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Notice: A number of my extracts from the “Karl Jaspers Forum” are now accessible through the Site Map. TA 51 and Responses are now available. TA 70 and Responses are waiting for posting as website management gets time. My other Comments and Short Notes will be available too. This is mentioned because there are so many ideas repeated by Herbert Muller such as in this week’s Commentary 2 that have already been responded to showing his views’ differences to those of Karl Jaspers. When the extracts are posted, it will then be easier and timesaving to simply make a reference to what has already been addressed.

Notation: This week’s postings on Herbert’s Website make no reference to Karl Jaspers, with one exception; Herbert parenthetically uses the name once. This week’s “Update” will begin with his Comment to Umpleby, but most importantly the Comment by David K. Johnson is reviewed.


2. David. K. Johnson’s excellent critique on “Constructivism” compensates slightly for slighting Karl Jaspers

2.1. David’s Recycled originality

2.2. Antidote and footing in the new Constructivist Foundation where Herbert Muller is dragging his “Karl Jaspers” flag like a security blanket

2.3. Dewey Dykstra’s bias toward realist

1. H. Muller’s “0 D” emphatically absent

1.2. Herbert’s theistic wavering betwixt encompassings, an illuminating flash and a constructivist’s usurpation of credit 

1.4. Continued mishandling of Jaspers’ Encompassing--therapeutic affect

1.5. Jaspers’ philosophical and biblical faith contributes to scientific attitude

1.7. A “Jaspers Applied” cypher-netic protesting of hypo-cybernetics

EXTRA: General applicability of cybernetic jargon: The misuse and use-potential of cybernetics, computers, and ensuing artificial-intelligent apparatuses might be demonstrated in the different results one gets from search engines. Because my mission initially was to address the misuse of Karl Jaspers, I started the Karl Jaspers Applied Website. It was important that anyone searching on the Internet for a Karl Jaspers forum might also find Karl Jaspers Applied. That means to optimize access, if a search is done under the title Karl Jaspers Forum, Karl Jaspers Applied must be in the first ten hits.

Optimization experimentation shows a clear differentiation between Google and Yahoo! The results reveal that Yahoo! from the beginning and for many weeks thereafter placed my Website next to Herbert’s forum within the first ten. Then suddenly it appeared in 11th, then 12th, then 13th and that meant on the second page. I consider the first ten to be optimal. Then it went back to 11th, then to 10th (first page). Today it’s at 5th place. Google search efforts under the same conditions showed nothing or the hits were too remote insignificant to measure (like recently it was at 63 and then 53). As a matter of fact, for several months, searching for Karl Jaspers Applied produced nothing at all on Google. Now at least if one enters Karl Jaspers Applied, it at least shows as item one where one would expect. What this shows me is that there’s a need to closely scrutinize search-engine results, such as by fourth estate special investigations to assure some control over computer and artificial intelligence specialists. Those in control of search-engine performance can determine the potential for imposing or protecting dogma in the name of “second” or trinitarian-like dialectical cybernetics.

The shallow response to this search engine complex is that if one miraculously knows how search-engine crawlers work, one merely needs circumvent the system--like post words that attract. Or/and one can establish links, or maybe even guess that usage-frequency is a determining factor in optimization. The economic factor too is real and an insurmountable obstacle if search-control centers employ the condition of demand and performance, which poses a special problem, for, giving into marketplace dynamics means pornographic riches, Jackpot millionaires, the richest church, or political party would control the Internet press. The problem with naïve solutions is that crawlers can be programmed. Training would become endless, as unlimited as almost infinite changes that can be made. And, for instance, first-party through third-party entities--with a corresponding “second-order cybernetics” and “social-order meta-cybernetics”, i.e. subjectivism--could set standards for programming. One simply would need to base a program on what is to be avoided, such as realism, or what is to be propagated, such as idealism. 

