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Objective Reality

John H. johnh at faraway.hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Fri Feb 27 00:50:33 EST 2004

"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:b2ab07248f017f96a5102e974e432188 at news.teranews.com...
> JH: Glen,
> You're opening a Pandora's box here and you can rest assured your post
> will make Ken very angry. As an off an on visitor to this ng for many
> years I have seen this whole process unfold so many times and it has
> become very tedious.
> GS: Hi John. Probably will get him pissed but, to tell you the truth, I
> really AM interested in the answers to those questions, and I thought Ken
> might tell me. The additional posts were, I admit, a whim, but I am
> considering amending posts to each and every of his posts. No matter what
> said before, extinction won't work in this instance (and extinction is
> difficult to get to work in general - people almost always wind up just
> intermittently reinforcing the response class). Anyway...


I think we are all interested but that has been the problem in the past. You
appear to be adopting a similiar strategy to Dynasoar and NMF. There may be
value in that but I remain cynical. Agreed, in Ken's case extinction is

> JH: I have formerly expressed my concerns about Ken and for that you once
> called me an idiot. You insulted me on a number of occasions but not
> of late. I just kept ignoring your snide remarks. Extinction. You've
> treated me with respect thereafter.
> GS: Most of the people that I have attacked deserved it in my opinion, but
> have insulted some people that I regret insulting. You are probably one of
> them. I think that if you judge my posts in context, and assess the ratio
> substantive issues to (retaliatory) insults, I think you'll find that I'm
> pretty decent guy. This ain't a professional meeting (which are not
> necessarily devoid of vitriol) or a journal, and I'm tired of the
> misrepresentations of behaviorism that abound, and I'm quick to point out
> misconceptions. The response to this correction is usually the post that
> begins the insults. My opinion has been, for 20 years that ignoring the
> fraud perpetrated, no, perpetuated now, is a losing battle. But I don't
> think that I have to keep my mouth shut when someone says "Anyone who
> that Skinner's writings are still useful is an idiot" or some such. Them's
> fightin' words, son. Of course, none of that has anything to do with Ken.

JH: I have noted your debates on sci.cognitive and still am at a loss to
understand why so many there cannot understand what you are driving at. The
only explanation I can think of there is that in one fell swoop you are
undercutting their epistemological foundations and that does tend to piss
people off; akin to attacking the foundations of someone's religious beliefs
... . I have thought on occasion to ask you to provide refs to articles I
could read pertaining to your point of view, I think there is a lot to
offer. You are generally correct in your assertion that most you have
attacked there deserved what they got. I don't visit sci.cognitive anymore
because in my opinion it has become a cesspool of babbling bullshit. When
there, the main purpose was to try and dig deeper into your posts(and
Wolf's) to gain a fuller understanding of what you are driving at though I
suspect I'm pretty much on the right track. I can't remember who the fool
was that posted a thread entitled "behaviorist infestation" but that is
nothing more than puerile dogmatism. There is far too much pretentious
sophistry in that ng, you know the many I am referring too. To be honest, I
sometimes wonder why you persist, I don't think a neutrino could penetrate
some of their skulls. Aint that the truth about ngs, we all like throw
insults. That in itself is an interesting phenomenon.

It is my belief (speaking from relative ignorance) that psychology was
hijacked by humanistic psychology in the 60's and this has been entirely to
its detriment. Cognitive psychology is something I do not study because
there are too many "just so" style explanations. Skinner knew what science
is, I suspect many in the field have lost their way. Somewhat  ironic re
this thread title: Objective Reality.

So then, if you want to open another possible Pandora's box, I think you'll
find people on this ng more receptive to your views and yes I do sincerely
think more people need to think much more deeply about this issue.

> JH: I think I know what Ken's problem
> is and while I have hinted at the same occasionally I'm just so tired
> of the way he hijacks this ng; especially since lately some bods like
> yourself have made the ng much more entertaining and informative. Like
> many others I have tried to encourage Ken to seek some help but he is
> so entrenched in this thinking that from this distance the effort
> appears futile. I do not think undertaking personality analysis is
> going to change that.
> GS: Well, that wasn't my plan. Really, for the most part, I'm really
> to hear these answers. Again, though, the thought had occurred to me that
> someone were to really dog Ken's posts, that punishment might work where
> poorly carried out extinction wouldn't. Probably one of the two or three
> ideas I've had in my life.


That assumption has been adopted by many, myself included. I first came
across Ken many years ago. A kind hearted fellow for sure but unlike myself
Ken is unwilling to acknowledge a psychopathology. Mine is sub-clinical and
I have been advised that I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances.
My problem appears to emanated from right orbitofrontal damage in early
childhood via botched surgery, so I'm lucky in the sense it occurred at 4
years of age. Any earlier I might be looking for victims to axe to death; at
the worst I may have a touch of Aspergers. Interestingly, in my teenage
years I often felt I had to work very hard to relate to people but the end
result is a rich social life. I have frequently been accused of being "too
honest" and it wasn't until I entered my 30's that I fully began to
appreciate what people were driving at. I endeavour to make adjustments to
my behaviour because of my awareness, I just wish Ken had the personal
courage to acknowledge that something is wrong. I've also been very lucky in
that many fine people have gone out of their way to help me through my

> JH: So now we see more and more posts directed towards Ken, this is best
> described as fueling the fire. Don't do it. Just ignore his rants
> about his personal life and probably better just to killfile him
> entirely, as I have done in the past.
> If people here really want to help Ken then such requests as yours
> should be made in private email. Everyone, let it go.
> GS: OK, John, if you want me to leave it, I will - at least for now. Good
> luck on your presentation. What's it about?

JH: It concerns the long term and transient cognitive deficits that occur in
some people as a result of mild head injury. I have no formal training - no
tertiary degree at all mainly because I also incurred visual problems from
surgery and very erratic mood(genetic linkage there too) - recurrent major
depressive so watch the dementia set in people. I am probably the most
uneducated person on this ng.  To be honest I never expected to get this far
but its amazing what hard work and willingness to acknowledge one's errors
can achieve. If not for my health problems I would have been able to make a
useful contribution to the field. Now in my 40's its too late for that
because I only got into about 5 years ago, but I will persue it as an
intellectual hobby and maintain my focus on very specific problems in the

I mention my personal problems in the hope that Ken will realise that
failing to address one's problems often leads to greater problems. And he
should remember Tolstoy: "Everyone thinks about changing the world but
no-one thinks about changing himself."

I appreciate your input, my initial post was because over time Ken begins to
become a "strange attractor", to use the term loosely, that slowly but
surely damages this ng.


John H.

> Cordially,
> Glen
> "John H." <johnhas at tpg.com.au> wrote in message
> news:f8bfc8d5.0402252108.6e6d7ae at posting.google.com...

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