The Servant as Leader

by Robert K. Greenleaf


SERVANT AND LEADER — can these two roles be fused in one real person, in all levels of status or calling? If so, can that person live and be productive in the real world of the present? My sense of the present leads me to say yes to both questions. This paper is an attempt to explain why and to suggest how.

The idea of The Servant as Leader came out of reading Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the East. In this story we see a band of men on a mythical journey, probably also Hesse’s own journey. The central figure of the story is Leo who accompanies the party as the servant who does their menial chores, but who also sustains them with his spirit and his song. He is a person of extraordinary presence. All goes well until Leo disappears. Then the group falls into disarray and the journey is abandoned. They cannot make it without the servant Leo. The narrator, one of the party, after some years of wandering finds Leo and is taken into the Order that had sponsored the journey. There he discovers that Leo, whom he had known first as servant, was in fact the titular head of the Order, its guiding spirit, a great and noble leader. 

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Institutional Memory and Its Champions

The concept of memory as a tool and set of techniques that can be learned and skillfully applied to form mental and ideological spaces has a long tradition. Its use as a weapon to establish Symbolic Orders can be traced back to the earliest records of domination. Pre-modern societies based their social memory on the interaction of oral transmission and information in pictorial code. Artificial memory is established through places and images, a virtual psycho-geography of synreal systems, strengthened and confirmed by training.

Regulated by the state through an education system controlled by priestly elites, sensory perception can be harnessed through the visual representations of extremes or analogies which will then be methodologically applied in the creation of mental scenarios and punctuate the individual’s development through ritualistic ceremonies. A monologic tyranny of monuments is radiating the wonders and mysteries of the Symbolic Order, memorials of a spectacular reconfiguration of memory.

These scenarios introduce an arrow of time and an inherently political narrative logic to a mental structure of psycho-civilization, dependent on collective ritual re-enactment and performance, reinforcing hyperlinks of cognitive associations within the ideational bunker.

–Konrad Becker, Memory Construction, The Tactical Reality Dictionary

Institutional Memory

Institutional memory is a collective set of facts, concepts, experiences and know-how held by a group of people. As it transcends the individual, it requires the ongoing transmission of these memories between members of this group. Elements of institutional memory may be found in corporations, professional groups, government bodies, religious groups, academic collaborations, and by extension in entire cultures.

Institutional memory may be encouraged to preserve an ideology or way of work in such a group. Conversely, institutional memory may be ingrained to the point that it becomes hard to challenge if something is found to contradict that which was previously thought to have been correct. Institutional memory may have influence on organizational identity, choice of individuals, and actions of the individuals interacting with the institution.

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Gatekeeping: A Critical Review by Karine Barzilai-Nahon

by Karine Barzilai-Nahon


Introduction

Gatekeeping refers broadly to the process of controlling information as it moves through a gate or filter and is associated with exercising different types of power (e.g., selecting news, enforcing the status quo in parliamentary committees, mediating between professional and ethnic groups, brokering expert information). The literature on gatekeeping is fragmented in terms of epistemologies, theories and models, vocabularies, heuristics, and research challenges both within and between disciplines and fields. This happens because discourse on the topic of gatekeeping is conducted within each discipline, in relative isolation. In spite of an extensive literature, few comprehensive reviews are to be found. This chapter follows in the footsteps of two such reviews (Metoyer-Duran, 1993; Shoemaker, 1991). It offers a systematic review that explores the main trends and analytical frameworks relating to gatekeeping in the literature from 1995 to 2007 in eight fields: library and information science (henceforth information science), communication, law, management of information systems, management, political science, public affairs, and sociology. The review demonstrates the lack of analytical tools to respond to two important phenomena: the dynamism of gatekeeping and essential role of those subjected to a gatekeeping process. Network Gatekeeping Theory is a contextualizing move to highlight research threads in the literature through these two missing prisms. This new framework is a platform to help researchers develop and further refine questions for an improved understanding of gatekeeping.

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O.A. Nelson: The Truth Behind “New Math”

Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want… a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!”

“Young Parents Alert” (Lake Elmo, Minnesota), July 1979–I know from personal experience what I am talking about. In December 1928, I was asked to talk to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On December 27th, naïve and inexperienced, I agreed. I had done some special work in teaching functional physics in high school. That was to be my topic. The next day, the 28th, a Dr. Ziegler asked me if I would attend a special educational meeting in his room after the AAAS meeting. We met from 10 o’clock [p.m.] until after 2:30 a.m. We were 13 at the meeting. Two things caused Dr. Ziegler, who was Chairman of the Educational Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, to ask me to attend my talk on the teaching of functional physics in high school, and the fact that I was a member of a group known as the Progressive Educators of America, which was nothing but a Communist front. I thought the word “progressive” meant progress for better schools. Eleven of those attending the meeting were leaders in education. Drs. John Dewey and Edward Thorndike, from Columbia University, were there, and the others were of equal rank. I checked later and found that ALL were paid members of the Communist Party of Russia. I was classified as a member of the Party, but I did not know it at the time. The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called “Modern Math.” At one point I objected because there was too much memory work, and math is reasoning; not memory. Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want… a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!” That math was not introduced until much later, as those present thought it was too radical a change. A milder course by Dr. Breckner was substituted but it was also worthless, as far as understanding math was concerned. The radical change was introduced in 1952. It was the one we are using now. So, if pupils come out of high school now, not knowing any math, don’t blame them. The results are supposed to be worthless