1. The absence of Herbert’s “0 D” stands out—What stands-out in Herbert’s “Commentary 2” is the absence of the formula “0 D”, i.e., zero derivation. Last week’s “Update” 15, item 2.9, drew attention to Herbert’s ameliorating position and seemingly less frequent use of his formula (“0 D”), and some possible reasons were offered. The concept of zero-derivation behind the formula that he wants to establish must have universal application. Though the formula is currently avoided, the concept is maintained in follow-through fashion as seen in his last item <23> where he feels a priestly duty to exhort, more than less needlessly it seems, that though the “mind” is autonomous, although “evolved”, one must be careful not to exhibit an omnipotent know-it-all air. Omnipotent air is another way of saying “superiority complex”. But, he senses immediately that one must necessarily be overly confident, must presume a mode of infallible thinking superior than Being to conjure omnipotence and then suppress the ground of its potentiality. So, Herbert then uses a footnote-strategy not unlike the revealing comment a counselee might make to a counselor at the conclusion of a session. While getting up to leave the counselee says “oh, by the way…” and in that moment divulges more than the hour’s session.   Herbert’s footnote (****) “oh-by-the-way” statement is that “…God and His omnipotence are human structures…” Not only is he not capitalizing on his “0 D” formula, he is capitalizing G and H (gendered), and this almost seems like a hint of contrition for an atheism he by misappropriation of the word “encompassing” transfers to Jaspers.   Herbert might be under pressure to ameliorate, that is, make his atheism fade and distract from the mind ontologism. In reality Herbert violated the principle of the practical need to go back to ground zero when he universalized, objectified zero derivation, and applied it to religions, namely fundamental religions, which means any sect he and Glasersfield dismiss as disdainful. (Oh, by the way, see 3. Oh-by-the-way below)

1.2. Herbert’s conjured God—Standing on the conjured edge of the edge-less Encompassing of Herbert’s personal world-that-he-is, he hints at wanting to be interpreted…now…differently. This is seen in his hypostatization of the private theism-concept in item 1 above. Use of high case G and H (God and His) is not a modification due to complex Being or traditional reality, but rather a suggestion to the reader that Herbert agrees with Jaspers, i.e., that God cannot be limited to talk or thinking but can be thought and talked about but we have to know what we are doing. However, to acknowledge Jaspers as a relative precursor is too much to expect from a radical’s constructivism. That confession could lead to taking notice of biblical faith. Such faith is far removed from the subjective meaning of Herbert’s G and H. To Herbert knowing what we are doing does not have any guiding objectivity in historic reality unless it’s a structured and outstandingly popular and current commanding reality. It cannot be attributable accountably to Jaspers or the bible but it can be a knowledge-like faith degreed by vatic authority.  Toward Herbert’s assumed conditioned state, one ought not be judgmental. The intensity of confrontation though should be equal to the intensity of one’s influential status. But as responsible therapists one to another, it’s best to understand why the word “God” can sometimes only be used cautiously after certain emotional levels have been reached (e.g., AA’s 12 steps). Herbert, given his influence, his McGill Hospital association, should be no less cautious about talk of atheism. Jaspers’ therapeutic language (cyphers) would allow the use of E-Encompassing or the Transcendent of the Transcendent if one has been conditioned by the misuse of one term or another that ought to be the cypher or sign meaning that the greater of which cannot be conceived.

1.3. Science application—It seems as though Herbert’s readers are now expected to see that he is more a non-theist and this tends to substantiate the view that he influenced Mr. Henry to allow the use of an article (TA 84) because his deistic thinking might be used to soften Herbert’s atheism-image. In his (****) footnote this week Herbert attempts to leave the impression that all along he has simply wanted to avoid scientists, politicians, and in general non-critical thinkers from misusing “God” (in quotes for I’m using his…use…of God). Presumptuously, readers are to think, he has only been concerned about how commitment to traditional reality might hamper scientific research. The fact remains; Herbert comes across as a radical constructivist and the large case H&G means only His Godstruction. It would be comforting to read a confession that indicates he now understands a godstructionism got out of control and cheekily ventured into areas of Being philosophically wise angels and humans approach with vigilance.

