything! The world is really a village like Hillary Clinton, secretary of the world says! That is the good news. The best news is that in that jungle of information dissemination you won’t see my seminal tree with the naked eye. You will have to search for the truth with brains. As the saying goes, “You see only the forest, not a weird tree.” Well, my forest is indeed in the jungle but if you find it and look at my tree it will turn by magic into an Apple tree in the Garden of Eden, full of knowledge how to achieve the “good life.” Now, here is some bad news: In the original Biblical story, Adam and Eve ate from the wong tree. You see, the primordial forest had a third tree, the Tree of Eisdom that was not advertised among the savages. That is why commercials are so important for dummies today. You say, “What the hell is all this bull…has to do with happiness?” You are right – nothing! I just wanted to get your attention to wisdom, and to make sure that you don’t think that what I will say next is – bullshit! listen carefully:

In order to be happy you have to start by pretending that you are, whether you are or are not. If people ask you, “Are you REALYYYY happy?” you have to lie and say Yes, no matter what! If people ask you, “Have you fulfilled your greatest dream?” You must lie again. ” I work hard lest I won’t achieve it.” Look up, do you notice the note on the Tree of Wisdom, “Look at happy people, they don’t seem to work hard at it.”  Don’t try to keep in touch with your friends who say they are happy lest you be disappointment by the way they treat you. Cultivate a relationship only with those that you either have fun with, learn from or can cry on their shoulders. And finally, and that one is the important hard talk, forget what the dummies tell you about being gay, happiness is not a state of mind, it is a state of body, and if you have a ounz of wisdom left in you, I’ll tell you the shocking truth straight from the mind of Buddha – happiness is not a state of mind, it’s a state of no mind!

For the dummies who don’t understand what is a state of no mind,  transcendental Meditation is not it  – Consciousness is!!!

Behavior analysis: State Versus Trait studies.

October 10, 2010

We meet every other Sunday and “shoot the breeze” at a JCC breakfest, liberals, conservative and in-between, some are serious folks and some like to tell jokes. For the serious ones an issue came up today that I would characterize as: Why some bad people behave good and some good people behave bad. I said, “Go to Google and type STATE VERSUS TRAIT studies.” Here is a short summary so you won’t have to spend hours to figure out the findings:

The first study of a series of State Versus Trait studies found out that if you seat “A” students who never cheated on an exam next to students who cheated on exams, noncheaters will cheat on the exam if the trusting teacher announced a surprise test and left the room! Today, after many studies of the sort, it is an established fact that HONESTY IS SITUATIONAL AND NOT A TRAIT!

This didn’t come up in the lively JCC discussion, but let me tell you a little secret about Traits. They are usually activated in your personality only when the situation is right. So you never have to worry about alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, gluttony, rape, suicide, homicide, or lying to your teeth if you are alone on an island or you live in a perfect community. Take the best psychological test of Traits (cost $300) and find out yours. Let me put you to work, it’s called the EPPS. Go to Google again. Have a psychological week. At your service, Dr. Elior kinarthy. Shalom.

Clarifying the liu Xiaobo mess!

October 10, 2010

This one is a challenge for me too, but true to the peaceful revolution and value clarification goals of my blog, I have to clarify my stand on Norway giving the Noble Price to a Chinese dissident who is in prison. After weighing the pro and con arguments on both sides I decided that it was wrong to give him the Nobel Price for 2 reasons, (1) The man undermined Chinese economic development and social stability at a time when feeding a billion poor people real food was more important than “feeding” them prematurely the concept of Democracy. An uprising and a multi-party system in China would have created chaos, and (2) The man broke his country’s laws.

In awarding the Noble Price to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Noble Committee showed its disdain for Chinese law. Right or wrong, Mr. Liu was convicted and sentenced to prison for violating Chinese laws. The Committee showed lack of understanding how difficult it is to keep peace and law and order in a country of billion people who only recently came out of poverty and famine. Mr. Liu chose the wrong time to act Gandhi. The Committee did not understand population psychology at all! The Norwegians judged China by Norway’s standards. They assumed that relaxing laws of conduct and embracing lax European style democracy will develop China into a more humane society rather than plunge the country into chaos, as most sociologists or psychologists would predict. In the final analysis Laissez faire democracy is a process of social evolution and personal responsibility that Mr. Liu didn’t possess. Sometimes in history, lifting a billion Chinese out of poverty is more humane than letting a dissident disrupt society in the name of human rights. Sometimes in life you have to work within the system rather than play Gandhi!

Special education is special but…

October 9, 2010

…it cannot save the world. SE can only save the individual. Therefor, the rules from my posting “Can education save the world?” do not apply to Special Education:

*Whereas education can be effective in large classrooms, or small, Special Education needs small groups to be effective.

*Whereas effective education can be delivered inexpensively, special education need more resources and extra teacher training that cost more money.

*Whereas education needs a drastic change in curriculum and personnel attitude to be effective enough to change the world, special education is fine the way it is except for some minor adjustments in mainstreaming policies.

*Whereas special education teachers are well-trained and their warm and positive attitude toward handicap learners is scrutinized by the authorities, regular classroom teachers are not well-trained and checking on their warm or positive attitude toward kids is considered discriminatory in Western democracies. It is prohibited by law.

*The public and its representatives give Special Education more attention in general, than it gives to regular education. Why? Very simple. Providing resources to special education needs pupils gets the votes. It shows that you care and you get elected, whereas if you try to drastically change the education system anywhere in order to save the world, people will not only laugh at you calling you a “nut” case, they’ll kick you out.

*A good place to go for educators who want to pursue my line of thinking beyond this posting is to Jaime Escalante’s math classroom in the barrio and to Jean Piaget’s makeshift home-lab, both amazing places for work of giants, both unjustifiably criticised, the first one for transforming students and the second one for transforming research practices. You see, both Jean and Jaime got involved with their subjects’ learning personally, what a wonderful thing to do!