Cognitive Liberty & Neuroethics Course

Brief Description of the Course

Questions concerning freedom and coercion have played a fundamental role in the development of our society; the rapid flow of technological advances that we are experiencing often overtakes society’s ability to consider their implications in depth. Freedom and personal identity are being challenged on numerous fronts, and it is crucial that these issues be explored in a time when one’s perception of self identity may be bought, sold and manipulated in numerous ways. Cognitive Liberty may be defined as “the right of each individual to think independently, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought,” and is the basis of the rights conferred by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The course engages students in an engaging investigation of the ethics and implications of current social trends and practices affecting freedom of thought and mental autonomy, and covers topics including philosophy, technology, law, drugs, media, surveillance and academic freedom. [LINK]

Mechanisms of Action: Opinion Management

You can generate attitude change by writing.

–John Daly

EDUCATION DAILY, APRIL 5, 1985–Researchers attending the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association here said writing can be used to clarify students’ values and even alter their views on controversial subjects. But teachers can also use writing to manipulate a student’s viewpoint and attitude on controversial issues, said a researcher who has studied how writing changes attitudes. “You can generate attitude change by writing,” said John Daly of the University of Texas. Daly said his research showed that writing an essay about an issue helps students clarify their own views. But when asked to write an essay arguing a position opposing their values, the students are lead to change their minds….

…And the greater the effort a student puts into a writing assignment, the greater the change in attitude, Daly concluded.

Daly’s finding disturbed some educators, who said they were concerned that teachers have the power to alter students’ values. “It can be dangerous when we know that educators have the power to influence kids’ minds,” said Barbara Mitchell of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tune Out and Turn On!

The disaffection, disunity and collapse of the humanist State by grace of rugged individualism, personal determinism, self-will, imagination, and personal creativeness, will be your aim.

  • Be the virus.
  • Be the germ.
    • Spread.
    • Misalign.
  • Resist radical change.

Tune your hearing so that you are able to identify psychopolitics when you are confronted with it. Hone your senses such that when in your respective environments you are subject to preconditioning by operant mechanisms for acceptance of radical change, you recoil fundamentally. Shrug your shoulders when crises of ‘major’ importance are foisted upon the public at large. Roll your eyes when catastrophes are manufactured for your community. You must inoculate yourselves against The Politics of Change (TPOC). ‘Change’ will be a dirty word to you. Yours will be a moral and ethical standard hoisted against a State that aims to disinform, mislead, manage, control your destiny, and irrevocably alter your cherished values, attitudes and beliefs..

Phantasmagoric Systems: On Konrad Becker’s Strategic Reality Dictionary

by Brian Holmes


“Information is indeed ‘such stuff as dreams are made on.’ Yet it can be transmitted, recorded, analyzed and measured,” remarked Karl Deutsch in 1963, in his book The Nerves of Government. The Czech-American social scientist was the leading Cold War specialist in “models of political communication and control.” The latter half of the twentieth century saw a world-wide implementation of computerized social programming, aimed first at instilling order and paranoid regularity into the chaos that followed WWII, then increasingly, from the 1960s onward, at evoking febrile dreams from populations whose new mandate was not to labor, but to invent; not to produce, but to consume; not to fear, but to desire. By the late 1990s, after the massification of the Internet had begun in the wake of the integrated world spectacle of the First Gulf War, this condition was well known by at least some of those on the receiving end. Tactical reality hackers such as the Critical Art Ensemble, Arthur and Marielouise Kroker, Luther Blissett, the Yes Men, the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, Marko Peljhan and the Institute of Applied Autonomy arose to infiltrate the global information system and expose its (dys)functions with probes, pranks, parodies and satirical jokes. All of these groups and individuals operated in the tactical space of momentary incursion and instant retreat that had been mapped out by Peter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey, in his poetic anarchist pamphlet on the Temporary Autonomous Zone. The concerns of this slim volume are different. With his seventy-two keys, Konrad Becker aims to unlock the gates of strategic reality: its construction over centuries, its imposition through stealth and force, its dull and laborious maintenance, and its dissolution and destruction by those who can’t take it anymore.

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Context

If you can read the second statement, then you will very likely infer the sense of the first, and from body-language, the remainder of a movement’s meaning may be extrapolated. And what is more, confidence may be instilled in the lip reader when it is acknowledged that a fraction of the roughly 170,000 common words in the English language are employed in any given interaction. The lip reader sees and mourns how rarely the spoken word is commanded to useful effect; it is the comedy from which the fully hearing are barred.