1.4. Herbert’s misappropriation of Karl Jaspers’ Encompassing—The one parenthetical mention of “(Jaspers)” is found in Herbert’s <3>. In this paragraph Herbert is demarcating the encompassing world that we are and restricting, inhibiting, the world in which we are. He uses only the immanental encompassing imagination; it is manifested clearly in his use of “or” instead of “and” when he says we objectify “within ‘consciousness” or ‘mind’, or ‘experience’, or ‘awareness’….” Herbert does not here use these as distinct categories, but either one word…or…the other is undifferentiated. Undifferentiating is essential so that he can continue to use his formula containing the high case “M” (“MIR”).  “Mind” then becomes different enough to encompass the other categories. Normalcy understands that there are distinctions and also simultaneous overlappings of the spheres of meanings. To distract from this normally flexible use of categories of understanding, and to distract from Herbert’s own momentary uncritical thinking, he places the title of distinction “(Jaspers)” next to “encompassing”. Here again, as in association with some institution, the title “Jaspers” is vague in meaning but vivid in image to the degree that the Encompassing is misunderstood. 

1.5. Jaspers Philosophical and biblical Faith contributes to the scientific attitude—Neither Jaspers’ philosophical faith or the biblical faith will be given credit for the effectiveness of the imageless on science. Herbert and Herbert’s Ernst apparently exact credit instead. Herbert cannot yet admit error for that requires an objective determinate. Performance is always excused by what he means by experience, i.e., following the orders thereof. The protesting spirit toward others must be something limited to how others measure up to his personal constructions to validate the universal acceptability and applicability of his formulae. The more objective philosophical faith and biblical faith, the imageless, inherently protests the “Methods and relative premises becom[ing] the thing itself; [and turning] definite cognoscibilities in undefinable horizons into absolute Being.” And Jaspers further says, “This is scientifically indefensible and philosophically irresponsible.” (Philosophical Faith and Revelation, p. 173 Collins, 1967.)

1.6.Herbert is seemingly turning premises into total cognition; he turns cybernetics into “kybernetes”—apparently this is his designation for anthropomorphizing a homunculus vatic-cybernetician. I see little real difference between Herbert’s kybernetics and Umpleby’s conjured “second order” and ultra-order, i.e., idealized helmsman steering the prejudiced out of captivity. As shown in Update 14 (the synopsis) Umpleby is not at soul yet a radical constructivist having had beginnings in what he calls “first order cybernetics”, which I take to be empirically based science. D. K. Johnson picks up on this too in this week’s contribution (see below item 2 ff).  He has picked up on the constructivist role-playing Umpleby is doing in (see 3.2 below), picked up on an effort to capitalize on a popular movement. David admits doing similarly. Herbert too is sensitive to it and sees that a realist conscience could result in giving some elbowroom for traditional standards, and Herbert wants none of that. Admittedly there is a totalitarian threat potential in a dialectical idealism imposed standard in the so-called Umpleby-cybernetic-order that could lead to a dialectical materialism especially when shaved from empirical based research (see above EXTRA: General applicability of cybernetic jargon). But Herbert wants to shave off both in-depth encompassing understanding and incoming penetrating encompassing philosophical wisdom, historical wisdom. 

1.7. Proper cypher-netic protesting of hyper cybernetics—Herbert, as an even more radical constructivist with an imposing ontologism, cannot do a critique of any scientific discipline such as cybernetics without the metaphysics of “second” and “third” order cybernetics. “Second order” is a constructivist sudden-burst realization of what goes without saying to the normal critic, and third-order thinking is the Umpleby-helmsman proclamation…”Constructivism!”. The “second order” is how Herbert and Umpleby view themselves while objectifying about cybernetics (I guess Herbert calls them “Kybernetes” signifying constructivists are in control) and while pleading irresponsibility by simply following cybernetic orders and commands from a centralized social-planning site. The site gets it gratuitous authority from cybernetics, the best side of which was science but now forgotten in the rush toward the helm. If it’s not Umpleby it is Herbert struggling for Helmsman position, and both seeing who can get the greater portion of a drawn and halved Glasersfeld. But there is a third-party use of Glasersfeld’s popularity, and this brings us to David Johnson’s “Commentary 4”:

2. D. K. Johnson’s critique of Constructivism and avoidance of Jaspers—David Johnson’s critique here is excellent. David has in the past expressed his appreciation for Herbert’s “tolerance” in allowing the critiquing of Glasersfeld’s Radical Constructivism. David is not only an entertaining critic of the prominent Glasersfeld, but he has managed to get some reactions from Glasersfeld. Herbert’s blog gets crawlers attention using the name of Karl Jaspers, and this offers no less opportunity to David. Though he makes no reference to Jaspers he gets recognition--and educators need all they can get. David makes no effort to relate his form of constructivism to Jaspers and there’s good reason for that. Jaspers and Constructivism are poles apart, the latter a growth made possible after Jaspers’ passing and due to late translations—but still in the air.  To my recollections David has never made a transition to Jaspers concepts; there’s no need as long as Herbert takes the pressure for exploiting the name. One could see some areas of his thinking where pertinent references to Jaspers could easily be made, but then precursor recognition would diminish an academic-epidemic need for accountability through originality one way or another.

2.1 Recycled originality—David recognizes the obvious, that radical constructivism (though he does not capitalize “r” and “c”) is the ground for his (TA 75) critique of Radical Constructivism. Then he makes the tongue-in-check designed-mistake of abbreviating his reactionary constructivist system into “CR”, meaning “constructivist realism”. He thereby gains distinction by reverse osmosis thanks to “RC”. Now, to avoid this use of the name of Karl Jaspers, it seems that David might either make his views applicable to Jaspers or take his insuperable critique to the Constructivist Foundation itself and argue the case in the Journal. I suppose the thoroughness of his critique precludes the possibility of safe passage or fair hearing on “RC” turf. One would think that standing toe to toe with Glasersfeld, Muller, and Dysktra, would qualify him for a Foundation welcome wagon, as welcomed as someone the constructivism community would be unafraid to confront. But, perhaps there’s another reason he might not be welcomed, such as follows:

2.2.  David’s antidote has a Claim to register in the Constructivist Foundation—In item <8> he makes a claim for more than equal time and space for his “CR” formula. He has been allowed time and space on Herbert’s blog. Rather than the toleration David heralds of Herbert, it is my guess he is tolerated largely to engage the participation of Glasersfeld. “CR” stands for constructivist realism. The problem with this is the “ism” attached to the objectively real. And “ism” carries the danger of sending constructivists into hysterics and the word “real” is blasphemous. One can see that David’s “CR” can be taken as a mirror reaction to “RC” and an entertaining one for it is rc reversed to cr, and there is some justification for protesting one “ism” by another “ism”. David confirms this reaction-ism where he says that: “…in recommending CR as an antidote to RC ills, I neither deny nor consider my own position exempt from the influence of constructivism”. That statement could be taken to mean he wants to be thought of as not wholly bent on bucking a popular movement in academia going by a title of distinction like “constructivism”. Or, it can mean that to be normally and historically constructivistic means one as a teacher views students as having an autonomous degree of responsibility toward Being. It could mean also being responsible enough to be in a constant protestant mode regarding the adequacies of constructions near and at large. So, not too much fault can be laid at David’s reaction-ism, but yet one can wonder about this lack of compunction about using a blog bearing the name of Karl Jaspers. My complaint is that he did not relate to Jaspers, especially while the connections could be made without violating the intellectual honesty so well manifested in this Comment. Any extreme displeasure at this deficiency is tolerable because this scrutinizing is directed toward Mr. Dykstra’s intolerance.

2.3.  Dewey Dykstra and Constructionist Foundation properly critiqued--Admittedly, bringing Dykstra into Herbert’s blog is not only engaging but also essential if there is no other avenue for fair expression against Dysktra’s chastisement of realists in the Constructivist Foundation’s Journal; those realists he sets up like paper-tigers. David speaks plainly and confrontationally to him charging that Dewey’s biased view toward realists is “simply a position made of straw”. David’s bold laying down of the gauntlet does not compensate for not referencing Jaspers. So…to make an application to Jaspers, it is clear that David’s position here leans towards Jaspers’ views on educative techniques, which includes the protesting attitude, something traditional in the spirit of Humboldt, Stroeltsche, and Weber, a Heidelberg spirit existing before 1936. Nevertheless, something happens when others, including David, lose pivotal contact with Jaspers on a blog blandishing a clear and distinct placard.

3. Oh, By-the-way—One might find reading the front page of my Website interesting. Found there are the recommendations Mr. Dykstra and Mr. D. K. Johnson made regarding their vote of confidence in Mr. Muller’s tolerance and judgment relative to the question of censuring me. My responses to their recommendations can also be found there for they were not posted on Mr. Muller’s blog.

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